Tonight let’s turn to First Kings beginning with chapter one.
First Kings, of course, is just the continuation of the history of the kings of Judah and Israel. First and Second Samuel are taken up pretty much with the time from Samuel through the reign of David. As we get into the book of the Kings, we continue now the story of the history of the kings of Israel and Judah after David passes from the scene.
First and Second Kings actually cover a period of approximately four hundred years and they give to us the record of the kings. First of all, those that ruled over Judah. Now as we get into First and Second Chronicles, you have a repetition of a lot of the history, but First and Second Chronicles are the chronicles of the kings of Judah. So they don’t really deal so much with the kings of Israel, whereas, First and Second Kings deals with both Israel and Judah, the kings that reigned in the north, the kings that reigned in the south.
So in chapter one, we read now.
King David was old and stricken in years (1:1);
When it says that they were old and stricken in years, it means that they have begun to become an invalid as others in the Old Testament. Some, of course, like Moses their strength abated not. His sight and all was excellent right up until the day of his death. But others it declares that as they became old, they became stricken in years.
It is tragic to see a person stricken in years, such as David who lived such a vital, active life. But David as he got older just wasn’t the person that he was when he was younger, as is the case for all of us. But David as he became older was out in battle, you remember last week, and started to faint.
And so they said, “Hey, you’re not going to go out and fight anymore. You stay home, we’ll do the fighting.” But now as he continues to age, he becomes sort of an invalid, stricken in years. It’s a sad statement of that invalidism that oftentimes overtakes an elderly person. So this is far from David, the great warrior and David the man who was so active as he becomes old.
In fact, I hate to see my hero this way. They putting on blankets and he’s still shaking, you know. And so someone suggested that they get hold of a young virgin that she might stand before the king and love him and cherish him and take care of him and lie in his bosom that he might be warmed.
And so they sought for a beautiful damsel from all of the areas of Israel, and they came across Abishag a Shunammite, and they brought her to the king. And she was very beautiful, and she loved the king, and ministered to him: but David did not have relations with her (1:3-4).
Now David’s son Adonijah who was the brother, full brother of Absalom, he was the son of Haggith, this Jesurite. She bore David at least two sons and both of them actually sort of rebelled against their dad. And Adonijah, when he saw that his dad was getting old and feeble, decided that he would take over the kingdom. And so he gathered together Joab who was, of course, David’s chief general; Abiathar, who was the priest during the time of David, and he conferred with them of his desire to take over the throne of his father.
But Zadok the other priest, and Benaiah, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and other mighty men which were with David, did not go along with Adonijah (1:8).
But Adonijah threw a great party, killing many sheep and oxen and fat cattle and had this big sort of an announcement or pronouncement of himself as king over Judah.
But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and these other fellows, weren’t invited. So Nathan came to Bathsheba and he said, Did not David promise to you that Solomon, your son, would reign in his stead (1:10, 13)?
Now you better hurry and get in unto David because Adonijah is gathering men around him and he’s planning to take over the kingdom.
And so you go into David, and you say to David, Did you not promise me that my son Solomon would reign in your stead? How is it that Adonijah has set himself up as king? And while you’re talking to David, I will come in and confirm to David that what you’re telling him is true (1:13-14)
That Adonijah in reality has gathered Joab and these other fellows and is trying to set himself up as king.
So Bathsheba came in to David (1:15):
And said according to the words of Nathan, said, “How is it, you know, I thought that David that my son Solomon was going to get to reign in your stead,” you know and all. “And how is it that Adonijah now is setting himself up and what’s going on?”
And David, of course, was not aware of what Adonijah was doing and while she was talking, Nathan came in and David questioned Nathan. Nathan confirmed the fact that Adonijah had called these fellows together and was having this big shindig in which he was making the announcement of himself as king and the people were saying, “Long live Adonijah the king,” and all.
And so David then ordered that they take his mule and set Solomon upon it and take him through the street and let the people proclaim, "Long live Solomon the king." Take him down to the spring of Gihon and there let him be anointed as king over Israel by Zadok the priest. And let Benaiah go before him and the mighty men and announce the reign of Solomon with David’s blessing, that David has declared Solomon to be the king.
And so the king said, Call Bathsheba. And she came back in and stood before David. And the king sware, and said, As the LORD liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress, even as I sware unto thee by the LORD God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly do this day. So Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth, did reverence to the king, and said, Let my lord king David live for ever (1:28-31).
And so he made the arrangements then for Solomon to be anointed by Zadok the priest there at the pool of the springs of Gihon and then to be led into the city proclaimed as king.
So, verse thirty-nine,
Zadok the priest took the horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and he anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon. And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with their pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, and the earth was torn with the sound of them. And Adonijah and all of the guests that were at his party when they heard all of the noise in the town, the trumpets blowing and all of the uproar, they said, someone came in and said that Jonathan, the son of Abiathar the priest came: and Adonijah said unto him, Come in; you’re a valiant man, you must have good news (1:39-42).
He said, ”Not so good.”
The king has sent Zadok the priest, and he has anointed Solomon to be king. And Nathan the prophet, they’ve gone before him there at Gihon, anointed him. And this is the meaning of all of the rejoicing. This is the noise that you hear. For Solomon sits on the throne of the kingdom. And moreover the king's servants came to bless our lord king David, saying, God make the name of Solomon better than thy name, and make his throne greater than thy throne. And the king bowed himself on the bed (1:44-47).
In other words, when they came to David and said, May God bless your son even greater than you’ve been blessed and all, David acquiesced and acknowledged, you know, by his bowing to Solomon’s reign and the declaration of Solomon’s reign should be great, even greater than David’s.
One verse here that especially stood out in my mind, verse twenty-nine, as David was addressing his wife Bathsheba, he declared, “As the Lord lives that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress.” What a glorious testimony that is. Now he didn’t say the Lord kept my soul from all distress.
A lot of times people have a mistaken notion that God somehow is going to give me divine immunity from problems. That somehow I’m going to be immune from any kind of distressing or vexing situation. Not so. As a child of God, I face many distressing situations. I have no immunity from problems, from sufferings, from hurts. Nor will you. But I do know that God will deliver me out of all my distresses.
Now you see, the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian isn’t the fact that a Christian doesn’t have distresses and doesn’t have problems because I have just as much distress and problem as an ungodly person has. The only thing is I have One who redeems me out of them all. The ungodly not so. They’ve got to make their way the best they can through them or perish in them or whatever. But the Lord will redeem my soul out of all distresses.
So Paul the apostle spoke, “Who hath delivered me from so great a death, so doth now deliver me: and I am confident that He shall yet deliver me” (2 Corinthians 1:10). But being a child of God did not give any kind of protection against problems, against battles. And if you think that being a Christian means that life is just going to be a pleasure, bed of roses, then you’re due for some very difficult and rude awakenings in your Christian experience. If you think now that you’re a Christian you’re not going to have any problems, that’s not so. And you’re apt to get very discouraged when problems come. But if you know that as a child of God I’m going to face problems just like everybody else, but the Lord will be with me and redeem me and help me in my problems, and will bring me forth victorious, that’s the important thing. So that even in my problems, I do have a different mental attitude than the non-Christian. They don’t know what’s going on or what’s going to happen to them, whereas I know that the Lord’s going to see me through. I know the Lord’s going to deliver me out.
And so David’s glorious witness. And this is the end of his life, the end of the road. What a beautiful witness. “As the Lord liveth that hath delivered my soul out of all distresses.”
So Solomon is now sitting on the throne. And when Adonijah heard this, of course, his guests all fled.
And Adonijah ran in, and grabbed hold on the horns of the altar (1:50).
Now on the altars that they used to make, on the corners of the altar, they had these little raised areas that looked like a horn on the four corners of the altar, these little areas. We saw one of the altars that the archaeologists uncovered there in Beersheba, the ancient city of Beersheba. And they haven’t really uncovered too many altars whole. In fact, this is one of the first one where all four horns were still intact. And they’re just little horns that sort of come up on the edge.
Well, Adonijah went in and grabbed hold of the horns. And when you read, he went in and grabbed hold of the horns of the altar, it means he grabbed hold of these two little handle-like things that come up that look like horns there on the corners of the altar.
And so they came and told Solomon that Adonijah is afraid of you. And he’s in holding on to the horns of the altar, saying, Let Solomon swear to me this day that he will not slay me with the sword. And Solomon said, If he behaves himself, he’ll be all right. Let him go home. So Adonijah went to his own house (1:51-53).
So the days of David drew nigh when he was going to die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and show thyself a man (2:1-2);
Now here’s father to son, and it’s typical fatherly advice. Show yourself a man, son. Be strong. Show yourself a man. David coming to the end of the road. Now it is interesting to me that David’s later years were spent in a feeble, physical condition, a man who must have been in tremendous physical shape in his prime. He talks about “By the Lord I’ve run through a troop: I’ve leaped over a wall” (2 Samuel 22:30). And you see the rugged country that David fled from Saul, the wilderness of Seib and down in Engedi and so this rugged area. You know that the guy had to be in top physical shape, but yet in the later years stricken and now about to die.
God doesn’t give us immunity from death. God doesn’t give us immunity from feebleness perhaps before death. This business of every child of God ought to live prosperous life and healthy life isn’t—it doesn’t follow in the Scriptures. Here is David, a man after God’s own heart, stricken in his older years and now ready to die. Others are healthy up until death but it is really, you know, it isn’t fair, it isn’t right to say, “Well, brother, if you just believe God and think positively, you know, you could be healthy and you wouldn’t have to suffer like this.” Not so. There is no explanation why sometimes very godly people suffer. We don’t know the reason, and don’t feel that a positive attitude is going to give you immunity from any suffering either.
David’s advice to Solomon was very good to begin with. But then it sort of lapsed into personal vengeance that David wanted Solomon to take. So typical of David. Had his capacities for extremely high spiritual characteristics but then also had the capacity to be very human. “I’m going away of all the earth: be strong, show yourself a man.”
And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that you do, and whithersoever you turn yourself (2:3).
So good advice. Walk in the ways of the Lord. Keep His statutes, commandments, judgments, testimonies in order that you may be prosperous. Now earlier, David had written, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But whose delight is in the law of the Lord; and in this law does he meditate day and night. For he shall be like a tree planted by the river of water, bringing forth his fruit in its season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3).
When Moses was giving Joshua the charge, Moses said to Joshua much of what David said to Solomon in his command to Joshua that he might keep the commandments and ordinances and statutes of the Lord. “For thus shalt thou make thy way prosperous” (Joshua 1:8).
So the key to prosperity is obedience to the laws of God. “Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” So excellent advice by David to his son. And David reminds him of God’s conditional promise, but notice that it is a conditional promise.
Now there are those today that call themselves British Israelites or we got Herbert W. Armstrong and his errant son Ted, and they proclaim that the king of England is actually a direct descendant of David because of it being the only— what they say continuing monarchy, and God promised David that there would never cease one of this family from sitting upon the throne. And so a part of the tribes migrated to England and the Anglo-Saxon races are actually a part of the ten lost tribes. And they seek to trace names, you know, so many Jacobs and so many of the various Israelitish names on through to England and to Europe and so forth. And so their whole premise is that the ten lost tribes are actually the Anglo-Saxon races today and that God’s promise is fulfilled that Prince Charles is actually a direct descendant of king David. And so when he ascends to the throne it’s just a continuation of God’s promise to David.
But notice that God’s promise to David is conditional. It is conditioned on
If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel (2:4).
But that is not an unconditional promise. That is a conditional promise. And David’s descendants did not meet the conditions. And so the story that Jeremiah hid one of David’s descendants and fled ultimately to England with him and all is just so much conjecture. And it does lack in real evidence and proof. The promise to David was conditional that by the time Judah fell to the Babylonian empire, they had so corrupted and turned from God that they had become as godless as the nations around them, worshipping in lasciviousness the other gods of the nations around them.
So David had a conditional promise of God, his descendants did not walk before the Lord in truth and thus, there came an end. Yet the promise to David is to be fulfilled in and through Jesus Christ, for that everlasting kingdom that was promised to David is to be fulfilled when Christ comes. And “He shall sit upon the throne of David, to order it, and to establish it in righteousness and in judgment henceforth from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts shall perform this” (Isaiah 9:7). So God will fulfill the promise but it will be through Jesus Christ when He comes again to reign.
Now David gets into the more David-side of the whole thing. David was just like we are. We carry grudges and animosities and all. And so he now talks to him and he says. This guy Joah, man, he was a pain. And he gave me a lot of trouble. And he killed Abner and also Amasa. And he shouldn’t have done that. Don’t let his old grey head go down to the grave in peace. Take care of him.
But do show kindness unto Barzillai and to his family because they came out and helped me at the time of Absalom’s insurrection (2:7).
But this guy Shimei, the Benjamite. You remember him who went along the hill cursing and throwing rocks. Don’t let his grey head go down to the grave in peace.
Don’t hold him guiltless: you’re a wise man (2:9).
Take care of him.
So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David. And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: the first seven in Hebron [reigning over Judah], and [then the last] thirty-three years in Jerusalem reigning [over all of Israel]. And Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and the kingdom was established greatly. Now Adonijah came to Bathsheba and he said, I want you to do a favor for me. Please don’t say no. And she said, What is it? And he said, I want you to go to your son Solomon, (because surely he won’t refuse you anything), and ask Solomon to give to me Abishag, [David’s concubine, that beautiful gal that was brought in at the end to be with David]. And so Bathsheba came into Solomon and [he said, I’ll sit down here, mom, and] he made a place for her sitting at his right hand. And she said, Son, I want you to grant me a favor. And he said, You say whatever it is, mom. And she said, Well, I want you to give Abishag unto Adonijah. [And he said, Oh, that guy Adonijah. Surely he has, you know, done this to his own hurt.] He’s going to be slain for this (2:10-13, 16-22,24).
You see a part of the ascension to the throne was the receiving of the concubines of the previous ruler. Now we mentioned this when Absalom came into Jerusalem and set up the tent on the roof of David’s house and took the ten concubines that David had left to keep the house and all, and went in on to them there on the roof. And that in a sense is a mark of the ascension to the throne. David had even taken some of Saul’s concubines when he came to the throne. So Solomon saw this as a desire of Adonijah still to take the kingdom. It’s the way that he interpreted it.
And so he says, “Does he want the kingdom also?” I mean, he’s upset over the request.
So king Solomon sware by the LORD, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah has not spoken this word against his own life. Now therefore, as the LORD liveth, which hath established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, who hath made me a house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death today. And he sent Benaiah down to kill him which he did (2:23-25).
And then Abiathar, the other priest that had gone with Adonijah and conspired with him against—or to put Adonijah on the throne, Solomon banished him from serving in the priesthood. He just sent him off to the farm, put him out to pasture and that was the end of him as far as any service to the priesthood was concerned. And thus, God did fulfill because Abiathar was a descendant of Eli. God did fulfill the word which He spoke concerning the house of Eli, and the end of the priesthood of the house of Eli in First Samuel chapter two, verse thirty-one to thirty-five, where Eli’s sons were so evil.
Now tidings then came to Joab that Solomon is moving now against the rebellion of Adonijah and he’s, you know, Adonijah has been killed and Abiathar has been sent out to the banished, really, from the capital city. So Joab ran in and grabbed hold of the horns on the altar. It was a position of real supplication unto God. You grab hold and you really cry out unto God, holding on to the horns of the altar. So Solomon ordered Benaiah to go out and to kill Joab for all of the innocent blood that he shed.
And so he came and said, “Come out from the altar there.”
And Joab says, “No way, I’m staying here. I’m hanging on.” So he came back and he told Solomon.
He said, “I ordered him to come away from the altar. He’s holding on to the horns of the altar and he said he won’t leave.”
He said, “All right, his way. Kill him right there.” So he came in and slew him as he was holding on to the horns of the altar for the innocent blood. And thus, sort of a purging or a cleansing of the bloody reign of David which much of it, of course, could be laid at the feet of Joab.
So Benaiah was made the head over the army: and Zadok became the ruling priest (2:35).
Now this guy Shimei that had cursed David, and David told Solomon, “Take care of him.”
He called him in and he said, “Look, you’re to stay within the gates of Jerusalem. As long as you stay here and behave yourself, you’ll be all right. But the day you leave the city of Jerusalem, you’re taking your life in your own hands. Do you understand this?”
Shimei said, “Yeah, I understand.”
He said, “Okay.” So Shimei lived there in Jerusalem for a couple of years. But he had a couple of servants that ran off and they went down to Gath, one of the Philistines’ cities. And he heard that the servants were there in Gath, and so he left the city of Jerusalem to go down and get his runaway servant. And it was told to king Solomon, Shimei has left the city.
So when he got back, he said, “Didn’t you understand that you were to stay in the city and if you left, that was it?”
And he said, “Surely you brought the death sentence upon yourself.” And so Shimei was also executed.
Now Solomon begins the gathering of wives of which it seemed had no end.
He made an affinity with the Pharaoh of Egypt, and he took the Pharaoh’s daughter, and brought her to the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the LORD, and the wall of Jerusalem round about (3:1).
So he took first of all the Pharaoh’s daughter as his wife and later on he built her a house there in Jerusalem. But he was wanting now to build a house for the Lord, the temple in Jerusalem because,
The people sacrificed [in those days just] on the high places, because there was no house built in the name of the Lord, until those days. And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places (3:2-3).
Which was more or less copying after the pagans around them.
So the king went to Gibeon; and there on the high place of Gibeon: he offered a thousand burnt offerings on an altar there (3:4).
So he had a great sacrifice unto God. Now it must not be thought that these animals were just sacrificed and burnt. On these great offerings like this, these were peace offerings or oftentimes as a peace offering they were more or less celebrations, almost where they were just great feasts. You’re going to have a gigantic barbecue, but they would offer the animals. They would sacrifice the animals to the Lord. In other words, the idea was, “Lord, we’re sacrificing these animals for you. An acknowledgment that You are the giver of all of these good gifts and so forth.” But then they would go ahead and roast the meat and they would all have a gigantic barbecue. Big party. And everyone would eat of it. So they were times of feasting. And it is interesting, you remember, they were called feast days because they were times of great feasting when you would come before the Lord. It was always a time of celebration and feasting because God wanted the thought of worshipping Him to be associated with joy and with happiness.
I don't know where people got the idea that worshipping God should be sad and mournful. It’s tragic that the church went through a period of its history where the more somber and sober you look, the more righteous you were thought to be. So all of the ministers were seeking to affect a very serious, somber appearance. And they even developed voices with just that great, you know, kind of a mournful—like the more you could sound in a mournful tone, really the more spiritual and righteous you were. Hello, brother. And you’re supposed to look real solemn and sober and all, and that’s supposed to mean that you’re very righteous. And if you dare crack a smile, man, you’ve had it. They know that you’ve been you know not doing your job or something, you know, because somehow they didn’t relate worshipping the Lord with joy.
And yet God wants us to relate the worship of Him with joy, with thanksgiving, with party, if you please, with just great rejoicing and happiness in the serving of God, for it should be a joyful, happy experience. Fellowshipping with God should be the greatest joy that a person can experience and you should always go away from true fellowship with God with your soul lifted and your heart light and just rejoicing in the glory and the goodness of the Lord.
So Solomon offered a thousand sacrifices there, so it was a time of great feasting, and of course, you eat a lot of that lamb and you get sleepy so he went to sleep. And he had a dream. And in his dream, the Lord came to him and said, “Solomon, Ask whatever you will.”
If God should say that to you, what would you ask for? This can be very revealing. It can reveal an awful lot about you. If you be truly honest in this, if God should say, “Ask Me anything you want.” What would be your request? For your answer to that would reveal whether or not you are living on the flesh side or the spiritual side of your nature. If your desire would be for great riches, if your desire would be for fame or honor or glory, it means that somehow you’re still suffering under the illusion that you can one day maybe find satisfaction in your flesh and in the things of the flesh. Never.
But if your answer be, “Oh God, that I just might walk with Thee, in close fellowship. Lord, that I might be the person You want me to be.” Or if your answer is in the spiritual things, then that indicates also the fact that your heart is really after God and the things of God for you’re desiring spiritual benefit.
So Solomon said, “Lord, here I am sitting on the throne of my father David, ruling over Your people. Such a great number and multitude that they can’t be numbered. And Lord, I really don’t know what I’m doing. I’m a novice at this. I don't know what a king is supposed to do. I don't know how to go in and come out before the people. Lord, there are so many important decisions that have to be made, and people are looking to me for judgment. Grant me, Lord, that I might have wisdom and understanding, that I may properly discern and judge over these people.”
And it pleased the Lord and the Lord said unto him,
Because you didn’t ask for riches; or for long life; or for the life of your enemies; but instead you asked for wisdom and understanding in ruling the people; I will give to you wisdom and understanding; above any who has ever come before, or who would come after you (3:11-12).
Now as you go down into the fourth chapter and in verse thirty, twenty-nine,
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. And he was wiser than all the men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all of the nations round about. And he spake three thousand proverbs: he wrote a thousand and five songs. He spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, of fowl, of the creeping things, of fish. And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom (4:29-34).
“God, give me wisdom.”
And God said, “Because you’ve asked for wisdom, understanding, I’m going to give it to you. But I’m also going to give you that for which you did not ask, great riches and honor. And if you will walk in My commands, I’ll also give you long life. Again, that’s a condition. But I’m going to give you more than what you asked. I’ll give you what you asked but even more.”
Now the principle is stated by Christ. If you “seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; all these things will be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
Now it is wrong for us to think that riches are either signs of spirituality or morality. Riches are amoral, really; however, riches can be a hang up. They did become a hang up for Solomon. Fame can be a hang up. It became a hang up for Solomon. The Bible says, “Set not your heart upon riches” (Psalm 62:10). Or seek not to be rich. That should never be a goal or an ambition of your life. Seek not to be rich. And “they that will be rich, we are told, fall into divers temptations that drown men’s souls into perdition” (I Timothy 6:9).
The Bible also said, “If riches increase, set not your heart upon them” (Psalm 62:10). Let your heart remain set upon the Lord, never upon riches, never trust in riches. Trust in the Lord.
And so God promised to him more than what he asked. And this again is just one of those indications of God’s grace, giving more than what we asked. “Now unto Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). God’s desire is to give good gifts to His children. He delights in doing so. God delights in just giving to you, even as parents who are able delight in giving to their children or to their grandchildren. It’s a joy. It’s a thrill. So God delights in giving to His children.
So Solomon woke up; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant, and he offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings (3:15),
Burnt offerings are offerings of consecration, the consecration of my life to God. The peace offerings are the offerings of communion, entering into communion and fellowship with God.
So there came two women to Solomon, they were prostitutes, they were living together. And the one said, “We both of us had children within a few days of each other. And she in the night rolled over on her child and suffocated it. And she pulled the switcharoo. She put the dead child next to me and she took my live child.”
The woman said, “No, the live child is mine and the dead child is hers.” And they were both affirming that the child belonged to them.
And so Solomon said, “Bring a sword. The women arguing over it, cut the live child in two and give them each half.”
And the true mother of the child said, “Oh no, no, no, no, give her the child. Don’t do that. Give her the child.”
And the other one said, “Oh no, that’s a good deal. Cut it in half and divide it.”
And Solomon said, “Give the child to its mother.” And all the people heard of this and they marvelled at the wisdom of Solomon in dealing with this particular issue.
Now as we get into chapter four, we have listed here those princes that were prominent during the reign of Solomon, and then the twelve officers who were over all of Israel who provided the food for the king’s household, each man in a month of the year. So he had twelve men and each of them were responsible to provide the food for one month during the year. Sounds like a pretty good job. You work one month and you have eleven months vacation. No really, they were probably trying to gather everything that they needed during the eleven months because when you read what it took to run his household.
Now, of course, remember with wives and concubines, there was a thousand of them, plus all of the servants that he had and everybody else, that takes a lot of food. So in verse twenty-two we have the provisions that it took to provide Solomon’s household each day of his life.
His provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour (4:22),
Now a measure is about ten bushels. So three hundred bushels of fine flour a day, plus.
sixty measures of meal, [Or six hundred bushels.] Ten prime beef, and twenty commercial grade (4:22-23),
For the servants and the wives. Really the wives didn’t have anything but just one step above the servant. Women didn’t have it too well. “Ten fat oxen, twenty oxen from the pastures.” So the fat would be prime; out of the pasture is just commercial where you don’t, you know, feed them in the grain and so forth.
a hundred sheep, beside the harts, and the roebucks, and the fallowdeer, and the fatted fowl (4:23).
The turkeys and the chickens and all. Man, that really is a lot of food to be consumed in a day’s time. But he did have an awful lot of mouths to feed because each of the wives were probably having children somewhere along the line.
For he had dominion over all the region on this side of the river, and over all the kings on this side of the river: and he had peace on all the sides around him (4:24).
The areas from which they gathered the food. If you’ll look up these names, from Mount Ephraim and so forth, you’ll find that actually the whole land of Israel each had its turn in providing Solomon. So one fellow was over each of the parts, even over the other side of Jordan, the area of Gilead and Moab and so forth. They also were providing for his food if you follow it through. Plus, he had forty thousand stalls for his horses. Now that sounds like an exaggeration and for a long time, people thought that the Bible had just exaggerated. Until the archaeologists began to uncover throughout the land up in Megiddo and all over the land, they’ve uncovered some of Solomon’s stables and that hundreds of stalls in some of these cities that they have discovered so that the figure forty thousand no longer seems like an exaggeration.
Forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen. And those officers provided the food for the king Solomon, and for all that came to his table. And also the barley and the straw for the horses and the camels. And God gave the wisdom to Solomon (4:26-29).
And so forth which we alluded to earlier, and the many proverbs. Of course, we have the book of Proverbs. Now one of the—or many of the proverbs do deal with the discipline of children. And no doubt because Solomon observed the errors of his father David. Now Adonijah, the one son that rebelled against him that we studied in chapter one tonight, there is a verse there that David never did correct Adonijah. Never did correct him. Said, “Why do you do that, son?” Never did speak a word of correction to Adonijah.
And Adonijah, of course, later rebelled against his father David, which probably prompted Solomon to write in one of the proverbs, “A child left to himself will bring reproach to his mother” (Proverbs 29:15). Or, “the foolishness of the world is bound up in the heart of the child; but the rod of instruction drives it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15). Or, “Spare the rod and you will spoil the child”. “Spare the rod and spoil.” My son used to think that was a commandment. He couldn’t understand. He thought he was supposed to be spoiled. He says, “But the Bible says spare the rod and spoil the child.” It’s interesting the way people can fit the Scriptures to accommodate themselves.