1 Kings 4:7 (ESV)

7 Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, who provided food for the king and his household. Each man had to make provision for one month in the year.

The officials mentioned in 1 Kings 4:1–6 might be called the officials of the central administration of the kingdom. Solomon’s arrangement also included the organization of regional administration. This arrangement was particularly involved in providing food for the king and his household.

At the outset we ought to remember that the king's table had a broader scope than simply Solomon’s own private need. But given the number of wives, concubines, and children that he possessed, these needs were considerable. The king's table also was a means of succouring persons in need that came to the king's attention and for some was a kind of pension given because of their service to the king.

Many of us live in a culture in which the exchange of money is the norm. The use of money in the tenth century BC was limited. Much was done by what today might be called barter. Therefore, providing daily provisions of food was a means of dispensing the king’s generosity to those that he deemed worthy of it.

The verse before us now states fairly simply that the provision for the king's table was obtained through the oversight of twelve deputies. Presumably these were the deputies overseen by Azariah the son of Nathan, of whom we learned in 1 Kings 4:5.

Each individual deputy was responsible for providing a month of provisions for the king’s household. So, provision for the whole year was thus secured.