And Philistia will Pay for It
1 Kings 5
When King Hiram of Tyre heard that Solomon had been made king, he was deeply troubled, but, because he’d been on good terms with his father, he sent ambassadors to him.
2 Solomon sent back the following message:
3 ‘I must tell you, there were many wars waged against my father, from both sides, you look at, you look at both sides, I think there's blame from both sides, and I have no doubt about it, and you don't have any doubt about it either. 4 Let me tell you, I wasn't a politician, but I was against the war in Rabbah. He voted for the war in Rabbah. 5 If you want to know the truth, the jobs, incomes and spirituality of the Israelite people will always be my first priority. No country has ever prospered that failed to put its own interests first, so I will build a great, great temple for the Name of the Lord, and I will have Philistia pay for that temple. Mark my words.
6 ‘But look, get the Lebanese to cut down some cedars for me. I have a great relationship with the Lebanese, as you possibly have heard. I just have great respect for them. And they like me. I like them. And by the way, there’s no one in the world who can fell timber like the Sidonians; they are very, very, very good people.’
7 When Hiram heard Solomon’s message, he was overjoyed and declared, ‘Praise the Lord, he’s sending us work! And he sounds like a complete nincompoop, so I’m sure I can screw him on the price.’
8 King Hiram sent this response to Solomon:
‘I have received your message and I’m willing to supply you with all the cedar and cypress logs you need. 9 I’ll have them shipped from Lebanon by sea to wherever you want them. This business deal is really going to put food in the mouths of my children.’
10 So, year after year, Hiram supplied Solomon with all the logs he wanted, 11 and Solomon gave him twenty thousand measures of wheat and twenty thousand baths full of olive oil in return. 12 And so, the two of them had formed a peace treaty.
13 King Solomon conscripted thirty thousand slaves from all over Israel 14 and sent them to Lebanon to work alongside the Sidonians. 15 He set his taskmaster Adoniram over them along with 3,300 overseers to whip the slaves when they stopped working. 16 They’d spend one month in Lebanon quarrying stone from the mountains 17 and two back in Israel to laying the foundations. 18 So, between Solomon’s slave labour, Hiram’s paid workers, and the gerbil-people of Byblos, they built Solomon’s temple, and at no time did the Philistines pay for it.