Preparing to Build the Temple
5 Hiram, the king of Tyre, had always been David’s friend. When Hiram heard that Solomon had been made king in David’s place, he sent his messengers to Solomon. 2 Solomon sent this message back to King Hiram: 3 “You remember my father David had to fight many wars with the countries around him, so he was never able to build a temple for worshiping the Lord his God. David was waiting until the Lord allowed him to defeat all his enemies. 4 But now the Lord my God has given me peace on all sides of my country. I have no enemies now, and no danger threatens my people.
5 “The Lord promised my father David, ‘I will make your son king after you, and he will build a temple for worshiping me.’ Now, I plan to build that temple for worshiping the Lord my God. 6 So send your men to cut down cedar trees for me from Lebanon. My servants will work with yours, and I will pay them whatever wages you decide. We don’t have anyone who can cut down trees as well as the people of Sidon.”
7 When Hiram heard what Solomon asked, he was very happy. He said, “Praise the Lord today! He has given David a wise son to rule over this great nation!” 8 Then Hiram sent back this message to Solomon: “I received the message you sent, and I will give you all the cedar and pine trees you want. 9 My servants will bring them down from Lebanon to the sea. There I will tie them together and float them along the shore to the place you choose. Then I will separate the logs there, and you can take them away. In return it is my wish that you give food to all those who live with me.” 10 So Hiram gave Solomon as much cedar and pine as he wanted. 11 And Solomon gave Hiram about one hundred twenty-five thousand bushels of wheat each year to feed the people who lived with him. Solomon also gave him about one hundred fifteen thousand gallons of pure olive oil every year.
12 The Lord gave Solomon wisdom as he had promised. And there was peace between Hiram and Solomon; these two kings made a treaty between themselves.
13 King Solomon forced thirty thousand men of Israel to help in this work. 14 He sent a group of ten thousand men each month to Lebanon. Each group worked in Lebanon one month, then went home for two months. A man named Adoniram was in charge. 15 Solomon forced eighty thousand men to work in the hill country, cutting stone, and he had seventy thousand men to carry the stones. 16 There were also thirty-three hundred men who directed the workers. 17 King Solomon commanded them to cut large blocks of fine stone to be used for the foundation of the Temple. 18 Solomon’s and Hiram’s builders and the men from Byblos carved the stones and prepared the stones and the logs for building the Temple.