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Bible Highlights: 1 Kings 3-6 | Theocratic Ministry School: June 29

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RESEARCH FOR HIGHLIGHTS OF : 1 KINGS 3-6


(1 KINGS 3:1)

“Solʹo•mon made a marriage alliance with Pharʹaoh king of Egypt. He married Pharʹaoh’s daughter and brought her to the City of David until he finished building his own house, and the house of Jehovah, and the wall around Jerusalem.”

*** w11 12/15 p. 10 pars. 12-13 Is He a Good Example for You or a Warning? ***
Solomon formed “a marriage alliance with Pharaoh the king of Egypt and [took] Pharaoh’s daughter and [brought] her to the City of David.” (1 Ki. 3:1) Did this Egyptian woman imitate Ruth by taking up true worship? Nothing indicates that she did so. Rather, in time Solomon built a house for her (and perhaps her Egyptian maids) outside the City of David. Why? The Scriptures say that he did so because it was not fitting for a false worshipper to dwell near the ark of the covenant.—2 Chron. 8:11.
13 Solomon may have seen political advantages in marrying an Egyptian princess, yet could he justify it? Long before, God had forbidden the marrying of pagan Canaanites, even listing certain peoples. (Ex. 34:11-16) Did Solomon reason that Egypt was not one of those listed nations? Even if he reasoned that way, would such rationalizing be valid? Actually, his course ignored the clear risk that Jehovah had mentioned—that of turning an Israelite from true worship to false.—Read Deuteronomy 7:1-4.

(1 KINGS 3:9)

“So grant your servant an obedient heart to judge your people, to discern between good and bad, for who is able to judge this numerous people of yours?””

*** w07 6/15 p. 27 par. 6 Jehovah Values Your Obedience ***
6 What will help us individually to be obedient? It is appropriate for each of us to ask God for “an obedient heart,” as did King Solomon. He asked for such a heart so that he could “discern between good and bad” in order to judge his fellow Israelites. (1 Kings 3:9) We need “an obedient heart” if we are to discern between good and bad in a world permeated with the spirit of disobedience. God has provided us with his Word, Bible study aids, Christian meetings, and caring congregation elders so that we can cultivate “an obedient heart.” Are we making good use of such loving provisions?

*** w98 7/15 pp. 29-31 Do You Have “an Obedient Heart”? ***
Do You Have “an Obedient Heart”?
WHEN Solomon became the king of ancient Israel, he felt inadequate. He therefore asked God for wisdom and knowledge. (2 Chronicles 1:10) Solomon also prayed: “You must give to your servant an obedient heart to judge your people.” (1 Kings 3:9) If Solomon had “an obedient heart,” he would follow divine laws and principles and would experience Jehovah’s blessing.
An obedient heart is not a burden but a source of joy. The apostle John wrote: “This is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments; and yet his commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3) Surely, we should obey God. After all, Jehovah is our Grand Creator. To him belong the earth and all that is in it, even all the silver and the gold. So we cannot really give God anything materially, although he allows us to use our monetary assets to express our love for him. (1 Chronicles 29:14) Jehovah expects us to love him and humbly walk with him, doing his will.—Micah 6:8.
When Jesus Christ was asked which is the greatest commandment in the Law, he said: “You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind. This is the greatest and first commandment.” (Matthew 22:36-38) One way to express that love is to obey God. It should therefore be the prayer of each one of us that Jehovah give us an obedient heart.
They Had an Obedient Heart
The Bible abounds with examples of those who had an obedient heart. For instance, Jehovah told Noah to build a huge ark for the preservation of life. This was an enormous task that took some 40 or 50 years. Even with all the modern power tools and other equipment now available, it would be an engineering feat to build such a huge structure that could float. Moreover, Noah had to warn people who no doubt mocked and ridiculed him. But he was obedient to the last detail. The Bible says: “He did just so.” (Genesis 6:9, 22; 2 Peter 2:5) Noah showed his love for Jehovah by faithful obedience over many years. What a fine example for all of us!
Consider, too, the patriarch Abraham. God told him to move from prosperous Ur of the Chaldeans to an unknown land. Abraham obeyed without question. (Hebrews 11:8) For the rest of his life, he and his family lived in tents. After many years as an alien in the land, Jehovah blessed him and his obedient wife, Sarah, with a son named Isaac. How 100-year-old Abraham must have loved this son of his old age! Some years later, Jehovah asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering. (Genesis 22:1, 2) The very thought of doing that must have pained Abraham. Nevertheless, he proceeded to obey because he loved Jehovah and had faith that the promised seed would come through Isaac, even if God had to raise him from the dead. (Hebrews 11:17-19) When Abraham was about to kill his son, however, Jehovah stopped him and said: “Now I do know that you are God-fearing in that you have not withheld your son, your only one, from me.” (Genesis 22:12) Because of his obedience, God-fearing Abraham came to be known as “Jehovah’s friend.”—James 2:23.
Jesus Christ is our best example of obedience. During his prehuman existence, he found delight in obedient service to his Father in heaven. (Proverbs 8:22-31) As a man, Jesus obeyed Jehovah in everything, always delighting to do his will. (Psalm 40:8; Hebrews 10:9) Thus, Jesus could truthfully say: “I do nothing of my own initiative; but just as the Father taught me I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me; he did not abandon me to myself, because I always do the things pleasing to him.” (John 8:28, 29) Finally, to vindicate Jehovah’s sovereignty and to redeem obedient mankind, Jesus willingly gave his life, undergoing a most humiliating and painful death. Indeed, “when he found himself in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient as far as death, yes, death on a torture stake.” (Philippians 2:8) What an example in manifesting an obedient heart!
Partial Obedience Not Enough
Not all who have claimed to be obedient to God have actually obeyed him. Consider King Saul of ancient Israel. God instructed him to wipe out the wicked Amalekites. (1 Samuel 15:1-3) Though Saul destroyed them as a nation, he spared their king and preserved some of their sheep and cattle. Samuel asked: “Why is it you did not obey the voice of Jehovah?” In reply, Saul said: “But I have obeyed the voice of Jehovah . . . The people [of Israel] went taking from the spoil sheep and cattle, the choicest of them . . . , to sacrifice to Jehovah.” Stressing the need for complete obedience, Samuel replied: “Does Jehovah have as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of Jehovah? Look! To obey is better than a sacrifice, to pay attention than the fat of rams; for rebelliousness is the same as the sin of divination, and pushing ahead presumptuously the same as using uncanny power and teraphim. Since you have rejected the word of Jehovah, he accordingly rejects you from being king.” (1 Samuel 15:17-23) How much Saul lost because he did not have an obedient heart!
Even wise King Solomon, who had prayed for an obedient heart, did not continue to obey Jehovah. Contrary to the divine will, he married foreign women who caused him to sin against God. (Nehemiah 13:23, 26) Solomon lost divine favor because he did not continue to have an obedient heart. What a warning this is for us!
This does not mean that Jehovah requires perfection from his human servants. He ‘remembers that we are dust.’ (Psalm 103:14) All of us are sure to make mistakes at times, but God can see whether we really have a heartfelt desire to please him. (2 Chronicles 16:9) If we err because of human imperfection but are repentant, we can ask for forgiveness on the basis of Christ’s ransom sacrifice, confident that Jehovah “will forgive in a large way.” (Isaiah 55:7; 1 John 2:1, 2) The help of loving Christian elders may also be needed so that we can recover spiritually and have a healthy faith and an obedient heart.—Titus 2:2; James 5:13-15.
How Complete Is Your Obedience?
As Jehovah’s servants, most of us undoubtedly feel that we have an obedient heart. We may reason, Am I not sharing in the Kingdom-preaching work? Do I not stand firm when such major issues as neutrality arise? And do I not attend Christian meetings regularly, as the apostle Paul urged? (Matthew 24:14; 28:19, 20; John 17:16; Hebrews 10:24, 25) True, Jehovah’s people as a whole display heartfelt obedience in such important respects.
But what about our conduct in everyday affairs, perhaps in seemingly small matters? Jesus stated: “The person faithful in what is least is faithful also in much, and the person unrighteous in what is least is unrighteous also in much.” (Luke 16:10) Each of us would therefore do well to ask himself, Do I have an obedient heart when it comes to minor things or matters that others do not even know about?
The psalmist showed that even inside his house, where others did not see him, he ‘walked about in the integrity of his heart.’ (Psalm 101:2) While sitting in your house, you may turn on the television and start watching a movie. Right there, your obedience could be tested. The movie may become immoral in content. Will you keep on watching, rationalizing that this is the type of movie being shown these days? Or will your obedient heart move you to comply with the Scriptural injunction, ‘do not let fornication and uncleanness even be mentioned among you’? (Ephesians 5:3-5) Will you turn off the TV, even if the story is intriguing? Or will you switch channels if a program becomes violent? “Jehovah himself examines the righteous one as well as the wicked one,” sang the psalmist, “and anyone loving violence His soul certainly hates.”—Psalm 11:5.
An Obedient Heart Brings Blessings
There are, of course, many areas of life wherein we can profitably examine ourselves to see if we really obey God from the heart. Our love for Jehovah should move us to please him and do what he tells us in his Word, the Bible. An obedient heart will help us to maintain a good relationship with Jehovah. Indeed, if we are fully obedient, ‘the sayings of our mouth and the meditation of our heart will be pleasurable before Jehovah.’—Psalm 19:14.
Because Jehovah loves us, he teaches us obedience for our own good. And we benefit ourselves greatly by wholeheartedly paying attention to divine teaching. (Isaiah 48:17, 18) Therefore, let us gladly accept the assistance our heavenly Father provides through his Word, his spirit, and his organization. We are being taught so well that it is as if we hear a voice behind us saying: “This is the way. Walk in it, you people.” (Isaiah 30:21) As Jehovah teaches us through the Bible, Christian publications, and congregation meetings, may we pay attention, apply what we learn, and be “obedient in all things.”—2 Corinthians 2:9.
An obedient heart will result in much joy and many blessings. It will bring us peace of mind, for we will know that we are well-pleasing to Jehovah God and are making his heart rejoice. (Proverbs 27:11) A heart that is obedient will be a protection for us when we are tempted to do wrong. Surely, then, we should obey our heavenly Father and should pray: “Give to your servant an obedient heart.”

(1 KINGS 3:16)

“At that time two prostitutes came in to the king and stood before him.”

*** it-2 pp. 700-701 Prostitute ***
It was the case of two prostitutes, handled in a wise and understanding way, that greatly strengthened the faith of the people in Solomon as the fitting successor of David to the throne of Israel. Probably the case had been one upon which the judges of the lower court could not decide, and it was referred, therefore, to the king. (De 1:17; 17:8-11; 1Sa 8:20) These women may have been prostitutes, not in a commercial sense, but women who had committed fornication, either Jewish women or, quite possibly, women of foreign descent.—1Ki 3:16-28.

(1 KINGS 4:2)

“These were his high officials: Az•a•riʹah the son of Zaʹdok was the priest;”

*** it-1 p. 224 Azariah ***
4. One of Solomon’s princes. (1Ki 4:2) He is referred to as the son of Priest Zadok; he may be the brother of Ahimaaz.—1Ch 6:8.

(1 KINGS 4:4)

“Be•naiʹah the son of Je•hoiʹa•da was in charge of the army; Zaʹdok and A•biʹa•thar were priests;”

*** it-1 p. 19 Abiathar ***
While the record later, at 1 Kings 4:4, again refers to “Zadok and Abiathar” as priests of Solomon’s reign, it is likely that Abiathar is listed only in an honorary capacity or in a historical sense. Some scholars suggest that Solomon, after demoting Abiathar, then assigned him to serve as Zadok’s deputy, and that while one officiated on Mount Zion, where the Ark was kept, the other served at the tabernacle, which continued in Gibeon prior to the building of the temple. (See 1Ch 16:37-40.) However, 1 Kings 2:26 shows that Solomon sent Abiathar to his fields in Anathoth, and while Anathoth was not far from Gibeon, Solomon’s order indicates that Abiathar was being removed from any active participation in the priesthood.

*** it-2 p. 1218 Zadok ***
In contrast with Abiathar, Zadok did not support the attempted usurpation of the throne by Adonijah; for this, David appointed Zadok as the one to anoint Solomon as king. (1Ki 1:7, 8, 26, 32-46) During the reigns of Saul and David, Zadok served only as an associate priest, but for his loyalty as contrasted with the wavering allegiance of High Priest Abiathar, Solomon expelled Abiathar from Jerusalem and made Zadok high priest. This fulfilled Jehovah’s prophecy spoken against Eli’s house. (1Ki 2:26, 27, 35) The later listing of “Zadok and Abiathar” at 1 Kings 4:4 is probably in a historical sense.

(1 KINGS 4:5)

“Az•a•riʹah the son of Nathan was over the deputies; Zaʹbud the son of Nathan was a priest and the king’s friend;”

*** it-1 p. 615 Deputy ***
So that all ran smoothly, with no shortages, the 12 deputies were placed under the supervision of one of Solomon’s leading princes, “Azariah the son of Nathan.”—1Ki 4:5.

(1 KINGS 4:7)

“Solʹo•mon had 12 deputies in charge of all Israel who provided the king and his household with food. Each one was responsible for providing the food for one month of the year.”

*** it-1 p. 615 Deputy ***
DEPUTY
The Hebrew participle translated “deputy” (nits•tsavʹ) has the basic meaning of one “stationed,” ‘put in position,’ or “set” by appointment to fulfill a duty. (1Sa 22:9; Ex 7:15; Ru 2:5) During the reign of Solomon (1037-998 B.C.E.), 12 deputies were appointed to high-ranking administrative positions. Each was responsible for providing food and other supplies for the royal household one month during the year, on a rotational basis.—1Ki 4:7.
In lieu of a general tax for the support of the government, foodstuffs were taken from the produce of the land. The deputies were therefore overseers of production, harvesting, storage, and delivery of the monthly quotas, which amounted to a considerable tonnage. (1Ki 4:22, 23) These deputies may also have served as civil administrators in their assigned territories, in addition to their work of supervising the commissary supplies.

(1 KINGS 4:12)

“Baʹa•na the son of A•hiʹlud, in Taʹa•nach, Me•gidʹdo, and all Beth-sheʹan, which is beside Zarʹe•than below Jezʹre•el, from Beth-sheʹan to Aʹbel-me•hoʹlah to the region of Jokʹme•am;”

*** it-2 p. 97 Jokneam ***
At 1 Kings 4:12 “Jokmeam” may possibly be a spelling error for “Jokneam.”

*** it-2 p. 97 Jokmeam ***
2. A region bordering on the territory under the jurisdiction of Ahilud’s son Baana, one of Solomon’s 12 deputies. (1Ki 4:12) It may be the same as Jokneam.

*** it-2 p. 1220 Zarethan ***
This identification, however, is somewhat difficult to harmonize with the description of Solomon’s fifth administrative district as given at 1 Kings 4:12, which refers to “Taanach and Megiddo and all Beth-shean, which is beside Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah to the region of Jokmeam.” Qarn Sartabeh lies much farther S than the other places there listed and not “beside” Beth-shean in the sense of neighboring it. The Jerusalem Bible endeavors to adjust the geographic order of the places listed at 1 Kings 4:12, referring to “all Beth-shean below Jezreel, from Beth-shean as far as Abel Meholah, which is beside Zarethan,” thus relating Zarethan to Abel-meholah rather than to Beth-shean. However, since the reference is to “all Beth-shean,” it doubtless indicates a region rather than the city itself. If Zarethan was indeed connected with the prominent summit of Qarn Sartabeh, it may be that the region of Beth-shean embraced the valley plain around it and extending southward to a point from which Zarethan became visible, thus serving to indicate a separate, but neighboring, region.

(1 KINGS 4:20)

“Judah and Israel were as numerous as the grains of sand by the sea; they were eating and drinking and rejoicing.”

*** w98 2/1 p. 12 par. 15 Jehovah Is a God of Covenants ***
By the time of David’s son Solomon, a third aspect of the Abrahamic covenant was fulfilled. “Judah and Israel were many, like the grains of sand that are by the sea for multitude, eating and drinking and rejoicing.”—1 Kings 4:20.

*** w98 10/15 pp. 9-10 pars. 9-11 Jerusalem—“The City of the Great King” ***
9 The nation of Israel enjoyed peace as they gave their wholehearted support to Jehovah’s worship, centered in Jerusalem. Beautifully describing this situation, the Scriptures state: “Judah and Israel were many, like the grains of sand that are by the sea for multitude, eating and drinking and rejoicing. . . . And peace itself became [Solomon’s] in every region of his, all around. And Judah and Israel continued to dwell in security, everyone under his own vine and under his own fig tree.”—1 Kings 4:20, 24, 25.
10 Archaeological findings lend support to this account of Solomon’s prosperous reign. In his book The Archaeology of the Land of Israel, Professor Yohanan Aharoni states: “The wealth that flowed into the royal court from all directions, and the flourishing commerce . . . brought about a rapid and noticeable revolution in every aspect of material culture. . . . The change in material culture . . . is discernible not only in luxury items but also especially in ceramics. . . . The quality of the pottery and its firing improved beyond all recognition.”
11 Similarly, Jerry M. Landay wrote: “Under Solomon, Israelite material culture advanced more in three decades than it had during the preceding two hundred years. We find in Solomonic strata the remains of monumental constructions, great cities with massive walls, the mushrooming of residential quarters with well-built clusters of the dwellings of the well-to-do, a quantum jump in the technical proficiency of the potter and his manufacturing processes. We find, too, the remains of artefacts representing goods made in far-off places, signs of vigorous international commerce and trade.”—The House of David.

*** gm chap. 4 p. 46 How Believable Is the “Old Testament”? ***
Other Supporting Evidence
18 Indeed, many archaeological discoveries have demonstrated the historical accuracy of the Bible. For example, the Bible reports that after King Solomon had taken over the kingship from his father, David, Israel enjoyed great prosperity. We read: “Judah and Israel were many, like the grains of sand that are by the sea for multitude, eating and drinking and rejoicing.” (1 Kings 4:20) In support of this statement, we read: “Archaeological evidence reveals that there was a population explosion in Judah during and after the tenth century B.C. when the peace and prosperity David brought made it possible to build many new towns.”10

(1 KINGS 4:21)

“Solʹo•mon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Phi•lisʹtines and to the boundary of Egypt. They brought tribute and served Solʹo•mon all the days of his life.”

*** gl p. 16 Israel in the Days of David and Solomon ***
GOD promised to give Abram’s seed the land “from the river of Egypt to . . . the river Euphrates.” (Ge 15:18; Ex 23:31; De 1:7, 8; 11:24) After Joshua entered Canaan, it was some four centuries before the Promised Land reached those limits.
King David overthrew the Aramaean kingdom of Zobah, which reached the Euphrates in northern Syria. To the south, David’s success against the Philistines brought him to Egypt’s border.—2Sa 8:3; 1Ch 18:1-3; 20:4-8; 2Ch 9:26.
Solomon then ruled “from the River [Euphrates] to the land of the Philistines and to the boundary of Egypt,” foreshadowing the Messiah’s peaceful rule. (1Ki 4:21

(1 KINGS 4:22)

“Solʹo•mon’s food for each day was 30 cor measures of fine flour and 60 cor measures of flour,”

*** it-2 p. 990 Solomon ***
The daily food for Solomon’s royal household amounted to “thirty cor measures [6,600 L; 188 bu] of fine flour and sixty cor measures [13,200 L; 375 bu] of flour, ten fat cattle and twenty pastured cattle and a hundred sheep, besides some stags and gazelles and roebucks and fattened cuckoos.” (1Ki 4:22, 23)

(1 KINGS 4:23)

“10 fattened cattle, 20 pastured cattle, and 100 sheep, besides some stags, gazelles, roebucks, and fattened cuckoos.”

*** it-1 p. 554 Cuckoo ***
CUCKOO
[Heb., plural, bar•bu•rimʹ].
In the Bible, this name occurs only once at 1 Kings 4:23, where the list of daily provisions of food for Solomon’s court includes “cuckoos [bar•bu•rimʹ].” (JB; NW) While other versions (KJ, RS) here read “fowl,” bar•bu•rimʹ seems to refer to a specific kind of bird rather than being simply a general term. Though some have identified it with the capon, the guinea hen, or the goose, lexicographer W. Baumgartner (Hebräisches und Aramäisches Lexikon zum Alten Testament, Leiden, 1967, p. 147) suggests the “cuckoo,” and this seems to be indicated by the Arabic name for that bird, abu burbur.
The common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) and the great spotted cuckoo (Clamator glandarius) both pass through Palestine on their northern migration, arriving in early March. The cuckoo is a moderate-sized bird, resembling a small hawk, with a slightly curved, sharp, pointed beak. Usually cuckoos have inconspicuous colors such as light gray or light brown to reddish-brown or black. The underparts are often whitish with narrow black bars.
While some consider the cuckoo to be a rather small bird to be used on Solomon’s menu, it may be noted that even plucked sparrows were anciently sold in Middle Eastern markets. (Mt 10:29) Additionally, these cuckoos were “fattened” ones, and concerning such The American Cyclopædia says: “In autumn they are fat and esteemed as food; the ancients were very partial to them, and their flesh was supposed to have valuable medicinal properties.”—1883, Vol. V, p. 557.
The cuckoo is neither a carrion eater nor a bird of prey, but a valuable consumer of insects. It was legally “clean” and fit for use on Solomon’s royal table. While “the cuckow” is included in the King James Version as among the unclean birds, at Leviticus 11:16 and Deuteronomy 14:15, this translation (of the Hebrew shaʹchaph) is no longer considered acceptable.—See GULL.

(1 KINGS 4:24)

“For he controlled everything this side of the River, from Tiphʹsah to Gazʹa, including all the kings on this side of the River; and he enjoyed peace in every region, all around him.”

*** it-1 p. 673 Eber ***
In Hebrew the expression for “beyond the River” (Heb., ʽeʹver han•na•harʹ) is used at times to refer to the region W of the Euphrates. (Ne 2:7, 9; 3:7) At 1 Kings 4:24 the same Hebrew expression is translated “this side of the River” (NW) or “west of the Euphrates.” (RS)

(1 KINGS 4:25)

“Judah and Israel lived in security, everyone under his own vine and under his own fig tree, from Dan to Beʹer-sheʹba, all the days of Solʹo•mon.”

*** w03 5/15 p. 24 Each One Will Sit Under His Fig Tree ***
Each One Will Sit Under His Fig Tree
SHADE is at a premium during the hot summers in the lands of the Middle East. Any tree offering refuge from the sun’s rays is welcome, especially when it grows near one’s home. With its large, broad leaves and wide-spreading branches, the fig tree provides better shade than almost any other tree of the region.
According to the book Plants of the Bible, the “shade [of a fig tree] is said to be fresher and cooler than that of a tent.” Fig trees growing at the edges of vineyards in ancient Israel offered field workers ideal places for a brief rest.
At the end of a long, hot day, family members could sit under their fig tree and enjoy pleasant association. Moreover, the fig tree rewards its owner with abundant, nutritious fruit. From the time of King Solomon, therefore, sitting under one’s own fig tree represented peace, prosperity, and plenty.—1 Kings 4:24, 25.

*** w98 10/15 pp. 9-10 pars. 9-11 Jerusalem—“The City of the Great King” ***
9 The nation of Israel enjoyed peace as they gave their wholehearted support to Jehovah’s worship, centered in Jerusalem. Beautifully describing this situation, the Scriptures state: “Judah and Israel were many, like the grains of sand that are by the sea for multitude, eating and drinking and rejoicing. . . . And peace itself became [Solomon’s] in every region of his, all around. And Judah and Israel continued to dwell in security, everyone under his own vine and under his own fig tree.”—1 Kings 4:20, 24, 25.
10 Archaeological findings lend support to this account of Solomon’s prosperous reign. In his book The Archaeology of the Land of Israel, Professor Yohanan Aharoni states: “The wealth that flowed into the royal court from all directions, and the flourishing commerce . . . brought about a rapid and noticeable revolution in every aspect of material culture. . . . The change in material culture . . . is discernible not only in luxury items but also especially in ceramics. . . . The quality of the pottery and its firing improved beyond all recognition.”
11 Similarly, Jerry M. Landay wrote: “Under Solomon, Israelite material culture advanced more in three decades than it had during the preceding two hundred years. We find in Solomonic strata the remains of monumental constructions, great cities with massive walls, the mushrooming of residential quarters with well-built clusters of the dwellings of the well-to-do, a quantum jump in the technical proficiency of the potter and his manufacturing processes. We find, too, the remains of artefacts representing goods made in far-off places, signs of vigorous international commerce and trade.”—The House of David.

*** it-1 p. 749 Solomon’s Reign ***
[Pictures on page 749]
During Solomon’s reign, Judah and Israel dwelt in security—figuratively speaking, everyone under his own vine and under his own fig tree (1Ki 4:25)

*** it-1 p. 831 Fig ***
Figurative and Prophetic Use. The fig and the vine are mentioned jointly in many texts, and Jesus’ words at Luke 13:6 show that fig trees were often planted in vineyards. (2Ki 18:31; Joe 2:22) The expression ‘sitting under one’s own vine and fig tree’ symbolized peaceful, prosperous, secure conditions.—1Ki 4:25; Mic 4:4; Zec 3:10.

(1 KINGS 4:26)

“And Solʹo•mon had 4,000 stalls of horses for his chariots and 12,000 horses.”

*** it-1 p. 1145 Horse ***
From Solomon to the Return From Exile. However, David’s son and successor, Solomon, began to accumulate thousands of horses. (1Ki 4:26 [here “forty thousand stalls of horses” is generally believed to be a scribal error for “four thousand”]; compare 2Ch 9:25.)

(1 KINGS 4:31)

“He was wiser than any other man, wiser than Eʹthan the Ezʹra•hite and Heʹman, Calʹcol, and Darʹda, the sons of Maʹhol; his fame spread among all the surrounding nations.”

*** it-1 p. 388 Calcol ***
CALCOL
(Calʹcol) [Perfected].
One whose wisdom, though great, was exceeded by King Solomon’s (1Ki 4:31); possibly the same as the descendant of Judah through Zerah.—1Ch 2:4, 6.

*** it-1 p. 765 Ethan ***
1. One of four men whose wisdom, though great, was exceeded by Solomon’s. (1Ki 4:31) This Ethan may be the writer of Psalm 89, for the superscription identifies Ethan the Ezrahite as its writer. In 1 Chronicles 2:6, Ethan, Heman, Calcol, and Dara are all spoken of as sons of Zerah of the tribe of Judah and possibly are the same as the men mentioned in First Kings. Ethan is referred to as the father of Azariah.—1Ch 2:8; see EZRAHITE.

*** it-1 p. 800 Ezrahite ***
EZRAHITE
(Ezʹra•hite) [Native].
A designation applied to Ethan (1Ki 4:31; Ps 89:Sup) and Heman (Ps 88:Sup), both of them famous for their wisdom. Ethan and Heman are identified at 1 Chronicles 2:3-6 as descendants of Judah through Zerah. Thus the designation “Ezrahite” apparently is another word for “Zerahite.” (Nu 26:20) The Targum of Jonathan interprets “Ezrahite” as “son of Zerah.”

*** it-2 p. 297 Mahol ***
MAHOL
(Maʹhol) [from a root meaning “dance; whirl”; or, possibly from a root meaning “play the flute”].
One whose sons’ wisdom, though great, was not equal to King Solomon’s. (1Ki 4:31) Some view the designation “sons of Mahol” to mean an association of musicians or dancers.—Compare Ps 150:4, where the same Hebrew word is rendered “circle dance.”

(1 KINGS 4:34)

“People from all the nations came to hear Solʹo•mon’s wisdom, including kings from all over the earth who had heard about his wisdom.”

*** it-1 p. 749 Solomon’s Reign ***
Even rulers of other lands came to hear his wisdom (1Ki 4:34; 10:1)

(1 KINGS 5:3)

““You well know that David my father was not able to build a house for the name of Jehovah his God because of the wars waged against him from every side until Jehovah put his enemies under the soles of his feet.”

*** it-2 p. 1076 Temple ***
Solomon’s Temple. King David entertained a strong desire to build a house for Jehovah, to contain the ark of the covenant, which was “dwelling in the middle of tent cloths.” Jehovah was pleased with David’s proposal but told him that, because he had shed much blood in warfare, his son (Solomon) would be privileged to do the building. This was not to say that God did not approve David’s wars fought in behalf of Jehovah’s name and His people. But the temple was to be built in peace by a man of peace.—2Sa 7:1-16; 1Ki 5:3-5; 8:17; 1Ch 17:1-14; 22:6-10.

(1 KINGS 5:11)

“And Solʹo•mon gave Hiʹram 20,000 cor measures of wheat as food supplies for his household and 20 cor measures of very fine olive oil. That was what Solʹo•mon gave Hiʹram year after year.”

*** it-2 p. 546 Oil ***
An Important Trade and Food Commodity. Olive oil became an important trade commodity in Palestine because of its abundance there. Yearly, Solomon gave King Hiram of Tyre “twenty cor measures [4,400 L; 1,160 gal] of beaten-out oil” as part of a payment for temple construction materials. (1Ki 5:10, 11)

(1 KINGS 5:13)

“King Solʹo•mon conscripted men for forced labor out of all Israel; 30,000 men were conscripted.”

*** w05 2/15 p. 23 ‘If You Are Impressed Into Service’ ***
As for the Israelites employed in building projects, 1 Kings 5:13, 14 says: “King Solomon kept bringing up those conscripted for forced labor out of all Israel; and those conscripted for forced labor amounted to thirty thousand men. And he would send them to Lebanon in shifts of ten thousand a month. For a month they would continue in Lebanon, for two months at their homes.” “There can be no doubt,” says one scholar, “that the Israelite and Judean kings made use of the corvée as a means of securing unpaid labor for their building activities as well as for work on the crown-lands.”

(1 KINGS 5:16)

“as well as Solʹo•mon’s 3,300 princely deputies who served as foremen to supervise the workmen.”

*** w05 12/1 p. 19 par. 2 Highlights From the Book of Second Chronicles ***
2:18; 8:10—These verses state that the number of deputies serving as overseers and as foremen over the labor force was 3,600 plus 250, whereas according to 1 Kings 5:16; 9:23, they numbered 3,300 plus 550. Why do the numbers differ? The difference seems to be in the way the deputies are classified. It may be that Second Chronicles differentiates between 3,600 non-Israelites and 250 Israelite deputies, while First Kings distinguishes 3,300 foremen from 550 chief supervisors of higher rank. In any case, the total number of those serving as deputies was 3,850.

*** it-1 p. 615 Deputy ***
“Princely deputies” also served as foremen and overseers of the labor force engaged in construction during Solomon’s reign. It seems that the two accounts of these deputies in First Kings and Second Chronicles differed only in methods of classification, the first listing 3,300 plus 550 for a total of 3,850 (1Ki 5:16; 9:23), and the second giving 3,600 plus 250, which also totals 3,850. (2Ch 2:18; 8:10) Scholars (Ewald, Keil, Michaelis) suggest that the Chronicles figures distinguish between the 3,600 non-Israelite and the 250 Israelite deputies, whereas in Kings the distinction in deputies is between 3,300 subordinate foremen and 550 chief supervisors, this latter figure including 300 non-Israelites.

(1 KINGS 6:1)

“In the 480th year after the Israelites came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year after Solʹo•mon became king over Israel, in the month of Ziv (that is, the second month), he began to build the house of Jehovah.”

*** g 5/12 p. 17 The Bible—A Book of Accurate Prophecy, Part 1 ***
[Box on page 17]
PRECISE TIMEKEEPING
An example of the value of the Bible’s precise timekeeping is demonstrated at 1 Kings 6:1, which points to the time when King Solomon commenced work on the temple in Jerusalem. We read: “It came about in the four hundred and eightieth year [479 full years] after the sons of Israel came out from the land of Egypt, in the fourth year [of Solomon’s reign], in the month of Ziv, that is, the second month, after Solomon became king over Israel, that he proceeded to build the house to Jehovah.”
Bible chronology places the fourth year of Solomon’s reign at 1034 B.C.E. Counting back from that date 479 full years brings us to 1513 B.C.E. as the year of Israel’s Exodus.

*** si p. 47 par. 5 Bible Book Number 7—Judges ***
5 How long a period does Judges cover? This can be calculated from 1 Kings 6:1, which shows that Solomon began to build the house of Jehovah in the fourth year of his reign, which was also “the four hundred and eightieth year after the sons of Israel came out from the land of Egypt.” (“Four hundred and eightieth” being an ordinal number, it represents 479 full years.) The known time periods included in the 479 years are 40 years under Moses in the wilderness (Deut. 8:2), 40 years of Saul’s reign (Acts 13:21), 40 years of David’s reign (2 Sam. 5:4, 5), and the first 3 full years of Solomon’s reign. Subtracting this total of 123 years from the 479 years of 1 Kings 6:1, there remain 356 years for the period between the entry of Israel into Canaan and the start of Saul’s reign. The events recorded in the book of Judges, extending largely from the death of Joshua down to the time of Samuel, cover about 330 years of this 356-year period.

*** it-1 p. 461 Chronology ***
It was in the “four hundred and eightieth year after the sons of Israel came out from the land of Egypt,” in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign, that construction began on the temple at Jerusalem. (1Ki 6:1) “Four hundred and eightieth” is an ordinal number representing 479 full years plus some additional time, in this case one month. Counting 479 years from the Exodus (Nisan 1513 B.C.E.) brings us to 1034 B.C.E., with the temple construction beginning in the second month, Ziv (corresponding to part of April and part of May). Since this was the fourth year (another ordinal number) of Solomon’s rule, his reign began three full years earlier in 1037 B.C.E. His 40-year rule evidently ran from Nisan 1037 to Nisan 997 B.C.E., with the division of the kingdom taking place in the latter year.

(1 KINGS 6:3)

“The porch in front of the temple was 20 cubits long, corresponding to the width of the house. Its depth was ten cubits from the front of the house.”

*** it-2 p. 654 Porch ***
Solomon’s Temple. While the primary portions of the temple were the Holy and Most Holy compartments, in front of the Holy (toward the E) there was a massive porch that served as an entranceway to the temple. The porch was 20 cubits (8.9 m; 29.2 ft) long (running along the width of the temple) and 10 cubits (4.5 m; 14.6 ft) deep. (1Ki 6:3)

(1 KINGS 6:18)

“The cedar inside the house was carved with gourds and flowers in bloom. All of it was cedar; no stone was seen.”

*** it-1 p. 991 Gourd ***
The gourd-shaped ornaments (Heb., peqa•ʽimʹ) adorning the molten sea and the cedarwood paneling inside Solomon’s temple may have been round like the fruit of the colocynth.—1Ki 6:18; 7:24; 2Ch 4:3.

(1 KINGS 6:23)

“In the innermost room he made two cherubs of pinewood, each ten cubits high.”

*** it-2 p. 547 Oil Tree ***
The King James Version and Revised Standard Version refer to wood of the olive tree at 1 Kings 6:23, and it is suggested that the cherubs may have been constructed of several pieces joined together, since the olive’s short trunk does not provide timbers of great lengths. Still, the fact that the olive tree is alluded to as distinct from the oil tree at Nehemiah 8:15 would seem to rule out this suggestion.

(1 KINGS 6:27)

“Then he put the cherubs inside the inner house. The wings of the cherubs were extended so that the wing of the one cherub reached to one wall and the wing of the other cherub reached to the other wall, and their wings extended toward the middle of the house, so that the wings touched.”

*** it-1 p. 432 Cherub ***
The detailed architectural plans for Solomon’s magnificent temple called for two huge cherubs in the Most Holy. They were made of oil-tree wood overlaid with gold, each standing ten cubits (4.5 m; 14.6 ft) high. They both stood facing the E on a N-S line running presumably through the center of the room. Although standing ten cubits apart, one wing of each cherub reached to touch the tip of the other’s extended wing in the center of the room, overshadowing the ark of the covenant and its poles, which rested beneath. The outer wings of each cherub touched the N and S walls respectively. Thus the wings of the cherubs spanned the 20-cubit width of the room. (See TEMPLE.) Engraved carvings of cherubs, overlaid with gold, also decorated the walls and doors of the temple. Likewise the sides of the copper water carriages were ornamented with cherubs. (1Ki 6:23-35; 7:29-36; 8:6, 7; 1Ch 28:18; 2Ch 3:7, 10-14; 5:7, 8) In a similar manner, carved cherubs ornamented the walls and doors of the temple that Ezekiel envisioned.—Eze 41:17-20, 23-25.

(1 KINGS 6:38)

“and in the 11th year, in the month of Bul (that is, the eighth month), the house was finished in all its details and according to its plan. So he spent seven years building it.”

*** nwt p. 1694 Glossary ***
Bul. The name of the eighth month of the Jewish sacred calendar and the second month of the secular calendar. It comes from a root meaning “yield; produce” and ran from mid-October to mid-November. (1Ki 6:38)—See App. B15.

*** nwt p. 1796 B15 Hebrew Calendar ***
HESHVAN (BUL) October—November

Light rains
Olives

*** it-1 p. 374 Bul ***
Following the Exodus from Egypt, Bul became the eighth month in the sacred calendar, and it was during this month that Solomon completed the construction of the temple at Jerusalem. (1Ki 6:38) Jeroboam, the founder of the separatist northern kingdom of Israel, arbitrarily made this month a festival month, as part of his plan to divert the people’s attention from Jerusalem and its feasts.—1Ki 12:26, 31-33.
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