1 Kings 9:20
And all the people that were left of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, which were not of the children of Israel,
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(20) A tribute of bond service.—This was probably not originated, but simply enforced and organised, by Solomon. It dated, in theory at least, from the Conquest. The most notable example of it is the case of the Gibeonites (Joshua 9:21-27); but there are incidental notices of similar imposition of serfship in Judges 1:28; Judges 1:30; Judges 1:33; Judges 1:35. Many of the dangers of the stormy age of the Judges were due to the uprising of these subject races; as in the revival of the northern confederacy at Hazor under Sisera (Judges 4), and the usurpation of Abimelech by aid of the Shecliemites (Judges 9). Probably their subordination to Israel varied according to the strength or weakness of each age; but, when the monarchy became organised under David and Solomon, it was fixed definitely and permanently, although, like the serfship of the Middle Ages, it might vary in its severity in different times and in different regions.

1 Kings 9:20-21. All the people that were left of the Amorites — Who, it is likely, by this time were become proselytes to the Jewish religion, as the Gibeonites were, or at least renounced their idolatry. Upon those did Solomon levy a tribute — He used them as bond-men, and imposed bodily labours upon them. “But why did not Solomon destroy them, as God had commanded, when now it was fully in his power to do so?” The command to destroy them, (Deuteronomy 7:2,) did chiefly, if not only, concern that generation of Canaanites who lived in or near the time of the Israelites entering into Canaan. And that command seems not to have been absolute, but conditional, and with some exception for those who should submit and embrace the true religion, as may be gathered both from Joshua 11:19, and from the history of the Gibeonites. For if God’s command had been absolute, the oaths of Joshua, and of the princes, could not have obliged them, nor dispensed with such a command.

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.

No text from Poole on this verse.

And all the people that were left of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites,.... Who were not destroyed in the times of Joshua, or since, but dwelt in several cities of the land of Israel from those times; see Judges 1:1, which were not of the children of Israel; not natives of the land of Israel, though they might be proselytes, at least some of them. And all the people that were {h} left of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, which were not of the children of Israel,

(h) These were as bondmen and paid what was required, either labour or money.

20. which were not of the children of Israel] This clause is added because the people of Canaan had become much mixed up among the Israelite population, being still allowed to live in some cities from which at first it had been found impossible to dislodge them (see above, 1 Kings 9:16). But a distinction was made between these people and the people of Israel, now that Solomon was powerful enough to enforce it, in the kind of service they must render and the tribute they must bear. It may be that the five nations here mentioned were most largely represented in the surviving population, and that the other two out of the seven nations of Canaan had by this time been more nearly exterminated.

Verse 20. - And all the people that were left of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites [Judges 1:21-36; Judges 3:5; 1 Chronicles 22:2] which were not of the children of Israel. 1 Kings 9:20The "magazine-cities" (המּסכּנות ערי) were fortified cities, in which the produce of the land was collected, partly for provisioning the army, and partly for the support of the rural population in times of distress (2 Chronicles 17:12; 2 Chronicles 32:28), similar to those which Pharaoh had built in the land of Goshen (Exodus 1:11). If they were situated on the great commercial roads, they may also have served for storing provisions for the necessities of travellers and their beasts of burden. The cities for the war-chariots (הרכב) and cavalry (הפּרשׁים) were probably in part identical with the magazine-cities, and situated in different parts of the kingdom. There were no doubt some of these upon Lebanon, as we may on the one hand infer from the general importance of the northern frontier to the security of the whole kingdom, and still more from the fact that Solomon had an opponent at Damascus in the person of Rezin (1 Kings 11:24), who could easily stir up rebellion in the northern provinces, which had only just been incorporated by David into the kingdom; and as we may on the other hand clearly gather from 2 Chronicles 16:4, according to which there were magazine-cities in the land of Naphtali. Finally, the words "and what Solomon had a desire to build" embrace all the rest of his buildings, which it would have occupied too much space to enumerate singly. That the words חשׁק את are not to be so pressed as to be made to denote simply "the buildings undertaking for pure pleasure," like the works mentioned in Ecclesiastes 2:4., as Thenius and Bertheau suppose, is evident from a comparison of 1 Kings 9:1, where all Solomon's buildings except the temple and palace, and therefore the fortifications as well as others, are included in the expression "all his desire." - Fuller particulars concerning the tributary workmen are given in 1 Kings 9:20. The Canaanitish population that was left in the land were made use of for this purpose, - namely, the descendants of the Canaanites who had not been entirely exterminated by the Israelites. "Their children," etc., supplies a more precise definition of the expression "all the people," etc., in 1 Kings 9:20.
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