1 Kings 4

1 Kings 4 describes Solomon’s empire.  He was king over all Israel and had an elaborate leadership team in place to run the day to day activity in his kingdom:

  • 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
  • Adoniram the son of Abda was in charge of the forced labor

You could call this his cabinet – the men who were taking care of the overall activity of the kingdom.  Clear definition of duty and responsibilities and men who obviously were performing what needed to be done.

There were also a few other leaders at a more local level.  “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”.  So in addition to the kingdom wide team we listed above, he has these local leaders who are in charge of bringing in the items needed to make the kingdom work – food and the like.  Above them was “one governor who was over the land”.  Solomon built a very efficient organization that was well designed and functional.  His wisdom was applied first to putting his own house in order.

But that wisdom served him and his kingdom well.  “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”.  He not only had a good strategy and team in place, the people liked him.  It wasn’t a small operation.  Scripture tells us “Solomon’s provision for one day was thirty cors of fine flour and sixty cors of meal, ten fat oxen, and twenty pasture-fed cattle, a hundred sheep, besides deer, gazelles, roebucks, and fattened fowl”.  He had a lot of mouths to feed and when it was your month as one of the twelve local officers to provide for the kingdom, it was a very big job.  He had amassed a huge army that had to be cared for every day.  “Solomon also had 40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12,000 horsemen”.  This is a very big operation.

But even with all those requirements, the leadership functioned well.  “They let nothing be lacking”.  God blessed Solomon and answered his request in a powerful way.  “God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt….For he was wiser than all other men”.  How is that for an answer to prayer?  God kept His word.  He blessed Solomon with wisdom.  “He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005”.  Solomon was a very prolific writer and gave us a lot of the wisdom in scripture we read today.  But not only was his wisdom amazing, he also was well received during his life.  “People of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom”.

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