Solomon’s Political Organization

E. M. Bounds says in his classic book, The Power of Prayer: “Men are God’s method. The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men...What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men … More

Organization

This chapter demonstrates the wisdom God gave Solomon to fulfill his administrative leadership of Israel. The kingdom was divided into twelve districts and each was governed by an overseer.  Solomon appointed 11 chief officials over his government. Three men, (v. 1) Azeriah, (v. 2) Zodok, and (v. 3) Abiathar were priests. Elihoreph (v. 4) and Ahijah (v. 5) were scribes or secretaries. This was a very important position as the scribes prepared royal edicts that affected trade, commerce and military alliances.

 

Jehosaphat was the recorder who kept all the important records of the daily affairs in the kingdom (v. 6). He had held this same position in David’s kingdom (II Sam. 8:16). Benoiah was commander in chief of the army (v. 7). He commanded both prestige and power. In the process he demonstrated unflinching power to the king. Two men are listed as sons of Nathan. One was Azariah (v. 8, who was in charge of the 12 district officers. The other, (v. 9) Zabud swerved as the King’s personal advisor.

 

Ahishar was in charge of the palace, perhaps overseeing the other servants and workers (v. 10).  Adoniram supervised the forced labor who were the non-Israelites living in Israel and compelled to work for the king (v. 11) (5:13, 14). Solomon made each of the 12 district governors responsible to supply provisions for his royal household and for his thousands of horses(v. 28). Each territory was responsible for provisions for one month and then they rotated. This obligation was staggering as Solomon’s provision for one day was 195 bushels of fine flour and 390 bushels of meal, 10 fat oxen, 20 pasture-fed oxen, 100 sheep and other deer and fattened fowl (I Kings 4:22-23).

 

Application

Solomon was very organized as a ruler and delegated responsibilities to 12 district governors. God is not the author of confusion so I need to be organized in my life and the things I do.

I Kings 4:1-19 (English Standard Version)

King Solomon was king over all Israel, and these were his high officials: Azariah the son of Zadok was the priest; Elihoreph and Ahijah the sons of Shisha were secretaries; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder; Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was in command of the army; Zadok and Abiathar were priests; Azariah the son of Nathan was over the officers; Zabud the son of Nathan was priest and king's friend; Ahishar was in charge of the palace; and Adoniram the son of Abda was in charge of the forced labor. Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, who provided food for the king and his household. Each man had to make provision for one month in the year. These were their names: Ben-hur, in the hill country of Ephraim; Ben-deker, in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth-shemesh, and Elonbeth-hanan; Ben-hesed, in Arubboth (to him belonged Socoh and all the land of Hepher); Ben-abinadab, in all Naphath-dor (he had Taphath the daughter of Solomon as his wife); Baana the son of Ahilud, in Taanach, Megiddo, and all Beth-shean that is beside Zarethan below Jezreel, and from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah, as far as the other side of Jokmeam; Ben-geber, in Ramoth-gilead (he had the villages of Jair the son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead, and he had the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, sixty great cities with walls and bronze bars); Ahinadab the son of Iddo, in Mahanaim; Ahimaaz, in Naphtali (he had taken Basemath the daughter of Solomon as his wife); Baana the son of Hushai, in Asher and Bealoth; Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in Issachar; Shimei the son of Ela, in Benjamin; Geber the son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and of Og king of Bashan. And there was one governor who was over the land.

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