Solomon begins his Reign


Wednesday 10/07/20 

Series: Thru the Bible

Message – Solomon begins his Reign

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Solomon begins his Reign

A marriage of earthly wisdom

1Kings 3

“(1) Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt by marrying Pharaoh’s daughter. Solomon brought her to the city of David until he finished building his palace, the LORD’s temple, and the wall surrounding Jerusalem.” 

Ok, not the best start for Solomon, but even though there is no immediate connection between his marrying this Egyptian princess and his sacrificing to pagan gods, it was a pattern that only worsened as he aged and in his old age led to his sharp spiritual decline.

In Israel, as we have previously noted, poligomy was not in any way considered sin nor was it expressly discouraged. It was simply not expedient for most men since a requirement was upon them to provide separate housing and provisions for each as if they were a separate household. This made poligomy, a financially difficult thing to do and so remained largely out of the common man’s grasp. As King however, this was not an issue.

Also, marrying women from other nations was not strictly forbidden either, so long as certain criteria were met. Chief among them was to disavowal their former paganism and adhere strictly to the covenant of God with Israel, of which Ruth and Rehab were exemplary examples.

Also, it should be noted that this was NOT Solomon’s first marriage nor his first marriage to a foreigner. Later in 1Kings chapter 14 we learn of Solomon’s son Rehoboam who, at the age of 41, came to rule in his father Solomon’s place. Solomon ceased to be king after ruling Israel for 40 years. So a bit of quick and simple math reveals that this son, born to him from an Ammonite woman named Naamah, happened at least one full year prior to Solomon becoming king. THis marriage to the Princess of Egypt happened early in his actual reign as king of Israel.

The High Places

1Kings 3:2-4,

“(2)  However, the people were sacrificing on the high places, because until that time a temple for the LORD’s name had not been built.  (3)  Solomon loved the LORD by walking in the statutes of his father David, but he also sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. (4)  The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there because it was the most famous high place. He offered 1,000 burnt offerings on that altar.”

2Chron. 1:1-6, 

“(1) Solomon son of David strengthened his hold on his kingdom. The LORD his God was with him and highly exalted him.  (2)  Then Solomon spoke to all Israel, to the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, to the judges, and to every leader in all Israel–the heads of the families.  (3)  Solomon and the whole assembly with him went to the high place that was in Gibeon because God’s tent of meeting, which the LORD’s servant Moses had made in the wilderness, was there.  (4)  Now, David had brought the ark of God from Kiriath-jearim to the place he had set up for it, because he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem,  (5)  but he put the bronze altar, which Bezalel son of Uri, son of Hur, had made, in front of the LORD’s tabernacle. Solomon and the assembly inquired of Him there.  (6)  Solomon offered sacrifices there in the LORD’s presence on the bronze altar at the tent of meeting; he offered 1,000 burnt offerings on it.”

Now, the “high places” were almost looked upon as pagan, even though that was not necessarily the case. By “high places” is meant locations which were at higher elevations. This practice dates back at least as far as Babylon. People were under the assumption that the closer one got to the sky, the closer one was to their deity. A over naturalistic approach to be sure and one which by it’s very action denies the omnipresence of God, but also one which it seems God temporarily tolerated. You see, until the temple had a permanent place, where God would also place His name, sacrificing on the “high places” was a practical consideration. 

This was NOT done of course, during the wilderness wanderings because all of Israel encamped around the mobile tabernacle and so all had immediate access to God’s presence which was known to reside there in the Holy of holies. 

When Israel entered the Promised land however, they settled all over a very large area and so, until God chose a location to place His name and a temple was constructed in that place, this was considered a tolerable and necessary divergence from what God demanded in the law.

Now, central to the temple (or tabernacle) was the ark where God’s presence resided. Ever since Israel entered the Promised Land, the ark had many locations, but during David’s reign it was placed in Jerusalem. Ironically, the place deemed as the “great high place” was in Gibeon. So, for Solomon to go to Gibeon made little sense and in a very subtle way may have been a little prideful, since it was “the place to go” if one wanted to sacrifice – presumably because it was on a higher elevation than the other “high places”. At any rate, it seems that God tolerated this as well.

Solomon wisely chooses wisdom

1Kings 3:5-15,

“(5)  At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. God said, “Ask. What should I give you?”  

(6)  And Solomon replied, “You have shown great and faithful love to Your servant, my father David, because he walked before You in faithfulness, righteousness, and integrity. You have continued this great and faithful love for him by giving him a son to sit on his throne, as it is today.  (7)  “LORD my God, You have now made Your servant king in my father David’s place. Yet I am just a youth with no experience in leadership.  (8)  Your servant is among Your people You have chosen, a people too numerous to be numbered or counted.  (9)  So give Your servant an obedient heart to judge Your people and to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”  

(10)  Now it pleased the Lord that Solomon had requested this.  (11)  So God said to him, “Because you have requested this and did not ask for long life or riches for yourself, or the death of your enemies, but you asked discernment for yourself to understand justice,  (12)  I will therefore do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has never been anyone like you before and never will be again.  (13)  In addition, I will give you what you did not ask for: both riches and honor, so that no man in any kingdom will be your equal during your entire life.  (14)  If you walk in My ways and keep My statutes and commandments just as your father David did, I will give you a long life.”  (15)  Then Solomon woke up and realized it had been a dream.”

“He went to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the Lord’s covenant, and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then he held a feast for all his servants.”

2Chron. 1:7-13, “(7) That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him: “Ask. What should I give you?”  (8)  And Solomon said to God: “You have shown great faithful love to my father David, and You have made me king in his place.  (9)  LORD God, let Your promise to my father David now come true. For You have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth.  (10)  Now, grant me wisdom and knowledge so that I may lead these people, for who can judge this great people of Yours?”  (11)  God said to Solomon, “Because this was in your heart, and you have not requested riches, wealth, or glory, or for the life of those who hate you, and you have not even requested long life, but you have requested for yourself wisdom and knowledge that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king,  (12)  wisdom and knowledge are given to you. I will also give you riches, wealth, and glory, such that it was not like this for the kings who were before you, nor will it be like this for those after you.”  (13)  So Solomon went to Jerusalem from the high place that was in Gibeon in front of the tent of meeting, and he reigned over Israel.”

Though one cannot claim to know God’s motives since He does not here state them, it appears as if God, rather than correcting Solomon for something which was not strictly wrong, but simply “less good”, He honored Solomon in asking him what he would have God do for him. This seems to have humbled Solomon – the result was that he left there, returned to Jerusalem and offered his sacrifice in the “better place” – directly before the tent which held the ark of the covenant.

It seems reasonable that this was at least part of what God had in view, in coming to Solomon in his dream.

The adage, “You attract more flies with honey than vinegar” may not directly apply since God is anything but shy in revealing wrongs or calling people on the carpet for it, but since this was not an issue of sin, but simply of a better choice, it seems God used a less direct approach.

The Wisdom of Solomon

“(16)  Then two women who were prostitutes came to the king and stood before him.  

(17)  One woman said, “Please my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was in the house.  (18)  On the third day after I gave birth, she also had a baby and we were alone. No one else was with us in the house; just the two of us were there.  (19)  During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him.  (20)  She got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while your servant was asleep. She laid him at her breast, and she put her dead son in my arms.  (21)  When I got up in the morning to nurse my son, I discovered he was dead. That morning, when I looked closely at him I realized that he was not the son I gave birth to.”  

(22)  “No,” the other woman said. “My son is the living one; your son is the dead one.” 

The first woman said, “No, your son is the dead one; my son is the living one.” 

So they argued before the king.  

(23)  The king replied, “This woman says, ‘This is my son who is alive, and your son is dead,’ but that woman says, ‘No, your son is dead, and my son is alive.'”  

(24)  The king continued, “Bring me a sword.” 

So they brought the sword to the king.  

(25)  Solomon said, “Cut the living boy in two and give half to one and half to the other.”  

(26)  The woman whose son was alive spoke to the king because she felt great compassion for her son. “My lord, give her the living baby,” she said, “but please don’t have him killed!” 

But the other one said, “He will not be mine or yours. Cut him in two!”  

(27)  The king responded, “Give the living baby to the first woman, and don’t kill him. She is his mother.”  

(28)  All Israel heard about the judgment the king had given, and they stood in awe of the king because they saw that God’s wisdom was in him to carry out justice.”

Solomon’s Officials

1Kings 4:1-19, “(1) King Solomon ruled over Israel,  (2)  and these were his officials: Azariah son of Zadok, priest;  (3)  Elihoreph and Ahijah the sons of Shisha, secretaries; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud, historian;  (4)  Benaiah son of Jehoiada, in charge of the army; Zadok and Abiathar, priests;  (5)  Azariah son of Nathan, in charge of the deputies; Zabud son of Nathan, a priest and adviser to the king;  (6)  Ahishar, in charge of the palace; and Adoniram son of Abda, in charge of forced labor.  (7)  Solomon had 12 deputies for all Israel. They provided food for the king and his household; each one made provision for one month out of the year.  (8)  These were their names: Ben-hur, in the hill country of Ephraim;  (9)  Ben-deker, in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth-shemesh, and Elon-beth-hanan;  (10)  Ben-hesed, in Arubboth (he had Socoh and the whole land of Hepher);  (11)  Ben-abinadab, in all Naphath-dor (Taphath daughter of Solomon was his wife);  (12)  Baana son of Ahilud, in Taanach, Megiddo, and all Beth-shean which is beside Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah, as far as the other side of Jokmeam;  (13)  Ben-geber, in Ramoth-gilead (he had the villages of Jair son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead, and he had the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, 60 great cities with walls and bronze bars);  (14)  Ahinadab son of Iddo, in Mahanaim;  (15)  Ahimaaz, in Naphtali (he also had married a daughter of Solomon–Basemath);  (16)  Baana son of Hushai, in Asher and Bealoth;  (17)  Jehoshaphat son of Paruah, in Issachar;  (18)  Shimei son of Ela, in Benjamin;  (19)  Geber son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and of Og king of Bashan. There was one deputy in the land of Judah.”

Solomon’s Wealth & Wisdom Increase

1Kings 4:20-34, “(20) Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand by the sea; they were eating, drinking, and rejoicing.  (21)  Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines and as far as the border of Egypt. They offered tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life.  (22)  Solomon’s provisions for one day were 150 bushels of fine flour and 300 bushels of meal,  (23)  10 fattened oxen, 20 range oxen, and 100 sheep, besides deer, gazelles, roebucks, and pen-fed poultry,  (24)  for he had dominion over everything west of the Euphrates from Tiphsah to Gaza and over all the kings west of the Euphrates. He had peace on all his surrounding borders.  (25)  Throughout Solomon’s reign, Judah and Israel lived in safety from Dan to Beer-sheba, each man under his own vine and his own fig tree.  (26)  Solomon had 40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12,000 horsemen.  (27)  Each of those deputies for a month in turn provided food for King Solomon and for everyone who came to King Solomon’s table. They neglected nothing.  (28)  Each man brought the barley and the straw for the chariot teams and the other horses to the required place according to his assignment.  (29)  God gave Solomon wisdom, very great insight, and understanding as vast as the sand on the seashore.  (30)  Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, greater than all the wisdom of Egypt.  (31)  He was wiser than anyone–wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, sons of Mahol. His reputation extended to all the surrounding nations.  (32)  Solomon composed 3,000 proverbs, and his songs numbered 1,005.  (33)  He described trees, from the cedar in Lebanon to the hyssop growing out of the wall. He also taught about animals, birds, reptiles, and fish.  (34)  People came from everywhere, sent by every king on earth who had heard of his wisdom, to listen to Solomon’s wisdom.”

2Chron. 1:14-17, “(14) Solomon accumulated 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen, which he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem.  (15)  The king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedar as abundant as sycamore in the Judean foothills.  (16)  Solomon’s horses came from Egypt and Kue. The king’s traders would get them from Kue at the going price.  (17)  A chariot could be imported from Egypt for 15 pounds of silver and a horse for about four pounds. In the same way, they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and to the kings of Aram through their agents.”

Preparations for the Temple

2Chron. 2:1-18, “(1) Solomon decided to build a temple for the name of the LORD and a royal palace for himself,  (2)  so he assigned 70,000 men as porters, 80,000 men as stonecutters in the mountains, and 3,600 as supervisors over them.  (3)  Then Solomon sent word to King Hiram of Tyre: Do for me what you did for my father David. You sent him cedars to build him a house to live in.  (4)  Now I myself am building a temple for the name of the LORD my God in order to dedicate it to Him for burning sweet incense before Him, for displaying the rows of the bread of the Presence continuously, and for sacrificing burnt offerings for the evening and the morning, the Sabbaths and the New Moons, and the appointed festivals of the LORD our God. This is ordained for Israel forever.  (5)  The temple that I am building will be great, for our God is greater than any of the gods.  (6)  But who is able to build a temple for Him, since even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain Him? Who am I then that I should build a house for Him except as a place to burn incense before Him?  (7)  Therefore, send me a craftsman who is skilled in engraving to work with gold, silver, bronze, and iron, and with purple, crimson, and blue yarn. He will work with the craftsmen who are with me in Judah and Jerusalem, appointed by my father David.  (8)  Also, send me cedar, cypress, and algum logs from Lebanon, for I know that your servants know how to cut the trees of Lebanon. Note that my servants will be with your servants  (9)  to prepare logs for me in abundance because the temple I am building will be great and wonderful.  (10)  I will give your servants, the woodcutters who cut the trees, 100,000 bushels of wheat flour, 100,000 bushels of barley, 110,000 gallons of wine, and 110,000 gallons of oil.  (11)  Then King Hiram of Tyre wrote a letter and sent it to Solomon: Because the LORD loves His people, He set you over them as king.  (12)  Hiram also said: May the LORD God of Israel, who made the heavens and the earth, be praised! He gave King David a wise son with insight and understanding, who will build a temple for the LORD and a royal palace for himself.  (13)  I have now sent Huram-abi, a skillful man who has understanding.  (14)  He is the son of a woman from the daughters of Dan. His father is a man of Tyre. He knows how to work with gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood, with purple, blue, crimson yarn, and fine linen. He knows how to do all kinds of engraving and to execute any design that may be given him. I have sent him to be with your craftsmen and the craftsmen of my lord, your father David.  (15)  Now, let my lord send the wheat, barley, oil, and wine to his servants as promised.  (16)  We will cut logs from Lebanon, as many as you need, and bring them to you as rafts by sea to Joppa. You can then take them up to Jerusalem.  (17)  Solomon took a census of all the foreign men in the land of Israel, after the census that his father David had conducted, and the total was 153,600.  (18)  Solomon made 70,000 of them porters, 80,000 stonecutters in the mountains, and 3,600 supervisors to make the people work.”

1Kings 5:1-18, “(1) Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon when he heard that he had been anointed king in his father’s place, for Hiram had always been friends with David.  (2)  Solomon sent this message to Hiram:  (3)  “You know my father David was not able to build a temple for the name of the LORD his God. This was because of the warfare all around him until the LORD put his enemies under his feet.  (4)  The LORD my God has now given me rest all around; there is no enemy or crisis.  (5)  So I plan to build a temple for the name of the LORD my God, according to what the LORD promised my father David: ‘I will put your son on your throne in your place, and he will build the temple for My name.’  (6)  “Therefore, command that cedars from Lebanon be cut down for me. My servants will be with your servants, and I will pay your servants’ wages according to whatever you say, for you know that not a man among us knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians.”  (7)  When Hiram heard Solomon’s words, he greatly rejoiced and said, “May the LORD be praised today! He has given David a wise son to be over this great people!”  (8)  Then Hiram sent a reply to Solomon, saying, “I have heard your message; I will do everything you want regarding the cedar and cypress timber.  (9)  My servants will bring the logs down from Lebanon to the sea, and I will make them into rafts to go by sea to the place you indicate. I will break them apart there, and you can take them away. You then can meet my needs by providing my household with food.”  (10)  So Hiram provided Solomon with all the cedar and cypress timber he wanted,  (11)  and Solomon provided Hiram with 100,000 bushels of wheat as food for his household and 110,000 gallons of beaten oil. Solomon did this for Hiram year after year.  (12)  The LORD gave Solomon wisdom, as He had promised him. There was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty.  (13)  Then King Solomon drafted forced laborers from all Israel; the labor force numbered 30,000 men.  (14)  He sent 10,000 to Lebanon each month in shifts; one month they were in Lebanon, two months they were at home. Adoniram was in charge of the forced labor.  (15)  Solomon had 70,000 porters and 80,000 stonecutters in the mountains,  (16)  not including his 3,300 deputies in charge of the work. They ruled over the people doing the work.  (17)  The king commanded them to quarry large, costly stones to lay the foundation of the temple with dressed stones.  (18)  So Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders, along with the Gebalites, quarried the stone and prepared the timber and stone for the temple’s construction.”

Solomon presides over Temple Construction

1Kings 6:1-38, “(1) Solomon began to build the temple for the LORD in the four hundred eightieth year after the Israelites came out from the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of his reign over Israel, in the second month, in the month of Ziv.  (2)  The temple that King Solomon built for the LORD was 90 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 45 feet high.  (3)  The portico in front of the temple sanctuary was 30 feet long extending across the temple’s width, and 15 feet deep in front of the temple.  (4)  He also made windows with beveled frames for the temple.  (5)  He then built a chambered structure along the temple wall, encircling the walls of the temple, that is, the sanctuary and the inner sanctuary. And he made side chambers all around.  (6)  The lowest chamber was seven and a half feet wide, the middle was nine feet wide, and the third was 10 and a half feet wide. He also provided offset ledges for the temple all around the outside so that nothing would be inserted into the temple walls.  (7)  The temple’s construction used finished stones cut at the quarry so that no hammer, chisel, or any iron tool was heard in the temple while it was being built.  (8)  The door for the lowest side chamber was on the right side of the temple. They went up a stairway to the middle chamber, and from the middle to the third.  (9)  When he finished building the temple, he paneled it with boards and planks of cedar.  (10)  He built the chambers along the entire temple, joined to the temple with cedar beams; each story was seven and a half feet high.  (11)  The word of the LORD came to Solomon:  (12)  “As for this temple you are building–if you walk in My statutes, execute My ordinances, and keep all My commandments by walking in them, I will fulfill My promise to you, which I made to your father David.  (13)  I will live among the Israelites and not abandon My people Israel.”  (14)  When Solomon finished building the temple,  (15)  he paneled the interior temple walls with cedar boards; from the temple floor to the surface of the ceiling he overlaid the interior with wood. He also overlaid the floor with cypress boards.  (16)  Then he lined 30 feet of the rear of the temple with cedar boards from the floor to the surface of the ceiling, and he built the interior as an inner sanctuary, the most holy place.  (17)  The temple, that is, the sanctuary in front of the most holy place, was 60 feet long.  (18)  The cedar paneling inside the temple was carved with ornamental gourds and flower blossoms. Everything was cedar; not a stone could be seen.  (19)  He prepared the inner sanctuary inside the temple to put the ark of the LORD’s covenant there.  (20)  The interior of the sanctuary was 30 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 30 feet high; he overlaid it with pure gold. He also overlaid the cedar altar.  (21)  Next, Solomon overlaid the interior of the temple with pure gold, and he hung gold chains across the front of the inner sanctuary and overlaid it with gold.  (22)  So he added the gold overlay to the entire temple until everything was completely finished, including the entire altar that belongs in the inner sanctuary.  (23)  In the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim 15 feet high out of olive wood.  (24)  One wing of the first cherub was seven and a half feet long, and the other wing was seven and a half feet long. The wingspan was 15 feet from tip to tip.  (25)  The second cherub also was 15 feet; both cherubim had the same size and shape.  (26)  The first cherub’s height was 15 feet and so was the second cherub’s.  (27)  Then he put the cherubim inside the inner temple. Since their wings were spread out, the first one’s wing touched one wall while the second cherub’s wing touched the other wall, and in the middle of the temple their wings were touching wing to wing.  (28)  He also overlaid the cherubim with gold.  (29)  He carved all the surrounding temple walls with carved engravings–cherubim, palm trees and flower blossoms–in both the inner and outer sanctuaries.  (30)  He overlaid the temple floor with gold in both the inner and outer sanctuaries.  (31)  For the entrance of the inner sanctuary, he made olive wood doors. The pillars of the doorposts were five-sided.  (32)  The two doors were made of olive wood. He carved cherubim, palm trees and flower blossoms on them and overlaid them with gold, hammering gold over the cherubim and palm trees.  (33)  In the same way, he made four-sided olive wood doorposts for the sanctuary entrance.  (34)  The two doors were made of cypress wood; the first door had two folding sides, and the second door had two folding panels.  (35)  He carved cherubim, palm trees and flower blossoms on them and overlaid them with gold applied evenly over the carving.  (36)  He built the inner courtyard with three rows of dressed stone and a row of trimmed cedar beams.  (37)  The foundation of the LORD’s temple was laid in Solomon’s fourth year in the month of Ziv.  (38)  In his eleventh year in the eighth month, in the month of Bul, the temple was completed in every detail and according to every specification. So he built it in seven years.”

1Kings 7:13-51, “(13) King Solomon had Hiram brought from Tyre.  (14)  He was a widow’s son from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a bronze craftsman. Hiram had great skill, understanding, and knowledge to do every kind of bronze work. So he came to King Solomon and carried out all his work.  (15)  He cast two hollow bronze pillars: each 27 feet high and 18 feet in circumference.  (16)  He also made two capitals of cast bronze to set on top of the pillars; seven and a half feet was the height of the first capital, and seven and a half feet was also the height of the second capital.  (17)  The capitals on top of the pillars had gratings of latticework, wreaths made of chainwork–seven for the first capital and seven for the second.  (18)  He made the pillars with two encircling rows of pomegranates on the one grating to cover the capital on top; he did the same for the second capital.  (19)  And the capitals on top of the pillars in the portico were shaped like lilies, six feet high.  (20)  The capitals on the two pillars were also immediately above the rounded surface next to the grating, and 200 pomegranates were in rows encircling each capital.  (21)  He set up the pillars at the portico of the sanctuary: he set up the right pillar and named it Jachin; then he set up the left pillar and named it Boaz.  (22)  The tops of the pillars were shaped like lilies. Then the work of the pillars was completed.  (23)  He made the cast metal reservoir, 15 feet from brim to brim, perfectly round. It was seven and a half feet high and 45 feet in circumference.  (24)  Ornamental gourds encircled it below the brim, 10 every half yard, completely encircling the reservoir. The gourds were cast in two rows when the reservoir was cast.  (25)  It stood on 12 oxen, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east. The reservoir was on top of them and all their hindquarters were toward the center.  (26)  The reservoir was three inches thick, and its rim was fashioned like the brim of a cup or of a lily blossom. It held 11,000 gallons.  (27)  Then he made 10 bronze water carts. Each water cart was six feet long, six feet wide, and four and a half feet high.  (28)  This was the design of the carts: They had frames; the frames were between the cross-pieces,  (29)  and on the frames between the cross-pieces were lions, oxen, and cherubim. On the cross-pieces there was a pedestal above, and below the lions and oxen were wreaths of hanging work.  (30)  Each cart had four bronze wheels with bronze axles. Underneath the four corners of the basin were cast supports, each next to a wreath.  (31)  And the water cart’s opening inside the crown on top was 18 inches wide. The opening was round, made as a pedestal 27 inches wide. On it were carvings, but their frames were square, not round.  (32)  There were four wheels under the frames, and the wheel axles were part of the water cart; each wheel was 27 inches tall.  (33)  The wheels’ design was similar to that of chariot wheels: their axles, rims, spokes, and hubs were all of cast metal.  (34)  Four supports were at the four corners of each water cart; each support was one piece with the water cart.  (35)  At the top of the cart was a band nine inches high encircling it; also, at the top of the cart, its braces and its frames were one piece with it.  (36)  He engraved cherubim, lions, and palm trees on the plates of its braces and on its frames, wherever each had space, with encircling wreaths.  (37)  In this way he made the 10 water carts using the same casting, dimensions, and shape for all of them.  (38)  Then he made 10 bronze basins–each basin holding 220 gallons and each was six feet wide–one basin for each of the 10 water carts.  (39)  He set five water carts on the right side of the temple and five on the left side. He put the reservoir near the right side of the temple toward the southeast.  (40)  Then Hiram made the basins, the shovels, and the sprinkling basins. So Hiram finished all the work that he was doing for King Solomon on the LORD’s temple:  (41)  two pillars; bowls for the capitals that were on top of the two pillars; the two gratings for covering both bowls of the capitals that were on top of the pillars;  (42)  the 400 pomegranates for the two gratings (two rows of pomegranates for each grating covering both capitals’ bowls on top of the pillars);  (43)  the 10 water carts; the 10 basins on the water carts;  (44)  the reservoir; the 12 oxen underneath the reservoir;  (45)  and the pots, shovels, and sprinkling basins. All the utensils that Hiram made for King Solomon at the LORD’s temple were made of burnished bronze.  (46)  The king had them cast in clay molds in the Jordan Valley between Succoth and Zarethan.  (47)  Solomon left all the utensils unweighed because there were so many; the weight of the bronze was not determined.  (48)  Solomon also made all the equipment in the LORD’s temple: the gold altar; the gold table that the bread of the Presence was placed on;  (49)  the pure gold lampstands in front of the inner sanctuary, five on the right and five on the left; the gold flowers, lamps, and tongs;  (50)  the pure gold ceremonial bowls, wick trimmers, sprinkling basins, ladles, and firepans; and the gold hinges for the doors of the inner temple (that is, the most holy place) and for the doors of the temple sanctuary.  (51)  So all the work King Solomon did in the LORD’s temple was completed. Then Solomon brought in the consecrated things of his father David–the silver, the gold, and the utensils–and put them in the treasuries of the LORD’s temple.”

2Chron. 3-5:1, “(1) Then Solomon began to build the LORD’s temple in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah where the LORD had appeared to his father David, at the site David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.  (2)  He began to build on the second day of the second month in the fourth year of his reign.  (3)  These are Solomon’s foundations for building God’s temple: the length was 90 feet, and the width 30 feet.  (4)  The portico, which was across the front extending across the width of the temple, was 30 feet wide; its height was 30 feet; he overlaid its inner surface with pure gold.  (5)  The larger room he paneled with cypress wood, overlaid with fine gold, and decorated with palm trees and chains.  (6)  He adorned the temple with precious stones for beauty, and the gold was the gold of Parvaim.  (7)  He overlaid the temple–the beams, the thresholds, its walls and doors–with gold, and he carved cherubim on the walls.  (8)  Then he made the most holy place; its length corresponded to the width of the temple, 30 feet, and its width was 30 feet. He overlaid it with 45,000 pounds of fine gold.  (9)  The weight of the nails was 20 ounces of gold, and he overlaid the ceiling with gold.  (10)  He made two cherubim of sculptured work, for the most holy place, and he overlaid them with gold.  (11)  The overall length of the wings of the cherubim was 30 feet: the wing of one was seven and a half feet, touching the wall of the room; its other wing was seven and a half feet, touching the wing of the other cherub.  (12)  The wing of the other cherub was seven and a half feet, touching the wall of the room; its other wing was seven and a half feet, reaching the wing of the other cherub.  (13)  The wingspan of these cherubim was 30 feet. They stood on their feet and faced the larger room.  (14)  He made the veil of blue, purple, and crimson yarn and fine linen, and he wove cherubim into it.  (15)  In front of the temple he made two pillars, each 27 feet high. The capital on top of each was seven and half feet high.  (16)  He had made chainwork in the inner sanctuary and also put it on top of the pillars. He made 100 pomegranates and fastened them into the chainwork.  (17)  Then he set up the pillars in front of the sanctuary, one on the right and one on the left. He named the one on the right Jachin and the one on the left Boaz.”

4: “(1) He made a bronze altar 30 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 15 feet high.  (2)  Then he made the cast metal reservoir, 15 feet from brim to brim, perfectly round. It was seven and a half feet high, and 45 feet in circumference.  (3)  The likeness of oxen was below it, completely encircling it, 10 every half yard, completely surrounding the reservoir. The oxen were cast in two rows when the reservoir was cast.  (4)  It stood on 12 oxen, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east. The reservoir was on top of them and all their hindquarters were toward the center.  (5)  The reservoir was three inches thick, and its rim was fashioned like the brim of a cup or a lily blossom. It could hold 11,000 gallons.  (6)  He made 10 basins for washing and he put five on the right and five on the left. The parts of the burnt offering were rinsed in them, but the reservoir was used by the priests for washing.  (7)  He made the 10 gold lampstands according to their specifications and put them in the sanctuary, five on the right and five on the left.  (8)  He made 10 tables and placed them in the sanctuary, five on the right and five on the left. He also made 100 gold bowls.  (9)  He made the courtyard of the priests and the large court, and doors for the court. He overlaid the doors with bronze.  (10)  He put the reservoir on the right side, toward the southeast.  (11)  Then Huram made the pots, the shovels, and the bowls. So Huram finished doing the work that he was doing for King Solomon in God’s temple:  (12)  two pillars; the bowls and the capitals on top of the two pillars; the two gratings for covering both bowls of the capitals that were on top of the pillars;  (13)  the 400 pomegranates for the two gratings (two rows of pomegranates for each grating covering both capitals’ bowls on top of the pillars).  (14)  He also made the water carts and the basins on the water carts.  (15)  The one reservoir and the 12 oxen underneath it,  (16)  the pots, the shovels, the forks, and all their utensils–Huram-abi made them for King Solomon for the LORD’s temple. All these were made of polished bronze.  (17)  The king had them cast in clay molds in the Jordan Valley between Succoth and Zeredah.  (18)  Solomon made all these utensils in such great abundance that the weight of the bronze was not determined.  (19)  Solomon also made all the equipment in God’s temple: the gold altar; the tables on which to put the bread of the Presence;  (20)  the lampstands and their lamps of pure gold to burn in front of the inner sanctuary according to specifications;  (21)  the flowers, lamps, and gold tongs–of purest gold;  (22)  the wick trimmers, sprinkling basins, ladles, and firepans–of purest gold; and the entryway to the temple, its inner doors to the most holy place, and the doors of the temple sanctuary–of gold.”

5: “(1) So all the work Solomon did for the LORD’s temple was completed. Then Solomon brought the consecrated things of his father David–the silver, the gold, and all the utensils–and put them in the treasuries of God’s temple.”

Solomon’s House

1Kings 7:1-12, “(1) Solomon completed his entire palace-complex after 13 years of construction.  (2)  He built the House of the Forest of Lebanon. It was 150 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high on four rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams on top of the pillars.  (3)  It was paneled above with cedar at the top of the chambers that rested on 45 pillars, fifteen per row.  (4)  There were three rows of window frames, facing each other in three tiers.  (5)  All the doors and doorposts had rectangular frames, the openings facing each other in three tiers.  (6)  He made the hall of pillars 75 feet long and 45 feet wide. A portico was in front of the pillars, and a canopy with pillars were in front of them.  (7)  He made the Hall of the Throne where he would judge–the Hall of Judgment. It was paneled with cedar from the floor to the rafters.  (8)  Solomon’s own palace where he would live, in the other courtyard behind the hall, was of similar construction. And he made a house like this hall for Pharaoh’s daughter, his wife.  (9)  All of these buildings were of costly stones, cut to size and sawed with saws on the inner and outer surfaces, from foundation to coping and from the outside to the great courtyard.  (10)  The foundation was made of large, costly stones 12 and 15 feet long.  (11)  Above were also costly stones, cut to size, as well as cedar wood.  (12)  Around the great courtyard, as well as the inner courtyard of the LORD’s temple and the portico of the temple, were three rows of dressed stone and a row of trimmed cedar beams.”



I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

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Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!