II Chronicles – Chapter 1

Solomon in Charge

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Solomon gathered the reins of the kingdom together and, with G-d’s help, successfully took charge of the nation. He conferred with all the leaders of the people and gathered together with them at Givon, where most of the vessels of the Tabernacle remained, along with an altar. (The Ark resided in a special structure erected for that purpose by David in Jerusalem.) In Givon, Solomon made a huge offering of 1,000 animals to G-d.

That night, G-d appeared to Solomon in a vision. He offered to grant the young king a request. All Solomon asked for was the wisdom to lead his people well. G-d responded that Solomon could have asked for wealth, honor, the defeat of his enemies or long life. Since all he asked for was the wisdom to lead the nation, G-d would grant that request, plus unprecedented wealth and honor.

Solomon returned to Jerusalem and got down to the business of leading a nation. He gathered horses and chariots (albeit more than he should have) and he made silver, gold and precious woods plentiful in Israel. The horses were imported through a union of horse traders based out of Egypt, so they were able to purchase horses at cost and sell them at a good markup. The same union also sold to the royal families of the Hittites and of Aram. And, of course, Solomon was working on the plans to build the Temple and a palace.

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