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A, M. 2081. A. C. 1023; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4375. A. C. 1036, 2 SAM. xix-) KINGS viii. dan, came round by the north parts of Canaan, and / or before the time of evening prayer, there appeared an returned to Jerusalemn, at the end of nine months and angel over Jerusalem brandishing a flaming sword in his twenty days, with an estimate, that in Israel there were hand, as if he were going to destroy it; whereupon eight hundred thousand men fit to bear arms, and a five David implored God's mercy for the people, what venhundred thousand in Judah ; but of the men that be- geance soever might light upon him, who was chiefly longed to the tribes of Levi and Benjamin, there was guilty : but as he was expecting some heavy stroke, the no list given in.
angel sent Gad to him, with orders to go immediately, David had no sooner received the account, but his and build an altar in the thrashing-floor d of Araunah heart misgave him, that he had done wrong; and it was the Jebusite, which accordingly he did, and having purnot long, before the prophet Gad was sent to bring his sin chased the place, and some oxen for sacrifice,' for e to remembrance, and to offer him the choice of three puni- fifty shekels of silver, he offered burnt-offerings and ishments, famine, pestilence, or war, which he liked best. peace-offerings, whereof the Lord declared his accept
Where every punishment was so destructive, it was hard ance by fire from heaven; and so the plague ceased. to tell which to prefer ; but David at last made choice of It is not improbable, that God at this time revealed to the pestilence ; which accordingly was sent, and, in c a David the exact frame and fashion of the temple ; that very short time, destroyed no less than seventy thousand from the acceptableness of his sacrifices, he perceived
The plague began in the extreme parts of the that this thrashing-floor was the place which God had kingdom, but every moment made advances nearer and designed for the situation of his temple ; that therefore nearer to Jerusalem; which when the king and inhabit- he not only purchased that, but the whole top of the ants of the city heard, they clothed themselves in sack-mount of Moriah likewise, at the price of 2 6 six hundred cloth, and, with all humility, cried unto God for mercy. shekels of gold,' for the ground-plot of this temple ; and A little before the offering up of the evening sacrifice, that all the remainder of his time was employed in pro
viding whatever was necessary for the purpose of builda If we compare this account with what we meet with in 1 | ing it; in settling the number of the oflicers, and the Chron. xxi. 5. we shall find a great difference; for there the manner of the daily service of those that were to attend men of Israel are said to be three hundred thousand more than they are here, and, on the other hand, the men of Judah are said it; next to this, in settling his civil affairs, and appointto be thirty thousand less. But as for the former ditierence it is ing judges, magistrates, and all inferior officers, whose but supposing, that in this account recorded in Samuel, the business it was to punish offenders, and to keep all others standing legions, which amounted in all to two hundred and to their duty, then in settling his * military matters, partieighty-eight thousand, that is, twenty-four thousand with their officers, upon guard every month, are not here mentioned, though cularly the twelve captains, for every month, with their they be in Chronicles: and as to the latter ditlerence, it is but legions, to attend on the king in their turns ; then the adding twenty-four thousand legionary soldiers to the tribe of princes of the twelve tribes, and afterwards several other Judah, and the difficulty is removed. Though some are apt to officers. think, that in this case, there is no need of this supposition, because it is a common thing in Scripture to mention a round sum,
But while he was contriving these things in the best either of men or years, though upon a strict computation, there manner, he seems to have been taken, either with a dead may be some wanting.- Patrick's Commentary.
palsy, or some other distemper, which chilled his blood, 6 There is another difference in this account, and what we so that he could not be warm in his bed. His physicians meet with in the book of Chronicles. There the famine is said therefore advised, that to supply him with f a natural to be for three years only, but here it is said to be for seven. The Septuagint indeed make it no more than three; and for this reason some have imagined, that the seven is an error crept into
1 2 Sam. xxiv, 24. ' 1 Chron, xxi. 25. ' Ibid. xxvi. 29 to the end. the text, especially considering that three years of famine agree
* Ibid. xxvii. 1-15.
6 Ibid. xxix, 1-20. better with three days' pestilence, and three months' fight before d 2 Sam, xxiv. 18. A thrashing-floor among the ancient an enemy. But there is no reason to suppose any error in the Jews, was only, as it is to this day in the east, a round level plot text; it is but saying, that in Chronicles, the author speaks of of ground in the open air, where the corn was trodden out by those years of famine which were to come for David's sin only, oxen. Thus Gideon's floor (Judges vi. 37.) appears to have but in Samuel, of those three years of famine likewise, which been in the open air; as was likewise this of Araunab the Jebuwere sent for Saul's sin, (2 Sam. xxi.) Now, within one year site; else it would not have been a proper place for erecting an after the famine that was sent for Saul's sin, was David's sin in altar and offering sacrifice. In Hosea xiji. 3. we read of the numbering the people; the intermediate year then was either chaff which is driven by the whirlwind from the floor.-Shaw's the sahbatical year, wherein the people were not allowed to sow Travels, p. 139, second edition.-ED. nor reap, or a year of such excessive drought, that the crop came e There is again another difference in the account which we to little or nothing. Upon either of these accounts we may have in the Chronicles, and this in Samuel. In the Chronicles properly enough say, that there were four years of famine before, it is said, that David bought the thrashing-floor, &c., for six and three more being now added to them, make up the seven hundred shekels of gold; but in Samuel it is said, for fifty shekels that are here mentioned.- Poole's Annotations.
of silver. Now a shekel of gold being of twelve times more c The words in the text are: “So the Lord sent a pestilence value than a shekel of silver, it makes the disparity very large; upon Israel; from the morning, even to the time appointed.' and therefore, to account for this, it is generally supposed, that The time appointed was the space of three days; and therefore in the whole David made two purchases: first he bought the some are of opinion, that the plague lasted so long: but thon thrashing-floor and oxen, for which he gave fifty shekels of others urge, that this does not agree with what follows, namely, silver; but that afterwards all the ground about it, out of which that God repented him of the evil, and commanded the angel, the courts of the temple were made, cost him six hundred who smote the people, to stay his hand. They therefore conclude, shekels of gold. — Patrick's Commentary. that as the word Moed properly signifies an assembly, the “ time f It is the observation of Galen, in his fifth book “Of the Moed" must be; when the people met together at the time of the power of simple medicines,” that nothing so etlectually procures evening sacrifice, that is, about the ninth hour of the day; and con- heat and health as the application of any thing young to the sequently, that the plague continued from the morning to this time, stomach : the advice of David's physicians therefore was not which is about nine hours, or the eighth part of three days; God, amiss; but it had been sinful advice, and such as he could not in his mercy, having been pleased to mitigate the rigour of his have followed, had not this young woman, whom he took to bed judgment, upon the sincere repentance of his people.--Patrick's to him, been his concubinary wife. In those days such wives Commentary, and Poole's Annotations,
were allowable; and that she served him in this capacity, is very
A. M. 2981. A. C. 1023; OR, ACCORDING TO HALFS, A. M. 4375. A. C. 1936. 2 SAM. xix-I KINGS, iii. heat, a virgin should lie in the same bed with him; for she had said ; so that David immediately declared Solowhich purpose Abishag of Shunem, in the tribe of Issa- mon his successor, and thereupon commanded Zadok the char, was brought to him, and made concubinary wise, priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the captain of though he had never any carnal knowledge of her. his guards, with the other officers and ministers of state,
Adonijah, who, next after Absalom, was David's eldest to mount hiin d on the mule that he himself used to ride, son, taking the advantage of his father's age and infirmity, and having in this manner e conducted him to Gihon, there began to entertain thoughts of making himself king, pre- to let Zadok and Nathan anoint him, and then, by sound suming that his father either could not, or would not of trumpet, to proclaim him king of Israel. All this was obstruct him. He was indeed a prince of exquisite accordingly done, and the people of Jerusalem, by their beauty, admired by all, and so indulged by his father, loud shouts and acclamations of joy, gave testimony of that he a niever contradicted him in any thing ; but as he their approbation of David's choice. had a great deal of Absalom in his complexion, he failed But low thunderstruck was Adonijah and his companot to imitate him in his equipage, attendants, and splen- ny, when, being just upon the point of proclaiming himu did manner of life.
king, they beard the sound of the trumpet, and the shouts By some means, however, he had gained Joab the of the people attending Solomon! As soon as they general of the forces, and Abiathar the high priest, over were informed of the occasion, each man thought proper to his party; and by their advice it was, that he invited to shift for himself; but, as for Adonijah, he stled to the all the king's sons, except Solomon, and all the great altar for sanctuary, till, having obtained of Solomon a men of Judah, except Nathan the prophet, Benaiah promise of life, upon condition that he would never captain of the guards, and the officers of the army, (who, attempt any thing for the future against his governnient, with Zadok the other high priest, were not for him to a he was conducted into the king's presence, where he sumptuous entertainment at En-rogel, where the purpose
d All the rest of David's sons were wout to ride upon mults, of the meeting was, as soon as the company had well when they went abroad, (2 Sain. xiii. 29, but David had a muie feasted, to proclaim him king in the room of his father. peculiar to himself, and the mounting Solomon upon it was a Nathan, who knew 6 God's designation, David's choice, sufficient declaration ia his favour. For, as it was capital, acand the people's interest in the matter, having got intelli-cording to Maimonides, to ride upon the king's mule, or sit on
his throne, or handle his sceptre without his order; so, on the gence of this, went and acquainted Bathsheb:r with it, contrary, to have the honour to ride upon the king's horse, by and advised her by all means to go and press the king o his appointment, was accounted the highest dignity among the to declare Solomon his successor, since things were now Persians, as appears by the story of Mordecai, in the book of
Esther.—Calmet's Commentary. come to that extremity, that without her doing this, all
e Some commentators are of opinion, that Gihon was the same their lives must certainly be in danger. Bathsheba pur- with the fountain of Siloam; but this is a gross mistake, since sued her instructions; went to the king, and, having Gilion was manifestly to the west, and Siloam to the east of Jeruacquainted him with Adonijah's conspiracy, desired him salem. There is little or no certainty likewise in the notions of to name her son his successor, according to the oath that some rabbins, who pretend that, in ancient times, kings were
always anointed by the side of a fountain, by way of good omen, he had formerly made to her. While she was thus talk- or that the perpetual running of the stream might be an emblem ing with the king, Nathan came in, and confirmed what of the perpetuity of the king's reign. In the history of Saul,
who was their first king, and of David, who was three times
anointed, we find no mention made of any spring or fountain. manifest from the account we have of her in Scripture, for As these fountains, however, were places of great concourse, fur whereas it is said, that “the king knew her not,' this certainly there were not many in Jerusalem, the chief reason, we may implies, that he might have had carnal knowledge of her without imagine, why David ordered Solomon to be anointed at one of sin or scandal; whereas it is said, that she lay in his bosom,' these, was, that the thing might be done as publicly, and in the this phrase everywhere in Scripture denotes what was the sole
presence of as many spectators as possible.- Patrick's Comprivilege of a wife, concubine, (Gen. xvi. 5. Deut. xiii. 6.) Nor mentary, can we imagine why Adonijali's desiring her in marriage had f There is no precept the law to make the altar a privileged been so heinous a crime in Solomon's account, had she not been place: but, in conformity to the customs of other nations, the the king's wife, and he, by this means, had designed to revive Jews seem to have done it. Other nations had certainày this his pretensions to the crown.— Poole's Annotations.
custom, as appears from that passage in Virgil, " In such words a It is remarked of David, that one of his great faults, and he prayed, grasping the altars." (Eneid 6.) And it seems not what had led him into many premunires, was bis extraordinary likely, that as the people, when they came into the land of indulgence to his children, of whom he was so fond, that he Canaan, had cities appointed by God, whereunto the manslayer seems to have overlooked their errors, and not reproved them, miglit fly; so while they continued in the wilderness, the camp though he was bound to do it, hy a plain law, (Lev. xix. 17.) of the Levites might serve for the same purpose. Nay, from the and could not but know, that the high priest Eli was severely words in Exodus xxi. 14, where God orders the willul murderer punished for this neglect.- Poole's Annotations.
to be taken from his altar, that he may die,' it seems enques. 6 In 2 Sam. vii. 12. God had promised David by Nathan, that tionably true, that, even in the land of Canaan, the altar continued ne would set upon his throne a son that should proceed from him, I a sanctuary for those who fled unto it; but then the question is wliich plainly signified, that none of his sons already born were to what altar Adonijah fled ? Whether to the brazen one which to be the person; and in 1 Chron. xxii. 9, &c., he declared by Moses made, and which was now at Gibeon, or that which his the same prophet
, that after his father, Solomon should reigti, father had lately erected in the thrashing-toor of Araunah ? It and build him an house. This Adonijah could not but know; | is expressly said, (1 Kings j. 50,) that he caught hold of the and therefore his setting himself against the decree of heaven horus of the altar;' but we can hardly suppose, say some, made his sin the greater.- Patrick's Commentary.
altar in the thrashing-floor, which was run up in such haste with c This power of naming a successor was here assumed by stones and turf, was made in that figure. But what should liinDavid, and for some time afterwards, as it appears by the story der us from supposing, that as David had built a place for the of his grandson Rehoboam, was continued in the Jewish state. reception of the ark of the covenant on mount Sion, he had likeIt was a privilege that, in after ages, was granted to several good wise built there an altar for the oblation of the daily sacrifices, in princes; but among the Israelites it did not prevail long, because the exact form of the original one that was then at Gibeon, and the constitution of other nations, to which the Israelile's atiected that it was to this altar, and neither of the others, that Adonijah to conform themselves, was dillerent. Poole's Annotations, and betook himself for refuge.—Le Clerc's, Patrick's, and Caluet's Patrick's Commentary.
A. M. 2981. A. C. 1023; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4.375. A. C. 1036. 2 SAM. xix-1 KINGS viji. made his obeisance to Solomon, in token of thankfulness The next day there was a very great and solemn sacfor his preservation, and in acknowledgment of his su- rifice, and much rejoicing among the people. David, periority
upon this occasion, had Solomon anointed a second This inauguration of Solomon, however, was a little time, in a more public manner; ordered that Zadok too hasty and private ; and therefore David, intending a should be the high priest in the room of Abiathar, who more public coronation, ordered all the princes of Israel had publicly espoused the interest of Adonijah, and, to and Judah, and all the officers of his court and army to put an end to all disputes after his decease, had bim for attend him : when, having recovered a little from his late the future seated on a royal throne, and made sole reindisposition, he stood up, and a in a solemn oration, gent of the kingdom during his lifetime. put them in mind of God's goodness to him, and of his Not long after this, David, perceiving his end apdesignation of Solomon to succeed in his throne, and to proaching, called for Solomon, and gave him his last build bin a temple. And therefore since he had reserved exhortation, which was, to be constant in his duty to that honour for his son, he earnestly recommended to God, to walk in his ways, and c keep his statutes, and biu a strict fidelity and piety towards God, and a zealous his commandments, his judgments, and his testimonies, discharge of this important trust. To this purpose he that he might prosper in all that he did;' and then degave him the plan which he had made for the execution scending to some particular affairs relating to the state, this undertaking, and an account of the treasures which he charged him to do justice to Joab, for the many murhe had provided for the perfecting of this great work. ders he had been guilty of; to show kindness to the He gave him also a list of the priests and Levites, and sons of Barzillai, for the support their father had given the courses in which they were to wait in the temple : he liim in his distress; and though he himself had not put gave him likewise the schemes, and regulations of the Shimei to death for his past offences, yet whenever he officers of his court, of the civil oflicers, of the treasures, should prove guilty again, not to spare him.d Having and of the superintendents of the revenues, belonging to the crown; and, having made a large oblation of money
| 1 Kings ii. 3-11. out of his own private estate for the building of the b Josephus introduces David as taking his last leave of his son temple, by his example and persuasion, he prevailed Solomon in these words: “ And now, son, I am going to my with the princes and the people to contribute according follow, which is no more than paying a common debt to nature.
fathers, and you, that I leave behind me, are in due time to to their abilities, to so good and pious a work. And There is no returning from the grave, and, when we are once when he found himself successful herein, for what they gone, we have done with this world for ever. Wherefore, while give upon this occasion amounted to an immense sum, I am yet among the living, and before it be too late, pray let me he concluded all with a solemn thanksgiving to God, according to justice. Worship that God from whom you have
remind you of the same things once moro. Govern your subjects and a prayer, that he would enable Solomon to perfect received your dignity as well as your being, as you are bound to what he had thus designed and recommended.
do. Observe his precepts, and keep his laws, as they have been
handed down to you from Moses, and have a care that you never a The speech which Josephus puts in David's mouth upon this forsake them, either for fear, flatiery, or any passion or interest occasion, is to this purpose:-“1 am now to inform you, my whatsoever; for otherwise you can never hope for the blessings countrymen and brethren, that I have had it a long time in my of God's favour and providence. But if you behave yourself with thoughts to erect a temple to the Lord, and have treasured up a reverence and submission towards God, as you ought to do, and as mighly mass of gold and silver toward the charge of the under- I wish you may do, your kingdom will be established to yourself, taking; but it has pleased God, in his providence, by the mouth and the succession of it continued to your family from generation of his prophet Nathan, to put a stop to my design, upon this con- to generation.-Jewish Antiquities, b. 7. c. 12. sideration, that he would not have the foundation of his holy c Under these four words are comprehended all the laws of house laid by hands that have been dipped in blood, which mine Moses. Statutes were such constitutions as had their foundation, inevitably bave been, though in the blood of your enemies, in the not in reason, but in the will and pleasure of God; such was the wars I have been forced to engage in, for the necessary defence prohibition of sowing seeds of different kinds together, &c. Comof your liberties: but, at the same time that he forbade me to do mandments were moral duties, that were founded in the nature this, the prophet informed me, that God had transmitted the care of things, and carried their reason along with them; as, not to of the whole work to my son and successor. Our father Jacob, steal, not to murder, &c. Judgments were the laws belonging as you all well know, had twelve sons, and yet Judah was chosen to civil government, and the dealings of one man with another; by common consent to be ruler of all the rest. You know like- such are all those laws that are recorded in the 21st and following wise, that I myself, though there were then six brothers of us, was chapters of Exodus; and testimonies were such laws as preserved advanced by God to the government, and that none of the rest the remembrance of some great events, and testified to men the thought themselves injured: wherefore I must now, in like man- loving-kindness of the Lord; such as the sabbath, the passover, lier, require it of you, and of all your sons, that you submit and the rest of the feasts.--Patrick's Commentary. cheerfully and dutifully to my son Solomon, and that ye do it d 1 Kings ii. 9. David is here represented in our English without any grumbling or civil dissension, because it is from version, as finishing his life with giving a command to Solomon God's immediate command and commission that he derives his to kill Shimei. The behaviour thus imputed to the king and authority. Put the case now, that God should have set a stranger prophet, should be examined very carefully, as to the ground it over you, how great a folly and madness would it have been for stands upon. When the passage is duly considered, it will apyou to murmur at it? But how thankful ought you to be, for pear highly probable that an injury has been done to this illusthe choice of so near & relation, when you yourselves are partak- trious character. It is not uncommon in the Hebrew language ers of the honour that is done to your brother. There is nothing to omit the negative in a second part of a sentence, and to conI so much long for, as to see God's gracious promises take a sider it as repeated, when it has been once expressed, and is folspeedy effect, and the whole people put into a lasting possession lowed by the connecting particle. The necessity of so very conof the blessings they are to enjoy under the reign of Solomon.siderable an alteration, as inserting the particle not, may be here And all this, my dear son, (says he, turning to Solomon,) will be confirmed by some other instances. Thus Ps. 1. 5. ix. 18. made good, and every thing succeed to your wish, so long as you | xxxviii. 1. If then there are jo fact many such instances, the govern according to piety and justice, with a respect to your question is, whether the negative, here expressed in the former duty both towards God and man, upholding a reverence to the part of David's command, may not be understood as to be relaws, and treading in the steps of your forefathers: but whenever peated in the latter part; and if this may be, a strong reason you pass these bounds, there is nothing but ruin and misery to will be added why it should be so interpreted. The passage be expected.- Jewish Antiquities, b. 7. c. 11.
will run thus: Behold, thou hast with thce Shimei, who cursed
A. M. 2981. A. C. 1023; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4375. A. C. 1036. 2 SAM. xix-I KINGS vüi.
thus ended his exhortation to his son, in a short time after When David was dead, Solomon succeeded to the he died, in the seventy-first year of his age, after he had throne; and to secure his possession, took an occasion, reigned forty years in all, a seven in Hebron, and three in a short time, to rid himself of his adversaries. Adoand thirty in Jerusalem; and 6 was buried in that part nijah, in his father's lifetime, had made bold pretensions, of the city which himself had taken from the Jebusites, but was defeated, and pardoned by Solomon upon conand called after his own name.
dition that he would become a good subject, and give
him no farther molestation; but, by the persuasion of Joab me, but I swore to him by the Lord, saying, I will not put thee and Abiathar, he was now put upon another bold project, to death by the sword. Now therefore hold him not guiltless, which was to desire Abishag, the late king's concubine in for thou art a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do his old age, in marriage, hoping thereby to strengthen unto him, but bring not down his hoary head to the grave with his interest, and to be able to play an after gane for the blood. Now, if the language itself will admit this construction, the sense thus given to the sentence derives a very strong sup
To this purpose he prevailed with Bathsheba, port from the context. For, how did Solomon understand this the queen-mother, to speak to the king : but the king charge ? Did he kill Shimei in consequence of it ? Certainly was so far from granting his request, that he was shocked he did not. For, after he had commanded Joab to be slain, in
at the boldness of it, and suspecting some treasonable obedience to his father, he sends for Shimei, and knowing that Shimei ought to well watched, confines him to a particular design at the bottom, sent immediately and had him put spot in Jerusalem for the remainder of his life. 1 Kings ii. 36— to death. In the next place he banished Abiathar ; and, 42.-Kennicott's Remarks, p. 131.-ED.
having inhibited him from the exercises of his priestly a In 2 Sam. v. 5. it is said, that he reigned seven years and office, contined him to his country house, and put Zadok six months in Hebron, which, together with the three and thirty in his place ; and when he heard that Joab was fled into in Jerusalem, will make his reign to be in all forty years and a half. To solve this dificulty, as some of the Jews esteem it, the tabernacle for sanctuary, upon his refusing to come they have devised a conceit, that, to punish David for his adul- out at his command, o he ordered Benaiah, whom bie tery with Bathsheba, God sent upon him a leprosy which continued for six months, in all which time he was looked upon as dead, and not accounted to reign. But they never considered, it is certain, that it was always held in great veneration among that these months were part of his reign in Hebron, before he the Jews. It was in being in St Peter's time, for so he telis committed that adultery in Jerusalem. The true account of the the people, (Acts ii. 29.) Dio (in Adriani rita) informs us, matter therefore is, that it is very usual in Scripture computa- that part of it was fallen down in the emperor Adrian's reign. tion, to omit smaller sums, and only reckon by a round number: St Jerome relates, that he himself used frequently to go and pray for which reason these six months, which were but part of a at it; and modern travellers, as we took notice before, describe year, are not taken notice of in the account both of Kings, 1 some magnificent monuments hewed in a rock, not far from Kings ii. 11. and Chronicles, 1 Chron. xxix. 26, 27.- Patrick's Jerusalem, which are doubtless very ancient; but they themselves Commentary; and Poole's Annotations.
do not agree that they were the sepulchres of the kiogs of Judah. 6 After this account which Josephus gives us of David's seve- It is somewhat unaccountable, however, that the place of this ral speeches before his death, he informs us, “ That he was buried prince's sepulchre, which both the Chaldeans and the Romans, at Jerusalem with a solemnity of royal pomp and magnificence, when they took Jerusalem, thought proper to spare, should not that was glorious to the highest degree, and that, over and above be so entirely lost that we cannot find the least remains of it. the splendour of the ceremony, his son Solomon deposited in his But though providence has so ordered it, that the place of David's monument an inestimable treasure, from which, when Antiochus, sepulchre should not at present be known, yet there does not surnamed the Pious, besieged Jerusalem, Hircanus, the high want an eternal monument of his most excellent genius. The priest, took the sum of three thousand talents, and therewith book of Psalms, which for the most part was composed by him, bribed them to raise the siege; and, that, many years after this, does publish the glory of its author, more than the most pompons Herod, surnamed the Great, took another immense sumn from elogies; and the author of Ecclesiasticus (chap. xlvii. 2, &c.) has thence, which enabled him to rebuild the temple.” Among consecrated this epitaph to his memory, which is more durabie several nations indeed it was customary to bury, along with than either marble or brass: As the fat is taken away from the princes and other great men, various things of value, that they peace-otlering, so was David chosen out of the people of Israel. took delight in while they lived. The Egyptians were used to He played with lions as with kids, and with bears as with lambe; this; and about their mummies are frequently found very pre- he slew a giant when he was young, and took away reproach cious ornaments. When Alexander the Great had Cyrus's tomb from the people; for he called upon the most high Lord, and opened, there was found therein a bed of gold, a very rich table, he gave strength to his right hand to slay this mighty warrior, drinking cups, and many fine vestments; but notwithstanding and to set up the horn of his people. So the people honoured him all this, several learned 'men look upon this whole account of with ten thousands, and praised him in blessings of the Lord, Josephus as a mere fable. For to what purpose, say they, did for he destroyed the enemies on every side, and brought to nouglas Solomon bury all this treasure under ground, when he had so the Philistines, his adversaries:-In all his works he praised much occasion for it, when he was forced to borrow money of the the Holy One most high, and blessed the Lord with words oi king of Tyre, and burden his people with so many heavy taxes glory:–He set singers also before the altar, that by their vores to supply his excessive expenses? How came it, that the other they might make sweet melody, and daily sing praises in their kings of Judah, who were frequently put to the necessity of strip- songs. He beautified their feasts, and set their solemn times in ping the temple of its precious furniture to satisfy their greedy perfect order:– The Lord took away his sins, and exalted bis enemies, never once adventured to lay hold on this treasure ? horn for ever; he gave him a covenant of kings, and a throne of How came it to escape the hands of the Chaldeans, and other glory in Israel.' --Calmet's Commentary, and lis Dictionary nations, that so often had the plundering of Jerusalem ? Or why under the word David, should Hircanus violate this deposit, which his predecessors c It was formerly very customary among princes, to employ esteemed more sacred than the holy vessels of the Lord ? These their officers, or greatest confidants, in such like execution. are questions that cannot easily be resolved; and what is a far- Among the Romans, the soldiers were always the persons who ther confutation of this story, in that very book, from whence carried to prison, to torture, or to execution, such as were found Josephus is supposed to have taken it, it is never once said, that guilty of any offence; and this Tertullian makes an argument do Hircanus broke open David's tomb. The words of that spurious dissuade Christians from engaging in the wars, lest thereby the author are that • Hircanus, while he was besieged by Antiochus, should
be obliged to imprison, punish, or execute malcfactors. In opened a treasure chamber which belonged to some of David's Dan. ii. 24. we read that Nebuchadnezzar “sent Ariuch, when descendants, and that, after he had taken a large sum of money was chief commander of his troops, to destroy the wise men el out of it, he still left a great deal in it, and sealed it up again.' Babylon,' because they could not interpret his dream; and thereBut this is a quite different thing, and has no manner of relation fore we need less wonder, that we find Solomon employing Beto the sepulchre of David. As to the real sepulchre of David, I naiah, the captain of his guard, on the like office. But whether
A. M. 2981. A. C. 1023; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4375, A. C. 1036. 2 SAM. xix-1 KINGS viii. afterwards made general in his room, to go in, and kill | among others, contributed not a little to the perversion him there. But when Shimei, who deserved the like fate of Solomon. for his gross abuse of the late king, was brought before He began his reign however with a good sense of relibim, he only a confined him to Jerusalem as a prisoner gion upon his mind; for which end, taking the chief of at large, but with a strict injunction not to move out of the officers and nobility along with him, he went to the place, upon pain of death. Upon this condition he Gibeon, where the original tabernacle and altar, that thankfully accepted of his life, and, for some time, kept were made in the wilderness, were kept, and there offered within the bounds of his confinement; but having some a thousand sacrifices, in acknowledgment of God's kindslaves, who had run away, and had entered themselves ness to him, in placing him upon his father's throne. In into the service of Achish, king of Gath, he imprudently the night following, when God appeared to him in a went to reclaim them, and, upon his return, by Solomon's vision, and promised to grant whatever he should ask, order was put to death.
he begged him to give him d a wise and understanding Having thus secured his kingdom at home, by con-heart, and e considering his youth and inexperience, such fining, or cutting off the heads of the faction that was qualities as were necessary for the due government of against him, Solomon bethought himself of strengthening the people committed to his charge; which petition his interest abroad by foreign alliances ; and to this God was so well pleased with, that, over and above purpose, married the daughter of c Pharaoh king of the wisdom which he asked, he promised to give him Egypt, and appointed her at first an apartment in his such affluence of riches and honour, as no king in his own palace ; but after he had finished the temple, built days should be able to equalize. When Solomon awaked her a very stately palace adjoining to his own, which
out of sleep, he perceived that this was a dream sent she badly deserved ; for, in process of time, this woman, from God; and therefore returning to Jerusalem, he pre
sented himself before the ark of the covenant, which was he did not first drag Joab from the altar before he slew him, for placed in a tabernacle, that David had made for it, and fear of polluting the holy place with blood, or whether Solomon there he offered sacrifices in abundance. did not rather think fit to have him killed even at the altar, and let all men see, that no place, though ever so sacred, should
Solomon, as we said, had obtained of God a promise secure any man from the hand of justice, commentators have not of the gift of wisdoin ; and it was not long before he had agreed. - Calmet's and Patrick's Commentaries.
an opportunity of showing it, to the great satisfaction of Shimei, as we read, was a very powerful man. When he all his subjects. Two women, who both lived together came to meet king David, and to beg pardon for his offence, he had a thousand of his own tribe to accompany him, (2 Sam. xix. 17.) and therefore Solomon might think proper to confine him to a Hereupon some Jewish annotators have observed that thongh the city of Jerusalem, that being removed from the place where Solomon, in his great modesty, might request of God no more his family and interest lay, to one where he was but a stranger, than the gift of government, or, as he expresses it, an underand sufficiently odious for his former ill treatment of the late standing heart to judge the people, and to discern between good king, he might be incapable of raising any tumults or seditions; and evil,” (1 Kings iii. 9.) yet God, out of his abundant grace, gave and that, being in this public theatre, all his words and actions him a general knowledge of all other things, as the following history might be narrowly observed, which, considering his busy and informs us; and that, whereas other men gather their knowledge wicked temper, might give Solomon a fair advantage against him; from study and observation, Solomon had his by an immediate and as the manner of some is, the very prohibition itself might inspiration from God; insomuch that be, who went to bed as probably inflame his desire to transgress it.— Poole's Annot. ignorant as other men, awaked in the morning like an angel of
Achish had been so great a friend to David, that, though God.' But though his knowledge of things was, in a great meaDavid had conquered the Philistines, he suffered him still to re- sure infused, yet he did not therefore neglect his study. He tain the title of a king, and only to be tributary to him; so that gave his heart to seek, and search out by wisdom, concerning all there was a friendly correspondence between this city and Jerusa- things under the sun;' in which search, as he himself testifies, lem, insomuch that Shimei might easily hear, by somebody or (Eccles. i. 13.) he took no small pains: so that his gifts extraother that had been at Gath, that his servants were there. These ordinary did not supersede the use of other means in the Servants, in all probability, were such as he had purchased with acquisition of knowledge; but by application and experience he a considerable sum of money, and their running away was not perfected what he had so advantageously received from the hands only a loss but a great affront likewise to their master; and there- of God.-Patrick's and Calmet's Commentaries. fore partly out of rage, and partly through covetousness, he under- e The words of Solomon himself are, . I am but a little child; took this dangerous journey, presuming that a thing which might I know not how to go out, or how to come in, (1 Kings iii. 7.) be done secretly and speedily, would never come to Solomon's From whence some have inferred, that he was not above twelve ears; that in the space of three years' time, Solomon might have years old when he spake them, but this must be a gross misforgot his injunction; or that if he remembered it he would not computation. His father, when he left the kingdom to him, calls be so rigid as to put it in execution ; especially since he went out him a wise man,': (1 Kings ji. 6, 9.) The foregoing story of Jerusalem, not through wantonness, or any contempt of autho shows, that he had already sat some time on the throne; and rity, but merely to recover what he had lost, which, he might therefore he calls himself a child, not in respect of his years, for think, was a thing excusable.—Poole's Annotations, and Patrick's most agree that he was twenty when he began to reign, but his
skill in governing the people, and managing the affairs of state. c It may seem somewhat strange, that in all the history of the This was a modest expression in Solomon; but it is an observaJews, from the time of Moses to this of Solomon, no mention tion of Aristotle, in his book of politics, that young men are should be made of the kings of Egypt, as if they had no concern in unfit for government, because their consultive power is imperthe affairs of Canaan, but were wholly diverted some other way: fect; which though it may not be a general rule, was delivered but for this, their own bistorians account, when they tell us, that, by Solomon himself
, in his more mature years, for a maxim: for during this space of time, the Egyptian kings did nothing worth Wo to the land,' says he, (Eccles. x. 16.) whose king is a recording. (Diodor. Biblioth. b. 1. p. 29.) All these kings of child.'—Patrick's Commentary. Egypt were called Pharaohs; but Pharaoh was not a proper name, f These two women are said in the text to be harlots; but the but a title of dignity only, which imported the same as sultan or Hebrew word, as we took notice in the case of Rahab, may emperor.. They had, besides this, other names; and Clemens equally signify a hostess, or one who kept a house of public Alexandrinus
, in a passage taken from Alexander Polyhistor, tells entertainment; and that it is so to be taken here, we have these ws, that the proper name of this Egyptian king, whose daughter reasons to presume:-That as all public prostitution was severely Solomon married, was Vaphres. Le Clerc's and Calmet's Com- forbidden by the law, Deut. xxiii. 17. women of this infamous
character durst not have presented themselves before so just and