2 Chronicles 2:8
Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon: for I know that thy servants can skill to cut timber in Lebanon; and, behold, my servants shall be with thy servants,
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(8) Fir trees.—The word bĕrôshîm is now often rendered cypresses. But Professor Robertson Smith has well pointed out that the Phoenician Ebusus (the modern Iviza) is the “isle of bĕrōshîm,” and is called in Greek Πετυου̑σαι, i.e., “Pine islets.” Moreover a species of pine is very common on the Lebanon.

Algum trees.Sandal wood; Heb. ’algummîm, which appears a more correct spelling of the native Indian word (valgûka) than the ’almuggîm of 1Kings 10:11. (See Note on 2Chronicles 10:10.)

Out of Lebanon.—The chronicler knew that sandal wood came from Ophir, or Abhîra, at the mouth of the Indus (2Chronicles 10:10; comp. 1Kings 10:11). The desire to be concise has betrayed him into an inaccuracy of statement. Or must we suppose that Solomon himself believed that the sandal wood, which he only knew as a Phoenician export, really grew, like the cedars and firs, on the Lebanon? Such a mistake would be perfectly natural; but the divergence of this account from the parallel in 1 Kings leaves it doubtful whether we have in either anything more than an ideal sketch of Solomon’s message.

For I know that thy servants . . .—Comp. the words of Solomon as reported in 1Kings 5:6.

2:1-18 Solomon's message to Huram respecting the temple, His treaty with Huram. - Solomon informs Huram of the particular services to be performed in the temple. The mysteries of the true religion, unlike those of the Gentile superstitions, sought not concealment. Solomon endeavoured to possess Huram with great and high thoughts of the God of Israel. We should not be afraid or ashamed to embrace every opportunity to speak of God, and to impress others with a deep sense of the importance of his favour and service. Now that the people of Israel kept close to the law and worship of God, the neighbouring nations were willing to be taught by them in the true religion, as the Israelites had been willing in the days of their apostacy, to be infected with the idolatries and superstitions of their neighbours. A wise and pious king is an evidence of the Lord's special love for his people. How great then was God's love to his believing people, in giving his only-begotten Son to be their Prince and their Saviour.See 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.

8. Send me … cedar trees, &c.—The cedar and cypress were valued as being both rare and durable; the algum or almug trees (likewise a foreign wood), though not found on Lebanon, are mentioned as being procured through Huram (see on [409]1Ki 10:11). No text from Poole on this verse.

Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon,.... Of the two first of these, and which Hiram sent, see 1 Kings 5:10. The algum trees are the same with the almug trees, 1 Kings 10:11 by a transposition of letters; these could not be coral, as some Jewish writers think, which grows in the sea, for these were in Lebanon; nor Brazil, as Kimchi, so called from a place of this name, which at this time was not known; though there were trees of almug afterwards brought from Ophir in India, as appears from the above quoted place, as well as from Arabia; and it seems, as Beckius (c) observes, to be an Arabic word, by the article "al" prefixed to it:

for I know that thy servants can skill to cut timber in Lebanon; better than his:

and, behold, my servants shall be with thy servants; to help and assist them in what they can, and to learn of them, see 1 Kings 5:6.

(c) In Targum in loc.

Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and {c} algum trees, out of Lebanon: for I know that thy servants can skill to cut timber in Lebanon; and, behold, my servants shall be with thy servants,

(c) Some take it for Brazil, or the wood called Ebenum, others for coral.

8. fir trees] R.V. mg., cypress trees (which however are not now indigenous on Lebanon).

algum trees] called almug trees in 1 Kings 10:11-12 and there described as coming from Ophir. According to 1 Kings 5:8 Solomon asked for cedar and “fir” only; so that the mention of algum trees here is probably incorrect. Algum is perhaps sandal wood.

Verse 8. - Algum trees, out of Lebanon. These trees are called algum in the three passages of Chronicles in which the tree is mentioned, viz. here and 2 Chronicles 9:10, 11, but in the three passages of Kings, almug, viz. 1 Kings 10:11, 12 bis. As we read in 1 Kings 10:11; 2 Chronicles 9:10, 11, that they were exports from Ophir, we are arrested by the expression, "out of Lebanon," here. If they were accessible in Lebanon, it is not on the face of it to be supposed they would be ordered from such a distance as Ophir. Lastly, there is very great difference of opinion as to what the tree was in itself. In Smith's 'Bible Dictionary,' vol. 3. appendix, p. 6, the subject is discussed more fully than it can be here, and with some of its scientific technicalities. Celsius has mentioned fifteen woods for which the honour has been claimed. More modern disputants have suggested five, of these the red sandalwood being considered, perhaps, the likeliest. So great an authority as Dr. Hooker pronounces that it is a question quite undetermined. But inasmuch as it is so undetermined, it would seem possible that, if it were a precious wood of the smaller kind (as e.g. ebony with us), and, so to say, of shy growth in Lebanon, it might be that it did grow in Lebanon, but that a very insufficient supply of it there was customarily supplemented by the imports received from Ophir. Or, again, it may be that the words, "out of Lebanon," are simply misplaced (1 Kings 5:8), and should follow the words, "fir trees." The rendering "pillars" in 1 Kings 10:12 for "rails" or "props" is unfortunate, as the other quoted uses of the wood for "harps" and "psalteries" would all betoken a small as well as very hard wood. Lastly, it is a suggestion of Canon Rawlinson that, inasmuch as the almug wood of Ophir came via Phoenicia and Hiram, Solomon may very possibly have been ignorant that "Lebanon" was not its proper habitat. Thy servants can skill to cut timber. This same testimony is expressed yet more strongly in 1 Kings 5:6, "There is not any among us that can skill to hew timber like the Sidoniaus." Passages like 2 Kings 19:23; Isaiah 14:8; Isaiah 37:24, go to show that the verb employed in our text is rightly rendered "hew," as referring to the felling rather than to any subsequent dressing and sawing up of the timber. It is, therefore, rather more a point of interest to learn in what the great skill consisted which so threw Israelites into the shade, while distinguishing Hiram's servants. It is, of course, quite possible that the "hewing," or "felling," may be taken to infer all the subsequent cutting, dressing, etc. Perhaps the skill intended will have included the best selection of trees, as well as the neatest and quickest laying of them prostrate, and if beyond this it included the sawing and dressing and shaping of the wood, the room for superiority of skill would be ample. My servants (so vers. 2, 18; 1 Kings 5:15). 2 Chronicles 2:8The infinitive וּלהכין cannot be regarded as the continuation of לכרות, nor is it a continuation of the imperat. לי שׁלח (2 Chronicles 2:7), with the signification, "and let there be prepared for me" (Berth.). It is subordinated to the preceding clauses: send me cedars, which thy people who are skilful in the matter hew, and in that my servants will assist, in order, viz., to prepare me building timber in plenty (the ו is explic). On 2 Chronicles 2:8 cf. 2 Chronicles 2:4. The infin. abs. הפלא is used adverbially: "wonderfully" (Ew. 280, c). In return, Solomon promises to supply the Tyrian workmen with grain, wine, and oil for their maintenance - a circumstance which is omitted in 1 Kings 5:10; see on 2 Chronicles 2:14. להטבים is more closely defined by העצים לכרתי, and ל is the introductory ל: "and behold, as to the hewers, the fellers of trees." חטב, to hew (wood), and to dress it (Deuteronomy 29:10; Joshua 9:21, Joshua 9:23), would seem to have been supplanted by חצב, which in 2 Chronicles 2:2, 2 Chronicles 2:18 is used for it, and it is therefore explained by העצים כּרת. "I will give wheat מכּות to thy servants" (the hewers of wood). The word מכּות gives no suitable sense; for "wheat of the strokes," for threshed wheat, would be a very extraordinary expression, even apart from the facts that wheat, which is always reckoned by measure, is as a matter of course supposed to be threshed, and that no such addition is made use of with the barley. מכּות is probably only an orthographical error for מכּלת, food, as may be seen from 1 Kings 5:11.
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