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THE REIGN OF SOLOMON (chaps. i.—ix.). 1. Chap. i. describes a national sacrifice at Gibeon, and in connection therewith a dream in which God reveals His will to Solomon (1 Kings iii. 5). A few details are added respecting Solomon's power, wealth, and commerce.

2. Chaps. ii.-vii. are concerned with the principal topic of the writer's presentation, viz., the building and consecration of the Temple.

3. Chaps. viii., ix. supply further particulars of Solomon's public works, his regulation of worship, his foreign relations, his revenues, wisdom, and glory; followed by a reference to authorities, and notice of his death.


(a) The sacrifice at Gibeon, and Solomon's dream (verses 1-13). (b) The king's chariots and horsemen, wealth and commerce (verses 14-17).

(1) And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom.-Or, showed himself strong over his kingdom; firmly grasped the reins of power, and showed himself a strong ruler. (Comp. chap. xvii. 1; also xii. 13; xiii. 21; xxi. 4.) The chronicler omits all that is related in 1 Kings i., ii., as not falling within the scope of his narrative. Comp. with this opening sentence 1 Kings ii. 46, "And the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon."

And the Lord his God was with him.-Comp. 1 Chron. xi. 9; ix. 20.

Magnified him exceedingly.-1 Chron. xxix. 25; xxii. 5.

(2-6) Solomon and the national assembly repair to the Mosaic tabernacle at Gibeon, and sacrifice upon the great altar of burnt offering. (Comp. 1 Kings iii. 4, which the present section supplements and explains.)

(2) Then Solomon spake unto all Israel.—Or, commanded all Israel (1 Chron. xxi. 17; 2 Sam. xvi. 11; 2 Kings i. 11; Vulg., præcepit).

To the captains of thousands... chief of the fathers.-This is an apposition, explaining what is meant by "all Israel" in the first clause, viz., the

there was the tabernacle of the congregation of God, which Moses the servant of the LORD had made in the wilderness. (4) But the ark of God had David brought up from Kirjath -jearim to the place which David had prepared for it: for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem. (5) Moreover the brasen altar, that Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, he put before the tabernacle of the LORD: and Solomon

national representatives. The account in Kings allows only one verse for the sacrifice, and so omits to mention that the princes took part in it (1 Kings iii. 4). The fact, however, is likely in itself. (Comp. the similar assemblies under David, 1 Chron. xiii. 1; xxiii. 2; xxviii. 1.)

Every governor.-Heb. nāsi, prince, emir of a tribe, or chief of a clan. (Comp. Gen. xxiii. 6; Num. vii. 10; 1 Kings viii. 1.)

The chief of the fathers.-The heads of the clans. This defines the preceding phrase.

(3) The tabernacle of the congregation of God. Rather, God's tent of meeting; viz., with man (Exod. xxv. 22; xxvii. 21; Num. xvii. 4). Solomon repaired to Gibeon because "that was the great high place" (1 Kings iii. 4). We learn from our text why Gibeon stood pre-eminent above the other high places. (Comp. 1 Chron. vi. 31 sqq.; xvi. 39 sqq.)

(4) But.-Or, But indeed, but no doubt ('ăbal) (chap. xix. 3; xxxiii. 17). For the transfer of the ark see 1 Chron. xiii. xv. ; 2 Sam. vi.

To the place which David had prepared.Into that David had prepared for it (the article as relative comp. 1 Chron. xxvi. 28).

he put

Pitched. Or, spread (1 Chron. xv. 1). (5) Moreover the brasen altar before the tabernacle of the Lord.-Rather, And the brasen altar was there before the dwelling of Jehovah. In Hebrew, sham is "there"; and sām," he put." Some MSS., supported by the LXX. and Vulg., read the former; most of the MSS. and the Syr., Arab., and Targ., the latter. The former reading is preferable, as it is not likely that David found the brazen altar separated from the Mosaic sanctuary, and restored it to its place. The sentence further explains why Solomon resorted to Gibeon. The presence of the old brazen altar constituted it the legitimate place of sacrifice. With perfect consistency, the chronicler accounted for David's not going to Gibeon (1 Chron. xxi. 28-30). That Bezaleel the son of Uri . . . had made. -See Exod. xxxi. 2, 9; xxxviii. 1-8; xxvii. 1-8. And Solomon and the congregation sought unto it.-Rather, And Solomon and the assembly

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and the congregation sought unto it. ja 1 Chron. 28. 5.
(6) And Solomon went up thither to the
brasen altar before the LORD, which
was at the tabernacle of the congrega- b 1 Kings 3.9.
tion, and offered a thousand burnt
offerings upon it.

1 Heb., much as

is Blessed by God.

dust of the earth in multitude. (10) Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people for who can judge this thy people, that is so great? (11) And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked the dust of the riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest c 1 Kings 3. 11, 12. judge my people, over whom I have made thee king: (12) wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour,


(7) In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee. (8) And Solomon said unto God, Thou hast shewed great mercy unto David my father, and hast made me "to reign in his stead. (9) Now, O LORD God, let thy promise unto David my father be established: 'for thou hast made me king over a people like the a Num. 27. 17.

sought Him-i.e., the Lord. (Comp. 1 Chron. xiii. 3; xv. 13; xxi. 30.) The old versions translate as A. V.

(6) And Solomon went up thither to the brasen altar. So Vulg. incorrectly. Rather, And Solomon offered there on the brasen altar; so LXX. and Syriac.

Before the Lord.-The altar stood before the entry of the Lord's dwelling place (Exod. xl. 6). (Comp. Judges xx. 23, 26.)

Which was at the tabernacle of the congregation. Which altar belonged to the tent of tryst. In 1 Kings vi. 22 the golden altar is said in like manner to belong to the Holy of holies, before which it stood. (The Vulg. seems to have read "the brasen altar, before the Lord's tent of meeting"; comp. verse 3.)

And offered.-He offered (I say). The verb is repeated before its object for clearness' sake.

(7—13) God's revelation to Solomon by night. (Comp. 1 Kings iii. 5-15.)

(7) In that night did God appear unto Solomon.-Kings, "In Gibeon did Jehovah appear unto Solomon in a dream of the night." Our text fixes the night as that which followed the sacrifices; the parallel passage explicitly states that it was in a dream that God appeared.

Ask what I shall give thee.-Rather, Ask thou! what shall I give thee? So Kings.

(8) Thou hast shewed great mercy unto David.-Literally, Thou, thou hast done great kindness with David. (The regular phrase; comp. Luke i. 72.) From this point the relation here is briefer on the whole than that of Kings. The greater part of the long verse (1 Kings iii. 6) is omitted, and the variations between the two texts become numerous, though the general sense is the same in each.

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And hast made me to reign in his stead.Comp. 1 Kings iii. 7; and the similar language of Esarhaddon, king of Assyria (B.C. 681—668): Ever since Asshur, Samas, Bel, Nebo. made me, Esarhaddon, sit securely on the throne of my father" (Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia, iii. 15, col. 2).

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(9) Now, O Lord God, let thy promise unto David my father be established.-A reminiscence of 1 Chron. xvii. 23.

Over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude.-Over a people numerous as the dust of the earth. This last clause freely corresponds with 1 Kings iii. 8. (Comp. the common title of Assyrian monarchs, "king of multitudes," sar kissāti.)

(10) Give me now wisdom and knowledge.— Now wisdom and knowledge give thou me; a petition co-ordinate with that of verse 9: "Now, O Lord God," &c. The clause answers to 1 Kings iii. 9. The word rendered "knowledge" (madda) is late, and occurs besides only in Dan. i. 4, 17; Eccles. x. 20.

That I may go out and come in before this people.-See 1 Kings iii. 7; Num. xxvii. 17; Deut. xxxi. 2.

For who can judge.-The simple impf.; Kings has, "who is able to judge ?"

This thy people, that is so great (gādől).— Kings: "This thy numerous (kābēd) people." For the king as judge comp. 1 Sam. viii. 20.

(11) Because this was in thine heart.-For this phrase see 1 Chron. xxii. 7.

Wealth, or honour.-Added by chronicler. Wealth (někāsim) is a late word, common in the Targums, and in Syriac (neksin). The phrase "riches, wealth, and honour" occurs in Eccl. vi. 2.

Long life. Many days.

But (and) hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge...king. -An expansion of what we find in Kings: "And hast asked discernment for thyself, to hear judgment." The verb hast asked is expressed in better idiom than in Kings.

(12) Wisdom and knowledge.-The wisdom and the knowledge, viz., which thou hast asked for.

Is granted unto thee.-The Hebrew expression is found only here and in Esther iii. 11. The parallel passage gives three verses for this one (1 Kings iii. 12-14).

And I will give thee.-Kings, "I have given." The perfect tense (I will certainly give) is more idiomatic than the chronicler's simple imperfect.

Such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee... the like.-Rather, Such as hath not been to the kings before thee, and after thee shall not be. (Comp. 1 Chron. xxix. 25 and Note.) The Assyrian kings were fond of similar comparisons between themselves and their predecessors. Kings: "That there hath not been (i.e., shall not be) a man like thee among the kings, all thy days," a different promise. The conditional promise, "And if thou wilt walk in my ways... I will lengthen thy days" (1 Kings iii. 14), is here omitted, although verse 11 has mentioned long life; perhaps because Solomon fell short of it. But comp. chap. vii. 17 seq. Of course the omission may be a mere abridgment.

Solomon's Strength and Wealth. II. CHRONICLES, II.

ch. 9. 22; Eccles.


Solomon's Labourers.

such as "none of the kings have had a Chron. 20. 25 made he as the sycomore trees that are that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.

(15) Then Solomon came from his journey to the high place that was at Gibeon to Jerusalem, from before the tabernacle of the congregation, and reigned over Israel. (14) And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, which he placed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem. (15) And the king 1made silver and gold at Jerusalem as plenteous as stones, and cedar trees

b1 Kings 4. 26, &
10. 26, &c.

9. 27, 28.

in the vale for abundance. (16) d And 2 Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price. e1 Kings 10.27; ch. (17) And they fetched up, and brought forth out of Egypt a chariot for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so brought they out horses for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, 3 by their means.

1 Heb., gave.

d 1 Kings 10. 28;
ch. 9. 28.

2 Heb., the going
forth of the horses
which was Solo-

3 Heb., by their

(13) Then Solomon came from his journey to the high place that was at Gibeon to Jerusalem.-Heb., And Solomon came to the high place that was in Gibeon to Jerusalem. Clearly we should read, "from the high place," with the LXX. and Vulgate. The difficulty is as old as the Syriac version, which reads, " And Solomon came to the great high place [reading bûmsâ―i.e., Bauos-with Dr. Payne Smith] that is in Gibeon the city, which is on the east of Jerusalem, from before the tabernacle."

From before the tabernacle of the congregation. See verses 3, 6. Perhaps “to (or at) the high place that was at Gibeon," was originally a marginal gloss upon this expression. (Comp. verse 3.) The reading, "And Solomon came to Jerusalem from before the tent of tryst," would be quite intelligible without this addition.


And reigned over Israel.-Syr., over all Israel. (Comp. 1 Kings iv. 1.) But the remark, "and he reigned over Israel," is by no means superfluous " (Bertheau), inasmuch as it naturally introduces the following sketch of the reign, which carries us on from God's promise to its fulfilment.

The chronicler does not notice the sacrifices which, on his return, Solomon offered before the ark at Jerusalem (1 Kings iii. 15), nor the story of the king's wise judgment which there follows (1 Kings iii. 16—28). It is unreasonable to seek any other ground of such omissions than the free and legitimate exercise of the compiler's discretion in the choice of his own materials. That he did not depreciate the sanctuary on Mount Zion as a place of sacrifice, is evident from 1 Chron. xxi. 18-xxii. 1.

(14-17) Solomon's "riches, and wealth, and honour" illustrated (comp. 1 Kings x. 26-29). In the parallel passage of Kings, this short section closes the account of Solomon's wealth and glory. 2 Chron. ix. 25-28 is very similar; a fact which will not surprise those who bear in mind that the chronicler is careless of repetition.

(14) And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen.-Word for word as in 1 Kings x. 26; see the Notes there.

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Which he placed.-And he placed, or bestowed them (wayyanhthem) (chap. ix. 25). Kings l.c. reads, "and he brought them into the chariot cities (wayyanhem). The difference turns on the pointing only, and the versions there support our text; LXX., "he put; " Vulg., disposuit; Targum, 'ashrinnūn, "he lodged them;" Syriac, "he left them." The chariots (rekeb; see 1 Chron. xviii. 4; xix. 6) and horsemen were, of course, military. The "chariot cities"

CHAPTER II.-(1) And Solomon determined to build an house for the name

probably lay in the south towards Egypt. Simeonite Beth-marcaboth (house of chariots), and Hazar-susim (court of horses) may have been included amongst them. (See 1 Chron. iv. 31.)


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(15) Silver and gold . stones . . . cedar trees. Each of these words has the definite article in the Hebrew.

And gold.-Not in 1 Kings x. 27, with which the rest of the verse coincides; nor in chap. ix. 27. The Syriac omits it here also, but the other versions have it, and the phrase is a natural heightening of the hyperbole. The sycomore trees that are in the vale.(Comp. 1 Chron. xxvii. 28.) The Syriac reads instead: As the sand which is on the seashore."


(16) And Solomon had horses brought out... -Rather, And the outcome (export) of horses for Solomon was from Egypt, and the company of the king's merchants-a company (of horses) they would fetch at a price. The same is read in Kings, only that the word company (miqwē) is there spelt in the ancient fashion (miqweh), and two words are transposed ("they would fetch a company"). Miqweh means gathering, collection (Gen. i. 10 [of the waters]). The repetition of this term constitutes a kind of artless play on words, such as is common in the Old Testament. (Comp. Gen. xv. 2; Judges xv. 16.) Both here and in Kings the Vulg. renders the word as a proper name, "from Coa." So also the LXX. in Kings "from Thekkoue " (Tekoa); and the Syriac of Chronicles, "from the city of the Aphelāvē." These variations only prove that the text was felt to be obscure. The 'linen yarn" of the Authorised version is a guess based upon the likeness of the word miqweh to gaw, “rope," and tiqwah, "line" (Josh. ii. 18), and upon the fact that much linen was made in Egypt.


(17) And they fetched up, and brought forth out of Egypt.-Literally, And they caused to come up and to come out. Kings has: "And there came up and came out a chariot from Egypt." The rest of the verse is identical there and here.


TEMPLE (chaps. ii.-vii.).

Preliminary measures: (1) The levy of Canaanite labourers (verses 1, 2, and 17, 18). (2) The treaty with Huram of Tyre (verses 3-16).

(1) Determined.-Literally, said, which may mean either commanded, as in chap. i. 2; 1 Chron. xxi. 17,

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