Bible Discussion Thread

  • Rick Colombe on 1 Kings 12:9
    According to what I read in chapter 12 Solomon was a harsh king over Israel. Am I missing something here?
  • Chris - in Reply on 1 Kings 12:9
    What you're reading in 1 Kings 12:3-5,9, refers to mainly the high taxes that Solomon imposed upon the people. Even though we read in 2 Chronicles 8:7,8, that harsh taxes were imposed on those not of Israel that lived amongst them, we see that all of Israel suffered because of the taxes.

    Solomon extracted taxes, goods & services from the people in various ways & these were done primarily for the building of the Temple (though, King David actually had already procured most of the materials for them), but also for the other buildings to house his many wives & concubines. He established twelve districts to sustain the king & his household each month through taxation ( 1 Kings 4:7); he conscripted labour from Israel ( 1 Kings 5:13-18); taxed merchants & trade ( 1 Kings 10:15); and received tribute from other nations ( 1 Kings 4:21).

    And particularly for the common man, such high taxation became a heavy burden to bear, where some did their normal work during the day, then had to contribute their time after work in Solomon's building projects. So the people protested such burdens & appealed to Solomon's successor, Rehoboam to have pity on them. Rather, he raised the taxes even further causing Jeroboam to lead the people in revolt, hence the divisions of the Kingdoms (Judah & Israel): 1 Kings 12:16-27.

    It's noteworthy, that Samuel much earlier prophesied about the inevitability of taxation & other demands ( 1 Sam 8:11-22) as the people demanded a king as the other nations had.

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