Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 9

The last 20 years of Solomon’s rule

1 Kings 9:24-25

It takes a long time to complete the construction of a truly great building. Solomon’s first wife was the daughter of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. She had to wait for 20 years until her royal palace was, at last, complete (7:8).

The day when she moved there would have been a great occasion, with a joyful procession (compare Song of Solomon 3:6-11) and perhaps a national holiday. Even after that, the construction work in Jerusalem was not complete. Solomon simply directed his workers to begin their next task.

During the last 20 years of his rule, Solomon did not neglect the temple (the house of God). However, we no longer read about his love for God (compare 1 Kings 3:3), or that he served God joyfully (compare 1 Kings 8:66). Rather, he did those things that he considered to be his duty.

So, to obey God’s law in Deuteronomy 16:16, Solomon went to the temple for each of the three sacred holidays (Deuteronomy 16:1-16). He offered animals as sacrifices (gifts to God) on each occasion. These should have expressed a desire to belong to God completely (compare 1 Kings 8:61) and a right relationship with God. However, later in his life, Solomon no longer had that desire, or that kind of relationship with God (11:1-10). He was simply following a form of religion.

In other ways, Solomon’s life at this time seemed successful. He continued to work hard; but he enjoyed the luxury of his palace (Ecclesiastes 2:4-9). He gained even more wealth. However, he himself could not benefit from that wealth, and his son would either waste or lose it (14:25-27).

Next part: Solomon builds ships at Ezion Geber (1 Kings 9:26-27)


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