Hiram 1 (Hebrew: “high-born”) was the Phoenician king of Tyre. He reigned from 980-947BC.
During Hiram’s reign, Tyre grew from a satellite of Sidon into the most important of Phoenician cities, and the holder of a large trading empire.
During the days of King David & King Solomon, Hiram forged alliances with Israel… no doubt to ensure peace with them, and to gain access to the key trade routes that passed through Israel’s territory.
– David’s City… 2Samuel 5:6-12; 1Chronicles 14:1,2
Hiram continued his partnership with Israel’s next king, Solomon; he considered them equals (“brothers” in 1Ki. 9:13).
– Solomon’s Temple… 1Kings 5:1-12
* Solomon’s Request (1Ki. 5:1-6)
Solomon asked Hiram, king of Tyre, to furnish cedar logs for the Temple.
* Hiram’s Reassurance (1Ki. 5:7-17)
Hiram agreed; see 2Chron. 2:11. He supplied cedar, chiseled stones, and skilled labor for the building of God’s Temple. In return, he received wheat & olive oil from Israel… as well as 20 cities in Galilee; 1Ki. 9:10,11.
– Complaint against Solomon… 1Kings 9:10-14
Solomon’s treasury was depleted, so he gave Hiram 20 cities in N. Galilee. When Hiram went to see the cities he was given, he called it cabul… which means “worthless” or “good for nothing”.
Evidently, Hiram understood the financial bind King Solomon was in. So, rather than seeing this as an act of war, Hiram sent Solomon 144,000 ounces of gold.
Solomon later regained possession of this region (2Chron. 8:2).
In your dealings with people, do you assume the best or the worst of them?
Do you look for an opportunity to extend grace, or an opportunity to declare war?
– Their Joint Commercial Shipping Business… 1Kings 10:11,12
Through the alliance with Solomon, Hiram ensured himself access to the major trade routes to Egypt, Arabia, and Mesopotamia. The 2 kings also joined forces in starting a trade route over the Red Sea, connecting the Israelite harbor of Ezion-Geber with a land called Ophir… 1Kings 9:26-28; 10:22. These trading expeditions brought back gold, silver, and exotic goods, resulting in great wealth for both Hiram & Solomon.
Grace early resulted in blessing later…
Don’t be too quick to burn bridges; you never know when you may have to cross one of those bridges!
You can read Hiram’s story in 2Samuel 5; 1 Kings 5;9;10; 1 Chronicles 14; 2 Chronicles 2.