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with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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1 Kings 9

God’s answer to Solomon. (1-9) The presents of Solomon and Hiram. (10-14) Solomon’s buildings, His trade. (15-28)

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God’s answer to Solomon

1 And it came to pass, when Solomon had finished the building of the house of the LORD, and the king’s house, and all Solomon’s desire which he was pleased to do,

2 That the LORD appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon.

3 And the LORD said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.

4 And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments:

5 Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.

6 But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them:

7 Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people:

8 And at this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and to this house?

9 And they shall answer, Because they forsook the LORD their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath the LORD brought upon them all this evil.

The presents of Solomon and Hiram

10 And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, when Solomon had built the two houses, the house of the LORD, and the king’s house,

11 (Now Hiram the king of Tyre had furnished Solomon with cedar trees and fir trees, and with gold, according to all his desire,) that then king Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee.

12 And Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given him; and they pleased him not.

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.

14 And Hiram sent to the king sixscore talents of gold.

Solomon’s buildings, His trade

15 And this is the reason of the levy which king Solomon raised; for to build the house of the LORD, and his own house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo, and Gezer.

16 For Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up, and taken Gezer, and burnt it with fire, and slain the Canaanites that dwelt in the city, and given it for a present unto his daughter, Solomon’s wife.

17 And Solomon built Gezer, and Bethhoron the nether,

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

19 And all the cities of store that Solomon had, and cities for his chariots, and cities for his horsemen, and that which Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, and in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion.

20 And all the people that were left of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, which were not of the children of Israel,

21 Their children that were left after them in the land, whom the children of Israel also were not able utterly to destroy, upon those did Solomon levy a tribute of bondservice unto this day.

22 But of the children of Israel did Solomon make no bondmen: but they were men of war, and his servants, and his princes, and his captains, and rulers of his chariots, and his horsemen.

23 These were the chief of the officers that were over Solomon’s work, five hundred and fifty, which bare rule over the people that wrought in the work.

24 But Pharaoh’s daughter came up out of the city of David unto her house which Solomon had built for her: then did he build Millo.

25 And three times in a year did Solomon offer burnt offerings and peace offerings upon the altar which he built unto the LORD, and he burnt incense upon the altar that was before the LORD. So he finished the house.

26 And king Solomon made a navy of ships in Eziongeber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red sea, in the land of Edom.

27 And Hiram sent in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon.

28 And they came to Ophir, and fetched from thence gold, four hundred and twenty talents, and brought it to king Solomon.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Do, regarding those buildings. Paral. M.

Ver. 2. Gabaon; that is, “during the night.” 2 Par. vii. 12. God had spoken to Solomon, by a prophet, while he was building the temple; (C. vi. 11. H.) unless that passage relate to the same time as that which is here recorded more in detail, and took place in the night, after Solomon had poured forth his most solemn prayer. C. — Others think that God deferred answering his petition for thirteen years, till Solomon was on the point of falling off from the observance of piety, that so he might be restrained more effectually. Salien, A.C. 1011. — Fire from heaven had sufficiently signified that his former request had been granted. M. — The context shews that the admonition was not sent till the palace was finished, (v. 1 and 10.) in the 23rd year of Solomon. Salien.

Ver. 4. Simplicity of heart. That is, in the sincerity and integrity of a single heart, as opposite to all double-dealing and deceit. Ch. — External worship alone will not be acceptable. W. — “God is worshipped by faith, hope, and charity.” S. Aug. Ench. iii.

Ver. 6. But if. This threat had been denounced by Moses, (Deut. xxix. 24.) and was repeated by Jeremias, (xxii. 8.) when it was on the point of being put in execution. M.

Ver. 7. Take away, by death or exile. H. — Sight. God is disposed to grant favours to those who approach his temples with piety. If they indulge their passions, he will suffer these holy places to be profaned, as a dreadful warning of his displeasure. The Jews enjoyed prosperity while they continued faithful. On their revolt, the ark was taken, the temple pillaged by Sesac, burnt by Nabuchodonosor, profaned by Antiochus, and destroyed by the Romans. C.

Ver. 8. Example. Heb. “at this house, on high,” (or dedicated “to the most high;” Paral.) “every,” &c. H. — It shall be treated with no more regard than the high places of idols. C. — Though at present so much exalted, it shall be reduced to a heap of ruins, (Vatab.) and destroyed. Chal.

Ver. 11. Galilee, the higher, which was nearer to the sea and the confines of Tyre; (M.) or rather the lower Galilee lay in this direction. C. — This was not a part of the country allotted to Israel, (Jos. xix. 27.) but had been conquered: as Hiram gave the cities back, 2 Par. viii. 2. Solomon caused them to be rebuilt, and peopled by the Israelites. Grot. — If they had formed a part of his dominions before, he would not have had to send a colony thither. C. — Others think that he only ceded that country for a time to Hiram, till he should be indemnified. Abul. Tostat. M. T. W. — The country belonged to the Lord, (Lev. xxv. 13.) and could not be given away by the prince. In case it had been occupied by strangers, Solomon would have taken care that the Israelites should have the free exercise of their religion. But as Hiram rejected his offer, he would make him recompense by some other means; (C.) in ready money, v. 14. Joseph. T.

Ver. 13. Brother. By this title the eastern kings addressed each other. C. xx. 32. 1 Mac. x. 18. and xi. 30. Solomon and Hiram always lived on good terms. C. — Chabul: that is, dirty or displeasing. Ch. — The latter signification is given by Josephus, from the PhÅ“nician language. H. — 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 S. Jerom says they were in the land of Basan, beyond the Jordan. C.

Ver. 15. Offered, or paid back to Hiram, for what he had lent. T. — Heb. “And this is the reason of the levy (or tribute) which king Solomon imposed, in order to build,” &c. H. — We have seen that Adoniram was at the head of this department. C. v. 14. The people bore these burdens with patience, till the works of Mello gave Jeroboam an occasion of stirring them up to rebellion. C. xi. 27. Mello was a palace, fortification, (C.) or bridge, erected in the vale, (Salien) from the palace to the temple, (M.) lying between Sion and the old Jerusalem. David had begun to build here, and Solomon perfected the works. Ezechias repaired the wall, 2 Par. xxxii. 5. In this palace Joas was slain. 4 K. xii. 20. C. — Heser, or Asor. Jos. xv. 23. and xix. 36. H. — There was a town of this name in the tribe of Juda, and another in that of Nephthali. — Gazer had been taken by Josue, but the Chanaanites had again made themselves masters of it.

Ver. 16. Wife. This custom distinguished princes from common people, who paid a dowry to their intended bride. 2 Mac. i. 14. Philadelphus gave hid daughter Bernice to Antiochus, of Syria, with an immense dowry, which caused her to be styled Phernophorus. The influence of these royal wives was more extensive than that of others of meaner birth, as we find in the daughter of Pharao, Jezabel, Athalia, &c. C.

Ver. 17. Nether, in the tribe of Benjamin. 2 Paral. (viii. 5.) adds, the upper, which was a town of Ephraim. M.

Ver. 18. Baalath. There were several towns of this name. Jos. xix. 44. C. — Palmira. Heb. Tamor, “a palm-tree.” C. — But the d is preserved in the margin, as well as in some MSS. and in the ancient versions; and is read, Tadmor, in Chronicles. Kennicott. — Prot. have also, “Tadmor, in the wilderness, in the land.” H. — Le Clerc adds, “of Aram,” or Syria of Soba. 2 Par. viii. 3, 4. Palmira, famous for its water and fertile soil, was the boundary of the Roman and Parthian empires, (Plin. 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. Joseph. 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. C.

Ver. 19. That…himself. Heb. “of store;” or to keep his treasures. H. — Lit. “of indigence,” designed to counteract the effects of famine. Pharao obliged the Israelites to build such cities for him, (Ex. i. 11.) which are called cities of tabernacles. The word miscenoth is here rendered, were not walled.Chariots. See C. iv. 26. C. — Libanus, the temple, (S. Jer. Trad.) or the palace. Sa. — But these were both in Jerusalem. H. — Solomon built a great deal at the foot of Libanus, (Salien) as the defile was of great importance. We read of the tower of Libanus, Cant. vii. 4. Travellers mention its ruins. Gabriel. Sionita. p. 6.

Ver. 21. Day. After the captivity, some were found who had perhaps come from PhÅ“nicia. 1 Esd. ix. 1. Solomon reduced the natives of the country to the most abject condition, forcing them to work like slaves. Joseph. viii. 6. — Heb. “upon those, Solomon imposed a tribute of bond-service, until this day.” H. — Esdras (1 C. ii. 58) calls them who returned from captivity, the children of the servants of Solomon, 392. Their fathers were probably styled proselytes; and were in number, 153,600. See 1 Par. xxii. 2. and 2 Par. ii. 17. C.

Ver. 22. Bondmen. Par. To serve in the king’s works; for they were warriors, &c. The natural subjects performed the more honourable offices. H. — Strangers pay tribute. Matt. xvii. 24. Sesostris, king of Egypt, caused many temples to be erected after his expeditions, with this inscription: “No native laboured on them.” Diodorus i.

Ver. 23. Officers of the crown. There were 250 over the army, (Paral.) or 3,300, (3,600, Par.) including those who presided over the proselytes. C. v. 16. C. — These are employed while the temple was building. M.

Ver. 24. Mello, taking it from the public, and adorning it with the most beautiful structures, for the honour and convenience of his queen. T.

Ver. 25. Year, at the three great festivals, with peculiar solemnity, (C.) as well as holocausts every day, and on the sabbaths and new moons. 2 Paral. viii. 13. See ib. xxxi. 3. C. — He established funds for all these victims. M.

Ver. 26. Fleet. Some ancient Latin editions have, (H.) “a name,” or monument. W. — Ailath, to the east. See Num. xxxiii. 13.

Ver. 27. Fleet, from Tyre, (C.) or from the island of the same name, in the Red Sea. Grotius.

Ver. 28. Ophir, in the East Indies; (M.) an island called Taprobana, or Sumatra; (Salien) or a country near the heads of the Euphrates and Tigris. C. Dissert. — The variety of opinions is astonishing. Huet fixes upon Sophola, on the eastern coast of Africa; and supposes that the fleet of Hiram might proceed down a canal, which seems to have been formerly opened for a communication between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. Strabo i. 17. and ii. D. — The various commodities might be procured either in Africa, or, on the voyage, in other countries. H. — Twenty. Par. reads fifty. The letter c (20) and n (50) may easily have been mistaken. Huet. — The thirty talents might be the value of other parts of the cargo, or might be spent in repairs and wages. C. — The sum here mentioned might be also refined gold. M.