1 Kings 5:11
And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food to his household, and twenty measures of pure oil: thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year.
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(11) Twenty thousand measures of wheat.—This agrees well enough with the calculation in 1Kings 4:22 of ninety measures a day—something over 32,000 a year—for Solomon’s Court, presumably greater than that of Hiram. But the “twenty measures of oil “—even of the pure refined oil—is so insignificant in comparison, that it seems best to adopt the Greek reading here (agreeing with 2Chronicles 2:10, and with Josephus) of 20,000 baths, or 2,000 cors, of oil.

5:10-18 The temple was chiefly built by the riches and labour of Gentiles, which typified their being called into the church. Solomon commanded, and they brought costly stones for the foundation. Christ, who is laid for a Foundation, is a chosen and precious Stone. We should lay our foundation firm, and bestow most pains on that part of our religion which lies out of the sight of men. And happy those who, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, for a habitation of God through the Spirit. Who among us will build in the house of the Lord?The number of measures of wheat was considerably less than Solomon's own annual consumption, which exceeded 32,000 cors 1 Kings 4:22; but the small amount of twenty cors of oil, which seems at first sight scarcely to match with the 20,000 cors of wheat, will not appear improbable, if we consider that the oil was to be" pure" - literally "beaten" - i. e., oil extracted from the olives by pounding, and not by means of the press.

Year by year - i. e., during all the years that Solomon was engaged in building and was helped by Hiram.

11. food to his household—This was an annual supply for the palace, different from that mentioned in 2Ch 2:10, which was for the workmen in the forests. Twenty measures of pure oil, Heb. twenty cors

of pure oil; but in 2 Chronicles 2:10, it is twenty thousand baths of oil; to which is there added twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths of wine. Either therefore, first, He speaks of several things, as was now said on 1 Kings 5:9. Or, secondly, He speaks there of what Solomon offered; for it runs thus,

I will give; and here of what Hiram accepted; and accordingly Solomon gave, for it is here said

Solomon gave Hiram. Or, thirdly, The barley, and wine, and twenty thousand baths of common oil, mentioned 2Ch 2, must be added to the twenty thousand measures of wheat, and the twenty measures of pure oil, here expressed, and the whole sum is to be made up from both places; that Book of Chronicles being written to supply and complete the histories of the Books of Samuel and of the Kings.

Thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year; either, first, For sustenance to the workmen, during the years wherein they were employed in the cutting down and hewing of the timber. Or, secondly, For the yearly support of the king’s house during the said time. And these words being left out in 2Ch 2, may seem to favour their opinion, that these places speak of divers passages, and several recompences, the one given to the king’s house, the other to the labourers, although the argument is not cogent; and this might be omitted there, either because it was sufficiently implied in the nature of the thing, or because it had been plainly expressed here.

And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food to his household,.... This measure was the Hebrew measure "cor", or "corus", and, according to Bishop Cumberland (e), its contents were 17,477 solid inches; it was equal to ten ephahs, each of which held two gallons and an half, and the cor held seventy five wine gallons five pints, and somewhat more; according to some (f), what it held was equal to six hundred forty eight Roman pounds; so that twenty thousand of them contained 12,960,000 pounds of wheat:

and twenty measures of pure oil; squeezed out of the olives without breaking them; the same kind of measure is here expressed as before, and the quantity answered to 12,960 Roman pounds; another writer (g) reckons a cor to contain 1080 Roman pounds; so that Hiram had every year 21,600 pounds of oil. In 2 Chronicles 2:10, it is twenty thousand baths of oil now not to take notice that the measures are different, a bath was but the tenth part of a cor, reference is had to different things; here the writer relates what was given to Hiram for his own family, there what was given to the workmen, where several other things are mentioned besides these:

thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year: so long as the building lasted, and the workmen were employed; but Abarbinel thinks that he gave it to him as long as he lived, out of his great munificence and liberality.

(e) Scripture Weights and Measures, c. 3. p. 86. (f) Vid. Scheuchzer. Physic. Sacr. p. 517. (g) Van Till in Cantic. Mosis, p. 54.

And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food to his household, and twenty measures of pure oil: thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year.
11. And Solomon gave Hiram] The supply mentioned by the Chronicler (2 Chronicles 2:10) is more than what is here stated. There the payment is 20,000 measures of beaten wheat, 20,000 measures of barley, 20,000 baths of wine and 20,000 baths of oil. Josephus mentions wheat, wine and oil, but says nothing about barley. There appears to be some clerical error in respect of the oil in this verse. The twenty measures (here cor) would only be equal to 200 baths, which seems a small quantity compared with the amount of wheat.

pure oil] Literally ‘beaten.’ It is the word used for describing the specially pure oil provided for the ever burning lamp in the tabernacle (Exodus 27:20). It was made by pounding the olives in a mortar, and letting such oil as was thus extracted trickle out. The coarser oil was obtained by the use of the oilpress.

year by year] i.e. During the period in which the work was carried on.

Verse 11. - And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures [Heb. cots. See 1 Kings 4:22] of wheat for food [מכלת for מאכלת] to his household [Rawlinson remarks that this was much less than Solomon's own consumption (1 Kings 4:22). But he did not undertake to feed Hiram's entire court, but merely to make an adequate return for the timber and labour he received. And the consumption of fine flour in Solomon's household was only about 11,000 cors per annum] and twenty measures of pure oil [lit., beaten oil, i.e., such as was obtained by pounding the olives, when not quite ripe, in a mortar. This was both of whiter colour and purer flavour, and also gave a clearer light, than that furnished by the ripe olives in the press. See the authorities quoted in Bahr's Symbolik, 1. p. 419]: thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year [probably so long as the building lasted or timber was furnished. But the agreement may have been for a still longer period.] 1 Kings 5:11Hiram then sent to Solomon, and promised in writing (בּכתב, 2 Chronicles 2:10) to comply with his wishes. אלי שׁלחתּ אשׁר את, "that which thou hast sent to me," i.e., hast asked of me by messenger. ברושׁים are not firs, but cypresses. "My servants shall bring down (the trees) from Lebanon to the sea, and I will make them into rafts (i.e., bind them into rafts and have them floated) upon the sea to the place which thou shalt send (word) to me, and will take them (the rafts) to pieces there, and thou wilt take (i.e., fetch them thence)." The Chronicles give Yafo, i.e., Joppa, Jaffa, the nearest harbour to Jerusalem on the Mediterranean Sea, as the landing-place (see at Joshua 19:46). "And thou wilt do all my desire to give bread for my house," i.e., provisions to supply the wants of the king's court. "The שׂכר mentioned in 1 Kings 5:6 was also to be paid" (Thenius). This is quite correct; but Thenius is wrong when he proceeds still further to assert, that the chronicler erroneously supposed this to refer to the servants of Hiram who were employed in working the wood. There is not a word of this kind in the Chronicles; but simply Solomon's promise to Hiram (1 Kings 5:9): "with regard to the hewers (the fellers of the trees), I give thy servants wheat 20,000 cors, and barley 20,000 cors, and wine 20,000 baths, and oil 20,000 baths." This is omitted in our account, in which the wages promised in 1 Kings 5:6 to the Sidonian fellers of wood are not more minutely defined. On the other hand, the payment for the wood delivered by Solomon to Hiram, which is not mentioned in the Chronicles, is stated here in 1 Kings 5:11. "Solomon gave Hiram 20,000 cors of wheat as food (מכּלת, a contraction of מאכלת, from אכל; cf. Ewald, 79, b.) for his house (the maintenance of his royal court), and 20 cors of beaten oil; this gave Solomon to Hiram year by year," probably as long as the delivery of the wood or the erection of Solomon's buildings lasted. These two accounts are so clear, that Jac. Capp., Gramt., Mov., Thenius, and Bertheau, who have been led by critical prejudices to confound them with one another, and therefore to attempt to emend the one from the other, are left quite alone. For the circumstance that the quantity of wheat, which Solomon supplied to Hiram for his court, was just the same as that which he gave to the Sidonian workmen, does not warrant our identifying the two accounts. The fellers of the trees also received barley, wine, and oil in considerable quantities; whereas the only other thing which Hiram received for his court was oil, and that not common oil, but the finest olive oil, namely 20 cors of כּתית שׁמן, i.e., beaten oil, the finest kind of oil, which was obtained from the olives when not quite ripe by pounding them in mortars, and which had not only a whiter colour, but also a purer flavour than the common oil obtained by pressing from the ripe olives (cf. Celsii Hierobot. ii. pp. 349f., and Bhr, Symbolik, i. p. 419). Twenty cors were 200 baths, i.e., according to the calculations of Thenius, about ten casks (1 cask equals 6 pails; 1 pail equals 72 cans). If we bear in mind that this was the finest kind of oil, we cannot speak of disproportion to the quantity of wheat delivered. Thenius reckons that 20,000 cors of wheat were about 38,250 Dresden scheffeln (? sacks).
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