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1 Kings 5

Solomon Gathers Building Materials for the Temple

5:1 (5:15) 1  King Hiram of Tyre 2  sent messengers 3  to Solomon when he heard that he had been anointed king in his father’s place. (Hiram had always been an ally of David.) 5:2 Solomon then sent this message to Hiram: 5:3 “You know that my father David was unable to build a temple to honor the Lord 4  his God, for he was busy fighting battles on all fronts while the Lord subdued his enemies. 5  5:4 But now the Lord my God has made me secure on all fronts; there is no adversary or dangerous threat. 5:5 So I have decided 6  to build a temple to honor the Lord 7  my God, as the Lord instructed my father David, ‘Your son, whom I will put on your throne in your place, is the one who will build a temple to honor me.’ 8  5:6 So now order some cedars of Lebanon to be cut for me. My servants will work with your servants. I will pay your servants whatever you say is appropriate, for you know that we have no one among us who knows how to cut down trees like the Sidonians.”

5:7 When Hiram heard Solomon’s message, he was very happy. He said, “The Lord is worthy of praise today because he 9  has given David a wise son to rule over this great nation.” 5:8 Hiram then sent this message to Solomon: “I received 10  the message you sent to me. I will give you all the cedars and evergreens you need. 11  5:9 My servants will bring the timber down from Lebanon to the sea. I will send it by sea in raft-like bundles to the place you designate. 12  There I will separate the logs 13  and you can carry them away. In exchange you will supply the food I need for my royal court.” 14 

5:10 So Hiram supplied the cedars and evergreens Solomon needed, 15  5:11 and Solomon supplied Hiram annually with 20,000 cors 16  of wheat as provision for his royal court, 17  as well as 20,000 baths 18  of pure 19  olive oil. 20  5:12 So the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as he had promised him. And Hiram and Solomon were at peace and made a treaty. 21 

5:13 King Solomon conscripted 22  work crews 23  from throughout Israel, 30,000 men in all. 5:14 He sent them to Lebanon in shifts of 10,000 men per month. They worked in Lebanon for one month, and then spent two months at home. Adoniram was supervisor of 24  the work crews. 5:15 Solomon also had 70,000 common laborers 25  and 80,000 stonecutters 26  in the hills, 5:16 besides 3,300 27  officials who supervised the workers. 28  5:17 By royal order 29  they supplied large valuable stones in order to build the temple’s foundation with chiseled stone. 5:18 Solomon’s and Hiram’s construction workers, 30  along with men from Byblos, 31  did the chiseling and prepared the wood and stones for the building of the temple. 32 

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1 sn The verse numbers in the English Bible differ from those in the Hebrew text (BHS) here; 5:1-18 in the English Bible corresponds to 5:15-32 in the Hebrew text. See the note at 4:21.

2 map For location see Map1 A2; Map2 G2; Map4 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

3 tn Heb “his servants.”

4 tn Heb “a house for the name of the Lord.” The word “name” sometimes refers to one’s reputation or honor. The “name” of the Lord sometimes designates the Lord himself, being indistinguishable from the proper name.

5 tn Heb “because of the battles which surrounded him until the Lord placed them under the soles of his feet.”

6 tn Heb “Look, I am saying.”

7 tn Heb “a house for the name of the Lord.” The word “name” sometimes refers to one’s reputation or honor. The “name” of the Lord sometimes designates the Lord himself, being indistinguishable from the proper name.

8 tn Heb “a house for my name.” The word “name” sometimes refers to one’s reputation or honor. The “name” of the Lord sometimes designates the Lord himself, being indistinguishable from the proper name.

9 tn Or “Blessed be the Lord today, who….”

10 tn Heb “heard.”

11 tn Heb “I will satisfy all your desire with respect to cedar wood and with respect to the wood of evergreens.”

12 tn Heb “I will place them [on? as?] rafts in the sea to the place where you designate to me.” This may mean he would send them by raft, or that he would tie them in raft-like bundles, and have ships tow them down to an Israelite port.

13 tn Heb “smash them,” i.e., untie the bundles.

14 tn Heb “as for you, you will satisfy my desire by giving food for my house.”

15 tn Heb “and Hiram gave to Solomon cedar wood and the wood of evergreens, all his desire.”

16 sn As a unit of dry measure a cor was roughly equivalent to six bushels.

17 tn Heb “his house.”

18 tc The Hebrew text has “twenty cors,” but the ancient Greek version and the parallel text in 2 Chr 2:10 read “twenty thousand baths.”

sn A bath was a liquid measure equivalent to almost six gallons.

19 tn Or “pressed.”

20 tn Heb “and Solomon supplied Hiram with twenty thousand cors of wheat…pure olive oil. So Solomon would give to Hiram year by year.”

21 tn Heb “a covenant,” referring to a formal peace treaty or alliance.

22 tn Heb “raised up.”

23 sn Work crews. This Hebrew word (מַס, mas) refers to a group of laborers conscripted for royal or public service.

24 tn Heb “was over.”

25 tn Heb “carriers of loads.”

26 tn Heb “cutters” (probably of stones).

27 tc Some Greek mss of the OT read “3,600”; cf. 2 Chr 2:2, 18 and NLT.

28 tn Heb “besides thirty-three hundred from the officials of Solomon’s governors who were over the work, the ones ruling over the people, the ones doing the work.”

29 tn Heb “and the king commanded.”

30 tn Heb “builders.”

31 tn Heb “the Gebalites.” The reading is problematic and some emend to a verb form meaning, “set the borders.”

32 tc The LXX includes the words “for three years.”

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