965 BC

Solomon succeeded David as King of the United Israelite Kingdom of the Twelve Tribes. Taking their names and territories from north to south, they were:

Israel - Dan (north & south), Naphtali, Asher, Zebulun, Levi or Manasseh (east & west), Issacher, Gad, and Joseph or Ephraim.

Judah - Benjamin, Judah, Reuben and Simeon (18).

964 BC Solomon ordered the start of preparations for the construction of the First Temple. Hiram, King of Tyre, a good friend of both he and his father, had already volunteered to provide all the timber such as cedar, pine and olive wood from the Lebanon in return for food for his own people and the gift of 20 small townships near the Sea of Galilee (19). The two kings sealed their agreement with prayers together on Mount Moriah.

Solomon conscripted 30,000 foreign labourers to help Hiram. He also mustered 120,000 slaves to quarry and move the stone. This forced labour was under the overall direction of Adoniram, who was assisted by 3,300 supervisors. Only 550 Israelites were engaged on the project. They held positions of management and control of whom Adoniram was one. Whilst he may have been a stone mason by trade, he was first and foremost King Solomon's slave master (20). About 30 years later, and after Solomon had died, Adoniram was stoned to death for unrecorded reasons.