1 Kings 5

1 Kings 5 has Solomon ready to build the temple that David had never been able to do.  The rule of David was plagued by war, and he never had an opportunity to build.  But for Solomon, “the Lord my God has given me rest on every side”, he has been given peace.  And now it is time to build the house for God as was prophesied.  “Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, shall build the house for my name”. God’s plan is being fulfilled by Solomon.

He wants specific lumber for the task so he asks Hiram, king of Tyre, to “command that cedars of Lebanon be cut for me”.  The right lumber, or desired lumber, was not available locally so Solomon asks a neighboring and friendly king for the resources he needs.  “Hiram supplied Solomon with all the timber of cedar and cypress that he desired”. They had an elaborate plan of cutting the timber and floating it down the river in rafts to the place Solomon needed it to build with.

In return, “Solomon gave Hiram 20,000 cors of wheat as food for his household, and 20,000 cors of beaten oil”.  This wasn’t a charity event.  Solomon gave this to Hiram year by year.  They had a great working relationship and Solomon used his wisdom to keep the peace and get the work done.  It was no small task they were undertaking.  It took a huge workforce.  “King Solomon drafted forced labor out of all Israel, and the draft numbered 30,000 men”.  But the work wasn’t there at home, but in another country.  So they created a plan to make that more reasonable for the workers.

Solomon “sent them to Lebanon, 10,000 a month in shifts”.  They didn’t all go at once. “They would be a month in Lebanon and two months at home”.  This was a much better and more acceptable plan.  It didn’t require anyone to be gone more than one month in three.  But these 30,000 were only a small part of the total workforce on the building.  “Solomon also had 70,000 burden-bearers and 80,000 stonecutters in the hill country, besides Solomon’s 3,300 chief officers who were over the work, who had charge of the people who carried on the work”.  We saw the wall these people built.  The stones were enormous.  It’s no wonder there were so many working on the project.  One stone was over 200 ton.  It was amazing work and still stands today.

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