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1 Kings 5

Solomon prepares to build the temple

1 Hiram was the king of Tyre. He heard that Solomon had become king after his father David. So Hiram sent his servants to Solomon, because Hiram had always been a friend of David. 2 And Solomon sent this message to Hiram. It said, 3 ‘You know about my father David. He was unable to build a temple for the Name of the LORD his God. This was because people on all sides fought wars against my father David. They did this until the LORD caused him to beat his enemies. 4 But now the LORD my God has made it quiet all round me. There are no enemies and nothing to destroy anything. 5 So, I have decided to build a temple for the Name of the LORD my God. This is what the LORD said to my father David. The LORD said, “I will put your son on your throne after you. He will build the temple for my Name.” 6 And you know that none of us can make wood from trees like the men from Sidon. So now, tell your men that they should cut down cedar trees in Lebanon for me. And my men will work with your men. And I will pay you whatever you ask for your men.’

7 Hiram was very happy when he heard Solomon's message. And he said, ‘Praise the LORD today, because he gave David a wise son to rule over this great country.’ 8 So Hiram sent this message to Solomon. ‘I have received the message that you sent to me. I will do all that you ask. I will send you cedar wood and pine wood. 9 My men will pull them from Lebanon to the sea. And I will tie several trees together. And then I will pull them along the top of the sea to where you want them. There I will make them into separate trees again, and you will take them away. And you will supply food for my palace, as I want.’ 10 So Hiram supplied Solomon with all the cedar wood and pine wood that Solomon wanted. 11 Then Solomon supplied Hiram with 20,000 cors (4.4 million litres or 1 million gallons) of wheat as food for his palace. He also supplied 20 cors (4400 litres or 1000 gallons) of olive oil. Solomon sent this every year to Hiram. 12 And the LORD gave wisdom to Solomon, as the LORD had promised to him. Also, there was no war between Hiram and Solomon. They agreed that they would not fight.

13 Then King Solomon caused 30,000 men from all Israel to work for him. 14 He sent them to Lebanon in groups of 10,000 men each month. So, they were one month in Lebanon and two months at home. Adoniram was the master of these men. 15 Solomon had 70,000 men that carried things. And he had 80,000 men that cut stones in the hills. 16 He also had 3300 leaders. They told the workers what they should do. 17 The king ordered them to take large pieces of the best stone that they had cut. They had to take these from the hills where they had cut them. These were the stones that they would build the foundation of the temple with. 18 So the men that worked for Solomon and for Hiram prepared the stone and the wood to build the temple.

Notes about chapter 5

5:18Verses 1-6. The temple was God's special house in Jerusalem. God did not let David build it, because David was a ‘man of war’, 1 Chronicles 22:8-9. Now there was no war, so Solomon could build a temple for ‘the Name of the LORD his God’. God had promised this to David in 2 Samuel 7:12-13. Solomon asked Hiram to supply wood for the temple. Lebanon was famous because of its beautiful cedar trees. Hiram ruled Lebanon, where his people lived. Sidon was the most important city in Lebanon. Hiram lived in a city called Tyre. It was on an island near the coast of Lebanon.
5:18Verse 11. Hiram's palace means all the people that live in it. This includes his family and his servants. Olive oil comes from a fruit called the olive. They used this oil to cook things in. Some Bible students think that 20 cors should be 20,000 cors.
5:18Verse 18. The Hebrew Bible has ‘the men of Gebal’ after ‘Hiram’. Bible students are not sure what this means. They are not sure who these men are.