Verse 2 – In verses 17, 18, this same list is repeated. These workers were aliens living in Israel. At this time, Solomon did not force any Israelites to work on his building projects. These stones were quarried in the mountains. By shaping this work off site, the laborers reduced the weight of each block to its minimum, making transportation easier.
Verse 3 – Despite all the material David had already accumulated, Solomon needed more. He also needed expert advice on how to work these materials. So he consulted King Hiram of Tyre. Hiram had been David’s trading partner.
Verse 5 – Solomon let Hiram know that this temple would be the greatest temple ever built because it was for his God who was greater than any other gods.
Verse 6 – In the letter that Solomon sent to Hiram, he told him that Yahweh could not be actually contained, but filled the heavens and the earth.
Verses 8, 9 – Lebanon was a small nation on the seacoast that had some of the finest cedar forests in the ancient Near East. Lebanon imported a great deal of food from Israel so the two kings made a trade agreement that was beneficial to both nations.
Verses 11, 12 – Hiram’s response showed he understood that he was not just dealing with Solomon but with Solomon’s God.
Verse 16 – The Phoenicians were among the early pioneers of seafaring. They were willing to risk the dangerous method of shipping logs as rafts along the Mediterranean Coasts. Then they would be transported over land to Jerusalem.
Verses 17, 18 – These aliens were descendants of the pagan nations who had not been driven out of the land in Joshua’s day.