King Solomon was off to a good start ruling Israel.
These were the leaders in his government: Azariah son of Zadok - the priest;
Elihoreph and Ahijah, sons of Shisha - secretaries; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud - historian;
Benaiah son of Jehoiada - commander of the army; Zadok and Abiathar - priests;
Azariah son of Nathan - in charge of the regional managers; Zabud son of Nathan - priest and friend to the king;
Ahishar - manager of the palace; Adoniram son of Abda - manager of the slave labor.
Solomon had twelve regional managers distributed throughout Israel. They were responsible for supplying provisions for the king and his administration. Each was in charge of bringing supplies for one month of the year.
These are the names: Ben-Hur in the Ephraim hills;
Ben-Deker in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth Shemesh, and Elon Bethhanan;
Ben-Hesed in Arubboth - this included Socoh and all of Hepher;
Ben-Abinadab in Naphoth Dor (he was married to Solomon's daughter Taphath);
Baana son of Ahilud in Taanach and Megiddo, all of Beth Shan next to Zarethan below Jezreel, and from Beth Shan to Abel Meholah over to Jokmeam;
Ben-Geber in Ramoth Gilead - this included the villages of Jair son of Manasseh in Gilead and the region of Argob in Bashan with its sixty large walled cities with bronze-studded gates;
Ahinadab son of Iddo in Mahanaim;
Ahimaaz in Naphtali (he was married to Solomon's daughter Basemath);
Baana son of Hushai in Asher and Aloth;
Jehoshaphat son of Paruah in Issachar;
Shimei son of Ela in Benjamin;
Geber son of Uri in Gilead - this was the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and also of Og king of Bashan; he managed the whole district by himself.
Judah and Israel were densely populated - like sand on an ocean beach! All their needs were met; they ate and drank and were happy.
Solomon was sovereign over all the kingdoms from the River Euphrates in the east to the country of the Philistines in the west, all the way to the border of Egypt. They brought tribute and were vassals of Solomon all his life.
One day's food supply for Solomon's household was: 185 bushels of fine flour 375 bushels of meal 10 grain-fed cattle 20 range cattle 100 sheep and miscellaneous deer, gazelles, roebucks, and choice fowl.
Solomon was sovereign over everything, countries and kings, west of the River Euphrates from Tiphsah to Gaza. Peace reigned everywhere.
Throughout Solomon's life, everyone in Israel and Judah lived safe and sound, all of them from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south - content with what they had.
Solomon had forty thousand stalls for chariot horses and twelve thousand horsemen.
The district managers, each according to his assigned month, delivered food supplies for King Solomon and all who sat at the king's table; there was always plenty.
They also brought to the designated place their assigned quota of barley and straw for the horses.
God gave Solomon wisdom - the deepest of understanding and the largest of hearts. There was nothing beyond him, nothing he couldn't handle.
Solomon's wisdom outclassed the vaunted wisdom of wise men of the East, outshone the famous wisdom of Egypt.
He was wiser than anyone - wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, wiser than Heman, wiser than Calcol and Darda the sons of Mahol. He became famous among all the surrounding nations.
He created three thousand proverbs; his songs added up to 1,005.
He knew all about plants, from the huge cedar that grows in Lebanon to the tiny hyssop that grows in the cracks of a wall. He understood everything about animals and birds, reptiles and fish.
Sent by kings from all over the earth who had heard of his reputation, people came from far and near to listen to the wisdom of Solomon.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)