2 Chronicles 3:1
Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
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(a) SITE AND DATE (2Chronicles 3:1-2).

(1) At Jerusalem in mount Moriah.—Nowhere else in the Old Testament is the Temple site so specified. (Comp. “the land of Moriah,” the place appointed for the sacrifice of Isaac, Genesis 22:2.)

Where the Lord appeared unto David his father.—So LXX.; rather, who appeared unto David his father. Such is the meaning according to the common use of words. There is clearly an allusion to the etymology of MORIAH, which is assumed to signify “appearance of Jah.” (Comp. Genesis 22:14.) Translate, “in the mount of the Appearance of Jah, who appeared unto David his father.” The Vulgate reads: “in Monte Moria qui demonstratus fuerat David patri ejus;” but nir’ah never means to be shown or pointed out. The Syriac, misunderstanding the LXX. (Ἀμωρία), renders “in the hill of the Amorites.”

In the place that David had prepared.—This is no doubt correct, as the versions indicate. The Hebrew has suffered an accidental transposition.

In the threshingfloor of Ornan.1Chronicles 21:28; 1Chronicles 22:1.

2 Chronicles 3:1. In mount Moriah — Part of this mountain was in the tribe of Judah, and part of it in the tribe of Benjamin: so that the temple is ascribed to them both. To Judah, Psalm 77:68, 69, and to Benjamin, Deuteronomy 33:12. For the greatest part of the courts were in the tribe of Judah; but the altar, the porch, the most holy part of the temple, where the ark and the cherubim were, in the tribe of Benjamin. It was the belief of the ancient Jews, that the temple was built on the very spot where Abraham offered up Isaac. So the Jewish Targum (a paraphrase on the books of Moses, in the Chaldee language) says expressly, adding, But he (Isaac) was delivered by the word of the Lord, and a ram provided in his place. That offering of Isaac was typical of Christ’s sacrifice of himself: therefore fitly was the temple built there, which was also a type of him. Where the Lord appeared unto David — That is, which place the Lord had consecrated by his gracious appearance there, 1 Chronicles 21:26. The place that David had prepared — Which he had not only purchased with his money, but which he had pitched upon by divine direction, and made ready for the purpose by pulling down the buildings that were upon it or near it, by levelling the ground, and possibly by marking it out for the temple and courts, the dimensions whereof he probably very particularly and exactly understood by the Spirit of God. In the thrashing-floor of Ornan — In that place where the thrashing-floor formerly was.

3:1-17 The building of the temple. - There is a more particular account of the building of the temple in #1Ki 6". It must be in the place David had prepared, not only which he had purchased, but which he had fixed on by Divine direction. Full instructions enable us to go about our work with certainty and to proceed therein with comfort. Blessed be God, the Scriptures are enough to render the man of God thoroughly furnished for every good work. Let us search the Scriptures daily, beseeching the Lord to enable us to understand, believe, and obey his word, that our work and our way may be made plain, and that all may be begun, continued, and ended in him. Beholding God, in Christ, his true Temple, more glorious than that of Solomon's, may we become a spiritual house, a habitation of God through the Spirit.Where the Lord appeared unto David - The marginal rendering, or "which was shown to David," is preferred by some; and the expression is understood to point out to David the proper site for the temple by the appearance of the Angels and the command to build an altar 2 Samuel 24:17-25; 1 Chronicles 21:16-26.

In the place that David had prepared - This seems to be the true meaning of the passage, though the order of the words in the original has been accidentally deranged.


2Ch 3:1, 2. Place and Time of Building the Temple.

1. Mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared unto David—These words seem to intimate that the region where the temple was built was previously known by the name of Moriah (Ge 22:2), and do not afford sufficient evidence for affirming, as has been done [Stanley], that the name was first given to the mount, in consequence of the vision seen by David. Mount Moriah was one summit of a range of hills which went under the general name of Zion. The platform of the temple is now, and has long been, occupied by the haram, or sacred enclosure, within which stand the three mosques of Omar (the smallest), of El Aksa, which in early times was a Christian church, and of Kubbet el Sakhara, "The dome of the rock," so called from a huge block of limestone rock in the center of the floor, which, it is supposed, formed the elevated threshing-floor of Araunah, and on which the great brazen altar stood. The site of the temple, then, is so far established for an almost universal belief is entertained in the authenticity of the tradition regarding the rock El Sakhara; and it has also been conclusively proved that the area of the temple was identical on its western, eastern, and southern sides with the present enclosure of the haram [Robinson]. "That the temple was situated somewhere within the oblong enclosure on Mount Moriah, all topographers are agreed, although there is not the slightest vestige of the sacred fane now remaining; and the greatest diversity of sentiment prevails as to its exact position within that large area, whether in the center of the haram, or in its southwest corner" [Barclay]. Moreover, the full extent of the temple area is a problem that remains to be solved, for the platform of Mount Moriah being too narrow for the extensive buildings and courts attached to the sacred edifice, Solomon resorted to artificial means of enlarging and levelling it, by erecting vaults, which, as Josephus states, rested on immense earthen mounds raised from the slope of the hill. It should be borne in mind at the outset that the grandeur of the temple did not consist in its colossal structure so much as in its internal splendor, and the vast courts and buildings attached to it. It was not intended for the reception of a worshipping assembly, for the people always stood in the outer courts of the sanctuary.The place and time of building the temple. The measure and ornaments thereof, 2 Chronicles 3:1-9. The cherubims, 2 Chronicles 3:10-13. The veil and the pillars, 2 Chronicles 3:14-17.

Where the Lord appeared unto David; which place the Lord had consecrated by his gracious appearance there, 1 Chronicles 21:26. Or, which was showed unto David, to wit, to be the place where the temple should be built; which God pointed out to him, partly by his appearance, and principally by his Spirit suggesting this to David at that time. The place that David had prepared, by pulling down the buildings which were upon it, or near it, by levelling the ground, and possibly by marking it out for the temple and courts, the dimensions whereof he very particularly and exactly understood by the Spirit of God. In the threshing-floor, i.e. in the place where that threshing-floor formerly stood.

See Chapter Introduction Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount {a} Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.

(a) Which is the mountain where Abraham was thought to have sacrificed his son, Ge 22:2.

Ch. 2 Chronicles 3:1-2 (= 1 Kings 6:1). The Temple Begun

1. in mount Moriah] Genesis 22:2.

in the place that David had prepared] R.V. which he made ready in the place that David had appointed (following the Hebrew, whereas A.V. leaves the Hebrew and agrees with LXX.).

Ornan the Jebusite] See 1 Chronicles 21:15 ff.

Verse 1. - Mount Moriah. This name מוריָה occurs twice in the Old Testament, viz. here and Genesis 22:2, in which latter reference it is alluded to as "the land of Moriah," and "one of the mountains" in it is spoken cf. Whether the name designates the same place in each instance is more than doubtful. In the present passage the connection of the place with David is marked. Had it been the spot connected with Abraham and the proposed sacrifice of Isaac, it is at least probable that this also would have been emphasized, and not here only, but in 2 Samuel 24:17-25 and 1 Chronicles 21:16-26; but in neither of these places is there the remotest suggestion of such fame of old belonging to it. Nor in later passages of history (e.g. Nehemiah's rebuilding, and in the prophets, and the New Testament), where the opportunities would have been of the most tempting, is there found one single suggestion of the kind. There am also at fewest two reasons of a positive and intriusic character against Solomon's Moriah being Abraham's - in that this latter was a specially conspicuous height (Genesis 22:4), and was a secluded and comparatively desolate place, neither of which features attach to Solomon's Moriah. Nevertheless the identity theory is stoutly maintained by names as good as those of Thomson ('Land and the Book,' p. 475); Tristram ('Land of Israel,' p. 152); Hengstenberg ('Genuineness of Pentateuch, 2:162, Ryland's tr.); Kurtz ('History of O. C.,' 1:271); and Knobel and Kalisch under the passage in Genesis - against Grove (in Dr. Smith's ' Bible Dictionary'); Stanley (' Sinai and Palestine,' p. 251;'Jewish Church,' 1. 49); De Wette, Bleek, and Tischendorf [see 'Speaker's Commentary,' under Genesis 22:2]. Though there is some uncertainty as to the more exact form of the derivation of the name Moriah, it seems most probable that the meaning of it may be "the sight of Jehovah." Where the Lord appeared unto David his father. The clause is no doubt elliptical, and probably it is not to be mended by the inserting of the words," the Lord," as in our Authorized Version. We do not read anywhere that the Lord did then and there appear to David, though we do read that "the angel of the Lord" appeared to him (2 Samuel 24:16, passim; 1 Chronicles 21:15, 19, passim). Nor is it desirable to force the niph. preterite of the verb here, rightly rendered "appeared" or "was seen," into "was shown." We should prefer to solve the difficulty occasioned by the somewhat unfinished shape of the clause (or clauses) by reading it in close relation to 1 Chronicles 22:1. Then the vivid impressions that had been made both by works and words of the angel of the Lord caused David to feel and to say with emphasis, "This is the (destined) house of the Lord God," etc. In this light our present passage would read, in a parenthetic manner, "which (i.e. the house, its Moriah position and all) was seen of David;" or with somewhat more of ease, "as was seen of David;" and the following "in the place," etc., will read in a breath with the preceding "began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem... in the place," etc. David had prepared (so 1 Chronicles 22:2-4). In the threshing-floor of Ornan (so 2 Samuel 24:18; 1 Chronicles 21:15, 16, 18, 21-28). 2 Chronicles 3:1The building of the temple. - 2 Chronicles 3:1-3. The statements as to the place where the temple was built (2 Chronicles 3:1) are found here only. Mount Moriah is manifestly the mountain in the land of Moriah where Abraham was to have sacrificed his son Isaac (Genesis 22:2), which had received the name המּוריּה, i.e., "the appearance of Jahve," from that event. It is the mountain which lies to the north-east of Zion, now called Haram after the most sacred mosque of the Mohammedans, which is built there; cf. Rosen, das Haram von Jerusalem, Gotha 1866. לד נראה אשׁר is usually translated: "which was pointed out to David his father." But ראה has not in Niphal the signification "to be pointed out," which is peculiar to the Hophal (cf. Exodus 25:40; Exodus 26:30; Deuteronomy 4:35, etc.); it means only "to be seen," "to let oneself be seen," to appear, especially used of appearances of God. It cannot be shown to be anywhere used of a place which lets itself be seen, or appears to one. We must therefore translate: "on mount Moriah, where He had appeared to David his father." The unexpressed subject יהוה is easily supplied from the context; and with אשׁר בּהר, "on the mountain where," cf. אשׁר בּמּקום, Genesis 35:13., and Ew. 331, c, 3. הכין אשׁר is separated from what precedes, and connected with what follows, by the Athnach under אביהוּ, and is translated, after the lxx, Vulg., and Syr., as a hyperbaton thus: "in the place where David had prepared," scil. the building of the temple by the laying up of the materials there (1 Chronicles 22:5; 1 Chronicles 29:2). But there are no proper analogies to such a hyperbaton, since Jeremiah 14:1 and Jeremiah 46:1 are differently constituted. Berth. therefore is of opinion that our text can only signify, "which temple he prepared on the place of David," and that this reading cannot be the original, because הכין occurs elsewhere only of David's activity in preparing for the building of the temple, and "place of David" cannot, without further ceremony, mean the place which David had chosen. He would therefore transpose the words thus: דויד הכין אשׁר בּמקום. But this conjecture is by no means certain. In the first place, the mere transposition of the words is not sufficient; we must also alter בּמקום into בּמּקום, to get the required sense; and, further, Bertheau's reasons are not conclusive. הכין means not merely to make ready for (zursten), to prepare, but also to make ready, make (bereiten), found e.g., 1 Kings 6:19; Ezra 3:3; and the frequent use of this word in reference to David's action in preparing for the building of the temple does not prove that it has this signification here also. The clause may be quite well translated, with J. J. Rambach: "quam domum praeparavit (Salomo) in loco Davidis." The expression "David's place," for "place which David had fixed upon," cannot in this connection be misunderstood, but yet it cannot be denied that the clause is stiff and constrained if we refer it to יהוה את־בּית. We would therefore prefer to give up the Masoretic punctuation, and construe the words otherwise, connecting הכין אשׁר with the preceding thus: where Jahve had appeared to his father David, who had prepared (the house, i.e., the building of it), and make בּמקום ד, with the following designation of the place, to depend upon לבנות as a further explanation of the הם בּהר, viz., in the place of David, i.e., on the place fixed by David on the threshing-floor of the Jebusite Ornan; cf. 1 Chronicles 21:18. - In 2 Chronicles 3:2 לבנות ויּחל is repeated in order to fix the time of the building. In 1 Kings 6:1 the time is fixed by its relation to the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. בּשּׁני, which the older commentators always understood of the second day of the month, is strange. Elsewhere the day of the month is always designated by the cardinal number with the addition of לחרשׁ or יום, the month having been previously given. Berth. therefore considers בּשּׁני to be a gloss which has come into the text by a repetition of השּׁני, since the lxx and Vulg. have not expressed it.
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