2 Chronicles 9

CHAPTER IX

The queen of Sheba visits Solomon, and is sumptuously

entertained by him, 1-12.

His great riches, 13, 14.

He makes targets and shields of beaten gold, and a magnificent

ivory throne, and various utensils of gold, 15-20.

His navigation to Tarshish, and the commodities brought thence,

21.

His magnificence and political connections, 22-28.

The writers of his life, 29.

He reigns forty years, and is succeeded by his son Rehoboam,

30, 31.

NOTES ON CHAP. IX

Verse 1. The queen of Sheba] See all the particulars of this

royal visit distinctly marked and explained in the notes on

1Ki 10:1-10. The

Targum calls her queen of Zemargad.

Verse 12. Beside that which she had brought unto the king] In

1Ki 10:13 it is stated that Solomon gave her all she asked,

besides that which he gave her of his royal bounty. It is not at

all likely that he gave her back the presents which she brought to

him, and which he had accepted. She had, no doubt, asked for

several things which were peculiar to the land of Judea, and would

be curiosities in her own kingdom; and besides these, he gave her

other valuable presents.

Verse 14. The kings of Arabia] "The kings of

Sistevantha."-Targum.

Verse 15. And King Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten

gold] For a more correct valuation of these targets and shields

than that in 1Ki 10:17, see at the end of the chapter.

See Clarke on 2Ch 9:29.

Verse 17. Made a great throne of ivory] For a very curious

description of the throne of Solomon, see at the end of the

chapter. See Clarke on 2Ch 9:29.

Verse 21. The king's ships went to Tarshish] "Went to

Africa."-Targum.

Verse 25. Four thousand stalls for horses]

See Clarke on 1Ki 4:26, where the

different numbers in these two books are considered. The Targum,

instead of four thousand, has arba meah, four hundred.

Verse 29. Nathan the prophet] These books are all lost. See the

account of Solomon, his character, and a review of his works, at

the end of 1Ki 11:43.

I. By the kindness of a learned friend, who has made this kind

of subjects his particular study, I am able to give a more correct

view of the value of the talent of gold and the talent of silver

than that which I have quoted 1Ki 10:17, from Mr. Reynold's

State of the Greatest King.

1. To find the equivalent in British standard to an ounce troy

of pure gold, valued at eighty shillings, and to a talent of the

same which weighs one thousand eight hundred ounces troy.

The ounce contains four hundred and eighty grains, and the

guinea weighs one hundred and twenty-nine grains, or five

pennyweights and nine grains.

(1) As 129 grains : 21 shillings :: 480, the number of grains in

an ounce : 78.1395348s. or 3l. 18s. 1d. 2.69767q.; the

equivalent in our silver coin to one ounce of standard gold.

(2) As 78.1395348 shillings, the value of an ounce of standard

gold, : 80 shillings, the value of an ounce troy of pure gold, ::

80 shillings : 81.9047619 shillings, the equivalent in British

standard to one ounce of pure gold.

Instead of the preceding, the following proportions may be

used:-

(1) As 21.5 shillings : 21 shillings :: 80 shillings :

78.1395348 shillings. This multiplied by 1800, the number of troy

ounces in a Hebrew talent, gives 140651.16264s. or 7032l. 11s.

1d. 3.8q., the equivalent to one talent of standard gold.

(2) As 21 standard : 21.5 pure :: 80 pure : 81.9047619 standard.

This multiplied by 1800 gives 147428.67142s. or 7371l. 8s. 6d.

3.4q., the equivalent to one talent of pure gold.

2. To find the equivalent in British standard to a talent of

pure silver, which is valued at four hundred and fifty pounds

sterling, or five shillings the ounce troy.

The pound troy is 240 pennyweights; and our silver coin has 18

pennyweights of alloy in the pound. From 240 pennyweights take 18,

and there will remain 222 pennyweights, the pure silver in the

pound.

Now as 240 pennyweights : 222 pennyweights :: 20 pennyweights,

the weight of a crown piece, : 18 1/2 pennyweights, the weight of

the pure silver in the crown.

Then, as 18.5 pennyweights : 6 shillings :: 36000, the number of

dwts. in a talent,: 9729.729729729729 shillings, or �486 9s. 8

3/4d., the equivalent in our coin to a talent of pure silver.

Example 1. To find the equivalent in British standard to the one

hundred and twenty talents of gold which the queen of Sheba gave

to King Solomon, 2Ch 9:9.

147428.57142s. equivalent to one talent of pure gold,

120 number of talents [as found above.

_____________

17691428.5704 = �884,571 8s. 6 3/4d., the equivalent to

120 talents.

Example 2. To find the equivalent in British standard to

Solomon's two hundred targets of beaten gold, each six hundred

shekels; and to his three hundred shields, each three hundred

shekels, 2Ch 9:15, 16.

A talent is three thousand shekels; therefore six hundred

shekels are one-fifth, and three hundred are one-tenth of a

talent.

5)147428.57142s. equivalent to one talent.

____________

29485.71428 equivalent to one target.

200 the number of targets.

____________

2|0)589714|2.856

____________

�294,857 2s. 10 1/4d. equivalent to 200 targets.

One-tenth of a talent is 14742.857142 = one shield.

300 number of shields.

_____________

2|0)442285|7.1426

______________

�221,142 17s. 1 1/2d. = 300 shields.

Example 3. To find the equivalent in British standard to the

weight of gold which came to Solomon in one year, independently of

what the chapmen and merchants brought him.

147428.57142s. = one talent.

666 number of talents.

____________

88457142852

88457142852

88457142852

________________

2|0)9818742|8.56572

________________

�4,909,371 8s. 6 3/4d. equivalent to 666 talents.

Example 4. To find the equivalent in British standard to the

hundred thousand talents of gold, and to the million of talents

of silver, which were prepared by David for the temple,

1Ch 22:14.

THE GOLD

147428.57142s. = one talent.

100000 number of talents.

____________

2|0)1474285714|2

____________

�737,142,857 2s. the equivalent.

Or, seven hundred and thirty-seven millions, one hundred and

forty-two thousand, eight hundred and fifty-seven pounds, two

shillings sterling, for the gold.

THE SILVER

9729.729729729s. = one talent.

1000000 number of talents.

_______________

2|0)97297297219.729

________________

�486,486,486 9s. 8 1/2d. the equivalent.

Or, four hundred and eighty-six millions, four hundred and

eighty-six thousand, four hundred and eighty-six pounds, nine

shillings, and eightpence halfpenny sterling, for the silver.

II. I have referred, in the note on 2Ch 9:17, to a curious

account of Solomon's throne, taken from a Persian MS. entitled

[Persian] beet al mukuddus, the Holy House, or Jerusalem. It has

already been remarked, in the account of Solomon at the end of

1Ki 11:43, article 12, that among the oriental writers Solomon

is considered, not only as the wisest of all men, but as having

supreme command over demons and genii of all kinds; and that he

knew the language of beasts and birds, &c.; and therefore the

reader need not be surprised if he find, in the following account,

Solomon employing preternatural agency in the construction of this

celebrated throne.

"This famous throne was the work of the Deev Sukhur; it was

called Koukab al Jinna. The beauty of this throne has never been

sufficiently described; the following are the particulars:-

"The sides of it were pure gold; the feet, of emeralds and

pearls, intermixed with other pearls, each of which was as large

as the egg of an ostrich.

"The throne had SEVEN steps; on each side were delineated

orchards full of trees, the branches of which were composed of

precious stones, representing ripe and unripe fruits.

"On the tops of the trees were to be seen fowls of the most

beautiful plumage; particularly the peacock, the etaub, and the

kurgus; all these birds were artificially hollowed within, so as

occasionally to utter a thousand melodious notes, such as the ears

of mortals had never before heard.

"On the FIRST step were delineated vine-branches, having bunches

of grapes, composed of various sorts of precious stones; fashioned

in such a manner as to represent the different colours of purple,

violet, green, and red, so as to exhibit the appearance of real

fruit.

"On the SECOND step, on each side of the throne, were two lions,

of massive gold, of terrible aspect, and as large as life.

"The property of this throne was such, that when the prophet

Solomon placed his foot upon the FIRST step, all the birds spread

their wings, and made a fluttering noise in the air.

"On his touching the SECOND step, the two lions expanded their

claws.

"On his reaching the THIRD step, the whole assembly of deevs,

peris, and men, repeated the praises of the Deity.

"When he arrived at the FOURTH step, voices were heard

addressing him in the following manner: Son of David be grateful

for the blessings which the Almighty has bestowed upon thee.

"The same was repeated on his reaching the FIFTH step.

"On his touching the SIXTH step, all the children sang praises.

"On his arrival at the SEVENTH step, the whole throne, with all

the birds and other animals, became in motion, and ceased not till

he had placed himself in the royal seat; and then the birds,

lions, and other animals, by secret springs, discharged a shower

of the most precious musk upon the prophet; after which two of the

kurguses, descending placed a golden crown upon his head.

"Before the throne was a column of burnished gold; on the top of

which was placed a golden dove, which had in its beak a roll bound

in silver. In this roll were written the Psalms of the prophet

David, and the dove having presented the roll to King Solomon,

he read a portion of it to the children of Israel.

"It is farther related that, on the approach of wicked persons

to this throne for judgment, the lions were wont to set up a

terrible roaring, and to lash their tails about with violence; the

birds also began to erect their feathers; and the whole assembly

of deeves and genii uttered such loud cries, that for fear of them

no person would dare to be guilty of falsehood, but instantly

confess his crimes.

"Such was the throne of Solomon, the son of David."

Supposing even this splendid description to be literally true,

there is nothing here that could not have been performed by

ingenuity and art; nothing that needed the aid of supernatural

influence.

In another MS., on which I cannot now lay my hand, the whole

value of this throne, and its ornaments, is computed in lacs of

rupees! The above description is founded in the main on the

account given here, 2Ch 9:17-19. The SIX

steps, and the footstool of the sacred writer, make the SEVEN

steps, in the above description. The twelve lions are not

distinguished by the Mohammedan writer. Other matters are added

from tradition.

This profusion of gold and precious stones was not beyond the

reach of Solomon, when we consider the many millions left by his

father; no less a sum than one thousand two hundred and

twenty-three millions, six hundred and twenty-nine thousand, three

hundred and forty-three pounds, eleven shillings, and eight pence

halfpenny, besides what Solomon himself furnished.

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