1 Kings 5:7
And it came to pass, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly, and said, Blessed be the LORD this day, which has given to David a wise son over this great people.
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(7) Blessed be the Lord.—Hiram’s answer is one of deference, still more clearly marked in 2Chronicles 2:12-16. His acknowledgment of Jehovah the God of Israel is a token rather of such deference to Israel, than of any acceptance of Him as the one true God.

1 Kings 5:7-8. He rejoiced greatly — Being a faithful friend to David and his house; and though it is not probable he was a sincere proselyte, yet he had received much information concerning the nature and excellence of the God of Israel, and had honourable thoughts of him. And Hiram sent to Solomon — A letter, 2 Chronicles 2:11. Timber of fir — The word which we translate fir, others think signifies pine, or cypress; but their conjecture is the most reasonable, who think it was a kind of cedar, and therefore comprehended under that name, 1 Kings 5:6, where Solomon desires of him only that his servants might hew him cedar-trees.5:1-9 Here is Solomon's design to build a temple. There is no adversary, no Satan, so the word is; no instrument of Satan to oppose it, or to divert from it. Satan does all he can, to hinder temple work. When there is no evil abroad, then let us be ready and active in that which is good, and get forward. Let God's promises quicken our endeavours. And all outward skill and advantages should be made serviceable to the interests of Christ's kingdom. It Tyre supplies Israel with craftsmen, Israel will supply Tyre with corn, Eze 27:17. Thus, by the wise disposal of Providence, one country has need of another, and is benefitted by another, that there may be dependence on one another, to the glory of God.Solomon's message to Hiram and Hiram's answer 1 Kings 5:8-9 are given much more fully in 2 Chronicles 2:3-16.

Cedar-trees - The Hebrew word here and elsewhere translated "cedar," appears to be used, not only of the cedar proper, but of other timber-trees also, as the fir, and, perhaps, the juniper. Still there is no doubt that the real Lebanon cedar is most commonly intended by it. This tree, which still grows on parts of the mountain, but which threatens to die out, was probably much more widely spread anciently. The Tyrians made the masts of their ships from the wood Ezekiel 27:5, and would naturally be as careful to cultivate it as we have ourselves been to grow oak. The Assyrian kings, when they made their expeditions into Palestine, appear frequently to have cut it in Lebanon and Hermon, and to have transported it to their own capitals.

Skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians - The mechanical genius and nautical skill of the Phoenicians generally, and of the Sidonians in particular, is noticed by Homer and Herodotus. In the reign of Hiram, Sidon, though perhaps she might have a king of her own, acknowledged the supremacy of Tyre.

1Ki 5:7-12. Furnishes Timber to Build the Temple.

7. Blessed be the Lord—This language is no decisive evidence that Hiram was a worshipper of the true God, as he might use it only on the polytheistic principle of acknowledging Jehovah as the God of the Hebrews (see on [295]2Ch 2:11).

He rejoiced greatly; being an ingenuous prince, a lover of excellency, and a faithful friend to David and to his house.

Blessed be the Lord; for though it be not probable that he was a sincere proselyte, because he did not endeavour the instruction of his people, and the extirpation of their gross idolatry, which by God’s blessing and Solomen’s help he might easily have effected; yet he had sufficient information concerning the nature and excellency of the God of Israel, and had honourable thoughts of him, as also divers other heathens had, 1 Samuel 4:8 Daniel 6:16; /APC 2Ma 3:3. And it came to pass, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon,.... The letter read he sent him:

that he rejoiced greatly; that the friendship which had subsisted between him and David was like to be continued between him and his successor, but chiefly for what follows:

saying, blessed be the Lord this day; or Jehovah, by which he seems to have some knowledge of the true God, the God of Israel, and might worship him, though along with him other deities, as some Heathen princes did:

which hath given unto David a wise son over this great people; which he perceived by the letter he sent him, and by his solicitous concern to build an house for the worship and honour of God, and by various other things which his ambassadors reported to him they had seen and heard in Solomon's court.

And it came to pass, when {c} Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly, and said, Blessed be the LORD this day, which hath given unto David a wise son over this great people.

(c) In Hiram is prefigured the calling of the Gentiles who would help build the spiritual temple.

7. he rejoiced greatly] For the alliance thus offered to him was that of the mightiest prince of all those round about.

Blessed be the Lord] Hiram here uses the name of Jehovah in such wise as to shew that he acknowledged him as a true god, but probably only in the sense of being the national god of Israel, as Melcarth was of the Zidonians. Cf. the queen of Sheba’s words of the same kind in 1 Kings 10:9. In the words of Hiram as given in 2 Chronicles 1:12, Jehovah is said to be the Maker of heaven and earth. If this were really Hiram’s language he must have identified Jehovah with his own supreme divinity. Of course it was no difficulty for a heathen to add the name of another divinity to his list of gods. Melchizedek (Genesis 14:19) speaks of ‘God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth’; and though not a heathen, he was outside the chosen race.Verse 7. - And It came to pass, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon [reported by his ambassadors], that he rejoiced greatly [see note on ver. 1. The continuance of the entente cordiale was ensured], and said, Blessed be the Lord [In 2 Chronicles 2:12, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel that made heaven and earth." We are not warranted by the expression of the text in concluding that Hiram believed in the exclusive divinity of the God of Israel, or "identified Jehovah with Melkarth his god" (Rawlinson), much less that he was proselyte to the faith of David and Solomon. All that is certain is that he believed the Jehovah as God was quite compatible with the retention of a firm faith in Baa1 and Astarte. It is also possible that he here adopts a language which he knew would be acceptable to Solomon, or the historian may have given us his thoughts in a Hebrew dread It is noticeable that the LXX. has simply εὐλογητὸς ὁ θεὸς] which hath given unto David a wise son [Compare 1 Kings 1:48; 1 Kings 2:9. The proof of wisdom lay in Solomon's fulfilling his wise father's purposes, and in his care for the worship of God. "Wise," however, is not used here in the sense of "pious," as Bahr affirms. In Hiram's lips the word meant discreet, sagacious. He would hardly recognize the fear of the Lord as the beginning of wisdom] over this great people. Solomon's negotiations with Hiram of Tyre. - 1 Kings 5:1. When king Hiram of Tyre heard that Solomon had been anointed king in the place of David, he sent his servants, i.e., an embassage, to Solomon, to congratulate him (as the Syriac correctly explains) on his ascent of the throne, because he had been a friend of David the whole time (כּל־הימים, i.e., as long as both of them David and Hiram were kings). On Hiram and the length of his reign, see the remarks on 2 Samuel 5:11. This is passed over in the Chronicles as having no essential bearing upon the building of the temple.
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