The Man of the Sixes
1 Kings 10:18-23 :
Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the finest gold. There were six steps to the throne,
and the top of the throne was round behind; and there were armrests on either side by the place of the seat,
and two lions standing beside the armrests. Twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other on the six steps.
Nothing like it was made in any kingdom. All king Solomon’s drinking vessels were of gold,
and all the vessels of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were of pure gold. None were of silver,
because it was considered of little value in the days of Solomon. For the king had a fleet of Tarshish at sea with Hiram’s fleet.
Once every three years the fleet of Tarshish came, bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.
So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom.
Things really changed for Israel during the time of Solomon. Israel was now very wealthy. Solomon's throne was an
expression of the magnificence of his kingdom. He had to climb 6 stairs to get to it and the chair itself was made of
gold covered ivory. There were 14 lions on the sides of his throne, including the ones next to the armrests.
It must have been an intimidating sight to anyone who would come to him for judgment.
Did you notice that the author let us know that silver "was considered of little value in the days of Solomon."
There's more on this later. Like I mentioned, when you receive 666 shekels of gold as a base salary, silver loses a bit
of its shine to you. Did you notice something interesting about the number of
shekels that Solomon got paid? This is
something that is worth some investigation. In the last book of the Bible, Jesus reveals this to us:
Revelation 13:18 :
Here is wisdom. He who has understanding, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man.
His number is six hundred sixty-six.
I am told that this reference to Solomon's pay is the only other reference to the number 666 in the Bible. It is interesting
that Jesus tells us that "wisdom" and "understanding" are involved in the interpretation of the number, as well as the fact
that it is "the number of a man." If we are allowed to continue this study until we get to the book of the Revelation, we
will probably know much more than we know now, but this last book is talking about a coming world leader who will
deceive the nations. Could a man like Solomon deceive the world someday? I think so! Solomon wasn't all bad, and he was
obviously being blessed by God. The problem was that he was involved in some things that were not quite right. This can
easily deceive people and this is something that we need God to keep us from being tricked by.