A Summary of Solomon’s First Twenty Years (1 Kings 9; 2 Chronicles 8)

Scripture reading – 1 Kings 9; 2 Chronicles 8

Today’s Scripture reading records a summary of the first twenty years of Solomon’s reign as the king of Israel. 1 Kings 9 and 2 Chronicles 8 are parallel passages of the same events.

1 Kings 9

With the Temple and palace finished, the LORD appeared to Solomon a second time (1 Kings 9:2), and reaffirmed His covenant with David, Solomon’s father. He promised to bless Solomon if he would be a man of “integrity [pure; innocent] of heart, and in uprightness [honesty; walking a straight path], to do according to all that [the LORD had] commanded… [to] keep [observe; heed] my statutes [ordinances; rules; laws] and my judgments [verdict]” (9:4). God promised His blessings and favor on Solomon’s lineage, if He honored and obeyed Him (9:6).

There were conditions to God’s blessings, and Solomon was warned, should he or his children disobey the Law and Commandments and turn to idols, the nation would be “cut off” (9:6-7). The ruins of the Temple would become a “proverb and a byword” (9:8), a lasting reminder to all who passed through the land of how Israel forsook the LORD, and brought God’s judgment upon the nation (9:5-9).

1 Kings 9:10-14 provides us a passing event between Solomon, and Hiram the king of Tyre. Perhaps to pay debt he owed in the cost of materials for constructing the Temple, Solomon gifted Hiram twenty cities in Galilee of northern Israel. Apparently, Hiram felt slighted by the inferiority of the cities given to him by Solomon, and we read, “they pleased him not” (9:12).

Solomon also built and fortified cities (9:15-21), requiring a taxation or levy on the people (9:15). Cities were built that served both as storehouses for grains, and as Solomon’s military outposts (9:19). Many of the children of Israel’s enemies had remained in the land, and Solomon graciously allowed them to work and live in peace (9:20-21). He wisely employed men of his own nation to serve as soldiers, civil servants, leaders, and military leaders (9:22). Five hundred-fifty men of Israel served as supervisors of Solomon’s projects (9:23).

Solomon moved his Egyptian wife from David’s palace, located near the Temple mount in Jerusalem (9:16, 24). We also learn how Hiram, king of Tyre, had assisted Solomon in building a fleet of ships, and they engaged in maritime trade with other nations (9:26-28; 2 Chronicles 8:17-18).

2 Chronicles 8

Mirroring the record of Solomon’s accomplishments recorded in 1 Kings 9, 2 Chronicles 8 repeats the feats of Solomon at the close of his twentieth year as king (8:1).

2 Chronicles 8 concludes noting the various sacrifices Solomon offered, and his observance of the feast days: the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles (8:13).

Solomon also followed his father David’s organizational plan for those who served in the Temple (8:14).

Closing thoughts – Let’s remember Solomon’s commitment to the LORD and his faithful observance of the sacrifices, and feasts days according to the Law (8:12-13). The king made worship a priority, and assured the priests and Levites would perform their duties, and faithfully lead the people in praising the LORD and singing the psalms (8:14-15).

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Copyright 2021 – Travis D. Smith