In David's old age, Absalom's brother, Adonijah, repeated his brother's folly in attempting to take the throne from his father. Joab and Abiathar the priest abdicated with Adonijah, but Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet remained with David, knowing that Solomon was his sworn heir. Nathan urged Bathsheba to persuade the king to quickly install Solomon. If you want to inherit God's promises, prepare to contend with usurpers - throne-stealers.
1 Kings 1:29 - "The king sware, and said, As the LORD liveth, ...Solomon ...shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead."
Solomon's Divine Destiny
The prophet called Solomon, "Jedidiah," "beloved of Jehovah." David knew that God chose Solomon to reign and build the temple. "He hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel," 1 Chronicles 28:5. Adonijah could not succeed. All thrones belong to God.
1 Kings 1:38-39 - "Zadok the priest, and Nathan ...caused Solomon to ride upon king David's mule, ...the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon."
David Charges Solomon
Here are two of the most revered men in all human history - David and Solomon. The old king is passing the torch to his son. "I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, ...that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest." All the world needs that wisdom.
1 Kings 2:10 - "So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David."
David felt Solomon should dispose of some old problems. David remembered how Joab killed Abner and Amasa in cold blood. "Let not his hoar head go down to the grave in peace." Solomon sent Benaiah to execute Joab. David also reminded Solomon of Shimei's cursing the king. "Hold him not guiltless." Solomon promised Shimei that if he ever left Jerusalem, he would die. He did, so Solomon ordered him slain. Sooner or later, righteousness demands a house-cleaning.
1 Kings 2:12 - "Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly."
Asking For Trouble
Adonijah should have recognized how fortunate he was to be alive after attempting to steal his father's [and his brother's] throne. But he did not. He foolishly asked Bathsheba to petition Solomon to give him David's concubine, Abishag. That was the last straw. Solomon sent Benaiah to execute him. Ignoring prophetic destiny is asking for trouble.
1 Kings 2:15 - "Thou knowest that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel set their faces on me, that I should reign: howbeit the kingdom is turned about, and is become my brother's: for it was his from the LORD."
Abiathar Deposed Prophetically
Abiathar the priest loyally supported David ever since giving him holy shewbread decades earlier. But Abiathar foolishly joined Adonijah, who tried to overthrow David. A long-forgotten prophecy made by Samuel was fulfilled when Solomon banished Abiathar.
1 Kings 2:26-27 - "...thou art worthy of death: but I will not at this time put thee to death, because thou barest the ark of the Lord GOD before David my father, ...so Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the LORD; that he might fulfil the word of the LORD, which he spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh."
Solomon Prays In A Dream
"Solomon loved the LORD," and made a thousand burnt offerings to the LORD in the high place at Gibeon. At night, the LORD appeared in a dream to Solomon, saying, "Ask what I shall give thee," to which Solomon answered, "Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?" God responded generously. Some dreams come from God and have authentic prophetic meanings.
1 Kings 3:10 - "And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing."
God Gives Wisdom To Solomon
In a dream, God asked Solomon what he desired. Solomon asked for wisdom to judge the people. God noticed that Solomon did not ask for long life, riches for himself, nor for the life of his enemies. God delights in granting your petitions that are according to His good pleasure.
1 Kings 3:12-14 - "Behold, ...I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour."
Dreams and Visions
God spoke to many Bible characters in dreams and visions: Abraham, Abimelech, Jacob, Laban, Joseph, the butler and baker, Pharaoh, Gideon's enemies, Samuel, Nathan, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Obadiah, Nahum, Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel, Zacharias, Joseph of Nazareth, Pontius Pilate's wife, Peter, Ananias, Paul, John and many others. "I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD," Jeremiah 23:32. "Your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions," Joel 2:28. A dream from God can be life-changing. Take it seriously.
1 Kings 3:15 - "Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream."
Solomon's Wisdom Fulfilled
Two harlots approached Solomon. One's baby died overnight "because she overlaid it," but she secretly swapped it with the other's living baby. They argued about whose baby it was. Solomon called for a sword, and commanded that the child be cut in two - half for each mother. One begged him not to. The other was smugly pleased. Solomon gave it to the first, knowing she was the true mother.
1 Kings 3:28 - "All Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and ...they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment."
Solomon's princes included Azariah, son of Zadok, prime minister; Elihoreph and Ahiah, scribes; Jehoshaphat, recorder; Benaiah, captain; Zadok and Abiathar, priests; Zabud, son of Nathan, principal officer and close friend; Ahishar, household governor; Adoniram, tax collector. Twelve food-service officers (one per month) prepared the king's tables, and provided food for his horses and camels. Solomon wisely kept most of his father's key men (or their sons), which greatly strengthened his hand and reputation.
1 Kings 4:1-2 - "So king Solomon was king over all Israel. And these were the princes which he had."
An Established House
God stopped David from building the Temple because He wanted David to have a well-established house first. David's kingdom became very strong. Absalom and Adonijah would have destroyed David's kingdom and started from scratch, but Solomon built on his father's strong foundation with his father's good blessings. That made all the difference. Sometimes, change is needed, but not always. Sometimes, the status quo is better.
1 Kings 4:25 - "Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon."
Solomon's Proverbs and Songs
Solomon continued in the tradition of David his father, writing proverbs and songs which glorified God. In all, he spoke three thousand proverbs and one thousand and five songs, each a proof of the gift of God upon his life. His wisdom exceeded that of all the other kings and wise men of his day, and his fame spread far and wide. Kings and Queens all over the earth heard of Solomon's legendary wisdom, and many came to see and hear him.
1 Kings 4:29 - "And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart."
King David wanted to build a glorious Temple, a permanent structure to replace the tent-like tabernacle. God refused to give David permission, because he had been such a bloody man of war, but He prophesied to David that his son would build the Temple. Solomon fulfilled that prophecy.
1 Kings 5:5 - "And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name."
Hiram Blesses The LORD
Hiram, King of Tyre, was a friend to David. He furnished most of the material for David's palace. When Solomon became king, he notified Hiram that he intended to build a great temple. Hiram was delighted, and committed to trade Lebanese cedar and fir timbers for Israeli wheat and oil. Hiram also provided much gold for the temple. God often sends blessings by outsiders when necessary.
1 Kings 5:7 - "When Hiram heard the words of Solomon, ...he rejoiced greatly, and said, Blessed be the LORD this day, which hath given unto David a wise son over this great people."
Solomon Begins Temple Construction
Solomon drafted thirty-thousand men to prepare building materials in Lebanon. Ten thousand at a time spent thirty days there, followed by two months vacation. Seventy thousand bore burdens. Eighty thousand hewed great, costly stones from mountains for the foundation of the house. 3,300 foremen directed almost 200,000 men working on the temple. Within seven years it was the most magnificent structure in the world, built to the glory of God.
1 Kings 5:18 - "Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders did hew them, and the stonesquarers: so they prepared timber and stones to build the house."
No hammer, axe, or iron tool was to be heard during construction of the temple. All noisy work was finished off-site, to keep the temple holy unto the LORD. This speaks, typologically, of the church of Jesus Christ - made on earth of "lively stones," for the glorious moment when all saints will assemble "finished" in heaven.
1 Kings 6:7 - "The house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building."
Solomon's Kingdom Comes of Age
The tribes of Israel grew "as the sand of the sea in multitude." Israel's borders expanded from the Egypt to the surrounding rivers of the Middle East. Solomon's kingdom was rich in food-stuffs, cattle, oxen, sheep, harts, roebucks and fallowdeer. His stalls were filled with forty thousand horses, tended by twelve thousand horsemen. The king's palace was thirteen years in the building. But the temple complex was the focal point.
1 Kings 6:2 - "The inside of the LORD's temple was ninety feet long, thirty feet wide, and forty-five feet high," (Contemporary English Version).
I Will Dwell Among Them
The Word of the LORD came to Solomon saying, "Concerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father." God magnificently promised to dwell in the new temple. Isaiah saw God's throne in the temple [6:1]. When Israel backslid, Ezekiel saw the throne leave [10:1,18].
1 Kings 6:13 - "I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel."
God said to Abraham, "Get thee out of thy country, ...unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation." The Exodus from Egypt began 430 years later. Then, 480 years more, Solomon began building the temple. Still seven more years, it was dedicated. If you have not yet waited 917 years for your promise to be fulfilled, don't panic.
1 Kings 6:1 - "In the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, ...he began to build the house of the LORD."
The very heart and soul of the temple was the oracle [some commentators call it the shrine]. The Holy of Holies is where the Ark of the Covenant sat. In the old tabernacle, Moses often stood before the Ark of the Covenant and listened to the voice of God on important matters. Therefore, the place where the High Priest met God is called the oracle - the mouthpiece of God. God's word is the heartbeat of the universe.
1 Kings 6:19 - "The oracle he prepared in the house within, to set there the ark of the covenant of the LORD."
Stone and Wood Overlaid With Gold
The stonework of the temple was magnificent without precedent, and impressive by itself. But Solomon laminated all the walls and ceilings with cedar, and the floors with fir. The sweet smell and beauty of cedar would also have been impressive. But stone and wood speak only of things temporal and earthly. Gold speaks of things eternal and divine. Solomon had everything inside the the entire temple overlaid with gold. Awesome!
1 Kings 6:9,22 - "So he built the house, and finished it; and covered the house with beams and boards of cedar, ...and the whole house he overlaid with gold."
Two golden cherubims spread their wings across the Mercy Seat covering the Ark of the Covenant. Cherubims decorated all the tabernacle curtains. Inside the Holy of Holies of Solomon's temple, two gigantic cherubims (about twenty feet tall) stood side by side, each made of olive wood overlaid with gold. The wings between them touched. Their outer wings touched the walls. All were constant reminders that God dwells between the heavenly cherubims.
1 Kings 6:29 - "He carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without."
The Two Pillars
Hiram place two enormous, free-standing bronze pillars in front of the temple entrance. Each was about 27 feet tall, 6 feet across, with huge ornamental caps, about seven and a half feet high. The ornaments were seven rows of chains and two rows of pomegranates, capped again with ornamental lilies. The south pillar was called "Jachin," meaning "established." The north pillar was called "Boaz," meaning "strength." Everyone who enters the house of God can plainly see the "established strength" of Jehovah.
1 Kings 7:21 - "He set up the pillars in the porch of the temple."
The Molten Sea
The brasen sea, was an amazing fifteen feet across (45 foot circumference) and over seven feet deep, holding about 11,000 gallons of water. It was a gigantic brass bowl in which the priests washed and purified themselves before entering the temple. It sat in the southeast corner of the temple atop twelve bronze bulls facing outward, three each facing north, south, east and west. The water purification rite prefigured the New Testament doctrine of water baptism. Jesus said, "I have a baptism to be baptized with," Luke 12:50.
1 Kings 7:23 - "And he made a molten sea."
The priests immersed themselves in the brasen sea for purification [symbolizing water baptism]. But Solomon added ten bronze bowls, each four and a half feet high, six feet square, containing 230 gallons of water, and decorated with lions, bulls and winged creatures. They sat five to the south, five to the north of the temple entrance, on large bronze stands having four bronze wheels on axles. The priests washed frequently as they performed sacrifices. Likewise, we all need frequent "washing of water by the word," Ephesians 5:26.
1 Kings 7:38 - "Then made he ten lavers of brass."
I Will Build My Church
The prophet foretold that Solomon would build the temple, and it happened just like the prophet said. Centuries later, Jesus said, "I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it," Matthew 16:18. A world full of atheists cannot stop the church from fulfilling all prophecy. God's word NEVER fails.
1 Kings 7:40, 51 - "So Hiram made an end of doing all the work that he made king Solomon for the house of the LORD. ...So was ended all the work that king Solomon made for the house of the LORD."
The Holy Vessels
King Hiram of Tyre generously supplied materials for the temple and king's palace. But another Hiram, a widow's son from the tribe of Naphtali, was a brilliant artificer in metals. He created brass, bronze and golden items for the temple. Out of bright brass, he crafted lavers, shovels, basons, and other vessels - never weighed for measure because there were so many. The holy furnishings: altar of incense, shewbread table, candlesticks, bowls, snuffers, basons, spoons, censers, even door hinges - were all gold.
1 Kings 7:45 - "All these vessels, ...Hiram made to king Solomon for the house of the LORD."
Bring Your Gifts To The Altar
Solomon wrote, "A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men," Proverb 18:16. Before Solomon dedicated the temple in prayer, he was careful to present all the gifts that had been dedicated by his father, David, into the treasury of the house of the LORD. Before you make your prayers and requests, give your all to God.
1 Kings 7:51 - "Solomon brought in the things which David his father had dedicated; even the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, did he put among the treasures of the house of the LORD.
Bringing In The Ark
Without the Ark of the Covenant, Solomon's temple would be like a lifeless corpse. The Holy of Holies was a meaningless room. But with the ark, it became the oracle - the voice of God to the people. With God in the temple, there is life. We can converse and have relationship. Without His presence and His glory, we only have dead religion.
1 Kings 8:6 - "The priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims."
The Cloud of the Glory of the LORD
Solomon instructed the priests and Levites to fetch the Ark and all the holy vessels from the tabernacle and carry them into the gorgeous new temple. The people sacrificed countless multitudes of sheep and oxen. The priests placed the Ark between the Cherubims.
1 Kings 8:10,11 - "And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD."
Solomon stood before God, the temple, and a standing multitude. "The LORD said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. I have surely built thee an house to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide in for ever. ...I am risen up in the room of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised." We should likewise recall God's promises, and celebrate their fulfillments in our lives.
1 Kings 8:20,21 - "...I have set there a place for the ark, wherein is the covenant of the LORD."
Solomon Dedicates the Temple
Picture this. The King of Israel is kneeling before the altar in front of the spectacular new gold-plated temple. As multitudes look on, he raises his hands toward heaven and worships and blesses God for keeping His promises, and prays one of the most powerful prayers in history in behalf of his people. Oh, for such a king today.
1 Kings 8:54 - "When Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven."
The Temple Dedication
The people came from the north and south of Israel. Solomon sacrificed 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. The new brasen altar was too small, so Solomon hallowed the entire middle court for peace offerings, burnt offerings and meat offerings. They celebrated seven days of feasting with the dedication, through the Feast of Tabernacles.
1 Kings 8:62-66 - "The king, and all Israel with him, offered sacrifice before the LORD, and ...Solomon held a feast, ...On the eighth day he sent the people away: and they blessed the king, and went unto their tents joyful and glad of heart."
I Have Heard Thy Prayer
After offering 122,000 sacrifices that day, Solomon begged God to dwell in His new temple. "Will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?"
1 Kings 9:2-3 - "The LORD appeared to Solomon the second time, ...And the LORD said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually."
Consequences Of Backsliding
Several modern archaeologists brashly contend that the absence of any ruins from Solomon's Temple proves the Bible is a myth. Quite the opposite. God explicitly warned Solomon that if Israel abandoned Him, He would cut them off from the land and cast the temple out of His site. That is exactly what He did.
1 Kings 9:6-7 - "If ye shall at all turn from following me, ...Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight."
Because They Forsook The LORD
One of the most important prophetic fulfillments ever was the dispersion of Israel. Their deliverance from Egypt had been divinely orchestrated and completely miraculous. Taking the Promised Land and establishing the Davidic kingdom were acts of God. After these, the penalties for rejecting God must be severe. From a glorious kingdom to a non-existent one.
1 Kings 9:7,8 - "...and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people: ...and they shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and to this house? And they shall answer, Because they forsook the LORD their God."
Hiram built Solomon's palace of the finest stonework and woodwork. The main House of the Forest was cedar-lined, three stories, twelve doors, 150' x 75'. The Porch of Judgment contained the throne room. The King and Queen (Pharaoh's daughter) had separate houses that looked identical to the Porch of Judgment. An outer Porch of Pillars was 75' x 45'. Nathan's prophecy to David said, "I will set up thy seed after thee, ...and I will establish his kingdom."
1 Kings 7:1 - "Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he finished all his house."
Paying for the Temple and Palace
After twenty years of building the temple and palace, Solomon gave Hiram twenty Galilean cities to payoff the balance due. Hiram visited them, but was not pleased, calling them worthless. He sent another 120 talents of gold (over 15,000 pounds, worth over $120 million in 2008 dollars). Solomon had to levy a special tax on Israel to pay for it. Divine work deserves good buildings, so accept responsibility. Pay the bills.
1 Kings 9:15 - "This is the reason of the levy which king Solomon raised; for to build the house of the LORD, and his own house."
Solomon Builds Cities and Military
Solomon gave twenty cities to Hiram to pay off the temple and palace. Then he restored several cities that were in ruins from previous wars; Gezer (he gave to Pharaoh's daughter), Millo, Hazor, Megiddo, Bethhoron, Baalath, and Tadmor. Some became storehouse cities, some became stable cities for horses and chariots. Foreigners did common labor. Citizens constituted the military. He built a great navy on the Red Sea, which acquired half a billion dollars in gold.
1 Kings 9:28 - "And they came to Ophir, and fetched from thence gold, four hundred and twenty talents, and brought it to king Solomon."
The Queen Blesses The LORD
Solomon's wisdom and wealth overwhelmed the Queen of Sheba. She had to see it for herself. Her camel train brought gifts; spices, very much gold, and precious stones. God pours out His blessings on us, intending that everyone will glorify Him.
1 Kings 10:7,9 - "Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard. ...Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel."
Contrast Solomon's throne with Abraham's tents, Jacob's exile, Joseph's prison, and Moses' wilderness. The king's house had pillars; harps and psalteries for singers; 300 golden shields; 200 golden targets. The ivory throne was overlaid with the best gold. Fourteen golden lions surrounded it. Drinking vessels were gold. His navy brought gold, silver, ivory, apes, peacocks from afar. 1400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen attended. God's chosen king earned about $1 billion annually.
1 Kings 10:14 - "The weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold."
The Queen of Sheba
The LORD told Solomon, in his first prophetic dream, "I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days." The Queen of Sheba came to visit, and was astonished and awestruck at Solomon's wisdom and riches and honour.
1 Kings 10:23,24 - "So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom. And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart."
Never Satisfied With Enough
Solomon's unspeakable wealth was not enough. He wanted more. The Garden of Eden was not enough. Adam and Eve wanted the forbidden thing. The flesh always lusts against the Spirit. Solomon wanted women that God had forbidden: Egyptians, Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians and Hittites. 700 wives. 300 concubines. They turned his heart to their gods: Ashtoreth, Milcom, Chemosh, Molech, and others. Many wise people have become fools by unrestrained lust.
1 Kings 11:9 - "The LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice."
Solomon threw away the greatest blessings any man had ever received from God. He turned to evil women and false gods. Before it was over, Solomon built altars and idols to just about every imaginable god. Temptation can destroy ANYONE, with shocking results! Beware!
1 Kings 11:11,14 - "The LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. ...And the LORD stirred up an adversary unto Solomon."
The Absence of Prayer
The presence of prayer (or the absence of prayer) in a story is a pretty reliable indicator as to the future state of its characters. In the early days of Solomon's reign, his great prayers defined him. Solomon's prayers got him and Israel enormous favor with God. But pagan women enticed him, and his heart forgot God. Suddenly, there are no more stories of Solomon praying. His wisdom and wealth turned to reproach and ruin.
1 Kings 11:31 - "And [Ahijah the prophet] said to Jeroboam, ...Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon."
David conquered the enemies of Israel, bequeathing hard-won peace and prosperity to Solomon. But Solomon betrayed it with abominable sins. For David's sake, God allowed Rehoboam (Solomon's son) to keep Jerusalem and the tribes of Benjamin and Judah. But the ten northern tribes fell to Jeroboam. One man's sin shattered an entire kingdom. What harm will YOUR sin cause?
1 Kings 11:13 - "I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen."
David waged war for most of forty years to win the peace of Israel. Consequently, Solomon inherited a wonderfully peaceful and prosperous kingdom. He was respected by kings and queens throughout the region. But outrageously, Solomon fell in love with paganism! God raised up adversaries against him. When God shuts out your enemies, keep the door shut!
1 Kings 11:14,23,26 - "The LORD stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite; ...And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon the son of Eliadah, ...And Jeroboam the son of Nebat ...lifted up his hand against the king."
Solomon became enslaved to his abominations, so God chose one of his mighty men, Jeroboam, to replace him. Ahijah prophesied that Jeroboam would rule ten tribes. (For David's memory, Solomon's son, Rehoboam retained Jerusalem, with the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.) Solomon wanted to kill Jeroboam, but he escaped to Egypt until Solomon died. God wanted to sanctify and renew Israel by Jeroboam. Tragically, Jeroboam's sins ultimately rivaled Solomon's.
1 Kings 11:35 - "I will take the kingdom out of [Solomon's] son's hand, and will give it unto thee, even ten tribes."
God's Big "IF"
When Solomon failed, Ahijah prophesied over Jeroboam, offering blessings "if thou wilt hearken" to the LORD. "Hearken" means to "to listen, to give attention to." Anybody can find favor if he will hearken to God's commandments. God will build you a sure house if you will hearken.
1 Kings 11:38 - "If thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house."
The Cause Was From The LORD
Solomon died, and his son, Rehoboam, went to Shechem to be made king. But Jeroboam confronted him. "Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make ...his heavy yoke ...lighter, and we will serve thee." Rehoboam wanted three days to consider. His older counselors advised him to deal kindly with the people, but younger counselors urged him to be more severe. Rehoboam swore to be more severe, so Israel rejected him. Ahijah's prophecy concerning Jeroboam's rise to power came true.
1 Kings 12:15 - "The king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD."
The Prayer That Might Have Been
Rehoboam expected to rule all Israel after Solomon died. But he treated the people with so much contempt, they disowned him and followed Jeroboam. Much worse, they disowned their inheritance in David. If they had asked God, "What portion have we in David?" He might have reminded them of all His promises to David. But after they forsook Jerusalem, they never had another righteous king. The northern kingdom eventually perished in captivity.
1 Kings 12:16 - "When all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David?"
You Cannot Have What God Will Not Give
God was in complete control of Solomon, Rehoboam and Jeroboam. Solomon wanted to kill Jeroboam to prevent his gaining the throne, but Jeroboam hid in Egypt until Solomon died. Then Rehoboam wanted to kill Jeroboam, but he could not. Rehoboam assembled 180,000 chosen warriors to take back the kingdom from Jeroboam, but the word of the LORD came to the prophet Shemaiah, forbidding war. Stop wanting what God will not give.
1 Kings 12:24 - "Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is from me."
Calling Upon Idols
Jeroboam finally became King of Israel, but not in Jerusalem. Shechem was his capital. He worried that the House of the LORD in Jerusalem would draw the people back to Rehoboam, king of Judah, and "they shall kill me." Therefore, Jeroboam built two golden calves, set them up in Bethel and in Dan, and told the people, "Behold, thy gods, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt!" What a heinous offense! Calling upon man-made idols - false gods!
1 Kings 12:30 - "This thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one."
Jeroboam, Who Made Israel To Sin
At Shechem, Jeroboam made two golden calves and told Israel that these newly-made idols were their gods! He made altars in high places to these no-gods. He made priests out of the lowest people and burned offerings and incense to these dumb calves. Words cannot describe the gross folly of ANY king of Israel to forsake the LORD God and the holy temple in Jerusalem. Twenty times, the Old Testament writers deride "Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin."
1 Kings 13:1 - "And Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense."
King Jeroboam built altars and burnt incense to two golden calves. God was enraged. He sent a prophet to curse the altars, and declare that a descendant of David, named Josiah, would burn the bones of his false priests on the ruins of these altars. 323 years later, King Josiah fulfilled that prophecy precisely.
1 Kings 13:2 - "...a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee."
Eat No Bread, Drink No Water
A prophet prophesied against Jeroboam's idolatrous altar. Enraged, Jeroboam reached to harm him, but his arm withered. He begged for mercy, so the prophet prayed and God healed him. The king said, "Come home with me," for a reward. He refused. Holy men on holy missions must not compromise.
1 Kings 13:8-10 - "If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place: For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water."
The Old Prophet in Bethel
God told the prophet who cursed Jeroboam's idolatrous altar not to eat or drink with anyone while on his mission. We must obey God, even when we do not know why.
1 Kings 13:15-17 - "[The old prophet in Bethel] said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread. And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there."
Obedience Negated By Disobedience
This story is sobering. The prophet who rebuked Jeroboam at first resisted the temptation to eat and drink with the evil king. But an old prophet lied, and persuaded him to eat and drink with him. He passed the first test, but failed the second. His error was fatal. The old prophet rebuked him for disobeying God. A lion met him on his journey and killed him. NEVER follow advice that contradicts the word of the LORD - even from brethren!
1 Kings 13:29 - "The old prophet came to the city, to mourn and to bury him, ...saying, Alas, my brother!"
The Sayings Shall Surely Come To Pass
The prophet died for his disobedience, but the word of the LORD which he spoke would still come to pass. The old prophet who buried him declared, "The saying which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel, ...shall surely come to pass." Sadly, "Jeroboam returned not from his evil way." His son died shortly afterward, ending a dynasty before it ever began. God must judge disobedience. He vowed to cut off the house of Jeroboam.
1 Kings 13:34 - "...and to destroy it from off the face of the earth."
Audacious, Indefensible Prayer
Jeroboam was excoriated for burning incense to idols. His evil altar was scattered. But when his son became sick, he wanted blessings from the prophet Ahijah. Jeroboam feared him, so sent his wife stealthily, anonymously with bread, cakes and honey. God revealed their deception to Ahijah. Their desire was ignored. The child died.
1 Kings 14:6 - "When Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, that he said, Come in, thou wife of Jeroboam; why feignest thou thyself to be another? for I am sent to thee with heavy tidings."
Rehoboam, son of Solomon, ruled Judah from the age of 41 to 58. Rehoboam and Jeroboam warred all their days. Rehoboam tolerated rampant idolatry and sodomy (male homosexuality) - the same sins for which God destroyed many heathen nations. Consequentially, Shishak, king of Egypt, attacked Jerusalem, and stole the priceless treasures of the House of the LORD and the king's palace. Solomon's backsliding destroyed his sons, his posterity, and his nation for generations to follow. DON'T BACKSLIDE!
1 Kings 14:31 - "Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David."
A Lamp for David's Sake
David said, "For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness," 2 Samuel 22:29. Many of David's descendants were evil: Solomon, then Rehoboam, then Abijam. The northern tribes never had another righteous king, but for David's sake, God preserved two tribes at Jerusalem. What if David had never prayed? Your descendants may become completely godless if you neglect to pray.
1 Kings 15:4 - "Nevertheless for David's sake did the LORD his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem."
Revival is the great hope against the threat of extinction. Sin abounds, but grace much more abounds. Although David's descendants backslid, God periodically raised up revivalists. In darkest nights, there is hope that some man of God will rise up and call people back to Him. "Wilt thou not revive us again?" Psalms 85:6.
1 Kings 15:11-12 - "And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father. And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made."
Dedicating Our Vessels
David precipitated a national revival when he brought the Ark to the tabernacle in Jerusalem. Solomon initiated a revival when he sanctified the holy vessels in the new temple. While Rehoboam was backslidden, Egyptians stole the holy vessels. Rehoboam's grandson initiated a revival when he dedicated new vessels to the temple. Our bodies are chosen vessels unto the LORD. During apostasy, vessels are profaned. Revival begins when we sanctify and rededicate them.
1 Kings 15:15 - "[Asa] brought in the things which his father had dedicated, and the things which himself had dedicated, into the house of the LORD, ...vessels."
Jeroboam's Posterity Terminated
God raised up Jeroboam to lead a revival in Israel following Solomon's backsliding. Instead, he led the people into idolatry and gross apostasy. God abhorred him. His son Nadab ruled for two years, but "did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father." God totally destroyed that family.
1 Kings 15:27,29 - "Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, ...smote [Nadab]. ...He left not to Jeroboam any that breathed, until he had destroyed him, according unto the saying of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite."
Baasha of Israel vs. Asa of Judah
Baasha, king of Israel, gained his throne by assassinating Nadab, evil son of Jeroboam. Baasha was evil like Jeroboam. He warred continuously with Asa, king of Judah, who "was perfect with the LORD all his days." Asa paid Benhadad of Syria to break league with Baasha and help him defeat Baasha. The prophet Jehu condemned Baasha. Evil men only succeed temporarily. The righteous will ultimately prevail.
1 Kings 16:3 - "Behold, I will take away the posterity of Baasha, and the posterity of his house; and will make thy house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat."
Baasha's Posterity Terminated
After Asa, King of Judah, overthrew evil Baasha, his son, Elah, became the next king of Israel. There is little to say about Elah except that he died drunk. He reigned less than two years. One of his captains, Zimri, smote him while he was drunk. That terminated the household of Baasha, according to the prophecy of Jehu. Beware, lest you frustrate the grace of God. He can and will destroy.
1 Kings 16:12 - "Thus did Zimri destroy all the house of Baasha, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake against Baasha by Jehu the prophet."
The northern kingdom was not guided by righteousness, but by misguided egomaniacs. Jeroboam's son, Nadab, was overthrown by Baasha. His son, Elah, was treasonously overthrown by Zimri. The people rejected Zimri, so he committed suicide, burning down the king's house. Half of Israel followed Tibni. Half followed Omri. King Omri defeated Tibni, bought the hill of Shemer, and founded the city of Samaria. King Omri was the father of wicked Ahab. Wickedness breeds wickedness.
1 Kings 16:25 - "Omri wrought evil in the eyes of the LORD, and did worse than all that were before him."
When Spouses Corrupt
Eve offered forbidden fruit to Adam. Moses' wife wickedly opposed his practicing circumcision. Delilah betrayed Sampson to the Philistines. Michal scathed David for worshipping the LORD. Solomon's wives allured him to worship a multitude of false gods. But none was ever worse than Jezebel. The word Jezebel is now in the dictionary as a common noun meaning, "wicked or shameless woman." Sanctify your relationship with God from the devices of an evil spouse.
1 Kings 16:31 - "As if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam, ...he took to wife Jezebel."
Ahab Worships Baal
Prayer and worship express intimate affections for God. So when King Ahab built altars and idols, and worshipped Baal, he committed despicable spiritual adultery. Like a jealous husband whose wife has been unfaithful, our Creator is frighteningly jealous of our affections. "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, ...for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God."
1 Kings 16:32-33 - "He reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, ...and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him."
A Curse For Rebuilding Jericho
Long ago, after Jericho's walls fell, and God destroyed the city, Joshua said, "Cursed be the man before the LORD, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it." Never restore sin's old habitat. It may curse you.
1 Kings 16:34 - "In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD."
Elijah Defies Baal
King Omri's evil son, Ahab, married Jezebel, a worshipper of Baal - known in history as a god of storms and rain. King Ahab forsook Jehovah and worshipped Baal. The great prophet Elijah came on the scene, not just to rebuke Ahab and Jezebel, but to utterly defy their so-called god of storms and rain. First thing, he proved that his God, Jehovah, controls storms and rain - NOT Baal!
1 Kings 17:1 - "As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word."
Elijah prophesied to King Ahab that there would be no dew or rain in Israel except by his word only. Elijah's verbal initiative engaged Almighty God. When we verbalize our beliefs, God perform miracles that will affirm our faith. God sent the drought, and also protected Elijah from Ahab and Jezebel.
1 Kings 17:5 - "So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening."
When The Brook Dries Up
After Elijah declared the drought against Ahab's idolatrous kingdom, God told him to flee to the brook Cherith for water to sustain him. While Israel suffered, God sent ravens to the man of God twice daily with bread and meat. Eventually, the brook dried up. But worsening circumstances do not befuddle God. He always has refreshing alternatives if you will continually obey him. The word of the LORD spoke to Elijah.
1 Kings 17:9 - "Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee."
The Widow of Zarephath
During drought, God sent Elijah to a poor widow who was gathering firewood to cook her last meal. He insisted that she feed him first, although she had only a handful of meal and a little oil. He prophesied, "Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth." God will reward sacrificial giving.
1 Kings 17:16 - "The barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD."
Signs of a Prophet
The widow who fed Elijah during famine lost her son to an illness. She felt cursed for some past sin. But Elijah took the dead child into his loft, stretched across him three times, and cried unto the LORD for the child's soul to return. Amazingly, the child revived. She then knew that Elijah was a true prophet. God will confirm His word with miraculous signs.
1 Kings 17:24 - "The woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth."
God Responds To Elijah's Boldness
Elijah daringly pronounced a drought on Ahab's evil world. At Elijah's word, God sent a devastating drought. God proudly responds to those who plead His righteous cause with their bold prayers and declarations of faith. Afterward, God called Elijah for several more extraordinary tasks. So speak and pray boldly according to God's will. God is always looking for people who have great faith in Him.
1 Kings 18:1 - "The word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth."
Obadiah, Ahab's Governor
King Ahab desperately wanted to capture Elijah for prophesying drought and famine in Israel. Ahab and his governor, Obadiah, were desperately searching for grassy lands to feed their livestock when Obadiah ran into Elijah, who demanded to see Ahab. Obadiah was a God-fearing man who hid 100 prophets from Ahab, but he feared that Ahab would kill him if he promised, then failed, to deliver Elijah. So Elijah vowed to show. Unrepentant Ahab was doomed to suffer even greater losses.
1 Kings 18:16 - "So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him: and Ahab went to meet Elijah."
Who Is Troubling Who?
After a long desperate search, Ahab finally laid eyes on Elijah. "Are thou he that troubleth Israel?" Ahab blamed Elijah for all the woes of drought and famine. But Elijah reminded him that it was Ahab's rebellions and idolatries that troubled Israel. The same things happen nowadays. People rail against the church and preachers, and blame Bible believers for making life miserable for them. But the opposite is true. Sin causes a ton of trouble.
1 Kings 18:17 - "Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou."
Elijah Calls Down Fire
Elijah condemned Jezebel's 850 prophets on Carmel, challenging them to build an altar to Baal. He built an altar of twelve stones to the LORD. "The God that answereth by fire, let him be God." They screamed, slashed themselves and begged Baal to send fire. Nothing happened. Elijah soaked his altar with twelve barrels of water, then prayed. Fire from God consumed the sacrifice, wood, dust, water, even the stones. Elijah had all the false prophets killed.
1 Kings 18:39 - "When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God!"
Pray for Rain
Elijah destroyed Jezebel's 850 false prophets. Everyone confessed that the LORD, not Baal, was God. Their punishing drought could end. Elijah told Ahab to get up, "Eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain." Elijah cast himself down on the top of mount Carmel, and put his face between his knees. After his servant went out seven times looking for rain clouds, he finally saw a little cloud out of the sea, "like a man's hand." Suddenly,
1 Kings 18:45 - "The heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain."
Elijah's Forty-Day Fast
Elijah called down fire from heaven and slew 850 of King Ahab's false prophets. But Queen Jezebel was furious and demanded he be killed. Elijah fled, but became depressed and suicidal, asking God to kill him. Instead, God sent an angel to feed him. He ran forty days, fasting, to Horeb, mount of God. God said, "What are you doing here?" and made him return to anoint two kings and a prophet. Elijah's fast renewed him to dynamic ministry.
1 Kings 19:9 - "...and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?"
Get Out of Your Cave
Elijah fled from Jezebel's threatening all the way to Horeb, mountain of God - about 200 miles! He stayed in a cave and waited for the LORD to speak. A storm blew, an earthquake shook, and a fire raged, but Elijah heard no voice. Then a still small voice told him to get out of the cave and go anoint a new king in Syria, a new king in Israel, and a new prophet in his place. Things may be bad, but God is not finished with you.
1 Kings 19:15 - "And the LORD said unto him, Go."
A New Prophet Prophesied
At Mount Horeb, Elijah complained that he was the only one left in Israel who was still jealous for the LORD's righteous cause. But God said, "I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal." God ordered him to go anoint Elisha to be the next prophet in Israel. This is no time to despair. The work of God must carry on.
1 Kings 19:19 - "So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing, ...and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him."
Who Shall Order The Battle?
After the drought, Benhadad, king of Syria, brought thirty-two kings against Ahab to besiege Samaria. He demanded all Ahab's silver, gold, wives and children. But a prophet of the LORD prophesied that God would deliver Benhadad's multitude into Ahab's hands. "By whom?" Ahab enquired. "By the young princes of the provinces of Israel." "Who shall order the battle?" "Thou." Ahab numbered 232 young princes and 7000 warriors who miraculously defeated Benhadad. You cannot lose when the LORD of Hosts directs your battle.
1 Kings 20:20 - "They slew every one his man: and the Syrians fled."
The God Of The Valleys
Benhadad attacked Ahab again, one year after being defeated. His servants said that Israel's God was God of the hills, but not of the valleys, so they attacked Israel in the plains. But they were wrong. Jehovah is God of hills AND valleys. He will be with you wherever you are.
1 Kings 20:28 - "Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, ...and the children of Israel slew of the Syrians an hundred thousand footmen."
The Enemy Is Not Your Brother
When Ahab's forces killed 100,000 Syrians, King Benhadad hid himself in an inner chamber at a town named Aphek. His servants urged him to put on sackcloth, humble himself before Ahab, and beg for his life. He did, and Ahab spared him saying, "He is my brother." Immediately, a prophet condemned Ahab for the act. The enemy is not your brother!
1 Kings 20:42,43 - "Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people."
Jezebel's Death Prophesied For Naboth's Death
Ahab was jealous for Naboth's vineyard, which lay next door to his palace in Samaria. Naboth would not sell it because it was his family inheritance. But Jezebel scandalized Naboth, raising up false witnesses with false charges, and Naboth was sentenced to death by stoning. The word of the LORD came to Elijah, prophesying death to Ahab and Jezebel for the act. Ahab repented, but Jezebel never did. Elijah's prophecy was fulfilled in her death.
1 Kings 21:23 - "And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel."
Ahab's Radical Repentance
Jezebel had Naboth killed so Ahab could have his vineyard. But Elijah had a fatal word from the LORD. And not just because of Naboth. "There was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up." God sentenced Ahab and Jezebel to death. But Ahab went into radical repentance and God forgave him. If God will forgive Ahab, He will forgive you.
1 Kings 21:27 - "Ahab ...rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly."
Prophets Who Say Whatever You Want To Hear
Ahab asked Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, to go to war with him against Ramothgilead. Jehoshaphat insisted they enquire at the word of the LORD. Ahab called four hundred spurious prophets who ALL said, "Go up!" But Jehoshaphat knew they were phonies and demanded a true prophet. If you really do not want to hear the truth, there will always be somebody to tell you anything you want to hear.
1 Kings 22:6 - "The king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, ...and they said, Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king."
Do Not Tell God What To Say
Ahab did not want to hear the word of a true prophet concerning his ambition to take Ramothgilead. When his messengers fetched Micaiah, they said explicitly, "the [false] prophets declare good unto the king with one mouth: let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak that which is good." If you want to know God's will, don't tell Him what to say. Why pray that someone will lie to you? Micaiah retorted,
1 Kings 22:14 - "As the LORD liveth, what the LORD saith unto me, that will I speak."
It was high drama when Jehoshaphat prevailed with Ahab to call a true prophet of the LORD. 400 false prophets did not convince Jehoshaphat. But the prophet Micaiah was annoyed with Ahab's self-deception and played mind games with him. Jehoshaphat pressed him, and Micaiah prophesied the death of the King of Israel. Suddenly, Zedekiah, speaking for the opposition, played an elaborate pantomime to prove that Micaiah was wrong. But Micaiah knew the truth.
1 Kings 22:23 - "The LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee."
If you are going to stand for God, you have to have grit - "firmness of character; indomitable spirit." Micaiah told Ahab, "I saw all Israel scattered ...as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master," then added, "A spirit ...stood before the LORD, and said, I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets." Zedekiah slapped Micaiah in the face, and Ahab sent him to prison until he returned from war.
1 Kings 22:28 - "Micaiah said, If thou return at all ...the LORD hath not spoken by me."
The Prophecies of Micaiah
Ahab wanted to conquer Ramothgilead, and asked Jehoshaphat, King of Judah to go to war with him. But it was not the will of God. 400 false prophets said "GO!" but the prophet Micaiah prophesied that Ahab would die if he went to war. Ahab defiantly went to battle anyway, disguised as an ordinary soldier, intending to prove the prophet wrong. But the prophet was right. You cannot beat God at His game. Never try.
1 Kings 22:34,37 - "...a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel... so the king died."
The Dogs Lick Ahab's Blood
Ahab was determined to defy the word of the LORD. "I will disguise myself, and enter into the battle." But "a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel, ...and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot." Ahab died, and they buried him in Samaria. The forgotten prophecy of Elijah came to pass.
1 Kings 22:38 - "One washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood; and they washed his armour; according unto the word of the LORD which he spake."
Jehoshaphat ascended to the throne of Judah in the fourth year of King Ahab's rule in Israel. They reigned concurrently for seventeen years. Two kings could hardly have been more opposites. Ahab was the worst king Israel had ever had. Jehoshaphat earnestly sought to please God. In the days of his righteous reign, "the remnant of the sodomites [homosexuals], ...he took out of the land."
I Kings 22:43 - "And he walked in all the ways of Asa his father; he turned not aside from it, doing that which was right in the eyes of the LORD."