Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 4

The regions that provided for Solomon’s palaces during Winter

1 Kings 4:17-19

Each of the 12 governors or rulers had to supply what Solomon needed for one month each year. If the list is in order of the months, these last three governors provided for him during Winter.

There is a list of what they supplied in 1 Kings 4:22-28. It would have been necessary to harvest some of these things, particularly the grain, earlier in the year. Then, it was necessary to store it. Israel’s grain harvest is in Spring. So, the governors who were responsible for the Winter months had to make careful plans.

Jehoshaphat was the governor of Issachar, in the hills south of the sea called Galilee.

The last two governors both had regions close to Jerusalem. That might be useful if the weather was bad. Snow can fall in Israel.

Shimei was the governor of Benjamin, which may have been the smallest region. However, it included Jerusalem, the capital city, which was on the border with Judah. So perhaps Shimei collected the taxes in money, rather than the products of agriculture. Then, he could buy whatever Solomon needed.

Geber’s region was the last region. It was the furthest south of the three regions on the east side of the Jordan river. It was especially good land for agriculture. Here, the people from the tribe (family group) called Reuben kept their farm animals (Numbers 32:1-5).

It seems that the 12 governors did not have authority over Judah, in the south of Israel. Probably there were separate arrangements for the payment of taxes there.

Next part: Solomon's successful rule (1 Kings 4:20-23)


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