What were the names of the twenty cities Solomon gave as a gift?
The reference to the twenty cities that King Solomon gave away is found in 1 Kings.
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 (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. So Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given him, and they did not please him. He said, “What are these cities which you have given me, my brother?” So they were called the land of Cabul to this day. (NASB) 1 Kings 9:10-13
King Solomon had entered into an agreement with King Hiram. King Hiram would supply King Solomon with building supplies and King Solomon would pay him with some territory. King Hiram trusted King Solomon. At the end of the building, King Solomon paid him with twenty cities or “settlements.” This was common in ancient times. King Solomon was giving King Hiram additional territory for his kingdom. Apparently, the Canaanites lived in this land. It was territory Israel had conquered. King Solomon gave him one city for each year in which he provided building supplies. The cities were located in the region of Tyre which is northeast of Jerusalem. God did not give us the names of the cities.
But King Hiram was unhappy with the land so he named the new territory “Cabul.” The Hebrew meaning for the name has the sense of “good for nothing.” Was King Hiram greedy? Was he hoping for more? We do not know why he was unhappy. But the king must not have been too unhappy, because he sends King Solomon more gold (1 Kings 9:14).
Solomon had no reason to be dishonest in this business arrangement, because he was very wealthy. King Solomon was also a man of integrity. Apparently, these two men had not communicated very well. Communication is one of the difficult things in life. Is it not wonderful to know that we do not have to have a communication problem with God? He knows our thoughts (Ps. 94:11) and the Holy Spirit helps us pray (Rom. 8:26).