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Hiram

HIRAM

hi'-ram (chiram; Septuagint Chiram, but Cheiram, in 2 Samuel 5:11; 1 Chronicles 14:1):

There is some confusion regarding the form of this name. In the books of Samuel and Kings the prevailing form is "Hiram" (chiram); but in 1 Kings 5:10,18 margin (Hebrew 24,32); 7:40 margin "Hirom" (chirom) is found. In Chronicles the form of the word is uniformly "Huram" (churam).

(1) A king of Tyre who lived on most friendly terms with both David and Solomon. After David had taken the stronghold of Zion, Hiram sent messengers and workmen and materials to build a palace for him at Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5:11; 1 Chronicles 14:1). Solomon, on his accession to the throne, made a league with Hiram, in consequence of which Hiram furnished the new king of Israel with skilled workmen and with cedar trees and fir trees and algum trees from Lebanon for the building of the Temple. In return Solomon gave annually to Hiram large quantities of wheat and oil (1 Kings 5:1 (Hebrew 15); 2 Chronicles 2:3 (Hebrew 2)). "At the end of twenty years, wherein Solomon had built the two houses, the house of Yahweh and the king's house," Solomon made a present to Hiram of twenty cities in the land of Galilee. Hiram was not at all pleased with these cities and contemptuously called them "Cabul." His displeasure, however, with this gift does not seem to have disturbed the amicable relations that had hitherto existed between the two kings, for subsequently Hiram sent to the king of Israel 120 talents of gold (1 Kings 9:10-14). Hiram and Solomon maintained merchant vessels on the Mediterranean and shared mutually in a profitable trade with foreign ports (1 Kings 10:22). Hiram's servants, "shipmen that had knowledge of the sea," taught the sailors of Solomon the route from Ezion-geber and Eloth to Ophir, whence large stores of gold were brought to King Solomon (1 Kings 9:26; 2 Chronicles 8:17).

Josephus (Apion, I, 17, 18) informs us, on the authority of the historians Dius and Menander, that Hiram was the son of Abibal, that he had a prosperous reign of 34 years, and died at the age of 53. He tells us on the same authority that Hiram and Solomon sent problems to each other to solve; that Hiram could not solve those sent him by Solomon, whereupon he paid to Solomon a large sum of money, as had at first been agreed upon. Finally, Abdemon, a man of Tyre, did solve the problems, and proposed others which Solomon was unable to explain; consequently Solomon was obliged to pay back to Hiram a vast sum of money. Josephus further states (Ant., VIII, ii, 8) that the correspondence carried on between Solomon and Hiram in regard to the building of the Temple was preserved, not only in the records of the Jews, but also in the public records of Tyre. It is also related by Phoenician historians that Hiram gave his daughter to Solomon in marriage.

(2) The name of a skillful worker in brass and other substances, whom Solomon secured from Hiram king of Tyre to do work on the Temple. His father was a brass-worker of Tyre, and his mother was a woman of the tribe of Naphtali (1 Kings 7:14), "a woman of the daughters of Dan" (2 Chronicles 2:14); 1 Kings 7:13; 2 Chronicles 2:13 f (Hebrew 12,13)).

Jesse L. Cotton


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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'HIRAM'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.