God's Covenant in a Second Vision with
1. And it came to pass, when Solomon had finished
the building of the house—This first verse is connected with
9:11, all that is contained
between 1Ki 9:2-10
2. That—rather, "For."
the Lord appeared—This appearance was,
like the former one at Gibeon, most probably made in a supernatural
vision, and on the night immediately following the dedication of the
7:12). The strain of it
corresponds to this view, for it consists of direct answers to his
solemn inaugural prayer (1Ki 9:3 is in answer to 1Ki 8:29; 1Ki 9:4, 5 is in answer to
1Ki 8:25, 26; 1Ki 9:6-9
to 1Ki 8:33-46; see also
8. this house, which is high—"high,"
either in point of situation, for it was built on a hill, and therefore
conspicuous to every beholder; or "high" in respect to privilege,
honor, and renown; or this "house of the Most High," notwithstanding
all its beauty and magnificence, shall be destroyed, and remain in such
a state of ruin and degradation as to be a striking monument of the
just judgment of God. The record of this second vision, in which were
rehearsed the conditions of God's covenant with Solomon and the
consequences of breaking them, is inserted here as a proper
introduction to the narrative about to be given of this king's
commercial enterprises and ambitious desire for worldly glory; for this
king, by encouraging an influx of foreign people and a taste for
foreign luxuries, rapidly corrupted his own mind and that of this
subjects, so that they turned from following God, they and their
children (1Ki 9:6).
1Ki 9:10-23. The Mutual
Presents of Solomon and Hiram.
10. at the end of twenty years—Seven and
a half years were spent in building the temple, and twelve and a half
or thirteen in the erection of his palace (1Ki 7:1; 2Ch
8:1). This verse is only a
recapitulation of 1Ki 9:1,
necessary to recover the thread of connection in the narrative.
11. Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land
of Galilee—According to Josephus, they were situated on the northwest of it,
adjacent to Tyre. Though lying within the boundaries of the promised
land (Ge 15:18; Jos 1:4), they had never been conquered till
then, and were inhabited by Canaanite heathens (Jud 4:2-13;
2Ki 15:29). They were
probably given to Hiram, whose dominions were small, as a remuneration
for his important services in furnishing workmen, materials, and an
immense quantity of wrought gold (1Ki 9:14) for the temple and other buildings
[Michaelis]. The gold, however, as
others think, may have been the amount of forfeits paid to Solomon by
Hiram for not being able to answer the riddles and apothegms, with
which, according to Josephus, in their
private correspondence, the two sovereigns amused themselves. Hiram
having refused these cities, probably on account of their inland
situation making them unsuitable to his maritime and commercial people,
Solomon satisfied his ally in some other way; and, taking these cities
into his own hands, he first repaired their shattered walls, then
filled them with a colony of Hebrews (2Ch 8:2).
15-24. this is the reason of the levy—A
levy refers both to men and money, and the necessity for Solomon making
it arose from the many gigantic works he undertook to erect.
Millo—part of the fort of Jerusalem on
Mount Zion (2Sa 5:9; 1Ch 11:8), or a row of stone bastions around
Mount Zion, Millo being the great corner tower of that fortified wall
(1Ki 11:27; 2Ch 32:5).
the wall of Jerusalem—either repairing
some breaches in it (1Ki 11:27),
or extending it so as to enclose Mount Zion.
Hazor—fortified on account of its
importance as a town in the northern boundary of the country.
Megiddo—(now Leijun)—Lying in
the great caravan road between Egypt and Damascus, it was the key to
the north of Palestine by the western lowlands, and therefore
Gezer—on the western confines of
Ephraim, and, though a Levitical city, occupied by the Canaanites.
Having fallen by right of conquest to the king of Egypt, who for some
cause attacked it, it was given by him as a dowry to his daughter, and
fortified by Solomon.
17. Beth-horon the nether—situated on
the way from Joppa to Jerusalem and Gibeon; it required, from so public
a road, to be strongly garrisoned.
Tadmor—Palmyra, between Damascus and
the Euphrates, was rebuilt and fortified as a security against invasion
from northern Asia. In accomplishing these and various other works
which were carried on throughout the kingdom, especially in the north,
where Rezon of Damascus, his enemy, might prove dangerous, he employed
vast numbers of the Canaanites as galley slaves (2Ch 2:18), treating them as prisoners of war, who
were compelled to do the drudgery and hard labor, while the Israelites
were only engaged in honorable employment.
23. These were the chief of the
officers—(See on 2Ch 8:10).
1Ki 9:24-28. Solomon's
24, 25. three times in a year—namely, at
the passover, pentecost, and feast of tabernacles (2Ch 8:13;
31:3). The circumstances
mentioned in these two verses form a proper conclusion to the record of
his buildings and show that his design in erecting those at Jerusalem
was to remedy defects existing at the commencement of his reign (see
26. Ezion-geber, which is beside
Eloth—These were neighboring ports at the head of the eastern
or Elanitic branch of the Red Sea. Tyrian ship carpenters and sailors
were sent there for Solomon's vessels (see on 2Ch
Ezion-geber—that is, "the giant's
backbone"; so called from a reef of rocks at the entrance of the
Eloth—Elim or Elath; that is, "the
trees"; a grove of terebinths still exists at the head of the gulf.
28. Ophir—a general name, like the East
or West Indies with us, for all the southern regions lying on the
African, Arabian, or Indian seas, in so far as at that time known
gold, four hundred and twenty
talents—(See on 2Ch 8:18). At 125
pounds Troy, or 1500 ounces to the talent, and about £4 to the
ounce, this would make £2,604,000.