And Solomon went to Hamathzobah, and prevailed against it.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And Solomon went.—Marched (2Samuel 12:29).
Hamath-zobah.—That is, Hamath bordering on Zobah. (Comp. 1Chronicles 18:3.) Solomon’s conquest of the kingdom of Hamath, which had been on terms of amity with David, is not mentioned in 1 Kings 9; nor indeed anywhere else in the Old Testament. Thenius (on 2Kings 14:25) supposes that the text describes not a conquest of Hamath itself, but only the annexation of part of its territory; viz., a part of the highly fruitful plain of Cœle-Syria, called by the Arabs Ard-el-Beqâa. This appears to be correct.Amos 6:2; the capital of Coele-Syria; but probably a town of Zobah otherwise unknown, which revolted from Solomon, and was reduced to subjection. And Solomon went to Hamathzobah, and prevailed against it.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)3. Hamath-zobah] The two kingdoms of Hamath and Zobah are distinguished from one another (1 Chronicles 18:3; 1 Chronicles 18:9 = 1 Samuel 8:3; 1 Samuel 8:9), Hamath apparently being north of Zobah. It is probable however that Hamath as the name of a city belonged to more than one place, and Hamath-Zobah may be a southern namesake of the well-known Hamath the great (Amos 6:2).
Though Solomon was a “man of rest” (1 Chronicles 22:9) his reign was not wholly free from war (cp. 1 Kings 11:14; 1 Kings 11:13).Verse 3. - Hamath-zobah. Hamath (when the name occurs separately) was a place both of great geographical note (occupying, whether regarded as a larger region or a town, an important position in the northern end of that broad valley of Coele-Syria which separates Lebanon and Antilebanon, and through which passed the river Orontes) and of great historical note from the time of the Exodus to that of Amos. The town, or city, is to be understood to be the Great Hamath (Amos 6:2). But the kingdom, or district, or county, was almost conterminous with Coele-Syria. Zobah, also a portion of Syria, amounted to a small kingdom, and is read of alike in Saul's and in David's times, as in Solomon's time. It probably lay to the north-east of Hamath (1 Samuel 14:47; 2 Samuel 8:8, 7, 8, 10; 2 Samuel 10:9, 16, 19; 1 Chronicles 18:4; 1 Chronicles 19:16). But Hamath-zobah of this verse was probably a place called Hamath, in the region of Zobah, in which also two other cities are mentioned, Berothai and Tibhath, or Betah (2 Samuel 8:8; 1 Chronicles 18:8). These two kingdoms of Hamath and Zobah, contiguous as they were, seem as though they purposed to compliment one another - Zobah by naming one of its towns Hamath, and vice versa It is said that the Assyrian inscriptions show that they remained, after Solomon, distinct kingdoms. 1 Kings 9:1-9. The general contents, and the order of the thoughts in the divine answer in the two texts, agree, but in the Chronicle individual thoughts are further expounded than in the book of Kings, and expressions are here and there made clear. The second clause of 2 Chronicles 7:11 is an instance of this, where "and all the desire of Solomon, which he was pleased to do," is represented by "and all that came into Solomon's heart, to make in the house of the Lord and in his own house, he prosperously effected." Everything else is explained in the Com. on 1 Kings 9.
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