The Lord Appears to Solomon (9:1–9)
We may well be amazed at Solomon’s fall: How could such a wise and godly man fall into such idolatry and sin? But let us not be amazed. The more successful in ministry we become, the greater the danger to our spiritual lives. What happened to Solomon has happened to innumerable leaders ever since—including Christian leaders. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! (1 Corinthians 10:12).
Solomon’s Other Activities (9:10–28)
(2 Chronicles 8:1–18)
10–14 Here the writer mentions Solomon’s further dealings with Hiram. Hiram had sent four tons of gold to Solomon (verse 14), and in payment (or as surety) Solomon gave to Hiram twenty towns in Galilee in northern Israel (verse 11). Hiram called the towns the Land of Cabul, which means “good-for-nothing land” (verse 13). Later Hiram gave the towns back to Solomon (2 Chronicles 8:1–2); in return, Solomon presumably paid back the gold he had gotten from Hiram.
15–24 These verses give an account of some of Solomon’s additional building projects and also his use of slave labor. The slave laborers were taken from the original Canaanite peoples living in the land whom the Israelites had been unable to exterminate (verse 21)—or destroy . . . totally,as Moses had commanded the Israelites to do (Deuteronomy 7:1–2).
One building project was the reconstruction of the Canaanite town of Gezer, which Pharaoh had destroyed and then given to his daughter, Solomon’s wife (1 Kings 3:1). Solomon also built supporting terraces (verses 15,24); these terraces were designed to support the walls of Jerusalem, which ran along the top of steep slopes.
25 Solomon was faithful in celebrating the three annual festivals, which all male Israelites were required to attend (Exodus 23:14–17). Additional details concerning Solomon’s religious activities are described in 2 Chronicles 8:12–15.
26–28 With the help of Hiram, Solomon built up a fleet of sailing ships in order to enhance Israel’s commerce and wealth. On one trading trip to Ophir (location uncertain), Solomon obtained approximately fifteen tons of gold! (verse 28).