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Bible Dictionaries

Holman Bible Dictionary

Hiram

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(hi' ram) Personal name apparently meaning, “brother of the lofty one.” 1. King of Tyre, associated with David and Solomon in building the Temple. He is called Hiram (Samuel and Kings) and Huram (Chronicles), but both names refer to the same individual. Other information about him comes from the ancient Jewish historian, Josephus.

Hiram was the son of Abibaal (“my father is Baal”) and was nineteen years old when he succeeded his father as king of Tyre on the Phoenician coast, just north of Israel. He reigned some thirty-four years and is said to have died at age fifty-four, although the biblical references to him seem to necessitate a longer reign.

When he became king, he began to improve and to expand his kingdom. He raised banks at the eastern part of Tyre which enlarged the city, and he built a causeway to connect the city with the island temple of Jupiter Olympius in the harbor, after which he modernized the temple.

When David became king of Israel, Hiram sent congratulatory gifts to him, including men and materials to build a palace (2 Samuel 5:11 ). The friendship between the men grew and was evidenced by the commerce which developed between their two nations. The close relationship continued into Solomon's reign, and the two men made an agreement which resulted in the construction of the Temple in Jerusalem (1 Kings 5:1-12 ).

This relationship between Israel and Tyre was mutually beneficial. Jerusalem was inland and had the advantages of the overland trade routes. Tyre, as a major seaport, offered the advantages of sea trade. Hiram controlled the maritime trade during this time and was himself a respected world trader. His friendship with David and Solomon undoubtedly explains, at least in part, the prosperity and success of their reigns. See David; Phoenicia; Solomon; Tyre .

2. Craftsman who did artistic metal work for Solomon's Temple (1 Kings 7:13-45 ). He lived in Tyre, his father's home town but had a widowed Jewish mother from the tribe of Naphtali.

Hugh Tobias

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Hiram'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/h/hiram.html. 1991.

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