2 Chronicles 8:17
Then went Solomon to Eziongeber, and to Eloth, at the sea side in the land of Edom.
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(d) THE VOYAGE TO OPHIR (2Chronicles 8:17-18).

Comp. 1Kings 9:26-28.

(17) Then (’āz).—After the completion of the Temple.

Went Solomon to Ezion-geber, and to Eloth.—Syr., “Ezion-geber, a city which is over against Eloth.” 1Kings 9:26 reads, “And a fleet did king Solomon make at Ezion-geber, which is near Eloth.”

The sea.—Kings, the Red Sea. So Vulg. The words of our text do not necessarily imply a personal visit on the part of Solomon. He sent his shipwrights to the Idumean port.

8:1 - 18 Solomon's buildings and trade. - It sometimes requires more wisdom and resolution to govern a family in the fear of God, than to govern a kingdom with reputation. The difficulty is increased, when a man has a hinderance instead of a help meet in the wife of his bosom. Solomon kept up the holy sacrifices, according to the law of Moses. In vain had the altar been built, in vain had fire come down from heaven, if sacrifices had not been constantly brought. Spiritual sacrifices are required of us, which we are to bring daily and weekly; it is good to be in a settled method of devotion. When the service of the temple was put into good order, it is said, The house of the Lord was perfected. The work was the main matter, not the place; the temple was unfinished till all this was done. Canaan was a rich country, and yet must send to Ophir for gold The Israelites were a wise people, but must be beholden to the king of Tyre for men that had knowledge of the seas. Grace, and not gold, is the best riches, and acquaintance with God and his law, the best knowledge. Leaving the children of this world to scramble for the toys of this world, may we, as the children of God, lay up our treasure in heaven, that where our treasure is, our hearts also may be.The man of God - This phrase, so common in Kings (see the introduction to Kings, 4th note), is rare in Chronicles, and is applied only to Moses 1 Chronicles 23:14, David, and one other prophet 2 Chronicles 25:7, 2 Chronicles 25:9. 17. Then went Solomon to Ezion-geber, and to Eloth—These two maritime ports were situated at the eastern gulf of the Red Sea, now called the Gulf of Akaba. Eloth is seen in the modern Akaba, Ezion-geber in El Gudyan [Robinson]. Solomon, determined to cultivate the arts of peace, was sagacious enough to perceive that his kingdom could become great and glorious only by encouraging a spirit of commercial enterprise among his subjects; and, accordingly, with that in mind he made a contract with Huram for ships and seamen to instruct his people in navigation. Of this and the next verse, See Poole "1 Kings 9:26", &c.

Then went Solomon to Eziongeber,.... Being now at leisure to look after his navy, to carry on merchandise; and of this, and the following verse, and the reconciliation of them with 1 Kings 9:26; see Gill on 1 Kings 9:26, 1 Kings 9:27, 1 Kings 9:28. Then went Solomon to Eziongeber, and to Eloth, at the {i} sea side in the land of Edom.

(i) Meaning, the Red Sea.

17, 18 (= 1 Kings 9:26-28). Solomon’s Fleet

17. to Ezion-geber, and to Eloth] In 1 Kin. Ezion-geber which is beside Eloth on the shore of the Red Sea. Strictly speaking it was at the head of the Gulf of Akaba, the eastern arm of the Red Sea. Cp. 2 Chronicles 20:36 (R.V.) and Deuteronomy 2:8.

Verse 17. - Ezion-geber... Eloth. Parallel, 1 Kings 9:26, which describes the former of these ports as "beside" the latter, "on the Red Sea," i.e. at the extremity of the eastern gulf of the Red Sea, called the Elanitic Gulf by Greeks and Romans, but now the Gulf of Akabah (Numbers 33:35-37; Deuteronomy 2:8; 2 Samuel 8:14; 1 Kings 22:48; 2 Kings 14:22; 2 Kings 16:6; 2 Chronicles 20:36, 37). David's conquest of Edom was the occasion of its coming into the possession of Israel. 2 Chronicles 8:17Voyage to Ophir. Cf. 1 Kings 9:26-28, and the commentary on that passage, where we have discussed the divergences of our narrative, and have also come to the conclusion that Ophir is not to be sought in India, but in Southern Arabia. By אז the date of this voyage is made to fall in the period after the building of the temple and the palace, i.e., in the second half of Solomon's reign.
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