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the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
1 Kings 9

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-28

First Kings chapter nine as we begin our study in the Word this evening.

At the beginning of Solomon's reign, the Lord appeared unto him while he was in Gibeon, there offering sacrifices unto God. And the Lord basically said to Solomon, "Ask me whatever you want."

So Solomon asked that the Lord would give him wisdom and understanding that he might govern over this glorious people of God. And God was pleased with the request that Solomon made. Because he didn't ask for riches, or the life of his enemies, or for fame, the Lord said, "Because you have asked that you might just have wisdom and understanding, I'm going to give you what you have asked. But I'm going to give you even more than that. I'm going to give you honor and fame and riches and all in abundance."

So as we get to the ninth chapter, we find the Lord appearing to Solomon the second time. Solomon has now completed the temple, which took him seven years to build and he has also completed his own palace, which took him thirteen years to build. So the twenty-year building project is over and the Lord now is appearing unto Solomon who has, of course, gained in fame and stature and notoriety through the world for his marvelous wisdom and the glories of the kingdom that he has established.

And so when he was finished the building,

The LORD came to him the second time, even as he appeared to him in Gibeon. And the LORD said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, which you have made before me: and I have hallowed this house, which you have built, to put my name there for ever; and my eyes and my heart shall be there perpetually ( 1 Kings 9:2-3 ).

Now the Lord is referring to the prayer of dedication of Solomon that we studied last week in the eighth chapter. After he finished the temple, he prayed this glorious prayer of dedication as he asked the Lord to keep His eye upon this house continually. And if the people would get into trouble, if there would be plagues in the land, if there would be a war, if they were taken captives, whatever, then as the people would pray and seek the Lord in this house, that the Lord would hear and answer and meet their needs.

And so the Lord answers Solomon concerning the prayer of dedication and He acknowledges the fact that He has heard his prayer.

And the Lord said,

If you will walk before me, as David your father walked, in the integrity of heart, and uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and you will keep my statutes and my judgments: Then I will establish the throne of your kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David your father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel ( 1 Kings 9:4-5 ).

Again I would like to point out the fact that it is a conditional promise. "If thou will walk before me as David your father did, then I will establish your throne forever." It was a conditional promise of God, which they failed to keep the condition. Thus God was not obligated to keep the promise.

Now as I pointed out, the group known as British Israelites, those who tried to identify the Anglo-Saxon races as the ten lost tribes of Israel, they made a big point that God made a perpetual covenant with David that there would never cease one from his family sitting upon the throne. And it is their premise that the queen of England today is a direct descendant of David because God kept His promise. And that Jeremiah had slipped out of Israel at the time of the Babylonian captivity, took one of the princes to Egypt and then later went to England and established a colony there in England and that the Anglo-Saxon people are in reality a part of the ten lost tribes of Israel. And they have a lot of, you know, things that they go through to try to prove their points. But God's promise to Solomon was a conditional promise. The conditions, which of course, Solomon failed to keep.

The Lord said,

But if [here again, if] ye shall turn from following me, or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them: Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among the people: And at this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they'll say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and to this house? And they shall answer, Because they forsook the LORD their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and they have worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath the LORD brought upon them this evil ( 1 Kings 9:6-9 ).

So the conditional promise; "if you'll obey Me, if you'll follow Me, then there'll never cease one from your family sitting upon the throne. But if you or your children forsake Me, then Israel will be actually cut out of the land." So because they did forsake the Lord, they were cut out of the land. And God kept His word that He gave to Solomon.

Now I would like to just point out one thing at this point, and that is, a lot of times there come warnings from the Lord to us by various means. And quite often when God speaks, we think, "Oh, that's not necessary to talk to me about that, Lord, you know that's one area where I just don't have any problem." But let me suggest whenever God speaks to you about any area of your life, you listen carefully because God doesn't waste words. And if He talks to you about some issue in your life, you can be sure that's the issue where you're going to be facing problems down the road.

Now I'm sure that here is Solomon, he has just dedicated the temple, it's been a very moving experience. They'll had all kinds of sacrifices. Everybody is rejoicing and worshipping the Lord, praising Jehovah, and just, it's a glorious time of worship and exultation. And now the Lord comes and Solomon is there and has prayed. And now the Lord is speaking and the Lord says, "Solomon, if you will follow Me and all, then I will establish your throne. But if you forsake Me and you start to worship other gods," and I'm sure at this point Solomon is saying, "Oh, Lord, You don't need to tell me about that. Oh, Lord, how could I ever do that?" You know. And yet it is the very thing. And all the way through the Scriptures, it is interesting how that the Lord always seems to warn people in those areas where they are going to be tested and tried further down the road.

So pay attention when God speaks to you no matter how remote it may seem at that minute that you would ever be tempted or have problems at that area. No matter how confident you may be in that particular area, if God starts to talk to you about some particular area of your life, you be careful and listen. The Bible says, "Take heed when you think you stand lest you fall" ( 1 Corinthians 10:12 ).

For you see, where I am confident, and I think, "Well, I've got that wired, I don't have to worry about this area," is an area where I'm prone to trust in myself. I'm prone to be self-reliant in those areas because I think, "Well, that's something that I really am strong in that area. Paul said, "when I am strong, then I am weak" and "I will glory in my weaknesses, that the power of God might be revealed in me" ( 2 Corinthians 12:9 ). So usually Satan will not trip us up in our weak points because in those points, we know that we have to depend upon the Lord. It's quite often a person falls in that area where he has great confidence. He feels very strong and very confident in this particular area. And that is the area where Satan so often trips us up. So listen when God talks to you no matter how it may seem unnecessary to you at the particular moment. The Lord knows what He's talking about.

Now it came to pass after the time that he had built all of the house and so forth, Hiram the king of Tyre had furnished him with all of the cedar trees and with gold, according to all of his desire. And so Solomon gave to him twenty cities of the area of the upper Galilee and around the Sea of Galilee. He gave to as just sort of a gift twenty cities in that beautiful area of the Galilee, in the upper Galilee.

And Hiram came and looked at the cities; and he was displeased with them ( 1 Kings 9:12 ).

Now I don't understand why, it's such a beautiful area, and yet Hiram was displeased with the cities that Solomon gave him.

He says, What are these cities that you have given to me, my brother? And he called them Cabul ( 1 Kings 9:13 ).

Or displeasing, "Cabul". It's not pleasing.

So Hiram sent to the king sixty talents of gold. And this is the reason of the levy which king Solomon raised; to build the house of the LORD, and his own house, the wall of Jerusalem, he built the cities of Hazor, Millo, Megiddo, Gezer ( 1 Kings 9:14-15 ).

For his father-in-law actually to give him a present. Sent his troops up, captured Gezer and then gave it to Solomon as a present. And it tells of the cities that Solomon established and built. The cities to store all of his goods, the horses, the chariots, and all. Remember he had forty thousand horses.

And so he made slaves of all of the remnant of the people who lived in the land before the children of Israel came in. But of the Israelites, he did not make slaves. And so Solomon then built the Pharaoh's daughter a special city. She evidently didn't care too much for Jerusalem so he built a city for her, the city of Millo.

And three times in a year ( 1 Kings 9:25 ).

That would be the great feast days.

Solomon offered burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar which he built before the LORD. And Solomon made [developed] a navy [and he sort of based the navy down] in the area of Eloth ( 1 Kings 9:25-26 ).

And the navy would head on down to Africa where they would collect gold and bring it back and Solomon made gold as just everything around Israel. It became just the golden capital of the world.

Silver, it says, was as common as rock. He didn't really put much value into silver. He really had a thing for gold and so he gathered gold from all over and brought it into the land.


Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 1 Kings 9". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/1-kings-9.html. 2014.
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