Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Nathan. Many other prophets lived at the same time. But he was most conspicuous, and crowned Solomon. (Calmet) — Greek, “and after him Nathan arose to prophesy,” (Haydock) and keep up the succession.
Ver. 2. Flesh. Greek, “peace-offering.” The fat was deemed most delicate.
Ver. 3. Played. Tearing them to pieces with the greatest ease, 1 Kings xvii. 34. (Calmet)
Ver. 6. Nation. Who were no longer under the control of the Philistines. (Haydock)
Ver. 7. Thousand. This was sung in the cities, (1 Kings xviii. 7.; Calmet) and excited the envy of Saul, who nevertheless could not prevent David’s exaltation. (Haydock) — Did he, or the people who praised the Lord and David. (Calmet)
Ver. 8. Horn. Power and glory. (Haydock) — For ever, is not in Greek. David defeated the Philistines at the beginning of his reign. (Calmet)
Ver. 9. Glory. Contained in the Psalms. (Haydock) — He was always very grateful. (Calmet) — His pure and sincere heart pleased God more than his other works. (Worthington)
Ver. 11. Altar. Of holocausts. Moses had not appointed singing.
Ver. 12. Set. Literally, “adorned the times.” — Of his. Greek, “while they praised his holy name, and sounded forth holiness early.” (Haydock) — David strove to give all perfection to the sacred ceremonies of religion, that the people might be attracted to the tabernacle, (Calmet) and serve the Lord with gladness. (Haydock)
Ver. 13. Sins. Remitting the punishment, (2 Kings xii. 13.; Calmet) and the guilt also, (Haydock) in consequence of his repentance. — Covenant. Engaging that his posterity should enjoy the throne (2 Kings vii. 12.; Calmet) if they continued faithful, Psalm cxxxi. 11., and supra [Ecclesiasticus] chap. xlv. 31.
Ver. 14. Enemies. The piety of David was thus rewarded. (Haydock) — It must have been the greatest satisfaction to him, to see so wise a son on the throne, and all in perfect peace, 3 Kings i. 48., and iv. 24. (Calmet) — These blessings were a reward of his virtue. (Worthington)
Ver. 15. Youth. When other are less informed. This serves to place the apostacy of Solomon in a more striking light. (Calmet) — The author seems astonished both at the wisdom and at the folly of this prince, (Haydock) and apostrophises him. (Worthington)
Ver. 16. Earth. Or explored all the secrets of nature, retexit, 3 Kings iv. 29.
Ver. 18. Interpretations of riddles. Hence people praised the Lord, 3 Kings x. 24.
Ver. 20. Copper, (aurichalcum.) Greek, “tin,” 2 Paralipomenon ix. 13.
Ver. 21. Thyself. Literally, “thy thighs.” Greek, “sides.” Syriac, “strength.” — Subjection. Literally, “thou hadst power over thy body,” (Haydock) using it as if it belonged not to God. He was guilty of excess in marrying a thousand wives, and yielding to idolatry, (Calmet) fearing to displease those whom he loved to his own ruin.” (St. Augustine, de Gen. ad lit. xi. 42.) — Dreadful infatuation! (Haydock)
Ver. 22. Defiled. Consecrating some even to Moloch, (Pineda vii. 11.) or having children by those whom the law prohibited, Deuteronomy vii. 2., and xxiii. 2. (Calmet) — His sins were punished: yet God’s mercy preserved his posterity. (Worthington) (Psalm lxxxviii.)
Ver. 23. Rebellious. Greek literally, “hard.” (Haydock) — Jeroboam was at the head of it, 3 Kings xii. 14. (Calmet)
Ver. 24. Lord. David’s piety caused the sceptre to be still preserved in his family, (Haydock) though Solomon’s conduct deserved to lose it. (Calmet)
Ver. 25. Of the. Greek, “a root from him,” to govern a part, while Jeroboam reigned over the other tribes of Jacob. (Haydock) — God fulfilled his promises to Jacob and David. (Menochius)
Ver. 26. Fathers. Some would hence infer, that Solomon died penitent. (Haydock)
Ver. 27. Folly. A most imprudent prince, despised by the whole nation. He answered the people roughly, and lost the ten tribes; but idolatry was his greatest folly, and from this he was never reclaimed, 3 Kings xiv. 22. (Calmet)
Ver. 29. Jeroboam. Though not of his seed, as we only find Roboam mentioned of all the thousand wives of Solomon. He left behind him Jeroboam, notwithstanding his desire to have him slain; and this man brought ruin on the nation. (Haydock) — Sin. This is the usual title given to this introducer of idolatry. He engaged the ten tribes in the worship of the golden calves, which ruined the state and religion of Israel.
Ver. 31. Vengeance, (defensio) and put, &c., in not in Greek. Theglatphalasar and Salmanasar carried the tribes away into captivity, 1 Paralipomenon v. 26., and 4 Kings xiv., and xvii. 6. (Calmet) — Many hereupon opened their eyes, (Menochius) as we may hope. Those who returned with the rest of the Jews relapsed not, at least into idolatry, in such an open manner. (Haydock)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The praise of Nathan, of David, and of Solomon: of his fall and punishment.
1 Then Nathan, *the prophet, arose in the days of David.
2 And as the fat taken away from the flesh, so was David chosen from among the children of Israel.
3 *He played with lions as with lambs: and with bears he did in like manner as with the lambs of the flock, in his youth.
4 *Did not he kill the giant, and take away reproach from his people?
5 In lifting up his hand, with the stone in the sling, he beat down the boasting of Goliath:
6 For he called upon the Lord, the Almighty, and he gave strength in his right hand, to take away the mighty warrior, and to set up the horn of his nation.
7 *So in ten thousand did he glorify him, and praised him in the blessings of the Lord, in offering to him a crown of glory:
8 For he destroyed the enemies on every side, and extirpated the Philistines, the adversaries unto this day: he broke their horn for ever.
9 In all his works he gave thanks to the holy One, and to the Most High, with words of glory.
10 With his whole heart he praised the Lord, and loved God that made him: and he gave him power against his enemies.
11 And he set singers before the altar, and by their voices he made sweet melody.
12 And to the festivals he added beauty, and set in order the solemn times, even to the end of his life, that they should praise the holy name of the Lord, and magnify the holiness of God in the morning.
13 *The Lord took away his sins, and exalted his horn for ever: and he gave him a covenant of the kingdom, and a throne of glory in Israel.
14 After him arose up a wise son, and for his sake he cast down all the power of the enemies.
15 *Solomon reigned in days of peace, and God, brought all his enemies under him, that he might build a house in his name, and prepare a sanctuary for ever: O how wise wast thou in thy youth!
16 *And thou wast filled as a river with wisdom, and thy soul covered the earth.
17 And thou didst multiply riddles in parables: thy name went abroad to the islands far off, and thou wast beloved in thy peace.
18 The countries wondered at thee for thy canticles, and proverbs, and parables, and interpretations,
19 And at the name of the Lord God, whose surname is, God of Israel.
20 *Thou didst gather gold as copper, and didst multiply silver as lead,
21 And thou didst bow thyself to women: and by thy body thou wast brought under subjection.
22 Thou hast stained thy glory, and defiled thy seed, so as to bring wrath upon thy children, and to have thy folly kindled,
23 That thou shouldst make the kingdom to be divided, *and out of Ephraim a rebellious kingdom to rule.
24 But God will not leave off his mercy, and he will not destroy, nor abolish his own works, neither will he cut up by the roots the offspring of his elect: and he will not utterly take away the seed of him that loveth the Lord.
25 Wherefore he gave a remnant to Jacob, and to David, of the same stock.
26 And Solomon had an end with his fathers.
27 And he left behind him of his seed, the folly of the nation,
28 Even Roboam, that had little wisdom, who turned away the people through his counsel:
29 *And Jeroboam, the son of Nabat, who caused Israel to sin, and shewed Ephraim the way of sin, and their sins were multiplied exceedingly.
30 They removed them far away from their land.
31 And they sought out all iniquities, till vengeance came upon them, and put an end to all their sins.
1: 1 Kings xii. 1.
3: 1 Kings xvii. 31.
4: 1 Kings xvii. 49.
7: 1 Kings xviii. 7.
13: 2 Kings xii. 13.
15: 3 Kings iii. 1.
16: 3 Kings iv. 31.
20: 3 Kings x. 27.
23: 3 Kings xii. 16.
29: 3 Kings xii. 28.