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1Ki 9:1-9. GOD'S COVENANT IN A SECOND VISION WITH SOLOMON.
2. That--rather, "For."
8. this house, which is high--"high," either in point of situation, for it was built on a hill, and therefore conspicuous to every beholder; or "high" in respect to privilege, honor, and renown; or this "house of the Most High," notwithstanding all its beauty and magnificence, shall be destroyed, and remain in such a state of ruin and degradation as to be a striking monument of the just judgment of God. The record of this second vision, in which were rehearsed the conditions of God's covenant with Solomon and the consequences of breaking them, is inserted here as a proper introduction to the narrative about to be given of this king's commercial enterprises and ambitious desire for worldly glory; for this king, by encouraging an influx of foreign people and a taste for foreign luxuries, rapidly corrupted his own mind and that of this subjects, so that they turned from following God, they and their children (1Ki 9:6).
1Ki 9:10-23. THE MUTUAL PRESENTS OF SOLOMON AND HIRAM.
10. at the end of twenty years--Seven and a half years were spent in building the temple, and twelve and a half or thirteen in the erection of his palace (1Ki 7:1; 2Ch 8:1). This verse is only a recapitulation of 1Ki 9:1, necessary to recover the thread of connection in the narrative.
11. Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee--According to JOSEPHUS, they were situated on the northwest of it, adjacent to Tyre. Though lying within the boundaries of the promised land (Ge 15:18; Jos 1:4), they had never been conquered till then, and were inhabited by Canaanite heathens (Jud 4:2-13; 2Ki 15:29). They were probably given to Hiram, whose dominions were small, as a remuneration for his important services in furnishing workmen, materials, and an immense quantity of wrought gold (1Ki 9:14) for the temple and other buildings [MICHAELIS]. The gold, however, as others think, may have been the amount of forfeits paid to Solomon by Hiram for not being able to answer the riddles and apothegms, with which, according to JOSEPHUS, in their private correspondence, the two sovereigns amused themselves. Hiram having refused these cities, probably on account of their inland situation making them unsuitable to his maritime and commercial people, Solomon satisfied his ally in some other way; and, taking these cities into his own hands, he first repaired their shattered walls, then filled them with a colony of Hebrews (2Ch 8:2).
15-24. this is the reason of the levy--A levy refers both to men and
money, and the necessity for Solomon making it arose from the many
gigantic works he undertook to erect.
23. These were the chief of the officers--(See on 2Ch 8:10).
1Ki 9:24-28. SOLOMON'S YEARLY SACRIFICES.
24, 25. three times in a year--namely, at the passover, pentecost, and feast of tabernacles (2Ch 8:13; 31:3). The circumstances mentioned in these two verses form a proper conclusion to the record of his buildings and show that his design in erecting those at Jerusalem was to remedy defects existing at the commencement of his reign (see 1Ki 3:1-4).
26. Ezion-geber, which is beside Eloth--These were neighboring ports at
the head of the eastern or Elanitic branch of the Red Sea. Tyrian ship
carpenters and sailors were sent there for Solomon's vessels
2Ch 8:17, 18).
28. Ophir--a general name, like the East or West Indies with us, for
all the southern regions lying on the African, Arabian, or Indian seas,
in so far as at that time known [HEEREN].