The Lord Appears to Solomon
9 As soon as Solomon had finished building the house of the LORD and the king’s house and all that Solomon desired to build, the LORD appeared to Solomon a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon. And the LORD said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your plea, which you have made before me. I have consecrated this house that you have built, by putting my name there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time. And as for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statutes and my rules, then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’ But if you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. And this house will become a heap of ruins. Everyone passing by it will be astonished and will hiss, and they will say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land and to this house?’ Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the LORD their God who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore the LORD has brought all this disaster on them.’”
Solomon’s Other Acts
At the end of twenty years, in which Solomon had built the two houses, the house of the LORD and the king’s house, and Hiram king of Tyre had supplied Solomon with cedar and cypress timber and gold, as much as he desired, King Solomon gave to Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee. But when Hiram came from Tyre to see the cities that Solomon had given him, they did not please him. Therefore he said, “What kind of cities are these that you have given me, my brother?” So they are called the land of Cabul to this day. Hiram had sent to the king 120 talents of gold.
And this is the account of the forced labor that King Solomon drafted to build the house of the LORD and his own house and the Millo and the wall of Jerusalem and Hazor and Megiddo and Gezer (Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up and captured Gezer and burned it with fire, and had killed the Canaanites who lived in the city, and had given it as dowry to his daughter, Solomon’s wife; so Solomon rebuilt Gezer) and Lower Beth-horon and Baalath and Tamar in the wilderness, in the land of Judah, and all the store cities that Solomon had, and the cities for his chariots, and the cities for his horsemen, and whatever Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion. All the people who were left of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not of the people of Israel—their descendants who were left after them in the land, whom the people of Israel were unable to devote to destruction—these Solomon drafted to be slaves, and so they are to this day. But of the people of Israel Solomon made no slaves. They were the soldiers, they were his officials, his commanders, his captains, his chariot commanders and his horsemen.
These were the chief officers who were over Solomon’s work: 550 who had charge of the people who carried on the work.
But Pharaoh’s daughter went up from the city of David to her own house that Solomon had built for her. Then he built the Millo.
Three times a year Solomon used to offer up burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar that he built to the LORD, making offerings with it before the LORD. So he finished the house.
King Solomon built a fleet of ships at Ezion-geber, which is near Eloth on the shore of the Red Sea, in the land of Edom. And Hiram sent with the fleet his servants, seamen who were familiar with the sea, together with the servants of Solomon. And they went to Ophir and brought from there gold, 420 talents, and they brought it to King Solomon.
1 Kings 9 Commentary
by Hank Workman
24 years had passed since Solomon took the throne. He had finished the construction of the temple as well as his palace. On some levels, it’s fair to say Solomon had settled into his reign when God appeared a second time to him personally. The beauty of this meeting also held a warning.
The beauty was God affirmed He had indeed heard Solomon’s prayer at the dedication and would act upon it. And what I’m struck with here initially is the amount of time that had passed. We know that God had heard the prayer initially as He appeared in the Temple itself through a heavy cloud. But if as commentator’s state he was 24 years into his reign, what had happened between the prayer and this moment of revelation? There are many times we pray and seek and well, as we know the answers are not immediate. Here is an example of such. But even in the possible silence of those years does not mean God didn’t hear our own pleas. It also does not mean He’s not observing what is going on with us. His timing was critical and at the right time for Solomon.
All of this makes what God said to Solomon even more profound. God reminded Solomon what was said initially that if he chose to follow after Him he would be blessed. Israel would be blessed. He was called to lead in holy righteousness. He was commissioned to be blameless. Yet God laid out conditions to all this. If he failed to follow, his blessing would be taken away and as the Living Bible says, Israel would be a joke to the other nations.
And here’s what I wonder… we know ‘the rest of the story’ as Paul Harvey used to say. Solomon had a huge downfall as his heart eventually was turned to other gods through the many wives he had. Was this meeting from God with Solomon a warning? Had Solomon by this time began to have his heart turn away? It is possible and I suppose we will never know. But this meeting could indeed have been an intervention from God to remind him of who he was and how God had put him where he was in leadership.
I like this aspect because it shows how God is involved in our lives even when we don’t recognize it. I love this aspect because God cared enough about Solomon personally even to meet with him. If Solomon’s heart was already being turned away or if he was simply dipping his toes in the water of neglecting Him, God met with him at a critical point to remind him of blessings and yes what was to come if he failed to follow.
He still does this today. As the conviction of the Holy Spirit presses in we must choose what we will do.
1 Kings 9 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
1 Kings 9 provides some insight into the subtle turn taking place in Solomon.
As soon as Solomon had finished building the house of the LORD and the king’s house and all that Solomon desired to build, 2 the LORD appeared to Solomon a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon.1 Kings 9:1-2 ESV
Solomon’s heart was fully invested in building. The Lord appears to him and reminds him of what will ultimately determine his fate. It will not be his legacy of building, but his personal relationship and intimacy with God. God was not asking Solomon to follow Him perfectly. In fact, he uses his father David as the example and we all know David was not perfect. What God was asking of Solomon was not beyond his capability.
It appears Solomon mortgaged land to Hiram of Tyre in return for gold. This money was used to build both the temple and Solomon’s house. Some have estimated the gold to be the modern-day equivalent of 50 million. It also appears that Solomon made a shrewd deal. Hiram considered the land to be worthless and later would give it back. This decision is not necessarily wrong but it does lead to many questions. This was land that God had divinely established for Israel and Solomon was handing it over to foreign rulers without any indication that he was consulting God.
In order to complete all of his building endeavors, Solomon needed labor. He hired remnants of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites to complete his projects. This another questionable decision. These tribes were commanded to be driven out of the land of Canaan and Solomon decided to strategically use them to enhance his projects.
Small compromises lead to big sin struggles. This is why we find God intervening in Solomon’s life at the beginning of this chapter. He gives him the precise reminder he needs during this time. God, in His grace, knows Solomon’s heart and is continuing to give him opportunities to reinvest in what really matters.