And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel; his cupbearers also, and their apparel; and his ascent by which he went up into the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And his ascent by which he went up into the house of the Lord.—Kings, “And his burnt offering which he offered in the house of the Lord.” The LXX., Syr., and Vulg. here agree with Kings; and the Arab. reads, “the altar on which he offered.” In all other passages, the word used in our text (‘alîyāh) means not ascent, but upper chamber; it is likely, therefore, that in the present instance it is merely an error of transcription for the term occurring in Kings (‘ôlāh, “burnt-offering”).
2Ch 9:1-12. The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon; She Admires His Wisdom and Magnificence.
1-4. when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon—(See on 1Ki 10:1-13). It is said that among the things in Jerusalem which drew forth the admiration of Solomon's royal visitor was "his ascent by which he went up into the house of the Lord." This was the arched viaduct that crossed the valley from Mount Zion to the opposite hill. In the commentary on the passage quoted above, allusion was made to the recent discovery of its remains. Here we give a full account of what, for boldness of conceptions for structure and magnificence, was one of the greatest wonders in Jerusalem. "During our first visit to the southwest corner of the area of the mosque, we observed several of the large stones jutting out from the western wall, which at first seemed to be the effect of a bursting of the wall from some mighty shock or earthquake. We paid little regard to this at the moment; but on mentioning the fact not long after to a circle of our friends, the remark was incidentally dropped that the stones had the appearance of having once belonged to a large arch. At this remark, a train of thought flashed across my mind, which I hardly dared to follow out until I had again repaired to the spot, in order to satisfy myself with my own eyes as to the truth or falsehood of the suggestion. I found it even so. The courses of these immense stones occupy their original position; their external surface is hewn to a regular curve; and, being fitted one upon another, they form the commencement or foot of an immense arch which once sprung out from this western wall in a direction towards Mount Zion, across the Tyropœon valley. This arch could only have belonged to the bridge, which, according to Josephus, led from this part of the temple to the Xystus (covered colonnade) on Zion; and it proves incontestably the antiquity of that portion from which it springs" [Robinson]. The distance from this point to the steep rock of Zion Robinson calculates to be about three hundred and fifty feet, the probable length of this ancient viaduct. Another writer adds, that "the arch of this bridge, if its curve be calculated with an approximation to the truth, would measure sixty feet, and must have been one of five sustaining the viaduct (allowing for the abutments on either side), and that the piers supporting the center arch of this bridge must have been of great altitude—not less, perhaps, than one hundred and thirty feet. The whole structure, when seen from the southern extremity of the Tyropœon, must have had an aspect of grandeur, especially as connected with the lofty and sumptuous edifices of the temple, and of Zion to the right and to the left" [Isaac Taylor's Edition of Traill's Josephus].And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel; his cupbearers also, and their apparel; and his ascent by which he went up into the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)4. and their apparel] The phrase is repeated probably through an error of transcription; it occurs once only in the parallel place in 1 Kin.
his ascent by which he went up] Render (if the text be sound), his manner of going up, i.e. the pomp with which he went up (so Targ.); but LXX. and Pesh. give, the burnt-offerings which he used to offer, a rendering which is right in 1 Kings 10:5 (cp. R.V. mg.). The difference of reading between Chron. and 1 Kin. in the Heb. is slight.Verse 4. - The meat of his table (see 1 Kings 4:22, 23). Translating our thoughts rather violently into modern language, we might picture the queen inspecting the kitchens of the palace, and remember that the kitchens of an Oriental court did the work, not of an individual "table," but of those of a very large domestic and official retinue; much more these of Solomon now. Keil and Bertheau, however, with others, refer this expression to the set-out of one meal-table (as e.g. that of a modern banquet, wedding breakfast, or the like), where both the abounding lading of the table and the ample variety of the courses, and the rich foreign or home fruits, in season or out of season, and the furnishing and decorating of the table, all come in to add their contribution of effect; and they quote not inaptly our ver. 20, elucidated by 1 Kings 10:21. This was a daily glory with Solomon's palace-establishment. The immediate connection and the contents of this verse, though difficult, favour this direction of explanation, as will be seen in the succeeding clauses. The sitting of his servants. The word here used (מושָׁב) occurs forty-three times, and is rendered in the Authorized Version thirty-two of these times as "habitation" or "dwelling." Of the remaining eleven times, one or other of those words would be almost the synonym of the word used, and in every ease the rendering "dwelling," if kept to the general idea of a dwelling or resting-place more or less temporary, would not be inappropriate or inconsistent with the evident drift of the connection; only here and in the parallel is the inconvenient rendering "sitting" adopted by the Authorized Version. Hence we disagree with Professor Dr. Murphy's explanation, the sitting, i.e. "in council of his chief officers." What the nature of the location (to use a term least specific) of the servants pointed to here is, nevertheless, still not quite clear. It is evidently placed in some antithesis with the standing (i.e. the standing-place) here rendered 'inadequately or incorrectly, the attendance of his ministers. The attendance, i.e. "the station (מַעֲמָד) (see the four other occurrences of this' word: 1 Kings 10:5; 1 Chronicles 23:28; 2 Chronicles 35:15; Isaiah 22:19). Of his ministers; Hebrew, מְשָׁרְתָיו, participle of a piel verb, שָׁרֵת. This word, in an amazing majority of the hundred occurrences of it, expresses ministry of sacred service of some kind. It may, indeed, be said that the present passage, with only one or two others, are doubtful in this meaning or character of explanation. To our next clause, referring to their apparel, we find in the parallel mention, as here, of the cupbearers, though the matter of their apparel is not included as it is here. Part of the difficulty of the verse arises from the consideration that up to this point the contents of the successive clauses of it may compose possibly enough a sharp graphic description of the daily banquet scene. An apt reference to similar description of Arabian banquets is given in the 'Speaker's Commentary ' as to be found in vol. it. pp. 213-215 of 'Ancient Monarchies.' Our next clause, however, brings us back into difficulty by its reference to Solomon's ascent by which he went up into the house of the Lord (1 Chronicles 26:16 with our Exposition, 'Pulpit Commentary'), apparently so unseasonably; nor are we much helped by reading, with the Septuagint, "the burnt offerings which he offered at the house of the Lord." The obscurity and lack of coherence are not formidable, indeed, and perhaps may be with moderate satisfaction set down again to the account of the occasionally careless selection of the compilers from the material of the older work. Possibly the allusion in our ver. 11 to the terraces, or stairs, or highways (see margin) to "the house of the Lord," and to the king's palace, may hold some clue to the ascent being adverted to here. 1 Chronicles 26:20-28. - With 2 Chronicles 8:16 the account of what Solomon did for the public worship is concluded: "Now all the work of Solomon was prepared until the (this) day, the foundation of the house of Jahve until its completion; the house of Jahve was finished." מלאכת is explained by מוּסד. היּום is the day on which, after the consecration of the completed temple, the regular public worship was commenced in it, which doubtless was done immediately after the dedication of the temple. Only when the regular worship according to the law of Moses, and with the arrangements as to the service of the priests and Levites established by David, had been commenced, was Solomon's work in connection with the temple completed, and the house of God שׁלם, integer, perfect in all its parts, as it should be. The last clause, בית י שׁלם, is connected rhetorically with what precedes without the conjunction, and is not to be regarded as a subscription, "with which the historian concludes the whole narrative commencing with 2 Chronicles 2:1" (Berth.); for שׁלם does not signify "ended," or to be at an end, but to be set thoroughly (perfectly) in order.
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