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Solomon Asks Hiram to Help 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. It 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.
4"But 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 who is 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. It said, "I have received the message you sent me. I'll do everything you want me to. I'll provide the cedar and pine 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 of the people in my palace."
10So Hiram supplied Solomon with all of the cedar and pine logs he wanted.
11Solomon gave Hiram 125,000 bushels of wheat as food for the people in his palace. He also gave him 115,000 gallons of oil that was 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 who were in charge of the project. They also directed the workers.
17The people did what the king commanded. They removed large blocks of fine 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. The people of Byblos helped the workers.
Preparations for Building the Temple
1#5:1 Verses 5:1-18 are numbered 5:15-32 in Hebrew text.King Hiram of Tyre had always been a loyal friend of David. When Hiram learned that David’s son Solomon was the new king of Israel, he sent ambassadors to congratulate him.
2Then Solomon sent this message back to Hiram:
3“You know that my father, David, was not able to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord his God because of the many wars waged against him by surrounding nations. He could not build until the Lord gave him victory over all his enemies. 4But now the Lord my God has given me peace on every side; I have no enemies, and all is well. 5So I am planning to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God, just as he had instructed my father, David. For the Lord told him, ‘Your son, whom I will place on your throne, will build the Temple to honor my name.’
6“Therefore, please command that cedars from Lebanon be cut for me. Let my men work alongside yours, and I will pay your men whatever wages you ask. As you know, there is no one among us who can cut timber like you Sidonians!”
7When Hiram received Solomon’s message, he was very pleased and said, “Praise the Lord today for giving David a wise son to be king of the great nation of Israel.” 8Then he sent this reply to Solomon:
“I have received your message, and I will supply all the cedar and cypress timber you need. 9My servants will bring the logs from the Lebanon mountains to the Mediterranean Sea#5:9 Hebrew the sea. and make them into rafts and float them along the coast to whatever place you choose. Then we will break the rafts apart so you can carry the logs away. You can pay me by supplying me with food for my household.”
10So Hiram supplied as much cedar and cypress timber as Solomon desired. 11In return, Solomon sent him an annual payment of 100,000 bushels#5:11a Hebrew 20,000 cors [4,400 kiloliters]. of wheat for his household and 110,000 gallons#5:11b As in Greek version, which reads 20,000 baths [420 kiloliters] (see also 2 Chr 2:10); Hebrew reads 20 cors, about 1,000 gallons or 4.4 kiloliters in volume. of pure olive oil. 12So the Lord gave wisdom to Solomon, just as he had promised. And Hiram and Solomon made a formal alliance of peace.
13Then King Solomon conscripted a labor force of 30,000 men from all Israel. 14He sent them to Lebanon in shifts, 10,000 every month, so that each man would be one month in Lebanon and two months at home. Adoniram was in charge of this labor force. 15Solomon also had 70,000 common laborers, 80,000 quarry workers in the hill country, 16and 3,600#5:16 As in some Greek manuscripts (see also 2 Chr 2:2, 18); Hebrew reads 3,300. foremen to supervise the work. 17At the king’s command, they quarried large blocks of high-quality stone and shaped them to make the foundation of the Temple. 18Men from the city of Gebal helped Solomon’s and Hiram’s builders prepare the timber and stone for the Temple.