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The first book of the Kings : with map, introduction and notes online

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same classes are mentioned in the account of the creation.

34. from all lings of the earth] It is most likely that what is
meant is that embassies were sent from various kingdoms. The
visit of the queen of Sheba (chap, x.) is preserved to us probably as
one of the more distant visits, and made, as could not often be the
case, by the monarch in person.

V. 1. Hi ram Icing of 7)/ re] The name of this king is spelt
Hirom below in verses 10 and 18, and in 2 Chron. ii. 3 Huram.
From the words of the latter narrative we should conclude that it
was the same king who had ruled in Tyre in the days of David, to
whom he is said to have sent timber for the building of his own
house. Cp. 2 Sam. v. 11. sent his servants unto Solomon]

Seemingly with a message of congratulation on his accession.
Josephus (Ant. vni. 2, 6) saj's so. 'He saluted and congratulated
him on his present prosperity.' Hiram vas ever a lover of

Da rid] (Cf. 2 Sam. v. 11.) If this be not the same person as the
Hiram in David's reign, Hiram must be taken here merely as a
synonym for the king of Tyre, just as Pharaoh is often for the king
of Egypt. 2. Solomon sent to Hiram] Josephus (/. c.) says that

the message was by letter, as was also Hiram's answer. 3. Thou
knowest] David's preparations must have been well known through-
out the Phoenician kingdom, and so to Hiram even though he was
not himself king. could not build a house] He was forbidden

to do this by the word of the Lord (cf . 1 Chron. xxii. 8 ; xxviii. 3)
because he had shed blood abundantly and made great wars.

'I»it them under the soles of his feet] A phrase not uncommon to
denote entire conquest. Cf. Ps. viii. 6; 1 Cor. xv. 27; Eph. i. 22.



I. KINGS, V. 6—9. 35

purpose to build a house unto the name of the Lord my God,
as the Lord spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom
I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build a house
unto my name. Now therefore command thou that they hew 6
me cedar trees out of Lebanon ; and my servants shall be with
thy servants : and unto thee will I give hire for thy servants
according to all that thou shalt appoint : for thou knowest
that there is not among us any that can skill to hew timber
like unto the Sidonians. And it came to pass, when Hiram 7
heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly, and
said, Blessed be the Lord this day, which hath given unto
David a wise son over this great people. And Hiram sent to 8
Solomon, saying, I have considered the things which thou
sentest to me for: and I will do all thy desire concerning
timber of cedar, and concerning timber of fir. My servants it
shall bring them down from Lebanon unto the sea: and I

4. evil occurrent] 'Occurrent' is the old English form of the
noun for which we now use 'occurrence.' Cf. Bacon Henry VII.
(Pitt Press Series) p. 68. 'He paid the king large tribute of his
gratitude in diligent advertisement of the occurrent s of Italy.'

5. to build a house] Between the narrative in Kings and Chronicles
there is a marked difference here. The former says nothing about
the preparations which David had made for building the Temple,
but makes the preparation commence under Solomon. In Chronicles
David is represented as making great preparations before his death.

as the Lord spake] Cf. 2 Sam. vii. 12, 13. In that passage no
mention is made of the reason why David was not permitted to
build. 6. Noiv therefore command thou] Solomon's request is

much expanded in 2 Chron. ii. 3 — 10. cedar-trees out of Lebanon]
We see from Hiram's answer in verse 8 where 'timber of fir' is
added to the ' timber of cedar ' that we have here only an abstract
of Solomon's request, and the fuller form in Chronicles has probably
been drawn from an original authority. hire for thy servants']

The hire takes the form of a supply of corn and oil of which the
kingdom of Solomon was very productive. can stelF] This

somewhat antiquated word is found also 2 Chron. ii. 7, 8 ; xxxiv. 12.
It means 'to know the best way of doing anything.' 7. he

rejoiced greatly] For the alliance thus offered to him was that of the
mightiest prince of all those round about. Blessed be the

Lord] Hiram here uses the name of Jehovah in such wise as to
shew that he acknowledged him as a true god, but probably only in
the sense of being the national god of Israel, as Melcarth was of
the Zidonians. Cf. the queen of Sheba's words of the same kind in
x. 9. 8. I have considered the things which thou sentest to me

for] More literally (see K.V.) : ' I have heard the message which
thou sentest to me.' concerning timber of fir] Josephus says

'cypress,' and from the uses to which the wood is put that seems
the more probable rendering. 9. from Lebanon unto the sea]

Providing for the shortest land passage down the side of the moun-

3—2



36 I. KINUS, V. 10—16.

will convey them by sea in flotes unto the place that thou
shalt appoint me, and will cause them to be discharged there,
and thou shalt receive them: and thou shalt accomplish my

10 desire, in giving food for my household. So Hiram gave
Solomon cedar trees and fir trees according to all his desire.

11 And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat
for food to his household, and twenty measures of pure oil:

12 thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year. And the Lord
gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him : and there was
peace between Hiram and Solomon; and they two made a
league together.

13 And king Solomon raised a levy out of all Israel; and the

14 levy was thirty thousand men. And he sent them to Lebanon,
ten thousand a month by courses: a month they were in
Lebanon, and two months at home : and Adoniram ivas over

15 the levy. And Solomon had threescore and ten thousand
that bare burdens, and fourscore thousand hewers in the

16 mountains ; besides the chief of Solomon's officers which were

tain and to the coast of the Mediterranean. Probably Sidon itself
would be as convenient a place as any to which to bring the timber
down. in flotes] There is no preposition in the original. The

idea probably would be more nearly expressed by 'as flotes.' E.V.
I will make them into rafts to go by sea. The flotes would
be made of the trees fastened side by side, and formed into long
raftlike structures. unto the place] The Chronicler (2 Chron.

ii. 16) makes mention of the name, Joppa. thou shalt accomplish

my desire] Josephus explains that a supply of such provisions as
Solomon proposed to give would be most acceptable to the Tyrian
monarch. The Tyrians were a maritime people, living on an island
near a mountainous shore, and so with no chance of getting food
supplies from their own land. 11. And Solomon gave Hiram]

The supply mentioned by the Chronicler (2 Chron. ii! 10) is more
than what is here stated. pure oil] Literally 'beaten.' It is

the word used for describing the specially pure oil provided for the
ever burning lamp in the tabernacle (Exod. xxvii. 20). It was made
by pounding the olives in a mortar, and letting such oil as was thus
extracted trickle out. year by year] i.e. During the period in

which the work was carried on. 12. they tiro made a league]

The friendship was a close one, as may be seen from ix. 13, where
Hiram calls Solomon ' my brother.'

13. a levy] The men selected had to give then- labour.

14. by courses] The word is that which is used of ' changes ' of
raiment. These men came and went away by ' turns.' Adoni-
ram] See iv. 6. Josephus gives to this man the name 'Adoram.'

15. threescore and ten thousand that bare burdens] The Chronicler
(2 Chron. ii. 17) points out that these 70,000 were of the strangers
that dwelt in the land of Israel. These the king compelled to do
the harder and more menial work, and the whole number of these
non-Israelites was called out fur work. 16. three thousand



I. KINGS, V. 17— VI. 2. 37

over the work, three thousand and three hundred, which ruled
over the people that wrought in the work. And the king 17
commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones,
and hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house. And ±8
Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders did hew them, and
the stonesquarers : so they prepared timber and stones to
build the house.

And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year 6
after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt,
in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the
month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build
the house of the Lord. And the house which king Solomon 2



and three hundred] This number differs by 300 from that given in
the Chronicles. The stone work was most probably given to the
levy of strangers and the work of cutting and dressing timber to
the 10,000 Israelites who came month and month about. which,

ruled over the people] The idea is that the ruling was after the
fashion of taskmasters. 17. they brought] The verb is used

most frequently of pulling up tent pegs when removing a tent.
Therefore the K.V. has given it the meaning 'to hew out.' 'They
hewed out great stones' fits this passage also extremely well.

costly stones] The adjective is not unfrequently used of gems
which are of great price. and hewed stones'] Better with K.V.

to lay the foundation of the house with wrought stone.

18. and the stonesquarers] The margin of A.V. suggests that
the word is not a common but a proper noun and gives ' Giblites,'
as in Ezek. xxvii. 9. This is certainly a much more natural com-
bination, than to class along with the men of Solomon and the men
of Hiram, the stone squarers as of a different order. Noav Gebal
was a Phoenician city not far from the sea coast, to the north of
Berytus {Bey rout). The Greeks called it Byblos, but the name is
found also spelt Biblos fZosim. i. 58; Ezek. xxvii. 9. LXX.). Thus
the LXX. supports the proper name, which, to keep clear that it
means the people of Gebal, we ought to write 'the Gebalites.
This has been adopted by R.V.

VI. 1. in the four hundred and eightieth year, &rc] It is impos-
sible to discover how this date is arrived at, or to make it fit
in with other statements of the Old and New Testament. The
LXX. has ' the four hundred and fortieth year,' and Josephus ' the
five hundred and ninety-second.' It is most likely that the 410
years of the LXX. was arrived at by adding together the years
assigned to the several judges and omitting the other events, the
oppression of Jabin, and of the Philistines. This makes a total
'296 years, which with 40 years for the sojourn in the desert, and
104 between Eli and the 4th year of Solomon brings the total
to 440. in the month Zif] This name for the month is found

only here and in verse 37 below. he began to build] This is a

translation required by the sense. In 2 Chrou. hi. 1, the Hebrew is
expressly 'he began to build.' Hence the rendering here.



38 I. KINGS, VI. 3—6.

built for the Lokd, the length thereof was threescore cubits,
and the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof
.1 thirty cubits. And the porch before the temple of the house,
twenty cubits was the length thereof, according to the breadth
of the house; and ten cubits was the breadth thereof before

4 the house. And for the house he made windows of narrow

5 lights. And against the wall of the house he built chambers
round about, against the walls of the house round about, both
of the temple and of the oracle : and he made chambers round

6 about : the nethermost chamber was five cubits broad, and the

2. the length thereof was threescore cubits] In dimension the
Temple was twice the size of the Tabernacle. The latter was 30
cubits long, 10 cubits wide and 15 cubits high iu the holy place. It
appears from verse 27 below, where the wings of the cherubim touch
each other and also touch the walls of the most holy place, that the
measures mentioned in this account of the Temple are measures
of the interior, and that allowance must be made for the thickness
of the outside walls in any calculation of the size of the building.

3. the porch] This extended along the whole face of the building,
and projected forward 10 cubits, thus making the whole length of
the structure 70 cubits or 105 feet, without allowing for the thick-
ness of outside or party walls. The height of this porch is said
(2 Chron. iii. 4) to have been 120 cubits. the temple of the
house] This means the holy place. Cf. below verse 17, where it is
called 'the temple before the oracle.' The 'oracle' is the special
name for the most holy place. 4. windows of narrow lights]
These were apparently windows made by overlaid woodwork,
either in the fashion of sloping louvre boards or fashioned like
latticework crosswise. R.V. has in the text windows of fixed
latticework, taking the word 'closed' to imply the permanent
nature of the woodwork in the apertures. 5. And against the
trail of the house he built chambers] The A.V. points out by its
margin that the word here translated ' chambers ' is not the same
as that so rendered in the latter part of the verse. What Solomon
erected was three stories (as given by R.V.) of small chambers
running all round two sides and one end of the Temple. The floors
of these were supported on the stone work of the main building in
the way described in the next verse, but were not let into the
Temple-building. The R.V. gives he built stories round about.

both of the temple and of the oracle] i.e. Of the holy place and of
the most holy place. and he made chambers round about] The

R.V. has side chambers. This word seems to refer to the
several floors one above another which formed this casework of
chambers. There were three stories, each Ave cubits high.

6. The nethermost chamber (R.V. story) was fire cubits broad]
This is the space between the wall of the Temple and the outer
wall of the enclosing structure. The wall of the Temple must have
been very thick at the bottom, for at the height of five cubits
a ledge was made of one cubit wide on which to rest the floor work
of the middle chambers. Then after five cubits more, a similar



I. KINGS, VI. 7—12. 39

middle was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits
broad: for without in the wall of the house he made narrowed
rests round about, that the beams should not be fastened in
the walls of the house. And the house, when it was in 7
building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought
thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any
tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.
The door for the middle chamber ivas in the right side of the a
house : and they went up with winding stairs into the middle
chamber, and out of the middle into the third. So he built 9
the house, and finished it ; and covered the house with beams
and boards of cedar. And then he built chambers against all 10
the house, five cubits high : and they rested on the house with
timber of cedar.

And the word of the Lord came to Solomon, saying, Con- n
cerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt 12

ledge received the floor-beams of the third story, and then at the
height of 15 cubits came a third ledge, on which the beams of the
roof of the uppermost story were to be supported. The wall of the
Temple (i.e. the holy place) then rose 15 cubits more, and in this
space were the windows. If we allow two cubits for the thickness
of this upper part of the wall, the foot of the Temple wall must
have been five cubits thick. for without in the wall of the

house he made narrowed rests round about] R.V. for on the out-
side he made rebatements in the wall of the house.

that the beams should not be fastened] R.V. should not have
hold. The Temple building was more sacred than these chambers,
Hence there must be no breach made in the wall of either the holy
place or of the most holy place. 7. stone made ready before

it was brought thither] The R.V. renders made ready at the
quarry with a margin on the last three words 'when it was
brought away.' 8. The door for the middle chamber] R.V.

middle side-chambers. The manner of reaching the middle
story is sufficiently indicated in the next clause. in the right

side of the house] The word rendered 'side' is literally 'shoulder,'
and may indicate that part of the building nearest the porch, which
would be considered the face of the Temple. 9. So he built

the house] i.e. The Temple building. and covered the house]

i.e. Made the roof for it. 10. And then he built chambers

against all the house, five cubits high] Better with R.V. 'And he
built the stories against all the house, each five cubits high.'
We ought perhaps to make some allowance for the thickness of
floors and roofs. So that the whole height to which this three-
storied structure rose may have been much more than 15 cubits,
if five cubits were the inside height of each range of rooms.

they rested on the house] i.e. On the shoulders or rebatements
mentioned in verse 6. The other ends of these cedar beams were '
embedded in the outside wall of the encasing story- work.

11. And the word of the Lord came] We are not told by what
means this divine communication was made. 12. which thou



40 I. KINGS, VI. IB— 18.

walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all
my commandments to walk in them ; then will I perform my

13 word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father : and
I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake
. my people Israel.

._ So Solomon built the house, and finished it. And he built
the walls of the house within with boards of cedar, both the
floor of the house, and the walls of the cieling : and he covered
them on the inside with wood, and covered the floor of the

16 house with planks of fir. And he built twenty cubits on the
sides of the house, both the floor and the walls with boards of
cedar: he even built them for it within, even for the oracle,

17 even for the most holy place. And the house, that is, the
i» temple before it, was forty cubits long. And the cedar of the



art in building] It is clear from this that the message came before
the completion of the house. will I perform my word] E.V.

'I will establish.' See above on ii. 4. i3. and I icill dwell

among the children of Israel] This is an expansion of the promise
made to David. and will not forsake my people Israel] The

tlireat that God would do so, if Israel were disobedient, is found
Deut. xxxi. 17.

14. So Solomon built the house] This verse resumes the narra-
tive of verse 9. 15. And he built] The Hebrew uses the same
word for the erection of the stone structure and for the work
described in this verse, which was to fit the house with a wainscot
of cedar. both the floor of the house, and the vails of the
cieling] More literally, and better, with K.V., 'from the floor of
the house unto the walls of the cieling.' and he covered them]
Thus the whole sides, roof and floors on the inside were of wood.

16. And he built twenty cubits on the sides of the house] The word
translated ' sides ' is often used for the innermost part of anything,
as of a cave (1 Sam. xxiv. 3), and of the recesses of a forest, as
Lebanon (Is. xxxvii. 24). So here it signifies the innermost part of
the Temple building as you looked from the porch, i.e. toward the
farthest wall of the most holy place. The sense then becomes
more manifest. He built at twenty cubits from this extreme end
something with boards of cedar. Thus he made a separation of
the most holy place, which was twenty cubits long, from the
holy place. The R.V. gives this more clearly: 'He built twenty
cubits on the hinder part of the house ' with boards of cedar
from the floor unto the walls, i.e. these twenty cubits were thus
shut off and made into a separate room (cf. 2 Cbron. iii. 8). he

even built them for it within] i.e. He prepared this space of twenty
cubits in the innermost part of the house, to be a separate room.

even for the oracle] The Hebrew says merely 'for an oracle.'

the most hoh/ place] Described in the same words in the account
of the Tabernacle (Exod. xxvi. 33, 34 ; Num. iv. 4, 19). 17. A nd

the house] Here signifying the holy place, which was in front of the
oracle. 18. And the cedar of the house within] Better with

E.V. 'And there was cedar upon the house within.' carved



I. KINGS, VI. 19—26. 41

house within was carved with knops and open flowers : all ivas
cedar; there was no stone seen. And the oracle he prepared 13
in the house within, to set there the ark of the covenant
of the Lord. And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits 2


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Online LibraryJoseph Rawson LumbyThe first book of the Kings : with map, introduction and notes → online text (page 5 of 18)