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All these were costly stones, according to the measures of hewed stones, sawed with saws, within and without, even from the foundation unto the coping, and so on the outside toward the great court.
Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold.
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.
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.
And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold : six hundred shekels of gold went to one target.
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. . '
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.
Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year, was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold.
For the king had at sea a navy of Tarshish, with the Davy of Hiram : once in three years came the navy of Tarshish, bringing gold and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.
And king Solomon made a navy of ships in Eziongeber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red-sea, in the land of Edom. ,
Then went Solomon to Ezion-geber, and to Eloth, at. the sea-side in the land of Edom. And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, when K 4
Solomon had built the two houses, the house of the LORD, and the king's house.
(Now Hiram the king of Tyre had furnished Solomon with cedar-trees, and fit-trees, and with gold, according to all his desire) that then king Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee.
- And Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given him, and they pleased him not.
And he said, What cities are these wbich thou hast: given me, my brother? And he called them the land of Cabul unto this day.
And Hiram sent to the king six score talents of gold.
And this is the reason of the levy which king Solomon raised for to build the house of the LORD, and his own honde mond Millor and he w house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerubalom, and Hazor,
as and Megiddo, and Gezeri
For Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up, and taken Gezer, and burnt it with fire, and slain the Canaanites that dwelt in the city, and given it for a present unto hie: daughter Solomon's wife. . · And Solomon built Gezer, and Beth-horon the nether. And Baalath, and Tadmor in the wilderness, in the land.
And the cities which Hiram had restored to Solomon, Solomon built them, and caused the children of Israel to dwell there.
He built also store-cities, and chariot-cities, and cities of the horsemen. And Solomon had horses brought out. of Egypta •" And Solomon brought up the daughter of Pharaoh out of the city of David unto the house that he had built: for her : for he said, My wife shall not dwell in the house of David king of Israel, because the places are holy, whereunter the ark of the Lord hath come.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
We fird that when king Solomon had built the Temple of the Lord, he caused a stately palace to be erected for his own residence, to adorn the land of Israel, and pro. cúre to himself that respect which was due from all the nations of the earth to the king who sat on the throne of the Lord. We find that this building was much Jonger in hand than the House of the LORD, which shews, that Solomon preferred the honour of God to his own grandeur.
The house of the forest of Lebanon, is supposed to have been built as a pleasant retreat from the fatigues of state affairs.
It is astonishing to reflect on the riches of Solomon ; but the sacred historian accounts for his possessing such stores of wealth, by acquainting us with his numerous resources.
It has already been mentioned, how David gained the ports of Eloth and Ezion-geber. The trade carried on from these places, was the same which is now in the hands of our East-India merchants. It is not exactly described where Ophir and Tarshish were situated; but it is well known, that the eastern territories abound with treasures even in these days, and it is likely that they were much more plentiful formerly.
Solomon finding the traffic so profitable, went to Eloth and Ezion-geber, in order to direct the increase of hís navy, and to furnish those ports with inhabitants well skilled in this kind of merchandize ; these he selected from the Tyrians Hiram had sent him for hewing timber, &c. for the Temple. From the cordiality which afterwards subsisted between Hiram and Solomon, we may conclude, that the cities which the latter offered to
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were much more in these days, and territories abound but
his friend, were by no means insignificant ; for Solomon had too enlarged a mind to think of making him trifling presents: but these cities, which were in the outskirts of Israel, and had been, till Solomon took possession of them, in the hands of the natives, were most likely encompassed with corn-fields, and pastures, and therefore not acceptable to a Tyrian prince, whose subjects being unskilled in the culture of the earth, had probably learnt to undervalue the choicest gifts of nature, and to prefer luxury, and pomp to the more substantial advantages of rural simplicity. ..Another branch of commerce which Solomon carried on, was with Egypt. It seems as if, on account of his alliance with Pharaoh's daughter, he was supplied from, thence with chariots, &c. at a cheaper rate than the neighbouring nations ; for Solomon sold them again to advantage. How he came to reserve such a number for himself, cannot certainly be accounted for; but it appears probable, that God's command, which forbad kings to multiply horses to themselves, was limited to times of war ; and as Solomon had a promise of peace during his whole reign, he was at liberty, if he refrained from putting his trust in them, to indulge in every article of magnificence that the neighbouring princes regarded as marks of royalty ; and that he had a right to surpass them in every temporal possession, because his grandeur served at that feriod to display the superiority of the LORD JE-, HOVAH, who they must perceive was able to bestow wealth and wisdom without measure.
It is not exactly ascertained at what time Solomon married Pharaoh's daughter; but we will venture to suppose that it was after he had built the Temple : for it is reasonable to imagine, that his whole attention was engaged by that important business, and that the fame of his wisdom made this princess ambitious of an alliance
with him, and induced her to become professedly a proselyte to the true religion, otherwise it would have been unlawful for him to have married her ; nor would he have brought an heathen into the Holy City, at a time when piety and devotion had entire possession of his heart : it appears as if she soon began to discover some inclination for idolatry, by his thinking it improper for her to dwell any longer in a place peculiarly sanctified by the LORD.
Solomon had reason to say, that the merchandize of wisdom was better than the merchandize of silver, and the gain thereof, than fine gold: for he had not only a greater portion of worldly advantages than any man was ever able . to acquire by his own industry; but he must necessarily have had a fund of mental delights, infinitely superior to all the enjoyments that wealth can purchase.
THE QUEEN OF SHEBA VISITS KING SOLOMON.
From 1 Kings, Chap. x. And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions.
And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and, precious stones : and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.
And Solomon told her all her questions : there was not any thing hid from the king, which he told her not.
And when the queen of Sheba had seer all Solomon's wisdom, and the house that he had built, and the meat