1 Kings 5:6

1 Kings 5:6

Now therefore command thou that they hew me cedars out of
That is, order his servants to cut them down there for him. Some think that Lebanon belonged to the land of Israel, and therefore Solomon did not ask for the cedars upon it, but for his servants to hew them for him; but as it lay upon the borders of Israel, part of it might belong to them, and another part to Hiram, and on which the best cedars might grow, and so he furnished Solomon both with trees, and men to cut them, as it seems from ( 1 Kings 5:10 ) ; see also ( 2 Chronicles 2:3 2 Chronicles 2:8 ) ;

and my servants shall be with thy servants:
to assist them, and to carry the timber from place to place, and to learn how to hew timber:

and unto thee will I give hire for thy servants, according to all that
thou shalt appoint;
pay them for their work and service, as Hiram himself should judge fit and reasonable for them; no mention being made of paying for the timber, seems to countenance the notion that the trees were Solomon's; but when the quantity of provisions sent yearly to Hiram for his household, besides what the servants had, is observed, it seems to have been sent as an equivalent to the timber received by Solomon, see ( 1 Kings 5:10 1 Kings 5:11 ) ;

for thou knowest that there is not among us any that can skill to hew
timber like unto the Sidonians;
it is not said Tyrians, the Sidonians, perhaps, being more skilful in this than they were; and the Sidonians are said by Homer F25 to be (poludaidaloi) , very ingenious: and they were both under the jurisdiction and at the command of Hiram; so Eupolemus


F26 makes the inscription of Solomon's letter to him to run thus, to Suron (that is, Hiram) king of Tyre, Sidon, and Phoenicia. The Jews being chiefly employed in husbandry, and in feeding cattle, were very unskilful in mechanic arts, and in this of cutting down trees, and hewing timber; for there is skill to be exercised therein; the proper time of cutting down trees should be observed, the part in which they are to be cut, and the position in which they are to be put when cut down, as Vitruvius F1 directs, with other things, and Pliny F2 observes the same.

F25 Iliad. 23. ver. 743.
F26 Ut supra. (Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 32, 34.)
F1 De Architectura, l. 2. c. 9.
F2 Nat. Hist. l. 16. c. 39.