The land of Israel was overflowing. From the coffers of Solomon, to the table set before him, to his mind, to the cribs of the people, to the peace that filled the land.
Israel was truly a land of plenty. As far as I can determine there wasn’t even a time of famine during the reign of Solomon. The nation had peace from its enemies, goods flowing in and out, and jobs for all. There was a heavy tax but when you are in plenty even that is easier to tolerate.
Today we see the numbers associated with the monthly supply of Solomon’s table. It is broken down into daily needs, probably so we won’t fall off our chairs in surprise. Just because we can, I want to see what those numbers look like on a monthly basis.
Item Daily need Monthly supply (a cor was about 6 bushels or 220 liters)
Fine flour: 30 cors 900 cors/ 5,400 bushels/ 198,000 liters
Meal 60 cors 1,800 cors/ 10,800 bushels/ 396,000 liters
Oxen 10 300
Pasture fed beef 20 600
Sheep 100 3,000
Deer/Gazelle/Roebucks/Fowl not numbered but probably as many as could be acquired
These numbers are for his household tables only. They do not include the feed for his stock or replacement of animals that were lost or retired during the month of service. I have to say that Solomon probably would have gone broke within a year if he had to provide all of this on his own. Or at least he would have needed to reduce the size of his family. I bet there wasn’t a malnourished one among them.
Each tribe was tasked with these provisions for Solomon’s table. God provided the abundance for the people who in turn provided for their king.
Food and taxes are not the only thing in abundance in Israel. The people numbered as many as the sand on the sea shore. Israel’s cradles were overflowing! Infant mortality was probably down due to the abundance of resources. Men were working fertile fields and any that lacked jobs could find one in Solomon’s building projects.
Crowding was not an issue either. The kingdom of Israel stretched far and wide, even to the borders of Egypt. The people had plenty of space to spread out and no enemies to push them back. Solomon forged alliances all the nations around him. He even ruled over the other kings west of the Euphrates. “Judah and Israel lived in safety, from Dan even to Beersheba, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, all the days of Solomon” (verse 25).
How was all this possible? Because God gave Solomon great wisdom. Solomon used his wisdom in caring for his people, forging alliances, constructing helps for the farmers (probable improvements to their irrigation systems), settling their disputes, and ruling the nations.
Solomon was not just a good leader. He was a song writer and a poet. He also wrote down his knowledge and passed it on for the rest of us.
Solomon was rich beyond his wildest dreams. He lacked for nothing. A far cry from the fleeing shepherd David was when he hid in the hills from Saul. This is NOT because Solomon was more important or special to God. It was because of his father.
God graced Solomon with all these gifts as a testament of His love for David. Solomon loved God with his whole heart too and as a result, God could build upon the foundation that was laid by David’s faithfulness. A legacy of love. Love from the Father and love for the Father.
It takes both for a fulfilled life. God is always waiting to shower us with his love. It is unconditional but it can’t be released into our lives unless we allow Him in. He is standing there waiting with his arms spread wide. All we have to do is run into them. Then we can learn to truly love Him in return. Our relationship grows with the time we spend together.
THIS DOES NOT GUARANTEE SOLOMON LIKE ABUNDANCE AT ALL TIMES! There will be times of trials. There will be times of correction. There will be storms to walk through. And there will be mountain top experiences. All these are necessary for a full and fulfilling life. And more than that, these are VITAL for life beyond this world. Without God in your life He won’t be in your afterlife. You will have Satan to keep you ‘company’ in eternal torment.
Father God, thank You for loving me even before I knew You. You loved me from the foundations of the earth. You knew my name and knew what it would take to bring me to You. THANK YOU for reaching out to me. Thank You for providing for my family. For giving me a time of abundance where I can share what You have given. Let me never forget that my blessings come from You and not some formula I worked out on my own. Even the ability to figure things out comes from You. Let me show Your love in all I do. And help others see Your works in me.