In the first verse of chapter 8, the chronicler tells us that it took 20 years to build the temple and Solomon’s Palace. Estimates are that this temple stood for about 410 years, when it was destroyed and Babylonian captivity began. The chronicler goes on to mention some of the accomplishments Solomon made after its completion. Verse 2 describes Solomon rebuilding the cities that Hiram had given him. These cities were actually given to Hiram earlier as either gift or, more likely, surety for a loan. That would explain why he got them back.
Verse 3’s account of Solomon taking Hamath-zobah and building Tadmor in the wilderness is not recorded anywhere else in scripture. The former was located about 200 KM north of Damascus, and the latter was about 200 KM northeast. These cities of commerce represented the maximum boundaries Solomon’s kingdom would have. The chronicler goes on to recount the other strongholds Solomon built up, as well as the conscription of Canaanites remaining in the land as slaves for labor.
In verse 11, Solomon brought the Pharaoh’s daughter into a separate house away from “the house of David” and the ark of the covenant because it was holy. Solomon knew that his union with foreign women was not acceptable. Verses 12-15 give us an account of how he kept the feast days and appointed the Levites to their proper duties.
Outwardly, the kingdom seemed to be expected to follow all of God’s commandments. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the king himself.
(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.