1867.) 1 Kings 4

President Ronald Reagan and his cabinet, 1981. I use this picture solely as an example of a leader and his team; I intend no political endorsement.

1 Kings 4 (New International Version)

Solomon’s Officials and Governors

1 So King Solomon ruled over all Israel. 2 And these were his chief officials:

This long list shows that Solomon understood the value of strong people under him; he was a leader of leaders. He achieved greatness in part because he had the right persons on each job, people who were skilled and competent. We have all seen various organizations and ministries in which the leader brings in weak people to work for him because they are no threat to him. Such leaders make themselves, and their organizations, weaker! Ah, but Solomon was wiser.

Azariah son of Zadok—the priest;

3 Elihoreph and Ahijah, sons of Shisha—secretaries;

Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud—recorder;

4 Benaiah son of Jehoiada—commander in chief;

Zadok and Abiathar—priests;

5 Azariah son of Nathan—in charge of the district governors;

Zabud son of Nathan—a priest and adviser to the king;

6 Ahishar—palace administrator;

Adoniram son of Abda—in charge of forced labor.

7 Solomon had twelve district governors over all Israel, who supplied provisions for the king and the royal household. Each one had to provide supplies for one month in the year. 8 These are their names:

Ben-Hur—in the hill country of Ephraim;

9 Ben-Deker—in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth Shemesh and Elon Bethhanan;

10 Ben-Hesed—in Arubboth (Sokoh and all the land of Hepher were his);

11 Ben-Abinadab—in Naphoth Dor (he was married to Taphath daughter of Solomon);

12 Baana son of Ahilud—in Taanach and Megiddo, and in all of Beth Shan next to Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth Shan to Abel Meholah across to Jokmeam;

13 Ben-Geber—in Ramoth Gilead (the settlements of Jair son of Manasseh in Gilead were his, as well as the region of Argob in Bashan and its sixty large walled cities with bronze gate bars);

14 Ahinadab son of Iddo—in Mahanaim;

15 Ahimaaz—in Naphtali (he had married Basemath daughter of Solomon);

16 Baana son of Hushai—in Asher and in Aloth;

17 Jehoshaphat son of Paruah—in Issachar;

18 Shimei son of Ela—in Benjamin;

19 Geber son of Uri—in Gilead (the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and the country of Og king of Bashan). He was the only governor over the district.

Solomon’s Daily Provisions

20 The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the seashore;

Genesis 22:17 (ESV)

I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore.

they ate, they drank and they were happy. 21 And Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. These countries brought tribute and were Solomon’s subjects all his life.

map of the kingdom of Solomon

22 Solomon’s daily provisions were thirty cors (that is, five and a half tons) of the finest flour and sixty cors (that is, eleven tons) of meal, 23 ten head of stall-fed cattle, twenty of pasture-fed cattle and a hundred sheep and goats, as well as deer, gazelles, roebucks and choice fowl. 24 For he ruled over all the kingdoms west of the Euphrates River, from Tiphsah to Gaza, and had peace on all sides. 25 During Solomon’s lifetime Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, lived in safety, everyone under their own vine and under their own fig tree.

All that food! Every day was Thanksgiving!

26 Solomon had four thousand stalls for chariot horses, and twelve thousand horses.

ancient stables in Morocco

Ancient stables in Meknes, Morocco. Photo by JAR from Gdansk, Poland

 

27 The district governors, each in his month, supplied provisions for King Solomon and all who came to the king’s table. They saw to it that nothing was lacking. 28 They also brought to the proper place their quotas of barley and straw for the chariot horses and the other horses.

Solomon’s Wisdom

29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. 32 He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. 33 He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. 34 From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.

Islam holds Solomon in very high regard for his wisdom.  The Qur’an states that Solomon ruled not only people, but also hosts of Jinn (genies of Arabic folklore); that he was allowed to see some of the hidden glory in the world that was not accessible to most other human beings; and — that he was able to understand the language of the birds and ants. Which made it easy for me to choose the song for the day!

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is Louis Armstrong and “Talk with the Animals.”

If we could talk to the animals, just imagine it,
Chattin’ with a chimp in chimpanzee,
Imagine talking to a tiger, chatting with a cheetah,
What a neat achievement it would be!

If we could talk to the animals, learn their languages,
Maybe Take an animal degree,
We’d study elephant and eagle, buffalo and beagle,
Alligator, guinea pig, and flea!

We would converse in polar bear and python,
And we would curse in fluent kangaroo,
If people ask us, “can you speak rhinoceros?”
We’d say “of courserous! Can’t you?”

If we conferred with our furry friends, man to animal,
Think of all the things wew could discuss.
If we could walk with the animals, talk with the animals,
Grunt and squeak and squawk with the animals,
And they could talk to us!

If I consult with the quadrupeds
Think what fun we’d have,
asking for the crocodiles for tea!
Or maybe lunch with three lions, walruses and sea lions
What a lovely place the world would be!

If I spoke slang to orangutans
The advantages any fool on earth could plainly see!
Discussing Eastern art and dramas
With intellectual llamas
That’s a big step forward, you’ll agree!

We’d learn to speak in antelope and turtle
And our Pekinese would be extremely good
If we were asked to sing in hippopotamus
We’d say whynotamous? and would!

If we could walk with the animals
Talk with the animals
Grunt and squeak and squawk with the animals
And they could  talk to us!

_________________________

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
the Reagan cabinet.   https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9e/1981_US_Cabinet.jpg
Abraham looking at the stars.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/abraham_stars.jpg
map of Solomon’s kingdom.     http://abrahams-legacy.org/images/solomon-kingdom-map.gif
Jar photo of stables.   https://www.flickr.com/photos/jarhtc/8247978168
mosque in Malaysia.   https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1221/9418/files/Malaysia_Mosques_02_81174bb3-7f7e-4e08-b47d-c30121f77e99.gif?10352758661559046851
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