1 Kings 5:3
Thou knowest how that David my father could not build an house unto the name of the LORD his God for the wars which were about him on every side, until the LORD put them under the soles of his feet.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) Thou knowest.—In the description (1Chronicles 22:4) of David’s collection of materials for the Temple, it is noted that “the Zidonians and they of Tyre brought much cedar wood to David.” Hence Hiram knew well his desire of building the Temple, and the care with which, when disappointed of it, he prepared for the happier experience of his successor.

1 Kings 5:3-5. A house unto the name of the Lord — For his worship and service. For the wars which were about him on every side — Which diverted his cares and thoughts to other things, and occasioned God’s denying him the honour of that work. Until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet — That is, made them subject to him, that he could trample upon them at his pleasure. Compare Psalm 8:6; 1 Corinthians 15:27. I purpose to build a house unto the name of the Lord — That shall be called by his name, namely, the house of Jehovah; and be appropriated to his honour and glory.

5:1-9 Here is Solomon's design to build a temple. There is no adversary, no Satan, so the word is; no instrument of Satan to oppose it, or to divert from it. Satan does all he can, to hinder temple work. When there is no evil abroad, then let us be ready and active in that which is good, and get forward. Let God's promises quicken our endeavours. And all outward skill and advantages should be made serviceable to the interests of Christ's kingdom. It Tyre supplies Israel with craftsmen, Israel will supply Tyre with corn, Eze 27:17. Thus, by the wise disposal of Providence, one country has need of another, and is benefitted by another, that there may be dependence on one another, to the glory of God.Solomon's presumption that Hiram knew David's design has not appeared in the previous history, but it is in accordance with 1 Chronicles 22:4. CHAPTER 5

1Ki 5:1-6. Hiram Sends to Congratulate Solomon.

1. Hiram … sent his servants unto Solomon—the grandson of David's contemporary [Kitto]; or the same Hiram [Winer and others]. The friendly relations which the king of Tyre had cultivated with David are here seen renewed with his son and successor, by a message of condolence as well as of congratulation on his accession to the throne of Israel. The alliance between the two nations had been mutually beneficial by the encouragement of useful traffic. Israel, being agricultural, furnished corn and oil, while the Tyrians, who were a commercial people, gave in exchange their Phœnician manufactures, as well as the produce of foreign lands. A special treaty was now entered into in furtherance of that undertaking which was the great work of Solomon's splendid and peaceful reign.

Thou knowest, by common fame, and by particular information.

Could not build an house unto the name of the Lord his God, i.e. either, first, For the worship and service of God, 1 Kings 3:2. Or, secondly, For the Lord himself, as that phrase is used, Deu 28:58 Psalm 20:1 52:9.

Which were about him on every side; which diverted his cares and thoughts to other things, and withal occasioned God’s denial of the honour of that work to him.

Put them under the soles of his feet, i.e. made them subject to him, that he might trample upon them at his pleasure. Compare Psalm 8:6 1 Corinthians 15:27.

Thou knowest how that David my father could not build an house unto the name of the Lord his God,.... As he designed, and was desirous of; and which Hiram might know not only by common fame, but from David himself, between whom there was an intercourse, and that in relation to cedars for building, which David had of Hiram, 2 Chronicles 2:3;

for the wars which were about him on every side; or warriors, as the Targum, the Philistines, Moabites, Edomites, and Syrians:

until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet; made them subject and tributary to him, as he did at length, see 2 Samuel 7:1, &c. so the "Cetib", or textual reading, is; but the "Keri", or marginal reading, is, "under the soles of my feet"; that is, Solomon's, which agrees with what follows; it was true of both.

Thou knowest how that David my father could not build an house unto the name of the LORD his God for the wars which were about him on every side, until the LORD put them under the soles of his feet.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. Thou knowest] David’s preparations must have been well known throughout the Phœnician kingdom, and so to Hiram even though he was not himself king. Cf. 1 Chronicles 22:4 where we are told that the Zidonians and they of Tyre brought much cedar wood to David. The reason why David himself did not begin to build the temple may also have been known to the northern king.

could not build a house] He was forbidden to do this by the word of the Lord (cf. 1 Chronicles 22:8; 1 Chronicles 28:3) because he had shed blood abundantly and made great wars.

unto the name of the Lord] See above on 1 Kings 3:2.

for the wars which were about him] The concord in this clause is not strictly grammatical, the noun rendered ‘wars’ being singular while the verb which follows is plural. It has therefore been proposed to render ‘because of the war wherewith they (i.e. his enemies) surrounded him.’ It seems better however to consider the singular noun as equivalent to a plural = enemies. And thus the rendering of the A. V. gives the correct sense. Another solution proposed has been to consider the words ‘men of’ as fallen out before ‘war,’ thus making the sense ‘because of the men of war who encompassed him.’ But such emendation of the text has no support in the versions.

put them under the soles of his feet] A phrase not uncommon to denote entire conquest. Cf. Psalm 8:6; 1 Corinthians 15:27; Ephesians 1:22.

Verse 3. - Thou knowest how that David my father could not build an house [Hiram could not fail to know this, as his relations with David had been close and intimate. Not only had he "sent cedar trees and carpenters and masons" to build David's house (2 Samuel 5:11), but "they of Tyro brought much cedar wood to David" (1 Chronicles 22:4) for the house of the Lord] unto the name of the Lord [i.e., to be dedicated to the Lord as His shrine and habitation (cf. Deuteronomy 12:5, 11; and ch. 8:18, 19, 20, etc.)] for the wars [Heb., war. As we have singular noun and plural verb, Ewald, Rawlinson, al. assume that war stands for adversaries, as the next clause seems to imply. Bahr and Keil, however, with greater reason, interpret, "for the war with which they surrounded him;" a construction (סָבַב with double accusative) which is justified by Psalm 109:3] until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet [until, i.e., He trampled them down. The same image is found in some of David's psalms, e.g., Psalm 7:5; Psalm 60:12; cf. Psalm 8:6; Psalm 91:13; Isaiah 63:3; Romans 16:20; Ephesians 1:22; Hebrews 2:8.] 1 Kings 5:3Solomon thereupon communicated to Hiram, by means of an embassy, his intention to carry out the building of the temple which his father projected, and asked him for building wood from Lebanon for the purpose. From the words, "Thou knowest that my father David could not build," etc., it is evident that David had not only been busily occupied for a long time with the plan for building a temple, but that he had already commenced negotiations with Hiram on the matter; and with this 1 Chronicles 22:4 agrees. "To the name of Jehovah:" this expression is based upon Deuteronomy 12:5 and Deuteronomy 12:11 : "the place which the Lord shall choose to put His name there, or that His name may dwell there." The name of Jehovah is the manifestation of the divine nature in a visible sign as a real pledge of His presence (see at 1 Kings 12:5), and not merely numen Jovae quatenus ab hominibus cognoscitur, colitur, celebratur (Winer, Thenius). Hence in 2 Samuel 7, to which Solomon refers, בּית לי בּנה (1 Kings 5:5, 1 Kings 5:7) alternates with לשׁמי בּית בּנה (1 Kings 5:13). On the obstacle which prevented it, "because of the war, with which they (the enemies) had surrounded me," see at 2 Samuel 7:9. On the construction, סבב with a double accusative, compare the very similar passage, Psalm 109:3, which fully establishes the rendering we have given, so that there is no necessity to assume that מלחמה, war, stands for enemies (Ewald, 317, b.).
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