1 Kings 5

The Book of 1 Kings
Chapter 5

Chapter Overview:

Hiram congratulates Solomon on his accession, and agrees to furnish him with workmen and timber for the temple, ver. 1 - 9.
The work is well done, and the workmen paid, ver. 10 - 18.
5:6They - That is, thy servants. And this assistance which these Gentiles gave to the building of Solomon's temple, was a type ofthe calling of the Gentiles, and that they should be instrumental inbuilding and constituting Christ's spiritual temple. Cedar - trees - Whichfor their soundness, and strength, and fragrancy, and durableness, weremost proper for his design. Of these David had procured some, but nota sufficient number. Lebanon - Which was in Solomon's jurisdiction:and therefore he doth not desire that Hiram would give him the cedars,because they were his own already; but only that his servants might hewthem for him; which the ingenious Tyrians well understood. With thyservants - Either to be employed therein as they shall direct; or toreceive the cedars, from their hands, and transmit them to me. Hire - Paythem for their labour and art. Sidonians - Or Tyrians: for theseplaces and people being near, are promiscuously used one for another.
5:7Rejoiced - Being a faithful friend to David and his house, and tho' it is not probable he was a sincere proselyte, yet he had sufficientinformation concerning the nature and excellency of the God of Israel,and had honourable thoughts of him.
5:9The sea - The mid - land sea. Floats - Or, rafts. It is thought the timber were tied together in the water, as now is usual, and soby the help of boats or ships, conveyed to the appointed place, which was atno great distance. Household - My family and court, which most properlyis called his house.
5:11Measures - Heb. twenty cors pure oil; but in 2:10 , it is twenty thousand baths of oil. To which there is added twentythousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths of wine.Either therefore, first, he speaks of several things. Or, secondly, hespeaks there of what Solomon offered: for it runs thus, I will give;and here of what Hiram accepted. Or, thirdly, the barley, and wine, andtwenty thousand baths of common oil, mentioned 2 Chronicles 2:10 , mustbe added to the twenty thousand measures of wheat, and the twentymeasures of pure oil here expressed, and the whole sum is to be made upfrom both places; that book of Chronicles being written to supply andcompleat the histories of the books of Samuel, and of the Kings.Gave Hiram - Either, first, for sustenance to the workmen, during theyears wherein they were employed in the cutting down and hewing of timber.Or, for the yearly support of the king's house, during the said time.Thus by the wise disposal of providence, one country has need of another,and is benefited by another, that there may be a mutual correspondence anddependence, to the glory of God our common Parent.
5:13The levy - Which were to be employed in the most honourable and easy parts of the work relating to the temple; and these wereIsraelites; but those fifteen hundred thousand mentioned ver. 15 ,were strangers. If it seem strange, that so many thousands should beemployed about so small a building as the temple was; it must be considered,
  1. that the temple, all its parts being considered, was far larger than men imagine;
  2. that it is probable, they were employed by turns, as the thirty thousand were, ver. 14 , else they had been oppressed with hard and uninterrupted labours.
  3. that the timber and stone hewed and carried by them, was designed, not only for the temple, but also for Solomon's own houses, and buildings; because we read of no other levy of men, nor of any care and pains taken after the building of the temple, for the procurement, or preparation of materials for his own houses, or his other buildings; nay, that this very levy of men was made and employed for the building of the Lord's house, and Solomon's house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo, and Gezer, is expressed chap. 9:15 .
5:16Three thousand &c. - Whereof three thousand were set over the fifteen hundred thousand, expressed ver. 15 , each of these, over fiftyof them, and the odd three hundred were set over these three thousand, eachof these to have the oversight of ten of them, to take an account of thework for them. But in 2 Chronicles 2:18 , these overseers are said to bethirty - six hundred. The three thousand added in 2 Chronicles 2:2 , might bea reserve, to supply the places of the other three thousand: yea, or of thethirty - three hundred, as any of them should be taken off from the work bydeath, or sickness, or weakness, or necessary occasions; which was a prudentprovision, and not unusual in like cases. And so there were thirty - sixhundred commissioned for the work, but only thirty - three hundred employed atone time; and therefore both computations fairly stand together.
5:17Great and costly - Marble and porphyry, or other stones of great size and value. The foundation - Where they could not afterward be seen:and therefore that this was done, is mentioned only as a point ofmagnificence, except it was intended for a type, or mystical significationof the preciousness of Christ, who is the foundation of the true temple,the church of God.
5:18Stone - squarers - Heb. the Giblites, the inhabitants of Gebel, a place near Zidon, famous for artificers and architects, 13:5 . These are here mentioned apart, distinct from the rest ofHiram's builders, as the most eminent of them.