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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 2

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 1

And Solomon determined to build an house for the name of the LORD, and an house for his kingdom.

Solomon determined to build. The temple is the grand subject of this narrative, while the palace-here and in other parts of this book-is only incidentally noticed. The duty of building the temple was reserved for Solomon before his birth. An soon as he became king he addressed himself to the work, and the historian, in proceeding to give an account of the edifice, begins with relating the preliminary arrangements.

Verse 2

And Solomon told out threescore and ten thousand men to bear burdens, and fourscore thousand to hew in the mountain, and three thousand and six hundred to oversee them.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 3

And Solomon sent to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, As thou didst deal with David my father, and didst send him cedars to build him an house to dwell therein, even so deal with me.

Solomon sent to Huram. The correspondence was probably conducted on both sides in writing (2 Chronicles 2:11: see also on 1 Kings 5:8).

As thou didst deal with David my father. This would seem decisive of the question whether the Huram then reigning in Tyre was David's friend (see the note at 1 Kings 5:1-6). In opening the business, Solomon grounded his request for Tyrian aid on two reasons: (1) The temple he proposed to build must be a solid and permanent building, because the worship was to be continued in perpetuity, and therefore the building materials required to be of the most durable quality. (2) It must be a magnificent structure, because it was to be dedicated to the God who was greater than all gods; and therefore, as it might seem a presumptuous idea to erect an edifice for a Being 'whom the heaven and the heaven of heavens do not contain,' it was explained that Solomon's object was not to build an house for Him to dwell in, but a temple in which His worshippers might offer sacrifices to His honour. No language could be more humble and appropriate than this. The pious strain of sentiment was such as became a king of Israel.

Verses 4-6

Behold, I build an house to the name of the LORD my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him sweet incense, and for the continual shewbread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of the LORD our God. This is an ordinance for ever to Israel.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 7

Send me now therefore a man cunning to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in iron, and in purple, and crimson, and blue, and that can skill to grave with the cunning men that are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my father did provide.

Send me now therefore a man cunning to work. Masons and carpenters were not asked for: those whom David had obtained (1 Chronicles 14:1) were probably still remaining in Jerusalem, and had instructed others: but he required a master of works-a person capable, like Bezaleel (Exodus 35:31), of superintending and directing every department; because, as the division of labour was at that time little known or observed, an overseer had to be possessed of very versatile talents and experience.

That can skill to grave, [ wªyodeea` (H3045) lªpateeach (H6605)] - that knows how to engrave. Skill is an obsolete word, superseded by the modern equivalent, skilled, skillful; pituwchiym (H6603), in carved works; `im (H5973) hachakaamiym (H2450), with the cunning (another old English word) men - i:e., the skilled in the mechanical arts. The things specified in which he was to be skilled, relate not to the building, but the furniture of the temple. Iron, which could not be obtained in the wilderness when the tabernacle was built, was now, through contact with the coast, plentiful, and much used. The cloths intended for curtains were, from the crimson, or scarlet-red, and hyacinth colours named, evidently those stuffs for the manufacture and dyeing of which the Tyrians were so famous. 'The graving' probably included embroidery of figures like cherubim in needlework, as well as wood-carving of pomegranates and other ornaments.

Verse 8

Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon: for I know that thy servants can skill to cut timber in Lebanon; and, behold, my servants shall be with thy servants,

Send me also cedar trees ... The cedar and cypress were valued as being both rare and durable; the algum, or almug, trees (likewise a foreign wood), though not gotten on Lebanon, is mentioned being procured through Huram (see the note at 1 Kings 10:11).

Verse 9

Even to prepare me timber in abundance: for the house which I am about to build shall be wonderful great.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 10

And, behold, I will give to thy servants, the hewers that cut timber, twenty thousand measures of beaten wheat, and twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil.

Behold, I will give ... beaten wheat, [ chiTiym (H2406) makowt (H4347)] - i:e., wheat, the beatings out; wheat stripped of the husk, boiled, and saturated with butter, forms a frequent meal with the labouring people in the East (cf. 1 Kings 5:11). [But Gesenius suggests the text should probably read, chiTiym makolet la`baadekaa, wheat as food for thy servants.] There is no discrepancy between that passage and this. The yearly supplies of wine and oil mentioned in the former were intended for Huram's court, in return for the cedars sent him; while the articles of meat and drink specified here were for the workmen on Lebanon.

Verse 11

Then Huram the king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon, Because the LORD hath loved his people, he hath made thee king over them. Then Huram the king ... answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon - literally, Then Huram the king said in writing, and sent it to Solomon.

Because the Lord hath loved his people ... This pious language creates a presumption that Huram might have attained some knowledge of the true religion from his long familiar contact with David. But the presumption, however pleasing, may be delusive (see the notes at 1 Kings 5:7-12).

Verse 12

Huram said moreover, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, that made heaven and earth, who hath given to David the king a wise son, endued with prudence and understanding, that might build an house for the LORD, and an house for his kingdom.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 13

And now I have sent a cunning man, endued with understanding, of Huram my father's,

I have sent a cunning man - (see the notes at 1 Kings 7:13-51.)

Verses 14-15

The son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre, skilful to work in gold, and in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in crimson; also to grave any manner of graving, and to find out every device which shall be put to him, with thy cunning men, and with the cunning men of my lord David thy father.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 16

And we will cut wood out of Lebanon, as much as thou shalt need: and we will bring it to thee in floats by sea to Joppa; and thou shalt carry it up to Jerusalem.

We will cut wood out of Lebanon ... and ... bring it to thee in floats by sea to Joppa, and thou shalt carry it up to Jerusalem. The road between Joppa and Jerusalem, now called Wady, Suleiman, 'the valley of Solomon' (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 3:, pp. 57, 81; 'Handbook of Syria and Palestine,' p. 288; Stanley's 'Sinai and Palestine,' p. 257; 'Negeb,' p. 211), most probably received its name from having been constructed or improved by that monarch for the transport of the timber which Huram forwarded for the erection and furniture of the temple.

Verse 17

And Solomon numbered all the strangers that were in the land of Israel, after the numbering wherewith David his father had numbered them; and they were found an hundred and fifty thousand and three thousand and six hundred.

Solomon numbered all the strangers ... - (see the notes at 1 Kings 5:13; 1 Kings 5:18.) In addition to what was said in the passage just referred to, of the abject and depressed condition of the numerous war-captives or slaves (cf. 1 Kings 9:21-23), there was a vast number of foreigners resident in Israel, who without being fully incorporated with the nation by circumcision, yet believed in the unity of the Divine Being, and conformed to the appointed ritual of Yahweh (see Poli Synopsis). Some idea, first, of the prodigious multitude of these sojourners may be gathered from the fact, that 153,000 were deemed fit to be employed in the erection of the temple, and secondly, of their character for intelligence and integrity, that about 4,000 were selected to be overseers of various departments of the work. This influx of strangers into Israel began when the nation was rising into importance during the judicial administration of Samuel and the regal sway of David (1 Chronicles 22:2). But a fresh and greatly-increased impulse was given to this immigration from the surrounding countries, when the fame of Solomon attracted princes and ambassadors from distant lands, and multitudes of the people followed their example in flocking to a kingdom which was, in the wise king's day, the center of knowledge and wisdom, of commercial activity, and of encouragement in many of the useful as well as liberal arts.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/2-chronicles-2.html. 1871-8.
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