A navy of Tharshish - For probable conjectures concerning this place, and the three years' voyage, see at the end of this, 1 Kings 10:29; (note) and the preceding chapter, 1 Kings 9 (note).
Apes - קפים kophim ; probably a species of monkey rather than ape.
This is given as the reason of the great plentifulness of silver in the time of Solomon. The “navy of Tharshish” (not the same as the navy of Ophir, 1 Kings 9:26) must therefore have imported very large quantities of that metal. Tharshish, or Tartessus, in Spain, had the richest silver mines known in the ancient world, and had a good deal of gold also; apes and ivory were produced by the opposite coast of Africa; and, if north Africa did not produce “peacocks,” which is uncertain, she may have produced the birds called here “tukkiyim,” which some translate “parrots,” others “guinea-fowl” - the latter being a purely African bird. The etymology of the Hebrew words here rendered “ivory,” “apes,” and “peacocks,” is uncertain; but even if of Indian origin, the Jews may have derived their first knowledge of ivory, apes, and peacocks, through nations which traded with India, and may thus have got the words into their language long before the time of Solomon. The names once fixed would be retained, whatever the quarter from where the things were procured afterward.
The specifications regarding the building were often repeated. In all the work done, these specifications were to be followed with the utmost exactness. Believers and unbelievers were to learn of the importance of the work from the care shown in its performance. 2BC 1030.1
The care shown in the building of the temple is a lesson to us regarding the care that we are to show in our character-building. No cheap material was to be used. No haphazard work was to be done in matching the different parts. Piece must fit piece perfectly. Just as God's temple was, so must His church be. Into their character-building His people are to bring no worthless timbers, no careless, indifferent work.... 2BC 1030.2
In times of perplexity and distress, when a heavy strain is brought to bear, it will plainly be seen what kind of timbers have been used in the character-building (Manuscript 18, 1905). 2BC 1030.3
12, 13. God Gives Skill, Understanding, Adaptability—[1 Kings 6:12, 13 quoted.] This word was sent to Solomon while he was engaged in the building of the temple. The Lord assured him that He was taking notice of his efforts and of the efforts of the others engaged on the building. God exercises the same watchcare over His work today. Those who labor with a sincere desire to fulfill the Word of the Lord, and to glorify His name, will gain increased knowledge; for the Lord will cooperate with them. He watches with approval those who keep His glory in view. He will give them skill and understanding and adaptability for their work. Each one who enters the service of God with a determination to do his best, will receive a valuable education, if he heeds the instruction given by the Lord, and does not follow his own wisdom and his own ideas. All are to be teachable, seeking the Lord with humility, and using for Him, with cheerfulness and gratitude, the knowledge gained (Manuscript 18, 1905). 2BC 1030.4
23-28 (ch. 8:6, 7; 2 Chronicles 5:7, 8, 12-14). Two Additional Angels Placed by Ark—A most splendid sanctuary had been made, according to the pattern showed to Moses in the mount, and afterward presented by the Lord to David. In addition to the cherubim on the top of the ark, Solomon made two other angels of larger size, standing at each end of the ark, representing the heavenly angels guarding the law of God. It is impossible to describe the beauty and splendor of this sanctuary. Into this place the sacred ark was borne with solemn reverence by the priests, and set in its place beneath the wings of the two stately cherubim that stood upon the floor. 2BC 1030.5
The sacred choir lifted their voices in praise to God, and the melody of their voices was accompanied by all kinds of musical instruments. And while the courts of the temple resounded with praise, the cloud of God's glory took possession of the house, as it had formerly filled the wilderness tabernacle (The Review and Herald, November 9, 1905). 2BC 1030.6Read in context »
13, 14. Learning Without God Is Foolishness—Solomon had great learning; but his wisdom was foolishness; for he did not know how to stand in moral independence, free from sin, in the strength of a character molded after the divine similitude. Solomon has told us the result of his research, his painstaking efforts, his persevering inquiry. He pronounces his wisdom altogether vanity (The Review and Herald, April 5, 1906). 3BC 1165.1Read in context »
The nation, of which he had been the pride, followed his leading. Though he afterward repented, his repentance did not prevent the fruition of the evil he had sown. The discipline and training that God appointed for Israel would cause them, in all their ways of life, to differ from the people of other nations. This peculiarity, which should have been regarded as a special privilege and blessing, was to them unwelcome. The simplicity and self-restraint essential to the highest development they sought to exchange for the pomp and self-indulgence of heathen peoples. To be “like all the nations” (1 Samuel 8:5) was their ambition. God's plan of education was set aside, His authority disowned. Ed 49.1
In the rejection of the ways of God for the ways of men, the downfall of Israel began. Thus also it continued, until the Jewish people became a prey to the very nations whose practices they had chosen to follow. Ed 50.1
As a nation the children of Israel failed of receiving the benefits that God desired to give them. They did not appreciate His purpose or co-operate in its execution. But though individuals and peoples may thus separate themselves from Him, His purpose for those who trust Him is unchanged. “Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever.” Ecclesiastes 3:14. Ed 50.2Read in context »