1 Chronicles 29:4
Even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses withal:
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(4) Three thousand talents of gold.—Comp. 1Chronicles 22:14. The sum would be about £18,000,000 sterling.

Gold of Ophir.—Indian gold, from Abhîra, at the mouth of the Indus.

Seven thousand talents of refined silver.—About £2,800,000 sterling.

To overlay.—Strictly, to besmear (Isaiah 44:18).

The houses.—The chambers (1Chronicles 28:11; see 2Chronicles 3:4-9). The Syriac and Arabic have “a thousand thousand talents of gold,” and “twice a thousand thousand talents of silver.”

29:1-9 What is done in works of piety and charity, should be done willingly, not by constraint; for God loves a cheerful giver. David set a good example. This David offered, not from constraint, or for show; but because he had set his affection to the house of God, and thought he could never do enough towards promoting that good work. Those who would draw others to good, must lead the way themselves.The numbers here have also suffered to some extent from the carelessness of copyists (compare the 1 Chronicles 22:14 note). The amount of silver is not indeed improbable, since its value would not exceed three millions of our money; but as the gold would probably exceed in value thirty millions, we may suspect an error in the words "three thousand." 3, 4. Moreover … I have of mine own proper good, &c.—In addition to the immense amount of gold and silver treasure which David had already bequeathed for various uses in the service of the temple, he now made an additional contribution destined to a specific purpose—that of overlaying the walls of the house. This voluntary gift was from the private fortune of the royal donor, and had been selected with the greatest care. The gold was "the gold of Ophir," then esteemed the purest and finest in the world (Job 22:24; 28:16; Isa 13:12). The amount was three thousand talents of gold and seven thousand talents of refined silver. The gold of Ophir was accounted the best and purest gold; of which see Job 22:24 28:16 Isaiah 13:12; by which it appears that those hundred thousand talents mentioned before, 1 Chronicles 22:14, were a coarser and impurer sort of gold.

To overlay the walls of the houses withal; the walls of the temple with gold, and of the rooms adjoining to it with silver beaten out into plates, and put upon the other materials here and there as it was thought fit.

Even three thousand talents of gold,.... Which, according to Scheuchzer (c), amount to 36,660,000 ducats of gold; and, according to Brerewood (d), to 13,500,000 pounds of our money:

of the gold of Ophir; which was reckoned the best gold; not Ophir in India, which was not known till Solomon's time, but in Arabia, as Bochart (e) has shown; so Eupolemus (f), an Heathen writer, says, that David having built ships at Achan, a city of Arabia, sent miners to Urphe (supposed to be the same with Ophir) in the island of the Red sea, abounding with gold, and from thence fetched it; see Gill on 1 Kings 9:28, and that he was able to give so great a sum out of his own substance, Dr. Prideaux (g) thinks, can only be accounted for by his great returns from this traffic; since these 3000 talents, according to him, amounted to 21,600,000 pounds sterling:

and seven thousand talents of refined silver; amounting, according to Scheuchzer (h), to 31,500,000 imperials, or rix dollars; and, according to Brerewood (i), to 2,625,000 pounds of our money:

to overlay the walls of the houses withal; the gold was to overlay the walls of the holy and most holy place, the silver to overlay the walls of the chambers built around the temple.

(c) Physica Sacra, vol. 4. p. 631. (d) De Ponder. & Pret. Vet. Num. c. 5. (e) Phaleg. l. 2. c. 27. Colossians 140. (f) Apud Euseb. Evangel. Praepar. l. 9. c. 30. p. 447. (g) Connection, par. 1. p. 5, 6. (h) Ut supra. (Physica Sacra, vol. 4. p. 631.) (i) Ut supra. (De Ponder. & Pret. Vet. Num. c. 5.)

Even {c} three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses withal:

(c) He shows what he had of his own store for the Lord's house.

4. gold of Ophir] Solomon brought much gold from Ophir. (2 Chronicles 8:18; 2 Chronicles 9:10 = 1 Kings 9:28; 1 Kings 10:11), which is probably to be identified with some part of the south-east coast of Arabia. LXX. gives Σουφεὶρ, i.e. perhaps India. For the amount see note on 1 Chronicles 22:14.

to overlay] Cp. 2 Chronicles 3:4-8.

the houses] i.e. the porch, the greater house, and the most holy house; 2 Chronicles 3:4-5; 2 Chronicles 3:8.

Verse 4. - Respecting the uncertainty of the amounts here denoted, even if the numbers of the present text be accepted as correct, see note on 1 Chronicles 22:14. Bertheau and Keil make three thousand talents of gold the equivalent of thirteen millions and a half of our money, and seven thousand talents of silver the equivalent of two and a half millions of our money - or, if the royal shekel instead of the sacred be supposed to be the standard, they make them the half of those two amounts respectively. Others calculate the value of the gold to reach thirty millions, and of the silver three millions of our money (see Conder's 'Bible Handbook,' 2nd edit., pp. 63-65, 81). The situation of Ophir is still considered undetermined. The other occasions on which it is mentioned are as follows: - Genesis 10:29 (1 Chronicles 1:23); 1 Kings 9:28; 1 Kings 10:11; 1 Kings 22:49; 2 Chronicles 8:18; 2 Chronicles 9:10; Job 22:24; Job 28:16; Psalm 45:10; Isaiah 13:12. It must be understood also that it is to it that allusion is made in 1 Kings 10:22, where we read that silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks, beside the gold, were imported into Judaea from it. The "almug" tree is also said to have been brought in the same ships which brought the gold of Ophir. The Septuagint always translates by some form of the word Σουφίς (except in Genesis 10:29), which word comes very near the Coptic name for India. There is also a place in India, mentioned by Ptolemy, Ammianus, and Abulfeda, the site of the present emporium of Goa, called Σουπάρα, and which would explain Both the Hebrew and the Septuagint words. An Indian site for Ophir would also well suit the mention of the ivory and the particular wood which the ships brought. On the other hand, the first occasion of this name Ophir finds it placed among the tribes of Joktan's descendants, who occupied South Arabia. It is there (Genesis 10:29; 1 Chronicles 1:23) placed between Sheba and Havilah, beth abounding in gold. There are other considerations that favour Arabia. Many other places have been suggested, and some of them supported by respectable authorities, such as Eastern Africa, South America and Peru, Phrygia, etc. If there be a real question about it, to the prejudice of Arabia, it would be to India we must look. That some of the commodities brought belonged more especially to India, though even in that case the majority belonged undoubtedly to Arabia, is very true. This circumstance throws great probability into the suggestion that whether Ophir were in Arabia or India, it was a great emporium, and not simply an exporter of its own particular produce (see Gesenius, 'Lexicon,' sub voce; Smith's 'Bible Dictionary'). The last sentence of this verse certainly says that the destined use of the refined silver, as well as of the gold of Ophir, was to overlay the walls of the houses. We know that gold was used for this purpose (2 Chronicles 3:5-10). But we do not read of the silver being used for overlaying purposes. We also read that none of the drinking-vessels of Solomon were of silver, as "it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon" (1 Kings 10:21; 2 Chronicles 9:20). It is possible, the order of the-sentences notwithstanding, that the mention of the refined silver is only to pro-pare the way for the contents of ver. 5, and that it mast not be applied to the last sentence of our present verse. 1 Chronicles 29:4Gold 3000 talents, i.e., about 13 1/2, or, reckoning according to the royal shekel, 6 3/4 millions of pounds; 7000 talents of silver, circa 2 1/2 or 1 1/4 millions of pounds: see on 1 Chronicles 22:14. Gold of Ophir, i.e., the finest, best gold, corresponding to the pure silver. לטוּח, to overlay the inner walls of the houses with gold and silver leaf. הבּתים as in 1 Chronicles 28:11, the different buildings of the temple. The walls of the holy place and of the most holy, of the porch and of the upper chambers, were overlaid with gold (cf. 2 Chronicles 3:4-6, 2 Chronicles 3:8-9), and probably only the inner walls of the side buildings.
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