2 Chronicles 8:2
That the cities which Huram had restored to Solomon, Solomon built them, and caused the children of Israel to dwell there.
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(2) Which Huram had restored.—Literally, which Huram gave.

Solomon built them.Rebuilt or restored and fortified (Joshua 6:26; 1Kings 15:17). The parallel passage (1Kings 9:11-13) records a contrary transaction; that is to say, it represents Solomon as giving to Huram twenty cities in Galilee, as a return for his past services. It is added that these cities did not please Huram, in consequence of which they got the name of “The Land of Kābûl” (i.e., “Like-nought”). The Authorised Version here assumes that the explanation of Josephus (Antt. viii. 5, § 3) is correct. That writer states that Huram restored the despised cities to Solomon, who thereupon repaired them, and peopled them with Israelites. Others assume an exchange of friendly gifts between the two sovereigns; so that Solomon gave Huram twenty Israelite cities (Kings), and Huram gave Solomon twenty Phenician cities (Chronicles): this seems highly improbable. The former explanation appears to be substantially correct. The chronicler, or the authority which he follows here. has omitted to notice a fact which seems to derogate from the greatness of Solomon, viz., the previous surrender of the territory in question to the Tyrian king; and has chosen to speak of Huram’s non-acceptance or return of Solomon’s present, as a gift. He then goes on to tell of the future fate of the twenty cities. Solomon repaired or fortified them, and colonised them with Israelites; for this border-land was chiefly inhabited by Gentiles (Isaiah 9:1, “Galilee of the Gentiles”). A border-land is naturally more exposed to the ravages of an invader; and the cities which Solomon ceded to Huram may have been in a half-ruinous condition. This would account for Huram’s disappointment in them. The statement of our text, then, is neither an “effacement,” nor a “travesty” (Reuss), nor even a “remodelling” of that of the older text “in favour of Solomon” (Zöckler). It replaces the older text by another statement which is equally true, and not incompatible with it.

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 cities which Huram had restored to Solomon - These cities had not been mentioned previously by the writer of Chronicles, who, however, seems to assume that the fact of their having been given by Hiram to Solomon is known to his readers. See 1 Kings 9:11-13. 2. cities which Huram had restored … Solomon built them, &c.—These cities lay in the northwest of Galilee. Though included within the limits of the promised land, they had never been conquered. The right of occupying them Solomon granted to Huram, who, after consideration, refused them as unsuitable to the commercial habits of his subjects (see on [425]1Ki 9:11). Solomon, having wrested them from the possession of the Canaanite inhabitants, repaired them and filled them with a colony of Hebrews. Which Huram had restored to Solomon; which Solomon gave to Huram, who not being pleased with them, 1 Kings 9:12,13, here returns them to him again.

That the cities which Huram had restored to Solomon,.... Which Solomon first gave to him, but he not liking them, returned them to him, 1 Kings 9:12,

Solomon built them; or rebuilt them, being very much out of repair, which might be one reason of Huram's not accepting them:

and caused the children of Israel to dwell there; they being inhabited by others, the remains of the Canaanitcs perhaps; see 2 Chronicles 8:7.

That the cities which Huram had {b} restored to Solomon, Solomon built them, and caused the children of Israel to dwell there.

(b) That is, which Hiram gave again to Solomon because they did not please him and therefore called them Cabul, that is, dirt or filth, 1Ki 9:13.

2. the cities which Huram had restored to Solomon,] R.V. the cities which Huram had given to Solomon. According to 1 Kings 9:12-13 it was Solomon who gave Huram cities. Huram however was not pleased with them (ibid.), and from this fact the English translators of 1611 concluded that Huram rejected them and “restored” them. Probably however Kin. and Chron. follow different traditions with regard to these border cities, and no reconciliation is possible.

built them] i.e. fortified them.

Verse 2. - The cities which Huram had restored to Solomon. 1 Kings 9:11 explains the force of the word "restored" here, telling how it was Hiram had come by "twenty cities in the land of Galilee" by way of payment, or part payment, for the "cedar," "fir," and "gold" which he had given Solomon. It is evident that these cities were in need of repair; possibly they had not been previously in the occupation of the Israelites; if they had been, the transaction was scarcely legitimate on the part of Solomon (Leviticus 25:12-33), and we may suppose they had become largely deserted when made over to Hiram. It would not, however, be necessary to suppose either that Solomon had given them because they were poor property in his eyes, or that Hiram, whose good will and generous disposition are elsewhere specially notified, had returned them as a thankless gift or as a bad payment, but for the language of vers. 12, 13 (1 Kings 9.), which distinctly tells us that when Hiram inspected them they did "not please him," and that he named them "the land of Oabul" (see Dr. Smith's 'Bible Dictionary,' 1. p. 237). The probability is that, as cities on the borderland, they were what had been at present unoccupied by Israelites, were all the likelier in bad repair, and, unvalued by Hiram, were, when put into good repair by Solomon, such that Solomon might justly cause the children of Israel to dwell in them. 2 Chronicles 8:22 Chronicles 8:2 must be regarded as the apodosis of 2 Chronicles 8:1, notwithstanding that the object, the cities which ... precedes. The unusual position of the words is the result of the aphoristic character of the notice. As to its relation to the statement 1 Kings 9:10-13, see the discussion on that passage. בּנה, 2 Chronicles 8:2, is not to be understood of the fortification of these cities, but of their completion, for, according to 1 Kings 9:10, 1 Kings 9:13, they were in very bad condition. ויּושׁב, he caused to dwell there, i.e., transplanted Israelites thither, cf. 2 Kings 17:6. The account of the cities which Solomon built, i.e., fortified, is introduced (2 Chronicles 8:3) by the important statement, omitted in 1 Kings 9:"Solomon went to Hamath-zobah, and prevailed against it." על חזק, to be strong upon, that is, prevail against, conquer; cf. 2 Chronicles 27:5. Hamath-zobah is not the city Hamath in Zobah, but, as we learn from 2 Chronicles 8:4, the land or kingdom of Hamath. This did not lie, any more than the city Hamath, in Zobah, but bordered on the kingdom of Zobah: cf. 1 Chronicles 18:3; and as to the position of Zobah, see the Commentary on 2 Samuel 8:3. In David's time Hamath and Zobah had their own kings; and David conquered them, and made their kingdoms tributary (1 Chronicles 18:3-10). Because they bordered on each other, Hamath and Zobah are here bound together as a nomen compos. עליה יחזק signifies at least this, that these tributary kingdoms had either rebelled against Solomon, or at least had made attempts to do so; which Solomon suppressed, and in order to establish his dominion over them fortified Tadmor, i.e., Palmyra, and all the store cities in the land of Hamath (see on 1 Kings 9:18.); for, according to 1 Kings 11:23., he had Rezon of Zobah as an enemy during his whole reign; see on that passage.
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