1 Kings
1-9 Answer from the LORD 10-14 Cities for Hiram 15-24 The Buildings of Solomon 25 The Offerings of Solomon 26-28 The Fleet of Solomon
Answer from the LORD

1Now it came about when Solomon had finished building the house of the LORD, and the king’s house, and all that Solomon desired to do, 2that the LORD appeared to Solomon a second time, as He had appeared to him at Gibeon. 3The LORD said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your supplication, which you have made before Me; I have consecrated this house which you have built by putting My name there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. 4As for you, if you will walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you [and] will keep My statutes and My ordinances, 5then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, just as I promised to your father David, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’ 6“But if you or your sons indeed turn away from following Me, and do not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, 7then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them, and the house which I have consecrated for My name, I will cast out of My sight. So Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 8And this house will become a heap of ruins; everyone who passes by will be astonished and hiss and say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land and to this house?’ 9And they will say, ‘Because they forsook the LORD their God, who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and adopted other gods and worshiped them and served them, therefore the LORD has brought all this adversity on them.’”

When Solomon has finished building (verse 11Now it came about when Solomon had finished building the house of the LORD, and the king’s house, and all that Solomon desired to do,), the LORD appears to him again (verse 22that the LORD appeared to Solomon a second time, as He had appeared to him at Gibeon.). It will be the twenty-fourth year of his government. He has been building for twenty years (verse 1010It came about at the end of twenty years in which Solomon had built the two houses, the house of the LORD and the king’s house). He has built the temple in seven years, which he began in the fourth year of his reign, and then he has built his house in thirteen years. He is here in the second part of his government and the decline of his government has already begun. The freshness of the beginning is no longer there. Things have come into Solomon’s life that will lead him to a fall.

The LORD appears for the second time to Solomon. He previously appeared to him in Gibeon, now He appears to him, as it seems, in Jerusalem. At His first appearance He told Solomon to ask what he wanted. Now, after so many years of prosperity, He lets him know what his responsibility is.

The LORD returns to his prayer from the eleventh year of his reign, the prayer at the dedication of the temple. Now, thirteen years later, the answer comes. The LORD first says to him that he has heard his prayer and supplication. It is a great encouragement for everyone who prays and supplicates to know that God hears prayer. The LORD reminds Solomon that He sanctified the temple by establishing His Name there forever (cf. Deu 12:11a11then it shall come about that the place in which the LORD your God will choose for His name to dwell, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution of your hand, and all your choice votive offerings which you will vow to the LORD.). Solomon also asked if the eyes of the LORD will always be focused on it (1Kgs 8:2929that Your eyes may be open toward this house night and day, toward the place of which You have said, ‘My name shall be there,’ to listen to the prayer which Your servant shall pray toward this place.). The answer of the LORD goes further. He says that His eyes and His heart will always be there.

Then He reminds Solomon of his responsibility. The throne of Solomon will be established when he stays in the ways of the LORD. There is an “if” in verse 44As for you, if you will walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you [and] will keep My statutes and My ordinances, and verse 66“But if you or your sons indeed turn away from following Me, and do not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them,, both for Solomon and for the whole people. That is the side of responsibility. God warns that they will keep His commandments and will not follow any other gods. If they do not listen, He must cut them off from the land, and He will cast out His temple so that it becomes a mockery (Deu 28:37,45,6337You shall become a horror, a proverb, and a taunt among all the people where the LORD drives you.45“So all these curses shall come on you and pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you would not obey the LORD your God by keeping His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you.63It shall come about that as the LORD delighted over you to prosper you, and multiply you, so the LORD will delight over you to make you perish and destroy you; and you will be torn from the land where you are entering to possess it.).

All who will see the destroyed temple will ask why (Deu 29:23-2623‘All its land is brimstone and salt, a burning waste, unsown and unproductive, and no grass grows in it, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in His anger and in His wrath.’24All the nations will say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land? Why this great outburst of anger?’25Then [men] will say, ‘Because they forsook the covenant of the LORD, the God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them out of the land of Egypt.26They went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods whom they have not known and whom He had not allotted to them.). The answer is: because the people have left the LORD. How about the promises, then, is God’s business and not the business of an unfaithful people.

The words that Solomon prayed for the people in view of their deviation now come to him personally. What one proclaims oneself, returns to one’s own head. That should not change the preaching, but keep the preacher. It comes down to the fact that someone must be what he preaches. All the kings after him have experienced that. It also applies to us, because the kingdom is also entrusted to us.


Cities for Hiram

10It came about at the end of twenty years in which Solomon had built the two houses, the house of the LORD and the king’s house 11(Hiram king of Tyre had supplied Solomon with cedar and cypress timber and gold according to all his desire), then King Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee. 12So Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given him, and they did not please him. 13He said, “What are these cities which you have given me, my brother?” So they were called the land of Cabul to this day. 14And Hiram sent to the king 120 talents of gold.

Solomon gives after finishing the two houses he has built twenty cities to Hiram, King of Tyre. Possibly Solomon borrowed gold and gave twenty cities as security. With this he made God’s inheritance smaller. They are cities in the promised land and Hiram cannot appreciate them. It seems that Hiram returned the cities, probably because Solomon paid his debt (2Chr 8:22that he built the cities which Huram had given to him, and settled the sons of Israel there.).

Hiram did help with the building of the temple, but he has no interest in it, nor in the cities that Solomon gave him. He even despises the cities, which is evident from the name he gives to them. “Kabul” literally means “as good as nothing”. Someone can be at work for the people of God, the church, by working on a certain work, but still have no interest for it. There is then a participation, but there is no relation, there is no taste of the heavenly land.


The Buildings of Solomon

15Now this is the account of the forced labor which King Solomon levied to build the house of the LORD, his own house, the Millo, the wall of Jerusalem, Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer. 16[For] Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up and captured Gezer and burned it with fire, and killed the Canaanites who lived in the city, and had given it [as] a dowry to his daughter, Solomon’s wife. 17So Solomon rebuilt Gezer and the lower Beth-horon 18and Baalath and Tamar in the wilderness, in the land [of Judah], 19and all the storage cities which Solomon had, even the cities for his chariots and the cities for his horsemen, and all that it pleased Solomon to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land under his rule. 20[As for] all the people who were left of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, who were not of the sons of Israel, 21their descendants who were left after them in the land whom the sons of Israel were unable to destroy utterly, from them Solomon levied forced laborers, even to this day. 22But Solomon did not make slaves of the sons of Israel; for they were men of war, his servants, his princes, his captains, his chariot commanders, and his horsemen. 23These [were] the chief officers who [were] over Solomon’s work, five hundred and fifty, who ruled over the people doing the work. 24As soon as Pharaoh’s daughter came up from the city of David to her house which [Solomon] had built for her, then he built the Millo.

Solomon has built a lot. He strengthens cities and builds new ones. Everything he desires to build (verses 1,191Now it came about when Solomon had finished building the house of the LORD, and the king’s house, and all that Solomon desired to do,19and all the storage cities which Solomon had, even the cities for his chariots and the cities for his horsemen, and all that it pleased Solomon to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land under his rule.), that he builds. This building spirit goes further than just building the temple and his palace. These are buildings that are according to God’s will. The desire to build other buildings does not have to be wrong at first. It seems, however, that he has gone too far in his building-lust and that in the end it does not give him any peace (Ecc 2:4-114I enlarged my works: I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for myself;5I made gardens and parks for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees;6I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees.7I bought male and female slaves and I had homeborn slaves. Also I possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem.8Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself male and female singers and the pleasures of men—many concubines.9Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me.10All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor.11Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.). It may be that we already have a warning here that his heart is no longer completely focused on the LORD. Thus we too can begin in the Spirit, but end in the flesh (Gal 3:33Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?).

His lust to build also means an enormous burden for the people who have to contribute to this in the form of taxes, under which they sigh (1Kgs 12:44“Your father made our yoke hard; now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.”). This will not happen when the Lord Jesus reigns in Zion, for He says: “My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Mt 11:3030For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”).

What the Pharaoh does (verse 1616[For] Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up and captured Gezer and burned it with fire, and killed the Canaanites who lived in the city, and had given it [as] a dowry to his daughter, Solomon’s wife.), the Israelites should have done. Wherever Solomon builds, he encounters remaining Canaanites. The time of extermination is over, that should have happened under Joshua. It can also be the same in the church. The time for action may be over and the only thing that sometimes remains is to bear the consequences.

But Solomon does make the enemies slaves of the Israelites. This does not apply to the children of God’s people. They are warriors to fight for the LORD, and servants to serve the LORD. The number and function of the supervisors is given.

Verse 2424As soon as Pharaoh’s daughter came up from the city of David to her house which [Solomon] had built for her, then he built the Millo. points back to a previous event (1Kgs 3:11Then Solomon formed a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh’s daughter and brought her to the city of David until he had finished building his own house and the house of the LORD and the wall around Jerusalem.) and rectifies what happened there. With the departure of Pharaoh’s daughter from the city of David, there is room for the building of the Millo, which is done by Solomon. The Millo is a fortress near Jerusalem.


The Offerings of Solomon

25Now three times in a year Solomon offered burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar which he built to the LORD, burning incense with them [on the altar] which [was] before the LORD. So he finished the house.

This verse also points back to 1 Kings 3 and rectifies what happened there, though under the LORD’s tolerance, not in the right way (1Kgs 3:2-42The people were still sacrificing on the high places, because there was no house built for the name of the LORD until those days.3Now Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David, except he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.4The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place; Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.). As prescribed Solomon offers three times a year: “the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Booths” (2Chr 8:1313and [did so] according to the daily rule, offering [them] up according to the commandment of Moses, for the sabbaths, the new moons and the three annual feasts—the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Booths.). He offers not on the golden altar, but on the bronze altar, not in the temple, but before the temple.

The last part of the verse – “so he finished the house” – means that by bringing the sacrifices before the LORD he does full justice to the house. The house is finished with a view to bring sacrifices. That may appeal to us. The church is a spiritual house to bring spiritual sacrifices (1Pet 2:55you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.). If we do that, together with others, we do full justice to the house .


The Fleet of Solomon

26King Solomon also built a fleet of ships in Ezion-geber, which is near Eloth on the shore of the Red Sea, in the land of Edom. 27And Hiram sent his servants with the fleet, sailors who knew the sea, along with the servants of Solomon. 28They went to Ophir and took four hundred and twenty talents of gold from there, and brought [it] to King Solomon.

Hiram also helped Solomon with the building of ships and delivered crew familiar with the sea. The ships are only mentioned here as means of transport for gold, which is taken from Ofir.

There are still two places in Scripture of which the names are linked to gold: Havilah (Gen 2:1111The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.) and Sheba (Psa 72:1515So may he live, and may the gold of Sheba be given to him;
And let them pray for him continually;
Let them bless him all day long.
; 1Kgs 10:1010She gave the king a hundred and twenty talents of gold, and a very great [amount] of spices and precious stones. Never again did such abundance of spices come in as that which the queen of Sheba gave King Solomon.; Isa 60:66“A multitude of camels will cover you,
The young camels of Midian and Ephah;
All those from Sheba will come;
They will bring gold and frankincense,
And will bear good news of the praises of the LORD.
; Eze 27:2222The traders of Sheba and Raamah, they traded with you; they paid for your wares with the best of all [kinds] of spices, and with all [kinds] of precious stones and gold.). Havilah reminds us of paradise and Sheba determines us at the time of the empire of peace. Through the gold that Solomon gets from Ophir, the idea arises that the early days of Solomon can be compared to the glory of paradise and that of the empire of peace.


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