Cities Given to Hiram
10 It came about at the end of twenty years in which Solomon had built the two houses, the house of the Lord and the king’s house 11 (Hiram king of Tyre had supplied Solomon with cedar and cypress timber and gold according to all his desire), then King Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee. 12 So Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given him, and they [f]did not please him. 13 He said, “What are these cities which you have given me, my brother?” So [g]they were called the land of [h]Cabul to this day. 14 And Hiram sent to the king 120 talents of gold.
15 Now this is the account of the forced labor which King Solomon levied to build the house of the Lord, his own house, the [i]Millo, the wall of Jerusalem, Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer. 16 For Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up and captured Gezer and burned it with fire, and killed the Canaanites who lived in the city, and had given it as a dowry to his daughter, Solomon’s wife. 17 So Solomon rebuilt Gezer and the lower Beth-horon 18 and Baalath and Tamar in the wilderness, in the land of Judah, 19 and all the storage cities which Solomon had, even the cities for [j]his chariots and the cities for [k]his horsemen, and [l]all that it pleased Solomon to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land [m]under his rule. 20 As for all the people who were left of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, who were not of the sons of Israel, 21 their descendants who were left after them in the land whom the sons of Israel were unable to destroy utterly, from them Solomon levied forced laborers, even to this day. 22 But Solomon did not make slaves of the sons of Israel; for they were men of war, his servants, his princes, his captains, his chariot commanders, and his horsemen.
23 These were the [n]chief officers who were over Solomon’s work, five hundred and fifty, who ruled over the people doing the work.
24 As soon as Pharaoh’s daughter came up from the city of David to her house which Solomon had built for her, then he built the Millo.
25 Now three times in a year Solomon offered burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar which he built to the Lord, burning incense with them on the altar which was before the Lord. So he finished the house.
26 King Solomon also built a fleet of ships in Ezion-geber, which is near Eloth on the shore of the [o]Red Sea, in the land of Edom. 27 And Hiram sent his servants with the fleet, sailors who knew the sea, along with the servants of Solomon. 28 They went to Ophir and took four hundred and twenty talents of gold from there, and brought it to King Solomon.
For all his wisdom, Solomon should have known better than to give Hiram cities that were called “good for nothing”. Or perhaps Hiram had unfounded expectations, as he gave Solomon a ton of gold anyway. At any rate, make sure that any deal you make does not erode the relationships you have built, whether business or personal.
There’s nothing like a rotten deal to leave a bad taste in your mouth, and though we don’t see the fallout from this transaction yet, we will see it in our own lives when we walk away from a deal where we took advantage of someone else. Always make your deals right, or better than right, so that both of you can walk away feeling like you got a good deal, and no one was swindled in the process.