King Shlomo was king over all Isra'el,
(1Ki 4:1 CJB)
SHLOMO: "HIS PEACE!"
We are told later in the book of 1 Kings that peace was the hallmark of Shlomo's rule in Israel:
(5:4) For he ruled all the area this side of the [Euphrates] River, from Tifsach to `Azah. He was over all the kings on this side of the River; and he had peace all around him, on every side. (1Ki 4:24 CJB)
This idea was reinforced by his very name, which means, "His peace." The peace referred to was a foreshadowing of the peace, happiness, and abundance of the Messianic Age when Yeshua will rule on earth. The text of 1 Kings actually describes it in the following words:
(5:5) From Dan to Be'er-Sheva, Y'hudah and Isra'el lived securely, every man under his vine and fig tree, throughout the lifetime of Shlomo. (1Ki 4:25 CJB)
The theme of "every man under his vine and fig tree" would be later used by Micah to represent the Messianic Era:
Each person will sit under his vine and fig tree, with no one to upset him, for the mouth of Adonai-Tzva'ot has spoken. (Mic 4:4 CJB)
SHLOMO'S RIGHTEOUS PRIORITIES: THE PEOPLE OF THE LORD
In a dream, Shlomo was given a test, a test which he passed with flying colors. In the test, HasShem gave him a blank check to ask for whatever he wanted. What would we do with a blank check like that alongside the divinely ordained power of kingship? This is a lot of power, the sort that usually corrupts those who possess it.
Shlomo's request is not the heads of his enemies, nor wealth and riches, but simply that he would be a good shepherd over the people of God. As a result:
God said to him, "Because you have made this request instead of asking long life or riches for yourself, or your enemies' death, but rather asked for yourself understanding to discern justice; I am doing what you requested. I am giving you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has never been anyone like you, nor will there ever again be anyone like you. I am also giving you what you didn't ask for, riches and honor greater than that of any other king throughout your life.
(1Ki 3:11-13 CJB)
SILVER AS COMMON AS STONES
Under Shlomo's reign, Israel became very rich. It is said that through the wealth brought to Israel from the nations around him:
The king made silver in Yerushalayim as common as stones, and he made cedars as abundant as sycamore-fig trees are in the Sh'felah. (1Ki 10:27 CJB)
ALONG WITH PEACE AND ABUNDANCE, MESSIANIC TRUE JUSTICE WAS ALSO A HALLMARK OF SHLOMO'S REIGN
His wisdom was so widespread that people came from all over to listen to Shlomo's wise advice, a true foreshadow of the justice of Messiah coming from Zion in the Messianic era.
Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Micah all speak of the Messiah coming to exercise judgment on the earth (Jer 23:5; Is 11:3-4); Micah 4:3). But this role of judge was not Messiah's first-coming role, which he didn't fulfill when He came 2000 years ago. Of that first coming, it is said:
For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but rather so that through him, the world might be saved.
(Joh 3:17 CJB)
But at the time of the second coming, HaShem does send Messiah to come as a judge:
"In the past, God overlooked such ignorance; but now he is commanding all people everywhere to turn to him from their sins. For he has set a Day when he will judge the inhabited world, and do it justly, by means of a man whom he has designated. And he has given public proof of it by resurrecting this man from the dead." (Act 17:30-31 CJB)
Isaiah describes the type of justice provided by Messiah at the end of times:
The Spirit of Adonai will rest on him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and power, the Spirit of knowledge and fearing Adonai --he will be inspired by fearing Adonai. He will not judge by what his eyes see or decide by what his ears hear, but he will judge the impoverished justly; he will decide fairly for the humble of the land. He will strike the land with a rod from his mouth and slay the wicked with a breath from his lips. (Isa 11:2-4 CJB)
THE JUSTICE OF THE KING
Our Aftara has a passage that exemplifies the type of justice described by Isaiah in the Messianic Age. The written records tell us that:
There came to the king two women who were prostitutes. After presenting themselves to him, one of the women said, "My lord, I and this woman live in the same house; and when she was in the house, I gave birth to a baby. Three days after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. We were there together; there was no one else with us in the house except the two of us. During the night this woman's child died, because she rolled over on top of it. So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from next to me, while your servant was sleeping, and put it in her arms; and she laid her dead child in my arms. When I awoke in the morning to feed my child from my breast, there it was, dead. But when I took a closer look later in the morning, why, it wasn't my son at all -- not the one I gave birth to!" (1Ki 3:16-21 CJB)
The king listened carefully to the first woman's account of the event, then allowed the second woman to make her defense:
The other woman broke in, "No! The living one is my son, and the dead one is your son!" The first one said, "No! The dead one is your son and the living one is my son!" This is how they spoke in the presence of the king. (1Ki 3:22 CJB)
The king wisely reiterated what he heard to make sure all the details of the case were clear to him:
Then the king said, "This woman says, 'The living one is my son; your son is the dead one'; while the other says, 'No, the dead one is your son, and the living one is my son.' (1Ki 3:23 CJB)
At its best, this is a case of "she said-she said!" There were no witnesses. What will the king do? The wise king did exactly what Isaiah would describe as messianic justice a few hundred years later. A justice that:
...will be inspired by fearing Adonai. He will not judge by what his eyes see or decide by what his ears hear, but he will judge the impoverished justly; he will decide fairly for the humble of the land. He will strike the land with a rod from his mouth and slay the wicked with a breath from his lips. (Isa 11:3-4 CJB)
Unable to get the lying party to tell the truth, the king then takes the only weapon that is able to bring the truth out--the sword described by the writer of the book of Hebrews:
The Word of God ... sharper than any double-edged sword -- it cuts right through to where soul meets spirit and joints meet marrow, and it is quick to judge the inner reflections and attitudes of the heart. (Heb 4:12 CJB)
Sitting on his throne, his sword is not at his side, so Shlomo asks for one to be given to him:
Bring me a sword," said the king. They brought a sword to the king. The king said, "Cut the living child in two; give half to the one and half to the other."
It did the trick!
At this, the woman to whom the living child belonged addressed the king, because she felt so strongly toward her son: "Oh, my lord, give her the living child; you mustn't kill it!" But the other one said, "It will be neither yours nor mine. Divide it up!" (1Ki 3:24-26 CJB)
The wise king gives his verdict.
Then the king answered, "Give the living child to the first woman, don't kill it, because she is its mother." All Isra'el heard of the decision the king had made and held the king in awe, for they saw that God's wisdom was in him, enabling him to render justice properly. (1Ki 3:28 CJB)
THE JUSTICE OF MESSIAH
The reign of Messiah will be a time of reckoning. It will be like a giant justice audit for all people, from all generations. At that time, those who put their trust in HaShem that revenge was His will have their day in court with the King of kings, Judge of all the earth. He will wield the sword that is sharper than any double-edged sword which cuts right through to where soul meets spirit and joints meet marrow, and is quick to judge the inner reflections and attitudes of the heart for justice that will not judge by what his eyes see or decide by what his ears hear, but he will judge the impoverished justly; but will decide fairly for the humble of the land. He will strike the land with a rod from his mouth and slay the wicked with a breath from his lips. (Hebrews 4, Isaiah 11)
CONNECTION WITH THE PARASHA
As we have just read, this aftara uses the establishment of Shlomo as King over Israel to foreshadow the establishment of Messiah over the whole world through His wise judgment at the second coming. This idea comes as a companion to the parasha that tells us of Joseph's establishment over Egypt through His wise judgment (Gen 41:41). Thus, with the parasha and the aftara, we have Messiah ben Joseph, and Messiah ben David.
King Shlomo was king over all Isra'el, (1Ki 4:1 CJB)
A NOTE FROM RABBI GABRIEL
Before His temporary departure from the physical realm of man, Yeshua told His disciples, and thereby all those who decide to disciple after Him, "What I am leaving with you is shalom -- I am giving you my shalom. I don't give the way the world gives. Don't let yourselves be upset or frightened. (Joh 14:27 CJB).
In Matthew 24, He even told His disciples that when they see all the signs of the endtimes, they should not worry (Mat 24:6). Having therefore given us His peace, He also gave us the commandment to not worry nor be frightened by these things.
I have noticed that in spite of this gifting of peace, and of this command not to be frightened or worried, many of us these days tend to let that Yeshua-promised-and-given peace be stolen by giving heed to messages of both truth and lies. True there are worrisome things happening today, and true there are some people intent on using them for their own agendas. The truth is that it is not new, it has always been happening, it is just more propagated now in our days when information is more widely available.
At the end of the day, (or the Day!), we do own the promise of peace and we have been given the commandment not to worry.
MAY WE NOT LET THE GRINCH STEAL OUR PEACE FROM US.
MAY WE HOLD ON TO "HIS PEACE!"