"Building of Cities. [8:1 -
Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
Twenty years has passed since the Temple, the house of the Lord was completed, and Solomon had been living in his new palace for the past twenty years. David brought in the Kenites as the wood cutters to serve at the old Tabernacle, and Solomon sought and used the skills of the Kenites to secure the gold and other materials for the construction projects. By the time of the dedication, these Kenites that came from Hamath to use their skills and trade in the construction, as well as others back in Hamath had become resident to Israel. They had used their skills of music and logistics in trafficing and management to become part of Israel to where Solomon could rely on them. Remember that their skills started way back before the time of Noah, with Tubal Cain and his development of metal working. Their ships were the ships of Tarshish in the early days.
We know that by the time of the captivity, the Kenites were so well embedded in the priesthood, that even Ezra thought of them as being of Judah, and when the purge came to rid the Israel men of their foreign woman, and those foreigners amongst, he never gave a second thought towards these Kenites. In fact when Ezra and Nehemiah came out of Babylon, of the forty three thousand people that were returning to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple, the streets and walls of Jerusalem, and set up the Temple worship, over half of those people were Nethinims. Men given to the service of the Temple and their families. The three families that controlled the duties of the records, the scribes were all Kenites, as we read in I Chronicles 2:55. Were they of Abraham? No, they were of the lineage of Cain, the son of Satan from the garden of Eden.
I say all this for one reason, so that we will know these Kenite people that are starting to take controlling positions of leadership that started here with Solomon. These people were builders of cities, ships, and dealt in trafficking and merchandising. Solomon was a wise man and could see that these were people that could get a job done, and that they were builders of cities. We are reminders that building cities was nothing new to them, as it started with their father Cain way back in Genesis 4. Making music was also not new to the Kenite, for the father of the harp was Jubal. Lets take a closer look at Cain's family and the things that they developed.
Genesis 4:20 "And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwelt in tents, and of such as have cattle." [agriculture]
Genesis 4:21 "And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ." [music- and instruments]
Genesis 4:22 "And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, an instructer of ever artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah." [Tubal-cain developed the processes of working with brass and iron]
So with this in mind, lets get into II Chronicles 8.
II Chronicles 8:1 "And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, wherein Solomon had built the house of the Lord, and his own house,"
In Biblical numerics the number twenty (20) represents expectancy and Waiting. Remember that the numbers one (1) and twenty one (21) are the numbers for Divine completeness. Twenty one minus one means its ready to happen. Its been twenty years since that last major construction project ended, and there was a feast that no one would forget in the dedication of the house of God. They came from the north, to Hamath, to Egypt in the south, and in the sacrifices gave one hundred and forty two thousand oxen and sheep unto the Lord.
II Chronicles 8:2 "That the cities which Huram had restored to Solomon, Solomon built them, and caused the children of Israel to dwell there."
Twenty seven years prior, when the temple was in the planning stage, Solomon was trying to get the wealth and supplies to build the house of God. Solomon gave up as a pledge of security some of Israel's cities and territories for the construction projects. This is nothing new, for if you go to a bank to finance your home or business, the land and property remain on the deed until the loan is pain off.
I Kings 9:10, 11 "And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, when Solomon had built the two houses, the house of the Lord, and the king's house,"  "(Now Hiram the king of Tyre had furnished Solomon with cedar trees and fir trees, and with gold, according to all his desire,) that then king Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee." 
So we see that these cities that were given to the king of Tyre were not considered of much value. Remember what the men of Judah said of the people from Nazarath of Galilee? What good could come out of Nazarath. It was the sticks of the nation.
I Kings 9:12-14 "And Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given him; and they pleased him not."  "And he said, "What cities are these which thou hast given me, my brother?" And he called them the land of Cabul unto this day."  "And Hiram sent to the king six score talents of Gold." 
The word Cabul in the Hebrew comes from the root word "kebel, meaning twine. it was a cheep thread braided together to give a fetter, because standing alone it had no strength nor value. Solomon used this junk property to finance the house of God, standing high and lined inside and out with gold and silver and all the wealth of the time.
II Chronicles 8:3 "And Solomon went to Hamath-zobah, and prevailed against it."
There is no record as to where this town of Hamath-zobah is today, but it was in the valled of Orontes, north of Damascus.
II Chronicles 8:4 "And he built Tadmor in the wilderness, and all the store cities, which he built in Hamath."
To make things right for Hiram, Solomon built Tadmor in this valley about one hundred and fifty miles north of Damascus, and today that town is called Palmyra. Hiram supplied the sixty talants of God, and Solomon sent the skilled workers.
II Chronicles 8:5 "Also he built Beth-horon the upper, and Beth-horon the nether, fenced cities, with walls, gates, and bars;"
Solomon and his workers also rebuilt the cities of North and South Beth-horon, and fenced them with walls, gates and bars.
II Chronicles 8:6 "And Baalath, and all the store cities that Solomon had, and all the chariot cities, and the cities of the horsemen, and all that Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, and in Lebonon, and throughout all the land of his dominion."
One by one, Solomon rebuilt those old cities that were decayed to nothing, and then after Hiram gave them back to Israel, Solomon made them cities for stores, horsemen, and chariots. These cities became outposts for his army.
II Chronicles 8:7 "As for all the people that were left of the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which were not of Israel."
II Chronicles 8:8 "But of the children, who were left after them in the land, whom the children of Israel consumed not, them did Solomon make to pay tribute until this day."
Those cities that were not of Israel, but were in the land of Israel, Solomon put a tax on them, and made them pay tribute to Jerusalem.
II Chronicles 8:9 "But of the children of Israel did Solomon make no servants for his work; but they were men of war, and chief of the captains, and captains of his chariots and horsement."
II Chronicles 8:10 "And these were the chief of king Solomon's officers, even two hundred and fifty, that bare rule over the people."
II Chronicles 8:11 "And Solomon offered burnt offerings unto the Lord on the altar of the Lord, which he had built before the porch,"
II Chronicles 8:13 "Even after a certain rate every day, offering according to the commandment of Moses, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts, three times in the year, even in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles."
The Offerings and Sacrifices that were ordered by God at the pen of Moses are given to us in detail in Leviticus 1:1 through Leviticus 7:38, and Solomon followed each of the instructions to the letter of the law. Each of these times and dates were give to make the Israelites remember the protection and care that He provided for them as they came out of bondage and were led into the promise land.
II Chronicles 8:14 "And he appointed, according to the order of David his father, the courses of the priests to their service, and the Levites to their charges, and to praise and minister before the priests, as the duty of every day required: the porters also by their courses at every gate: for so had David the man of God commanded."
Notice that order and discipline started with David, for in Saul's kingdom there was a break down of discipline to the ways of God written by Moses. As long as those instructions from God and the laws of God are followed, there is order and discipline in the kingdom. Here twenty years following the building of the temple, that discipline to the duties of each man in the service of the Lord was maintained and followed as the letter of the law of Moses demanded.
II Chronicles 8:15 "And they departed not from the commandment of the king unto the priests and Levites concerning any matter, or concerning the treasures."
The people of Israel did not depart from following the laws of God written by Moses, but followed them continually, daily. When the morning offering was to be offered, the priest was there to make the offering. When sacrifices and services were to get at a certain time, the people in charge were there and the people were present to hear what they had to say. What a time for Israel. No wonder God blessed that nation under Solomon at this time.
Today the judges of our land think it is to much to remind the people of the ten commandment, and the people think it is such a strain to be present in their church. In most cases, tithes have become a thing for grandma and grandpa, and a thing of the past, and thus churches are having to think up all sorts of gimmicks to get money to pay the bills, and support their pastors. We as a nation are in a state of decay, and most of our leaders have so inflated the books that the people just can't see it. Crime and drugs are running wild, and the streets of our land unsafe to walk after dark. To fully understand how you can see if your are pleasing unto the Lord, read Deuteronomy 28:1-62; where the first 14 verses tell of the blessings you and your nation will have when you follow God's instructions. The rest of the chapter lets you know what will happen within your nation when you and the leaders turn your back on Him.
I am pleased to see that God does keep his word, for as our leaders turn their backs to the Lord, those curses would and are coming down on our land. The point is, when will the people relate to this, and make changes in their ways? Will they? I Doubt it, for the prophecies of our time tell us that the famine in the end times, in our day, is for the hearing of the Word of God. And the Word is not being preached from the pulpits in our land. Those with the seal of God in their mind will see what is taking place, and relate to the events of these end times. The sounding of the sixth and seventh trump are closing fast, and the seventh trump marks the end of flesh man and women, and the things that are common today, and moves us into the Millennium age.
Solomon was a wise man with understanding, and he instructed us in Proverbs 1:7 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." Solomon is following this complete, as he listened to his father David, and followed the wisdom and instruction in the laws of Moses.
II Chronicles 8:16 "Now all the work of Solomon was prepared unto the day of the foundation of the house of the Lord, and until it was finished. So the house of the Lord was perfected."
II Chronicles 8:17 "Then went? Solomon to Ezion-geber, and to Eloth, at the sea side in the land of Edom."
II Chronicles 8:18 "And Huram sent him by the hands of his servants ships, and servants that had knowledge of the sea; and they went with the servants of Solomon to Ophir, and took thence four hundred and fifty talent of gold, and brought them to Solomon."
"Huram" is the same man "Hiram" as given in I Kings, for he is the king of Tyre, the capital city of Hamath. Tyre is on the Mediterranean sea, and his ships roamed the world, they went to the east to get the gold for the building of the temple, and they sailed in the red sea. Ophir is thought to be in the southern area of Africa called Rhodesia or Zimbabwe of today, and Solomon went down to the gulf of Aqaba in the land of Edom, to board Hiram's ships and sail to Ophir.
Many scholars have believed that it was impossible for Hiram's Mediterranean ships to reach the Red sea, but this shows that it was possible. Even today there are huge ancient ruins of smelting buildings. These Tarshish ships for Ezion-gerber sail all over the east African coast, and as far east to India. It is believed that the Queen of Sheba that came to Jerusalem to see Solomon came for the land connected with Ophir.
King Hiram and the Kenites knew of Solomon's great wisdom, and they were very generous with Solomon and Israel. They could see how God blessed Israel, and was with Solomon, and they supplied Solomon with much gold and skilled men to help. These men of Hamath knew the sea, and the sea was their means of trafficking goods in their trade
Potter Seasons Sonshine Rain