Solomon's Government (1 Kings 4) December 26
Solomon has a special group of district officers who arrange for food for the king and his large and growing household (see 1 Kings 11:3). Two of these district officers become part of the family by marrying Solomon's daughters (4:11, 15). "The provisions described here would have fed some 4,000 to 5,000 people though some estimates run as many as 14,000! The figures suggest Solomon developed a large, complex bureaucracy, and the land was wealthy enough to support it" (Bible Reader's Companion, note on verses 20-23).
Solomon's wisdom is not confined to discernment in judgment. He is also known throughout the world of his day for his proverbs and songs, a number of which are preserved as part of the Scriptures. And he develops a keen knowledge in the sciences: "To say that Solomon 'named' (1 Kings 4:33, NIV, 'described') plants and animals means that he mastered zoology and biology" (note on verses 29-34). He also gets involved in building projects, some of which we will read about in the next few chapters, and others which are described in Ecclesiastes (2:4-6).
With the peaceful reign of Solomon underway, Judah and Israel flourish with population growth and good times. The general peace and prosperity brought about by God were a type of conditions the whole world will experience when Jesus Christ returns and rules the earth (1 Kings 4:20-25; see Micah 4:4).