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[179] Accordingly there went a great fame all around the neighboring countries, which proclaimed the virtue and wisdom of Solomon, insomuch that all the kings every where were desirous to see him, as not giving credit to what was reported, on account of its being almost incredible: they also demonstrated the regard they had for him by the presents they made him; for they sent him vessels of gold, and silver, and purple garments, and many sorts of spices, and horses, and chariots, and as many mules for his carriages as they could find proper to please the king's eyes, by their strength and beauty. This addition that he made to those chariots and horses which he had before from those that were sent him, augmented the number of his chariots by above four hundred, for he had a thousand before, and augmented the number of his horses by two thousand, for he had twenty thousand before. These horses also were so much exercised, in order to their making a fine appearance, and running swiftly, that no others could, upon the comparison, appear either finer or swifter; but they were at once the most beautiful of all others, and their swiftness was incomparable also. Their riders also were a further ornament to them, being, in the first place, young men in the most delightful flower of their age, and being eminent for their largeness, and far taller than other men. They had also very long heads of hair hanging down, and were clothed in garments of Tyrian purple. They had also dust of gold every day sprinkled on their hair, so that their heads sparkled with the reflection of the sun-beams from the gold. The king himself rode upon a chariot in the midst of these men, who were still in armor, and had their bows fitted to them. He had on a white garment, and used to take his progress out of the city in the morning. There was a certain place about fifty furlongs distant from Jerusalem, which is called Etham, very pleasant it is in fine gardens, and abounding in rivulets of water; 1 thither did he use to go out in the morning, sitting on high [in his chariot.]

1 Whether these fine gardens and rivulets of Etham, about six miles from Jerusalem, whither Solomon rode so often in state, be not those alluded to, Ecclesiastes 2:5, 6, where he says, "He made him gardens and orchards, and planted trees in them of all kinds of fruits: he made him pools of water, to water the wood that bringeth forth trees;" and to the finest part whereof he seems to allude, when, in the Canticles, he compares his spouse to a garden "enclosed," to a "spring shut up," to a "fountain sealed," ch. 4. 12 (part of which from rains are still extant, as Mr. Matmdrell informs us, page 87, 88); cannot now be certainly determined, but may very probably be conjectured. But whether this Etham has any relation to those rivers of Etham, which Providence once dried up in a miraculous manner, Psalm 74:15, in the Septuagint, I cannot say.

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