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2 Chronicles 1:1-17 – Solomon’s Wisdom and Wealth

Summary

The reign of Solomon is introduced by lifting up his gift of wisdom and his vast wealth.

Analysis

The initial notice that "God was with" Solomon (v. 1) provides continuity with 1 Chronicles by answering David's prayer for his son (1 Chronicles 28:20). Of greater significance, however, is Solomon's initial act after having "established himself in his kingdom." By leading a procession of "all Israel" for sacrifice at Gibeon, the only legitimate site before the building of the temple, Solomon begins his reign with an act of worship, as had his father before him (1 Chronicles 13). The granting of Solomon's prayer for wisdom (vv. 10-12) fulfills another of David's prayers for his son (1 Chronicles 22:12) and, together with the references to Solomon's wisdom and wealth in 2 Chronicles 8:17-9:31, frames the reign of Solomon and the construction of the temple.

2 Chronicles 1:1-17

2 Chronicles

Solomon Requests Wisdom

1Solomon son of David established himself in his kingdom; the Lord his God was with him and made him exceedingly great.

2 Solomon summoned all Israel, the commanders of the thousands and of the hundreds, the judges, and all the leaders of all Israel, the heads of families. 3Then Solomon, and the whole assembly with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for God’s tent of meeting, which Moses the servant of the Lord had made in the wilderness, was there. 4(But David had brought the ark of God up from Kiriath-jearim to the place that David had prepared for it; for he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem.) 5Moreover, the bronze altar that Bezalel son of Uri, son of Hur, had made was there in front of the tabernacle of the Lord. And Solomon and the assembly inquired at it. 6Solomon went up there to the bronze altar before the Lord, which was at the tent of meeting, and offered a thousand burnt-offerings on it.

7 That night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, ‘Ask what I should give you.’ 8Solomon said to God, ‘You have shown great and steadfast love to my father David, and have made me succeed him as king. 9Lord God, let your promise to my father David now be fulfilled, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10Give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can rule this great people of yours?’ 11God answered Solomon, ‘Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked for possessions, wealth, honour, or the life of those who hate you, and have not even asked for long life, but have asked for wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may rule my people over whom I have made you king, 12wisdom and knowledge are granted to you. I will also give you riches, possessions, and honour, such as none of the kings had who were before you, and none after you shall have the like.’ 13So Solomon came from* the high place at Gibeon, from the tent of meeting, to Jerusalem. And he reigned over Israel.

Solomon’s Military and Commercial Activity

14 Solomon gathered together chariots and horses; he had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses, which he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 15The king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stone, and he made cedar as plentiful as the sycomore of the Shephelah. 16Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and Kue; the king’s traders received them from Kue at the prevailing price. 17They imported from Egypt, and then exported, a chariot for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for one hundred and fifty; so through them these were exported to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Aram.

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10 February 2011

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