Through the Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 1-4

This Week’s Readings

Monday, June 4: 1 Kings 1-4
Tuesday, June 5: 1 Kings 5-8
Wednesday, June 6: 1 Kings 9-12
Thursday, June 7: 1 Kings 13-17
Friday, June 8: 1 Kings 18-22

The overall year’s plan is here.

1 Kings 1: Solomon Becomes King

Gihon, where Solomon was anointed king, was very close to Jerusalem.

It’s not known for sure who the Cherethites and Pelethites, who were with David, were. The majority of commentaries seem to consider them Philistine mercenaries who fought for David. They also suggest that both words can refer to the Philistines in general. There is a Jewish tradition (Haggadah) that they were the Sanhedrin (the ruling Israelite council) of that time, but I think almost no one believes that the Sanhedrin existed that early.

1 Kings 2

Much of chapter 2 seems harsh to me. Why didn’t David do something about the murder of Amasa by Joab when it happened?

I just chalk all of it up to a different culture and time. Just because a historian reports the activity of a king, it doesn’t mean God approved of that activity.

1 Kings 3

Solomon begins being dragged away from God by becoming Pharaoh’s son-in-law. Deuteronomy 17:14-20 gives some requirements for a king of Israel, should Israel ask for a king. The king was not to multiply horses, wives, silver, and gold for himself, both of which Solomon would end up doing, but he was also not to do anything to cause the people to turn their hearts toward egypt. Marrying an Egyptian princess violates that command, and it would be a major part of turning Solomon’s heart away from God.

The rest of the chapter is much more positive. God gives Solomon great wisdom as a reward for seeking what was best for his people rather than what was pleasurable for himself. The result of that is the book of Proverbs, which has been dispensing wisdom for 3,000 years.

1 Kings 4

Here is another place with a person, Zabud the son of Nathan, whose job in the kingdom is described simply as "the king’s friend." Hushai the Archite fulfilled that role for David.

If there is any office that would be the best to be called into in Jesus Christ’s kingdom, it would surely be as the King’s friend. What’s great is that this relationship is offered to all of us (Jn. 15:14-15).

Solomon’s entire kingdom and his great wisdom are described in this chapter. There are even a few wise men listed, and Solomon is said to be wiser.

On the negative side, Solomon had 40,000 horses, which I believe clearly qualifies as "multiplying horses to himself." In that passage in Deuteronomy 17:14-20, the horses are tied to Egypt, which apparently was the best source of horses at that time.

In Scripture, both horses and Egypt are tied to trusting in the flesh, in the power of man (e.g. Isaiah 31:1-3).

One final note. The provision for Solomon’s household and officers was immense. 300 bushels of flour, 600 bushels of meal, 30 oxen, 100 sheep, plus hunted animal every day. A measure (KJV) or kor (NASB) was about 10 bushels.

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