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1 Kings 5 International Children’s Bible (ICB)

Solomon Prepares to Build the Temple

Now King Hiram was the king of Tyre. He had always been a friend of David. Hiram heard that Solomon had been made king in David’s place. So he sent his messengers to Solomon. Then Solomon sent this message back to King Hiram: “You remember that my father David had to fight many wars with the countries around him. So he was never able to build a temple for worship to the Lord his God. David was waiting until the Lord allowed him to defeat all his enemies. But now the Lord my God has given me peace. There is peace on all sides of my country. I have no enemies now. My people are in no danger.

“The Lord made a promise to my father David. The Lord said, ‘I will make your son king after you. And he will build a temple for worship to me.’ Now, I plan to build that temple for worship to the Lord my God. And so I ask for your help. Send your men to cut down cedar trees for me from Lebanon. My servants will work with yours. I will pay your servants whatever wages you decide. We don’t have anyone who can cut down trees as well as the people of Sidon can.”

When Hiram heard what Solomon asked, he was very happy. He said, “I thank the Lord today! He has given David a wise son to rule over this great nation!” Then Hiram sent back this message to Solomon: “I received the message you sent. I will give you all the cedar and pine trees you want. My servants will bring them down from Lebanon to the sea. There I will tie them together. Then I will float them down the shore to the place you choose. There I will separate the logs, and you can take them away. In return you will give food to all those who live with me.” 10 So Hiram gave Solomon as much cedar and pine as he wanted. 11 And Solomon gave Hiram about 125,000 bushels of wheat each year. It was to feed all those who lived with Hiram. And Solomon gave him about 115,000 gallons of pure olive oil every year.

12 The Lord gave wisdom to Solomon as he had promised. And there was peace between Hiram and Solomon. These two kings made a treaty between themselves.

13 King Solomon forced 30,000 men of Israel to help in this work. 14 He put a man named Adoniram over them. Solomon sent a group of 10,000 men each month to Lebanon. So each group worked in Lebanon one month. Then it went home for two months. 15 Solomon forced 80,000 men to work in the hill country, cutting stone. And he had 70,000 men to carry the stones. 16 There were also 3,300 men who directed the workers. 17 King Solomon commanded them to cut large blocks of fine stone. These were to be used for the foundation of the Temple. 18 Solomon’s and Hiram’s builders and the men from Byblos carved the stones. They prepared the stones and the logs for building the Temple.

International Children’s Bible (ICB)

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1 Kings 5 New International Version (NIV)

Preparations for Building the Temple

[a]When Hiram king of Tyre heard that Solomon had been anointed king to succeed his father David, he sent his envoys to Solomon, because he had always been on friendly terms with David. Solomon sent back this message to Hiram:

“You know that because of the wars waged against my father David from all sides, he could not build a temple for the Name of the Lord his God until the Lord put his enemies under his feet. But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster. I intend, therefore, to build a temple for the Name of the Lord my God, as the Lord told my father David, when he said, ‘Your son whom I will put on the throne in your place will build the temple for my Name.’

“So give orders that cedars of Lebanon be cut for me. My men will work with yours, and I will pay you for your men whatever wages you set. You know that we have no one so skilled in felling timber as the Sidonians.”

When Hiram heard Solomon’s message, he was greatly pleased and said, “Praise be to the Lord today, for he has given David a wise son to rule over this great nation.”

So Hiram sent word to Solomon:

“I have received the message you sent me and will do all you want in providing the cedar and juniper logs. My men will haul them down from Lebanon to the Mediterranean Sea, and I will float them as rafts by sea to the place you specify. There I will separate them and you can take them away. And you are to grant my wish by providing food for my royal household.”

10 In this way Hiram kept Solomon supplied with all the cedar and juniper logs he wanted, 11 and Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand cors[b] of wheat as food for his household, in addition to twenty thousand baths[c][d] of pressed olive oil. Solomon continued to do this for Hiram year after year. 12 The Lord gave Solomon wisdom, just as he had promised him. There were peaceful relations between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty.

13 King Solomon conscripted laborers from all Israel—thirty thousand men. 14 He sent them off to Lebanon in shifts of ten thousand a month, so that they spent one month in Lebanon and two months at home. Adoniram was in charge of the forced labor. 15 Solomon had seventy thousand carriers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the hills, 16 as well as thirty-three hundred[e] foremen who supervised the project and directed the workers. 17 At the king’s command they removed from the quarry large blocks of high-grade stone to provide a foundation of dressed stone for the temple. 18 The craftsmen of Solomon and Hiram and workers from Byblos cut and prepared the timber and stone for the building of the temple.


  1. 1 Kings 5:1 In Hebrew texts 5:1-18 is numbered 5:15-32.
  2. 1 Kings 5:11 That is, probably about 3,600 tons or about 3,250 metric tons
  3. 1 Kings 5:11 Septuagint (see also 2 Chron. 2:10); Hebrew twenty cors
  4. 1 Kings 5:11 That is, about 120,000 gallons or about 440,000 liters
  5. 1 Kings 5:16 Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 2 Chron. 2:2,18) thirty-six hundred
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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