1 Kings 4:1-5:18 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Solomon's Wisdom
Comments for Study 4

1 Kings 4:1-5:18
Memory Verse: 5:5

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I. Solomon's Officials and Governors (4:1-19)

>1. Compare Solomon's court to David's. (1-6; 2 Samuel 8:15-18, 20:23-26)

* 1 Kings 4:1-6 "So King Solomon ruled over all Israel. And these were his chief officials: Azariah son of Zadok--the priest; Elihoreph and Ahijah, sons of Shisha--secretaries; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud--recorder; Benaiah son of Jehoiada--commander in chief; Zadok and Abiathar--priests; Azariah son of Nathan--in charge of the district officers; Zabud son of Nathan--a priest and personal adviser to the king; Ahishar--in charge of the palace; Adoniram son of Abda--in charge of forced labor."

* 2 Samuel 8:15-18 "David reigned over all Israel, doing what was just and right for all his people. Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was recorder; Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were priests; Seraiah was secretary; Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Kerethites and Pelethites; and David's sons were royal advisers."

* 2 Samuel 20:23-26 "Joab was over Israel's entire army; Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Kerethites and Pelethites; Adoniram was in charge of forced labor; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was recorder; Sheva was secretary; Zadok and Abiathar were priests; and Ira the Jairite was David's priest."

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>What differences and similarities do you see?

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>2. What seems to be the only purpose of the twelve district governors? (7-19, 26-28)

* 1 Kings 4:7-19 "Solomon also had twelve district governors over all Israel, who supplied provisions for the king and the royal household. Each one had to provide supplies for one month in the year. These are their names: Ben-Hur--in the hill country of Ephraim; Ben-Deker--in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth Shemesh and Elon Bethhanan; Ben-Hesed--in Arubboth (Socoh and all the land of Hepher were his); Ben-Abinadab--in Naphoth Dor (he was married to Taphath daughter of Solomon); Baana son of Ahilud--in Taanach and Megiddo, and in all of Beth Shan next to Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth Shan to Abel Meholah across to Jokmeam; Ben-Geber--in Ramoth Gilead (the settlements of Jair son of Manasseh in Gilead were his, as well as the district of Argob in Bashan and its sixty large walled cities with bronze gate bars); Ahinadab son of Iddo--in Mahanaim; Ahimaaz--in Naphtali (he had married Basemath daughter of Solomon); Baana son of Hushai--in Asher and in Aloth; Jehoshaphat son of Paruah--in Issachar; Shimei son of Ela--in Benjamin; Geber son of Uri--in Gilead (the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and the country of Og king of Bashan). He was the only governor over the district."

* 1 Kings 4:26-28 "Solomon had four thousand stalls for chariot horses, and twelve thousand horses. The district officers, each in his month, supplied provisions for King Solomon and all who came to the king's table. They saw to it that nothing was lacking. They also brought to the proper place their quotas of barley and straw for the chariot horses and the other horses."

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>How is 1 Samuel 8:11-20 fulfilled?

* 1 Samuel 8:11-20 "He said, "This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day." 19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. "No!" they said. "We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles."

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II. Peace on All Sides (4:20-28)

>3. What was the state of the people in Israel and Judah? (20, 25)

* 1 Kings 4:20 "The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the seashore; they ate, they drank and they were happy."

* 1 Kings 4:25 "During Solomon's lifetime Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, lived in safety, each man under his own vine and fig tree."

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>What was Solomon relationship with the surrounding kingdoms? (21-24)

* 1 Kings 4:21-24 "And Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. These countries brought tribute and were Solomon's subjects all his life. Solomon's daily provisions were thirty cors of fine flour and sixty cors of meal, ten head of stall-fed cattle, twenty of pasture-fed cattle and a hundred sheep and goats, as well as deer, gazelles, roebucks and choice fowl. For he ruled over all the kingdoms west of the River, from Tiphsah to Gaza, and had peace on all sides.""

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>How is 1 Chronicles 22:8-10 fulfilled?

* 1 Chronicles 22:8-10 "But this word of the LORD came to me: 'You have shed much blood and have fought many wars. You are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.'"

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III. Solomon's Wisdom (4:29-34)

>4. What was the source of Solomon's wisdom? (29)

* 1 Kings 4:29 "God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore."

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>How did his wisdom compare with other wisdom? (30-31)

* 1 Kings 4:30-31 "Solomon's wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the men of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. He was wiser than any other man, including Ethan the Ezrahite--wiser than Heman, Calcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations."

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>5. How did Solomon use his God given wisdom? (32-33)

* 1 Kings 4:32-33 "He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. He described plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also taught about animals and birds, reptiles and fish."

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>What was the result? (34)

* 1 Kings 4:34 "Men of all nations came to listen to Solomon's wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom."

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>6. What are some of the gifts Jesus gives to his people? (1 Cor. 12:8-11)

* 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 "To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines."

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>Why does he give us these gifts? (1 Cor. 12:7)

* 1 Corinthians 12:7 "Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good."

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IV. I Intend To Build A Temple (5:1-18)

>7. Who sent a message to Solomon?

* 1 Kings 5:1 "When Hiram king of Tyre heard that Solomon had been anointed king to succeed his father David, he sent his envoys to Solomon, because he had always been on friendly terms with David."

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>How did he reply?

* 1 Kings 5:3-6 ""You know that because of the wars waged against my father David from all sides, he could not build a temple for the Name of the LORD his God until the LORD put his enemies under his feet. But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster. I intend, therefore, to build a temple for the Name of the LORD my God, as the LORD told my father David, when he said, 'Your son whom I will put on the throne in your place will build the temple for my Name.' So give orders that cedars of Lebanon be cut for me. My men will work with yours, and I will pay you for your men whatever wages you set. You know that we have no one so skilled in felling timber as the Sidonians."

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>What can we learn about Solomon's heart at this time of his reign?

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>8. How did Solomon's message affect Hiram? (7)

* 1 Kings 5:7 "When Hiram heard Solomon's message, he was greatly pleased and said, "Praise be to the LORD today, for he has given David a wise son to rule over this great nation."

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>What was his reply to Solomon?

* 1 Kings 5:8-9 "So Hiram sent word to Solomon: "I have received the message you sent me and will do all you want in providing the cedar and pine logs. My men will haul them down from Lebanon to the sea, and I will float them in rafts by sea to the place you specify. There I will separate them and you can take them away. And you are to grant my wish by providing food for my royal household."

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>9. Being that the Israelites were not lumberjacks, how was Solomon's wisdom used to get wood the temple? (10-12)

* 1 Kings 5:10-12 "In this way Hiram kept Solomon supplied with all the cedar and pine logs he wanted, and Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand cors of wheat as food for his household, in addition to twenty thousand baths this for Hiram year after year. The LORD gave Solomon wisdom, just as he had promised him. There were peaceful relations between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty."

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>10. How many men were needed? (13-16)

* 1 Kings 5:13-16 "King Solomon conscripted laborers from all Israel--thirty thousand men. He sent them off to Lebanon in shifts of ten thousand a month, so that they spent one month in Lebanon and two months at home. Adoniram was in charge of the forced labor. Solomon had seventy thousand carriers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the hills, as well as thirty-three hundred foremen who supervised the project and directed the workmen."

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>Why would a foundation be needed for the temple? (17-18; and 2 Chron. 3:1-4)

* 1 Kings 5:17-18 "At the king's command they removed from the quarry large blocks of quality stone to provide a foundation of dressed stone for the temple. The craftsmen of Solomon and Hiram and the men of Gebal cut and prepared the timber and stone for the building of the temple."

* 2 Chronicles 3:1-4 "Then Solomon began to build the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David. It was on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, the place provided by David. He began building on the second day of the second month in the fourth year of his reign. The foundation Solomon laid for building the temple of God was sixty cubits long and twenty cubits wide (using the cubit of the old standard). The portico at the front of the temple was twenty cubits long across the width of the building and twenty cubits high. He overlaid the inside with pure gold."

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>Is that foundation still there today?

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