Perhaps Solomon’s best-known achievement is the magnificent temple in Jerusalem. A temple unsurpassed in beauty, it would become a national monument symbolic of Israel’s special relationship with God. King David had drawn up the initial plans, and it is now left to Solomon to oversee the construction. The detail with which the temple is described is reminiscent of that which accompanied the building of the tabernacle in the wilderness. Even the two structures themselves are similar in design, though multiple stories and a grand porch are two major additions in the case of the temple. Much of the work is to be done with meterials provided by the skilled workmen from Tyre. The record begins with the making of a contract between Solomon and King Hiram of Tyre. Sometime later, another man by the nam3e of Hiram will be brought from Tyre to do the brasswork of the temple furniture. The completed work is magnificent beyond description.
1 Kings 5:1-9; 2 Chronicles 2:1, 3-16 Jerusalem:
Contract with King Hiram: Solomon gave ordersxto build the temple for the Name of the Lord and a royal palace for himself. When Hiram king of Tyre heardcthat 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 fromcall sides, he could not build the temple forcthexname 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.’ Solomon sent this message to Hiram king of Tyre:
“Send me cedar logs as you did my father David when you sent him cedar to build the palace to live in. Now I am about to build a temple for the Name of the Lord my God and to him burning fragment incense before him, for setting out the consecrated bread regularly, and for making burnt offerings every morning and evening and on the Sabbaths and New Moons and at the appointed feasts of the Lord our God. This is a lasting ordinance for Israel.
“The temple I am going to build will be great, because our God is greater than all other gods. But who is able to build a temple for him, since the heavens, eventhe highest heavens, cannot contain Him? Who then am I to build a temple for Him, except as a place to burn sacrifices before him?
“Send me,therefore, a man skilled to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, and in purple,crimson and blue yarn, and experienced in the art of engraving, to work in Judah and Jerusalem with my skilled craftsmen, whom my father David provided.
“Send me also cedar, pine and algum” logs from Lebanon, for I know that your men are skilled in cutting timber there. My men will work with yours to provide me with plenty of lumber, because the temple I build must be large and magnificent. I will give you servants, the woodsmen who cut the timber, twenty thousand cors of ground wheat, twenty thousand cors of barley, twenty thousand baths of wine and twenty thousand baths of olive oil.”
Hiram king of Tyre replied by letter to Solomon: “Because the Lord loves His people, he has made you their king.”
And Hiram added: “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who made heaven and earth! He has given King David a wise son, endowed with the intelligence and discernment, who will build the temple for the Lord and a palace for himself. “I am sending you Huram-Abi, a man if great skill, whose mother was from Dan and father was from Tyre. He is traning to work in gold and silver, and bronze and iron, stone and wood, and with purple and blue and crimson yarn and fine linen. He is experienced in all kinds of engraving and can execute any design given to him. He will work with your craftsmen and with those of my lord, David your father. “Now let my lord send his servants the wheat and barley and the olive oil and win he promised, and we will cut the logs from Lebanon that you need and will float them in a raft by sea to Joppa. You can then take them up to Jerusalem.”
Mutually Profitable Treaty: In this way Hiram kept Solomon supplied with all the cedar and pine logs he wanted, 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. The Lord gave Solomon wisdom, just as he had promised him. There was peaceful relations between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty.
Laborers Conscripted: King Solomon Conscripted laborers from all Israel – thirty thousand men. He sent them off 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. Solomon took a census of aliens who were in Israel, after the census his father David had taken; and they were found to be 153,600