Verses 13–17

Here is, 1. Solomon’s entrance upon the government (2 Chron. 1:13): He came from before the tabernacle, and reigned over Israel. He would not do any acts of government till he had done his acts of devotion, would not take honour to himself till he had given honour to God—first the tabernacle, and then the throne. But, when he had obtained wisdom from God, he did not bury his talent, but as he received the gift ministered the same, did not give up himself to ease and pleasure, but minded business: he reigned over Israel. 2. The magnificence of his court (2 Chron. 1:14): He gathered chariots and horsemen. Shall we praise him for this? We praise him not; for the king was forbidden to multiply horses, Deut. 17:16. I do not remember that ever we find his good father in a chariot or on horseback; a mule was the highest he mounted. We should endeavor to excel those that went before us in goodness rather than in grandeur. 3. The wealth and trade of his kingdom. He made silver and gold very cheap and common, 2 Chron. 1:15. The increase of gold lowers the value of it; but the increase of grace advances its price; the more men have of that the more they value it. How much better therefore is it to get wisdom than gold! He opened also a trade with Egypt, whence he imported horses and linen-yarn, which he exported again to the kings of Syria, with great advantage no doubt, 2 Chron. 1:16, 17. This we had before, 1 Kgs. 10:28, 29. It is the wisdom of princes to promote industry and encourage trade in their dominions. Perhaps Solomon took the hint of setting up the linen-manufacture, bringing linen-yarn out of Egypt, working it into cloth, and then sending that to other nations, from what his mother taught when she specified this as one of the characteristics of the virtuous woman, She maketh fine linen, and selleth it, and delivereth girdles of it to the merchant, Prov. 31:24. In all labour there is profit.