|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:1-4 He that loved the Lord, should, for his sake, have fixed his love upon one of the Lord's people. Solomon was a wise man, a rich man, a great man; yet the brightest praise of him, is that which is the character of all the saints, even the poorest, He loved the Lord. Where God sows plentifully, he expects to reap accordingly; and those that truly love God and his worship, will not grudge the expenses of their religion. We must never think that wasted which is laid out in the service of God.
Verse 4. - And the king went to Gibeon [Joshua 9:3; Joshua 10:2; Joshua 18:25; Joshua 21:17; 2 Samuel 21:1. Now known as El-Jib, a commanding eminence (as the name implies) some six miles north of Jerusalem. Strictly, it consists of two heights, on one of which, it is conjectured, the town stood, while the other was the high place. Solomon was accompanied to Gibeon by "all the congregation," including the captains, judges, governors, etc. (2 Chronicles 1:2, 3] to sacrifice there [This religious service was designed to inaugurate his reign (2 Chronicles 1:13), after the precedent of 1 Samuel 11:15; cf. 2 Samuel 6:2. His object was also to supplicate the Divine blessing on his undertakings. If his visit served at the same time as a farewell, or "honourable funeral to the tabernacle" (Wordsw.) this was an accident]; for that was the great high place [being the place of the tabernacle and brazen altar. In 1 Samuel 21:6 we find the tabernacle at Nob, though without the ark (1 Samuel 4:2). After the massacre of the priests it lost the ephod (1 Samuel 22:20; 1 Samuel 23:6). It could hardly remain in a spot stained by so much blood; but how or when it found its way to Gibeon, we do not know. See 1 Chronicles 16:37, 39; 2 Chronicles 1:3-6]: a thousand burnt offerings [such numbers were not infrequent at festivals. See on 1 Kings 8:62, and cf. 2 Chronicles 29:33, 34. Rawlinson reminds us that "Xerxes offered 1000 oxen at Troy" (Herod. 7:43).] did Solomon offer [not, of course, personally, as some (Ewald. e.g.) have sup. posed. He is said to have "offered" them, because he (together with the congregation, perhaps) provided them. The immense number alone shows that he cannot have offered in person. The festival probably lasted for seven or eight days,but even then a thousand victims can hardly have been offered whole (עֹלות) unless the altar was greatly enlarged, or additional temporary altars were erected. This latter supposition is not negatived by the next words. See on 1 Kings 8:63, 64.] upon that altar.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there,.... About four or five miles from Jerusalem; See Gill on 1 Kings 2:28;
for that was the great high place; not that the place itself might be higher than others that were used; but here were the tabernacle of Moses, and the altar; so that it was a more dignified place, and more sacred because of them:
a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar; the brazen altar of burnt offerings there; not at one time, but on several days successively; though Jarchi says on one day; and which was a prodigious number, never was known the like, unless at the dedication of the temple, 1 Kings 8:63.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there—The old tabernacle and the brazen altar which Moses had made in the wilderness were there (1Ch 16:39; 21:29; 2Ch 1:3-6). The royal progress was of public importance. It was a season of national devotion. The king was accompanied by his principal nobility (2Ch 1:2); and, as the occasion was most probably one of the great annual festivals which lasted seven days, the rank of the offerer and the succession of daily oblations may help in part to account for the immense magnitude of the sacrifices.
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