By Gary Hoffman
The Temple Builders
David, Solomon and Hiram
The evidence worldwide supports the fact that there were uncountable temple builders in all the cultures of the globe throughout the entire history of mankind. From the Biblical timeline, the multitude of these stone, brick and mortar buildings were built some time after Nimrod’s tower of Babel, with evidence suggesting that some were present previous to the worldwide flood. In the midst of this variety of pagan worship sites, there are many structures around the globe that were the direct influence of the Phoenician/Canaanite masons and worshipers of their gods Baal and Ashtoreth. In the minds and hearts of many Christians and Jews, one temple stands out above all the rest and is credited with being the dwelling place or “house” of the “God of Israel” and was originally constructed by King Solomon. This specific Jewish temple that was standing in Israel during the time of the Messiah and originated in the mind of King David. Many believe the building of this specific stone structure was inspired by YHWH, the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Many also believe that the Messiah Yahusha esteemed this building and its builders as the official dwelling place of His Father YHWH’s Presence. It is the intent of this series to dig into the truth of what the Scriptures actually record regarding this building made with human hands.
The original desire of YHWH was that Israel would allow Him to reside in their hearts and the pattern for the structure was of His own specific design. The plan and function of this mobile dwelling place was given to Moses in Horeb and was in service up until the time that it was decommissioned by Solomon. All its functions, furnishings and service were directed and ordained by YHWH through Moses and carried out by those in Israel who were filled with the “Spirit of Wisdom” (Shemoth/Exodus 28:3,31:3-6,35:26-31,36:1-2, etc…).
However, the idea of a Temple or stationary stone house originated in the mind of David and came to him soon after completing work on his own home. There is no Scriptural record that David’s house was inspired by YHWH, but the direct influence of a Phoenician/Canaanite king from the city of Tsor/Tyre.
2 Sa 5:10-11 The Scriptures 1998+ (10) And Dawid went on and became great, and יהוה Elohim of hosts was with him. (11) Now Hiram sovereign of Tsor sent messengers to Dawid, and cedar trees, and carpenters and masons. And they built a house for Dawid.
It is of significance that King Hiram was of a nation that had not been driven out by Israel, as commanded by YHWH, and were left in the land in disobedience to His directions for inhabiting it. The foretold outcome is that these Caananite people would become adversaries and their gods will be snares to the people of Israel.
Exo 23:31-33 The Scriptures 1998+ (31) “And I shall set your border from the Sea of Reeds to the Sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the River, for I shall give the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you. (32) “Do not make a covenant with them nor with their mighty ones. (33) “Let them not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against Me when you serve their mighty ones, when it becomes a snare to you.”
This commanded instruction was not obeyed nor carried out in its entirety and these people became adversaries and exactly as Elohim warned, their gods Baal and Astoreth became snares.
Jdg 2:1-3 The Scriptures 1998+ (1) And the Messenger of יהוה came up from Gilgal to Bokim, and said, “I led you up from Mitsrayim and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers, and I said, ‘I do not break My covenant with you, (2) and as for you, do not make a covenant with the inhabitants of this land – break down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed My voice. What is this you have done? (3) “Therefore I also said, ‘I am not driving them out before you, and they shall be adversaries to you, and their mighty ones shall be a snare to you.’ ”
David is not exempt from this promise and soon after Hiram builds David’s own home, David has it in his heart to build YHWH a house, different from the original tent that YHWH instructed Mosheh to build. The Tent of Appointment was still standing and functioning in Gibeon with the exception of the Ark of the Covenent, which was resting in another tent that David had pitched in the City of David. (2 Samuel 6:17, 1 Chron 6:32, 1 Chronicles 16:39, 1 Kings 8:4). The inspiration of David to build a permanent structure for YHWH originated in his own heart after becoming great and making a covenant with Hiram to built his own house. This plan was a step by step process of error that was then wrongly encouraged by Nathan the prophet.
2 Sa 7:1-3 The Scriptures 1998+ (1) And it came to be when the sovereign was dwelling in his house, and יהוה had given him rest from all his enemies all around, (2) that the sovereign said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I am dwelling in a house of cedar, but the ark of Elohim dwells within curtains.” (3) And Nathan said to the sovereign, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for יהוה is with you.”
The response of YHWH in correction of David’s error and rebuke of Nathan’s encouragement of this error is recorded very clearly.
2 Sa 7:4-7 The Scriptures 1998+ (4) And it came to be that night that the word of יהוה came to Nathan, saying, (5) “Go and say to My servant Dawid, ‘Thus said יהוה, “Would you build a house for Me to dwell in? (6) “For I have not dwelt in a house since the time that I brought the children of Yisra’ĕl up from Mitsrayim, even to this day, but have moved about in a Tent and in a Dwelling Place. (7) “Wherever I have walked with all the children of Yisra’ĕl, have I ever spoken a word to anyone from the tribes of Yisra’ĕl, whom I commanded to shepherd My people Yisra’ĕl, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’ ” ’
YHWH then directs Nathan and he is told to explain to David that it will be one coming after him “from his inward parts” who will be raised up to build the house for YHWH. This series of prophetic promises are misunderstood and their connection to the coming Messiah of Israel are not realized.
2 Sa 7:11-17 The Scriptures 1998+ (11) even from the day I appointed rulers over My people Yisra’ĕl, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. And יהוה has declared to you that He would make you a house. (12) “When your days are filled and you rest with your fathers, I shall raise up your seed after you, who comes from your inward parts, and shall establish his reign. (13) “He does build a house for My Name, and I shall establish the throne of his reign forever. (14) “I am to be his Father, and he is My son. If he does perversely, I shall reprove him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. (15) “But My kindness does not turn aside from him, as I turned it aside from Sha’ul, whom I removed from before you. (16) “And your house and your reign are to be steadfast forever before you – your throne is established forever.” ’ ” (17) According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to Dawid.
David then continues to carry out his plan for the temple by collecting materials and funds to ready his son to do the work (1 Chronicles 22:1-5). After David dies, young Solomon comes to power as the anointed king of Israel and his first recorded step is to make an illicit covenant with the Pharaoh by marrying his daughter. It is also noted that he is snared by Canaanite practices and slaughters at the high places.
1Ki 3:1-4 The Scriptures 1998+ (1) And Shelomoh joined in marriage with Pharaoh sovereign of Mitsrayim, and took the daughter of Pharaoh, and brought her to the City of Dawid until he had completed building his own house, and the House of יהוה, and the wall all around Yerushalayim. (2) Only, the people slaughtered at the high places, for a house for the Name of יהוה had not been built until those days. (3) And Shelomoh loved יהוה, walking in the laws of his father Dawid, except that he slaughtered and burned incense at the high places. (4) And the sovereign went to Gibʽon to slaughter there, for that was the great high place. Shelomoh offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.
The influence of the Canaanites and their devotion to the worship of Baal over some 450+ years, had so snared Israel that they positioned the Tabernacle at one of the Canaanite’s great high places. These high places contained stone built temples and altars where incense and slaughtering were carried out in the continued worship of Baal and Astoreth and the worship of YHWH was intermingled with the pagan practices of the land.
2Ch 1:3-5 The Scriptures 1998+ (3) And Shelomoh, and all the assembly with him, went to the high place that was at Gibon, for Elohim’s Tent of Meeting was there, which Mosheh the servant of יהוה had made in the wilderness. (4) However, Dawid had brought up the ark of Elohim from Qiryath Yeʽarim to the place Dawid had prepared for it, for he had pitched a tent for it in Yerushalayim. (5) And the bronze altar that Betsal’ĕl son of Uri son of Hur had made, he put before the Dwelling Place of יהוה. And Shelomoh and the assembly sought it.
Though YHWH gives him an extra ordinary gift of wisdom, Solomon carries on the error of his Father David to build YHWH a house, other than the Tabernacle that Moses was instructed to build or the one that David pitched for the Ark of the Covenant. Again, this idea is heavily influenced by a foreigner named Hiram of Tsor/Tyre. Another Hittite contractor king of the family that initially assisted David in building his own home.
1Ki 7:13-14 The Scriptures 1998+ (13) And Sovereign Shelomoh sent and brought Hiram from Tsor. (14) He was the son of a widow from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tsor, a bronze worker. And he was filled with wisdom and understanding and skill in working with all kinds of bronze work. So he came to Sovereign Shelomoh and did all his work.
It is important to note that this craftsman, also named Hiram, was a son of a Canaan/Tsorite and his mother was an Israelite of Naphtali from the city of Dan. This illegal union was the exact outcome that YHWH warned would happen if these nations were not driven out of the land. YHWH’s commands were ignored and the outcome is exactly as described.
Exo 34:10-16 The Scriptures 1998+ (10) And He said, “See, I am making a covenant. Before all your people I am going to do wonders such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation. And all the people among whom you are shall see the work of יהוה. For what I am doing with you is awesome. (11) “Guard what I command you today. See, I am driving out from before you the Amorite and the Kenaʽanite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hiwwite and the Yebusite. (12) “Guard yourself, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, lest it be a snare in your midst. (13) “But break down their altars, and smash their pillars, and cut down their Ashĕrim – (14) for you do not bow yourselves to another mighty one, for יהוה, whose Name is jealous, is a jealous Ěl – (15) lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they whore after their mighty ones, and slaughter to their mighty ones, and one of them invites you and you eat of his slaughterings, (16) and you take of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters whore after their mighty ones, and make your sons whore after their mighty ones.
King Hiram and his appointed contractor named Hiram Abi become adversaries to Israel and their gods Baal and Ashtoreth become a snare to both David and Solomon. Yes, Hiram loved David, but a love for YHWH is never mentioned or expressed in any form. King Hiram and Solomon then continue a relationship of commerce and massive construction contracts that were not only world renown, but eventually the envy of all kings in the entire middle East. This is the continuation of a series of error and miss-understanding of spiritual matters, that all the wisdom in the world could not help him perceive.
1Ki 5:1-4 The Scriptures 1998+ (1) And Hiram sovereign of Tsor sent his servants to Shelomoh, because he heard that they had anointed him sovereign in place of his father, for Hiram had always loved Dawid. (2) And Shelomoh sent to Hiram, saying, (3) “You know my father Dawid was unable to build a house for the Name of יהוה his Elohim because of the battles which were all around him, until יהוה put them under the soles of his feet. (4) “But now יהוה my Elohim has given me rest all around, there is neither adversary nor evil incident.
Solomon, without direction from YHWH, then transfers the implements and decommissioned the true tent that YHWH ordained through Moses, from the City of David to the treasury of his new temple.
1Ki 7:51 The Scriptures 1998+ (51) Thus all the work which Sovereign Shelomoh had done for the House of יהוה was completed. And Shelomoh brought in the set-apart items of his father Dawid: the silver and the gold and the utensils, and he put them in the treasuries of the House of יהוה.
1Ki 8:4 The Scriptures 1998+ and brought up the ark of יהוה, and the Tent of Meeting, and all the set-apart utensils that were in the Tent. And the priests and the Lĕwites brought them up,
Solomon has a great misunderstanding in the response and intent of YHWH when He sent Nathan to David regarding the original error. YHWH instructed Nathan to tell David that He was going to “make him (David) a house” and that He will “raise up a seed” from David’s “bowels/inner man“ YHWH then says that He will “estabilish his reign forever“ and that He would “be his father and he His son“. These are all descriptions of the Messiah Yahusha and not the earthly king Solomon. Solomon, in all his wisdom, though given to him by YHWH, cannot understand the spiritual matters of the coming promised seed. He misrepresents and misinterprets the words of YHWH to David through Nathan the prophet, both in his discussion with Hiram and in his prayer at the temple dedication.
1Ki 5:5-7 The Scriptures 1998+ (5) “And see, I intend to build a house for the Name of יהוה my Elohim, as יהוה spoke to my father Dawid, saying, ‘Your son, whom I set on your throne in your place, he does build the house for My Name.’ (6) “And now, command that they cut down cedars for me from Lebanon. And let my servants be with your servants, and let me pay you wages for your servants according to whatever you say. For you know there is none among us who knows to cut timber like the Tsiḏonians.” (7) And it came to be, when Hiram heard the words of Shelomoh, that he rejoiced greatly and said, “Blessed be יהוה this day, for He has given Dawid a wise son over this great people!”
In Solomon’s prayer at the dedication he furthers his misunderstanding of the actual events when he states it was YHWH who said: “Because it has been in your heart to build a house for My Name, you did well that it was in your heart.” These were not the words of YHWH, but false words of Nathan the prophet that ended in rebuke. Prophets are men and not all words of the prophets are correct, as proven here. Solomon misunderstands the true spiritual matters of the promised Messiah Yahusha and puts them on himself, when he says that YHWH promised David “a son from your loins”. What YHWH actually said through Nathan was “I shall raise up your seed after you, who comes from your inward parts” .
Raise up (H6965 – קוּם – qûm – BDB Definition: 1) to rise, arise, stand, rise up, stand up…
A seed ((H2233-זרע – zera‛ BDB Definition: 1) seed, sowing, offspring 1a) a sowing 1b) seed 1c) semen virile 1d) offspring, descendants, posterity, children 1e) of moral quality 1e1) a practitioner of righteousness (figuratively))
comes from Come from H3318 – יצא – yâtsâ’ BDB Definition: 1) to go out, come out, exit, go forth
Inward parts (H4578 מעה – mê‛eh – BDB Definition: 1) internal organs, inward parts, bowels, intestines, belly)
1Ki 8:18-21 The Scriptures 1998+ (18) “But יהוה said to my father Dawid, ‘Because it has been in your heart to build a house for My Name, you did well that it was in your heart. (19) ‘Only, you do not build the house, but your son, who is coming from your loins, he does build the house for My Name.’ (20) “Now יהוה has established His word which He spoke, and I have been raised up instead of my father Dawid, and sit on the throne of Yisra’ĕl, as יהוה promised, and built a house for the Name of יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, (21) and have appointed there a place for the ark, wherein is the covenant of יהוה which He made with our fathers, when He brought them out of the land of Mitsrayim.”
Your son (H1121 –בּן – bên BDB Definition: 1) son, grandson, child, member of a group…)
comes from (H3318 – יצא – yâtsâ’ BDB Definition: 1) to go out, come out, exit, go forth
your loins (H2504 – חלץ – châlâts BDB Definition: 1) loins 1a) as seat of virility 1b) as girded 1c) as seat of pain (woman’s travail).
This error in understanding spiritual truths, coupled with the pressure of the Canaanite remnant in Israel, lead Solomon to carry out the most financially successful economic periods of Israels existence. He became Israels economic and political messiah and though YHWH appeared to him on two separate occasions, he did not hear or understand the instruction to to walk before Him.
1Ki 9:1-9 The Scriptures 1998+ (1) And it came to be, when Shelomoh had finished building the House of יהוה and the house of the sovereign, and all the desire of Shelomoh which he was pleased to do, (2) that יהוה appeared to Shelomoh the second time, as He had appeared to him at Gibʽon. (3) And יהוה said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your supplication that you have made before Me. I have set this house apart which you have built to put My Name there forever, and My eyes and My heart shall always be there. (4) “And you, if you walk before Me as your father Dawid walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, if you guard My laws and My right-rulings, (5) then I shall establish the throne of your reign over Yisra’ĕl forever, as I promised Dawid your father, saying, ‘There is not to cease a man of yours on the throne of Yisra’ĕl.’ (6) “If you at all turn back, you or your sons, from following Me, and do not guard My commands, My laws, which I have set before you, but shall go and serve other mighty ones and bow yourselves to them, (7) then I shall cut off Yisra’ĕl from the face of the soil which I have given them, and send away from My presence this house which I have set apart for My Name. And Yisra’ĕl shall be a proverb and a mockery among all the peoples. (8) “And this house, which has been exalted, everyone who passes by it shall be astonished, and hiss, and say, ‘Why has יהוה done thus to this land and to this house?’ (9) “Then they shall say, ‘Because they have forsaken יהוה their Elohim, who brought their fathers out of the land of Mitsrayim, and they embraced other mighty ones, and bowed themselves to them and served them. That is why יהוה has brought all this evil on them.’ ”
The inspiration of a permanent temple in Jerusalem originated in the mind of David and was the direct influence of a Canaanite king named Hiram. It was then carried out in error through the corrupt relationship that developed between Solomon and the same Canaanite King Hiram and the Canaanite craftsman Hiram Abi. This relationship continued for 40 years, to the point where Solomon had completely rejected any influence of YHWH in favor of the pagan gods of the world. It was the incremental steps away from the direct commands of YHWH and the continued presence and use of the Canaanite high places by Israel and Solomon that contributed to this structure being built. In the end, the effects of these relationships destroy the man and likewise the nation.
1Ki 11:4-8 The Scriptures 1998+ (4) And it came to be, when Shelomoh was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other mighty ones. And his heart was not perfect with יהוה his Elohim, as was the heart of his father Dawid. (5) And Shelomoh went after Ashtoreth the mighty one of the Tsidonians, and after Milkom the abomination of the Ammonites. (6) Thus Shelomoh did evil in the eyes of יהוה, and did not follow יהוה completely, like his father Dawid. (7) Then Shelomoh built a high place for Kemosh the abomination of Mo’ab, on the hill that is east of Yerushalayim, and for Molek the abomination of the children of Ammon. (8) And so he did for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and slaughtered to their mighty ones.