Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 9
Solomon finished the construction of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, in the 11th year of his rule (6:38). For 13 years, he then directed the construction of the royal palace (7:1). Solomon’s rule lasted for 40 years (11:42); so the Bible now seems to describe events during the second half of his rule.
When the construction work was complete, Solomon had more time to relax and to study. He already had a peaceful country to rule, great wealth and many wives. So, he had to decide what he considered worthwhile to do during the rest of his rule.
It was about this time that God appeared to Solomon for the second time. The first time had been at Gibeon, soon after Solomon became king (3:4-15). Then, God asked Solomon to choose a gift for himself. Solomon asked for wisdom, so that he would rule the country well.
On this second occasion, God also gave a choice to Solomon. Solomon had built the temple, which was so impressive, to give honour to God. However, that might happen in one of two ways. If Solomon and the kings after him were loyal to God, then God would support their rule. That would bring God honour.
However, perhaps they would turn away from God and refuse to obey his law. Then, for his own honour, God would have to act in judgment against them. He would allow their enemies to become strong and even to destroy his temple. Even that would bring honour to God. People from other nations would see what God had permitted to happen to his own temple. Then, they would understand that in all his judgments, God always acts in a right and proper manner.
Next part: God's answer to Solomon's prayer (1 Kings 9:3)
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