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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 relihim, he only « 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 < 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 bad 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 wisdom ; 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. came to meet king David, and to beg pardon for his offence
, he | all his subjects. Two women, who both lived together had a thousand of his own tribe to accompany him, (2 Sam. xix. 17.) and therefore Solomon might think proper to confine him to d 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 he, 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
6 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 ii. 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 Commentary.
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 nofit 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.) ó 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 hurlots; 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 & 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 us, 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
character durst not have presented themselves before so just and
A. M. 2281 A. C. 103; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4375. A. C. 1036. 2 SAM. xix-1 KINGS viii. in one house, were brought to bed about the same time, places his dominions extended beyond the Euphrates. and one had overlaid her child. She who found the dead He had a great number of horses and chariots of war. child by her, accused the other of having stolen away Instances of his wisdom were as numerous as the sands her living child, and left her dead one in its place : the of the sea, and in learning and knowledge he e surpassed other pertinaciously denied the thing ; so that the ques- all the orientals, and the Egyptians. In a word, he was tion was, “ To whom did this living child belong ?? And the wisest of mankind, and his reputation was spread to determine this, Solomon coinmanded some that stood through all nations. He composed, or collected, three by, to take and a cut the child in two, and to give to thousand proverbs, and a e thousand and five poems. each woman a half; whereupon the real mother begs that the child may be saved, even though it be given to her and in other places of Scripture, called the rirer, without any adversary; but the pretended one is clearly for dividing addition: to the west, the country of the Philistines, which bosit; which gave Solonion a full conviction, that she who dered upon the Mediterranean sea ; and to the south, Egypt.
So that Solomon had tributary to bim the kingdoms of Syria, expressed a tenderness and compassion for the child, Damascus, Moab, and Ammon, which lay between Euphrates was its true mother, and accordingly ordered it to be and the Mediterranean; as indeed, without such a number of given her.
tributary kingdoms, we cannot conceive how the country of IsThe wisdom of the king soon shed a happy influence rael could have furnished such a constant supply of provisions
and other things necessary for the support of this prince's granover all his dominions, and every subject was, in some deur.—Patrick's and Calmet's Commentaries. degree or other, made partaker of it. All Judah and c There were three nations in the east of Canaan, that were Israel lived in the greatest security; and all the neigh- very famous for their wisdom and erudition; the Chaldeans, bebouring nations either paid him tribute, or were his yond the Euphrates ; the Persians, beyond the Tigris; and the
Arabians on the nearer side of the Euphrates; a little towards friends and allies. He ruled over all the countries and the south. But whether the Persians and Chaldeans were rekingdoms b from the Euphrates to the Nile, and in many markable for their learning in Solomon's day, is much doubted
among commentators. The book of Job sufficiently shows, that so wise a king; that women of this lewd behaviour seldom do the Arabians, for of that nation was Job and his friends, were become mothers of children, and when they chance to have any, famous for their learning in ancient times; and, as to the Chalare not so solicitous for their preservation, but rather rejoice when deans and other oriental people, since the sons of Noah took u they have got rid of them. There is no reason to suppose then, their habitation about Babylon, and the neighbouring countries
, that these women were common harlots; and yet it is generally it is reasonable to suppose, that where mankind, first began to thought that they were both unmarried persons and guilty of for- settle themselves into regular societies, there arts and sciences nication, because no mention is made of their husbands, whose first began to appear. The Egyptians however pretend to a office it was, if they had any, to contest the matter for their precedency in this, and several other accomplishments
. They wives.- Poole's Annotations; and Calmet's Commentary. say, that the Chaldeans received the principles of philosophy 25
a Solomon knew at once that the only sign that would discover first from a colony that came from Egypt, as Diodorus indeed the true mother, would be her affection, and compassion, and ten- makes mention of such a colony, conducted by Belus. But the derness for her child; and therefore, in order to distinguish between Chaldeans, on the other hand, maintain, that from them it was, the two, his business was to make trial of this; and if we suppose, that the Egyptians received their first instructions, and accordthat when he commanded the child to be divided, he spake with ing to some, that Abraham was the person who first communia sedate countenance, and seeming earnestness, as the true cated to the Chaldeans the knowledge of astronomy, and other mother's petition to the king makes it apparent that he did, then sciences. However this be, Solomon received from God a perwe may suppose farther, not only the two women, but all the fect knowledge of all that useful and solid learning, for which people present with horror and admiration, expecting the execu- the eastern people, and the Egyptians, were justly famed; for
, as tion, of the thing; which, when it ended in so just a decision, it follows, he was a great moral philosopher, a great natural quite contrary to what they looked for, raised joy in every philosopher, and an excellent poet. Patrick's and Calmet'i breast, and gave a more advantageous commendation to the judge: Commentaries. • and yet Abarbinel, the Jewish commentator, thinks, that all this d Josephus, who loved to magnify every thing that concerned was no great proof of Solomon's extraordinary wisdom, nor could Solomon, instead of three thousand proverbs, tells us, that Seleit beget that fear or reverence which the text says (1 Kings iii. mon composed three thousand books of proverbs. The greater 28.) it procured to his person. His opinion therefore is, that certainly is our loss, if the thing were credible, because all the Solomon made a discovery of the truth antecedent to this experi- proverbs of Solomon, that we have now, are comprised in the ment; that by observing the countenance, the manner of speech, book that goes under that name, and in his Ecclesiastes; and ye and all the motions of the women, he discerned the secret of their some learned critics are of opinion, that the pine first chapters of heart, and penetrated to the bottom of the business; and that his the book of Proverbs were not of Solomon's composure, and that commanding the child to be divided afterwards, was only to the number of proverbs which properly belong to him, is no mere notify to the company, what he before had discovered. How-than six hundred and fifty.-Grotius's' Annotations; and Calmets ever this be, it may not be improper, upon this occasion, to men- Commentary. tion an instance or two out of profane history, of a singular e These, one would think, were poems enough for a persoa address, though much inferior to this, in discovering such that had so much other business as king Solomon had ; but Josesecrets as seemed to be past finding out. To this purpose, phus, who is never content, makes him the author of so many Suetonius, in his life of Claudian, chap. 15., tells us, how that volumes of poetical compositions; and the Septuagint indeed, as emperor discovered a woman to be the mother of a young man, well as other interpreters, make the number of them to be whom she would not own for her son, by commanding her to be less than five thousand songs or odes. But of all this number, married to him; for the horror of committing incest obliged her we have none remaining but the Song of Songs, as it is called, to declare the truth; and in like manner, Diodorus Siculus except the hundred and twenty-sixth psalm, which in its Hebrer relates, how Ariopharnes, king of the Thracians, being appointed title, is ascribed to Solomon, may be supposed to be one of these to arbitrate between three men, who all pretended to be sons of The Psalter of Solomon, which contains eighteen psalms, a wart the king of the Cimmerians, and claimed the succession, found that was found in Greek'in the library of Augsburg, and has been out the true son and heir, by ordering them to shoot each man translated into Latin by John Lewis de la Cerda, is supposed by his arrow into the dead king's body; which one of them refusing the learned to be none of Solomon's, but of some Hellenistical to do, was deemed the true claimant.-Poole's Annotations; Jew, much conversant in reading the sacred authors, and who Patrick's and Calmet's Commentaries.
had composed them in imitation of the Psalms of David, whose 6. The words in the text are, · And Solomon reigned over all style he closely pursued, and had inserted several passages of the kingdoms, from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and prophets, especially of Isaiah and Ezekiel, which he accomme unto the border of Egypt,' (1 Kings iv, 21.) for the bounds of dated well enough to his purpose. However this be, these his kingdom were to the east, the Euplirates, which is here, eighteen psalms were not unknown to the ancients; for they
A. M. 2981. A. C. 1023; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A.M. 4375. A. C. 1036. 2 SAM. xix-1 KINGS viii. Ile knew the virtue of all plants and trees, from the to him to condole his father's death, and congratulate highest to the lowest ; and in his books treated of the him upon his accession to the throne ; and, in a short nature of all kinds of beasts, and birds, and reptiles, time after, Solomon, in return sent an embassy to him, and fishes; insomuch, that b there was a concourse of desiring him to supply him with wood and workmen, and strangers from all countries to hear his wisdom, and am- to lend him his assistance in building the temple of the bassadors from the most remote princes that had heard Lord. Hiram very readily complied with his desire, of his fame.
and sent him word, that he would order cedar trees, and As soon as Hiram, king of Tyre, understood that So- fir trees to be cut down upon mount Libanus ; that his lomon was « made king of Israel, d he sent ambassadors people should put them on floats, and bring them by
sea to the harbour of Joppa ; and that from thence Sowere formerly in the famous Alexandrian manuscript, which is lomon (who contracted to give Hiram such a quantity of with us, as may be seen by the index which is still to be found wheat, and wine, and oil, &c., every year, for the mainat the end of the New Testament, though the psalms themselves have either been torn out of the book, or lost by some accident. tenance of his household and workmen) might send and Le Clerc's and Calmets Commentary, and his Dictionary, under fetch them to Jerusalem. the word Solomon.
All things being thus agreed on, the preparations for a The several books which treated of the nature and virtue of the building of the temple went on apace. Seventy animals, as well as plants, are supposed to have been lost in the thousand proselytes, who were the remains of the ancient Babylonish captivity; but Eusebius, as he is quoted by Anastasias, informs us, that king Hezekiah, seeing the abuse which his Canaanites, Solomon employed in carrying burdens upon subjects made of Solomon's works, by placing too much confi- their shoulders ; fourscore thousand in cutting stone out dence in the remedies which he prescribed, and the natural of the quarries; and three thousand six hundred in oversecrets which he discovered, thought proper to suppress them all. seeing the work. Of his own subjects, he sent thirty Notwithstanding this, since his time, many books, concerning thousand to work with the king of Tyre's men in the the secrets of magic, medicine, and enchantments, have appeared under the name of this prince; and several pieces have been quarries of Libanus : and, to finish the inner part of the quoted, such as “The instructions of Solomon to his son Reho- temple, as well as frame some of its choicest vessels, boam; The testament of Solomon; The books of the throne of Hiram e sent him a most skilful artist of his own name, Solomon; The books of magic, composed by the demons, under the name of Solomon; The Clavicula, or key of Solomon; The ring of Solomon; The contradiction of Solomon,' &c., which were Lord; but being perpetually in war in his days, and under a nemost of them very wicked and pernicious tracts, to which the cessity of clearing his hands of his enemies, and making them authors prefixed this great name, to give them more credit and all his tributaries, before he could attend this great and holy sanction. It is somewhat strange, however, that Josephus should work, he hath left it to me, in a time of peace, both to begin and informn us, that Solomon composed books of enchantments, and finish it, according to the direction, as well as prediction, of the several manners of exorcisms, or of driving away devils, so that Almighty. Blessed be his great name for the present tranquilthey could return no more; and that he should further assure us, lity of my dominions! And, by his gracious assistance, I shall that himself had seen experiments of it by one Eleazar, a Jew, now dedicate the best improvements of this liberty and leisure to who, in the presence of Vespasian, his sons, and the officers of his honour and worship. 'Wherefore I make it my request, that his army, cured several that were possessed.- Jewish Antiq. b. you will let some of your people go along with some servants of 8.c. 2. Calmet's Dictionary, under the word Solomon. mine to moumt Libanus, to assist them in cutting down materials
b It is a conceit of one of the Jewish interpreters, that all the towards this building; for the Sidonians understand it much betkings of the neighbouring countries went to hear the wisdom of ter than we do; and as for the workmen's reward or wages, whatSolomon, and that, upon their return, their subjects came to ever you think reasonable shall be punctually paid them." them to hear what he had said; but as we hear of none but the
“King Hiram to King Solomon. queen of Sheba who came to visit Solomon, we cannot but think, that if any other crowned heads resorted to him, the history
“Nothing could have been more welcome to me, than to unwould have recorded them as well as her. The words denote no derstand, that the government of your blessed father is by God's more, than that the kings of all the neighbouring nations sent providence, devolved into the hands of so excellent, so wise, and
so virtuous a successor. their ambassadors, and people of every land, that had, heard of which you write for shall be done with all care and good will: for
His holy name be praised for it! That Solomon's fame, came to see him; for “no spectacle” says an ingenious author, " is more lovely and grateful, than a wise and I will give orders to cut down and export such quantities of the gool king; all men flock to see him, and to partake of his pious My people shall bring them to the sea side for you, and from
fairest cedars, and cypress trees as you shall have occasion for, and prudent mind. They that see him are loath to leave him, thence ship them away to what port you please, when they may and they that hear of him are as desirous to see him as children lie ready for your owu men to transport them to Jerusalem. It are to find their unknown father.”—Dion Pruseus Orat. de would be a great obligation, after all this, to allow us such a proRegno. Ć The fourth chapter of the first book of Kings is chiefly taken for that is the commodity that we islanders want most.” (Jewish
vision of corn in exchange, as may stand with your convenience ; up in recording the prime ministers and officers of Solomon's court, the compass and extent of his kingdom, the happiness and | Antiquities, b. 8. c. 2. But notwithstanding all his appeal to security of his subjects, the pomp and magnificence of his living, genuineness of these two letters, especially where they find him
the Tyrian records, some have suspected Josephus, as to the and the excellence of his own wisdom and erudition.
This Hiram was doubtless the son of that other Hiram, who bringing in Hiram, speaking of 'Tyre, as if it had been an island; sent David timber and artificers wherewith to build his palace; whereas it is plain that the old Tyre, which was then standing, for is, according to Josephus, the temple was built in the twelfthi and must be the place here spoken of, was situate on the conti
nent.-Le Clerc's Commentary. year of Hiram's reign, and the fourth of Solomon's, this Hiram could not be the same with him who sent David men and mate
e In former times, among the Hebrews, there had been very rials; because that Hiram was upon the throne when David took excellent workmen, who knew how to cut and engrave precious Jerusalem, which happened to be three and thirty years, before stones, to cast and work among metals, &c. ; but this was before Solomon began his reign. There are two letters which passed they came into the land of Canaan, in the time of Moses, when between this Hiram and king Solomon, recorded by Josephus, which were necessary for the work of the temple; but, as the
Bezaleel and Aholiab were excellent in many different arts, and for the authenticness of which he appeals both to the Jewish Scripture acquaints us, that they had their skill by inspiration and Tyrian records, that are to this effect:
from God, it does not appear that they had any successors: and, “ King Solomon to King Hiram, greeting.
after the people had got possession of Canaan, they neglected all " Be it known unto thee, 0 King, that my father David had manufactures, and applied themselves wholly to agriculture and it a long time in his mind and purpose, to erect a temple to the feediog of cattle ; so that, in the time of Solomon, there was no A. M. 2981. A. C. 1023; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4375. A. C. 1036. 2 SAM. xix-1 KINGS vili, whose mother was of the tribe of Dan, but his father a was building. Such admirable care and contrivance Tyrian; and, what was prodigious, his abilities extend- was used, in preparing and adjusting the materials, ed to all kind of works, whether in gold, silver, brass, before they were brought together. or iron, whether in linen, tapestry, or embroidery; and by his direction all the curious furniture of the temple was both designed and finished.
And now all things being in readiness, the foundation CHAP. II.-Difficulties Obviated, and objections of the temple was laid in the a fourth year of king Solo
Answered. mon's reign, in the year of the creation 2992, 480 years after the Israelites' escape from the Egyptian bondage ; There is hardly any one passage in Scripture more and, in the b space of seven years and a half was com- difficult to give a satisfactory account of, than this relapleted with such dexterity, that neither c hammer, nor axe, tion of Saul's cruelty to the Gibeonites ; because we have nor any tool of iron was heard in it, all the while that it little or no intimation, either when, or where, or why
their slaughter was committed. professed artists that could undertake the work of the temple; but The Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but in Tyre and Sidon there were many, for both in his Iliad and his the remains of the Amorites, who, upon Joshua's taking Odyssey, Homer gives the people of these two places this character, whom, upon every turn, he calls for udadánous, excellent possession of the promised land, imposed upon him and artists in several kinds of works.—Patrick's Commentary. his counsellors, and cunningly drew the Israelites into a
a If it be asked, why Solomon did not begin the building of the league with them, which was instantly confirmed by an temple sooner, and even in the first year of his reign, since his oath ; and because it was so confirmed, for above three father had left him a plan, and all things necessary for the undertaking ? A barbinel's answer is this,That Solomon would not hundred years, was reputed inviolable. But though the make use of what his father had prepared, but was resolved to Gibeonites, by their craft and fallacy, saved their lives, build this temple all at his proper cost and charge. He there yet it was upon this condition, that they should become fore put into the treasure of the Lord's house all that David had hewers of wood and drawers of water, for the service of dedicated to the work; and, to gather together as much gold and the tabernacle. Now while the tabernacle was at Nob, silver as was necessary to defray so vast an expense, four years can be counted no unreasonable time. Nay, even suppose that which was a city of the priests, and where some of the he had made use of the treasure which his father had amassed, Gibeonites, their attendants, may be supposed to reside, yet, if the materials that his father had provided lay at a consi- the sacred history informs us, that Saul ? in revenge to derable distance, and were left rude and unfashioned, it would the priests, whom he took to be favourers of David's cost all this time to form them into the exact symmetry, wherein the Scripture represents them before they were brought together, cause, destroyed the city, and massacred all the inhabiespecially considering, that the very stones which made the tants thereof; so that several of the Gibeonites must have foundation, were very probably vast blocks of marble, or porphyry. been slain upon this occasion, and for shedding of their (1 Kings v. 17;) and all polished in the most exquisite manner. blood this famine was sent. This is the account which Patrick's Commentary, and Poole's Annotations.
6 The temple itself was indeed but a small edifice, but the some learned men give us of the matter : but they never many courts and offices that were about it, made the whole a vast considered, 3 that as Saul's sin in murdering the priests pile, and the exquisiteness of the art, and the fewness of the ar
was greater than in slaying the Gibeonites, God should tists that could be employed about it, made a longer time requi- bave inflicted this severe punishment upon the land for site. It must be owned, however, that, considering all things,
It has been said Solomon made an extraordinary despatch : for, if the building of the greater sin, rather than the less. Diana's temple at Ephesus employed all Asia for the space of 200 indeed, that for the slaughter of the priests, God had years, and no less than 360,000 men, for twenty years together, avenged himself on Saul before, by suffering him and his were taken up in erecting one pyramid, as Pliny, (b. 36. c. 12.) sons to be slain in battle by the Philistines, but that the affirms, no reasonable man can wonder, that this temple was seven years and a half in building.Poole's Annotations, and slaughter of the Gibeonites was not as yet expiated; Calmet's Commentary.
yet it will be difficult to conceive, why there should be c The Jewish doctors have entertained a very odd conceit, two different and distinct punishments for one and the upon the occasion of this passage in the sacred history, wherein same sin, committed at the self-same time. the temple is said to have been built without noise. They tell us, that the Dæmon Asmodeus drove Solomon once from his
When, or by whom, or on what occasion, the tabernathrone, and reigned in his place, while that prince was forced to cle and altar of burnt-offerings, which were made by travel over the several kingdoms and provinces of the world ; but Moses in the wilderness, were removed from Nob to that at his return to Jerusalem, he defeated Asmodeus, and hav- Gibeon we cannot tell, because the Scripture is silent
: ing chained him so that he could do no hurt, he compelled him to teach him the art of cutting stones for the temple, without but it is the conjecture of some learned men, that it was making any noise, which was done, as they say, not with any not long after the murder of the priests at Nob; and that tool or instrument, but by the help of a worm, called samir, Saul, very probably, to regain the favour of the people, which cuts and polishes stone with a marvellous facility. But which he found he had lost by being so barbarous to the foundation of all this fiction, (as Bochart. Hieroz. p. 2. b. 6. c. 11.) has observed, is laid in somebody's mistaking the sense of men of their sacred character, quarrelled with the Gribthe word samir, which signifies a very hard stone, called smiris, eonites, and banished them out of their city, in order to that is of use to cut and polish other stones, and which Solomon's make room for the tabernacle of the Lord. workmen might possibly have recourse to upon this occasion. But the true reason why no noise was heard in the building of the temple to slay the Gibeonites in his zeal to the children of
The Scripture indeed acquaints us, that she sought was, that the stones, and other materials, were hewn and squared, and fitted at a distance; so that when they were brought to the Israel and Judah ;' where the expression seems to denote place where the temple was to stand, there was nothing to do but to join them together. And this might be done, not only for the ease and convenience of the carriage, but for the magni
Josh, ix. 23. ? Sam, xxii, 17. ficence of the work, and the commendation of the workmen's
'Le Clerc's Commentary on 2 Sam. xxi. 1. skill and ingenuity.- Poole's Annotations; and Calmet's Dice
* Calmet's Commentary on 1 Sam. xxii, 19. timary, under the word Solomon.
* 2 Sam, xxi. 2.
A. M. 2981. A. C. 1023; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4375. A. C. 1036. 2 SAM. xix-1 KINGS viii. that the children of Israel envied these miserable we know, was confederate with Saul in murdering the people, insomuch that Saul thought he could not do a Gibeonites, or guilty at least in not hindering it; when more popular act, than to cut them oft:
the next generation was involved in the guilt, by not But by the children of Israel, 2 some rather under repairing the injury as much as possible, or not expresstand the tribe of Benjamin in particular, namely, that sing the horror and detestation of it by some public act ; very tribe from whence king Saul descended ; and when an act of discipline might, at this time, be necesthence they infer, that his zeal or earnest desire to pro- sary, to preserve the remaining Gibeonites from insults, mote his own tribe to riches and grandeur, made him to beget in the Israelites a proper respect for them, to seek occasion to fall foul upon the Gibeonites, in prevent the like murders for the future, and the like order that the three cities which they possessed in the breaches of national compacts. territories of Benjamin might fall into his hands, Nay, supposing the people, who lived in that time and so be divided among his own family. That he when the famine prevailed, to be never so innocent of either had, or intended to advance and enrich his own the blood of the Gibeonites; yet it cannot be denied, tribe, is manifest from these words of his : Hear now, but that God, who is the author and giver of life, has an ye Benjamites, will the son of Jesse give every one of absolute right over the lives of all, and can recall that you fields and vineyards, and make you all captains of gift whenever he pleases. And 6 therefore, if, in the thousands, and captains of hundreds ?? that is, will be case before us, he made a demand, as certainly he had a do for you, as I have, and mean to do? Now, if we right to do it, of so many lives at such a time, and in look into the actions of Saul, we do not find, that he such a manner, as might best answer the ends of discipmade any purchase of the possessions of another tribe, line ; then, that which was just in other views, and withor that he took from his enemies any considerable terri- out any such special reason, could not become unjust, tories, in order to accommodate his Benjamites ; and by having that additional reason to recommend it. In are therefore left to suppose, that the fields and vine- a word, if the thing was righteous, considered merely yards wherewith he enriched them, he unjustly acquired as an act of dominion in God, it could not but be both by destroying and dispossessing the Gibeonites. It is righteous and kind, by being made, at the same time, but supposing, then, that some of the chief of these Gib- an act of discipline for the punishment of sin and eonites had, in some instance or other, offended Saul, perfidy, and the promotion of justice and godliness for which he was minded to destroy the whole race; or, among men. that he had cast a greedy eye upon their lands and pos- We must all allow, that God, as he is a most just and sessions, which, in case of their excision, would be for- righteous being, can never require, that the innocent feited to the crown, and so might be given to his own should die for the guilty; and therefore we have reason family; and then he had allegations plausible enough to believe, that, when Saul for reasons above mentioned, against them, pretending, “ That it was not for the was so outrageous against the Gibeonites, his sons and honour or interest of God's people, to nourish any of grandsons, might be instruments of his cruelty, and very that viperous brood in their bosoms; and that however probably bear some part in the military execution. For Joshua and the princes, who then bore sway, had by it frequently so happens, that whatever a king commands, their fraud been drawn into an oath to preserve them, be it never so abominable, is generally approved and yet, in truth, that oath was contrary to God's com- executed by his family; and therefore, when we are inand, which required them to smite them, and utterly told from the mouth of God, that the plague, sent upon destroy them ;' and therefore, ought not, as he thought, the people, was 'for Saul and his bloody house, because to be observed."
he a slew the Gibeonites,' it seems to be evident, that Thus Saul might set up for a restorer of the divine
was for their guilt as well as his; nor can we imagine, laws to their ancient rigour, and strictness of execution, that this guilt of theirs could be any thing less than that and a supplier of the default of Joshua, and the princes of being the executioners in this slaughter. It is plain, of Israel, in sparing the Gibeonites, even though they that they were his captains of thousands and captains of were comprised in the general ordinance of extirpation; hundreds; and it is as plain, that as such, they must be and, under this character, he might easily draw in his the instruments of his cruelty; for if they were not, why own subjects to abet and assist his cruelty against a poor
are they called bloody? They refused indeed 'lo people, for whom they had never any good liking. slaughter the priests at his command; but there is no After the king's fashion is the known maxim; and there- reason to believe, that they were so scrupulous in regard fore we may easily suppose, that a wicked and hard to the Gibeonites; and if they were not, is there less hearted people, who had assisted Saul in the persecu- equity in God's destroying their sons for the sins of tion of David; had adhered to his son Absalom in his their fathers which they adopted and shared in, than rebellion against his own father; and who at the beck there was in his destroying Jehoram, the son of Ahab, of so many impious princes, left the true worship of God, for that vineyard which the father bad cruelly and unand fell into idolatry; would not be backward to assist justly acquired, and the son as unjustly detained ? Saul in putting in execution any of his contrivances Without calling then to our assistance God's great against the poor Gibeonites. And if so, we cannot but prerogative, &• of visiting the sins of the fathers upon the admire the wisdom and justice of God, in making the children unto the third and fourth generation,' we may punishment national, when the whole nation, for aught
* Scripture Vindicated, part 2.
» Exod. xx. 5. 2 The History of the Life of King David, vol. 3.
6 The History of the Life of King David, vol. 3. I Le Clerc in locum.
71 Sam. xxii, 17.
a The words which we render he slew, might as properly be 1 Sam. xxii. 7. • Deut. vii. 2.
rendered they slew.