Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Kings 9:13

He said, "What are these cities which you have given me, my brother?" So they were called the land of Cabul to this day.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Cabul;   Diplomacy;   Elijah;   Hiram;   Solomon;   Treaty;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Cabul;   Egypt;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Hiram;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Cabul;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Hiram;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Brothers;   Cabul;   Galilee;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Alliance;   Cabul;   Israel;   Solomon;   Tadmor;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Cabul ;   Galilee ;   Hiram ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Cabul;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Hiram;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Brother;   Ca'bul;   Tyre;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Alliance;   Brother;   Hiram;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Josephus, Flavius;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Called them the land of Cabul - Whether this epithet was given to this land by Hiram as a mark of disapprobation, or what is its proper meaning, the learned are not agreed. That there was a country of this name in the promised land in the time of Joshua, is evident enough from Joshua 19:27, as it was one part of the boundary of the tribe of Asher; hence some interpret the word border or boundary, and so, the Septuagint understood it, for they have translated the Hebrew word ὁριον, which signifies the same. The margin gives another meaning.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Kings 9:13". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-kings-9.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Cabul is said to be a Phoenician word, and signified “displeasing” (see margin). There is some reason to believe that the cities thus despised by Hiram were restored to Solomon 2 Chronicles 8:2, and that Solomon rebuilt them and colonized them with Israelites.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Kings 9:13". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-kings-9.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And he said,.... By letter to him:

what cities are these which thou hast given me, my brother? so he called him, being not only his neighbour, but his ally, in friendship and covenant with him; and this he said of them not by way of complaint, or contempt, as unworthy of his acceptance; for so munificent a prince as Solomon would never offer to a king to whom he was so much obliged anything mean and contemptible; but as being unsuitable to him, however valuable they might be in themselves, or of advantage to others:

and he called them the land of Cabul unto this day; or rather the words should be rendered impersonally, "they were called so"; for Hiram could not call them by this name to the times of the writer of this book; nor is there any reason to think he would give them any name at all, and much less a contemptible one, as this is thought to be, when he did not choose to accept of them. Some interpretF7David de Pomis, Lexic fol. 58. 2. the word shut up, or unfruitful, sandy, dirty, clayey; so in the TalmudF8T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 54. 1. it is said to be a sandy land, and called Cabul, because a man's foot was plunged in it up to his ankles, and is represented as unfruitful. JosephusF9Antiqu. l. 8. c. 5. sect. 3. says, in the Phoenician tongue it signifies "not pleasing", which agrees with what Hiram says, 1 Kings 9:12. HillerusF11Onomastic. Sacr. p. 435. interprets it "as nothing", they being as nothing to Hiram, of no use to him, whatever they might be to others; and therefore he restored them to Solomon, 2 Chronicles 8:2, which seems to be the best sense of the word. They are the same with Decapolis, Matthew 4:25 so called from ten cities thereinF12Vid. Castel Lex Heptaglot. col. 1669. & Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 18. .

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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.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 9:13". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-kings-9.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And he said, What cities are these which thou hast given me, my brother? And he called them the land of Cabul unto this day.

Cabul — That is, of dirt, as most interpret it. Because, though the land was very good, yet being a thick and stiff clay, and therefore requiring great pains to manure it, it was very unsuitable to the disposition of the Tyrians, who were delicate, and lazy, and luxurious, and wholly given to merchandise. And on his returning them, there is no doubt but Solomon gave him an equivalent more to his taste.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 9:13". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-kings-9.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 Kings 9:13 And he said, What cities [are] these which thou hast given me, my brother? And he called them the land of Cabul unto this day.

Ver. 13. What cities are these?] i.e., Quanti putas esse? (a) How much dost thou hold them worth?

And he called them the land of Cabul,] i.e., Displeasing or dirty; or, by transposition of a letter, terra canina, a land for my dogs. Oh that we could have as light an esteem of all things here below, looking upon this world as a great dunghill!

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 9:13". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-kings-9.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

1 Kings 9:13. And he called them the land of Cabul unto this day Houbigant thinks that Cabul is derived from an Arabic word, signifying to defer the payment of a debt; perhaps because he had not given them to king Hiram before he had finished all his buildings. The Arabic word signifies also to refuse, to be short in; which signification may imply, that those cities were either too small, or such as a Tyrian king should refuse. Some think, that the word כבול Cabul should here be considered as a compound of כ caph, (like, as,) and בל bal, or בול bul, (nothing:) thus well expressing king Hiram's dislike, as signifying that those cities were worthless, next to nothing. See Parkhurst on the word. It is uncertain why Hiram so much disliked these cities. Bedford thinks it was because the Tyrians were wholly addicted to trade and merchandize, and therefore would not remove from the sea-shores to live in a soil which required a great deal of labour to cultivate it; a business to which they were little accustomed. See Calmet.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Kings 9:13". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/1-kings-9.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The land of Cabul, i.e. of dirt, as most interpret it. Not that it was a barren soil, as some imagine; for they who describe those parts commend them as fruitful; nor would Solomon have made him so unworthy a return: but because it was not pleasant, nor agreeable to his nor to his people’s humour; because, though the land was very good, yet being a thick and stiff clay, and therefore requiring great pains to manure and improve it, it was very unsuitable to the disposition of the Tyrians, who were delicate, and lazy, and luxurious, and wholly given to merchandise.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Kings 9:13". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-kings-9.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

13.My brother — Used here and in 1 Kings 20:33, as often at the present day in the East, as a term of friendly intercourse. Compare 1 Macc.

1 Kings 10:18; 1 Kings 11:30; 2 Maccabees 11:22.

Cabul — “Which name,” says Josephus, “if it be interpreted according to the language of the Phenicians, denotes what does not please.” The Cabul of Joshua 19:27 may have been one of the twenty cities, and to show his dissatisfaction he may have applied the name of that little insignificant town to the whole district. After Hiram restored the cities, Solomon built them more nobly and peopled them with Israelites. 2 Chronicles 8:2. But notwithstanding this displeasure on the part of Hiram, the friendly relations of these two monarchs seem to have lasted as long as they lived.

Unto this day — The day when this document was written.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 9:13". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-kings-9.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Brother. By this title the eastern kings addressed each other, chap. xx. 32., and 1 Machabees x. 18., and xi. 30. Solomon and Hiram always lived on good terms. (Calmet) --- Chabul: that is, dirty or displeasing. (Challoner) --- The latter signification is given by Josephus, from the Phœnician language. (Haydock) --- The real meaning is uncertain. Some with the last mentioned author, place these cities in the vicinity of Tyre, south of Ptolemais, which is most probable; though St. Jerome says they were in the land of Basan, beyond the Jordan. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 9:13". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-kings-9.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

What cities. ? Figure of speech Erotesis. App-6.

Cabul. The point of the sarcasm is not apparent to us on account of our not knowing the meaning of the word. It has been variously suggested as meaning "worthless", "not to my taste" (Josephus). Galilee always despised. Septuagint says "frontier"; others, "received as a pledge"; others, "good for nothing".

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Kings 9:13". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-kings-9.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(13) Cabul.—The derivation of this word is uncertain. Josephus evidently did not know it as a Hebrew word; for he expressly says, that in the Phænician language it signifies “what is unpleasing.” (Ant. viii., sect. 3). A city Cabul is mentioned in Joshua 19:27, in the territory of Asher, evidently on the Tyrian frontier, and in the neighbourhood in question. Hiram, it is thought, takes up this name, and applies it to the whole territory, and by a play of words on it signifies his discontent with Solomon’s gift. Ewald supposes a Hebrew derivation for the word (“as nought”); others take it to be “like that which vanishes.” Either would suit the sense indicated in the text well; but unless these derivations represent something cognate in the Tyrian language, they hardly accord with the requirements of this passage, which (as Josephus says) implies a Phoenician origin for the word.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 9:13". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-kings-9.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he said, What cities are these which thou hast given me, my brother? And he called them the land of Cabul unto this day.
my brother
5:1,2; Amos 1:9
Cabul
that is, Displeasing, or dirty. Josephus says that Cabul, in the Phoenician language, signifies [ouk areskon] displeasing; and that these cities were situated in the neighbourhood of Tyre. Most commentators are persuaded that the city Cabul in the tribe of Asher was one; and probably from this Hiram took occasion to give this name to all the other cities which Solomon had ceded to him.
Joshua 19:27
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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 9:13". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-kings-9.html.