4 King Solomon was king over all [the people of] Israel. 2 These were his [chief] officials: Azariah the [a]son of Zadok was the high priest; 3 Elihoreph and Ahijah the sons of Shisha, were scribes; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder [of important events]; 4 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was in command of the army; Zadok and Abiathar were priests; 5 Azariah the son of Nathan was in charge of the deputies; Zabud the son of Nathan was priest and was the king’s friend [and trusted advisor]; 6 Ahishar was in charge of the household (palace); and Adoniram the son of Abda was in charge of the forced labor.
7 Solomon had twelve deputies over all Israel, who [b]secured provisions for the king and his household; each man had to provide for a month in the year. 8 These were their names: Ben-hur, in the hill country of [the tribe of] Ephraim; 9 Ben-deker in Makaz and Shaalbim and Beth-shemesh and Elon-beth-hanan; 10 Ben-hesed, in Arubboth (to him belonged Socoh and all the land of Hepher); 11 Ben-abinadab, in all the hills of Dor (Taphath, Solomon’s daughter, was his wife); 12 Baana the son of Ahilud, in Taanach, Megiddo, and all Beth-shean which is beside Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah as far as beyond Jokmeam; 13 Ben-geber, in Ramoth-gilead (the villages of Jair the son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead belonged to him, also the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, sixty great cities with walls and bronze bars); 14 Ahinadab the son of Iddo, in Mahanaim; 15 Ahimaaz, in [the tribe of] Naphtali (he also married Basemath, Solomon’s daughter); 16 Baana the son of Hushai, in [the tribe of] Asher and Bealoth; 17 Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in [the tribe of] Issachar; 18 Shimei the son of Ela, in [the tribe of] Benjamin; 19 Geber the son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and of Og king of Bashan; and he was the only officer who was in the land.
Solomon’s Power, Wealth and Wisdom
20 [The people of] Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand that is in abundance by the sea; they were eating and drinking and rejoicing.
21 [c]Now Solomon reigned over all the kingdoms from the [Euphrates] River to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt; they brought tribute (money) and served Solomon all the days of his life.
22 Solomon’s food [for the royal household] for one day was thirty [d]kors of finely milled flour, sixty kors of wheat flour, 23 ten fat oxen, twenty pasture-fed oxen, a hundred sheep not counting fallow deer, gazelles, roebucks, and fattened fowl. 24 For he was ruling over everything west of the [Euphrates] River, from Tiphsah to Gaza, over all the kings west of the [Euphrates] River; and he had peace on all sides around him. 25 Judah and Israel lived in security, every man under his vine and fig tree [in peace and prosperity], from Dan [in the north] to Beersheba [in the south], during all the days of Solomon.(A) 26 Solomon also had [e]40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12,000 horsemen. 27 Those deputies provided food for King Solomon and for all [the staff] who came to King Solomon’s table, each in his month; they let nothing be lacking. 28 They also brought the barley and straw for the horses and swift steeds (warhorses, chargers) to the place where it was needed, each man according to his assignment.
29 Now God gave Solomon [exceptional] wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of mind, like the sand of the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the sons of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 For he was wiser [f]than all [other] men, [wiser] than [g]Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol. His fame was known in all the surrounding nations. 32 He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. 33 He spoke of trees, from the cedar which is in Lebanon to the hyssop [vine] that grows on the wall; he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and fish. 34 People came from all the peoples (nations) to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom.
- 1 Kings 4:2 Here as in other passages, the Hebrew word son may refer to a grandson or more distant descendant, just as father is also used of grandfathers and other ancestors.
- 1 Kings 4:7 Lit provided.
- 1 Kings 4:21 In the Hebrew text ch 5 begins with this verse.
- 1 Kings 4:22 This was the largest unit of volume, but the actual amount varied because it was based on the volume of an egg, the basic Jewish standard of volume. The kor was equivalent to the homer and was supposed to equal 4,320 eggs. Modern estimates of the volume range between seven and twelve bushels.
- 1 Kings 4:26 One ms reads 4,000; cf 2 Chr 9:25.
- 1 Kings 4:31 “Wiser than all [other] men,” until Christ came. Jesus said, “Someone more and greater than Solomon is here” (Matt 12:42).
- 1 Kings 4:31 Together with Zimri (1 Chr 2:6), these men were reputed to be the wisest in the world.