Hi'ram (Heb. Chiram', חַירָם, high-born; generally written "Huram," חוּרָם, Chramz', in Chronicles, and "Hirom," חַירוֹם, Chirom,' in 1 Kings 5:10, 18; 7, 40; Sept. Χειράμ or Χιράμ; Joseph. Εἵραμος and Εἵρωμος), the name of three men.
1. HURAM (Sept. makes two names, Α᾿χιρὰν καὶ Ι᾿ωίμ), the last named of the sons of Bela, son of Benjamin (1Ch 8:5). B.C. post 1856.
2. HIRAM, HURAM, or HIROM, king of Tyre at the commencement of David's reign. He sent an embassy to felicitate David on his accession, which led to an alliance, or strengthened a previous friendship between them. It seems that the dominion of this prince extended over the western slopes of Lebanon; and when David built himself a palace, Hiram materially assisted the work by sending cedar-wood from Lebanon, and able workmen to Jerusalem (2Sa 5:11; 1Ch 14:1). B.C. cir. 1044. It was probably the same prince who sent to Jerusalem an embassy of condolence and congratulation when David died and Solomon succeeded, and who contracted with the new king a more intimate alliance than ever before or after existed between a Hebrew king and a foreign prince. The alliance seems to have been very substantially beneficial to both parties, and without it Solomon would scarcely have been able to realize all the great designs he had in view. In consideration of large quantities of corn, wine, and oil furnished by Solomon, the king of Tyre agreed to supply from Lebanon the timber required for the Temple, to float it along the coast, and deliver it at Joppa, which was the port of Jerusalem (1Ki 5:1 sq.; 9:10 sq.; 1Ch 2:3 sq.). The vast commerce of Tyre made gold very plentiful there; and Hiram supplied no less than 500 talents to Solomon for the ornamental works of the Temple, and received in return twenty towns in Galilee, which, when he came to inspect them, pleased him so little that he applied to them a name of contempt, and restored them to the Jewish king (2Ch 8:2). SEE CABUL. It does not, however, appear that the good understanding between the two kings was broken by this unpleasant circumstance, for it was after this that Hiram suggested, or at least took part in, Solomon's traffic to the Eastern Seas, which certainly could not have been undertaken by the Hebrew king without his assistance in providing ships and experienced mariners' (1Ki 9:27; 1Ki 10:11, etc.; 2Ch 8:18; 2Ch 9:10, etc.). B.C. cir. 1010. SEE OPHIR; SEE SOLOMON.
Josephus has preserved a valuable fragment of the history of Mercander, a native of Ephesus, relating to the intercourse of Hiram and Solomon. professedly taken from the Syrian archives (Apion, 1, 18). "After the death of Abibalus, Hiromus, his son, succeeded him in his kingdom, and reigned thirty-four years, having lived fifty-three. He laid out that part of the city which is called Eurychoron, and consecrated the golden column which is in the temple of Jupiter. And he went up into the forest on the mountain called Libanus, to fell cedars for the roofs of the temples; and having demolished the ancient temples he rebuilt them, and consecrated the fanes of Hercules and Astarte: he constructed that of Hercules first, in the month Peritius; then that of Astarte, when he had overcome the Tityians who had refused to pay their tribute; and when, he had subjected them he returned. In his time was a certain young: man named Abdemonus, who used to solve the problems which were propounded to him by Solomon, king of Jerusalem." According to the same authority (ib. 1, 17), the historian Dius, likewise from the Tyrian annals, says, "Upon the death of Abibalus, his son Hiromus succeeded to the kingdom. He raised the eastern parts of the city, and enlarged the citadel, and joined it to the temple of Jupiter Olympius, which stood before upon am island, by filling up the intermediate space; and he adorned that temple with donations of gold, and he went up into Libanus to cut timber for the construction of the temples. And it is said that Solomon, who at that time reigned in Jerusalem, sent enigmas to Hiromus, and desired others in return, with a proposal that whichsoever of the two was unable to solve them, should forfeit money to the other. Hiromus agreed to the proposal, but was unable to solve the enigmas, and paid treasures to a large amount as a forfeit to Solomon. And it is said that one Abdemonus, a Tyrian, solved the enigmas, and proposed others which Solomon was not able to unriddle, for which he repaid the fine to Hiromus" (Cory's Ancient Fragments, p. 193.) Some of these riddles, the: Jewish historian states (ib. 1, 17), were extant in his day;; and in Ant. 8, 2, 6, 7, he gives what he declares to be authentic copies of the epistles that passed between the two kings respecting the materials for the Temple. SEE LEBANON. With the letters in 1Ki 5; 1Ki 2: Chronicles 2, may be compared not only his copies of thee letters, but also the still less authentic letters between: Solomon and Hiram, and between Solomon and Vaphies. (Apries?), which are preserved by Eupolemon (ap. Eusebius, Praep. Evang. 9, 30), and mentioned by Alexander Polvhistor (Clem. Alex. Strom. 1, 24, p. 332). Some Phoenician historians (ap. Tatian. cont. Graec. § 37) relate that Hiram, besides supplying timber for the Temple, gave his daughter in marriage to Solomon. Jewish writers in less ancient times cannot overlook Hiram's uncircumcision in his services towards the building of the Temple. Their legends relate (Eisenm. Ent. Jud. 1, 868) that because he was a God-fearing man, and built the Temple, he was received alive into Paradise; but. that, after he had been there a thousand years, he sinned by pride, and was thrust down into hell. Eupolemon (Euseb. Praep. Evang. 9, 30) states that David, after a war with Hiram, reduced him to the condition of a tributary prince. SEE DAVID.
Some have regarded this Hiram as a different person from the friend of David, since Josephus states that the Temple was built in the twelfth year of the reign of the Tyrian king who aided Solomon in the work (Apion, 1, 17 sq.; the eleventh, according to Ant. 8, 3, 1); but this is probably only by a computation of the historian, whose numerical calculations in these points are far from trustworthy. (See Nessel, Diss. de amicitia Salom. et Hirami, Upsal, 1734.) Hiram is also spoken of by Herodotus (2, 44) as the builder of new temples to Heracles, Melcart, and Astarte, and the adorner of that of Zeus-Baalsamin.
Ewald (Gesch. Israel, III, 1, 28, 83) and Movers (II, 1, 326 sq., 446 sq.) give a Hiram II, who reigned from 551532 B.C., toward the close of the Chald. — Babylonian empire, and who is not mentioned in the Bible.
Dr. Robinson describes a remarkable monument of Solomon's ally, still extant, which he passed a little beyond the village of Hunaneh, on his way from Safed to Tyre (Bib. Res. 3:385). "It is an immense sarcophagus of limestone, resting upon a pedestal of large hewn stones; a conspicuous ancient tomb, bearing among the common people the name of Kaibr Hairan, 'Sepulcher of Hiram.' The sarcophagus measures twelve feet long by six feet in height and breadth; the lid is three feet thick, and remains in its original position; but a nose has been broken through the sarcophagus at one end. The pedestal consists of three layers of the like species of stone, each of three feet thick, the upper layer projecting over the others; the stones are large, and one of them measures nine feet in length. This gray, weather-beaten monument stands here alone and solitary, bearing the marks of high antiquity; but the name and the record of him by whom or for whom it was erected have perished, like his ashes, forever. It is indeed possible that the present name may have come down by tradition, and that this sepulcher once held the dust of the friend and ally of Solomon; more probably, however, it is merely of Mohammedan application, like so many other names of Hebrew renown, attached to their welys and monuments in every part of Palestine. I know of no historical trace having reference to this tomb; and it had first been mentioned by a Frank traveler (Monro, 1833) only five years before." (See also Thomson, Lond and Book, 1, 290 sq.)
3. The son of a widow of the tribe of Dan, and of a Tyrian father. He was sent by the king of the same name to execute the principal works of the interior of the Temple, and the various utensils required for the sacred services (1Ki 7:13-14,40). We recognize in the enumeration of this man's talents by the king of Tyre a character common in the industrial history of the ancients (comp. those of Bezaleel, Ex 31:3-5), namely, a skilful artificer, knowing all the arts, or at least many of those arts which we practice, in their different branches. SEE HANDICRAFT. It is probable that he was selected for this purpose by the king from among others equally gifted, in the notion that his half Hebrew blood would render him the more acceptable at Jerusalem. B.C. cir. 1010. He is called "Huram" in 2. Chronicles 2:13; 4:11, 16; and "Hirom" in the margin of 1Ki 7:40. In 2Ch 2:13, חוּרָם אָבַי is rendered "Huram my father's;" so in, 2Ch 4:16, חוּרָם אָבַיו is rendered "Huram his father;" where, however, the words אָבַי and אבַיו can hardly belong to the name, but are appellations; so that "Huram my (oa, his) father" seems to mean Huramo my counselor, i.e., foreman, or master-workman.