1 Kings 5:13 MEANING

1 Kings 5:13
(13) Levy out of all Israel.--This, though far from being onerous, appears to have been at this time exceptional. For in 1 Kings 9:22 we read that "of the children of Israel did Solomon make no bondmen: but they were men of war, and his servants, and his princes, and his captains." Thus exceptionally introduced at first for the special service of God, it may have been the beginning of what was hereafter an oppressive despotism over the Israelites themselves. Probably even now the Israelite labourers were (under the chief officers) put in authority over the great mass of 150,000 bondmen, evidently drawn from the native races. (See 2 Chronicles 2:17.) But the whole description suggests to us--what the history of Exodus, the monuments of Egypt, and the description by Herodotus of the building of the Pyramids confirm--the vast sacrifice of human labour and life, at which (in the absence of machinery to spare labour) the great monuments of ancient splendour were reared.

Verse 13. - And King Solomon raised a levy [Marg., tribute of men, i.e., conscription] out of all Israel [i.e., the people, not the land - Ewald] and the levy was thirty thousand men. [That is, if we may trust the figures of the census given in 2 Samuel 24:9 (which do not agree, however, with those of 1 Chronicles 21:5), the conscription only affected one in forty of the male population. But even the lower estimate of Samuel is regarded with some suspicion. Such a levy was predicted (1 Samuel 8:16).

5:10-18 The temple was chiefly built by the riches and labour of Gentiles, which typified their being called into the church. Solomon commanded, and they brought costly stones for the foundation. Christ, who is laid for a Foundation, is a chosen and precious Stone. We should lay our foundation firm, and bestow most pains on that part of our religion which lies out of the sight of men. And happy those who, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, for a habitation of God through the Spirit. Who among us will build in the house of the Lord?And King Solomon raised a levy out of all Israel,.... Not of money, but of men, as follows:

and the levy was thirty thousand men; for what purpose, and how they were employed, 1 Kings 5:14 shows.

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