1 Kings 10:16 MEANING

1 Kings 10:16
(16, 17) The shields overlaid with gold--the larger called "targets," and the lesser called "shields"--were evidently used for ornamenting the king's palace, and (as we may gather from the notice in 2 Chronicles 12:11, of the brazen shields which superseded them) taken down and borne before the king on solemn occasions, as "when he went to the house of the Lord." We have notices of shields of gold among the Syrians of Zobah (2 Samuel 8:7; 1 Chronicles 18:7), and of shields hung on the walls of Tyre (Ezekiel 27:10-11). The use of such ornaments argues a plethora of gold, too great to be absorbed either in currency or in personal and architectural decorations.

Verse 16. - And king Solomon made two hundred targets [צִנָּה, from a root which signifies protect, a large oblong shield, which covered the entire person (Psalm 5:12), θυρεός, scutum. See 1 Samuel 17:7, 41. The LXX. here reads δόρατα, i.e., spears] of beaten gold [The authorities are divided as to the meaning of שָׁחוּט, here translated beaten. This rendering is supported by Bahr and Keil (after Kimchi), but Gesenius understands mixed gold. Rawlinson infers from the weight that the shields were only plated (shields were commonly made of wood, covered with leather). But whether they were solid or not does not decide the question whether the gold was pure or alloyed. "Shields of gold" are mentioned 2 Samuel 8:7; 1 Macc. 6:39]: six hundred shekels [Heb. omits shekels, as elsewhere, Genesis 24:22; Genesis 37:28; Judges 8:26, etc. There were apparently two kinds of shekel, the Mosaic and the royal (for the latter see 2 Samuel 14:26). The former was twice as much as the latter, but there is no agreement amongst commentators as to the weight or value of either. Nor can we be certain which is indicated here. Thenius decides for the former, and estimates the weight of the gold on each target to be 17 ½ lbs., and the value to be 6000 thalers (£900), or, according to Keil, 5000 thalers (£750). Keil, however, inclines to the belief that the royal shekel is meant, in which case the weight would be 9 lbs., and the value about £400. Bahr, however, estimates the gold at no more than £78 (523 thalers)] of gold went to one target.

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.And King Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold,.... Which were a larger sort of shields, which covered the whole body; and these were made of gold beaten with the hammer, or drawn into plates, being melted like wax; so the Poeni or Carthaginians made shields of gold (m):

six hundred shekels of gold went to one target; which is to be understood not of the weight, but of the price or value of them, which amounted to four hundred and fifty pounds of our money; so Brerewood (n).

(m) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 35. 3.((n) Ut supra. (De Ponder. & Pret. c. 5.)

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