Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly.
THE SECOND BOOK OF THE CHRONICLES. Commentary by Robert Jamieson
2Ch 1:1-6. Solemn Offering of Solomon at Gibeon.
Then Solomon spake unto all Israel, to the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and to the judges, and to every governor in all Israel, the chief of the fathers.
2-5. Then Solomon spake unto all Israel—The heads, or leading officers, who are afterwards specified, were summoned to attend their sovereign in a solemn religious procession. The date of this occurrence was the second year of Solomon's reign, and the high place at Gibeon was chosen for the performance of the sacred rites, because the tabernacle and all the ancient furniture connected with the national worship were deposited there. Zadok was the officiating high priest (1Ch 16:39). It is true that the ark had been removed and placed in a new tent which David had made for it at Jerusalem [2Ch 1:4]. But the brazen altar, "before the tabernacle of the Lord," on which the burnt offerings were appointed by the law to be made, was at Gibeon. And although David had been led by extraordinary events and tokens of the divine presence to sacrifice on the threshing-floor of Araunah, Solomon considered it his duty to present his offerings on the legally appointed spot "before the tabernacle," and on the time-honored altar prepared by the skill of Bezaleel in the wilderness (Ex 38:1).
So Solomon, and all the congregation with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the tabernacle of the congregation of God, which Moses the servant of the LORD had made in the wilderness.
But the ark of God had David brought up from Kirjathjearim to the place which David had prepared for it: for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem.
Moreover the brasen altar, that Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, he put before the tabernacle of the LORD: and Solomon and the congregation sought unto it.
And Solomon went up thither to the brasen altar before the LORD, which was at the tabernacle of the congregation, and offered a thousand burnt offerings upon it.
6. offered a thousand burnt offerings—This holocaust he offered, of course, by the hands of the priests. The magnitude of the oblation became the rank of the offerer on this occasion of national solemnity.
In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee.
2Ch 1:7-13. His Choice of Wisdom Is Blessed by God.
7. In that night did God appear unto Solomon—(See on 1Ki 3:5).
And Solomon said unto God, Thou hast shewed great mercy unto David my father, and hast made me to reign in his stead.
Now, O LORD God, let thy promise unto David my father be established: for thou hast made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude.
Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?
And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king:
Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.
Then Solomon came from his journey to the high place that was at Gibeon to Jerusalem, from before the tabernacle of the congregation, and reigned over Israel.
And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, which he placed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.
2Ch 1:14-17. His Strength and Wealth.
14. Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen—His passion for horses was greater than that of any Israelitish monarch before or after him. His stud comprised fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses. This was a prohibited indulgence, whether as an instrument of luxury or power. But it was not merely for his own use that he imported the horses of Egypt. The immense equestrian establishment he erected was not for show merely, but also for profit. The Egyptian breed of horses was highly valued; and being as fine as the Arabian, but larger and more powerful, they were well fitted for being yoked in chariots. These were light but compact and solid vehicles, without springs. From the price stated (2Ch 1:17) as given for a chariot and a horse, it appears that the chariot cost four times the value of a horse. A horse brought a 150 shekels, which, estimating the shekels at 2s. 3d. or 2s. 6d., amount to £17 2s. or £18 15s., while a chariot brought 600 shekels, equal to £68 9s. or £75; and as an Egyptian chariot was usually drawn by two horses, a chariot and pair would cost £112 sterling. As the Syrians, who were fond of the Egyptian breed of horses, could import them into their own country only through Judea, Solomon early perceived the commercial advantages to be derived from this trade, and established a monopoly. His factors or agents purchased them in the markets or fairs of Egypt and brought them to the "chariot cities," the depots and stables he had erected on the frontiers of his kingdom, such as Bethmarcaboth, "the house of chariots," and Hazarsusah, "the village of horses" (Jos 19:5; 1Ki 10:28).
And the king made silver and gold at Jerusalem as plenteous as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycomore trees that are in the vale for abundance.
And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price.
And they fetched up, and brought forth out of Egypt a chariot for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so brought they out horses for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, by their means.
17. brought … for all the kings of the Hittites—A branch of this powerful tribe, when expelled from Palestine, had settled north of Lebanon, where they acquired large possessions contiguous to the Syrians.