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KAEL OHR. W. f/bXHR, D. D., 








Rev. W. G. SUMNER, 



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872, by 

In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 

hinting and bookbinding company, 



The Commentary on the Books of the Kings, published in 1868, was prepared by 
the Rev. Dr. Babe, of Carlsruhe, who has been long favorably known as the learned 
author of the Symbolism of Mosaic Worship {Symbolik des Mosaischen Cultus, 
Heidelberg, 1837-'39, 2 vols., now undergoing a thorough revision), a Commentary 
on Colossians, a treatise on the Temple of Solomon (1848), and other works. 

The translation from the German, with additions, was executed by the Rev. Dr. 
Habwood, of New Haven, Conn., who assumed the First Book, and by the Rev. 
~W. G. Sumner, Professor in Tale College, who is responsible for the last chapter 
of the First, and the whole of the Second Book. The textual revision and origi- 
nal grammatical notes on the First Book must be credited to the Rev. Dr. Fred- 
eric Gardiner, Professor in the Berkeley Divinity School, Middletown, Conn. 

In regard to the principles by which he has been governed in his work, Dr. 
Bahr says, in his preface : — 

" In accordance with the wisely-chosen aim and plan of the Bibi.e-Work of which 
this volume forms a part, I have taken especial pains to maintain a strict discrimina 
tion between the three sections into which the expository matter is divided. In the 
first section, the Exegetical and Critical, I have collected all which seemed essential 
to the explanation of the original text, and to the determination, both of the senst 
of the words and of their grammatical connection .... As a matter of course, botl 
the other sections are based on the Exegetical. Nothing can properly be made the 
subject of theological discussion or homiletical treatment which does not rest on a 
firm exegetical foundation. I have, therefore, omitted from the Homiletical section 
all which, however edifying it might be, in itself considered, had no foundation in 
the text when this was correctly understood. I have taken the liberty of giving to 
the second division of the exposition [Doctrinal and -Ethical], a wider, though mon 
exact, title than that which it bears in the other volumes of the Bible-Work 
The specific, and, in fact, exclusive contents of the historical books is history, not 
doctrine or dogma; and this history is, moreover, soteriological, that is, it is the 
history of the redemptive plan of God ; the history of the divine revelation, pur- 
pose, and providence ; the history of the kingdom of God " 


Hence Dr. Bahr gives to this section the title : Eeilsgeschichtliche und Ethischt 
Grundgedanken, i.e. : Chief Points (in the section of text last preceding) which 
bear upon the Development of OooVs Plan of Salvation, or have Ethical Import- 
ance. In consequence of the impossibility of embodying this idea completely in a 
concise and convenient English title, the translators, while fully appreciating and 
coinciding in the author's intention, have retained the title which is used for the 
corresponding section of the other volumes, only substituting Historical for 

In regard to the Chronology, Dr. Bahr continues : — 

" I have adopted a somewhat different method from any yet followed in the 
treatment of this subject. I start from certain dates which are generally accepted; 
and which may be fixed with the greatest certainty, and then, by grouping the 
biblical data into periods which are comprised between these fixed dates, I seek to 
solve this difficult problem (See Pt. IL pp. 86, 180, 283)." 

Professor Sumner has added a brief Appendix on this subject, together with 
a Chronological Table of the period covered by the Books of the Kings. In Part 
II. pp. 161, 174, 189, 220, 237, 284 will be found a series of notes on contem- 
poraneous history, so far as it illustrates the references in the text. These notea 
are based on the results of the latest Assyrian and Egyptian researches. 

New York, Bible House, April, lSfti. 




§ i. 


The name D'3^D , which belongs to our books in the Canon of the Old Testament, desig- 
nates (if not imposed by the author himself), briefly and appropriately, the distinguishing 
contents of this historical work, in contrast with other writings belonging to the same class, the 
D'Jl^'NI D'X'SJ , i. «., prophetas priores. It contains, not so much the history of the theocracy in 
general, whereto " the succession of the kings serves only as the visible thread " (Huveruick), 
as the history of the Israditish monarchy from its ripest bloom on to its destruction, in so far 
as this history constitutes generally an independent portion of the history of the people 
Israel. The division of our work into two books is not original — it occurs first in the 
Septuagint. There it is regarded as an immediate continuation of the book ^XIDL" (Samuel), 
which precedes it in the Canon, and is itself divided into two books, and these four are then 
designated as Books of the Kings (JiaatXciuv a. /?. y. <S.), (comp. Origen in Eusebius, Hist. Eccles. vi. 
25). This is retained in the Vulgate (comp. Hieron. prolog, galeat.), and came thence, through 
the printer Dan. Bomberg, in Venice, in the beginning of the sixteenth century, into the 
editions of the Hebrew Bible. This entire division and designation is just as arbitrary as it 
is defective. How unfit it is, is t<hown especially in our own work, the first book of which 
does not conclude with a paragraph founded in the history itself, but breaks off with a brief 
account of the reign of king Ahaziah. 

The date of its composition is furnished from the conclusion of the work itself, where it ia 
stated that king Jehoiachin was carried away to Babylon in the year 599 b. c, and was held 
there a prisoner for thirty-seven years — to the year 562 — and obtained his freedom from Evil- 
merodach, the successor of Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings xxv. 27-30). The composition, conse- 
quently, cannot be set down before the year 562. But it does not admit of supposition that 
it took place after the return from the Babylonish exile in the year 536 ; for the author con- 
cludes with the deliverance of Jehoiachin as a joyful, hopeful event, and does not utter a sylla- 
ble about the still more important and joyous matter — the return of the whole people — which 
is first mentioned in Ezra i. The composition, therefore, is to be assigned to the period 
between 562 and 536, i. e., during the second half of the exile. But we cannot determine 
whether it was during the brief reign (two years) of Evil-merodach, or after Jehoiachin's death. 

In the Bible itself there is no intimation about the person of the author. The Jewish tra- 
dition names Jeremiah. The Talmud says (Bdba bathra,/. xv. 1) : Jeremias scripsit libritm suum 
et librum regum et threnoe. Some of the older theologians, and Havernick also, have agreed 


with this statement ; but it is refuted alone from the duration of Jeremiah's life. He began 
his career as prophet (Jer. i. 2) in the thirteenth year of the reign of king Josiah, and must 
have been then at least from twenty to twenty-two years old; but since now our books could 
not have been written before the year 5G2, he must have composed them when he was at least 
from eighty-six to eighty-eight years old, which appears all the more incredible since the 
composition presupposes the employing and the arranging of different older written sources 
To this must be added that Jeremiah, after the destruction of Jerusalem, went to Egypt 
(Jer. xliii. 6), and there spent the last years of his life in continuous, grievous conflicts Tt 
cannot, however, be denied, that in the places especially where the author does not report 
directly from written sources of information, but inserts his own remarks, an in 2 Kings xvii. 
sq., his mode of thinking and of expression resembles that of Jeremiah, from which, 
however, nothing more can be concluded than that the author had been entrusted with the 
writings of this prophet — was, perhaps, his scholar. Blcek suggests, indeed, Baruch, who 
apparently had charge of collecting and editing the book of Jeremiah, and added to it 
the 52d chapter, which is consonant with 2 Kings xxv. But in that case, since Baruch went 
to Egypt with Jeremiah (see on the place), we must suppose that our history was composed 
there, which is, in the highest degree, improbable. It can scarcely be doubted, rather, that 
the author wrote in Babylon. If this be not, with some, susceptible of proof, owing to 1 Kings 
v. 4, where Palestine is described as lying on the other side of the Euphrates, it is, neverthe- 
less, so much the more certain that the author did not write his work for the little band 
which fled to Egypt, and was there fallen into idolatry and discord, but for the kernel of 
the whole people then in exile (see below, § 5). While Jeremiah announces the ruin of his 
corrupted fellow-countrymen in Egypt (Jer. xliv. 11 sq.), our author concludes with the de- 
liverance of Jehoiachin promising a better day, and gives, at the same time, details which 
could have been known only to a contemporary living in the exile; but not then to one who 
was in distant Egypt. There is an absence of all reference to Egyptian situations and rela- 
tions, which assuredly would not have been the case had the author and his readers lived in 
Egypt. After all, we must give up the attempt to designate any particular person as the 
author. He must have stood high in reputation, anyhow, as is conclusive from the reception 
of his work into the Canon. 

[The prevailing opinion amongst the English seems to be, after Calmet, in favor of Ezra. 
See Bp. Patrick, Home, &c. I except Prideaux. — E. H.] 

§ 2. 

The author himself states the sources of his historical work, extending over a peiiod ot 
453 years, viz. : 

1) noSt? 'IT! 1?P 1 Kings xi. 41. 

2) mirp '^D^ D^n njOT 1SD 1 Kings xiv. 29 ; xv. 7, 22 ; xxii. 46 ; 2 Kings viii. 23 ; xil , 

' 20 ; xiv. 18 ; xv. 6,' 15, 36 ; xvi. 19 ; xx. 20 ; xxi. 17, 25 ; xxiii. 28 : xxiv. 5. 

3) ^N-lt:" 'Z^oS D^n n33 13D 1 Kings xiv. 19 ; xv. 31 ; xvi. 5, 14, 20, 27 ; xxii. 39 ; 

2 Kings i. 18 • x. 34 ; xiii. 8, 12 ; xiv. 28 ; xv. 11, 15, 21, 26, 31. 
Besides these three documentary sources, none else is cited in our books. And since the 
author refers only to the first, and not to the second or third, for the history of Solomon, and 
for the history of the kings of Judah only to the second, and for the history of the kings of 
Israel only to the third, it follows that each one of them was an independent, separate work. 
The reference is always made with the formula : " The rest of the acts of the king . . . and 
whut he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah (of 
Israel)? " Thence it follows still farther, that the three documents contained more than the 
author has incorporated into his work, and were more complete ; and that not only were they 
in existence at the time our books were composed, but they were in the hands, if not of all. 

§ 2. SOURCES. 3 

of many, nevertheless, and were circulated generally. For if they were only submitted to hit 
inspection, he could not have appealed to them and referred his readers to them. In many 
respects it is well to bear this in mind. 

We obtain now a completer explanation of these documents themselves, through compari- 
son with the citations in the Chronicles, which refers to its own sources with a similar formula. 
A whole series of paragraphs in our books is repeated word for word in the Chronicles. In 
this case there is no reference to one of our three documents, but to the writings of given 
individuals, aa their source. So, first of all, with the history of Solomon, in which the follow- 
ing sections are consonant with each other, viz. : 2 Chron. vi. 1^40 with 1 Kings viii. 12-50; 
2 Chron. vii. 7-22 with 1 Kings viii. 64 — ix. 9 ; 2 Chron. viii. 2 to the 10th ver. and ver. 17 
with 1 Kings ix. 17-23, and ver. 26 ; 2 Chron. ix. 1-28 with 1 Kings x. 1-28, etc. Here the 
Chronicles does not, like our author, refer to " the book of the history of Solomon," but to the 
" > ~i2 r ] of Nathan the prophet, and nx?3J of the [prophet] Ahijah the Shilonite, and the niin 
of Iddo the Seer " (2 Chron. ix. 29). Consequently the book of the " acts " of Solomon must 
either have consisted of these three prophetic writings, or at least must have contained essen- 
tial portions of them. So also in respect of our second document, the book of the " acts " of the 
kings of Judah. The account of Rehoboam in 2 Chron. x. 1-19 is fully consonant with that 
in 1 Kings xii. 1-19, that also in 2 Chron. xi. 1-4 with that in 1 Kings xii. 20-24, that still 
farther in 2 Chron. xii. 13 sq. with that in 1 Kings xiv. 21 sq. ; but the source is not, as in 
1 Kings xiv. 29, called the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah, but •' njl of 
Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the Seer " (2 Chron. xii. 15). In the history of king 
Abijam, the very much abbreviated account in 1 Kings xv. 1-8 refers for what is more ex- 
tended, to the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah. The Chronicles, on the other 
hand, which gives the more extended narrative, refers to the " L'TO of the prophet Iddo " 
(2 Chron. xiii. 22). Such, too, is the case in the history of the kings Uzziah and Manasseh. 
Our author, in both instances, appeals to the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah 
(2 Kings xv. 6 ; xxi. 17), (but) the chronicler, in the case of the former, to the "3712 of Isaiah 
the prophet the son of Amoz " (2 Chron. xxvi. 22), and in that of the latter to the " 'Tin '"QT " 
(2 Chron. xxxiii. 18, 19). From all these references, it follows plainly that the book of the 
kings of Judah consisted of the historical writings of different prophets or seers. Still more 
decisively and unanswerably do the following plares confirm this. In the history of king 
Jehoshaphat, 1 Kings xxii. 2-35 coincides with 2 Chron. xviii. 2-34. As usual, our author 
here refers to the book of the kings of Judah ; but the chronicler to the ,_ m of Jehu the son 
of Hanani, ^XTJ" VSfO "iSD"^V r6yh ~iV.' x > *'•'•, which are inserted, received into, etc. (2 Chron. 
xx. 34). So also for the history of Hezekiah, our author appeals again simply to the book oi 
the kings of Judah (2 Kings xx. 20) ; but the chronicler to the |ifn of Isaiah, the son of Amoz, 
12D"?y of the kings of Judah (2 Chron. xxxii. 32). Hence it happens that the purely 
historical sections in Isaiah, chapters xxxvi. to xxxix., and in Jeremiah, chapter Hi., are 
reproduced in 2 Kings xviii. 30 to xx. 19, and in xxiv. 18 to xxv. 30, since they were certainly 
regarded as having come froni the prophets. But our author, at least in the history of I 
Hezekiah, refers, not to the book of the prophet Isaiah, but to the book of the kings of Judah | 
(2 Kings xx. 20). — After all, if the three documents forming the foundation of our books were 
not the production of one author, but each of them was made up of the writings of different, 
and, in fact, prophetic authors, who had recorded the history of their own times, they were 
historical compilations (comp. Bleek, Einleitung in, das Alte Testament, sec. 157 sq. ; Bertheau, Die 
Buclwr der Chron. Einl., § 3). 

That prophets generally were the historians of the Israelitish people, is universally acknow- 
ledged (Knobel, Der Propliet. der Hebr., i. s. 58 sq.), and has its reason in the nature and destiny 
of this nation. " In order to recognize Jehovah in the directing of His people, and to explain 
and gather up all the particular facts in the connection of the theocratic guidance, the Spirit 
of God was the subjective condition. The history was not to be estimated as an aggregate of 
facts to be gathered by inquiry, and to be set forthwith talent, but as a revelation of Jehovah 


in continuous acts, to understand which, properly, the Spirit of God seemed essential as 
Organ, just as much as for the comprehension of particular, immediate signs, facts (Geschichte\ 
and oracles of Jehovah" (Winer, R.-W.-B., i. s. 413, Not. 2). The secular historian does not 
know Hebrew antiquity. The historical books of the Old Testament carry the collective 
name in the Canon D'X'SJ , and are distinguished from the books strictly prophetical only in 
this, that the adjective D^IC'XI , priores, is applied to them, and to the latter D'jnnN , 
posteriore.a. But if in any age history would have been written by prophets, this most certainly 
would have happened when prophecy was in the period of its bloom, and this was in the 
time of the monarchy (comp. Bleek). The prophets did not write the history of Israel as 
private persons, but as servants of Jehovah, as " men of God." They are the historiographers 
of the kingdom of God, of the theocracy, and their narrative has for the people of God an 
official character, which imparts to their historical, not less than to their strictly prophetical 
writings, authority and value in the judgment of the people. Were it not so, our author and 
the chronicler could not have appealed to them so constantly. 

If the three documentary sources of our books consisted, as has been stated above, of seve- 
ral prophetical isolated pieces, the question then arises, when and by whom were the latter 
collected and combined into each of the three D'HSD . In the lack of all specific accounts, 
this admits only of a conjectural reply. If it were the business of the prophets to write the 
history of Israel as God's people, and to exhibit in it the threads of divine guidance and reve- 
lation, it must, of necessity, have occurred to them that their narrative would not only be 
continued always, but, also, that the historical material already in hand would be preserved 
and secured for future generations. This may have been attended to in the smaller pro- 
phetical circles, especially in the so-called schools of the prophets. It is hence highly improba- 
ble that, as Keil pretends, "just before the fall of the kingdom of Judah," the isolated pieces 
which had been composed within the period of some centuries, which were scattered about 
here and there, should have been collected and made up into one whole ; for the time imme- 
diately preceding the fall of the kingdom was a time of utter disorder, which was least of all 
fit for such an undertaking, apart from the consideration that the kingdom of Israel perished 
130 years sooner, and its history was contained in a special work (Sammelwerk), viz., in the 
third documentary source. More can be said for the supposition that the compilation was 
not completed at once, in a given time, but gradually, and that the latter isolated pieces were 
added to the earlier, which would have been entirely natural and easily done. Since our 
author, as we have remarked above, carefully distinguishes the three documents in his cita- 
tions, adduces each one separately, and never, in any one of the thirty-four places, confounds 
the second with the third, we are justified in the opinion that in his day, the three document- 
ary sources were distinct works. In the time of the chronicler the second and third may 
have been formed into one whole, since he frequently refers to the book of the kings of Judah 
and Israel (2 Chron. xvi. 11; xxv. 26; xxviii. 26; xxxii. 32; xxvii. 7; xxxv. 27; xxxvi. 8); 
once, also, simply to the book of the Kings (2 Chron. xxiv. 27). We cannot deduce anything 
from this with entire certainty, however, for the Chronicles, although it often names prophet- 
ical individual works, does not, in this respect, observe the accuracy of our books, as, e. g., 
when in the case of Jehoshaphat and Manasseh, kings of Judah, it refers to the " book of the 
kings of Israel " (2 Chron. xx. 34; xxxiii. 18), where we must assume either an exchange 
or an omission of the words " and Judah." 

Our author, in his use of the three documents, does not give a uniformly continuous 
extract from them. Sometimes, indeed, in accordance with the special design of his work 
(see below, § 5), he quotes entire sections literally, as is clear from sections in Jeremiah, 
Isaiah, and Chronicles, which are duplicates of each other. Sometimes he abbreviates them 
very much, as, e. <j., is shown by a comparison of 1 Kings xv. 1-8 with 2 Chron. xiii. 1-23. 
If he have not prepared the historical material furnished him in an independent way, special 
remarks, insertions, and transitions may, nevertheless, have originated with him. But it is 
very hazardous to attempt to determine this accurately. Of one section only, viz., 2 Kings 
*~vii. 7-23, can we claim with certainty that it is the author's own. 

§ 2. SOURCES. 

The sections upon the life and activity of the two great prophets, Elijah and Elisha, form 
no small portion of our books. In these we miss the usual appeal to one of the three docu- 
mentary sources. Those which relate to Elijah bear certainly an unmistakably peculial 
mark (comp., e. g., 1 Kings xvii. with the preceding chapter) ; but it does not at all follow 
that they belong to another than the third document, for this, like the other two, was a col- 
lection ot isolated pieces of different authors. For since those two prophets were felt so 
powerfully in the history of the monarchy, and they exerted generally, upon the develop- 
ment of the Old Testament theocracy, an influence vastly greater than that of many a king, a 
narrative devoted to them would scarcely have been wanting in the compilation. Besides, we 
cannot conceive why our author, who usually adduces his sources so carefully, and refers to 
them even in the most insignificant portions of the history of the kings, should have been 
silent, in the most weighty history of the two prophets, as to whether he had derived the same 
from another source than that he was constantly making use of (comp. Bleek, a. a. 0., s. 371). 
If then of any one portion of our books, of th is it is certain and self-evident, that it is the pro- 
duction of a prophet. If prophets have written the history of the kings, how much more 
their own ! 

What has thus far been submitted respecting the documentary sources of our books, differs 
more or less from the view now current. Almost universally, by the cited D^iaD are under- 
stood " public annual registers " or " annals," which were kept by some royal official, and de- 
posited in the state archives. Besides these chief sources, the author (it is thought) has used 
others still, viz., prophetic writings. According to Delitzsch (in Dreehsler, Der Proph. Jesaja, 
ii. 2, s. 253, and Commentar fiber den Proph. Jesaja, s. ix.), the historical composition was both 
annalistic and prophetic. " The aims of the two are distinct. The aim of the prophetic is 
to exhibit the inner divine connections of the outward event which the annalistic registers." 
. . . . " With David began the official writing of annals, which resulted in those histori- 
cal works out of which the authors of the book of the Kings and of the Chronicles have 
chiefly, if not immediately, drawn. We behold David as the supreme chief of the kingdom, 
exercising the highest authority on all sides, and we find several offices created wholly by 
him. Under these is included that of the T3TO , i. <'-, as the Septuagint, frequently explain- 
ing, translates, i-nuvrmaToypatyoi;. or (2 Sam. viii. 16) i~\ run viro/ivquaruv (Uwron., genuinely 
Roman, a commentariis). . . . The T3TO was required to keep the annals of the kingdom. 
His office is different from that of the iSiD or chancellor. It was the duty of the "isiD (chan- 
cellor) to issue the public documents, and of the V3TO (recorder) to preserve them and to in- 
corporate them into the proper connection of the history of the kingdom. Throughout the 
ancient East both offices existed generally. Reference to the annals begins at 1 Chron. xxvii. 
24 with the D'D'n n:n of David, and is continued in nbVj' ' r 13 ! I \BD 1 Kings xi. 41. . . . If 

we regard the state annals as a completed work, it falls naturally into four portions. The first 
two treated of the history of the kingdom in its unity, the last two were annals of the kings 
of Judah and of Israel — the history of the dissevered kingdom. The original of the state 
archives was destroyed doubtless when the Chakheans burned Jerusalem. But excerpted 
copies of it were preserved, and the histories of the reign of David and of Solomon, rich 
especially in annalistic particulars in the historical books in our possession, show that dili- 
gence was devoted conspicuously to the circulation of copies of the annals of these sovereigns, 
and that they probably appeared in separate tractates." Ewald also (Oesch. Israels, iii. 
8. 180, 338) maintains that amongst the highest royal functionaries named in 2 Sam. viii. 16, and 
1 Kings iv. 3, the V2ro was " he whose business it was to record all weighty incidents con- 
cerning the royal house and kingdom, and who, at the close of a reign, gave publicly a 
resume of the history of it." He was also " court-historiographer." David created this " court- 
office," and it was never afterwards " given up." Besides the "public annals" prescribed by 
David, there were also in the kingdom of Israel "numerous and continuous prophetico- 
historical summaries," which were fused subsequently into one work, which again was "per- 
haps retouched and partially enlarged, yet much more sensibly abbreviated." Our author is 


the " latest elaborator," and " the fifth." We remark, against these very plausible assump- 
tion, the following : 

(a) There is not a single passage of the Old Testament to show that the "V3TD was th« 
writer of the court and kingdom records ; that he drew up " protocolled " and " original " 
archives that were deposited among the " state archives." He never appears the least 
in the light of a historiographer or annalist when mentioned, or when his function is 
alluded to, but as a civil officer (comp. 2 Kings xviii. 18, 37 ; 2 Chron. xxxiv. 8 : comp. Winer, 
R.- W.-B., ii. «. 309). Thenius justly remarks, on 1 Kings iv. 3, the maskir " received his name 
from his office as /irr/uuv, whose duty it was to bring to the king's remembrance the state 
affairs to be settled, and about which he was consulted." Had David " newly " founded the 
office of a court and state scribe. David's own history would have been the first to have been 
written by this official ; but 1 Chron. xxix. 29 says of this very history, that it is " written " 
'IPT-'P °f Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad 
the seer." Neither could " the book of the acts of Solomon " (1 Kings xi. 41) have been 
written by the maskir, for the Chronicles, that has so many parallel sections with this history (see 
above), says that these acts were written in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the nX'2J of 
Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the nitn of Iddo the seer" (2 Chron. ix. 29). If the office of 
maskir existed at all in the kingdom of Judah under the kings of David's house, there is not 
the least trace of it in the separated kingdom of Israel. Here the dynasty was changed nine 
times, and each was completely cut off by the new ruler. Was then the history of each king 
written by the maskir of his successor (granting that there was such an official), and preserved 
among the state archives? Would, for instance, a Jehu, who so unmercifully destroyed the 
whole house of Ahab (2 Kings x. 11-14) have the history of that house written by a royal 
official, or have preserved the already-existing annals among the archives of his kingdom? 
Would a Jezebel have suffered the court-historian tn have written yearly accounts of all her 
shameful acts? Lastly, the assertion that the "HID had to prepare the public documents, and 
the T3TO to preserve them, is a pure invention, without any support from a single passage. 

(!)) That there was a D'p'H ^21 'ap of the Medeo-Persian kings (Esth. x. 2), even suppos- 
ing that archives drawn up by a court-scribe were meant, can never prove that the office of 
a court-scribe was instituted by David 600 years before, and that this office continued with- 
out interruption from that time on in both kingdoms during their separation. But even 
suppose that there were such archives kept in Israel as well as in Judah, and deposited in the 
archive-building, yet it must be considered that our author wrote in the latter half of the 
Babylonian captivity, consequently at a time when the residences of Samaria and Jerusalem 
had been for a long while destroyed, and when also, as is admitted, the annals that had been 
preserved in the archive-building no longer existed. The supposition that the Assyrians 
and Chaldeans kept the archives of conquered dynasties in their capitals, and allowed those 
exiles who had acquired the favor of the conqueror to make use of them (Stahelin, EM. irti, 
Alte Testament, s. 129), is as unfounded as it is arbitrary. At the destruction of Jerusalem. 
not only the royal palace, but also " all the great houses were burned " (2 Kings xxv. 9) 
And how could our author refer his readers to writings that either did not exist then, or at 
least were not within the range of all? But the assertion that excerpted -extracts from the 
originals of the state archives had been preserved, rests on the presupposition that " the 
annals of each dynasty were made public when it became extinct," — a presupposition which is 
again without the shadow of support, and which, though helping out a difficulty, is a purely 
arbitrary notion. 

(c) Least of all can the contents of the book of Kings be adduced to prove that the 
"archives of the kingdom" were the principal authorities for it. The history of the reigns 
ot each of the nineteen kings of Israel begins with the expression : " He did that which was 
evil in the sight of the Lord." The same expression occurs with regard to twelve of the 
twenty kings of Judah, and it expresses the general character of their rule. It is even told 
at length how deeply even the greatest and most glorious king, Solomon, fell. The " sin of 


Jeroboam, who made Israel to sin," is represented as the source of all the evils of the king- 
dom ; the conspiracies and murders of a Baasha, a Shallum, a Menahem ; the wicked deede 
of an Ahab, a Jezebel, and Manasseh, are told unsparingly; and, finally, the chronicler says 
of king Jchoiakim of Judah : " his abominations which he did, and that which was found in 
him, behold they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah" (2 Chron. xxxvi. 
8). How can we then suppose that all this and much more like it was protocolled by the 
" court-historiographer " with the knowledge and in the service of the king ; that it was re- 
corded in official archives of the kingdom, and then made public ? No court-officials could 
have written books of such contents, none but free-souled prophets who were perfectly inde- 
pendent of the court. Ewald adduces, as unmistakable " remains " of the official archives {a. a. 
0., s. 182), the sections that refer to Solomon's officers, over his household, and his buildings. 
But we cannot perceive why these sections only should have been written by a court-official. 
A man who stood so near Solomon as the prophet Nathan, who, according to 2 Chron. ix. 29, 
wrote a history of that king, could and must know well what officials and how many he had, 
how he managed his kingdom and court, and how the temple and palace built by him were 
constructed. The accounts of the building of the tabernacle are much fuller than those of the 
temple, and yet are certainly not written by secular officials. There is, in fact, nothing in these 
books that a X'^: may not have known and written ; and it is indeed astonishing that, not- 
withstanding all this, people should still insist on the supposed "archives of the kingdom," 
and obstinately object to the prophetic origin of the three documentary sources. 

(d) Because there is so much matter that could not possibly have been in the official 
annals, they have been driven to a wholly unfounded supposition, viz., that the author used 
other authorities also, which are not named. But this is disproved by the fact that the three 
authorities used were not official annals at all. The author refers to the sources whence he 
drew his facts about thirty times, and he refers to them even when he wrote of those kings that 
only reigned a short time ; but he does not once quote any other work. Now, as the greater 
part of the contents of our books could not possibly have been taken from court-annals, it 
would be inexplicable that the author should never have named his other authorities. The 
conclusion that, because everything could not have been found in the archives, the author 
drew from other sources, is therefore false. We should be much more justified in the inverse 
conclusion, that because everything may have been contained in the historico-prophetical 
works of Samuel (and the author only quotes these), they alone, and not such as he never 
names, were his authorities. 

Thenius has put forward a view regarding the sources of the books of the Kings (Comm. 
fiber die Burlier da- Konige, Einleit.%Z) which differs from the view we have just discussed, and 
also from our own. He asserts that there are three " different component parts : " namely, the 
" properly historical," the " traditional," and these passages that were "really written by the 
elaborator." There were, he thinks, two different sources of the historical parts, and,infact, "a 
larger work," which fell into two halves according to the two kingdoms, and " when the official 
yearly records of both kingdoms were used, may have been principally composed of what was 
written regarding the influence of the prophets that had so much weight in public affairs; 
written partly by the prophets themselves, and partly by others of their time, or recorded 
soon after." There was then an " extract from this larger work," which he supposes our autnor 
to have " found," and to which the " summary accounts contained in our books," and the 
invariable form of quotation, belong. The traditional portions are in part separate "descrip- 
tions drawn from tradition," and in part are peculiarly " a book composed by and for the 
prophets— a sort of prophet-mirror, the chief design of which was to impress on the 
pupils of the prophets the necessity for the most implicit obedience' to the divine exhorta- 
tions." Whilst all the sections that enter into detail are taken from the first-named " larger 
work," the narratives of the prophets, as the history of Elijah and Elisha, were taken from 
the " prophet-mirror." Thenius has tried to determine precisely to which of these diilerent 
component parts the separate sections and verses of our books belong. Against this view we 
idvance the following : 


(a) The author's own statements refute the supposition that one larger work forming a wholl 
in itself, was his chief authority. The chronicler who wrote much later, refers indeed often to 
the " book of the acts of the kings of Judah uiul Israel ; " but our author does not do so in one 
of the thirty-four passages where he quotes his authorities, but he always either names the 
book of the kings of Judah or that of the kings of Israel. Thus he had two separate, independent 
books before him, for the very nature of the case required that the history of the two separated 
kingdoms should be separately designated. But even granted that the three QH2D , so accurately 
distinguished from each other, were only one larger work, we should then have to ask when it 
was written, what author wrote it, and from what sources it was derived. As in 2 Kings 
xxiv. 5 only the book of the Kings of Judah is quoted, the former could not have been written' 
till after the time of Jehoiakim ; but against this there are the above-mentioned references made 
by the chronicler to the separate writings of earlier prophets and seers. The author of the 
" larger work " (whoever he might have been) is supposed to have used the " official yearly 
records of both kingdoms ; " but the grand question is, whether there were any such records, 
and particularly in the kingdom of Israel. But if the three DH3D are taken to mean the 
larger work, the official yearly records cannot be meant at the same time ; thus no reference 
can have been made to them. 

(b) That our author should have used an extract from the larger work as well as the work 
itself, is an extraordinary assertion, which no one thought of making till now. He certainly 
needed no such extract, as, being in possession of the larger work, he could have made an 
extract himself, and could get nothing from any such, made by another, that was not to be 
found in the work itself. But if he had, as proved, two separate DHDD before him, the book 
of the kings of Judah and that of the kings of Israel, there must have been two extracts, one 
having been made in each kingdom, and this no one can or will accept. The attempt to de- 
termine accurately what belongs to the larger work, what was taken from the extract, and 
what was the author's own, is, to say the least, very adventurous, and rests alone upon a 
purely subjective judgment, i. e., is more or less arbitrary. Why, for instance, should not 
the brief summary statements made in 1 Kings xv. about some kings, be taken from the ex- 
tended authority cited, w T hich is also quoted in every case, but bs borrowed from the sup- 
posed extract ? Why should the sentence in 1 Kings xiv. 21, " in the city which the Lord 
did choose out of all the tribes of Israel to put His name there," not belong to the authority 
used, but have been inserted by the author himself? Why should the same be the case 
with chap. xv. 4, 5 ? 

(c) The distinction between " truly historical " and "traditional " component parts, each 
of which is said to have its peculiar sources, is founded on the presupposition that every 
account in which a miracle, or the fulfilment of a prophecy, in fact anything out of the ordi- 
nary course of history, is recorded, cannot be historical, but is " legendary." But those narra- 
tives are so closely connected with such as are admitted to be " truly historical," that they can 
only be forcibly separated from the context and laid to a separate " traditional " document- 
ary source. Why, for instance, should the sections 1 Kings x. 1-13 and xi. 1-13 not be his- 
torical, but the first be derived from a written and the latter from oral tradition ? Why - 
should 1 Kings xx. 1-34 belong to the supposed larger historical work, and vers. 35 to 43, on 
the contrary, to the so-called prophet-mirror; in the same way 2 Kings iii. 4-27 to the former, 
and 2 Kings vi. 24-vii. 20 to the latter? Why should everything in the great section 
2 Kings xviii. 13-xx. 19 (Isai. xxxvi. 39) be historical, and only the midway verses of 2 Kings 
xix. 35-37 (Isai. xxxvii. 36-38) have been taken from another and a traditional source ? 

(d) There is nowhere the slightest trace in the Bible of a particular book that was used 
as " a prophet-mirror." If the author cites one of his three authorities in writing of kings of 
whom there was but little to say (1 Kings xvi. 15; 2 Kings xv. 13), he w T ould certainly not 
have omitted to give his authority, if he had one, in the important and deeply-interesting 
history of the great prophets. Apart from this, too, the supposition of such " a book, com 
piled for pupils of the prophets," is contrary to the sense and spirit of Hebrew antiquity. The 
old prophets felt themselves indeed called on to record the history of Jehovah's people ; but 


it never entered their minds to compile a book of instruction or examples for their pupils, in 
order to lead them to " the most implicit obedience." Modern times, indeed, require instruc- 
tion for the performance of the spiritual office, &c. ; but antiquity had no such books. If tha 
three documentary sources were, as we have proved, collections made from writings that were 
contemporary with or made soon after the CX'^J who lived during the events, all the 
sections that are said to belong to the supposed prophet-mirror might easily have been drawn 
from them. 



If any book of the Old Testament forms a complete and independent whole, the books of 
Kings, which afterwards and erroneously were divided into two books, are such, notwith 
standing their character as compilations. This is apparent in their beginning and conclusion 
which are the limits of a certain period of the Old Testament history. They begin with the 
reign of the most glorious king, for whom the building of the temple was reserved, and they 
end with the ruin of the whole kingdom, and the destruction of that temple. It is plain 
from 1 Kings vi. 1 that a former period of the history of Israel terminates with the building 
of the temple, and a new one begins : " In the four hundred and eightieth year 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, he began to build the house 
of the Lord." Why a new period began with the building of the temple by Solomon, is 
shown in the following passages: 2 Sam. vii. 8-1(5; 1 Kings v. 3, 4 ; 1 Chron. xvii. 7-12; 
xxii. 8-11. The period from the exodus from Egypt to Solomon was the time of wan- 
dering (of the "Tabernacle"), of war, and of disturbance; even David was the "man of war." 
With Solomon, the "man of quiet and peace," the period of full and quiet possession of the 
promised land, and the period marked by Jehovah's " house," began. With Solomon, also, 
the "house" of David, i. e., David's dynasty, to whom the kingdom was promised forever, 
first really began (2 Sam vii. 13 ; 1 Chron. xvii. 14). This period continues then till the ruin 
of David's house, which is also the ruin of Jehovah's house, and with this our books conclude 
(2 Kings xxv). 

The unity and independence of these books is shown, not only in their style, but in their 
contents also. Even De Wette confesses (EM., s. 239): "a certain unity is manifest in 
matter, style, and manner of exposition, from beginning to end; " and Thenius says (a. a. 0., 
s. 1) : " There are remarks scattered up and down the whole that are all written in one 
spirit, and are found in no other historical book, as in the books of the Kings (cer- 
tainly not in the books of Samuel)." A peculiar style and method of historical writings 
prevails, and such as we find nowhere else. The time of the beginning of each reign 
and its duration are first stated in the history of each king, then his general character i9 
given, next an account, more or less full, of his acts, after that the date of his death and 
burial, and finally mention is made of the authorities used. Some forms of expression are 
indeed employed (in the extracts) which do not belong to the time of their composition, but 
to a later perioa (Stahelin, Krit. Untersuch, s. 150 sq.) ; but they only prove "that the author 
not only often quoted his authorities, but used them with some freedom " (Thenius). 

The arbitrary designation of the books of Samuel as the first and second books of the 
Kings by the Sept. and the Vulgate (see § 1) may have occasioned the assertion of recent 
critics, like Eichhorn and Jahn, that both works are by the same author, and properly belong 
together. Ewald goes still farther ; according to him, the books of Judges, Ruth, Samuel, 
and Kings, are, in their present form, one connected whole, by one author, whom he asserts was 
the last of five consecutive elaborators on the existing authorities. But all that distinguishes 
our books from the other historical ones of the Old Testament so clearly, applies to tie books 
of Samuel also. Here all the chronological data that are so carefully repeated with each king, 
in our books, are completely wanting, as are also the usual expressions descriptive of char- 


acter and mission. The narrative is much more minute, simply strung together without 
always preserving chronological order ; as, for instance, the entire section 2 Sam. xxi.-xxiv, 
which is a sequel to David's history. The first two chapters of our books have been espe- 
cially adduced, as an unmistakable continuation of 2 Sam. xx. 26, and showing the same 
author's style of narration. These chapters, however, are inseparably and closely connected 
with the three following ; they form the indispensable introduction to Solomon's accession, 
and are, on the other hand, separated from 2 Sam. xx. 26 by the supplement in 2 Sam. xxL- 
xxiv. But the similarity of the style is easily explained by the consideration that they were 
all derived from a common source (1 Chron. xxix. 29). The similarity of some narratives anc 
modes of expression has also been alleged ; but it is difficult to perceive what likeness Ewald 
can find between Abiathar's banishment (1 Kings ii. 26) and the rejection of Eli's housa 
(1 Sam. ii. 35) ; between the elevation of Jehu to be king (2 Kings ix. sq.) and that of Saul 
(1 Sam. ix. sq.). It is just so with 1 Kings iv. 1-6, and 2 Sam. viii. 15 to 18 ; there the chief 
officers of Solomon are given, and here those of David also ; but neither the offices them- 
selves, their order, nor the persons, are the same. Neither do the following passages: 

1 Kings ii. 11 comp. with 2 Sam. v. 5, and 1 Kings ii. 4; v. 17 to 19; viii. 18, 25 comp. with 

2 Sam. vii. 12-16, prove the identity of the author ; they only show, what is already clear, that 
our author knew the books of Samuel, which were written before his time. Least of all should 
the phraseology in 1 Sam. xxv. 22 and 1 Kings xiv. 16 ; xvi. 11 ; xxi. 21 ; 2 Kings ix, 8 be 
adduced as proof that the author is the same. It is very natural " that an Israelite who 
was no doubt intimately acquainted with the documents of his people, should often involun- 
tarily use expressions from memory " (Thenius). 



The question of the credibility of these books concerns not so much themselves as the 
authorities from which they were compiled. But as these were, as § 2 shows, composed by 
prophets who were contemporaries of the events described, they are at least as much to be re 
lied on as the pretended annals written by court-historiographers, and therefore accredited. 
The constant citation of the original documents presupposes that they were accounted regular 
historical authorities, not only by the author himself, but also by his readers, and the whole 
people ; in fact, by reference to them he guards against every suspicion of relating fiction or 
doubtful facts. That he carefully and conscientiously chose his matter, is shown especially 
by all those sections which are parallel with others in Isaiah, Jeremiah, or the Chronicles, 
though not borrowed from them, but taken from the common source now no longer extant. 
The accuracy of the dates, which is the basis of historical writing, is evidence of the credi- 
bility of the narrative. But besides this there are many precise, genealogical, geographical, 
and statistical remarks, as well as numerous characteristic traits of individuals, which could 
not be fictitious, and bear the unmistakable impress of truth. An historical book would 
scarcely have been placed in the Canon and among the D'fOSJ, if it had not been universally 
esteemed as the true history after the original documents were lost. 

While Eichhorn (Einl. §486) recognized the "perfect credibility" of our books, recent 
critics have only partially and conditionally admitted it. They assert that these books con- 
tain " myths " as well as authentic information (De Wette) ; stories, therefore, which are only 
the clothing of religious ideas and doctrines, and having no real historical foundation : or 
else they say that whole sections, especially those relating to the lives and deeds of the proph- 
ets, have a " fabulous character " (Thenius) ; that they are not without historical foundation 
and substance indeed, but yet are more or less colored and embellished. No books, however, 
are more free than these, from myths. They do not deal with a prehistoric time, but with a com- 
paratively late historical period, and their design is to give history, and nothing but history, 
not religious ideas or doctrines in the dress of fictitious history. The history they relate is 
indeed, in its nature as a part of the history of God's people, of a religious kind, but is not on 


that account fiction, but is history in the truest and fullest sense of the word. The idea of 
mythical ingredients has very rightly been abandoned of late, but a fabulous character haa 
been the more insisted on. Proceeding from negative- dogmatic presuppositions, they endeavoi 
to prove, as already remarked above, § 2, that every miracle and every prophecy belongs to 
the province of fable. But miracles form (comp. for instance 1 Kings xviii.) the very central 
point of this history, which is indisputably true in all other respects, and admitted to be 
such ; they must therefore fall or stand along with it. In fact, what is stated to be fabulous 
in these books is so interwoven with what is admitted as historical, that they can only be 
arbitrarily separated ; and every attempt to decide where history ceases and fable begins, 
appears arbitrary and vain. To set forth the miraculous in the history of the old covenant 
as unhistorieal, is to deny that there was a divine revelation in it; it is rooted in the election 
of Israel, from among all people of the earth, to be a peculiar people (Ex. six. 3-6), i. e., the 
guardians of the knowledge of the one God and His revelations. This election is, as Mar- 
tensen aptly terms it (Dogmatic, s. 363), the " fundamental miracle which no criticism can 
explain away," because it is a world-historical fact. The prophets stood alone in Israel, as 
Israel did among all nations of the earth ; all their great and extraordinary deeds and announce- 
ments were inseparably connected with their peculiar vocation. They themselves were a 
greater miracle than all the miracles they performed, as Christ was himself the greatest mira- 
cle, and all his wonderful deeds were rooted in the miracle of His own person and mission. 
Neither were the deeds of the prophets mere wonderful sights caused by divine power, but 
" signs " (nix), that pointed to higher things, and real evidences of the mi of Jehovah, 
working through the prophets. That which has been adduced against passages in our books, 
which do not harmonize with, or which are in direct contradiction with, each other, and tell 
against its complete credibility, does not amount to much. We refer, also, in this respect, to 
the commentary upon the passages in question. 



As the book was written during the second half of the captivity, and the prophetic 
writer himself was living among the exiles (§ 1), it is plain that the work must bear the 
stamp of such extraordinary times and especially refer to them. It was not the author's 
object to write a historical work that should enrich the Hebrew literature ; but he had rather a 
peculiar object in view, and one that bore upon the times he lived in. No time was so fitting 
as that of the captivity, to hold before the captive and deeply-humbled people the mirror of 
their history from the most prosperous period of the kingdom under Solomon to its fall. 
Such a history would necessarily show them the ways by which their God led them, as well 
as their great guilt and their fall ; and also convince them that the only way to deliverance and 
freedom, was that sincere penitence and conversion to the Lord their God, and firm adherence 
to the broken covenant and the promises therewith connected. It was the object of the author 
to awaken and strengthen this conviction. Now the three prophetico-historical collections 
that he used, were accessible also to others, otherwise he could not have referred his readers to 
them so constantly. But it seems, from the formula with which he does so, that they were 
very minute and voluminous, which must have made their general circulation in the time of 
the captivity very difficult, or almost impossible. Hence the author undertook to make 
extracts from them, choosing those events that served the object he had in view. It is very 
clear that such an historical work was much needed at that particular time. 

The style of the history exactly corresponds with the design. The work is anything but a 
Btring of historical facts without any plan; on the contrary, the author proceeds from a fixed 
principle, to which he adheres to the end, through the choice as well as arrangement of the 
historical matter, and so firmly, that his work bears the character of a pragmatic historical com- 
position more than any other historical book of Scripture. This principle is the fundamental 
idea of the entire old covenant — the election of Israel from all nations to be a peculiar people 


(Ex. six. 3-6) ; the fundamental law of this election, i. e., the covenant, declares : " I am the Lord 
thy God which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt (i. e., made thee an independent 
people). Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, nor any likeness of anything that 
is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them, for I the Lord thy God am a jeal- 
ous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth 
generation of them that hate me ; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me 
and keep my commandments " (Ex. xx. 2-6). This supreme commandment of the covenant 
lies at the root of the author's historical view and representation. According as the historical 
facts are directly or indirectly connected with it, he relates them more or less in detail ; what 
is utterly disconnected with it he passes over entirely. To him idolatry and image-worship are 
the sin of all sins, because they destroyed what alone made Israel a peculiar and independent 
people, chosen from among all nations, and also destroyed its world-historical destiny. All 
evil, even the ruin of the entire kingdom, was the natural consequence of contempt and trans- 
gression of that chief and fundamental law, as, inversely, all good and every blessing followed 
adherence to the same. The author himself alludes to this fundamental idea in the long 
reflections which he makes after the ruin of the kingdom, 2 Kings xvii. 7 sq., and it appears 
here and there throughout the whole work. David is a pattern for all the kings of God's 
people, not because he was morally free from blame, but because he held to this fundamental 
law in every situation, and never departed from it one iota ; the promise was therefore given 
him : " Thine house and thy kingdom shall be established forever before thee ; thy throne 
shall be established forever " (2 Sam. vii. 16 ; comp. 1 Kings viii. 25 ; ix. 5 ; xi. 36, 39 ; 2 
Kings viii. 19). This is the reason also that he is so often alluded to in the words : " as his 
father David," or " he walked in the ways of his father David " (1 Kings iii. 3, 14 ; ix. 4 ; xi. 
1, 6, 33, 38 ; xi v. 8 ; xv. 5, 11 ; 2 Kings xiv. 3 ; xvi. 2 ; xviii. 3 ; xxii. 2), or : " for David thy 
lather's sake" (1 Kings xi. 12, 13, 32, 34; xv. 3 ; 2 Kings viii. 19; xix. 34 ; xx. 6). David, 
when dying, exhorts his successor with the most impressive words, above all, to hold fast to 
the fundamental law (1 Kings ii. 3 sq.). But when Solomon permitted idolatrous worship in 
the latter part of his reign, the kingdom was rent from him, " because he had not kept Jeho- 
vah's covenant" (1 Kings xi. 9-13). Disregard of the covenant was the cause of the partition 
of the kingdom, and, in so far, the germ of its destruction. From the time of the partition, 
the account of every single king of Judah and of Israel begins with the general character- 
istic : " He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord " (1 Kings xv. 11 ; xxii. 43 ; 2 
Kings xii 3; xiv. 3; xv. 3, 34; xviii. 3; xxii. 2), or: "He did that which was evil in the 
sight of the Lord " (1 Kings xv. 26, 34 ; xvi. 19, 25, 30 ; xxii. 53 ; 2 Kings iii. 2 ; viii. 18, 
27 ; xiii. 2, 11 ; xiv. 24 ; xv. 9, 18, 24, 28 ; xvi. 2 ; xvii. 2 ; xxi. 2, 20 ; xxiii. 32, 37 ; xxiv. 
9, 19). This does not say whether a king lived morally and virtuously, but whether he kept 
the covenant and first fundamental commandment faithfully ; that was the chief thing, and 
determined the character of his whole reign. The author applies this unfailing test to the 
conduct of all the kings, as well as of the whole people (1 Kings xiv. 22 ; 2 Kings xvii. 7, 
19). But there is something more. That the kingdom should always remember its duty, not 
to swerve to the right or left from the fundamental law (Deut. xvii. 19, 20), the prophetic insti- 
tution came into being, the mission of which was to watch over the keeping of the covenant, 
to warn against all manner of apostasy, and whensoever it appeared, to exhort, to threaten, 
and promise. The history of the activity of the prophets is therefore intimately connected 
with that of the kings, and is, in fact, a part which serves to complete the same. The author 
could not then avoid bringing the history of the most influential prophets into his history 
of the kings ; had he not done so he would have been guilty of a great omission. And when 
he, though himself of the tribe of Judah, principally describes, after the captivity, the history 
of the kingdom of Israel, the reason is no doubt this: that tha kingdom, from the beginning 
of its existence, had completely broken the chief covenant-commandment, and persisted in sc 
doing ; and therefore that the contest for it and for theocracy generally was carried on by the 
prophets principally, until the entire people of the ten tribes was undone forever 


After all, it remains unquestionably certain that these books bear throughout a specific 
Israelitish-religious character, or, as it is generally termed, a theocratic character. This does 
not imply that this is owing only to the author's views and style ; it lies rather in the nature 
of the history itself. Oehler very truly says (in Herzog's Real-Enc. xvii. s. 247) : " The idea of the 
people of God is, in its very nature, supernatural, this view alone gives the key to the Israel- 
itish history which, if not regarded in the light of divine election and guidance, as it demands, 
remains a riddle, a ' dark riddle ' (comp. what Rosenkranz says in Hegel's Life, s. 49, about 
the latter's view of the Jewish history : ' it revolted him, and yet fascinated him, tormenting 
him all his life like a dark enigma')." Later historical writers have (many of them) made it 
their business to take the so-called purely historical point of view in the history of the kings 
of Israel : that is, to ignore all special providence in it, or rather to regard it as the religious 
coloring of the author's mind, and to set it forth, like that of every other ancient nation, in a 
purely secular light. They trace the fundamental idea of divine election sometimes to ego- 
ism, sometimes to the accidentally monotheistic character of the writer, or to the religious 
genius of the Semitic race, and reduce all special divine influence to priest-rule and priest- 
craft. What the history represents as great and well-pleasing to God, is insignificant and 
blameworthy, and what it views as sinful and perverse, is delineated as humanly great and 
noble: in fact, this history is looked at through the glass of modern political ideas. Their 
writings take no account whatsoever of a " divine economy," but rather turn it more or less into 
a thorough caricature. We shall give some examples of this in explanations of particular pas- 
sages and sections. There are no historical sources regarding the Israelitish monarchy except 
those of the Bible ; we cannot, therefore, compare the facts narrated, with the statements of 
any other author, who might take a different point of view from our author. To correct the 
only extant historical source, and to change the facts therein given into totally different ones, 
according to private judgment and pleasure, is not to write but to make history. He who can- 
not accept the principle on which this history of the kings is written, or rejects it beforehand 
as erroneous, can no more write such a history than the most learned Chinaman could write 
that of Germany ; he should, consequently, leave it alone. 



The history of the Israelitish monarchy, from its highest splendor on to its destruction, as 
it forms the contents of our books, has three periods. The first embraces the time of the undi- 
vided kingdom under Solomon; the second, which is distributed into three epochs, embraces 
the time of the divided kingdom down to the fall of the kingdom of Israel ; the third embraces 
the time of the kingdom of Judah down to the Babylonish captivity. 


First Section. — Solomon's elevation to the throne. 

A. Adonijah's effort to obtain possession of the kingdom: Solomon's ascension to the 

throne (I., i.). 

B. David's last words and death (I., ii. 1-12). 

C. Solomon's dealings with his opponents (I., ii. 13^46). 
Second Section. — The beginning of Solomon's reign. 

A. His marriage ; solemn sacrifice and vision ; first judicial decision (I., iii. 1-28). 

B. His officers and court-establishment; his high spiritual culture, I., iv. 1-34). 

Third Section. — Solomon's buildings. 

A. Solomon's negotiations with Hiram about the building of the temple (I., vi !5 32) 

B. The building of the temple (I., vi). 


C. The building of the palace, and the manufacture of the vessels, &c, of the temple 

(L, vii.). 

D. The dedication of the temple (I., viii). 

E. Sundry statements referring to Solomon's buildings and ships (L, is.). 
Fourth Section. — Solomon's glory and magnificence. 

A. The visit of the queen of Sheba (I., x. 1-13). 

B. The wealth, splendor, and power of Solomon's kingdom (I., x. 14-29). 
Fifth Section. — Solomon's fall and end. 

A. Unfaithfulness towards Jehovah and its punishment (L, xi. 1-18). 

B. Solomon's adversaries and his death (I., xi. 14-43). 




Of the division of the kingdom down to the reign of Ahab. 

First Section. — The disruption of the kingdom. 

A. The renunciation of the house of David by the ten tribes (I., xii. 1-24). 

B. The founding of the kingdom of Israel by Jeroboam (I., xii. 25-33). 
Second Section. — Jeroboam's reign in Israel. 

A. Warning to Jeroboam by a prophet, and the disobedience and end of the latter (L 

xiii. 1-32). 

B. The prophecy of Abijah against the house and kingdom of Jeroboam ; the death of 

the latter (I., xiv. 1-20). 
Third Section. — The kingdom in Judah under Rehoboam, Abijam, and Asa. 

A Rehoboam's reign (I., xiv. 21-31). 

B. Abijam's and Asa's reign (I., xv. 1-24). 
Fourth Section. — The kingdom in brael under Nadab and Ahab. 

A Nadab's and Baasha's reign (I., xv. 25 to xvi. 7). 

B. Ela's, Zimri's, and Ahab's reign (I., xvi. 8-24). 


From Ahab to Jehu. 

First Section. — The prophet Elijah during Ahab's reign. 

A Elijah before Ahab at the brook Cherith and at Zarephath (I., xvii.). 

B. Elijah upon Mount Carmel (I., xviii.). 

C. Elijah in the wilderness and upon Horeb; his successor (I., xix.). 
Second Section. — The acts of Ahab. 

A. Ahab's victory over the Syrians (L, xx.). 

B. Ahab's procedure against Naboth (I., xxi.). 

C. Ahab's expedition, undertaken along with Jehoshaphat, against the Syrians, and hie 

death (I., xxi. 1^0). 

Third Section. — The kingdom under Jehoshaphat in Judah, and under Ahaziah and Joram 
in Israel. 
A Jehoshaphat's and Ahaziah's reign (I., xxii. 41-11. 1). 

B. Elijah's departure and Elisha's first appearance (II., ii.). 

C. Joram's reign and his expedition against the Moabites (II., iiL). 
Fourth Section. — Elisha's prophetic acts. 

A. Elisha with the widow in debt, with the Shunammite, and with the " sons of the 
prophets " during the dearth (II., iv.). 

§ 1. LITERATURE. 16 

B. The healing of Naaman, Gehazi's punishment, and the recovery of a lost axe (TJ., 

v.-vi. 7). 

C. Elisha during the Syrian invasion, and at the siege of Samaria (II., vi. 8-vii.). 

D. Elisha's authority with the king, and his sojourn in Damascus (H., viii. 1-15). 
Fifth Section. — The kingdom under Jehoram and Ahaziah in Judah, and Jehu's elevation 

to be king of Israel. 

A. Jehoram's and Ahaziah's reign in Judah (II., viii. 16-29). 

B. Jehu's elevation to be king in Israel (LI., ix.). 


From Jehu to the destruction of the kingdom of Israel. 

First Section. — The kingdom under Jehu in Israel, and under Athaliah and Jehoash it 

A. Jehu's reign (II., x.). 

B. The reign of queen Athaliah and its overthrow (II., xi.). 

C. The reign of Jehoash (II., xii.). 

Second Section. — The kingdom under Jehoahaz, Jehoash, and Jeroboam II. in Israel, and 
under Amaziah in Judah. 

A. The reign of the kings Jehoahaz and Joash (II., xiii.). 

B. The reign of Amaziah in Judah, and of Jeroboam II. in Israel (II., xiv.). 

Third Section. — The kingdom under Azariah (Uzziah) and Jotham in Judah, and under 
Zachariah and Hosea in Israel. 

A. The reign of the kings Azariah and Jotham in Judah, and of the kings Zachariah, 

Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, and Pekah in Israel (II., xv.). 

B. The reign of Ahaz in Judah (II., xvi.). 

C. The fall of the kingdom Israel under Hosea (TJ., xvii.). 


First Section. — The kingdom under Hezekiah. 

A. Hezekiah's reign : oppression by Sennacherib and deliverance from it (II., xviii., xix.). 

B. Hezekiah's sickness and recovery : his reception of the Babylonish embassy, and hii 

end (H., xx.). 
Second Section. — The kingdom under Manasseh, Anion, and Josiah. 

A. The reign of Manasseh and of Amon (n., xxi.). 

B. The reign of Josiah, the discovery of the book of the law, and restoration of the 

prescribed worship of God (H., xxii. 23-30). 
Third Section. 

A. The reign of the kings Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah (H., xxiii. 

31-xxv. 7). 

B. The fall of the kingdom of Judah : release of Jehoiachin from prison (H., xxv. 8 -30). 



Passing over commentaries and expositions extending over the entire Old Testament (for 
• list, see De Wette, Introduction to the O. Test, and the Biblewerk), we confine ourselves to 
notices of those works which concern themselves especially with our books. On the whole, 
the literature in question is not so extensive as that of many other and less weighty books, as 
e. g., The Song of Solomon. For a number of centuries no work could be adduced which 
was specially devoted to 0'ir books. 


I. Exegetical treatises. Ephraeni Syr. (t 378) : Explanatio in I. et II. regnorum {Opp. omr 
Roinoe 1737. Tom. I). — Theodoreti (t 457) : Qucestiones in libros III. et IV. regnorum {Opp. omn 
ed. Noesselt. Haloe 17G9. Tom. I). — J. Bugenhagen : annotationes in libr. Reg. Basil. 1525. • 
Seb. Leonhard : biro/ivf/fiara in libr. Reg. Erfurd 1G06. — Piscator : Comment, in duos libr. 
Regum. Herborn 1611. — Seb. Schmidt : in libr. Regum annotationes. Argentor 1697. — A, 
condensed collection of expositions up to the close of the seventeenth century may be found 
in Poole's (t 1679) Synopsis Critieorum aliorumque scripdura, sacrce interpretum et commenta- 
torum. Francof. ad. M. 1694. — K. Fr. Keil: Commcntar iiber die Biicher der Kbnige. Moskau 
1846. — O. Theuius: Die Biicher der Kbnige. Leipzig 1849 (9. LieJ 'erung des Kurzgcfassten Exeget. 
Handbuchs turn A. T.). — K. Fr. Keil : Biblischer Commentar uber die proplietisclien Geschichts- 
bueher des A. T. Dritter Band ; die Biicher der Kbnige. Leipzig 1864. — Einleitung in die Biicher 
der Kbnige. Leipzig, Halle 1861 (translation with remarks thrown in by Adolf v. Schlusser). 

H. Historical treatises. J. J. Hess: Oeschichte David's und Salomons, und: Geschichte der 
Kbnige Judo's und Israel's nach der Trennung des Reichs. 2 B'dnde, Zurich 1787. — Niemeyer: 
Charakteristik der Bibel, 4 ter u. 5 ter Theil, 5 Aufl. Halle 1795. — Leo : Vorlesungen iiber die 
jiidische Geschichte 1825 (withdrawn by the author.). — Bertheau : Zur Geschichte der Isracliten, 
Gottingen 1842. — Menzel : Staats-und Religionsgeschichte der Kbnigreiche Israel und Juda. Ber- 
lin 1853. — Ewald : Geschichte David's und der Kbnighcrrschaft in Israel. 2 Ausg., Gottingen 
(the third volume of the history of the people Israel to the time of Christ). — Eisenlohr : Das 
Yolk Israel unter der Herrschqft der Kbnige. 2 Theil., Leipzig 1856. — Schlier: Die Kbnige in 
Israel. Ein Handbiichlein zur heiligen Geschichte, Stuttgart 1859. — M. Duncker: Geschichte des 
Alterthums. Erster Band. 2 Aufl., Berlin 1855. — Hasse: Geschichte des Alten Bundes, Leipzig 
1863. — Weber: Das Volk Israel in der alttestamentlichen Zeit,~Le\ipzig 1867. — To these must be 
added special articles in Winer: Bibliscltes Realwbrterbuch, 3 Aufl., Leipzig 1847, and inHerzog: 
Real-Encyclopadie, Gotha 1854-1864. Conip. particularly the article in vol. xvii. pp. 245-305: 
" the people of God," by Oehler. 

HI. Homiletic treatises. Only upon the history of the prophets Elijah and Elisha are there 
sermons and devotional dissertations, which are cited below in the appropriate place. Not- 
withstanding the rich material of our books in ancient as well as in recent times, there are 
fewer homiletical treatises, whether of the whole or only of particular sections, than upon any 
other books of the Bible. We must rest content here with referring to the works which em- 
brace the entire Bible, and have interpreted it more or less practically and devotionally. 
Cramer: Summarien und biblische Auslegung, 1627, 2 Aufl., Wolfcnbuttel 1681, Fol. — L. Osian- 
der : Deutsche Bibel Luthers mit einer kurzen, jedoch griindlichen Erklarung, herausgegeben von 
D. Forster, Stuttgart 1600, Fol. — Wiirtembergische Summarien und Auslegungen der ganzen 
Heil. Schrift. Das Alte Testament, zuerst bearbeitet -eon J. K. Zeller, Stuttgart 1677 ; afterwards 
" diligently revised and enriched with many useful remarks by the theological faculty of the 
University of Tubingen, Leipzig 1709. 4. (The new " Summarien oder Grundliche Auslegung 
der Schriften des A. T. ii. Band," by Finkh, Stuttgart 1801-4, are far inferior to the older). — 
Berlenburger Bibel, anderer Theil, 1728, Fol. — A. Kyburz : Historien-Bet-und Bilderbibel, 2ter 
Theil, Augsburg 1739. 8. — Joachim Lange: Biblisch Historisches Licht und Recht, d. i. richtigt 
und erbauliche Erklarung der sdmmtlichm historischen Biicher des A. T., Halle u. Leipzig 1734, 
Fol. — Chr. M. Pfafl* : Biblia, b. i.die game lleilige Schrift mit Summarien ■und Anmerk., Tubing. 
Fol. (8 Ausg. Speyer 1767). — Starke: Synopsis Bibliotheca; exeget. in V. T., zweiter Theil, anden 
verbesserte Auflage, Leipzig 1745. 4. — G. F. Seiler: Des grbssern bibl. Erbauungsbuches Alten Tes- 
taments dritter Theil, Erlangen 1791. 4. — Ricbter : Erkldrte Hausbibel. Altes Testament, zweiter 
Band, Barmen 1835. 8. — Lisco : Das Alte Testament mit Erkldrungen u. s. w. Erster Band, die 
historischen Biicher, Berlin 1844. 8. — O. Von Gerlach : Das Alte Testament mit Einleitungen und 
erklarenden Anmerkungen, zweiter Band, Berlin 1846. 8 (5 Aufl. 1867). — (Calwer) Ilandbuch 
der Bibelerkliiruvg fur Schule und Earn, Erster Band, das Alte Testament enthaltend, Calw und 
Stuttgart 1849. 8. 

[The remarks of our author respecting the small number of commentaries and treatises 
upon the Books of the Kings are truo, conspicuously of English theological literature. What 

§ 7. LITERATURE. 17 

we have is of the most meagre description. In fact, there is nothing to be named ; we have 
no special exposition of our books in the English language. Our clergy and laity, who have 
depended upon English authors, have been compelled to use Patrick, Lowth, and Whitby, or 
Thomas Scott, or D'Oyly and Mant, or Adam Clarke, and the rest. These works, as is well 
known, are utterly deficient in critical acumen, and the amount of information they convey is 
insignificant. Whatsoever may be the merits or demerits of this work, it will certainly meet 
a need that has been long felt. 

The reader can moreover consult Bp. Horsley's "Notes on the Kings," and for the histor- 
ical review, Dean Stanley's History of the Jewish Church, and Prof. F. W. Newman's Hebrew 
Monarchy. Dean Prideaux's work, embracing the period from the declension of the kingdoms 
of Israel and Judah to the time of our Lord, notwithstanding its faulty construction, remains 
an abiding monument of genuine erudition. 

In Bishop Hall's " Contemplations " the reader will find much that is valuable, and of great 
spiritual practical insight. It is rich in homiletical suggestions, and can be read with profit 
in connection with the sacred text. Many sermons, too, have been published, which illustrate 
particular sections of the Books of the Kings, as, e. g., on the temple (chap, vi.), and its conse- 
cration (chap, viii.), and on the disobedient prophet (chap, xiii.), and on Elijah (chap. xvii. sq.), 
&c, some of which will be referred to under the texts in their order. 

For particular items: Dr. Smith's Dictionary of the Bible (Boston, 1860-1863, enlarged 
by Hackett and Abbott, in 4 vols. 1870), or an abridgment by Mr. S. Bamurn, may be used (sea 
especially art. " Temple," by Ferguson). For the temple in respect of comparative architecture, 
&c, see K. O. Miiller, Archaeology of Ancient Art, &c, translated by John Leitch. London, A. 
Fullarton & Co., 1847. Also, Solomon's Temple, &c, by T. O. Paine, a minister of the New- 
Jerusalem Church. Boston, 1861.— E. H.j 


FIRST PERIOD, (1015 TO 975 B.C.) 

(Chapters I. — IL) 

Solomon's accession to the throne. 

Chap. L, IX 


k. — Adonijah's attempt to teize the kingdom for himtelf; Solomon , » elevation to the tkron*. 

Chap. L 1-63. 

1 Now king David was old and stricken in years ; ' and they covered him 

2 with clothes," but he gat no heat. Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let 
there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin [virgin damsel] ; * and let 
her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy 4 bosom, 

3 that my * lord the king may get heat. So they sought for a fair damsel through- 
out all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a [the '] Shunammite, and brought 

4 her to the king. And the damsel wfts very fair, and cherished the king, and 
ministered to him : but the king knew her not. 

5 Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king : 
and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. 

6 And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou 
done so ? and he also was a very goodly man ; and his mother bare him after 

7 Absalom. And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar 

8 the priest : and they following Adonijah helped him. But Zadok the priest, and 
Benaiah the son of Jehoiada,"and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and 

9 the mighty men which belonged to David, were not with Adonijah. And Ado- 
nijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by 
En-rogel [the well of Rogel], and called all his brethren the king's sons, and all 

4O the men of Judah the king's servants: but Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, 
and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not. 

11 Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bath-sheba the mother of Solomon, saying, 
Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David 

12 our lord knoweth it not ? Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee 
counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon. 

• [I am Indebted to my Wend, Frederic Gardiner, D. D., Professor in the Berkeley Divinity School, Middletown, Conn. 
for the accompanying textual revision and original grammatical notes. — E. H.l 



13 Go and get thee in unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my 
lord, O king, swear unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly [That 7 ] Solomon 
thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne ? why then doth 

14 Adonijah reign? e Behold, while thou yet talkest therewith the king, I also 
will come in after thee, and confirm * thy words. 

15 And Bath-sheba went in unto the king into the chamber: and the king- was 

16 very old; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king. And Bath- 
sheba bowed, and did obeisance unto the king. And the king said, What 

17 wouldest thou ? And she said unto him, My lord, thou swarest by the Lord [Je- 
hovah] thy God unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall 

18 reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne. Aud now, behold, Adonijah 

19 reigneth ; and now [thou. 10 ], my lord the king, thou knowest it not : And he hath 
, slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the sons of 

the king, and Abiathar the priest, and Joab the captain of the host : but Solomon 

20 thy servant hath he not called. And thou," my lord, O king, the eyes of all Israel 
are upon thee, that thou shouldest tell them who shall sit on the throne of my 

21 lord the king after him. Otherwise [But] it shall come to pass, when my Vord 
the king shall sleep with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted 1J 

22 offenders. And, lo, while she yet talked with the king, Nathan the prophet also 

23 came in. And they told the king, saying, Behold Nathan the prophet [has 
come]. And when he was come in before the king, he bowed himself before the 

24 king with his face to the ground. And Nathan said, My lord, O king, hast thou 

25 said, 13 Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? For 
he is gone down this day, and hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in 
abundance, and hath called all the king's sons, and the captains of the host, and 
Abiathar the priest ; and, behold, they eat and drink before him, and say, God 

26 save king Adonijah [let king Adonijah live]. But me, even me thy servant, and 
Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and thy servant Solomon, 

27 hath he not called. Is this thing done by my lord the king, and thou hast not 
shewed it " unto thy servant 15 who should sit on the throne of my lord the king 
after him ? 

28 Then king David answered and said, Call me Bath-sheba. And she came 

29 into the king's presence, and stood before the king. And the king sware, and 

30 said, As the Lord [Jehovah] liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all dis- 
tress, even as I sware unto thee by the Lord [Jehovah] God of Israel, saying, 
Assuredly [That 16 J Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon 

31 my throne in my stead ; even so will I certainly " do this day. Then Bath-sheba 
bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence to the king, and said, Let 
my lord king David live for ever. 

32 And king David said, Call me Zadok the priest, aud Nathan the prophet, 

33 and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king. The king 
also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, 18 and cause Solo- 

34 mon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon ; " And 
let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel : 
and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon [let king Solo- 

35 mon live]. Then ye shall come up after him, that lie may [and lie shall] come 
and sit upon my throne; for [and] he shall be king in my stead: and I have 

30 appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah. And Benaiah the son of 
Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen : the Lord [Jehovah] God of my 

37 lord the king say so too [so spake' ]. As the Lord [Jehovah] hath been with 
my lord the king, even so be he with Solomon, and make his throne greater 
than the throne of my lord king David. 

38 So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of 
Jehoiada, aud the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solo- 

39 mon to ride upon king David's mule, and brought him to Gihon.' 1 And Zadok 
the priest took a horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. 
And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon 

40 [Let king Solomon live]. And all the people came up after him, and the people 

CHAPTER I. 1-53. 21 

piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the 
sound of them. 

41 And Adonijah and all the guests that were with him heard it, as they had 
made an end of eating. And when Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he 

42 said, Wherefore is this noise of the city being in an uproar ? And while he 
yet spake, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came : and Adonijah 
said unto him," Come in ; for thou art a valiant man, and bringest good tid- 

43 ings. And Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, Verily our lord king 

44 David hath made Solomon king. And the king hath sent with him Zadok 
the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the 
Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and they have caused him to ride upon the 

45 king's mule: and Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him 
king in Gihon : " and they are come up from thence rejoicing, so that the city 

46 rang again. This is the noise that ye have heard. And also Solomon sitteth on 

47 the throne of the kingdom. And moreover the king's servants came to bless oui 
lord king David, saying, [Thy "] God make the name of Solomon better than thy 
name, and make his throne greater than thy throne. And the king bowed himself 

48 upon the bed. And also thus said the king, Blessed be the Lord [Jehovah] God of 
Israel, which hath given one to sit on my throne this day, mine eyes even seeing it. 

49 And all the guests that were with Adonijah were afraid, and rose up," and 

50 went every man his way. And Adonijah feared because of Solomon, and arose, 

51 and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar. And it was told Solomon, 
saying, Behold, Adonijah feareth king Solomon : for, lo, he hath caught hold on 
the horns of the altar, saying, Let king 20 Solomon swear unto me to [this 2 '] day 

5'2 that he will not slay his servant with the sword. And Solomon said, If he will 
shew himself a worthy man, there shall not a hair of him fall to the earth : but 

53 if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die. So king Solomon sent, and 
they brought him down from the altar. And he came and bowed himself to king 
Solomon : and Solomon said unto him, Go to thine house. 


1 Ver. 1.— [D'p 5 2 X3 always connected with JpT (Gen. xviii. 11 ; xxiv. 1; Josh. xiii. 1 bis. xxiii. 1, 2) exactly corre- 
sponds to the phrase in A. V. 

2 Ver. 1.— [DHJ3 bed-clothes (cf. 1 Sam. xix. 18), not garments. 

* Ver. 2.— [The translation of oHVJ in vers. 8 and 4 may well stand here also. 

* Ver. 2.— In place of the suffix v| the Sept. has avrov and the Vulg. suo, which Thenius prefers to the reading ot 
the text. — Bahr. 

6 Ver. 2.— [The Alex. Sept.. Syr., and Vulg., read our. 

* Ver. 3.— [The definite article should be expressed as in ver. 15. 

> Ver. 13.— [The particle '3 , as is recognized in all the V V., can hardly give the emphasis of the Eng. assuredly. 

> Ver. 14.— [Many MSS. and VV. prefix and. 

' Ver. 14.— LT/IS/rriN 'nX?p not complete, fill out, but, as in A. V., confirm; Chald. Q?j?K , Sept. irAijpwcrio. The 
phrase is used of the fulfilment of divine utterances. Cf. ii. 27; viii. 15, 24. 

10 Ver. IS.— All the VV. and 200 MSS. [and the early editions] read HJJXl instead of i"IFI5?l [, as the connection! 
requires. — Bahr. 

11 Ver. 20.— Instead of oTlNI the Chaldee [Syr. and Vulg.], and some [many] MSS. have iTJJH, which Thenius 
considers right. On the other hand, Maurer remarks that the pronoun stands here first, just as in Gen. xlix. S, with 
emphasis, instead of the suffix. — Bahr. 

13 Ver. 21. — [Counted is implied by the connection, but not expressed in the Hbr. 

13 Ver. 24.— [rODS HHIX, the question is indicated only by the tone. 

14 Ver. 27.— [The pronoun it is better omitted, as in the Hbr. and all VV. 

" Ver. 27.— The k'ri has T13JJ, also nearly all the translations have the singular; but the reading of the text U 

preferred. — Bahr. [It is that of many MSS] 
'* Ver. 30.— [See note ver. 13. 
" Ver. 80.— [Hbr. and VV. omit certainly. 

18 Ver. 33.— [DS'jis In tne !>'• is rightly rendered by the sing, as referring to David— not to David and Solomou. 
'' Ver. 33.— [The Cbildee and Syr. read Siloa; Ar»bic, fountain of Siloa. 

*> Ver. 36.— [The words say to too at the end of this ver. In the A. V. should be omitted ; HliV IDS' [3 is to U 
taken historically, not optatively. Three MSS. followed by the Syr. and Arab, read nCJ?' for 1DX\ 
»' Ver. 88.— FThe Chalri Syr., and Arab., make the same change here as in ver. 83. 



*' Ver. 42. — [The words unto him are unnecessary; not contained In the Hbr nor the VV. 
•» Ver. 45.— [As. in vers. 83 and 38. 

« I er - II- - ££? k ,'i ib ["PiP'ti ls Plainly preferable to the k'ri D\-6h — Bihr [and is followed by the Syrlmel 
" Ver. 49— [The Vatican (not Alex.) Sept. omits and rose up. * 

•• Ver. 51.— [The Vatican (not Alex.) Sept. omits king. 
*' Ver. 61.— [Instead of DV3 some MSS. read DVil, which has been followed apparently by the A. V.— F. G.] 


Ver. 1. Now king David was old, to. Vers. 
1-4 introduce the entire narration following, the 
central point and chief object of which is Solomon's 
ascension to the throne. Adonijah's endeavor ti 
usurp the throne was the reason why this event 
took place before the death of David. Adonijah 
proceeded to carry out his purpose when David 
was old and infirm, and apparently near his end. 
The author begins, consequently, with the descrip- 
tion of David's condition, and is reminded particu- 
larly of Abishag, his waiting-maid, because Adoni- 
jah, after the misadventure of his enterprise, 
sought her for a wife in order to gain the throne 
by means of her, and so wrought his destruction 
(chap. ii. 13 sq.). The 1 at the beginning has no 

connection with anything preceding ; least of all 
does it connect our books with the books of 
Samuel (see Introduction, § 3). Nor is it mechanic- 
ally retained from a passage of the life of David 
inserted here (Keil) ; but it stands, as elsewhere 
so often at the beginning of a book (Jos. i. 1 ; 
Judges i. 1 ; 2 Sam. i. 1 ; Ruth i. 1 ; Esth. i. 1 ; 
Ezra i. 1 ; Ezek. i. 1 ; Jon. i. 1), where the first 
verse forms the antecedent to the second. — When 
David was old and infirm, his servants said unto 
him. David was then seventy years of age (comp. 
chap. ii. 11, with 2 Sam. v. 4, 5): that his natural 
warmth then failed him, was not ex nimio mulierum 
usu (Le Clerc), but was the result of the " extraor- 
dinary cares and conflicts of his earlier life " 

Vers. 2-4. Wherefore his servants said 
unto him, &c. Josephus expressly names them 
physicians (Ant. vii. 14, 3), comp. Gen. 1. 2. The 
remedy which one of them, in the name of the 
rest, advised when the " clothes " (Qnj3 as in 

1 Sam. xix. 13 ; Numb. iv. 6) were of no use, was 
known in ancient times. "Without skill in internal 
remedies, men sought to warm, by means of living 
vigorous bodies, those whose vital powers, were 
chilled and enfeebled. Galen (Method. Medic. 
8, 7) says: " Ex iis vera, quae extrinsecus applican- 
ts, boni habitus puellus una sit accumbans, ut sem- 
per abdomen ejus contingat. Bacon (Hist. Vit. et Nee.) : 
Neque negligenda sunt /omenta ex corporibus • ivia. 
According to Bartholinus (De Morb. BM. 9), a 
Jewish physician advised the Emperor Frederic 
Barbarossa to allow young and strong boys to lie 
upon his breast (comp. Trusen, Sitten, Gtbr. and 
Krankh. der Hebraxr, s. 257 sq.). This was not 
designed here for the gratification of bodily pas- 
sion, by means of a " concubine," as Winer calls 
Abishag. but before all, for service and assistance, 
such as was deemed most effective after the un- 
availing application of the usual remedies to the 
aged man confined to his bed. The physicians 
expressly state tin-, and it. agrees with the' words: 
and let her stand be/ore the king, i. e., let her serve 
aim (Gen. xli. 16 ; Deut. i. 38), and be his attendant, 
"... let her wait upon, help him: let her lie in his 

bosom [not thy, see textual note] that he maj 
become warm. If by these last words they maj 
have presupposed that he would " know " her, 
they do not state it as the design, as, moreover, 
pT\2 33C' must not be understood necessarily 

onlv of cohabitation (comp. chap. iii. 20 ; Ruth iy. 
16). They sought a beautiful maiden "because 
she was destined for the king" (Thenius), and 
they found such at Shunem, a city of the tribe Is- 
sachar, in the plain of Jezreel, at the foot of the so 
called little Hermon (Jos. xix. 18; 1 Sam. xxviii. 4) 
The text states expressly that the king did not know 
her: she was, therefore, not his concubine, buS 
his waiting-maid and attendant. In a wholly per- 
verse way Josephus, and after him J. D. Jlichaelis, 
adduces impotency, in consequence of old age aud 
weakness, as the reason why he did not know 
her. In that case the remark would be super- 
fluous (Thenius). It serves, however, " to make 
it clear how it was that Adonijah could seek 
Abishag for his wife," chap. ii. 17 (Keil), and go 
to Bath-sheba for her intercession with Solomon. 
Older interpreters have maintained that she was 
the actual wife of David, or at least his concubine, 
and that the relation also, according to the 
morality of the. time, was unobjectionable. But 
ueither here nor in the second chapter is she so 
named. Amongst the people she may have well 
passed for such, since Adonijah, through alliance 
with her, wished to facilitate his way to die throne 
(see on chap. ii. 13).* 

Vers. 5-6. Then Adorujah the son of Hag- 
gith, &c. Of the sons of David born at Hebron, 
Adonijah was the fourth (2 Sam. iii. 2-4). The 
first, Amnon, and the third, Absalom, were already 
dead, and the second also, Chilean, of whom 
nothing more is said, had doubtless died much 
earlier. As the eldest living son, Adonijah believed 
that lie had claims to the throne. Besides this, 
his beautiful person came into the account, as 
with Absalom, by which, because it was valued 
in a ruler (1 Sam. ix. 2; 2 Sam. xiv. 25; xvi. 7 ; 
Ezek. xxviii. 12), he hoped for the favorable re- 
gard of the people, ^■^|^ , ver. 6 cannot, with 

some, be translated: "and he was born unto him 
after Absalom," but only, as in Gen. xvi. 1 : " and 
she had borne him after Absalom," i. e., after the 
latter had been borne of Maacah. The alteration of 

the text into "pi — " he had begotten him after Ab 

salom " (Thenius), is wholly unnecessary. The suc- 
cession to the throne in Israel was certainly hered- 
itary; but no law required that the eldest son, at 
the time, should be the heir-apparent. From vers. 

* [The allegorical interpretation of Jerome makes tht 
9hunammite damsel the ever-virgin wisdom of God so ex 
tolled by Solomon (mpientia quat numquam iienexeM 
EpUt. § 2; ad Xepotianum, chap. fv. ; Opera, i. p. 28S). 
Bnt in another passage Jerome understands the story liter 
ally, and enumerates this relation among the sins and iro 
perfections of David, which would not be allowed under til* 
gospel dispensation {contra Jovin. L i- chap, xxiv., torn, i 
274).-P. S.] 

CHAPTER I. 1-53. 


i7 and 20, a? also from 2 Chron. xi. 22, it is clear 
that it was regarded as the right of the reigning 
king to determine who amongst his sons should 
succeed him. He could transmit the kingdom to his 
first-born or to his eldest son, but he was not obliged 
(2 Chron. xxi. 3) thereto. Adonijah was not at all 
first-born, but only the fourth son. He himself 
does not tako his age into the account, and appeals, 
in chap. ii. 13 sq., not to this, but to the voice of 
the people who had shown themselves favorably 
disposed towards him. David's designation of 
Solomon as his successor, has its reason in the 
promise in 2 Sam. vii. 12-16; xii. 2-1 sq. ; 1 Chron. 
xxii. 9, 10 ; he regarded him as the one who, ac- 
cording to the prescript touching a king in Deut. 
xvii. 15, was chosen by Jehovah. Of a formal 
"right" to the throne, possessed by Adonijah, 
which he thought to " assure " himself of (Thenius), 
there can be no discussion. That he knew well 
the will of his father, by virtue of which Solomon 
was to be his successor, is clear from the circum- 
stance that he invited all his brothers, and the 
men who were employed in the royal service, to a 
feast prepared by him. Solomon only, and the 
more confidential friends of David, were not in- 
vited. His design was to render null the purpose 
of his father, and to possess himself of the throne, 
by conspiracy and force, in opposition to his wish. 
His undertaking was a formal usurpation, and 
like that of Absalom, to which the whole narrative 
manifestly points. Upon this account also the 
text says: "he exalted himself" i. e., he over- 
exalted himself — made himself somewhat that did 
not become him (XL"J used here as in Prov. xxx. 

32 ; Numb. xvi. 3), with this result, that his 
father left him to his will (VD'D means from his, 

Adonijah's days, and is not, with Seb. Schmidt, to 
be understood first of his attempt at royal 
sovereignty). The moral infirmity of the royal 
father, coupled now with bodily weakness, in- 
duced Adonijah to enter upon his guilty enter- 
prise. Just as Absalom had done (2 Sam. xv. 1), 
he provided himself with what, according to 
1 Sam. viii. 11, is designated as the first " royal 
prerogative," chariots, riders, and body-guardsmen, 
i. e., a brilliant court, in order thereby to impose 
upon the multitude. 

Vers. 7-10. And he conferred with Joab, 
&c. Through the commander-in-chief, Adonijah 
hopes to win over the army, and through the 
high-priest, to secure also the priesthood. Not the 
conviction " that he had right on his side " 
(Thenius), induced both men to enter into his 
plans. Joab had observed that he was sunken in 
the good graces of David (chap. ii. 5), and conse- 
quently could not hope for much for himself from 
Solomon ; but from Adonijah he could hope, espe- 
cially if made king by his assistance. Abiathar 
seems to have felt himself set aside by David for 
Zadok, which priest was at the tabernacle with 
the ark of the covenant at Zion (see on vers. 33 
and 39), and to have feared that the high-priestly 
family of Eleazar, to which Zadok belonged, 
would supplant his own, viz. : the family of 
Ithamar. Upon Benaiah, comp. 2 Sam. viii. 18 and 
xxiii. 20 sq. ; upon Nathan, see 2 Sam. vii. and xii. 
Shimei is mentioned in chap. iv. 18 : Josephus 
names Rei b \avidov <pi?.oc. Doubtless these latter 
filled high offices. That they were the only sur- 
viving brothers of David (Ewald), has nothing pro- 

bable to rest upon. Upon the heroes of David, 
comp. 2 Sam. xxiii. 8 sq., and 1 Chron. xi. 10 sq. 
Adonijah, like Absalom (2 Sam. xv. 8, 12), pre- 
pared a great feast, which was ostensibly also 
sacrificial, in order to impart to the transaction a 
religious coloring. The well, i. e., the sources of 
Eogel (Jos. xv. 7 ; xviii. 16), lay, according to 
2 Sam. xvii. 11, southeasterly from Jerusalem, in 
the loveliest, most fruitful plain ; according to 
Josephus, in (SaaiAitiu irapaSeioL) ; according to 
Schulz (Jems., s. 79), "even now a place of recre- 
ation for the inhabitants of Jerusalem." Thenius 

derives the name Zoheleth from pnT , to crawl — 

a rock which one must climb with difficulty. This 
place was in every respect suited for a public fes- 
tivity. (Comp. Robinson. Palestine, vol. i. p. 333 
Boston, 1868.) 

Vers. 11-14. Wherefore Nathan spake unto 
Bath-sheba, &c. According to the custom pre- 
vailing anciently in the East, on the occasion of 
the forcible seizure of the throne, of murdering 
the dethroned ruler, or the opposing pretenders tc 
the crown, with all their nearest relations (Judg. 
ix. 5; 1 Kings xv. 29; 2 Kings x. 6, 13; xi. 1), in 
the event of the success of Adonijah's undertak- 
ing, there was very much to fear for the life both 
of Solomon and of his mother. That David knew 
nothing of the plans of Adonijah, and that Nathan 
was first informed of them only at the moment of 
their execution, shows how secretly the affair had 
been managed. This would have been unneces- 
sary had Adonijah a recognized right to the 
throne, and had his own conscience been right 
in the premises. David, moreover, would not have 
been so very much surprised at his undertaking. 
The prophet Nathan also deemed it his duty to pre- 
vent, as far as possible, a repetition of the history 
of Absalom. With great wisdom and prudence, 
he addressed himself to the mother of Solomon, 
who was especially beloved of David, begging her 
to apply to the king, with whom rested the right 
to designate his successor, to represent to him the 
mortal peril which threatened both her son and 
herself, and to remind him of his promise to her. 
When David's mind should first, by this means, 
become aroused, than he (the prophet) would, in 
the name of Jehovah, appear before the king, and 
place before him his given word (1 Chron. 
xxviii. 5), in order to incite him to immediate 
action. " When David first promised Bath-sheba, 
upon his oath, that her son Solomon should be- 
come king, is not known. Obviously it was after 
the promise he had received in 2 Sam. vii." 
I Eeil l. 

Vers. 15-27. And Bath-sheba went in unto 
the king, &e. The statement that king David 
was old, &c. (ver. 1), explains the words : " into 
the chamber" (ver. 15), and means he was so feeble 
that he could not leave his sick-room, and needed 
constant attention. — From ver. 20, comp. 27, it ia 
most explicit, once more, that no one entertained 
the thought that Adonijah, as the eldest surviving 
son of the king, had a right to the succession ; but 
that the right to decide whether of his sons should 
be king, remained rather with the king, and that 
his decision was anxiously waited for. — I and my 
son Solomon shall be counted offenders, i. e., 
we shall be treated as traitors and offenders guilty 
of death. After these words Bath-sheba retired, and 
Nathan, informed in the meanwhile, went unto the 



king-. "While the former addressed her statement to 
the king directly, as a mother, the latter, as proph- 
et, begins with a question in which, upon the one 
side, a slight reproach was conveyed that David 
should not have put a stop sooner to the design 
of Adonijah, and have exposed his own friends to 
great danger, and on the other side it expressed 
the confidence that the king would hold to his 
oath, and carry it out forthwith. — Under "the 
captains of the host," ver. 25, the servants of the 
king (the mighty men) in ver. 10 are included. 
Kings used to be saluted by the people with the 
salutation, Live the king ! (1 Sam. x. 24 ; 2 Sam vvi 
16; 2 Kings xi. 12; 2 Chron. xxiii. 31.) The order 
of names in ver. 26 contains a climax in which 
Sol,, inuii, as the highest personage, is named last. 
Nathan's words are anything else than the expres- 
sion of wounded vanity — they simply exhibit 
Adonijah's hostile sentiment towards the friends 
of the king, and also the fate in store for them 
should Adonijah become sovereign. 

Vers. 2S-38. Then king David answered, 

Ac. The quick and firm resolution of David shows 
how strong he was yet in mind and will, notwith- 
standing all his bodily weakness. He repeats his 
oath, not, however, employing merely the usual for- 
mula, as Jehovah liveth! but adding most signifi- 
cantly, who hath redeemed my soul out of all distress, 
i. e., to the God who has been true to me, and deliver- 
ed me wonderfully out of so many and great dangers, 
will 1 also remain true unto the end. His oath, 
coming from deep emotion, is likewise a praise and 
thanksgiving unto Jehovah. Had Adonijah an 
actual formal right to the throne, such an oath 
would have been the greatest sin, in so far as David, 
while appealing to the divine mercy and grace, 
..ould have knowingly trodden under foot the 

right of his son. The added D^ , ver. 31, exhibits 

the vivacity of the thought. Amongst the Persian 
kings it appears to have been customary (Dan. iii. 
9; v. 10; vi. 22; Neh. ii. 3). 

Ters. 33-37. The king also said unto them, 
Take with you the servants of your lord, 

Ae. As no one but the king himself dared ride 
his mule, the command to let Solomon " ride •' 
thereon was an actual declaration that he was 
king (Esth. vi. 8, 9). Gihon is a place near Jeru- 
salem, on the west side, with a spring of water 
(2 Chron. xxxii. 30 ; xxxiii. 14). The valley here 
situated bears still this name (Robinson, Palest., 
vol. i., p. 346). It was proper for the anointing to 
take place at a spot where a large assemblage 
could be gathered, and whence a solemn entrance 
into the city, which had no open public square, could 
be made. Gihon, moreover, was considerably dis- 
tant from the rock Zoheleth, which was on the 
southeasterly side of Jerusalem, where Adonijah 
had gathered together his adherents, so that a colli- 
sion would be avoided. According to the account 
of the rabbins, kings were anointed only at places 
abounding in water, and upon that account also 
much frequented. But they erroneously identify 
Gihon with Siloam, which spring lies southeast of 

Junsalem. Tlienius prefers the reading jiynj to |in3, 

beca we the tabernacle was there, from which, 
according to ver. 39, Zadok took the " horn of oil.'' 
But tho three hours' distance of Gibeou from Jeru- 
salem is conclusive agaitst this. Besides, by ^nN , 

in ver. 39, we are not to understand the taber 
nacle of the covenant, but the tent erected by Da 
vid upon Zion for the ark of the covenant (2 Sam 
vi. 17; 1 Chron. xv. 1; xvi. 1). David express!} 
gave order for the anointing of Solomon, so thai 
nothing appertaining to the investiture of the king 
should be wanting. The supposition that anointing 
took place only with those kings " who were not 
free from exceptions, or who had no historic 
right to the throne " (Winer and Grotius, after the 
rabbins), is unfounded, for David, who here ordered 
the anointing, regarded Solomon in no respect as 
an exceptional successor. From the fact that he 
wished this done not simply by the high-priest, 
but also by the prophet, we learn the high siguifi- 
1 cance he attributed to the prophetic office in Israel. 
j He says purposely, ruler over Israel and over Judah. 
. He had himself, for some time, been ruler only over 
j Judah : then he had conquered Epnraim, which 
I named itself Israel, and had united it again with 
j Judah. The old disunion had again exhibited 
itself on the revolt of Absalom (2 Sam. six. 40 sq.); 
I hence, with Adonijah's like undertaking in view. 
• he deemed it necessary to declare expressly thai 
j Solomon should be ruler over Israel and Judah. 
Beuaiah, as the person upon whom the execution 
of. the order devolved, answered David, and de- 
clared himself ready to carry it out, — not, as 
Thenius supposes, to flatter the paternal vanity, 
but, in the conviction that the king's command waa 
in conformity with the will of Jehovah, he wished 
that the divine blessing might rest upon the gov- 
ernment of Solomon. 

Ver. 38. So Zadok the priest, &c. By the 
Cherethites and Pelethites we must understand the 
royal body-guard (Josephus, ou/iaroipi'/.aKec). On 
the other hand, the modern interpreters are not 
agreed whether both expressions are to be undei 
stood ethnographically or appellatively. They 
who urge the former, appeal to 1 Sam. xxx. 14, 
and hold TT13 for the designation of the parent- 
stem of the Philistines, which had migrated from 
Crete, and that 'HPS , too, is the same with TlC'i'B . 

David, who for a long while had remained amongst 
the Philistines, had collected his body-guard 
from amongst foreigners and not from his own 
people, and afterwards the appellative remained 
(Movers, Hitzig, Bertheau, Ewald). Others derive 

TP3 from ma , and t6d from the Arabic, cog- 
nate with D?S , &c, understanding by the former, 
lictors, the royal executioners of the punishment 
of death, and by the latter, runners who, like the 
ayyapm of the Persians, had to carry commands to 
remote places (2 Chron. xxx. 6). We hold to this 
latter view, along with Gesenius, Keil, and 
Thenius, for although the plural form '_ instead of 

D'_ for appellations is certainly unusual, we can- 
not perceive why two designations should be em- 
ployed side by side, for one and the same people. 
(We do not say Britons and Englishmen.) So, 
then, later the royal body-guard were called 
D^Vini H3PI (comp. 2 Kings xi. 4 si].), i. e., execu 

tioners and runners. And last of all, it is highly 
improbable that David, who was perpetually a\ 
war with the Philistines, would have selected hu 
body-guards from them. — The horn of oil out of 
the tabernacle (ver. 39). T) e " oil of holy oiat> 

CHAPTER I. 1-53. 


ment " (Ex. xxx. 23 sq.) was preserved in the 
tabernacle in which the ark of the covenant was 
kept (1 Cliron. sv. 1). The pouring of this oil upon 
the head symbolized the communication of the 
Spirit (mi)" of Jehovah (1 Sam. xvi. 13). By 

anointing, the royal office with which Solomon 
was to be invested was set forth as essentially 
theocratic. The king of Israel was, upon this ac- 
count, absolutely the anointed of the Lord (1 Sam. 
ii. 10, 35; xxiv. 1). The taking of the horn from 
the " tabernacle " does not force us to the conclu- 
sion that the act of anointing took place before or at 
it and at the same time, also at Gibeon, as Thenius 
maintains. The great joy and jubilation of the 
people shows that they knew nothing of Adonijah's 
right to the throne, but that they rather accepted 
David's decision, who alone had the right to de- 
cide. They saw in Solomon's elevation a victory 
over the unauthorized usurper. Flutes were used 
at festivals, especially at the feast of tabernacles 
(Isai. v. 12; xxx. 29; Winer, R.-W.-B., ii. s. 123). 

Ver. 40. The earth rent. So according to the 
Chald., which explains y£3FI by njJT • The Sept. 

has vxi ae < the Vulg. insonuit. Thenius reads 
ypnn , the earth was struck = quaked, which 

seems unnecessary. 

Vers. 41-48. And Adonijah .... heard it, 
&c. While the assembled guests heard the noise 
and the cry in the city, the experienced soldier 
Joab caught the sound of the trumpets especially, 
and concluded, from this warlike token, nothing 
good. Jonathan, the son of Abiathar, who here, 
as in 2 Sam. xv. 36 and xvii. 17 appears as the 
bringer of news, was probably left behind in the 
city "designedly to observe what was going on. 
Although scarcely himself a witness of what trans- 
pired in the royal palace, he could, nevertheless, 
as Solomon had already made his entrance, be 
well informed by eye and ear witnesses. Joab 
named him a valiant man, i. e., a person whose re- 
port could be trusted. The innL ,i! l at the end of 

ver. 47, as David was lying upon his bed, certainly 
cannot mean that he fell upon his knees; still less 
is a thankful bow in return to those who were 
congratulating him meant (Thenius). The king 
bowed himself with his body as far as he could, be- 
fore his Lord and God, and spake : Blessed, &c. The 
DM at the beginning of ver. 48 does not indicate a 

new, different action, but simply states that besides 
his bowing, he spake also the words which follow. 
Vers. 49-53. And all the guests .... were 
afraid, &c. The panic which forthwith seized 
Adonijah and his followers, shows that their con- 
science was not upright ic their undertaking, i. e., 
that they themselves were not convinced of the 
righteousness of Adonijah's claims, otherwise they 
would, with Joab at their head, have made a stand, 
and not scattered at once. To save his life, which 
he, as a usurper of the throne, believed he had 
forfeited, Adonijah fled to the altar, which stood 
before the tabernacle upon Zion (chap. iii. 15 ; 
2 Sam. vi. 17). Be laid hold of the horns of the 
altar, as did Joab afterwards (chap. ii. 28), and ap- 
pealed thereby to the pardoning power and grace 
of Jehovah (comp. upon the significance of the act, 
my Symbolik des Mos. Cult., i. s. 473 sq.) This 
asylum was ordained originally for unintentional 
man-slayers (Exod. xxi. 12 sq); but later on it ap- 

pears to have been made use of by persons who 
feared punishment by death. Solomon regarded 
Adonijah's flight to the horns of tho altar as a 
confession of his guilt and repentance, and he 
exercised an act of clemency which could only 
produce the most favorable impression upon the 
people. Yet he adds a warning in the words : 
Go to thine house, i. e., not : Do not come into my 
presence (2 Sam. xiv. 24), but: Keep thyself quiet, 
live as a private person, then not the least harm 
shall befall thee. 


1. The entire first chapter turns upon the eleva- 
tion of Solomon to the throne, which is narrated so 
circumstantially with its immediate occasion and 
all the attending circumstances, because, as has 
already been shown in the Introduction, § 3, it 
constitutes in the highest degree a weighty mo- 
ment in the development of the history of the Old 
Testament theocracy. With it begins the period 
of a blooming of the kingdom of Israel which it 
never had before, and which never came again. 
Solomon thereby became elevated to the type of a 
great, mighty, wise, and prosperous kiug, which 
he passes" for even to this day in the Orient. The 
prophets even depict the glory and happiness of 
the Messianic kingdom with expressions which 
are borrowed from the description of the kingdom 
of Israel under Solomon. (Comp. Mich. iv. 4, and 
Zach. iii. 10, with 1 Kings v. 5.) He is, according 
to his name, the prince of peace, mit' cfo^'/i', and 
the beloved of God (2 Sam. xii. 25), designations 
which by the prophets and in the New Testament 
are applied, in like manner, to the Messiah the son 
of David in the most eminent sense (Is. ix. 5, 6; 
Eph. i. 6 ; ii. 14 ; Col. i. 13). The reception of 
" The Song of Solomon " into the Old Testament 
canon shows that to the Jewish synagogue the 
typical relation was not unknown, and in the 
Christian Church it has always been maintained. 

2. The brief introductory narrative, vers. 1-4, 
has been found in many respects very scandalous. 
This has arisen from the wholly false presupposi- 
tion that it treats of the gratification of the lust- 
fulness of a worn-out old man by means of a con- 
cubine. But of this the text declares so little, that 
it rather states explicitly, David did not know Abi- 
shag. The means which the physicians — not he 
himself — selected to restore to him his lost natural 
warmth, were, if not unheard of, at least morally 
questionable, yea, from a Christian point of view, 
decidedly objectionable. That they did not hesi- 
tate to recommend it, has indeed its ground, not 
in conscious immorality and frivolity, but in the 
perverted views prevalent throughout the entire 
ancient Orient upon the relation of the sexes, or 
in the deeply-rooted lack of chastity, which even 
the stern lawgiver Moses was not able to put an 
end to. Hence polygamy was not only permitted, 
but it was regarded by kings as somewhat belong- 
ing to their royal estate, and it never occurred tr 
any one to object to them upon that account 

• [The translators, after some hesitation, have adoptee 
the aDove as fl caption. It is not a translation of the an 
tiior's heading. He has it. " heilsgachichtliche" which ex- 
presses the conception of the historical process of healing 
or salvation. It is a term for which we hav- no available 
equivalent in Knglish, although the thougul embodied bj 
the word is clear enough.] 



(Comp. 2 Sam. v. 13 ; 1 Kings xi. 3 ; 2 Chron. xi. 
21; Judges viii. 30.) Th's explains the reason why 
David did not reject the medical advice, and why 
the matter did not cause any scandal among the 
people, why even Bath-sheba herself did not feel 
aggrieved (ver. 15). Whatsoever the narrative has 
which is repulsive to us, does not adhere to a par- 
ticular person nor to this particular instance, but 
to the general lack of conjugal chastity in the Old 

3. Adonijah's undertaking, in which there is so 
unmistakably a reference to Absalom's, is to be 
understood throughout as blameworthy. He knew 
that the decision upon the succession to the throne 
depended upon hi6 father, and that he had already 
selected Solomon. He knew also the tragical end 
of Absalom's attempt. Nevertheless, he would 
not be warned by it, but set himself up in the way 
of self over-estimation, making boast of his beau- 
tiful figure. King will he be at any cost. He 
makes his preparations without his father's con- 
gent, takes advantage of his infirmity and weak- 
ness, and secretly enters into combinations with 
the most influential men who belonged, more 
or less, to the class of malcontents. He allows 
himself to become impatient through his lust 
for ruling, and to rush into a measure in every re- 
spect premature. Upon the first intelligence, nev- 
ertheless, of Solomon's accession, a shameful panic 
seizes him. All courage to risk the least thing for 
his cause fails him. The whole crowd of his fol- 
lowers scatters like dust, and he himself, in a cow- 
ardly way, seeks to save only his life. He anx- 
iously flies to a place of refuge, clings to it, calls 
himself Solomon's " servant," and salutes him as 
king. But, scarcely is the danger past, he breaks 
his pledged word to behave quietly, and starts 
anew in secret machinations to reach his goal. He 
flatters the mother of Solomon with hypocritical 
humility, and seeks to move the heart of the wife 
(see on chap. ii. 13 sq.). Rightly does Ewald say 
of him : " A man who, according to all the known 
features of our memorial of him, has much that 
resembles Absalom, fine form, airy, and ambitious 
of power, yet inwardly scarcely fit for governing ; 
of an obdurate mind, and yet afraid to venture 
upon open battle. That he was no proper sov- 
ereign for such a kingdom as Israel then was, 
must be obvious to intelligent men." 

4. Nathan here, as always (2 Sam. vii., xii.), ap- 
pears right genuinely as prophet. When there is an 
attempt to bring to completion human self-willed 
beginnings over-against the counsel and will of God, 
where the safety and well-being of the chosen peo- 
ple were at stake, then it was the calling of the 
prophet to interfere, counselling and reminding, 
warning and punishing. It was not so much per- 
sonal friendship for David, and love for his pupil 
Solomon, as rather, and before all, the known will 
of Jehovah, which had determined that the latter 
should be king, that induced him to take the step 
which would have had the most disastrous conse- 
quences for himself, yea, might have cost him his 
life, had Adonijah become king. It was not Za- 
dok, nor Benaiah, nor any of the other friends of 
David, who brought to nought the ill-starred en- 
terprise. But the same prophet, through whom the 
great promise had been made to David in respect 
of the succession, by the providence of God, 
averted also that which in'erfered with the fulfil- 
ment of the promise. And without his prompt, 

spirited interference there would have been for 
Israel no Solomon-era, no glorious age of the the- 
ocratic house. He proceeded in the matter with 
great wisdom aud circumspection. First he allows 
the mother of Solomon to prepare the way, con 
ciliating the infirm and feeble king, then he enter! 
before him himself, with all deference indeed, nev- 
ertheless at the same time earnestly reminding and 
slightly reproving him, and calls upon him as a 
man and servant of God to fulfil the promise he 
had given unto the Lord. 

5. The conduct of David, when he learns wha> 
is going on, corresponds fully with the divine will 
and with his great calling as the founder of the 
theocratic kingdom, and of the new dynasty which 
is to sit forever upon the throne of Israel. He does 
not stagger irresolutely hither and thither, like a 
sick, feeble old man without any will of his own, but, 
as if he were still the strong hero, the undismayed, 
determined, energetic man, such as in his best 
years he had so often shown himself amid dangers 
and in critical situations, he raises himself from 
his sick-bed, swears to observe his word, issues 
his orders, and puts them into immediate execi ■ 
tion. This resolution and firmness could not have 
proceeded possibly from their opposite, from an 
inward infirmity, i. e., from compliance with the 
supplication of a wife, nor from dislike of Adoni- 
jah, whom he had never interfered with (ver. 6), 
but had heretofore always indulged too much. It 
is to be explained only by his faith in the promise 
of Jehovah, by his firm certainty and assurance 
that Solomon was appointed by Jehovah to be his 
successor, and that through him as well his own 
"house," as the house of Jehovah, which it was 
permitted himself no longer to take care of, should 
be built up (2 Sam. vii. 11-13). Upon this account 
also the Epistle to the Hebrews mentions him 
expressly in the list of the men who have held 
the faith and obtained the promise (chap, xu 
32). How could he have sworn by Him who had 
"redeemed his soul out of all distress," and 
then, in deep humility, have praised and glorified 
Him, had he been conscious of any injustice to- 
wards Adonijah, and had not, in the prosperous 
issue of his commands, beheld a gracious guidance 
of the God of Israel ? It is clear that under such 
a man as Adonijah, who was lacking in all the 
qualities requisite for the head of the theocracy, 
the kingdom never would have reached the bloom 
which it reached under Solomon. It would have 
been the greatest misfortune for Israel had he as- 
cended the throne, while, viewed apart from the 
promise, the high and extraordinary endowment 
of Solomon was a clear indication of Providence 
that he alone of all his brothers was fitted to pre- 
serve, indeed to increase, what Divid had acquired 
with indescribable toil and great conflict, under 
the visible assistance of God. David did not de- 
prive Adonijah of what rightly belonged to him, 
lie only did not bestow upon him what he craved 
in his foolish arrogance and ambition, to the det- 
riment of the kingdom. 

G. Of Solomon himself we learn here only this 
one thing, that he iustantly allowed Adonijah tu 
go free, who, by his (light to a place of refuge, 
w;is selif-coiivieted of guilt, and, according to the 
ei i -loin in such cases, feared punishment by death. 
His first act as king was significantly an act of 
magnanimity and grace, which appears all the 
more worthy of admiration when we remember 

CHAPTER I. 1-53. 


"that Adonijah, had ho won, would certainly have 
destroyed his brother and all his chief support- 
ers " (Ewald), as both Nathan and Bath-sheba 
undoubtedly expected (vors. 12, 21). 

7. The new historic criticism sees " in our nar- 
rative, distinctly, the fully natural machinery of 
human actions " (Thenius), a " court-cabal," the 
" astute manager " of which is Nathan (Koster). 
" Bath-sheba sought to secure the crown for her 
son Solomon, although, after Absalom's death, it 
devolved upon the fourth son of David, Adonijah, 
whom Hagith had borne to him. One of the two 
priests at the ark of the covenant, Zadok, sup- 
ported Bath-sheba's designs, just as Nathan the 

prophet Both could expect from the 

young Solomon a greater complaisance towards 
priestly influence than from the more independent 
Adonijah, especially if they helped the young man, 
against right, to the throne. It was characteristic 
of Bath-sheba to induce David to swear by Jeho- 
vah that Solomon, instead of Adonijah, should be 
his successor. But Adonijah was resolved not to 
allow himself to be robbed of his good right 
through an intrigue of the harem. . . As Da- 
vid was sinking upon his death-bed, Adonijah be- 
lieved that he must anticipate his enemies," &c. 
(Duncker, Geschichte des Alterthums, i. s. 385). No- 
thing is more certain than that the biblical author 
did not look upon the matter in such light. This 
whole exposition is a distinct example of the mode 
of treating biblical history already described in 
the Introduction, § 5. It abandons the stand- 
point of the narrator, arranges the history man- 
fashion, and then, as is the case here, perverts it 
into its opposite. The divine promise becomes a 
fine-spun harem intrigue, the "great prophet," as 
Ewald also calls him, becomes the intriguing man- 
ager of a court-cabal, the true priest is reduced 
to the level of a self-seeker, the firm believing 
king, the man after God's heart, the play-ball of a 
woman and of a court-party, the greatest and wis- 
est king of Israel Is a throne-robber, and on the 
other hand the airy, incapable, deceitful, and cow- 
ardly usurper Adonijah becomes a martyr of the 
right and the unfortunate victim of impure machi- 
nations. This entire perverted interpretation rests 
upon the presupposition, already sufficiently proved 
groundless, that Adonijah was "the rightful heir," 
and falls to pieces with it. 

8. ["It is true that Adonijah was David's eld- 
est son now remaining, and therefore might seem 
to challenge the justest title to the crown ; but the 
kingdom of Israel, in so late an erection, had not 
yet known the right of succession. God himself, 
that had ordained the government, was as yet the 
immediate elector ; He fetched Saul from among 
the stuff, and David from the sheep-fold, and has 
now appointed Solomon from the ferule to the 
sceptre." — Bp. Hall, Contemplations, Bk. xvii., Con- 
templation i. — E. H] 


Vers. 1-4. Weakness and infirmity in old age are : 
(a) the universal human lot to which we must all 
consider ourselves appointed (Ps. xc. 10) ; (b) they 
should loosen the bands which hold us to the tem- 
poral and perishable, and ripen us for eternity (2 
Cor. iv. 17 sq.). — Wurt. Summ. They who, through 

many a cross, and sorrow, and anxiety, expend 
their bodily powers, should be all the more pa- 
tient, and console themselves here with the exam- 
ple of David, and know that among the saints ol 
God, also, feebleness of body is found. — We may, 
and should, follow advice for the relief of our dis- 
tress and the preservation of our life, in so far as 
it does not militate against the commands of God ; 
for the Lord says, "it is better," &c. (Matt, xviii. 
8). — Old and sick people should, and it is expected 
of them as a work well pleasing to God that they 
bear this with a willing heart, with patience, self- 
denial, and sacrificing love. — Vers. 5-10. Adoni- 
jah's attempt to obtain the crown : (a) the ground 
upon which it rests (upon self-assertion, pride, lust 
of power, ver. 5, but God resisteth the proud, and 
a haughty spirit goeth before a fall : iipon outward 
qualities, age, and beautiful person, ver. 6, but 1 
Sam. xvi. 7; Ps. cxlvii. 10, 11); (b) the means 
which he employed (he seeks to impose upon the 
people by chariots and horsemen, but Ps. xx. 8 ; 
he conspires with false and faithless men, but they 
forsake him in the hour of danger, ver. 49 ; Ps. ci 

6, 7 ; he prepares for appearance' sake a religious 
festival, ver. 9, but 2 Mos. xx. 7). — Ver. 5. The ef- 
fort after high things (Rom. xii. 16). — How many 
a person thinks : I will become a great personage, 
a man of authority and influence, and then scru- 
ples at nothing in order to attain his goal. But 
that which is written in 1 Cor. vii. 20, 24 applies to 
the individual as well as to entire classes. — Wurt. 
Summ. : Let no one attempt to take an office against 
God and His will ; " and no man taketh this honor 
unto himself but he that is called of God " (Heb. 
v. 4). — Ver. 6. The father who allows his son to 
go on in his pride and in worldly or sinful conduct, 
and shuts his eyes, not to trouble him, must ex- 
pect that the son will trouble him and embitter the 
evening of his life. It is the right and duty of 
every father to speak to his son about his conduct 
even when he is no longer a child, and to ask, 
Why dost thou so? A perverted parental love 
is self-punished, Prov. xxix. 17 ; Sir. xxx. 9. — Ver. 

7. Hign personages always find people for the exe- 
cution of their sinful plans, who, from subservi- 
ency or desire of reward, from ambition or revenge, 
will act as counsellors and agents; but they have 
their reward, and for the most part end with ter- 
ror. — Ver. 8. With those who are meditating trea- 
son and destruction we should never make common 
cause (Prov. xxiv. 21, 22). — Vers. 9, 10. Seil^r: He 
who will not abide his time until God himself shall 
elevate him, will fall even when he attempts to 
rise. He who gives the crowd wherewith to eat 
and to drink, who prepares for them festivities and 
pleasures (panem et circenses), makes himself popu- 
lar and beloved for the moment; but all who al- 
low themselves to be gained in such way, to-day 
shout Hosanna I and to-morrow, Crucify ! By not 
inviting Solomon, Adonijah betrayed his plans, 
and himself gave the occasion for their frustration 
(Ps. lxix. 23 ; Rom. xi. 9). It is a rule of the 
divine world-government that the cause of God, 
through that whereby its enemies seek to thwart 
and hinder it, is only so much the more pro- 

Vers. 11-27. Nathan, the type of a true prophet: 
(a) through his watchfulness and fidelity (Ezek. 
xxxiii. 7), he is not silent when it was his duty to 
open his mouth (Is. lvt 10); (b) through his wis- 
dom and gentleness (Matt. x. 16) ; (c) through his 



earnestness and courage (Matt. x. 28 ; see Histor. 
and Ethical). How grand is this Nathan, how re- 
proving to all who sleep when they should be 
wakeful, who are dumb when they should coun- 
sel, who flatter when they should warn. — Ver. 11. 
It is a solemn duty not to conceal what can prove 
an injury and evil to an individual or to a commu- 
nity, but to erpose it at the right time and in the 
right place, so that the injury may be averted. — 
Ter. 12. What Nathan here says to Bath-sheba, 
Christ and his apostles, in an infinitely higher sense, 
say to us all, especially to every father and to every 
mother. He who has come into the world to de- 
liver and to save our souls, cries, Come unto me, 
£c. (Matt. xi. 28, 29), and the apostle advises the 
jailor, who asks in terror and alarm, What shall I 
do to be saved ? i. e., delivered, Believe in the Lord 
Jesus Christ, so shall thou and thy house be de- 
livered. How many take kindly the good advice 
of a wise man, for themselves and for their child- 
-en, in their earthly and outward affairs, but who 
wish to hear nothing of the best advice which 
shall bring blessedness to their souls. — Ter. 14. 
The purity of the counsel is confirmed by the ac- 
companying result. — Vers. 15-21. Bath-sheba be- 
fore the king. She reminds him of his duty (a) 
towards God, before whom he had sworn (what 
one has vowed before God, according to God's 
will, one must hold to under all circumstances ; of 
this one must remind kings and princes) ; (6) to- 
wards the people whose well-being and whose 
woe were in his keeping (the great responsibility 
if him towards whom all eyes are directed) ; (c) 
towards the wife and son whose happiness and 
life were at stake (woe to the father through whose 
guilt wife and children, after his death, fall into 
contempt and wretchedness). — Vers. 22-27. As 
Nathan does not hold back from the fulfilment of 
nis holy calling through consideration of the dan- 
ger threatening his life, and of the illness of the 
king, so 'David is deterred in nothing when it was 
said, Behold the prophet! from listening to the 
man of God, though his word, like a two-edged 
sword, may pierce through his soul. To have a 
Nathan by one's side, who refers at the right time 
and in the right way to the will of God, is the 
choicest blessing for a prince. " He who fears God 
lays hold of such a friend" (Eccles. vi. 16). — The 
ministers of God and the preachers of His word 
should not indeed mingle in worldly business and 
political affairs, but their calling always requires 
them to testify against uproar and sedition, for 
he who resisteth the powers, resisteth the ordi- 
nance of God (Rom. xiii. 2). — With questions 
which lead to a knowledge of self, he who has 
the care of souls often accomplishes more than by 
direct reproaches and disciplinary speeches. 

Vers. 28-37. David's decision: (a) His oath 
(vers. 29, 30) is an evidence of his firm faith in the 
divine promise; (b) his command is a living proof 
of the truth of the word, Is. xl. 31, and Ps. xcii. 
15 sq. (see Histor. and Ethical). — Ver. 30 sq. The 
word of a prince must stand firm and not be 
broken. Happy for the king who, under all cir- 
cumstances, observes what he has promised. Fi- 
delity in high places meets with fidelity from those 
below. — Ver. 36. Where the government is in firm 
bands there is found also a willing, joyous obedi- 
»nce. Upon God's blessing all is founded. With- 
out God's Amen our Amen avr ils nothing. Loyal 
sub ects know that they can wish for nothing 

greater and better for their prince and ruler than 
that God, at all times, may be with him. — Vers. 
38-40. The typical in Solomon's elevation to the 
sovereignty : (a) He is established in spite of all 
machinations against him (Ps. ii. 2; Heb. v. 5); 
(b) he is anointed with oil from the sanctuary (Is. 
lxi. 1 ; Luke iv. IS) ; (c) he makes his entry aa 
prince of peace amid the jubilee and praise of the 
people (Zach. ix. 9; Matt. xxi. 1 sq.). — Starke: 
My Christian I reflect here upon the trumpet- 
sounding and the jubilee-shout, when the heavenly 
Solomon shall take possession of his kingdom 
(Rev. xi. 16), and see to it that thou also mayest 
be amongst those who have part in this joy. 

Vers. 41^,9. The frustration of the schemes 
of Adonijah (Job v. 12): (a) The intelligence he 
obtains ; (b) the effect produced by this intelli- 
gence. To an evil conscience (Joab) the trumpets 
which announce victory and joy are judgment- 
trumpets, which sound forth, Thou art weighed and 
found wanting. The same message in which Da- 
vid expresses himself, Blessed be, Ac, ver. 48, 
works terror and alarm in Adonijah and his party. 
So still ever sounds the " good message " that the 
true Prince of peace, Christ, has won the victory, 
and is seated at the right hand of God, which to 
some is for thanksgiving and praise, so that they 
support themselves upon it, but to others it is a 
stone of stumbling, so that they fall and are con- 
founded (Is. viii. 14; Luke ii. 34). — In the intoxi- 
cation of sinful pleasure and of God-forgetting, 
frivolous jubilation, the holy God sends, often- 
times, the thunder and lightning of his judgment, 
so that the besotted and maddened may thereby 
be rendered sober and made to experience that 
there is an holy God in heaven who will not allow 
himself to be mocked. When Adonijah held a 
great festivity he had plenty of friends ; but when 
the messenger came with evil tidings, no one, not 
even the bold Joab, stood by him ; they all forsook 
him (Eccles. vi. 10-12). — Vers. 50-53. Adonijah 
covered himself with shame (Prov. xi. 2) : (a) He 
was afraid of Solomon (he who does not fear the 
Lord, must at last become afraid of men). How 
miserable the contrast between the young, haughty 
Adonijah and the aged, feeble, but faithful-hearted 
and humble David; (b) he flies to the horns of 
the altar and begs for mercy: (he who said, I 
will be king, calls himself Solomon's servant. Os- 
tentation and boasting, as a rule, end in cowardice 
and cringing. He can bring down him who is 
proud (Dan. iv. 34). In the old covenant the horns 
of the altar were the places of lefuge for those 
who had forfeited life and sought grace ; in the 
new covenant God has directed us to a horn of 
salvation (Luke i. 69), the cross of the Lord, which 
all must seize and hold fast to who seek forgive- 
ness and grace, and wish to pass from death unto 
life. That is the only and true asylum ; he who 
flees thither avails himself of the word of the 
great Prince of peace, Go in peace, thy faith 
hath saved thee. The most beautiful prerogative 
of the crown is to do mercy for judgment ; but 
mercy must never be for a covering of iniquity. 
Hence by the side of the word : Thy sins are for 
given thee 1 stands the other word : Sin no more. 
Kings and princes do well when, after Solomon's 
example, they begin their reign with an act of 

[Bp. Hall. " Outward happiness and friend- 
ship are not known until our last act. In the "n- 

CHAPTER 11. 1-12. 29 

potency of either our revenge or recompense it 
will easily appear who loved us for ourselves, who 
for their own ends." Suitable for ver. 7. 

Bp. Hall, for ver. 41. " No doubt at this feast 
there was many a health drunken to Adonijah, 

many a confident boast of their prospering desiga 
many a scorn of the despised faction of Solomon ■ 
and now, for their last dish (ver. 49) is served up 
astonishment, and fearful expectation of a just 
revenge. — E. H.] 

B. — David's last words to Solomon, and his death. 
Chapter II. 1-12. 

1 Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die ; and he charged 

2 Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth : be thou strong there- 

3 fore, and shew thyself a man ; and keep the charge of the Lord [Jehovah] thy 
God', to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, and His commandments, and 
His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that 
thou mayest prosper ' in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest 

4 thyself: that the Lord [Jehovah] may continue [confirm] 2 His word which he 
spake concerning me, saying, If thy children [sons] 3 take heed to their way, to 
walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul,' there shall 

5 not fail thee (said he) 6 a man on the throne of Israel. Moreover thou knowest 
also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and [even] 6 what he did to the two 
captains of the hosts of Israel, unto Abner the son of Ner, and unto Amasa the 
son of Jether, whom he slew, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the 
blood of war' upon his girdle that was about his loins, and in his shoes that were 

6 on his feet. Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head go 

7 down to the grave in peace. But shew kindness unto the sons of Barzillai the 
Gileadite, and let them be of those that eat at thy table : for so they came to 

« me when I fled because of [before] 8 Absalom thy brother. And, behold, thou 
hast with thee Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite [a son of the Jamimte] of 
Bahurim, which cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to 
Mahanaim : but he came down to meet me at Jordan, and I sware to him by 

9 the Lord [Jehovah], saying, I will not put thee to death with the sword. Now 
therefore hold him not guiltless : for thou art a wise man, and knowest what 
thou oughtest to do unto^him ; but his hoar head bring thou down to the grave 

with blood. . . ... 

10 So [And] David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David. 

11 And the davs that David reigned over Israel were forty years: seven years 
reio-ned he i'n Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem. 

12 Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father ; and his kingdom 
was established greatly. 


i Ver. 8.-[The Heb. ^SfeW bears equally well the sense prosper or do wisely; cf. Josh. 1. 7. The W. generally 
vlopt the former. 

> Ver 4— [Confirm is the proper sense of D'i?' as in all the VT. 

> Ver. 4,-[It is better here to preserve the masculine form as in all the VV., the reference being undoubtedly U 
the line upontjje throne.^ ^ ^ ^ ^^ ^^^ ^ nnd also vm all their smll , 

• Ver.4.-[De Eossi rejects as spurious the word TtM^., which is wanting in Kennicotfs MS. 170, and In th. 

Vnlg. and Arab. . 

• Ver. 6.— [Many MSS., the Syr. and Arab., express the conjunction If «!.■ 
7 Ver. 5.— [The Sept. have here " innocent blood "-«V» iiaov. 

» Ver. 7.— [Heb. Ijfet? • 

9 ver 8 -[Heb ^OTrp.son of the Jaminite, t. «., of the descendants of Jamin, a eon of Simeon (Num. ixvi. 18) 

theVV. the Sept. and Vulg. have appreciated the distinction ; Chald., Sir., and Arab, agree witn tne a. v. r.o.j 




Ver. 1. Now the days of David, &e. The 

Chronicles omit the history of Adonijah, but nar- 
rate instead, that David ordered a solemn act of 
homage of the entire people, in the persons of 
thtir representatives, towards Solomon when he 
"was anointed "a second time" (1 Chron. xxiii. 1 
sq., and xxix. 20-25). Such also was the case 
with Said (1 Sam. xi. 12-15), and with David him- 
self (2 Sam. v. 1-3 ; 1 Chron. xi. 1-3). Solomon's 
first anointing was rather impromptu, called for 
by the pressure of circumstances, upon which 
account it was proper that it should be fol- 
lowed by another done with all solemnity before 
the whole people. It took place also before that 
which is narrated in the section to be considered. 
The words, " a second time," show that the first 
anointing was well known to the chronicler. His 
narrative, besides, does not " rest upon liberty 
with the history " (Thenius), but is a filling-out of 
our own, with which it agrees very well. 

Vers. 2— t. I go the way, &c. The form of ex- 
pression reminds one of Josh, xxiii. 14 ; 1 Sam. iv. 
9; but especially of Josh. i. 7. The exhortation: 
Be thou strong, therefore, and show thyself a man ! 
does not mean : be consoled on account of my de- 
parture, bear it manfully; but it refers to what 
follows — be strong and brave in the " charge " of 
Jehovah, in the fulfilment of His prescripts. The 

expression : niiT TVfOWQ DW does not convey 

the sense : consider what Jehovah wills to have 
considered, %. e., His laws (for then the following 
would be pleonastic), but rather custodies custo- 
diam Jehovae, keep the charge which thou art 
bound to Jehovah, to accomplish ; be a true watch- 
man in the service of Jehovah and for Him (comp. 
1 Chron. xxiii. 32 ; xii. 29 ; Numb. iii. 6-8, 38). This 
charge is fulfilled in walking in the ways of God — 
in observing His various commandments. The ex- 
pressions which here, as elsewhere, so frequently 
standing side by side, denote the latter (Deut. v. 
28; viii. 11; Ps. cxviii. 5 sq.), do not admit of 
sharply-drawn distinctions ; but they " denote to- 
gether the totality of the law upon its different 

sides and relations to men " (Keil). — ^afn does 

not mean exactly " to have good fortune " (Ge- 
senius, De Wette, and others), but to be skilful, 
wise. He who in all things stands upon the com- 
mandments of God, and governs himself there- 
after, is and carries himself wisely. What he does, 
will and must have a prosperous issue, and come 
to a right conclusion (Deut. xxix. 8; Jer. Hi. 
15 sq.) ; xxiii. 5 ; Prov. xvii. 8 ; 2 Kings xviii. 
'<)■ — In ver. 4 the positive promise in 2 Sam. 
vii. 11 sq. is expressed in negative form, as also in 

:hap. viii. 25; ix. 5; Jer. xxxiii. 17. The m3 , "Xi' 

'does not denote a completely unbroken sueces- 
iion, but only the opposite of a break forever " 
(Hengstenberg). Thy house and seed shall never 
be exterminated, what catastrophies soever may 

Vers. 5, 6. The charge which David delivers in 
rers 5-9. were not, according to Ewald and 
Eisenlohr, originally made by him ; but were first, 
ai some subsequent time, put into his mouth in 
order to exp ain and justify Solomon's severity 

to Joab and to Shimei (chap. ii. 28 sq ). Thil 
supposition is as unnecessary as arbitrary — Upon 
the double murder of which Joab was guilty, 
comp. 2 Sam. iii. 27 sq., and xx. 8 sq. The first 
threw a false suspicion upon David (2 Sam. in. 
37); the second was coupled with scorn and 
defiance of the royal authority (2 Sam. xx. 11); 
hence what he has done to me (to my injury). — 
□ "" , ver. 5, literally, he shed "blood of war" in 

peace, i. e., he furnished an unheard of example 
when he killed Abner and Amasa, not as foes, in 
open, honorable warfare, but murderously de- 
stroyed the inoffensive. Instead of the second 
''blood of war," Thenius, after the Sept.(«Iuo adirrv), 
reads <pj DT , which makes good sense, certainly, 

but is unnecessary. — Girdle and shoes are not here 
introduced as " especial parts of oriental costume " 
(Thenius, Keil); nor is it thereby said, " from the 
girdle of his loins, to the latchet of his shoes," i t , 
over and over (Ewald); but girdle and shoes litre 
are rather the marks of the warrior, as in Isai. v. 
27 and Eph. vt 14 sq., for the sword is fastened 
to the girdle (2 Sam. xx. 8), and the shoes serve 
for marching, and provided with both, one enters 
upon battle. David also means to say : Joab 
has soiled with murder and blood the insignia of 
his rank and dignity as a soldier and general 
issimo, and covered his office with shame and dis- 
grace. — According to thy wisdom. " David 
does not wish Solomon to invent a pretext for 
taking Joab's life ; but he exhorts him to observe 
wisely the right moment and occasion, when Joab 
shall furnish a reason, to hold him to account also 
for his blood-guiltiness, so that no murmuring shall 
arise among the people ; but every one can see the 
justice of the punishment " (Starke). — In peace, 
i. e., so unpunished as if he had done only good, 
and committed no crime worthy of death. 

Vers. 7-9. Barzillai. Comp. 2 Sam. xvii. 27 
sq.- At thy table, i. e., not "that they shall 
have the privilege of eating with the king at the 
royal table itself" (Keil); but they shall receive 
their necessary food from the court, like the royal 
servants (Dan. i. 5). The recollection of the noble 
service of Barzillai leads to the mention of the 
crime of Shimei, committed on the same occasion 
(2 Sam. xvi. 5 sq., and xix. 21). — tjtsj; (ver. 8) does 

not mean under thy power (Starke), but near thee. 
Bahurim, where Shimei dwelt (2 Sam. xvi. 5), was a 
village in the neighborhood of Jerusalem (Joseph. 
Ant. 7, 9, 7), about one and a-half hours' (five miles 
and a quarter) distant from it. David does not say 
simply, he cursed me ; but emphatically, he cursed 
me with a curse, and adds the epithet, JVitDJ , 

whieh, according to Thenius, because the primary 
signification of J~C3 is, to be exhausted, sick, 
means " heinous " in the sense of ' horrendus. Ac- 
cording to Kimchi and Gesenius, the primary signi- 
fication is, to be powerful, strong, and for this the 
remaining passages, where the word occurs, decide 
(Mich. ii. 10; Job vi. 25; xvi. 3; Vuigate, Male- 
dictio pessima). — For thou art a wise man, and 
knowest, i. e.. I leave to thy discretion the how 
and when of the punishment. An atria el/.oy,c 
(Josephus). will not be wanting. With blood, 
the opposite of the " in peace " in ver. 6, inas- 
much as he has deserved it. 

Vers. 10, 11. In the city of David, i. e.. in 
Mount Zion, in which, -aves that sf.rved a:, burial 

CHAPTER II. 1-12. 


vaults were constructed (Winer, R.-W.-B., ii. 
». 736). According to Thenius the entrance into 
these vaults was on the east, in the vale Tyropoeon, 
in a sloping declivity of the mountain, opposite 
the spring Siloam. The later kings also were 
buried here (1 Kings xi. 43 ; xiv. 31 ; xv. 8, &c). 
The still so-called kings' graves are different, and 
are situated on the opposite side, to the north of 
the Damascus gate (Robinson, Palestine, vol. i. 
p. 240 and 357 sq.). David had, without doubt, 
prepared these burial-places for himself and his 
successors. In what high estimation his tomb 
was held is clear from the circumstance that it 
was known even during the time of Christ (Acts ii. 
29). According to 2 Sam. v. 5, six months were 
added to the seven years. Ter. 12 is the transi- 
tion to the next section, where it is told how 
Solomon's administration was strengthened. 


1. In the last words of David to Solomon, it is 
not so much the father speaking to his son, as the 
king of Israel, the head of the theocratic kingdom, 
to his successor upon the throne. From this 
stand-point we must view alike the general and 
the special portions of the whole discourse. The 
calling of a kiug of Israel consisted especially in 
this: to preserve the "kingdom of Jehovah" 
(1 Chron. xxviii. 5 ; xxix. 23) ; to be not the repre- 
sentative, but the servant of Jehovah, the true 
and proper king, also to observe " all the words of 
the Law, and all the ordinances of Jehovah " 
(Deut. xvii. 14-20); but, before all, that supreme 
and chief command, Exod. xx. 3-6, to observe com- 
pletely the covenant which Jehovah had made with 
His chosen people. With this high calling David's 
soul was completely filled ; and as he had con- 
tinually "done what was right in the ej'es of 
Jehovah, and had not turned aside from anything 
■5hat had been enjoined upon him all his life long " 
(1 Kings xv. 5), so, also, in the last moments of 
his life, it was his greatest solicitude that his suc- 
cessor upon the throne should stand upon "the 
charge of Jehovah" (ver. 3), i. e., should take care 
that the law of Moses, with all its particular pre- 
scripts, in their entire circumference, should be 
maintained. This he earnestly and solemnly sets 
forth as the foundation of a prosperous and bl 
reign, and as the condition of the fulfilment of the 
promise made to him in respect of the continuance 
of his "house" (2 Sam. vii.). So David appears 
here, yet once more, in his grand historical signi- 
ficance, namely, as the type of a theocratic king, 
by which the conduct of all subsequent kings is 
measured (chap. Hi. 3, 6, 14; ix. 4; x. 4-6; xi. 
33-38; xiv. 8; xv. 5-11; 2 Kings xiv. 3; xvi. 2; 
xviii. 3; xxii. 2). The throne of David is Israel's 
model throne ; no king of Israel has left behind 
him such a testament as David here. 

2. It is worthy of re/nark, that the man who 
reigned forty years, and whose life as ruler was 
bo rich in experience, should, amongst the counsels 
he imparted to his successor, have placed this in 
the fore front; " be thou strong, therefore, and show 
thyself a man .' " He knew what belongs to the 
office of ruler. Moral weaknesses, swaying hither 
and thither like a reed moved by the wind ; un- 
seasonable pliability is a greater defect in a ruler 
than if he be overtaken by this or that particular 
sin in private 'ife. Rightly says the Scripture, 

Woe to the land whose king is a child (instead of a 
man), Eccles. x. 16. Firmness and manliness, how- 
ever, are not the fruit of caprice, and of an un- 
broken heart. It is through grace that the heart 
is made strong (Heb. xiii. 9). 

3. Tlie special directions, which refer to indi- 
vidual persons, David likewise communicates, not 
as a private man, but as king of Israel. Joab's 
double murder had gone fully unpunished. At the 
time of its commission David was not in a condi- 
tion to be able to punish him ; but he felt the full 
weight of the deed, and in his horror of it uttered an 
imprecation of Joab (2 Sam. iii. 29). In the eyes of 
the people, nevertheless, the non-punishment must 
have been regarded as an insult against law and 
righteousness, the charge of which devolved upon 
the king. " It was a stain upon his reign not yet 
blotted out. Even upon his death-bed he cannot 
think otherwise than that it is his duty, as that of 
the supreme judge, to deliver to his successor a 
definite direction about it" (Hess, Gesch. David's, ii. 
s. 220). It lay upon his conscience, and he de- 
sired that this stain somehow (" do according to 
thy wisdom." ver. 1) should be removed. More- 
over, Joab's participation in Adonijah's revolt 
must have appeared as dangerous for the throne 
of Solomon. As the punishment of Joab was to 
him a matter of conscience, so also was Barzillai's 
compensation. What Barzillai had done, he had 
(lorn- lor him as king, as the anointed of Jehovah. 
Such fidelity and devotion to the legitimate reigning 
house (Kimigthum) in a time of great and almost uni- 
versal falling away, ought to be publicly requited, 
and to be recognized in honorable remembrance 
after the death of the king. This compensation 
musl serve, no less than the righteous punishment 
of Joab, to the firm establishment of the throne of 
Solomon. In direct contrast with the action of Bar- 
zillai was that of SMmei. He did not curse David 
as a private person, but he cursed him with the 
heaviest curse as the "anointed of Jehovah," and 
therein Jehovah himself directly. For blasphemy 
against the king was on tbe same level with blas- 
phemy against God (2 Kings xxi. 10). Both were 
punished with death (Lev. xxiv. 14 sq.; Exod. 
xxii. 27 ; 2 Sam. xvi. 9), hence also Abishai thought 
that Shimei should be put to death (2 Sam. xix. 
22). But David wished on the day when God had 
shown him a great mercy, to show mercy himself, 
and upon that account spared his life. But "it 
was no small matter to allow the miscreant to 
spend his life near him (no banishment was talked 
of). And to permit him to spend his days quietly 
under the following reign (which had never been 
promised him), would have been a kindness that 
might have been greatly abused as a precedent 
of unpunished crimes " (Hess). In fact, Shimei 
was a dangerous man, and capable of repeating 
what he had done to David. As for the rest, Da- 
vid left Solomon to choose the manner and time 
of his punishment, only he was not to go unpun- 

4. Davi<Vs conduct on his dying-bed- has fre- 
quently been regarded as a great reproach to him. 
The latest (secular) history passes the following 
judgment upon it : " If David's life and deeds had 
not sufficiently shown his mind, these last words 
of the dying man would leave no doubt about his 
charai ter. . . . We must turn away from sucl 
blood-thirsty desire lor revenge which, though in- 
nate with tl»' Semick race . i. uniti 1 hen t 'th a 



concealment of purpose and malice that are pecu- 
liar to David. His vengeance, even out of the 
grave itself, determines to strike, through the 
hand of his son, an insignificant man, to whom he 
(David) had once promised forgiveness when he 
hunself was in a strait. Forgetting all the ser- 
vices and victories he owed to Joab, David deter- 
mines, in order to gratify a long-cherished ill-feel- 
ing, to have a man, to whom he owed his kingdom 
and whom he himself had not ventured to touch, 
murdered by his son, ostensibly for two acts which 
Joab did, if not with David's consent, yet by no 
means against his will ; the fruits of which David 
had willingly accepted, and which acts he had not 
made the slightest efforts to punish " (Duncker, 
Gesch. des Alterthums, i. s. 386). In this view it 
is entirely overlooked that David did not then 
speak as a private man, but as a theocratic king, 
and this judgment of him is quite false, no regard 
being paid to the time and the circumstances. The 
rough, false assassin Joab, who finally conspires 
with Adonijah, is made to appear as a man of high 
merit, and the blasphemer aud traitor Shimei, as 
an insignificant, unfairly-treated man, while Da- 
vid, who departs life without one crime on his 
conscience as king, and who desires to fulfil the 
demands of justice as well as of gratitude, is said 
to have displayed the whole of his wicked aud 
malicious character at the last. " Nothing but an 
uncritical confusion, which wished to behold in 
David a saint and a complete model of virtue 
(which the Scriptures nowhere assert him to be), 
could call forth, as contrast, the degradation of the 
king, which is as one-sided as unpsychological " 
(Winer, if.- W.-B., i s. 258). [Yes ! but our au- 
thor forgets that David had sworn to Shimei, Thou 
shall not die! (2 Sam. six. 23) ; and " the king" it 
was (i. e., David as king) that "swore unto him." 
Clearly David's act of grace to Shimei was an act of 
royal right, royal clemency, and nothing but sophis- 
try can justify his dying charge to Solomon not to 
let the unfortunate man die in peace. — E. H.] When 
Bunsen's Bibel-werk says : " The vengeance of Da- 
vid can never be justified from the Christian point 
of view," it is quite overlooked that that point 
of view is not the fitting one here. David be- 
longed to the Old Testament economy, to the time 
of the law, not the gospel, and his conduct must 
be judged in the light of the former. It is an 
anachronism to measure Old Testament persons 
by the standard of the sermon on the mount. 
Besides, the same apostle who exhorts the believ- 
ers as follows : Dearly beloved, avenge not your- 
selves, immediately after, speaking of authorities — 
, ind David speaks as such here — tells them that 
they are " ministers of God, revengers to execute 
wrath upon him that doeth evil" (Rom. xii. 19; 
xiii. 4|. In the kingdom of God in which the law 
of earthly punishments prevailed, such a crime 
(like that of Joab and Shimei) could not remain 
unpunished. He, too, who, when He was reviled, 
reviled not again; who, when He suffered, threat- 
ened not (1 Peter ii. 23), announced in a parable 
the final judgment of His enemies: "But those 
mine enemies, which would not that I should reign 
over them, bring hither, and slay them before me " 
(Luke xix. 27 : v. Gerlach). We scarcely find as 
many instances of personal love to a foe, gener- 
osity and goodness, in the life of any Old Testa- 
ment hero, as in David's. It is evident that the 
author ol our books does not relate the commis- 

sions objected to, to vilify David at the last, at 
Duncker does, but on the contrary he tells them, 
to his honor, to show how entirely king of Israel 
David was, even on his dying-bed. 

5. Chronicles (I., xxix. 28) relates the death cf 
David with the addition that " he died in a good c^d 
age, full of days, riches, and honor." We see hew 
much he was honored even in death, from the fact 
that his weapons were preserved as relics in the 
sanctuary (2 Kings xi. 10). Compare the eulogy in 
Ecclesiasticus, chap, xlvii. 2-11. For the character 
of the great, and indeed greatest, king of Israel, 
though now so often unjustly judged, by whose 
name the expected Messiah was designated by the 
prophets (Ezekiel xxxiv. 23 ; xxxvii. 24 ; Hos. iii. 5), 
comp. Niemeyer, Charaklistik der Bibel, iv. s. 107- 
358, and Ewald, Gesch. Isr., iii. s. 250-257, which 
says, with regard to the " last (poetical) words " 
of David (2 Sam. xxiii. 1-7) : " No prince, especially 
one who did not inherit the kingdom, could close 
his life with more blessed divine peace, or a more 
assured and cheerful view into the future." 


Vers. 1-9. David's last words to Solomon (a) 
with regard to the kingdom generally (vers. 1— i), 
(ft) respecting some individuals (vers. 5-9 ; see 
Historical and Ethical). — Ver. 2. Various as are 
the paths of men from their birth, yet they all, 
kings as well as beggars, rich and poor, go the 
way to the grave (Ecclesiasticus xl. 1-3). And yet 
so many live as if they had not to travel that road 
(Ps. xxxix. 5, 6; xc. 11, 12). — The passing nature 
and vanity of the world, with its allurements and 
splendor, is a strong exhortation and warning from 
God to hold fast to the word that lives forever, 
and shall not pass even when heaven and earth 
pass away (1 Peter i. 24, 20 ; 1 John ii. 17 ; Luke 
xxi. 33). — Be firm and be a man 1 What is requi- 
site to be one ? how shall one become one ? of 
what use? (Heb. xiii. 9; 1 Cor. xv. 5-8; xvi. 13). 
— Ver. 3. The last and best will of a father to his 
son: (a) Trust in God's protection of yourself and 
all whom God has confided to your care ; (ft) walk 
in His ways ; let Him lead and guide you, He will 
do it well (Prov. xxiii. 26; Ps. xxxv. 5); (c) keep 
His ways and ordinances (Eccles. xii. 13 ; Ps. i. 1-6; 
Tob. iv. 6). Such an inheritance is greater and 
better than all the gold and land he might leave 
you. — True prudence and wisdom are not born of 
human thought and much knowledge, but are the 
fruit of the fear of God, and of walking in His 
ways and commandments (Ps. cxi. 10 ; Job xxviii. 
28). — God-fearing parents are more anxious about 
their children keeping close to God and His word, 
than about leaving them temporal goods. — Ver. 4. 
The promises of God only proceed from His grace, 
not our merit ; but their fulfilment is always coupled 
with conditions, which we have to perform if we 
would enjoy them (Heb. xi. 6 ; 1 Tim. iv. 8). — Vers. 
5-9. We cannot go the way of all the world in 
peace, as long as we have anything remaining on 
our conscience, or any debt to justice and grateful 
love to cancel. We should forgive our enemies 
from our hearts, as we desire the Lord to forgive 
us, and especially on our dying-beds. But au- 
thority was instituted to "do justice; to prevent 
and punish wickedness;" it commits a sin and 
has a crime to answer for so long as it does not da 

CHAPTER II. 13-16. 


this (Rom. xiii. 4; Gen. ix. 6). — Ter. 6. Gray hairs, 
u found in the way of righteousness, are a crown 
of glory (Prov. xvi. 31), adorned with which a man 
may go the way of all flesh in peace and comfort ; 
but an old sinner, whom even gray hairs have not 
brought to repentance, goes down to the grave 
without solace or peace. — Ver. 7. A noble heart 
does not forget what was done for him in times 
of trouble especially, and thinks of it even in the 
hour of death. The world is ungrateful. A bless- 
ing rests on deeds of faithfulness and self-sacri- 
ficing disinterested love, and it descends to children 
and children's children. — Vers. S, 9. A curse rests 
on those who curse the " powers " which are God's 
ministers, instead of praying for them, and they are 
made, sooner or later, to feel the curse (1 Peter ii. 17, 
6). The Lord prayed for those who cursed Him ; but 
when they did not repent and become converted, 
divine judgment came down on them. No doubt 

a wicked man often goes a long tim* -.nnunished 
for his deeds, but divine justice d ,<js not fail to 
overtake him finally, ere he is av a re. — It requires 
wisdom to punish; a prematuie ill-judged chas- 
tisement does more harm than good. 

Vers. 10-12. David's death : (a) He slept with 
his fathers (Stakke : The death of believers is a 
sleep, and being gathered to their fathers, whe 
also still live with God, and await the coming res- 
urrection to eternal life, Isai. xxvi. 19); (b) they rest 
in the grave. (Rest is good to those who have 
borne the burden and heat of the day forty years 
long — that rest which God has promised to those 
who strive after eternal life with patient continu- 
ing in good works. Rom. ii. 7 ; Isai. lvii. 2). — Da- 
vid's grave is a pledge that the memory of the just 
is blessed (Prov. xl. 7 ; Acts ii. 29), and that the 
blessing of the father builds the children's houses 
(ver. 12 ; Ecclesiasticus iii. 11). 

C. — Solomon's course with the opposers of his accession to the throne. 
Chap. II. 13-16.. 

13 And Adonijah the son of Haggitb came to Bath-sheba the mother of Solo- 

14 mon. 1 And she said, Comest thou peaceably ? And he said, Peaceably. He 

15 said moreover, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And she said," Say on. And 
he said, Thou knowest that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel set their 
faces on me, that I should reign : howbeit the kingdom is turned about, and is 

16 become my brother's: for it was his from the Lord [Jehovah]. And now I ask 

17 one petition of thee, deny me not. And she said unto him, Say on. And he said, 
Speak, I pray thee, unto Solomon the king, (for he will not say thee nay,) that 

18 he give me Abishag the Shunammite to wife. And Bath-sheba said, Well ; I 
will speak for thee unto the king. 

19 Bath-sheba therefore went unto king Solomon, to speak unto him for Adoni- 
jah. And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat 
down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king's mother ; and she 

20 sat on his right hand. Then she said, I desire one small petition of thee ; I pray 
thee, say me not nay. And the king said unto her, Ask on, my mother ; for I 

21 will not say thee nay. And she said, Let Abishag the Shunammite be given 

22 to Adonijah thy brother to wife. And king Solomon answered and said unto 
his mother, And why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah ? 
ask for him the kingdom also; for he is mine elder brother; even for him, and 

23 for s Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah. Then king Solomon 
sware by the Lord [Jehovah], saying, God do so to me, and more also, if Ado- 

24 nijah hath not spoken this word 'against his own life. Now therefore, as the 
Lord [Jehovah] liveth, which hath established me, and set me on the throne of 
David my father, and who hath made me a house, as he promised, Adonijah 

25 shall be put to death this day. And king Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah 
the son of Jehoiada ; and he fell upon him that he died. 

And unto Abiathar the priest said the king, Get thee to Anathoth, unto 
thine own fields ; for thou art worthy of death : but I will not at this time ' put 
thee to death, because thou barest the ark of the Lord [Jehovah] God before Da- 
vid my father, and because thou hast been afflicted in all wherein my father was 
afflicted. So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the Lord [Je- 
hovah] ; that he might fulfil the word of the Lord [Jehovah], which he spake 
concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh. 

Then tidings came to Joab: for Joab had turned after Adonijah, though he 
turned not after Absalom. 6 And Joab fled unto the tabernacle of the LordJJe- 
29 hovah], and caught hold on the horns of the altar. And it was told king Solo- 
mon that Joab was fled unto the tabernacle of the Lord [Jehovah] ; and, behold, 





he is by the altar. 8 Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, 

30 Go, fall upon him.' And Benaiah came to the tabernacle of the Lord [Jehovah], 
and said unto him, Thus saith the king, Come forth. And he said, Nay ; 8 but I 
will die here. And Benaiah brought the kiug word again, savins;, Thus said 

31 Joab, and thus he answered me. And the king said unto him, Do as he hath said, 
and fall upon him, and bury him ; that thou mayest take away ' the innocent 

32 [omit] blood, which Joab shed [without cause], from me, and from the house of 
my father. And the Lord [Jehovah] shall return his blood '" upon his own head, 
who fell upon two men more righteous and better than he, and slew them with 
the sword, [and] my father David not knowing thereof [knew it not 11 ], to wit, 

33 Aimer the son of Ner, captain of the host of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, 
captain of the host of Judah. Their blood shall therefore return upon the head 
of Joab, and upon the head of his seed for ever : but upon David, and upon his 
seed, and upon his house, and upon his throne, shall there be peace for ever from 

34 the Lord [Jehovah]. So Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up, and fell upon him, 
and slew him : and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness. 

35 And the king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in his room over the host : " 
and Zadok the priest did the king put in the room of Abiathar. 13 

36 And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Build thee an 
house in Jerusalem, and dwell there, and go not forth thence any whither. 

37 For it shall be, that on the day thou goest out, and passest over the brook 
Kidron, thou shalt know for certain that thou shalt surely die: thy blood shall 

38 be upon thine own head. 14 And Shimei said unto the king, The saying is good : 
as my lord the king hath said, so will thy servant do. And Shimei dwelt iu 

39 Jerusalem many days. And it came to pass at the end of three years, that 
two of the servants of Shimei ran away unto Achish son of Maachah king of 

40 Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, Behold, thy servants be in Gath. And 
Shimei arose, and saddled his ass, and went to Gath to Achish to seek his ser- 

41 vants : and Shimei went, and brought his servants from Gath. And it was told 
Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and was come again. 

42 And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Did I not make 
thee to swear by the Lord [Jehovah], and protested unto thee, saying, Know for 
a certain, on the day thou goest out, and walkest abroad any whither, that thou 
shalt surely die ? ' 6 and thou saidst unto me, The word that I have heard is good. 

43 Why then hast thou not kept the oath of the Lord [Jehovah], and the command- 

44 ment that I have charged thee with ? The king said moreover to Shimei, Thou 
knowest all the wickedness which thine heart is privy to, that thou didst to 
David my father ; therefore the Lord [Jehovah] shall return thy wickedness upon 

4i> thine own head : and king Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David 
46 shall be established before the Lord [Jehovah] for ever. So the king commanded 

Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; which went out, and fell upon him, that he died. 

And the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon. 18 


I Ver. 13. — [The Sept. adds Ka\ jrpocrcKviojcrei' aurij (Al. avrrfv). . 

a Ver. 14. — [Two MSS. and some editions (followed by the Sept., Vulg., and Syriac) add i? = to him. 

' Ver. 22. — [All the W. here give a sense which seems based on the supposition that p before Abiathar and before 
Joab is pleonastic ; but for this there is no authority. Thus the Vulg. : " it haliet Abiathar" etc. Sept. : icai aurw 'Aptaflap 
k.t.A. Similarly Syr. and Arab. The Chald. : u nonne in conmlio fuerunt ille et Abiatluir" etc. 

• Ver. 26. — [The Sept.. without authority, alters the place of the conjunction so as to read diojp Qavarov el crv eV rp 
fJM'P? rairrn, Kai oxj Bavaruicrto ere. 

• Ver. 28. — [The Vulg., Sept.. (Vatican) and Syr. curiously substitute here the name of Solomon for that of Absalom. 
Tho Ar3b. attempts to reconcile both by translating "neither did he love Solomon." 

• Ver. 29.— -[The Sept. add "And kin? (Alex, omit Toing) Solomon sent to Joab. saying. What has been done to the# 
that thou ha>t ded to the altar? And .Joab said, Because I was afraid of thee, and 1 lied to the Lord." 

7 Ver. 29.— [The Sept. add ■■and bury him." See ver. 31. , 

» Ver. 30— [One MS., followed by the Sept., Vulg., and Syr., adds SVS after N7. 

• Ver. 31.— [The Sept. add cnj/xepoi- and translate DJIl accurately "without cause." The Chald gives both senses. 

The Vatican Sept. omits the name -if Joab. 

» Ver. 82.— [Sept. = the blood of his iniquity. 

II Ver. 32. — [There is no reaBon for omitting the conjunction and changing the preterite of the Tiebr. which are pre 
served in the Sept. and the chald. 

CHAPTER II. 13-40. 


11 Ver. 35. — [The Sept. add na\ rj 0a<riA€ia icaTiypfloOro iv 'IepoviraAiju. (7/". ver. 46. 

* 3 Ver. 85. — [The Sept. aitd Kdi SaAujfian' nibs AauiS etJaoaAei/ffci' eTri 'Iapa>]A «ai 'Iocfia iv 'Iepouo-aATflp.. (Thus far Alex 
•QlitS) (Cai €6tuxe xvpio; (pponjffti' Tu £aAutp.uji- «cai <TO(2>iav itoAAjH' (T-ioopa leal jrAaToy KapSta; .us i| u^m-"S 17 tfapa TT)» 
PaAnj.jar (See iv. 29.) Then follows the lirst verse "t" chap, iii. much alt- red. and a lung interpolation winch may he thut 
translated: "And the wisdom of Solomon was increased greatly above the wisdom of all the ancients and above all the 
wise men of Egypt (see iv. SO), and he (iii. 1) took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her into the , iiy of David, until he 
had made an end of building his own house and the bouse of the Lord in the first place, and the wall of Jerusalem round 
about : in seven years he made and finished them." V. 15 follows then. . . " And Solomon made the Sea and the bases 
and the great lavers aud the pillars and the fountain of the court and the brazen sea. And he built the citadel and 
battlements upon it. he divided the city of David. So Pharaoh's daughter went up fro-n the city of David into her own 
house which he built for her. Then he built the citadel. And three times in the year Solomon offered whole burnt-offer- 
ings and peace-offerings upon the altar which he built to the Lord, and he offered incense before the Lord, and finished the 
house. And these icere the chiefs (v. 16) which were set over the works of Solomon : three thousand and six hun Ired 
rulers of the people that wrought in the work. And he built Asshur and Magdo and Gezer (ix. 15. 17. IS) and Beth- 
horon the upper and Ballath. Besides his building the house of the Lord and the wall of Jerusalem round about, aftei 
these he built these cities." Then follows, with some variations, ii. S. y, which form the junction again with ver. 36. 

14 Ver. 37. — [The Sept. add *cai itipxiaev airrbv 6 £a<nAti>s iv ttj rjp.epu ixeivfj. tjf. vers. 4'2, 43. 

16 Ver. 42. — [The Vatican Sept. omits the rest of ver. 4j. The last clause i3 sometimes pointed. "The word is good 
I have heard." 

16 Ver. 46. — [Here follows in the Sept. a passage made up of extracts from chap. iv. and containing about one-fourth 
of that chapter, most of which is omitted from its place. — F. G-] 


Ver. 13. And Adonijah . . to Bath-Sheba, 

4c. What Adonijah really aimed at in his peti- 
tion to Bath-Sheba is made apparent in ver. 22. 
He did not care about the fair Abishag, but about 
the kingdom, which he hoped to acquire through 
possession of her. In the ancient East, after a 
king died, or his kingdom passed from him, 
the harem fell to the new ruler. On the other 
hand, also, he who took to himself the king's 
wives, was regarded as having taken to himself 
the rights of the king. The claim to the posses- 
sion of the women of the harem was understood to 
mean the claim to the throne. It was so also 
with the Persians (Herodot. iii. 68 ; Justin x. 2 : 
occiso Cyro Aspasiam pellicem ejus rex ArUixerxes 
in matrimonium acceperat. Hanc patmn ee,l, re 
sibi, sicuti regnum Darius postulaverat). When Ab- 
salom went, according to Ahithophel's advice, 
into the king's harem and to his concubines in 
the sight of all the people, it was a public, practi- 
cal announcement that he had assumed the king's 
rights (2 Sam. xvi. 20-23 ; comp. xii. 11). When, 
therefore, Adonijah demanded Abishag for his 
wife, ostensibly from love to her, it was a secret 
claim to the throne; for Abishag was looked on by 
the nation as David's last wife, although he had not 
known her. He did not venture to make his request 
personally to Solomon, but, as Grotius says : aggre- 
ditur mulierem, ut regnandi ignaram, ita amorihus 
facilem. He plays, before Bath-Sheba, the part of 
an humble saint who has been set aside — who ia 
resigned to God's will, thus softening her woman's 
heart. His assertion that all Israel wished him 
for their king, if not exactly a lie. showed great 
self-deception and boasting. He very wisely and 
prudently says, instead of: through thy interces- 
sion my brother became king (chap. i. 17) — the 
kingdom is turned about, and it was his from the 
Lord, which he of course did not believe, because 
he wished himself to be king. Bath-Sheba may 
have thought that a discontented subject might be 
satisfied by granting his request, and the kingdom 
made thus more secure to her son. 

Vers. 19-21. Bath-Sheba therefore went unto 
king Solomon, &c, ver. 19. Solomon received 

his mother as nT33 (chap. xv. 13). The queen- 

inother was in great honor; and therefore the name 
of the's mo' -<t is always expressly given in 
the account of the commencement of a new king's 
re'ijn (chap. xiv. 21 ■ xv. 2, Ac). The ND3 offered 

her was not literally a throne, but only a particu- 
lar seat of honor. The seat at the right hand waa 
the one of highest distinction (Ps. ex. 1 ; Joseph., 
Ant,, 1. vi.-xi. 9). Bath-Sheba calls her petition a 
small one, because she thought it was only about 
a love-affair, and did not thiuk of its political re- 

Vers. 22-25. And King Solomon answered, 
&c. Solomon instantly detected the intrigue. He 
says, in asking Abishag for Adonijah. you indirectly 
request the kingdom for him too. He is my elder 
brother, and thinks that the kingdom belongs to 
him on that account; if he gets Abishag as wife, 
he will be further strengthened in his imaginary 
claims, and his entire party will have a firm foot- 
ing. The 171 beginning the concluding statement 
in ver. 22, cannot be understood otherwise than 

the preceding i"> . and the i? in the following words 
must consequently mean the same. The meaning 
is this then : Iu asking the kingdom for him. thou 
askest it at the same time for Abiathar and Joab ; 
they who have joined themselves to him, would 
reign with and through him ; but they are well 
known to be my enemies. It follows, then, that 
both are included in Adonijah'splan. We cannot, 
therefore, translate like the Sept. : /cai aiira 'ASiaHiin 
Km avrtj 'Iud/3 eraiipoc, or with the Vulg. : et habei 
Abiathwr et Joab ; there is therefore no reason to 

strike out, with Thenius, the ? before Abiathar and 

Joab. Solomon's anger, which appears in ver. 
23, was the more natural, because Adonijah had 
dared to gain over and abuse the queen-mother. 
The oath, which means : may God punish me con- 
tinually if Adonijah be not, Ac, is a usual one 
(Ruth i. 17; lSam.xiv.44; xx.13; Jerxxii.5). — 
The words of ver. 24 : and who hath made me 
an house, are not to be understood, with Keil and 
others, as if Solomon had then had issue (his mar- 
riage did not occur till afterwards, chap. iii. 1) ; the 
meaning is this rather : Adonijah demands 
Abishag to wife, to found a dynasty through his 
union with her; but Jehovah has determined that 
David's dynasty and line of kings shall come 
from me (2 Sam. vii. 11 sq.). — The execution of 
Adouijah was performed by Benafah. as captain 
of the Cherethites and Pelethitea (chap. i. 38). 
"P3 does not mean exactly with " his own hand " 

(Thenius), but only that Benaiah was charged with 
the execution. Comp. vers. 34—16. Capital pun- 
ishment was executed in Egypt, and also in Baby- 



Ion, by the king's guard, the captain of which was 

therefore called DTOD (31) "1L", Gen. xxxvii. 36; 

2 Kings xxr. S ; Dan. ii. 14. 

Vers. 26-27. And unto Abiathar the priest, 
&o. The proceedings now commenced against 
Abiathar and Joab, were no doubt caused by the 
share both had taken in the new plans of Adoni- 
jah to usurp the kingdom. — Anathoth. a priests' 
town in the tribe of Benjamin (Josh. xxi. 18; 
1 Chron. vi. 45), about one hour and a quarter's 
distance northeast of Jerusalem (Robinson, Pales- 
tine, vol. i. p. 437-8). Abiathar had possessions 
there. — To strike out the l before DV3 with 
Thenius (according to the Sept.), and place it 

before Np , is unnecessary : the meaning remains 
the same. — Bearing the Ark, on the occa- 
sion of David's flight from Absalom (2 Sam. xv. 
24). That Abiathar and Zadok went with David 
then, bearing the ark of the covenant, showed 
great veneration and fidelity, upon their part, 
to him. Of course they did not carry the ark 
themselves ; but it was borne by the levites, 
whose office it was to do so (Num. iv. 15 ; 1 Chron. 
xvi. 15), and who did it at their command. It is 
therefore quite unnecessary to read, with Thenius, 
IIDS instead of |nx ■ — It does not follow from 

the banishment of Abiathar, that every king has 
the right to set up and depose a high-priest at 
pleasure. This case was a peculiar one. A high- 
priest who had repeatedly conspired against the 
anointed of Jehovah, had thereby become incapable 
of filling his office, and, strictly speaking, deserved 

death. — S^Op is an addition of the narrator, not 

the intention of Solomon ; it is the Iva tt?i?;p<j8>/ of 
the Sew Testament. The divine threatenings upou 
Eli's house, from which Abiathar was (through 
Ithamar) descended, were now fulfilled ; for when 
Saul slew the priests, Abiathar alone, of all his 
house, escaped (1 Sam. xxii. 20). With his deposi- 
tion the hereditary high-priesthood passed over to 
Eleazar's house, to which Zadok belonged (Numb. 
xxv. 13 ; 1 Chron. xxiv. 5-6). 

Vers. 2S-35. Then tidings came to Joab, &c. 
The parenthesis means that Joab, who was for- 
merly such a decided enemy of Absalom, who pro- 
mised much more than his brother, had twice con- 
spired with the pretender, Adonijah, and now 
feared for his own life, as he heard of his death, 
and of Abiathar's punishment. All old trans- 
lations, except the Chaldee, have Solomon in- 
stead of "Absalom," and Ewald and Thenius 
declare the former to bo the right reading; this, 
however, is not sustained by any Hebrew MS., 
and would, besides, make the sentence superfluous ; 
for when Joab was on Adonijah's side, it follows 
of course that he was not on that of Solomon. — If 
Joab, who had been unpunished for his share in 
the first conspiracy, had felt free from all share in 
the BecoDd, he would not have fled to a place of 
refuge (chap. i. 50). — The Sept. adds, before 
Solomon's words, ver. 29: "What has happened 
to thee, that thou hast fled to the altar ? And 
Joab said : I was afraid of thee, and have fled to 
Lord." Surely this is only a gloss ; but it explains 
the passage. When Joab saw that Benaiah did 
not venture to kill him at the altar, he defied him, 
either because he hoped that Solomon would not 
dare to give the order, or that if he did, he (Sol- 

omon) would be guilty of desecrating the al- 
tar. But according" to the law (Ex. xxi. 14; 
Dent. xix. 11-13), the altar was only an asylum 
for those who had killed unwittingly, and Joab 
was no such person. He had sinned grievously 
against Israel and Judah by a double assassination 
(ver. 32), and yet had gone hitherto unpunished. 
This guilt could not rest upon David and his 
house, if the kingdom was to continue in his line 
(ver. 33). Not to add the utmost disgrace to the 
punishment (chap. xiv. 11 ; 2 Kings ix. 35; Jer. vii. 
33; xxii. 19), and in consideration of his military 
achievements, Solomon commanded that Joab 
should be buried with his fathers in the wilderness 
of Judah, which was not far from Bethlehem, near 
Tekoa, and was a rocky district containing some 
towns (Josh. xv. 61 ; Judges i. 16). 

Vers. 36-46. And the king sent and called 
for Shimei, &c, ver. 36. As Adonijah and his 
faction had made such repeated efforts to seize 
the helm of state, Solomon deemed it needful to 
keep a watch on all suspected persons. Now the 
restless Shimei was the principal of these; he 
was a close adherent of the house of Saul, and 
a bitter foe of David's house. Solomon, therefore, 
in order to keep him in sight, and test his obedience, 
ordered him to settle in Jerusalem, and to leave it 
only under penalty of death. The brook Kidro» is 
scarcely named as the exact limit of his confinement 
(Ewald); but Shimei was not to cross it, because, 
in doing so, he went towards Bahurim, in his 
native district, where he had most influence 
(2 Sam. xix. 16 sq.). — Thy blood, &c. — the usual 
mode of the death sentence, Levit. xx. 9-16. — 
Shimei declared he was satisfied to observe the 
king's command, for he knew right well that 
according to the ideas of that time, no king, not 
even Solomon, need feel himself bound by the 
promise of his predecessor (2 Sam. xix. 23), (Ewald, 
Gesrh. 1st., iii. s. 271). — The Philistine king Achish, 
of Gath (Josh. xiii. 3 ; 1 Sam. v. 8), may be the 
same who is mentioned in 1 Sam. xxi. 11 ; xxvii. 
2 ; he must have certainly attained a great age; 
if so, Shimei, then, in spite of his solemn vow, 
not only left Jerusalem for his native place, not 
distant, but even went into the far-off land of the 
Philistines, thus giving proof of his disobedience 
and obstinacy. Solomon now reproaches him with 
his old crime, and says to him : thy measure is 
full ; the Lord has turned thy curse into a bless- 
ing, as David hoped (2 Sam. xvi. 12). — The Vul- 
gate, Thenius, Bunsen, and others place the con- 
cluding sentence of ver. 46 at the commencement 
of chap. iii. : " and when the kingdom was estab- 
lished in the hand of Solomon, he made affinity," 
&c. ; it seems, however, to refer back to ver. 12, 
and in the manner of Semitic histories, as Keil re- 
marks, concludes the whole section of Solomon's 
throne-ascension. Thus the kingdom was estab- 
lished in the hand of Solomon, i. e., under him. 


1. Tlie repeated attempt of Adonijah, to gain the 
throne throws real light on his character. Though 
his enterprise came to a lamentable and disgrace- 
ful end, he immediately began to concoct new 
plans in spite of the favor and the warnirg he had 

r ived. As he once sought to obtain hii purpose 

by collecting chariots, horsemen, and xolJiers, 

CHAPTER II. 13-16. 


through making fortified places, in short, by grand 
»nd showy preparations, he now pursued the op- 
posite plan of fawning and artifice. He steals 
(done to Bath-sheha, placing his hopes on wo- 
man's influence. When she is astonished at his 
visit, he utters the most peaceful sentiments, acts 
as one deeply disappointed, but now humbly and 
piously resigned to God's will, and as an unhappy 
lover. If anything deserves the name of a " ha- 
rem intrigue," through which, according to Dirac- 
ker, Solomon came to the throne (see above), it 
is Adonijah's device. He could not have shown 
more clearly that he was not the chosen of Jehovah 
(Deut. xvii. 15). What would have become of 
the kingdom which David had at last brought 
to tranqudlity and its proper position, if a man like 
Adonijah had succeeded him ? 

2. Adonijah and his faction show the truth of 
what is often found, namely, that revolutionary 
men are not discouraged by the failure of their 
plans, and even disgraceful defeat, but they al- 
ways brood over the means of attaining their am- 
bitious views and gratifying their thirst for power. 
Pardon and forbearance do not change them, but 
|euerally harden and embolden them. If they do 
not succeed by open force, they choose deceitful 
ways, notwithstanding all the promises they may 
cave given ; and they feign submission until they 
think their opportunity has arrived. Every one, 
However, to whom God has confided the govern- 
ment, should hear the words of David to Solomon 
(chap. ii. 2) : " be thou strong, therefore, and show 
thyself a man I " for weakness is, in this respect, sin 
against God and man. The old Wurtemburg sum- 
maries say : "let authorities learn from Solomon to 
punish such crimes severely, if they wish to have 
a happy, peaceful, and lasting reign. If they wink 
at such things, God's anger and punishments come 
down on them, on their land and people." 

3. Solomon's treatment of his foes, has often 
been called great cruelty, or at least extreme se- 
verity. "Solomon," says Duncker, "began his 
reign with bloody deeds. . . . He first prom- 
ised Adonijah he should be spared, theu had him 
slain by Benaiah. Joab fled to the sanctuary and 
caught hold of tho horns of the altar. Benaiah 
trembled' to stain the altar with blood, but Solo- 
mon tells him to go and stab him there ! . . . 
Benaiah also killed Shimei at Solomon's com- 
mand." In reading this imperfect and detestable 
view of the circumstances, we must remember 
that there is not to be found in the forty years of 
Solomon's reign, one single trace of baroarous tyr- 
anny or cruelty, such as are here said to have 
characterized him, though these qualities rather 
strengthen than otherwise with age. We cannot 
judge Solomon any more than David in the light 
of the sermon on the mount, but should recollect 
what the time aid circumstances were. The vital 
point was to esl ablish the kingdom, and in order 
to avert the dangers that threatened it, " every 
firm and sagacious ruler had to act so, for the 
artificial means now used in similar cases, for in- 
stance, imprisonment for life, were wholly un- 
known " (Ewald). As to Adonijah, the whole 
East knew but one punishment for such plans as 
he cherished, viz., death. Had his enterprise 
succeeded he would doubtless (see above, on chap. 
i. 11) haye destroyed Solomon and his principal 
adherents, in accordance with the usual practice 
hitherto. Solomon, on tho contrary, did not fol- 1 

low this custom, but showed forgiveness and gen 
erosity; in fact, he avoided all persecution of 
Adonijah's partisans. Only when Adonijah, con- 
trary to his word, and notwithstanding his humble 
homage (chap. i. 51), again appeared as pretender 
to the throne, and sought to reach his end by de- 
ceit and hypocrisy, did he order the affixed pun- 
ishment. He had allowed Abiathar, too, to go un- 
punished at first, which scarcely any other eastern 
priuce would have done. But when the repeated 
attempt of Adonijah to seize the kingdom was dis- 
covered, Abiathar could no longer be passed over. 
Yet instead of inflicting death on him. he deprived 
him of his influential office, and let him live at lib- 
erty on his estate, on account of his former good 
behavior. Here was no severity, but gratitude, 
kindness, and generosity. Joab was the most 
formidable opponent, because of his positiou at 
the head of the entire army, and his well-known 
military roughness and unscrupulousness ; he was 
also unpunished after Adonijah's first attempt, and 
the last was certainly not planned without his con- 
sent, but more likely, as some suppose, originated 
by him. The fact that he instantly fled to the 
horns of the altar, on hearing of Adonijah's death, 
shows that he knew himself to have deserved 
death. Besides this, the gmUt of a double murder 
rested on him, and should be washed out. " When 
this was superadded," says Ewald (s. 271), "Sol- 
omon did not venture to show him any further 
grace," and adds in the note with great truth : " A 
superficial observer alone can charge Solomon with 
needless cruelty here." Finally, with regard to 
Shimei, nothing was more natural than that Solo- 
mon, in the circumstances attending the beginning 
of his reign, should have kept especial guard over 
such a restless, suspected person, who one day 
cursed the king, calling him a bloody man, and the 
next fawned upon and flattered him, and who be- 
sides was not without partisans (2 Sam. xvi. 7, comp. 
withxix. 16-20). Shimei was himself quite content, 
with his confinement to Jerusalem, and Solomon let 
him live there " many days " (ver. 38), placing his 
fate in his own hand. After three years (not be- 
fore), (ver. 39), when Shimei broke his solemn prom- 
ise, what his king had threatened him with upon 
oath came upon him. " Surely, every one must 
at that time have seen in such fatal oblivion of the 
oath which the old arch-traitor had sworn against 
David, a divine sign, that that old sin still rested 
on him and that he must be punished ; otherwise 
he would not have acted with such defiance of God 
and with such madness. Solomon had him also 
executed, evidently not out of revenge nor any 
other passion, but from the belief that the last of 
those who had sinned greatly against David, should 
fall under divine Providence" (Ewald, s. 272). 
How weak and forgetful of his word would the 
king hare seemed to all the people if he had let 
Shimei now go free, particularly with the notions 
then entertained about a kingl (Prov. xvi. 12-15: 
xx. 2, 26). It is worthy of remark that the settle- 
ment of Shimei at Jerusalem was coincident with 
Solomon's elevation to the throne ; that his pm ish 
ment did not at once follow that of Adonijah and 
Joab, but was three years later. We cannot there- 
fore possibly reckon this among the " bloody 
deeds " with which Solomon is said to have begm) 
his reign. The union of mildness and firmness, 
generosity and official justice, in the conduct of the 
young sovereign, must have deeply impressed the 



people, have increased his authority, and estab- 
lished his rule. 

4. Tlie establishment of Solomon's kingdom (ver. 
46) is the result of all that chapters i. and ii. re- 
late, and is therefore expressly stated again at 
their close. Our author evidently does this, not 
only from purely historical, but also from religious 
and theocratic grounds. In fact, throughout the 
whole of the genuine Old Testament history of 
Solomon's succession to the throne, the guiding 
hand of the living God is made apparent, far 
above the ferment of human passions and inclina- 
tions. He knows how to fulfil his threatenings, 
and to lead the way which each chooses for him- 
self, to a goal where he shall find retribution of 
his deeds (Job xxxiv. 11). 


Vers. 13-25. Adonijah's repeated attempt to 
gain the throne : (a) Wherein this attempt con- 
sisted (vers. 13-18); (b) how it ended (vers. 19-25). 
— Vers. 13-18. Adonijah before Bath-sheba: (a) 
The feigned sentiment, in which he comes (vers. 13- 
15); (b) the request he brings (vers. 16, 17); (c) 
the answer he receives (ver. 18). — Ver. 13. Ambi- 
tious and power-loving people do not scruple to 
reach the ends which they cannot obtain by open 
force, by moans that are mortifying to their pride ; 
when they can no longer demand, they beg. — Those 
are least to be trusted who have proved themselves 
enemies, and suddenly appear.with tokens of peace. 
Joab met Amasa with the words : Peace be to thee I 
and while kissing him, ran him through the body 
(2 Sam. xx. 9). Judas betrayed the Lord with a 
greeting and a kiss (Luke xxii. 48). — Ver. 15. Ado- 
nijah's boast and hypocrisy: (a) He boasts, like 
most rebels, of haying all the people on his side, 
but his few adherents were some faithless men, 
who were won over by good eating and drinking, 
and who would desert him with the first change of 
the wind (chap. i. 41, 49). (A) He speaks and acts 
as a pious man, who humbles himself under God's 
hand (Job i. 21), while he resists His will in his 
heart, and seeks to overthrow His purpose (Matt, 
vii. 21; Prov. xii. 22).— Ver. 16 sq. The most rre- 
sumptuous character is often hid under the mask of 
unassuming deportment. — Ver. 17. He who has an 
honest and just request to make seeks no rounda- 
bout ways, but goes openly and courageously with 
it to the person who can grant it. The serpent ad- 
dresses the woman first, in order to gain the man, 
in paradise (Gen. iii I. 6; 1 Tim. ii. 14). — Ver. 18. 
Bath-sheba's consen to Adonijah's request shows 
want of sagacity, experience, and knowledge of hu- 
man nature, but at the same time shows that her 
heart was free from revenge and bitterness, and was 
willing to serve even one who had caused her 
great anxiety and sorrow (chap. i. 21). — Kind and 
unsuspicious persons are apt to yield to their first 
feelings and impressions rather than reflect calmly 
and deliberately ; it is therefore the more needful 
for them to guard against being led away by flat- 
tering speeches into promises and actions that 
may greatly injure themselves and others. — We 
ought not to refuse to intercede for others, but to 
take great care not to 'I" ii for the unworthy, thus 
injuring those who are deserving. — Those who are 
h'^h iii favor with the powerful are often used, with- 
u'-t their wish or knowledge, for unworthy ends. 

Vers. 19-25. Bath-sheba before the king: (a) 
How she was received by him (vers. 19, 20), bu' 
(b) was refused her petition (vers. 22-24). —Ver 
19. Solomon, when on the throne, did not torget 
what he owed his mother. How often do childrer 
forget their parents and nearest relations, and 
even become ashamed of them, when they attain 
to great riches and honor ; but no position or rank 
dispenses with our observance of the fourth com- 
mandment, the first with proiu'se (Ephes. vi. 2; 
Prov. xix. 26). — Ver. 21. Starke: Even pious 
Christians are often ignorant of what they ask 
(Rom. viii. 26), and are therefore often unheard 
(Matt. xx. 22). — Ver. 22. Kings and princes should 
not grant even an apparently small petition, that 
interferes witli the welfare of the kingdom and 
people committed to their charge. Seeming se- 
verity is in such cases sacred duty. — Hall: Con- 
siderations arising from personal relationship must 
be laid aside in the official acts of rulers. 

Ver. 25. Punishment of Adonijah, how far it 
was (a) according to law, (6) just and deserved. 

Vers. 26-46. Solomon's treatment of his ene- 
mies (see Historical). — Vers. 26. 27. Ecclesiastical 
office can be no protection from just punishment 
of crime (see Luke xii. 47 ; 1 Cor. ix. 27). — Former 
fidelity cannot efface later treachery. It is most 
lamentable that a man who was faithful in times 
of trouble should end his career as a sinner (1 
Cor. x. 12). — [Bp. Hall: No man held so close to 
David, . . . yet now is he called to reckon 
for his old sins, and must repay blood to Amasa 
and Abner. — E. H.] When circumstances permit, 
mildness and forgiveness should go hand in hand 
with justice. — Children should not forget kindness 
shown to their parents, but look on it as done to 
themselves; this is fulfilling the fourth command- 
ment. — The promises of God are yea and amen 
but so are also His threatenings, which are ofter. 
executed when men have forgotten them. 

Vers. 28-34. The terrible end of Joab : (a) He 
dies conscious of his guilt, without peace and par- 
don; (A) even in the very jaws of death he is 
defiant, rough, and proud ; (c) he does not leave 
the world like a hero, but like a criminal. How 
differently David dies I (ver. 2). — Ver. 28. An evil 
conscience can put to flight a hero who never 
yielded to the enemy in a single bloody field. — 
Starke : It is thus the wicked act when they get 
into danger; though they never before cared 
about God and His children, they will seek their 
protection then. — Ver. 30. What good is there in 
dying in a sacred place if one has not a sanctified 
heart and pure conscience? Prov. iii. 21-26. — Ver. 
31 sq. Starke: God has no sanctuary or city of 
refuge for an intentional murderer (Ex. xxi. 14). — 
Lange : If a ruler leaves shed blood unavenged, 
the guilt attaches to himself; through just revenge 
it is averted. — Ver. 33. Only that throne stands 
firm upon which justice, without respect of per- 
sons, is exercised (Prov. xxv. 5). 

Vrrs. 36—16. Shimei's fate plainly proves the 
truth of the word Job xxxiv. 11; Ps. cxli. 10; 
Prov. v. 22. — Ver. 39. Avarice, i. e., oovetousness, 
i* the root of all evil. The loss of two servants 
led Shimei to disobedience, even to forget his oath 
and to risk his life. [Ver. 40 sq. Bp. Hall: "Oov- 
etousness. and presumption of impunity, are the 
destruction of many a soul: Shimei seeks his ser- 
vants and loses himself." — E. II.] — Vers. 41 sq 
Divine justice at length overtakes those whos* 

CHAPTER IH. 1-28. 39 

crimes have long been unpunished, and when they 
least expect it. — Those also who have cursed the 
anointed of the Lord, the eternal king of God's 

realm, and who have shot their poisoned shafts U 
Him, shall hereafter say to the mountains : Fall ci 
us 1 and to the hills : cover us 1 (Luke xxiii. 30). 



Chap. LTI.-V. 14 

A. — Solomon's marriage, solemn sacrifice and prayer ; first judicial decision. 

Chap. HL 1-28. 

1 And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's 
daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of 
building his own house, and the house of the Lord [Jehovah], and the wall 

2 [walls] of Jerusalem round about, Only the people sacrificed in high places, 
because there was no house built unto the name of the Lord [Jehovah], until 

3 those days. And Solomon loved the Lord [Jehovah], walking in the statutes 

4 of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places. And 
the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there ; for that teas the great high place : 
a thousand burnt-offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar. 

5 In Gibeon the Lord [Jehovah] appeared to Solomon in a dream by night : 

6 and God 1 said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast 
shewed unto thv servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked 
before thee in "truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with 
thee ; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him 

1 a son to sit on his throne, as it is this'day. And now, O Lord [Jehovah] my 
God, thou hast made thv servant king instead of David my father: and I 

8 am but a little child : 3 I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant 
is in the midst of thv people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot 

9 be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an under- 
standing heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad : 

10 for who" is able to judge this thv so great a people? And the speech pleased 

11 the Lord," that Solomon had 'asked this thing. And God said unto him, 
Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life ; 
neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; 

12 but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold I have 
done according to thy words : Mo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding 
heart; so that there" was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall 

13 any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not 
asked, both riches, and honor : so that there shall not be any among the kings like 

14 unto thee all thv days.' And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes 
and my commandments, as thy lather David did walk, then I will lengthen thy 

15 days. And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to 
Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord [Jehovah], 8 and 
offered up burnt-offerings, and offered [made] ' peace-offerings, and made a feast 
to all his servants. 

16 Then came there two women that were harlots,' unto the king, and stood 

17 before him. And the one woman said, O my lord, I and this woman dwell ic 




one house ; and I was delivered of a child with her in the house. And it came tc 
pass the third day after that I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also : 
and we -were together ; ' there teas no stranger with us in the house, save we two in 
the house. And this woman's child [son] '" died in the night ; because she overlaid 
it. And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while thine hand- 
maid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child [son] 10 in my bosom. 
And when I rose in the morning to give my child [son] '" suck, behold, it was dead : 
but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it was not my son which I 
did bear. And the other woman said, Nay ; but the living is my son, and the 
dead is thy son. And " this said, No; but the dead is thy son, and the living 
is my son. Thus they spake before the king. Then said the king, The one 
saith, This is my son that liveth, and thy son is the dead : and the other saith, 

24 Nay ; but thy son is the dead, and my son is the living. And the king said, 

25 Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the king. And the king 
said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the 
other. Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for 
her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living 
child, and iu no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor 

27 thine, but divide it. Then the king answered and said, Give her " the living 

28 child, and in no wise slay it : she is the mother thereof. And all Israel heard 
of the judgment which the king had judged ; and they feared the king : for they 
saw that the wisdom of God was in him to do judgment. 







1 Ver. 5.— [The Sept. and Chald. here repeat Lord ; the Syr. follows the Hbr. in reading God; while the Vulg, and 
Arab, avoid repeating the divine name. 

3 Ver. 7. — [Some MSS., followed by the Sept. and Vulg., prefix the conjunction 1 . 
3 Ver. 10.— [Many MSS. read IT) IT instead of 'J1X. and are followed by the Chaldee. 

* Ver. 12.— [Many MSS. and editions, followed by the Vulg., have "^"1213 in the plural. 

* Ver. 13. — [The Sept put this clause in the past tense : ios ov yiyovey avrip o^ioios trot, iv /SaaiAevcri, the Vat. ending the 
clause here ; but the Alex., by retaining the last words of the Hbr.. 7ra<ras Tas rj^;pas <rou, makes nonsense. 

9 Ver. 15. — [The Sept. add ef iiwr. 

7 Ver. 15. — [The Hbr. ^'V'lis the same before " peace-offerings " and before "feast," and is quite different from the- 


I before "burnt-offerings." The distinction is accurately preserved by the Sept. and the Vulg. 

8 Ver. 16.— [This translation is sustained here, as in Josh. ii. 1. by all the VV. except the Chald., anl is undoubtedly 
the invariable and distinctly-marked sense of the frequent Hbr. word. The Chald. renders inn-keepers. The author'* 
objection to the sense of harlots seems insufficient. 

9 Ver. IS. — [Many MSS., followed by the Sept. and Vulg., prefix the conjuction 1 . 

10 Ver. 19. — [It is better to retain throughout the passage the same rendering of the same Hbr. word. 

II Ver. 22. — [One MS., followed by the Vat., Sept.. and Arab., omits the second clause of ver. 22. 

18 Ver. 27. — [The Sept. remove any possible obscuritv by paraphrasing, l -Givc the child to her that said, Give 
her," kc.-F. G.] 


Ver. 1. And Solomon made affinity. After 
the rule of Solomon was established by the re- 
moval of his enemies from within (chap. ii. 46), he 
Bought to make it outwardly strong, also, by a 
family alliance with the king of Egypt. After 
David's great victories over the surrounding na- 
tions, and especially after the Philistines were 
rendered powerless, Egypt was the nearest and 
most powerful neighbor of the kingdom of Israel. 
As the latter had increased so much in extent and 
power, the king of Egypt may also have desired 
an alliance with the king of Israel (Ewald, Gesch. 
Isr., iii. s. 279) ; but such an alliance secured Solo- 
mon against other nations, and was even productive 
of an enlargement of his territory (chap. ix. 16). 
The Pharaoh named here " belonged certainly, fol- 
lowing the synchronism, to the 21st Tanaitic 
dynasty, and may have been its last king, Psusen- 
nes or Psusennos, who reigned thirty-five years " 
(Winer, R- W.-B., ii. s. 363).— This marriage with 

an Egyptian was not contrary to the law, since it 
only prohibited union with the daughters of the 
Canaanite tribes (Ex. xxxiv. 11-16 ; Deut. vii. 1-3). 
The supposition of some rabbins, that the Egyptian 
had become a proselyte, is unnecessary ; it is cer- 
tain, besides, that Egyptian worship was not in- 
troduced by her into Jerusalem ; and even later no 
trace of it is found (chap. xi. 4-7). — By the city of 
David we are to understand the ancient and 
fortified Jerusalem, the citadel of David — the 
upper city. The dwelling for the queen was but 
temporary ; when the new palace was built she 
inhabited it (chap. ix. 24). — "He made," says 
Josephus, " the walls wider and firmer than they 
had been." David had only fortified the upper 
city (2 Sam. v. 7, 9). 

Vers. 2-4. Only the people sacrificed in high 
places, &c. Vers. 2 and 3 do not pronounce a 
judgment in general upon the condition of public 
worship in the beginning of Solomon's reign (Keil). 
but form an introduction to verses 4-15. The 
connection is this : when the rule of So'omon wa» 



established from within by the extirpation of his 
foes, and outwardly by an alliance with Pharaoh, 
Solomon held a great festival for all Israel (2 Chron. 
i. 2, 3), not only to implore Jehovah's further aid to 
his successful government, but also in gratitude for 
the past. But as Jehovah's house was not yet 
built, and as the people, for want of a central 
sanctuary, still sacrificed ou high places here 
and there. Solomon followed this custom, but 
chose the greatest, i. e., the most important height, 
that at Gibeon, where the ancient tabernacle and 
the altar of burnt-offering stood. Vers. 2 and;; 
serve then to explain how it was that Solomon, 
who loved Jehovah, and, like David, kept the law, 
celebrated his great inauguration-festival on a 
high place, [bishop Horsley remarks on ver. 3: 
This is not mentioned as a circumstance of blame 
either in the people or in the king. For had they 
not sacrificed ani 1 burnt incense on high places, they 
could not have sacrificed or burnt incense at all. 
And it appears by the sequel that the sacrifice at 
Gibeon was acceptable. — E.H.] — The highplaces are 
very ofteu used in these books in the same sense ; 
butnot always. That n03 does not mean " barred 

entrance," and then "sacred forest" grove (The- 
nius, Bottcher), is easy to see from Mic. iii. 12, 
where it is synonymous with in , mountain ; 

oomp. Mic. i. 3, 4; Jer. xxvi. 18, with Amos iv. 1. 

where nijOJ stands for rnn3 • The fundamental 

meaning is and must be: height, high place. Among 
all ancient nations, heights and mountains were 
naturally chosen as the fit places for offering-up to 
the Deity who dwells on high, far above earth. 
But as all prayer to and worship of the Godhead 
took the form of sacrifice, for which an altar was 
requisite, J"I103 became the expression for high 

places upon which altars were erected. By de- 
grees, however, the use of the term became more 
extended, so that places of sacrifices, even if not 
on high places, but in towns, and even in valleys, 
were also called "high places " (2 Kings xvli. 9; 
Jer. vii. 31; xxxii. 35). In heathen worship, be- 
sides the altars for sacrifices, they had many 
dwellings for the Divinity, not regular temples, 
but cells, chapels, tents, in which the image of the 
Deity stood, and these also were named 11103 

(Ezek. xvi. 16); hence the expressions niQ3n TO 

(1 Kings xiii. 32 ; 2 Kings xvii. 29), and niD3 DJ3 

^1 Kings xi. 7; xiv. 23). Because the worship at 
the high places so easily became entangled with 
idolatry, the Mosaic law commanded that sacri- 
fices should only be offered at Jehovah's dwelling- 
place — the tabernacle (Levit. xvii. 3). For the 
unquiet times of the Judges, however, this pre- 
script could not be obeyed ; and as the patriarchs 
sacrificed on high places before the law was 
given (Gen. xii. 8), their example was followed : 
even Samuel did this (1 Sam. ix. 12 sq.)\ Thus it 
happened that this more convenient practice took 
deep root, and it was not until much later that it 
was found possible to abolish it (2 Kings xxiii. 
4-23); it was always, however, an abnormity, 
though unavoidable, so long as an house for 
Jehovah's name, i. e., a central sanctuary, was 
wanting (for this last expression see below on 
chap. vi.). — A thousand burnt-offerings. In the 
entire ancienc world, the greatest number of 

animals possible were collected for sacrifice at 
great festivals (see below on chap. viii. 62). The 
feast must have at least lasted more than one day 
The passage we are considering has sery unfairly 
been selected to prove that the king himself sacri- 
ficed, i. e., exercised priestly functions. Even the 
great number of animals offered contradicts this ; 
so does chap. vi. 2 ; where king Solomon is said ti 
have built the house of the Lord and made win- 
dows, 4c, no more means that he performed masons' 
and carpenters' work than that he himself offered 
the animals in sacrifice. 

Vers, a- 10. The Lord appeared to Solomon, 
&c. The expression HN13 does not mean that 

Solomou saw Jehovah in any bodily form, but 
that Jehovah revealed himself to him. If the 

reading here and in ver. 10 be not niir , but D^iipX 

is to be subjoined to it; the last more general 
term serves to designate the words which Solomon 
understood to be really divine communications. For 
it is evident that the word niiT does not specifically 

belong to the appearing, as Thenius thinks, from 
examination of the parallel passage in 2 Chron. i. 

7, where D'il^X HS03 occurs. — Solomon grounds 

(ver. 6) his request that Jehovah would grant him 
the gifts needful for a sovereign, upon the mercy 
shown his father David, to whom God had per- 
formed His promises, and raised up his son to sit 
upon the throne of Israel. He humbly calls himself 
a little child, not only as if he were just twelve years 
old, as some rabbins say, but because his youth was 
unfitted for the great and arduous task laid on 
him. Solomon died after a reign of forty years, 
and was named before (chap. xi. 4) JpT, which 

makes him, as is also the general opinion, twenty 
years old at least. — Going out and coming in is, 
like Deut. xxxi. 2 ; 1 Sam. xviii. 13, 16; 2 Sam. iii. 
25 ; Ps. exxi. 8, descriptive of the entire manner 
of life. The conclusion, from ver. 8, clearly refers 

to Gen. xxxii. 13 ; xiii. 16.— The yob* witn 3^ (like 

Job xii. 3; xxxiv. 10; Prov. xv. 32, the seat of 
thought and knowledge, ver. 9), as is to be seen 

from OSti'O J"bi."^ (ver. 12), must be connected 
with the following I3'3C*ij i and is not t0 t> e trans- 
lated, as Luther has it, obedient heart; or as the 
Vulgate, cor docile. A right sentence depends 
upon the hearing, that is, the trial of the parties, 
and for this, understanding and judgment are most 
requisite for the judge (comp. 2 Sam. xiv. 17). 
Vor. 7 refers to ruling, but ver. 9 to judging : the 
two conjoined fom tho kingly office (1 Sam. viii. 
6, 20 ; 2 Sam. xv. 4. Artemid. Oneir., ii. 14 : 
Kuivetv to apxetv eXeyov ol Tza'/utoi). 

Vers. 11-15. And God said, &c. Instead of 
the life of thine enemies (ver. "1), vei 13 reads 
"1133 ; it is, therefore, mditary glory, victory which 

is meant. DSE*0 ybti*i> does not mean : " to ex- 
ercise divine right " (Keil), but : to dispense jus- 
tice. — Behold it was a dream, not that he only 
knew on awaking that it was but a dream ; and 
not that he remembered distinctly on awaking 
what he had dreamed (Seb. Schmidt), but: " that 
it was more than a dream (an ordinary one) — 
something really divine; of this he beoimc- v. 



■convinced on awaking, that immediately after his 
return to the capital, he went to the place -there 
the sacred ark stood, and worshipped the Lord 
anew with many sacrifices and thanksgiving-offer- 
ings. The thank-offerings were for this extraor- 
dinary proof of divine favor " (Hess). The sequel 
showed that it was not a mere dream. 

Ver. 16. Then came there two women, &c 
This story is meant to show, by one instance, that 
Solomon had really received what he had prayed 
for, and what God had promised him (Theodoret : 
eTrtArizat rr/v tov .3aa/7.fwc eftovXi/vn ooipiav). 
Thenius counts the whole among those passages 
which the writer gave from oral tradition ; but we 
must not overlook the fact that he did not take it, 
like other narratives, from the " book of the Acts 
of Solomon " (chap. xi. 41). [The writer of the 
Book of the Kings refers only at the end of Solo- 
mon's reign to the book of the Acts of Solomon, 
and not at each step in his career. — E. H.] — The 

rabbins derive nijf from ft] , to feed, nourish ; and 
explain it thus with the Chaldee, here as in Josh, 
ii. 1, by ;p"IJ12 , i- e., hostesses, evidently to avoid 
Borne offence. On this account, it can scarcely 
allude to harlots, because they, as Calmet remarks, 
seldom have many children, and if they have, 
do not usually care much about providing for 
them. As nj? is generally spoken of intercourse 

which is extra-matrimonial, or adulterous, so this 
passage refers to " those who have had children, 
being unmarried " (Gerlach). 

V"ers. 17-2S. And the one woman said, &c. 
She alleges that the other can persist so obstinate- 
ly in her denial, because there was no one else 
in the house. The latter probably took the child 
away to avoid the just and heavy reproach of 
having killed her own child, and the consequent 
disgrace she would incur. This is at least more 
probable than that she wished to continue nursing 
for her health's sake (Thenius), or that she thought 
to inherit something in the future from the child 
(Hess) ; or, finally, that she intended to sell it 
afterwards for her support (Le Clerc). — In ver. 
21, at first the time given is the morning, in a 
general way ; but next, the expression is the same 
as clara luce (Vulgate), or, " as it was becoming 

brighter and brighter "(Thenius). D'Dni (ver. 26) is 

the New Testament a-xlayxya (2 Cor. vi. 12 ; vii. 15). 
Comp. Gen. xlhi. 30. Luther: "for her motherly 
heart yearned upon her son." The words : 
neither mine nor thine, kc, do not only show want 
of maternal love, but also envy and dislike of her 
j accuser. — They feared. Comp. Luke iv. 36 ; viii. 25. 

The sentence made a deep impression ; DTl^N is 

here the same as in Ps. Lxviii. 16: lxv. 10. 


1. Solomon's marriage with a daughter of 
Pharaoh was, strictly speaking, a political alliance ; 
But it has, nevertheless, also significance in the 
history of redemption. The great and mighty 
king of the land, which for Israel had been ''the 
l.ouse of bondage" in which it had eaten "the 
bread of affliction" (Exod. xx. 2; Deut. xvi 3), 
gives now to the king of this once despised and 
oppressed people, his daughter in marriage, and 

must, in the providence of God, contribute to the 
strengthening of the Israelitish throne, and to the 
increase of the power and glory of the Israelitish 
kingdom. Thus was this marriage a witness for 
the divine beneficence in the deliverance from 
Egypt, to the goal of which Israel had come in 
the reign of Solomon — the period of the richest 
bloom of the kingdom. It was likewise a divine 
seal upon the independence of the people, which 
had begun with the exodus from Egypt, and now 
had reached its completeness. [We beg leave to 
dissent from the position here taken by our author. 
(Comp. Exeget. on ver. 1). Solomon's alliance with 
the Egyptian princess for political purposes was 
after the fashion of worldly princes, and in direct 
hostility with the theocratic spirit. Egypt was 
quite as much an " abomination " as " Canaan," 
and we are surprised that our author should apolo- 
gize for Solomon in the matter. — E. H.] 

2. That sacrificing and burning of incense in high 
places was forbidden in the Mosaic law rests, not 
upon the grounds of outward regulation, but was 
a natural, necessary consequence of the Mosaic 
fundamental principles. Jehovah is one, and be- 
side him there is no God. He has chosen Israel, 
out of all the peoples of the earth, to be His people ; 
lit- Las made a covenant with them, and as a sign 
and pledge of this covenant will He dwell in the 
midst of His people. As He himself is one only, 
so also is and can His dwelling-place be only one. 
This is the place where He " meets " His people, 
i. e., exercises the covenant relation (Exod. xxix. 
■12 sq.). The concentration of the Jehovah-cultus 
is connected as inseparably with monotheism, as 
is the worship in high places, i. e., in any favorite 
spot, with polytheism. From the Mosaic stand- 
point, the worship in high places appeared as an 
ignoring, yea, as a denial, of the dwelling of 
Jehovah in the midst of His people, and, conse- 
quently, of the election and of the covenant of 
Jehovah, whereof it was the witness and pledge 
( ■■/'. Josh. xxii.). If the law in question could not 
1 le carried out in times of unrest and of convulsion, 
nevertheless, as soon as the period of the undis- 
turbed possession of Canaan was entered upon, it 
would remain the business of every truly theo- 
cratic king, as the servant of Jehovah, to put an 
end, as far as possible, to worship in high places. 
Hence, also, was David, after he had won for 
Israel victory over all enemies, most earnest to 
erect an enduring central sanctuary, for which the 
old tabernacle, especially since the removal of 
the ark of the covenant from it, was no longer 
serviceable. Since this, however, was denied him, 
he laid the charge of it upon Solomon, his son and 
successor, and made the building of a " house of 
Jehovah" the first and most pressing duty of his 
reign (1 Chron. xxviii. 2 sq.). After the building of 
the temple, sacrificing in high places should have 
disappeared totally ; but it forever kept emerging, 
even under kings who in other respects adhered 
firmly to the worship of Jehovah. Nevertheless, 
it is constantly spoken of as a defect or an abnor 
mitv (1 Kings xv. 14; xxii. 44; 2 Kings xii. 4; xiv 
4; XV. 4, 35; xxi. 3). 

3. The divine revelation which Solomon re 
ceived, came, as in so many other instances botl 
in the Old and also even in the New Testament 
through the medium of a dream. In itself the 
dream is, according to the Scripture, something 
wholly idle and vain (Ecclos. v. 6; Job xx. 8; Is 

CHAPTER in. 1-2S. 


xxix. 7. 8) ; in so far, however, as man is then re- 
moved entire.y from the sensible and outward 
world, and is in the condition of a pure psychical 
intuition, he can, more than in the natural, wakeful 
condition, become a more receptive soil for divine 
influences and communications. Hence, in Ecclesi- 
asticus xxxi. (xxxiv.) 2 sq., while the nothingness of 
dreams is taught, yet in ver. 6 this statement fol- 
lows: kav ui, -; .' --"i 1 [sc. ~a kvinrVLa] a~o- 
cTti/ti iv i-i<7^o—/i, uij fi<jc etc avTQ r/ t r Kapdiav gov. 

Dreams of the latter description are placed, i 3e- 

quently, on a level with prophecy and visions, 

which are the operation of the rm of Jehovah 

(Joel iii. 1). But these invariably presuppose a cer- 
tain spiritual temper upon the part of the dreamer. 
" The prophetic dream of the night, as a rule, is con- 
nected with the moral reflections and presentiments 
of the day " (Lange, on Gen. xx. 3). A soul directed 
towards God and divine things in its wakeful slate, 
is peculiarly fitted, in the stillness of the night, in 
its involuntary expressions, i. e., in its dreams, to 
receive purely spiritual, inwardly divine influences. 
Such was the case with Solomon. Ili.s dream 
shows what then agitated and filled his sold, and 
that the festivity he then held was not an empty 
political ceremony, but resulted from an actual re- 
ligious need. An Adonijah, at his least at tin- 
spring Rogel (chap. i. 9-25), would never have 
been able to dream so. If ever dream contained 
nothing chimerical (visionary), it was Solomon's 
dream at Gibeon. [Bp. Hall, beautifully : " Solo- 
mon worships God by day : God appears to Solo- 
mon by night. Well may we look to enjoy God 
when we have served him. — E. H.] 

4. The prayer of Solomon unites in itself all 
that belongs to a true prayer. It affords evidence 
especially of the genuine theocratic spirit in which 
this son of David had been educated, and was now 
entering upon his royal office. He recognises the 
greatness of the task to be the king of the people 
which Jehovah has chosen from among all peoples 
of the earth, and his first and greatest anxiety is 
to comply with this demand. He feels that he, 
especially in his youth and inexperience, cannot do 
this of his own strength, and he prays for enlight- 
enment from on high, not so much for himself as 
for the sake of the people. It is not his own merit 
which gives him courage for this prayer, but 
he rests it upon the divine grace and mercy which 
his father had so richly experienced. His words 
are not many, but the few he utters are the ex- 
pression of a living, child-like faith, as simple and 
substantial as it is inward and true. 

5. The history of the two women " is genuinely 
Oriental, in which we must dismiss from our minds 
wholly, our forms of justice and processes of proof : 
since an accurate, striking flash, which solves the 
difficulty, in living, immediate insight with one 
stroke, as with the sharpness of a sword, is far loftier 
than a regular consideration and balancing of the 
grounds advanced, for and against. Therefore, this 
wisdom, as belonging to the period, to the land, and 
to the whole people, must be ooked upon as a high 
gift of God, as, indeed, it act ^ally was " (Gerlach). 
Examples of similar judicial decision are not want- 
ing in antiquity. Grotius observes : Non dissimih 
iUud Ariopliarnis regis Thracum, qui de tribus filios 
« Cimmeriorum regis dicentibus ewnx pro JUio habuit, 
qui jussus cadaver patris jandis noluerat, inct 
l>we historic, est apud Siculum Diodorum. Another 

instance " is adduced by Robertson from an Indian 
book. A woman in bathing left her child or. tha 
bank of a pond. A female demon wh) was pass- 
ing by carried it off. Both appear before th« 
goddess with their claims. She commands that 
each shall seize an arm and a leg and pull at it. 
The mother of the child is recognised by her re- 
fusal " (Philippson). Solomon demonstrated his 
capacity as judge in the case in hand, in so far 
especially that, in the absence of witnesses and of 
outward means of proof, he knew how to bring 
the secret truth to light in such way as to con- 
vince the contestants themselves. The words of 
Prov. xvi. 10 are here confirmed. While Niemeyer, 
in the judgment of Solomon, recognises, if not 
" God's wisdom," at least " rapid decision, pres- 
ence of mind, and an accurate insight into human 
nature," other theologians of the illuminati- 
period, have seen nothing more than "the pro- 
ceeding of an Oriental despot, a fancy which would 
not do much to subserve the interests of a Euro- 
pean prince " (G. L. Bauer i-n Keil on the place). 
He who judges so unwisely, only shows in the 
act, that in like or similar circumstances he would 
scarcely have reached so wise a judgment as Solo- 
mon's. Little as Solomon's procedure may corre- 
spond to otir present notions of the administration 
of justice, formally considered, nevertheless that 
which for all time remains the chief point was 
not wanting, ver. 12 — the divine gift of bringing 
to light the secret, inward fact, and of awakening 
the sleeping conscience, so that falsehood and mis- 
representation vanish, and the truth comes forth. 
Without this gift all forms and rules of investi- 
gation avail nothing; yea, as experience has so 
often shown, they serve to pervert the conscience 
and to conceal the truth. 


Ver. 1. Cramer: Although marriage with per- 
sons of unlike faith be allowed, and is in itself no 
sin (1 Cor. vii. 14), it is, nevertheless, better that 
one avoid it, because the unbelieving perverts the 
believer more frequently than the believer converts 
the unbeliever. — Starke : God has the hearts of all 
men in His hands, and can bring it to pass that 
they who have been inimical to us, and have despis- 
ed us, shall hold us in great honor (Prov. xvi. 7 ; 
Gen. xxxi. 24). — As soon as Solomon sa>v his exist- 
ence secured, he proceeded to matrimony. — Ver. 
2— I, Solomon's Sacrificial Festivity: (a) When he 
celebrated it (at the beginning of his reign to re- 
turn thanks for the past assistance of God, and to 
implore its continuance) ; (b) where he kept it (upon 
the high place at Gibeon, because no temple was 
built as yet: the place of prayer in the Old and in 
the New Testament). — Though God dwell not in 
temples built by human hands, yet it is needful 
for each congregation to have an house, where with 
one mouth it praises the name of the Lord. Where 
this need is not felt, there is a defect in faith and 
love for the Lord. — Ver. 3. He loved the Lord. 
This is the best and greatest thing that can be 
said of a man. So, every one who loves the world, 
has not in him the love of the Father : this is only 
where God is loved above all things, His word ob- 
served, and His commandments fulfilled with joy 
and delight (1 John ii. 5, 15; v. 3). Happy is he 
who, to the question of the Lord : Lovest thou me 1 



can return the answer of Peter (John xxi. 17). 
Because Solomon loved the Lord he honored also 
his father, and walked in his ways. The want of 
filial piety in our day comes from want of love to 
the Lord. — Ver. 4. If we should begin our daily 
work with the sacrifice of our prayer, how much 
more our life's calling, and every weighty under- 
taking upon which our own and the well-being of 
other men depends (God grant it, He who can 
help, Ac). 

Vers. 5-15. The Prayer of Solomon: (a) Its 
contents (ver. 6-9) ; (6) its answer (ver. 10-14). — 
Ver. 5. Starke: Those who love God (ver. 3), 
God loves in return, and reveals himself to them 
(John xiv. 21). — Hall: The night cannot be 
otherwise than holy to him whom the previous 
day has been holy. — In our dreams we often speak 
and act in such way that we must be frightened, 
upon awaking, at how much that is impure and cor- 
rupt is still within us. Upon this account we 
should pray in the evening : Ah 1 may my soul in 
sleeping also do that which is good, or, if I dream, 
be it from thee, so that my senses even in sleep 
may acquire love for thee, Ac. (Ps. lxiii. 7). — [One 
is here reminded of Bp. Ken's beautiful evening 
hymn : " Glory to thee, my God, this night." — 
E. H] — A dream like Solomon's does not happen 
when the day just past has been spent in revel 
and riot, in gross or in refined sin. — Lisco: What 
happened here in dream, Christ commands in 
" Our Father." — Starke : God well knew what 
Solomon needed; but he bid him ask, (1) to show 
how negligent men are in praying for what is 
spiritual ; (2) that he would only bestow His gifts 
in the ordinance of prayer ; (3) that great person- 
ages might have an example of what they should 
ask of God, above all others. Ask what I shall give 
thee : (a) a test- word, for as man wishes and 
prays, so does he show-of whose spirit he is the 
child (Ps. cxxxix. 23) ; (6) a word of warning, for 
we not only may, but we should also ask for all 
which we have most at heart (Ps. xxxvii. 4). — 
Ver. 6-10. When is our prayer pleasing to God? 
(a) When we pray in the feeling of our weakness 
and helplessness, and in confidence in the mercy 
of God and His promises; (6) when before all 
things we ask for spiritual blessings and gifts 
(Matt. vi. 33; Eph. i. 3). — The true wisdom for 
which we have to ask God (James i. 5), does not 
consist in manifold and great knowledge, but in 
the understanding of what is good and bad (Job 
xxviii. 28 ; James hi. 17 ; Eph. v. 17), and is a 
fruit of the renewal of our mind (Rom. xii. 2). — A 
ruler who does not ask God for an obedient heart 
for himself, can and ought not to hope for or expect 
that his people will yield him a submissive heart. — 
Youth, which as a rule places freedom in lawless- 
ness, needs before all things to ask God daily for an 
obedient heart. — Vers. 8, 9. Pfaff: Subjects are 
not simply creatures of the authorities, nor are they 
designed for the exercise of their pleasures and 

the splendor of their position (Holeit); but they 
are God's people, and as such, are to be governed 
and judged. 

Ver. 11-14. The granting of Solomon's prayei 
teaches and assures us : (a) That God grauts more 
than they request, over and above praying and 
understanding, to those who call upon him with 
earnestness, and for spiritual gifts (Eph. iii. 20 ; 
Matt. vL 33) ; (b) that God gives to him upon whom 
He confers an office, that is, to one who does not 
rush into an office or calling, but is called thereto 
by God, the necessary understanding, if he humbly 
seek it. — Where there is wisdom, there comes, 
indeed, also gold and silver (Prov. iii. 16 sg ), but 
not the reverse. — Ver. 15. Hall: A heart col- 
scious in itself of the living evidences of a special 
grace of God, cannot forbear feeling that it should 
be authenticated through outward signs, and espe- 
cially through munificence. 

Vers. 16-28: Lisco: Solomon's Wise Judg- 
ment: (a) The question in dispute (vers. 16-22); 
(b) the decision (vers. 23-28). — Vers. 17-22. Such 
sin brings together, but it unites only for a short 
time ; for it produces discord, wrangling, and 
controversy. Abiding peace dwells only in the 
house where the God of peace binds hearts to- 
gether. — He who takes from the heart of a mother 
her child, or estranges or deprives her, will not 
escape the righteous tribunal of the judge to whom 
the mother (das muUerherz) calls and appeals. — • 
Litigation is generally associated with envy, false- 
hood, and unrighteousness, hence the Lord says, 
be read}', &c. (Matt. v. 25 ; Luke xii. 58). — Ver. 26. 
If an immoral woman be merciful for the son of 
her body, and cannot forget her little child (kind- 
leiiis), how much more should every Christian 
mother be ready to offer, when necessary, the 
heaviest sacrifice to deliver her child from moral 
ruin. — Seiler: If in the hearts of sinners the love 
of father and mother be so strong, how strong must 
the fatherly love of God be (Isai. xlix. 15) ? — Envy 
hardens all human feeling, and makes one hard 
and heartless. — Ver. 27. When a child, apparently 
given over to death, is restored to its parents by 
divine providence, so much the more must their 
chief solicitude be to educate and bring it up in the 
nurture and admonition of the Lord. — Not power 
and force, not great pomp, and pride, and tyranny, 
but wisdom and righteousness, give to the govern- 
ment authority, and call forth genuine fear and 
the voluntary obedience of the people. — If it were 
given to a Soiomon to bring to disgrace lying and 
misrepresentation, by judicial wisdom and know- 
ledge of the human heart, and to deliver a righteous 
judgment, how much less shall liars and hypocrites 
stand up under the tribunal of Him who could 
say, A greater than Solomon is here ! who, without 
needing witnesses aud judicial examination, will 
bring to light what is hidden in darkness (1 Cor. 
iv. 5), and before whose judgment-seat we must 
all appear (2 Cor. v. 10). 

CHAPTER IV. 1-34. 

B. — Solomon's officers, household, and his high intellectual culture. 
Chap. IT. 1-34 (IT. 1 ; T. 14). 

1, 2 So king Solomon was king over all Israel. And these icere the princes 

3 which he had ; Azariah the son of Zadok the priest.' Elihoreph and Ahiah, the 

4 sons 3 of Shisha, scribes ; Jehoshapliat the son of Ahilud, the recorder. And 
Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the host: and Zadok and Abiathar were 

5 the priests; and Azariah the son of Nathan was over the officers: and 

6 Zabud the son of Nathan zcas principal officer, and the king's friend : 3 and 
Ahishar teas over the household : and Adoniram the son of Abda was over the 

7 And Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, which provided victuals for 

8 the king and his household : each man his month in a year made provision. And 

9 these are their names : The son of Hur, in mount Ephraim : The son of Dekar, in 

10 Makaz, and in Shaalbim, and Betb-shemesh, and Elon 4 -beth-hanan : The son of 

11 Hesed, in Aruboth ; to him pertained Sochoh, and all the land of Hepher : The 
son of Abinadab, in all the region [highlands b ] of Dor; which had Taphath the 

12 daughter of Solomon to wife : Baana the son of Ahilud ; to him pertained Taa- 
nach and Megiddo, and all Beth-shean, which is by Zartanah beneath Jezreel, 
from Bethshean to Abel-meholah, even unto the place that is beyond Jokneam 

1 3 [Jokmeam] : The son of Geber, in Bamoth-gilead ; to him pertained the towns of 
Jair the son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead ; ' to him also pertained the region 
of Argob, which is in Bashan, threescore great cities with walls and brazen bars : 

14, 15 Ahinadab the son of Iddo had Mahanaim : Ahimaaz was in Naphtali ; he 
lfi also took Basmath the daughter of Solomon to wife: Baanah the son of Hushai 
17 was in Asher and in' Aloth : 8 Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in Issachar: 
18, 1 9 Shimei the son of Elah, in Benjamin : Geber the son of Uri was in the country 
of Gilead, in the country of Sihon king of the Amorites, and of Og king of 

20 Bashan ; and he was the only officer which was in the land. " Judah and Israel 
were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking 
and making merry. 

21 And Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the river " unto the land of 
the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt : they brought presents, and 

22 served Solomon all the days of his life. And Solomon's provision for one day 
was thirty measures [cor] of tine flour, and threescore measures [cor] of meal. 

23 Ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and a hundred sheep, be- 

24 sides harts, and roebucks, and fallow deer," and fatted fowl. For he had 
dominion over all the region on this side the river, from Tiphsah even to Azzah, 
over all the kings on this side the river: and he had peace on all sides round 

25 about him. And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and 

26 under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon. And 
Solomon bad forty " thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve 

27 thousand horsemen [saddle-horses]. And those officers provided victual for 
king Solomon, and for all that came unto king Solomon's table, every man 

28 in his month: they lacked nothing. Bailey also and straw for the horses and 
dromedaries [coursers ,3 ] brought they unto the place where the officers were, 
every man according to his charge. 

29 And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and 

30 largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. And Solomon's 
wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the 

31 wisdom of E<?ypt. For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, 
and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol : and " his fame was in 

82 all nations round about. And he spake three thousand proverbs : and his songs 

33 were a thousand and five.' 5 And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that it 

Vl. Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall : he spake also 



34 of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes. And there came 
of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which 
had heard of his wisdom. 16 


1 Ver. 2.— [Our author translates jHSH " war der hochste " for reasons given in the Exeg. Com. Keil also takes the 

»aine view of the word. On the other hand, all the ancient V V. (the Vat. Sept., however, omits the word) give the usual 
rendering, priest; so also Luther, and the A. V. The question really turns upon which of the names, Azariah or Zadok, 
the word is to be placed in apposition with. By the Masoretic punctuation, by the Chald., and by the Sept., (6 iepevs in 
the nominative), it is placed in apposition with Azariah, which, according to ver. 4, cannot be correct, if the translation 
priest be retained. Hence the adoption of the other sense by our author and Keil. But by the Vulg. (sactrdotis in the 
Gen.), by the Syr., and the A.V., it is placed in apposition with Zadok, and the difficulty is thus removed, while the 
ordinary sense of the word is retained. In this way, too, the absence of the 1 before Elihoreph is accounted for. The 
sense will then be, Azariah (the son of Zadok the priest) was one of the scribes with Elihoreph and Ahiah. 

» Ver. 8. — [Three MSS., followed by the Sept., write )3 in the singular, thus making Ahiah only the son of Shisha. 

1 Ver. 5. — [Here again we have the same question of translation as in ver. 2, but diflerently solved in the A. V. The 

Heb. expression TpftH HU1 |H3 jHJ'p TOM is rendered by the author as well as by Keil, in the same way as in the 

A.V. It is urged that JH3 cannot be in apposition with Nathan because it is without the article (see Nordheimer'i 
Heb. Gr., § 816). Admitting that the Heb. usage requires JPG to be regarded as a predicate, it is further urged that it 

cannot mean priest, because Zadok and Abiathar were " the priests." They certainly were the high-priests ; but Zabud 
also may have been a priest. The Chald., Syr., and Vulg., all retain the sense of priest, and there seems no sufficient 
reason for rejecting it. " Zabud, the son of Nathan, was a priest, and the king's friend." Twelve MSS. and the Syr., 
for TOt read TOT - 

4 Ver. 9. — [Eleven MSS., followed by the Vulg., prefix the conjunction 1 to JV^ ; the Sept. supply its place by eio*, 

and so our author translates. The Arab, uses the relative, " Elon which is in Beth-hanan." The locality is quite 

* Ver. 11. — [Here, as in Josh. xi. 2 ; xii. 23, it is better to preserve the force of the Heb. J"lS3 , as in the author's ver- 
sion. The Vulg., Syr., Sept., and Arab, make it a part of the proper name. 

• Ver. 13. — [The Vat. (not Alex.) Sept omits the previous clause, and in each case, after th« mention of the officer 
and his district, adds els. 

7 Ver. 16.— [The Vulg., Sept., Syr., and Arab, make the preposition part of the name, and read Baaloth. This cannot 
be right. See Exeg. Com. 

8 Ver. 17. — [The Vat. Sept. omits ver. 17 here, and gives it afterwards instead of the last clause of ver. 19. It alst 
omits verses 20-26 (ef. chap. iii.). This whole list of proper names is variously modified in the VV. 

9 Ver. 20. — [Most printed editions of the Heb. begin chap. v. at this point; so our author, and hence his note. — F. G.j 
The Sept., the Vulg., and Luther [also the A. V. and Walton's Polyglot] reckon chap. v. 1-14 as belonging to chap, iv., and 
begin chap. v. with its 15th verse. — Bahr. 

10 Ver. 21. — [There is here no preposition in the Heb., although it is supplied in the parallel place, 2 Chron. ix. 26, 

D^nCvS 1*™1X^V1 • The Chald. has made up the deficiency by translating " from the river Euphrates unto the land of 

the Philistines and unto the border of Egypt , " but the Vulg- (ajtwmhie terrm Philisthium usque ad terminem JEgypti)^ 
Syr., and Arab, reduce Solomon's empire to nothing. The Alex. Sept. has otto toD jroTajioO yijs dAAo0i'Acuv *ai «w? bpiov 
'AiyujrTou. . 

" Ver. 28.— [7 S _XD Vulg., cervi; Sept. (Alex.), e\a<f>oi. *3V Vulg., caprice ; Sept. (Alex.), SopKaSa. "TOTT Vulg 

bubali ; Sept. (Alex.) omits. On ^3V &• Rosenmuller's Bochart IUerozoicoro y ii. 808. 

>s Ver. 26.— The parallel place 2 Chron. ix. 25 shows, that not CJOTX but flt^HX should be read, with which also 

Chron. x. 26 and 2 Chron. i. 14 accord. — Bahr. [The author accordingly rightly translates " four thousand ; " but there is no 
variation in the MSS. nor in the VV. 

18 Ver. 28.— [Heb. C3"l , a superior kind of horse to the chariot-horses just mentioned. None of the VV. sustain 

the translation dromedaries, Keil translates "runners." 

14 Ver. 81. — [The Vat. Sept. omits this clause. 

»» Ver. 32.— [Sept. : Ave thousand. 

ia Ver. 34.— [The Vat. Sept. here adds iii. 1, and continues: totc d^£rj Qapaio fiauiXevs 'AiyuVrov, teal irpoKaTeXdfifTi 
T$|y Ta.$ep, xat efcrrvpurcv av-rqv real Toy Xavai'tTrje rbv KaTOixovvra iv Mepya/3 • Kal iSmxev avTa<; Papain aTrocrToAds BvyarpA 
AVTOu yvvaiKi inAminui', xal 2aAu>p.u>f <ilieo66p.7jo" i e Ti)f Ta£4p. — F, Q.] 


Ver. 1. So king Solomon was, Ac. According 
to Tlienins, the section from chap. iv. 1 to 28 is 
borrowed from two different sources, and the con- 
tents of both are so woven together that the proper 
connection is now lost. Chap. iv. 2—19 may belong 
lo the older and purely historical source: chap. iv. 
1 and 20 to the later traditional one, as may also 
vers. 21, 24, 25, 2G. "Vers. 22, 23, 27, 28 (probably 
in the following order: vers. 27, 28, 22, 2?,) con- 
tain the continuation of the account of the func- 
(i jnanes (taken from the more ancient source)." 

It is true that a perfect accordance is obtained 
by this arrangement of the text, which is partly 
founded on the Septuagint; but the question is 
whether the text, as it lies before us. is so dis- 
connected as to require such a forced alteration of 
Style. We must presi^nose the author possessed 
(.1 enough understanding not to take what he found 
in good order, in his documentary sources, tear i 
apart, weave it together, and render the whole 
without connection. In chaps, i.-iii. he related how 
Solomon's kingdom became established and re 
spected; in chap. iv. he tells how it was censti 
tuted, and in what a well-ordered and flourishing 

CHAPTER IV. 1-34. 

condition it was. Then he proceeds with the words 
of ver. 1 : So king Solomon was king over all Is- 
rael, i. e., with the rule of Solomon over all Israel, 
such was its estate. Now comes the account of 
the regular government and management of the 
entire realm, by the various civil officers of differ- 
ent degrees (vers. 2-19); then the court establish- 
ment, which represented the prosperous state of the 
kingdom (22-28); and lastly, that of the extraor- 
dinary acquirements of the king himself (29-34). 
The first section is very naturally followed (ver. 20) 
bv remarks on the great population and prosperous 
condition of the kingdom ; and this leads to the 
further remark (ver. 21) that Solomon's dominion 
not only extended over the populous nation of Is- 
rael, but over the neighboring tribes, that were 
brought under tribute. His court establishment 
was equally brilliant, and it (vers. 22-28) corres- 
ponded with his extended sovereignty (ver. 24), 
and with the peacefulness which his subjects en- 
joyed (ver. 25). There is no want of connection in 
such a narrative. 

Ver. 2. And these were the princes, the dig- 
nitaries (comp. the double list of those under David, 
2 Sam. viii. 16-18, and ibid. xx. 23-26, where they 

are not, however, named D'lfeTl), and there are two 
more here. The order of the offices is different in 
each of the three lists, so that we cannot therefrom 
form an opinion of their rank. It is characteristic 
that the military officers are named first in both of 
David's lists, and the civil offices are first in Solo- 
mon's. The Jewish expounders, the Vulgate, Lu- 
ther, and Thenius, take ;niin in ver. 2 to be in the 

genitive case : " Azariah, the son of Zadok the high 
priest; Elihoreph and Ahiah the sons of Shisha, 
were scribes." But against this view are the ac- 
cents (silluk with sophpasuk), according to which, 
a new sentence begins with Elihoreph ; also " the 
omission of the copula 1 before Elihoreph, which 
was absolutely necessary, if Azariah had been 
joined in the same office with the brothers Eliho- 
reph and Ahiah " (Keil) ; finally, the son of the high- 
priest Zadok is named Ahimaaz in 2 Sam. xv. 27 ; 
xviii. 27 ; and 1 Chron. vi. 8, 9, and then his son 
Azariah |3 must therefore certainly be translated 

here by : grandson. This, however, is not suitable 
here, because son is used six times consecutively 
in the following verses, so that we cannot under- 
stand why the writer does not say the son of 
Ahimaaz.' It was scarcely possible either for a 
grandson of the priest Zadok to have been old 
enough then to stand at the head of tne body of 
high dignitaries. All things considered, jrQil must 
here be understood like T3t13n , ver. 3, as predi- 
cate-nominative, according to the opinions of Pisca- 
tor, Le Clerc, Keil, and others. We may not trans- 
late like Ewald and Bunsen : " Azariah, the son 
of Zadok, was the high-priest," for according to 
ver. 4. Zadok himself, and also Abiathar, were ; 
but there never were three high-priests at the same 
time. We are rather compelled, on the contrary, 
to take p's in the sense it beare m 2 Sam. viii. 18, 
and xx. 26, where it signifies a secular office. The 
Chron. (i. 18, 17) gives instead of D^rp in the first 
place -l^en ~fb D'KWn, that is, the first at the 

king's side, those whom we now nt me ministers, 
or privy counsellors. The word ir. ver. 5 must 
necessardy have this meaning: where it stand* 

without the article, Zabud was pS If now Aza 

riah is introduced in ver. 2 as jrpn , wholly analo- 
gous to the way in which the high priest, con- 
trasted with the other priests, is absolutely ]rpn 

(Exod. xxix. 30; Lev. xxi. 21; 1 Kings i. 8, 38; 
2 Kings xi. 9, 15, etc.), so is he designated as the 

first or chief of the secular D'OHB , "P°n which 

account he stands first in the list of the great office 
bearers. " Among the trusted privy counsellors of 
the king, he held die first place " (Keil). It is not 
necessarv to suppose that Zadok, whose son he was, 
was the" high-priest, for this name occurs very 
often (2 Kings xv. 33; Neh. iii. 4-29; xiii. 13; xi. 

11), as well as the name Azariah (1 Chron. v. 36- 

li> ; u 39; 2 Kings xv. 30, &c). 

Vers. 3-6. Elihoreph . . . were scribes, Ac. 

"13D means generally any one whose business it 

was to write or to count. The DnSD, as the 

highest civil officers, had, no doubt, the care of all 
clerkly as well as financial matters ; two are there- 
fore specified.— For the office of the T3TD see 

Introduc. % 2. It is plain that he was not the 
" highest minister of state," as Winer thinks, be- 
cause he is not the first, but the third in the list. 
As the copula is wanting before Josaphat, we can- 
not conclude, with Thenius, that he was above the 

D'n&Oi t0 whom Azariah must in that case also 
have belonged. — Shisha must be the same as Shav. 
sha in 1 Chron. xviii. 16, and Seriah in 2 Sam. xviii. 
7. The office of the father under David, passed to 
his two sons under Solomon.— For Benaiah see 
chap. ii. 35.— Ewald thinks the words: And Zadok 
and Abiathar (were) the priests a mere unnecessary 
repetition of Sam. xx. 25, because, according to 
chap. ii. 26 and 35. Solomon deposed Abiathar and 
put Zadok in his place. However, there is no suf- 
ficient ground for this view. Abiathar is again in- 
troduced as a priest here, either " because he had 
officiated in the beginning of Solomon's reign" 
(Philippson), or because, as Grotius remarks, though 
he was no longer re yet he was nomine high-priest, 
and though the apx'l was taken from him the Upa- 
triri i, nevertheless remained to him (Theodoret). It v 
is highly improbable that Solomon afterwards par- 
doned and restored him to office (Le Clerc).— Aza- 
riah and Zabud (ver. 5) were not the sons of the 
prophet Nathan (Thenius), but of the son of David, 
mentioned in 2 Sam. v. 14, therefore Solomon's 
nephews (Keil). The former had the officials enu- 
merated in vers. 7-19 under him, the latter is des- 
ignated as Tj^sn njn \rB ■ Ewald looks on this 
in a very modern way, and thinks it was a "spe- 
cial house-priest" of "the king's, "who was lus pe- 
culiar minister in spiritual affairs." However, there 
is no more mention of a priest here than in 2 Sam. 
viii. 18; njTI explains jrp, and both words form 
too-other one couception; Zabud was a "privy 
counsellor, i, e., friend of the king's" (Keil). la- 
ther's translation : the son of Nathan, the prie*', L» 



quite false. Abiathar (ver. 6) was not " minister 
of the king's household " (Keil), but " master of the 
palace and household " (Thenius), chap, xviii. 3 ; 
2 Kings xviii. 18; Isai. xxii. 15. This office did 
not exist under David ; but was required by the 
larger and more splendid court of Solomon. Ado- 
niram is the same as 2 Sam. xx. 24 and 1 Kings 
xii. 18, where he is called Adoram. He was not 
tithe-master (Luther), but overseer of the hirelings 
that had to overlook the public works, for DD no- 
where means vectigal or impost. Ewald and The- 
nius think the addition of the Sept. : ical 'Eha{i vwc 
Za<p itrl rye; narpiac, original, but it is easy to see 
that it is a gloss. 

Ver. 7. Solomon had twelve officers. The 
wholly general expression W3H1 (from 2VJ to 

place, t. e., people in office), is made clearer by the 
word: the provided for, &c. Hence they were not 
r/jf uovec nai OTparnyol (Josephus), neither " court 
cooks " (Winer), but " chief rent-receivers " (Rosen- 
muller) ; whether they were regular chiefs or gov- 
ernors of provinces, the providing for the king be- 
ing only a part of their office (Thenius), is uncertain. 
Probably their districts were not arranged with 
reference to the lands of the tribes, but to the fer- 
tility of the soil. Tlieir number, twelve, has no re- 
lation to the twelve tribes, but to the twelve months 
of the year, in each of which one of them had to 
supply his quota. The list of the districts in vers. 8 
to 19 is perhaps made with reference to the time of 
delivery, and makes no account of the geographical 
position. — The proper names of five of the twelve 
officials are not given, but only their fathers' names. 
It is uncertain whether they bore those names with 
the prefix of Ben, as the Vulgate supposes (Benhur, 
Bendecar, &c). Beu-abinadab (ver. 11) is scarcely 
a proper name. As these men have no further 
historical importance, it matters little about their 
names. Two sons-in-law of Solomon being among 
them, only shows that the list gives us a view of 
the civil offices during the middle period of his reign. 
Vers. 8-22. The son of Hur, in mount Eph- 
raim. We give here only what is most necessary 
about the situations and nature of particular dis- 
tricts. Thenius. on this place, speaks at length of 
both. (1) Mount Ephraim, in Central Palestine, 
one of the most cultivated districts of all Palestine 
(Winer, B.-W.-B., s. v.). (2) ilakaz (ver. 9) is named 
only here, but mast belong, like Shaalbim, Beth- 
ehemesh and Eton, to the tribe of Dan (south of 
Ephraim and west of Judah). (3) Aruboth (ver. 
Kit also does not appear elsewhere, probably a place 
in (lie tribe of Judah, to which Sochoh in the south 
must also have belonged (Josh. xv._48). Ilepher 
cannot be the town Gath-Hepher in Zebulon, but 
only a southern district, probably west of Sochoh, 
where a Canaanitish king had reigned before (Josh, 
xii. 17). (4) Dor(ver. 11), a town on the Mediterra- 
nean, nine Roman miles north of Ctesarea (Josh. 
xvii. 111. Naphat (i. e., heights) Dor is the hilly 
Btretch of country towards the south of the town, 
and to this Thenius reckons the whole very fertile 
pasture-plain of Sharon to Joppa. (5) Megiddo, 
and dose to it, in a southeasterly direction, Tuanach 
(ver. 12); two towns, that lie on the slope of the 
Carmel mountains, ■■>< the edge of the plain of Jez- 
reel in the tribe of Ifanasseh Beth-shean, on a 
straight line, easl of Megiddo, where the plain 
of .1 >/i "I ceases and that of the Jordan meadows 
oegins. Zartauah lav near in a southerly direction, 

and Abel-meholah still more soutl the latter wai 
the birth-place of the prophe't Ehsha. Jokneam, 
according to 1 Chron. vi. 53, a levite town, the situ- 
ation of which is doubtful, perhaps it jvas the same 
as Kibzaim (Josh. xxi. 22). The district must then 
have included the whole land of the tribe of Ma- 
nasseh on this side (west of) Jordan. (6) Ramoth- 
gilead (ver. 13). a town of the levites beyond Jor- 
dan, in the tribe of Gad, which stretched northwards 
along the tribe of Manasseh, and southwards along 
that of Reuben (Josh. xxi. 38 ; Deut. iv. 43). Upon 

Din of Jair, comp. Numb, xxxii. 41 ; Deut. iii. 14; 

Josh. xiii. 30. Our passage says as plainly as pos 
sible that they were ir. the land of Gilead, but th« 
country of Aryob was in the land of Bashan. The 
sixty fortified cities that belonged to the last can 

therefore not be identical with j-pin (Keil), as Bashan 

is always made quite dh-.tinet from Gilead (Deut. iii 
10; Josh. xii. 5; xiii. 11; xvh. 1; 2 Kings x. 33; 
Mic. vii. 14), the translation : the " towns of Jair ' 
is not correct either, " because : rpn here does not 
mean to live, and the German: living in a given 
place does not signify vita but mansio " (Casscl. zu 
Bicht., iii. 4). The land of Bashan with Argob lay 
northeast of that of Gilead. The brazen bars mean 
that the gates of the cities were protected with 
brass. (7) Mahanaim (ver. 14), a town beyond Jor- 
dan (2 Sam. xvii. 24-27), on the borders of the tribe 
of Gad and the further portion of Manasseh on the 
Jabbok (Josh. xxi. 38). We have no further infor- 
mation about this district of Abinadab. (8) Naph- 
tali (ver. 15), the region of the tribe of this name, 
was quite in the north of Palestine, on this side 
Jordan, west of Asher's inheritance and bordering, 
on its south, the tribe of Zebulon. (9) Asher's 
(vet 16) inheritance lay along the coast of the 
Meanerranean, northward of the tribe of Issachar 

(Deut. xxxiii. 24 sq.). 2 in nii'W must certainly be 

understood as in "lt."N3 (Luther), but Aloth, like 

Bealoth, is a quite unknown name, for the latter 
cannot be Bealoth in Judah (Josh. xv. 24). Thti 

nius boldly conjectures 11V l"6j?D ~\]1 to the road 

leading to Tyre. (10) Issachar (ver. 17); its coun- 
try lay on this side Jordan, between Zebulon on 
the north and Manasseh on the south (Josh. xix. 
17 sq.). (11) Benjamin (ver. 18); its inheritance 
was between Ephraim on the north and Judah on 
the south, and eastof Dan (Josh, xviii. 11 sq.). (12) 
Gilead (ver. 19) is used here for all the east- Jordan 
lands in general, but it could oidy apply to that 
part which remained overafter taking out the sixth 
and seventh districts, that is, the southern. The 
kingdom of Sihon originally extended from the 
river Jabbok in Mauasseh to the river Arnon, 
which empties itself into the Dead Sea (Numb, 
xxi. 24), and passed ovei uu the tribes of Gad and 
Reuben. Bashan lay northeast of Sihon (Numb. 
xxi. 33). The addition : an officer, &c, means : lust 
although this district was perhaps the largest 
(probably because of the barrenness of the soil), it 
had only one officer. Ewald would insert rniiV 

after j'~)N3, which is very incorrect, because in- 
stead of twelve officers, according to ver. 7, there 
would have been thirteen. The expression in vor. 
20: as tli- smul. irhich is by the sea, clearly refers tc 
the promise in Gen. xxii. 17: xxxii. 12 For eat 

CHAPTER IV. 1-34. 


iiigand drinking, <£c., comp. 1 Sam. xxx. 16; Prov. 
v. 17. One must either add 1J? before ]'-ix (chap. 

v. 1) like the parallel passage in 2 Chron. ix. 26, or 
bear in mind the 3 from the preceding passage, as 

Keil does. Presents, a mild expression for tribute, 
as in 2 Sam. viii. 2-6 ; 2 Kings xvii. 3— t. 

Vers. 22-25. And Solomon's provision, &e. 

Ver. 22. 13 (called "ipn before) is the largest 

measure, and contains, according to Josephus, ten 
attic medimni [medimnus = nearly twelve gallons. 
— E. H.] which Bockh reckons at 19857.7 Paris 
cubic inches; however, it seems from exact calcu- 
lations made by Thenius (in the Stud. u. Kritik. 
1846, s. 73 sq.), that Josephus is wrong,* and that 
the measures only contained 10143 Paris cubic 
inches According to this, the 30 + 60 measures 
•of meal make 171 bushels, from which 28,000 
pounds of bread were baked. " If we allow two 
pounds of bread to each person, Solomon's court 
must have contained 14,000 people" (others com- 
pute them at only 10,000), a number which does 
not seem too great for the middle period of this 
reign. Let us think, for instance, of the great ha- 
rem, the numerous servants, the body-guard, &c, 
and consider besides, that the families of all the 
court officials belonged to it, and that there were 
only payments in provisions. " If we take the 
flesh of a slaughtered ox to weigh 600 (according 
to the calculation of those who understood the mat- 
ter), that of a cow 400, and that of a sheep 70 
pounds," the total consumption of meat would be 
21,000 pounds, that is, one and a half pounds for 
each person ; and " this is not reckoning the game 
and fowl for the king's table." There are similar 
accounts of expenditure at other oriental courts. 
"According to an ancient author (Athen. Deipn., iv. 
10,, Alexander found on a column at Persepolis a 
placard containing an account of the daily con- 
sumption at the court of Cyrus ; from this list we 
give the following: 1,000 bushels of wheat of dif- 
ferent qualities, the same of barley-meal, 400 sheep, 
300 lambs, 100 oxen, 30 horses, 30 deer, 400 fat 
geese, 100 goslings, 300 pigeons, 600 small birds 
of various kinds, 3,750 gallons of wine, 75 gallons 
of fresh milk, and the same of sour milk. Besides 
this, there was a quantity of maize, that was gath- 
ered in single rations for the cattle 

Tavernier reckons the number of sheep daily con- 
sumed in the seraglio of the Sultan, in his time, at 
500, besides a number of fowls, and an immense 
quantity of butter and rice " (Philippson ; comp. Ro- 
senmuller, A. u. N. Alorgenland, iii. s. 166). For 
"IIOIT (comp. Deut. xiv. 5) see Winer, i?.- W.-B., i. 

s. 494. D'"lin3 only occurs here, and is variously 

interpreted ; Kimchi thinks it means capons ; Ge- 
senius, geese; Thenius, guinea-hens: and Ewald, 
swans. The splendor of the court is accounted 
for by vers. 24 and 25. The extent of Solomon's 
dominion is defined according to the two towns 
named in vers. 24 and 25. Tiphsah, i. e., Thapsanis, 
was " a large and populous town on the west bank 
of the Euphrates; it was a place where armies 
crossed over that river, and a place for landing ami 
shipping wares coming from or going to Babylon 
on the Euphrates " (Winer, ii. s. 612). While this 
town was the extreme northeasterly point, Gaza in 
the Philistines' land, about three miles (nine and a 
• Sel below, rbap v. ver. 7. 

half or ten Eng.) from the Mediterranean, formed 
the extreme southwesterly one. It does not neces- 
sarily follow, from the expression: all the region 
(land) beyond the river [i. e., west], that our author 
dwelt on the east side of the Euphrates and wrote 
there (see Intrnd. § 1), as is to be learned from 
Ezra iv. 10 sq. ; the expression belonged to the 
time of banishment, but was retained after the re- 
turn, and, as it seems, without regard to its geo- 
graphical signification, just for instance as the 
expression Gallia transalpine. Living tinder the 
vine and fig tree (2 Kings xviii. 31) describes the 
happy and blissful state of peace, but was not, 
however, taken from the description of Messiah's 
reign (Mic. iv. 4; Zach. iii. 10) (Ewald), but on the 
contrary was woven into the latter. From Dan to 
Beersheba, boundaries of Palestine north and east 
(Judges xx. 1; 1 Sam. iii. 20; 2 Sam. iii. 10). 

Vers. 26-28. And Solomon had 40,000 stalls 
of horses, &c. In ver. 26 the description of the 
court appointments, which had been interrupted by 

the remarks in vers. 24 and 25, is continued nilX 

are horse-stalls, stables, mangers (Bochart: loculi 
in stabulis distincti). According to chap. x. 26, Sol- 
omon had 1,400 chariots; each of these was, as 
the representations on Egyptian and Assyrian mon- 
uments show, drawn by two horses, making 2,800 
of these; the remaining 1,200 were reserves, for if 
one fell it was usual to attach a third horse (Xeno- 

phon, Cyrop., vi. 1-27). D't-'HS does not mean 

riders here, but saddle-horses in contrast with har- 
nessed horses, as in 2 Sam. i. 6; Ezek. xxvii. 14. 
The opinion that Israel lived in peace (ver. 25) be- 
cause Solomon had made great warlike prepara- 
tions (ver. 26) with which he protected his kingdom 
(Thenius, Keil), is quite a wrong one ; the question 
is not of war here, but to what the ni"IN refers, 

namely, the maintaining of harness- and saddle- 
horses, and the expenses of the court. In ver. 27, 
therefore, it is again said that the twelve officers 
who had to provide for the sustenance of all the 
persons in the court, had also to provide for this 
great number of horses ; ver. 28 then gives the kind 
of provision the latter received, namely, barley 
and straw. Oats were not cultivated in the East, 
therefore barley was the usual food for horses; the 
poorer classes alone used it for bread also (Judges 
vii. 13, and Cassel on the place. Comp. Winer, I. s. 
410). For L"2"l see Esther viii. 10, 14. The coursers 

served to carry " the king's orders to the different 
districts " (Thenius). To DBhTiT "IK'S the Sept., 

Vulgate, and Thenius supply as subject: the king, 
which is certainly false, for if' Solomon sometimes 
changed his residence, he did not travel about with 
16.000 horses (ver. 26). According to chap. x. 26, 
the horses were placed in different towns, into 
which the barley and straw were brought, as Keii 
says : " where they (barley and straw) should be, 
according as the horses were distributed about." 

Vers. 29-30. And God gave Solomon wis- 
dom, &c. Hitherto the narrative treats of the 
organs by means of which the order and happy 
condition of Solomon's kingdom was conditioned, 
but now it turns to the head of the realm, the king 
himself, and remarks that in him which particularly 
distinguished him and qualified him tol-e the ruler, 
namely, the wisdom he had received from God. 
" While rtO'n denotes more the entire spiritual c^n- 



dition, njlLn designates sharpness of insight, but 

in 3^ 2m the ingenium capax is set forth " (The- 
nius), the talent to take up and comprehend all, even 
the most diversified objects of knowledge. Hence 
the addition : as the sand -which is by the sea, 
which is a figurative description of an innumerable 
multitude (chap. iv. 20; Gen. xli. 49; xxxii. 13; 
Ps cxxxix. IS). Luther's translation, a comforted 
heart, is wrong. — All the sons of the east, that 
is, not only those Arabians distinguished for their 
skill in proverbs, but all the tribes living to the 
east of Palestine (also the northeast), who were 
famous in any branch of knowledge (Jer. xlix. 28 ; 
Gen. xxix. 1 ; Numb, xxiii. 7 ; Job i. 3). Opposite 
these, in the west, was Egypt, the wisdom of which 
was almost proverbial in the ancient world (Isai. 
xix. 11; Acts vii. 22; Joseph., Antiq., viii. 2-5; 
Herodot., ii. 160). There were no other lands dis- 
tinguished for wisdom in Solomon's time; the Greek 
learning only commenced 400 years later. 

Ter. 31. The sons of Mahol, not the poets 

(Luther), for pinD means as appell. dance, round 

dance (Ps. xxx. 12 ; cxlix. 3) ; but here it is a pro- 
per name. It must remain uncertain whether these 
four men were celebrated persons of more ancient 
time, or whether they were contemporaries of Solo- 
mon ; we have no further information about them. 
Ethan and Heman, named in 1 Chron. xv. 17 and 
19 among the musicians appointed by David, but 
it is scarcely to be supposed that the wisest men 
of the time were among them. The headings of 
Ps. lxxxviii. and lxxxix. are more likely to refer to 
our Heman and Ethan, as they are there called 
Ezrahites. All four names are close together 1 
Chron. ii. 6: "the sons of Zerah (the sons of Ju- 
dah); Zimri, and Ethan, and Calcol, and Dara;" 
Grotius and Le Clerc believed them to be iden- 
tical with these; as also Movers and Bertheau, 
more recently; but even if jmi is the same as 

jm , and Ezrach the same as Serach, the difficulty 
still remains that Chalcol and Darda are here named 
sons of Mahol, and that there is nowhere else any 
Intimation of the wisdom of Zerach's sons. The 
rabbinical book Seder Olara (ed. Meyer, p. 52 sg.\ 
alone says of them: "these were prophets that 
prophesied in Egypt." 

Ver. 32. And he spake three thousand prov- 
erbs, &c. Prov. i. 1-6 explains what proverbs are 
and what their use is. He spake is as much as: 
he originated them. The fixed number, 3,000, cer- 
tainly shows that they were written down and col- 
lected, possibly only in part, or possibly not at all, 
by himself. Unfortunately, the greater number of 
these proverbs are lost; for if we admit that all 
those in the biblical book of Proverbs were com- 
posed by Solomon, yet there are only 915 verses in 
".he book, and these are not all proverbs. There 
remains still less of the thousand and five songs. 
It is doubtful if Canticles be one of those. The 
lxxiid and exxviith Psalms have Solomon's name 
at the beginning, and there is no real reason to 
doubt .1 ic genuineness of the heading; many think 
he Brae the author of the exxxiid Psalm; Ewald 
thinks he wrote only the iid Psalm. 

Ver. ■';.':. He spake of trees, &e. His wisdom 
was not only in spiritual, religious, and social mat- 
tors, and displayed in doctrine and poetry, but in 
natural things, the I ntire kingdoms of plants and 
»uimals. Josephus is wrong ir_ sayii'.g that he de- 

rived his proverbs (parables) from all these iLingS- 
The cedar is the largest, most beautiful, and useful 
of trees, and the hyssop the smallest and most in- 
significant plant. The hyssop which grows on the 
wall is a particular kind of wall-moss (Thenius), 
the other hyssop is a stem-formed plant, that grows 
to one or two feet high (comp. Winer, R.-W.-B., s.v.). 
i The many kinds of beasts mean the whole animal 
kingdom, divided according to the manner of mo- 
tion: four-footed (nOn3), flying, creeping, and swim- 
ming (Gen. vi. 20; vii. 8). This passage can scarcely 
mean that Solomon also wrote works on all plants 
and animals, but only that he understood these sub- 
jects and could " speak " of them. We need not 
suppose that such works, because they may have 
had no significance for God's kingdom, should not 
also have been preserved. 

Ver. 34. There came of all people, Sic. The 
greatness and extent of Solomon's fame for wisdom 
are shown by the fact that he not only continued to 
be the type and model of all wisdom to his own peo- 
ple ; but is so regarded in the East, even at the 
present day. The Koran (Sur. xxvii. 17) praises 
him as knowing the languages of men and demons, 
of birds and ants ; these all, it says, he could hold 
intercourse with. The Turks still possess a work 
of seventy folio volumes, which is called the book 
of Suleiman, i. e., Solomon. The whole of the wis- 
dom and secret learning of the East is connected 
with his name. — From all kings, certainly means, 
as Thenius maintains, that they sent ambassadors, 
who did him homage, or received more certain in- 
formation about him ; comp. the narrative, chap. x. 


1. To represent Solomon's kingdom in its great- 
ness and in its prosperous, well-ordered condition, 
is the plain design of this entire section, and upon 
this account the lists of officers, &c, which in them- 
selves are dry, acquire a higher, historical (heilsge- 
schichtliche) signification. The period of the judges 
was the time of pubiie crudeness in which there was 
an absence of order, and of organic unity of the 
kingdom. The age of David was that of continuous 
wars and battles, in which indeed victory over all 
enemies at last came, and with it at the same time 
the beginning of a well-ordered condition ; but not 
complete peace for the kingdom. This first came 
with Solomon's reign (1 Chron. xxii. 8, 9). The 
reign of Solomon is the result of all preceding con- 
flicts and divine teachings. It is the kingdom of i 
Israel in its highest maturity. To represent it aa 
such, it needed the authentication which our sec- ! 
tion supplies, and which in like manner in the 
whole history of the kings does not occur again. 
At this highest reach this kingdom was, upon the 
one side, the fulfilment of the divine promise (Gen. 
xxii. 17, and Kxod. iii. 17*/. ; cf. with chap. iv. 20, 
ami chap. v. 5), and, upon the other side moreover, 
it was itself a promise, an historical prophecy, a 
ami ruv fie/Mvruv. As the whole Old Testament 
economy in its sensuousness and outwardness points 
beyond itself, to the New Testament in its spiritu- 
ality and inwardness, so especially is Solomon's 
kingdom the type of the Messiah's. What the 
former is Kara adpKa, the latter is Kara m-evua. 
For the delineation of tho latter, the prophets bor- 
rowed words from the delineation of the former ir 

CHAPTER IV. 1-34. 


our section here (Mich. iv. 4; Zach. iii. 10. Cf. 
above, on chap. i.). 

2. The great expensiveness of Solomon's household 
is brought into the closest connection with the hap- 
piness, the prosperity and peace of the whole peo- 
ple (chap. iv. 20, and v. 5). It is hence an entire 
perversion when recent writers sever one passage 
from the connection, and cite that expensiveness 
among the tilings with which the people under Sol- 
omon were burdened, and which by and by had ex- 
cited dissatisfaction and restlessness (Ewald, Gesch. 
Isr., iii. s. 376; Duncker, Gesch. dts Alterfkums, i. s. 
389). In absolute states, namely, in the ancient ori- 
ental, the king is the nation in person. The splendor 
of the royal household represents the splendor of 
the entire people. Far from being a sign of the 
oppression of the people, it shows rather their hap- 
piness and prosperity. The account does not say: 
the king lived in luxury while the people were 
poor and felt oppressed, but : as the people, so the 
king, and as the king, so the people; both were 
satisfied and enjoyed prosperity and peace. 

3. The delineation of Solomon's wisdom follows 
immediately the delineation of the outward and 
material well-being of the kingdom, and shows in 
this connection that as Solomon was the repre- 
sentative of this well-being, so also from him, in 
consequence of special divine endowment, a rich, 
higher spiritual life, such as hitherto had not been, 
proceeded, and poured itself like a stream over the 
whole land (Eccles. xlvii. 14 sq.). " All may be 
ready in a given time and people," says Eisenlohr 
(das Volk Isr., ii. s. 110), "for a spiritual elevation 
and living action, but one only has the mind and 
the power for it. Hence we cannot set sufficiently 
high the influence of the creative personality of 
the highly-gifted king Solomon." And Ewald ob- 
serves ( Gesch. Isr., iii. s. 350), " so there was for 
the people in this noble time a new age also for 
Bcience, poetry, and literature, whose rich fruits 
sontinued long after the sensuous wealth and 
superabundance which this time brought, together 
with the powers of the nation, had melted away." 
It was just this high condition of spiritual culture 
which procured for the king, and indirectly for the 
people, great authority, and which attracted men 
from all neighboring lands to hear this " wisdom." 
But also in the connection in which the material and 
the spiritual well-being of the people are brought 
together, there is a reference to the truth that for 
the glory of a king there must be something more 
than greatness, power, wealth, quiet, or " eating and 
drinking and amusements," and that where there 
is not spiritual culture and a higher life, where, 
for the furtherance of material interests, spiritual 
interests are thrust aside or neglected, the thought 
of a glorious condition cannot be entertained. 
Solomon himself says (Prov. iii. 13, 14): "Happy 
is the man that find'eth wisdom, and the man that 
getteth understanding. For the merchandise of 
it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the 
gain thereof than fine gold." 

4. The wisdom of the East and of Egypt is not 
so much below that of Solomon in its outward cir- 
cumference (extensive), as in its most inward, char- 
acteristic being (intensive). While the former, 
in its deepest ground, rests upon the identification 
of the world with God, and at last discharges itself 
in pantheism, and, in consequence, is deprived al- 
most wholly of the ethical element, this proceeds 
from the principle which is expressed in the 

words which form the title of Solomon's proverbs : 
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of know- 
ledge : but fools despise wisdom and instruction '■ 
(Prov. i. 7; cf. with chap. is. 10). "The fear of 
the Lord is the beginning of wisdom ; and the 
knowledge of the holy is understanding." (Comp 
Umbreit, Commentar uber die Spr. Sal. Einleit., s 
1-65.) It rests upon the knowledge of the one 
God of heaven and earth, who hath chosen Israel 
and made with them a covenant, i. e., has revealed 
himself to them through His word, viz., " the Law." 
Consequently it is essentially monotheistic, ethical, 
and, therefore, practical. It does not exclude the 
knowledge of nature, for which Solomon was also 
renowned (ver. 13); but the latter is only true and 
right when it rests upon the former, and is perme- 
ated by it. In so far the wisdom of Solomon stood 
unrivalled throughout the whole of the ancient 
Orient, and was like an oasis in the desert to which 
meu from all the neighboring countries made pil- 
grimages, a radiating light which attracted all in- 
voluntarily who loved light rather than darkness. 
" Only forth from the soil of the spirit watered by 
the spring of religious faith can the tree of wisdom 
grow strong, and spread out its branches into all 
regions of life" (Umbreit, a. a. 0., s. 5). But as 
Solomon's kingdom refers generally to that of the 
Messiah (see above), so especially does Solomon's 
wisdom (monotheistic-legal) point to the wisdom of 
Him who is greater than Solomon (xii. 42), who is 
the light of the world, and to whom all kings both 
from the West and the East shall come, and upon 
whom all the heathen shall call (Ps. Ixxii. 10, 11 
Isai. lx. 1-3). 


Chap. iv. The Kingdom of Solomon a type of 
the Messiah's (1) in its greatness and extent; (2) in 
its prosperity and peace ; (3) in his wisdom and 
knowledge. — Chap. iv. 1 to chap. v. 1. Wt'RT. 
Summ. : Fortunate is the government where all 
goes orderly. Their eyes shall look around after 
the faithful in the land, and pious subjects are 
loved and esteemed; but false people and liars, 
and those of a perverse heart, who have proud 
ways and haughtiness, and who calumniate others 
secretly and maliciously, it will not have nor endure 
about it, but will clear away and destroy after the 
example of David (Ps. ex.). — A well-ordered state 
constitution is the condition of the growth and 
prosperity of every kingdom ; but all ordinances 
aud institutions avail nothing when requisite and 
proper persons are wanting for their administra- 
tion and execution. To select such, and to entrust 
them with different administrative offices, is the 
first and most difficult task of a ruler. Happy the 
prince to whom God grants the grace to find the 
right persons, who can counsel him and deserve his 
confidence (Eccles. x. 2-5). — Starke: As a court, 
where it is beset with flatterers, backbiters, carous- 
el s, Ac, generally goes down, so also it prospers, on 
the other hand, when pious servants are there — 
Chap. iv. 20. Starke: Not the multitude of a people 
causes a scarcity in the land, but the wickedness 
an. I avarice of men. — Food and drink and amuse 
limit are a gift of God (Eccles. iii. 13), when used 
in the fear of God (Eccles. xi. 9) and with thanks- 
giving (1 Cor. x. 31 ; Col. iii. 17); but they become 
sin when, in the gift, the giver is forgotten, the 


belly made a god of, and serves the lust of the 
flesh. Chap. iv. 21. — Cramer: The kingdom of 
Christ is still far greater. He rules from one end 
of the sea to the other, from the rising of the sun 
unto the going down thereof (Zaeh. ix. 10). All 
kings shall call upon Him : all the heathen shall 
serve Him (Ps. lxxii. 8-10). 

[E. HARWOon: Chap. iv. vers. 4-5. Comp. 
1 Chron. xxii. 7-10. David, the man of action; 
Solomon, the man of rest. The man of active life 
usually las more conspicuous virtues and more 
conspicuous faults than the man of rest. David 
proposed to build the house — the man of action 
was the founder: Solomon carried the plans of 
his father into execution. David was the founder : 
Solomon the builder.] 

Chap. iv. 22. — As, by divine providence and 
ordering, there are always different conditions, high 
and low, rich and poor, so their manner of life can- 
not be the same, but must he conformable to the rank 
and position which lias been assigned to every one 
by God. The household of a prince who stands at 
the head of a great and distinguished people ought 
not, indeed, give to the people the bad example of 
extravagant show, luxury, and riot; but it must, in 
abundance and splendor, surpass every private 
establishment, and ought not to appear needy and 
impoverished. Ver. 24, 25 (chap. iv. ver. 20). The 
Blessings of Peace. (1) Wherein they consist; (2) 
to what they oblige. Peace nourishes: disturbance 
consumes. Only in peace, not in war, does a 
nation attain to well-being, therefore should we 
offer prayer and supplication for kings and all in 
authority, &c. (1 Tim. ii. 2). Happy the land 
where goodness and truth are met together, 
righteousness and peace have kissed each other 
(Ps. lxxxv. 10). May the eternal God grant us, 
during our life, an heart ever joyous, and give us 
noble peace ! It must be regarded as an unspeak- 
able blessing of God when, under the protection 
of a wise and righteous government, every one in 
the nation, even the least, can remain in the undis- 
turbed possession of his property, and can enjoy the 
fruits of his industry in the bosom of his family. 

Ver. 29-34. The Wisdom of Solomon. (1) Its 
origin, ver. 29 (Prov. ii. 6; Dan. ii. 21, 6); (2) its 
greatness (ver. 30 sq.) ; (3) its result (ver. 34). — 
Ver. 29. Not every one receives from God an equal 
measure of spiritual endowment ; but every one is 
obliged, with the gift he has received, to dispose of 
it faithfully, and not to allow it to be fallow (Luke 
xii. 48; Matt. xxv. 14-29). In the possession of 
high spiritual endowment and of much knowledge, 
man is in danger of over-estimating himself, of be- 

coming proud and haughty, hence the highly- 
gifted Solomon himself says : " Trust in the Lord " 
&c. (Prov. iii. 5, 6). Not to elevate one's self 
above others, but in order to serve them, does God 
bestow special gifts of the Spirit (1 Peter iv. 10). — 
Ver. 30. Heathen wisdom, great as it may be in 
earthly things, understands nothing of divine, 
heavenly things, and is therefore far below the 
wisdom whose beginning is the fear of the personal, 
living God, who has revealed himself in His word. 
This wisdom alone yields true, good, and abiding 
fruit (Jas. iii. 15, 17). — Ver. 32. All those who 
have received special gifts of spirit and understand- 
ing, act inexcusably and sin grievously when, in- 
stead of giving God the honor, and of appiying 
theiu to the good of their fellow-men, they pro- 
mote, by doctrine and treatise, forgetfnlness of 
God and unbelief, and the love of the world, and 
the lusts of the flesh, or gross or retined immorality 
(Ecclos. xii. 9; Jer. ix. 23, 24). The glory which is 
obtained in the world through bad books, is sham6 
and disgrace before Him who demands account of 
every idle word. — Ver. 33. Starke: Far better 
would it befit lords and princes to find their en- 
joyment in study rather than to seek satisfaction 
in dramas, plays, and in immoderate drinking. A 
man may be able to speak of all possible things, 
and, at the same time, be without wisdom, for this 
does not consist in varied knowledge and wide- 
spread acquirements, but in recognition of the truth 
which purifies the heart and sanctifies the will. Ob- 
servation and investigation of nature is only of 
the right kind, and fraught with blessing, when it 
leads to the confession of Ps. civ. 24 ; xcii. 6, 7. — 
Mark what the man who was wiser than all the 
men of his generation declares as the final result 
of all his wisdom and research : It is all vanity I 
Fear God, and keep His commandments (Eocles. 
i. 2 ; xii. 8, 13). — Ver. 34. To Solomon came from 
all nations people to hearken unto his wisdom; 
but to Him who is greater than Solomon, the wise 
men of to-day will not listen (1 Cor. i. 19-21). — 
How many travel over land and sea to seek gold 
and silver, but stir neither hand nor foot to find 
the wisdom and knowledge of the truth, which 
lie close at hand, and are better than gold and sil- 
ver (Prov. viii. 11; xxiv. 14; Job xxviii. 18). It 
is not enough for a wise prince that his people eat, 
drink, and make merry, and dwell in safety, each 
one beneath his own vine and fig-tree (chap. iv. 20 ; 
v. 5) ; but he aims likewise at this, that spiritual 
education, science, and recognition of the truth 
should be extended and fostered, for this brings 
more consideration than power or wealth. 

CHAPTER V. 1-18. 53 


Solomon's buildings. 
(Chap. T. [V. 15]-IX. 28.) 

A. — Treaty with Hiram in regard to the building of the Temple. 

Chap. V. 1-18. [15-32]. 

I And Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants unto Solomon ; ' for he had heard 
that they had anointed him king in the room of his father : for Hiram was ever 

2, 3 a lover of David. And Solomon sent to Hiram, saying, Thou knowest how 
that David my father could not build a house unto the name of the Lord his 
God, for the wars * which were about him on every side, until the Lord put 

4 them under the soles of his 3 feet. But now the Lord my God hath given me 

5 rest on every side, so that there is neither adversary nor ovil occurrent. And, 
behold, I 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 

6 throne in thy room, he shall build a [the] house unto my name. Now therefore 
command thou that they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon ; and my servants 
shall be with thy servants : and unto thee will I give hire for thy servants ac- 
cording 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. 

7 And it came to pass, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he re- 
joiced greatly, and said, Blessed be the Lord ' [Jehovah] this day, which hath 

8 given unto David a wise son over this great people. And Hiram sent to Solomon, 
saying, I have considered the things which thou sentest to me for : and I will do 

9 all thy desire concerning timber of cedar, and concerning timber of fir. My 
servants shall bring them down from Lebanon unto the sea ; and I will convey 
them by sea in floats unto the place that thou shalt appoint me, and will cause 
them to be discharged there, and thou shalt receive them: and thou shalt 

10 accomplish my desire, in giving food for my household. So Hiram gave Solo- 

11 mon cedar trees and fir trees according to all his desire. And Solomon gave 
Hiram twenty thousand measures [cor] of wheat for food to his household, and 
twenty measures [cor'] of pure oil : thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year. 

12 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 levy was thirty 

14 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 Adoni- 

15 ram was over the levy. And Solomon had threescore and ten thousand that 

16 bare burdens, and fourscore thousand hewers in the mountains ; besides the 
chief of Solomon's officers which were over the work, three thousand and three ' 

17* hundred, which ruled over the people that wrought in the work. And the 
king commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones, and hewed 

18 stones, to lay the foundation of the house. And Solomon's builders and Hiram's 
builders did hew them, and the stonesquarers : so they prepared timber and 
stones to build the house. 



1 Ver. 1. — [The Vat. Sept, by omitting the first part of this clause, makes an extraordinary statement: ica't aWrriJv- 

Xtpd/l £aa"iAevs Tlipov Tout TTaiiay OUTOU xpicrai Toy iu.W/Auji' aCTi Aavi6 (C. T. A. . 

8 Ver. 8. — [The A. V. has here exactly preserved the incongruity of the Heb. of an abstract noun HOPPD , tear, fol 

lowed by the personal pronoun DJ1N . The Chald. avoids the difficulty by reading N2~lp s "Qy DTP ]0 = those making 

war. It has been suggested that the Heb. might have read originally nDfPEn *L"}/'. 

3 Ver. 3. — The k'tib "pj~l is here decidedly to be preferred to the k'ri vJH .— Bahr. [It is also the reading of roan, 
M8S., editions, and VV. 

1 Ver. 5.— [nij37 "ION 1DX , followed by the infinitive, expresses purpose. Cf. Ex. ii. 14; 2 Sam. xxi. 16. 

8 Ter. T. — [The Sept. here read ©cos, not Kupios. Cf. the parallel place 2 Chron. ii. 11, ?N~lw" Tf?X iTiiT .] 

* Ver. 11. — [The Sept. enormously multiply this by writing ko.1 cIkoo-i \i\td&as fialS cAatov, so also the Heb. In tha 
parallel place. 2 Chron. ii. 9. The Syr. and Arab, still ten times more, by making it twenty thousand cor. 
' Ver. 16.— [Cf. 2 Chrou. ii. IT, hlXD &&. 

h Ver. 17. — [The Vat. Sept. omits ver. 17 and the first half of 13. Both recensions of the Sept, add to ver. 18, rpem 
rrr/.—F. G] 


Vers. 1-6. And Hiram king of Tyre, &c. After 
the general description of Solomon's government 
in the preceding section, the narrative now pro- 
ceeds to give an account of his great and impor- 
tant undertaking, the building of the Temple 
(comp. the parallel account, 2 Chron. ii.). Hiram 
is called ElTn in ver. 7 and 19, and D"nn in Chron., 

and Ktpufior twice in Josephus. It is uncertain 
whether of these be the original form. According 
to 2 Chron. ii. 2, and the present passage also, this 
Hiram was the same as he who had sent David 
wood to build his house (2 Sam. v. 11). and it is 
unnecessary, on the ground of the unreliable chro- 
nology of Josephus, to reckon him to be the son of 
that Hiram (having his father's name) as Le Clerc, 
Thenius, and others do (Antiq., vih. 31 ; comp. 
Contr. Apion., i. 18). If, according to Josephus, 
the beginning of the building of the Temple, which 
took place in the fourth year of Solomon's reign, 
occurred in the eleventh year of Hiram, it follows 
that the latter must have reigned several years 
contemporaneously with David, and may very well 
have reigned twenty years more, simultaneously 
with Solomon (chap. ix. 10 sq.). — The purpose of 
his embassy to Solomon was to congratulate him 

on his accession. (The Syriac adds ins Tp3 , 1 , 

which Thenius, without reason, deems original). 
It was evidence that he desired Solomon to con- 
tinue in the same friendly relations to him as 
David had maintained ; and it was the easier for 
Solomon to make that request to him, mentioned 
in ver. 6. On vers. 7-9, comp. 2 Sam. viii. 13, and 
1 Chron. xxii. 7-11. According to Ewald and 

Thenius, nOfTO , ver 3. is equivalent to enemies 
(surrounding him); but in Ps. cix. 3, 23D is also 
found with the double accusative : they compassed 

me about also with words of hatred. Upon atl'P 

nin' , see on chap, vi— jji yjg , i. e., an unhappy 

event, as, for instance, rebellion, famine, plague, 
or other suffering. It appears, from ver. G, that 
the part of Lebanon where the best cedars for 
building grew, belonged to Phoenicia ; it was on 
the northweste-n part of the mountain range 
(Robinson, Pnkst, vol. iii. pp. 588-594). The 

Sidonians are not the inhabitants of the city of 
Sidon simply, but of the entire district to which 
that part of Lebanon belonged. They knew how 
to hew and prepare wood for building, for they 
were skilled in ship-building beyond all other 
nations, and built their own houses also of wood 
(Schnaase, Gesch. der bildenden Kiinste, i. s. 249). 
We see from ver. 8 and chap. vii. 13, that SolomoD 
desired cypress-wood, and a Phoenician artisan 
besides (comp. 2 Chron. ii. 7, 13). 

Vers. 7-8. And it came to pass when Hiram 
heard the words of Solomon, Ac. " The king of 
Tyre must have been very desirous of remaining on 
good terms with Israel, because the land of Israel 
was a granary for Phoenicia, and the friendship of 
the former was very important to the Phoenician 
commercial interests" (Keil). The chronicler adds 
to mir (2 Chron. ii. 12), the God of Israel that 

made heaven and earth. It does not follow, how- 
evbi, as older commentators say, that Hiram ac- 
knowledged this God as the only true God, or had 
become a proselyte. Polytheism is not exclusive • 
it allows each nation to retain its divinity, and re- 
cognizes his power, when it thinks it perceives his 
workings or his agency and benefactions, without 
rejecting the specifically national gods. When Hi- 
ram, therefore, names Solomon D^n , because he is 

about to build a temple to Jehovah, it is evident 
that the idea of wisdom (chap. v. 7), essentially 
includes that of religion (fear of God). Cypress 
is, indeed, inferior to cedar ; but is also fitted for 
buildirg, because "it is not eaten by worms, and 
is almost imperishable, as well as very light " 
(Winer). According to 2 Chron. ii. lfi, the wood 
for building was sent down on rafts (on the Medi- 
terranean) to Joppa (i. e., Jaffa, coast-town on the 
borders of the tribe of Dan. Josh. xix. 46). Thence 
it was conveyed overland to Jerusalem, which is 
situated southeast thereof. 

Vers. 9-13. And thou shalt .... in giving 
food, Ac. Every year, as long as Hiram furnished 
building-materials and workmen, he received, for 
the sustenance of his court, 20,000 * (cor) measures 

* The cor OS . Kopo?) equals the homer, and the homei 
was ten times the bath. 20,00l> curs = 200,000 ba'hs. This, 
at a rough calculation, amounts to 260,000 hushels = between ' 
Wane! 90.000 barrels. In liquids, again, 20 eors =200 hatha, 
This would amount to about 1,666 or 1,670 gallons of oil. 
The computation must be in the rough for obvious reason*. 

CHAPTER V. 1-18. 


of wheat, i. «., by Thenius' reckoning, 38,250 Dres- 
den bushels, from Solomon ; also 20 (cor) measures 
of oil, )'. e., 100 casks, the cask containing 6 
buckets. Pure oil is the finest, not going, after 
the usual fashion, through the press, but is obtained 
by pounding olives not quite ripo in a mortar (my 
Symbolik des Mas. Cult., i. s. 419). The chronicler 
does not mention this delivery to the court of 
Hiram ; but he gives, in 2 Chron. ii. 10, the re- 
ward of the laborers promised in our 6th verse: 
" I will give to thy servants, the hewers that cut 
timber, 20,000 (cor) measures of beaten wheat, and 
20,000 (cor) measures of barley, and 20,000 baths 
of wine, and 20,000 baths of oil." The narra- 
tive here concerns a different thing, and no ono 
has a rig-lit, as Thenius, to turn the 20 (cor) mea- 
sures of the finest oil, destined for the court, into 
20,000 of ordinary quality, and to suppose, with 
Bertheau, that the quantity of wine and oil is 
added by the chronicler according to his own 
whim. " Because the quantity ol the wheat which 
Solomon gave Hiram for the use of the court was 
as large as that which he delivered for the Sido- 
uiau hewers of wood, it does not follow that wo 
are justified iu identifying the two accounts" 
(Keil). Besides, as Bertheau remarks, it appears 
that the account in the Chronicles does not, like our 
own, speak of an annual, but only of one delivery. 
The one account, as often happens, supplements 
the other. The addition, ver. 12, means: Solomon, 
by virtue of the wisdom he had received from 
God, came to the conclusion that it would be well 
to accept Hiram's propositions, and to enter into 
terms of friendship with him. Keil also thinks 
that the verse refers to the wise use he made of 
the working capacities of his subjects, which is re- 
ferred in in the following verses, and that this 
verse, therefore, leads on to them. 

Vers. 1 3-15. And king Solomon raised a levy. 

PJJ'1 , strictly adscendere fecit, to take out, to take 

away (Ps. cii. 25). All Israel does not mean here 
the whole territory, but, as often elsewhere, the 
people (chap. i. 20; viii. 65; xii. 16, 20; xiv. 
13). In ver. 13 it is expressly said that these 
30.000 men were (born) Israelites. Of these, 
10,000 were always one month iu service, and free 
the two following, when they cultivated their fields 
and took care of their houses. For Adoniram, see 
chap. iv. 6. — Besides these 30,000 men, who were 
not sufficient, there were (ver. 15) 70,000 that bore 
burdens, and 80,000 hewers in the mountains. 
3Vn is, " according to all Versions, to be understood 
of stone-cutters alone, not of wood-cutters (tJese 
nius, Ewald). for the (easier) working in wood was 
sufficiently provided for by the changing 30,000 la- 
borers " (Thenius). The "in3 can be understood only 

of Lebanon, from the context, and not, as Bertheau 
thinks, of the stone-quarries of the mountains. 
The 70+80,000 = 150,000 men (2 Chron. ii. 18) 
were not changed, but were in constant service : 
they were not Israelites, but, on the contrary; 
O'TJ (as the parallel passage alluded to expressly 

says), i. e., strangers in the land of Israel; those 

as may be seen bv reference to Smith's Dictionary, Amer. 
edition. N. Y., 1ST0, vol. iv., article Weights and Mea- 
sures. The reader can find some strange etymologies in the 
animadversions of Petavius upon Epiphanius' tractate on 
WoiphtB and Measures. Epipb., Opera, edit. G. Dindorf. 
telpsic, 1S63, vol. iv. p. 95.— E. H. 

of the Canaanites that remained when their land 
was conquered, and who were made servants 
(Judg. i. 27 to 30; Josh. xvi. 10). In contradis- 
tiuctioa to these 30,000 Israelites, they are named, 

in chap. ix. 21, 13J) DD, i- e., servants (2 Chron. 

viii. 7-9). The assertion of Ewald and Distel that 
these- 150,000 servants were of the "people of 
Israel," and only "came later when the several 
uuildings became enlarged," is utterly erroneous. — 
The total number of these workmen is great, but 
not surprising when we consider those times, when 
there was no machinery, and everything had to 
be done by the human hand. According to Pliny 
(.Hist Nat., xxxvi. 12), 360,000 men had to work 
twenty years long at one pyramid (comp. Caliuet 
on the place). 

Ver. 16. Beside the chief, &c. Thenius. 
"literally tho chief of the overseers, and hence the 
usual expression, overseer: but there are no sub- 
altern overseers mentioned. How great, then, 
must the number of these have been, when the 
chief overseers numbered several thousands ? The 

n?D^L'v D'SVJH as a description of the substantivo 

(Vatablus: principes, quiprafecti erant) is properly 
connected therewith by the Stat, construct, (comp. 
Ewald, § 287 b); so, the chiefs not reckoned, those 
who were appointed by (or for) Solomon, and who 
oversaw the works." — Chron. gives, instead of the 
number 3,300 (chap. ii. 17), 3.600, which Thenius 
thinks the right one, and he would have the text 
altered accordingly ; but Ewald, on the other hand, 
declares our number to be correct, and that of 
Chron. wrong. But both numbers are right, as 
J. H. Michaelis has proved ; the difference comes 
from the different division of the offices of super- 
intendence. In chap. ix. 23, 550 D'SSSn "~l"' are 

named; these, with the 3,300, make 3,850. The 
parallel passage of Chron. (chap. viii. 10) mentions 
only 250, which, added to the 3,600, gives the 
same number, 3,850. This coincidence cannot be 
chance; the number 550 evidently contains the 
250, and the 300, by which the 3,600 exceed the 
3,300 : 250 of the whole number of overseers were, 
as appears from the context in 2 Chron. viii. 10, 
native Israelites ; but 300 were foreigners. The 
chronicler, however, no doubt includes the latter 
among the subaltern overseers (3, 300+ 300=3, 600), 
because they were not on the same footing with 
the Israelitish overseers. 

Vers. 17-18. And the king commanded. The 
great stones should be J-ii^p"" i not "weighty" 

(Thenius), for that is, of course, understood, nor 
" precious " (Keil), for why should the value of 
these stones be especially insisted on ? but glorious, 
splendid, fine stones (Ps. xxxvi. 8 ; xlv. 9 ; Esth. L 
4). It is plainly said here, as in 2 Chron. iii. 3, 
that these stones were for the foundation of tho 
building, and not, therefore, for the " consolidation 
of the Temple structure " (Thenius). Of the latter 
kind, which Josephus {Arch., 15, 11, 3) so minutely 
describes, the Bible-text makes no mention. The 
JV13 ^X are nothing else than the splendid great 

stones, which were shaped after being hewn out 
of the quarry. Vulgate : ut tollerent lapides ijrandes, 
lapides pretiosos, in fundamentum templi et ijtiadra- 
rent eos. — The Giblites, ver. 18, are the inhabitants 

of ^33 (Josh. xiii. 5), a Phoenician town near tha' 



part of Lebanon, where the largest cedars were 
found; i. e., the Byblos of the Greeks. [The 
Engl. Vor. has simply for this word, " stone-sq tar- 
ers." — E. H.] It appears, from Ezek. xxvii. 9, 
that the Giblites were remarkable for their tech- 
nical skill in ship-bui'ding especially. Thenius 

reads OiSajsi , and translates : " they wreathed the 

stones— put a border round them." Robinson 
stated (Palest.) that he had found stones carved in 
that manner. Bottcher rightly names these con- 
jectures " ill-founded." Comp. what Keil, on the 
passage, says against them. 


1. Solomon's undertaking to build a " house " to 
the name of Jelwvah was not an arbitrary, self-de- 
vised act, nor was it prompted solely through the 
wish and will of his father David, but rested upon 
a divine decision (v. 5), and, as already shown in the 
Introduction, § 3, has its inward, necessary reason 
in the development of the Old Testament theocracy. 
The assertion that "the thought to build a magniti- 
cent temple to Jehovah in Jerusalem proceeded from 
the sight of the temple-service of the Phoenicians 
and Philistines, and of their ostentatious cultus " 
(Duncker, Gesch. des Alt., i. s. 397), is entirely with- 
out foundation and contradicts all historical re- 
cords. When Stephen, in his discourse before the 
Sanhedrin, says: "Solomon built him an house. 
But the Most High dwelleth not in temples made 
with hands," Ac. (Acts vii. 47), he does not mean in 
any way to blame Solomon's undertaking, or to say, 
as Lechler supposes (in his Bibelwerk on the place), 
the tabernacle was set up at God's will and com- 
mand ; but the design of building a temple and the 
completion of it is only a human design and a 
human performance. For that the Most High 
cannot be shut up within a house, Solomon him- 
self expressly declared at the consecration of the 
Temple (1 Kings viii. 27). Stephen was opposing 
rather, from the stand-point of the New Testament. 
the stiff-necked, Jewish authorities, who, when 
the promised Messiah appeared, and the New- 
Covenant was introduced along with Him, rejected 
the same, and clung with tenacious unbelief to the 
outward sign of the Old Covenant, to the Temple 
as the permanent central-point of all divine revela- 
tion. The accusation, he would say. that this Jesus 
of Nazareth would destroy this holy place, was in 
so far correct, as that He certainly had taken away 
the Old Covenant, and with it had abolished its 
sign and pledge (John ii. 19). For the day of the 
New Covenant, the temple at Jerusalem has lost 
all significance. For the dwelling of God in the 
midst of His people conditioned through natural 
desalt, has become transferred into a dwelling in 
the midst of the people who are believers in Christ, 
to whom the apostle appeals: Ye a^e the temple 
of the living God, in you is fulfilled, in truth, the 
word spoken once by God unto Israel : I will dwell 
in them, and waU in them, and will be their God, 
and they shall be my people (2 Cor. vi. 16; Eph. 
ii. 21; 1 rel " * 5) To cling now to the Old 
Testament temple by human hands, and to 
reject the living temple of the living God. Stephen 
pronounces as a striving against the Holy Ghost 
(A;ts vii fill. 

2. It is one of those significant divine providence* 
in which the history of Israel is so rich, that as 
in the development of the " sacred history " the 
time had come for " the house of the Lord " (or for 
for Jehovah), in the land which alone possessed 
those means and agencies for the execution of the 
undertaking in which Israel was wanting, a king 
ruled who entertained a friendly sentiment to- 
wards David and Solomon, and was prepared 
gladly for every assistance, so that even heathen 
nations, whether friendly or conquered, took part 
in the building of the house for the God of Israel, 
and so contributed indirectly to the glorifying of . 
God. It was a setting forth in act of the word: 
'• The earth is the Lord's, and all that therein is " 
(Ps. xxiv. 1); "For the kingdom is the Lord's, and 
He is governor among the nations " (Ps. xxii. 28), 
and "all the heathen shall serve Him " (Ps. lxxii 
11). And as Solomon's kingdom, as the most com- 
plete outward kingdom of peace, is frequently, 
with the prophets, a type of the Messiah's king- 
dom (see above, Historical and Ethical on chap, iv.), 
so do they behold, in the participation by the hea- 
then in the building of the temple, a type and 
prophecy that the Messiah " shall build the tem- 
ple of the Lord . . . and that they who are 
far off shall come and build in the temple of the 
Lord," &c. (Zech. vi. 12-15). 

3. " In the very time of their highest earthly 
sjilendor the people of God, in respect of worldly 
art, pursuit, and skill, were inferior to the neigh 
boring Phoenicians" (Gerlach). Solomon had no 
one amongst his people who could execute a work 
of art such as the temple was to be (v. 6). As to 
individual men (1 Cor. vii. 7), so also to nations, 
God has distributed divers gifts, powers, and des- 
tiny. It was not the office of Israel to exercise 
the arts, but to be the bearer of divine revelation, 
and to communicate the knowledge of the One liv- 
ing and Jfi-holy God to all nations. To this ind 
God has chosen this people out of all peoples ; and 
their entire mode of life and occupation, yea, their 
whole development and history, are closely con 
nected with it. To the achievement of this its des 
tiny must even other nations serve, with the espe- 
cial gifts and powers conferred upon them. High as 
the Phoenicians stood above Israel at that time in 
technical and artistic accomplishments (cf Duncker, 
a. a. 0., s. 317-320), so nevertheless did Israel, not- 
withstanding all its sins and errors, excel the Phoe- 
nicians in the knowledge of the truth. Distin- 
guished as Phoenicia was for its art and commerce, 
its religion was the most depraved, and its worship 
most crude (Duncker, s. 155 sq.). 

[4. The genius of the Jewish people never 
achieved anything eminent in plastic art. Skill in 
architecture, and in sculpture, and in painting, 
seems to have been denied them. Their religion 
forbade it, and the hereditary feeling of the race 
was one of aversion to all arts of the " graver," to 
images and forms cut in stones or upon stone, and 
so in their want of appreciation of beauty of form 
they were unable to conceive of grand structures ; 
and when Solomon's great buildings were under- 
taken, the skilled workmen and the artists con- 
nected with the work were foreigners. Dr. Pri 
dcaux quotes Josephus to this effect {Antiq., Bk 
18. c. 7): " When Vitellius governor of Syria wad 
going to pass tlnough Juda-a with a Roman army 
t.i make war against the Arabians, the chief of 
the Jews met him. and earnestly eutteated hiua te 

CHAPTER V. 1-18. 


lead his army another way ; for they could not 
bear the sight of those images which were in the 
ensigns under which they marched, they were so 
abominated by them. The ensigns therefore, for 
the sake of those images in them, were abomina- 
tions to the Jews; and by reason of the desola- 
tions which were wrought under them by the 
Roman armies in conquered countries, they were 
called desolating abominations, or abominations 
of desolation, and they were never more so than 
when under them the Roman armies besieged and 
destroyed Jerusalem." Poetic feeling, the power 
of song, belonged to the race ; and these, under 
God, have impressed themselves upon the heart 
of the nations, so that to this day the '"songs of 
Zion " arc sung in temples which the Jewish peo- 
ple never could have built. — E. H.j 


Vers. 1-5. Solomon's purpose to build a house 
to the Lord. |1) The motive. Vers. 3-5. Not 
ambition, the love of glory, the love of pomp, but 
the divine will, and the charge of his father. In 
every weighty undertaking one must examine and 
bo assured that it do not proceed from selfish mo- 
lives, but is the good, acceptable, and perfect will 
of God (Rom. xii. 2). (2) The time, rest, and peace 
(ver. 4). A time of peace is the time for building 
in general, but especially for building houses of 
God, which are a memorial of thanksgiving for 
the blessings of peace and prosperity. (3) The 
request for assistance, ver. 6. In important un- 
dertakings which are agreeable to the will of God, 
and propose His honor, we may and should not 
hesitate to trust iu Him who directs men's hearts, 
like the water-brooks, to ask others for aid and 
assistance. — Vers. 1-2. True friends whom parents 
have gained, are an invaluable legacy for the chil- 
dren, for whom the latter cannot be sufficiently 
thankful (Eccles. xxx. 4). To a God-fearing man 
like David, if he have many enemies, yet there will 
never be wanting those who love him his life long, 
and who prize and honor him after his death, even 
in his children. — Ver. 3. With every son it should 
be his earnest business, and likewise pleasure, to 
fulfil the will of his father, and to complete the 
good work which he had begun, but could not 
carry out. — Ver. 4. When God has granted rest 
and peace, health and happiness, prosperity and 
blessing, an opportunity is thus at hand to do 
something for His great name.— Ver. 5. If it can- 
not come into the mind of every one to build a 
house of wood and stone unto the Lord, neverthe- 
less, every one to whom God has given wife and 
children is in condition to vow and to build a 
house unto the Lord out of living stones. I and my 
house will serve the Lord (Josh. xxiv. 15). — Ver. 5. 
RlnitKE: One man needs another; on thisacconnt 
cue should always serve and be amiable towards 
auoiuer, ministering to his good (1 Pet. iv. 10). — 
The superfluity of one must minister to the need 
ot the others, in order that hereafter, also, the su- 
perfluity of the latter may serve for the wants of 
the former (2 Cor. viii. 14). — Israel knew not how 
to plan great buildings, especially works of art. but 
they did know how to serve the living God. Bet- 
ter to live without art than without God in the 

Vers. 21-25. The heathen king Hiram: (1) 
His rejoicing over Solomon and his undertaking 
(2) his praise of the God of Israel ; (3) his willing 
ness to help. How far stands this heathen above 
so many who call themselves Christians! — Ver. 6. 
Wi p.t. Sf.MM : When we see that it goes well with 
our neighbor, we should not envy him such pros- 
perity, but rather rejoice with him and wish him 
good-luck. Since Hiram, although a heathen king, 
has done this, how much more does it befit Chris- 
tians to act thus towards each other? It proves a 
noble heart when a man, free from envy and jeal- 
ousy, sincerely praises and thanks God for the 
gifts and blessings which He grants to others. — 
Starke : AVhen God wishes well to a nation He 
bestows upon it godly rulers ; but when He wills 
to chastise it he removes them. Hiram praises 
God that He bestows upon another people a wise 
monarch ; how much more should that people it- 
self thank God siuce He bestowed upon it a wise, 
viz., a pious king? — Ver. 9. How pleasing it is 
when the assistance of those who can help is not 
wrung from them, but offered in friendship, and they 
are ready and heart-willing to do what lies in their 
power (2 Cor. ix. 7).— Wurt. Summ. : No house, 
even though it be the church and temple of God, 
should be built to the hurt and oppression of one's 
fellow-creatures. — Ver. 12. The league between 
Solomon and Hiram: (1) Its object : a good, God- 
pleasing work begun in the service of God. Like 
kings and nations, evon so individual men should 
unite only for such purposes. (2) The conditions 
of the league : each gave to the other according to 
his desire; neither sought to overreach the other: 
the compact was based upon honesty and fairness, 
not upon cunning and selfishness : only upon such 
compacts does the blessing of God rest, for unjust 
possessions do not prosper. 

Vers. 13-18. The workmen at the temple- 
building: (1) Israelites. Solomon acted not like 
unto Pharaoh (Ex. ii. 23), he laid no insupporta- 
ble burdens upon his people, but permits va- 
riety in the work, and Israel itself undertakes it 
without murmurs or complaints. How high do 
these Israelites stand above so many Christian 
communities, who constantly object or murmur 
when they are about to undertake any labor for 
their temple, or must needs bring a sacrifice 
of money or time. (2) Heathen (Ps. xxii. 29 ; vide 
Historical ant/ Ethical). Jew and heathen to- 
gether must build the temple of God, according to 
divine decree — a prophetic anticipation of fact as 
set forth Eph. ii. 14, 10-22: iii. 4-6.— Seiler: The 
preparations of Solomon must naturally re- 
mind us of the far greater preparations and arrange- 
ments which God has made for the building of the 
spiritual temple of the New Testament. How many 
thousand faithful laborers, how many wise and good 
men, has he placed in every known part of the 
world ; how has he furnished them with wisdom 
and many other gifts of the Spirit, so that the great 
work of the glorious building may be completed I 
. . . Godl do thou still prosper thy work ! 
Help the faithful workers in thy Church, that they 
may enlighten many men to thy glorification, &c. — 
RicilTER: Well for us if we serve the true SolomoD 
in the preparations for His eternal temple. But 
still better is it if wo are ourselves prepared as 
living stones to shine forever in the living temple 
(1 Pet, ii. 45). 


B. — The accomplishment of the luilding of the Temple. 

Chap. VI. 1-38. 

1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth 1 year after the child- 
ren 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 3 he began to 

2 build the house of the Lord [Jehovah]. And the house which king Solomon 
built for the Lord [Jehovah] the length thereof was threescore cubits, and the 

3 breadth thereof twenty cubits' and the height thereof thirty cubits. And the 
porch before the temple of the house, twenty cubits was the length thereof, 

4 according to the breadth of the house ; and ten cubits was the breadth thereof 
before the house. And for the house he made windows of narrow lights [with 
fixed lattices *]. 

5 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 

6 he made chambers round about. The nethermost chamber was five cubits 
broad, and the 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 

7 about, that the beams should not be fastened in the walls of the house. And 
the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was 
brought thither: " so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of 

8 iron heard in the house, while it was in building. The door for the middle' 
chamber teas in the right side of the house : and they went up with winding 

9 stairs into the middle chamber, and out of the middle into the third. So he built 
the house, and finished it ; and covered the house with beams and boards of 

10 cedar. And then he built chambers against all the house, five cubits high : and 
they rested on the house with timber of cedar. 

11/ 12 And the word of the Lord [Jehovah] came to Solomon, saying, Concerning 
this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and exe- 
cute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them ; then will I 

13 perform my 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. 

14, 15 So Solomon built the house, and finished it. And he built the walls of the 
house within with boards of cedar, both [from] the floor of the house, and [unto] 
the walls " of the ceiling : and he covered them on the inside with wood, and cov- 

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

17 holy place. And the house, that is, the temple before 10 it, was forty cubits long. 

18 And the cedar of the house within was carved with knops and open flowers : all 

19 was cedar; there was no stone seen." And the oracle he prepared in the house 

20 within, to set there the ark of the covenant of the Lord [Jehovah]. And the ora- 
cle in the forepart teas twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and 
twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold ; and so 

21 covered the altar which was of cedar [overlaid the altar with cedar. 13 ] So Solo- 
mon overlaid the house within with pure gold : and he made a partition by the 

22 chains of gold before the oracle ; and he overlaid it with gold. And the whole 
house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the house : also the whole 
altar that was by the oracle he overlaid with gold. 13 

23 And within the oracle he made two cherubims of olive tree, each ten cubits 

24 high. And five cubits teas the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other 
wing of the cherub : from the uttermost part of the one wing unto the uttermost 

25 part of the other were ten cubits. And the other cherub rows ten cubits: both 

26 tht cherubims n; re <>t' one measure and one size [form]. The height of the on* 

CHAPTER VI. 1-38. 59 

27 cherub was ten cubits, and so was it of the other cherub. And he set the 
cherubims within the inner house : and they stretched forth the wings of the 
cherubims, so that the wing of the one touched the one wall, and the wing of the 
other cherub touched the other wall ; and their wings touched one another in 

28, 29 the midst of the house. And he overlaid the cherubims with gold. And he 
carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims 

30 and palm trees and open flowers, within and without. 14 And the floor of the 
house he overlaid with gold, within and without. 14 

31 And for the entering of the oracle he made doors of olive tree : the lintel and 

32 side-posts were a fifth part of the wall. The two doors also were of olive tree ; and 
he carved upon them carvings of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, 
and overlaid them with gold, and spread gold upon the cherubims, and upon the 

33 palm trees.' 6 So also made he for the door of the temple posts of olive tree, a 

34 fourth part of the wall. And the two doors were of fir tree : the two leaves of 
the one door were folding, and the two leaves " of the other door were folding. 

35 And he carved thereon cherubims and palm trees and open flowers : and cov- 
ered [overlaid] them with gold fitted upon the carved work. 

36 And he built the inner court with three rows of hewed stone, and a row of 
cedar beams. 

37 In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the Lord [Jehovah] 

38 laid, in the month Zif: and in the eleventh year, in the month Bui, which is the 
eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and accord- 
ing to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it. 


1 Ver. 1. — [The Sept. here read fortieth instead of eightieth— for which there is no authority whatever. In the com- 
parison of this date with Acts xiii. 20 it is to be remembered that the best critical editors, following the M8S. X , A, B, C, 
etc., adopt the reading which places the words koX fxera ravra after, instead of before, the clause *i* tTt<ny Terpaxoa'on 
cat rr€vrrjKoma, bo that the passage has no longer any chronological bearing upon the statement of the text 

2 Ver. 1. — [The Vat. Sept. hore interposes the omitted verses 37, IS of the last chapter, and immediately subjoins 

verses 87, 88 of the present chapter. In the former verses both recensions have transformed ^2i builder*, into *22t 


3 Ver. 2.— [The missing ITQK cubit it supplied in five MSS., the Sept, and Vulg. The Vat Sept. changes the last 

dimension to25instead of 80 cubits. The Alex, follows the Heb., which must be right, since all the dimensions are 
exactly double those of the tabernacle, the proportions being carefully preserved. 

• Ver. 4. — [D'DUN D'Spt? 'J 9P1 ■ The VV. have been much at a loss in translating this expression. The Obuld, 

Vulg. (fenestras obliquaa), and Syr., apparently intended to convey the idea of windows like those in the thick wall of a 
Gothic structure, or the loop-holes of a fortification, narrow on the outside and spreading within. Such may be the sense 
of the A. V. But the meaning given in the Exeg. Com. must be the true one. D'DpC' means only beams, cross-plecea J 

and D'Dt3Ki from DpX, to shut close, means closed, and so fixed. 

• Ver. 5.— For the k'tib JJiV' the k'rl has in each case JPS' i which Is doubtless right, since the word has here 

another than the usual sense (Thenius).— BShr. [Keil considers that the mate, form denotes the whole wing of these stories ; 
the/asm. the single story of this wing. 

« Ver. 7.-[l"03J J?DD nO^B 1 |3K was built of "all unviolated stones of the quarry." Keil. 

» Ver. 8.— In place of njj'nn must necessarily be read (c/. ver. 6) rOFirWili as Ezek. xli. 7 stands, and the Tax 
gum and the Sept. have read (Bottchor, Ewald, Mere., Thenius).— BShr. [There is no various reading of the Heb. MSS.. and 
the construction indicated by the text as it stands Is sufficiently clear: the lower tier of chambers being easily provided for 
by doors, nothing is said of the entrance to them ; but there \v;is a winding stairway from the ground, with a door at its 
foot leading to the middle chambers, and thence to the third story. Ezek. xli. 7 can hardly be considered as bearing on 
the point in question. 

• Ver. 11.— [The Vat. Sept. omits here verses 11-14. 

9 Ver. 15.— The true reading, according to 2 Chron. iii. 7, is here as in ver. 16 fillip [beams] not JTlVp [walls] (The- 
nius, Keil).— Bahr. [Accordingly our author translates by Balken, supported in this by the Sept The emendation of the text 
(for which there is no manuscript authority) is required by the author's conception of the construction of the 7D'n as SO 
cubits high in the interior. AgainBt this is the fact that the height of the cedar wainscoting in ver. 16 is expressly said 
to have been 20 cubltd, and yet no stone was seen (ver. IS). If now a chamber above is supposed, no emendation is neces- 
aary here, and verseB 16 and IS become consistent. The wainscoting was carried up 20 cubits to where the ceiling met 
the walls, and above this the " walls of the ceiling" or of the room above were left bare. A space of two cubits is thus 
left for the windows, and access to the " upper room " may have been had from the porch. 2 Chron. iii. 1 does not decide 
this point. In ver. 16 the words " from the celling," are to be supplied from the previous verse. In any case the A. V. n 
Qertainly wrong in covering ihejtoor (which was of fir, ver. 15) with cedar. 

»• Ver. 1".— The '03^ at the end of ver. 17 is to be understood either adverbially, before (De Wettej, or adjectiviallj 



anterior (Ewald, Keil), unless with Thenius, upon the authority of the Sept., we suppose that "VTl has falien out 
" That is the (6o-called) Heehal before the Debir." Upon the figures npon the cedar, ver. 18 sq., see on ver. 29. In vei 
19 TjirO is hence to be understood that the Debir was between the Heehal and the side structure. The difficult words 

"V^il *JD7T i ver. 20, Thenius will have removed from the text peremptorily, as a gloss placed here from ver. IT 

although they are in all MSS. and ancient VV, Keil explains ^JS? , with Kimchi, for the noun D^JD? , occurring alst 
in ver. 29=the inner, inward- With I^D i the same gold is designated which in Ex. xxv. 11 sq. is called IlilC , anu 

Ul 2 Chron. iii. 8 31D (Vulg.: puristimum). — Bahr. 

11 Ver. 18.— [The Vat. Sept. omits ver. 18. 

» Ver. 20.— pee Exeg. com. 

ls Ver. 22. — [Tl»e Sept. omit the last claUBe of this verse, and throughout this whole description omit many clauses 
and modify others. 

14 Ver. 29.— [That is in the Holy of Holies, and in the holy place, as the author notes in his translation. 

15 Ver. 82. — [The author, In his translation, adds : " and over the open flowers." The Vulg. has et cetera.- -F. G-] 

■ 6 Ver. 84.— Instead of D'VPp muat here necessarily be read, with the Sept., D'JOXi which stands immediately 
before. — Bahr. 


The account of Solomon's temple, before us, 
together with the continuation in chap. vii. 13-51, 
is the oldest, and, at the same time, the most com- 
plete in our possession. Hence all knowledge of 
this world-historical building must adhere to it 
and found itself upon it. Next to it is the parallel 
account in 2 Chron. iii., iv., which agrees with it in 
all essential particulars, and, as indeed the most 
recent criticism acknowledges, comes from an 
ancient source, perhaps from the same with our 
own here. Although significantly briefer, it gives, 
nevertheless, some supplementary details the ac- 
curacy of which is undoubted, and which deserve 
all consideration. In addition to these two histor- 
ical accounts, there is also the delineation in " vi- 
sion " of the prophet Ezekiel (chap. xl. sq.), which 
indeed is very explicit in respect of the ground- 
plan and its measurement. In an earlier period 
this delineation was regarded as an essential com- 
pletion and explanation of the historical accounts ; 
later this was abandoned, because the prophet 
himself repeatedly explains it as " a vision " (chap. 
xl. 2 ; xliii. 2, 3) ; but most recently it has again 
been claimed that " it is a description which, upon 
the whole, differs only slightly and immaterially 
from the temple before the exile " (Thenius). And 
the reason assigned is twofold : the one is the 
style of the description, "thoroughly jejune, de- 
ficient in all taste, giving single measurements even 
to the width of the doors and the strength of the 
walls," — the other is the object of it, which was, 
according to chap, xliii. 10, 11, that "the temple 
(then destroyed) should be rebuilt according to 
Ezekiel's model." To this, however, it must be 
objected, (a) That the statement of the numbers and 
the measure of the foundation, extending itself to 
the minutest particulars, instead of taking away 
from the description the character of a vision, 
rather confirms it. The exact measuring off and 
bounding according to definite numbers and mea- 
surements is, as has been fully shown in my Sym- 
bolik des Mosaischen Kultus (i. s. 127 sq.), the first 
requisite for every space and structure which has 
an higher, divine destination, and imparts thereto 
the impress of the divine. Hence, in the descrip- 
tion of all holy places and buildings mentioned in 
Bcripture, the measurement and numbers are so 
carefully given, and especially in the visions which 
concern the one divine edifice, ever first a heavenly 
being, a " man with a measuring-chain appears, 
who measures off everything" (Ezek. xl. 3, 5; 
xlvii. 3 ; Zech. ii. 5 ; Rev. xi. 1 ; xxi. 15). The more 

the measuring goes into detail, so much the mora 
is the whole pronounced to be out and out divine. 
(b) In general it contradicts the being and natux* 
of a vision to be nothing more than a pure build- 
ing-description or an architectonic direction. But 
here, it must be added that it contains phasea 
which do not admit of execution in reality, as, e. g., 
the great stream flowing from the temple empty- 
ing itself into the Dead Sea (Ezek. xlvii. 1-12). If 
the purpose of the entire delineation had been to 
serve as a building-direction for the reconstruction 
of the temple after the return from the captivity, 
it would be inexplicable that it should have been 
disregarded as well by Zerubbabel as later by 
Herod, (c) As little as the delineation is purely 
historical, just as little also is it, as many have 
supposed, a mere picture of the fancy. Rather, 
" as Ezekiel elsewhere loves the finishing out of 
long allegories (see chap. xvi. 23), so also we have 
here a very extended symbolical representation 
prophetically delivered by him " (Havernick, Com- 
mentar, s. 623; cf. Umbreit, Commentar, s. 257). 
Certainly it rests upon an historical basis, yet not 
upon the temple as originally built by Solomon, 
but upon it after many additions and alterations, 
as it existed just before the captivity. Yet it is 
and must remain a vision, and, as such, it has an 
ideal character, from which every effort to sepa- 
rate with certainty the historical basis is futile 
(comp. Winer, R.- W.-B., ii s. 570). It is abun- 
dantly clear that in the inquiry upon the temple 
of Solomon, only the most cautious use of Ezekiel's 
description should be made, and in no case is a 
votum decessivum due it. 

Besides the biblical accounts, we have from 
antiquity only that of Josephus (Antiq. viii. 3), of 
which, however, Le Clerc properly says : templum 
cedificat, quale animo conceperat, non quale legerat a 
Salomone condilum. As he is not wholly trust- 
worthy about the transactions of his own time, he 
is still less in matters of antiquity ; particularly 
" when he enters upon special descriptions, and 
claims to communicate detailed incidents, and mea- 
surements of heights and size, we are fully justi- 
fied in doubting the accuracy of his statements " 
(Robinson's Palestine, voL i. p. 277). In no in- 
stance does he deserve confidence when he does 
not agree with the biblical accounts, and that 
which he adds, as, e. g., the levelling of Moriah and 
the surroundijg it with a wall, he did not derive 
from good ancient sources. Just as untrustworthy 
are the statements of the later rabbins (comp. TaX- 
mudischen Traktat Middoth, i. e., Measure, Mai- 
monides, Jak. Jehuda Leo, and others), since they 

CHAPTER VI. 1-38. 


almost exclusively refer to the temple of Herod, 
which was very different from that of Solomon, 
and mingle both together, as also with that of 

The Christian literature respecting our temple 
is not insignificant. The older essays, from the 
middle of the sixteenth to the middle of the eigh- 
teenth century, like those of Villalpando, Lun- 
dius, B. Lamy, and others, embrace the Ezekilian 
and Herodian temples, without distinguishing 
Sharply what belongs to the one or to the other. 
From the designs adduced by them, executed in 
Greco-Roman style, it is clear that their results 
are totally untenable. While, up to a given time, 
men believed that they must represent the temple 
to have been as grand and splendid as possible, in 
the period of the " illumination " (Avfklaruny), they 
fell into the opposite extreme, and made it as 
small, unsightly, and insignificant as possible 
(J. D. Michaelis, Jahn, and others). But subse- 
quently there has been a return to the historical, 
biblical account, and a simple adherence to it 
(Warnekrcs, Bauer, and others). The treatise 
composed by Hirt, simply in the interests of 
archaeology and art-history (Der Tempel Salomo's 
mit drei Kupfertafeln, Berlin, 1S09), gave occasion 
to later and more exact researches, in pure archae- 
ological and historico-aasthetic interests. Here- 
upon followed the Inquiries by J. Fr. Von Meyer 
(Bibeldeutungen, 1812, and Blatter fiir hbhere Wahr- 
heit, IX. and XI.) ; Stieglitz ( Geschichte der Baukunst. 
Nurnberg, 1S27); Gruneisen (Revision d. jungsten 
Forschungen iib. den Salom. Tempel. Kunstbl. 
1831); Kopp (Der Tempel Salomo's, Stuttgart, 
1839, mit Abbild.); Keil (Der Tempel Salomo's. 
Dorpat, 1839) ; Kugler (Eunstgesch., Berlin, 1841) ; 
Schnaase (Antiq. Bemerk. iiber den Salom. Tempel 
in der Gesch. der bild. Kilnste I.. Diisseld. 1843) ; 
Romberg and Steeger ( Gesch. der Baukunst. Leip- 
zig, 1844) ; Merz (Bemerk. iiber den Tempel Salomo's. 
Kunstbl. 1S44) ; my treatise : Der Salom. Tempel mit 
Berucksidht. seines Verhaltn. zur heil. Architektur 
uberhaupt. Karlsruhe, 1848) ; Thenius (das vor- 
exilische Jerusalem u. dessen Tempel, mit Abbild., im 
Commentar zu den Biichern der Konige. Leipzig, 
1849); Winer (R.-W.-B. Tempel zu Jerusalem. 
Leipzig, 1 848) ; Ewald (die heiligen und konig- 
lichen Bauten Salomo's in der Gesch. Israels III. 
Gottingen, 1853); Unruh (das alte Jerusalem und 
seine Bauwerke. Langensalza, 1861) ; Merz (Tempel 
zu Jerusalem in Herzogs R. Encyclopddie XV. 
Gotha, 1862). 

[For the archaeology and topography of the sub- 
ject, see also Robinson's Palestine, vol. i. p. 280- 
300. Barclay, J. T., The City of the Great King. 
Philadelphia, 1858. Walter Merriam Editor, The 
Recovery of Jerusalem, &c, by Capt. Wilson, R. E., 
and Capt. Warren, R. E. New York, Appleton & 
Co., 1871. Part I. iii-viii. and xii., also Part U. 
— E. H.] 


Ver. 1. And it came to pass in the four hun- 
dred and eightieth year, &c. This chronological 
statement, the first which occurs in Scripture for 
the determination of an entire period, has given 
much occupation to the older chronologists, be- 
cause it does not agree with the statements of the 
rook of the Judges and with Acts xiii. 20. The 

Septuagint also has 440 instead of 480. If on« 
add together the chronological figures of the book 
of the Judges, the result is, for the period of the 
judges alone 410 years, to which must be added 
65 for Moses and Joshua, 60 for Saul and David, 
and 4 for Solomon, so that there are 539 years in 
all. According to Acts xiii., the period of the 
judges embraced about 450 years ; 65 for Moses 
and Joshua, 40 for Saul (ver. 21), 40 for David, and 
4 for Solomon reckoned in, would give in all 599 
years. Still farther, Josephus, when he speaks 
of the building of the temple (Antiq. viii. 3, 1\ 
instead of 480 gives 592 years; and in two 
other places (Antiq. xx. 10 ; Contra Apion. ii. 2) 
612 years. Most recently Lepsius and Bunsen 
have used the Egyptian and Assyrian chronology 
against the number 480, and have sought to prove 
at length, that it is to be reduced to some three 
hundred and odd years. Finally, Bertheau and 
Bottcher maintain, with reference to 1 Chron. vi. 
35 sq., where the generations of the high-priests 
from Aaron to Ahimaz, a contemporary of David, 
are given, the number 480 is the sum-total of 
twelve generations, 40 years to the generation 
(40x12=480); consequently there is no chrono- 
logically exact, but rather a probable, round num- 
ber. Uncertain and doubtful, all things considered, 
as the statement of the text may seem, we must 
nevertheless, with Ewald (Gesch. Israels, ii. s. 462 
sq.), Winer (R.-W.-B. ii. s. 327), Thenius (Commen- 
tar, s. 56-58), and Rbsch (das Datum des Tempelbauei 
im Ersten Buehe der Konige. Studien u. Kritiken,\&SZ, 
iv. s. 712-742) adhere to it because, (a) the precision 
of the statement is a voucher for its accuracy. 
Not only is the whole number of the years given, 
but also the year of the reign of the king, even the 
month itself; and since after the captivity the 
months had other names, in order that the month 
itself might not be mistaken for any other, to the 
name Zif (if) it is expressly added. " which is the 
second month." In all Scripture there is no chro- 
nological statement more carefully prepared ; and 
hence, if any one can claim authority, it is this. 
It is unnecessary, therefore, to correct it by others 
more or less vaguely and generally acknowledged, 
but we are justified, on the contrary, in consider- 
ing it as the standard for the rest. This holds es- 
pecially (b) in reference to the chronological figures 
of the period of the judges, which are not critic- 
ally and historically above all suspicion, and can- 
not be added together simply, but must be under- 
stood as contemporaneous in part, and standing 
side by side, even if it be not demonstrably clear 
in how far, and with what particular numbers, 
this must be done. Compare the different attempts 
at a proof by Keil (Dorptische Beitruge, ii. s. 303 sq., 
and on Judges iii. 7), Tiele (Chronologic des A. T. 
s. 84), Werner (Rudelbach's Zeitschrift, 1844, iii. and 
1845, i.), and Cassel (Das Buck der Richter im Bi- 
belwerk, Einl. s. xvi.). (c) The number 450 (Acta 
xiii. 20) is not given as chronologically precise, but 
only as approximate (uc), and nothing can be de- 
termined by it.* The numbers of the period of 
the judges appear simply to be added together in it, 
and the 40 years of Eli also (1 Sam. iv. 18) are 
computed with it. (d) The statements of Josephus 
can all the less be taken into account, since he 
contradicts himself, and gives at one time 592, and 

* [See on this verse Lachmann's text on the authoritj 0# 
A, B, C, which removes the chronological difficulty. Qf 
Textual and Grammatical on ver. 1. — E. H-l 



at the other 612. The first number, adopted also 
by the Chinese Jews, rests doubtless upon the rab- 
binic notion that in the 480 years those only are 
to be reckoned in which Israel was under Israel- 
itish judges, and that those on the other hand are 
to be thrown out (amounting in all to 111), when 
the nation was subject to foreign heathen rulers — 
480 + 111=591. This conception of the matter is 
destitute of all proof. The reason for the number 
612 is unknown, (e) The calling in question of 
the number 480 upon the ground of the Egyptian 
or of the Assyrian chronology, proceeds upon the 
assumption that *h:s chronology is assured, which, 
it is known,. i3 by no means the case, and which 
can only be restored through a series of combina- 
tions and of unproved hypotheses. How feebly 
the definite statement of our text can be attacked 
by it, has been thoroughly and completely shown 
by Rosch on the place. (/) The reading of the 
Sept. (440 instead of 480) is not supported by any 
ancient version or MS., and rests either upon the 
confounding of the sign 3=80 with O=40, or upon 
some peculiar and even arbitrary reckoning, (g) 
The view that 480 is the product of 12 x40, is in- 
admissible, because in that event the four years 
of Solomon's reign are not in the estimate, and 
must be added to the 480 years, while in fact they 
are included within them. Had the reckoning been 
made according to generations, the author would 
have written 484. Apart from this, twelve gene- 
rations are supplied us from 1 Chron. vi. only when 
Aaron himself, who, according to Exod. vii. 7 ; 
Numb, xxxiii. 38 sq., was eighty-three years old at 
the time of the departure from Egypt, is taken 
into the account. Besides, there is no proof that 
in the computation of long periods of time human 
age is regularly set down at forty years. As Mo- 
ses was 120 years, Aaron 123, Joshua 110, Eli 98, 
&c, and generally, a great age was then usual, 
the average of human life must certainly be placed 
higher than at forty years. Comp. Thenius. 

Ver. 2. And the house which king Solomon, 
4c. The place where the temple was built, was, 
according to 2 Chron. iii. 1, Mount .Moriah (comp. 
2 Sam. xxiv. 18 sq.), which our author presupposes 
as sufficiently known. [The uneven rock of Mo- 
riah had to be levelled, and the inequalities filled by 
immense substructions of " great stones," " costly 
stones," " hewed stones." Stanley, Jewish Church. 
— E. H.] In vers. 2-10 the measurement and sin- 
gle portions of the structure are given The mea- 
surements are determined according to the cubit, 
and indeed the older (2 Chron. iii. 3), which The- 
nius reckons at one foot six inches Rhenish, and 
one foot four inches Paris, measure [= 1 foot six 
inches Eng. measure]. Here, and in all the subse- 
quent statements, they refer to the interior spaces. 
The component parts of the structure are the 
house, the porch, and the "chambers round about" 
(Umbau). The first is th« building proper, to 
which both others are attached as additional and 
subsidiary. The whole was situated according to 
the points of the compass. The front, or entrance- 
Bide, was towards the east, the rear wall was to- 
wards the west, the two sides towards the south 
and norlh (1 Kings vii. 39; Ezek. viii. 16), which 
also was the position of the tabernacle (Ex. xxvi. 
18 sq. ; xxxvi. 33 sq.). The main building, the 

ho'ise (JV3n), was built of thick stone walls (vers. 

8, 7 and had within two compartments : the front 

is called in ver. 3 " the temple of the house " 

(JY3n ^D'HJt an( i the rear, in ver. 5, "the oracle" 

("I'Tin)- The word ~>yn comes from the Arabic, 

to be large, high (2 Chron. iii. 5), hence the front 

compartment was " the great house " (ijnan JV3il) 

in contradistinction with the rear, which was the 
shorter half, and also lower. The Tulg., after Je- 
rome, translates the word V3^ by oraculum, i. «., 

oraculi sedes, and the Lex. Cyritti explains the Safiip 
of the Sept. by xPW aTl(!T ^P" n> - It is, however, 
not derived from ~\21 = to speak, but from 13T 

in its primary signification = to adjoin, to follow 
after (comp. Dietrich in Gesen.), and signifies, also, 
simply the compartment in the rear, following upon 
the large room. The windows which the house 
had (ver. 4), were certainly placed high, where it 
overtopped the " chambers round about " (Umbau) 
with their three stories. How many windows 
there were, whether upon all the four sides of the 
house, or only upon three, or only upon the two 
length-walls, we do not gather from the text. The 
designs of Thenius and Keil place them all around 
the house, with the exception of the facade, where 
the porch was. Nor is the size of the windows 
given, but it is added D'OOX D'SpL", »'• «-, not 

" wide within, narrow without " (Luther, after the 
Chald.), but " windows with closed beams, i. e., 
windows the lattice of which could not be opened 
and shut at pleasure as in ordinary dwelling- 
houses, 2 Kings xiii. 17; Dan. vi. 11 " (Keil). The 
lattice consisted of strong cross-pieces, and not of 
wiekerwork. The window-opening may have been 
certainly, according to the account of the Chaldec 
and of the rabbins, inasmuch as the walls were 
very thick, wider on the inside than on the out- 
side, as is the case in the windows of Egyptiar. 
buildings, and answers for the purposes of admit- 
ting light and air. and of letting off smoke, onlj 
there is nothing of it in the words of the text. 
Vers. 3— i. And the porch before the temple 

of the house, Ac. As the word DP1N comes from 

^X i '■ «•! to go before, it signifies also a projection : 
but we are not, as in 1 Kings vii. 6, where D'llSJCT 

(pillars) is expressly added, to represent it as a 
portico or a colonnade. It stretched across the 
entire facade of the house, and its length was 
equal to the breadth of the house, viz., 20 cubits. 
Its breadth, i. e., its depth, measured 10 cubits. 
The text does not mention the height, but 2 Chron. 
iii. 4 gives it at 120 cubits, which is certainly in- 
correct ; for, as Thenius properly remarks, (1) " a 
structure of this sort could not have been desig- 
nated as an D^X i but must have been called a 
^IJO (tower); (2) the chimney -like proportions. 

20, 10, 120, are not only inconsistent with (the no- 
tion of) the pylon of a temple, but are also stati- 
cally impossible. [If it were but 10 cubits (IE 
feet) deep, it seems impossible that it could have 
been 120 cubits (180 feet) high: and the theory 
of Mr. Ferguson that the height refers to a " super 
structure on the temple," would make the tenpl» 
itself a very grotesque building. See the art, 
however, on the Temple in Smith's Dictionary o) 
the Bible, vol. iv. New York, 1870.— E. H.] From 

CHAPTER VI. 1-38. 


tnese considerations we cannot, with justice, sup- 
pose the chronicler to be guilty of arbitrary exag- 
geration, but we must rather suspect the text of 
corruption, which is all the more probable, since 
the verse in question bears even elsewhere marks 
of corruption." According to v. Meyer's probable 

sonjecture, instead of D'IB'i'l HSD, we should 

read: D'X'T JTION, i- «•, 20 cubits (in Ezek. xlii. 
16 also, whether the reading be JTON or JVNS is 
uncertain). The latter is adopted by the Syr., the 
Arab., and the Sept. (Cod. Alexand.). Thenius 
and Bertheau maintain, on the other hand, that as 

the house was 30 cubits high, the sign 5=30 was 
originally in the text, but that through the oblite- 
ration of the upper portion of the letter it became 
3=20. And certainly, in behalf of the supposi- 
tion that it was 30 cubits high, we may urge, in 
part, the absence of any statement of the height 
in our text, which is the more easily explicable if 
the height ot the " porch " and of the temple were 
the same, and, in part, the circumstance that the 
side-building was 20 cubits high on the outside, 
consequently the " porch " would not have been 
especially distinctive or prominent had it been of 
the same height (Keil). That the " porch " had 
thick stone enclosure-walls with a wide entrance 
(Thenius), cannot be concluded from the obscure 
passage of Ezek. xli. 26 ; still less is the view es- 
tablished that each side-wall had a window. To 
me it seems that the '• porch " had only side-walls 
and a ceiling, but to have been entirely open in 
front, so that windows were unnecessary. The 
extremely inadequate description of the "porch," 
contrasted with the very careful description of the 
house and of both its compartments, can only be 
founded in the fact that it did not belong especially, 
or as an integral part, to the sanctuary, but was 
only a subordinate addition thereto. 

Ver. 5. And against the wall of the house 
he built, &c. The word jAi^ comes from j)^ 

sternere, to spread or strew something for a bed, 
and means literally stratum, a bed (Ps. lxiii. 6; 
Job xvii. 13). Symmachus renders it by Kara- 
arpufia. So this building was very properly called, 
because it spread itself out against the lower half 
of the house 30 cubits high, and, as it were, lay 
upon it. jw is gen. com. and stands as collective 

masculine in vers. 5 and 10, of the whole of the 
side-structure (" chambers "), but it is feminine in 
ver. 6, when the single, or three stories of the 
same, one over the other, are mentioned (see Gesen. 
on the word). The J"IN before JliTp is scarcely the 

sign of the accus., " reaching to the walls " (Keil), 
but a preposition, and defines more particularly 

the preceding -pp — ?)}, as indeed both preposi- 
tions elsewhere are synonymous (comp. Ps. iv. 7 
with lxvii. 2). If it can mean simply " in connec- 
tion with the walls " (Thenius), then the statement 
is that (Umbau) " the chambers round about " 
were affixed to the waDs. It went round the en- 
tire house, so that the two side-walls of the porch 
above stood free, and caused the latter to appear all 
the more distinctive. The three stories one above 
the other of this side-structure (ver. 5), had each 

lilDV. •'■ e., literally "ribs" [joists, so Bp. Hors- 
ley ot the plac« — E. H.], which can mean nothing 

else than that they were "divided by partitions 
into distinct compartments " (Merz). It comes to 
the same thing when Keil, who rejects " ribs " as 
the meaning, translates nevertheless " side-cham 
bers." According to Ezek. xli. 6, where, however, 
the reading is not entirely certain, the number of 
these chambers was 33: according to Josephus, 
with whom the moderns agree, there were 30 — 
viz., 12 upon each side-wall of the house, and 6 
upon the rear-wall. — Ver. 6 states how the entire 
side-structure ("chambers round about") were 
built into the chief-structure, the house itself. 
The wall of the latter had, upon the outside, rests 
(nijTUD, literally contractions, lessenings ["for 

he placed stays with retractions against the 
house." Bp. Horsley. — E. H.]). It was thickest at 
the ground, and kept this thickness to the height 
of five cubits ; then succeeded a rest (like a settle), 
which was one cubit broad. Then again, after an 
elevation of five cubits, there was another rest, one 
cubit broad ; there was also another rest of like 
height and breadth. Upon these rests the ends of 
the beams, which served for the ceiling of each 
story, were laid, and had in them their support- 
The outer wall of the side-structure had no rests, 
but was built perpendicularly ; hence, as our verse 
states, the uppermost story was one cubit broader 
(deeper) than the middle, and the middle again was 
one cubit broader than the lowermost. The wall 
also of the house must have been very thick below 
— at least four cubits, for its thickness above the 
side-structure, bearing in mind the rests, amounted 
certainly to one cubit. Thenius and Keil place tho 
thickness at six cubits, but this seems unnecessary. 
The reason given for this mode of construction 
is, " that the beams should not be fastened into the walls 
of the house," i. e., that the large, costly stones 

should remain whole and uninjured (nobc'). that 

no holes should be cut into them for the purpose 
of inserting the ends of the ceiling-beams. Ver. 
7, which is a parenthesis, refers to this, and means 
that " all the stone-work had been so prepared in 
advance, that in the actual putting up of the build- 
ing, stone-cutting was no longer necessary " (The- 
nius). According to ver. 8, the entire side-struc- 
ture had but one door, which was placed on the 
south side : whether in the middle (Thenius) or at 
the foremost apartment near the porch (Ewald, 
Merz) is uncertain; probably the latter. That a 
door within the house opened into the side-struc- 
ture, has been erroneously concluded from Ezek. 
xli. 5. The walls of the house were nowhere 
broken through, and certainly the historical ac- 
count knows nothing of such a door. The wind- 
ing stairway obviously was within the side-struc- 
ture. The word JOT in ver. 8, and in Ezek. xli. 5, 
9, 11, is like jflV' in vers. 5 and 10, in the singular, 

and stands collectively for the whole of the side- 
chambers. — The text says nothing of the perpen- 
dicular outside wall of the side-structure. The- 
nius appeals to Ezek. xli. 9 for the supposition that 
this was a stone-wall five cubits thick. In that 
case it would have been as thick as the side-cham- 
bers of the lower story were broad (ver. 6) : and 
why should the wall of these have been so thick 1 
Then, too, the ceiling-beams of these chambers 
would, of necessity, have been inserted into tiles'* 
walls, which is inconsistent with ver. '. HeDc* 



it seems to me much more probable that this ex- 
terior wall, as indeed the entire side-structure, 
which was only subordinate in any event, was 
built of cedar. — The text does not state the pur- 
pose or design of these "chambers round about." 
They served for the preservation of temple uten- 
sils and temple stores (Keil), perhaps also of con- 
secrated gifts (Ewald) ; but they were scarcely 
" expensively furnished bedrooms " (Thenius). 

Vers. 9-10. And so he built the house, Ac. 
In roofing, the building of the house was ended. 
But we must not, as many formerly, and even 
Hirt himself now, fancy a gable-roof. The silence 
of the text respecting its form allows us to presup- 
pose that it was, as with all oriental buildings, a 
flat roof furnished with a parapet (comp. Deut. 

xxii. 8). J£33=1 is not, with Merz, to be understood 

of the wainscoting, but, with Keil, of the roofing, 
for the account of the former begins first at ver. 
15. D'33 are not planks, as the word for the most 

part is translated, but beams, as such were cer- 
tainly indispensable for roofing. rh"lb> are scarcely 

"hewn cedar-timbers " (Thenius), but boards which 
were laid upon the beams. The 0^1X3 refer to 

both the preceding. "Without doubt this cedar 
covering was overlaid with firm flooring, perhaps 
even with stone slabs. Thenius very unnecessa- 
rily wishes D'aS to be read for D'nj , and then 

suggests " a flat roof vaulting " but in the ancient 
Orient there were never any arched roofs. In ver. 
10 JJivn is again collective, for, according to it, 

not the whole side-structure, but each of its three 
stories, was five cubits high inside. The men- 
tion of the side-structure here is in reference to 
the roofing. While ver. 9 speaks of the roof- 
ing of the house, ver. 10 states how it is re- 
lated to that of the side-structure. Therefore the 
height is again mentioned, with the observation, 
" and he fastened the house with timber of cedar." 
If Solomon be the subject with the preceding p>l 

(Thenius), or JAi^ (Keil), the sense is : the roofing 

of the three stories (five cubits high each) of the 
side-structure was done with cedar timbers, which, 
with their ends, lay upon the rests of the walls of 
the temple, and likewise united the side-structure 
with the house, thus making it a complete whole. 
Entirely false is the translation : he covered the 
house with cedar-wood (Gesenius), as if the stone- 
walls were overlaid, upon the inside, with cedar, 
of which there is nowhere the slightest trace. 
That the roof of the side-structure, moreover, was 
horizontal, level, like that of the house itself, 
scarcely requires mention. 

Vers. 11-19. And the word of the Lord 
came to Solomon, &c. The interruption of the 
description of the temple, by these verses, shows 
plainly that what is therein stated took place dur- 
ing the progress of the building. From chap. ix. 
2, comp. with iii. 5, it is clear that we have to think 
not of a revelation of Jehovah, but of a divine 
promise communicated through a prophet (per- 
haps Nathan), such as happened to David (2 Sam. 
vii. 12 sq. and 1 Chron. xxii. 10), to which refer- 
ence is made in ver. 12. Solomon thereby obtained 
the promise that Jehovah, as He had formerly 
dwelt amon j the people in a " tabernacle," for the 

sign and pledge of the covenant established with 
Israel, would dwell in the house about to be built, 
and that the covenant-relation also should con- 
tinue, if the king upon his part should keep the 
covenant, and walk in the ordinances of Jeho- 
vah. Such a promise necessarily encouraged and 
strengthened Solomon in his great and difficult 
undertaking, as it reminded and urged him to the 
performance of his sacred obligations. 

Vers. 14-19. So Solomon built the house, 4c 
Ver. 14 resumes the description of the building, 
which had been interrupted by vers. 11-13, and 
which from ver. 15 is applied to its interior. The 
overlaying of walls with wood, which again was 
covered with metal, and gold in particular, is an 
old Oriental custom, extending from Phoenicia to Ju- 
dea (comp. Muller, Archaeology, translated by John 
Leitch, p. 214 sq. ; Schnaase, Gesch. der bild. Kiinste, 
i. s. 160; Weiss, Kostumkunde, i. s. 365). The 
covering with gold was not mere gilding, but con- 
sisted of thin gold plates (Symb. des Mos. Kultus, i. s. 
60). According to 2 Chron. iii. 6, the walls also were 
adorned with precious stones, which is credible 
enough since these were expressly named amongst 
the objects which Solomon obtained in abundance 
from Ophir (chap. x. 11), and it was the custom in 
the Orient to make use of them in buildings and 
utensils (comp. the same, s. 280, 294, 297).— Ver. 
16 says explicitly and distinctly that the main 
space was separated from the Debir by a cedar 
wall ; hence surely it is an error upon the part of 
Thenius when, by an appeal to Ezek. xli. 3, he 
supposes, in place of this wall, a stone-wall two 
cubits thick covered with wood and gold. Even 
in the tabernacle of the covenant it was not a 
plank- wall (Ex. xxvi. 15), but a curtain merely 
(ver. 33) which separated its two divisions from 
each other. Even the massively-constructed 
Herodian temple had no such wall, of which be- 
sides, the Rabbins, according to Josephus (Bell. 
Jud. i., 5, 6, 5), knew nothing (Lightfoot, Descrip. 
temp. Hieros., chap. xv. 1). The cedar wall, for 
the rest, since it reached from the ground to the 
beams of the ceiling, must have been thirty cubits 

high. The addition "pn EHpS 5 to "V3li> shows 

the design of the latter, and proves that the 

VT1 does not mean oraculum or locutorium, for 

had it this signification, its object would havo 
been denoted by the word itself, and no explana- 
tory addition would have been necessary. — Ac- 
cording to vers. 16-20 the two divisions of the 
house were of the following dimensions : the 
room at the farthest end took off from the entire 
length of the building (which was 60 cubits), 
twenty, and from its height (30 cubits), twenty. 
It was also, as is expressly stated in ver. 20, 
twenty cubits long, broad, and high, and conse- 
quently was a complete cube in shape. The front 
compartment was forty cubits long, twenty broad, 
and thirty high. For since its breadth and height 
are not given here (ver. 17), it must have had the 
breadth and height of the house mentioned above 
(ver. 2), otherwise, as in the case of the rear com- 
partment, it would have been expressly noticed. 
That the front compartment was not only longer, 
but higher also, larger generally than the rear, its 

name even proves ^o\"] (see above on ver. 2). It 

is hence decidedly incorrect when Kurtz and Mere 

CHAPTER VI. 1-38. 


suppose that the front compartment was only 
twenty cubits high, that over the entire house 
there was an upp^i room ten cubits high fitted up 
for the conservatioi of the reliques of the taber- 
nacle of the coveua tit, and that this room is desig- 
nated by what 2 Chron. iii. 9 names nvbjjn, and 

which the Sept. renders by to v-epCmv. The 
following considerations make against this view: 
(1) How could one have reached this supposed 
upper chamber ? Not from the side-structure, for 
the ceiling of its uppermost story did not reach 
to the floor of the supposed " upper room :" the 
thick walls of the house, moreover, had no door 
above the level of the side-structure. Just as little 
could one have reached it from the interior of the 
house, for in neither compartment was there a 
stairway which led thither : there was no opening 
in the ceiling. (2) The windows of the house 
(ver. 4) were above the side-structure, which (the 
ceilings of the three stories being taken into the 
account) was certainly eighteen cubits high: there 
remained, therefore, the house being thirty cubits 
high, but twelve cubits for the windows. If now 
from these twelve cubits, ten are allowed for the 
upper room, what space remains for the windows, 
which certainly were not very small, and which 
were necessary to admit light and air into the 
house ? (3) From the extremely abrupt words of 
the Chronicles, " And the alioth he covered with 
gold," it follows only that alioth (upper chambers) 
were somewhere, but not where they were ; and 
since the Chronicles in its abbreviated description 
says nothing of the entire side-structure with its 
stories and chambers, we have at least as much 
right, with Griineisen. to suppose the alioth to be 
the chambers of the side-structure, as an upper 
room extending the length of the whole building, 
and which is nowhere else mentioned. The rel- 
iques of the tabernacle could easily have been 
preserved in the several chambers of the side- 
structure. [For the other view, see Art. Temple, 
above cited. But our author seems to me to have 
fully disposed of this doubtful matter. It would 
seem impossible from our author's reasoning that 
there should have been a large upper chamber 
over the " holy place." — E. H.] If now we must, 
according to all the accounts, regard the front 
compartment as thirty cubits high, the question 
still remains respecting its relation to the rear, 
which was but twenty cubits high. Stieglitz and 
Griineisen are of the opinion that the rear com- 
partment, viewed externally, was ten cubits lower 
than the front, which was the case also with 
Egyptian temples [and like the chancel in the so- 
called Gothic church.— E. H.]. But ver. 2 con- 
flicts with this : it gives the height of the entire 
house at thirty cubits, and does not limit it to the 
front compartment. Apart from all other consid- 
erations, we cannot appeal to the adytum of the 
Egyptian temples, because it was not connected 
with the fore-temple, but was separated from it 
by chambers and passages, and was an indepen- 
dent structure (Miiller, Archaeology, p. 190 sg.; 
Leitch (Germ*_i edit.) s. 258 ; Schnaase, Gesch. 
der bild. Eiinste, i. s. 392). Wo miiPt certainly as- 
sume that there was a room over the rear com- 
partment ten cubits high. Bottcher thinks this 
was open in front and only having chains hanging 
as its partition (ver. 21); in itself, "very improba- 
Me " this (Winer), and besides it is against ver. 

16, according to which the cedar wall before the 
holy of holies went from the floor to the beams of 
the ceiling. Besides, ver. 20 does not say that tha 
cedar wall was only twenty cubits high, but onl) 
brings into prominence the fact that on all its sides 
the holy of holies measured twenty cubits. As 
the room in question was inaccessible, Ewald 
rightly observes that it " had been left apparently 
entirely empty." It had no especial design, and 
was what it was simply that the holy of holies 
might be a perfect cube. Upon this point more 
will be remarked farther on, in respect of the sig- 
nificance of the temple. For particular words on 
vers. 17-20, see above, Textual and Gram. 

Vers. 20-22. And covered the altar, Ac. 
And he overlaid the altar with cedar. Thus only 
should we translate the concluding words of tha 
20th verse, and not, with Le Clerc, J. D. Michaelis, 
and others — he overlaid the altar of cedar, namely, 
with gold like the rest. Apart from the fact that 
rOTO is without the article, and not in the con- 
struct, the " gold '' is first mentioned in the con- 
cluding words of the 22d verse. There the altar is 

more specifically referred to by T3if) - X"X , 

which cannot mean " which belonged to the De- 
bir," in the sense that it stood within it; for the 
holy of holies was designed only as the receptacle 
of the ark of the covenant (ver. 19), and never had 
an altar. The altar of incense in the holy place is 
meant. Its position was " in front of the curtain " 

('JS^i) (Exod. xl. 26), i. e., "before the ark of the 

testimony " (Exod. xl. 5), and therewith also " be- 
fore Jehovah" (Lev. xvi. 12, 18), enthroned above 
the ark. It stood also in special relation to 
the Debir. If now this altar were " overlaid "' 
with cedar, we are shut up to the supposition that 
" the body of it was of stone " (Keil). But this 
was the peculiar, distinguishing feature of the altar 
of burnt-offering, which was required to be com- 
posed of earth or of stones (Exod. xx. 24, 25), and 
the framo of which, consequently, was filled with 
the same material (comp. Symbol, des Mos. Kult, i. 
s. 481, 4S8). The much smaller altar of incense 
was a simple frame with a covering, which was 
wanting in the altar of burnt-offering (Exod. xxx. 
1-3). In distinction with the latter, it is named in 
Ezek. xli. 22, "the altar of wood." The body of 
it could not have been of stone. These difficulties 
disappear only through the translation of the Sept.: 
Kal kno'njot dvoiacriipLov nedpov It read also b'V 5 ! 

instead of e]X'l, which Thenius holds to be genu- 
ine. In that case the absence of the article in 
n3TO is explained, as well also as the concluding 

observation in ver. 22 : And the whole altar [of 
cedar] before the Debir, he overlaid with gold. 

The words in ver. 21 are obscure and difficult 
"l3y\ (and he made a partition) by the chains 

of gold before the oracle (Debir). Thenius is of 

opinion that the subject here, viz., rmsrvnN ia 

omitted, and then translates, " he hung the cur- 
tain before the Debir with gold chains." This 
curtain was before the door of the latter, and was 
hung in such a manner that it could be moved 
this way and that, " by means of golden chainlets 
each Tv-ovid«d with an end-ring, UDOn a round stiok 



ipon which these rings were made to siide." But 
this mysterious chain-work, as Winer names it, 
is by no means " forever explained and done 
with," by this suggestion. For, according to it, 
the chief thing in the text, the mention of the cur- 
tain, is wanting. But no MS. nor any ancient ver- 
sion names this supposed missing object. And if 
any one wish to insert it, then must the words 
" and he overlaid it with gold " refer to the cur- 
tain; and this is impossible. Besides, the text 
says only " with chains," and does not know any- 
thing either of end-rings or of round sticks, both 
of which are essential, and far more necessary 
than the " chainlet " for the sliding, this way and 
that, of the curtain. With De Wette, Gesenius, 
Ewald, and Merz, -QJ?' is to be translated, he 
bolied, as in Chaldaic N"UJ? means a bolt, and for 
DrV"l2 , »'■ «•, bolt (Exod. xxvi. 26), the Chaldee has 

Till?. But then the question is, what was bolted ? 
According to Calmet and others, it was only the 
door of the Debir, which had two leaves. But in 
that case it would have been necessary to take 
away the chains on the day of Atonement — a thing 
nowhere hinted at, and in itself highly improba- 
ble. Obviously the bolting chains were not a 
movable but a fixed contrivance running across 
the entire wall. They held together the parts of 
the wall made of cedar, like the bolts on the 
planks of the tabernacle (Exod. xxvi. 26), and 
likewise represented the Debir as a barred, closed 
room. A further argument for this : mpim 

comes from pm , which means to bind, to chain 
together, and in Arabic to shut up, and the ex- 
pression ]isv the concealed, the closed, is used by 

Ezek. (vii. 22) of the holy of holies. The suppo- 
sition of v. Meyer and Gruneisen, that there was 
in the cedar wall an opening above the door, 
which like the capitals of the two brazen columns 
was covered (chap. vii. 15 sq. ; 2 Chron. iii. 16) 
with a net or lattice-work, is just as untenable as 
that the chains served the purpose of decoration 
only (Jahn). — In ver. 22 all that had been said 
hitherto about the gilding, [done with thin plates 
and not with gold-leaf. — E. H.] is again brought 
together and emphasized. It is by no means de- 
clared by the expression " the whole house," that 
the interior of the porch was gilt (Thenius ) : it 
refers only to the holy place and to the holy of 
holies, since the porch is explicitly distinguished 
from the house (Keil). 

Vers. 23-28. — And within the oracle (Debir) 
he made two chambers, &c. The reason why 
olive-wood was used in the construction of these 
figures was owing to its firmness and durability. 
In Greece it was employed to make images of the 
gods (Winer, R.-W.-B., ii. s. 172). The ety- 
mology of the word 21-13 is to this day so vari- 
ously stated, that nothing reliable can be gathered 
from it respecting the form and shape of the 
cherubim. From Exod. xxv. 18 sq. and xxxvii. 7 
$q., we gather only thus much — that the cheru- 
bim over the ark had two wings, and that their 
/aces were opposite each other and directed to- 
wards the ark. Nor do we learn anything more 
from our text and from 2 Chron. iii. 10-13. It is 
only said that each was ten cubits high, and that 
each of the wings measured five cubits; that they 
itood apon their feet, and that their faces were 
turned towards the house, i. e., towards the large 

compartment, and also how that those upon thi 
ark of the covenant could have had but one face. 

Ezekiel, on the other hand, in his vision of the 
throne of God and of the temple, gives something 
more definite. According to the first and tenth 

chapters the cherubim were ni'rt , *■ «., £<•>", living 

creatures (not O^pcc, wild beasts) with four wings 
and four faces. On the right side the faces were 
those of a man and of a lion, on the left those of 
a bull and of an eagle. The human element 
seems to have preponderated in their form (ver. 5). 
But according to chap. xli. 18, the cherubim rep- 
resented upon the walls and doors of the temple, 
between palm-trees, had but two faces, the one of 
a man and the other of a lion. The former were 
on the right side and the latter on the left. The 
apocalyptic vision of the throne, Rev. iv. 7, in 
which the four types of creatures composing the 
cherub are separated and stand round the throne, 
having six wings each, rests upon that of Ezekiel. 
From everything we have, it appears that the 
cherub was not a simple but a complex or celiac.' 
tive being ; and when he has now one, then twa 
then again four faces, or two, or four, or six 
wings ; when, too, the four types of which he is 
composed are separated side by side, so we gather 
still farther that he had no unalterable, fixed form, 
but that one element or another was prominent 
or subordinate according to circumstances. In 
fact, one element might even disappear without 
any change in the fundamental idea attaching to 
the cherub. This has been questioned warmly by 
Riehm recently (De Natura et notione symbolica 
Cheruborum. Basil, 1864). He maintains that be- 
fore the exile the cherub had a fixed form, viz., 
that of a man standing upright, with wings. The 
later description in Ezekiel's vision is a departure 
from this characteristic and original form, and, for 
the sake of the " throne, chariot " moving towards 
the four quarters of the world, gives to the cheru- 
bim with it four faces, yet not four component 
parts. The three faces added to the original one 
hu man face by Ezekiel are borrowed from the 
grandest and strongest of creatures whether living 
on the earth or in the air. He was induced to do 
this probably by the Babylonian grouping to- 
gether of animals which he had learned during 
the captivity. We remark against this : If any 
person, on the one hand, knew well enough the 
forms of the cherubim both in the tabernacle and 
in the temple, and would, on the other hand, ad- 
here firmly to ancestral institutions and to priestly 
traditions, that person was Ezekiel, the son of a 
priest. How is it possible that this prophet, who was 
emphatically warned by the sight of the " images 
of the Chaldeans," doubtless mythological (Ezek. 
xxiii. 14), portrayed on the walls, should himself 
have been induced, by means of these, to alter 
completely the sacred cherub-form, and to have 
made to it arbitrary and self-appointed additions? 
Umbreit (Hesekiel, s. xii.) rightly says: " So far as 
the form of the cherubim is concerned, the prophet 
has certainly copied the original type of the tem- 
ple, the ark of the covenant and the tabernacle 
floating in his imagination, with conscientious 
fidelity; but in particular instances he has en- 
riched the idea by the addition of more complete 
features, without changing anything essentially." 
The assertion that he gives to the cherub not a 
fourfold composition but only four faces, is a mis- 

CHAPTER VI. 1-38. 


take, for he gives to him the feet of a bull, the 
wings of an eagle, and the hands of a man (Ezek. 
1. 6-9) ; and in the passage chap. x. 14, which, in- 
deed, in a critical respect is not free from suspi- 
cion, the word 3V13 stands for bull, so that many 

interpreters think that the bull is the prevailing 
element in the composition of the cherub. Besides, 
in ever}' living creature the face is the chief thing, 
by which in fact it is recognized ; and when Eze- 
kiel gives to the cherub four faces, he signifies 
thereby that those four types of being unite there- 
in. To delineate cherubim is consequently a haz- 
ardous business, because the form is not fixed ; 
nor as yet is there anything perfectly satisfactory. 
The latest, by Thenius (tab. 3, fig. 7), is borrowed, 
almost painfully, from Egyptian sculptures. It is 
remarkable that the archaeologists are forever 
finding the original of the cherub in Egypt, while 
neither the sphinx nor any other Egyptian com- 
plex creature presents the four types united in the 
cherub. On the other hand, Asiatic, and particu- 
larly Assyrian, images, exhibit all four together 
(comp. Neumann, die Stiftshiilte, s. 68 sq.). Never- 
theless the cherub is not a copy of these, but is 
the pure and specific product of Hebrew contem- 
plation. Upon this, more, farther on. — The words 
of ver. 24 state that the four horizontally out- 
stretched wings took in the entire breadth of the 
Debir (twenty cubits) ; that they also touched on 
the right and left, the north and south wall, and 
each other in the centre, while it presupposes that 
they (i. e., the wings) stood close to each other at 
the shoulder-blades. Under the outspread wings 
the ark of the covenant was placed, as chap. viii. 
6 plainly says; and it is hence an error when 
Ewald asserts that the cover of the ark was re- 
newed, and in place of the old cherubim, those 
massive wooden and gilt were fastened upon it — a 
thing impossible, for they stood 10 cubits apart 
(ver. 27), while the ark was 3$ cubits long (Exod. 
xxv. 10). 

Vers. 29-30. — And he carved all the walls 
of the house, &c. Comp. ver. 18. Keil and others 

understand by nV?pD " basso-relievo," Vulgate 
cozlaturoz eminentes, which, however, cannot be es- 
tablished by the word itself. For although Jj^p 

means to set in motion, to sling (1 Sam. xvii. 40 ; 
xxv. 29 ; Jer. x. 18), this signification is not availa- 
ble here. But it becomes clear through the fol- 
lowing 'nviS from nnB to break open, to open, 
then to furrow, to plough (Is. xxviii. 24) ; D'nWS 

in Exod. xxviii. 11 ; xxxix. 6, is used for the work 
of the graver in stone, and in Exod. xxviii. 
36 ; xxxix. 30 of engraving in metal. The 
figures, moreover, were not in basso relievo, 
but were sunken. 1 Kings vii. 31 cannot avail, 
for with reference to the figures upon the flat sur- 
face of the "bases," it is said in ver. 36 nriD'"l. 

and this agrees with jjjjp , which means in Arabic, 

loco dimovit. Most of the figurative representa- 
tions upon the old Egyptian monuments were 
wrought after this fashion (Thenius). The forms 
of the cherubim upon the walls were different 
from the colossal figures under which the ark in 
the Deb: - rested. According to Ezek. xli. 19, "a 
lion-face was towards a palm-tree upon one side, 

and a man's face towards the palm-tree on the 
other side," so that there was always a cherub 
between two palm-trees. These had not four 
faces, but assuredly the wings of the eagle and 
the feet of the bull were not wanting. We are not 
to think of palm-branches (Ewald), nor of palm- 
leaves (Luther), but of palm-trees, such as we see 
upon ancient coins, and such sb Titus caused to be 
struck off, out of the booty from Jerusalem, with 
the inscription Judceacapta (Lamy, de Tabernaculo, 
p. 783 ; Winer, R- W.-B., i. s. 252). We may, with 
the Arabic version, understand by "open flowers," 
lilies, for these certainly belonged to the emblems 
of the sanctuary (chap. vii. 19, 22, 26). Ver. 18 

names, besides the flowers, D'PpS also, which is 

regarded generally as synonymous with nyj3£ , 2 

Kings iv. 39, and is translated " coloquinths'' (i. e., 
wild or spring gerkins which burst at the touch) 
We should then understand by it: "egg-shaped 
decorations like that of our architectonics." (The- 
nius, Keil). But the intimate connection with 
graven figures in the highest degree significant, 
such as cherubim, palm-trees, and lilies, makes 
against a wholly meaningless, empty decoration, a 
thing not known to oriental sacred architecture 

Add to this that in another passage the JIVpE are 

described as deadly, a fruit so dangerous and 
unwholesome would have suggested just the oppo- 
site of that which was represented by the other 
symbolical figures. If it were employed simply on 
account of its egg-shape, why these " coloquinths," 
since they were not alone round, why not eggs sim- 
ply ? The stem Jjps does not mean simply to burst, 

but also circumire, in hiphil conglomerare, circuma- 
gere, and nj)pD involucrum, glomus, globus, so also 

WpD glomus, fasciculus convolutus vel colligatus (Bux- 

torf, Lex. Chald. et Talm., p. 1790). In its intimate 

connection with D'W ,- 1Jt3S > will D'JJpS be takeD 

to mean flower-bundles, i. e., buds ; and so the trans- 
lation is, budding and blown flowers (flower-work) 
Possibly this flower-work had the form of wreaths, 
only we can scarcely, with Thenius, translate 
,- llt3B = " festoons, garlands of flowers." Whether 
the three kinds of graven figures were distributed 
in single panels, and such panels were in two or 
three rows, one over the other, after the analogy 
of Egyptian temples, must be left undecided, owing 
to the silence of the text. — Thenius wishes the 
" without " of vers. 29 and 30 to be understood of 
the porch; but nothing has been said of. the porch 
from ver 3, and it would have been necessary 
therefore to designate it by a word. According 

to ver. 20 D'jaks can be referred only to the De- 
bir, and not to the interior of the whole house, 
consequently by fixri? the large compartment 

must be meant. 

Vers. 31-35. And for the entering of the 
oracle, &c. The rabbins, whom many interpret- 
ers, even to v. Meyer and Stier, follow, translate 

the difficult words fPBJBQ ThVXD ^Kil : " the lin- 
tel (entablature) of the (or with the) posts, a pen 
tagon." The sense would then be : the lintel of 
the doors supported two posts abutting one against 



the other, at an angle which, with it, formed a 
triangle, and together with the door, a pentagon. 
[Thus : 

E. H.] 

But this is decisively contradicted by that which fol- 
lows in ver. 33 of the door of the larger compart- 
ment, the corresponding JVJJX1 nXD , which cannot 

possibly be translated " out or of a four-cornered, 
t. e., a square," but only " out of a fourth." Besides 
this, a pentagonal door is without an example in 
the ancient East. Bottcher and Thenius translate, 
" the entrance-wall with posts of a fifth thickness." 
But this is founded upon the wholly erroneous 
supposition that the wall before the holy of holies 
was two cubits thick (see above, on ver. 16); of 
which two cubits, then, the door-posts must have 

taken in a fifth. Suppose that p'X here means 
the entrance-wall, still JVtSJDn can never be trans- 
lated " fifth thickness." " It is in the highest de- 
gree surprising that when the thickness of the 
entrance-wall door-posts is stated, nothing is said 
of the size of the doors themselves " (Keil). Man- 
ifestly the text states just this, but still does not 
say that from each wall there were five cubits to 
the door : for the doors midway, there were ten 
cubits remaining (Lightfoot), but the entrance to 
the Debir took in, with the posts, a fifth of the 
wall, i. e., was four cubits broad.* The entrance to 
the chief compartment, on the other hand (ver. 33), 
measured one fourth of the wall, was consequently 
five cubits broad, and larger than that which 
opened into the Debir, which was appropriate 
enough for the main entrance. The height of the 
two entrances is not given. According to ver. 34 
the two wings of the door of entrance into the 
holy place were folding leaves, i. e., either they were 
longitudinally like leaves bound together, which 
could be so folded that it would not be necessary 
always to open the whole door-wing (Thenius) ; 
or the two leaves were the upper and lower halves 
of each door-wing (Keil, Mertz, Ewald) ; probably 
the latter. — From the words of ver. 32 : " and 
spread gold upon the cherubim," as well as " fitted 
upon the carved work " (ver. 35), Thenius con- 
cludes that the figures only, both upon the doors 
and also the wails of the temple, were over- 
laid, so that "they must have contrasted splen- 
didly with the brown-red cedar." But this con- 
tradicts vers. 20, 30, and especially ver. 22, where 

Dn - IV ' s expressly added to the " whole house," 

which does not say merely that such gold-over- 

* [Mr. T O. Paine {Solomon's Temple, kc, Roston, Geo. 
Phlnnoy, l^t'-l) makes the " posts, the floor-posts," to he 
meruit, and sayB that they were one-flfth of twenty cubits, 
the width of the wall. Each door-post was, according to this 
author, six feet wide. Bp. Patrick says: "u fifth" . . . 
"may I"' nnderatood to signify that they held the proportion 
nf a fifth part <>f the d"Ors" (on the place). But OUT author'e 
axpcaltlon is the Letter — E. II.] 

laying was partial throughout the house, but that 
the interior was completely so overlaid. The very 
floor, upon which no figures were carved, was over- 
laid with gold ; surely the walls and doors were not 
partially so only. The problematical addition in 
both verses renders conspicuous the fact that the 
overlaying with gold did not cover up the figures 
carved upon the wood, but that it was impressed 
upon all the elevations and the depressions alike, 
and that they could be distinctly seen (Keil). — The 
Chronicles mentions, besides the doors (2 Chron 
iii. 7), the veil also (iii. 14), the presence of which 
is not to be doubted (after Ewald), since the object 
of it was not to divide the two compartments, but 
rather to cover the ark with the throne (Exod. xL 
3, 21), and was an essential feature of the sanc- 
tuary. If even the Herodian temple, which did 
not contain the ark of the covenant, had never- 
theless " the veil of the covering " (Exod. xxxix. 
34; xxxv. 12; Matt, xxvii. 51), how much less 
would Solomon have dispensed with it. The non- 
mention of it in the account now before us has no 
more significance than when, in the following 
verses, the inner court alone is described, and the 
fact of the " outer " court is entirely passed by. 

Vers. 3G-3S. And he built the inner court, 
&c. This designation presupposes a larger court, 
which is mentioned expressly in the Chronicles (2 
Chron. iv. 9), and, in distinction from that of "the 
priests," is described as " the great court." The 
inner court is called, in Jer. xxxvi. 10, the " higher," 
because it lay somewhat above the level of the 
court intended for the people. The statements 
about the structure of both are singularly meagre. 
No one doubts that they were square-shaped 
(comp. Exod. xxvii. 9 sq. ; Ez. xl. 47). The words, 
" three rows of hewed stones," &c, can refer only to 
the enclosing walls. There were three rows of 
squared stones, one over the other, and a layer of 

cedar. flfTO are certainly not beams properly, 

but planks, thick boards, for of what use would 
beams have been here? The opinion that up- 
right cedar beams, restiug upon the uppermost row 
of stones, formed a low palisade, is erroneous 
(Merz). The people in the outer court, by such an 
arrangement, would have been deprived of a view 
of the sanctuary and of the holy offices in the 
inner court. It was manifestly but a low enclo- 
sure, over which those outside of it could look (2 
Chron. vii. 3). The outer court doubtless had stouo 
walls surrounding it because, according to 2 Chron. 
iv. 9, doors overlaid with brass led into it. Our 
account mentions nothing of cells or chambers in 
the forecourt spoken of in 2 Kings xxiii. 1 1 ; Jer. 
xxxv. 2; xxxvi. 10. But perhaps Solomon built 
some of them ; at least they were, according to 1 
Chron. xxviii. 12, originally intended. — We can 
but offer conjectures about the dimensions of the 
courts. " Following the analogy of the taberna- 
cle, by doubling the spaces we may estimate the 
court of the priests at 200 cubits long from east to 
west, and 100 cubits wide from north to south. . . 
The outer or great court must have been at least 
as large " (Keil). In the temple of Ezekiel, whose 
measurements and definitions, especially in the 
matter of the courts, are to be regarded as leasl 
of all purely historical, both of them are perfect 
squares (Ezek. xlii. 15-20; Thenius).— The very 
carefully stated length of time for the building of 
the u-iuple, given in vers. 37, 3S, was reasonably 



short. ai_d shows with what zeal the work was car- 
ried on, especially when we consider that, accord- 
ing to Pliny (Hist. Nat., xxxvi. 12), all Asia was 
200 years building the temple of Diana at Ephe- 
sus. As the month Zif was the second, and the 
month Bui the eighth, the time occupied in the 
building was about seven and a half years. Whether 
in this tli© time also is to be reckoned for the 
substructions* which Josephus mentions, and also 
for the cutting of the wood, and the hewing of the 
stones, is an idle question. If now we cast a 
glance over the whole of the description of the tem- 
ple, full and explicit as it is in details, it is not 
Bufficient to enable us to delineate a complete, 
well-assured drawing of it, because, as Winer very 
properly remarks, many points which must be 
clear in a drawing are passed over without a word, 
and others remain more or less uncertain. This is 
especially true in respect of outward forms and 
architectural style, which, in a drawing, are mat- 
ters of supreme importance. Upon this point 
scarcely anything more can be said than that the 
building ou the whole was " rectilinear, and of 
box-form " (Merz). It is certain that the builders, 
artists, and workmen who executed it, were all 
Phoenicians (chap. v. 6 ; vii. 14), whence it follows 
that the style of the building, in so far as the pre- 
served ground-plan and design of the tabernacle 
was not required by Solomon, was Phoenician. 
But since all adequate descriptions of Phoenician 
buildings, and all memorials, such as are still ex- 
tant in Egypt, are wanting, we know nothing of 
the distinguishing peculiarity of Phoenician archi- 
tecture, which certainly, since the material em- 
ployed was chiefly wood, must have differed es- 
sentially from the much later Graeeo-Roman, and 
especially from the Egyptian, which made use 
exclusively of hard stone (Schnaase, Gesch. der 
Hid, Kunste, i. s. 238, 249). The older drawings, 
therefore, in GrEeco-Roman style, by Villalpand, 
Lundy, Ac, as also the later, in Egyptian style, 
by Hirt and Kopp, are wholly unsatisfactory. 
Had Solomon wished to build in the Egyptian 
style, he would not have summoned Phoenician 
workmen, but Egyptian, whom he could have 
easily procured from his royal father-in-law. The 
most recent drawings by Thenius and Keil (bibl. 
Arclmologie) rest upon a careful study of the text, 
and are therefore much to be preferred to all the 
earlier ones ; but even they, from the considera- 
tions already adduced, cannot lay claim in all re- 
spects to truth. Strong but not unfounded is the 
view of Romberg and Steger (Gesch. der Baukunst, 
i. s. 26): "It is just as easy to portray a living 
man from a tolerably well preserved skeleton, as 
to succeed in copying a building which shall cor- 
respond to its reality, when but few and uncertain 
remains of its style of architecture are in our pos- 
session." Many as are the gaps of the biblical 
account in respect of architecture, it nevertheless 
contains all which can contribute to the knowl- 
edge of the religious ideas upon which the temple 
was founded; it serves also to our understanding of 
its significance, and this is the chief concern here. 


1. The unusually careful chronological date 
about the building of the temple (vers. 1 and 37, 

(• Upon these Bibstructions, see Robinson and "The Ke- 
•o»ery of Jerusalem," as above.— E. H.] 

38) manifestly places it high above the series of 
ordinary events, and proclaims it as an especially 
weighty, epoch-making occurrence in the theo- 
cratic history (Heilsgeschichte). Comp. Introd. § 3. 
This would not have been the case if an architec- 
tonic work, or a building giving evidence of powe! 
and wealth simply, were concerned. It is its 
thoroughly religious character which causes it to 
appear as such a momentous transaction, and for 
the sake of which it is so circumstantially de- 
scribed. The product of theocratic ideas, it is 
likewise the expression of them. If the entire 
cultus were no idle ceremony, still less could th« 
structure, where this cultus became concentrated, 
be an empty, meaningless piece of architectural 
splendor. All the ancients so foimded, arranged, 
and adorned their temples that they were the ex- 
pression and the representation of their specific 
religious contemplation (comp. Symb. des Mos. KulL, 
i. s. 91 sq.). The temple of Solomon would have 
been an exception to all the sacred buildings of 
high antiquity, had it not been the expression of 
the specifically Israelitish, Old Testameut ideas of 
religion. Weighty as an inquiry iuto its outward 
material may be, the need of investigation and in 
formation respecting its religious meaning is much 

2. 77ie significance of the temple as a whole and in 
general is sufficiently stated by the builder himself 
in the discourse delivered at its solemn consecra- 
tion, and in the longer prayer connected with it 
(chap. viii. 10-53). 

(a) Solomon begins the discourse with the 
words, "I have built thee an house to dwell 

in (721), a settled place for thee to abide in for- 
ever " (1 Kings viii. 13 ; 2 Chron. vi. 2). The 
first and most general destination of the temple 
was, to be a dwelling-place of Jehovah. But that 
this dwelling was not in the remotest degree 
connected with the heathenish superstition, that 
God stood in need of a shelter, like a man, and 
could be confined within a given space, the words 
which soon follow demonstrate (ver. 27): "be- 
hold the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot 
contain thee : how much less this house that 1 
have builded." The dwelling of Jehovah with or 
in the midst of Israel is rather the immediate re- 
sult of the choice of them to be His peculiar and 
covenant people, and in a measure coincides with 
it. As, according to the Hebrew use of speech in 
general, dwelling with any one is as much as to be 
bound to, to be in fellowship with (comp. e. g. Ps. 
i. 1 ; v. 5 ; cxx. 5), and even the marriage relation 
is expressed by " dwelling with " (Gen. xxx. 20 ; 
Ezra x. 2, 10; Neh. xiii. 23, 27), so also Jehovah's 
dwelling with Israel denotes His connection and 
fellowship with this people, and stands in the 
closest relation to the " covenant." Comp. Exod. 
xxix. 45, 46 : " And they shall know that I am the 
Lord their God that brought them forth out of the 
land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them." 
Lev. xxvi. 12 sq. : "And I will walk among yon, 
and will be your God, and ye shall be my people." 
So also Ezek. xxxvii. 27. Immediately upon the 
"election," and the conclusion of the covenant, 
follows the command, Exod. xxv. 8: "And let 
them make me a sanctuary; that I nay dweJ 
among them." But inasmuch as the Old Testa- 
ment covenant relation moves iu the sphere of 
bodily, visible forms, so also is Jehovah's dwelling 



local, visible, and requires consequently a dwell- 
\ng-place, which can be a tent as well as a temple. 
As little as Jehovah, by the choice of Israel from 
among all peoples, has ceased to be the God of the 
wtiole earth (Exod. xix. 5), just so little has He, 
by His dwelling-place in the midst of His people, 
ceased to be everywhere in heaven and upon 
earth. This dwelling-place does not contain Him ; 
He is not banished to a particular place, but in 
the place where Israel dwells there He is, and 
dwells also in their midst, for " He has not chosen 
the people for the sake of the dwelling-place, but 
the dwelling-place for the sake of the people " 
(2 Maccab. v. 19). So His dwelling-place is the 
visible sign and pledge of the covenant relation. The 
" dwelling-house " is, as such, the house of the cov- 
enant. To this first signification of the house an- 
other immediately attaches itself. The dwelling 
of Jehovah in a specific place, includes within it- 
self the conception of witnessing, and of reveal- 
ing himself, in so far as God, where He makes 
and declares himself to be known, is and re- 
mains, and so dwells. Hence the conceptions of 
dwelling and of revealing himself coincide. Jacob 
named the place where a revelation was made to 
him the house of God, though there was no house 
or dwelliug-place there. Subsequently he built an 
altar and called the place Beth-el, for " there had 
God revealed himself to him" (Gen. xxviii. 12- 
19 ; xxxv. 7). By nj'3C' from pE> to dwell, the 

Rabbins, as is known, express the highest form of 
revelation. Christ says of him to whom He and 
the Father reveal themselves, we will " make our 
abode with him " (John xiv. 21-23). The place of 
the dwelling of Jehovah is eo ipso the place of 
divine attestation and revelation, the place where He 
will speak with Israel, and declare himself to 
him (Exod. xxix. 42 sg.): in the innermost portion 
of the dwelling, hence, is the testimonial of the cov- 
enant nnj?n , which means simply the witness, and 

the dwelling itself consequently is named "the 
dwelling (tent) of the testimony " (Numb. ix. 15 ; 
xvii. 23 ; xviii. 2). 

(6) Solomon repeatedly refers to the design 
of the house, according to the word of Jeho- 
vah Himself — " that my name might be therein," 
&c, " my name shall be there " (1 Kings viii. 16, 
29 ; comp. 2 Chron. vi. 5 ; 2 Kings xxiii. 27). In 
other places it is expressed thus : " to put my 
name there forever" (1 Kings ix. 3 ; 2 Kings 
xxi. 7 ; comp. 1 Kings xi. 36 ; xiv. 21 ; 2 Kings 
xxi. 4), or " that my name may dwell there " 
(Deut. xii. 11 ; xiv. 23; xvi. 11 ; xxvi. 2 ; Neh. i. 
9), or in an abbreviated form, " to (for the) name 
of Jehovah" (1 Kings viii. 17-20, 48; Hi. 2; v. 
17, 19 ; 2 Sam. vii. 13 ; 1 Chron. xxii. 7, 19 ; 
xxviii 3, &c). That the " name of Jehovah " has 
the i<ame sense here aa in Exod. xxiii. 21, " for my 
namo is iu him " — the angel who leads Israel, that 
the formula does not say simply that the house is 
built >o the glory of God, or that here God will be 
called upon and honored, scarcely needs mention. 
The name of God is God himself in 80 far as He 
makes himself known, declares and reveals him- 
self £"it in His relation to Israel, Jehovah de- 
clares himself essentially as the One who is holy 
and who will make holy ; that no may be known 
as such, is the aim and object of the covenant, the 
sign and pledge of which is His dwelling in the 
midst of Isnel (1'lxod. xxix. 43-46 ; Liv. xi. 45). 

The name of Jehovah is hence essentially th* 
" name of Sis holiness " (Le^. xx. 3 ; Pa. xxxiii. 21 ; 
ciii. 1 ; cv. 3 ; cvi. 47 ; cxlv. 21 ; Is. lvii. 15 ; Ezelo 
xxxix. 7, 25), and that the house was t^ be buiU 
to this name, David announced solemnly :efori 
all Israel (1 Chron. xxix. 16), "to build to thee ao 
house for thy holy name." With this end in view, 
the' house is called in the Psalms " the temple of 
thy holiness " (Ps. v. 8 ; lxxix. 1 ; cxxxviii. 2) ; ita 
two divisions are named simply " holy " and " holy 
of holies" (Exod. xxvi. 33; 1 Kings viii. 6, 8), and 
the whole, usually, DHpIO (Exod. xxv. 8 ; Lev. xij 

4 ; Ps. lxxiv. 7 ; 1 Chron. xxviii. 10; Isa. Ixiii. 18, 
Ezek. viii. 6 ; ix. 6, &c.) — all of which presupposes 
that He who is and dwells here, is before all 
things and essentially, holy. So then the house 
of the dwelling is not so much in general the 
dwelling-place of the divine witnessing and reve- 
lation, as of the divine holiness revealing itself in 
particular. It is an abode of holiness and of sancti- 
fication. Here will Jehovah be known and un- 
derstood by Israel as the Holy One and as Sanoti- 
fier, and thereby will be hallowed (Exod. xxix. 4i- 
46 ; Liv. xx. 3, 7 ; Ezek. xxxvii. 26-28). 

(c) In his prayer Solomon says, " hearken thou 
to the supplication of thy servant and of thy peo- 
ple Israel when they shall pray toward this place: 
and hear thou in heaven thy dwelling-place (1 Kings 
viii. 30). So also in the following verses "heaven 
thy dwelling-place " is placed repeatedly over- 
against " this house " (comp. vers. 34, 39, 43, 49). 
This parallelizing of the temple and of heaven ex- 
tends through the whole Scripture. Both are 
named alike, so that often we can scarcely decide 

whether the temple or heaven be meant. TQf 
stands for the temple in 1 Kings viii. 13 ; 2 Chron. 
vi. 2: for heaven in Isai. Ixiii. 15. r\2V> J13D is 

applied to the temple in 1 Kings viii. 13; Exod. 
xv. 17, to heaven in 1 Kings viii. 30, 39, 43, 49; 
2 Chron. vi. 30, 33; Ps. xxxiii. 14. p5JO=temple 

in Ps. lxxvi. 9 ; =: heaven in 2 Chron. xxx. 27 ; 

Deut. xxvi. 15 ; Jer. xxv. 30 ; Ps. lxviii. 6. ^yn BHp 

= temple in Ps. v. 8 ; lxxix. 1 ; cxxxviii. 2 : = 
heaven in Mich. i. 2 sq. ; Hab. ii. 20; Ps. xi. 4; 
(cii. 20; xviii. 7; Isai. lvii. 15). The Epistle to 
the Hebrews (chap. ix. 24) names the sanctuary 
" made with hands," " the figure (antitype) of the 
true," viz., of heaven, and the whole comparison 
between the high-priesthood of Christ aud the 
Levitical is based upon this antitypical relation 
between heaven aud the earthly, Old Testament 
sanctuary (chap. iv. 14 ; vi. 19, 20 ; viii. 1, 2 ; x. 
21), so that v. Gerlach on the place says, with pro- 
priety, " the earthly sanctuary is also an image of 
heaven itself." When Solomon also at first desig 
nates the house he had built as " a settled place " 
(for thee to abide in), and then declares heaven to 
be the peculiar "place of thy dwelling," he re- 
gards the temple itself as a heavenly dwelling-place. 
As Jacob named the place where God had de- 
clared and revealed himself to him, " the house of 
God" and the " gates of heaven " (Gen. xxviii. 17; 
so the place where Jehovah dwells and is en 
throned must needs appear as a counterpart of 
heaven. Not, however, as if the temple were a 
copy of the visible heaven, it is rather a symboli- 
cal representation which, by its symbols, po.nts to 
the peculiar and true dwelling-place of God 



heaven itself. The Jewish theology takes cogni- 
zance of an upper and a lower dwelling (pCTS) 

of God, and lays down this proposition : " The 
house of the sanctuary whicli is below (|OC) 

is built after the house of the sanctuary which 

is above (pyo) " (comp. the places in Schott- 
gen, Bor. Bebr., p. 1213). The apocalyptic ciap/i) ro'u 
iteov //era tuv avdpu-uv, which are His people and 
whose God He is, comes down from heaven, and 
has the cube form (four-square) of the holy of 
holies of the temple (Rev. xxi. 3, 16). 

(d) The widely-spread notion that the temple 
(tabernacle) is on the whole and generally "a rep- 
resentation of the theocracy of the kingdom of God 
in Israel" (Hengstenberg, Kurtz, Keil, and others) 
is decidedly erroneous. The " house of dwelling 
for Jehovah" is like heaven, before all, a place (1 
Kings viii. 13, 29, 35) ; but the theocracy, the king- 
dom of God, is not a place, but a divine-human 
relation. The dwelling of Jehovah in a house, in 
the midst of Israel, is, indeed, the outward Bign 
and pledge of this relation, but not a figurative 
representation of it, and the conception of "the 
dwelling of Jehovah," which expresses the funda- 
mental idea of the temple, is in itself in no way 
identical with the theocracy or the kingdom of 
God. While temple and heaven have the same 
names, which would not be possible were there 
no parallel relation between them, temple and 
kingdom of God, or theocracy, have no one name 
in common. The very definite expression in Heb. 
ix. 24 comes especially into notice here : according 
to it the earthly sanctuary made by hands is by 
-no means a "copy of the kingdom of God," but 
is the antitype of the true sanctuary, i. e., of 
heaven. Just as little as Christ, the high-priest, 
by His ascension went into the New Testament 
kingdom of God, but into heaven itself, there to 
appear before God for us, even so little did the Le- 
vitical high-priest, on the day of atonement, go 
into the kingdom of God, the theocracy, but into 
the earthly sanctuary, which represented the 
dwelling-place of God in heaven. There is no 
propriety in the appeal to the pattern of the tab- 
ernacle whicli was shown to Moses " on the mount " 
(Exod. xxv. 9, 40), as if it were heavenly indeed, 
but not a figure of heaven itself. For this pattern 
was itself only JVJ3n (vrrddeiyfia and onia tuv 

inovpaviuv, Heb. viii. 5), and showed to Moses how 
he must make and arrange the earthly sanctuary 
(to aytov noo/itud); Heb. ix. 1) in order that it might 
be a figure of the okt/vt/ y a7.n$T}vfi ov xctpoxoiyroc, 
i. e., of heaven, Heb. ix. 11, 24). Christ did not 
enter into the " pattern " of the tabernacle, but 
into that which this pattern itself represented 
(comp. Delitzsch, Comm. zum Bebr. Br., s. 327, 336- 

3. The significance of the temple in detail depends 
necessarily upon its significance in general, which 
is more fully defined and carried out by means of 
it. Here especially, above everything else, the 
ground-plan, i. e., the formal arrangement, is brought 
into consideration. This is like that of the taber- 
nacle, the place of winch was occupied by the tem- 
ple, yet in so far forth modified and enlarged as 
the differenee between the " house " and the " tent " 
carried with it. The component parts singly are 
us follows. 

ia) Tin- house, by its strongly enclosed walls, is 

represented as a whole, complete and independ 
ent in itself: and this must be well considered, 
This whole in the interior is divided into a front 
and rear compartment, which are not separated by 
a stone wall equally strong, but only by a board 
partition, and they are thereby designated as di- 
visions of the one " dwelling." Tht object and 
meaning of these two divisions, as well as their 
relation to each other, are shown by their names. 

The whole house is called [."npD, the front division 

"holy," the rear division " holy of holies." Con- 
sequently the one dwelling of Jehovah, which es- 
sentially is the place of revelation and attestation 
of the holy and sanctifying God of Israel, has, as 
such, two divisions, which, since each bears the 
impress of the whole, cannot be two diverse dwell 
ings, one by the other ; but only divisions distinct 
from each other by way of grade. Divine revela- 
tion, in its nature and being, is a matter of degree 
— it is gradual, progressive. God is everywhere 
and always, but He does not make himself known 
everywhere and always, in the same manner. The 
heaven is his throne and the earth his footstool 
(Matt. v. 34); He has revealed himself of old 
through His servants the prophets, but at last 
through His Son — the brightness of His glory 
(Heb. i. 1 sq.). But especially is the revelation 
and attestation of the divine holiness over-against 
human depravity, gradual, in so far as the greater 
spread and extension of gin demands a higher at- 
testation and confirmation of divine holiness, i. e., 
of the sanctifying power of God atoning for sin. 
Since now the dwelling of Jehovah amongst His 
people was especially the dwelling-place of a self- 
revealing holiness, and the entire cultus which 
was there concentrated had for its object and aim 
the sanetification of the nation (see above, 2. b), so 
by means of its two distinct compartments did it 
present itself as a complete holy dwelling-place 
which was fitted to bring to and to keep in the 
consciousness of the people both the sinfulness of 
man and the holiness of God. The act of expia- 
tion and of purifying to be consummated in the 
front compartment, concerned the particular trans- 
gressions of individual persons; the act to be con- 
summated in the rear and nobler compartment, on 
the other hand, concerned the entire nation, and 
the transgressions during the entire year. Ordi- 
nary priests could attend to the former, the high- 
priest alone could perform the latter (Lev. i-v. and 
xvi.). — From all this it is clear to satisfaction how 
untenable the position of recent writers is when, 
with Hengstenberg, they understand the two com- 
partments as two distinct dwelling-places, namely, 
the holy place as the "abode of the people," and 
the holy of holies as " the dwelling-place of God," 
and then explain this " combined dwelling-place " 
as a figurative representation of the communion 
and fellowship of God with His people, and so 
that the "entire sanctuary is a symbol of the 
kingdom of God under the old covenant." Noth- 
ing can be more clearly and distinctly stated than 
that the whole house is one dwelling-place— the 
dwelling-place of Jehovah. Jehovah dwells in- 
deed amongst His people, but of a dwelling, aide 
by side, of God and the people under one roof, 
there is nowhere a syllable. As the whole house, 
so also each compartment, the holy place and the 
holy of holies, are called "the dwelling-place," 
but not the former as the dwelling-place of the 


people and the latter the dwelling-place of God. 
Further, in 1 Kings vi. 5, the holy place, in contra- 
distinction with the holy of holies, is called ?yn . 

If now the holy place were the abode of the peo- 
ple over-against the abode of God, the entire sanc- 
tuary, comprehending both compartments, could 

not be called n\T ^O'n , or simply p^n , as in 1 

T ; - -■ T •• 

Sam. i. 9 ; iii. 3 ; 2 Kings xxiv. 13 ; 2 Chrou. iii. 
17; Ps. v. 8; still less could this expression be used 
of heaven, which is specially the abode of God and 
not of the people (Ps. xi. 4 ; xviii. 7 ; xxix. 9 ; 
Mich. i. 2 ; Hab. ii. 20). 

(b) The porch and the side-structure (Umbau) 
with tlie stories are, as has been already shown, 
structures in front and by the sides of the house, 
which are recognized as such in that, unlike the 
house, they did not serve for the performance of 
any religious office. They do not therefore belong 
essentially to the ground-plan of the sanctuary, 
consequently are wanting in the tabernacle, and 
have no further religious significance than that 
they give to what was hitherto a " tent," the char- 
acter of a " house," and indeed of a great, firm, 
and strong house, of a palace, in fact. Porches 
were never used for tents, but only in the case of 
large, conspicuous buildings like palaces, as, e. g., 
Solomon's (1 Kings vii. 6 sq.). If now the house 
of a human sovereign had its porch, much less 
should one be missing in the house of Jehovah, 

the God-King, to distinguish it rightly as an "0<n , 

i. e., a king's palace (Prov. xxx. 28 ; Is. xxxix, 7). 
We observe the same in respect of the side-struc- 
ture, which, as is expressly remarked, was not to 
be included within the house, the main building, 
did not belong, as an integrating part, to the dwell- 
ing of Jehovah, but which served only for purely 
external purposes, the preservation of the vessels, 
&c. But like the porch in front, it served, around 
the sides of the house, which rose above it, to im- 
part the appearance of a grand, richly surrounded, 
«.nd lasting building — an po'H . 

(c) Tlie fore courts constituted the second essen- 
tial element of the entire sanctuary. " The dwell- 
ing of Jehovah " is, as observed above, the place 
where He " meets" the people, attests himself 
unto them, speaks with them, has intercourse with 

them. It is called, consequently, also "IJJiO'PnN 

(Exoi xxix. 42, 44; xxvii. 21; xl. 22), or "|jnD 

Bimply (Lam. ii. 6 ; Ps. lxxiv. 3), i. e., the tent of 
assembly, the " tabernacle of the congregation " 
(not the time of assembling). The dwelling of Je- 
hovah in a given place makes also a space neces- 
sary for the people to meet their Lord and God. 
Hence tlie command : " thou shalt make the court 
of the tabernacle " (Exod. xxvii. 9 ; Sept. : nal 
Koii^oeic av7.T)v ttj annvrl). The fore court moreover 
was not a dwelling-place of the people in contrast 
with that of Jehovah, but only a court, i. e., a fixed 
space around the dwelling, " an enclosed gathering- 
place for the people drawing nigh to their God " 
(Merz). As Jehovah had one dwelling-place only, 
the people could meet Him only here, and only 
here attend to the covenant relation with Him. 
All offices in connection with the covenant could 
be performed, hence, only here, not in other favor- 
ite spots, not jpon the so-called " heights " (high 

places) (Numb. xvii. 1-9). And in order that this 
might be the case with the entire people, it was or- 
dered that all Israelites, certainly three times in 
the year, should appear before the dwelling of Je 
hovah (Exod. xxiii. 17; Deut. xvi. 16). This and 
nothing more is the object and significance of the 
fore court. Hengstenberg is altogether wrong in 
maintaining that " the house or dwelling of the 
people was properly the holy place," that they 
occupied this, "their peculiar dwelling, only 
through the medium of their representatives and 
middle-men, the priests, and that some actual place 
of their own, over and above this ideal place, was 
necessary. This the fore court was." Keil, too, is 
in error when he explains the fore court as " an 
image of the dwelling of Israel in the kingdom of 
their God." The holy place was, as already no- 
ticed, a compartment in the dwelling-place of Je- 
hovah, tlie forepart thereof, but not the dwelling 
of the people, and the fore court was not a dwelling- 
place at all, neither of the people nor of Jehovah, 
was never named such, but was only the assem- 
bling-place outside of Jehovah's dwelling, a mere 
"court" by way of distinction, and in contrast with 
" the house." In that the temple had twc ore' 
courts instead of one originally designed, s nc 
proof of an alteration of the ground-plan, bjl I 
only an enlargement of it, which had its reason La 
this : that great buildings, especially royal palaces 
in the Orient, were distinguished from ordinary 
houses by more forecourts (comp. 1 Kings vii. 1- 
12, and Symb. des Mos. Kult, i. s. 241 sq.). Thencr 
it happened especially that, near the tabernacle 
of the testimony, which stood in the centre of the 
Israelitish camp, was appointed the place for the 
priestly tribe (Numb. ii. and iii.). This continued 
a fixed custom when the " camp " ceased to exist; 
it was the tribe especially, which stood "nigh 
unto " Jehovah, which effected the intercourse be- 
tween Him and the people (Exod. xix. 22 ; Ezek. 
xlii. 13 ; Numb. xvi. 5). A fixed limit to the ap- 
pointed space was judicious, and even necessary, 
since by the ordinances of David individual wor- 
ship had greatly increased, and this greatly ex- 
panded worship was confined to this one place ; 
by these means it became possible to observe cor- 
rectly the ordinance, and duly to watch over the 
appointed performance of the holy services. 

4. The significance of the form and measurement! 
of the temple, which stand in the closest relation to 
the ground-plan, requires us to conclude therefrom 
that they can be explained neither upon the grounds 
of outward need and propriety, nor of architect- 
onic beauty. If the portion which constitutes the 
core and centre of the entire structure, the pecu- 
liar dwelling of Jehovah, the holy of holies, have 
the form of a perfect cube, as ver. 20 expressly 
states, a form characteristic not only of the taber- 
nacle, but also of Ezekiel's temple, and of the 
apocalyptic ounvh tov &eov (Ezek. xli. 4 ; Rev. xxi 
16), a form which appears neither necessary nor 
convenient, nor architecturally beautiful, while at 
the same time it was unmistakably intentional and 
not accidental, it must certainly have some mean- 
ing. And if the form of one and that the most 
important division of the building were significant, 
it is inconsequent and wilful to explain the equally 
striking forms and measurements of the remaining 
compartments as devoid of meaning. To this we 
must add that, although the forms and measure- 
ments of a Louse, especially of a palace, are noJ 

CHAPTER VI. 1-38. 


those of a tent, Solomon nevertheless adhered as 
far as possible to the forms and measurements of 
the tabernacle, not only in respect of the holy of 
holies, but also of the other portions of the temple ; 
and he felt himself obliged thereto, while he sim- 
ply doubled them — a sufficient proof that they were 
to him corresponding, necessary as well as signifi- 
cant for the sanctuary. Besides, in the descriptiou 
of nearly all buildings and spaces which, in a nar- 
rower or wider sense, were God's dwelling-places, 
when apparently weightier matters are passed over, 
the measure and disposition, according to size and 
number, are presented, and oftentimes when one 
least expects it, as, e. g., in the visions of Ezekiel 
and of the apocalyptic seer, as we have already 
noticed. Vitringa rightly explains the measuring 
of a space or of a building as the yvupto/ta, that it 
is na-niKTypinv rnv ■Deov. This especially follows 
from Rev. xi. 1, 2, where the seer holds a measur- 
ing-rod, and is commanded: "measure the temple 
of God, and the altar, and them that worship 
therein ; but the court which is without the tem- 
ple leave out, and measure it not ; for it is given 
unto the Gentiles," &c. That which is not meas- 
ured is uugodly and profane. — If we turn now to 
particular forms and measurements of the temple, 
we find them like those of the tabernacle and of 
the temple of Ezekiel. 

(a) The form of the square, which is adhered to 
with palpable rigor, and dominates everything. It 
is the form of the forecourts, of the house in whole 
and in its parts, also of both altars. Nowhere is 
there the form of the triangle (pyramidal) or of 
the pentagon, nowhere the form of the circle or 
of the half-circle. Even the porch and the side- 
structure with its flat roof preserve this square 
form. In Ezekiel it is given even to the great cir- 
cuit around the temple, and to the holy city and 
its domain (Ezek. xlviii. 8-35); so also in John, 
in respect of the heavenly Jerusalem (Rev. xxi.). 
From this it follows indisputably that the square 
was considered as the appropriate form of every 
dwelling-place of Jehovah, and generally of every 
sacred space and place, whether tent or house, 
altar or city. It is well to bear in mind, also, that 
this square appears always to have been adjusted 
(oriented) to the points of the compass, and thereby 
(inasmuch as this constant arrangement was 
neither necessary nor especially convenient), re- 
ferred to the proper and original dwelling- and 
revelation-place of Jehovah, while the square 
shape of the earthly dwelling corresponded with 
" the four corners of heaven " — the upper dwell- 
ing (Jer. xlix. 36 ; Matt. xxiv. 31 ; corap. Zech. ii. 
10 ; vi. 5 ; Ps. xix. 6 ; Job ix. 9). In conformity 
with this view, the space which had the throne in 
the midst thereof and was the highest place of 
Jehovah — dwelling and self-revealing, the holy of 
holies — had the most complete form of the square ; 
it was a cube. The holy place, on the other 
hand, was not a cube but an extended square, but 
its length was not wilfully or indefinitely ar- 
ranged ; it was double that of the holy of holies, 
Bince it served as vestibule to this latter and with 
it formed the entire dwelling. The square, as the 
ground-form of the temple, has often been ex- 
plained as the symbol of regularity, and especially 
of firmness and immobility, appeal being made to 
Buidas, who says : Terpaywog ■ ivarodijg edpainr 
(Grotius, Vilringa, Havernick). This is contra- 
dicted from the consideration that not only the 

temple, but the tabernacle also, the movable, 
wandering sanctuary, had a similar form. It ia 
impossible that the latter, the direct opposite of 
the former, should set forth the distinguishing 
characteristics of the tabernacle over against those 
of the temple; the movable can never be the sign 
of immobility and permanence. Still less can we 
adopt the view of Kurtz and Keil, who regard 
the square as " the symbolical form or signature 
of the kingdom of God," and its adjustment to 
the four points of the compass as an intimation 
that this kingdom was designed to comprehend 
and include within itself the entire world. The 
"dwelling of Jehovah," which is square in its 
ground-form, is not the kingdom of God itself, but 
a plan to which the form is given which corre- 
sponds with heaven, the" peculiar dwelling-place 
of God, with its " four corners." Supposing, 
moreover, that the temple were " an image of the 
kingdom of God under the old covenant," this 
covenant was designed only to embrace the people 
Israel and not the entire world. This is the scope 
of the new covenant. Witsius. to whom one ap- 
peals besides, rightly remarks that the atrium sig- 
nifies separationem Israelitaruvi a reliquis gentibus. 
It is impossible that the same symbol should sig- 
nify opposites — the separation of one nation from 
all others, and also the comprehending of all na- 

(6) In measurements the number ten dominates. 
It marks the entire building, as well as its parts, 
be it simply ten or its half, be it doubled or tre- 
bled. This was the case with the tabernacle ; but 
since the temple, as house or palace, necessarily 
required larger dimensions than the tent, so in 
place of a simple ten the double-ten or twenty was 
employed, and this is the clearest proof of pur- 
pose in respect of the number ten. The dwelling 
instead of ten cubits is twenty wide, and instead 
of thrice ten cubits long is thrice twenty. The 
holy of holies measures twice ten cubits upon all 
sides, the holy place twice ten cubits doubled in 
length, and as the great apartment, three times 
ten cubits in height. The porch is twice ten cu- 
bits broad and ten deep. The side-structure, »'. e., 
each of its three stories, is in height half ten, that 
is, five, and is thereby designated as something 
merely subordinate. The cherubim in the holy of 
holies are ten cubits high, each of the wings 
measures five cubits, " so that there were ten cu- 
bits from the end of one wing to that of the other " 
(ver. 24). The high altar in the forecourt is ten 
cubits high, and twice ten cubits long and broad (2 
Chron. iv. 1) : " the bases " [gestuhle, seats] which 
belong to it are ten (1 Kings vii. 27). The brazen 
sea is ten cubits wide and five high (1 Kings vii. 
23). In the holy place are ten candlesticks and also 
ten tables, five on the right hand and five on the 
left (2 Chron. iv. 7, 8). In the holy of holies the 
" ten words " (Exod. xxxiv. 28 ; Dent. iv. 13), which 
are named absolutely " the witness " and " the cov- 
enant," and which form the root and heart of the 
sanctuary, are preserved in the ark (Exod. xxv. 
16, 21; xxxiv. 28). Since the dwelling of Jeho- 
vah amongst His people is the result, as also the 
sign and pledge of the covenant (see above, 1, a) 
without doubt the number in the covenant [ten 
commandments] dominates the number of the 
dwelling-place. That the covenant consists of 
ten words has its reason, not, as Grotius supposes, 
in the ten fingers of tho hands (to be able to count 



them more easily), but in the significance of the 
number ten, which comprises all the cardinal num- 
bers and completes them, so that thereby the cov- 
enant is designated as a perfect whole, comprising 
all the chief words or commandments of God. — 
Besides ten, the number three is everywhere con- 
spicuous in the building. It is divided into three 
sacred spaces (Beiligungs-stdtte), which differ from 
each other by way of degree — forecourt, holy place, 
holy of holies, with three expiatory objects which 
are related to each other, the altar of burnt-offer- 
ing, the altar of incense, and the kapporeth (mercy- 
seat). The dwelling itself is measured and divided 
according to the number three; three times the 
doubled ten, i. e., three times its width, is the 
measure of its length — the holy of holies being 
one-third, and the holy place two-thirds. The lat- 
ter, as the large compartment, is three times ten 
cubits high, and has three articles of furniture — 
candlesticks, the altar of incense, and the table 
for shewbread. The forecourt also has three kinds 
of articles for use, viz., the altar of burnt-offering, 
the stools, and the brazen sea. The side-structure, 
finally, has three stories. The reason for this prom- 
inence of the number three is not to be sought for 
directly in the divine Trinity, for the revelation of 
the Trinity belongs to the New Testament. But 
in the Old Testament, the number three is the 
signature of every true unit complete in itself, 
and so, closely resembles ten, with which it is here 
frequently connected. What happens thrice is the 
genuine once : what is divided into three is a true 
unity. The one dwelling, by its division into three 
parts, is designated as one complete whole, and 
the three kinds of articles of use which are in the 
three parts, or in one of them, again form a com- 
plete whole, and belong under it to the one or the 
other relation. While the number ten gives the 
impress of finishing and completing to multiplicity, 
the number three is the signature of perfect unity, 
and thus also of the divine being. (Comp. Syntb. 
des Mos. Kuli., \. s. 175 sq.). 

5. The significance of the building material, 
since the choice and use of it is determined by 
necessity, convenience, greater or lesser artistic 
skill, and other outward conditions, is not imme- 
diate and direct, but must be recognized in so far 
as the material employed in any structure im- 
parts to it a certain definite character. In the 
tabernacle, wood was employed ; its ceilings were 
of leather and hair, it had woven hangings such 
as the nature of a " tent " required. But when 
the period of the tent was passed, and in the place 
of a movable, wandering dwelling, a firm, im- 
movable dwelling, a "house," was to be built, in 
the construction of it everything must be excluded 
which could be a reminder of a mere tent. In 
the place of wooden walls consisting of planks ar- 
ranged side by side, there were thick stone walls ; 
in place of the ceilings and hangings and the like, 
there were beams, wainseotings, and doors. The 
stones which were used for the walls were not 
dried or burned, such as were used in ordinary 
houses, but large, sound, costly stones, cine- 
shaped (chap. v. 31), such as were used in palo -?s 
only (comp. Winer, R.- W.-B., i. s. 466) — and ."e- 
hovah's dwelling should be a palace. The wood 
was in the highest degree durable, and not liable 
*/> decay and corruption, which with the Hebrews 
was a sign of impurity, and were, therefore, es- 
peciaXy appropriate for the sanctuary, the patten 

of the heavenly. The three kinds of wood, cedar 
cypress, and olive, before others have the quality 
of durability and hardness (comp. Winer, i. s. 215, 
238 ; ii. s. 172). Cypress, the least valuable 
(Ezek. xxvii. 5, and Havernick on the place), waa 
used for the floor, the more valuable cedar waa 
used for the beams and wainseotings, the olive, 
the noblest and firmest, was used for the en- 
trances, and in such way that the entrance to the 
holy place had only door-posts, that into the holy 
of holies, in addition to such posts, doors also. In 
the gold, more than in stone and wood, there is a 
more direct reference to the significance of the 
building. It was used exclusively only in the in- 
terior of the dwelling. In the forecourt there waa 
no gold : repeatedly and as emphatically as possi- 
ble it is stated that " the whole house " was over- 
laid with gold (vers. 21, 22). The vessels of the 
dwelling were wholly either of gold or covered 
with it, while those of the forecourt were all of 
brass. The interior of the dwelling also waa 
golden. This was not for the sake of mere osten- 
tatious parade, for this gilding could not be seen 
from the outside. The people were not allowed 
to enter within the dwelling, tliis was the preroga- 
tive of the priests ; but into the darkened yet 
wholly golden holy of holies, the high-priest alone 
could enter once a year. That in the ancient East 
a symbolical use was made of the noble metals, 
and especially of gold, is a well-known fact (comp. 
Symbol, des Mos. Kult., i. s. 272, 282, 295). In 
the primitive documents of the persic light reli- 
gion, " golden " stands for heavenly, divine. To 
the Hebrews, also, gold is the image of the high- 
est light, of the light of the sun and the heavens 
(Job xxxvii. 21, 22). The apocalyptic ckiivt) tov 
ocoii which descends from heaven, is of "pure 
gold " (Rev. xxi. 18, 21). God " dwelleth in light " 
(1 Tim. vi. 16 ; comp. Ps. civ. 2) is equivalent in 
meaning to God dwelleth in heaven ; and if now 
His earthly dwelling were all golden, it is thereby 
designated as a heaven- and light-dwelling. The 
conception of purity in the moral sense of the 
word is associated likewise with gold (Job xxiii. 
10 ; ilal. iii. 3) ; the golden dwelling is hence also 
a pure, i. e.. holy, sanctuary (Ps. xxiv. 3, 4). 

6. The significance of the carvings is explained 
at once by their form. Upon all the walls of the 
dwelling, and even upon the doors, there are three 
kinds of carved figures which are always asso- 
ciated together — cherubim, palms, and flowers. 
Diverse as they may seem, one and the same reli- 
gious idea nevertheless lies at the bottom of them, 
namely, the idea of life, which is ouly expressed in 
them in differing ways. 

(a) The cherubim are not actual, but, as is evi- 
dent from their component parts, imaginary be- 
ings, and this requires no further proof that they 
are significant. A Jewish proverb says of their 
composition, " four are the highest things in the 
world : the lion amongst the wild b&asts, the bull 
amongst cattle, the eagle amongst birds, the man 
is over all, but God is supreme." (Comp. Spencer, 
De Leg. Hebr. Rit, ii. p. 242 ; Schottgen, Bar. Bebr., 
p. 1108.) God, on the other hand, is common to 
these four, and the life uniting them, which they 
have not of themselves, but from Him who is the 
source of all life, the Creator, and hence standa 
and is enthroned above them all. Creaturely be- 
ing reaches its highest stage in those which lava 
an anima, and amongst these animated creat uu 

CHAPTER VI. 1-33. 

with souls, the four above named agaiu are the 
nighest and most complete, the most living as it 
were. By their combination in the cherub, he ap- 
pears as anima aniinantium, as the complex and 
representative of the highest creattirely life. 
Upon this account, and this alone, could Ezekiel 
name the cherubim absolutely ni'nn , i- e., the 

living beings (Ezek. i. 5, 13, 15, 19, 22). He em- 
ploys, in fact, the collective -singular n»nn , i. e., 

the living, to denote the unit-life of the four (chap. 
x. 14, 15, 17, 20. " This is the living creature that 
I saw under the God of Israel, by the river of 
Chebar;" comp. chap. i. 20, 21.) So, also, John 
names the four ™ fua over-against God to £uvti 
elc Tobg aiuvac, to whom, as such, they ascribe 
praise, honor, and thanks, because He has made 
all things, and all things are and have been created 
by His will (Rev. iv. 9-11). In so far as all crea- 
turely life is individualized in them, they are the 
most direct, immediate evidences of the creative 
power and glory, the definite, highest praise 
thereof, and they surround the throne of God. In 
the fact that they are represented upon all the 
walls of the house, does it first rightly acquire the 
character of the dwelling of Jehovah, and espe- 
cially that of a life-residence testifying to His power 
and glory. Hence it is apparent how unsatisfac- 
tory the view of Riehm is, that the cherubim are 
merely witnesses of the divine presence, and that 
they have no other purpose beyond that of over- 
shadowing or covering holy places and things. 
Certainly this latter was not their design upon the 
walls of the dwelling, and if they did nothing 
more than bear witness to the presence of God, 
how could Ezekiel have ever named them simply 
" the living creatures ? " The underlying idea of 
the cherub is specifically wholly Israelitish, and is 
rooted in the cardinal dogma of God, the creator of 
all things, which separates it sharply from all 
other pre-christian religions. This idea is com- 
pletely destroyed, if, with Riehm, we tear apart 
Ihe four types which together constitute the 
sherub, and make the cherub simply a man with 
wings, and regard the bull and the lion as an ar- 
bitrary addition upon the part of Ezekiel, occa- 
sioned by his observation of the Babylonian- 
heathen combinations of beasts. 

(b) Tlie palms to the right and left of the cheru- 
bim have a relation to vegetable life, like that of 
the cherubim to auimal life. The palm-tree unites 
in itself whatsoever there is of great and glorious 
in the vegetable kingdom. The tree, first of all, 
surpasses all other plants; but amongst trees there 
is none so lofty and towering, none of such beau- 
tiful majestic growth, so constantly in its verdure, 
casting, by its luxuriant foliage, such deep shad- 
ows, — while its fruit is said to be the food of the 
blessed in Paradise, — as the palm. Its attributes 
are so manifold, that men used to number them by 
the days in the year. Linnaeus named the palms 
"the princes of the vegetable kingdom," and 
Humboldt " the noblest of plants to which the na- 
tions have accorded the meed of beauty." The 
land, moreover, in which Jehovah had His dwell- 
ing, the land of promise, was the true and proper 
habitat of the palm. Hence, subsequently, the 
palm, as the symbol of Palestine, appears upon 
coins (comp. Celsius, Bierobotanicon, ii. p. 111 -579; 
tmy treatise, Der Salom. Temp., s. 120 sq.). The 
^w required that at the feast of tabernacles 

branches of palm-trees should be at the booths 
(Lev. xxiii. 40). They are the known symbols of 
salvation, of joy, of peace after victory (Rev. vii 
9; 1 Maccab. xiii. 51; 2 Mace. x. 7 ; John xii. 13). 

(c) The flower-work finally, in its connection with 
the significant representations of cherubim and of 
palm-trees, can by no means be regarded as desti- 
tute of meaning, as a mere affair of ornamentation. 
High antiquity knows nothing in general of 
empty decorations, like our so-called egg fillet* 
and arabesques. In the ancient temples in par- 
ticular, there were no kinds of forms which had 
not a religious meaning. From that time down to 
our own, flowers and blossoms have been the 
usual symbols of life-fulness, and in all language? 
the age of the greatest life-fulness has bsen called 
its bloom. So then by the flower-work, as by the 
cherubim and the palm-trees, by which on all 
sides the dwelling of'Jehovah was decorated, wai 
it designated as an abode of life. It should not 
be left out of mind here, that the Israelitish reli- 
gion did not conceive of "life," after the heathen 
natural religions, as physical, but essentially aa 
moral. The Creator of the world, who as such is 
the source of all life, and is the absolutely living, 
is to it also the all-holy (Is xliii. 15), who dwells 
in the midst of Israel to sanctify the people and 
by them to be hallowed (Exod. xxix. 43-46 ; Ezek. 
xxxvii. 26-2S). All true divine life is in its nature 
an holy life, and hence the symbols of life in the 
sanctuary are eo ipso symbols of an holy life. The 
cherubim are not merely upon the walls of the 
dwelling, but above all in the holy of holies, they 
form the throne of the "holy One of Israel," and 
they are inseparable from the kapporeth (Exod. 
xxv. 19), i. e., from the article of furniture where 
the highest and most embracing expiatory or 
sanctification rite is consummated. In the apoca- 
lyptic vision, the four living beings stand around 
the throne, and day and night they say, " Holy, 
holy, holy Lord God Almighty " (Rev. iv. 8), like 
the seraphim in Isai. vi. 2 sq. As the righteous 
who lead an holy life are compared generally with 
trees which perpetually flourish and bring forth 
fruit (Ps. i. 3 ; Jer. xvii. 8 ; Isa. lxi. 3), so es- 
pecially with palm-trees, with an unmistakable 
reference to the palms " which are planted in the 
house of the Lord" (Ps. xcii. 12-15; comp. Ezek. 
xlvii. 12 ; Rev. xxii. 2 ; Ps. lii. 8). So also are 
blossoms and flowers, especially lilies, symbols of 
righteousness and holiness (Eccl. xxxix. 13). So 
also the plate worn upon the forehead of the high- 
priest, with the inscription, " Holiness unto the 

Lord," was called simply fV, i- e., flower (Exod. 

xxviii. 36). The budding of Aaron's rod was the 
sign of an holy estate (Numb. xvii. 10). The 
crown of life (Rev. ii. 10) is likewise the crown of 
righteousness (2 Tim. iv. 8). If now the three 
kinds of figures are represented upon the gold 
with which the dwelling was overlaid, the two 
conceptions of light and life, the correlatives of 
the conception of revelation (Ps. xxxvi. 9; John i. 
4; viii. 12), are symbolically united. But the 
conception of revelation recurs with that of the 
dwelling (see above, under 2. a). The seat of the 
dwelling and of revelatior is necessarily, in its na- 
ture, a seat of light and liie. 

(d) The statues of the cherubim in the holy cf 
holies were not in the tabernacle and we are au 
thorized to suppose that the reason of this is to b« 



found in the relation of the temple to the taber- 
nacle. Their design is stated in 1 Kings viii. 6, 7 : 
" And the priests brought in the ark of the cov- 
enant of the Lord uuto his place, into the oracle of 
the house, to the most holy place, even under the 
wings of the cherubims. For the cherubims 
spread forth their two wings over the place of the 
ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the 
staves thereof above." It is also remarked in 2 
Chron. iii. 13: "and they stood on their feet," 
which would have been in the highest degree su- 
perfluous, if it were not meant by this expression 
that they were firm and immovable, like D'llBJh 

i. e., pillars. The ark of the covenant with the kap- 
poreth and the cherubim then placed there, like 
its "slaves," — the evidences of mobility and trans- 
port show, — was a movable, wandering throne, 
just as the entire dwelling was a transportable 
tent. As the peculiar original pledge of the cov- 
enant, it was not, when the house was built, 
made anew, but it was taken from the tent and 
lodged within the house, that it might forever 
have its abiding-place and cease to be transport- 
able. To this end it was placed under the fixed, 
immovable cherubim, whose wings completely cov- 
ered it, covering the "staves," the very witnesses 
of its movableness, and with it one entire whole 
was formed. As the cherubim in general, in their 
being and meauiug, belonged to the throne (see 
above), so the firm fixing of the throne was repre- 
sented by means of the permanent, large cheru- 
bim-statues. It is entirely wide of the mark to 
explain, as Thenius does, on the pretended analogy 
of cherubim with the guardian griffins and dragons 
of heathen religions, our cherubim in the holy of 
holies, as the watchmen and guardians of the throne 
of Jehovah. For, apart from every other consid- 
eration, nothing is more contradictory to the Is- 
raelitish idea of God than that Jehovah stands in 
need of guardians of His throne. The cherubim in- 
deed are the supporters and vehicle of His throne, 
but never as the watchmen thereof (comp. Ezek. i. 
and x.) ; they belong rather to the throne itself, and 
are, as such, witnesses and representatives of the 
glory of God, but they do not guard Him. "When 
in our text here, we think especially of their wings 
spread over the holy of holies (from wall to wall), 
and that with them they overshadow the ark, 
the reason for this is in the fact that He who is 
here enthroned in His glory (1133) is invisible, or 

rather is unapproachable and removed, for He 
dwells in an unapproachable splendor ; no man 
can "see " Him and live (1 Tim. vi. 16; Lev. xvi. 
2 ; Judg. xiii. 23). But it does not follow from 
this, as Riehm would have it, that the design of 
the cherubim consisted only m veiling and cover- 
ing the present God, and that their significance 
was like that of the "enwrapping" clouds (Ps. 
xcvii. 2; xviii. 11, 12; Exod. xix. 9, 16 ; xxiv.16); 
for the cherubim upon the walls between the 
palm-trees had nothing to cover or veil. This was 
only their special duty in the holy of holies, by 
the throne. When it is expressly added that they 
did not turn their faces like those already upon 
the kapporeth, and towards it, but towards the 
house, i. e., tTwards the holy place, we can find a 
reason for it in their special functions: as the 
heralds, messengers of that which is not to be ap- 
proached, they should direct their gaze towards 
the outer world 

7. To show the significance of the temple in .t| 
relation to the history of redemption, the quest on 
presents itself finally: as to the manner in which H 
was related to the temples of heathen antiquity, whetiiet 
it was more or less a copy, or an original. K. 0. 
Muller (Archceologie der K., i. s. 372, Eng. trans, p. 
276) remarks strikingly of the heathen temple that 
it was " at first nothing more than the place where 
an image, the object of worship, could be securely 
set up and protected." Every place enclosing the 
image of a god, if only set oft' with stakes, was 
called a temple (Servius defines templum by locus, 
palis aut hastis clausus, modo sit sacer). Without 
the image of the divinity, heathen antiquity could 
not conceive of a temple. Half in wonder and 
half in derision, Tacitus exclaims over the temple 
at Jerusalem (Hist., 5. 9), Nulla intus Deum effigies, 
vacua sedes et inania arcana! and Spencer (De Leg. 
Hebr. Bit, iii. 5, 6) rightly says : Seculi fide receptum 
erat, templa a^oava Numine el religions vacua et plant 
nulla esse. A temple was not first built, and then 
an image of the god made to erect within it, but 
a temple was built for the already existing image, 
which then became, in a proper sense, the house 
or dwelling of the represented deity. Forth from 
the image the heathen temple proceeds. This is 
its principle. And as the gods of heathenism are 
nothing more than cosmical powers, their temples 
in plan and contrivance refer only to cosmical re- 
lations (see examples in Der Salomonisrlie Tempel, s. 
276 sq. and Symb. des Jfos. Kult, i. s. 97 .s<;.). But 
the principle of the Israelitish temple is the re- 
verse, in so far as the chief and great command- 
ment of the religion declares: "Thou shalt not 
make unto thyself any graven image," &c. The 
erection of a " dwelling of Jehovah " did not pro- 
ceed from any need of enclosing and preserving an 
image of God, but only from out the covenant of 
Jehovah with His chosen people (see above, under 
2. a). The tables of the law, which are called sim- 
ply " the covenant " (1 Kings viii. 20), and as the 
proclamation of the covenant were preserved in 
the ark, represented, first of all, this invisible cove- 
nant relation. Hence this ark was the central 
point of the covenant. There was concentrated 
the indwelling of Jehovah; there, too, was His 
throne. But since Jehovah dwelt within Israel to 
sanctify the people and by them to be hallowed 
(Exod. xxix. 43 sq. ; Ezek. xxxvii. 26 sq.), His 
dwelling-place was essentially a sarctuary, and 
forth from this its supreme and final design, its 
entire plan, division, and arrangement proceeded 
(see above, under 2, b, and 3, a). The entire temple 
rests, consequently, upon ethico-religious ideas, 
which are specifically Israelitish, and which do not 
recur in any other of the ancient religions. It is 
as unique as the Israelitish religion itself; its ori- 
ginal is the tabernacle, from which it differs only 
because there is necessarily some difference be- 
tween an house and a tent. Its originality out- 
wardly is shown in the fact that no ancient people 
possessed a temple like it in plan, arrangement, 
and contrivance. Men still refer to the Egyptian 
temples, only these are " aggregates which admit of 
indefinite increase " (K. 0. Muller, Archce., s. 257, 
Eng. trans, p. 191), and the common feature of 
their arrangement was that "they were not com- 
pleted, but were constantly undergoing enlarge- 
ment," and " they had no given measurements." 
The " single portions are in themselves finished, 
and can last, but other portions can be added, and 

CHAPTER VI. 1-38. 


others yet again. The band which holds these 
single, different parts together is slight " (Schnaase, 
Gesch. der bild. Kiinste, i. s. 393, 424). Quite the re- 
Terse holds in respect of the dwelling of Jehovah, 
the plan of which is in the highest degree simple — 
an house consisting of two divisions surrounded 
by a court. An indefinite extension is just as im- 
possible as a contraction, without the destruction 
of the whole, and precisely in this respect the Is- 
raelitish sanctuary is more like all other ancient 
temples than those of Egypt. Besides this, the 
Btyle of architecture in the Egyptian temples, to 
which the truncated pyramidal form essentially be- 
longs, is entirely diverse in that of Solomon, as 
also the stone ceilings and pillars, while on the 
other hand they do not have wooden wainscotings 
and overlaying of metals. As Solomon availed 
himself of Phoenician workmen, occasion has been 
found to institute a comparison with Phoenician 
temples (Schnaase, s. 238). But the accounts re- 
specting these temples are so scanty and general, 
that the attempt has been made, upon the suppo- 
sition that the temple of Solomon was a copy of 
the Phoenician, to fill out and complete the defect- 
ive descriptions of them from the scriptural delin- 
eation of our temple (comp. Vatke, Relig. des Alt. 
Test., s. 323 sq. ; Miiller, Archaeol, Eng. trans, p. 214). 
The little that we know of the Phoenician temples 
of a later date, does not exhibit the remotest like- 
ness to that of Solomon (comp. my treatise, s. 250 
sq.). In this matter modern criticism pursues a 
very partisan course. It is compelled to acknowl- 
edge that each ancient people had their own pe- 
culiar religious ideas, which were expressed in 
their sacred structures, but that the people Israel 
alone built their only temple, not according to 
what was peculiar to themselves, but according to 
foreign, heathenish ideas. Originality is conceded 
to all other temples rather than to the temple of 

[The justness of our author's observations here 
is indisputable. We cannot reconstruct the tem- 
ple as we can reconstruct any building, essential 
features of which are remaining. Doubtless as its 
architect was a Phoenician, it bore the impress of 
the Phoenician genius. The "originality" of the 
temple was in its arrangements and its design and 
its significance; but in its outward form, as it 
struck the eye of the beholder, we fancy it must 
have had Phoenician features. The Jews were 
singularly deficient in their conceptions of beauty 
of form. The cherubim may be cited in proof; 
and the temple, architecturally, probably was left 
to the Phoenician artist under the conditions which 
the exigencies of the building itself required. The 
reader may consult Dean Stanley, Jewish Church, 
second series, New York, Chas. Scribner & Co., 
1870, p. 225-236. There is no evidence, however, 
that it suggested in the least degree an Egvptian 
temple.— E. H.] 

8. The typical significance of the temple, which, 
like that of the tabernacle, is distinctly expressed 
in the New Testament, rests upon those symbol- 
ical features which they have in common. Both 
are "a dwelling of Jehovah," and in this respect 
the place of the revelation and presence of the holy 
and sanctifying God, an abode of light and life, forth 
from which all well-being for Israel proceeds. 
But the entire Old Testament economy, especially 
its cultus, bears the impress of the bodily and of 
the outward, an", consequently of the imperfect, 

and in this the dwelling of Jehovah necessarilj 
participates. As the people Israel, the people of 
Jehovah, is limited by natural descent ('lapa^) 
Kara oapua, 1 Cor. x. 18), so the dwelling of JehO' 
vah therein is conditioned by the corporeal and 
outward, especially in the way of the local and 
the visible. But therefore, as imperfect, it looks 
forward to the perfect which is to come, and 
hence upon this account is called a ckio. ruv fieX- 
?.6vruv or ruv ervovpaviuv (Heb. viii. 5 ; x. 1). The 
perfect first appeared, when the time was fulfilled, 
in Him who was the cuua in contrast with the 
BKig., i. e., in Christ (Col. ii. 11). What the dwell- 
ing typifies, that He is, in reality and truth. In 
Him " dwells " the whole fulness of the Godhead, 
aufiariKuc (Col. ii. 9). He is the t-oyoc, the true 
revelation of God, and in Him is life and light : He 
dwelt among us (iampiuae), and we beheld His 

glory, (<MJa, i. «., 1133) full of grace and truth 

(John i. 1, 4, 14). He named himself the " tem- 
ple " of God (John ii. 19), and the chief complaint 
against Him was, that "He said, I can destroy 
the temple of God, and build it again in three 
days" (Matt. xxvi. 61). With this real temple 
came consequently the end of the merely typical, 
outward, and local temple. With Him, the dwell- 
ing of God hitherto amongst the 'loparj'k Kara 
oapKa ceased, and proceeding from Him, who with 
one sacrifice "hath perfected forever them that 
are sanctified" (Heb. x. 14), the true "abode" of 
God now is here (John xiv. 23). Through Him 
indeed God dwells now in the collective believers 
in Him, in the congregation, which is His body, 
the fulness of Him that filleth all in all (Eph. i. 
23 ; Col. ii. 9, 10). Now is the declaration, " I will 
dwell in their midst," realized, for the first time, 
in its full truth. The congregation which is filled 
by Him, is the true temple of the living God, the 
habitation of God in the spirit (2 Cor. vi. 16 ; 1 
Cor. iii. 16; Eph. ii. 21, 22; 1 Pet. ii. 5). But if 
Christ appear also as the antitype of details even 
of the sanctuary, such as the veil before the holy 
of holies (Heb. x. 20), and the "throne of grace" 
(Rom. iii. 25), the ground of this is not, as the old 
typology supposed, in the circumstance that these 
objects were immediate types of Christ, but in 
that through these, truths and divine-human re- 
lations were signified, which, like " the dwelling " 
itself, first in Christ and through Him reached its 
full realization (comp. my treatise : Der Salom. 
Tempel, s. 81 sq.). In so far now, in the New Tes- 
tament economy, as the congregation of the faith- 
ful is itself the dwelling of God, it no more needs 
a temple ; and if Christendom still build houses of 
God, it is not with the notion that God dwells 
within them. The Christian church-building is 
not a temple, but the congregation-house, nnd 
God's house only in this respect. It is not, how 
ever, only that, protected from wind and weather 
men can "worship God undisturbed, but that th« 
faithful may assemble as one body, and exercise 
their fellowship as members of the body of Christ, 
and build themselves up as individual stones into 
a spiritual house, in Jesus Christ the chief corner- 
stone. Thence it follows that it is a great per- 
version to regard the temple of Solomon as the 
model for a Christian church, and to plan on« 
like it. It was not the design of this temple tc 
gather the congregation within itself. They stood 
Fn the forecourt. The church, on the other hand 



embraces them in, and must have the arrangement 
and contrivance which corresponds with the being 
and the needs of the congregation as the commu- 
nion of the faithful. 

[If we keep in mind the various portions of the 
temple — porch, holy place, holy of holies, and the 
side-structure — it would seem that the vision of 
the completed so-called Gothic-Church, must have 
dawned upon the mind of some cloistered architect 
after he had familiarized his mind with the constit- 
uent parts and divisions of the temple. Each lias 
a porch : the nave corresponds with the holy place, 
the aisles with the side-structure, the sanctuary 
and choir with the holy of holies. In the temple, 
partition walls separated these portions from each 
other; in the Christian church-building, all parti- 
tion walls disappear, and the parts are connected 
by the use of the pointed arch, and other devices 
of architectural skill. — E. H.] 


Vers. 1 and 38. "Why was the time for the 
building of the temple so exactly specified? (1) 
Because it was a most important event for Israel. 
It points to the final aim of the leading out of 
Egypt, the land of bondage. The time of the 
wandering, of unrest, and of battle, is over. Israel 
is in possession of the whole of the promised land ; 
the time of the kingdom of peace is come. The 
temple is a memorial of the truth and mercy of 
God, who ever fulfils His promises, albeit after 
many long years (Ex. iii. 17), supplies all wants, 
and governs all things excellently. The word of 
the Lord is sure. After long wandering, after 
many a cross, many a tribulation and trouble, 
comes the promised time of peace ; the Lord helps 
His people, even as he preserves every single be- 
ing unto his heavenly kingdom (2 Tim. iv. IS). 
(2) Because it is a world-historical event. The 
temple of Solomon is the first and only one, in the 
whole ancient world, which was erected to the 
one, true, and living God. Darkness covers the 
earth and gross darkness the people (Is. lx. 2). 
Heathendom had here and there greater temples, 
but they were the abodes of darkness ; this tem- 
ple is the abode of light and life ; from it, light 
breaks forth over all nations (Is. ii. 3 ; Jer. iii. 17 ; 
Mic. iv. 2). What avails the greatest, most glo- 
rious temple, if darkness instead of light proceeds 
fqom it, and, amid all the prayers and praises, the 
Knowledge of the living God is wanting ? 

Ver. 2. The exceeding glory and pomp of the 
temple. (1) The idea, to which it bore witness. 
No house, no palace in Israel compared, for splen- 
dor and glory, with the house of God. Everything 
in the shape of costly material and treasure 
which the age permitted, all toil and all art, were 
lavished upon it. To the Most High were given 
the noblest and dearest of men's possessions. 
How many princes, how many nations, how many 
cities, build gorgeous palaces, and adorn with gold 
and all treasures the buildings designed to minis- 
ter to the pride of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, 
and to a haughty manner of life, but yet have no 
money, no sacrifice, for the temples which either 
are entirely wanting, or are poor and miserable in 
appearance I (2) The purpose which it served. 
Its magnificence was no empty, dead show, to 

dazzle and intoxicate the senses; everything was 
full of meaning, and referred to higher, divine 
things ; it was not meant to render sensual man 
still more sensual, but to draw him nearer to th« 
supersensuous, and thus to elevate him. Empty 
parade is unseemly for any house of God ; rather 
must everything which wealth and art can accom- 
plish serve to raise the heart and mind to God, so 
that each one shall say: This is none other but 
the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven 
(Gen. xxviii. 17)1— The temple of Solomon shows 
what the house of God should ever be: (a) a 
place of testimony: the testimony or word of 
God forms its heart and centre ; (6) a sanctuary, 
where we hallow God, and he sanctifies us 
through Christ (Heb. x. 14; Sacrament); (c) an 
heavenly place where, far from all worldly cares, 
peace and rest reign, and all are united in prayer, 
in the praise and glory of God (see Historical and 
Ethical).— (2) The dwelling of God in the midst of 
his people (a) in the old, (6) in the new covenant 
(2 Cor. vi. 16). — The temple of God a prophecy of 
Christ and of His church (see Historical and Eth- 
ical), or, the typical and the true temple of God 
(1 Pet. ii. 5). The former is built by men's hands, 
the latter out of living stones, whose foundation 
and corner-stone is Christ; there were brought 
gifts and sacrifices, which could not make him 
that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the 
conscience (Heb. ix. 9, 10) ; here are offered 
spiritual sacrifices, pleasing to God through 
Christ ; the former is an house of external sanc- 
tity and purity, the latter an indwelling of God 
in the soul, a temple of the Holy Ghost, who pu- 
rities the conscience from dead works; there God 
speaks through the law, here through the gospel. 
— Vers. 11-13. Osiantjer: We ever need, especially 
in high affairs, divine consolation and help, so 
that thereby we may be animated to more ac- 
tivity in the performance of our duties. He who 
has begun and undertaken a work according to 
the will of God, and for His glory, may rest as- 
sured of divine support, may build upon God's 
promises, and will not suffer himself to shrink 
from, or tire of, the obstacles which meet him by 
the way (Matt. xxiv. 13). — Ver. 13. I will not 
leave my people : a glorious word of consolation, 
but also a solemn word of warning. — Ver. 14. 
Starke : "When the word of God is received with 
faith, it gives new strength to the heart, and urges 
us on to all goodness (Jas. i. 21). — Vers. 15-22. 
All the adorning of the house was within; there 
was the light and the brightness of gold, there 
also the symbols of life. Ye are the temple of 
God (1 Cor. iii. 17). The adorning of the faith. 
ful shall not be outward, but inward; the "hid- 
den man of the heart" is manifest only to the 
Lord, and not to the eyes of the world ; the gold 
of faith, and the life hidden with Christ in God, is 
the glory of the man. — Vers. 23-2S. Starke : 
To make and set up symbols is not, in itself, idol 
atry, nor against the first commandment, and im- 
ages are also allowable in churches, if they are 
not made objects of worship. If, indeed, in the 
holy of holies, the greatest and noblest carvings 
are placed, we cannot, in the wish to see all works 
of art removed from the churches, and merely 
seats and benches remaining, appeal to Scripture, 
and least of all to the man to whom God g» T e i 
wise and understanding heart (chap. hi. 12). 


0. — The accomplishment of the building of the palace, and the preparation of the ve»»elt 

of the temple. 

Chapter VII. 1-51. 

1 Bat ' Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he finished all 

2 his house. He built also the house of the forest of Lebanon ; the length thereof 
was a hundred cubits, and the breadth thereof fifty cubits, and the height 
thereof thirty cubits, upon four * rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams upon 

3 the pillars. And it loas covered with cedar above upon the beams [side cham- 

4 bers '], that lay on forty-five pillars, fifteen [i. e., chambers] in a row. And there 
were windows [beams '] in three rows, and light [front b ] was against light [front] 

5 in three ranks. And all the doors 6 and posts were square with the windows 

6 [beams 3 ] : and light [front] was against light [front] in three ranks. And he 
made a porch of pillars ; the length thereof was fifty cubits, and the breadth 
thereof thirty cubits : and the porch was before them : and the other pillars 

7 and the thick beam [threshold 7 ] were before them. Then he made a porch fo • 
the throne where he might judge, even the porch of judgment : and it loas cov- 
ered with cedar from one side of the floor to the other [from the floor to the 

8 floor "]. And his house where he dwelt had another court within the porch, 
which was of the like work. Solomon made also a house for Pharaoh's daugh- 

9 ter, whom he had taken to wife, like unto this porch. All these were of costly 
stones, according to the measures of hewed stones, sawed with saws, within and 
without, even from the foundation unto the coping, and so on the outside toward 

10 [from the outside even to'] the great court. And the foundation was of costly 

11 stones, even great stones, stones of ten cubits, and stones of eight cubits, And 

12 above were costly stones, after the measures of hewed stones, and cedars. And 
the great court round about was with three rows of hewed stones, and a row of 
cedar beams, both for the inner court of the house of the Lord [Jehovah], and 
for the porch of the house. 

13, 14 And king Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre. He was a widow's 
son of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass: 
and he was filled with wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all 
works in brass. And he came to king Solomon, and wrought all his work. 

1 5 For he cast two pillars of brass, of eighteen cubits high apiece ; 10 and a line of 

16 twelve cubits did compass either '° of them about. And he made two chapiters 
of molten brass, to set upon the tops of the pillars : the height of the one chapi- 

IV ter icas five cubits," and the height of the other chapiter was five cubits: and 
nets of checker work [lace-work], and wreaths of chain-work, for the chapiters 
which were upon the top of the pillars ; seven " for the one chapiter, and 6even " 

18 for the other chapiter. And he made the pillars [pomegranates "], and two rows 
round about upon the one network, to cover the chapiters that were upon the top 
with pomegranates [top of the pillars] : and so did he for the other chapiter. 

19 And the chapiters that were upon the top of the pillars were of lily-work in the 

20 porch, four cubits. And the chapiters upon the two pillars had pomegranates 1 * 
also above, over against the belly which was by the network: and the pome- 

21 granates were two hundred in rows round about upon the other chapiter. And 
he set up the pillars in the porch of the temple : and he set up the right pillar, 
and called the name thereof Jachin : and he set up the left pillar, and called the 

22 name thereof Boaz. And upon the top of the pillars was lily-work : so was the 
work of the pillars finished. 

83 And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other [from 
lip to lip] : it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line 

24 of thirty cubits did compass it round about. And under the brim of it round 
about there were knops " compassing it, ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round 


25 about : the knops were cast in two rows, when it was cast. It stood upon twelve 
oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and 
three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east : and the sea 

26 was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward. And it was an 
handbreadth thick, and the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup, 
with " flowers of lilies : it contained two " thousand baths. 

27 And he made ten bases of brass : four " cubits was the length of one base, 

28 and four cubits the breadth thereof, and three " cubits the height of it. And 
the work of the bases was on this manner : they had borders [panels "], and 

29 the borders [panels] were between the ledges : and on the borders [panels] that 
were between the ledges icere lions, oxen, and cherubims : and upon the ledges 
there was a base above : " and beneath the lions and oxen were certain additions 

30 made of thin work [were wreaths of hanging work '"]. And every base had four 
brazen wheels, and plates [axletrees] of brass : and the four corners thereof 
had undersetters [four feet thereof had shoulders] : under the laver were under- 

31 setters [the shoulders] molten, at the side of every addition [wreath]. And the 
mouth of it 31 within the chapiter and above was a cubit : " but the mouth 
thereof was round after the work of the base, a cubit and a half: " and also 
upon the mouth of it were gravings with their borders [panels], foursquare, not 

32 round. And under the borders [panels] were four wheels; 3 ' and the axletrees 
[holders] of the wheels were joined to [were in the base] the base : and the height of 

33 a wheel was a cubit and half a cubit. And the work of the wheels teas like the 
work of a chariot wheel : their axletrees, and their naves, and their felloes, and 

34 their spokes, were all molten. And there were four undersetters [shoulders] to 
the four corners of one base : and the undersetters [shoulders] icere of the very 

35 base itself. And in the top of the base was there a round compass of half a 
cubit high : " and on the top of the base " the ledges [holders] thereof and the 

36 borders [panels] thereof icere of the same. For [And] on the plates of the ledgea 
[holders] thereof, and on the borders [panels] thereof, he graved cherubims, lions, 
and palm-trees, according to the proportion [room] of every one, and additions 

37 [wreaths] round about. After this manner he made the ten bases : all of them 

38 had one casting, one measure, and one size [form]. Then made he ten lavers of 
brass: one laver contained forty baths : and every laver was tour cubits : " and 

39 upon every one of the ten bases one laver. And he put five bases on the right 
side of the house, and five on the left side of the house: and he set the sea on 

40 the right side of the house eastward over against the south. And Hiram made 
the lavers [pots 28 ], and the shovels, and the basins. 

So Hiram made an end of doing all the work that he made king" Solomon 

41 for the house of the Lord [Jehovah]: the two pillars, and the tioo bowls of the 
chapiters that were on the top of the two pillars ; and the two networks, to cover 

42 the two bowls of the chapiters which icere upon the top of the pillars ; and four 
hundred pomegranates for the two networks, even two rows of pomegranates for 
one network, to cover the two bowls of the chapiters that icere upon the 30 pil- 

43, 44 lars ; and the ten bases, and ten lavers on the bases ; and one sea, and twelve 

45 oxen under the sea ; and the pots, and the shovels, and the basins : and all these " 

vessels, which Hiram made to king Solomon for the house of the Lord [Jehovah], 

40 were of bright [burnished 3 ''] brass. In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, 

47 in the clay ground [compact soil] between Succoth and Zarthan. And Solomon 
left all the vessels unweighed, because they were exceeding many : neither was 
the weight of the brass found out. 

48 And Solomon made all the vessels that pertained unto the house of the Lord 
[Jehovah] : the altar of gold, and the table of gold, whereupon the shewbrcad 

49 was, and the candlesticks of pure gold, five on the right side, and five on the 
left, before the oracle, with the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs of gold, 

50 and the bowls, and the snuffers, and the basins, and the spoons, and the i-eusers 
©/'pure gold ; and the hinges o/'gold, both for the doors of the inner hons% the 

51 most holy place, and for the doors of the house, to wit, of the temple. So was 
ended all the work that kins' Solomon made for the house of the Lord [\Jeho%ahJ 

CHAPTER VII. 1-51. 81 

And Solomon brought in the things which David his father 1 ad dedicated; even 
the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, did he put among the treasures of the 
house of the Lord [Jehovah]. 


1 Ver. 1.— [The twelve verses at the beginning fire transferred to the end of this chapter in the Sept 
3 Ver. 2.— [The Sept read three rows; the Arab, in ver. 3, sixty pillar a. 

3 Ver. 8.— [So the author translates njPVi and so also Keil. This translation is undoubtedly correct; but the TV, 
*re In much confusion over these architectural detailB. 

« Ver. 4.— [So the author correctly translates D^SpE? supported by the Sept., and adds in parenthesis] i. «., over each 
■of the three rows of chambers roof-beams were laid. 

* Ver. 4.—/. €., so that the chambers stood over against one another, via-d-via.— Bahr. [The Heb. word HTHD occur* 
only here, and is of very doubtful signification. None of the old versions give the meaning window, nor can that sense 
be derived with any certainty from the etymology -root !"lTn. Our author concurs with Keil in giving the meaning u 

aspectua or propped ua, ll view to or from'" (Keil). The English expression "front to front" conveys the idea 

* Ver. 5. — Viz., of the chambers. — Bahr. 

7 Ver. 6.— [So our author translates, Scftwelle, following the Chald. XHSlpD- 

* Ver. 7.— [yp*lf5n""iy VyT^J^P.' This expression has much puzzled expositors. Notwithstanding the explanation 

of the author and of Keil, the best sense seems to be the simplest and most literal, from the floor to the floor, i. a., from 
the floor on one side all over the walls, ceiling, and opposite walls, to the floor on the other side. 

9 Ver. 9. — [So the author and Keil. sustained by all the VV. 

10 Ver. 15.— [Lit the height of one pillar, . . . compass the other. The A. V. expresses the sense. 2 Chron. lit 
15 gives the height as 35 cubits — a manifest error. Cf. 2 Kings xxv. 17; Jer. lii. 21. 

11 Ver. 16.— [There is here no Yar. lect., so that the height given in 2 Kings xxv. 17— three cubits— must have been 
an error of transcription, as indeed sufficiently appears from Jer. lii. 22. 

11 Ver. 17.— [The Sept. have t<Z iirtQenari, doubtless from reading rD^E? instead of njHC'* 

13 Ver. IS.— Instead of D^TlOyH [pillars], must be read D^JVZnn [pomegranates] here, just as afterwards D^IEfUl 

- T • » ■ * T 

Is transposed for D^llTSVn , as also some MSS. have it and as the connection absolutely demands. — Bahr. [So also the 

Sept., while the Chald. and Syr. follow the text as we now have it 

13 Ver. 20. — [The words in italics in the A. V. are unnecessary. Our author translates thus:] And the chapiters upon 
the two pillars were also above, close (i. e.. Immediately) on the belly (belly-like swelling) which was beyond (i. e., 
behind) the net-work, and the two hundred pomegranates in two rows round about (as on the one so) on the second 
chapiter. — Bahr. 

14 Ver. 24. — [D^pD here (as in vi. IS), is an architectural ornament in the form of the wild gourd, which bursts open 

on ripening. 2 Chron. iv. 3 has D*1p3 mOT ■, the likeness of cattle. This is evidently an error. 

16 Ver. 26.— [Our author translates: in the form of a lily-flower. The Heb. is open to either interpretation, and the 
reasons for preferring this are given in the Exeg. Com. 

16 Ver. 26.— [2 Chron. Iv. 5 has D^DpN ntvIT j thus adding one-half to the contents, and this number Is adopted by 

Josephus. The VV. retain here the number 2000, but the Alex. Sept (the Vat Sept. omits the verse) makes them 2000 
X<>€(«, thus giving a capacity as much too small for a hemisphere of the given dimensions as the Ileb. measure is too large. 

17 Ver. 27.— [The Sept." make the length five, and the height six cubits; thus making all the dimensions unlike. 

18 Ver. 2S.— [The Heb. ni~13DO from 1JD to enclose, admits either this sense or that of the A. V., but both the con- 
nection and the amount of ornament upon the panels require the former. 

19 Ver. 29.— [Our author translates "and upon the ledges as well above as below," which certainly gives an Intelligible 
sense, but it is at least doubtful if the Heb. will bear it, and certainly it is entirely forbidden by the masoretic punctuation, 

"131 nnroi ?WO |3 E^Ptrn^'yi- The Chald. renders J3 as a noun NJ133i a base. Our author rejects this, 
which is however adopted by Keil, and lias been followed by the A. V. Above the ledges was a base or rest for the laver 
described afterwards. 

30 Ver. 29.— [T1V0 nL M Vft HI v • The author's translation, given in the brackets, unquestionably expresses the true 


21 Ver. 31. — [/. «., of the laver; or as our author Interprets, of the base. 

33 Ver. 31.— [/. e., was a cubit within the edge— there was a cubit on each side of the opening of the basin. The author 
expresses it :J from the opening outwards was a cubit. 

23 Ver. 81.— In diameter. 

34 Ver. 32.— So that the whole base could be seen, and nothing of its panels was covered by the wheels. 

35 Ver. 35. — /. e.j the cover of the base was arched. 

36 Ver. 35. — /. «., of this arched upper part 

37 Ver. 38.— In diameter at the top. 

38 Ver. 40.— Instead of ni1 s 3n [lavers] it is necessary to read here HWDr] [pots] according to ver. 45; 2 Chron. 

tv. 11 ; 2 Kings xxv. 14; Jer. lii. 18.— Bahr. [Add, such is the reading also of many MSS. and editions, and apparently 

•f the Sept and Vulg., although 11 3 3 sometimes bears so nearly the same meaning (1 Sam. ii. 14) that the inference Is 

not certain. . 

29 Ver. 40.— [Many MSS. have Tj^H in the nom. So also the Syr. and Arab. 

*> Ver. 42.— Upon the two pillars. Instead of *33 is here to be read with the Sept ^tt*— Bahr. [But man* MSS. 
with the Syr. and Vulg. read here L'\ST7j/ upon the top of, and there is no MS. authority for the Sept reading. 



si v<r 15.— That the k'ri H^XH deserves the preference over the k'tib PrlKH requires no pronC— Bahr. [II is als« 

the readier "f uianv MSS. and the W. , . . , .. ■ , - ., 

S3 Vcr. 45. — [The Sept., before " burnished brass," inserts «u oi <r™Aot Teo-o-apaKoera <cai oktw Toy oixou tou patriAe** 

Kai TOU OIKOV KVfiLOV. — F. G.] 


Ter. 1. But Solomon was building his own 
house, &c. Ver. 1 forms a heading to the section 
concluding at ver. 12. The palace consisted of sev- 
eral buildings following upon one another, all of 
which, i. e., his "whole" house, Solomon finished in 
thirteen years ; but he only required seven years 
to complete the temple, because, perhaps, there 
were more buildings in the former, or fewer work- 
men were employed on them. The place where the 
palace was built cannot be, according to Ewald, the 
so-called Ophel, i. e., the continuation of the tem- 
ple-mount (Moriah), which diminished gradually as 
it stretched towards the south, but Mount Zion, 
which was divided from Moriah by the valley of 
Tyropaeon. It is clear from 2 Kings xi. 19, that 
the way from the temple led immediately " down " 
to the palace. When Josephus says (Antiq., 8, 5, 
2), that the palace stood opposite to the temple 
(avrmpvc), it could only have been built on the 
northeast side of Zion. The palace of the Asmo- 
neans stood there too, from which a bridge led over 
the valley to the temple on Moriah (see Keil or. 
the place). As to the entire building, the dim in- 
timations of the text do not give us a perfect idea 
of it. The descriptions of Josephus and those of 
the Rabbins, especially Judah Leo, contradict the 
text in many points, and are only arbitrary, un- 
founded additions. The earlier interpreters of the 
text could throw no light on it, and archaeologists 
have hitherto been altogether silent, or have at- 
tempted no exact description. Thenius alone has 
succeeded in throwing the greatest light on the 
subject. The most recent description by Unruh 
(das Alte Jerusalem utid seine Bauvjerke, s. 95 sg.) 
is deserving of no notice. 

[In this matter, Ewald (Gesch. iii. s. 339) ex- 
presses himself with some hesitation. He says 
that the palace was built probably upon the south- 
erly continuation of the temple-mount, usually 
called Ophel, i. e., hill, hillock, or knob. In the 
recently published work, The Recovery of Jerusa- 
lem, the same view is urged upon pp. 222-3, and 
also upon p. 240 sq. The English and American 
explorers would seem at least to favor this suppo- 
sition, and in the work just referred to, on p. 233 
there is a plan showing approximately the rock on 
Mount Moriah, and there the palace is placed to 
the south of the temple, with the Tyropaaon on one 
side, and the vale of Kedron on the other, — this 
being quite remote from the position assigned the 
palace by our author. Nor do I think that our 
author's reasons for supposing it to have been 
built upon the northeast corner of Mount Zion suf- 
ficent to overthrow the general opinion. — E. H.] 

Ver. 2. He built also the house of the forest 
of Lebanon, &c. This was the first of the various 
buildings composing the palace, therefore by no 
means a separate summer residence apart on 
Mount Lebanon (Dathe, Michaelis, and others). It 
was only given the name of Lebanon on account 
of the multitude of cedars standing alongside of 
each other. According to 1 Kings x. 16 sq., and 
Isai. xxii. 8, it seems to have served chiefly, if not 
altogether, as an armory ; the Arabic says, " A 

house for his weapons." The space, 100 cubita 
long and 50 broad, enclosed, as appears ver. 9, a 
thick stone wall thirty cubits high, but prcbably 
only upon three sides, as we shall presently show. 
The expression Upon four rows of cedar pillars 
is to be connected with words at the beginning : 
he built. The four rows of pillars stood along the 
surrounding wall, thus forming a peristyle which 
enclosed a court-yard. The expression -no says 
this plainly ; for it cannot be understood differ- 
ently, here, from vers. 4, 18, 20, 24; chap. vi. 36; 
Ezek. xlvi. .3, where it everywhere means a row 
enclosing and running round a space. The text does 
not at all justify Keil's supposition " that four 
rows of pillars stood on the longest sides of the 
building, but divided, so that but two rows wera 
on each side ; " there is no mention of the longest 
sides in the text. Weiss' view is just as incorrect 
(Kostiim-kunde, i. s. 357), that is, that there was 
a row on each of the four sides of the building, 
four rows of pillars standing together. The num- 
ber of the pillars is not given, but they could not 
have been few, as their appearance was that of a 
forest. It is not necessary, however, to suppose, 
with Thenius, that there were 400. They must 
have stood close together, and could not have been 
very thick, for the breadth of the peristyle did 
not exceed ten cubits, and enough room must 
have been left to pass comfortably between the 
pillars. The Vulgate translates explanatorily : qua- 
tuor deambulacra inter columnas cedrinas. — Beams 
of cedar were placed on the rows of pillars, and 
formed the foundation for the three-storied su- 
perstructure of cedar-wood, which rested against 
the stone wall, and was probably so joined to it 
that the beams which formed at the same time 
the ceiling of the lower part and the floor of the 
upper part of the building were inserted in it. 

Each of the three stories had JlivX, •'■ c. (chap. vi. 

5, 8 ; Ezek. xli. 6) side-chambers. The numbers, 
forty-five, fifteen each row, have been supposed 
to refer to the immediately preceding D'llQV by 

nearly all the commentators, who have been mis- 
led by the masoretic punctuation ; but they were 
quite wrong. It is impossible that the pillars on 
which the three-storied structure rested, could 
only have numbered forty-five, divided into three 
rows. They could not have supported a struc- 
ture 100 cubits long and 50 broad. Neither could 
the building have been named " forest of Leba- 
non " from forty-five scattered pillars. Thenius, 
with whom Keil agrees, rightly refers the numbers 

to the n'jrafn as the principal matter, which is fi-r- 

ther defined by the DHIDVn^V, and translated, 

"and the chambers, forty-five in number, which 
were built upon the pillars, fifteen in each course 
had also coverings of cedar-wood." But if thfl 
forty-five rooms were so divided that each of the 
three surrounding rows of the story had fifteen, 
we are obliged to admit that the stories only cov- 
ered three sides of the square space, since forty- 
five cannot be so divided HfcO four parts as to 
make twice as many rooms oi 'he two long side* 



of 100 cubits as on the two other sides of fifty cu- 
bits. On the other hand, the fifteen rooms of 
each of the three rows are very naturally and 
simply divided, if we imagine six on each long 
side and three on the rear side. In that case, 
either the colonnade and the three-storied struc- 
ture that rested on it would not have continued 
over the front short side of the wall that sur- 
rounded the square space, and it must have been 
provided only with entrance-gates, or else this 
wall only enclosed three sides of the square, so 
that the building stood quite open in the front. 
The last is not admissible, because ver. 12 says 
that the whole palace was surrounded by a great 
court, which had a stone wall running around it, 
and also doubtless doors that could be shut. — The 
text itself says of the side-chambers, and light 
was against light in three ranks. The word 
ntno occurs only here, and does not mean the 

same as ]i?n windows, but aspectus, prospectus. 

Towards the interior of the building the chambers 
stood open (Sept. : nal x^P a £nl x&po-v Tpiaaog), so 
that the view from each of the chambers in the 
rows over one another opened on the opposite one. 
This rather resembled a gallery, which was di- 
vided off by board partitions into single chambers. 
[Like boxes at the theatre.] The doors, which led 
from one room to another, were square (ver. 5) ; 

where rillTSm is subjoined, we must either trans- 
late, with the posts, or, what seems better, read as 
Thenius rilTntSm , which also suits the repeated 

" light against light." The entrances, as well as the 
front openings which stood opposite each other, 
were square ; so says the Sept. : to. -dvpuuara ml 
ai x&ixu Tcrpayuvoi. By C|pt_" we are to think, af- 
ter the D'Bpt' in ver. 4, of the beams over the 
openings and doors. There is nothing decisive 
about the height of the rooms. Of the height of 
thirty cubits for the whole edifice, eight may have 
been for the colonnade, eighteen for the three sto- 
ries, and four for the different ceilings (Then, and 
Keil). The entire arrangement of the building is 
still frequently met with in the East ; a court sur- 
rounded by colonnade and galleries (Winer, R.- 
W.-B., i. s. 466). Since, as already remarked, costly 
armor and weapons were preserved or displayed 
here, the inner space was used no doubt for assem- 
blies of warriors, for the body-guard, 4c. 

Vers. 6-7. And he made a porch of pillars, 
Ac. Vers. 6 and 7 contain the account of the sec- 
ond building that belonged to the entire palace. 
It stood inward from the armory, and had two 
divisions, viz., the porch of pillars and the throne 
or hall of judgment. The measures, 60 cubits 
long and thirty broad, are generally thought to 
belong only to the porch of pillars, and older com- 
mentators have believed, from analogy with chap, 
vi. 3, that because fifty cubits are the measure of 
the breadth of the armory, the length was to be 
understood as the breadth, and the breadth as the 
depth, as in the temple-porch; so that the porch 
of pillars must have immediately adjoined the ar- 
mory. B; t the name D71N contradicts this ; its 

etymology does not signify (see on chap. vi. 3) an 
adjoined rear part; but can only mean a fore-build- 
ing. Besides, the porch of pillars itself had again 
i porch, so that it cannot have been immediately 

joined to the armory. The fifty cubits are to b9 
wholly understood of the length. So we may de- 
scribe the porch of pillars as " a colonnade," run 
ning from the front to the rear, " probably roofed 
in, but open at the sides (Porticus), and leading to 
the porch of judgment" (Thenius, Keil). But the 
width of thirty cubits does not suit the length of 
fifty cubits, if it was only a passage to a building ; 
it suits an independent structure alone. The ar- 
mory, that was not in the least like a passage, re- 
sembled the fore-space of the temple, and other 
buildings; it was twice as long as it was broad. 
How, then, could a building, the breadth of which 
was three-fifths of its length, be a mere passage ? 
If the porch of pillars were only a passage to the 
hall of judgment, it is inexplicable why the text 
gives only the size of the subordinate part, and 
says not a word about those of the main portion. 
All this forces us to the conclusion that the 
measure is that of the whole building, including, 
therefore, both divisions, the porch of pillars and 
porch of judgment. The latter must have beeL, 
then, the rear division, in winch, like the debir of 
Jehovah's house, the throne described (chap. x. 
18, sq.) stood; the former the front, a building of 
pillars in fact, where they who were admitted to 
the king's audience assembled, or over whom he 
sat in judgment. This view explains why the 
porch of pilars had also a fore-porch and an en- 
trance-space, such as a mere passage never has, 
but which is appropriate only to buildings. This 
fore-porch was no doubt an entrance-space, the 
roof of which was supported by two or four 
pillars, as the Targumists explain the word yj, 

a threshold space, a "perron with steps" (Keil). 

If both divisions of the building are called D?1N, 

it is because it was the entrance building of the 
king's peculiar residence. The concluding words 
of ver. 7 : covered with cedar from one side of 
the floor to the other, can mean only this : that 
the floor of the porch of pillars, as well as the 
floor of the porch of judgment, was covered with 
cedar. Keil explains : " from the lower floor to 
the upper, in so far, namely, over the porch of 
judgment as there were rooms built;" the floor 
of the latter being the ceiling of the hall of judg- 
ment. The existence of an upper structure is 
not, however, hinted at, and how could the text, 
instead of simply saying from the floor to the 
ceiling, speak of a floor without saying of what it 
was the floor. The Vulgate translates: a pavi- 
mento usque ad summitatem ; the reading must have 
been different therefore, and as the Syriac has 
it thus also. Thenius supposes that instead of 
JJplpn it originally stood HVlipn in the text, 

which is to be understood, as in chap. vi. 15 and 
16, of the beams of the roof. In this case the 
words might bear the meaning, which seems very 
admissible, that the porch walls were lined with 
cedar from the floor to the roof-beams. 

Ver. 8. And his house where he dwelt, &c. 
Solomon's dwelling-house and that of his wife 
were indeed separate houses, but formed together 
the third building in connection with the palace. 
This building had another court with -n the pot -h, 
i. e., behind the porch of judgment. Both dwell- 
ings were like unto this work, that is, they had 
walls of cedar-wood like the porch of judgment, 
and were splendidly and gorgeously made. Tbf 



queen's house was behind that of the king, ac- 
cording to the universal Eastern custom (Winer, 
R.- W.-B., L s. 468) ; it is not only here, but also in 
chap. ix. 24, expressly said, that it was built for 
Pharaoh's daughter, not therefore for a harem 
{Thenius). The 700 wives and 300 concubines 
afterwards mentioned (chap. xi. 3) could scarcely 
have lived in the queen's own house. Thenius 
gives the reason why the king's and queen's dwell- 
ings are uot more accurately described: " because 
in most cases there was only access to the porch 
of judgment, and because audience of the king, 
even in the court of his residence, had probably 
become very difficult to obtain in Solomon's reign." 
But the reason was more likely that, whilst the 
armory and the porches of pillars and of judg- 
ment were uncommon buildings, the dwelling- 
house did not differ from ordinary dwellings in its 
architecture and furnishing, except in being more 
costly. It required, therefore, no minute descrip- 

Vers. 9-12. All these were of costly stones, 
Ac. What vers. 9 and 10 state, must be taken to 
refer to all three buildings that formed the palace. 
[Mr. T. O. Paiue is of opinion that vers. 9-12 
"are concerning the temple again — because the 
pillars are stone. In the house of the king they 
are cedar, ver. 2." But this writer, after much 
pains-taking labor, does not satisfy. — E. H.] 
They could have been no mere wooden erections, 
but had walls of square stones, cut inside and out- 
side (see on chap. v. 31) even unto the coping, 
i. e., " to the corner-stones on which the beams 
of the roof rested " (Keil). The Sept. has iuc 
tuv yelauv, but yeiaov is the roof projection. The- 
nius thinks this was "the pinnacle-like protec- 
tion of the Hat roofs; " this edge, however, is no- 
where called niri20, but npVO (Dent. xxii. 8). 

The words: on the outside toward the great 
court, mean, according to Thenius, "from the out- 
side (front) to the great (rear) court." But this 
pro cannot mean something entirely different 

from the immediately preceding word. An "out- 
er " court presupposes an "inner" one (chap. vi. 
36), but not a rear one, and the inner could never 
be called " great," in distinction from the outer 
one. The great court was evidently that which 
surrounded all the palace buildings (Ewald) ; and 
we must suppose that there was such an one even 
if not named here. All the buildings were formed 
of square stones from top to bottom, and the same 
even used outside too, even to the outer great 
court. Even the foundations, which were not 
seen outside, were made of these larger stones 
(ver. 10). Lastly (ver. 11), it is added that this 
great court had the same surrounding as the inner 
temple court, namely, three rows of stones and 
one of cedar (see on chap. vi. 36). Keil and Le 
Clerc think the porch of the house to be (ver. 12) 
the "columned- and throne-hall" of the palace, 
which had the same surrounding as the great 
court had. The text, however, mentions, besides 
the latter, only one court of the dwelling (ver. 8), 
but says nothing about a third court around that 
porch. The words immediately preceding suggest 
scarcely anything else than the porch of Jehovah's 
house; but as this had no court, the meaning 
must be, as with the court, which was within or 
nefote the porch. [So Bp. Horsley, after Houbi- 
Ifaut, suggests that perhaps for "1XIT>1> we should 

read "ixnfD , like the inner court. — E. H.] Cal- 
met only finds the similarity there in ut pariela 
mixtam lapidibus cedrum exhibereni. 

Vers. 13-14. And the king .... and 
fetched Hiram. Ver. 13. Comp 2 Chron. ii. 13. 
According to this, Hiram was the son of a Tyrian, 
and of an Israelitish woman from the neighboring 
Dan, in the tribe of Naphtali, uot, as the Rabbins 
say, an adopted son. His skill is described in the 
same words as that of Bezaleel in Ex. xxxi. 3 sq., 
only the addition, " filled with the spirit of God " 
is wanting. The art of casting brass is very an 
cient ; the making of this metal, which " has a 
peculiar red color and strong lustre, and is of con 
siderable hardness" (Rosenmuller, Alterthumsk., 
IV., i. s. 156), was much earlier understood thaD 
that of iron (Winer, R.- W.-B., ii. s. 90). In what 
now follows we have only a description of the ves- 
sels that were added to those of the tabernacle ; the 
others are merely named. The Chronicles alone 
mention the altar of burnt-offering (II. iv. 1). 

Vers. 15-20. And he cast two pillars of brass. 
Vers. 15-22. Comp. 2 Chron. iii. 15-17; iv. 12 sq.; 
2 Kings xxv. 17 ; Jer. Iii. 21 sq. Each of these pil- 
lars,* i. e., the shafts, was eighteen cubits high and 
twelve in circumference, was four fingers thick, 
and hollow within (Jer. In. 21). As the Chroni- 
cles alone, differently from all other passages, 
gives thirty-five cubits as the height, this num- 
ber is "evidently formed by changing the sign 

tV = 18, into rf? = 35" (Keil). [The conjecture 

of Abarbinel, that the chronicler gives the sum- 
total of the height of the two pillars, is gravely 
adopted by Bp. Patrick on the place. — E. H.] 
The chapiters were cast separately, and then 
placed on the shafts ; each of the former was five 
cubits high (ver. 16), and had, as 2 Chron. iv. 12 

relates, an upper and lower part, rnni some- 
times denotes the entire capital (ver. 16), some- 
times the upper (ver. 19) and sometimes the lower 
part (vers. 17, 18, 20). The upper part was lily- 
work (vers. 19, 22), i. e., in the form of a full-blown 

lily-cup. As ICTt? means only lily, Thenius has 

no grounds for supposing it to be the lotus, be- 
cause there were pillar capitals in Egyptian build- 
ings which had the form of the lotus-flower. The 
lotus-flower does not once occur in the entire Old 
Testament, but the lily very often, for it was com- 
mon in Palestine, and grows without cultivation 
(Winer, R.-W.-B., ii. s :'8). The molten sea had 
also the same form (ver. 26). The four cubits 
(ver. 19) are not the measure of the diameter of 
the lily-work (Thenius), but of its height, which 
was much more important for the form of the en- 
tire capital, than the diameter, which was easily 
discoverable from the given circumference of the 
pillar. [Bp. Horsley takes the view which The- 
nius has adopted. He translates, " and the chap- 
iters that were upon the top of the pillars (were) 
in a socket (D17N2) of the shape of a lily of four 
cubits," and adds, the four cubits are to be under- 
stood, I think, of the general breadth of the lily, 
&c. — E. II.] And it is the more impossible to 
doubt that this upper part of the capital was the 

• If we should follow K. O. Mflller's phraseology and 
that of other writers upon ancient art. we should u?l' th« 
word "columns" here instead of " pillars." Ardueotoflt 
Ac, p. 265-268.— E. II 



largest and principal part, as ver. 22 expressly re- 
peats at the close of the whole description: '"and 
upon the top of the pillars was lily-work." Some 
think it should be three instead of four cubits high 
as in ver. 19, but they have no grounds but the 
uncertain passage 2 Kings xxv. 17, where there 
was very probably a change of n = 5 into J = 3. 
The lower part of the capital, which was only one 
cubit, is not very clearly described. It was made 
of checker or net-work (ver. 17), pomegranates 
(ver. 18), and a belly (ver. 20). Instead of the 
last (;D3) in vers. 41, 42; and in 2 Chron. iv. 12, 

13, fijij occurs, i. e., arch, swelling (see Gesenius, 

W. B., an ^3). This arching was "135??, i- «., on the 

other side of the net-work (ver. 20), therefore not 
on it or over it, but behind or under it. In so far 
as the net-work lay over or upon it, it could, as 
seen from outside, be described as lying beyond 
it (Keil). The net-work consisted of seven wires 

(D v'13) ; it was chain-work, the wires being 

plaited like a chain, woven crosswise together, 
thus forming a lattice-work or net. It is not that 
they hung down like chains (Gesenius). Possibly 
the text in ver. 17 may not be wholly above sus- 
picion, but Thenius undertakes a daring and un- 
justifiable critical operation when he blots out 
chain-%vork, chiefly because the Sept. does, and 
reads n33'J' for n{Q«' twice, and then translates : 

" and he made two lattices or trellis-wires to cover 
the capitals that (were) on the tops of the pillars, 
one for one and one for the other capital." Lastly, 
the pomegranates, of which there were 200, 100 in 
a row (ver. 20), were, no doubt, in a row above, 
and a row below the net-work, and thus served 
for a border to the latter. According to Jer. lii. 
23, 96 of the 100 pomegranates were iWFf\ , 

which means neither " open to the air," i. e., un- 
covered (Boucher, Thenius), nor dependentia (Vul- 
gate), or "hanging free" (Ewald), but only 
"windwards" (Hitzig), i. e., turned to the four 
quarters of the heavens, as nYl in Ezek. xlii. 16- 

18 (comp. xxxvii. 9); four pomegranates marked 
the places where each two quarters of the heavens 
met. The text says nothing of pedestals for the 
pillars ; but it would scarcely have passed over so 
important a part of the pillars had they existed. 

Ver. 2 1 . And he set up the pillars, &c. There 
have been, and still are to this day, two opinions 
in sharp contrast one with the other as to the pre- 
cise place where the two pillars were erected. 
According to one, they supported the roof of the 
porch, which stood quite open at the front (see 
Meyer, Merz), or the projection of the entrance 
leading to 't (Ewald, Thenius); according to the 
other, the; stood alone, before the porch, and 
without supporting anything (Stieglitz, Kugler, 
Schnaase, Winer, Keil). After repeated investi- 
gation of the subject, I find it impossible to sub- 
scribe to either opinion. Against the first there 
are the following objections: (a) The pillars were 
brazen, and begin the list of all the metal articles, 
which were first finished by the peculiarly skilful 
trtisan Hiram, after the building of the temple 
was completed (chap. vi. 14, 37, 38). If they had 
been designed to bear up the roof of the porch or 
the projection of its entrance, they could not have 
been vessels, but necessary integral parts of the 

building ; but as this was " finished " withou' 
them, and as supporting pillars of brass are nevei 
found in stone and wooden buildings; these pil- 
lars, which were works of art, could not have had 
an architectural but only a monumental character, 
and this is shown by the names attached to them. 
Stieglitz truly says: "It was their separate posi- 
tion alone which gave these pillars the impres- 
sive aspect they were designed to wear, and the 
significant dignity with which they increased the 
grandeur of the whole, while they shed light upon 
its purpose." (b) The entire height of the pillars 
was (with their capitals) twenty-three cubits; but 
that of the porch was either twenty or thirty cu- 
bits (see on chap. vi. 3). In the first case the pil- 
lars must have been too high, in the latter too 
low, to bear up the porch-roof; for even if they 
had pedestals, these could not have been seveD 
cubits high, (c) As the text does not mention any 
portal to the porch, still less does it say anything 
of any " projection " over the same, which wa> 
borne up by the pillars (Thenius), or of any "beam'' 
joining the pillars above, on which there was an- 
other structur ■, or '' decoration " (Ewald). The 
appeal to Amos ix 1 : '' Smite the lintel of the 
door, that the posts may shake," is quite out of 

place, for D'BD never mean the projections of 

buildings, but the thresholds (Judges xix. 27; 2 
Kings xii. 10; Isa. vi. 4). Neither can anything 
be proved from Ezekiel's vision (chap. xl. 48), foi 
the two pillars are not once named in it. The 
Sept. indeed mentions a fiekatipov kit' a/ipoTipw 
tuv gtvIuv, in ver. 20, but this was quite gra- 
tuitous ; they do not translate ver. 20 at all, but 
give a completely different one, a mere gloss, of 
which the Hebrew text does not contain a word. 
We must conclude, then, that they stood separ- 
ately. But in respect now of the other opin- 
ion, that they were placed in front of the porch, 

the D^X3 in ver. 19 contradicts that, as does also 

tbvb in ver. 21. However we may understand 

ver. 19, which is certainly obscure, D71N3 cannot 

be translated, " in that manner, or according to 
the porch " (Keil), which would be equivalent to 

d5"ISO > which Raschi accepts, and which means 

" that the lily-work was on the pillar-capitals as 
well as on the porch." Now there is not one 
word about the lily-work on the porch. Still less 

can D^X3 mean D^Xn 'JBJi but only in the 
porch. Further, DPJO cannot be translated: "be- 
fore the porch " (Luther), or " at the porch" (Keil), 
i. e., in front, but only, for the porch. As the 
molten sea and the bases were for the outer court, 
the golden altar, candlestick, and shewbread for 
the house, so the two pillars were for the porch, 
and stood in it as the former stood in the court and 
the house. The Sept. give in ver. 15: ml t^u 
vevae rove 5vo gtv^ovc ru a\")iau rov oinov, and trans- 
late, ver. 21: nal eornae rovq ariXovc rov alXap roi 
vaov. With this 2 Chron. iii. 13, 17 fully agrees 

it says he made ;V3n \)si? two pillars, . . . and 
placed the pillars $OVin , J3"^y. For if they werc 
in the porch, they must have stood immediately 
before the house, that is, before the principal com. 



partment. But it Bays nowhere that he placed 
them before the porch. If the latter were thirty 
cubits high, as most think, the pillars could have 
etood free inside, as their monumental character 

Vers. 21-22. And called the name thereof, 
Ac. Thenius justly remarks : " There can be noth- 
ing mere improbable than that pillars standing 
at the entrance to God's house should have been 
named after the donor, or their architect (Gese- 
nius) ; and it is impossible to understand the asser- 
tion,' ' that they were no doubt named at their erec- 
tion and dedication, after men much liked at that 
time, perhaps some of Solomon's young sons ' 
(Ewald)." But Thenius' own assertion does not 
seem less improbable; namely, that "the pillars, 
which apparently bore up the entire building of 

the temple (?) had the characters fja \>y , «'• e., He 

(the Lord) founds (or : may He found) with strength, 
engraved, or formed in the casting, and that the 
people read these words, which should be taken 
together (?), separately, and . . . gave them as 
names to the pillars." Aside from every other con- 
sideration, it is not, he had inscribed TJQ fy on the 
two pillars; but: he called the name of the one at 
the right py , and called the name of the one at 
the left jya; so these were two distinct "names," 
and not a sentence of connected words. TVe have 

no reason to change jyi to |JQ; pa 1 means rather: 

statuit, fundavit, and is used about the founding and 
establishing of the kingdom, the throne, and the 
sanctuary (1 Kings vi. 19; Ezra iii. 3; 2 Sam. vii. 

12; 2 Chron. xvii. 6). fJQ is composed of ]y , 

strength, power, firmness (Gen. xlix. 3), and ia , 

«'. e., in Him, Jehovah. The name means exactly 

the same as in Isai. xlv. 24, TV • • • niiT3, a 

thought often occurring in the Old Testament (Ps. 
xxviii. 7, 8; xlvi. 2; lxii. (7) 8; lxxxvi. 6; cxl. 7; 
Isai. xlix. 5 ; Jer. xvi. 19). The first name denotes 
the founding and establishing of the central sanc- 
tuary, in contrast with the tabernacle ; the second 
denotes the firmness and stability of the same. 
Simonis (Onom., s. 430, 460): Stabiliet templum, in 
illo (Domino) robur. 

Vers. 23-26. And he made a molten sea, 
&c. Comp. 2 Chron. iv. 2-5. The name D' only 

means the great quantity of water that the vessel 
contained. Latini qusmodi vasa appellant locus 
(Castel.). The 10 cubits denote the diameter, 30 
the circumference, not certainly the mathematical 
proportion, but very near it, for we must reckon 9 
cubits and rather more than half a cubit for the di- 
ameter, for 30 cubits of circumference. The 5 
cubits are for the depth of the vessel, which was 
not cylindrical, as some old pictures represent, but, 
according to ver. 26, was shaped like a lily, with 
an edge curved outwards, and widening out consid- 
erably lower down. It could only hold 2,000 baths 
of water (ver. 26) with a form like that, as Thenius 
(Stud.u. Kritiken, 1846, I.) has proved. Chronicles, 
on the contrary, gives 3,000 baths (2 Chron. iv. 5), 
but this is a confusion of the signs a and 3 (Keil); 
it is also a mistake of the pen when ver. 3 gives 
D'lpE instead of D'VPS • Tlie lat ter does not mean 
coloquinths, but flower-buds (see above, on chap, 
vi 29). I'h" two rows must have been pretty close 

together, under the edge of the vessel The posi- 
tion of the 12 oxen is remarked especially, but 
nothing said of their size or height. Theniui 
thinks they must have been as high as the vessel 
at least; this would make the whole vessel 10 cu« 
bits high. It is impossible to say whether the feet 
of these oxen rested on the floor of the court, as on 
a brazen plate (Keil), or whether they stood in a ba- 
sin. As the priests had only to wash their hands 
and feet, the vessel was provided (so the rabbinical 
traditions say) with faucets for letting out the wa- 
ter. It is very improbable that the water came 
from the mouths of the oxen, as many suppose. 

Vers. 27-39. And he made ten bases of, Ac. 
The description of these vessels, vers. 27-39, is in- 
volved in much more obscurity than that of the 
two brazen pillars. All the pains which the latest 
commentators have spent upon it have not cleared 
it up fully, because the text (under consideration) 
is no longer the original one ; the old translations 
are widely different from it, and do not agree to- 
gether. The insertions also which we have ad- 
mitted into our translation, following now The- 
nius, and now Keil, do not claim to have solved the 
exegetical riddle. Above all, it is necessary to real- 
ize what the object of these vessels was. 2 Chron. 
iv. 6 says that the priests " washed such things as 
they offered for the burnt-offering," i. e., those parts 
of the sacrificial animal which were placed on the 
altar to be burnt, as ordered in Lev. i. 9 (comp. 
Ezek. xl. 38). Hence it appears that the basin 
which held the water for washing was the chief 
thing in that complicated vessel, and all the other 
parts only made for the sake of that one part. The 
altar of burnt-offering of the temple was 10 cubits 
high (2 Chron. iv. 1) ; a step for the priests to stand 
on, when performing their functions, was much 
more needed in this altar than in that of the taber- 
nacle, which was only 3 cubits high (Ex. xxvii. 1- 
5). Now, in order to perform the washing of the 
parts for sacrifice at the altar itself, without descend- 
ing, the basins must, on the one hand, have stood 
high, and higher than the altar-step, and on the other, 
have been movable also, so that they could have 
easily been brought backwards and forwards, filled 
or emptied. So we see that a wheelwork was 
needed for the high basins or lavers. The basins, 
bases, and wheelwork were then the component 
parts of the vessel. The basins (lavers), being the 
simplest part, are the least explicitly described in 

ver. 38. The word -|i>a occurs oftenest, for the 

basins of the tabernacle (Ex. xxx. 18, 28; xxxi. 9, 
&c.) ; these were not cylindrical, as is well known, 
but shaped more like a kettle ; and nowhere else 
is a vessel described which has the form of a pot 
or jug. It appears from Zach. xii. 6, that a fire- 
basin (pan) was of a flatter shape than a kettle, 
and had at least the form of a cooking-pot, as Zul- 
lig thinks (die Cherubimwagen, s. 79, 94). The meas- 
ure 4 cubits can only be understood, like ver. 31, 
to apply to the diameter (Thenius), and not to the 
depth. Thenius reckons the 40 baths at 12 eimer 
and 16 kannen, Dresden measure. [Without a pa- 
rade of decimals, in the rough as one may say, tin 
Dresden kanne is about one quart ( + ). Seventy-twt 
kannen are one eimer, i. e., seventy-two quarts. 
72 x 12=864 quarts. To these must be added 16 
quarts, and the whole amount is 880 quarts or 220 
gallons. If however any one wishes to work out the 
sum, it may be well to add that 1 kanne = 0.93' 



liter, and 1 liter — 1.0567 quart (wine-measure). — 
E. H.] In respect of the second main part of the 
vessel, the base njlDD > so much is certain, that it 

was a four-cornered box, which consisted of strong 
edge-bands on the top and on the bottom, along 
the sides, as well as at the corners: into which the 
walls (or panels) were introduced, and were held 
by these edge-bands as in a frame. Figures were 

engraved on these walls (panels, J"li~l3D£): lions, 

oxen, and cherubim (according to Josephus, dis- 
tributed in three different fields). The box had 
also 4 feet niDUS (ver. 30), at the 4 corners, no 

doubt ; with which it stood upon the axle-trees of 
the wheelwork. It is very difficult to form an 
adequate and just view of the 4 undersetters, 

112113, which are named in ver. 30 with the feet, 

and in ver. 34 with the wheelwork ; they must 
have projected certainly from the feet, but it is un- 
certain in what manner they were connected with 
the box, and what they bore — whether indeed they 
bore anything. The box seems to have been open 
at the bottom, but it had an arched covering at the 

top (ver. 35) with a round ornament, a crown mi"l3 

(ver. 31) on which the basin was placed. But the 
nature of the hands or holders J"liT and their rela- 
tion to the arched cover and the crown, is obscure. 
They must have been rather broad, as the figures 
were engraved upon them as well as on the cover 
(vers. 35, 36). It is equally difficult to say where 
and how the borders mentioned in vers. 29, 30, and 

36, nvb, were put on. According to ver. 29 they 

were "nio itb'JTO, by which Thenius, appealing 

to the nijjSpD in ver. 31, and nnS'l in ver. 36, 

understands "work of cutting in, i. e., sunken 
work; " but if the text meant this, why did it not 
make use of the identical expressions ? The spe- 
cific word must denote something specific; it re- 
mains only to take the usual translation, " hanging 
work " (Vulgate : deptndentia), " which certainly 
does not mean festoons hanging free, and waving 

in the air " (Keil) ; "pin means a declivity (hang- 
ing) in a local sense (comp. Josh. vii. 5 ; x. 11 ; Jer. 
xlviii. 5). According to ver. 29 the borders were 
on the edge-frames above as well as under the carved 
work upon the side walls of the box or chest, for 
[3 cannot be here, as Keil has it, a substantive, 

"and upon the ledges there was a base above." 
but only an adverb (De Wette, Thenius, and oth- 
ers), as in ver. 18. But we cannot with certainty 
ascertain the meaning of " at the side of every ad- 
dition " (wreath) at the end of ver. 30. [Bp. Hors- 
ley, "at the side of every addition." Rather "each 
over-against a compound figure." The shoulder- 
pieces (instead of "undersetters") went just so far 
down within the base as to be on a level with the 
compound figures on the outside." — E. H.] The 
"additions (wreaths) round about" in ver. 36 are 
the same as mentioned in ver. 29. The third main 
part, i. e., the wheels, differed so far from wheels of 
ordinary vehicles that their axle-trees were not im- 
mediately under the box or chest, but under its 
feet, so that the edges moved completely under 
the box, and the carved work on its aides was not 

hid by the wheels (ver. 32). But it is impossible tc 
determine the relation of the hands or holders of 
the wheels to the feet of the box and to the shoul- 
der-pieces (ver. 30). The description of the wheels 
begun in ver. 30 is continued in vers. 32, 33, 34; 
but ver. 31 treats of the upper part of the box 
which is further described in vers. 35 and 36; 
strictly speaking, therefore, ver. 31 should stand 
immediately before vers. 35 and 36, or else vers. 
31, 35, and 36 immediately before ver. 30. Fortu- 
nately the whole of the difficult section from vers. 
27-39 does not treat of a main integral part of the 
temple, and not even of one of the principal ves- 
sels, but only of one that is subordinate and sec- 
ondary. Its description, therefore, obscure as it 
is, may be regarded as sufficient, at least as far a« 
concerns its purpose. The best drawings that have 
been made of this vessel are those of Thenius 
(Commentar, taf. HI., fig. 4), and Keil (Arch:' oh- 
gie, I., taf. 2, fig. 4) ; and the most defective of all, 
whether ancient or modern, that of Unruh (das Altt 
Jerusalem, Fig. 11). 

Vers. 40—17. And Hiram made the lavers, 
&c. Ver. 40. The first part of this verse forms a 
kind of independent section, for the lavers, shov- 
els, and basins did not belong to the bases, but 
were, like the latter, utensils of the altar of burnt- 
offering. The lavers were for carrying away wa- 
ter, &c, the shovels for removing the ashes, the 
basins for catching the blood that spouted from the 
sacrifice (Ex. xxvii. 3 ; Numb. iv. 14). It is re- 
markable that the text never names the chief ves- 
sel of all, the altar of burnt-offering; for it was 
made anew at the same time (2 Chron. iv. 1), and 
upon a larger scale. Perhaps it was not made by 
Hiram, who only executed the more artistic brass- 
castings, among which this altar could not be reck- 
oned. The words, and so Hiram made an end 
of doing all the work, ftc, begin the general 
list of all the vessels Hiram had made, the brass, 
from ver. 40 to 47, and the golden, from ver. 43 

to 5 1. The former were all of bright brass (tDlbp), 

i. e., it was polished after the casting, so that it 
shone like gold (see above, on ver. 13), but it was 
no actual aurichalcum (Vulgate) ; Josephus says, 
Xa^.Koc rifv avyyv bfioioc XP VG <i> Kat T ° K-dXXoc. The 
region between Suecoth and Zarthan is mentioned 
as the place where the brass works were cast in 
the clay, i. e., in moulds of potters' earth. Suecoth 
(Judg. viii. 5 ; Josh. xiii. 27) lay beyond Jordan, not 
on the south side of Jabbok (Keil), but rather noi th- 
wards, for it could not possibly have been very far 
from Zarthan, which chap. iv. 12 places near Beth- 
shean, on this side Jordan. Consequently the foun- 
dry must have been on this side too; Burkhardt 
says (Reise, II. s. 593) that the " soil is all marl, 
and the further shore has no hollows whatever." 
Comparison of both places shows that they lay di- 
agonally opposite, and there was no larger ground 
suitable for the brass foundry in this side of the val- 
ley above (or below) Zarthan (Keil). The quantity 
of brass was so great (comp. 1 Chron. xviii. 8), that 
it was not necessary to weigh it out carefully for 
■ ach distinct vessel; and the weight of each can- 
not therefore be ascertained. |-|3 S 1 , ver. 47, does 

not mean : he laid them down, but he let <nem lie, 
i. e., he did not weigh them, as the following verses 

Vers. 48-51. And Solomon made all th« 



vessels ... of gold. We are not to conclude 
from the subject, "Solomon," that Hiram made 
only the brazen vessels (Thenius). As Hiram also 
knew how to work in gold (2 Chron. ii. 13), it is far 
more likely that Solomon intrusted him also with 
the goldsmith's work. The golden vessels are evi- 
dently only named, and not described, because they 
were made like those of the tabernacle (comp. Ex. 
xxx. 1 sq. ; xxv. 23 to 40), only upon a larger scale. 
The addition in 2 Chron. iv. 8 : "he made also ten 
tables, and placed them in the temple, five on the 
right side and five on the left," is declared to be 
an error by modern interpreters; but we might 
just as reasonably strike out the account of the 
altar of burnt-ofiering, which is not given in our 
text. The account is so definite that it cannot be 
a pure invention; besides, soon after, in ver. 19, 

the plural nibrDCTI occurs, and it is said also in 1 

-hron. xxviii. 16: "And (David gave to Solomon) 
oy weight . . . gold for the tables of shew- 
bread, for every table." Now when 2 Chron. xxix. 
18 mentions but one table, this is no contradiction 
(Thenius); for it says in 2 Chron. xiii. 11 : "and 
we burn, i. e., light, the golden candlestick every 
evening;" and yet, according to our text, there 
were 10 candlesticks. One asks, Why 10 tables ? 
but we, on the other hand, ask, Why 10 candle- 
sticks, if only one were lighted? There is no 
ground for the opinion that the rest of the tables 
served for the purpose of resting the candlesticks 
upon them; for then there must have been 11 of 
them, and instead of being called tables of shew- 
bread (1 Chron. xxviii. 16) they must have been 
called tables of the candlesticks. — Which David 
had dedicated (ver. 51). According to 2 Sam. 
viii. 7-12; 1 Chron. xviii. 7-11, David had taken 
a quantity of brass, silver, and gold from the con- 
quered Syrians, Moabites, Ammonites, Philistines, 
and Amalekites. which treasures he dedicated to 
sacred purposes. 1 Chron. xxii. 14, 16 also alludes 
to the great store of these metals. Immense as 
was the quantity of brass and gold needed for the 
'*mple, the supply was not exhausted. The rest 
consisted partly of unwrought gold and silver, 
oartly of vessels, and was preserved in the sanc- 
mary itself. Probably some of the side-chambers 
terved as a treasury.* 


1. The king's house was the second large ouild- 
lig that Solomon undertook. "After the c-'imple- 
Won of the sacred building ... he began the 
building of an house which should shed lustre on 
the second power in Israel, the kingdom which 
was then approaching its culminating point " 
(Ewald). Chap. ix. 1 and 10 accords with our 
passage, in placing the two buildings near to- 
gether. The section from ver. 1-12 is therefore 
no addition, interrupting the description of the 
temple building, but is purposely assigned that 
place; and the description of the vessels, ver. 14 
-50, is i sequel to that of the temple, and forms 
the transition to chap. viii. To Israel the mon- 

• If the leader wish to investigate this subject any fur- 
ther, he can and some strange fancies, and occasionally good 
S esses, in Mr. T. O. I'alne's Salomon's Temple, <ftc.', Bos- 
i, 1861, ot cliap. vll. 

archy had become a necessary institution, and 
stood so little in opposition to divine rule, that it 
rather served to sustain the latter; the king not 
being an absolute sovereign, and, as in other East- 
ern states, God's vicegerent, but a servant of Je- 
hovah, who had to execute His orders and to 
maintain the law (= covenant). Like the theoc- 
racy, the monarchy also had reached its highest 
point through David ; and Solomon represents thia 
culminating point. When, therefore, a spacious, 
splendid house was built for an abiding dwelling- 
place, a sign and monument of Jehovah's might 
and truth, instead of the tabernacle hitherto used, 
it was fitting that it should be a house correspond- 
ing with the greatness and prosperity of the king- 
dom. Therefore the building, which was a token 
and pledge of the theocracy, was followed by one 
which represented the kingdom ; and both stood, 
according to their signification, on two opposite 
neighboring hills. [We must repeat our doubts of 
the author's topography here. See above, Exeget 
on ver. 1.— E. H.] 

2. The plan and arrangement of the king's house 
quite accord with the conception Israel had of the 
calling of the monarchy. When the people de- 
sired a king, they said to Samuel, "that our king 
may judge us, and fight our battles " (1 Sam. viii. 
20). The first or foremost of the three buildings 
which together formed the royal palace, namely 
the armory, set forth the mission of the king 
against his enemies ; and it represented his pro- 
tecting war-strength ; the next building, the porch 
of pillars and the porch of the throne, or of judg- 
ment, signified the vocation of the king in respect 
of his subjects, viz., judging and ruling (see above 
on chap. iii. 9 ; 1 Sam. viii. 5, 6 ; 2 Sam. xv. 4) ; it 
represented the royal elevation and majesty; 
lastly, the third and innermost building was the 
real dwelling-house, where the king lived with his 
consort ; a private house which he had an equal 
right with any of his subjects to possess. The 
plan of the palace thus was very simple, and fol- 
lows so clearly from the nature of the relations, 
that we need not seek for the model of it any- 
where. Least of all should we be likely to find 
such in Egypt, although Thenius does not doubt 
that " Solomon built the royal residence after 
Egyptian models," and then refers us to the pal- 
aces at Medinat-Abu, Luxor, and Carnac. Just the 
main feature in the one we have been considering, 
i. e., the three parts forming a completely united 
whole, is wanting in these Egyptian buildings, 
which besides were entirely of stone, and conse- 
quently quite differently constructed. Where i9 
there anything in Egypt that in the least approxi- 
mates to the house of the forest of Lebanon, with 
its numerous wooden pillars and galleries ? Solo- 
mon's palace, as well as the temple, belonged en- 
tirely to the architecture of anterior Asia, but the 
fundamental idea upon which its plan and inte- 
rior arrangement rested, was essentially and spe- 
cifically Israelitish. 

3. Tlie calling of Hiram from Tyre to finish all 
the temple-vessels, was occasioned by the want of 
distinguished artists in Israel (see above on chap. 
v. No. 3). As Hiram's mother was an Israelite, 
which is expressly mentioned, we may well sup- 
pose that he was not unacquainted with the God 
whom his mother worshipped, and therefore was 
belter able than all other Tyrian artists to enter 
into the right spirit and meaning of the works 



which Solomon intrusted to him. But besides 
this, the sending for Hiram is important, inasmuch 
as it shows that Solomon desired to have real 
works of art, and that he so little despised art as 
the handmaid of religion, that he even sent for a 
heathen and foreign artisan. In his "wisdom" 
he regarded the command, Thou shalt not make to 
thyself any graven image, not as the prohibition 
of every species of- religious sculpture. In this re- 
spect he rises far above the Pharisaism of Jose- 
phus, who accounts the images of the oxen sup- 
porting the molten sea, and the lions near his 
throne, as much breaches of the law as the peopling 
of his harem with foreign women (Joseph., Antiq. 
8, 7, 5). Modern spiritualism, which rejects all 
plastic art in the service of the church, by an ap- 
peal to a false interpretation of our Lord's words 
in John iv. 24, is a lapse into the narrow-minded 
Jewish Pharisaism. 

[The service of art in the Christian Church, and 
its employment by Christians in behalf of the in- 
terests of religion, is always recognized except in 
periods of intense reforming life, when an icono- 
clastic spirit is apt to develop itself. The men 
who " denuded " the churches in the sixteenth 
and in the seventeenth centuries, regarded "orna- 
ments " as snares to the conscience, and as the 
foster-nurses of superstitions. The principle laid 
down and developed by Neander is the true one, 
viz., that the design of the Christian religion, 
which is to promote holiness of life, should be 
kept constantly in view; and that the beautiful 
should be observed and employed subordinately to 
this design. When the beautiful becomes, or tends 
to become, supreme in worship and in Christian 
art, then it becomes unlawful. 

Solomon, in the luxuriance of his nature, un- 
doubtedly was exceptional in his taste for orna- 
ment; and, in this respect, he did not represent 
the genius either of Judaism or of the Hebrew 
race. And the tradition as being against him, was 
true to the instincts of the race. — E. EL] 

4. The well-defined difference of the materials of 
the vessels used in Solomon's temple next strikes us. 
Those made for the interior of the building were 
all of gold ; all those outside of it, of brass. The 
design of this is apparent. Gold (see Historical, 
Ac, on chap. vi. No. 5), by virtue of its surpassing 
splendor, is the celestial metal, and was therefore 
fitted for the typical heavenly dwelling, where all 
is gold. Brass (see Exeget. and Crit. remarks on 
rer. 13) most resembles gold in color and brillian- 
cy, but stands in the same relation to it that iron 
does to silver (Isai. lx. 17); it approaches nearest 
to gold, and is fitted, not indeed for the building 
itself, but for its approaches, tho porch and the 
outer court. There were, then, no new vessels 
unknown in the tabernacle ; but the two pillars, 
Jaehin and Boaz, were new. There was the old 
ark of the covenant in the holy of holies (chap, 
viii. 3), the altar, candlestick, and table in the holy 
place, the altar of burnt-offering (brazen altar) in 
the outer court (2 Chron. iv. 1) ; the molten sea in- 
stead of the laver (Ex. xxx. 18), and the lavers in- 
stead of the basins, which it is to be presupposed 
from Lev. i. 13 were used. The increased size of 
Bome of these vessels, such as the altar of burnt- 
offering and the brazen sea, as well as the multi- 
plication of others, such as the candlestick, the 
table, and the "bases," was called for in part by 
the increased size of the sanctuary, and the rela- 

tion of the house (palace) to the tent, and in part 
by the extension of the central-cultus. 

5. The two pillars Jaehin and Boaz were nc 
more an innovation than the erection of a house 
instead of a tent; they owed their existence to the 
conditions that distinguished a new period of the 
theocracy. This we learn from their suggestive 
names. Jaehin refers to the fact that Jehovah's 
dwelling-place, hitherto movable and moving, 
was now firmly fixed in the midst of His people ; 
Boaz tells of the power, strength, and durability 
of the house. Both were monuments of Jehovah's 
covenant with His people, monuments of the sav- 
ing might, grace, and faithfulness of the God of 
Israel, who at last crowned the deliverance from 
Egypt, by dwelling and reigning ever in a sure 
house in the midst of His people. It stands to 
reason that such pillars could not have been placed 
before the tent ; they could only stand before the 
house, where they belonged to the porch, for it 
was the latter that gave to the dwelling-place the 
appearance of a house and a palace, in distinction 
from that of a tent. They were formed in accord- 
ance with their signification, being not of wood, 
not slender and slight, but of brass, thick and 
strong, which gave the impression of firmness and 
durability. The crown (capital), which is the 
principal characteristic of every pillar, consisted 
mainly, as did the brazen sea, of an open lily-cup. 
The Hebrew named the lily simply " the white," 

("JT"' from CTt^i to be white;) it is, therefore, a 

natural symbol of purity and of holiness to him. 

The priests, as the " holy ones " (Ex. iii. 27 sq.), 
were dressed in white (Num. xvi. 7), and the high- 
priest, the holiest of the holy, wore, on the great 
day of atonement, white garments, instead of hia 
usual many-colored ones; and these white robes 
were called "holy garments" (Lev. xvi. 4, 32). 
Inasmuch as " holiness " was the characteristic 
and fundamental idea of the Israelitish religion, 
the " white," i. e., the lily, seems to have been 
their religious Mower, as the lotus was the well- 
known sacred flower of the Indian and Egyptian 
religions. Besides this, the lily is nowhere more 
indigenous than in Palestine (Matt. vi. 28 ; Winer, 
JR.- W.-B., ii. s. 28), and it may therefore be named 
the flower of the promised land, as the palm was 
its tree (see above, llistor. and Ethical, in chap. 
vi. Xo. 6, b). If the capitals of the pillars were 
thus always and everywhere decorated with carv- 
ings of flowers, no more characteristic and suitable 
one could be chosen for the capitals before the 
"holy temple" (Ps. v. 7; lxxix. 1; exxxviii. 2) 
than the lily. The pomegranates on the capital, 
and which were also on the high-priest's robe, are 
no less characteristic (Ex. xxviii. 33 sq.). As the 
apple is the figure generally of the word (Prov. xxf. 
11), so the pomegranate, the noblest and finest of 
all apples, is the symbol of the noblest, most 
precious word, that of Jehovah, which is essentially 
law (= covenant). Just as this law is a complex 
unity, consisting of a number of single commands, 
that delight the heart and are sweeter than honey 
(Ps. xix. 9, 11), so the pomegranate encloses a 
number of preaious, delicious, and refreshing seeds. 
The Chaldee paraphrast renders the words (Eccles. 
iv. 13, thus: "Thy youths are filled with (divine) 
laws, like pomegranates,'' and vi. 11: "if they are 
full of good works (t. e., of the Bw) like pome 
cranates." The Gemara also uses the expression 



" Full of the commandments (of God) as a pome- 
granate " (comp. Symbol, des Mos. Kult, ii. s. 122 
sq.). Now the union of this symbol with the lily 
is very natural, for the law was the revealed sa- 
cred will of Jehovah, and the covenant, which was 
identical with it, was a covenant of holiness. The 
symbol, therefore, bore the seal of the same num- 
ber as the law and covenant, i. e., ten. Each row 
of pomegranates consisted of ten times ten ; they 
were adjusted to the different quarters of the 
heavens, exactly as the typical heavenly dwelling 
was, the kernel and centre of the same being the 
law laid up in the ark. Tlie nets, or net-work, 
connected with the significant synibols of the lily 
and pomegranate, cannot be viewed as mere orna- 
ments, used only " for graceful and suitable fast- 
enings of the pomegranates " (Thenius). The num- 
ber seven engraved on them (the symbolical num- 
ber of the covenant-relation and of sanctification) 
{Symb. des Mos. Kult., i. s. 193) shows the con- 
trary. But their signification cannot be exactly 
known, through utter want of analogous objects to 
judge from. The later critics have declared these 
pillars to have been only imitations of heathen 
symbols, but this is a very uncritical and super- 
ficial view. It borders ou the ridiculous to look 
on them as phallus-figures, or to compare them 
with the phallus 180 feet high in the temple of the 
Syrian goddess at Hierapolis (Lucian., de dea Syr., 
28 sq.). It is also quite wrong to compare them 
with the two columns of the Phoenician Herakles, 
or Saturn, who bears up or sustains the world, like 
Jehovah, and yet lives and moves eternally (Movers, 
Bel. der Phbniz., s. 292 sq.) ; for these pillars were, 
the one of gold and the other of emerald (Herodot., 
2, 44) ; they were but an ell high, were square, 
anvil-shaped, and stood, like all idols, in the inte- 
rior of the temple. It is not less astonishing to 
find these almost disproportionately thick, brazen 
pillars, taken for an imitation of the Egyptian 
6tone obelisks (Stieglitz, Gesch. der Baukunst, s. 
136), and to hear it asserted that "they originally 
represented, as needles (!) the power and force of 
the sun's rays." (Br. Bauer, Reliq. des A. T, ii. s. 
92.) Why should the religion of Israel alone abso- 
lutely have had no peculiar symbols, but have bor- 
rowed all from the natural religions that stood so 
far beneath it ? 

6. The molten sea was "for the priests to wash 
in " (2 Chron. iv. 6), i. ?., " their hands and feet, 
when they went into the sanctuary or went up to 
the altar also, to offer incense before Jehovah" 
(Exod. xxx. 19 sq.), in fact before any of their 
priestly functions. It was, therefore, peculiarly 
the priests' vessel. Its form, that of an open lily- 
cup, corresponded to its purpose. If all budding 
and blossoming signified holiness and priesthood 
(Num. xvi. 7, comp. with xvii. 20, 23 ; Ps. xcii. 14), 
the Mower named the "white," i. e., the lily, must 
have been pre-eminently the priestly one. The 
fo-ehead-plate of the high-priest, his insignia of 

office, was named j«y , flower, and the head-cover- 
ing of the ordinary priests njQJD, cognate with 
{P3J flower-cup (Ex. xxviii. 36, 40). The form of 

the lily-cup showed every one that the vessel was 
a priestly vessel ; the flower-buds also that adorned 
the edge like a wreath, showed the same. The 
measure of the se*a was according to the number 
dominant throughout the whole sanctuary, i. e., the 

number ten (see above, Histor. and Ethic, on chap 
vi. No. iv. b) ; it was ten cubits broad, five deep, 
and there were ten flower-buds to every cubit of 
the wreath. The molten sea, as a priest's vessel, 

stood beside, on twelve young oxen. The ox 1p3 ii 

•t t 

not only the chief animal for sacrifice, but was the 
sacrificial animal of the priests, in distinction from 
that of all who were not priests. The law ordered 
a young ox to be the sacrifice for the high-prieBt 
and his house, and for the whole priesthood (comp. 
Lev. iv. 3 sq. with vers. 23, 27, 32, and xvi. 11, 
with ver. 15; Ex. xxix. 10 sq. ; Num. viii. 8); it 
was specially the priests' animal. The twelve 
oxen, therefore, stood in the same relation to the 
molten sea, as the twelve lions to the king's throne 
(1 Kings x. 20), the lions being the royal animal. 
It is plain that the number twelve was not chosen 
merely for the sake of " symmetry " (Thenius), but 
had reference, like the twelve loaves on the table 
of shewbread, to the twelve tribes of Israel, and is 
moreover confirmed by the fact that they were 
placed just like the twelve tribes in camp, viz., three 
each to a quarter of the heavens (Num. ii. 2-31). 
The twelve beasts, then, were the symbol of the 
whole nation, not in its general, but in the peculiar 
characteristic imparted to it when it was chosen 
from all nations, as "a kingdom of priests, a holy 
nation " (Ex xix. 6). As Israel stood in relation 
to all peoples as a priestly nation, so one tribe 
stood as the priest-tribe in relation to the whole 
nation ; the special priesthood of the tribe rested 
upon the universal priesthood of the nation, and 
was, as it were, borne by it. The whole carved- 
work of the molten sea was rooted finally in this 
great idea. Here, also, instead of explaining Is- 
raelitish symbols by Israelitish ideas, just as with 
the brazen pillars, the effort has been made to look 
around for heathen models, and such an one has 
been found in the egg-shaped stone giant-vessel 
of thirty feet in circumference, having four handles, 
and ornamented with an ox, which stood at Ama- 
thus in Cyprus; it is also asserted that the twelve 
oxen were symbols of Time and the twelve months 
(Vatke, Bibl. Theol, s. 324, 336: Winer, R.-W.-B., 
ii. s. 68, n). We need scarcely say that that vessel 
belonged completely to nature-religion ; the ma- 
terial (stone), the shape (that of an egg), the four 
handles (elements), the bull (generation); every- 
thing, in fact, denotes the fundamental dogmas of 
nature-religion ; nothing but the blindest prejudice 
and utter want of critical capacity could discover 
— where the difference in outward form as well as 
in significance is so great — a likeness with the 
brazen sea, the purpose of which the biblical ac- 
count itself states so clearly and definitely. 

7. The ten lavers on the movable bases wert 
united to the brazen sea (2 Chron. iv. 6), for as the 
latter served for the purification of the priests at 
their functions, so the former were for the wash- 
ing of the sacrifices brought to the altar for burn- 
ing. They were, therefore, only placed there for 
sacrificial service, the chief vessel of which was 
the altar of burnt-offering, and they stood in an 
inseparable though subordinate relation to it. As 
they were not independent, then, we need not seek 
any further signification for them, more than for 
the other lesser vessels, the pots, shovels, bowls. 
But if they were only useful articles, why does the 
text dwell so much at length on them, and de 
scribe them so exactly and carefully, while if 

CHAPTER Vr. 1-51. 


never once mentions the chief one, the altar itself? 
The altar of sacrifice seems to have been origin- 
ally of earth, of unhewn stones (Ex. xx. 24 sq.) ; it 
bad, therefore, only one covering, which gave it 
a de^nite shape, ir the tabernacle as well as in 
the ten pie (Ex. xxvii. 1-8). Solomon neither 
cuild nor would alter anything in respect of this 
law-appointed and significant simplicity ; how- 
ever, in order indirectly to impress upon this chief 
article of use the character of the glorious house 
of Jehovah, he made the vessels inseparably con- 
nected with it, and forming with it one whole, the 
more splendid and artistic, and decorated them 
with all the emblems which were the significant 
temple-insignia : cherubim, palms, and flowers. 
Be did not adorn them on their own account, 
therefore, but rather for the sake of the altar, 
which they were to beautify. All these figures 
belonged properly to the interior of the sanctuary 
(see above, Histor. and Ethic, on chap. vi. No. G). 
and they were placed here, on the vessels of the 
altar of sacrifice, to point to the interior of the 
sanctuary, and signified the intimate relation in 
which the outer court, and especially the altar for 
sacrifice, stood to it. When lions and oxen are 
particularly mentioned as next the cherubims, 
these are not to be understood as new figures, but 
only as single component parts of the cherub ; as 
in Rev. iv. 6, 7, where all four are presented apart 
from each other. One may look in vain for a 
heathen parallel to these bases and lavers. " The 
whole arrangement, so full of meaning, appears 
quite peculiar to the Israelitish temple, for nothing 
of the kind is found anywhere else, either on Egyp- 
tian or Assyrian monuments " (Thenius). 


Vers. 1-12. Solomon first builds the house of 
the Lord, then begins to build his own house. We 
must first render to God what is of God, and when 
this has been truly done, then to Caesar what is 
Caesar's (Matt. xxii. 21). He who strives first after 
the kingdom of God, will likewise succeed in what 
he undertakes for his personal and temporal wel- 
fare (Matt. vi. 33). — The building of the house for 
the king followed immediately upon the building 
of the temple ; they belong together. Altar and 
throne stand and fall together, even as we have 
the two commandments : Fear God, honor the king 
(1 Pet. ii. 17; Prov. xxiv. 21). In the kingdom 
where religion and Christianity are cherished and 
highly honored, there royalty is most secure; a 
God-fearing people is the best, nay, the only sup- 
port of the throne. — Kings and princes cannot, on 
account of their high position, choose to live in 
ordinary houses, or yet in poor hovels ; it is simply 
folly to reproach them when they build castles for 
themselves. The building of palaces then becomes 
sinful and blamable only when they are built for 
the gratification of ostentation and insolence, or at 
the expense of a poor and oppressed people. — Be- 

fore his dwelling-house Solomon placed the courti 
of the throne and of justice, and before these th« 
armory, for it is the high and noble privilege of 
royalty to administer judgment and justice within 
the kingdom to all the nation (1 Chron. xviii. 14; 
Ps. lxxxix. 14), and from without, to protect it by 
force of arms from all its enemies. [Accommodate 
and apply these remarks to the State, or nation, the 
body politic — to its public buildings and the rest, 
as well as to the reverence for law needed upon th« 
part of the people, and they will be found useful 
for our American people to consider. — E. H.] 

Vers. 13-14. A wise prince, in the furtherance 
of his enterprises which aim at the honor of God, 
and the good of the nation, looks around for the 
best instruments, and in order to obtain them, seeks 
them wherever he can find them : for Prov. xxvi. 10. 
— He who has learned anything thoroughly, and 
brought it to perfection in its especial province, 
must be sought out and held in esteem, whatsoever 
be his position or country. — Art is one of the no- 
blest and best gifts which God has bestowed upon 
man ; therefore, above all, it should be applied to 
the glorification of God, and not merely to the sat- 
isfaction and pleasure of the world. To scorn and 
reject art, in the service of the Church, is to reject 
Him who has given it. — Ter. 15 sq. As in the 
typical temple the implements were not all the 
same, but of very varied kinds, each one of which, 
gold and brass, primary and secondary or auxiliary, 
had its peculiar place and purpose, so it is also in 
the true and real temple of God, in the Church of 
the Lord (2 Tim. ii. 20). Thus, varied as are the 
gifts, the calling, and the position of each individual 
in it, so each one must regard himself as an instru- 
ment of the Lord, remaining in that calling wherein 
he is called, and serving all the others with the 
gift which he has received (1 Pet. iv. 10; 1 Cor. 
xii. 28-31). — What signification have the holy ves- 
sels of the temple for the Church of the Lord, 
which is the true temple of God (Eph. ii. 20 sq.) ? 
(1) The pillars, Jachin and Boaz, in the porch, are, 
as it were, the superscription over the temple, and 
declare its strong foundation and its permanence ; 
the Lord declares both to His Church : Upon this 
rock will I build my Church, and the gates of hell 
shall not prevail against it (Matt. xvi. 18). Great, 
noble promise! (2) The brazen sea and the vases 
in the porch are there, that the priests may purify 
themselves, and the sacrifices which they bring 
there. The Church of the Lord is that holy priest- 
hood which offers spiritual sacrifices, &c. (1 Pet. ii. 
5). Those who wish to perform such Bervice the 
prophet summons: Wash ye, 4c. (Is. i. 16), and 
the apostle : I beseech you, Ac. (Rom. xii. 1). (3) 
The altar, the candlesticks, and the table stand in 
the building itself, which is a type of heaven, 
and show that for them who offer themselves pure 
and holy sacrifices, a divine light and life are 
prepared before the throne of God, and no other 
sacrifice is rendered except the incense of prayer, 
of praise, and worship of God (Ps. xvi. 11- Rev. 
v. 3-14). 


B. — The Consecration of the Temple. 
Chap. VTIL 1-66. 

1 ' Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the 
tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto king Solomon in 
Jerusalem, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord [Je- 

2 hovah] out of the city of David, which is Zion. And all the men of Israel 
assembled themselves unto king Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanirn, 

3 which is the seventh month. And all the elders of Israel came, and the priests 

4 took up the ark. And they brought up the ark of the Lord [Jehovah], and 
the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that icere in the 

5 tabernacle, even those did the priests and the Levites bring up. Aud king Solo- 
mon, and all the congregation of Israel, that were assembled unto him, were with 
him before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen, that could not be told nor num- 

6 bered for multitude. And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the 
Lord [Jehovah] unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy 

7 place, even under the wings of the cherubims. For the cherubims spread forth 
their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and 

8 the staves 3 thereof above. And they drew out 4 the staves, that the ends of the 
staves were seen out in the holy place before the oracle, and they were not seen 

9 without: and there they are unto this day. There was nothing in the ark save 
the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord [Jeho- 
vah] made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the 

10 land of Egypt. And it came to pass when the priests were come out of the holy 

11 place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord [Jehovah], so that the priests 
could not stand to minister because of the cloud : for the glory of the Lord 
[Jehovah] had [omit had *] filled the house of the Lord [Jehovah]. Then spake 

12 Solomon, The Lord [Jehovah] said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. 

13 I have surely built thee an house to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide in 
for ever." 

14 And the king turned his face about, and blessed all the congregation of 

15 Israel: and all the congregation of Israel stood; and he said, Blessed be the 
Lord [Jehovah] God of Israel,' which spake with his mouth unto David my 

16 father, and hath with his hand fulfilled it, saying, Since the day that I brought 
forth my people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of 
Israel to build an house, that my name might be therein ; ' but I chose David 

17 to be over my people Israel. And it was in the heart of David my father to 

18 build an house for the name of the Lord [Jehovah] God of Israel. And the 
Lord [Jehovah] said unto David my father, Whereas it was * in thine heart to 

19 build an house unto my name, thou didst well that it was' in thine heart. Never 
theless, thou shalt not build the house ; but thy son that shall come forth out of 

20 thy loins, he shall build the house unto my name. And the Lord [Jehovah] 
hath performed [established 10 ] his word that he spake, and I am risen up [estab- 
lished 10 J in the room of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the 
Lord [Jehovah] promised, and have built an house for the name of the Lord 

21 [Jehovah] God of Israel. And I have set there a place for the ark, wherein is the 
covenant of the Lord [Jehovah], which he made with our fathers, when he 
brought them out of the land of Egypt. 

22 And Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord [Jehovah] in the presence 
of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven: 

23 And he said, Lord [Jehovah] God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven 
above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy ser- 

24. vants" that walk before thee with all their heart: who hast kept with thy 
servant David my father that thou promisedst [spakest to '*] him : thou spakest 

CHAPTER Till. 1-66. 93 

also with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day, 

25 Therefore now, Lord [Jehovah] God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my 
father that thou promisedst [spakest to 12 ] him, saying, There shall not fail thee 
a man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel ; so that thy children [sons] take 
heed to their way, that they walk before me as thou hast walked before me. 

26 And now, O 13 God of Israel, let thy word, 14 I pray thee, be verified, which thou 

27 spakest unto thy servant David my father. But will God indeed dwell on the 
earth? behold the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how 

28 much less this house that I have builded ? Yet have thou respect unto the 
prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O Lord [Jehovah] my God, to 
hearken unto the cry and to the prayer, which thy servant prayeth before thee 

29 to-day: that thine eyes maybe open toward this house night and day, even 
toward the place of which thou hast said, My name shall be there: that thou 
mayest hearken unto the prayer which thy servant shall make toward this place. 

30 And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, 
when they shall pray toward this place : and hear thou in 15 heaven thy dwell- 

31 ing-place : and when thou hearest, forgive. If any man trespass against his neigh- 
bour, and an oath be laid upon him to cause him to swear, and the oath come 

32 before thine altar in this house : then hear thou in ie heaven, and do, and judge 
thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring " his way upon his head ; and 

33 justifying the righteous, to give" him according to his righteousness. When 
thy people Israel be smitten down before the enemy, because they have sinned 
against thee, and shall turn again to thee, and confess thy name, and pray, 

34 and make supplication unto thee in this house : then hear thou in heaven, and 
forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which 

35 thou gavest unto their lathers. When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, 
because they have sinned against thee ; if they pray toward this place, and con- 

36 fess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afiiictest them: then hear thou 
in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, that thou 
teach them [when thou teachest them (by affliction)] the good way wherein they 
should walk, and give rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people 

37 for an inheritance. If there be in the land famine, if there be pestilence, blast- 
ing, mildew, 18 locust, or if there be caterpillar [if there be consuming locust "] ; 
if their enemy besiege them in the land of their cities ; whatsoever plague, 

38 whatsoever sickness there be ; what prayer and supplication soever be made by 
any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of 

39 his own heart, 20 and spread forth his hands toward this house : then hear thou 
in heaven thy dwelling-place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man accord- 
ing to his ways, whose heart thou knowest ; (for thou, even thou only, knowest 

40 the hearts of all the children of men;) that they may fear thee all the days that 

41 they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers. Moreover, concerning 
a stranger, that is not of thy people Israel, but cometh out of a far country for 

42 thy name's sake ; " (for they shall hear of thy great name, and of thy strong 
hand, and of thy stretched-out arm ;) when he shall come and pray toward 

43 this house ; "hear thou in heaven thy dwelling-place, and do according to all that 
the stranger calleth to thee for : that all people of the earth may know thy name, 
to fear thee, as do thy people Israel ; and that they may know that this house, 

44 which I have builded, is called by thy name. If thy people go out to battle 
against their enemy,'" whithersoever thou shalt send them, and shall pray unto 
the Lord [Jehovah] toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toxoard the 

45 house that I have built for thy name : then hear thou in heaven their prayer 

46 and their supplication, and maintain their cause. 2 * If they sin against thee, (for 
there is no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them 
to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, 

47 far or near ; yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were 
carried captives, and repent, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them 
that carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, 

48 we have committed wickedness; and so return unto thee with all their heart, 


and with all their soul, in the land of their enemies, which led them away cap 
tive, and pray unto thee toward their laud, which thou gavest unto their fathers 

49 the city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name 
then hear thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven thy dwelling-place. 

50 and maintain their cause, and forgive thy people that have sinned against thee, 
and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against thee, and 
o-ive them compassion before them who carried them captive, that they may 

51 have compassion on them: for they be thy people, and thine inheritance, which 

52 thou broughtest forth out of Egypt, from the midst of the furnace of iron: that 
thine eyes may be open " unto the supplication of thy servant, and unto the 
supplication of thy people Israel, to hearken unto them in all that they call for 

53 unto thee. For thou didst separate them from among all the people of the 
earth, to be thine inheritance, as thou spakest by the hand of Moses thy ser- 
vant, when thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord [Jehovah] God." 

54 And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this 
prayer and supplication unto the Lord [Jehovah], he arose from before the altar 
of the Lord [Jehovah], from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to 

55 heaven. And he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud 

56 voice, saying, Blessed be the Lord [Jehovah], that hath given rest unto his peo- 
ple Israel, according to all that he promised : there hath not failed one word of 
all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant. 

57 The Lord [Jehovah] our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let hiin 

58 not leave us, nor torsake us: that he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk 
in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judg- 

59 ments, which he commanded our fathers. And let these my words, wherewith 
I have made supplication before the Lord [Jehovah], be nigh unto the Lord 
[Jehovah] our God day and night, that he maintain the cause " of his servant, 

60 and the cause of his people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require : " that 
all the people of the earth may know that the Lord [Jehovah] is God, and that 

61 there is none else. Let your heart therefore be perfect with the Lord [Jehovah] 
our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day. 

62 And the king, and all Israel with him, offered sacrifice before the Lord [Je- 

63 hovabl. And Solomon offered a sacrifice of peace offerings, which he offered 
unto the Lord [Jehovah], two and twenty thousand oxen, and an hundred and 
twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the children of Israel dedicated 

64 the house of the Lord [Jehovah]. The same day did the king hallow the mid- 
dle of the court that was before the house of the Lord [Jehovah] : for there he 
offered burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings : 
because the brazen altar that was before the Lord [Jehovah] was too little to 
receive the burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and the fat of the peace offer- 

65 ings. And at that time Solomon held a feast, and all Israel with him, a great 
congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt, before 
the 'Lord [Jehovah] our God, seven days and seven days, even fourteen days 

66 On the eighth day he sent the people away: and they blessed the king, and 
went unto their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the 
Lord [Jehovah] had done for David his servant, and for Israel his people. 


J Ver. 1.— [On the apocopated future ^flp' In connection with TN , see Ewald, Krit. Gramm., § 238 b., p. 598 in 7th 
id The Vat. Sept. prefaces this chapter with the statement "and it came to pass when Solomon had made an end of 
building the house of the Lord ami his own house, after twenty years, then," 4c; and omits the middle part or this verw 
and nearly all of ver. 2, etc. The Alex. Sept. follows the Heb. 

• Ver. 1.— [The renderings of the Heb. K'tM In the A. V. are various. Besides a few irrelevant translations, it f 
rendered by ciiptnin, chief, governor, prince, and ruler— prince being the most common. There Is also some variation 
In the Sept. translation of the word, but it is usually rendered apx^v. 

•Ver. 7.— [For staves the Sepl. substitute holy tilings. 

4 Ver 8 — {Luther, followed by our author, here translates " And the Btaves were so long that, etc., thus leaving onl 



!he evidence of design in the arrangement ; they adopt the intransitive sense of the verb OTS'l , as has also been done 

by the Vulg. and Syr. The sense of prolonging, extending, which is given by Keil, and adopted by the A. V., is at lenst 
is usual, and seems better suited to the connection. The skives, at the utmost, could have been but 10 cubits long, the 
depth of the holy of holies in the tabernacle. The author however assumes that the length of the ark, and consequently 
the direction of the staves, was north and south, in which case the staves could not in any way have been seen from outside 
the vail. 

* Ver. 11. — [There is no occasion here for the pluperfect, nor is it expressed in any of those VV. which admit of the 

• Ver. 13.-[The Val. Sept. omits vers. 12 and 13, the Alex, following the Heb. 

7 Ver. 15.— [The Sept. here add o-ij^epoi', and instead of unto read concerning David. 

8 Ver. 16.— -[The Vat. (not Alex.) Sept. here supplies from 2 Ohron. vi. 6 the clause «ai efcAcfVp '" 'Upovo-aXnn tiv<* 
»b bvoy.a ijlov e<«£. Our author omits the name Israel at the end of the verse. 

9 Ver. IS.— [Luther, followed by the author, uses here the present tense; the VV., following the Heb., have, like the 
A. V., ttie past. 

'" Ver. 20. — [It seems better, if possible, to render the Heb. verb Q^p in both these clauses by the same English 
word, though with differing shades of meaning. The Sept. has avio-rrtae . . . avear^v ; the author has bin bestittigi, 
Luther, like the A. V., varies the word. 

1 ' Ver. 23.— [The Sept. put this in the singular. 

■» Vers. 24, 25.— [The Heb. "1T7 , being the verb in all these clauses, there is no occasion to change the English word. 

» Ver. 26.— [Many MSS., followed by the Sept., Vulg., Syr., and Arab., prefix HliT . 

>< Ver. 26.— Even allowing that the k'tib ^'"ITl points to 2 Sam. vii. 28, yet nevertheless the k'ri ^"IST appearl 

according to 2 Chron. vi. 17 and i. 9 to be the true reading.— Bahr. [It is also the reading of many MSS., followed by the 
Sept., Syr., and Arab. . 

16 Ver. 30— [D'DE'ITvS T^U' DIpD'PX the proposition is the same as in the previous clause, toward this plaoe. 
The expression is a pregnant one=hear thou the prayer which is offered toward heaven, &c. 

18 Ver. 82. — [On MS., followed by the Sept., Chald., Syr., and Arab., reads from heaven — "$rVlD j and so in vers. 
Si, 86, 39, 48, 45, 49, according to 2 Chron. vi. 22, 28, 25. But see last remark. 

17 Ver. 32.— [The Heb. fiJI? is the 6ame in both clauses, and is rendered alike by the Chald. and Sept., which the 
English idiom scarcely admits. 

18 Ver. 87.— Withering of the grain through a hot wind.— Bahr. [Such is the sense of tip"! 1 wherever it occurs, as 

here, in connection with pSIt;', viz., Deut. xxviii. 22; 2 Chron. vi. 28; Amos vl. 9; Hag. li. 17. 

19 Ver. 37. — [TDn appears to be merely an epithet of ri3"!X ■ Cf. Deut. xxviii. 88. 
38 Ver. 38.— [132^ yjj . Qf. 2 Chron. vi. 29, 13X3OT )])}} . 

31 Ver. 41.— [The Vat. Sept. omits the latter half of ver. 41 and the parenthesis of ver. 42. 

33 Ver. 43. — [Many MSS. and editions, followed by the Sept., prefix the conjunction here as In vers. 86, 89, 45, <feo. 

38 Ver. 44— [Some MSS. and the VV. read V3'X in the plural. 

28 Ver. 45.— [The phrase DDETD H^'V always means the support of the righteous cause; with the suffix of the 

personal pronoun here and ver. 49 it assumes that the warfare to which they hail been sent was righteous. 
38 Ver. 52. — [The Sept. supplement this frequent expression by adding "and thine eare." 

38 Ver. 53. — [The Chald., Vulg-, and Syr. here follow the masoretic punctuation of HliT *JTX and, like the A. V., 

translate Lord God. The Sept. have, according to the Vat, xiipte *vpte, which is followed by Luther, while the Alex, omits 
the expression altogether. Our author translates Herr Jehovah. The Sept. make a considerable addition at the end of the 

37 Ver. 59.— [See note on ver. 45. 

88 Ver. 59. — [The words at t/te matter shall require not being in the Heb. are better omitted. — F. G.] 


Vers. 1-7. Then Solomon assembled, Ac. The 
section 2 Chron. v. 2 to vi. 42, which is for the most 
part like it, may be compared with this whole chap- 
ter. The little word fx time denotes, like ver. 12 

(comp. Josh. x. 12; Ex. xv. 1), the point of time 
which immediately follows what is above related, 
and means, what indeed the context infers, namely, 
that as soon as all the vessels were finished (chap. 
vii. 51), Solomon proceeded to dedicate the temple. 
In accordance with the great importance of the 
temple-building to the whole theocracy, he called 
together the elders, i. «., the presiding officers of 
communities, and also the heads of the tribes and 
the families, that the entire people might thereby 
be represented. The solemnity took place at tlie 
feast in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh 
month. The usual interpretation of D^nXH , month 

of the flowing rivers (rainy season), is more accept- 
able than that of Thenius, gift (fruit) month, or 
that of Bottcher, suspension of the equinox. This 
a.onth was called Tisri in our writer's time and 

later ; upon this account he expressly says that 
Ethanim was the seventh. The feast of taberna- 
cles occurred on the 15th of this month (Levit. 
xxiii. 34); it was the greatest and best observed 
of all the three yearly festivals, and was especially 
called "the feast" by the Jews (Symb. des Mos. 
Kult. ii. s. 656). Solomon therefore very fitly sol- 
emnized the dedication of the temple at the time 
of this feast. Although the text gives here only 
the month and the day, and not the year, it is of 
course to be understood that it was the first feast 
of tabernacles that occurred after the comple- 
tion of the temple in the eighth month (chap. vi. 
38); consequently it fell in the following year. 
The opinion that the dedication took place in the 
seventh month of the same year, in the eighth 
month of which the temple was finished (Ewald), 
needs no refutation. The assertion of Thenius, 
with which Keil also now agrees, appears more 
probable. He thinks that the temple was not dedi- 
cated until twenty years from the commencement 
of the building, i. e., thirteen years after its com- 
pletion ; because the divine answer to the dedica- 
tion prayer, according to chap. ix. 1-10, did not 



oome till tl.e temple of Jehovah and the king's 
house were both finished (chap. vi. 38, and vii. 1), 
and in the Sept. chap. is. begins with these words : 
" And it came to pass, when Solomon had finished 
the building of the house of the Lord, and the king's 
House [after twenty years), he assembled, &c. ; " but 
the passage, chap. is. 1, certainly does not say that 
the dedication did not take place for twenty years, 
or that Jehovah immediately thereafter appeared 
to Solomon ; it speaks not only of the completion of 
both those buildings, but of all the others besides, 
which Solomon had begun (chap. ix. 19), so that we 
must in that case place the dedication much later 
than twenty years (see below, on chap. ix. 1). As to 
the words of the Sept., they are unmistakably a 
gloss from chap. ix. 1 and 10, inserted here, and such 
as is found nowhere else, either in a MS. or in any 
other ancient translation, and therefore can never 
be regarded as the original text. When we con- 
aider how very desirous David was to build an 
house unto the Lord, that when he was not per- 
mitted to do so, he pressed the task as a solemn 
duty upon his son, that Solomon then, as soon as 
he had established his throne, began the building 
and continued it with great zeal ; it seems utterly 
incredible that he should have left the finished 
building thirteen years unused, and delayed its 
dedication until the twenty-fourth year of his reign. 
The weightiest reasons alone could have induced 
him to do so, but we hear nothing of any such. 
Even if we suppose the vessels not to have been 
finished as soon as the building, but to have been 
commenced after its completion, still it could not 
have taken thirteen years to make them ; and there 
was no reason why the dedication of the temple 
should have been put off until the palace was fin- 
ished, the latter requiring no solemn dedication, 
while the speedy dedication of the central sanc- 
tuary was an urgent necessity if the restoration of 
the unity of worship, commanded by the law, was 
to be established. 

To bring up the ark of the covenant of the 
Lord. In the march through the wilderness, the 
ark was covered with some cloths, and carried by 
the levites (Numb. iv. 5, 15), but on special occa- 
sions, the priests themselves carried it, as here 
and in Josh. iii. 6 ; vi. 6. Not only the ark, but 
the tabernacle, which had hitherto stood at Gibeon 
(2 Chron. i. 3, 4), with all its vessels, was brought 
out from Zion into the temple. While the priests 
carried the ark, the levites (ver. 4) carried the other 
things pertaining to the tent, all of which were 
doubtless preserved in the rooms of the side-struc- 
ture. When the procession reached the temple 
(ver. 5), the ark was laid down in the outer court 
before the entrance to the holy place, and a great 
and solemn sacrifice offered ; then the priests bore 
the ark to its appointed place. For vers. 6 and 1 
see above, on chap. vi. 23 sq. 

Vers. 8-9. And they drew out the staves, 
that the ends, &c. Ver. 8, which has had the 
most various interpretations put upon it, is nothing 
but a parenthesis following the concluding words 
of the preceding verse, explaining how it happened 
that the great cherubim-statues, with their wings 
stretched across the entire width of the sanctuary 
(chap. vi. 27), not only overshadowed the ark itself, 
but even its staves. As it says in Ex. xxv. 15, the 
staves were never to be removed, but were to be- 
long inseparably to the ark. If the cherubim- 
statues then were to overshadow the ark. they 

should also cover the staves inseparably united ix 
it. Now as the ark lay lengthwise north and 
south in the holy of holies, and the wings of the 
clierubim-statues stretched from the southern to 
the northern wall of the holy of holies, the stavep 
which they overshadowed with their wings must 
have been placed north and south, i. e.. on the 
longer sides of the ark, as Josephus (Ant. iii. 6, 5) 
expressly states. Therefore, their heads or ends 
could be seen from the sanctuary (great space) only 
close before the holy of holies (Debir). The reason 
why the staves were so long (131 N' is to be under- 
stood as intransitive, as Keil remarks; as in Ex. xx. 
12 ; Deut. v. 16 ; xxv. 15, and not to be translated: 
they made the staves long, as Kimchi and Thenius 
make it, for thus ns should stand before D ,T 13n) 

was in consequence of the weight of the ark, which 
must have been considerable, because the stone 
tables of the law were inside of the ark ; and it 
was carried by more than four, perhaps by eight 
priests, who did not touch it, as was commanded 
in Numb. iv. 15. And as the holy of holies was 
only intended for the ark of the covenant (chap, 
vi. 1 9), and the latter was only two and a half cu- 
bits long, with its long staves inseparable from it, 
it took up nearly the whole space. The oldest in- 
terpretation of our verse was borrowed from the 
Rabbins; it says that the staves were drawn so 
far forward that their ends touched the veil of the 
most holy place, and caused visible protrusions on 
the outside ; but this is disproved by the fact that 
the staves were placed on the longest side of the 
ark, and pointed south and north, not east and 
west, consequently could not have touched the 
curtain. Thenius, with whom Merz and Bertheau 
agree, explains the simple sentence in ver. 8 " by 
optical laws : when a person at the entrance of the 

holy place (lie makes tyiprriO mean that) could 

have seen through the open door the ends of the 
staves of the ark which was in the middle of the 
holy of holies, these staves must have been, ac- 
cording to the laws of perspective, seven cubits 
long." This highly ingenious explanation rests, as 
Keil justly remarks, on ill-founded suppositions, 
comp. ,B6ttcher Aehrenl. ii. s. 69. The words 

V3in 'OS'py cannot be translated: "from the 

great space before the debir," but mean, from the 
sanctuary, " when a person stood close before the 
dark holy of holies " (Ewald), or " near the most 
holy " (Merz). It is certain that the writer of these 
books had not the remotest thought about the laws 
of optics and perspective. The addition, and then 
they are unto this day, means: though the ark now 
had its fixed resting-place, the staves were left, 
according to the command Ex. xxv. 15, in order to 
signify that it was the same ark, which dated from 
the time when Israel was chosen to be a covenant 
people. The expression " unto this day," also oc- 
curring, chap, ix. 21; xii. 19; 2 Kings viii. 22, 
shows that the writer drew from a manuscript 
written before the destruction of the temple, and 
did not deem it necessary to deviate from its words, 
Ver. 9. There was nothing in the ark, &c. 
Ver. 9 returns to the ark itself, and emphasizes 
the fact that it was brought into the holy of ho> 
lies (ver. 6) because it preserved the original docu 
ment of the covenant which God made with Israel, 
which consisted of the "ten commandn_entl that 



the Lord spake unto them " (Deut. x. 4). By virtue 
of this document, the ark was the pledge of the 
covenant relation ; and at the same time was the 
fundamental condition of the religious and politi- 
cal life of Israel; it naturally formed the heart and 
central point of the sanctuary or dwelling-place 
of Jehovah in the midst of His chosen people 
(compare Symb. des Mos. Kull, i. s. 3S3 sq.) : " there 
would have been no temple without the ark of the 
covenant, that alone made it a sanctuary " (Heng- 
stenberg). According to Hebr. ix. 4, the ark con- 
tained, besides the tables of the law, the golden 
pot with manna (Ex. xvi. 33), and Aaron's rod 
(Numb. xvii. 25). The endeavor has been made to 
reconcile this passage with the one under consid- 
eration, by the supposition that those two addi- 
tional objects were no longer in the ark in Solo- 
mon's time, having only been there when Moses 
lived, the latter period being the one in the mind 
of the writer to the Hebrews (Ebrard, Moll, and 
others). But the passages quoted only say they 
were laid " before Jehovah " or "before the tes- 
timony;" not in the ark. The Jewish tradition 
alone renders it in (Schottgen, hor. Hebr. p. 973), 
and this tradition, with which the reader of this 
epistle may have been familiar, was probably in 
the writer's mind, for he was not desirous of giving 
an exact archasological description (comp. Tholuck 
and Bleek on Heb. ix. 4). V. Meyer's opinion, 
which Lisco also adopts, that the manna and rod 
were not in the ark any longer because " the direct 
theocracy, with its spiritual sceptre, and its bless- 
ings, had departed, and the people had an earthly 
king who was now to guide and watch over them," 
is in the highest degree erroneous. Ilorcb is not 
the highest summit of the mountains of Sinai, but 
a general name for the mountain-range of which 
Sinai is only a part: comp. Thenius on the place. 
Vers. 10-13. And it came to pass, when the 
priests were come out of the holy place, Ac. 
Ex. xl. 34, 35, is almost the same as vers. 10 and 
11; " then a cloud covered the tent of the congre- 
gation, and the glory of the Lord filled the taber- 
nacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the 
tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode 
thereon (pt.") and the glory of the Lord filled the 

tabernacle." It is plain that the author meant, 
what once happened at the dedication of the taber- 
nacle took place again at the dedication of the 
house. Tlie cloud, not a cloud (Luther), but that, 
in and with which, as once at the tabernacle, the 
glory of the Lord came down, though naturally 
not the same cloud as at that time. What ver. 10 
says of the cloud, ver. 11 says of the glory of the 
Lord ; it filled the house, not only the most holy 
place, but the whole dwelling, so that the priests 
were prevented for a moment from performing 
their functions in the sanctuary. We cannot pos- 
sibly conceive this to have been the cloud of smoke 
"which, rising from the burning offerings on the 
altar, veiled the glory of the Lord " (Bertheau on 
2 Chron. v. 14) ; for in this case the priests them- 
selves would have been prevented from officiating. 

Nor can we, on account of the nirp—liaD, think as 


Thenius, of the " bright and streaming cloud " 
which the Rabbins name rDpB'i for Solomon 
could not have said, on beholding it: Jehovah 
dwells PDIJQ; this word denoting, as Thenius 

himself rightly says, "exactly the black dark- 
ness ; " and he takes an unwarrantable liberty 

when, as the Chaldee, he reads DXITS for it. It 

is admitted that the " darkness must refer to the 
cloud " just also as that which in Ex. xix. 9 is 
named pi' is called ~>S1]} in Ex. xx. 21; and in 

Deut. iv. 11; v. 9; Ps. xcvii. 2, both words are 
conjoined as synonymes. Keil, too, thinks the py 

is the shekinah, for he says : " the glory of the 
Lord, which is like a consuming fire, manifested 
itself in the cloud." But this also is contradicted 
by the words of Solomon, that the Lord dwells in 
the (thick) darkness ; the text has not a syllable 
about a fiery appearance ; and certainly a consum- 
ing fire cannot be thought of here, where the sub- 
ject is the gracious presence of the Lord. Abar- 
banel indeed thinks that the fire of the cloud burst 
forth from it, after Solomon's prayer, and consumed 
the burnt-offering, 2 Chron. vii. 1 ; but it expressly 
says in this passage, that fire came " from heaven " 
(and therefore not out of the cloud). Keil further 
remarks: "This wonderful manifestation of the 
divine glory only took place at the dedication; 
afterwards, the cloud was visible in the holy of 
holies only on the great day of atonement, when 
the high-priest entered there " (Lev. xvi. 2). This, 
however, is quite contrary to the rabbinical be- 
lief, which was that the shekinah hung constantly 
above the ark of the covenant; and it also pre- 
supposes that the wonderful manifestation was 
regularly repeated on that solemnity of atonement, 
although neither the text nor the Jewish tradition 
mentions such a thing ; and this would have no 
analogy with God's miracles, which never recur 
regularly on a particular day. Our text only men- 
tions a dark cloud, which, as it filled the whole house, 
must necessarily have only been a passing phe- 
nomenon ; it served to show that the Lord, as once 
in the tent, would now henceforth dwell in the 
house built for Him. nin^-IU^ stands, as Solo- 
mon's phrase in ver. 12 shows, for Jehovah him- 
self, and is the standing Old Testament designation 
of the being (majesty) of God [like the 66^a of the 
New Testament. — E. H.], raised absolutely above 
all that is creaturely, yet stooping (pE*, Ex. xl. 35), 

i. e., concentrating himself, in order to manifest and 
assert himself, either blessing and saving as here, 
or punishing and destroying, as for instance, in Ps. 
xviii. T/ie Lord said. Because there is no passage 
showing that the Lord spoke those words, The- 
nius translates ION "the Lord proposeth to dwell 

in the thick darkness: or, He has made known 
that He will dwell in the thick darkness;" but 
just because the Lord had said so, Solomon beheld 
in the cloud a sign that he had come down to dwell 
in the temple (pt;'); he remembered the plain dec- 
laration Ex. xix. 9 ; Levit. xvi. 2. " Overpowered 
by that sublime moment, and filled with joy that he 
was counted worthy of the favor of being allowed 
to build a house for the Lord, he utters the joyful 

words " (Bertheau) : 'JVJ2 nJ3 , surely 1 I have 
built; for which Chron. gives TC32 'JX: I, yea, I 

have built. For the words in ver. 13, an house to 
dwell in, a settled place, see on chap. vi. 2, a, Histori- 
cal and Ethical. D'tJPIJJ is similar to Josh. iv. T; 



Job xii. 24 ; 1 Kings i. 3 1 (comp. Hengstenberg, 
Christol. ii. ». 432 sq.). According to 2 Chron. v. 
12 sq., songs of praise, accompanied by harps and 
psalteries, burst forth, as the priests came out of 
the sanctuary. 

Vers. 14-21. And the king turned his face, 
&.C. Solomon had spoken the words of vers. 12 
and 1 3 with his face turned to the temple ; but he 
now turned towards the people who were in the 
outer court, and who listened standing, i. e., with 
proper reverence, to the following discourse. This 
is a solemn declaration (vers. 15-21) that the tem- 
ple was undertaken and finished according to Je- 
hovah's word and will. The course of thought is, 
compared with 2 Chron. vi. 4-11, as follows: "so 
long as Israel, after the departure from Egypt, 
wandered about, and had not come into posses- 
sion of the promised land, Jehovah had chosen no 
abiding dwelling-place, His habitation was mov- 
able — a tent. But after He had chosen David to 
be king, and brought His people by him to the full 
and quiet possession of the promised land, it was 
fitting that He, as well as the nation, should have 
an abiding dwelling-place. Jerusalem being the 
city of David, and the central point of the king- 
dom promised to him ' for ever,' Jehovah had 
chosen this very city for His ' everlasting ' habita- 
tion. It was, however, forbidden to my father, Da- 
vid, to execute His purpose, namely, to build an 
house to the name of the Lord, instead of the tent; 
according to divine direction, He deputed this 
work to me, whom Jehovah had already confirmed 
as his successor. I then, specially commissioned 
and empowered to do so, have built this house, 
and brought into it the ark of the covenant, the 
pledge of the divine gracious presence ; and the 
cloud that has just now filled the house, as once 
it did the tent, is the sign that Jehovah will dwell 
here." The promise, the fulfilment of which Solo- 
mon refers to in this discourse, is that of 2 Sam. 
vii. 4-16, comp. with 1 Chron. xxii. 6-11 and xxviii. 
2—7. For the expression: that my name shall be 
there, the pregnant meaning of which we may 
gather from its constant repetition (vers. 16, 17, 
18, 19, comp. 29, 43, 44), see above, on chap. vi. 
Histor. and Ethical, 2, 6. It is worthy of notice 
that at the beginning and the conclusion of the 
address (vers. 16 and 21), the building of the tem- 
ple is placed in relation to the deliverance from 
Egypt. Comp. above on chap. vi. 1. 

Vers. 22-26. And Solomon stood before the 
altar of the Lord. 2 Chron. vi. 13 mentions that 
Solomon had a brazen scaffold (~IV3) made, which 

he mounted, and then knelt down to pray (comp. 
v. 54); as the text says nothing of its form, we 
will not decide whether it had, as Thenius thinks, 
a square support, and a rounded edge. Certainly 
it was a species of pulpit, not behind, but before 
the altar of burnt-offering. It does not follow from 
"IJJ , that Solomon again turned his face to the tem- 
ple (Thenius) : it means before, opposite ; the peo- 
ple therefore, could not have stood behind him, 
which must have happened, had he turned his back 
to them. The spreading out the hands is a sign 
of praying, just as our folding of the hands is (Ex. 
ix. 29, 31 ; Ps. xliv. 21 ; cxliii. 6; Isai. i. 15; lxv. 
!, Ac). Modern criticism has pronounced the dedi- 
cation prayer in its given form, vers. 23-61, to be 
unauthentic. De Wette and Stahelin place I he 
time of its composition in the period of the exile. 

Ewald admits that it is, "notwithstanding it» 
length, a very fine discourse ; but belonging, in 
the style of thought, rather to the seventh than 
the eleventh or tenth century," and thinks that 
it was most probably composed by the first of 
the so-called elaborators of Deuteronomy. Ac- 
cording to Thenius, there is a sketch in the prayei 
to be held as historical, though it be brief; but 
it contains considerable interpolations, as vers. 
44-51; and the frequent coincidence with pas- 
sages in Deut. and Josh., as well as "the style, 
which is so often diffuse, verbose, and watery (I), 
denote a more recent working up." "We remark, 
on the other hand : that the text containing the 
prayer, in Chron., perfectly coincides with that in 
Kings, except in a few particulars ; but this proves 
that it was not taken from the latter, but that both 
accounts were derived from a common source. So 
much then is certain, that our writer did not invent 
the prayer, but found it in the original which he 
drew from, and gave it again — as the similar text 
of Chron. shows — unaltered. The only question 
then is, of what date was the common original ? 
Chap. xi. 41 names as such the "book of the acti 
of Solomon," and the chronicler, " the book of Na- 
than the prophet " (2 Chron. ix. 29). The latter, 
however, cannot certainly belong to the seventh 
century, still less to the time of the captivity ; it 
evidently was written, as Bleek justly remarks, 
" in view of the state of things, when the temple, 
the city of Jerusalem, and David's kingdom still 
existed." As to the "thoughts," Thenius admits 
that the verses 27, 28, 41-43, 58, 60, "are fully 
worthy of a Solomon," and this without being able 
to prove that the others are unworthy of them ; 
they are, on the contrary, in fit connection and per- 
fect harmony with them (for the so-called interpo- 
lations of the vers. 44-51, see below, on the place). 
Vi'e can only conclude that this prayer was of later 
composition, because of its harmony with some 
passages of Deut. and Lev., if these books also 
belong to a later period ; and this is unproved. 
But with equal propriety, inversely, we may con- 
clude from the prayer, that these books were 
in existence in the time of Solomon, and were 
known to him as the pupil of a prophet. Finally, 
if the style and composition of the prayer, because 
they are verbose and watery, prove later working 
up, this objection rests on purely subjective taste ; 
and we have just as good a right to hold, as Ewald 
does, that it is, " in spite of its length, a very fina 
discourse." It is incredible besides, that a dis 
course, holding so important a place in Old Testa- 
ment history, should have been composed later, 
and falsely put into the mouth of the great king; 
we must believe, on the contrary, that if ever a 
speech were written down and preserved carefully, 
it was that one. 

Vers. 23-26. Lord God of Israel, &c. Vers. 
23-26, form the introduction to the prayer which 
is united to the speech, vers. 15-21, and gives 
praise and thanks to God for having already ful- 
filled the promise made to David (vers. 23, 24) h) 
so far as the house (2 Sam. vii. 5-16) was con 
cernsd, uniting with it the request that the Lord 
would further fulfil it, with regard to the house, 
i. e., the race of David, and their sitting upon the 
throne of Israel (vers. 25, 26). The address, there 
is no God like Tltee, &c., means : not the mere is no 
god among all those in heaven and earth like Thefc, 
but, nothing is like to Thee, who art in hea ei 



above and on earth below. Jehovah, the God 
of Israel, is not compared here with other gods, 
but on the contrary, is described as the only true 
God (comp. Beut. iv. 39; Josh. ii. 11; 2 Sam. vii. 
22; xxii. 32). He had shown himself such espe- 
cially by His keeping of the covenant, by His 
mercy (Deut. vii. 9 ; Dan. ix. 4), and by the fulfil- 
ment of His gracious promise, run D1'3 ver. 24 

as in chap. iii. 6. The house, as it now stands, is 
a witness to His faithfulness to the covenant. The- 
nius remarks on ver. 26: The urgency of the pe- 
tition is shown by its concise repetition. 

Vers. 27-30. But will God indeed, 4c. The 
prayer passes, at ver. 27, to its chief object, the 
temple, with which all the rest of it is occupied. 
'3 at the beginning is used here as in 1 Sam. xxix. 

8; 1 Kings xi. 22; 2 Kings viii. 13 ; Jer. xxiii. 18, 
" merely as an impressive introduction to the inter- 
rogatory sentence that leads to the real prayer " 
(Thenius), and is not, therefore, a mere confirming 
particle, as Keil, who connects our verse with ver. 
26 instead of with vers. 28-30, repeatedly asserts. 
The petition in ver. 26: that God would indeed 
keep the house (dynasty) of David on the throne, 
was not founded on the fact that the heaven of 
heavens could not contain Him, still less that tem- 
ple. On the contrary, the entire contents of the 
following prayer are, that God would hear all the 
prayers that should be offered in this place ; hence 
Solomon very naturally begins with the thought, 
can the infinite, unconfined Deity really have His 
dwelling here? The expression, the heaven and 
heaven of heavens, can have nothing to do with 
the different heavens taught by Jewish theology 
(Schbttgen, hor. hebr. p. 719), but is the description 
of the heavens in their all-embracing extent, as 
Deut. x. 14; Ps. cxv. 16. This is the connection 
of vers. 27 and 28: Thou art the infinite God whom 
no house built by man can contain, but I beseech 
Thee to show thyself here, as a God who answers 
prayer. In ver. 28 Solomon prays that God would 
hear his present prayer, and in vers. 29 and 30 
that He would also in the future always hear the 
prayers of the king and people in this place. The 
different expressions for prayer in the verses 28- 
30 are not very different in their meaning, and are 
placed near together here, to describe every kind 
of prayer. The words, that thine eyes may be open 
(ver. 29), do not mean that God was besought to 
watch over the building, and take it under His al- 
mighty protection, but always to see, when any 
one prayed there, and to hear his prayer, to turn 
His eyes and ears toward the house (comp. Ps. 
xxxiv. 16). For the placing of the temple and 
heaven (ver. 30) in antithesis, which is done indeed 
through the entire prayer, see above, on chap. vi. 
Eistor. and Ethic. 2 c. The prayer for forgiveness 
is joined to the prayer for hearing, at the conclu- 
sion, as also in vers. 34, 36, 39, 50, because man, 
who is full of sin and guilt, can only hope for the 
acceptance of his prayer when his sins are for- 
given ; every answer to prayer rests on the sin- 
pardoning grace of God. 

Vers. 31-32. If any man trespass against, Ac. 
The prayer that God may hear in general is now 
followed, from ver. 31 on, by prayers for particular 
cases, of which there are seven altogether; which 
IB no more remarkable than that the Lord's prayer, 
Matt. vi. 9 sq., also contains the sacred number 
seven, the number of the covenant (Symb. des Mos. 

Kult. i. s. 193). The first of the seven prayers (vers. 
31, 32) concerns the observation of the oath as sa- 
cred, namely, in cases like those of Ex. xxii. 7-10 
and Lev. v. 21-24. For -|L"N flN it is QX in 2 

Chron. vi. 22 ; it means : the case happening, thai 

= wi.en (Keil). rps N31 cannot be translated, 

T T T 

and the oath comes, as the article is wanting to 

n^N ; all the old translations give : comes and 

swears. Before the altar, i. e., the place of divine 
witness and presence (Ex. xx. 24). Thou bringest 
his deed upon his head, i. e., thou punishest him for 
his false oath (Ezek. ix. 10). We receive no an- 
swer from the commentators to the question, why 
is the prayer with respect to the oath placed fore- 
most in the seven petitions? Perhaps the reason 
is as follows : The temple, which is constantly and 
impressively exalted in the chapter we are" con- 
sidering, was built to the name of Jehovah, .vl.ich 
should be deemed holy ; but the oath was nothing 
more than the calling upon the sacred name ; t. e., 
the name of that God who had made himself known 
as a holy God, and who does not allow the misuse 
of his name to go unpunished (according to Eccle- 
siasticus xxiii. 9, bpaoc is equivalent to bvo/iaoia 
roil ay'tov, comp. ver. 11: 6 bpvi'uv Kal bvofiaCurv)' 
they swore by the name of God, is an oath-form in 
Levit. xix. 12; Deut. vi. 13; x. 20; Isai. xlviii. 1; 
Jerem. xii. 16 ; xliv. 26. The false oath was a con- 
temptuous use of the name to which the house was 
built ; but it was the chief requirement from him 
who stood in the holy place, that he should not 
swear falsely, Ps. xxiv. 3, 4. The command to 
keep the name of God holy, stands also first among 
the commandments of the fundamental law (Ex. 
xx. 7), and it is the first of the seven petitions in 
the Lord's prayer : hallowed be Thv name (Matt, 
vi. 9). 

Vers. 33-34. When thy people Israel be 
smitten down, &c. The second petition concerns 
the case of captives, who had, through their guilt, 
merited overthrow, and were led away by their 
conquerors; and beseeches Jehovah for the return 
of the people to their native land. To be taken 
away from the land of promise, to be separated 
from communion with the covenant people, in 
whose midst Jehovah dwelt, and to live among 
heathens, was the greatest of all misfortunes to an 
Israelite, and it was very natural to pray against it. 
And confess thy name must be connected with lit.", 

if they, feeling their guilt, acknowledge Thee God, 
dwelling and manifesting thyself here; it is not 
then the same as: praise Jehovah (Gesenius, Wi- 
ner). It is unnecessary to seek a direct association 
of ideas between this second and the first petition. 
Thenius says: "The internal welfare of the state 
was secured by fidelity and faith arising from fear 
of God, but that welfare could be in peril from 
without." Nor is there here a direct reference to 
Lev. xxvi. 17 and Deut. xxviii. 25, as Keil asserts. 
Vers. 35-40. When heaven is shut up, &c. 
The third petition (vers. 35, 36), and the fourth 
(vers. 37—40), concern divine judgment? by mean? 
of long-continued drought and land-plagues. As 
the rain, on which the fertility of the soil, and 
therefore all outward prosperity, depended in the 
East, was a sign of divine blessing (Ezek. xxxiv. 
26 sq.), so drought was a sign of curse and punish- 
ment (Lev. xxvi 3, 19 ; Deut. xxviii. 15, 23 ; xi 



17; Am. xlvii. ; Hagg. i. 11). The meaning of ver. 
3G is : when the people were brought into the right 
way again, by the merited chastisement, then lie 
oeseeches God to hear their supplication, and to 
forgive their sin and to send rain again. In ver. 
37 there are coincidences with Lev. xxvi. 25 ; Dent, 
xxviii. 22 ; but hunger, plague, blasting, and mil- 
dew are elsewhere mentioned as divine chastise- 
ments (Am. iv. 9, 10; Jerem. xiv. 12; xxiv. 10; 

Ezek. vi. 12; xiv. 21). p'Dn is in apposition (ac- 
cording to Keil), to describe the plague of locusts 
(Deut. xxviii. 38) ; Thenius thinks the copula be- 
fore it, which the chronicler and the old translations 
give, is wanting, and that a worse kind of locust 

is meant (Joel i. 4; Ps. lxxviii. 46). VIJJu' pN3 

is literally : in the land of his gates, which, how- 
ever, gives no sense ; it is clear that ]'~IN3 must 

be read (as Bertheau has it), and VIVB* be supplied 

with 3, as is clear from Deut. xxviii. 52: "thou be besieged in all thy gates, in thy whole 
land." Thenius unnecessarily reads, according to 
the Sept. (f v jua rm> ttoIew avrdv) J"inN3 instead of 

i«-|S3 • The words say — when the enemy is in his 

land, yea, even besieging his well-protected towns. 
The wasting of the land by locusts was similar 
to the wasting by hostile armies, that invaded 
the land like locusts (Jud. vi. 5). Which shall 
know every man, &c. (ver. 38), i. e., when each one 
should seethe connection "between his sin and 
the plague inflicted on him by God, and allow it 
to work out his chastisement" (Bertheau). Ac- 
cording to his ways (ver. 39), i. e., by the repentant 
heart, shown in all his conduct. Whether this re- 
pentance is really felt, He alone, who "searches 
the hearts " of the children of men, can know (Jer. 
xvii. 10). The reason of the hearing of prayer is 
given in ver. 40 : continuance in godly fear (comp. 
Deut. iv. 10). 

Vers. 41-43. Moreover concerning a stranger, 
Ac. The fifth petition (vers. 41-43) ranks with the 
lormer ones : but not only those belonging to tin- 
people Israel, who may call upon Thee here, hear 
also every stranger who does so; that all people of 
the earth, &c. In the law (Deut. xv. 14-16) it was 
provided that a stranger, sojourning among the Is- 
raelites, might sacrifice with them ; Solomon goes 
further, and declares that the great deeds of God 
in Israel, the seal and crown of which was the tem- 
ple as a fixed dwelling-place of Jehovah, were to 
work out the salvation not only of Israel, but the 
conversion of all the nations of the earth. To reach 
that end may God hear every stranger who comes 
to this house and calls upon Him for His name's 
sake (i. e., because he had heard of the might and 
greatness displayed on Israel, ver. 42). The ex- 
pressions in ver. 42 refer essentially to the wonder- 
ful exodus from Egypt (Deut. iv. 34; v. 15; Ex. 
vi 6), which had reached its climax in the building 
of the temple (see above, on chap. vi. 1). The 
words in ver. 43 : that they may know that this house 

. . . is called by thy name (?]J N"lpj), are a 

formula that occurs as here and in Jer. vii. 10, 11, 
14; xxv. 29, about the temple, and about the people 
Israel in Deut. xxviii. 10; Isai. iv. 1; lxiii. 19; 
Jer. xiv. 9; xv. 16; 2 Chron. vii. 14; and is inti- 
mately related to the expression, to lay the name 

of Jehovah upon (•>]}) a thing or person (Numb. vi. 
27 ; Deut. xii. 5 ; xvi. 6 ; 1 Kings xi. 36, &c). The 
latter was thus marked as one to whom God re- 
veals himself (names himself), ;'. e., manifests and 
communicates himself, so that he stands in unioD 
and communion with Him (Am. ix. 12, comp. Heng 
stenberg, Christologie, iii. s. 231 sq). Through the 
hearing of the prayers which the heathen offered 
here to Israel's God, they as well as Israel were 
to experience that His " name " was there (ver. 16), 
i. e., that He manifested and proved himself there 
to be God. The usual translation of the expres- 
sion, that this house is called by Thy name, oi 
bears Thy name, is therefore quite wrong. What 
good would it have done the heathen to know that 
the house Solomon built was called by Jehovah's 
name ? But the following is equally erroneous : 
"that Thy name has been invoked upon this tem- 
ple (at its dedication), i. e., that this temple has 
been dedicated under effective invocation of Thy 
continued help " (Thenius); it was not that the hea- 
thens were to know that the temple had been sol- 
emnly consecrated, but that the God who dwelt 
there would hear their as well as Israel's prayer, 
and that hence He is the only true God (chap, 
xviii. 37 ; Ps. lxv. 3). 

Vers. 44-50. If thy people go out, &c. The 
sixth petition (vers. 44, 45), and the seventh (vers. 
46-50), relate to the conceivable cases, in which 
the people cannot pray at Jehovah's house, because 
they are far from it. The first case is, when the 
people should be whithersoever Jelwvah should send 
them, i. f., in war, according to Jehovah's appoint- 
ment and approbation ; they were then to pray to- 
wards the city in which the temple was. The 
other case is, if having grievously sinned against 
Jehovah, and in consequence, being vanquished 
and led away captive to another land, they were 
then to repent, and direct their prayers towards 
the country, the city, and the house where Jeho- 
vah dwelt. The outward turning was the sign of 
the inward turning to the God of Israel, who as 
such has His dwelling-place in the temple, and is 
a real confession to this God, who never leaves 
His people, if they do not forsake Him. Maintain 
their cause, ver. 45 (comp. Ps. ix. 5; Deut. x. 18). 
This presupposes that the war is a just one. The 
three expressions for sinning are scarcely to be 
distinguished with precision from each other, as 
Keil thinks, but are only meant to include every 
conceivable kind of sin. Thenius asserts that the 
verses 44-51 are a "section added later, perhaps 
by the elaborator," for such a petition, which be- 
longs properly to vers. 33, 34, cannot follow ver. 
43 ; the custom of turning towards Jerusalem is 
first mentioned in writings subsequent to the ex- 
ile (Dan. vi. 11; Ezra iv. 58), and the last petition, 
vers. 46-51, was occasioned by the Babylonian cap- 
tivity, just also as the formula of the confession 
of sin, ver. 47, belonged to a later period (Dan. ix. 
5 ; Ps. cvi. 6). On the other hand, both petitions 
are exactly in the right place; the five previous 
ones refer to cases in which prayer is offered at 
the temple itself; the last two to cases where the 
praying people cannot come to the temple. They 
therefore follow quite naturally; besides this, the 
case in ver. 44 is evidently quite different from 
that in ver. 33 sq., for in the latter there is an 
armed invasion by the enemy, in which some ar6 
taken prisoners ; and in the former (ver. 4-4) thf 
people go out to battle under the divine order 



Turning towards the temple was a very natural 
custom, and mentioned not only in vers. 44 and 
48, but in ver. 38, before, and also in Ps. v. 8 ; 
xxviii. 2. As the temple, being Jehovah's dwell- 
ing, was a pattern of the heavens, His real dwell- 
ing-place, it followed that as men stretched out 
their hands to heaven, so they stretched them (o- 
irards the temple in prayer ; it is, at any rate, im- 
possible to prove that this custom came in first 
after the captivity. The carrying away conquered 
nations was "a fundamental maxim of despots 
which prevailed in the ancient orient" (Winer, 
*?.- W.-B., i. s. 357, and the writings quoted there); 
when therefore Solomon, in counting up the mis- 
fortunes and straits in which Israel could fall, 
thinks lastly of this most grievous case, it is less 
surprising that he should rather than that he should 
not have mentioned it, especially since it was re- 
peatedly threatened in the law (Lev. xxvi. 33 ; 
Dent, xxviii. 25, 36, 64; iv. 27). The petition is 
quite general, and there is not the slightest allu- 
sion to any particular captivity. The confession 
in ver. 47 is by no means of a kind that could have 
only been made in exile (comp. Numb. xiv. 40 ; 1 
Sam. vii. 6; Ps. li. 6; xxxii. 5), and we might, in- 
versely, with more justice maintain that the Jews 
in exile appropriated this most expressive word 
for the deepest guilt, from the royal prayer (Keil). 
There are exactly seven petitions, thus giving the 
prayer the seal of this significant number; and 
the last two cannot have been added later, for 
they contain nothing foreign to the other ones, 
but on the contrary are very suitable to the former 
petitions, and in perfect harmony with the imme- 
diately preceding one (comp. Bertheau on 2 Chrou. 
vi. 39). 

Vers. 51-54. For they be thy people, &c. 
Vers. 51-52 form the conclusion of the prayer, as 
vers. 23-26, the beginning, to which this conclusion 
points back. He confidently gives his reason for 
hoping for the acceptance of the whole prayer ; 
which reason is the election of Israel out of all 
nations, to be a peculiar and covenant people. 
With ver. 51 comp. Dent. iv. 20. The iron furnace 
is not = a furnace of iron, but the furnace in 
which the iron is melted, winch requires the great- 
est heat, therefore = glowing furnace. The deliv- 
erance from Egypt is here also looked on as a 
pledge for deliverance from every future distress, 
how great soever. The beginning of the prayer, 
vers. 28, 29, is taken up again in ver. 52; its close 

connection with ver. 51 through nVH? has this 

sense ; that it follows from their election to be a 
peculiar people, that Jehovah would also listen, in 
future, to their prayers. Ver. 53 (comp. Lev. xx. 
24, 26) is no mere repetition of ver. 51 (Theuius), 
but rests upon a broader ground, derived from the 
destiny of the nation itself. The peculiar people 
is that which was set apart for Jehovah's service 
from among all nations (Numb. viii. 14; xvi. 9), the 
holy people, the royal priesthood (Ex. xix. 5, 6). 
The prayer has quite a different ending in 2 Chron. 
vi. 41, 42 ; this, Thenius thinks the original one, 
which was not discovered by our author. That 
ending, however, must not be preferred to that in 
our books, and put in place of the latter ; because 
it agrees word for word with Ps. cxxxii. 8-10, re- 
ferring to a period after the captivity, and is evi- 
dently taktn from that psalm, not the latter from 
Chronicles, or from some source common to both. 

Peculiarities of the language also point to a rela- 
tively late period of composition (see Bertheau on 
the place). This ending in Chron. appears to have 
been chosen to form a connecting link with what is 
related immediately afterwards (2 Chron. vii. 1-3), 
but which is not in our text. 

Vers. 54-61. And it was so, that when Solo» 
mon had made an end of praying all this 
prayer. Ac. As the dedication-prayer was preceded 
by an address of greeting to the people (vers. 14- 
21), so also it was followed by a concluding speech 
and blessing, which Solomon gave, again standing 

(iOJJ'l). He next praises God for having given 

rest to His people Israel (ver. 56) ; for the conse- 
crated temple, that had been filled with the glory 
of the Lord (vers. 10-11), was a firm, immovable 
habitation, and therefore the practical evidence 
that the people had now fully come into their prom- 
ised rest (Deut. xii. 9-10), (see above, on chap. vi. 
1) ; Solomon, the builder of the temple, was for this 
reason named the " man of rest " (1 Chron. xxii. 9). 
Tlie good word is that which promises blessing (Jer. 
xxxiii. 14), as pronounced in Lev. xxxvi. 3 sq., and 
Deut. xxviii. 1 sq. The expression there hath not 
failed as = fulfilled, often occurs (Josh. xxi. 45; 
xxii : .. 14; 2 Kings x. 10). The praise of Jehovah, 
ver. 56, forms the introduction to vers. 57-61, 
which are also blessings and exhortations. In ver. 

58, Solomon wishes for the people, that God might, 
as heretofore, continue to be with them ; in ver. 

59, that He would, in answer to the prayer just 
spoken, grant them continued help against their 
enemies. The object of the first wisfc is stated in 
ver. 58, that of the second in ver. 60. Nigh, mean- 
ing that He should always remember these words, 
and fulfil them. Day and night, i. e., as each day 
should require, Ex. v. 13 ; xvi. 4. With ver. 60 

comp. ver. 43. The D7EJ', ver. 61, does not mean: 

in friendship with God (Gesenius), nor submissive 
(de Wette), nor uprightly (Luther), but: entirely, un- 
dividedly (comp. chap. xi. 4, 6). The entire con- 
cluding discourse (vers. 54-61) is missing in Chron- 
icles, as we remarked ; and this concluding portion 
being an integral part of the dedication-solemnity, 
the fact is by no means satisfactorily accounted for 
by saying: that "it is only a recapitulation of the 
preceding lengthy prayer" (Keil). On. the other 
hand, Chron. informs us that immediately after the 
prayer was ended, fire fell from heaven, which con- 
sumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and 
that the glory of the Lord filled the house (2 Chron. 
vii. 1 sq.). There is no apparent reason why our 
author, who is otherwise so minute in his account, 
should quite pass over this remarkable and wonder- 
ful occurrence, if it had been related in his origi- 
nal. Chronicles contradicts itself, inasmuch as it 
makes the filling of the house with the glory of the 
Lord follow upon the prayer, while chap. v. 14, as 
in our account, ver. 10 sq., makes it precede the 
prayer, which indeed the entire contents of the 
prayer presuppose. No one will believe that the 
glory of the Lord left the house during the prayer, 
and afterwards filled it again. If therefore the 
chronicler has in any place borrowed from later 
tradition founded on Lev. ix. 24, it must have been 

Vers. 62-66. And the king, and all Israel 
with him, offered sacrifice, &c. In accordance 
with the design of the festival, by far the greater 



number of sacrifices were thanksgiving, or peace- 
offerings, of which the fat only was burnt, and the 
rest used for food (Lev. vii. 11 sq. ; Deut. xii. 7). 
The number of animals, in which the Chron. and 
all the old translations agree, was very large, so that 
some have tried to prove that it was exaggerated. 
Thenius reckons that " as it took seven days to offer 
these sacrifices (allowing twelve complete hours to 
the sacrificial day), about five oxen and twenty-four 
sheep must have been slaughtered and offered 
every minute." This calculation, plausible as it 
seems, is disproved when we consider what the 
exact circumstances were here ; as Keil on the 
place has thoroughly done. It was not the king 
alone who sacrificed, but " all Israel with him ; " 
there were sacrificial feasts, during fourteen days, 
for the great assemblage of all the people from Ha- 
moth (the northern boundary of Palestine, Numb, 
xiii. 21 ; xxxiv. 8) to the river of Egypt (the pres- 
ent el Arisen on the southern frontier, Josh. xv. 
4), and whom we may compute at 100,000 men. 
Certainly the priests could not possibly have killed 
so many animals for sacrifice in the time stated, 
but according to the law it was the business of 
those offering the sacrifices themselves ; the priests 
only had to sprinkle the blood on the altar. This 
they could easily do.for their number then amounted 
to at least some thousands, as we can judge from 
the number of levites (1 Chron. xxiii. 3). With re- 
gard to the great number of the sacrifices, it is also 
expressly remarked in ver. 64, that as they could 
not all be offered on the brazen altar, Solomon (for 
this purpose) hallowed the middle of the court, i. e., 
consecrated it as a place of sacrifice by erecting 
subsidiary altars. How extraordinarily great the 
number of sacrifices at that kind of festival was, 
even in later times, we learn from an account of 
Josephus (Bell. Jud. vi. 9, 3), namely, that at a pass- 
over-feast at Jerusalem, in Nero's time, the priests 
counted no less than 256,000 sacrifices that were 
slaughtered and consumed. We are to understand 
besides the thank-offerings, by the bund-offerings 
and meat-offerings (ver. 64), the daily morning and 
evening sacrifices of the law (Numb, xxviii. 3). The 
time and length of the festivity given in vers. 65 
and 66 are more plainly expressed in the parallel 
passage in 2 Chron. vii. 8-10: "Solomon kept 
the feast (jnriTIX, i- «•, the feast of the taber- 
nacles, see on ver. 2) at the same time as temple- 
dedication, seven days, . . . and on the eighth 
day they made rnXJJ (as the law commanded, Lev. 

xxiii. 36); for they kept the dedication of the 
altar (in which that of the temple was included) 
seven days, and the feast (of tabernacles) seven 
days. And on the three and twentieth day of 
the seventh month he sent the people away." 
This places the feast of the tabernacles, which ac- 
cording to the law began on the 15th of the seventh 
month, after the dedication ; and when our text says 
therefore seven days and seven days, even fourteen 
days (ver. 65), it can only mean that the dedication 
and the feast lasted altogethoi fourteen days; con- 
sequently the first immediately preceded the latter, 
and did not occupy from the 1st to the 7th day 
(Thenius), but from the eighth to the fourteenth. 
That the dedication lasted "fourteen days" is still 
more out of the question (v. Gerlach). The two 
narratives do not, however, perfectly agree, for ver. 
66 says that Solomon sent the people away on the 
tighth day (of the feast), i. e., on the 22d of the 

month, while 2 Chron. vii. 10 makes it the 23d 
Yet this is no real contradiction, but only a vagut 
form of speech about a known thing. Solomon 
sent the people away on the 8th day, i. «., in the 
afternoon or evening, of the Azereth of the feast of 
tabernacles ; so that they began their journey home 
on the following morning, i. e., on the 23d of the 
month (Keil). Whether the feast of atonement 
(Lev. xxiii. 27), which fell on the 10th of the seventh 
month, was kept, and how, remains uncertain. Old 
commentators say that the dedication rendered it 
unusually solemn ; others that, as it was a fast day, 
its observance was for that time omitted. Tents 
(ver. 66) is here like 2 Sam. xx. 1 ; Judges vii. 8 
used for home, and David is named instead of Sol- 
omon (which the chronicler adds), because he was 
the originator of the temple-building, and through 
him Solomon was enabled to undertake it. 


1. The dedication of the temple is one of the mosl 
important of the facts of the Old Testament his 
tory, inasmuch as with it and through it, the 
" house " which Solomon built, first became what 
it was destined for— the dwelling-place of Jehovah, 
and all that the idea of dwelling comprises in it 
(see above, on chap. vi.). The theocratic kingdom, 
and that of Solomon in particular, then reached its 
highest glory. For this reason the feast did not 
last only one day, but, like the great feasts that 
were devoted to the remembrance of the equally 
important facts in the theocratic history (the pass- 
over and tabernacles), continued seven days. This 
is why both narratives give such minute accounts 
of it, and show, by their agreement, that the com- 
mon source from which they drew had treated th6 
subject with the same minuteness. V. Gerlach 
justly remarks that: "the solemn event recounted 
here crowned the work of the establishment of 
God's kingdom in Israel, which was begun by 
Samuel and continued by David." 

2. In respect of the act of dedication, it next 
strikes us that the king stands at the head of the 
whole ceremony, though it was an essentially re- 
ligious one. He ordains a special festival, calls all 
the people to it, and conducts the whole solemnity. 
He is the author of everything from beginning to 
end — speech, prayer, and blessing. The priests and 
levites indeed are also busied in it, but they only 
perform their usual services, and the high-priest is 
not even named, still less mentioned as the chief 
actor on the occasion, performing the dedication. 
It has been said in explanation, that Solomon stood 
at this moment, like Moses, Samuel, and David, as 
a direct and divine ambassador, as king, priest, 
and prophet (von Gerlach), or that he had taken 
on himself, as an absolute temporal ruler, the func- 
tions of a priest and prophet (Ewald, Eisenlohr, 
Menzel, and others). Both suppositions are, to say 
the least, unnecessary. The position Solomon took 
here is thoroughly justified by the nature of the 
theocratic kingdom, which was not designed to re- 
move or displace the divine rule, but rather to exalt 
and execute it. The theocratic king did not take 
the place of the God-king, Jehovah, but was his 
" servant," and as such, Solomon repeatedly desig- 
nates himself here (vers. 25, 28, 29, 52, 59). What 
the whole people were to Jehovah, by virtue of the 
covenant (Ex. xix. 6), was summed up in their king 



and true of him as an individual. The priesthood 
was not at th^. head of the kingdom, which was not 
«n hierarchy, but a theocracy ; theirs was a separate 
institution, which it was the duty of the king to 
maintain, as well" as all other institutions of the 
Jaw (covenant). He would therefore have acted 
contrary to Jehovah's law, and have sinned (comp. 
2 Chron. xxvi. 16 sq.), had he taken on himself the 
offices which belonged by law to the priests. Solo- 
mon therefore let the priests perform their services 
at the dedication, as the law prescribed, and he was 
not guilty of the shadow of usurpation of the 
priestly office. But the act of dedication of the 
"house of Jehovah" built by him through divine 
commission, which act bore such high importance 
to the realm and people, and began a new epoch in 
theocratic history, belonged rightly to his mission as 
a theocratic king. No one else had the right, be- 
cause no one else had the same theocratic position 
and duties. And as the theocratic kingdom reached 
its culminating point with Solomon, the theocratic 
kingdom also attained in him its full significance. 
It would be quite perverse to attempt to ground or 
to defend the modern imperial papalism (CAsaro- 
papismus), or the so-called liturgical rights of the 
sovereign, by the precedent of Solomon's conduct. 
The Old Testament theocratic kingdom was essen- 
tially different from the monarchy of these of mod- 
ern times. 

3. The act of dedication began by carrying the 
ark of the covenant in solemn procession, with the 
king at the head, into the temple, and depositing it 
in " its place," the holy of holies, while numerous 
sacrifices were offered. The ark of the covenant 
was the root and kernel of the whole sanctuary ; 
it contained the moral law, at once the original 
document and pledge of the covenant, through 
which, and in consequence of which, Jehovah was 
willing to " dwell " in the midst of his chosen peo- 
ple ; the Kaporeth upon which Jehovah was en- 
throned was therefore inseparably united with it 
{Ex. xxv. 22), so that the entire sanctuary only be- 
came through this throne what it was intended to 
be — the dwelling-place of Jehovah. On this sub- 
ject Witsius says (Miscell. sacr. p. 439) of the area 
foederis : Qiuz sanctissimum fuit totius tahernacidi 
Ket/ift.iov, quceque veluti cor tortus religionis lsraditi- 
coz primwm omnium formata est Exod. xxv. 10, et cui 
ne deesset habitationis locus, ipsum tabernaculum dein 
et superbum illud templum conditum fuit. Exod. xxvi. 
33 et xl. 21 ; 1 Chron. xxviii. 2. By the placing of 
the ark of the covenant in the temple, it first be- 
came the house of Jehovah, and hence its solemn 
introduction into it. While everything else with- 
in it was made new (chap, vii.), the same ark of the 
covenant was kept, and only changed its place. It 
could never grow old, for it was the witness of the 
past victorious divine guidance, as well as the 
pledge of Jehovah's faithfulness and might. With 
it, all the historical facts bound up with it became 
associated with the temple ; it was the historical 
tie between the old and new sanctuary, between 
the two periods of the tent and the house (see 
Introd. § 3), making the latter the immediate sequel 
to the former. 

4. The filling of the house with Jehovah's glory, 
made manifest to the senses by the cloud, is in har- 
mony with the spirit of the Old Testament econ- 
omy, inasmuch as it bore, compared with the New 
Testament economy, a bodily form, and in it the 
entire human-divine relation, as it comes to its ex- 

pression in a cultus, assumed shapes perceptible to 
the senses. As Jehovah, in the old covenant, 
chose a visible dwelling amongst his people, in to- 
ken of their election, so also He verified His pres- 
ence in this dwelling in a way cognizant to the 
senses, that is, through the cloud, which is the me- 
dium and sign of His manifestation, not only here, 
but all through the Old Testament (Ex. xvi. 10; 
xx. 21; xxiv. 15, 16; xxxiv. 5; xl. 34; Lev. xvi. 
2 ; Numb. xi. 25 ; xii. 5 ; Isai. vi. 3, 4 ; Ezek. i. 4, 
28; x. 3, 4; Ps. xviii. 10-12). But the cloud is 
not so well suited for this purpose, because it ex- 
ists far above, in heaven, which is Jehovah's pecu- 
liar dwelling (Prov. viii. 28 ; Ps. lxxxix. 7 ; Job 
xxxv. 5), and is also, as it were, His chariot (Ps. 
civ. 3) ; but rather because, as its name 6hows, its 
nature is to conceal and veil, so that cloud and 
darkness are synonymous words. "py, cloud, 

named from the covering of the heavens " (Gese- 

nius); ?B"I5J, "thick darkness," comes from f\"\]l, 

drop down dew (Deut. xxxiii. 28), and means lit- 
erally cloud-night; ay from ay?, to darken, some- 
times means thick darkness, sometimes cloud (Ex. 
xix. 9; Ps. xviii. 12; Job xxxvi. 29; xxxvii. 11, 
16). The cloud is, on account of its darkness, the 
mode of manifestation of Jehovah and of His glory, 
and the throne on which His presence was con- 
centrated within the dwelling stood in the back 
part, which was perfectly dark. Even the high- 
priest, when he entered once a year into this dark 
place, covered the throne besides with a cloud of 
incense, " that he died not " (Lev. xvi. 2, 13). When 
Moses prayed, I beseech Thee, show me Thy glory I 
he received the answer : Thou canst not see my 
face, for there shall no man see me and live ; but 
Jehovah then came down in the cloud to manifest 
himself to him (Ex. xxxiii. 18, 20; xxxiv. 5 sq.). 
Nebuld, says an old commentator, deus se et reprae- 
sentabat et velabat. The cloud is then, on one 
hand, the heaven-descended sign of the presence 
of the self-manifesting God ; on the other hand, it 
declares that God in His being, spiritually and 
ethically, is so far above, and different from all 
other beings, that man, in his sinful and mortal 
nature, cannot comprehend Him nor endure the 
sight of Him. Gorres rightly says (Mythenge- 
schichte II. s. 507) : " It is the distinguishing char- 
acteristic of the genius of the Mosaic fundamental 
view, that it veils the Deity far off from the teme- 
rity of the exploring reason, just as it chastely 
and abstemiously forbids polluting Him with the 
sensuous dreams of the imagination." The God 
of the Old Testament manifests Himself to man 
through word and deed, yet ever remains at infin- 
ite distance above him, so that when he strives to 
overstep the creature-limits of his nature he must 
perish. Quemadmodum, says Abarbanel (in Bux- 
torf, hist, areas foed., cap. 11), lucem solis propter 
summura ejus splendorem et claritatem oculus humanus 
non potest videre, quamvis causa sit, ut res videantur ; 
et sihomo proprius etfixe eumintueri velit, oculisejus 
percutiuntur et hebetantur, ut nee illud amplius videre 
queat, qziod alias videre potuii : sic non pioiest mteU 
lectus humanus apprehendere deum secundum veru 
latem suam, et si terminum suum egrediatur, ip- 
prehensio ejus confunditur aut moritur (cf. 1 Timothy 
vi. 16). 

5. The dedication prayer, which belongs to the 
finest pieces of the Old Testament, received a high 



significance through the fact that the person who 
offered it, did so in his highest official character 
and rank, as king and head of the theocracy, and 
in view of the whole people, on an occasion (see 
above on chap. vi. 1) which formed an epoch in the 
theocracy. This, then, is not the prayer of a private 
person, upon a private matter, but one offered in 
the name of the whole nation, and about a subject 
which formed the central point of its worship, and 
therefore touched its highest interests. It did not 
spring from individual religious views, but from 
the religious consciousness of the whole commu- 
nity, and may therefore be regarded as a public 
and solemn confession of faith, inasmuch as it 
brings to light the chief and fundamental truths 
of the Old Testament religion which peculiarly 
distinguished it from all others. There is not a 
prayer to be compared with this in all pre-Chris- 
tian antiquity. Had we nothing belonging to Jew- 
ish antiquity but this prayer, it would alone suffice 
to attest the depth, the purity, and the truth of 
the Israelitish knowledge of God and of salvation, 
over against the religious ideas of all other 

6. Prominent beyond all else in this prayer are the 
expressions respecting the being of God, especially in 
Bis relations to the temple. At the beginning (ver. 23) 
God is addressed as He with whom nothing can be 
compared, whether in heaven or on earth ; as the 
Being who is above and beyond the world, and 
therefore the only God ; and it is emphatically con- 
fessed (ver. 27) that no house built by man can 
contain Him in His infinitude and omnipresence. 
This was the most decisive refutation of all an- 
thropomorphistic representations of God, such as 
heathenism made in its temples (see above), and 
which it might seek to associate with Jehovah's 
dwelling, now no longer a movable tent, but an 
abiding house. At the same time, this infinite, 
only God is most explicitly praised as Israel's God, 
». «., as the God who had chosen Israel out of all 
peoples to be His inheritance, had shown Himself 
to them in word and deed, and entered into a co- 
venant with them, as a pledge of which He took 
up His dwelling in their midst. This confession 
of a personal, living God presents the strongest 
contrast to every pantheistic representation of the 
being of God, such as the higher wisdom of hea- 
thendom, identifying God and the world, imagined, 
and of which, most unjustly, the effort has been 
made to discover a soupcon in Solomja's words in 
ver. 27. The Israelitish idea of God ktows noth- 
ing of a contradiction between the supernal, infi- 
nite, and absolute being of God, and His entering 
into creaturely, finite, and limited being. Just 
because He is infinite and unsearchable, He can 
communicate with the finite ; and because He is 
everywhere, He can be peculiarly present in one 
place, centring His presence, and displaying His 
glory (absolute sublimity). Heaven is His throne, 
and earth His footstool, therefore no house built 
by man can be His permanent place of rest (Isai. 
Ixvi. 1); but as He dwells in heaven, so He can 
dwell on earth; " for thus saith the high and lofty 
one that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy : 
I dwell in the high and holy place, with him [also] 
that is of a contrite and humble spirit " (Isai. lvii. 
15). "Behold, the heaven and the heaven of hea- 
vens is the Lord's, the earth also, with all that 
therein is. Only the Lord had a delight of thy 
fathers to love them, and He chose their seed after 

them, even you above all people" (Deut. x. 14 
«</.). " For Him nothing is too great and nothing 
too small, nothing is too high and nothing too low, 
that He cannot set His name there" (vers. 16, 29, 
chap. xi. 36; xiv. 11), i. e., manifest Himself at 
and through it, without ceasing to fill heaven and 
earth. To confess and pray to Him as such a 
God means to " confess His name " (vers. 35, 41, 43). 
His covenant relation to Israel, and the consequent 
dwelling in the midst of that people, are not at all 
inconsistent with his infinitude and unsearchable- 
ness, but rather were the means by which He 
could be known as the one, true, and living God. 
The expression touching the infinite grandeur of 
God's being is followed by this: "who keepest 
covenant and mercy with Thy servants that," &c. 
The God, with whom nothing in heaven or earth 
could be compared, has manifested and revealed 
Himself to Israel as a moral being; the covenant 
which He has made with them is of a purely ethi- 
cal nature, for it is the law (Ex. xxxiv. 28 ; Deut. 
iv. 13), the revealed will of God, and rests on the 
grace of election; it is a covenant of grace. He 
who gave the law, and will have it kept, is also 
mercifui •'nd gracious, long-suffering and abundant 
in goodness <ind truth (Ex. xxxiv. 6). The knowl- 
edge of this gives the key -tone to the whole prayer; 
all trust and hope of an answer is rooted in it. 
But heathenism, which in its deepest grounds is 
nature-religion, knows nothing of this ; the God 
of Israel is the only absolute holy one, and there- 
fore the alone true. 

7. Tlie general substance of the prayer is that Je- 
hovah might liear all those who should call on Him 
here for help or deliverance from any need. But 
the answer is not expected by any mere outward 
coming or turning to the place of His presence, 
but by the knowledge, that all distress is caused by 
the turning away from Jehovah and His laws, that is, 
by sin. Answer, with regard to deliverance, must 
rest therefore upon forgiveness of sins, which has 
again as its prerequisite repentance and return, 
i. e., conversion to Jehovah. This is why the pe- 
tition : forgive the sin ! (vers. 30, 34, 36, 39, 50) is 
repeated in the several prayers for deliverance from 
a state of suffering. Universal sinfulness is not only 
expressly asserted (ver. 46), but the living con- 
sciousness of it is interwoven with the whole prayer. 
This is the more characteristic, as it was not a 
penitential ceremony at which the prayer was of- 
fered, but a j iyful thanksgiving-festival, and it 
was offered by a king who was the wisest of his 
time, and had reached the summit of power and 
prosperity (chap. v. 1, 11). From this we see how 
firmly that consciousness was rooted in the people 
Israel, and how inseparably it was united with 
all their religious views. Such a thing is found in 
no other nation of the ancient world, because none 
of them knew the God whose name is Holy (Isai. 
lvii. 15), i. e., who had revealed Himself to Hi3 
people as the Holy one, and whose covenant with 
them bore this inscription : Ye shall be holy for I 
am holy (Levit. xi. 44). When God is known as 
the absolutely Holy, and the sanctifier, man ap- 
pears in contrast as a sinner, and the more liv- 
ing the knowledge, the more living is the con- 
sciousness of sinfulness. No man can confess the 
name of God, which is the name of holiness, who 
does not know himself to be a sinner; acknowl- 
edging his sin he gives God, the Holy One, glory 
Hence min ( ver - 33) means just an much, to cod 



fess his sin to Jehovah, as to give him praise (Ps. 
xxxii. 5 ; liv. 8). 

8. Much as it is insisted on through the whole 
prayer, and its acceptance grounded in the fact, that 
Jehovah is the God of Israel, and has chosen that 
people from all nations of the earth (rer. 51-53), yet 
the purpose of this election, namely " that all people 
of the earth may know Jehovah's name," and " fear 
Him as do His people Israel " (ver. 43), is also very 
clearly set forth. The prayer that Jehovah may 
ever hear the strangers also, who come from dis- 
tant lands and do not belong to His people, when 
they call upon Him here ; this prayer, we say, re- 
ceives peculiar importance when Solomon, in his 
blessing at the end of the whole festivity, alludes 
once more to the grand end designed : " that all 
the people of the earth may know that the Lord is 
God, and that there is none else " (ver. 60). It is 
therefore hoped of the Temple, the central sanc- 
tuary of the one true God, that the knowledge and 
worship of this God should spread forth from it 
among all nations of the earth ; and it is very re- 
markable, that what the prophets declared no less 
distinctly afterwards, was pronounced here so 
explicitly, at the dedication of the Temple (cf. 
Isai. ii. 3; lvi. 7; Ix. 2 sq. ; Jer. iii. 17; Mic. 
iv. 2 sq. ; Zech. viii. 20 sq.). Thus the prophet- 
ical element, that element which formed so es- 
sential and important a part of Old-Testament 
religion, is not absent from the prayer. The com- 
mon talk of vulgar rationalism, about Jehovah 
being only a God of the Jews and of their land, 
appears in all its emptiness and folly when con- 
trasted with the official (to a certain degree) ac- 
knowledgment of Israel's world-wide mission, and 
which acknowledgment was made on a most so- 
lemn occasion. 

9. In its form and breadth, the prayer of Sol- 
omon is a genuine public or common prayer ; it 
wears a completely objective character; the views, 
wishes, and wants of individuals, as expressed, 
for instance, in the prayer of chap. iii. 6-9, are 
here left quite in the back-ground, while the com- 
mon wants of the whole people occupy the fore- 
ground. Solomon, as the head and representative 
of the whole nation, does not pray from his own 
faith and consciousness, but from those of the 
collected nation. First, praise and thanksgiving ; 
then follow the various petitions and intercessory 
prayers; lastly, an appeal to the grace hitherto 
vouchsafed, for a pledge of acceptance and the 
promised succor. Both the language and modes 
of expression have the genuine ring of prayer. 
God is not preached to nor addressed nor taught, 
but prayed to. A firm trusting faith, a holy moral 
earnestness, unfeigned humility, and great simpli- 
city breathe through the whole, while with these 
there is united a fervor which shows the deepest 
emotion ; in short we feel that this prayer was not 
composed among the soft cushions of the palace, 
but on the knees. In this respect it may be re- 
garded, at the present day, as a model of a general 
church-prayer. This seems to have been more or 
less the case in earlier times ; as for example, the 
so-called Litany, with its intercessions and re- 
sponses, — Hear us, Lord God ! has the ring of 
our dedication prayer (vers. 32, 34, 36, 39, 43, 
45, 49). 

10. In the concluding speech following the prayer 
Bolomon desires for the people the help of God, 
that they may accomplish the world-wide design 

of their mission — the spreading of the knowledge 
of the one true God among all nations. He 
founds the hope that Jehovah will assist him, on 
the fulfilment of all the promises, already expe- 
rienced, made to the people, of which the building 
of the Temple as a firm dwelling of Jehovah had 
given practical witness ; he therefore begins the 
benediction with praise of the divine faithfulness; 
but he limits the attainment of their mission to 
the condition that they should persevere in keep- 
ing God's laws. Thenius remarks forcibly on this 
subject : " How seemly and truly edifying it is 
that God's help is specially implored for the pur- 
poses of ordinary life (ver. 58), and that the wish 
that men may find an answer to prayers for tempo- 
ral aid (ver. 59), has for its end increased knowledge 
of the one true God (ver. 60)." 

11. The great seven days' feast of the sacrifices 
connected with the dedication of the Temple is not 
to be looked on as a mere thanksgiving feast. The 

D'OT"' which were brought in such unusual num- 
bers, and formed tho principal sacrifices, were by 
no means only thank and praise offerings, but also 
vow-offerings. The peculiar and characteristic 
mark of this kind of sacrifice, which distinguished 
it from the others, and in which their ritual culmi- 
nated, was the sacrificial meals, in which the whole 
family of the sacrificers, even man-servants and 
maid-servants — the whole house, took part (Lev. vii. 
15 si/. ; Deut. xii. 17 sq.) ; it was a common meal. 
As eating at one table is a sign of communion and 
united feeling (Matt. viii. 11 ; Gal. ii. 12 ; Gen. xliii. 
32), so the sacrificial meal was the sign of religious 
unity of those who eat, among each other as well 
as with the Deity, to whom the sacrifice belonged, 
and at whose table it was eaten in common (cf. 1 
Cor. x. 18 sq., and in general Symbolik des Mos. 
Kultus, xi. s. 373 sq.). When therefore the king, 
and with him the whole people, held sacrificial 
meals during seven days, at the Temple-dedica- 
tion, they celebrated and sealed, in doing so, both 
their union with Jehovah and with each other ; 
thus the dedication of the Temple, the central point 
of all religious life in Israel, became also a covenant- 


The dedication of the Temple, (a) The bringing 
in the Ark of the Covenant to the Holy of Holies, 
vers. 1-13. (b) The speech, prayer, and benediction 
of the King, vers. 14-61. (c) Great sacrificial so- 
lemnity of the entire people, vers. 62-66. 

Vers. 1-9. The solemn procession to the new 
Temple, (a) Its aim and signification (it was the 
Ark of the Covenant, because in it was the Law — 
i. e., the covenant, the very Soul of the Sanctuary, 
vide Historical and Critical, 3). We have in the 
new covenant not only the Law but the GospeL 
which is everlasting, 1 Pet. i. 25. Where His 
Word is, there the Lord dwells and is enthroned ; 
it is the soul of every house of God, and indeed 
gives it its consecration ; without it, every church 
is dead and empty, whatsoever may be the prayers 
and praises offered therein ; hence at the conse- 
cration of a ^.zurch it is customary to bring it in 
in solemn procession. (6) The members of the pro- 
cession (the King at its head, the heads of tribes, 
the princes, the priests and Levites, the entire 



people ; all gathered round the ark, in which was 
the Law, i. «., the covenant, and by this march, 
solemnly and significantly recognizes the word of 
the Lord ; no one, be his position high or low, is 
ashamed of this public acknowledgment. Nothing 
can be nobler than to see a whole nation, from the 
highest to the lowest, gathered in unity round its 
holiest possession). — What, from an evangelical 
standpoint, must we think of public processions, 
with a religious object (Prozessionen) ? — Wurt. 
Bib. : The consecration of a church is a praise- 
worthy custom. But it should not be done with 
holy water, but with the word of God, with prayer, 
and with thanksgiving. — Pfaff. Bib. : All men, 
especially those of highest rank, ought to show 
themselves zealous in God's service, and enlighten 
others by their example. — The priests bear the ark, 
and bring it to its place. To be bearers of the Di- 
vine word, and to set up the mercy-seat in the 
House of God, as Paul points out, Rom. iii. 24 sq., 
is truly the office and the glory of God's servants, 
Mai. ii. 7. — Cramer : Christ, the true Ark of the 
Covenant, is the end and ful fillin g of the Law. My 
God I may I, as in an ark, preserve and guard thy 
law 1 Ps. xL 9. — Ter. 6 sq. The word of the Lord 
is under divine protection, the angels are its guard- 
ians and watchers ; it can neither be destroyed by 
human power, nor is it aided or protected by men. 

Vers. 10-13. The glory of the Lord filled the 
House, (a) What this means; (6) in what manner 
it befell (v. Historical and Critical, 4). — It is impos- 
sible that mortal, sinful man should see or compre- 
hend the Holy and Infinite One (1 Tim. vi. 16). 
We see through a glass, darkly (1 Cor. xiii. 12). 1 
can experience his merciful Presence ; but pre- 
sumption and folly it is to wish to sound the depths 
of His Being, Job. xxxviii ; Ex. ii. 33, 20. — Starke : 
soul, who finding thyself tempted, and as if in 
darkness and gloom, mournest that God is far from 
thee : ah I mark this for thy comfort, God abides 
with thee in darkness, and is thy light, Ps. xxiii. 4: 
xxvii. 1 ; Is. lvii. 15. — The eye of faith beholds in 
the darkness the glory of the Lord, in the night of 
the Cross the Light of the World, through the dim 
Teil of the flesh the Only begotten Son of God, full 
of mercy and grace. 

Vers. 14-21. The Speech of Solomon to the as- 
sembled people. He solemnly announces, (a) that 
the building of the temple was of the gracious will 
and counsel of God, vers. 15, 16 (with it the lead- 
ing of Israel out of Egypt is come to its end, 
reached its final aim; the House in place of the 
tent is the crowning act of God to Israel, a clear 
spoken testimony to his might and truth ; there- 
fore Solomon begins his speech: Blessed be, Sec); 
(b) that God had called him to the performance of 
his decrees, vers. 17-21. (He announces the mercy 
of God, in that he allows him to undertake the work 
whose completion was denied to his father. He 
who understands a great, holy work must be as- 
sured of this — that he is not actuated by ambition, 
by passion for glory, or by vanity, but that he is 
called therc^-, by God, and that it is his sacred 
duty.) Ver. 14. After every completed work per- 
mitted thee by the Lord, be it great or small, let it 
be thy first care to give Him the honor, and to de- 
clare His praise. — Ver. 15. I have spoken it and 
performed it, said the Lord (Ezek. xxxvii. 14). 
What man speaks and promises, now he cannot 
porform, again he will not perform. Hence Ps. 
cxviii. 8 —Ver. 16. The choice of God is no blind 

preference of one and prejudice against another, 
but aims at the salvation of both. As from 
amongst all nations he chose Israel for its salva- 
tion, so out of all the tribes of Israel he chose the 
City of David for the blessing of the whole king- 
dom. — Vers. 17, 18. How many individuals as well 
as whole congregations have the means and the 
power wherewith to build a church, to repair a 
ruinous one, or to enlarge one which has become 
too small ; but nothing can be further from their 
mind. — He who purposes to do a good work, but ia 
hindered therein, not by his own fault but by di- 
vine decree, he has yet " well done," God regards 
his intention as the deed itself. — V. 19. God some- 
times, in His inscrutable but all-wise councils, de- 
nies to His own people the fulfilment of their 
dearest wishes, whose object may even be the 
glory of His name, in order to try their faith, and 
exercise their submission and self-denial. — V. 20 
The fairest prerogative of him whom God has 
placed upon a throne is, that he has power to work 
for the glory of God's name, and to watch over the 
extension of the divine kingdom amongst his people. 
Every son who succeeds to the inheritance of his 
father should feel obliged, first of all, to take up 
the good work whose completion was denied to 
his father, and perfect it with love and zeal. 

Vers. 22-53. The dedicatory prayer of Solomon. 
(a) the exordium, vers. 23-26; (6) the prayer, vers. 
27-50 ; (c) the conclusion, vers. 51-53. — The prayer 
of Solomon a witness to his faith (he confesses 
the living, holy, and one God, before all the peo- 
ple) , to his love (he bears His people upon His 
heart, and makes intercession for them); to his hope 
(he hopes that all nations will come to a knowledge 
of the true God). From Solomon we may learn how 
we ought to pray : in true reverence and humiliation 
before God, with earnestness and zeal, with ua- 
doubting confidence that we shall be heard. — What 
an elevating spectacle, a king upon his knees, pray- 
ing aloud, in the presence of his whole people, and in 
their behalf 1 Although the highest of them all, he 
is not ashamed to declare himself a servant of God, 
and to fall down upon his knees ; although the wisest 
of them all (chap. v. 11), he prays as a testimony 
that a wisdom which can no longer pray is folly ; al- 
though the mightiest of all (chap. v. 1), he confesses 
that nothing is done by his power alone, but that 
the Lord is the King Eternal ; therefore it is, that 
he does not merely rule over his subjects, but as 
an upright king supplicates and prays for them 
likewise. — Ver. 22 (cf. ver. 54). Solomon stands be- 
fore the altar, bows the knee, stretches out his 
hands, the people stand around, the worshippers 
turn their faces towards the sanctuary (vers. 38, 44, 
48). Outward forms, for the worship and service 
of God, are not to be rejected when they are the 
natural unbidden outflow of inward feeling. (The 
Lord himself and his apostles prayed upon their 
knees, Luke xxii. 41 ; Eph. iii. 14. No one is so 
exalted that he ought not to bow his knee and 
clasp his hands.) They (outward forms) are worth- 
less when they are regarded as meritorious, and 
man puts his trust in them (Luke xviii. 11, sq.) 
They are sinful and blameworthy if they are per- 
formed merely for appearance's sake, or to deceive 
men (Matt. vi. 5, 16). The Lord knows the hearts of 
all men (ver. 39) ; one cannot serve the living God 
with dead works (Heb. ix. 14). 

Vers. 23-26. The introductory prayer, (a) The 
invocation, vers. 23, 24. (Solomon calls upon the 

CHAPTER HI!. 1-66. 


infinite God of heaven and of earth as the God 
of Israel, not because he was only the God of 
that nation, but because he had revealed himself 
to it, had spoken to it, and with it had made a 
covenant of mercy and grace, and had kept this 
covenant. In the new covenant we no longer 
call upon God as the God of Israel, but as the 
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. i. 3), be- 
cause he has revealed himself to us through 
Christ, and through Christ alone do we find in 
Him the true God, the God of grace and mercy. 
Thus He wills that we should call upon Him.) 
(6) The supplication joined to this, vers. 25, 26. (Let 
thy promise be fulfilled. It is fulfilled, for God has 
sent that son of David whose kingdom shall have 
no end, Luke i. 32 sq. ; Is. be. 7. In the new cove- 
nant we pray that God will prove true the word 
which He has spoken to us, through this Son of 
David. — Ver. 25. Covenant and mercy are no couch 
of repose for old men, but the working energy 
which keeps the path of God, and walks in His 
way. — Ver. 24. Starke : Word and deed, promise 
and fulfilment, with God go hand in hand.) 

Vers. 27-30. What does Solomon declare concern- 
ing the destination of the house which he had built 
unto the Lord ? (a) But will God indeed, ic, ver. 27. 
God dwells not, &c, Acts xvii. 24 ; Is. lxvi. 1. He 
is everywhere, in the heaven above as in the earth 
beneath, in lonely, secret chambers as in grandest 
temples, Ps. exxxix. 7 sq. ; Jer. xxiii. 23 sq. But 
he has said : (6) My name shall be, ver. 29. Where 
His people dwells there will He also dwell, and will 
declare Himself to them as the God who is holy, 
and will be sanctified ; not for His own sake, but 
for that of His people, has He a temple in their 
midst, Ex. ii. 20, 24; xxvii. 43. Here is His word 
of revelation, here His mercy-seat. Therefore, (c) 
He wills that here prayer shall be made unto him, 
and here He will listen to those who pray. Ver. 30. 
Every prayer offered to Him here is a confession of 
Him, of His name. — Ver. 27. Although the heaven 
of heavens cannot contain the Unmeasurable and 
Infinite One, and no building, how great and noble 
soever, can suffice for Him, yet, in His mercy, He 
will make his dwelling-place (John xiv. 23) in the 
heart of that man who loves him and keeps his 
word, and it will truly become a temple of God (1 
Cor. hi. 16); He will dwell with those who are of 
an humble spirit (Is. lvii. 15 ; Ps. cxiii. 5, 6). — Ver. 
29. The eye of God looks upon every house where 
His name is honored, where all with one mind raise 
heart and hand to Him, and call upon His name (Ps. 
exxi. 4) . To every church the saying is applicable : 
My name shall be there : the object of every church 
is to be a dwelling-place of divine revelation, t. e., 
if the revealed Word of God, in which, upon the 
strength of that Word, worship, praise, and prayer 
shall be offered to the name of the Lord. — Ver. 30. 
The houses of God, above all else, must be houses 
of prayer (Is. lvi. 7); they are desecrated if devo- 
ted merely to worldly purposes of any kind what- 
soever instead of being used for prayer and sup- 
plication. — The hearing of prayer does not indeed 
depend upon the place where it is offered (John iv. 
20 sq.), but prayer should have an appointed place, 
where we can present ourselves, even as God wills 
that together with one voice we humbly exalt His 
Dame (Rom. xv. 6 ; Ps. xxxiv. 4). Where two or 
three are gathered together in His name He is in 
their midst ; how much more will He be where a 
whole congregation is assembled to call upon Him. 

Vers. 31-50. The seven petitions of the prayei 
teach us, (a) in all necessity of body and soul to 
turn to the Lord who alone can help, and call upon 
Him with earnestness and zeal (Ps. 1. 15; xci. 14, 
15); (6) in all our straits to recognize the whole- 
some discipline of an holy and just God, who will 
show us the good way in which we must walk (Ps. 
xciv. 12; Heb. xii. 5 sq.); (c) to confess our sins 
and to implore forgiveness, in order that we may be 
heard (Ps. xxxii. 1, 6, 7) ; (d) not only for ourselves 
but also for others, in their time of need, should we 
pray and supplicate, even as the king does here 
for all individual men and for his entire people. — 
Vers. 31, 32. First Petition. We may and must call 
upon God to help the innocent man to his rights 
(Ps. xxvi. 1), and, even here in this world, to reward 
the evil man according to his deserts. — Starke: It 
is allowable for a pious man to entreat God to ad- 
minister his just cause; yet must he not wish evil 
to his neighbor in mere human vindictiveness (Ps. 
cix. 1 sq.). The oath is a prayer, a solemn invo- 
cation of God in testimony of the trutli ; the false 
oath is not merely a lie but an insolent mockery of 
God, and God will not be mocked (Gal. vi. 7 ; Ex. 
xx. 7). — Bear in mind when thou swearest that 
thou art standing before the altar, i. e., before the 
judgment-seat of the Holy and Just God, who can 
condemn body and soul to hell. — Where the oath 
is no longer held sacred there the nation and the 
State go to ruin (Zech. viii. 16 sq.). — Vers. 33, 34. 
Second Petition. A victorious enemy is the whip 
and scourge with which the Lord chastises a na- 
tion, so that it may awake out of sleep, confess its 
sins, turn unto Him, and learn anew its forgotten 
prayers and supplications. — To those who are taken 
captive in war, and far from fatherland must 
dwell beneath a foreign yoke, appUes the word of the 
Lord, Luke xiii. 2. Therefore they who are pros- 
pering in their native country must pray for them, 
believing in the words of Ps. cxlvi. 7. — Vers. 35, 36. 
Third Petition. — Inasmuch as fruitful seasons, 
instead of leading to repentance, as being proofs 
of God's goodness, so often tend to create pride, 
haughtiness, and light-mindedness, therefore the 
Lord sometimes shuts up His heavens. But then 
we should murmur not against him, but against our 
own sins (Lam. iii. 39), and confess that all human 
care and toil for obtaining food out of the earth 
is in vain if He give not rain out of heaven, and 
fruitful seasons. — Starke : Fine weather is not 
brought about by the means of processions, but by 
true repentance and heartfelt prayer, Lev. xxvi. 3, 4. 
— When God humbles us, He thus directs us to the 
good way (Ps. cxix. 67 ; Deut. v. 8, ii. 3). — Vers. 37- 
40. Fourth Petition. Divine judgments and means 
of discipline are very various in their kind, their 
degree, and their duration. God in his wisdom 
and justice metes out to a whole people, as to 
each individual man, such measure of suffering 
as is needed for its salvation, for He knows the 
hearts of all the children of men, and He tries no 
man beyond his power of endurance; He hearkens 
to him who calls upon Him in distress (2 Sam. xxii. 
7 ; Ps. xxxiv. 18 ; Is. xxvi. 16). — Distress teaches us 
how to pray, but often only so long as it is 
present with us. God looks upon our heart, and 
knows whether our prayer is a mere passing emo- 
tion, or whether we have truly turned to Him 
How entirely different would our prayers often 
sound if we reflected that we are addressing Him 
who knows our heart, with its most secret and 



mysterious thoughts, expectations, and wishes. 
The effect of an answer to our prayers must be 
that we fear the Lord, and walk in His ways, not 
only in the time of need and trouble, but at all 
times, as long as we live. It is a priceless thing 
that the heart remains constant. — Ver. 41—43. Fifth 
Petition. Even as Solomon bore witness that 
the house which he had built could not encompass 
Him whom the heaven of heavens cannot contain, 
so likewise he testified that the covenant made by 
God with Israel did not exclude all other nations 
from salvation, but rather aimed at leading all men 
to a knowledge of the truth. If a Solomon prayed 
for the attainment of this object, how much more 
does it become us to pray for the conversion of the 
heathen, and do our utmost that the people who 
sit in darkuess and in the shadow of death may 
come to Him, a light set by God before all nations 
to lighten the heathen ( Luke ii. 31, sq.). He 
who desires to know nothing of missions to the 
heathen fails to know the God who wills that 
help should be given to all men, and that all should 
come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. ii. 4). — 
Solomon hoped that the heathen, when they heard 
the great deeds which the Lord did in Israel, would 
turn to that God; how much stronger becomes 
this hope when the infinitely greater scheme of 
salvation in Christ Jesus is declared to them ! But 
how shall they hear without a preacher ? How shall 
they preach if they are not sent? (Rom. x. 14 sq.). — 
The acknowledgment of the name of God necessa- 
rily causes the fear of God. If an individual, or 
an entire nation, be wanting in the latter, they will 
also lack a true knowledge of God, let them boast 
as they will of enlightenment and enlightened re- 
ligious ideas. — Vers. 44, 45. Sixth Petition. A 
people who undertake war should, above all, be sure 
that it is under the guidance of God. That alone 
is a just war which is undertaken with God's 
help, and in the cause of God, of truth, and of 
justice. — A host going forth to battle should re- 
member this: Nothing can be done in our own 
strength, we are soon quite ruined I ( Ps. xxxiii. 16 
sq.) and thereupon we should pray and entreat the 
Lord, from whom alone proceeds victory (Prov. 
21, 31; Ps. cxlvii. 10 sq.). — Vers. 46-50. Seventh 
Petition. Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin 
is a reproach to any people ( Prov. xiv. 34 ). Thus 
the people Israel is a living example for all 
times, as a warning and as an admonition ( 1 Cor. 
x. 11). — The Lord has patience with each person, 
as also with whole peoples and governments, for 
He knows "there is no man who is not sinful." 
But when the riches of his goodness, patience, 
and long-suffering are despised, and a nation given 
over to hardness of heart and impenitence (Rom. 
ii. 4 sq.), He casts it away from before His face, 
and wipes it out as a man wipeth a dish (2 Kings 
xxi. 13), so that it ceases to be a people and a king- 
dom. The world's history is the world's final 
doom. The wrath of God towards all ungodly 
conduct of men is not a mere biblical form of 
Bpeech, but a fearful truth, which he who hearkens 
not will learn by experience. — The saying: There 
is no man who sinneth not, must not be misused 
to apologize for sin as a natural weakness; it 
should rather warn and exhort us that we must 
not give the reins to that will which lieth even 
at the door, but rule over it (Gen. i. 4, 7); for he 
who committeth sin is the slave of siu (John 
viii. 34). — The confession : We have sinned, Ac, 

must come from the depths of ihe heart, and 
must be in connection with the conversion of 
the whole soul to the Lord ; for he alone can 
obtain forgiveness of all his sins in whose spirit 
there is no guile (Ps. xxxii. 2). But how often, 
in days of fasting and humiliation, is this confes- 
sion made only with the lips I How, then, can a 
man hope for mercy and forgiveness through the 
hearingof prayer ? — The Lord who guides the hearts 
of men as water-courses can bestow upon our 
enemies a forgiving and merciful heart, even as 
Israel experienced. For this, and not for the de- 
struction of our enemies, we ought to pray. — Vers. 
51-53. In the midst of our cries and prayers we 
should remember how dearly the Lord has purchased 
us for His own, by the blood of His son (Rom. viii. 
32 ; 1 Cor. vi. 20 ; Rev. v. 9). The grace of God 
in Christ is the foundation of our assurance that 
the Lord will deliver us from all tribulation and 
sorrow, and will lead us to his heavenly kingdom. 
For this do we close our prayers with the words : 
For the sake of thine eternal love. — Starke: God 
does not leave his people in the furnace of misery, 
but always guides them forth from it (Job iii. 22).— 
Our prayers, from beginning to end, must be ground- 
ed on the divine promises (2 Sam. vii. 25). 

Vers. 54-61. Solomon's final address to the 
people contains a psalm of praise (ver. 56), a wish 
for a blessing (vers. 57-60), and a warning (ver. 
61). — Ver. 5<j. It is a gift of God, for which 
we must thank and praise him, if we can lead a 
quiet and peaceful life, in all godliness and honesty 
(1 Tim. ii. 2). — The rest which God promises to 
his people and has granted unto them, under Sol- 
omon the peaceful prince, was merely a temporal 
one. But we have this good saying : There re- 
maineth a rest for the people of God (Heb. iv. 9). 
This word will not fail if we do not harden our 
hearts, if we hear his voice, and strive assiduously 
to attain to that rest, where God shall wipe away, 
&c. (Rev. xxi. 4). — Vers. 57, 58. The aid and bless- 
ing of God have no other object than to turn thy 
heart to Him, that thou mayest walk in His way 
He only forsakes those who have forsaken Him 
(Ps. ix. 11).— All keeping of the commandments, 
all mere morality, without submission of the heart 
to God, is worthless — a mere shell without the 
kernel. — Vers. 59, 60. The words which rise out 
of the depths of the heart to God reach Him and 
abide with Him; He forgets them not (Rev. viii. 
3, 4). — That the Lord is God, and none other, seems 
nowhere more conspicuous than in the choosing 
and leading of the people Israel, in which He 
has revealed Himself in His might and glory, in 
His holiness and justice, His faithfulness and 
mercy (Ps. cxlv. 3-12). No better proof of the ex- 
istence of a one living God than the history of 

Ver. 61. The best and greatest wish which 
a king can form for his people, a father for 
his children, a pastor for his flock, is: May your 
heart be righteous, i. e., whole and undivided be- 
fore the Lord our God. He who elects to side with 
Him must do so wholly and entirely; all "halting 
between two opinions " is an abomination to Him ; 
the lukewarm He will " spue out of His mouth." 
Be thou on the Lord's side, and He will be with 

Vers. 62-66. The temple-dedication, a thanks- 
giving feast (ver. 62), a covenant feast (ver. 
65, vide Historical and Ethical, 11), a feast of greaJ 



gladness (ver. 66).— WiJRT. Summ. : For great bene- 
fits men should offer great thanksgivings, and 
indeed should prove their gratitude by promoting 
the true service of God, and by benevolence to 
the poor and needy (Ps. 1. 14). — At public thanks- 
giving-feasts there should be not only banquets, 
but prince and people, high and low, rich and 
poor should bow unto the Lord, to serve him with 
one accord and steadfastly. — "Ver. 63. So they 
dedicated, Ac. Pfaff: This was indeed a holy 
temple-consecration. I how entirely otherwise 
are those of to-day constituted in general, which 
should be abolished or reformed rather than 

praised, on account of the sinful abuse which haa 
gained the upper hand. Ver. 66. Even as Solo- 
mon blessed his people, even so his people blessed 
their king. The prince alone who prays for his 
people can expect them to pray for hin. Well for 
that land where prince and people wish well to 
each other, and make supplication for each other, for 
there mercy and truth are met together; righteous- 
ness and peace shall kiss each other (Ps. lxxxv. 10). 
When a man has rendered unto God what is of 
God, he can go forth to his daily labor with joy 
and gladness. To praise and thank God makes 
the heart glad and willing to work. 

F. — Variout matters connected with the accounts of Solomon's architectural worles. 

(Chap. IX. 1-28.) 

1 And it came to pass, when Solomon had finished the building of the house 
of the Lord [Jehovah], and the king's house, and all Solomon's desire which he 

2 was pleased to do, that the Lord [Jehovah] appeared to Solomon the second time, 

3 as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon. Ami the Lord [Jehovah] said unto him, 
I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: ' 
I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there forever ; 

4 and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. And if thou wilt walk 
before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, 
to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes 

5 and my judgments ; then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel 
forever, as I promised [spake] to J David thy father, saying, There shall not fail 

6 thee a man upon the throne of Israel. But if ye shall at all [altogether 3 ] turn 
from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments 
and my statues which I* have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and 

1 worship them ; then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given 
them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my 

8 sight ; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people : and at * 
this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and 
shall hiss; and they shall say, Why hath the Lord done thus unto this land, and 

9 to this house ? And they shall answer, Because they forsook the Lord [Jehovah] 
their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have 
taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them : there- 
fore hath the Lord [Jehovah] brought upon them all this evil. 6 

10 And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, when Solomon had built the 

11 two houses, the house of the Lord [Jehovah], ami the king's house, (Now Hiram 
the king of Tyre had furnished Solomon with cedar-trees and fir-trees, and with 
gold, according to all his desire,) that then king Solomon gave Hiram twenty 

12 cities in the land of Galilee. And Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities 

13 which Solomon had given him ; and they pleased him not. And he said, What 
cities are these which thou hast given me, my brother? And he called them the 

14 land of Cabul ' unto this day. And Hiram sent to the king six-score talents o( 

15 e And this is the reason of the levy which king Solomon raised; for to build 
the house of the Lord [Jehovah], and his own house, and Millo, and the wall of 

16 Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo, and Gezer. For Pharaoh king of Egypt 
had gone up, and taken Gezer, and burnt it with fire, and slain the Canaanites 

17 that dwelt in the city, and given it for a present unto his daughter, Solomon's 

18 wife. And Solomon built Gezer, and Beth-horoii the nether, and Baalath, and 

19 Tadmor* in the wilderness, in the land, and all the cities of store that Solomon 
had, and cities for his chariots, and cities for his horsemen, and 10 that which Solo- 
mon desired to build in Jerusalem, and in Lebanon, and in all the land of his 

20 dominion. And all the people that were left of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites 



21 Hivites, and Jebusites, which icere not of the children of Israel, their childreL 
that were left after them in the laud, whom the children of Israel also were not 
able utterly to destroy, upon those did Solomon levy a tribute of bond service 

22 unto this day." But of the children of Israel did Solomon make no bondmen: 
but they icere men of war, and his servants, and his princes, and his captains, and 

23 rulers of his chariots, and his horsemen. These were the chief of the officers that 
were over Solomon's work, five hundred and fifty, which bare rule over the peo- 
ple that wrought in the work. 

!?4 But Pharaoh's daughter came up out of the city of David unto her house 
which Solomon had built for her: then did he build Millo. 

25 And three times in a year did Solomon oft'er burnt-offerings and peace-offer- 
ings upon the altar which he built unto the Lord [Jehovah], and he burnt incense 
upon the altar that was before the Lord [Jehovah]. So he finished the house. 

26 And king Solomon made a navy of ships 12 in Ezion-geber, which is beside 

27 Eloth, on the shore of the Red sea, in the land of Edom. And Hiram sent in 
the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of the sea, with the servants 

28 of Solomon. And they came to Ophir, and fetched from thence gold, four 1S 
hundred and twenty talents, and brought it to king Solomon. 


1 Ver. 8.— [The Sept. here insert, " I have done to thee according to all thy prayer." 

• Ver. 5.— [Many MSS. replace the preposition ?JJ by ?X , and certainly, u* the former is the true reading, It li 
used in the sense of the latter, as is frequently the case, c/. GeseniuB, s. v. A. 4. 

' Ver. 6.— [The Heb. is here in the usual intensive form f/DCI 7 ) 3iU\ which is preserved In all the versions, while the 

English expression implies the slightest dereliction instead of complete apostasy. 

* Ver. 6. — [The Sept. put Moses instead of the personal pronoun as the nominative. 

s Ver. 8.— [The words at and which are not in the Heb. The latter is given In the Heb. of 2Chr. vil. 21, and supplied 
here by the Chald. All the other versions give house in the noin. and omit the relative. The Syr., followed by the Arab., 
has "this house shall be destroyed." Vulg. "shall be for an example." 

8 Ver. 9. — [According to the Sept. the time of this vision is determined as after the completion of the palace by the 
addition to this verse. " Then Solomon brought up the daughter of Pharaoh out of the city of David into his house which 
he had built for himself in these days." 

7 Ver. 13. — [The Sept. say he called them optoi*— coast, boundary, omitting the name Cabul altogether. They doubtless 

read 7133— border for P133 • 

■ Ver. 15. — [Vers. 15-25 are transposed by the Vat. Sept. from their place here and inserted after x. 22. 

9 Ver. 18. — Thek'thiblDn is decidedly to be preferred to the k'rl 1D1H . [In connection with this and with the 
author's remarks on this name in the Exeg. Com. the following facts are to be borne In mind: the reading of the kYiiJ^fl 

is found in many MSS. instead of the present k'thib lEl") an< * In OQr P r ' nt ed editions a spaoeis left in the text for the 
missing "i while the vowel points are those of Tadmor. All the versions, except the Sept., give either Tadmor or its 
equivalent Palmyra ; the Sept. gives according to the Alex. ©ep/idfl, which shows that the -j was before them, or according 
to the Vat. in x. 22 'Ie0epnd0. Keil, who adopts this rendering, explains the words "in the land" (which the author 
considers an insuperable difficulty) by the remark of Tremellius in rtffiw Salomonls et Intraflnea a Deo designates, connect- 
ing the word with " built " in ver. 17. The expression in 2 Chr. viil. 4, Is simply " Tadmor in the wilderness ; " but the 
previous verse has recorded his succe&sful attack upon Hamath-zobah, and it is thus Implied that Tadmor was in that re- 

i° Ver. 19.— [Many MSS., followed by the Chald. and Vulg., Insert "all." 

>> Ver. 21.— [Until all the buildings were finished. 

13 Ver. 26. — [The Sept., Chald., and Arab., both here and In ver. 27, have thip in the singular. 

13 Ver. 28.— [The Vat. (not Alex.) Sept. reads a hundred and twenty, while 2 Chr. viil. 18 has four hundred and 
fifty.— F. G.] 


Vers. 1-2. And it came to pass when Solo- 
mon had finished, Ac. Cf. 2 Chron. vii. 11-22. 
Solomon built, besides the temple and the palace, a 
number of other buildings, of which mention is 
made in vers. 15 and 19. Chron. says: all that he 
desired to build, for All which he was pleased to 
do; pB>n cannot, therefore, mean, as Thenius 

thinks, " pleasure-buildings," as distinguished 
from necessary and useful ones, but rather from 
the words of vers. 19, " in all the lands of his 
dominions," must signify public works which he 
had undertaken for the benefit of the latter, as for 

instance (according to Ewald), aqueducts, reser- 
voirs, &.c. It is very distinctly stated here, thai 
the divine appearance of ver. 2 took place after 
the completion of the temple and palace, as well 
as several other buildings. But because the divine 
address, ver. 3 sq., refers to the prayer at the 
temple-dedication, some have concluded, as we 
have already mentioned in our remarks on chap 
viii. 1, that the appearance immediately followed 
the dedication ; and that the latter, accordingly, 
occurred thirteen years after the completion of the 
temple. But there is no reason whatsoever foi 
such a conclusion. The dedication had been per- 
formed in a spirit and manner that could hav« 

CHAPTER IX. 1-28. 


given no cause for such a sharp warning and 
severe threatening as are found in vers. 6-9 ; and 
yet this threatening seems to be the principal 
thing in the divine discourse. It is very possible 
that it was occasioned by circumstances of a later 
date. The meaning in this ease would be : I have 
indeed heard thy prayer at the dedication of the 
temple, and will do that for which thou hast be- 
sought me ; but take warning. If ye turn away 
from me I will destroy Israel, Ac. In like manner 
Seb. Schmidt: quod Deus distulerit hanc apparitio- 
nem usque ad tempus, quo Salomonis peccatum ap- 
propinquabat, ut non diu antequam fierei eum serio 
moneret. If this view be rejected we must think, 
with Keil (in the Commentary of 1846), that the 
writer wished to say all that he had to remark 
concerning Solomon's different buildings, in the 
same place in our chapter, and " that he made the 
transition-formula, ,ver. 1, at the same time the 
heading of the following section, in which not only 
is the divine appearance mentioned, but an account 
also is given of Solomon's undertakings after he 
had finished all the buildings." 

Vers. 3-9. And the Lord said unto him, Ac. 
We may conclude from the words : " as at Gibeon," 
that it took place, as then, in a dream (chap. iii. 5). 
/ have hallowed this house . . . my, ic, i. «., I 
have appointed it by my glory (chap. viii. 10, 11 ; 

Ex. xxix. 43 : '1332) to be the place where I re- 
veal my holiness (rf. Histor. and Ethic. 2, on chap. 
vi). The parallel passage in 2 Chron. vii. 12, says: 
I have chosen this place to myself for a house of 
sacrifice ; which means that, as Jehovah was 
known and honored as the Holy One, through 
sacrifice, so sacrifice was also His appointed means 
of atonement and sanctification for the sacrificer. 
The house was essentially a place of sanctification. 
Our author evidently left out what the Chron. 
adds in vers. 13 and 14, because it is partly con- 
tained in ver. 3. For vers. 4 and 5 see on chap. 
ii. 4, and viii. 25. When David is here, as in chap, 
iii. 14, held up to Solomon as a model in keeping 
Jehovah's commandments, it is not because David 
never broke a divine law, or never sinned, but be- 
cause he kept inviolate the first and chief com- 
mandment upon which the existence of Israel de- 
pended (Ex. xx. 2-5); because in every situation 
in which he was placed, in prosperity and adver- 
sity; amongst his compatriots or in banishment 
among the heathen, he remained loyal to Jehovah, 
and never discovered the slightest leaning to idol- 
atry. The threat, vers. 6-9, is the same as in Lev. 
xxvi. 14; Dent. viii. 19; xxviii. 15, 37; Josh, 
xxiii. 16, and is therefore not one that was made 
for the first time after the captivity, as some have 
said. Thenius rightly remarks that the style and 
living force of the address are proofs that " we 

have an ancient utterance before us here." pt^D , 

ver. 7, is a proverb which every one has in his 
mouth, a proverb of universal truth ; every one 
will adduce Israel as a terrible example, and will 
mock them (Isai. xiv. 4; Mic. ii. 4). Thenius and 
Bertheau, by reference to Mic. iii. 12 ; Jer. xxvi. 

18; Ps. lxxix. 1, read instead of JVPV, in 

vers. 8, Q«j; , t. e., ruins, and this certainly facili- 
tates the translation of the word very much. But 
no MS. nor old translation reads it thus ; and 
Ch'xm. says expressly: " this house which is 

high " (2 Chron. vii. 21) ; we must, therefore, adhere 
to the text-reading. It cannot, however, be trans 
lated : and " this house, exalted as it may be, who 
soever passes by the same, shall," &c. (De Wette, 
von Meyer, and others), but only as Keil has it : 
" this house shall stand high, i. e. stand high in its 
destruction, a conspicuous example, a warning to 
all passers by." The Vulgate translates, more- 
over, directly: et d.omus hoic erit in exemplum ; but 
the Sept., more in the sense of the Chronicles : nal 
6 oikoc ovroc 6 i'}J>7]?i6c, Trdc 6 6ta7ropev6fxevoe 
CKari/oerai. But we must supply what is under- 
stood, namely, that the house is destroyed. Keil 
thinks there is an allusion to Deut. xxiv. 1 9 ; xxviii. 

1, in Ji'Sy . Vers. 8 and 9 mean that what was 

threatened in the law in Deut. xxix. 23-26, shall 

be fulfilled. p-mJ does not denote a scornful 

hissing, but, as the connection with DU'' requires, a 

hissing of terror. Cf. Jer. xix. 8 ; xlix. 17. 

Ver. 1 0. And it came to passat the end of twen- 
ty years. In vers. 2-9 the author has given an 
account which concerns the temple, the most im- 
portant of all Solomon's buildings. From ver. 
10 on, he gives further information respecting 
them ; how Solomon was enabled to undertake his 
many and, in part, expensive buildings ; that is to 
say, through his treaty with Hiram, vers. 11-14; 
and also by the levy which he raised, vers. 15- 
25 ; and finally by the voyage to Ophir, which 
brought him gold, vers. 26-28 (Keil). — The seven 
years of the temple-building (chap. vi. 38), and the 
thirteen years of the palace-building (chap. vii. 1), 
are included in the twenty years of ver. 10. 
There is no historical connection between the sec- 
tion vers. 10-14, and that in vers. 1-9. The head- 
ing in ver. 1 is therefore repeated on account of 
the following collective remarks on the different 

Vers. 11-14. Now Hiram the king of Tyre, 
&c. The section in vers. 11-14 is easily seen to be 
an excerpt, which has gaps not to be filled with 
perfect certainty. According to chap. v. 1-6, Solo- 
mon had made a compact with Hiram, by the 
terms of which he was to indemnify him by the 
delivery of certain natural productions; no allusion 
is made here to any further recompense in the 
way of territory, nor to any payment of gold 
which Solomon had obtained from Hiram. It 
is plain, therefore, that the twenty cities were an 
equivalent for the 120 talents of gold mentioned in 
ver. 14. Probably Hiram had at first agreed tc 
the proposition; but upon a closer inspection he 
was not pleased with these towns, though he had 
to abide by his agreement. This is the only ex- 
planation of the fact that no answer from Solomon 
to the question in ver. 13 is recorded. As we 
may conclude, from the account of their joint enter- 
prise in ver. 26 sq., that the friendly relations of 
the two kings continued, it is probable that Solo- 
mon satisfied him in some other way. 

The land ^jn is not the later pro vince of Galilee 

in its whole extent, but only the northern part of it, 
originally belonging to Naphthali; it was called 

dHjH ^3 , district or country of the heathen 

(Isai. viii. 23; 1 Mace. v. 15). Solomon fixed upon 
it as an equivalent because it bordered on the ter 



ritory of Tyre, and, as its Dame shows, was Dot so 
much inhabited by Israelites as by heathens (cf. 2 
Sam. xxiv. 7). — The'nN is not, as iu chap, u 32, 

an expression of intimacy, but is a prince's title (1 

Mace. x. IS ; xi. 30). The designation ^33 , 

which Hiram gave the land of the twenty cities, is 
also given to a place or district in the tribe of 

Asher (Josh. xix. 17), and is derived from ?33 , 

tincire, to chain, to close ; thus describing the dis- 
trict as closed (but not pawned, as some allege), 
by virtue of its geographical position. This is 
much more natural than the explanation, accord- 
ing to which ^133 is from ^3113 , i. e-, sicut id, 
quod evanuii tanquam nihil (Maurer, Gesenius), or 
formed by 3 and ^Q=p3 (Thenius), and meaning 

" As nothiDg." How could Hiram give the dis- 
trict a permanent name, which contained rather a 
mockery of himself than of the land ? The asser- 
tion of Josephus (Antiq. 8, 5, 3), that Xa'Aajiuv 
means ovk apcaaov in Phoenician, is utterly with- 
out foundation. We have no need to seek the 
reason of the name in Hiram's exclamation: 
"What cities are these," &c. ; the second sentence 
of ver. 13 is quite independent of the first. In 
order to reconcile the conflicting assertion in 2 
Chron viii 2 (that Hiram gave cities to Solomon, 
who peopled them with Israelites), with the pas- 
sage under consideration, it is generally supposed 
that Solomon had, in the first place, given up 
twenty cities to Hiram, but as they did not please 
Hiram, took them back again (Keil). But ]J"I3 
cannot, in itself, mean to give back, and our pas- 
sage also, which is the fullest, would in this case 
be quite silent about what it intends to state, 
namely, that Hiram had received an equivalent. 
Our passage cannot, at any rate, be disproved by 
the short, abrupt assertion of Chron. The ques- 
tion may be asked, too, if these cities were the 
same as in Kings. Perhaps later tradition, which 
Chron. follows, changed the circumstances so, be- 
cause people could not believe that Solomon 
should have given up Israelitishland to Tyre, con- 
trary to the law, Lev. xxv. 23 (cf. Bertheau on 2 
Chron. viii. 1). 

Vers. 15-19. And this is the reason of the 
levy, which, &c. It was chiefly through Hiram's 
aid that Solomon was enabled to undertake his 
buildings, but it was also a great assistance to 
liim that he could use the Canaanites that were 
left in the land to perform this tribute labor. It 
seems from Judges ix. G and 2 Kings xii. 21, that 

{WDn does not mean merely a wall of earth (fill- 
ing up), but a building (JV3) or a collection of 

buildings that serve to fortify a place, i. e., fortifi- 
cations, rampart, citadeL David had made such 
for Zion (2 Sam. v. 9), and Solomon renewed it, cf. 
chap. xi. 21; 2 Chron. xxxii. 5. "It can only 
have been where Zion rises highest, and con- 
sequently most needs fortification " (Thenius). 
Tlie walls of Jerusalem do not here mean the walls 
of Zion, the upper city, but those of the lower city 
(see on chap. iii. 1), so that the temple mountain 
was included. Hazoc, a town in the tribe of Naph- 
thali. formerly a Canaanitish royal city, was not 
far from the nc"theru frontier of Palestine, and 

was therefore " built," i. e., fortified by Solomon, 
Josh. xix. 36 ; 2 Kings x* 29. Megiddo (cf. on 
chap. iv. 12) lay in an impo:tant military position, 
for it formed an entrance to the plain of Jezreel 
and the Jordan (meadows) valley, thus being the 
way from the sea-coast to central «nd north Pales- 
tine. Gezer, also once a Canaanrtish royal city, 
between Beth-horon and the Mediterranean sea ; it 
lay in the southerly portion of the tribe of Eph- 
raim (Josh. xvi. 3). What Hazor was to the north 
and Megiddo to the central part of Palestine, Gezer 
and the lower Beth-horon were to the south; an 
army could much more easily penetrate to the 
capital from those places, than from the mountains 
of Judah (cf. Thenius on the place). Ver. 16 is a 
parenthesis, and tells how Gezer came into Solo- 
mon's possession. Probably, it was the capital of 
a district that extended to the coast, into which 
Pharaoh entered from the sea. The great import- 
ance of the situation of this place made its posses- 
sion very valuable to Solomon. Whether the town 
was built again immediately after it was destroy- 
ed, or not until Solomon's time, is uncertain; at 
any rate, he fortified it. Baalath is a town in the 
tribe of Dan (Josh. xix. 44), according to Josephus 
(Antiq. viii. 6, 1), not far from Beth-horon and Gezer ; 
it has been wrongly asserted to be identical with 
Baal-gad at Hermon (Josh. xi. 17), because the 

directly following -|£n is = to TDTB according 

to 2 Chron. viii. 4, and the later denotes the large 
and rich city of Palmyra, situated between Damas- 
cus and the Euphrates (Keil). But the connection 
of "ICO with Baalath, Gezer, and Beth-horon indis- 
putably denotes a southern city, especially as the 
more northern fortresses, Hazor and Megiddo, were 
named before. ~IOT is also named as a southern 

place iu Ezek. xlvii. 19 ; xlviii. 28. The addition 
" Ik the wilderness, in the land" can only mean, in 
the wilderness that lay in Palestine, which is the 
wilderness of Judah; it is therefore unwarrant- 
able to add D1X , i- e., Syria, after )'1N3 as some 

have done. Thus Thamar was the most southern 
fortress, and "commanded the passes which led 
to the most frequented routes from Edom to Jeru- 
salem " (Thenius). A fortified city was very neces- 
sary and important in this very place, and it is in- 
explicable that Solomon should have left the south 
without any fortress, and yet have fortified the 
distant city of Palmyra, beyond the confines of 
Palestine. As in all doubtful cases, so here the 
statement of the books of the Kings merits the pre- 
ference over that of the Chron., which has given 

occasion to the Wri. Besides, iDin occurs no- 
where else, and it is much more probable that 
IDO has been changed into the famous "IDIR 

t t : " 

than the reverse. The account of the fortresses 
that protected the land is followed (ver. 19) by an 
account of the buildings required for storage of 
victuals and materials of war. The cities of store 
were not depots of merchandise (Ewald), but ma- 
gazines of produce of the soil reserved for times 
of need (2 Chron. xvii. 12; xxxii. 28). For the 
cities for chariots and horsemen see chap. x. 26. 

Vers. 20-23. And all the people that were 
left, &c Ver. 20 refers back to ver. 15, ard 
after it has been stated for what purpose Solomon 
raisod the levy, it n ;w informs us whom it in- 

CHAPTER IX. 1-28. 


eluded. Upon ~3JTDD . »• «■, slave-service, see 
chap. v. 13. V13J?i ver. 22, means chiefly, officials 
of the war-department ; V~)V chief officers of the 
army ; and VC'^l" royal adjutants and life-guards- 
men. Gesenius, De Wette, and others translate the 
latter: cluxriot warriors, or chariot-driver, be- 
cause there were always three of them standing 
in one chariot; this, however, does not admit 
o r proof, and Tpia-aTnc, as the Sept. usually 
renders it, does not mean chariot warriors. In 
every place where the word occurs in our books (2 
Kings vii. 2; xvii. 19; xv. 25; ix. 25) it denotes 
the royal staff; in 2 Kings x. 25, the D'i'l and 

Q'ii'^L" are the king's body-guard ; and in 2 Sam. 

xxiii. 8 (1 Chron. x. 11) still less is there reference 
to chariot warriors. The old glossaries explain 
Tpiordrac, tovc rrapa %upa rob pam'Aiuc. The 
reasou of the name cannot be given with certitude. 
For the 550 superintendents of the work see above 
on chap. v. 16. 

Ver. 24. But Pharaoh's daughter came up. 
The two facts recorded in vers. 24 and 25 are by 
no means irrelevant and disconnected, as they 
appear ; but plainly refer back to chap. iii. 1-4. 
They mean that the wants which were felt in the 
beginning of Solomon's reign ceased with the 
completion of all the buildings (vers. 1 and 10); 
the king's consort took possession of the part of 
the royal palace that was for her use ; and Solo- 
mon no longer sacrificed on the heights, but always 
in the temple he had built. 7]X , ver. 24, is here 

the same as in Gen. xxvii. 30; Jud. vii. 19. It 
does not follow, because Solomon built Millo im- 
mediately after his consort repaired to her dwell- 
ing, that the former was to be a " protection to 
the harem" (Thenius), for there is no proof that 
the '■house of Pharaoh's daughter" was the 
harem, and Millo was evidently intended to pro- 
tect the upper city. 

Ver. 25. And three times in a year did 
Solomon offer, that is, on the three chief festivals, 
when the whole people assembled at the sanc- 
tuary (Ex. xxiii. 17; xxxiv. 23). These were not 
ordinary sacrifices, but were especially solemn offi- 
cial ones, which the king, as head of the theocracy, 

offered. The words njrp *}ib Tl"N 1FIN TBjJiTj 

have been very differently understood. Stier 
translates like v. Meyer, " and he burnt of it what 
was fitting," which is wrong, because "that was 
before Jehovah " never means, what was fitting. 
Maurer's interpretation is very far-fetched : et 
adoicbat apud eum (sc. Java) id, quad coram Jova 
erat (sc. suffimenturn). Ewald renders it: "he 
burnt incense alone there, where one stands be- 
fore Jahve, i. e., in the holy place." But what 
does burning incense alone mean? Thenius as- 
serts -iC'N to be a false "insertion," and translates: 
he bi ought with him (i. e., himself) offerings of in- 
cense before the Lord (i. e., upon the altar of in- 
cense in the sanctuary). mx is supposed to 
mean: "he, without the mediation of another," so 
that " wo have here an evidence that Solomon, at 
least, exercised in person the functions of the 
high-priest." But we cannot so easily throw 

"1l''N out of the text; and inx never means: he 

himself in his own person : so that the supposed 
" evidence " falls to the ground. Finally, Keil 
translates, because TDpn is not prater, but infin. 

absol. : " and, indeed, setting fire to (the sacrifice) 
at the (altar), which was before the Lord ; " but 
TDpn always means " to burn incense " when it 

stands as here, without an object; besides, the 
sentence evidently means more than the immedi- 
ately preceding one, which speaks of burnt-offer- 
ings, in the case of which burning is of course 
implied. It is certainly true that J"|X here, as well 

as immediately after in ver. 26, and so often else- 
where, means " with, by," and the suffix l must 
be referred to the preceding l"QTO ; but it is in- 
correct to make the clause "which was befure 
Jehovah," mean the altar of incense which was so 
described in Lev. xvi. 12, 18, and thus to conclude 
that Solomon burnt incense "in the sanctuary." 
As 2 Chron. xxvi. 16 shows, the priests alone might 
do this, even in later times; the kings were 
strictly prohibited. If an exception had be^n 
made in the case of Solomon, it could not ha\e 
been noticed only casually and vaguely. Tha> 
clause by no means exclusively indicates the altar of 
incense, but, as chap. viii. 64 shows, the " brazen 
altar," too, and this it is which is meant here. Ac- 
cording to Num. xv. 1-12 a meat-ofl'ering was offer- 
ed with every burnt and peace offering ; and for the 
former incense was essential, according to Lev. ii. 
1, 2, which was wholly burnt (ver. 16). "In- 
cense," therefore, was not only " offered " on the 
altar of incense in the sanctuary, but also on the 

altar of burnt-offering, and mbp in Ps. cxli. 2 is 

synonymous with nrOO ■ This passage, then, 

says nothing remarkable respecting Solomon, but 
only that he presented his meat-ofl'ering three 
times a year, as well as his burnt and peace offer- 
ing. The parallel passage of Chron. therefore does 
not mention the latter expressly, and only says : 
"Then Solomon offered burnt-offerings unto the 
Lord on the altar of the Lord which he had built 
before the porch . . . three times in the year " (2 
Chron. viii 12, 13). The concluding sentence 

IVBiTnX dW'1 does not mean: " thus the house 

was finished " (Luther), for this was not done by 

sacrifice and incense, neither does D?C' mean 

finished, but, to make perfect, whole. The house 
Solomon had built only became all it was designed 

to be, i. e., ri3? IVa!? , a house of sacrifice (2 

Chron. vii. 12), a central sanctuary, in that he pre- 
sented now all the offerings on the festivals which 
were appointed to be celebrated by the whole 
people (Lev. xxiii. 14; Deut. xxvi. 16); cf. 2 
Chron. viii. 1 6. Bottcher : he brought the temple, 
as God's house and place of prayer, to its full 

Vers. 26-28. And king Solomon made a 
navy of ships. This is told here because Solo- 
mon received through these ships the large amount 
of gold which he required, partly for his splendid 
buildings, and partly to carry on his expensive 
works. Ezion-geber, a sea-port of Edom, situated 
on the Elanitic arm of the Arabian gulf, Num 
xxxiii. 35 ; L)eut. ii. 8. Elatli is the modern Aka. 


THE FiRST book of the kings. 

ball on the eastern bay of the same gulf, and was 
incorporated with tlie Israelitish kingdom by 
David, 2 Sam. viii. 14. Both cities were of the 
highest importance in a commercial view (c/. 
Winer, R.-W.-B. I., s. 313, 361). The Phoenician 
sailors were accounted the most skilful, and were 
known even in distant lands (Winer II., s. 406). 

Upon the fleet which sailed from Ezion-geber 
Chron. gives (viii. 18): ''and Hiram sent him by 
the hands of his servants, ships ; " and as there 
was no way of conveyance by land, nor means of 
shipping from Africa, this must only mean (as 
Keil remarks) "that Hiram gave the ships for 
this voyage (to Ophir), i. e., he ordered his people 
at Ezion-geber to build them, and sent all the 
requisite material not forthcoming at that place." 
For the situation of Ophir see on chap. x. 22. 
Instead of 420 talents of gold, Chron. gives 450 ; 
this is, no doubt, only a change of the ciphers 3 
(20) and : (50). 


1. This section now be/ore vs doses the ac- 
count of Solomon's buildings, which account em- 
braces the largest portion of the history of this 
reign. Never would the narrative have dwelt so 
long upon them, had all these building-undertak- 
ings stood outside of all relation to the theocratic 
kingdom. None of all the kings of Israel "built" 
so much as Solomon, who is described for that 
reason, in the history of Israel, as the king of 
peace, the peace-prince. His buildings were no 
pleasure and luxury structures, but were designed 
to further the greatness, power, and splendor of 
the kingdom, while at the same time they gave evi- 
dence thereof. First he built the house of Jehovah, 
which formed the heart and centre of the whole 
theocracy; then the palace, i. e., the house, 
"which was to shed glory on the second power in 
Israel, the kingdom which was then reaching its 
highest summit" (Ewald); then he fortified the 
house by Millo, and surrounded Jerusalem, the 
capital, with walls ; furthermore he made fortresses 
and store-cities throughout the whole country, in 
north, middle, and south Palestine; and, finally, 
he himself began ship-building, so as to bring his 
kingdom into communication with rich and distant 
countries. All this, however, he conducted so as 
to cause no injury to his own kingdom, but rather 
po as to bring it to a height of prosperity that it 
Lever before or afterwards attained. The time of 

the Dii>"'' and with that of the "building" in its 
widest sense, came on rrcrt" ; h' 3 building enter- 
prises were the natural result of the stage of 
development at which the kingdom was ; he built 
(0 fcuild up the kingdom, thus fulfilling his mission 
3i the history of the theocracy. 

2. The appearance with which Solomon was 
favored after the completion of his many grand 
edifices, as the text clearly and positively says 
(see Exegetical upon ver. 1 sq.), is expressly 
placed in relation to and contrasted with that 
which he had in the beginning of his reign, at 

i ,n (chap. iii. 6). The Lord had given him 

not only what he had asked for. but also riches. 
dignity, and fame. Up bad succeeded in all that 
he had undertaken ; not only did he himself stand 
at the summit of fortune, but his people had never 
before reaches such a great and prosperous state, 

being blessed with peace and quiet without, anc 
with prosperity and comfort within (chap. iv. 20; 
v. 4 sij. ; viii. 66). Then came the second appear- 
ing, which contained with the remembrance of the 
prayer answered at the dedication of the temple, 
and the promise of blessing in the future, a threat- 
ening and warning very wholesome, and even 
necessary now for Solomon himself, who, though 
hitherto loyal and faithful to the Lord, was open 
to the temptation to fall away, as the after-history 
shows, and whose heart the searcherof hearts knew 
better than he did himself (cf. chap. viii. 39). But 
it was also needed (the discourse ceases to con- 
cern Solomon alone after ver. 6) by that ever- 
restless, fickle people which in the enjoyment of 
the greatest happiness were in danger of forget- 
ting their Lord and God, and of relapsing into the 
idolatrous worship which was more agreeable to 
the flesh. Hence it appears, too, that the words 
in vers. 6-9 are the chief part of the divine dis- 
course, and not an addition invented by the author 
of these books, after the destruction of the temple, 
as Ewald and Eisenlohr assert. 

3. The divine threatening was literally fulfilled. 
No people in the world ever became such a " pro- 
verb." Singular as it stands in the world-history 
in its election, it is equally so in its rejection and 
ruin. It has remained, to the present day, the 
living witness of the saving love and grace of 
God on the one hand, and, on the other, of 
holiness, truth, and retributive justice. By its 
story it preaches to all nations the eternal truth 
which the prophet Azariah proclaimed to king 
Asa: "If ye forsake him, He will forsake you" 
(2 Chron. xv. 2). When, in consequence of their 
complete departure from God, the temple built by 
Solomon was destroyed, Israel ceased to be an 
independent kingdom, and the people were banish- 
ed ; and when, after the second temple was built, 
they rejected David's great Son, their promised, 
true, and eternal king, in Whom all nations of the 
earth were to be blessed, this temple was destroy- 
ed never to be rebuilt, and the people were 
scattered through all the world, ceasing forever to 
be an independent kingdom and nation, every- 
where despised, reviled, and persecuted. 

4. The various building-enterprises of Solomon, 
as well as the arrangements more or less connect- 
ed with them, were practical evidence that tho 
Lord had given him in unusual measure the wis- 
dom for ruling and skill in affairs which he had 
implored in the beginning of his reign (chap. iii. 
7-91. He knew how to procure the material, in 
part costly, which was requisite for his buildings, 
as well also the requisite architects and builders, 
by a compact (favorable to himself) with his 
Tvrian neighbor ; and repaid him for the quantity 
of gold he supplied him with without heaping 
oppressive debts on his people, but by surrender- 
ing a district of little value near the Tyrian frontier, 
and almost altogether inhabited by strangers to 
Israel. He made use of the descendants of the 
subjugated Canaanites who were left in the land, 
to execute those public works which were de- 
signed to protect the country and further its 
material prosperity ; thus sparing his own people, 
who, like every other free people, had no slavish 
work, but performed only military service. He 
built a separate palace for his consort, Pharaoh's 
daughter, and by this means secured the favor of 
his powerful neighbors, the Egypt : ans. That th» 



leinple he had built might become and remain the 
centra' place of worship, and thus a bond of unity 
and communion for the entire people, he himself, 
as head and representative of the theocracy, 
offered solemn sacrifices on the three great yearly 
festivals, when all the tribes met. In order not 
only to meet the expenses of his many and costly 
buildings, but also to teach commerce to his peo- 
ple, who had hitherto almost entirely lived by 
agriculture, he managed to engage the sea-faring 
and skilled Phoenicians to build a common fleet, 
which opened the way to other seas and lands for 
them, and was the source of great riches to his 
own kingdom. 


Vers. 1-9. The second appearance of Jehovah 
to Solomon : (a) the point of time at which it 
occurred, vers. 1, 2 (seeHistor. and Ethic); (b) the 
object which it had, vers. 3-9 (Promise and warn- 
ing). — In the divine address to Solomon the good- 
ness and the severity of God are shown (Rom. xi. 
22): his goodness in the establishment of His 
promises (vers. 3-5), his severity in the chastise- 
ment of backsliding (vers. 6-9). — Vers. 3, Wurt. 
Sujim. : A most powerful thing is a devout, hum- 
ble, and believing prayer, for thereby man be- 
seeches God to grant him his desire (John xvi. 23). 
— To every house where the name of God is truly 
honored applies the divine saying : Mine eyes and 
my heart shall dwell there forever. — Vers. 6-9. 
Because men endure uninterrupted prosperity with 
much greater difficulty than they do crosses and 
afflictions, therefore, when the}' are at the summit 
of their wishes, and their hearts' desire, it is most 
necessary that the grave importance of God and 
of eternity should be held up before them, so that 
they may not fall into security, and forget to work- 
out their own salvation with fear and trembling; 
for what availeth it a man, tc. (Matth. xvi. 26). 
He who thinketh he standeth, let him take heed 
lest he fall (1 Cor. x. 12). — The more abundantly 
God displays his mercy and love towards an indi- 
vidual or towards a nation, so much the more fear- 
ful will be the righteous sentence if the riches of 
His mercy are despised. — In happy and prosperous 
days forget not that the Lord tells us : Watch and 
pray, lest ye enter into temptation. — How many 
men, how many families, how many nations bless- 
ed in every respect, have come to a fearful and 
shameful end 1 Askest thou: Wherefore is this? 
the only reply is: Because they have forsaken the 
Lord their God ; for what a man sows that shall 
he also reap. — Let him who will not recognize a 
divine justice turn to the twice-destroyed temple 
of Jerusalem, and to the world-scattered people 
who have become a by-word amongst all nations. 

Vers. 10-14. The demeanor of Solomon and 
Hiram towards each other, (a) Friends and neigh- 
bors should be of one mind, and mutually ready to 
help each other. (6) Let not him who has kindly 
aided thee with his substance be long awaiting 
the proofs of thy gratitude, and render to him 
more rather than less even if he need it not. 

(c) Regard not so much the gift which thou re- 
ceivest as the disposition of the giver, remember- 
ing always : it is more blessed to give than to re- 
ceive. — From the heathen Hiram many Christiana 
may learn, even where real cause for dissatisfac- 
tion and just claims exist, to state the dispropor- 
tion between gifts and recompenses with friendly 
words, and in a kindly manner. — Friends, who 
through long years have aided each other, must 
not be estranged, even when one thinks himself 
injured by the other, but must strive to come to a 
thorough understanding and agreement. 

Vers. 15-23. The plans and arrangements of 
Solomon for the benefit and protection of the land, 
(a) First he built the house of the Lord, forth from 
which would come all salvation for Israel : then 
he built the store-houses for times of need and 
famine, and as protection against the enemies of 
the kingdom. A wise prince cares alike for the 
religious and spiritual, and for the material and 
temporal well-being of his people, and in times of 
peace does his utmost to provide against every 
danger which may assail the land, either from 
without or within. For this a nation can never be 
grateful enough, and should uphold him with 
readiness and might, instead of murmuring and 
complaining, as is often the case. (6) Solomon's 
plan was. in his undertakings to spare his nation 
all servile labor, as far as possible. Therefore, 
for all compulsory service he employed the con- 
quered enemy, who, as such, were slaves. A wise 
prince will never impose burdensome taxes or 
heavy labor upon his people, and reigns much 
more willingly over freemen than over slaves; 
but a good and loyal people does not make free- 
dom a pretext for villany, and ever follows the 
king's call for arms when the defence of " Father- 
land " is concerned. For Israel can no more say 
with truth — The Lord is my rock, my fortress, 
and m_v deliverer (Ps. xviii. 3), if all the nation 
does not aid in its defences and fortifications. — 
In the kingdom of the true and eternal prince of 
peace bondage will cease, and all men shall ob- 
tain the freedom of the children of God. — Ver. 
25. Solomon sets a good example before all 
the people; he not only builds the temple, but 
also frequents it regularly. It is as much the duty 
of the highest as of the lowest to hear the word 
of God, to pray, and to celebrate the Sacrament. 
— Ver. 26 sq. A wise government seeks not only to 
preserve existing prosperity, but also to discover 
new sources thereof. — Many there are who travel 
over land and sea to seek gold, and to become 
rich, and forget that the Lord hath said: I counsel 
thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou 
mayestbe rich (Rev. iii. 18). Expeditions into far 
countries must serve not only to obtain gold and 
treasure, but also to carry thither the treasure 
which neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and 
where thieves do not break through nor steal 
(Matth. vi. 19 sq.) — Commerce may become a rich 
blessing for a nation, but a greedy thirst for gold 
often leads to extreme luxury and neglect of God, 
as is many times exemplified in the history of 




(Chapter X.) 

A. — Tlie Visit of the Queen of Sheba. 

Chap. X. 1-13. 

1 And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning ' the 

9 name of the Lord [Jehovah], she came to prove him with hard questions. And 

she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and 

very much gold, and precious stones : and when she was come to 3 Solomon, she 

3 communed with him of all that was in her heart. And Solomon told her all 
her questions: there was not any thing [a question 3 ] hid from the king, which 

4 he told her not. And when the queen of Sheba had seen all 4 Solomon's wisdom, 

5 and the house that he had built, and the meat of his table, and the sitting of 
his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their 6 apparel, and his 
cupbearers, and his ascent" by which he went up unto the house of the Lord 

6 [Jehovah] ; there was no more spirit in her. And she said to the king, It was a 
true report' that I heard in mine own land of thy acts' and of thy wisdom. 

V Howbeit I believed not the words,' until I came, and mine eyes had seen it ; 
and behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth 

8 the fame which I heard. Happy are thy men, 8 happy are these thy servants, 

9 which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom. Blessed be the 
Lord [Jehovah] thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of 
Israel : because the Lord [Jehovah] loved Israel forever, therefore made he thee 

10 king, to do judgment and justice. And she gave the king an hundred and 
twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones : there 
came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave 

11 to king Solomon. And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, 
brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug 9 trees, and precious stones. 

12 And the king made of the almug trees pillars for the house of the Lord [Je- 
hovah], and for the king's house, harps also and psalteries for singers: there 

3 came no such almug trees, nor were seen unto this day. And king Solomon 
gave unto the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, besides that 
which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty.' So she turned and went to her 
own country, she and her servants. 


1 Ver. 1. [The Sept. and Syr. render this very difficult expression, n<|]-]> DBO TOPC* yDEiHIX (®ee Exeg. 

Com.), "heard the name of Solomon and the name of the Lord,' 1 and the Aran, the same except in retaining fame in thf 
first clause. 

2 Ver. '2. [Many MSS. editions, and the Vulg. and Syr., insert king before Solomon. 

3 Ver. 8. [There seems no sufficient reason for varying the translation of l^n occurring twice in such close prox 

T T 

imity. The same variation is observed in the Chald. and Syr., but the Sept. have Aoyos in both cases. 

* Ver. 4. [Several MSS. followed by the Arab, omit "all." 

6 Wr. 5. [The Sept., quite without authority, put the pronoun in the singular as referring to Solomon's apparel. 

• Ver. 5. [All the ancient versions render " the burnt-offerings which he offered" (see Exeg. Com.) and must there- 

»ore have read ID *i?V instead of )TU^ , but without reason. See Exeg. Com. 

7 Vers, fi, 7. [The Ileb. for report andaeto, ver. 6, and words, ver. 7, is the same "111 , D^Xl and this sameness is 

preserved in Uie Sept, although hardly possible in English. 

> V*er. 9 [The Sept. curiously enough render "happy are the icotneft." . 

9 Ver. 11. [Almug Is not a translation, but only a putting into English letters of the Heb. D^DpN • Thever- 

lions render: — Vulg ihyina; Sept. nt\tx-rird (Alex. an-eAe'KTrra); Arab, colored wood, i. e. that ktr.d of wood naturally 
painted with various colors. The sense as now generally understood is sandal-wood. See Exeg. Com. 

10 Ver. 18. [Lit. gave her wfrom the hand of king Solomon.— F. G.] 

CHAPTER X. 1-13 



Vers. 1-?.. And when the queen of Sheba. 
Cf. 2 Chron, ix. 1-12. The name of Solomon 
became famous far and near, through the trading 
ships that were mentioned in chap. ix. 26 sq. 
A proof is here given. X3!i' i Sheba, is a country in 

Arabia Felix (not to be confounded with X3D , i. e., 

Meroe in Ethiopia, as Josephus has it), on the Red 
Sea, rich in spices, frankincense, gold, and precious 
stones (Jer. vi. 20 ; Ezek. xxvii. 22; Isai. be. 6; Ps. 
lxxii. 15). " The Sabfeans, whose capital city was 
Sheba, had become, through their extensive com- 
merce, the richest nation among the Arabians " 
(Winer, it.- W.-B. II. s. 405 ; Duncker, Gesch. des 
Alterth. I. s. 140 sq.). The Queen of this coun- 
try, who visited Solomon, was certainly the reign- 
ing one; according to Claudian in Eutrop. i. 132. 
the Sabsans were generally governed by queens, 
but this has no historical foundation. Whether 
she were widowed or unmarried is, like her name, 
uncertain. Her fame spread with and through that 
of Solomon, who was the beau-ideal of a king 
throughout the East, for even the Koran mentions 
her visit to Solomon (Stir. 27), and there are many 
legends about it among the Arabians and Abyssin- 
ians. The former name her Balkis, and the latter 
Maqueda, and even say that she had a son by Sol- 
omon, named Menihelek (or Melimelek),* who was 
the ancestor of the Abyssinian kings (comp. Winer). 
These fables of after-times need no refutation. 

The words nirp D'."^ i which are wanting in Chron., 

are by no means unsuitable or superfluous (Mo- 
vers) ; they exist in all the old translations, but 
have been very differently understood. Propter 
nomen Jth. (Le Clerc) is least like it; neither is De 
Wette right: to Jehovah's honor; nor this, "the 
fame of what Solomon had become by Jehovah's fa- 
vor " (Gesenius) ; nor, the fame "that Solomon had 
acquired through the glory of his God " (Ewald) ; 
nor yet, "which he had attained, by Jehovah glo- 
rifying himself so in him " (Weil). The expression 

involuntarily reminds us of the niiT Dt."!' chap. iii. 

2; v. 17, 19; viii. 17, IS, 19, 20, 44, 48; 2 Sam. 
vii. 13. The house built to Jehovah's name was 
the first and principal reason of Solomon's fame ;^ 
and -was what the Queen had chiefly heard of, in 
which she had seen, like Hiram, an evidence of 
wisdom. This she desired to prove for herself. 

To prove him with hard questions. To 
clothe wisdom in the form of proverbs, which were 
often dark and enigmatical on account of their bre- 
vity, is a primitive custom of the East, especially 
among the Arabians, who are very rich in proverbs ; 
the collection of the Meidani, for instance, which 
contains 6,000 proverbs, and the Makami of the 
Hariri show this. Chap. iv. 32 says that 3,000 are 
by Solomon: and those in his name, that are now 
extant, include many that are enigmatical. We do 
not mean enigmas in the sense of those that used 
to be propounded at meals or otherwise {cf. Ro- 
ienmuller A. u. N. Morgenland with Judges xiv. 
12); the Queen did not want any trial of skill in 
enigmas with Solomon, but wished to propound 

* See the srracefm acconot of the lesends, in Stanley's 
Jewish Clew ~h, Second Strlea, p. 259-262.— E. II. 

important and difficult questions to him. Sclomon 
did not fail in a single answer (Tin ver. 3 is solv- 
ing riddles in Jud. xiv. 19, and interpreting dreams 
in Gen. xli. 24; Dan. v. 12). 

Vers. 4-8. And when the Queen had seen 
all Solomon's wisdom. Solomon's wisdom was 
shown, not only in his answers and discourses 
(ver. 3), but in all his arrangements, in the whole 
constitution of the court, and manner of his govern- 
ment; whithersoever the Queen looked, she beheld 
evidence of his wonderful gifts and powers of 
thought. The "house " is not the Temple, but the 
royal palace, as the following words concerning the 
court-appointments show. " Tlie meal of his table" 
is the royal table, the splendor of which is espe- 
cially described. The sitting of his servants, and the 
attendance of his ministers, means "the civil officers 
who sat at the royal table, and the servants, among 
whom were the " cup-bearers." in attendance upon 
them (Bertheau). These three descriptions have 
nothing to do with localities, with the ministers' 
seats, the place where the servants stood, nor the 
preparations for the cup-bearing (Weil) ; nor the 
order of the offices, and the rooms of the lower 
servants (Thenius); for the parallel passage in 2 

Chron. ix. 4 shows that VpCJS are persons. It ie 
more doubtful how we are to understand the fol- 
lowing words \fwff\ i & c - ; Chron. has ifV^J? m " 

stead. All the translations give for both passages : 
" and the burnt-offerings, which he offered in Je- 
hovah's house ; " this would mean the solemn and 
magnificent rites of the Temple worship. But it 
would not agree with the description just preceding, 
of the royal table and court appointments, the ser- 
vants and cup-bearers; and above all, the splendid 
Temple building would have deserved mention : it 
would be necessary, too. to alter the text in both 

places ; and lri?5Jl should be read, yet we have 

no grounds for doing this. If this were the right 
reading, the Chronicler, who was so partial to the 
details concerning the worship, would not have 

taken in'?!? instead. Most modern translators 

(Keil, Winer, Ewald), therefore, give ascent for 

ijvV; meaning the particidar ascent of steps 

that led from the palace to the Temple ; and i"6j? 

Ezek. xl. 26 has the same signification. This ascent 
of steps belonged to the palace, and very likely 
struck the eye, as it is here expressly mentioned ; 
it also appears from 2 Kings xvi. 18 that the king 
had a peculiar entrance of that kind to the Temple. 
The concluding words of ver. 5 are literally, and 
there was no more breath in her ; as the breath 
goes in terror (Josh. ii. 11 ; v. 1), so it also goes in 
cases of extreme astonishment. 

Vers. 9. 10. Blessed be the Lord thy God. 
We cannot conclude from these words that the 
Queen had formally confessed the One God of Is- 
rael, but rather that it meant what we have already 
remarked of a similar expression of Hiram, chap, 
v. 7. What she saw and heard excited her wonder 
to such a degree, that it seemed to her directly im- 
parted by the God Solomon adored, and for whom 
she became filled with reverence. The presents 
which the Queen, according to custom, made, con' 
sisted of those articles in which her land most 



abounded, and for which it was most famous. The 
spices were principally the famous Arabian balm, 
which was largely exported ; according to Joseplius 
(Ant 8, 6. 6) the balm-shrub was introduced into 
Palestine bv the Queen of Sheba (Winer, R.- W.-B. 
L s. 132). 

Vers. 11-13. And the navy also of Hiram, 
Sec. The mention of the costly presents leads the 
author to the remark, vers. 11 and 12, which may 
be regarded as a parenthesis, that such articles of 
luxury were introduced in abundance into Jeru- 
salem by commerce ; and the (fragrant) spices re- 
minded him of the equally great quantities of san- 
dal-wood that Solomon received through Hiram's 
ships. This wood, which is indigenous to India, 
" was highly prized throughout the East for its fra- 
grance, aud partly was carved into images, partly 
used for tine utensils, and partly used for incense- 
burning" ("Winer, II. s. 379). IVDO (ver. 12) only 

occurs here, and its meaning is not quite cer- 
tain. The root "IJJD means, to support, make sure. 

Thenius calls it ''supports of the resting," i. e., 
seats made by Solomon on the walls of a palace or 
Temple room ; but we do not find the slightest 
mention of such a Temple room anywhere. As 

Chron. has J"li?DD (from p^D, to prepare the way, 

Ps. lxviii. ; v.) instead of our word, Bertheau 
thinks that "|j;D like "jyv is to advance, so that 
both expressions really denote the same thing ; i. 
e.. the " way of entrance, ascent." Jarchi gives 
IJJDO by HDV1 & «•, wainscoting on the floor 
(tessellated pavements) ; and this seems the best. 
The translation, steps with banisters (Keil), has no 

authority. "ii-)3 and ")2J must be striuged instru- 
ments with sounding-boards ; they are mentioned 
together in Ps. lxxi. 22; cviii. 3; cL 3; we know 
nothing certain of their natures. Which Solomon 
gave her of his royal bounty (ver. 13), i. e., besides 
the things he presented her with according to the 
custom of kings, he gave her everything else she 
desired. We can scarcely think this included, as 
the other translators think, any literary produc- 
tions. It is very doubtful whether the Ethiopian 
Christians "concluded rightly from these words 
that their Queen had a son by Solomon " (Ber- 


1. The section before us does not, by any means, 
contain a story accidentally and arbitrarily inserted 
here, which, however beautiful it may be, might be 
left out without doing harm, because it does not 
bear upon the history of the Israelite kings. How 
high the significance which has always been at- 
tached to the event recorded is, is shown by the 
fact that the remembrance of it has been preserved 
outside of Palestine for thousands of years, and that 
two ancient peoples, the Arabians and Abvssiniaus, 
revered the Queen of Sheba as the mother of their 
line of kings; the Abyssinian tradition making the 
Bon she bore to Solomon the founder of the ancient 
Ethiopian kingdom. And when the Lord, from 
out '.lie treasure of the Old Testament history, 
;hoo«es this narrative, and presents it for the 
shaming of his contemporaries, this presupposes 
that it was known to and specially esteemed by all 
jlMer nations It is, therefore, something more 

than an ordinary visit of royal etiquette. Sabse» 
was reckoned to be the richest, most highly favored 
and glorious land in the ancient world, and there- 
fore was given the unique name of "The Happy." 
Agatharchides names the Sabasat a vivoc iravroiat 
Kvpmv etoai/ioviac.. Now when the ^ •■"en came 
with a splendid retinue to visit this distant land, 
and from no political design, but merely to see and 
hear the famous king ; and when she, the sovereign 
of the most fortunate country in the world, declared 
that what she had seen and heard exceeded all her 
expectations ; this surely was the greatest homage 
Solomon could have met, homage that no king had 
ever yet received ; and the result was that Solomon 
was regarded as the ideal of a wise, great, and 
happy king, throughout the Eastern world. The 
visit of the Queen of Sheba marks, then, the splendor 
and climax of the Old Testament Kingdom, and 
marks an essential moment in the history of the 
covenant as well as of Solomon. This story is 
therefore in its right place, following, as it does, 
the account of the great and glorious works Solo- 
mon made for his country and which acquired for 
him so much fame. 

2. The context explains the kind of " wisdom " that 
the Queen sought and found in Solomon. It was not 
much learning; neither were the "riddles" that 
Solomon solved metaphysical problems, nor mere 
conversation and play of wit. Besides the answers 
he gave to her questions, his works, appoint- 
ments, and arrangements convinced the Queen of 
his great wisdom, in which she recognized the 
working of a peculiar power and grace imparted 
by God. It was also a practical or life-wisdom, 
such as Solomon himself describes, "a tree of life 
to them that lay hold upon her, length of days is 
in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and 
honor. The merchandise of it is better than the 
merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine 
gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the 
things thou canst desire are not to be compared 
unto her," Prov. iii. 14-18. But this wisdom rests 
upon the foundation of the knowledge and fear of 
God (comp. ver. 1 and Prov. ii. 4-6), and the whole 
reign of Solomon is the result of the same (see 
Historical and Ethical on chap. iv. 29). " ! happy 
time, when mighty princes visited each other in the 
midst of their lands, made tranquil by a holy fear 
of God, so to vie with each other in wisdom and 
what is still better, the search after wisdom " 

3. When the Lord says in Matt. xii. 42 and Luke 
xi. 81: "The Queen of the south shall rise up in 
the judgment with this generation and shall con- 
demn it ; for she came from the uttermost part of 
the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and be- 
hold a greater than Solomon is here," he recog- 
nizes the prophetical and typical meaning of our 
narrative, as is the case generally with the king 
dom of Solomon. It is said in the prophetical 
descriptions of the peaceful kingdom of Messiah, 
" the Kings of Sheba and Seba (Meroe) shall offer 
gifts; yea, all kings shall fall down before him; 
all nations shall serve him " (Ps. lxxii. 10, 11) ; and 
" all they from Sheba shall come; they shall bring 
gold and incense, and they shall show forth the 
praises of the Lord" (Isai. lx. 6). The Queen of 
Sheba, who came from far, out of the happiest 
country of the world, to Solomon, brought him 
presents, and received all she wished from him, is 
a type of the kings who with their people shall 

CHAPTER X. 1-13. 


?™<ie from far and near to the everlasting Prince 
of peace, the King of kings, and shall do him hom- 
age. Her visit is an historical prophecy of the true 
and eternal kingdom of peace. It is just this pro- 
phetical and typical character of the story that 
gives such emphasis to our Lord's reproof of the 
hardened Israelites of His time. 


Vers. 1-13. The queen of Sheba comes to Solo- 
mon, (a) She comes in order to hear the wisdom of 
Solomon (ft) She finds more than she expected, (c) 
She worships and praises the Lord for what she has 
seen and heard, (d) She returns home in peace, with 
rich gifts.- — Solomon receiving the Queen of Sheba 
a type of Christ (Matt. xxii. 42). (a) He did not re- 
ject her who sought him, but raised her up (John 
vi. 37). (6) He solved her questions, and showed 
her his glory (John i. 9, 14; xxii. 46: vi. 6S). (c)He 
accepted her gifts, and gave her much more in re- 
turn, even all that she desired and requested. 
(Johns. 11, 28; xvi. 24; iv. 13 sq.). Vers. 1-3. 
The Queen of Sheba had everything that pertains 
to temporal prosperity and good fortune, higli rank, 
power and honor, health and wealth; but all these 
satisfied not her soul; she sought the solution of 
the enigma of life, and when she heard of Solomon, 
and of the name of the Lord, she spared no expense 
or trouble, neither regarded the scorn and con- 
tempt of the world, in order to satisfy the longing 
of her soul for the word of life. She said not : 
I am rich, and have an abundance, and need noth- 
ing; but she felt that she still ueeded the highest 
and the best. How superior is this heathen wo- 
man to so many Christians, who hunger and thirst 
after all possible things, but never after a 
knowledge of truth and wisdom, after the 
word of life. We do not need to journey 
to Jerusalem, to find him who is greater than 
Solomon, for he has promised : " I am with 
you forever, until the end of the world," and can 
be found everywhere, if men seek him earnestly. — 
God is not without a witness in the midst of the 
heathen, whereby they may feel and recognize Him, 
foi He wills that all men shall be aided to come to 
a knowledge of the truth. The same God who 
gave Solomon the wise heart for which he prayed, 
revealed to the inquiring spirit of the heathen 
queen what she most desired. — Ver. 3. One re- 
ceives with readiness and alacrity the soul which 
longs after the truth of God; such souls faithfully 
apply the same, they do not weary — and the coun- 
sel of God unto salvation is not withheld from 
them (Acts xx. 27, and James v. 19-20). 

Vers. 4—9. The acknowledgment of the Queen 
of Sheba, when she beheld the works of Solomon, 
(a) It is true ... I would not believe it until I, 
&c, vers. 6, 7 (John x. 35, 38; xiv. 11). (ft) Thy 
wisdom has exceeded, &c., ver. 7 (John vi. 68 sq.). 
(c) Happy are thy men, &c, ver. 8 (Luke x. 23). (rf) 
Praised be the Lord, &c., ver. 9 (Eph. i. 3). — Ver. 
4. Words must be followed by works ; the behold- 
ing with her own eyes, and her very own experi- 
ence, must be added to the rumors she has heard. 
Nathaniel, when he heard of Jesus, the Messiah, 
spoke doubtingly at first: Can any good thing 
come out of Nazareth? But when he came and 
taw he joyfully exclaimed: Thou art the Son of 

God, thou art the King of Israel (John i. 45—49). 
— Ver. 5. Great palaces, brilliant arrangements, 
Ac, are objects worthy of real admiration if they 
are not evidently mere works to gratify the lust of 
the eye and the pride of life, but rather proofs of 
wisdom, of spiritual elevation, and of love of art. 
— Ver. 7. As in order to form a just conception 
of visible things we must see them with our own 
eyes — so also with invisible and divine things : 
rightly to recognize them as such, we must feel 
and taste their strength in our own hearts, and not 
merely hear of them from others (1 Pet. ii. 3; Pa. 
xxxiv. 9|. — Ver. 8. Not because of their fine clothes, 
of their high position, of their splendid possessions, 
did the Queen regard the people and the servants 
of Solomon as blessed and happy, but because 
they could always listen to his wisdom. How 
much the more are those to be esteemed blessed, 
who, sitting at His feet, who Himself contains all 
the treasures of wisdom and of knowledge, can 
hear the word of everlasting life from His mouth 
(Luke x. 23 sq). Ver. 9. It is proof of a good 
and noble heart, when a man gives thanks to Goa 
for the gifts which he bestows upon other men. 
Cramer: Upon the land which God will bless He 
bestows good and wise rulers ; but if He will to 
punish a country, he does the opposite (Is. iii. 4; 
Ec. x. 16, 17). If the Queen, in God's gift of a 
Solomon to Israel, recognized a singular proof of 
God's love to this nation, and exclaimed : Blessed 
be, &c, how can we thank and praise God enough for 
the love which sent his only begotten Son into the 
world, to save us from utter darkness, and to place 
us in the kingdom of His dear Son (Cor. i. 13; 
Eph. i. 3). — Osiander: Rulers are given their high 
position by God, not simply to enjoy the pleas- 
ures of life, and to see good days, but to administer 
justice to their subjects, and care for their tempo- 
ral and eternal welfare. 

Vers. 10-13. The interchange of gifts between 
the Queen and Solomon, (a) The Queen is not 
content with words of praise and thanks ; she tes- 
tifies her gratitude by means of great and roya. 
gifts. Of what avail is all mere verbal thanks and 
praise, if the life be devoid of lovely deeds, and of 
cheerful gifts, for the acknowledgment of God's 
kingdom ? (6) Solomon needed not the gifts ; he 
had more than she could give him (vers. 11, 12); 
he gave her all that heart could desire. What are 
all our gifts in comparison with those which we 
receive from the Lord, — those which are immeas- 
urably beyond what we ask and seek (Eph. iii. 
20), and where it is more blessed to give than to 
receive (Acts xx. 35)?' Vers. 11, 12. As God be- 
stows various gifts upon individual men, so He also 
blesses different countries with varied products, 
not that nations should covet and contest the same, 
but that they should serve and mutually benefit 
each other. — Ver. 13. With a treasure incompar- 
able in value to gold and jewels, the Queen joy- 
fully went her way, like the Eunuch of Ethiopia. 

How many are there who return from far jour- 
neys into distant lands, rich in gold and substance, 
but poor in faith and knowledge of the truth. They 
have lost more than they have won; the Queen 
gained more than she lost. — The generation of th«i 
present day in comparison with the Queen of 
Sheba; its satiety and indifference, its unbelief 
and its guilt (Matt. xii. 42). 




B. — The Wealth, Splendor, and Power of Solomon's Kingdom. 

Chap. X. 14-29 (2 Cheon. IX 13-28). 

Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred 
threescore and six talents of gold, beside that he had of the merchantmen,' 
and of the traflick of the spice [omit spice] merchants, and of all the kings of 
Arabia," and of the governors of the country. 

16 And king Solomon made two hundred targets [i. e. large shields] of beaten 

17 wold; six hundred shekels of gold went to one target. And he made three 
hundred shields of beaten gold; three pound [manehs 3 ] of gold went to one 
shield : and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon. 

18 Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the 

19 best gold. The throne had six steps, and the top of the throne was round be- 
hind : and there were stays [arms *] on either side on the place of the seat, and 

20 two lions stood beside the stays [arms]. And twelve lions stood there on the 
one side and on the other upon the six steps : there was not the like made in any 

21 And all king Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of 
the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure 6 gold ; none were_ of silver : 

22 it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon. For the king had at 
sea a navy 8 of^Tharshish with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the 

23 navy of Tharshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.' So 
king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom. 

24 And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had 

25 put in his heart. And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, 
and v.ssels of gold, and garments, and armor," and spices, horses, and mules, 
a rate year by year. 

26 And Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen : and he had a thou- 
sand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he be- 

27 stowed in the cities for chariots, and with the king at Jerusalem. And the king 
made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he to be as the syca- 
more [mulberry 10 ] trees that are in the vale, for abundance. 

28 And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn [a troop ] : 

29 the kind's merchants received the"linen yarn [troop] at a price. And a chariot 
came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse 
for an hundred and fifty : and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the 
kings of Syria, did they bring them out by their means. 


' Ver. 15. [D'nnn »BbKD, on the meaning of this difficult expression, see Exeg. Com. The versions render as fol- 
lows : Vnlg., the meVwho were over the tribute ; Sept., the tribute of those subject; Chald, the wages of the artisans; 
Syr., siinplv from the artisans; and so the Arab. .._«_„«- ,-L— .. , • § 

» Ver. 15. [The ancient versions generally sustain this rendering. The Chald. alone has KHiapW '3?0 t"ig» of 

auxiliary or allied nations." which must be wrong. The Heb. word 31$ Is used Ex. sii. 83, Neh. xiii. 8, generally of 
"a mixed multitude " of aliens attaching themselves to the Israelites; and Jer. xxv. 24, specifically of the mixed races 
i! Arabia Deserta. Hence in the parallel place 2 Chron. ix. 14 we have 3TJJ. 

• Ver. IT. [The Maneh=100 shekels. » _■._■_»_ 
« Ver. 19. [The Ileb. FliT undoubtedly means arms, and is so rendered by the Syr. The Chald. and Arab, give tne 

sense of the A. V., while the Vulg. and Sept. render literally, hands. 

• Ver. 21. [The English version gives without doubt the true sense ; so the Vulg., Chald, and Syr. The word "TOO 
Is the part. /«««. from "13 D to shut, close, and hence the Sept. version xpwV ovyxtKhw^a.. 

• Ver. 22. [The Sept. and Chald. adopt the single instead of the collective meaning of '38 and render " a ship." 

' Ver 22, [Tne other ancient versions (except that the Syr. and Arab, has elephants Instead of l™^> co ^ ur J» ™ 
tense of these words given >« the English version; but the Vat. Sept. has instead *.««» Topeviw «<" ireAwirmi., st.nei 
•nt and graved. The Vat. Sept. also here inserts the passage omitted in Chap. ix. 

> Ver, 25. [The Sept. render ptl'3 (=armourj by ora/en)!-, oil of myrrh. 

CHAPTER X. 14-29. 


» Ver. 26. [The Vat. Sept. omits the first clause of ver. 26, and both recensions add to the verse the first part of lv. 
H. Also instead "f 1,400 chsiriots they read 4,000 (Alex. 40,000) mares. 

10 Ver. 27. [D'?Dp*J*=<rv»c6/Aopos, avKamvos, the mulberry-tree, now rare, but anciently very common in the low- 
lands of Palestine. 

11 Ver. 28. [On the meaning of HlpD , here translated " linen yarn," see Exeg. Com. The Sept. and Vulg. hare 
taken it as a proper fame. — F. G.] " : ' 


Vers. 14-15. Now the weight of gold, 
&o. The 666 talents have been very differently 
computed. According to Ex. xxxviii. 25 there are 
3,000 shekels in one talent, but Thenius reckons 
the shekel at 10 Thalers, so that the whole sum 
would amount to " nearly 20 millions of Thalers in 
gold." Keil, who had formerly reckoned it at 1,900,- 
875 Marks, calculates it now at ''over 17 millions 
of Thalers." which plainly is too high. According 
to this, the golden crown which David took from 
the head of the Ammonite king, and which 
weighed a talent, not reckoning the precious 
stones in it (2 Sam. xii. 'SO), must have weighed 
834 Dresden pounds, and a talent was about 
30,000 Thalers, which is simply impossible. We 
prefer to reckon the talent at 2,618 Thalers* at 
present, as Winer (R.-W.-B. II. s. 562) and 
Bunsen (Bihehoerk I. Bird. s. 377) think; this makes 
666 talents equal to 1.743.588 Thalers, a still 
considerable sum. We cannot see why the num- 
ber 666 should be an " invented" one, in which 
tradition betrays itself (Thenius). There is, in any 
event, no allusion in Rev. xiii. 18 to this passage, 
and this number has no particular signification any- 
where else. It only expresses the simple sum of 
the various receipts. In one year, i. e. , per annos 
sinyuhs (Vulgate); this suits our calculation very 
well, but not the 20,000,000 Thalers [or $15,000,"- 
000]. Keil, without any reason, doubts the cor- 
rectness of this translation, in which all old trans- 
lators have agreed ; for if, as he supposes, the 
freight of the Opliir fleet, which returned only 
once in three years, brought the 666 talents, it 
must mean in every third year. The 666 talents 
were the regular yearly income ; but we must not 
necessarily suppose, with Thenius, that they were 
" the income of taxes laid on the Israelites them- 
selves;" for there is no mention anywhere made 
ol a yearly income tax. Ver. 15 tells of other 
less defined additions to the regular revenue. The 

Sept. renders the difficult expression D'inn 't'JX 

by (;t<jp<r) r£ni(p6pbni tuv v-noTeTayfiivuv; it appears 
also to have read differently. Thenius therefore 

conjectures it to be DTPH 'SMVD, and trans- 
lates: " from the contributions of the subjugated ;" 
but in opposition to this, Bertheau remarks rightly, 
" D'mn occurs nowhere else, and t;"Jj; (Zv/iia) can 
scarcely mean a tribute laid on the conquered 
lands in David's time, and as such raised by Solo- 
mon." The expression is generally understood 

to mean travelling tradespeople, and as D^DI , 

i. e., merchants, follows, the latter "merchants" 
must mean "the pedlers or inferior shop-keepers" 
(Keil). But this distinction is destitute of proof. The 

* If we reckon the Thaler at 75 cents, 10 Thalers, of 
course, are $7.50, and 20 millions of ThalerB are §15,000,000. 
Anil taking the author's estimate of values, (. e., supposing 
the talent to be equal to 2,618 Thalers, the 666 talents in the 
text Fonld be equal to $1.306.691.— E. H. 

word "im is never used for trading ; DHnn in Num. 

xiv. 6 (xiii. 16, 17) means the men that Moses sent 
out to view and report upon the land. The Vulgate 
translates the parallel passage in 2 Chron. ix. 14. 
legati diversarum gentium. So also Bertheau, " the 
ambassadors " by whom the presents of other kings 
were brought. It is impossible to ascertain the 
exact income Solomon received from the traffic of 
the mercliants; but there could scarcely have been 
a regular commercial tax (Thenius), and custom 
duties are still less to be supposed. The kings 
31>'n are not " kings of the mixed tribes " (Ked), 

but could only have been Arabian tributary kings, 
who were subject to Solomon; probably they be- 
longed to the desert Arabia, or at least to a part of 
it, which joined the Israelitish territory (Thenius). 
Cf. Jer. xxv. 20; Ezek. xxx. 5. The governors are 
no doubt the same as those mentioned in chap. iv. 
7-1 9. The revenue-sources named in ver. 15 were 
plainly not gold, but in various kinds of produce. 

Vers. 16, 17. And king Solomon made two 
hundred targets, &c. njy is the large square 

shield, rounded down upon its length, covering the 
whole body. It was usually made of wood covered 
with leather, but these were overlaid with gold. 
pD is a smaller shield, either quite round or oval, 

also of wood or leather covered with gold. The 
latter was Bin"* , i- «•, not : mixed with another 

metal, nor pure; but: stretched, hammered broad. 
The word shekel is left out in giving the weight, 
as often happens (Gen. x. 16; xxiv. 22; xxxvii 
28). The 600 shekels for each large shield should 
come to 523* Thalers [$392-3]. If a talent is reck- 
oned at 3,000 shekels, and the talent be equal to 
2,618 Thalers [see note above], the 3 pounds for 
each smaller shield would be 261^ Thalers, as 3 
pounds are=300 shekels, according to 2 Chron. ix. 
16. This calculation appears far more probable 
than that 17i pounds of gold, worth 6,000 Thalers, 
were used for each shield (Thenius) ; or that the 
gold-plating of a large shield did not weigh quite 
9 pounds, and that of a small one nearly 4J pounds 
(Keil). These shields were borne, as chap. xiv. 27 
tells us, by the body-guard ; but were used prob- 
ably only on special occasions, for they were 
more for show than for ordinary use, and served 
also to adorn the house of the forest of Lebanou 
(for which see above in chap. vii. 2). Golden 
shields are also mentioned in 1 Mace. vi. 39, and 
were used also by the Carthaginians (Plin. Hist. 
Nat., xxxv. 4). 

Vers. 18-20. Moreover, the lung made a 
great throne, Ac. The throne was not entirely 
made of ivory, any more than the palaces men 
tioned in chap. xxii. 39 j Ps xiv. 9 ; Amos hi. 15, 
but was only inlaid with it, decorated. The wood 
of which it was made was overlaid with gold, and 
between, ivory was inserted. 2 Chron. ix. 17 gives 

linu , pure, for pio , i. c, purified. Round if 

hind can scarcely be that " i" had an arched o> 



^^Sy^JSK£&%^ISS and but little ivory. Ke Q now admits 

Most "probably the lions as well as the 
Se itself to which they belonged were made of 
W overlaid with gold as images of gods were 
j„ fTo. t ^ to i There was not a "lion on 
e^Tof the annA the throne (Ewald), but on 
each side of it 6>\S) i *e twelve others stood on 
the six steps leading to the throne, each one facing 
anoter The remark, there was not the like made 
Z has reference to the artistic merit of the work 
as well a* its costliness; the statues were at least 
as large as life. " On the ancient Assyrian monu 

! he once held the far-fetched idea that 
Jehoshaphat brought the ships built at Ezion-geber 
.cross the isthmus of Suez, transported also ov-r 
land tt sail thence to Spain. The ships wuth which 
he Phcen icians used to go to the distant Tharshish 
were very large and strong, perhaps the largest 
Trading vessels ; and as large ships now that go far 
are named after the lands they sail to, for instance 
Eas "indtamen, Greenlanders, so in Solomon's time 
or ha of our author, the Phoenicians called large 
trad ng vessels Tharshish ships; it had become a 
regula? name, as the following passages show : 

■ p'i xlviii. 8. Taking everything into 
me^^re are representatio^ofhighc^u-s witt ^ ^^^Xcan regard &eformala: ships 

arms and backs, also such, the backs of which were | „__„ v: 3, „ nhrnn. ix. 211 as only a 

supported bv figures of animals (cf. Layard, Nt- 
3 T^V^but none of these chairs are like 
that o : Solomon. Later ages only can produce 
more splendid thrones. Cf. Rosenmuller Alia 
und^ues Mainland, III. s. 176 sq." (keil). 

Ver 21 And aU king Solomon's drinking 
vessels &c The account of the great quantity 
ol gold and 'silver in Solomon's time does not ap- 
pear in the least exaggerated when we compare 
C of other ancient -iters about the amoiui 

wLT"to L Tarshish'(2 Chrom ix. 21) as only a mis- 
,ken intlrStation of the expression : Tharslnsh 
rleet^a mistake that is easily accounted for, as a 
the time Chronicles was written the voyages of 
Tvrians as well as of Israelites to Ophir and 
Tharshish had long ceased, and the geographical 
position of both pUcea was ^rgotten by the Jew 
(Keil) Though the passage under considera- 
Soes not ^expressly whither the Thaxshiah 

^mtlt hte'o^f donation But much 

t hose o other aucieiit «n«..» « „„ i„ a nnhir must have been us uwuu«»« u - -. — . 

precious metal in the ancient East. Sardanapalus ^ must ^ ^.^ q{ pphu- which 

For instance, had, when Nineveh was besieged 50 bas be en^ ^ jg ^ , (c / W.ner 

ints of gold ten times as much silver and 3,000 
alents Si been previously divided by him among 
.,;= <„ ns (Ktesias by Athemeus, xn. p. 52J). JNO 
le s than ( 7 70 talents of gold were used for the 
statues ud vessels of the Temple of Bel in Baby- 
lon Miiuter, lid. der Babyl, i 51, where the pas- 
Zes of the ancients that refer to it are given) 
Afexander's pillage of Ecbatana was valued at 
120,000 talents of gold (D.odor. &«£**$; 
Cvrus' pillage was 34,000 pounds of gold and 500 
000 po ds'of silver, besides an immense number 
„f golden vessels (Pliny, to*. Nat. xxvu. 3, cf. 
Symbol. desMos. Knit. 1.8. 259 s 9 -)- 

Ver. 22. For tile king had at sea a navy 
ic. winn . the ancient Phoeni 

of Tharshish, ic. E^ann 

T,rt..Q«n< on the far side of the 

can emporium, Taitessus, on uie i 

oiUars of Hercules in south-western Spain it is 

described us lying in a district which was rich in 

' t i nation has been much disputed but 

hTabove „,av be taken as the correct account see 

he opinions in Winer, R.-W.-B. II. f. 603). cy 

Ezek.xxxviu.13; Jer.x.9; Isai. xx.u. 10.) That, 

tooww.wna 'J-«"<* s not here denote ship3 

„i»j to Tharsliisli, is evident from the passage 1 
Kings xxii. 48, '•Jehoshaphat made ships of Hiar- 
ShUn to go to'Ophir lor gold (f e., to feteh gold) 
but tiie/went not, for the ships were broken a 
E-zion-eeber (i. e., on the Arabian gulf). wneie 
^ver we may look for Ophir, it waacertainy no 
1U sp ai * as every one knows, but in the East, that 
8 in the opposite direction. The ships that Solo- 
'„;',, , ,,„, had built (chap. ix. 28) in Ezion- 

gTer were also desti 1 to go to Ophir ttierefore 

-ould not possibly have been intended for a voyage 

jea) because the way around South Ala was 
then unknown. The productions, too which w. 
22 tells us the Tharshish slops broug^showbe 
yond dispute that 

lm<5 been written aoout mv ^.«"« . * - -nr- 

has been greatly, and is still, ^P^ c ^~ e 
p . IV'-B. II. s. 183 sg. : Herzog, Real- EncyU. on uie 
Ird) This much, however, has been settled by 

ever> tnree yo , thg clue , lmport] 

S*h- Save been plentiful in Ophir, is 
notfonnd on the Indian coast, but is met with, nrst, 
lh nf Cashmere South Arabia, on the con- 
tra rv was f med tor its abundance of gold, and 
Asa Minor imported its gold ch.efiy then* . 1^ 
p«3n , rendered peacocks by all the old trans 
lations, seem even more than the Q'Bp , »". e, apes, 
to point to India, for *ey originally came from 
th/ve tOken, Natur,j^ch.ikr Vogel,s.Qlo); the ivory 
too which is in other places simply expressed by 
W reminds us of India. But as Ophir certainly 
cannot mean India, we decide, with Ewald and 


in since peone mauc »"j»d^" -, , , •„_+ 

and besides the gold of Ophir brought apes, pea- 

i 1, imvi e Indian products and articles 

cocks, and ivory, i. e., ™"° i" thpre was 

Arato and that Indian product, reached Ophn, 

CHAPTER X. 14-29. 


opposite coast of Ethiopia. Though there was a 
' species of tailed ape " in Ethiopia, there were no 
peacocks and' no sandal-wood. Thenius very un- 
necessarily supposes that the same writer who 
wrote chap. ix. 27 sq. could not have written this pas- 
sage, because each passage speaks of the voyage 
to Ophir in a different manner ; whence again the 
compilatory character of our books must follow. 
The first account is of the first voyage, and the 
second account of the later and more extended one. 
Vers. 23-27. So king Solomon exceeded, 
&c. From vers. 23-29, by way of conclusion, 
everything that was to be said of the glory of 
Solomon is summed up, and at the same time some 
things not yet mentioned are added. For vers. 
23-24 cf. chap. iv. 29-34. According to the uni- 
versal custom in the East all, who came to see and 
hear Solomon brought him presents, and this was 
repeated " year by year," so highly had he risen 
everywhere in consideration. For ver. 26 cf. 
chap. iv. 26, and chap. ix. 19. In ver. 27 silver 
only is mentioned and not gold (which the Sept. 
unjustifiably adds here from 2 Chron. i. 15), be- 
cause enough had been said already about gold. 
The great quantity of silver does not necessarily 
show that there was a silver trade with Tharshish 
which was rich in that metal, for there was a great 
deal of silver in Asia : Sardanapalus in Nineveh 
(see above on ver. 21), rich as he was in gold, had 
ten times as much silver, which he certainly did 
not get from Spain. The cedar-wood which 
came from Lebanon was as plentiful there in Je- 
rusalem as common building timber, which was 
taken from sycamores (Isai. ix. 10), which did not 
grow on high mountains but very often in the low- 
lands of Palestine (Winer, R- W.-B. II s. 62 sq.), 
and were therefore cheap and easy to be had. The 
mode of expression is hyperbolical and Oriental, 
and cannot be taken literally any more than chap. 
iv. 20. 

Vers. 28, 29. And Solomon had horses 
brought, &c. Verses 28 and 29 contain supple- 
mentary remarks to the account given in ver. 26 
of Solomon's war-forces, explaining how he ac- 
quired the latter, namely, by sending special mer- 
chants to trade with Egypt, which was famous for 
its breed of horses, and was the country of " horses 
and chariots " (Ex. xiv. 6 sq. ; xv. 1 ; 2 Kings 
xviii. 24; Isai. xxxi. 1 ; Jer. xlvi. 2, 4; Deut. xvii. 
16). nipD, which occurs twice in ver. 28, is diffi- 
cult ; but it can only mean collection, collexio, mul- 
titude (Gen. i. 9, 10; Ex. vii. 19; Jer. iii. 17). If 
we adhere to the masoretic punctuation we must 
render it as Gesenius does : " And a number of royal 
merchants fetched a number of the same (horses) 
for money;" the passage would thus contain "a 
kind of play on the word," which would be here 
without design or meaning. The Sept. and the Vul- 
Ijate regard nipD as denoting locality, and connect 
it with D'lVDD ; the departure of horses from 
Egypt and from Coa (Ik Qskovc de Coa) ; but neither 
the Bible nor any ancient translator mentions a 
country or town named Coa or Cawe, and yet as a 
place of trade it could not have been insignificant 
or unknown. Thenius arbitrarily and incorrectly 

changes the first nipO m 'o yipno ; Thekoa, some 

miles from Jerusalem, was not a trading town but 
a small place situated on a height and inhabited by 
thepherds (Winer, ». 606). The translation "re- 

mainder " (or surplusage) (Ewald) is no better than 
that given by some Rabbins, woven texture. The 
second nipD can have no other meaning than that 
of the first ; it means " collection " each time, i. e., 
collection of horses, and the passage becomes quite 
clear, if, leaving the masoretic punctuation, we join 
the first nlp!2 to the preceding words, making one 
sentence of them: "Concerning the bringing of 
horses out of Egypt, and their collection, the mer- 
chants of the king made a collection of them for a 
certain price." This shows that the horses were 
not brought up one by one, but in droves each time. 
When 600 shekels were given for a chariot and 
150 for a horse, the first price of course included 
that of the harness for two horses belonging to the 
chariot, and also that of a reserved horse (see above 
on chap. iv. 26). The single horses at 150 shekels 
must have been riding-horses. We cannot tell the 
exact amount of this price in our money, as the 
value of the shekel is not fixed. If, like Winer and 
others, we compute it at 26 silver groschen, 150 
shekels would be equal to 130 Thlr. [$97.50] ; Keil 
agrees with this, but formerly thought, with others, 
that it only amounted to 65 or 66 Thlr.; Thenius 
gives it at 100 Thlr. The traders were ca'led " king's 
merchants," not because they had to give an account 
of their dealings to the king (Bertheau) but " be- 
cause they traded for the king" (Keil); as such 
they were respected, and distant kings employed 
them in procuring horses. The Hittites are not the 
same as those named in chap. ix. 20, but were an 
independent tribe, probably in the neighborhood of 
Syria, as 2 Kings vii. 6 mentions them as in alliance 
with the Syrians. 


1 . In the section before us the delineation of Sol- 
omon's glory reaches its climax. No other king's 
reign is treated at such length in our books as that 
of Solomon, which alone occupies 1 1 chapters. But 
this whole historical representation has the same end 
in view that this section, referring to the promise, 
chap. iii. 13. expresses in the words: " King Solo- 
mon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches 
and for wisdom," i. e., all conceivable greatness, 
might, riches, dignity, fame, and splendor were united 
to such a degree in Solomon (which never happened 
to any king before or after), that he was looked on as 
the very ideal of a king throughout the East ; and his 
" glory " became proverbial (Matt. vi. 29 ; Luke xii. 
26). The reason that this glory, which here reaches 
its highest point, is depicted just before the account 
of his deep fall (chap, xi.), is to be found in the theo- 
cratic view of the historian, and is, in an historico 
redemptive relation, of high significance. In the 
divine economy the Old-Testament kingdom was 
destined to reach its culminating point in David's 
son ; but as the old covenant moved generally in 
the form and covering of bodiliness, visibility, and 
outwardness, described as mzfif by the New Tes- 
tament; so the glory of the Old-Testament king- 
dom was a visible and external one; its highest 
point was determined by riches, power, fame, 
dignity, and splendor. Corresponding with the 
kingdom of Israel Kara na/ma, it can be but a glory 
Karii capita, i. e., a visible, external, and therefore 
temporal and perishable, which, like the old cove- 
nant, pointed beyond itself, to an invisible, spiritual, 
and therefore imperishable, eternal glory. The 
same Old Testament king, under whom the king 



dom reached its greatest degree of glory, prepared 
the way for its gradual decline, and no one preached 
more powerfully the vanity and nothingness of all 
temporal splendor than he when proclaiming, it is 
all vanity (Eccles. i. 2)1 In complete contrast 
with the Old-Testament glory of Solomon we see 
the New-Testament glory of the son of David, in 
the most eminent sense, the true Prince of peace, 
who had not where to lay his head, and was 
crowned with praise and honor, not through riches, 
power, dignity, or splendor, but by the suffering of 
death ; who became perfect through self-abnegation 
and obedience unto the death on the cross, and sat 
down at the right hand of the throne of Majesty ; 
Whose Kingdom is everlasting and his glory imper- 
ishable (Heb. ii. 9 ; v. 9 ; viii. 1 ; xii. 2 ; Luke i. 33). 
2. Among the things related to show the splendor 
of Solomon's reign, special mention is made of the 
throne as the symbol of royal majesty, and at the 
same time the centre or seat of this glory ; and it 
is expressly added that there was not the like in 
any kingdom, whicli no doubt refers principally to 
the lions. The number of these lions, twelve, has 
reference, indisputably, to the number of the tribes 
of Israel above which the king was elevated and 
over which he reigned, and for that reason the lions 
stood below him on the steps of the throne. Ewald 
gives the following as the reason for this symbol, 
" indisputably because the lion was the standard 
of Judah." This, however, does not appear to be 
so from Gen. xlix. 9, nor from Isai. xxix. 1 and 
Ezek. xix. 2 ; and besides, all the twelve tribes could 
not be ranged under the particular banner of the 
tribe of Judah. Thenius thinks that the two lions 
next the throne were " rather the guardians of it," 
and the twelve others on the steps represented 
"the power of the twelve tribes united in one 
throne." But the lion is never mentioned as " keep- 
ing watch," and moreover, the signification of those 
beside the throne could not differ from that of those 
before and below it. All nations have, from time 
immemorial, regarded the lion as the king of beasts 
(cf. the numerous passages of the ancients on this 
subject, in Bochart, Hieroz. I. ii. 1), and is therefore 
a fitting symbol of monarchy, which consists in 
"reigning and ruling" (see above on chap. iii. 9). 
The lion "is the strongest among beasts" (Prov. 
xxx. 30, 31), and his roaring announces the coming 
of judgment (Am. iii. 8; i. 2; Rev. x. 3). The two 
lions at the right and left of the king as he sat on 
the throne, denote his twofold office of governing 
and judging. If, then, the entire people are sym- 
bolized by the twelve lions, the meaning must be 
that Israel was the royal people among nations ; 
just as the twelve oxen that bare up the mol- 
ten sea signified that Israel was the nation of 
priests (see above in chap. vii. 25). The people 
chosen by God from among all people are a nation 
of kings and priests (Ex. xix. 6; Rev. i. 6; v. 10); 
just as it culminates, as a priestly nation, in the 
high-priest, so it does also,as its king. 
Here we think involuntarily of the throne of Him 
who is both lamb and lion (Rev. v. 5, 6), who is 
the Prince of earthly kings, and has made us kings 
and priests to His Father, God (Rev. i. 6 ; v. 6 ; vii. 
10, 17). His people number twelve times twelve 

thousand (=144,000), and these are represented 
by the twice twelve of the elders who stand before 
his throne (Rev. iv. 4, 10 ; vii. 4; xiv. 1). 


Ver. 14. (a) The glory of Solomon. Wherein it lay 
(Power, dominion, pomp, splendor, glory, and honor 
everything that men wish or desire in this world- 
all these we see before us in the life of this one 
man. But the glory of man is as the grass of the 
field, which fades and withers ; truly, the lilies of 
the field exceed it in glory, for even. &e. — and 
Soiomon himself confessed: All is vanity; I have 
seen all the works, &c, Eccles. i. 2 ; ii. 11; 
Ps. xlix. 17, 18. The world passes away, &c). 
(b) Its significance for us (that we should seek after 
that other and imperishable glory, prepared for us 
by him who is greater than Solomon, Jno. xvii. 
24. Scarcely one of many thousands can attain to 
the glory of Solomon, but to the glory of God we 
are all called, 1 Thess. ii. 12; if our life be hidden 
with Christ in God, then " shall we when Christ," 
Ac, Col. iii. 3, 4. Therefore shall we rejoice in the 
hope of future glory, and not only so, but in tribu- 
lations also (Rom. v. 2, 3) for our "light affliction, 
which is but for a moment," &c, 2 Cor. iv. 17, 18). 
— Power and dominion, (a) The responsibility in- 
volved therein ("to whom much is given, of him 
shall much be required, and to whom men," ic, 
Luke xii. 48; singular endowments bring with 
them singular requirements — authority is power 
given for the use and benefit of inferiors — wealth 
is bestowed upon the rich that they may relieve 
necessity according to their means), (b) The perils 
connected with it (pride and haughtiness, forget- 
fulness of God, and unbelief), Ps. lxii. 11; Iii. 9; 
1 Tim. vi. 9 ; Matt. xvi. 26. Therefore envy not 
the rich and powerful, for they are exposed to 
many temptations. But godliness with content- 
ment, Ac, 1 Tim. vi. 6. Wurt. Summ. : Devout 
Christiana may have and hold gold and silver, lands 
and possessions, cattle, in short everything, and 
with a good conscience, if only they do not misuse 
them by idle pomp or for the oppression of their 
fellow-creatures; for they are gifts and favors of 
God, which he lends them. The silver and the gold 
is mine, saith the Lord of hosts (Haggai ii. 8 ; Ps. 1. 
i 0). The throne of Solomon, stately and magnificent 
as it was, is long since crumbled to dust, but His 
Throne, before whose judgment-seat we must all 
appear, eDdures to all eternity. — The man to whom 
God has given great wealth and high position in 
the world may indeed dwell in splendor; but 
every man sins whose expenses exceed his income, 
or are greater than his position in the world re- 
quires. Golden vessels are not necessaries of life 
nor do they conduce to greater happiness or con 
tent than do earthen and wooden ones. It is the 
duty and right of a prince to bring an armed force 
to the defence of the country against her enemies, 
but prince and people must ever remember what 
the mighty Solomon himself says: The horse is 
prepared against the day of battle, but safety is o< 
the Lord (Prov. xxi. 31; cf. Ps. xxxiii. 18-19; I* 
xxxi. 1). 

CHAPTER XI. 1-13. 121 



Chap. XX 

A. — The unfaithfulness towards the Lord and its punishment. 
Chap. XL 1-13. 

J But king Solomon loved ' many strange [i. e. foreign] women, together with 
the daughter of Pharaoh," women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zi- 

2 donians, and Hittites ; of the nations concerning which the Lord said unto the 
children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto 
you : for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods : Solomon 

3 clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and 

4 three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. For it came 
to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other 
gods 3 : and his heart was not perfect with the Lord [Jehovah] his God, as was 

5 the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after' Ashtoreth the o-oddess 

6 of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And 
Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord [Jehovah], and went not fully after 

7 the Lord [Jehovah], as did David his father. Then did Solomon build an high 
place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, 

8 and for Moleeh, the abomination of the children of Amnion. And likewise did 
he for all his strange [*• «. foreign] wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed 
unto their gods. 

9 And the Lord [Jehovah] was angry with Solomon, because his heart was 
tinned from the Lord [Jehovah] God of Israel, which had appeared unto him 

10 twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go 
after other gods: but he kept not that which the Lord [Jehovah] commanded. 

11 Wherefore the Lord [Jehovah] said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done 
of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have 
commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to 

12 thy servant. Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father's 

13 sake : but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son. Howbeit, I will not rend 
away all the kingdom ; but will give one tribe " to thy son for David my ser- 
vant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen. 


1 Ver. 1. — [The Sept renders here ^c «f>iAovunjs, which is not borne out by the character of Solomon, as is pointed out 
In the Exeg. Com. Immediately alter this the Vat. Sept. introduces ver. 3, transposed from its place, but omits its last 
slause altogether. 

2 Ver. 1. — [All the ancient versions class Pharaoh's daughter among the " strange wives, 1 ' which sense onr author, as 
llso Keil rejects. See Exeg. Com. 

3 Ver. 4. — [The Vat. Sept. omits the middle clause of ver. 4, and mixes together vers. 6-S, omitting much of them. 

* Ver. 5. — [Notwithstanding the arguments in the Exeg. Com. against the personal idolatry of Solomon, it is to be 

remembered that the phrase D^IHX D^rpN "HPIX Tpil , to go after other gods (vers. 4, 5, 10) is one already 

established as far back as the Pentateuch as an expression of idolatry. 

• Ver. 13. — [For one tribe tho Sept. have trKyfrnpov iv, which is, however, probably to be understood in the same 




Vers. 1-2. But king Solomon loved, &c. 
With these words a new and very essential part 
of the history of Solomon begins; they do not 
break the thread of the story abruptly, but stand 
in a connection with the preceding, to be well 
considered. Our writer evidently had in his mind 
the command given to kings in Dent. xvii. in which, 
"■;.".). 16 and 17, it is said: "but he shall not multiply 
horses to himself, nor cause the people to return 
to Egypt, to the end that lie should multiply horses 
.... neither shall he multiply wives to himself, 
that his heart turn not away; neither shall he 
greatly multiply to himself silver and gold." The 
great riches in silver and gold were mentioned in 
the preceding section, chap. x. 14-29, and also, 
finally tin number of horses brought out of 
Egypt ana mention of the many strange wives 
immediately follows. If there were danger of 
tnruing away from the strict and serious religion 
of Jehovah connected with the enormous riches, 
the luxury and splendor of the court, this was much 
more the case with the large harem. Solomon did 
not withstand this last danger ; what was foreseen 
iu the laws for the kings happened: "his heart 
was turned away." What we learn from the con- 
nection of these two sections is very important: 
namely, that it was not vulgar, coarse sensuality 
that gave rise to such a large harem, but the rea- 
son was rather, that as Solomon grew in riches, 
esteem, and power, excelling all other kings in 
these (chap. x. 23), he wished also to surpass 
them in what, according to Eastern ideas, even in 
the present day, especially belonged to the court 
and splendor of a great monarch; that is, the 
largest possible harem. But this was the occasion of 
his fall. It is therefore very arbitrary of the Sept. 
to describe 3DN ver. 1 by tjv tpthoyiwawc nal eAafit 

ywaiKa( aXAorpiac, aud quite wide of the mark in 
Thenius, who, explaining this for the original 
reading, says that Solomon was an "enervated 
slave to his senses." Were this the case, traces of 
it would have been apparent earlier; but we do 
not hear, respecting Solomon, the slightest intima- 
tion of any previous sexual irregularity ; he did 
not succumb to the influence of his many wives 
until he had become advanced in years (ver. 4), and 
had reached the summit of his prosperity and 
pover. For his marriage with the Egyptian, see 
above on chap. iii. 1 ; she did not rank among the 
other strange women, i. e., those whom it was for- 
bidden in the law to marry, as ver. 2 expressly 
remarks (rf. Ex. xxxiv. 16; Deut. vii. 3, 4; Josh, 
xxiii. 12). It was only through them that strange 
worship, the Asiatic, was introduced into the 
land ; but there is not the slightest trace of Egyp- 
tian worship. The Moabites dwelt east of the 
Dead Sea, the Ammonites were north of them, and 
the Edomites south; but the Zidonians and Hit- 
tites lived north of Palestine, where Phoenician 
worship previiled. Of. Deut xxiii. 4; Ezra ix. 
12; Neh. xii' 23. 

Ver. 3. And he had seven hundred wives, 
tc Ver. 3. nil'." means princesses, women of 

Ihe first rank ; not those who received rank by 
entrance into the harem, but those who were of 
noble families. The great number of these wo- 
olen, with all of whom it was not possible for 
Solonrm (now elderly) to hold sexual intercourse. 

but especially their high rank, shows tne reason 
they were maintained; seven hundred from th« 
noblest princely houses of foreign nations served 
to add the greatest splendor to the court. Many 
think it probable that the majority of these wives, 
although they all were in subjection .-> him, served 
rather as singers and dancers to amuse the old 
aud feeble king (Stollberg, Lisco). The opinion is 
entirely wrong, that (according to Eccle. iv. 8) 
Solomon was " guided by a theological idea, and 
intended to furnish a symbolical representation of 
the kingdom of Christ, and his dominion over all 
nations" (Evgl. Kirch. -Zdtg. 1862, s. 691). The 
numbers 700 and 300 may be only " round, i. e., 
approximate " ones (Keil), but are not therefore 
necessarily exaggerated or false. Eccles. vi. 8 
has been quoted in opposition to them : " sixty are 
the queens, and eighty are the concubines, and in- 
numerable are the virgins," and iu order to recon- 
cile the two passages, the supposition is thrown 
out, that 60 and 80 were the number in the court 
at one time, and 700 and 300 the number of all 
the women at the court during Solomon's reign 
(Ewald, Keil). This Thenius, with some reason, 
declares to be a "subterfuge;" but when he as 
serts that the statement in the Canticles is " his- 
torically founded," and on the other hand, regards 
our own statement " as an evidence of the legend- 
ary character of the entire section," we answer 
that Canticles is not historical but is poetic, and 
cannot be adduced as testimony against our his- 
torical books. Finally, the supposition to which 
Keil inclines, that there may be errors in the 
numeral-letters (t."=300 instead of 3 = S0), rest3 
evidently in the consideration that the numbers 
700 aud 300 appear too large. But this difficulty 
ceases when we compare our own with other ac- 
counts of the harems of Eastern rulers. Curtius 
relates (III. iii. 24) that Darius Codomanus, on his 
expedition against Alexander, carried 300 peilices 
with him. Public accounts state that the harem 
of the present Turkish Sultan contains 1,300 wo- 
men. The Augsb. Attg. Zeitung of 1862, No. 181, 
says "that the mother of the Taiping, emperor in 
Nankin, is the head of her son's harem, a great 
establishment containing 3,000 women," whom the 
same " lady " has to keep in order. Magelhaus 
gives the same number, and adds that the emperor 
had never seen some of them iu his life. " The 
travellers of the seventeenth century reported the 
number of the wives of the Great Mogul to have 
been 1,000 " (Philippson). In Malcom's history 
of Persia it is stated that king Kosros had 5,000 
horses, 1,200 elephants, and 12,000 wives; this 
may be greatly exaggerated, but shows the notions 
that were entertained about the state which a 
great ruler should maintain. Of. also other in- 
stances in Rosenmuller, Altes mid Neues Morgen- 
land, III. s. 181. The evident intention of the 
narrator is, not to picture these rulers as brutal 
sensualists, but, on the contrary, to add to tlieil 
fame. An immense harem is held in the East to be 
as requisite to a splendid court as a large stud. 
Ver. 4. For it came to pass when Solomon 

was old, after other gods, &c. By old 

age is not meant the time "when the flesh obtain- 
ed mastery over the spirit " (Keil) — sensuality nevei 
first begins with old age — but the time when, in 
consequence of luxury and indulgence, the energy 
of spirit and heart deserted him, and a relaxing 
took possession of him more and more. Then first 

CHAPTER XI. 1-13. 


it happened that the many foreign, well-condition- 
ed women succeeded in turning away Solomon's 
heart, i. e., in reducing his tone, making him in- 
different towards the strict and exclusive religion 
of Jehovah, and milder and more indulgent towards 
the worship of their gods, yea, so to insnare him 
that lie favored the latter by the building of altars 
to idols. Wihen the text adds, and his heart 

was not (any longer) perfect (QX'=complete) with 

Hie Lord his God, it says thereby as clearly, as 
positively, that he did not completely fall away 
from Jehovah's service, but that lie permitted the 
idolatrous worship of his wives besides. The 
formula, he did evil in the sight of the Lord, 
is used in speaking of every one who broke the 
commandment in Ex. xx. 3, 4, because this is the 
first and supremest will of God. To avoid any 
misunderstanding, ver. 6 repeats, he went not Jully 

(SjO sc. J1377 , as in Num. xiv. 24; xxxii. 11, 

12: Deut. i. 36) after the Lord (Jehovah). It is 
therefore difficult to conceive why it is so often 
asserted that Solomon formally departed from Je- 
hovah, and became an idolater (Thenius, Duncker, 
Menzel, and others). All the kings of Judah or of 
Israel who were idolatrous are said to have served 
(131?) strange gods (cf. chap. xvi. 31 ; xxii. 54 ; 2 

Kings xvi. 3 ; xxi. 2-6 ; xxi. 20-22), but this expres- 
sion is never applied to Solomon either here or else- 
where. Chronicles is never silent in respect of the 
kings in Judah, when any one of them served 
idols (2 Chron. xxviii. 2, 3 ; xxxii. 2 sq. ; xxxiii. 
22 ; xxxvi. 8), yet it says nothing of Solomon in 
this respect; but this is inconceivable, were it 
true that he had wholly forsaken Jehovah, and 
turned to idolatry. Jesus Sirach complains indeed 
(chap, xlvii. 12-23) that the great Solomon suc- 
cumbed to the influence of his wives, but does not 
say a word of his idolatry. All the Jewish tradi- 
tions, the Talmud, and the Rabbins (Ghemara 
Schabb. lvi. 2) know nothing of the idolatry of 
Solomon. Had he himself, as well as his wives, 
formally worshipped idols, he would have fallen 
far deeper than Jeroboam, who only made images 
to represent Jehovah ; and his sin would have 
been far greater than " the sin of Jeroboam," 
which is so often alluded to in these books, while 
there is no mention of the idolatry Solomon is 
accused of. The statement of the unreliable Jo- 
sephus (Antiq. viii. 7, 5) about Solomon's idol-wor- 
ship is just as much to be credited as his statemeut 
that he was ninety-four years of age. and that he 
broke the law of Moses in placing twelve oxen 
around the molten sea, and the twelve lions near 
the throne. We cannot even admit that Solomon 
held idolatrous worship along with Jehovah's wor- 
ship (Winer), nor that his fall "consisted in a syn- 
retistic mixture of Jehovah-worship and idol-wor- 
ship " (Keil), for in so doing he would have placed 
Jehovah on a level with idols, whereas the very 
nature of Jehovah's service is the sole and exclu- 
sive worship of Him. The D?G> ... X? and JO 
N?D vers. 4 and 6 does not say : he served Jeho- 
vah and the idols both, but: he was no longer 
wholly and completely with Jehovah ; and this is 
made clear in that lie allowed his strange wives to 
ebserve idolatrous service in the city which the 
Lord had chosen to put His name there, and even 

went so far as to favor it by the building of 
" high-places" (ver. 36; chap. viii. 16 ; xiv. 21 ; 3 
Chrou. vi. 6). So Hess (Gesch. Salomo's, s. 43K). 
and recently Vilmar (Pastoral-theol. Blatter, 1861, s 
179j; Ewald also (Gesch. hr. III. s. 378 sq.) says: 
" there is no evidence from ancient documents 
that Solomon ever left the religion of Jahve, even 
in his extreme old age, or sacrificed with his owe 
hands to heathen deities ; but, on the contrary, all 
historical evidences of his times are against the 
idea. Besides, we find it is expressly mentioned 
that he sacrificed upon the altar of Jahve, built by 
him, three times a year (according to the order of 
the three great festivals; with the greatest solem- 
nity, as befitted a king such as he was " (chap. ix. 
25 1. Of. below on ver. 9 sq. 

Vers. 5-S. Solomon went after Ashtoreth, 

&c. The Tp'l , &c, ver. 5, means that he served 

these gods, personally, no more than "Oj' in v er. 

7 which follows, means that he built, with his own 
hands, high-places for the heathen gods; but he al- 
lowed it, permitted it to be done. Ver. 8 adds ex- 
pressly, " and likewise did he (i. e., he built high- 
places, ver. 7) for all his strange wives, which burnt 
incense and sacrificed unto their gods.'' This plainly 
shows that he did not build the heights for him- 
self and his people, and that he did not burn in- 
cense, nor sacrifice on them, but that his strange 
wives did. He allowed public worship to all,, 
whatsoever divinities they might adore, but did 
not himself renounce Jehovah-worship. Diestel 
(in Ilerzog's Real-Encyklop. XIII. s. 337) grants 
that Solomon did not wholly go over into idolatry, 
but thinks that there is as little question that 
there was more than mere tolerance. The religious 
consciousness of the Israelite could not (he 
thinks) get rid of the idea that certain peculiar 
powers ruled other nations, dependent indeed 
upon Jehovah, and a limited service devoted to 
these foreign inferior gods did not consequently 
annul the service of the all-ruling Jehovah. This 
artificial view, in which Niemeyer joins, is contra- 
dicted decisively by the fact that the so-called 
" inferior gods " are mentioned as Vj3B> , abomina- 
tion (vers. 5, 7), rDjhn abomination (2 Kings 
xxiii. 13), D^an vanity (Jer. ii. 5) and whhi . 

stercora (Deut. xxix. 17), which would not have- 
been possible had " the greatest sympathies " ex- 
isted "in Israel" for these gods as really "superior 
beings." We need not stop to refute the frivolous 
assertion of Menzel (Stoat- und ReL- Gescltichte der 
Konigreicke Israel und Juda, s. 142), that our au- 
thor, who was devoted to Jehovah's service, pre- 
ferred to place the king in an unfavorable light 
rather than to let it be known how long the strange 
worship had existed among the people, and in which 
they took part. For the divinities named in vers. 
5 and 7, cf. Movers, Relig. der Phonizier, s. 560-584, 
002-608 ;' Keil. bibl. Archdologie I. s. 442 sq. ; Winer, 
R.-W.-B. under the appropriate names. Ashtoreth 
is the highest of the Phoenician (Sidouian) and Sy- 
rian female deities, and a personification of the 
feminine principle in nature. Her form is differ- 
ently represented, sometimes with a bull's or wo- 
man's head with horns (crescents), sometimes as a 
fish (symbol of the watery element). She was 
specially adored by women; her worship, which is 
not exactly known, was most probably associated 



with indecency. Cf. especially Cassel, in the Bibel- 
werk, on Judges ii. 13. Milcom is said to be the 
chief god of the Ammonites, in ver. 33, and 2 Kings 
xxiii. 13; 2 Sam. xii. 30; Jerem. xlix. 1, 3: there is 
no accurate description of his nature or worship. 
As Moloch is immediately after (ver. 7) said to be 
the god of the Ammonites, and the two names 

(D3^!3 and "po) are closely related to each other, it 
is very reasonable to suppose they were different 
names for the same divinity. The translations also 
confuse them ; the Sept., vers. 5 and 7, gives 
Mf/.jwu, the Vulg. gives Moloch twice; but in 2 
Kings xxiii. 13 the former renders Milchom by 
MoAox, and the latter by Melchom. Thenius there- 
fore reads D37D1 in ver. 7 instead of "pDl , hut 
there is no reason for doing so. Keil and Ewald 
agree with Movers in holding Milchom and Moloch 
to be different deities, partly because of the differ- 
ent names, and partly because 2 Kings xxiii. 10 
and 13 mention that they had different places of 
sacrifice, and that Moloch was always named in 
connection with sacrifices of children. Winer, how- 
ever, justly remarks that each, though not essen- 
tially different, had different attributes, and had 
therefore various altar-places in one and the same 
town. As for the rest, Molech or Moloch was the 
divinity which was known and adored throughout 
Anterior Asia, whose image, according to the Rab- 
bins, was made of brass, with the head of an ox 
and human arms, in which the children offered 
were laid. Movers thinks he was the same in part 
as Saturn or Chronos, and in part the same as Baal 
the sun-god (cf. s. 322 sq.). There were certainly 
do child-sacrifices at Jerusalem in Solomon's time ; 
they were first offered under Ahaz (2 Kings xvi. 3). 
Chemosh or Chamosh was the war-and-fire-god, ac- 
cording to Movers ; Num. xxi. 9, Jerem. xlviii. 46 
call the Moabites the people of Chemosh. That 
this was the divinity to whom the Moabite king of- 
fered his son, 2 Kings hi. 27, is only a matter of 
conjecture. At any rate, the character of the lat- 
ter deity seems very similar to that of Milchom or 
Molech of the Ammonites, as it (the former) appears, 
in Judges xi. 24, to be the god of the Ammonites ; cf. 
Cassel on this passage. We have no exact accounts 
of them. For the "heights," see above on chap, 
iii. 4; for the places where they were built, see on 
2 Kings xxiii. 13. 

Vers. 9-13. And the Lord was angry. Solo- 
mon, by his conduct, excited the extremest divine 
displeasure, and deserved punishment the more, as 
he had been so richly blessed in every respect by 
Jehovah, and had even been ea' nestly and emphati- 
cally warned in a peculiar vifjion against leaning 
towards other gods (chap. iii. 5 sq. ; ix. 1 sq.). The 
announcement of the subsequent chastisement did 
not follow in another direct revelation, but was no 
doubt conveyed by a prophet, who, as Nathan was 
no longer living, must have been Ahijah the Shilo- 
nite (ver. 29). It is well worthy of notice that, in this 
announcement, the oppression of the people by com- 
pulsory labor, and taxes, or despotism, is not given 
as the reason of the dividing cf the kingdom by Je- 
hovah, and of limiting Solomo 's dynasty to dominion 
over one tribe ; but only the sm against Jehovah, the 
" going after other gods." It was just the same in 
Ahijah's address to Jeroboam, vers. 29-39. For 
one tribe (ver. 13) see on vers. 31, 32. For David's 
sake, i e., on account of the promise given, for 
his i-nehanging fidelity to Jehovah (2 Sam. xvii. 12 

sq.). Cf. that on chap. viii. 15 sq. We are no" 
told what impression the prophecy mado on 
Solomon, but we may just for this reason conclude 
that it was not such as Nathan's discourse made on 
David (2 Sam. xii. 1 3). 


1. The turn which, with the events described in 
the section before us, the reign of Solomon takes, 
is of the weightiest moment, because it exercised 
the most wide-spread and lasting influence upon 
the whole history of Israel : for its immediate re- 
sult was the rending of the kingdom, which was 
the beginning of the end. "The happiness to be 
the most favored people on the earth under a wise 
king — this happiness which Israel could, as it were, 
be shown from afar for a brief space, was itself the 
source of its wretchedness. Wisdom as well aa 
wealth and power were intrusted to a sinful man, 
who could not keep himself erect upon this dizzy 
height. Hence this kingdom of peace and of pros- 
perity should be, even in its fall, both a warning ex- 
ample and also a type of the kingdom which, through 
another, was to bring the blessings of salvation to 
men which Solomon's reign signified in earthly 
symbols " (Ton Gerlach). " Just in the period of 
the highest perfection of the worldly kingdom, the 
insufficiency thereof to satisfy the higher expecta- 
tions and hopes, the complete faultiness cleaving 
to it. and the incapacity to meet the deepest 
needs of the spirit by sensuous splendor and earth- 
ly exhibition of power, must, for the first time, 
have dawned upon the consciousness " (Eisenlohr, 
das Volk Isr. II. s. 119). 

2. The change which overlook Solomon in his ex- 
treme old age would be an insoluble psychological 
riddle if it consisted in his abandonment of the 
service of Jehovah, and his yielding to the idol- 
worship practised by his wives. It is impossible 
that a man who had been brought up in the fear of 
Jehovah, and had declarod this to be the beginning 
of all wisdom, who up to the fulness of his age 
had an unclouded and undisturbed knowledge of 
the one living God, as is shown in the discourse 
and prayer at the dedication of the temple (chap, 
viii.), that a man who shone forth upon all sides 
as light amid the darkness, and throughout the 
whole Orient was regarded as a living symbol of 
wisdom (chap. iv. 30; ix. 24), should in his still 
riper age have fallen into a most gross superstition, 
and abandoned himself to the crudest, most sense- 
less, and immoral of all forms of worship, namely, 
that of the Canaanites and the peoples of anterior 
A sin. We look in vain through all Scripture for an 
example in the remotest degree like it. Recog- 
nizing this, those critics of late, who think that 
idolatry is actually charged upon Solomon in our 
text, have adopted the notion, either that the ac- 
counts respecting his wisdom and his knowledge 
of God are false, that in fact he had always before 
this been given over to idolatry (Gramberg, Vatke, 
and others) — a view striking all history in the face, 
and hence needing no refutation — or inversely, 
that our account about Solomon's idolatry is inac- 
curate, and rests first upon the later "deuterouo 
mistic elaborators of the history " who misunder- 
stood and represented the facts falsely (Ewald, 
Eisenlohr, and others), an assumption which is vio- 
lent and arbitrary, but which, to be sure, is ths 
most convenient way of solving the problem. By 

CHAPTER XI. 1-13. 


the correct interpretation of the text, according to 
which Solomon did not himself practise idolatry, 
but allowed his wives the exercise of public idol- 
worship, indeed favored it, the difficulty disappears. 
It is not indeed an unusual psychological phenome- 
non that a man highly gifted, standing upon a lofty 
eminence of knowledge and wisdom, decided in his 
moral and religious principles, should lose, in his 
old age, in consequence of varions influences and 
relations, and of some especial fortunes of his life, 
the energy of his spirit and will, or, without aban- 
doning precisely his past convictions, should re- 
sign them in respect of decisiveness and exclusive- 
ness, so that towards what he had once regarded 
as error and had zealously combated it as such, he 
becomes tolerant and, as it were, indifferent, especi- 
ally when he hopes thereby to attain ends other- 
wise pursued by him, as this was the case with 
Solomon, as we shall see. who therefore furnishes 
a warning and instructive example in history. 

3. The formal allowance and patronage of differ- 
ent idolatries, especially in the place where the cen- 
tral Jehovah-sanctuary of the whole people stood, 
was, upon the part of the king, an actual equaliza- 
tion of the same with the Jehovah- worship ; an of- 
ficial declaration of the equal authorization of idol- 
worship with the service of the one. true, living 
God who is the God of Israel. But thereby the first 
and supreme command of the Israelitish law, i. e., 
of the Covenant (Exod. xx. 2), was directly trans- 
gressed, and indeed set aside. The people Israel 
were chosen by God to be the upholders of the 
knowledge of the one God, and thereby to act for 
the healing of all nations. To this end it was ne- 
cessary that as a people they should " be separated " 
from all peoples (Lev. xx. 24 ; 1 Kings viii. 53) : 
participation in the election and in the covenant 
was made continual through obedience upon the 
part of the people, and also through race-deri- 
vation. Jehovah's kingdom and the people's 
hence coincide, the religion with the nation, and 
they stand and fall together. Permission, recep- 
tion, and introduction of any heathen religion or of 
different idolatrous worships was not merely an as- 
sault upon the religious conviction of individuals. 
but was also an undermining of the national being 
inseparably connected therewith. The exclusive- 
ness of the Jehovah-cultus was for the people, in 
their peculiar life, an absolute necessity. To set 
aside or remove it was to threaten the existence 
of this peculiar estate, and to deny its world-his- 
torical distinction. If Solomon himself neither of- 
fered inceuse nor sacrificed unto idols, he did yet 
nothing less than attack the foundations of the 
kingdom; he brought into the unity of the Israeli- 
tish public life the germ of dissolution, and threat- 
ened to destroy the covenant and God's plan of 
salvation. To this extent his conduct and under- 
taking must be characterized as a real falling 

4. The text gives only, as the immediate occasion 
of this falling away of Solomon, his love for his many 
foreign wives. We have already remarked, in re- 
spect of these high-bred dames from all the neigh- 
boring countries, that reference was had to the 
splendor of the court rather than to the gratification 
of a common, ungovernable lust. From their youth 
accustomed to their sensuous, more or less uu- 
chaste worship, they were more reluctant to aban- 
don it as the earnest and severe Jehovah-cultus 
could not please them. What was more natural 


than the effort to induce the king, advancing in 
years, that he would permit them to observe their 
own native religious rites, and would make the 
regulations necessary therefor, by means of which 
his kingdom might become a sort of assembly- 
place for all religions, and acquire additional splen- 
dor and glory? This indeed they succeeded in, 
but not in the way of gross sensuality. — Niemeyer 
remarks with great pertinence (Charakleristik dtr 
Bib. IV. s. 487) : " We do not find that Solomon 
gave the strength of his youth to women, and went 
the way which destroys kings (Prov. xxxi. 3). But 
even because he did not indulge so much in sensu- 
al enjoyment, the more refined voluptuousness be- 
came for him the more dangerous : that adhesion of 
the spirit, that secret enravishment of heart which, 
unobserved, breaks up the entire independence of 
the man, and, before he is aware of it, makes him the 
helpless slave of the woman. It begins far more 
innocently than that which we call crime, properly 
speaking, but it leaves behind it usually more mel- 
ancholy ruins in the soul than the other. In like 
manner also, Yilmar observes (s. ISO), it is not so 
much coarse sensuality as rather 'psychical bond- 
age to the female sex ' which wrought the fall of 
Solomon " Psychical polygamy dissipates, pulls 
to pieces, and wastes irresistibly the core of the 
human soul. ... At a certain stage of " culture, 
in the intercourse between a man and womar. 
coarse sensuality by no means prevails, but the 
psychical pleasure in the woman, and the psychi- 
cal abandonment to the woman, the desire of the 
eye, and the desire of the eye for the sex as such, 
and not for an individual woman." The surround- 
ings or relations were singularly fitted to awaken 
that kind of spiritual condition and to impart nour- 
ishment to it. The long peace, broken neither by 
war nor other calamity, the great wealth, the ex- 
tensive trade, the abundance, by these means, of all 
objects of luxury possible, the voluptuous court- 
life in consequence, everything conspired to bring 
about a relaxation ; and this was the soil upon 
which the numerous strange women could carry 
out their nature without hindrance. It is very 
probable that Solomon allowed himself to lie gov- 
erned by the political considerations " to give to 
the strangers Hocking to Jerusalem an opportunity 
for the exercise of their own worship, and make 
his residence the desirable centre for the commer- 
cial peoples of Anterior Asia " (Bertheau, Zur Gesch. 
der Israel, s. 323). Like the crowded, brilliant 
harem itself, so the secured freedom of worship 
must needs increase the authority and glory of the 
great king. But always his polygamy is and must 
remain the first and chief cause of his downfall; this, 
as Ewald remarks (Gesch. Isr. III. «. 215) strikingly, 
concerning David's adultery, is the " inexhaustible 
source of evils without number. . . . Here is con- 
cealed an inextricable coil of the direst evils, of 
which scarcely is one put out of the way, when 
two, three others start up, and each is enough to 
destroy the peace of an entire kingdom." So long as 
this evil, " which the whole ancient world did not 
sufficiently regard as an evil," remained, " the king- 
dom in Israel was therewith exposed to the same 
convulsions to which all polygamous kingdoms are 
to this day exposed: and consequently, in his 
earliest bloom we see arise in Israel the germ of 
its destruction, which sooner or later can combine 
with other causes of dissolution. The evils in the 
house of David introduced by Amnon, Absalom, and 



Adonijah . . . all hang together with the lundamen- 
tal evil once brought out; many evils also amongst 
his successors are fastened to the same thread." 
Although Mosaism even in the history of creation 
represents Monogamy as the original relation or- 
dained by God Himself, nevertheless polygamy 
was so deeply rooted in the habits of all peo- 
ples, that the strict law-giver was not able to up- 
root it, but sought, by various limitations, to make 
it difficult (Deut. xxi. 15 sq. ; Exod. xxi. 9 sq. Cf. 
■Winer, K.-\\.-B. II. s. 662). It was expressly for- 
bidden to a king to have many wives (Deut. xvii. 
17), because the dangers which inhered in polyga- 
my were doubly great, and could become danger- 
ous for the whole realm, as Solomon's example 
conspicuously shows. The temptation was espe- 
cially great with kings, because a large harem, ac- 
cording to the custom then prevalent, belonged to 
a royal state. It is, nevertheless, and remains a 
shadow resting upon the Old Covenant, and under 
it the sanctity of marriage was not properly under- 
stood and secured. Christendom was the first to 
make holy the band of matrimony. Without taking 
away the subordination of the woman, which is 
grounded in nature (Lev. iii. 16), it has given to 
her her rightful place (Gal. iii. 28), and thereby, in 
that it represents the relation of Christ to His 
Church as the examplar of marriage, it sets forth, 
as a principle, monogamy as the only form and 
order of the sexual relation (Eph. v. 22-33). 

5. What now, in recent times, has been set 
forth as the proximate and co-operating cause or 
as the chief cause of the fall of Solomon, appears, 
upon closer examination, untenable. They who 
are of the opinion that Solomon indeed did not 
abandon the worship of Jehovah, but worshipped, 
besides Jehovah, heathen deities also, suppose that 
he reached this syncretism in the way of compara- 
tive reflection. Thus Niemeyer remarks (s. 403): 
" He knew well enough that these wooden and 
brazen images are nothing, but in them he paid 
honor to the spirits to whom the Highest, the Un- 
attainable, the Unknowable had intrusted the 
tulership of the world. The more assuredly that 
this idea is derived from an oriental source, the 
more probable is it that Solomon believed that he 
could find therein the solution of his doubt whether 
the Creator of the world occupied Himself with 
what was insignificant, and with the destiny of 
each particular people." The love for his foreign 
wives brought him to the pass of "denying his 
convictions, which had been becoming enfeebled." 
Von Gerlach expresses himself to the same effect: 
" It is worthy of note that in respect of Solomon's 
wisdom, his knowledge of nature is expressly cele- 
brated, and that this wisdom is compared with and 
placed above that of the Orient and of Egypt (chap, 
iv. 30 sq.). ... It is easy to perceive that he made 
an attempt to blend the traditional world-know- 
ledge of the East with the knowledge of the re- 
vealed God ; that he allowed a certain independ- 
ence to the powers of creation which he had repre- 
sented in the figures of the Cherubim in the temple 
standing far below Jehovah, as His servants, and 
first tolerated the worship of them, and then in a 
certaiu degree himself took part therein." This 
whole conception rests upon the erroneous presup- 
position that Solomon had actually burnt incense 
and had sacrificed to idols (besides to Jehovah), 
and it disappears with it. The historical text 
knows nothing at all of Solomon's beinj; misled to 

idolatry by his own reflection and by the olendmg 
of his wisdom with that of the East : it knows no 
other reason for his toleration of idolatrv than t jat 
his strange wives " turned away his heart." Lastly, 
neither in the historical books nor in the writings 
attributed to Solomon is there the slightest trace of 
the thought that idols were real living creative- 
powers, and subordinate deities serving Jehovah 
It is a question whether such a view of the rela- 
tion of Jehovah to gods of the heathen ever ob- 
tained in Israel. Certainly this was not the case 
in Solomon's time, and the later prophets had no 
occasion to resist this opinion. — Ewald has set 
forth another view (as above, s. xiii. 368, 379 sq.). 
He finds the reason in the direction begun in Solo- 
mon's kingdom, and so full of results to the whole 
history of Israel in the " violence " which cleaved 
to the kingdom naturally, by virtue of which ho 
sought to make everything depend upon himself 
and to extend his power to every phase of life — it 
fact, in political absolutism. The kingdom of Is 
rael, under Solomon, felt the strongest tendency to 
become a thorough kingdom of the word; but in 
sucli a kingdom the toleration of different ieligions 
is inevitable. But as this toleration was as yet 
strange, "so the sheer royal authority introduced 
the innovation," which to many of strict senti- 
ments was abhorrent. This view has less even in 
its favor than the preceding. It rests upon an 
entirely false modern political view of monarchy 
in general, and of the Israelitish in particular. 
That which the only historical source in our pos- 
session gives as the chief occasion of Solomon's 
turning is set wholly aside, and in its place some- 
thing is advanced, of which not a word is said. 
Neither the announcement of the punishment (vers. 
9-12), nor the prophecy of Ahijah to Jeroboam (ver. 
31 sq.), gives in the remotest degree, as the ground 
of the division of the kingdom, " violence," i. e., ex- 
cess of the royal authority, but only Solomon's want 
of fidelity to Jehovah occasioned through his wives. 
A world-kingdom, to convert Israel into which, 
Solomon is supposed to have had the tendency, is 
established only by means of military conquests, as 
the history of the world shows. Thus the great 
Roman power began, yet it ceased with the free- 
dom of all (kinds of) worship. Solomon was " a 
man of rest " and of peace (1 Chron. xxii. 9), who 
did not extend the limits of the kingdom, but 
sought to keep and hold those only as they were 
under David. He meditated no world-power, and 
least of all to bring it to pass by the toleration of 
all religions. 

6. Tlic announcement of the divine punishment 
gives, what is well to notice, as the ground there- 
of, not any sinful passion or any immoral act, not 
even the possession of many wives or unbridled 
lust, but only that Solomon had permitted and 
favored idolatrous worship, and in this had not ob- 
served the covenant and the commands of Jehovah. 
David sinned grievously in the matter of Bath- 
sheba, but his procedure was still simply the im- 
moral act of an individual in relation with an indi- 
vidual. Solomon's deed, . n the other hand, con- 
cerned the foundations of the theocracy. It was 
the setting aside and the destruction of the divine 
law upon which the whole kingdom, the existence 
of Israel as a people distinct from all heathen peo- 
ples, its world-historical destiny, rested. For i 
king of Israel, whose calling consisted, espec'allj 
in this, to be a servant of Jehovah, the true kuj 

CHAPTER XI. 1-13. 


of Israel, and as such before all things to maintain 
thoroughly the Covenant, there could be no heavier 
announcement. In the case of Solomon, moreover, 
Jehovah had vouchsafed to him special revelations, 
had answered all his prayers, and had made him 
the most favored, the richest, and most fortunate 
king of that time. From the theocratic point of 
view, the punishment itself, the division of the 
kingdom and the limitation of the dynasty of Solo- 
mon to the tribes Judah and Benjamin, appears 
even merciful, for in reality Solomon had rendered 
himself completely unworthy of the theocratic 
kingdom. For the rest, the punishment corre- 
sponded with the offence in so far as it brought to 
fruit and maturity the germ of the destruction 
of the kingdom which Solomon by his conduct 
had planted and tended. And it is true here also 
that what a man soweth that shall he reap. Solo- 
mon, befooled by his wives, believed that he could 
become still greater by transgression of the Cove- 
nant, and that he would make his kingdom more 
conspicuous and glorious; but this same transgres- 
sion laid the foundation of irreparable breach and 
final ruin. From the modern liberalistie point of 
view Solomon's act has been judged differently. 
So Ewald says (s. 380): "In that he allowed his 
wives to sacrifice to their deities was the best evi- 
dence of a general toleration of religion in his 
kingdom that he could furnish. In fact the act, a 
legal toleration of different religions in that early 
age of the wise Solomon was attempted — a tolera- 
tion which the true religion must allow as soon as 
it recognizes its own being, and against which in 
our land to-day, this side the Niemen, the Jesuits 
alone are condemned to work. Certainly at that 
time the religion of Jahve was something too weak 
to stand alone by itself without any outward pro- 
tection. ... If only Solomon's rule had not be- 
come gradually distasteful to -the popular feeling 
for other causes, who knows what might have 
been established in this age for the continuance of 
the new wisdom ! " After his usual fashion, Eisen- 
lohr has adopted this view (s. 115). With Solo- 
mon, says he, " we see in place of the purely hos- 
tile posture towards heathenism a friendly approx- 
imation, in many respects even a formal blending, 
and iudeed this took shape in a very natural way. 
In a great kingdom consisting of diverse nationali- 
ties, room must be allowed for the most diverse 
forms of religion. . . . Every genuine, sound type 
of religion (religiositat), in so far as its element is 
freedom, the right of individual contemplation and 
elevation above stiff outward forms in the region 
of the spirit, carries within itself the germ for 
the scattering of every exclusive kind." That 
th'.s way of viewing the subject is in direct contra- 
diction with the biblical, scarcely needs mention. 
Were general religious toleration a work of wis- 
dom, and the furtherance of true religion as soon 
as it recognizes its own being, Solomon, by his 
tolerance of the wild, immodest, and shameful As- 
tarte-and-Moloch cultus, instead of the " wrath " 
of Jehovah and the punishment of the limitation of 
his kingdom to one tribe only, would have merited 
praise only, and the broader extension of his king- 
dom ; and all the great prophets, an Elijah, Ehsha, 
Jeremiah, Hosea, &c, who opposed the toleration of 
every idolatrous cultus, and were zealous for the 
exclusiveness of the Jehovah-cultus, should be 
;ousidered as the " Jesuits " of the old world, who 
.3id uot know the nature of true religion. Solomon 

would have then erred only in investing the re- 
ligion of Israel with too much power, and in his 
zeal for progress, in anticipating general religious 
freedom. With incomparably more right, Vilmur 
lias rendered an opposite judgment is. 179 sq.) 
"We have here before us a type of the authori- 
zation of all forms of religion within a definite, 
limited divine sphere of life. . . . Solomon's ideal 
here is to let each man be saved d safacon . . . the 
beginning of the (unlimited) "authorization of indi- 
viduality" — this proposition is thoroughly subver- 
sive, belonging, in this form, to the last decades, in 
virtue of which church-bodies, States, peoples come 
to an end." 

For the rest we need not look for New-Testa- 
ment views in the Old Testament, nor for Old Testa- 
ment views in the New. They are distinct econo- 
mies. Christianity is not like the Mosaic, condi- 
tioned by bodily descent and bound up in a given 
race, and does not impose the obligation forcibly 
to suppress any other religion within its jurisdic- 
tion. It knows no other instrument uf its continu- 
ance and of its spread than that of the Word, and 
of the conviction thereby wrought. But if no peo- 
ple can be without religion, and if this have the 
most decisive, profound influence upon the spirit- 
ual and moral formation of the people, then the 
political power cannot be indifferent in respect of 
all religions, and cannot simply consider them of 
equal authority in any relation. Of the Solomonic 
prototype there remains thus much for all times 
and peoples, that the introduction and authoriza- 
tion of all, even the most diverse religions and 
forms of worship within a nation, does not make 
the same strong, but weak, and carries with 
it the danger of its national and political division 
and destruction ; for religious indifferentism is the 
death of all true patriotism, and is more destruc- 
tive of a people than religious fanaticism. 


Vers. 1-13. Solomon's fall. The beginning, vers. 
1—4; the progress, vers. 5—8 ; the end, vers. 9-13. — 
M. Fr. Roo.S: Here we see plainly how a godly 
man may gradually fail into sin. He first allows 
himself too mucli liberty. He ventures into dan- 
ger, and then perishes therein. . . . He who scorns 
danger, who by marriage and by a wilful intrusion 
upon certain positions exposes himself to it, or who 
even ventures in his daily course too much into the 
world, under the pretext of liberty ; he who indulges 
in the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the 
pride of life instead of enjoying with gratitude and 
moderation the gifts of God, such an one becomes 
the slave of sin, and falls under the wrath of God. 
The heart is first inclined, then wauders upon evil 
paths, and at last does openly what is displeasing 
to the Lord. At first we permit in others, through 
complaisance, sin, which we could and should have 
checked, and thus we actually assist ourselves to 
sin. Still we preserve our appearance of wisdom 
and godliness, and will not have it supposed that 
we have entirely deserted the Lord. But he whose 
heart is uot wholly with the Lord his God, follows 
him not at all ; he who follows him not wholly, fol- 
lows him not at all; for "a man cannot serve twc 
Masters." Vers. 1-8. The example given by the 
Bible in the case of Solomon. 1. What it teaches, 
(a) That for the sinful human heart, a constant out- 
ward prosperity is allied to spiritual dangers ; foi 



what profiteth, &c, Matt. xvi. 26. Thus it is that 
trial and sorrow are often blessings for time and 
eternity, Heb. xii. 6-12. (6) That the most abundant 
knowledge, the highest education and wisdom are no 
protection against moral and religious short-com- 
ings. "Wine and women make foolish the wise man 
(Ecclesiasticus xix. 2). No wise man commits a 
little folly, says an old proverb. Therefore, trust 
in the Lord, &c. (Prov. iii. 5-7). How it warns us. 
(a) Watch. If a Solomon can fall, a Solomon brought 
up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, aud 
walking in the ways of God in old age, a Solo- 
mon, the wisest man of his time I how necessary is 
it for us all to watch. Without watching, the 
greatest wisdom may become foolishness, and the 
highest spiritual condition may end in the wrath 
and judgments of God. (b) Pray. In the great 
prosperity and delight of this life, Solomon forgot 
prayer, as he had so well practised it in earlier 
years (chaps, iii. and viii.). His wives did not elevate 
his heart, they debased it. Prayer alone holds watch, 
and is therefore most necessary in prosperity and 
success (Ps. lxxvi. 2; cxxxix. 23 sq.). — "Let him 
who stands take heed," Sec. (1 Cor. x. 12). (a) Sol- 
omon did stand in the living knowledge of God, in 
faith, and in humility (chap. iii. 6 ; viii. 23), but (b) he 
looked not well to himself, he did not observe that 
the thorns of wealth and the pride of life were 
choking the good seeds in his heart, therefore he 
fell, broke his covenant with God, and was under 
the just judgment of God. Vers. 1-4. Christian 
marriage in contradistinction to pre-Christian mar- 
riage (see Hist, and Ethic. 4) vs. Denial of the 
existence of marriage as a divine ordinance (Mark 
x. 6-9) is the source of the greatest and weight- 
iest evils. Solomon sinned in this wise : That, 
contrary to the Law, he not only took to him- 
self many wives, but foreign, i. e., heathen wives. 
— Osiander: Not without danger is it that a 
man takes a wife who is not of his own religion 
(1 Cor. vii. 16). — Lust of the eyes and the pride of 
life drowse the soul and cripple the will, gradually 
and imperceptibly influence the heart, so that it 
loses all sense of holy and earnest things, and all 
pleasure therein, aud becomes stupid and indiffer- 
ent to everything divine and noble. — A prince 
who allows himself to be advised and led by wo- 
men in the affairs of his government, instead of 
guiding himself by the unchangeable law of 
God, destroys the prosperity of himself and his 
kingdom. Confidential intercourse and intimacy 
with those who know nothing of the living God, 
and of his word, but rather resist Him — those who 
well know how to flatter — this is a most perilous 
position for a God-fearing heart (Eccles. vii. 27). — 
Ver. 4. Even as in youth exuberance of life and 
Btrength opens the door to temptation, so likewise 
does the weakness of old age. But an old erav- 

1 haired sinner is much more abominable in the sighl 
I of the Lord than a youth. Therefore, pray ever: 
Forsake me not in my old age, &c. (Ps. lxxi. 9, 18) 
— There is no object worthier of compassion than 
the man who, having served the Lord, and kept 
the faith from his youth up, when old age has 
brought him near to his everlasting rest, turns his 
back \ipon it, and thus renders useless all his 
earlier struggles with sin and the world. — Vilmar: 
The sole condition under which, amid his natural 
weakness, an old man can maintain his spiri'.cal 
strength, and guard his honor, is this: that "his 
heart is purely fixed upon God; " this condition 
failing, let a man's whole life be influenced by the 
opinions of others ; influenced by such opinions 
without sharing them, yet still without combat- 
ing them, then complete wantonness will take pos- 
session of his old age. 

Vers. 5-8. Although Solomon did not himself 
practise idolatry, he permitted and encouraged it 
in others ; but the receiver is as bad as the thief. 
That is the curse resting upon sin, that the 
very means by which men seek to raise them- 
selves in the world's estimation become the 
very means for their destruction. By perverted 
compliance and long toleration, Solomon brought 
ruin and destruction upon himself' and his people 
for centuries to come. All indulgence which is 
grounded upon indifference to truth, or founded upon 
lukewarmness, is not virtue but a heavy sin be- 
fore God, how much soever it may resemble free- 
dom and enlightenment. In a well-ordered Church 
and State establishment neither bigotry nor super- 
stition should have equal rights with faith and 
truth. Where the gate is opened to them, or 
where they are patronized instead of being resist- 
ed, then both people and kingdom are going to 
meet their ruin (see Ethical 6). Vers. 9-13. The 
punishment that fell upon Solomon shows us (a) 
the holiness and righteousness of God (Ps. cxlv. 17 ; 
v. 5 ; Jerem. xvii. 10 ; Luke xii. 47). (b) His faithful- 
ness and mercy (vers. 12, 13). He knows how to 
punish, so that His gracious promises remain firm (2 
Tim. ii. 13 ; Rom. iii. 3). — God makes known to us 
His judgments through His Word, so that we may 
have time to repent and to turn unto Him (Ezek. 
xxxiii. 2). — If judgment fell especially upon Solo- 
mon, notwithstanding the fact that the Lord ap- 
peared to him twice in a dream, and he was hon- 
ored with distinguished grace, what judgment must 
we expect, to whom He has appeared tenderly in 
Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, 
&c. (1 Cor. i. 30; Heb. ii. 3 ; x. 29).— God knows how, 
in the proper time, to belittle him who abandonf 
and forsakes the Lord and His cause, in order t« 
become great and distinguished in the eyes »f th« 
world 'Dan. iv. 34X 

CHAPTER XI 14-43. 13& 

Solomon's Adversaries and Death. 
B.— Chapter XI. 14-43. 

14 And the Lord [Jehovah] stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad ' the 

15 Edomite : he was of the king's seed in Edom. For it came to pass, when David 
was 5 in [with, <• «• at war with] Edom, and Joab the captain of the host was gone up 

16 to bury the slain, after he had smitten every male in Edom; (for six months did 
Joab remain there with all Israel [*. e., the host], until he had cut off every male in 

17 Edom:) that Hadad fled, he and certain 3 Edomites of his father's servants 

18 with him, to go into Egypt : Hadad being yet a little child. And they arose out 
of Midian, and came to Paran : and they took men with them out of Paran, and 
they came to Egypt, unto Pharaoh king of Egypt ; which gave him a house, and 

19 appointed him victuals, and gave him land. And Hadad found great favor in 
the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him to wife the sister of his own wife, the 

20 sister of Tahpenes the queen. Ami the sister of Tahpenes bare him Genubath 
his son, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh's house : and Genubath was in Pba- 

21 raoh's household among the sons of Pharaoh. And when Hadad heard in Egypt 
that David slept with his fathers, and that Joab the captain of the host was dead, 
Hadad said to Pharaoh, Let me depart, that I may go to mine own country. 

22 Then Pharaoh said unto him, But what hast thou lacked with me, that, behold, 
thou seekest to go to thine own country ? And he answered, Nothing : howbeit, 
let me go in any wise. 

23 And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon the son of Eliadah, which 

24 fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah: and he gathered men unto him, and 
became captain over a band, when David slew them of Zobah: and they went to 

25 Damascus, and dwelt therein, and reigned in Damascus. And he was an adver- 
sary to Israel all the days of Solomon, 4 beside the mischief that Hadad did: and 
he abliorred Israel, and reigned over Syria. 

26 And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon's servant, 
whose mother's name was Zeruah, a widow woman, even he lifted up his hand 

27 against the king. And this was the cause that he lifted up his hand against the 
king: Solomon built Millo, and repaired the breaches of the city of David his 

28 father. And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valor: and Solomon seeing 
the young man that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all the charge 

29 of the house of Joseph. And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went 
out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; 
and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the 

30 field 6 : and Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in 

31 twelve pieces : and he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the 
Lord [Jehovah], the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the 

32 hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee : (but he shall have one 6 tribe 
for my servant David's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake, the city which I have 

33 chosen out of all the tribes of Israel :) because that they have forsaken me, and 
have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians,' Chemosh the god of 
the Moabites, and Milcom e the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walk- 
ed in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes 

34 and my judgments, as did David his father. Howbeit, I will not take the 
whole kingdom out of his hand : but I will make him prince all the days of his 
life for David my servant's sake, whom I chose, because he kept my command- 

35 ments and my statutes : but I will take the kingdom out of his son's hand, and 

36 will give it unto thee, even ten tribes. And unto his son will I give one tribe, 
that David my servant may have a light alway before me in Jerusalem, the city 

37 which I have chosen me to put my name there. And I will take thee, and thou 
shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be king over Israel. 

3b And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt 



walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my 
commandments, as David my servant did ; that I will be with thee, and build 

39 thee a sure house, as I built for David," and will give Israel unto thee. And I 

40 will for this afflict the seed of David, but not forever. Solomon sought there- 
fore 10 to kill Jeroboam. And Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, unto Shi- 
shak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon. 

41 And the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are 

42 they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon ? And the time that Solo- 

43 mon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel loas forty years. And Solomon slept 
with his" fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father : and Rehoboam 
his son reigned in his stead. 

1 Ver. 14.— [This name is variously written in the printed Heb. text lin and "HN ; in some MSS. and in the 8y.. 

It Is uniformly written "l"in. The Sept. has 'ASfp, and the Vulg. Hadad. The Ohald. follows the variations of the Hebrew. 
After the mention of his name the Vat. Sept. subjoins a summary of vers. 23-25, omitted in their place. 

3 Ver. IS.— Instead of nVn3 the Sept., Syr., and Arab, read J113n2 (when David had slain the Edomites), which 

Manrerand Thenius consider right. But according to 1 Chron. xx. 5; Gen. xiv. 9 [add Num. xx. 18], the reading of the 
text is not to be peremptorily rejected. 

8 Ver. 17. — [The Sept., in curious contradiction to vers. 15, 16, has here "all the Edomites," &c. 

• Ver. 2ft. — [The Vat. Sept. here resumes tlie course of the Heb. narrative, but gives quite a different sense: *' this to 
the evil which Hadad did : he abhorred Israel mid reigned in Edom." On the true rendering of the verse see Exeg. Com. 
In regard to the last word, three MSS., followed by the Sept., Syr., and Arab., have DIN for D"IS : but, as pointed out in 
the Exeg. Com., the true reading must necessarily be that of the text. Our author in his translation, in opposition to his 
own exegesis, follows the Sept. 

• Ver. 29.— [ I he Sept. renders or replaces the last clause by " and he took him aside from the way." 

• Ver. 32.— [The Sept. has Soo (rK^irrpa— two tribes. So also ver. 36. 

' Ver. 33.— [Instead of the peculiar form J'JIV many MSS. read D'jnV. 

8 Ver. 83.— [The Sept. has evidently understood in D3pO the final D as a pronominal suffix, and so translate " their 

king, the stumbling-block of the children of Amnion." Throughout this verse the Sept. puts the verbs in th» singular as 
having Solomon for their nominative. 

3 Ver. 88.— [The Vat. Sept. omits the clause "and will give Israel unto thee." 

10 Ver. 40.— [HD^' Cp^l = but Solomon sought. The word "therefore" of the ancient version is not neces- 
sary, and connects the attempt of Solomon quite too distinctly with the communication of Ahijah, which may have been 
known to him (see Exeg. Com.) or may not. The true connection of ver. 40 is with ver. 26, vers. 27-89 being parentheti- 
cal.— F. G.] 


Ver. 14. And the Lord stirred up an adver- 
sary unto Solomon, &c. It is clear and beyond 
dispute that the whole section, from vers. 14-40, 
which treats of the different adversaries that God 
raised up against Solomon, is intimately connected 
with the immediately preceding account of his fall, 
and of the impending and threatened division of the 
kingdom. The latter was not to occur till after 
Solomon's death; but the presages of it were al- 
ready appearing. The peace of the kingdom hither- 
to undisturbed was endangered from that time on, 
both by internal and by external adversaries. The 
two external ones, Hadad and Rezon, had, indeed, 
always been foes to Israel and Solomon, but they 
had never ventured to show their animosity in open 
deed, inasmuch as the kingdom had become pow- 
erful and respected under Solomon. But Solomon, 
in permitting the idolatrous worship, gave great dis- 
latiafaction to all the faithful servants of Jehovah, 
and with his own hands he shook the foundations 
of the kingdom. Other measures also, more or less 
connected with the former, caused him to lose, more 
and more, the esteem and confidence of his sub- 
jects ; and then the long pent-up hatred of his old 
foes began to show itself more; their courage grew, 
*nd though they did not proceed to formal attack 
or to open rebellion (of which our narrative says 
nothing) Solomon had occasion to fear them more 

than ever before ; the tranquillity and peace of his 
kingdom was endangered, and the time of pros- 
perity past. Every one will admit that this is what 
the author meant to convey. But recent criticism 
reckons him a " later worker-up of Deuteron- 
omy," and accuses him of a shifting of the his- 
torical facts. According to Ewald (Gesch. Isr. 
III. s. 274-281), uproar and rebellion did not first 
break out towards the end of Solomon's reign, but 
immediately after the death of David and of his 
formidable army-chief, Joab, in the beginning of 
the reign of the young and inexperienced king, 
both in the south (Edom) aud in the north (Syria), 
as depicted by Solomon himself in the second 
Psalm With the divine courage and the admoni 
tion supported by prophetic assurance, which this 
Psalm expresses, together with wonderful firmness 
of spirit, Solomon met the storm of rebellion, and 
deprived his foes of their chief weapon of attack 
by his alliance with Egypt. Against the northern 
insurgents he himself marched, and stormed Ha- 
math. Thus were the ragings of the people stilled, 
and in a brief space he became master of the situa- 
tion. This view has been reiterated in several 
books (r/. for instance Eisenlohr, das Volte Isr 
II. s. 41 and 57 ; Duncker, Gesch. des Alt. I. s. 387), 
and has been accepted as a matter of course; al- 
though there are the strongest reasons for reject- 
ing it. (a) Our historical book says repeatedly 
how, and that the kingdom of Solomon became 

CHAPTER XI. 14-43. 


established (chap. ii. 12 and 46), without making 
the remotest allusion to rebellion having broken 
out in the lauds David had conquered, and being 
put down by Solomon ; yet this would especially 
have tended" to establish his throne and increase 
the esteem in which he was held. Even in the 
chapter we are considering, no mention is made of 
actual rebellion, but only of adversaries ; therefore 
to say there were certainly such, is not writing 
history, but making history. (J) The rebellion of 
whole nations which, like Edom, lived far off, could 
have been put down only by force of arms, and 
Dot by " reproof " or " strength of mind ;" but the 
history says nothing of Solomon's inarching into 
Edom. He went indeed to Hamath, but not to 
conquer it, only to " fortify " it (p;n cf. 2 Chron. 
xi. 11, 12 ; xxvi. 9), as the short notice stands in 
12 Chron. viii. 3, in the middle of the details of the 
different city-buildings. In fact we do not hear 
of a single warlike enterprise of Solomon's ; he 
was, as his name denotes, the king of peace, the 
"man of rest," in distinction from David, the man 
of war (1 Chron. xxii. 9) ; and his reign was dis- 
tinguished by works of peace (building, commerce, 
intellectual culture), above that of all other kings. 
(c)The 2d Psalm does not contain a history, and 
our narrative cannot be completed, much lees con- 
tradicted or corrected by it. It is a mere unproven 
hypothesis that this psalm was composed by Solo- 
mon, and that the rebellion alluded to in it took 
place during his reign, not in the last years of it, 
but in the first. What is here said of Hadad and 
Rezon certainly occurred at an earlier period, but 
is repeated. " because its influence only began to 
be felt in the latter part of Solomon's reign, and 
should have guarded him from over-security from 
the beginning " (Keil). 

Vers. 14-22. Hadad, the Edomite. He is 
called Ahad [the English version does not distin- 
guish] in ver. 17. A Hadad is mentioned among 
the Edomite kings as early as Gen. xxxvi. 35 ; 
who evidently belonged to an earlier period. It is 
quite uncertain whether our Hadad was the grand- 
son of the last king of Edom, whom 1 Chron. i. 50 
wrongly calls Hadad instead of Hadar (Gen. xxxvi. 
39) (Ewald, Thenius). Details of his former for- 
tunes are no doubt designed to show how firmly he 
clung to his native land, and therefore how much 
more he was to be dreaded. For David's war with 
the Edomites cf. 2 Sam. viii. 13 sq. " The slain, 
whom Joab came out to bury, cannot be the Isra- 
elites who fell in the battle of the valley of salt, 
but those killed on the invasion of the country by 
the Edomites, and who lay yet unburied. After 
performing this act Joab defeated the Edomites in 
the valley of salt, and dwelt six months in Edom, 
till he had extirpated all the males (i. e., all those 
capable of bearing arms that fell into his hands, 
and especially those of royal blood ") (Keil). Mi- 
dian, ver. 18, cannot certainly be the town Madian 
mentioned by Arabian geographers, bn„ a district; 
it is not very well defined, but it must have been 
between Edom and the desert, south-west of Pales- 
tine, Paran (Num. xiii. 3, 27; x. 12); the road 
from Egypt still leads across the latter, through 
Aila to Mecca. The people whom the followers 
of Hadad took from Paran with them, were to lead 
the way across the desert. The Pharaoh who en- 
tertained the fugitives with such friendliness, and 
act only supported Hadad himself, but gave land 
to those with him, could scarcely be Solomon's 

father-in-law, but his predecessor. His consort is 

here named nT33n , the Queen-mother's usual 

appellation (chap. xv. 13 ; 2 Chron. xv. 16); but it 
does not always necessarily mean that ; and con 
sequently we are not obliged to accept Hitzig's 

and Thenius' reading of n?i"13D , i. e., the elder. 

The weaning of a child (ver. 20) usually took place 
the second or third year (2 Mace. vii. 27), and was 
observed as a family feast (Gen. xxi. 8). Genubath 
was thus adopted among the royal children, and 
brought up with them (Winer, B.-W.-B., I. s. 657). 
Hadad's petition (ver. 21) was not so much because 
he had now no longer any fear for his life, but be- 
cause he, as a royal prince, hoped to ascend the 
throne, and free his land from the Israelitish yoke ; 
this was the only reason why he is named an ad- 
versary. Pharaoh's question, ver. 22, contains the 
counsel to remain where he was, where he was 
well off, rather than undertake a dangerous and 
uncertain enterprise. This advice of his near rela- 
tive was well meant, and did not spring from the 
policy of seeking to acquire or keep Solomon's 
friendship. Hadad, however, remained firm in his 
resolve ; we are not told of his actual departure, 
but it is to be understood; so that the Sept. addi- 
tion, Kai avtarpeipev * Adep etc t/jv yr/v avroi\ consid- 
ered as original by Thenius, is unnecessary. It 
appears from chap. ix. 26 sq.; x. 11, that Hadad 
was not able to carry out his plans at once, but 
the fire smouldered under the ashes, and threat- 
ened to break out as soon as Solomon began to be 
less respected. Ewald continues Hadad's history 
further. He says the Egyptian king received him 
in so friendly a manner, " evidently intending to 
make use of him in the future against the growing 
power of Israel." Genubath must have " acted an 
important part in Asia, later, or he would other- 
wise not have been named at all." When the 
feeling of the Egyptian court changed towards Is- 
rael's kings, " an evasive answer was returned 
to the Idumsean prince ; he would "not be de- 
tained, however, but fled secretly to his ancestral 
mountains, was there acknowledged by many of 
his people as king, and caused Solomon much 
perplexity, though he was never completely vic- 
to-ious." Every one who can read may see that 
there is not a single word of all this in the text, 
and yet Eisenlohr has blindly followed the writer 
{I. c, a. 58 1. Cf. also on chap. xxii. 48. 

Vers. 23-25. And God stirred him up. . . . 
Rezon . . . the son of Eliadah, &c. Ver. 23. 
2 Sam. viii. 3sq. mentions that David smote Hada- 
dezer. king of Zobah, in Syria, whereupon Rezon 
forsook his master, gathered together an army 
from the remains of the Syrian host, and pro- 
ceeded later to Damascus, settled there, and 
usurped the chief power. This may have occurred 
in David's time, or in the beginning of Solomon's 
reign. It is nowhere said that he rebelled on 
Solomon's accession, and was conquered by him, 
and there is nothing to show "that he was at 
least twenty or thirty years older than Solomon " 
(Ewald). It is not impossible that he survived 
Solomon, for had he died sooner it could not be, 
as in ver. 25, that " he was an adversary to Is- 
rael all the days of Solomon." He did not under- 
take any enterprise against the powerful king, but 
as he had always entertained hostile feelings to 
him, he now became a more dangerous and open 



tnemT, as the power and fame of Solomon were 
declining. The words Tin 1B>S njnrrnsi are 

difficult, but can be translated only as many old 
translators give them, and among the recent ones, 
De Wette, Gesenius, Keil, Philippson ; and " be- 
side the mischief that Hadad (did)." J1N1 is as 

in ver. 1 and Ex. i. 14. We are not told what the 
mischief that Hadad did really was; the writer 
only means that Rezon's enmity was added to that 
of Hadad. This view, which suits the context, 
relieves the following sentence of all difficulty: 
" and he (Rezon) abhorred Israel, and reigned over 
Syria." Whilst Hadad agitated the south, Rezon 
rebelled from Solomon in the north, and took the 
supreme power. The Sept. translates as if it 

read nXT instead of riNl aud DIN instead of 

D"1N : Avry r/KaKia rjv kiroinoev 'Aonp. nal , . . 
k/JaaiAevoe h yrj 'ESufi, i. e., this is the mischief 
which Hadad did; he abhorred Israel and was 
king in Edom. Thenius asserts that this was the 
original text. But in this case the whole sen- 
tence could not be here, where the question is 
about the second adversary, Rezon, but should 
have followed ver. 22. It is incomparably less 
probable that it was there passed over by the 
oversight of a copyist (Thenius), and inserted 
here, than that the Sept. misunderstood the 
J1N1 i & e -> an( l translated wrongly as it so often 
does, and was then -obliged to change DIN to DTN 
because it did not suit Hadad. The Sept. has 
arbitrarily mixed the two accounts of the adver- 
saries together (it puts vers. 23 and 24 into ver. 
14), so that we should be very foolish to follow it 
in this case. Ewald translates, " as for the mis- 
chief which Hadad did, he was hostile to Israel 
and reigned over Edom;" but then the sentence 
should be back of ver. 22 and not here. It is not 
right to change DIN into DIN , because the two 
foregoing verses absolutely require that Rezon 
should be considered as subject to j'p>l . Cf. 
Keil on the place. 

Vers. 26, 27. Jeroboam the son of Nebat. 
Hadad and Rezon were dangerous " adversaries " 
to Solomon, but Jeroboam, though a subject and 
servant of Solomon, lifted up his hand against the 
king, i. e., he actually rebelled. His personal cir- 
cumstances are given more at length because of 
his vastly greater importance. Zereda is not Zar- 
ihan, as Keil thinks (chap. vii. 46); the latter is 
uot in Ephraim ; but Zereda is Zerira in the rnoun- 
*«in8 of Ephraim (cf. Thenius on chap. xii. 2). The 
„^uuu half of ver. 27 says, like chap. ix. 15: "to 
build Millo and the walls of Jerusalem;" there is. 
therefore, no question here of stopping " a gap 
in the city of David " (Luther), but of the closing 
up of a ravine (Vulgate, vorago) in the city, which 
was done by walls. By y-is is meant the once 

very deep ravine of what was subsequently the 
Tyropceon, which separated Zion from Moriah ami 
Ophel. This ravine became part of the interior of 
the city through these walls, and was made inac- 
cessible to enemies (Thenius). The words, he 
.xxf' h im ruler over all the charge of Vie houseof Jo- 
ttph, are not in contradiction with chap. ix. 22 ; 

for slave levy is not spoken of here ("i2JJ"DD)i 
:,*<* that of the Israelites ( ^N"IK>;"!>3D DO) chap. 

v. 13, who worked alternately. It is not, there- 
fore, necessary to suppose that the "house of Jo- 
seph" i. e., the Ephraimites (Josh. xvii. 17) were 
obliged to work at Millo, as a punishment for their 
rebellion under Sheba (2 Sam. xx.). But the 
Ephraimites, who had an old and irrepressible 
jealousy of Judah, submitted very reluctantly tc 
labor in the king's citadel and the royal city of 
Judah; their compulsory work increased their 
dislike to hatred, so that it was easy to fan the 
flame of insurrection among them. 

Ver. 29. And it came to pass at that time, 
i. e., not at the time Jeroboam made the insurrec- 
tion, but — taken with ver. 28 — the time when he 
entered upon the office of superintendent over all 
the Ephraimite levy ; therefore, before he lifted his 
hand against the king, and proceeded to acts, but 
still he was brooding over insurrection. The no- 
tion that vers. 29-39 is a section taken from an- 
other source and inserted here (Thenius) is, to say 
the least, unnecessary ; it contains an explanatory 
and needful account, which is closely connected 
with ver. 28. Jeroboam's banishment from Jeru- 
salem was probably the occasion for preparations 
of rebellion. The prophet Ahijah was of the same 
tribe as Jeroboam, for Shiloh was in the tribe of 
Ephraim, north of Bethel, south of Lebonah (Jud. 
xxi. 19), and was the seat of the tabernacle fiom 
Joshua to Eli (Josh, xviii. 1 ; 1 Sam. xxi. 3). They 
no doubt knew each other well. The Sept. adds 
to the words in the way (for explanation): /ml 

aT7£OT7/G£V OVTOV £K T7JC 66ov. 

Vers. 30-39. Ahijah caught the new gar- 
ment. riD^b' (for n^pi."') is "probably similar 

to the Arabian burnou ; a large square piece of 
cloth, thrown over the shoulders and almost cov- 
ering the whole person in the daytime, and used 
at night for a coverlet " (Keil). Hess wrongly 
imagines it to have been a " new mantle which 
Jeroboam had on;" and Ewald thinks it was his 
" new and splendid official uniform." It was tho 
prophet's own cloak, as ver. 30 plainly says. The 
prophet himself explains the meaning of this sym- 
bolic act. Le Clerc says that the repetition of the 
word new shows that the prophet did what he did, 
non teniere. Thenius thinks the new garment de- 
noted the young and powerful kingdom ; but both 
these explanations are strained. A new garment 
is one that is whole and complete, integer, without 
a rent or hole ; the kingdom was hitherto with- 
out split or division, but was now to be torn 
and divided, jnp is usually applied to tearing 

the garments in sign of mourning (Gen. xxxvii. 
29; xliv. 13; 2 Sam. xiii. 21; 2 Kings xviii. 37), 
i. e., of inward rending. Now when the prophet 
tore tho cloak into twelve pieces, and gave Jero- 
boam only ten pieces instead of eleven, we must 
of course infer that neither Benjamin nor Judah 
alone was meant here, or in ver. 13, by " one 
tribe," but both together (cf. chap. xii. 20 and 21 , 
2 Chron. xi. 3 ; xii. 23). Little Benjamin, over 
against Judah, came scarcely into consideration ; 
and as, besides, the capital of the kingdom (Jeru- 
salem) lay on the borders of both tribes, they 
might very well be reckoned as one. If, as Keil 
says, the number ten represents the total sum 
hero, in distinction to the one part (all Israel fell 
away from the house of David, only a single por- 
tion remained to it), the proyhet would have tori 

CHAPTER XI. 14-43. 


off only one small piece. For ver. 32 see above 
on vers. 12, 13; and for ver. 33 see on vers. 5-8. 
The plural in ver. 33 is remarkable (all transla- 
tions, except the Chaldee, have the singular, which 
we expect here); perhaps it only means our vague 
word "one;" it is plain, however, that Israelites 
had already abandoned themselves to the licensed 
heathen worship. In the words in ver. 36, that 
David may have a light always before me, " light " 
is not a symbol of prosperity (Keil), and 1'J cer- 
tainly does not mean breaking forth afresh (Hit- 
zig\ but it means simply the continuance of his 
race, as in chap. xv. 4; 2 Kings viii. 19; 2 Chron. 
xxi. 7. As a house (dwelling) is dark (uninhabit- 
able) without a light, so also is a house (family, 
race) without posterity ; this is why we speak of 
the dying out of a race, at the present day, as its 
extinction. The same expression, ver. 37 : and 
thou shalt reign according to all, &c, is used in 2 
Sam. iii. 21, about David; it does not mean pro 
lubitu tuo imperabis Israelitis (Dathe), but, thou 
shalt have the dominion thou now strivest for, &c, 
&.C. Ver. 38. Jeroboam's dominion then was con- 
nected with the condition upon which all dominion 
in Israel was based. 

Vers. 40-42. Solomon sought therefore to 
kill Jeroboam. The immediate connection of 
these words with Ahijah's address can scarcely 
mean otherwise than this: that Solomon heard of 
it, and sought to get Jeroboam out of the way by 
some means. Jeroboam could but know of this, 
and he lifted up his hand against the king, i. e., he 
proceeded to actual rebellion (vers. 26, 27). But 
not succeeding, he fled to Egypt. The king then 
reigning was not, of course, Solomon's father-in- 
law, nor Sesostris, as older commentators think, but 
was probably Seconchis or Sesonchusis, the first 
king of the twenty-second dynasty (<•/. Winer, R.- 
W.-B. s. v. Sishak). The reception he gave Jero- 
boam shows his feeling towards Solomon. Chap. 
xiv. 21 sq. speaks of his open hostility to the king- 
dom of Judah. 

Ver. 43. Solomon slept with his fathers, at 

about sixty years of age, as he very early suc- 
ceeded to the throne (chap. iii. 7). Josephus thinks 
he was eighty or even ninety-four years old, but 
this is quite wrong, and was caused, probably, by 
confusion of the ciphers. All copies and transla- 
tions give forty. Our author gives, in a general 
way, the "book of the acts of Solomon," as the origi- 
nal source of his history; but 2 Chron. ix. 29 
names, with more exactness, the " book ( >-Qi ) 

of Nathan the prophet, the prophecy of Ahijah the 
Shilonite, and the visions of Iddo the seer against 
Jeroboam." But it does not follow that these 
three writings are only extracts from one histo- 
rical one (Bertheau), but it certainly does appear 
that each one wrote down his own experience. 
When Solomon fell away, and Ahijah appeared, 
Nathan must have been dead. Cf the Introduc- 
tion, § 2. Rehoboam was not a son of the first and 
real consort of Solomon, the Egyptian princess 
(chap. iii. 1; ix. 24; vii. 8), but the son of the Na- 
amah the Ammonitess (chap. xiv. 21, 31). He 
appears to have been the only living son, as no 
children, especially sons, of Solomon are named 
(though he had so many wives), except the two 
daughters mentioned, chap. iv. 11 and 15; and nc 
brothers disputed the succession of Rehohoam, 

which was the case with Solomon. For his age 
at his accession see on chap. xiv. 21. 


1. The appearance of the various adversaries oi 
Solomon seems to have been a special act of divim 
retributive justice; God is named as the direct 
agent. He is said not only to have perm : tted 
them, but to have "stirred them up," called tnem 
to it. The word D'pi" 1 means, as here, the stir- 
ring up of enemies and rebels, also of deliverers, 
helpers, prophets (Jud. ii. 18; Deut. xviii. 15, 18; 
1 Sam. ii. 35 ; Ezek. xxxiv. 23 ; Jer. xxix. 15), 
where there is no allusion to mere permission. It 
is not indeed the absolutely Holy One who ex- 
cites hatred, enmity, and revenge in one man to- 
wards another, for he tempts no man to evil 
(Jam. i. 13) ; but the Almighty Ruler of the world 
can use the hatred that He sees in the hearts of 
sinful men, to fulfil, without their knov-^edge or 
wish, the purposes of His retributive justice and 
the chastisements of His love ; and iu so far, the 
stirring up is no passive permission, but the act of 
God. Thus Nathan announces to David, after his 
grievous sin, this word of the Lord, " behold I will 
raise up evil against thee out of thine own house " 
(2 Sam. xii. 11), and David himself says of Shimei 
who was cursing him, " so let him curse, because 
the Lord hath said unto him " (2 Sam. xvi. 10, 11). 
The Assyrian is, without knowing it, the rod of 
His anger in the hand of Jehovah (Isai. x. 1, 5), 
and Solomon's adversaries also served for instru- 
ments of divine justice. This expression of stir- 
ring up shows clearly that the appearance of the 
adversaries did not take place, as recent commen- 
tators say, in the beginning of Solomon's reign, for 
up to that time Solomon had given no occasion for 
any act of retribution or discipline. Though he did 
not lose his throne through them, during his life- 
time ; yet it was very humiliating to him, whose 
power and splendor had been a spectacle to the 
world, and whose wisdom people of all nations had 
come to hear (chap. iv. 14; x. 24), to be obliged to 
fear these men, who were far inferior to him, and 
whom he had once despised. 

2. Wliile Hadad and Rezon did not affect mate- 
rially the destiny of Israel, the third opponent of 
Solomon was of vastly greater significance. Jero- 
boam does not disappear, like them, without leaving 
a trace in the history of the kingdom. His en- 
trance on the scene was felt profoundly for centu- 
ries; the breach and partition of the kingdom 
take place with and through him ; a partition 
which was no temporary one, but lasted about 
three hundred years, and ended with the dissolu- 
tion of the kingdom. In this respect he is one of 
the most important of the characters in the history 
of Israel. Witsius, in reference to his whole ca- 
reer says (Decaphylon, p. 307) : vir sagax, inquietus 
et dominandi avidus atque ab ineunte cetate iis eru- 
ditus artibus, quibus ingenia ad m,agnm fortxmw cut- 
turn incitantur. Here where he is first mentioned 
the question properly arises, how it came to pasa 
that he lifted up his hand against the King. The 
text certainly says nothing explicit about it, but 
gives some distinct clues. It says, first of all, he 
was an Ephraimite, thus being a member of the 
largest, most powerful, and warlike tribe, that had 
always vied with Judah forpre-emme- je; aud that 



even when David had subdued them, never re- 
nounced their deeply rooted jealousy and love of 
independence and dominion over the other tribes 
(2 Sam. ii. 9; xx. 21). After the division of the 
kingdom, Ephraim stood at the head of the ten 
tribes, so that the kingdom of the ten was called 
Ephraim (Hos. iv. 17 ; v. 9 ; xii. 1 sq. ; Isai. vii. 2). 
Dislike of the supremacy of Judah was in the very 
blood of so young and powerful a man as Jero- 
boam, and it needed not much to excite thoughts 
of rebellion and independence in him. The fact 
that Solomon employed the Ephraimites not so 
much in the matter of levy-works as in building 
Millo, and in stopping up the ravine which served 
to fortify the city of David and to secure the su- 
preoiacy of Judah, was calculated to increase the 
ancient jealousy and dislike to Judah, and to ex- 
cite discontent and disgust. Recognizing the dis- 
tinguished ability of young Jeroboam, Solomon 
made him overseer of his own people ; thus feed- 
ing the ambition of this man who was born to rule. 
He now first became conscious of his powers, and 
soon acquired the confidence of his already discon- 
tented tribe by his prudence and energy, so that 
he could hope to succeed in placing himself at 
their head, and lifting his hand against the Judah- 
King. Perhaps he also perceived that the splen- 
dor of Solomon had lost its ground through the 
influence of his wives, the open introduction of 
idol-worship side by side with that of Jehovah, 
and the luxurious court life, and that his rule gave 
great dissatisfaction to the most worthy of the 
people. When we consider all this we readily 
conceive that a man like the Ephraimite, Jero- 
boam, should, without being especially influenced 
by any one, think of breaking loose from Solo- 
mon's rule. The later critics have therefore no 
grounds for asserting that "the prophet Ahijah, 
who appeared at the head of a (discontented) fac- 
tion," induced Jeroboam to rebel against the king 
(Winer, R.-W.-B. I. s. 544). Theuius is quite 
right when he says, " Ahijah did not incite Jero- 
boam, but he knew the thoughts he cherished, 
and when Ahijah addressed him he was about 
taking steps to realize these thoughts, as ver. 37 
says: the prophet then appeared, for he saw that 
the deed would infallibly follow the resolve in this 
case, and recognized in Jeroboam a capable man, 
knowing also the promise of success under condi- 
tion of continuance in a God-fearing mind. This 
relation is quite in the spirit of prophecy, and is 
totally different from an intentional and forcible 
introduction." The text says distinctly that Ahi- 
jah met Jeroboam when the latter "went out of 
Jerusalem " (ver. 29) to lift up his hand against 
the king. 

3. The prophet Ahijah stands in, a relation to So- 
lomon and Jeroboam analogous with that of Samuel 
to Saul and David (1 Sam. xv. 16). "As Saul's 
sentence of rejection was accompanied by the 
calling of David, so the prophetical announcement 
to Solomon was accompanied by the prophecy to 
Jeroboam " (v. Gerlach). Ahijah opened to him 
the same divine decision which he had first made 
known to Solomon (cf. vers. 11-13). In doing so 
he emphasizes two things particularly, aud these 
are worthy of notice ; the first is, that Solomon 
was to romain king of all Israel to the end of his 
lif6, and the division of the kingdom was to take 
place under his son (ver. 31 sq.) ; the second, that 
Jeroboam only received dominion over the ten 

tribes, on the presupposition and condition that 
he would walk in all the commandments of Jeho- 
vah, as David did, and not sin like Solomon (ver. 
37 sq.). It is added also that David's seed was to 
be humbled, but not forever (ver. 39). We should 
not overlook the circumstance that the prophet 
met Jeroboam on the way as he came out of Jeru- 
salem, and was proceeding to carry out his inten- 
tions, and that the prophet took him aside (as the 
Sept. at least has it) so that they " two were alone 
in the field " (ver. 29). Ahijah's communication 
was, therefore, not intended for the public, but was 
confidential, thus intimating to Jeroboam that he 
ought not to proceed to rebellion at once, but keep 
quiet, and wait till it might please the Lord to 
bring about circumstances to fulfil the purpose 
He had announced. The prophet, so far from 
counselling him to rebellion, warned him rather, 
and recommended patience as long as Solomon 
lived. But when Jeroboam, nevertheless, lifted 
up his hand against the king, he committed an in- 
excusable, sinful deed on his own responsibility, 
and anticipated divine providence. His conduct 
was just the opposite of David's, who, though 
anointed to be king, and persecuted by Saul, en- 
dured every wrong, never revenged himself on the 
king, though the latter was often in his power, 
even mourned his death, and had the Amalekite 
who killed him executed as a traitor (2 Sam i. 11- 
16). He believed that the Lord knew the right 
hour to fulfil his promise. It cannot, therefore, 
be accounted a crime in Solomon to strive to kill 
a man whom he had raised from nothing, and who 
then rebelled against him. From all this it ap- 
pears that it is quite erroneous to account for Je- 
roboam's appearance by saying that " the ancient 
prophetical estate wished, by the forcible intro- 
duction of a new royal house, to stand directly 
under the Lord and above the human monarchy ;" 
so that the kingdom of the ten tribes was " the 
birth of this prophet-power," and the latter "a 
retarded error " (Ewald). And it is equally untrue 
that the rebellion of the ten tribes was " an enter- 
prise which the prophet had encouraged, to bring 
back the old national constitution, and restore the 
consideration in which his class was held in Sam- 
uel's time, when he, their founder and represent- 
ative, deposed a king who disobeyed him, and 
raised up another in his place " (Menzel, I. c. s. 
152). When will men cease to compare the old 
prophets with modern demagogues and ambitious 
priests I 

4. The symbolic procedure of the rending the gar 
ment into twelve pieces preceded the prophecy del. 
vered by the prophet. It could not, therefore, have 
been intended to make that prophecy clear, but 
rather inversely, the prophecy explained the trans- 
action. This was the case not only here, but 
the prophets generally performed a preliminary 
symbolic action which represented the substance 
of the meaning of the solemn prophecy which fol- 
lowed ; and they performed this act on the impulse 
of the divine spirit, just as they proclaimed the 
word following in their divine commission. Of. 
Isai. xx. 2 sq.; Jer. xiii. 1 sq. ; xix. 1 sq. ; xxxv. 2 
sq. ; xliii. 9 sq. ; Ezek. iv. 1 sq. ; v. I sq. ; xii. 3 sq. ; 
xxiv. 2 6v;.; xxxvii. 15 sq. ; 2 Kings xiii. 15 sq. 
From these passages we see that the performance 
of such actions was as much a part of the prophetic 
calling and office as the proclamation of the word. 
All rovelation of God is in the way of act as wel' 

CHAPTER XI. 14r-43. 


as of word : God's deeds as well as His words are 
signs that testify of Him. His acts are also, as it 
were, speech, i. e., a revealing of Himself. The 
speaking of God is a sign-language, and therefore 
a symbol-language. The entire cultus has, hence, 
symbolic form as the real expression of the divine- 
human relation. When the prophets, therefore, 
appeared as such, i. e., as " men of God," as medi- 
ators and instruments of divine revelation, they 
did not communicate it in words only, but in solemn 
acts, which were signs ; and thus they proved 
themselves the servants of God, speaking in His 
language. Their prophetic acts, as well as their 
prophetic words, were announcements and revela- 
tions of the divine purpose. When they antici- 
pate their words by an act commanded by God, 
this act is not to be viewed as a mere image, ac- 
cording to their own pleasure, but it represents the 
future which they had to reveal as a fact, as it 
were, a present deed of God, and therefore as 
something which would assuredly happen. The 
action, then, was an assurance and pledge of the 
fulfilment of the prophecy ; and it was entirely 
natural that it should precede the word explaining 
. and interpreting it. Besides, every thought which 
is embodied in a deed produces a much greater 
and more lasting impression than if only expressed 
in words. Of Christ, in whom all that is prophetic 
culminates, the disciple says (Luke xxiv. 19): 
" which was a prophet mighty in deed and word," 
thus proving that not words only, but actions also 
belong to the essence of the calling of the prophet. 
The people concluded from his deeds that " a great 
prophet is risen up among us " (Luke vii. 16). His 
prophetic deeds were "signs" (John vi. 26; xx. 
20). not mere evidences of power, but of divine 
authority ; and they spoke of divine things as 
loudly and, if possible, more loudly than His words. 
He himself says, " Though ye believe not me, be- 
lieve the works " (John x. 38) ; "the works that I 
do in my Father's name they bear witness of me " 
(John x. 25). 

5. The rending of the ten tribes appears, in the 
prophet's prediction here as in vers. 1 1-13, to be a 
punishment ordained and determined by Jehovah for 
Solomon's falling away, not, therefore, as an event 
merely permitted by God but designed ; and there- 
fore announced beforehand. The question arises, in 
what relation did this partition, determined on by 
Jehovah, stand to His plans regarding Israel con- 
sidered as one people composed of twelve tribes ? 
The whole nation was His inheritance, for He had 
called them from among all nations to be a divine 
kingdom (Ex. xix. 5, 6), i. e., a theocracy. The 
one God, Jehovah, was, as the true King and Lord 
of that people, so also the root and principle of their 
unity — the bond binding together all the tribes 
into one whole. The human monarchy afterwards 
established by the desire of the people did not 
destroy the theocracy but served rather to sustain 
and preserve it (see above). But it was not now 
absolutely necessary that all the tribes should 
have one head ; in fact they might each have had 
a head, had they only acknowledged Jehovah as 
the one true king of all Israel, and held fast to the 
covenant, i. e., the law of God. " It was not con- 
trary to the Mosaic constitution for Jehovah to 
weaken — not destroy — a royal house that had 
turned to idolatry ; to rend away some tribes from 
it, and to place them under the government of ano- 
ther king It was rather the fittest thing to be 

done ; for otherwise the principles that lay in the 
very nature of the constitution — namely, that dis 
aster should follow idolatry, and prosperity th« 
fear of God, would have been violated. One of 
these two things must (according to these princi- 
ples) have come upon David's house after a lapse 
into idolatry, viz. either expulsion from the throne 
(which could not be on account of the promise of 
perpetual succession), or weakening such as was 
foretold by Jehovah, .... a falling away of 
some tribes" (Hess, Von dem Reiche Gottes, I. s. 
301). As Jehovah had heretofore governed hia 
people by one king (David and Solomon) he could 
also do it by two without destroying the theocratic 
principle. The new kingdom is offered to Joro- 
boam and continuance is promised to his dynasty 
on the express condition that he should, " like 
David," faithfully adhere to the law; with the ex- 
planation, nevertheless (ver. 39), that the humilia- 
tion of the house of David would be but tempo- 
rary. Thus it is indicated that the promise of the 
everlasting kingdom would not be realized in Jero- 
boam's race, " but in that of David " (Oehler). The 
prediction of Ahijah does not imply a partition of 
the theocracy or of Israel, but only of the human 
monarchy under two kings. The double nature of 
the kingdom was not the cause of the permanence 
of the division, nor of the commencement of the 
destruction of the kingdom ; these were the results 
of the continued falling away from the supreme 
commandment of the theocratic law on the part of 
the ten tribes. 

6. There are no accounts of Solomon's end, nor of 
his life and acts from the time of his lapse till hia 
death ; all is reduced to the notice that he sought 
to kill Jeroboam, and that he died and was buried. 
This is the more remarkable as the life and acts of 
this king are more minutely narrated than those of 
any succeeding one, and that the last days and 
end of David in particular are recorded with such 
evident care both in our books and in the Chron- 
icles. Had Solomon ended his life like David, who 
with joyous heart blessed the Lord to the last 
(1 Chron. xxix. 10 sq.), and charged his son and 
successor most emphatically to remain faithful to 
Jehovah (chap. ii. 1 sq.), and been anxious that the 
prosperity of the kingdom should endure on the 
basis of the covenant with Jehovah (2 Sam. xxiii. 
1 53.), such a circumstance would not have been 
passed over. We must therefore conclude, from 
the entire silence of the history, that Solomon did 
not die as David died, that he remained in the 
state of mind into which he had fallen in his later 
age. The question whether Solomon was finally 
converted and saved was formerly discussed ex- 
tensively (Buddeus, Hist. Eccl., II. p. 237 sq.), but we 
see no occasion to introduce it here. Both Hess 
and Niemeyer have endeavored to ascertain from 
Ecclesiastes what Solomon's state of mind was in 
his last days ; but apart from the mistaken pre- 
supposition that this treatise was composed by 
Solomon, no one could prove his conversion from 
it; and Niemeyer concludes his character-sketch 
with these words : " the cheerful peace of his soul 
was gone. Gloomy was his retrospect of life, and 
gloomy was his view of the near and of the distant 
future." It is worthy of remark, that while Sol- 
omon (Suleiman) is held in high honor in the East 
at the present day, his memory is far less revered 
among the Jews than that of David, which could 
not have been the case had his reign ended a» 



gloriously as it began. Bertheau justly remarks 
that Solomon "did more towards undermining the 
distinctive peculiarity of his people than any other 
king." We are not, however, to seek the cause 
of this simply in his making a people who were 
adapted to agriculture, commercial, and in his 
splendid buildings, his harem, and his court, all 
hitherto unknown in Israel, but the real specific 
reason was that by the introduction and the toler- 
ation of foreign idolatrous forms of worship he 
undermined the religion of his people, forth from 
which religion Mowed all the characteristics which 
distinguished them over against all other peoples ; 
that was the worm at the root of the kingdom and 
the national life. 

[7. It is extremely difficult to give a portrai- 
ture of Solomon which can harmonize at once both 
the demand for historic truth and the general es- 
timation which tradition assigns to him. The 
story is extraordinary. David the father of the 
wise king founded and consolidated the kingdom. 
His life was stormy and checkered. His character 
was romantic and chivalric and generous. He 
showed himself capable both of great self-sacrifice 
and of revolting criminality and treachery. He 
was tender and he was brave. His soul rested 
upon the covenant-keeping Jehovah, yet he dared 
to violate all the duties of the decalogue which 
concern man's dealings with his brother man. So- 
lomon did not inherit the personal traits of his 
father. He was not warlike ; he was a man of 
peace. He sought wisdom, and he sought it from 
Jehovah. He desired to administer his government 
according to the law and will of God. He had 
fine talent for observation. He was a naturalist 
of rare attainments. He knew much of the earth ; 
he knew much of men. He was a man of under- 
standing, expressing his thoughts and observa- 
tions in proverbs. He was splendid in his tastes. 
He sought wealth by commerce and by trade with 
heathen nations. He made Israel a kingdom of 
this world ; at the same time, he built the temple, 
lavishing upon it untold sums of money, and aim- 
ing to make it, according to Eastern conceptions, 
splendid in all respects. Certainly at its dedica- 
tion he is one of the most imposing and majestic 
figures in all history. But by degrees, enervated 
by luxury, by pleasure, by plenty, he lost the 
strength of his convictions. He became wise in 
this world. The law of Jehovah lost its hold upon 
his conscience. He began to justify idolatry. 
" He that built a temple to the living God for him- 
self and Israel, in Sion, built a temple to Chemosh 
in the Mount of Scandal for his mistresses of 
Moab, in the very face of God's house. No hill 
about Jerusalem was free from a chapel of devils : 
each of his dames had their puppets, their altars, 
their incense; because Solomon feeds them in 
their superstition, he draws the sin home to him- 
self, and is branded for what he should have for- 
bidden." — Bp. Hall. And by degrees the splendor 
passed away, and darkness and weariness, and 
hopelessness, and an iguoble old age came on. 
He forsook the noble path of his yo ith, and his 
glory was lost. See Stanley, Jeioish Church, 
second series, Lect. xxviii., and F. D. Maurice, 
77(e Prophets and Kings of the Old Testament, 
Sermon on the Wise King. The sun of his life 
roBe in all splendor, and shone brilliantly, to go 
oown at last amid the heavy darkness of impend- 
ing storm and night. The people lost their sense 

of the exclusive sovereignty of Jehovah ; their 
burdens were heavy — and the brief glory of Israel 
as a kingdom of this world passed away forever 
— E. H.] 


Vers. 14—10. Solomon's enemies. 1. They are 
roused against him by God, so that he may know 
and confess what heart-suffering it brings to for- 
sake the fear of the Lord his God (Jer. ii. 19). 
Cramer : So marvellously does God bring it 
about, that he who will not fear him, must needs 
fear his fellow-men. Once the man of rest, and 
the Prince of Peace (chap. v. 4), now he is pressed 
sore by enemies from the north, from the south, 
and from his midst ; they are the scourges with 
which the Lord chastises him. When foes and 
opponents rise against thee, and cause thee care 
and anguish, then think : The Lord has summoned 
them on account of thy sins, and unfaithfulness. 
The hostility of men is a sermon of repentance 
from thy God to thee. 2. They were in God's 
hand, and could do no more than he permits; 
they rebelled, but they were powerless to take 
from Solomon the throne and kingdom during his 
lifetime. The Lord commands our foes: So far 
shalt thou go, and no further. — J. Heermann: If 
thou speakest the word, they soon become friends : 
they must needs lay down arms and defences, and. 
stir no finger. — P. Gerhardt: If I am beloved of 
God, and have the llead for my friend, what can 
troops of foes and opposers do to me ? For he 
can humble the proud (Dan. iv. 35). Formerly all 
kings did homage to Solomon, and brought him 
gifts, and journeyed from all countries to see and 
to hear him ; his power was as great as his king- 
dom. But now his power and might are abased 
before those who hitherto ranked far below him, 
whom he had regarded as the least of his slaves 
and vassals. Humiliation coming through weak 
and inferior means is much more bitter than the 
same humiliation through strong and powerful 
means ; the latter we can ascribe to men, but in 
the former we must recognize the will and power 
of God. 

Vers. 14-22. The fate of Hadad is recounted 
to us not so much on his account as on our own, 
in order that we may learn to regard the ways of 
God with man, and order our own ways by Him, 
who is ever mercy and wisdom (Ps. xxv. 10). If 
God brought back the heathen Hadad by myste- 
rious ways to his native land, how much more will 
he lead those who keep his covenant and testimo- 
ny to the true native land, and to the eternal rest, 
how dark and inscrutable soever may be the ways 
by which he leads them. Ter. 21. Let me go 
into mine own country. The power of love of 
country. Not ubi bene, ibi patria, but ubi patria, 
ibi bene. Yet must we not in the earthly coun- 
try forget the heavenly " Fatherland." Vers. 23- 
25. Though vanquished and cast down, tyranny and 
ambition do not forget ; they think perpetually of 
vengeance, and seek to satisfy it, now by rough 
means now by subtle ones, whenever an oppor- 
tunity offers. Therefore, warns the apostle so 
earnestly (Rom. xii. 10) against those secret and 
mighty motives in the natural heart of man. 

Vers. 20-2S. God is wont to chastise the re 
hellion of princes against his will, by means of thd 
rehellion of their own subjects ; as Solomon raiseo* 

CHAPTER XI. 14-43. 


his hand against Jehovah, so did his servant Jero- 
boam against him. Destruction from above unites 
with ruin from below. Whatever Solomon under- 
took after his fall, was deprived of God's blessing. 
By the building of MUlo he intended still further 
to strengthen his dominion over all his enemies, 
and to render impregnable his dwelling-place, but 
this very building was the cause why his throne 
began to totter, and why he lost the greater part 
of his kingdom. Here applies Ps. cxxvii. 1. It 
was by divine decree that Solomon himself, with- 
out his own will or knowledge, should raise from 
the dust to high places the very man appointed 
by God to abase him, and to dismember his king- 
dom. Conspiracies and rebellions are chiefly led 
by those who have to complain least of injustice 
or oppression, but have been pampered and fa- 
vored until ambition incites them to suppress 
every feeling of gratitude (John xiii. 18). 

Vers. 29-39. cf. above vers. 9-13. The pre- 
diction of the prophet Ahijah announces 1. the 
division of the kingdom as a consequence of the 
going astray to the worship of strange gods (vers. 
31-33); 2. the preservation of the kingdom of Ju- 
dah on account of the promise given to David 
(vers. 34, 36, 39) ; 3. the choice made of Jeroboam, 
on condition of inflexible fidelity to Jehovah and 
to his law (vers. 37, 38). Ver. 31. All the world 
must confess, upon beholding the abasement of the 
house of David and the elevation of Jeroboam, that 
the Most High has power over the kingdoms 
of men, and bestows them upon whom he will 
(Dan. iv. 29; 1 Sam. ii. 7, 8; Luke i. 52). Ver. 
36. Even in the midst of his just anger the Lord 
is merciful, and the inconstancy of man can never 
shake His fidelity. The fulfilment of 2 Sam. vii. 
14, 15, is seen in Solomon's history. The house 
of David remained a light " forever," until that 
Son of David came who is the light of the world, 
which lighteth all men who come into the world 
(Joh. i. 9; Rom. xv. 12). 

Vers. 40-43. These three truths are nowhere 

more powerfully exemplified than in the life ot 
Solomon: "What availeth it a man, Ac, (Matt 
xvi. 26); Vanity of vanities, &c. (Eccl. i. 2\ 
and The world passeth away, &c. (1 John ii. 
17; cf. 1 Peter i. 24). Ver. 40. Roos : Sin ob- 
scures the soul. He who turns aside from God 
departs from wisdom ; and let those who, instead 
of bowing and submitting with resignation to the 
chastisements of God, haughtily strive against 
them, contemplate the fate of Jeroboam, who, 
doubtless, stirred up the plot against Solomon, 
since he afterwards eagerly abetted the desertion 
of the ten Tribes. Even as Solomon, when he 
sought to slay Jeroboam, must have felt that in 
vain he resisted the divine decrees, and was 
powerless to hinder them, so likewise Jeroboam, 
compelled to fly to Egypt, must have become con- 
scious that in vain he strove rashly and insolent- 
ly to anticipate the execution of the divine decrees 
We must even make bitter expiation when we 
haughtily resist and oppose the Lord, or when we 
strive to hasten his designs, or to appoint time and 
place for their fulfilment. The life of Solomon 
closes with the words : Therefore Solomon sought 
to kill Jeroboam. Instead of seeking forgiveness 
from Him who forgiveth much, and himself grant- 
ing forgiveness, he is thinking of murder and ven- 
geance. How great and noble the contrast be- 
tween this and the Figure of Him who in the face 
of death upon the cross cried: Father, forgive 
them, for they know not what they do. Let us 
strive to become like unto his image, and that our 
last thought in life may be of love and reconcilia- 
tion, and not of revenge and hatred. Solomon 
possessed the fairest and noblest crown that mor- 
tal can wear, yet it was perishable, not enduring 
beyond death and the grave. The Lord promises 
an immortal crown to those who love and follow 
Him. Be faithful unto death, then He will give 
thee the crown of life; blessed is he who undu- 
reth unto the end. 


SECOND PERIOD. (975 TO 722 B. C.) 

(1 Kings XH— 2 Kings XVH.) 


(1 Kings XIL-XVI. 34.) 



(1 Kings XH.) 

A. — The renunciation of the house of David oy the ten tribe*. 
Chap. XH. 1-24 (2 Chron. X.-XI. 4.) 

1 And Rehoboam went to Shechem : for all Israel were come to Shechem to 

2 make him king. And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, 
who was yet in Egypt, heard of it,' (for he was fled from the presence of king 

3 Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt ; 3 ) that they sent and called him. 
And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Reho- 

4 boam, saying, Thy father made our yoke grievous : now therefore make thou 
the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us ; 

5 lighter, and we will serve thee. And he said unto them, Depart yet for three 
days, then come again to me. And the people departed. 

6 And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men that stood before Solomon 
his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer 

1 this people ? And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto 
this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good 

8 words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever. But he forsook the 
counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the 

9 younsc men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him: and 
he said unto them, What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who 
have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us 

CHAPTER XII. 1-24. 14-- 

10 lighter? And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, 
saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy 
father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us ; thus shalt thou 

11 say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father's loins. And 
now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your 
yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with 
scorpions. 5 

12 So Jeroboam 4 and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the 

13 king had appointed, saying, Come to me again the third day. And the king 
answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men's counsel that they gave 

14 him ; and spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father 
made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised 

15 you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. Wherefore the king 
hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the Lord [Jehovah], that he 
might perform his saying, which the Lord [Jehovah] spake by Ahijah the Shilon- 

16 ite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat. So when all Israel saw that the king heark- 
ened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have 
we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your 6 tents, 
O Israel : now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their 

17 tents. But as for the children of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah, 

18 Rehoboam reigned over them. Then king Rehoboam sent Adoram,* who was 
over the tribute ; and all Israel stoned him with stones, that he, died. There- 
fore king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jeru- 

19 salem. So Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day. 

20 And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, 
that they T sent and called him unto the congregation, and made him king over all 
Israel : there was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah' 

21 only. And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house 
of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, a hundred and fourscore* thousand chosen 
men, which were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring theking- 

22 dom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon. But the word of God" came 

23 unto Shemaiah the man of God, saying, Speak unto Rehoboam, the son of Solo- 
mon, king of Judah, and unto all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to 

24 the remnant of the people, saying, Thus saith the Lord [Jehovah], Ye shall not 
go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel : return every 
man to his house; for this thing is from me. They hearkened therefore to 
the word of the Lord [Jehovah], and returned to depart, according to the word 
of the Lord [Jehovah]. 10 


1 Ver. 2.— [It is better to omit the italicized words of it, which are not in the Heb. and which must refer to the Ao 
oembly at Shechem, whereas what Jeroboam heard of was the death of Solomon, as is expressed in the Vulg. See the 
Exeg. Com. The Vat. Sept. omits here the whole of ver. 2 and the greater part of ver. 8, having given the substance ol 
them (with some addition) at xi. 43. The Alex. Sept. follows the Heb. Our author, in his translation, has omitted the 
part of ver. 2 enclosed in brackets, evidently bv an inadvertence. 

' Ver. 2.— Instead of Q'-|VD3 2Z"\ must ^ e re " d ' witn " '" D1 '" n - x - 2 > D'lVGO 2G' 5 l See tne comment. [The text 

may be preserved without chance (for which the Vulg. is the only authority) by considering the statement that Jero- 
boam dwelt in Egypt as merely the completion of the statement of his flight : he had fled to Egypt and remained there. 
The change was proposed by Dathe, but is rejected by Maurer and by Keil. 

• Ver. 11.— Q'3"| pj>, scorpions, flagelli genua globulU plumbets cum aculeis incurvis munitum, a scorpit slmilitudtnt 

dictum (Gesen. The*. 11, 1062). 

4 Ver. 12. — [The Sept. omits here the significant mention of Jeroboam. 

' Ver. 16.— [The Heb., Sept., Chald. and Syr. have the pronoun in the singular, thy tents. In the next clanBe the 
8ept. translates vvv 0o<r*ce t'ov oIkoi- gov, Aavtfi.l 

• Ver. IS. — [The Sept., Syr., and Arab, read Adoniram. 
7 Ver. 20. — [The Sept. here inserts "and Benjamin." 

a Ver. 21.— [The Vat. (not Alex.) Sept. reduces this number to 120,000. . 

• Ver. 22.— [Many MSS. followed by the Sept., Vulg., Chald., and Syr. read here f^-(> instead of Q\-pN .] 

10 Ver. 24. — [The Vat. (not Alex.) Sept. here inserts a passage quite equal in length to the whole chapter, containing 
many particula-s whose utterly nnhistorical character may be seen from the opening statement that Rehoboam was sir 
teen years old at his accession and reigned twelve years. Cf. chap. xiv. 21. — F. G.] 




Ver. 1. And Rehoboam went to Shechem. 

The city of Shechem was about eighteen hours' 
distance north of Jerusalem, and lay at the foot of 
Mount Gerizim, in the mountain range of Ephraim 
(Judg. ix. 7). It is often mentioned in the his- 
tory of the Patriarchs (Gen. xii. 6; xxxiii. 18; 
xxxiv. 1; xxxvii. 12), and Joshua "had intended 
it to be a free Levite city. He likewise gathered 
all the tribes together there, and held that impor- 
tant diet in which all the people pledged them- 
selves to the observance of Jehovah's covenant 
(Josh. xx. 7 ; xxiv. 1, 25). In the time of the 
Judges, Abimelech made Shechem the capital of 
his kingdom (Judg. ix.) ; he destroyed it, indeed, 
but it was soon rebuilt, and continued to be one 
of the chief cities of the northern part Chap, 
xii. 1 gives us the reason why Rehoboam left Je- 
rusalem, where he had been made king, and went 
to Shechem ; for all Israel were come to Shechem. 

By ^XTJ" ^3 we are not to understand all the 

twelve tribes (Ewald), but only ten, as vers. 12, 
18, and 20 clearly show; under David even 
those tribes had claimed the name of the entire 
people (2 Sam. ii. 9, 10, 17, 28). K3 is not 

the imperfect but the pluperfect, for the ten tribes 
did not go to Shechem because the king was there 
but just the reverse : because (^3) they had gone 

to Shechem, the king went thither. He therefore 
did not call them together there, but they, i. e., 
their elders, judges, and representatives, had as- 
sembled in this old Ephraimitic capital, as they 
had once doue in Joshua's time (Josh. xxiv. 1 ; cf. 2 
Sam. v. 1, 3), and this induced the king to jour- 
ney to Shechem. Their design in meeting was 
to make him king, i. e., to recognize him as king, as 
Judah had done, though he had already ascended 
the throne ; to pay him homage, on the condition, 
however, that he would agree to their wishes and 
demands. This was why they did not assemble 
in Jerusalem, as they were in reality bound to do, 
and as they had done to David when they went 
to Hebron, the place of David's residence, to do 
him homage (2 Sam. v. 1 sq.), but in Shechem. 
It was a " a significant hint, if Rehoboam had 
properly understood it " (Ewald). It is very im- 
probable that they summoned him to their assem- 
bly, as they did Jeroboam ; he seems to have gone 
unsummoned with his whole retinue (vers. 6. 8). 
That the 10 tribes had assembled " to assert 
their ancient right of choice " (Gramberg) is an en- 
tire mistake. For there is no mention anywhere 
of such a right ; and the text does not say they 
went to Shechem to choose a king, but to make 
him — Rehoboam — king, i. e., to confirm him as 

Vers. 2-3. And it came to pass, when Jer- 
oboam . . . heard of it, &c. Ver. 2. If we retain 
the reading D ,_ IV:'p3 DP^T 1 2-"'l we must, like 

Maurer, take ver. 2 to be properly the antecedent 
sentence, and begin the conclusion with 1S3, S 1 , ver. 

3, and translate like De Wetto: "When Jfoboam 
heard of it (he was still in Egypt, whither he had 
Med from Solomon the king, and Jeroboam dwelt in 
Egypt, and they sent and called him), then Jerobo 
am and the whole assembly rami', and they spake 
to Rehoboam." \part from the crude form of this 

sentence, the words following "he was still in 
Plgypt," namely, " and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt," 
appear to be quite superfluous ; we must in this case 
supply, after he had returned from Egypt, before 
" then Jeroboam came ; " and, finally, it would fol- 
low that the people assembled at Shechem sent 
messengers thence to Egypt to bring back Jero- 
boam, which is not to be supposed, because the 
journey there and back required several weeks, 
and " all Israel " would have been compelled to 
wait during this time, without accomplishing any- 
thing, in Shechem, for Jeroboam's arrival. But all 
these difficulties fall away if we read, like 2 Chron. 
x. 2, D'lVQD DJ,'3T 3t:''l , i- e., and Jeroboam re- 
turned from Egypt. According to this, the case 
was simply so : On the news of Solomon's death 
Jeroboam returned from Egypt to his tribe-land 
Ephraim, and, we are to imply, to his native place 
Zereda (chap. xi. 26), or, as the Sept. says, Sarira, 
which could not have been very far distant from 
Shechem. They sent thither for him ; he came, 
and took the lead in the negotiations which those 
assembled at Shechem made with Rehoboam. The 
Vulgate also translates ver. 2: At vero Jeroboam, 
cum adhuc esset in JEgypto profugics a facie regii So- 
lomonis, audita morte ejus reversus est de jEgypto. 
Miseruntque et vocaverunt eum ; venit ergo Jeroboam 
et, etc. The [Vatican] Sept., which places this verse 
in chap. xi. 43, translates : KarevOiivet ml ipxs-ai 
Etc r-qv ttuXcv avrov etc Tip yqv Eapipa rijv ev bpei 
'Etppai/i. It is easy to see what thoughts those 
who composed this Assembly were revolving 
when, before Rehoboam's arrival, they called the 
man who had lifted up his hand against Solomon, 
and was just returned from Egypt, and made him 
their leader and speech-maker to Rehoboam. Re- 
hoboam having come to them, instead of they to 
him at Jerusalem, only made them bolder. From 
the long sentence which the Sept. places after ver. 
24 we can glean nothing certain regarding Jeroboam 
and his conduct after he returned from Egypt; 
everything is mixed together and the different per- 
sonages confused ; for instance, Jeroboam is con- 
founded with Hadad the Edomite, and the prophet 
Ahijah with the prophet Semaiah; Jeroboam's mo- 
ther is called yvvi/ n&pvq, &c. Keil is right in de- 
nying all historical value to this sentence, out of 
which Thenius strives to complete the story. 

Vers. 4-5. Thy father made our yoke griev- 
ous, &c. Ver. 4. The word ~>y does not mean 
every kind of heavy load, but the yoke laid on the 
neck of beasts designed for labor (Numb. xix. 2 ; 
Deut. xxi. 3 ; 1 Sam. vi. 7) ; it is the yoke of labor, 
and, as such, the symbol of servile work (Deut 
xxviii. 48; Lev. xxvi. 13; Jer. xxvii. 8, 11); it is, 

for this reason, parallel with m'njj here. The 

grievance, therefore, is nothing — it is well to no- 
tice this — but the levy-work for Solomon's public 
buildings, and we see this plainly enough by vers. 
1 1 and 14, where Rehoboam's answer is recorded. 
That the complaint was well founded, that Solo- 
mon had really exacted too heavy servile work 
from his people, as the Egyptian king once did in 
Moses' time (Ex. xi. 1, 23), is generally taken for 
granted, although the complaint comes from the 
mouths of a number of people who were excited 
with thoughts of secession, and who were jealous 
of Judah. At their head stood a man, too, who 
had already tried to raise an insurrection, aud had 



not renounced his ambitious plans In exile. Com- 
plaint from the mouths of such cannot be taken as 
testimony, nor can it ever weigh under such cir- 
cumstances, except joined to other and purely his- 
torical evidence. We have none such, however. 
Solomon was not the first to adopt the measure of 
a conscription for working at the public buildings 
as well as for war-service. This was customary 
throughout the ancient East. Everywhere, from 
Egypt to Babylon, the immense buildings were 
raised, not by paid workmen, but by conscriptions. 
There were, for instance, the 360,000 men who 
worked twenty years atone pyramid (see above on 
chap. v. 13). Even David had, among his five 
chief officers, one who was specially " over the 
tribute " (2 Sam. xx. 21). which was then a stand- 
ing regulation. We find the tribute brought into 
system in Solomon's time, and the people were, as 
contrasted with conquered foreigners, treated with 
gentle consideration (chaps, v. 13 sq. ; ix. 20 
sq.). Nowhere is the voice of complaint heard 
about it, and our author is far from representing 
Solomon's conduct as hard and blameworthy, but 
rather relates it to his praise. As the tribute-work 
was distributed by turns amongst "all Israel," 
Ephraim or the ten trices received no more pro- 
portionately than the two remaining tribes, and 
there is not the most indirect allusion anywhere 
that Solomon exacted more from the Ephraimites 
than from the others. For this reason, the com- 
plaint of the ''yoke" being "grievous," which 
they alone make, seems to be only a welcome ex- 
cuse suggested to them by their former superin- 
tendent Jeroboam. The real motive came to light 
later (ver. 16). If we cannot admit the complaint 
of too hard tribute-work to be well founded, still 
less have we any right to add other things to the 
complaint of which it makes no mention. The 
grievous yoke and heavy service are not generally 
taken to mean, as the plain expressions do, the tri- 
bute-work alone, but all burdens laid on the 
people, i. e., the taxes and produce which they had 
to pay and deliver ; not their powers of labor 
alone, but their "capacity of paying taxes," are 
thought to have been too much tested by Solo- 
mon (De Wette, Ewald, Eisenlohr). "Discon- 
tent grew with the oppression of the people by 
ever new burdens and tributes, that were quite 
contrary to the original freedom of the communi- 
ty " (Diestel) ; the monarchy had become " a despo- 
tism, a sultanate " (Duncker), and the speakers for 
the people had therefore laid before Rehoboaiu 
'' the terms of capitulation, which were to lighten 
the universal oppression under which Israel had 
sighed since Solomon's reign began " (Winer, 
S.- W.-B. JX s. 3 1 1). This view, almost universal- 
ly current, stands in direct contradiction with the 
historical evidence. As to the taxes and deliv- 
eries, they are not once mentioned in the com- 
plaint, as we have already said ; neither is the 
poverty or other misery resulting from them once 
named anywhere. It is difficult to conceive how 
any one can appeal to such places as chap, x 25 
(De Wette), for there is no mention there of what 
the people brought, but of the presents which 
strangers brought the king. Ewald himself admits 
that there is no evidence that there was an income 
tax, and it by no means appears, as Winer sup- 
poses, from chap. x. 15, that "custom duties " had 
been introduced. There is still less historical 
proof of the universal oppression of the people un- 

der Solomon. All that our author relates, from 
chap. ii. to x., is to show the unwonted prosperity 
and splendor of Solomon's kingdom ; its immense 
wealth, its peaceful condition, and its thriving com- 
merce are described in the strongest terms, and 
just by those passages which have been quoted to 
prove the heaviness of the taxation and the sup- 
posed oppression, is it specially manifest how happy 
and peaceful the people were under Solomon's reign 
(chap. iv. 20; iv. 25; cf. viii. 66), so that the pro- 
phets took the kingdom of Solomon as a type of the 
-Messiah's (see above). Evi : after chap, xi., in 
which Solomon's fall is recorded, there is nothing to 
show that Israel " sighed " under universal oppres- 
sion ; and when the people as well as king became 
degenerate in the latter part of his reign, it was 
rather in consequence of too great prosperity and 
luxury than of great burdens and poverty. Final- 
ly, Solomon is threatened, in both addresses of the 
prophet Ahijah (chap. xi. 11 and 31 sq.), with the 
partition of his kingdom, not because he had op- 
pressed the people with servile labor and heavy 
taxations, but solely because he had suffered his 
strange wives to persuade him to introduce idola- 
trous forms of worship. It would have been a just 
and well-founded complaint had they alleged that 
Solomon had broken the supreme command in the 
fundamental law of Israel by the toleration of 
idol-worship, and had thus undermined the strength 
of the kingdom. But the complainants are wholly 
silent on this, and the sequel shows how little they 
or their speaker Jeroboam cared for the observ- 
ance of that fundamental law. 

Vers. 6-14. Rehoboam consulted, &c. Ver. 
6. The D'Jpf are not old people, but the elders 

(senators) who constituted the administration-col- 
lege of Solomon [or council] (chap. iv. 2-6). Reho- 
boam had retained them as such, but had not, as 
Thenius thinks, " placed them on the retired list," 
for in that case he would uothave taken them with 
him to Shechem, and he certainly would not have 
heard their counsel before that of the young men. 
The expression, that stood before Solomon, shows 
that they were in immediate attendance on the 
king. In their advice, vers. 7, Qi»n stands next to 

DV^'n'^S , and ~i2]l at the beginning, over against 
D'-QV at the conclusion; and as 1357 is strengthen- 
ed by the immediately following DrH3yi , we have 

no right to weaken it, and to take it in another 
sense from □'"iQy that stands opposite to it at the 

conclusion ; this is generally done, and 1211 is 
translated "complaisant," but D'lQV , on the con- 
trary, is translated " subject." The elders not only 
advised the king to compromise, but that he should 
"stive" the people at least "this day," and as- 
sured him that the people would then be bis 
"servants" "for ever;" they proposed that he 
should for the present moment reverse the exist- 
ing relation : the king was to be " servant " and 
yield to the will of the people, in the expectation 
that the people would afterwards be his " ser- 
vants." We can easily imagine that such a pro- 
posal (which would not perhaps have succeeded) 
was not very agreeable to the rash and imperious 
young king, in whose veins Ammonite blood flowed 

(chap. xiv. 21). The word "\y , ver. 8, is used for 



a child at amy age from its birth (Ex. ii. 3, 6, 7) to 
youth ; D ,_ 6' are not, therefore, real counsellors, 
like the ffOpTi but young people who were in at- 
tendance upon the king (" stood before him"). The 
words, that were grown up with him, show that 

Rehoboam was himself still 1^ (cf. 2 Chron. xiii. 

7). The proverbial expression ver. 10. my little 
finger, &c, means, I am much mightier than Solo- 
mon ; his power was as the little finger to the body, 
compared with mine; if my father had power to 
compel you, I have still more. From this general 
way of speaking they proceed in ver. 11 to allude 
to the particular grievance of the forced labor. 
The yoke and whips belong together, and are the 
signs of laboring servants (Ecelesiasticus xxx. 
26 or xxxiii. 27). The king was to use instead of the 
whips for servants the thorn-whip used for crimi- 
mals alone, and which was called scorpio by the 
Romans (Isiilor. Origg. v. 27, 18: Virga. si est 
aculeata, scorpio vocatur, quia arcuato vulnere in 
corpus infigitur). The meaning is, my father used 
ordinary means to keep you at work, but I will do 
it with extraordinary aud severer means. The 
answer says as little of taxes as the complaint itself ; 
it only refers to the enforced work, and it does not 
even admit that Solomon exacted too much, but it 
is only now proposed to do so. The pleasure with 
which Rehoboam accepted this advice is very in- 
dicative of his disposition. 

Vers. 15-17. The cause was from the Lord. 
Ver. 15. Inasmuch as the inconceivably foolish and 
perverse resolve of Rehoboam carried with it the ir- 
remediable division of the people and kingdom, the 
verse asserts it to be a course of things (H3D from 

212\ from Jehovah; not that Rehoboam was forced 
unwillingly to speak so, but in the same sense in 
which it is said of Pharaoh (Ex. xiv. 4; Rom. ix. 17) 
and of Judas (Matt. xxvi. 25). Witsius (Deeaphyl. 
i. 3) says : Ipso. Rehabeami stolida imprudentia consi- 
lio Dei inservivit, ut quodoxcidit etiam rnerito acciditse 
utdetur. We find here an application of the proverb : 
Quern Deus vult perdere, prius dementai. Every case 
of a hardened heart is a righteous judgment of God. 
Vers. 16-17. What portion have we, &c. 
Ver. 16. This was the old Ephraimite watchword 
of rebellion, of which Sheba availed himself 
agaiust the house of David (2 Sam. xx. 1). The 
first member of the sentence means this, What con- 
cern have we about David and his house, when the 
question is who shall be king over us? We have 
no fellowship with each other (Deut. x. 9). Neither 
have we inheritance in the son of Jesse is not equal to 
we can hope for and expect nothing from him ; 
but, we do not belong to him, as Judah, by race- 
derivation. In the "son of Jesse" there is an 
allusion to David's humbler descent, just as in the 
New Testament to ifte "carpenter's son " (Matt, 
xiii 55). To your tents. Israel! is a proverbial 
call which originated in the time of the march 
through the wilderness, where the camp was 
arrauged according to the tribes. Let every one 
return to his tribe and his home, without acknowl- 
edging Rehoboam. Now see to thine own house, i.e., 
see how you can reign over your own tribe in the 
future; you have no right to us any more. In this 
whole cry " the deeply rooted dislike to David's 
royal house is strongly expressed, and we can 
perceive a more potent cause for the partition than 

the alleged oppression of Solomon " (Keil). V< ". 
17 means that only those individuals belonging to 
the ten tribes remained under Rehoboam who 
were settled in Judah or had gone to settle there 
(2 Chron. xi. 3). The verse does not mean, then: 
"the tribe of Judah chose Rehoboam, who waa 
one of them, to be king " (Ewald) ; for Judah had 
already acknowledged him such before he went to 

Vers. 18-19. Adoram, who was over the 
tribute, &e. Ver. 18. No doubt the same who i? 
called Adoniram in the list of Solomon's chief of- 
ficers (chap iv. 6), as also the Sept., Syr., and Arab, 
call him in this passage. Thenius thinks he was 
the son of Adoram, the chief of the tribute officers, 
who is mentioned in the lists of David's officials 
(2 Sam. xx. 24). If he was identical with this 
person he must certainly have been about eighty 
years of age, since David could not have given the 
office in question to quite a young man, and 
Solomon reigned forty years. It is evident that 
Rehoboam sent him to treat with the rebels, and 
to appease them, as Josephus expressly says. Ai 
the question was about lightening the tribute 
work, the chief officer over the tribute seems to 
have been selected by Rehoboam as the fittest 
person to mediate; probably Adoram was one of 
the "elders" who gave the advice to \*ield. But 
the people were highly incensed at the sight ot 
this officer, and instead of listening to him, in 
their rage they stoned him. Bertheau has no 
grounds for his supposition that he came with :in 
armed force (however small) to force the rebels 
to submission. For: unto this day, see on chap. 
viii. 8 ; ix. 21. 

Vers. 20-21. And it came to pass when all 
Israel heard, Ac. Ver. 20 closes the narrative, 
vers. 1-19, and is also the connecting link with 
the following vers. 21-24. The independence of 
the ten tribes had been achieved by their represen- 
tatives in Shechem, who now returned to their 
different tribe-territories (end of ver. 16), and an- 
nounced to "all Israel" what had happened, es- 
pecially also the part that Jeroboam, just arrived 
from Egypt, had acted there. The latter, no doubt, 
also returned to his native place after the event. 
But when a king was to be chosen for the rebels 
he was called back and made king. This exasper- 
ated Rehoboam to make war on Israel. We can- 
not be surprised at the number he brought into 
the field, as the tribe of Judah alone had 500,000 
men of war in the 'ensus that David took 
(2 Sam. xxiv. 9). 

Vers. 22-24. But the word of the Lord came, 
&c. Ver. 22. The prophet Shemaiah did not belong 
to the tribe of Ephraim, like Ahijah (chap. xi. 29), 
but doubtless to Judah, and from the present pas- 
sage as well as from 2 Chron. xii. 5, it seems that 
he must have lived in Jerusalem. As here, so also 
he had great influence through his preaching, 
when king Shishak came from Egypt to war against 
Rehoboam ; he also wrote a history of Rehoboam 
(2 Chron. xii. 5-8, 15). The thing is from me, ver. 
24. This prophet of Judah, as well as the Ephra- 
imite prophet, declares the separation of the 
ten tribes to be a divine dispensation, which, 
humiliating and painful as it was to the house o[ 
David and Judah, might not be opposed by force 
of arms; for the separated tiibes were still 
" brethren." Thus he recognizes a higher bond oi 
union in spite of al 1 separation, and wishes that 



nnion held intact. The king and army follow his 
Bdvice ; they probably saw that a war with the 
numerically greater and just now bitterly excited 
ten tribes would bring them into a worse condition 


1. The rebellion of the ten tribes against David's 
house, and tlie consequent partition of thekingdom, was 
the most important and pregnant event in the his- 
tory of Israel since it became an independent 
State. The divisions that took place in the time of 
the judges were only temporary, but this lasted 
for hundreds of years, and only terminated with 
the fall of both the separated kingdoms. An event 
that formed such an epoch, and had such a marked 
influence on sacred history, cannot possibly be 
traced to one fact alone, or to the defiant and 
thoughtless answer of Rehoboam ; it must have 
been produced by deeper and more general causes, 
lying in the character of the people and in the 
mutual relation of the tribes. The tribe of Judah 
and the double one of Joseph (Ephraim and Ma- 
nasseh, Josh. xvii. 17), whose progenitors were 
especially favored in the blessing (Gen. xlix. 8-12, 
22-25i, were from the beginning the most numer- 
ous, and therefore the most powerfut,~of all the 
twelve tribes. Judah numbered seventy-six thou- 
sand and five hundred before the entrance into 
Canaan ; the double tribe of Joseph numbered 
eight.y-five thousand and two hundred men (Numb. 
xxvi. 22, 23, 34, 37); this tribe claimed the largest 
territory at the division of the land (Josh. xvii. 14 
sq. ; 1 Chron. v. 1) on account of its number, 
and because it had inherited Reuben's birth-right. 
Bui the " sceptre " was promised to Judah, and 
the leaders in the march through the desert as 
well as in the conquest of Canaan headed that 
tribe (1 Chron. v. 2 ; Numb. ii. 3 ; x. 14 ; Judg. i. 2 ; 
xx. 18); both tribes were warlike (Jud. i. 4, 
10 ; viii. 1 sq. ; xii. 1 .5}. ; Ps. lxxviii. 9). In con- 
sequence of these relations, each tribe regarded 
itself as equal in powers with the other tribes, but 
also as evenly matched with each other. But 
added to this there was a difference in the charac- 
ter and pursuits of the tribes ; whilst Judah was 
the leader and head of the theocracy and the cove- 
nant, therefore of higher religious life (Gen. xlix. 
10; Ps. lx. 9; lxxviii. 67 sq. ; cxiv. 1, 2), Ephraim 
represented the nature-side of the people's life; 
and the consciousness of natural, material strength 
and earthly abundance appears with it in the 
foreground (Gen. xlix. 22 sq. ; Deut. xxxiii. 13; 
Ps. lxxviii. 9 sq.). There was, therefore, in the 
latter more receptivity for nature-religion, and a 
tendency to independence of any other tribe, and 
especially of one not entirely its equal. There was, 
then, the germ of a dualism very early in the 
nation, and this germ grew more and more in the 
distracted times of the Judges, asserting itself 
sometimes with more, sometimes with less energy. 
After Saul's death the two chief tribes formally 
separated under different kings (2 Sam. ii. 4-11); 
ehis, however, only lasted seven years and a half, 
after which the revolted tribes went over to the 
king of Jul 1 -h, i. e., David (2 Sam. v. 1 sq.). 
But the more, the power and authority of Judah 
increased under D -id and Solomon, so much the 
more did the old ealousy and love of independ- 
mce grow in Ephraim : the tribute-labors, and 

especially the structures which served to strength- 
en the dominant authority of Judah which Solomoi. 
had achieved by Ephraimites, were calculated 
especially to increase those feelings. Jeroboam's 
attempt to raise an insurrection miscarried, but 
the desire for independence was not extinguished 
thereby. It broke out again the more violently after 
Solomon's death, as there was hope of getting rid 
of Rebohoam more easily, who did not in the least 
resemble his father. The great event of the par- 
tition of the kingdom had its roots in a primitive 
characteristic of the tribe, which characteristic had 
existed over four hundred years, and now broke 
out at last with violence, creating a double State. 
Rehoboam's answer was only the spark which fell 
into the powder magazine. Th* recent historical 
criticism admits the agency of the Ephraimite cha- 
racter in the revolt, but finds the especial and 
chief cause in the essential nature of the kingdom. 
Ewald is of this opinion (Gesch. des V. Isr. III. s. 
393 sq.). The monarchy had, in its very nature, 
a tendency to extend its power further and fur- 
ther, and to restrict every other power in the 
nation more and more, or else to absorb it. It 
reached a very high stage in Solomon's time, but it 
was ever growing, and it made more and more 
severe exactions upon the people in labor and tax- 
ation. A further strengthening and one-sided 
growth of the monarchy was held by the best men 
in Israel to be ruinous and dangerous to the ancient 
freedom of the people. There might have been, 
indeed, a way of reconciling the claims of the 
monarchy and of the nation without a revolution 
i. e., " having what is now called a constitutiot 
drawn up, which, when well devised, is the safe 
guard of the best modern Christian nations." Bui 
there was no such remedy at hand ; the heads ot 
the tribes only assembled when a new king was 
to be declared. All the best of the people, and 
particularly the prophets, had agreed that the 
government could not continue as it was at the 
close of Solomon's life. As the prophets had 
founded the kingdom, and advanced it so much by 
the elevation of David's house over that of Saul, 
they now expected furtherance by another change 
of dynasty; impressed by their counsel, it was 
forthwith achieved in consequence of the voice of 
the people and the folly of Rehoboam, Ac, &C. 
This whole mode of explanation, already adopted 
here and there, rests on the utterly unproved sup- 
position that Solomon's government constantly 
grew more absolute and despotic, till, at last, it 
seriously threatened the liberty of the people. We 
have not the slightest historical proof of this. 
Where is it said that Soloman oppressed his peo- 
ple, in. every way, by taxation and tribute-labor? 
Where is it said that the prophets believed the 
liberties of the people to be threatened, and that 
they announced this publicly? How happens it 
that Solomon, who advanced his realm to a degree 
of prosperity it never before and never again 
enjoyed, is made to be a despot and oppressor? 
Just when the text has been treating exclusively 
of the tribute to the splendid court, it says : " Judah 
and Israel were many, as the sana which is by the 
sea in multitude, eating and drinking, and making 
merry," &c. ; " Judah dwelt safely, every man 
under his vine and under his fig-tree, from Dan to 
Beer-Sheba. all the days of Solomon'' (chap. iv. 20 
25). That he demanded too much of this tribute 
labor, which was customarv among all ancient 



nations, and had been exacted before his time, 
there is no other evidence than the complaint of 
the angry revolutionary assembly of Ephraimites 
at Shechem, and this cannot be regarded as im- 
partial and historical testimony. So little did Solo- 
mon interfere with the liberty of his people, that 
there was an unprecedented commerce with all 
the neighboring nations in his reign ; he even 
allowed freedom of worship — allowed too much 
rather than too little liberty. This and not 
despotism was what the prophets apprehended 
danger from. There is not in the whole history of 
Solomon a single act that can be called despotic 
or tyrannical, like those of later kings, for instance, 
Ahab or Jehu ; and yet the former is said to have 
ruled with such intolerable severity that the pro- 
phets and the best among the people were com- 
pelled to think of a change of government. Of all 
kingdoms, that of Israel should be the last to be 
judged from a modern political point of view. 
The theocratic constitution was not revoked when 
the human monarchy began: Jehovah continued 
to be the true king of Israel, and the human king 
was the ''servant of Jehovah;'' as such he had to 
do Jehovah's will, not his own. There was, there- 
fore, no such thing as absolutism, which we are 
told clung to this monarchy by virtue of its nature. 
But we cannot comprehend how any should think 
that the best remedy against the supposed despot- 
ism of Solomon would have been a representstive 
government, after the pattern of the constitutions 
of our nineteenth century. 

2. The revolt of the ten tribes from the house of 
David (ver. 19) is often represented as justifiable. 
J. D. Miehuelis (Mos. Redd I. § 55) saw nothing 
more in it than a new capitulation of a people still 
free ; De Wette (BeitriXge I. s. 129) went further, and 
asserted that. ■• according to 1 Kings x i i . , these 
tribes were fully justified in what they did; they 
demanded lair concessions, and there is only Reho- 
boam's folly to be blamed." Duncker says (Gesch. 
lies AIL s. 402), "the Israelites remembered their 
right to choose and anoint the king." But we find 
nothing said anywhere of such a national right: 
the law for kings (Deut. xvii. 14 sq.) says noth- 
ing of it; it recognizes no conditions of election; 
and the history mentions no king except Jeroboam 
(ver. 20), either in Judah or Israel, who was elected 
by the free choice of the people. The monarchy 
was hereditary in Judah, and continued in David's 
house till the dissolution of the kingdom ; in Israel, 
also, the son succeeded the father, or usurpers 
arose who gained the throne by force ; but the peo- 
ple never once chose the king. In the present 
instance, Ephraim with its confederates had no 
right, certainly, to reject a king who was such by 
birth, and to choose another by themselves alone, 
without Judah. Ephraim had solemnly acknowl- 
edged the brotherhood of all the twelve tribes, 
End had willingly submitted to David (2 Sam. v. 1 
sq.) ; and all the tribes had acknowledged Solo- 
mon to be, in right of being David's son, the true 
king of " Judah and Israel" (chap. iv. 20; v. 5). At 
the great festival of the dedication they had all 
gathered around Sol unon, who aunounced to them 
the divine promise that David's house should never 
want a man t.. sit upon the throne of David (chap, 
viii. 1, 21. 25); they united together in a solemn 
bond. I')' ;i common thanksgiving sacrifice to 
Jehovah at tin- temple, which was the central 
point as it were, of the kingdom, and this bond 

joined them all together as well as with David's 
house; as the king blessed them, so, also, they 
blessed him (chap vi. 32-68). Solomon's son 
was therefore the rightful heir of the throne for all 
the tribes, and none had a right to revolt from him. 
Even granted that Solomon had given his subjects 
cause of complaint, by exacting too much tribute- 
labor in the latter part of his reign, yet this did not 
justify any one of the tribes in breaking the bond 
of national union, and severing themselves frotc 
the hereditary dynasty, especially, too, as Reho 
boam had not as yet shown in acts what his gov 
ernment would be. The revolt of the ten tribe* 
was not brought about first by his foolish wilfu' 
answer, but the latter " only offered them a wislied- 
for opportunity to carry out their already purposed 
revolt" (Keil). Hence they did not want to treat, 
but gave free vent to their hatred, and murdered 
the innocent ambassador of the king. The division 
can therefore be regarded as nothing else than a 
revolutionary act, which cannot by any means be 
excused, much less justified. A right of resistance 
lies only in eases where the chief ruler arbitrarily 
violates the fundamental law upon which the ma- 
terial and also the spiritual and moral existence of 
a people rests. But the rebellion is then the act 
of the government itself, and not of the subjects. 
But single grievances, even if real, can never justify 
revolt from lawful authority (especially when only 
brought forward by a part of the nation) or form 
sufficient ground for rebellion and deeds of vio- 
lence {cf. Rothe, Tkeol. Ethik III. s. 977 sq.). 
Solomon had certainly attacked and undermined 
the fundamental law of Israel, by permitting and 
favoring idolatry, but the ten tribes made no com- 
plaint of this, but solely of the alleged excess of 
tribute-labor, which Judah and Benjamin shared 
with them, but which they did not bring forward 
as a grievance. 

3. That Rehoboam returned an ansiver to the peo- 
ple, viith which the storm that had threatened the 
house of David burst forth, is emphatically said 
(ver. 15) to have been from the Lord; and the 
prophecy of Ahijah (chap. xi. 11 and 31) was 
thereby fulfilled. At the same time the prophet 
Shemaiah warns them not to make war on the 
seceders, saying, " this thing is from the Lord." 
This does not justify the conduct of the ten 
tribes any more than that of Rehoboam, but in- 
timates indeed that the partition of the king- 
dom determined on in the counsels of God hap- 
pened in such a way as to make it evident that it 
was the fault of Rehoboam. According to the word 
of Ahijah the partition appeared to have a double 
design: to "alllict the seed of David, but not for- 
ever " (chap. xi. 39), to be as such a chastisement 
(2 Sam. vii. 14) ; and also to afford to the inborn 
instinct of Ephraim for independence the opportu- 
nity of free development, yet on the indispensable 
condition of unchanging fidelity to the fundamental 
law that David had held ; the e cpress restriction 
was added, that David's seed was not to be afflicted 
forever. We already remarked above (Hist, and 
Ethic. 5, on chap. xi. 14-43) that such a temporary 
division of the kingdom was not inconsistent with 
the higher unity of the divine monarchy. But as 
neither of the kingdoms adhered to that higher 
unity, Ephraim forsaking the law continually from 
the beginning, and Judah only sometimes faithful 
tin- division became, through the guilt of botb 
kingdoms, the germ of their destruction (Matt, xii 



26). Because the higher unity was forsaken, the 
history of the divided kingdom is nothing but a 
Blow process of dissolution of the human monarchy 
in Israel, and with it of the outward, earthly king- 
dom, limited by natural race and to a given land. 
That unity was designed, iu the divine counsels, 
to be an eternal heavenly kingdom, an inward 
singdom of God, to embrace all nations, a fjaaifaia 
ruu ovpavur in which " Ephraim shall not envy 
Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim " (Isai xi. 
13); in which " they shall be no more two nations, 
neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms 
any more at all," but shall be ''one nation," and 
" one king shall be king to them all " (Ezek. xxxvii. 
15-22). The fact that the partition of the kingdom, 
this beginning of its end, immediately followed its 
culmination of earthly dominion under David and 
Solomon, shows how frail and perishable it was; 
the more it approached its dissolution, the more 
ardent became the longing for an enduring and 
eternal kingdom, the more definite and significant 
prophecy became. Well may Witsius exclaim, 
referring to the above-mentioned sentence in ver. 
15: sapientia et occulli miranda potential fall I 
quae res omnes ita dirigit et flectit, ut tamen ipsi illuc 
ivisse rideamur, et consiliis fatisque nostris gradum 
nobis struamus ad fatalem ilium lapsum siee adscen- 
sum. The apostle's exclamation about the ways 
and judgments of God, though universally applica- 
ble, is so especially here (Rom. xi. 33). 

4. In the conduct of the various important per- 
sonages concerned in bringing about the partition 
of the kingdom, all the sins and weaknesses ap- 
pear which lie at the bottom of all such events; 
so that we behold, in this history, a reflection of 
every revolution in its nature and course, and it 
may serve as a picture of future ones in every age 
(cf. especially the striking treatise of Vihnar, Die 
Tlieilung des Davidsreiclis. Pastoral-theol. Blatter. 
1861, ■■>-. 177 bis 193), which we cited above on 
chap. xi. 4. A complete lack of religious feeling 
and manner is first observable in these two oppo- 
site parties ; both move upon a purely outward, 
secular, and political-worldly soil, though in Israel 
the national and religious consciousness coincide 
principally. The"', had been hitherto no assembly 
of the whole people or of their representatives, for 
weighty affairs, in which the religious element had 
failed. When Joshua called the elders together in 
Shechem, before his end, ''they presented them- 
selves before God " (Josh. xxiv. 1 sq.). When Sam- 
uel did the same at Mizpeh, he said to them, " pre- 
sent yourselves before the Lord" (1 Sam. x. 19). 
When all the tribes came to David in Hebron, after 
Ish-bosheth's death, and acknowledged him as 
king over all Israel, they call to mind Jehovah's 
word, and David "made a league with them before 
the Lord" (2 Sam. v. 1-3). When Solomon as- 
sembled all the heads of the tribes and the elders 
at the dedication, the ceremony not only began 
with divine worship, but ended by the " king and 
all Israel with him offering sacrifice before the 
Lord " (chap. viii. 1, 5, 62). In the present instance, 
however, nothing was done "before the Lord," 
but everything was done without Him. Xo one, 
neither one of the tribe-heads nor Jeroboam nor 
Rehoboam Dor his counsellors and companions, 
inquire after Him. No one names Him. That He 
is their true sovereign before whom they must 
all bow does not occur to them. They think only 
which of the two parties should rule the other. 

This conduct reveals a state of things which 
always and everywhere precedes revolutions - 
which are made ready inevitably when, in a natioL 
and kingdom, high and low alike ask no longer foi 
the holy and living God, and where infidelity and 
indifference have entered. The breaking of relig • 
ous ties brings with it, sooner or later, :*"".' S the 
State also ; hence we generally find, in the . resent 
day, that those who plan the overthrow of the 
government, as a rule, seek also to undermine the 
church foundations. — When we look particular!; 
at the conduct of the people of the ten tribes we see 
that they had all forgotten the great benefits and 
blessing they had received through the house of 
David, especially during the forty years of Solo- 
mon's prosperous reign ; they forgot that each had 
dwelt securely under his vine and fig-tree as long 
as Solomon lived, that they had eaten and drunken 
and been merry; they only thought of the dispute 
about tribute-labor, hence ingratitude and discon- 
tent. They agreed to go to Shechem instead of Je- 
rusalem, and only to do homage under certain con- 
ditions ; this was already mutiny and rebellion. 
Hereupon they called a mau who had lifted his 
hand against Solomon, and proved himself a foe of 
David's house, to be their speaker and leader; with 
him at their head, they went to the king in the 
consciousness that they formed the majority of the 
nation, and laid before him their complaint of ex- 
cessive labor and want of freedom. When their 
stormy petition was rejected, there arose wild and 
scornful cries, and a regular rebellion liroke out; 
they rushed in blind rage at the innocent mediator 
for the king, and murder him. whereupon the king 
has to flee in great haste; and they conclude by 
making their leader and spokesman king. If, on 
the other hand, we contemplate tlie conduct or lb" 
government, we find everything here, too, that was 
calculated to call forth rebellion and insurrection 
instead of avoiding or appeasing it. First, utter 
ignorance of the feeling among the people, and 
therefore no sort of precaution for the threatened 
danger; the king goes thoughtlessly to the dis- 
contented people, thus falling into the snare set 
for him. When surprised in Shechem with the 
demand made, he is irresolute, asks time for reflec- 
tion, and keeps the people in suspense, which must 
only have increased their excitement. He then 
consults his immediate attendants ; the elders ad- 
vise him to descend from the throne, for the time 
being, and to humor the people ; the young men 
advise him to the opposite course. Thus there was 
want of unity in the higher circles, and views 
in direct antagonism one over against the other. 
The high-sounding advice of the courtiers pleased 
the weak and headstrong monarch best, and 
he delivered an answer which supposes a power 
which no longer existed, and shows equal folly, 
arrogance, and contempt of the people. There- 
upon the storm broke loose, and Rehoboam then 
wished to make concessions, and to treat with 
them. But instead of going himself courageous- 
ly to face the excited throng, this arrogant and 
imperious mau sent an old and faithful ser- 
vant to be exposed to their rage. It was " toe 
late; " Adoram was killed, and he himself had tc 
flee in haste. When such perverted ways, faults, 
and sins are found in the government, the way for 
revolution is already formed, and when it has once 
begun, soldiers are as useless as concessions ; what 
is lost by a person's own fan" I is lost forever 



5. The appearance of the prophet Shemoiah af- 
ter the partition seems like the rising of the sun 
after a dark, stormy night. Whilst sin and wick- 
edness reign in both parties, and none of them 
cares about the living God, "the man of God" 
appears with undaunted courage ; armed only with 
the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, he 
confronts the blinded, wilful king and au army 
of 180,000 men. He commands them in the name 
of the Lord to lay down their arms, and to go 
home; standing on the rock of his strength 
(Ps. lxii. 8), he calls to the surging waves, Tims 
far and no farther I and no one dares to offer op- 
position. Thus the prophets again come forth in 
majesty, as the admonishing and avenging con- 
science of Israel, as the divine corrective of all 
human actions ; and this shows, too, how errone- 
ous the assertion is that the partition of the king- 
dom was the result of a series of conflicts that 
went on, especially under Solomon, between the 
two powers of the monarchy and of the prophets, 
which existed side by side in Israel. It was not 
monarchy and the prophets which were in conflict, 
but Ephraim and the house of David. Both these 
took purely secular and political ground, and they 
had no other aim than to lord it over each other. 
The prophets take a stand-point above both ; and 
the prophet speaks and contends for the divine 
monarchy in Judah as well as in Israel. As for 
the rest, Judah appears here in a much more favor- 
able light than Ephraim ; it faithfully adheres to 
David's house, and knows nothing of complaint 
of tribute-labor, which had borne as heavily on it 
as on Ephraim ; while Ephraim, which well knew 
the promise given to David's house, disregards 
that promise completely. Judah, knowing the 
word of the Lord by the prophet, rises against 
his brethren at the call of his king ; but Ephraim 
listens to a Jeroboam, and if a prophet in She- 
chem had warned them against insurrection he 
would doubtless have fared no better than Ado- 


Vers. 1-20. The departure of Israel from the 
house of David: 1. The grievances. 2. The de- 
cision. 3. The rebellion. — -The division of the 
kingdom. 1. A consequence of manifold sins (of 
Solomon, Jeroboam, Rehoboan 2. A divine dis- 
pensation (for their humiliatioi and chastisement, 
and for a direction toward tho heavenly eternal 
kingdom, v. Ethical). — The sources and causes of 
the rebellion. 1. In general (estrangement from 
God, iudift'erentism, and unbelief). 2. In particular, 
these sins on the part of the people (Prov. xiv. 
34), and on the part of the princes (Prov. xx. 28). 
Where prince and people fear Godj there will lie 
no rebellion ; but where no covenant with God 
exists, all human considerations fall in pieces. 

V« r. 1-5. The assemblage of the people at 
Shechem. 1. Who were present (the ten tribes 
with Jeroboam, returned from Egypt, at their 
head, ostensibly to do homage, but really to 
stir up revolt: the assembling together was un- 
lawful, unbidden, and arbitrary. Warning from 
such courses. Prov. xxiv. 2J-22I. What the 
people sought. (Murmurs and complaints against 
the pretended oppression of Solomon, in<H'ad of 
gratitude for great benefits, and the well-being 
of the State. These complaints were rather a 

pretext than the truth, and were an exaggera 
tion of the grievances; they demanded not th« 
maintenance of the law and the covenant; but 
merely material elevation, less labor, and more 
outward freedom and independence. Admonition 
of 1 Pet. ii. 17-19). — Preiswerk (in the periodical, 
Morgenland, 1839): The assembling together of 
great idle crowds in a small space is a device of aL 
demagogues ; these crowds mutually excite each 
other, masses of men, like-minded, inspire each other 
with confidence, peaceful councils vanish, men be- 
come accustomed to the shouts of the insurgents, 
imbibe their principles, venture no contradiction 
against the outburst of passion, especially when 
swelled by numbers, and, thus inflamed, are 
dragged onwards in paths from which later re- 
pentance can never bring them back. — Ver. 1. It 
is never advisable to go where men are assembling 
themselves together, who testify by their choice of 
a meeting-place that they have no good end in 
view. (Shechem recalls the story in Judges ix.) — 
Vers. 2-3. Experience teaches that those win 
have once set up an opposition to legitimate au- 
thority will ever persist in their resolve, even if 
their design fail or is pardoned; they only await 
another opportunity to carry out their plans ; there- 
fore they should never be trusted. — Vers. 3-4. 
Rebellious people easily seek and find in public 
circumstances means which they amplify and 
exaggerate in order to give an appearance of 
justice to their wickedness, and to have some 
pretext for their criminal designs. — Cramer: It is 
an universal fact that men exclaim more concerning 
oppression than concerning godlessness and other 
sins; are more careful for the body than for the soul ; 
and, so they are free in action, give little heed to 
the soul's nurture (Ex. xvi. 3). — A people which 
prescribes to its lawful sovereign the conditions 
of its obedience to him. and directs him how to 
govern, assumes to itself royal authority, and 
overturns the appointed order of God, thus rush- 
ing surely on to its own destruction. — Ver. 5. A 
prince who, upon his accession to the throne, re- 
quires time to decide if his rule shall be mild and 
merciful or harsh and despotic, cannot have 
assumed his high responsible post in the fear and 
love of God; therefore he must expect no divine 
blessing. It is well and good, indeed, in all weighty 
matters to take time for reflection, but in time of 
sudden danger, rapid, firm decision is equally 
necessary. One accustomed to walk in God's 
ways will at such times take no step which 
will afterward cause htm bitter repentance. 

Vers. 6-11. Rehoboam holds a council. 1. With 
whom ? (With his own servants, old and young, but 
not with the Lord his God, and with his servants. 
In difficult and grave matters we should not neglect 
to take counsel with men, but chiefly should we go 
to Him for counsel of whom it may be said : He has 
the way of all ways, and never fails in counsel, and 
" If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, 
that giveth to all men liberally, &c. (James i. 5). 
For, saith the Lord, Woe to the rebellious children 
who take counsel, but not of me, &c. (Is. xxx. 1) 
If He sit not in the council, in vain do young and 
old advise. Had Jeroboam sought light from 
above in those three days, and prayed as once hij 
father did (1 Kings iii. 9), or as Jeremiah (Jer 
xxxii. 19). or entreated like Jehoshaphat (2 King" 
iii. 11). then he would not have been like a reed 
shaken by the wind, but his heart would hare been 



strong.) 2. The advice given him. (Neither counsel 
was divine, but both merely human (Matt. xvi. 23). 
The old men, out of their fear and apprehension, 
advised : renounce for the present thy royal pre- 
rogative, and bow before the will of the people ; 
later thou canst act quite differently. This advice 
ran counter to his pride and despotism, so he re- 
fused the counsel of the old men. Through Battery 
and insolence combined, the young men counselled 
a course actually inhuman, viz. : to abuse his royal 
prerogative, to care nothing for his people and their 
wishes, but simply to treat them with violence. 
This advice suited him well, because it correspond- 
ed with his rough, harsh, selfish and violent charac- 
ter. But this produced the exact reverse of what 
he wished and hoped. When you receive conflict- 
ing counsels from men, apply to both the test of 
God's word, for: Ps. six. S; cxix. 104 sq.) Ver. 6. 
It is the first privilege and duty of a king to seek 
to surround himself with men, who, fearing no 
man, either high or low, and regardless of their 
own profit or advantage, shall advise him as befits 
men responsible before a just and holy God. One 
such man alone outweighs whole hosts of soldiers, 
for: Prov. xx. 28. Ver. 7. A king who refuses 
to be a " servant of God " readily finds himself in 
a situation where he is compelled to be a servant 
of the people. The splendor of majesty is enhanced 
ny benevolence, goodness, and mercy, but never by 
timid yielding and submission to the popular will. 
Ver. 8. Where the counsels of the aged are re- 
jected, be it in a kingdom or in a house, and those 
only of the youthful followed, there men pursue 
an unhallowed path. For to a true wisdom of life 
experience is necessary, and this youth cannot have 
(Lev. xix. 32 ; Ecclesiasticus viii. 11). Those who 
grow up with us have, unconsciously and involun- 
tarily, a vast influence over our modes of thought 
and views of life, therefore parents must have a 
watchful eye over the intimacies of their children. 
Ver. 10, 11. A vaunting speech is by no means a 
proof of courage ; the more boastful a man's speech 
the less resolute he will be in peril and temptation ; 
a truly strong, firm, and calm man is silent. Time- 
serving and flattery are most dangerous for a 
prince ; they wear the garb of fidelity and devotion, 
and in reality are the greatest treachery. Chiefly 
distrust those who counsel thee to do what grati- 
fies thy vanity, thy selfishness, and thine own 
desires, and costs thee no sacrifice. — Osiander: 
One should rather distrust all harsh judgments, 
because they accord chiefly with the disposition of 
the flesh, and not of the spirit, which inclines to 

Vers. 12-15. The answer of the king to the 
people, (a) It is hard — not merely a refusal, 
but imperious, tyrannical, unbecoming in any 
sovereign, but especially one who ought to be the 
servant of the compassionate and merciful God, 
with whom is great truth and loving-kindness 
(Ex. xxxiv. 6). Authority is the handmaid of God, 
lo thee for good (Rom. xiii. 4), and not a terror. 
Government is not built upon whips and scourges, 
but upon justice, love, and confidence; that rule 
alone is thoroughly right where " mercy and truth 
are met together, righteousness and peace have 
kissed each other " (Ps. lxxxv. 11). How entirely 
different is David's example of sovereignty (Ps. ci.). 
(6) A rash and inconsiderate counsel, that of the 
young men, throwing oil on the flames instead of 
quenching them, and exciting uproar and revolt 

instead of disposing to submission and obedience. 
Passion always blinds. When the heart is per- 
verted the head is likewise dulled, and those who 
are generally shrewd become unwise and unrea- 
sonable ; for it is not the head which rules the 
heart, but, on the contrary, the inclinations and 
desires of the heart are stronger than the thoughts 
of the head (Prov. xv. 1 : xxx. 33 ; James i. 19, 
20; Eph. v. 15-11). " He that liveth many days, let 
him keep his tongue from evil," &c. (Ps. xxxiv. 13). 
Ver. 14. Midway between weak concessions and 
timid neutrality on the one hand, and selfish persist- 
ence in presumptive rights on the other, lies a course 
always pointed out by the Lord to those who bow 
before Him, pray to Him for wisdom, and long 
earnestly to do what pleases Him alone. Not only 
do great lords give harsh answers, but likewise 
petty rulers; those who moan and complain most 
bitterly against the tyranny of the great are fre- 
quently the greatest tyrants in a small way ; they 
perceive the mote in their neighbor's eye, but not 
the beam in their own. — Starke : The voice of the 
King of kings comes to us utterly unlike that of 
Rehoboam ; therefore should we listen the more 
submissively and obediently to it. — Wt'RT. Summ: 
The Most High is ever at hand to change the 
darkest prospects of the children of men to a 
happy termination, and the accomplishment of His 
all holy will, even as Joseph said to his brethren 
(Gen. 1. 20). God disposes not the thoughts of 
man to folly and sin, but brings them to judgment 
by their very perverseness, and thus makes it 
serve to carry out His own designs. 

Vers. 16-19. The rebellion, (a) Its causes, 
sin, and folly, in high and low places: amongst 
the people, ingratitude, jealousy, envy, hatred, 
and thirst for independence : with the king, 
tyranny, violence, and folly. (b) Its consequences. 
(Disunion, which was in no wise advantageous, 
but the beginning of every species of ill-fortune, 
and of the final dissolution of the kingdom, fol- 
lowed deeds of violence, murder, and death-strug- 
gles. A people in rebellion is like a fierce dog 
unchained. The evil consequences of rebellion are 
often felt for a century.)— Ver. 16. As is the ques- 
tion, so is the answer. He who makes an unprin- 
cipled speech must not wonder if he receive a like 
reply. The same people who once came to David and 
said : See, we are thy bone and thy flesh, thou hast 
led us. thou shalt be our king (2 Sara. v. 1-2), now 
said: We have no part in David; what is the 
shepherd's son to us? This is the way of the mul- 
titude. To-day they cry : Hosanna, blessed be he 
who cometh in the name of the Lord ! To-morrow 
it is, "Crucify him, we will not that he reign over 
us!" To-day, if fortune smile, they are fawning 
and bland, to-morrow, if misfortune threaten, they 
cry : " Look to thyself." Their cry is : We will be 
free, and servants of no man — not seeing that they 
are the blind tools of one or more leaders, who 
seek to reign over them. With the house of 
David, Israel flung aside the great promise (2 Sam. 
vii. 10-16 ; xxiii. 5), which depended on that house. 
For us has come that Son of David, whose kingdom 
shall have no end (Luke i. 32 sq.). Let us hold 
steadfastly by Him, and not be led astray by the 
uproar of the world: "We will have no part in 
him." He will finally destroy all enemies under 
his feet. Thus went Israel to his tents, but 
not as formerly, blest by the king and bles- 
sing him, rejoicing over the goodness of the Lorn 



to David, and to his people Israel (chap. viii. 6C). 
Hi; who has not a good conscience cannot return 
in peace. — Ver. IS. The people desired freedom. 
but a tree of liberty, watered with innocent blood, 
can only bear poison fruit. He who asks nothing 
of God can only lead others to fol.y, — he who can- 
not stand in the gap can never protect others. It 
is a judgment of God when a monarch, instead 'if 
being able to repose in the bosom of any one of his 
subjects, must needs fly before him to save his 
life. To yield to superior force is no disgrace, 
but shameful is the flight whicli is the result of ar- 
rogance and overbearing pride. 

Vers. 19, 20. The great majority fell away, 
and the small minority remained faithful ; the 
first was ruined and had no future; from the 
latter came forth the One before whom every 
knee bowed down, and whom every tongue ac- 
knowledged to be the Lord (Matt. ii. 6 ; Phil, 
ii. 1 1). In the kingdom of God there is no 
question of majorities and minorities, but it is 
simply, are we steadfast and faithful unto death ? 
The pretended deliverers of the masses well know- 
how to manage, so that they will become rulers of 
the people ; they allow themselves to be summon- 
ed, and apparently persuaded to the very object 
which was the sole aim of their efforts. — Ver. 21. 
What Rehoboam had lost through insolence aud 
weakness, through wickedness and folly, he now 
sought to regain by violence and battle ; instead of 
humbling himself beneath the All-powerful hand 
of God, he is haughty and depends upon his own 
arm of flesh. The natural heart of man is a frow- 
ard and timorous thing (Jer. xvii. 9), without safe 
resting-place or firm support, now buoyed up, now 
cast down, the football of every storm of fortune. 
But blessed is the man whose trust and confidence 
are in the Lord. It is a precious thing, &c. (Heb. 
xiii. 9). Faith is the victory, &c. (1 John v. 4.) 
In the renewed heart is no pride and no fear. — 
Vers. 22-24. The word of the Lord to the king 
and to the host ; (a) the command : Ye shall not, 
&c. ; (b) the cause of the commandment : For this 
thing is from me ; (c) the obedience to the com- 
mand: And they hearkened, &c. The lives and 
property of subjects are not to be used to compen- 
sate for the sins and follies of their rulers. Civil 
wars are the most unnatural, and likewise the 
fiercest and bitterest; he who stirs up strife be- 

tween brethren commits a crime which never goes 
unpunished. — Shemaiah, a type of the Lord's ser- 
vants. He is a man of God. aud as such he brings 
good tidings of peace (Is. lii. 7) ; he has no other 
arms than the sword of the spirit, which is the 
word of God (Eph. vi. 17) ; with His word he 
comes, strong and fearless, before the king aud his 
whole host (Acts iv. 20 ; is. 15). It is said here of 
hundreds of thousands: "They hearkened to the 
word of the Lord, aud returned, ic." How many 
thousands to-day hear this word, but, burying it 
beneath cares, riches, and the pride of life, live on 
without obedience and without repentance, bring- 
ing forth no fruit (Luke viii. 14). — Wurt. Summ. : 
We see here with what great might the God of 
Truth maintains his word. By the prophet Ahijah 
he announced to Jeroboam that he should rule over 
ten tribes of Israel: that is accomplished here. 
He has promised to leave one tribe to the house of 
David: that is accomplished here. He promised 
to Ephraim or to his father Joseph, that kings 
should proceed from them (Gen. xlix. ; Dent, xxxiii.), 
and that is fulfilled here, since Jeroboam becomes 
king through Ephraim. Thus nothing remains 
unfulfilled of all that God has spoken, promised, 
or threatened. Solomon and Rehoboam strove to 
prevent the fulfilment of God's word in Jeroboam, 
for which purpose Solomon planned to kill Jero- 
boam, and Rehoboam assembled a great army 
against him, but all in vain. Therefore let all 
men believe and seek after the word of God, and 
not strive to resist it (Luke xxi. 33). 

[F. D. M aurice : " He (Jeroboam (did not trust the 
living God. He thought not that his kingdom stood 
upon a divine foundation, but that it was to be up- 
held by certain divine props and sanctions. The 
two doctrines seem closely akin ; many regard 
them as identical ; in truth there is a whole heaven 
between them. The king who believes that his 
kingdom has a divine foundation confesses his own 
subjection and responsibility to as actual living 
ruler. The king who desires to surround himself 
with divine sanctions, would fain make himself 
supreme, knows that he cannot, and therefore 
seeks help from the fear men have of an invisible 
power, in which they have ceased to believe. He 
wants a God as the support of his authority ; what 
God, he cares very little." — B. H] 

B. — The establishment of the kingdom of Israel by Jeroboam. 
Ghap. XII. 25-33. 

25 Then Jeroboam built Sheehem in mount Ephraim, and dwelt therein ; and 

26 went out from thence, and built Penuel. And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now 

27 shall the kingdom return to the house of David: if this people go up to do sacrifice 
in the house of the Lord [Jehovah] at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people 
turn again unto their lord, 1 even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall 

28 kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah. Whereupon the king took 
counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for 
you a to go up to Jerusalem : behold thy gods, 3 O Israel, which brought t lice up 

29 out of the land of Egypt. And he set the one in Beth-el. and the other put he 
SO in Dan. And this thing became [was 4 ] a sin: for the people went to worship 
31 before the one,' even unto Dan." And he made a house' of high places, and 

CHAPTER XII. 25-33. 


made priests of the lowest [mass 8 ] of the people, which were not of the sons of 

32 Levi. AndJeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day 
of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judab,and he offered' upon the altar. 
So 10 did he in Beth-el, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made : and he placed 

33 in Beth-el the priests of the high places which he had made. So he offered' 
upon the altar which lie had made in Beth-el the fifteenth day of the eighth 
month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart" ; and ordained 
a feast unto the children of Israel : and he offered' upon the altar, and burnt 


I Ver. 27. — [The Sept. has " to the Lord and (or even) to their lord." The Syr. omits this word Lord altogether. 
The Vat. Sept. omits the last clause of the verse. 

7 Ver. 23. — [Our author prefers the sense of the Sept., Chald., and Villi:., "let it suffice you," "do not any longer go 
up." Keil argues that the Heb. cannot be so translated, and prefers the sense of the A. V. 

3 Ver. 28. — [The Heb. vprip^ may be taken either in tiie plural, as in the A.V. and the ancient VV. generally 

or in the singular, as in our author's translation, according to the common Heb. nsage. For reasons for the latter see 
the Exeg. Com. 

* Ver. 30. — [The translation of \"p^ became may seem to ignore the fact that Jeroboam's deed already was a sin In 
Itself. ' :_ 

8 Ver. 30. — [Our author's translation inserts in brackets " or the other." See Exeg. Com. 
' Ver. 30.— [the Vat, Sept. odds, "and forsook the house of the Lord." 

7 Ver. 31. — [riiD3"rP2 correctly rendered in the A. V. in the singular, since the contrast is with the niiTTrS 

at Jerusalem. The Sept, in translating oikovs €$ ioJ/ijAdd', and the Vulg. /ana in excelsis. have overlooked the point. 

8 Ver. 31. — [The lleb. riiVPD does not niean so much "from the lowest of the people" as, '• from all classes," 

" from the mass of the people promiscuously." in contradistinction to the especial Levitical family. Cf. Gen. xlvii. 2; 
Ezek. xxxiii. 2. and see Kwg. Coin. The A. V. is sustained by the Vulg. alone among the ancient V V. 

9 Ver. 32. — [The A. V. is here sustained by the Vnlu. and Arab. The other VV. give the sense preferred by 
our author in the Exeg. Com. -Went up to, or upon (i. e. upon the approach to) the altar," thus translating the 
last words of ver. 33, " to burn incense." 

10 Ver. 32. — [The Sept. must have read l^"'^ instead of ^ since it translates " — the altar which he made in 
Bethel." , 

II Ver. 33. — Neh. vi. 8 clearly shows that the k'ri t,2?D is the true reading. All the translations are in 
accordance with this. The k'lib -Q^£ £i ves n0 sense, since it does not mean seorsum sc. ajudmis (Maurer, Keil); 
but except, beside. [Keil takes the opposite view of the meaning, and denies the necessity of the change. — F. G.] 


Ver. 25. — Then Jeroboam built Shechem. 
The first thing which Jeroboam undertook after 
his accession was the building of fortresses to 
protect his realm. HJ3 means" fortified here, as 

T T 

Shechem and Penuel were built long before. He 
chose Shechem immediately as his residence 
(2'.'"1), no doubt, for the same reason that the ten 
tribes had assembled there (see on ver. 1). It does 
not follow from x\"'l , that he at once removed to 

Penuel (Ewald, Thenius), for it only says : he 
built, and it is not added that he lived there. 
Penuel, too, did not belong to the tribe of 
Ephraim, but was in Gad, beyond Jordan, accord- 
ing to some, northward, and others, southward of 
Jabbok. There was a tower there formerly, 
which Gideon destroyed (Judg. viii. 17). Jero- 
boam can scarcely be supposed to have fortified 
the place on account of the caravan road to 
Damascus passing by it (Keil), or to subdue the 
Ammonites and Moabites again (Duncker), but to 
Becure the territory beyond Jordan against any 
attacks from Judah. There is no doubt that he 
built these fortifications by tribute-labor, like 
Solomon (chap. ix. 15 sq.) ; the "grievous 
service " (ver. 4) did not, therefore, cease under 
him, and the complaint against Rehoboam appears 
all the more like a pretext. 

Vers. 26-28. AndJeroboam said in his heart, 
tc. Ver. 26. Jeroboam did not seek to establish 
his kingdom out%vardly only, but also inwardly : 
»nd to attach the people permanently to himself. 

The political union witli Judah was indeed broken, 
but the religious one still remained. The people 
still went up to the yearly feasts at the central 
place of worship in Jerusalem ; this practice seems, 
from 2 Chron. xi 16 sq., to have extended even, 
so that Jeroboam became anxious lest his people 
should turn to Rehoboam and dethrone him. He 
therefore sought to break this bond also. We can 
scarcely admit that J»jnsl ver. 28 ought to be 

supplemented thus : "With his counsellors or the 
heads of the people, who had helped to make him 
king" (Keil), for the text would certainly not have 
passed over so important a circumstance as tha, 
the representatives of the people concurred with 
him in changing the place of worship. He 
reflected about it alone, and came to the following 
resolution — Vulgate: Et excogitate consilio fecit duos 
vituhs; Dereser: " it occurred to him to make two 
golden calves." Two golden calves, i. e.. young bulls, 
as appears from Ps. cvi 19 sq. ; they were 
molten (chap. xiv. 9), probably of brass, and then 
overlaid with gold (Isai. xl. 19). The expression 

D3^>"3") is never used in the sense of: it is desiring 

too much from you ; i. e. it is too hard for you, but : 
it is i now) enough, i. e. you have gone up to Jeru- 
salem long enough, cease doing so. The Sept. 
translates Uavovodu, the Vulgate has : Nolite ultra 
adscendere in Jerusalem. Cf. Deut. i. 6 : ii. 3 ; 
Ezek. xliv. 6 ; 1 Kings xix. 4 ; 2 Sam. xxiv. 16. The 
words. Behold thy god(s) which, &c. are exactly 
the same as the people used when setting mi the 
golden calf in the wilderness (Ex. xxxii. 4—8) am 1 



refer unmistakably to them. They are not plural 
(thy gods which, Ac.) any more than when used 
in the former case, for they only refer to one calf, 
and.Nehemiah (ix. 18) uses them in the singular; 
D'Hi'N , moreover, is construed with the plural of 
the predicate (<■/. 2 Sam. vii. 23 with 1 Chron. 
xvii. 21). It is certain that Jeroboam did not wish 
to introduce the worship of two or more gods ; 
but the plural being used in this place may in- 
dicate that " the knowledge of the unity of God 
is lost in every form of nature-worship " (Von 
Gerlach), and that image-worship is closely related 
to polytheism (Ewald). The bringing them up out 
of Egypt was God's act, by which he made Israel 
a separate nation, creating it, as it were, and 
choosing it at the same time for his own, from out 
all peoples. This was the real historical proof that 
the Almighty God, who has no equal either in 
heaven or earth, was Israel's God ; therefore the 
God who brought Israel out of Egypt is con- 
trasted, as the only true God, with the vain gods 
of the heathens (Josh. xxiv. 17: Judg. ii. 1, 12; 
vi. 13). The people Israel only knew him to be 
God who brought them out of Egypt; and should 
they worship the golden calf as their God, they 
must, as Aaron and Jeroboam did, before every- 
thing else, attribute to it the deliverance out of 
Egypt. We cannot endorse the ordinary explana- 
tion, that Jeroboam meant to say : Non est nova re- 
ligio, hoc cultujam olim patres nostri in deserto usi 
sunt auctore ipso Aharone (Seb. Schmidt) ; for if the 
history of the golden calf were known to the 
people, and Jeroboam reminded them of it, he must 
also have known that Jehovah's wrath %vaxed hot 
on account of that sin, that Moses ground the calf 
to powder, and that all the worshippers were 
destroyed (Ex. xxxii. 10; xx. 28). Nothing could 
be more ill-advised than an appeal to this event, 
and it would have been the direct opposite of any 
recommendation of the new worship. It appears 
rather that the narrative, giving as it does 
Jeroboam's praise of the golden calves in the 
words the people had used at the sight of the golden 
calves in the wilderness, wishes' to convey the 
idea that those images were a renewal of the sin 
committed in the wilderness, and that, therefore, 
Jeroboam's undertaking would, sooner or later, 
have a similar end. Ver. 30 also implies this, and 
2 Kings xvii. 7 sq. expressly declares it, 

Vers. 29-30. And he set the one in Bethel, 
Ac., ver. 29. Bethel was on the southern, and Dan on 
the northern boundary of the kingdom. The situ- 
ation of these places explains why Jeroboam 
chose them. He wished to make things easy for 
the people ; the northern tribes could readily 
reach one place of worship, and the southern 
tribes the other, and they would so much the 
•sooner become habituated to the new regulation. 
At the same time also it was in opposition to the 
Judah-centralizing of worship. This was another 
reason for having two calves instead of one. It 
is generally thought that he chose both places, 
because tiny bad been regarded before as sacred 
places for worship. This may have influenced 
him in choosing Bethel, but scarcely in respect of 
Dan, for the narrative in Judg. xviii. by no means 
proves that tin- latter place was looked on with 
respect by the people as a place of worship. Sad 
Jeroboam sought only sacred places, there were 
several (e. •/. Shiloll i that were much mere esteem- 
ed as such thau Dan. This thing became a sin, 

ver. 30. Jeroboam was guilty of great sin is 
making images of oxen, contrary to the funda- 
mental law, and in setting them up in two places 
remote from each other, and thus destroying the 
unity of worship which has been the bond of 
union for the whole people. The text means 
what is afterwards always spoken of as "the sin of 
Jeroboam, who made Israel to sin " (chap. xiv. 16 ; 
xv. 26, 30, 34; xvi. 2, 19, 26, 31; xxi. 22; xxii. 
53; 2 Kings iii. 3; x. 29, 31; xiii. 2, 6, 11; xiv. 24; 
xv. 9. IS, 24, 28; xvii. 21, 22; xxiii. 15). The 
people went to ivorship before the one, even unto Dan. 
inxn 'J3P clearly refers to the "inNn twice re- 
peated in ver. 29, and cannot therefore be trans- 
lated as Ewald gives it : " the people, as it were 
one man : " neither does it mean that the people 
only went to one image, that at Dan, chap. xiii. 1. 
"Unto Dan," moreover, cannot be joined to Din 

and translated, " the people unto Dan ; i. e., the 
people in the whole kingdom as far" as Dan" 
(Keil). The sentence is evidently abbreviated, and 
inxn 'JS? is only put once instead of twice, be- 
cause the repetition after the double inN in ver. 
29 is understood ; " "inNH is alter here in the sense 
of alteruter " (Cassel). The people went to both, 
even to the distant Dan. Vulgate : ibat enim 
popnlus ad adorandum vitulum usque in Dan. 

Vers. 31-32. And he made an house of high 
places, &c, ver. 31. For the so-called high places, 
see above on chap. iii. 2. As the "high places "in 
2 Kings xxiii. 15 is simply n03fl, and the high 

places are contrasted with Jehovah's house in 
chap. iii. 1, 2, the word here certainly does not 
mean a temple, properly speaking, but proba- 
bly a kind of cell for the image. Ewald makes it 
out " a splendid temple," and says : " this temple 
evidently lasted many years and probably rivalled 
that at Jerusalem ; later too, this temple was re- 
garded as the great sanctuary of the kingdom." 
We find not a single word of all this in the Scrip- 
ture, however. Jeroboam made priests of the 
niVpp of the people; this does not mean, from 

the lowest of the people (Luther), but, from all 
classes of them (Gen. xix. 4 ; Ezek. xxxiii. 2 ; Jer. 
Ii. 31); he made any one that wished a priest. 
Thus he broke the law which gave the right to 
the tribe of Levi alone (Num. xvi.). He did this 
either because he wanted to abolish the institution 
of the Levilical priesthood, or because the Levites 
and priests, not willing to participate in the service 
of the golden calves, left the kingdom (2 Chron. xi. 
13). And Jeroboam ordained a feast, ver. 32. Jn 

alone, or jnn signifies the feast of tabernacles, 

because it was the greatest and most frequented 
of the yearly feasts (the feast of harvest, cf. on 
chap. viii. 2). This feast fell on the seventh 
month, as the law commanded (Lev. xxiii. 34; 
xxxiv. 41). Jeroboam changed the time to pre 
vent the ten tribes meeting the other twi, or 
having any intercourse with them. He fixed it 
in the eighth month, because the northern and 
more distant tribes would thus have time tc 
complete their harvest, and could more easily 
take the journey to Bethel, where he himself also 
kept the feast (we need not say that the harvest 
was later in the northern thau the southern parts; 
see Thenius on the place). The feasts were al 

CHAPTER XII. 25-33. 


ways announced beforehand (Lev. xxiii. 4) ; if 
this were done after the feast at Jerusalem was 
over, it could not possibly be celebrated there. 
Jeroboam did not observe the same day of the 
month, the 15th, "on account of the weak, who 
were offended at his innovations " (Keil), for in 
that case he would have kept it a month sooner, 
but he did so because the months and weeks were 
counted by the new and full moons, and the 15th 
was the day of the full moon. Thus there was 
simply a reason derived from the calendar why 
that day was retained. 

Ver. 33. And he offered upon the altar, &c. 
rt3!Qn"i3J? ^V 5 1 tlu *ee times in vers. 32 and 33 can- 
not be translated (as Thenius gives them) once 
(ver. 32) by : " he sacrificed upon the altar," and 
two other times (ver. 33) by: " he went to the 
altar ; " they must mean the same each time. 
i"l7j; means here, as usual, to go up, to mount ; the 
Sept. correctly gives avi^r) three times, the Vul- 
gate has ascendens ver. 32, and ascendit twice, 
ver. 33. The altar had a raised part in the mid- 
dle, to which an ascent [incline ? — E. H.] led up 
(Sym. des Mos. Kult. I. *. 480). It is clear that 
?J7' cannot be translated every time, as Luther, De 
Wette, and Keil give it, he sacrificed, for in ver. 32 
it is distinctly distinguished from rot, and in 

ver. 33 VtipiT? is added at the end ; this does not 

mean: and he offered incense (De Wette), or while 
he offered incense (Philippson), but only to offer 
incense ; there is no sense in : he sacrificed to 
offer incense. The first pjp , ver. 32, means, that 
Jeroboam took part in the feast ; the second signi- 
fies especially his presence at the first feast in 
Bethel, and the third is only to be connected with 
the second, on account of the long intermediary 
clause in ver. 33, joining TOpil? with it, and so 
leading on to "l'tOpn? chap. xiii. 1. In fact ver. 
33 forms the transition to the next section chap, 
xiii., which is evidently derived from another 
source, and relates what happened at the celebra- 
tion of the festival at Bethel. Jeroboam ascended 
the altar to burn sacrifice, and just as he was 
about to do so, a man of God came, &c. (chap. xiii. 
1). What ver. 33 repeats from ver. 32, as well as 
the words, " which he had devised of his own 
heart," shows the writer's intention, I. e., to dis- 
play the arbitrary nature of Jeroboam's proceed- 
ings, which called forth the occurrence of chap, 
xiii. 1 sq. 


1. The religions institutions which, next to the 
fortifications, served to establish Jeroboam's king- 
dom are of the greatest importance, for they formed 
the real and lasting wall of separation between the 
two kingdoms Israel and Judah, that existed side 
by side for hundreds of years. Through these in- 
stitutions the division mentioned in the above sec- 
tion became an incurable schism for all future 
generations, thus determining the whole of the 
after-history of the people. To \inderstand it tho- 
roughly in all its bearings, we must, at the outset. 
take into consideration Jeroboam's point of view, 
and the motives which impelled him. The history 
makes him utter these himself clearly enough in 

vers. 26 and 27 ; they were of a purely political na- 
ture. He took those measures from no religious 
convictions, not to do away with abuses, in short, 
not for the sake of God and conscience, but to se- 
cure to himself and his dynasty the dominion over 
the newly founded kingdom, and to withdraw it 
forever from the house of David. He well knew 
that a political separation without a religious one 
too would not be lasting with a people whose dis- 
tinct existence from other nations only depended 
on their common religious basis. To introduce a 
completely new religion, which should displace the 
faith of their fathers, would have been very dan- 
gerous to his dominion ; so he thought of modi- 
fying it in such particulars as he was sure would 
be agreeable to the people, who were disposed to 
build a strong, impregnable wall of separation be 
tween Israel and Judah. All the kings of Israel 
inherited the principle on which Jeroboam acted, 
however much the dynasty changed, until the dis- 
solution of the kingdom. We have here, then, the 
type of that political absolutism which makes the 
national religion subservient to the interests of a 
dynasty, which holds that the secular power is jus- 
tified in prescribing the faith and form of worship 
for the subjects. This absolutism is found not only 
in monarchies but in republics — among crowned 
heads as among democrats — it can be traced 
through the entire history of the world, and has 
appeared in Christendom as Csesaro-papism. In 
Israel the prophets opposed it, and as it was firmly 
adhered to from the beginning in that kingdom, 
we find, accordingly, the prophets were engaged 
in a perpetual struggle with it. 

2. The germ of all the changes Jeroboam wrought 
was the erection of two golden calves. They were not 
actual idols, i. e., images that were supposed to 
have real connection with the divinity they repre- 
sented, as among the heathens (cf. my treatise, Der 
Sahmonische Tempel, s. 270 sq.), but symbols of 
Jehovah, the God of Israel ; the whole history of 
Israel shows that Jeroboam did not intend to in- 
troduce idolatry or polytheism. The God who had 
brought Israel out of Egypt, thus showing Him- 
self to be the true God (cf. Cassel, Konig Jeroboam, 
s. 6), was to remain, but he did not wish Him to 
appear to have His throne and dwelling-place in 
Jerusalem alone, but also in the new kingdom, and 
to be visibly present there. He wishes to attach 
the people to his kingdom by a visible representa- 
tion of Jehovah. But this visible representation 
was in direct opposition to the fundamental Mo- 
saic law, which just as expressly forbids the 
making an image of Jehovah, as the worshipping 
of other gods beside Him (Ex. xx. 3, 4). If God 
be one, and everything in heaven and earth, and 
in the water under the earth, only his creature, it 
follows necessarily that He can have no similitude ; 
nothing out of Him can represent Him. Every 
image is a practical denial of his incomparable and 
therefore invisible being, an untruth which, as . 
such, can never make Him known, but, on the con- 
trary, destroys the knowledge of Him and leads 
to idolatry. For the nearer man comes to the life 
of nature the less power he has to abstract him- 
self from the natural and visible, and to compre- 
hend the spiritual and invisible by itself, i. e., tc 
distinguish the sign from the thing signified. If 
God be worshipped in an image, it is scarcely pos- 
sible to avoid worshipping the image itself as God, 
hence there is but a short step from a represent* 



tion of God to idolatry, which again, in spite of 
everything, leads to polytheism (Rom. i. 23). This 
is why the Mosaic fundamental law places the 
prohibition of every likeness of God in immediate 
juxtaposition against that of idolatry. To violate 
this command was to lay the axe at the root of 
the tree of spiritual life planted in the chosen peo- 
ple. This was " the sin of Jeroboam, wherewith 
he made Israel to sin." When he sought to give 
his kingdom durability by erecting images, contrary 
to the conditiou so emphatically laid before him 
by Ahijah, namely, keeping Jehovah's laws (chap, 
xi. 38), lie brought this very germ of destruction 
and dissolution into it ; this our writer expressly 
notices in his account of the fall of the kingdom of 
Israel (2 Kings xvii. 7 sq.). The question whether 
the Old-Testament law against every representa- 
tion of God extends unconditionally to the New- 
Testament economy, has, as is well known, been 
answered variously. While the reformed church 
stretches the Old-Testament law still further, and in 
contradiction with the Mosaic worship, which con- 
sisted wholly in symbols, rejects every symbol and 
representation in the churches, the Lutheran and 
Roman Catholic churches not only allow represen- 
tations of Him who walked on earth in the form 
of a servant, but of God himself, only claiming that 
they be not worshipped or prayed to. Though 
we do not approve of an exaggerated spiritualism, 
yet the representations of God as an invisible being 
are of very questionable worth, and should at least 
not be placed in buildings for public worship. Cf. 
Isai. xl. 18 ; 1 Tim. vi. 16. 

3. It is almost universally acknowledged that Je- 
roboam's long residence in Egypt (chap. xi. 40 ; 
xii. 2) led him to choose images of bulls to repre- 
sent Jehovah, and that there was reference to the 
Egyptian cultus of Apis and Mnevis. But we 
have the clearest evidence of the contrary. The 
images were to represent (according to ver. 28), 
that God who "brought Israel out of Egypt," i. e., 
out of the " house of bondage," from service to an 
idolatrous people, by great judgments on the latter, 
even the destruction of their entire army, and had 
sepamited them as from all nations, so especially 
from Egypt (Ex. vi. 6; vii. 5; 1 Kings viii. 51-53). 
To choose a specifically Egyptian divinity in order 
to represent this God would have been the greatest 
contradiction; for it would have meant so much 
as: the God who overthrew the Egyptians and 
brought you out of Egypt was an Egyptian deity ; 
but the clause, " who brought thee out of Egypt," 
contains the most emphatic opposition to any 
Egyptian idol. Had the bull-images of Jeroboam 
been borrowed from Egypt, we should find other 
traces of Egyptian worship in that of the ten 
tribes, but none are to be found. All the gods 
that were worshipped by them, or afterwards by 
Judah, were without exception those of anterior 
Asia. Besides this, Apis and Mnevis were differ- 
3nt gods, while Jeroboam wished to make symbols 
of one and the same deity ; and, moreover, they 
were not images, but living idols, belonging to the 
Egyptian animal worship, which had always been 
despised in Israel, and looked on as an abomina- 
tion (Ex. viii. 26). The material and the work- 
manship of the golden calves remind us of anterior 
Asia, not of Egypt; for the Egyptians had ouly 
stone images ; they had no images that were cast, 
golden, or overlaid with gold. There is no neces- 
sity for seeking the original of Jeroboam's golden 

calves in any particular ancient nation. The bul 
was, according to the view common to all ancient 
peoples, especially to those who were agricul- 
tural, a symbol of the creative power, and conse- 
quently of the highest divinity, from which all life 
and being emanated. There was no type of divi- 
nity so universal in the ancient world as the bull 
{cf. Creuzer, Symbolik I. s. 318, 505, 747; iv. s. 
128, 240; Baur, Symbolik I. s. 177 sq.; Movers, 
Rclig. der Phoniz. s. 373 sq.). If Jeroboam wanted 
to give an intelligible and acceptable symbol of 
Jehovah to ihe people, he could have scarcely 
chosen anything but the bull, especially as the God 
who had brought Israel out of Egypt, and thus 
chosen them as His own (Isai. xliii. 15-17), was 
adored by them as the Creator of heaven and 
earth. (The command that refers to the Sabbath 
day in the decalogue is founded upon the creation 
in Ex. xx. 11, and upon the exodus in Deut. v. 15). 
That which is true of Jeroboam's image is also 
true of Aaron's (Ex. xxxii. 4), which was much 
nearer the time of the Exodus from Egypt, and 
therefore was still less likely to bo an imitation of 
the Egyptian idols. 

4. All the changes that Jeroboam made in tht 
worship were calculated, on one hand, to serve hi? 
political ends, and likewise, on the other, to be 
agreeable and desirable to the people of the ten 
tribes. By setting up images of the deity he gra- 
tified the deep-seated instincts of this portion of 
the people, who, more inclined to nature-life (see 
the Hist, and Ethic, on above section), in their 
rudeness and sensuousness, even in the wilderness 
were not satisfied with an invisible God, but 
wanted one they could see. He drew the people 
from the imageless temple at Jerusalem by the 
erection of two images, and at each extremity of 
the kingdom ; and he not only withdrew them 
from the one central point of worship which was 
necessary to the theocratic unity of the people, 
but he made it easier for the people to attend the 
new places of worship. By giving the priesthood 
to any one, not confining himself to the priestly 
tribe, he destroyed this sacred institution of a 
tribe of priests, who, being dispersed among all 
the tribes, were the guardians of the divine law, 
and of spiritual and religious culture. At the 
same time he flattered the people thereby, because 
any one could aspire to the dignity of the priest- 
hood and obtain its emoluments. These he may 
have lessened in the interests of the people. There 
would scarcely have been a surer method of de- 
stroying the organization of a "kingdom of priests " 
(Ex. xix. 6), which had, as such, its central point 
in the priestly tribe, than this procedure of the 
king. He retained the feast of tabernacles be- 
cause it was the most liked and the most fre- 
quented, and he held it necessary for the separated 
tribes to gather regularly around him as their 
lord, and unite in a common attitude over against 
Judah. To make this meeting, however, as easy 
as possible, he fixed on a later month, and thus 
broke the order of the feast-cycle, arranged accord- 
ing to the number 7. This, then, was the supposed 
deliverer of his country who, once he had the reins 
in his hands, wasnotcontent with controlling secular 
things, but so altered the religion of his people as 
to serve his own political ends, and introduced 
" what he had devised of his own heart " as the 
State religion. What was the alleged disposition 
of Solomon, from which he pretended to freo th« 

CHAPTER XII. 25-33. 


people, compared wilh this for which Jeroboam 
overthrew the fundamental law of the entire na- 
tion ? "This," remarks Viliuar (s. 191), ''is the 
way with demagogues and Cajsaro-papalists, who 
have in all times said, and are still at it, so many 
criminal and senseless things, now of their care 
for the people, then of the rights of the ' com- 
munity,' just as Jeroboam here ; " and he remarks 
before (s. 189) : " the departure (from political mo- 
tives) from spiritual principles, which surely leads 
to destruction, is here portrayed for all linn- 
s'. The modern historical presentation of the elt na- 
tion and ordinances of Jeroboam sketches quite an- 
other picture from that of the bibilical history. 
Duncker (Gesch. des Alterthums, I. s. 404) thinks 
the rebellion of the ten tribes in Shechem was not 
separation from Judah, but the reverse: "they 
perpetuated the kingdom and name of Israel, 
while one single tribe in the south separated 
themselves from the whole bod}'. . . . As soon as 
Jerusalem ceased to be the capital of the State, 
the Temple ceased to be the place of worship for 
all the tribes. Jeroboam dedicated anew the old 
places of sacrifice at Bethel and Dan, and placed 
priests at both. He built a temple on the height 
at Bethel, which temple was to be instead of that 
at Jerusalem for his kingdom. Those beginnings 
of image-worship of Jehovah, which we may ob- 
serve in the preceding period of the kingdom, 
and which continued in David's time, were now 
universally and officially recognized. Jeroboam 
set up a golden bull-image to Jehovah in Dan and 
Bethel. In this restoration of the Jehovah wor- 
ship we may also perceive a national reaction 
against the foreign worship that Solomon intro- 
duced in the last years of his reign." Menzel 
takes the same view (Stoats- und Eel.- Geschichte der 
Konigreiche Israel und Juda, s. 15G sq.): "In the 
deliberation of Jeroboam in respect of the institu- 
tions of public worship, there seemed, doubtless, 
a right to restore its sacred character to the old 
national sanctuary (of Bethel) which the new 
Temple-service at Jerusalem had deprived it of, or 
at least lessened. '1 his restoration, strictly speaking, 
took place at Bethel only." That the people wor- 
shipped images is said to have no other proof than 
"the eloquent representation of the foes of image- 
worship, who in all ages have tried pretty much 
in the same way to enforce their views (colored 
by their own feelings) against the representation 
of what is thought," as, for instance, "the prophet 
Hosea " (Hos. viii. 6).' According to this, there 
can indeed be no "sin of Jeroboam, wherewith 
he made Israel to sin;" he seems rather to have 
done a service to his people ; so far from break- 
ing the law, he was rather a reactionist and re- 
storer. And when all the prophets denounced 
Jeroboam's form of worship, they only spoke from 
their peculiar, subjective "manner of feeling," for 
Israel always had images of the Deity, and even 
David "carried the image of Jehovah about with 
him in his marches" (Duncker, s. 40S). We need 
no proof to show that this is turning the history 
upside down ; it is an example of the unwarrantable 
style of writing history, which, under the semblance 
of scientific criticism, utterly ignores the text of the 
only historical source we have. 


Vers. 25-33. How Jeroboam sought to estab- 
lish his sway, (a) outwardly, by the erection of 

fortifications; but these alone do not protectant: 
guard a kingdom. A mountain fastness is oui 
God (Ps. lxxi. 3 ; exxvii. 1) ; (b) inwardly, by ord* 
nances for public worship, which can protect a 
kingdom only when they are conformable with 
the word and command of God and are not de- 
signed to subserve selfish purposes. ["Jeroboam 
king of Israel, to the destruction of him and his, 
did change the ceremonies which God had ordain- 
ed, into his own, that is, into men's inventions and 
detestable blasphemies." BuLLIXGER. — E. H.]. — 
Wuet. Simji. : We should trust ourselves not to 
fastnesses, but to God, and God wills not to be 
served otherwise than as He has commanded in 
His revealed word; our worship and service, there- 
fore, must proceed from faith, and we shall be 
blessed of Him. — Ver. 26. As soon as Jeroboam 
obtained the wish of his heart, namely, the ruler- 
ship, he asked no longer about the condition 
under which it was promised to him and with 
which it was bound up (chap. xi. 38). How often 
we forget, when God has granted to us the desire 
of our hearts, to walk in His ways. He who ob- 
tains rulership by the path of rebellion, must 
always be in fear and anxiety lest he lose it 
again in the same way, for the populace which to- 
day cries Hosanna will, on the morrow, shout 
crucify, crucify ! An evil conscience makes the 
most stout-hearted and the strongest timid and 
anxious, so that he sees dangers where there are 
none, and then to insure his own safety devises 
wrong and evil instruments. One false step always 
requires another. — Vers. 28-33. The sin of Jero- 
boam wherewith he caused Israel to sin. (a) He 
erected images of God against the supreme com- 
mandment of God (Exod. xx. 4). (6) He set aside 
the prescribed order of the servants of God, and 
made his own priests, (c) He altered the feast which 
was a reminder of the great deeds of God, and made 
it a mere nature-and-harvest feast. That is the 
greatest tyranny when the ruler of a land makes 
himself the master also of the faith and conscience 
of his subjects.- — Cramer: In the estimation of 
the people of the world this policy of Jeroboam is 
held to be proper, because they consider that reli- 
gion is to be established, held, and altered, as may 
be useful and good for the land and the people 
and the common interest, and that the regimen is 
not for the sake of the religion, but the religion 
for the regimen. Consequently Jeroboam acted 
well and wisely in the matter. But God says, 
on the other hand, All that I command you, that 
shall ye observe, ye shall not add thereto (Dent, 
xii. 32). For Godliness is not to be regulated by 
the common weal, but the common weal is to be 
regulated by Godliness. Every government which 
employs religious instrumentalities, and interferes 
with the faith of the people, not for the sake of 
God and the salvation of souls, but for the attain- 
ment of political ends, shares the guilt of the sin 
of Jeroboam, and involves itself in heavy respon- 
sibilities. — Ver. 28. Camv. B. : To the perverted 
man, what he shall do for his God is forthwith too 
much. In matters of faith and of the homage due 
to God we should not consider what is convenient 
and agreeable to the great mass, but should in- 
quire only for what God prescribes in His word. 
He who conciliates the sensuousness and the un 
tutored ways of the masses, and flatters their un 
belief or their superstition, belongs to the false 
prophets who make broad the way of life. Doc- 



trines and institutions which depart from the re- 
vealed word of God are often praised as progress 
and seasonable reforms, while in truth tney are 
steps backward, and corrupting innovations. In 
Christendom we pray no longer to wood and 
stone, and to golden calves, and think ourselves 
thereby raised far above a darkened heathenism, 
but, nevertheless, we often place the creature 
above the Creator, and abandon ourselves to it 
with all our love and consideration and service. 
Behold, the things and persons thou lovest with 
thy whole heart and strength, these are thy gods. 
What use of typical representations in the wor- 
ship of God is permitted, and what is forbidden ? 
— Ver. 30. Starke: As a great tree in a forest, 
when it falls drags down many others with it, 
so also are many others carried along by the bad 
example of those who rule, when they fall away 
from their religion, or sin otherwise grossly 
against God. — Ver. 31. We have in the new 
covenant no Levitical priesthood indeed, but a pas- 
toral and preaching office which the Lord has insti- 

tuted, so that, thereby, the body of Christ may bs 
edified (Eph. iv. 11). He who despises this office, 
and thinks that any one without distinction and 
without a lawful calling may exercise it, is a par- 
taker in the sin of Jeroboam. "No one," says 
the Augsburg Confession, "shall teach or preach 
publicly in the church, or administer the sacra- 
meuts, without due calling." — Ver. 32. The fes- 
tivals which an entire people celebrate in remem- 
brance of the great deeds of God for them, are 
the support of their faith and of their life of fel- 
lowship. It is to destroy this life when, from 
prejudice and for the sake of outward wordly 
considerations, arbitrarily they are altered or 
abandoned. — Ver. 33. As it is good and praise- 
worthy when kings and princes engage in the 
service of God along with their subjects, and set 
them a good example, so also is it blameworthy 
when they do it only to win the people over to 
themselves, and to secure their authority over 

jbroboam's government in Israel. 
Chap. XIH. 1— XIV. 20. 

a^ — The admonition of Jeroboam by a Prophet, and the disobedience and end of the latter. 

Chap. XIII. 1-34. 

1 And behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the Lord 

2 [Jehovah] unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. And 
he cried against the altar in the word of the Lord [Jehovah], and said, O altar, 
altar, thus saith the Lord [Jehovah] ; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house 
of David, Josiah by name ; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high 
places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee. 

3 And he gave a sign 2 the same day, saying, This is the sign which the Lord [Jeho- 
vah] hath spoken ; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes 8 that are upon it 

4 shall be poured out. And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying 
of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Beth-el, that he put forth 
his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put 

5 forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him. The 
altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign 

6 which the man of God had given by the word of the Lord [Jehovah]. And the 
king answered and said unto the man of God, Intrcat now the face of the Lord 
[Jehovah] thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. 
And the man of God besought the Lord [Jehovah], and the king's hand was 

1 restored him again, and became as it was before. And the king said unto the man 
of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward. 

8 And the man of (Jod said unto the king, If thou wilt, give me half thine house, I 

9 will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place: for 
so was it charged me by the word of the Lord [Jehovah], saying, Eat no bread, 

CHAPTER XIII. 1-34. 159 

10 nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou earnest. So he went 
another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Beth-el. 

11 Now there dwelt an old prophet in Beth-el ; and his sons' came and told him 
all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel : the words 

12 which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father. And 
their father said unto them, What way went he? For his sons had seen 6 what 

13 way the man of God went, which came from Judah. And he said unto his 
sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass : and he l'ode thereon, 

14 and went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak [the 
terebinth"] : and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that earnest from 

15 Judah? And he said, I am. Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and 

16 eat bread. And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee : 

17 neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place : for it was said to 
me by the word of the Lord [.Jehovah], Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water 

18 there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou earnest. [And'] he said unto him, 
I am a prophet also as thou art ; ami an angel spake unto me by the word of the 
Lord [Jehovah], saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may 

19 eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him. So he went back with him, and 

20 diil cat bread in his house, and drank water. And it came to pass, as they sat at the 

21 table, that the word of the Lord [Jehovah] came unto the prophet that brought him 
back: and he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith 
the Lord [Jehovah], Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the Lord 

22 [Jehovah], and hast not kept the commandment which the Lord [Jehovah] thy 
God commanded thee, but earnest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in 
the place, of the which the Lord did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water ■ 

23 thy carcass shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers. And it came to pass, 
after he had eaten bread, and after he hail drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, 

24 to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back. 8 And when he was gone, a lion 
met him by the way, and slew him : and his carcass was cast in the way, and the 

25 ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcass. And, behold, men passed by, 
and saw the carcass cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcass : and they 

26 came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt. And when the prophet 
that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It is the man of God, 
who was disobedient unto the word of the Lord [Jehovah] :' therefore the Lord 
[Jehovah] hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, 

27 according to the word of the Lord [Jehovah], which he spake unto him. And 

28 he spake to his sons, saying, Saddle me the ass. And they saddled him. And 
he went and found his carcass cast in the way, and the ass and the lion staud- 

29 ing by the carcass : the lion had not eaten the carcass, nor torn the ass. And 
the prophet took up the carcass of the man of God, and laid it upon the ass, and 
brought it back : and the old prophet came to the city, to mourn and to bury him. 

30 And he laid his carcass in his own grave ; and they mourned over him, saying, 

31 Alas, my brother! And it came to pass, after he had buried him, that he spake 
to his sons, saying, When I am dead, then bury me in the sepulchre wherein the 

32 man of God is buried ; lay my bones beside his bones : 10 for the saying which 
he cried by the word of the Lord [Jehovah] against the altar in Beth-el, and 
against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria 

33 shall surely come to pass. After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil 
way, but made again of the lowest [mass] of the people priests of the high 
places: whosoever would, he consecrated" him, and he became one" of the 

34 priests of the high places. And this thing" became [was a] sin unto the house 
of Jeroboam, even to cut it off, and to destroy it from off the face of the earth. 


1 Ver. 2. — rrhe Alex. Sept. omits the last clause of this ver. 

1 Ver. 3. — [On the meaning of n£iD =Te P as see the hxeg. Com. It is to be remembered, however, that any portent 

mast have had the significance of a "sign" and hence tin's meaning appears in the Vulg., Cbald., and Syr., as well 88 ir 
the A. V. The Vat. Sept. curiously puts the verb in the future Suitret. 



3 Ver. 8.— fen from the root jgfcj to be or tecome fat, primarily meaning fatneaa (<y. Jud. tx. 9; Ps. lxtll. 6, kc\ 

and hence translated here and in ver. 5 by the Sept. jtiottjs, is used for the as»hes of animals offered in sacrifice, Id 
eontradistinclion to "O^, commou ashes. cy. Lev. i. 16; iv. 12, Ac. 

* Ver. 11.— [The Heb. has here ^33 in the sing., followed by the sing. verb. With this agree the Chald. and Arab, 

and our author, like Lulher, so translates. On the other hand the Sept., Vulg., and Syr., like the A. V., have the plural.] 

5 Ter. 18. — ^X"T1 according to the understanding of all the W. (except the Arab.) is to be pointed ^-p* 

ft. 6. In the Hipbil = showed], and so we have translated : " they looked on " or " after the way " gives no proper sense. 
The A. V. has followed the masoretic punctuation ^"I'l in tbe ^ al ' bllt b * v ta king ^ in a pluperfect sense has avoided 

the difficulty. , . 

6 Ver. 14.— [nSxn is usually rendered in the A. V. oak; in Isa. vi. IS it is translated teil tree, because »it>}{ , also 

rendered oak, is in immediate connection with it ; for the same reason, in Hos. iv. 13 it Is rendered elm. The Sept. 
have SpOs, the Vols, teretnnthits. which is the interpretation of most moderns. The article is by all means to be retained, 
as pointing out some well-known tree. 

7 Ver. 16. — [There seems no good reason for omitting the conjunction of the Heb., which is retained by the Sept. and 

8 Ver. 23. — [Our author translates " the ass of the prophet who had brought him back." The V V. differ from one 
another, the Vulsr. and Chald. understanding " the ass of the prophet whom he had brought back ; M the Syr. and Arab. 
simply " the ass for the prophet of God ; " while the Sept. omits the words altogether. 

» Ver. 26.— [The Vat. Sept. omits from this point to the end of ver. 27. 

10 Ver. 31. — [The Sept. adds tea o-wfliai to. bora y.ov fiera twc barwv avroO doubtless with reference to 2 Kinge 
xxiii. 18, when the bones of the Samarian prophet were left undisturbed with the bones of the prophet from Juduh. 

11 Ver. 33. — [Lit. "filled his hand," a figurative expression for consecration, but rendered literally in the Sept. and 

'• Ver. 88.— [The Heb. noun is in the plural J-|iQ3 'JHa, ru " i is rendered in the plural by the Chald. and Arab. • 

the Sept., Vulg., and Syr. use the sing, as in the A. V. — F. G.] 

13 Ver. 34. — Instead of 13^3 we must read here ~Q"nn with all the W. and several [eight] of the MSB., as it ii 

also in chap. xii. 80. The translation : "The reason for sinning was in this thing (through the same)" (Keil) is forced 


This section, over against the preceding and 
following chapters, bears an unmistakably pecu- 
liar character, and is doubtless inserted here from 
some other source. Nevertheless it is closely 
connected witli chap. xii. and chap, xiv., as is 
sufficiently obvious from its beginning and conclu- 
sion. The words, ver. 1 : T'Dpni? nnTOn-^y ~l6y 
clearly refer to the concluding words of the former 
chapter (ver. 33); TDfJili) natSn-^V bw refer 

back and connect the present section completely 
with the foregoing. When Jeroboam ascended 
the altar at the feast he had instituted, and stood 
on it to offer incense, behold I there came a man 
of God out of Judah, &c. The man of God did not 
appear at an ordinary sacrifice, but on a solemn 
public occasion, most probably at the first of the 
new festivals. This gave peculiar significance to 
his appearing ; " Jeroboam's dreadful apostasy 
was not to escape severe chastisement from God " 
(v. Gerlach). With the appearing of the man of 
God (vers. 1-10) the full account of his conduct 
and fate is conjoined (vers. 11-32). That this 
account, though it says nothing of Jeroboam, is 
not a mere episode, but bears upon the principal 
subject, namely, " the sin of Jeroboam," which had 
such a marked influence on all Israel's future 
history, is obvious from the conclusion of the 
narrative (vers. 33-34): "After this thing Jero- 
boam returned not from his evil way, but made 
again," &c. These words form the connecting 
link with the 14th chap. The connection is, 
briefly, this : Jeroboam not only entered on an 
evil way (chap. xii. 28-33), but let nothing turn him 
from it, neither the warning and the miracles of 
the man of God (chap. xiii. 1—10) nor his remark- 
ably significant fate (vers. 1 1-32). He remained 
hardened in his apostasy. The divino sentence 
od him and his house, recorded in chap, xiv., 
was therefore announced to him by the prophet 

Ahijah, who had promised him the kingdom on 
condition of fidelity to Jehovah (chap. xi. 31-39). 
In respect of the contents of our section here, 
in its phraseology, its source was not contem- 
poraneous with the events, as is the case with the 
other sources of our books, which are written by 
contemporaneous prophets (<•/. Introduc. § 2). 
Ver. 32 shows this ; the old prophet of Bethel 
speaks of the " cities of Samaria," after the burial 
of the man of God. But the city of Samaria did 
not even exist then ; it was built by Omri, who 
was king fifty years after Jeroboam (chap. xvi. 
24) ; and there certainly could not have been at 
that time any province named after it. The 
explanation that the expression is " proleptic " 
(Keil) is untenable, because it was not written by 
our author, who lived in exile, but it is given by 
him as an expression of the Bethel prophet. Later 
critics. Bwald and Thenius, for instance, have 
inferred that the whole account is of a much 
later date, from ver. 2, where the man of God 
does not speak of a future son of David only, 
but mentions the proper name of a kiug who 
lived more than 300 years later; the narrative 
must therefore date from after Josiah's time (2 
Kings xxiii. 15-20) and have been written down as 
it was repeated among the people. The calling of 
proper names, certainly, does not characterize 
prophecy, which differs from foretelling in this, 
that it does not notice more or less accidental 
outward circumstances, but announces only such 
things as are connected with the divine economy 
aud development of God's kingdom ; it describes the 
persons whose future appearances it announces 
by their qualities, but not by their names. In the 
only exceptional ^ttse (Isai. xliv. 28 ; xlv. 1) tho 
name CH13 may be appellative = sun, as a name of 
honor for the Persian kings (Hengstenb., Christol. 
I. 2, s. 192 sq.). Keil says that "the name 
in'SS^O ( m our passage) only follows its appellative 

me.v;ing; he whom Jehovah sustains, frorr nE'X 

CHAPTER Xin. 1-34. 


to sustain, and means, a son shall be bora to the 
house of David, whom Jehovah shall support and 
establish, so that he shall execute judgment on the 
high priests at Bethel. This prophecy was after- 
wards so fulfilled by divine Providence, that the 
king who executed the sentence bore the name of 
Josiah as his proper name." But this name is 
never used anywhere else as an appellative, and 
only belonged to one person. If we must take the 
expression "all the cities of Samaria" (ver. 32) "as 
proleptic," we cannot see the reason why this 
may not also be the case with the words "Josiah 
by name" (ver. 2). "We need not suppose they 
were the gloss of a later interpolator ; our 
author took them as he found them in the docu- 
ment from which he borrowed ; this document, 
however, was, as we have said, not a contem- 
porary one, but the later record of what had been 
preserved in the verbal traditions of the people, and 
had been revived by Josiah's act (2 Kings xxiii). 
[f any section of our books bears the stamp of 
tradition, the present one does; and that by no 
means because a miracle is recorded in it. The 
names of the two prophets with whom the whole 
narrative is taken up are wanting, which is an 
evidence of tradition, as are also the difficulties in 
ver. 6 sq. and vers. 18-22, about which opinions 
differ widely, and which can scarcely be satis- 
factorily explained. Although those facts which 
are most important here are historical and un- 
changed, yet the traditional coloring of single and 
less important circumstances can be plainly per- 
ceived ; every attempt to determine what is purely 
historical and what is traditional is vain. We 
must not forget the general grand aim of the 
whole section, which is to make known the won- 
derful ways and judgments of God. 


Vers. 1-3. And behold there came a man of 
God, &c. We cannot ascertain who this was. 
"Josephus calls him Jadon, thinking no doubt of the 
IT. or xny who is called yijp after the k'ri in 

2 Chron. ix. 29 ; we cannot accept this, however 
(as Jarchi does), because he lived under king 
Abijah, according to 2 Chron. xiii. 22, while the 
prophet spoken of here died now. For the same 
reason we cannot think, with Ephrem and Tertul- 
lian, that it was Shemaiah, see 2 Chron. xii. 1, 22 " 
(Thenius). It expressly says that he came out of 
Judah, therefore he did not spring from the apos- 
tate part of the nation. nirP "D"t3 does not mean : 

on the word or command of Jehovah, but, as 
appears from vers. 2, 9, 17 (c/. chap. xx. 35 
and 1 Sam. iii. 21): in (through) the word. "The 
word of the Lord is spoken of as a power 
that came upon the prophet and forced him to 
utter the revelation made to him " (Keil). 
altar, altar! the altar is metonymically for 
what was done on it and concentrated in it; in 
short, of the worship performed there. The fact 
that the prophet addressed the altar was incompa- 
rably more significant than if he had turned him- 
self to the person of the king ; the sentence of de- 
struction which he pronounces on the altar as the 
type of the new worship, and of Jeroboam's sin, 
includes the ruin of the latter. For Josiah see 
preliminary remarks. The burning of men's bones 
on the altar is the greatest possible desecration of 

it, as according to the law (Numb. xix. 16) every, 
even involuntary, contact with a dead body m do 
a person unclean ; nothing else could have repre- 
sented the altar as so utterly iseless and abominable. 
In the genuine prophetic manner, the man of God 
adds to his words a deed (see on chap. xi. 30) 

of his prophecy. flSlD is not so 

much a sign (J11N), as an act producing astonish- 
ment, prodigium (Hengstenberg, Christol. II. s. 45 
*?■)■ i'""! (really fat, hence the Sept. gives miry; 

here) is the fat of the parts sacrificed on the 
altar, and ran out mixing with the ashes, therefore 
is not ashes absolutely. These ashes of sacrifice 
were, on that account, usually taken to a clean place 
(Lev. i. 16; iv. 12). The spilling of them out, in this 
case, denoted that they, and consequently the sacri- 
fice from which they came, and the whole worship, 
were unclean ; it was no natural result of the burst- 
ing of the altar. 2 Kings xxiii. relates the fulfilment 
of the prophetical act and word. 

Vers. 4-7. And it came to pass when king 
Jeroboam heard the saying, &c. ver. 4. Jero- 
boam did not raise his hand to offer the incense 
(Thenius) ; but as he stood on the altar, he stretch 
ed out his hand towards the man of God as he 
spoke, and cried out, Lay hold on him ! It dried 
up. " Jeroboam's baud, so suddenly affected that 
he could not draw it back, was either paralyzed or, 
what seems more explanatory of the expression 
dried up, struck with tetanus ; this last is what 
Ackermann accepts (in Weise's Materialien III. s. 
131 sq.)" (Winer, R.-W.-B. II. s. 192). Jeroboam's 
order thereby lost all effect ; no one ventured to 
seize the prophet; it was also a warning to the 
king himself, and had a momentary effect on him. 
He was terrified, and begged the prophet to "en- 
treat now [to make inattentive] the face of the 

Lord thy God for me " (rpn) t". «., to beseech Him 

so earnestly that He cannot refuse. "The Lord 
thy God," he says, not that He was not his God, 
but : thy God in whose name and behalf thou hast 
come here. When he was succored he invited the 
prophet to go home with him, and offered him a pre- 
sent, but not from genuine repentance or grati- 
tude, but only because he wished to win him over, 
aud to do away with or lessen the impression his 
conduct (the prophet's) made on the people pre- 
sent ; for he himself remained the same apostate 
after as before. 

Vers. 8-10. [But] And the man of God said, 
&c, ver. 8. The object of this prohibition of eat- 
ing and drinking in Bethel was not to effect the 
" prompt execution of the commission " (Thenius). 
Eating and drinking with a person, sitting down 
to table with any one, is the sign of communion or 
fellowship, and used as such here, as often else- 
where in Scripture (1 Cor. v. 11 ; cf. Gen. xliii. 32 ; 
Luke xv. 2 ; Gal. ii. 12 ; 1 Cor. x. 18, 21). The man 
of God, chosen to announce God's judgment by 
word and deed on the apostate and his followers, 
was to avoid fellowship with him, for this would be 
utterly inconsistent with his commission ; the com- 
mand was given him, ad deteslationem idohlatrioz ; 
ul ipso facto ostenderet, Bethelitas idololatras adeo esst 
detestabiles et a Deo quasi excommunicatos, ut nidluis 
fideliuin cum iis cihi vet potus comviunionem habere 
velit ( Corn, a Liqride). When he afterwards ate and 
drank there, he transgressed a much higher ani' 



more important command than one relative to fast- 
ing only. This, too, was why he was to take ano- 
ther way home ; not " to remain unnoticed and to 
avoid being detained " (Ewald), but to avoid being 
brought back, and persuaded to do anything incon- 
sistent with his commission or not contained in it ; 
this alone he was to do, and then vanish as quickly 
as he came. This sheds the necessary light on 
the following narrative, vers. 11-32. 

Vers. 11-22. An old prophet in Bethel, ver. 
11. He lived in the town (vers. 25, 29), but the 
high place was probably outside the town. Instead 
of "his son," the Sept., the Yukr., and the Syr. give 
the plural, as in ver. 12. One spake in the name 
of the others, or they agreed with what the one 
said. These were actual sons of the prophet, not 
pupils, for the latter would scarcely have witnessed 
the golden calf worship. The Terebinth (ver. 14) 
" is a tree that resembles an oak, .... has ever- 
green leaves, and grape-like fruit. It attains a 
great age, and therefore often serves as a monu- 
ment or for topographical purposes ; Gen. xxxv. 
4 ; Jud. vi. 11, 1 9 ; 1 Sam. xvii. 2, 1 9 ; 2 Sam. xviii. 
9" (Gesenius). The article points to a certain tere- 
binth known in Bethel. The resting under this 
tree was not at all the beginning of his sin, as the 
older commentators think, for delay in Bethel 
alone was prohibited ; still the delay gave time for 
others to come up to him. The -)313 ver. 18 is the 

same as in ver. 1 7 and ver. 2 ; the angel said to 
me, "by the word," t. e., the power of Jehovah's 
word ; he does not venture to say Jehovah spake 
to him, but says an angel did. See the His. 
Ethic, below, for the announcement of punishment 
(vers. 20-22) by the same old prophet who had lied 
to the man of" God. The final words of ver. 22 : 
thy carcass, &c, do not mean, morte violenta, ante- 
quam in patriam redeas, peribis (J. H. Michaelis, 

Keil, and others), for rf?33 means all dead bodies 

(Isai. xxvi. 19), not only those killed with violence; 
the Sept. simply gives aCiua. The emphasis falls on 
the "sepulchre of thy fathers." It was thought a 
misfortune to be buried among strangers, far from 
home and relations ; so it was a very natural wish 
to be buried in the grave of his fathers (every re- 
spectable family had a farailv sepulchre, cf. Winer, 
R.-W.-B. I. s. 444), (2 Sam. xix. 38; Gen. xlvii. 29 
sq. ; 1. 5). But this blessing so coveted by every 
Israelite was refused to the "refractory." 

Ver. 23-34. And it came to pass, after he 
had eaten, &c, ver. 23. The subject of the last 
part of the seutence cannot be other than that of 
the first part; so it was not the prophet of Bethel 
who saddled the ass, neither is it " one saddled " 
(Luther, Bunsen), but the man of God did it or had 

it done. X , 33p is not in opposition with iS, so 

that we could translate : " he saddled the ass for 
him, for the prophet he had fetched back" (Keil, 
Luther, De Wette) ; for throughout the whole sec- 
tion, N'3J is only used for the prophet of Bethel ; 

the Judaish one is called " the man of God ; " and 
the clause \y&T[ TJ'S , that occurs three times, can- 
not be translated differently here from vers. 20 ami 
26, where it is impossible to take "ICK a3 the ac- 
cusative. N , 337 is the general form of the geni- 

tive when it denotes possession and belonging, and 
must be connected with "lionn immediately pre- 
ceding it The old prophet either offered his ass 
to the man of God, who hastened home after eat- 
ing and drinking, or he gave it to him at his re- 
quest. "I3B>, used in vers. 26 and 28 to express 

killing by the lion, does not mean: to tear (Ewald, 
De Wette), but, to breas, crush, and "is very ex- 
pressive, for the lion kills with one blow" (Thenius) 
The grave in which the man of God was laid (ver. • 
30) was the family sepulchre of the old prophet; ' 
see on ver. 22. >nx 'in seems to have been the 

■ T 

usual form of lamentation, cf Jer. xxii. 18. The 
man of God from Judah was mourned and buried 
as a relative of the family. The Sept. adds at the 
end of ver. 31, Iva oo-dwai rd bora fiov fiera tuv 
boruv ovtov, which Thenius thinks was original, 
because the '3 in the following verse becomes thus 

perfectly justified. But this sentence, evidently 
borrowed from 2 Kings xxiii. 18, is unnecessary 
here ; the connection is : My bones shall rest next 
his, for he was a true prophet ; what he prophesied 
against the altar at Bethel will come to pass. For 
the expression " cities of Samaria " see Prel. Re- 
marks. The connection of vers. 33 and 34 with 
the preceding verses has been given above. If in 
ver. 33, in the various directions for worship de- 
vised by Jeroboam, mention only of the priests 
he appointed is made, the reason of this is that they 
were the main supports of the whole of the unlaw- 
ful worship, which could not have lasted without 
them. To "fill the hand " is the formula for inves- 
titure with priesthood, because the pieces of the 
sacrifices which belonged to Jehovah were sol- 
emnly laid in the hands of the candidate for con- 
secration; Ex. xxix. 24; Lev. viii. 27 sq. (Syrnb. 
des Mos. Kult. II. s. 426). ' 


1. The appearance of the man of God from Judah, 
at the feast in Bethel, shows in few strokes the charac- 
teristic nature of the prophet system, which stands 
alone in the history of the world. Unknown 
hitherto and living in retirement, neither named 
nor called, when the right moment came he stood 
there as suddenly as lightning from heaven, not 
coming in any man's service but as a messenger of 
the Lord, borne up and sustained by the might of 
the " word " of God alone. Without any human help 
he stood before the proud, energetic king, knowing 
his hatred to David's house and to Judah, knowing 
how Adoniram had fared (chap. xii. 1 8), but he fears 
nothing, and boldly announces the divine sentence, 
not at a private interview, but in presence of all 
the king's followers, of the whole priesthood, and 
crowd of spectators. He adds a divine act to the 
divine word, which act is a significant " sign " and 
pledge of the fulfilment of the prophecy. Having 
spoken and acted in the name of the Lord, he was 
under Jehovah's protection, no one dared to seize 
him ; the hand of the king, when stretched forth 
against him, dried up and became powerless. 
When the king, thus punished, begs the prophet 
for help, the latter calls upon the Lord, who hears 
him, thus showing Himself to be a gracious as well 
as a just God (Rom. xi. 22), in order to bring him 



back from his evil ways. He vanished as sudden- 
ly as lie came, without eating a bit of bread or 
drinking water, or receiving a present, even 
though it were the half of the house. He was to 
disappear completely, that every one should think 
of the Lord and His word alone ; of what they had 
heard and seen. 

2. Jeroboam's conduct is full of contradictions 
and inconsistency. At first he was haughty and 
violent to the man of God, wishing to seize his 
person. But when he failed in this, and he felt a 
higher power, he became humble and dejected, 
begged the man he had just threatened to intercede 
for him, gave him a friendly invitation and offered 
him a present ; he then let him go on his way, but 
paid no regard whatever to his words and deed. The 
cause of this conduct was not weakness of charac- 
ter, but rather, on the contrary, the obstinacy witl 
which he pursued what his soul desired, and which 
was the mainspring of all his actions, i. e.. the re- 
solve to keep himself on the throne at any cost 
and under all circumstances, and not to come un- 
der the dominion of the hated house of David and 
Judah again (chap. xii. 26 sq.). The petition to 
have his hand restored was only the effect of mo- 
mentary fright ; when this passed, instead of list- 
ening to the man of God, he tried to bribe him and 
win him over, and the whole transaction left no 
trace behind it. He is a type of those usurpers 
who have no other aim in life than to gratify their 
ambition and love of power, and whose apparent- 
ly good and noble actions are only the fruit of this 
passion. It seems from ver. 11 that the appear- 
ance of the man of God made an impression upon 
the surrounding people, but the account does not 
say of what sort this impression was, and it passes 
on at once to the much more important occurrence 
related in vers. 10-32. 

3. The old prophet in Bethel was called a false 
prophet and a "lying prophet " in old times, be- 
cause he induced the man of God to return by tell- 
ing him a lie. Josephus regards him as such 
(Antiq. viii. 9), but he " misunderstands the whole 
narrative in a truly frightful manner " (Ewald) ; 
but Jonathan, several Rabbins, and older R. Catho- 
lic commentators, even Hess also, agree in the 
principal thing, and pronounce the motives of this 
old prophet, in what he said and did, to have been 
unworthy. The recent commentators, following 
Ephrem's example and that of Theodoret, Witsius, 
and others, have very rightly rejected this view. 
The sentence he announces to the man of God 
(ver. 21) shows that he was no partaker of Jero- 
boam's calf-worship, but was a worshipper of Je- 
hovah ; still more does this appear from his belief 
in the fulfilment of the prophecy of the destruction 
of that false worship (ver. 32), but most of all when, 
on hearing of the death of his guest, although he 
perceived divine punishment in it, he at once pro- 
ceeded to the dangerous place to find the corpse 
and bury it in his family sepulchre, lamented over 
him as his "brother," and desired his sons to "lay 
his bones beside his bones " (ver. 31). We may 
see from 2 Kings xxiii. 18, that he never was re- 
garded afterwards as a false prophet, but as a true 
oomrade of the man from Judah. From all this it 
appears that he could have had no bad intention 
wnen he at first hastened after the man of God 
vers. 12, 13) and pressed him to return and go into 

his house. On the contrary, when he had heard 
from his sons what he had said and done, he was I 

seized with a strong desire to see and speak to the 
faithful and courageous messenger of Jehovah, tc 
enter into friendship with him, and edify himsell 
in his company. One thing alone he was guilty 
of, that he used a lie to reach his end. This, how- 
ever, by no means shows that he was a false, bad, 
aud hypocritical man, but only shows he was no 
saiut, just as " dissembling " did not make the 
apostle Peter (Gal. ii. 13) a pseudo-apostle. " This 
was one of the many lies spoken in good intentions 
by otherwise enlightened persons of the Old Tes- 
tament, but who were weak in faith " (Ton Ger- 
lach) ; old age, too, may have partly accounted for 
it. It is, however, a difficulty that the same pro- 
phet who had lied to the man of God announced 
his punishment to him afterwards. Perhaps his 
conscience awoke meantime, when he heard moro 
at table, so that he saw his own guilt as well as 
that of the man of God, and in this condition be- 
came the instrument to announce the punishment, 
so that what happened to the man of God might 
not seem an undeserved fate. We ought to notice 
that he did not announce his death by a lion, but 
only said that he should not come into the sepul- 
chre of his fathers (see above on ver. 22). Of all 
the conjectures about the reason and motive of 
the old prophet's conduct, the least tenable are 
such as that he followed the Judah-man from mere 
curiosity or " from human envy " (Thenius), or 
" because God had charged him to speak to the 
king " (Dereser), and that he felt his prophetical 
reputation injured (Hess). Apart from everything 
else, the commission of the man of God was no 
enviable one, but difficult and dangerous, and also 
a fruitless one. According to Hengsteuberg 
(Beitrdge II. s. 149), with whom Keil and Lisco 
agree, the old prophet had " sinned by silence about 
Jeroboam's innovations." "What the Judah- 
prophet did, showed him what he should have 
done. Penetrated with shame for his neglect, he 
endeavored to restore himself in his own opinion 
and that of others by intercourse with the witness 
for the Lord." In this case, his purpose in hurrying 
after him could uothave been a good one, but selfish 
and objectionable, and the lie would have been 
so much the greater sin. Besides, if silence were a 
sin, the prophet Ahijah would have been peculiar- 
ly guilty of it, as he was an Ephraimite and had 
placed the prospect of the kingdom before Jerobo- 
am (chap. xi. 31—39). Neither prophet undertook 
the mission to Bethel, because no commission was 
given them from above — a man of God was to 
come from Judah. According to Knobel (Der 
Prophetismus der Hebr, II. s. 66 sq), the old pro- 
phet induced him to return because " no doubt he 
wished to test the firmness and obedience of the 
Judah-man to Jehovah; perhaps the Ephraimite 
wished to form some theocratic plan with him, 
and thought it needful to ascertain first whether 
he was reliable — a very natural measure for an old 
and cautious man who lived among hostile idola- 
trous priests." This, it is supposed, explains how 
he announced his punishment to the Judah-man, 
but could not refuse him his pity and esteem, as 
one in the same vocation. This opinion is alsc 
untenable, for, according to it, the old prophet 
would have taken the very opposite means to at- 
tain his end (the formation of a theocratic plan)^ 
if his test of the fidelity and obedience of the Ju- 
dah-man had Succeeded, and he had continued his 
home journey without delay, the old prophet coma 



not have communicated his plan to him, still less 
have carried it out together with him. 

4. The tragical end of the man of God out of Ju- 
dah is clearly represented as a divine dispensa- 
tion, in consequence of disobedience to Jehovah's 
command, wholly conformable to the stern legal 
character of the Old-Testament economy (cf, for 
instance, Numb. xx. 24; xxvii. 14: 1 Sam. xii. 15, 
&c). The question has often been asked, why the 
prophet of Judah came to such an end, and the 
Bethel prophet who lied to him went unpunished? 
To this we may reply with another question : Who 
can say to Him who is righteous in all His ways 
and holy in all His works (Ps. cxlv. 17), Lord, what 
doest Thou (Job ix. 12)? "We do not know what 
fate God allotted to the old prophet ; he acts only a 
minor part in the narrative, compared with the 
prophet of Judah. It is quite wrong to assert, as 
is so often done, that the sin of the lie was much 
greater than the disobedience to Jehovah's com- 
mand. This was distinct from Jeroboam's sin 
wherewith he made Israel to sin, for it touched 
the whole of the prophet-system, i. e., the institu- 
tion of the office of divine guardians and wit- 
nesses. By not eating or drinking in that place, 
where that sin fully showed itself, he was to 
prove (as well by word as by deed) that there 
could be no fellowship between those who kept 
Jehovah's coveuant and those who had broken it. 
If he ate and drank in that place, he nullified the 
important end of his mission, and deprived the 
threat he had solemnly pronounced of all its force, 
by appearing as one who himself did not fear to 
transgress the express command of Jehovah. The 
fate that overtook him was a confirmation of the 
truth of the sentence he had pronounced against 
Jeroboam's sin, and which sentence had appeared 
doubtful through his conduct ; it showed also to 
all the people, as Theodoret remarks, that if God 
so punished the man of God, he would certainly 
not leave Jeroboam's sin unpunished. In that 
the man of God did not " come unto the sepulchre 
of his fathers" (ver. 22), but was buried in Bethel, 
(i. e., " in this place "), he was, even after death, a 
witness against the apostasy, and his grave was a 
lasting monument that reminded the apostates of 
Jehovah's judgments and exhorted them to con- 
version. But for the prophet-system itself, his 
fate was of great significance. AVith it began the 
active working (henceforth uninterrupted) of the 
prophet-system in the kingdom of organized apos- 
tasy : here it had a mission, on the unconditional 
fulfilment of which everything depended, namely, 
the constant struggle against the pseudo-theocra- 
cy. The fate of the man of God contained the 
strongest warning to all who should afterwards re- 
ceive a similar charge, not to allow themselves to 
be enticed by anything, however plausible and al- 
luring it might be (ver. 18), from implicit obedi- 
ence to the divine commission. This is very prob- 
ably the reason that the narrative is so explicitly 
detailed. As to the old prophet, his lamentation 
(vers. 31, 32) evidently proceeds from a heart that 
mourns over his own sin ; he says, as it were, If I 
can have no more fellowship with my brother in 
life, I will at least be united to him in death; our 
common grave, to which I shall soon go down in 
sorrow, shall be a lasting testimony against the 
sin of Jeroboam. 

5. Witiius says of the wonderful circumstances 
which accompanied the end of the m3n of God [Mis- 

cell.sacr.l. cap. 15, s. 145): Denique tot admiranda in 
unum cnncurrentia effecerunt, ul vaticinium adversus 
aram Betheliticam in omnium ore atque memoria 
versaretur, et legatio hujus Prophetoz multo reddere- 
twr conspectior et illustrior. The extraordinary na 
ture of these circumstances distinguishes his end 
from every ordinary accidental death, and bears 
the impress of a special dispensation ; this is pe- 
culiarly apparent in the fact that the corpse re- 
mained untouched, instead of falling a prey to the 
wild beasts {cf. chap. xiv. 11), and that it was hon- 
orably carried to the grave without any pollution. 
To pronounce this deeply serious and significant 
narrative to be a " sensational " story (Vatke), on 
account of its miraculous disclosures, seems to in- 
dicate an almost frivolous character. For, tlipugh 
one or another part may bear the trace of a veVbal 
tradition (see Prelim. Remarks), having been writ- 
ten down at a later date, yet the chief point re- 
mains, and that is that this history of the two pro 
phets loudly and sternly proclaims the wonderful 
ways and judgments of God, and therefore lived 
for hundreds of years in the mouths of the people 
The fact of the man of God out of Judah being 
killed by a lion is significant, inasmuch as God 
carried out His judgments elsewhere by lions (2 
Kings xvii. 25 sq. ; Wis. xi. 15-17), and He Him- 
self, when He comes as a judge, is likened to a 
lion (Isai. xxxi. 4; Jer. iv. 7; Am. iii. 8), and 
those also who execute His judgments are called 
lions (Jer. xxv. 30, 38; xlix. 15; 1. 44). That 
the lion did not tear the dead so that he could not 
be buried, is a sure evidence that all creatures 
are in His hand (the Almighty's), and that they 
cannot stir against His will (Heidelberg Katech.). 
Cf. Job xxxviii. 11. 


"Vers. 1-10. The man of God out of Judah. 
(a) He comes, led by the word of God, and goes 
on his dark, difficult way in faith, without taking 
counsel witli flesh and blood. (6) He stands, 
strong and bold, before the king, fears him not, 
testifies against his sins, and announces the judg- 
ment of God. (c) He makes entreaty for him, who 
was about to lay hold on him, and heaps coals of 
fire on his head, (d) He resists the offers of the 
king, and will not be secured by bribes. The tes- 
timony against the service of the false gods, (a) 
It proceeded from a nameless, unknown, insigni- 
ficant man who, without worldly consequence, has 
nothing and knows nothing, except only the 
power of the divine Word. That is the manner 
of the Lord in His kingdom. He accomplishes 
by means of small, insignificant instruments what 
no king, with all his power, can do. The altars 
of heathendom are shattered by means of the tes- 
timony of fishers and tax-gatherers (1 Cor. i. 27- 
29), even as were the altars of the false worship 
of God by means of a poor world-despised recluse. 
It was received, at first, with scorn, wrath, and 
violence; but the wrath is powerless and avails 
nothing; the altar is rent, and the threatening 
arm is dried up. Humble entreaties then take 
the place of wrath, for: Is. xxvi. 16. But, though 
the withered hand be restored, the heart remains 
withered as before. Physical aid is alway -eadily 
received by men, whilst they shut their hearts 
to the testimony against their sins. 

Ver. 1. God has never, even when apostasy wa> 



almost universal, suffered His Church to fail for 
want of messengers, who would cry aloud in the 
world, " Down with the false idols ! The Lord is 
God I the Lord is God! Give God all honor I" — God 
not only warns and admonishes men. as Jeroboam 
by Ahijah (chap. xi. 38) before they set