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News of Solomon’s succession of David reached the ears of Hiram, king of Tyre. Because Hiram was a friend of David,[a] he sent a group of his servants to visit Solomon. Solomon gave a message to Hiram’s servants, which they took back to Hiram.

Solomon’s Message: You remember that David did not have the opportunity to construct a temple honoring the reputation of the Eternal his God, because of my father’s involvement in the warfare which plagued him until the Eternal suppressed all of his enemies under his feet. But the Eternal One my God now grants me rest everywhere. We are not plagued by enemies or troubles. Therefore, I am going to construct a temple for the name of the Eternal my God. It will be just as He told David, my father: “Your son, whom I will put upon your throne after you are gone, will construct a temple honoring Me.”[b] So tell your people to start cutting down Lebanon’s cedars for my project. My servants will work alongside your servants, and I will pay you whatever you ask for your servants’ work. It is no secret that the best timber cutters around are the Sidonians who are at your command.

When Hiram received this message from Solomon, he celebrated.

Hiram: Blessed is the Eternal today! Praise Him for giving David Solomon, the wise son who rules a great people!

(replying to Solomon) I have received your message, and I will do exactly as you have asked. We will start the timberwork with the cedars and cypress immediately. Those who serve me will transport them from Lebanon to the sea. I will make rafts out of the timber and float the logs to the place of your choosing. There I will have them break apart the rafts, and you can carry the logs to wherever it is that you want them. Then all I ask is that you feed my house and my servants.

10 Hiram sent all the cedar and cypress trees Solomon had requested. 11 In return, Solomon presented Hiram with food for his house and servants: 130,000 bushels of wheat and 1,200 gallons of purified oil. Solomon gave this same amount to Hiram every year.

12 The Eternal One upheld His promise to Solomon and granted him much wisdom. Hiram and Solomon were at peace with each other, and they entered into a covenant.

13 King Solomon assembled forced laborers from all over Israel—30,000 men in all. 14 He sent them to Lebanon in cycles—10,000 men per month. They stayed in Lebanon for an entire month, then they were able to return home for two months. Adoniram was the head administrator of the workers.

15 Solomon enlisted 70,000 men to transport the materials and 80,000 stonecutters to quarry, carve, and dress stone from the mountains. 16 These numbers do not include Solomon’s 3,300[c] agents who were head administrators over the project and the workers. 17 The king gave instructions, and the workers laid the giant, expensive stones to form the foundation of the temple. 18 Both Solomon’s construction workers and Hiram’s skilled workers, along with the Gebalites, cut the materials to make the timber and stones ready for the temple.

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