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Bible Commentaries

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

1 Chronicles 28

Verses 1-10

The public announcement of Solomon’s succession 28:1-10

The earlier Old Testament historical books did not record this announcement. David directed his charge to remain faithful to Yahweh (1 Chronicles 28:7-9) to all the assembled leaders, not just Solomon, as is clear from the plural imperatives in the Hebrew text. David stressed obedience from the heart (1 Chronicles 28:9), not just external conformity to the ritual he had established. Like Solomon, the people also failed here (Isaiah 29:13).

"In a number of passages unique to Chronicles (i.e., not found in the parallel text of Samuel-Kings) the author specifically articulates the theme of an immediate divine response to precipitating events (1 Chronicles 28:8-9; 2 Chronicles 12:5; 2 Chronicles 15:2; 2 Chronicles 20:20)." [Note: Longman and Dillard, p. 199.]

Verses 1-30

3. The third account of God’s promises to David chs. 28-29

A primary concern of the Chronicler, the evidence of which is his selection of material and emphases, was the promise of a King who would eventually come and rule over God’s people. God had fulfilled some of the Davidic Covenant promises in David’s lifetime. He fulfilled others in Solomon’s reign. Still others remained unfulfilled. For a third time the writer recorded the promises God gave to David. In the first case, God spoke to David (1 Chronicles 17:1-27). In the second, David spoke to Solomon (1 Chronicles 22:1-19). In the third, David spoke to Solomon and Israel’s other leaders (1 Chronicles 28:1).

David may have thought Solomon would fulfill the rest of the promises in the covenant (1 Chronicles 28:5-7). He must have realized that to do so Solomon would have to obey God faithfully (1 Chronicles 28:7). Solomon, however, was not completely obedient. Consequently, if God is faithful to His promises, a faithful Son of David had to arise. The Chronicler looked forward to this future hope.

In describing David’s plans for building the temple, the Chronicler seems to have wanted to present David as a second Moses. He also seems to have wanted to present Solomon as a second Joshua to some extent. [Note: See H. G. M. Williamson, "The Accession of Solomon in the Book of Chronicles," Vetus Testamentum 26 (1976):351-61; and Raymond B. Dillard, "The Chronicler’s Solomon," Westminster Theological Journal 43 (1981):289-300.]

Verses 11-19

The temple plan 28:11-19

God had revealed detailed plans for the temple to David (1 Chronicles 28:19). Evidently God had instructed David as He had Moses (Exodus 25-31). The writer did not include all the details of the plan David received from the Lord any more than the writer of Kings did. Nevertheless God revealed the instructions for the temple as specifically as He had revealed the instructions for the tabernacle. The postexilic Jews must have had more detailed plans than are available to us today.

". . . the Temple of Old Testament Israel was not essentially a ’religious’ center where religious activities such as sacrifice and worship were carried out; it was the house of Yahweh, the palace of the Great King who could and must be visited there by His devoted subjects. Losing sight of this downplays the centrality of covenant as a fundamental theological principle. When one understands that Yahweh had redeemed and made covenant with His elect people Israel as a great king makes covenant with a vassal, the role of the Temple as the focal point of Israel’s faith becomes immediately apparent. It is the palace of the Sovereign, the place to which they make periodic pilgrimage to proffer their allegiance and to offer up their gifts of homage. Seen as such, the care with which even its most minute details are revealed and executed is most intelligible, for as the visible expression of the invisible God, the Temple with all its forms and functions becomes a sublime revelatory vehicle of the character and purposes of the Almighty." [Note: Merrill, "A Theology . . .," p. 176.]

"A problem in many churches today is the failure to recognize that corporate worship is an experience to be governed to a certain degree by order and propriety. David did not concoct the design of the temple by his own imagination, nor could Solomon build it as he pleased. The very architecture of the place was intended to teach Israel important lessons about the glory, grandeur, and awesomeness of their God. Christian worship that does less should be called into serious question." [Note: Idem, "1 Chronicles," in The Old . . ., p. 313.]

The commissioning of construction 28:20-29:9

Haggai echoed David’s words of encouragement to begin building-which David addressed to Solomon and Israel’s leaders-hundreds of years later to Israel’s leaders in his day (Haggai 2:4-5). David sought to instill his own zeal for God’s glory in his hearers (1 Chronicles 29:1). The people donated a freewill offering of more gold, silver, bronze, and other materials to make Yahweh’s house reflect the glory of His greatness (cf. Haggai 2:6-9). [Note: For an answer to the argument that the references to "darics" of gold in 29:7 necessitates a late date of writing, see Harrison, p. 1157.] The Israelites of Moses’ day had been similarly generous in providing building materials for the tabernacle (Exodus 25:1-7; Exodus 35:4-9; Exodus 35:20-29).

"Often the extent to which we are prepared to put at risk our material well-being is a measure of the seriousness with which we take our discipleship. . . .

"People are closest to God-likeness in self-giving, and the nearer they approach God-likeness the more genuinely and rightly they become capable of rejoicing." [Note: McConville, p. 103.]

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 28". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/1-chronicles-28.html. 2012.