1 Kings 5
Solomon starts work on Jerusalem Temple
Solomon orders cedar of Lebanon1King Hiram, who ruled the city of Tyre, had been a close friend to Solomon’s father, King David. When Hiram heard Israel anointed Solomon as king, he sent ambassadors to meet with him. 2Solomon sent a message back to Hiram.
3He said, “I think you know my father, David, couldn’t build a temple devoted to the worship of my LORD and God. He had to focus all his effort on defeating hostile nations all around us. 4But we’re in great shape now. There’s peace all around us and everything is going our way. 5So, I’m going to do what the LORD told my father David that I would do. He said, ‘I’ll see to it that your son will rule Israel after you. He’s the one who will build Israel’s house of worship devoted to me.’ 6Would you order your lumberjacks to cut cedars of Lebanon for me? My workers will team up with yours because no one can cut timber like you folks in Tyre and Sidon. I’ll pay you whatever wages you want for your workers.”
Happy King Hiram sells cedar to Solomon7Hiram was delighted to hear Solomon say that. He said, “Thank God for giving David such a wise son to lead this great nation.” 8Hiram sent a reply to Solomon: “I got your message. I’ll send you all the cedar and cypress timber you want. 9My people will take the logs down to the sea. Then they’ll lash them together into rafts and float them down the coastline and stop them wherever you want. Then we’ll take the rafts apart for you. In return you can pay for the timber by providing food for my household.”
10Hiram got Solomon all the cedar and cypress he wanted. 11Solomon paid for the timber with about 580 tons  of wheat and 1,160 gallons  of the finest olive oil, from the first pressing.  He did this every year during construction. 12So, the LORD gave Solomon the wisdom he promised. Solomon and Hiram made a peace treaty to remain allies instead of enemies.
Solomon drafts workers13Solomon drafted 30,000 men from all over Israel to work on his building projects. 14He divided them into three groups—10,000 each. He rotated each group in and out of Lebanon every month. So, every group of 10,000 spent one month in Lebanon and two months in Israel. Adoniram was the official who directed the Ministry of Forced Labor.
15Solomon also hired 80,000 stonecutters to quarry rock in the hills and 70,000 men to transport the stones. 16Solomon appointed 3,300 supervisors to work under Adoniram, to help keep the workers on task. 17On the king’s orders, stonecutters quarried huge stones for the Temple foundation, and then chiseled in the finishing touches.
18Solomon’s builders worked alongside Hiram’s men and a team of men from Lebanon’s town of Gebal.  They worked together milling timber and cutting huge stone blocks for Israel’s first permanent house of worship. 
The Hebrew measurement is 30 cors. A cor is roughly six bushels, which is about 220 liters or 58 gallons. Solomon paid Hiram 20,000 cors of wheat.
That’s about 4390 liters. The Hebrew measure was 20 cors of olive oil. But an ancient Greek version says Solomon paid 20,000 baths. That’s about 100 times more, to almost half a million liters, roughly 420,000 liters. That’s about 110,000 gallons.
Olives were usually pressed several times. The first pressing produced the purest olive oil. Later pressings became clouded with tiny particles from crushed flesh of the olives.
Gebal later became Byblos, a city about 60 miles (100 km) north of Hiram’s capital, Tyre.
The people of Israel were laying the foundation of the first Jewish Temple. It would last about 600 years. In 586 BC, Babylonian invaders from what is now southern Iraq would strip the Temple of valuables, level the building, and drive most Jewish survivors into exile. That’s the day the political nation of Israel died. It resurrected for a short time in the 100’s BC, until Romans invaded and later destroyed Israel’s second and last Temple. Israel then remained a scattered people for almost 2,000 years.
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