1 Kings 9

The LORD Appears to Solomon

1 When Solomon had finished building the temple of the LORD and the royal palace, and had achieved all he had desired to do,
2 the LORD appeared to him a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon.
3 The LORD said to him: “I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.
4 “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws,
5 I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’
6 “But if you[a] or your descendants turn away from me and do not observe the commands and decrees I have given you[b] and go off to serve other gods and worship them,
7 then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. Israel will then become a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples.
8 This temple will become a heap of rubble. All[c] who pass by will be appalled and will scoff and say, ‘Why has the LORD done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’
9 People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the LORD their God, who brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why the LORD brought all this disaster on them.’ ”

Solomon’s Other Activities

10 At the end of twenty years, during which Solomon built these two buildings—the temple of the LORD and the royal palace—
11 King Solomon gave twenty towns in Galilee to Hiram king of Tyre, because Hiram had supplied him with all the cedar and juniper and gold he wanted.
12 But when Hiram went from Tyre to see the towns that Solomon had given him, he was not pleased with them.
13 “What kind of towns are these you have given me, my brother?” he asked. And he called them the Land of Kabul,[d] a name they have to this day.
14 Now Hiram had sent to the king 120 talents[e] of gold.
15 Here is the account of the forced labor King Solomon conscripted to build the LORD’s temple, his own palace, the terraces,[f] the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer.
16 (Pharaoh king of Egypt had attacked and captured Gezer. He had set it on fire. He killed its Canaanite inhabitants and then gave it as a wedding gift to his daughter, Solomon’s wife.
17 And Solomon rebuilt Gezer.) He built up Lower Beth Horon,
18 Baalath, and Tadmor[g] in the desert, within his land,
19 as well as all his store cities and the towns for his chariots and for his horses[h] —whatever he desired to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon and throughout all the territory he ruled.
20 There were still people left from the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites (these peoples were not Israelites).
21 Solomon conscripted the descendants of all these peoples remaining in the land—whom the Israelites could not exterminate[i] —to serve as slave labor, as it is to this day.
22 But Solomon did not make slaves of any of the Israelites; they were his fighting men, his government officials, his officers, his captains, and the commanders of his chariots and charioteers.
23 They were also the chief officials in charge of Solomon’s projects—550 officials supervising those who did the work.
24 After Pharaoh’s daughter had come up from the City of David to the palace Solomon had built for her, he constructed the terraces.
25 Three times a year Solomon sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar he had built for the LORD, burning incense before the LORD along with them, and so fulfilled the temple obligations.
26 King Solomon also built ships at Ezion Geber, which is near Elath in Edom, on the shore of the Red Sea.[j]
27 And Hiram sent his men—sailors who knew the sea—to serve in the fleet with Solomon’s men.
28 They sailed to Ophir and brought back 420 talents[k] of gold, which they delivered to King Solomon.

1 Kings 9 Commentary

Chapter 9

God's answer to Solomon. (1-9) The presents of Solomon and Hiram. (10-14) Solomon's buildings, His trade. (15-28)

Verses 1-9 God warned Solomon, now he had newly built and dedicated the temple, that he and his people might not be high-minded, but fear. After all the services we can perform, we stand upon the same terms with the Lord as before. Nothing can purchase for us liberty to sin, nor would the true believer desire such a licence. He would rather be chastened of the Lord, than be allowed to go on with ease and prosperity in sin.

Verses 10-14 Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities. Hiram did not like them. If Solomon would gratify him, let it be in his own element, by becoming his partner in trade, as he did. See how the providence of God suits this earth to the various tempers of men, and the dispositions of men to the earth, and all for the good of mankind in general.

Verses 15-28 Here is a further account of Solomon's greatness. He began at the right end, for he built God's house first, and finished that before he began his own; then God blessed him, and he prospered in all his other buildings. Let piety begin, and profit follow; leave pleasure to the last. Whatever pains we take for the glory of God, and to profit others, we are likely to have the advantage. Canaan, the holy land, the glory of all lands, had no gold in it; which shows that the best produce is that which is for the present support of life, our own and others; such things did Canaan produce. Solomon got much by his merchandise, and yet has directed us to a better trade, within reach of the poorest. Wisdom is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold, ( Proverbs 3:14 ) .

Cross References 49

  • 1. S 2 Samuel 7:2; 1 Kings 7:1; 2 Chronicles 8:6
  • 2. S 1 Kings 3:5
  • 3. S 1 Samuel 9:16; 2 Kings 19:20; 2 Kings 20:5; Psalms 10:17; Psalms 34:17
  • 4. S Exodus 20:24; S Deuteronomy 12:5
  • 5. S Deuteronomy 11:12; 1 Kings 8:29
  • 6. S Genesis 17:1
  • 7. Deuteronomy 17:20; 1 Kings 14:8; 1 Kings 15:5
  • 8. S 1 Kings 3:14; 1 Chronicles 28:9; Proverbs 4:4
  • 9. 1 Chronicles 22:10
  • 10. S 2 Samuel 7:15; 1 Kings 2:4
  • 11. Deuteronomy 28:15; 2 Samuel 7:14; 2 Kings 18:12; Jeremiah 17:27; Jeremiah 26:4; Jeremiah 32:23; Jeremiah 44:23
  • 12. 1 Kings 11:10
  • 13. Leviticus 18:24-28; Deuteronomy 4:26; S Joshua 23:13; 2 Kings 17:23; 2 Kings 25:21; Jeremiah 24:10
  • 14. Deuteronomy 12:5; Jeremiah 7:14
  • 15. Job 17:6; Psalms 44:14; Jeremiah 24:9; Joel 2:17
  • 16. S Deuteronomy 28:37; Ezekiel 5:15
  • 17. S Leviticus 26:32
  • 18. S Deuteronomy 29:24; Jeremiah 7:4-15; Matthew 23:38; Jeremiah 22:8-9
  • 19. Deuteronomy 29:25; 2 Kings 22:17; Jeremiah 5:19; Jeremiah 13:22; Jeremiah 16:11,13; Jeremiah 22:9
  • 20. S Numbers 25:3; Jeremiah 40:3; Jeremiah 44:23; Lamentations 4:12
  • 21. S Deuteronomy 31:29
  • 22. ver 14; 2 Chronicles 8:2
  • 23. Joshua 19:27
  • 24. ver 11
  • 25. Joshua 16:10; 1 Kings 5:13
  • 26. ver 24; S 2 Samuel 5:9
  • 27. Joshua 11:10-11; Joshua 19:36
  • 28. S Joshua 10:33; Joshua 17:11
  • 29. 1 Kings 3:1; Psalms 45:12; Psalms 68:29; Psalms 72:10
  • 30. S Joshua 10:10; Joshua 16:3; 2 Chronicles 8:5
  • 31. S Joshua 19:44
  • 32. ver 1; S Exodus 1:11
  • 33. S Deuteronomy 17:16; 1 Kings 4:26; 2 Chronicles 1:14; 2 Chronicles 9:25
  • 34. S Numbers 13:29
  • 35. S Joshua 11:3
  • 36. S Genesis 9:25-26
  • 37. S Joshua 15:63; Joshua 17:12; Jdg 1:21,27,29
  • 38. S Genesis 49:15; S Exodus 1:11; S Deuteronomy 20:11; Ezra 2:55,58
  • 39. S Leviticus 25:39
  • 40. 1 Kings 5:16
  • 41. S 1 Kings 3:1; 1 Kings 7:8
  • 42. 2 Samuel 5:9; 1 Kings 11:27; 2 Chronicles 32:5
  • 43. S Exodus 23:14; 2Ch 8:12-13,16
  • 44. 1 Kings 10:22; 1 Kings 22:48; 2 Chronicles 20:37; Isaiah 2:16
  • 45. S Numbers 33:35; Deuteronomy 2:8
  • 46. 2 Kings 14:22; 2 Kings 16:6
  • 47. 1 Kings 10:11; Ezekiel 27:8
  • 48. S Genesis 10:29; 1 Chronicles 29:4
  • 49. ver 14; 1Ki 10:10,11,14,21; 2 Chronicles 1:15; Ecclesiastes 2:8

Footnotes 11

  • [a]. The Hebrew is plural.
  • [b]. The Hebrew is plural.
  • [c]. See some Septuagint manuscripts, Old Latin, Syriac, Arabic and Targum; Hebrew "And though this temple is now imposing, all"
  • [d]. "Kabul" sounds like the Hebrew for "good-for-nothing."
  • [e]. That is, about 4 1/2 tons or about 4 metric tons
  • [f]. Or "the Millo" ; also in verse 24
  • [g]. The Hebrew may also be read "Tamar."
  • [h]. Or "charioteers"
  • [i]. The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
  • [j]. Or "the Sea of Reeds"
  • [k]. That is, about 16 tons or about 14 metric tons

Chapter Summary


This chapter relates a second vision Solomon had at Gibeon, in which he received an answer to his prayer in the preceding chapter, 1Ki 9:1-9 that passed between him and Hiram king of Tyre, 1Ki 9:10-14, the places that Solomon built or repaired, 1Ki 9:15-19, the Canaanitish people that became bondmen to him, and the officers he had among the children of Israel, 1Ki 9:20-23 the removal of Pharaoh's daughter to the house built for her, 1Ki 9:24. Solomon's attention to religious services, 1Ki 9:25 and the navy of ships he employed, which brought him in great riches, 1Ki 9:26-28.

1 Kings 9 Commentaries

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