And gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand drams, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And gave . . . of gold.—And they gave . . . gold, five thousand talents; between thirty and forty millions sterling (!).
Ten thousand drams.—Rather, Darics. The Daric (Greek, Δαρεικὸς) was a Persian gold coin, value about £1 2s., first struck by the great Darius, son of Hystaspes (B.C. 521-485). It remained current in Western Asia long after the fall of the Persian Empire. The Hebrew word (’ădarkônîm) occurs again only once, viz., at Ezra 8:27, where it clearly means Darics, and is so rendered by the Syriac (dărîkûnê). The darkôn (or darbôn) is mentioned in the Talmud as a Persian coin. The chronicler, or his authority, has evidently substituted a familiar modern term for some ancient expression of value. No real coins are mentioned in Scripture before the age of the exile.
Silver ten thousand talents.—About £4,000,000 in modern value (see 1Kings 10:21; 1Kings 10:27); or, according to Schrader, who argues from Assyrian data, £3,750,000. The value of the bronze and the iron must have been much greater then than now. (See Note on 1Chronicles 22:14.)Ezra 2:69; Ezra 8:27; Nehemiah 7:70-72.
of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron—In Scripture, iron is always referred to as an article of comparatively low value, and of greater abundance and cheaper than bronze [Napier].
of gold five thousand talents; which, according to Scheuchzer (l), came to 61,100,000 ducats of gold: and these, with "the 10,000 drachms"; make of our money, according to Brerewood (m), 22,507,500 pounds; some reckon a drachm at two ducats and a half, and somewhat more (n):
and of silver ten thousand talents; which, according to the former writer, amounted to 450,000,000 imperials, or rix dollars; and, according to the latter, they made of our money 3,750,000 pounds:
and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron; the weight of each of which were so much.And gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand drams, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. five thousand talents] i.e. of uncoined gold by weight.
ten thousand drams] R.V. ten thousand darics. A daric was a Persian gold coin worth about 22 shillings. The translation of A.V. drams (i.e. drachmæ) may however be right. The value of a gold drachma is about 9s. 5d. The total sum given in this verse sounds impossibly large; cp. 1 Chronicles 22:14, note.Verse 7. - The Authorized Version translation drams occurs also twice in Ezra and twice in Nehemiah. There is no doubt that the coin referred to is the Persian daric, with which the Jews became familiar during the time of their exile. The Hebrew word appears in three different forms.
1. As אֲדַרְכְּמון; here and Ezra 8:27.
2. As דַּרְכְּמון; Ezra 2:69; Nehemiah 7:70-72.
3. As דַּכְרוֹן; in rabbinical writings, but not in Scripture.
Respecting the possible derivations of the words in the first and second forms, see Gesenins's 'Lexicon,' sub voce, and Conder's 'Handbook to the Bible' (2nd edit., p. 181). The obverse of the coin shows the image of a king, with bow and spear. The value of the coin is variously computed at thirteen shillings and sixpence or twenty. two shillings and sixpence. Keil suggests that the mention of darics as well as talents in this verse may point to some of the gold being contributed in the shape of coin instead of talents-weight. This does not seem likely, however, because, of course, the daric itself was not in use in Jerusalem in David's time, and any gold coin that was then in use might have received mention on its own account, even if translated also into the daric. The Septuagint translates in this verse merely by the word χρυσοῦς, the Vulgate by solidos. Under any circumstances, the coin is to be distinguished from the δραχνή. Specimens of the daric, both in gold and silver, exist in the Paris and Vienna Museums. The Hebrew word for the ten thousand preceding the so-called drams of this verse is the word for "myriad" (רִבּו, a shortened form of רבּות), found also in Ezra 2:64; Nehemiah 7:66; Daniel 11:12; Jonah 4:11. 1 Chronicles 29:1), he mentions what materials he has prepared for the building of the temple (1 Chronicles 29:2); then further states what he has resolved to give in addition from his private resources (1 Chronicles 29:4); and finally, after this introduction, calls upon those present to make a voluntary collection for this great work (1 Chronicles 29:5). The words, "as only one hath God chosen him," form a parenthesis, which is to be translated as a relative sentence for "my son, whom alone God hath chosen." ורך נער as in 1 Chronicles 22:5. The work is great, because not for man the palace, scil. is intended, i.e., shall be built, but for Jahve God. הבּירה, the citadel, the palace; a later word, generally used of the residence of the Persian king (Esther 1:2, Esther 1:5; Esther 2:3; Nehemiah 1:1), only in Nehemiah 2:8 of the citadel by the temple; here transferred to the temple as the glorious palace of Jahve, the God-king of Israel. With 1 Chronicles 29:2, cf. 1 Chronicles 22:14. וגו לזּהב הזּהב, the gold for the golden, etc., i.e., for the vessels and ornaments of gold, cf. 1 Chronicles 28:14. וּמלּוּאים שׁהם אבני as in Exodus 25:7; Exodus 35:9, precious stones for the ephod and choshen. שׁהם, probably beryl. מּלּוּאים אבני, stones of filling, that is, precious stones which are put in settings. פּוּך אבני, stones of pigment, i.e., ornament, conjecturally precious stones which, from their black colour, were in appearance like פּוּך, stibium, a common eye pigment (see 2 Kings 9:30). רקמה אבני, stones of variegated colour, i.e., with veins of different colours. יקרה אבן, precious stones, according to 2 Chronicles 3:6, for ornamenting the walls. שׁישׁ אבני, white marble stones.
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