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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary

Melachim I - I Kings - Chapter 5

Melachim I - I Kings - Chapter 5

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Chapter 5

1And Solomon reigned over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt, they brought presents, and served Solomon all the days of his life.   אוּשְׁלֹמֹה הָיָה מוֹשֵׁל בְּכָל הַמַּמְלָכוֹת מִן הַנָּהָר אֶרֶץ פְּלִשְׁתִּים וְעַד גְּבוּל מִצְרָיִם מַגִּשִׁים מִנְחָה וְעֹבְדִים אֶת שְׁלֹמֹה כָּל יְמֵי חַיָּיו:
2And Solomon's provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour, and sixty measures of meal.   בוַיְהִי לֶחֶם שְׁלֹמֹה לְיוֹם אֶחָד שְׁלשִׁים כֹּר סֹלֶת וְשִׁשִּׁים כֹּר קָמַח:
3Ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and a hundred sheep, besides harts, and deer, and fallow deer, and fatted fowl.   געֲשָׂרָה בָקָר בְּרִאִים וְעֶשְׂרִים בָּקָר רְעִי וּמֵאָה צֹאן לְבַד מֵאַיָּל וּצְבִי וְיַחְמוּר וּבַרְבֻּרִים אֲבוּסִים:
Fat: Fattened in the stall.  
The pastures: On the grass.  
And fatted fowl: There are amongst our Sages those who say these were roosters which were fattened [forcefully].  
4For he had dominion over all (the inhabitants) on this side of the river, from Tiphsah even to Gaza, over all the kings on this side of the river, and he had peace on all sides around.   דכִּי הוּא רֹדֶה | בְּכָל עֵבֶר הַנָּהָר מִתִּפְסַח וְעַד עַזָּה בְּכָל מַלְכֵי עֵבֶר הַנָּהָר וְשָׁלוֹם הָיָה לוֹ מִכָּל עֲבָרָיו מִסָּבִיב:
5And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig-tree, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, all the days of Solomon.   הוַיֵּשֶׁב יְהוּדָה וְיִשְׂרָאֵל לָבֶטַח אִישׁ תַּחַת גַּפְנוֹ וְתַחַת תְּאֵנָתוֹ מִדָּן וְעַד בְּאֵר שָׁבַע כֹּל יְמֵי שְׁלֹמֹה:
6And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.   ווַיְהִי לִשְׁלֹמֹה אַרְבָּעִים אֶלֶף אֻרְוֹת סוּסִים לְמֶרְכָּבוֹ וּשְׁנֵים עָשָֹר אֶלֶף פָּרָשִׁים:
forty thousand stalls of horses: In Chron. II 9:25 it says four thousand [stalls of horses whereas here forty thousand are mentioned]. Our Sages explained there were forty thousand stalls and in each there were four thousand partitions, or there were four thousand stalls and in each there were forty thousand partitions.  
7And these officers provided victuals for king Solomon, and for all that came unto king Solomon's table, every man (in) his month, they lacked nothing.   זוְכִלְכְּלוּ הַנִּצָּבִים הָאֵלֶּה אֶת הַמֶּלֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹה וְאֵת כָּל הַקָּרֵב אֶל שֻׁלְחַן הַמֶּלֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹה אִישׁ חָדְשׁוֹ לֹא יְעַדְּרוּ דָּבָר:
They lacked nothing: Even summer fruits and vegetables, as cucumbers in the winter.  
8And the barley and the straw for the horses and swift steeds they brought to the place where he would be there, every man according to his charge.   חוְהַשְּׂעֹרִים וְהַתֶּבֶן לַסּוּסִים וְלָרָכֶשׁ יָבִאוּ אֶל הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה שָּׁם אִישׁ כְּמִשְׁפָּטוֹ:
And the barley and the straw: These officers [were obligated] not only to provide the necessary food but also to deliver it to the place where the king would be.  
9And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceedingly much, and largeness of heart, as the sand that (is) on the seashore.   טוַיִּתֵּן אֱלֹהִים חָכְמָה לִשְׁלֹמֹה וּתְבוּנָה הַרְבֵּה מְאֹד וְרֹחַב לֵב כַּחוֹל אֲשֶׁר עַל שְׂפַת הַיָּם:
10And Solomon's wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the children of the east, and all the wisdom of Egypt.   יוַתֵּרֶב חָכְמַת שְׁלֹמֹה מֵחָכְמַת כָּל בְּנֵי קֶדֶם וּמִכֹּל חָכְמַת מִצְרָיִם:
Was greater than the wisdom of all the children of the east: What was the wisdom of the children of the east? They were learned in astronomy, as it is stated in the Pesikta of Para Adumah, and all of this chapter is expounded there according to its ordinary sense.  
11And he was wiser than all men, than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol, and his fame was in all the nations round about.   יאוַיֶּחְכַּם מִכָּל הָאָדָם מֵאֵיתָן הָאֶזְרָחִי וְהֵימָן וְכַלְכֹּל וְדַרְדַּע בְּנֵי מָחוֹל וַיְהִי שְׁמוֹ בְכָל הַגּוֹיִם סָבִיב:
And he was wiser than all men: As its ordinary sense.  
Ethan, Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda: They were all brothers, the sons of Zerach the son of Yehuda as it says (Chron. I 2:6), “And the children of Zerach were Zimri and Ethan.”  
The sons of Mahol: They knew how to compose hymns which are said in dancing. They were songs which the Levites said on their platform in the בֵּיתהַמִקְדָשׁ, hymns which they composed in the book of Psalms. The Medrash Agada in the Pesikta has another interpretation: הָאָדָם מִכָּל this is a reference to אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן אֵיתָן הָאֶזְרָחִי this is אַבְרָהָם. הֵימָן this is משה, וְכַלְכֹּל this is יוֹסֵף. וְדַרְדַע this is the generation of the wilderness [known as the דור דעה]. מָחוֹל that they were forgiven for the act of the golden calf.  
12And he spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were a thousand and five.   יבוַיְדַבֵּר שְׁלשֶׁת אֲלָפִים מָשָׁל וַיְהִי שִׁירוֹ חֲמִשָּׁה וָאָלֶף:
Three thousand proverbs: Three parabolical studies. It is written three times “The proverbs of Solomon” in the book of Proverbs.  
And his songs were five: These three, The Song of Songs and Ecclesiastes.  
And a thousand: in each it was worthy of studying. And in the Medrash Aggada [we find Solomon’s great wisdom enabled him] to say three thousand allegories in each sentence of the Torah, and in each of the allegories one thousand and five reasons.  
13And he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree that (is) in Lebanon and to the hyssop that springs out of the wall, and he spoke of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of the creeping things, and of the fishes.   יגוַיְדַבֵּר עַל הָעֵצִים מִן הָאֶרֶז אֲשֶׁר בַּלְּבָנוֹן וְעַד הָאֵזוֹב אֲשֶׁר יֹצֵא בַּקִּיר וַיְדַבֵּר עַל הַבְּהֵמָה וְעַל הָעוֹף וְעַל הָרֶמֶשׂ וְעַל הַדָּגִים:
And he spoke of trees: which cure is derived from each tree, and that particular wood would be best for that type of building and to plant [a certain tree] in that type of earth. And also of the beasts, what is its cure and the vital elements [necessary] for its upbringing and development and its food. The Midrash Aggada [has another explanation]: Why did God see fit that a ‘metzora’ become clean with the tallest of the tall trees, as the cedar, and the shortest of the short trees? And also of the beasts and the fowl. Why did God see fit that this one, should become permissible by severing one, either the esophagus or the trachea, and this one, the beast, by severing both the esophagus and the trachea, and fish and grasshoppers with neither.  
14And they came of all peoples to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, who had heard his wisdom.   ידוַיָּבֹאוּ מִכָּל הָעַמִּים לִשְׁמֹעַ אֵת חָכְמַת שְׁלֹמֹה מֵאֵת כָּל מַלְכֵי הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר שָׁמְעוּ אֶת חָכְמָתוֹ:
15And Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon, for he had heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, for Hiram was ever a lover of David.   טווַיִּשְׁלַח חִירָם מֶלֶךְ צוֹר אֶת עֲבָדָיו אֶל שְׁלֹמֹה כִּי שָׁמַע כִּי אֹתוֹ מָשְׁחוּ לְמֶלֶךְ תַּחַת אָבִיהוּ כִּי אֹהֵב הָיָה חִירָם לְדָוִד כָּל הַיָּמִים:
16And Solomon sent to Hiram, saying.   טזוַיִּשְׁלַח שְׁלֹמֹה אֶל חִירָם לֵאמֹר:
17You knew my father, David, that he could not build a house for the name of the Lord his God, because of the wars which surrounded him, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet.   יזאַתָּה יָדַעְתָּ אֶת דָּוִד אָבִי כִּי לֹא יָכֹל לִבְנוֹת בַּיִת לְשֵׁם יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהָיו מִפְּנֵי הַמִּלְחָמָה אֲשֶׁר סְבָבֻהוּ עַד תֵּת יְהֹוָה אֹתָם תַּחַת כַּפּוֹת רַגְלָי (כתיב רַגְלָו) :
He could not build a house: He was not permitted because of the wars, as the Torah states clearly (Deut. 12:10): “And He will give you rest from all your enemies round about” and afterwards, “Then it shall come to pass that the place [which the Lord your God shall choose etc.] even unto His habitation shall you seek etc.”  
18And now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side, (there is) neither adversary nor evil occurrence.   יחוְעַתָּה הֵנִיחַ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהַי לִי מִסָּבִיב אֵין שָׂטָן וְאֵין פֶּגַע רָע:
19And, behold, I purpose to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord spoke to David my father, saying, 'Your son whom I will set upon your throne in your place, he shall build a house for My name.'   יטוְהִנְנִי אֹמֵר לִבְנוֹת בַּיִת לְשֵׁם יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהָי כַּאֲשֶׁר | דִּבֶּר יְהֹוָה אֶל דָּוִד אָבִי לֵאמֹר בִּנְךָ אֲשֶׁר אֶתֵּן תַּחְתֶּיךָ עַל כִּסְאֶךָ הוּא יִבְנֶה הַבַּיִת לִשְׁמִי:
20And now, command that they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon, and my servants shall be with your servants, and I will give you hire for your servants according to all that you shall say, for you know that (there is) not among us any who is skilled to hew timber like the Zidonians.   כוְעַתָּה צַוֵּה וְיִכְרְתוּ לִי אֲרָזִים מִן הַלְּבָנוֹן וַעֲבָדַי יִהְיוּ עִם עֲבָדֶיךָ וּשְׂכַר עֲבָדֶיךָ אֶתֵּן לְךָ כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר תֹּאמֵר כִּי | אַתָּה יָדַעְתָּ כִּי אֵין בָּנוּ אִישׁ יֹדֵעַ לִכְרָת עֵצִים כַּצִּדֹנִים:
Like the Zidonians: The Zidonians were neighboring with the forest of Lebanon on one side and part of the kingdom of Hiram.  
21And it was, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly, and said, "Blessed be the Lord this day, who has given to David a wise son over this great people."   כאוַיְהִי כִּשְׁמֹעַ חִירָם אֶת דִּבְרֵי שְׁלֹמֹה וַיִּשְׂמַח מְאֹד וַיֹּאמֶר בָּרוּךְ יְהֹוָה הַיּוֹם אֲשֶׁר נָתַן לְדָוִד בֵּן חָכָם עַל הָעָם הָרָב הַזֶּה:
22And Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, "I have heard that which you have sent me, I will do all your desires concerning cedar wood, and concerning cypress wood.   כבוַיִּשְׁלַח חִירָם אֶל שְׁלֹמֹה לֵאמֹר שָׁמַעְתִּי אֵת אֲשֶׁר שָׁלַחְתָּ אֵלָי אֲנִי אֶעֱשֶׂה אֶת כָּל חֶפְצְךָ בַּעֲצֵי אֲרָזִים וּבַעֲצֵי בְרוֹשִׁים:
23My servants shall bring (them) down from Lebanon to the sea, and I will make them into rafts (to go) by the sea to the place that you shall send me, and will separate them there, and you will transport (them), and you shall accomplish my desire, in giving food for my household.   כגעֲבָדַי יֹרִדוּ מִן הַלְּבָנוֹן יָמָּה וַאֲנִי אֲשִׂימֵם דֹּבְרוֹת בַּיָּם עַד הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר תִּשְׁלַח אֵלַי וְנִפַּצְתִּים שָׁם וְאַתָּה תִשָּׂא וְאַתָּה תַּעֲשֶֹה אֶת חֶפְצִי לָתֵת לֶחֶם בֵּיתִי:
I will make them into rafts: The prophet Ezra calls them רַפְסוֹדוֹת, in Chronicles [II 2:15]. And in German they are called floss, floats, and in old French res, similar to rafts. They would tie the fallen trees together and float them on the water and conduct them as ships are conducted.  
To the place that you shall send me: That you shall send a messenger to inform me to bring them. there  
And will separate them there: As their binding is untied and they are taken from the water to the beach, each and every log separately, that is called נִיפּוּץ. Any whole object when it is taken apart, that is called נִיפּוּץ, depced in old French.  
24And Hiram gave Solomon cedar wood and cypress wood (according to) all his desire.   כדוַיְהִי חִירוֹם נֹתֵן לִשְׁלֹמֹה עֲצֵי אֲרָזִים וַעֲצֵי בְרוֹשִׁים כָּל חֶפְצוֹ:
25And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat (for) food to his household, and twenty measures of beaten oil, thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year.   כהוּשְׁלֹמֹה נָתַן לְחִירָם עֶשְׂרִים אֶלֶף כֹּר חִטִּים מַכֹּלֶת לְבֵיתוֹ וְעֶשְׂרִים כֹּר שֶׁמֶן כָּתִית כֹּה יִתֵּן שְׁלֹמֹה לְחִירָם שָׁנָה בְשָׁנָה:
Food for his household: Heb. מכלת, an expression from the word מַאֲכָל, food.  
beaten oil: This oil was pure because the olives were not ground in a mill but rather crushed with a mortar, and this process does not stir up as much dregs as those which are ground.  
26And the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as He had promised him, and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and they both made a league together.   כווַיהֹוָה נָתַן חָכְמָה לִשְׁלֹמֹה כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר לוֹ וַיְהִי שָׁלֹם בֵּין חִירָם וּבֵין שְׁלֹמֹה וַיִּכְרְתוּ בְרִית שְׁנֵיהֶם:
27And King Solomon raised a levy out of all Israel, and the levy was thirty thousand men.   כזוַיַּעַל הַמֶּלֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹה מַס מִכָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיְהִי הַמַּס שְׁלשִׁים אֶלֶף אִישׁ:
And the levy was thirty thousand men: which amounted to the wages of thirty thousand men.  
28And he sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month alternately, a month they were in Lebanon, (and) two months at home, and Adoniram (was) over the levy.   כחוַיִּשְׁלָחֵם לְבָנוֹנָה עֲשֶֹרֶת אֲלָפִים בַּחֹדֶשׁ חֲלִיפוֹת חֹדֶשׁ יִהְיוּ בַלְּבָנוֹן שְׁנַיִם חֳדָשִׁים בְּבֵיתוֹ וַאֲדֹנִירָם עַל הַמָּס:
Ten thousand a month alternately: When the thousand men were in Lebanon in Tishrei and the twenty thousand men were at home, in Marcheshvan the second ten thousand would alternate and go out to Lebanon and these would return to their homes. And in the month of Kislev the third group of ten thousand go out, and they would go out to Lebanon, and these second ones would return to their homes. And in the month of Teveth the first ones go out and return to Lebanon, and thus they return again and again. So it is found that each group of ten thousand amongst them would be one month in Lebanon and two months at home.  
And Adoniram was over the levy: to collect the levy.  
29And Solomon had seventy thousand who bore burdens, and eighty thousand hewers in the mountains.   כטוַיְהִי לִשְׁלֹמֹה שִׁבְעִים אֶלֶף נֹשֵֹא סַבָּל וּשְׁמֹנִים אֶלֶף חֹצֵב בָּהָר:
Seventy thousand that bore burdens: to bring the stones from the mountains to the city, and the eighty thousand men were the ones who hewed them in the mountains. There is altogether one hundred fifty thousand men. And they were all proselytes who were drawn and attracted to the Jewish people, that converted because of Solomon’s greatness and hospitality. And it is likewise written in Chronicles II (2: 16) “And Solomon numbered all the strangers that were in the land of Israel… and they were found a hundred and fifty thousand. And he set seventy thousand…”  
30Besides Solomon's chief officers that were over the work, three thousand and three hundred, who bore rule over the people that wrought in the work.   ללְבַד מִשָּׂרֵי הַנִּצָּבִים לִשְׁלֹמֹה אֲשֶׁר עַל הַמְּלָאכָה שְׁלשֶׁת אֲלָפִים וּשְׁלשׁ מֵאוֹת הָרֹדִים בָּעָם הָעֹשִֹים בַּמְּלָאכָה:
The chief officers: These were the oppressors and overseers over those who did the work.  
Three thousand and three hundred: And in Chronicles II (2:1) it says three thousand and six hundred. It is, therefore, my opinion that the three thousand three hundred men were in charge of one hundred fifty thousand men, so that each one was in charge of forty five and some odd men, and the three hundred men who were added in Chronicles were in charge of all of them, so that each of these three hundred men was in charge of five hundred and some odd men. And you shall know the evidence in support of my opinion that there are two other passages on this subject, and they contradict one another. For it says on this topic in this book of Kings I (9:23) “These were the chief officers that were over Solomon’s work, five hundred and fifty,” and in the book of Chronicles II (8:10) it says “two hundred and fifty.” There are, therefore, altogether, four verses contradicting one another. But we may explain it thus. Those that are mentioned in the latter verses in I Kings 9:23 and in Chronicles II (8:10), were in charge of all of them. And it is a fact that Solomon had employed these proselytes to be bearers of burdens and to hew stones in the mountains. And, in addition, he had the remaining workers for the store cities which he also built, who were native born Jews. Because these passages are stated there in Chronicles II which discusses the store-cities. And to sum it up then, in the book of Kings he counted the proselyte officers in two separate totals. First, he counted the three thousand three hundred men, the officers who were in charge of forty-five men each, separately. And in (9:23) he combined the three hundred superior officers, who were in charge of these three thousand three hundred men, with the two hundred and fifty men who were in charge of the builders of the store-cities, and totaled together five hundred and fifty officers. And, on the other hand, in Chronicles II he counted all the proselyte officers, the major and minor ones, together, three thousand six hundred men, and they were all proselytes. And the officers in charge of the workers in the store-cities, who were Jews, totaling two hundred and fifty men, he counted separately.  
Who bore rule over the people that wrought in the work: Who bore rule over the people that did the work.  
31And the king commanded, and they quarried great stones, heavy stones, to lay the foundation of the house (with) hewn stone.   לאוַיְצַו הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיַּסִּעוּ אֲבָנִים גְּדֹלוֹת אֲבָנִים יְקָרוֹת לְיַסֵּד הַבָּיִת אַבְנֵי גָזִית:
And they quarried: the stones from the mountains. This is an expression of uprooting.  
Great stones, heavy stones: Heb. יקרות, heavy.  
Hewn stone: They were carved and chiseled [precisely to the required measurement]. And if you ask it has already been stated (6:7) “There was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.” How then were the stones cut to a specific size? The explanation is, that although no tool of iron was heard in the house, while it was in building, but he would chisel the stones while still on the outside, and then bring them in and build from the inside. Thus is this explained in the Tractate Sota (48b).  
32And Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders and the Gebalites did hew (them), and they prepared the timber and the stones to build the house.   לבוַיִּפְסְלוּ בֹּנֵי שְׁלֹמֹה וּבֹנֵי חִירוֹם וְהַגִּבְלִים וַיָּכִינוּ הָעֵצִים וְהָאֲבָנִים לִבְנוֹת הַבָּיִת:
And they did hew them: in the mountains.  
And the Gebalites: a nation whose name was Gebal. And they were skilled in the art of chiseling stones and building. As it is stated in reference to the wise men of Tyre (Ezek. 27:9) “The elders of Cebal and the wise men thereof, were in you your calkers.”  
And they prepared: An expression of designation.  
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