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Containing an interval of One Hundred and Sixty-three Years.
FROM THE DEATH OF DAVID TO THE DEATH OF AHAR
OF SOLOMON'S CONDUCT AFTER HE HAD RECEIVED THE KING DOM.
Bathsheba promised to afford him her assistance, and to bring this marriage about; because the king
would be willing to gratify him in such a thing; We have already treated of David, and his vir- and because she would press him to it very earntue, and of the benefits that he was the author of estly. Accordingly he went away in great hopes to his countrymen; of his wars also, and battles of succeeding in this affair. So Solomon's mother which he managed with success; and then died went presently to her son, to speak about what an old man. And when Solomon his son, who was she had promised, upon Adonijah's-supplication to but a youth in age,* had taken the kingdom, and her. And when her son came forward to meet whom David had declared, while he was alive, the her, and embraced her; and when he had brought lord of that people, according to God's will ; when her into the house where his royal throne was, he he sat upon the throne, the whole body of the peo- sat thereon, and bade them set another throne on ple made joyful acclamations to him, as is usual the right hand for his mother. When Bathsheba at the beginning of a reign ; and wished that all was set down, she said, “O son! grant me one his affairs might come to a blessed conclusion ; request that I desire of thee, and do not do any and that he might arrive at a great age, and at thing to me that is disagreeable or ungrateful; the most happy state of affairs possible.
which thou wilt do if thou deniest me.” And when But Adonijah, who, while his father was living, Solomon desired her to lay her commands upon attempted to gain possession of the government, him, because it was agreeable to his duty, to grant came to the king's mother, Bathsheba, and saluted her every thing she should ask; and complainher with great civility; and when she asked him, ed that she did not at first begin her discourse, whether he came to her, as desiring her assistance with a firm expectation of obtaining what she dein any thing or not? and bade him tell her if that sired, but had some suspicion of a denial; she enwere the case, for that she would cheerfully af- treated him to grant, that his brother Adonijah ford it him; he began to say, that she knew might marry Abishag. herself that the kingdom was his, both on account But the king was greatly offended at these of his elder age, and of the disposition of the mul- words, and sent away his mother, saying, that titude; and that yet it was transferred to Solomon Adonijah aimed at great things; and that he wonher son, according to the will of God. He also dered she did not desire him to yield up the kingsaid, that he was contented to be a servant under dom to him, as to his elder brother: since she him, and was pleased with the present settlement. desired that he might marry Abishag; and that But he desired her to be a means of obtaining a he had potent friends, Joab the captain of the favour from his brother to him, and to persuade host, and Abiathar the priest. So he called for him to bestow on him in marriage Abishag; who Benaiah, the captain of the guards, and ordered had slept by his father, but was still a virgin. So him to slay his brother Adonijah.t He also called
for Abiathar, the priest, and said to him, “ I will || said he would not leave the altar, but would die not put thee to death, because of those hardships there, rather than in another place. And when which thou hast endured with my father, and be- Benaiah had reported his answer to the king, Solcause of the ark which thou hast borne along
with omon commanded him to fcut off his head there, him ; but I inflict the following punishment upon and let him take that as a punishment for those tree, because thou wast among Âdonijah's follow- two captains of his host whom he had wickedly ers, and wast of his party. Do not thou continue slain, and to bury his body: that his sins might here, nor come any more into my sight; but go never leave his family ; but that himself and his to thine own town, and live on thine own fields, father, by Joab's death, might be guiltless. And and there abide all thy life; for thou hast offend- when Benaiah had done what he was commanded ed so greatly, that it is not just thou shouldest to do, he was himself appointed to be captain of retain thy dignity any longer. For the afore- the whole arıy. The king also made Zadok highmentioned cause therefore it was, that the house priest, in the room of Abiathar,|| whom he had of Ithamar was deprived of the sacerdotal dignity, removed. as God had foretold to Eli, the grandfather of But as to Shimei, Solomon commanded that he Abiathar. So it was transferred to the family of should build him a house, and stay at Jerusalem, Phineas, to Zadok. Now those that were of the and attend upon him; and should not have aufamily of Phineas, but lived privately during the thority to go over the brook Cedron; and that if time that the high-priesthood was transferred to he disobeyed that command, death should be his the house of Ithanar, (of which family Eli was punishment. He also threatened him so terribly, the first that received it,) were these that follow: that he compelled him to take an oath, that he Bukki, the son of Abishua, the high-priest; his would obey. Accordingly, Shimei said, that he son was *Joatham ; Joatham's son was Meraioth; had reason to thank Solomon for giving him such Meraioth's son was fArophæus ; Arophæus's son an injunction, and added an oath that he would was Ahitub; and Ahitub's son was Zadok : who do as he bade him: and, leaving his own country, was first made high-priest in the reign of David. he made his abode in Jerusalem. I But three
Now when Joab, the captain of his host, had years afterwards,** when he heard that two of his heard of the slaughter of Adonijah, he was greatly servants were run away from him, and were in afraid, for he was a greater friend to him than to Gath, he went for his servants in haste : and when Solomon; and suspecting, not without reason, he was come back with them, the king perceived that he was in danger on account of his favour to it, and was much displeased that he had contempAdonijah, he fled to the altar, and supposed he ed his commands, and what was more, had no might procure safety thereby to himself; because regard to the oaths he had sworn to God. So he of the king's piety towards God. But when some called him, and said, “ Didst not thou swear never told the king what Joab's supposal was, he sent to leave, nor to go out of this city to another? Benaiah, and commanded him to raise him up Thou shalt not therefore escape punishment for from the altar, and bring him to the judgment thy perjury, but I will punish thee, thou wickeủ seat, in order to make his defence. However Joab wretch! both for this crime, and for those where
* Zerahiah, 1 Chron. vi. 6.
for fear of polluting the holy place with blood, or whether Solo† Amariah, 1 Chron. vi. 7.
mon did not rather think fit to have him killed even at the altar, I This execution upon Joab, as a murderer, by slaying him, and let all men see, that no place, though never so sacred, should even when he had taken sanctuary at God's altar, is perfectly secure any man from the hand of justice, commentators have not agreeable to the laws of Moses, which enjoins, that “If a man agreed. Calmet's and Patrick's Comment. B. come presumptuously upon his neighbour to slay him with guile, || 1 Kings ii. 35. thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die.” Exod. I Shimei, as we read, was a very powerful man. When he xxi. 14.
came to meet king David, and to beg pardon for his offence, he $ It was formerly very customary among princes, to employ had a thousand of his own tribe to accompany him, 2 Sam. xix. their officers, or greatest confidants, in such like executions. 17; and therefore Solomon might think proper to confine him to Among the Romans, the soldiers were always the persons who the city of Jerusalem, that, being removed from the place where carried to prison, to torture, or to execution, such as were found his family and interest lay, to one where he was but a stranger, guilty of any offence; and this Tertullian makes an argument and sufficiently odious for his former ill-treatment of the late to dissuade Christians from engaging in their wars, lest thereby king, he might be incapable of raising any tumults or seditions ; they should be obliged to imprison, punish, or execute malefac. and that, being in this public theatre, all his words and actions tors. In Dan. ii. 24, we read, that Nebuchadnezzar sent Arioch, might be narrowly observed, which, considering his busy and who was chief commander of his troops, 10 destroy the wise men wicked temper, might give Solomon a fair advantage against of Babylon, because they could not interpret his dream; and him, and, as the manner of some is, the very prohibition itself therefore we need less wonder, that we find Solomon employing might probably inflame his desire to transgress it. Pool's An. Benaiah, the captain of his guard, on the like office. But whe- | notations. B. ther he did not first drag Joab froin the altar before he slew him,
** About An. 1052.
with thou didst abuse my father, when he was in || joy; and what it was most profitable for man to his flight; that thou mayest know that wicked receive. For he did not desire either gold, silver,. men gain nothing at last ; although they be not or any other riches, as a young man might natupunished immediately upon their unjust practices; rally have done; for these are the things that genebut that in all the time wherein they think them- rally are esteemed by most men, as alone of the selves secure, because they have yet suffered no- greatest worth, and of the best gists of God. thing, their punishment increases, and is heavier " But,” said he, “Give me, O Lord, a sound mind, upon them; and that to a greater degree than if and a good understanding; whereby I may speak they had been punished immediately upon the and judge the people according to truth and rightecommission of their crimes." So Benaiah, on the ousness. With these petitions God was well king's command, slew Shimei.
pleased, and promised to give him all those things
that he had not mentioned in his option, riches, CHAP. II.
glory, victory over his enemies; and in the first OF SOLOMON'S MARRIAGE; HIS WISDOM AND RICHES; AND THE As place, understanding and wisdom; and this in such SISTANCE HE OBTAINED FROM HIRAM TOWARDS THE BUILDING OF a degree, as no other mortal man, neither kings
nor ordinary persons, ever had. He also promSOLOMON having settled himself firmly in his ised to preserve the kingdom to his posterity for a kingdom, and having brought his enemies to very long time ; if he continued righteous and obepunishment; married the daughter of Pharaoh, dient to him, and imitated his father in those king of Egypt.* He also built the walls of Jerusa- things wherein he excelled. When Solomon heard lemt much larger and stronger than those which this from God, he leaped out of his bed; and when had been before: and thenceforward he managed he had worshipped him, he returned to Jerusalem ; public affairs very peaceably. Nor was his youth and after he had offered great sacrifices before any hindrance in the exercise of justice, the ob- the tabernacle, he feasted all his own family.S servance of the law, or the remembrance of what
In those days a cause came before him in charges his father hath given him at his death : judgment, which it was very difficult to find any end but he discharged every duty with greater accu- of. And I think it necessary to explain the fact racy than might have been expected from such as about which the contest was, that such as peruse are aged, and of the greatest prudence. He now my writings may know what difficult cause Soloresolved to go to Hebron, and sacrifice to God mon was to determine; and those that are conupon the brazen altar that was built by Moses. cerned in such matters may take this sagacity of Accordingly he offered there a thousand burnt- the king's for a pattern, that they may the more offerings. And when he had done this, he thought easily give sentence about such questions. There he had paid great honour to God. For as he were two women,|| who were harlots in the course was asleep that very night, God appeared to him, of their lives, that came to him; of whom she that and commanded him to ask of him some gifts seemed to be injured began to speak first, and which he was ready to bestow on him, as a re- said, “O king! I and this other woman dwell toward for his piety. So Solomon asked of God gether in one room. Now it came to pass, that what was most excellent, and of the greatest worth we both bore a son at the same hour of the same in itself : what God would bestow with the greatest day, and on the third day this woman overlaid
* 1 Kings iii. 1.
§ 1 Kings iii. 15. † This building the walls of Jerusalem, soon after David's | These two women are said in the text to be harlots; but death, illustrates the conclusion of the fifty-first Psalm, where the Hebrew word, as we took notice in the case of Rahab, may David prays: Build thou the walls of Jerusalem; they being, it equally signify a hostess, or one who kept a house of public seems, unfinished or imperfect at that time. See VIII. 6, and entertainment; and that it is so to be taken here, we have these 1 Kings ix. 15.
reasons to presume; that as all public prostitution was severely | Although both the Hebrew and the Septuagint say, 1 Kings forbidden by the law, Deut. xxiii. 17, women of this infamous iii. 4, 5, and 2 Chron. i. 3, that the place whither Solomon now character durst not have presented themselves before so just and went, to the tabernacle or great brazen altar, was Gibeon, and so wise a king; that women of this lewd behaviour seldom do not Hebron, as Josephus's copy had it; yet is Josephus's copy become mothers of children, and when they chance to have any, confirined by the vow of Absalom, which was according to our are not so solicitous for their preseryation, but rather rejoice common copies, to be performed not at Gibeon, but at Hebron, when they have got rid of them. There is no reason to suppose 2 Sam. xv. 7, 12. And since Gibeah or Gibeon denotes a hill then, that these women were common harlots; and yet it is or an elevation, as Josephus elsewhere truly observes, VI. 8, generally thought, that they were both unmarried persons, and the original text perhaps meant an elevated place at Hebron. guilty of fornication, because no mention is made of their hus. See the very same difference between Gibeon in our copies, bands, whose office it was, if they had any, to contest the matter Jeremiah xli
. 12, and Hebron in Josephus's, x. 9, which probably for their wives. Pool's Annotations, and Calmet's Commert. requires the very same reconciliation also.
her son, and killed it; and then took my son out to see the child divided, and was even desirous of my bosom, and removed him to herself; and as that the first woman should be tormented. When I was asleep, she laid her dead son in my arms. the king understood that both their words proNow when, in the morning, I was desirous to give ceeded from the truth of their passions, he adthe breast to the child, I did not find my own; judged the child to her who cried out for its prebut saw this woman's dead child lying by me; for servation ; for that she was the real mother; and I examined it attentively, and found it so to be. he condemned the other as a wicked woman, who Hence it was that I demanded my son; and when had not only killed her own child, but was willing I could not obtain him, I have recourse, my lord, to see her friend's child destroyed also. Now the to thy assistance. For since we were alone, and multitude looked on this determination as a great there was nobody there that could convict her, or demonstration of the king's sagacity and wisdom; affright her, she cares for nothing ; but perseveres and after that day attended to him, as one that in an obstinate denial of the fact.
had a divine mind.t When this woman had spoken, the king asked Now the captainst of Solomon's armies, and the other, what she had to say in contradiction officers appointed over the whole country, were to that story? And when she had denied that she these. Over the lot of Ephraim was Ures; over had done what was charged upon her, and said the toparchy of Bethlehem was Dioclerus. Abinathat it was her child that was living, and that it dab, who married Solomon's daughter, had the was her antagonist's child that was dead; and region of Dora, and the sea-coast under him. The when no one could devise what judgment could great plain was under Benaiah the son of Achilus, be given, and the whole court were blind in their who also governed all the country as far as Jordan. understanding, and could not tell how to find out Gabaris ruled over Gilead, and Gaulanitis; and this riddle; the king invented the following method had under him the sixty great and fenced cities of of discovering it. He bade them bring in both Og. Achinadab managed the affairs of all Galilee, the dead and the living child; and commanded as far as Sidon ; and had himself also married a one of his guards to fetch a sword, and to cut daughter of Solomon, whose name was Basima. both the children into two pieces, that each of Banacates had the sea-coast about Arce; as had the women might have half the living and half Shaphat, mount Tabor and Carmel, and the lower the dead child. Hereupon all the people privately Galilee, as far as the river Jordan; one man was laughed at the king, as no more than a youth, appointed over all this country. Shimei was inBut in the mean time the real mother of the living trusted with the lot of Benjamin; and Gabares child cried out,* that he should not do so, but de- had the country beyond Jordan;'over whom there liver that child to the other woman as her own; was again one governor appointed. Now the for she would be satisfied with the life of the child, people of the Hebrews, and particularly the tribe and with the sight of it, although it were esteemed of Judah, received a wonderful increase, when the other's child. But the other woman was ready they betook themselves to husbandry, and the
* Solomon knew at once that the only sign that would dis. this occasion, to mention an instance or two out of profane hiscover the truth, would be her affection, and compassion, and tory, of a singular address, though much inferior to this, in distenderness for her child; and therefore in order to distinguish covering such secrets as seemed to be past finding out. To this between the two, his business was to make trial of this; and if purpose, Suetonius, in his life of Claudian, chap. 15, tells us, we suppose, that when he commanded the child to be divided, how that emperor discovered a woman to be the mother of a - he spake with a sedate countenance, and seeming earnestness, young man, whom she would not own for her son, by command. as the true mother's petition to the king makes it apparent that ing her to be inarried to him ; for the horror of committing incest be did, then we may suppose farther, not only the two women, obliged her to declare the truth; and, in like manner, Diodorus but all the people present, with horror and admiration, expecting Siculus relates, how Ariopharnes, king of the Thracians, being the execution of the thing; which, when it ended in so just a appointed to arbitrate between three men, who all pretended to decision, quite contrary to what they looked for, raised joy in be sons of the king of the Cimmerians, and claimed the succes. every breast, and gave a more advantageous commendation to sion, found out the true son and heir, by ordering them to shoot the judge : and yet Abarbinel, the Jewish commentator, thinks, each man his arrow into the dead king's body, which one of that all this was no great proof of Solomon's extraordinary wis them refusing to do, was deemed the true claimant Pool's doin, nor could it beget that fear or reverence which the text Annotations, Patrick's and Calmet's Commentaries. B. says, 1 Kings iii. 28, it procured to his person. His opinion † 1 Kings iii. 28. therefore is, that Solomon made a discovery of the truth ante | Mr. Reland has treated of these prefects of provinces, and cedient to this experiment, that by observing the countenance, of their provinces, more exactly than any other; and has comthe manner of speech, and all the motions of the wornen, he disa pared our copies of 1 Kings iv. with Josephus very carefully; cerned the secret of their heart, and penetrated to the bottom of to whom I refer the learned reader. Palestina, tom. I. lib. I. the business; and that his commanding the child to be divided chap. 29. Only we must note, that Josephus has but ten preafterwards, was only to notify to the company, what he before fects, and that his names are different from those in our copies. had discovered. However this be, it may not be improper, upon
cultivation of their grounds. For as they enjoyed ceeded the ancients: insomuch that he was nopeace, and had besides an unbounded fruition of way inferior to the Egyptians, who are said to the most desirable liberty, every one was busy in have been beyond all men in understanding ; nay augmenting the product of their own lands, and indeed it is evident that their sagacity was very making them worth more than they had formerly much inferior to that of the king's. Tie also disbeen.
tinguished himself in wisdom above those who The king had also other rulers, who were over were most eminent among the Hebrews at that the land of Syria, and of the Philistines, which time for shrewdness. Those I mean were Ethan, reached from the river Euphrates to Egypt; and Heman, Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol. these collected his tributes of the nations. Now He also composed books of Odes, and Songs, in these contributed to the king's table, and to his number a thousand and five; and of Parables and supper every day thirty cori of fine flour,* and Similitudes three thousand. For he spake a parasixty of meal; as also ten fat oxen, twenty oxen ble upon every sort of tree, from the hyssop to the out of the pastures, and a hundred fat lambs; all cedar: and in like manner also about beasts, about these were besides what were taken by hunting, all sorts of living creatures,f whether upon the harts, buffaloes, birds, and fishes, which were earth, or in the seas, or in the air. For he was brought to the king by foreigners every day. not unacquainted with any of their natures; nor Solomon had also so great a number of chariots, omitted inquiries about them; but described them that the stalls of his horses for these chariots were all like a philosopher, and demonstrated his exforty thousand ;t and besides these he had twelve quisite knowledge of their several properties. God thousand horsemen: one half of which waited upon also enabled him to learn that skill which expels the king in Jerusalem, and were dispersed abroad, demons, which is a useful science to men. "lle and dwelt in the royal villages. But the same composed such incantations also by which disofficers who provided for the king's expenses, sup- tempers are alleviated: and left behind him the plied also the fodder for the horses, and still car- manner of using exorcisms, by which they drive ried it to the place where the king abode at that away demons; so that they never return, and this time.
method of cure is of great force until this day. Now the sagacity and wisdom which God had For I have seen a certain man of my own country, bestowed on Solomon was so great, that he ex- whose name was Eleazar, releasing the people that
may not be amiss to compare the daily furniture of Solo- been quoted, such as The Instructions of Solomon to his son mon's table, here set down, and i Kings iv. 22, 23, with the Rehoboam; The Testament of Solomon; The Books of the like daily furniture of Nehemiah, the governor's table, after the Throne of Solomon ; The Books of Magic, composed by the deJews were come back from Babylon ; and to remember withal, mons, under the name of Solomon; The Clavicula, or Key of that Nehemiah was now building the walls of Jerusalem, and Solomon ; The Ring of Solomon; The Contradiction of Solomon, maintained more than usual above one hundred and fifty con &c. which were most of them very wicked and pernicious tracts, siderable men every day; and that, because the nation was then to which the authors prefixed this great name to give them very poor, at his own charges also ; without laying any burden credit and sanction. It is somewhat strange, however, that Joupon the people. “ Now that which was prepared for me daily sephus should inform us, that Solomon composed books of en. was one ox, and six choice sheep. Also fowls were prepared for chantments, and several manners of exorcisms, or of driving me. And once in ten days a store of all sorts of wine ; and yet away devils, so that they could return no more; and that he for all this I required not the bread of the governor, because the should farther assure us, that himself bad seen experiments of bondage was heavy upon this people.” Nehem. v. 18. See the it, by one Eleazar, a Jew, who, in the presence of Vespasian, whole context, v. 14, 19. Nor did the governor's usual allow his sons, and the officers of his army, cured several that were ance of forty shekels of silver a day, v. 15, amount to 5l. a day; possessed. Jewish Antiq. lib. 8. c. 2. Culmet's Dictionary, nor to 18001. a year. Nor does it indeed appear that under the under the word Solomon. B. judges, or under Samuel the prophet, there was any such public Some pretended fragments of these books of conjurations allowance to those governors at all. Those great charges upon of Solomon are still extant in Fabricius's Cod. Pseudepigr. Vet. the public for maintaining courts came in with kings, as God Test. page 1054. Though I entirely differ from Josephus, in had foretold, 1 Sam. viii. 11-18.
this opinion, that such books and arts of Solomon were parts of + Four thousand, 2 Chron. ix. 25, which I suppose to be the that wisdom which was imparted to him by God in his younger true number.
days. They must rather have belonged to such profane but curious $ The several books which treated of the nature and virtue arts as we find mentioned, Acts xix. 13, 20, and had been deof animals, as well as plants, are supposed to have been lost in rived from the idolatry and superstition of heathen wives and the Babylonish captivity; but Eusebius, as he is quoted by concubines, in his old age; when he had forsaken God, and Anastatius, informs us, that king Hezekiah, seeing the abuse God had forsaken him, and given him up to demoniacal delu. which his subjects made of Solomon's works, by placing too sions. Nor does Josephus's strange account of the root Baara, much confidence in remedies which he prescribed, and the natu- of the War, VII. 6, seem to be other than that of its magical ral secrets which he discovered, thought proper to suppress them use in such conjurations. As for the following history, it con. all. Notwithstanding this, since his time, many books, concern firms what Christ says, Matt. xii. 27, If I by Beelzebub cast ing the secrets of magic, medicine, and enchantments, have ap- out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? peared under the name of this prince; and several pieces have