Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 5
The other kings in the region accepted Solomon’s authority over them, and they paid taxes to Solomon (4:21). Hiram, the king of Tyre, established a different kind of relationship with Solomon. He helped Solomon with the construction of the temple (the house of God in Jerusalem), and Solomon paid him.
Each year during the construction of the temple, Solomon sent Hiram a great quantity of wheat. With it, he supplied a small quantity of the very best oil from the fruit of the olive tree. These things seem to be Solomon’s payment for the wood that he was buying from Hiram. They were for Hiram’s use in his royal palace.
Solomon also sent a similar quantity of wheat and another grain called barley as wages for Hiram’s workmen (1 Kings 5:6; 2 Chronicles 2:10). He also sent a great quantity of wine and a great quantity of ordinary oil for them.
In this way, Hiram and Solomon began a trading relationship that benefited both of their countries. Hiram supplied Solomon with gold and probably many other things. They did not always agree about prices - but they remained friendly (9:10-14).
1 Kings 9:26-28 records how Solomon and Hiram made plans, together, to trade for gold from Ophir. Their men built boats and they established a new port for this purpose. Hiram supplied Solomon with the skilled sailors that he needed. The result was a great success - the sailors brought back a vast quantity of gold.
Next part: Solomon's workmen from Israel (1 Kings 5:13-14)
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