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Tuesday, May 28th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
1 Kings 5

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-12

1 Kings 5 AND 2 Chronicles 2

Building Plans, 1 Kings 5:1-12; AND 2 Chronicles 2:1; 2 Chronicles 2:3-16

The two accounts of Kings and Chronicles are very similar, but that of Chronicles is more detailed, mainly because of the addition of things especially important to the priests and Levites, who were influ­ential in preservation of the Chronicles account. Whereas the Chroni­cles account launches immediately into the planning for the building of the temple, the Kings account begins by telling of the sending of an em­bassy of condolence to Solomon upon the death of his father. Then it proceeds with the account of Solomon’s request to Hiram for materials and workmen for building of the temple which David had desired to build, but was forbidden by the Lord. The close friendship of David and Hiram is stressed by Kings.

In his request Solomon reviewed the circumstances of the Lord’s refusal to allow David to build the temple because of his many wars. Now that the Lord had given Solomon a kingdom at peace, as He promised, and in keeping with the instructions of his father, Solomon proposes to erect the temple. The Chronicles account emphasizes the purpose of the temple with reference to the incense, shewbread, burnt offerings, sabbaths, feasts, etc. It is to be a great house because it is for a great God. And Solomon is unworthy to build such a house, which cannot actually contain a God, whom even the heavens cannot contain.

The Chronicles account is also much more detailed in the materials and the terms of agreement between Solomon and Hiram. (The. king of Tyre is called Huram in Chronicles because of a different vowel pointing in the ancient Hebrew.) Solomon requested a skilled artisan to be over the cunning, or skilled work, which would be done to embellish and beautify the temple structure. He should be adept in all kinds of metals from the precious gold to the sturdy iron. He should oversee the work of the cunning workmen whom David had already trained for the work in Jerusalem. He further desired that Hiram’s workmen work in the forests of Lebanon to provide an abundance of timber, as cedar, fir (thought to be cypress), and algum (probably sandalwood). The men of Solomon would work in the forests with the skilled timber cutters of Hiram. In payment for all this Solomon proposed to furnish Hiram yearly twenty thousand measure each of wheat flour and barley and twenty thousand baths each of wine and oil. In English measure this would be about 13,480 bushels each of the grain products and.about 120,000 gallons each of wine and oil.

Chronicles states that Hiram wrote a message of commendation which he sent to Solomon in which he blessed the Lord for having so loved His people as to give them such a wise and prudent man to rule over them. He stated also what a credit to David his son Solomon was. He proceeds then to agree to the required things for which Solomon asked that he might build the magnificent temple. In keeping with the request he was sending a man very skilled in the things for which Solomon asked to work in the metals, stone, timber, and textiles which would go into the construction. He was the son of a Danite woman of Israel and a man of Tyre. His name was also Hiram, or Huram-abi. (In Chronicles the "-abi" is translated "my father’s" incorrectly. It should have been left as a suffix of respect affixed to his name.) King Hiram agreed to the payment, suggested by Solomon, of the wheat, barley, wine, and oil. The timber was to be cut, brought down out of the mountains to the sea, and there arranged in floats to be sent by sea south to the port of Joppa. Here it would be broken up and conveyed overland to Jerusalem.

Verses 13-18

1 Kings 5:13-18 AND 2 Chronicles 2:2; 2 Chronicles 2:17-18

Where Chronicles is more detailed in matters pertaining to the sanctuary itself, Kings has the more facts about the building. Adoniram, who was over the tribute, had the responsibility of raising a levy of thirty thousand special workmen from among the Israelites. These men worked by rotation, one month in the mountain forests of Lebanon and two months at home. In addition to these there were seventy thousand ordinary laborers sent into the mountains to bear burdens, and another eighty thousand to hew the timbers. These hundred and fifty thousand men, that Chronicles account relates, were taken from among the strangers, or foreigners, who lived in Israel. This work program may have been a great boon to them, for their livelihood depended on service to the Israelites, since the land was all apportioned to Israel. Overseeing the work Solomon set thirty-six hundred men of his chief officers. Kings account adds that this work force was also charged with preparation of great and costly stones for the foundation of the house of God. They joined with the hewers and stone squarers of Hiram to prepare the timber and stone in the land of Lebanon.

Lessons from chapter 5: 1) God will make those willing to help who are needed in accomplishment of His appointed tasks (2 Corinthians 8:1-4); 2) manifestation of the Lord in one’s life commends him to others (Matthew 5:16); all the Lord’s people working together will bring benefits even to those not of His people (Philippians 2:15)

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/1-kings-5.html. 1985.
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