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  • Who were Solomon's servants?

    We've been studying Nehemiah at work and have run across mention of the servants of Solomon in the list of those returning from captivity. They are listed as if they are a separate special group. Does anyone know who they were and why they are mentioned as a specific group instead of those from a city or family?
    "He's wild, you know. Not like a tame lion."
    C.S. Lewis, "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe."

    "Oh, but sometimes the sun stays hidden for years"
    "Sometimes the sky rains night after night, When will it clear?"

    "But our Hope endures the worst of conditions"
    "It's more than our optimism, Let the earth quake"
    "Our Hope is unchanged"
    "Our Hope Endures" Natalie Grant

  • #2
    Re: Who were Solomon's servants?

    Originally posted by Old man View Post
    We've been studying Nehemiah at work and have run across mention of the servants of Solomon in the list of those returning from captivity. They are listed as if they are a separate special group. Does anyone know who they were and why they are mentioned as a specific group instead of those from a city or family?
    It seems that they belong to this group.

    David was not allowed to build the Temple, although it was his heart's desire. So David did all the preparation for his son Solomon. One of these preparations was the service to the Temple. He set up an order where priests (who had no inheritance and were scattered throughout Israel to judge), did two weeks a year full-time service in the Temple as one of their duties. Thus, there were twenty four such orders. When the remnant returned from Babylon for the reconstruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, it seems that some of these were among the faithful. They are called "the children of the servants of Solomon", if I am correct. This of course would be correct because it was about 500 years later. Although David instituted this Temple Service, Solomon built the Temple and it would have been him that initiated these orders, so they would be Solomon's Servants, not David's. Although only a remnant returned for the second Temple, God provided for its construction and service.

    In Luke 1:5-9 you can see Zacharias, some 400 years later, doing his stint.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Who were Solomon's servants?

      Originally posted by Walls View Post
      It seems that they belong to this group.

      David was not allowed to build the Temple, although it was his heart's desire. So David did all the preparation for his son Solomon. One of these preparations was the service to the Temple. He set up an order where priests (who had no inheritance and were scattered throughout Israel to judge), did two weeks a year full-time service in the Temple as one of their duties. Thus, there were twenty four such orders. When the remnant returned from Babylon for the reconstruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, it seems that some of these were among the faithful. They are called "the children of the servants of Solomon", if I am correct. This of course would be correct because it was about 500 years later. Although David instituted this Temple Service, Solomon built the Temple and it would have been him that initiated these orders, so they would be Solomon's Servants, not David's. Although only a remnant returned for the second Temple, God provided for its construction and service.

      In Luke 1:5-9 you can see Zacharias, some 400 years later, doing his stint.
      Walls, always a wealth of information...

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Who were Solomon's servants?

        Originally posted by Walls View Post
        He set up an order where priests (who had no inheritance and were scattered throughout Israel to judge), did two weeks a year full-time service in the Temple as one of their duties. Thus, there were twenty four such orders.
        David’s arrangement of the 24 divisions of priests had nothing to do with the fact that the tribe of Levi (both priests and Levites) were not given an inheritance among their brothers as far as having an entire region for their own such as Judah, Dan and Simeon etc. had. They were however given cities and the land surrounding those cities as their own (even though those cities were scattered throughout the other tribes). Their inheritance was God and serving Him in His sanctuary (and temple when it was built). This arrangement says nothing nor even implies they are or ever were considered Solomon’s servants. Besides; David made those divisions based on direction from the Holy Spirit.
        1 Chr. 28:12-13 “and the plans for all that he had by the Spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, of all the chambers all around, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries for the dedicated things; (13) also for the division of the priests and the Levites, for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the articles of service in the house of the LORD.”

        It is a huge leap to say that the priesthood and its 24 divisions (both established and directed by God) were Solomon’s servants because he built God a temple. I’m just not seeing how you can make a connection like that.

        Originally posted by Walls View Post
        When the remnant returned from Babylon for the reconstruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, it seems that some of these were among the faithful. They are called "the children of the servants of Solomon", if I am correct. This of course would be correct because it was about 500 years later.
        Nehemiah specifically separates the sons of Solomon’s servants and lists them apart from:
        • The priest (who were part of the 24 divisions) Neh. 7:39-42
        • The Levites (who were also part of their own 24 divisions) Neh. 7:44-45
        • The temple servants Neh. 7:46-56
        • The son of Solomon’s servants Neh. 7:57-59.


        Although verse 59 does seem to put them equal with the temple servants and as one group. They do seem to have some connection with the temple however not in the manner you have suggested as being the priests.

        Originally posted by Walls View Post
        Although David instituted this Temple Service, Solomon built the Temple and it would have been him that initiated these orders, so they would be Solomon's Servants, not David's. Although only a remnant returned for the second Temple, God provided for its construction and service.
        Who built the temple is irrelevant to this issue and does not change the status of the people who are God’s servants performing their duties as God (not Solomon) commanded according to the Law given by God through Moses and in the divisions directed by the Spirit of God through David.
        "He's wild, you know. Not like a tame lion."
        C.S. Lewis, "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe."

        "Oh, but sometimes the sun stays hidden for years"
        "Sometimes the sky rains night after night, When will it clear?"

        "But our Hope endures the worst of conditions"
        "It's more than our optimism, Let the earth quake"
        "Our Hope is unchanged"
        "Our Hope Endures" Natalie Grant

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Who were Solomon's servants?

          Originally posted by Old man View Post
          David’s arrangement of the 24 divisions of priests had nothing to do with the fact that the tribe of Levi (both priests and Levites) were not given an inheritance among their brothers as far as having an entire region for their own such as Judah, Dan and Simeon etc. had. They were however given cities and the land surrounding those cities as their own (even though those cities were scattered throughout the other tribes). Their inheritance was God and serving Him in His sanctuary (and temple when it was built). This arrangement says nothing nor even implies they are or ever were considered Solomon’s servants. Besides; David made those divisions based on direction from the Holy Spirit.
          1 Chr. 28:12-13 “and the plans for all that he had by the Spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, of all the chambers all around, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries for the dedicated things; (13) also for the division of the priests and the Levites, for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the articles of service in the house of the LORD.”

          It is a huge leap to say that the priesthood and its 24 divisions (both established and directed by God) were Solomon’s servants because he built God a temple. I’m just not seeing how you can make a connection like that.



          Nehemiah specifically separates the sons of Solomon’s servants and lists them apart from:
          • The priest (who were part of the 24 divisions) Neh. 7:39-42
          • The Levites (who were also part of their own 24 divisions) Neh. 7:44-45
          • The temple servants Neh. 7:46-56
          • The son of Solomon’s servants Neh. 7:57-59.


          Although verse 59 does seem to put them equal with the temple servants and as one group. They do seem to have some connection with the temple however not in the manner you have suggested as being the priests.



          Who built the temple is irrelevant to this issue and does not change the status of the people who are God’s servants performing their duties as God (not Solomon) commanded according to the Law given by God through Moses and in the divisions directed by the Spirit of God through David.
          OK. For the time being I will accept your rebuttal. I will wait for your answer to the original posting so as to learn something. But I am surprised that once having disclaimed my theory that you were not forthcoming with who they were. The plot thickens. They say a good lawyer never asks a question he doesn't know the answer to. The original posting now smacks of a trap (among brethren).

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Who were Solomon's servants?

            Originally posted by Walls View Post
            OK. For the time being I will accept your rebuttal.
            This is not a debate so my response (not rebuttal) was just that …….. a response.

            Originally posted by Walls View Post
            I will wait for your answer to the original posting so as to learn something. But I am surprised that once having disclaimed my theory that you were not forthcoming with who they were. The plot thickens.
            I don’t have answers that’s why I ask questions. But don’t think that I will not examine and test the answers you give to check their validity and scriptural support or relevance. I will not believe your answers simply because you are the one giving them. No one on this forum is so infallible for me to do that.

            Originally posted by Walls View Post
            They say a good lawyer never asks a question he doesn't know the answer to. The original posting now smacks of a trap (among brethren).
            I am not a “good lawyer” or any sort of lawyer at all. In spite of your suspicions there is no hidden agenda in my posts. Unlike some I do not post loaded questions. When I ask a question it is a real legitimate question. If you choose not to play my game of “seeking real answers to real questions” you don’t have to; but if you do don’t think I will take what you say as if “YOU” are “the ONE” who has all the right answers and that I should bow to your obvious superiority in scriptural knowledge. You better believe I will put your answers through the ringer to test them.

            There may be others here who play that “trap your brother” game with their posts but I have better things to do than to play silly games wasting my time and yours with that sort of foolishness (which is also one of the reasons why I don’t participate in so many of these threads). I had hoped that I could ask what was to me a real question and get a real answer or at least a number of possibilities I could look into and test as I did yours. I guess I’ll just have to find it on my own.

            If I hurt your feelings by testing your answer and found it to be unfounded logically and scripturally forgive me.
            "He's wild, you know. Not like a tame lion."
            C.S. Lewis, "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe."

            "Oh, but sometimes the sun stays hidden for years"
            "Sometimes the sky rains night after night, When will it clear?"

            "But our Hope endures the worst of conditions"
            "It's more than our optimism, Let the earth quake"
            "Our Hope is unchanged"
            "Our Hope Endures" Natalie Grant

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Who were Solomon's servants?

              Originally posted by Old man View Post
              This is not a debate so my response (not rebuttal) was just that …….. a response.


              I don’t have answers that’s why I ask questions. But don’t think that I will not examine and test the answers you give to check their validity and scriptural support or relevance. I will not believe your answers simply because you are the one giving them. No one on this forum is so infallible for me to do that.


              I am not a “good lawyer” or any sort of lawyer at all. In spite of your suspicions there is no hidden agenda in my posts. Unlike some I do not post loaded questions. When I ask a question it is a real legitimate question. If you choose not to play my game of “seeking real answers to real questions” you don’t have to; but if you do don’t think I will take what you say as if “YOU” are “the ONE” who has all the right answers and that I should bow to your obvious superiority in scriptural knowledge. You better believe I will put your answers through the ringer to test them.

              There may be others here who play that “trap your brother” game with their posts but I have better things to do than to play silly games wasting my time and yours with that sort of foolishness (which is also one of the reasons why I don’t participate in so many of these threads). I had hoped that I could ask what was to me a real question and get a real answer or at least a number of possibilities I could look into and test as I did yours. I guess I’ll just have to find it on my own.

              If I hurt your feelings by testing your answer and found it to be unfounded logically and scripturally forgive me.
              You attribute too much to me, both in knowledge and feelings. The first great lesson of being shown a few things in the bible is that one learns how much there is still to know. For about 14 years, as a novice Christian, I sat at the feet of a man who had been born again at 18 and had diligently studied the bible until then. He was in his 80s. His remark was; "after 60+ years of diligent (full-time) study of the bible I realize that I am but in Kindergarten." I too subscribe to this statement.

              If you go back to your response, your main argument was that "the children of the servants of Solomon" could not have been Levites because the Levitical service was instituted by God alone. I too considered this argument, plus the one that in most cases the "children of the servants of Solomon" are mentioned in addition to the Nethinims. I will answer these two objections in reverse. Look at your proposed verse in Nehemiah 11:3.

              "Now these are the chief of the province that dwelt in Jerusalem: but in the cities of Judah dwelt every one in his possession in their cities, to wit, Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants."
              1. The first thing that is established is that ALL the others in this verse were Levites.
              2. The second thing that is established is that, although we seek, as our object, the proof of who "the children of the servants of Solomon" were, they are in context exclusively with Levites
              3. The third thing that is established is that when Solomon initiated the Temple orders, they came from him (via the secret speaking of the Spirit), not the Law of Moses. Israel was supposed to be ruled by the Law, so any unwritten input that regulated the lives of Israelites would be attributed to that person. Later our Lord confirmed this in the negative sense that the traditions of the Pharisees "made the commandments of God of none effect."
              4. The fourth thing that is established is that even if God established a man or men for His service, throughout the bible these men ALSO served other men. Let us examine a few examples.
              1. When Abraham is called he is actually the line that God has chosen to recover His plan of Eden. But Abraham's authority to gain the world (Rom.4:13) was so that "all the families of the earth may be blessed". Abraham was the man God initiated to gain the Kingdom, but the effect was to serve mankind.
              2. Our Lord Jesus left no doubt that the greatest in the Kingdom was the one who served men as the lowest. Example Luke 12:37 where the King of kings, in all His Millennial glory, will serve us. So, although men, from the Man Jesus onwards, are commissioned by God, they serve other men as well.
              3. When Joseph is made ruler of all Egypt, it was by God's ordination in order that he might (1) serve a heathen king (Pharaoh) and (2) serve his brethren to save their lives. So although Joseph is a God-ordained "king", his main service is to all those who "bowed down to him in his visions."
              4. In the very context that we now discuss we find in 2 Chronicles 35:3; "And said unto the Levites that taught all Israel, which were holy unto the LORD, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; it shall not be a burden upon your shoulders: serve now the LORD your God, AND his people Israel.".

              So, what I did in considering who the "children of the servants of Solomon" were, was, failing a direct explanation from scripture, to gather all the evidence and come to a conclusion. It might be wrong, but usually a string of correct deductions, one following the next, leads to a correct deduction.

              There is one argument however, that can sink my argument, which if you had put my arguments through the "wringer" should have stood out. Directly after the ordinations for the Temple in the later Chapters of 1st Chronicles, we find the ordination of the king's guard, a military issue. In Chapter 27 verse 1 it says; "Now the children of Israel after their number, to wit, the chief fathers and captains of thousands and hundreds, and their officers that served the king in any matter of the courses, which came in and went out month by month throughout all the months of the year, of every course were twenty and four thousand."

              So the "children of the servants of Solomon" could have been a military order. But my argument against this is that from Nebuchadnezzar onwards, Israel was under foreign rule. Their king at the time of Nehemiah I believe, was Cyrus, a Persian. So there are three arguments that preclude "the children of the servants of Solomon" from being these;
              1. "the children of the servants of Solomon" are in context of Levites
              2. there is no king in Israel to protect or serve
              3. the king of Persia allowed the Temple to be rebuilt in accordance with his policy of freedom of religion within his conquered lands, but did not allow the restoration of an autonomous kingdom with a contending king

              So my friend, I laud you on putting others' writings "through the wringer". I do it myself. I would just like to point out that your arguments, and more, were considered before I posted my opinion. And as to my feelings, I think you will agree that almost no poster on this Forum gets more flack than I do, even to personal attacks. So don't worry about them. They are well and truly exercised already. The search for the truth, even in inconsequential matters, should transcend feelings.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Who were Solomon's servants?

                Guys,
                The servants of Solomon were state slaves used to build the Temple, it started with King David and the Ammorites, it is embedded in the Hebrew name translated "Solomon's servants"
                2 Samuel 12:30-31
                30 David took the crown from their king’s[a] head, and it was placed on his own head. It weighed a talent[b] of gold, and it was set with precious stones. David took a great quantity of plunder from the city 31 and brought out the people who were there, consigning them to labor with saws and with iron picks and axes, and he made them work at brickmaking. David did this to all the Ammonite towns. Then he and his entire army returned to Jerusalem.

                -King Solomon ramped this up for the national enterprise to build Solomon's temple
                1Kings 9:20-21
                20 There were still people left from the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites (these peoples were not Israelites). 21 Solomon conscripted the descendants of all these peoples remaining in the land—whom the Israelites could not exterminate[a]—to serve as slave labor, as it is to this day.
                2Chronicles 9:10
                10 (The servants of Hiram and the servants of Solomon brought gold from Ophir; they also brought algumwood[a] and precious stones.

                -It seems that the servants of Solomon had merged with the Nethinim who were not Levites (probably Gibeonites) the Temple servants in Ezra as the servants of Solomon were used to build the Temple with different aspects

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Who were Solomon's servants?

                  Originally posted by Karaite View Post
                  Guys,
                  The servants of Solomon were state slaves used to build the Temple, it started with King David and the Ammorites, it is embedded in the Hebrew name translated "Solomon's servants"
                  2 Samuel 12:30-31
                  30 David took the crown from their king’s[a] head, and it was placed on his own head. It weighed a talent[b] of gold, and it was set with precious stones. David took a great quantity of plunder from the city 31 and brought out the people who were there, consigning them to labor with saws and with iron picks and axes, and he made them work at brickmaking. David did this to all the Ammonite towns. Then he and his entire army returned to Jerusalem.

                  -King Solomon ramped this up for the national enterprise to build Solomon's temple
                  1Kings 9:20-21
                  20 There were still people left from the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites (these peoples were not Israelites). 21 Solomon conscripted the descendants of all these peoples remaining in the land—whom the Israelites could not exterminate[a]—to serve as slave labor, as it is to this day.
                  2Chronicles 9:10
                  10 (The servants of Hiram and the servants of Solomon brought gold from Ophir; they also brought algumwood[a] and precious stones.

                  -It seems that the servants of Solomon had merged with the Nethinim who were not Levites (probably Gibeonites) the Temple servants in Ezra as the servants of Solomon were used to build the Temple with different aspects
                  This is a fair answer, but it has a difficulty. The Babylonian captivity was a chastisement on Israel. There is no record of Gentile slaves of 500 years previous, or their children, being subject to this threat. Additionally, when Gentiles offered to help with the Second Temple's construction, they were refused (Ezra.4:1-3). But I like your approach to scripture.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Who were Solomon's servants?

                    A Geentile is a non believer, true Israel was not a race it was a melting pot of believers from different countries, while an believer was not to be a slave, the people who were captured over time would have converted, annd still served the Temple, but not being Levites could not be part of the Preisthood but served like the Nethinim.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Who were Solomon's servants?

                      Originally posted by Walls View Post
                      The Babylonian captivity was a chastisement on Israel. There is no record of Gentile slaves of 500 years previous, or their children, being subject to this threat.
                      By the time King Neb captured Jerusalem (about 400 – 500 years after Solomon’s reign) the Nethinim and the son’s of Solomon’s servants would have become so integrated into the Israeli society (even though they were gentiles) and especially serving in the temple that it would have made them indistinguishable from actual Jews in the eyes of the Babylonians (at least as far as the Babylonians were concerned).
                      "He's wild, you know. Not like a tame lion."
                      C.S. Lewis, "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe."

                      "Oh, but sometimes the sun stays hidden for years"
                      "Sometimes the sky rains night after night, When will it clear?"

                      "But our Hope endures the worst of conditions"
                      "It's more than our optimism, Let the earth quake"
                      "Our Hope is unchanged"
                      "Our Hope Endures" Natalie Grant

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Who were Solomon's servants?

                        Old man-you wrote "gentiles" a gentile was a non believer-so if they were non jews they would have been noticed by their worldview-there is no such thing as a Jewish race-but their is a Jewish faith.
                        Abraham and his seed were outnumbered from day one-he circumcised his whole household-this would have been in the thousand mark. Egyptians came with them in the exodus, surrounding peoples joined them.
                        Their has only been one church connected by the cross.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Who were Solomon's servants?

                          Originally posted by Karaite View Post
                          Old man-you wrote "gentiles" a gentile was a non believer-so if they were non jews they would have been noticed by their worldview-there is no such thing as a Jewish race-but their is a Jewish faith.
                          Abraham and his seed were outnumbered from day one-he circumcised his whole household-this would have been in the thousand mark. Egyptians came with them in the exodus, surrounding peoples joined them.
                          I can accept that and can even see this as a more immediate fulfillment to Abraham being a father of many nations during that time period.

                          But let me follow up with a few more questions along these lines.

                          If being Jewish was based on religion; (believer verses non believer) then why the distinction and significance of the different tribes; all based on being descended (genetics) from one of the twelve patriarchs which none of the “gentiles believers” could be from? The prophecies Jacob gave about the twelve tribes before his death seem to be very specific to Jacob’s descendants and not inclusive of believers from outside the family. God divided up Israel based on ancestry (tribes) around the tabernacle when camping and on the move. The land of Canaan was divided up based upon this criteria as well. If what you seem (I may be misunderstanding you) to be saying in that the majority of those who came out from Egypt (the descendants of Abraham being only in the thousands) were actually Egyptian by birth how were the tribes divided in the wilderness when by far most of them were not descended from Jacob?

                          I hope I am making sense with these questions. Not sure though.
                          "He's wild, you know. Not like a tame lion."
                          C.S. Lewis, "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe."

                          "Oh, but sometimes the sun stays hidden for years"
                          "Sometimes the sky rains night after night, When will it clear?"

                          "But our Hope endures the worst of conditions"
                          "It's more than our optimism, Let the earth quake"
                          "Our Hope is unchanged"
                          "Our Hope Endures" Natalie Grant

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Who were Solomon's servants?

                            Each tribe had its own lineage, but there were people in those tribes with no lineage in regards to Abraham. The lineage of the tribes was in regards to the promises towards Abraham-but not limited to just them. Loyalty to God was of prime importance, not lineage.
                            -We don't know the exact number of people who came out of Egypt who were direct descendants of Abraham-you quoted me as saying "thousands" but it is impossible to speculate, and you furthered this by saying Egyptians made up the majority, but the "household of Abraham" were circumcised before entering Egypt itself. There were the "households" of each family member that made up the tribes along with direct descendants-united in faith.
                            -The Tanakh is a big polemic warning us not to count on inheriting religion by birthright. The tribes of Isreal were concieved in rebellion to different wives and to servants of these different wives-it was a mess from the start. The twelve forefathers of the tribes all wanted to kill Joseph-except Judah, He was the most righteous, but then in Genesis 38 we see he fell further and ran with the Canaanites and lived like the Canaanites-it took faithful Tamar to bring him back to God. Rahab was a heathen prostitute and was true Isreal by faith. The enemies of Israel were the Moabites, and the faithful Moabite Ruth was true Israel. The lineage of Jesus lists faith as the wellspring of true Israel, Ruth was the great grandmother of King David. The people of Ninevah turned to the Lord at the displeasure of Jonah, in the aftermath of Hamans defeat-huge amounts of people became converted into Israel

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