1Kings 3-5

Sunday Evening Bible Study

May 26, 2002


Solomon has become king in the place of David his father.  There were some early issues that threatened Solomon’s reign, but they have been dealt with and Solomon is firmly in control.

1Kings 3

:1-4 Pharaoh’s daughter / High places at Gibeon

:1 And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter

made affinitychathan – to become a son-in-law, make oneself a daughter’s husband

One of the practices in those days was for kings to marry their neighbors’ daughters or sisters. You wouldn’t have to worry about the neighboring kingdom coming to kill you because you were family.

This is part of what would be behind Solomon’s 700 wives and 300 concubines. Much of it was political.

It’s possible that this was David’s reason for marrying some of his wives. One wife, Maacah, was the daughter of Talmai, the king of Geshur. She was the mother of Absalom and Tamar.

Solomon takes his first wife.

:1 brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house

city of David – There are two cities that are both referred to in Scriptures as the “city of David.  Jerusalem is the one we see here, but Bethlehem is as well.  David’s family is from Bethlehem, David ruled in Jerusalem.

Solomon had a place for her to stay inside the city of Jerusalem, but only until he built the right place for her. He really didn’t think she belonged in the city of David.

When Solomon’s building projects were finished, we read:

(2 Chr 8:11 KJV) And Solomon brought up the daughter of Pharaoh out of the city of David unto the house that he had built for her: for he said, My wife shall not dwell in the house of David king of Israel, because the places are holy, whereunto the ark of the LORD hath come.


Marry the right person

I have a hard time thinking that Solomon is married to a person that he can’t take to a place that is “holy”.
(2 Cor 6:14-18 KJV) Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? {15} And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? {16} And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. {17} Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, {18} And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
If Jesus is a part of your life, He needs to be a part of your marriage and your home life.

:2 Only the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the LORD, until those days.

high placesbamah – high place, ridge, height, bamah (technical name for cultic platform)

You will see this term “high places” used a lot in the Old Testament. It seems that people had this concept that the higher in altitude your place of worship was, the closer it was to God.

Often the term “high places” is used in a negative sense and will in the future refer to places where idols were worshipped.
But here we see that sometimes the “high places” were places that Yahweh was worshipped.

God did command the people to eventually have a central place of worship. This was called the Law of the Central Sanctuary:

(Deu 12:11 KJV) Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD:
These were the days before printing presses and e-mail. God wanted to make sure that Judaism stayed pure, and that was to be done by having a single place to come for worship.
Up until this time, that place had not yet been established, though we’ve seen some hints that it would be coming.

Solomon would eventually build that place, the temple, on the land that David bought from Ornan the Jebusite.

:3 And Solomon loved the LORD

loved‘ahab – to love; human love for another; human love for or to God

:4 And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place:

Gibeon – five miles north of Jerusalem.

the great high place – this was one of the top rated “high places” of all time. Why? Because the Tabernacle of Moses was there.

(1 Chr 21:29 KJV) For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon.

At some point, the Ark of the Covenant became separated from the Tabernacle that Moses had built in the wilderness. David had built a separate tent for the Ark of the Covenant when he brought it into Jerusalem, but Moses’ tent was still at Gibeon, along with the bronze altar that Moses had built.


God can turn our mistakes to good.

Joshua and the Gibeonites (Josh. 9) – it seems that the treaty that Israel made with the Gibeonites was seen as a mistake of Joshua’s.  They didn’t bother to consult with the Lord.
Because they had sworn not to destroy the Gibeonites, they made them to be servants.

(Josh 9:27 KJV)  And Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of the LORD, even unto this day, in the place which he should choose.

The Gibeonite cities included Gibeon and Kirjathjearim (Josh. 9:17), both were places where the Tabernacle or the Ark would spend time.
I find it interesting that they are still around, and apparently now serving the Lord.
God can take our mistakes and make them into something good.

:4  a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar.

That would be pretty impressive.

It seems that Solomon is expressing his love for the Lord through these burnt offerings.

A burnt offering was done for consecration.
With the other sacrifices, the worshipper or the priest might eat some of the meat. But in the burnt offering, the entire animal was burnt on the altar.
The animal on the altar represented the person giving the offering. The person was completely giving himself to God.


The extravagance of worship

There might be a sense in which this seems a little overboard. We could look at Solomon cynically and think that he’s trying to impress God with a big display of wealth.
When a person is trying to “buy off” God with their sacrifice, the prophet Samuel had said,

(1 Sam 15:22 KJV) Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

When a person is in rebellion against God, God wants something different than a sacrifice from us. David knew that. He wrote,

(Psa 51:16-17 KJV) For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. {17} The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

But it all really depends on the heart. If Solomon’s heart is in the right place, there’s nothing wasteful at all. If Solomon’s heart is right, this is a pleasing aroma to God.
We have no reason to believe that Solomon is out of line here. In fact, we were just told that he “loved the LORD” (vs.3).
There was someone else that did something quite wasteful in a display of devotion.
(John 12:1-8 KJV) Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. {2} There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. {3} Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. {4} Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, {5} Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? {6} This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. {7} Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. {8} For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.

Be careful when you get to thinking that a person’s acts of love for the Lord are too extravagant. It was Judas who thought that Mary’s worship was a waste.

Mary got quite extravagant in her devotion the Lord. She wasted a whole year’s wages by pouring this costly perfume on Jesus.

I wonder how long Mary’s act of devotion lasted. In a time when people didn’t bathe every day, it might have lasted the entire week, until Jesus’ death. Jesus seems to indicate this.

That would mean that even at the Last Supper, the fragrance of Mary’s perfume might have lingered in the air. I wonder if the Sanhedrin, Herod, and Pilate caught a whiff of Mary’s perfume as they condemned Jesus to death. I wonder if Jesus’ mother and John were able to smell Mary’s perfume as Jesus hung on the cross. I wonder.

A heart of love for God can become quite “extravagant” in worship. And that act of worship can have an effect on the people around you.

:5-15 God gives Solomon wisdom

:5 In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and

appearedra’ah – to see, look at, inspect, perceive, consider

a dreamchalowm – dream

What is about to happen is happening in a dream.

This doesn’t make it any less real. God is going to speak to Solomon in this dream.

:5 God said, Ask what I shall give thee.

Almost sounds as if Solomon picked up a magic lamp and rubbed it. There are lots of “genie” stories out on the Internet (I had nine on my computer). One of my favorites is:


There once was this guy that got a dirty old lamp for his birthday. He cleaned it up and POOF!--out popped a genie! “I shall give you three wishes. You may have anything you like.” So the guys thinks for a minute and says, “I would like a billion dollars.” “You shall have it,” and the genie grants him the wish. “Anything else?” The guy thinks for a while. “I would like a VW Bug with A/C, power locks, power windows, you know the works.” “Your wish is my command. What is your last wish?” “Hmmm. I think I’ll save it for a rainy day.” “OK, suit yourself,” says the genie. So the guy gets in his new VW and goes for a drive to show all his friends. He turns on the radio. There’s a very familiar commercial on. The guy starts singing to it: “I wish I was an Oscar Meyer Wiener.”


God is not your genie in the bottle

I do not believe that God would have given Solomon anything he asked for. I do believe that God was testing Solomon. God was looking to see what Solomon’s heart was like.
Maturity in the Christian life is all about learning to live according to God’s will, not about getting God to do things your way.
Some of us came to the Lord when we had gone through very difficult times.
Many of us have experienced what David wrote about when he said,

(Psa 34:4 KJV) I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

It can be pretty thrilling when God answers some of those prayers from an impossible situation.

But we make a mistake when we start thinking that we’ve found that magic rabbit’s foot that will always get us out of every tight circumstance.

You’re going to be extremely disappointed when God doesn’t give you every “wish” you make.

He is God. He is Lord. He is the Creator. You are not.
I think that some people have this idea that God is anxiously waiting to hear every word come off their lips so He can take careful notes and then quickly obey their every command.

I think they must have a concept that God is some kind of weak person that needs to be told what to do.

Boy, will they be surprised when they finally see God face to face.
God’s purpose for your life is to get you to conform your life towards His ways.
God’s desire is that we ALWAYS learn to pray as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane,

(Luke 22:42 KJV) Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

:6 And Solomon said, Thou hast showed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee

mercycheced – goodness, kindness, faithfulness

Solomon uses three words to characterize David’s life:

truth‘emeth – firmness, faithfulness, truth

righteousness[email protected] – justice, righteousness; righteous acts

uprightnessyishrah – uprightness; from yashar – straight, upright, correct, right

Some of the new versions translate this as:

(NLT) he was honest and true and faithful to you.
(ICB) He obeyed you. He was honest and lived right.

Solomon sounds as if God has rewarded David for these things by setting Solomon on the throne.

Yet if you look carefully at these words, do these words really describe David as we’ve come to know him?

David wasn’t always a man of truth. He lied to Uriah.
David wasn’t always a man of righteousness. He committed adultery with Bathsheba.
David wasn’t always upright in all he did. He acted out of pride when he numbered Israel.
These were the three things that time would record as being David’s sins.


Count on God’s mercy

If any of us were to have to count on the good things we’ve done in order to deserve things, we’d be sunk.
The one thing we CAN count on is God’s mercy.
I believe there is a sense in which we are going to be blessed and will prosper as we walk in obedience to the Lord. I don’t believe that being obedient to the Lord is a waste of time.
But the thing we ought to look for and expect is God’s mercy, not rewards for being good.

:6 and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son

kindnesscheced – goodness, kindness, faithfulness

For the first time, the entire kingdom of Israel has passed peaceably from one king to the next.

:7 I am but a little child:

littleqatan – young, small, insignificant, unimportant

childna‘ar – a boy, lad, servant, youth, retainer

How old was Solomon?

John Gill says that the Jewish tradition was that Solomon became king at the age of twelve.

But if this was so, the Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, was born when Solomon was eleven years old (1Ki. 3:5).

Others say Solomon might be as old as twenty years old (Keil & Delitzsch).

:7 I know not how to go out or come in.

to go outyatsa’ – to go out, come out, exit, go forth

come inbow’ – to go in, enter, come, go, come in

This is a Hebrew expression used to describe a leader of the people. It seems to come from the picture of a shepherd who leads his flocks in and out of the sheepfold. Moses uses it to describe what a leader ought to do when he asks God for someone to replace him (which would be Joshua).

(Num 27:15-17 KJV) And Moses spake unto the LORD, saying, {16} Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, {17} Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the LORD be not as sheep which have no shepherd.

This phrase was used to describe David a number of times:

1Sa 18:13 Therefore Saul removed him from him, and made him his captain over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people.

1Sa 18:16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them.

1Sa 29:6 ¶ Then Achish called David, and said unto him, Surely, [as] the LORD liveth, thou hast been upright, and thy going out and thy coming in with me in the host [is] good in my sight: for I have not found evil in thee since the day of thy coming unto me unto this day: nevertheless the lords favour thee not.

2Sa 5:2 Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel.

Solomon is saying that he doesn’t feel like he knows how to lead this nation.


Usefulness starts with inadequacy

Quite a few of the people God has used the most have all suffered from feelings of inadequacy.
When God called Isaiah, he said,
(Isa 6:5 KJV)  Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
When God called Jeremiah, he said,
(Jer 1:6 KJV)  Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
When God called Moses, he responded by saying,
(Exo 3:11 KJV)  Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?

Moses and God went back and forth to the point where God even got a little upset with Moses because he was so reluctant.

If God has called you to do something, don’t be afraid of those times when you feel utterly useless and inadequate.
That may make you the most useful to God because you will learn to trust Him the most.

:9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

judgeshaphat – to judge, govern, vindicate, punish

One of a king’s major job responsibilities was to act as the final judge in civil and criminal matters. He was the “supreme court” of the land.

discernbiyn – to discern, understand, consider.

Solomon will have to make lots of judgment calls, not being able to tell which person is lying and which person is telling the truth. If you’ve ever spent time doing jury duty, there will be times when it’s very difficult to tell who is telling the truth.

Solomon will shortly be faced with one of those most famous cases, where two prostitutes have a dispute as to who is the mother of a certain baby.

Here, the word is in the Hiphil form, which means “to understand; to cause to understand, give understanding, teach”. Though all the major translations have “discern” here, but I think the idea of “teach” is important as well.

As a leader, Solomon would need to not just make judgments, but also teach the people what is right and what is wrong.


Ask for wisdom

I think God can give us wisdom like Solomon.
(James 1:5-8 NLT) If you need wisdom--if you want to know what God wants you to do--ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking. {6} But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. {7} People like that should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. {8} They can't make up their minds. They waver back and forth in everything they do.
Wisdom comes from God’s Word.
(Psa 119:98-100 KJV)  Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. {99} I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. {100} I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.

:10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.

pleasedyatab – to be good, be pleasing, be well, be glad

Solomon passed the test.

Sometimes it seems as if the tests in life are just way too hard.

Job Tests
I came across some sample tests proposed for various types of jobs.  See if these sound familiar.

CHEMISTRY: You will be given 1 lb. of lead to convert to gold. Return it to the test administrator along with the only copy of the experimental procedure.

ENGINEERING: The disassembled parts of a high-powered rifle have been placed in a box on your desk. You will find an instruction manual, printed in Swahili, next to the box. In ten minutes a hungry Bengal tiger will be admitted to the room. Take whatever action you feel appropriate. Be prepared to justify your decision.

EPISTEMOLOGY: Take a position for and against truth. Argue with yourself and lose. If you win, keep trying.

MEDICINE: Your test administrator will provide you with a razor blade, a piece of gauze and a bottle of Scotch. Remove your appendix. Do not suture until your work has been inspected. You have 15 minutes.

MUSIC: Write a piano concerto. Orchestrate and perform it with flute and drum. You will find a trumpet under your seat.

PUBLIC SPEAKING: 2,500 riot-crazed aborigines will storm the testing room at the beginning of the fourth hour. Calm them. You may use any ancient language, except Latin or Greek.

EXTRA CREDIT: Define the universe; give three examples.

How do I pass God’s tests?  Find out what He wants from you.

:13 And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked


Get your priorities right

The whole reason God blesses Solomon is because Solomon has his priorities right, at least for the moment.
(Mat 6:24-34 KJV) No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. {25} Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? {26} Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? {27} Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? {28} And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: {29} And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. {30} Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? {31} Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? {32} (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. {33} But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. {34} Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Put God’s ways at the top of your list of priorities.
Don’t think this means that you shouldn’t work at earning a living.

One of the things at the top of God’s list of things for you to do is to work.

But put your pursuit of God as a higher priority than your pursuit for stuff.
My mom used to tell me, “You always have time for the things that are important”. She’d tell me that when I’d say that I didn’t have time to clean my room, or something like that.
Do you make time for the things that God considers important in your life?

:15 he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD

Why does Solomon go to the Ark? God told Moses:

(Exo 25:22 KJV) And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.

God hangs out at the Ark.
I think that Solomon’s dreams was one of those “God Moments”.  But he didn’t want to just settle for a dream.  He knows how to draw close to God, and it’s at the Ark.  He doesn’t want to settle for just a dream.
I think it’s interesting that another result of this “God Moment” was that Solomon shared with his servants.  He had to tell somebody.

Don’t worship from afar. God has told us how to come near to Him. And it’s clearer now than it’s ever been. It’s through Jesus.

(John 14:6 KJV) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Don’t just settle for a dream. Open your heart to the Savior.

:16-28 Decision with the harlots

:16 Then came there two women, that were harlots

harlotszanah – to commit fornication, be a harlot, play the harlot

:18  the third day after that I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also

Both women have babies, the babies are only three days apart.

:19 this woman's child died in the night; because she overlaid it.

overlaidshakab – to lie down; to lie, lie down, lie on.  The gal had her baby in bed with her, and she rolled over and killed her baby.

:22 And the other woman said, Nay; but the living is my son


Who’s telling the truth?

Solomon’s job is to find out who is telling the truth.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell.
I have to admit that a long time ago I used to believe just about anything anybody would tell me.  The older I get, and the more people I find have lied to me, the less I believe.
This certainly will require wisdom and discernment.

:23 Then said the king, The one saith, This is my son that liveth …

Solomon wisely repeats what he understands about the situation before he makes a decision.



It’s not hard to misunderstand another person.
Solomon would write,
(Prov 18:13 NASB)  He who gives an answer before he hears, It is folly and shame to him.
I think that sometimes we assume we’ve heard everything we need to hear, and we draw conclusions and even act on things when perhaps we’ve misunderstood.
It wouldn’t be a bad thing to learn to do what Solomon did, repeat the thing you think you’ve heard before coming out with your decision or answer.
Install a new device on your radar screen.
When you start getting mad at someone for something they’ve done or said, perhaps an alarm should go off in our heads that says, “What if I’ve misunderstood?”
It wouldn’t be a bad thing to respond first by saying, “I heard you say …” and then repeat the matter.

:26  her bowels yearned upon her son …

her compassion grew warm

I think it’s important to note that the two women answered differently here.  It wasn’t just the real mom’s compassion that stood out, but the other mom’s bitterness that helped Solomon tell who was who.

:28 they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment.


Supernatural wisdom

Solomon wasn’t just intelligent.
He had God’s wisdom, a supernatural wisdom.

Did you know that Solomon also faced another, similar, case? J


The Wisdom of Solomon
Two women came before wise King Solomon, dragging between them a young man in a three-piece suit. “This young CPA agreed to marry my daughter,” said one. “No! He agreed to marry MY daughter,” said the other. And so they haggled before the King, until he called for silence. “Bring me my biggest sword,” said Solomon,” and I shall hew the young accountant in half. Each of you shall receive a half.” “Sounds good to me,” said the first lady. But the other woman said, “Oh Sire, do not spill innocent blood. Let the other woman’s daughter marry him.” The wise king did not hesitate a moment. “The accountant must marry the first lady’s daughter,” he proclaimed. “But she was willing to hew him in two!” exclaimed the king’s court. “Indeed,” said wise King Solomon. “That shows she is the TRUE mother-in-law.”

1Kings 4

Chuck:  “We used to say, concerning our children, when they were small, and were eating, and drooling a lot. We used to say, “They can get juice out of anything!”. I hope that, that holds true tonight in our study of I Kings. The stuff that we are going to be covering isn’t really that exciting. I just hope that we can get juice out of it for you tonight.”

:1-6 Solomon’s government

:1 So king Solomon was king over all Israel.

We now get a record of Solomon’s government.

:4 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the host: and Zadok and Abiathar were the priests:

Benaiah was the head of David’s bodyguard.  When Adonijah tried to make himself king, Benaiah stayed faithful to David and Solomon, while David’s head general, Joab, sided with Adonijah.  As a reward for his faithfulness, Benaiah was promoted to head of the army.

Zadok and Abiathar were the two high priests under David.  Abiathar was exiled to his home town of Anathoth for his part in Adonijah’s rebellion, but he was apparently still considered one of the high priests.

:6  Adoniram the son of Abda was over the tribute.

tributemac – gang or body of forced labourers, task-workers, labour band or gang, forced service, task-work, serfdom, tributary, tribute, levy, taskmasters, discomfited

:7-19 Twelve Officers

:7 And Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, which provided victuals

Solomon had a fairly large government and in order to pay for things, these twelve men would take turns having their region pay the government bills.

:8 And these are their names: The son of Hur, in mount Ephraim:

son of Hur – literally, “Ben-Hur”.  He was famous for his chariot races in Rome (just kidding!  J)

:11 The son of Abinadab, in all the region of Dor; which had Taphath the daughter of Solomon to wife:

This guy married one of Solomon’s daughters, named Taphath.

TaphathTaphath – “ornament”

:15 Ahimaaz was in Naphtali; he also took Basmath the daughter of Solomon to wife:

Another son-in-law to Solomon.

BasmathBosmath – “spice”

:20-25 Conditions in the kingdom

:20 Judah and Israel were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking, and making merry.

as the sand which is by the sea in multitude – This doesn’t mean literally that there were 1025 people in Israel.  It means that there was a HUGE number of people.

This becomes a fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham:

(Gen 22:16-18 KJV)  And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: {17} That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; {18} And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

making merrysameach – joyful, merry, glad, “rejoicing” (NAS); “very contented” (NLT).

These were good times.  This was the high point for the kingdom of Israel.

:21 And Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt …

the river – the Euphrates River

unto the border of Egypt … –

The size of Solomon’s kingdom was also a fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham:

(Gen 15:18-21 KJV)  In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: {19} The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, {20} And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, {21} And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.

:25 And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree

vine … fig tree – this is a picture of peace and prosperity.  Every person has enough.  Every person is satisfied.


The Messiah’s reign

There is a sense in which Solomon becomes a picture of another Son of David, and His kingdom.
(Micah 4:1-5 KJV)  But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. {2} And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. {3} And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. {4} But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it. {5} For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.

:26-28 Horses

:26 And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.

I wouldn’t like to have the job of sweeping the stables.

Though this gives us a picture of Solomon’s great military strength, it is starting to set off little warning bells.

(Deu 17:16 KJV)  But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.

 “But wait!” you cry, “it doesn’t say where he got the horses!  Perhaps it’s not all that bad!?!?”
(1 Ki 10:28 KJV)  And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt …

:27  all that came un Solomon's table …

Some have suggested that as many as 4,000-5,000 people ate at Solomon’s table.

:29-34 Solomon’s wisdom

:29 And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart

wisdomchokmah – wisdom

understandingtabuwn – understanding, intelligence

largenessrochab – breadth, width, expanse

heartleb – inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding

(NAS) 1Ki 4:29  Now God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of mind, like the sand that is on the seashore.

The Jews as a whole are pretty smart people!


There was a story that took place during the time of the British occupation of Israel, The British soldiers often marveled at the wisdom of these people, their intelligence. They would talk among themselves, of the secret of these people’s intelligence. They were just such brilliant people. So they were standing in the railway station, there in Jerusalem, and they saw this old Jewish man eating fish heads. Having heard somewhere that fish was brain food. The one British soldier, thought to himself, “I’ll bet that’s the secret. You know, we don’t eat the heads of the fish, but look at that guy eating the fish heads. That’s probably the thing that makes them so smart!”. So he came to the Jewish man, and he said, “I’ll tell you, I’ll give you a schilling, for one of your fish heads”. He says, “Oh, no, no, no”. He said, “I’ll give you five schillings for one of the fish heads”. He says, “No”. He said, “I’ll give you a pound for the fish head”. So the old man gave him a fish head, took the pound. The British soldier began to eat it, and it was horrible. He began to spit it out. He said, “You cheated me! That fish head isn’t worth a pound!”. He says, “Ei, yi, yi! Already it’s working!”.

:31 For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite …

We don’t know who these guys were.  Apparently they were well known in their day for their wisdom.  Today, we only know who Solomon was.

:32 And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five.

He was an author and composer.  We have some of his proverbs in the Book of Proverbs.  We have a couple of his songs in the Song of Solomon and perhaps Psalms 72, 127.

:33 And he spake of trees …

He was a scientist.

:34 there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon …

People would make their summer vacation plans around travelling to Jerusalem to listen to Solomon.

1Kings 5

:1-6 Solomon asks Hiram for help with the Temple

:1 … Hiram was ever a lover of David.

Hiram – he was a king of Tyre, the capitol of the Phoenicians.  He was the one who built David’s palace for him.

(2 Sam 5:11 KJV)  And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons: and they built David an house.

:3 for the wars which were about him on every side

David told Solomon:

(1 Chr 22:7-8 KJV)  And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God: {8} But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight.

:6 command thou that they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon

cedar trees – the forests of Lebanon were famous.  Trees as large as 40 feet in girth would be perfect for beams, pillars, and carved work. Solomon proposes an agreement with Hiram to hire the Phoenicians to help build the temple.  Solomon will pay Hiram whatever he asks.

6  thou knowest that there is not among us any that can skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians.

the Sidonians – Sidon was the sister city to Tyre.

Solomon is saying that the whole world knows that nobody knows how to cut timber like the Phoenicians.


Wisdom picks the right person for the job

Solomon has been charged by his father David to build a temple for God.  He wants it done right.  He knows he needs to put the right person in charge.

:7-12 Hiram’s contract

:9 …I will convey them by sea in floats …

Hiram’s people would cut the cedar trees in the mountains of Lebanon.  The trees would be transported to Israel by assembling them into large rafts, and floating the timber south to Israel, to the city of Joppa.

Solomon would pay Hiram for the trees with food.

:11  twenty thousand measures of wheat … twenty measures of pure oil

Something around 120,000 bushels (4,400 kl) of wheat and about 120,000 gal (440 kl) of oil.  This was how much Solomon paid each year.

:13-18 Solomon’s workforce

:13 And king Solomon raised a levy out of all Israel; and the levy was thirty thousand men.

levymac – gang or body of forced labourers, task-workers, labour band or gang, forced service, task-work, serfdom, tributary, tribute, levy, taskmasters, discomfited

This was Solomon’s work force.  This forced labor group would be partly responsible for the splitting of the kingdom under Rehoboam (12:4, 18).

:14 ten thousand a month by courses …

The guys were rotated into Lebanon.  They worked for a month and came home for two months.

:15 …that bare burdens … hewers …

(NAS) 1Ki 5:15  Now Solomon had 70,000 transporters, and 80,000 hewers [of stone] in the mountains,

:16 chief of Solomon's officers which were over the work …

3,300 supervisors.

:18 …so they prepared timber and stones to build the house.

The preparation work has begun to build the Temple.


A great work requires preparation

Sometimes we get a glimpse of some of the things that God has for each of us.
Paul wrote,
(Eph 2:10 KJV)  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
All great works require preparation.
Sometimes we wonder why God allows us to go through such difficult times.

He is cutting timber and squaring stones.

(Rom 8:28 KJV)  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

(Phil 1:6 KJV)  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

(Phil 2:13 KJV)  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.