1 Kings 5

Preparations for Building the Temple

1 When Hiram king of Tyre heard that Solomon had been anointed king to succeed his father David, he sent his envoys to Solomon, because he had always been on friendly terms with David.
2 Solomon sent back this message to Hiram:
3 “You know that because of the wars waged against my father David from all sides, he could not build a temple for the Name of the LORD his God until the LORD put his enemies under his feet.
4 But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster.
5 I intend, therefore, to build a temple for the Name of the LORD my God, as the LORD told my father David, when he said, ‘Your son whom I will put on the throne in your place will build the temple for my Name.’
6 “So give orders that cedars of Lebanon be cut for me. My men will work with yours, and I will pay you for your men whatever wages you set. You know that we have no one so skilled in felling timber as the Sidonians.”
7 When Hiram heard Solomon’s message, he was greatly pleased and said, “Praise be to the LORD today, for he has given David a wise son to rule over this great nation.”
8 So Hiram sent word to Solomon: “I have received the message you sent me and will do all you want in providing the cedar and juniper logs.
9 My men will haul them down from Lebanon to the Mediterranean Sea, and I will float them as rafts by sea to the place you specify. There I will separate them and you can take them away. And you are to grant my wish by providing food for my royal household.”
10 In this way Hiram kept Solomon supplied with all the cedar and juniper logs he wanted,
11 and Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand cors[a] of wheat as food for his household, in addition to twenty thousand baths[b][c] of pressed olive oil. Solomon continued to do this for Hiram year after year.
12 The LORD gave Solomon wisdom, just as he had promised him. There were peaceful relations between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty.
13 King Solomon conscripted laborers from all Israel—thirty thousand men.
14 He sent them off to Lebanon in shifts of ten thousand a month, so that they spent one month in Lebanon and two months at home. Adoniram was in charge of the forced labor.
15 Solomon had seventy thousand carriers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the hills,
16 as well as thirty-three hundred[d] foremen who supervised the project and directed the workers.
17 At the king’s command they removed from the quarry large blocks of high-grade stone to provide a foundation of dressed stone for the temple.
18 The craftsmen of Solomon and Hiram and workers from Byblos cut and prepared the timber and stone for the building of the temple.

1 Kings 5 Commentary

Chapter 5

Solomon's agreement with Hiram. (1-9) Solomon's workmen for the temple. (10-18)

Verses 1-9 Here is Solomon's design to build a temple. There is no adversary, no Satan, so the word is; no instrument of Satan to oppose it, or to divert from it. Satan does all he can, to hinder temple work. When there is no evil abroad, then let us be ready and active in that which is good, and get forward. Let God's promises quicken our endeavours. And all outward skill and advantages should be made serviceable to the interests of Christ's kingdom. It Tyre supplies Israel with craftsmen, Israel will supply Tyre with corn, ( Ezekiel 27:17 ) . Thus, by the wise disposal of Providence, one country has need of another, and is benefitted by another, that there may be dependence on one another, to the glory of God.

Verses 10-18 The temple was chiefly built by the riches and labour of Gentiles, which typified their being called into the church. Solomon commanded, and they brought costly stones for the foundation. Christ, who is laid for a Foundation, is a chosen and precious Stone. We should lay our foundation firm, and bestow most pains on that part of our religion which lies out of the sight of men. And happy those who, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, for a habitation of God through the Spirit. Who among us will build in the house of the Lord?

Cross References 22

  • 1. ver 10,18; S 2 Samuel 5:11; 1 Chronicles 14:1
  • 2. 1 Chronicles 22:8; 1 Chronicles 28:3
  • 3. S 2 Samuel 7:5
  • 4. 2 Samuel 22:40; Psalms 8:6; Psalms 110:1; S Matthew 22:44; 1 Corinthians 15:25
  • 5. S Joshua 14:15; 1 Kings 4:24; 1 Chronicles 22:9; Luke 2:14
  • 6. 1 Kings 11:14,23
  • 7. S Deuteronomy 12:5; 1 Chronicles 17:12; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Revelation 21:22
  • 8. Deuteronomy 12:5; 2 Samuel 7:13; 1 Chronicles 22:10
  • 9. 1 Chronicles 14:1; 1 Chronicles 22:4
  • 10. 1 Kings 10:9; Isaiah 60:6
  • 11. Ezra 3:7
  • 12. ver 11; Ezekiel 27:17; Acts 12:20
  • 13. S ver 9
  • 14. S 1 Kings 3:12
  • 15. Joshua 9:7; 1 Kings 15:19; Amos 1:9
  • 16. S Genesis 49:15; S Leviticus 25:39; 1 Kings 9:15
  • 17. S 2 Samuel 20:24; 1 Kings 4:6; 2 Chronicles 10:18
  • 18. 1 Kings 9:23
  • 19. 1 Kings 6:7
  • 20. 1 Chronicles 22:2
  • 21. S 2 Samuel 5:11
  • 22. S Joshua 13:5

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. That is, probably about 3,600 tons or about 3,250 metric tons
  • [b]. Septuagint (see also 2 Chron. 2:10); Hebrew "twenty cors"
  • [c]. That is, about 120,000 gallons or about 440,000 liters
  • [d]. Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 2 Chron. 2:2,18) "thirty-six hundred"

Chapter Summary


This chapter relates Solomon's preparation for building the temple: on Hiram, king of Tyre, sending a congratulatory letter to him, he returned another to him, signifying his intention to build an house for God, and requesting him to supply him with timber, and men to work it, 1Ki 5:1-6; to which Hiram readily agreed, and sent him cedar and fir, and Solomon in return sent him food for his household; and things went on very amicably between them, 1Ki 5:7-12; the chapter concludes with an account of Solomon's workmen, where, how, and in what they were employed, 1Ki 5:13-18.

1 Kings 5 Commentaries

Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.