An old kiln used in the construction of historic homes in the Phoenix area.

ORGANIZATION AND LOGISTICS

As Moses organized the tribes under captains, Solomon also organized the priesthood, government, and armies of Israel.  Solomon established order and wise administration for every level of life.

So king Solomon was king over all Israel.  And these were the princes which he had; Azariah the son of Zadok the priest,  Elihoreph and Ahiah, the sons of Shisha, scribes; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, the recorder.  And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the host: and Zadok and Abiathar were the priests:  And Azariah the son of Nathan was over the officers: and Zabud the son of Nathan was principal officer, and the king’s friend:  And Ahishar was over the household: and Adoniram the son of Abda was over the tribute.  1 Kings 4:1-6

And Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, which provided victuals for the king and his household: each man his month in a year made provision.  And these are their names:

  1. The son of Hur, in mount Ephraim:
  2. The son of Dekar, in Makaz, and in Shaalbim, and Bethshemesh, and Elonbethhanan:
  3. The son of Hesed, in Aruboth; to him pertained Sochoh, and all the land of Hepher:
  4. The son of Abinadab, in all the region of Dor; which had Taphath the daughter of Solomon to wife:
  5. Baana the son of Ahilud; to him pertained Taanach and Megiddo, and all Bethshean, which is by Zartanah beneath Jezreel, from Bethshean to Abelmeholah, even unto the place that is beyond Jokneam:
  6. The son of Geber, in Ramothgilead; to him pertained the towns of Jair the son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead; to him also pertained the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, threescore great cities with walls and brasen bars:
  7. Ahinadab the son of Iddo had Mahanaim:
  8. Ahimaaz was in Naphtali; he also took Basmath the daughter of Solomon to wife:
  9. Baanah the son of Hushai was in Asher and in Aloth:
  10. Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in Issachar:
  11. Shimei the son of Elah, in Benjamin:
  12. Geber the son of Uri was in the country of Gilead, in the country of Sihon king of the Amorites, and of Og king of Bashan; and he was the only officer which was in the land.    1 Kings 4:7-19

God allowed Israel peace and prosperity in this time.  Good times and celebration went with good harvests and feasts.

Judah and Israel were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking, and making merry.  And Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt: they brought presents, and served Solomon all the days of his life.  And Solomon’s provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour, and threescore measures of meal,  Ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and an hundred sheep, beside harts, and roebucks, and fallowdeer, and fatted fowl.  For he had dominion over all the region on this side the river, from Tiphsah even to Azzah, over all the kings on this side the river: and he had peace on all sides round about him.  1 Kings 4:20-24

The kingdom provided for citizens and royalty alike.  In the 1050s America was like this after escaping from the destruction of war that set most of the world back.  We enjoyed prosperity and military strength as Israel did under Solomon. 

And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.  And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.  And those officers provided victual for king Solomon, and for all that came unto king Solomon’s table, every man in his month: they lacked nothing.  Barley also and straw for the horses and dromedaries brought they unto the place where the officers were, every man according to his charge.  1 Kings 4:25-28

Solomon demonstrated the wisdom God had granted in governing and in the arts as well. 

And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore.  And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt.  For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about.  And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five.  And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.  And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom.  1 Kings 4:29-34

Solomon is known for his wisdom while he is walking close to the Lord.  He has his priorities in order, and he enjoys the rewards of a relationship with the living God.  The world doesn’t understand this kind of wisdom. 

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.  Psalm 111:10

In time Solomon will explore pleasures that take him farther from God, and this wisdom will fade a bit.  Age is not an assurance of wisdom, as I have seen many seniors defy death in their automobiles here in Arizona.  Like the strength of Samson Solomon’s wisdom is from his provider, and can be conditional.  He too will remember God in time to complete his search for wisdom. 

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS

And Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants unto Solomon; for he had heard that they had anointed him king in the room of his father: for Hiram was ever a lover of David.  And Solomon sent to Hiram, saying,  Thou knowest how that David my father could not build an house unto the name of the LORD his God for the wars which were about him on every side, until the LORD put them under the soles of his feet.  But now the LORD my God hath given me rest on every side, so that there is neither adversary nor evil occurrent.  And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name.  1 Kings 5:1-5

God may have been announcing his son the Messiah who built his house of living stones.  But Solomon is willing to build a house for his day as well.  He and Hiram begin planning for the big construction project.

Now therefore command thou that they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon; and my servants shall be with thy servants: and unto thee will I give hire for thy servants according to all that thou shalt appoint: for thou knowest that there is not among us any that can skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians.  And it came to pass, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly, and said, Blessed be the LORD this day, which hath given unto David a wise son over this great people.  And Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, I have considered the things which thou sentest to me for: and I will do all thy desire concerning timber of cedar, and concerning timber of fir.  My servants shall bring them down from Lebanon unto the sea: and I will convey them by sea in floats unto the place that thou shalt appoint me, and will cause them to be discharged there, and thou shalt receive them: and thou shalt accomplish my desire, in giving food for my household.  So Hiram gave Solomon cedar trees and fir trees according to all his desire.  1 Kings 5:6-10

The temple is under construction and the project is in order.  The work crews are selected and dispatched to the worksites.

And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food to his household, and twenty measures of pure oil: thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year.  And the LORD gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him: and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and they two made a league together.  And king Solomon raised a levy out of all Israel; and the levy was thirty thousand men.  And he sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month by courses: a month they were in Lebanon, and two months at home: and Adoniram was over the levy.  And Solomon had threescore and ten thousand that bare burdens, and fourscore thousand hewers in the mountains;  Beside the chief of Solomon’s officers which were over the work, three thousand and three hundred, which ruled over the people that wrought in the work.  And the king commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house.  And Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders did hew them, and the stonesquarers: so they prepared timber and stones to build the house.  1 Kings 5:11-18

God will build his house with living stones, but they too will require a bit of squaring up before they will be of use.  Without the cornerstone, the foundation is flawed and destined for destruction.  Solomon’s temple will be destroyed in time, but it is a type of the temple that God is building with our lives.

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