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1 Kings 4:20-34

Context
Solomon’s Wealth and Fame

4:20 The people of Judah and Israel were as innumerable as the sand on the seashore; they had plenty to eat and drink and were happy. 4:21 (5:1) 1  Solomon ruled all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River 2  to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. These kingdoms paid tribute as Solomon’s subjects throughout his lifetime. 3  4:22 Each day Solomon’s royal court consumed 4  thirty cors 5  of finely milled flour, sixty cors of cereal, 4:23 ten calves fattened in the stall, 6  twenty calves from the pasture, and a hundred sheep, not to mention rams, gazelles, deer, and well-fed birds. 4:24 His royal court was so large because 7  he ruled over all the kingdoms west of the Euphrates River from Tiphsah 8  to Gaza; he was at peace with all his neighbors. 9  4:25 All the people of Judah and Israel had security; everyone from Dan to Beer Sheba enjoyed the produce of their vines and fig trees throughout Solomon’s lifetime. 10  4:26 Solomon had 4,000 11  stalls for his chariot horses and 12,000 horses. 4:27 The district governors acquired supplies for King Solomon and all who ate in his royal palace. 12  Each was responsible for one month in the year; they made sure nothing was lacking. 4:28 Each one also brought to the assigned location his quota of barley and straw for the various horses. 13 

4:29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment; the breadth of his understanding 14  was as infinite as the sand on the seashore. 4:30 Solomon was wiser than all the men of the east and all the sages of Egypt. 15  4:31 He was wiser than any man, including Ethan the Ezrahite or Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol. He was famous in all the neighboring nations. 16  4:32 He composed 17  3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs. 4:33 He produced manuals on botany, describing every kind of plant, 18  from the cedars of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows on walls. He also produced manuals on biology, describing 19  animals, birds, insects, and fish. 4:34 People from all nations came to hear Solomon’s display of wisdom; 20  they came from all the kings of the earth who heard about his wisdom.

1 sn Beginning with 4:21, the verse numbers through 5:18 in the English Bible differ from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 4:21 ET = 5:1 HT, 4:22 ET = 5:2 HT, etc., through 5:18 ET = 5:32 HT. Beginning with 6:1 the numbering of verses in the English Bible and the Hebrew text is again the same.

2 tn Heb “the River” (also in v. 24). This is the standard designation for the Euphrates River in biblical Hebrew.

3 tn Heb “[They] were bringing tribute and were serving Solomon all the days of his life.”

4 tn Heb “the food of Solomon for each day was.”

5 tn As a unit of dry measure a cor was roughly equivalent to six bushels.

6 tn The words “in the stall” are added for clarification; note the immediately following reference to cattle from the pasture.

7 tn Heb “because.” The words “his royal court was so large” are added to facilitate the logical connection with the preceding verse.

8 sn Tiphsah. This was located on the Euphrates River.

9 tn Heb “for he was ruling over all [the region] beyond the River, from Tiphsah to Gaza, over all the kingdoms beyond the River, and he had peace on every side all around.”

10 tn Heb “Judah and Israel lived securely, each one under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan to Beer Sheba, all the days of Solomon.”

11 tn The Hebrew text has “40,000,” but this is probably an inflated number (nevertheless it is followed by KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV, TEV, CEV). Some Greek mss of the OT and the parallel in 2 Chr 9:25 read “4,000” (cf. NAB, NIV, NCV, NLT).

12 tn Heb “everyone who drew near to the table of King Solomon.”

13 tn Heb “barley and straw for the horses and the steeds they brought to the place which was there, each according to his measure.”

14 tn Heb “heart,” i.e., mind. (The Hebrew term translated “heart” often refers to the mental faculties.)

15 tn Heb “the wisdom of Solomon was greater than the wisdom of all the sons of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt.”

16 tn Heb “his name was in all the surrounding nations.”

17 tn Heb “spoke.”

18 tn Heb “he spoke about plants.”

19 tn Heb “he spoke about.”

20 tn Heb “the wisdom of Solomon.”



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