Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


1 Kings 10:11

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Great plenty of almug trees - In the parallel place, 2 Chronicles 9:10, 2 Chronicles 9:11, these are called algum trees, the ם mem and the ג gimel being transposed; probably the latter is the more correct orthography. What the algum trees were we do not exactly know. The Vulgate calls it ligna thyina, the thya or lignum vitae wood; and Mr. Parkhurst thinks that the original אלגומים algumim, comes from אל al, not, and גם gem, to fill; because the lignum vitae is of so close a texture that it can imbibe no water, and cannot be affected by wet weather. The Septuagint translate it ξυλα πυκινα, pine timber; the Syriac kaise dakisotho, probably cypress wood, or what the translators render ligna brasilica; the Arabic translates coloured wood, and subjoins a paraphrase, for that wood was by nature painted with various colors. Perhaps the Arabic comes nearest the truth; wood shaded of different colors, such as the rose wood and such like, which are brought to us from various parts of the East Indies. The whole passage as it stands in the Arabic is this: "And the ships of Hiram brought gold from the land of Hind, (India), and they carried also much coloured wood, (but this wood is naturally painted of various colors), and very precious jewels. And Solomon put some of that same painted wood which was brought to him in the house of the Lord, and in his own house; and with it he adorned them." And for inlaying and veneering nothing can be finer than this wood.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

The navy of Hiram - i. e., Solomon‘s navy in the Red Sea, which was chiefly manned by subjects of Hiram. (see the marginal reference).

Almug-trees - Probably the sandal-wood tree (pterocarpus santalinus). The wood is very heavy, hard, and fine grained, and of a beautiful garnet color, which, according to the rabbinical writers, was the color of the algum. One of the names of the red sandal-wood, in its own native country (India) is “valguka,” a word of which “algum” is a natural corruption.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The queen of Sheba came to Solomon to hear his wisdom, thereby to improve her own. Our Saviour mentions her inquiries after God, by Solomon, as showing the stupidity of those who inquire not after God, by our Lord Jesus Christ. By waiting and prayer, by diligently searching the Scriptures, by consulting wise and experienced Christians, and by practising what we have learned, we shall be delivered from difficulties. Solomon's wisdom made more impression upon the queen of Sheba than all his prosperity and grandeur. There is a spiritual excellence in heavenly things, and in consistent Christians, to which no reports can do justice. Here the truth exceeded; and all who, through grace, are brought to commune with God, will say the one half was not told them of the pleasures and the advantages of wisdom's ways. Glorified saints, much more, will say of heaven, that the thousandth part was not told them, 1Co 2:9. She pronounced them happy that constantly attended Solomon. With much more reason may we say of Christ's servants, Blessed are they that dwell in his house; they will be still praising him. She made a noble present to Solomon. What we present to Christ, he needs not, but will have us do so to express our gratitude. The believer who has been with Jesus, will return to his station, discharge his duties with readiness, and from better motives; looking forward to the day when, being absent from the body, he shall be present with the Lord.
Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 66-7

One of the most touching portions of Solomon's dedicatory prayer was his plea to God for the strangers that should come from countries afar to learn more of Him whose fame had been spread abroad among the nations. “They shall hear,” the king pleaded, “of Thy great name, and of Thy strong hand, and of Thy stretched-out arm.” In behalf of every one of these stranger worshipers Solomon had petitioned: “Hear Thou, ... and do according to all that the stranger calleth to Thee for: that all people of the earth may know Thy name, to fear Thee, as do Thy people Israel; and that they may know that this house, which I have builded, is called by Thy name.” Verses 42, 43. PK 66.1

At the close of the service, Solomon had exhorted Israel to be faithful and true to God, in order that “all the people of the earth may know,” he said, “that the Lord is God, and that there is none else.” Verse 60. PK 66.2

A Greater than Solomon was the designer of the temple; the wisdom and glory of God stood there revealed. Those who were unacquainted with this fact naturally admired and praised Solomon as the architect and builder; but the king disclaimed any honor for its conception or erection. PK 66.3

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Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 72

The revenue of the king and of many of his subjects was greatly increased, but at what a cost! Through the cupidity and shortsightedness of those to whom had been entrusted the oracles of God, the countless multitudes who thronged the highways of travel were allowed to remain in ignorance of Jehovah. PK 72.1

In striking contrast to the course pursued by Solomon was the course followed by Christ when He was on this earth. The Saviour, though possessing “all power,” never used this power for self-aggrandizement. No dream of earthly conquest, of worldly greatness, marred the perfection of His service for mankind. “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests,” He said, “but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head.” Matthew 8:20. Those who, in response to the call of the hour, have entered the service of the Master Worker, may well study His methods. He took advantage of the opportunities to be found along the great thoroughfares of travel. PK 73.1

In the intervals of His journeys to and fro, Jesus dwelt at Capernaum, which came to be known as “His own city.” Matthew 9:1. Situated on the highway from Damascus to Jerusalem and Egypt and to the Mediterranean Sea, it was well adapted to be the center of the Saviour's work. People from many lands passed through the city or tarried for rest. There Jesus met with those of all nations and all ranks, and thus His lessons were carried to other countries and into many households. By this means interest was aroused in the prophecies pointing forward to the Messiah, attention was directed to the Saviour, and His mission was brought before the world. PK 73.2

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The United Monarchy under Solomon (2)
Solomon's Economic Enterprises