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the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 1

Coffman's Commentaries on the BibleCoffman's Commentaries

Verses 1-6

TO THE DIVISION (2 Chronicles 1-10)
2 Chronicles 1:1-6 SOLOMON AT GIBEON;

“And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and Jehovah his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly. And Solomon spake unto all Israel, to the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and to the judges, and to every prince in all Israel, the heads of the fathers’ houses. So Solomon and all the assembly with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the tent of meeting of God, which Moses the servant of God had made in the wilderness. But the ark of God had David brought up from Kiriath-jearim to the place that David had prepared for it; for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem. Moreover the brazen alter that Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, was there before the tabernacle of Jehovah: and Solomon and the assembly sought unto it. And Solomon went up thither to the brazen altar before Jehovah, which was at the tent of meeting, and offered a thousand burnt-offerings upon it.”

“The brazen altar that Bezalel… had made” Continually throughout Chronicles we find an acute consciousness of all that was written in the Pentateuch in the times of Moses. The references here are from Exodus 17:10; Exodus 28:1-8; Exodus 31:2.

“Solomon offered a thousand burnt-offerings upon it” This means that Solomon provided the burnt-offerings, not that he offered them personally, a duty that pertained to the priests. “This altar is mentioned as assurance that Gibeon was the proper place for sacrifice and worship.”(F1)

By beginning his record of Solomon’s reign in this manner, the Chronicler apparently sought to focus the attention of Israel upon their ancient heritage of the favor and blessing of God, and upon his deliverance of them from Egypt by the hand of Moses.

Verses 7-13


“In that night did God appear to Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said unto God, Thou hast showed great lovingkindness to David my father, and hast made me king in his stead. Now, O Jehovah God, let thy promise unto David my father be established; for thou hast made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this thy people, that is so great? And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thy heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, nor honor, nor the life of them that hate thee, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king: wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give unto thee riches, and honor, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee; neither shall any after thee have the like. So Solomon came from the high place that was at Gibeon, from before the tent of meeting, unto Jerusalem; and he reigned over Israel.”

“That night God appeared unto Solomon” First, we should dispose of the critical suggestion that this is a contradiction of the statement in 1 Kings 3:5 that, “Jehovah appeared unto Solomon that night in a dream.” Curtis (Madsen) commented that, “The dream has disappeared, and the revelation is a more direct one.”(F2) Such a comment is totally in error. There’s not a word here about the dream’s disappearance, nor any suggestion that the revelation was in any manner `more direct’ than what was mentioned in 1 Kings. The very fact of the appearance having been at night made it unnecessary to add the fact that all Israel already knew, namely, that the appearance was in a dream.

The Chronicler’s account here is more brief than that in Kings; and, “The principal point of omission was the conditional promise of long life to Solomon,”(F3) This omission was probably because the Chronicler knew that Solomon’s wickedness had voided that promise. “Otherwise there is no essential difference of any importance in the parallel accounts.”(F4)

Verses 14-17


“And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, that he placed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem. And the king made silver and gold to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he to be as the sycamore trees that are in the lowland, for abundance. And the horses which Solomon had were brought out of Egypt; the king’s merchants received them in droves, each drove at a price. And they fetched up and brought out of Egypt a chariot for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for a hundred and fifty; and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of Syria, did they bring them out by their means.”

It is evident to this writer that some have missed altogether the Chronicler’s intention. The allegation that, “It was contrary to the Chronicler’s purpose to convey a too unfavorable impression of Solomon,”(F5) has often been cited; but how could that be true, in the light of this very first chapter, where practically the first thing Solomon did was to violate in the most contemptuous and wholesale manner the divine prohibition in Deuteronomy?

“Thou shalt surely set a king over thee… Only he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to… multiply horses.” - Deuteronomy 17:15-16.

This shameful violation of God’s word by Solomon has been remarkably confirmed by archaeological discoveries in recent times. There were many of these `chariot cities’; and, “At Megiddo, southeast of Mount Carmel, has been excavated the ruins of a single extensive stone stable capable of housing about four hundred horses.”(F6)

“This passage (2 Chronicles 1:14-17) is very nearly identical with 1 Kings 10:26-29.”(F7)

Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 1". "Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bcc/2-chronicles-1.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.
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