I Kings 5

 

 

                                                Solomon and Hiraam (vs. 1-18)

 

The somewhat detailed description which we have had in ch. 4. of Solomon’s pomp

and power and wisdom, is followed in chapters 5 and following, by an account of what,

in Jewish eyes, was the great undertaking of his reign, and, indeed, the great glory of

Hebrew history — the erection and adornment of the Temple. And as this was largely

due to the assistance he received both in the shape of materials and laborers — from

the Tyrian king, we have in the first place an account of his alliance with Hiram.

 

 

 

1  And Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants unto Solomon;” - An alliance, or

good understanding, with Israel was then, as at a later period (Acts 12:20) of great

importance to them of Tyre and Sidon. Their narrow strip of seaboard furnished no

corn lands, so that their country depended upon Israel for its nourishment (v. 9) -

“ for he had heard that they had anointed him king in the room of his father:

for Hiram was ever a lover of David.  2   And Solomon sent to Hiram, saying, 

3  Thou knowest how that David my father could not build an house unto the

name of the LORD his God for the wars which were about him on every side,

until the LORD put them under the soles of his feet.  4   But now the LORD my

God hath given me rest on every side, so that there is neither adversary nor

evil occurrent” - (rebellion, famine, pestilence or other such occurrences as David had).

5  And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God,

(Notice the great respect Solomon has for God and the proposed House in the parallel

passage in II Chronicles 2:4 – “Behold, I build an house to the name of the LORD

 my God, to dedicate it to Him, and to burn before Him sweet incense, and for the

continual shewbread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the

 sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of the LORD our God.

This is an ordinance for ever to Israel.” Not so America, which is in the process

of trying to excise God’s Holy name & influence from it’s daily life – CY -2010)

as the LORD spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will

set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name. 

6   Now therefore command thou that they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon;

and my servants shall be with thy servants: and unto thee will I give hire for thy

servants according to all that thou shalt appoint: for thou knowest that there is not

among us any that can skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians.” – Note the part

the heathen thus took in rearing a temple for the God of Jacob (Isaiah 60:10,13).  7   And it

came to pass, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly, and

said, Blessed be the LORD this day, which hath given unto David a wise son over

this great people.”  The proof of the wisdom lay in Solomon’s fulfilling his wise

father’s purposes and in his care for the worship of God.  8  And Hiram sent to

Solomon, saying, I have considered  the things which thou sentest to me for:

and I will do all thy desire concerning timber of cedar, and concerning

timber of fir.”  Notice that in this text the request for materials is more prominently

brought to view while in the parallel passage, the petition is for workmen

(II Chronicles 2:8-10)  9   My servants shall bring them down from Lebanon unto

the sea:  and I will convey them by sea in floats unto the place that thou shalt

appoint me, and will cause them to be discharged there, and thou shalt receive

them: and thou shalt accomplish my desire, in giving food for my household. 

10  So Hiram gave Solomon cedar trees and fir trees according to all his desire. 

11  And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food to his

household, and twenty measures of pure oil: thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by

year.  12  And the LORD gave Solomon wisdom, as He promised him: and there

was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and they two made a league together.” 

The fact that Phoenicia was thus dependent upon Palestine for its breadstuffs explains

the unbroken peace that prevailed between the two countries.  13  And king Solomon

raised a levy out of all Israel; and the levy was thirty thousand men.” (about

one in forty men)  Such a levy was predicted by Samuel (I Samuel 8:16).  14  And

he sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month by courses: a month they

were in Lebanon, and two months at home: and Adoniram was over the levy.” 

They had to serve four months out of the year, no very great hardship.  15  And

Solomon had threescore and ten thousand that bare burdens, and fourscore

thousand hewers in the mountains;” – These 150,000, destined for the more

laborious and menial works, were not Israelites, but Canaanites. We learn from

II Chronicles 2:17-18 that “all the strangers that were in the land of Israel were

subjected to forced labor by Solomon — there were, that is to say, but 150,000 of

them remaining. They occupied a very different position from that of the 30,000 Hebrews.

None of the latter were  reduced to bondage (ch.9:22), while the former had long been

employed in servile work. 16  Beside the chief of Solomon's officers which were

over the work, three thousand and three hundred, which ruled over the people

that wrought in the work.  17  And the king commanded, and they brought great

stones, costly stones, and hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house.

18  And Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders did hew them, and the

stonesquarers: so they prepared timber and stones to build the house.”

 

 

 

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