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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 1

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 1

And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 2

Then Solomon spake unto all Israel, to the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and to the judges, and to every governor in all Israel, the chief of the fathers.

Then Solomon spake unto all Israel - namely, the heads, or leading officers, that are afterward specified, were summoned to attend their sovereign in a solemn religious procession. The date of this occurrence was the second year of Solomon's reign, and the high place at Gibeon was chosen for the performance of the sacred rites, from the tabernacle and all the ancient furniture connected with the national worship being deposited there. Zadok was the officiating high priest (1 Chronicles 16:39). It is true that the ark had been removed, and placed in a new tent which David had made for it at Jerusalem; but the brasen altar, "before the tabernacle of the Lord," on which the burnt offerings were appointed by the law to be made, was at Gibeon; and although David had been led by extraordinary events and tokens of the divine presence to sacrifice on the threshing-floor of Araunah, Solomon considered it his duty to present his offerings on the legally appointed spot "before the tabernacle," and on the time-honoured altar prepared by the skill of Bezaleel in the wilderness (Exodus 38:1).

Verses 3-5

So Solomon, and all the congregation with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the tabernacle of the congregation of God, which Moses the servant of the LORD had made in the wilderness.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 6

And Solomon went up thither to the brasen altar before the LORD, which was at the tabernacle of the congregation, and offered a thousand burnt offerings upon it.

Offered a thousand burnt offerings. This holocaust he offered, of course, by the hands of the priests. The magnitude of the oblation became the rank of the offerer on this occasion of national solemnity.

Verse 7

In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee.

In that night did God appear - (see the note at 1 Kings 3:5.)

Verses 8-10

And Solomon said unto God, Thou hast shewed great mercy unto David my father, and hast made me to reign in his stead.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 11

And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king:

Thou hast not asked riches, wealth. [These words appear to be synonymous, yet they are different in signification, `osher (H6239) denoting riches generally, and nªkaaciym (H5233), which is a word of later Hebrew, means precious stones, valuables, treasures, and money paid in tribute.]

Verses 12-13

Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 14

And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, which he placed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.

Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen. His passion for horses was greater than that of any Israelite monarch before or after him. His stud comprised 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses. This was a prohibited indulgence, whether as an instrument of luxury or power. But it was not merely for his own use that he imported the horses of Egypt. The immense equestrian establishment he erected was not for show merely, but also for profit. The Egyptian breed of horses was highly valued; and being as fine as Arabians, but larger and more powerful, as clearly appears from the monuments, they were well fitted for being yoked in chariots. These were light but compact and solid vehicles, without springs. From the price stated (2 Chronicles 1:17) as given for a chariot and a horse, it appears that the chariot cost four times the value of a horse. A horse brought 150 shekels, which, estimating the shekel at 2 shillings 3d. or 2 shillings 6d., amount to 17 pounds, 2 shillings or 18 pounds, 15 shillings, while a chariot brought 600 shekels-equal to 68 pounds, 9 shillings or 75 pounds; and as an Egyptian chariot was usually drawn by two horses, a chariot and pair would cost 112 pounds sterling. Since the Syrians, who were fond of the Egyptian breed of horses, could import them into their own country only through Judea, Solomon early perceived the commercial advantages to be derived from this trade, and established a monopoly. His factors or agents purchased them in the markets or fairs of Egypt, and brought them to the "chariot cities" - the depots and stables he had erected on the frontiers of his kingdom, such as Beth-marcaboth, 'the house of chariots,' and Hazor-susah, 'the village of horses' (Joshua 19:5; 1 Kings 10:28).

Verse 15

And the king made silver and gold at Jerusalem as plenteous as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycomore trees that are in the vale for abundance.

The king made silver and gold at Jerusalem as plenteous as stones - in addition to the large amount of treasure collected and bequeathed to him by his father David. The great source of Solomon's immense wealth undoubtedly lay in his trading speculations. For, as a monarch, he possessed advantages and enjoyed facilities for ending into trade, infinitely superior to any of his subjects. His vessels traded to distant shores, and returned laden with the gold and the treasures of every land. The multiplication of gold and silver was prohibited to the theocratic king as well as that of horses (Deuteronomy 17:16-17).

Verse 16

And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price.

And linen yarn, [ miqªwee' (H4723)] - a collection, a gathering; nowhere is it used to signify "linen yarn."

The king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price. It is strange to find these words in the midst of a context which is occupied before and after with describing the importation, on a large scale, of horses and chariots from Egypt. The insertion of a clause so unconnected might create a suspicion that the text in this passage has been dislocated, did not the words admit of another interpretation more in accordance with the tenor of the narrative. [Taking the word miqwee (H4723) as it stands in the present Hebrew text, Gesenius, followed by Keil, gives this meaning to the clause: 'And a company (or caravan) of the king's merchants (traders) brought a troop or string of horses from Egypt at a price. The Vulgate, taking Qowah as a proper name, has, 'and horses were brought to Solomon, from Koa' (a place unknown). Thenius, in his 'Commentary,' suggests a translation different from both of the preceding, and founded upon that of the Septuagint. The text of that version (cf. 1 Kings 10:28) stands thus: -kai hee exodos Saloomoon toon hippeoon kai ex Aiguptou kai ek Thekoue emporoi tou basileoos, kai elambanon ek Thekoue en allagmati. How or whence did the Septuagint obtain the reading, ek Thekoue? Thenius conjectures that the Hebrew manuscript from which they translated had mi-Tªqowach, and that they considered the clause in question to signify that the king's trading agents brought horses in bands from Tekoa, having bought them at a price. The ancient route by which animals from the horse markets of Egypt were brought into Palestine was through Beer-sheba and by Tekoa. To the latter place, as an established depot, they were brought by the Egyptian jockeys, and there transferred to the care of Solomon's factors. Great weight must, in this instance, be attached to the views of the Septuagint, who, in rendering this passage, would undoubtedly be influenced by their knowledge of the mode in which this extensive traffic was carried on.]

Verse 17

And they fetched up, and brought forth out of Egypt a chariot for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so brought they out horses for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, by their means. Brought ... for all the kings of the Hittites. A branch of this powerful tribe, when expelled from Palestine, had settled north of Lebanon, where they acquired large possessions contiguous to the Syrians.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/2-chronicles-1.html. 1871-8.
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