Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 9
Hiram was the king of Tyre, a great trading nation with which Solomon had friendly relations (1 Kings chapter 5). Tyre’s traders operated a large number of boats on the Mediterranean sea; and they traded with the countries round that sea. In the region of Tyre, there were men with the skills and experience to build the largest boats.
In 2 Samuel 8:13-14, David defeated Edom in war. So, Solomon ruled over Edom. In the south of Edom there was a port called Ezion Geber on the Red Sea. From this port, large boats would be able to sail to east Africa, Arabia and perhaps even to India. Solomon saw that, with the skills of Hiram’s sailors and boat builders, this port could provide new opportunities for international trade.
It was an extremely difficult matter to get large boats to Ezion Geber. It was impossible to sail them there from Tyre, so it was necessary to build them there. Suitable wood to build the boats was not available in that region. Perhaps Solomon’s workmen brought the wood, through the desert, to the new port. The two kings, Hiram and Solomon worked together on their plan. Solomon even went to Ezion Geber to see the work for himself (2 Chronicles 8:17).
When at last the boats were ready, the voyage could begin. Traders from Israel set out on their journey with the sailors from Tyre. They took with them many precious and beautiful objects, which they hoped to sell for a good profit.
Next part: Gold from Ophir for Solomon (1 Kings 9:28)
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