IN VERSE ONE, THE FIRST WORDS ARE THAT KING SOLOMON WAS KING OVER ‘ALL YISHARAL'. THIS IS NO THROW-AWAY PHRASE, FOR IT IS MAKING CLEAR THAT SOLOMON WAS THE SINGLE UNDISPUTED RULER OVER ALL 12 TRIBES AND ALL 12 TRIBAL TERRITORIES.
AND THERE HAD NOT BEEN A RULER WHO COULD CLAIM THAT BEFORE DAVID (THOUGH JOSHUA MIGHT BE SEEN AS RULING OVER ALL 12 TRIBES) AND FOR DAVID IT WAS ON-AGAIN OFF-AGAIN DURING HIS REIGN. THERE WERE NOT ONLY THE NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN TRIBAL COALITIONS THAT NEVER WANTED MUCH TO DO WITH ONE ANOTHER, BUT ALSO THE TRANS-JORDANIAN ONE THAT CONSISTED OF THE 2 1⁄2 TRIBES OF YISHARAL THAT LIVED ON THE EAST SIDE OF THE JORDAN RIVER, OUTSIDE OF THE PROMISE LAND. THESE COALITIONS AND THEIR VARIOUS ALLIANCES WERE IN CONSTANT FLUX AND AT TIMES THE SITUATION WAS UTTERLY CHAOTIC.
These are the names of his leading officials: Azariah son of Zadok was the Priest; Elihoreph and Ahijah (sons of Shisha) were Scribes that had the job of writing notes about what happened in the courts, Jehoshaphat (son of Ahilud) wrote notes about the history of the people, Benaiah (son of Jehoiada) was the Commander of the Army, Zadok and Abiathar were High Priests (until Solomon sent Abiathar packing), Azariah (son of Nathan) was in charge of the District Governors, Zabud (son of Nathan) was a Priest and an advisor to King Solomon, Ahishar was responsible for everything in the King’s palace, Adoniram (son of Abda) was in charge of the slaves.
Yisharal was divided into twelve districts and Solomon chose Governors to rule over each district. These Governors were ordered to gather food from their districts and give it to the King and his family. Each of the twelve Governors was responsible for giving food to the King one month each year. These are the names of the twelve Governors:
*Ben Hur was Governor of the hill country of Ephraim.
*Ben Deker was Governor of Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth Shemesh, and Elon Bethhanan.
*Ben Hesed was Governor of Arubboth, Socoh, and Hepher.
*Ben Abinadab was Governor of Naphoth Dor. He was married to Taphath, daughter of Solomon.
*Baana son of Ahilud was Governor of Taanach and Megiddo and all of Beth Shean next to Zarethan. This was below Jezreel, from Beth Shean to Abel Meholah across from Jokmeam.
*Ben Geber was Governor of Ramoth Gilead. He was Governor of all the towns and villages of Jair son of Manasseh in Gilead. He was also Governor of the district of Argob in Bashan. In this area there were 60 cities with big walls around them. These cities also had bronze bars on the gates.
*Ahinadab son of Iddo was Governor of Mahanaim.
*Ahimaaz was Governor of Naphtali. He was married to Basemath the daughter of Solomon.
*Baana son of Hushai was Governor of Asher and Aloth.
*Jehoshaphat son of Paruah was Governor of Issachar.
*Shimei son of Ela was Governor of Benjamin.
*Geber son of Uri was Governor of Gilead. There had been two Kings in this area, King Sihon of the Amorites and King Og of Bashan, but Solomon appointed only one Governor for that district.
In Judah and Yisharal there were as many people as sand on the seashore. The people were happy and had plenty to eat and drink. Solomon ruled over all the Kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines. His Kingdom went as far as the border of Egypt.
And all these countries sent gifts to Solomon in peace, and they obeyed him all of his life because of his great power in ruling. This is the amount of food that Solomon needed each day for himself and for everyone who ate at his table: 150 bushels of fine flour, 300 bushels of flour, 10 cattle that were fed grain, 20 cattle that were raised in the fields, 100 sheep, wild animals such as deer, gazelles, roebucks, and game birds.
Solomon ruled over all the countries west of the Euphrates River, from Tiphsah to Gaza. And Solomon had peace along all the borders of his Kingdom. During Solomon’s life everyone in Judah and Yisharal, all the way from Dan to Beersheba, lived in peace and security. The people were at peace sitting under their own fig trees and grapevines. Solomon had places to keep 4000 horses for his chariots and he had 12,000 horse soldiers. And each month, one of the twelve district Governors gave King Solomon everything he needed for all the people who ate at the King’s table. The district Governors also gave the King enough straw and barley for the chariot horses and the riding horses. Everyone brought this grain to the necessary places.
THE MARRIAGE TO PHARAOH’S DAUGHTER BEGAN A STEADY DOWNWARD SLIDE IN SOLOMON'S RELATIONSHIP WITH YAHUAH, AND ALSO IN HOW HE RULED OVER HIS KINGDOM. AND THIS WAS BECAUSE THE MARRIAGE WAS NOTHING MORE NOR LESS THAN THE SURETY OF AN ALLIANCE BETWEEN EGYPT AND YISHARAL. THIS KIND OF ALLIANCE WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE HAPPENED ... IN FACT IT WAS FORBIDDEN:
DEUT 17:14-17 "WHEN YOU HAVE ENTERED THE LAND YAHUAH YOUR ALAHIM IS GIVING YOU, HAVE TAKEN POSSESSION OF IT AND ARE LIVING THERE, YOU MAY SAY, 'I WANT TO HAVE A KING OVER ME, LIKE ALL THE OTHER NATIONS AROUND ME.' IN THAT EVENT, YOU MUST APPOINT AS KING THE ONE WHOM YAHUAH YOUR ALAHIM WILL CHOOSE. HE MUST BE ONE OF YOUR KINSMEN, THIS KING YOU APPOINT OVER YOU - YOU ARE FORBIDDEN TO APPOINT A FOREIGNER OVER YOU WHO IS NOT YOUR KINSMAN. HOWEVER, HE IS NOT TO ACQUIRE MANY HORSES FOR HIMSELF OR HAVE THE PEOPLE RETURN TO EGYPT TO OBTAIN MORE HORSES, INASMUCH AS YAHUAH TOLD YOU NEVER TO GO BACK THAT WAY AGAIN. LIKEWISE, HE IS NOT TO ACQUIRE MANY WIVES FOR HIMSELF, SO THAT HIS HEART WILL NOT TURN AWAY, AND HE IS NOT TO ACQUIRE EXCESSIVE QUANTITIES OF SILVER AND GOLD".
SOLOMON WAS RUNNING HEADLONG INTO TROUBLE ALL THE WHILE THINKING HIS BRILLIANCE WAS LEADING YISHARAL INTO A NEW AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT AND PEACE. IN THIS SHORT PASSAGE ALONE JUST LOOK AT THE COMMANDMENTS OF YAHUAH THAT HE WAS BREAKING (NOT ONLY THE LETTER BUT THE SPIRIT OF THE COMMANDMENTS). SHOULD YISHARAL APPOINT A KING OVER THEMSELVES (SOMETHING WARNED AGAINST), THE TORAH SAYS THAT THIS KING OUGHT NOT TO LEAD HIS PEOPLE BACK TOWARDS EGYPT. THAT IS, THEY WERE NOT TO CREATE A RELATIONSHIP OF ALLIANCE WITH EGYPT. THIS DID NOT NECESSARILY MEAN THAT THEY WERE TO WAR WITH EGYPT, BUT TO BEGIN TO INTERMINGLE POLITICALLY AND SOCIALLY, AND INTERMARRIAGE WAS FORBIDDEN. NOT ONLY THAT BUT THE KING WAS NOT TO OBTAIN A LARGE NUMBER OF HORSES OR A LARGE NUMBER OF WIVES. SOLOMON NOT ONLY IGNORED THESE DIVINE INSTRUCTIONS HE DID THE OPPOSITE TO THE EXTREME. AND THE EVENTUAL OUTCOME WAS INEVITABLE.
And YAHUAH gave Solomon exceedingly great wisdom and understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore. He was wiser than anyone in the East (between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers as far east as the Persian Gulf) or in Egypt. He was wiser than anyone on earth, even Ethan the Ezrahite and the sons of Mahol: Heman, Calcol, and Darda. King Solomon became famous in all the surrounding countries.
WHAT KIND OF WISDOM DID EGYPT AND THE CHILDREN OF THE EAST POSSESS? CUNNINGNESS AND SHREWDNESS. IT IS THE KIND THAT WE USUALLY ASSIGN TO ORIENTAL TRADERS AND MERCHANTS. FROM THIS POINT FORWARD IN THE SCRIPTURE YOU CAN GENERALLY TAKE ANY MENTION OF THE CHILDREN OF THE EAST TO BE YISHMAELITES; ARABS. AS FOR THE EGYPTIANS, THEY WERE KNOWN FOR THEIR TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND SCIENCE. THEY WERE EARLY INTELLECTUALS WHO EXCELLED IN ADVANCED FARMING, ANIMAL BREEDING TECHNIQUES, DESIGNING AND BUILDING OF ENORMOUS STRUCTURES, MEDICINE, ADVANCING THE ART OF WRITING, AND MILITARY ARMAMENTS. IT IS THE KIND OF WISDOM THAT TODAY WE ASSIGN TO WESTERN CULTURES. SO IT IS WITHIN THE CONTEXT BOTH OF SHREWDNESS IN BUSINESS AND POLITICS, AND INTELLECTUALISM, THAT SOLOMON IS BEING PRAISED. AND THE THING THAT IS SO CRITICAL FOR US TO SEE IN THIS IS THAT ALTHOUGH SOLOMON’S GREAT CAPACITY FOR UNDERSTANDING AND KNOWLEDGE CAME FROM YAHUAH, THAT DOESN’T MEAN SOLOMON ALWAYS USED IT IN WAYS THAT REFLECTED YAHUAH’S WILL.
He also taught about animals, birds, and snakes. People from every nation came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom. Kings all over the world sent their people to listen to him.
And by the end of his life, he had written (literally spoken) 3000 proverbs and 1005 songs. Solomon also knew very much about nature. He taught about many different kinds of plants: everything from the great cedar trees of Lebanon to the little vines that grow out of the walls.
WATCH CLOSELY AS WE JOURNEY THROUGH THE TWO BOOKS OF THE KINGS AS THE KING’S LAWS SLOWLY AND STEADILY OVERRIDE YAHUAH’S LAWS, AND THE PEOPLE SEEM EITHER UNAWARE OR UNINTERESTED IN THIS DEVELOPMENT, SO THE KINGDOM RAPIDLY NOSE-DIVES INTO CONFUSION AND CHAOS. AT FIRST EVERYTHING SEEMS TO BE WONDERFUL - THERE IS GREAT PROSPERITY, YISHARAL IS AN ADMIRED SUPERPOWER, AND INTERNATIONAL LEADERS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD COME TO SEE HOW YISHARAL AND ITS KING WERE ABLE TO ACHIEVE SUCH PREEMINENCE. BUT A FEW YEARS LATER, WITHIN A HANDFUL OF MONTHS OF SOLOMON’S DEATH, YISHARAL DISSOLVES INTO TWO KINGDOMS, IMMORALITY REIGNS, AND THE REMNANTS OF THIS ONCE GREAT COUNTRY BECOME JUST LIKE THEIR PAGAN NEIGHBOURS.
THIS IS THE PRICE THAT IS PAID WHEN YAHUSHA’S PEOPLE ABANDON HIS LAWS AND COMMANDMENTS AND GO OUR OWN WAY, THINKING WE KNOW BETTER ... THERE ARE ALWAYS CONSEQUENCES, FOR YAHUSHA IS NOT MOCKED !!!
KING SOLOMON IS AS MUCH BUSINESSMAN AS KING, AND HE USES THAT ABILITY TO MAKE THE KINGDOM OF YISHARAL THE ENVY OF THE WORLD. NOT LONG AFTER BEING CROWNED HE RAN HIS COUNTRY AS A CEO RUNS A CORPORATION, WITH ECONOMICS AS THE OVERRIDING PRIORITY. BUT AT THIS EARLY POINT IN HIS CAREER IT SEEMED AS THOUGH THE SPIRITUAL MAN WITHIN HIM HELD THE REIGNS OF HIS LIFE AS HE WENT ABOUT ORDERING HIS KINGDOM IN A WAY THAT MADE THE LIVES OF HIS CITIZENS MORE PROSPEROUS AND PEACEFUL THAN THEY HAD EVER KNOWN (EVEN IF THE BURDENS OF CENTRALIZED GOVERNMENT AND THE HIGH NATIONAL ASPIRATIONS OF THEIR KING PUT AN EVER-GROWING WEIGHT UPON THEIR SHOULDERS).
FOR THE MOMENT SOLOMON SEEMED TO BE CAREFULLY NAVIGATING ALONG A RAZOR’S EDGE THAT BALANCES THE KIND OF EARTHLY WISDOM THAT BRINGS FAME AND WEALTH WITH THE HIGHER KIND THAT EXALTS A NATION IN YAHUAH’S EYES. SO IN HIS EARLY REIGN SOLOMON WROTE DOWN TIMELESS WORDS OF WISDOM AND ADVICE THAT SURELY, HONESTLY REPRESENTED HIS RIGHTEOUS VIEWS ON MATTERS THAT HE FACED, AND THAT WE ALL MUST DEAL WITH ON A DAY TO DAY BASIS.
IN PROVERBS 3 YAHUAH’S ANOINTED KING WHO WAS PROMISED UNMATCHED DIVINE WISDOM, AND GIVEN LONG LIFE AS A CONDITIONAL GIFT FOR OBEYING YAHUAH’S COMMANDMENTS, SAYS THIS:
PROVERBS 3:13-18 "HAPPY THE PERSON WHO FINDS WISDOM, THE PERSON WHO ACQUIRES UNDERSTANDING. FOR HER PROFIT EXCEEDS THAT OF SILVER, AND GAINING HER IS BETTER THAN GOLD. SHE IS MORE PRECIOUS THAN PEARLS - NOTHING YOU WANT CAN COMPARE WITH HER. LONG LIFE IS IN HER RIGHT HAND, RICHES AND HONOR IN HER LEFT. HER WAYS ARE PLEASANT WAYS, AND ALL HER PATHS ARE PEACE. SHE IS A TREE OF LIFE TO THOSE WHO GRASP HER AND WHOEVER HOLDS FAST TO HER WILL BE MADE HAPPY".
AS TRUE AND PROFOUND AS HIS STATEMENT IS, ALREADY IN CHAPTER 5 WE ARE SEEING OMINOUS SIGNS THAT THE EVIL INCLINATION REMAINED ALIVE AND WELL WITHIN SOLOMON - SO, MUCH LIKE HIS FATHER, HE LOVED YAHUAH WITH ALL HIS HEART ON THE ONE HAND, AND INEXPLICABLY ON THE OTHER HAND HE COULD NOT RESIST THE TEMPTATIONS THAT THE WORLD OFFERED HIM. I THINK PERHAPS NO ONE SUMMED UP SOLOMON’S PROBLEM BETTER THAN PAUL WHEN IT COMES TO THE MADDENING DILEMMA OF OUR KNOWING AND LOVING YAHUAH AND YET INEVITABLY AT TIMES DOING WHAT WE KNOW IS WICKED AND DESTRUCTIVE AND SHAMEFUL:
ROMANS 7:14-24 "FOR WE KNOW THAT THE TORAH IS OF THE SPIRIT, BUT AS FOR ME, I AM BOUND TO THE OLD FLESHLY NATURE, SOLD TO SIN AS A SLAVE. I DON'T EVEN UNDERSTAND MY OWN HIDEOUS BEHAVIOR - I DON'T DO WHAT I WANT TO DO, INSTEAD, I DO THE VERY THING I HATE! NOW IF I AM DOING WHAT I DON'T WANT TO DO, I'M AGREEING THAT THE TORAH IS GOOD. BUT NOW IT'S NO LONGER 'THE REAL ME' BEHAVING IT, BUT THE SINFUL HABITS WITHIN ME. FOR I KNOW THAT THERE IS NOTHING GOOD IN MY FLESHLY BODY. O' I CAN WANT WHAT IS GOOD! DEFINITELY! BUT I NEVER SEEM TO DO IT! I DON'T BEHAVE THE WAY I WANT, BUT INSTEAD, KEEP FALLING BACK INTO THE SAME SINFUL HABITS! AND IF I'M DOING WHAT 'THE REAL ME' DOESN'T WANT, IT IS NO LONGER 'THE REAL ME' DOING IT BUT MY BAD SINFUL HABITS LIVING INSIDE ME. SO I FIND THAT'S THERE'S THIS VICIOUS CYCLE OF PERVERSDION GOING ON IN ME, BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH I ALWAYS WANT TO DO WHAT IS GOOD AND OBEDIENT, THE EVIL IS RIGHT THERE WITH ME! FOR IN MY INNER SELF I COMPLETELY AGREE AND DELIGHT IN YAHUAH'S INSTRUCTIONS, BUT IN MY BODY PARTS, I SEE A DIFFERENT BEHAVIOUR - ONE THAT BATTLES WITH HIS INSTRUCTIONS IN MY MIND AND MAKES ME A PRISONER OF SIN, WHICH IS OPERATING IN MY FLESHLY PARTS. WHAT A MISERABLE CREATURE I AM! WHO WILL RESCUE ME FROM THIS BODY BOUND FOR DEATH? THANKYOU YAHUSHA, FOR WITH MY MIND, THE REAL ME TRULY SERVES THE INSTRUCTIONS OF YAHUAH, BUT WITH THE FLESH I SERVE THE CYCLES OF SIN.
AS MUCH AS YAHUAH HAD GIVEN TO SOLOMON, HE DIDN’T HAVE WHAT EVEN THE POOREST, WEAKEST, BELIEVER HAS TODAY TO HELP THEM OVERCOME: THE BLOOD OF YAHUSHA AND THE INCORRUPTIBLE SEED OF ETERNAL LIFE PLANTED WITHIN THEM.