- God in a vision answers Solomon's prayer, verse 1-9.
- The mutual presents of Solomon and Hiram, verse 10-14.
- His workmen and buildings, verse 15-24.
- His devotion, verse 25.
- His navy, verse 26-28.
For ever - As long as the Mosaic dispensation lasts; whereas hitherto my worship has been successively in several places. Eyes - My watchful and gracious providence. Heart - My tender affection. Shall be there - Shall be towards this place and people.
Then - Upon that condition; for my promise to David was conditional.
High - Glorious and renowned. Astonished - At its unexpected and wonderful ruin. Hiss - By way of contempt and derision.
Galilee - Or, near the land of Galilee, bordering upon it; in those parts which were near, and adjoining to Hiram's dominions: with the cities, understand the territories belonging to them. These cities, though they were within those large bounds which God fixed to the land of promise, Genesis 15:18; Joshua 1:4, yet were not within those parts which were distributed by lot in Joshua's time. It is probable they were not inhabited by Israelites, but by Canaanites, or other Heathens; who being subdued, and extirpated by David or Solomon, those cities became a part of their dominions; and afterwards were reckoned a part of Galilee, as Josephus notes.
Cabul - That is, of dirt, as most interpret it. Because, though the land was very good, yet being a thick and stiff clay, and therefore requiring great pains to manure it, it was very unsuitable to the disposition of the Tyrians, who were delicate, and lazy, and luxurious, and wholly given to merchandise. And on his returning them, there is no doubt but Solomon gave him an equivalent more to his taste.
Sent - And this seems to be here added, both to declare the quantity of the gold sent, which had been only named before, verse 11, and as the reason why he resented Solomon's action, because so great a sum required a better recompense.
Raised - Both the levy of men; of which, chap. 5:13, and the levy of money upon his people and subjects. He raised this levy, both to pay what he owed to Hiram, and to build the works following.
Those - He used them as bondmen, and imposed bodily labours upon them. "But why did not Solomon destroy them as God had commanded, when now it was fully in his power to do so?" The command of destroying them, Deuteronomy 7:2, did chiefly, if not only, concern that generation of Canaanites, who lived in, or, near the time of the Israelites entering into Canaan. And that command seems not to be absolute, but conditional, and with some exception for those who should submit and embrace the true religion, as may be gathered both from Joshua 11:19, and from the history of the Gibeonites. For if God's command had been absolute, the oaths of Joshua, and of the princes, could not have obliged them, nor dispensed with such a command.
Three times - That is, at the three solemn feasts: and undoubtedly at all other appointed times.
Made - Not now, but in the beginning of his reign.
Knowledge of the sea - For which the Tyrians were famous. He sent also ships to join with Solomon's, not from Tyre, the city of Phoenicia; but from an island in the Red-sea, called Tyre, because it was a colony of the Tyrians, as Strabo notes.
Ophir - A place famous for the plenty and fineness of the gold there. It is agreed, that it was a part of the East-Indies, probably Ceylon, which though very remote from us, yet was far nearer the Red-sea, from whence they might easily sail to it in those ancient times, because they might (according to the manner of those first ages) sail all along near the coast, though the voyage was thereby more tedious, which was the reason why three years were spent in it. And here, and here only were to be had all the commodities which Solomon fetched from Ophir, chap. 10:22. Fetched - In all there came to the king four hundred and fifty talents, whereof it seems thirty talents were allowed to Hiram and his men, and so there were only four hundred and twenty that came clear into the king's treasury.