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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
2 Chronicles 9

 

 

Verse 1

And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to prove Solomon with hard questions at Jerusalem, with a very great company, and camels that bare spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.

When the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon - (see the notes at 1 Kings 10:1-13.) It is said that among the things in Jerusalem which drew forth the admiration of Solomon's royal visitor, was "his ascent by which he went up into the house of the Lord." This was the arched viaduct that crossed the valley from mount Zion to the opposite hill.

In the commentary on the passage quoted above, allusion was made to the recent discovery of its remains. Here we give a full account of what, for boldness of conception, for structure and magnificence, was one of the greatest wonders in Jerusalem. 'During our first visit to the southwest corner of the area of the mosque, we observed several of the large stones jutting out from the western wall, which at first seemed to be the effect of a bursting of the wall from some mighty shock or earthquake. We paid little regard to this at the moment; but, on mentioning the fact not long after to a circle of our friends, the remark was incidentally dropped that the stones had the appearance of having once belonged to a large arch. At this remark, a train of thought flashed across my mind, which I hardly dared to follow out, until I had again repaired to the spot, in order to satisfy myself with my own eye as to the truth or falsehood of the suggestion. I found it even so. The courses of these immense stones occupy their original position; their external surface is hewn to a regular curve; and, being fitted one upon another, they form the commencement or foot of an immense arch, which once sprung out from this western wall in a direction toward mount Zion, across the Tyropoean valley. This arch could only have belonged to the bridge, which, according to Josephus, led from this part of the temple to the Xystus (covered colonnade) on Zion; and it proves incontestably the antiquity of that portion from which it springs' (Robinson).

The distance from this point to the steep rock of Zion, he calculates to be about 350 feet, the probable length of this ancient viaduct. Another writer adds, that 'the arch of this bridge, if its curve be calculated with an approximation to the truth, would measure sixty feet, and must have been one of five, sustaining the viaduct (allowing for the abutments on either side), and that the piers supporting the center arch of this bridge must have been of great altitude-not less perhaps, than 130 feet. The whole structure, when seen from the southern extremity of the Tyropoean, must have had an aspect of grandeur, especially as connected with the lofty and sumptuous edifies of the temple, and of Zion to the right and to the left' (Isaac Taylor's 'Edition of Traill's Josephus;' see also 'Handbook of Syria and Palestine,' p. 120; Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' pp. 424-427).'


Verses 2-11

And Solomon told her all her questions: and there was nothing hid from Solomon which he told her not.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 12

And king Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which she had brought unto the king. So she turned, and went away to her own land, she and her servants.

King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire ... beside that which she had brought unto the king. It is alleged that this contradicts the statement of 1 Kings 10:13 (see the note at that passage). In addition to what has been said there, we subjoin the following remarks of Havernick ('Historico-Critical Introduction to the Old Testament,' p. 208). 'The former of these sages has been misunderstood. It is to be rendered thus: Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all that she desired and requested, over and above what he had already sent her after the royal fashion of Solomon (literally according to the might of the king; cf. Esther 1:7; Esther 1:11; Esther 1:18) - i:e., what he had to give as a kingly remuneration for the gifts sent to him according to the usage of Oriental princes.'


Verse 13

Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and threescore and six talents of gold;

Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year - (see the notes at 1 Kings 10:14-29.)

Six hundred and threescore and six talents of gold. The sum named is equal to 3,646,350 British pounds sterling; and if we take the proportion of silver (2 Chronicles 9:14), which is not taken into consideration, at 1 to 9, there would be about 2,000,000 pounds, making a yearly supply of neatly 6,000,000 pounds, being a vast amount for an infant effort in maritime commerce (Napier's 'Metal')


Verse 14

Beside that which chapmen and merchants brought. And all the kings of Arabia and governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon.

And governors of the country. As to the word Pechah, see the note at 1 Kings 10:15.


Verses 15-20

And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of beaten gold went to one target.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 21

For the king's ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram: every three years once came the ships of Tarshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.

The king's ships went to Tarshish - rather, 'the king's ships of Tarhish went' with the servants of Huram.

Ships of Tarshish - i:e., in burden and construction like the large vessels built for or used at Tarshish.


Verses 22-24

And king Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 25

And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; whom he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.

Solomon had four thousand stalls. It has been conjectured (Gesenius, 'Hebrew Lexicon') that the original term may signify not only stall or stable, but a number of horses occupying the same number of stalls. Supposing that ten were put together in one part, this would make 40,000 British pounds. According to this theory of explanation, the historian in Kings refers to horses; while the historian in Chronicles speaks of the stalls in which they were kept. But more recent critics reject this mode of solving the difficulty; and, regarding the 4,000 stalls as in keeping with the general magnificence of Solomon's establishments, are agreed in considering the text in Kings as corrupt, through the error of some copyist.


Verse 26

And he reigned over all the kings from the river even unto the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt.

(See the notes at 1 Kings 4:21-24.) This scriptural account of the power of the Hebrew king resembles, almost word for word, some of the paragraphs in the great ascriptions of Assyria ('Nineveh and Babylon,' p.

635).


Verse 27

And the king made silver in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycomore trees that are in the low plains in abundance.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 28

And they brought unto Solomon horses out of Egypt, and out of all lands.

Horses out of Egypt - (see the note at 2 Chronicles 1:17.) Solomon undoubtedly carried the Hebrew kingdom to Horses out of Egypt - (see the note at 2 Chronicles 1:17.) Solomon undoubtedly carried the Hebrew kingdom to its highest pitch of worldly glory, and his completion of the grand work, the centralizing of the national worship at Jerusalem, where the natives went up three times a year, has given his name a prominent place in the history of the ancient church. But his reign had a disastrous influence upon the "special people," and the example of his deplorable idolatries, the connections he formed with foreign princes the commercial speculations he entered into, and the luxuries introduced into the land seem in a great measure to have altered and deteriorated the Jewish character.

 


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 9:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-chronicles-9.html. 1871-8.

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Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
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