Chapter 4 of 1 Kings contains the account of how Solomon organized and ruled the kingdom of Israel. Sometimes it is easy to get bogged down in a list of names, but names are an important indicator that these events really took place. This story seems like it’s getting better and better to be Solomon and some might be tempted to think that the editor of 1 Kings took a little liscence in painting the story, but the names assure us that these are real historical events.
A few things jump out at me as I read this text.
1. It apperars from how Solomon organized his leaders that he was possibly receiving advice from his Egyptian father-in-law. David and Saul had been kings focused on war and no real organization had been developed. Solomon is now administering a peaceful kingdom and has a chance to streamline the leadership and make things more effective.
2. The sons of Nathan. Some commentators are quick to acknowledge the rewarding of power and position here to the prophet Nathan’s sons. Yet, Narhan the prophet is not the only Nathan with access to the royal court. Indeed, Solomon had a brother named Nathan and given the proximity to the royal court it is likely that these two sons of Nathan were actially Solomons nephews (2 Samuel 5:14).
3. All the realestate (or almost all as opinions vary) promised to Abraham’s descendents is governed by Solomon (compare Genesis 15:18 & Joshua 1:4 with 1 Kings 4:21).
Things are looking good for Solomon. The empire he rules is wealthy, the land is at peace, and people from around the known world are seeking his wisdom. All this because Solomon is following his father’s advice and seeking God.
The story doesn’t end there…