1 Kings 5

1 Now King Hiram of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon, when he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father; for Hiram had always been a friend to David.
2 Solomon sent word to Hiram, saying,
3 "You know that my father David could not build a house for the name of the Lord his God because of the warfare with which his enemies surrounded him, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet.
4 But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor misfortune.
5 So I intend to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord said to my father David, "Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, shall build the house for my name.'
6 Therefore command that cedars from the Lebanon be cut for me. My servants will join your servants, and I will give you whatever wages you set for your servants; for you know that there is no one among us who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians."
7 When Hiram heard the words of Solomon, he rejoiced greatly, and said, "Blessed be the Lord today, who has given to David a wise son to be over this great people."
8 Hiram sent word to Solomon, "I have heard the message that you have sent to me; I will fulfill all your needs in the matter of cedar and cypress timber.
9 My servants shall bring it down to the sea from the Lebanon; I will make it into rafts to go by sea to the place you indicate. I will have them broken up there for you to take away. And you shall meet my needs by providing food for my household."
10 So Hiram supplied Solomon's every need for timber of cedar and cypress.
11 Solomon in turn gave Hiram twenty thousand cors of wheat as food for his household, and twenty cors of fine oil. Solomon gave this to Hiram year by year.
12 So the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him. There was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and the two of them made a treaty.
13 King Solomon conscripted forced labor out of all Israel; the levy numbered thirty thousand men.
14 He sent them to the Lebanon, ten thousand a month in shifts; they would be a month in the Lebanon and two months at home; Adoniram was in charge of the forced labor.
15 Solomon also had seventy thousand laborers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the hill country,
16 besides Solomon's three thousand three hundred supervisors who were over the work, having charge of the people who did the work.
17 At the king's command, they quarried out great, costly stones in order to lay the foundation of the house with dressed stones.
18 So Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders and the Gebalites did the stonecutting and prepared the timber and the stone to build the house.

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?

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Ch 5.15 in Heb
  • [b]. Gk Tg Vg: Heb [my feet] or [his feet]

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO FIRST KINGS 5

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