1 Chronicles 22:2
And David commanded to gather together the strangers that were in the land of Israel; and he set masons to hew wrought stones to build the house of God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2-5) David gathers craftsmen, and accumulates materials for building the house of God.

(2) And David commanded to gather together the strangers.—The word rendered “to gather together” (kānas) is different from the terms used in 1Chronicles 15:3-4; 1Chronicles 19:7, and is late in this sense.

The strangers (gêrîm).—Sojourners, or resident foreigners, such as Israel had been in Egypt (Genesis 15:13). The Canaanite population are meant, who lived on sufferance under the Israelite dominion, and were liable to forced service if the government required it. (See 2Chronicles 8:7-8, and 1Kings 9:20-21.) Solomon found them by census to be 153,600 souls. The census was a preliminary to apportioning their several tasks. (See 2Chronicles 2:17-18.) David, probably on the present occasion, had held a similar census of the Canaanite serfs (2Chronicles 2:17).

And he set.Appointed (1Chronicles 15:16-17); literally, caused to stand.

Masons.Hewers; selected, apparently, from among “the strangers.”

Wrought stones.—“Saxum quadratum,” square stones (1 Kings 5:31; Isaiah 9:9).

To build the house—i.e., for building it hereafter. It is not said that the work was begun at once, but only that the organisation of the serf labour originated with David.

1 Chronicles 22:2-3. To gather the strangers that were in the land of Israel — The same persons whom Solomon afterward employed in the same work; of which see 1 Kings 5:15; 1 Kings 9:20-21. He set masons to hew wrought stones — Wherein he could not do much, being prevented by death; but Solomon carried on and perfected what David had begun. For the joinings — To be used, together with melted lead, for the joining of those great and square stones together.

22:1-5 On occasion of the terrible judgment inflicted on Israel for the sin of David, God pointed out the place where he would have the temple built; upon which, David was excited to make preparations for the great work. David must not build, but he would do all he could; he prepared abundantly before his death. What our hands find to do for God, and our souls, and those round us, let us do it with all our might, before our death; for after death there is no device nor working. And when the Lord refuses to employ us in those services which we desired, we must not be discouraged or idle, but do what we can, though in a humbler sphere.The strangers - i. e., the aliens the non-Israelite population of the land. Compare 2 Chronicles 2:17. 2. David commanded to gather together the strangers—partly the descendants of the old Canaanites (2Ch 8:7-10), from whom was exacted a tribute of bond service, and partly war captives (2Ch 2:7), reserved for the great work he contemplated. The strangers that were in the land of Israel; the same persons whom Solomon afterwards employed in the same work; of which see 1 Kings 5:15, compared with 1 Kings 9:20,21.

He set masons to hew wrought stones; wherein he could not do much, being prevented by death; but Solomon carried on and perfected what David had begun.

And David commanded to gather together the strangers that were in the land of Israel,.... The proselytes, as the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions; that is, proselytes of the gate, who submitted to the seven precepts of Noah, were admitted to dwell in the Cities of Israel, see Genesis 9:4 and these were ordered to be got together to be employed in building the temple, and making preparations for it; and that partly because they were better artificers than the Israelites, who were chiefly employed in husbandry and cattle, and partly that the Israelites, who were freemen, might not be put to hard service; but chiefly this was for the sake of a mystery in it, denoting that the Gentiles would be concerned in building the spiritual house and church of God, the temple was a type and figure of, see Zechariah 6:15.

and he set masons to hew wrought stones to build the house of God; to dig them out of the quarries, and fit them for the building.

And David commanded to gather together the {b} strangers that were in the land of Israel; and he set masons to hew wrought stones to build the house of God.

(b) Meaning, cunning men of other nations who dwelt among the Jews.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2–5. David’s Preparations for Building the Temple

2. the strangers] Cp. 2 Chronicles 2:17; 2 Chronicles 8:7 … 9 (R.V.). Hewing of stone was regarded as task-work unit for free men.

wrought stones] All the stone used for the building of the Temple was previously cut to the right size; cp. 1 Kings 6:7.

Verse 2. - The strangers. These are plainly called in the Septuagint "proselytes" (τοὺς προσηλὺτους). They were, of course, foreign workmen, who came in pursuit of their trade. The injunctions as to "strangers," and with regard to showing them kindness, are very numerous, beginning with Exodus 12:19, 48, 49; Exodus 22:21(20); Exodus 23:9; Leviticus 19:10, 33, 34; Numbers 15:14-16; Deuteronomy 10:18, 19; Joshua 8:33-35. It was not David's object merely to gain cheap or compulsory work (2 Chronicles 2:17, 18), but to obtain a skill, which immigrants from certain places would possess, in excess of that of his own people (2 Chronicles 2:7, 8, 13, 14), especially considering the absorption of Israel in the pursuit of war, which had so largely impeded their study and practice of these the arts of peace. 1 Chronicles 22:2Workmen and materials for the building of the temple. - 1 Chronicles 22:2. In order to procure the necessary workmen, David commanded that the strangers in the land of Israel should be gathered together, and, as we learn from 2 Chronicles 2:16, also numbered. הגּרים, the strangers, are the descendants of the Canaanites whom the Israelites had not destroyed when they took possession of the land, but had reduced to bondage (2 Chronicles 8:7-9; 1 Kings 9:20-22). This number was so considerable, that Solomon was able to employ 150,000 of them as labourers and stone-cutters (1 Kings 5:15.; 2 Chronicles 2:16.). These strangers David appointed to be stone-cutters, to hew squared stones, גזית אבני (see on 1 Kings 5:18).
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