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Go to Bible: 1 Kings 9
|1Ki 9:1||- (top)|
“appeared to Solomon.” What Yahweh said to Solomon is recorded in 1 Kings 9:2-9 and 2 Chronicles 7:12-22, and there is more information in Chronicles than in Kings. God personally appeared to Solomon on two different occasions (1 Kings 3:5; 9:2; 11:9; and see commentary on 1 Kings 11:9).
[For more on God appearing to people, see commentary on Acts 7:55.](top)
“and my eyes and my heart.” The meaning of this is that God’s attention and love will be on the Temple.(top)
|1Ki 9:4||- (top)|
“a descendant on the throne.” The Hebrew is “a man,” but the promise was to David so the meaning is “a descendant.” The Hebrew text makes that more clear: “There will not be cut off from you a man from the throne of Israel.” That no one would be “cut off” from David points to the men on the throne being his direct descendants.(top)
“turn, yes, turn away.” The Hebrew text uses the figure of speech polyptoton for emphasis (see commentary on Gen. 2:16).
“worship.” The Hebrew verb is shachah (#07812 שָׁחָה), and it is the same Hebrew word as “bow down.” The common biblical way of bowing down before people or God was to fall to one’s knees and bow the upper body to the earth. Shachah is translated as both “bow down” and “worship;” traditionally “worship” if God is involved and “bow down” if people are involved, but the verb and action are the same, the act of bowing down is the worship.
[For more on bowing down, see commentary on 1 Chronicles 29:20.](top)
|1Ki 9:7||- (top)|
|1Ki 9:8||- (top)|
|1Ki 9:9||- (top)|
|1Ki 9:10||- (top)|
|1Ki 9:11||- (top)|
“they did not please him.” The Hebrew is idiomatic: the towns “were not right in his eyes.”(top)
“Cabul.” This could mean “good for nothing.”(top)
|1Ki 9:14||- (top)|
|1Ki 9:15||- (top)|
“dowry.” The Hebrew word is from the word “send,” a dowry is like a “send-off” gift that goes with the bride.(top)
“Gezer and Lower Beth-horon.” By fortifying the cities of Gezer, Lower Beth-horon, and Baalath (Kiriath-jearim), Solomon was protecting the main approach to Jerusalem from the west. Upper Beth-horon and Lower Beth-horon are on ridge routes leading from the west coast of Israel into the hill country, and Gezer was in the Shephelah along the approach to Jerusalem from the west that came from the Mediterranean Coast up the Vally of Aijalon.
Gezer was a Canaanite city (Josh. 10:33) and when Gezer was excavated by archaeologists some of the strongest Canaanite defensive walls and towers ever discovered were found there. God allotted the town of Gezer to the tribe of Ephraim (Josh. 16:3), but the Ephramites could not drive out the Canaanites who were there (Josh. 16:10; Judg. 1:29), and one of the reasons likely had to do with the strength of the defensive walls that intimidated the men of Ephraim. That Gezer was not conquered by Israel was problematic because Gezer had been allotted to be a city for the Levites (Josh. 21:21). Gezer remained unconquered for some 500 years until Pharaoh of Egypt recognized the value of Gezer to Solomon's kingdom and conquered it and presented it to Solomon as a dowry when Solomon married Pharaoh’s daughter (1 Kings 9:16).(top)
“Baalath.” This is the other name for Kiriath-jearim. Here, 1 Kings 9:17-18 name three very important cities for the defense of central Judah and Jerusalem. Gezer, Lower Beth-horam, and Baalath (Kieriath-Jearim). These are three cities that are on important routes leading from the Philistine coast up into central Judah and to Jerusalem. It might be said that Gezer, the westernmost of the three, was an important way that Israel could “shine its light” to other nations because it was a large and important city on the main trade route from Egypt to points north such as Damascus.(top)
|1Ki 9:19||- (top)|
“the Perizzites.” A tribe of unknown origin in the hill country of Judah and Ephraim. See commentary on Joshua 9:1.(top)
“devote to destruction.” That is, kill.
[For more on things “devoted” to Yahweh and devoted to destruction, see commentary on Joshua 6:17.](top)
“and his servants.” The word “servants” is the same as “slaves” in the first part of the sentence, but obviously it has a different meaning here.(top)
“550 men.” The record in 1 Kings 9:23 says “550,” while the record in 2 Chronicles 8:10 says “250.” There is a textual variant based on a scribal error, and which number is correct is not known.(top)
“came up out of the city of David to her house.” So the house Solomon built for Pharaoh’s daughter must have been north of the city of David, between the city of David and where the Temple was to be built.(top)
“burned incense into smoke.” See commentary on Exodus 29:13.
“thus Solomon gave completeness to the house.” The Temple was built so that people could worship God in a personal way, and so the offerings that Solomon offered gave a completeness to the Temple that it did not have without them.(top)
“Eloth.” Today this city is called Elat.
“Red Sea.” The Hebrew is “Reed Sea.” The designation “Red Sea” came from the Septuagint.(top)
“Hiram sent some of his servants in the fleet.” The Israelites were not seafaring people, but the Phoenicians were, so Hiram sent sailors to help Solomon’s men sail the Red Sea.(top)
“Ophir.” The exact location of Ophir is not known. Suggested ideas are east Africa or the Arabian peninsula.
“420 talents.” The Hebrew word translated “talent” is used to refer to a standard unit of weight, which in a context like this would generally be the “talent.” At this time in Israel’s history, the talent is estimated to be about 75 pounds (each pound being 16-ounces). So the 420 talents in 1 Kings 9:28 would be about 31,500 pounds of gold (15.75 tons), which is more than 14,000 kilograms.(top)