|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:13-31 The imports here mentioned, would show that prosperity drew the minds of Solomon and his subjects to the love of things curious and uncommon, though useless in themselves. True wisdom and happiness are always united together; but no such alliance exists between wealth and the enjoyment of the things of this life. Let us then acquaint ourselves with the Saviour, that we may find rest for our souls. Here is Solomon reigning in wealth and power, in ease and fulness, the like of which could never since be found; for the most known of the great princes of the earth were famed for their wars; whereas Solomon reigned forty years in profound peace. The promise was fulfilled, that God would give him riches and honour, such as no kings have had or shall have. The lustre wherein he appeared, was typical of the spiritual glory of the kingdom of the Messiah, and but a faint representation of His throne, which is above every throne. Here is Solomon dying, and leaving all his wealth and power to one who he knew would be a fool! Ec 2:18,19. This was not only vanity, but vexation of spirit. Neither power, wealth, nor wisdom, can ward off or prepare for the stroke of death. But thanks be to God who giveth the victory to the true believer, even over this dreaded enemy, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Verses 17-19. - It is not necessary to suppose that the throne was made of solid ivory (Psalm 45:9; Amos 3:15; Amos 6:4), or that the overlaying gold concealed the ivory, whether more or less of it. The parallel adds that "the top of the throne was round behind" (1 Kings 10:19). Comparing also the two accounts, it would appear that there were twelve lions on each side of the throne, i.e. two to each step. When it is said that there were two lions standing by the stays (or, arms) on each side of the sitting-place, we may easily imagine, from ancient modelled thrones, that of them the arms were themselves "no small part." It is remarkable that the parallel does not take cognizance of the footstool. The lion is, of course, as natural a symbol as it is an old one of sovereign power and place; and the use of the lion and the number of them, reminding of the tribes of Israel, were specifically justified to the people, whose oracles contained such words as those in Genesis 49:9; Numbers 23:24; Numbers 24:9. Josephus tells us that a golden bull supported the seat of the throne. If so, it is remarkable that the statement should be omitted in both of our Old Testament narrations. The dimensions of the throne we might have looked for, but they are not given. That they were well proportioned to the height, marked by six steps, may be taken for granted.
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