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quite false. Abiathar (ver. 6) was not "minister and Abel-meholah still more soutl the latter was of the king's household” (Keil), but "master of the the birth-place of the prophet Elisha. Jokneam, palace and household” (Thenius), chap. xviii. 3 ; according to 1 Chron. vi. 53, a levite town, the situ2 Kings xviii. 18; Isai. xxii. 15. This office did ation of which is doubtful, perhaps it was the same not exist under David; but was required by the as Kibzaim (Josh. xxi. 22). The district must then larger and more splendid court of Solomon. Ado- have included the whole land of the tribe of Maniram is the same as 2 Sam. xx. 24 and 1 Kings nasseh on this side (west of) Jordan. (6) Ramothxii. 18, where he is called Adoram. He was not gilead (rer. 13), a town of the levites beyond Jortithe-master (Luther), but overseer of the hirelings dan, in the tribe of Gad, which stretched northwards that had to overlook the public works, for da no- along the tribe of Manasseh, and southwards along where means vectigal or impost. Ewald and The-that of Reuben (Josh. xxi. 38; Deut. iv. 43). Upon nius think the addition of the Sept.: kaì ’Emà3 viòs nin of Jair, comp. Nunb. xxxii. 41; Deut. iii. 14; Lào ÉTÈ Tīs matplăs, original, but it is easy to see Josh. xiii. 30. Our passage says as plainly as pos that it is a gloss.
sible that they were ir, the land of Gilead, but the Ver. 7. Solomon had twelve officers. The wholly general expression d'ax? (from 393 to country of Angol was in the land of Bashan. The
sixty fortified cities that belonged to the last can place, i. e., people in office), is made clearer by the therefore not be identical with nin (Keil), as Bashan word: the provided for, &c. Hence they were not nyeuóveç kaì otpatryoi (Josephus), neither "court is always made quite distinct from Gilead (Deut. iii. cooks” (Winer), but " chief rent-receivers.” (Rosen- 10; Josh, xii. 5: xiii
. 11; xvii. 1; 2 Kings 1, 33; müller); whether they were regular chiefs or gov- Mic. vii. 14), the translation: the " towns of Jair ernors of provinces, the providing for the king be- is not correct either," because: 1717 here does not ing only a part of their office (Thenius), is uncertain. mean to live, and the German: living in a given Probably their districts were not arranged with place does not signify vita but mansio" (Cassel, zu reference to the lands of the tribes, but to the fer- Richt., iii. 4). The land of Bashan with Argob lay tility of the soil. Their number, twelve, has no re- northeast of that of Gilead. The brazen vars mean lation to the twelve tribes, but to the twelve months that the gates of the cities were protected with of the year, in each of which one of them had to brass. (7) Mahanaim (ver. 14), a town beyond Jor. supply his quota. The list of the districts in vers. 8 dan (2 Sam. xvii. 24–27), on the borders of the tribe to 19 is perhaps made with reference to the time of of Gad and the further portion of Manasseh on the delivery, and makes no account of the geographical Jabbok (Josh. xxi. 38). We have no further infor. position.—The proper names of five of the twelve mation about this district of Abinadab. (8) Naphofficials are not given, but only their fathers' names. tali (ver. 15), the region of the tribe of this name, It is uncertain whether they bore those names with was quite in the north of Palestine, on this side the prefix of Ben, as the Vulgate supposes (Benhur, Jordan, west of Asher's inheritance and bordering, Bendecar, &c.). Ben-abinadab (ver. 11) is scarcely on its south, the tribe of Zebulon. (9) Asher's a proper name. As these men have no further (ver 16) inheritance lay along the coast of the historical importance, it matters little about their Meaterranean, northward of the tribe of Issachar
Two sons-in-law of Solomon being among them, only shows that the list gives us a view of (Deut. xxxiii
, 24 sq.)
. ? in nibyo must certainly be the civil ofices during the middle period of his reign. understood as in 7 (Luther), but Aloth, like
Vers. 8–22. The son of Hur, in mount Eph-Bealoth, is a quite unknown name, for the latter raim. We give here only what is most necessary cannot be Bealoth in Judah (Josh. xv. 24). Theabout the situations and nature of particular districts. Thenius. on this place, speaks at length of nius boldly conjectures is obyn zy to the road both. (1) Mount Ephraim, in Central Palestine, one of the most cultivated districts of all Palestine leading to Tyre. (10) Issachar (ver. 17); its coun(Winer, R.- W.-B., s. v.). (2) Makaz (ver. 9) is named try lay on this side Jordan, between Zebulon on only here, but must belong, like Shaalbim, Beth- the north and Manasseh on the south (Josh. xix. shemesh and Elon, to the tribe of Dan (sonth of 17 sq.). (11) Benjamin (ver. 18); its inheritanco Ephraim and west of Judah).
was between Ephraim on the north and Judah on
(3) Aruboth (ver. the south, and east of Dan (Josh. xviii. 11 sq.). (12) 10) also does not appear elsewhere, probably a place Gilead (ver. 19) is used here for all the east-Jordan in the tribe of Judah, to which Sochoh in the south lands in general, but it could only apply to that must also have belonged (Josh. xv. 48). Hepher cannot be the town Gath-IIepher in Zebulon, but part which remained over after taking out the sixth only a southern district, probably west of Sochoh, kingdom of Sihon originally extended from the
and seventh districts, that is, the southern. The where a Canaanitish king had reigned before (Josh. xii. 17). (4) Dor (ver. 11), a town on the Mediterra- river Jabbok in Manasseh to the river Arnon, nean, nine Roman miles north of Cæsarea (Josh, xxi. 24), and passed over v the tribes of Gad and
which empties itself into the Dead Sea (Numb. xvii.'1). Naphat (i. e., heights) Dor is the hilly Reuben. Bashan lay northeast of Sihon (Numb. stretch of country towards the south of the town, xxi. 33). The addition: an officer, &c., means : liat and to this Thenius reckons the whole very fertile pasture-plain of Sharon to Joppa. (5) Megiddo, although this district was perhaps the largest and close to it, in a southeasterly direction, Taanach (probably because of the barrenness of the soil), it (ver. 12); two towns, that lie on the slope of the had only one officer. Ewald would insert 1720 Carmel mountains, at the edge of the plain of Jez- after 1783, which is very incorrect, because inreel in the tribe of Manasseh. Beth-shean, on a stead 'of twelve officers, according to ver. 7, there straight line, east of Megiddo, whero the plain would have been thirteen. The exprossion in ver. of Jezreel ceases and that of the Jordan meadows 20: as the sand which is by the sea, clearly refers to begins. Zartanah lay near in a southerly direction, the promise in Gen. xxii. 17; xxxii. 12. For eat
ing and drinking, &c., comp. 1 Sam. xxx. 16; Prov. I half or ten Eng.) from the Mediterranean, formed v. 17. One must either add my before yo? (chap. the extreme southwesterly one. It does not neces. v. 1) like the parallel passage in 2 Chron. ix. 26, or
sarily follow, from the expression: all the region bear in mind the ? from the preceding passage, as dwelt on the east side of the Euphrates and wrote
(land) beyond the river [i. e., west), that our author Keil does. Presents, a mild expression for tribute, there (see Introd. & 1), as is to be learned from as in 2 Sam. viii. 2-6; 2 Kings xvii. 3-4.
Ezra iv. 10 sq.; the expression belonged to the Vers. 22–25. And Solomon's provision, &c. time of banishment, but was retained after the reVer. 22. 13 (called up before) is the largest turn, and, as it seems, without regard to its geo
graphical signification, just for instance as the measure, and contains, according to Josephus, ten expression Gallia transalpina. Living under the attic medimni (medimnus=nearly twelve gallons. vine and fig tree (2 Kings xviii. 31) describes the -E. H.) which Böckh reckons at 19857.7 Paris happy and blissful state of peace, but was not, cubic inches; however, it seems from exact calcu- however, taken from the description of Messiah's lations made by Thenius (in the Stud. u. Kritik, reign (Mic. iv. 4; Zach. iii. 10) (Ewald), but on the 1846, s. 73 sq.), that Josephus is wrong,* and that contrary was woven into the latter. From Dan to the measures only contained 10143 Paris cubic Beersheba, boundaries of Palestine north and east inches According to this, the 30 + 60 measures (Judges xx. 1; 1 Sam. iii. 20; 2 Sam. iii. 10). of meal inake 171 bushels, from which 28,000 Vers. 26–28. And Solomon had 40,000 stalls pounds of bread were baked. “If we allow two of horses, &c. In ver. 26 the description of the pounds of bread to each person, Solomon's court court appointments, which had been interrupted by must have contained 14,000 people" (others com- the remarks in vers. 24 and 25, is continued. ning pute them at only 10,000), a number which does not seem too great for the middle period of this are horse-stalls, stables, mangers (Bochart: loculi reign. Let us think, for instance, of the great ha- in stabulis distincti). According to chap. x. 26, Solrem, the numerous servants, the body-guard, &c., omon had 1,400 chariots; each of these was, as and consider besides, that the families of all the the representations on Egyptian and Assyrian mon. court officials belonged to it, and that there were
uments show, drawn by two horses, making 2,800 only payments in provisions. "If we take the of these ; the remaining 1,200 were reserves, for if flesh of a slaughtered ox to weigh 600 (according
one fell it was usual to attach a third horse (Xeno. to the calculation of those who understood the mat- phon, Cyrop., vi. 1-27). Dupp does not mean ter), that of a cow 400, and that of a sheep 70 riders here, but saddle-horses in contrast with harpounds," the total consumption of meat would be 21,000 pounds, that is, one and a half pounds for nessed horses, as in 2 Sam. i. 6; Ezek. xxvii. 14. each person; and "this is not reckoning the game
The opinion that Israel lived in peace (ver. 25) beand fowl for the king's table." There are similar cause Solomon had made great warlike preparaaccounts of expenditure at other oriental courts.
tions (ver. 26) with which he protected his kingdom " According to an ancient author (Athen. Deipn., iv. (Thenius, Keil), is quite a wrong one; the question 10), Alexander found on a column at Persepolis a
is not of war here, but to what the niza refers, placard containing an account of the daily con- namely, the maintaining of harness- and saddlesumption at the court of Cyrus; from this list we horses, and the expenses of the court. In ver. 27, give the following: 1,000 bushels of wheat of dif- therefore, it is again said that the twelve officers ferent qualities, the same of barley-meal, 400 sheep, who had to provide for the sustenance of all the 300 lambs, 100 oxen, 30 horses, 30 deer, 400 fat persons in the court, had also to provide for this geese, 100 goslings, 300 pigeons, 600 small birds great number of horses ; ver. 28 then gives the kind of various kinds, 3,750 gallons of wine, 75 gallons of provision the latter received, namely, barley of fresh milk, and the same of sour milk. Besides and straw. Oats were not cultivated in the East, this, there was a quantity of maize, that was gath- therefore barley was the usual food for horses; the ered in single rations for the cattle.
poorer classes alone used it for bread also (Judges Tavernier reckons the number of sheep daily con- vii. 13, and Cassel on the place. Comp. Winer, I. 8. sumed in the seraglio of the Sultan, in his time, at 410). For w?? see Esther vii. 10, 14. The coursers 500, besides a number of fowls, and an immense
served to carry quantity of butter and rice” (Philippson; comp. Ro
“the king's orders to the different senmüller, A. v. N. Morgenland, iii. s. 166). For districts” (Thenius). To domu v the Sept., 730m, (comp. Deut. xiv. 5) see Winer, R.- W.-B., i. Vulgate, and Thenius supply as subject: the king,
which is certainly false, for if. Solomon sometimes 8. 494. O'???? only occurs here, and is variously
changed his residence, he did not travel about with interpreted; Kimchi thinks it means capons; Ge- 16.000 horses (ver. 26). According to chap. x. 26, genius, geese; Thenius, guinea-hens; and Ewald, the horses were placed in different towns, into swans. The splendor of the court is accounted which the barley and straw were brought, as Keiz for by vers. 24 and 25. The extent of Solomon's says: "where they (barley and straw) should be, dominion is defined according to the two towns according as the horses were distributed about.". named in vers. 24 and 25. Tiphsah, i. e., Thapsæns, Vers. 29–30. And God gave Solomon wiswas “ a large and populous town on the west bank dom, &c. Hitherto the narrative treats of the of the Euphrates; it was a place where armies organs by means of which the order and happy crossed over that river, and a place for landing and condition of Solomon's kingdom was conditioned, shipping wares coming from or going to Babylon but now it turns to the lead of the realın, the king on the Euphrates” (Winer, ii. 8. 612). While this himself, and remarks that in lim which particularly town was the extreme northeasterly point, Gaza in distinguished him and qualified him to le the ruler, the Philistines' land, about three miles (nine and a namely, the wisdom he had received from God. * See below, chap. v. ver. 7.
"While oan denotes more the entire spiritual con
dition, ndian designates sharpness of insight, but i rived his proverbs (parables) from all these things. in 35 277 the ingenium capax is set forth”. (The- of trees, and the hyssop the smallest and most in
The cedar is the largest, most beautiful, and useful nius), the talent to take up and comprehend all, even the most diversified objects of knowledge. Hence wall is a particular kind of wall-moss (Thenius),
significant plant. The hyssop which grows on the the addition: as the sand which is by the sea, the other liyssop is a stem-formed plant, that grows which is a figurative description of an innumerable to one or two feet high (comp.Winer, R.- W.-B., 8.2.) multitude (chap. iv. 20; Gen. xli. 49; xxxii. 13; ! The many kinds of beasts mean the whole animal Ps. cxxxix. 18). Luther's translation, a comforted heart, is wrong.–All the sons of the east, that | kingdom, divided according to the manner of mois, not only those Arabians distinguished for their tion: four-footed (171972), flying, creeping, and swimskill in proverbs, but all the tribes living to the ming (Gen. ri. 20; vii. 8). This passage can scarcely east of Palestine (also the northeast), who were famous in any branch of knowledge (Jer. xlix. 28; mean that Solomon also wrote works on all plants Gen. xxix. 1; Numb. xxiii. 7; Joh i. 3). Opposite and animals, but only that he understood these subthese, in the west, was Egypt, the wisdom of which jects and could “speak” of them. We need pot was almost proverbial in the ancient world (Isai. suppose that such works, because they may have xix. 11; Acts vii. 22; Joseph., Antiq., viii. 2-5; had no significance for God's kingdom, should not Herodot., ii
. 160). There were no other lands dis also liave been preserved. tinguished for wisdom in Solomon's time; the Greek
Ver. 34. There came of all people, &c. The learning only commenced 400 years later.
greatness and extent of Solomon's fame for wisdom Ver. 31. The sons of Mahol, not the poets be the type and model of all wisdom to his own peo
are shown by the fact that he not only continued to (Luther), for sina means as appell. dance, round ple; but is so regarded in the East, even at the dance (Ps. xxx. 12; cxlix. 3); but here it is a pro- lim as knowing the languages of men and demons,
present day. The Koran (Sur. xxvii. 17) praisos per name. It must remain uncertain whether these of birds and ants; these all, it says, he could hold four men were celebrated persons of more ancient time, or whether they were contemporaries of Solo- intercourse with. The Turks still possess a work mon; we have no further information about them. of seventy folio volumes, which is called the book Elhan and Heman, named in 1 Chron. xv. 17 and of Suleiman, i. e., Solomon. The whole of the wis19 among the musicians appointed by David, but dom and secret learning of the East is connected
with his name.-From all kings, certainly means, it is scarcely to be supposed that the wisest men of the time were among them. The headings of as Thenius maintains, that they sent ambassadors
, Ps. lxxxviii
. and lxxxix. are more likely to refer to who did him homage, or received more certain in our Heman and Ethan, as they are there called formation about him; comp. the narrative, chap. I. Ezrahites. All four names are close together 1 Chron. ii. 6: “the sons of Zerah (the sons of Ju
HISTORICAL AND ETHICAL. dah); Zimri, and Ethan, and Calcol, and Dara ;” Grotius and Le Clerc believed them to be iden
1. To represent Solomon's kingdom in its greattical with these; as also Movers and Bertheau, more recently; but even if y777 is the same as is the plain design of this entire section, and upon
ness and in its prosperous, well-ordered condition, 997, and Ezrach the same as Serach, the difficulty this account the lists of officers, &c., which in themstill remains that Chalcol and Darda are here named selves are dry, acquire a higher, historical (heilsgesons of Mahol, and that there is nowhere else any schichtliche). signification. The period of the judges intimation of the wisdom of Zerach's sons. The was the time of public crudeness in which there was rabbinical book Seder Olam (ed. Meyer, p. 52 sq.), an absence of order, and of organic unity of the alone says of them: “these were prophets that kingdom. The age of David was that of continuous prophesied in Egypt.”
wars and battles, in which indeed victory over all Ver. 32. And he spake three thousand prov- enemics at last came, and with it at the same timo erbs, &c. Prov. i. 1-6 explains what proverbs are the beginning of a well-ordered condition ; but not and what their use is. He spake is as much as: complete peace for the kingdom. This first came he originated them. The fixed number, 3,000, cer- with Solomon's reign (1 Chron. xxii. 8, 9). The tainly shows that they were written down and col- reign of Soloinon is the result of all preceding conlected, possibly only in part, or possibly not at all, flicts and divine teachings. It is the kingdom of by himself. Unfortunately, the greater number of Israel in its highest maturity. To represent it as these proverbs are lost; for if we admit that all such, it needed the authentication which our secthose in the biblical book of Proverbs were com- tion supplies, and which in like manner in the posed by Solomon, yet there are only 915 verses in whole history of the kings does not occur again. the book, and these are not all proverbs. There At this highest reach this kingdom was, upon the remains still less of the thousand and five songs. one side, the fulfilment of the divine promise (Gen. It is doubtful if Canticles be one of those. The xxii. 17, and Exod. iii. 17 sq.; cf. with chap. iv. 20, Ixxiid and cxxviith Psalms have Solomon's name and chap. v. 5), and, upon the other side moreover, at the beginning, and there is no real reason to it was itself a proniise, an historical prophecy, a doubt ihe genuineness of the leading; many think oktà tūv pel.lóvrov. As the whole Old Testament he was the author of the cxxxiid Psalm; Ewald economy in its sensuousness and outwardness points thinks he wrote only the iid Psalm.
beyond itself, to the New Testament in its spiritilVer. 33. He spake of trees, &c. His wisdom ality and inwardness, so especially is Solomon's was not only in spiritual, religious, and social mat- kingdom the type of the Messiah's. What the ters, and displayed in doctrine and poetry, but in former is katà cápka, the latter is Katà avevue, natural things, the entire kingdoms of plants and for the delineation of the latter, the prophets bor. animals. Josephus is wrong in saying that he de- rowed words from the delineation of the former in
our section here (Mich. iv. 4; Zach. iii. 10. Cf. words which form the title of Solomon's proverbs : above, on chap. i.).
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of know2. The great expensiveness of Solomon's household ledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction' is brought into the closest connection with the hap- (Prov. i. 7; cf. with chap. ix. 10). "The fear of piness, the prosperity and peace of the whole peo- the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and the plo (chap. iv. 20, and v. 5). It is hence an entire knowledge of the holy is understanding." (Comp perversion when recent writers sever one passage Umbreit, Commentar über die Spr. Sal. Einleit., S from the connection, and cite that expensiveness 1-65.) It rests upon the knowledge of the ono among the things with which the people under Sol. God of heaven and earth, who hath chosen Israel omon were burdened, and which by and by had ex- and made with them a covenant, i. e., has revealed cited dissatisfaction and restlessness (Ewald, Gesch. himself to them through His word, viz., " the Law." Isr., iii. s. 376; Duncker, Gesch. des Alterthums, i. s. Consequently it is essentially monotheistic, ethical, 389). In absolute states, namely, in the ancient ori- and, therefore, practical. It does not exclude the ental, the king is the nation in person. The splendor knowledge of nature, for which Solomon was also of the royal household represents the splendor of renowned (ver. 13); but the latter is only true and the entire people. Far from being a sign of the right when it rests upon the former, and is permeoppression of the people, it shows rather their hap-ated by it. In so far the wisdom of Solomon stood piness and prosperity. The account does not say: unrivalled throughout the whole of the ancient the king lived in luxury while the people were Orient, and was like an oasis in the desert to which poor and felt oppressed, but: as the people, so the men from all the neighboring countries made pilking, and as the king, so the people; both were grimages, a radiating light which attracted all insatisfied and enjoyed prosperity and peace. voluntarily who loved light rather than darkness.
3. The delineation of Solomon's wisdom follows "Only forth from the soil of the spirit watered by immediately the delineation of the outward and the spring of religious faith can the tree of wisdom material well-being of the kingdom, and shows in grow strong, and spread out its branches into all this connection that as Solomon was the repre- regions of life” (Umbreit, a. a. O., s. 5). But as sentative of this well-being, so also from him, in Solomon's kingdom refers generally to that of the consequence of special divine endowment, a cich, Messiah (see above), so especially does Solomon's higher spiritual life, such as hitherto had not been, wisdom (monotheistic-legal) point to the wisdom of proceeded, and poured itself like a stream over the Him who is greater than Solomon (xii. 42), who is whole land (Eccles. xlvii. 14 sq.). “All may be the light of the world, and to whom all kings both ready in a given time and people," says Eisenlohr from the West and the East shall come, and upon (das Volk Isr., ii. s. 110), " for a spiritual elevation whom all the heathen shall call (Ps. lxxii. 10, 11• and living action, but one only has the mind and Isai. lx. 1-3). the power for it. Hence we cannot set sufficiently high the influence of the creative personality of the highly-gifted king Solomon.” And Ewald ob
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL. serves (Gesch. Isr., iii. 8. 350), “so there was for the people in this noble time a new age also for Chap. iv. The Kingdom of Solomon a type of science, poetry, and literature, whose rich fruits the Messiah's (1) in its greatness and extent; (2) in continued long after the sensuous wealth and its prosperity and peace; (3) in his wisdom and superabundance which this time brought, together knowledge.-Chap. iv. 1 to chap. v. 1. WÜRT. with the powers of the nation, had melted away." Summ.: Fortunate is the goverument where all It was just this high condition of spiritual culture goes orderly. Their eyes shall look around after which procured for the king, and indirectly for the the faithful in the land, and pious subjects are people, great authority, and which attracted men loved and esteemed; but false people and liars, from all neighboring lands to hear this "wisdom." and those of a perverse heart, who have proud But also in the connection in which the material and ways and haughtiness, and who calumniate others the spiritual well-being of the people are brought secretly and maliciously, it will not have nor endure together, there is a reference to the truth that for about it, but will clear away and destroy after the the glory of a king there must be something more example of David (Ps. cx.).- A well-ordered state than greatness, power, wealth, quiet, or "eating and constitution is the condition of the growth and drinking and amusements," and that where there prosperity of every kingdom; but all ordinances is not spiritual culture and a higher life, where, and institutions avail nothing when requisite and for the furtherance of material interests, spiritual proper persons are wanting for their administrainterests are thrust aside or neglected, the thought tion and execution. To select such, and to entrust of a glorious condition cannot be entertained. them with different administrative offices, is the Solomon himself says (Prov. iii. 13, 14): " Happy first and most difficult task of a ruler. Happy the is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that prince to whom God grants the grace to find the getteth understanding. For the merchandise of right persons, who can counsel hin and deserve his it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the confidence (Eccles. x. 2–5).-STARKE: As a court, gain thereof than fine gold.”
where it is beset with flatterers, backbiters, carous. 4. The wisdom of the East and of Egypt is not ers, &c., generally goes down, so also it prospers, on 80 much below that of Solomon in its outward cir- the other hand, when pious servants are there.cumference (extensive), as in its most inward, char- Chap. iv. 20. STARKE: Not the multitude of a people acteristic being intensive). While the former, causes a scarcity in the land, but the wickedness in its deepest ground, rests upon the identification and avarice of men.-Food and drink and amuseof the world with God, and at last discharges itself ment are a gift of God (Eccles. ii. 13), when used in pantheism, and, in consequence, is deprived al. in the fear of God (Eccles. xi. 9) and with thanks. most wholly of the ethical element, this proceeds giving (1 Cor. x. 31; Col. iii. 17); but they become from the principle which is expressed in the sin when, in the gift, the giver is forgotten, the
belly made a god of, and serves the lust of the coming proud and hanghty, hence the highlyflesh. Chap. iv. 21.-CRAMER: The kingdom of gifted Solomon himself says: “Trust in the Lord” Christ is still far greater. He rules from one end &c. (Prov. iii. 5, 6). Not to elevate one's self of the sea to the other, from the rising of the sun above others, but in order to serve them, does God unto the going down thereof (Zach. ix. 10). All bestow special gifts of the Spirit (1 Peter iv. 10). — kings shall call upon Him: all the heathen shall Ver. 30. Heathen wisdom, great as it may be in serve Him (Ps. lxxii. 8–10).
earthly things, understands nothing of divine, [E. HARWOOD: Chap. iv. vers. 4–5. Comp. heavenly things, and is therefore far below the i Chron. xxii. 7–10. David, the man of action; wisdom whose beginning is the fear of the personal, Solomon, the man of rest. The man of active life living God, who has revealed himself in His word. usually has more conspicuous virtues and more This wisdom alone yields true, good, and abiding conspicuius faults than the man of rest. David fruit (Jas. iii. 15, 17).-Ver. 32. All those who proposed to build the house-the man of action have received special gifts of spirit and understandwas the founder: Solomon carried the plans of ing, act inexcusably and sin grievously when, inhis father into execution. David was the founder : stead of giving God the honor, and of appiying Solomon the builder.]
them to the good of their fellow-men, they proChap. iv. 22.-As, by divine providence and mote, by doctrine and treatise, forgetfulness of ordering, there are always different conditions, high God and unbelief, and the love of the world, and and low, rich and poor, so their manner of life can- the lusts of the flesh, or gross or refined immorality not be the same, but must be conformable to the rank (Eccles. xii. 9; Jer. ix. 23, 24). The glory which is and position which has been assigned to every one obtained in the world through bad books, is shame by God. The household of a prince who stands at and disgrace before Him who demands account of the head of a great and distinguished people ought every idle word.—Ver. 33. STARKE: Far better not, indeed, give to the people the bad example of would it befit lords and princes to find their en. extravagant show, luxury, and riot; but it must, in joyment in study rather than to seek satisfaction abundance and splendor, surpass every private in dramas, plays, and in immoderate drinking. A establishment, and ought not to appear needy and man may be able to speak of all possible things, impoverished. Ver. 24, 25 (chap. iv. ver. 20). The and, at the same time, be without wisdom, for this Blessings of Peace. (1) Wherein they consist ; (2) does not consist in varied knowledge and wideto what they oblige. Peace nourishes: disturbance spread acquirements, but in recognition of the truth consumes. Only in peace, not in war, does a which purities the heart and sanctifies the will. Obnation attain to well-being, therefore should we servation and investigation of nature is only of offer prayer and supplication for kings and all in the right kind, and fraught with blessing, when it authority, &c. (1 Tim. ii. 2). Happy the land leads to the confession of Ps. civ. 24 ; xcii
. 6, 7.where goodness and truths are met together, Mark what the man who was wiser than all the righteousness and peace have kissed each other men of his generation declares as the final result (Ps. lxxxv. 10). May the eternal God grant us, of all his wisdom and research: It is all vanity! during our life, an heart ever joyous, and give us Fear God, and keep His commandments (Eccles. noble peace! It must be regarded as an unspeak-i. 2; xii. 8, 13).-Ver. 34. To Solomon came from able blessing of God when, under the protection all nations people to hearken unto his wisdom; of a wise and righteous government, every one in but to Him who is greater than Solomon, the wise the nation, even the least, can remain in the undis- men of to-day will not listen (1 Cor. i. 19-21).turbed possession of his property, and can enjoy the How many travel over land and sea to seek gold fruits of his industry in the bosom of his family. and silver, but stir neither hand por foot to find
Ver. 29–34. The Wisdom of Solomon. (1) Its the wisdom and knowledge of the truth, which origin, ver. 29 (Prov. ii. 6; Dan. ii. 21, 6); (2) its lie close at hand, and are better than gold and silgreatness (ver. 30 sq.); (3) its result (ver. 34). ver (Prov. viii. 11; xxiv. 14; Job xxviii. 18). It Ver. 29. Not every one receives from God an equal is not enough for a wise prince that his people eat, measure of spiritual endowment; but every one is drink, and make merry, and dwell in safety, each obliged, with the gift he has received, to dispose of one beneath his own vine and fig-tree (chap. iv. 20; it faithfully, and not to allow it to be fallow (Luke v. 5); but he aims likewise at this, that spiritual xii. 48; Matt. xxv. 14–29). In the possession of education, science, and recognition of the truth high spiritual endowment and of much knowledge, should be extended and fostered, for this brings man is in danger of over-estimating himself, of be- more consideration than power or wealth