But of the children of Israel did Solomon make no servants for his work; but they were men of war, and chief of his captains, and captains of his chariots and horsemen.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)2 Chronicles 8:2). The two Beth-borons were both ancient cities (see Joshua 10:10 note).
7. all the people that were left, &c.—The descendants of the Canaanites who remained in the country were treated as war prisoners, being obliged to "pay tribute or to serve as galley slaves" (2Ch 2:18), while the Israelites were employed in no works but such as were of an honorable character.1 Kings 9:18. From hence, to the end of 2 Chronicles 8:11, it is the same with 1 Kings 9:19. See Gill on 1 Kings 9:19. 1 Kings 9:20. 1 Kings 9:21. 1 Kings 9:22. 1 Kings 9:23. 1 Kings 9:24. But of the children of Israel did Solomon make no servants for his work; but they were men of war, and chief of his captains, and captains of his chariots and horsemen.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)9. and chief of his captains] Read (with 1 Kings 9:22) and his princes and his captains. The statements of this verse must be read in connexion with 1 Kings 5:13 ff; 1 Kings 12:4 ff., whence it appears that though Solomon did not actually reduce any Israelite to permanent slavery, yet he imposed upon his own people a corvée which was felt to be very burdensome.2 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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