Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 4
One of Solomon’s chief government officials was Adoniram. His responsibility was to arrange and to organise the men who had to work for Solomon.
At the start of Solomon’s rule, it seems that they did this gladly. In war, the men had to fight for their king and country. So it did not seem unusual that, in peace, they should do some work for him. They were not slaves; they worked for the king for one month at a time (5:13-14). This arrangement had begun during the mostly peaceful later part of David’s rule (2 Samuel 20:24). Similarly, David had arranged that most of the men in Israel’s army would only serve for one month each year (1 Chronicles 27:1-15).
The men who had to work, were not merely carrying out their tasks for the king’s benefit. Their first major task was to gather the wood to build the temple, the great house of God in Jerusalem. They would later work on the construction of the king’s palaces; but many of their tasks were for the public benefit. One especially important task was to make good roads (Isaiah 40:3). Another important construction task was the supply of water (Ecclesiastes 2:6). Everyone could benefit when the king’s officials organised men to carry out this kind of work.
Solomon also made a monthly arrangement for the payment of taxes. Each part of his country was responsible to provide what the king and his palaces needed for one month in the year.
Next part: Taxes for the royal palaces (1 Kings 4:7)
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