1 Kings 9:19
And all the cities of store that Solomon had, and cities for his chariots, and cities for his horsemen, and that which Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, and in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion.
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(19) That which Solomon desired to build.—See, in Ecclesiastes 2:4-10, the description of the vineyards, and gardens, and orchards, in Jerusalem, with trees of all manner of fruits and pools of water, “whatsoever mine eyes desired;” and in Song of Solomon 2:10-13; Song of Solomon 4:8; Song of Solomon 7:11-13, the vivid pictures of the pleasure-gardens of Lebanon. The text seems evidently to refer to these, in contradistinction from the cities of commercial and military importance previously mentioned.

9:15-28 Here is a further account of Solomon's greatness. He began at the right end, for he built God's house first, and finished that before he began his own; then God blessed him, and he prospered in all his other buildings. Let piety begin, and profit follow; leave pleasure to the last. Whatever pains we take for the glory of God, and to profit others, we are likely to have the advantage. Canaan, the holy land, the glory of all lands, had no gold in it; which shows that the best produce is that which is for the present support of life, our own and others; such things did Canaan produce. Solomon got much by his merchandise, and yet has directed us to a better trade, within reach of the poorest. Wisdom is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold, Pr 3:14."The cities of store" contained provisions stored up for the troops (compare 2 Chronicles 32:28). They seem to have been chiefly in the north - in Hamath 2 Chronicles 8:4 and Naphtali 2 Chronicles 16:4. On the "cities for his chariots," see 1 Kings 10:26 note.

By "that which Solomon desired to build" (see the margin) seem to be intended "pleasaunces" in or near the capital, and in the Lebanon range, built especially for the enjoyment of the king.

18. Baalath—Baal-bek.

Tadmor—Palmyra, between Damascus and the Euphrates, was rebuilt and fortified as a security against invasion from northern Asia. In accomplishing these and various other works which were carried on throughout the kingdom, especially in the north, where Rezon of Damascus, his enemy, might prove dangerous, he employed vast numbers of the Canaanites as galley slaves (2Ch 2:18), treating them as prisoners of war, who were compelled to do the drudgery and hard labor, while the Israelites were only engaged in honorable employment.

The cities of store; to lay up arms and ammunition for war, and corn or other provisions against a time of scarcity. See Exodus 1:11.

In Lebanon; either in the mountain of Lebanon, which being the border of his land, he might build some forts or a frontier city in it; or in the house of the forest of Lebanon; of which see 1 Kings 7:2. And all the cities of store that Solomon had,.... In which were his magazines of corn, arms, and ammunition; and these were built in Hamath, 2 Chronicles 8:4.

and cities for his chariots; chariots of war, iron chariots, which were kept in times of peace, in case of necessity, of which Solomon had 1400, 1 Kings 10:26,

and cities for his horsemen; of which he had 12,000, a standing cavalry:

and that which Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem; besides the temple and his own palace before mentioned; see Ecclesiastes 2:4,

and in Lebanon; the house of the forest of Lebanon, which Junius on 1 Kings 7:2 thinks he built after he had taken Hamathzobah, a royal city of Lebanon; see 2 Chronicles 8:3 or fortresses on Mount Lebanon, which was the northern border of his kingdom:

and in all the land of his dominions; where he might repair or fortify cities, or erect new forts for the safety of his kingdom; now for the doing of all this was the levy both of men and money raised, and of whom next follows.

And all the cities {g} of store that Solomon had, and cities for his chariots, and cities for his horsemen, and that which Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, and in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion.

(g) Cities for his ammunition.

19. and all the cities of store] In 2 Chronicles 8:4 the expression is store-cities, which reads better here, and is clearer in sense. These places would be provided so that surplus produce which could be preserved, as corn, oil, wine, &c. might be stored in times of plenty to be ready when need should require. We read that Hezekiah made some similar provision (2 Chronicles 32:28).

and cities for his chariots, and cities for his horsemen] Special places must have been needed for these, when we consider the great number of them (see below 1 Kings 10:26). In 1 Chronicles 4:31 there is a place called ‘town-of-chariots’ Beth-marcaboth, and another ‘court-of-horses’ Hazar-susim. The injunction of Deuteronomy 17:16 against the multiplication of horses by the king was apparently forgotten or disregarded. But the absence of any allusion to the command has been made by some an argument for the later date of Deuteronomy.

and that which Solomon desired to build] The force of the literal rendering on the margin of A. V. ‘the desire of Solomon which he desired to build’ is better brought out in the text of R.V. ‘that which Solomon desired to build for his pleasure.’ The noun is the same as in 1 Kings 9:1 of this chapter, and the writer here is evidently distinguishing these later-named works from the former. The first in the list were either fortifications, or strongholds, or store-cities, but the others are for the king’s own pleasure and enjoyment. (Cf. on the whole subject, Ecclesiastes 2:4-8.)

and in Lebanon] The place of all others to which for relaxation the king would retire. The scorching heat of the lower plains could there be escaped, while the fragrance of the vegetation made a residence there most enjoyable. The writer of Solomon’s Song paints for us the loveliness of the spot, ‘a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters and streams from Lebanon’ (1 Kings 4:15), and again, ‘his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars’ (1 Kings 5:15), and ‘the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon’ (1 Kings 4:11). But it has been supposed by some that Lebanon is mentioned here as being an important military post.Verse 19. - And all the cities of store that Solomon had [cities where the produce of the land was stored for the use of the troops or household, or against a season of scarcity (Genesis 41:35; Exodus 1:11), or possibly (Ewald) they were emporiums for the development of trade. The fact that these store cities are mentioned in the same breath with Tadmor, is an argument for the identification of that place with Palmyra, which Solomon could only have built as a means of gaining or retaining control over the caravan trade between the East and the Mediterranean. Cf. 2 Chronicles 17:12; 2 Chronicles 32:28, and Genesis 41:48. They would seem to have been chiefly on the northern frontier, 2 Chronicles 8:4 ("in Hamath"), ib. 2 Chronicles 16:4 speaks of "the store cities of Napthali." It should be remembered that Solomon had an adversary in Damascus], and cities for his chariots, and cities for his horsemen [Cf. 1 Kings 4:26. These were not so much fortresses (vers. 15-18) as places adapted to accommodate his cavalry, etc. For horsemen we should perhaps read horses. See note on 1 Kings 5:6], and that which Solomon desired to build [Heb. and the desire of Solomon which he desired; cf. ver.

1. The use of the cognate verb refutes the idea that Solomon's "desire" is another name for pleasure buildings or pleasaunces, as does also "desire" in ver. 11. It is certain, however, that such buildings were erected, and it is probable that they are referred to here] in Jerusalem and in Lebanon [It is highly probable that pleasure houses were built in Lebanon (Song of Solomon 7:4, passim), for which Solomon may well have had a strong affection, and pleasure gardens in Jerusalem (Ecclesiastes 2:4-7). See Stanley, pp. 197-199); and we may reasonably imagine (with Ewald) that in these latter he sought to grow specimens of the plants, etc., about which he "spoke" (ch. 4:33; cf. Ecclesiastes 2:5). "It is a curious fact that in the ground hard by the 'fountains of Solomon' near Bethlehem, which exhibit manifest traces of an ancient garden, and where the intimations of Josephus would lead us to suppose that Solomon had a rural retreat, are still to be found a number of plants self sown from age to age, which do not exist in any other part of the Holy Land" (Kitto, "Bib. Illus." vol. 4. p. 101). Some of Solomon's journeys to these favourite resorts, we can hardly doubt, are referred to in Song of Solomon 3:6-10; Song of Solomon 4:8 sqq.; Song of Solomon 6:11] and in all the land of his dominion. The Means by which the Buildings were Erected. - In order that all which still remained to be said concerning Solomon's buildings might be grouped together, different notices are introduced here, namely, as to his relation to Hiram, the erection of several fortresses, and the tributary labour, and also as to his maritime expeditions; and these heterogeneous materials are so arranged as to indicate the resources which enabled Solomon to erect so many and such magnificent buildings. These resources were: (1) his connection with king Hiram, who furnished him with building materials (1 Kings 9:10-14); (2) the tributary labour which he raised in his kingdom (1 Kings 9:15-25); (3) the maritime expedition to Ophir, which brought him great wealth (1 Kings 9:26-28). But these notices are very condensed, and, as a comparison with the parallel account in 2 Chronicles 8 shows, are simply incomplete extracts from a more elaborate history. In the account of the tributary labour, the enumeration of the cities finished and fortified (1 Kings 9:15-19) is interpolated; and the information concerning the support which was rendered to Solomon in the erection of his buildings by Hiram (1 Kings 9:11-14), is merely supplementary to the account already given in 1 Kings 9:5. 1 Kings 9:24, 1 Kings 9:25 point still more clearly to an earlier account, since they would be otherwise unintelligible. - In 2 Chronicles 8 the arrangement is a simpler one: the buildings are first of all enumerated in 2 Chronicles 8:1-6, and the account of the tributary labour follows in 2 Chronicles 8:7-11.

1 Kings 9:10-14

The notices concerning Solomon's connection with Hiram are very imperfect; for 1 Kings 9:14 does not furnish a conclusion either in form or substance. The notice in 2 Chronicles 8; 2 Chronicles 1:1-2:18 is still shorter, but it supplies an important addition to the account before us.

1 Kings 9:10-14

1 Kings 9:10, 1 Kings 9:11 form one period. יתּן אז (then he gave) in 1 Kings 9:11 introduces the apodosis to מק ויהי (and it came to pass, etc.) in 1 Kings 9:10; and 1 Kings 9:11 contains a circumstantial clause inserted as a parenthesis. Hiram had supported Solomon according to his desire with cedar wood and cypress wood, and with gold; and Solomon gave him in return, after his buildings were completed, twenty cities in the land of Galil. But these cities did not please Hiram. When he went out to see them, he said, "What kind of cities are these (מה in a contemptuous sense) which thou hast given me, my brother?" אחו as in 1 Kings 20:32, 1 Macc. 10:18; 11:30, 2 Macc. 11:22, as a conventional expression used by princes in their intercourse with one another. "And he called the land Cabul unto this day;" i.e., it retained this name even to later times. The land of Galil is a part of the country which was afterwards known as Galilaea, namely, the northern portion of it, as is evident from the fact that in Joshua 20:7; Joshua 21:32, Kedes in the mountains of Naphtali, to the north-west of Lake Huleh, is distinguished from the kadesh in southern Palestine by the epithet בּגּליל. It is still more evident from 2 Kings 15:29 and Isaiah 9:1 and Galil embraced the northern part of the tribe of Naphtali; whilst the expression used by Isaiah, הגּוים גּליל, also shows that this district was for the most part inhabited by heathen (i.e., non-Israelites). The twenty cities in Galil, which Solomon gave to Hiram, certainly belonged therefore to the cities of the Canaanites mentioned in 2 Samuel 24:7; that is to say, they were cities occupied chiefly by a heathen population, and in all probability they were in a very bad condition. Consequently they did not please Hiram, and he gave to the district the contemptuous name of the land of Cabul. Of the various interpretations given to the word Cabul (see Ges. Thes. p. 656), the one proposed by Hiller (Onomast. p. 435), and adopted by Reland, Ges., Maurer, and others, viz., that it is a contraction of כּהבּוּל, sicut id quod evanuit tanquam nihil, has the most to support it, since this is the meaning required by the context. At the same time it is possible, and even probable, that it had originally a different signification, and is derived from כּבל equals חבל in the sense of to pawn, as Gesenius and Dietrich suppose. This is favoured by the occurrence of the name Cabul in Joshua 19:27, where it is probably derivable from כּבל, to fetter, and signifies literally a fortress or castle; but in this instance it has no connection with the land of Cabul, since it is still preserved in the village of Cabul to the south-east of Acre (see the Comm. on Josh. l.c.). The "land of Cabul" would therefore mean the pawned land; and in the mouths of the people this would be twisted into "good for nothing." In this case ויּקרא would have to be taken impersonally: "they called;" and the notice respecting this name would be simply an explanation of the way in which the people interpreted it. Hiram, however, did not retain this district, but gave it back to Solomon, who then completed the cities (2 Chronicles 8:2).

(Note: This simple method of reconciling the account before us with the apparently discrepant notice in the Chronicles, concerning which even Movers (die biblische Chronik, p. 159) observes, that the chronicler interpolated it from a second (?) source, is so natural, that it is difficult to conceive how Bertheau can object to it; since he admits that the accounts in the books of Kings and Chronicles are incomplete extracts from common and more elaborate sources.)

The only way in which we can give to 1 Kings 9:14 a meaning in harmony with the context, is by taking it as a supplementary explanation of וּבזּהב...נשּׂא...חירם in 1 Kings 9:11, and so rendering ויּשׁלח as a pluperfect, as in 1 Kings 7:13 : "Hiram had sent the king a hundred and twenty talents of gold." If we reckon the value of gold as being ten times the worth of silver, a hundred and twenty talents of gold would be 3,141, 600 thalers (about 471,240: Tr.). This is no doubt to be regarded as a loan, which Solomon obtained from Hiram to enable him to complete his buildings. Although David may have collected together the requisite amount of precious metals for the building of the temple, and Solomon had also very considerable yearly revenues, derived partly from tribute paid by subjugated nations and partly from trade, his buildings were so extensive, inasmuch as he erected a large number of cities beside the temple and his splendid palace (1 Kings 9:15-19), that his revenues might not suffice for the completion of these costly works; and therefore, since he would not apply the consecrated treasures of the temple to the erection of cities and palaces, he might find himself compelled to procure a loan from the wealthy king Hiram, which he probably intended to cover by ceding to him twenty cities on the border of the Phoenician territory. But as these cities did not please the king of Tyre and he gave them back to Solomon, the latter will no doubt have repaid the amount borrowed during the last twenty years of his reign.

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