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1 Kings 5 Good News Translation (GNT)

Solomon Prepares to Build the Temple

King Hiram of Tyre had always been a friend of David's, and when he heard that Solomon had succeeded his father David as king, he sent ambassadors to him. Solomon sent back this message to Hiram: “You know that because of the constant wars my father David had to fight against the enemy countries all around him, he could not build a temple for the worship of the Lord his God until the Lord had given him victory over all his enemies. But now the Lord my God has given me peace on all my borders. I have no enemies, and there is no danger of attack. The Lord promised my father David, ‘Your son, whom I will make king after you, will build a temple for me.’ And I have now decided to build that temple for the worship of the Lord my God. So send your men to Lebanon to cut down cedars for me. My men will work with them, and I will pay your men whatever you decide. As you well know, my men don't know how to cut down trees as well as yours do.”

Hiram was extremely pleased when he received Solomon's message, and he said, “Praise the Lord today for giving David such a wise son to succeed him as king of that great nation!” Then Hiram sent Solomon the following message: “I have received your message, and I am ready to do what you ask. I will provide the cedars and the pine trees. My men will bring the logs down from Lebanon to the sea and will tie them together in rafts to float them down the coast to the place you choose. There my men will untie them, and your men will take charge of them. On your part, I would like you to supply the food for my men.”

10 So Hiram supplied Solomon with all the cedar and pine logs that he wanted, 11 and Solomon provided Hiram with 100,000 bushels of wheat and 110,000 gallons[a] of pure olive oil every year to feed his men.

12 The Lord kept his promise and gave Solomon wisdom. There was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and they made a treaty with each other.

13 King Solomon drafted 30,000 men as forced labor from all over Israel, 14 and put Adoniram in charge of them. He divided them into three groups of 10,000 men, and each group spent one month in Lebanon and two months back home. 15 Solomon also had 80,000 stone cutters in the hill country, with 70,000 men to carry the stones, 16 and he placed 3,300 foremen in charge of them to supervise their work. 17 At King Solomon's command they cut fine large stones for the foundation of the Temple. 18 Solomon's and Hiram's workers and men from the city of Byblos prepared the stones and the timber to build the Temple.


  1. 1 Kings 5:11 Some ancient translations (and see 2 Ch 2.10) 110,000 gallons; Hebrew 1,100 gallons.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

1 Kings 5 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Preparations and Materials for the Temple

[a] Now King Hiram of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon, when he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father; for Hiram had always been a friend to David. Solomon sent word to Hiram, saying, “You know that my father David could not build a house for the name of the Lord his God because of the warfare with which his enemies surrounded him, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet.[b] But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor misfortune. So I intend to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord said to my father David, ‘Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, shall build the house for my name.’ Therefore command that cedars from the Lebanon be cut for me. My servants will join your servants, and I will give you whatever wages you set for your servants; for you know that there is no one among us who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians.”

When Hiram heard the words of Solomon, he rejoiced greatly, and said, “Blessed be the Lord today, who has given to David a wise son to be over this great people.” Hiram sent word to Solomon, “I have heard the message that you have sent to me; I will fulfill all your needs in the matter of cedar and cypress timber. My servants shall bring it down to the sea from the Lebanon; I will make it into rafts to go by sea to the place you indicate. I will have them broken up there for you to take away. And you shall meet my needs by providing food for my household.” 10 So Hiram supplied Solomon’s every need for timber of cedar and cypress. 11 Solomon in turn gave Hiram twenty thousand cors of wheat as food for his household, and twenty cors of fine oil. Solomon gave this to Hiram year by year. 12 So the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him. There was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and the two of them made a treaty.

13 King Solomon conscripted forced labor out of all Israel; the levy numbered thirty thousand men. 14 He sent them to the Lebanon, ten thousand a month in shifts; they would be a month in the Lebanon and two months at home; Adoniram was in charge of the forced labor. 15 Solomon also had seventy thousand laborers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the hill country, 16 besides Solomon’s three thousand three hundred supervisors who were over the work, having charge of the people who did the work. 17 At the king’s command, they quarried out great, costly stones in order to lay the foundation of the house with dressed stones. 18 So Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders and the Gebalites did the stonecutting and prepared the timber and the stone to build the house.


  1. 1 Kings 5:1 Ch 5.15 in Heb
  2. 1 Kings 5:3 Gk Tg Vg: Heb my feet or his feet
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1 Kings 5 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

(4:21) Shlomo ruled over all the kingdoms from the [Euphrates] River through the land of the P’lishtim to the border of Egypt; they paid tribute and served Shlomo as long as he lived. (4:22) Shlomo’s provisions for one day consisted of 150 bushels of fine flour, 310 bushels of meal, (4:23) ten fattened oxen, twenty pasture-fed oxen and one hundred sheep, in addition to deer, gazelles, roebucks and fattened poultry. (4:24) For he ruled all the area this side of the [Euphrates] River, from Tifsach to ‘Azah. He was over all the kings on this side of the River; and he had peace all around him, on every side. (4:25) From Dan to Be’er-Sheva, Y’hudah and Isra’el lived securely, every man under his vine and fig tree, throughout the lifetime of Shlomo. (4:26) Shlomo also had 40,000 stalls for the horses used with his chariots and 12,000 horsemen.

(4:27) Those officers [named above] supplied food and other materials for King Shlomo and for everyone for whom Shlomo provided. Each was responsible for his month’s supplies; they saw to it that nothing was lacking. (4:28) They also made sure there was barley and straw where it was needed for the horses and draft animals; each filled his quota.

(4:29) God gave Shlomo exceptional wisdom and understanding, as well as a heart as vast as the sandy beach by the sea. 10 (4:30) Shlomo’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of the people from the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. 11 (4:31) For he was wiser than everyone — wiser than Eitan the Ezrachi and wiser than Heiman, Kalkol and Darda the sons of Machol; so that his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. 12 (4:32) He composed 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs. 13 (4:33) He could discuss trees, from the cedar in the L’vanon to the hyssop growing out of the wall; he could discuss wild animals, poultry, reptiles and fish. 14 (4:34) People from all nations came to hear the wisdom of Shlomo, including kings from all over the earth who had heard of his wisdom.

15 (1) Hiram king of Tzor sent his servants to Shlomo, because he had heard that they had anointed him king in his father’s place, and Hiram had always loved David. 16 (2) Shlomo returned this message to Hiram: 17 (3) “You know that David my father wasn’t able to build a house for the name of Adonai his God, because of the wars that beset him from every side, until Adonai put his enemies under the soles of my feet. 18 (4) But now Adonai my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor calamity. 19 (5) So now I intend to build a house for the name of Adonai my God, in keeping with what Adonai said to David my father, ‘Your son, whom I will put on your throne in your place, will be the one to build the house for my name.’ 20 (6) Therefore, order your people to cut down cedar trees from the L’vanon for me. My servants will be with your servants. I will pay your servants according to everything you say; for you know that we have no one among us as skilled in felling trees as the Tzidonim.”

21 (7) When Hiram heard Shlomo’s message, he was very happy and said, “Blessed be Adonai today, who has given David a wise son to rule this great people.” 22 (8) Then Hiram sent Shlomo this message: “I have heard the message you sent me, and I will do everything you want concerning cedar logs and cypress logs. 23 (9) My servants will bring them down from the L’vanon to the sea. I will make them into rafts to go by sea to whatever place you tell me and will have them broken up there, and you will receive them. You will compensate me by providing food for my household.”

24 (10) So Hiram gave Shlomo all the cedar logs and cypress logs he wanted; 25 (11) and Shlomo gave Hiram 100,000 bushels of wheat as food for his household and a thousand gallons of oil from pressed olives — this is what Shlomo gave Hiram each year. 26 (12) Adonai gave Shlomo wisdom, as he had promised him; and there was peace between Hiram and Shlomo — the two of them formed an alliance together.

27 (13) King Shlomo conscripted 30,000 men from all Isra’el for forced labor. 28 (14) He sent them to the L’vanon in monthly relays of 10,000; they would stay a month in the L’vanon and two months at home. Adoniram was in charge of the forced labor.

29 (15) Shlomo had 70,000 men to carry loads and another 80,000 stonecutters in the hills, 30 (16) besides Shlomo’s 3,300 supervisors who were in charge of the people doing the work. 31 (17) The king gave orders; and they quarried large stones, expensive stones, to lay the foundation of the house with cut stone. 32 (18) Shlomo’s and Hiram’s builders, along with the men from G’val, worked the stones and prepared the timber and stones for building the house.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

1 Kings 5 The Message (MSG)

International Fame

1-4 Hiram king of Tyre sent ambassadors to Solomon when he heard that he had been crowned king in David’s place. Hiram had loved David his whole life. Solomon responded, saying, “You know that David my father was not able to build a temple in honor of God because of the wars he had to fight on all sides, until God finally put them down. But now God has provided peace all around—no one against us, nothing at odds with us.

5-6 “Now here is what I want to do: Build a temple in honor of God, my God, following the promise that God gave to David my father, namely, ‘Your son whom I will provide to succeed you as king, he will build a house in my honor.’ And here is how you can help: Give orders for cedars to be cut from the Lebanon forest; my loggers will work alongside yours and I’ll pay your men whatever wage you set. We both know that there is no one like you Sidonians for cutting timber.”

When Hiram got Solomon’s message, he was delighted, exclaiming, “Blessed be God for giving David such a wise son to rule this flourishing people!”

8-9 Then he sent this message to Solomon: “I received your request for the cedars and cypresses. It’s as good as done—your wish is my command. My lumberjacks will haul the timbers from the Lebanon forest to the sea, assemble them into log rafts, float them to the place you set, then have them disassembled for you to haul away. All I want from you is that you feed my crew.”

10-12 In this way Hiram supplied all the cedar and cypress timber that Solomon wanted. In his turn, Solomon gave Hiram 125,000 bushels of wheat and 115,000 gallons of virgin olive oil. He did this every year. And God, for his part, gave Solomon wisdom, just as he had promised. The healthy peace between Hiram and Solomon was formalized by a treaty.

The Temple Work Begins

13-18 King Solomon raised a workforce of thirty thousand men from all over Israel. He sent them in shifts of ten thousand each month to the Lebanon forest; they would work a month in Lebanon and then be at home two months. Adoniram was in charge of the work crew. Solomon also had seventy thousand unskilled workers and another eighty thousand stonecutters up in the hills—plus thirty-three hundred foremen managing the project and supervising the work crews. Following the king’s orders, they quarried huge blocks of the best stone—dressed stone for the foundation of The Temple. Solomon and Hiram’s construction workers, assisted by the men of Gebal, cut and prepared the timber and stone for building The Temple.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

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