2 Chronicles 8

2 Chronicles 8 has Solomon done with the work of building the house of the Lord.  “At the end of twenty years, in which Solomon had built the house of the Lord and his own house, Solomon rebuilt the cities that Hiram had given to him, and settled the people of Israel in them”. It took Solomon seven years to build the temple and 13 years to build his palace. He’s been hard at it for 20 years and now he moves on to the next task – to rebuild the cities that he had been given and get his people moved into them.  But that requires a whole lot of labor.

Solomon decides to use those people who were left in the area – “the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not of Israel”.  These people became slaves which “Solomon drafted as forced labor”.  Solomon’s own people were used for the work of building the temple and Solomon’s palace, but they were not forced labor.  They were often used in the management of the forced labor, but not part of the slave workforce at all.

Solomon brought Pharaoh’s daughter up from the city of David to the house that he had built for her”.  This marriage to a princess of Egypt was the first of Solomon’s many unwise marriages. These unwise marriages launched the spiritual downfall of Solomon.  Solomon tells us the reason he moved her to his new house was so she didn’t live in the house of David.  Through that Solomon admitted that his wife was an unbeliever and unholy – yet he married her anyway.  He knew he was violating God’s law.

Solomon puts the priests in place as David had laid out, and things are complete.  “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. So the house of the Lord was completed”.  Completion is a pretty big task, and is a reflection of his great wisdom and an answer to his prayer for help in leading the kingdom of Israel.  With things well at hand at home, Solomon sets off to the shore of the sea in Edom.  He led the people of Israel into new areas and opportunities.

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