And he joined himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish: and they made the ships in Eziongaber.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And he joined himself with him.—Literally, and he joined him with himself, an expression only occurring here.
To make ships to go to Tarshish.—In 1Kings 22:48-49, we read: “Jehoshaphat made ships (i.e., a fleet) of Tarshish, to go to Ophir for gold; and it went not; for the ships were broken (i.e., wrecked) in Ezion-geber. Then said Ahaziah the son of Ahab unto Jehoshaphat, Let my servants go with thy servants in the ships; and Jehoshaphat consented not.” There is no mention of a previous alliance and partnership in the ship-building with Ahaziah. Moreover, the expression of our text, “ships to go to Tarshish,” appears to be an erroneous paraphrase of “ships of Tarshish,” or “Tarshish-men,” as we might say; a phrase which really means, vessels built for long sea-voyages. According to Kings, the ships were built “to go to Ophir for gold;” in other words, to renew Solomon’s traffic with India from the port on the Red Sea.
And they made the ships in Ezion-gaber.—The Edomite port at the head of the Gulf of Akaba. If Tarshish means the Phoenician Tartessus in Spain, the fleet could only go thither by doubling the Cape, or crossing the Isthmus of Suez. Therefore some have supposed another Tarshish somewhere in the Persian Gulf or on the north-west coast of India. (See on 2Chronicles 9:21.)2 Chronicles 20:34. Consequently we can lay no stress on the note of time contained in the words "after this," which are detached from the context to which they originally referred. On the history 2 Chronicles 20:35-37, see marginal references and notes. To make ships to go to Tarshish; of which See Poole "1 Kings 10:22 22:48".
They made the ships in Ezion-gaber; of which see on 1 Kings 9:26. 1 Kings 22:48, and though it is there said, 1 Kings 22:49, that Jehoshaphat refused letting the servants of Ahaziah go with his, that was after he had been reproved for joining with him, and after the ships were broken:
and they made the ships in Eziongeber; of which see Gill on 1 Kings 9:26.And he joined himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish: and they made the ships in Eziongaber.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)36. ships to go to Tarshish] In Kings, ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir: cp. 2 Chronicles 9:21 (= 1 Kings 10:22), note. In both passages the reading of Kings, “ships (or ‘navy’) of Tarshish,” i.e. large sea-going ships (cp. Psalm 48:7) is to be preferred, because (1) Ezion-geber was a port for vessels sailing eastward, while Tarshish was in the west, (2) gold, the object of the voyage (cp. 1 Kings 22:48), came from Ophir (2 Chronicles 8:18; 1 Kings 9:28; 1 Kings 10:11; Psalm 45:9).
Tarshish] Cp. 1 Chronicles 1:7 (note).
Ezion-geber] Cp. 2 Chronicles 8:17 (note).Verse 36. - This verse tells us the object with which Jehoshaphat had joined himself with Ahaziah, and 1 Kings 22:49 tells us how at last, by a point-blank refusal to Ahaziah, he withdrew from the very brief commercial alliance after he had not merely been witnessed against by the Prophet Eliezer spoken of in our next verse, but more decisively witnessed against by the shattering of his ships. To go to Tarshish. This clause, even if the text is not corrupt, yet cannot mean what it seems to say; but in the word "to go" (Hebrew, לָלֶכֶת) must mean, of the sort that were wont to go to Tarshish, i.e. that were used for the Tarshish trade. We are guided to some such explanation by 1 Kings 22:48, where it is said the ships were "ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir" (1 Kings 10:22; 2 Chronicles 8:18). That the ships could not be to go to Tarshish is plain from the fact of the place, Ezion-geber (2 Chronicles 8:17, 18; 1 Kings 9:26), on the Red Sea, where they were built. Some, however, have suggested that some other Tarshish (e.g. in the Gulf of Persia)than that of Spain (Tartessus) may conceivably be meant. The clear statement of the parallel saves the necessity of any such supposition, however. 2 Chronicles 17:10). On the last clause of 2 Chronicles 20:30, cf. 2 Chronicles 15:15. This wonderful acts of the Lord is made the subject of praise to God in the Korahite Psalms, Psalm 46:1, Psalm 47:1, and Psalm 48:1, and perhaps also in Psalm 83, composed by an Asaphite, perhaps Jahaziel (see Del. Introduction to these Psalms).
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