Study Notes

1Kings 9:1-28

9:1-2 Solomon Finishes What He Desired

As you recall from our previous studies, Solomon built both the temple of the Lord and his own house. These two accomplishments were all that he desired to do - all that he had vision for. He certainly did other things, but his heart wasn't really in it.

All the while that Solomon had vision and desire to accomplish something, he did well. But as we will see soon enough, Solomon's life begins to go downhill. Part of the reason was that he'd accomplished all that he desired.

I am a man of vision. I am constantly pressing on, setting goal after goal. Long before I reach a point that I was once aiming for, I've already expanded and extended the vision beyond it. There is so much that I want to do for the benefit of the kingdom of God - I'll never accomplish all that I desire to do in the Lord's kingdom. And that's good - it keeps me out of trouble, keeps me from being idle.

But Solomon had limited vision, and within 13 years had accomplished all that he desired to do. The Lord knows that it is time to speak to Solomon. To reassure him that his prayers were heard, but also to warn him of the cost of drifting away from the Lord.

9:3 Perpetually Forever

Solomon had built the temple on Mount Zion, overlooking Jerusalem. His prayer was,

1Kgs. 8:13 "I have surely built Thee a lofty house, A place for Thy dwelling forever."

God lets him know that He heard his prayer and had consecrated, set apart, the temple by putting His name there forever. He promises that His eyes and heart will be there perpetually.

And in fact, God has kept this promise. Even now that the Islamic Dome of the Rock sits atop Mount Zion, it is still referred to as Temple Mount. Even though the Jews are not allowed atop the mount, they still gather at the Wailing Wall to pray to the Lord. Even though things don't look promising at the moment, the temple of God will again be built atop that mountain. In the Millennial Kingdom, Jesus Christ Himself will reign and rule from Mount Zion.

The Lord's eyes are constantly on that mountain. He pays special attention to the country of Israel, the city of Jerusalem, and the place of the Temple Mount.

9:4-5 If You Do Right

The promise that God gave to Solomon was a repeat of what He'd promised his father David. That is, if he walked right before God and man that there would always be a descendant upon his throne.

9:6-9 If You Do Wrong

But the flip side was also true: if he or his descendants turned away from following the Lord, then God would bring curses. Not only on the house of the king, but upon the nation, even upon the temple.

Today, God has given us this same promise. If we walk in His ways, we are abundantly blessed. If we stray away, we leave the place of blessing and covering. A lot of people disagree with this, saying that God doesn't operate like this today. It is true that God never stops loving us. But as Jude instructed,

Jude 21 keep yourselves in the love of God...

We can put ourselves in a place where God cannot pour out the blessings on us that He desires to. James tells us,

James 4:8-10 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

The Scripture exhorts us from beginning to end: repent, turn from our sin, turn to God, follow Him and walk in His ways, obey His commandments. We are foolish to expect presents and rewards from our Father if we are in constant rebellion against Him.

As we shall see as we continue on through the book of Kings, Solomon and his descendants did not take the road of blessings. Will we learn from their mistake?

9:10-14 Hiram And The Twenty Cities

Remember that Khee-RAWM was the king of Tyre. He had been friendly to Solomon's father King David many years before. He was the one who'd taken the initiative to build David's house as a gift.

2Sam. 5:11 Then Khee-RAWM king of Tyre sent messengers to David with cedar trees and carpenters and stonemasons; and they built a house for David.

After Solomon had become king, Khee-RAWM sent messengers to him as well, asking how he could help. Solomon had said, "I'm planning to build a temple for the Lord. Since everyone knows that no one cuts timber like the Tsee-DON-ians, will you have your guys cut cedars from Lebanon for me?

1Kgs. 5:7-10 And it came about when Khee-RAWM heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly and said, "Blessed be the LORD today, who has given to David a wise son over this great people." So Khee-RAWM sent {word} to Solomon, saying, "I have heard {the message} which you have sent me; I will do what you desire concerning the cedar and cypress timber. My servants will bring {them} down from Lebanon to the sea; and I will make them into rafts {to go} by sea to the place where you direct me, and I will have them broken up there, and you shall carry {them} away. Then you shall accomplish my desire by giving food to my household." So Khee-RAWM gave Solomon as much as he desired of the cedar and cypress timber.

During the years of work, Solomon gave Khee-RAWM an abundance of wheat and oil. There was peace between the two, and they made a covenant.

Debt For The Temple

Now that the work is over, Solomon gives Khee-rawm twenty cities in the land of Galilee. Was he just being generous? No, he got into debt.

Solomon's temple project cost more than he thought it would. As we look down to verse 14, we read,

1Kgs. 9:14 And Khee-RAWM sent to the king 120 talents of gold.

Now the verb tense of "sent" should be understood literally as the NIV renders this verse:

1Kgs. 9:14 Now Khee-RAWM had sent to the king 120 talents of gold.

Solomon became indebted to Khee-RAWM, and the twenty cities were given as payment.

But Khee-RAWM wasn't happy about the value of the cities. His impression of them was so bad that they became known as the land of Kaw-BOOL. The meaning of this word is uncertain. It is either the Pheonician word for "displeasing," a similar-sounding word to the Hebrew "good for nothing," or it means "limited and binding." Whatever the definition, Khee-rawm isn't happy about his payment.

Should Solomon have gone into debt to build the house of God? That is a question that I have weighed many times and questioned many Christian leaders about over the last six months.

It is certainly evil to borrow money that you cannot pay back. The proverb says,

Ps. 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, but the righteous is gracious and gives.

But what concerns me is the Scripture that says,

Prov. 22:7 The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower {becomes} the lender's slave.

Solomon became indebted to Khee-rawm, the king of an unbelieving nation, as he built the Lord's temple. This didn't prevent the Lord from blessing the temple, but it led to difficulty later.

I continue to wrestle with this issue as we seek the Lord's future for our fellowship. Should we go ahead and borrow the money from a bank? Should we seek out a group of Christians that will lend us the money instead? Should we wait for the Lord to provide all the money? I don't have all the answers, and am simply waiting upon the Lord to hear His heart.

9:15 Solomon's Building Projects

Verse 15 tells us that Solomon not only built the temple and his own house, but also some other things.

The Millo

"Mil-LO" in Hebrew means "rampart, mound, or the filling in." In ancient Jerusalem, there was a ravine called the Tyropoeon Valley, which was a topological division between two parts of the city. It made travel in the city difficult (you can picture it creating the same problem that the airport has right here in Cheyenne).

Solomon had retaining walls built and the area filled in (hence the name Mil-LO).

The Wall of Jerusalem

The wall of Jerusalem was also built around Jerusalem under Solomon's direction. Initially, the city's defenses were centered around the Stronghold of Zion, which David conquered when he captured the city. But Jerusalem is much larger now, since 60 or 70 years have passed, and needs to be protected.


"Khaw-TSORE" means "castle or fortress." It was a strategically placed city up in the northern part of the kingdom of Israel. So strategic that it was at one time the head of all the Canaanite kingdoms (Josh. 11:10). It had been destroyed by fire under the direction of Joshua (Josh. 11:11), but it had recovered years later, as we see Yaw-BENE, the king of Canaan reigning there during the time of the book of Judges.

You may remember Yaw-BENE's captain See-ser-AW as being the guy who had a tent peg pounded through his head while he slept (Judges 4:21).

But now the city of Khaw-TSORE is under Israelite control, and Solomon built this up again as well.


He also built Meg-id-DO. This too was a strategic city, centrally located. Many decisive battles were fought - and will be again - here. Armageddon (or Harmagedon) means "the hill or city of Megiddo," and will be the setting for that battle we read of in the book of Revelation (Rev. 16:16).

9:16 Gezer

GHEH-zer was yet another strategic city, although this one was to the south. Originally, it had been captured from the Canaanites by Egypt, but Pharaoh gave it to his daughter (Solomon's wife) as a wedding gift. So of course, Solomon had this city rebuilt as well.

9:17-19 Other Places Rebuilt

You may remember Bayth Kho-RONE as the place in Joshua 10 where God sent massive hailstones down upon the Amorites who the Israelites were at war with.

Bah-al-AWTH and Tamar are two more towns whose actual locations are lost in antiquity.

9:20-24 Forced Laborers

Solomon levied forced laborers from the Canaanites that had not been utterly destroyed, as God had commanded Israel when they first entered the land. This had been a problem for the Israelites from way back. We read in Joshua,

Josh. 15:63 Now as for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the sons of Judah could not drive them out...

Josh. 17:12-13 But the sons of Manasseh could not take possession of these cities, because the Canaanites persisted in living in that land. And it came about when the sons of Israel became strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but they did not drive them out completely.

If God commanded it, why does the Scripture say, "the sons of Israel were UNABLE to destroy" them? The problem was their lack of faith in God's ability to deliver them and strengthen them. If we don't believe, we won't step up and act. If we don't act, we are unable to accomplish what God has told us to do.

With faith, we can be a David, facing a Goliath. We can be a Joshua facing a Jericho. Without faith, we will accomplish very little, and never fully receive what God has commanded, what God has desired for us.

9:25 Offerings

Three times a year, Solomon offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. Now, for those of you who went through our study of Leviticus, you are aware that all of the sacrificial offerings were prophetic pictures of the offering of Jesus Christ.

Burnt Offerings

The burnt offering is detailed in Leviticus chapter one. The purpose of this offering was for a person to be accepted before the Lord, to have atonement - his sin covered.

The procedure followed was to find a male without defect, lay his hand on the head of the animal, then it was killed. Afterwards was a process involving the skinning, cutting, and burning or washing of the parts.

The price of the offering was either a bull, a sheep or goat, or a turtledove. This was to allow sacrifices whether the person was rich or poor. In chapters 5 and 12, the Lord specifically says that if the worshipper cannot afford a lamb, then birds are a suitable substitute.

Jesus was a male without defect - sinless in every way (2Cor. 5:21; Hebr. 4:15; 1Pet. 2:22; 1John 3:5).

The guilt of sin was transferred by the laying on of hands - from the sinner to the sacrifice. The animal's death was a substitute for the death of the sinner. Jesus did this for us as well.

Isa. 53:4-5 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.

For a more complete study on the burnt offering, pick up the tape on Leviticus 1.

Peace Offerings

The peace offering is outlined in Leviticus 3. The purpose of the peace offering was to have fellowship with God (the NIV Bible actually calls this offering the fellowship offering).

The name of the offering in Hebrew is "SHEH-lem." Its origin carries the idea of peace coming from restoration. So the idea behind the offering was to have fellowship, or peace, with God restored.

This offering is a picture of Jesus Christ in regards to the restoration of fellowship that His sacrifice gave us. As you know, before receiving Christ's sacrifice, we were enemies of God because of sin. Now Jesus has restored the peace and fellowship that was broken because of sin. Ephesians 2 says,

Eph. 2:13-18 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both {groups into} one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, {which is} the Law of commandments {contained} in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, {thus} establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. AND HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO THOSE WHO WERE NEAR; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.

It is through Jesus Christ's offering of His flesh that we have peace and fellowship with God. Romans tells us,

Rom. 5:1-2 Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

Again, every detail points to Jesus. I would refer you to the tape on Leviticus 3 for the in-depth study.

9:26-28 A Fleet Of Ships

Solomon also began a navy based at Ets-YONE GHEH-ber near Ay-LATH, on the shore of the Red Sea. Of course, the Israelites knew fishing on lakes, but they had never been a sea-faring people. Thus, Khee-RAWM staffed the fleet with his sailors in addition to the Israelites.

The navy was able to secure gold in O-FEER, which is southern Arabia.

Next week, we will look at the famed visit by the Queen of Sheba.

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