Scripture quotations are from the Lexham English Bible. Copyright 2012 Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software.
1 Kings 4
King Solomon was king over all Israel. Now these are the officials who were his: Azariah the son of Zadok was the priest. Elihoreph and Ahijah, the sons of Shisha, were the secretaries; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder. Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the army, and Zadok and Abiathar were priests. Azariah the son of Nathan was over the governors, and Zabud the son of Nathan was a priest, an advisor to the king. Ahishar was over the palace, and Adoniram the son of Abda was over the forced labor. Solomon had twelve governors over all Israel, and they sustained the king and his palace, each one was to sustain for each month of the year. These are their names: Ben-Hur was in the hill country of Ephraim. Ben-Deker was in Makaz and in Shaalbim and in Beth-Shemesh and Elon of Beth-Hanan. Ben-Hesed was in the Arubbot; Socoh and all the land of Hepher were his. Ben-Abinadab was in all of Naphat of Dor; Taphath the daughter of Solomon was his wife. Baanah the son of Ahilud was in Taanach and Megiddo and all Beth-Shean which is beside Zarethan below Jezreel, of Beth-Shean up to Abel-Meholah up to the other side of Jokmeam. Ben-Geber was in Ramoth-Gilead; the villages of Jair, the son of Manasseh which are in the Gilead were his, and the region of Argob which is in the Bashan, sixty great cities, with walls having crossbars of bronze, were his. Ahinadab the son of Iddo was in Mahanaim. Ahimaaz was in Naphtali; he moreover also had taken Basemath the daughter of Solomon as wife. Baanah the son of Hushai was in Asher and Bealoth. Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah was in Issachar. Shimei the son of Ela was in Benjamin. Geber the son of Uri was in the land of Gilead, the land of Sihon, the king of the Amorites, and of Og, the king of Bashan; one governor which was over the land. Judah and Israel were as many as the sand which is on the seashore in abundance, eating and drinking and rejoicing!
Now Solomon was ruling over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, and up to the border of Egypt, who were bringing tribute and were serving Solomon all the days of his life. The food of Solomon for one day was thirty dry measures of choice meal and sixty dry measures of flour; ten stall-fed oxen and twenty pasture-fed oxen and a hundred sheep, besides deer and buck gazelles and roebucks and well-fed fowls. For he was ruling over all the west of the River from Tiphsah up to Gaza, over all the kings west of the River; and he had peace from every side all around. Judah and Israel lived in security, each man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan as far as Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.
Now Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his war chariots and twelve thousand horsemen. These governors sustained King Solomon and all who came near to the table of King Solomon, each in his month; they did not omit anything. The barley and the straw for the horses and for packhorses they brought to the place where they were, each according to his share.
God gave wisdom to Solomon and very great discernment, as well as breadth of understanding, as the sand which is on the edge of the seashore. The wisdom of Solomon was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the east and more than all the wisdom of Egypt. He was wiser than all the men: Ethan the Ezrahite; Heman, Calcol, and Darda the children of Mahol; and he was very well known. He spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five. He spoke concerning the trees, from the cedar which is in Lebanon up to the hyssop which grows on the wall; he also spoke concerning the animals, concerning the birds, concerning the creeping things, and concerning the fish. They came from all the nations to hear the wisdom of Solomon; from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom.
Proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:
To know wisdom and instruction,
to understand sayings of understanding,
to gain insightful instruction,
righteousness and justice and equity,
to give shrewdness to the simple,
knowledge and purpose to the young,
may the wise hear and increase learning,
and the one who understands gain direction,
to understand a proverb and an expression,
words of wisdom and their riddles.
Fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge;
wisdom and instruction, fools despise.
My child, may you keep your father’s instruction,
and do not reject your mother’s teachings,
for they are a garland of favor for your head,
and pendants for your neck.
My child, if sinners entice you, do not consent.
If they say,
"Come with us!
We shall lie in wait for blood;
we shall ambush the innocent without cause.
Like Sheol, we will swallow them alive
and whole, like those who descend to the pit.
We shall find all precious wealth,
we shall fill our houses with booty,
you shall throw your lot in our midst,
there will be one purse for all of us."
My child, do not walk in their way.
Keep your foot from their paths,
for their feet run to evil,
and they hurry to shed blood,
for "in vain is the net scattered,
in the sight of any winged bird."
They lie in wait for their own blood.
They ambush their own lives.
Thus are the ways of all who are greedy for gain—
it will take the life of its possessors.
Wisdom calls out in the streets,
in the squares she raises her voice.
On a busy corner she cries out,
at the entrances of the gates in the city, she speaks her sayings:
"How long, O simple ones, will you love simplicity?
And how long will scoffers delight in their scoffing,
and fools hate knowledge?
May you turn to my argument!
Behold, I shall pour out my spirit upon you;
I will make my words known to you.
Because I called out and you refused me,
I stretched out my hand, yet there is none who heeds.
You have ignored all my counsel,
and my reproof you are not willing to accept.
I will also laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when panic comes upon you.
When your panic comes like a storm,
and your calamity arrives like a whirlwind,
when distress and anguish come upon you,
then they will call me, but I will not answer;
they will seek me diligently but not find me.
Since they hated knowledge,
and did not choose the fear of Yahweh,
they were not willing to accept my counsel,
they despised all my reproof.
They shall eat from the fruit of their way,
and they shall be sated from their own schemes,
for the waywardness of the simple ones will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them.
Whoever listens to me will dwell in security
and rest securely from dread and disaster."
My child, if you will receive my sayings,
and hide my commands with you,
in order to incline your ear toward wisdom,
then you shall apply your heart to understanding.
For if you cry out for understanding,
if you lift your voice for insight,
if you seek her like silver
and search her out like treasure,
then you will understand the fear of Yahweh,
and the knowledge of God you will find.
For Yahweh will give wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
For the upright, he stores sound judgment, a shield for those who walk uprightly,
in order to guard paths of justice
and keep the way of his faithful ones.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice
and uprightness—every good course—
for wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasing to your soul.
Discretion will watch over you;
understanding will protect you,
in order to deliver you from the way of evil,
from a man who speaks devious things—
those who forsake the paths of uprightness
to walk in ways of darkness,
those who are happy to do evil,
for they delight in the deviousness of evil,
who are crooked in their ways,
and devious in their paths;
in order to deliver you from a strange woman,
from a foreign woman who flatters with her sayings,
she who forsakes the partner of her youth
and has forgotten the covenant of her God,
for her house sinks to death,
and to the dead are her paths.
Of all who go to her, none shall return,
nor do they reach paths of life.
So that you will walk on the road of those who are good,
and the paths of those who are righteous you shall keep.
For those who are upright will dwell in the land,
and those who are blameless will remain in it.
And those who are wicked will be cut off from the land,
and those who are treacherous will be uprooted from it.
Judge me, O God, and plead my case
against an unfaithful nation.
From a man of deceit and wickedness rescue me,
because you are the God of my refuge.
Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning
because of the oppression of the enemy?
Send your light and your truth;
they shall lead me.
They shall bring me to your holy mountain
and to your dwelling places.
Then I will go to the altar of God,
to God, my surpassing joy,
and I will praise you with lyre,
O God, my God.
Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why are you disturbed within me?
Hope in God, because I will again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
I am telling the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears witness to me in the Holy Spirit— that my grief is great and there is constant distress in my heart. For I could wish myself to be accursed from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my fellow countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom belong the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the temple service, and the promises, to whom belong the patriarchs, and from whom is the Christ according to human descent, who is God over all, blessed forever! Amen.
But it is not as if the word of God had failed. For not all those who are descended from Israel are truly Israel, nor are they all children because they are descendants of Abraham, but "In Isaac will your descendants be named." That is, it is not the children by human descent who are children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as descendants. For the statement of the promise is this: "At this time I will return and Sarah will have a son." And not only this, but also when Rebecca conceived children by one man, Isaac our father— for although they had not yet been born, or done anything good or evil, in order that the purpose of God according to election might remain, not by works but by the one who calls—it was said to her, "The older will serve the younger," just as it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
What then shall we say? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For to Moses he says, "I will have mercy on whomever I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I have compassion." Consequently therefore, it does not depend on the one who wills or on the one who runs, but on God who shows mercy. For the scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very reason I have raised you up, so that I may demonstrate my power in you, and so that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." Consequently therefore, he has mercy on whomever he wishes, and he hardens whomever he wishes.
Therefore you will say to me, "Why then does he still find fault? For who has resisted his will? On the contrary, O man, who are you who answers back to God? Will what is molded say to the one who molded it, "Why did you make me like this"? Or does the potter not have authority over the clay, to make from the same lump a vessel that is for honorable use and one that is for ordinary use? And what if God, wanting to demonstrate his wrath and to make known his power, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And he did so in order that he could make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy that he prepared beforehand for glory, us whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? As he also says in Hosea,
"I will call those who were not my people, ‘My people,’
and those who were not loved, ‘Loved.’
And it will be in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’
there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’"
And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel,
"Even if the number of the sons of Israel is like the sand of the sea,
the remnant will be saved,
for the Lord will execute his sentence thoroughly and decisively upon the earth."
And just as Isaiah foretold,
"If the Lord of hosts had not left us descendants,
we would have become like Sodom
and would have resembled Gomorrah."
What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness—even the righteousness that is by faith. But Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, did not attain to the law. Why that? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if by works. They stumbled over the stone that causes people to stumble, just as it is written,
"Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble,
and a rock that causes them to fall,
and the one who believes in him will not be put to shame."