More Hiram Tidbits

Discussion in 'Masonic Education' started by Blake Bowden, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    According to Dius the Phenician and Menander the Ephesian (see Josephus, "Contra Ap." i., §§ 17, 18), Hiram, the son of Abiba'al, reigned thirty-four years, and died at the age of fifty-three. Solomon built the Temple in the twelfth year of Hiram's reign, which, according to this statement, must have lasted from 969 to 936 B.C. This does not agree with the Biblical data; for if Hiram sent materials to David after his conquest of Jerusalem and was still alive twenty years after the construction of Solomon's Temple, his reign must have lasted about sixty years. It is likely, however, that the Hiram of David's time was the father of the Hiram of Solomon's; and this supposition is confirmed by II Chron. ii. 12. Josephus, relying on the two above-named historians, relates further (l.c.) that Hiram built first the temple of Hercules, and then the temple of Astarte when he made his expedition against the Tityans. According to other Phenician historians (quoted by Tatian, "Contra Græcos," § 37), Hiram gave his daughter in marriage to Solomon.

    Artificer sent by Hiram, King of Tyre, to Solomon. He was apparently of a mixed race; his father being a Tyrian, and his mother of the tribe of Naphtali (I Kings vii. 13, 14) or of the tribe of Dan (II Chron. ii. 12 [A. V. 14]). The words "ḥuram abi," which terminate II Chron. ii. 11 (A. V. 13), generally translated "Huram my father's" (see No. 1), are taken by some to be the name of the artificer; with this name compare "Hammurabi," of which "Hiram Abi" may be a local variant or misreading. The name is curiously used in Freemasonry. There is an essential difference, as regards the nature of Hiram's technical specialty, between I Kings and II Chronicles. According to the former, Hiram was an artificer only in brass; and the pieces which he executed for the Temple were the two pillars Jachin and Boaz, the molten sea with its twelve oxen, the ten lavers with their bases, the shovels, and basins, all of brass (I Kings vii. 14-45). But in II Chron. ii. 13 [14] it is said that Hiram was "skilful to work in gold, and in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in crimson; also to grave any manner of graving." Thus he seems to have superintended all the work of the Temple. Josephus says ("Ant." viii. 3, § 4) that Hiram's father was Ur of the stock of the Israelites, that he was skilful in all sorts of work, but that his chief skill lay in working in gold, silver, and brass. Josephus apparently interprets the words "ish ẓori" to mean a man who lived in Tyre, and the name of "Ur" probably originated in the confusion between "Hiram" and "Bezaleel." In I Kings vii. 40 (A. V. margin) the form "Hirom" () occurs.

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