Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
The house. Or the place where the temple shall be built. (Menochius) --- The miraculous fire convinced David that God had made choice of this spot.
Proselytes. This is the first time that the word occurs in the Vulgate. See Exodus xii. 45. It means "strangers," (Calmet) who were not allowed to live in the country, unless they would observe the natural law, and renounce idolatry. (Rabbins) --- These had embraced the Jewish religion. (Menochius) --- They were the remnants of the people of Chanaan, (3 Kings ix. 20,) and were treated as public slaves, which could not have been done, with justice or policy, with regard to those who might barely wish to reside in the country. These strangers prefigured the Gentiles, chosen to build the Christian Church.
Prepared. Syriac and Arabic, "appointed blacksmiths from among the proselytes, to forge tools for cutting and dressing stone, &c." But most follow the Vulgate. (Calmet) --- Closures is explained by the following word, which alone occurs in Hebrew, &c. --- Immense. Hebrew and Septuagint, "abundance, it was not weighed." (Haydock)
Number. Still we find that Solomon ordered more, as the structure was more magnificent than even David had imagined.
Tender, (delicatus) weak and unexperienced. (Calmet) --- Yet he might be 21 when he was crowned. (Tirinus) --- David began his preparations long before. --- Lord. Hebrew, "must be (Haydock) for grandeur, excellence, fame, and beauty, through all countries" a sort of prodigy. --- All. Hebrew, "abundantly."
Blood, of Urias, (St. Jerome and the Rabbins) or rather, as David had already entertained the desire of building a temple before that event, (Estius) the blood which David had shed in just wars, must be understood; as even that causes a person to be regarded as unclean. The soldiers were obliged to be purified before they could enter the camp, Numbers xxxi. 19. In the Christian Church, those are deemed irregular who have contributed to the death of the guilty, even as judges or witnesses. The Pagans entertained the like sentiments. (Calmet) Æneas dares not touch the sacred vessels and household gods, when he was stained with blood, shed in his country's defence.Tu, genitor, cape sacra manu, patriosque penates
Me bello e tanto digressum et cæde recenti
Attrectare nefas. (Virgil, Æneid ii.)
--- So. Hebrew, "much blood in my sight." (Haydock) --- This expression enhances (Du Hamel) the greatness of the bloodshed; as when a person is said to be wicked, &c., before the Lord, it means in an extraordinary degree. The wars of David are frequently Peaceable. Hebrew, "Solomon," which has this meaning. (Calmet) --- Herein Solomon was a figure of Christ, who is styled the Prince of peace, Isaias ix. (Worthington)
Name. See 2 Kings vii. 13. (Menochius) --- A son. The crimes into which Solomon fell, hinder us from explaining this literally of him. St. Paul refers the expression to Jesus Christ, Hebrews i. 5. (Calmet) --- St. Augustine (de C.[City of God?] xvii. 8 and 9.) observes that the promises were not perfectly fulfilled in Solomon.
Understanding, (sensum.) Skill to resolve difficult questions. (Menochius) --- That. Hebrew, "and appoint thee to rule." (Haydock)
Poverty. Protestants, "trouble." (Haydock) --- David confesses that the immense sums which he had collected, were nothing in comparison with the greatness of God. He left more than was sufficient for Solomon to perfect the work, with still greater magnificence than he had planned out, ver. 5., chap. xxviii. 2., and xxix. 2., &c. (Calmet) --- Million. Josephus ([Antiquities?] vii. 14.) reduces these sums to one tenth part, "of gold 10,000 talents, of silver 100,000;" so that it is "extremely probable that a cipher" was added to these numbers, in some very ancient Hebrew copy. Brerewood computes that the sum mentioned here and [in] chap xxix. 4, would amount to 841,125,000l. and maintains that the whole temple pavement, and all the vessels, might have been made of solid gold, without consuming it all. (De pond, in Walton's Polyglot.) --- "If we take the preceding talents according to bishop Cumberland's computation, the sum total will be somewhat less: but, were we to reduce it to less than one-half, would not the sum of four hundred millions of money be immense and incredible?" (Kennicott) --- A learned Jew has written this marginal note in his Bible, 1661: "It is supposed, these talents are not to be reckoned like the Mosaic, for they would amount to 720 millions. But as the Scripture makes no difference, we have no other computation to go by." See Kennicott, diss. ii. If they were the same, the sum would exceed belief. Some have thought that they were only half. Mariana supposes the talents were only the weight of sicles, or four drachms; so that David left one million for the fabric. (Du Hamel) --- But the relation given by historians of the riches of Sardanapalus, Cyrus, Alexander, Atabalipa, and some kings, who were not more likely to amass such treasures than David, make the account less improbable. Josephus ([Antiquities?] vii. 12.) asserts, that "no prince ever left so great riches." He had extended his dominions on all sides, and imposed tribute on the conquered. He was very frugal, and had possession of the mines of Phunon, (Numbers xxi. 10., and xxxiii. 43.) and of Phœnicia, Deuteronomy xxxiii. 25. Though the talent seems to have varied in other nations, it always consisted of 3000 sicles among the Hebrews, at least till the captivity, Exodus xxxviii. 25, 26. We find from 2 Paralipomenon xxv. 6., and 4 Kings xv. 19., &c., that it formed a very considerable sum. Yet Villalpand calculates that all the gold and silver left by David, would be requisite for the ornaments and vessels of the temple. If, however, we grant that it would have sufficed to build a massive temple of gold, how much must be deducted to pay the workmen? &c. (Calmet, Diss. on the riches left by David, t. ii.) --- For all. Hebrew, Chaldean, Septuagint, "And to these add." (Tirinus) --- He encouraged the princes to contribute; (chap. xxxix.) and here he exhorts his son to shew his liberality, if any thing should be found deficient. (Haydock)
Saying is not expressed in Hebrew, "Is not the Lord," &c. --- And hath. Hebrew, "for he hath given the inhabitants of the land into my hand," or power. (Haydock) --- Almost all the neighbouring nations were subjected to David. (Calmet)--- The Lord, who assisted his people, and filled the enemy with terror. (Menochius)
Is on the point of being built. David was convinced that the work would not be much longer retarded, so that he speaks of it as present. (Haydock)