Melachim 1/Kings 1-Chapter 9: G-d appears to Shlomo; His taxes, cities, laborers, and ships

1.      God reveals himself to Shlomo and promises to fulfill his request if the Jewish people follow his commands:

  • After Shlomo completed building the house of God and the house of the king [i.e. his palace] and it was all built as his heart desired to perform Hashem appeared to Shlomo a second time, and spoke to him. This is in addition to His appearance to Shlomo in Givon.
  • Hashem promises Shlomo to always dwell on the temple: Hashem said to him saying, “I have heard your prayer and your supplications which you supplicated before me, and I have sanctified this house that you built to place My name upon it forever. My eyes and my heart shall be on it forever.”
  • Hashem promises Shlomo to establish his monarchy forever if he follows God’s will: “Now, regarding you, if you follow in the path of David your father wholeheartedly and with uprightness to do everything that I command you and to guard all of My laws, then I will establish your throne and kingdom over the Jewish people forever as I have spoken to David your father, promising him that no man will could be cut off from the throne of Israel.”
  • Hashem tells Shlomo of the consequences that they will face if they do not follow His laws: “If, however, you and your children will stray for me, and will not follow my commandments that I have placed before you and they will worship other gods, then I shall cut off the Jewish people from the land that I have given them. Now, this home that I have sanctified for my name I shall destroy from before My face, and the Jewish people will become a parable of suffering before all the nations. The temple which was very elevated will become desolate and anyone who passes by it will sigh in shock at its desolation and question as to why God has done this to the land and to His temple. They will be answered that God did this because the Jewish people have forsaken Hashem their God who took them out from Egypt, and rather chosen for themselves foreign gods to worship them. Because of this, God has brought upon them all of this suffering and evil.”

2.      Chiram donates wood to Shlomo who in return supplies him with cities:

  • The following occurred after the passing of 20 years from when Shlomo built the two homes, the house of God [i.e. the temple] and his own palace. [This means to say that 20 years had passed when he first started building the temple, and the following occurred immediately after the completion of the temple and his palace, as it took him seven years to build the temple another 13 years to build his palace.[1]] Hiram, the king of Tzur, had supplied Shlomo with cedarwood and cypress wood, and with gold, and with everything that he wished [for the sake of building the temple and for the sake of building his palace[2]].
  • In return for this supply, Shlomo handed over to Chiram 20 cities that were in the Galilee.
  • Chiram is not pleased with the cities:Chiram left his city of Tzur and went to visit the cities which Shlomo had given him, and he was not impressed by them. Chiram exclaimed, “what are these cities that you have given me my brother?” And he called them the land of Kabul [of quicksand that does not grow any produce[3]] and so they are called until this very day.
  • Chiram sent to the king 120 Kikar of gold.

3.      The taxes placed upon the nation to help with the various constructions:

  • The following is the tax that King Shlomo levied to pay for the building of the temple and his palace, as well as for the building of the courtyard in the city of David known as the Milo, as well as for the building of the wall of Jerusalem, and for the building of the cities of Chatzor, Megido and Gazer.

4.      The city of Gezer:

  • Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had gone up to capture the city of Gezer and he burnt it with fire.
  • He killed all the Canaanites who inhabited the city. He gave the city to his daughter, who was the wife of Solomon [as part of the dowry to give her husband Shlomo[4]].

5.      Cities built by King Solomon:

  • Shlomo built the city of Gazer and the lower Bet Choron, and the city of Baalas and Tadmor which was in the desert. He also built cities of storage, and cities of chariots [i.e. where the chariots were stored[5]] and cities of riders. He built cities according to his wish in Jerusalem and in Lebanon and throughout all of his kingdom.

6.      The slaves and servants of King Solomon:

  • The Gentile forced labor slaves: All the remaining people of the nations of the Amorites, Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, the Jebusites who were not from the children of Israel, and were the surviving descendants of these nations who were unable to be annihilated, Shlomo made into slaves to perform forced labor for the kingdom until this very day.
  • The Jewish servants: However, from amongst the Jewish people Shlomo took no slaves who had to perform forced labor, the generals of war and his personal servants and ministers and officers of his chariots and horsemen. There were 550 people who were appointed as ministers to watch over the work of the slaves and forced laborers. [They watched over the 70,000 slaves who worked in forced labor and the 80,000 who were involved in excavating stone from the mountain.[6]]

7.      The home of the daughter of Pharaoh:

  • The daughter of Pharaoh had left the palace in the city of David and went to live in a house that Shlomo built for her in the Millo.

8.      The offerings brought by Shlomo:

  • Three times a year Shlomo would offer sacrifices of Olos and Shelamim on the altar that he had built for God. He also brought incense upon it. And so he completed the service of the temple.

9.      The ships of King Shlomo and their discovery of gold:

  • King Shlomo built a ship in the area of Etziyon Gavar which is on the shore of the Red Sea by the land of Edom.
  • Chiram sent his captains and sailors to travel together with the servants of Shlomo.
  • They arrived to the area called Ofir, from which the excavated 420 Kikar of gold which they then brought to King Shlomo.

[1] Rashi nine

[2] Radak and Metzudos Dovid 9:11

[3] Metzudos Dovid 9:13

[4] Rashi 9:16

[5] Metzudos Tziyon 9:19

[6] Rashi 9:20

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