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Solomon raises a levy


to pay Hiram.

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13 And he said, What cities are 16 For Pharaoh king of Egypt had A. M. 2012.

B. C. 992. these which thou hast given me, my gone up, and taken Gezer, and burnt brother ? · And he called them the land of it with fire, band slain the Canaanites that 2 Cabul unto this day.

dwelt in the city, and given it for a present 14 And Hiram sent to the king sixscore talents | unto his daughter, Solomon's wife. of gold.

17 And Solomon built Gezer, and · Beth15 | And this is the reason of u the levy | horon the nether, which King Solomon raised; for to build the 18 And Baalath, and Tadmor in the wilhouse of the LORD, and his own house, and derness, in the land, * Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, 19 And all the cities of store that Solomon had, and a Megiddo, and Gezer.

and cities for his chariots, and cities for his

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These cities, though they were within those large service. And Millo— David had built round about bounds which God fixed to the land of promise, Zion, from Millo inward, (2 Sam. v. 9,) but had left (Gen. xv. 18; Josh. i. 4,) yet were not within those the structure of Millo itself imperfect, which Soloparts which were distributed by lot in Joshua's mon now completed, with a particular respect to time. It is probable they were not inhabited by Is- | Pharaoh's daughter, whose house was near it, verse raelites, but by Canaanites, or other heathen ; who 24. It seems, from chap. xi. 27, and 2 Chron. xxxii. having been subdued and made tributary by David || 5, to have been an eminent, large, and strong fort, or or Solomon, those cities became a part of their do- | castle, in that part of Jerusalem termed the city of minions; and afterward were reckoned a part of David, where the fortress which David took from Galilee, as Josephus notes. They pleased him not the Jebusites anciently stood. Here, it is thought, -Were not suitable to his desire, and the genius of the people of Israel assembled when there was any his people. He called them the land of Cabul-A consultation to be made about public affairs. The Phenician word, says Josephus, which signifies dis- | name $360, Millo, appears to be derived from the pleasing. But Rabbi Salomon writes that the land word sbo, malee, which signifies full. Kimchi thinks was so called because it was quasi compedita, id | it was so called because it was frequently full of est, argillacea, tenax, et infrugifera," bound, stiff

, | people, being “locus amplus et latus, comitiis et conclayey, and unfruitful. Hiram did not like it, be- ventibus publicis destinatus," a large and open place, cause, though it might be very good, yet being a appointed for holding public courts and assemblies. thick and stiff clay, and therefore requiring great | And the wall of Jerusalem-Which was a great pains to cultivate and manure it, it was very unsuit- | structure: for there were three walls, one within able to the disposition of the Tyrians, who were another, as Abarbinel and Joseph Ben-Gorion explain delicate, and lazy, and luxurious, and wholly given it; the inner wall encompassing the house of God to merchandise. And, on his returning them, there and the house of the king; the middle wall encomis no doubt but Solomon gave him an equivalent, passing the houses of great persons; (termed the more to his taste. And Hiram sent to the king-Or | College, 2 Kings xxii. 14;) and the third the houses rather, For Hiram had sent, &c. And this seems to of all the people. And Hazor-Which had been a be here added, both to declare the quantity of the very eminent city, and the head of some kingdoms gold sent, which had been only named before, (verse before the conquest of Canaan, (Josh. xi. 10,) and 11,) and as the reason why he resented Solomon's was given to the tribe of Naphtali, Josh. xix. 36. action, because so great a sum required a better Megiddo-A city in the tribe of Manasseh, Josh. recompense.

xvii. 11. And Gezer-In the tribe of Ephraim, Verse 15. This is the reason of the levy, &c.- Josh. xxi. 21. That the raising of a great tribute upon the people, Verse 16. For Pharaoh had gone up and taken and employing so many men in his works, might not Gezer, fc., and slain the CanaanitesFor the Isseem strange, the sacred writer here shows the cause raelites did not dispossess the Canaanites, but they of it; which was, his great and numerous buildings, continued to dwell in Gezer in Joshua's time and suitable to the high dignity to which God had ad- after, Josh. xvi. 10; Judges i. 29. And, it seems, vanced him. The Hebrew word, os, mass, here neither David nor Solomon expelled them, but only rendered levy, as Mr. Selden hath shown, by many kept them under tribute ; till Pharaoh, upon some instances, is not only used for pecuniary tribute, but provocation which is not recorded, extirpated them, also for bodily labour; it means a levy of men as and burned their city. This, Sir John Marsham well as a levy of money. And he thus interprets thinks, was the first expedition which the Egyptians this clause: This is the cause of requiring the labour || made out of their own country. of so many men; it was to build, &c. Having thus Verses 17-19. And Beth-horon the nether-The declared the cause, the historian proceeds (verse 20) || lower Beth-horon, which was in the tribe of Benjato relate who they were that he employed in this li min, Josh. xviii. 13. Baalath-A city in the tribe

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Pharaoh's daughter comes


from the city of David.

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f desired to build in Jerusalem, and in and his horsemen. Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion. 23 These were the chief of the officers that

20 4 8 And all the people that were left of || were over Solomon's work, " five hundred and the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and fifty, which bare rule over the people that Jebusites, which were not of the children of wrought in the work. Israel,

24 1 But Pharaoh's daughter came up out 21 Their children h that were left after them of the city of David unto Pher house which in the land, i whom the children of Israel also Solomon had built for her : " then did he build were not able utterly to destroy, upon those Millo. did Solomon levy a tribute of 'bond-service unto 25 T' And three times in a year did Solo

mon offer burnt-offerings and peace-offerings 22 But of the children of Israel did Solomon upon the altar which he built unto the LORD, - make no bond-men: but they were men of || and he burnt incense * upon the altar that was war, and his servants, and his princes, and his before the LORD. So he finished the house.

this day.

* Heb. the desire of Solomon which he desired.-Verse 1. m Leviticus xxv. 39.- 2 Chron. viii. 10.- Chap. iii. 1; 12 Chron. viii. 7, &c.- Judg. i. 21, 27, 29; ni. 1. i Josh. || 2 Chron. viii. 11.-- Chap. vii. 8.-92 Samuel v. 9; Chap. TT. 63; wii, 12. * Judges i. 28. 1 Gen. ix. 25; Ezra ii. xi. 27; 2 Chron. xxxii. 5.- * 2 Chron. viii. 12, 16.

—Heb. 55, 55 ; Neb. vii. 57 ; xi. 3.

upon it.

of Dan, Josh. xix. 44. And Tadmor in the wilder- || power to do so ?” The command to destroy them, 2683—The name of this city signifies wonderful, or || (Deut. vii. 2,) did chiefly, if not only, concern that admirable, and it was so named, probably, from the generation of Canaanites who lived in or near the singularity of the thing, in finding here springs and time of the Israelites entering into Canaan. And wells of water, and other conveniences to subsist a | that command seems not to have been absolute, but city, among such horrid and parched sands, with conditional, and with some exception for those who which it was on all sides surrounded. It is probable should submit and embrace the true religion, as may that Solomon built this city among the deserts to be gathered both from Josh. xi. 19, and from the hinder the communication between the Syrians and history of the Gibeonites. For if God's command the inhabitants of Mesopotamia, that they might not had been absolute, the oaths of Joshua, and of the join their forces in confederacy together against the princes, could not have obliged them, nor dispensed Israelites, as they had done in the time of David. with such a command. This city appears to have been the same which was Verses 22, 23. Of the children of Israel did Soafterward called Palmyra by the Greeks, the ruins lomon make no bond-men-He spared them, and did of which still remain. Some English gentlemen of not employ them in any servile labours about his credit and fortune visited it about the year 1750, public works, but put them into nobler offices, as it who have published such a description of the ex- | here follows. They were men of war- -Which was ceeding magnificence and beauty of its ruins, at this accounted an honourable employment. And his day, as is astonishing. We refer our readers to that servants-Officers in his court. And his princespublication, not only that they may receive great Governors of provinces. And his caplains, &c.-pleasure, but great improvement; since it is not Commanders of his guards. Five hundred and fifty possible to conceive higher ideas of Solomon's mag-||--In 2 Chron. viii. 10, they are said to be but two nificence than these ruins present, nor more humili- hundred and fifty. But perhaps the meaning there ating ideas of the vanity and weakness of all human is, that there were two hundred and fifty set over splendour. See Messrs. Dawkin's and Wood's Ruins those that wrought in the temple; the rest probably of Palmyra. In the land-Of Hamath-Zoba, a being employed in overseeing his public works in part of Syria, as is said 2 Chron. viii

. 3, 4, which other places. And it must be observed also, that country Solomon had conquered. And all the cities there were far greater numbers employed when the of store that Solomon hadWhere he laid up corn temple work was carried on with great speed. against a time of need; or arms and ammunition in Verse 24. Pharaoh's daughter came up, &c.--In case of war. And cities for his chariots and-his | 2 Chron. viii. 11, we learn the reason why she did horsemen-Which he had in great numbers,

not continue in the house where David had dwelt; Verses 20, 21. All the people that were left of the which was because it was a kind of holy place, Amoriles-Who, it is likely, by this time were be- || where it was not fit she should remain, the ark of come proselytes to the Jewish religion, as the God having dwelt there. Gibeonites were, or at least renounced their idolatry. Verse 25. Three times in a year did Solomon Upon those did Solomon levy a tribute—He used offer burnt-offerings—That is, at least three times, them as bond-men, and imposed bodily labours upon namely, at the three solemn feasts which God had them. “But why did not Solomon destroy them, as commanded to be observed by all the people. Then God had commanded, when now it was fully in his || he offered sacrifices suitable to those great mercies T'he queen of Sheba


visits Solomon.

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26 | And King Solomon made a || shipmen that had knowledge of the A. M. 3012.

navy of ships in · Ezion-geber, which sea, with the servants of Solomon. is beside Eloth, on the 5 shore of the Red sea, 28 And they came to * Ophir, and fetched in the land of Edom.

from thence gold, four hundred and twenty 27 u And Hiram sent in the navy his servants, talents, and brought it to King Solomon.

• 2 Chron. viii. 17.-Num. xxxiii. 35; Deut. ii. 8; Chap. xxii. 48.- Or, lip. Chapter x. 11.

x Job xxii. 24.

which were at these seasons commemorated, and to was in India, but in what part of it is not easy to the great blessings which God had bestowed on his determine. Bochart thinks it was. Taprobana, now family. But undoubtedly he also offered at all other called Ceylon, and shows that the account which the appointed times. And he burned incense upon the ancients give of the former, answers to that which altar-In the holy place, before the ark. The the moderns give of the latter. It is certain that meaning is not that he burned it himself, but only this island affords gold, ivory, and precious stones. that he gave it to the priests at his own charge, to be The authors of the Universal History after confutoffered with a particular respect to him. This he ing at large those opinions which seemed to them probably did every morning and evening. So he less probable, observe as follows: "Ophir appears finished the house—This, though said before, is now most likely to have been in some of those remote, repeated, because, after he had kept the three great rich countries of India beyond the Ganges, and perfestivals there, the temple was not only consecrated, haps as far as China or Japan; which last still but all divine offices had been performed in it, and abounds with the finest gold, and several other comnothing more was to be added.

modities in which Solomon's fleet dealt, as silver, Verses 26, 27. King Solomon made a navy of precious stones, ebony, and other valuable sorts of shipsNot now, in the order in which it is placed in wood, to say nothing of spices, peacocks, parrots, the history, but in the beginning of his reign; as apes, and other such creatures, and by its distance appears from this consideration, that the almug-trees, best answers to the length of the voyage.Gold, used in the work of the Lord's house, were brought || four hundred and twenty talents. It is said (2 in this navy from Ophir, (chap. x. 11, 12; 2 Chron. Chron. viii. 18) that they brought four hundred and ix. 10, 11,) which was a three years voyage, verse 22. | fifty; but we may well suppose that thirty talents And Hiram sent in the navy his servants—The navy might be partly spent in the charges of the voyage was Solomon's, who had servants of his own on to and fro, and partly allowed to Hiram and his men; board the ships, to manage the traffic; but as they so that only four hundred and twenty came clear had no skill in navigation, Hiram sent as many sail- into the king's treasury. This, however, was a proors as were necessary to man the ships, the Tyrians digious sum, being calculated to be above three milbeing in general bred at sea, and famous for their lions two hundred thousand pounds sterling. How knowledge in maritime affairs.

they obtained this vast quantity of gold, whether by Verse 28. They came to Ophir-A place famous exchanging various merchandises for it, or by finding for gold, which was found there in great plenty, and out mines, or procuring it from the natives, does not peculiarly fine. It is highly probable that this place l appear.



The queen of Sheba’s interview with Solomon, 1–10. His riches, 11-15. Targets, ivory throne, vessels, 16–28. Presents,

chariots and horses, tribute, 24-29.
B.: 392 AND when the "queen of Sheba || " to prove him with hard questions. 4. M.30.12.

heard of the fame of Solomon 2 And she came to Jerusalem with concerning the name of the Lord, she came a very great train, with camels that bare spices,

a 2 Chron. ix. 1, &c.; Matt. xii. 42; Luke xi. 31.

• Judges xiv. 12; Prov. i. 6.


at a great distance from it, and is limited by the ocean. Verse 1. The queen of Sheba—Probably of that Add to this, that it abounded in all the commodities part of Arabia called Sabæa, which bordered upon which she brought, gold, precious stones, and all the Red sea. Hence our Lord terms her the queen kinds of spices and fine perfumes, more than Ethiof the south, and says she came from the uttermost opia, (from whence some have thought she came,) parts of the earth, (Matt. xii. 42,) which answers or any country thereabouts. Heard of the fame of exactly to Arabia Felix, for it lies south of Judea, is Il Solomon-Probably she heard of his fame by the

The queen is surprised at the


magnificence of Solomon.

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stones : and when she was come to went up unto the house of the Lord; Solomon, she communed with him of all that there was no more spirit in her. was in her heart.

- 6 And she said to the king, It was a true 3 And Solomon told her all her questions : | * report that I heard in mine own land of thy there was not any thing hid from the king, acts and of thy wisdom. which he told her not.

7 Howbeit, I believed not the words, until I 4 ? And when the queen of Sheba had seen came, and mine eyes had seen it: and behold, all Solomon's wisdom, and the house that he the half was not told me: 6 thy wisdom and had built,

prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard. 5 And the meat of his table, and the sitting || 8 Happy are thy men, happy are these thy of his servants, and the è attendance of his servants, which stand continually before thee, ministers, and their apparel, and his 3 cup- and that hear thy wisdom.

? Or, words.

- Or, standing. -3 Or, butlers.

xxvi. 16. 4 Heb. word.

-c 1 Chron. Or, sayings. —Heb. thou hast added wisdom and goodness 10

the fame.

_d Prov. viii. 34.

ships that went to Ophir, for they sailed by her coast, | nothing concerning which she inquired, however and, in all likelihood, spread his fame there and in difficult, which he did not reveal to her. all other places where they touched, proclaiming his Verses 4, 5. When the queen-had seen all Solomagnificence, and especially his wisdom, and the glo- mon's wisdom-Had fully discovered the wonderful rious temple which he had built, or was building, for variety of knowledge wherewith he was endowed. the worship of his God, whose praise they set forth And the house that he had built-Or, the houses, the as far above all gods. Concerning the name of the temple and the king's house, in both which there Lord–That is, concerning God, the name of God were evidences of singular wisdom. The sitting being often put for God; concerning Solomon's of his servants—The order and manner in which his deep knowledge in the things of God. For it is very courtiers, or other subjects, (who all were his serprobable she had, as had divers other heathen, some vants in a general sense,) sat down at meals, at knowledge of the true God, and an earnest desire to several tables in his court. The attendance of his know more concerning him. Indeed, if she came ministers-Who waited on him at his table, in his from Arabia, as we see there is reason to think she chamber, and in his court; as also when he went did, it is not improbable but she was a descendant | abroad to the temple or other places. And their of Abraham by his wife Keturah, one of whose sons apparel—The costliness, and especially the agreebegat Sheba, who seems to have been the first | ableness of it to their several places and offices. planter of this country. If so, “she might," as Dr. | The ascent by which, &c.—The state, pomp, and Dodd observes, “have some knowledge of revealed solemnity with which he went up to the house of religion, by tradition at least, from her pious ances- the Lord. But the ancients, and some others, transtors. And this verse seems more than to intimate | late the words thus: and the burnt-offerings which that the design of her visit to Solomon was not so he offered up in the house of the Lord ; under which, much to gratify her curiosity, as to inform her un- as the chief, all other sacrifices are understood. derstanding in matters relating to piety and divine When she saw the manner of his offering sacrifices worship. And what our Saviour speaks respecting to the Lord, which doubtless she would not neglect her rising in judgment against the men of that gene- to see, and in the ordering of which she might disration, seems plainly to intimate that the wisdom cern many characters of excellent wisdom, especially she came to hear was of a much more important when she had so excellent an interpreter as Solomon kind than that of merely enigmatical questions." || was, to inform her of the reasons of all the circumSee Calmet's Comment, and Dict. on the word She-stances of that service; there was no more spirit be, and Saurin's Discourses, vol. v. p. 261. She | in her-She was perfectly astonished, and could came to prove him with hard questions—Concern- scarcely determine whether she really saw these ing natural, and civil, and especially divine things, || things, or whether it was only a pleasant dream. that she might not only try whether he was as wise | Or it may be rendered, There was no more pride, as report made him, but might receive instruction or high-mindedness in her; that is, she was humfrom him.

bled under a consciousness that the riches of Verses 2, 3. She communed with him of all that her own dominions, and the magnificence in which ras in her heart-Of all the doubts and difficulties she herself lived, were not comparable to those of wherewith her mind was perplexed. She had li- || Solomon. berty to propound whatsoever she desired to be re- Verses 7, 8. I believed not the words—Which solved about. Solomon told her all her questions were told me concerning thee: they seemed increAnswered them to her satisfaction. There was | dible, and above the perfection of human nature. not any thing-which he told her not-There was | Thy wisdom and prosperity--Hebrew, 2101, ratob, The queen of Sheba returns.


Solomon's great riches.

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9 • Blessed be the LORD thy God,|| 12 i And the king made of the al- A. M. 3012.

which delighted in thee, to set thee mug-trees & pillarso for the house of on the throne of Israel : because the LORD the LORD, and for the king's house, harps also loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee and psalteries for singers: there came no such king, fto do judgment and justice.

almug-trees, nor were seen unto this day. 10 | And she 8 gave the king a hundred and 13 And King Solomon gave unto the queen twenty talents of gold, and of spices very of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, great store, and precious stones: there came besides that which Solomon gave her 10 of his nu more such abundance of spices as these royal bounty. So she turned and went to her which the queen of Sheba gave to King Solo-own country, she and her servants.

14 Now the weight of gold that came to 11 - And the navy also of Hiram, that Solomon in one year was six hundred threebrought gold from Ophir, brought in from score and six talents of gold, Ophir great plenty of 'almug-trees, and pre- 15 Besides that he had of the merchantmen, cious stones.

and of the traffic of the spice-merchants, and


e Chapter v. 7.- 2 Sam. viii. 15; Psa. lxxii. 2 ; Prov. viii. i 2 Chronicles ix. 11.- -8 Or, rails. _9 Hebrew, a prop. 15. - Psa. lxxii. 10, 15.- -- Chap. ix. 27.- -72 Chron. ii. 8; || * 2 Chronicles ix. 10.- -10 Heb. according to the hand of King ix. 10; algum-trees.


and goodness, may be intended to signify either ters. Dr. Waterland renders the expression gumhappiness or virtue. Exceeded the fame which I trees, and Houbigant ligna citra, citron-wood. But heard--This was remarkable, for people commonly | Dr. Castell thinks it was the wood called sanctulum, find things to fall far short of their expectations. which is proper for all the uses mentioned in the Happy are thy menThy subjects, especially those || next verse, and is still in India. The king made of that are about thy person, and minister unto thee; the almug-trees pillars for the house–There is nowho have an opportunity every day of hearing thy | thing said from whence we can form any conjecture wise sayings and discourses. With much more what is meant by these pillars or props, or how or reason may we say this of Christ's servants: Blessed where they were applied. are they that dwell in thy house; they will be always Verse 13. Solomon gave unto the queen all her praising thee.

desire-By their mutual presents they testified their Verse 9. Blessed be the Lord thy God-All bless- friendship to each other ; wishing by these things ing and praise are due to him, for delighting to ho- | to be remembered. Whatsoever she asked, besides nour and advance so worthy a person. To set thee || what Solomon gave her of his royal bounty-He on the throne of Israel-It was God's special act to desired to know what things would be acceptable to make him king rather than his elder brother. To her among all the rarities she had seen, and those do judgment and justice-To execute just judgment | he bestowed upon her: besides which he added other among them, to govern them according to right and things of value, which, it is likely, she had not in her equity. Thus she tacitly admonishes Solomon that own country. Thus they who apply to our Lord he was not made king that he might live in ease, | Jesus will find him not only greater and wiser than and pleasure, and splendour, þut for the good of Solomon, but more kind. Whatsoever we ask, it his people. Such views even the wise heathen had, shall be done for us; nay, he will, out of his divine considering civil government as appointed of God, bounty, which infinitely excels royal bounty, even not for the emolument or aggrandizement of the that of Solomon, do for us more than we are able governor, but for the good of society. Thus Aris- | to ask or think. Reader, hast thou no wants ? no totle, in a letter to Alexander, exhorts him to keep | desires ? Wilt thou not apply to him ? Ask, and in mind, that his kingdom was given him by God for it shall be given thee. the sake of mankind, that he might do them good, Verse 14. Now the weight of gold, &c.—The hisand not tyrannise over them.

tory of the queen of Sheba being ended, the writer Verse 10. She gave the king a hundred and returns to give an account of Solomon's riches and twenty talents of gold, &c.—These magnificent pre- || magnificence, which he had begun to set forth besents show that this queen was exceeding rich: her fore. And first he relates what a vast quantity of country, without doubt, abounded in gold at that gold was brought into his kingdom every year, not time, as well as in cinnamon, myrrh, and frankin- only from Ophir, but from other countries, into cense, in vast plenty. There came no more such | which, perhaps, the queen of Sheba opened him a abundance of spices, &c.-For, it seems, the Jews way, and particularly from Arabia and Ethiopia, maintained no trade with this country.

which then were replenished with gold, though exVerses 11, 12. The navy of Hiram-brought | hausted by the insatiable avarice of succeeding great plenty of almug-trees-It is very uncertain || ages. Six hundred threescore and six talentswhat these almug-trees were, or algum-trees, as they which amount to about three millions of our money. are termed 2 Chron. ii. 8, by a transposition of let- Verse 15. Besides that he had of the merchant

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