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Solomon gathereth together riches and chariots and horses. 14 Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold,
15 Beside that he had of the merchantmen, and of the traffick of the spice merchants, and of all the kings of Arabia, and of the governors of the country. 16 And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of gold went to one target.
17 And he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three pound of gold went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon. 18 Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold.
19 The throne had six steps, and the top of the throne was round behind: and there were stays on either side on the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the stays.
20 And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps: there was not the like made in any kingdom.
navy of Tharshish with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.
23 So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom.
24 And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. 25 And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and garments, and armour, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year.
26 And Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he bestowed in the cities for chariots, and with the king at Jerusalem.
27 And the king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he to be as the sycomore trees that are in the vale, for abundance.
28 And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price. 29 And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring them out by their means. LECTURE 569.
21 And all king Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold; none were of silver it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon.
22 For the king had at sea a
The supreme advantage of being wise unto salvation. Solomon could not now have borne in mind as he ought the express law on the duties of a king of Israel: "he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.
Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold." Deut. 17. 16, 17. At first the riches of Solomon had been multiplied unto him by God, through the treasures of his father and the gifts of his friend. And he had spent them at first chiefly in building and adorning the house of the Lord. But now he put his three hundred golden shields, not into God's temple, but into the house of the forest of Lebanon. It was for his own throne, and not for God's service, that he now constructed a piece of work of ivory and gold, of which there was not the like made in any kingdom." And it was in the house of the forest of Lebanon that "all the vessels of the house" were of pure gold, as well as "all king Solomon's drinking vessels." The house of God is indeed nowhere mentioned in this passage; which looks as if the king had now begun to disregard it. All his study was to gain for his own wealth. Even the wisdom "which God had put into his heart," was turned to a service of profit, by presents taken from those who came to hear him. And it was perhaps by a perverted application of his superior understanding, that he succeeded in obtaining horses so abundantly from Egypt; against the obvious interest of the Egyptians, and in manifest violation of the law of the Lord.
The wisdom then which Solomon obtained from God, or at least that into which his gift had now degenerated, was no more than quickness and depth of understanding; it was not akin to the being wise unto salvation. It was the intelligence to know every thing that man could understand. But it proved compatible with the foolishness of doing many things, which he knew that he ought not to have done. It was skill to govern others, without the wit to subdue himself. It was applicable to the art of gathering treasure; but it was not applied in heaping up the riches of eter nity. And whilst it helped the king to supply his army with chariots and horses, it at the same time allowed him to forget, that his best way of strength and safety was to trust in the Lord. Let this better wisdom be the object of our search; the skill to serve God, and to save our souls alive. And though we may no longer safely follow Solomon's example, let it be for this that we resort to Solomon's teaching. For whatever might henceforth be his practice, we shall not easily find the wisdom which is from above more forcibly described, or more impressively recommended than in these inspired words of the son of David: "Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand: and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness: and all her paths are peace." Prov. 3. 13-17.
Solomon's many wives 1 Butking Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; 2 Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.
3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines and his wives turned away his heart.
4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.
7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.
8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.
9 And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel which had appeared unto him twice,
10 And had commanded him
draw him to idolatry. concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded.
11 Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.
12 Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father's sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son.
13 Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen.
14 And the LORD stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king's seed in Edom.
15 For it came to pass, when David was in Edom, and Joab the captain of the host was gone up to bury the slain, after he had smitten every male in Edom; 16 (For six months did Joab remain there with all Israel, until he had cut off every male in Edom:) 17 That Hadad fled, he and certain Edomites of his father's servants with him, to go into Egypt; Hadad being yet a little child.
18 And they arose out of Midian, and came to Paran: and they took men with them out of Paran, and they came to Egypt, unto Pharaoh king of Egypt; which gave him an house, and appointed him victuals, and gave him land.
19 And Hadad found great favour in the sight of Pharaoh,
so that he gave him to wife the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen.
20 And the sister of Tahpenes bare him Genubath his son, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh's house and Genubath was in Pharaoh's household among the sons of Pharaoh.
21 And when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his
fathers, and that Joab the captain of the host was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, Let me depart, that I may go to mine own country.
22 Then Pharaoh said unto him, But what hast thou lacked with me, that, behold, thou seekest to go to thine own country? And he answered, Nothing: howbeit let me go in any wise.
The wilful and impenitent are sure to suffer for their sins. If it was forbidden to the king to multiply to himself wives, see Deut. 17. 17, how much more to take to wife many hundreds of women, how much more many strange women, including those of the nations of Canaan, see Exod. 34. 16, how much more to allow them to practise idolatry, how much worst of all to become through their means himself an idolater! To this height of folly, and abominable sin, did Solomon proceed, as he advanced in years; a sad instance to compare with his own striking proverb, "the hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness." Prov. 16. 31. "It came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods." Oh miserable man, oh king that art become a slave unto thyself, how is all thy wisdom turned into foolishness, and all thy glory into shame! Thou that didst build the temple of the living God, dost thou now build high places for Chemosh and for Molech? Thou that hast seen the glory of the Lord fill the house thine hands had raised to his honour, and hast acknowledged that the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him, dost thou bow down to stocks and stones? Oh how surely is thy kingdom rent from thee, and given to thy servant! How severe is the reproof, that not for thy sake, but thy father's, is there so much as one tribe left to thee! How exact is the fulfilment of the words which the Lord spake by the prophet Nathan to David concerning thee, "If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men!" 2 Sam. 7. 14. By "Hadad the Edomite," and by "Rezon the son of Eliadah," ver. 23, and by "Jeroboam the son of Nebat," ver. 26, shall the chastisement of the Lord be inflicted; as far as thy disgrace in this world is concerned ! But of the next world who shall dare to draw the veil? It is enough for us to learn, from what God has wrought on earth, that He will not spare the wicked; that the wilful transgressor, however great may have been his gifts and graces in time past, is not on that account the less sure to suffer for his sins. In the case of Solomon we know that there was temporal punishment. In our own case, we know, whether we know more of his or not, that for sins like his the punishment is eternal.
Of Rezon, and of Jeroboam. Solomon dieth. 23 And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon the son of Eliadah, which fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah: 24 And he gathered men unto him, and became captain over a band, when David slew them of Zobah: and they went to Damascus, and dwelt therein, and reigned in Damascus.
and will give ten tribes to thee: 32 (But he shall have one tribe for my servant David's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel :)
25 And he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, beside the mischief that Hadad did: and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria.
26 And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon's servant, whose mother's name was Zeruah, a widow woman, even he lifted up his hand against the king.
27 And this was the cause that he lifted up his hand against the king: Solomon built Millo, and repaired the breaches of the city of David his father.
28 And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour: and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph.
29 And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field: 30 And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces:
31 And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon,
33 Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as did David his father.
34 Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand: but I will make him prince all the days of his life for David my servant's sake, whom I chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes:
35 But I will take the kingdom out of his son's hand, and will give it unto thee, even ten tribes.
36 And unto his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a light alway before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there.
37 And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be king over Israel.
38 And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee.