2 Chronicles 1:5
Moreover the brasen altar, that Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, he put before the tabernacle of the LORD: and Solomon and the congregation sought unto it.
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(5) Moreover the brasen altar . . . he put before the tabernacle of the Lord.—Rather, And the brasen altar . . . was there before the dwelling of Jehovah. In Hebrew, shām is “there”; and sām, “he put.” Some MSS., supported by the LXX. and Vulg., read the former; most of the MSS. and the Syr., Arab., and Targ., the latter. The former reading is preferable, as it is not likely that David found the brazen altar separated from the Mosaic sanctuary, and restored it to its place. The sentence further explains why Solomon resorted to Gibeon. The presence of the old brazen altar constituted it the legitimate place of sacrifice. With perfect consistency, the chronicler accounted for David’s not going to Gibeon (1Chronicles 21:28-30).

That Bezaleel the son of Uri . . . had made—See Exodus 31:2; Exodus 31:9; Exodus 38:1-8; Exodus 27:1-8.

And Solomon and the congregation sought unto it.—Rather, And Solomon and the assembly sought Himi.e., the Lord. (Comp. 1Chronicles 13:3; 1Chronicles 15:13; 1Chronicles 21:30.) The old versions translate as A. V.

2 Chronicles 1:5. The brazen altar he put before the tabernacle, &c. — He continued it there, and did not remove it, as he did the ark, from the tabernacle. Solomon and the congregation sought unto it — Sought the Lord and his favour by hearty prayers and sacrifices in the place which God had appointed for that work, Leviticus 17:3-4.

1:1-17 Solomon's choice of wisdom, His strength and wealth. - SOLOMON began his reign with a pious, public visit to God's altar. Those that pursue present things most eagerly, are likely to be disappointed; while those that refer themselves to the providence of God, if they have not the most, have the most comfort. Those that make this world their end, come short of the other, and are disappointed in this also; but those that make the other world their end, shall not only obtain that, and full satisfaction in it, but shall have as much of this world as is good for them, in their way. Let us then be contented, without those great things which men generally covet, but which commonly prove fatal snares to the soul.Sought unto it - i. e., "frequented it" - "were in the habit of making use of it." 2-5. Then Solomon spake unto all Israel—The heads, or leading officers, who are afterwards specified, were summoned to attend their sovereign in a solemn religious procession. The date of this occurrence was the second year of Solomon's reign, and the high place at Gibeon was chosen for the performance of the sacred rites, because the tabernacle and all the ancient furniture connected with the national worship were deposited there. Zadok was the officiating high priest (1Ch 16:39). It is true that the ark had been removed and placed in a new tent which David had made for it at Jerusalem [2Ch 1:4]. But the brazen altar, "before the tabernacle of the Lord," on which the burnt offerings were appointed by the law to be made, was at Gibeon. And although David had been led by extraordinary events and tokens of the divine presence to sacrifice on the threshing-floor of Araunah, Solomon considered it his duty to present his offerings on the legally appointed spot "before the tabernacle," and on the time-honored altar prepared by the skill of Bezaleel in the wilderness (Ex 38:1). He put; either Moses, mentioned 2 Chronicles 1:3, or Bezaleel, here last named, by the command and direction of Moses; or David, who may be said to put it there, because he continued it there, and did not remove it, as he did the ark from the tabernacle.

Sought unto it, i.e. sought the Lord and his favour by hearty prayers and sacrifices in the place which God had appointed for that work, Leviticus 17:3,4.

Moreover, the brasen altar that Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made,.... According to the pattern given by Moses, at the direction of God, Exodus 38:1,

he put before the tabernacle of the congregation; either David, or rather Solomon; though it seems best to read the words as in the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions, "and there it was before the tabernacle"; for it was always there:

and Solomon and the congregation sought unto it; to sacrifice unto it; or rather sought "unto him", the Lord, before whose tabernacle the altar was, so Gussetins (a).

(a) Comment. Ebr. p. 197.

Moreover the {d} brasen altar, that Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, he put before the tabernacle of the LORD: and Solomon and the congregation sought unto it.

(d) Which was for the burnt offerings, Ex 27:1.

5. Bezalel] See Exodus 31:2; Exodus 38:1-7.

he put] R.V. was there. In the Hebrew the position of a point makes the difference between these two translations.

sought unto it] See 1 Chronicles 28:8, note.

Verse 5. - The brazen altar. This statement is introduced to lay stress on the fact that, though the ark indeed was not with the tabernacle, the brazen altar of burnt offering assuredly was there, this constituting the place, the proper spot, for sacrifice and worship. (For the account of the brazen altar and its making, see Exodus 27:1-8; Exodus 38:1-7; also Numbers 16:38, 39.) This altar of burnt offering is often spoken of as the altar, to distinguish it from the altar of incense (Exodus 30:1; Exodus 39:38; Numbers 4:11). Bezaleel. (For detailed genealogy, see our 1 Chronicles 2:3-20; also Exodus 31:2-5; Exodus 35:30-35.) He put before. The reading (שָׁם), "was there before," is to be preferred, tallying as it does exactly with Exodus 40:6. This was the reading understood by the Septuagint and Vulgate. The majority of manuscripts, however, and the Syriac Version, have שָׂם. Sought unto it. The analogy of the use of this word would make to be preferred the translation "sought him," i.e. the "Jehovah" just spoken cf. But whether the object of the verb be in this place Jehovah or the altar, it would seem probable that the clause purports to say that Solomon and his people were accustomed to repair thither, while now they were about to repair thither with a very vast burnt offering. 2 Chronicles 1:5The sacrifice at Gibeon, and the theophany. - 2 Chronicles 1:1-6. When Solomon had established himself upon his throne, he went with the princes and representatives of the congregation of Israel to Gibeon, to seek for the divine blessing upon his reign by a solemn sacrifice to be offered there before the tabernacle. 2 Chronicles 1:1 forms, as it were, the superscription of the account of Solomon's reign which follows. In וגו ויּתחזּק equals Solomon established himself in his kingdom, i.e., he became strong and mighty in his kingdom, the older commentators saw a reference to the defeat of Adonijah, the pretender to the crown, and his followers (1 Kings 2). But this view of the words is too narrow; we find the same remark made of other kings whose succession to the throne had not been questioned (cf. 2 Chronicles 12:13; 2 Chronicles 13:21; 2 Chronicles 17:1, and 2 Chronicles 21:4), and the remark refers to the whole reign-to all that Solomon undertook in order to establish a firm dominion, not merely to his entry upon it. With this view of the words, the second clause, "his God was with him, and made him very great," coincides. God gave His blessing to all that Solomon did for this end. With the last words cf. 1 Chronicles 29:25.

We have an account of the sacrifice at Gibeon (2 Chronicles 1:7-13) in 1 Kings 3:4-15 also. The two narratives agree in all the main points, but, in so far as their form is concerned, it is at once discernible that they are two independent descriptions of the same thing, but derived from the same sources. In 1 Kings 3 the theophany-in our text, on the contrary, that aspect of the sacrifice which connected it with the public worship-is more circumstantially narrated. While in 1 Kings 3:4 it is briefly said the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, our historian records that Solomon summoned the princes and representatives of the people to this solemn act, and accompanied by them went to Gibeon. This sacrifice was no mere private sacrifice-it was the religious consecration of the opening of his reign, at which the estates of the kingdom were present as a matter of course. "All Israel" is defined by "the princes over the thousands ..., the judges, and all the honourable;" then לכל־שׂראל is again taken up and explained by the apposition האבות ראשׁי: to all Israel, viz., the heads of the fathers'-houses. ל is to be repeated before ראשׁי. What Solomon said to all Israel through its representatives, is not communicated; but it may be gathered from what succeeds, that he summoned them to accompany him to Gibeon to offer the sacrifice. The reason why he offered his sacrifice at the בּמה, i.e., place of sacrifice, is given in 2 Chronicles 1:3. There the Mosaic tabernacle stood, yet without the ark, which David had caused to be brought up from Kirjath-jearim to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 13:1-14 and 15). In לו בּהכין the article in ba represents the relative אשׁר equals בּאשׁר or לו הכין אשׁר בּמקום; cf. Judges 5:27; Ruth 1:16; 1 Kings 21:19; see on 1 Chronicles 26:28. Although the ark was separated from the tabernacle, yet by the latter at Gibeon was the Mosaic altar of burnt-offering, and on that account the sanctuary at Gibeon was Jahve's dwelling, and the legal place of worship for burnt-offerings of national-theocratic import. "As our historian here brings forward emphatically the fact that Solomon offered his burnt-offering at the legal place of worship, so he points out in 1 Chronicles 21:28-30 :1, how David was only brought by extraordinary events, and special signs from God, to sacrifice on the altar of burnt-offering erected by him on the threshing-floor of Ornan, and also states how he was prevented from offering his burnt-offering in Gibeon" (Berth.). As to Bezaleel, the maker of the brazen altar, cf. Exodus 31:2 and Exodus 37:1. Instead of שׂם, which most manuscripts and many editions have before לפני, and which the Targ. and Syr. also express, there is found in most editions of the 16th century, and also in manuscripts, שׁם, which the lxx and Vulgate also read. The reading שׁם is unquestionably better and more correct, and the Masoretic pointing שׂם, posuit, has arisen by an undue assimilation of it to Exodus 40:29. The suffix in ידרשׁהוּ does not refer to the altar, but to the preceding word יהוה; cf. אלהים דּרשׁ, 1 Chronicles 21:30; 1 Chronicles 15:13, etc.

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