1 Chronicles 17:1 MEANING

1 Chronicles 17:1
(1) Now it came to pass, as David sat in his house.--In both texts the story of this chapter naturally follows that of the removal of the Ark, although the events themselves appear to belong to a later period of David's reign, "when the Lord had given him rest round about from all his enemies" (2 Samuel 7:1; comp. 1 Chronicles 17:8). 1 Chronicles 17:11-14 indicate some time before the birth of Solomon, but the date cannot be more exactly determined.

David.--Thrice in 1 Chronicles 17:1-2, for which Samuel has "the king." The chronicler loves the name of his ideal sovereign.


Lo.--Samuel, "See, now."

An house.--The house--viz., that which Hiram's craftsmen had built (1 Chronicles 14:1, sqq.).

Of cedars.--A vivid allusion to the splendour of the palace, with its doors, walls, and ceilings of cedar wood. "Cedar of Labnana" (Lebanon) was in great request with the Assyrian monarchs of a later age for palace-building.

Under curtains--i.e., in a tent (Habakkuk 3:7). Samuel has, "dwelleth amid the curtain" (collect.). The verb is omitted here for brevity.

Verse 1. - We may easily imagine how the excitement, though not the deeper interest, attending the removal of the ark and the festival on occasion of its safe establishment on Zion had now subsided. David's thoughts respecting the honour due to God and to the ark of the covenant had time to grow into convictions, and they were greatly and rightly stimulated by reflection on his own surroundings of comfort, of safety, of stability and splendour. He revolves the possible methods and the right methods of showing that honour due. The completion of his own house, one presumably fit for the permanent abode of the King of Israel (1 Chronicles 14:1), is the clear demonstration to him that the ark should not dwell in a mere tent. It is a true touch of life, when it is written that as David sat in his house these thoughts possessed him, and so strongly. The exact time, however, here designed, and the exact occasion of his revealing the thoughts that burned within him, to Nathan, do not appear either here or in the parallel place. In the opinion of some, an indication of some interval having elapsed is found in the words (2 Samuel 7:1), "The Lord had given him rest round about from all his enemies;" while others consider those words to refer to the victories gained over the Philistines, as recorded in ch. 14. Nathan the prophet. This name suddenly breaks upon us, without any introduction, here for the first time. Nathan is emphatically entitled "the prophet," but perhaps merely to distinguish him from Nathan, David's eighth son. Amid many other important references to Nathan, and which speak for themselves, must be specially noted 1 Chronicles 29:29; 2 Chronicles 9:29. And it will be noticed from the former of these references, in particular how Nathan is the prophet (הַגָּבִיא); not (like Samuel and Gad) seer (הָרֹאֶה or הַתוֶה). Possibly he is intended in 1 Kings 4:5. An house of cedars. The cedar here spoken of does, of course, not answer to our red, odorous cedar. The word employed is אֶרֶז, in the plural number. The first Biblical use of this word is found in Leviticus 14:4, 6, 49-52. It is derived by Gesenius from an obsolete word אָרַז, from the grip and the firmness of its roots. It is probably the derived signification, therefore, that should be adhered to (as in the Authorized Version), and not the original, where in Ezekiel 27:24, the plural of the passive participial is found, "made of cedar," not with A. Schultens, "made fast." The cedar genus belonging to the order Coniferae, is odoriferous, very lasting, and without knots. The numerous good qualities which it possesses are spoken to in the variety of uses, and good kind of uses, to which it was put - these all crowned by the almost solitary spiritualized appropriation of the tree, found in Psalm 92:12. From a comparison of 1 Kings 5:6, 8 (in the Hebrew, 20, 22) with 2 Chronicles 2:3, 8, and some other passages, we may be led to believe that the cedar as the name of timber was used occasionally very generically. Nevertheless, the very passages in question instance by name the other specific kinds of wood. Two of the chief kinds of cedar were the Lebanon and the Deodara, which is said not to have grown in Syria, but abounds in the Himalayas. And as the use of the Lebanon cedar for some purposes (e.g. for the masts of ships) is almost out of the question, it is exceedingly probable that this Deodars and some other varieties of pines are comprehended under the eh-rez. Dean Stanley points out what may be described as very interesting moral landmark uses of the celebrated cedars of Lebanon, in those passages which speak of Solomon's sweep of knowledge, commencing in the dewing direction from them (1 Kings 4:33), of the devouring fire that should begin with the bramble and reach high up to those cedars (in Jotham's parable, Judges 9:15), and (in the parable of Joash, King of Israel, to Amaziah, King of Judah, 2 Chronicles 25:18) of the contempt with which the family of the cedars of Lebanon is supposed to hear of the matrimonial overtures of the family of the thistles of Lebanon. Stanley's pages ('Sinai and Palestine,' edit. 1866, pp. 414-414d) are full of interest on the subject of the cedars of Lebanon (see also full article in Dr. Smith's 'Bible Dictionary,' 1:285, 286; and Dr. Thomson's 'Land and the Book,' pp. 197-200). Cedar was the choice wood for pillars and beams, boarding and ceiling of the finest houses; and alike the first and second temples (Ezra 3:7) depended upon the supply of it. Under curtains. Here rightly in the plural, though our parallel (2 Samuel 7:2) shows the singular (Exodus 26:1-13; Exodus 36:8-19).

17:1-27 David's purposes; God's gracious promises. - This chapter is the same as 2Sa 7. See what is there said upon it. It is very observable that what in Samuel is said to be, for thy word's sake, is here said to be, "for thy servant's sake," ver. 19. Jesus Christ is both the Word of God, Re 19:13, and the Servant of God, Isa 42:1; and it is for his sake, upon account of his mediation, that the promises are made good to all believers; it is in him, that they are yea and amen. For His sake it is done, for his sake it is made known; to him we owe all this greatness, from him we are to expect all these great things. They are the unsearchable riches of Christ, which, if by faith we see in themselves, and see in the Lord Jesus, we cannot but magnify as the only true greatness, and speak honourably of them. For this blessedness may we look amidst the trials of life, and when we feel the hand of death upon us; and seek it for our children after us.See Chapter Introduction
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