1Kings 9:1 ¶ And it came to pass, when Solomon had finished the building of the house of the LORD, and the king’s house, and all Solomon’s desire which he was pleased to do,
1Kings 9:2 That the LORD appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon.
When Solomon had finished all the building of the temple and his palace in accordance with all he had intended to do, the LORD appeared to him for the second time as he had in Gibeon. I think this means that this appearance was again in a dream at night.
1 Kings 3:5 “In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.”
1Kings 9:3 And the LORD said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.
The LORD affirmed to Solomon that He had heard his prayer and the requests that he had made. He assured Solomon that He had consecrated the temple he had constructed as a permanent place to honor His name. I liked a quote used by Guzik that applies to this verse: “Man builds; God hallows. This co-operation between man and God pervades all life. Man performs the outward and mechanical; God the inward and spiritual . . . We must be careful to do our part with reverence and godly fear, remembering that God must work in realms we cannot touch, and to issues we cannot reach, before our poor exertions can avail. (Meyer)”
The LORD promised Solomon that His eyes and heart would have a continual presence there.
I believe that God has removed his eyes as He said He would in the following verses if Israel chose to reject Him as their LORD. However, I think His heart is still connected to the temple mount and that He will one day redeem and restore it when He builds the millennial temple as described in Ezekiel’s last chapters and rules the whole world from the throne of David in Jerusalem.
The Chronicler adds a very significant statement from the LORD.
2 Chronicles 7:13–14 “If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
These verses provide some very important truths and principles concerning how the LORD deals with His people. I believe we in the true church today are just as much a people called by His name as the Israelites. If we would humble ourselves and pray in repentance of our wicked ways, He will forgive us and heal our land as well. The big difference is that the church has become quite a minority in our country and is becoming fewer by the day it seems. As a nation, we have rebelled against the one true God and turned to worship and serve Satan as represented by “other gods.” We continue to declare what the LORD defines as sin to be right and reasonable. Personally, I just don’t believe there are enough true believers in the land to avert God’s judgment even if all true believers united in humble repentance before the LORD.
It should also be noted that the LORD uses His sovereign control over nature and all creation to accomplish His purpose. The resultant effect of sin on man and creation is the primary cause of evil and disaster in the world. But, the LORD does intervene when necessary to bring about judgment for sin.
1Kings 9:4 And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments:
1Kings 9:5 Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.
The LORD told Solomon that if he would live before Him as his father David had, He would establish the throne of his rule over Israel forever—just as He had promised David. If the king continued to follow the LORD in faith and obedience, the nation of Israel would continue to have a descendant of David through Solomon ruling from the throne of David.
It’s interesting to note the LORD’s testimony concerning David. He described him as a man of “integrity of heart.” The words that stood out in the Hebrew for “integrity” included “completeness…simplicity.” David loved the LORD with his whole heart. That doesn’t mean that everything he did was pleasing to the LORD. It means, however, that David’s desire was to honor the LORD, and he quickly and sincerely repented when confronted with his sin. The LORD saw David as “upright,” a man that made good decisions more often than not. The LORD saw that David strove to obey His commands concerning his actions toward God and his actions toward men. Yes, David sinned; he failed miserably. Yet, he always responded in faith and repentance and the willingness to accept the LORD’s judgment regarding those failures.
That should be really encouraging to every believer today. We are all going to experience failures as we strive to serve the LORD in faith and obedience. We are even more blessed than was David. The Father looks at us through the filter of the shed blood of His Son and sees us clothed in His righteousness. As with David, He is ready to forgive every sin.
2 Corinthians 5:20–21 “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1Kings 9:6 But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them:
1Kings 9:7 Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people:
The LORD continued by warning Solomon that if he or his children after him did not continue to follow Him in faith and obedience and turned to follow “other gods” and worship them, He would remove the people of Israel from the land He had given them. The temple that had been consecrated to honor the LORD would be cast out of His sight, destroyed. Israel would become “an example to avoid and an object of scorn among all peoples.” (CJB)
History has certainly proven the truth of that promise.
1Kings 9:8 And at this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and to this house?
1Kings 9:9 And they shall answer, Because they forsook the LORD their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath the LORD brought upon them all this evil.
The LORD warned that the temple, a place now so impressive, would cause everyone that saw it to be stunned and scornful as they wondered why the LORD had allowed such destruction in His land and to His house. The answer will be—Because they refused God as their LORD, the very God that brought their forefathers out of Egypt—because they had chosen to worship and serve false gods. The LORD would have to judge them for their sin.
Again, I like a quote from Guzik: “Under the Old Covenant, God promised to use Israel to exalt Himself among the nations one way or another. If Israel obeyed He would bless them so much that others had to recognize the hand of God upon Israel. If Israel disobeyed He would chastise them so severely that the nations would be astonished at the hard work of God among His disobedient people, and they would know that the Lord has brought all this calamity on them.”
1Kings 9:10 ¶ And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, when Solomon had built the two houses, the house of the LORD, and the king’s house,
1Kings 9:11 (Now Hiram the king of Tyre had furnished Solomon with cedar trees and fir trees, and with gold, according to all his desire,) that then king Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee.
1Kings 9:12 And Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given him; and they pleased him not.
1Kings 9:13 And he said, What cities are these which thou hast given me, my brother? And he called them the land of Cabul unto this day.
1Kings 9:14 And Hiram sent to the king sixscore talents of gold.
This section tells us that Solomon gifted Hiram, the king of Tyre, for supplying the cedar trees, fir trees and gold that was needed to complete the construction of the temple and his palace complex. Those projects took 20 years to complete. Solomon gave Hiram 20 cities in the Galilee region; but when Hiram came to see them, he was not pleased. “Cabul” means displeasing and dirty according to Hitchcock’s Dictionary.
The NIV Commentary adds this info: “These towns were in Galilee in the western part of the territory of Asher. They lay generally east and southeast of the city of Acco.”
The Chronicler tells us that Hiram gave them back to Solomon.
2 Chronicles 8:2 “That the cities which Huram had restored to Solomon, Solomon built them, and caused the children of Israel to dwell there.”
The gold that Hiram provided weighed in at 120 talents or 4-4.5 tons, depending on the source. It seems that the cities had been given to Hiram in exchange for the gold. Since Hiram was not pleased with the cities, Solomon had to establish a tax to repay Hiram for the gold.
1Kings 9:15 ¶ And this is the reason of the levy which king Solomon raised; for to build the house of the LORD, and his own house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo, and Gezer.
1Kings 9:16 For Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up, and taken Gezer, and burnt it with fire, and slain the Canaanites that dwelt in the city, and given it for a present unto his daughter, Solomon’s wife.
1Kings 9:17 And Solomon built Gezer, and Bethhoron the nether,
1Kings 9:18 And Baalath, and Tadmor in the wilderness, in the land,
1Kings 9:19 And all the cities of store that Solomon had, and cities for his chariots, and cities for his horsemen, and that which Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, and in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion.
The tax was implemented to pay for the building of the temple, the palace complex, Millo, the wall of Jerusalem, Hazor (a town on the northern boundary of Israel), Megiddo and Gezer. Gezer had been a present from Pharaoh, king of Egypt, to his daughter, Solomon’s wife. Solomon also had constructions projects in Bethhoron the nether (on the way from Joppa to Jerusalem), Baalath, Tadmor in the wilderness (between Damascus and the Euphrates; most believe it is the same as Palmyra), and the storage cities in which he kept his chariots and horsemen. There were also other unnamed projects in Jerusalem, Lebanon and other areas under his rule.
1Kings 9:20 And all the people that were left of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, which were not of the children of Israel,
1Kings 9:21 Their children that were left after them in the land, whom the children of Israel also were not able utterly to destroy, upon those did Solomon levy a tribute of bondservice unto this day.
1Kings 9:22 But of the children of Israel did Solomon make no bondmen: but they were men of war, and his servants, and his princes, and his captains, and rulers of his chariots, and his horsemen.
1Kings 9:23 These were the chief of the officers that were over Solomon’s work, five hundred and fifty, which bare rule over the people that wrought in the work.
Those living Israel that were of other nationalities were essentially drafted to serve as laborers for his construction projects. Men of Israel served as soldiers, servants, supervisors, stewards over his chariots and as part of his cavalry. There were 550 chief officers that supervised all of Solomon’s work projects.
1Kings 9:24 But Pharaoh’s daughter came up out of the city of David unto her house which Solomon had built for her: then did he build Millo.
Pharaoh’s daughter was brought up from the city of David to live in the house that Solomon had built for her. After that, he built Millo.
JFB notes that Millo was part of the fort of Jerusalem on Mount Zion.
2 Samuel 5:7–9 “Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David….So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward.”
The NIV Commentary adds a bit more: ““Supporting terraces” is traditionally and generally known by the name “Millo” (basically a transliteration from the Hebrew). The most widely held view is that this consisted of architectural terracing and buttressing along the northeastern slope of the east hill of Jerusalem, the city of David. Such buttressing would have filled a considerable depression between the city of David and the temple and palace complex to the north. The purpose would have been to allow the construction of more buildings in the area and, perhaps more important, adequate fortifications as near to the water supply as possible.”
1Kings 9:25 And three times in a year did Solomon offer burnt offerings and peace offerings upon the altar which he built unto the LORD, and he burnt incense upon the altar that was before the LORD. So he finished the house.
Three times each year Solomon offered burnt offerings and peace offerings upon the altar and incense upon the altar before the LORD. These offerings coincided with the feasts of unleavened bread, weeks, and tabernacles according to the Chronicler.
2 Chronicles 8:12–13 “Then Solomon offered burnt offerings unto the LORD on the altar of the LORD, which he had built before the porch, Even after a certain rate every day, offering according to the commandment of Moses, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts, three times in the year, even in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles.”
1Kings 9:26 And king Solomon made a navy of ships in Eziongeber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red sea, in the land of Edom.
1Kings 9:27 And Hiram sent in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon.
1Kings 9:28 And they came to Ophir, and fetched from thence gold, four hundred and twenty talents, and brought it to king Solomon.
Solomon also built a navy of ships in Eziongeber, on the shore of the Red sea in the land of Edom. Hiram was known for his navy and sent some of his ships and seamen to work with the servants of Solomon and teach them. They traveled to Ophir and brought back 420 talents of gold.
The NIV Commentary adds this insight: “With Israel newly exercising control of the Negev as far as the Gulf of Aqaba, new possibilities opened up. Solomon made a treaty with Hiram of Tyre that was apparently mutually attractive. Both kings would be able to conduct extensive trade throughout the Red Sea area.”
JFB adds this note regarding Ophir: “A general name, like the East or West Indies with us, for all the southern regions lying on the African, Arabian, or Indian seas, in so far as at that time known.”