We haven’t talked at all about the author of 1 Kings, so let’s dive right in today. My Life Application Study Bible lists the author as unknown but says that some scholars believe the author could be Jeremiah, whom we haven’t even met yet, and others believe a group of prophets may have written this book. I’d like to attribute some of the text to Solomon’s secretaries and royal historian since they are listed as high officials in this chapter, but alas, I dare not since I am not as scholarly as the scholars who have spent years upon years studying the intricacies of the Bible. You know by now that I do so love historical recordings, so I am loving this particular chapter. It’s not a famous one like the last one, but it certainly has some good stuff in it. First, we see that Solomon’s kingdom is vast and that he has many loyal servants. We also can see that the Israelites – or people of Judah, as the text labels them – are content (v. 20) with their king. Solomon has ensured his people with plenty to eat and drink, and he’s made peace with many of the bordering nations, which actually pay Solomon to keep that peace (v. 21). What I think is a bit weird, though, is that we’re well into his reign by now, but we’ve not heard much about the death of David. His death was mentioned briefly in the beginning of this book, but never do we see a great to-do about it as we did with leaders of the past. Curious, no? What we do know without a doubt, however, is that Solomon has been blessed with wisdom, and he seems to be using that wisdom for the good of his inherited kingdom. I love verse 32, which gives Solomon credit for writing 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs. If you’ve ever read the Book of Proverbs or Ecclesiastes, then you’ve read some of Solomon’s wise words. In my younger years, I saw many of Solomon’s teachings as “grumpy old man” stuff, but in my older years, I’m starting to relate more to what he was trying to emphasize, one of the most famous being that there’s nothing new under the sun. I get a little depressed sometimes thinking about these words of wisdom. The cycle of life is indeed just that, a perpetual cycle, and few events surprise me anymore. It is comforting to know, though, that even great kings struggled with history repeating itself over and over and over again. Same events, different people. Maddening. I got way off topic and a bit too philosophical there, so I’m going to end on that note for today.
Writing prompt: Solomon’s kingdom
Write about Solomon’s kingdom. Describe how you feel about its establishment, development and members, and talk about how Solomon’s character contributed to its success described in this chapter.