Monthly Archives: June 2017


Life in Israel under Solomon had been a mixed experience. His focus on building projects, commerce and alliances with other nations had made Israel extremely prosperous. Solomon had become so prosperous, in fact, that it was said that silver was made as common as stones in Jerusalem (I Kings 10:27). He was renown the world over for his wisdom and dignitaries from around the world sought to hear his wisdom and, in turn, brought gifts of silver and gold, and garments and armor, and spices and horses and mules (I Kings 10:23-25). Rehoboam inherited such a kingdom and such wealth.

However, there was another side to Solomon’s kingdom. In building such a kingdom, Solomon had to levy men out of all the children of Israel, thirty thousand men, and a third of them were put to work in Lebanon for a month every three months in gathering materials for the building of the temple (I Kings 5:13,14). Solomon’s building projects were many and required much manpower (I Kings 9:15-19, 24).

Though made up of the Canaanite tribes left in the land, Solomon also used one hundred fifty thousand as forced slaves (I Kings 5:15; II Chron. 2:17,18) and over these he set Israelite task masters to the tune of three thousand six hundred. Taxes were such that when the people came to Rehoboam’s coronation, they requested that the burdens which his father had placed on them be lightened, indicating Solomon had made things quite difficult for the people.

Besides all this, throughout the course of Solomon’s reign, he had curiously let slip away both his trust in Jehovah and God’s confidence in him. For “the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded” (I Kings 11:9-10). Like his father he desired many wives and had eighteen wives and sixty concubines (II Chron. 11:21,23).

Rehoboam inherited a kingdom in which, sadly, much of the populace was willing to turn from Jehovah and turn to other gods in Dan and Bethel (I Kings 12:29-33). All the gold and all the glory could not hold Israel together. Previously, faith in God had kept Israel united. Now that faith had been compromised by the sins of Rehoboam’s father and further exacerbated by Rehoboam’s sins.

Apparently, though Solomon had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, he was Solomon’s only son. No others sons are mentioned, though Solomon had at least two daughters (I Kings 4:11,15). There is no mention of other male rivals for the throne. Perhaps Solomon wanted more children for he wrote that a man is happy that has many children (Psalm 127). Rehoboam’s mother was Naamah, an Ammonite princess (I Kings 14:31). He was born in the last year of David’s life and the first year of Solomon’s reign. The name Rehoboam, quite ironically, means “enlarger of the people,” which is not what happened under him at all.

While Solomon was known for his wisdom, Rehoboam became known for his foolishness. When the people promised their allegiance to Rehoboam if he would but ease their burden, Rehoboam rejected the counsel of his father’s advisors who urged him to listen to their request, and listened to the young men with whom he grew up, who advised him to be harder than was Solomon (I Kings 12:1-11). Rehoboam’s rebuff of the people was the final straw in a series of events that led to the dividing of the kingdom. This was God’s judgment on the house of David for Solomon’s sins (I Kings 11:11-13).

But this was not the end. Though the first three years of Rehoboam’s reign in Judah strengthened his hand (II Chron. 11:17), because of his turning to idolatry, within five years God sent the king of Egypt against him and he despoiled the house of the Lord and the king’s house (I KINGS 14:25-28; II Chron. 12:2-4). This invasion by the king of Egypt and the rending of the kingdom, was a judgment from God because Rehoboam and Israel turned away from God unto idols (II Chron. 12:1-5; I Kings 11:11-13).

The one redeeming quality which we see Rehoboam evince is his final humility. When the king and the princes of Israel heard the Lord’s condemnation by the prophet Shemaiah, they humbled themselves (II Chron. 12:6). While he did evil and did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord (II Chron. 12:14), in the end he showed humility. And as God giveth grace to the humble, God did not destroy them but brought them into servitude instead (II Chron. 12:7,8; James 4:6).

Eric L. Padgett


Nathan the prophet had told David that through his seed the Lord was going to build a house for His Name (II Sam. 7:12,13). Though not specifically mentioned in Samuel, David states that God intended Solomon to build the earthly house of the Lord in Jerusalem (I Chron. 22:11; 28:5,6; 29:1). God refused David the privilege because he had shed much blood upon the earth (I Chron. 22:8). But though he could not build the house, he prepared for it abundantly before his death (I Chron. 22:5).

Solomon’s ascension to the throne of David was not without some resistance. Adonijah, David’s son by Haggith, following in the footsteps of his half-brother Absalom, offered resistance at first and proclaimed himself king (I Kings 1:5). He was supported by the formidable but aging Joab and by Abiathar the priest (I Kings 1:6). But Nathan perceived the plot and with the aid of Bathsheba thwarted the plan. David proclaimed Solomon king in the ears of all Israel and they rejoiced at the news (I Kings 1:32-40).

Solomon was the son of David and Bathsheba, born to them after the death of their first child. Commentators generally agree, but are not completely united, that Solomon was the second son born to these two parents. However, in the lists given of their children, Solomon is listed fourth (I Chron. 3:5; II Sam. 5:14). Josephus also makes Solomon the last born child of David (“Solomon, my youngest son” – Antiquities 7:14:2). It is possible that Solomon was born later but that he was the one whom the Lord chose to build the House of the Lord. The relationship between Solomon and Bathsheba was very close for he says that he was “tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother” (Prov. 4:3; I Kings 1:13).

We do not know the name of Solomon’s oldest brother, the child who died in infancy, unless he is named in the list of their children as Shimea or Shammua (I Chron. 3:5; II Sam. 5:14). Solomon and his brother Nathan are both listed in the genealogy of the Christ, one through Mary and the other through Joseph (Matt. 1:6; Luke 3:31). The name “Solomon” means “peace”. It comes from the same base as the greeting Shalom! He was to be called Solomon because God was going to give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days (I Chron. 22:9). It is from this line that the Prince of Peace would arise!

From the previous passage, this name seems to be by divine appointment, as does his other name, Jedidiah, given by the prophet Nathan (II Sam. 12:25). The name Jedidiah means “beloved of Jah” (Cf. Psalm 127:2). And so he was (II Sam. 12:24). The name contains the same root as the name David, which means “loving.” Just as Solomon was loved of the Lord, God said of His Only Begotten, “This is My Beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17).

Though we do not know the exact age of Solomon when he ascended the throne, he was evidently still young for David called him “young and tender” (I Chron. 22:5). This is also an indication that Solomon may have been born later. He called himself a little child (I Kings 3:7). He is young enough for David to urge him to show himself a man (I Kings 2:2). Barnes suggests an age between fourteen and twenty-five. Solomon ruled over Israel for forty years (I Kings 11:42). All the days of Solomon, Judah and Israel dwelt safely, had peace on every side and extended the borders of the kingdom to the greatest extent, fulfilling the promise God had given to Abraham (I Kings 4:20-27; Gen. 15:17-21).

Like David, his father, and like Saul, as well, Solomon was very much faithful to the Lord early in his reign. God blessed Solomon with great wisdom, a wisdom which was reknown the world over (I Kings 3:16-28). He truly loved the Lord (I Kings 3:3). Because he asked not for wealth, or the life of his enemies or long life for himself but an understanding heart to judge the people, God blessed him with the things he asked not as well. But like David, Solomon had a weakness for women. He was truly the son of his father. Solomon had a total of one thousand wives, three hundred wives and seven hundred concubines (I Kings 11:3). Sadly, in the end these turned his heart away from the Lord (I Kings 11:1-13).

Solomon was truly one of the great kings in history, but Behold, a greater than Solomon is here, said the Lord (Matt. 12:42). Solomon built the house of the Lord that David wanted to build but could not. But the Lord built His church, the house of the Lord (Matt. 16:18; I Tim. 3:15). This is the tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not man (Heb. 8:2), the rebuilt tabernacle of David (Amos 9:11). It is the house of the Lord that shall stand forever (Matt. 16:18), an eternal kingdom (II Sam. 7:12,13; Dan. 2:44).

Eric L. Padgett


Joab came from a family of warriors. His younger brothers Abishai and Asahel were both noted for their bravery and physical prowess. His father is never mentioned by name but his selpechre was in Bethlehem (II Sam. 2:32), indicating he had already died, perhaps, in battle. His mother was Zeruiah. Twenty-three times the expression son or sons “of Zeruiah” is mentioned in the life of David, showing her importance to Joab and his brothers. Zeruiah, along with Abigail, was the sister of David. However, her father is said to be Nahash, not David’s father Jesse (II Sam. 17:25), leading some to suspect that Zeruaiah was David’s half sister. In any event, the relationship between David and Joab was more than just king and captain of the host for Joab was David’s own nephew.

The first time we are introduced to Joab, is when Abishai is identified as his brother (I Sam. 26:6), indicating, it seems, that Joab was the better known of the two. But the two brothers are one in their thoughts. In this instance, it is Abishai who volunteers to go with David stealthily into the camp of Saul and asks David to let him “smite Saul to the earth.” But David refuses to harm God’s anointed (I Sam. 26:8-11). This pattern will repeat itself on occasion when the sons of Zeruiah seek to kill David’s enemies but David, himself, shows them mercy.

The next time we meet Joab is when he and Abner, Saul’s Captain, allow twelve men from each side to battle, presumably to determine the fate of all the parties involved. But all twelve men die in the contest and a battle ensues in which David’s men rout Saul’s men. Joab always seems to be better than Abner and every other enemy he faces. It is in this battle, however, that Abner kills Asahel, the youngest brother of Joab, and while Joab never forgets this, he sounds a trumpet at Abner’s request to cease hostilities (II Sam. 2:26). In the end, Abner lost three hundred and sixty men; Joab lost only twenty, including his brother, Asahel (II Sam. 2:30,31). But Joab is not the kind of man to forget something like this.

While the conflict between the house of Saul and the house of David continued, Abner seemingly sought to throw his support to the house of David (II Sam. 3:9,10). Whether or not this was a genuine sentiment on Abner’s part, we can not know for certain but David accepted the overtures and received Abner in peace and let him go the same way. But when Joab heard this, he reproved David and insinuated that Abner was only spying on David (II Sam. 3:26). Later, unknown to David, Joab would call for Abner and kill him for his killing of Asahel, his brother (II Sam. 3:27).

Joab was a man of action. Though David had pleaded with his men to be deal kindly with his son Absalom when he rebelled against David, Joab took advantage of the opportunity to end the rebellion once and for all and killed him. Though Joab had earlier helped Absalom come back to David in Jerusalem, he now saw Absalom as a threat to David and the kingdom. When David appeared overly sorrowful at the death of Absalom to the point of causing those in the kingdom to question David’s heart, Joab brought David back to the reality of his reign with a stern rebuke (II Sam. 19:1-7). Joab is the only one who can speak to David as he does.

Later, David would take another, former enemy into his cabinet, Amasa. Amasa was another relative of David, a nephew, the son of his sister Abigail (II Sam. 17:25). From the wording of the Text, he seems to be an illegitimate child and perhaps had been neglected by David. This may explain the reason why he joined Absalom in rebellion against David. But when Absalom’s rebellion was quelled, David, in a spirit of royal magnanimity, and, apparently, with the hopes of getting rid of Joab, offered Amasa Joab’s position as Captain of the Host (II Sam. 19:13).

Joab and Abishai had been grating on David’s sensibilities for some time and David’s frustrations with them burst forth when Shemei, who had cursed David when he was fleeing Absalom now asks for forgiveness. Abishai wants to put Shemei to death for his abuses of the king but David refers to Joab and Abishai as his “adversaries” (II Sam. 19:21,22). It seems that Joab and Abishai’s advice is correct, however, for when David is on his deathbed, he instructs Solomon to “hold him not guiltless” but “bring his hoar head down to the grave with blood” (I Kings 2:9).

There has been a question about Joab for a long time among Bible students. Was Joab a bad person or was he a good person? Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in the middle. He could be deadly and ruthless, but he was fiercely loyal to the house of David. He was jealous of any rivals to his position as Captain of the Host but he was eager to bring reconciliation between David and his son Absalom. One thing is certain, if you were in a battle, you would want Joab on your side!

Eric L. Padgett


He was the youngest boy in his family, this young shepherd from Bethlehem (I Sam.16:11). As a shepherd keeping his father’s flocks, living out in the sun and under the stars, he experienced the fullness and wonders of nature. He loved to compose poetry and sing music and many times his works spoke of the world he experienced (e.g., Psalm 29, 19, 8). He was brave. He fought with a lion and a bear to protect his father’s flocks because he was passionate about whatever he did (I Sam. 17:34-36). He had the blessing (or maybe the curse) of being a good looking young lad (I Sam. 16:12,18) and he easily made friends with all whom he came in contact.

When Samuel first met him, he was not physically the man he would later become, but his heart was already far advanced of his body. When the Lord had sent Samuel to the house of Jesse to anoint the new king, he thought he had found him when he saw Eliab, David’s oldest brother. He said, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him” (I Sam. 16:6). He judged Eliab’s physical stature to be the measure of a good king. But God told him not to look on his countenance, nor the height of his stature, nor his outward appearance, for the Lord looked on his heart (I Sam. 16:7). God chose David to be king because he was “a man after His own heart” (I Sam. 13:14).

Even as a youth David had an unusual zeal for the things of God. His three oldest brothers, Eliab, Abinadab and Shammah had followed king Saul to battle (perhaps because they were conscripted – I Sam. 14:52). When David was charged by his father to take provisions to their captain, he heard Goliath of Gath defy the armies of the Living God and challenge one of them to a battle to the death to determine the fate of the rest. David instantly said to those that would listen, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (I Sam. 17:26)! All other men, including king Saul, who literally stood head and shoulders above the rest in Israel, fled when they heard the Gittite and were afraid (I Sam. 17:11). But not David!

When the news of David’s comments made it’s way to the tent of King Saul, he had to see him. He quickly brought this young man, who had earlier played the harp to soothe Saul’s fragile nerves, in to his tent to examine him (I Sam. 16:22,23). David boldly told him, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine” (I Sam. 17:32)! To his brothers, this might have been boasting from a naughty heart, but in reality it was genuine courage from a heart of faith. To Saul, the great warrior, it might have been an outrageous claim and even a little insulting. But it was sincere and true. David believed that God would make Goliath just like the lion and the bear–dead (I Sam. 17:37). And He did.

David tried the armor which Saul offered him but it was no use. David said he could not wear them because he had not proved them. Saul was a full grown man who stood head and shoulders above every other man in Israel. David was not yet grown into the man he would become. Had the situation not been so grave, it must have been rather amusing to see David place a helmet on his head that was too large or try to walk in greaves that hindered his efforts. Saul’s armor was no good to David and against a spear the size of weaver’s beam with a head that weighed 600 shekels of iron it would have proved ineffective anyway. David already had a greater shield than that of Saul (e.g., Psalm 3:3; 5:12; 28:7; 33:20; 144:2). David, on his part, chose a staff, a sling and five smooth stones with which to defeat Goliath, but one stone was enough (I Sam. 17:40).

When the Philistine giant of Gath saw young David approach, he was offended. Did the Israelites consider him a dog, he asked, that could be beaten with a staff? He cursed David in the name of his false gods and promised to feed David’s flesh to the beasts and the fowls. This huge, hulk of a man arose and began to slowly approach David. But “David hastened, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine” and took out his sling and a stone and, with the precision matching that of any Benjamite sling, sunk the stone in the giant’s forehead (I Sam. 17:49). When the Philistines saw that their champion had expired, they took to flight, David leading the pursuit.

The women of Israel, overjoyed at their deliverance from the oppression of the Philistines, began to praise David. “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands,” they sang, to the great displeasure of King Saul. It was from that point on that Saul began to eye David and seek ways to rid himself of this perceived enemy (I Sam. 18:8,9). But the Lord was with David and caused him to prosper (I Sam. 18:12). David was made king over Judah and ruled from Hebron when he was thirty years old for seven years and six months (II Sam. 2:1-7; 5:4), and then made king over all Israel over which he ruled till he was seventy years old (I Kings 2:11; I Chron. 29:27).

Though David was a man after God’s own heart, he was not perfect. Three great transgressions mar his great example. First, there was the sin with Bathsheba. David liked women, just as his son by Bathsheba would as well. But David gave in to unlawful desires and it began a downward spiral in his life. Second, David sinned in numbering the people. David apparently did not trust God enough at this time. And finally, what could be David’s greatest failure was his lack of parental guidance. Amnon attacked his sister Tamar, Absalom killed his brother Amnon and attempted a coup, ousting David and going in to his concubines, and Adonijah attempts to take over from David. David never once displeased Adonijah, and he may well have treated his other children similarly (I Kings 1:6). David’s family was fraught with all manner of problems.

The great glory of David, however, rests not in any great deeds but in his relationship to the Messiah. The Christ was the seed of David (Rom. 1:1-4). God had told David that when he slept with his fathers in the grave that God was going to raise up his seed after him and His throne would be everlasting, as would His kingdom (II Sam. 7:12,13). David’s psalms describe the glorious resurrection of the Christ and the establishment of the Messiah’s kingdom (Psalm 1; 16). All of these prophecies ultimately find their fulfillment in Acts 2 and the establishment of the church of Christ, the tabernacle of David (Acts 15:16).

Eric L. Padgett