Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 4

Solomon’s military power

1 Kings 4:26-28

There was peace in Israel during most of Solomon’s rule. During David’s rule, Israel had gained control over the nations that surrounded it (2 Samuel chapter 8). So Solomon did not have to fight, as David did, to overcome his enemies.

However, Solomon still wanted to have a strong army, with the best military equipment. Horses were strong and bold animals in battles (Job 39:19-25). They were even more powerful when they pulled chariots. Chariots were simple vehicles that carried soldiers. So, it gave Solomon a real advantage in war to have horses and chariots for his army’s use. Solomon collected a great number of horses, which he obtained from Egypt, and from other nations (2 Chronicles 9:28).

In this matter, Solomon was not obeying God’s law. Deuteronomy 17:16 says that Israel’s king must not buy great numbers of horses. In particular, he must not send Israel’s people back to Egypt to get horses. God rescued Israel’s people from Egypt at the time of Moses - so they must not go back there.

That means that Israel’s people must not depend on military strength. The army of Egypt did that, and God defeated them (Exodus 14:26 to 15:5). Instead, God’s people must trust in God alone.

David knew that. He declared that he would not place his trust in chariots and in horses. Instead, he would trust God to rescue him from his enemies (Psalm 20:6-8).

Next part: Solomon's wisdom (1 Kings 4:29-34)


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