Melachim I Five: Solomon and Hiram

Solomon seems to be establishing himself in the region. “And Solomon reigned over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt, they brought presents, and served Solomon all the days of his life (Kings I 5:1).” I’m not entirely clear on who ‘they’ are in this case, but if Solomon is receiving tribute, he must be doing a good job establishing his authority in the area. He keeps Israel and Judah united, and the kingdom seems to prosper at this point in his reign. And while his kingdom flourishes, so does Solomon himself. “And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceedingly much, and largeness of heart, as the sand that [is] on the seashore (Kings I 5:10).”

Solomon’s wisdom sets him apart from other men. We are told that he spoke 3000 proverbs and 1005 songs. It’s because of his wisdom that people come to see and listen to him, people from Israel and from the surrounding kingdoms. “And Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon, for he had heard that they had anointed him king in the place of his father, for Hiram was ever a lover of David (Kings I 5:15).” Solomon replies to Hiram, and reminds him that David wasn’t able to build a house for God because he was constantly facing wars. But Solomon has a reign of peace, so he decides to turn his focus towards building a Temple for God. Hiram loves the idea, and decides to send Solomon the wood that he needs in order to undertake this project. Solomon sends Hiram wheat and oil in exchange for the wood, and the two kings have peace and friendship. Their people have a joint goal to work towards, which is the creation of the Temple. “And Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders and the Gebalites did hew, and they prepared the timber and the stones to build the house (Kings I 5:32).”

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