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Solomon and His Kingdom 

First Kings 4

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • August 3, In the year of our Lord, 2016

  1. First Kings 4.1–6 – Solomon’s Officials

    1 So King Solomon was king over all Israel. 2 And these were his officials: Azariah the son of Zadok, the priest; 3 Elihoreph and Ahijah, the sons of Shisha, scribes; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, the recorder; 4 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, over the army; Zadok and Abiathar, the priests; 5 Azariah the son of Nathan, over the officers; Zabud the son of Nathan, a priest and the king’s friend; 6 Ahishar, over the household; and Adoniram the son of Abda, over the labor force.

    1. If Solomon was so wise, why did he need all these men?
      1. He may have been wise, but he could not do everything.
      2. He who is wise,
        1. knows his limitations,
        2. knows how to use others,
    2. Solomon was a real king who had real officials and advisers.
  2. First Kings 4.7–19 – Solomon’s Governors

    7 And Solomon had twelve governors over all Israel, who provided food for the king and his household; each one made provision for one month of the year. 8 These are their names: Ben-hur, in the mountains of Ephraim; 9 Ben-deker, in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth Shemesh, and Elon Beth Hanan; 10 Ben-hesed, in Arubboth; to him belonged Sochoh and all the land of Hepher; 11 Ben-abinadab, in all the regions of Dor; he had Taphath the daughter of Solomon as wife; 12 Baana the son of Ahilud, in Taanach, Megiddo, and all Beth Shean, which is beside Zaretan below Jezreel, from Beth Shean to Abel Meholah, as far as the other side of Jokneam; 13 Ben-geber, in Ramoth Gilead; to him belonged the towns of Jair the son of Manasseh, in Gilead; to him also belonged the region of Argob in Bashan—sixty large cities with walls and bronze gate-bars; 14 Ahinadab the son of Iddo, in Mahanaim; 15 Ahimaaz, in Naphtali; he also took Basemath the daughter of Solomon as wife; 16 Baanah the son of Hushai, in Asher and Aloth; 17 Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in Issachar; 18 Shimei the son of Elah, in Benjamin; 19 Geber the son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, in the country of Sihon king of the Amorites, and of Og king of Bashan. He was the only governor who was in the land.

    1. Why does the Bible show or tell us about Solomon’s governors?
    2. See what God promised the patriarchs:
      1. Gen 17.6
      2. Gen 17.16 (said of Sarah)
      3. Gen 35.11
  3. First Kings 4.20–21 – The Extent of Solomon’s Kingdom

    20 Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking and rejoicing. 21 So Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. They brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life.

    1. This passage is exceedingly important, because premillennialists teach
      1. that Israel never received all the land promised to the patriarchs,
      2. that Israel never had a king to rule over all the promised territory.
        1. Therefore, they interpret many prophecies as yet to be fulfilled, and
        2. that when Israel does finally receive all the land,
          1. then the Lord can return.
    2. However, note the promises and corresponding fulfillments:
      1. Promise: Gen 15.5 – Numberless descendants
        1. Fulfillment: 1Ki 4.20
      2. Promise: Gen 15.18 – The southern and northern borders of the land
        1. Fulfillment: Jos 21.43–45
      3. First Kings 4.21 shows that a king ruled over all the territory.
        1. The border of Egypt was the River of Egypt.
        2. The River of Egypt was not the Nile, but a wadi on the Sinai peninsula.
    3. Why is this significant for the Christian?
      1. The Lord bases our salvation on the promises to the Fathers.
      2. The Lord fulfilled His promises and His prophecies.
      3. It also shows that He will keep all His other promises.
  4. First Kings 4.22–23 – Solomon’s Provisions

    22 Now Solomon’s provision for one day was thirty kors of fine flour, sixty kors of meal, 23 ten fatted oxen, twenty oxen from the pastures, and one hundred sheep, besides deer, gazelles, roebucks, and fatted fowl.

    1. For whom was all this food?
    2. How many people would that feed?
  5. First Kings 4.24–25 – Solomon’s Peace and Safety

    24 For he had dominion over all the region on this side of the River from Tiphsah even to Gaza, namely over all the kings on this side of the River; and he had peace on every side all around him. 25 And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, each man under his vine and his fig tree, from Dan as far as Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.

    1. This shows a picture of peace and safety.
    2. David had set up everything to be this way, and
      1. as long as Solomon followed the Lord,
      2. the peace and safety continued.
        1. For a time, Solomon turned his heart to idols, but
        2. the Book of Ecclesiastes shows that he came back.
  6. First Kings 4.26–28 – Solomon’s Abundance

    26 Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen. 27 And these governors, each man in his month, provided food for King Solomon and for all who came to King Solomon’s table. There was no lack in their supply. 28 They also brought barley and straw to the proper place, for the horses and steeds, each man according to his charge.

    1. Forty thousand stalls was a huge building project.
    2. How many building projects did he have?
    3. Also, note that the huge supply of food did not burden one area of the nation all year, but only for a month.
  7. First Kings 4.29–34 – Solomon’s Wisdom and Literature

    29 And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore. 30 Thus Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 For he was wiser than all men—than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. 32 He spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five. 33 Also he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish. 34 And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon.

    1. What is largeness of heart?
    2. Verses 30–31 show the extent of Solomon’s wisdom.
      1. The first man named was the writer of Psalm 89.
    3. How many proverbs did he speak?
      1. How many are in the Books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes?
      2. Obviously, the vast majority of his proverbs did not make it into Scripture.
        1. How many songs did he write?
        2. How many made into Scripture?
    4. Did he only speak on spiritual things?
      1. No, he spoke of trees, from the grandest to the smallest.
      2. He wrote of all living creatures.
    5. Therefore, it does not surprise us that people, including kings, sought an audience with him.