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One Kings Nine

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

1 Kings 9:1 And it came to pass, when Solomon had finished the building of the house of the LORD, and the king's house, and all Solomon's desire which he was pleased to do,

1 Kings 9:2 That the LORD appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon.

the second time. The Lord appeared to Solomon twice, presumably in a theophany (see 1 Kings 3:5). However, He also spoke to him on at least two other occasions (1 Kings 6:11; 11:11), possibly through a prophet.

1 Kings 9:3 And the LORD said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.

1 Kings 9:4 And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments:

1 Kings 9:5 Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.

promised to David. For this promise, see 2 Samuel 7:12-13.

1 Kings 9:6 But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them:

1 Kings 9:7 Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people:

1 Kings 9:8 And at this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and to this house?

1 Kings 9:9 And they shall answer, Because they forsook the LORD their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath the LORD brought upon them all this evil.

1 Kings 9:10 And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, when Solomon had built the two houses, the house of the LORD, and the king's house,

twenty years. Of these twenty years, seven were spent in building the temple and thirteen in all the buildings associated with Solomon's palace (1 Kings 6:38; 7:1).

1 Kings 9:11 (Now Hiram the king of Tyre had furnished Solomon with cedar trees and fir trees, and with gold, according to all his desire,) that then king Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee.

1 Kings 9:12 And Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given him; and they pleased him not.

1 Kings 9:13 And he said, What cities are these which thou hast given me, my brother? And he called them the land of Cabul unto this day.

What cities are these. Apparently, Hiram refused to accept these cities with which Solomon thought to repay Hiram, so Solomon later renovated them for Israel's use (2 Chronicles 8:2). Presumably Solomon repaid Hiram in some other way, but there is no mention of it in the Biblical record. As far as the name “Cabul” is concerned, Josephus rendered it as “worthless.”

1 Kings 9:14 And Hiram sent to the king sixscore talents of gold.

1 Kings 9:15 And this is the reason of the levy which king Solomon raised; for to build the house of the LORD, and his own house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo, and Gezer.

the levy. Solomon undertook numerous major construction projects, not only for the temple and his own palace, but numerous others, including the strengthening of the key cities of Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer, as well as Jerusalem (1 Kings 9:15). For this he required many thousands of laborers, and these were mostly conscripts from the large numbers of Canaanites remaining in the land (1 Kings 9:20-21). This policy, while developing Israel as never before or since, led to much resentment among the people (1 Kings 12:3-5).

Gezer. The cities mentioned in this verse were important cities during the reign of Solomon, a fact clearly confirmed by archaeological excavations at their sites.

1 Kings 9:16 For Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up, and taken Gezer, and burnt it with fire, and slain the Canaanites that dwelt in the city, and given it for a present unto his daughter, Solomon's wife.

king of Egypt. The Egyptians, although weakened for many years by the plagues under Moses and under the Hyksos invaders, had apparently become strong again by this time. They did not challenge Israel, however. In fact, Pharaoh gave Solomon his own daughter as wife, with the probable intent of forging an alliance with Israel. They also took much of the coastal area from the Philistines and the nearby coast city of Gezer, which Ephraim had never been able to conquer, from its Canaanite inhabitants, and then gave it to his daughter who had married Solomon.

1 Kings 9:17 And Solomon built Gezer, and Bethhoron the nether,

1 Kings 9:18 And Baalath, and Tadmor in the wilderness, in the land,

1 Kings 9:19 And all the cities of store that Solomon had, and cities for his chariots, and cities for his horsemen, and that which Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, and in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion.

cities for his chariots. One of Solomon's chariot cities was Megiddo (1 Kings 9:15). Excavations there have revealed numerous stalls and other facilities for horses.

1 Kings 9:20 And all the people that were left of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, which were not of the children of Israel,

1 Kings 9:21 Their children that were left after them in the land, whom the children of Israel also were not able utterly to destroy, upon those did Solomon levy a tribute of bondservice unto this day.

1 Kings 9:22 But of the children of Israel did Solomon make no bondmen: but they were men of war, and his servants, and his princes, and his captains, and rulers of his chariots, and his horsemen.

make no bondmen. This verse indicates that Solomon's levy of forced labor applied only to Canaanites, not Israelites. However, he had previously “raised a levy out of all Israel ... thirty thousand men” for work on the temple (1 Kings 5:13). These were probably Canaanites who still lived among the Israelites.

1 Kings 9:23 These were the chief of the officers that were over Solomon's work, five hundred and fifty, which bare rule over the people that wrought in the work.

1 Kings 9:24 But Pharaoh's daughter came up out of the city of David unto her house which Solomon had built for her: then did he build Millo.

build Millo. Millo was not the name of a specific town. The word apparently means an embankment, or possibly a fortification. Solomon's palace was not in Jerusalem itself, but was near the city.

1 Kings 9:25 And three times in a year did Solomon offer burnt offerings and peace offerings upon the altar which he built unto the LORD, and he burnt incense upon the altar that was before the LORD. So he finished the house.

1 Kings 9:26 And king Solomon made a navy of ships in Eziongeber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red sea, in the land of Edom.

navy of ships. This is the first reference in the Bible to a navy (the last is in the next chapter—1 Kings 10:22), and refers to a fleet of commercial vessels which contributed largely to Solomon's great prosperity. The ruins of this port, with its nearby smelters and ore deposits, have been excavated by archaeologists.

1 Kings 9:27 And Hiram sent in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon.

1 Kings 9:28 And they came to Ophir, and fetched from thence gold, four hundred and twenty talents, and brought it to king Solomon.

came to Ophir. The gold in Ophir was legendary. One talent was about as much as one man could comfortably carry (2 Kings 5:23).