Scripture reading – 1 Kings 9; 2 Chronicles 8)

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

1 Kings 9

The Answer to Solomon’s Prayer (1 Kings 9:1-9)

With the Temple and palace finished, the LORD again appeared to Solomon (1 Kings 9:2) and reaffirmed His covenant with his father, King David. The LORD promised to bless Solomon if he would be a man of “integrity [pure; innocent] of heart, and in uprightness [honesty; a straight path], to do according to all that [the LORD had] commanded… [to] keep my statutes [ordinances; laws] and my judgments [sentence]” (1 Kings 9:4). God promised His blessings and favor on Solomon’s lineage if He honored and obeyed Him (1 Kings 9:5).

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” [destroyed] (1 Kings 9:6-7). Indeed, the ruins of the Temple would become a “proverb and a byword” to those who passed by (1 Kings 9:8). The destruction would serve as a lasting reminder of how Israel forsook the LORD and invited God’s judgment upon the nation (1 Kings 9:9).


A Dispute Between Solomon and Hiram (1 Kings 9:10-14)


1 Kings 9:10-14 provides a passing event between Solomon and Hiram, the king of Tyre. Perhaps to pay a debt of gratitude owed for construction materials and skilled laborers for the Temple, Solomon gifted Hiram twenty cities in Galilee of northern Israel. However, Hiram felt slighted by the lowly appearance of the towns and returned them, for we read, “they pleased him not” (1 Kings 9:12; 2 Chronicles 8:2).


Solomon’s Builders and Building Projects (1 Kings 9:15-25; 2 Chronicles 8:4-10)


Solomon built and fortified walled cities (1 Kings 9:15-21) that required him to tax the people (1 Kings 9:15). Additional cities were made to serve as storehouses for grain and military outposts for Israel (1 Kings 9:19). Many of Israel’s enemies remained in the land. Solomon put them to work under servitude to him (1 Kings 9:20-21).


Militarily, the king employed men of Israel to serve as soldiers, civil servants, leaders, and military leaders (1 Kings 9:22). There were also five hundred fifty men of Israel who served as supervisors of Solomon’s projects (1 Kings 9:23).


Solomon wisely moved his Egyptian wife, Pharaoh’s daughter, from David’s palace because it was located near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (1 Kings 9:16, 24; 2 Chronicles 8:11).


Solomon’s Fleet of Trade Ships (1 Kings 9:26-28; 2 Chronicles 8:18)


Solomon also built a fleet of trade ships. His friend Hiram sent men of Tyre who had “knowledge of the sea” to assist Solomon’s servants and engage Israel in maritime trade with other nations (1 Kings 9:26-28; 2 Chronicles 8:17-18).

2 Chronicles 8

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

2 Chronicles 8 concludes by noting Solomon’s various sacrifices and his observance of the feast days: the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles (2 Chronicles 8:13). Solomon carefully followed his father David’s organizational plan for those who served in the Temple (2 Chronicles 8:14).

Closing thoughts

Let’s remember Solomon’s commitment to the LORD, his faithful observance of the sacrifices and feasting days according to the Law (2 Chronicles 8:12-13). The king prioritized worship by assuring the priests and Levites would perform their duties and faithfully lead the people to praise the LORD and sing the Psalms (2 Chronicles 8:14-15).


Questions to ponder –

1) When did the LORD appear to Solomon a second time? (1 Kings 9:1-2)

2) What were the conditions for God to fulfill His covenant with David and Solomon? (1 Kings 9:3)

3) What were the consequences if Solomon or his lineage failed to obey God’s commandments? (1 Kings 9:6-9)

4) Why did Solomon move his Egyptian wife from his father David’s palace? (2 Chronicles 8:11)

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith 

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