1 Kings



by Ken Cayce



Ken Cayce All rights reserved.


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1 Kings Explained





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Book of 1 Kings Explained

Title: First and Second Kings were originally one book, called in the Hebrew text, "Kings," from the first word (in 1:1). The Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint (LXX), divided the book in two and this was followed by the Latin Vulgate version and English translations. The division was for the convenience of copying this lengthy book on scrolls and codexes and was not based on features of content.


The portrayal of the deeds of Israel's people, especially its kings, priests and prophets, is colored by the shade of spiritual faithfulness and purity they maintained toward God and His revealed standards. The selective rehearsal of the people's repeated spiritual failure, particularly among its leaders, point to Israel's need of a coming One who, as the heir to David's throne, would be not only its righteous King but its faithful Prophet and God's High Priest.


Modern Hebrew Bibles title the books "Kings A" and "Kings B." The LXX and Vulgate connected kings with the books of Samuel, so that the titles in the LXX are "The Third and Fourth Books of kingdoms" and in the Vulgate "Third and Fourth Kings." The books of 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings combined are a chronicle of the entire history of Judah's and Israel's kingship from Saul to Zedekiah. First and Second Chronicles provides only the history of Judah's monarchy.


Historical Setting: The two books of Kings recorded the activities of the people of God, moving from the days of Solomon (971-931 B.C.), to the division of the kingdom under Rehoboam. And then through the history of the twin kingdoms to the occasion of the respective defeats and exiles. The northern border Kingdom falling (in 722 B.C.), and the southern kingdom (in 586 B.C.). Israel is seen as the focal point of God's dealing with the various nations of mankind, especially the Egyptians, Phoenicians, Aramaeans, Assyrians, and Babylonians. Israel's spiritual disobedience would repeatedly expose them to political threats at the hands of these nations, until the northern kingdom of Israel would fall under the weight of the mighty war machine of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. And the remaining southern kingdom of Judah would come to an end at the hands of the Chaldeans. The time thus covered, exclusive of the historical appendixes at the end of 2 Kings is about 385 years.


Authorship and Date: Jewish tradition proposed that Jeremiah wrote Kings, although this is unlikely because the final event recorded in the book (see 2 Kings 25:27-30), occurred in Babylon (in 561 B.C.). Jeremiah never went to Babylon, but to Egypt (Jer. 43:1-7), and would have been at least 86 years old by 561 B.C. Actually, the identity of the unnamed author remains unknown. Since the ministry of prophets is emphasized in Kings, it seems that the author was most likely an unnamed prophet of the Lord who lived in exile with Israel in Babylon.


Liberal scholars have conjectured that First and Second Kings in their present form are the work of a Deuteronomic School of writers whose basic theological viewpoint is woven into the books from Joshua to Kings and whose literary activity stretched from the eighth century B.C. through the sixth century B.C. However, no real proof exists of such a group and efforts to suggest the supposed parameters of their writing activities have yielded varying and often conflicting results. Moreover, the underlying idea that someone associated with the Book of Deuteronomy (also considered to be a late book), was associated with these books is unproven and fails in the growing body of evidence that increasingly shows that Deuteronomy was almost entirely a product of Moses' own writing.


The identity of the author of Kings is unknown, although Jewish tradition holds that its author was Jeremiah. Although there can be no final certainty in the matter, the fact that Jeremiah was not only a member of a priestly, teaching family, but as God's prophet was an eyewitness and active participant in the events surrounding Judah's demise, argues for such a possibility. The author of Kings has used many official records and unofficial sources in compiling his history (e.g. 11:41; 14:19, 29, etc.; see the note on 2 Kings 20:20).


Kings was written between 561-538 B.C. Since the last narrated event (2 Kings 25:27-30), sets the earliest possible date of completion and because there is no record of the end of the Babylonian captivity in Kings. The release from exile (538 B.C.), identifies the latest possible writing date. This date is sometimes challenged on the basis of "to this day" statements (in 1 Kings 8:8; 9:13, 20-21; 10:12; 12:19; 2 Kings 2:22; 8:22; 10:27; 14;7; 16:6; 17:23, 34, 41; 21:15). However, it is best to understand these statements as those of the sources used by the author, rather than statements of the author himself.


It is clear that the author used a variety of sources in compiling this book, including "the book of the acts of Solomon" (1 Kings 11:41), "the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel" (1 Kings 14:19; 15:31; 16:5, 14, 20, 27; 22:39; 2 Kings 1:18; 10:34; 13:8, 12; 14:15, 28; 15:11, 21, 26, 31), and "the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah" (1 Kings 14:29; 15:7, 23; 22:45; 2 Kings 8:23; 12:19; 14:18; 15:6, 36; 16:19; 20:20; 21:17, 25; 23:28; 24:5). Further (Isaiah 36:1 - 39:8), provided information used (in 2 Kings 18:9 - 20:19 and Jeremiah 52:31-34), seems to be the source for (2 Kings 25:27-29). This explanation posits a single inspired author, living in Babylon during the Exile, using these pre-Exilic source materials at his disposal.


Although the author has written Kings in a generally historically progressive fashion, he often writes thematically, grouping his facts in a way that is not strictly chronological. Thus, one must not assume that the details of a given chapter necessarily have happened after those of the preceding chapter (see the note on 2 Kings 20:1). However, especially in the details relative to the divided kingdom, there is a general historical progression from (1 Kings 12 to the end of 2 Kings; from the mid tenth to the mid-sixth century B.C.). The dates for the respective kings given here result from a careful evaluation of the various dating methods used in ancient Israel as they are compared with certain established anchor dates in the ancient Near East. The difficulty of affixing precise dates is hampered by the various ways in which dates were calculated in Israel. In the northern kingdom, dating was reached by a non-accession system (by which the year that a man became king was listed as both his first year and the last year of his predecessor). In Judah, an accession year system was used, whereby a new king's first year was calculated from the beginning of the new year in the fall after his enthronement, until about 841 B.C., after which a change was made to the non-accession system. However, both kingdoms switched to the accession year system in the early eighth century B.C., possibly under the influence of Assyria. Adding to the difficulty is the fact that the length of the reign of some kings included a period of serving as co-regent with their fathers. Despite the complexity of the problem, a relatively accurate system of dating has been established.


Setting and Background: A distinction must be made between the setting for the books' sources and that of the books' author. The source material was written by participants in and eyewitnesses of the events. It was reliable information, which was historically accurate concerning the sons of Israel, from the death of David and the accession of Solomon (971 B.C.), to the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem by the Babylonians (586 B.C.). Thus, Kings traces the histories of two sets of kings and two nations of disobedient people, Israel and Judah, both of whom were growing indifferent to God's law and His prophets and were headed for captivity.


The book of Kings is not only accurate history, but interpreted history. The author, an exile in Babylon, wished to communicate the lessons of Israel's history to the exiles. Specifically, he taught the exilic community why the Lord's judgment of exile had come. The writer established early in his narrative that the Lord required obedience by the kings to the Mosaic law, if their kingdom was to receive His blessing; disobedience would bring exile (1 Kings 9:3-9). The sad reality that history revealed was that all the kings of Israel and the majority of the kings of Judah "did evil in the sight of the Lord." These evil kings were apostates, who led their people to sin by not confronting idolatry, but sanctioning it. Because of the kings' failure, the Lord sent His prophets to confront both the monarchs and the people with their sin and their need to return to Him. Because the message of the prophets was rejected, the prophets foretold that the nation(s) would be carried into exile (2 Kings 17:13-23; 21:10-15). Like every prophecy uttered by the prophets in Kings, this word from the Lord came to pass (2 Kings 17:5-6; 25:1-11). Therefore, Kings interpreted the people's experience of exile and helped them to see why they had suffered God's punishment for idolatry. It also explained that just as God had shown mercy to Ahab (1 Kings 22:27-29), and Jehoiachin (2 Kings 25:27-30), so He was willing to show them mercy.


The predominant geographical setting of Kings is the whole Land of Israel, stretching from Dan to Beer-sheba (1 Kings 4:25), including Transjordan. Four invading nations played a dominant role in the affairs of Israel and Judah from 971 to 561 B.C. In the tenth century B.C., Egypt impacted Israel's history during the reigns of Solomon and Rehoboam (1 Kings 3:1; 11:14-22, 40; 12:2; 14:25-27). Syria (Aram), posed a great threat to Israel's security during the ninth century B.C., ca. 890 - 800 B.C. (1 Kings 15:9-22; 20:1-34; 22:1-4, 29-40; 2 Kings 6:8 - 7:20; 8:7-15; 10:32-33; 12:17-18; 13:22-25). The years from ca. 800 to 750 B.C., were a half-century of peace and prosperity for Israel and Judah, because Assyria neutralized Syria and did not threaten to the south. This changed during the kingship of Tiglath-Pileser III (2 Kings 15:19-20, 29). From the mid-eighth century to the late seventh century B.C., Assyria terrorized Palestine, finally conquering and destroying Israel (the northern kingdom in 722 B.C.; 2 Kings 17:4-6). And besieging Jerusalem (in 701 B.C.; 2 Kings 18:17 - 19:37). From (612 to 539 B.C.), Babylon was the dominant power in the ancient world. Babylon invaded Judah (the southern kingdom), 3 times (605, 597 and 586 B.C.), with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple occurring (in 586 B.C.), during that third assault (2 Kings 24:1 - 25:21).


Although the historical trustworthiness of Kings has been demonstrated repeatedly, one must not read these two books simply as history. The two books are, above all, a telling of God's spiritual dealings with His vacillating people. It narrates how the people of God managed their God-given responsibilities before a sovereign and gracious God. It stands as a record of God's reward for obedience and faithfulness, and for His judgment of disobedience.


Before Israel entered the Promised Land, Moses had sternly cautioned the people about falling prey to pride and arrogance. Once they entered Canaan and became established in God's blessings, they would be tempted to say as a people, "My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth." But Moses exhorted them: "You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers ... then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord our God, and follow other gods ... I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish" (Deut. 8:17-19).


Those verses summarize First and Second Kings (one long book in the original Hebrew Bible). It is the story of how God blessed Israel and elevated her above all nations under the rule of Solomon. But it is also a story of decline and destruction and warnings unheeded.


The Nations divided into two. 10 tribes in the north with their capital of Samaria and two tribes in the south centered around Jerusalem. Two lines of kings, two capitals, two agendas and political divisions that symbolized the spiritual division in its heart. The people grew double- minded, living luxuriously in their wealth and following after idols instead of acknowledging the God who gave them everything. By the end of 2 Kings, both Israel and Judah had been taken into captivity into other lands.





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1 Kings 1 1 Kings 9 1 Kings 17
1 Kings 2 1 Kings 10 1 Kings 18
1 Kings 3 1 Kings 11 1 Kings 19
1 Kings 4 1 Kings 12 1 Kings 20
1 Kings 5 1 Kings 13 1 Kings 21
1 Kings 6 1 Kings 14 1 Kings 22
1 Kings 7 1 Kings 15
1 Kings 8 1 Kings 16

1 Kings 1



1 Kings Chapter 1

The first and second books of Kings are sometimes thought of as one book. They originally were one book. It is not known who the penman was. It is well accepted that they are both from one pen. We see the rise and fall of Solomon in these books. We also see the building of the temple by Solomon. In 2 Kings, we will see the division of Israel and Judah. The highlight of 1 Kings is the prayer of Solomon at the dedication of the temple (in chapter 8). We will also get acquainted with Elijah and Elisha.


From verses 1:1 - 11:43: The first division of Kings chronicles the reign of Solomon. The literary structure is centered around the building activities of Solomon (6:1-9:9), and climaxes with the failure of Solomon to follow the Lord wholeheartedly (1:1-11:43).


Verses 1-4: The phrase "David was old and stricken in years" implies he was failing physically. Although the expression "lie in your bosom" often indicates sexual intimacy, here it means the young woman kept him warm by providing body heat, a common practice in that day. David did not have physical relations with ("knew") the young girl. This is a reflection of his impotence, signaling that he was vulnerable to a hostile takeover of his throne.


1 Kings 1:1 "Now king David was old [and] stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat."


"Stricken in years": David was 70 years old (2 Sam 5:4-5).


"But he gat no heat" by them; having no natural heat in him, clothes could not communicate any to him, only keep the cold from him (see Haggai 1:6). There are many persons at the age he was, that are lively, healthful, and robust, comparatively speaking at least. But David's strength was impaired, and his natural force abated by his many wars, fatigues by night and day in campaigns, and the many sorrows and afflictions he met with from his family and his friends. As well as enemies; which exhausted his natural moisture, weakened his nerves, and drank up his spirits, and brought upon him the infirmities of a decrepit old age very soon.


This is just another way of saying that David was extremely sick with old age diseases. He was cold because the circulation in his body was poor. The cover did not help him because the heat of his body was not enough to warm him up.



Verses 2-4: These verses describe a type of technique widely practiced in ancient times, in which the body of a healthy person was used to help a sick one.


1 Kings 1:2 "Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat."


"That my lord the king may get heat": In his old age, circulatory problems plagued King David so he had trouble keeping warm. The royal staff proposed a solution that a young virgin nurse watch over him, and at night, warm him with her body heat. This was in harmony with the medial customs of that day. Both the Jewish historian Josephus (first century A.D.), and the Greek physician Galen (second century A.D.), record such a practice.


In this particular instance, the servants are possibly speaking of his physicians. The youth of this virgin would cause her to be vitally alive. When she lay under the covers with David, her body would put off heat. A person in the condition of David, would welcome death to this old worn out body. This vibrantly, alive, young girl, prescribed by David's physician, was supposed to revitalize whatever life was left in David.


1 Kings 1:3 "So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king."


"Abishag a Shunammite": Abishag was a very beautiful teenager from the town of Shunem, in the territory of Issachar located 3 miles north of Jezreel (Joshua 19:18; 1 Sam. 28:4; 2 Kings 4:8). Though from the same town, she is not to be identified with the Shunammite in the Song of Solomon (6:13).


Abishag was from the tribe of Issachar. She was there to nurse David back to health. She had no choice in the matter. The king needed her and she came. She slept with him to warm his body up. He never knew her in a personal relationship however. The name, "Abishag" means father of error.


1 Kings 1:4 "And the damsel [was] very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not."


"But the king knew her not": Although apparently joining David's harem (2:17; 22-24), Abishag remained a virgin.


She was there as his nurse. She did sleep with him, but had no sexual relations with him.



Verses 5-6: David's fourth son, "Adonijah ... exalted himself"; that is, he stepped forward to be king, breaking the Israelite tradition of God choosing the king. This is ironic, given that the name "Adonijah" means "Yahweh is My Lord." The Bible is clear that God does not like people to exalt themselves (James 4:6, 10). Adonijah chose "fifty men to run before him" in order to look like a king before he was one. That "his father had not rebuked him at any time" speaks to David's failure to discipline his son, leading Adonijah to attempt to gain the throne.


1 Kings 1:5 "Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him."


"Adonijah": Adonijah was the fourth son of David (2 Sam. 3:4), and probably the oldest living son, since Amnon (2 Sam. 13:28-29), and Absalom (2 Sam. 18:14-15), had been killed, and Chileab apparently died in his youth, since there is no mention of him beyond his birth. As David's oldest surviving heir, Adonijah attempted to claim the kingship.


"Chariots and horsemen": Like Absalom (2 Sam. 15:1), Adonijah sought to confirm and support his claim to kingship by raising a small army.


David's first four sons were Amnon, Chileab, Absalom and "Adonijah" (compare 2 Sam. 3:2-4). Amnon and Absalom had suffered violent deaths (2 Sam. 13:28-29; 18:14). Chileab must have died in childhood. Therefore, Adonijah would assume that he had a legitimate right to the throne. However, even Adonijah knew that the Lord had selected Solomon as David's successor (2:15).


Adonijah was the fourth son of David and the oldest living son. He was in line to be king, he thought. With the Hebrews, the king was whoever God chose to be king. God had not spoken of him being king; however, he elevated himself to that position. David is not even dead and he wants to be king now. He got support from some of the people, and was doing the very same things that Absalom had done. The runners and the chariots and horses were to make him appear to be the next king.


1 Kings 1:6 "And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so? and he also [was a] very goodly [man]; and [his mother] bare him after Absalom."


David had again failed to discipline a son properly (see the note on 2 Sam. 13:39).


We can understand why he wanted to be like Absalom, since he was the younger brother of Absalom. David either had not heard of what he had done, or was too sick to pay much attention to it. He had not told him not to do this. Adonijah was not an evil man. "Adonijah" means my Lord is Jehovah. Amnon had been his older brother.



Verses 7-10: "Adonijah's" plot began with the gaining valuable allies: "Joab," who "David" was unable to control (2:5-6), and "Abiathar the priest." Adonijah's plan next took the form of a feast for his supporters at which he would declare his kingship.


1 Kings 1:7 "And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped [him]."


"Joab": David's nephew (1 Chron. 2:16), the commander of the army of Israel (2 Sam. 8:16), and a faithful supporter of David's kingship (2 Sam. 18:2; 20:22). He was guilty of the illegal killings of Abner and Amasa (2:5; compare 2 Sam. 3:39; 20:10). Adonijah wanted his support in his bid for the throne.


"Abiathar": One of the two High-Priests serving concurrently during David's reign (2 Sam. 8:17), whose influence Adonijah sought.


They automatically assumed that he would be the next king, because he was the oldest living son of David. Joab has decided if he is to be accepted by the new king, he must help establish him now. Joab had been faithful to David in the past, but had not always done things exactly as David had commanded, if he thought it would help his position to do otherwise. Abiathar had been loyal to David as well. It is difficult to understand why he would follow Adonijah, against the wishes of David. At this point, David had not made it clear that this was against his wishes, however. Abiathar could have been jealous of the relationship Zadok had with David.



Verses 8-10: The lists of those who "were not with Adonijah" and those he "did not invite", are telling. He had neither his father's approval nor God's. Priestly sacrifices always accompanied anointing's or coronations in Israel, but this time, the self-appointed king was directing the action rather than allowing God to direct it.


1 Kings 1:8 "But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men which [belonged] to David, were not with Adonijah."


"Zadok": The other High-Priest serving during David's reign (2 Sam. 8:17), whose ancestors will serve the millennial temple (see Ezek. 44:15). He had been High-Priest in the tabernacle at Gibeon under Saul (1 Chron. 16:39).


"Benaiah": The commander of the Cherethites and Pelethites (verse 44). David's official guards distinguished for bravery (see Sam. 23:20; see note on 1 Sam. 30:14). He was regarded by Joab as a rival.


"Nathan": The most influential prophet during David's reign (2 Sam. 7:1-17; 12:1-15, 25).


"Shimei" (compare 4:18). A different individual than the Shimei referred to (in 2:8, 36-46; 2 Sam. 16:5-8).


"The mighty men" (see 2 Sam. 23:8-39).


Nathan had been there, and actually named Solomon Jedidiah. He knew Solomon was to be the king after David. Usually there was just one High Priest, but at the time this is speaking of, both Zadok and Abiathar were priests. The mighty men had been with David through most of his trials. They were loyal and stayed with David against Adonijah. Benaiah was a Levite, and his father had been high priest. He was David's bodyguard however. It is believed that Shimei and Rei were brothers of David.


1 Kings 1:9 "And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which [is] by En-rogel, and called all his brethren the king's sons, and all the men of Judah the king's servants:"


"Zoheleth": Or "Serpent Stone," a standard landmark identified with a previous Jebusite snake worship location.


"En-rogel": Literally "the spring of the fuller." This is typically identified as being located at the northwest confluence of the Kidron and Hinnom Valleys. Here Adonijah held a political event to court popularity and secure his claim to the throne.


This was very similar to what Absalom had done. This was for sacrificing and the sacrificial feast that went along with it. This is a way of getting his men to vow their loyalty to him. It appears that the other sons of David are invited to the feast, except Solomon.


1 Kings 1:10 "But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not."


"Solomon? Was the third and last king of "united" Israel, and he reigned 40 years (970-930 B.C.). He is also known as Jedidiah ("Yahweh's Beloved," 2 Sam. 12:25). He was David's son by Bath-sheba. Solomon extended the kingdom to its greatest geographical limits, and achieved its greatest material prosperity. Though very intelligent (3:4-15; 4:29-34; 2 Chron. 9:1-12), Solomon in his later years lost his spiritual discernment. For the sake of political advantage and sensual living he succumbed to apostasy, for which he was severely chastened by God (11:1-28). His policies of oppression and luxury brought the kingdom to the verge of dissolution; when his son Rehoboam came to the throne, the kingdom divided (Chapter 12). Solomon is noted for many different accomplishments:


(1) He built the temple in seven years;


(2) He built the temple complex (a series of five structures), in 13 years;


(3) He built many cities to further the expansion of his trade empire;


(4) He made cities of storage and cities for his chariots and cavalry throughout the realm;


(5) He pioneered trade routes linking Africa, Asia, Arabia, and Asia Minor;


(6) He entered the horse trade based in Asia Minor;


(7) His naval fleet sailed from Ezion-geber in the Gulf of Aqabah to Ophir on the coast of the Red Sea;


(8) He wrote Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon, Psalms 72 and 127, and over one thousand songs;


(9) He had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines;


(10) He built shrines for worshiping false gods, to satisfy his heathen wives.


The main reason he did not call them, is because he was aware of their loyalty to David. He was aware that Solomon would be his rival for the kingdom. He had probably, heard about Nathan giving Solomon a special name. He probably had heard talk also, that David would name Solomon king. Perhaps, that is what the rush is all about here.


"Solomon" was the tenth son of David and the second son of "David" and "Bath-sheba". Their first son died within days of being born (2 Sam. 12).



Verses 11-27: The revolt of Adonijah was defeated by Nathan, who knew the Lord's will (see 2 Sam. 7:12; 1 Chron. 22:9). And acted quickly, by having Bath-sheba go to David first to report what was happening, after which he would follow (verse 23).


1 Kings 1:11 "Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bath-sheba the mother of Solomon, saying, Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth [it] not?"


"Bath-sheba the mother of Solomon": The mothers of the kings of the Davidic line are continually noted (2:13-19; 14:21; 15:2; 2 Kings 8:26; 12:1; 14:2; 15:2, 33; 18:2; 21:1-19; 22;1; 23:31, 36; 24:8). The queen mother held an influential position in the royal court. For the story of how David sinfully took her (see 2 Sam. Chapter 11).


"Nathan" learned of "Adonijah's" plans to claim the throne and persuaded "Beth-sheba" to help him convince "David" that he should issue a public proclamation that "Solomon was king.


Nathan knew the great love that David had for Bath-sheba. He knew if anyone could influence David, it would be Bath-sheba. She was the mother of Solomon, so it would be to her best interest for Solomon to be king. Probably, she had not heard about Adonijah trying to seize the kingdom. David would let Bath-sheba approach him and tell him this, when he possibly, would not allow Nathan or anyone else, to tell him.


1 Kings 1:12 "Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon."


"Save ... the life of thy son": If Adonijah had become king, the lives of Bath-sheba and Solomon would have been in jeopardy, because often in the ancient Near East potential claimants to the throne and their families were put to death (15:29; 16:11; 2 Kings 10:11).


Since Solomon had not been invited to the feast of Adonijah, it is obvious he is counted a rival. If Adonijah were to become king, he would kill Solomon and Bath-sheba. This was done many times, to keep the brother from seizing control.


1 Kings 1:13 "Go and get thee in unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my lord, O king, swear unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? why then doth Adonijah reign?"


"Didst not thou ... swear": This oath was given privately (un-recorded in Scripture), by David, perhaps to both Nathan and Bath-sheba. Solomon's choice by the Lord was implicit in his name Jedidiah, meaning "beloved of the Lord" (2 Sam. 12:24-25). And explicit in David's declaration to Solomon (1 Chron. 22:6:13; also compare verses 17, 20, 35).


This oath that David had made to Bath-sheba had obviously been well known by Nathan. It had, possibly, been known by Adonijah too. Nathan knows that David will keep his oath, if he can remember it. David was so feeble; it seemed it had not come to his attention what was going on.


1 Kings 1:14 "Behold, while thou yet talkest there with the king, I also will come in after thee, and confirm thy words."


I will also come in after thee": Directly into the king's chamber.


"And confirm thy words": As he could very well do, if he was present as a witness of the oath he had made to her, as well as he could confirm the truth of Adonijah's usurpation.


And could plead the will and promises of God he had formerly notified to him: or, "fill up thy words", make up what might be wanting in her address to him, in her account of things, or in the arguments used by her;


He means that he would second her in her motion in favor of Solomon, and press the king to take some steps for the security of the succession to him. Nathan knew it was the will of God that Solomon should succeed in the kingdom; he had promised it by him (see 2 Sam. 7:12). Yet, as a wise and good man, he thought it right to make use of all proper means to attain the end.


Nathan had been afraid to go in unto the king without Bath-sheba. The plan is that he will confirm the things that Bath-sheba tells David.


1 Kings 1:15 "And Bath-sheba went in unto the king into the chamber: and the king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king."


Where he lay, being bedridden; she took Nathan's advice, and directly went to the king's apartment.


"And the king was very old": And decrepit, borne down with the infirmities of old age, though but seventy years of age.


"And Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king": She was then waiting upon the king, and serving him with what was necessary and proper for him; and perhaps there was no other in the chamber at that time.


1 Kings 1:16 "And Bath-sheba bowed, and did obeisance unto the king. And the king said, What wouldest thou?"


Not only as being her husband, but her sovereign; and this behavior might intimate, that she had something to say to him, and more than to inquire of his health.


"And the king said, wouldest thou?" What hast thou to say to me? Or to ask of me? What is thy will and pleasure, or thine errand to me?


David was so feeble, that he could not leave his chambers. Abishag was nurse to him, because of his terrible weakness. He possibly, was too weak to dress himself or do any of the ordinary things a person must do. The bowing here, was just a sign of great respect for David. She loved and respected him as her husband, but she also respected his authority.


1 Kings 1:17 "And she said unto him, My lord, thou swarest by the LORD thy God unto thine handmaid, [saying], Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne."


Which was a very solemn oath, and binding, and which she puts David in mind of, knowing that as conscientious a man as he was would religiously observe it.


Saying, assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me": And shall sit upon my throne; be his successor in it, and established on it.


1 Kings 1:18 "And now, behold, Adonijah reigneth; and now, my lord the king, thou knowest [it] not:"


Has set up himself as king, and is by some saluted as such; but lest it should be thought by David that she suggested by this that he was guilty of the breach of his oath, or on any account to be blamed, she adds.


"And now my lord, O king, thou knowest it not": Which as it acquitted him from all blame, so it made the sin of Adonijah the more heinous, that he should do this without consulting his father about it. And was not only neglect of him as a father, and an act of disrespect and disobedience to him as such, but even of high treason, to assume the throne in his father's lifetime, without his consent.


1 Kings 1:19 "And he hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the sons of the king, and Abiathar the priest, and Joab the captain of the host: but Solomon thy servant hath he not called."


Has made a grand entertainment, and is feasting and rejoicing; which was another instance of irreverence and disrespect to his aged father, laboring under the infirmities of old age, and on his dying bed. And he carousing, and showing all the tokens of pleasure in the view of his death, and wishing for it.


"And hath called all the sons of the king": Invited them to his entertainment, in order to gain them to his interest.


"And Abiathar the priest, and Joab the captain of the host": Two persons, though of eminent rank, she knew David had no respect for, and therefore it would not be pleasing to him to hear that they were invited, had this affair been more acceptable than it was. Bath-sheba, considering the shortness of the time she had to think, and the flurry she must be in, very artfully threw together the most material things that might work upon the mind of David in her favor.


"But Solomon thy servant hath he not called": Which made it a plain case that it was not a feast of a peace offering, nor a common friendly entertainment, but a feast made on account of his accession to the throne. And that he looked upon Solomon as his rival, and bore an ill will to him on that account, and bade a design upon him.


We see in this, Bath-sheba makes David aware of exactly what his oath had been to her, and also the fact that Adonijah is trying to take the kingdom, even before the death of David.


1 Kings 1:20 "And thou, my lord, O king, the eyes of all Israel [are] upon thee, that thou shouldest tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him."


The generality of the people is in suspense, whether Adonijah's practices be with thy consent or not, and wait for thy sentence, which they will readily embrace.


"Who shall sit upon the throne of my lord the king": She speaks only in general, as owning my king's prerogative to give the crown to which of his sons he pleased, if he had not restrained himself by his oath to Solomon.


"After him": I.e. after thy death; whereby she questions Adonijah's ambition, who usurped the crown whilst his father lived.


In a sense, Bath-sheba is reminding David of the power within his hands to stop this struggle for power before there is bloodshed among his sons. She says the entire nation is looking to you, to name a king. She feels if David would announce who the king is to be, the entire nation would be loyal to him. She reminds David, that the Hebrew throne does not necessarily go to the oldest son, but to the one God has chosen through David.


1 Kings 1:21 "Otherwise it shall come to pass, when my lord the king shall sleep with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders."


That is, shall die, and be buried in the sepulcher of his ancestors, where he shall lie till he awakes in the morning of the resurrection.


"That I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders": Or "sinners"; not as if she would be reckoned an adulteress, and her son as illegitimate, as some think. And so be branded and treated as such; but as being traitors, making pretensions to the throne. She on the behalf of her son, and he for himself, when he had no right to it, being the younger son, and not declared successor by his father.


Bath-sheba knew of David's love for her. He would not let her and her son be destroyed. Bath-sheba's plea to David touches on that point. She feels that Adonijah would have her and Soloman killed if he becomes king. It is in the power of David to change this.


1 Kings 1:22 "And, lo, while she yet talked with the king, Nathan the prophet also came in."


Just as she was concluding her speech to him.


"Nathan the prophet also came in": As he promised he would. Perhaps was at the chamber door all the while Bath-sheba was speaking, and when he perceived she was just finishing, he entered in without ceremony. As he had used to do, being the king's seer and counsellor, and a prophet, who had admittance to the king at any time.


Probably, Nathan had been in the hall waiting. He now comes in to confirm what Bath-sheba has said.


1 Kings 1:23 "And they told the king, saying, Behold Nathan the prophet. And when he was come in before the king, he bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground."


Some who were attending at the door, or were in the chamber.


"Saying, behold, Nathan the prophet": Or he is in the room, which the king through his infirmities might not be sensible of.


"And when he was come in before the king": Nearer to him, and as to be properly in his presence.


"He bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground": Showing him the same reverence (though in bed), as if on his throne.


Nathan is a man of God. He had spoken boldly to David, when he had sinned before the LORD. David was aware that the words that came from Nathan were not Nathan's words, but the words of the LORD, so he was not angry with Nathan. Nathan is showing respect for David as king by bowing.


1 Kings 1:24 "And Nathan said, My lord, O king, hast thou said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne?"


He addresses him as with great veneration and respect due to his office, so as if he knew nothing of Bath-sheba's supplication to him; and therefore begins and tells his story, as if the king had never heard anything relative to it.


"Hast thou said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne?" Surely it can never be, because of the notice which he himself had given him from the Lord, that one to be born should succeed him, plainly pointing to Solomon. And also because of the oath which he had sworn, to which Nathan was privy, that Solomon should reign after him. And yet if he had not given such orders, it was exceeding strange that Adonijah should presume to do what he had done.


1 Kings 1:25 "For he is gone down this day, and hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the king's sons, and the captains of the host, and Abiathar the priest; and, behold, they eat and drink before him, and say, God save king Adonijah."


From Jerusalem which lay high, to the stone of Zoheleth, in En-rogel, which lay in the valley (1 Kings 1:9).


"And hath slain oxen, and fat cattle, and sheep in abundance". Not by way of sacrifice, but for a feast, on account of his coming to the kingdom.


"And hath called all the king's sons". Invited them to the entertainment.


"And the captains of the host": Or army; not only Joab it seems, the general of it, but the captains of thousands and hundreds under him. Being desirous of engaging the militia in his favor, and which was not an impolitic step.


"And Abiathar the priest": To consult with by Urim and Thummim, and to anoint him, and use his interest with the populace for him, who might be supposed a man of influence, being the High Priest of the nation.


"And, behold, they eat and drink before him": They were now at it, at this time. They were not only invited, but they accepted the invitation and came. Which is afore than what was before related. And they say:


"God save King Adonijah": They proclaimed and saluted him as king, and drank his health, and wished him all prosperity; and so the Targum, "may King Adonijah prosper!"


1 Kings 1:26 "But me, [even] me thy servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and thy servant Solomon, hath he not called."


Meaning himself, Nathan the prophet, who was David's servant, his seer, and his counsellor.


"And Zadok the priest": For whom David had a great respect.


"And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada": Who was captain of his bodyguards. Here Nathan observes more than Bath-sheba had, and supplies what she had omitted, and so filled up her words (as in 1 Kings 1:14).


"And thy servant Solomon, hath he not called": Which showed his ill intention.


Nathan has given him an accurate explanation of what has happened. Nathan knows that David has the power to change this. Adonijah has neglected to include these people, because he knows their loyalty is not with him.


1 Kings 1:27 "Is this thing done by my lord the king, and thou hast not showed [it] unto thy servant, who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?"


With his knowledge and consent, and by his orders.


"And thou hast not showed it unto thy servant": Meaning himself, who had brought him a message from the Lord, signifying that Solomon should succeed him. And therefore if that had been countermanded, it seemed strange that he should not have acquainted him with it. Or "to thy servants", as the Arabic version. For the word has a plural ending, though pointed as singular. And so, it may mean not only himself, but the rest of David's faithful servants that were about him at court, as Kimchi observes.


"Who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?" If he had altered his mind, or had had any direction from the Lord to make any change, he wondered at it that he should neither acquaint him, nor any of his trusty friends, with it.


Nathan is absolutely assured that David would have told him, if Adonijah had been his choice for king in his stead. He says, have you chosen Adonijah and not told me?


1 Kings Chapter 1 Questions


1. Who was the penman of Kings?


2. What are some of the things contained in Kings?


3. Describe the condition of David in verse 1?


4. What suggestion did his servants make to improve his condition?


5. Who are the servants of verse 2?


6. Who was the young virgin girl they found?


7. Did David know her as a wife?


8. What does "Abishag" mean?


9. Which son of David took advantage of David's feeble condition, and exalted himself, saying he would be king?


10. How many men did he prepare to run before his chariot?


11. What made Adonijah think he should be the next king?


12. What is wrong with this?


13. What would the chariots, and the runners before him, make him appear to be?


14. Who were Adonijah's brothers?


15. Why had David not stopped Adonijah before now?


16. Who were two of David's men, who followed Adonijah?


17. Why had Joab followed him?


18. Who were some, who had not followed him?


19. What name had Nathan given to Solomon?


20. Who was David's bodyguard?


21. What did Adonijah do, when he met with his followers?


22. Who were not invited to the feast?


23. Who did Nathan get to go and talk to David about, what was going on?


24. What did Nathan tell her to say to David?


25. How did Bath-sheba show her respect for David?


26. In verse 20, how does she explain to him the importance of his decision?


27. When did Nathan come in and speak to David?


28. What did Nathan tell David?


29. What question did Nathan ask David in verse 27?




1 Kings Chapter 1 Continued

Verses 28-53 (see 1 Chron. 29:21-25).


1 Kings 1:28 "Then king David answered and said, Call me Bath-sheba. And she came into the king's presence, and stood before the king."


Observing that Nathan confirmed the account that Bath-sheba had given, and that it must be a matter of fact that Adonijah had usurped the throne, gave orders to those about him, saying.


"Call me Bath-sheba": Who either went out of the room when Nathan entered it, or however removed to some distant part of it, out of the sight of David.


"And she came into the king's presence, and stood before the king": Came to the side or foot of his bed, hearkening to what he had to say to her.


It appears from this, that Bath-sheba had spoken to David and then left the room. Now that Nathan has verified the fact that Adonijah is trying to make himself king, David requests Bath-sheba to come back into the room. We know from the last lesson that Adonijah was trying to become king, even before the death of his very weak father's death. We know also, that Joab and all of Adonijah's brothers, except Solomon, are in favor of Adonijah being the next king.


1 Kings 1:29 "And the king sware, and said, [As] the LORD liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress,"


"The king sware": David swore another oath to carry out his earlier commitment to make Solomon king, and he made good on it that very day.


1 Kings 1:30 "Even as I sware unto thee by the LORD God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly do this day."


And so owns and confirms the truth of what Nathan had suggested to Bath-sheba, and she had asserted (1 Kings 1:13).


"Saying, assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead": This was the substance of the oath.


"Even so will I certainly do this day": Perform this oath, and set Solomon on the throne.


David is speaking this to Bath-sheba in the presence of Nathan. There will be no doubting this proclamation with Nathan as a witness. Notice that even near death, David is careful to give the LORD credit for his life and his power. David is saying that he will keep the oath he had made to Bath-sheba. He will make Solomon king now.


1 Kings 1:31 "Then Bath-sheba bowed with [her] face to the earth, and did reverence to the king, and said, Let my lord king David live for ever."


Thereby she expressed her great respect of David; and thankfulness for his favor to her and her son in fulfilling his promise and oath.


Again, Bath-sheba shows her reverence for her husband and king. She truly means "Let my lord king David live forever".



Verses 32-34: "David" instructed "Zadok, Nathan," and "Benaiah," his chief aides in the spiritual and civil realms, to "cause Solomon ... to ride upon" David's "own mule ... to Gihon" and there "anoint him" publicly as "king." Although mules were forbidden in the Levitical law concerning crossbreeding (Lev. 19:19), the special mule was an ancient symbol of royalty, as demonstrated in the Mari Tablets. David's sons had ridden upon a mule (2 Sam. 13:29; 18:9).


Here is an account of a divinely approved coronation in Israel as "Zadok" (the priest), and Nathan the prophet, "anointed Solomon." Solomon's ride on David's "own mule" was a public endorsement of Israel's truly appointed king.


1 Kings 1:32 "And king David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king."


Not Abiathar the High Priest, for he had joined Adonijah; and besides Zadok was David's favorite priest, and for him the high priesthood was designed, as it was in a little time translated to him.


"And Nathan the prophet": Who very probably went out of the room when Bath-sheba was called in: and:


"Benaiah the son of Jehoiada": the captain of his guards.


"And they came before the king": Who it is very likely sat up in his bed, and they stood around him.


David may have been weak, but he was still thinking clearly and knew exactly what must be done. Notice that Zadok the priest was mentioned first. A Hebrew king must first be recognized by the man that God had put in power as the priest. The spiritual was always first. Remember that Benaiah was David's bodyguard.


1 Kings 1:33 "The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon:"


"Mine own mule": The riding of David's royal mule showed Israel that Solomon was David's chosen successor (see 2 Sam. 13:29).


"Gihon" This spring, which was Jerusalem's main water supply, was located about one-half mile north of En-rogel (verse 9), and hidden from it by an intervening hill. Thus, the sound of Solomon's anointing ceremony could have been heard without being seen by Adonijah's party.


We know that the she mule that David rode was a mule proclaiming him as king. To allow Solomon to ride this special mule would mean that David was announcing that Solomon would take his place as king. Gihon was believed to be just to the west of Jerusalem.


1 Kings 1:34 "And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon."


"Anoint him there king": Saul and David had been anointed by Samuel, the Lord's priest and prophet (1 Sam. 10:1; 16:13). Solomon was also to be recognized by priest and prophet. The participation of the prophet Nathan gave Solomon's coronation evidence of the Lord's blessing. Throughout the book of Kings, God identified His chosen kings through prophets (11:37; 15:28-29; 16:12; 2 Kings 9:3).


"Blow ye with the trumpet": The blowing of the trumpet signaled a public assembly where the people corporately recognized Solomon's new status as co-regent with and successor to David (verses 39 and 40).


This seemed to be a place where most of the inhabitants in that area could hear the trumpet. Zadok and Nathan would represent not only the wishes of David in this, but the wishes of the LORD. As soon as they have anointed him king, they will shout, along with the servants of David's household, "God save king Solomon".


1 Kings 1:35 "Then ye shall come up after him, that he may come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead: and I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah."


"Israel and over Judah": The two major geographical components of David's and Solomon's kingdoms. Even while still unified these two separate entities, that would later divide (12:20), were clearly identifiable.


Solomon will enter Jerusalem as the new king. He will already be anointed by Zadok and Nathan. David also, is still in power and he had declared Solomon as his successor. He will rule over all twelve tribes, not just Judah.


1 Kings 1:36 "And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: the LORD God of my lord the king say so [too]."


In the name of the rest.


"And said, Amen": They all assented to it, and expressed their satisfaction in it.


"The Lord God of my lord the king say so too": Let it appear, by the prosperity and success that shall by divine Providence attend the new king, which this is according to the will of God.


"Amen" means so be it. Benaiah, is saying, "It will be as the king has proclaimed". We must remember that, Benaiah was a spiritual man. He knew, and said this pleased the LORD.


1 Kings 1:37 "As the LORD hath been with my lord the king, even so be he with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord king David."


To guide and direct him, protect and defend him, succeed and prosper him the Targum is.


"As the Word of the Lord has been the help of my lord the king, so let him be for the help of Solomon: And make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David": Which he knew would not displease David, who not only had an affectionate regard for Solomon his son, but wished heartily the prosperity of the kingdom of Israel. And the wish on all accounts was grateful to him, though to an envious and ambitious prince it might have been disagreeable.


This is an expression of his loyalty to Solomon. He had loved and respected David, and now he is willing to serve Solomon as king. It is a way of showing his continued loyalty to David. He speaks a blessing upon Solomon.



Verses 38-40: The public pronouncement made openly official what "David" had privately declared (verses 13, 17, 30). The noise of the great pomp and fanfare carried over the hill to Adonijah's party at En-rogel (verses 9, 41). "The Cherethites and the Pelethites" were foreign warriors who made up David's loyal bodyguard.


1 Kings 1:38 "So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solomon to ride upon king David's mule, and brought him to Gihon."


The three men that David sent for on this occasion.


"And the Cherethites and the Pelethites": Not the Sanhedrim, as Ben Gersom, but David's guards, over whom Benaiah was: these,


"Went down": From Jerusalem;


"And caused Solomon to ride upon King David's mule": as he had ordered.


"And brought him to Gihon": Or Siloam, as the Targum; hence the Jews say, they do not anoint a king but at a fountain; but this is the only instance of it.


The Cherethites and the Pelethites were spoken of earlier as the servants that went with them. They are probably, a number of people who had attended David in and around the palace. It is interesting that all of this was not Solomon's idea. He was God's choice for king, not Solomon's choice. He had not taken it upon himself to proclaim himself king. David's priest and prophet had proclaimed Solomon king.


1 Kings 1:39 "And Zadok the priest took a horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon."


"Tabernacle": This was the tent David set up in Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6:17; 1 Chron. 15:1), to house the Ark of the Covenant, not the tabernacle of Moses (see 3:4).


The anointing oil coming from the tabernacle shows that this is indeed, the choice of the LORD for king. The people mentioned here are, possibly, the Cherethites and the Pelethites who went with them.


1 Kings 1:40 "And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them."


They followed him from the fountain to the city, with their loud acclamations.


"And the people piped with pipes": Which were hollow instruments, and full of holes which they blew with their mouths, and upon with their fingers; Jarchi says they were and very probably were.


"And rejoiced with great joy": Which they expressed by such loud shouts.


"So that the earth rent with the sound thereof": A hyperbolical expression, showing the great numbers gathered together on this occasion, and the sonorous acclamations they made.



Verses 41-49: "Adonijah ... heard it": The loud shouts hailing Solomon as king reached the ears of those at Adonijah's feast at En-rogel nearby. A messenger came with the full report of the coronation of Solomon, so that the cause of Adonijah was lost and the party ended with the people leaving in fear.


1 Kings 1:41 "And Adonijah and all the guests that [were] with him heard [it] as they had made an end of eating. And when Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, Wherefore [is this] noise of the city being in an uproar?"


It is one of the many life like touches of the narrative that it is the old warrior Joab who, amidst the revelry of his companions, notices the sound of the trumpet, and the acclamation following. Adonijah elects to disregard it.


It appears that all of this happened in a very short period of time. Adonijah and his followers had not even finished their feast when they heard the trumpet blowing, and the people proclaiming Solomon king. It seems that after the trumpet was blown, and the pronouncement made that Solomon was king, many people followed along behind the procession into Jerusalem. Joab, who had been the leader of David's army, heard this noise and wondered what was happening.


1 Kings 1:42 "And while he yet spake, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came: and Adonijah said unto him, Come in; for thou [art] a valiant man, and bringest good tidings."


"Jonathan": The son of Abiathar the priest was an experienced messenger (2 Sam. 15:36; 17:17).


1 Kings 1:43 " And Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, Verily our lord king David hath made Solomon king."


Or, "nay, but" it is not so as you imagine. It is not good tidings, but bad tidings to thee I bring:


"Our lord King David hath made Solomon king": Of which he gives the following account in proof of it.


Abiathar the priest had followed Adonijah. It was his son who came and brought the news to them. Adonijah was pleased to see him, because he thought he was bringing them good news. This was quite a shock to Adonijah to hear that David himself, had declared Solomon king.


1 Kings 1:44 "And the king hath sent with him Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and they have caused him to ride upon the king's mule:"


To the fountain of Gihon.


"Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites": Over whom the latter was captain.


"And they have caused him to ride upon the king's mule": By his order and direction.


1 Kings 1:45 "And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon: and they are come up from thence rejoicing, so that the city rang again. This [is] the noise that ye have heard."


Or at Gihon; that is, Siloam, according to the Targum. Here the act of anointing is ascribed to them both (as in 1 Kings 1:34). Zadok very probably applied the oil to him, and Nathan might be some way or other assisting in it, however he was here present. He not only was approving of it, but declaring it as a prophet. And that it was according to the will of God as well as of the king.


"And they are come up from thence rejoicing": With a multitude of people along with them.


"So that the city rang again": With the blowing of trumpets, the sound of piping's, and the shouts of the people.


"This is the noise which ye have heard; which had so alarmed them.


The fact that the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan had anointed him with oil from the tabernacle, and put him on David's mule to ride into Jerusalem, shows the LORD's approval of Solomon as king. The noise they heard was the city of Jerusalem rejoicing over their new king.


1 Kings 1:46 "And also Solomon sitteth on the throne of the kingdom."


Where Solomon was placed to exercise his regal power when he returned to Jerusalem. As further confirmation of his being really and actually king.


David had already set Solomon upon his throne. "Sitteth" means continues to sit.


1 Kings 1:47 "And moreover the king's servants came to bless our lord king David, saying, God make the name of Solomon better than thy name, and make his throne greater than thy throne. And the king bowed himself upon the bed."


"To bless our lord king David": To praise and thank him for his great and good care, in leaving them in the hands of so excellent a successor, under whom they might expect peace and all prosperity. And to congratulate with him for God's great mercy to him, in giving him such a son and successor, and that his eyes had now seen the actual accomplishment of God's promise made to him concerning this thing.


"The king bowed himself upon the bed": Adoring God for this great mercy, and thereby declaring his hearty approbation and consent to this action (compare Genesis 47:31).


It appears the people are pleased with the selection David made of Solomon as king. As they come to recognize Solomon as king, they are speaking a blessing that Solomon's reign will be even greater than that of David. David was confined to his bed, but bowed in the bed to recognize Solomon as king.


1 Kings 1:48 "And also thus said the king, Blessed [be] the LORD God of Israel, which hath given [one] to sit on my throne this day, mine eyes even seeing [it]."


The expression "while my eyes see it" speaks of Solomon's peaceful succession along with David's personal satisfaction at knowing Solomon would be the next king.


David again recognizes this decision to be of the LORD. His blessings are for the LORD for choosing Solomon to succeed him on the throne. He was so pleased that the LORD let him live to see his son Solomon, become king in his stead.



Verses 49-53: The news of Solomon's kingship brought an end to "Adonijah's" plans. He sought mercy from Solomon by laying "hold on the horns of the altar," the time-honored place of refuge for those who had committed unintentional crimes (Exodus 21:12-14 with 1 Kings 2:28-34).


1 Kings 1:49 "And all the guests that [were] with Adonijah were afraid, and rose up, and went every man his way."


Nothing is more striking than the sudden and humiliating collapse of the attempt of Adonijah, strongly supported as it was by Joab and Abiathar, in contrast with the formidable character of the rebellion of Absalom. This is another indication that the royal power had been greatly consolidated during the last peaceful years of David's reign. Perhaps, moreover, the usurpation of Adonijah, not being viewed as a rebellion against David, but only a presumption on his favor, was accordingly crushed at once by the expression of his will. It is strange that of all the conspirators, Adonijah alone seems to have feared punishment at this time. His accomplices, the other conspirators, are apparently allowed to disperse in safety, and their rebellion is ignored.


There was a mass exodus from Adonijah that day. These people no longer wanted to be associated with Adonijah. They feared for their lives. If they were supporting Adonijah and Solomon decided to kill him, he might kill them also.


1 Kings 1:50 "And Adonijah feared because of Solomon, and arose, and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar."


"Horns of the altar" (compare 2:28). The "horns" were corner projections on the altar of burnt offering on which the priests smeared the blood of the sacrifices (Exodus 27:2; 29:12). By taking hold of the horns, Adonijah sought to place himself under the protection of God (see Exodus 21:13-14).


Adonijah was the half-brother of Solomon. They had the same father, David, but different mothers. It would have been customary for the new king to kill Adonijah. He went to the tabernacle and took hold of the horns of the altar, begging for mercy. Adonijah had placed himself under the protection of the LORD by this action.


Verses 51-53: Conventional wisdom for newly established kings was to slaughter any potential threat to the throne, but Solomon initially spared the lives of Adonijah and Shimei. Godly leaders lead by acting justly and showing mercy (Micah 6:8). Taking hold of the "horns of the altar" was a way for those who had unintentionally committed crimes to seek mercy (Exodus 21;12-14; 27:2).


1 Kings 1:51 "And it was told Solomon, saying, Behold, Adonijah feareth king Solomon: for, lo, he hath caught hold on the horns of the altar, saying, Let king Solomon swear unto me today that he will not slay his servant with the sword."


By some of his courtiers.


"Saying, behold, Adonijah feareth King Solomon": Lest he should take away his life.


"For, lo, he hath caught hold on the horns of the altar": Which was the last resort of the guilty when they despaired of mercy otherwise.


"Saying, let King Solomon swear unto me this day that he will not slay his servant with the sword": He owns Solomon to be king, and himself his subject and servant; this no doubt he did to conciliate his favor, nor did he think his life safe, unless Solomon promised with an oath, that he would not take it away.


Someone came and told Solomon of Adonijah's desire for forgiveness. He wanted Solomon's word that he would not kill him for desiring to be king. He knew if Solomon swore to him that he would not kill him, he would be safe. He greatly feared that Solomon would kill him. It would have generally meant death to Adonijah for what he had done. He had appealed to the LORD for help, however.


1 Kings 1:52 "And Solomon said, If he will show himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth: but if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die."


Will behave himself well as a good subject, and be careful not to offend for the future, or appear to be one that fears sin, as the Targum; particularly the crimes of sedition, rebellion, and treason.


"There shall not a hair of him fall to the earth": Not the least harm should be done him.


"But if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die": That is, if any crime worthy of death be committed by him, or any overt act of treason, and the like, he should surely be put to death, and find no mercy, notwithstanding the present general pardon. This was very wisely done by Solomon, to begin his reign without shedding blood even of delinquents. And especially his own brother, by granting him his life, depending on his future good behavior.


1 Kings 1:53 "So king Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. And he came and bowed himself to king Solomon: and Solomon said unto him, Go to thine house."


It being built upon a hill, as both that at Gibeon, and in Araunah's threshing floor was.


"And he came and bowed himself to King Solomon": In a way of reverence and subjection, acknowledging him to be king, and himself his subject.


"And Solomon said to him, go to thine house": In peace; signifying that he pardoned him, and he might go home, and enjoy his family and substance; and by this intimating that he should only regard the affairs of his family, and not trouble himself with those of the kingdom and state. Abarbinel fancies, that because Solomon said, that if he showed himself to be a worthy man, or a man of fortitude and valor That Adonijah thought that his meaning was, that he should go before him as a man of war, and minister to him. That this made him so ready to come and stand before him; in which he was mistaken. Solomon meant no such thing; nor would he take him into his court and service, but sent him home to his own house.


This was a generous offer, to forgive Adonijah. Solomon would not kill him, as long as he lived right. If he fell back into revolt against the king or started trouble in the kingdom, Solomon would have him killed. It appears; he did accept Solomon's rules and bowed to him, showing he accepted him as king.


1 Kings Chapter 1 Continued Questions


1. Who did David make his promise to?


2. Who were the witnesses?


3. What were the words of David's promise?


4. Who did David proclaim as king to follow him?


5. How did Bath-sheba react to this promise David made to her?


6. Which three men did David send for, to carry out his wishes?


7. A Hebrew king must, first, be recognized by the man that _________ had put in power to be priest.


8. Who were these three to take with them?


9. Why did David tell them to set Solomon upon his mule?


10. Who were to anoint Solomon king?


11. After they had anointed him king, what 2 things were they to do?


12. What does "Amen" mean?


13. What is the statement, in verse 37, an expression of?


14. Who went with Zadok, Nathan, and Benaiah?


15. Who actually poured the anointing oil on Solomon?


16. After the trumpet blew, what did the people say?


17. What caused the great noise coming into Jerusalem?


18. Who heard this noise, and wondered what it was?


19. Who came and told them what the noise was?


20. What news did he bring?


21. What things showed the LORD's approval of Solomon as king?


22. In verse 46, what had already happened?


23. What blessings were spoken on Solomon by the people?


24. How does David show that Solomon is now king?


25. When the people with Adonijah heard this news, what did they do?


26. What did Adonijah do?


27. What relation was Adonijah to Solomon?


28. What did Adonijah desire of Solomon?


29. What promise did Solomon make to Adonijah?


30. What were the conditions of this promise?


31. What did Adonijah do, that showed he accepted Solomon as king?





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1 Kings 2



1 Kings Chapter 2

Verses 2:1-9: "Solomon", as David's co-regent, is given some needed advice concerning how to rule. It was traditional in the ancient Near East for a king to pass on a formal set of wise instructions to his "son" and successor. "Joab" and "Shimei" remained as unresolved problems of state for David. Joab had murdered two generals (2 Sam. 3:27; 20:10), not to mention Absalom (2 Sam 18:14). And as head of the military forces and party to David's most intimate activities (e.g. 2 Sam. Chapter 11), had become too strong for David to deal with. Shimei had openly opposed and even cursed David (2 Sam. 16:5-13; 19:6-23). "Barzillai," on the other hand, had supported the king in times of great need (2 Sam. 17:27-29; 19:31-39).


A dying man's final words are significant. David's charge consisted of instructions on being God's "man" (2:1-4) and securing the kingdom (2:5-9). The order is also important: fulfilling the second part without the first would render it useless. Christian leaders should always be men and women of "the Book", ones who do not just read the Word but live it (James 1:22).


1 Kings 2:1 "Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying,"


"He charged Solomon": Leaders typically exhorted their successors, e.g., Moses (Deut. 31:7-8), Joshua (Josh. 23:1-6), and Samuel (1 Sam. 12:1-25). So also, David gave Solomon a final exhortation.


This did not immediately follow the anointing of Solomon as king (in chapter 1). We read (in 1 Chronicles chapters 23 and 24), David recovered enough from the illness, that he gathered the princes of the tribes of Israel together to charge them with what they were to do. We will give just two Scriptures from that to show this.


1 Chronicles 23:1-2 "So when David was old and full of days, he made Solomon his son king over Israel." "And he gathered together all the princes of Israel, with the priests and the Levites."


It would be good to read it all, to see the impact of that.


1 Kings 2:2 "I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and show thyself a man;"


"The way of all the earth": An expression for death (Josh. 23:14; compare Gen. 3:19).


"Be thou strong ... shew thyself a man": An expression of encouragement (Deut. 31:7, 23; Josh. 1:6-7, 9, 18; 1 Sam. 4:9) With which David sought to prepare Solomon for the difficult tasks and the battles in his future.


It appears from this, that Solomon had been dependent upon David for many of the decisions he made in his early reign as king. David is now explaining to Solomon that he must be brave, and stand as a man would stand. He must now accept the decision making that goes with being king as part of his duty as king. The weight of the government will now be on Solomon's shoulders. Going the way of the earth is speaking of dying.


1 Kings 2:3 "And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:"


"Keep the charge of the Lord thy God": David admonished Solomon to obey the Mosaic law so he could have a successful kingship (compare Deut. 17:18-20).


1 Kings 2:4 "That the LORD may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel."


"His word": The unconditional Davidic Covenant was made by God with David (in 2 Sam. 7:4-17), and confirmed to Solomon (in 1 Kings. 9:5). Promising the perpetuation of the Davidic dynasty over Israel.


"If thy children take heed to their way": David declared that the king's obedience to the law of Moses was a necessary condition for the fulfillment of the divine promise. The book of Kings demonstrates that none of the descendants of David remained faithful to God's law. None of them met the conditions for the fulfillment of the divine promise. Rather, David's words provided a basis for explaining the Exile. Thus, the ultimate and final King of Israel would appear at a later, undesignated time.


David looks back over his time as king and realizes the importance of being totally obedient on the will of God. He explains to Solomon the blessings that go with him being obedient to that will of God. Prosperity in his reign is his own choice. He must keep the Law of Moses, not only in formality, but from his heart being stayed upon pleasing the LORD. David tells Solomon that even more blessings than had been bestowed upon him will be Solomon's, if he will remain faithful to the LORD. The word "continue", means establish in this particular instance. The blessings of the LORD are conditional however. Solomon and his children must walk in the truth of the LORD for a blessing to be upon them.


1 Kings 2:5 "Moreover thou knowest also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, [and] what he did to the two captains of the hosts of Israel, unto Abner the son of Ner, and unto Amasa the son of Jether, whom he slew, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war upon his girdle that [was] about his loins, and in his shoes that [were] on his feet."


"Abner ... Amasa": These were victims of Joab's jealousy and vengeance, who were killed after warfare had ceased (2 Sam. 3:27; 20:10), thus bringing Joab's punishment as a murderer (Deut. 19:11-13).


Joab had done David an injustice when he killed Absalom, after David had said not to. This however, was during a war, and David did not kill him for this. The death of the other two captains of David's however, happened in a time of peace. They were treacherously done. In the case of Abner, he had pretended friendship to get him there, and then murdered him. It was not a fair fight because Abner was not aware there was a problem. He had no opportunity to defend himself. This type of murder requires the death of the person who is the murderer. This by itself would have been enough, but he actually killed a relative unmercifully when he murdered Amasa. The reference to the blood on "his girdle" and "shoes", was when he killed Amasa. The blood got on his girdle and even ran into the shoes of Joab. He had not killed them in war, they were at peace. Both of these things were worthy of death by Hebrew law.


1 Kings 2:6 "Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head go down to the grave in peace ."


Which though young, wisdom began to appear in him, even in the life of his father, David. He therefore exhorts him to use the wisdom he had, and take the first and fittest opportunity to cut him off for his former murders and late treason, as a dangerous man to his government and the peace of it.


"And let not his hoary head go down to the grave in peace": That is, let him not die a natural, but a violent death; and let not his grey hairs be any argument for sparing him, or any reason for delaying the taking of him off, because he would in course die quickly. For he must be now an old man, as old as David, or perhaps older; since he had been his general forty years, even all the time of his reign (see 2 Samuel 2:13).


Joab was the leader of the army. It might cause trouble with the army, if he killed Joab. Solomon must carefully carry out David's wishes here. David does want Joab to pay with his life. He must not get old (hoar head), and die from natural causes. He must be killed for these sins.


1 Kings 2:7 "But show kindness unto the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be of those that eat at thy table: for so they came to me when I fled because of Absalom thy brother."


"Sons of Barzillai": David told Solomon to repay Barzillai's kindness to David (2 Sam. 17:27-29), by showing similar kindness to Barzillai's sons.


(2 Sam. 17:27-29 and 19:31-39), describe what "Barzillai" did for David. Eating at the king's "table" was the equivalent of having a pension and royal allowance for food and clothing, with a house and land to support the guest and his or her family. When David exhorted Solomon to let the sons of Barzillai "eat at his table" (2:7), he had already provided a pattern for such generosity. Years before, David had made a covenant with Jonathan, the son of Saul, promising that Jonathan's descendants would always have his protection. After Jonathan was dead, David discovered his crippled son, Mephibosheth, living in exile and fear in the wilderness. David brought Mephibosheth into his royal household and promised him, "you shall eat bread at my table continually" (2 Sam. 9:7). Solomon learned firsthand from his father what it meant to honor those to whom honor was due.


"Eat at thy table": A position of honor that could include a royal stipend (2 Sam. 9:7; 1 Kings 18:19; 2 Kings 25:29).


Barzillai had befriended David when he was running from Absalom. David wants Solomon to befriend his sons now, by furnishing them the things for their livelihood. They were not living in the house of Solomon, but got provisions from the treasury of Solomon.


1 Kings 2:8 "And, behold, [thou hast] with thee Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite of Bahurim, which cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim: but he came down to meet me at Jordan, and I sware to him by the LORD, saying, I will not put thee to death with the sword."


"Shimei": He had angrily stoned and vehemently cursed David when David was escaping from Absalom (2 Sam. 16:5-13). Shimei's actions were worthy of death (Exodus 22:28), and David counseled Solomon through subtle means to arrange for his just punishment (verses 36-46).


1 Kings 2:9 "Now therefore hold him not guiltless: for thou [art] a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him; but his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood."


  1. e. "Do not treat him as an innocent man. Punish him as in thy wisdom thou deem best. Not capitally at once; but so that he may be likely to give thee in course of time a just occasion to slay him." So, at least, Solomon seems to have understood the charge (See 1 Kings 2:36-46).

This is speaking of the Shimei, who cried out curses on David, as he fled from Absalom. Some of David's men wanted to kill him then. David would not for fear that this might have been a message from the LORD. When he was on his way back to Jerusalem, this same man begged David not to put him to death with his sword. David made him this promise. Now, David is explaining to Solomon that he must not let him live to be an old man, and die of natural causes. He must be punished for that long ago transgression.



Verses 10-11: This is speaking of David's death and his burial with honor with those who had gone on before him. He reigned as king 40 years. This is explained that 7 years of that time he reigned over just Judah. The other 33 years, he was king of all Israel.


Verses 10-12 (see 2 Sam. 5:5; 1 Chron. 29:26-28).


King David's death marked the end of a momentous 40 year reign in Israel's history. But the line of David would continue on Israel's throne, eventually culminating in the birth of the Messiah.


1 Kings 2:10 "So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David."


That is, evidently in Mount Sion. In (Nehemiah 3:16), the "sepulchers of David" are noticed, and they are plainly alluded to in (Ezekiel 43:7; 43:9). They became the regular tombs of the kings, with some exceptions particularly noticed. It was in token of special honor that the High Priest Jehoiada, the preserver of the royal dynasty, was buried therein (see 2 Chronicles 24:16).


"The city of David": I.e., Jerusalem (compare 8:1).


1 Kings 2:11 "And the days that David reigned over Israel [were] forty years: seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem."


"Forty years": David ruled from ca. 1011-971 B.C., probably with Solomon as co-regent during his final year (compare 11:41).


1 Kings 2:12 "Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly."


"Established greatly": Solomon's succession enjoyed the Lord's approval, and Solomon experienced unchallenged authority, prosperity, and renown (verse 46).


It seems that the actual reign of Solomon began at the death of David. He had been announced king before, but had let his father make the weightier decisions until his death. It seems now, that Solomon has taken over the responsibilities of king and has become strong. It helped for the kingdom to be established by David. Solomon built upon the foundation that was already there.


1 Kings 2:13 "And Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bath-sheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, Comest thou peaceably? And he said, Peaceably."


Into her apartment; Abarbinel thinks it was a few days after the death of David.


"And she said, comest thou peaceably?" In a friendly manner, with no ill design, only to pay a friendly visit; for she might fear he came to avenge himself on her, and destroy her, because she had been the instrument of disappointing him of the kingdom, and of getting her son Solomon set upon the throne, and established in it And therefore could not tell what envy, rage, and disappointment, might prompt him to.


"And he said, peaceably": He meant no harm unto her.


Adonijah probably came to Bath-sheba, knowing that she had great influence on Solomon. He was possibly, afraid to go directly to Solomon. She remembered that he had tried to become king and now asks him if he has come in peace. He answers her, peaceably.


1 Kings 2:14 "He said moreover, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And she said, Say on."


He signified that he came upon business: and she said, say on; intimating her readiness to hear what it was.



Verses 15-18: For Adonijah to say, "The kingdom was mine, and all Israel had set their faces on me", was an exaggeration with the intent to undermine Solomon and manipulate "Bath-sheba," the queen mother (1:1:4, 15).


1 Kings 2:15 "And he said, Thou knowest that the kingdom was mine, and [that] all Israel set their faces on me, that I should reign: howbeit the kingdom is turned about, and is become my brother's: for it was his from the LORD."


"All Israel set their faces on me": A reference to Adonijah's perceived right to the kingship as the oldest surviving son according to ancient Near East custom.


Another possibility of why he came to Bath-sheba could have been that he knew she and Nathan went to David to tell him of Adonijah's take-over attempt. He still has not given up to the fact that Solomon is king. He says it should have been his, and that all the people supported him as king. It is as if he is angry with the LORD for choosing Solomon over him.


1 Kings 2:16 "And now I ask one petition of thee, deny me not. And she said unto him, Say on."


And but one, and a small one too, as Bath-sheba herself after calls it.


"Deny me not": Or "turn not away my face"; with shame and sorrow, which would be the case should he be denied.


"And she said unto him, say on": Let me hear it.


1 Kings 2:17 "And he said, Speak, I pray thee, unto Solomon the king, (for he will not say thee nay,) that he give me Abishag the Shunammite to wife."


Adonijah's request for David's concubine, "Abishag" (1:2-4), constituted a virtual claim upon the throne (see the note on 2 Sam. 3:7-10). Therefore Adonijah was executed (verses 24-25).


"Give me Abishag": In the ancient Near East, possession of the royal harem was a sign of kingship (compare 2 Sam. 3:8; 12:8; 16:20-22). Adonijah's request for Abishag was an attempt to support his claim to the kingship and perhaps generate a revolt to usurp the throne. Bath-sheba didn't see the treachery (verses 18-21).


Adonijah is fully aware that to have the king's wife to wife would be a way of saying he was king. He comes to Bath-sheba with this request because she might plead his case with Solomon. He perhaps feels she might not see that he is indirectly asking to be proclaimed the rightful king.


1 Kings 2:18 "And Bath-sheba said, Well; I will speak for thee unto the king."


Very well spoken, the thing is good and right.


"I will speak for thee unto the king": "And use her interest with him, not seeing into his design, but pitying an unfortunate man.



Verses 19-34: Women in antiquity were often considered political capital. Adonijah wanted "Abishag" so he would have a claim to the throne. It was a foolish request that proved him a traitor and cost him his life (1:52). Solomon also killed "Joab", further removing any threat to his throne from Adonijah's circle. The search for Joab took them to an outlying area of Israel ("Shunem"), southeast of Mount Carmel.


1 Kings 2:19 "Bath-sheba therefore went unto king Solomon, to speak unto him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king's mother; and she sat on his right hand."


Solomon showed great respect for his mother, when she came to speak on behalf of Adonijah. To sit at the right hand of the king was a place of honor.


1 Kings 2:20 "Then she said, I desire one small petition of thee; [I pray thee], say me not nay. And the king said unto her, Ask on, my mother: for I will not say thee nay."


It was but one, and a little one, and therefore she hoped it would be granted.


"I pray thee, say me not nay": Do not refuse it, or deny it me, or turn me away with shame and disappointment.


"And the king said, ask on, my mother, for I will not say thee nay": Since it is a small one, as thou says, and provided it is fit and lawful to be granted.


Solomon wanted to grant the wishes of his mother. He loved her and even owed his being king to her as well. If the petition is within his will to grant, he would certainly do it.


1 Kings 2:21 "And she said, Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah thy brother to wife."


For so Adonijah was by his father's side; and Bath-sheba makes use of the relation, the more to move upon him to grant the request.


Bath-sheba is not aware of the implications of this. She reminds Solomon that Adonijah is his brother. She probably thinks that Adonijah is just in love with Abishag. She certainly is not aware, that this is a trick to take the kingdom from Solomon.


1 Kings 2:22 "And king Solomon answered and said unto his mother, And why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also; for he [is] mine elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah."


"Ask for him the kingdom": Solomon recognized Adonijah's request as the prelude to his usurping of the throne. Because Adonijah's' request violated the terms of loyalty Solomon had previously specified (1:52), he pronounced a formal, legal death sentence on Adonijah (verses 23-24).


Solomon tells his mother here, that she is actually asking for him to turn the kingdom over to Adonijah and his friends, Joab and Abiathar. She has asked something that was against the will of Solomon and against the will of David, if he were living. And most of all it was against the will of the LORD.


1 Kings 2:23 "Then king Solomon sware by the LORD, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah have not spoken this word against his own life."


To prevent his mother pressing him to have her petition granted.


"Saying, God do so to me, and more also": Lay such and such evils upon me, and more than I care to express.


"If Adonijah have not spoken this word against his own life": To his own prejudice, and even to the loss of his life; in which Solomon suggests it would issue, being a fresh overt act of treason. He knew, from what Bath-sheba said, that this was his petition, and that he had spoken of this to her, and put her upon making it for him. And who no doubt related to Solomon the whole of the conversation that passed between them, and to which he seems to have some respect in his answer.


Solomon had sworn to let Adonijah live, as long as he did no evil. This is an evil act of deception by Adonijah. This is outside the oath that Solomon had made. Adonijah has broken the oath himself, with such a request.


1 Kings 2:24 "Now therefore, [as] the LORD liveth, which hath established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and who hath made me a house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day."


"As he promised": Solomon viewed himself as the fulfillment of the Lord's promise to David (in 2 Sam. 7:12-16; see also 5:5; 8:18-21). The ultimate fulfillment will be the Messiah, Jesus, who will return to Israel and set up His kingdom (see Isa. 9:6-7).


1 Kings 2:25 "And king Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him that he died."


The chief of the body-guard is the chief of "the executioners" (see 1 Kings 1:38), apparently, in the case of great criminals, carrying out the sentence of condemnation with his own hand (compare Judges 8:20-21).


Adonijah had brought this upon himself. He knew what he was doing. Solomon was not tricked by Adonijah. Solomon sent his bodyguard, Benaiah, and he killed Adonijah for this terrible sin. Solomon knew his mother was innocent of wrong doing. Adonijah had tricked her.


1 Kings Chapter 2 Questions


1. When David realized that the time for him to die was near, what did he do?


2. Where do we find Scriptures that let us know David lived a little while after Solomon was anointed king?


3. What is meant by "going the way of all the earth"?


4. David told Solomon to be strong and show himself a _________.


5. When David dies, the weight of the government will be on ___________ shoulders.


6. In verses 3 and 4, what does David tell him to do?


7. Why is David so sure this is the thing to do?


8. How must he keep the law of Moses?


9. "Continue", in verse 4, means what?


10. What terrible things had Joab done?


11. Why was this murder?


12. What does David want done to Joab?


13. Why will Solomon have to be careful how he goes about it?


14. What is meant by "hoar head"?


15. Who did David ask Solomon to show kindness to?


16. Why?


17. Who had sorely cursed David?


18. What does David want Solomon to do to him?


19. Where was David buried?


20. How long had David reigned?


21. Who did Adonijah come to, for help in speaking for him to Solomon?


22. Why was she chosen for this?


23. What did Adonijah say belonged to him?


24. Who did he blame for it not coming to him?


25. What was his request?


26. How did Solomon act on seeing his mother?


27. What is Adonijah really asking for?


28. What did she ask for Adonijah?


29. What does she remind Solomon of, as she asks?


30. What does Solomon tell Bath-sheba, she is really asking for?


31. What was the condition of the oath Solomon had made to Adonijah?


32. What did Solomon do to Adonijah for this sin?


33. Who actually caries out the punishment?




1 Kings Chapter 2 Continued

Verses 26-27: "Abiathar" had participated in Adonijah's plot to seize the throne (1:7). Because he had previously supported "David" (2 Sam. 15:24-29, 35), his life was spared. His banishment from the active priesthood fulfilled the prophecy concerning the "house of Eli" (1 Sam. 2:30-35).


1 Kings 2:26 "And unto Abiathar the priest said the king, Get thee to Anathoth, unto thine own fields; for thou [art] worthy of death: but I will not at this time put thee to death, because thou barest the ark of the Lord GOD before David my father, and because thou hast been afflicted in all wherein my father was afflicted."


"Anathoth": A priestly town, 3 miles northeast of Jerusalem (Jer. 1:1). There Abiathar, the disloyal High-Priest (1:7), lived in banishment.


Abiathar was in confederacy with Adonijah against Solomon. The only reason that Solomon does not kill him at this time is because he is a priest who had handled the Ark. Solomon has respect for the office of priest. It seemed he conspired with Adonijah to try to take the office of king from Solomon. He deserves to die, but the death is deferred because of his work as priest. He sends him to his family's farm to work.


1 Kings 2:27 "So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the LORD; that he might fulfil the word of the LORD, which he spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh."


"Fulfil the word of the Lord": Solomon's removal of Abiathar from the office of priest fulfilled God's prophecy that Eli's line of priests would be cut off (1 Sam. 2:30-35). This reestablished the line of Eleazar/Phinehas in Zadok (2:35), as promised by God (Num. 25:10-13).


1 Samuel 3:12-13 "In that day I will perform against Eli all [things] which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end." "For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not."


It seems Abiathar was of the personality of Eli's sons who sinned. Abiathar was the fourth generation from Eli. It is Abiathar's sin that was judged here.



Verses 28-34: Joab's guilt could not secure protection for him at "the horns of the altar" (see the note on 1:49-53).


David had urged Solomon to punish "Joab" (2:5-6), but he too took hold of the horns of the altar to avoid execution (see 1:51). However, as a murderer, even the "altar" could not protect him (Exodus 21:14; 2 Sam. 3:27; 18:14).


1 Kings 2:28 "Then tidings came to Joab: for Joab had turned after Adonijah, though he turned not after Absalom. And Joab fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD, and caught hold on the horns of the altar."


"Joab fled unto the tabernacle" (compare 1:50). He knew he would have been killed already if he had not been so popular with the army. The altar provided no real sanctuary to the rebel and murderer (Exodus 21:14).


David had told Solomon to kill Joab for his sins. Joab knows he deserves to die for turning against Solomon, and scheming for his overthrow. He had been faithful to Adonijah, when he desired to be king. The tidings, spoken of above, are of Adonijah's death and Abiathar being sent away. Joab knows he is to be next, so he flees to the tabernacle, and takes hold of the horns of the altar for mercy.


1 Kings 2:29 "And it was told king Solomon that Joab was fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD; and, behold, [he is] by the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, Go, fall upon him."


This account was brought him very probably by some of his courtiers.


"And, behold, he is by the altar": To which he took himself for refuge, laying hold on the horns of it.


"Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, go, fall upon him": Slay him; Josephus says, the orders were to cut off his head; but perhaps it might be only to lay hold on him, and take him thence, and bring him to Solomon to have judgment passed upon him. For the Targum is "exercise your power over him, take him into custody"; and certain it is that the first orders were not to slay him, at least upon the spot where he was.


Benaiah had killed Adonijah for Solomon, and now he sends him to kill Joab. Just the fact that Joab fled to the tabernacle, admits his guilt.


1 Kings 2:30 "And Benaiah came to the tabernacle of the LORD, and said unto him, Thus saith the king, Come forth. And he said, Nay; but I will die here. And Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me."


That the king gave him this command, though it was not mentioned before, is evident, both from the nature of the thing; for Solomon would not pollute the altar without necessity. And from Benaiah's affirmation of it; for why should he tell a lie without a cause? And from his return to the king for new orders upon Joab's resolution not to come thence.


"I will die here": for he supposed either that Solomon would not defile that place with his blood; or that he would spare him for his respect to it, as he had done Adonijah; or he had a superstitious conceit that his dying there might give his guilty and miserable soul some advantage.


Benaiah did not want to kill Joab while he was hanging on to the horns of the altar. He came back and told Solomon where he was and what he had said. Joab was probably, convinced they would not kill him at the altar.


1 Kings 2:31 "And the king said unto him, Do as he hath said, and fall upon him, and bury him; that thou mayest take away the innocent blood, which Joab shed, from me, and from the house of my father."


"Fall upon him": Like Adonijah (1:50), Joab sought asylum at the altar (2:28). The protection of the Lord at the altar applied only to accidental crimes, not premediated murder (Exodus 21:14), so Solomon ordered Benaiah to administer the violent death sought by David (2:26).


This latest attempt to take the kingdom away from Solomon was not really what Solomon wanted him killed for. He had brutally killed others. He had disobeyed David, and killed Absalom as well.


1 Kings 2:32 "And the LORD shall return his blood upon his own head, who fell upon two men more righteous and better than he, and slew them with the sword, my father David not knowing [thereof, to wit], Abner the son of Ner, captain of the host of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, captain of the host of Judah."


By way of retaliation, blood for blood.


"Who fell upon two men more righteous and better than he": Later named; for though they had been in open rebellion against David, yet had submitted, and were reconciled and received into favor. And even their open crimes were not so bad, Solomon judged, as his secret treacherous murders of innocent persons in cold blood. They were men of more honor and integrity than he was, not so cruel and barbarous, though guilty in other respects.


"And slew them with the sword, my father not knowing thereof": This is observed to remove all suspicion, and which doubtless had been entertained by some, that David had a hand in their death. And that Joab did what he did with his knowledge and consent, and by his advice and order. They having been both concerned in rebellion against him, the one under Ish-bosheth, and the other under Absalom.


"To wit, Abner the son of Ner, captain of the host of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, captain of the host of Judah": The reason of the two hosts, of which they were captains or generals, being thus distinguished, is, because the tribes of Israel were on the side of Ish-bosheth. Whose general Abner was, in opposition to Judah who made David their king. And, on the other hand, they were the men of Judah that were first and chiefly in the rebellion of Absalom, whose general Amasa was. Of the murder of these two men by Joab (see 2 Sam.3:27).


Joab had killed these other two, Abner and Amasa without any warning. He was not acting on orders from David when he had done this. These were murders. He tricked them and then killed them for self-gain. He was greedy for power and killed them. These murders are his alone to pay for. David did not tell him to do this.


1 Kings 2:33 "Their blood shall therefore return upon the head of Joab, and upon the head of his seed for ever: but upon David, and upon his seed, and upon his house, and upon his throne, shall there be peace for ever from the LORD."


"Peace ... for ever": This pledge is ultimately to be fulfilled in the Messiah's kingdom (see Isa. 2:2-4; 9:6-7).


The killing of Joab would not be murder. His killing is in punishment for the sins he had committed. This killing is justified in the sight of the LORD. There would be no curse coming from this.


1 Kings 2:34 "So Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up, and fell upon him, and slew him: and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness."


"Wilderness": The tomb of Joab's father was near Bethlehem (2 Sam. 2:32). Joab's house was probably on the edge of the Judean wilderness, east of Bethlehem.


Benaiah was the executioner. He killed Joab as Solomon had instructed him to do. They buried him in the garden of his own house.


1 Kings 2:35 "And the king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in his room over the host: and Zadok the priest did the king put in the room of Abiathar."


Benaiah succeeds to Joab's command over the host: but it is notable that in the Hebrew text (of 1 Kings 4:2-6), there is no mention of any successor to his command over the bodyguard.


Joab had been commander of the army. Since it was Benaiah who killed Joab, Solomon made him commander of the army. Zadok had been the priest for his father, David. We had already remarked how unusual it was to have two High Priests. This same Zadok will now be High Priest, in the place of Abiathar.



Verses 36-46: "Shimei was the only one left alive who belonged to the opposing party. David had spared Shimei's life years earlier (2 Sam. 16:5-14; 19:16-23), and Solomon proposed to do the same. But when he violated the terms of his freedom, Shimei was executed ("struck ... down"). There is a limit to longsuffering where mercy is ignored and sinful people persist.


1 Kings 2:36 "And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Build thee an house in Jerusalem, and dwell there, and go not forth thence any whither."


"Go not forth": Shimei had not provoked Solomon directly as Adonijah had. Therefore, Solomon determined to keep Shimei under close watch by confining him to Jerusalem.


This order for Shimei to build a home in Jerusalem is so Solomon and his men can keep an eye on him. He is one who would stir up trouble, if he could. It would be better for him to be close under constant surveillance. He was not to travel to other towns. Solomon is suddenly being more careful since Adonijah tried to take the kingdom by trickery.


1 Kings 2:37 "For it shall be, [that] on the day thou goest out, and passest over the brook Kidron, thou shalt know for certain that thou shalt surely die: thy blood shall be upon thine own head."


Out of the city of Jerusalem: "and passest over the brook Kidron": Which is particularly mentioned, because this lay in his way to Bahurim, his native place. He must cross that to go to it (see 2 Sam. 15:23). And where it might reasonably be supposed he would some time or another be inclined to go, through business, or a desire to see it again.


"Thou shalt know for certain that thou shall surely die": It may be depended on as what will be most certainly the case; that neither reprieve nor pardon will be granted.


"Thy blood shall be on thine own head": Fair warning being given, he could blame none but himself, should he be guilty and suffer.


Shimei is really under house arrest. He is not to leave Jerusalem and go back toward his old land on threat of death. It was across the Kidron where he had spoken the curses on David. Solomon does not want him to have a chance to cause an uprising.


1 Kings 2:38 "And Shimei said unto the king, The saying [is] good: as my lord the king hath said, so will thy servant do. And Shimei dwelt in Jerusalem many days."


It was an act of goodness in the king, and what was good, grateful, and acceptable to him. For being sent for by him, and knowing how he had used his father, and hearing of several traitors being put to death, he expected this would have been his case. Wherefore, instead of being put to death, was only obliged to leave his habitation in the country, and come and live at Jerusalem, a pleasant and delightful city, and the metropolis of the nation. It was very agreeable to him.


"As my lord the king hath said, so will thy servant do": And he not only promised, but swore to it, which Solomon obliged him to (1 Kings 2:42).


"And Shimei dwelt in Jerusalem many days" He accordingly built or purchased a house in Jerusalem, and removed from Bahurim to it, where he lived for the space of three years, as follows.


Shimei had agreed to the terms. He was possibly, just thankful that David did not kill him before.


1 Kings 2:39 "And it came to pass at the end of three years, that two of the servants of Shimei ran away unto Achish son of Maachah king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, Behold, thy servants [be] in Gath."


He had dwelt at Jerusalem.


"That two of the servants of Shimei ran away to Achish the son of Maachah king of Gath; and they told Shimei, saying, behold, thy servant be in Gath": He being a churlish, ill-natured man, always cursing or beating them, or imposing too hard service upon them, or not allowing them the necessaries of life. Wherefore they broke away from him, and fled to Gath, and put themselves under the protection of the king of that place, who was now at peace with Israel, and a tributary to them. If this Achish was the same that was David's friend, who sheltered him when persecuted by Saul, he must be an old man. For that was between forty or fifty years ago; and as he seems to be, since he is called the son of Maoch (1 Sam. 27:2); which may be thought to be the same with Maachah here.


"Gath": A major Philistine city about 30 miles southwest of Jerusalem.


He kept to Jerusalem for three years without leaving. He possibly, had set up the escape of the servants to have an excuse to cross the Kidron. We do not know this to be true however. He might have just been excited by the news of his servants getting away.


1 Kings 2:40 "And Shimei arose, and saddled his ass, and went to Gath to Achish to seek his servants: and Shimei went, and brought his servants from Gath."


And demand them; through the passion he was in with his servants, and his hurry to get them home. And the covetous disposition which prevailed on him, he might forget, or be tempted to neglect, the prohibition he was under not to go out of Jerusalem. Or he might think Solomon had forgot it; or that he could come and go secretly without his knowledge; or if he should know of it, he might hope he would never punish him with death for so small a fault. However, so it was ordered by the providence of God leaving him to his own lust, and the temptations of Satan, that he might suffer just punishment for cursing David.


"And Shimei went and brought his servants from Gath": For the king being at peace with Israel, and a tributary to them also, did not choose to detain them, but delivered them up lest it should be resented, and bring him into trouble.


He did return home with his servants after he had found them.


1 Kings 2:41 "And it was told Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and was come again."


He was probably residing at Bahurim, his native place. But, as he was a suspicious character, Solomon condemned him henceforth to live in Jerusalem, on the penalty of death, for going without the gates. He submitted to this confinement for three years, and then when, violating his oath, he was arrested and put to death by Solomon for perjury, aggravated by his former crime of high treason against David (1 Kings 2:42-44).


We remember that Solomon had told him, if he did this, he would kill him. He has done what Solomon warned him not to do. Worse than that, someone saw him and reported it to Solomon.


1 Kings 2:42 "And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Did I not make thee to swear by the LORD, and protested unto thee, saying, Know for a certain, on the day thou goest out, and walkest abroad any whither, that thou shalt surely die? and thou saidst unto me, The word [that] I have heard [is] good."


The Septuagint add to (1 Kings 2:37), a clause stating that Solomon "made Shimei swear" on the day when he commanded him to reside at Jerusalem.


1 Kings 2:43 "Why then hast thou not kept the oath of the LORD, and the commandment that I have charged thee with?"


Which was made by him, and in his presence, and in which he was appealed to, and so by not keeping it was guilty of perjury.


"And the commandment that I have charged thee with?" And so he was guilty of disobedience to him as his sovereign; for which two reasons he ought to die.


Shimei had used very poor judgment in promising to do one thing and doing something else entirely. He should have realized that Solomon had spared his life, when he killed Adonijah. Solomon inquires why he would go across the Kidron, knowing he would be killed for it.


1 Kings 2:44 "The king said moreover to Shimei, Thou knowest all the wickedness which thine heart is privy to, that thou didst to David my father: therefore the LORD shall return thy wickedness upon thine own head;"


Not as another reason for his putting him to death, but to remind him of his former sins, and to observe to him the providence of God in suffering him to fall into others, that justice might take place upon him for them also.


"Thou knowest all the wickedness which thine heart is privy to, that thou didst to David my father": Which conscience must bear witness to, and accuse him of, not only of the words and actions themselves uttered and done by him, but of the malice and wickedness from whence they sprung.


"Therefore the Lord shall return thy wickedness upon thine own head": The punishment of it; which though not directly inflicted for that, yet in providence was brought about as a just retaliation for it.


It seems that Shimei was plotting privately against Solomon, as he had against his father. Solomon explains to him that he must kill him, because he is evil.


1 Kings 2:45 "And king Solomon [shall be] blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the LORD for ever."


"Throne of David": In contrast to Shimei's curse (2 Sam. 16:5-8), the Lord's blessing was to come through the ruler of David's, not Saul's, line (2 Sam. 7:12-13, 16).


Solomon is getting rid of all of those his father had warned him of. He is setting up his kingdom for a peaceful kingdom.


1 Kings 2:46 "So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; which went out, and fell upon him, that he died. And the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon."


Shimei's action violated the king's explicit command, which was designed to keep Shimei from gaining a base of possible support for an insurrection (verse 37). Therefore, for this and his long-standing offenses, he was executed.


With the death of Shimei, all the rival factions were eliminated.


Solomon sends Benaiah, his commander, to execute judgment on Shimei. He kills him with the sword. The uprising against Solomon is over. Solomon's promise to David is done as well.


1 Kings Chapter 2 Continued Questions


  1. Where did Solomon send Abiathar?
  2. Why did David not put him to death?
  3. Who had Abiathar been in confederacy with?
  4. Where in First Samuel, do we read of the judgment of Eli and his descendants?
  5. What is Abiathar to Eli?
  6. David had told Solomon to ________ Joab.
  7. Where did Joab run for safety?
  8. What caused him to go there at this time?
  9. Who did Solomon send to kill Joab?
  10. What did he try to get Joab to do?
  11. What had Joab said, when Benaiah tried to get him outside of the tabernacle?
  12. What did Solomon say was the reason for killing Joab?
  13. Who will be guilty for Joab's death?
  14. Who had he killed, that Solomon said were better men than he was?
  15. Why had Joab killed them?
  16. Why would the killing of Joab not be murder?
  17. Where did they bury Joab?
  18. Who took Joab's place as the commander of the army?
  19. Who became high priest in the place of Abiathar?
  20. What did Solomon tell Shimei to do, to save his life?
  21. Why did Solomon tell him to do this?
  22. How long did Shimei do what Solomon had ordered him to do?
  23. What caused him to break the ordinance?
  24. What happened, when Solomon found out what he had done?
  25. Where did Solomon say, that Shimei's wickedness was?
  26. Who killed Shimei?



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1 Kings 3



1 Kings Chapter 3

1 Kings 3:1 "And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the LORD, and the wall of Jerusalem round about."


"Made affinity with Pharaoh": The Pharaoh was probably Siamun, the next-to-last ruler of the weak 21st dynasty. Solomon's treaty with Pharaoh signified that he held a high standing in the world of his day. Pharaoh's daughter was the most politically significant of Solomon's 700 wives (Compare 7:8; 9:16; 11:1).


The marrying of a princess of one royal house to someone in a foreign royal family customarily sealed a political alliance in the ancient Near East (see the note on 2 Sam 5:13-15). However, the giving of "Pharaoh's daughter' to a foreign king is virtually without precedent (but compare 1 Chron. 4:18). The fact that the "king of Egypt" did so testifies to his respect for "Solomon.


Egypt would not typically form a political alliance with such as small nation, but Solomon's marriage to "Pharaoh's daughter" shows that he enjoyed unusual fame.


We will find that many of the marriages Solomon made were actually for making peace with that nation. They were not marriages, as you and I know marriage. If Solomon was married to the daughter of the leader of that country, it would be highly unlikely that they would attack Israel. We will find that Solomon is a man of peace and not a man of war as his father, David, was. This then, is a marriage of state. This marriage would give him peace with Egypt, and give him a time to build his own house and the house of the LORD, without having to defend themselves against Egypt. We see that the name of the wife, or the name of the leader whose daughter she was, is not given. This shows that this is not a personal marriage, but one between Israel and Egypt.



Verses 2-3: The "high places" were open-air sanctuaries found on hilltops (13:32), or in special sacred enclosures (Jer. 7:31). The basic problem with the high places was that they too easily became spots where the religious practices of Canaan could creep into Israel's worship experience (Deut. 12:12-14; Jer. 2:20).


1 Kings 3:2 "Only the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the LORD, until those days."


"High places": The open-air, hilltop worship centers which the Israelites inherited from the Canaanites had been rededicated to the Lord; the use of pagan altars had been forbidden (Num. 33:52; 12:3). After the building of the temple, worship at the high places was condemned (11:7-8; 12:31; 2 Kings 16:17-20; 21:3; 23:26).


"No house ... unto the name of the Lord": "Name" represented the character and presence of the Lord (Exodus 3:13-14). He had promised to choose one place "to establish His name there for His dwelling" (Deut. 12:5). The temple at Jerusalem was to be that place (5:3, 5; 8:16-17; 18-20; 29, 43-44, 48; 9:3, 7). In the ancient Near East, to identify a temple with a god's name meant that the god owned the place and dwelt there.


This is an interesting way to start a sentence. "Only" shows that even though there is peace, the building of the temple has not begun. There is a great need for a central place for them to worship. We know that Jerusalem had been chosen of God as the place for the temple to be built, but the work had not begun at this point. They were earnest in their sacrificing in the high places. This was not pagan worship, but the worship of the one true God.


1 Kings 3:3 "And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places."


"Only": Solomon's failure in completely following the Lord was exhibited in his continual worship at the high places.


Solomon kept the great commandment when he loved the LORD with all his heart. The following is what Jesus said about this very thing.


Mark 12:30 "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment."


His father David had pleased the LORD, because he too had loved and obeyed God in everything, except the sin with Bath-sheba when he killed her husband Uriah. God did not want the sacrifices made in the high places but He accepted them, because they had sacrificed with great love in their hearts for the LORD.



Verses 4-15 (see 2 Chron. 1:7-13).


1 Kings 3:4 "And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that [was] the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar."


The tabernacle was in "Gibeon" (1 Chron. 16:39-40; 2 Chron.1:3). The Ark, however, had been taken to Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6:12-17).


"Gibeon": A town about 7 miles northwest of Jerusalem, where the tabernacle of Moses and the original bronze altar were located (1 Chron. 21:29; 2 Chron. 1:2-6).


We can see, from this that Solomon was generous with his giving to the LORD. Gibeon was seven miles northwest of Jerusalem, and was the chosen place for sacrificing to the LORD. The entire congregation went with Solomon to this place to worship. This was the place where the tabernacle was located. This festival that accompanied the sacrifice of one thousand animals probably lasted 7 days or more. This was a time set aside for the entire congregation to focus on their LORD.


1 Kings 3:5 "In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee."


"Dream": This "dream" was a means of direct revelation from God, not a symbolic vision needing interpretation. Scholars estimate that Solomon was about 20 years old at this time. His answer to God's question marks his maturity as well as his love for the Lord (3:3).


God often gave revelation in dreams (Gen. 26:24; 28:12; 46:2; Dan. 2:7, 7:1; Matt. 1:20; 2:12, 19, 22). However, this dream was unique, a two-way conversation between the Lord and Solomon.


It is not to our benefit to argue over whether this was actually a vision or a dream. We must concentrate on the fact that this was a message from the LORD to Solomon. The message is that the LORD is pleased with Solomon and he may ask for one thing from the LORD. And it will be granted unto him. The LORD will bless Solomon, because of the great love and devotion he has shown to the LORD.



Verses 6-14: The humility of "an understanding heart" births a spirit that is sensitive to what God says through His Word and His people. "Discern" derives from the same root as the word between and refers to the ability to choose between two options. The additional gifts of "riches and honor," along with the conditional offer of a long life, signaled God's pleasure at Solomon's request.


1 Kings 3:6 "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; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as [it is] this day."


"Great mercy": This term implies covenant faithfulness. Solomon viewed his succession to David as evidence of the Lord's faithfulness to His promises to David.


Solomon begins by thanking the LORD for the great mercy and love that He had shown his father, David. Solomon is also, showing praise of his father, who walked before the LORD in righteousness and truth. David had a pure heart of love for the LORD. Solomon is even expressing that he believes the reason he is on the throne, is because the LORD is blessing David in this. We must remember that Solomon himself, did not seek to be king. The LORD chose Solomon to be king, and Solomon accepted that call.


1 Kings 3:7 "And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I [am but] a little child: I know not [how] to go out or come in."


"Little child": Since Solomon was probably only about 20 years of age, he readily admitted his lack of qualification and experience to be king (1 Chron. 22:5; 29:1; see note on Numbers 27:15-17).


Solomon's humble remark that he was but "a little child" is to be understood as a statement of his inexperience. He had already sired a son (14:21).


I see a very humble man in the statement of Solomon in this verse. He is not caught up in self-worship. He is aware of his inability within himself to lead such a great nation. He explains to the LORD, that he is like a little child, when it comes to leading the nation. He knows that without the LORD's help, he will not be able to rule this people. He is placing his faith in the LORD and not in himself.


1 Kings 3:8 "And thy servant [is] in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude."


"A great people": Based on the census, which recorded 800,000 men of fighting age in Israel and 500,000 in Judah (2 Sam. 24:9), the total population was over 4 million, approximately double what it had been at the time of the Conquest (see Num. 26:1-65).


Solomon is aware that this is not just any nation that he is leading. These are God's chosen people. They are vast in number. He knows that civil rule is not enough for these people. Every decision that is made must be pleasing unto the LORD first.


1 Kings 3:9 "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?"


"Understanding heart": Humbly admitting his need, Solomon sought "a listening heart" to govern God's people with wisdom.


Solomon is not refusing the task that the LORD has given him to do. He is just asking for the LORD to empower him to do the task He has set before him. He wants wisdom from the LORD. This gift of wisdom that he is asking for, is not even for a selfish reason, but is so that he can better serve the chosen family of God.


1 Kings 3:10 "And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing."


"Pleased the Lord": The Lord was delighted that Solomon had not asked for personal benefits, e.g., long life, wealth, or the death of his enemies.


God had offered to give Solomon the one thing that he desired the most. We see, in this request that Solomon had made, a man who sincerely wants to be of service to the LORD. His first thought was of service. This greatly pleases the LORD.


1 Kings 3:11 "And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;"


It is obvious to note this verse as a fulfilment of the Divine law, "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33). All these secondary blessings are good, just so far as they conduce to the supreme good, which is the growth of the human nature, by the knowledge of God and by faithfully doing His work on earth, to the perfection designed for it in His wisdom. So long as Solomon used them in subordination to true wisdom, they were a blessing to him; when he made them idols, they became a curse. The connection of these lower gifts with the moral and intellectual gifts of wisdom, is the result of the natural law of God's Providence, so far as that law overcomes the resistance of evil and folly, still allowed to strive against it.


1 Kings 3:12 "Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee."


"None like thee" Solomon was one of a kind in judicial insight, as illustrated (in verses 16-27).


Wisdom and justice were highly esteemed qualities for a good king in the ancient Near East (Prov. 20:26; 21:1-3). They would be a distinguishing mark of the messianic King (Isa. 9:6-7; 11:1-5; Jer. 23:5-6). Solomon's wisdom will be tested immediately (verses16-28). It will be demonstrated often (4:29-34; 10:1-13, 23-24).


We see, from this, that God gives Solomon the gift of wisdom and understanding. It becomes part of his very being, because it is in his heart. He became the wisest man who ever lived. Only One who was on this earth, ever had more wisdom, and he was God manifest in the flesh of man. He was Jesus. As far as humans who had an earthly father and an earthly mother, Solomon had the most wisdom. Jesus' Father was God. God is so pleased with the request that Solomon had made, that He will immediately answer his request.


1 Kings 3:13 "And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honor: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days."


That is, intended to give him, and now promised it, and was about to bestow it on him, both riches and honor. The former through the presents and tribute of the nations about him, and his trading to foreign parts; and the latter chiefly through his wisdom, the fame of which was spread everywhere.


"So that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days": That is, none like him for riches and honor among all the kings of the neighboring nations so long as he lived. Though there might be kings in later times as rich, or even richer than he, as Croesus, Alexander, etc., but then not so honorable as he. So, putting both together, there were no kings like him before or after, and especially if wisdom be added to them (as in 1 Chron. 1:12).


Solomon had not asked for riches and honor, but God gives them to him, because of his unselfish heart. He had put God first in his heart, thoughts and desires. The following Scripture explains exactly what happens when a person does that.


Matthew 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."


Solomon is abundantly blessed with physical blessings, because he asked for spiritual blessings.


1 Kings 3:14 "And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days."


"Lengthen thy days": In contrast to riches and honor that were already his, a long life was dependent on Solomon's future obedience to the Lord's commands. Because of his disobedience, Solomon died before reaching 70 years of age (Psalm 90:10).


This is the first conditional promise that we see. The LORD will give him long life, if he remains faithful and walks in the ways of the LORD. David lived a long life and died from old age. This is what the LORD is promising Solomon, if he will live a pleasing life before the LORD as David did. We will find later, that Solomon does not live to be old, because he does not remain faithful.


1 Kings 3:15 "And Solomon awoke; and, behold, [it was] a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants."


I.e. he perceived that it was a dream; not a vain dream, wherewith men are commonly deluded. But a Divine dream, assuring him of the thing which he partly by a Divine impression and inspiration thereof in his mind after he was awakened. And partly by the vast alteration which he presently found within himself in point of wisdom and knowledge.


"The Ark of the covenant of the Lord": Was there in the city of David (2 Sam. 6:17), before which he presented himself in the way of holy ministration and adoration, which may be noted by the word "stood". Or that word may note his abode there for some considerable time, as the offering of so many sacrifices required.


Offered up burnt-offerings": Chiefly for the expiation of his and his people's sins, through the blood of Christ, manifestly signified in these sacrifices.


"And offered peace-offerings": Solemnly to praise God for all his mercies, and especially for giving him a quiet and fixed possession of the kingdom. And for his glorious appearance to him in a dream, and for the great promise therein made to him, and the actual accomplishment of it since wrought in him.


Even though this is classified as a dream here, this is more than a dream. It was like a night vision. Solomon knew this was the LORD speaking to him. The standing before the Ark of the Covenant, was presenting himself to the LORD. These offerings were in acceptance and thanksgiving for the blessing the LORD had just placed within him. His father David had brought the Ark to Jerusalem, to show that this is the holy city.



Verses 16-28: "Harlots, unto the king": Here is an illustration of how wisely Solomon ruled. In Israel, the king was the ultimate "judge" of the land, and any citizen, even the basest prostitute, could petition him for a verdict (2 Sam. 14:2-21; 15:1-4; 2 Kings 8:1-6).


Solomon, now tested, solved the dispute by appealing to maternal instincts and human compassion, knowing that the real mother would rather give her child to another than watch him die. The people's response to Solomon's "judgment" further proved that "the wisdom of God" was on Solomon; this was an unusual, supernaturally supplied gift.


1 Kings 3:16 "Then came there two women, [that were] harlots, unto the king, and stood before him."


The same day, as Abarbinel thinks, the night after which the Lord had appeared to Solomon. This came to pass through the providence of God, that there should be immediately an instance and proof of the wisdom and understanding the Lord had given to Solomon. These women, according to the Targum, were persons who sold food, alcohol or were inn keepers. And so Ben Gersom thinks they were sellers of food, as Rahab. Though he observes it is possible they might, prostitute themselves. This may be said in their favor, that common prostitutes do not usually bear children, or, when they do, take no care of them. Or have no affection for them, and much less are fond of them, as these seem to be. But, on the other hand, no mention being made of their husbands, and living together in one house, and alone. And being impudent, brawling, and litigious, give great suspicion of the truth of the character they bear in our version and others.


"And stood before him": To lay their case before him, and each plead their own cause. It may be, it had been tried in another court before, and could not be determined, and so was brought to the king. If so, the wisdom of Solomon was the more conspicuous, in deciding it in the manner he did.


This is the first recorded test of the wisdom that he had just received from the LORD. The king was a judge in the land on weighty matters. This is possibly, a serious problem that others had not been able to decide. The two harlot women are to stand before Solomon to be judged of a dispute between them.


1 Kings 3:17 "And the one woman said, O my lord, I and this woman dwell in one house; and I was delivered of a child with her in the house."


The woman who was the plaintiff.


"O my lord, I and this woman dwell in one house": Pointing to the defendant, who stood by her.


"And I was delivered of a child with her in the house": She being present at the delivery, and she only, as it should seem.


It is obvious that these women have no husbands. They have had the babies out of wedlock. They are living together, as in a house of prostitution, except there are just two living there.


1 Kings 3:18 "And it came to pass the third day after that I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also: and we [were] together; [there was] no stranger with us in the house, save we two in the house."


Of a child, as before expressed.


"That this woman was delivered also; of another child; and being both of the same sex and both sons, as afterwards it appears. And being so nearly of an age, it was difficult to distinguish them apart.


"And we were together": There was no stranger with us in the house.


"Save we two in the house": So that in this trial no evidences could be produced on either side.


They had both had their babies at home. Within a period of three days, they both had a baby. It appears they had not even had a midwife, when the babies were born. We see from the following Scripture that the Hebrew women, in the most part, did not have as much difficulty in childbirth as did the Egyptians.


Exodus 1:19 "And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women [are] not as the Egyptian women; for they [are] lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them."


Perhaps, they did not need a midwife.


1 Kings 3:19 "And this woman's child died in the night; because she overlaid it."


Whether the same night following the day it was born is not certain.


"Because she overlaid it": Or laid upon it, being heavy through sleep, and not knowing what she did, turned herself upon it, and smothered it. Because it had no previous illness, or any marks of any disease it could be thought to die of, and perhaps there might be some of its being overlaid.


One of the women rolled over on her baby at night, and smothered it to death.


1 Kings 3:20 "And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom."


Perceiving what she had done, that she had overlaid her child, and it was dead; either through fear of punishment inflicted on persons thus negligent, or because of the disgrace of it, taking no more care of her child, she made use of the following stratagem.


"And took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept": This served to puzzle the cause, for how could she know what she did when she was asleep? This she could not prove as it was only conjecture.


"And laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom": Where she found it in the morning. But still what proof was there that it was the other woman's, and not her own, that lay dead in her bosom?


It appears, from this, that both women had male babies. The one whose child died during the night, is being accused of swapping babies during the middle of the night.


1 Kings 3:21 "And when I rose in the morning to give my child suck, behold, it was dead: but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it was not my son, which I did bear."


As she used to do.


"Behold, it was dead": Her own child, as she thought at first.


"But when I had considered it in the morning": It was towards morning, or just at break of day, when she arose to suckle it, and found it dead. But when it was broad day, and the light of the morning was increased, she more narrowly viewed it, and by its features, or some marks she had observed.


"Behold, it was not my son which I did bear": She was fully satisfied it was not her own child, but another.


She is saying that she tried to nurse the baby, not knowing that it was dead. When she un-wrapped the baby and looked at it, she discovered it was not her baby at all, but the woman's that lived with her.


1 Kings 3:22 "And the other woman said, Nay; but the living [is] my son, and the dead [is] thy son. And this said, No; but the dead [is] thy son, and the living [is] my son. Thus they spake before the king."


The defendant.


"Nay, but the living is my son, and the dead is thy son": She denied what the other said, but offered nothing in proof of it.


"And this said": She who was the plaintiff replied in the same language.


"No: but the dead is thy son, and the living is my son": Without being able to add anything in confirmation of what she had deposed.


"Thus they spake before the king": Several times, over and over again, what is before expressed, having nothing to produce on either side in proof of their assertions. So that it was very difficult to determine to whom the living child belonged.


Both of these women were claiming that the living baby was their natural child. They both cried out to the king, to get the living baby for themselves. This will be difficult to decide. Solomon is sorely tested in this circumstance.


1 Kings 3:23 "Then said the king, The one saith, This [is] my son that liveth, and thy son [is] the dead: and the other saith, Nay; but thy son [is] the dead, and my son [is] the living."


As judge, summing up what had been said on both sides, which were only bare assertions without proof; the one affirming what the other denied, and the other denying what the other affirmed.


"The one saith, this is my son that liveth, and thy son is the dead; and the other saith nay; but thy son is the dead, and my son is the living": This he repeated to show to all present that no determination could be made by what had been said on each side, and that some other method must be taken.


They are both claiming to be the mother of the live child. He thoroughly understands the problem now, what decision will he make?


1 Kings 3:24 "And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the king."


The design of which might not at first appear to the court, and it might be thought strange and greatly wondered at: what should be the meaning of it.


"And they brought a sword before the king": His commands were obeyed.


1 Kings 3:25 "And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other."


To one of his officers.


"Divide the living child in two": Not that he meant it should be actually done, though it might at first be thought he really intended it, and so strike the minds of some with horror, as it did, however, the mother. But he ordered this, to try the affections of the women, and thereby come to the true knowledge of the affair. Though, some think he knew it before by their countenances and manner of speech, but that he was desirous all present might see it, and be satisfied of it.


"Half ... half": In ordering his servants to cut the child in two, he knew the liar would not object, but out of maternal compassion the real mother would (Exodus 21:35).


This sounds like a cruel decision from Solomon. They will each have half of a dead baby.


1 Kings 3:26 "Then spake the woman whose the living child [was] unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, [but] divide [it]."


In haste, and with great vehemence, less the executioner should at once dispatch it.


"For her bowels yearned upon her son": Not being able to bear to see his life taken away.


"And she said, O my lord": Or, "on me, my lord"; let the sin, the lie that I have told, be on me, and the punishment of it. She rather chose to be reckoned a liar, and to endure any punishment such an offence deserved, than that her child should be cut in two.


"Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it": Being willing to part with her interest in it, rather than it should be put to death.


"But the other said, let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it": For as she knew it was not her own, she had no affection for it, nor desire to have it. She chose rather to be clear of the expense of keeping and nursing it, and would, by its being put to death, be avenged of her adversary, who had brought this cause before the king.


The real mother speaks up, and says not to kill the baby. She would rather give it to the other woman, than for her son to be killed. The one to who the baby did not belong to was perfectly willing to divide the baby. This tells Solomon who this baby really belongs to.


1 Kings 3:27 "Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she [is] the mother thereof."


That is, to her who desired it might not be slain, rather than to be given to the one who had no right to it.


"She is the mother thereof": Which might be strongly concluded from her compassion for it, her eagerness and earnestness to have its life spared, and from the indifference of the other. And from the other woman's cruelty and barbarity in agreeing to have it divided.


The one, who would rather give it up than for it to be killed, is the true mother. Solomon tells them to give the baby to her.


1 Kings 3:28 "And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God [was] in him, to do judgment."


"Feared the king": Israel was in awe of and willing to submit to the rule of Solomon because of his wisdom from God.


The way that Solomon settled this is wise indeed. We see the supernatural wisdom that God had bestowed on Solomon, in action in this. Of course, the news of this wise decision soon was all over town. Everyone knew that the LORD had filled Solomon with wisdom, greater than that of the natural man. They feared the king is really saying, they held him in high esteem. They knew his judgment was righteous and perfect, since it was from the LORD. They feared, because no one desires to be judged fairly. We all want mercy.


1 Kings Chapter 3 Questions


1. Whose daughter did Solomon take to wife in verse 1?


2. What kind of marriages were many that Solomon made with women from different countries?


3. What help to Solomon would this marriage to the Pharaoh of Egypt's daughter be?


4. What can we learn from the fact that her name is not given?


5. In verse 2, we read, the people were sacrificing in _______ _________.


6. What does the first word of verse 2 show us?


7. Solomon ________ the LORD.


8. Whose statutes did Solomon walk in?


9. How had David pleased the LORD?


10. Where did king Solomon go to sacrifice?


11. How many burnt offerings did he present to the LORD?


12. How long did this festival unto the LORD last?


13. Who celebrated with Solomon?


14. What does Solomon begin his reply to the LORD with?


15. Why did Solomon believe he was on the throne of David?


16. What does Solomon say that he is in verse 7?


17. What does he call himself in verse 8?


18. What is different about this nation, that God has called him to lead?


19. What does Solomon ask God for?


20. How did the LORD feel about Solomon's answer?


21. What else did the LORD give Solomon, besides what he asked for?


22. What was the conditional promise the LORD made to Solomon?


23. What did Solomon do immediately, after he woke from this dream?


24. Who stood before him for judgment of a matter?


25. What was the complaint he was to settle?


26. What did the woman say had happened to one of the babies?


27. How did Solomon decide which harlot the baby really belonged to?


28. Who got the baby?


29. What happened, when all Israel heard about this judgment of Solomon?





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1 Kings 4



1 Kings Chapter 4

1 Kings 4:1 "So king Solomon was king over all Israel."


"All Israel": Solomon was in firm control of all of the people. Israel's squabbling factions had fallen in line behind the king.


Verses 1-6 constitute a list of "Solomon's" chief administrators.


Solomon ruled over all twelve tribes. After his reign, the twelve tribes will be broken into the ten tribes and two tribes. The ten will be spoken of as Israel, and the two as Judah.


1 Kings 4:2 "And these [were] the princes which he had; Azariah the son of Zadok the priest,"


"Azariah the son of Zadok": Actually, he was the son of Ahimaaz and the grandson of Zadok, as "son of" can mean "descendant of" (1 Chron. 6:8-9). In David's roster of officials, the army commander came first (2 Sam. 8:16; 20:23). Under Solomon, the priest and other officials preceded the military leader.


Princes in this instance probably are speaking of the men in authority in the government of Solomon. They were his subordinates but were over the people. In this particular instance, Azariah is actually the grand-son of Zadok. Azariah was a fairly common name of the priests who were in the lineage of Eleazar. "Eleazar" and "Azariah" both mean helped by Jehovah. This could possibly mean that Azariah was priest to Solomon. If he is not priest then; he could be a spiritual adviser. We can assume that he was high priest, because his name is the first one on the list given here.


1 Kings 4:3 "Elihoreph and Ahiah, the sons of Shisha, scribes; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, the recorder."


"Elihoreph and Ahiah": Probably they prepared royal edicts and kept official records.


"Recorder": Likely he maintained the records of all important daily affairs in the kingdom.


This listing is showing who did what job in the service of Solomon. The scribes wrote letters and proclamations from the king. They kept accounts as well. Jehoshaphat had done this same job for David. He wrote down the things the king had said. He kept records for the king himself, and kept records of all that was done.


1 Kings 4:4 "And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada [was] over the host: and Zadok and Abiathar [were] the priests:"


"Priests": Zadok and Abiathar had served together as High-Priests under David (2 Sam. 8:17; 20:25). Although Abiathar had been removed from priestly service and exiled (2:26-27, 35), he maintained his priestly title until his death.


We remember that Benaiah became the commander of the army, when he killed Joab. Zadok and Abiathar had served David. Abiathar was sent away and removed from serving as priest. This just means that during the reign of Solomon (the beginning), he acted as priest. Zadok had served David and was now getting old. This is perhaps, the reason for naming Azariah priest.


1 Kings 4:5 "And Azariah the son of Nathan [was] over the officers; and Zabud the son of Nathan [was] principal officer, [and] the king's friend:"


The twelve officers who provided food for Solomon's household after mentioned.


"And Zabud the son of Nathan": Another of the sons of Nathan the prophet: for he being a principal instrument of settling Solomon on the throne, had interest enough to promote his sons to the chief places of honor and trust. And this here,


"Was principal officer, and the king's friend": A chief minister about him, very intimate with him, that kept him company, privately conversed with him, was in his secrets, and admitted to great privacy and nearness to him.


It is obvious this Azariah is not the same one mentioned (in verse 2). This was a very common name. All we know for sure about this Azariah is just what we read here. He was the captain of Solomon's guards. Zabud had the honor of being called the king's friend.


1 Kings 4:6 "And Ahishar [was] over the household: and Adoniram the son of Abda [was] over the tribute."


"Over the household": One who managed Solomon's properties, both lands and buildings (16:9; 18:3; 2 Kings 18:18, 37; 19:2).


"Over the tribute": One who oversaw the conscripted workers of Solomon (5:13-18).


Ahishar was the steward, or keeper, of the household help. He was over the entire working staff of the palace, or household. Adoniram was in charge of forced labor and collecting the tribute.



Verses 7-19: Solomon had an extensive administrative system. The "governors" of these districts were responsible for raising revenue for sustaining the government and specifically providing for the needs of the royal household (4:26-27). These verses contain a roster of "Solomon's" district governors.


1 Kings 4:7 "And Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, which provided victuals for the king and his household: each man his month in a year made provision."


"Twelve officers": Solomon divided the land into 12 geographical districts (different from the tribal boundaries), each supervised by a deputy. Each month a different deputy collected provisions in his district to supply the king and his staff.


These twelve were like superintendents, who took care of the need for food for this mass of people. Each of these men took a month that they were responsible for the food.


1 Kings 4:8 "And these [are] their names: The son of Hur, in mount Ephraim:"


Or rather the names of their fathers; for of many of them not their own names but their fathers' names are given, as being well known.


"The son of Hur, in Mount Ephraim": A fruitful country in the tribe of Ephraim, from whence this officer was to furnish the king with provisions for one month in the year.


This is the beginning of the list of those who provided the provision for the king's table. Mount Ephraim is a very fertile land.


1 Kings 4:9 "The son of Dekar, in Makaz, and in Shaalbim, and Beth-shemesh, and Elon-beth-hanan:


A place in the tribe of Dan, on the borders of it.


"And in Shaalbim, and Bethshemesh, and Elon-beth-hanan": All in the same tribe (see Joshua 19:41).


1 Kings 4:10 "The son of Hesed, in Aruboth; to him [pertained] Sochoh, and all the land of Hepher:"


Which seems to have been in the tribe of Judah by the places that follow.


"To him pertained Sochoh": There were two places of this name in that tribe (Joshua 15:35).


"And all the land of Hepher": There was an Hepher in the land of Canaan, which was a royal city in the times of the Canaanites, Joshua 12:17. And there was a Hepher, the name of a man, a descendant of Judah, to whom very probably, this land belonged (1 Chron. 4:6). Unless it can be thought to be the portion of land given to the daughters of Hepher (Joshua 17:3).


1 Kings 4:11 "The son of Abinadab, in all the region of Dor; which had Taphath the daughter of Solomon to wife:"


The same with Dor and her towns, belonged to the half tribe of Manasseh, on this side of Jordan (Joshua 17:11).


"Which had Taphath the daughter of Solomon to wife": Not when he was first put into this office, when, in all probability, Solomon had not a daughter marriageable. But behaving well in it, in process of time he bestowed a daughter of his on him.


In (verse 11), we see that the son of Abinadab married the daughter of Solomon. This tells us that this was later on in Solomon's life.


1 Kings 4:12 "Baana the son of Ahilud; [to him pertained] Taanach and Megiddo, and all Beth-shean, which [is] by Zartanah beneath Jezreel, from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah, [even] unto [the place that is] beyond Jokneam:"


All which were places in the tribe of Manasseh (Joshua 17:11).


"Which is by Zartanah beneath Jezreel": So described to distinguish it, as is thought, from Zaretan (in Joshua 3:16); and the country this officer presided over reached also.


"From Beth-shean to Abel-meholah, even unto the place that is beyond Jokneam": The two first of these were in the tribe of Manasseh and the last in the tribe of Zebulun (Joshua 19:11).


1 Kings 4:13 "The son of Geber, in Ramoth-gilead; to him [pertained] the towns of Jair the son of Manasseh, which [are] in Gilead; to him [also pertained] the region of Argob, which [is] in Bashan, threescore great cities with walls and brasen bars:"


A city in the tribe of Gad, and was a city of refuge (Joshua 20:8).


"To him pertained the towns of Jair the son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead": Of which (see Numbers 32:41).


"To him also pertained the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, threescore great cities with walls, and brasen bars": Called by Josephus Ragaba, beyond Jordan (see Deut. 3:4).


This is speaking of the area where the provisions came from. It included 60 cities. All of these cities were walled cities.


1 Kings 4:14 "Ahinadab the son of Iddo [had] Mahanaim:"


This is another city on the other side Jordan, where both Ish-bosheth and David sometimes dwelt (2 Sam. 2:8). This and the places adjacent must be very fruitful, since this officer was to furnish the king with provisions for a month once a year from there.


1 Kings 4:15 "Ahimaaz [was] in Naphtali; he also took Basmath the daughter of Solomon to wife:"


Out of that tribe he made a monthly provision annually.


"He also took Basmath the daughter of Solomon to wife": Another daughter of Solomon's, in the course of time (see 1 Kings 4:11).


We have not seen a list of the children of Solomon. We know of two daughters, he had from this lesson. Basmath is the second daughter of Solomon. Ahimaaz married her.


1 Kings 4:16 "Baanah the son of Hushai [was] in Asher and in Aloth:"


In the tribe of Asher. This was a very plentiful tribe, particularly for oil. This officer was perhaps the son of Hushai, the Archite, David's friend, and it may be promoted for his sake.


"And in Aloth": Which signifies ascensions, mountains went upon by steps; near to this place was a high mountain, called the ladder of Tyre. Perhaps that and the parts adjacent may be meant here.


1 Kings 4:17 "Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in Issachar:"


In the tribe of Issachar; he had the whole tribe at his command to make a monthly provision out of for the king once a year, as had the preceding officer and the following one.


We are seeing, in these Scriptures, the names of the people, who served Solomon in a place of importance. We are also seeing that they did not all live in Jerusalem.


1 Kings 4:18 "Shimei the son of Elah, in Benjamin:"


So described, to distinguish him from that Shimei that cursed David, who was of the same tribe (see 2 Sam. 16:5).


1 Kings 4:19 "Geber the son of Uri [was] in the country of Gilead, [in] the country of Sihon king of the Amorites, and of Og king of Bashan; and [he was] the only officer which [was] in the land."


Which was beyond Jordan, and inhabited by the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh; this must be understood of all the country, excepting what was under the jurisdiction of the son of Geber (1 Kings 4:13); and which had been:


"The country of Sihon king of the Amorites, and of Og king of Bashan": Until it was taken from them by Moses (Num. 21:25).


"And he was the only officer which was in the land": Which is not true of Geber; for there was another officer in the land of Gilead besides him, the son of Geber before observed. Unless it should be rendered "in that land", in that part of the land he had. But then the same might have been observed of all the rest of the officers. The words may be rendered best, "and there was one officer in the land"; which some understand of one officer over all the rest, Azariah the son of Nathan (1 Kings 4:5). But it seems best what other Jewish writers say, that this was another officer appointed for the intercalated month; when there were thirteen months in the year, there was an officer in the land fixed for that month to make provision out of the land. Perhaps anywhere, where he pleased, being not limited to any certain place. These twelve providers for Solomon's family were emblems of the twelve apostles of Christ, appointed to provide food for his family, the church; and if you add to them the Apostle Paul, it will make thirteen, as this officer did.


Shimei was a Benjamite name. Gilead, mentioned here, is on the eastern side of the Jordan River. The land, spoken of in the verse above, is east of the Jordan.



Verses 20-34: These descriptions of prosperity, safety, and peace reveal how extensively and extravagantly God blessed Solomon. Being "as numerous as the sand by the sea" recalls the Lord's covenant with Abraham (Gen. 22:17), and figuratively suggests population growth.


"From Tiphsah" (on the Euphrates River to the northeast), "even to Gaza" (on the western coast in the southern part of Philistia), speaks to the breadth of Solomon's empire.


1 Kings 4:20 "Judah and Israel [were] many, as the sand which [is] by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking, and making merry."


"Many as the sand ... by the sea": A clear allusion to the Lord's promise to Abraham (in Gen. 22:17). The early years of Solomon's reign, characterized by population growth, peace and prosperity, were a foreshadowing of the blessings that will prevail in Israel when the Abrahamic covenant is fulfilled.


The great growth and prosperity of Solomon's kingdom attest the faithfulness of God in carrying out the provisions of the Abrahamic covenant through the line of David.


There was peace and great prosperity during the time Solomon reigned. Israel and Judah made up the twelve tribes. The prosperity was felt by all of the Hebrews, not just Solomon's family. It truly was a time to eat, drink and be merry.



Verses 21-28: The wide dominion of Solomon's kingdom and the splendor of life at his court are clearly seen here (compare 2 Chron. 9:26).


1 Kings 4:21 "And Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt: they brought presents, and served Solomon all the days of his life."


"All kingdoms" The borders of the kingdoms which Solomon influenced echoed the Lord's promise to Abram (in Gen. 15:18). However, Solomon's reign was not the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant for 3 reasons:


(1) Israel still only lived in the land "from Dan even to Beersheba" (verse 25). Abraham's descendants did not inhabit all the land promised to Abraham;


(2) The non-Israelite kingdoms did not lose their identity and independence, but rather recognized Solomon's authority and brought him tribute without surrendering title to their lands;


(3) According to (Numbers 34:6), the Mediterranean Sea is to be the western border of the Land of Promise, indicating that Tyre was to be a part of the Promised Land. However, Hiram king of Tyre was a sovereign who entered into a bilateral or parity treaty (between equals), with Solomon (5:1-12).


The river mentioned here, is the Euphrates. The Mediterranean Sea was the western border of Solomon's kingdom. This is speaking of a peaceful kingdom where Solomon was highly thought of. The people brought him presents. He was king over all the land and they served him willingly. This was a time of peace that they had not known before.


1 Kings 4:22 "And Solomon's provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour, and threescore measures of meal,"


"Provision": I.e., the daily provisions for Solomon's palace. Hebrew "cors"; each of which contained ten ephods (see Exodus 16:36). So this provision was sufficient for near three thousand persons.


"Meal": Of a coarser sort, for common use and for the inferior sort.


1 Kings 4:23 "Ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and a hundred sheep, beside harts, and roebucks, and fallow deer, and fatted fowl."


Such as were kept up in the stall and fatted.


"And twenty oxen out of the pastures": Which were killed as they were taken from thence, and not put up to be fed.


"And a hundred sheep": out of the folds.


"Beside harts, and roebucks, and fallow deer": Which were clean creatures, according to the Levitical law (Deut. 14:5). These were hunted in fields, or taken out of the park, or were presents from other countries. So that here was plenty of beef, mutton, and venison: for the spiritual application of this to the antitypical Solomon, and his provisions (see Matt. 22:4).


"And fatted fowl": Such as we call capons (a castrated domestic cock fattened for eating). Some Jewish writers, because of the likeness of sound in the word here used, take them to be Barbary fowls, or such as were brought from that country. There is a sort of birds called which were without a voice that neither heard men, nor knew their voice.


We see from this, that the people who worked in and around the household of Solomon, including his body guards and officers, would have numbered well over ten thousand. The food, mentioned above, would feed somewhere between ten and fifteen thousand people abundantly.


1 Kings 4:24 "For he had dominion over all [the region] on this side the river, from Tiphsah even to Azzah, over all the kings on this side the river: and he had peace on all sides round about him."


"Tiphsah ... Azzah": Tiphsah was located on the west bank of the Euphrates and Azzah (Gaza), on the southwestern Mediterranean coast. These towns represented the northeast and southwest points of Solomon's influence.


We see that a government, which was over as many subjects as Solomon's was, would have to have a very large number of people working directly for him. The food was just one expenditure that they had. We must remember that there are millions of people under the rule of Solomon at this time. Probably, a few thousand of the men he fed, were his personal army that guarded Solomon. There was no war. One reason for this was the power and authority that Solomon had.


1 Kings 4:25 "And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, all the days of Solomon."


Dwelling "under his vine and his fig tree" was the ideal state for a Hebrew person, symbolic of daily happiness through God's blessing (Joel 2:22; Micah 4:4).


During the 40 year reign of Solomon, there was peace in the land. The men could stay at home and work the vineyards and the fig trees, because there was no war to fight.


1 Kings 4:26 "And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen."


"Had forty thousand stalls" Though the Hebrew text reads 40,000, this was probably a copyist's error in transcribing the text, and it should read 4,000 (as in 2 Chron. 9:25).


Solomon's accumulation of horses and chariots violated God's prohibition (in Deuteronomy 17:16).


This huge number of horsemen, chariots, and horses just show the tremendous wealth of Solomon. This could very well be the reason there was peace in the land. He had plenty of war machinery to put down any uprising. No one would dare come against Solomon in war.


1 Kings 4:27 "And those officers provided victual for king Solomon, and for all that came unto king Solomon's table, every man in his month: they lacked nothing."


The twelve before mentioned; and this is repeated here, after the account of his horses, to observe, that they provided for them also, as well as for the sake of what follows. That the large provision made by them was not only for Solomon's family and domestic servants, but for strangers from different arts, who came upon messages to him, or to visit him, and to behold the splendor of his court.


"And for all that came to Solomon's table": Which was an open table for all comers, as there were some from all parts of the earth (1 Kings 4:34).


"Every man in his month": Each of the twelve officers provided food in the month assigned to him.


"They lacked nothing": They always had enough to supply the king with, and they failed not in the performance of their duty, nor came short of their salaries, being fully and punctually paid them.


This is speaking of the officers we have read of earlier in the lesson. Of course, they had men under them, who took care of the actual work. Providing provender for this large group would not be the work of one man, but of large groups of people working under the officer.


1 Kings 4:28 "Barley also and straw for the horses and dromedaries brought they unto the place where [the officers] were, every man according to his charge."


Or rather mules, by comparing the passage with (2 Chronicles 9:24). The particular kind of creatures meant is not agreed on; though all take them to be a swifter sort of creatures than horses; or the swifter of horses, as race horses or posts horses. Barley was for their provender, that being the common food of horses in those times and countries, and in others, as Bochart has shown from various writers. And in the Misnah it is called the food of beasts. And Solomon is said to have every day his own horses. Two hundred thousand Neapolitan measures of called "tomboli"; so the Roman soldiers. The horses were allowed a certain quantity of barley every morning, and sometimes they had money instead of it, which they therefore called "hordiarium". And the "straw" was for the litter of them.


"Brought they unto the place; where the officers were": Not where the king was, as the Vulgate Latin version; where Solomon was, as the Arabic version, that is, in Jerusalem.


"Where the officers were": In their respective jurisdictions, as our version supplies it, which would be bringing them to themselves; but to the place where the beasts were. Whether in Jerusalem, or in any, other parts of the kingdom.


"Every man according to his charge": Which he was to perform monthly.


This is probably speaking of barley and straw for the horses. "Dromedaries" means a relay of animals on a post-route. These were probably mules. This means there were officers posted in various places and they had fast animals they used to run the post to bring messages to the king. The horses and men were stationed throughout the land and they were provided food, and food for the horses, at their outposts. Each provider had a place they served.


1 Kings 4:29 "And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that [is] on the sea shore."


"Wisdom" in the Old Testament begins with the fear of the Lord (Prov. 1:7; Eccl. 12:13-14), and its wise application to every facet of life.


The Hebrew word for wisdom means "skill": Living life according to the patterns God built into creation. So wisdom is best understood as the right use of knowledge, knowing what, when, and how to do something. God also gave Solomon a "largeness of" ("compassionate"), "heart". Jesus described Himself as one greater than Solomon (Matt. 12:42), for in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2:3).


In earlier verses, we learned that Solomon's wisdom and understanding were placed in his heart in his inner-most being. Solomon's wisdom from God had brought all of this together. God blessed him in every way. He was wise and powerful, but had a tremendously understanding heart as well.


1 Kings 4:30 "And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt."


"The east ... Egypt": The men to the East of Israel in Mesopotamia and Arabia (Job 1:3), and in Egypt were known for their wisdom. Egypt had been renowned for learning and science, as well as culture. Solomon's wisdom was superior to all at home or abroad (verse 31).


The people from the east have always been thought of as wise. We read of the wise men from the east that came to see Jesus.


Matthew 2:1 "Now when Jesus was born in Beth-lehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,"


The wisdom of Egypt was worldly in nature. Some of the schools in America today are still studying things that originated in Egypt. Geometry, astronomy, and much of medicine are some of the things. Embalming of the dead came from Egypt as well.


1 Kings 4:31 "For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about."


"Ethan the Ezrahite" was likely the same Ethan originally appointed by David as one of the leaders among the temple musicians (1 Chron. 15:19). He also wrote (Psalm 89).


"Sons of Mahol": This probably meant "singers," a guild of musicians who created sacred songs.


After studying these 4 people mentioned above, I would say they were thought of as very wise people. A standard that was set for wisdom in the land until Solomon's wisdom far surpassed theirs. There are many opinions of who they were. Some believe they are all Ezrahites. Some believe the name Mahol is speaking of them being musicians and singers. "Mahol" means a dance. Two of the Psalms, (chapter 88 and 89), speak of Ezrahite in their title. The only part of this that pertains to our lesson, is the fact that they were thought of as very wise, but not as wise as Solomon.



Verses 32-34: Solomon's wisdom and creative genius was exceeded only by Jesus Christ (Matt. 12:42). Besides his "proverbs" and "songs," he wrote the Books of Proverbs, Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes. Kings in the ancient Near East would sponsor "wisdom conferences", where the wisest people would gather to discuss life's patterns and problems.


1 Kings 4:32 "And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five."


"Proverbs ... songs": Hundreds of Solomon's proverbs have been preserved in the book of Proverbs. One of his songs is the Song of Solomon.


Wise Solomon wrote most of the "proverbs". As for "Songs," two psalms (72 and 127), and the Song of Solomon are traditionally ascribed to Solomon. Solomon has also been credited traditionally with the writing of Ecclesiastes. Because of his vast knowledge and wisdom, his literary productions cover every area of life (verse 33), and Solomon is therefore sought out by people from all areas. Solomon's prestige and honor grew all the more (10:23-24), and he became identified with wisdom itself (Matt. 12:42).


This is an outstanding accomplishment by anyone's standards. The book of Proverbs in the Bible is a tremendous example of the knowledge and wisdom that was bestowed upon him.


1 Kings 4:33 "And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that [is] in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes."


"Trees ... beasts ... fowl": Solomon described and taught about all kinds of plant and animal life e.g. (Prov. 6:6-8; 28:15: 30:19).


This is explaining to us, that his wisdom was not in just one field of knowledge. He had been taught by one of the greatest song writers ever, his father king David. He had every advantage to accumulate learning that was available at that time. He was the son of a king. A person can be filled with knowledge (accumulated learning), and still not be wise. Solomon had experienced the fact first hand that wisdom is a gift from God. He had knowledge and wisdom in abundance. He knew about nature and about created things. His wisdom was a gift of the Spirit of God. He knew about the earth, sky and the sea. He knew of God's creations in them all.


1 Kings 4:34 "And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom."


"Came of all people": Solomon acquired an international reputation for his wisdom. Many important visitors came from faraway places to learn from Solomon's wisdom (10:1-13).


His wisdom so far surpassed the normal man that kings from all over the known world came to partake of his wise sayings. Isn't it strange, even today, people from all over the world study the Proverbs penned by Solomon that originated from God? His wisdom was a gift from God.


1 Kings Chapter 4 Questions


1. King Solomon was king over all __________.


2. Who are princes speaking of in verse 2?


3. "Azariah" and ____________ both mean "helped by Jehovah".


4. Why can we assume that Azariah was high priest?


5. What was the duty of the scribe?


6. Who had been the recorder for Solomon?


7. When had Benaiah become commander of the army?


8. What had happened to Abiathar?


9. Who was captain of the guard for Solomon?


10. Who had the honor of being called the king's friend?


11. Who was over the household help?


12. _____________ was in charge of collecting the tribute.


13. How many daughters of Solomon are mentioned in this lesson?


14. Shimei was a _________ name.


15. How could we describe Judah and Israel during Solomon's reign?


16. This time was a time to _____, __________, and be ________.


17. Where were the boundaries of Solomon's reign?


18. How much flour was needed for one day for Solomon?


19. How many people will the food (mentioned in verses 22 and 23), feed?


20. Why was it necessary for Solomon to have so many in his employ?


21. What is meant by verse 25?


22. How long did Solomon reign?


23. How many stalls of horses did Solomon have?


24. Who provided food for Solomon and his people?


25. The barley and straw were for the ___________.


26. What does "dromedaries" mean?


27. What three things do we read of (in verse 29), that God gave Solomon?


28. Verse 30 says, his wisdom excelled whose?


29. What wisdom has Egypt imparted to the world?


30. Embalming of the dead came from _________.


31. What observation did the author make about the 4 men in verse 31?


32. How many proverbs did Solomon speak?


33. How many songs did he write?


34. What is knowledge?


35. Where does wisdom come from?


36. Why did kings come to hear his wise sayings?


37. His wisdom was a ________ from _____.





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1 Kings 5



1 Kings Chapter 5

Verses 1-18: The Lord granted Solomon not only material blessing and a prosperous kingdom but favor with other nations.


"Tyre" was known for its wood, particularly Lebanon's "cedar" and "cypress" trees. The pagan Phoenicians helped "prepare" the temple for the worship of God.


1 Kings 5:1 "And Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants unto Solomon; for he had heard that they had anointed him king in the room of his father: for Hiram was ever a lover of David."


The previous alliance between the Phoenician "king" and Israel in David's day was continued with "Solomon" (verse 12). Solomon's good relations with the Phoenicians added to the prosperity of his kingdom (10:22). The name "Hiram" is probably an abbreviation of Ahiram ("My Father Is Exalted"), a royal name known in the Phoenician inscriptions.


"Hiram king of Tyre": Tyre was an important port city on the Mediterranean Sea north of Israel. Two towering mountain ranges ran within Lebanon's borders, and on their slopes grew thick forests of cedars. Hiram I ruled there (ca. 978-944 B.C.). He had earlier provided building materials and workers for David to build his palace (2 Sam. 5:11). Solomon maintained the friendly relations with Hiram established by David. They were beneficial to both as Israel exchanged wheat and oil for timber (see verses 9-11).


Tyre was the capital of Phoenicia. Hiram and David had been friends. Tyre depended on Israel for much of its food, like corn; and Israel needed cedar trees from Tyre. These servants were to tell Solomon how sorry they were that his father David was dead, but they were also to congratulate Solomon on his becoming king.


1 Kings 5:2 "And Solomon sent to Hiram, saying,"


Menander of Ephesus, who wrote a history of Tyre in Greek, founded upon native Tyrian documents, about 300 B.C., mentioned this Hiram as the son of Abibaal king of Tyre, and said that he ascended the throne when he was nineteen; that he reigned thirty-four years, and, dying at the age of fifty-three, was succeeded by his son Baleazar. Menander spoke at some length of the dealings of Hiram with Solomon.


This is saying that Solomon sent a message back to Hiram.



Verses 3-5: Although "David" was not permitted to build the temple" (2 Sam. 7:13), he laid careful preparations for its erection (2 Sam. 24:18-25; 1 Chron. 21:18 - 22:19; 28:9 - 29:19).


3-18: Now that Israel was at peace ("rest on every side"), all available resources could be devoted to building the temple with excellence, in accordance with God's commands.


1 Kings 5:3 "Thou knowest how that David my father could not build a house unto the name of the LORD his God for the wars which were about him on every side, until the LORD put them under the soles of his feet."


As he designed, and was desirous of. And which Hiram might know not only by common fame, but from David himself, between whom there was an intercourse. And that in relation to cedars for building, which David had of Hiram (2 Chron. 2:3).


"For the wars which were about him on every side": Or warriors, as the Targum, the Philistines, Moabites, Edomites, and Syrians.


"Until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet": Made them subject and tributary to him, as he did at length (see 2 Sam. 7:1), etc. So the "Cetib", or textual reading, is; but the "Keri", or marginal reading, is, "under the soles of my feet". That is, Solomon's, which agrees with what follows; it was true of both.


Hiram probably was aware of the desire of David to build a temple to house the Ark of God. They were very good friends. David did not hide his love and respect for God, and probably did not hide his desire to build the temple. Hiram was also aware of the wars that seemed to be continuous during the reign of David. About the time of the death of David the wars stopped, and now there is a time of peace.


1 Kings 5:4 "But now the LORD my God hath given me rest on every side, [so that there is] neither adversary nor evil occurrent."


"Rest": The guarantee of peace with the peoples surrounding Israel allowed Solomon to build the temple (4:24).


We studied, in the last lesson, of the peace that all Israel was experiencing under the rule of Solomon. It was not only a time of peace, but prosperity as well. This would be the perfect time to build the temple.


"Evil occurrent" means misfortune.


1 Kings 5:5 "And, behold, I purpose to build a house unto the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build a house unto my name."


"The name": "Name" represents the character and nature of the person indicated (see note on 3:2).


"Thy son": Solomon claimed to be the promised offspring of David, the fulfillment of the Lord's promise to David (in 2 Sam. 7:12-13). However, Solomon's later disobedience proved that he was not the ultimate, promised offspring (11:9-13).


The following Scriptures are what God said to David about the building of the temple.


2 Samuel 7:12-13 "And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom." "He shall build a house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever."


1 Chronicles 28:6 "And he said unto me, Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him [to be] my son, and I will be his father."


Solomon is determined to build the temple to the LORD in Jerusalem. It is a permanent house, similar to the tabernacle God had commanded them to build in the wilderness.


1 Kings 5:6 "Now therefore command thou that they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon; and my servants shall be with thy servants: and unto thee will I give hire for thy servants according to all that thou shalt appoint: for thou knowest that [there is] not among us any that can skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians."


"Cedar trees out of Lebanon": The cedars of Lebanon symbolized majesty and might (Psalm 92:12; Ezek. 31:3). Because it was durable, resistant to rot and worms, closely-grained, and could be polished to a fine shine, its wood was regarded as the best timber for building. The logs were tied together and floated down the Mediterranean to Jerusalem, 35 miles inland.


"Sidonians": These are the inhabitants of the city of Sidon, located on the Mediterranean Sea about 22 miles north of Tyre. Here, the term probably referred, in a general sense, to the Phoenicians, who were skilled craftsmen.


The area where the cedars grew in Lebanon was under the rulership of Hiram. These were some of the most beautiful cedar trees in the world. The Phoenicians were well-known for their artistic woodwork. Solomon had plenty of accumulated wealth. It would be no burden at all to pay for the cutting of the trees. The Hebrews were not skilled woodsmen, and Solomon wanted to get the men of Tyre to do this work. The Sidonians were Phoenicians also. Tyre and Sidon are both Phoenician cities.



Verses 7-10: "Hiram" not only provided for "Solomon" the fabled "cedars" from "Lebanon," but he brought them to him and sent along skilled craftsmen to labor in the erection of the temple (verse 18). The whole venture was profitable for Hiram as well (verse 11).


1 Kings 5:7 "And it came to pass, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly, and said, Blessed [be] the LORD this day, which hath given unto David a wise son over this great people."


"Blessed be the Lord": Perhaps Hiram was a worshiper of the true God, but it is equally possible that he was only acknowledging Jehovah as the God of the Hebrews (2 Chron. 2:16).


"A wise son": Hiram recognized Solomon's wisdom in seeking to honor his father David's desires.


Hiram was pleased that Solomon intended to build the temple. David had wanted so badly to build the temple himself. Since he was not allowed to do it, Hiram is pleased that Solomon will. Hiram was not a follower of the LORD himself, but he recognized the LORD of David.


1 Kings 5:8 "And Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, I have considered the things which thou sentest to me for: [and] I will do all thy desire concerning timber of cedar, and concerning timber of fir."


A letter to him, to the following purpose.


"Saying, I have considered the things which thou sentest to me for": Whether he could, and whether it was fitting he should grant his request; which was acting like a wise and prudent prince.


"And I will do all thy desire concerning timber of cedar, and concerning timber of fir": Or of cypress, as in Josephus's copy of this letter, and which grew on Lebanon; these were odorous, sound, and durable timber, especially the cedar, and therefore chosen by Solomon for building.


This was some of the finest timber in the world. They will be called cedars of Lebanon. At the time this request was made, these trees were in abundance. In recent years, they are not in abundance. God had given specific instructions to Solomon. These trees are necessary.


1 Kings 5:9 "My servants shall bring [them] down from Lebanon unto the sea: and I will convey them by sea in floats unto the place that thou shalt appoint me, and will cause them to be discharged there, and thou shalt receive [them]: and thou shalt accomplish my desire, in giving food for my household."


"Food for my household": Tyre's rocky terrain grew great trees, but little good food. Hiram asked Solomon for food for his court in exchange for his lumber.


We had mentioned earlier that they had been dependent on Israel for much of their grain. This would be a wonderful swap. Israel needs the trees and Hiram needs food for his people. He explains to Solomon exactly how he will get them to Jerusalem. Floating trees down rivers and large bodies of water is still being practiced today. This is an inexpensive way to transport them.


1 Kings 5:10 "So Hiram gave Solomon cedar trees and fir trees [according to] all his desire."


Ordered his servants to cut them down from Lebanon, and sent them to him in floats, which he received.


"According to all his desire": He had as many as he requested, and what he wanted.


There was such an abundance of trees that Hiram furnished all that Solomon needed.


1 Kings 5:11 "And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat [for] food to his household, and twenty measures of pure oil: thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year."


This measure was the Hebrew measure "cor", or "corus", and, according to Bishop Cumberland, its contents were 17,477 solid inches. It was equal to ten ephods, each of which held two gallons and a half, and the cor held seventy five wine gallons and five pints (and somewhat more). According to some, what it held was equal to six hundred forty eight Roman pounds.


"And twenty measures of pure oil": Squeezed out of the olives without breaking them. The same kind of measure is here expressed as before, and the quantity answered to 12,960 Roman pounds. Another writer reckons a cor to contain 1080 Roman pounds; so that Hiram had every year 21,600 pounds of oil. In 2 Chronicles 2:10, it is twenty thousand baths of oil now not to take notice that the measures are different. A bath was but the tenth part of a cor. Reference is had to different things; here the writer relates what was given to Hiram for his own family, there what was given to the workmen, where several other things are mentioned besides these.


"Thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year": So long as the building lasted, and the workmen were employed; but Abarbinel thinks that he gave it to him as long as he lived, out of his great munificence and liberality.


The household of Hiram was much smaller than that of Solomon and it took much less food. The oil was from olives that were slightly green, mashed to make the beautiful white oil. This would not have been enough to pay for the timber, but this was an amount given yearly for many years.


1 Kings 5:12 "And the LORD gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him: and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and they two made a league together."


This among other things appeared in his preparations for building the temple; and in his agreements with Hiram for timber and workmen for that purpose. And by continuing and confirming friendship between himself and Hiram, who was so serviceable to him.


"And there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and they two made a league together; in order to continue and establish peace and friendship between them, which Solomon might lawfully do, the Tyrians being no part of the seven nations with whom alliances were forbidden.


This was a very serious treaty made between these two men. They killed an animal and cut it in two, and walked between the two halves to have a blood covenant between them. Solomon was filled with wisdom from on high. The LORD had equipped him with the knowledge to build the temple, as well as rule the kingdom.



Verses 13-14: The instituting of forced labor by conscription (without pay), for work on public projects, while common in the ancient Near East, was an innovation in Israel. It would prove to be a source of irritation and complaint for the northern tribes (12:4). Samuel had given a prophetic warning concerning this social institution (1 Sam. 8:11-17).


1 Kings 5:13 "And king Solomon raised a levy out of all Israel; and the levy was thirty thousand men."


"Raised a levy out of all Israel": Literally "conscripted labor". These 30,000 men who labored in Lebanon were Israelites of the land. They were sent to Lebanon, 10,000 a month in rotation. For every month they worked, they were off two months, which meant they worked only 4 months per year. These Israelite laborers must be distinguished from the Canaanite remnant that was made into permanent slaves (see note on 9:21-22). The 30,000 Israelites were free and performed the task of felling trees.


This is like the draft. Solomon called for these thirty thousand men to come and work in his service. This means he took a few qualified men from each tribe to help build the temple.


1 Kings 5:14 "And he sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month by courses: a month they were in Lebanon, [and] two months at home: and Adoniram [was] over the levy."


In their turns; these are the servants of his he proposed to be with Hiram's servants, assisting in cutting down the trees, and squaring the timber in Lebanon (1 Kings 5:6).


"A month they were in Lebanon, and two months at home": That they might not be overworked; for they wrought but four months in the year in the hard service in Lebanon, the rest of their time was spent in managing their domestic affairs; these were Israelites.


"And Adoniram was over the levy": The same that was over the tribute or the collectors of the tax (1 Kings 4:6); and, according to the Targum, these were such persons.


The very first thing on the agenda was getting the supply of cedar and fir. The ten thousand of the thirty thousand went to Lebanon and worked a month. While they were resting at home for two months, the rest of the thirty thousand each took turns going to work in Lebanon for a month. This way the men worked alternating shifts, so that they all would be home two thirds of the time. This would allow them plenty of time to take care of their own affairs, while they were working for Solomon. Adoniram saw that this levy was conducted fairly.



Verses 15-16: The large "work' force detailed here was made up of non-Israelites and constituted a permanent group of slave laborers (9:22; 2 Chron. 2:17-18).


(2 Chronicles 2:2 and 18), record the number of supervisors as 3,600 Canaanites. To these were added 250 Israelite chief overseers (2 Chron. 8:10). In (1 Kings 9:23), the report that there were some 550 chief overseers in addition to the 3,300 Canaanite supervisors mentioned (in verse 16). Apparently, the total number of supervisors and chief overseers was 3,850. Of the chief overseers, three hundred were Canaanites and 250 were Israelites.


1 Kings 5:15 "And Solomon had threescore and ten thousand that bare burdens, and fourscore thousand hewers in the mountains;"


Seventy thousand to carry the stones from the mountains out of which they were dug, and which were near Jerusalem, to the city. These were strangers in Israel, as were those that follow.


"And fourscore thousand hewers in the mountains": Eighty thousand that dug the stones out of the quarries, and squared them. These, with the others, made 150,000 (see 2 Chron. 2:17). According to Jacob Leon, the number of workmen at the temple for seven years was 163,600, and some make them more.


This means there were seventy thousand burden-bearers, and eighty thousand who cut the timber and worked in the woods.


1 Kings 5:16 "Beside the chief of Solomon's officers which [were] over the work, three thousand and three hundred, which ruled over the people that wrought in the work."


"Solomon's ... three thousand and three hundred" (see note on 2 Chron. 2:2).


"The people that wrought in the work": According to (2 Chron. 2:17-18), these 150,000 laborers (5:15), and their supervisors, were non-Israelite inhabitants of the land.


We see from this, there were three thousand and three hundred superintendents. This is a tremendous undertaking.



Verses 17-18: These large "foundation stones" were cut to perfect size while still at the quarry (6:7).


1 Kings 5:17 "And the king commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones, [and] hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house."


Not in quality, but in quantity, large stones, fit to lay in the foundation. Strong, and durable against all the injuries of time, as Josephus says.


"Costly stones": Not what are commonly called precious stones, as gems, pearls, etc., but stones of value, as marble, porphyry, etc.


"And hewed stones": Not rough as they were taken out of the quarry, but hewed, and made smooth.


"To lay the foundation of the house": This, though out of sight, was to be laid with goodly stones for the magnificence of the building. So the church of Christ, its foundation is said to be laid even with sapphires and other precious stones (see Isa. 54:11).


We must remember that all of this had to be done by hand. They had no heavy equipment to help them. This is not speaking just of the heavy stones, but this is also speaking of the precious stones which were adornments. The foundation stones and the cornerstone must be perfect. They would be very heavy as well. Every stone had to fit exactly. There are spiritual stones that God builds His house of as well. Jesus is the cornerstone, and we Christians, are lively stones that fit together to make the house.


Ephesians 2:20 "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone];"


1 Peter 2:5 "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."


1 Kings 5:18 "And Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders did hew [them], and the stonesquarers: so they prepared timber and stones to build the house."


These "stonesquarers" were Gebalites which were inhabitants of Gebal; a town located about 60 miles north of Tyre.


Notice the close cooperation between Solomon's men and Hiram's men. Each person did the job he was called to do, and did it well. The end result is they have the material needed to build the temple. We mentioned before that they were well-known for their beautiful artistry.


1 Kings Chapter 5 Questions


1. ___________ sent his servants to help Solomon.


2. ___________ was the Phoenician capital.


3. Why could David not build the house?


4. During the reign of Solomon, there was ________.


5. What did Solomon purpose to do?


6. Why had he chosen to do this?


7. What did the LORD tell David about Solomon?


8. What did Solomon want from Hiram?


9. Who would be the laborers?


10. The Phoenicians were well-known for their __________ _____________.


11. The ____________ were Phoenicians, as well.


12. What did Hiram say about Solomon in verse 7?


13. Hiram was not a follower of the __________.


14. What did Hiram want in exchange for the cedar and fir trees?


15. How much wheat did Solomon give Hiram yearly?


16. What was the oil made of?


17. What was the league they made, really?


18. How many men did Solomon levy to work in Lebanon?


19. How long did each man work?


20. How many men did Solomon use for burden-bearers?


21. How many men cut timber and worked in the woods?


22. How many superintendents were there?


23. What were the stones?





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1 Kings 6



1 Kings Chapter 6

Verses 1-38 (see 2 Chron. 3:1-17; 7:15-22).


1 Kings 6:1 "And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which [is] the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD."


Since the division of the kingdom can accurately be given as 931 B.C., the beginning of Solomon's 40-year "reign" (11:42), would be 971 B.C. Accordingly, the "fourth year" would be 967 B.C. Adding the 480 "years" given here to 967 gives a date of 1447 B.C. for the date of Israel's Exodus from "Egypt". Thus a literal reading (of verse 1), demands an early date for the Exodus as opposed to a thirteenth century date favored by many scholars.


"Fourth year": "Four hundred and eightieth year": Solomon began to build the temple by laying its foundation (verse 37), 480 years after the Exodus from Egypt. The 480 years are to be taken as the actual years between the Exodus and the building of the temple, because references to numbers of years in the book of Kings are consistently taken in a literal fashion. Also, the literal interpretation correlates with Jephthah's statement recorded (in Judges 11:26).


The tabernacle was portable; the temple was permanent. The permanence of this worship center was further proof that God had given Israel the Promised Land.


There are a number of things we need to see in all of this. The temple is a permanent structure of what the tabernacle was. They both faced east. Both the tabernacle and the temple had three parts. As we study the temple, watch for the similarities. We see in the verse above, 480 years after the children of Israel entered their Promised Land, work began on the temple. Some believe this began just over three thousand years after the birth of Adam. Solomon was born about 965 B.C., so this would be just about right. Zif on the Jewish calendar is about the same as our month of May. They have chosen Mount Moriah in Jerusalem for the location the temple was to be built. From this time on, Jerusalem will be known as the holy city.



Verses 2-4: The temple was about 90 feet long, 30 feet wide and 45 feet high. By modern standards, it was a fairly small worship center. "Windows with beveled frames" signaled the permanency of this structure. It would truly be a "house," an earthly home, for the Lord.


1 Kings 6:2 "And the house which king Solomon built for the LORD, the length thereof [was] threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty [cubits], and the height thereof thirty cubits."


The temple is called a "house", for it was the place where a transcendent, sovereign, and Holy God condescended to dwell with His people. The basic plan of the temple was that of the previous tabernacle except for the doubling of the length and width of the sanctuary and the increasing of its height. For the temple site (see the note on 2 Sam. 24:24).


"Cubits": Normally the cubit was about 18 inches. This would make the temple structure proper 90 feet long, 30 feet wide and 45 feet high. However (2 Chron. 3:3), may indicate that the longer royal cubit of approximately 21 inches was used in the construction of the temple. On this measurement, the temple structure proper would have been 105 feet long, 35 feet wide and 52-1/2 feet high. The dimensions of the temple seem to be double those of the tabernacle (see Exodus 26:15-30; 36:20-34).


It was half as tall as it was long, and three times as long as it was wide. This did not include the porch, or the side chambers. This was the main building.


1 Kings 6:3 "And the porch before the temple of the house, twenty cubits [was] the length thereof, according to the breadth of the house; [and] ten cubits [was] the breadth thereof before the house."


"The porch" was situated before the front of "the temple" on its east side. According to (7:21), at the side of the entrance to the porch were erected two freestanding pillars. The pillar on the right or south side was named Jachin; the one on the left or north side was named Boaz (2 Chron. 3:15-17). The directions given with regard to the temple are from God's vantage point in the Holy of Holies (Most Holy Place), looking outward from west to east.


This porch was about 15 feet long in front of the temple building proper.


The length of the porch was 20 cubits or 30 feet, which made the entire building 80 cubits long. The porch was just 10 cubits wide. There seemed to be walls on both sides and a roof with the front of the porch open.


1 Kings 6:4 "And for the house he made windows of narrow lights."


"Windows": Placed high on the inner side of the temple wall, these openings had lattices or shutters capable of being opened, shut, or partially opened. They served to let out the vapors of the lamps and the smoke of incense, as well as to give light.


These were very narrow windows to let in a little light, but not as big as the windows in a home.



Verses 5-10: These verses describe the three storied side rooms.


1 Kings 6:5 "And against the wall of the house he built chambers round about, [against] the walls of the house round about, [both] of the temple and of the oracle: and he made chambers round about:"


"Chambers": Another attached structure surrounded the main building, excluding the porch. It provided rooms off of the main hall to house temple personnel and to store equipment and treasure (7:51).


It appears the side chambers were in three floors. The smaller chamber at the bottom and the next was a little larger. The third is larger than the second. The temple inside was not divided up like this.


1 Kings 6:6 "The nethermost chamber [was] five cubits broad, and the middle [was] six cubits broad, and the third [was] seven cubits broad: for without [in the wall] of the house he made narrowed rests round about, that [the beams] should not be fastened in the walls of the house."


"Nethermost chamber ... middle ... third": This attached structure to the temple was 3 stories high. Each upper story was one cubit wider than the one below it. Instead of being inserted into the temple walls, beams supporting the stories rested on recessed ledges in the temple walls themselves.


"Nethermost" means lower or bottom. This means the bottom floor was 5 cubits, or 7 1/2 feet wide. The floor just above this was 6 cubits, or 9 feet wide. The top floor was 7 cubits, or 10 1/2 feet wide. Each floor was held up by rests.


1 Kings 6:7 "And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe [nor] any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building."


"Stone made ready": The erection of the temple went much faster by utilizing pre-cut and pre-fitted materials moved on rollers to the temple site. In addition, the relative quiet would be consistent with the sacredness of the undertaking.


The temple was built with reverence, avoiding the use of any iron tool on the stones per God's command (in Exodus 20:25 and Deut. 27:5-6).


We read earlier of the thousands, who prepared the stones for use in the building of the temple. The stones were brought in, and not carved at the temple. There was to be no noise in the temple.


1 Kings 6:8 "The door for the middle chamber [was] in the right side of the house: and they went up with winding stairs into the middle [chamber], and out of the middle into the third."


"Door ... stairs": The entrance to the side rooms was on the south side, probably in the middle. Access to the second and third stories was by means of a spiral staircase that led through the middle story to the third floor.


This is speaking of the stairs that led from the first floor to the second and then to the third. The stairs were against the wall on the right side of the building.


1 Kings 6:9 "So he built the house, and finished it; and covered the house with beams and boards of cedar."


The body of it, including the walls of the holy and most holy place. With the chambers on the sides of them, and the porch at the end that led into them.


"And covered the house with beams and boards of cedar": With hollow boards, as the Targum, which formed an arch ceiling to it, and made it look very grand and beautiful. And then over them were laid beams and planks of cedar. Not properly as a flat roof to it, but rather as a flooring for other buildings. For upon this (as in 1 Kings 6:10), there were chambers built.


The "house", spoken of here, is speaking of the main part of the temple. The boards for the walls are cedar, which will not deteriorate. Beams of cedar would be strong and durable.


1 Kings 6:10 "And [then] he built chambers against all the house, five cubits high: and they rested on the house [with] timber of cedar."


Which some understand of the same chambers (in 1 Kings 6:5). Here made mention of again for the sake of giving the height of them, not before given. But they were built against, or upon the wall of the house, these against, or rather upon the whole house itself; and are the chambers referred to (see 1 Kings 6:2). This consisting of three stories of ninety cubits, raised the whole house to an equal height with the porch (2 Chron. 3:4). As is there intended; these are the upper chambers (in 2 Chron. 3:9). And they rested on the house with timber of cedar; or on the timber of cedar, the beams of cedar, with which the house was covered (as in 1 Kings 6:9). On these the chambers rested, being built upon them. And in one of these chambers the disciples might be after Christ's ascension (Acts 1:13).


The three floors of chambers were each 7-1/2 feet high. When it says against all of the house, it is speaking of the north, west, and south side. The east side of the temple had a porch and no chambers.



Verses 11-13: During the construction of the temple, the Lord spoke to Solomon, probably through a prophet, and reiterated that the fulfillment of His Word to David through his son was contingent on Solomon's obedience to His commands (2:3-4; 3:14; 9:4-8). The use of the same words, "I will dwell among the sons of Israel" (in verse 13 as in Exodus 29:45), implied that Solomon's temple was the legitimate successor to the tabernacle. The Lord forewarned Solomon and Israel that the temple was no guarantee of His presence; only their continued obedience would assure that.


1 Kings 6:11 "And the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying,"


Since it was recorded that the "Lord" appeared personally only three times to "Solomon (3:5; 9:2; 11:11). These words probably came to Solomon by a prophet.


The word of prophecy, as the Targum. Foretelling what would be the case of this building according to the obedience or disobedience of him and the people of Israel. That was brought to him either by an impulse of the Spirit of God upon him. Or by the hand of a prophet, as Kimchi thinks and some of the Jewish writers, as he particularly, who name Ahijah the Shilonite as the prophet that was sent with this message to him (saying as follows in 6:12).



Verses 12-13: The permanent "temple" did not change the essentials of the relationship between Israel and God. All the conditions and privileges of the covenant were still in effect (Lev. 26:11-12; Luke 21:5-6; Acts 7:47-50).


1 Kings 6:12 "[Concerning] this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father:"


Or with respect to that, these things are to be said as from the Lord.


If thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them": Even all the laws of God, moral, ceremonial, and judicial. And this respects not only Solomon personally, but his successors, and even all the people of Israel.


"Then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father": By Nathan the prophet. Not only that he should build a house for God, which should be a settled dwelling place, but that his own house and kingdom should be established for a long time to come. And his posterity should enjoy the presence of God in this house, provided regard was had to the precepts and ordinances of the Lord (2 Sam. 7:12).


1 Kings 6:13 "And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel."


In this house now building, and which was in the middle of the land, and where he would meet with them, and accept their sacrifices, not only of slain beasts, but of prayer and praise.


"And will not forsake my people Israel": And leave them to the mercy of their enemies, and to be carried captive by them, but protect and defend them.


We are not told exactly how the Word of the LORD came to Solomon. We know that in the beginning, it was through Nathan. It is not impossible for the LORD to speak to Solomon directly however. Whether this was spoken directly to Solomon or through Nathan, it does not matter. The message is from the LORD. The promises the LORD had made to Solomon, and to Israel, were conditional on their keeping His commandments. Notice Solomon is to execute the LORD's judgments, and not his own. To be blessed of God, Solomon and the people must obey the LORD in all things.


1 Kings 6:14 "So Solomon built the house, and finished it."


Verse 14 deals with completing the exterior of the structure. Verses 15-35 have to do with the interior arrangements, beginning with the interior walls and flooring.



Verses 15-22: "The Most Holy Place", or Holy of Holies, was the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant and the place of annual atonement for the nation's sin.


"Overlaid ... with pure gold", it reflected God's rich beauty and incomparable value.


1 Kings 6:15 "And he built the walls of the house within with boards of cedar, both the floor of the house, and the walls of the ceiling: [and] he covered [them] on the inside with wood, and covered the floor of the house with planks of fir."


For as yet he had only built the stone walls of it without, but now he wainscoted it with cedar boards: and not only them, but:


"Both the floor of the house, and the walls of the ceiling": Or from "the floor of the house unto the walls of the ceiling". That is, from the floor, including that, to the walls on each side, reaching up to the ceiling.


"He covered them on the inside with wood": Of one sort or another, cedar or fir, or both.


"And he covered the floor of the house with planks of fir": Which Hiram sent him (1 Kings 5:8); which is differently interpreted; by Josephus cypress; by others, as the Tigurine version. Pine tree wood; it is very probable it was of the cedar kind, and not the floor only, but the ceiling also (2 Chron. 3:5).


Now we see that the fir was to make the floor. The walls and ceilings were made of cedar and the floor of fir.



Verses 16-22: Like the tabernacle, the Holy of Holies was partitioned off from the Holy Place. Within the Most Holy Place rested the "Ark of the covenant" (verse 19), the symbol of God's reigning presence among His people.


1 Kings 6:16 "And he built twenty cubits on the sides of the house, both the floor and the walls with boards of cedar: he even built [them] for it within, [even] for the oracle, [even] for the most holy [place]."


"The Most Holy Place": This inner sanctuary, partitioned off from the main hall by cedar planks, was a perfect cube about 30 feet on a side (verse 20), and was the most sacred area of the temple. The Most Holy Place is further described in verses 19-28. The tabernacle also had a "Most Holy Place" (Exodus 26:33-34).


This is speaking of a wall being built, to separate the Most Holy Place from the Holy Place. This wall is to be made of cedar. The temple, not including the porch, was 60 cubits long. This is saying the furthest 20 cubits from the entrance is where the Most Holy Place will be.


1 Kings 6:17 "And the house, that [is], the temple before it, was forty cubits [long]."


"The temple": "Or the nave": This was the Holy Place, just outside the Most Holy Place, 60 feet long, 30 feet wide and 45 feet high, that housed the altar of incense, the golden tables of the bread of the Presence, and the golden lampstands (7:48-49).


The front of the temple would take up the other 40 cubits.


1 Kings 6:18 "And the cedar of the house within [was] carved with knops and open flowers: all [was] cedar; there was no stone seen."


With which the inside of the place was lined.


"Was carved with knops; of an oval form; so the Targum says they had the appearance of eggs; and Ben Gersom likewise, that they were in the form of eggs.


"And open flowers": Not in the figure of buds, but flowers blown, and open, as lilies and others; so the Targum.


"All was cedar": The wainscoting of the house, the sides of it at least, if not the floor, and the carved work of it. And this was done, that the gold might be laid upon it, which could not be done on stone as on wood. And all was so covered, so that:


"There was no stone seen": Of which the outward walls were built. All this denotes the inward beauty of the church, and the curious workmanship of the Spirit of God in the hearts of his people. Whereby they become all glorious within, adorned with the graces of the blessed Spirit, their stony hearts being kept out of sight, yea, taken away.


This is just saying that the entire inside walls of the temple were made of cedar. The cedar would be similar to our brick homes today, which have wooden paneling on the inside walls. The stone was the outside wall. This inside wall of cedar will be overlaid with gold. The beautiful carvings would be on the wood.


1 Kings 6:19 "And the oracle he prepared in the house within, to set there the ark of the covenant of the LORD."


"The Ark of the covenant of the Lord": The Ark was a rectangular box made of acacia wood. The Ark was made at Sinai by Bezaleel according to the pattern given to Moses (Exodus 25:10-22; 37:1-9). The Ark served as the receptacle for the two tables of the Ten commandments (Exodus 25:16, 21; 40:20; Deut. 10:1-5), and the place in the inner sanctuary where the presence of the Lord met Israel (Exodus 25:22).


The Ark of the Covenant will be in the Most Holy Place. The Ark symbolizes the presence of the LORD with the people.


1 Kings 6:20 "And the oracle in the forepart [was] twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and [so] covered the altar [which was of] cedar."


"Overlaid it with pure gold" (compare verses 21, 22; 28, 30, 32, 35). Gold was beaten into fine sheets, and then hammered to fit over the beautifully embellished wood (verses 18, 29), then attached to every surface in the temple proper, both in the Holy Place and in the Most Holy Place, so that no wood or stone was visible (verse 22).


The Most Holy Place is 20 cubits, by 20 cubits, by 20 cubits. It is a cube. This entire thing was overlaid with pure gold. Pure gold is 24 karat gold. This is the first mention of the altar, but it would be covered with pure gold also.


1 Kings 6:21 "So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; and he overlaid it with gold."


The inside of the Holy of Holies was overlaid with fine gold, which gold amounted to six hundred talents (2 Chron. 3:8). And these translate to 7,332,000 ducats of gold.


"And he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle": Between the Holy and the Most Holy, and were instead of a vail in the tabernacle of Moses between them. Here was also a vail beside the partition made by chains of gold across the oracle. For the partition was a wall of the thickness of a cubit, as Maimonides says; and in (2 Chron. 3:14), express mention is made of a vail of blue. And imitation of this had the Heathens their deities within vails.


"And he overlaid it with gold": The partition wall.


This is saying that the entire inside walls of the temple were covered over with pure gold. Gold symbolizes the pureness of God. This is why there was pure gold where God dwelled. It appears, there were golden chains before the Ark.


1 Kings 6:22 "And the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the house: also the whole altar that [was] by the oracle he overlaid with gold."


Both the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place.


"Until he had finished all the house": In this splendid and glorious manner.


"Also the whole altar that was by the oracle": The altar of incense, which stood just before the entrance into the oracle, or Most Holy Place.


"He overlaid with gold": He overlaid it all over with gold; hence it is called the golden altar, and was an emblem of the excellent and effectual mediation and intercession of Christ (Rev. 8:3). Agreeably to this account Eupolemus, a Heathen writer testifies, that the whole house, from the floor to the tool, was covered with gold. As well as with cedar and cypress wood, that the stonework might not appear. And so, the capitol at Rome, perhaps in imitation of this temple, its roofs and tiles were glided with gold. A magnificent temple, like this, was at Upsal in Switzerland, as Olaus Magnus relates.


We must remember that the Holy of Holies is a replica of the place where God is in heaven. That is why the streets are paved with gold, and the entire city is gold.


Revelation 21:18 "And the building of the wall of it was [of] jasper: and the city [was] pure gold, like unto clear glass."


Revelation 21:21 "And the twelve gates [were] twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city [was] pure gold, as it were transparent glass."


God is a Holy God. Wherever God is, there is pure gold. There is no silver in this city mentioned in Revelation, because the Christians have already been redeemed. Silver symbolizes redemption.



Verses 23-35: The interior of the Most Holy Place was dominated by 15 foot tall "cherubim" (Exodus 37:7-9, 1 Sam 4:4; Psalm 80:1). There were also cherubim on the mercy seat (8:6-8). The carvings on the "walls" may have suggested the original temple, the Garden of Eden, where God shared His presence with Adam and Eve.


According to (2 Chronicles 3:13), these two tall gold covered "cherubim" faced the door. The cherubim symbolized the awesome holiness of the sovereign God.


1 Kings 6:23 "And within the oracle he made two cherubims [of] olive tree, [each] ten cubits high."


"Cherubims": These two sculptured winged creatures, with human faces overlaid with gold (Gen. 3:24; Ezek. 41:18-19), stood as guards on either side of the ark (see 2 Chron. 3:10-13), and are not to be confused with the cherubim on the mercy seat (see Exodus 25:17-22). The cherubim represented angelic beings who were guardians of God's presence and stood on either side of the ark (8:6-7), in the Most Holy Place. They were 15 feet tall and 15 feet between wing tips (verses 24-26; see note on Exodus 25:18).


Olive oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit. This is interesting that the two cherubims for either end of the Ark are made of olive wood. This means the cherubims stood 10 cubits, or 15 feet high. As the children say today, that is awesome.


1 Kings 6:24 "And five cubits [was] the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other wing of the cherub: from the uttermost part of the one wing unto the uttermost part of the other [were] ten cubits."


When stretched out on one side.


"And five cubits the other wing of the cherub": On the other side him.


"From the uttermost part of the one wing, to the uttermost part of the other wing, were ten cubits": Half the breadth of the house.


1 Kings 6:25 "And the other cherub [was] ten cubits: both the cherubims [were] of one measure and one size."


That is, its wings stretched out measured so many cubits, as did those of the other.


"Both the cherubim were of one measure, and of one size": Of the same height and stature, of the same breadth of their wings, and of the same bulk of their bodies. They were of "image work" (2 Chron. 3:10); very probably in the form of men. And this uniformity may denote the perfect agreement of angels; or else the consent of the true faithful witnesses of Christ in all ages. Those who have all agreed in the person, office, and grace of Christ, as represented by the mercy seat and ark, which these cherubim covered with their wings.


The outstretched wings of the cherubims were 15 feet from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other. Both cherubs measured the same.


1 Kings 6:26 "The height of the one cherub [was] ten cubits, and so [was it] of the other cherub."


Which is repeated from (1 Kings 6:23); that it might be observed, being of an extraordinary size.


These cherubim stood toward the back at each end of the Ark of the Covenant.


1 Kings 6:27 "And he set the cherubims within the inner house: and they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims, so that the wing of the one touched the [one] wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house."


The Holy of Holies.


"And they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims": The carvers that framed them, they wrought them in that form; or impersonally, the wings of the cherubim were stretched out. This was the position of them, they overshadowed and covered the Mercy Seat and Ark, and even the other two cherubim that were at the ends of the Mercy Seat.


"So that the wing of the one touched the one wall": The southern wall.


"And the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall": The northern wall; they reached from wall to wall, even the whole breadth of the house, which was twenty cubits, as their wings thus spread were (1 Kings 6:24).


"And their wings touched one another in the midst of the house": Which were ten cubits, and that was the spread of the wings of each of them; so that the wing of the right side of the one, stretched out, touched the wing of the left side of the other fit the same position. In (2 Chron. 3:13); their faces are said to be "inward", or "toward the house". Either toward the Holy Place, and so faced those that came into that and saw them; or towards the inner part of the Holy of Holies, their backs being to the Holy Place. Or their faces were inward, and looked obliquely to each other.


The entire Holy of Holies was 20 cubits, or 30 feet across. The two cherubims touching wing to wing take up the entire 30 feet. The tip of their wings touch the outer wall on one side and touch the inner wing of the cherubim on the inside.


1 Kings 6:28 "And he overlaid the cherubims with gold."


This may denote the purity and excellency of angels. Or the precious gifts and graces of the Spirit; with which the witnesses of Christ are adorned.


This is saying that pure gold covered the cherubims.


1 Kings 6:29 "And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without."


"Palm trees": An image reminiscent of the Garden of Eden (in Genesis chapter 2). The palm tree represented the tree of life from the Garden.


This was the most magnificent structure ever constructed on the earth. Around the walls were carvings of cherubims, palm trees, and flowers.


1 Kings 6:30 "And the floor of the house he overlaid with gold, within and without."


Both the floor of the Holy Place and of the Holy of Holies. So that the streets of New Jerusalem is said to be of pure gold (Rev. 21:21). This expresses the purity and magnificence of it, particularly the holy conversation of them that dwell in the church and in heaven, signified hereby.


The floors were made of fir for durability, but they too were covered with pure gold.



Verses 31-35: There was distinct and magnificent separation by doors between the inner court of the temple (verse 36), and the Holy Place, as well as between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place.


The "olive" wood "doors" were made for access between the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place. Still larger double-leaved doors made of "fir" were placed at the entrance to the Holy Place.


(2 Chronicles 3:14), mentions that a curtain was also in place between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies, perhaps reminiscent of the inner veil of the tabernacle (Exodus 26:31-36).


1 Kings 6:31 "And for the entering of the oracle he made doors [of] olive tree: the lintel [and] side posts [were] a fifth part [of the wall]."


The door of the Holy of Holies was a two leaved or folding door, made of olive wood; typical of Christ. The door into the church above and below; the way to heaven and eternal life the true olive tree.


"The lintel and side posts were a fifth part of the wall"; four cubits, twenty cubits being the breadth of the oracle; or the lintel was four cubits. Twenty being the height of it also (1 Kings 6:20).


The wall between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place was made of cedar covered with pure gold, but the door was made from an olive tree. The doors were covered with gold and hung on golden hinges. This is saying the door posts were 4 cubits square. This would mean these doors were together 6 feet wide. One fifth of the wall would be 6 feet.


1 Kings 6:32 "The two doors also [were of] olive tree; and he carved upon them carvings of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid [them] with gold, and spread gold upon the cherubims, and upon the palm trees."


The two leaves of the door, as before observed, repeated for the sake of the ornament of them, as follows.


"And he carved upon them carvings of cherubims, and palm trees, and open flowers": As upon the walls (1 Kings 6:29).


"And overlaid them with gold": The two doors.


"And spread gold upon the cherubims, and upon the palm trees": Thin plates of gold.


These two doors filled this 6 foot wide opening. They met in the middle and hung from the sides. They were beautifully carved, and were olive wood covered with pure gold. It is as if the Holy Spirit (olive oil), is between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies is symbolic of the throne of God in heaven.


1 Kings 6:33 "So also made he for the door of the temple posts [of] olive tree, a fourth part [of the wall]."


The Holy Place.


"Posts of olive tree, a fourth part of the wall": Which was five cubits, its breadth being twenty (1 Kings 6:20). This door was a cubit wider than that into the Most Holy Place (1 Kings 6:31), more entering into the one than into the other; as more go into the church on earth than into the heavenly glory.


This is perhaps speaking of the doors coming into the Holy Place. The entire wall would be thirty feet wide. The doors would take up one fourth of the wall, which would be 7-1/2 feet. Again, these doors are swinging from the side and meet in the middle. The posts are made of olive wood. Olive wood is not only beautiful, but easy to carve.


1 Kings 6:34 "And the two doors [were of] fir tree: the two leaves of the one door [were] folding, and the two leaves of the other door [were] folding."


The posts were of olive, but the doors of fir, and they were both folding doors, as appears by what follows.


"The two leaves of the one door were folding, and the two leaves of the other door were folding; which, taking up less room, made the passage wider (see Ezek. 41:24).


Fir is durable. These doors lead to the outer court. These doors got much more use than the doors to the Holy of Holies. Only the high priest went into the Holy of Holies.


1 Kings 6:35 "And he carved [thereon] cherubims and palm trees and open flowers: and covered [them] with gold fitted upon the carved work."


As upon the doors of the Most Holy Place (1 Kings 6:32; see Ezek. 41:25).


"And covered them with gold, fitted upon the carved work": Plates of gold were fitted, as to the dimensions of them, to the cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers.


These doors were carved beautifully and covered with gold.


1 Kings 6:36 "And he built the inner court with three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams."


"The inner court": This walled-in, open space that surrounded the temple was also called "the court of the priests" (2 Chron. 4:9), or the "upper court" (Jer. 36:10). The wall of that court had a layer of wood between each of the 3 courses of stone. The alternation of timber beams with masonry was common in Mediterranean construction.


The "inner court" surrounding the temple was also called the court of the priests (2 Chron. 4:9), for access to it was restricted to the priestly orders. For the outer or great court, to which all of the people were admitted (see the note on 7:12).


This just shows the strength needed for this court.



Verses 37-38: The temple construction took "seven years" to complete, but it stood for nearly four centuries. It would be the only structure of Solomon rebuilt after the exile.


1 Kings 6:37 "In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the LORD laid, in the month Zif:"


"Fourth year ... month Zif" (see 6:1).


1 Kings 6:38 "And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which [is] the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it."


"Seven years": From foundation to finishing, the temple took 7 years and 6 mouths to build (see note on 2 Chron. 5:1).


This means that it took seven years and six months to build the temple. Their eighth month would be our November.


1 Kings Chapter 6 Questions


1. The temple was started, how many years after the children of Israel came out of Egypt?


2. How long had Solomon been king, when they started the temple?


3. Approximately how many years after Adam's birth was the temple started?


4. Zif is the same as what month on our calendar?


5. From this time on, _____________ will be known as the holy city.


6. How long was the temple?


7. How wide was it?


8. How tall was it?


9. The chambers had _________ floors.


10. What does "nethermost" mean?


11. What were the sizes of the three floors?


12. What was the house made of?


13. Where were the stones made ready?


14. How did they get from floor to floor in the chambers?


15. What is the "house" in verse 9?


16. How tall was each of the chambers?


17. Which was the only side that did not have chambers?


18. The Word of the LORD came to ___________.


19. What did the LORD promise to do, if Solomon and the people kept his commandments?


20. The inside walls of the temple were made with what?


21. The inside walls were covered with what?


22. What were the decorations on the walls?


23. What does the Ark symbolize?


24. What was the size of the Most Holy Place?


25. The Holy of Holies is a replica of what?


26. Why is there no silver in heaven?


27. Olive oil symbolizes the __________ _________.


28. What was the size of the cherubims?


29. The cherubims were overlaid with ________.


30. The floor was made of what?


31. The doors of the Holy of Holies were made of what?


32. How long did it take to build the temple?





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1 Kings 7



1 Kings Chapter 7

1 Kings 7:1 "But Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he finished all his house."


"Thirteen years": Having built the house for the Lord, Solomon then built one for himself. Solomon's "house" was a complex of structures that took almost twice as long to build as the temple. The time involved was probably because there was not the same preparation for building or urgency as for the national place of worship. House refers to the entire complex of five buildings.


According to (9:10), Solomon had apparently finished the temple before undertaking the construction of his palace and its surrounding building, because 20 years is given as the time for the whole project. Solomon had put God's house before that of his own (by way of contrast, see Hag. 1:4). The architectural descriptions of the temple and the various edifices of the palace complex have been illuminated by ongoing archaeological excavations in Syro-Palestine and southern Turkey.


This is a break from the information about the temple and its contents. Perhaps the difference in the time it took to build his own palace is the difference in the size. Solomon had a large group of people who lived in his house, and the house necessarily had to be huge. The main reason for the house of the LORD being finished first was that his attention was mostly on the temple. The finishing of his own house was of less importance to him.



Verses 2-8: "The house of the forest of Lebanon": As a part of the palace complex, Solomon also built this large rectangular building, 150 foot long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. It was built of a "forest" of cedar pillars from Lebanon. Three rows of cedar columns supported trimmed cedar beams and a cedar roof.


The sequence of building in the palace complex is given in the order of approach to the palace


Verses 2-5: "The house of the forest of Lebanon", apparently used as an armory (10:16-17 with Isa. 22:8);


Verse 6: "the porch of pillars", apparently, a colonnaded entry hall;


Verse 7: The porch of "judgment", or throne hall, used as a place of justice where the king personally heard problem cases;


Verse 8: A special palace for "Pharaoh's daughter" (9:24 and the note on 3:1).


The chronicler adds that Pharaoh's daughter was quartered in a private residence due to the sacredness of Solomon's palace, because of its reception of the Ark of God (2 Chron. 8:11; see further the note on 1 Sam. 4:3).


Everything except the roofs of Solomon's palace complex was built of "costly stones," including the "foundation." Palestinian limestone can be cut with a saw when freshly quarried; it hardens upon exposure to the elements.


1 Kings 7:2 "He built also the house of the forest of Lebanon; the length thereof [was] a hundred cubits, and the breadth thereof fifty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits, upon four rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams upon the pillars."


Besides the temple, his own palace and the queen's; so called. Not because was it built on Mount Lebanon, which lay at the northern border of the land, at a great distance from Jerusalem, whereas this was both a magazine of arms, and a court of judicature (1 Kings 7:7; see 1 Kings 10:17). Neither of which can be supposed to be far from Jerusalem. But because not only was it built of the cedars of Lebanon, but in a situation, and among groves of trees which resembled it. It seems to have been a summer house; and so the Targum calls it, a royal house of refreshment.


"The length thereof was a hundred cubits, and the breadth thereof fifty and the height thereof thirty cubits": So that it was in every measure larger than the temple; and there was good reason for it, since into that only the priests entered. Whereas into this went not only Solomon's family but his courtiers and nobles and all foreign ambassadors, and whoever had any business with him, which required various rooms to receive them in.


"Upon four rows of cedar pillars": Or piazzas.


"With cedar beams upon the pillars": Which laid the floor for the second story.


This is probably, one of many buildings on the palace grounds. This was made of cedar. The house was 100 cubits, or 150 feet long. It was 50 cubits, or 75 feet wide, and 30 cubits, or 45 feet high. This was the size of a small hotel, or motel.


1 Kings 7:3 "And [it was] covered with cedar above upon the beams, that [lay] on forty five pillars, fifteen [in] a row."


On the second floor were three rows of pillars, fifteen in a row, which made forty five, that stood to east, north, and south. And upon these pillars beams, which were the floor of the third story, over which was a roof of cedar wood.


This is speaking of three rows of fifteen each.


1 Kings 7:4 "And [there were] windows [in] three rows, and light [was] against light [in] three ranks."


Both in the second and third stories, east, north, and south; there being none in the west, where the porch stood.


"And light was against light in three ranks": Or the windows, through which light was let, answered to each other.


Perhaps there were three stories, and the three rows of beams and the three rows of light show that there were windows on each floor.


1 Kings 7:5 "And all the doors and posts [were] square, with the windows: and light [was] against light [in] three ranks."


The doors into the several stories and apartments, and the posts and lintel of them, and the windows over them, were all square:


"And light was against light in three ranks": They answered one another as before.


This is possibly, saying that the windows were square and the doors were square.


1 Kings 7:6 "And he made a porch of pillars; the length thereof [was] fifty cubits, and the breadth thereof thirty cubits: and the porch [was] before them: and the [other] pillars and the thick beam [were] before them."


"A porch of pillars": This colonnade was probably an entry hall or waiting area for the Hall of Judgment, which was probably used for the transaction of public business.


This is speaking of the porch extending the width of the house. It appears to have a roof, which was held up by cedar beams. It did not appear to have walls however.


1 Kings 7:7 "Then he made a porch for the throne where he might judge, [even] the porch of judgment: and [it was] covered with cedar from one side of the floor to the other."


The ivory throne on which he sat to hear and try causes (1 Kings 10:18).


"Where he might judge, even the porch of judgment": Which had its name from thence; this was either in his house in the forest of Lebanon, or in his palace at Jerusalem; the former seems best.


"And it was covered with cedar from one side of the floor unto the other": That is, the whole floor.


This seems to be another porch on another building. The building, described before, probably, was not the one where the throne was. It appears the walls and the ceiling were made of cedar.


1 Kings 7:8 "And his house where he dwelt [had] another court within the porch, [which] was of the like work. Solomon made also a house for Pharaoh's daughter, whom he had taken [to wife], like unto this porch."


"House ... court ... house": Behind the Hall of Judgment was an open court. Within this court, Solomon built his own personal residence, a palace for his harem, and royal apartments for the Egyptian princess he had married.


We see in this, that the king had a personal house. There seemed to be a courtyard in the center of the house, and a porch at the entrance of the house. This house is not to be confused with the building mentioned earlier in this lesson. There seemed to be a number of buildings in the complex. The queen usually lived in the women's quarters. Solomon built a separate house for the daughter of Pharaoh.



Verses 9-12: A fortune was spent on building adjacent to the temple, the whole palace with its 3 parts:


(1) The king's home;


(2) The courtyard in the middle; and


(3) The house of the women on the other side.


1 Kings 7:9 "All these [were of] costly stones, according to the measures of hewed stones, sawed with saws, within and without, even from the foundation unto the coping, and [so] on the outside toward the great court."


Marble, porphyry, etc.


"According to the measure of hewed stones, sawed with saws, within and without": They were all hewed, and squared, and polished, and so they appeared both on the inside of the building, and without.


"Even from the foundation unto the coping": From the bottom to the top.


"And so on the outside toward the great court": Where the people used to assemble when they had causes to be tried, and was adjoining to the king's house.


The stones and the cedar used in the buildings that made up Solomon's complex, were expensively done. The palace buildings far surpassed anything in the known world at that time. These buildings, inside and out, were as near perfection as man could make them.


1 Kings 7:10 "And the foundation [was of] costly stones, even great stones, stones of ten cubits, and stones of eight cubits."


Enormous stones, corresponding exactly with the dimensions given, are found in Jerusalem at this day. Not only the walls from the foundation to the roof beams were built of large hewn stones, but the spacious court around the palace was also paved with great square stones.


The stones that made up the foundation were huge. They were 12 and 15 feet stones. The costly stones were speaking of stones of decoration.


1 Kings 7:11 "And above [were] costly stones, after the measures of hewed stones, and cedars."


Above the foundation, from thence to the top of the buildings; the whole walls were made of such, right up to the ceiling.


"After the measure of hewed stones": Which, according to the Rabbins, as Kimchi says, were five hands breadth.


And cedars": Beams of cedars over them, or these, both the foundation and the walls, were lined with them.


It appears here, that the smaller stones were more decorative than the foundation stones. Even the cedars were carved into beautiful decorations.


1 Kings 7:12 "And the great court round about [was] with three rows of hewed stones, and a row of cedar beams, both for the inner court of the house of the LORD, and for the porch of the house."


"The great court" was a large outer court that encircles the entire temple and palace complex. The inner court surrounded the temple (see the note on 6:36).


According to (2 Kings 11:19), access from the palace complex to the temple led through a gate called the gate of the guard.


This appears that the cedar beams were on top of the cut stones. We must remember that the great stones were 12 to 15 feet. Three rows of them would cover a very large area.



Verses 13-14: This "Hiram" is not the Phoenician king but a skilled craftsman from "Tyre." His mother was an Israelite who had married a Phoenician artisan, from whom young Hiram had doubtless learned his craft. Hiram had become a master craftsman in his own right (see the notes on 2 Chron. 2:13-14).


1 Kings 7:13 "And king Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre."


"Solomon sent" specifically for "Hiram" the master craftsman. His similarities with Bezalel, who oversaw the craftsmanship of the tabernacle and created many of its objects, are striking, right down to both men "being filled with wisdom" (Exodus 36:1). God's people can never accomplish great works without the skill God provides. The church needs the talents of those with artistic gifts just as it does those with gifts of leading or teaching.


"Hiram": Although having the same Hebrew name, this individual was distinct from the King of Tyre (5:1). Hiram had a Tyrian father, but his mother was of the tribe of Naphtali. (2 Chronicles 2:14), states that Hiram's mother came from the tribe of Dan. Probably one verse refers to her place of birth and the other to her place of residence. Or, if his parents were originally from the two tribes then he could legitimately claim either. The description of Hiram's skills (in verse 14), is exactly the same as that of Bezaleel who made the tabernacle (Exodus 31:3; 36:1). Hiram made the pillars (verses 14-22; see note on 2 Chron. 3:15).


1 Kings 7:14 "He [was] a widow's son of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father [was] a man of Tyre, a worker in brass: and he was filled with wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass. And he came to king Solomon, and wrought all his work."


In 2 Chronicles 2:14, his mother is said to be of the daughters of Dan, as she might be, and yet her son of the tribe of Naphtali. For either she was of the city of Dan, which is placed in the tribe of Naphtali, or her mother was of the tribe of Dan. Therefore she is said to be of the daughters of Dan, when her father was of the tribe of Naphtali, as it is expressed by the Targum on (2 Chron. 2:14), and in which way most of the Jewish commentators reconcile this. Or she was of Dan, and her husband of Naphtali besides. If there was any mistake, it must be ascribed, not to the sacred historians, but to the king of Tyre, whose words they are in the above place, and who might not be so well acquainted with the tribe this man and his parents were of.


"And his father was a man of Tyre": Not a Tyrian by birth, but one who had dwelt there a while, and therefore so called, as Obededom, for a like reason, is called the Gittite.


"A worker in brass; and he was filled with wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass": Which might be true both of the father and of the son, and especially of the son, who had improved upon his father's knowledge and instructions. And who was skillful to work in other things besides brass, as gold, silver, iron, stone, timber, purple, blue and fine linen, crimson, and all sorts of engraving. And every device that could be put to him by the most ingenious workmen that either David or Solomon had (2 Chron. 2:14). But this is only mentioned, because it was in such work he was only employed by Solomon; and it seems, by the mode of expression, that, besides his natural genius, and his diligence and industry, he was filled with wisdom from God more immediately for this service. As Bezaleel and Aholiab were for the service of the tabernacle.


"And he came to King Solomon, and wrought all his work": In brass, as follows.


This Hiram is not the same person as the king. He was probably named Hiram in honor of the king. This man is a master in working with bronze. This young man was from a mixed marriage. His mother had been Hebrew from the tribe of Naphtali. His father was a man of Tyre. His father is dead at this point. He has been filled with the wisdom, understanding, and cunning to work in bronze or brass. These are natural talents from God that had been improved upon by practice. He immediately comes to Solomon, and wrought his work in the brass.



Verses 15-22: The nature of the "two pillars of brass" before the "porch of the temple" (2 Chron. 3:17), has been abundantly illustrated by excavations from all areas dealing with the ancient Near East. Their names, "Jachin" ("He Establishes"), and "Boaz" ("In Him Is Strength"), may well reflect Solomon's humble dependence upon God, the author of the Davidic Covenant. The accuracy of the height of the "two pillars" is confirmed by a comparison with (2 Kings 25:17 and Jeremiah 52:21). The measurement given in (2 Chron. 3:15), was apparently miscopied.


1 Kings 7:15 "For he cast two pillars of brass, of eighteen cubits high apiece: and a line of twelve cubits did compass either of them about."


"Two pillars": One bronze pillar was on each side of the temple's entrance (verse 21). Each pillar was 27 feet high and 18 feet around (see note on 2 Chron. 3:15).


These pillars were huge. They were 27 feet high by 18 feet completely around them (in circumference).


1 Kings 7:16 "And he made two chapiters [of] molten brass, to set upon the tops of the pillars: the height of the one chapiter [was] five cubits, and the height of the other chapiter [was] five cubits:"


"Chapiters" These distinctively treated upper ends of the bronze pillars added 7.5 feet to the height of each pillar.


The chapiters were decorated top pieces that went on the top of the pillars. This was 7-1/2 feet high. Each of them was made exactly alike.


1 Kings 7:17 "[And] nets of checker work, and wreaths of chain work, for the chapiters which [were] upon the top of the pillars; seven for the one chapiter, and seven for the other chapiter."


These were the ornaments of the chapiters; the former being like thick branches of trees, with their boughs and leaves curiously wrought, as the word signifies. And the latter like fringes, such as the Jews wore at the skirt of their garments.


"Seven for the one chapiter, and seven for the other chapiter": Perhaps with four rows of checker work, and three of chain work.


This speaks of the decoration on the chapiters. The chain work appeared from a distance to be rope dropped down across the other decoration.


1 Kings 7:18 "And he made the pillars, and two rows round about upon the one network, to cover the chapiters that [were] upon the top, with pomegranates: and so did he for the other chapiter."


"Pomegranates": One of the fruits of the Promised Land (Num. 13:23; Deut. 8:8), these were popular decorative motifs used on the hem of Aaron's priestly garment (Exodus 33-34).


The "pomegranates" symbolize fruitfulness in good works. This is as if these pillars are topped with this. There were two rows of pomegranates that went around each chapiter.


1 Kings 7:19 "And the chapiters that [were] upon the top of the pillars [were] of lily work in the porch, four cubits."


Or such as was in the porch of the temple; the work was like that wrought in the form of the flower of lilies open.


"Four cubits": Of the five cubits of which the chapiters consisted, four of them were of lily work, the two rows of pomegranates taking up the other. Though Dr. Lightfoot thinks, that at the head of the pillar was a border or circle of lily work, that stood out four cubits under the chapiter, into and along the porch; a four cubit circle, after the manner of a spread lily.


This has jumped from the two pillars to the other pillars, which were surrounding the court. The chapiters were decorated with lilies.


1 Kings 7:20 "And the chapiters upon the two pillars [had pomegranates] also above, over against the belly which [was] by the network: and the pomegranates [were] two hundred in rows round about upon the other chapiter."


The supplement is needless, according to Dr. Lightfoot; the sense being only, that the chapiters were above the lily work, which wrought out as far as the belly of the chapiters, or the middle cubit of them, which the pomegranates filled up.


"And the pomegranates were two hundred, in rows round about upon the other chapiter": There were so many in each, which in all made four hundred (as in 1 Kings 7:42). In (Jer. 52:23), it is said there were ninety six on a side, and yet one hundred round about. The meaning of which is, either that there were twenty four to every wind, as the word there is, and four on the four angles, and so in all one hundred. Or, as the above learned writer, when the pillars were set to the wall, only ninety six appeared in sight in a row, the other four being hid behind them.


The 200 pomegranates show the size of the pillars and their chapiters.


1 Kings 7:21 "And he set up the pillars in the porch of the temple: and he set up the right pillar, and called the name thereof Jachin: and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof Boaz."


"Jachin ... Boaz": "I.e. he shall establish", "in it is strength". It is likely that each name recalls promises given to the Davidic house, and that they perpetually reminded the worshipers of God's grace in providing the Davidic monarch as well as each king's need to depend on God for his success (see note on 2 Chron. 3:17). They were also symbolic of the strength and stability of God's promise of a kingdom forever, even though the temple would come down (see Jer. 52:17).


The two pillars were at the entrance. Everyone coming in had to come between them. "Jachin" means He will establish. "Boaz" means fleetness. Boaz is in the ancestry of Jesus. I believe these two posts are speaking of the fact that the Christians will be established in the LORD Jesus Christ.


1 Kings 7:22 "And upon the top of the pillars [was] lily work: so was the work of the pillars finished."


Which seems to be repeated from (1 Kings 7:19), and confirms that.


"And so was the work of the pillars finished": In the manner described.


These are the same as we read of earlier. These surrounded the court. The lilies were probably, open flowers instead of the bud. Some of this building we will probably never completely understand, until we get to heaven. I do know that the temple particularly, and the palace complex in general, were absolutely beautiful buildings.


1 Kings Chapter 7 Questions


1. How many years did it take to build Solomon's house?


2. What are some of the reasons it could have taken this long?


3. Solomon's house was built of what?


4. How large was the building mentioned in verse 2?


5. Verse 3 says, the beams were set upon how many pillars?


6. What does the author believe about the windows?


7. What was the size of the porch?


8. He made a __________ for the throne where he might judge?


9. What did Solomon make for the Pharaoh's daughter?


10. Where did the queen usually live?


11. How beautiful, comparative to the rest of the world, were these buildings?


12. How large were the stones in verse 10?


13. How many stones made up the court?


14. The smaller stones were more _____________ than the large ones.


15. Who did Solomon send for, from Tyre, to work the brass?


16. What tribe was his mother from?


17. He was filled with what three things?


18. How large were the two pillars of brass in verse 15?


19. What did he put on top of the brass pillars?


20. How tall were the chapiters?


21. What do the "pomegranates" symbolize?


22. How did the pillars around the court differ from these two pillars?


23. What were the two pillars in the porch named?


24. What do their names mean?


25. Putting the two names together symbolically means what?




1 Kings Chapter 7 Continued

Verses 23-39: The "molten sea" was cast in one bronze piece by Hiram. It was set upon
"twelve" bronze "oxen" (or bulls), which were later removed by Ahaz who replaced them with a stone base (2 Kings 16:17). "The sea" took the place of the laver of the tabernacle and was used for the ritual washing of the priests. Five moveable bronze basins stood on either side of the molten sea, which were used for the rinsing of the burnt offerings (Exodus 30:17-21 with 2 Chron. 4:6). The quantity of water held by the molten sea is given here as "two thousand baths," probably the correct figure in the light of its measurements. The "three thousand baths" (of 2 Chron. 4:5), was probably miscopied.


1 Kings 7:23 "And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: [it was] round all about, and his height [was] five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about."


"Molten sea": A huge circular bronze basin corresponding to the laver of the tabernacle. According to (verse 26), this great basin's capacity was about 12,000 gallons (see note on 2 Chron. 4:5). The sea stood in the courtyard on the temple's southeast side and provided the priests water to wash themselves and their sacrifices (2 Chron. 4:5). It probably also supplied water for the 10 movable basins (verses 38-39; see note on 2 Chron. 4:2).


This is a tremendous brass bowl for water for the oblations. This is called a sea, because it is so big. It is made in the shape of a circle. This is 7-1/2 feet deep, the diameter is 15 feet across and it is approximately 45 feet in circumference. This is the size of a small swimming pool.


1 Kings 7:24 "And under the brim of it round about [there were] knops compassing it, ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about: the knops [were] cast in two rows, when it was cast."


Of an oval form, and therefore the Targum calls them figures of eggs. In (2 Chron. 4:3), they are said to have the similitude of oxen, being like the heads of oxen, and the other parts oval. Or these were in the form of gourds, as sometimes the word is rendered, (2 Kings 4:39). These had on them the figures of the heads of oxen, and might serve as cocks to let out the water.


"Ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about": It; and as the circumference was thirty cubits, there must be three hundred of these in the circuit.


"The knops were cast in two rows when it was cast": For these were cast together with the sea, and being in two rows, there must be in all six hundred of them.


It seemed this bowl had a lip turned under all around. This too, was decorated with knops. There appears to be two rows of these knops all the way around.


1 Kings 7:25 "It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east:


"Twelve oxen": Hiram arranged 3 oxen facing in each of the 4 directions of the compass to support the sea (see note on 2 Chron. 4:4).


These oxen were symbolically the bearers of the burden. The heads of the animals were facing outward toward the people. There were three on each of the four sides.


1 Kings 7:26 "And it [was] a hand breadth thick, and the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies: it contained two thousand baths."


"Two thousand baths" (see note on 2 Chron. 4:5).


The brass was as thick as the width of an adult's hand. A bath is the same as a little over 7 gallons. This means there would be over 14,000 gallons of water in this. It was decorated around the edge with lilies.



Verses 27-37: Huram made 10 movable stands of bronze 6 feet square and 4.5 feet high. Each consisted of 4 upright corner poles joined together by square panels. For mobility, the stands rode on 4 wheels of bronze (verse 30).


To hold the basins of water needed to clean the sacrificial animals, Solomon had Huram make "ten carts of bronze". Even these utilitarian objects were things of beauty and were placed symmetrically on the two sides of the Sea (2 Chron. 4:6). This beauty reflected the majesty and glory of God. Those who engage in the arts have an opportunity to likewise express God's majesty and glory.


1 Kings 7:27 "And he made ten bases of brass; four cubits [was] the length of one base, and four cubits the breadth thereof, and three cubits the height of it."


Seats, stands, or settles for the ten lavers after mentioned.


"Four cubits was the length of one base, and four cubits the breadth thereof; as broad as it was long, and so a square, that the laver might stand firm upon it.


"And three cubits the height of it": From the ground plates to the surface, that the priests might be able to reach the layers, and wash their sacrifices.


These bases were 6 feet long and 6 feet wide. They were 4-1/2 feet high. "Brass" symbolizes judgment.


1 Kings 7:28 "And the work of the bases [was] on this [manner]: they had borders, and the borders [were] between the ledges:"


The following was the form in which they were made.


"They had borders; plates of brass all around them, which enclosed them.


"And the borders were between the ledges": Which were short staves or bars of brass, that stood upright all around, like the staves of a cart on each side, or the rails of a balcony, only in double rows; and between these were the borders or plates of brass.


1 Kings 7:29 "And on the borders that [were] between the ledges [were] lions, oxen, and cherubims: and upon the ledges [there was] a base above: and beneath the lions and oxen [were] certain additions made of thin work."


The figures of them, for ornament sake; the cherubim, being distinguished from lions and oxen might be figures of men, or else of eagles, as Josephus (see Ezek. 1:10).


"And upon the ledges there was a base above": A flat piece of brass laid upon the top of the staves or bars.


"And beneath the lions and oxen were certain additions made of thin work": These, according to Dr. Lightfoot, whom I chiefly follow in this account, were shelving plates of brass at the bottom of the borders and bars, where the priests washed the sacrifice. The filth of which ran off the easier, through the angle of them.


This is speaking of the decorations between the ledges that hold up the laver.


1 Kings 7:30 "And every base had four brasen wheels, and plates of brass: and the four corners thereof had undersetters: under the laver [were] undersetters molten, at the side of every addition."


These were flat pieces or planks of brass on which the wheels stood, so they were not on the bare floor. So these wheels seem only to serve as supporters, not to carry the laver from place to place, as is usually said. These were not like chariot wheels, on two sides of the carriage, but set one at each square. Besides, when the lavers were placed upon them, they were fixed in a certain place (1 Kings 7:39).


"And the four corners thereof had undersetters": Or "shoulders", or pillars, which were placed on the plates of brass where the wheels were. They served with them to support the lavers when laid upon the bases, and so were of the same use as men's shoulders, to bear burdens on them.


"Under the layer were undersetters molten": Cast as, and when and where, the bases were, and the plates on which they stood. This explains the use they were of, being under the laver; these pillars stood at the four corners of the base.


"At the side of every addition": Made of thin work (1 Kings 7:29). They stood by the side of, or within side, the sloping shelves.


The water within this laver would get dirty and the wheels (undersetters), were to move it out, so it could be emptied and refilled (not to carry the laver from place to place as need required).


1 Kings 7:31 "And the mouth of it within the chapiter and above [was] a cubit: but the mouth thereof [was] round [after] the work of the base, a cubit and a half: and also upon the mouth of it [were] gravings with their borders, foursquare, not round."


On the lid of the base rose up a lesser base called the chapiter, which was circular, like a coronet as the word signifies. The inside of which was hollow, for the lower part of the laver to rest in. This ascended straight up half a cubit, and then widening, went up half a cubit more, and so in its whole height, as here a cubit. The circuit or circumference of which is called the mouth of the base, into which the feet of the laver were set, the measure of which is next given.


"But the mouth thereof was round, after the work of the base, a cubit and a half; which was either the circumference or the diameter of it; one should think the latter.


"And also upon the mouth of it were gravings, with their borders, four square, not round": Though the mouth was round, the border of it was four square, which had figures, engraved thereon, perhaps the same as on the other borders, lions, oxen, and cherubim.


These were not round like the larger laver, but were made like a wagon. Even these were decorated with the engravings.


1 Kings 7:32 "And under the borders [were] four wheels; and the axletrees of the wheels [were joined] to the base: and the height of a wheel [was] a cubit and half a cubit."


Not under the borders last mentioned, but those (n 1 Kings 7:29).


"And the axletrees of the wheels were joined to the base": to the four sides of it.


"And the height of a wheel was a cubit and half a cubit": That is, from the plate of brass on which it stood, to the axis or semicircle of it. So that the highest part of the ring being also a cubit and a half, reached to the top of the base, it being but three cubits high (1 Kings 7:27.)


The wheels were 27 inches high. They were connected together under the base by axles.


1 Kings 7:33 "And the work of the wheels [was] like the work of a chariot wheel: their axletrees, and their naves, and their felloes, and their spokes, [were] all molten."


In the same form and fashion as one of them; the Targum is.


"Like a chariot of glory" a splendid one, curiously wrought; unless reference is had in it to the chariot of Ezekiel's vision:


"Their axle trees, and their naves, and their felloes, and their spokes, were all molten": Cast together when the base was.


These were made for use in the temple, and they were decorated like the other fixtures in the temple. This entire thing was made of molten brass. These wheels were made to move like a chariot or wagon.


1 Kings 7:34 "And [there were] four undersetters to the four corners of one base: [and] the undersetters [were] of the very base itself."


Or pillars (as in 1 Kings 7:30).


"And the undersetters were of the base itself": They were cast together, and of the same piece of metal with it.


This is speaking of a reinforcement coming up from the base and covering the corners, where the most stress would be.


1 Kings 7:35 "And in the top of the base [was there] a round compass of half a cubit high: and on the top of the base the ledges thereof and the borders thereof [were] of the same."


The same with the chapiter (1 Kings 7:31), which rose up straight half a cubit, and widening upwards half a cubit more, here called the round compass of it.


"And on the top of the base, the ledges thereof and the borders thereof, were of the same": Of the same piece of brass with the base, all being cast together.


It seems that inside this flat sided wagon of brass, there was a circular bowl which was 3/4 of a foot deep.


1 Kings 7:36 "For on the plates of the ledges thereof, and on the borders thereof, he graved cherubims, lions, and palm trees, according to the proportion of every one, and additions round about."


In this, and the preceding verse, a different word is used, translated "ledges", from that in (1 Kings 7:28). The Targum renders it axle trees; as if the axle trees of the wheels, and the borders, circumferences, and rings of them, were meant, in which were the following engravings. It literally signifies hands or handles; and Procopius Gazaeus says, that the bases had, in the upper part of them, forms of hands holding a circle like a crown.


"He graved cherubims, lions, and palm trees, according to the proportion of every one": These figures were made as large as the plates of the ledges, and the borders, would allow room for.


"And the addition round about": Which were sloping shelves of brass around the base (1 Kings 7:29), these were ornamented in like manner.


Everything that was visible had been engraved for beauty.


1 Kings 7:37 "After this [manner] he made the ten bases: all of them had one casting, one measure, [and] one size."


This was the form and fashion of them as above described.


"All of them had one casting, one measure, and one size": They were all cast into the same mold, and were exactly alike in their form, figures, and size. Each stand of bronze was 6 feet square and 4.5 feet high. Each consisted of 4 upright corner poles joined together by 7 square panels. For mobility, the stands rode on 4 wheels of bronze (verse 30).


1 Kings 7:38 " Then made he ten lavers of brass: one laver contained forty baths: [and] every laver was four cubits: [and] upon every one of the ten bases one laver."


"Lavers": Hiram made 10 bronze basins as water containers for the stands. Each measured 6 feet across and held about 240 gallons of water.


This is explaining that all ten of them were the very same size, made the very same way.


1 Kings 7:39 "And he put five bases on the right side of the house, and five on the left side of the house: and he set the sea on the right side of the house eastward over against the south."


"On the right side", i.e. in the south side, as expressed in the end of the verse, and as the right side is used above, see (1 Kings 6:8 Psalm 89:12).


"On the right side of the house"; not within the house, but in the priests' court, where they washed either their hands or feet, or the parts of the sacrifices. On the left side of the house, i.e. on the north side; for this is here opposed to the right or south side.


"Over against the south", i.e. in the south-east part, where the offerings were prepared.


Verses 40-47: These verses contain a summary of the work done by "Hiram" the craftsman. The account here does not mention the brass altar (2 Chron. 4:1; see the note on 2 Chron. 2:14).


All the "furnishings" correspond to virtually identical utensils in the tabernacle. King "David" had prepared and dedicated these furnishings for "temple" service (2 Sam. 8:11; 1 Chron. 22:14; 29:1-9). The "treasuries" were probably the rooms of the temple in the surrounding structure (6:5-6).


1 Kings 7:40 "And Hiram made the lavers, and the shovels, and the basins. So Hiram made an end of doing all the work that he made king Solomon for the house of the LORD:"


"The shovels and the basins": Shovels were used to scoop up the ashes that were then emptied into the basins for disposal. The same tools served the same purpose in the tabernacle (Exodus 27:3).


The lavers are not the ten before mentioned, of the make of which an account is before given; but these, according to Jarchi and Ben Gersom, are the same with the pots (1 Kings 7:45). And so they are called (in 2 Chron. 4:11), the use of which, as they say, was to put the ashes of the altar into. As the "shovels", next mentioned, were a sort of besoms to sweep them off, and the "basins" were to receive the blood of the sacrifices, and sprinkle it. No mention is here made of the altar of brass he made (but is in 2 Chron. 4:11). Or of the fleshhooks to take the flesh out of the pots (as in 2 Chron. 4:16).


"So Hiram made an end of doing all the work that he made King Solomon for the house of the Lord": What he undertook, and was employed in, he finished, which were all works of brass. Of which a recapitulation is made in the following verses to the end of (verse 45), where they are said to be made of "bright brass", free of all dross and rust. "Good", as the Targum, even the best brass they were made of. The brass David took from Hadarezer (1 Chron. 18:8), which Josephus too much magnifies, when he says it was better than gold.


All of the utensils used in the outer court, where the sea was, were made of brass. "Brass" signifies judgment. These shovels were for taking away the ashes from the brazen altar. The basins were for the water. Hiram finished his work in the brass.


1 Kings 7:41-45 "The two pillars, and the [two] bowls of the chapiters that [were] on the top of the two pillars; and the two networks, to cover the two bowls of the chapiters which [were] upon the top of the pillars;" "And four hundred pomegranates for the two networks, [even] two rows of pomegranates for one network, to cover the two bowls of the chapiters that [were] upon the pillars;" "And the ten bases, and ten lavers on the bases;" "And one sea, and twelve oxen under the sea;" "And the pots, and the shovels, and the basins: and all these vessels, which Hiram made to king Solomon for the house of the LORD, [were of] bright brass."


From (verses 41to 45), is a re-cap of all the things made by Hiram for use in the temple service.


"Bright brass": I.e., bronze polished to a high shine.


All of these are made of brass, so they could not be used in the Holy Place, or in the Most Holy Place. These were in the first place, as you entered from the porch.


1 Kings 7:46 "In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zarthan."


"Between Succoth and Zarthan": Succoth was located on the east side of the Jordan River just north of the Jabbok River (Gen. 33:17; Josh. 13:27; Judges 8:4-5). Zarthan was nearby. This location was conducive to good metallurgy, because it abounded in clay suitable for mold and lay close to a source of charcoal for heat, namely the forests across the Jordan.


This was in the low area near the Jordan River. This area was probably chosen, because the sand or clay was the kind needed for this type of work. The names of the towns given here, are explaining that this graving was done near the old ford for river crossing. This was done on the western side of the Jordan because it would have been truly difficult to cross the Jordan with some of these extremely heavy items.


1 Kings 7:47 "And Solomon left all the vessels [unweighed], because they were exceeding many: neither was the weight of the brass found out."


The brass for these vessels had (1 Chron. 18:8), been taken by David from Tibhath and Chun, cities of the territory of Zobah, and laid up with other stores for the purpose of the Temple. How these cities were so rich in brass we are not told; but there are very ancient copper-mines, once worked by the Egyptians, in the Sinaitic peninsula. And the allusions to mining of various kinds (in Job 28:1-11), perhaps belonging to the time of Solomon, are very striking.


It would have been a monumental task to weigh all of this brass. The only way they could have done it, was weigh the amount they used. They could not have found anything capable of weighing things like the sea.



Verses 48-50: These are items for the Holy Place of the temple. "The altar of gold" replaced the altar of incense in the tabernacle (Exodus 30:2-4).


"The table of Gold" was equivalent to the table of the showbread (Exodus 25:23-40). Although only one table is mentioned here, there were actually 10 such tables (2 Chron. 4:8). Apparently the 10, together with their articles, were considered as one unit (2 Chron. 29:18). Instead of the one golden lampstand of the tabernacle (Exodus 25:31-40), 10 lampstands were set in the Holy Place of the temple.


1 Kings 7:48 "And Solomon made all the vessels that [pertained] unto the house of the LORD: the altar of gold, and the table of gold, whereupon the showbread [was],"


"Bright brass": The altar of incense stood in front of the Most Holy Place (Exodus 30:1-4).


"The altar of gold": The table on which the bread of the Presence was placed, which the Law required to be continually in God's presence (Exodus 25:30).


These items had to have nothing showing but the pure gold, because they were in the presence of God. The "showbread" symbolized the Lord Jesus, who was the bread of life.


1 Kings 7:49 "And the candlesticks of pure gold, five on the right [side], and five on the left, before the oracle, with the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs [of] gold,"


"Candlesticks": Ten golden candlesticks standing directly in front of the Most Holy Place, five on either side of the doors, provided a corridor of light.


These candlesticks bring forth the light, symbolic of Jesus Christ, who is the Light of the world. This is really saying that there were ten candlesticks. It is not saying ten flutes on one candlestick. This is just saying there were ten candlesticks, and each of these candlesticks probably, had the seven flutes on them. The number "ten" has to do with world government. This just means that the Lord has enough light for the world. Everything in the near presence of God is pure gold, or 24 karat gold overlaid.


1 Kings 7:50 "And the bowls, and the snuffers, and the basins, and the spoons, and the censers [of] pure gold; and the hinges [of] gold, [both] for the doors of the inner house, the most holy [place, and] for the doors of the house, [to wit], of the temple."


To keep the oil in.


"And the snuffers": To trim the lamps with; though some interpret the word of musical instruments, as the Targum, of psalteries.


"And the basins": Which were to receive the blood of the sacrifices. And, Ben Gersom thinks, particularly the blood of those that were brought into the sanctuary (see Heb. 13:11). There were a hundred of them (2 Chron. 4:8).


"And the spoons": Which held the incense.


"And the censers of pure gold": With which the coals were carried from one altar to another, on which the incense was burnt. Not only those but all the other vessels were of pure gold.


"And the hinges of gold, both for the doors of the inner house, the most holy place, and for the doors of the house to wit, of the temple": The Holy of Holies and the Holy Place, the hinges of the doors of each, on which they were hung, and turned, were of gold. So grand and magnificent was this edifice, and so liberal was Solomon in the building of it.


These are the smaller instruments used in the service. They must all be gold. Even the hinges on the doors entering into the Holy of Holies must be made of pure gold.


1 Kings 7:51 "So was ended all the work that king Solomon made for the house of the LORD. And Solomon brought in the things which David his father had dedicated; [even] the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, did he put among the treasures of the house of the LORD."


"David ... had dedicated": Solomon deposited that which David had dedicated to the Lord (2 Sam. 8:7-12), in the side rooms of the temple.


"The treasures" were probably stored in one of the side chambers of the temple (6:5-10).


These were speaking of the things used in the tabernacle in the worship services. "Silver" means redemption and had been a part of the items in the Holy Place in the tabernacle. These were stored in the temple treasury.


1 Kings Chapter 7 Continued Questions


1. How big was the molten sea?


2. Why was it called a sea?


3. What was it for?


4. This is the size of a small _____________ pool.


5. What were the decorations on the sea?


6. How many oxen were under the sea?


7. What were these oxen symbolically?


8. The brass it was made of was how thick?


9. How big is a bath?


10. How many gallons of water would it hold?


11. The bases made of what?


12. Describe the size of the bases?


13. What were between the ledges of the base?


14. How many wheels did each base have?


15. What were the wheels connected to?


16. The wheels made this move like what?


17. How many lavers of brass did he make?


18. How much did each laver hold?


19. Where was the sea located?


20. What were the utensils made of, that were used in the outer court?


21. Who made the lavers and the utensils?


22. Where had he made these things?


23. Why was that place chosen?


24. The things used in the Holy of Holies were made of what?


25. What does the "showbread" symbolize?


26. Who does the light in the candlesticks symbolize?


27. What did they do with the things David furnished?





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1 Kings 8



1 Kings Chapter 8

Verses 1-21 (see 2 Chron. 5:2-6:11).


1 Kings 8:1 " Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto king Solomon in Jerusalem, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which [is] Zion."


"Elders ... heads": The "elders" of Israel were respected men who were in charge of local government and justice throughout Israel (Exodus 18:13-26; Num. 11:16-30; 1 Sam. 8:1-9). They advised the king on important matters of state (1 Sam. 15:30; 2 Sam. 17:5; 1 Kings 12:6-11). The "heads" of the tribes or "leaders" were the oldest living males within each extended family unit. They were the ones responsible for learning the law and leading their families to obey it.


"Zion" was the hill that David took from the Jebusites, but later the name was applied to the temple area northward, in "the City of David", Jerusalem. Solomon first assembled the leaders of Israel before addressing the "assembly of Israel" for the temple dedication (see 2 Sam. 7:12-13).


Solomon had possibly heard David tell of the problem they encountered when they moved the Ark to Jerusalem. Notice the elders, heads of the tribes, and the fathers of the children of Israel. We see that the Ark would be moved with great celebration. This is not really moving it out of Jerusalem, which is also known as Zion. This is the greatest event in their lives. They will be moving the Ark into the Holy of Holies in the temple. The Ark was called the Ark of the Covenant, because of the Ten Commandments carved on stone that were inside the Ark.


1 Kings 8:2 "And all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto king Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanim, which [is] the seventh month."


During the "feast" mentioned here, the Feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:33-43), the Israelites lived in temporary shelters to commemorate God's miraculous provision in their journey to the Promised Land.


"Seventh month": Solomon finished building the temple in the eighth month of the previous year (6:38; see 2 Chron. 5:1). All its detail signifying the magnificence and beauty of God's nature and His transcendent and uncommon glory. The celebration, then, did not take place until 11 months later. Apparently, Solomon intentionally scheduled the dedication of the temple to coincide with the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles held in the seventh month, when there would be a general assembly of the people in Jerusalem. That was also a Jubilee year, so it was especially appropriate (Lev. 23:33-36, 39-43; Deut. 16:13-15).


This seventh month is spoken of without telling us which year it was. This feast is probably the Feast of Tabernacles, that all of the males were required to attend. Ethanim or the seventh month would be the same as our October.



Verses 3-8: Just as God had prescribed, the "priests" carried the Ark using long "poles" that passed through rings on its sides (Num. 7:9). This reflects God's utter holiness, His separateness. No one can approach Him except on the conditions He sets. The priests kept the people from touching the Ark, an act that would lead to death (2 Sam. 6:7). Contrast this with the access God's people have to Him today, through Jesus Christ (Heb. 10:19-22).


1 Kings 8:3 "And all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark."


To Zion, the city of David.


"And the priests took up the Ark; from thence": In (2 Chron. 5:4), it is said the Levites did it, whose business it was (Deut. 31:25). And so the priests might be called; for every priest was a Levite, though every Levite was not a priest. And the priests did at all times bear the Ark (see Joshua 3:15).


We know how important it is for no one except the priests, to touch the Ark. Even they must do this with staves run through hoops, so that they will not actually touch the Ark. The elders accompanied but the priests carried it.



Verses 4-6: "Brought up the Ark": The Ark of the Covenant was transported by the priests and the Levites from the tent that David had made for it in Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6:17). They also brought to the temple the tabernacle and all its furnishings which had been located at Gibeon (2 Chron. 1:2-6). The Ark was placed into the Most Holy Place (verse 6).


1 Kings 8:4 "And they brought up the ark of the LORD, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that [were] in the tabernacle, even those did the priests and the Levites bring up."


For the significance of the Ark of the Covenant (see the note on 6:16-22). Although the Ark was now in permanent residence, the final abiding presence of God among His people would not occur here in Solomon's temple (Ezek. 10:18-19; 11:22-23). The chronicler reports that the bringing in of the Ark was accompanied by great rejoicing, praise, and song (2 Chron. 5:11-13).


God had set aside the Levitical tribe to care for the Ark and the things in the tabernacle. Each thing must be carried by those who are dedicated to the LORD for that purpose. Each thing must be handled with utmost care. All of the vessels in the tabernacle had been dedicated to the LORD. They must be handled by those, who the LORD has designated.


1 Kings 8:5 "And king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel, that were assembled unto him, [were] with him before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen, that could not be told nor numbered for multitude."


On this solemn occasion.


"Were with him before the Ark": While it was in the court of the priests, before it was carried into the Most Holy Place.


"Sacrificing sheep and oxen, that could not be told nor numbered for multitude": The phrase seems to be hyperbolical, and designed to denote a great number.


This sacrificing along the way was to show their gratitude to God for giving them the Ark (which symbolized His presence with them). The sacrifices were thank offerings. They sacrificed so many animals along the way that they lost count of how many.


1 Kings 8:6 "And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy [place, even] under the wings of the cherubims."


Destined for it, the like to which it had in the tabernacle.


"Into the oracle of the house, to the Most Holy Place": That part of the house where the divine oracle was, the Holy of Holies. For though into it none but the High Priest might enter, and he but once a year; yet in case of necessity, as for the repair of it, which the Jews gather from hence, other priests might enter, as was the case now. A High Priest could not carry in the Ark himself, and therefore it was necessary to employ others; and besides, as yet the divine Majesty had not taken up his residence in it.


"Even under the wings of the cherubim": The large ones which Solomon had made (1 Kings 6:23), not those of Moses.


The lesson we studied on the cherubims in the Holy of Holies, told us that the entire wall was covered with the wings of the cherubims. The Ark containing the Ten Commandments would be placed just before the cherubims. The mercy seat covered the Ark. We must remember that everything in the Holy of Holies was pure gold, or 24 karat gold overlaid, because it was in the presence of God.


1 Kings 8:7 "For the cherubims spread forth [their] two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above."


"Staves": God had originally commanded that staves or poles be used to carry the Ark (Exodus 25:13-15). They were left protruding to serve as a guide so the High Priest could be guided by them when he entered the dark inner sanctuary.


This is saying they actually hovered over the ark. The main thing they did was to keep curious eyes from seeing the Ark. No one was allowed into the Holy of Holies but the High Priest.


1 Kings 8:8 "And they drew out the staves, that the ends of the staves were seen out in the holy [place] before the oracle, and they were not seen without: and there they are unto this day."


"Unto this day": The phrase is used from the perspective of one who lived and wrote before the destruction of the temple (in 586 B.C.). The writer of 1 Kings incorporated such sources into his book (9:13, 21; 10:12; 12:19).


The staves were not to be removed from the Ark. This possibly means they were brought forward, and someone saw them. Perhaps the reason for the staves being removed would mean that the Ark is now in its home to stay. It will not go forth anymore.


1 Kings 8:9 "[There was] nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made [a covenant] with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt."


"The Ark" contained only the "two tablets of stone" that communicated the "covenant" God made with His people (Deut. 9:9; 10:1-5, 8); and Ten Commandments (see note on Exodus 32:15-16).


"Two tables of stone": At this time, the Ark of the Covenant contained only the two tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments. The pot of manna (Exodus 16:33), and Aaron's rod that budded (Num. 17:10), were no longer in the Ark (see Hebrews 9:4).


Earlier the Ark had contained the manna, the tables of the covenant, and the rod of Aaron that bloomed. The manna and the rod of Aaron were probably lost, when the Ark was taken by Israel's enemies, the Philistines, in battle. There was no monetary value to the two tables of stones, so the Philistines would not have taken them. The manna was in a pot of gold however, and the rod would have been usable as well.



Verses 10-12: As "the glory of the Lord had filled" the tabernacle at its inauguration (Exodus 40:34-35), so also it fills the temple. Rabbinic scholars spoke of the visible presence of God's dwelling with His people as the Shekinah glory. The Shekinah glory had been with Israel at Sinai, had gone with them through the wilderness wanderings, and had led them into the Promised Land. Although it would later leave the temple (Ezek. 10:18-19), it would return to the millennial temple (Ezek. 43:1-5), and to His redeemed people Israel (Isa. 4:5). However, before that future day, God again tabernacled among His people in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ (John 1:14), who, having secured man's redemption, now dwells within the believer, whom He has taken into union with Himself (Col. 1:15-22, 27; 2:9-10). Ultimately all believers will enjoy God's presence throughout all eternity (Rev. 21:2-3). Note that as "the glory of the Lord had filled" both tabernacle and temple at their inauguration, so the Holy Spirit came in visible power to the church at its inception (Acts 2:1-4).


The cloud symbolized God's mystery, obscuring the view of Him. It also represented His nearness, He was present in a tangible way.


1 Kings 8:10 "And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy [place], that the cloud filled the house of the LORD,"


"The cloud": the cloud was "the glory of the Lord" (verse 11), the visible symbol of God's presence. It signaled the Lord's approval of this new temple. A similar manifestation took place when the tabernacle was dedicated (Exodus 40:34-35; see note on Lev. 9:23).


This is actually speaking of the Most Holy Place. This is the same cloud that went with the Israelites during the wilderness wanderings. This meant that God had accepted this temple. He would generally be in the Holy of Holies, but this is speaking of His presence all through the temple.


1 Kings 8:11 "So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD."


Either through the darkness it first caused, or through the light that broke out of it, which was dazzling to them, or through the terror it struck their minds with. They could neither minister in the Holy Place, by offering incense there; and as for the Most Holy Place. None but the high priest could minister there, and that on one day only, or in the court of the priests; at the altar of burnt offerings.


"For the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord": A bright and glorious stream came forth from the cloud, and spread itself all over the house, and then took up its abode in the most Holy Place as in the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34).


The presence of the LORD was so great even in the Holy Place that the priests could not stand. The manifestation of the presence of the LORD had completely overcome them. They had been putting oil in the lamp, or another task of equal importance, when they were stopped ministering. No person can stand in the midst of the glory of the LORD. They will fall on their face in worship, as the priests did.



Verses 12-21: "Solomon's" dedicatory address (2 Chron. 6:1-42), takes the form of praise to "God" for His faithfulness to His "people" and to the terms of the covenant with "David". All that Solomon had accomplished had really been done by God's hand (verse 15).


See (2 Chron. 6:1-11).


Verses 12-13: Solomon's solemn declaration was addressed to the Lord. Solomon recognized the thick darkness as the manifestation of the Lord's gracious presence among His people (Exodus 19:9; 20:21; Lev. 16:2), and affirmed that he had built the temple so that the Lord could dwell there in the glory of thick darkness.


1 Kings 8:12 "Then spake Solomon, The LORD said that he would dwell in the thick darkness."


Perceived by this symbol that the Lord was come into his house to take up his dwelling in it. And then seeing the priests and people in consternation at it; spake the following words to their comfort.


"The Lord said that he would dwell in the thick darkness": And now was fulfilling his promise, and therefore to be considered not as a token of his displeasure, but of his gracious presence. This was done for the greater awe of the divine Majesty, and to denote the darkness of the former dispensation. Reference may be had to (Leviticus 16:2), or rather this was now said by the Lord. That is, it appeared to be his resolution and determination to dwell in this manner; the Targum is "the Lord is pleased to cause his Shekinah or divine Majesty to dwell in Jerusalem, in the temple there. This was imitated by the Heathens; hence the Lacedemonians had a temple dedicated to Jupiter Scotitas, or the dark, as Pausanias relates. And the Indian Pagans to this day affect darkness in their temples, and are very careful that no light enters into them but by the door, which is commonly strait and low, and by little crevices in the windows.


Solomon was overwhelmed that the LORD had obviously accepted the house he had built. The smoke was so thick, that it looked like darkness. Solomon was aware the LORD was in the midst of the darkness.


1 Kings 8:13 "I have surely built thee a house to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide in for ever."


Turning himself from the priests and people, he quieted with a few words, he addressed the Lord; having built a house for him, for his worship and glory. With this view, that he might dwell in it, he was now, by the above token, fully assured it would be a habitation for him.


"A settled place for thee to abide in for ever": Which is observed in distinction from the tabernacle of Moses, which was often removed from place to place, otherwise this did not continue forever. Though Solomon might hope it would, at least unto the times of the Messiah. And indeed such a building on this spot, for such use, did continue so long, excepting the interval of the seventy years' captivity in Babylon.


As magnificent as the temple was, it was but an earthly house. Solomon's desire was for the LORD to live with his people. The temple was just a place for the Ark to rest. God is omnipresent (everywhere all at the same time). He could not be contained in this temple. He is pleased that Solomon and His people have built the temple, but it cannot, and will not house the LORD in His entirety.



Verses 14-21: Solomon turned around from addressing the Lord and spoke to the assembly of Israel gathered at the temple. Solomon (in verses 15-19), rehearsed the story of (2 Sam. 7:12-16), and claimed that he, having built the temple, had become the fulfillment of God's promise to this father David (verses 20-21). However, Solomon's claim was premature because the Lord later appeared to him declaring the necessity of obedience for the establishment of Solomon's throne (9:4-9), an obedience which would be lacking in Solomon (11:6, 9-10).


1 Kings 8:14 "And the king turned his face about, and blessed all the congregation of Israel: (and all the congregation of Israel stood;)"


He was before the altar (1 Kings 8:22), with his face to that first, and looking towards the Holy and the Most Holy Place, filled with the cloud and glory. And now he turned himself and stood with the altar behind him, and looking to the court of the people.


"And blessed all the congregation of Israel": either blessed the Lord before them, or he prayed for blessings for them. Or congratulated them upon the Lord's taking up his residence in the temple, which was so great an honor and favor to them.


"And all the congregation of Israel stood": Ready to receive the king's blessing, and in honor of him, and reverence to the divine Being. The Jews say that none might sit in the court but the kings of the house of David.


The congregation was in honor of the occasion. Solomon blessed the people.


1 Kings 8:15 "And he said, Blessed [be] the LORD God of Israel, which spake with his mouth unto David my father, and hath with his hand fulfilled [it], saying,"


All praise and glory, honor and blessing, be ascribed to the Lord; who had afresh shown himself to be Israel's covenant God, by taking up his residence among them in the temple he had filled with his glory.


"Which spake with his mouth to David my father, and hath with his hand fulfilled it": Who graciously promised him he should have a son that should build a house for him, and which he had by his power and providence faithfully performed. Or rather which spake concerning David, so Noldius; for God did not speak with his mouth to David, but to Nathan, of him.


"Saying": As follows.


This praise to the LORD is spoken in front of Nathan and the people. David had been the beloved of the LORD. He did not allow David to build the temple, because he was a warrior. David had asked to build the temple and God fulfilled it in David's son, Solomon.


1 Kings 8:16 "Since the day that I brought forth my people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build a house, that my name might be therein; but I chose David to be over my people Israel."


This was now, about four hundred and eighty eight years prior (see 1 Kings 6:1).


"I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build a house, that my name might be therein": He had chosen one in his mind from all eternity; but he had not made known this choice, nor the place he had chosen. He gave hints by Moses, that there was a place which he should choose, or declare he had chosen to put his name in, but did not express it (Deut. 12:5). But now it was a clear case that he had chosen Jerusalem. And that was the city he always had in view (see 2 Chron. 6:6).


"But I chose David to be over my people Israel": To be their king, and to him he gave the first hint of the place where the temple was to be built (1 Chron. 22:1). And he chose no man, and his family with him, before him, to rule over Israel, and be concerned in such a work (see 2 Chron. 6:5).


This is what the LORD had told David. God had not wanted them to have a king, but when they insisted on having a king like the other nations around them, so He gave them Saul. God was not pleased with Saul, because he did not obey the commandments of God. God sought out David to rule over his people. He was a man after God's own heart. God was pleased with David, and God was with him as the ruler of all Israel.


1 Kings 8:17 "And it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of the LORD God of Israel."


His mind was disposed to it, his heart was set upon it, and he had taken up a resolution.


"To build a house for the name of the Lord God of Israel": For his worship and service, for his honor and glory (2 Sam. 7:3).


David wanted to build the LORD God a house, but he was not allowed to, because he was a man of war. With as much conflict as there was, it would have been impossible for David to work on the temple. David desired this in his heart so greatly that God promised him he would let his son, Solomon, build the temple.


1 Kings 8:18 "And the LORD said unto David my father, Whereas it was in thine heart to build a house unto my name, thou didst well that it was in thine heart."


By Nathan the prophet.


"Whereas it was in thine heart to build a house unto my name, thou didst well that it was in thine heart": His design was good, and so far it was acceptable to the Lord, that he thought of such a thing, though it was not his pleasure that should do it, as follows.


1 Kings 8:19 "Nevertheless thou shalt not build the house; but thy son that shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house unto my name."


This is implied in the question found in (2 Sam. 7:5).


"But thy son that shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house unto my name": Which is expressed in (2 Sam. 7:12).


God knew that David loved Him with all his heart. He was very pleased at the condition of David's heart.


1 Kings 8:20 "And the LORD hath performed his word that he spake, and I am risen up in the room of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built a house for the name of the LORD God of Israel."


To David, concerning his son's building the temple.


"And I am risen up in the room of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised": Succeeded him in the kingdom.


"And have built a house for the name of the Lord God of Israel": The temple he had now finished; and thus the promise to David was punctually fulfilled, that he should have a son that should succeed him in the throne, and build the house of the Lord.


Absalom had actually sought to be king, but Solomon never did. Solomon did not even ask to be king. He, like David, was chosen of God for this purpose. He was a man of peace, and there was plenty of time to build the Ark a permanent home. Solomon was chosen by David to be king. He was not even aware of this until he heard Nathan calling him king. Solomon was not conceited. He knew it was the LORD's love for David that put him into this position. He spoke of himself, as being as a little child in wisdom to lead the people. God miraculously endowed him with wisdom more than any other man of his time. God placed in the mind and heart of Solomon, the ability to build the temple.


1 Kings 8:21 "And I have set there a place for the ark, wherein [is] the covenant of the LORD, which he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt."


The Most Holy Place.


Wherein is the covenant of the Lord": The two tables of stone, on which were the covenant of the Lord, as the Targum.


"Which he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt": As in (1 Kings 8:9).


The purpose of the temple was to house the Ark. This was to be a permanent dwelling place. The tables with the Ten Commandments had been received by Moses, while they were on the way to the Promised Land. God had given specific instructions on how to build the Ark to contain the commandments. This temple in Jerusalem would be the first permanent house for the Ark.


1 Kings Chapter 8 Questions


1. Who did Solomon call to be in attendance, when the Ark was moved?


2. Jerusalem is known as __________.


3. What month was the feast?


4. What is the feast, probably?


5. What month on our calendar would be their 7th month?


6. Who carried the Ark?


7. How did they carry it?


8. What did they bring to the temple, besides the Ark?


9. What tribe had God set aside, to care for the things of the tabernacle, or temple?


10. What did they sacrifice before the Ark?


11. What did the Ark symbolize?


12. Where would the Ark be placed?


13. Why is it mentioned, they removed the staves from the Ark?


14. What was in the Ark?


15. What else should have been in the Ark?


16. When the priests came out of the Most Holy Place, what happened?


17. What effect did the presence of the LORD have on the priests?


18. In verse 13, what does Solomon say he has done for the LORD?


19. Why was David not allowed to build the temple?


20. Who blessed the congregation?


21. Who had God spoken to, in verse 15?


22. God chose __________ to lead His people Israel.


23. What had been