Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
And Solomon determined to build an house for the name of the LORD, and an house for his kingdom.Ch. 2. Solomon’s Preparations for Building the Temple
1, 2 (= 2 Chronicles 2:17-18 [1:18, 2 Chronicles 2:1, Heb.] below; 1 Kings 5:15). Bearers and Hewers
1. determined] R.V. purposed, as in 1 Kings 5:5.
for the name] cp. 1 Chronicles 22:7; 1 Chronicles 22:10; 1 Chronicles 22:19; 1 Chronicles 28:3; 1 Chronicles 29:16.
a house for his kingdom] See 1 Kings 7:1-8.
And Solomon told out threescore and ten thousand men to bear burdens, and fourscore thousand to hew in the mountain, and three thousand and six hundred to oversee them.2. told out] The 150,000 bearers and hewers mentioned here are said to have been aliens (2 Chronicles 2:17). This statement is confirmed by 1 Kings 5:15 which distinguishes them from the levy of 30,000 hewers raised out of all Israel (ib. 1 Kings 5:13). The 30,000 Israelites were subject to a corvée of one month in every three, the 150,000 aliens were apparently always at work. Cp. 2 Chronicles 8:9, note.
in the mountain] R.V. in the mountains. The Hebrew expression is indefinite.
And Solomon sent to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, As thou didst deal with David my father, and didst send him cedars to build him an house to dwell therein, even so deal with me.3. Huram] Another form of Hiram (1 Kings 5:1 [15, Heb.]) which is a shortened form of Ahiram (Hebrew, Aḥ “brother” and râm “exalted”). Yet another form is Hirom (1 Kings 5:10; see R.V. mg.). The Phœnician language is written with even fewer vowel signs than are found in ancient Hebrew; hence the uncertainty in the form of this name.
didst send him cedars] See 1 Chronicles 14:1 = 2 Samuel 5:11.
3–10 [2–9, Heb.] (= 1 Kings 5:2-6). Solomon’s Message to Huram
This passage is much fuller in Chron. than in 1 Kings, which offers no parallel to Solomon’s language with regard to the Temple; 2 Chronicles 2:4-6. Again 2 Chronicles 2:7 (the request for a “cunning man”) has no nearer parallel than 1 Kings 7:13. For 2 Chronicles 2:10 also there is no strict parallel in 1 Kings.
Behold, I build an house to the name of the LORD my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him sweet incense, and for the continual shewbread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of the LORD our God. This is an ordinance for ever to Israel.4. the continual shewbread] See 1 Chronicles 9:32, notes; Leviticus 24:5-9.
on the solemn feasts) R.V. on the set feasts. Cp. 1 Chronicles 23:31, note.
And the house which I build is great: for great is our God above all gods.
But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?6. is able] Lit. retaineth strength; 1 Chronicles 29:14. Cp. 2 Chronicles 6:2; 2 Chronicles 6:18.
to burn sacrifice] R.V. to burn incense.
Send me now therefore a man cunning to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in iron, and in purple, and crimson, and blue, and that can skill to grave with the cunning men that are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my father did provide.7. can skill to grave] Literally, knoweth how to grave.
to grave with the cunning men] R.V. to grave all manner of gravings, to be with the cunning men. To grave is “to carve.” Cp. 1 Kings 6:29.
my father did provide] See 1 Chronicles 22:15.
Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon: for I know that thy servants can skill to cut timber in Lebanon; and, behold, my servants shall be with thy servants,8. fir trees] R.V. mg., cypress trees (which however are not now indigenous on Lebanon).
algum trees] called almug trees in 1 Kings 10:11-12 and there described as coming from Ophir. According to 1 Kings 5:8 Solomon asked for cedar and “fir” only; so that the mention of algum trees here is probably incorrect. Algum is perhaps sandal wood.
Even to prepare me timber in abundance: for the house which I am about to build shall be wonderful great.
And, behold, I will give to thy servants, the hewers that cut timber, twenty thousand measures of beaten wheat, and twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil.10. measures] Hebrew, cors. A cor was the same as a homer = 393.9 litres.
beaten wheat] 1 Kings 5:11, wheat for food. The text is doubtful, and the phrase beaten wheat occurs nowhere else and is uncertain in meaning.
of barley] The barley and wine are not mentioned in 1 Kings 5:11; there wheat and oil only are mentioned.
twenty thousand baths of oil] in 1 Kings 5:11 (Heb.) twenty cors of pure oil. As ten baths went to a cor, the amount stated in Chron. is a hundred times as much as the amount given in 1 Kings (7878 litres).
Then Huram the king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon, Because the LORD hath loved his people, he hath made thee king over them.11–16 [10–15, Heb.] (= 1 Kings 5:7-9). Huram’s Answer to Solomon
11. hath loved] R.V. loveth. Cp. 2 Chronicles 9:8.
Huram said moreover, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, that made heaven and earth, who hath given to David the king a wise son, endued with prudence and understanding, that might build an house for the LORD, and an house for his kingdom.12. prudence and understanding] R.V. discretion and understanding (as in 1 Chronicles 22:12, R.V.).
that might build] R.V. that should build.
And now I have sent a cunning man, endued with understanding, of Huram my father's,13. I have sent] According to 1 Kings 7:13 Solomon himself sent and fetched Hiram the artificer.
of Huram my father’s) Better as R.V. mg., even Huram my father. Huram the king calls Huram the artificer my father as a title of honour. Cp. 2 Chronicles 4:16.
The son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre, skilful to work in gold, and in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in crimson; also to grave any manner of graving, and to find out every device which shall be put to him, with thy cunning men, and with the cunning men of my lord David thy father.14. of Dan] in 1 Kings 7:14, of Naphtali. The reading of Chron. may have arisen from Exodus 31:6 (Oholiab one of the artificers of the tabernacle was of the tribe of Dan).
to find out every device which shall be put to him, with thy cunning men] R.V. to devise any device: that there may be a place appointed unto him with thy cunning men.
Now therefore the wheat, and the barley, the oil, and the wine, which my lord hath spoken of, let him send unto his servants:
And we will cut wood out of Lebanon, as much as thou shalt need: and we will bring it to thee in floats by sea to Joppa; and thou shalt carry it up to Jerusalem.16. Joppa] Hebrew, Japho, modern Jaffa (Yâfâ).
And Solomon numbered all the strangers that were in the land of Israel, after the numbering wherewith David his father had numbered them; and they were found an hundred and fifty thousand and three thousand and six hundred.17, 18 [16, 17, Heb.] (cp. 2). Bearers and Hewers
17. David his father] See 1 Chronicles 22:2.
And he set threescore and ten thousand of them to be bearers of burdens, and fourscore thousand to be hewers in the mountain, and three thousand and six hundred overseers to set the people a work.18. three thousand and six hundred overseers] In 1 Kings 5:16, three thousand and three hundred. Three in Hebrew (which may be represented in English by the letters SLS) is easily corrupted into six (= SS in English). Cp. also 2 Chronicles 8:10 (= 1 Kings 9:23).
a work] i.e. on work, to work.