The enslavement of the people (2 Chr 8:7-8:10)

“All the people who were left of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, were not of the people of Israel. Their descendants were still left in the land, since the Israelites had not destroyed them. These, Solomon conscripted for forced labor, as it is still the case today. But of the people of Israel, King Solomon made no slaves for his work. They were soldiers, and his officers, the commanders of his chariots and cavalry. These were the chief officers of King Solomon, two hundred and fifty of them, who exercised authority over the people.”

Once again, this is based on 1 Kings, chapter 9, with a few minor exceptions. Notice that the newly conscripted peoples the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, are the old list of enemies from the time of Abraham. In fact, this biblical author points out that they are still slaves in forced labor even today. Thus the prejudice against the lowly slaves was justified by calling them the enemies of 800 to 1,000 years earlier. Notice the slight nuance change here from 1 Kings. Here it is the people not destroyed, while in 1 Kings, these people were not able to be destroyed. None of the Israelites became slaves. However, in 1 Kings, chapter 5, there is a statement that 30,000 people from all of Israel were conscripted to work. 10,000 of them worked a month in Lebanon and then they had 2 months off. That text seems to indicate that they were Israelites. Here it seems to indicate that the Israelites were the soldiers, officials, commanders, and captains of his chariots and cavalry. That may be so. However, there seems to be only 250 Israelite officials for all this slave labor which is a lot less than the 3,600 mentioned earlier in chapter 2 of this book.

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