1 Kings 10:26 MEANING

1 Kings 10:26
(26) Gathered together chariots.--See above, 1 Kings 4:26. This gathering of chariots--the sign of military conquest and extended empire--is evidently noticed here in connection with the growth of commerce and wealth, as one of the powers which held Solomon's kingdom together. Josephus (Ant. viii. 7, 4), in mentioning them, gives a vivid description of the use of these chariots and horsemen for progresses of royal magnificence and pleasure. But their chief use was. no doubt, military. The "chariot cities" would be the fortified posts, in the various parts of Solomon's own dominions and in the tributary countries.

Verse 26. - And Solomon gathered together his chariots and horsemen, and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots [these words have an important bearing on 1 Kings 4:26, where see note], and twelve thousand horsemen. [The question may suggest itself here, why did Solomon, who was a "man of peace," maintain such a formidable array of chariots and horsemen? For not only was it in contravention of Deuteronomy 17:16 (cf. 1 Samuel 8:11), but it was entirely unnecessary, especially for a nation inhabiting a hilly country like that of Israel. We find, consequently, that David, when he took a thousand chariots from Hadarezer (1 Chronicles 18:4), only reserved for his own use one hundred of them, though he was at the time engaged in war. It may perhaps be said that this force was necessary to keep the tributary kings in due subjection. But it seems quite as likely that it was maintained largely for the sake of pomp and display. Solomon seems to have determined in every way, and at any cost, to rival and surpass all contemporary kings. The maintenance of this large force of cavalry is another token of declension], whom he bestowed in the cities for chariots (1 Kings 9:19), and with the king at Jerusalem.

10:14-29 Solomon increased his wealth. Silver was nothing accounted of. Such is the nature of worldly wealth, plenty of it makes it the less valuable; much more should the enjoyment of spiritual riches lessen our esteem of all earthly possessions. If gold in abundance makes silver to be despised, shall not wisdom, and grace, and the foretastes of heaven, which are far better than gold, make gold to be lightly esteemed? See in Solomon's greatness the performance of God's promise, and let it encourage us to seek first the righteousness of God's kingdom. This was he, who, having tasted all earthly enjoyments, wrote a book, to show the vanity of all worldly things, the vexation of spirit that attends them, and the folly of setting our hearts upon them: and to recommend serious godliness, as that which will do unspeakably more to make us happy, that all the wealth and power he was master of; and, through the grace of God, it is within our reach.And Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen,.... Both for war; for though it was a time of peace, he provided against the worst, lest an enemy should come upon him suddenly, and when unprepared:

and he had one thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; of the latter See Gill on 1 Kings 4:26.

whom he bestowed in the cities for chariots, and with the king at Jerusalem; some of the horsemen were quartered in the cities where the chariots were placed, and some of them in Jerusalem, to be near the king's person, and to be a guard to him on occasion. Josephus (f) says, half of them were in Jerusalem about the king, and the rest were dispersed through the king's villages.

(f) Antiqu l. 8. c. 2. sect. 4.

Courtesy of Open Bible