26 Aug. 1 Kings 4:7,20-34

26 Aug.  Solomon’s kingdom stretches from Egypt to the River Euphrates

“Solomon placed twelve governors over the districts of Israel, who gathered food from their districts for the king and his family. Each governor was responsible for bringing food to the king for one month of each year…”

“There were as many people in Judah and Israel as grains of sand on the seashore. The people ate, drank and were happy. Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. These countries brought Solomon the payments he demanded, and they were under his control all his life.”

“Solomon needed much food each day to feed himself and all the people who ate at his table: 6,000 litres of fine flour, 12,000 litres of grain, ten cows that were fed on good grain, 20 cows that were raised in the fields, 100 sheep, three kinds of deer, and fattened birds.”

“Solomon controlled all the countries west of the Euphrates River – the land from Tiphsah to Gaza. And he had peace on all sides of his kingdom. During Solomon’s life Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, also lived in peace; all of his people were able to sit under their own fig trees and grapevines.”

“Solomon had 4,000 stalls for his chariot horses and 12,000 horses. Each month one of the district governors gave King Solomon all the food he needed – enough for every person who ate at the king’s table. The governors made sure he had everything he needed. They also brought enough barley and straw for Solomon’s chariot and work horses; each person brought this grain to the right place.”

“God gave Solomon great wisdom so he could understand many things. His wisdom was as hard to measure as the grains of sand on the seashore. His wisdom was greater than any wisdom of the East, or any wisdom in Egypt… During his life he spoke 3,000 wise sayings and also wrote 1,005 songs… People from all nations came to listen to King Solomon’s wisdom. The kings of all nations sent them to him, because they had heard of Solomon’s wisdom.”

          (1 Kings 4:7 & 20-34)

 

 

Today’s passage describes the prosperity and security of Solomon’s kingdom – a golden age in the history of Israel.

Solomon ruled over a vast territory consisting of Judah, Israel and the surrounding vassal states under Israel’s control. This kingdom required a huge bureaucracy in order to maintain order, and a large personal household who needed large amounts of food on a daily basis.

Solomon therefore appointed twelve district governors to provide food for the royal household, one for each month of the year.

Solomon's kingdom (with the neighbouring states who paid tribute to Israel) now stretched from the River Euphrates in the east to Gaza on the border with Egypt. Solomon’s fame spread to all the surrounding nations, and men from all over the known world come to listen to Solomon’s wisdom.

Following his political treaty with Egypt (see 1 Kings 3:1), Solomon’s army took over the task of policing the main trade route along the Mediterranean coastal plain between Egypt and the Fertile Crescent of Mesopotamia. As the chief ally of Egypt, Israel adopted the technology of the day – fast armed chariots – to patrol the ‘Way of the Sea’ linking the main civilizations of east and west.

Solomon built a number of well-defended ‘chariot cities’ to house his squadrons of rapidly-deployed charioteers with their 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses (see 1 Kings 4:26 & 10:26).

The photo shows the site of one of these chariot stables at Megiddo.

You can read more about King Solomon’s chariot cities @ https://thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/31-the-golden-age-of-israel-under-king-solomon/solomon-builds-a-network-of-chariot-cities/


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