1 Kings 5:4 (ESV)

4 But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side. There is neither adversary nor misfortune.

Solomon continued his message to Hiram by declaring that the Lord had caused the warfare in which Israel was involved in David’s reign to cease. He used the language of rest to speak of the peace that followed.

The concept of rest is important in the Old Testament. Rest is the central theme of the Sabbath commandment, which directs our attention to God’s resting after the creation of all things. It is also used as a symbol of the entrance into and conquest of the Promised Land.

Solomon stated that he was given rest on every side. This meant, he said, that Israel had no enemies at that time and no natural calamities (ESV, misfortune).

This statement is not only a statement of fact but a statement that sets forth a theological reason that the time was right for the building of the temple. Israel was given the tabernacle in the time of their wandering in the wilderness. They had not yet entered the promised rest, and even after they physically entered the land, there were still enemies to fight and many other kinds of misfortune. In a very real sense, therefore, this was a time when it could be said that God’s promised rest had come so that the portable tabernacle was no longer necessary. It was time for a permanent centre of the Lord’s worship.