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29 And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and
Verse 1. "The queen of Sheba."-See 2 Chron. ix. With a few exceptions, we refer the observations on the various topies of this chapter, and the latter part of the preceding, to the parallel passages in 2 Chronicles, which, with other similar postponements, will enable us to effect a more equal distribution of illustrative cuts and notes than would be otherwise practicable.
"She came to prove him with hard questions."-See the note on Judges xiv. 12. Josephus gives an extract from the archives of Tyre, from which it would seem that Solomon and Hiram amused themselves by the interchange of such hard questions. The extract purports that Solomon sent riddles to Hiram, and desired to receive the like from him, on condition that he who could not solve those of the other, should forfeit a certain sum of money. Hiram, being unable to solve Solomon's enigmas, paid large sums according to agreement. He afterwards solved them, however, by means of a youth called Abdemon; and (probably with the same assistance) proposed others himself; and Solomon, being unable to interpret them, paid back the sums he had received from Hiram. Perhaps this may be the money which the king of Tyre is represented, in chap. ix. 14, as having sent to Solomon. Whether the above statement from Josephus be correct or not, it certainly does furnish a good illustration of the character which was, in those early times, given to the intercourse of minds, and which it has not yet ceased to bear in the East. The Scripture does not condescend to preserve any such "hard questions," except in the case of Samson, where the connection of the history required its introduction. Those now mentioned were probably of a similar character, or perhaps like the famous riddle which Edipus solved. The question being: "What animal is that which goes upon four feet in the morning, upon two at noon, and upon three in the evening? The answer being: "Man: who in infancy goes upon all fours, walks erect in manhood, and in age requires the aid of a staff."
so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring them out "by their means.
24 Heb. by their hand.
27. “Sycamore trees, that are in the vale."-The Hebrew name of this tree is
pu (shikmim, or, to show the ana
logy, sykmim). On account of its appearing to partake of the qualities of the fig and mulberry-trees, the Greeks called it ouzouges, from euxes, a fig-tree, and uogos, a mulberry. The species in Palestine, Egypt, and Abyssinia is the Ficus tamorus of botanists. The resemblance noticed, is to the leaves of the mulberry and the fruit of the fig-tree. It is still a common tree in the countries named; and how common it was anciently in Palestine is attested by the present text, as well as by various passages of the Scriptures. It is a wide spreading tree, attaining a considerable height, and occasionally exhibiting a trunk of great thickness. It is not uncommon to find some the trunks of which three men cannot embrace, and others of still larger dimensions sometimes occur. Our wood-cut exhibits a noble Abyssinian specimen of this tree, copied from Salt and Valentia's Views. Probably our Saviour had such a tree before him when he said, "If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamore tree, Be thou plucked up by the roots, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you." (Luke xvii. 6.) The fruit grows from the
trunk itself, which throws out small sprigs, not unlike grape-stalks; at the end of which grow the fruits, clustered together after the manner of grapes. To ripen them properly, it is necessary that, as the season approaches, they should be scraped or rubbed about the middle. A man ascends the tree for this purpose; and this, rather than that (as in our version) of "a gatherer of sycamore fruit," seems to have been the employment of Amos (vii. 14). The Septuagint thus understood it (xvízwv ovxáμna), as do both Parkhurst and Gesenius. The fruit is bitter and useless without this process, but when properly ripened is good and palatable, though some Europeans pronounce a contrary opinion of sycamore figs. That this fruit was esteemed by the Hebrews appears from the passage just cited; and its importance to the Egyptians is noticed in Ps. lxxviii. 47. "He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycamore trees with frost," which is obviously mentioned as a very heavy calamity to them. This would still be the case; for it forms a prominent article in the consumption of the lower classes, who, according to Norden, think themselves well regaled when they have a piece of bread, a couple of sycamore-figs, and a jug of water from the Nile. The tree furnished almost the only wood the Egyptians had for general purposes; and though light and porous, the coffins or cases of this wood, in which they inclosed their mums two or three thousand years ago, still remain in perfect preservation. These facts, with the texts we have cited, and others of similar import, enable us to see that the tree was common among the Hebrews, and must have been considered valuable both for its wood and its fruit, though not in the same degree as among the Egyptians.
28. “Linen yarn.”—The word MP (koh or koa) bears no where else the meaning here given to it. The Septuagint and the Vulgate give it as a proper name; and after them Boothroyd renders: "And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and from Coa; the king's merchants received them from Coa at a stated price." It is true we know no such country as Coa; but this being made an Egyptian affair, the authority of the Septuagint is important, in at least proving that "linen yarn" is not intended. The word, when translated, has no other meaning in Scripture than that of a collection or a gathering together, as in Gen. i. 9; Jer. iii. 17; and we are not sure that it ought not to be here so understood, and referred to the collection of horses obtained from time to time from Egypt. Might we not understand that, a price being fixed, the king's merchants were allowed, from a large number of horses, to select such as they preferred? The text will certainly bear this interpretation. Mr. Taylor, the editor of Calmet, conjectures that, horses being taken to market attached to each other by cords, "strings of horses" are here intended.
2 Or, besides. 7 Chap. 6. 12.
3 Exod. 34. 16.
16 (For six months did Joab remain there with all Israel, until he had cut off every male in Edom :)
17 That Hadad fled, he and certain Edomites of his father's servants with him, to go into Egypt; Hadad being yet a little
18 And they arose out of Midian, and came to Paran: and they took men with them out of Paran, and they came to Egypt, unto Pharaoh king of Egypt; which gave him an house, and appointed him victuals, and gave him land.
19 And Hadad found great favour in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him to wife the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen.
20 And the sister of Tahpenes bare him Genubath his son, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh's house: and Genubath was in Pharaoh's houshold among the sons of Pharaoh.
21 And when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers, and that Joab the captain of the host was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, "Let me depart, that I may go to mine own country.
22 Then Pharaoh said unto him, But what hast thou lacked with me, that, behold, thou seekest to go to thine own country? And he answered, "Nothing: howbeit let me go in any wise.
23¶ And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon the son of Eliadah, which fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah: 24 And he gathered men unto him, and became captain over a band, when David slew them of Zobah: and they went to Damascus, and dwelt therein, and reigned in
25 And he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, beside the mischief that Hadad did and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria.
26 And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon's servant, whose mother's name was Zeruah, a widow woman, even he lifted up his hand against the king.
27 And this was the cause that he lifted up his hand against the king: Solomon built Milla, and repaired the breaches of the city
of David his father.
young man that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all the "charge of the house of Joseph.
28 And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour and Solomon seeing the
Heb. Send me away.
38 And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee.
39 And I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not for ever.
40 Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam. And Jeroboam arose, and fled into
12 Heb. Not. 13 2 Sam. 8. 3, and 10. 18. 17 Heb. burden. 18 Chap. 12. 15.
142 Chron. 13. 6. 15 Heb. closed. 16 Heb. did work. 19 Heb. lamp, or candle.
42 And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was "forty years.
43 And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.
22 Chron. 9. 30. 23 Matth. called Roboam.
Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.
41 And the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon?
20 Or, words, or things. 21 Heb. days.
Verse 3. "He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines."-The fact is, that Solomon had become, at least in his external character as a king, quite such as the more splendid Oriental monarchs usually are. Among them an extensive female establishment is regarded as a piece of royal state, which sometimes gives occasion to one as large, or larger, than that of Solomon. And this is often the case when the prince himself, as frequently happens, distinguishes only three or four of the number, and sometimes one only, with his personal attention and favour. In the present instance, we are no doubt to understand with Josephus, that the seven hundred wives included not only females of royal extraction, but the daughters of eminent persons; and the Rabbins are probably correct in saying, that only the few who were especial favourites, or of royal descent, were regarded as queens. This is still the case in the East. China, India, Persia, and Turkey afford, or have afforded, instances similar to that before us. The Chinese emperor has a vast number of females in his establishment, many of whom he never saw in his life. Magalhaens computes their number at three thousand. They are called kong-nyu, or "ladies of the palace." These ladies have their particular dignities and titles, and are divided into several classes or orders, distinguished, like the mandarins, by their habits and other marks of their degree. Those for whom the emperor has particular regard are called Ti, or "almost queens." Besides these there are three full queens, and one empress chosen from their number, and who is regularly proclaimed and enthroned. (See Le Comte and Magalhaens, in Astley's collection.) With some unessential variations the principle of this arrangement may be found in most Oriental courts; but the number of females is rarely so large. Those of the Great Mogul were stated at one thousand by the travellers of the seventeenth century-exactly Solomon's number. In Persia, also, instances have not been uncommon in which the state of Solomon, in this and other respects, has been equalled or exceeded. It is related of Darius Codomanus, that he was wont, in time of war, to take with him three hundred and fifty women in his camp; and their presence was not disagreeable to the queen, who also attended, for the others manifested all reverence and adoration for her, as if she had been a goddess. But of all even Persian kings, it is Khoosroo who seems to have eclipsed all other monarchs mentioned in history-Solomon included-in ostentatious magnificence, the details of which will not fail to strike the reader as remarkably analogous in kind to what we have read of the Hebrew king. We quote Sir John Malcolm's History of Persia: "While his generals were subduing the Roman empire, Khoosroo was wholly devoted to the enjoyment of unheard of luxury and magnificence. His noble palaces, of which he built one for every season-his thrones, which were invaluable, particularly that called Takh-dis, which was formed to represent the twelve signs of the zodiac, and the hours of the dayhis treasures-his ladies, of whom there were twelve thousand, each, if we believe the gravest of Persian writers, equal to the moon in splendour and beauty-his horses, of which fifty thousand stood in the royal stables-his twelve hundred elephants-his Arabian charger, Shub-deez, fleeter than the wind-his enchanting musician, Barbud—and, above all, the incomparable Shireen, to whom he was passionately attached-are subjects on which a thousand volumes have been written by his countrymen." Sir John allows that there may be much exaggeration in all this; but that we may still conclude that no Oriental prince ever indulged in greater luxury and splendour.
24. "Reigned in Damascus.”—Here is a very important historical circumstance, describing the origin of the kingdom of Damascus, which appears previously to have appertained to the kings of Zobah. In the preceding verse we see that Rezin, the founder of the new kingdom, was an officer of the king of Zobah. It would seem that he fled from the battle in which his lord was defeated, and having collected a body of followers, lived as Jephthah and David had done in the early part of their career; and in this last sad period of Solomon's reign, was enabled to obtain possession of Damascus and establish a kingdom there, which we shall find frequently noticed in the sequel.
25." And reigned over Syria.”—Our version seems to make this apply to Rezin, but the Septuagint applies it to Hadad, reading" Edom" (TN) instead of "Aram" (DN) or Syria; and the sense would certainly be improved by this reading, inasmuch as it supplies an apparent omission, for, without it, we only know that Hadad left Egypt for Edom, and not how he succeeded there, or how he was able to trouble Solomon. The history of Hadad is certainly very obscure. Adopting the Septuagint reading, some conclude that Pharaoh used his interest with Solomon to allow Hadad to reign as a tributary prince; and that he ultimately asserted his independence. Josephus, however, seems to have read the Hebrew as our version does, "Syria" not "Edom." He says that Hadad, on his arrival in Edom, found the territory too strongly garrisoned by Solomon's troops to afford any hope of success. He therefore proceeded with a party of adherents to Syria, where he was well received by Rezin, then at the head of a band of robbers, and with his assistance seized upon part of Syria and reigned there. If this be correct, this must have been another part of Syria to that in which Rezin himself reigned, for it is certain from verse 24, that he (Rezin) did reign in Damascus. Čarrières supposes that Hadad reigned in Syria after the death of Hadad; and it might reconcile apparent discrepancies, by supposing that two kingdoms were established (there were more previously), both of which, after the death of Rezin, were consolidated under Hadad. That Hadad was really king of Syria seems to be rather corroborated by the fact, that every subsequent king of Syria is in the Scripture called Ben-Hadad, ❝ son of Hadad," and in Josephus simply Hadad; which seems to denote that the founder of the dynasty was called by this name. We may observe, that, whether we here read Aram or Edom, it must be understood as applying to Hadad, not to Rezin.
26. "Zereda."-Not mentioned elsewhere. We only know that it was in the tribe of Ephraim.
27. "Solomon built Millo."-Compare 2 Sam. v. 9; 1 Kings ix. 15. 24; 2 Kings xii. 20;,1 Chron. xi. 8; 2 Chron. xxxii. 3. There has been considerable diversity of opinion about this Millo. The word (N) is supposed to be derived from (mala), “to be full," and it is thought by some to apply to the filling up of the ditch or valley between Mount Zion and the lower city, which was either done or completed by Solomon. However, Millo is spoken of as a building, and as the house of Millo; and being mentioned as a strong place, and one of the important defences of Jerusalem (2 Chron. xxxii. 3), it is inferred that it was a sort of fortress or arsenal. It is also supposed to have been a sort
of senate-honse, where the kings met and conferred with their princes and elders; and this is thought to be indicated by the fact that Joash was slain by the conspirators "in the house of Millo" (2 Kings xii. 8), probably when he had proceeded thither to confer with his council. This is considered to be corroborated by the mention of another "house of Millo" at Shechem,-" All the men of Shechem gathered together, and all the house of Millo, and went and made Aimelech king;" where "the men of Shechem" are supposed to be the inhabitants generally, and "the house of Millo," as distinguished from them, to mean the elders or governing body of the place. Millo was doubtless a public building, and whatever probability may belong to the inferences we have mentioned, might easily be combined in one view, by supposing that it was a strongly fortified building in which the senate or council used to meet the king, and which may have been situated near or upon the filled up valley between Zion and the lower town. It evidently formed part of the city of David, and in this case it would have been just within the line which divided the citadel from the Lower town. Another, and we believe the least probable account is, that Solomon filled up the valley to build a palace there for Pharaoh's daughter. The whole subject is very obscure; but it was certainly some expensive and onerous undertaking; and it is not improbably conceived that the discontent which it inspired, gave occasion to Jeroboam (who appears to have been overseer of that part of the work which it fell to "the house of Joseph" to execute) to stir up those feelings which ultimately alienated ten of the tribes from the house of David; of which alienation therefore the building of Millo may be considered as the proximate cause.
40. "Shishak king of Egypt."-This is the first time we find the proper name of an Egyptian sovereign in the Scriptares, unless Rameses, in Gen. xlvii. 11, be the name, not of a country, but of the king. Josephus, however, is not cor reet in saying that Solomon's father-in-law was the last who bore the common titular denomination of "Pharaoh," for we afterwards read of Pharaoh-Necho and Pharaoh-Hophra, besides the frequent use of the name in the prophets. It is clear, however, that Josephus does not consider this Shishak as the father-in-law of Solomon, which indeed the history before us would render unlikely. Marsham and Newton identify him with the famous Sesostris; but Dr. Hales thinks that this is placing Sesostris much too late, and he himself identifies him with Cephrenes, and therefore Cheops, his brother and predecessor, must have been the father of Solomon's wife. The priests of Egypt told Herodatus that the first pyramid was built by Cheops, and the second by Cephrenes;—a statement probably founded on their desire to make the pyramids be considered as monuments of the glory of their native kings, and to conceal the shame of their more ancient subjection to those "shepherd kings," under whom the pyramids seem to have been really erected, by the hands of the subjected Egyptians, and perhaps of the Israelites, then in Egypt.
M. Champollion is generally allowed to have rendered it sufficiently probable that this Shishak was the Sesonchosis of Manetho, and whose name (Sheshonk), with the title, " confirmed by Ammon," appears on one of the columns of the first grand peristyle in the palace of Karnac. Now, among the sculptured ornaments of this same palace, the personge thus named is represented as dragging to the feet of his gods the chiefs or representatives of thirty conquered Batns. Having identified this monarch with Shishak, it was natural to look among the captives for a representative of the Jewish nation. The search was repaid by finding one whose distinguishing hieroglyphic inscription was equivakat. in phonetic value, to "Jouda-ha-melek," written at full length, and meaning, the king of the Jews, or of Jah. It may therefore fairly be inferred that the triumphant scene commemorates, among the other victories of the Egyptian king, that which the text records; and that it thus, as Champollion himself remarks, forms an interesting Commentary upon 1 Kings xiv. 25-28. We take these explanations at the value given to them by Champollion, and amitted by Heeren and others, without feeling it necessary either to enforce or dispute their claims to attention. The corroboration is in itself probable, and, as such, curious and interesting. (See Champollion, ‘Précis,' p. 205; 'Lettres, p. 99; and Heeren's Egypt.' sect. iii. ch. iii.)
The Israelites, assembled at Shechem to crown Rehoboam, by Jeroboam make a suit of relaxation unto him. 6 Rehoboam, refusing the old men's counsel, by the advice of young men, answereth them roughly. 16 Ten tribes revolting, kill Adoram, and make Rehoboam to flee. 21 Rehoboam, raising an army, is forbidden by Shemaiah. 25 Jeroboam strengtheneth himself by cities, 26 and by the idolatry of the two calves.
AND 'Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king.
5 And he said unto them, Depart yet for three days, then come again to me. And the people departed.
6 And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people?
7 And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever.
2 And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard of it, (for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt;)
8 But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and con sulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him :
3 That they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying, 4 Thy father made our "yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which
9 And he said unto them, What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter?
12 Chron. 10. 1.
Chap. 11. 40.
he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.
Chap. 4. 7.