1 Kings 5:14
And he sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month by courses: a month they were in Lebanon, and two months at home: and Adoniram was over the levy.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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?A levy out of all Israel - This was, apparently, the first time that the Israelites had been called upon to perform forced labor, though it had been prophesied 1 Samuel 8:16. David had bound to forced service "the strangers" 1 Chronicles 22:2; but hitherto the Israelites had escaped. Solomon now, in connection with his proposed work of building the temple, with the honor of God as an excuse, laid this burden upon them. Out of the 1,300, 000 able-bodied Israelites 2 Samuel 24:9, a band of 30,000 - one in forty-four - was raised, of whom one-third was constantly at work in Lebanon, while two-thirds remained at home, and pursued their usual occupations. This, though a very light form of task work, was felt as a great oppression, and was the chief cause of the revolt of the ten tribes at Solomon's death 1 Kings 12:4. 1Ki 5:13-18. Solomon's Workmen and Laborers.

13. Solomon raised a levy out of all Israel—The renewed notice of Solomon's divine gift of wisdom (1Ki 5:12) is evidently introduced to prepare for this record of the strong but prudent measures he took towards the accomplishment of his work. So great a stretch of arbitrary power as is implied in this compulsory levy would have raised great discontent, if not opposition, had not his wise arrangement of letting the laborers remain at home two months out of three, added to the sacredness of the work, reconciled the people to this forced labor. The carrying of burdens and the irksome work of excavating the quarries was assigned to the remnant of the Canaanites (1Ki 9:20; 2Ch 8:7-9) and war prisoners made by David—amounting to 153,600. The employment of persons of that condition in Eastern countries for carrying on any public work, would make this part of the arrangements the less thought of.

No text from Poole on this verse.

And he sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month by courses,.... In their turns; these are the servants of his he proposed to be with Hiram's servants, assisting in cutting down the trees, and squaring the timber in Lebanon, 1 Kings 5:6;

a month they were in Lebanon, and two months at home; that they might not be overworked; for they wrought but four months in the year in the hard service in Lebanon, the rest of their time was spent in managing their domestic affairs; these were Israelites:

and Adoniram was over the levy: the same that was over the tribute or the collectors of the tax, 1 Kings 4:6; and, according to the Targum, these were such persons.

And he sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month by courses: a month they were in Lebanon, and two months at home: and Adoniram was over the levy.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. by courses] The word is that which is used of ‘changes’ of raiment. These men came and went away by ‘turns.’

Adoniram] See 1 Kings 4:6. Josephus gives to this man the name Ἀδώραμος; he does not give a list to correspond with that in 1 Kings 4:2-6.

Verse 14. - And he sent them to Lebanon ten thousand a month, by courses [Heb. changes]: a month they were in Lebanon, and two months at home [they had to serve, that is to say, four months out of the twelve - no very great hardship], and Adoniram [see on 1 Kings 4:6; 12:18] was over the levy. 1 Kings 5:14The tributary labourers out of Israel. - 1 Kings 5:13, 1 Kings 5:14. Solomon raised a tribute (מס, tribute-labourers, as in 1 Kings 4:6) out of all Israel, i.e., out of the whole nation (not "out of the whole territory of Israel," as Ewald supposes), 30,000 men, and sent them up to Lebanon, 10,000 a month in rotation; one month they were on Lebanon (doing tribute work), two months at home (looking after the cultivation of their own ground). ויּעל, from העלה, does not mean in tabulas referre, in support of which appeal is made to 1 Chronicles 27:24, though on insufficient ground, but ascendere fecit, corresponding to the German ausheben (to raise). He raised them out of the nation, to send the up Lebanon (cf. 1 Kings 9:25). These 30,000 Israelitish labourers must be distinguished from the remnants of the Canaanites who were made into tribute-slaves (1 Kings 5:15 and 1 Kings 9:20). The latter are called עבד מס, tribute-slaves, in 1 Kings 9:21 as in Joshua 16:10. That the Israelites were not to render the service of bondsmen is evident from the fact, that they only rendered tribute for four months of the year, and were at home for eight months; and the use of the epithet מס is not at variance with this. For even if this word is applied elsewhere to the Canaanitish bondsmen (e.g., Joshua 17:13; Judges 1:28, Judges 1:30, and 2 Chronicles 8:8), a distinction is decidedly made in our account of Solomon between מס and עבד מס, inasmuch as in 1 Kings 9:22, after the Canaanitish bondsmen have been mentioned, it is expressly stated that "of Israel Solomon made no one a slave" (עגלים). The 30,000 Israelitish tribute-servants are "to be thought of as free Israelites, who simply performed the less severe work of felling trees in fellowship with and under the direction of the subjects of Hiram _(see at 1 Kings 5:6), according to the command of the king, and probably not even that without remuneration" (Thenius). For Adoniram see at 1 Kings 4:6.
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