Hiram of Tyre is not pleased with Solomon (1 Kings 9:10-9:14)

“At the end of twenty years, in which Solomon had built the two houses, the house of Yahweh and the king’s house, King Solomon gave to Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee. King Hiram of Tyre had supplied Solomon with cedar and cypress timber, along with as much gold as he desired. But when Hiram came from Tyre to see the cities that Solomon had given him, they did not please him. Therefore he said. ‘What kind of cities are these that you have given me, my brother?’ So they are called the land of Cabul to this day. Hiram had sent to the king one hundred twenty talents of gold.”

Hiram and Solomon had been cooperating for 20 years, during the construction of the temple and Solomon’s palace. At the end, Solomon wanted to give him 20 cities in Galilee. However, when Hiram saw them, he was upset. They called that land Cabul, since the biblical author is familiar with that name. However, Hiram did send Solomon 120 talents of gold. A gold talent was equivalent to 10,000 gold shekels, weighing about 120 pounds. An estimated equivalent in today’s USA dollars would be something like a half billion dollars, $500,000,000.00. Each gold talent would be equivalent of $1.4 million dollars, $1,400,000.00. This was a huge sum of money. Most people were paid in silver shekels or smaller amounts.

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