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Read 1 Kings 5

Preparations for Building the Temple

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. Solomon sent back this message to Hiram:

“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. But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster. 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.’

“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.”

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.”

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. 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 of wheat as food for his household, in addition to twenty thousand baths of pressed olive oil. Solomon continued to do this for Hiram year after year. 12 The Lordgave 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 hundredforemen 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.

Go Deeper

Much of King David’s time on the throne was spent cultivating relationships with adjacent kingdoms and in combat with his enemies, both of which obstructed his ability and desire to build a large temple for the Lord. Following his ascension to the throne, King Solomon receives condolences and congratulatory messages from King Hiram of Tyre, resulting in Solomon’s proposition for Hiram to assist in the temple construction. 

Tyre was a land well known for its abundant agriculture trade, especially its cedar and juniper trees, both resources that King Solomon desired for the project. Solomon proposes an opportunity for both kingdoms to be of mutual benefit (both in this current project and in a kingdom alliance moving forward). King Hiram is deeply enthused by the proposal (and the humility that King Solomon expresses) and both parties share reciprocal support during the operation. Hiram provides Solomon with copious amounts of his world-renowned cedar trees and his sharpest ax-men, and Solomon compensates both kingdom’s workers well, in both wages and nourishment.  

King Solomon hires Adoniram as the modern-day equivalent of a general contractor to oversee the operation. Adoniram provides expertise over the logistical and manpower aspects, ensuring proper coordination of raw material shipments to Israel and influencing the labor schedule to ensure his workers were properly rested and cared for. The Lord provided King Solomon wisdom, resulting in peaceful relations with King Hiram, a well-executed temple, and his faithfulness resulted in a fruitful endeavor. 

There is much we can learn from Solomon’s (and David’s) relationship with Hiram. Hiram, because of David’s kindness toward him, respected Israel and their God. Because of years of David treating him fairly and with dignity, King Hiram had a similar trust and appreciation for King Solomon once he took the throne. The shared trust in this project resulted in years of stability and fruit for both kingdoms. Let this serve as a reminder to us today that regardless of the industry you work in or the neighborhood where you live, loving the people around you and treating them with respect and kindness ultimately points them to Jesus. God has you here on earth as an ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20) to a world that needs to see what it looks like to live differently. May the world see God’s goodness through you, much like Hiram did through David and Solomon.

  1. What long-term relationships have most impacted your life? Can you think of one that has pointed you to Jesus?
  2. Who is God calling you to strengthen a relationship with?
  3. How can you be an ambassador of Jesus to the world around you today?


  1. What long-term relationships have most impacted your life? Can you think of one that has pointed you to Jesus?
  2. Who is God calling you to strengthen a relationship with?
  3. How can you be an ambassador of Jesus to the world around you today?

By the Way

While there’s no way for us to know if he was specifically referencing Hiram or not, Solomon’s reflection in Proverbs 16:7 speaks to what we saw in this chapter:

“When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way,

    he causes their enemies to make peace with them.”

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2 thoughts on “1 Kings 5”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    God’s favor rests on Solomon in how he interacts with those around him, be it his subjects or foreign leaders. Relationships matter to God, and how we treat others reflects WHO we belong to. It all starts with the most important relationship of all, that of us and our Savior. How well we cultivate and invest in Christ determines how we navigate all other relationships, family, friends or foes. I’m so grateful for godly influences that have greatly impacted my life, and how I’m convicted to pay it forward in the lives of others.

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