5th October 2022 – 1 Kings 4:7-21

1 Kings 4:7-21

"7 Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, who provided food for the king and his household. Each man had to make provision for one month in the year. These were their names: Ben-hur, in the hill country of Ephraim;Ben-deker, in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth-shemesh, and Elonbeth-hanan;10 Ben-hesed, in Arubboth (to him belonged Socoh and all the land of Hepher); 11 Ben-abinadab, in all Naphath-dor (he had Taphath the daughter of Solomon as his wife); 12 Baana the son of Ahilud, in Taanach, Megiddo, and all Beth-shean that is beside Zarethan below Jezreel, and from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah, as far as the other side of Jokmeam; 13 Ben-geber, in Ramoth-gilead (he had the villages of Jair the son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead, and he had the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, sixty great cities with walls and bronze bars); 14 Ahinadab the son of Iddo, in Mahanaim; 15 Ahimaaz, in Naphtali (he had taken Basemath the daughter of Solomon as his wife); 16 Baana the son of Hushai, in Asher and Bealoth; 17 Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in Issachar; 18 Shimei the son of Ela, in Benjamin; 19 Geber the son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and of Og king of Bashan. And there was one governor who was over the land.

20 Judah and Israel were as many as the sand by the sea. They ate and drank and were happy. 21  Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt. They brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life."


We should not miss the import of this chronicle of the extensive boundaries of Solomon's kingdom and their administration. It means that, for the first time, Israel entered into the full possession of the territory promised them in the days of Joshua (Joshua 1:4), and indeed into the fulfilment of the promise made to Abraham in Genesis 22:17. The words in 20 clearly echo the ancient words spoken by God to His servant on Mount Moriah. It is certainly true also that during Solomon's reign, Israel rose to heights of prosperity and splendour never again attained in her history. The astonishing thing is that Solomon achieved this greatness not by military conquest but by wise administration and peaceful policy. This, to our nuclear-minded generation must seem incongruous and even ludicrous, but the magnificence and opulence of that ancient kingdom stand as a testimony to our tortured and perverted age, in which armaments swallow up the millions needed to feed a hungry world, that peace is to be sought by the help of God and not by the might of men. It is significant that what force of arms failed to accomplish for warlike David was effected by his peace-loving son through the wisdom bestowed on him by God.