Also cedar trees in abundance: for the Zidonians and they of Tyre brought much cedar wood to David.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Also cedar trees in abundance.—Literally, and beams or logs of cedars without number. A rhetorical exaggeration, like that which we have just noted. (See also 1Chronicles 14:1.)
The Zidonians and they of Tyra (i.e., the Phoenicians) brought much cedar wood—i.e., in the way of ordinary commerce, to barter them for supplies of grain, wine, oil, and other products of the soil, which their own rocky coast-land did not yield in sufficiency. (Comp. 1Chronicles 14:1.) At a later time Hiram entered into an express contract with Solomon to supply the cedar and other materials required for building the Temple (1Kings 5:8-11).1 Chronicles 14:1.
for the Zidonians, and they of Tyre, brought much cedar wood to David; from Mount Lebanon, which was chiefly in their possession; and which they did either of themselves as a free gift and present to him, or at his request, for which he paid them; and this is another thing prefiguring the help of the Gentiles in building up the church of Christ in Gospel times.Also cedar trees in abundance: for the Zidonians and they of Tyre brought much cedar wood to David.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)4. the Zidonians and they of Tyre] Cp. 1 Kings 5:1-6 (15–20, Heb.).Verse 4. - The Zidonians and they of Tyre (see 1 Kings 5:6, 9, 13-18; 2 Chronicles 2:16-18). The interesting passages in Homer, Herodotus, and Strabo, which speak of Zidon, etc., are in entire accord with what is here said, and are well worth perusal; e.g. 'Iliad,' 6:289-295, "And she descended to the vaulted chamber, where were the garments all embroidered, the works of women of Sidon, whom the godlike Alexander himself brought from Sidon when he crossed the wide sea, by the way that he brought Helen of noble lineage;" 'Iliad,' 23. 743, 744, "And this vessel was of unsurpassed fame for beauty over all the land, for the men of Sidon, cunning artificers, had skilfully wrought it, and Phoenicians had brought it over the dark sea;" 'Odyssey,' 4:615-618, "And it was all silver, but the borders were mingled with gold. It was the work of Hephaestus. The illustrious Phademus, King of the Sidonians, gave it me when his palace sheltered me on my return thither;" 'Odyssey,' 15:424, "I boast to come from Sidon, famed for its skill in the working of brass." Similar references may be found in Herodotus (7:44, 96) and Strabo (16:2, § 23. See also 'Speaker's Commentary,' under 1 Kings 5:6). 2 Samuel 24:25 the conclusion of this event is shortly narrated thus: David offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings, and Jahve was entreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel. In the Chronicle we have a fuller statement of the יהוה יעתר in 1 Chronicles 21:26. David called upon Jahve, and He answered with fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt-offering (1 Chronicles 21:27); and Jahve spake to the angel, and he returned the sword into its sheath. The returning of the sword into its sheath is a figurative expression for the stopping of the pestilence; and the fire which came down from heaven upon the altar of burnt-offering was the visible sign by which the Lord assured the king that his prayer had been heard, and his offering graciously accepted. The reality of this sign of the gracious acceptance of an offering is placed beyond doubt by the analogous cases, Leviticus 9:24; 1 Kings 18:24, 1 Kings 18:38, and 2 Chronicles 7:1. It was only by this sign of the divine complacence that David learnt that the altar built upon the threshing-floor of Araunah had been chosen by the Lord as the place where Israel should always thereafter offer their burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as is further recorded in 1 Chronicles 21:28-30. and in 1 Chronicles 22:1. From the cessation of the pestilence in consequence of his prayer and sacrifice, David could only draw the conclusion that God had forgiven him his transgression, but could not have known that God had chosen the place where he had built the altar for the offering demanded by God as a permanent place of sacrifice. This certainly he obtained only by the divine answer, and this answer was the fire which came down upon the altar of burnt-offering and devoured the sacrifice. This 1 Chronicles 21:28 states: "At the time when he saw that Jahve had answered him at the threshing-floor of Ornan, he offered sacrifice there," i.e., from that time forward; so that we may with Berth. translate שׁם ויּזבּח, "then he was wont to offer sacrifice there." In 1 Chronicles 21:29 and 1 Chronicles 21:30 we have still further reasons given for David's continuing to offer sacrifices at the threshing-floor of Ornan. The legally sanctioned place of sacrifice for Israel was still at that time the tabernacle, the Mosaic sanctuary with its altar of burnt-offering, which then stood on the high place at Gibeon (cf. 1 Chronicles 16:39). Now David had indeed brought the ark of the covenant, which had been separated from the tabernacle from the time of Samuel, to Zion, and had there not only erected a tent for it, but had also built an altar and established a settled worship there (1 Chronicles 17), yet without having received any express command of God regarding it; so that this place of worship was merely provisional, intended to continue only until the Lord Himself should make known His will in the matter in some definite way. When therefore David, after the conquest of his enemies, had obtained rest round about, he had formed the resolution to make an end of this provisional separation of the ark from the tabernacle, and the existence of two sacrificial altars, by building a temple; but the Lord had declared to him by the prophet Nathan, that not he, but his son and successor on the throne, should build Him a temple. The altar by the ark in Zion, therefore, continued to co-exist along with the altar of burnt-offering at the tabernacle in Gibeon, without being sanctioned by God as the place of sacrifice for the congregation of Israel. Then when David, by ordering the numbering of the people, had brought guilt upon the nation, which the Lord so heavily avenged upon them by the pestilence, he should properly, as king, have offered a sin-offering and a burnt-offering in the national sanctuary at Gibeon, and there have sought the divine favour for himself and for the whole people. But the Lord said unto him by the prophet Gad, that he should bring his offering neither in Gibeon, nor before the ark on Zion, but in the threshing-floor of Ornan (Araunah), on the altar which he was there to erect. This command, however, did not settle the place where he was afterwards to sacrifice. But David - so it runs, 1 Chronicles 21:29. - sacrificed thenceforward in the threshing-floor of Ornan, not at Gibeon in the still existent national sanctuary, because he (according to 1 Chronicles 21:30) "could not go before it (לפניו) to seek God, for he was terrified before the sword of the angel of Jahve." This statement does not, however, mean, ex terrore visionis angelicae infirmitatem corporis contraxerat (J. H. Mich.), nor yet, "because he, being struck and overwhelmed by the appearance of the angel, did not venture to offer sacrifices elsewhere" (Berth.), nor, "because the journey to Gibeon was too long for him" (O. v. Gerl.). None of these interpretations suit either the words or the context. חרב מפּני נבעת, terrified before the sword, does indeed signify that the sword of the angel, or the angel with the sword, hindered him from going to Gibeon, but not during the pestilence, when the angel stood between heaven and earth by the threshing-floor of Araunah with the drawn sword, but - according to the context - afterwards, when the angelophany had ceased, as it doubtless did simultaneously with the pestilence. The words וגו נבעת כּי can therefore have no other meaning, than that David's terror before the sword of the angel caused him to determine to sacrifice thereafter, not at Gibeon, but at the threshing-floor of Araunah; or that, since during the pestilence the angel's sword had prevented him from going to Gibeon, he did not venture ever afterwards to go. But the fear before the sword of the angel is in substance the terror of the pestilence; and the pestilence had hindered him from sacrificing at Gibeon, because Gibeon, notwithstanding the presence of the sanctuary there, with the Mosaic altar, had not been spared by the pestilence. David considered this circumstance as normative ever for the future, and he always afterwards offered his sacrifices in the place pointed out to him, and said, as we further read in 1 Chronicles 22:1, "Here (הוּא זה, properly this, mas. or neut.) is the house of Jahve God, and here is the altar for the burnt-offering of Israel." He calls the site of the altar in the threshing-floor of Araunah יהוה בּית, because there Jahve had manifested to him His gracious presence; cf. Genesis 28:17.
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