Our reading today begins with a description of some of Solomon’s great accomplishments. This is paralleled in 1 Kings 9:10-28 with a few exceptions. In 8:2, we read of cities that Hiram the king of Tyre had given to Solomon. In the 1 Kings account, we read that Solomon gave cities to Hiram (1 Kings 9:11), but that Hiram didn’t like them (1 Kings 9:12-13). Here in 2 Chronicles, we see that Hiram did not accept the gift (he gave them back), so Solomon rebuilt the cities for his own people.
The chronicler also omits the record of Solomon building the Millo (see 1 Kings 9:15), which as we saw, was one of the great building projects that distracted Solomon from governing his people with justice. The chronicler, remember, wants to paint a picture of a priestly monarchy. This is why he expands the account of Solomon’s priestly acts described only briefly in 1 Kings 9:25. We see here that Solomon made daily offerings (vv. 12-13), the Sabbath offerings (see Num 28:9-10), and the new moon offerings (see Num 28:11-15) in addition to the three annual offerings for the festivals. In verse 14, we see that Solomon was not only investing time in building projects, but in organizing the Temple worship according to his father’s plans (see 1 Chr 23-26). This concludes the chronicler’s record of the Temple building, which began back in 1 Chronicles 22 (a total of 16 chapters!).
Chapter 9 begins with the visit of the Queen of Sheba. The account parallels 1 Kings 10:1-13, with one small exception. In 9:11, the chronicler refers to the land as Judah. Remember, Solomon reigned during the united kingdom. And yet, the writer chooses to focus on the tribe that became the southern kingdom. This is him again showing that the northern kingdom is not – and was not – part of God’s plan for His people.
Verses 13-28 speak of Solomon’s wealth, and it parallels 1 Kings 10:14-29, again with one small exception. The chronicler inserts verse 26, where he describes the borders of the kingdom. Why does he do this? Because the kingdom under Solomon reached the pinnacle of its expansion, and the borders described here coincide with the borders God promised Abraham after making a covenant with him (see Gen 15:18-21). The chronicler is explaining to the returning remnant that God had fulfilled the promise of the land! They need not look to that element of the covenant, because it is fulfilled. He is focusing them in again on the proper worship of YHWH, not their national borders (which would never be the same) or their sovereignty (which they never regained).
The chapter closes with the account of Solomon’s death (v. 31). What is important to note is what is not written here. The chronicler excludes the account of Solomon’s turning from God to worship false gods (see 1 Kings 11:1-8), and God’s turning from Solomon and pronouncement of judgment (1 Kings 11:9-40). He is instead focusing on the chosen line of David because the hope of the Greater Son of David was still alive.