The American Wisdom Series
Caution to students of God's Word - Please remember two things when using our studies: #1. Our commentary is not God's Word. It is only our interpretation or understanding of "His Word" and even though we try our best to be accurate we may or may not be correct. #2. The King James translation, or any other translation, of the original Hebrew text has some words which were given different translations at different places probably because of the interpreters preconceived ideas of what they think God meant to say. For example: According to the notes in the "Drake's Annotated Reference Bible" the Hebrew word hayah in the KJV is Trans. (became) 67 times, (becamest or came to pass) 505 times, (become) 66 times, and (come to pass) 131 times, but for some reason in Genesis 1:2 it is translated (was)! That sure changes the way a person perceives the original creation of the earth, doesn't it? Gen. 1:2 And the earth was (became) without form, ... Having said that, let us continue with our "Key Knowledge" lessons. These are pamphlets containing knowledge, we believe, you must have to fully and accurately unlock and understand the Word of God.
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.  He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
This Bible Study was originally written by Roger
published at http://www.theseason.org/
Without the leading by the Holy Spirit, there is no understanding of the truths, for all the truth of the Scriptures are revealed to us by God's Spirit.
Now here is our revised study of:
"Solomon's Dominion and Riches."
I Kings 4:1 "So King Solomon was king over all Israel."
Solomon reigned over the house of Israel before the Judah and Benjamin split off to become a seperate nation after Solomon's death. The house of Israel being the ten tribes to the north, and the house of Judah included only the tribe of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin with a small part of the tribe of Levi mixed in became the house of Judah.
I Kings 4:2 "And these were the princes which he had; Azariah the son of Zadok the priest,"
Azariah became the assistant to the chief priest, the second in command.
I Kings 4:3 "Elihoreph and Ahiah, the sons of Shisha, scribes; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, the recorder."
Elihoreph and Ahiah were the men assigned to keep the records, much like the city and county clerks of our day. While on the other hand, Jehoshaphat was assigned the duty of keeping the running law records, like the records in our law courts.
I Kings 4:4 "And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the host: and Zadok and Abiathar were the priests:"
Benaiah became the general over the king's guard, those guards that protected Solomon, while Zadok and Abiathar shared the duties of the two high priests. This was necessary to have two high priests, because the Temple had not been built yet, and they had one place of worship in Jerusalem at the place of the Ark of the covenant, the center of activity, and the Capitol, while the other location served was at the high place at Gibeon where most of the sacrifices were made.
I 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 king's friend is the one that the king could always rely on for telling it as it truly was. Zabud was a friend of Solomon, and played the same role as Hushai had played in David's court.
I Kings 4:6 "And Ahishar was over the household: and Adoniram the son of Abda was over the tribute."
While Ahishar ruled over Solomon's household, the servants and the duties of the household; Adoniram became the head of the collecting of taxes. He was the treasure of Israel, and the chief tax collector. This then was the cabinet of Solomon's kingdom. Now we go into the officers of the entire nation.
I 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."
All the people were taxed equally, no matter what tribe they came from. Each tribe was responsible for collecting and providing the capitol city and the king with the necessary funds to allow it to function. Each tribe was assigned one month out of the year to bring their portion to the palace. January was assigned to one tribe, February to another, and so on. That assigned month was the only month that your tribe was responsible for bring the taxes to Jerusalem. Of course there were local taxes also collected all through the year.
Spiritual speaking, God always places twelve heads to govern, where Satan places ten. So these are the names of the twelve officers over each of the twelve tribes of Israel. One from each tribe. Five of these men do not have their given name recorded.
I Kings 4:8 "And these are their names: The son of Hur, in mount Ephraim:"
This is the first place where the officer of one of the tribes was not named. This is the tribe of Ephraim, and his name would be "Ben" [son of] "Hur". This is done in other languages also, for in the celtic tongue, of the Irish tongue, the name is "Mac" or "Mc" before the family name. Such as McDonald, McMillian and so on. So the man appointed to this position of leadership was "Ben Hur"
I Kings 4:9 "The son of Dekar, in Makaz, and in Shaalbim, and Beth-shemesh, and Elon-beth-hanan:"
So this man would be "Ben Dekar", and he was over the tribe of Dan.
I Kings 4:10 "The son of Hesed, in Aruboth; to him pertained Sochoh, and all the land of Hepher:"
These are the lands of tribes of Judah and Simeon.
I Kings 4:11 "The son of Abinadab, in all the region of Dor; which had Taphath the daughter of Solomon to wife:"
There is something to pay attention to here. Solomon was a youth, and he just got married to the daughter of the Egyptian Pharaoh, so where did this Taphath come from, the daughter of Solomon? This type of government was set up over the years, and it is not as it was in the beginning of Solomon's reign. This was added to the record after the temple was built and the records caught up to the events that had happened.
I 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-mehalah, even unto the place that is beyond Jokneam:"
Verses eleven and twelve cover the tribe of Manasseh, from the Mediterranean Sea, all the way east to the Jordan river. Remember also that Manasseh was also given land east of the Jordan, and this is because of the huge numbers in that tribe.
I 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:"
I Kings 4:14 "Ahinadab the son of Iddo had Mahanaim:"
Verses thirteen and fourteen then are the tax collectors over Manasseh east of the Jordan, the other half of that tribe.
I Kings 4:15 "Ahamaaz was in Naphtali; he also took Basmath the daughter of Solomon to wife:"
This was another son in law of Solomon that became the officer over the tribe of Naphtali.
The government was established to be fair and each tribe and district had fair and equal representation. There will be peace in all the land for many years under the reign king Solomon.
I Kings 4:16 "Baanah the son of Hushai was in Asher and in Aloth:"
I Kings 4:17 "Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in Issachar:"
I Kings 4:18 "Shimei the son of Elah, in Benjamin:"
I 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."
Geber was the only officer in the land of Bashan, east of the Jordan river. This was the land assigned by Joshua partly to Reuben and part to Gad.
The government was divided in such a manner, that the delegating of authority made it possible for Solomon to rule over the land, with a great deal of ease. It didn't matter how great the number of people became, each district, each tribe were equally represented at the throne of Solomon. This is much the same method that we have our states, counties and towns of governments divided today. It's equal representation and taxation.
I Kings 4:20 "Judah and Israel were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking, and making merry."
This then starts the summery of details of Solomon's great kingdom; His provision and methods of taxation and the government itself.
I 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."
I Kings 4:22 "And Solomon's provisions for one day was thirty measures of fine flour, and threescore measures of meal,"
I Kings 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."
I 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."
I Kings 4:25 "And Judah of Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, all the days of Solomon."
I Kings 4:26 "And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen."
I 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 lacking nothing."
I 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."
I 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."
I Kings 4:30 "And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt."
I 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."
I Kings 4:32 "And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five."
I 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."
I 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."
After Solomon had straightened out the kingdom, and brought peace to the kingdom, it was time for Solomon to build the Temple. God promised David that one of his sons would build the temple, but he would not. So now that Solomon became king, that lot fell on Solomon. So the next chapter goes into the start of the construction of the temple.
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