|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:15-28 Here is a further account of Solomon's greatness. He began at the right end, for he built God's house first, and finished that before he began his own; then God blessed him, and he prospered in all his other buildings. Let piety begin, and profit follow; leave pleasure to the last. Whatever pains we take for the glory of God, and to profit others, we are likely to have the advantage. Canaan, the holy land, the glory of all lands, had no gold in it; which shows that the best produce is that which is for the present support of life, our own and others; such things did Canaan produce. Solomon got much by his merchandise, and yet has directed us to a better trade, within reach of the poorest. Wisdom is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold, Pr 3:14.
Verse 17. - And Solomon built Gezer [In the case of Gezer it was an actual rebuilding. But as applied to Beth-boron, etc., "built" probably means enlarged, strengthened] and Beth-horon the nether [mentioned in connexion with Gezer, Joshua 16:3 (cf. 10:10). It is deserving of mention that the two cities of Beth-horon still survive in the modern villages of Beitur el-tahta and el-fok," names which are "clearly corruptions of Beth-horon "the Nether" and "the Upper" (Stanley, S. and P., p. 208): One lies at the foot of the ravine, on an eminence, the other at the summit of the pass. Like Megiddo and Gezer, this town, too, lay on a high road, viz., that between Jerusalem and the sea coast. The selection of Beth-horon for fortification by Solomon is also justified by history - three decisive battles having been fought here (see Joshua 10:10; 1 Macc. 3:13-24, and Jos., Bell Jud. 2.19.8. The object of the king in fortifying this place was to protect the uplands of Judah, Benjamin, and Ephraim against invasion from the Philistine plain. It is perhaps not unnoteworthy that, according to our author, it was Beth-horon the nether that Solomon "built," as this would naturally have suffered more than its loftier neighbour from war. According to 2 Chronicles 8:5, however, Solomon built Beth-horon the upper also.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Solomon built Gezer,.... Rebuilt it, it having been burnt, at least great part of it, by Pharaoh when he took it:
and Bethhoron the nether; and the upper also, 2 Chronicles 8:5, which belonged to the tribe of Ephraim, and were on the borders of it, between that and Benjamin, Joshua 16:3.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. Beth-horon the nether—situated on the way from Joppa to Jerusalem and Gibeon; it required, from so public a road, to be strongly garrisoned.
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