1 Kings 3 – 4

1 Kings 3

This chapter begins with a statement about Solomon’s building projects and in v 2 immediately jumps to the religious state of affairs at that time.

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.

David had pitched a tent [a tabernacle] in Jerusalem for the Ark, and God’s Mosaic Tabernacle had remained in Gibeon.

Later God brought the Ark to Jerusalem by the hand of David, because David worshiped God and  not the Ark itself.

Because David brought the Ark to Jerusalem but left the Tabernacle at Gibeon Solomon and the people were divided into worshiping God  at the Ark in Jerusalem and sacrificing at the Altar at the Tabernacle in Gibeon. 

This was a major religious political problem which was resolved by the building of a permanent Temple in Jerusalem at the place that God had commanded, at the threshing floor of Arunah. 

David teaches the history of the Tabernacle and the Ark at that time, and prophesies of the Temple. 

Psalm 78:60 So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men; 78:61 And delivered his strength [the Ark, was taken by the Philistines] into captivity, and his glory into the enemy’s hand.

David speaks of the battle of Gibeon when the Philistines defeated Israel and took the Ark.

78:62 He gave his people over also unto the sword; and was wroth with his inheritance. 78:63 The fire consumed their young men; and their maidens were not given to marriage.  78:64 Their priests fell by the sword; and their widows made no lamentation.

Then God smote the Philistines with hemorrhoids. to shame them and their crops he gave over to the vermin.

78:65  Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine.  78:66 And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts: he put them to a perpetual reproach.

Because Israel had set up the Tabernacle on a pagan high place and God had commanded his people to totally destroy all pagan high places:  God had rejected his Tabernacle and had caused the Ark to be removed OUT of that Tabernacle and taken to Jerusalem where a Temple would be built for it in the place that GOD had chosen.  Even today many thumb their noses at God in the same way by holding worship services in pagan high places [pagan places of worship].

This is a lesson for us that even if we are the House of God; he will remove himself from us if we are not zealous to live by every Word of God!

78:67 Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim:  78:68 But chose the tribe of Judah [to be the king’s tribe], the mount Zion  which he loved.  78:69 And he built his sanctuary [his temple] like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established for ever.

1 Chronicles 15:1  And David made him houses in the city of David, and prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent [David’s tent, not the Mosaic Tabernacle]

1 Chronicles 16:1   So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tent [David’s tent, not the Mosaic Tabernacle] that David had pitched for it: and they offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings before God.

2 Samuel 6:17 And they brought in the ark of the Lord, and set it in his place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it [David’s tent, not the Mosaic Tabernacle].

1 Kings 3:2 Only the people sacrificed in high places, [sacrificing wherever they wanted]  because there was no house built unto the name of the LORD, until those days.

Solomon sacrificed at Gibeon because the Altar of sacrifice was at Gibeon, while the Ark was at Jerusalem.

3:3 And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places. 3:4 And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the [Tabernacle and altar set up on the pagan high place]  great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar.

Here is the companion account:

2 Chronicles 1:3   So Solomon, and all the congregation with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the tabernacle of the congregation of God, which Moses the servant of the Lord had made in the wilderness.

1:4 But the ark of God had David brought up from Kirjathjearim to the place which David had prepared for it: for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem.

1:5 Moreover the brasen altar, that Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, he put before the tabernacle of the Lord: and Solomon and the congregation sought unto it.

1:6 And Solomon went up thither to the brasen altar before the Lord, which was at the tabernacle of the congregation, and offered a thousand burnt offerings upon it.

1:7 In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee.

Solomon was to be the instrument of replacing the Tabernacle which was polluted by being erected on a pagan high place, with a Temple at the place that God chose.  Because of Solomon’s zeal for God and the whole Word of God; God appeared to him and offered him a gift.  Oh, that all the brethren were as zealous to learn and to live by every Word of God and exalt the Eternal as Solomon sought to do at Gibeon.

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.

Oh, that we would learn that eternal spiritual greatness is a gift of God, directly proportionate to our zeal for God and his Word.

3:6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed 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.

Solomon expressed true humility before God and sought God’s wisdom to lead the people righteously according to the whole Word of God.  Oh, that our leaders and elders would do likewise, not with mere lip-service but with sincere humble and honest intent.

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. 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.

Solomon asked for spiritual understanding to discern between good and evil  in  order to lead the people by the good Word of God.

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? 3:10 And the speech pleased the LORD, that Solomon had asked this thing.

Many say that Solomon asked for wisdom; but he really asked for understanding between good and evil, to keep and to judge and lead the people according to the Word of God: And God granted Solomon’s request as a type of Jesus Christ who will lead humanity in the millennium and afterwards, according to the wisdom of the whole Word of God.

Isaiah 11:1   And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

11:2 And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;

11:3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicke.

11:5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

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; 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.

If we first seek the kingdom of God to internalize its laws and attitude within us so that we might become godly persons, then all else will be added to us in the resurrection of the chosen (Mat 6:33).

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

Eternal life is given to all those who faithfully and zealously walk in all of God’s ways to live by every Word of God.  Conversely those who walk in their own ways will NOT receive the gift of eternal life.

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.

Solomon then returned to Jerusalem and offered sacrifices before the Ark of the Covenant as well.

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.

The two whores and the child

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

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. 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.

3:19 And this woman’s child died in the night; because she overlaid it. 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.

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. 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.

Then Solomon tested the attitude of the two women.

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. 3:24 And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the king. 3:25 And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.

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.

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


1 Kings 4

The organization of the kingdom

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

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

THE RECORDER: Was a kind of minister to the king: The “recorder” was the chancellor or vizier of the kingdom. He brought all weighty matters to the notice of the king, “such as complaints, petitions, and wishes of subjects or foreigners. He also drew up papers for the king’s guidance, and prepared drafts of the royal will for the scribes. All treaties came under his oversight; and he had the care of the national archives or records, as royal historiographer, The Hebrew term was mazkir, i.e., “the mentioner,” “rememberancer”

THE SCRIBES:  During the kingdom period The scribes acted as secretaries of state, whose business it was to prepare and issue decrees in the name of the king (2 Samuel 8:17; 20:25; 1 Chronicles 18:16; 24:6; 1 Kings 4:3; 2 Kings 12:9-11; 18:18-37, etc.). 

The scribes [later called Karaites] copied the scriptures preserving and multiplying the copies, gaining for themselves distinction by their intimate acquaintance with the scripture contents. On them devolved the duty of multiplying copies of the law and of teaching it to others ( Ezra 7:6; Ezra 7:10-12; Nehemiah 8:1; Nehemiah 8:4; Nehemiah 8:9; Nehemiah 8:13 ).  

Later after the destruction of Jerusalem, the Hellenic Pharisees [modern Rabbins] developed in Babylon and Egypt and they despised the scribes, attacking them and calling them Karaites for their insistence of loyalty to the scriptures and rejecting the Rabbinic Hellenized reasoning’s.  The scribes while copying the scriptures; rejected Messiah and any understanding of the spiritual intent of the law. 

Contrary to some, the Rabbinic Jews had nothing to do with the scribes and preserving the scriptures, in fact the Rabbins were enemies of the scribes because they tried to apply their own reasoning’s to the scriptures which the scribes rejected..

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

Benaiah was commander of the armies and Zadok was high priest, while Abiathar was a deposed [for supporting Adonijah against Solomon] but still living.  Two sons of Nathan the prophet were over the king’s advisers.

4:4 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the host: and Zadok and Abiathar were the priests: 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: 4:6 And Ahishar was over the household [the activities in the palace]: and Adoniram the son of Abda was [the taxman] over the tribute.

Solomon had twelve officers, one over each of the tribes of Israel.

In the millennial kingdom David will be king over all united Israel under the king of the whole earth Jesus Christ;  and there will be twelve rulers under him, one over each of the tribes of Israel; and each tribe be ruled by one of the twelve apostles chosen for that honor by God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Luke 22:29   And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; 22:30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

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.

4:8 And these are their names: The son of Hur, in mount Ephraim: 4:9 The son of Dekar, in Makaz, and in Shaalbim, and Bethshemesh, and Elonbethhanan: 4:10 The son of Hesed, in Aruboth; to him pertained Sochoh, and all the land of Hepher: 4:11 The son of Abinadab, in all the region of Dor; which had Taphath the daughter of Solomon to wife: 4:12 Baana the son of Ahilud; to him pertained Taanach and Megiddo, and all Bethshean, which is by Zartanah beneath Jezreel, from Bethshean to Abelmeholah, even unto the place that is beyond Jokneam: 4:13 The son of Geber, in Ramothgilead; 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:

4:14 Ahinadab the son of Iddo had Mahanaim: 4:15 Ahimaaz was in Naphtali; he also took Basmath the daughter of Solomon to wife: 4:16 Baanah the son of Hushai was in Asher and in Aloth: 4:17 Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in Issachar: 4:18 Shimei the son of Elah, in Benjamin: 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.

Here we see a fore-type of the millennial kingdom of peace and prosperity.

4:20 Judah and Israel were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking, and making merry. 4:21 And Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the river [Euphrates] unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt: they brought presents, and served Solomon all the days of his life.

This daily provision was for the king’s table at which many nobles and officials were invited to eat and consult with the king.

4:22 And Solomon’s provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour, and threescore measures of meal, 4:23 Ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and an hundred sheep, beside harts, and roebucks, and fallowdeer, and fatted fowl.

Solomon's Kingdom 990 BC_thumb[2]


The Red is modern Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

Solomon ruled many places directly, and also ruled over other kings like Moab, Ammon and Syria as a small fore-type of the millennial kingdom of Davidic Israel. 

In the millennium Israel and king David will rule over these nations again, moving into them after they have been devastated by the armies of Asia coming to attack the final redoubt of the beast emperor and son of perdition at Jerusalem.

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.

4:25 And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.

Micah 4:1   But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.

4:2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

4:3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

4:4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.

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

Solomon was wiser than the men of the east who were famous for wisdom, like ancient Job and his friends.

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. 4:30 And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. 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.

It is such a shame that most of these songs and proverbs have been lost; perhaps in the millennium they will be restored?

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

Solomon also learned and wrote of the flora and fauna of his day.  To find such writings would be like finding a treasure.

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.

All who heard the reports of Solomon’s wisdom came to see if they were true; and in the millennial kingdom all nations will flow to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem to learn the wisdom of God.

Isaiah 2:2   And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord‘s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

2:4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

2:5 O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.

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.


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