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which taught them to use this paternal authority in transferring the birthright to a younger son; namely, of Jacob's disinheriting Reuben, and giving the birthright, (which was twice as much as any portion of the other brethren,) to Joseph ; of whom he made two tribes. And that it was generally acknowledged that this power was in David, it appears by the words of Bathsheba and Nathan to David, and of Jonathan to Adonijah. For as for popular election, that it was necessary to confirm, or that the refusal of the people had authority to frustrate the elder brother's right to the kingdom, it no where appears in the stories of the Jews. It is said, indeed, that the people made Saul king at Gilgal7; that is, they acknowledged and established him. For that he was king long before, no man can doubt. In like manner elsewhere the phrase of choosing or making their king is to be expounded ; as where, in the prohibition, that they should not make themselves a king, it is said, 'Thou shalt make him king whom 4 the Lord shall choose8.
But to proceed with the acts of Solomon; at the same time that he put Adonijah to death, he rid himself also of Joab, and three years after of Shimei, as David had advised him; he displaced also the
gainst him; but in respect or his office, and that he followed David in all his afflictions, and because he had borne the ark of God before his father, he spared his life. And thus being established in his kingdom, he took the daughter of Vaphres, king of Egypt, to wife; for so Eusebius out of Eupolemus, calls him. He offered a thousand sacrifices at Gibeon, where God appearing unto him in a dream, bade him ask what he would at his hands: Solomon chooseth wisdom, which pleased God. 4 And God 'said unto him, because thou hast asked this thing, • and hast not asked for thyself long life, neither
7 1 Sana. zi. 14. t Deut. xi. 39. 9 1 King! ii.
priest Abiathar9, who took
ith Adonijah a
* hast thou asked riches for thyself, neither hast
* asked the life of thine enemies, behold, I have
* done according to thy words:' by which we may inform ourselves what desires are most pleasing td God, and what not. For the coveting after long life, in respect of ourselves, cannot but proceed of self-love, which is the root of all impiety; the desire of private riches is an affection or covetousness which God abhorreth; to affect revenge, is as much as to take the sword out of God's hand, and to distrust his justice. And in that it pleased God to make Solomon know that it liked him, that he had not asked the life of his enemies,' it could not but put him in mind of his brother's slaughter, for which ne had not any warrant, either from David, or from the law of God. But because Solomon desired wisdom only, which taught him both to obey God, and to rule men, it pleased God to give him withal that which he desired not. 'And I have also given thee,' saith God, * that which thou hast not asked, both
* riches and honour.' This gift of wisdom our commentators stretch to almost all kinds of learning; but that it comprehended the knowledge of the nature of plants and living creatures, the scriptures testify, though no doubt the chief excellency of Scmlomon's wisdom'0 was in the knowledge of governing his kingdom; whence, as it were, for an example of his wisdom, the scripture telleth how soon he judged the controversy between the two harlots.
Of Solomon's buildings and glory.
He then entered into league with Hiram king of Tyre, from whom he had much of his materials for the king's palace and the temple of God; for the building whereof he had received a double charge, one from his father David, and another from God.
10 1 Kings iv. Si. 1 Kinp Hi. 9.
Fof like as it is written of David, 1 Chron. xxii. 6., * that he called Solomon his son, and charged him 'to build a house for the Lord God of Israelso doth Tostatus' give the force of a divine precept to these words, • behold, a son is born unto thee,' &c. 'he shall build an house for my name.'
He began the work of the temple*, in the beginning of the fourth year of his reign, at which time also he prepared his fleet at Ezion-gaber, to trade for gold in the East Indies, that nothing might be wanting to supply the charge of so great a work. For that the temple was in building, while his fleets were passing to and fro, it is manifest; for the pillars of the temple were made of the Almaggim trees, brought from Ophir. Of this most glorious building, (of all the particulars whereof the form and example was given by God himself3,) many learned men have written; as Salmeron, Montanus, Ribera, Barradas, Azorius, Villalpandus, Pineda, and others, to whom I refer the reader.
For the cutting and squaring of the cedars which served that building, Solomon employed thirty thousand carpenters, ten thousand every month by course; he also used eighty thousand masons in the mountain4, and seventy thousand labourers that bore burdens, which, it is conceived, he selected out of the proselytes; besides three thousand three hundred masters of his work; so as he paid and employed in all, one hundred eighty-three thousand and three hundred men: in which number the Sidonians, which were far more skilful in hewing timber than the Israelites, may, as I think, be included. For Hiram8 caused his servants to bring down the cedars and firs from Lebanon to the sea, and thence sent them in rafts to Joppa, or the next port to Jerusalem. For in 2 Chron. ii., it is plain that all but the thirty thousand carpenters, and the overseers, were strangers, and, as it seemeth, the vassals of Hiram6, and of
1 Tost, zi. 26. in 1 Chron. 2 1 Kings vi. 3 1 Chron. xxviii. 19. 4 1 Kings vf bl Kings v.». < ) Kings v. 11.
Vaphres king of Egypt. In recompence of all tJhps timber and stone, Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat, and twenty measure? of pure oil yearly. Eusebius out of Eupolemus, in the ninth book of his Preparation, the last chapr ter, hath left us a copy of Solomon's letter to Suron, (which was the same as Huram or Hiram,) king of Tyre, in these words,
'Rex Salomon Suroni, Tyri, Sydonis, atque Phoe'niciae regi, amico paterno salutem. Scias me a 'Deo magno David patris mei regnum accepisse, 'cumque mihi pater pracepit, templum Deo qui 'terram creavit, condere, ut etiam ad te scribeFem 'praecepit; scribo igitur, et peto a te ut artifices at'que fabros ad aedificandum templum Dei mittere 'velis.'
King Solomon to king Suron, of Tyre, Sidon, and Phoenicia, king, and my father's friend, sendeth greeting. You may understand that I have received of the great God of my father David, the kingdom; and when my father commanded me to build a temple to God, which created heaven and earth, he commanded also that I should write to you. I write therefore to you, and beseech you, that you would be pleased to send me artificers and carpenters to build the temple of God.
To which the king Suron made this answer.
'Suron, Tyri, Sidonis, et Phoeniciae rex, Salomo*^ni regi salutem. Lectis literis gratias egi Deo, 'qui tibi regnum patris tradidit; et quoniam scribis 'fabros ministrosque ad condendum templum esse 'tibi mittendos, misi ad te millia hominum octogin'ta, et architectum Tyrium hominem ex matre Juf daea, virum in rebus architectures mirabilem. Cur 'rabis igitur ut necessariis non egeant, et templo 'Dei condito ad nos redeant.'
Suron of Tyre, Sidon, and Phoenicia, king, to king Solomon greeting. When I read your letters, I gave God thanks, who hath installed you in your father's kingdom. And because you write, that carpenters and workmen may be sent to build God's temple, I have sent unto you fourscore thousand men, and a master-builder, a Tyrian, born of a Jewish woman, a man admirable in building. You will be careful that all necessaries be provided for them; and when the temple of God is built, that they come home to us.
The copies of these letters were extant in Josephus's time7, as himself affirmeth, and to be seen, saith hej 'tam in nostris quam in Tyriorum annali'bus,' as well in our own as in the Tyrian annals. But he delivereth them somewhat in different .terms, as the reader may find in his antiquities. But were this intercourse between Solomon and Hiram either by message or by writing, it is somewhat otherwise delivered in the scriptures8, than either Eupolemus, or Josephus set it down; but so, that in substance there is little difference between the one and the other.
The like letter, in effect, Solomon is said to have written to Vaphres king of Egypt, and was answered as from Hiram.
But whereas some commentators upon Solomon find, that Hiram king of Tyre, and Vaphres king of Egypt, gave Solomon the title ofitex magnus, and cite Eupolemon in Eusebius ; I do not find any such addition of magnus in Eusebius, in the last chapter of that ninth book; neither is it in Josephus in the eighth book and second chapter of the Jews antiquities; it being a vain title used by some of the Assyrian and Persian kings, and used likewise by the Parthians, and many others after them, insomuch as in later times it grew common, and was usurped by
7 Jotrph. Ant. 1. riii. c. 2. 8 1 Kings v. from v. J. to T. 9.