At the end of twenty years. That is, 951 BC.
built the LORD’s house. This is sometimes referred to as Solomon’s Temple, or First Temple.
It was destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar II in 587 BC.
and his own house. Solomon’s own palace was much larger, and more impressive, than the temple.
VERSE 2. Solomon built the cities which Huram had given to Solomon, and caused the children of Israel to dwell there.
built the cities. Huram was displeased with 20 villages and gave them to Israel. At this point in the narrative, Solomon has rebuilt them.
Hamath Zobah. It was almost 300 miles north of Jerusalem.
Tadmor in the wilderness. It was also known as Palmyra.
It was an oasis in the desert. And a trading center. It was on the main highway from Mesopotamia, about 150 miles northeast of Damascus.
VERSE 5. Also he built Beth Horon the upper and Beth Horon the lower, fortified cities with walls, gates, and bars;
Beth Horon. It was located about ten miles northwest of Jerusalem, on the border between Judah and the Northern tribes.
VERSE 6. and Baalath, and all the storage cities that Solomon had, and all the cities for his chariots, the cities for his horsemen, and all that Solomon desired to build for his pleasure in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion.
VERSE 7. As for all the people who were left of the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not of Israel—
VERSE 8. of their children who were left after them in the land, whom the children of Israel didn’t consume—of them Solomon conscripted forced labor to this day.
Solomon conscripted forced labor to this day. We Christians have a very idealistic view of king Solomon. We naively imagine he was a wise Man of God.
However, our view of Solomon is not rooted in the facts of the biblical record.
In this verse we see that Solomon conscripted large numbers of people into slavery.
Solomon abducted massive numbers of people, against their will, took away their freedoms, robbed them of their human rights, and subjected them to forced labor for the rest of their lives.
VERSE 9. But of the children of Israel, Solomon made no servants for his work, but they were men of war, chief of his captains, and rulers of his chariots and of his horsemen.
VERSE 10. These were the chief officers of king Solomon, even two-hundred fifty, who ruled over the people.
VERSE 11. Solomon brought up Pharaoh’s daughter out of David’s city to 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 where the LORD’s ark has come are holy.”
brought up Pharaoh’s daughter out of David’s city. Solomon recognized that his marriage to a non-Jew was forbidden.
So when the Ark of the Covenant arrives in Jerusalem, he tries to minimize the repercussions. He moves her elsewhere.
My wife. Solomon had hundreds of wives. The daughter of Pharaoh was one of hundreds.
VERSE 12. Then Solomon offered burnt offerings to the LORD on the LORD’s altar which he had built before the porch,
VERSE 13. even as the duty of every day required, offering according to the commandment of Moses on the Sabbaths, on the new moons, and on the set feasts, three times per year, during the feast of unleavened bread, during the feast of weeks, and during the feast of booths.
the feast of booths. That is, “Sukkot.”
VERSE 14. He appointed, according to the ordinance of David his father, the divisions of the priests to their service, and the Levites to their offices, to praise and to minister before the priests, as the duty of every day required, the doorkeepers also by their divisions at every gate, for David the man of God had so commanded.
to praise and to minister. Certain Levites were assigned to a daily ministry of praise and worship.
VERSE 15. They didn’t depart from the commandment of the king to the priests and Levites concerning any matter or concerning the treasures.
VERSE 16. Now all the work of Solomon was accomplished from the day of the foundation of the LORD’s house until it was finished. So the LORD’s house was completed.
VERSE 17. Then Solomon went to Ezion Geber and to Eloth, on the seashore in the land of Edom.
VERSE 18. Huram sent him ships and servants who had knowledge of the sea by the hands of his servants; and they came with the servants of Solomon to Ophir, and brought from there four hundred fifty talents of gold, and brought them to king Solomon.
four hundred fifty talents of gold. A talent is about 30 kilograms or 66 pounds or 965 Troy ounces. So 450 talents is about 13.5 metric tons.
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.