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Joab is slain.
Shimei is confined to Jerusalem. naiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, Go, there, and go not forth thence any c Heroist fall upon him.
38 And Shimei said unto the king,
of three years, that two of the ser-
the sword, my father David not know 40 And Shimei arose, and saddled 9,2 Sam. 3. ing thereof, to wit, " Abner the son of his ass, and went to Gath to Achish
Ner, captain of the host of Israel, and to seek his servants: and Shimei o 2 Sam. 20 Amasa, the son of Jether, captain of went, and brought his servants from the host of Judah.
and protested unto thee, saying, Know
saidst unto me, The word that I have
36 4 And the king sent and called with ?
shelter. It is the fashion of our foolish presumption to those parts of the country which were thinly inhabited. look for protection where we have not cared to yield Bp. Patrick. obedience. Bp. Hall.
43. Why then hast thou not kept the oath] If this act 31, - Do as he hath said,], "Kill him at the very al- of Shimei's was small, yet the circumstances were tar where he resolves to die, after which he would not deadly: the commands of sovereign authority make the deny him burial suitable to his quality. Bp. Patrick. slightest duties weighty. If his journey was harmless,
34. So Benaiah-slew him :] The honest simplicity yet his disobedience was far otherwise. It is not for of those times knew not of any infamy in the execution subjects to poise the prince's charge in the scale of their of justice. Benaiah, who was the great marshal under weak constructions. But besides the command, here Solomon, thinks not his hands defiled by that fatalstroke. was a mutual abjuration. Shimei swore that he would In this one act Solomon has approved himself both a not go : Solomon swore his death if he went. If good magistrate and a good son, fulfilling at once the Shimei was false in offending, Solomon will be just in will of a father, and the charge of God; concluding, punishing. Now therefore the tongue that cursed the upon this just execution, that * upon David, and upon Lord's anointed receives its requital. Vengeance against his seed, there shall be peace for ever from the Lord,” rebels may sleep, but it cannot die; a sure, if late, and inferring, that without this there could have been judgment attends those who dare lift up the hand or no peace. Bp. Hall.
tongue against the sacred persons of God's vicegerents. in his own house in the wilderness.] He was pro- How much less will the God of heaven suffer, unreþably buried in some ground belonging to his own venged, the insolencies and blasphemies against his own house: they called by the name of the wilderness” sacred majesty! Bp. Hall. Vol. I.
p 2 Chron. 1. 1.
1014. a Chap. 7. 8.
Shimei is put to death.
Solomon, preferring wisdom, ness which thine heart is privy to, places, because there was no house CHRIST
that thou didst to David my father : built unto the name of the LORD,
45 And king Solomon shall be walking in the statutes of David his
4 And the king went to Gibeon to
5 9 In Gibeon the LORD appeared
to Solomon in a dream by night: CHAP. III.
and God said, Ask what I shall give
High places being in use, Solomon sacrificeth 6 And Solomon said, Thou hast
shewed unto thy servant David my
righteousness, and in uprightness of A
ND Solomon made affinity with heart with thee; and thou hast kept
Pharaoh king of Egypt, and for him this great kindness, that thou
but a little child: I know not how to 2 Only the people sacrificed in high go out or come in. Chap. III. ver. 1. - made affinity with Pharaoh king It has been considered a difficulty how such a number of Egypt,] Solomon, having secured his kingdom at of beasts could be consumed upon the altar here spoken home by cutting off the heads of the opposing faction, of, which is the brasen altar, within the period of such now bethought himself to strengthen his interest abroad a festival. This has been solved by supposing that all by foreign alliances. It may seem somewhat strange, the sacrifices were devoted at Gibeon, but that a consithat, from the time of Moses till this of Solomon, no derable part of them were completed afterwards at Jerumention is made, in all the history of the Jews, of the salem. It has also been suggested, that, although a kings of Egypt, for which we must account, by conclud- thousand burnt offerings are mentioned, yet it is only ing that their actions were unconnected with the history necessary to understand by the term, some great and of the chosen people. All these kings bore the name of unusual number, as it is a customary mode of expresPharaoh, which was rather a title of dignity, than a pro- sion in Scripture to denote any extraordinary number per name, for they had each a proper name besides of things by some determinate sum, which often greatly Stackhouse. See note on Gen. xii. 15.
exceeds the real number. Stackhouse, Pyle. - until he had made an end &c.] He first built 6. - Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David--great “the house of the Lord,” and then the house for his mercy,] Solomon here affords an admirable example wife to dwell in ; see i Kings ix. 24; 2 Chron. viii. 11. to those who make petitions to God, that they should Bp. Patrick.
in the first place thank Him for the great benefits they 2. Only the people sacrificed &c.] The only blemish have received. Bp. Patrick. in Solomon's government for a long time was, that he 7. - I am but a little child : &c.] Some persons have indulged the people in their ancient, though now for- concluded from these words that Solomon was not more bidden, custom of sacrificing upon such hills or high than twelve years of age when he mounted the throne; places as were near at hand, to which they were the ra- but this is wrongly inferred. Solomon calls himself ther inclined, from the unsettled condition of the taber- a child, only in respect to his skill in the management nacle, and the continued want of a fixed temple. In of publick affairs, as is signified in the last words, “I this Solomon was the more blamable, because David had, know not how to go out &c.” that is, how to govern 80 during his reign, restrained the people from such prac- great a people, for want of experience. Thus Benjamin tices. Pyle.
is called a child, Gen. xliv. 20; although he was then 4.- went to Gibeon--for that was the great high above thirty years old. Bp. Patrick. See also Jer. i. 6, place :), Gibeon was the proper place of worship, and and the note there. is called “the great high place,” because there the ori to go out or come in.] This is a Hebraism freginal tabernacle and altar, that were made in the wilder- quent in the sacred writings, and seems here to refer to ness, were kept. Solomon shewed a proper sense of the condition of a young child, yet unable to walk firmly, religion
in deeming it his first duty there to address him and ignorant of every thing; such as Solomon proself to God in prayer and sacrifice, in acknowledgment fesses himself to be, as ruler of so great a people. of his kindness in placing him on his father's throne. Houbigant.
obtaineth wisdom, riches, and honour. CHAP. III. His judgment between the two harlots.
Before 8 And thy servant is in the midst 15 And Solomon awoke; and, beCHRIST 1014. of thy people which thou hast chosen, hold, it was a dream.
And he came a great people, that cannot be num- to Jerusalem, and stood before the
bered nor counted for multitude. ark of the covenant of the Lord, and b 2 Chron. 1. 9 Give therefore thy servant an offered up burnt offerings, and offered + Heb. + understanding heart to judge thy peace offerings, and made a feast to hearing. people, that I may discern between all his servants.
good and bad: for who is able to 16 9 Then came there two women,
10 And the speech pleased the stood before him.
my lord, I and this woman dwell in
cause thou hast asked this thing, and child with her in the house.
life; neither hast asked riches for thy- day after that I was delivered, that
understanding † to discern judgment; ger with us in the house, save we two to lear.
12 Behold, I have done according in the house.
thine handmaid slept, and laid it in e Matt. 6. 33. 13 And I have also given thee her bosom, and laid her dead child in Wisd. 7. 11. that which thou hast not asked, both my bosom.
riches, and honour : so that there 21 And when I rose in the morn1 Or, hath || shall not be any among the kings ing to give my child suck, behold, it not been. like unto thee all thy days.
was dead: but when I had considered 14 And if thou wilt walk in my it in the morning, behold, it was not
ways, to keep my statutes and my my son, which I did bear.
did walk, then I will lengthen thy Nay; but the living is my son, and
the dead is thy son.
And this said,
9. - an understanding heart to judge thy people,] moral to us, namely, that he, who applies his heart to Hereupon some Jewish annotators have observed, that, wisdom, does at the same time take the most proper though Solomon in his great modesty might request of method of gaining long life, riches, and reputation, God no more than the gift of government, yet God out which are very often not only the rewards, but the of his abundant grace gave him a general knowledge of effects of wisdom. Addison. After the example of Soall other things. Still, though his knowledge was thus lomon, we should all learn to labour after, and beg of infused by immediate inspiration from God, yet we can- God, in the first place, true wisdom, which consists in not suppose that he neglected the ordinary means of fearing Him, and the gifts and graces of the Spirit knowledge, study, and observation. We are told indeed necessary to that end. Ostervald. at Eccles. i. 13, that “he gave his heart to seek and 15. -- and, behold, it was a dream.] He found the search out all things under heaven,” so that he endea- impressions he had felt in his sleep to be so clear and voured by application and experience to perfect what he strong, as to convince him it was a Divine vision, and had so advantageously received at the hands of God. not a mere ordinary dream; accordingly he renewed Bp. Patrick, Calmet. "If Solomon had not been wise his thankfulness to God, in feasting and sacrifices, on before, he would not have known the worth of wisdom. his return to Jerusalem. Pyle. He was a great king, and saw that he had power enough; It was no discomfort to Solomon that he awaked and but withal he found that royalty without wisdom was found it a dream : for he knew this dream was Divine but eminent dishonour. Because Solomon made so and oracular; and he already found, on his first wakprudent a choice, God will give him both that which he ing, the real performance of what was promised to him asked, and that which he asked not; riches and honour sleeping ; such inward illumination did he sensibly find will be given him in addition. God so loves a good in his soul. No wonder that, on returning from the choice, that He recompenses it with overgiving. Had tabernacle to the ark, he testified his joy and thankfulSolomon made wealth his boon, he would have failed ness by burnt offerings and publick feastings. Bp. both of honour and wisdom. Now he asks the best, Hall. and all speeds well. They are in a fair way of happi 16. -- that were harlots,] See the notes respecting ness who can pray aright. Bp. Hall.
Rahab, Josh. ii. 1. They probably kept houses of pubThe story of Solomon's choice not only instructs us lick entertainment; the Jews suppose they were not in that point of history, but furnishes out a very fine Israelites, but strangers. Bp. Patrick.
| Heb. in the midst of him.
Solomon's wisdom renowned.
him, to do judgment.
of his kingdom. 22 His daily provision. 26
His stables. 29 His wisdom.
26 Then spake the woman whose 3 Elihoreph and Ahiah, the song afficer.
the living child was unto the king, of Shisha, || scribes; Jehoshaphat the lor, + Heb. were hot.
for her bowels yearned upon her son of Ahilud, the || recorder.
27 Then the king answered and was over the officers: and Zabud the
6 And Ahishar was over the hous-
| Or, lery.
1 Or, the chief
secretaries. | Or, re
23. Then said the king, The one saith, &c.] What is if he die, his mother loses a son : while he lives, it shall there now to lead the judge, since there is nothing, be my comfort that I have a son, though I may not call either in the act, or circumstances, or evidence, which him so: if he were to die, he would perish to both of can sway the sentence ? Solomon well saw that, when us : it is better he should live to a wrong mother than all outward proofs failed, there was an inward affection, to neither.” On the contrary, her envious competitor, which, if it could be brought out, would certainly betray as holding herself well satisfied that her neighbour the real mother. He knew that sorrow could be more should be as childless as herself, can say, “Let it be easily dissembled than natural love. Both sorrowed neither mine nor thine, but divide it." Well might for their own; both could not love one, as their own. Solomon and every hearer conclude, that either she was To draw forth, therefore, this true proof of motherhood, no mother, or a monster, that could be content with Solomon calls for a sword. Doubtless, some of the the murder of her child; and that, if she could have wiser hearers smiled upon each other, and thought in been the true mother, and yet have desired the blood themselves, what will the young king smite at hazard, of her infant, she would have deserved as much to have without conviction ? The actions of wise kings are been stripped of her child for her unnatural disposition, riddles to vulgar constructions. Neither is it for the as the other would have deserved to possess him for shallow capacities of the multitude to fathom the deep her honest compassion. Not more justly, therefore, projects of sovereign authority. That sword, which had than wisely, doth Solomon trace the true mother by the served for execution, will now serve for trial. “Divide footsteps of love and pity, and adjudge the child to those the living child in two, and give half to the one, and bowels that had yearned at his danger. Bp. Hall. half to the other." O divine oracle of justice, commanding that which it would not have done, that it Chap. IV. ver. 2.- Azariah the son of Zadok the might find out that which could not be discovered ! Bp. priest,] He was the son of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok, Hall.
and therefore was grandson of Zadok, 1 Chron. vi. 8, 26. Then spake the woman &c.] On Solomon's order-9, but such are frequently called sons in Scripture. It ing the child to be divided in two, the real mother begs is not here distinctly said what office Azariah held; but that the child may be saved, even though it be given to it seems probable that he, Elihoraph, and Ahiah were her adversary; but the pretended mother is clearly for all three scribes or secretaries. Bp. Patrick. dividing it: this gave Solomon a full conviction that 4. — Zadok and Abiathar were the priests :} It is she who expressed tenderness and compassion for the matter of doubt with commentators whether this is the child, was its true mother, and accordingly he ordered same Abiathar whom Solomon ejected from the office it to be given to her. Stackhouse. This sword has al- of high priest, chap. ii. 35. If it is the same, he was ready pierced the breast of the true mother, and divided probably suffered to retain the name and title of high her heart with fear and grief at so killing a sentence. priest, while Zadok enjoyed the office, and perhaps ocThere needs no other rack to discover nature; and now, casionally to minister ; or perhaps he is here mentioned, while she thinks on the cruelty of such a sentence, she because in the beginning of Solomon's reign, he did sues to that suspected mercy of her just judge, “O my discharge the office of high priest. Bp. Patrick. Or it lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it;" is meant that Zadok was the high priest, and Abiathar as thinking, " If he live, he will but change his mother; his deputy. Pyle.