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1 Kings 5-7

Supplemental notes for the Daily Bible Study Bible Reading Plan

by Wayne Blank

1 Kings Chapter 5

The Lord (see also YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD) gave King Solomon the responsibility of constructing the original Temple of God in Jerusalem. Solomon's father King David had made some of the early preparations for it, including the purchase of what became known as the Temple Mount from Ornan the Jebusite (1 Chronicles 21:22-25; also known as Araunah the Jebusite i.e. 2 Samuel 24:16 RSV). Much of the cedar lumber and skilled workmen were provided by one of David's allies, King Hiram Of Tyre, from up in what is today Lebanon.

Cedars Of Lebanon

"Now Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon, when he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father; for Hiram always loved David." (1 Kings 5:1 RSV)

"And Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, "I have heard the message which you have sent to me; I am ready to do all you desire in the matter of cedar and cypress timber. My servants shall bring it down to the sea [i.e. The Mediterranean Sea] from Lebanon; and I will make it into rafts to go by sea to the place you direct, and I will have them broken up there, and you shall receive it; and you shall meet my wishes by providing food for my household."

So Hiram supplied Solomon with all the timber of cedar and cypress that he desired, while Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand cors [see Biblical Weights and Measures] of wheat as food for his household, and twenty thousand cors of beaten oil. Solomon gave this to Hiram year by year. 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 treaty." (1 Kings 5:8-12 RSV)

Such a massive transportation and construction project, in an age of crude or no mechanical power equipment, required tens of thousands of skilled workmen and laborers who were drafted for the job.

"King Solomon raised a levy of forced labor out of all Israel; and the levy numbered thirty thousand men. And he sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month in relays; they would be a month in Lebanon and two months at home; Adoniram was in charge of the levy.

Solomon also had seventy thousand burden-bearers and eighty thousand hewers of stone in the hill country, besides Solomon's three thousand three hundred chief officers who were over the work, who had charge of the people who carried on the work. At the king's command, they quarried out great, costly stones in order to lay the foundation of the house with dressed stones. So Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders and the men of Gebal did the hewing and prepared the timber and the stone to build the house." (1 Kings 5:13-18 RSV)

1 Kings Chapter 6

Solomon began building The Temple in the fourth year of his reign, in the second month of the Bible calendar (see Bible Calendar and Bible Months) which is mid-spring.

The Temple In Jerusalem

"In the four hundred and eightieth year after the people of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of The Lord.

The house which King Solomon built for The Lord was sixty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and thirty cubits high. The vestibule in front of the nave of the house was twenty cubits long, equal to the width of the house, and ten cubits deep in front of the house. And he made for the house windows with recessed frames. He also built a structure against the wall of the house, running round the walls of the house, both the nave and the inner sanctuary; and he made side chambers all around." (1 Kings 6:1-6 RSV)

The Temple was completed a little over seven years later, in the eighth month (mid-autumn).

"In the fourth year the foundation of the house of The Lord was laid, in the month of Ziv. And in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished in all its parts, and according to all its specifications. He was seven years in building it." (1 Kings 6:37-38 RSV)

1 Kings Chapter 7

Solomon also had the royal palace of Israel (see Israelite Monarchy - The United Kingdom; also Israelite Dynasties and Royal Democracy) constructed at that time (the palace and the original Temple were later destroyed by the Babylonians - see Ancient Empires - Babylon). Great quantities of high-quality stone and cedar were used for the Temple and palace.


"Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he finished his entire house. He built the House of the Forest of Lebanon; its length was a hundred cubits, and its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits, and it was built upon three rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams upon the pillars. And it was covered with cedar above the chambers that were upon the forty-five pillars, fifteen in each row." (1 Kings 7:1-3 RSV)

"All these were made of costly stones, hewn according to measure, sawed with saws, back and front, even from the foundation to the coping, and from the court of the house of The Lord to the great court. The foundation was of costly stones, huge stones, stones of eight and ten cubits. And above were costly stones, hewn according to measurement, and cedar. The great court had three courses of hewn stone round about, and a course of cedar beams; so had the inner court of the house of The Lord, and the vestibule of the house." (1 Kings 7:9-12 RSV)

Solomon also made extensive use of bronze (see Brass, Bronze, Copper). Hiram (also rendered as Huram) from Tyre did the bronze work, doing much of the casting in the clay beds in The Jordan Valley.

"And King Solomon sent and brought Hiram from Tyre. He was the son of a widow of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in bronze; and he was full of wisdom, understanding, and skill, for making any work in bronze. He came to King Solomon, and did all his work. He cast two pillars of bronze. Eighteen cubits was the height of one pillar, and a line of twelve cubits measured its circumference; it was hollow, and its thickness was four fingers; the second pillar was the same. He also made two capitals of molten bronze, to set upon the tops of the pillars; the height of the one capital was five cubits, and the height of the other capital was five cubits. Then he made two nets of checker work with wreaths of chain work for the capitals upon the tops of the pillars; a net for the one capital, and a net for the other capital." (1 Kings 7:13-17 RSV)

When all of the work was completed, Solomon brought in the articles of silver and gold that his father David had provided.

"Thus all the work that King Solomon did on the house of The Lord was finished. And Solomon brought in the things which David his father had dedicated, the silver, the gold, and the vessels, and stored them in the treasuries of the house of The Lord." (1 Kings 7:51 RSV)

Fact Finder: Where in Jerusalem was "Zion"? How will Jesus Christ bring about the ultimate purpose for "Zion"?
See Who, What or Where Is Zion?

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