1 Chronicles 29 COMMENTARY (Pulpit)

1 Chronicles 29
Pulpit Commentary
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.
Verse 1. - The anxiety which David felt on account of the youth of Solomon (repeated from 1 Chronicles 22:5) evidently pressed heavily on him. The additional expression here is to be noticed, whom alone God hath chosen. By this plea, full of truth as it was, we may suppose that David would shelter himself from any possible blame or reflection on the part of the people, from the charge of partiality on the part of his elder children, and any unjust slight to them, and also from any self-reproach, in that he was devolving such a responsible task on so young and tender a man. Palace. This word (הַבִּירָה), by which the temple is designated here and in ver. 19, seems to be very probably a word of Persian derivation. It is found in Nehemiah 1:1; in Daniel 8:2; but very frequently in Esther, where it is used not only of "Shushan the palace" (Esther 1:2; Esther 2:3; Esther 3:15), as the royal abode, but also of the special part of the city adjoining the palace proper (Esther 1:5; Esther 2:5; Esther 8:14; Esther 9:6). The word is found also in Nehemiah 2:8; but there it carries the signification of the fortress of the temple. There may be some special appropriateness in its use here, in consideration of the circumstance of the fortifications and wall, which flanked the temple.
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.
Verse 2. - The six designations of stones in this verse are as follows: -

1. Onyx stones; שֹׁהַם (Genesis 2:12; Exodus 25:7; Exodus 28:9; Exodus 35:9; Exodus 39:6; Job 28:16; Ezekiel 28:13).

2. Stones to be set מִלּוּאִים or מִלֻּאִים (Exodus 25:7; Exodus 35:9, 27; the feminine form of the same word is found in Exodus 28:17, 20; Exodus 39:13). The other meanings of this word are inauguration to the priest's office (Leviticus 8:33), and the sacrifice of inauguration (Leviticus 7:37).

3. Glistering stones; פִּוּך Gesenius says this is the same root with φῦκος, seaweed. From this seaweed an alkaline pigment was prepared, which came to be called by the same word. This Hebrew word also meant a "dye" made from stribium, the Latin name of antimony (Septuagint, στιμμί: Vulgate, stibium), with which Hebrew women stained their eyelashes (see also 2 Kings 9:30; Isaiah 54:11; Jeremiah 4:30). Gesenius would translate here "stones of pigment," and understands them to mean possibly marble for covering, as though with a solid paint, the walls.

4. Stones of divers colours; רִקְמָה. This word, which means "variegated," is only in this passage applied to stones. It is applied once to the feathers of the eagle (Ezekiel 17:3); but almost always to needlework or garments, often being translated in the Authorized Version as "broidered" (Judges 5:30; Psalm 45:15; Ezekiel 16:10, 13, 18; Ezekiel 26:16; Ezekiel 27:7, 16, 24).

5. All manner of precious stones. The feminine form, יִקָרָה. The simplest idea of the word is "heavy," thence precious, dear, rare (2 Samuel 12:30; 1 Kings 5:31 [1 Kings 5:17]; 1 Kings 7:9; 10:2; 1 Chronicles 20:2; 2 Chronicles 3:6; 2 Chronicles 9:1; Job 28:16; Job 31:26; Proverbs 1:13; Proverbs 3:15; Isaiah 28:16; Ezekiel 28:13; Daniel 11:38).

6. Marble stones; שַׁיִשׁ, the elementary idea of which is whiteness. This word is found only here; Septuagint and Vulgate, "Parian marble." A word akin (שֵׁשׁ), meaning also "white marble" is found in Esther 1:6; Song of Solomon 5:16. The further treatment of these stones will be found on 2 Chronicles 3:6.
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,
Verse 3. - Translate, And, moreover, because of my delight in the house of my God, what I have as mine own treasure of gold and of silver I have given to the house of my God, over and above all I have prepared for the holy house. The word סְגֻּלָּה, on the seven other occasions of its use (Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 7:6; Deuteronomy 14:2; Deuteronomy 26:18; Psalm 135:4; Ecclesiastes 2:8; Malachi 3:17), is found in the Authorized Version as "peculiar treasure" or "special treasure" and once "jewels," but in every instance it is evident that the specialness denoted is at one with the idea of the affection that is borne by a person to his own possession and property.
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:
Verse 4. - Respecting the uncertainty of the amounts here denoted, even if the numbers of the present text be accepted as correct, see note on 1 Chronicles 22:14. Bertheau and Keil make three thousand talents of gold the equivalent of thirteen millions and a half of our money, and seven thousand talents of silver the equivalent of two and a half millions of our money - or, if the royal shekel instead of the sacred be supposed to be the standard, they make them the half of those two amounts respectively. Others calculate the value of the gold to reach thirty millions, and of the silver three millions of our money (see Conder's 'Bible Handbook,' 2nd edit., pp. 63-65, 81). The situation of Ophir is still considered undetermined. The other occasions on which it is mentioned are as follows: - Genesis 10:29 (1 Chronicles 1:23); 1 Kings 9:28; 1 Kings 10:11; 1 Kings 22:49; 2 Chronicles 8:18; 2 Chronicles 9:10; Job 22:24; Job 28:16; Psalm 45:10; Isaiah 13:12. It must be understood also that it is to it that allusion is made in 1 Kings 10:22, where we read that silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks, beside the gold, were imported into Judaea from it. The "almug" tree is also said to have been brought in the same ships which brought the gold of Ophir. The Septuagint always translates by some form of the word Σουφίς (except in Genesis 10:29), which word comes very near the Coptic name for India. There is also a place in India, mentioned by Ptolemy, Ammianus, and Abulfeda, the site of the present emporium of Goa, called Σουπάρα, and which would explain Both the Hebrew and the Septuagint words. An Indian site for Ophir would also well suit the mention of the ivory and the particular wood which the ships brought. On the other hand, the first occasion of this name Ophir finds it placed among the tribes of Joktan's descendants, who occupied South Arabia. It is there (Genesis 10:29; 1 Chronicles 1:23) placed between Sheba and Havilah, beth abounding in gold. There are other considerations that favour Arabia. Many other places have been suggested, and some of them supported by respectable authorities, such as Eastern Africa, South America and Peru, Phrygia, etc. If there be a real question about it, to the prejudice of Arabia, it would be to India we must look. That some of the commodities brought belonged more especially to India, though even in that case the majority belonged undoubtedly to Arabia, is very true. This circumstance throws great probability into the suggestion that whether Ophir were in Arabia or India, it was a great emporium, and not simply an exporter of its own particular produce (see Gesenius, 'Lexicon,' sub voce; Smith's 'Bible Dictionary'). The last sentence of this verse certainly says that the destined use of the refined silver, as well as of the gold of Ophir, was to overlay the walls of the houses. We know that gold was used for this purpose (2 Chronicles 3:5-10). But we do not read of the silver being used for overlaying purposes. We also read that none of the drinking-vessels of Solomon were of silver, as "it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon" (1 Kings 10:21; 2 Chronicles 9:20). It is possible, the order of the-sentences notwithstanding, that the mention of the refined silver is only to pro-pare the way for the contents of ver. 5, and that it mast not be applied to the last sentence of our present verse.
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?
Verse 5. - The Authorized Version, to consecrate his service, might in this instance seem to be not merely an inaccurate but an incorrect translation. For David's evident meaning was, after rehearsing his own example, to base on it the appeal, Who is... willing to bring all ungrudging handful this day to the Lord? and 2 Chronicles 13:9 might perhaps be cited as a confirmatory instance. But on the other hand, the idiom was evidently, by the witness of many passages, a general one, and the meaning of it is not incorrectly conveyed in the Authorized Version, where service means in every ease active and practical help (Exodus 28:41; Exodus 29:9; Exodus 32:29; Numbers 3:3, etc.). The question now is not one of consecrating heart and affection, but rather of giving the practical proof of them.
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,
Verse 6. - The response was hearty; it comprised voluntary gifts from the most of those mentioned in 1 Chronicles 28:1; and described in 1 Chronicles 27:16-31. For the rulers of the king's work, see 1 Chronicles 27:26; 1 Chronicles 28:1. As the more general term "work" is employed, we are not bound to confine the expression to include only those who managed "the substance and cattle" of 1 Chronicles 28:1.
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.
Verse 7. - The Authorized Version translation drams occurs also twice in Ezra and twice in Nehemiah. There is no doubt that the coin referred to is the Persian daric, with which the Jews became familiar during the time of their exile. The Hebrew word appears in three different forms.

1. As אֲדַרְכְּמון; here and Ezra 8:27.

2. As דַּרְכְּמון; Ezra 2:69; Nehemiah 7:70-72.

3. As דַּכְרוֹן; in rabbinical writings, but not in Scripture.

Respecting the possible derivations of the words in the first and second forms, see Gesenins's 'Lexicon,' sub voce, and Conder's 'Handbook to the Bible' (2nd edit., p. 181). The obverse of the coin shows the image of a king, with bow and spear. The value of the coin is variously computed at thirteen shillings and sixpence or twenty. two shillings and sixpence. Keil suggests that the mention of darics as well as talents in this verse may point to some of the gold being contributed in the shape of coin instead of talents-weight. This does not seem likely, however, because, of course, the daric itself was not in use in Jerusalem in David's time, and any gold coin that was then in use might have received mention on its own account, even if translated also into the daric. The Septuagint translates in this verse merely by the word χρυσοῦς, the Vulgate by solidos. Under any circumstances, the coin is to be distinguished from the δραχνή. Specimens of the daric, both in gold and silver, exist in the Paris and Vienna Museums. The Hebrew word for the ten thousand preceding the so-called drams of this verse is the word for "myriad" (רִבּו, a shortened form of רבּות), found also in Ezra 2:64; Nehemiah 7:66; Daniel 11:12; Jonah 4:11.
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.
Verse 8. - For Jehiel, see 1 Chronicles 23:7, 8; 1 Chronicles 26:20-22; and for the stones contributed among the other gifts, see Exodus 35:9, 27. Of the same chapter in Exodus, especially in its vers. 4-9 and 20-29, the whole of our present passage so vividly reminds us that the difficulty might be to doubt that it was present as a model to the mind of David himself.
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.
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.
Verses 10-20. - The majesty and comprehensiveness of this passage - a national liturgy of itself-are in direct proportion to the brevity of it. It includes adoration, acknowledgment of the inherent nature of human dependence, self-humiliation, and confession, dedication of all the offerings, and prayer both for the whole people in general, and for Solomon in particular, in view of his future position and responsibilities. Its utter repudiation of all idea of meritoriousness is very striking. The traces are visible of what may be called snatches of memory on the part of David from various religious odes of his own authorship, as well as from those of others still on record, as, for instance, especially in vers. 14-17, compared with passages in Psalm 24; Psalm 50; Psalm 89, ; Psalm 39; Psalm 90; Psalm 102; Psalm 144; Psalm 7; Psalm 17; and 139. But the unity of this service is abundantly conspicuous, and every sentence seems weighed and measured for the occasion. The scene, reaching its climax in what is recorded in ver. 20, must have been one of the utmost religious grandeur and impressiveness. It is true that the very last clause, which couples the reverence done on the part of the assembled multitude to the king, with that done to Jehovah himself, strikes us as an unfortunate conjunction. It does not, indeed, need upon its merits any vindication, considering the tenor of all which has preceded; but it may be felt an extenuation of the form in which the expression occurs, if we suppose (as we justly may) that the people viewed their act in the light of part of their religious service at that particular time. In 1 Kings 1:31 the same words express the reverence paid to David, though in numerous other passages they mark that offered to God (Exodus 4:31; 2 Chronicles 29:20; Nehemiah 8:6).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Verse 15. - Of the seven other clear occasions of occurrence of the word here translated abiding (מִקְוֶה), it bears three times the meaning of "a gathering together" as of waters (Genesis 1:10; Exodus 7:19; Leviticus 11:36). The other four times it is translated in the Authorized Version "hope," either in the abstract (Ezra 10:2), or in the personal object of it (Jeremiah 14:8; Jeremiah 17:13; Jeremiah 50:7). Probably the word "abiding," as drawn from this latter aspect of the word, expresses with sufficient accuracy the intended meaning here.
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.
Verse 17. - It may very possibly be that the stress with which David here says, I know, had its special cause. The thought of God as one who "tried" the heart is one often brought out in David's psalms, but a strong conviction of it may have been wrought in David's mind by Samuel's rehearsal of the language God used to him at the very time of the election of David from amid all the other of Jesse's sons (1 Samuel 16:7).
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:
Verse 18. - In the imagination of the thoughts of the heart. We have here again a reminiscence of the early language of Genesis (Genesis 6:5; Genesis 8:21. See also our book, 1 Chronicles 28:9; Deuteronomy 31:21). This same word for "imagination" (יֵצֶר) is found in the Authorized Version in Isaiah 26:3, "Whose mind is stayed," etc.; and in Psalm 103:14; Isaiah 29:16; Habakkuk 2:18; in the last three passages translated as "frame," "framed," and "work."
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.
Verse 19. - For the palace, see ver. 1.
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.
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:
Verses 21-25. - These verses record "the sacrifices and drink offerings" by which all the service of this day was ratified as it were on the following day; also the solemn "anointing of Solomon to the Lord as chief governor, and of Zadok as priest," with the visible enthronement of Solomon, and the submission to him "of all Israel, of all the princes and mighty men, and also of all the sons of David" (1 Kings 1:49-53). Verse 21. - In this verse the distinction is to be noticed between the sacrifices of thank offerings (זְבָחִים); those of burnt offerings (עֹלום); and their drink offerings, i.e the drink offerings that went with them (נִסְכֵּיחֶם). For the first of these the more specific Hebrew word is שְׁלָמִים (Leviticus 7:20; Leviticus 9:4) or זֶבַחָ שְׁלָמִים (Leviticus 3:1; Leviticus 7:11, 13, 15; Numbers 7:17). The breast and right shoulder were the priest's share. All the rest belonged to the person who sacrificed, and his friends, and must be eaten the same or the next day (Leviticus 7:11-18, 29-34). Other particulars may be found in Smith's 'Bible Dictionary,' 3:1470, 1471. The last clause of our verse tells us how ample was the feast provided by these sacrifices on this occasion, being in abundance for all Israel The burnt offering is first mentioned in Genesis 8:20; it is the only sacrifice that the Book of Genesis (see Genesis 15:9, etc.; Genesis 22:2, etc.) knows. The offering (מִנְחָה) of Genesis 4:4 is somewhat obscure, but does not appear to have been a sacrifice of blood. This sacrifice was one which was wholly consumed on the altar of fire, and supposed to ascend to heaven. The chief kinds of burnt offerings were

(1) the daily (Exodus 29:38-42; Numbers 28:3-8);

(2) the sabbath (Numbers 28:8-10);

(3) that at the new moon, the Day of Atonement, the three great festivals and the Feast of Trumpets (Numbers 28:11-29:39).

Beside these, there were the several kinds of freewill and private burnt offerings. The first, seventh, and eighth chapters of Leviticus contain full accounts of the ceremonial. The drink offering is spoken of as early as Genesis 35:14; but those to which reference is here made as appertaining to the before-mentioned sacrifices are more explicitly spoken of in such passages as Exodus 29:40; Leviticus 23:13; Numbers 6:17; Numbers 15:5-24; Numbers 28:10-14.
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.
Verse 22. - Evident stress is laid upon the eating and drinking of that day as before the Lord, and upon the anointing of Solomon to the Lord. This latter expression is more forcible than the former. The second time of making Solomon king is explained by 1 Kings 1:32-40; 1 Chronicles 23:1. The statement that Zadok was anointed to be priest must probably be understood to describe, either the re-anointing of him (just as "they made Solomon king the second time") on an occasion which particularly invited it; or an anointing which had not been before fully performed. This latter is, perhaps, an unlikely supposition; but at the same time, the fact of any previous ceremony of the kind does not happen to be narrated. Zadok had been joint priest with Abiatbar of the line of Ithamar (1 Chronicles 15:11; 2 Samuel 24, 29; 19:11); but now he was anointed under circumstances of special publicity, and at a crisis of special interest, to supersede Abiathar. who had sided with Adonijah, and who was early to be removed altogether from the sacred office (1 Kings 1:7, 8, 32, 38, 44, 45; 1 Kings 2:26, 27).
Then Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.
Verse 23. - For the happy expression, the throne of the Lord, see 1 Chronicles 28:5. And for evidence that Solomon did really exercise royal authority before David's death, see 1 Kings 1:32, 45-48; 1 Kings 2:1.
And all the princes, and the mighty men, and all the sons likewise of king David, submitted themselves unto Solomon the king.
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.
Verse 25. - Any king before him in Israel. There were, of course, only two kings "before" Solomon in Israel. The promise of God to Solomon, however, when he was "pleased" with the speech of the prayer which he offered a very short time subsequently, was much larger, and suggests itself to us as what may really have been present to the mind of the historian when he used the less comprehensive words above (2 Chronicles 1:12; 1 Kings 4:12, 13).
Thus David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel.
Verses 26-30. - These verses contain last words respecting David's reign, its extent and its length; respecting his death and age, and the succession of Solomon; and respecting the sources of the history of himself, his reign, his people, and other countries. Verse 26. - The words of this verse, not indeed hard to follow here, but marking the close instead of the commencement or career of David's reign over all Israel, are paralleled by the earlier passage, 1 Chronicles 18:14; 2 Samuel 8:15.
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.
Verse 27. - In the same way the contents of this verse are paralleled by 1 Chronicles 3:4; 2 Samuel 5:5; 1 Kings 2:11; this last passage giving only seven years instead of the seven years and six months for the reign in Hebron.
And he died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour: and Solomon his son reigned in his stead.
Verse 28. - We learn from 2 Samuel 5:4, 5, that David was thirty years old when he began to reign in Hebron. He must, therefore, have died in his seventy-first year. That this is called here a good old age shows that the length of human life had now greatly subsided. In comparison of all his successors on the thrones of Judah and of Israel, his age was clearly a "good old age?'
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,
Verse 29. - The Hebrew word here translated acts is identical with the words translated three times afterwards in this verse book. A uniform rendering for all might be found in the general word "history" or "acts." The question as to the probable nature of these works, and whether identical with our Books of Samuel, has been treated of in the Introduction. The Hebrew word for "seer," applied in this verse to Samuel, is הָרֹאֶה. And that applied to Gad, though the Authorized Version has the same translation, "seer," is הָחזֶה. There can be no doubt that the word applied to Samuel would, under any circumstances, stand as the higher of the two names, were there any comparison intended between them. This is confirmed by the fact that it is found used only of him (1 Samuel 9:9, 11, 18, 19; 2 Samuel 15:27; 1 Chronicles 9:22; 1 Chronicles 26:28; 1 Chronicles 29:29) and of Hanani (2 Chronicles 16:7, 10), whereas the word applied to Gad in this verse is the generic name for seers, and is used several times in the Books of Chronicles of other persons than Gad. At the same time, the parenthesis in 1 Samuel 9:9, to the effect that the word here used of Samuel as seer (הָרֹאֶה) was superseded in later times (as, for instance, at the time of the writing of the Books of Samuel) by the word prophet (נֶבִיא), compared with Isaiah 30:10, points in a somewhat different direction. In the first place, it would indicate that our Authorized Version in Isaiah 30:10 should rather stand, "Which say to the prophets, Prophesy not, and to the seers," etc. While for our present passage it would indicate that no insidious comparison is possible between Samuel and Gad as seers, but rather that Samuel retains the old honoured name by which he had been wont to be called, and that to Nathan is with equal naturalness attached the more modern name - the functions represented being essentially the same, or at least analogous.
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.
Verse 30. - The phrase in this verse, The times that went over him, is noticeable as an hapax legomenon. There are, however, not a few phrases more or less nearly approaching it in sense, and all hinging on the word times (1 Chronicles 12:32; Esther 1:13; Job 24:1; Psalm 31:15; Daniel 7:25). The last sentence of this chapter is illustrated, and most suggestively, by 2 Chronicles 12:8; 2 Chronicles 17:10, 11, 22-30; Ezra 9.

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