Hiram congratulates Solomon on his accession, and agrees to
furnish him with workmen and timber for the temple, ver. 1 - 9.
The work is well done, and the workmen paid, ver. 10 - 18.
6: They - That is, thy servants. And this assistance which these
Gentiles gave to the building of Solomon's temple, was a type of
the calling of the Gentiles, and that they should be instrumental in
building and constituting Christ's spiritual temple. Cedar - trees - Which
for their soundness, and strength, and fragrancy, and durableness, were
most proper for his design. Of these David had procured some, but not
a sufficient number. Lebanon - Which was in Solomon's jurisdiction:
and therefore he doth not desire that Hiram would give him the cedars,
because they were his own already; but only that his servants might hew
them for him; which the ingenious Tyrians well understood. With thy
servants - Either to be employed therein as they shall direct; or to
receive the cedars, from their hands, and transmit them to me. Hire - Pay
them for their labour and art. Sidonians - Or Tyrians: for these
places and people being near, are promiscuously used one for another.
7: Rejoiced - Being a faithful friend to David and his house, and
tho' it is not probable he was a sincere proselyte, yet he had sufficient
information concerning the nature and excellency of the God of Israel,
and had honourable thoughts of him.
9: The sea - The mid - land sea. Floats - Or, rafts. It is
thought the timber were tied together in the water, as now is usual, and so
by the help of boats or ships, conveyed to the appointed place, which was at
no great distance. Household - My family and court, which most properly
is called his house.
11: Measures - Heb. twenty cors pure oil; but in (2Ch 2:10),
it is twenty thousand baths of oil. To which there is added twenty
thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths of wine.
Either therefore, first, he speaks of several things. Or, secondly, he
speaks there of what Solomon offered: for it runs thus, I will give;
and here of what Hiram accepted. Or, thirdly, the barley, and wine, and
twenty thousand baths of common oil, mentioned (2Ch 2:10), must
be added to the twenty thousand measures of wheat, and the twenty
measures of pure oil here expressed, and the whole sum is to be made up
from both places; that book of Chronicles being written to supply and
compleat the histories of the books of Samuel, and of the Kings.
Gave Hiram - Either, first, for sustenance to the workmen, during the
years wherein they were employed in the cutting down and hewing of timber.
Or, for the yearly support of the king's house, during the said time.
Thus by the wise disposal of providence, one country has need of another,
and is benefited by another, that there may be a mutual correspondence and
dependence, to the glory of God our common Parent.
13: The levy - Which were to be employed in the most honourable
and easy parts of the work relating to the temple; and these were
Israelites; but those fifteen hundred thousand mentioned ver.(15),
were strangers. If it seem strange, that so many thousands should be
employed about so small a building as the temple was; it must be considered,
that the temple, all its parts being considered, was far larger than
that it is probable, they were employed by turns, as the thirty
thousand were, ver.(14), else they had been oppressed with hard
and uninterrupted labours.
that the timber and stone hewed and carried by them, was designed,
not only for the temple, but also for Solomon's own houses, and
buildings; because we read of no other levy of men, nor of any care
and pains taken after the building of the temple, for the procurement,
or preparation of materials for his own houses, or his other buildings;
nay, that this very levy of men was made and employed for the
building of the Lord's house, and Solomon's house, and Millo, and
the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo, and Gezer, is
expressed (1Ki 9:15).
16: Three thousand &c. - Whereof three thousand were set over the
fifteen hundred thousand, expressed ver.(15), each of these, over fifty
of them, and the odd three hundred were set over these three thousand, each
of these to have the oversight of ten of them, to take an account of the
work for them. But in (2Ch 2:18), these overseers are said to be
thirty - six hundred. The three thousand added in (2Ch 2:2), might be
a reserve, to supply the places of the other three thousand: yea, or of the
thirty - three hundred, as any of them should be taken off from the work by
death, or sickness, or weakness, or necessary occasions; which was a prudent
provision, and not unusual in like cases. And so there were thirty - six
hundred commissioned for the work, but only thirty - three hundred employed at
one time; and therefore both computations fairly stand together.
17: Great and costly - Marble and porphyry, or other stones of great
size and value. The foundation - Where they could not afterward be seen:
and therefore that this was done, is mentioned only as a point of
magnificence, except it was intended for a type, or mystical signification
of the preciousness of Christ, who is the foundation of the true temple,
the church of God.
18: Stone - squarers - Heb. the Giblites, the inhabitants of
Gebel, a place near Zidon, famous for artificers and architects,(Jos 13:5). These are here mentioned apart, distinct from the rest of
Hiram's builders, as the most eminent of them.