1 Kings 4 Ė 6 part 4

 

Last week we ended by looking at the great wisdom that Solomon had been given by God. Now as we enter into Chapter 4 we learn about the great peace and prosperity of Solomonís kingdom. Now the first 19 verses basically gives us the names of those who are in Solomonís administration. It mentions those who were priests, recorders and who was over his army but a great deal of these verses talks about the 12 governors he appointed to which they took turns 1 month out of the year to provide provision for the king and his house hold. For the sake of time you can read these verses on your own. So, lets us begin at verse,

 

1 Kings 4:20 Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking and rejoicing.21 So Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. They brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life.22 Now Solomon's provision for one day was thirty kors of fine flour, sixty kors of meal,23 ten fatted oxen, twenty oxen from the pastures, and one hundred sheep, besides deer, gazelles, roebucks, and fatted fowl.24 For he had dominion over all the region on this side of the River from Tiphsah (tif-suh) even to Gaza, namely over all the kings on this side of the River; and he had peace on every side all around him.25 And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, each man under his vine and his fig tree, from Dan as far as Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.

 

You can see on this map just how big Solomonís Kingdom was and since he was so powerful all those around him were at peace with him and they served his kingdom.

Now these daily provision were just for his household and did not include his army. Scholars have estimated that this was enough food to feed 14,000 people a day. Having to prepare that much food everyday is beyond my ability to imagine what all went into making it happen. It truly amazes me.

 

1 Kings 4:26 Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.27 And these governors, each man in his month, provided food for King Solomon and for all who came to King Solomon's table. There was no lack in their supply.28 They also brought barley and straw to the proper place, for the horses and steeds, each man according to his charge.

 

This gives a idea of big his army was and that the fact that he had the money to take care of all these horses and men. Now I do want to point out that we have a difference in numbers in the parallel account in 2 Chron 9:25. It says that the number of stalls was 4000 and not 40,000. Now the only version I could find that didnít say 40,000 in our primary verse was the NIV which used 4000. This another one those instance involving numbers where we cannot be for sure which one is the correct one due to textual variances. Nearly every one that commented on this difference seemed to think that 4000 was the correct number but it canít be said for sure. No matter which one is correct we can see that it was still a great number of men and horses to take care of. It also interesting to note that God did not want a king multiplying horses for himself according to.

 

Deuteronomy 17:16 "But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the LORD has said to you, 'You shall not return that way again.'

 

1 Kings 4:29 And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore.30 Thus Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt.31 For he was wiser than all men -- than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Chalcol, (kal-call) and Darda, (dar-duh) the sons of Mahol; (may-hall) and his fame was in all the surrounding nations.32 He spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five.33 Also he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish.34 And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon.

 

So without a doubt Solomon was the wisest man of his day. Out of his writings we only have few of the preserved for us in the Book of Proverbs, Song of Solomon and a couple of Psalms. Because of his wisdom many came from far and wide to hear his wise words.

 

1 Kings 5:1 Now Hiram (Hi-rum) king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon, because he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, for Hiram had always loved David.2 Then Solomon sent to Hiram, saying:3 You know how my father David could not build a house for the name of the LORD his God because of the wars which were fought against him on every side, until the LORD put his foes under the soles of his feet.4 But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor evil occurrence.5 And behold, I propose to build a house for the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spoke to my father David, saying, "Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, he shall build the house for My name."6 Now therefore, command that they cut down cedars for me from Lebanon; and my servants will be with your servants, and I will pay you wages for your servants according to whatever you say. For you know there is none among us who has skill to cut timber like the Sidonians.

 

Thanks to David Hiram would work with his son Solomon. Now in 1 Chron 28:3-7 we learn that David wanted to build a temple for God to house the Ark of the covenant and I have pointed out in the past that God didnít need such a temple because He could not literally dwell there anyway and He no point every asked anyone to make Him a temple. This was what David wanted to do but because he was a man of war God did not allow him to do so but God said he would allow his son Solomon to build that Temple and that is what Solomon was doing.

 

Hiram was in control of these beautiful Cedars and the workmen that had the skills to work with this wood and Solomon was willing to pay any price to receive his help and product.

 

1 Kings 5:7 So it was, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly and said, Blessed be the LORD this day, for He has given David a wise son over this great people!8 Then Hiram sent to Solomon, saying: I have considered the message which you sent me, and I will do all you desire concerning the cedar and cypress logs.9 My servants shall bring them down from Lebanon to the sea; I will float them in rafts by sea to the place you indicate to me, and will have them broken apart there; then you can take them away. And you shall fulfill my desire by giving food for my household.10 Then Hiram gave Solomon cedar and cypress logs according to all his desire.11 And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand kors of wheat as food for his household, and twenty kors of pressed oil. Thus Solomon gave to Hiram year by year.12 So the LORD gave Solomon wisdom, as He had promised him; and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty together.

 

Basically they come to agreement and Solomon pays Hiram and hefty price every year for his services.

 

1 Kings 5: 13 Then King Solomon raised up a labor force out of all Israel; and the labor force was thirty thousand men.14 And he sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month in shifts: they were one month in Lebanon and two months at home; Adoniram was in charge of the labor force.15 Solomon had seventy thousand who carried burdens, and eighty thousand who quarried stone in the mountains,16 besides three thousand three hundred from the chiefs of Solomon's deputies, who supervised the people who labored in the work.17 And the king commanded them to quarry large stones, costly stones, and hewn stones, to lay the foundation of the temple.18 So Solomon's builders, Hiram's builders, and the Gebalites quarried them; and they prepared timber and stones to build the temple.

 

This shows us just how much man power was involved in gathering the Cedars and building the temple. Now lets move chapter 6 which deal with the construction of the temple.

1 Kings 6:1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.

 

What interesting about this verse is that it establishes a specific timeline of when the temple was built. Notice it was built 480 years after the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea in the 4th year of Solomonís reign. Now depended on what source you look you will see different dates but this building of the temple occurred some around 970 B.C.

 

1 Kings 6:2 Now the house which King Solomon built for the LORD, its length was sixty cubits, its width twenty, and its height thirty cubits.3 The vestibule in front of the sanctuary of the house was twenty cubits long across the width of the house, and the width of the vestibule extended ten cubits from the front of the house.4 And he made for the house windows with beveled frames.5 Against the wall of the temple he built chambers all around, against the walls of the temple, all around the sanctuary and the inner sanctuary. Thus he made side chambers all around it.6 The lowest chamber was five cubits wide, the middle was six cubits wide, and the third was seven cubits wide; for he made narrow ledges around the outside of the temple, so that the support beams would not be fastened into the walls of the temple.7 And the temple, when it was being built, was built with stone finished at the quarry, so that no hammer or chisel or any iron tool was heard in the temple while it was being built.8 The doorway for the middle story was on the right side of the temple. They went up by stairs to the middle story, and from the middle to the third.9 So he built the temple and finished it, and he paneled the temple with beams and boards of cedar.10 And he built side chambers against the entire temple, each five cubits high; they were attached to the temple with cedar beams.

 

Here we have a description of what the Temple looked like. This temple area was twice the size of the Tabernacle. Here a layout of the temple. This temple measured approximately 90 feet long, 30 feet wide and 45 feet high. As depicted in the next picture you can see that it was 3 stories high. All of the stones and materials that brought in were pre-cut and they simply assembled them in the temple without using iron tools.

 

1 Kings 6:11 Then the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying:12 "Concerning this temple which you are building, if you walk in My statutes, execute My judgments, keep all My commandments, and walk in them, then I will perform My word with you, which I spoke to your father David.13 "And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel."

 

Once again God gives the same message that He has always given. If you walk in my ways then I will continue to bless you. Of course we know as the story continues Solomon wasnít paying very close attention to these words of God. It imperative that we understand this simply concept today as well. To many think they will be alright with God as long as they are not hurting anyone or causing anyone problems but the fact of the matter is, is we do not walk in Godís statues today we will not receive his promises of heaven that He has made to the faithful.

 

1 Kings 6:14 So Solomon built the temple and finished it.15 And he built the inside walls of the temple with cedar boards; from the floor of the temple to the ceiling he paneled the inside with wood; and he covered the floor of the temple with planks of cypress.16 Then he built the twenty-cubit room at the rear of the temple, from floor to ceiling, with cedar boards; he built it inside as the inner sanctuary, as the Most Holy Place.17 And in front of it the temple sanctuary was forty cubits long.18 The inside of the temple was cedar, carved with ornamental buds and open flowers. All was cedar; there was no stone to be seen.19 And he prepared the inner sanctuary inside the temple, to set the ark of the covenant of the LORD there.20 The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and twenty cubits high. He overlaid it with pure gold, and overlaid the altar of cedar.21 So Solomon overlaid the inside of the temple with pure gold. He stretched gold chains across the front of the inner sanctuary, and overlaid it with gold.22 The whole temple he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the temple; also he overlaid with gold the entire altar that was by the inner sanctuary.

 

Again we given more details about how the inside of the temple looked. Can you just imaging how beautiful this temple looked like with all this cedar gold every where. We even see the little details like the carved ornamental buds and open flowers. To think about the amount of Gold alone that was put into this temple is truly amazing. Letís look at some more of the details of the temple.

 

1 Kings 6:23 Inside the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim of olive wood, each ten cubits high.24 One wing of the cherub was five cubits, and the other wing of the cherub five cubits: ten cubits from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other. 25 And the other cherub was ten cubits; both cherubim were of the same size and shape.26 The height of one cherub was ten cubits, and so was the other cherub.27 Then he set the cherubim inside the inner room; and they stretched out the wings of the cherubim so that the wing of the one touched one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall. And their wings touched each other in the middle of the room.28 Also he overlaid the cherubim with gold.

 

Now originally according to Godís pattern for the tabernacle the Cherubim was much smaller and was used to cover the ark. But, Solomon makes it so huge that it touches both sides of the room. While he tried to follow the respective ratio of the tabernacle here he seems to do it his own way. We also see that he used Olive wood which I have shown examples of in my Wednesday night class on how pretty it was and he used Gold on them as well. Lets look a few more details about the extravagant temple.

 

1 Kings 6:29 Then he carved all the walls of the temple all around, both the inner and outer sanctuaries, with carved figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers.30 And the floor of the temple he overlaid with gold, both the inner and outer sanctuaries.31 For the entrance of the inner sanctuary he made doors of olive wood; the lintel and doorposts were one-fifth of the wall.32 The two doors were of olive wood; and he carved on them figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold; and he spread gold on the cherubim and on the palm trees.33 So for the door of the sanctuary he also made doorposts of olive wood, one-fourth of the wall.34 And the two doors were of cypress wood; two panels comprised one folding door, and two panels comprised the other folding door.35 Then he carved cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers on them, and overlaid them with gold applied evenly on the carved work.36 And he built the inner court with three rows of hewn stone and a row of cedar beams.

 

Once again we see just how pretty Solomon made this temple and how made sure that it was decorated with carved flowers, cherubims and palm trees and more and more Gold. There only one thing that missing from this temple and that was the veil that was suppose to cover the holy of hollies. Now based on what information we are given here on the temple apparently he left the veil out. Now when the temple gets rebuilt latter on history they have the veil in place.

 

1 Kings 6:37 In the fourth year the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid, in the month of Ziv.38 And in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, (bool) which is the eighth month, the house was finished in all its details and according to all its plans. So he was seven years in building it.

 

Now specifically it took 7 Ĺ years for him to complete this huge project and wish I knew how much it cost to do so. One writer stated that if the temple was build today at rate of 100 per day per worker that it would have cost 28 Billion dollars in labor alone and of course this doesnít include any of the costly materials that were put into the temple.

 

So in conclusion we looked at Solomonís administration, and how he was in a great time of peace. We looked at his agreement he had with King Hiram and how he built that extravagant temple that his father wanted build for the Godís ark.