1 Kings 4

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Solomon’s court. (1-19)

Vs.1-6 his officials… We have the list of chief officers of his administration here.

In the choice of the great officers of Solomon’s court, no doubt, his wisdom appeared. Several are the same that were in his father’s time. A plan was settled by which no part of the country was exhausted to supply his court, though each sent its portion. – Mathew Henry Commentary.

V. 2… Azariah, the son of Zadok… Azariah has said to be the priest instead of Zadok. We don’t have any valid reason for not having Zadok as the chief priest. In fact Azariah is the grandson of Zadok.

V. 3… Recorders/secretaries/ministries are the various translations for the managerial officers who were appointed by Solomon.

Vs.7–19 twelve officers: They are appointed as representatives/governors for various regions in Israel (V.7). Their duty was to provide for the Kings and his household on a rotation basis of one tribe for one month. The regions are not necessarily divided on 12-tribes system of Israel. Azariah was the chief representative/governor (V.5).

Solomon’s dominions, His daily provision. (20-28): Read the passage.

V. 20 Judah and Israel … ate … drank … were happy…

Solomon’s God-given wisdom has produced an economic system which, while it ensures that the royal household has enough to eat and drink, is not oppressive. This is true even though the people are as many as the sand by the sea (cf. Gen. 22:17). This is government by the righteous person under the blessing of God: when their leader thrives, the people rejoice (Prov. 29:2). – ESV Study Bible.

V. 21… Israel lived in peace and prosperity partly because Solomon had dominion over the bordering nations. Those kingdoms contributed to the prosperity of Israel and made no threat to Israel’s peace and prosperity.

Vs. 21-24: In this passage, we read about Solomon expanding his rulership beyond Israel.

V. 25… And Judah and Israel lived in safety, from Dan even to Beersheba, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, all the days of Solomon. This is a sign of blessed life. Read Joel 2:22, against Ps. 105:33.

V. 26: 40,000 stalls of horses. 2 Chro. 9:25 says there were only 4,000 stalls. Scholars believe this could be a copy error. 1 Kings 10:26 says there were only 1,400 chariots. So, 4,000 could be the probable figure.

The wisdom of Solomon. (29-34):

V. 29: ….wisdom and understanding beyond measure…breadth of mind like the sand…: This is just the affirmation of the fulfillment of God’s promise to Solomon.

V. 30… surpassed….all the people of the east and…wisdom of Egypt: During OT times East is known for wisdom and Egypt is known for wisdom literature.

V. 31…Ethan and Heman: Ethen and Heman were musicians (Read the titles for Ps. 88 & 89). They wrote each one Psalm.

V. 32… 3,000 Proverbs,….songs 1,005: We don’t have all the songs and the proverbs recorded in the Bible.

V. 33…Spoke of trees…beasts….birds…..reptiles, and of fish:

Careful observation of the natural world and how it works is one of the “normal” ways in which people gain wisdom (e.g., Job 38–41; Prov. 30:15–31; Matt. 6:25–34). Solomon was concerned with the natural world, from the largest tree (the proverbially high cedar that is in Lebanon) to the smallest plant (e.g., hyssop), and including all sorts of fauna. Wisdom “from below” (as here) and wisdom “from above” (as received by Solomon in 1 Kings 3) are thus combined in this one person, the wisest of all Israel’s kings. – ESV Study Bible.

V. 34…All people of the nations….all the kings of the earth….heard of his wisdom: This is like the wise-men from the east visited Jesus.