SEV Biblia, Chapter 11:43 Y durmió Salomón con sus padres, y fue sepultado en la ciudad de su padre David; y reinó en su lugar Roboam su hijo.
Clarke's Bible Commentary - 1 Kings 11:43 Verse 43. Solomon slept with his fathers] He died in almost the flower of his age, and, it appears unregretted. His government was no blessing to Israel; and laid, by its exactions and oppressions, the foundation of that schism which was so fatal to the unhappy people of Israel and Judah, and was the most powerful procuring cause of the miseries which have fallen upon the Jewish people from that time until now.
I. IT may now be necessary to give a more distinct outline of the character of this king.
1. In his infancy and youth he had the high honour of being peculiarly loved by the Lord; and he had a name given him by the express authority of God himself, which to himself and others must ever call to remembrance this peculiar favour of the Most High.
There is little doubt that he was a most amiable youth, and his whole conduct appeared to justify the high expectations that were formed of him.
2. He ascended the Israelitish throne at a time the most favourable for the cultivation of those arts so necessary to the comfort and improvement of life. Among all the surrounding nations Israel had not one open enemy; there was neither adversary, nor evil occurrent, chap. v. 4. He had rest on every side, and from the universal and profound peace which he enjoyed, the very important name Jedidiah, "beloved of the Lord" which was given him by Divine authority was changed to that of Solomon, the Peaceable, 2 Sam. xii. 24, 25, which at once indicated the state of the country, and the character of his own mild, pacific mind.
3. To the dying charge of his pious father relative to the building a temple for the Lord, he paid the most punctual attention. He was fond of architecture, as we may learn from the account that is given of his numerous buildings and improvements; and yet it does not appear that he at all excelled in architectural knowledge. Hiram, the amiable king of Tyre, and his excellent workmen, were the grand directors and executors of the whole. By his public buildings he doubtless rendered Jerusalem highly respectable; but his passion for such works was not on the whole an advantage to his subjects, as it obliged him to have recourse to a burdensome system of taxation, which at first oppressed and exasperated his people, and ultimately led to the fatal separation of Israel and Judah.
4. That he improved the trade and commerce of his country is sufficiently evident: by his public buildings vast multitudes were employed; and knowledge in the most beneficial arts must have been greatly increased, and the spirit of industry highly cultivated.
Commerce does not appear to have been much regarded, if even known, in Israel, previously to the days of Solomon. The most celebrated maritime power then in the world was that of the Tyrians. With great address and prudence he availed himself of their experience and commercial knowledge, sent his ships in company with theirs to make long and dangerous but lucrative voyages, and, by getting their sailors aboard of his own vessels, gained possession of their nautical skill, and also a knowledge of those safe ports in which they harboured, and of the rich countries with which they traded. His friendly alliance with the king of Tyre was a source of advantage to Israel, and might have been much more so had it been prudently managed. But after the time of Solomon we find it scarcely mentioned, and therefore it does not appear that the Jews continued to follow a track which had been so successfully opened to them; their endless contentions, and the ruinous wars of the two kingdoms, paralyzed all their commercial exertions: till at length all the maritime skill which they had acquired from the expert and industrious Tyrians, dwindled down to the puny art of managing a few boats on the internal lakes of their own country. Had it not been for the destructive feuds that reigned between the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah, that country might have become one of the best and richest maritime powers of either Asia or Europe. Their situation was grand and commanding, but their execrable jealousies deprived them of its advantages, exposed them to the aggressions of their enemies, and finally brought them to ruin.
5. I have intimated that Solomon was truly pious in his youth; of this there can be no doubt; it was on this account that the Lord loved him, and his zeal in the cause of true religion, and high respect for the honour of God, are strong indications of such a frame of mind. Had we no other proof of this than his prayer for wisdom, and his prayer at the dedication of the temple, it would put the matter for ever beyond dispute, independently of the direct testimonies we have from God himself on the subject. He loved the worship and ordinances of God, and was a pattern to his subjects of the strictest attention to religious duties. He even exceeded the requisitions of the law in the multitude of his sacrifices, and was a careful observer of those annual festivals so necessary to preserve the memory of the principal facts of the Israelitish history, and those miraculous interventions of God in the behalf of that people.
6. There can be no doubt that Solomon possessed the knowledge of governing well; of the importance of this knowledge he was duly aware, and this was the wisdom that he so particularly sought from God. "I am," said he, "but a little child; I know not how to go out or come in; and thy servant is in the midst of a great people that cannot be counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, and that I may discern between good and bad; for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing;" chap. iii. 8-10. This wisdom he did receive from God; and he is here a pattern to all kings, who, as they are the vicegerents of the Lord, should earnestly seek that wisdom which is from above, that they may be able to know how to govern the people intrusted to their care; because, in every civil government, there are a multitude of things on which a king may be called to decide, concerning which neither the laws, nor the commonly received political maxims by which, in particular cases, the conduct of a governor is to be regulated, can give any specific direction.
7. But the wisdom of Solomon was not confined to the art of government, he appears to have possessed a universal knowledge. The sages of the East were particularly distinguished by their accurate knowledge of human nature, from which they derived innumerable maxims for the regulation of man in every part of his moral conduct, and in all the relations in which he could possibly be placed. Hence their vast profusion of maxims, proverbs, instructive fables, apologues, enigmas, &c.; great collections of which still remain locked up in the languages of Asia, particularly the Sanscrit, Arabic, and Persian; besides those which, by the industry of learned men, have been translated and published in the languages of Europe. Much of this kind appears in the books of Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus in the Apocrypha, and in the very excellent collections of D'Herbelot, Visdelou, and Galand, in the Bibliotheque Orientale. That Solomon possessed this wisdom in a very high degree, the book of Proverbs bears ample testimony, leaving Ecclesiastes for the present out of the consideration.
8. As a poet, Solomon stands deservedly high, though of his one thousand and five poems not one, except the book of Canticles, remains. This ode alone, taken in a literary point of view, is sufficient to raise any man to a high degree of poetic fame. It is a most interesting drama, where what Racine terms the genie createur, the creative genius, every where appears; in which the imagery, which is always borrowed from nature, is impressive and sublime; the characters accurately distinguished and defined, the strongest passion, in its purest and most vigorous workings, elegantly portrayed; and in which allusions the most delicate, to transactions of the tenderest complexion, while sufficiently described to make them intelligible, are nevertheless hidden from the eye of the gross vulgar by a tissue as light as a gossamer covering. Such is the nature of this inimitable ode, which, had it not been perverted by weak but well designing men to purposes to which it can never legitimately apply, would have ranked with the highest productions of the Epithalamian kind that ever came from the pen of man. But alas! for this exquisite poem, its true sense has been perverted; it has been forced to speak a language that was never intended, a language far from being honourable to the cause which it was brought to support, and subversive of the unity and simplicity of the ode itself. By a forced mode of interpretation it has been hackneyed to death, and allegorized to destruction. It is now little read, owing to the injudicious manner in which it has been interpreted.
It was scarcely to be expected that the son of such a father should not, independently of inspiration, have caught a portion of the pure poetic fire.
Though the spirit of poetry, strictly speaking, is not transmissible by ordinary generation, yet most celebrated poets have had poetical parents; but in many cases the talent has degenerated into that of music, and the spirit of poetry in the sire has become a mere musical instrument in the hands of the son. This however was not the case with the son of David, for though vastly inferior to his father in this gift, he had nevertheless the spirit and powers of a first-rate poet.
9. His knowledge in natural history must have been very extensive; it is said, "He spake of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall. He spake also of beasts, of fowls, of reptiles, and of fishes;" chap. iv. 33. All this knowledge has perished; his countrymen, the prophets excepted, were without taste, and took no pains to preserve what they did not relish. A man of such mental power and comprehension under the direction of Divine light must have spoken of things as they are. His doctrine therefore of generation and corruption, of nutrition, vegetation, production, aliments, tribes, classes, families, and habits, relative to the different subjects in botany, zoology, ornithology, entomology, and ichthyology, which are all evidently referred to here, must have been at once correct, instructive, and delightful. I have already lamented the labour it has cost our Rays, Tourneforts, Linnes, Buffons, Willoughbys, Swammerdams, and Bloschs, to regain those sciences which possibly were possessed in their highest degree by the Israelitish king, and which, alas! are all lost, except a few traces in the book of Ecclesiastes, if that work can be traced to so remote an age as that of Solomon.
10. As a moral philosopher the author of the book of Ecclesiastes occupies no mean rank. At present we may consider this work as a production of Solomon, though this is disputed, and the question shall be considered in its proper place. This book contains such a fund of wisdom, applied to the regulation of life, and all referred to the proper end, that it most deservedly occupies a high place in Biblical ethics, and deserves the closest attention of every reader.
11. The proofs of Solomon's vast wisdom, as brought into practical effect, lie in a very small compass, because his history in the Bible is short, his own writings in general lost, and the annals of his reign, as compiled by Nathan the prophet, Ahijah the Shilonite, and Iddo the seer, long since perished. The decision between the two harlots is almost the only instance.
Of his interesting interview with the queen of Sheba, and the discussions into which they entered, we have only the fact stated, without the least detail of particulars. Those who have read the Concessus of Harari, or the Heetopadesa, of Veeshnoo Sarma, will regret that the conversations of the wisest of men, with probably the most intelligent of women, should have been lost to the world, which may be reasonably concluded to have been as far superior to the excellent works above referred to, as they are beyond the maxims of Rochefoucault, and the sayings of Madame Maintenon.
12. The wisdom of the East has ever been celebrated; and if we may believe their own best writers, much of what they possess has been derived from Solomon. Encomiums of his wisdom are everywhere to be met with in the Asiatic writers; and his name is famous in every part of the East. Most of the oriental historians, poets, and philosophers, mention Soliman ben Daoud, "Solomon the son of David." They relate that he ascended the throne of Israel at the death of his father, when he was only twelve years of age, and that God subjected to his government, not only men, but good and evil spirits, the fowls of the air, and the winds of heaven. They agree with the sacred writers in stating that he employed seven years in building the temple at Jerusalem.
Solomon's seal, and Solomon's ring, are highly celebrated by them, and to these they attribute a great variety of magical effects. They state that without his ring he had not the science of government; and having once lost it, he did not remount his throne for forty days, as being destitute of that wisdom without which he could not decide according to truth and equity.
But these things are probably spoken allegorically by their oldest writers.
Of the throne of this prince they speak in terms of the most profound admiration. I have met with the most minute description of its magnificence, its ivory, gold, and jewels, and an estimate of its cost in lacs of rupees! According to those writers it had 12, 000 seats of gold on the right hand for patriarchs and prophets, and as many on the left for the doctors of the law, who assisted him in the distribution of justice.
In various parts of the Koran Solomon is spoken of in terms of the highest respect, and is represented as a true believer; though, through the envy of demons, magic and sorcery were attributed to him. Mohammed speaks of this in the second surat of his Koran. The story, in sum, is this: The devils, by God's permission, having tempted Solomon without success, made use of the following stratagem to blast his reputation: they wrote several books of magic, and hid them under his throne; and, after his death, told the chief men that if they wished to know by what means Solomon had obtained absolute dominion over men, genii, and the winds, they should dig under his throne. This they did, and found the aforesaid books full of impious superstitions. The better sort would not learn these incantations; but the common people did, and published them as the genuine works of Solomon. From this imputation the Koran justifies him, by saying, Solomon was not an unbeliever, surat 2. From the wonder-working signet and ring of the Asiatics came the Clavicle of Solomon, so celebrated among the Jewish rabbins, and the Christian occult philosophers; for such things found in Cornelius Agrippa, and such like writers, are not late inventions, but have descended from a very remote antiquity, as the Koran and the various commentators on it sufficiently prove. See Calmet and Sale.
The oriental traditions concerning this prince have been embodied in the Soliman Nameh of Ferdusi, in Persian, and in the Soliman Nameh of Uscobi, in Turkish. D'Herbelot mentions one of these histories in Persian verse, containing 1571 couplets.
Indeed, the traditions concerning the wonderful knowledge of Solomon, which abound so much in the East, are at least an indirect proof that many things relative to this prince have been preserved among them which are not mentioned in our sacred books, but which they have blended so miserably with fables that it is impossible now to distinguish the precious from the vile.
John Gill's Bible Commentary Ver. 43. And Solomon slept with his fathers , etc.] Died as they did: and was buried in the city of David his father ; not in Bethlehem, but Zion, ( 1 Kings 2:10) and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead ; of whom more in the following chapter. Though nothing is said of Solomon’s repentance, there is no doubt but he was a good man, repented of his sins, and was saved; as may be concluded from the commendations of him after his death, ( Chronicles 11:17) from the promise of God that he made, that his mercy should not depart from him, though he chastised him, ( 2 Samuel 7:14,15) from his being an inspired writer, who were all holy men, ( Peter 1:20), and especially from his writing the book of Ecclesiastes after his fall, which contains a full acknowledgment of all his evils, a recantation of them, and repentance for them. Abulpharagius f302 , an Arabic writer, rashly asserts that he died without repentance.
Matthew Henry Commentary Verses 41-43 - Solomon's reign was as long as his father's, but his life was not so Sin shortened his days. If the world, with all its advantages, coul satisfy the soul, and afford real joy, Solomon would have found it so But he was disappointed in all, and to warn us, has left this record of all earthly enjoyments, "Vanity and vexation of spirit." The Ne Testament declares that one greater than Solomon is come to reign ove us, and to possess the throne of his father David. May we not se something of Christ's excellency faintly represented to us in thi figure __________________________________________________________________
Original Hebrew וישׁכב 7901 שׁלמה 8010 עם 5973 אבתיו 1 ויקבר 6912 בעיר 5892 דוד 1732 אביו 1 וימלך 4427 רחבעם 7346 בנו 1121 תחתיו׃ 8478