Solomon prepares to build the temple
1 Hiram was the king of Tyre. He heard that Solomon had become king of Israel after his father David. Hiram had always been a friend of King David, so he sent his men to say ‘hello’ to Solomon. 2 Solomon then sent this message to Hiram:
5:1Tyre was a city on the coast of Lebanon. Sidon was another big city in Lebanon.
3 ‘You know that my father David could not build a temple for the Lord his God. This was because he had to fight battles against enemies that were all around Israel. He did that until the Lord helped him to win against all of them. 4 But now the Lord my God has made us safe from danger. No enemy tries to attack us on any of our borders. 5 So I have decided to build a temple to give honour to the Lord my God. The Lord said to my father David, “I will put your son on your throne to rule as king after you. He will build a temple for people to give honour to my name.” 6 So please tell your men to cut down cedar trees in Lebanon for me. We ourselves do not have people who know how cut wood from trees as well as your men from Sidon. So our men will help your men with the work. And I will pay your workers whatever you decide is right.’
5:5The temple was God's special house in Jerusalem. Until this time there had only been a special tent. God did not let David build it, but now King Solomon could build it. See 1 Chronicles 22:8-9; 2 Samuel 7:12-13.
5:6Lebanon was famous because of its big cedar trees.
7 Hiram was very happy when he received Solomon's message. He said, ‘Praise the Lord today, because he gave David a wise son to rule over the great nation, Israel.’ 8 Then Hiram sent this message to Solomon:
‘I have received the message that you sent to me. I will give you the wood that you have asked for. I will send you cedar wood and pine wood, as much as you need. 9 My men will take the trees from the hills of Lebanon down to the sea. Then we will tie several trees together like a boat. We will take them on the sea to the place where you want them. There we will undo the ropes so that your men can carry the trees away. You will pay me with enough food to feed the people of my palace.’
10 So Hiram supplied Solomon with all the cedar trees and pine trees that Solomon asked for. 11 Then Solomon supplied Hiram with 2,000 tons of wheat as food for the people in his palace. He also supplied 400,000 litres of olive oil. Solomon sent this every year to Hiram.
12 The Lord gave wisdom to Solomon, as he had promised to do. King Hiram and King Solomon made an agreement that their nations would not fight against each other. So there was peace between them.
13 King Solomon commanded 30,000 men from everywhere in Israel to do the work. 14 He sent them to Lebanon in groups of 10,000 men each month. They worked in Lebanon for one month, then they lived at home for two months. Adoniram was the officer who had authority over them. 15 Solomon also had 80,000 men to cut stones in the hills. He had 70,000 men to carry the stones to Jerusalem. 16 He also had 3,300 officers who told the workers what they should do. 17 The king commanded the workers to cut large pieces of stone from the rocks. They cut the best stones into the right shape to build the foundation of the temple. 18 Solomon's men and Hiram's men worked together with men from Gebal. They cut the stones and the wood and they prepared them to build the temple.
5:18Gebal or Byblos