Monthly Archives: June 2014

2 Chronicles 3 – The Building of the Temple

Unknown2 Chronicles 3 – The Building of the Temple

A. Where and when the temple construction began.

1. (1) The location of the temple.

Now Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

a. Now Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah: This place had been previously identified as the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. Here it is specifically located as Mount Moriah. This was the same hill where Abraham offered Isaac (Genesis 22:2), and the same set of hills where Jesus would later die on the cross (Genesis 22:14).

i. “Where Isaac, as a type of Christ, bore the wood, obeyed his father, and should have been sacrificed. Calvary, where our Saviour suffered, was either a part of this mount, or very near unto it.” (Trapp)

b. Began to build the house of the LORD: This was when the actual construction began. All David’s prior plans and preparations anticipated the actual beginning of the work. One can plan and prepare endlessly and never begin to build, but Solomon began to build the house of the LORD.

2. (2) When the construction began.

And he began to build on the second day of the second month in the fourth year of his reign.

a. On the second day of the second month in the fourth year of his reign: This was probably in the year 967 B.C. Connecting this with 1 Kings 6:1, this marking point shows just how long Israel lived in the Promised Land without a temple. The tabernacle served the nation well for more than 400 years. The prompting to build them temple was more at the direction and will of God than out of absolute necessity.

b. In the fourth year of his reign: This doesn’t mean that Solomon delayed his obedience for four years. He probably started to organize the work right away. There is some evidence that it took three years to prepare timber from Lebanon for use in building. If Solomon began the construction of the temple in the fourth year of his reign, he probably started organizing the construction in the very first year of his reign.

B. A Description of the temple.

1. (3-7) The building in general.

This is the foundation which Solomon laid for building the house of God: The length was sixty cubits (by cubits according to the former measure) and the width twenty cubits. And the vestibule that was in front of the sanctuary was twenty cubits long across the width of the house, and the height was one hundred and twenty. He overlaid the inside with pure gold. The larger room he paneled with cypress which he overlaid with fine gold, and he carved palm trees and chainwork on it. And he decorated the house with precious stones for beauty, and the gold was gold from Parvaim. He also overlaid the house; the beams and doorposts, its walls and doors; with gold; and he carved cherubim on the walls.

a. For building the house of God: This chapter will describe the building of the temple and its associated areas. There are four main structures described.

· The temple proper (the foundation which Solomon laid), divided into two rooms (the holy place and the most holy place).
· The vestibule or entrance hall on the east side of the temple proper (the vestibule that was in front of the sanctuary). It was thirty feet (10 meters) wide and fifteen feet (5 meters) deep, and the same height as the temple proper. “Its height measurement should read twenty cubits high (NIV, REB, NEB), as against a literal translation of MT, ‘and its height 120’.” (Selman)
· The three-storied side chambers (described in 1 Kings 6:5) which surrounded the temple proper on the north, south, and west sides.
· A large courtyard surrounding the whole structure (the inner court mentioned in 1 Kings 6:36).

b. He decorated the house with precious stones for beauty: This is one description among many that give us an idea of how beautiful the temple was and how Solomon spared no expense in making it beautiful.

i. “The reference to ‘precious stones’ may suggest mosaics, inlaid in the floor.” (Payne)

c. He carved cherubim on the walls: This was after the pattern of the tabernacle, which had woven designs of cherubim on the inner covering. Therefore when one entered the temple they saw cherubim all around – as one would see in heaven (Psalm 80:1, Isaiah 37:16, and Ezekiel 10:3). These angelic beings worship God perpetually in heaven.

i. One might saw that we don’t worship angels but we do worship with them.

2. (8-14) The Most Holy Place.

And he made the Most Holy Place. Its length was according to the width of the house, twenty cubits, and its width twenty cubits. He overlaid it with six hundred talents of fine gold. The weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold; and he overlaid the upper area with gold. In the Most Holy Place he made two cherubim, fashioned by carving, and overlaid them with gold. The wings of the cherubim were twenty cubits in overall length: one wing of the one cherub was five cubits, touching the wall of the room, and the other wing was five cubits, touching the wing of the other cherub; one wing of the other cherub was five cubits, touching the wall of the room, and the other wing also was five cubits, touching the wing of the other cherub. The wings of these cherubim spanned twenty cubits overall. They stood on their feet, and they faced inward. And he made the veil of blue, purple, crimson, and fine linen, and wove cherubim into it.

a. And he made the Most Holy Place: Special attention was given to the Holy of Holies or Most Holy place. It was a 30-foot (10 meter) cube, completely overlaid with gold. It also had two large sculptures of cherubim (15-foot or 5 meters in height), which were overlaid with gold.

b. He overlaid it with six hundred talents of fine gold: There was gold everywhere in the temple, but especially in the Most Holy Place. The walls were covered with gold (1 Kings 6:20-22), the floor was covered with gold (1 Kings 6:30) and gold was hammered into the carvings on the doors (1 Kings 6:32).

i. There was gold everywhere on the inside of the temple. “Such was Christ’s inside (Colossians 2:9); in his outside was no such desirable beauty (Isaiah 53:2); so the Church’s glory is inward (Psalm 44:13), in the hidden man of the heart (1 Peter 3:4).” (Trapp)

c. Two cherubim, fashioned by carving, and overlaid them with gold: These two large sculptures inside the Most Holy Place faced the entrance to this inner room, so as soon as the High Priest entered he saw these giant guardians of the presence of God facing him.

i. “If it were image work – cherubims were made like boys – yet this is no plea for Popish images; since they are flatly forbidden; and God made the law for us, not for himself.” (Trapp)

d. And he made the veil: This was the important barrier separating the holy place from the Most Holy Place. Only one man once a year could go behind the veil and enter the Most Holy Place.

i. “To most Israelites, therefore, the temple was an unseen world. God had drawn near to them, but the way to him was hedged around with many restrictions.” (Selman)

ii. Spiritually speaking, in dying for our sins Jesus with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12).

iii. In the temple, this veil was torn from top to bottom at the death of Jesus (Matthew 27:51), showing that through His death, there is no longer a barrier to the Most Holy place.

iv. Now the Most Holy Place is open to us: brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is His flesh (Hebrews 10:19-20). The torn veil of Matthew 27:51 also symbolizes the broken body of Jesus, through which we have access to the Most Holy Place.

3. (15-17) The pillars of the temple.

Also he made in front of the temple two pillars thirty-five cubits high, and the capital that was on the top of each of them was five cubits. He made wreaths of chainwork, as in the inner sanctuary, and put them on top of the pillars; and he made one hundred pomegranates, and put them on the wreaths of chainwork. Then he set up the pillars before the temple, one on the right hand and the other on the left; he called the name of the one on the right hand Jachin, and the name of the one on the left Boaz.

a. In front of the temple two pillars thirty-five cubits high: 1 Kings 7:15 tells us that these pillars were actually made of bronze. They were two very impressive adornments to the front of the temple.

b. He called the name of the one on the right hand Jachin, and the name of the one on the left Boaz: These two pillars were so impressive that they were actually given names. Jachin means He shall establish and Boaz means in strength.

i. Every time someone came to the house of the LORD in the days of Solomon they said, “Look! There is ‘He Shall Establish.’ And there is ‘In Him Is Strength.’“ It set them in the right frame of mind to worship the LORD. When the crowds gathered at the morning and evening sacrifice to worship the LORD, the Levites led the people standing in front of the temple with these two great, bronze pillars behind them. It was always before them: He Shall Establish and In Him Is Strength.

ii. One could say that the house of God itself was Jachin and Boaz. That temple was established by God, and built by the strength of God. Every time they looked at that temple, they knew that God liked to establish and strengthen things.

iii. The house of God was a place where people experienced what the pillars were all about. At that house, people were established in their relationship with God. At that house, people were given strength from the LORD. From this building, it should go out to the whole community: “Come here and get established. Come here and receive the strength of God.”

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2 Chronicles 2 – Supplies and Workers for the Temple

Unknown2 Chronicles 2 – Supplies and Workers for the Temple

A. An overview of the work of building the temple.

1. (1) Solomon’s determination to build the temple.

Then Solomon determined to build a temple for the name of the LORD, and a royal house for himself.

a. Then Solomon determined to build a temple: His determination was fitting because of all that his father David did to prepare for the building and because of the charge David gave him to do the work.

i. We might think that the greatest thing about Solomon was his wisdom, his riches, his proverbs or his writings. Clearly for the Chronicler the most important thing about Solomon was the temple he built. This was most important because it was most relevant to a community of returning exiles who struggled to build a new temple and to make a place for Israel among the nations again.

ii. “Chronicles’ record of Solomon’s achievements moves straight away to the construction of the temple. Several important items in the account of his reign in Kings are left out as a result, such as his wisdom in action, administration, educational reforms, and some building activities (e.g. 1 Kings 3:16-4:34; 7:1-12). These were not unimportant, but, for Chronicles, they were all subsidiary to the temple.” (Selman)

b. And a royal house for himself: Solomon’s great building works did not end with temple. He also built a spectacular palace (1 Kings 7:1-12) and more.

2. (2) The magnitude of the work

Solomon selected seventy thousand men to bear burdens, eighty thousand to quarry stone in the mountains, and three thousand six hundred to oversee them.

a. Seventy thousand men to bear burdens, eighty thousand to quarry stone: This seems to describe the number of Canaanite slave laborers that Solomon used.

i. Ginzberg relates some of the legends surrounding the building of the temple. “During the seven years it took to build the Temple, not a single workman died who was employed about it, nor even did a single one fall sick. And as the workmen were sound and robust from first to last, so the perfection of their tools remained unimpaired until the building stood complete. Thus the work suffered no sort of interruption.” (Ginzberg)

b. And three thousand six hundred to oversee them: This was the middle management team administrating the work of building the temple.

i. “The number of thirty-six hundred foremen differs from 1 Kings 5:16 (3,300), but the LXX of Kings is quite insecure here, and Chronicles may preserve the better reading.” (Selman)

B. Solomon’s correspondence with Hiram king of Tyre.

1. (3-6) Solomon describes the work to Hiram.

Then Solomon sent to Hiram king of Tyre, saying: As you have dealt with David my father, and sent him cedars to build himself a house to dwell in, so deal with me. Behold, I am building a temple for the name of the LORD my God, to dedicate it to Him, to burn before Him sweet incense, for the continual showbread, for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, on the New Moons, and on the set feasts of the LORD our God. This is an ordinance forever to Israel. And the temple which I build will be great, for our God is greater than all gods. But who is able to build Him a temple, since heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him? Who am I then, that I should build Him a temple, except to burn sacrifice before Him?

a. Solomon sent to Hiram king of Tyre, saying: As you have dealt with David my father: Solomon appealed to Hiram based on his prior good relationship with his father David. This shows us that David did not regard every neighbor nation as an enemy. David wisely built alliances and friendships with neighbor nations, and the benefit of this also came to Solomon.

i. “Hiram is an abbreviation of Ahiram which means ‘Brother of Ram,’ or ‘My brother is exalted,’ or ‘Brother of the lofty one.’ . . . Archaeologists have discovered a royal sarcophagus in Byblos of Tyre dated about 1200 B.C. inscribed with the king’s name, ‘Ahiram.’ Apparently it belonged to the man in this passage.” (Dilday, commentary on 1 Kings)

b. Then Solomon sent to Hiram: “According to Josephus, copies of such a letter along with Hiram’s reply were preserved in both Hebrew and Tyrian archives and were extant in his day (Antiquities, 8.2.8).” (Dilday)

c. I am building a temple for the name of the LORD my God: Of course, Solomon did not build a temple for a name but for a living God. This is a good example of avoiding direct mention of the name of God in Hebrew writing and speaking. They did this out of reverence to God.

i. Solomon also used this phrase because he wanted to explain that he didn’t think the temple would be the house of God in the way pagans thought. This is especially shown in his words, who is able to build Him a temple, since heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him? By the standards of the paganism of his day, Solomon’s conception of God was both Biblical and high.

ii. “He never conceived it as a place to which God would be confined. He did expect, and he received, manifestations of the Presence of God in that house. Its chief value was that it afforded man a place in which he should offer incense; that is, the symbol of adoration, praise, worship, to God.” (Morgan)

iii. God is, “good without quality, great without quantity, everlasting without time, present everywhere without place, containing all without extent . . . he is within all things, and contained of nothing: without all things, and sustained of nothing.” (Trapp)

2. (7-10) Solomon’s request to Hiram.

Therefore send me at once a man skillful to work in gold and silver, in bronze and iron, in purple and crimson and blue, who has skill to engrave with the skillful men who are with me in Judah and Jerusalem, whom David my father provided. Also send me cedar and cypress and algum logs from Lebanon, for I know that your servants have skill to cut timber in Lebanon; and indeed my servants will be with your servants, to prepare timber for me in abundance, for the temple which I am about to build shall be great and wonderful. And indeed I will give to your servants, the woodsmen who cut timber, twenty thousand kors of ground wheat, twenty thousand kors of barley, twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil.

a. Therefore send me at once a man skillful to work in gold and silver: Solomon wanted the temple to be the best it could be, so he used Gentile labor when it was better. This means that Solomon was willing to build this great temple to God with “Gentile” wood and using “Gentile” labor. This was a temple to the God of Israel, but it was not only for Israel.

i. “The leading craftsmen for the Tent, Bezalel and his assistant Oholiab, were both similarly skilled in a range of abilities (cf. Exodus 31:1-6; 35:30-36:2).” (Selman)

ii. “Despite a growing number of ‘skilled craftsmen’ in Israel, their techniques remained inferior to those of their northern neighbors, as is demonstrated archaeologically by less finely cut building stones and by the lower level of Israelite culture in general.” (Payne)

b. To prepare timber for me in abundance: The cedar trees of Lebanon were legendary for their excellent timber. This means Solomon wanted to build the temple out of the best materials possible.

i. “The Sidonians were noted as timber craftsmen in the ancient world, a fact substantiated on the famous Palmero Stone. Its inscription from 2200 B.C. tells us about timber-carrying ships that sailed from Byblos to Egypt about four hundred years previously. The skill of the Sidonians was expressed in their ability to pick the most suitable trees, know the right time to cut them, fell them with care, and then properly treat the logs.” (Dilday)

3. (11-16) Hiram’s response to Solomon.

Then Hiram king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon: Because the LORD loves His people, He has made you king over them. Hiram also said: Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who made heaven and earth, for He has given King David a wise son, endowed with prudence and understanding, who will build a temple for the LORD and a royal house for himself! And now I have sent a skillful man, endowed with understanding, Huram my master craftsman (the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre), skilled to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, stone and wood, purple and blue, fine linen and crimson, and to make any engraving and to accomplish any plan which may be given to him, with your skillful men and with the skillful men of my lord David your father. Now therefore, the wheat, the barley, the oil, and the wine which my lord has spoken of, let him send to his servants. And we will cut wood from Lebanon, as much as you need; we will bring it to you in rafts by sea to Joppa, and you will carry it up to Jerusalem.

a. Then Hiram king of Tyre answered in writing: “We find . . . that kings could write and read in what were called the by the proud and insolent Greeks and Romans barbarous nations. Nearly two thousand years after this we find a king on the British throne who could not sign his own name.” (Clarke)

b. Blessed be the LORD God of Israel: We can’t say if Hiram was a saved man, but he certainly respected the God of Israel. This was no doubt due to David’s godly influence on Hiram.

c. I have sent a skillful man, endowed with understanding, Huram my master craftsman: King Hiram answered Solomon’s request for a skillful man (2 Chronicles 2:7). Huram had a Jewish mother and a Gentile father.

d. The wheat, the barley, the oil, and the wine which my lord has spoken of, let him send to his servants: Hiram agreed to work for the arrangement suggested by Solomon, though he could have asked for more (1 Kings 5:6).

i. This shows us that Hiram did expect to be paid. His service and the service of His people were not a gift or a sacrifice. “There are a good many people who get mixed up with religious work, and talk as if it were very near their hearts, who have as sharp an eye to their own advantage as he had. The man who serves God because he gets paid for it, does not serve Him.” (Maclaren)

4. (17-18) The laborers who built the temple.

Then Solomon numbered all the aliens who were in the land of Israel, after the census in which David his father had numbered them; and there were found to be one hundred and fifty-three thousand six hundred. And he made seventy thousand of them bearers of burdens, eighty thousand stonecutters in the mountain, and three thousand six hundred overseers to make the people work.

a. All the aliens who were in the land of Israel: This specifically tells us where the seventy thousand man labor force described here and in 1 Chronicles 2:2 came from.

i. “The temple, then, did not become a house of prayer for all nations by accident. The nations even played a part in its construction!” (Selman)

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2 Chronicles 1 – Solomon Seeks God

Unknown2 Chronicles 1 – Solomon Seeks God

A. Solomon meets God at Gibeon.

1. (1-4) Solomon brings the leaders of Israel to the tabernacle at Gibeon.

Now Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him and exalted him exceedingly. And Solomon spoke to all Israel, to the captains of thousands and of hundreds, to the judges, and to every leader in all Israel, the heads of the fathers’ houses. Then Solomon, and all the assembly with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for the tabernacle of meeting with God was there, which Moses the servant of the LORD had made in the wilderness. But David had brought up the ark of God from Kirjath Jearim to the place David had prepared for it, for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem.

a. Now Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him: Solomon made a great start to his reign as king, and God blessed it. He had been left with almost every possible advantage by his father David and his kingdom was strong.

b. Then Solomon . . . went to the high place that was at Gibeon: Solomon made these special sacrifices at Gibeon because the tabernacle of meeting with God was there. Though the ark of the covenant had been brought to Jerusalem (the place David had prepared for it), the tabernacle itself stayed at Gibeon.

i. Morgan on the phrase, tabernacle of meeting: “That is, it was the place where the people met with God. That is always the idea; not the meeting of the people with each other, but their meeting with God.”

ii. We can track the progress of tabernacle and the ark of the covenant in the Promised Land:

· Joshua brought both the ark and the tabernacle to Shiloh (Joshua 18)
· In the days of Eli the ark was captured and the tabernacle wrecked (1 Samuel 4, Psalm 78:60-64, Jeremiah 7:12 and 26:9)
· The ark came back to Kiriath-Jearim (1 Samuel 7:1-2)
· Saul restored the tabernacle at Nob (1 Samuel 21)
· Saul moved the tabernacle to Gibeon (1 Chronicles 16:39-40)
· David brought the ark to Jerusalem and built a temporary tent for it (2 Samuel 6:17, 2 Chronicles 1:4)

iii. There are several reasons to explain why David did not bring the tabernacle from Gibeon to Jerusalem.

· He may have believed if the tabernacle was there the people would be satisfied with that and they would lose the passion and vision for the temple God wanted built.
· It may be that the tabernacle was only moved when it was absolutely necessary – as when disaster came upon it at Shiloh or Nob.
· David simply focused on building the temple, not continuing the tabernacle.

2. (5-6) Solomon and the assembly seek God together.

Now the bronze altar that Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, he put before the tabernacle of the LORD; Solomon and the assembly sought Him there. And Solomon went up there to the bronze altar before the LORD, which was at the tabernacle of meeting, and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it.

a. Now the bronze altar that Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, he put before the tabernacle of the LORD: This was the same altar made in the wilderness between Egypt and the Promised Land (Exodus 36:1-2). This altar was at least 500 years old and had received many sacrifices over Israel’s long history since the Exodus.

b. Solomon and the assembly sought Him there: Solomon and the people of God sought the LORD at the place of atoning sacrifice. This was the Old Testament equivalent to “coming to the cross” in seeking God.

i. This was an important event marking the “ceremonial” beginning of Solomon’s reign. Solomon wanted to demonstrate from the beginning that he would seek God and lead the kingdom to do so.

c. And offered a thousand burnt offerings: This almost grotesque amount of sacrifice demonstrated both Solomon’s great wealth and his heart to use it to glorify God.

3. (7-10) Solomon’s request.

On that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask! What shall I give you?” And Solomon said to God: “You have shown great mercy to David my father, and have made me king in his place. Now, O LORD God, let Your promise to David my father be established, for You have made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?”

a. God appeared to Solomon: 1 Kings 3:5 tells us that this remarkable visitation from God happened in a dream. This was one of the more significant dreams in the Bible.

i. “It is interesting to note that notwithstanding the fact that the ark was not there, God met with Solomon and communed with him.” (Morgan) Here God made it clear that His presence was not to be superstitiously restricted to an association with the ark of the covenant.

b. Ask! What shall I give you? This was an amazing promise. God seemed to offer Solomon whatever he wanted. This wasn’t only because Solomon sacrificed 1,000 animals. It was because his heart was surrendered to God, and God wanted to work something in Solomon through this offer and his response.

i. The natural reaction to reading this promise of God to Solomon is to wish we had such a promise. We do have them.

· Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)
· If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. (John 15:7)
· Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. (1 John 5:14)

ii. “The problem for many Christians, then, is not whether they will receive anything when they ask, but whether they will ask at all.” (Selman)

c. You have shown great mercy: Before responding to God’s offer and asking for something, Solomon remembered God’s faithfulness to both David and now to Solomon himself.

d. Now give me wisdom and knowledge: Solomon asked for more than great knowledge; he wanted wisdom, and according to 1 Kings 3, he wanted it in his heart, not merely in his head.

e. That I may go out and come in before this people: This was a Hebrew expression that meant, “That I may fulfill my duties before this people.” Solomon asked for the knowledge and wisdom necessary to be a good king.

i. “Such words referred originally to military leadership (1 Chronicles 11:2; cf. 1 Samuel 18:13) but are here broadened into representing good governmental administratorship in general.” (Payne)

B. God answers Solomon’s request.

1. (11-12) Solomon receives wisdom and more from God.

And God said to Solomon: “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life; but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king; wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like.”

a. Because this was in your heart: God was pleased by what Solomon asked for, in that he knew his great need for knowledge and wisdom. God was also pleased by what Solomon did not ask for, in that he did not ask for riches or fame or power for himself.

i. Solomon’s request was not bad. We are specifically told in 1 Kings 3:10 that the speech pleased the LORD. Yet we can also ask if this was the best Solomon could ask for. “Was this the highest gift that he could have asked or received? Surely the deep longings of his father for communion with God were yet better.” (Maclaren)

ii. Solomon did his job well – as well or better than anyone. Yet as his falling away in the end showed (1 Kings 11:1-11) there was something lacking in his spiritual life. “There is no sign in his biography that he ever had the deep inward devotion of his father. After the poet-psalmist came the prosaic and keen-sighted shrewd man of affairs.” (Maclaren)

b. Wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor: God not only answered Solomon’s prayer, he answered it beyond all expectation. Solomon did not ask for riches and wealth and honor, but God gave him those also.

i. “God’s answer was a beautiful instance of the overflowing love and grace of the divine heart. All the things Solomon set aside for the sake of wisdom were also given to him.” (Morgan)

ii. Appearing in his dream, God answered Solomon’s prayer and made him wise, powerful, rich, and influential. His reign was glorious for Israel. At the same time, his end was tragic. We can fairly say that Solomon wasted these gifts God gave him. Though he accomplished much, he could have done much more – and his heart was led away from God in the end (1 Kings 11:4-11).

ii. “Instead of being the wisest of men, did he not become more brutish than any man? Did he not even lose the knowledge of his Creator, and worship the abominations of the Moabites, Zidonians, and [so forth]? And was not such idolatry a proof of the grossest stupidity? How few proofs does his life give that the gracious purpose of God was fulfilled in him! He received much; but he would have received much more, had he been faithful to the grace given. No character in the sacred writings disappoints us more than the character of Solomon.” (Clarke, commenting in 1 Kings)

2. (13-17) The great wealth of King Solomon.

So Solomon came to Jerusalem from the high place that was at Gibeon, from before the tabernacle of meeting, and reigned over Israel. And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen; he had one thousand four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. Also the king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars as abundant as the sycamores which are in the lowland. And Solomon had horses imported from Egypt and Keveh; the king’s merchants bought them in Keveh at the current price. They also acquired and imported from Egypt a chariot for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for one hundred and fifty; thus, through their agents, they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Syria.

a. So Solomon came to Jerusalem . . . and reigned over Israel: Solomon actually reigned – or began his reign – in the great wisdom God gave him at Gibeon. A famous example of this wisdom is found in 1 Kings 3:16-28, where he wisely judged between two mothers who each claimed the same baby as their own.

b. And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen: The famous stables of Solomon show what a vast cavalry he assembled for Israel. Unfortunately, it also shows that Solomon did not take God’s word as seriously as he should. In Deuteronomy 17:16, God spoke specifically to the future kings of Israel: But he shall not multiply horses for himself.

c. The king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones: When we think of Solomon’s great wealth, we also consider that he originally did not set his heart upon riches. He deliberately asked for wisdom to lead the people of God instead of riches or fame. God promised to also give Solomon riches and fame, and God fulfilled His promise.

i. We also consider that Solomon gave an eloquent testimony to the vanity of riches as the preacher in the Book of Ecclesiastes. He powerfully showed that there was no ultimate satisfaction through materialism. We don’t have to be as rich as Solomon to learn the same lesson.

ii. Certainly, Solomon presided over a prosperous and wealthy kingdom. Yet the Chronicler is also warning us here. He assumes that we know of the instructions for future kings of Israel in Deuteronomy 17:14-20. He assumes we know verse 17 of that passage, which says: nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself. God blessed Solomon with great riches, but Solomon allowed that blessing to turn into a danger because he disobediently multiplied silver and gold for himself.

iii. “There was nothing wrong in all this, but it created a very subtle peril. Prosperity is always a more insidious danger to men of faith than adversity.” (Morgan)

d. Solomon had horses imported from Egypt and Keveh: At the end of this great description of Solomon’s wealth and splendor, we have the sound of this dark note. This was in direct disobedience to Deuteronomy 17:16, which said to the Kings of Israel: But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the LORD has said to you, “You shall not return that way again.”

i. Keveh (also known as Cilicia) was “in what is now southern Turkey, at the east end of the Mediterranean, was a prime ancient supplier of horses.” (Payne)

e. Thus, through their agents, they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Syria: This may explain why Solomon broke such an obvious commandment. Perhaps the importation of horses from Egypt began as trading as an agent on behalf of other kings. From this, perhaps Solomon could say, “I’m importing horses from Egypt but I am not doing it for myself. I’m not breaking God’s command.” Many examples of gross disobedience begin as clever rationalizations.

i. It is hard to know in what order Solomon’s compromise was expressed. Yet it is possible to say that this disobedience to this seemingly small command began the downfall of Solomon.

· First, in disobedience he multiplied horses for the service of his kingdom and he obtains them from the Egyptians (1 Kings 4:26, 10:28-29).
· Then, because of these connections with Egypt he married Pharaoh’s daughter (1 Kings 3:1).
· Then, because he started by marrying an Egyptian he married many other foreign women (1 Kings 11:1-4).
· Then, because of the presence of the foreign wives he built temples to their gods for their use (1 Kings 11:7-8).
· Then, because of the presence of these temples he began to worship these other gods himself (1 Kings 11:4-5).

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1 Chronicles 29 – The End of David’s Reign

Unknown1 Chronicles 29 – The End of David’s Reign

A. David’s offering for the temple.

1. (1-5) David’s gifts to build the temple.

Furthermore King David said to all the assembly: “My son Solomon, whom alone God has chosen, is young and inexperienced; and the work is great, because the temple is not for man but for the LORD God. Now for the house of my God I have prepared with all my might: gold for things to be made of gold, silver for things of silver, bronze for things of bronze, iron for things of iron, wood for things of wood, onyx stones, stones to be set, glistening stones of various colors, all kinds of precious stones, and marble slabs in abundance. Moreover, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver: three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses; the gold for things of gold and the silver for things of silver, and for all kinds of work to be done by the hands of craftsmen. Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the LORD?”

a. The work is great, because the temple is not for man but for the LORD God: One reason David did so much to prepare for the building of the temple was because he knew that the work was great and required great resources – more than a young and inexperienced king like Solomon could be expected to gather on his own.

i. The work was great because it was for God. Before a great God there are no small works; everything should be done for the glory of God (Colossians 3:22).

b. Now for the house of God I have prepared with all my might: This was certainly true. When we consider all that David did to provide security, a location, the land, money, materials, supervisory staff, workers, plans, and an organized team to run the temple, it is evident that David gave this work of preparation all of his might.

c. Moreover, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God: David gave all he gave because he loved the house of God. We naturally give to and support that which we love. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21).

i. David specifically used the phrase house of my God to emphasize the personal connection; this was more personal than saying merely the house of God. Because God was David’s God in a personal sense, David loved the house of God.

ii. Over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house: David loved the house of his God so much that he gave over and above what he gave before. David did an enormous amount of preparation and resource gathering to build the temple; but now he gave even more, even giving over and above.

d. Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the LORD? David brought up his giving – especially the over and above giving – he used it as an occasion to challenge his fellow Israelites to also consecrate themselves to the LORD.

i. Given the massive amount that David gathered for the building of the temple, it might be argued that the gifts of the people were unnecessary. Yet David knew that it was important to give the people an opportunity to give, for their sake more than for the sake of the building project itself. Their giving was a legitimate and important way to consecrate themselves to God.

ii. “The king’s appeal for each giver to ‘consecrate himself’ reads literally ‘to fill his hand.’ This was a technical phrase used to describe ordination to the priesthood; and Scripture, significantly, places the act of giving on this same level of devotion.” (Payne)

2. (6-9) The giving of other Israelites.

Then the leaders of the fathers’ houses, leaders of the tribes of Israel, the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the officers over the king’s work, offered willingly. They gave for the work of the house of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze, and one hundred thousand talents of iron. And whoever had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the LORD, into the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite. Then the people rejoiced, for they had offered willingly, because with a loyal heart they had offered willingly to the LORD; and King David also rejoiced greatly.

a. Then the leaders . . . offered willingly: The people found it easy to give when they saw the greatness and the value of the project and when they had good examples of over and above giving like King David.

b. Then the people rejoiced, for they had offered willingly, because with a loyal heart they had offered willingly to the LORD: The people found that it was a joyful thing to give so generously to God. They fulfilled the later New Testament idea of the cheerful giving (2 Corinthians 9:7).

B. David’s Psalm blesses God before the people.

1. (10-12) David exalts the LORD.

Therefore David blessed the LORD before all the assembly; and David said: “Blessed are You, LORD God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.”

a. Therefore David blessed the LORD before all the assembly: The generous giving made David rejoice and praise God. It wasn’t for the sake of the wealth itself, but because it demonstrated that the hearts of the people were really interested in God and in His house.

b. Blessed are You, LORD God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever: This is the first time in the Bible that God is addressed directly as a Father over His people.

i. Jesus taught His disciples to pray beginning with this phrase, our Father (Matthew 6:9-13). Jesus may have had this passage in mind when teaching His disciples about prayer, because there are other similarities between the two passages.

ii. “This verse supplies the conclusion to the Lord’s Prayer: ‘For thine is the kingdom’ (Matthew 6:13, KJV).” (Payne)

c. Both riches and honor come from You: David could say this as a man who had a life full of both riches and honor. He knew that those things came from God and not from David Himself.

2. (13-15) David expresses thanks for the privilege of giving

“Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name. But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, and of Your own we have given You. For we are aliens and pilgrims before You, as were all our fathers; Our days on earth are as a shadow, and without hope.”

a. Who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this? David knew that both the ability and the heart to give were themselves gifts from God. He was actually humbled by having such a heart to give, both in himself and in the people of Israel as a group.

i. David knew this was true because he knew that all things come from God, and whatever they gave to God was His own to begin with.

ii. “That thou shouldst give us both such riches out of which we should be able to make such an offering, and such a willing and free heart to offer them; both of which are thy gifts, and the fruits of thy good grace and mercy to us.” (Poole)

b. Our days on earth are as a shadow, and without hope: By emphasizing the weakness of man, David recognizes the greatness of God. He can take hopeless, alien pilgrims and shadows and use them to build a great house unto a great God.

i. “A shadow seemeth to be something, when indeed it is nothing; so is man’s life: and the longer this shadow seemeth to be, the nearer the sun is to setting.” (Trapp)

3. (16-19) David commits the offering received from the people unto God.

“O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have prepared to build You a house for Your holy name is from Your hand, and is all Your own. I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things; and now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here to offer willingly to You. O LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep this forever in the intent of the thoughts of the heart of Your people, and fix their heart toward You. And give my son Solomon a loyal heart to keep Your commandments and Your testimonies and Your statutes, to do all these things, and to build the temple for which I have made provision.”

a. In the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things: David knew that it was important to emphasize that his offering had been made willingly. He gave because he wanted to, not merely as a demonstration to induce the people to give. David therefore also knew that the people made their offering willingly to God.

b. Keep this forever in the intent of the thoughts of the heart of Your people, and fix their heart toward You: David knew that the people of Israel were in a godly, wonderful place on this day of offering to the temple.

i. “Praise then merged into prayer that the state of mind in which they had given might be maintained; and for Solomon, that he might be kept with a perfect heart to complete the work of Temple building. It was a fitting and glorious ending to a great reign.” (Morgan)

c. And give my son Solomon a loyal heart to keep Your commandments: David knew that this was the key to the lasting health of the kingdom of Israel and the security of his dynasty.

4. (20) David leads the congregation in praise to God.

Then David said to all the assembly, “Now bless the LORD your God.” So all the assembly blessed the LORD God of their fathers, and bowed their heads and prostrated themselves before the LORD and the king.

a. Now bless the LORD your God: When it came time to bless the LORD, it wasn’t enough for the people to feel a feeling in their heart. They had to do something to demonstrate their heart towards God, and they bowed their heads and prostrated themselves before the LORD.

C. The end of David’s reign.

1. (21-25) The nation rejoices as Solomon is enthroned.

And they made sacrifices to the LORD and offered burnt offerings to the LORD on the next day: a thousand bulls, a thousand rams, a thousand lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel. So they ate and drank before the LORD with great gladness on that day. And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him before the LORD to be the leader, and Zadok to be priest. Then Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him. All the leaders and the mighty men, and also all the sons of King David, submitted themselves to King Solomon. So the LORD exalted Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed on him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.

a. A thousand bulls, a thousand rams, a thousand lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance: This was a special day, probably celebrated after the death of David when Solomon formally took the throne. These sacrifices were used to feed the people of Israel, and they ate and drank before the LORD in a great feast of communion with God and one another.

b. They made Solomon the son of David king the second time: This was undoubtedly the enthronement after the rebellion of Adonijah had been defeated (1 Kings 1-2).

i. “For the first time (1 Kings 1:38-39) it was done hastily, suddenly, and in a manner tumultuarily, by reason of Adonijah’s sedition; but this here was done with good respite and great solemnity, but whether before or after David’s death is questionable.” (Trapp)

ii. Submitted themselves to King Solomon: “After Adonijah’s death they all submitted themselves to Solomon the king. Hebrew, Gave the hand under Solomon the king; haply they laid their hand under his thigh – that ancient ceremony (Genesis 24:2, and 47:29), and sware to be faithful to him.” (Trapp)

c. Then Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king: “On the throne of the Lord, i.e. on the throne of Israel, which is called the throne of the Lord, either more generally, as all thrones are the Lord’s, by whom kings reign, Proverbs 8:15, and magistrates are ordained, Romans 13:1-2 . . . signifies which the Lord gave him.” (Poole)

d. And bestowed on him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel: This was true, but the wise reader understands that this was only because David had made this possible. The majesty of Solomon was really inherited from the work and wisdom and godliness and prayers of his father.

2. (26-30) The end of King David’s reign.

Thus David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel. And the period that he reigned over Israel was forty years; seven years he reigned in Hebron, and thirty-three years he reigned in Jerusalem. So he died in a good old age, full of days and riches and honor; and Solomon his son reigned in his place. Now the acts of King David, first and last, indeed they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer, with all his reign and his might, and the events that happened to him, to Israel, and to all the kingdoms of the lands.

a. The period that he reigned over Israel was forty years: There were other kings over Israel or Judah had reigns longer or more secure or more prosperous than David’s reign – but none were more glorious or godly. David remains Judah’s model king.

b. So he died in a good old age, full of days and riches and honor: David was a great king and his greatness is especially seen in his connection with the Messiah. One of the great titles of Jesus is, Son of David.

i. “Albeit he swam to the throne through a sea of sorrows; and so must all saints to the kingdom of heaven.” (Trapp)

ii. “By birth, a peasant; by merit, a prince; in youth, a hero; in manhood, a monarch; and in age, a saint. The matter of Uriah and Bath-sheba is his great but only blot! There he sinned deeply; and no man ever suffered more in his body, soul, and domestic affairs, than he did in consequence. His penitence was as deep and as extraordinary as his crime; and nothing could surpass both but that eternal mercy that took away the guilt, assuaged the sorrow, and restored this most humbled transgressor to character, holiness, and happiness. Let the God of David be exalted forever!” (Clarke)

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1 Chronicles 28 – David’s Public Charge to Solomon

Unknown1 Chronicles 28 – David’s Public Charge to Solomon

A. David’s public words to the assembly of Israel and to Solomon.

1. (1) The assembly of Israel gathers to hear King David.

Now David assembled at Jerusalem all the leaders of Israel: the officers of the tribes and the captains of the divisions who served the king, the captains over thousands and captains over hundreds, and the stewards over all the substance and possessions of the king and of his sons, with the officials, the valiant men, and all the mighty men of valor.

a. Now David assembled at Jerusalem all the leaders of Israel: This was David’s public “passing of the torch” ceremony to Solomon, with an emphasis on the responsibility to build the temple. Despite this, another son of David (Adonijah, in 1 Kings 1-2) tried to take the throne when David died.

b. All the leaders of Israel: It may be that this was the group of people collectively mentioned in the previous chapters.

i. “The occasion for the final chapters of 1 Chronicles is a continuation of what was introduced in chapter 23: the assembling by the king of the leaders of Israel (23:2 = 28:1 and 29:1).” (Payne)

2. (2-8) David speaks to the assembly of Israel.

Then King David rose to his feet and said, “Hear me, my brethren and my people: I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made preparations to build it. But God said to me, ‘You shall not build a house for My name, because you have been a man of war and have shed blood.’ However the LORD God of Israel chose me above all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever, for He has chosen Judah to be the ruler; and of the house of Judah, the house of my father, and among the sons of my father, He was pleased with me to make me king over all Israel. And of all my sons (for the LORD has given me many sons) He has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel. Now He said to me, ‘It is your son Solomon who shall build My house and My courts; for I have chosen him to be My son, and I will be his Father. Moreover I will establish his kingdom forever, if he is steadfast to observe My commandments and My judgments, as it is this day.’ Now therefore, in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of the LORD, and in the hearing of our God, be careful to seek out all the commandments of the LORD your God, that you may possess this good land, and leave it as an inheritance for your children after you forever.”

a. Then King David rose to his feet: Since this happened towards the end of David’s life, he was in declining health (1 Kings 1:1-4). The Chronicler noted David’s standing posture because considering his age and the setting, it was a dramatic scene.

b. You shall not build a house for My name: Though David wanted to build God a house, God politely refused David’s offer and proposed to build him a house instead, in the sense of a lasting royal dynasty (2 Samuel 7).

i. Significantly, David calls the temple a house of rest. “As in the case of God’s sabbath rest at creation (Genesis 2:1-3), God’s rest represents the completion of his work. The idea of rest was so significant for the temple that even though David’s role as a ‘man of war’ was a vital part of the temple preparations in creating the necessary conditions for the work, it disqualified him from building the temple himself. Only Solomon, the ‘man of rest’ (22:9), was sufficiently fitted for the task.” (Selman)

c. He has chose my son Solomon to sit on the throne: This was a significant event because there had never been a hereditary monarchy in Israel before. Saul, the previous King of Israel, was not succeeded by any son of his.

d. Moreover I will establish his kingdom forever: God promised that if the royal descendents of David remained obedient, the LORD would protect their throne and the kingdom of Israel, and there would always be a descendent of David reigning over Israel.

e. Be careful to seek out all the commandments of the LORD: This was an important and well-chosen exhortation to the people of Israel.

· They were exhorted to be careful, in the sense that they had to regard this responsibility as important and worthy of attention.
· They were exhorted to seek out the commandments of God, searching the Scriptures diligently.
· They were exhorted to seek out all the commandments, and not compromise by focusing on a few favored commandments.

3. (9-10) David speaks to Solomon.

“As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. Consider now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong, and do it.”

a. Know the God of your father: David’s exhortation to Solomon begins with the most important aspect – emphasizing a genuine commitment to a real relationship with the living God. David essentially told Solomon, “The secret of my success has been my relationship with God. You need to pursue the same relationship.”

b. Serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind: David also exhorted Solomon to serve God with both his heart and mind. Some people are all heart and no mind in their service to God; others are all mind and no heart. Both of these are important to truly serve Him.

i. We notice that the command to know came before the command to serve. “To know God is to serve Him. All failure in service is the result of loss of vision of God, misapprehension of Him, due to some distance from Him.” (Morgan)

ii. David gave Solomon a reason to commit his heart and mind to God: for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. When we properly understand God and His omniscience we will much more naturally serve Him as we should.

c. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever: Both of these proved true in the life of Solomon. When Solomon sought the LORD at Gibeon, he definitely found Him (1 Kings 3:1-15). When Solomon forsook God, he was in some sense cast . . . off (1 Kings 11:1-13).

i. “Solomon’s response, typical of humanity, was inconsistent. Though he did seek God (2 Chronicles 1:5), it was not with a ‘whole heart’ and his divided devotion led ultimately to a divided kingdom.” (Selman)

d. The LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong, and do it: David concluded his exhortation to Solomon with the single most urgent command – to build the temple. All of David’s exhaustive preparations would be for nothing if Solomon did not complete the job that David started.

B. The plans for the temple.

1. (11-13) David gives Solomon the plans for the temple.

Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the vestibule, its houses, its treasuries, its upper chambers, its inner chambers, and the place of the mercy seat; and the plans for all that he had by the Spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, of all the chambers all around, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries for the dedicated things; also for the division of the priests and the Levites, for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the articles of service in the house of the LORD.

a. Then David gave his son Solomon the plans: Considered together, David did almost everything for the building of the temple except actually build it. He gave Solomon security, a location, the land, money, materials, supervisory staff, workers, and an organized team to run the temple. Here we also see that David also gave his son Solomon the plans.

b. The plans for all that he had by the Spirit: Even as with the organization of the temple servants (2 Chronicles 29:25), these practical details were inspired by the Holy Spirit, not by human ingenuity.

i. “Moreover, the temple was for God’s own dwelling. Should not the Most High have a house after his own mind? If he was to be the Tenant, should it not be built to suit him? And who knows what God requires in a habitation but God himself?” (Spurgeon)

2. (14-19) The ornate furnishings for the temple.

He gave gold by weight for things of gold, for all articles used in every kind of service; also silver for all articles of silver by weight, for all articles used in every kind of service; the weight for the lampstands of gold, and their lamps of gold, by weight for each lampstand and its lamps; for the lampstands of silver by weight, for the lampstand and its lamps, according to the use of each lampstand. And by weight he gave gold for the tables of the showbread, for each table, and silver for the tables of silver; also pure gold for the forks, the basins, the pitchers of pure gold, and the golden bowls; he gave gold by weight for every bowl; and for the silver bowls, silver by weight for every bowl; and refined gold by weight for the altar of incense, and for the construction of the chariot, that is, the gold cherubim that spread their wings and overshadowed the ark of the covenant of the LORD. “All this,” said David, “the LORD made me understand in writing, by His hand upon me, all the works of these plans.”

a. He gave gold: These six verses mention gold 11 times. David amassed an amazing amount of gold for the furnishings of the temple.

b. For the construction of the chariot, that is the gold cherubim: “So called, because God sat between them (Psalm 99:1), rode upon them (Psalm 18:10); the angels – represent by those cherubims – are called the chariots of God (Psalm 68:17); and the Hebrews have a saying, that such as saw God of old saw only Merchavah velo harocheb, the chariot in which God rode, but not the rider in it.” (Trapp)

i. “It is a good note also that is given here by some expositors – viz., that by this chariot of the cherubims God gave his people to understand that his presence in the ark was not so fixed among them, but that would leave them, and ride clean away from them, if they should thereunto provoke him by their sins.” (Trapp)

c. The LORD made me understand in writing, by His hand upon me, all the works of these plans: As with the organization of the servants and builders of the temple and the plans for the temple, God also spoke to David about these furnishings of the temple.

3. (20-21) David’s final charge to Solomon.

And David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God; my God; will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD. “Here are the divisions of the priests and the Levites for all the service of the house of God; and every willing craftsman will be with you for all manner of workmanship, for every kind of service; also the leaders and all the people will be completely at your command.”

a. Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed: David here echoes God’s exhortation to Joshua before he led the people of God into the Promised Land (Joshua 1:5-7). This was appropriate, because Moses was a great leader who could only lead the people of Israel to a certain point – the rest was up to Joshua. The same pattern applied to David and his successor Solomon.

i. “In describing David’s plans for building the temple, Chronicles has paid special attention to portray David as a second Moses and Solomon as a second Joshua.” (Payne)

b. And do it: It is easy to see how important this was for David. He had spent enormous effort to prepare the temple but would all be naught unless Solomon did in fact do it.

i. “Do not talk about it; do not sit down, and dream over the plans, and think how admirable they are, and then roll them up; but, ‘Be strong and of good courage, and do it.’” (Spurgeon)

c. Here are the divisions of the priests and the Levites: We can picture David handing Solomon the scrolls with the plans for building the temple and organizing its service. The job was now in the hands of David’s son Solomon.

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1 Chronicles 27 – Tribal Leaders and Officials of State

Unknown1 Chronicles 27 – Tribal Leaders and Officials of State

A. Captains over the army of Israel.

1. (1) The military divisions of Israel.

And the children of Israel, according to their number, the heads of fathers’ houses, the captains of thousands and hundreds and their officers, served the king in every matter of the military divisions. These divisions came in and went out month by month throughout all the months of the year, each division having twenty-four thousand.

a. And the children of Israel . . . served the king in every matter of the military divisions: Under David and most every other king of Israel or Judah, Israel never relied on mercenary soldiers. Israelites themselves served the king in every matter of the military.

b. These divisions came in and went out month by month: David’s army was also divided into units of twelve, with one group of the twelve on alert each month of the year. This was an effective way to keep troops always ready and the inactive troops regularly trained.

i. “All these men were prepared, disciplined, and ready at a call, without the smallest expense to the state or the king. These were, properly speaking, the militia of the Israelitish kingdom.” (Clarke)

2. (2-15) Captains over David’s army.

Over the first division for the first month was Jashobeam the son of Zabdiel, and in his division were twenty-four thousand; he was of the children of Perez, and the chief of all the captains of the army for the first month. Over the division of the second month was Dodai an Ahohite, and of his division Mikloth also was the leader; in his division were twenty-four thousand. The third captain of the army for the third month was Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada the priest, who was chief; in his division were twenty-four thousand. This was the Benaiah who was mighty among the thirty, and was over the thirty; in his division was Ammizabad his son. The fourth captain for the fourth month was Asahel the brother of Joab, and Zebadiah his son after him; in his division were twenty-four thousand. The fifth captain for the fifth month was Shamhuth the Izrahite; in his division were twenty-four thousand. The sixth captain for the sixth month was Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite; in his division were twenty-four thousand. The seventh captain for the seventh month was Helez the Pelonite, of the children of Ephraim; in his division were twenty-four thousand. The eighth captain for the eighth month was Sibbechai the Hushathite, of the Zarhites; in his division were twenty-four thousand. The ninth captain for the ninth month was Abiezer the Anathothite, of the Benjamites; in his division were twenty-four thousand. The tenth captain for the tenth month was Maharai the Netophathite, of the Zarhites; in his division were twenty-four thousand. The eleventh captain for the eleventh month was Benaiah the Pirathonite, of the children of Ephraim; in his division were twenty-four thousand. The twelfth captain for the twelfth month was Heldai the Netophathite, of Othniel; in his division were twenty-four thousand.

a. Of the first division: This section explains the twelve divisions mentioned in the previous verses.

b. Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada: Samuel 23:20-21 describes this same Benaiah as a great hero in Israel, someone who killed two mighty Moabites, a lion in a pit on a snowy day, and a formidable Egyptian.

c. Asahel the brother of Joab: As recorded in 2 Samuel 2:18-23, Asahel was tragically killed in battle by Abner, who was the commander of Ishbosheth’s armies (this was the son of Saul who tried to follow him on the throne of Israel).

B. Tribal leaders over Israel and officials in King David’s government.

1. (16-22) Tribal leaders.

Furthermore, over the tribes of Israel: the officer over the Reubenites was Eliezer the son of Zichri; over the Simeonites, Shephatiah the son of Maachah; over the Levites, Hashabiah the son of Kemuel; over the Aaronites, Zadok; over Judah, Elihu, one of David’s brothers; over Issachar, Omri the son of Michael; over Zebulun, Ishmaiah the son of Obadiah; over Naphtali, Jerimoth the son of Azriel; over the children of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Azaziah; over the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joel the son of Pedaiah; over the half-tribe of Manasseh in Gilead, Iddo the son of Zechariah; over Benjamin, Jaasiel the son of Abner; over Dan, Azarel the son of Jeroham. These were the leaders of the tribes of Israel.

a. The officer over the Reubenites was Eliezer the son of Zichri: This list describes tribal leaders who were not priests or military leaders, but administrators in the civil service of the Kingdom of Israel.

i. “We have the account of the order of the civil service, that which related simply to the political state of the king and the kingdom.” (Clarke)

b. These were the leaders of the tribes of Israel: For some reason, the tribes of Asher and Gad are excluded on this list. “In this enumeration there is no mention of the tribes of Asher and Gad. Probably the account of these has been lost from this register. These rulers appear to have been all honorary men, like the lords lieutenants of our counties.” (Clarke)

2. (23-34) Officials in King David’s government.

But David did not take the number of those twenty years old and under, because the LORD had said He would multiply Israel like the stars of the heavens. Joab the son of Zeruiah began a census, but he did not finish, for wrath came upon Israel because of this census; nor was the number recorded in the account of the chronicles of King David. And Azmaveth the son of Adiel was over the king’s treasuries; and Jehonathan the son of Uzziah was over the storehouses in the field, in the cities, in the villages, and in the fortresses. Ezri the son of Chelub was over those who did the work of the field for tilling the ground. And Shimei the Ramathite was over the vineyards, and Zabdi the Shiphmite was over the produce of the vineyards for the supply of wine. Baal-Hanan the Gederite was over the olive trees and the sycamore trees that were in the lowlands, and Joash was over the store of oil. And Shitrai the Sharonite was over the herds that fed in Sharon, and Shaphat the son of Adlai was over the herds that were in the valleys. Obil the Ishmaelite was over the camels, Jehdeiah the Meronothite was over the donkeys, and Jaziz the Hagrite was over the flocks. All these were the officials over King David’s property. Also Jehonathan, David’s uncle, was a counselor, a wise man, and a scribe; and Jehiel the son of Hachmoni was with the king’s sons. Ahithophel was the king’s counselor, and Hushai the Archite was the king’s companion. After Ahithophel was Jehoiada the son of Benaiah, then Abiathar. And the general of the king’s army was Joab.

a. David did not take the number of those twenty years old and under, because the LORD had said He would multiply Israel like the stars of the heavens: David wisely refrained from completing an unwise census, trusting that God would increase the kingdom and make them great.

b. Treasuries . . . storehouses . . . work of the field for tilling the ground . . . vineyards . . . olive trees . . . herds . . . camels . . . donkeys . . . flocks: David had trusted men to oversee these areas, and they were just as important to the kingdom as the more obviously spiritual leaders.

i. “The greatness of David as a king was manifested in the acts of peaceful administration, as surely as in his victories on the fields of battle. The tilling of the ground, and its careful cultivation; the rearing of cattle; and all the things pertaining to the welfare of his people were arranged for, under duly qualified and appointed oversight.” (Morgan)

ii. “Each of these different men had his distinct sphere for which he was doubtless specially qualified; and it was his duty – not to be jealous of others, nor eager to imitate them, but – to be faithful in his own province.” (Meyer)

iii. The key was that all these were the officials over King David’s property. “How great an error it would have been had any of these begun to account the produce of cattle or ground as his own! He had nothing that he had not received, and whatever he controlled had been entrusted to his care for the emolument and advantage of his sovereign.” (Meyer)

iv. “It is worthy of remark, that Obil, an Ishmaelite or Arab, was put over the camels which is a creature of Arabia; and that Jaziz, a Hagarene, (the Hagarenes were shepherds by profession,) was put over the flocks: nothing went by favour; each was appointed to the office for which he was best qualified; and thus men of worth were encouraged, and the public service effectually promoted.” (Clarke)

c. Hushai the Archite was the king’s companion: “Hushai’s post of ‘king’s friend’ (cf. 2 Samuel 15:37) may have begun on an informal and personal basis; but it became an official advisory position (cf. 1 Kings 4:5).” (Payne)

d. The general of the king’s army was Joab: Joab is one of the more complex characters of the Old Testament. He was fiercely loyal to David, yet not strongly obedient. He disobeyed David when he thought it was in David’s best interest, and he was cunning and ruthless in furthering his own position.

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1 Chronicles 26 – The Gatekeepers for the Temple

Unknown1 Chronicles 26 – The Gatekeepers for the Temple

A. The divisions of the gatekeepers.

1. (1-5) The divisions of the gatekeepers.

Concerning the divisions of the gatekeepers: of the Korahites, Meshelemiah the son of Kore, of the sons of Asaph. And the sons of Meshelemiah were Zechariah the firstborn, Jediael the second, Zebadiah the third, Jathniel the fourth, Elam the fifth, Jehohanan the sixth, Eliehoenai the seventh. Moreover the sons of Obed-Edom were Shemaiah the firstborn, Jehozabad the second, Joah the third, Sacar the fourth, Nethanel the fifth, Ammiel the sixth, Issachar the seventh, Peulthai the eighth; for God blessed him.

a. Divisions of the gatekeepers: These had the responsibility for security, both in a practical and spiritual sense. They made sure that only those who were ready to serve and worship God could come to the temple and its associated building. Their work had to be organized and arranged just as much as the work of the priests who officiated at the sacrifices.

i. “Though less prominent than some of their Levitical colleagues, from time to time the gatekeepers made a vital contribution to national life, notably under the high priest Jehoiada (2 Chronicles 23:4-6, 19), and in the reigns of Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 31:14-19) and Josiah (2 Chronicles 34:9-13).” (Selman)

ii. “Essentially their duty was to make ordinary people aware of the practical limits of holiness, for anyone entering the sanctuary unlawfully did so on penalty of death.” (Selman)

iii. Though some might see their work as humble, it was actually of great priviledge. Remember the envy of the Psalmist: I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. (Psalm 84:10)

b. Of the sons of Asaph: “Not that famous Asaph the singer, but another Asaph, called also Ebiasaph, 1 Chronicles 6:37.” (Trapp)

2. (6-8) Shemaiah and his sons, and the other sons of Obed-Edom.

Also to Shemaiah his son were sons born who governed their fathers’ houses, because they were men of great ability. The sons of Shemaiah were Othni, Rephael, Obed, and Elzabad, whose brothers Elihu and Semachiah were able men. All these were of the sons of Obed-Edom, they and their sons and their brethren, able men with strength for the work: sixty-two of Obed-Edom.

a. Who governed their fathers’ houses, because they were men of great ability: Shemaiah was of the family of gatekeepers, yet his sons rose to positions of high responsibility because they were men of great ability. They are also described as able men with strength for the work.

i. “Able men might be better translated, ‘strong men’. The job might entail removal of unwelcome people or objects (cf. 2 Chronicles 26:16-20).” (Selman)

3. (9-12) Other gatekeepers.

And Meshelemiah had sons and brethren, eighteen able men. Also Hosah, of the children of Merari, had sons: Shimri the first (for though he was not the firstborn, his father made him the first), Hilkiah the second, Tebaliah the third, Zechariah the fourth; all the sons and brethren of Hosah were thirteen. Among these were the divisions of the gatekeepers, among the chief men, having duties just like their brethren, to serve in the house of the LORD.

a. Having duties just like their brethren, to serve in the house of the LORD: Some would make a distinction between the spiritual work of the temple and the practical work of the temple and regard the spiritual work as more important. The Chronicler is careful to remind us that the work of these gatekeepers, whose service was more practical in nature, was esteemed by God as just as valuable.

i. “A very important point is made by the inclusion of these groups, even though they might seem to represent a diversion from Chronicles’ main theme. As God’s people pay proper attention to their status as a worshipping community, the distinction between the sacred and the secular disappears. All tasks, whether mundane or specialized, ‘religious’ or ‘lay’, have value in the eyes of God.” (Selman)

4. (13-19) The lot for each family of the gatekeepers.

And they cast lots for each gate, the small as well as the great, according to their father’s house. The lot for the East Gate fell to Shelemiah. Then they cast lots for his son Zechariah, a wise counselor, and his lot came out for the North Gate; to Obed-Edom the South Gate, and to his sons the storehouse. To Shuppim and Hosah the lot came out for the West Gate, with the Shallecheth Gate on the ascending highway; watchman opposite watchman. On the east were six Levites, on the north four each day, on the south four each day, and for the storehouse two by two. As for the Parbar on the west, there were four on the highway and two at the Parbar. These were the divisions of the gatekeepers among the sons of Korah and among the sons of Merari.

a. They cast lots for each gate: They determined the order and arrangement of the service for the gatekeepers the same way that they determined the order and arrangement for the priests in their service.

b. The small as well as the great: This means that David let the LORD decide when it came to organizing and ordering these offices, and he did not let prestige or position determine thei appointments.

i. “Our method is not that of casting lots, but of seeking the direct guidance of the Spirit. But we need to remember that in our choice of men for office in the work of the Church of God, the things of privilege, which too often count in human affairs, must have no weight with us.” (Morgan)

ii. “But chiefly we are concerned with the temple of the heart. We surely need the doorkeeper there, for in the history of the inner life there is so much going and coming; such troops of thoughts pour into the shrine of the soul, and pour out. And often, in the crowd, disloyal and evil thoughts intrude, which, before we know it, introduce a sense of distance and alienation from God.” (Meyer)

B. Other Levitical servants to the temple.

1. (20-25) Overseerers for the treasuries of the house of God.

Of the Levites, Ahijah was over the treasuries of the house of God and over the treasuries of the dedicated things. The sons of Laadan, the descendants of the Gershonites of Laadan, heads of their fathers’ houses, of Laadan the Gershonite: Jehieli. The sons of Jehieli, Zetham and Joel his brother, were over the treasuries of the house of the LORD. Of the Amramites, the Izharites, the Hebronites, and the Uzzielites: Shebuel the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, was overseer of the treasuries. And his brethren by Eliezer were Rehabiah his son, Jeshaiah his son, Joram his son, Zichri his son, and Shelomith his son.

a. Over the treasuries of the house of God and over the treasuries of the dedicated things: David set in order the financial organization necessary to administrate the building of the temple, including oversight of the all the riches brought in by David’s conquest of neighboring peoples (the dedicated things).

2. (26-28) Shelomith, a notable overseer of the treasuries of the house of God.

This Shelomith and his brethren were over all the treasuries of the dedicated things which King David and the heads of fathers’ houses, the captains over thousands and hundreds, and the captains of the army, had dedicated. Some of the spoils won in battles they dedicated to maintain the house of the LORD. And all that Samuel the seer, Saul the son of Kish, Abner the son of Ner, and Joab the son of Zeruiah had dedicated, every dedicated thing, was under the hand of Shelomith and his brethren.

3. (29-32) Other servants for the Kingdom of Israel.

Of the Izharites, Chenaniah and his sons performed duties as officials and judges over Israel outside Jerusalem. Of the Hebronites, Hashabiah and his brethren, one thousand seven hundred able men, had the oversight of Israel on the west side of the Jordan for all the business of the LORD, and in the service of the king. Among the Hebronites, Jerijah was head of the Hebronites according to his genealogy of the fathers. In the fortieth year of the reign of David they were sought, and there were found among them capable men at Jazer of Gilead. And his brethren were two thousand seven hundred able men, heads of fathers’ houses, whom King David made officials over the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, for every matter pertaining to God and the affairs of the king.

a. For every matter pertaining to God and the affairs of the king: “Expounding also of the law, and therehence answering cases, solving doubts; superintendents, some say they were, throughout the whole kingdom.” (Trapp)

i. “The statistic that 2,700 Levites maintained the laws of ‘God and . . . the king’ among the tribes west of the Jordan (v.30) seems strange . . . but contains a hint of the importance of the district of Gilead.” (Payne)

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