1 Kings 9:14
And Hiram sent to the king six score talents of gold.
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(14) Hiram sent to the king sixscore talents of gold.—The payment, on any calculation, was a large one, though little more than a sixth of Solomon’s yearly revenue. (See 1Kings 10:14.) How it is connected with the previous verses is matter of conjecture. It may possibly be a note referring back to 1Kings 9:11, and explaining the amount of gold which Hiram had sent. If this is not so, it would then seem to be a payment in acknowledgment of the cession of the cities, as being of greater value than the debt which it was meant to discharge. Hiram’s depreciation of the cities need not imply that he did not care to keep them. “It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer: but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth.” (Proverbs 20:14). Josephus (Ant. viii. 5, 3), has a quaint story in connection with this intercourse between Hiram and Solomon (quoted from Dios), declaring that a contest in riddles took place between these kings, and that, when Hiram could not solve the riddles of Solomon, he “paid a large sum of money for his fine,” but adds that he afterwards retaliated on Solomon, by aid of Abdemon of Tyre. It appears by 2Chronicles 7:2, that the cities were afterwards restored to Israel—how, and why, we know not.

(15 28) The rest of the chapter consists of brief historical notes, partly referring back to the previous records. Thus, 1Kings 9:15 refers back to 1Kings 5:13; 1Kings 9:20-22 to 1Kings 5:15; 1Kings 9:24 to 1Kings 7:8; 1Kings 9:25 is a note connected with the history of the dedication of the Temple. The style is markedly different from the graphic and picturesque style of the passages preceding and following it.

9:10-14 Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities. Hiram did not like them. If Solomon would gratify him, let it be in his own element, by becoming his partner in trade, as he did. See how the providence of God suits this earth to the various tempers of men, and the dispositions of men to the earth, and all for the good of mankind in general.Hiram sent sixscore talents of gold - Apparently, to show that, although disappointed, he was not offended. The sum sent was very large - above a million and a quarter of our money, according to one estimate of the weight of the Hebrew gold talent; or about 720,000 according to the estimate adopted in Exodus 38:24-29 note. At any rate, it was more than equal to a sixth part of Solomon's regular revenue 1 Kings 10:14. 11. Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee—According to Josephus, they were situated on the northwest of it, adjacent to Tyre. Though lying within the boundaries of the promised land (Ge 15:18; Jos 1:4), they had never been conquered till then, and were inhabited by Canaanite heathens (Jud 4:2-13; 2Ki 15:29). They were probably given to Hiram, whose dominions were small, as a remuneration for his important services in furnishing workmen, materials, and an immense quantity of wrought gold (1Ki 9:14) for the temple and other buildings [Michaelis]. The gold, however, as others think, may have been the amount of forfeits paid to Solomon by Hiram for not being able to answer the riddles and apothegms, with which, according to Josephus, in their private correspondence, the two sovereigns amused themselves. Hiram having refused these cities, probably on account of their inland situation making them unsuitable to his maritime and commercial people, Solomon satisfied his ally in some other way; and, taking these cities into his own hands, he first repaired their shattered walls, then filled them with a colony of Hebrews (2Ch 8:2). Or rather, for Hiram had sent. And this seems to be here added, both to declare the quantity of the gold sent, which had been only named before, 1 Kings 9:11, and as the reason why he resented Solomon’s action so ill, because so great a sum required a better recompence. And Hiram sent to the king one hundred and twenty talents of gold. Not after the cities had been given him, but before; and it may be rendered "had sent" (m), and is the sum of the gold he furnished him with for the temple, 1 Kings 9:11 which, according to Brerewood (n), was 540,000 pounds of our money; and, according to another (o) writer, it amounted to 1,466,400 ducats of gold, taking a talent at 12,220 ducats.

(m) "miserat", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (n) De Ponderibus & Pretiis, Vet. Num. c. 5. (o) Scheuchzer. Physic. Sacr. vol. 3. p. 571.

And Hiram sent to the king {d} sixscore {e} talents of gold.

(d) For his tribute toward the building.

(e) The common talent was about 60 pound weight.

Verse 14. - And Hiram sent וַיְִּשלַח must be understood as pluperfect, "Now Hiram had sent," referring to verse 11. This fact is mentioned to explain the gift of the cities, viz., that they were in payment for the gold he had furnished. The timber and stone and labour had been paid for in corn and wine and oil See on 1 Kings 5:11] to the king sixscore talents of gold. [This sum is variously estimated at from half a million to a million and a quarter of our money. (Keil, in loc., and Dict. Bib. 3:1734. It equalled 3000 shekels of the sanctuary (Exodus 38:24-26). Keil, who, as we have seen, interprets Cabul to mean pledged, says somewhat positively that these 120 talents were merely lent to Solomon to enable him to prosecute his undertakings, and that the twenty cities were Hiram's security for its repayment. He further sees in the restoration of these cities (2 Chronicles 8:2, where see note) a proof that Solomon must have repaid the amount lent him. The "sixscore talents "should be compared with the 120 talents of ch. 10:10, and the 666 talents of 1 Kings 10:14.] 1 Kings 9:4, 1 Kings 9:5 contain the special answer to 1 Kings 8:25, 1 Kings 8:26. - 1 Kings 9:6-9 refer to the prayer for the turning away of the curse, to which the Lord replies: If ye and your children turn away from me, and do not keep my commandments, but worship other gods, this house will not protect you from the curses threatened in the law, but they will be fulfilled in all their terrible force upon you and upon this temple. This threat follows the Pentateuch exactly in the words in which it is expressed; 1 Kings 9:7 being founded upon Deuteronomy 28:37, Deuteronomy 28:45, Deuteronomy 28:63, and the curse pronounced upon Israel in Deuteronomy 29:23-26 being transferred to the temple in 1 Kings 9:8, 1 Kings 9:9. - פּני מעל שׁלּח, to dismiss, i.e., to reject from before my face. "This house will be עליון," i.e., will stand high, or through its rejection will be a lofty example for all that pass by. The temple stood upon a high mountain, so that its ruins could not fail to attract the attention of all who went past. The expression עליון is selected with an implied allusion to Deuteronomy 26:19 and Deuteronomy 28:1. God there promises to make Israel עליון, high, exalted above all nations. This blessing will be turned into a curse. The temple, which was high and widely renowned, shall continue to be high, but in the opposite sense, as an example of the rejection of Israel from the presence of God.

(Note: The conjecture of Bttcher, Thenius, and Bertheau, that עליון should be altered into עיּים, has no support in Micah 3:12; Jeremiah 26:18, and Psalm 79:1, and has all the ancient versions against it; for they all contain the Masoretic text, either in a verbal translation (lxx), or in a paraphrase, as for example the Chaldee, "the house that was high shall be destroyed;" the Syriac and Arabic, "this house will be destroyed;" and the Vulgate, domus haec erit in exemplum. - In 2 Chronicles 7:21 the thought is somewhat varied by the alteration of יהיה into היה אשׁר. For it would never enter the mind of any sober critic to attribute this variation to a misinterpretation of our text. Still less can it be an unsuccessful attempt to explain or rectify our text, as Bttcher imagines, since the assertion of this critic, that עליון is only used to signify an exalted position, and never the exaltation of dignity or worth, is proved to be erroneous by Deuteronomy 26:19 and Deuteronomy 28:1.)

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