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The Lord's Answer to Solomon's Prayer
v. 1. And it came to pass, when Solomon had finished the building of the house of the Lord, which occupied seven years, and the king's house, his own palace, which occupied thirteen years, and all Solomon's desire which he was pleased to do, such public works as he undertook in various parts of his dominions,
v. 2. that the Lord appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon, 1 Kings 3:5.
v. 3. And the Lord said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication that thou hast made before Me, at the dedication of the Temple. I have hallowed this house which Thou hast built to put My name there forever; by filling the Temple with the cloud of His gracious presence He assured Solomon and all Israel of His merciful assistance; and Mine eyes and Mine heart shall be there perpetually, His eyes, to watch over His chosen people, also against their enemies, and His heart in sincere love and solicitude for their welfare.
v. 4. And if thou wilt walk before Me as David, thy father, walked, in his entire conduct, in integrity of heart, in true piety, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep My statutes and My judgments, both the precepts concerning Israel alone and those pertaining to mankind in general,
v. 5. then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel forever, as I promised to David, thy father, 2 Samuel 7:12, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.
v. 6. But if ye shall at all turn from following Me, ye or your children, for this matter concerned not only the reigning family, but the entire nation, and will not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them,
v. 7. then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them, eradicate, utterly destroy them; and this house, which I have hallowed for My name, will I cast out of My sight, reject it as a sanctuary of Jehovah; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people;
v. 8. and at this house, which is high, a very conspicuous object to all passers-by, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss, in mockery and derision; and they shall say, Why hath the Lord done thus unto this land and to this house?
v. 9. And they shall answer, Because they forsook the Lord, their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold upon other gods, and have worshiped them, and served them; therefore hath the Lord brought upon them all this evil. The threat is identical with that of Deuteronomy 28:37-45. Cf Leviticus 26:14; Joshua 23:16. Even the believers, who serve the Lord with gladness, are in need of continual admonition to remain in faith and in obedience, lest they be tempted to unfaithfulness and fall.
Solomon's Resources and Power
v. 10. And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, when Solomon's chief building operations had been brought to an end, when Solomon had built the two houses, the house of the Lord and the king's house,
v. 11. (now Hiram, the king of Tyre, had furnished Solomon with cedar-trees and fir trees, cypress-trees, and with gold, according to all his desire,) that then King Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee, in the northern part, in the mountain country of Naphtali.
v. 12. And Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given him, to make a tour of inspection; and they pleased him not, they were not located in a prosperous part of the country.
v. 13. And he said, in a tone of contempt, What cities are these which thou hast given me, my brother? And he called them the Land of Cabul (closed, without an outlet) unto this day. So the district was later spoken of by people acquainted with the transaction. Hiram restored the cities to Solomon, 2 Chronicles 8:2, who thereupon satisfied him in some other way, for their friendly relations were not disturbed.
v. 14. And Hiram sent to the king six score talents of gold, almost two and one half million dollars, evidently a loan to enable Solomon to complete his projected buildings and improvements.
v. 15. And this is the reason of the levy, literally, "as to the matter of the enforced labor," which King Solomon raised: for to build the house of the Lord, and his own house, and Millo, the fortifications, the citadel of the capital, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo, and Gezer, three cities which strategic reasons caused Solomon to fortify strongly.
v. 16. For Pharaoh, king of Egypt, had gone up, and taken Gezer, and burned it with fire, and slain the Canaanites that dwelt in the city, and given it for a present unto his daughter, Solomon's wife. This fortified city now served to safeguard the southwestern boundary of the kingdom.
v. 17. And Solomon built Gezer, and Beth-horon, the nether, toward the Philistine country,
v. 18. and Baalath, also in the neighborhood of the Philistine country, and Tadmor in the wilderness, the ancient Palmyra, on an oasis between Damascus and the Euphrates, in the land,
v. 19. and all the cities of store that Solomon had, where he had large deposits of food and war-materials, and cities for his chariots, and cities for his horsemen, the cavalry of his standing army, and that which Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, all the public improvements, and in Lebanon and in all the land of his dominion.
v. 20. And all the people that were left of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, the heathen nations which had formerly occupied Palestine, which were not of the children of Israel,
v. 21. their children that were left after them in the land, whom the children of Israel also were not able utterly to destroy, Joshua 15:63; Joshua 17:12, upon those did Solomon Levy a tribute of bond-service unto this day, pressing them into service for the menial labor connected with his projects.
v. 22. But of the children of Israel did Solomon make no bondmen, but they were men-of-war, officials of the war department, and his servants, heads of the civil bureaus, and his princes, chief officers of the army, and his captains, royal adjutants, and rulers of his chariots and his horsemen, commanders of this department of the king's army.
v. 23. These were the chief of the officers that were over Solomon's work, five hundred and fifty, which bare rule over the people that wrought in the work, superintending the erection of the public buildings and improvements.
v. 24. But Pharaoh's daughter came up out of the city of David, where she had resided until the completion of the new palace, unto her house which Solomon had built for her; then did he build Millo, the citadel intended to protect the upper city.
v. 25. And three times in a year, apparently on the three chief festivals, Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles, did Solomon offer burnt offerings and peace-offerings upon the altar which he built unto the Lord; and he burned incense upon the altar that was before the Lord, presenting his meat-offering three times a year, through the priests, as well as his burnt and peace-offering. So he finished the house, it became all that it was designed for and intended to be, a house where men could communicate with Jehovah and enter into fellowship with Him.
v. 26. And King Solomon made a navy of ships in Ezion-geber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red Sea, on the Elanitic Gulf, in the land of Edom.
v. 27. And Hiram sent in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of the sea, trained seamen, with the servants of Solomon.
v. 28. And they came to Ophir, the location of which is not definitely decided, though some facts speak for Eastern Africa, and fetched from thence gold, four hundred and twenty talents, somewhat more than eight million dollars, and brought it to King Solomon. In this way Solomon took care of the welfare and security of his people. His kingdom is a type of the eternal kingdom of Christ with its spiritual and heavenly blessings.
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on 1 Kings 9". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany