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Bible Commentaries

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

2 Chronicles 2

 

 

Verse 3

Huram, the form used throughout Chronicles (except 1 Chronicles 14:1) for the name both of the king and of the artisan whom he lent to Solomon 2 Chronicles 2:13; 2 Chronicles 4:11, 2 Chronicles 4:16, is a late corruption of the true native word, Hiram (marginal note and reference).


Verse 4

The symbolic meaning of “burning incense” is indicated in Revelation 8:3-4. Consult the marginal references to this verse.

The solemn feasts - The three great annnual festivals, the Passover, the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), and the Feast of tabernacles Leviticus 23:4-44; Deuteronomy 16:1-17.


Verse 5

See 1 Kings 6:2 note. In Jewish eyes, at the time that the temple was built, it may have been “great,” that is to say, it may have exceeded the dimensions of any single separate building existing in Palestine up to the time of its erection.

Great is our God … - This may seem inappropriate as addressed to a pagan king. But it appears 2 Chronicles 2:11-12 that Hiram acknowledged Yahweh as the supreme deity, probably identifying Him with his own Melkarth.


Verse 6

Save only to burn sacrifice before him - Solomon seems to mean that to build the temple can only be justified on the human - not on the divine - side. “God dwelleth not in temples made with hands;” He cannot be confined to them; He does in no sort need them. The sole reason for building a temple lies in the needs of man: his worship must he local; the sacrifices commanded in the Law had of necessity to be offered somewhere.


Verse 7

See 1 Kings 5:6, note; 1 Kings 7:13, note.

Purple … - “Purple, crimson, and blue,” would be needed for the hangings of the temple, which, in this respect, as in others, was conformed to the pattern of the tabernacle (see Exodus 25:4; Exodus 26:1, etc.). Hiram‘s power of “working in purple, crimson,” etc., was probably a knowledge of the best modes of dyeing cloth these colors. The Phoenicians, off whose coast the murex was commonly taken, were famous as purple dyers from a very remote period.

Crimson - כרמיל karmı̂̂yl the word here and elsewhere translated “crimson,” is unique to Chronicles and probably of Persian origin. The famous red dye of Persia and India, the dye known to the Greeks as κόκκος kokkos and to the Romans as coccum, is obtained from an insect. Whether the “scarlet” שׁני shânı̂y of Exodus (Exodus 25:4, etc.) is the same or a different red, cannot be certainly determined.


Verse 10

Beaten wheat - The Hebrew text is probably corrupt here. The true original may be restored from marginal reference, where the wheat is said to have been given “for food.”

The barley and the wine are omitted in Kings. The author of Chronicles probably filled out the statement which the writer of Kings has given in brief; the barley, wine, and ordinary oil, would be applied to the sustenance of the foreign laborers.


Verse 11

Josephus and others professed to give Greek versions of the correspondence, which (they said) had taken place between Hiram and Solomon. No value attaches to those letters, which are evidently forgeries.

Because the Lord hath loved his people - Compare the marginal references. The neighboring sovereigns, in their communications with the Jewish monarchs, seem to have adopted the Jewish name for the Supreme Being (Yahweh), either identifying Him (as did Hiram) with their own chief god or (sometimes) meaning merely to acknowledge Him as the special God of the Jewish nation and country.


Verse 12

The Lord … that made heaven and earth - This appears to have been a formula designating the Supreme God with several of the Asiatic nations. In the Persian inscriptions Ormazd is constantly called “the great god, who gave” (or made) “heaven and earth.”


Verse 13

Of Huram my father‘s - A wrong translation. Huram here is the workman sent by the king of Tyre and not the king of Tyre‘s father (see 1 Kings 5:1 note). The words in the original are Huram Abi, and the latter word is now commonly thought to be either a proper name or an epithet of honor, e. g., my master-workman.


Verse 14

To find out every device - Compare Exodus 31:4. The “devices” intended are plans or designs connected with art, which Huram could invent on any subject that was “put to him.”


Verse 17

The strangers are the non-Israelite population of the holy land, the descendants (chiefly) of those Canaanites whom the children of Israel did not drive out. The reimposition of the bond-service imposed on the Canaanites at the time of the conquest Judges 1:28, Judges 1:30, Judges 1:33, Judges 1:35, but discontinued in the period of depression between Joshua and Saul, was (it is clear) due to David, whom Solomon merely imitated in the arrangements described in these verses.


Verse 18

On the numbers, see the 1 Kings 5:16 note.

To set the people a work - Or, “to set the people to work” - i. e., to compel them to labor. Probably, like the Egyptian and Assyrian overseers of forced labor, these officers carried whips or sticks, with which they quickened the movements of the sluggish.

 


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Bibliography Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 2:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-chronicles-2.html. 1870.

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