Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Kings 10:29

A chariot was imported from Egypt for 600 shekels of silver, and a horse for 150; and by the same means they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and to the kings of the Arameans.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Chariot;   Commerce;   Egypt;   Exports;   Hittites;   Horse;   Imports;   King;   Solomon;   Thompson Chain Reference - Hittites;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Chariots;   Commerce;   Egypt;   Hittites;   Holy Land;   Horse, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Hittites;   Sabeans;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Animals;   Coins;   Egypt;   Hittites;   Solomon;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Israel;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Alliance;   Army;   Hittites;   Horse;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Army;   Chariot;   Commerce;   Egypt;   Heth;   Hittites;   Horse;   Solomon;   Syria;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Chariots;   King, Kingship;   Kue;   Solomon;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Government;   Hittites;   Israel;   Sheba, Queen of;   Ships and Boats;   Solomon;   Trade and Commerce;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Army;   Hittites ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Egypt;   Hittites;   Tax taxing taxation;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Alliances;   Law of Moses;   Sol'omon;   Taxes;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Peacock;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Army;   Chariot;   Commerce;   Hittites;   Mean;   Money;   Solomon;   World (Cosmological);   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Chariot;   Commerce;   Hazar-Susah;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

A chariot came up - for six hundred shekels - This was the ordinary price of a chariot, as a hundred and fifty shekels were for a horse.

Kings of the Hittites - These must have been the remains of the original inhabitants of Canaan, who had gone to some other country, probably Syria, and formed themselves into a principality there. It seems that neither horses nor chariots came out of Egypt but by means of Solomon's servants.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Kings 10:29". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-kings-10.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Taking the shekel at about three shillings of our money, six hundred silver shekels would be equal to about 90; and 150 shekels to 22British pounds and 10 shillings. “Average” price seems to be in each case intended; and we may account for the comparatively high price of the chariot by supposing that by “chariot” is intended the entire equipage, including car, harness, and trained horses, of which there would be two at least, if not three. The “horses” mentioned separately from the chariots are not chariot-horses, but chargers for the cavalry.

The kings of the Hittites - See 2 Kings 7:6 note. The kings intended were probably Solomon‘s vassals, whose armies were at his disposal if he required their aid.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Kings 10:29". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-kings-10.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver,.... Which, reckoning at two shillings and six pence a shekel, amounted to seventy five pounds; but a shekel was not worth more than two shillings and four pence farthing:

and an horse for one hundred and fifty; and this being the fourth part of the above sum, the Jews gather from hence that there were four horses in a chariot; the horses must be reckoned one with another, the whole collection of them, or otherwise no doubt but one horse was better than another; and it was a pretty large price to give for a horse in those times; which, taking a shekel at the lowest rate, must be upwards of ten pounds; and which is too great a sum still for a custom or tribute to be paid for them, whether to Pharaoh or Solomon, as some understand it:

and so for all the kings of the Hittites; perhaps the same with the kings of Arabia, 1 Kings 10:15 and for the kings of Syria; those of Damascus, Zobah, &c.

did they bring them out by their means; that is, by the means of Solomon's merchants, who bought them out of Egypt, and sold them to these kings.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 10:29". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-kings-10.html. 1999.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

REFLECTIONS

READER! added to the view we have taken in this chapter of Solomon's wisdom and greatness, as a shadow of him in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; are we not led by what we have read to behold in this Queen of the south, thus coming to Solomon, a picture of the whole Gentile church coming to Christ? Was it not a promise of our covenant God concerning him, that Gentiles should come to his light, and kings to the brightness of his rising? And in allusion to the same blessed and glorious event, did not the Lord Jehovah promise that the multitude of camels should cover him; the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; they from Sheba should come, they should bring gold and incense, and show forth the praises of the Lord. And how is the mind overpowered in the contemplation, when we behold these great predictions accomplished in the first fruits of the wise men from the East coming to Christ in the moment of his Incarnation; and now in the dispensation of the fullness of times the Lord gathering together in one all things in Christ?

But Reader! while our souls are deeply impressed with the contemplation of the stupendous blessings and mercies in Jesus; shall we not advance one step higher in the wonderful subject, and look at Jesus himself thus gloriously shadowed forth in the several striking features of Solomon king of Israel? As far as the excellencies of Solomon go, they were surely descriptive of Solomon's Lord God, and Saviour. And here (though not in the infirmities of the man) as we read the relation (but in the wisdom of the king) we are constrained to cry out in the representation, and say, a greater than Solomon is here. Yes! blessed Jesus; as the Lord sent by the hand of Nathan to David, and at the birth of Solomon called him Jedidiah, beloved of the Lord; so by a voice from heaven at thy gracious entrance upon the work the Father gave thee to do, thou wert declared to be the true Jedidiah; the beloved Son of God, in whom the soul of thy Father was well pleased. And thy wisdom hath not only called forth the whole earth to admire and adore; but all the powers of heaven join to acknowledge thee to be the power of God, and the wisdom of God, for salvation to everyone that believeth. Thy kingdom was but faintly represented by the peaceful reign of Solomon; for of the increase of thy government and peace, there is, there can be no end. Well may every true believer, like the Queen of Sheba, and yet in higher notes of gratitude, love and praise, exult and say; Happy are thy redeemed ones; happy are thy servants who minister in thy great name, and stand continually before thee! And blessed be the Lord Jehovah, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, who hath constituted our Jesus the Solomon of his people, and hath given him an everlasting kingdom, and a dominion that ruleth over all. Lord! hasten thy kingdom, and thy glory; take to thyself thy great name, and rule and reign forever.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 1 Kings 10:29". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/1-kings-10.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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 so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring them out by their means.

Chariot — This is not to be understood of the chariots and horses themselves, but for the lading of chariots and horses, which consisting of fine linen and silk, were of great value: and the king's custom, together with the charges of the journey, amounted to these sums.

Hittites — A people dwelling principally in the northern and eastern parts of Canaan, Joshua 1:4, whom the Israelites, contrary to their duty, suffered to live amongst them, Judges 3:5, who afterwards grew numerous and potent, and, it may be, sent out colonies (after the manner of the ancient times) into some parts of Syria and Arabia. And possibly, these kings of the Hittites may be some of those kings of Arabia, verse15.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 10:29". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-kings-10.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 Kings 10:29 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 so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring [them] out by their means.

Ver. 29. And a chariot came up.] A chariot with four horses. The custom of six horses in a coach with a postilion, began among us but in King James’s days by the duke of Buckingham, that king’s favourite.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 10:29". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-kings-10.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

1 Kings 10:29. And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt, &c.— The Egyptian horses were highly acceptable to the Syrian princes, who, it seems, had them brought out of that country by the means of Solomon, at a considerable expence. What made them prize the Egyptian horses so highly, is not easy to determine. It cannot be imagined that they were animals peculiar to Egypt, or not known in that part of Asia, which made them so desirous to transplant such an useful creature into their countries; for we read of great numbers of them in Syria before the time of Solomon. (See 1 Samuel 13:5. 2 Samuel 10:18.) They might be supposed, however, much more useful in war, to which the prophet Isaiah may possibly refer, Isaiah 31:3 when he tells the Israelites, that the Egyptians were men, and not God; and their horses were flesh, and not spirit: for it is well known, that they are much larger than other eastern horses, as well as more beautiful. Or they might be chosen on account of their stateliness, and being more proper for the use of those who desired to appear in great pomp and dignity. But, whatever was the reason, it seems to have been a proof of the respect paid to Solomon by the neighbouring princes, and among the rest by those of Egypt, which the Scripture speaks of, but which has not, as far as I know, been remarked by commentators, as pointed out in the present passage, and 2 Chronicles 1:16-17 though they are very clear proofs of it, if the present Egyptian usages are derived from remote antiquity in this respect, as they are in most other things; for the difficulty, we are told, of conveying horses out of Egypt, is so great, that, excepting those designed for Turks of high distinction at Constantinople, it cannot be overcome. M. Maillet himself, though Consul General of France in Egypt, and though he had powerful connections with the great men there, could never obtain this liberty; and in his eleventh letter he employs upwards of two pages in proposing projects for doing that by subtilty, which he despaired of effecting by any other means. It is most probable, that the like difficulty existed in the time of Solomon, as the customs of Egypt are so very ancient; and, consequently, his bringing horses out of this country for himself, and for other princes at his pleasure, should be considered as a proof of the respect with which he was treated; as the fondness of the present great men of the East for the horses of Egypt, may account for the desire of the kings of the Hittites and of Syria to obtain them. See the Observations; the author of which, speaking of the linen yarn, 1 Kings 10:28 goes on to remark, that, according to Norden, this is one of the principal of the Egyptian merchandises, and is sent away in prodigious quantities, together with unmanufactured flax, and cotton spun. Sanutus, who lived about four hundred years since, observes, that though Christian countries abounded in his time in flax, yet the goodness of the Egyptian was such, that it was dispersed all about, even into the west. For the same reason, without doubt, the Jews, Hittites, and Syrians, anciently purchased the linen yarn of this country, though they had flax growing in their own.

Note: 1. Solomon, on his throne of ivory, was typical of his greater Son, seated on the great white throne of Judgment, and pronouncing sentence on the eternal state of men and angels; see Revelation 2:2. That king is truly glorious, who makes his subjects affluent and happy under his wise administration. 3. If we shall be found citizens of the New Jerusalem, and our lot be cast among the subjects of Jesus, then the very streets of our city shall be pure gold, and the walls the richest jewels; so much will our eternal consolations and blessedness exceed all earthly joy and felicity.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Kings 10:29". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/1-kings-10.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

A chariot: this is not to be understood of the chariots and horses themselves, (for then all horses had been set at an equal price, which is most absurd,) but by a metonymy, for the lading of chariots and horses, which consisting of fine linen and silk, &c., were of great value; and the king’s custom, together with the charges of the journey, amounted to these sums.

The Hittites; a people dwelling principally in the northern and eastern parts of Canaan, Joshua 1:4, whom the Israelites, contrary to their duty, spared, and suffered to live among them, Jude 3:5, who afterwards, it seems, grew numerous and potent, and, it may be, they sent out colonies (after the manner of the ancient times) into some parts of Syria and Arabia and possibly these kings of the Hittites may be some of those kings of Arabia, 1 Kings 10:15.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Kings 10:29". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-kings-10.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

29.Six hundred shekels of silver — According to Keil about thirty-five pounds sterling, or one hundred and seventy-five dollars.

A hundred and fifty — About forty-five dollars. The object of the writer was to show that horses and chariots were so multiplied in Solomon’s day as to be obtained at a very small price.

And so for all the kings of the Hittites, and’ of Syria — That is, the Canaanitish and Syrian kings, who were tributary to Solomon, received the same advantage from this extensive traffic in horses and chariots that the great king himself did. They too had opportunity to purchase horses and chariots of Solomon’s traders at the same low price. But this commerce with Egypt, though for a time seeming to aggrandize the empire of Solomon, was helping to lay the foundation of its fall.

By their means — That is, by means of Solomon’s horse-merchants. Literally, by their hand they brought them forth. The traders brought them (horses and chariots) out of Egypt for the vassal kings of Palestine and Syria.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 10:29". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-kings-10.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

1 Kings 10:29. A chariot came up — out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, &c. — Egypt being then the most famous country in the world for horses and chariots, and all Asia being supplied from thence, Solomon, who possessed, as it were, the gate of Egypt, by being master of that one only passage, the distance between the Red and the Mediterranean sea, took, it seems, an advantage of this, to lay an excessive high tribute on all that were brought out of Egypt that way, to supply Asia and the neighbouring nations; and perhaps he fixed this tribute so high, not only for the sake of gain, but to be a means of preventing the neighbouring nations from increasing their cavalry and chariots of war to too formidable a degree. Poole, however, thinks that this great price is not to be understood as paid for the chariots and horses themselves, but for the lading of the chariots and horses, which, consisting of fine linen and silk, was of great value: and that the king’s custom, together with the charges of the journey, amounted to these sums. And so for all the kings of the Hittites — A people dwelling principally in the northern and eastern parts of Canaan, (Joshua 1:4) the posterity of those Hittites who were driven out by the Israelites, and who afterward increased and grew potent, and, it may be, sent out colonies, after the manner of ancient times, into some parts of Syria and Arabia.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Kings 10:29". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-kings-10.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Fifty, upon an average. --- Hethites: some had retired, and built Lusa; (Judges i. 26.) others dwelt beyond Libanus, 4 Kings vii. 4. These kings sold horses to Solomon; or, according to the Hebrew, the Jews had the traffic of horses in their own hands. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "and so for all the kings....did they bring them out by their means." Septuagint, "thus to all the kings....of Syria, on the seashore, they came out." (Haydock) --- The merchants sold horses to these kings, at 150 sicles a piece. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 10:29". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-kings-10.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

kings of the Hittites. Compare 1 Samuel 26:6. 2 Kings 7:6. These passages alleged to be unhistoric! but they are confirmed by the discoveries made in 1874 throughout Asia Minor and North Syria, which identify them with the "sons of Heth" (Genesis 23:3, Genesis 23:5, Genesis 23:7; Genesis 25:10; Genesis 27:46; Genesis 49:32), the Khatta of the Accadian and the Kheta of the Egyptian records. They contended on equal terms with Assyria and Egypt. Crushed by Sargon II, 717 B.C. Chief centers, Carchemish on the Euphrates and Kadesh on the Upper Orontes.

by their means. Hebrew by their hand. Hand put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6, for what is done by it: by means of Solomon"s merchants.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Kings 10:29". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-kings-10.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(29) A chariot.—This is the chariot and its team of two or three horses; the “horse” is the charger. The price (though so far considerable as to indicate a large expenditure on the whole) shows that the supply was large, and the commerce regular.

The kings of the Hittites, and the kings of Syria—evidently allies or tributaries of Solomon, who were allowed, or compelled, to purchase their horses and chariots through his merchants. Of all the earlier inhabitants of Palestine the Hittites alone are mentioned as having existed in power after the conquest (as here and in 2 Kings 7:6); and this statement is curiously confirmed by both Egyptian and Assyrian inscriptions, describing a powerful confederacy of Hittites in the valley of the Orontes in Syria, not far from Phœnicia, with whom both empires waged war. The possession of horses and chariots by the northern confederacy round Hazor is especially noted in the history of the Conquest (Joshua 11:4-6).

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 10:29". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-kings-10.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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 so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring them out by their means.
for six hundred
This was the ordinary price of a chariot, as 150 shekels was that of a horse. It seems that neither horses nor chariots came out of Egypt but by means of Solomon's servants.
the kings
Joshua 1:4; 2 Kings 7:6
their means
Heb. their hand.
Hosea 12:10; Malachi 1:1 Reciprocal: 2 Chronicles 1:16 - Solomon

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 10:29". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-kings-10.html.