1 Kings 4:3
Elihoreph and Ahiah, the sons of Shisha, scribes; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, the recorder.
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(3) Sons of Shisha.—In 1Chronicles 18:16 “Shavsha,” and in 2Samuel 20:25 “Sheva,” is mentioned as the scribe of David. Probably these are variations of the same name, and the office may have become virtually hereditary. The “scribe,” or (see Margin) “secretary,” is constantly referred to as a high officer, issuing the king’s edicts and letters, and acting in his name, like our “Secretaries of State.”

Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud is named in 2Samuel 8:16; 2Samuel 20:24, and 1Chronicles 18:15 as having been under David also the recorder” or “remembrancer”—probably the annalist who drew up and preserved the archives of the kingdom.

1 Kings 4:3-4. Scribes — That is, secretaries of state. He chose two, whereas David had but one, either because he observed some inconveniences in trusting all the important matters of his government in one band; or because he had now more employment than David had, this being a time of great peace and prosperity, and his empire being enlarged, and his correspondences with foreign princes more frequent. Zadok and Abiathar were the priests — That is, the high-priests, namely, successively, first Abiathar, and then Zadok.4:1-19 In the choice of the great officers of Solomon's court, no doubt, his wisdom appeared. Several are the same that were in his father's time. A plan was settled by which no part of the country was exhausted to supply his court, though each sent its portion.Shisha, or Shavsha 1 Chronicles 18:16, seems also to have been called Sheva 2 Samuel 20:25, and Seraiah 2 Samuel 8:17.

The "scribes" were probably royal "secretaries" (margin), who drew up the king's edicts, wrote his letters, and perhaps managed his finances 1 Kings 12:10. They were among his most influential councillors.

By "recorder" or "remembrancer" (margin), we must understand "court annalist" (marginal reference "a").

3. scribes—that is, secretaries of state. Under David, there had been only one [2Sa 8:17; 20:25]. The employment of three functionaries in this department indicates either improved regulations by the division of labor, or a great increase of business, occasioned by the growing prosperity of the kingdom, or a more extensive correspondence with foreign countries.

recorder—that is, historiographer, or annalist—an office of great importance in Oriental courts, and the duties of which consisted in chronicling the occurrences of every day.

Scribes, i.e. secretaries of state. He chose two, whereas David had but one; either because he observed some inconveniences in trusting all those matters in one hand; or because he had now much more employment than David had, this being a time of great peace and prosperity, and his empire enlarged, and his correspondencies with foreign princes more frequent.

The recorder; of which See Poole "2 Samuel 8:16". Elihoreph and Ahiah, the sons of Shisha, scribes,.... Their father Shisha, the same with Sheva, was scribe only in David's time; and he being dead very probably, both his sons were continued in the office as secretaries of state, Solomon having more business for such an office, see 2 Samuel 20:25;

Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, the recorder; who was in the same office in the times of David, and now held it under Solomon, 2 Samuel 8:16.

Elihoreph and Ahiah, the sons of Shisha, scribes; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, the recorder.
3. Shisha] This name appears as Shavsha (1 Chronicles 18:16) and as Sheva (2 Samuel 20:25). A comparison of those verses with 2 Samuel 8:17, shews that the person meant was also called Seraiah, from which word the other forms are probably copyists’ corruptions. Seraiah’s office had descended to his sons, as was so often the case among the Jews. With the growth of the kingdom since David’s time the duties of the royal scribe, or secretary, would have been much increased; we can therefore understand that two persons were needed for the office instead of one.

Jehoshaphat] He had held the same office in the days of David. See 2 Samuel 8:16; 2 Samuel 20:24. The duties of the recorder, or remembrancer, were to keep records of such events as were important in the history of the country. Such annals have afforded, no doubt, a good deal of the matter for Kings and Chronicles. Such was the ‘book of records of the Chronicles’ (Esther 6:1) in which Mordecai’s service was registered, and from which it was read out to Ahasuerus.Verse 3. - Elihoreph and Ahiah, the sons of Shisha [probably the same person who is mentioned in 2 Samuel 20:25 as Sheva; in 2 Samuel 8:17, as Seraiah; and in 1 Chronicles 18:16, as Shavsha, David's scribe. The office thus descended from father to sons. The variations in this name are instructive. Compare Kishi and Kushaiah, Abijah and Abijam, Michaiah and Maachah, Absalom and Abishalom, etc. Names written ex ore dictantis are sure to differ. See below on ver. 12], scribes [the scribes, סֹפְדִים, were Secretaries of State: they wrote letters and proclamations, drew up edicts, and apparently kept the accounts (2 Kings 12:10). Their position in the list indicates their importance]; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, the recorder. [He held the same office under David, and is mentioned in all three lists (2 Samuel 8:17; 2 Samuel 20:25; 1 Chronicles 18:15). The recorder or "remembrancer" (marg.) was, perhaps, "chancellor" (Keil), or keeper of the king's conscience, rather than, as is generally supposed, chronicler of public events, and keeper of the archives. See Introduction, sect. 6.] Solomon's Judicial Wisdom. - As a proof that the Lord had bestowed upon Solomon unusual judicial wisdom, there is appended a decision of his in a very difficult case, in which Solomon had shown extraordinary intelligence. Two harlots living together in one house had each given birth to a child, and one of them had "overlaid" her child in the night while asleep (עליו שׁכבה אשׁר, because she had lain upon it), and had then placed her dead child in the other one's bosom and taken her living child away. When the other woman looked the next morning at the child lying in her bosom, she saw that it was not her own but the other woman's child, whereas the latter maintained the opposite. As they eventually referred the matter in dispute to the king, and each one declared that the living child was her own, the king ordered a sword to be brought, and the living child to be cut in two, and a half given to each. Then the mother of the living child, "because her bowels yearned upon her son," i.e., her maternal love was excited, cried out, "Give her (the other) the living child, but do not slay it;" whereas the latter said, "It shall be neither mine nor thine, cut it in pieces."
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