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And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees and precious stones. And the king made of the almag* trees, pillars for the house of Jehovah, and for the king's house, harps also and psalteries for singers: there came no such almug trees, nor were seen unto this day.
Neither did this monarch neglect to regulate the public worship of God, for three times in a year he offered burnt offerings and peace offerings upon the altar which he built unto Jehovah; and he burnt incense upon the altar that was before Jehovah.t
But, unhappily, with all his wisdom, Solomon was not able to preserve the integrity of his religious character amidst all this grandeur and magnificence; for at the close of his life, when it might have been expected he wonld have more especially devoted himself to the service and worship of God, he fell into gross debauchery and idolatry. He cohabited with no less than seven hundred wives, and three hundred concubines, strange women of the nations, concerning which Jehovah had said,# Ye shall not go in unto them, neither shall they come in unto you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods. And so it proved to be the case, for his wives turned bis heart after other gods; and his heart was not perfect with Jehovah, his God, as was the heart of David, his father; for with his Zidonian wives he went after Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Zidonians; with his Ammonitish wives he worshipped Milcom and Moloch, the abominations of the Ammonites; and to please bis Moabitish wives, he built a high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab; and likewise he did for all his strange wives, who burnt incense,
* Or algum, 2 Chron. ix, 10, 11. Probably rosewood, or other coloured wood. A. CLARKE. Thyine wood. Burder, 0. L. 515.
+ 1 Kings, ix. 25.
and sacrificed unto their gods; and thus did evil in the sight of Jehovah ; and went not fully after Jehovah, as did David, his father.
The anger of Jehovah was, therefore, excited against this highly favoured servant, as well indeed it might, wherefore he said unto him, 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. 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. Howbeit, I will not rend away all the kingdom : but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant's sake,t and for Jerusalem's sake, which I have chosen ; thus, however, in judgment remembering mercy, and his loving kindness to David.
In execution of this solemn sentence, several of the neighbouring princes were allowed to barass Solomon during the remainder of his days, and to destroy the tranquillity of his latter end; viz: Hadad, the Edomite,
* I Kings, xi. 148. See a curious plate of all these idols, in Ful
ler's Pisgah Sight of Canaan, p. 123. + The prevailing lion must come out of the tribe of Judah: not only the tribe must be preserved, but the regal line, and the regal right. All this must be done for the true David's sake: and this was undoubtedly what God had in view, by thus miraculously preserving the tribe of Judah, and the royal line, in the midst of so general a defection. A. CLARKE.
# 1 Kings, xi. 11-13. f 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, (for six months did Joab remain there with all Israel, after he had cut off every male in Edom) that Hadad fled, he, and certain Edomites of his father's servants with him, to go into Egypt; Hadad being yet a little child. And they arose out of Midian, and came to Paran; and they look men with them out of Paran, and they came to Egypt, uuto Pharaoli, king of Egypt; who gave him an
with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets. And all Judah rejoiced at the oath : for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them: and Jehovah gave them rest round about,* and there was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of the reign of Asa.t
In the following year, however, Baasha, king of Israel, came up against Judah, and built Ramah, to the intent that he might let none go out or come in to Asa, king of Judah. Then Asa brought silver and gold out of the treasures of the house of Jehovah, and of the king's house, and sent to Benhadad, king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying, There is a league between me and thee, as there was between my father and thy father ; behold I have sent thee silver and gold, go, break thy league with Baasha, king of Israel, that be may depart from me. And Benhadad hearkened unto king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel; and they smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abelmaim, and all the store cities of Naphtali. And it came to pass when Baasha heard it, that he left off building of Ramah, and let his work cease. Then Asa, the king, took all Judah, and they carried away the stones of Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha was building; and he built therewith Geba and Mizpah. I
At that time Hanani, the seer, came to Asa, king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on Jehovah, thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand. Were not the Ethiopians and Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet because thou didst rely on Jehovah, he delivered them into thine hand. For the eyes
• 2 Chron. xv. 1-15. + 2 Chron. xv. 19.
and sacrificed unto their gods; a of Jehovah; and went not fully his father. *
The anger of Jehovah was, the highly favoured servant, as well he said unto him, Forasmuch as t! hast not kept my covenant and commanded thee, I will surely re and will give it to thy servant. N. I will not do it, for David thy fath it out of the hand of thy son. all the kingdom: but will give one my servant's sake,and for Jeruchosen ;+ thus, however, in judg and his loving kindness to David.
In execution of this solemn neighbouring princes were allo during the remainder of his tranquillity of his latter end; viz
* | Kings, xi. 1-8. See a curious pl.
ler's Pisgah Sight of ( + The prevailing lion must come ou only the tribe must be preserved, but right. All this must be done for the was undoubtedly what God had in vie serving the tribe of Judah, and the general a defection. A. Clarke.
# 1 Kings, xi. ! ☆ It came to pass when David was it. of the host, was gone up to bury the sla male in Edom, (for six months did Jon after he had cut off every male in Edi certain Edomites of his father's servan Hadad being yet a little child. And ! came to Paran; and they took men wi: came to Egypt, unto Pharaoh, king
phat presents; and he had riches and honour in
And his heart was lifted up in the ways of noreover, he took away the high places and groves h. e influence of this pious feeling, in the third year !, Jehoshaphat sent to his princes to teach in the dah, and with them he sent Levites and priests ; ught in Judah, and had the book of the law of ih them; and went about throughout all the cities ad taught the people. And the fear of Jehovah the kingdoms of the lands that were round about at they made no war against Jehoshaphat. Also
Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents, and r; and the Arabians brought him flocks, 7,700 ,700 he goats. And Jehoshaphat waxed great : and he built in Judah castles and cities of store. 1 much business in the cities of Judah; and the
mighty men of valour, were in Jerusalem.t oshaphat had riches and honour in abundance, affinity with Ahab. And after certain years he to Ahab, to Samaria. And Ahab killed sheep and i in abundance, and for the people that he had nd persuaded him to go up with him to Ramoth id Abab, king of Israel, said unto Jehoshaphat, lah, Wilt thou go with me to Ramoth-Gilead ? wered him, I am as thou art, and my people as and we will be with thee in the war.
* 2 Chron. xvii. 3-6. Į xvii. 9-13. The names of his officers were Adnah, -der-in-chief; Jehohanan, the captain; Amaziah, a voiada, of Benjainin; Jehozabad; and their united force 1,160,000 men, besides the troops in garrison. 2 Chron.
* 2 Chron. xviii. 1—3.