Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

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.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Gebal;   Stones;   Temple;   Thompson Chain Reference - Solomon;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Lebanon;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Gebal;   Hiram or Huram;   Tyre or Tyrus;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Solomon;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Temple;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Building;   Gebalites;   Mason;   Phenicia;   Temple, Solomon's;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Gebal;   Giblites;   Solomon;   Solomon's Servants;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Art and Aesthetics;   Chisel;   Gebal;   Lebanon;   Masons;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Alliance;   Arts and Crafts;   Gebal;   Hiram;   Israel;   Solomon;   Stone-Squarers;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - House (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Gebal ;   Hiram ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Handicraft;   Solomon;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Handicraft;   Law of Moses;   Phoeni'ce, Phoenic'ia;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Alliance;   Gebal;   Gebalites;   Hiram;   Stone-Squarers;   Temple;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Alliances;   Architecture;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Freemasonry;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

And the stone-squarers - Instead of stone-squarers the margin very properly reads Giblites, הגבלים haggiblim ; and refers to Ezekiel 27:9, where we find the inhabitants of Gebal celebrated for their knowledge in ship-building. Some suppose that these Giblites were the inhabitants of Biblos, at the foot of Mount Libanus, northward of Sidon, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea; famous for its wines; and now called Gaeta. Both Ptolemy and Stephanus Byzantinus speak of a town called Gebala, to the east of Tyre: but this was different from Gebal, or Biblos. It seems more natural to understand this of a people than of stone-squarers, though most of the versions have adopted this idea which we follow in the text.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:18". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-kings-5.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The stone-squarers - The Gebalites (see the margin), the inhabitants of Gebal, a Phoenician city between Beyrout and Tripolis, which the Greeks called Byblus, and which is now known as Jebeil.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:18". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-kings-5.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders did hew them,.... The stones; for it seems Solomon had not only hewers of wood, but of stone, from Hiram:

and the stonesquarers; or rather the Giblites, the men of Gebal, which were under the jurisdiction of Tyre, and were skilful in this sort of work, as some of them were in others, see Ezekiel 27:9;

so they prepared timber and stones to build the house; both Solomon's and Hiram's builders, and the large number of workmen, both Israelites and strangers; which latter were an emblem of the Gentiles concerned in the building of the spiritual temple, the church of Christ, Zechariah 6:15; and whereas the number of strangers that wrought for the building was far greater than that of the Israelites, it may denote the greater number of Gentiles in the Gospel church state mentioned besides these: thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year: so long as the building lasted, and the workmen were employed; but Abarbinel thinks that he gave it to him as long as he lived, out of his great munificence and liberality.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:18". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-kings-5.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And Solomon's builders and Hiram's f builders did hew [them], and the stonesquarers: so they prepared timber and stones to build the house.

(f) The Hebrew word is Giblim, which some say were excellent masons.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:18". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-kings-5.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

and the stone squarers — The Margin, which renders it “the Giblites” (Joshua 13:5), has long been considered a preferable translation. This marginal translation also must yield to another which has lately been proposed, by a slight change in the Hebrew text, and which would be rendered thus: “Solomon‘s builders, and Hiram‘s builders, did hew them and bevel them” [Thenius]. These great beveled or grooved stones, measuring some twenty, others thirty feet in length, and from five to six feet in breadth, are still seen in the substructures about the ancient site of the temple; and, in the judgment of the most competent observers, were those originally employed “to lay the foundation of the house.”

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:18". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/1-kings-5.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

With 1 Kings 5:18 the account of the preparations for the building of the temple, which were the object of Solomon's negotiations with Hiram, is brought to a close. “Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders, even the Giblites, hewed and prepared the wood and the stones for the building of the house.” The object to יפסלוּ is not the square stones mentioned before, but the trees (beams) and stones mentioned after ויּכנוּ . והגּבלים is to be taken as explanatory, “even the Giblites,” giving a more precise definition of “Hiram's builders.” The Giblites are the inhabitants of the town of Gebal, called Byblos by the Greeks, to the north of Beirut (see at Joshua 13:5), which was the nearest to the celebrated cedar forest of the larger Phoenician towns. According to Ezekiel 27:9, the Giblites (Byblians) were experienced in the art of shipbuilding, and therefore were probably skilful builders generally, and as such the most suitable of Hiram's subjects to superintend the working of the wood and stone for Solomon's buildings. For it was in the very nature of the case that the number of the Phoenician builders was only a small one, and that they were merely the foremen; and this may also be inferred from the large number of his own subjects whom Solomon appointed to the work.

(Note: Without any satisfactory ground Thenius has taken offence at the word והגּבלים, and on the strength of the critically unattested καὶ ἔβαλον αὐτούς of the lxx and the paraphrastic ἁρμόσαντας καὶ συνδήσαντας of Josephus, which is only introduced to fill in the picture, has altered it into ויּגבּילוּם, “ they bordered them (the stones). ” This he explains as relating to the “ bevelling ” of the stones, upon the erroneous assumption that the grooving of the stones in the old walls encircling the temple area, which Robinson ( Pal . i. 423) was the first to notice and describe, “ occurs nowhere else in precisely the same form; ” whereas Robinson found them in the ancient remains of the foundations of walls in different places throughout the land, not only in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, viz., at Bethany, but also at Carmel on the mountains of Judah, at Hebron, Semua (Esthemoa), Beit Nusib (Nezib), on Tabor, and especially in the north, in the old remains of the walls of the fortification es Shukif, Hunîn, Banias, Tyrus, Jebail (Byblus), Baalbek, on the island of Ruwad (the ancient Aradus ), and in different temples on Lebanon (see Rob. Pal . ii. 101,198, 434,627; iii. 12,213, 214; and Bibl. Researches, p. 229). Böttcher ( n. ex. Krit. Aehrenl . ii. p. 32) has therefore properly rejected this conjecture as “ ill-founded, ” though only to put in its place another which is altogether unfounded, namely, that before והגּבלים the word הצּרים ( “ the Tyrians ” ) has dropped out. For this has nothing further in its favour than the most improbable assumption, that king Hiram gathered together the subjects of his whole kingdom to take part in Solomon ' s buildings. - The addition of τρία ἔτη, which is added by the lxx at the end of the verse, does not warrant the assumption of Thenius and Böttcher, that שׁנים שׁלשׁ has dropped out of the text. For it is obvious that the lxx have merely made their addition e conjectura, and indeed have concluded that, as the foundation for the temple was laid in the fourth year of Solomon ' s reign, the preliminary work must have occupied the first three years of his reign.)

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Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:18". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/1-kings-5.html. 1854-1889.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

REFLECTIONS

READER! let us pause over what we have read in this chapter, and in the view here afforded us of such workmen as Hiram's servants, behold how striking a representation it bears to numbers in the present day, to whom abilities of nature and of art are given, but to whom perhaps is given no grace! how many possess the ordinary gifts of the Spirit, who know nothing of his gracious work upon the heart! how many minister in holy things, who are yet no partakers in the spirit of holy things! of all the awful scriptures to this amount we meet with in the word of God; none can exceed in terror that declaration of Jesus: Many will say unto me in that day, Lord! Lord! have we not prophesied (that is preached) in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils; (that is perhaps have been made instrumental to others in the delivery of the word of salvation, by which the strong man armed is cast out of the soul) and in thy name done many wonderful works. And what can be more wonderful than to behold sinners awakened and converted through the instrumentality of a preached gospel? And then, saith Jesus, will I profess unto them, "I never knew you:" that is, perhaps never knew them in a way of vital union, their own souls never having been savingly brought into fellowship and communion with the Lord Jesus. Oh! Reader, what an awful consideration, to have been made helpful to the salvation of others, while uninterested for our own. To be daily ministering in the temple without a real connection with the Lord of the temple!

Let us turn our thoughts from the contemplation of a state so dreadfully alarming, to the consideration of the reverse side of the subject, and in the happy, the inexpressibly happy state of the souls built upon the same foundation as the apostles and prophets are, which is the Lord Jesus Christ, the chief corner-stone; look up to our God and Father in Christ Jesus, with an humble hope that he is our portion. Yes! dearest Jesus! I would say for myself, and all thy people, thou art the foundation of all my hopes, all my desires, all my wishes, and all my joys. God, my Father, of his infinite love laid this foundation. On thy glorious person, as the God-man, the whole structure rests; thy blood and righteousness is the grand cement which unites and keeps it eternally together; and in thee the whole building, thy church, which is thy body, fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord. Come, then, blessed Jesus! carry on, complete, adorn and finish, the work in my soul; let thy mercy be built up forever, and let the top stone of the spiritual building be brought forth with shoutings of grace, grace unto it.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:18". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/1-kings-5.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders did hew them, and the stonesquarers: so they prepared timber and stones to build the house.

Stone-squarers — Heb. the Giblites, the inhabitants of Gebel, a place near Zidon, famous for artificers and architects, Joshua 13:5. These are here mentioned apart, distinct from the rest of Hiram's builders, as the most eminent of them.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:18". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-kings-5.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 Kings 5:18 And Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders did hew [them], and the stonesquarers: so they prepared timber and stones to build the house.

Ver. 18. And Hiram’s builders did hew them.] In Lebanon was the temple framed; in Zion set up: neither hammer nor axe was heard in that holy structure. There was nothing but noise in Lebanon; nothing in Zion, but silence and peace. Whatever tumults are abroad, it is fit - saith a right reverend writer (a) here - there should be all quietness and concord in the Church.

And the stone squarers.] Or Giblites, who were heathens, [Ezekiel 27:9] neighbours to the Sidonians, worshippers of Adonis, saith Strabo, yet used about the holy temple. Ye may likewise make use of human learning in ecclesiastical exercises, but not for ostentation; for that is to make a calf of the treasure gotten out of Egypt.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:18". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-kings-5.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

1 Kings 5:18. And the stone-squarers Calmet and Houbigant, after the Vulgate, understand the Hebrew here as a proper name, הגבלים haggibliim, the Giblites: so it is rendered in the Margin of our Bibles. The people of Giblos were celebrated for their works in stone and wood. See Ezekiel 27:9 and Psalms 83:7. Note; 1. Where the heart is set upon the work of building up God's church, we shall do it with all our might. 2. The stones being prepared, the foundation of the temple is laid: they were rich and costly, to support the glorious superstructure. Christ is this precious foundation; built upon him, every believer's soul exceeds even Solomon's temple in all its glory, as being the everlasting habitation of God through the Spirit.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:18". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/1-kings-5.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The stone-squarers, Heb. the Gibites; the inhabitants of Gebel, a place near Zidon, named Psalms 83:7 Ezekiel 27:9, famous for artificers and architects, Joshua 13:5. These are here mentioned apart, as distinct from the rest of Hiram’s builders, as the most eminent of them.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:18". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-kings-5.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

18.The stonesquarers — Rather, as in the margin, the Giblites, whose city, Gebal, lay on the seacoast, and whose land lay in the vicinity of Lebanon. See on Joshua 13:5. According to Ezekiel 27:9, they were skilled in ship building. In one of the ravines of Lebanon, which opens at the port of the ancient Gebal, Tristram discovered extensive cedar groves; and observes that the Giblites probably cut and launched at their own port cedars from this very valley, which would be far more accessible to them than those on the distant inland moraines and snow-covered heights.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:18". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-kings-5.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

1 Kings 5:18. Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s did hew them — It seemed Solomon’s servants learned of Hiram’s, or, at least, were directed by them to assist in the work. And the stone-squarers — Hebrew, the Giblites, the inhabitants of Gebal, a place near Zidon, mentioned Psalms 83:7; Ezekiel 27:9, famous for artificers and architects, Joshua 13:5. These are here distinguished from the rest of Hiram’s builders, as the most eminent of them. So they prepared timber and stones to build the house — Made all ready, not only to lay the foundation, but to raise the superstructure.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:18". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-kings-5.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Giblians. Ezechiel (xxvii. 9,) commends them for building ships. Giblos of Gebal is supposed to be the town, which profane authors style Biblos, at the foot of Libanus. Ptolemy also mentions Gabala, to the east of Tyre. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:18". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-kings-5.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

stonesquarers = men of Gebal, or Giblites, as Ezekiel 27:9, now Jubeil, forty miles north of Sidon. Compare Psalms 83:7. Phoenician masons" marks still visible on them.

so = and.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:18". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-kings-5.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders did hew them, and the stonesquarers: so they prepared timber and stones to build the house.

And the stone-squarers. The margin, which renders it 'the Giblites' (Joshua 13:5), has long been considered a preferable translation. This marginal translation also must yield to another which has lately been proposed, by a slight change in the Hebrew text, and which would be rendered thus: 'Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders did hew them and bevel them' (Thenius). These great beveled or grooved stones, measuring some 20 feet, others 30 feet in length, and from 5 to 6 feet in width, are still seen in the substructures about the ancient site of the temple; and in the judgment of the most competent observers, were those originally employed 'to lay the foundation of the house.' Josephus ('Antiquities,' b. 8:, ch. 2:, sec. 9) says that King Solomon ordered large stones for the foundation of the temple to be hewn, and that they should be prepared and united, and then removed to the city. [The Septuagint adds: kai heetoimasan tous lithous kai xula tria etee, and they spent three years in preparing the stones and the timber.]

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:18". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-kings-5.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(18) The stone-squarers.—This rendering is a curious gloss on the proper name, “Giblites” (see margin)—the inhabitants of Gebal (mentioned in Ezekiel 27:9 in connection with Tyre, and probably in Psalms 83:7), a city on the coast of Phœnicia—simply because the context shows that they were clever in stone-squaring. As they are distinguished from Hiram’s builders, it is possible that they were serfs under them, like the Canaanites under Solomon’s builders.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:18". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-kings-5.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders did hew them, and the stonesquarers: so they prepared timber and stones to build the house.
the stone-squarers
or, Giblites.
Joshua 13:5; Psalms 83:7; Ezekiel 27:9 Reciprocal: 1 Kings 6:7 - built of stone;  2 Kings 12:12 - masons;  2 Kings 22:6 - builders;  1 Chronicles 14:1 - and timber;  1 Chronicles 22:2 - masons;  2 Chronicles 8:16 - GeneralProverbs 24:27 - General

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:18". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-kings-5.html.