2 Chronicles 8

2 Chronicles 8 again recalls the completion of twenty years of construction.  “Solomon had built the house of the Lord and his own house”.  It was done, and now he moves on to rebuilding the cities that Hiram had given to him so there was a place for the people of Israel to settle.  He captured and then rebuilt cities for his people.  They were created to do different things. Some were “fortified cities with walls, gates, and bars….and all the store cities….and all the cities for his chariots and the cities for his horsemen”.  Solomon was now focused on creating a place for the people.  The big projects were complete, now it it time to focus on living.

He had captured lots of people groups along the way.  “The Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not of Israel, from their descendants who were left after them in the land, whom the people of Israel had not destroyed – these Solomon drafted as forced labor”.  Solomon had taken over a lot of territory and now had these people as resources to serve his kingdom.  They became slaves to serve him and the people of Israel, but none of the people of Israel were made into slaves.  Only those from the outside.

He did leverage the people of Israel in his kingdom though.  “They were soldiers, and his officers, the commanders of his chariots, and his horsemen. And these were the chief officers of King Solomon, 250, who exercised authority over the people”.  Solomon created a leadership structure based on the people of Israel.  There were many involved, but all of them were his people, not outsiders brought in to lead.  He put them in power and let them care for the kingdom.  He had many that were relied upon.  Along the twenty year building process, he had relied on many to direct that as well.  And now scripture tells us “Thus was accomplished all the work of Solomon from the day the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid until it was finished”.  Solomon has gotten the job done.  Not by himself – in fact there were tens of thousands of workers involved for decades – but he led the project and kept them focused.  He has completed this part of the task.

We do see a little bit of Solomon’s personal life here as well.  “Solomon brought Pharaoh’s daughter up from the city of David to the house that he had built for her”.  He was busy leading the kingdom, but he didn’t forget his wife.  He moves her to their new palace saying “My wife shall not live in the house of David king of Israel, for the places to which the ark of the Lord has come are holy”.  Solomon’s marriage to Pharaohs’ daughter was the first of a number of unwise marriages he entered into.  He is admitting here that she is an unbeliever and making adjustment for that.  It leads to his downfall over time.  For now though, he is still attempting to keep his relationship with God, even though his marriage is pulling him away.  “Then Solomon offered up burnt offerings to the Lord

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