3 Kings ix.
Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Do, regarding those buildings, Paralipomenon. (Menochius)
Ver. 2. Gabaon; that is, “during the night,” 2 Paralipomenon vii. 12. God had spoken to Solomon, by a prophet, while he was building the temple; (chap. vi. 11.; Haydock) unless that passage relate to the same time as that which is here recorded more in detail, and took place in the night, after Solomon had poured forth his most solemn prayer. (Calmet) — Others think that God deferred answering his petition for thirteen years, till Solomon was on the point of falling off from the observance of piety, that so he might be restrained more effectually. (Salien, the year before Christ 1011.) — Fire from heaven had sufficiently signified that his former request had been granted. (Menochius) — The context shews that the admonition was not sent till the palace was finished, (ver. 1, and 10.) in the 23rd year of Solomon. (Salien)
Ver. 4. Simplicity of heart. That is, in the sincerity and integrity of a single heart, as opposite to all double-dealing and deceit. (Challoner) — External worship alone will not be acceptable. (Worthington) — “God is worshipped by faith, hope, and charity.” (St. Augustine, Ench. iii.)
Ver. 6. But if. This threat had been denounced by Moses, (Deuteronomy xxix. 24.) and was repeated by Jeremias, (xxii. 8.) when it was on the point of being put in execution. (Menochius)
Ver. 7. Take away, by death or exile. (Haydock) — Sight. God is disposed to grant favours to those who approach his temples with piety. If they indulge their passions, he will suffer these holy places to be profaned, as a dreadful warning of his displeasure. The Jews enjoyed prosperity while they continued faithful. On their revolt, the ark was taken, the temple pillaged by Sesac, burnt by Nabuchodonosor, profaned by Antiochus, and destroyed by the Romans. (Calmet)
Ver. 8. Example. Hebrew, “at this house, on high,” (or dedicated “to the most high;” Paralipomenon) “every,” &c. (Haydock) — It shall be treated with no more regard than the high places of idols. (Calmet) — Though at present so much exalted, it shall be reduced to a heap of ruins, (Vatable) and destroyed. (Challoner)
Ver. 11. Galilee, the higher, which was nearer to the sea and the confines of Tyre; (Menochius) or rather the lower Galilee lay in this direction. (Calmet) — This was not a part of the country allotted to Israel, (Josue xix. 27.) but had been conquered: as Hiram gave the cities back, 2 Paralipomenon viii. 2. Solomon caused them to be rebuilt, and peopled by the Israelites. (Grotius) — If they had formed a part of his dominions before, he would not have had to send a colony thither. (Calmet) — Others think that he only ceded that country for a time to Hiram, till he should be indemnified. (Abulensis) (Tostat) (Menochius) (Tirinus) (Worthington) — The country belonged to the Lord, (Leviticus xxv. 13.) and could not be given away by the prince. In case it had been occupied by strangers, Solomon would have taken care that the Israelites should have the free exercise of their religion. But as Hiram rejected his offer, he would make him recompense by some other means; (Calmet) in ready money, ver. 14. (Josephus) (Tirinus)
Ver. 13. Brother. By this title the eastern kings addressed each other, chap. xx. 32., and 1 Machabees x. 18., and xi. 30. Solomon and Hiram always lived on good terms. (Calmet) — Chabul: that is, dirty or displeasing. (Challoner) — The latter signification is given by Josephus, from the Phœnician language. (Haydock) — The real meaning is uncertain. Some with the last mentioned author, place these cities in the vicinity of Tyre, south of Ptolemais, which is most probable; though St. Jerome says they were in the land of Basan, beyond the Jordan. (Calmet)
Ver. 15. Offered, or paid back to Hiram, for what he had lent. (Tirinus) — Hebrew, “And this is the reason of the levy (or tribute) which king Solomon imposed, in order to build,” &c. (Haydock) — We have seen that Adoniram was at the head of this department, chap. v. 14. The people bore these burdens with patience, till the works of Mello gave Jeroboam an occasion of stirring them up to rebellion, chap. xi. 27. Mello was a palace, fortification, (Calmet) or bridge, erected in the vale, (Salien) from the palace to the temple, (Menochius) lying between Sion and the old Jerusalem. David had begun to build here, and Solomon perfected the works. Ezechias repaired the wall, 2 Paralipomenon xxxii. 5. In this palace Joas was slain, 4 Kings xii. 20. (Calmet) — Heser, or Asor, Josue xv. 23., and xix. 36. (Haydock) — There was a town of this name in the tribe of Juda, and another in that of Nephthali. — Gazer had been taken by Josue, but the Chanaanites had again made themselves masters of it.
Ver. 16. Wife. This custom distinguished princes from common people, who paid a dowry to their intended bride, 2 Machabees i. 14. Philadelphus gave his daughter Bernice to Antiochus, of Syria, with an immense dowry, which caused her to be styled Phernophorus. The influence of these royal wives was more extensive than that of others of meaner birth, as we find in the daughter of Pharao, Jezabel, Athalia, &c. (Calmet)
Ver. 17. Nether, in the tribe of Benjamin. 2 Paralipomenon (viii. 5.) adds, the upper, which was a town of Ephraim. (Menochius)
Ver. 18. Baalath. There were several towns of this name, Josue xix. 44. (Calmet) — Palmira. Hebrew Tamor, “a palm-tree.” (Calmet) — But the d is preserved in the margin, as well as in some manuscripts, and in the ancient versions; and is read, Tadmor, in Chronicles. (Kennicott) — Protestants have also, “Tadmor, in the wilderness, in the land.” (Haydock) — Le Clerc adds, “of Aram,” or Syria of Soba, 2 Paralipomenon viii. 3, 4. Palmira, famous for its water and fertile soil, was the boundary of the Roman and Parthian empires, (Pliny, [Natural History?] v. 25.) surrounded on all sides by vast deserts, and built by Solomon for the advantage of travellers, a day’s journey from the Euphrates. (Josephus, [Antiquities?] viii. 6.) — Superb ruins are still to be seen, and various pagan inscriptions, in Greek. There are others in an unknown language, which might relate to the Jewish or Christian affairs. See Phil. Transac. Oct. 1695. (Brun) — The city was destroyed by the emperor Aurelian. (Calmet)
Ver. 19. That….himself. Hebrew, “of store;” or to keep his treasures. (Haydock) — Literally, “of indigence,” designed to counteract the effects of famine. Pharao obliged the Israelites to build such cities for him, (Exodus i. 11.) which are called cities of tabernacles. The word miscenoth is here rendered, were not walled. — Chariots. See chap. iv. 26. (Calmet) — Libanus, the temple, (St. Jerome, Trad.) or the palace. (Sa) — But these were both in Jerusalem. (Haydock) — Solomon built a great deal at the foot of Libanus, (Salien) as the defile was of great importance. We read of the tower of Libanus, Canticle of Canticles vii. 4. Travellers mention its ruins. (Gabriel. Sionita. p. 6.)
Ver. 21. Day. After the captivity, some were found who had perhaps come from Phœnicia, 1 Esdras ix. 1. Solomon reduced the natives of the country to the most abject condition, forcing them to work like slaves. (Josephus, [Antiquities?] viii. 6.) — Hebrew, “upon those, Solomon imposed a tribute of bond-service, until this day.” (Haydock) — Esdras (1 Esdras ii. 58.) calls them who returned from captivity, the children of the servants of Solomon, 392. Their fathers were probably styled proselytes; and were in number, 153,600. See 1 Paralipomenon xxii. 2., and 2 Paralipomenon ii. 17. (Calmet)
Ver. 22. Bondmen. Paralipomenon, To serve in the king’s works; for they were warriors, &c. The natural subjects performed the more honourable offices. (Haydock) — Strangers pay tribute, Matthew xvii. 24. Sesostris, king of Egypt, caused many temples to be erected after his expeditions, with this inscription: “No native laboured at them.” (Diodorus i.)
Ver. 23. Officers of the crown. There were 250 over the army, (Paralipomenon) or 3,300, (3,600, Paralipomenon) including those who presided over the proselytes, chap. v. 16. (Calmet) — These are employed while the temple was building. (Menochius)
Ver. 24. Mello, taking it from the public, and adorning it with the most beautiful structures, for the honour and convenience of his queen. (Tirinus)
Ver. 25. Year, at the three great festivals, with peculiar solemnity, (Calmet) as well as holocausts every day, and on the sabbaths and new moons, 2 Paralipomenon viii. 13. See 2 Paralipomenon xxxi. 3. (Calmet) — He established funds for all these victims. (Menochius)
Ver. 26. Fleet. Some ancient Latin editions have, (Haydock) “a name,” or monument. (Worthington) — Ailath, to the east. See Numbers xxxiii. 13.
Ver. 27. Fleet, from Tyre, (Calmet) or from the island of the same name, in the Red Sea. (Grotius)
Ver. 28. Ophir, in the East Indies; (Menochius) an island called Taprobana, or Sumatra; (Salien) or a country near the heads of the Euphrates and Tigris. (Calmet, Dissert.) — The variety of opinions is astonishing. Huet fixes upon Sophola, on the eastern coast of Africa; and supposes that the fleet of Hiram might proceed down a canal, which seems to have been formerly opened for a communication between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. (Strabo i. 17., and ii.) (Du Hamel) — The various commodities might be procured either in Africa, or, on the voyage, in other countries. (Haydock) — Twenty. Paralipomenon reads fifty. The letter c (20) and n (50) may easily have been mistaken. (Huet) — The thirty talents might be the value of other parts of the cargo, or might be spent in repairs and wages. (Calmet) — The sum here mentioned might be also refined gold. (Menochius)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The Lord appeareth again to Solomon: he buildeth cities: he sendeth a fleet to Ophir.
1 And it came to pass when Solomon had finished the building of the house of the Lord, and the king’s house, and all that he desired and was pleased to do,
2 That the Lord appeared to him the second time, *as he had appeared to him in Gabaon.
3 And the Lord said to him: I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, which thou hast made before me: I have sanctified this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and my eyes, and my heart, shall be there always.
4 And if thou wilt walk before me, as thy father walked, in simplicity of heart, and in uprightness: and wilt do all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my ordinances, and my judgments,
5 *I will establish the throne of thy kingdom over Israel for ever, as I promised David, thy father, saying: There shall not fail a man of thy race upon the throne of Israel.
6 But if you and your children, revolting, shall turn away from following me, and will not keep my commandments, and my ceremonies, which I have set before you, but will go and worship strange gods, and adore them:
7 I will take away Israel from the face of the land which I have given them; and the temple which I have sanctified to my name, I will cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb, and a by-word among all people.
8 And this house shall be made an example of: every one that shall pass by it, shall be astonished, and shall hiss, and say: *Why hath the Lord done thus to this land, and to this house?
9 And they shall answer: Because they forsook the Lord their God, who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and followed strange gods, and adored them, and worshipped them: therefore hath the Lord brought upon them all this evil.
10 *And when twenty years were ended, after Solomon had built the two houses; that is, the house of the Lord, and the house of the king,
11 (Hiram, the king of Tyre, furnishing Solomon with cedar-trees and fir-trees, and gold, according to all he had need of) then Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee.
12 And Hiram came out of Tyre, to see the towns which Solomon had given him, and they pleased him not;
13 And he said: Are these the cities which thou hast given me, brother? And he called them the land of Chabul, unto this day.
14 And Hiram sent to king Solomon a hundred and twenty talents of gold.
15 This is the sum of the expences, which king Solomon offered to build the house of the Lord, and his own house, and Mello, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Heser, and Mageddo, and Gazer.
16 Pharao, the king of Egypt, came up and took Gazer, and burnt it with fire: and slew the Chanaanite that dwelt in the city, and gave it for a dowry to his daughter, Solomon’s wife.
17 So Solomon built Gazer, and Bethhoron the nether,
18 And Baalath, and Palmira, in the land of the wilderness.
19 And all the towns that belonged to himself, and were not walled, he fortified; the cities also of the chariots, and the cities of the horsemen, and whatsoever he had a mind to build in Jerusalem, and in Libanus, and in all the land of his dominion.
20 All the people that were left of the Amorrhites, and Hethites, and Pherezites, and Hevites, and Jebusites, that are not of the children of Israel:
21 Their children, that were left in the land; to wit, such as the children of Israel had not been able to destroy, Solomon made tributary unto this day.
22 But of the children of Israel, Solomon made not any to be bond-men, but they were warriors, and his servants, and his princes, and captains, and overseers of the chariots and horses.
23 And there were five hundred and fifty chief officers set over all the works of Solomon, and they had people under them, and had charge over the appointed works.
24 *And the daughter of Pharao came up out of the city of David to her house, which Solomon had built for her: then did he build Mello.
25 Solomon also offered three times every year holocausts, and victims of peace-offerings, upon the altar which he had built to the Lord, and he burnt incense before the Lord: and the temple was finished.
26 And king Solomon made a fleet in Asiongaber, which is by Ailath, on the shore of the Red Sea, in the land of Edom.
27 And Hiram sent his servants in the fleet, sailors that had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon.
28 And they came to Ophir; and they brought from thence to king Solomon four hundred and twenty talents of gold.
2: 3 Kings iii. 5.; 2 Paralipomenon vii. 12.
5: 2 Kings vii. 12. and 16.
8: Deuteronomy xxix. 24.; Jeremias xxii. 8.
10: 2 Paralipomenon viii. 1.
24: 2 Paralipomenon viii. 11.