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Monarch of the Tyrians instantly sent ambassadors to congratulate him on the event. “And Hiram king of Tyre sent servants [ambassadors] unto SoLOMON: for he had heard that they had anointed him King in the room of his father; for Hiram was ever a lover of DAVID.” [1 Kings v. 1.] SOLOMON, appreciating the proffered friendship of Hiram, and having resolved to build The Temple to the One God, sent the following message to the Tyrian monarch, for artists and materials to erect the edifice: “As thou didst deal with DAVID my father, and didst send him cedars to build him an house to dwell therein, even so deal with me. Behold, I build an house to the name of the LORD my GoD, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him sweet incense and for the continual shew-bread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, and on the newmoons, and on the solemn feasts of the LORD our GOD. This is an ordinance for ever to Israel. And the house which I build is great, for great is our GoD above all gods. But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven, and heaven of heavens cannot contain him 2–who am I, then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him 2 Send me now, therefore, a man cunning to work in gold and in silver, and in brass, and in iron, and in purple, and in crimson, and in blue, and that can skill to grave with the cunning men that are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my father did provide [i. e. did bring from Tyrus.] Send me, also, cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees out of Lebanon; and behold my servants [labourers] shall be with thy servants [artists] even to prepare me timber in abundance: for the house which I am about to build shall be wonderful great. And behold I will give to thy servants the hewers [carvers] that cut timber, twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil.” [2 Chron. ii. 3—10.] In answer to these propositions for artists and material to build the first Religious Temple in Israel, Hiram sent his acceptance of the proposal in writing. Believing, as we do, that the spoken languages of the two nations (Tyrus and Israel) at this period were the same (with such slight variations as localities might produce), the answer being in writing confirms that opinion, for it is not probable that the Tyrian monarch would send his autograph letter in a language not to be read or understood by SoLOMON. Upon the elevation of SOLOMON to the throne of his father, Hiram sent an ambassador to congratulate him. SolomoN replied by an ambassador, that was the ancient custom ; and if to foreign nations speaking a different language, an interpreter attended the embassy, but here none appears to have attended, and so far from being necessary, Hiram sent his last response in writing, the Bearer of the Despatch, without doubt, was a special Envoy. A full investigation of the dispersion of languages will be given in the second volume. “Then Huram king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon,” [as follows] Because the LORD hath loved his people he hath made thee king over them. Blessed be the LORD GoD of Israel, that made Heaven and earth, who hath given David the king a wise son, endued with prudence and understanding, that might build an house for the LoRD and an house for his kingdom. And now I have sent a cunning man endued with understanding-of Huram my father's—[i. e. his father's especial artist]-the son of a woman of the Daughter of Dan [i.e. of the Tribe of Dan], and his father was a man of Tyre, skilful to work in gold and in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone, and in timber; in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in crimson : also, to grave any manner of graving, and to find out [i. e. to invent] every device which shall be put to him with thy cunning men, and with the cunning men of my lord DAVID thy father. [Both Father and Son gathered those artists from the Tyrians.] Now, therefore, the wheat and the barley, the oil and the wine, which my Lord hath spoken of, let him send it unto his servants :—and we will cut wood out of Lebanon, as much as thou shalt need; and we will bring it to thee in floats [i. e., rafts] by sea to Joppa [a Tyrian seaport], and thou shalt carry it up to Jerusalem.” [2 Chron. ii. 11–16.] The above artist,-the Tyrian Phidias, whose genius seems to have been universal, had been named in compliment after the reigning monarch of his country, viz., Hiram,_and the Tyrian love of the Arts may be gathered from the fact that the “King's namesake was the artist-ambassador from Hiram to the King of Israel. This special Envoy might, also, have been selected in compliment to Solomon, for the artist's widowed mother was an Israelite, of the Tribe of Dan [the 1st Book of Kings states of the tribe of Naphtali], his father was a Tyrian, and also, doubtless renowned for works of art, as it was the Tyrian, as well as the Egyptian custom, for the son to be of the same profession or trade as the father; thence the numerous pilots and mariners of Tyrus. The same custom prevails at this day in the ancient institutions of China, upon the principle that as a king's son shall be king, so shall every son be as the father. For what the ambassadorial artist accomplished the reader is referred to the Books of Kings and Chronicles, a higher compliment was never paid to the Arts than by the appointment of an Architect and Sculptor to be a monarch's ambassador to a foreign King, and his representative at the building of the chief Temple of a powerful potentate ; and as if to give peculiar character to the Tyrian Envoy's reception at Jerusalem, SOLOMON deputed a delegation to proceed to Tyrus, for the purpose of escorting him to Israel, that the chief artist of The Temple should have those honours conferred upon him, which were alike demanded by the solemnity of the occasion, the amity of the King of Tyrus, and the intellectual character of the artist-envoy. “And Solomon sent and fetched Hiram [the artist] out of Tyre. [1 Kings vii. 13.]
Hiram the King not only, through his artists, built The Temple of Jerusalem for SoLoMON, but also his “house [cedar palace] of the forest of Lebanon,” and a palace for his Egyptian wife, the daughter of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. For these services Hiram received the promised gift of SOLOMON, viz., 20,000 bushels of flour (“beaten wheat”), 20,000 bushels of wheat, and of wine and oil 150,000 gallons each,-for an “Epha” or “bath of wine,” is a fraction more than seven-anda-half gallons. In addition to the above, which may be received as for the Temple only, there was also, a Treaty of peace and amity drawn up between the two neighbouring kings, to the effect that Hiram should receive an annual payment, that might have been for the two Palaces erected after The Temple.
“And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food to his household, and twenty measures (“baths") of pure oil: thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year. And there was peace between Hiram and Solomon:—and they two made a LEAGUE together.” [1 Kings v. 11, 12.]
The last line of the previous quotation,-viz., and Hiram and Solomon “made a league together,” may have reference to a fact mentioned by Tatian, who followed the records of three Phoenician historians,—viz., that Hiram gave his daughter [we think his sister] in marriage to King SoLOMON, and that it was through her influence that he was seduced to worship Astarte, the Tyrian Goddess. This record by Tatian is apparently supported by Scripture itself.