1 Kings 4

Solomon’s Officials and Governors

1 So King Solomon ruled over all Israel.
2 And these were his chief officials: Azariah son of Zadok—the priest;
3 Elihoreph and Ahijah, sons of Shisha—secretaries; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud—recorder;
4 Benaiah son of Jehoiada—commander in chief; Zadok and Abiathar—priests;
5 Azariah son of Nathan—in charge of the district governors; Zabud son of Nathan—a priest and adviser to the king;
6 Ahishar—palace administrator; Adoniram son of Abda—in charge of forced labor.
7 Solomon 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.
8 These are their names: Ben-Hur—in the hill country of Ephraim;
9 Ben-Deker—in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth Shemesh and Elon Bethhanan;
10 Ben-Hesed—in Arubboth (Sokoh and all the land of Hepher were his);
11 Ben-Abinadab—in Naphoth Dor (he was married to Taphath daughter of Solomon);
12 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;
13 Ben-Geber—in Ramoth Gilead (the settlements of Jair son of Manasseh in Gilead were his, as well as the region of Argob in Bashan and its sixty large walled cities with bronze gate bars);
14 Ahinadab son of Iddo—in Mahanaim;
15 Ahimaaz—in Naphtali (he had married Basemath daughter of Solomon);
16 Baana son of Hushai—in Asher and in Aloth;
17 Jehoshaphat son of Paruah—in Issachar;
18 Shimei son of Ela—in Benjamin;
19 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.

Solomon’s Daily Provisions

20 The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the seashore; they ate, they drank and they were happy.
21 And Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates 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.
22 Solomon’s daily provisions were thirty cors[a] of the finest flour and sixty cors[b] of meal,
23 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.
24 For he ruled over all the kingdoms west of the Euphrates River, from Tiphsah to Gaza, and had peace on all sides.
25 During Solomon’s lifetime Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, lived in safety, everyone under their own vine and under their own fig tree.
26 Solomon had four[c] thousand stalls for chariot horses, and twelve thousand horses.[d]
27 The district governors, 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.
28 They also brought to the proper place their quotas of barley and straw for the chariot horses and the other horses.

Solomon’s Wisdom

29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore.
30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt.
31 He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations.
32 He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five.
33 He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish.
34 From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.[e]

1 Kings 4 Commentary

Chapter 4

Solomon's court. (1-19) Solomon's dominions, His daily provision. (20-28) The wisdom of Solomon. (29-34)

Verses 1-19 In the choice of the great officers of Solomon's court, no doubt, his wisdom appeared. Several are the same that were in his father's time. A plan was settled by which no part of the country was exhausted to supply his court, though each sent its portion.

Verses 20-28 Never did the crown of Israel shine so bright, as when Solomon wore it. He had peace on all sides. Herein, his kingdom was a type of the Messiah's; for to Him it is promised that he shall have the heathen for his inheritance, and that princes shall worship him. The spiritual peace, and joy, and holy security, of all the faithful subjects of the Lord Jesus, were typified by that of Israel. The kingdom of God is not, as Solomon's was, meat and drink, but, what is infinitely better, righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. The vast number of his attendants, and the great resort to him, are shown by the provision daily made. Herein Christ far outdoes Solomon, that he feeds all his subjects, not with the bread that perishes, but with that which endures to eternal life.

Verses 29-34 Solomon's wisdom was more his glory than his wealth. He had what is here called largeness of heart, for the heart is often put for the powers of the mind. He had the gift of utterance, as well as wisdom. It is very desirable, that those who have large gifts of any kind, should have large hearts to use them for the good of others. What treasures of wisdom and knowledge are lost! But every sort of knowledge that is needful for salvation is to be found in the holy Scriptures. There came persons from all parts, who were more eager after knowledge than their neighbours, to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Solomon was herein a type of Christ, in whom are hid all treasures of wisdom and knowledge; and hid for us, for he is made of God to us, wisdom. Christ's fame shall spread through all the earth, and men of all nations shall come to him, learn of him, and take upon them his easy yoke, and find rest for their souls.

Cross References 53

  • 1. 1 Kings 12:6; Job 12:12
  • 2. 1 Chronicles 6:10; 2 Chronicles 26:17
  • 3. S 2 Samuel 8:17
  • 4. S 2 Samuel 8:16
  • 5. S 2 Samuel 8:18; 1 Kings 2:35
  • 6. S 2 Samuel 8:17; 1 Kings 2:27
  • 7. S Genesis 41:40
  • 8. S 2 Samuel 20:24
  • 9. S Genesis 49:15
  • 10. ver 27
  • 11. S Joshua 24:33
  • 12. Judges 1:35
  • 13. S Joshua 15:10; Joshua 21:16
  • 14. S Joshua 15:35
  • 15. S Joshua 12:17
  • 16. S Joshua 11:2
  • 17. S Joshua 17:11; Judges 5:19
  • 18. S Joshua 3:16
  • 19. S Judges 7:22; 1 Kings 19:16
  • 20. 1 Chronicles 6:68
  • 21. S Numbers 32:41
  • 22. Numbers 32:40
  • 23. Deuteronomy 3:4
  • 24. Joshua 13:26
  • 25. 2 Samuel 15:27
  • 26. S 2 Samuel 15:32
  • 27. 1 Kings 1:8
  • 28. S Joshua 12:2
  • 29. Deuteronomy 3:8-10; S Joshua 12:4
  • 30. S Genesis 12:2; Genesis 22:17; S Genesis 32:12; 1 Kings 3:8
  • 31. 1 Chronicles 22:9
  • 32. 2 Chronicles 9:26; Ezra 4:20; Psalms 72:11; Lamentations 1:1
  • 33. S Genesis 2:14; Joshua 1:4; Psalms 72:8
  • 34. S Exodus 23:31; Genesis 15:18
  • 35. S Judges 3:15; Ezekiel 16:13; Psalms 68:29
  • 36. 1 Kings 10:5
  • 37. Nehemiah 5:18
  • 38. 2 Kings 15:16; Psalms 72:11
  • 39. S Joshua 14:15; 1 Chronicles 22:9
  • 40. S Judges 20:1
  • 41. 1 Chronicles 22:9; Jeremiah 23:6; Ezekiel 28:26; Ezekiel 39:26
  • 42. Deuteronomy 8:8; 2 Kings 18:31; Psalms 105:33; Isaiah 36:16; Jeremiah 5:17; Joel 2:22; Micah 4:4; Zechariah 3:10
  • 43. S Deuteronomy 17:16; 1 Kings 10:26; 2 Chronicles 1:14
  • 44. ver 7
  • 45. S 1 Kings 3:12
  • 46. S Genesis 32:12
  • 47. S Genesis 25:6; S Judges 6:3; Daniel 1:20; Matthew 2:1
  • 48. Isaiah 19:11; Acts 7:22
  • 49. S 1 Kings 3:12; 1 Chronicles 2:6; 1 Chronicles 6:33; 1 Chronicles 15:19; Psalms 89 Title
  • 50. Proverbs 1:1; Proverbs 10:1; Proverbs 25:1; Ecclesiastes 12:9
  • 51. Psalms 78:63; Song of Songs 1:1; Ezekiel 33:32
  • 52. S Leviticus 14:49
  • 53. 1 Kings 10:1; 2 Chronicles 9:23

Footnotes 5

  • [a]. That is, probably about 5 1/2 tons or about 5 metric tons
  • [b]. That is, probably about 11 tons or about 10 metric tons
  • [c]. Some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 2 Chron. 9:25); Hebrew "forty"
  • [d]. Or "charioteers"
  • [e]. In Hebrew texts 4:21-34 is numbered 5:1-14.

Chapter Summary


As in the preceding chapter we have a proof of the wisdom and understanding which the Lord gave to Solomon, as promised, so in this an account is given of the riches and honour he was possessed of; of him, as king over all Israel, and of his princes, 1Ki 4:1-6; of the providers of food for his household in the several parts of the land, 1Ki 4:7-19; of the largeness and extent of his dominions, and of the peace and prosperity thereof, 1Ki 4:20,21,24,25; of his daily provisions for his household and for his cattle, 1Ki 4:22,23,26-28; and of his superior wisdom and knowledge to all others in all nations, which brought some out of all to hear it, 1Ki 4:29-34.

1 Kings 4 Commentaries

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