And he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three pound of gold went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Pound—that is, maneh, equal (see 2Chronicles 10:16) to one hundred shekels.2 Samuel 8:7 were hung round the outer walls of a building, reckoned as belonging to the "house of the Forest of Lebanon," but separate from it, and called sometimes "the Tower of David" Sol 4:4, or from its use "the armoury" Sol 4:4; Isaiah 22:8. The practice of hanging shields outside walls for ornamentation seems to have existed at Tyre Ezekiel 27:10-11, Rome, Athens, and elsewhere. Traces of it are thought to be found in the Assyrian sculptures. Three pound, or, three hundred shekels, as it is expressed 2 Chronicles 9:16.
three pounds of gold went to one shield; or three hundred shekels, as in 2 Chronicles 9:16 a hundred shekels made one pound; so that these were but half the value of the former, and one of them was worth but two hundred and twenty five pounds: Eupolemus (o), an Heathen writer, makes mention of those golden shields Solomon made, and which were made for show, and not for war, as follows:
and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon; one part of which was made an armoury of, see Sol 4:4.And he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three pound of gold went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)17. three pound of gold went to one shield] The word rendered pound here is ‘maneh,’ and according to the parallel passage (2 Chronicles 9:16) is equal to ‘one hundred shekels.’ There is no sufficient data for settling the value of these weights in terms of our English standards, but such computations as seem most trustworthy make the maneh equal to about 2½ lbs. The addition of three such maneh of gold to a shield need not make it unwieldy. Of course the gold was only the external covering, not the whole fabric of the shields, though Josephus says the king cast (ἐχώνευσε) these targets and shields of the precious metal.
in the house of the forest of Lebanon] On this see above 1 Kings 7:2. These golden shields were probably only used on grand occasions, and when not in use were suspended against the numerous pillars in the royal armoury, for which purpose the house of the forest of Lebanon appears to have been built. The shields were carried away in the succeeding reign by Shishak king of Egypt (1 Kings 14:26) and brazen ones were made by Rehoboam to be put in their place.Verse 17. - And he made three hundred shields [portable shields (peltas, Vulgate) adapted for use in hand to hand encounters (2 Chronicles 12:9, 10; cf. 2 Samuel 1:21). That these were much smaller shields is clear from the text. These shields were borne by the royal bodyguard on great occasions (1 Kings 14:27). They were taken away by Shishak (ib. ver. 26)] of beaten gold; three pound [מָגֶה μνᾶ, mina. As 2 Chronicles 9:16 has here 300 shekels, it follows that the maneh = 100 shekels. From Ezekiel 45:12, however, it would seem that there were manehs of different value] of gold went to one shield [i.e., half as much as to the target]; and the king put them in [Heb. gave them to] the house of the forest of Lebanon [1 Kings 7:2. They would certainly be suspended on the walls, but whether on the inside or the outside is not quite certain, and the text affords us no means of deciding. We know that elsewhere shields were suspended outside the walls of armouries, etc. "At Tyre the beauty of the place was thought to consist in the splendour and variety of the shields of all nations hung on its walls (Ezekiel 27:10, 11). In Rome the temple of Bellona was studded with them. In Athens, the round marks where they hung can still be traced on the walls of the Parthenon. There were also arms hung round the wails of the second temple (Jos., Ant. 15:11.3)," Stanley. It is supposed that along with those made by Solomon were hung the shields taken by David from the Syrians, as according to 2 Samuel 8:7, LXX., these latter also were carried off by Shishak. It has been inferred from Song of Solomon 4:4 that these also were 500 in number, and that the entire thousand were suspended on a part of the house of the forest of Lebanon known as the Tower of David; cf. Isaiah 22:8; Psalm 47:9]. The historian now proceeds to describe the great feature of another of Solomon's palaces. As the house of the forest of Lebanon was distinguished by the golden shields which emblazoned and glorified its walls, so was "the porch of judgment" (1 Kings 7:7) by the chryselephantine throne. 1 Kings 9:28) and precious stones. Of this wood Solomon had מסעד or מסלּות made for the temple and palace. מסעד, from סעד, signifies a support, and מסלּה may be a later form for סלּם, a flight of steps or a staircase, so that we should have to think of steps with bannisters. This explanation is at any rate a safer one than that of "divans" (Thenius), which would have been quite out of place in the temple, or "narrow pannelled stripes on the floor" (Bertheau), which cannot in the smallest degree be deduced from מסעד, or "support equals moveables, viz., tables, benches, footstools, boxes, and drawers" (Bttcher), which neither harmonizes with the temple, where there was no such furniture, nor with the מסלּות of the Chronicles. "And guitars and harps for the singers," probably for the temple singers. כּנּור and נבל are string instruments; the former resembling our guitar rather than the harp, the strings being carried over the sounding-board upon a bridge, the latter being of a pitcher shape without any sounding bridge, as in the case of the harps.
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