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Bible Commentaries
1 Kings 4

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-34

Chapter 4

Now as we get into chapter four, we have listed here those princes that were prominent during the reign of Solomon, and then the twelve officers who were over all of Israel who provided the food for the king's household, each man in a month of the year. So he had twelve men and each of them were responsible to provide the food for one month during the year. Sounds like a pretty good job. You work one month and you have eleven months vacation. No really, they were probably trying to gather everything that they needed during the eleven months because when you read what it took to run his household.

Now, of course, remember with wives and concubines, there was a thousand of them, plus all of the servants that he had and everybody else, that takes a lot of food. So in verse twenty-two we have the provisions that it took to provide Solomon's household each day of his life.

His provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour ( 1 Kings 4:22 ),

Now a measure is about ten bushels. So three hundred bushels of fine flour a day, plus.

sixty measures of meal, [Or six hundred bushels.] Ten prime beef, and twenty commercial grade ( 1 Kings 4:22-23 ),

For the servants and the wives. Really the wives didn't have anything but just one step above the servant. Women didn't have it too well. "Ten fat oxen, twenty oxen from the pastures." So the fat would be prime; out of the pasture is just commercial where you don't, you know, feed them in the grain and so forth.

a hundred sheep, beside the harts, and the roebucks, and the fallowdeer, and the fatted fowl ( 1 Kings 4:23 ).

The turkeys and the chickens and all. Man, that really is a lot of food to be consumed in a day's time. But he did have an awful lot of mouths to feed because each of the wives were probably having children somewhere along the line.

For he had dominion over all the region on this side of the river, and over all the kings on this side of the river: and he had peace on all the sides around him ( 1 Kings 4:24 ).

The areas from which they gathered the food. If you'll look up these names, from Mount Ephraim and so forth, you'll find that actually the whole land of Israel each had its turn in providing Solomon. So one fellow was over each of the parts, even over the other side of Jordan, the area of Gilead and Moab and so forth. They also were providing for his food if you follow it through. Plus, he had forty thousand stalls for his horses. Now that sounds like an exaggeration and for a long time, people thought that the Bible had just exaggerated. Until the archaeologists began to uncover throughout the land up in Megiddo and all over the land, they've uncovered some of Solomon's stables and that hundreds of stalls in some of these cities that they have discovered so that the figure forty thousand no longer seems like an exaggeration.

Forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen. And those officers provided the food for the king Solomon, and for all that came to his table. And also the barley and the straw for the horses and the camels. And God gave the wisdom to Solomon ( 1 Kings 4:26-29 ).

And so forth which we alluded to earlier, and the many proverbs. Of course, we have the book of Proverbs. Now one of the-or many of the proverbs do deal with the discipline of children. And no doubt because Solomon observed the errors of his father David. Now Adonijah, the one son that rebelled against him that we studied in chapter one tonight, there is a verse there that David never did correct Adonijah. Never did correct him. Said, "Why do you do that, son?" Never did speak a word of correction to Adonijah.

And Adonijah, of course, later rebelled against his father David, which probably prompted Solomon to write in one of the proverbs, "A child left to himself will bring reproach to his mother" ( Proverbs 29:15 ). Or, "the foolishness of the world is bound up in the heart of the child; but the rod of instruction drives it far from him" ( Proverbs 22:15 ). Or, "Spare the rod and you will spoil the child".

"Spare the rod and spoil." My son used to think that was a commandment. He couldn't understand. He thought he was supposed to be spoiled. He says, "But the Bible says spare the rod and spoil the child." It's interesting the way people can fit the Scriptures to accommodate themselves. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 1 Kings 4". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/1-kings-4.html. 2014.
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