1 Kings 10

The Book of 1 Kings
Chapter 10

Chapter Overview:

The queen of Sheba's interview with Solomon, ver. 1 - 10.
His riches, ver. 11 - 15.
Targets, ivory throne, vessels, ver, 16 - 23.
Presents, chariots and horses, tribute, ver. 24 - 29.
10:1Sheba - Of that part of Arabia, called Shabaea, which was at great distance from Jerusalem, bordering upon the Southern Sea; forthere, much more than in Ethiopia, were the commodities which shebrought, ver. 2 ,10.Name of the Lord - That is, concerning God; the name of God beingoften put for God; concerning his deep knowledge in the things of God.For it is very probable she had, as had divers other Heathens, someknowledge of the true God, and an earnest desire to know more concerninghim. Questions - Concerning natural, and civil, and especially, Divinethings.
10:2All her heart - Of all the doubts and difficulties wherewith her mind was perplexed.
10:4House - Or, the houses, the temple and the king's house, in both which there were evidences of singular wisdom.
10:5Sitting - The order and manner in which his courtiers, or other subjects (who all were his servants in a general sense) sat down atmeals, at several tables in his court. Attendance - Upon the king, bothat his table, and in his court; and when he went abroad to the temple orother places. Apparel - Both the costliness of it, and especially theagreeableness of it to their several places and offices. Went up - Fromhis own palace. See 16:18 , but the ancients, and some others,translate the words thus, and the burnt - offerings which he offered up inthe house of the Lord; under which, is the chief, all other sacrificesare understood: when she saw the manner of his offering sacrifices to theLord; which doubtless she would not neglect to see; and in the ordering ofwhich she might discern many characters of excellent wisdom, especially whenshe had so excellent an interpreter as Solomon was, to inform her of thereasons of all the circumstances of that service. No spirit - She wasastonished, and could scarcely determine whether she really saw thesethings, or whether it was only a pleasant dream.
10:8Happy, &c. - With much more reason may we say this of Christ's servants: Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be alwayspraising thee.
10:14Six hundred, &c. - Which amounts to about three millions of our money. And this gold did not come from Ophir in India, orTharshish; but from Arabia and Ethiopia, which then werereplenished with gold, though exhausted by the insatiable avarice ofsucceeding Ages.
10:15Merchant - men - Heb. of the searchers; either merchants, who use to search out commodities: or, the gatherers of the king's revenues,who used to search narrowly into all wares, that the king might not bedefrauded of his rights. Spice - merchants - Or rather, of themerchants in general, as the word is often used. So this and the formerparticular contain both the branches of the king's revenue, what he hadfrom the land, and what he had from the merchants and traders.Kings - Of those parts of Arabia which were next to Canaan, whichwere either conquered by David, or submitted to pay tribute toSolomon. But we must not think all these to be kings of largedominions; many of them were only governors of cities, and the territoriesbelonging to them, such as were formerly in Canaan, and were ancientlycalled kings. The country - Or, of the land; the land ofArabia: whereof some parts were so far conquered, that he had governorsof his own over them, who were each of them to take care of the king'srevenue in his jurisdiction; and part only so far, that they still hadkings of their own, but such as were tributaries to him.
10:16Targets - For pomp and magnificence, and to be carried before him, by his guard, when he went abroad. The Roman magistrates had rodsand axes carried before them, in token of their power to correct the bad:but Solomon shields and targets, to shew he took more pleasure in hispower to defend and protect the good.
10:17Shields - Smaller than targets.
10:19Round - Made like the half of a circle.
10:21Nothing - Comparatively. Such hyperbolical expressions are frequent both in scripture and other authors. But if gold in abundance,would make silver seem so despicable, shall not wisdom and grace, and theforetastes of heaven, make gold seem much more so?
10:22Tharshish - Ships that went to Tharshish. For Tharshish was the name of a place upon the sea, famous for its traffick withmerchants, and it was a place very remote from Judea, as appears fromthe three years usually spent in that voyage. But whether it was Spain,where in those times there was abundance of gold and silver, as Straboand others affirm; or, some place in the Indies, it is needless todetermine.
10:24All the earth - That is, all the kings of the earth, (as it is expressed 2 Chronicles 9:23 ,) namely of those parts of the earth.
10:28Horses, &c. - The two chief commodities of Egypt.Price - Solomon received them from Pharaoh at a price agreedbetween them, and gave this privilege to his merchants, for a tributeto be paid out of it.
10:29Chariot - This is not to be understood of the chariots and horses themselves, but for the lading of chariots and horses, which consisting offine linen and silk, were of great value: and the king's custom, togetherwith the charges of the journey, amounted to these sums. Hittites - Apeople dwelling principally in the northern and eastern parts of Canaan, 1:4 ,whom the Israelites, contrary to their duty, suffered to live amongstthem, Judges 3:5 , who afterwards grew numerous and potent, and, it maybe, sent out colonies (after the manner of the ancient times) into someparts of Syria and Arabia. And possibly, these kings of theHittites may be some of those kings of Arabia, ver. 15 .