Send me now therefore a man cunning to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in iron, and in purple, and crimson, and blue, and that can skill to grave with the cunning men that are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my father did provide.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Send me now . . .—And now send me a wise man, to work in the gold and in the silver (1Chronicles 22:15; 2Chronicles 2:13).
And in (the) purple, and crimson, and blue.—No allusion is made to this kind of art in 2Chronicles 4:11-16, nor in 1Kings 7:13 seq., which describe only metallurgic works of this master, whose versatile genius might easily be paralleled by famous names of the Renaissance.
Purple (’argĕwān).—Aramaic form. (Heb. ’argāmān, Exodus 25:4.)
Blue (tĕkēleth).—Dark blue, or violet (Exodus 25:4, and elsewhere.)
Can skill.—Knoweth how.
With the cunning men.—The Hebrew connects this clause with the infinitive to work at the beginning of the verse. There should be a stop after the words to grave.2 Chronicles 2:7. Send me therefore a man cunning to work in gold, &c. — There were admirable artists, in all the works here referred to, at Tyre; some of whom Solomon desired to be sent to him, that they might assist those whom David had provided, but who were not so skilful as those of Tyre.1 Kings 5:6, note; 1 Kings 7:13, note.
Purple ... - "Purple, crimson, and blue," would be needed for the hangings of the temple, which, in this respect, as in others, was conformed to the pattern of the tabernacle (see Exodus 25:4; Exodus 26:1, etc.). Hiram's power of "working in purple, crimson," etc., was probably a knowledge of the best modes of dyeing cloth these colors. The Phoenicians, off whose coast the murex was commonly taken, were famous as purple dyers from a very remote period.
Crimson - כרמיל karmı̂̂yl, the word here and elsewhere translated "crimson," is unique to Chronicles and probably of Persian origin. The famous red dye of Persia and India, the dye known to the Greeks as κόκκος kokkos, and to the Romans as coccum, is obtained from an insect. Whether the "scarlet" שׁני shânı̂y of Exodus (Exodus 25:4, etc.) is the same or a different red, cannot be certainly determined.
and in purple, and crimson, and blue; used in making the vails for it, hung up in different places:
and that can skill to grave; in wood or stone:
with the cunning men that are with me in Judah and Jerusalem, whom my father David did provide; see 1 Chronicles 22:15.Send me now therefore a man cunning to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in iron, and in purple, and crimson, and blue, and that can skill to grave with the cunning men that are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my father did provide.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. can skill to grave] Literally, knoweth how to grave.
to grave with the cunning men] R.V. to grave all manner of gravings, to be with the cunning men. To grave is “to carve.” Cp. 1 Kings 6:29.
my father did provide] See 1 Chronicles 22:15.Verse 7. - Send me... a man cunning to work, etc. The parenthesis is now ended. By comparison of ver. 3, it appears that Solomon makes of Hiram's services to David his father a very plea why his own requests addressed now to Hiram should be granted. If we may be guided by the form of the expressions used in 1 Chronicles 14:1 and 2 Samuel 5:11, 12, Hiram had in the first instance volunteered help to David, and had not waited to be applied to by David. This would show us more clearly the force of Solomon's plea. Further, if we note the language of 1 Kings 5:1, we may be disposed to think that it fills a gap in our present connection, and indicates that, though Solomon appears here to have had to take the initiative, an easy opportunity was opened, in the courteous embassy sent him in the persons of Hiram's "servants." That the king of this most privileged, separate, and exclusive people of Israel (and he the one who conducted that people to the very zenith of their fame) should have to apply and be permitted to apply to foreign and, so to say, heathen help, in so intrinsic a matter as the finding of the "cunning" and the "skill" of head and hand for the most sacred and distinctive chef d'oeuvre of the said exclusive nation, is a grand instance of nature breaking all trammels, even when most divinely purposed, and a grand token of the dawning comity of nations, of free-trade under the unlikeliest auspices, and of the brotherhood of humanity, never more broadly illustrated than when on an international scale. The competence of the Phoenicians and the people of Sidon and those over whom Hiram immediately reigned in the working of the metals, and furthermore in a very wide range of other subjects, is well sustained by the allusions of very various authorities (already instanced under 1 Chronicles 14:1, and passim; Homer, 'Iliad,' 6:289-294; 23. 743; 'Odys.,' 4:614; 15:415-426; Herod., 3:19; 7:23, 44, 96; Strabo, 16:2. § 23). The man who was sent is described in vers. 13, 14, infra, as also 1 Kings 7:13, 14. Purple, ... crimson, ... blue. It is not absolutely necessary to suppose that the same Hiram, so skilled in working of gold, silver, brass, and iron, was the authority sent for these matters of various coloured dyes for the cloths that would later on be required for curtains and other similar purposes in the temple. So far, indeed, as the literal construction of the words go, this would seem to be what is meant, and no doubt may have been the case, though unlikely. The purple (אַדְגְּוָן). A Chaldee form of this word (אַרְגְּוָנָא) occurs three times in Daniel 5:7, 16, 29, and appears in each of those cases in our Authorized Version as "scarlet." Neither of these words is the word used in the numerous passages of Exodus, Numbers, Judges, Esther, Proverbs, Canticles, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, nor, indeed, in ver. 13, infra and 2 Chronicles 3:14. In all these places, numbering nearly forty, the word is אַרְגָבָן. The purple was probably obtained from some shell-fish on the coast of the Mediterranean. The crimson (כַרְמִיל). Gesenius says that this was a colour obtained from multitudinous insects that tenanted one kind of the flex (Coccus ilicis), and that the word is from the Persian language. The Persian kerm, Sanscrit krimi, Armenian karmir, German carmesin, and our own "crimson," keep the same framework of letters or sound to a remarkable degree. This word is found only here, ver. 13, infra, and 2 Chronicles 3:14. The crimson of Isaiah 1:18 and Jeremiah 4:30, and the scarlet of some forty places in the Pentateuch and other books, come as the rendering of the word שָׁנִי. The blue (תְּכֵלֶת). This is the same word as is used in some fifty other passages in Exodus, Numbers, and in later books. This colour was obtained from a shell-fish (Helix ianthina) found in the Mediterranean, the shell of which was blue. Can skill to grave. The word "to grave" is the piel conjugation of the very familiar Hebrew verb פָּתַח, "to open." Out of twenty-nine times that the verb occurs in some part of the piel conjugation, it is translated "grave" nine times, "loosed" eleven times, "put off" twice, "ungirded" once, "opened" four times, "appear" once, and "go free" once. Perhaps the "opening" the ground with the plough (Isaiah 28:24) leads most easily on to the idea of "engraving." Cunning men whom... David... did provide, As we read in 1 Chronicles 22:15; 1 Chronicles 28:21. 2 Chronicles 1:18). The account of these is introduced by 1:18: "Solomon thought to build." אמר with an infinitive following does not signify here to command one to do anything, as e.g., in 1 Chronicles 21:17, but to purpose to do something, as e.g., in 1 Kings 5:5. For יהוה לשׁם, see on 1 Kings 5:17. למלכוּתו בּית, house for his kingdom, i.e., the royal palace. The building of this palace is indeed shortly spoken of in 2 Chronicles 2:11; 2 Chronicles 7:11, and 2 Chronicles 8:1, but is not in the Chronicle described in detail as in 1 Kings 7:1-12.
(2:1). With 2 Chronicles 2:1 begins the account of the preparations which Solomon made for the erection of these buildings, especially of the temple building, accompanied by a statement that the king caused all the workmen of the necessary sort in his kingdom to be numbered. There follows thereafter an account of the negotiations with King Hiram of Tyre in regard to the sending of a skilful architect, and of the necessary materials, such as cedar wood and hewn stones, from Lebanon (2 Chronicles 2:2-15); and, in conclusion, the statements as to the levying of the statute labourers of Israel (2 Chronicles 2:1) are repeated and rendered more complete (2 Chronicles 2:16, 2 Chronicles 2:17). If we compare the parallel account in 1 Kings 5:5., we find that Solomon's negotiation with Hiram about the proposed buildings is preceded (1 Kings 5:5) by a notice, that Hiram, after he had heard of Solomon's accession, had sent him an embassy to congratulate him. This notice is omitted in the Chronicle, because it was of no importance in the negotiations which succeeded. In the account of Solomon's negotiation with Hiram, both narratives (2 Chronicles 2:2-15 and 1 Kings 5:16.) agree in the main, but differ in form so considerably, that it is manifest that they are free adaptations of one common original document, quite independent of each other, as has been already remarked on 1 Kings 5:5. On 2 Chronicles 2:2 see further on 1 Kings 5:15.
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