And Solomon said to God, You have showed great mercy to David my father, and have made me to reign in his stead.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Thou hast shewed great mercy unto David.—Literally, Thou, thou hast done great kindness with David. (The regular phrase; comp. Luke 1:72.) From this point the relation here is briefer on the whole than that of Kings. The greater part of the long verse (1Kings 3:6) is omitted, and the variations between the two texts become numerous, though the general sense is the same in each.
And hast made me to reign in his stead.—Comp. 1Kings 3:7; and the similar language of Esarhaddon, king of Assyria (B.C. 681-668): “Ever since Asshur, Samas, Bel, Nebo . . . made me, Esarhaddon, sit securely on the throne of my father” (Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia, 3:15, Colossians 2).2 Chronicles 1:8. And hast made me to reign — Give me the spirit of my father David, that Israel may not suffer by the change. The eminence of those that went before us, and the obligation that lies upon us to keep and carry on the good work they were engaged in, should quicken our prayers for wisdom and grace, that we may do the work of God in our day as faithfully as they did in theirs.1 Kings 3:5-14 are very considerable, and indicate the general truth that the object of the sacred historians is to give a true account of the real bearing of what was said: not ordinarily to furnish us with all or the exact words that were uttered. The most important point omitted in Chronicles, and supplied by Kings, is the conditional promise of long life made to Solomon 1 Kings 3:14; while the chief point absent from Kings, and recorded by our author, is the solemn appeal made by Solomon to the promise of God to David his father 2 Chronicles 1:9, which he now called upon God to "establish," or to perform.
7. In that night did God appear unto Solomon—(See on 1Ki 3:5).2 Chronicles 1:12 it is the same with 1 Kings 3:5. See Gill on 1 Kings 3:5, 1 Kings 3:6, 1 Kings 3:7, 1 Kings 3:8, 1 Kings 3:9, 1 Kings 3:10, 1 Kings 3:11, 1 Kings 3:12, 1 Kings 3:13, 1 Kings 3:14, 1 Kings 3:15 And Solomon said unto God, Thou hast showed great mercy unto David my father, and hast made me to reign in his stead.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)8. mercy] R.V. kindness (as 1 Kings 3:6). God shewed David not merely compassion, but also bounty.
made me to reign] R.V. made me king.Verse 8. - Thou hast showed great mercy unto David my father. These also are the exact words found in the parallel place, but they omit the words, "thy servant," before "David," found there. And hast made me to reign in his stead. This concise expression takes the place of two equivalent expressions, found at the end of the sixth and beginning of the seventh verses in the parallel passage, the former of which passages also describes it as "this great kindness," i.e. kindness on the part of God - a description very much in harmony with David's own grateful acknowledgment to God (1 Kings 1:48). Up to this point our present account differs from its parallel in cutting out Solomon's eulogy of his father ("According as he walked before thee in truth and in righteousness and in uprightness of heart with thee"), and his humbler disparagement of himself ("And I, a little child, know not how to go out or come in"). 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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