Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 10
As a son of King David, Solomon learned to ride in his youth (see 2 Samuel 13:29). His first wife came from Egypt (3:1), which was famous for its excellent horses (Song of Solomon 1:9). Many of the guests whom foreign kings sent to him (4:34), brought him fine horses as gifts (10:25). So, Solomon had a genuine interest in horses.
Although Solomon’s rule was mostly peaceful, he also obtained many horses for his army. Horses were extremely powerful and useful in battle (Job 39:19-25). They could pull chariots – simple vehicles that carried soldiers. At the time of Solomon, this was the most modern military equipment. These chariots made his army more powerful than the other nations near him.
Solomon’s great wealth made it easy for him to afford these things. The usual price for a horse or chariot was a certain amount of silver. However, silver had become so plentiful in Jerusalem that Solomon did not even consider it precious. So, Solomon could buy as many horses and chariots as he wanted.
In this matter, Solomon was not obeying God’s law. Deuteronomy 17:16 directed him not to collect horses, and not to depend on Egypt for the supply of them. Instead, like David, he should have put his trust in God for the defence of his country (Psalm 20:7-8).
However, Solomon’s traders considered the trade in horses and chariots a good way to make profits. They did not just sell the horses and chariots to Solomon – they also exported them to nations that would in the future be Israel’s enemies.
Next part: Solomon marries many wives from different nations (1 Kings 11:1)
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