A district containing twenty cities which Solomon gave to Hiram, King of Tyre, for his assistance in the construction of the Temple. Clark (Commentary and Critical Notes) thinks it likely that they were not given to Hiram so that they should be annexed to his Tyrian dominions, but rather to be held as security for the money which he had advanced.
This, however, is merely conjectural. The district containing them is placed by Josephus in the northwest part of Galilee, adjacent to Tyre. Hiram does not appear to have been satisfied with the gift ; why, is uncertain. Kitto thinks because they were not situated on the coast. A Masonic legend says because they were ruined and dilapidated villages, and in token of his dissatisfaction, Hiram called the district Cabul. The meaning of this word is not known. Josephus, probably by conjecture from the context, says it means unpleasing. Hiller and, after him, Bates (Dictionary) suppose that the name is derived from a combination of letters meaning as and nothing. The Talmudic derivation from "tied with fetters", is described by Brother Mackey as Talmudically childish. The dissatisfaction of Hiram and its results constitute the subject of the legend of the Degree of Intimate Secretary in the Scottish Rite.
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