1 Kings 9:14
And Hiram sent to the king sixscore talents of gold.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) Hiram sent to the king sixscore talents of gold.—The payment, on any calculation, was a large one, though little more than a sixth of Solomon’s yearly revenue. (See 1Kings 10:14.) How it is connected with the previous verses is matter of conjecture. It may possibly be a note referring back to 1Kings 9:11, and explaining the amount of gold which Hiram had sent. If this is not so, it would then seem to be a payment in acknowledgment of the cession of the cities, as being of greater value than the debt which it was meant to discharge. Hiram’s depreciation of the cities need not imply that he did not care to keep them. “It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer: but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth.” (Proverbs 20:14). Josephus (Ant. viii. 5, 3), has a quaint story in connection with this intercourse between Hiram and Solomon (quoted from Dios), declaring that a contest in riddles took place between these kings, and that, when Hiram could not solve the riddles of Solomon, he “paid a large sum of money for his fine,” but adds that he afterwards retaliated on Solomon, by aid of Abdemon of Tyre. It appears by 2Chronicles 7:2, that the cities were afterwards restored to Israel—how, and why, we know not.

(15 28) The rest of the chapter consists of brief historical notes, partly referring back to the previous records. Thus, 1Kings 9:15 refers back to 1Kings 5:13; 1Kings 9:20-22 to 1Kings 5:15; 1Kings 9:24 to 1Kings 7:8; 1Kings 9:25 is a note connected with the history of the dedication of the Temple. The style is markedly different from the graphic and picturesque style of the passages preceding and following it.

9:10-14 Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities. Hiram did not like them. If Solomon would gratify him, let it be in his own element, by becoming his partner in trade, as he did. See how the providence of God suits this earth to the various tempers of men, and the dispositions of men to the earth, and all for the good of mankind in general.Hiram sent sixscore talents of gold - Apparently, to show that, although disappointed, he was not offended. The sum sent was very large - above a million and a quarter of our money, according to one estimate of the weight of the Hebrew gold talent; or about 720,000 according to the estimate adopted in Exodus 38:24-29 note. At any rate, it was more than equal to a sixth part of Solomon's regular revenue 1 Kings 10:14. 11. Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee—According to Josephus, they were situated on the northwest of it, adjacent to Tyre. Though lying within the boundaries of the promised land (Ge 15:18; Jos 1:4), they had never been conquered till then, and were inhabited by Canaanite heathens (Jud 4:2-13; 2Ki 15:29). They were probably given to Hiram, whose dominions were small, as a remuneration for his important services in furnishing workmen, materials, and an immense quantity of wrought gold (1Ki 9:14) for the temple and other buildings [Michaelis]. The gold, however, as others think, may have been the amount of forfeits paid to Solomon by Hiram for not being able to answer the riddles and apothegms, with which, according to Josephus, in their private correspondence, the two sovereigns amused themselves. Hiram having refused these cities, probably on account of their inland situation making them unsuitable to his maritime and commercial people, Solomon satisfied his ally in some other way; and, taking these cities into his own hands, he first repaired their shattered walls, then filled them with a colony of Hebrews (2Ch 8:2). Or rather, for Hiram had sent. And this seems to be here added, both to declare the quantity of the gold sent, which had been only named before, 1 Kings 9:11, and as the reason why he resented Solomon’s action so ill, because so great a sum required a better recompence.

And Hiram sent to the king one hundred and twenty talents of gold. Not after the cities had been given him, but before; and it may be rendered "had sent" (m), and is the sum of the gold he furnished him with for the temple, 1 Kings 9:11 which, according to Brerewood (n), was 540,000 pounds of our money; and, according to another (o) writer, it amounted to 1,466,400 ducats of gold, taking a talent at 12,220 ducats.

(m) "miserat", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (n) De Ponderibus & Pretiis, Vet. Num. c. 5. (o) Scheuchzer. Physic. Sacr. vol. 3. p. 571.

And Hiram sent to the king {d} sixscore {e} talents of gold.

(d) For his tribute toward the building.

(e) The common talent was about 60 pound weight.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 14. - And Hiram sent וַיְִּשלַח must be understood as pluperfect, "Now Hiram had sent," referring to verse 11. This fact is mentioned to explain the gift of the cities, viz., that they were in payment for the gold he had furnished. The timber and stone and labour had been paid for in corn and wine and oil See on 1 Kings 5:11] to the king sixscore talents of gold. [This sum is variously estimated at from half a million to a million and a quarter of our money. (Keil, in loc., and Dict. Bib. 3:1734. It equalled 3000 shekels of the sanctuary (Exodus 38:24-26). Keil, who, as we have seen, interprets Cabul to mean pledged, says somewhat positively that these 120 talents were merely lent to Solomon to enable him to prosecute his undertakings, and that the twenty cities were Hiram's security for its repayment. He further sees in the restoration of these cities (2 Chronicles 8:2, where see note) a proof that Solomon must have repaid the amount lent him. The "sixscore talents "should be compared with the 120 talents of ch. 10:10, and the 666 talents of 1 Kings 10:14.] 1 Kings 9:14The Means by which the Buildings were Erected. - In order that all which still remained to be said concerning Solomon's buildings might be grouped together, different notices are introduced here, namely, as to his relation to Hiram, the erection of several fortresses, and the tributary labour, and also as to his maritime expeditions; and these heterogeneous materials are so arranged as to indicate the resources which enabled Solomon to erect so many and such magnificent buildings. These resources were: (1) his connection with king Hiram, who furnished him with building materials (1 Kings 9:10-14); (2) the tributary labour which he raised in his kingdom (1 Kings 9:15-25); (3) the maritime expedition to Ophir, which brought him great wealth (1 Kings 9:26-28). But these notices are very condensed, and, as a comparison with the parallel account in 2 Chronicles 8 shows, are simply incomplete extracts from a more elaborate history. In the account of the tributary labour, the enumeration of the cities finished and fortified (1 Kings 9:15-19) is interpolated; and the information concerning the support which was rendered to Solomon in the erection of his buildings by Hiram (1 Kings 9:11-14), is merely supplementary to the account already given in 1 Kings 9:5. 1 Kings 9:24, 1 Kings 9:25 point still more clearly to an earlier account, since they would be otherwise unintelligible. - In 2 Chronicles 8 the arrangement is a simpler one: the buildings are first of all enumerated in 2 Chronicles 8:1-6, and the account of the tributary labour follows in 2 Chronicles 8:7-11.

1 Kings 9:10-14

The notices concerning Solomon's connection with Hiram are very imperfect; for 1 Kings 9:14 does not furnish a conclusion either in form or substance. The notice in 2 Chronicles 8; 2 Chronicles 1:1-2:18 is still shorter, but it supplies an important addition to the account before us.

1 Kings 9:10-14

1 Kings 9:10, 1 Kings 9:11 form one period. יתּן אז (then he gave) in 1 Kings 9:11 introduces the apodosis to מק ויהי (and it came to pass, etc.) in 1 Kings 9:10; and 1 Kings 9:11 contains a circumstantial clause inserted as a parenthesis. Hiram had supported Solomon according to his desire with cedar wood and cypress wood, and with gold; and Solomon gave him in return, after his buildings were completed, twenty cities in the land of Galil. But these cities did not please Hiram. When he went out to see them, he said, "What kind of cities are these (מה in a contemptuous sense) which thou hast given me, my brother?" אחו as in 1 Kings 20:32, 1 Macc. 10:18; 11:30, 2 Macc. 11:22, as a conventional expression used by princes in their intercourse with one another. "And he called the land Cabul unto this day;" i.e., it retained this name even to later times. The land of Galil is a part of the country which was afterwards known as Galilaea, namely, the northern portion of it, as is evident from the fact that in Joshua 20:7; Joshua 21:32, Kedes in the mountains of Naphtali, to the north-west of Lake Huleh, is distinguished from the kadesh in southern Palestine by the epithet בּגּליל. It is still more evident from 2 Kings 15:29 and Isaiah 9:1 and Galil embraced the northern part of the tribe of Naphtali; whilst the expression used by Isaiah, הגּוים גּליל, also shows that this district was for the most part inhabited by heathen (i.e., non-Israelites). The twenty cities in Galil, which Solomon gave to Hiram, certainly belonged therefore to the cities of the Canaanites mentioned in 2 Samuel 24:7; that is to say, they were cities occupied chiefly by a heathen population, and in all probability they were in a very bad condition. Consequently they did not please Hiram, and he gave to the district the contemptuous name of the land of Cabul. Of the various interpretations given to the word Cabul (see Ges. Thes. p. 656), the one proposed by Hiller (Onomast. p. 435), and adopted by Reland, Ges., Maurer, and others, viz., that it is a contraction of כּהבּוּל, sicut id quod evanuit tanquam nihil, has the most to support it, since this is the meaning required by the context. At the same time it is possible, and even probable, that it had originally a different signification, and is derived from כּבל equals חבל in the sense of to pawn, as Gesenius and Dietrich suppose. This is favoured by the occurrence of the name Cabul in Joshua 19:27, where it is probably derivable from כּבל, to fetter, and signifies literally a fortress or castle; but in this instance it has no connection with the land of Cabul, since it is still preserved in the village of Cabul to the south-east of Acre (see the Comm. on Josh. l.c.). The "land of Cabul" would therefore mean the pawned land; and in the mouths of the people this would be twisted into "good for nothing." In this case ויּקרא would have to be taken impersonally: "they called;" and the notice respecting this name would be simply an explanation of the way in which the people interpreted it. Hiram, however, did not retain this district, but gave it back to Solomon, who then completed the cities (2 Chronicles 8:2).

(Note: This simple method of reconciling the account before us with the apparently discrepant notice in the Chronicles, concerning which even Movers (die biblische Chronik, p. 159) observes, that the chronicler interpolated it from a second (?) source, is so natural, that it is difficult to conceive how Bertheau can object to it; since he admits that the accounts in the books of Kings and Chronicles are incomplete extracts from common and more elaborate sources.)

The only way in which we can give to 1 Kings 9:14 a meaning in harmony with the context, is by taking it as a supplementary explanation of וּבזּהב...נשּׂא...חירם in 1 Kings 9:11, and so rendering ויּשׁלח as a pluperfect, as in 1 Kings 7:13 : "Hiram had sent the king a hundred and twenty talents of gold." If we reckon the value of gold as being ten times the worth of silver, a hundred and twenty talents of gold would be 3,141, 600 thalers (about 471,240: Tr.). This is no doubt to be regarded as a loan, which Solomon obtained from Hiram to enable him to complete his buildings. Although David may have collected together the requisite amount of precious metals for the building of the temple, and Solomon had also very considerable yearly revenues, derived partly from tribute paid by subjugated nations and partly from trade, his buildings were so extensive, inasmuch as he erected a large number of cities beside the temple and his splendid palace (1 Kings 9:15-19), that his revenues might not suffice for the completion of these costly works; and therefore, since he would not apply the consecrated treasures of the temple to the erection of cities and palaces, he might find himself compelled to procure a loan from the wealthy king Hiram, which he probably intended to cover by ceding to him twenty cities on the border of the Phoenician territory. But as these cities did not please the king of Tyre and he gave them back to Solomon, the latter will no doubt have repaid the amount borrowed during the last twenty years of his reign.

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