Solomon’s Administrative Districts

During Solomon’s long and prosperous reign over Israel, he built the first Temple of the Lord (1 Kings 5-6; 2 Chronicles 3), and he also built a lavish palace for himself and his many wives and concubines (1 Kings 7:1-12). Solomon also undertook many other building projects throughout Israel (1 Kings 9:15-19; 2 Chronicles 8:1-6). While much of Solomon’s wealth came by way of his own economic ventures (1 Kings 9-10; 2 Chronicles 1:14-17; 8:1-6; 9:1-28) as well as by tribute brought by foreign powers (1 Kings 4:20-21), Solomon’s many projects also exacted an economic toll on his own people. In order to provide for the needs of his royal court, Solomon divided up Israel’s territory into twelve administrative districts and assigned each one responsibility for one month’s royal provisions every year (1 Kings 4:1-38). It appears that Solomon’s own tribe of Judah may have been exempt from this burden, because Judah is not listed among the administrative districts. After Solomon’s death, Rehoboam’s refusal to lighten this heavy tax burden led most of the northern tribes to revolt against the rule of David’s family and set up Solomon’s former labor boss Jeroboam as king (1 Kings 11-12; 2 Chronicles 10).

download hi-res file