Examining Solomon’s Agreement with Hiram | Got-Fruit(?)
Josephus Flavius took a particular interest in the relations between Hiram, king of Tyre, and Solomon. Describing their friendly relationship, maintained on a. Solomon Asks Hiram To Help Build the Temple - King Hiram of Tyre had always been friends with Solomon's father David. When Hiram learned that Solomon. Solomon the Great had ascended the throne of David, his father. The Old Testament account of the relationship between David and Hiram begins rather.
The Old Testament account of the relationship between David and Hiram begins rather abruptly and indicates that there was a previous course of dealing over some time. Suffice it to say Tyre was perhaps at its zenith of power, wealth and influence in the reign of Hiram, son of Abibaal, and friend of Solomon, whose sway overlapped the reigns of David and his son, and represented the Golden Age of Phoenicia.
The name "Hiram," sometimes "Hunram," probably from "Ahiram," means "exalted brother," a meaning that has especial significance to those familiar with the Cryptic rituals. The relations he had with David were most cordial, and he had furnished to David in his lifetime many of the materials which that king was amassing for the construction of the Temple.
Upon the death of David and Solomon's succession to the throne Hiram sent an embassy of condolence and congratulations to Jerusalem, thereby further cementing the already cordial relations between the two royal houses. Out of it all grew the closest and most intimate alliance that existed in all of Jewish history between a Jewish king and a foreign potentate. The cordiality of this cooperation is indicated, for instance, by the joint undertaking of the two in sending ships to Ophir India for gold and silver, algum wood, ivory, silver, monkeys and peacocks.
Solomon could not perhaps have successfully undertaken this project without the seafaring experience of the Phoenecian mariners and traders. And one cannot forget that the Hebrews were not a seagoing people and did not look with too much favor upon seagoing commerce.
The upshot of it all was that Hiram supplied to Solomon the famous Cedars of Lebanon which were shipped by floats to Joppa, the port of Jerusalem, and great quantities of other rare and valuable materials.
He also furnished men, particularly skilled workmen, among them the Masonically renowned Hiram, the Builder. In return for them Solomon supplied Tyre with wheat and oil and balm and like products. The tremendous reserves of gold accumulated in Tyre enabled Hiram to furnish no less than five hundred talents of gold for the ornamental work of the Temple.
For this Solomon ceded him twenty towns in Galilee. But, it is said, upon inspecting them, Hiram referred to them contemptuously and restored them to their donor. There was, however, apparently no permanent ill feeling or disharmony resulting from the incident. Both Biblical and profane history confirm the story of the close personal friendship and economic alliance between these two great rulers.
Hiram countered with his own proposal: Hiram's counterproposition 1 Kgs 5: His attitude may also be interpreted as a deliberate strategy aimed at keeping close watch over the Phoenician monopoly in forestry. H TERMS In terms of his trade agreement with Solomon, Hiram provided building materials and technicians to Solomon who paid for these services with a regular provision of natural produce 1 Kgs 5: It was observed that the quantity of grain provided by Solomon according to biblical records 1 Kgs 5: This caused some scholars to wonder whether Israel could have been as fruitful as to provide for the needs of two royal houses in addition to the common consumption and this for a period of twenty years.
Since this concession was not part of the initial agreement, it is reasonable to conclude that Solomon resorted to this option in order to settle a large debt that had accumulated over years. The treaty between the two monarchs apparently covered the construction of a lavish complex of structures erected in Jerusalem, north of the old Jebusite city wall, of which the Temple was the most important.
Other buildings included a fortresses, the "House of the Forest of Lebanon" 1 Kgs 7: In addition to help for his building projects, Solomon also had help from Tyre in manning and equipping of his trading fleet.
As Donner has convincingly argued, however, in the bilateral alliance between the two monarchs, it was Solomon who was in a position of weakness. In Donner's estimate, Hiram's activities in Solomon's commercial expeditions and in the construction of the temple betray the dependence of Israel on Tyre, for in both cases Solomon was plainly not in a position to do without Phoenician know-how and the transfer of a whole district was no triumph for Solomon's foreign policy.
Solomon's enormous projects required a considerable supply of labour force which was not readily available to him. He therefore resorted to compulsory labour. In the time of his father, David, forced labour seems to have been reserved for the conquered people 2 Sam Solomon who no longer had a great supply of such people imposed forced labour first on the Canaanites who were left in the land 1 Kgs 9: It is reported in 1 Kgs 5: He sent them in shifts of 10, each for a month at a time in Lebanon and two months off at home.
Their task was to cut, haul and ship timber from Lebanon. He recruited 70, carriers and 80, stonecutters. This army of workers worked under the supervision of foremen with Adoniram for general overseer. Understood in the light of total population of Israel of the time, these figures suggest a severe sap of manpower. Other work could be done only by skilled craftspeople from the cities of the Phoenician coast that required payment and feeding.
Hiram Of Tyre And Solomon in: The Books of Kings
It was observed that Solomon implemented his building projects with no problems unlike his father who had faced dissuasive opposition 2 Sam 7. Jagersma suggested that Solomon had his way in this because he was far more of an absolute ruler than David.
This already emerged in the way he came to power without the people having any say. This could mean that at this time there was no opportunity to express opposition to, or criticism of the buildings. Solomon burdened the people not only with his building projects, the same people needed to support the army.
Solomon is not remembered as a warrior probably because unlike his father, he was not much involved in wars and conquest. The task before him was not further to expand the realm, which had reached maximum dimensions under David, but to maintain amicable relationships externally, and with his own vassals, so that Israel might develop her potentialities in peace. He seems to have been much preoccupied about maintaining and defending the empire he inherited from David.
It is reported in 1 Kgs 9: Bright describes the strategic positions of these cities as follows: These included, aside from Jerusalem itself, a chain of cities along the perimeter of Israelite heartland: Hazor in Galilee, facing the Aramean possessions; Megiddo, near the main pass through the Carmel range; Gezer, Beth Horon, and Balaatah guarding the western approaches from the plain; and Tamar, south of the Dead Sea, facing Edom.
Disposed at these points, Solomon's army could be marshalled quickly for defence against invasion, for quelling internal uprising, or for operation against rebellious vassals. According to biblical record, Solomon's army counted 1, chariots and 12, horses 1 Kgs Chariots cost shekels each and trained horses, shekels 1 Kgs This description means that Solomon maintained a considerable army unlike his father who was satisfied with a small chariot corps and garrisons he inherited from the Philistines.
David had used voluntary tribal infantry that supported itself through normal subsistence. The chariot had not been used much in Israel partly because of the rugged terrain, partly because its employment presupposed a military aristocracy that Israel lacked.
He seems to have adopted the extensive use of the chariot from the Canaanite city-stated now absorbed in Israel.
The maintenance of this army was an additional charge for the people. All the combatants and army personnel were supported on food provided by the people. The expense of Solomon's army is shown in the following description: Each vehicle required three horses, so chariot and team came to 1, shekels.
Then there were the accessory costs; crews, maintenance personnel, weapons, spare parts, housing for personnel, storage areas and repair shops, stables and fodder. Frequent disassembly and lubrication with olive oil were essential.
The corps thus consumed a large quantity of the basic foodstuffs of Palestine. The horses required months of training, then ongoing practice and grooming by skilled personnel. The chariot army all told required an outlay on the order of 1, According to the biblical record, each day Solomon and his men and their families ate thirty cores of flour, sixty cors of meal, thirty oxen, a hundred sheep and goats, unspecified amount of deer, gazelles, roebucks and fowl and unspecified quantities of wine and oil 1 Kgs 4: To this should be added the annual payment in kind to Hiram for his timber: The biblical narrative depicts Solomon's reign in a rather positive light, however.
It is reported, and it is possible, that under him Israel enjoyed considerable security and prosperity. Solomon may have enriched himself through trade and industrial monopolies.
Many individuals may have acquired wealth in Solomon's service or through personal efforts. A careful reader notes that Solomon's golden age was not all gold.
To some it brought wealth, to others slavery. Its price to all was an increase in the powers of the state and a burden quite without a precedent in Israel. During Solomon's days Jerusalem became increasingly affluent.
The wealth of the world flowed to Solomon's court and was reflected in the glory of the capital city. But bureaucracy grew as well. The nation's wealth was no longer based on the land and what it produced. Increasingly the government controlled the wealth of the land, and taxes drained wealth from the people and funneled expenditure through the central government.
The glory was a superficial thing; prosperity was not for the people as much as it was at the expense of the people. The people's feeling that they were not receiving an equitable share in the benefits of their hard labour exacerbated the bitterness of the exploited masses. The distribution of power and privileges may have involved aspects of tribalism and sectionalism. Halpern looks at sectionalism as the main cause of the schism and suggests that partisan conflicts in the United Monarchy are traceable back to the time of David, especially from the time of the revolt of Absalom.
Among the issues mentioned to underline Solomon's sympathies with Judah at the expense of the northern tribes are his attitude toward the revolts in the territory and the sale of Cabul, but especially his administrative reforms. All of Israel, excluding Judah, was divided into twelve districts, over which Solomon appointed governors. This arrangement may have allowed Solomon through the representative of his regime to control the corvee, taxation and military levy.
Lemche refers to this as an administrative apparatus used to squeeze the population for both revenue and labour. During David's reign and much of Solomon's, the law of spoil and tribute meant that the tax burden for the royal building projects were minimal, or perhaps even non-existent, if David's failure to complete a census is any indication. He suggests that while Solomon did not waste any time in quelling the revolt led in the south by King Hadad of Edom 1 Kgs In Halpern's opinion, Solomon's inability or unwillingness to deal properly with the Damascus insurrection may have been felt by the northern tribes as reflecting his preoccupation with, and predilection for, the affairs of Judahite defence.
It seems that the proceeds of this sale of a northern land were used for the fortification of the south.
This discrimination may have been part of the reasons for the attempted coup by Jeroboam 1 Kgs Solomon's administrative arrangement helped him not only to pursue his policy of "stripping the north to clothe the south," but also to seize control of all political and economic machinery, at the expense of northern tribal elders.
The challenging attitude of the tribal leaders at the time of Rehoboam's coronation at Shechem 1 Kgs They united against a regime that ignored them and usurped their authority. The presence of Solomon's sons-in-law among the twelve governors 1 Kgs 4: Under the leadership of Ephraim, the northern tribes stood their ground and resisted a regime that had become not only exploitative and oppressive but also totalitarian and exclusivist.
They rejected a regime that was frustrating their ambition of having a significant role to play in the leadership of the country and a significant share in the benefits. If Solomon is responsible for the social conflicts that characterised his regime, the support he received from Hiram was significant enough in helping him to implement administrative and social policies that were found to be unpopular.
Hiram's political and economic involvement in Israel surely influenced the way Solomon related to his people. He may not be perceived as a coloniser of Israel, at least not the way the western powers were to African countries. He came invited and he was not directly involved in the administration of Israel as the colonial powers were in colonised countries. Like the colonial powers, however, Hiram participated in, and benefitted from internal structures and policies that exploited and oppressed the local people.
As with the European colonisers of Africa, he had a share of responsibility in this exploitation and the conflicts that resulted. In his pursuit of his interests and the interest of his own country, he did not care much about supporting a regime that oppressed the people. This is just what the powerful countries have often done in Rwanda for example, and elsewhere in Africa and this is what they continue to do.
Most often these problems are internally originated. And he covered the altar with cedar. The whole house he overlaid with gold, In the oracle he made two cherubim of olive wood, each ten cubits high. Five cubits was the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other wing of the cherub: He overlaid the cherubim with gold.
The Phoenicians - Hiram & Salomon
He carved all the walls of the house around with carved figures of cherubim and palm trees and open flowers, inside and outside. The floor of the house he overlaid with gold, inside and outside. So was he seven years in building it". Harden A monumental gate framed by two bronze columns 3 provided access to the temple, preceded by a large courtyard with a basin with lustral waters and an altar. The plan presented on the inside a succession of three pieces: The building was completed with service rooms located all around over three floors.
Hiram, the Master Mason: We cannot talk of Solomon's temple without evoking another Huram or Hiramthe Phoenician bronze sculptor or master mason. Between legend and historical truth, the story of the master Hiram remains rather enigmatic. Huram finished all the work he had undertaken for King Solomon in the temple of the Lord. That Hiram made for King Solomon for the temple of the Lord were of burnished bronze.
Send me, therefore, a man skilled to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, and in purple, crimson and blue yarn, and experienced in the art of engraving, to work in Judah and Jerusalem with my skilled workers, whom my father David provided.
Then Hiram the king of Tyre answered