1 Chronicles 22:14
Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the LORD an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and you may add thereto.
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(14) In my trouble.—Rather, by my toil or pains. (Comp. 1Chronicles 29:2 : “I have prepared with all my might.”) In Genesis 31:42 the same expression is equated with “the labour of my hands.” The LXX. and Vulg. wrongly render “in” or “according to my poverty.”

An hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver.—The gold talent is usually valued at £6,000, the silver talent at £400 sterling. If this reckoning be approximately correct, the numbers of the text are incredibly large. It is noticeable that the sums are given as round numbers, and expressed in thousands. Further, the figures are such—a hundred thousand and a million—as might easily and naturally be used in rhetorical fashion to suggest amounts of extraordinary magnitude. As David is said to have amassed 100,000 talents of gold and 1,000,000 talents of silver, so he is said, in the same hyperbolical strain, to have hoarded iron and bronze “without weight,” and gold and silver “without number” (1Chronicles 22:16): phrases which nobody would think of taking literally. Doubtless, a modern historian would not handle exact numbers in this free manner; but we are not, therefore, bound to construe these vivid Oriental exaggerations according to the strict letter rather than the spirit and general intention. Of course, the numerals may have been corrupted in transmission; but their symmetry is against this hypothesis. (Comp. Daniel 7:10; Genesis 24:60; Micah 6:7, for a like rhetorical use of “thousands.”) To take an Egyptian illustration, in the famous poem of Pentaur, Ramses II., beset by the Hittites, calls thus upon his god Amen: “Have I not built thee houses for millions of years? I have slain to thee 30,000 bulls.” When the god helps him, he exclaims: “I find Amen worth more than millions of soldiers, one hundred thousand cavalry, ten thousand brothers, were they all joined in one.” There are plenty of numerals here, but who would insist on taking them literally?

And thou mayest add thereto.—i.e., to the stores of timber and stone. Solomon did so (2Chronicles 2:3; 2Chronicles 2:8).

Hewers.—See 1Chronicles 22:2.

Workers of stone and timber—See 1Chronicles 22:4 and 2Chronicles 2:7.

All manner of cunning men . . . work.—Literally, and every skilful one in every work. The word rendered “cunning” is the technical term for a master-craftsman, like Bezaleel, the architect of the Tabernacle (Exodus 31:3, hākām; comp. Turkish hakim, a doctor).

1 Chronicles 22:14. Behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the Lord — This he alleges as a reason why he could do no more, because of the many troubles and wars in which he had been engaged, both foreign and domestic, whereby much of his treasure had been exhausted. A hundred thousand talents of gold, &c. — The sum here mentioned is so great, according to the usually computed value of a talent, being not less than three hundred and sixty millions sterling, that most interpreters conclude, either that some error has crept into the text through the inaccuracy of transcribers, or else that the word ככרים, chicharim, should not be translated talents, in this place, but only masses, plates, or pieces, such as we call ingots, of gold and silver. And thus Budæus observes in his book De Asse, that in Homer’s time there was a talent of lesser value; for he speaks of two talents which were given with other things as a reward of a victory obtained in some exercises. Such talents he thinks we are to understand in this place; for David reigned about the time of the rise of the kingdom of the Assyrians, which was not very far from the time of Homer. Houbigant translates the former part of this verse, But I, according to my poor ability, have prepared a hundred talents of gold, and a thousand talents of silver. See Joseph. Antiq., 50.7, c. 14, sect. 2.22:6-16 David gives Solomon the reason why he should build the temple. Because God named him. Nothing is more powerful to engage us in any service for God, than to know that we are appointed thereto. Because he would have leisure and opportunity to do it. He should have peace and quietness. Where God gives rest, he expects work. Because God had promised to establish his kingdom. God's gracious promises should quicken and strengthen our religious service. David delivered to Solomon an account of the vast preparations he had made for this building; not from pride and vain-glory, but to encourage Solomon to engage cheerfully in the great work. He must not think, by building the temple, to purchase a dispensation to sin; on the contrary, his doing that would not be accepted, if he did not take heed to fulfil the statutes of the Lord. In our spiritual work, as well as in our spiritual warfare, we have need of courage and resolution.In my trouble - See the margin. David refers to the manifold troubles of his reign, which had prevented him from accumulating very much treasure.

An hundred thousand talents of gold ... - We do not know the value of the Hebrew talent at this period, and therefore these numbers may be sound. But in that case we must suppose an enormous difference between the pre-Babylonian and the post-Babylonian talents. According to the value of the post-Babylonian Hebrew talent, the gold here spoken of would be worth more than 1 billion of our British pounds sterling, while the silver would be worth ahove 400 million pounds. Accumulations to anything like this amount are inconceivable under the circumstances, and we must therefore either suppose the talents of David's time to have been little more than the 100th part of the later talents, or regard the numbers of this verse as augmentcd at least a hundredfold by corruption. Of the two the latter is certainly the more probable supposition.

1Ch 22:6-19. He Instructs Solomon.

6. Then he called for Solomon … and charged him—The earnestness and solemnity of this address creates an impression that it was given a little before the old king's decease. He unfolded his great and long cherished plan, enjoined the building of God's house as a sacred duty on him as his son and successor, and described the resources that were at command for carrying on the work. The vast amount of personal property he had accumulated in the precious metals [1Ch 22:14] must have been spoil taken from the people he had conquered, and the cities he had sacked.

In my trouble: this he allegeth as a reason why he could do no more, because of the many troubles and wars, both foreign and civil, whereby much of his treasures was exhausted.

An hundred thousand talents of gold. A talent of gold in the first constitution was three thousand shekels, as may be gathered from Exodus 38:24-26; and so this amounts to a very vast sum, yet not impossible for David to get, considering how many and great conquests he made, and what vast spoils and presents he got; and that he endeavoured by all just and honourable ways to get as much as he could, not out of covetousness, or for his own ends, but merely out of zeal for God’s house. And whereas some object that this quantity of gold and silver was sufficient, though the whole fabric of the temple had consisted of massy gold and silver; it is to be considered that all this treasure was not spent upon the materials of the temple, but a very great part of it upon the workmen, which were nigh two hundred thousand, whereof a great number were officers, which being employed for so long time together, would exhaust a considerable part of it; and what was not employed in the building of the temple, was laid up in the sacred treasures for future occasions, there being mention of the great treasures left by David, even in other authors. But some learned men make these talents far less than those in Moses’s time; and they conceive, that as there were two sorts of shekels, both of gold and silver, the common and the sacred shekel, whereof the latter is commonly thought to be double to the former, so also there were talents of divers kinds and values. For the Hebrew word kikkar, which is rendered a talent, properly signifies only a mass, or a piece, as it is used Exodus 29:23 1 Samuel 2:36 Zechariah 5:7. So it may indifferently denote either a greater or a lesser piece. And this is certain, and observed by two ancient and most learned writers, Varro and Pollux, and by others, that a talent among the Greeks and Romans sometimes notes but a small quantity; and that a talent of gold contains only six drams. And Homer in his Iliads, among other things of no great value, which are propounded as rewards to the conqueror at a solemn and public exercise, a bond-woman, a horse, and a pot, mentions two talents of gold; which plainly shows that in his time (which was after the building of this temple) talents of gold were very far inferior in quantity and price to what they had been in former ages. And Josephus a Jew, and therefore the more competent judge of these things, speaking of this very thing, for a hundred thousand talents of gold here mentioned, he puts ten thousand; and for a thousand thousand talents of silver, he puts one hundred thousand; either because the talents in Moses’s time were of ten times more bulk and price than in David’s and Solomon’s time, and therefore these talents reduced to them amounted to no greater sum; or because he read so in his copy of the Hebrew Bible. And certainly it is infinitely more tolerable and reasonable to suppose that there is a mistake here in the generality of the present copies of the Hebrew Bible, through the error of the scribe, (which being only in a numeral and historical passage, might happen without impeachment to the care of God’s providence, which hath so miraculously preserved all the most important and substantial parts of Scripture, as hath been formerly said,) than upon such pretences to deny the truth and Divine original and authority of the Holy Scriptures. Add to this, that all the gold then used was not of equal worth and purity; as appears both by the special commendation given to some sorts of gold in divers parts of Scripture, and particularly by the difference observed in this very history between the gold and gold which David gave for this use; whereof one little part being distinctively called pure gold and refined gold, 1 Chronicles 28:17,18, it is sufficiently implied that all the rest of the gold was not refined nor pure, which might greatly diminish the worth of it; for in what degree it was impure or allayed with other things in those times and places we cannot know at this distance; and therefore we cannot make a true estimate what those talents of gold did amount to in our value.

A thousand thousand talents of silver; just as much in silver as in gold; for this is known and agreed, that the proportion of gold to silver is ten to one. Now, behold, in my trouble,.... Or affliction, which had attended him, through the greater part of his reign, partly through wars abroad, and partly through rebellions and insurrections at home: or:

in my poverty (a); living in a frugal way, as if he had been a poor man, in order to lay up money for this purpose:

I have prepared for the house of the Lord; for the building of it, and for things to be used in it:

an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; a prodigious sum, be it reckoned as it will; the gold, according to Scheuchzer (b) was answerable to 1,222,000,000 ducats of gold; according to Waserus (c) the talents of gold made six hundred millions of Hungarian pieces of gold, or 6000 tons of gold; our Brerewood (d) makes them to amount to 450,000,000 pounds; but this being a sum so excessive large as what exceeds the riches of any monarch read of in history, he thinks (e) the word "kikkar" signifies a mass or cake of gold of an uncertain value; or that this talent was of a lesser value than the Mosaic one, as there were small talents in the times of Homer (f), as he observes, and some of different worth in various countries. The silver, taking gold to be in proportion to silver as ten to one, as it formerly was, is just of the same value with the gold; but Brerewood, who takes it to be as twelve to one, computes it at 375,000,000 pounds; but the proportion of gold to silver is now grown, as Bishop Cumberland observes (g), to above fourteen to one. According to Scheuchzer the silver talents amounted to 4,500,000,000 imperials or rix dollars; according to Witsius (h) the gold and silver both amounted to 3000 and nine hundred millions of pieces of gold; but Josephus (i) has reduced these sums very much, making them to be 10,000 talents of gold, and 100,000 of silver. Dr. Prideaux (k) says that what is said to be given by David here, and in 1 Chronicles 29:3 and by his princes, 1 Chronicles 29:6 if valued by the Mosaic talent, exceeded the value of eight hundred million of our money, which was enough to have built the whole temple of solid silver:

and of brass and iron without weight, for it is in abundance; there was so much of both, that it was too much trouble to take the weight and value of them:

timber also and stone have I prepared; see 1 Chronicles 22:2.

and thou mayest add thereunto; which might easily be obtained, there being not a sufficiency of either of them prepared for the work.

(a) "in paupertate mea", V. L. (b) Physica Sacra, vol. 4. p. 631. (c) De Antiqu. Num. Heb. l. 2. c. 13. (d) De Pond. & Pret. Vet. Num. c. 5. (e) De Pond. & Pret. Vet. Num. c. 6. (f) Vid. Suidam in voce (g) Scripture Weights and Measures, ch. 4. p. 121. (h) Miscell. Sacr. 2. Exercit. 10. sect. 17. (i) Antiqu. l. 7. c. 14. sect. 2.((k) Connection, part 1. p. 6.

Now, behold, in my {g} trouble I have prepared for the house of the LORD an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a million talents of silver; and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and thou mayest add thereto.

(g) For David was poor in respect to Solomon.

14. in my trouble] Render with R.V. marg. in my low estate. LXX. κατὰ τὴν πτωχείαν μου.

an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver] This sum is incredibly large. In 1 Kings 10:14 it is told in illustration of the wealth of Solomon—a wealthier king than David—that he received in one year 666 talents of gold, but even at this rate David would have amassed only 26,640 talents in forty years. The tradition from which the Chronicler drew expresses itself here in round and exaggerated numbers.Verse 14. - Now, behold, in my trouble. The Septuagint, Vulgate, and Luther's translation adopt here our marginal reading, "poverty." Keil, Bertheau, and others translate, with much greater probability, "by severe effort," which translation may be fortified, not only by such references as Genesis 31:43 and Psalm 132:1 (where the same root is found in Pual infinitive), but by the expression evidently answering to the present one in 1 Chronicles 29:2 (בּכָלאּכּוח), "with all my strength." Moreover, David could not with correctness speak of poverty as characterizing his condition during the time that he had been collecting for the object of his heart's desire. And scarcely with any greater correctness could he speak of the necessary anxieties and responsibilities of his royal office as at all specially marking this period. A hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver. Our sense of dissatisfaction in being able neither heartily to accept nor conclusively to reject this statement of the quantities of gold and silver prepared by David, may be lessened in some degree by the statement found in ver. 16, that "of the gold, the silver, and the brass, and the iron, there is no number." Milman, in his 'History of the Jews' (1. 266, 267, edit. 1830), says upon the general subject of this verse, "But enormous as this wealth (i.e. that of Solomon) appears, the statement of his expenditure on the temple, and of his annual revenue, so passes all credibility, that any attempt at forming a calculation, on the uncertain data we possess, may at once be abandoned as a hopeless task. No better proof can be given of the uncertainty of our authorities, of our imperfect knowledge of the Hebrew weights of money, and, above all, of our total ignorance of the relative value which the precious metals bore to the commodities of life, than the estimate made by Dr. Prideaux of the treasures left by David, amounting to eight hundred millions, nearly the capital of our national debt." It must be noted, however, that Milman himself proceeds, when speaking of "the sources of the vast wealth which Solomon undoubtedly possessed," to bring very enormous sums (whether somewhat less or even somewhat more than the above estimate of Dr. Prideaux) more within the range of the possible, to our imagination. He justly remarks, for instance, that it is to be remembered that "the treasures of David were accumulated rather by conquest than traffic, that some of the nations he subdued, particularly the Edomites, were very wealthy. All the tribes seem to have worn a great deal of gold and silver, both in their ornaments and in their armour; their idols were often of gold; and the treasuries of their temples, perhaps, contained considerable wealth. But during the reign of Solomon, almost the whole commerce of the world passed into his territories." After substantiating by details these and similar positions (pp. 267-271), he sums up, "It was from these various sources of wealth that the precious metals and all other valuable commodities were in such abundance that, in the figurative language of the sacred historian, 'silver was in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar trees as sycamores." Since the date of Milman's words just quoted, however, investigation of ancient weights and measures, and of those of Scripture, has made some advance, yet not sufficient to enable us to arrive at any certainty as to those of our present passage. Assuming that the text of our present verse is not corrupt, and that the figures which it gives are correct, the weight and the value of the gold and silver mentioned are very great, whatever the talent in question. This assumption, however, cannot be relied upon, and it seems scarcely legitimate to interpret the talent as any than the Hebrew talent, considering the silence observed as regards any other. It need not be said here that the exchanges of money value were estimated in these times by so much weight of gold or silver. Further, "the shekel of the sanctuary" (Exodus 30:13; Leviticus 27:3), possibly the same with "the shekel after the king's weight" (2 Samuel 16:26), and which was kept in the tabernacle, and afterwards in the temple - was presumably the standard. The gold talent was double the weight of the silver talent. It weighed 1,320,000 grains, instead of 660,000. The silver talent contained 50 manehs, of 60 shekels each; but the gold talent contained 100 manehs, of 100 shekels each. The modern money equivalents of these weights are very uncertain. Both the silver and the gold talent have been very variously calculated in this relation. Some of the best authorities put the silver talent at £342 3s. 9d., and the gold at £5475. This would make the money value described by this verse nearly nine hundred millions of our money. Other estimates are considerably in excess of this sum, and but few fall below it. Vast as the sum is, we may be helped in some degree to accept it by the statement of Pliny, who ('Nat. Hist.,' 32:15) tells us that Cyrus, in his subjugation of Asia, took half as many talents of silver as are here mentioned, and thirty-four thousand pounds of gold (see articles in Smith's 'Bible Dictionary,' on "Money," and on" Weights and Measures"). Among the most valuable works on these subjects are De Saulcy's 'Numismatique Judaique,' and F. Madden's 'Jewish Coinage.' Solomon commissioned to build the temple. - 1 Chronicles 22:6. Before his death (1 Chronicles 22:5) David called his son Solomon, in order to commit to him the building of the temple, and to press it strongly upon him, 1 Chronicles 22:7-10. With this design, he informs him that it had been his intention to build a temple to the Lord, but the Lord had not permitted him to carry out this resolve, but had committed it to his son. The Keri בּני (1 Chronicles 22:7) is, notwithstanding the general worthlessness of the corrections in the Keri, probably to be preferred here to the Keth. בּנו, for בּנו might have easily arisen by the copyist's eye having wandered to בּנו לשׁלמה, 1 Chronicles 22:6. David's addressing him as בּני is very fitting, nay, even necessary, and not contrary to the following אני. לבבי עם, it was with my heart, i.e., I had intended, occurs indeed very often in the Chronicle, e.g., 1 Chronicles 28:2; 2 Chronicles 1:11; 2 Chronicles 6:7., 1 Chronicles 9:1; 1 Chronicles 24:4; 1 Chronicles 29:10, but is also found in other books where the sense demands it, e.g., Joshua 14:7; 1 Kings 8:17., 1 Chronicles 10:2. In עלי ויהי, There came to me the word of Jahve (1 Chronicles 22:8), it is implied that the divine word was given to him as a command. The reason which David gives why the Lord did not allow him to build the temple is not stated in 1 Chronicles 17 (2 Samuel 7), to which David here refers; instead of the reason, only the promise is there communicated, that the Lord would first build him a house, and enduringly establish his throne. This promise does not exclude the reason stated here and in 1 Chronicles 28:3, but rather implies it. As the temple was only to be built when God had enduringly established the throne of David, David could not execute this work, for he still had to conduct wars - wars, too, of the Lord - for the establishment of his kingdom, as Solomon also states it in his embassy to Hiram. Wars and bloodshed, however, are unavoidable and necessary in this earth for the establishment of the kingdom of God in opposition to its enemies, but are not consonant with its nature, as it was to receive a visible embodiment and expression in the temple. For the kingdom of God is in its essence a kingdom of peace; and battle, or war, or struggle, are only means for the restoration of peace, the reconciliation of mankind with God after the conquest of sin and all that is hostile to God in this world. See on 2 Samuel 7:11. David, therefore, the man of war, is not to build the temple, but (1 Chronicles 22:9.) his son; and to him the Lord will give peace from all his enemies, so that he shall be מנוּחה אישׁ, a man of rest, and shall rightly bear the name Shelomo (Solomon), i.e., Friederich (rich in peace, Eng. Frederick), for God would give to Israel in his days, i.e., in his reign, peace and rest (שׁקט). The participle נולד after הנּה has the signification of the future, shall be born; cf. 1 Kings 13:2. מנוּחה אישׁ, not a man who procures peace (Jeremiah 51:59), but one who enjoys peace, as the following לו והניחותי shows. As to the name שׁלמה, see on 2 Samuel 12:24. Into 1 Chronicles 22:10 David compresses the promise contained in 1 Chronicles 17:12 and 1 Chronicles 17:13.
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