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Verse 9

The last crowning sin, for which judgment is pronounced on Tyre, is the same as that of Philistia, and probably was enacted in concert with it. In Tyre, there was this aggravation, that it was a violation of a previous treaty and friendship. It was not a covenant only, nor previous friendliness only; but a specific covenant, founded on friendship which they forgat and brake. If they retained the memory of Hiram’s contact with David and Solomon, it was a sin against light too. After David had expelled the Jebusites from Jerusalem, “Hiram King of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees and carpenters and masons; and they built David a house” 2 Samuel 5:11. The Philistines contrariwise invaded him 2 Samuel 5:17. This recognition of him by Hiram was to David a proof, “that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that He had exalted his kingdom for His people, Israel’s sake” 2 Samuel 5:12.

Hiram seems, then, to have recognized something super-human in the exaltation of David. “Hiram was ever a lover of David” 1 Kings 5:1. This friendship he continued to Solomon, and recognized his God as “the” God. Scripture embodies the letter of Hiram; “Because the Lord hath loved his people, He hath made thee king over them. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, that made heaven and earth, who hath given to David a wise son - that he might build are house for the Lord” . He must have known then the value which the pious Israelites attached to the going up to that temple. A later treaty, offered by Demetrius Nicator to Jonathan, makes detailed provision that the Jews should have “the feasts and sabbaths and new moons and the solemn days and the three days before the feast and the three days after the feast, as days of immunity and freedom.”

The three days before the feast were given, that they might go up to the feast. Other treaties guarantee to the Jews religious privileges . A treaty between Solomon and Hiram, which should not secure any religious privileges needed by Jews in Hiram’s dominion, is inconceivable. But Jews were living among the Zidonians (see the note at Joel 3:6). The treaty also, made between Hiram and Solomon, was subsequent to the arrangement by which Hiram was to supply cedars to Solomon, and Solomon to furnish the grain of which Hiram stood in need 1 Kings 5:7-11. “The Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as He promised him” 1 Kings 5:12; and, as a fruit of that wisdom, “there was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and they two made a covenant.” The terms of that covenant are not there mentioned; but a covenant involves conditions. it was not a mere peace; but a distinct covenant, sanctioned by religious rites and by sacrifice.

“This brotherly covenant Tyre remembered not,” when they delivered up to Edom “a complete captivity,” all the Jews who came into their hands. It seems then, that that covenant had an special provision against selling them away from their own land. This same provision other people made for love of their country or their homes; the Jews, for love of their religion. This covenant Tyre remembered not, but brake. They knew doubtless why Edom sought to possess the Israelites; but the covetousness of Tyre fed the cruelty of Edom, and God punished the broken appeal to Himself.

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