|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:1-17 The building of the temple. - There is a more particular account of the building of the temple in #1Ki 6". It must be in the place David had prepared, not only which he had purchased, but which he had fixed on by Divine direction. Full instructions enable us to go about our work with certainty and to proceed therein with comfort. Blessed be God, the Scriptures are enough to render the man of God thoroughly furnished for every good work. Let us search the Scriptures daily, beseeching the Lord to enable us to understand, believe, and obey his word, that our work and our way may be made plain, and that all may be begun, continued, and ended in him. Beholding God, in Christ, his true Temple, more glorious than that of Solomon's, may we become a spiritual house, a habitation of God through the Spirit.
Verse 2. - In the second day. The word "day" as italicized in our Authorized Version type is of course not found in the Hebrew text. Several manuscripts fail also to show the other words of this clause, viz. "In the second;" and that they are probably spurious derives confirmation from the fact that neither the Arabic nor Syriac Versions, nor the Septuagint nor Vulgate translations, produce them. In the second month, in the fourth year. Reading the verse, therefore, as though it began thus, the most interesting but doubtful question of fixing an exact chronology for what preceded Solomon's reign is opened. In our present text there is little sign of anything to satisfy the offers to do so, if only again to disappoint the more grievously. There we read of "four hundred and eighty years" from the Exodus to this beginning of the building of Solomon's temple. Now, this latter date can be determined with tolerable accuracy (viz. as some twenty years before B.C. 1000) by travelling backwards from the date (n.c. 536) of Cyrus taking Babylon, and the beginning of the return from the Captivity ( B.C. 535), making allowance for the seventy years of the Captivity, the duration of the line of separate Judah-kings, and the remanet, a large one, of the years of Solomon's reign. All this, however, helps nothing at all the period stretching from the Exodus to the beginning of the building of the temple. And the events of this period, strongly corroborated by other testimony (see Canon Rawlinson, 'Speaker's Commentary,' vol. it. pp. 575, 576), seem to show convincingly that no faith can be reposed in the authenticity of the chronological statement of our parallel.
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