Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Kings 9:18

and Baalath and Tamar in the wilderness, in the land of Judah,
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Baalath;   Elijah;   Solomon;   Tadmor;   Thompson Chain Reference - Tadmore;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Baalath;   Egypt;   Tadmor or Tamar;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Megiddo;   Solomon;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Baalath;   Desert;   Solomon;   Tadmor;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Arabia;   Baalath;   Judges, the Book of;   Palmtree;   Tadmor;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Baalath;   Chariots;   Economic Life;   Solomon;   Tadmor;   Tamar;   Transportation and Travel;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Alliance;   Baal, Baalah, Baalath;   Bilhah;   Gift, Giving;   Israel;   Solomon;   Tadmor;   Tamar;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Wilderness (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Baalath ;   Hiram ;   Tadmor ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Millo;   Tadmor;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Tad'mor;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Palm Tree;   Tadmor;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Baalath;   Fortification;   Jerusalem;   Solomon;   Solomon's Servants;   Tadmor;   Tamar (2);   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Baalath;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

And Tadmor in the wilderness - This is almost universally allowed to be the same with the celebrated Palmyra, the ruins of which remain to the present day, and give us the highest idea of Solomon's splendor and magnificence. Palmyra stood upon a fertile plain surrounded by a barren desert, having the river Euphrates on the east. The ruins are well described by Messrs. Dawkes and Wood, of which they give fine representations. They are also well described in the ancient part of the Universal History, vol. i., p. 367-70. The description concludes thus: "The world never saw a more glorious city; the pride, it is likely, of ancient times, and the reproach of our own; a city not more remarkable for the state of her buildings and unwontedness of her situation than for the extraordinary personages who once flourished there, among whom the renowned Zenobia and the incomparable Longinus must for ever be remembered with admiration and regret."

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Kings 9:18". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-kings-9.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Tadmor - The Hebrew text here has, as written, Tamor (or Tamar), and as read, Tadmor. That the latter place, or Palmyra, was meant appears, first, from the distinct statement of Chronicles 2 Chronicles 8:4 that Solomon built Tadmor, and the improbability that the fact would be omitted in Kings; secondly, from the strong likelihood that Solomon, with his wide views of commerce, would seize and fortify the Palmy-rene Oasis: and thirdly, from the unanimity of the old versions in rendering Tamar here by Tadmor. The probability seems to be that Tamar was the original name of the place, being the Hebrew word for “a palm,” from where it is generally agreed that the town derived its name. Tadmor was a corrupt or dialectic variety of the word, which was adopted at the city itself, and prevailed over the original appellation. No reference is found to Tadmor in the Assyrian inscriptions, or in any Classical writer before Pliny.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Kings 9:18". "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 Baalath,.... A city in the tribe of Dan, Joshua 19:44.

and Tadmor in the wilderness, in the land; or "Tamar", as in the Cetib, or Scriptural reading; for we go according to the marginal reading, and so Thamato in PtolemyF16Geograph. l. 5. c. 16. ; and is thought by some to be the same with Tamar in Ezekiel 47:19, which Jerom there says is Palmyra. Tamar signifies a palm tree, from whence this city had its name Palmyra, the situation of which place agrees with this; hence we read both in PtolemyF17Ib. c. 15. and PlinyF18Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 26. & 6. 28. of the Palmyrene deserts: the ruins of it are to be seen to this day, and of it this account is given; that it is enclosed on three sides with long ridges of mountains, which open towards the east gradually, to the distance of about an hour's riding; but to the south stretches a vast plain, beyond the reach of the eye; the air is good, but the soil exceeding barren; nothing green to be seen therein, save some few palm trees in the gardens, and here and there about the town; and from these trees, I conceive, says my author, it obtained its name both in Hebrew and in Latin: it appears to have been of a large extent, by the space now taken up by the ruins; but there are no footsteps of any wall remaining, nor is it possible to judge of the ancient figure of the place. The present inhabitants, as they are poor, miserable, dirty people, so they have shut themselves up, to the number of about thirty or forty families, in little huts made of dirt, within the walls of a spacious court, which enclosed a most magnificent Heathen templeF19Halifax apud Philosphic. Transact. vol. 3. p. 504. . Benjamin of Tudela saysF20Itinerar. p. 57, 58. , it is situated in a wilderness, far from any habitable place, and is four days' journey from Baalath before mentioned; which place he takes to be the same with Baalbek, in the valley of Lebanon, built by Solomon for Pharaoh's daughter; which, according to the Arabic geographerF21Geograph. Nub. par. 5. clim. 3. p. 117. , was situated at the foot of Mount Lebanon; and Tadmor seems to be in the land of Hamathzobah, 2 Chronicles 8:3.

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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 9:18". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-kings-9.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Baalath — Baal-bek.

Tadmor — Palmyra, between Damascus and the Euphrates, was rebuilt and fortified as a security against invasion from northern Asia. In accomplishing these and various other works which were carried on throughout the kingdom, especially in the north, where Rezon of Damascus, his enemy, might prove dangerous, he employed vast numbers of the Canaanites as galley slaves (2 Chronicles 2:18), treating them as prisoners of war, who were compelled to do the drudgery and hard labor, while the Israelites were only engaged in honorable employment.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 9:18". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/1-kings-9.html. 1871-8.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 Kings 9:18 And Baalath, and Tadmor in the wilderness, in the land,

Ver. 18. In the wilderness, in the land,] i.e., So in the wilderness, as not out of the land of Canaan. Places which were but thinly inhabited, the Jews called wildernesses.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 9:18". 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 9:18. And Tadmor in the wilderness, in the land See 2 Chronicles 8:3-4. This Tadmor in the wilderness is generally supposed to be the same with the city of Palmyra, whose ruins are at present so extraordinary, and of which some valuable travellers of our nation have given us the most pleasing and accurate accounts. We refer our reader to these, not only that they may receive great pleasure but great improvement; since it is not possible to conceive higher ideas of Solomon's magnificence than these ruins present, nor more humiliating ideas of the vanity and weakness of all human splendor. See Messrs. Dawkins and Wood's ruins of Palmyra.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Kings 9:18". 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

Baalath, in the tribe of Dan, Joshua 19:40,44.

Tadmor; supposed to be called Tamar, Ezekiel 47:19.

In the land: this clause may belong either, first, To all the places above mentioned, which are here declared to be in the land of Canaan. But so that clause may seem superfluous; for none would easily think that he would build much out of his own land. Or rather, secondly, To Tadmor, which otherwise being in that wilderness which was the border of the land, might have been presumed to have been out of the land.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Kings 9:18". 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

18.Baalath — Probably identical with the town of this name in the tribe of Dan. Joshua 19:44. Some have supposed it to be the same as Baalbek in Coele-Syria, whose splendid ruins are still the wonder of the modern traveller.

Tadmor — Such is the name in the margin of the Hebrew Bible, (keri, ) and in 2 Chronicles 8:4; but in the Hebrew text of this verse it is Tamar, which seems to have been the original name, and means a palm tree. The place probably received this name from the many palm trees which were planted within and around it, and hence the later Greek and Roman name Palmyra, city of palms. The site of this celebrated city was a fertile oasis in the great Syrian desert, midway between the Euphrates and Palestine, and served as a most important watering-station for the caravans which carried on commerce between the Western nations and those of the far East. Its importance to commerce was, perhaps, suggested to Solomon by Phenician merchants, and his ready practical wisdom would not be slow to secure to his own dominion the advantage of such a control over the traffic between the East and the West as this central emporium would naturally give him. It was probably at first strongly built, and so garrisoned as to give protection and security to the caravans against the tribes of lawless Arabs which then, as now, infested those deserts, and exposed all travel and commerce in great danger and inconvenience. But the city soon rose to magnificence and luxury, and became a city of merchants, who monopolized the trade between the East and the West, buying up the products of Arabia and India and selling them again to the Western traders. Tadmor, probably soon after the death of Solomon, passed from the possession of the Hebrews to that of the Assyrians. It is not mentioned again in Scripture; but from other sources we learn that it passed through various fortunes under the Eastern kings, the Roman emperors, the Mohammedan khalifs, and was at last plundered and laid waste by the Mongol conqueror, Tamerlane. Its ruins were long unknown to Europeans, but were discovered towards the close of the seventeenth century. They occupy a sandy plain, slightly elevated above the surrounding desert, and consist of “scattered groups of columns and single monumental pillars, while everywhere the ground is thickly strewn with broken shafts, and great shapeless piles of ruins, all white and glistering in the bright sunlight. Like bleached bones on a long-neglected battle-field those ruins lie, lonely and forsaken.” — PORTER, Giant Cities of Bashan.

In the wilderness — In the great Syrian desert between Palestine and the Euphrates.

In the land — The land of Solomon’s dominion. The phrase is to be construed with built in 1 Kings 9:17. Solomon built in his land the cities here named.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 9:18". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-kings-9.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Baalath. There were several towns of this name, Josue xix. 44. (Calmet) --- Palmira. Hebrew Tamor, "a palm-tree." (Calmet) --- But the d is preserved in the margin, as well as in some manuscripts, and in the ancient versions; and is read, Tadmor, in Chronicles. (Kennicott) --- Protestants have also, "Tadmor, in the wilderness, in the land." (Haydock) --- Le Clerc adds, "of Aram," or Syria of Soba, 2 Paralipomenon viii. 3, 4. Palmira, famous for its water and fertile soil, was the boundary of the Roman and Parthian empires, (Pliny, [Natural History?] v. 25.) surrounded on all sides by vast deserts, and built by Solomon for the advantage of travellers, a day's journey from the Euphrates. (Josephus, [Antiquities?] viii. 6.) --- Superb ruins are still to be seen, and various pagan inscriptions, in Greek. There are others in an unknown language, which might relate to the Jewish or Christian affairs. See Phil. Transac. Oct. 1695. (Brun) --- The city was destroyed by the emperor Aurelian. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 9:18". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-kings-9.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Tadmor. Called, later, Palmyra (from its palms).

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Kings 9:18". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-kings-9.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And Baalath, and Tadmor in the wilderness, in the land,

Baalath - Baalbec, called also Aven, or On (Amos 1:5). But some think that Baalath was in the south of Palestine, near the Shephelah, or Philistines plain (cf. 2 Chronicles 8:5).

Tadmor - probably from [ Tamar (Hebrew #8558)] palm, a city of palms; called by the Greeks Palmyra, between Damascus and the Euphrates-was rebuilt and fortified, as a security against invasion from Northern Asia. It was anciently a superb city, ten miles in circumference. It was situated in a dreary desert, in the midst of barren, uninhabited sands. It became the capital of a great kingdom, the emporium of the Eastern world; and its merchants dealt with the Roman and western nations for the products and luxuries of India and Arabia. John of Antioch says that the structures here erected by Solomon must have been demolished by Nebuchaduezzar, who, in his march to the siege of Jerusalem, destroyed this city. It is now a mass of magnificent ruins.

In accomplishing these and various other works which were carried on throughout the kingdom, especially in the north, where Rezon of Damascus, has enemy, might prove dangerous, he employed vast numbers of the Canaanites as galley-slaves (2 Chr. ), treating them as prisoners of war, who were compelled to do the drudgery and hard labour, while the Israelites were only engaged in honourable employment. This, policy of employing the descendants of the Canaanites as serfs to labour in gangs, was contrary to the spirit of the Mosaic legislation, and was evidently burrowed from Egypt. Representations of the lowest caste employed as labourers on the public works, as the Fellahs in modern Egypt, are abundant on the ancient monumental paintings. These remains of the Amorites were afterward called "Solomon's servants" (Ezra 2:55; Ezra 2:58), and are supposed by some to have submitted to Solomon, who, on their renouncing idolatry followed the precedent of the Gibeonites in their treatment. But proof is wanting. Solomon's possession of Edom, through a small territory, gave him command of the Red Sea and the great caravan routes into the country and ports of Arabia, while his acquisition of the Paran mountains secured him the extensive overland commerce to Egypt and Phoenicia (Drew's 'Scripture Lands,' p. 131).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 9:18". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-kings-9.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(18) Baalath is said by Josephus to have been in the same neighbourhood; and this agrees with the mention of it in Joshua 19:44, as lying in the region assigned to Dan, on the edge of the Philistine country. The three, Gezer, Beth-horon, and Baalath, evidently form a group of fortified places commanding the passes from the sea-coast.

Tadmor in the wilderness, in the land.—The Hebrew text here has Tamar (with, however, Tadmor as a marginal reading). From this fact, and from the peculiar expression “in the land,” which certainly seems to designate the land of Israel, and from the juxtaposition of the name in this passage with the names of places situated in the southern part of Palestine, it has been thought that the place meant is the Tamar of Ezekiel 47:19; Ezekiel 48:28), or, perhaps, Hazazon-Tamar, the old name of En-gedi; and that the marginal reading, and the reading of the old versions, have arisen from a mistaken identification of this place with the Tadmor of 2 Chronicles 9:4. But, on the whole, these considerations are not sufficient to counterbalance the invariable reference of this passage, by all the ancient versions and by the narrative of Josephus, to the celebrated Tadmor, the name of which is a local variety of the Hebrew name Tamar (or “the palm-tree,”) preserved in the later name of Palmyra. If this be meant, it is indeed difficult to suppose that there is not some omission after the words “in the land.”

Tadmor, or Palmyra, is described by Josephus as “in the desert above Syria, a day’s journey from the Euphrates, and six long days’ journey from Babylon the Great.” Its foundation is described in 2 Chronicles 9:4, as connected with a subjugation of Hamathzobah, and it may have had a military purpose. But situated on a well-watered oasis, in the midst of the desert, south-west of Tiphsah or Thapsacus on the Euphrates, also occupied by Solomon (see 1 Kings 4:24), and about 120 miles from Damascus, it would be eminently fitted for trade both with Damascus and with Babylon and the north. Its importance is indicated by its long existence as a great city, and by its splendour (still traceable in its ruins), in Greek and Roman times, down to, at least, the age of Diocletian.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 9:18". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-kings-9.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And Baalath, and Tadmor in the wilderness, in the land,
Baalath
Joshua 19:44
Tadmor
2 Chronicles 8:4
Reciprocal: 1 Kings 12:25 - built;  2 Chronicles 8:6 - Baalath;  Psalm 72:9 - They that

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 9:18". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-kings-9.html.