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Sunday, June 23rd, 2024
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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Bible Commentaries
1 Kings 5

Kingcomments on the Whole BibleKingcomments

Verse 1


After the Holy Spirit has described the internal order of the kingdom of Solomon, we get in this chapter and the following chapters what characterizes in a special way the reign of Solomon: the temple of the LORD. The temple is closely linked to peace. God lives with a people who live in peace.

Now that Solomon has peace on all sides, he can begin his great mission for God: the building of the temple. This is also the case in the life of a man who has obtained peace with God. Such a person can then occupy himself with the dwelling place of God, that is now the church of God.

Hiram Seeks Contact With Solomon

Hiram, king of Tyre, had been friends with David. Tyre was an important port city on the Mediterranean Sea north of Israel. When Hiram hears that the son of David, Solomon, has become king, he wants to stand in the same relationship with Solomon.

Tyre is a picture of the world, with all its wealth and treasures. This is also the case here, but here everything is well used, it is put at the disposal of Solomon to help him carry out his plans to build the house of the LORD. Tyre is not yet a picture of the evil world here, as it will later be (Ezekiel 27), but as it will contribute to the temple in the realm of peace (Zechariah 6:15; Isaiah 60:10).

What is said here also has a meaning for now. The house of God is not limited to Israel, also the nations share in it. Those of us who once did not participate in it have now been brought near by the blood of Christ and we may now help in the building of God’s house (Colossians 1:27).

Verses 2-6

Plan to Build the Temple

Solomon answered the rapprochement of Hiram with a request for help with the building of the temple. He precedes his request by reminding Hiram of David’s plan to build a house for the LORD and why he was not allowed to do so (1 Kings 5:2-Leviticus :). Because of his wars and bloodshed, David was not allowed to build the temple (1 Chronicles 22:8). David is a picture of the Lord Jesus who fought the battle of God. On earth He could not build the temple.

Solomon is a picture of the glorified Lord and as such he is the builder of the temple. The basis for the building is rest (1 Kings 5:4). Rest is the rest of the glorified Lord. From Acts 2, after completing His work of redemption, in which every enemy is defeated and there is rest, the Lord Jesus builds the temple, the church.

In some respects, it is also true today that there can be no building of the house of God, that there can be no building of the church, if we have to fight to preserve the truths that are entrusted to us (Jude 1:3). Nor will the building of the church come to nothing if the believers are at odds with each other because of all kinds of quarrels and insignificant differences of opinion.

Because of many abuses in the church in Corinth and errors that had found their way into the churches in Galatia, Paul could not share much there to build up the church. He first had to correct there in order to clear the way for further building. If there is peace, building up can take place. “So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up” (Acts 9:31).

Then Solomon tells that he plans to build that house for the LORD (1 Kings 5:5). He does not do this on his own initiative, but because it is according to the will of God, which he has made known to his father David.

Solomon invites Hiram and declares to him the mystery of God concerning the temple and that is that also gentiles are involved in its building (1 Kings 5:6). They may help, in recognition of the gifts they have. For the building of the temple David, Solomon’s father, gathered gold and silver in abundance (1 Chronicles 29:2).

However, wood is also needed. Solomon asks Hiram. In return, Solomon promises wages. He does not negotiate about it, but will give Hiram whatever he may ask. That important the building of God’s house is to Solomon. Hiram promises to give him everything he needs.

Solomon knows the special abilities of the Sidonians and appealed to them for building the temple. Despite the fact that he far surpasses Hiram in wealth and stature, he still appeals to him. This means that we must never look down on those who may not be as richly blessed socially or spiritually as we are. Spiritual riches should never be something on which we boast. We must always be aware: “What do you have that you did not receive” (1 Corinthians 4:7)?

Verses 7-11

Material and Food

Hiram’s reaction to Solomon’s request is that he praises the LORD. God gives great reason to praise Him in our conversion, but even more so when He introduces us into His thoughts about His house. Hiram had already heard of God through David. We also praise God that He has given His Son as Ruler over His people.

Hiram promises that he will give everything Solomon asks for. He also promises him that he will take care of the transport and asks for his wages. Solomon promises him the food (cf. Ezekiel 27:17) needed to perform the service. Solomon gives according to the wealth of his possession. Wheat and oil speak of the blessings of the land. Whoever builds, receives rich blessing.

Thus the Lord Jesus gives food to be busy with His house. To be able to work, there must be food. In order to work on the building of the church, we must feed ourselves with the good food of the Word, which is with the Lord Jesus. It is only through Him that we gain the strength to do our work as transporters or burden bearers (1 Kings 5:15, Darby Translation).

Verses 12-18

The Workers

1 Kings 5:12 is a transitional verse that refers to both the previous section and the next one. In this verse it is clearly stated once more that the LORD has given Solomon wisdom. Everything comes from Him. Solomon’s wisdom is evident from his covenant with Hiram, to obtain from him good materials and suitable workers for the building of God’s house. His wisdom is also reflected in the way he uses the labor forces.

Solomon also supplies workers from his own country and sends them to the Lebanon north of Israel. A lot of men are needed to help felling the trees. This is done in rotation, so that everyone can still do their work at home.

There are workers for various types of work. There are woodcutters, stone cutters, burden carriers [transporters] and deputies. These different tasks have their spiritual counterparts in the church. Take for example burden carriers. That is something to which we are all called (Galatians 6:2). There is also a great number of workers, which means that the tasks can be well divided and not everything falls on the shoulders of just a few. Unfortunately, that is often different today.

Besides wood, stones are also needed, large precious stones as the foundation for the house. That is where it has to start. It is prepared on the instructions of Solomon himself. The foundation, although not seen when the house is finished, is the most important of the building.

So God also worked for His spiritual home. Christ, in the splendor of His glory, is the foundation of the church (1 Corinthians 3:10-1 Kings :; cf. Revelation 21:19). He is the cornerstone. The foundation consists of all truths relating to Christ and His work, as revealed to us by His apostles and prophets in His Word (Ephesians 2:20). The stones used to build the house are a picture of the believers, who are called “living stones” (1 Peter 2:5). When the house is built on the foundation in this way, we see that “the whole building [which is the church], being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:21).

Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op 1 Kings 5". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/1-kings-5.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.
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