Translation of 3 Reigns 2:46a-l (More Miscellanies from 1 Kings)

Introductory Note

The verses in this passage cover a variety of material, not all of which is known from the Hebrew version of Kings. Like in the previous case of miscellanies, this could have quite substantial implications for the literary history of the text of Kings far beyond any simple text-critical issues. Should it be desired, I can certainly offer some detailed thoughts on this issue in the future.

Translation of the Miscellanies after 3 Reigns 2:46 (= 1 Kgs 2:46)

a) And the king, Solomon, was very insightful and wise. And Judah and Israel (were) very many, like the sand that is upon the sea in multitude, eating and drinking and rejoicing.
b) And Solomon was ruler in all the kingdoms. And they were bringing presents and serving Solomon all the days of his life.
c) And Solomon began to exploit (literally, “lay open”) the natural resources of the Lebanon.
d) And he built Themai in the desert.
e) And this (was) the midday meal for Solomon: 30 Kors of fine flour and 60 Kors of ground grain flour, 10 choice calves, and 20 grazing cattle and 100 sheep besides deer and gazelles and choice roaming birds.
f) Yes, he was ruler in the whole of Transeuphratene, from Raphi to Gaza, in all the kingdoms of Transeuphratene (or “across the river”).
g) And with him was peace from all portions surrounding him. And Judah and Israel settled, trusting, each under his vine and under his fig tree, eating and drinking, from Dan and until Beersabee, all the days of Solomon.
h) And there (were) the leaders of Solomon: Azarias son of Sadok (was?) the priest and Ornias son of Nathan (was) leader of the appointees. And Edram (was) over his house. And Souba (was) scribe. And Basa son of Achithalam (was) recorder. And Abi son of Ioab (was) chief officer and Ahire son of Edrai (was) over the forced laborers. And Banaias son of Iodae (was) over the temple court and over the brickworks. And Zakour son of Nathan (was) the advisor.
i) And there were for Solomon 40,000 breeding horses in chariotry and 12,000 equestrians.
k) And he was ruler in all the kingdoms from the river and until the land of the foreigners (= Philistines) and until the borders of Egypt.
l) Solomon son of David reigned over Israel and Judah in Jerusalem.

How many Kors did Solomon have?!

Notes on the Text

What really makes this text interesting is the number of contradictions and repetitions it presents to the rest of Kings. Of particular interest in this regard is the list of officers, which both “repeats” material found in chapter 4, though substantially different, and contradicts much of the surrounding material, such as who was priest, over the forced labor, and what role Banaias played in Solomon’s governing. In this case, I think that we are dealing with a legitimately different source from the material as it appears in chapter 4, which does not seem familiar with the material preceding this passage in chapter 2. That is, it came from somewhere else. If you’re interested in more information on this, I can supply that in a future post.

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