Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 5

Solomon’s workmen from Israel

1 Kings 5:13-14

Solomon had to employ some foreign workers in the construction of the temple, God’s house in Jerusalem. Israel’s people did not have the skills to build such a large and magnificent building at that time.

As a rich king, Solomon could have employed only foreigners to do the work. As a powerful man, he could have used only slaves. However, Solomon chose not to do that. Instead, he considered it right and proper for Israel’s people to have a part in this great task. They could not do everything; but there were many jobs that they could do. In those jobs, they would join in this great work to give honour to Israel’s God.

Solomon saw that he could not ask everyone to join in this task. They had work to do at home, in their own towns, and on their own farms. So, he selected 30,000 men to do the work. They needed to work abroad, in Lebanon. There, they would help to cut down trees, and to bring the wood to the shore. However, Solomon did not want to take even those men away from their jobs at home and their families for long. So, he arranged that they would work for only one month at a time in Lebanon. Then, they would have two months to return to their homes and to do their usual work.

In that way, he made sure that the work was not too hard for them. He did not want to make any of Israel’s people into slaves (9:22).

Next part: Solomon's workers who did not belong to Israel (1 Kings 5:15-16)


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