4th October 2022 – 1 Kings 4:1-6

1 Kings 4:1-6

"4 King Solomon was king over all Israel, and these were his high officials: Azariah the son of Zadok was the priest; Elihoreph and Ahijah the sons of Shisha were secretaries; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder;Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was in command of the army; Zadok and Abiathar were priests; Azariah the son of Nathan was over the officers; Zabud the son of Nathan was priest and king's friend; Ahishar was in charge of the palace; and Adoniram the son of Abda was in charge of the forced labor."


There are generally profitable lessons to be learned from even the most prosaic list of names in the Scriptures, for the Holy Spirit records nothing in vain. It is interesting, for example, to notice the contrast between the order of precedence of Solomon's officers and David's (See 2 Samuel 8:16-18 and 2 Samuel 20:23-26). Priests, scribes and recorder have precedence in Solomon's reign over the captain of the host, and this is surely symbolic of the peace of his reign in contrast to the turbulence of his father David's, and reminds us of the immortal words of the prophet, 'They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks... neither shall they learn war any more' (Isaiah 2:4). Nor is it fanciful to make this association of ideas, if we remember that Solomon was a type of Christ the Prince of peace.

Zabud, son of Nathan (not the prophet Nathan, but Nathan the brother of Solomon) is designated the king's friend - does not this open up a noble picture? Kings in olden time were not specially noted for friendships - flattery and intrigue made true friendship well-nigh im- possible in eastern courts - but here is the record of a friendship which we may well suppose to have been as intimate as that between David and Jonathan. It is a happy thought that in an environment of growing splendour and magnificence this ancient simplicity should flourish. It is not always so. Many rich and affluent people look back with wistful longing to simpler days when they were poorer in material resources but infinitely richer in the warm kindliness of true friendship. We should take good care that if riches increase they do not impoverish us in the things that really matter.