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assured him he had heard his prayer and hallowed the temple : promising, moreover, the continuation of the throne in his family for ever, if he and his posterity would keep the commandments of God.
Q. How long did the festivities connected with the dedication of the temple, and the feast of tabernacles, last?
A. The dedication of the temple began on the eighth day of the seventh month, and continued over the fourteenth ; on the fifteenth the feast of tabernacles began, and lasted over the twenty-second : and on the twentythird day the people began to return home.
Q. How many victims were sacrificed on this occasion ?
A. Twenty-two thousand oxen, and one hundred and twenty thousand sheep.
2. By what distinguished individual was Solomon visited on account of his wisdom ?
A. By the queen of Sheba, who came with a great retinue to Jerusalem, to see him and to prove him with hard questions. “ And Solomon told her all her questions : there was not any thing hid from the king, which he told her not."
Q. What effect did the wisdom of Solomon, and the splendid arrangements of his court, produce upon her ?
A. When she had heard his wisdom, and seen his house, “and the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cup-bearers, and his burnt-offering which he offered in the house of the LORD ;* there was no more spirit in her. And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen : and, behold, the half was not told me : thy wisdom and prosperity exceeded the fame which I heard. Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom. Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel : because the Lord loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice."
Q. What proof have we of Solomon's riches ?
A. He had two hundred targets, and three hundred shields made of beaten gold, and all his drinking vessels also for silver was nothing accounted of” in his days : he had a splendid throne of ivory, inlaid in every part with the best gold : and the weight of gold that he received in one year, was six hundred and sixty-six talents, exclusive of the sum received in imposts and tribute.
Q. What was the general aspect of his reign ?
A. “ Judah and Israel were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating, and drinking, and making merry." - And they " dwelt safely, every man
* This is no doubt the correct reading of 1 King x. 5,-See Dr. A. CLARKE's Comment,
under bis vine and under his fig tree,* from Dan even to Beer-sheba, all the days of Solomon."
Q. What structures did Solomon build besides the temple ?
A. He built a palace for himself, the house of the forest of Lebanon, and a house for Pharaoh's daughter. The construction of these buildings occupied twelve years and a half.t
Q. How did he recompense the king of Tyre ?
A. He gave him annually “twenty thousand measures of beaten wheat, and twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil ;" besides twenty cities in Galilee. Hiram, however, was displeased with the cities, and returned them to Solomon.
Q. Did Solomon carry on any war ?
A. Yes : he warred against Hamath-zobah, and prevailed against it.
Q. What cities and fortifications did he build ?
A. He built Millo,† the wall of Jerusalem, Hazor, Megiddo, Gezer, Beth-horon the upper, and Beth-horon
* This appears to have been a Jewish prorerb, expressing great security and felicity.-See Micah iv. 4.
+ 1 Kings ix. 10. Seven years and a half were occupied in the construction of the temple.
# What Millo was cannot be ascertained. Some suppose it was a senate house; and others, a deep valley filled up by Solomon for the convenience of building : but these are merely etymological conjectures.
the nether, Baalath, Tadmor* in the wilderness, and several store cities in Hamath and other places.
Q. Did Solomon retain the affections of his people ?
A. No : he made their yoke grievons by levying tribute upon them.†
• Tadmor is allowed, by almost general consent, to be the same as Palmyra—both names alluding to a place adorned with palm-trees. Itis situated eighty-five miles from the Euphrates, and about one hundred and seventeen from the nearest shores of the Mediterranean, in a well watered and fertile plain, surrounded by an inhospitable desert. It is supposed to have been designed for the protection of the Israelitish herds; the surrounding desert rendering any attempt to besiege it very hazardous. Its inhabitants, several centuries after the days of Solomon, engaged in the Indian trade, and became exceedingly opulent. Under the Syrian princes descended from Seleacus, it arrived at the meridian of its greatness; and when Syria submitted to Rome, it continued a free state, and was sufficiently powerful to make its alliance desired both by the Romans and Parthians, with whom it carried on a lacrative commerce. It submitted however to the Roman arms under Aurelian ; after which, trade never revived there, and the city itself appears to have declined. Towards the close of the seventeenth century its ruins were visited by some gentlemen belonging to the English factory at Aleppo. “To their astonishment they beheld a fertile spot of some miles in extent, arising like an island out of a vast plain of sand, covered with the remains of temples, porticoes, aqueducts, and other pnblic works,” of which Messrs. DAWKINS and Wood, who visited it sixty years after, have given a most magnificent description.-See MICHAELIS's Comment. vol. i. Art. 23.-Wood's Ruins of Palmyra, and Robertson's Disquis, concerning Ancient India.
+ The tribute here spoken of, was of two kinds,-an impost or tax, and a levy of men. Whether it was one or both of these, cannot be ascertained, but it was intolerable to the Israelites.
Q. Did he walk in the way of David his father ? A. No: disregarding the divine law,* he married many strange women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites : and “it came to pass when he was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods,” † to whom he offered incense, and offered sacrifice upon the high places.
• He had broken this law in the life-time of his father. Com. pare 2 Chron. ix. 30. and xii. 13. The seven hundred prin. cesses, and three hundred concubines, composing his harem, 1 Kings xi. 3. were probably accumulated in the latter years of his life.
+ Among these deities, Molochi or Milcom, the abomination of the Ammonites,-Chemosh, the abomination of the Moabites, -and Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Zidonians, are particularized. 1 Kings xi. 5, 7. Moloch, the king, known also as Adrammelech and Anammelech, 2 Kings xvii. 31. and Baal, Jer. xix. 5. and identified by GALE, in luis Court of the Gentiles, with Saturn, was the name given by the Canaanites 'and neighbouring tribes to the sun, whose worship was common to almost every nation. Its prevalence among the ancient inha. bitants of our own island is sufficiently demonstrated by the May-pole, supposed to be a symbol of the solar beam and of its prolific agency,—the fires by which midsummer eve and christmas eve are still distinguished in the northern districts of England,--and the appellation Bealtain day, or day of Belin's fire, by which May.day is still known in Scotland. But this superstition was connected with mnch barbarity, among the inhabitants of Palestine and the adjacent countries, where they made their children pass through the fire, Lev. xviii. 21. xx. 2-5. 2 Kings xxiii. 10, Whether this means the actual burning of the children, or merely a purgation, by passing them between two fires, is problematical : but that children were actually sacrificed to Molech is certain, from Jerem. xix. 4,5. where the judgments