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James Comper Gray.

The Biblical museum : a collection of notes, explanatory, homiletic, and illustrative, on the Holy Scriptures, especially designed for the use of ministers, Bible students, and Sunday school teachers (Volume 4) online

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necessary to observe the change of that luminary ; and whenever
a new moon appeared, notice had to be given immediately to the
great council, the president of which announced the fact with a
loud voice. The expression he employed, translated into Greek,
according to Leigh's Critica Sacra, would be the very word em-
ployed by Christ This word was afterwards twice repeated by
the people aloud, and proclaimed generally by sound of trumpet
(Reland. Antiq. TIceb., p. 436). The observance of the new-
moon, like other legal observances, was typical. If it referred
to the gladness of the Gospel day, Christ's last words become full
of meaning : •' It is finished." A time of new light and mercy
is opening upon the world, the proclamation of which is now to
be made, Mark xvi. 15.

7 — 10. (7) a man cunning, etc., 1 Ki. vii. 13, 14. (8)
algum, or almug, most prob. sandal-mood fr. China and the
Indian Archipelago." (9) wonderful great, lit. great and
Woudeilui. (10; beaten wheat, lit. 7chcat of strokes :'> but



B.C. 1016.
c Robertson.



preparations
for build iug
the temple
a 1 Ki. V. 6.

b 2 Chr. vii. 11,
viii. I; 1 Ki. vii.
1 -12.

c Jamieson.

" Monarch, thou
wishe!?t to Clever
thyself with
glory.be the first
to submit to the
laws of thy em-
pire." — Bias.

" Order is a love-
ly Dyiuph the
child of beauty
and wisdom; her
attendants are
comfort, neat-
ne s, and acti-
vity ; her abode
in the valley of
happiness : she
is a: ways to be
found when
sought for, and
never appears so
lovely as when
contrasted with
her opp'iueiit.^
(1 isorder."— John-
ion.

"All things being
in order; so shall
they etid. and so
shall they begin
agnin ; accord-
ing to the Or-
dainer of order,
and mystical
mathematics of
the city of
heaven." — Sir
Thomas Browne.

" Doubtless the
exatiiple set by
rulers insinuated
itself inro the
commnn herd."
— Cla itdimt us.

the messag'e
to Huram

a "Gesenius
suggests that \Xu4



292



//. CHROSICLES.



Cap. it 11-ia



B.C. 1015.

timber was ex
poitiMi fr. Tyre,
aftiM'liavinfrbeen
brought ihither
frum th'" East."
— Smitlis Bib.

LKt.

k Gesenius.

"Wheat, Btrip-
pi'ii (if thfl liusk,
boiled, ami satu-
rated with but-
ter, forms a fie-
quent rueal with
thu la hour i II g
peo.le of the
East."— Jamiesvn.

"In all govern-
Bients therp must
of necessity lie
both tlie law «nd
the sword; laws
■withou'. arms
would give us
not liticrty but
1 icentiousness,
and anus with-
out laws would
produce licit sub-
jec'ion but sla-
very." — Colton.

e Percy Aiiec.

HuTam's
reply

a " In the Per-
Bian inscriptions
Orniazd is con-
stantly called
'the great" God,
wl.o gave' (or
made) ' heaven
and earth.'" —
Spk. Cum.

6 Wordsicorth.

el Ki. vii. 13, 14.

"The aggregate
happiness of so-
liiety, which is
best promoted
by the practice
of a virtuous
policy, i.«, or
ought to ^e, the
end of all go-
vern m e n t." —
\y'asliinyti,n.

V. 11. B. Jbbot,
ii 374.

V. 12. /. Riddoch,



comp. 1 Ki. V. 11. Some of these provisions were for the
immediate use of the workmen. The account given in the Bk.
of Kings differs greatly from this, mentioning only the yearly
tribute.

A rojial patron of art (v. 7). — I. Art considered as an educator.
II. Popular taste infliiences the fine arts. This very much
affected by the talent of i-enowncd artists. Thus the skill of
Landseer made the drawings of animals popular. This, doubt-
less, had a humanising tendency. III. But more than popular
taste is needed to popularise high art. Take as an illustration
Miss Thompson's now celebrated picture. IV. A good thing for a
nation when royalty patronises art in the direction of its employ-
ment in the service of religion. V. This did Solomon, who
would have God's house not only beautiful, but beautiful in the
highest degree.

Sir Peter Leley. — After the death of Vandyke. Sir Peter Leley
became state painter to Charles II. He wa's eminent in portraits,
and possessed the art of flattery more than most artists, which
gained him extensive practice, and an ample fortune. The ex-
pression of his portraits is almost entirely described, at least in
those of his females, by what the poet has said, that he

" on animated canvas stole

The sleeping eye that spoke the melting soul."
Sir Peter Leley employed a large portion of his fortune to
furnish himself with a collection of pictures and drawings, by
studying which he much improved his style. Tliese at his death
were sold by auction, and were so numerous that forty days
were consumed in the sale, and the produce amounted to £26,000;
independent of which, he left an estate he had purchased of
£900 a year.*^

11—16. (11) in writing", Sol.'s message had prob. been con-
veyed by an ambassador, loved his people, comp. 1 Ki. x. 9 ;
2 Chr. ix. 8. (12) made heaven and earth, a usual formula
for the Supreme Being.". (13) of Huram my father's, should
be trans, mif master-worhman ; the word father is used in the
honourable sense of master.* '■ Huram the king's own father's
name appears to have been Ahihaal.'" (14) man of Tyre,«
poss. a second husband of the woman. (15) wheat, etc.., r. 10.
(\(\) in flotes, the trees tied together, and floating on the water.
Joppa, Jos. xix. 46, the natural port of Jerus., but 35 miles
distant.

A God-sent king (v. 11). — I. A good king is a great blessing
for a people. II. A good king is a Divine gift. III. A good
king thus sent is a proof of God's regard for the people. IV.
This teaches, by inference, that kings should regard themselves
as reigning for the people's good, and not for private ends.

The prrfectwn of art. — Pygmalion was a sculptor of wonderful
skill. He carved a statue in ivory, of a maiden, that seemed to
be alive. He fell in love with his own beautiful creation. He
clothed it in rich apparel, caressed it, decked it with jewels, and
brought it such gifts as are prized by girls. He laid it upon a
royal couch, and called it his wife. He went to worship at the
shrine of Venus, and asked the gods to give him a wife like his
ivory virgin. He returned to his house, and began to caress his
ideal wife as he used to do. when lo 1 he felt the ivory yield to
his touch. ''It was, indeed, alive. The virgin felt the kisses^



Cap. iil 1-5.]



11. CHRONICLES.



293



and blushed, and, opening- her timid eyes to the light, fixed them
at the same moment upon her lover."

17, 18. (17) strangers, descendants of the Canaanites who
had not been expelled at the invasion. This numbering' was
made so as to impose on them bond service. (18) bearers of
burdens, labourers. Conip. 1 Ki. v. 16. set . . work, no
work is done in the East without overseers, who doing nothing
themselves see that other people are diligent.

JS'aturaUsatioii of foreigners (vi\ 17, 18). — I. A good govern-
ment will tend to make a country attractive to foreigners. II.
Foreigners thus attracted are amenable to the laws of the state.
III. Thus protected they may contribute materially to the enrich-
ment of a state by the importation of foreign industries. IV.
The kind treatment of exiles often repays those who so regard
them. 111. : — The silk-weavers of Spitalfields. V. Be kind to
strangers.

Legend of industry. — Some centuries ago, a man resident in
Egypt became a convert to the Christian faith. The spirit of the
times favoured asceticism ; and he, being of a contemplative
mind, conceived the unnatural idea that if he could retire from
society and spend his time in contemplation he should attain to
the perfection of human happiness on earth. Filled with this
thought he bade adieu to the abodes of men, wandered far into
the desert, selected a cave near which flowed a spring, for his
home, and, subsisting on the scanty crops of roots and herbs
which sprang up spontaneously in the adjacent glens and valleys,
began his life of meditation and prayer. He had not spent many
seasons in his hermitage before his heart grew miserable beyond
endurance. The long and weary hours of the day, and the
dreary, interminable nights, oppressed and crushed his listless
soul. In the extremity of his wretchedness, he fell upon his
face, and cried, '' Father, call home Thy child ! Let me die 1 I
am weary of life." Thus stricken with grief, he fell asleep ; and
in his vision an angel stood before him, and spake, saying,
" Cut down the palm tree that grows by yon spring, and of its
fibres construct a rope." The vision passed away; and the hermit
awoke with a resolution to fulfil his mission. But he had no
axe, and therefore journeyed far to procure one. On his return
he felled the tree, and diligently laboured till its fibres lay at his
feet, formed into a coil of rope. Again the angel stood befoi'e
him, and said, " Dominic, you are now no longer weary of life,
but you are happy. Know, then, that man was made for labour,
and that prayer also is his duty. Both are essential to his
happiness. Go, therefore, into the world, with the rope girded
upon thy loins. Let it be a memorial to thee of what God
expects from man.""



CHAPTER TEE THIRD.



B.C. lOlS.

the census

of the ■
strangers

Themanufactui*
of silk was esia-
hli.bed iu Spital-
flolilR bj' euii-
jrrantB from
France, after the
rerocatinii of the
edict of Nautes.

"The adminiB-
tration of Gro-
vernment. like a
go ardianship,
oujjlit to be di-
rpctp.d to the
goo J of tho^o
who confer, and
not to those who
receive the
trust." — Cicero.

" If you aslc me
which is the real
hereditary sin of
human nature,
do you imagine
I shall answer,
pride, or luxury,
1 or ambition, or
I egotism ? No ; I
I shall say indo-
lence. Who con-
quers indolence
■ will conquer all
] 'he rest. In eed,
all good princi-
ples must stag-
nate without
mental activity."
— Ziinnie? man.

"Virtue, tliough
chaiue I to earih,
; will still live fiee,
and hell itself
must \ield to
iiidu-try." — Ben

JuffOH.

"The mo'st im-
portant point iu
any affair is to
know what is to
be done." — Colti'
nceild.

a Dr. Wist.



B. 0.1012.



1 — 5. (1) mount Moriah, Gen. xxii. 2. where appeared, the building

better read, wh. was .shown to David his father, had prepared, 9^ ^^^
1 Chr. xxii. 1 — 5. Ornan, c^\\e6. also A raunah.'^ (2) second, ^^^ ^^.^ .|g,
word day is not in the original, and prob. the word .second should j ohr. ixi. 18. '
be omitted.* (3) instructed, marg. founded. Better read this 1 6 it is omitted Id



294



//. CHRONICLES.



fCap. 111. 6—10,



B.O. 1012.

the Sept.. Syr.,
Arab, and Vul^.

c The Jews ear-
riid the Bi'ivlo-
niaa aieisuies
back witli theiu
oa returning to
their own land.

d S/ik. Com. pio-
puses to read 2 i
for l-.'O; Worts-
woitli tiiinks ihe
height us given
here should be
retained.

t. Comp. 1 Ki. vi.
15—18.

"They who are
not made saints
in a state of
grace shall never
be saints in glory.
The stones which
areapp.iinte I for
that glorious
temple above are
hewn ami polish-
ed and prepared
for it hero, a'^
the stones were
wrought and
prepared in the
mountains for
the building of
the temple at
J e r u s a 1 e m." —
Leiyhton.
" It is better to
have nothing to
do, than to he
duing nothing."
.^Atti'us.
f Raskin.

the orna-
ments of
the temple

a Vulgtito.

6 Bcrtlieau. See
1 Chr. xxix. 2.

c 1 Ki. vi. 20.

d "Three sug-
ge:itiou3 have
been made:—!.
They werecham-
hers built over
the holy of ho-
lies. 2. They
were built us
second story of
the povch. 3.
The upper range
of the sets of
side chambers is
referred to. The
last tiuggesiioa is



is the ground-plan, or these are the dimensions, first measure^
according to the ancient Mosaic standard." (4) height, etc.,
the hei.ght is not given in the Bk. of Kings. If this be correct
it would give the porch the appearance of entrance towers."*
(.5) greater house, the holy place.«

T/ie Crirat Arrhitcrt'x pupil {v. S). — I. Solomon did not sur-
render himself to the guidance of his own taste or judgment
in building the temple. II. He received a lesson of his father.
III. He was especially taught of God. Well for men if in their
common building undertakings they would seek Divine direction
as to the purpose and propriety of their erections. Note what is
said in the Gospels about building. Illustration : — The man who
would pull down his barns and build greater.

The poetry of art. — It is a shallow criticism that would define
poetry as confined to literary productions in rhyme and metre,
I The written poem is only poetry talking, and the statue, the
I picture, and the musical composition, are poetry acting. Milton
[and Goethe, at their desks, were not more truly poets than
I Phidias with his chisel, Eaphael at his easel, or deaf Beethoven
I bending over his piano, inventing and producing strains which
I he himself could never hope to hear. The love of the ideal, the
clinging to and striving after first principles of beauty, is
[ever the characteristic of the poet, and whether he speak his
1 truth to the world through the medium of the pen, the perfect
I statue, or the lofty strain, he is still the sharer in the same high
I nature. Next to blind Milton describing Paradise, that same
1 Beethoven composing symphonies and oratorios is one of the
finest things we know. Milton saw not, and Beethoven heard
not ; but the sense of beauty was upon them, and they
fain must speak. Arts may be learned by application — pro-
portions and attitudes may be studied and repeated— mathe-
matical principles may be, and have been, comprehended
and adopted ; but yet there has not been hewn from the
marble a second Apollo, and no measuring by compasses will
ever give the secret of its power. The ideal dwelt in the sculp-
tor's mind and his hands fashioned a statue which yet teaches it
to the world./

6 — 10. (C) precious stones, either marbles," or gems.''
Parvaim, not certainly identified : prob. a district of Arabia.
(7) with gold, i.e. gold plating. 1 Ki. vi. 29, 80. (8) most
holy house, also called tJu- orarle : a dark inner chamber."
six hundred talents, comp. 1 Ki. x. 14. (y) nails, wh.
fastened the gold plating, upper chambers, it cannot be
certainly known what these were.'' (10) two cherubim, large
figures standing on each side of the ark.« image work,
f-^aati/im, a word only found here. Prob. of Arabic origin, and
meaning carved work/

The snrpaxsing heautij of the temple (v. fi). — Observe — I. That
God did not need this lavish expenditure of gold and gems and
rich ornament. They were all perishable things. II. Ye-fc
Divine condescension accepted this offering of human gratitude.
III. The beauty and costliness of the temple not without their
uses. The temple so adorned served to impress the mind of sur-
rounding nations with the feelings of the people of Israel towards
their great God. IV. The adornment of the temple a rebuke of
the utilitarial views of those who are advocates of a Judas-like



Cap. IH. 11-17.]



//. cnnomcLES.



295



economy, and who regard as waste all that is given to God
beyond the bare necessities of the case.

Art and the Jtujlicr iv'i - <doin. — Xing' Pyi-rhus being' asted whether
Pythion or Cephesiaswas the best iiute-iilayer, answered, that in
his judgment, Polysperchan was the best captain ; intimating
that it was not wortli the inquiring who was the best skilled in
those arts v\-hieh were so little important. Lord ! let me be totally
ignorant of those arts which are wicked and vain. Well may
the children of this world be wiser in those things than the
children of light. The seed of Cain are storied to have been the
first inventors of arts. They might well excel in that ui)on
which their hearts were wholly intent ; but the pious seed had
aims above, and might well overlook what others saw whose
eyes were fixed below. When God comes to reckon up the
wisdom of the world, those only will be accounted wise who are
Bo for heaven.



11—17. (11) wings, etc.; 1 Ki. vi. 24—27. (12) reaching
to the wall, so the wings stretched across from wall to wall,
and met over the ark. (13) inward, marg. towards the house :
i.e. outward, they were not looking at each other." (14) the
vail, separating the holy of holies fr. holy place.* This is
not noticed in Bk. of Kings, only the chains of gold connected
with it.« (15) before the house, either standing separate, or
Bupporting the porch : prob. the former. The heights given
dilfer fr. those in 1 Ki. vii. 15.'* (IG) chains, chaplets or
festoons, pomegranates, 1 Ki. vii. 15 — 20. (17) Jachin,
direction, or he will establish. Boaz, stre/ir/th. or in strength.'

2'he mission of art. — You need not go to old Rome and Athens
to find the beautiful. When democratic beauty once is opened
up. you will have an idea of beauty that will turn to shame
aristocratic, monarchic, and monocratic beauty. A true. Christian,
democratic beauty has more elements, more complexity, and
more power, and when it has been developed it will be more
glorious, than any that has ever existed. Why, in the palmy
days of Athens, when her magnificent temples were in their
glory, when her statues were abundant — that are the admiration
and despair of the world — and when her walls were painted so
that nature found itself reflected more beautiful in art than in
herself, what was the condition of her streets ? They were so
nasty that peojile could not walk in them ! The common people
lived in huts that were no better than our pigsties ! No man except
the king and the priest was rich enough in those days to have
a picture in his house. Art belonged to the king — that is, the
government, and to the priest — that is, the Church. It was the
privilege of these two sections of society. The great mass of
men knew nothing of it. It was to them something like the
stars that they might worship, but that did not belong to them.
We go back to the time when Rome was in her glory, and look
with envy upon the development of art then. But what was
then the condition of art ? It had been widened, it had been
purified, and it had grander ideas and conceptions ; but. so far as
mankind were concerned, it was in the hands of the rich and of
the ecclesiastical orders mainly. It did a great deal of good, and
its usefulness was felt in a broad sphere ; but that was not its
broadest sphere. Still ti-avelling downward, art is on a mi.ssion
for the great common people. It is to educate them. It is to



the most likely
one to be true.

« 1 Ki. vi. 23—28,

/ Gesenius.

" A statesman,
we are told,
should- follow
public opinion.
Doubtless, as a
coachman fol-
lows his horsea,
having hold on
the reins and
guiding them."—
Hare.



the cheru-
bims and
the pillars
a o m p. Ex.
xxxvii. 9.

ft Comp. vail of
tabernacle, Ex.
xxvi. ai.

c 1 Ki. vi. 21.

d " Poss. a cor-
ruption of the
number in the
present passage
in consequence
of the resem-
blance bet. the
Heb. signs for
18 and 35."— 5///fc.
Com.

e " Poss. these
are proper
uame«, and may
belong to sup-
posed younger
sons of Solo-
mon." — Ewald.
"One of the
most important,
but one of the
most difiBcult
things to a
powerful mind,
is to be its own
master ; a pond
may lie quiet in
a plain, but a
lake wants
mountains to
compass and
hold a."— Addi-
son I.

There is in all
men a provok-
ing love of quiet
comfort; they
are like dogs,
who will let
themselves be
fondled for evet



296



//. CHRONICLES.



B.C. 1015.

BO long before
they get up.
Once moved,
however, it is
just as diflicult
to keep quiet.
Our tlrst piece of
activity costs ns
more trouble
tbau all subse-
quent ones.
/ Beeclier.



B.O. 1012.

the altar,
molten
sea, etc.

a " The thickness
of the metal
used for this
altar is nowhere
givpn; bui sup-
posing it to have
been .3 inches.
the whole weii,'ht
Of the metal
■would not be
nnd'^r 200 tons."
—Napier.

h Wordsworth.

V. 1. S. MiitUr,
Figures and Types.
3C4.

" Which is the
best govern-
ment? That
which teaches
self- govern-
ment." — Goethe.



the coui'ts,
utensils, etc.

a "Cooking uten-
sils of vaiious
sizes and depths,
wiihiheir covers,
are al'.vays ma'le
of whitened
copper. This
niiucial is ob-
tained in large
quai'titics. anil of
the best quality,
fr. the mines in
Armenia, in the
neighbomhood
O' thf huphra es,
wh fire worked
exclusively • hy
Gr^-iks, and
Boem to be inex-
haiisli -lie, though
th > have doii'it-
less \ ieliii-il their
titiabwcs to man



[Cap. iv. 1—18.

elevate them. It is to refine them. It is to do its work now, no
lunger for tlie palace, no longer for the temj)le, but for that
which has something of both the palace and the temple in it>—
for the family. Art is aiming at the household ; and when it
shall have done its work there, it wiK be with such resplendent
and wondrous fruits as shall make all the past as nothing in the
comparison. We are just on the eve of this great development.
The wealth of the world is increasing, so that men are beginning'
to be able to make their houses richer than Grreciau temples used
to be./



CHAPTER THE FOURTH.

1 — 8. {\) made, it is uncertain whether this was wholly new,
or the brazen altar from the tabernacle enlarged or recast.*
ten cubits the height, wh. necessitated either steps, or an
inclined pln,ne. (2) molten sea, 1 Ki. vii. 23. (3) oxen,
comp. 1 Ki. vii. 24. (4, 5) it stood, etc., 1 Ki. vii. 25, 2G.
(5) with flowers of lilies, shaped like the flower of a lily.
(()) lavers, for washing utensils ; the sea being for the bathing
of the priests. (7) candlesticks . . form, after the model of
that made by Moses (Ex. xxv. 31), or as v. 20. (8) ten tables,
instead of the one in the tabernacle. Prob. in temple shew-
bread was only placed on one.*

The fine arts. — At \vhat period of the world's history have the
fine arts subserved the interests of the truth as it is in Jesus ?
They have abundantly subserved the purposes of human pride and
gloiy. How they have been used to beautify and throw a halo
around vice and falsehood may be seen from the relation in
which they have stood to the mythology of Paganism, and the
idolatries of Romanism and Ecclesiasticism. They are so employed
I now. They will be abundantly used to give beauty and attrac-
1 tiveness to that coming- period when the fool shall say in his
' heart, " There is no God." But what is an adorned world with-
out God 1

9—18. (9) court, etc., 1 Ki. vi. 36. great court, for the
congregation. (10) sea, the great brazen sea. (11) pots, etc.,"
various articles necessary for the sacrifices. (12) pommels, or
knobs, chapiter, ** the upper part, or capital, of a column. (13)
pomegranates,'^ 1 Ki. vii. 20. (14) bases, ornamental stands
for the lavers. (15) sea, v. 2. (IT.) his father, i.e. his master-
workman, or chief designer. (^7) Succoth, Ge. xxxiii. 17.
Zeredathah,'' 1 Ki. xi. 26. (18) found out, so freely used
that they ceased to take the weights of it.
DiJfKSion (if art. —

Ecstatic she diffused
The cai>vas, seiz'd the pallet, with quick hand
The colours brew'd : and on the void expanse
Her gay creation pour'd. her mimic world.
Poor was the manner of her eldest race.
Barren and dry ; just struggling from the taste^
Tliat had for tiges scared in cloisters dim
The superstitious herd>.: yet glorious then
Were deem'd their works ; where undc^veloped lay
The future wonders that enrich"d mankind,



Cap. V. 1—5.]



//. CHRONICLES.



297



And a new light and grace o'er Europe cast.

Arts gradual gather streams. Enlarging this,

To each his portion oi' her various gilts

The goddess dealt, to none indulging all ;

No, not to Raphael. At kind distance still

Perfection stands, like Happiness, to tempt

The eternal chase. In elegant design,

Improving nature ; in ideas fair,

Or great, extracted from the fine antique ;

In attitude, expression, airs divine ;

The sons of Rome and Florence bore the prize.

To those of Venice, she the magic art

Of colours melting into colours gave :

Theirs too it was by one embracing mass

Of light and shade, that settles round the whole,

Or varies tremulous from part to part,

O'er all a binding harmony to throw,

To raise the picture and repose the sight.

The Lombard school, succeeding, mingled both.*

19 — 22. (19) vessels, articles of furniture. (20) after the
manner," comp. v. 7. (21) flowers, etc., 1 Ki. vii. 49. (22)
entry, see 1 Ki. vii. 50, where we find liingcs.

Art and tobacco. — It is not possible for a labouring man to
buy an oil painting, but it is possible for him to buy a chromo-



Online LibraryJames Comper GrayThe Biblical museum : a collection of notes, explanatory, homiletic, and illustrative, on the Holy Scriptures, especially designed for the use of ministers, Bible students, and Sunday school teachers (Volume 4) → online text (page 50 of 66)