2 Chronicles 1:2 MEANING

2 Chronicles 1:2
(2-6) Solomon and the national assembly repair to the Mosaic tabernacle at Gibeon, and sacrifice upon the great altar of burnt offering. (Comp. 1 Kings 3:4, which the present section supplements and explains.)

(2) Then Solomon spake unto all Israel.--Or, commanded all Israel (1 Chronicles 21:17; 2 Samuel 16:11; 2 Kings 1:11; Vulg., pr?cepit).

To the captains of thousands . . . chief of the fathers.--This is an apposition, explaining what is meant by "all Israel" in the first clause, viz., the national representatives. The account in Kings allows only one verse for the sacrifice, and so omits to mention that the princes took part in it (1 Kings 3:4). The fact, however, is likely in itself. (Comp. the similar assemblies under David, 1 Chronicles 13:1; 1 Chronicles 23:2; 1 Chronicles 28:1.)

Every governor.--Heb. n?si', prince, emir of a tribe, or chief of a clan. (Comp. Genesis 23:6; Numbers 7:10; 1 Kings 8:1.)

The chief of the fathers.--The heads of the clans. This defines the preceding phrase.

Verse 2. - This verse and the following four supersede the one verse, 1 Kings 3:4; and the five together give us, of course, a much fuller view of the events of the sacrifice. Our present verse purports to show the representative components of "all Israel" in a fourfold classification. Captains of thousands and of hundreds (see first 1 Chronicles 13:1; 1 Chronicles 27:1; 1 Chronicles 28:1; and then Exodus 18:21, 25; Numbers 31:14, 48, 52, 54; Deuteronomy 1:15; 1 Samuel 8:12; 1 Samuel 17:18; 1 Samuel 18:13; 1 Samuel 22:7; 2 Samuel 18:1; 2 Kings 11:9, 15, 19). The judges. The office and the person of the judge were held in high honour among the Jewish people from the first, and perhaps, also, with a noteworthy uniformity, even in the more degenerate periods of their history. Their commencement in patriarchal simplicity can be easily imagined, and receives illustration from such passages as Job 29:7, 8, 9; Job 32:9. Their more formal development may be considered to date from the crisis related in Exodus 18:14-24. And the allusions to the judge and his office thenceforward sustain our impression of the honour in which they were held, arising, no doubt, largely from the deep-felt necessity for them, the more society crystallized (Numbers 25:5; Deuteronomy 16:18; Deuteronomy 19:17; Deuteronomy 21:2; Joshua 8:33; 1 Chronicles 23:24; 1 Chronicles 26:29; 2 Chronicles 19:8-10). In 1 Chronicles 23:24 we are told how David set apart "six thousand Levites" to be "officers and judges." Every governor. The word employed here (נָשִׂיא) is rendered by five different words in our Authorized Version: "prince" (Genesis 17:20, passim), "ruler" (Exodus 16:22, passim), "captain" (Numbers 2:3, passim), "chief" Numbers 3:24, passim), and "governor" in the present passage only. It is evidently a term of generic signification, used of a king (1 Kings 11:34; Ezekiel 12:10); of leaders of the Ishmaelites (Genesis 17:20); of the captains of the tribes of Israel (Numbers 7:11); of the chiefs of families (Numbers 3:24); while the use of it (Genesis 23:6) to set forth the position of Abraham as one raised to eminence so high and undisputed that it might be clearly said to be God's doing, is sufficient to determine its central signification. The chief of the fathers; i.e. the heads of the fathers. The first occurrence of the expression, "the heads of their fathers' houses" (Exodus 6:14), and of "the heads of the fathers of the Levites according to their families" (Exodus 6:25), sufficiently explains the original and perfectly natural meaning of the phrase. The great importance and significance of the position of the heads "of families" and "of houses" and" of fathers" in early patriarchal times must necessarily have declined by the time of Solomon, when the nation had received so much more of civil form and system. But the name remained, and the family and social position did not fail to make themselves felt, and finally the official recognition of them in David's time is evidenced by 1 Chronicles 27:1, and in Solomon's time both by the present passage and 2 Chronicles 5:2 with its parallel 1 Kings 8:1. Our present use of the expression ought probably to show it, in close apposition with the foregoing words, "to all Israel" (wrongly translated "in all Israel" in the Authorized Version), and which itself is a repetition of the "to all Israel" in the beginning of the verse. Although the existing Hebrew pointing of the verse does not favour the supposition, it may be that the writer means to emphasize Solomon's summons as made both to the kingdom as such, and to the people also as a united people. We are not, indeed, told here, in so many words, what it was that Solomon said "to all Israel." But there can be no doubt as to his object, as betrayed in the first clause of the following verse.

1:1-17 Solomon's choice of wisdom, His strength and wealth. - SOLOMON began his reign with a pious, public visit to God's altar. Those that pursue present things most eagerly, are likely to be disappointed; while those that refer themselves to the providence of God, if they have not the most, have the most comfort. Those that make this world their end, come short of the other, and are disappointed in this also; but those that make the other world their end, shall not only obtain that, and full satisfaction in it, but shall have as much of this world as is good for them, in their way. Let us then be contented, without those great things which men generally covet, but which commonly prove fatal snares to the soul.Then Solomon spake unto all Israel,.... To their representatives about going to Gibeon to sacrifice, as the next words show: so Jarchi and Kimchi observe:

to the captains of thousands, and of hundreds, to the judges, and to every governor in all Israel, the chief of the fathers; whom he had convened on this occasion; though some think this is the same congregation gathered by his father, by whom he was anointed and made king, and that he spoke of this to them before they broke up, 1 Chronicles 28:1 which seems not so probable, since it was after the death of his father, after he had been king some time, and even after his marriage with Pharaoh's daughter, that what follows was done, see 1 Kings 3:1.

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