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His twelve officers.
His daily provision. Before CHRIST
7 And Solomon had twelve offi 18 Shimei the son of Elah, in Ben1014. cers over all Israel, which provided jamin:
victuals for the king and his hous 19 Geber the son of Uri was in
of Sihon king of the Amorites, and
|| The son of Hur, in mount Ephraim: the only officer which was in the land. 1. Or,
9 | The son of Dekar, in Makaz, 20 | Judah and Israel were many, Ben-dekar. and in Shaalbim, and Beth-shemesh, as the sand which is by the sea in and Elon-beth-hanan :
multitude, eating and drinking, and 1 Or,
10 || The son of Hesed, in Aru- making merry. Ber-kesed.
both; to him pertained Sochoh, and 21 And Solomon reigned over all b Ecclus. 47. all the land of Hepher:
kingdoms from the river unto the 1 Or, Ben 11 || The son of Abinadab, in all the land of the Philistines, and unto the
region of Dor; which had Taphath border of Egypt: they brought pre-
12 Baana the son of Ahilud; to days of his life.
13 || The son of Geber, in Ramoth- sheep, beside harts, and roebucks, Ben-geber.
gilead; to him pertained the towns of and fallow deer, and fatted fowl.
had peace on all sides round about him. 14 Ahinadab the son of Iddo had 25 And Judah and Israel dwelt 1 Or, to || Mahanaim :
+ safely, every man under his vine + Heb.
c Solomon had forty
thousand stalls of horses for his cha- 25.
c 2 Chron. 9.
11.- which had Taphath the daughter of Solomon] ephah being about equal to a bushel of our measure. It Solomon had no daughters marriageable when these is computed that here was bread enough provided for officers were appointed : we must understand therefore, 3000 persons. Bp. Patrick, Pyle. that this person in aftertimes had Solomon's daughter 24. — from Tiphsah even to Azzah,] It is very probato wife, probably in reward of good behaviour in his bly thought that Tiphsah is the same with Thapsacus, a office. Bp. Patrick.
considerable city lying on the Euphrates, and frequently 19. – he was the only officer-in the land.] The only mentioned by heathen writers : Azzah is the same as officer in that part of the land, though it was much Gaza, the Philistine city often mentioned, lying in the greater than the other parts. Dr. Wells.
south-west corner of the land of Israel. Dr. Wells. 20.- eating and drinking, &c.] Living in perfect 25. — under his cine and under his fig tree,] These plenty and security, and being highly satisfied with their expressions are used, to shew the great plenty of corn, situation. Bp. Patrick.
and wine, and oil, as well as of cattle and other things. 21. -- from the river unto the land of the Philistines,] Vines and fig trees are particularly mentioned, because The boundaries of Solomon's kingdom were, the Eu- they were planted in Judea more than any other trees, phrates to the east, (that river being here, as in other places for the sweetness of their fruit and the benefit of their of Scripture, called the river by way of eminence, with shade. Bp. Patrick. out any addition ;) the country of the Philistines, which 26. - forty thousand stalls of horses] In 2 Chron. ix. bordered on the Mediterranean sea, to the west ; and 25, the number is stated at four thousand : which is Egypt, to the south ; so that he had tributary to him supposed to relate to the stalls or stables only, while the the kingdoms of Syria, Damascus, Moab, and Ammon, number here relates to the horses contained in them. which lay between the Euphrates and the Mediterranean However, it is thought by some that the Hebrew word Sen. Stackhouse. See the note on Numb. xxxiv. 2. here used will admit of being translated four, as well as
22. — threescore measures of meal,] By meal is meant forty. In excuse for Solomon's having so great a numa coarser sort of flour for inferiour servants: the mea- ber of war horses, (contrary to the law in Deut. xvii. 16,) sure here spoken of contained about ten ephahs, each it is alleged, that he kept them, not out of pride or
31 For he was wiser than all men; 28 Barley also and straw for the than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, | Or, mules, horses and" || dromedaries brought and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of
they unto the place where the officers Mahol : and his fame was in all na-
32 And he spake three thousand
or, swift beasts.
d Ecclus. 47. 14, 15, 16.
vanity, but merely as a necessary guard to his kingdom of sciences, which were anciently cultivated, as well as against the incursions of the Philistines. Perhaps, how- of arts, which were anciently exercised in India, we may ever, though this account is given in the beginning of conclude it to be one of the first countries in which men his reign, it refers to what took place towards the latter made any considerable progress in that career.
The part of it; so that it may have been as great a fault in wisdom of the East was early celebrated, and its prohim to multiply horses, as to multiply wives and concu- ductions were early in request among distant nations, bines; both being done at the same time of his life, Gen, xxxvii. 26. Dr. Robertson. and prohibited in the same law, Deut. xvii. 16, 17. and all the wisdom of Egypt.] It appears from Pyle.
Acts vii. 22, that Egypt was celebrated for wisdom in One reason of the law, given at Deut. xvii. 16, not to the time of Moses. This country has been called “the multiply horses was, as is there expressed, of a religious mother of the arts." There have been great disputes nature, because the multiplying of horses could not be respecting the claims of the Egyptians and Chaldeans effected without sending into Egypt, with which the to the earliest advances in learning. Bp. Patrick, StackLord had forbidden any communication, as being of all house. foreign commerce the most dangerous to true religion. 31. -- he was wiser—than Ethan] He was wiser than When Solomon had violated this law, and multiplied all his contemporaries; than Ethan, author of the 89th horses to the excess here described, it was soon attended Psalm, than Heman, author of the 88th, and their browith those fatal consequences which the law had fore-thers, Chalcol and Darda, sons of Mahol, or “the choir.” told. Bp. Warburton. See the note on chap. X. 28. Dr. Hales.
28. - straw for the horses] Probably not straw, with 32. — he spake three thousand proverbs :] Of these all which to litter them; for in these countries it is not now that are remaining are preserved in the books of Proused for that purpose; but to be chopt and eaten toge- verbs and of Ecclesiastes. Stackhouse. He spake 3000 ther with the barley. They litter at present with dung wise sentences, out of which are collected those which dried in the sun. Harmer.
in the book of his proverbs are reserved to the use of and dromedaries] There are doubts about the posterity, as the sacred monuments of his Divine wismeaning of the Hebrew word translated “dromedaries.” dom. Bp. Hall. Some take them for mules, as our margin gives the his songs were a thousand and five.] In ancient translation. Bochart thinks it certain that this word times wise men were wont to convey their instructions imports a kind of horse. Bp. Patrick. The Hebrew word in songs, to the end that they might be more easily reseems to mean in general working cattle,” cattle which membered. None of these compositions of Solomon earn their living by their labour. Parkhurst.
were thought to be divinely inspired but the Song of 29. — largeness of heart, even as the sand &c.] Mean- Songs, which has therefore been joined to the sacred ing, that the instances of his wisdom were as numerous books. Bp. Patrick. as the sand on the sea shore. Stackhouse. Otherwise, as 33. — from the cedar tree-unto the hyssop] That is, one cannot count the number of the sands, so neither all sorts of plants, from the greatest to the smallest. could one comprehend the depth and extent of his wis- Instead of the hyssop, some think the herb mint to be dom. Calmet. Yet all these riches and this wisdom understood; which suits better to be opposed to the became a snare and ruin to Solomon, as soon as he cedar, as the hyssop is a plant with a stalk, and someforgat God: so dangerous are riches and other favours times of great strength. Bp. Patrick. It seems clear when abused ; and all men ought to receive them with that the hyssop cannot be meant, for this plant does fear. Bp. Wilson.
not spring out of the wall, as is here described. Script. 30. — all the children of the east country,] There were illust. three nations east of Canaan, which were very famous We see here that God raised Solomon to a very great for their wisdom and erudition; the Chaldeans beyond pitch of glory, granting him riches and power, which the Euphrates, the Persians beyond the Tigris, and the distinguished him from the greatest princes, and withal Arabians on the nearer side of the Euphrates, a little such wisdom, and prudence, and knowledge, which towards the south. Which of these nations was most made him very superiour to the wisest men that were celebrated for learning in Solomon's time is much doubt- then in the world. Thus God fulfilled the promises He ed by commentators: the book of Job, however, suffi- made to David, to give him a son whose kingdom should ciently shews that the Arabians were famous for their be very glorious : and thus He rewarded the piety of learning in ancient times. Bp. Patrick. The original Solomon, and the zeal he then shewed for his service. station allotted to man by his Creator was in the mild However, it must be remembered,
that this great wisdom, and fertile regions of the East. There the human race and the riches and the graces Solomon had received, began its career of improvement; and from the remains were profitable to him only whilst he used them as he
CHAP. IV, V.
to congratulate him. Cheerst even unto the hyssop that springeth
5 And, behold, I + purpose to out of the wall: he spake also of build an house unto the name of the beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping LORD my God, as the Lord spake Heb. say. things, and of fishes.
unto David my father, saying, Thy b 2 Sam. 7. 34 And there came of all people son, whom I will set upon thy throne 1 Chron. 22. to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from in thy room, he shall build an house 10. all kings of the earth, which had heard unto my name. of his wisdom.
6 Now therefore command thou CHAP. V.
that they hew me cedar trees out of
certified of his purpose to build the temple, with thy servants: and unto thee will
7 And it came to pass, when he had heard that they had anointed Hiram heard the words of Solomon, him king in the room of his father : that he rejoiced greatly, and said,
for Hiram was ever a lover of David. Blessed be the Lord this day, which a 2 Chron. 2. 2 And a Solomon sent to Hiram, hath given unto David a wise son saying,
over this great people. 3 Thou knowest how that David 8 And Hiram sent to Solomon, my father could not build an house saying, I have + considered the things + Heb. heard. unto the name of the Lord his God which thou sentest to me for: and I for the wars which were about him on will do all thy desire concerning every side, until the LORD put them timber of cedar, and concerning timunder the soles of his feet.
ber of fir.
4 But now the Lord my God9 My servants shall bring them
hath given me rest on every side, so down from Lebanon unto the sea :
floats unto the place that thou shalt
ought; but as soon as he abused them, they became a their skill. Homer calls them "excellent artists in sevesnare and ruin to him. This shews how dangerous the ral kinds of work." Bp. Patrick. The quantity of the possession of riches is, and how much we ought to fear cedar wood of Lebanon in Solomon's temple was so abusing God's gifts and graces. Ostervald.
great, that the temple itself is called Lebanon at Zech.
xi. 1; “Open thy doors, O Lebanon." Calmet. This Chap: V. ver. 1.- Hiram king of Tyre] This Hiram noble tree, the cedar of Lebanon, has a general characwas probably the son of the other Hiram, who sent to ter of growth so peculiar to itself, that no other tree can David timber and artificers to build his palace, 2 Sam. be mistaken for it. The leaves much resemble those of v. 11 : for, according to Josephus, the temple was built a larch, but are somewhat longer and closer set, and in the fourth year of Solomon's reign, and the time perpetually green. Its sturdy arms grow in time so when David took Jerusalem, and built his palace, was weighty, that they often bend the very stem and main thirty-three years before the beginning of Solomon's shaft
. Many wonderful properties are ascribed to the reign. Stackhouse.
wood of this celebrated tree, such as resisting putrefac3.- could not build an house for the wars] This was tion, destroying noxious insects, remaining sound a one reason, but not the chief; for God commanded him thousand or two years, yielding an oil famous for preto desist when he had it in design, 2 Sam. vii. Bp. serving books and writings, &c. The wood is extremely Patrick.
hard, which caused the ancients to believe it incapable 6.- that they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon ;] of decay. The whole, or a great part, of Lebanon, was within the Very few cedars now remain on mount Lebanon. dominions of Solomon; so that he does not ask the Rauwolf, in 1575, saw there only twenty-four sound trees of Hiram, but only the assistance of his servants trees, and two old decayed ones. Maundrell, in 1696, in hewing and preparing them for use, which they better could reckon only sixteen large ones, but many small
. understood than his own servants. In the time of Moses He measured one of the largest, which he found to be there had been excellent workmen among the Hebrews, twelve yards six inches in girt, yet sound, The few but, as Scripture acquaints us, these derived their skilí cedars still remaining on Lebanon are preserved with a immediately from God, and it does not appear that they religious strictness. On the day of the Transfiguration, had any successors. After the Hebrews were settled in the Patriarch of that country, repairs in procession to Canaan, they seem to have applied themselves not at all these trees, and celebrates a festival called the feast of to the arts, but entirely to agriculture and pasturage; cedars. Miller's Dictionary. so that, in Solomon's time, there were no professed 9. — I will convey them by sea in floats] They conveyed artists who could undertake the work of the temple. the pieces of timber from the high parts of the mounThe people of Tyre and Sidon were always famous for tains to the river Adonis, or to the plain of Biblos ;
| Heb. send.
Solomon's workmen and labourers. I. KINGS
The building of his temple. + appoint me, and will cause them to stones, and hewed stones, to lay the be discharged there, and thou shalt foundation of the house. receive them: and thou shalt accom 18 And Solomon's builders and plish my desire, in giving food for Hiram's builders did hew them, and my houshold.
the || stonesquarers : so they pre- Or, '10 So Hiram gave Solomon cedar pared timber and stones to build the Ezek. 27. 9. trees and fir trees according to all his house. desire.
CH A P. VI. 11 And Solomon gave Hiram + Heb. cors. twenty thousand + measures of wheat 1 The building of Solomon's temple. 5 The
chambers thereof. 11 God's promise unto
So The cherubims. 31 The doors. 36 The lomon to Hiram year by year.
court. 37 The time of building it.
Dait 2.2 Chron c and hundred
there was peace between Hiram and the children of Israel were come out
year of Solomon's reign over Israel,
the house of the Lord.
month they were in Lebanon, and thereof was threescore cubits, and the a Chap. 4. 6. two months at home: and a Adoniram breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the was over the levy.
height thereof thirty cubits.
breadth of the house; and ten cubits
broad within, which ruled over the people that l| windows of narrow lights. wrought in the work.
5 And || against the wall of the and closed. 17 And the king commanded, and house he built + chambers round or, joining they brought great stones, costly about, against the walls of the house #Heb. Noors.
+ Heb. tribute of men.
I. Or, windows
without: or, skewed
thence they conveyed them to the seaport, where they ber of men should be employed about the building of a were placed on rafts to be carried by sea to the port of place, comparatively speaking, so small as the temple. Joppa, which was the nearest port to Jerusalem. Cal- | It should be remembered, however, that there were met. By “floats” is probably meant, that the pieces of many other works which Solomon designed and finished, timber were bound together, and so drawn through the (ch. ix. 15,) for which we read of no other preparations rivers and the sea. Bp. Patrick.
than those now made. In the next verse, there are said 11.- twenty thousand measures of wheat &c.] It is to be 3300 overseers, but at 2 Chron. ii. 18, the numstated at 2 Chron. ii. 10, that Solomon was to give ber is stated at 3600. The additional 300 were probably "20,000 measures of beaten wheat, and 20,000 measures superiour officers, who were to oversee the rest. Bp. of barley, and 20,000 baths of wine, and 20,000 baths Patrick. of oil.” It is possible that some of the numbers may have been mistaken by transcribers : the quantity seems Chap. VI. ver. 1.- in the fourth year of Solomon's very great to be exported at one time; and we may, at reign] It has been asked why Solomon did not begin all events, understand by the expression, “Solomon the work immediately, at the commencement of his gave year by year,” that he stipulated to send the whole reign, according to the command of his father David ? sum, but sent it by portions, year by year,” during It is probable that he began his preparations immedieach of the seven years when the temple was building. ately; and that the four first years were spent in proPyle. Or perhaps at 2 Chron. ii. is mentioned the pro- curing the timber and stones, and in the necessary vision made by Solomon for the workmen, which is previous labours which were mentioned in the last distinct from the remuneration paid to Hiram for the chapter. grant of their services. Script. illust.
2.- the house which king Solomon built] The house, 15.—
fourscore thousand hewers in the mountains ;] or temple itself, properly so called, was but a small pile That is, hewers of stone; for Hiram's servants hewed of building ; its length and breadth being only twice as the timber. These were not Israelites, but strangers great as those of the tabernacle built by Moses ; the from other nations, as may be collected from ch. ix. 21, former being sixty cubits long and twenty broad, whereas 22.
It may seem strange to some, that so vast a num- the latter was thirty cubits long and ten broad. Pyle.