|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:1-30 David's numbering the people. - No mention is made in this book of David's sin in the matter of Uriah, neither of the troubles that followed it: they had no needful connexion with the subjects here noted. But David's sin, in numbering the people, is related: in the atonement made for that sin, there was notice of the place on which the temple should be built. The command to David to build an altar, was a blessed token of reconciliation. God testified his acceptance of David's offerings on this altar. Thus Christ was made sin, and a curse for us; it pleased the Lord to bruise him, that through him, God might be to us, not a consuming Fire, but a reconciled God. It is good to continue attendance on those ordinances in which we have experienced the tokens of God's presence, and have found that he is with us of a truth. Here God graciously met me, therefore I will still expect to meet him.
Verse 25. - Six hundred shekels of gold by weight. The only way to reconcile this statement with that of the parallel place, which (2 Samuel 24:24)speaks of "fifty shekels of silver" (i.e. taking the shekel at 2s. 8d., equal to about £6 13s. 4d.) as the price of "the threshing-floor and the oxen," is to suppose that the fifty shekels speak of the purchase money of the oxen indeed, but not of the floor itself, which was valuable, not only for size and situation, but also for its prepared construction; or again, keeping to the literal language of Samuel, that "the floor and the oxen" are intended, while our expression, "the place," may designate the whole hill. The value of gold as compared with silver was as sixteen to one. If this be the solution, we should have again an instance of the compiler of this book seizing for perpetuation the point of greatest and most permanent interest, i.e. the purchase of the whole place.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
25. David gave … for the place six hundred shekels of gold—At first he bought only the cattle and the threshing instruments, for which he paid fifty shekels of silver (2Sa 24:24); afterwards he purchased the whole property, Mount Moriah, on which the future temple stood. High in the center of the mountain platform rises a remarkable rock, now covered by the dome of "the Sakrah." It is irregular in its form, and measures about sixty feet in one direction and fifty feet in the other. It is the natural surface of Mount Moriah and is thought by many to be the rock of the threshing-floor of Araunah, selected by David, and continued by Solomon and Zerubbabel as "the unhewn stone" on which to build the altar [BARTLETT, Walks about Jerusalem; Stanley].
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