Solomon’s greatest achievement was the building of the templeThe Jerusalem temple, unlike the tabernacle, was a permanent structure, although (like the tabernacle) it was a place of worship and religious activity. On one occasion Jesus felt such activity was unacceptable and, as reported in all four Gospels, drove from the temple those engaged... More in Jerusalem, which is meticulously related in 1 Kings 5-7. The account of the preparations for the temple is very different from that in 2 Chronicles.
The construction of the temple dominates the presentation of SolomonThird king of Israel who was known for wisdom and building the first Temple More in both Kings and Chronicles. Chronicles has altered the presentation in Kings in order to present Solomon the chosen temple builder in complete control of the temple’s construction (1 Chronicles 28:6, 10; 29:1). In Kings, HiramKing of Tyre who provided materials for Solomon's Temple More is depicted as a wise negotiator, equal to Solomon. While the comparison with Chronicles is instructive for both traditions, important differences exist:
- In Kings, Hiram contacts Solomon after hearing of his anointing, out of deference to Solomon’s father DavidSecond king of Israel, David united the northern and southern kingdoms. More with whom Hiram had a treaty; “a friend to David” is literally “loved David” and is treaty nomenclature (1 Kings 5:1). In 2 Chronicles 2, Solomon immediately contacts Huram following worship at Gibeon and the recruitment of the temple workers to depict Solomon as totally committed. Nothing is more important than building the temple.
- In Kings, Hiram the king of Tyre initiates contact with Solomon, probably in order to continue the profitable trade relations already established with David (v. 1). In Chronicles, Solomon, the chosen temple builder, needs no such prompting and so makes the first move (2 Chronicles 2:3).
- In Kings, Hiram sets the terms in an arrangement that is completely businesslike (1 Kings 5:8-9). In Chronicles, Solomon dictates the terms (2 Chronicles 2:7-10) to a religiously motivated (though GentileA gentile is anyone who is not Jewish. The term, which is derived from words that the Bible uses to denote the "nations" of the world, reflects beliefs that God had designated Israel as a nation that would be distinct from others, and a blessing... More) Huram (vv. 11-12).
- In Kings, Solomon repays on the installment plan “year by year” (1 Kings 5:11). In Chronicles, Solomon pays a lump sum (2 Chronicles 2:10).
- In Kings, Solomon’s description of the temple is terse (1 Kings 5:5). In Chronicles, it resonates with glory and grandeur, and incorporates the cultic functions of the priests (2 Chronicles 2:3-5).
- In Kings, the correspondence is a businesslike affair between equals (compare the “treaty” in v. 12, omitted in Chronicles). Not so in Chronicles, where Hiram deferentially refers to both David and Solomon as “my lord” (2 Chronicles 2:14-15).
- In Kings, the treaty between Hiram and Solomon is the stated reason for God’s bestowal of wisdomWisdom encompasses the qualities of experience, knowledge, and good judgment. The Old Testament book of Proverbs, which sometimes invokes a Woman as the personification of Wisdom, is a collection of aphorisms and moral teachings. Along with other biblical passages, it teaches, "The fear of the... More upon Solomon (v. 12). In Chronicles, mention of the treaty and bestowal of wisdom are omitted lest they detract from God’s bestowal of wisdom upon Solomon for his dedication to the temple.