Great plenty of almug trees - In the parallel place, 2 Chronicles 9:10, 2 Chronicles 9:11, these are called algum trees, the ם mem and the ג gimel being transposed; probably the latter is the more correct orthography. What the algum trees were we do not exactly know. The Vulgate calls it ligna thyina, the thya or lignum vitae wood; and Mr. Parkhurst thinks that the original אלגומים algumim, comes from אל al, not, and גם gem, to fill; because the lignum vitae is of so close a texture that it can imbibe no water, and cannot be affected by wet weather. The Septuagint translate it ξυλα πυκινα, pine timber; the Syriac kaise dakisotho, probably cypress wood, or what the translators render ligna brasilica; the Arabic translates coloured wood, and subjoins a paraphrase, for that wood was by nature painted with various colors. Perhaps the Arabic comes nearest the truth; wood shaded of different colors, such as the rose wood and such like, which are brought to us from various parts of the East Indies. The whole passage as it stands in the Arabic is this: "And the ships of Hiram brought gold from the land of Hind, (India), and they carried also much coloured wood, (but this wood is naturally painted of various colors), and very precious jewels. And Solomon put some of that same painted wood which was brought to him in the house of the Lord, and in his own house; and with it he adorned them." And for inlaying and veneering nothing can be finer than this wood.
The navy of Hiram - i. e., Solomon‘s navy in the Red Sea, which was chiefly manned by subjects of Hiram. (see the marginal reference).
Almug-trees - Probably the sandal-wood tree (pterocarpus santalinus). The wood is very heavy, hard, and fine grained, and of a beautiful garnet color, which, according to the rabbinical writers, was the color of the algum. One of the names of the red sandal-wood, in its own native country (India) is “valguka,” a word of which “algum” is a natural corruption.
The revenue of the king and of many of his subjects was greatly increased, but at what a cost! Through the cupidity and shortsightedness of those to whom had been entrusted the oracles of God, the countless multitudes who thronged the highways of travel were allowed to remain in ignorance of Jehovah. PK 72.1
In striking contrast to the course pursued by Solomon was the course followed by Christ when He was on this earth. The Saviour, though possessing “all power,” never used this power for self-aggrandizement. No dream of earthly conquest, of worldly greatness, marred the perfection of His service for mankind. “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests,” He said, “but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head.” Matthew 8:20. Those who, in response to the call of the hour, have entered the service of the Master Worker, may well study His methods. He took advantage of the opportunities to be found along the great thoroughfares of travel. PK 73.1
In the intervals of His journeys to and fro, Jesus dwelt at Capernaum, which came to be known as “His own city.” Matthew 9:1. Situated on the highway from Damascus to Jerusalem and Egypt and to the Mediterranean Sea, it was well adapted to be the center of the Saviour's work. People from many lands passed through the city or tarried for rest. There Jesus met with those of all nations and all ranks, and thus His lessons were carried to other countries and into many households. By this means interest was aroused in the prophecies pointing forward to the Messiah, attention was directed to the Saviour, and His mission was brought before the world. PK 73.2Read in context »
One of the most touching portions of Solomon's dedicatory prayer was his plea to God for the strangers that should come from countries afar to learn more of Him whose fame had been spread abroad among the nations. “They shall hear,” the king pleaded, “of Thy great name, and of Thy strong hand, and of Thy stretched-out arm.” In behalf of every one of these stranger worshipers Solomon had petitioned: “Hear Thou, ... and do according to all that the stranger calleth to Thee for: that all people of the earth may know Thy name, to fear Thee, as do Thy people Israel; and that they may know that this house, which I have builded, is called by Thy name.” Verses 42, 43. PK 66.1
At the close of the service, Solomon had exhorted Israel to be faithful and true to God, in order that “all the people of the earth may know,” he said, “that the Lord is God, and that there is none else.” Verse 60. PK 66.2
A Greater than Solomon was the designer of the temple; the wisdom and glory of God stood there revealed. Those who were unacquainted with this fact naturally admired and praised Solomon as the architect and builder; but the king disclaimed any honor for its conception or erection. PK 66.3Read in context »
In the days when we were struggling with poverty, those who saw how wondrously God wrought for the cause felt that no greater honor could be bestowed upon them than to be bound up with the interests of the work by sacred links which connected them with God. Would they lay down the burden and make terms with the Lord from a money point of view? No, no. Should every timeserver forsake his post, they would never desert the work. 7T 217.1
The believers who in the early history of the cause sacrificed for the upbuilding of the work were imbued with the same spirit. They felt that God demanded of all connected with His cause an unreserved consecration of body, soul, and spirit, of all their energies and capabilities, to make the work a success. 7T 217.2
But in some respects the work has deteriorated. While it has grown in extent and facilities, it has waned in piety. 7T 217.3Read in context »