Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 9

Gezer: the wedding gift for Pharaoh’s daughter

1 Kings 9:16

Many of the people who lived in ancient Israel, did not belong to Israel. Their families had belonged to nations that had been Israel’s enemies. Solomon dealt firmly with them so that they would not continue to cause trouble for Israel’s people. He gave them work to do, and he moved them from their towns.

Other kings dealt with the problems that such people caused in a much more cruel manner. Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, was the father of Solomon’s first wife (3:1). He wanted her to be the richest of Solomon’s wives, so he (Pharaoh) gave her a city as a wedding gift. That city was Gezer, on the border of Israel; its inhabitants were enemies of Israel. So, Pharaoh simply sent an army to attack and to destroy Gezer. They burned it down and they killed its inhabitants. He then gave the place to his daughter, and Solomon rebuilt it. Pharaoh’s daughter benefitted from the rent and taxes that its new inhabitants paid. This provided her with a good, regular income.

We have no evidence that the original inhabitants of Gezer had done anything to offend Pharaoh. Probably Pharaoh chose that city to attack simply because he liked its situation. It was between Israel and Philistia, close to the route between Jerusalem and Egypt.

Because of Israel’s relationship with God, Solomon cared about whether he was dealing properly with his enemies. However Pharaoh did not know Israel’s God. So, Pharaoh did not consider that he had any duty to act properly or kindly towards the people in Gezer.

Next part: Solomon makes Israel stronger (1 Kings 9:17-19)


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