However, I believed not their words, until I came, and my eyes had seen it: and, behold, the one half of the greatness of your wisdom was not told me: for you exceed the fame that I heard.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The one half of the greatness of thy wisdom.—Kings has simply, “the half was not told me.” The chronicler has made an explanatory addition. (See 1Chronicles 12:29, and 2Chronicles 30:18, for the word marbith, “increase,” “multitude,” which occurs thrice in the Chronicles and twice elsewhere.)
Thou exceedest the fame.—Literally, Thou kast added to the report. Kings, more fully, “Thou hast added wisdom and weal to the report.”
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].Howbeit I believed not their words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the one half of the greatness of thy wisdom was not told me: for thou exceedest the fame that I heard.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)6. the greatness of thy wisdom] Cp. 1 Kings 10:7, “thy wisdom and prosperity.”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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