1 Kings 1:39
And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(39) An horn of oil out of the tabernacle.—The sacred oil, the making of which is described in Exodus 30:22-30, was to be used for anointing the Tabernacle itself, and the altars and vessels as well as the priests. It was this oil, no doubt, which was used in this case. The Tabernacle proper was still at Gibeon (see 2Chronicles 1:3); but a tent or tabernacle had been set up in Zion over the ark (2Chronicles 1:4), and the haste with which all was done would necessitate the taking the oil from the nearer source, in spite of the fact that Abiathar presided in Zion, and Zadok only in Gibeon.

1 Kings 1:39-40. Zadok took a horn of oil — A vessel of oil, as the Arabic translates it; which vessel was made of an ox’s horn, as Bochart observes; out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon — It rendered his unction more solemn, and his person more sacred, that he was anointed with holy oil taken out of the tabernacle: though the Jews are generally of opinion, that it was not necessary to anoint their kings with this holy oil made by Moses. So that the earth rent — An hyperbolical expression, to signify the very loud noise which the people made with their shouts and their pipes.1:32-53 The people expressed great joy and satisfaction in the elevation of Solomon. Every true Israelite rejoices in the exaltation of the Son of David. Combinations formed upon evil principles will soon be dissolved, when self-interest calls another way. How can those who do evil deeds expect to have good tidings? Adonijah had despised Solomon, but soon dreaded him. We see here, as in a glass, Jesus, the Son of David and the Son of God, exalted to the throne of glory, notwithstanding all his enemies. His kingdom is far greater than that of his father David, and therein all the true people of God cordially rejoice. The prosperity of his cause is vexation and terror to his enemies. No horns of the altar, nor forms of godliness, nor pretences to religion, can profit those who will not submit to His authority, and accept of his salvation; and if their submission be hypocritical, they shall perish without remedy.The tabernacle - Probably that which David had made for the ark of the covenant on Mount Zion 2 Samuel 6:17. For the holy oil, see the margin reference. That it was part of the regular furniture of the tabernacle appears from Exodus 31:11; Exodus 39:38. 39. an horn of oil out of the tabernacle—It was the sacred oil (Ex 30:25) with which the kings were anointed. Zadok the priest; for though he was not the high priest, he might do this office, especially having the direction of the prophet Nathan, 1 Kings 1:34.

Out of the tabernacle; that which David had erected for the ark, 2 Samuel 6:17, in which oil was kept for divers sacred uses; for Moses’s tabernacle was at Gibeon, 1 Chronicles 16:39 21:29, which was too remote for the present occasion, which required all possible expedition. And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle,.... Not out of the tabernacle of Moses, for that was at Gibeon; see 1 Chronicles 21:29; and if the oil had been there, it would have been too far to have fetched it, since haste was now required; but this was taken out of the tabernacle David had built for the ark, 2 Samuel 6:17; where the ark was, and before which the pot of oil was; so Jarchi; but Kimchi indeed says, that though it was at this time at Gibeon, Zadok went thither, or sent thither to fetch it; and though it is said, the pot of oil was set before the ark, this was when the ark was in the tabernacle; but when they took it out from thence at the war with the Philistines, that and the pot of manna were left in the tabernacle; and they took nothing but the ark; but if they brought the pot afterwards, and put it before the ark in Jerusalem, then it may be understood of the tabernacle David pitched for it; but that he disapproves of. Here Zadok is only said to take the oil, and anoint with it; which he did either as the deputy of the high priest, or he was made use of because the high priest was on the side of Adonijah:

and anointed Solomon; whether it was by pouring it on his head, as Saul was anointed, 1 Samuel 10:1; or, as the Jews say (f), by putting it round about his head in the form of a crown, and then between his eyebrows, is not very material; and they also say (g), that it is not usual to anoint the son of a king that has been anointed; and that the reason of the anointing of Solomon was, because of the sedition of his brother Adonijah, and to confirm the kingdom to him; this anointing was an emblem of the gifts, graces, and virtues, necessary to qualify a king for the discharge of his office:

and they blew the trumpet; and proclaimed him king:

and all the people said, God save King Solomon; wished him long life and happiness, and gave him a general huzza or shouting.

(f) T. Bab. Ceritot, fol. 5. 2.((g) Ibid.

And Zadok the priest took an horn of {p} oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon.

(p) With which they were accustomed to anoint the priests and the holy instruments, Ex 30:23.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
39. a horn of oil] The Hebrew has the horn. The ‘holy anointing oil’ was no doubt preserved for occasions like this, and for the anointing of the priests. Zadok having the care of the tabernacle at Gibeon (1 Chronicles 16:39) would have this under his charge. And as Gibeon was ‘the great high place’ (1 Kings 3:4), all that was most sacred would be kept there.

out of the tabernacle] The word here rendered ‘tabernacle’ is not the same as that so rendered in the passage from 1 Chron. just quoted, and it is advisable to make a distinction between them. The word in this verse is that usually translated, when it does not refer to the sacred dwellingplace of God’s glory, by the English ‘tent’ (Genesis 9:21 &c.) and it would be well so to render here. In no other passage in Scripture does the word occur of the Divine dwellingplace without some qualifying expression added to it. It is ‘the tabernacle of the congregation,’ ‘the tabernacle of witness,’ ‘the tabernacle of the Lord.’ In all these cases ‘Tent’ might well be substituted. This word refers to the external covering of black goats’ hair, while the other word implies the interior, the very dwellingplace of God, and for this ‘Tabernacle’ might be specially retained.

all the people said] Solomon’s anointing was made a public ceremonial, news of what was to be done would go forth during the time that a messenger went to Gibeon for the sacred oil, and thus there seems to have been present not only those whom David had commissioned but a large body of the people of Jerusalem.Verse 39. - And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil [Hebrews the oil. The "holy anointing oil," Exodus 30:25, 31, compounded as directed in vers. 23-25, was evidently part of the furniture of the tabernacle (Exodus 31:11; Exodus 39:38). Eleazer was charged with its preservation (Numbers 4:16), and the Rabbins say it lasted till the captivity] out of the tabernacle [the tabernacle on Mount Zion, containing the ark (2 Samuel 6:17; 1 Chronicles 15:1) must be meant here. There was not time to have gone to the tabernacle at Gihon (Stanley), which was three hours distance from Jerusalem (Keil). Though Abiathar had charge of this sanctuary, yet Zadok would readily gain access to it, especially in the king's name] and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet [cf. 2 Samuel 15:10; 2 Kings 9:13; 2 Kings 11:14]; and all the people said, God save king Solomon. [Notice the exact fulfilment of the threefold charge of ver. 34 and its result. Solomon was confirmed in his office by the suffrages of the people.] David then sent for Zadok, Nathan, and Benaiah, and directed them to fetch the servants of their lord (אדניכם, a pluralis majestatis, referring to David alone), and to conduct Solomon to Gihon riding upon the royal mule, and there to anoint him and solemnly proclaim him king. The servants of your lord (אדניכם עבדי) are the Crethi and Plethi, and not the Gibborim also (Thenius), as 1 Kings 1:38 clearly shows, where we find that these alone went down with him to Gihon as the royal body-guard. לי אשׁר על־הפּרדּה, upon the mule which belongs to me, i.e., upon my (the king's) mule. When the king let any one ride upon the animal on which he generally rode himself, this was a sign that he was his successor upon the throne. Among the ancient Persians riding upon the king's horse was a public honour, which the king conferred upon persons of great merit in the eyes of all the people (cf. Esther 6:8-9). פּרדּה, the female mule, which in Kahira is still preferred to the male for riding (see Rosenmller, bibl. Althk. iv. 2, p. 56). Gihon (גּחון) was the name given, according to 2 Chronicles 32:30 and 2 Chronicles 33:14, to a spring on the western side of Zion, which supplied two basins or pools, viz., the upper watercourse of Gihon (2 Chronicles 32:30) or upper pool (2 Kings 18:17; Isaiah 7:3; Isaiah 36:2), and the lower pool (Isaiah 22:9). The upper Gihon still exists as a large reservoir built up with hewn stones, though somewhat fallen to decay, which is called by the monks Gihon, by the natives Birket el Mamilla, about 700 yards W.N.W. from the Joppa gate, in the basin which opens into the valley of Hinnom. The lower pool is probably the present Birket es Sultan, on the south-western side of Zion (see Robinson, Palestine, i. p. 485ff., 512ff., and Biblical Researches, p. 142ff.). The valley between the two was certainly the place where Solomon was anointed, as it is not stated that this took place at the fountain of Gihon. And even the expression גּחון על אתו הורדתּם (take him down to Gihon) agrees with this. For is you go from Zion to Gihon towards the west, you first of all have to descend a slope, and then ascend by a gradual rise; and this slope was probably a more considerable one in ancient times (Rob. Pal. i. p. 514, note).

(Note: The conjecture of Thenius, that גּחון should be altered into גּבעון, is hardly worth mentioning; for, apart from the fact that all the ancient versions confirm the correctness of גּחון, the objections which Thenius brings against it amount to mere conjectures or groundless assumptions, such as that Zadok took the oil-horn out of the tabernacle at Gibeon, which is not stated in v. 39. Moreover, Gibeon was a three hours' journey from Jerusalem, so that it would have been absolutely impossible for the anointing, which was not commanded by David till after Adonijah's feast had commenced, to be finished so quickly that the procession could return to Jerusalem before it was ended, as is distinctly recorded in v. 41.)

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