1 Kings 4
Solomon’s Royal Court and Administrators1King Solomon ruled over all Israel. 2These were his officials:
Azariah son of Zadok was the priest.
3 Elihoreph and Ahijah, the sons of Shisha, wrote down what happened. ▼
▼ Heb “were scribes”; NASB, NIV, NRSV “secretaries”; TEV, NLT “court secretaries.”
Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was in charge of the records.
4 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was commander of ▼ the army.
Zadok and Abiathar were priests.
5 Azariah son of Nathan was supervisor of ▼ the district governors.
Zabud son of Nathan was a priest and adviser to ▼
▼ Heb “close associate of”; KJV, ASV, NASB “the king’s friend” (a title for an adviser, not just an acquaintance).the king.
6 Ahishar was supervisor of the palace. ▼
▼ Heb “over the house.”
Adoniram son of Abda was supervisor of ▼ the work crews. ▼
▼ The work crews. This Hebrew word (מַס, mas) refers to a group of laborers conscripted for royal or public service.
7 Solomon had twelve district governors appointed throughout Israel who acquired supplies for the king and his palace. Each was responsible for one month in the year. 8These were their names:
Ben-Hur was in charge of the hill country of Ephraim.
9 Ben-Deker was in charge of Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth Shemesh, and Elon Beth Hanan.
10 Ben-Hesed was in charge of Arubboth; he controlled Socoh and all the territory of Hepher.
11 Ben-Abinadab was in charge of Naphath Dor. (He was married to Solomon’s daughter Taphath.)
12 Baana son of Ahilud was in charge of Taanach and Megiddo, ▼ as well as all of Beth Shan next to Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth Shan to Abel Meholah and on past Jokmeam.
13 Ben-Geber was in charge of Ramoth Gilead; he controlled the tent villages of Jair son of Manasseh in Gilead, as well as the region of Argob in Bashan, including sixty large walled cities with bronze bars locking their gates.
14 Ahinadab son of Iddo was in charge of Mahanaim.
15 Ahimaaz was in charge of Naphtali. (He married Solomon’s daughter Basemath.)
16 Baana son of Hushai was in charge of Asher and Aloth.
17 Jehoshaphat son of Paruah was in charge of Issachar.
18 Shimei son of Ela was in charge of Benjamin.
19 Geber son of Uri was in charge of the land of Gilead (the territory which had once belonged to King Sihon of the Amorites and to King Og of Bashan). He was sole governor of the area.
Solomon’s Wealth and Fame20 The people of Judah and Israel were as innumerable as the sand on the seashore; they had plenty to eat and drink and were happy. 21[Heb. 5:1] ▼
▼ Beginning with 4:21, the verse numbers through 5:18 in the English Bible differ from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 4:21 ET = 5:1 HT, 4:22 ET = 5:2 HT, etc., through 5:18 ET = 5:32 HT. Beginning with 6:1 the numbering of verses in the English Bible and the Hebrew text is again the same.Solomon ruled all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River ▼ to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. These kingdoms paid tribute as Solomon’s subjects throughout his lifetime. ▼
▼ Heb “[They] were bringing tribute and were serving Solomon all the days of his life.”22Each day Solomon’s royal court consumed ▼
▼ Heb “the food of Solomon for each day was.”thirty cors ▼
▼ As a unit of dry measure a cor was roughly equivalent to six bushels.of finely milled flour, sixty cors of cereal, 23ten calves fattened in the stall, ▼
▼ The words “in the stall” are added for clarification; note the immediately following reference to cattle from the pasture.twenty calves from the pasture, and a hundred sheep, not to mention rams, gazelles, deer, and well-fed birds. 24His royal court was so large because ▼
▼ Heb “because.” The words “his royal court was so large” are added to facilitate the logical connection with the preceding verse.he ruled over all the kingdoms west of the Euphrates River from Tiphsah ▼
▼ Tiphsah. This was located on the Euphrates River.to Gaza; he was at peace with all his neighbors. ▼
▼ Heb “for he was ruling over all [the region] beyond the River, from Tiphsah to Gaza, over all the kingdoms beyond the River, and he had peace on every side all around.”25All the people of Judah and Israel had security; everyone from Dan to Beer Sheba enjoyed the produce of their vines and fig trees throughout Solomon’s lifetime. ▼
▼ Heb “Judah and Israel lived securely, each one under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan to Beer Sheba, all the days of Solomon.”26Solomon had 4,000 ▼ stalls for his chariot horses and 12,000 horses. 27The district governors acquired supplies for King Solomon and all who ate in his royal palace. ▼
▼ Heb “everyone who drew near to the table of King Solomon.”Each was responsible for one month in the year; they made sure nothing was lacking. 28Each one also brought to the assigned location his quota of barley and straw for the various horses. ▼
▼ Heb “barley and straw for the horses and the steeds they brought to the place which was there, each according to his measure.”
29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment; the breadth of his understanding ▼
▼ Heb “heart,” i.e., mind. (The Hebrew term translated “heart” often refers to the mental faculties.)was as infinite as the sand on the seashore. 30Solomon was wiser than all the men of the east and all the sages of Egypt. ▼
▼ Heb “the wisdom of Solomon was greater than the wisdom of all the sons of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt.”31He was wiser than any man, including Ethan the Ezrahite or Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol. He was famous in all the neighboring nations. ▼
▼ Heb “his name was in all the surrounding nations.”32He composed ▼
▼ Heb “spoke.”3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs. 33He produced manuals on botany, describing every kind of plant, ▼
▼ Heb “he spoke about plants.”from the cedars of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows on walls. He also produced manuals on biology, describing ▼
▼ Heb “he spoke about.”animals, birds, insects, and fish. 34People from all nations came to hear Solomon’s display of wisdom; ▼
▼ Heb “the wisdom of Solomon.”they came from all the kings of the earth who heard about his wisdom.
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