1 Kings 10:15 MEANING

1 Kings 10:15
(15) The governors of the country.--The word "governor" (pechah) is supposed to be of foreign origin--possibly cognate to the Sanscrit word paksha "friend." It is used constantly of foreign officers, or satraps: as in 1 Kings 20:24, of the Syrian officers; in 2 Kings 18:24 and Isaiah 36:9, of the Assyrians; in Jeremiah 51:23, of the Babylonians; in Esther 8:9, Nehemiah 5:14; Nehemiah 5:18; Nehemiah 12:26, &c., of the Persians. Hence it would seem to be used here, not for the officers in the land of Israel described in 1 Kings 4, but for governors (Israelite or foreign) in tributary countries: and it may possibly be a word of later origin than the age of Solomon, introduced by the compiler of the book.

Verse 15. - Beside that he had of the marchantmen [The root תּוּר signifies to wander or travel about. In Numbers 13:16, 17, it is used of spies. It may here be applied to persons who travelled for purposes of trade; but the versions differ very materially in their rendering of the word; the LXX. understanding it of tribute (τῶν φόρων τῶν ὑποτεταγμένων); the Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic of artizans; the Vulgate of ambassadors. And the word is nowhere else used of traders. For the construction, see Ewald 287e], and of the traffick [it is noteworthy that no such word is used before הַתָּרִים above] of the spice [not in Hebrews] merchants רָכַל is akin to רָגַל Like the preceding word, the primary meaning is to go about (תווט רֶגֶל); hence, to trade. It is probable that Solomon's great commercial enterprises were conducted for his own benefit, i.e., that the merchants were little more than agents, who bought and sold for the king. Such is the custom of Eastern kings (Kitto)], and of all the kings of Arabia [הָעֶרֶב is very variously interpreted. According to Gesenius it means foreigners, and he would understand "foreign kings who made an alliance with the Israelites," and so the Chaldee. Keil: "the kings of the mixed population" (mentioned Exodus 12:38. Cf. Jeremiah 50:37; Nehemiah 13:3). Perhaps the words are best explained by Jeremiah 25:24: "The kings of Arabia (עֲרָב) and ... of the mingled people (עֶרֶב) that dwell in the desert," i.e., the desert of Arabia deserta, bordering on Palestine. The chronicler here gives us עֲרָב, i.e., not the Arabia of the geographers, but the tract of country south and east of Palestine, as far as the Red Sea (Gesenius). No doubt these kings, who were great sheepmasters, paid their tribute in flocks of sheep and goats (2 Chronicles 17:11; 2 Kings 3:4], and of the governors of the country. [The word פַחות (cf. ch. 20:24) is a foreign word, perhaps Sanskrit, apparently borrowed by the Jews from the Persians. It is used of Tatnai (Ezra 5:6), of Zerubbabel (Haggai 1:1), and of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 5:14). Probably our author, in whose day it was a familiar and well understood word, substituted it for some older Hebrew designation. But the office and character of these "governors" is more difficult to define than the name. Rawlinson thinks that, in some parts of the empire, the kings - the "empire of Solomon," he observes, "was in the main a congeries of small kingdoms" - "had been superseded by governors." But it seems as natural to understand the term of the twelve prefects mentioned in chap. 4, who were "the governors of the land," or of similar officers in the different outposts of the kingdom. We know that the contributions which passed through their hands were furnished in kind; hence, perhaps, it is that this income is distinguished from the gold of ver. 14.

10:14-29 Solomon increased his wealth. Silver was nothing accounted of. Such is the nature of worldly wealth, plenty of it makes it the less valuable; much more should the enjoyment of spiritual riches lessen our esteem of all earthly possessions. If gold in abundance makes silver to be despised, shall not wisdom, and grace, and the foretastes of heaven, which are far better than gold, make gold to be lightly esteemed? See in Solomon's greatness the performance of God's promise, and let it encourage us to seek first the righteousness of God's kingdom. This was he, who, having tasted all earthly enjoyments, wrote a book, to show the vanity of all worldly things, the vexation of spirit that attends them, and the folly of setting our hearts upon them: and to recommend serious godliness, as that which will do unspeakably more to make us happy, that all the wealth and power he was master of; and, through the grace of God, it is within our reach.Besides that he had of the merchantmen, and of the traffic of the spice merchants,.... What they paid him as a duty or custom for the importation of their goods:

and of all the kings of Arabia; who were subject to him, and paid him a yearly tribute, or at least made presents, see 1 Kings 4:21.

and of the governors of the country; who were viceroys or deputy governors of countries conquered by his father, and who collected tribute from the people, and paid it to him.

Courtesy of Open Bible