Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
Furthermore David the king said unto all the congregation, Solomon my son, whom alone God hath chosen, is yet young and tender, and the work is great: for the palace is not for man, but for the LORD God.Ch. 1 Chronicles 29:1-5. David’s Challenge to Liberality
1. Furthermore David] R.V. And David.
congregation] or, assembly; the Hebrew word is cognate to the verb translated assembled in 1 Chronicles 28:1.
whom alone God hath chosen] Cp. 1 Chronicles 28:5.
the palace] Hebrew, bîrâh, a word applied to the Temple only here and 1 Chronicles 29:19. in Nehemiah 2:8 (cp. Ryle in loco) the building which afterwards became the Tower of Antonia (ἡ παρεμβολὴ, the castle, Acts 21:37; Acts 22:24) which overlooked the Temple is called the castle (bîrâh) which appertaineth to the house. In Nehemiah 1:1 Shushan is described as a bîrâh, probably as being a fortress as well as a royal city.
The Temple is frequently called hçykâl (palace, great house) in the Old Testament, but the most frequent appellation is simply bayith (house).
Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for things to be made of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and the brass for things of brass, the iron for things of iron, and wood for things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colours, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance.2. with all my might] Cp. 1 Chronicles 22:14, in my affliction (R.V.).
the gold for things to be made of gold] R.V. the gold for the things of gold.
onyx] R.V. mg. beryl. Cp. Genesis 2:12 (R.V. mg. beryl).
glistering stones] R.V. stones for inlaid work (Hebrew, “stones of pûch”). Cp. Isaiah 54:11, I will lay thy stones with fair colours (Hebrew, “with pûch”). Glister is an old form of glisten.
Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house,3. Moreover] R.V. Moreover also.
I have of mine own proper good] R.V. Seeing that I have a treasure of wine own.
which I have given] R.V. I give it. The point of 1 Chronicles 29:3-5 is missed in A.V. owing to the unfortunate translation of 1 Chronicles 29:3. David announces that he will give from his private fortune (1 Chronicles 29:3) a heavy contribution (1 Chronicles 29:4), and challenges the chief men to follow his example (1 Chronicles 29:5).
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: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.
The gold for things of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and for all manner of work to be made by the hands of artificers. And who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the LORD?5. the gold for things of gold, and the silver for things of silver] R.V. of gold for the thing of gold, and of silver for the things of silver.
And who then is willing to consecrate his service] R.V. Who then offereth willingly to consecrate himself. The phrase to consecrate himself (Hebrew, to fill his hand) means properly to make himself a priest. The offering of gifts is regarded as a priestly act, in the performance of which the layman “makes himself a priest.” Cp. 2 Chronicles 13:9, note.
Then the chief of the fathers and princes of the tribes of Israel, and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers of the king's work, offered willingly,6–9. The Offerings of the Chiefs of Israel
6. the chief of the fathers] R.V. the princes of the fathers’ houses.
over the king’s work] See 1 Chronicles 27:25-31.
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.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.
And they with whom precious stones were found gave them to the treasure of the house of the LORD, by the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite.8. by the hand] R.V. under the hand.
Jehiel the Gershonite] Cp. 1 Chronicles 23:8; 1 Chronicles 26:21-22.
Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.9. with perfect heart] i.e. with a single heart, ungrudgingly. Cp. 1 Chronicles 28:9, note.
Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.
Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.10–19. The Blessing of David
11. thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all] Render, Thine, is the kingdom, O LORD, and thine it is to be exalted as head over all.
Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.12. thou reignest] R.V. thou rulest.
Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.
But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.14. be able] Lit. retain strength. David praises God for the great success of the efforts of so transitory a creature as man.
of thine own] Lit. out of thine hand.
For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.15. strangers before thee, and sojourners] David describes himself and his people not as strangers to God, but as strangers dwelling before God. In ancient states foreigners were sometimes allowed to reside in the capital under the immediate protection of the king or of the heads of the state; cp. 1 Samuel 22:3-4; 1 Samuel 27:3; 2 Samuel 15:19; cp. also the position of the aliens at Athens. David appeals to God on the ground that Israel is immediately under God’s protection. Cp. Psalm 39:12.
none abiding] R.V. no abiding, i.e. no continuance.
O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.
I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.
O LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee:18. in the imagination] Render, as the imagination. Imagination here means not the faculty, but the result of the exercise of the faculty, a mental image or impression.
prepare] Better R.V. mg., establish. David prays that the people may continue in their present mind.
And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision.19. a perfect heart] See 1 Chronicles 28:9, note.
the palace] See 1 Chronicles 29:1, note.
And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the LORD your God. And all the congregation blessed the LORD God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the LORD, and the king.20–22. The Great Rejoicing
20. worshipped] i.e. prostrated themselves.
And they sacrificed sacrifices unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings unto the LORD, on the morrow after that day, even a thousand bullocks, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel:21. And they sacrificed] Cp. 1 Chronicles 16:1-3.
And did eat and drink before the LORD on that day with great gladness. And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him unto the LORD to be the chief governor, and Zadok to be priest.22. the second time] Cp. 1 Chronicles 23:1. The first time is described in 1 Kings 1:39 (Solomon hastily anointed in order to assert his claim to the throne against his brother Adonijah).
to be the chief governor] R.V. to be prince. Cp. 1 Chronicles 5:2, note.
Zadok] One of Solomon’s earliest acts seems to have been to put an end to the double priesthood by deposing Abiathar; cp. 1 Kings 2:27; 1 Kings 2:35. The Chronicler seems to have this in mind, but he avoids narrating anything so derogatory to the highpriesthood.
Then Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.23–25. The Beginning of Solomon’s Reign
23. the throne of the Lord] See 1 Chronicles 28:5, note.
And all the princes, and the mighty men, and all the sons likewise of king David, submitted themselves unto Solomon the king.24. the mighty men] Cp. 1 Kings 1:10; 1 Kings 1:38, from which it is clear that the faithfulness of Benaiah and the Cherethites and Pelethites was the main factor in the elevation of Solomon.
all the sons] The Chronicler glances at the submission of Adonijah (1 Kings 1:53).
And the LORD magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.25. such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel] The rather awkward Heb. phrase must be translated by rather awkward English; render, Royal majesty which was not on any king more than on him in lsrael; i.e. the majesty of Solomon was not exceeded by that of any other king of Israel. The Heb. word here translated before is sometimes used to express comparison without reference to time; cp. Job 34:19, “nor regardeth [he] the rich more than the poor.” According to A.V. the comparison is between Solomon on the one side, and his three predecessors only (David, Ish-bosheth, and Saul) on the other.
Thus David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel.26–30. A Summary of David’s Reign
26. Thus David] R.V. Now David.
And the time that he reigned over Israel was forty years; seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem.27. forty years] Cp. 2 Samuel 5:4-5; 1 Kings 2:11.
And he died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour: and Solomon his son reigned in his stead.
Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer,29. they are written] See Introduction, § 5, The Sources.
in the book] R.V. in the history, lit. words. The Book of Chronicles itself is called in Hebrew, The words (or the acts) of the days.
Samuel the seer] Cp. 1 Samuel 9:9; 1 Samuel 9:19.
Nathan the prophet] See 2 Samuel 7:2 (= 1 Chronicles 17:1); 2 Samuel 12:1; 1 Kings 1:8-39.
Gad the seer] See 2 Samuel 24:11 (= 1 Chronicles 21:9) Gad the prophet, David’s seer.
In the Hebrew Samuel is rôeh (seer), Nathan, nâbî (prophet), and Gad ḥôzeh (seer).
With all his reign and his might, and the times that went over him, and over Israel, and over all the kingdoms of the countries.30. the times] i.e. the changes, vicissitudes. Cp. 1 Chronicles 12:32, note.