1 Kings 9

1 Kings 9:15-19
9:15 Here is the account of the forced labor [cf. 1 Sam. 8:11-18 re: Samuel’s warning that a king would use them and their resources for his own ends] King Solomon conscripted to build the LORD’S temple, his own palace, the supporting terraces [may refer to earthworks connecting David’s city of Jerusalem and newly constructed temple], the wall of Jerusalem [probably extended the wall to include the area of the new temple and palace complex; made the city more easily defended], and Hazor [located three miles north of the Sea of Galilee at junction of two major trade routes], Megiddo [a fortress northwest of Jerusalem] and Gezer [located west on the road from Joppa to Jerusalem; these three cities occupied strategic locations].

9:16 (Pharaoh king of Egypt had attacked and captured Gezer. He had set it on fire. He killed its Canaanite inhabitants and then gave it as a wedding gift to his daughter, Solomon’s wife.

9:17 And Solomon rebuilt Gezer.) He built up [strengthened] Lower Beth Horon [located northwest of Jerusalem; cf. 2 Chron. 8:5; along with its sister city, Upper Beth Horon, guarded an important travel route],

9:18 Baalath [precise location uncertain], and Tadmor [all of the places named were strategic places; Solomon strengthened these places to protect trade routes and to fortify Israel against attack] in the desert, within his land,

9:19 as well as all his store cities and the towns [Solomon used these cities and towns to stockpile provisions he and his army might need; these cities were strategically located, enabling the forces stationed there to move quickly to defend Israel; Solomon stored tax revenues in these cities] for his chariots and for his horses [archaeological excavations unearthed remains of stables in Megiddo (capable of housing from 300-500 horses)]—whatever he desired to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon and throughout all the territory he ruled.

1 Kings 9:25
9:25 Three times a year [Feasts of Passover (or Unleavened Bread), Weeks (Pentecost), and Booths (Tabernacles); cf. Ex. 23:14-19; cf. parallel passage in 2 Chron. 8:12-13] Solomon sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar he had built for the LORD, burning incense before the LORD along with them, and so fulfilled the temple obligations [although he was busy, Solomon took time to focus on the Lord].

Note: King Solomon maintained his focus on God and His work even while completing many impressive building projects. What, if any, earthly concerns or responsibilities distract you from spiritual priorities?

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