In this chapter, we have, I. The answer which God, in a vision, gave to Solomon's

all Israel with him, a great congregation, from the manded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my entering Pin of Hamath unto the river of Egypt, judgments : before the LORD our God, seven days and seven 5 Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom days, even fourteen days.

upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy 66 On the eighth day he sent the people away: father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon and they *blessed the king, and went unto their the throne of Israel. tents joyful and glad of heart, for all the goodness 6 But if ’ye shall at all turn from following me, athat the Lord had done for David his servant, and ye or your children, and will not keep my comfor Israel his people.

mandments and my statutes which I have set be

fore you, but go and serve other gods, and worship CHAPTER IX.


7 Then mwill I cut off Israel out of the land which prayer, and the term he settled with himThe interchanging on I have given them: and this house," which I have and buudings, v. 15-A. IV. His devotion, v. 23. V. His trading navs, v. hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight;

and Israel shall be a proverb' and a by-word among AN ND it came to pass, when Solomon had finished all people :

the building of the house of the Lord, and the 8 And at this house, which is high, every one king's house, and all «Solomon's desire which he that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss ; was pleased to do.

and they shall say, Why Phath the Lord done thus 2 That the Lord appeared to Solomon the second unto this land, and to this house? time, as he had dappeared unto him at Gibeon. 9 And they shall answer, Because they forsook

3 And the Lord said unto him, I have heard thy sthe LORD their God, who brought forth their faprayer and thy supplication that thou hast made thers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold before me: I have hallowed this house which thou upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and hast built, to put my 'name there for ever; and mine served them: therefore rhath the Lord brought eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. upon them all this evil.

4 And if thou wilt walk before me, as David 10 And it came to pass at the end of twenty athy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in years, when Solomon had built the two houses, the uprightness, to do according to all that I have com- house of the Lord and the king's house,


d Num. 34.5, 8. or, thanked. 9 Ps. 106. 4,5. 122. 6-9. a 2 Chr. 7. 11, &c. 6 c. 7.1. e 2 Chr. 8.6. dc. 3. 5. • 2 Kings 20.5. 1 John 5. 14. sc.8. 29. & Deot. 11. 12. A c. 2. 4. 6. 12. 15.5. i Prov. 10. 9. 28. 18.

ki Chr. 22. 9, 10. Ps. 132. 12. 1 2 Sam. 7. 14. Ps. 89. 30, &c. m Deut. 4. 25. 2 Kings 17. 23. n Jer. 7. 14. o Deut. 28. 37. Ps. 41. 14. p Deut. 29. 24, 26. Jer. 22. 8, 9. 9 Zeph. 1.4,5. Jer. 12. 7, 8. & 2 Chr. 8.1, &c.

down when the solemnity was over, others think, on the bare he did, in integrity of heart and uprightness," (for that is the ground: they that will be generous in serving God, need not main maiter, no religion but sincerity,) "then I will establish stint themselves for want of room and occasion to be so. (2.) He the throne of thy kingdom, and not otherwise ;" for on that conkept a feast, the feast of tabernacles, as it should seem, after dition the promise was made, Ps. 132. 12. If we perform our the feast of dedication, and both together lasted fourteen days; part of the covenant, God will not fail to perform his; if we (v. 65,) yet they said not, Behold, what a weariness is it! improve the grace God has given us, he will confirm us to the

2. They carried this joy and satisfaction with them to their end. Let not the children of godly parents expect the entail of own houses.

When they were dismissed, they blessed the the blessing, unless they tread in the steps of those that are king, (v. 66,) applauded him, admired him, and returned him gone before them to heaven, and keep up the virtue and piety the thanks of the congregation, and then went to their tents, joy- of their ancestors. ful and glad of heart, all easy and pleased ; God's goodness (2.) That the ruin of his kingdom would be the certain conwas the matter of their joy, so it should be of ours at all times; sequence of his or his children's apostacy from God; (v. 6,) they rejoiced in God's blessing, both on the royal family and " But know thou, and let thy family and kingdom know it, and on the kingdom; thus should we go home, rejoicing, from holy be admonished by it, that if you shall altogether turn from folordinances, and go on our way, rejoicing for God's goodness to lowing me," (so it is thought it should be read,) "if you forour Lord Jesus, (of whom David his servant was a type,) in sake my service, desert mine altar, and go and serve other the advancement and establishment of his throne, pursuant to gods,” (for that was the covenant-breaking sin,) "if you or the covenant of redemption, and to all believers, his spiritual your children break off from me, this house will not save you.' Israel, in their sanctification and consolation, pursuant to the But, [1.] Israel, though a holy nation, will be cut off, (v. 7,1 covenant of grace; if we rejoice not herein always, it is our by one judgment after another, till they become a proverb and own fault.

a by-word, and the most despicable people under the sun, though NOTES TO CHAPTER IX,

now the most honourable : ihis supposes the destruction of the V. 1—9. God had given a real answer to Solomon's prayer, royal family, though it is not particularly threatened ; the king and tokens of his acceptance of it immediately, by the fire from is, of course, undone, if the kingdom be. [2] The temple, hewen which consumed the sacrifices, (as we find, 2 Chr. though a holy house, which God himself had hallowed for his 7.1;) but here we have a more express and distinct answer to name, should be abandoned and laid desolate, y. 8, 9. This it. Observe,

house which is high; they prided themselves in the stateliness 1. In what way God gave him this answer; he appeared to and magnificence of the structure, but let them know that it is him, as he had done at Gibeon, in the beginning of his reign, not so high as to be out of the reach of God's judgments, if they in a dream or vision, v. 2. The comparing of it with that, inti- vilify it so as to exchange it for groves and idol temples, and mates that it was the very night after he had finished the so yet, at the same time, magnify it so as to think it secures the lemnities of his festival, for so that was, 2 Chr. 1. 6,7. And favour of God to them, though they ever so much corrupt themthen v. 1, speaking of Solomon's finishing all his buildings, selves. This house which is high; they that now pass by it are which was not till many years after the dedication of the tem- astonished at the bulk and beauty of it, the richness, contriple, must be read thus, Solomon finished, (as it is 2 Chr. 7. 11:) vance, and workmanship, are admired by all spectators, and it and v. 2 must be read, and the Lord had appeared.

is called a stupendous fabric; but if you forsake God, its height II. The purport of this prayer.

will make its fall the more amazing, and they that pass by will 1. He assures him of his special presence in the temple he be as much astonished at its ruins, while the guilty, self-conhad built, in answer to the prayer he had made ; (v. 3,) I have victed, self-condemned, Israelites, will be forced to acknowhallowed this house. Solomon had dedicated it, but it was God's ledge, with shame, that they themselves were the ruin of it; prerogative to hallow it, to sanctify or consecrate it; men can for when it shall be asked, Why hath the Lord done thus to not make a place holy, yet what we, in sincerity, devote to God, this house ? they cannot but answer, It was because they forsook we may hope he will graciously accept of, as his ; and his eyes the Lord their Ġod. See Deut. 29. 24, 25. Their sin will be and his heart shall be upon it. Apply it to persons, the living read in their punishment, they deserted the temple, and there. temples; those whom God hallows or sanctifies, whom he sets fore God deserted it; they profaned it with their sins, and laid apart for himself, have his eye, his heart, his love and care, and it common, and therefore God profaned it with his judgments, this perpetually:

and laid it waste : God gave Solomon fair warning of this, now 2. He shows him that he and his people were, for the futuro, that he had newly built and dedicated it, that he and his people upon their good behaviour ; let them not be secure now, as if might not be high-minded, but fear. they might live as they please, now that they have the temple V. 10-14. What agreement was made between Solomon of ihe Lord among them, Jer. 7.'4. No, this house was designed and Hiram, when the building work was to be begun, we read to protect them in their allegiance to God, but not in their rebel- before, ch. 5. Here we have an account of their fair and lion or disobedience: God deals plainly with us, sets before us friendly parting, when the work was done. good and evil, the blessing and the curse, and lets us know 1. Hiram made good his bargain to the utmost; he had furwhat we must trust to. God here tells Solomon,

nished Solomon with materials for his buildings, according to (1.) That the establishment of his kingdom depended upon all his desire, (v. 11,) and with gold, v. 14. So far was he from the constancy of his obedience ; (v. 4, 5,) " If thou will wolk envying Solomon's growing greatness and reputation, and being before me as David did, who left thee a good examp'e, and jealous of him, that he helped to magnify him; Solomon's encouragement enough to follow it, (an advantage thou wilt be power, with Solomon's wisdom, needs not to dreaded by any accountable for, if thou do not improve it,) if thou will walk as of his neighbours ; God honours him, therefore Hiram will,

cc. 4. 26.

uc. 5. 13.

~ 2 Sam. 5. 9.

Josh. 19. 36.

y Josh. 17. 11.

1 Ps. 51. 18. & Josh. 16. 3.

11 (Now Hiram the king of Tyre had furnished Jerusalem, and in Lebanon, and in all the land of Solomon with cedar-trees, and fir-trees, and with his dominion. gold, according to all his desire,) that then king So 20 And all the people that were left of the Amolomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of'Ga- rites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusiles, lilee.

which were not of the children of Israel, 12 And Hiram came out from Tyre to see the 21 Their children that were left dafter them in cities which Solomon had given him; and they the land, whom the children of Israel also were not * pleased him not.

able outterly to destroy, upon those did Solomon 13 And he said, What cities are these which levy a tribute of bond-service Sunto this day. thou hast given me, my brother? And he called 22 But of the children of Israel did Solomon them the land of Cabul unto this day.

make no bondmen: but they were men of war, and 14 And Hiram sent to the king sixscore talents his servants, and his princes, and his captains, and of gold.

rulers of his chariots, and his horsemen. 15 And this is the reason of the ulevy which king 23 These were the chief of the officers that were Solomon raised, For to build the house of the Lord, over Solomon's work, five hundred and fifty, which and his own house, and Millo," and the wall "of bare rule over the people that wrought in the Jerusalem, and Hazor,' and Megiddo," and Gezer, work.

16 For Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up and 24 But "Pharaoh's daughter came up out of the taken Gezer, and burnt it with fire, and slain the city of David unto her ihouse which Solomon had Canaanites that dwelt in the city, and given it for built for her: kthen did he build Millo. a present unto his daughter, Solomon's wife. 25 And three times in a year did Solomon offer

17 And Solomon built Gezer, and Beth-horon burnt-offerings and peace-offerings upon the altar athe nether,

which he built unto the Lord, and he burnt incense 18 And Baalath, and Tadmor in the wilder- upon the altar that was before the Lord. So he ness, in the land,

finished the house. 19 And all the cities of store that Solomon had, 26 And 'king Solomon made a navy of ships in and cities for his chariots, cand cities for his horse- Ezion-geber, "which is beside Eloth, on the shore of men, and #that which Solomon desired to build in the Red sea, in the land of Edom. were not right in his eyes, | i. e, dis pleasing, or, dirty. Josh. 19. 27.

the desire of Solomon which he desired. d Judg. 3. 1. e Josh. 15.

63. 17. 12. Judg. 1. 29. Erra 2. 58. & Lev, 25. 39. A c. 3.1. ic. 7. 8. & ver. z Josh. 16. 10. Judg. 1. 29,

Josh. 19. 44. ? Chr. 8. 4, 6, &c. 15. c. 11. 27. 2 Chr. 32. 5. upon it. 1 2 Chr. 8. 12, &c. m Deut. 2. 8. lip. 2. Solomon, no doubt, made good his bargain, and gave to take him along with him in all his designs of this kind. Hiram food for his household, as was agreed, ch. 5. 9. But And Solomon verily began his work at the right end, for he here we are told that, over and above that, he gave him twenty built Go

first, and fini that before he began his cities, (small ones we may suppose, like those mentioned here, own; and then God blessed him, and he prospered in all his v. 19,) in the land of Galilee, v. 11. It should seem, these other buildings : if we begin with God, he will go on with us; were not allotted to any of the tribes of Israel, (for the border let the first-fruits be his, and the after-fruits will the more comof Asher came up to them, Josh. 19. 27, which intimates that fortably be ours, Matt. 6. 33. Solomon built a church first, it did not include them,) but continued in the hands of the and then he was enabled to build houses, and cities, and walls. natives, till Solomon made himself master of them, and then Those consult not their own interest, thai defer to the last made a present of them to Hiram; it becomes those that are what they design for pious uses. great and good, to be generous. Hiram came to see these The further order in Solomon's buildings is observable : cities, and did not like them; (v. 12.) They pleased him not. God's house first, for religion; then his own, for his own conHe called the country the land of Cabul, a Phenician word, venience; then a house for his wife, to which she removed, as (says Josephus,) which signifies displeasing, v. 13. He there- soon as it was ready for her, (v. 24;) then Millo, the Townfore returned them back to Solomon, (as we find, 2 Chr. 8. 2,) house, or Guildhall; then the wall of Jerusalem, the royal city; who repaired them, and then caused the children of Israel to then some cities of note and strength in the country, which inhabit them; which intimates that, before, they did not; but were decayed and unfortihed, Hazor, Megiddo, &c. As he when Solomon received back what he had given, no doubt, he rebuilt these at his own charge, the inhabitants would be not honourably gave Hiram an equivalent in something else. But only his subjects, but his tenants, which would increase the what shall we think of this? Did Solomon act meanly, in giving revenues of ihe crown for the benefit of his successors; among Hiram what was not worth his acceptance? Or, was Hiram the rest, he built Gezer, which Pharaoh took out of the hands humoursome, and hard to please? I am willing to believe other of the Canaanites, and made a present of to his daughter, Solowise : the country was truly valuable, and the cities in it, but mon's wise, v. 16. See how God maketh the earth to help the not agreeable to Hiram's genius; the Tyrians were merchants, woman; Solomon was not himself a warlike prince, but the trading men, that lived in fine houses, and became rich by navi- king of Egypt that was, took cities for him to build ; then he gation, but knew not how to value a country that was fit for built cities for convenience, for store, for his chariots, and for corn and pasture, that was business that lay out of their way; his horsemen, v. 19. And, lastly, he built for pleasure in Leand therefore Hiram desired Solomon to take them again, he banon, for his hunting perhaps, or other diversions therc; let knew not what to do with them, and if he would please to piety begin, and profit proceed, and leave pleasure to the last. gratify him, let it be in his own element, by becoming his part II. His workmen and servants. In doing such great works, ner in trade, as we find he did, v. 27. Hiram, that was used ho must needs employ abundance of workmen. The honour to the clean streets of Tyre, could by no means agree with of great men is borrowed from their inferiors, who do that the miry lanes in the land of Cabul, whereas the best lands have which they have the credit of. commonly the worst roads through them: see how the provi 1. Solomon employed those which remained of the conquered dence of God suits both the accommodation of this earth to the and devoted nations, in all the slavish work, v. 20, 21. We may various dispositions of men, and the dispositions of men to the suppose that they renounced their idolatry, and submitted to various accommodations of the earth, and all for the good of Solomon's government, so that he could not, in honour, utterly mankind in general; some take delight in husbandry, and won-destroy them, and they were so poor, that he could not levy der what pleasure sailors can take on a rough sea; others take money on them, therefore he served himself of their labour. as much delight in navigation, and wonder what pleasure hus- Herein he observed God's law, (Lev. 25. 44,) Thy bondmen bandmen can take in a dirty country, like the land of Cabul; shall be of the heathen; and fulfilled Noah's curse upon Canaan, it is so in many other instances, in which we may observe the A servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren, Gen. 9. 25. wisdom of Him whose all souls are, and all lands.

2. He employed Israelites in the more creditable services, V. 15—28. We have here a further account of Solomon's v. 22, 23, Of ihem he made no bondmen, for they were God's greatness :

freemen; but he made thein soldiers and courtiers, and gave I. His buildings. He raised a great levy both of men and them offices, as he saw them qualified, among his chariots and money, because he projected a great deal of building, which horsemen, appointing some to support the service of the insewould both employ many hands, and put him to a vast expense, rior labourers. Thus he preserved the dignity and liberty of v. 15. And he was a wise builder, who sat down first, and Israel, and honoured their relation to God as a kingdom of counted the cost, and would not begin to build, till he found | priests. himself able to finish. Perhaps there was some complaint of NII. His piety and devotion; (v. 25,) Three times in a year, the heaviness of the taxes, which the historian excuses from he offered burni-offerings extraordinary: namely, at the three the greatness of his undertakings; he raised it not for war, (as yearly feasts, the passover, pentecost, and feast of tabernacles, other princes,) which would spend the blood of his subjects, in honour of the divine Institution ; beside what he offered at but for building, which would require only their labour and other times, both statedly, and upon special occasions. With purses. Perhaps David observed Solomon's genius to lie his sacrifices he burned incense, not himself, (that was king Uzioward building, and foresaw he would have his head and hands ziah's crime, but the priest for him, at his charge, and for his full of it, when he penned that song of degrees for Solomon, particular use. It is said, He offered on the altar which he which begins, Ercept the Lord build the house, they labour in himself built. He took care to build it, and then, I. He himvain that build it, (Ps. 127. 1;) directing him to acknowledge self made use of it. Many will assist the devotions of others, God in all his ways, and, by prayer, and faith in his providence, I that neglect their own, Solomon did not think his building an

iriennual return, v

is there.

AND, when the queencefn Shehne heard of the


27 And Hiram sent in the navy his servants, ship-, train, with camels that bare spices, and very much men that had knowledge of the sea, with the ser- gold, and precious stones: and when she was come vants of Solomon.

to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was 28 And "they came to Ophir,o and fetched from in her heart. thence gold, four hundred and twenty talents, and 3 And Solomon told her all her questions: there brought it to king Solomon.

was not any thing hid from the king, which he told

her not. CHAPTER X.

4 And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Still Solomon looks great, and every thing in this chapter adds to his magnificence. Solomon's wisdom, and the house that he had built, We real nothing indeed of his charity, of no hospitals he built, or alms-houses ; 5 And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his he inade his kingdom so rich, that it did not need them; yet, no question, many poor were relieved from the abundance of his table. A church he had baile, never servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and to be equalled, schools or colleges he need not build any, his own palace is a their apparel, and his 'cup-bearers, and his ascent centre of all the circulating riches of that part of the world. I. What abmuce by which he went up unto the house of the LORD; of wisdom there was there, appears from the application the queen of Sheba made there was no more spirit in her. to him, and the great satisfaction she had in her entertainment there, (v. 1-13,) and others likewise, v. 24. 11. What abundance of wealth there was there, ap 6 And she said to the king, It was a true $report pears here by the gold imported, with other things, yearly, (v. 14, 15,) and in a

22. Gold presented, (v. 25, and gold used in targets and that I heard in mine own land of thy "acts and of shielts, (v. 16, 17,) and vessels . 21. A stately throne made, 1. 18.-20. His thy wisdom.

His ,) the plenty of silver and cedars anong his people, v. 27. So that, putting all together, 7 Howbeit, I believed not the words, until I came, e inust be owned, sus it is here said, I. 23.) that king Salomon si ceeded fill the and mine eyes had seen it ; and, behold, the half kings? Where Christ is, by his word and Spirit, behou, a greater than Solomon was not told me: thy" wisdom and prosperity ex

ceedeth the fame which I heard.

8 Happy are thy men, happy are these thy serfame of Solomon, concerning the name of the vants, which stand continually before thee, and that Lord, she came to prove him with hard questions. hear thy wisdom.

2 And she came to Jerusalem with a very great 9 Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted nc. 10. 11. o Job 22. 24. a 2 Chr. 8. 1, &c. Matt. 12. 12. 6 Prov. 1.5, 6. or, bullera. $toord. | or, sayings. I thou hast added wisdom and goodness words. I standing.

c Prov. 8. 34. dc.5. 7." altar would excuse him from sacrificing, but rather engage him but she would go herself, and know the truth of it. 2. To the more to it. 2. He himself had the benefit and comfort of receive instruction from him; she came to hear his wisdom, it. Whatever pains we take, for the support of religion, to the and thereby to improve her own, (Matt. 12. 42,) that she might glory of God, and the edification of others, we ourselves are be the better able to govern her own kingdom by his maxims likely to have the advantage of it.

of policy. Those whom God has called to any public employIV. His merchandise. He built a fleet of trading ships, at ment, particularly in the magistracy and ministry, should, by Ezion-geber, (v. 26,) a port on the coast of the Red sea, the all means possible, be still improving themselves in that knowfurthest stage of the Israelites, when they wandered in the wil- ledge which will more and more qualify them for it, and enable derness, Num. 33. 35. That wilderness, probably, now began them to discharge their trust well. But, it should seem, that to be peopled by the Edomites, which it was not then. To which she chiefly aimed at, was, to be instructed in the things them this port had belonged, but David having subdued the of God; she was religiously inclined, and had heard not only Edomites, i now pertained to the crown of Judah. The fleet of the fame of Solomon, but concerning the name of the Lord, traded to Ophir in the East Indies; supposed to be that which (v. 1,) the great name of that God whom Solomon worshipped, is now called Ceylon. Gold was the commodity traded for: and from whom he received his wisdom, and with this God substantial wealth. It should seem, Solomon had, before, been she desired to be better acquainted. Therefore does our Hiram's partner, or put a venture into his ships, which made Saviour mention her inquiries after God, by Solomon, as an him a rich return of 120 talents, (v. 14,) that encouraged him aggravation of the stupidity of those who inquire not after God, to build a fleet of his own. The success of others, in any em- by our Lord Jesus Christ, though He, having lain in his bosom, ployment, should quicken our industry ; for in all labour there is was much better able to instruct them. profit. Solomon sent his own servants for factors, and mer II. With what equipage she came; with a very great retinue, chants, and supercargoes, but hired Tyrians for sailors, for agreeable to her rank, intending to iry Solomon's wealth and they had knowledge of the sea, v. 27. Thus one nation needs generosity, as well as his wisdom, what entertainment he another; Providence so ordering it, that there may be mutual could, and would, give to a royal visitant, v.2. Yet she came commerce and assistance: for not only as Christians, but as not as one begging, but brought enough to bear her charges, men, we are members one of another. The fleet brought home and abundantly to recompense Solomon for his attention to her; to Solomon 420 talents of gold, v. 28. Canaan, the holy land, nothing mean or common, but gold, and precious stones, and the glory of all lands, had no gold in it: which teaches us that spices, because she came to trade for wisdom, which she would that part of the wealth of this world, which is for hoarding and purchase at any rate. trading, is not the best part of it, but that which is more imme. II. What entertainment Solomon gave her; he despised diately for the present support and comfort of life, our own and not the weakness of her sex, blamed her not for leaving her own others ; such were the productions of Canaan. Solomon got business at home, to come so long a journey, and put herself much by his merchandise, but, it should seem, David got much and him to so much trouble and expense, merely to satisfy her more by his conquests; what was Solomon's four hundred and curiosity; but bid her welcome, and all her train; gave her twenty talents, to David's hundred thousand talents of gold? liberty to put all her questions, though some perhaps were 1 Chr. 22. 14.-29. 4. Solomon got much by his merchandise, frivolous, some captious, and some over-curious; he allowed and yet has directed us to a better trade, within reach of the her to commune with him of all that was in her heart, (v. 2,) and poorest, having assured us, from his own experience of both, gave her a satisfactory answer to all her questions, (v. 3,) that the merchandise of Wisdom is better than the merchandise whether natural, moral, political, or divine. Were they de. of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold, Prov. 3. 14. signed to try him? He gave them such turns as abundantly

satisfied her of his uncommon knowledge. Were they designed NOTES TO CHAPTER X.

for her own instruction ? (as we suppose most of them were,) V.1–13. We have here an account of the visit which the she received abundant instruction from him, and he made queen of Sheba made to Solomon, no doubt, when he was in things surprisingly easy, which she apprehended insuperably the height of his piety and prosperity. Our Saviour calls her difficult, and satisfied her that there was a divine sentence in the queen of the South, for Sheba lay south from Canaan. The the lips of this king. But he informed her, no doubt, with parcommon opinion is, that it was in Africa; and the Christians ticular care, concerning God, and his law and instituted worin Ethiopia, to this day, are confident that she came from their ship. He had taken it for granted, (ch. 8. 42,) that strangers country, and that Candace was her successor, who is men would hear of his great name, and would come thither to inquire tioned Acts 8. 27. But it is more probable that she came from after him; and now that so great a stranger came, we may be the south part of Arabia the Happy. It should seem, she was sure he was not wanting to assist and encourage her inquiries, a queen regent, sovereign of her country. Many a kingdom and give her a description of the temple, and the officers and had been prevented of its greatest blessings, if a Salique law services of it, that she might be persuaded to serve the Lord had been admitted into its constitution. Observe,

whom she now sought. I. On whal errand the queen of Sheba came; not to treat of IV. How she was affected with what she saw and heard in trade or commerce, in adjust the limits of their dominions, to Solomon's court. Divers things are here mentioned which she court his alliance for their mutual strength, or his assistance admired; the buildings and furniture of his palace; the provi

When she saw against some common enemy, which are the common occasions sion that was made every day for his table. of the congress of crowned heads, and their interviews; but that, perhaps she wondered where were mouths for all that she came, 1. To satisfy her curiosity; for she had heard of his meat ; but when she saw the multitude of his attendants and fame, especially for wisdom, and she came to prove him, guests, she was as ready to wonder where was the meat for all whether he was so great a man as he was reported to be, v. 1. those mouths. The orderly sitting of his servants, every one Solomon's fleet sailed near the coast of her country, and, proba- in his place, and the ready attendance of his ministers, without bly, might put in there for fresh water: perhaps it was thus any confusion, their rich liveries, and the propriety with which that she heard of the fame of Solomon, that he excelled in wis- his cup-bearers waited at his table, these things she admired, as dom all the children of the east, and 'nothing would serve her, I adding much to his magnificence. But above all these, the

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

K c. 9. 27.

• 2 Chr.2. 8. 9. 10, 11.

e Ps. 72. 2. Prov. 8. 15. P. P. 10, 15. algum-trees.

Ac. 14. 26. I c. 7. 2.

1 banda. so. k Gen. 10. 4. 2 Chr. 20. 36.


in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of gold went to
the Lord loved Israel for ever, therefore made he one target.
thee king, to odo judgment and justice.

17 And he made three hundred "shields of beaten
10 And she gave the king an hundred and twenty gold; three pound of gold went to one shield: and the
talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and king put them in the house 'of the forest of Lebanon.
precious stones: there came no more such abun 18 Moreover, the king made a great throne of
dance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold.
gave to king Solomon,

19 The throne had six steps, and the top of the 11 And the navy falso of Hiram, that brought throne was round "behind: and there were stays gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty on either side on the place of the seat, and two of *almug-trees, and precious stones.

lions stood beside the stays. 12 And the king made of the almug-trees pillars 20 And twelve lions stood there on the one side for the house of the Lord, and for the king's house, and on the other upon the six steps: there was not harps also and psalteries for singers : there came no *the like made in any kingdom. such almug-trees, nor were seen unto this day. 21 And all king Solomon's drinking vessels were

13 And king Solomon gave unto the queen of of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside of Lebanon were of pure gold; ' none were of silthat which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty : ver: it was nothing accounted of in the days of so she turned, and went to her own country, she Solomon, and her servants.

22 For the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish 14 Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon with the navy of Hiram : once in three years came in one year was six hundred threescore and six the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold, and silver, talents of gold,

Hivory, and apes, and peacocks. 15 Beside that he had of the merchantmen, and 23 So 'king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the of the traffic of the spice merchants, and of all the earth for riches and for wisdom. kings of Arabia, and of the Sgovernors of the country. 24 And all the earth sought to $Solomon, to hear 16 And king Solomon made two hundred targets his wisdom, which mGod had put in his heart.

11 on the hinder part thereof.

11 or, there was no silver in f a prop, or, rails. according to the hand of king Solomon.

11 or, elephants' teeth. I c. 3. 12, 13. 4. $or, captains.

29—34. $5 the face of. m Prov. 2. 6. Jam. 1.5.' first thing mentioned, is his wisdom, (v. 4,) of the transcen- it shall be well with him, Jer. 22. 15. Thus giving of thanks dency of which she now had incontestable proofs: and the last must be made for kings, for good kings, for such kings; they thing mentioned, which crowned all, is, his piety, the ascent by are what God makes them to be. which he went up to the house of the Lord, with what gravity VI. How they parted. 1. She made a noble present to and seriousness, and an air of devotion in his countenance, he Solomon, of gold and spices, v. 10. David had foretold conappeared, when he went to the temple, to worship God; with cerning Solomon, that to him should be given of the gold as much humility then, as majesty at other times. Many of Sheba, Ps. 72. 15. The present of gold and spices which the the ancient versions read it, The burnt-offerings which he offered wise men of the east brought to Christ, was signified by this, in the house of the Lord; she observed with what a generous Matt. 2. 11. Thus she paid for the wisdom she had learned, bounty he brought his sacrifices, and with what a pious servour and did not think she bought it dear. Let those that are taught he attended the offering of them; never did she see so much of God, give him their hearts, and the present will be more goodness with so much greatness. Every thing was so sur- acceptable than this of gold and spices. Mention is made of prising, that there was no more spirit in her, but she stood the great abundance Solomon had of his own, notwithstanding amazed ; she had never seen the like.

she presented, and he accepted, this gold. What we present V. How she expressed herself upon this occasion.

to Christ, he needs not, but will have us so to express our grati1. She owned her expectation far outdone, though it was tude. The almug-trees are here spoken of, (v. 11, 12,) as highly raised by the report she heard, v. 6, 7. She is far from extraordinary, because, perhaps, much admired by the queen repenting her journey, or calling herself a fool, for undertaking of Sheba. 2. Solomon was not behindhand with her. He it, but acknowledges it was well worth her while to come so far, gave her whatsoever she asked, patterns, we may suppose, of for the sight of that which she could not believe the report of those things that were curious, by which she might make the Usually things are represented to us, both by common fame like; or, perhaps, he gave her his precepts of wisdom and piety and by our own imagination, much greater than we find them in writing, beside that which he gave her of his royal bounty, when we come to examine them; but here the truth exceeded v. 13. Thus they who apply themselves to our Lord Jesus, both fame and fancy. Those who, through grace, are brought will find him not only greater than Solomon, and wiser, but to experience the delights of communion with God, will say more kind; whatsoever we ask, it shall be done for us ; nay, that the one half was not told them of the pleasures of Wis- he will, out of his divine bounty, which infinitely exceeds royal dom's ways, and the advantages of her gates. Glorified saints, bounty, even Solomon's, do for us more than we are able to ask much more, will say that it was a true report which they heard or think. of the happiness of heaven, but that the thousandth part was V. 14-29. We have here a further account of Solomon's not told them, I Cor. 2. 9.

prosperity: 2. She pronounced them happy, that constantly attended I. How he increased his wealth. Though he had much, he him, and waited on him at table; "Happy are thy men, happy still coveted to have more, being willing to try the utmost the are these thy servants, (v: 8;) they may improve their own things of this world could do, to make men happy. 1. Beside wisdom by hearing thine.” She was tempted to envy them, the gold that came from Ophir, (ch. 9. 28,) he brought so much and wish herself one of them. Note, It is a great advantage into his country from other places, that the whole amounted, to be in good families, and to have opportunity of frequent con every year, lo sir hundred and sirty-six talents, (v. 14,) an verse with those that are wise, and good, and communicative. ominous number; compare Rev. 13. 18, and Ezra 2. 13. 2. He Many have this happiness, who know not how to value it. received a great deal, in customs, from the merchants, and in With much more reason may we say this of Christ's servants, land taxes, from the countries his father had conquered, and Blessed are they that dwell in his house, they will be still prais- made tributaries to Israel, v. 15. 3. He was Hiram's partner ing him.

in a Tharshish fleet, of and for Tyre, which imported, once in 3. She blessed God, the Giver of Solomon's wisdom and three years, not only gold, and silver, and ivory, substantial wealth, and the Author of his advancement, who had made goods, and serviceable, but apes to play with, and peacocks to him king, (1.) In kindness to him, that he might have the please the eye with their feathers, v. 22. I wish this may not larger opportunity of doing good with his wisdom. He de- be an evidence that Solomon and bis people, being overcharged lighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel, v. 9. Solo- with prosperity, by this time, grew childish and wanton. 4. He mon's preferment began in the prophet's calling him Jedidiah, had presents made him every year, from the neighbouring because the Lord loved him, 2 Sam. 12. 25. It more than dou- princes and great men, to engage the continuance of his friendbles our comforts, if we have reason to hope they come from ship, not so much because they feared him, or were jealous of God's delight in us. It was his pleasure concerning thee, (so it him, as because they loved him, and admired his wisdom, had may be read,) to set thee on the throne; not for thy merit's sake, often occasion to consult him as an oracle, and sent him these but because it so seemed good unto him. (2.) In kindness to presents by way of recompense for his advice in politics; and the people, because the Lord loved Israel for ever, designed whether

it became his grandeur and generosity or no, we will them a lasting bliss, long to survive him that laid the founda- not inquire) he took all that came, even garments and spices, ţions of it. "He has made thee king, not that thou mayest live horses and mules, v. 24, 25. 5. He traded to Egypt for horses, in pomp and pleasure, and do what thou wilt, but to do judg- and linen yarn, (or, as some read it, linen cloth,) the staple ment and justice." This she kindly reminded Solomon of, commodities of that country, and had his own merchants or and, no doubt, he took it kindly. Both magistrates and minis- factors whom he employed in this traffic, and who were acters must be more solicitous to do the duty of their places, than countable to him, v. 28, 29. The custom to be paid to the to secure the honours and profits of them. To this she attri- king of Egypt for exported chariots and horses out of Egypt, butes his prosperity, not to his wisdom, for bread is not always was very high, but (as Bishop Patrick understands it) Soloto the wise, (Ec. 9. 11,) but whoso doeth judgment and justice, mon, having

married his daughter, got him to compound for the


[ocr errors]

o Ez. 27. 7.

I hand.


25 And they brought every man his present, ves

CHAPTER XI. sels of silver, and vessels of gold, and garments, and This chapter

begins with an melancholy a but as almost any we find in all the bible. armour, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year

the lustre both of his goolucas, and of his greatness, is here bullied and eclipeed, by year.

and his sun sets under a cloud. I. The glory of his piety is stained by lus de

parture from God, and his duty, in his latter days, by marrying strnoge wives, 26 And Solomon gathered together chariots nand

and worshipping elrange gods,w.1-8. II, 'The glory of his prosperity is stained horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred by God's displeasure against him, and the fruits of that displeasure. '1. He sent

hin an angry message, v. 9-13. 2. He stirred up enemies, who gave himn dischariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he turbance ; lladad, p.14--22. Rezon, s. 23-25. 3. He gave away len tribes of

his twelve, from his posterity after him, to Jeroboam, whom therefore he sought bestowed in the cities for chariots, and with the

in vain to slay, (v. 3—40,) and this is all that remains to be told concerning king at Jerusalem.

Solomon, except his death and burial, (v. 11-43;) for there is nothing perfect

under the sun, but all is so above the sun. 27 And the king *made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he to be as the sycamore

UT king Solomon loved many strange women, trees that are in the vale, for abundance.

(*together with the daughter of Pharaoh,) 28 And Solomon had horses brought out of women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Egypt, and linen yarn : the king's merchants re- Zidonians, and Hittites; ceived the linen yarn at a price.

2 Of the nations concerning which the LORD said 29 And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to for six hundred shekels of 'silver, and an horse for them, neither shall they come in unto you: for an hundred and fifty : And so for all the kings of surely they will turn away your heart after their the pHittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they gods. Solomon clave unto these in love. bring them out by their 'means.

3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, * 2 Chr. 1. 14, &c. And the going forth of the horses shich was

p 2 Kings 7.6.

or, beside.

& Ex. 34. 16. Deut. 7. Salomon's.

3, 4. customs, so that he could bring them up cheaper than his of all worldly things, and the vexation of spirit that attends them, neighbours, which obliged them to buy them of him, which he their insufficiency to make us happy, and the folly of setting was wise enough, no doubt, to make his advantage of. This our hearts upon them; and to recommend to us the practice of puts an honour upon the trading part of a nation, and sets a serious godliness, as that which is the whole of man, and will eradesman not so much below a gentleman as some place him, do infinitely more toward the making of us easy and happy, that Solomon, one of the greatest men that ever was, thought than all the wealth and power that he was master of; and which, it no disparagement to him, to deal in trade. In all labour through the grace of God, is within our reach, when the thouthere is prohi.

sandth part of Solomon's greatness is a thousand times more II. What use he made of his wealth. He did not hoard it than we can ever be so vain as to promise ourselves in this up in his coffers, that he might have it to look upon, and leave world, behind him. He has, in his Ecclesiastes, so much exposed the folly of hoarding, that we cannot suppose he should himself be guilty of No; God that had given him riches, and V.1-8. This is a sad story, and very surprising, of Solowealth, and honour, gave him also power to eat thereof, and to mon's defection and degeneracy. take his portion, Ec. 5. 19.

I. Let us inquire into the occasions and particulars of it, 1. He laid out his gold in fine things for himself, which he Shall Solomon fall, that was the beauty of Israel, and so great might the better be allowed to do, when he had, before, laid out a blessing of his generation? Yes, it is too true, and the scripso much in fine things for the house of God. (1.) He made 200 ture is faithful in relating it, and repeating it, and referring to it targets, and 300 shields, of beaten gold, (v. 16, 17,) not for ser- long after; (Neh. 13. 26,) There was no king like Solomon, who vice, but for state, to be carried before him, when he appeared was beloved of his God, yel een him did outlandish women cause in pomp. With us, magistrates have swords and maces carried to sin ; there is the summary of his apostacy; it was the woman before them, as the Romans their rods and ares, in token of that deceived him, and was first in the transgression. their power to correct and punish the bad, to whom they are to 1. He doted on strange women, many strange women. Here be a terror; but Solomon had shields and targets carried before his revolt began. (1.) He gave himself to women, which his him, to signify that he took more pleasure in using his power mother had particularly cautioned him against ; (Prov. 31.3,) for the defence and protection of the good, to whom he would Give not thy strength unto women; (perhaps alluding to Samson, be a praise. Magistrates are shields of the earth. (2.) He who lost his strength by giving information of it to a woman ;) made a stately throne, on which he sat, to give laws to his sub- for it is that which, as much as any thing, destroys kings. His jects, andience to ambassadors, and judgment upon appeals, father David's fall began with the lusts of the flesh, which he v. 18—20. It was made of ivory, or elephants' teeth, which should have taken warning by. The love of women has cast was very rich; and yet, as if he had so much gold that he knew down many wounded, (Prov. 7. 26,) and muny (says Bishop not what to do with it, he overlaid that with gold, the best gold. Hall) have had their head broken by their own rib. (2.) He took Yet, some think, he did not cover the ivory all over, but here many women, so many, that, at last, they amounted to 700 and there. He rolled it, flowered it, or inlaid it, with gold. The wives, and 300 concubines ; 1000 in all, and not one good one stays or arms of this stately chair, were supported by the among them, as he himself owns in his penitential sermon, images of lions in gold, so were the steps and paces by which (Ec. 7. 28,) for no woman of established virtue would be one he went up to it, to be a memorandum to him of that courage of such a set. God had, by his law, particularly forbidden the and resolution wherewith he ought to execute judgment, not kings to multiply either horses or wives, Deut. 17. 16, 17. How fearing the face of man. The righteous, in that post, is bold as he broke the former law, in multiplying horses, and having them a lion. (3.) He made all his drinking vessels, and all the fur out of Egypt too, (which was expressly prohibited in that law,) niture of his table, even at his country seat, of pure gold, v. 21. we read, ch. 10. 29, and here how he broke the latter, (which He did not grudge himself what he had, but took the credit and proved of more fatal consequence,) in multiplying wives. Note, comfort of it, such as it was. That is good, that does us good. Lesser sins, made bold with, open the door to greater. David

2. He made it circulate among his subjects, so that the king- had multiplied wives too much, and, perhaps, ihat made Solodom was as rich as the king; for he had no separate interests mon presume it lawful. Note, If those that are in reputation of his own to consult, but sought the welfare of his people. for religion, in any thing, set a bad example, they know not what Those princes are not governed by Solomon's maxims, who a deal of mischief they may do by it, particularly to their own think it policy to keep their subjects poor. Solomon was, here- children. One bad act of a good man may be of more perin, a type of Christ, who is not only rich himself, but enriches nicious consequence to others, than twenty of a wicked man. all that are his. Solomon was instrumental to bring so much Probably, Solomon, when he began to mulriply wives, intended gold into the country, and disperse it, that silver was nothing not to exceed his father's number ; but the way of sin is down accounted of, v. 21. There was such plenty of it in Jerusalem, hill, they that are got into it, cannot easily stop themselves. that it was as the stones; and cedars, that used to be great Divine wisdom has appointed one woman for one man, did so, rarities, were as common as sycamore-trees, v. 27. Such is the at first; and they who do not think one enough, will not think nature of worldly wealth, plenty of it makes it the less valuable ; two or three enough; unbridled lust will be unl ounded, and the much more should the enjoyment of spiritual riches lessen our loosened hind will wander endlessly. But this was not all : esteem of all earthly possessions. If gold in abundance would (3.) They were strange women, Moabites, Ammonites, &c. of make silver to seem so despicable, shall not wisdom, and grace, the nations which God had particularly forbidden them to interand the foretastes of heaven, which are far better than gold, marry with, v. 2. Some think it was in policy that he married make it seem much more so ?

these foreigners, by them to get intelligence of the state of Well, thus rich, thus great, was Solomon, and thus did he those countries. I rather fear it was because the daughters of exceed all the kings of the earth, v. 23. Now let us remember, Israel were too grave and modest for him, and those foreigners (1.) That this was he, who, when he was setting out in the world, pleased him with the looseness and wantonness of their dress, did not ask for the wealth and honour of it, but asked for a wise and air, and conversation. Or, perhaps, it was looked upon as and understanding heart. The more moderate our desires are a piece of state to have his seraglio, as his other treasures, retoward earthly things, the better qualified we are for the en- plenished with that which was far-fetched; as if that were too joyment of them, and the more likely to have them. See, in great an honour for the best of his subjects, which would really Solomon's greatness, the performance of God's promise, (ch. have been a disgrace to the meanest of them-to be his mis3. 13,) and let it encourage us to seek first the righteousness of tresses. And, (4.) To complete the mischief, Solomon clave God's kingdom. (2.) That this was he, who, having tasted unto these in love, v. 2. He not only kept them, but was extraall these enjoyments, wrote a whole book, to show the vanity I vaganty fond of them, set his heari upon them, spent his time

« ElőzőTovább »