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Solomon's ministers of state, ver. 1 - 6.
The purveyors of his household, ver. 7 - 19.
The number of his subjects, and extent of his kingdom, ver. 20, 21.
The provision for his table, ver. 22, 23.
The peace of his subjects, ver. 24, 25.
His stables, ver. 26 - 28.
His wisdom, ver. 29 - 34.
1: All Israel - This is spoken with respect to his successors, who
were kings only over a part, and that the smallest part of it.
2: Princes - That is, the chief rulers or officers. The son - Or
the grand - son. The priest - The second priest, or the priest that
attended upon Solomon's person in holy offices and administrations.
3: Scribes - That is, secretaries of state. He chose two, whereas
David had but one: either, because he observed some inconveniences
in trusting all those matters in one hand: or, because he had now much
more employment than David had, this being a time of great peace and
prosperity, and his empire enlarged.
4: Priests - That is, the high - priests, successively, first
Abiathar, and then Zadok.
5: Officers - Over those twelve Officers, named ver.(7), &c.
who were all to give up their accompts to him. Nathan - The prophet, who
had been so highly instrumental in Solomon's establishment in the
throne. Principal officer - Possibly, president of the king's council.
Friend - His confident, with whom he used to communicate his most secret
6: Abiathar was - Steward of the king's household. Tribute - The
personal tribute, or the levy of men, as appears by comparing this with(1Ki 5:13,14), it being very fit that there should be some one person
to whom the chief conduct of that great business was committed.
8: The son, &c. - This and others of them are denominated from their
fathers, because they were known and famous in their generation.
10: Hepher - In Judah.
19: Country of Gilead - That is, in the remaining part of that land
of Gilead, which was mentioned above. The only officer - In all
Gilead, excepting the parcels mentioned before, in all the territories
of Sihon and Og; which because they were of large extent, and yet
all committed to this one man, it is here noted concerning him as his
privilege above the rest.
21: The river - Euphrates: for so far David, having conquered
the Syrians, extended his empire, which Solomon also maintained in
that extent. And so God's promise concerning the giving the whole land, as
far as Euphrates, to the Israelites, was fulfilled. And, if the
Israelites had multiplied so much that the land of Canaan would not
suffice them, having God's grant of all the land as far as Euphrates,
they might have seized upon it whensoever occasion required. The land
of the Philistines - Which is to be understood inclusively; for the
Philistines were within Solomon's dominion. The border of
Egypt - Unto the river Sihor, which was the border between Egypt
and Canaan. And served - By tribute, or other ways, as he needed
22: Measures - Heb. Cors: each of which contained ten ephahs.
So this provision was sufficient for near three thousand persons.
Meal - Of a coarser sort for common use.
23: Fat - Fatted in stalls. Out of pastures - Well fleshed, tender
and good, though not so fat as the former.
24: Tiphsah - Either that Tiphsah, (2Ki 15:16), which was
in the kingdom of Israel within Jordan; or, rather, another place of
that name upon Euphrates, even that eminent city which is mentioned by
Ptolemy, and Strabo, and Pliny, called Thapsarum. And this
best agrees with the following: Azzah, which was the border of Canaan
in the south and west, as Tiphsah was in the north and east. And so
his dominion is described by both its borders. All kings - Who owned
subjection, and paid tribute to him.
25: Under his vine - Enjoying the fruit of his own labour with safety
and comfort. Under these two trees, which were most used and cultivated by
the Israelites, he understands all other fruit - bearing trees, and all
other comforts. And they are brought in as fitting or dwelling under
these trees, partly for recreation or delight in the shade; and partly,
for the comfort or advantage of the fruit; and withal, to note their great
security, not only in their strong cities, but even in the country, where
the vines and fig - trees grew, which was most open to the incursions of their
26: Forty thousand - In (2Ch 9:25), it is but
four thousand. But it is not exactly the same Hebrew word which is
here and there, though we translate both stalls; and therefore there may
well be allowed some difference in the signification, the one signifying
properly stables, of which there were four thousand, the other stalls
or partitions for each horse, which were forty thousand.
Chariots - Both for his military chariots, which seem to be those fourteen
hundred, (1Ki 10:26), and for divers other uses, as about his great and
various buildings, and merchandises, and other occasions, which might
require some thousands of other chariots. Horsemen - Appointed partly for
the defence of his people in peace; and partly for attendance upon his
person, and for the splendor of his government.
27: The officers - Named above. They lacked - Or rather, they
suffered nothing to be lacking to any man that came thither, but
plentifully provided all things necessary.
29: Largeness of heart - Vastness of understanding, a most
comprehensive knowledge of all things both Divine and human.
30: East country - The Chaldeans, Persians, and Arabians, who
all lay eastward from Canaan, and were famous in ancient times for their
wisdom and learning. Egypt - The Egyptians, whose fame was then great
for their skill in the arts and sciences, which made them despise the
Grecians as children in knowledge.
31: All men - Either of his nation; or, of his time: or, of all times
and nations, whether of the east or any other country excepting only the
first and second Adam. Ethan, &c. - Israelites of eminent wisdom,
probably the same mentioned, (1Ch 2:6,15:19,25:4,Ps 88,89:1)(title).
Chalcol, &c. - Of whom see (1Ch 2:6).
32: Proverbs - That is, short, and deep, and useful sentences,
whereof a great part are contained in the books of Proverbs and
Ecclesiastes. Songs - Whereof the chief and most divine are in
33: Trees - That is, of all plants, of their nature and qualities:
all which discourses are lost, without any impeachment of the perfection of
the holy scriptures; which were not written to teach men philosophy or
physick, but only to make them wise unto salvation.
From the cedar, &c. - That is, from the greatest to the least.
34: All kings - All the neighbouring kings; a restriction grounded
upon the following words, where this is limited to such as heard of
Solomon's wisdom. Let those who magnify the modern learning above that
of the ancients, produce such a treasury of learning, anywhere in these
later ages, as that was, which Solomon was master of. Yet this puts an
honour upon human learning, that Solomon is praised for it, and
recommends it to the great ones of the earth, as well worthy their diligent
search. In all this Solomon was a type of Christ, in whom are hid
all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.