Scriptures

1 Kings 9

Introduction

‘When Solomon had finished building the temple of the LORD and the royal palace, and had achieved all he had desired to do, the LORD appeared to him a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon. The LORD said to him: ‘I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there. ‘As for you, if you walk before me faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’ ‘But if you or your descendants turn away from me and do not observe the commands and decrees I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. Israel will then become a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. This temple will become a heap of rubble. All who pass by will be appalled and will scoff and say, ‘Why has the LORD done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the LORD their God, who brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why the LORD brought all this disaster on them.’ 1 Kings 9:1-9

The LORD Appears To Solomon

After completing the building work of the temple and his royal palace, Solomon had achieved all he had desired to do. Although it was never God’s desire to have a temple built, 2 Samuel 7:5-7, God accepts it and so the temple was consecrated with the presence of God, 2 Chronicles 7:11-22.

However, when God appears to Solomon, God once again lays down the terms and conditions, Solomon had to walk faithfully with the Lord, if he wanted to continue to be David’s successor, then he had to obey God’s commands, 1 Kings 8:24-26.

God also tells him if he or his descendants turn away from God, disobey His commands and decrees, serve other gods and worship them, then God will cut off His people, reject the temple. Sadly, this is exactly what Israel did under Solomon’s reign and through Solomon’s example, 1 Kings 11:5-12.

Notice the consequences for breaking God’s terms and conditions, Israel will be cut off from the land, the temple will become rubble, people will mock and scoff at them. God really wants Israel to understand just how bad things will get for them if they commit idolatry, Jeremiah 26:18 / Micah 3:12.

Solomon’s Other Activities

‘At the end of twenty years, during which Solomon built these two buildings—the temple of the LORD and the royal palace—King Solomon gave twenty towns in Galilee to Hiram king of Tyre, because Hiram had supplied him with all the cedar and juniper and gold he wanted. But when Hiram went from Tyre to see the towns that Solomon had given him, he was not pleased with them. ‘What kind of towns are these you have given me, my brother?’ he asked. And he called them the Land of Kabul, a name they have to this day. Now Hiram had sent to the king 120 talents of gold.’ 1 Kings 9:10-14

Because Hiram king of Tyre had supplied, labourers, the cedar and cypress trees, juniper and gold for Solomon’s temple and his royal place, 1 Kings 5:1-18, it was now time to pay him. Solomon gives him, twenty towns in Galilee.

However, when Hiram looked at the cities and the land around then, he soon notices that the land was unproductive, hence why he calls the land Kabul, which means worthless. As time went on this land became known as Galilee of the Gentiles, Matthew 4:15.

When we turn to 2 Chronicles 8:1-18, we find that Solomon gained these cities back, and the cities were actually given to Hiram as some kind of security until Solomon was able to pay him in gold.

‘Here is the account of the forced labour King Solomon conscripted to build the LORD’s temple, his own palace, the terraces, the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer. (Pharaoh king of Egypt had attacked and captured Gezer. He had set it on fire. He killed its Canaanite inhabitants and then gave it as a wedding gift to his daughter, Solomon’s wife. And Solomon rebuilt Gezer.) He built up Lower Beth Horon, Baalath, and Tadmor in the desert, within his land, as well as all his store cities and the towns for his chariots and for his horses—whatever he desired to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon and throughout all the territory he ruled. There were still people left from the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites (these peoples were not Israelites). Solomon conscripted the descendants of all these peoples remaining in the land—whom the Israelites could not exterminate—to serve as slave labour, as it is to this day. But Solomon did not make slaves of any of the Israelites; they were his fighting men, his government officials, his officers, his captains, and the commanders of his chariots and charioteers.’ 1 Kings 9:15-22

The forced labourers mentioned here were Canaanites, 2 Chronicles 8:3-10, the very people God had asked Israel to totally destroy when entering the promised land, but Israel failed to do so, Joshua 16:10 / Judges 1:29.

No one really knows what these ‘terraces’ were but some believe they were some kind of stronghold. The cities which are listed here are not exhaustive, because Solomon built many other cities. These cities were given to Solomon’s officials, those of high ranking, for them to rule over and store the wealth of the nation.

Pharaoh after capturing Gezer, gave it as a gift to his daughter, Solomon took his daughter as one of his wives in order to have some kind of political tie to Egypt, 1 Kings 3:1. There were also a number of grain storage cities, which supplied provisions for Solomon’s court.

Although God commanded all the Canaanites to be utterly destroyed, Israel failed to drive them out of the land and as a result, Israel made them slaves, the Canaanites mentioned here were descendants of those slaves, Joshua 9:22-27.

‘They were also the chief officials in charge of Solomon’s projects—550 officials supervising those who did the work. After Pharaoh’s daughter had come up from the City of David to the palace Solomon had built for her, he constructed the terraces. Three times a year Solomon sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar he had built for the LORD, burning incense before the LORD along with them, and so fulfilled the temple obligations. King Solomon also built ships at Ezion Geber, which is near Elath in Edom, on the shore of the Red Sea. And Hiram sent his men—sailors who knew the sea—to serve in the fleet with Solomon’s men. They sailed to Ophir and brought back 420 talents of gold, which they delivered to King Solomon.’ 1 Kings 9:23-28

After all the building work was complete, it was time for people to move in, this would include Pharaoh’s daughter, 2 Chronicles 8:12-16. Three times a year three feasts were celebrated and sacrifices were made, the feast of Unleavened Bread, the feast of Weeks, and feast of Tabernacles.

Ezion Geber was on the shore of the Red Sea and Hiram’s men served as sailors along with Solomon’s men. Some believe that from Ezion Geber, Solomon sent his ships on voyages to Ophir to get gold.

No one knows exactly where Ophir was located, some suggest Africa, others suggest Arabia, and some suggest India, 1 Kings 10:22.

Go To 1 Kings 10

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted."

Isaiah 53:4

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