1 Kings 4

Solomon's officers

1 King Solomon ruled over all Israel as king. 2 These were his important officers:

  • Zadok's son Azariah was the priest.
  • 3 Shisha's sons, Elihoreph and Ahijah, were secretaries.
  • Ahilud's son Jehoshaphat recorded what happened.
  • 4 Jehoiada's son Benaiah was the leader of the army.
  • Zadok and Abiathar were priests.
  • 5 Nathan's son Azariah had authority over the 12 officers for each region.
  • Nathan's son Zabud was a priest who gave the king advice.
  • 6 Ahishar had authority over work in the palace.
  • Abda's son Adoniram had authority over the groups of workers.
  • 7 Solomon had 12 officers with authority in the regions of Israel. They supplied food for the king and for the people who lived in his palace. Each officer had to supply food to the king for one month in each year. 8 These are their names:

  • Ben-Hur had authority in Ephraim's hill country.
  • 9 Ben-Deker had authority in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth Shemesh and Elon Beth Hanan.
  • 10 Ben-Hesed had authority in Arubboth. That included Sokoh and all the fields around Hepher.
  • 11 Ben-Abinadab had authority in Naphath Dor. He had married Solomon's daughter, Taphath.
  • 12 Ahilud's son Baana had authority in Taanach and Megiddo, as well as in all of Beth-Shan that is near Zarethan, below Jezreel. He had authority from Beth-Shan to Abel-Meholah and as far as Jokmeam.
  • 13 Ben-Geber had authority in Ramoth Gilead. That included the villages of Manasseh's son Jair in Gilead. It also included the region of Argob in Bashan with 60 large cities which had strong walls gates with bronze bars.
  • 4:13The bars locked the gates so that people outside the city could not open them.
  • 14 Iddo's son had authority in Mahanaim.
  • 15 Ahimaaz had authority in Naphtali. He had married Solomon's daughter, Basemath.
  • 16 Hushai's son Baana had authority in Asher and Aloth.
  • 17 Paruah's son Jehoshaphat had authority in Issachar.
  • 18 Ela's son Shimei had authority in Benjamin.
  • 19 Uri's son Geber had authority in Gilead. Gilead was the region where Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan, had ruled.
  • 4:19The reports about Sihon and Og are in Numbers 21:21-35.
  • There was also one officer who had authority over the whole land.
  • Solomon's kingdom

    20 The people in Judah and Israel were too many to count. There were as many of them as the sand on the shore of the sea. They had enough to eat and to drink and they were happy.

    21 Solomon ruled over all the nations from the Euphrates river to the land of the Philistines, as far as Egypt's border. The people of these kingdoms paid taxes to Solomon. They served him all the days of his life.

    22 This is the food that Solomon and the people in his palace ate each day:

  • 5,000 litres of flour.
  • 10,000 litres of grain.
  • 23 10 fat calves that they fed with grain.
  • 20 calves that ate grass in the fields.
  • 100 sheep.
  • Many kinds of deer and fat birds.
  • 24 Solomon ruled all the kingdoms west of the Euphrates river, from Tiphsah as far as Gaza. There was peace in all these places. 25 While Solomon was alive, Judah and Israel were safe from their enemies. In the whole country, from Dan to Beersheba, every family had a place to live and they could grow food to eat. 26 Solomon had places to keep 4,000 horses that pulled his chariots. He also had 12,000 horses. 27 The 12 officers in each region supplied food for King Solomon and for everybody that ate in his palace. Each region supplied food for one month each year so that there was enough for everyone. 28 Each officer also supplied barley and straw for the king's horses. They took the right amount to the different places where the horses lived.

    4:26‘4,000’ or ‘40,000’.

    Solomon's wisdom

    29 God gave Solomon wisdom so that he understood things well. He knew about everything, more things than there is sand on the shore of the sea! 30 Solomon was wiser than all the wise men in the East and all the wise men in Egypt. 31 He was wiser than any other man. This includes Ethan the Ezrahite, as well as Heman, Calcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. Solomon was famous in all the nations around Israel. 32 He wrote down 3,000 proverbs and he wrote 1,005 songs. 33 He could describe many plants. These included large trees like cedar trees that grow in Lebanon and small plants like hyssop that grows on walls. He also taught people about all kinds of animals, birds, insects and fish. 34 People came from all countries to listen to Solomon's wise teaching. Kings of all the nations in the world who heard about Solomon's wisdom sent people to learn from him.

    4:32There is a whole book of Solomon's proverbs in the Bible. See Proverbs 1.
    4:33‘insects’ or ‘snakes and lizards’.