Solomon was the richest and wisest king ever to live. He had DEEP pockets that were full and overflowing. His people were prosperous too.
Back in 1 Kings 4, we looked at Solomon’s monthly allotments from each of the 12 tribes. In those allotments gold and silver were not mentioned. I’m wondering then if the 666 talents of gold were an additional tax that was collected from all the people throughout the year or broken down into 55.5 talents a month to go along with the tribe’s monthly allotment.
I don’t know if this is the only place, but it is the first place in the bible that I know of where 666 is not associated with Satan. I wonder why this number. I can understand the need for a lot of gold during the building of the Temple and even building Solomon’s house but this amount came in EVERY year. And this isn’t even to total of gold Solomon received each year. His visitors brought it to him and his ships carried it back to him every three years.
Solomon had so much gold that he didn’t have to rely on it as currency. He put it to use in many ways. It was greatly used in the Temple’s construction. The furniture inside the Temple was covered in it as well as the walls and even the floor in the inner court. All the utensils used inside the Temple were of pure gold. Solomon’s home was done in cedar but his throne room boasted quite a bit of gold. We see it described for us in our reading today. We are not told if the lions on the steps were made of gold but it wouldn’t surprise me. Solomon also had shields made of gold to display in the House of the Forest of Lebanon. As gold is a soft metal, there is no way these shields were functional.
The people of Israel were prosperous too. Their taxes were high but they were “happy.” The Queen of Sheba commented on this in her visit as well as us being told about it in our earlier reading of Solomon’s reign. The fact that “silver was not considered as anything in the days of Solomon” (verse 21b) tells us that there was plenty to go around. “The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stone, and he made cedar as plentiful as the sycamore of the Shephelah” (verse 27).
Solomon apparently loved horses and chariots. I wonder what it was about them that drew him to them. Did he ride himself? Did he ride in a special chariot? He certainly had plenty to choose from. Because silver was so plentiful Solomon could also be generous with his horses. He gave them as gifts to other kings.
Solomon put the wisdom God gave him to good use. He was wise in business and in leading the people. They were happy and prosperous under his rule. These were not things that Solomon accomplished alone. God gave the people rest and He gave Solomon the wisdom to rule them with justice. He is a giver of good gifts, even today. No, we won’t be as rich or as wise as Solomon but we are just as loved. And those He loves, He gives good gifts to. The BEST of all these gifts was His Son, Jesus. I’ll take salvation and wait to see my ‘share of gold’ on the streets of Heaven.
Thank You Father for ALL Your gifts in my life. I am blessed financially too. Not like Solomon but I certainly don’t need what he had. I like giving gifts like he did too. Mine aren’t as big but they are still precious to me because they come from my heart. Help me always keep finances in their place. Let money NEVER sit on Your throne in my heart. I’ll take whatever wisdom You want to send my way too; even before money.