1 Kings Chapter 4

King Solomon had been blessed with wisdom and wealth by the hand of the Lord. Due to his wisdom, which had been shown as he judged the people, he was revered throughout the land. In this chapter, he continues the establishment of his kingdom. It begins:

1 So king Solomon was king over all Israel.
2 And these were the princes which he had; Azariah the son of Zadok the priest,
3 Elihoreph and Ahiah, the sons of Shisha, scribes; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, the recorder.
4 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the host: and Zadok and Abiathar were the priests:
5 And Azariah the son of Nathan was over the officers: and Zabud the son of Nathan was principal officer, and the king’s friend:
6 And Ahishar was over the household: and Adoniram the son of Abda was over the tribute.

The princes, scribes, recorder, captain of the army, priests, and other officers of Solomon and his kingdom were listed here. They included Azariah,Elihoreph, Ahiah, Jehoshaphat, Benaiah, Zadok, Abiathar, Azariah, Zabud, Ahishar, and Adoniram. Zabud is named not only as an officer, but the friend of Solomon. It seems that he may have been a man whom Solomon trusted to be by his side as he ruled.

7 And Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, which provided victuals for the king and his household: each man his month in a year made provision.
8 And these are their names: The son of Hur, in mount Ephraim:
9 The son of Dekar, in Makaz, and in Shaalbim, and Beth-shemesh, and Elon-beth-hanan:
10 The son of Hesed, in Aruboth; to him pertained Sochoh, and all the land of Hepher:
11 The son of Abinadab, in all the region of Dor; which had Taphath the daughter of Solomon to wife:
12 Baana the son of Ahilud; to him pertained Taanach and Megiddo, and all Beth-shean, which is by Zartanah beneath Jezreel, from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah, even unto the place that is beyond Jokneam:
13 The son of Geber, in Ramoth-gilead; to him pertained the towns of Jair the son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead; to him also pertained the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, threescore great cities with walls and brasen bars:
14 Ahinadab the son of Iddo had Mahanaim:
15 Ahimaaz was in Naphtali; he also took Basmath the daughter of Solomon to wife:
16 Baanah the son of Hushai was in Asher and in Aloth:
17 Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in Issachar:
18 Shimei the son of Elah, in Benjamin:
19 Geber the son of Uri was in the country of Gilead, in the country of Sihon king of the Amorites, and of Og king of Bashan; and he was the only officer which was in the land.

Those who provided food for the king and those in his household, or who were in charge of the gathering and giving of food, were also listed. There were twelve of them, I believe for the different parts of Israel.

20 Judah and Israel were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking, and making merry.
21 And Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt: they brought presents, and served Solomon all the days of his life.

The number of people in the land, were numerous. They were a merry people, and they served Solomon and gave him gifts.

22 And Solomon’s provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour, and threescore measures of meal,
23 Ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and an hundred sheep, beside harts, and roebucks, and fallowdeer, and fatted fowl.
24 For he had dominion over all the region on this side the river, from Tiphsah even to Azzah, over all the kings on this side the river: and he had peace on all sides round about him.
25 And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, all the days of Solomon.

He was blessed with prosperity and peace during his entire reign, which meant his people were also blessed with these things. Every man was able to be safe and secure in his own home. The kingdom of Solomon was great.

26 And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.
27 And those officers provided victual for king Solomon, and for all that came unto king Solomon’s table, every man in his month: they lacked nothing.
28 Barley also and straw for the horses and dromedaries brought they unto the place where the officers were, every man according to his charge.

He had a huge number of horses and chariots, and those who served him had all they needed, even with all that was necessary to take care of the king and all his household and belongings.

29 And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore.
30 And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt.
31 For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about.
32 And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five.
33 And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.
34 And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom.

Solomon was blessed with wisdom and understanding, just as the Lord had promised. Largeness of heart, seems to be something like great love for his people. His wisdom was so great, that it exceeded all men. He was famous in all the nations around them. He spoke in proverbs and songs, some of which are recorded in the scriptures, and he spoke of many things about nature and animals. People and leaders of all nations, went to hear him.

This chapter causes me to think about the amazing nature of gifts of the spirit. The scriptures teach us that everyone is born with a gift (see 1 Corinthians 7:7 and Doctrine and Covenants 46:11) and that we can seek for more gifts (see Doctrine and Covenants 46:8). In this case, Solomon sought after the gift of wisdom, so that he could be the leader that Israel needed. He is a great example of seeking after those gifts that would benefit those who we have a stewardship over. This is what the Lord wants us to desire and I believe that he desires to bless us with those things. Personally, I am a mother, and have a stewardship over 6 sweet children. I sometimes, and probably not often enough, think of my calling as a mother to children who belong to my Father in Heaven. They are not mine alone. They are His and He wants them to have the best earthly mother possible. He has blessed me with gifts that can help me in this calling, and it would be better for me, if I would seek after, and pray for, those gifts of the spirit, that would help me in this great work. God wants me to succeed in raising righteous, healthy, happy children that will be prepared to make good choices when they go out into the world on their own. Gifts of the spirit will give me the best tools for this success.

Solomon’s gift of wisdom, was grand and caused him to remain well-known throughout the world from his life to present day. We may not be known in the history books or even well-known in our time, because of the gifts that we have been given by God, but our gifts can be a legacy in our own lives is we use them for good. The scriptures teach us about gifts of the spirit and that the are to be used “for the benefit of the children of God“. If we hide our gifts or use them for things that are not uplifting and good, they will eventually be taken from us and given to another. I am so grateful for the gifts that God has given to me and I hope to be able to use them well, leaving a legacy for my posterity to learn from and to follow.

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