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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 Kings 5

 

 

Verse 1

1 Kings 5:1 And Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants unto Solomon; for he had heard that they had anointed him king in the room of his father: for Hiram was ever a lover of David.

Ver. 1. And Hiram.] Called Huram. [2 Chronicles 2:3] Josephus calleth him Irom, and Eupolemus in Eusebius Suron. He was king of Tyre and Sidon also.

For Hiram was ever a lover of David.] A fast friend is a rare bird. Most friends now-a-days are like Joab’s dagger, as soon in and as soon out. The love of foster-brothers in Ireland far surpasseth - saith one, (a) but I believe him not - all the loves of all men. They only love truly that love one another out of a pure heart fervently. [1 Peter 1:22] This love lasteth.


Verse 2

1 Kings 5:2 And Solomon sent to Hiram, saying,

Ver. 2. And Solomon sent to Hiram.] By the same messengers, say some. Rather by ambassadors of his own.


Verse 3

1 Kings 5:3 Thou knowest how that David my father could not build an house unto the name of the LORD his God for the wars which were about him on every side, until the LORD put them under the soles of his feet.

Ver. 3. For the wars that were about him.] He saith not for his shedding of blood, which elsewhere is made the reason why David might not build a house, [1 Chronicles 28:3] but only for his continual wars, by reason whereof he had not time to do it. The best things are to be spoken of parents: to speak evil to them, (a) or of them, was death by God’s law; [Matthew 15:5] yea, by Solon’s laws, though a heathen.


Verse 4

1 Kings 5:4 But now the LORD my God hath given me rest on every side, [so that there is] neither adversary nor evil occurrent.

Ver. 4. So that there is neither adversary.] The Vulgate hath it, Non est Satan. We use to say, Seldom lieth the devil dead in a ditch. He is the troublous one, (a) and delighteth to hinder anything that is good; but at this time God had chained him up, and Solomon had nothing to hinder him. "The Lord is with you, whilst ye are with him," saith one prophet. [2 Chronicles 15:2] And, "The Lord will be with the good," saith another. [2 Chronicles 19:11]


Verse 5

1 Kings 5:5 And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name.

Ver. 5. To build a house unto the name.] Wherein he became a type of Christ, who buildeth his Church, that spiritual temple. See Isaiah 44:28, Matthew 16:18. In the Old Testament the brass gates were opened to make way for the building of that temple; [Isaiah 45:2] but in the New, those gates of hell shall not gainstand, or prevail.

As the Lord spake unto David.] Solomon’s purpose was founded upon God’s gracious promise. This was a right rise, for want whereof many men’s purposes, like clouds without rain, vanish, and come to nothing.


Verse 6

1 Kings 5:6 Now therefore command thou that they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon; and my servants shall be with thy servants: and unto thee will I give hire for thy servants according to all that thou shalt appoint: for thou knowest that [there is] not among us any that can skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians.

Ver. 6. That they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon.] Satan, though he could not hinder the building of the temple, [1 Kings 5:4] yet he would needs imitate it, and, if possible, outdo it; for his temple of Diana, at Ephesus, was likewise built of cedar, as Vitruvius relateth, and was much longer and larger than this at Jerusalem, as others assure us.

And my servants shall be with thy servants.] Only Jews meddled with the tabernacle; but the temple is not built without the aid of the Gentile Tyrians. They, together with us, make up the Church of God. See Ephesians 2:13-14.

That can skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians.] Various men have their various gifts; and various countries their various abilities. These, as they have from God, so they must use them for him. [Isaiah 28:26; Isaiah 28:29 Romans 11:36]


Verse 7

1 Kings 5:7 And it came to pass, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly, and said, Blessed [be] the LORD this day, which hath given unto David a wise son over this great people.

Ver. 7. Blessed be the Lord this day.] His carefulness he improveth unto thankfulness, whence some conclude him a proselyted prince. And surely thankfulness to the true God is a good sign of true grace. The Greeks have but one word ( χαρις) to signify both.


Verse 8

1 Kings 5:8 And Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, I have considered the things which thou sentest to me for: [and] I will do all thy desire concerning timber of cedar, and concerning timber of fir.

Ver. 8. I have considered.] Heb., Heard. A request is to be considered ere it be granted, lest men come in afterwards with the fool’s, Had I known. (a)

And concerning timber of fir.] Whereof there was much use made about the temple. [1 Kings 6:15] Algum trees also were sent from Lebanon, [2 Chronicles 2:8] which were a wood that is unknown to us, but most precious.


Verse 9

1 Kings 5:9 My servants shall bring [them] down from Lebanon unto the sea: and I will convey them by sea in floats unto the place that thou shalt appoint me, and will cause them to be discharged there, and thou shalt receive [them]: and thou shalt accomplish my desire, in giving food for my household.

Ver. 9. Unto the place that thou shalt appoint me.] To Joppa, [2 Chronicles 2:16] which had a harbour. [Acts 9:43]

And thou shalt receive them.] David had, before his death, prepared abundantly both workmen and cedar trees, &c., [1 Chronicles 22:2-4; 1 Chronicles 29:3] but yet nothing near enough for so great a work.

In giving food] Which in that country was a scarce commodity. They were supplied from other countries, and especially from Jewry; [Acts 12:20 Ezekiel 27:17] for their own was such as wherein they could neither sow nor reap, saith A. Lapide.


Verse 10

1 Kings 5:10 So Hiram gave Solomon cedar trees and fir trees [according to] all his desire.

Ver. 10. According to all his desire.] Wherein he was as good as his word. [1 Kings 5:8] Of many promisers it may be said, as Tertullian of the peacock, they are all in changeable colours, as often changed as moved,

Tantum constantes in levitate sua.


Verse 11

1 Kings 5:11 And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat [for] food to his household, and twenty measures of pure oil: thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year.

Ver. 11. And Solomon gave Hiram.] Here was fair and faithful dealing on both sides.

In cuius subiere locum fraudesque, delique.

Twenty thousand measures of wheat, &c.] Besides twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths of oil, ordinary oil for the workmen, [2 Chronicles 2:10] twenty thousand baths of wine also, not here mentioned.


Verse 12

1 Kings 5:12 And the LORD gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him: and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and they two made a league together.

Ver. 12. And the Lord gave Solomon wisdom] Sapientiam architectonicam, tanquam Idaeam futuri aedificii, wisdom for the present purpose, skill in contriving and building, a notion of the future edifice.

And they two made a league together.] A brotherly covenant, which though Tyre some while forgot, [Amos 1:9] and insulted over Jerusalem, yet it was foretold - and accordingly fulfilled - that Tyre, when converted, should leave hoarding and heaping her wealth, and should find another manner of employment for it, viz., to feed and clothe God’s saints. [Isaiah 23:18]


Verse 13

1 Kings 5:13 And king Solomon raised a levy out of all Israel; and the levy was thirty thousand men.

Ver. 13. And king Solomon raised a levy.] Heb., A tribute of men, perhaps of aliens, or such as the Gibeonites were in Israel.


Verse 14

1 Kings 5:14 And he sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month by courses: a month they were in Lebanon, [and] two months at home: and Adoniram [was] over the levy.

Ver. 14. Ten thousand a month by courses.] Superiors must make the yokes of their inferiors as easy as is possible, lest they lose their affections, and procure their imprecations.

And Adoniram was over the levy.] To order it, and to see the work done.


Verse 15

1 Kings 5:15 And Solomon had threescore and ten thousand that bare burdens, and fourscore thousand hewers in the mountains;

Ver. 15. That bare burdens.] Under which expression are also contained wagoners, mariners, horse keepers, mule drivers, &c.

Hewers in the mountains.] Hewers both of stone and of wood. Eupolemus counteth upon many more.


Verse 16

1 Kings 5:16 Beside the chief of Solomon’s officers which [were] over the work, three thousand and three hundred, which ruled over the people that wrought in the work.

Ver. 16. Which ruled over the people.] And three hundred more to rule over these rulers, [2 Chronicles 2:2] and all little enough to make the work to go forward as it should.


Verse 17

1 Kings 5:17 And the king commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones, [and] hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house.

Ver. 17. Great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones,] i.e., Marble of all sorts, as porphyry, parian, ophites, sphengites, &c.

To lay the foundation of the house.] Even those stones that were laid in the base of the building were not rugged and rude, but hewn and costly. God is not all for the eye: he pleaseth himself with the hidden value of the living stones of his spiritual temple.


Verse 18

1 Kings 5:18 And Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders did hew [them], and the stonesquarers: so they prepared timber and stones to build the house.

Ver. 18. And Hiram’s builders did hew them.] In Lebanon was the temple framed; in Zion set up: neither hammer nor axe was heard in that holy structure. There was nothing but noise in Lebanon; nothing in Zion, but silence and peace. Whatever tumults are abroad, it is fit - saith a right reverend writer (a) here - there should be all quietness and concord in the Church.

And the stone squarers.] Or Giblites, who were heathens, [Ezekiel 27:9] neighbours to the Sidonians, worshippers of Adonis, saith Strabo, yet used about the holy temple. Ye may likewise make use of human learning in ecclesiastical exercises, but not for ostentation; for that is to make a calf of the treasure gotten out of Egypt.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-kings-5.html. 1865-1868.

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