1 Kings chapter 4

Solomon’s cabinet. His governors. His wealth. His wisdom.

 


 

SOLOMON’S CABINET

 

VERSE 1. King Solomon was king over all Israel.

 

VERSE 2. These were the princes whom he had: Azariah the son of Zadok, the priest;

the princes whom he had. Solomon delegates authority to eleven men. They are his cabinet.

the son of. This often means “descendent of.”

 

VERSE 3. Elihoreph and Ahijah, the sons of Shisha, scribes; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, the recorder;

scribes. They prepared royal edicts affecting trade, commerce, and military alliances and kept official records.

recorder. Jehoshaphat maintained the records of all important daily affairs in the kingdom.

 

VERSE 4. Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the army; Zadok and Abiathar were priests;

priests. Zadok and Abiathar had served as co-high priests under David.

 

VERSE 5. Azariah the son of Nathan was over the officers; Zabud the son of Nathan was chief minister, the king’s friend;

 

VERSE 6. Ahishar was over the household; and Adoniram the son of Abda was over the men subject to forced labor.

the men subject to forced labor. That is, “slaves.” Solomon has slaves.

Already at this point in the life of the nation, the king has slaves.

In the Book of Kings, the leaders exhibit narcissistic behaviors. They demand subservience. They commit idolatry and murder. They disobey sexual laws. Read more »

 

SOLOMON’S GOVERNORS

 

VERSE 7. Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, who provided food for the king and his household. Each man had to make provision for a month in the year.

 

VERSE 8. These are their names: Ben Hur, in the hill country of Ephraim;

 

VERSE 9. Ben Deker, in Makaz, in Shaalbim, Beth Shemesh, and Elon Beth Hanan;

 

VERSE 10. Ben Hesed, in Arubboth (Socoh and all the land of Hepher belonged to him);

 

VERSE 11. Ben Abinadab, in all the height of Dor (he had Taphath, Solomon’s daughter, as wife);

he had Taphath, Solomon’s daughter, as wife. Ben Abinadab is a son-in-law of Solomon.

Solomon had appointed a relative into a government position. This is called nepotism. It is a sign of corruption, and an abuse of power.

In verse 15 below, Solomon appoints another son-in-law to an official government position.

In the Book of Kings, the leaders exhibit narcissistic behaviors. They demand subservience. They commit idolatry and murder. They disobey sexual laws. Read more »

 

VERSE 12. Baana the son of Ahilud, in Taanach and Megiddo, and all Beth Shean which is beside Zarethan, beneath Jezreel, from Beth Shean to Abel Meholah, as far as beyond Jokmeam;

 

VERSE 13. Ben Geber, in Ramoth Gilead (the towns of Jair the son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead, belonged to him; and the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, sixty great cities with walls and bronze bars, belonged to him);

 

VERSE 14. Ahinadab the son of Iddo, in Mahanaim;

 

VERSE 15. Ahimaaz, in Naphtali (he also took Basemath the daughter of Solomon as wife);

he also took Basemath the daughter of Solomon as wife. Ahimaaz is a son-in-law of Solomon.

Solomon had appointed a relative into a government position. This is called nepotism. It is a sign of corruption, and an abuse of power.

In verse 11 above, Solomon appoints another son-in-law to an official government position.

In the Book of Kings, the leaders exhibit narcissistic behaviors. They demand subservience. They commit idolatry and murder. They disobey sexual laws. Read more »

 

VERSE 16. Baana the son of Hushai, in Asher and Bealoth;

 

VERSE 17. Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in Issachar;

 

VERSE 18. Shimei the son of Ela, in Benjamin;

 

VERSE 19. Geber the son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and of Og king of Bashan; and he was the only officer who was in the land.

 

SOLOMON’S WEALTH

 

Note. Solomon had exceptional wealth. However, he did not earn it himself. Rather, he coerced it from people by taxation.

 

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

making merry. They made merry!

 

VERSE 21. Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt. They brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life.

 

VERSE 22. Solomon’s provision for one day was thirty cors of fine flour, sixty measures of meal,

thirty cors. One cor is the same as a homer, or about 55.9 U. S. gallons (liquid) or 211 liters or 6 bushels.

 

VERSE 23. ten head of fat cattle, twenty head of cattle out of the pastures, and one hundred sheep, in addition to deer, gazelles, roebucks, and fattened fowl.

 

VERSE 24. For he had dominion over all on this side the River, from Tiphsah even to Gaza, over all the kings on this side the River; and he had peace on all sides around him.

 

VERSE 25. Judah and Israel lived safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.

every man under his vine and under his fig tree. This is almost certainly figurative, and not literal.

For example, did Solomon’s slaves have their own vine and fig tree? Probably not.

 

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

 

VERSE 27. Those officers provided food for king Solomon, and for all who came to king Solomon’s table, every man in his month. They let nothing be lacking.

 

VERSE 28. They also brought barley and straw for the horses and swift steeds to the place where the officers were, each man according to his duty.

 

SOLOMON’S WISDOM

 

VERSE 29. God gave Solomon abundant wisdom, understanding, and breadth of mind like the sand that is on the seashore.

abundant wisdom. Solomon had great wisdom for being a political leader. But he did not have great wisdom for living his own life.

The wisest man who ever lived did not live his own life wisely.

 

VERSE 30. Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt.

 

VERSE 31. For he was wiser than all men—wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was in all the nations all around.

 

VERSE 32. He spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs numbered one thousand five.

three thousand proverbs. Several hundred of those are preserved in the Book of Proverbs.

his songs. One of those is the Song of Songs.

 

VERSE 33. He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon even to the hyssop that grows out of the wall; he also spoke of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish.

 

VERSE 34. People of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, sent by all kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom.

 


next chapter »

« previous chapter


1 KINGS

CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22

RESOURCES: Summary, Outline, Memorize, Leaders are Corrupt

Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.