1 Kings 4:34
And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1 Kings 4:34. From all kings of the earth — All the neighbouring kings; a restriction grounded upon the following words, where this is limited to such as heard of Solomon’s wisdom. Let those who magnify the modern learning above that of the ancients, produce such a treasury of learning, anywhere in these later ages, as that was which Solomon was master of. Yet this puts an honour upon human learning, that Solomon is praised for it, and recommends it to the great ones of the earth, as well worthy their diligent search. In all this Solomon was a type of Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

4:29-34 Solomon's wisdom was more his glory than his wealth. He had what is here called largeness of heart, for the heart is often put for the powers of the mind. He had the gift of utterance, as well as wisdom. It is very desirable, that those who have large gifts of any kind, should have large hearts to use them for the good of others. What treasures of wisdom and knowledge are lost! But every sort of knowledge that is needful for salvation is to be found in the holy Scriptures. There came persons from all parts, who were more eager after knowledge than their neighbours, to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Solomon was herein a type of Christ, in whom are hid all treasures of wisdom and knowledge; and hid for us, for he is made of God to us, wisdom. Christ's fame shall spread through all the earth, and men of all nations shall come to him, learn of him, and take upon them his easy yoke, and find rest for their souls.Trees ... - A keen appreciation of the beauties of nature, and a habit of minute observation, are apparent in the writings of Solomon that remain to us. The writer here means to say that Solomon composed special works on these subjects. The Lebanon cedars were the most magnificent of all the trees known to the Hebrews, and hence, represent in the Old Testament the grandest of vegetable productions. (Psalm 104:16; Sol 5:15; Ezekiel 31:3, etc.) For the hyssop, see Exodus 12:22 note.

Of beasts, and of fowls, and of creeping things, and of fishes - This is the usual Biblical division of the animal kingdom Genesis 1:26; Genesis 9:2; Psalm 148:10.

33. he spake of trees, from the cedar … to the hyssop—all plants, from the greatest to the least. The Spirit of God has seen fit to preserve comparatively few memorials of the fruits of his gigantic mind. The greater part of those here ascribed to him have long since fallen a prey to the ravages of time, or perished in the Babylonish captivity, probably because they were not inspired. From all kings of the earth, to wit, from all the neighbouring kings; universal particles being frequently understood in a restrained sense; and such restriction is grounded upon the following words, where this is limited to such as heard of Solomon’s wisdom.

And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon,

from all kings of the earth,.... Who sent their ambassadors to his court to know the truth of what was reported, and bring them some proofs and specimens, by which they might judge of the truth of the relations that had been told them; which perhaps might seem to them to be beyond all belief:

which had heard of his wisdom; for the fame of it was spread everywhere by merchants and travellers, and such sort of persons, who had been at Jerusalem, and were masters of various anecdotes relating to Solomon; which they industriously spread in the several parts of the world they had dealings in.

And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
34. from all kings of the earth] It is most likely that what is meant is that embassies were sent from various kingdoms. The visit of the queen of Sheba (chap. 10) is preserved us probably as one of the more distant visits, and made, as could not often be the case, by the monarch in person.

Here the LXX. (Vat.) adds some words which partly repeat 1 Kings 3:1 ‘And Solomon took to him the daughter of Pharaoh to wife, and brought her into the city of David until he had finished the house of the Lord, and his own house and the wall of Jerusalem.’ After this follows from 1 Kings 9:16 ‘Then Pharaoh king of Egypt went up and took Gazer, and set fire to it, and the Canaanite that dwelt in Mergab. And Pharaoh gave them as presents to his daughter, Solomon’s wife. And Solomon built up Gazer.’ At 1 Kings 9:16 the Vatican text omits the words inserted here. It seems as though a change of order had been made that the wedding presents (ἀποστολὰς) might be mentioned at an earlier part of the narrative.

Verse 34. - And there came of all people [Heb. the peoples, nations] to hear the wisdom of Solomon [1 Kings 10:1], from all the kings of the earth [i.e., messengers, ambassadors, as in the next chapter], which had heard of his wisdom.



1 Kings 4:34The widespread fame of his wisdom brought many strangers to Jerusalem, and all the more because of its rarity at that time, especially among princes. The coming of the queen of Sheba to Jerusalem (1 Kings 10) furnishes a historical proof of this.

(Note: Greatly as the fame of Solomon's wisdom is extolled in these verses, it was far outdone in subsequent times. Even Josephus has considerably adorned the biblical accounts in his Antiqq. viii. 2, 5. He makes Solomon the author not only of 1005 βιβλία περὶ ᾠδῶν καὶ μελῶν, and 300 βίβλους παραβολῶν καὶ εἰκόνων, but also of magical books with marvellous contents. Compare the extracts from Eupolemus in Eusebii praep. Ev. ix. 31ff., the remnants of Solomon's apocryphal writings in Fabricii Cod. apocr. V. T. i. pp. 914ff. and 1014f., the collection of the Talmudical Sagas in Othonis Lex. rabb. philol. pp. 668f., and G. Weil, bibl. Legenden der Mussulmnner, pp. 225-279. According to the Koran (Sure xxvii. 1 Kings 4:17.), Solomon understood the languages not only of men and demons, but also of birds and ants. The Turkish literature contains a "Book of Solomon," Suleimanname, consisting of seventy volumes, from which v. Hammer (Rosenl, i. p. 147ff.) has given extracts.)

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