When you come to the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say, I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me, you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the Lord has said to you, You shall not return that way again. Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself. (Deuteronomy 17:14-17 NKJV)

There where three things the king of Israel was not supposed to do when they came to Canaan and set up his kingdom.

  1. He was not to multiply horses or return to Egypt to multiply horses.
  2. He was not to multiply wives for himself lest they turn his heart away.
  3. He was not to multiply silver and gold for himself.

What do these three injunctions address?  What is their implication?

The multiplying of horses and chariots amounted to the amassing of weapons of mass destruction in the days of Israel’s kings.  It was an evidence of unbelief. Rather than trusting in God’s provision and protection, starting with King Solomon, Israel’s leaders began to make provisions for potential threats from surrounding nations.  Horses were associated with warfare and violence.

Multiple wives were associated with spiritual unfaithfulness.  Polygamy led to Polytheism; a distracted spirituality.

The multiplication of silver and gold was discouraged because of the deceitfulness of wealth.  Many riches can easily lead to much indifference.  God was seeking to protect the King of Israel from the condition of Laodicea:

““I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked” (Revelation 3:17 NAS95)

This miserable prosperity is what we see in 1 Kings account of Solomon.  He multiplied wives, wealth, and weapons of warfare.  We read of his astounding wealth in 1 Kings 10:14-15:

The weight of gold that came to Solomon yearly was six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold, besides that from the traveling merchants, from the income of traders, from all the kings of Arabia, and from the governors of the country. 

Six Hundred and Sixty-six talents of gold brings to mind the mark of the beast in Revelation and the number of his name.  In Solomon’s reign this number marked a turning point; a wandering away after women, weapons, and wealth.  Six Hundred and sixty-six is the number of spiritual adultery, injustice, and usury.  It represents all that is perverted and corrupt. It is a falling short in the worst sense.

It is not just a falling short of the ignorant… but a falling short of the informed; a falling short of those who should know better.  It is a wandering away of the righteous.

King Solomon, the wisest man to ever lived was seduced by women, wealth, and warfare.  This King who reigned in an era of peace, amassed a military because of the fear that festered in his heart from wandering after other gods and gathering much wealth.  Must he not protect all he had gotten? And so the text tells us:

“Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen; he had one thousand four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king at Jerusalem. The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedar trees as abundant as the sycamores which are in the lowland.

 Also Solomon had horses imported from Egypt and Keveh; the king’s merchants bought them in Keveh at the current price. Now a chariot that was imported from Egypt cost six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse one hundred and fifty; and thus, through their agents, they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Syria.” (1 Kings 10:26–29 NKJV)

Now of course, a man with wealth and weapons needs a release for his anxiety and fears… someone to sooth his inner insecurities and percolating rage… Why not a woman?  Problem is, no women can minister to the deep needs of a man with much… Only God Almighty can get through.  Yet, when our wealth and weaponry blinds us to the true God, we often look to multiple wives… multiple solutions… multiple gods.  But, the more we multiply… the more we hunger, the more we lust, the more we rage… and all the women, wealth, and weaponry in the world cannot satisfy the deepest longings of a man.

For all men are really boys… little boys at heart… and there are days, moments… many of them… when all a boy really wants is his Father.  Fortune, fame, power, and pretty girls can never take the place of our Father.

Abba, He is the answer for 666.  Only our Father can complete us.  Only His Son Jesus can fill the place that 666 talents of gold never could.  His rest is what we need.  His promises sustain us.  His commandments are a law of liberty given to bring us joy.

Shout to the Lord all the earth let us sing
Power and Majesty, Praise to the King
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
At the sound of Your name
I sing for joy at the works of Your hands
Forever I’ll love You, forever I’ll stand
Nothing compares to the promise I have in You.


Prayer: Lord Jesus I have battled with lust.  I have amassed the weaponry of rage in my life.  I have sought more stuff to sooth my insecurities.  iPad, iPods and computers have deceived me with the notion of greater effectiveness.  Lord 666 is a number, which has been all too dear to my heart.

Please deliver me from the power of the beast Lord Jesus.  Release me from this world’s chains of lust.  Bind myself to You with chords of loving-kindness which can never be broken.  Seal my heart and my hand with the glory of Your name.

Live in me Jesus.  Reign in me.  Take the throne of my heart and restore me as You restored Your servant David.  Bless me as You blessed Your servant Jabaz. Send me as You sent Your servant Isaiah.  Jesus I give You the 666 in my life.  I give You my wealth… I surrender my rage… I give you my lust in all it’s forms.

You are my only hope Lord Jesus.  Seal me today.  Seal me through Your Holy Spirit.  Fill my life with the Holiness of Your presence.  Come Holy Spirit, Come!