The First Book of the Kings

Chapter 5

Hiram, sending to congratulate Solomon, is desired to furnish him with timber to build the temple, 1-6. Hiram, blessing God for Solomon and requesting food for his family, furnishes him with trees, 7-12. The number of Solomon's workmen and laborers, 13-18.

1 And Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon, for he had heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, for Hiram always loved David. 2 And Solomon sent to Hiram, saying, 3 "You know how David my father could not build a house to the name of the LORD his God, for the wars which were around him on every side, 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 so that there is neither adversary nor evil occurrence. 5 And behold, I purpose to build a house to the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spoke to David my father, saying, 'Your son, whom I will set upon your throne in your stead, he shall build a house to my name.' 6 Now therefore, command that they hew for me cedar trees out of Lebanon. And my servants shall be with your servants, and I will give hire to you for your servants according to all that you shall appoint, for you know that there is not among us anyone who is skilled in hewing timber like the Sidonians."

7 And it came to pass, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly and said, "Blessed be the LORD this day who has given to David a wise son over this great people." 8 And Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, "I have considered the things which you sent to me for, and I will perform all your desire concerning timber of cedar and concerning timber of fir. 9 My servants shall bring them down from Lebanon to the sea, and I will convey them by sea in floats to the place that you shall appoint me and cause them to be discharged there, and you shall receive them. And you shall accomplish my desire in giving food for my household." 10 So Hiram gave Solomon cedar trees and fir trees according to all his desire. 11 And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food to his household and twenty measures of pure oil. Thus Solomon gave to Hiram year by year. 12 And the LORD gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him. And there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a league together.

13 And king Solomon raised a levy out of all Israel, and the levy was thirty thousand men. 14 And he sent them to Lebanon ten thousand a month by courses. They were a month in Lebanon and two months at home. And Adoniram was over the levy. 15 And Solomon had seventy thousand who bore burdens and eighty thousand hewers in the mountains, 16 Besides the chief of Solomon's officers who were over the work, three thousand and three hundred, who ruled over the people who wrought in the work. 17 And the king commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones to lay the foundation of the house. 18 And Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders hewed them, along with the stone-squarers. So they prepared timber and stones to build the house.


Matthew Henry Commentary - 1st Kings, Chapter 5[➚]


[v.4] - "now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side" - It's not just because there are no wars in the land that Solomon decides to build a house for the Lord (verse 5). This was the condition prescribed by the Lord for the building of His house, as He said to Moses in Deuteronomy 12:10-11, saying, "when he gives you rest from all your enemies on every side... There shall be a place which the LORD your God chooses to cause his name to dwell there..." David was met with similar conditions, but God did not choose him to build His house. See the comment for 2nd Samuel 7:1-2.

[v.5] - Reference, 2nd Samuel 7:12-13.