1 Kings

1 Kings - Lesson 5

Chapter 5:1-18

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  • In our last session, we discussed the continued implementation of wisdom in the life of Solomon given to him by God.

    • And in wisdom we witnessed Solomon’s ability to disseminate responsibilities and roles to trustworthy men throughout the land.

      • The reality was, because of the vastness of the kingdom and the great number of people, it was too much for Solomon to handle alone.

      • Therefore, by way of wisdom, Solomon is able to hand off responsibility to establish a functional administration.

    • This dissemination of responsibility is similar to what Moses’ father-in-law mentioned to him regarding Moses’ responsibility in judging the people.

      • Jethro tells Moses to find trustworthy men to do the work so that the stress and responsibility doesn’t fall completely on his shoulders.

    • Furthermore, we were able to see the establishment of a centralized government in Israel.

      • Taxation and proper representation for the flourishment of the nation and kingdom was essential.

      • And along with that came a move away from tribalism to a more unified nation as a whole.

    • Tonight, we enter a significant portion of the Kings narrative as it has to deal with the building of the temple.

      • This would be the permanent dwelling by which the LORD would dwell among His people.

      • And as we will find, the effort to get this done was not easy and required the hands of many skilled laborers.

    • Our outline tonight is straight forward. We will see:

      • 1. Solomon reaffirming his alliance to King Hiram (vv.1-12).

    • And if I were to tag our time in the text tonight, it would simply be: Preparation for the Temple.

      • With that being said, I invite you to meet me in 1 Kings 5 starting with verses 1-6.

1 Kings 5:1 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 had always been a friend of David.
1 Kings 5:2 Then Solomon sent word to Hiram, saying,
1 Kings 5:3 “You know that David my father was unable to build a house for the name of the Lord his God because of the wars which surrounded him, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet.
1 Kings 5:4 “But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor misfortune.
1 Kings 5:5 “Behold, I intend to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord spoke to David my father, saying, ‘Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, he will build the house for My name.’
1 Kings 5:6 “Now therefore, command that they cut for me cedars from Lebanon, and my servants will be with your servants; and I will give you wages for your servants according to all that you say, for you know that there is no one among us who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians.”
  • 1 Kings 5 transitions into the preparation period of the building of the Temple.

    • What we should note at this point in the text is that the preparation for the temple was something that began prior to Solomon’s reign as king.

      • If you recall in the later portion of the 2 Samuel narrative, I mentioned that David had the intention of building the temple himself.

      • However, because of David’s rule having been marked by much war, the Lord desired that His dwelling place be built during a time of shalom (peace). (1 Chronicles 28:3)

    • And having briefly reviewed 1 Chronicles 28, we discovered that David was given instructions by the Lord that Solomon would build the Temple instead.

      • Check out 1 Chronicles 28:5-7.

1 Chronicles 28:5 “Of all my sons (for the Lord has given me many sons), He has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel.
1 Chronicles 28:6 “He said to me, ‘Your son Solomon is the one who shall build My house and My courts; for I have chosen him to be a son to Me, and I will be a father to him.
1 Chronicles 28:7 ‘I will establish his kingdom forever if he resolutely performs My commandments and My ordinances, as is done now.’
  • But prior to the Lord revealing this to David, we find that David was preparing for the building of the temple as if he would build it in his time.

    • And this becomes a quick yet interesting point in the narrative.

    • This demonstrates the leadership, stewardship of resources, and the diligence of David in preparation for what was to come.

    • And with any good leader should follow the necessity to prepare the next successor of leadership for their successful administration.

    • Along with this preparation of transition comes a prior political alliance with King Hiram of Tyre which forged a long-lasting friendship

      • Apparently, David and Hiram were good friends and discussed many things, one being the “building of a house”.

      • The Hebrew word for “house” here is ba’yit which can mean a dwelling, a king’s palace, or a temple.

      • And in this particular context, it refers to “a house for the Lord”.

    • This has always been the desire of the Lord. We find this desire expressed in Exodus 29:45-46. Check out the text:

Exodus 29:45 “I will dwell among the sons of Israel and will be their God.
Exodus 29:46 “They shall know that I am the Lord their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt, that I might dwell among them; I am the Lord their God.
  • This friendship between David and Hiram seems to have begun in 2 Samuel 5:11 where David received supplies from Hiram for the building of the Temple.

    • 1 Chronicles 14 provides a bit more detail as its parallel text in 2 Samuel 5:11 mentions the building of “a house”.

    • So, when David receives word in 1 Chronicles 28 about not building the house, he does not cease preparation but continues in faith for his son Solomon to take on the project.

      • What could be assumed is that from the time of David’s reign to Solomon’s reign, that David has shared some details regarding his alliance with Hiram.

      • And along with those details were the mention of who was the major political alliance contributing materially for the building of the temple.

    • So it’s at this point in the narrative that 2 Chronicles 2:3 lets us know that Solomon actually sends word to King Hiram to re-commit and affirm their political alliance with Solomon now as king.

      • Check out how 2 Chronicles 2:3 reads:

2 Chronicles 2:3 Then Solomon sent word to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, “As you dealt with David my father and sent him cedars to build him a house to dwell in, so do for me.
  • At this point in Solomon’s rule, the timetable is set for the next phase of his administration – the building of the temple.

    • And if you notice, Solomon, in wisdom is following the instructions of the Lord to a “t”.

      • Remember, the Lord desired for the temple to be built during a “time of peace”.

      • And it’s in verse 4 that Solomon tells Hiram that Yahweh has given Israel “rest on every side”.

      • This period of rest deals with peace in and around the land – undisturbed from war and conflict.

    • Furthermore, Solomon mentions that there is neither adversary nor misfortune.

      • The word for adversary is “Sa-tan” or “the Satan”.

      • And the literal translation for “misfortune” is that there is no evil occurrence in the land.

    • This moment in history becomes a picture of sorts, because the absence of evil influence and the holding back of Satan sounds quite eschatological.

      • This picture becomes a foreshadow of what the period of the Millennium Kingdom will be like.

      • There will be a thousand years of rest and peace in the land.

      • No one will know what war looks like and there won’t be a need to learn about it.

    • The people will be dwelling securely in the land and all will be well because Christ will be reigning with justice throughout the world.

      • Another parallel that I would be remiss to mention is the parallel between King Solomon and the Greater Solomon, Jesus Christ.

  • In our immediate context we find that King Solomon has been given the task by Yahweh to build the temple where the Lord will dwell among His people.

    • And as we know, historically, this dwelling in the temple during Solomon’s day only lasts for a while, ultimately leading to the destruction of Solomon’s Temple in around 586-878 BC.

      • And this destruction comes as a means of judgement and discipline for Israel by the instrument nation of Babylon.

    • However, in a future day, there will be a rebuilding of the temple by a Greater Solomon, Jesus Christ in the Millennium Kingdom.

      • I want to bring your attention to two texts that point to this future moment.

      • The first that we will look at is Zechariah 6:12-13. Check it out:

Zechariah 6:12 “Then say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the Lord.
Zechariah 6:13 “Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the Lord, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices.” ’
  • The first thing that we should pay attention to is “a man whose name is Branch”

    • The Branch is a title which is always in reference to a future king from the lineage of David, meaning the Messiah – Jesus Christ.

    • And notice what Zechariah says Messiah would do in this future day.

    • It says, “He will build the temple of the Lord”. Not only will Jesus build the temple, but He will sit and rule on His throne (Davidic Throne).

      • Now, if that is not convincing enough as to who the man is check out verse 13.

    • The text mentions that He will be a priest on His throne and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices, meaning King and Priest.

      • Historically, we know that these two offices were never allowed to mix they have always been separate.

      • And whenever a king of Israel attempted both they would be immediately punished for it.

    • Yet, the text lets us know that in this future day, the Messiah will rule as both King and Priest.

      • It should begin to click how Jesus, being of the order of Melchizedek forever, is able to be both King and Priest.

      • And that there is no issue between those two offices being occupied by Messiah Himself.

    • Lastly, where Solomon’s reign of 40 years comes to an end, so does Israel’s ability to dwell securely and be at peace within the land.

      • And, in the Millennium Kingdom, there will be a thousand years of justice and peace throughout Jesus’ rule on the throne of David.

    • So Solomon’s rule becomes not just literal history in which we can go back and read about, but it speaks to this promising future day!

      • So with Solomon informing King Hiram about his intentions to continue in the plans of building the temple, he lays out a plan by which he intends to have buy-in from an old ally.

  • Solomon’s request is that King Hiram have his laborers prepare the cedars from Lebanon for the building of the temple.

    • The cedars of Lebanon were old trees made of beautiful wood excellent for construction purposes.

      • This type of wood was not prone to decay or insect infestation.

      • So this type of wood for what would be a modern-day masterpiece of a building was of premier quality.

    • Along with quality materials followed the recruitment and service of quality workers.

      • Solomon was aware of a very skilled people known as the Sidonians, a people north of Tyre, who were considered experts in the cutting of timber.

      • You could consider the Sidonians modern day master carpenters.

      • Let’s keep moving. Check out verses 7-12.

1 Kings 5:7 When Hiram heard the words of Solomon, he rejoiced greatly and said, “Blessed be the Lord today, who has given to David a wise son over this great people.”
1 Kings 5:8 So Hiram sent word to Solomon, saying, “I have heard the message which you have sent me; I will do what you desire concerning the cedar and cypress timber.
1 Kings 5:9 “My servants will bring them down from Lebanon to the sea; and I will make them into rafts to go by sea to the place where you direct me, and I will have them broken up there, and you shall carry them away. Then you shall accomplish my desire by giving food to my household.”
1 Kings 5:10 So Hiram gave Solomon as much as he desired of the cedar and cypress timber.
1 Kings 5:11 Solomon then gave Hiram 20,000 kors of wheat as food for his household, and twenty kors of beaten oil; thus Solomon would give Hiram year by year.
1 Kings 5:12 The Lord gave wisdom to Solomon, just as He promised him; and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a covenant
  • From this deliberation between King Solomon and King Hiram, it is observed by King Hiram the wisdom of King Solomon.

    • Because from this discussion came much rejoicing from the King Hiram who makes a profound declaration.

      • He says, Blessed be the LORD (Yahweh) today, who has given to David a wise son over this great people.”

    • In other words, King Hiram recognizes who the giver of this great wisdom to the young king Solomon is.

      • It is none other than the God of Israel!

    • What a testimony of the goodness of God based upon how the stewards of God’s gifts and wisdom operate in obedience to the Lord.

      • What becomes even more profound is how a pagan King over a pagan nation can recognize and bless the true and living God based on the actions of the follower of Yahweh.

    • And herein lies a biblical principle that we find in the text:

      • Those who are followers of Christ should be able to stand out even amongst an unbelieving world.

      • Our actions and lives will either point people to a living Savior or cause them to question who we serve?

    • In any case, King Hiram receives these words from the King and responds positively to the request.

    • And King Hiram outlines for Solomon the trade route by which the materials will be delivered to him.

      • It’s in 2 Chronicles 2:16 that King Hiram mentions the route by which the wood would be sent for easy transportation to Jerusalem.

      • Check out the text:

2 Chronicles 2:16 “We will cut whatever timber you need from Lebanon and bring it to you on rafts by sea to Joppa, so that you may carry it up to Jerusalem.”
  • It seems as if the King of Hiram is willing to do whatever is necessary for King Solomon to accomplish his project.

    • And at the same time, you see that the text insinuates a sense of reciprocity for the services in which King Hiram is providing King Solomon.

    • It’s the idea that I do this for you but I need you to do something for me as well.

    • So in return for these shipping and contracting services, King Hiram requests food for his royal household in which, according to verse 11, Solomon agrees to the terms.

      • And in this case, as Solomon puts in his request so the king of Tyre, fulfills said request.

      • This interaction is simply a means of exchange of services by which services are requested and bartering commences.

    • Notice the vast amount of goods that Solomon provided to King Hiram for his services:

      • 1. 20,000 kors of wheat as food (38,053 barrels of wheat)

      • 2. 20 kors of beaten oil (1,162 gallons of oil)

      • 2 Chronicles mentions that in addition to what the writer of Kings provides was 20,000 kors of barley and 20,000 baths of wine (116,236 gallons).

    • And this is what King Solomon provided King Hiram, year after year.

      • Now think about these numbers over a period of time – these are a lot of resources, especially that of wine and grapes!

      • Yet, the fact that this is sustained year by year and doesn’t dip into the reserves of the Nation of Israel shows God’s sustaining hand and Israel’s surplus!

    • There seems to be this sense of proper stewardship of resources by Solomon.

      • Perhaps this is why the text mentions in verse 12 that, “The Lord gave wisdom to Solomon, just as He promised.”

      • The literal translation here would be, the Lord gave wisdom to Solomon according to the word of the Lord.

      • In other words, the promise keeping God of Israel was faithful, and is faithful, to His every word according to His promises.

    • Verse 12 rounds out by mentioning that there was peace between Hiram and Solomon and that the two of them made a covenant.

      • There are some people who will examine this text and take issue with two things in particular.

      • 1) Why is Israel gaining wealth from other pagan Nations. Does this mean that they weren’t trusting in the Lord for their provision?

      • 2) Was it wrong for Solomon to establish a Covenant with a Gentile Nation such as Tyre? Did God approve?

  • Let’s examine the first question. When looking at who is benefiting from what transaction, we come to see that Israel was actually blessing another Nation – Gentiles.

    • The deeper question that is to be asked is: Did God desire for Israel to be a Nation that blessed itself – solely for Jewish benefit?

      • The answer to that question is an emphatic – No!

    • God never intended for Israel to be a Nation of immense blessing to simply keep it to themselves.

      • Scripture outlines for us that God intended for Israel to be a Nation that blessed others; this includes Gentile Nations.

      • And we find this truth in Genesis 12:1-3. Check out the text:

Genesis 12:1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you;
Genesis 12:2 And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing;
Genesis 12:3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
    • This language suggests that the Lord would make an individual who was pulled out of paganism and from him would come a people blessed by God.

      • And that this people/nation would be used to be a blessing to the people of the world!

    • So most assuredly, we see God using Solomon as an instrument of blessing to this Gentile nation who in turn sees the greatness of Yahweh.

      • And just as Solomon was an instrument of blessing to Tyre as a Gentile nation, the Lord Jesus through His death, burial, and resurrection is a blessing to all who will place their faith in Him.

    • And the reality is, this principle should be evident within the Church today.

      • That the unbelieving world should be able to see the love of Christ displayed yet without the compromise of the truth of God!

    • That as the world sees how believers love one another that in turn the unbelieving world should scratch their heads as to say, what are we missing?

      • And the answer to that question is – You are missing the very one who has fashioned you in His image!

  • The second question to answer is: Was it wrong for Solomon to establish a covenant with Hiram?

    • The emphasis of the question involves matters of covenant contracts.

      • The word “covenant” is be’rit. And this can be a contract or an agreement.

      • The Abrahamic and Davidic covenants are contracts that the Lord has put into play.

      • And here in the text we find Solomon putting a contract together with Hiram, only this covenant is more of an agreement with outlined terms.

    • And in this case the terms are simple, “I purchase materials from you and pay your hired workers for a period of time and compensate them accordingly.”

      • This contract is not to say that Solomon joined in partnership with Hiram to build the temple.

      • Rather, Solomon entered into an agreement of contractual service.

    • Some have looked at this to say this is the believer being unequally yoked with non-believers. However, this does not apply contextually.

      • The reality is believers do business everyday with companies that are not “Christian” and vice versa.

      • We are simply engaging in business exchange with others for the purposes of services and this does not equate to “dirty money” or the like.

    • We simply see that Solomon’s exercised wisdom and discernment in his dealings with Hiram is based upon being a good businessman.

      • We’ll round out tonight with the last 6 verses, verses 13-18.

1 Kings 5:13 Now King Solomon levied forced laborers from all Israel; and the forced laborers numbered 30,000 men.
1 Kings 5:14 He sent them to Lebanon, 10,000 a month in relays; they were in Lebanon a month and two months at home. And Adoniram was over the forced laborers.
1 Kings 5:15 Now Solomon had 70,000 transporters, and 80,000 hewers of stone in the mountains,
1 Kings 5:16 besides Solomon’s 3,300 chief deputies who were over the project and who ruled over the people who were doing the work.
1 Kings 5:17 Then the king commanded, and they quarried great stones, costly stones, to lay the foundation of the house with cut stones.
1 Kings 5:18 So Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders and the Gebalites cut them, and prepared the timbers and the stones to build the house.
  • Lastly, we find that the magnitude of this labor force to begin the building process was immense.

    • Solomon, in total has nearly 183,300 men working in efforts of establishing the foundation of the Temple.

      • This was not a light task and the type of laborers provided were skilled in their own right.

    • Although I have not had the opportunity of visiting Israel, in pictures where the Temple Mount once stood remain some foundation stones and they are massive.

      • The skill and ability it took to carve out the stones and transport these materials to their destinations were incredible.

    • This massive building project was taken on through the workforce of non-Israelites who were individuals that remained in the country after the removal of Israel’s enemies out of the land.

      • And it is important to note that these individuals were not slaves.

    • So all in all we are seeing how the Lord is working through the wisdom of Solomon to build the permanent place in which He will dwell.

      • And in doing so, Solomon recruits the best of the best, even if it is outside of the Israelite people themselves.

      • Because the Lord has a very interesting way of using the most unlikely people, in this case a Gentile people, to accomplish the Lord’s purposes.

      • Solomon writes these words in Proverbs 16:7:

Proverbs 16:7 When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
    • Let’s Pray.