Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
And Solomon determined to build an house for the name of the LORD, and an house for his kingdom.2. The Building of the Temple
The Beginning and Appeal to Huram
1. Solomon’s purpose (2Chronicles 2:1)
2. The workmen (2Chronicles 2:2)
3. The message to Huram, King of Tyre (2Chronicles 2:3-10)
4. Huram’s answer (2Chronicles 2:11-16)
5. Solomon numbers the strangers (2Chronicles 2:17-18)
In 1 Kings 5, Solomon purposed to begin the great work to which he had been called, to build an house for the name of the LORD and an house for his kingdom (1Kings 7:1; 2Chronicles 8:1). Then he levied a very large body of men from among the people to labor in cutting the timber and hewing stone for the temple and the palace of Solomon. Of these 70,000 were carriers; 80,000 were quarry men and 3,600 overseers. In 1Kings 5:13, we read of a levy of 30,000 men. These must be considered additional workmen, for they were sent to Lebanon.
Solomon then sent a message to Huram (the same as Hiram), the King of Tyre. Hiram had sent before messages to Solomon, when he heard of his enthronement. They of Tyre had already brought cedar trees in abundance to David for the building of the Temple (1Chronicles 22:4). He loved Solomon as much as he loved his father David, for when Hiram heard the words of Solomon he rejoiced greatly and said, “Blessed be the LORD this day, who hath given unto David a wise son over this great people.” To him Solomon sent a message. He reminded him of the dealings his father David had with him, and requested “even so deal with me.” He acquainted him with his work, “Behold I build an house for the name of the LORD my God,” and that it would be a great house, “for great is our God above all gods.” Then he requested that Hiram would send him a master-workman and more material, cedar trees, fir trees and algum trees or almug trees (1Kings 10:11), the red sandalwood, highly valued among the ancient nations, out of Lebanon. In return he offered to Hiram’s servant wheat, barley, wine and oil, twenty thousand measures of each. 1Kings 5:11 tells us that besides this gift to the workers in timber, twenty thousand measures of wheat and oil were yearly given by Solomon to the household of Hiram.
And Huram’s answer reveals that he was a believer in Jehovah, for he acknowledged Him as the Creator and as the lover of His people (verses 11-12). The King sent Huram, a skilful worker whose mother was a Jewess (1Kings 7:14). This Gentile co-operation in the construction of the temple is interesting, and also prophetic. Jews and Gentiles, Israel and the nations will yet unite to glorify the Lord. And the strangers who were in Israel, also Gentiles, were the servants of the King.