Solomon Prepares to Build the Temple
1Hiram was the king of Tyre. He heard that Solomon had been anointed as king. He heard that Solomon had become the next king after his father David. Hiram had always been David’s friend. So Hiram sent his messengers to Solomon. 2Then Solomon sent a message back to Hiram. Solomon said,
3“As you know, my father David had to fight many battles. His enemies attacked him from every side. So he couldn’t build a temple where the Lord his God would put his Name. That wouldn’t be possible until the Lord had put his enemies under his control. 4But now the Lord my God has given me peace and rest on every side. We don’t have any enemies. And we don’t have any other major problems either. 5So I’m planning to build a temple. I want to build it for the Name of the Lord my God. That’s what he told my father David he wanted me to do. He said, ‘I will put your son on the throne in your place. He will build a temple. I will put my Name there.’
6“So give your men orders to cut down cedar trees in Lebanon for me. My men will work with yours. I’ll pay you for your men’s work. I’ll pay any amount you decide on. As you know, we don’t have anyone as skilled in cutting down trees as the men of Sidon are.”
7When Hiram heard Solomon’s message, he was very pleased. He said, “May the Lord be praised today. He has given David a wise son to rule over that great nation.”
8So Hiram sent a message to Solomon. Hiram said,
“I have received the message you sent me. I’ll do everything you want me to. I’ll provide the cedar and juniper logs. 9My men will bring them from Lebanon down to the Mediterranean Sea. I’ll make them into rafts. I’ll float them to the place you want me to. When the rafts arrive, I’ll separate the logs from each other. Then you can take them away. And here’s what I want in return. Provide food for all the people in my palace.”
10So Hiram supplied Solomon with all the cedar and juniper logs he wanted. 11Solomon gave Hiram 3,600 tons of wheat as food for the people in his palace. He also gave him 120,000 gallons of oil made from pressed olives. He did that for Hiram year after year. 12The Lord made Solomon wise, just as he had promised him. There was peace between Hiram and Solomon. The two of them made a peace treaty.
13King Solomon forced men from all over Israel to work hard for him. There were 30,000 of them. 14He sent them off to Lebanon in groups of 10,000 each month. They spent one month in Lebanon. Then they spent two months at home. Adoniram was in charge of the people who were forced to work. 15Solomon had 70,000 people who carried things. He had 80,000 who cut stones in the hills. 16He had 3,300 men in charge of the project. They also directed the workers. 17The people did what the king commanded. They removed large blocks of the best quality stone from a rock pit. They used them to provide a foundation for the temple. 18The skilled workers of Solomon and Hiram cut and prepared the logs and stones. They would later be used in building the temple. Workers from Byblos also helped.