1 Kings 10:24
And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
10:14-29 Solomon increased his wealth. Silver was nothing accounted of. Such is the nature of worldly wealth, plenty of it makes it the less valuable; much more should the enjoyment of spiritual riches lessen our esteem of all earthly possessions. If gold in abundance makes silver to be despised, shall not wisdom, and grace, and the foretastes of heaven, which are far better than gold, make gold to be lightly esteemed? See in Solomon's greatness the performance of God's promise, and let it encourage us to seek first the righteousness of God's kingdom. This was he, who, having tasted all earthly enjoyments, wrote a book, to show the vanity of all worldly things, the vexation of spirit that attends them, and the folly of setting our hearts upon them: and to recommend serious godliness, as that which will do unspeakably more to make us happy, that all the wealth and power he was master of; and, through the grace of God, it is within our reach.See the marginal references. By "all the earth" we are, of course, only to understand the kings or people of neighboring nations. 22. a navy of Tharshish—Tartessus in Spain. There gold, and especially silver, was obtained, anciently, in so great abundance that it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon. But "Tarshish" came to be a general term for the West (Jon 1:3).

at sea—on the Mediterranean.

once in three years—that is, every third year. Without the mariner's compass they had to coast along the shore. The ivory, apes, and peacocks might have been purchased, on the outward or homeward voyage, on the north coast of Africa, where the animals were to be found. They were particularized, probably as being the rarest articles on board.

All the earth, i.e. all the kings of the earth, (as it is expressed, 2 Chronicles 9:23) to wit, of those parts of the earth; which synecdoche is very frequent. And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. For it was all of God, a peculiar gift of his; by "all the earth" is meant the inhabitants of it, and only them, and those the more principal; who came from the several parts of it, hearing the fame of his wisdom, to know the truth of it, and to improve themselves by it. And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
24. And all the earth sought to Solomon] In 2 Chronicles 9:23 the words are ‘and all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon,’ and, as the Hebrew of the last words is the same as here, the fuller form will be better in this verse as it comes more close to the original. The LXX., the Syriac and Arabic, have ‘all the kings of the earth.’Verse 24. - And all the earth sought to [Heb. sought the face of] Solomon, to hear his wisdom which God had put in his heart [i.e., mind. Cf. 1 Kings 4:34]. Solomon had a great throne of ivory made, and had it overlaid with fine gold. כּסּא־שׁן is not a throne made of ivory, but one merely ornamented with ivory; and we are to imagine the gilding as effected by laying the gold simply upon the wood, and inserting the ivory within the gold plate. מוּפז, a hophal participle of פּזז: aurum depuratum, hence equals טהור in 2 Chronicles 9:17. The throne had six steps, and a "rounded head on the hinder part thereof," i.e., a back which was arched above or rounded off,

(Note: Instead of מאחריו לכּסּה עגול וראשׁ we have in the Chronicles מאחזים לכּסּא בּזּהב וכבשׁ, "and a footstool in gold fastened to the throne" (the plural מאחזים refers to the footstool and the steps). Now, however easily מאחזים may have been written by mistake for מאחריו, זהב כבשׁ cannot have grown out of עגול ראשׁ by any such mistake. The quid-pro-quo of the lxx for עגול rof xxl ראשׁ, προτομαὶ μόσχων, in which עגול is certainly confounded with עגל, does not warrant the conjecture of Thenius, that the Chronicler found עגל in his original and substituted כּבשׂ (lamb), whereupon כּבשׂ (lamb) was changed by another hand into כּבשׁ footstep, and ראשׁ was dropped altogether.)

and ירת, arms, i.e., arms on both sides of the seat (השּׁבת מקום), and two lions standing by the side of the arms. Beside this there were twelve lions upon the six steps, namely two upon each step, one on this side and one on that. Instead of אריים (1 Kings 10:20) we find ארירת in 1 Kings 10:19, just as we do in both verses of the Chronicles, not because the reference is to artificial, inanimate figures and not to natural lions, as Thenius supposes, but because the plural ending ים- is an unusual one with this word; and even where natural lions are spoken of, we always find ארירת in other passages (cf. Judges 14:5; 2 Samuel 1:23; 2 Kings 17:25; Sol 4:8, etc.). The lions were symbols of the ruler's authority; and the twelve lions upon the steps may possibly have pointed to the rule over the twelve tribes of Israel, which was concentrated in the throne; not "watchers of the throne," as Thenius thinks. This throne was so splendid a work, that the historian observes that nothing of the kind had ever been made for any other kingdom. Upon the early Assyrian monuments we do indeed find high seats depicted, which are very artistically worked, and provided with backs and arms, and some with the arms supported by figures of animals (see Layard's Nineveh and its Remains, vol. ii. p. 301), but none resembling Solomon's throne. It is not till a later age that the more splendid thrones appear (vid., Rosenmller, A. u. N. Morgenland, iii. pp. 176ff.).

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