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CRITICAL NOTES.] We have in this chapter contributions of the princes to the temple (1 Chronicles 29:1-9); the public thanksgiving of David (1 Chronicles 29:10-13); David’s prayer for Solomon (1 Chronicles 29:14-19); Solomon’s succession to the throne (1 Chronicles 29:20-25); the close of David’s reign and life (1 Chronicles 29:26-30).
1 Chronicles 29:1-9.—Contributions to the temple. Palace, a Persian word (cf. Esther 1:2-5; Nehemiah 1:1; Daniel 8:2) applied to the temple (1 Chronicles 29:19). 1 Chronicles 29:2. Onyx (Genesis 2:12); glistering, “coloured stones;” some dark stones, of a hue like that of the antimony by which women painted their eyes [Speak. Com.]. Marble, white stones or alabaster, found near Damascus. 1 Chronicles 29:3. Proper good from private sources, not from spoils in war, &c. 1 Chronicles 29:4. Ophir, brought by Arabian traders; overlay with veneer. 1 Chronicles 29:5. Consecrate, literally “fill his hands.” 1 Chronicles 29:6. Rulers, probably stewards of the king’s substance (ch. 1 Chronicles 28:1; 1 Chronicles 27:25-31). 1 Chronicles 29:7. Drams, Heb. adarcon (Ezra 8:27), known as Persian daric, the same as the darkemon (Ezra 2:69; Nehemiah 7:70), variously valued at 12s. 6d. and 25s. The writer does not intend to say that the Jews possessed darics in David’s time, but to express in language what would be intelligible to his readers, the value of gold subscribed, and to translate the terms of his document, whatever they were, into terms in use in his own day [Speak. Com.]. 1 Chronicles 29:8. Jehiel, one of the temple treasurers (1 Chronicles 26:21-22).
1 Chronicles 29:10-19.—David’s thanksgiving. Father, Israel (1 Chronicles 29:18). 1 Chronicles 29:11, cf. Revelation 5:12. 1 Chronicles 29:12. Power, physical and moral. 1 Chronicles 29:15. Strangers (cf. Psalms 105:12). Abiding, literally, “there is no hope”—i.e., of abiding or continuing here. 1 Chronicles 29:17. Triest (cf. Psalms 7:9; Psalms 17:3; 1 Samuel 16:7). 1 Chronicles 29:18. This, i.e., “preserve for ever this spirit of liberal and spontaneous giving in the hearts of thy people” [Speak. Com.]. Prepare, establish their hearts.
1 Chronicles 29:20-25.—Solomon enthroned king. Worshipped, prostrated themselves to the ground; same outward reverence to God and king, with the respect due to each. 1 Chronicles 29:21. l.e., with drink offerings appropriate to each kind of burnt offering, and required by law to accompany them (cf. Numbers 15:5; Numbers 15:7; Numbers 15:10). 1 Chronicles 29:22. Second, for first see 1 Kings 1:35-39. This a more formal and representative. 1 Chronicles 29:23. Sat. Solomon actually reigned during some short time of his father’s life (1 Kings 1:0). 1 Chronicles 29:24. All sons, even Adonijah (1 Kings 1:53). 1 Chronicles 29:25. Magnified (1 Kings 3:13), Solomon’s grandeur traced to God.
1 Chronicles 29:26-30.—Close of David’s reign and life. 1 Chronicles 29:27. Time (cf. 1 Kings 2:11). For more exact account of duration of reign, 2 Samuel 5:5. 1 Chronicles 29:28. Age, in his seventy-first year. 1 Chronicles 29:29. Book used by author; of this and book of Gad no account. Seer, a commoner title than that of Samuel. 1 Chronicles 29:30. Went, a singular expression. “No other instance of this in Scripture. ‘The times that went over David’ were the events that happened to him. Compare his own words in Psalms 31:15 : ‘My times are in thy hand’ ” [Speak. Com.].
CONTRIBUTIONS FOR BUILDING THE TEMPLE.—1 Chronicles 29:1-10
David addresses all the congregation respecting his son’s tender age, his personal gifts, and efforts towards building the temple. He makes an earnest appeal, and meets with a ready response.
I. David’s example in giving. “I have prepared with all my might.”
1. Giving from his own resources. Public resources, such as spoils of war, numerous and most valuable. Private resources; his own “proper good” or private property; additional gifts; selected with great care “the gold of Ophir,” the purest and finest in the world (Job 22:24; Isaiah 13:12); bestowed for a specific purpose; the overlaying of the walls of the temple.
2. Giving in right order. The heart first, and then the substance. True religion touches the heart and conscience, and regulates the gifts. “I have set my affection to the house of my God” (1 Chronicles 29:3).
3. Giving in true spirit. “I have prepared with all my might.” Might, intelligence, and ardour must be, thrown into God’s work, or nothing will be done. David casts not the burden upon princes and people, though the temple for them, but contributes to the utmost of his power, and sets them a noble example.
II. David’s appeal to others to give. “Who, then, is willing to consecrate his service?” (1 Chronicles 29:5). He levies no tax, but asks for free-will offerings of the people. This the right way to build, support, and establish the house of God. This appeal founded on many things.
1. He reminds them of Solomon’s necessities. Young and tender, without much wisdom and experience, but under great responsibilities. Yet God had chosen him for the undertaking. Hence no reproach to David for partiality and preference of Solomon. Young people should ever be encouraged in good works.
2. He sets before them the greatness of the work. “The work is great.” Great not in outward appearance, but great in purpose. “The palace not for man, but for the Lord God.”
3. He stimulates them by his own example. “Now I have prepared.” Exhortation and appeal must be backed by personal effort and example to be efficient.
III. The response to David’s appeal (1 Chronicles 29:6-9). They “offered willingly.” The response was:
1. Hearty response not only filled their hands, but offered “with perfect heart” (1 Chronicles 29:9). “Of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering” (Exodus 25:2).
2. Immediate response. No hesitation, no consultation nor delay. This damps ardour, and makes all work difficult.
3. Liberal response. Influenced by the persuasive address and powerful example of the King, they gave according to their abilities. Their united contributions amounted to the gross sum—of gold 5,000 talents and 10,000 drams, of silver 10,000 talents, besides brass and iron.
IV. The results of this response. “They rejoiced”—“were glad with great gladness.” David rejoiced to see the work on which his heart was set so earnestly carried on. Princes rejoiced under a sense of duty rightly performed, and God’s acceptance of it. People rejoiced in the generosity of their rulers. The selfish and niggardly are miserable; the sympathetic and self-denying are happy and cheerful. “The liberal soul shall be made fat”—
“The truly generous is the truly wise;
And he who loves not others lives unblest.”
CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE AND CHRISTIAN INFLUENCE.—1 Chronicles 29:1-10
The life of David fitted to encourage faith in God, and proves that a good man may begin a work which shall continue after his death. Learn from these verses—I. The nearer a good man approaches his end, the more spiritually minded he becomes. David intensely anxious about the work of God. Past experience of divine favour and anticipations of future good—consciousness of God’s presence and of God’s guidance give hope and assurance. The powers of the world to come influence and prepare for the end. II. The more spiritually minded a good man becomes, the greater his influence upon others. The force of his example, the authority of his teaching, backed by a consistent consecrated life, have more influence than the sceptre. Exalted in place and dignity, David shone in spiritual character, drew because he led, stimulated others because earnest himself. III. The greater influence a good man has upon others, the more certain will God’s work be accomplished. David died before the temple was built, but his influence lived. His persuasion, not enactment, won the hearts and prompted the efforts of the people. He rejoiced in the succession of his son to the throne, and in the offerings of the nation for the work of God.
A CALL TO EARLY DEVOTEDNESS.—1 Chronicles 29:5
I. We shall explain what we regard as the consecration of service to God.
1. There must be correct views of the Divine character and claims;
2. A practical obedience to the will of God;
3. Active exertion to promote the Divine glory. II. We shall present the considerations which ought to urge to an engagement in the service of God.
1. We are placed under universal and imperative obligation to do so;
2. The influence his service has in preventing the degradation and promoting the dignity of our nature;
3. The true and solid pleasure his service communicates to the soul;
4. The glorious recompense by which the engagements of his service are consummated. III. We shall impress the question by which, to an engagement in the service of God, you are emphatically challenged [J. Parsons].
HOMILETIC HINTS AND SUGGESTIONS
1 Chronicles 29:3. I have set my affection. The force of religious affection for one thing.
1. In its possession and government of the mind. To build the thought of his mind, the object of his life. “This one thing I do.”
2. In its command over the resources of our life. He prepared and gave with all his might gold and silver; the spoils of his enemies, and the treasures of his palace, devoted to the chosen work, not to transient pleasure, nor temporal interests. Such thought and pains, such concentration of purpose and affection rebuke the loiterers and half-hearted.
1 Chronicles 29:5. Consecration.
1. Service. Every child of God is a servant, a worker, a commissioned officer. In performance of life’s duties are demanded—First: A settled purpose, a purpose arising from a survey of our being, relationships, and surroundings. Life’s great question, “What must I do?” Secondly: An active resolve. Will the motive power within. The energies of life in the will—rightly directed, obstacles like chaff before it. But religious service specified. Many receive but give not, unprofitable servants, &c.
2. A willing service. “Who is willing?” This is the principal quality in Christian service. Gigantic intellect, profusion of gifts, untiring activity, a great moral force, and all these put together without the heart, God will reject; but two mites and the heart He will accept. First: A willing service is the only efficient service. Things unwillingly done, badly done. Workers that need not be ashamed of their work, put their heart into it. Secondly: The willingness of our service is the only part of it which is absolutely required. What God wants is nowhere to be found except within the human breast. It is the only treasure God covets. “My son, give me thine heart.”
3. An immediate service. “This day.” Every Jew’s attention was fixed on the cherished object of David’s life. We are instructed to build a temple for God, have our work planned and we can begin “this day.” Look generally at the subject. First: Seasons for service are never absent. A farmer is busy summer and winter. Christians need lose no time, nor wait for opportunities. Some wait for special occasions which they never find. Ignorant to be taught, erring to lead home and poor always with us. Secondly: Efficiency and pleasure ensue when service is performed in its own time. Service of Jesus like a meal, must be taken at its proper time to produce enjoyment and strength. If morning prayer be said at night its unction is lost. Now is the gospel’s great time, “the accepted time.”
4. The highest service. “Unto the Lord.” Noble motives produce highest service. Some serve Satan, themselves, and the world; as the object, so the nature of the service. Every service receives its inspiration from the Master. The service of the Lord implies, First: That the mind is perpetually under the influence of divine truth. Holy thoughts: produce holy living. As we think, so we live; he who thinks Christ lives Christ. “Let this mind be also in you, &c.” Secondly: That holy thoughts are actuated by the presence of the Spirit in them. This communion is maintained by prayer. Best thoughts sent up to heaven to receive the Master’s living touch. The fire must be fanned into a flame by his breath. The praying heart has working hands. Thirdly: Entire consecration. We cannot serve two masters. God’s service enough to absorb our whole being. These are the steps—a Saviour from sin, an example to follow, efforts put forth, and a reward in expectation. “Not with eye service as men pleasers, but as servants of Christ, &c.” [Thos. Davies, D.D.].
1 Chronicles 29:9. Liberality and joy. Liberality often brings temporal wealth, invariably in spiritual matters does it bring wealth and joy of soul. Every effort has reaction, and reaction the law of material and spiritual worlds. The soul of the miser is always miserable, and sinks lower into spiritual destitution. The good man lives like the sun, and shines to bless in the influence of ideas, wealth, and effort. “The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me; and I caused the widow’s heart to joy, &c.”
1 Chronicles 29:1-9. The principles of Christian work.
1. Personal consecration and example.
2. Willing co-operation by all.
3. Appropriateness of service and gifts.
4. Animated by a true spirit of enthusiasm and joy.
“Let us do our work as well,
Both the unseen and the seen;
Make the house where gods may dwell,
Beautiful, entire, and clean”
THE LAST THANKSGIVING.—1 Chronicles 29:10-20
Every sentence weighed and measured for the occasion. The scene grand and impressive. “David’s Psalms, towards the latter end of the book, are most of them Psalms of praise. The nearer we come to the world of everlasting praise the more we should speak the language and do the work of that world.”
I. The infinite perfections of God. Adores God and ascribes glory to him.
1. God in his unspeakable grandeur. “Thine, O Lord, is the greatness.” “Thou art great, and greatly to be feared;” the power, “in thine hand is power and might” (1 Chronicles 29:12); the victory, “the victory (strength) of Israel” (1 Samuel 15:29); the majesty, “honour and majesty are before him (his inseparable attendants)” (Psalms 96:6).
2. God in his universal dominion. “Thine is the kingdom, O Lord.” Exalted over all, ruling without rival.
3. God in his absolute ownership. “All that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine.” Proprietor, not Trustee, of all the universe. A title underived and not shared by another. His inheritance infinite and secure. He had no predecessor, will have no successor, and nothing will ever pass from him.
4. God in his covenant relation. “Lord God of Israel, our Father.” The expression more full in 1 Chronicles 29:18. He was the tutelary God and fountain of blessing to the patriarchs, with whom he made special covenants.
5. God in his goodness to men (1 Chronicles 29:12). “Riches and honour” come from him. He gives strength and makes great. The princes merited nothing by their generosity. All through the influence of his grace; therefore, no ground for boasting. “Let no flesh glory in his presence; for of him, and through him, and to him, are all things; to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”
II. The peculiar relations of man to the infinite God. The Psal—not only filled with devout reverence to God, in language of beauty and final piety; but a description of man as unworthy, dependent, and short-lived.
1. Man is a dependent creature. The more we think of God’s greatness, the more we feel this, “Who am I?”—(a) Dependent for substance to give. “Of thine own have we given thee.” (b) Dependent for the disposition to give it. He works in us to will and to do, &c. (c) Therefore, indebted to God for all things. Thanks due to him for heart and mind, substance and success.
2. Man is a short-lived creature. The earth abides, its inhabitants die. Life a pilgrimage; we are strangers and sojourners, not at rest, not at home. Life a shadow, transient, dark, and vain; ending in perfect darkness or perfect light. Life uncertain: “there is none abiding.” We can neither expect to stay long, nor work much while we do stay on earth. If, then, uncertain, what are the services of a poor short life? God favours us by their acceptance.
3. Man’s conduct is observed by God. “Thou triest the heart.” Seest the motives, as well as the gifts for thy cause. Takest pleasure in uprightness of heart. An act, a life may be misinterpreted or despised, but the good man is conscious of integrity (“I know”) and may appeal to God, who is acquainted with all our way. We can neither rejoice nor work without a sense of spiritual rectitude. “If our heart condemn us, God is greater than our hearts, and knoweth all things.”
GOD’S PROPRIETORSHIP AND MAN’S OBLIGATION TO HIM.—1 Chronicles 29:13-16
I. God owns all things.
1. Absolutely. “Thine.”
2. Universally. “All that is in the heavens, &c.” (1 Chronicles 29:11).
3. Perpetually. He will eternally keep his own.
II. Man’s Obligation to God.
1. To render thanks to God. Every gift from thee, therefore thank the Giver. “What shall we render to the Lord for all his benefits?”
2. To use rightly the gifts of God. Health, time, and money not to be abused—should be used carefully. Stewards should be found faithful. “Will a man rob God?” All essentially God’s, and should be willingly given to him.
“Lord, what my talents are I cannot tell,
Till thou shalt give me grace to use them well:
That grace impart; the bliss will then be mine,
But all the power and all the glory thine.”
THE SOJOURNERS AND THE SHADOW; OR, DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF LIFE.—1 Chronicles 29:15
Those epithets do not apply to all men indiscriminately. Human life has varied aspects according to moral condition and future expectation.
I. All men are sojourners on earth. David uses language of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who lived as men without permanent home. All sojourners or pilgrims on earth, because all passing through it to a future beyond it. Stern law compels advance. We live and we must die. Not naturalised, no rights of inheritance, foreigners here; we should seek home, rest, and bliss in heaven.
II. All men sojourn in shadows on earth. “Our days on earth areas a shadow.”
1. Life itself is a shadow. In swiftness and uncertainty; darkness and perplexing changes. “Shadows in career,” says Geo. Herbert. We flee as a shadow and continue not (Job 14:2).
2. Men walk in shadows. “Every man walketh in a vain show (an image)” (Psalms 39:6). “All shadows and pursuing shadows,” says Burke. Deluded by sense, refusing to see the only lasting substance; men live in lies, dream of false pleasure, and find everything fleeting and unsubstantial. After all discussions concerning the supreme good, some pointing to pleasure, some to virtue, and others to apathy, who can give a definite and decisive answer? Life without God is vain, and not worth living. “Who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow” (Heb. “the number of the days of the life of his vanity”) (Ecclesiastes 6:12).
III. Only some men are strangers on earth. Christians are strangers. They feel, dress, and act as such. “Confess that they are strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” But a large class of men to whom the world is perfectly congenial; who feel nothing strange, nothing unnatural. They are in their element; find their place and satisfaction in its pursuits and enjoyments. They desire no better country, but seem to fix their hearts and homes in this, through which they rapidly pass. What a foolish exchange; shadows for substance; trifles or eternity!
“All on earth is shadow,
All beyond is substance. How solid all
Where change is known no more!” [Young].
THE LAST PRAYER.—1 Chronicles 29:18-19
After solemn recognition of God’s sovereign and universal proprietorship, an unqualified disclaimer of all merit, we have earnest and appropriate prayer for people and prince.
I. Prayer for the people. Praise should ever end in prayer for ourselves and others.
1. That they may be kept in the right mind. “Keep this for ever,” &c. This disposition of joyful, willing consecration of heart and gifts to thee. Let it not be transient and forgotten.
2. That the perpetuity of this right mind may be properly based. Promises are broken; appearances change and hopeful beginnings may fall through. The heart, the deepest source, must be fixed, framed, and established. “Prepare their heart unto thee.”
II. Prayer for Solomon. Blessings fit and most needful.
1. That he may obey God. “Give to Solomon, my son,” first of all sincerity, a perfect heart. Then help him “to keep thy commandments,” binding on conscience; “thy testimonies,” evidences of God’s character; “and thy statutes,” enactments for instruction of the people.
2. That he may build the temple of God. “And to build the palace.” Mark the order—right in heart first, then engagement in work. True to God, faithful in service. This prayer required now. We build temples, fortunes, and families—make “provision” for grand enterprises, but forget that materials, strength, and stability come from God. “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.”
HOMILETIC HINTS AND SUGGESTIONS
1 Chronicles 29:10-20. David’s thanksgiving.
1. Its adoration of God.
2. Its acknowledgment of dependence upon him.
3. Its recognition of the influence of his grace.
4. Its solemn appeal to conscious integrity.
5. Its earnest prayer for king and people.
1 Chronicles 29:12-14. The right value and right use of divine gifts.
1. We only give what has been given to us.
2. We only give what we must leave.
3. We have but a short time to give at all.
1 Chronicles 29:14. Of thine own have we given thee.
1. Apply to temporal things. Money, time, &c.
2. Apply to spiritual things. Repentance, faith, and works, bestowed by God and due to him. “When ye have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which was our duty to do.”
1 Chronicles 29:15. Apply to the Christian. Be vigilant in duty while here. Improve the world as much as possible while in it. Seek to persuade others to go with you to “a better country, even a heavenly one.” Our days on earth, &c.
1. The brevity of life. “Thou hast made my days as a hand-breadth.”
2. The vanity of life. “Every man at his best state is altogether vanity.”
3. The emptiness of life. “Every man walketh in a vain show.”
4. The end of life. “Make me to know mine end.” “Days are one of the shortest measures of time; but long enough to decipher man’s life by” [Trapp].
1 Chronicles 29:19. To keep thy commandments, Not for wealth, power, nor learning. “Learn here,” says Trapp, “what to pray for in the behalf of our children. A child of many such prayers cannot easily miscarry.”
SOLOMON’S ELEVATION TO THE THRONE.—1 Chronicles 29:20-25
The second time. The first done hastily, on account of Adonijah’s conspiracy (cf. 1 Kings 1:35-39). This anointment deliberate, most solemn, and by a representative assembly.
I. The Divine choice of Solomon to the throne. “S. sat on the throne of the Lord.” Not David’s throne, nor Israel’s to give away. The Lords in a special sense. Hence the government called a Theocracy, God’s government, by Josephus. All thrones belong to him. He sets up, deposes, and determines the destiny of rulers. “By me kings rule and decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.”
II. The loyal obedience to Solomon on the throne. This most joyful and universal.
1. The people submitted. Represented by “all the princes and the mighty men,” they put the hand under Solomon’s thigh and bound themselves by oath to allegiance. “All Israel obeyed him.”
2. The royal family submitted. “All the sons likewise of King David.” Some of them were elder and of nobler birth or of nobler mothers. But now convinced by the national act and God’s choice that Solomon was to be king. Adonijah failed and died. God’s will done notwithstanding man’s claims and ambitious designs.
III. The prosperity of Solomon on the throne. “The Lord magnified Solomon exceedingly.” Notice—
1. The source of prosperity. Ascribed to the source of all greatness. A majesty “bestowed,” not humanly created.
2. The peace which attended the prosperity. No rival to disquiet, no foreign power to oppose. “All Israel obeyed him.”
3. A prosperity unequalled. “Such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.” A fit type of Christ. “He was a king blessed of the King of kings” [Shakes.]. “I was great and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem.”
DAVID’S LATTER END.—1 Chronicles 29:26-30
The writer now finishes a picture which presents the great king in meridian splendour. The brilliant life is closing and the evening is calm and peaceable.
I. The length of David’s reign. “The time that he reigned over Israel was forty years.” This divided into two eventful periods. About “seven years in Hebron” (2 Samuel 5:5), and “three and thirty in Jerusalem.” A reign of glory, yet falling short of the divine ideal; signalised by services which contributed to the exaltation of the kingdom and the glory of God; but darkened by crimes and calamities, and which gradually prepared for the reign of his successor.
II. The end of David’s life. “He died.” Then the mightiest men are mortal; the most useful withdrawn from ministry; and the world can get on without its greatest and best men. “The thing is not to leave a name behind us—a mere name. It is to leave behind influences that hearts will feel, memories that will be cherished at home, and that will be blessed by those whom we have served and helped in life” [Dr. Parker]. He died.
1. Rich in circumstances. “Full of riches and honour.” Enough of this world’s wealth by which he adorned the capital and prepared for the building of God.
2. In a good old age. Not so old as many predecessors, not exceeding seventy years. But his life not cut short, lasted the appointed term and filled with opportunities and work. In expressive Hebrew, “full of days.” Many days empty and many lives like a blank! Nothing done, everything lost!
3. Satisfied in mind. “Full (i.e., satisfied) of days” (cf. Genesis 25:8; Job 42:17). Satisfied with days given both in number and character; filled with gratitude and submission.
4. Ready to depart. He had “served his generation by the will of God,” now ready to fall asleep. Having seen God’s salvation, he was wishful to depart in peace. A tranquil sunset!
III. The records of David’s kingdom. Not given in full. “The times” indicate—
1. His private life. “Times that went over him,” of joy and sorrow, of conflict and rest, &c. (cf. Job 24:1; Psalms 31:16).
2. His civil career. “And over Israel.” National changes in political and ecclesiastical affairs.
3. His military enterprises. “Over all the kingdoms of the countries,” hostile or friendly. A sovereign who raised his country to power and dominion, beloved in life and honoured in death. His “royal majesty,” was not in the splendour of his palace and retinue; but in the unity and moral worth of his people, the excellency of his life and the legacy of his reign.
HOMILETIC HINTS AND SUGGESTIONS
1 Chronicles 29:20. Bless the Lord. David was excellent at this—viz., stirring up others to join with him in praising God (see Psalms 34:3; Psalms 103:20) [Trapp]. Worship, its true nature: “Bless the Lord.” Its solemn expression: “Bowed down their heads.” Its sublime object: “Worshipped the Lord.” Its connection with civil reverence: “Worshipped the Lord and the king.”
1 Chronicles 29:23. Solomon sat on the throne. The fulfilment of promise, the display of power and providence, and the type of the Lord Jesus. David died and Solomon reigned in his stead. Compare them—
1. As kings of Israel.
2. As servants of God.
3. As authors of inspired songs and literature.
1 Chronicles 29:29-30. These words indicate—
1. The fragmentary record. The books mentioned are lost, except a few particulars in the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. They were sources used by the author.
2. The order in which events are given. In accordance with his design the writer signalises the religious aspect of the nation, has omitted many events from David’s history, and enlarged in details of arrangements of worship and preparations for the building of the temple. He writes partly as an excerpter and partly a supplementer.
1 Chronicles 29:29. Three eminent men, personally acquainted with David through the principal part of his life—Samuel, Nathan, and Gad. “The three (Heb.) words, Roch, Nabi, and Chozeh, are here brought together and apparently contrasted” (cf. 1 Samuel 9:9) [Dr. Jamieson].
Life’s changing current.
1. Times make a deep mark upon the body, the least important portion of our complex nature.
2. Equally marked is the effect of “the times” as they pass over us upon our intellectual nature.
3. Not less striking or important is the stamp of time upon the history of our sensibilities.
4. The most important change is the one that refers to our moral and spiritual state.
5. Our social and relative condition is subject to the constant variations of time [Dr. S. T. Spear].
ILLUSTRATIONS TO CHAPTER 29
1 Chronicles 29:6. Offered willingly. Rich men’s presents are gold and silver, or other costly things. Mine must be recommended by the affectionate pleasure with which I give them [The Ven. Bede when dying]. It is the comfort of poverty that our affections are valued, not our presents [Bp. Hall].
1 Chronicles 29:14. Who am I? What I have done is worthy of nothing but silence and forgetfulness; but what God hath done for me is worthy of everlasting and thankful memory [Ibid.].
1 Chronicles 29:15. Shadow. In this I see that we, all we that live, are but vain shadows, unsubstantial dreams [Sophocles].
1 Chronicles 29:19. Give unto Solomon. No good man is jealous of his son, but desires to see his children more famous than himself [Theodoret].
1 Chronicles 29:20-22. Worshipped. Devotion, when it does not lie under the check of reason, is apt to degenerate into enthusiasm [Addison]. All is holy where devotion kneels [Holmes].
1 Chronicles 29:26-28. Died. The death-bed of saints often resembles the setting sun, whose rays are the brightest when it is nearest the horizon. “The tongues of dying men enforce attention like deep harmony” [Shakes.].
1 Chronicles 29:30. Times. Amongst rational beings that life is longest, whether brief or protracted its outward turn, into which the largest amount of mind, of mental and moral activity, is condensed. It is possible for the longest life to be really briefer than the shortest, and the child or youth may die older, with more of life crowded into his brief existence, than he whose dull and stagnant being drags on to an inglorious old age [Caird].
“We must need weep the chance and change of life,
And mortal sorrows touch a mortal’s heart” [Virg. Æn. i: 462].
SECOND BOOK OF CHRONICLES
SEE the general introduction of the first book for analysis and date. “The most remarkable feature in the historical books of Scripture, and especially of Kings and Chronicles, is their religious, theocratic character. Secular history gives the public changes which nations have undergone, with their causes and results. Church history traces the progress of sentiment, and of various influences in relation to the Church. But here, king, church, state are all represented as under God. The character of each king is decided by his fidelity to the religious obligations of his office. Of each it is said, ‘He walked in the ways of David his father,’ and so prospered, or of Jeroboam, who ‘made Israel to sin,’ and so failed. These books are valuable as the history of God and His law in the nation, and that nation a monarchy; as the Books of Joshua and Judges are the history of God and His law in an aristocracy or democracy, or as the earlier books are the history of God and His law in the family. In the Prophets and in the Acts of the Apostles we have glimpses of what is to be the history of God and His law in the world. Mark, therefore, the prominence given to the erection of the temple; the numerous references to the ancient law, especially when the two kingdoms were drawing near to their end, as if to account for their decay and approaching fall; the frequent interposition of prophets, now rebuking the people and now braving the sovereign; the deposition and succession of kings; and the connection everywhere traced between what seem to be mere political incidents and the fidelity or idolatry of the age. Were nations wise, these records would prove their best instructors. They are adapted to teach alike the world and the Church. The genealogical tables, though to us comparatively uninteresting, were highly important among the Jews, who were made by prophetic promises extremely observant in these particulars. These tables give the sacred line through which the promise was transmitted for nearly 3,500 years, a fact itself unexampled in the history of the human race” [Angus]. “This history of the Jewish monarchy, as it is more authentic, so it is more interesting and instructive than the histories of other monarchies. We had the story of the house of David before, in the first and second books of Kings, intermixed with that of the kings of Israel, which there took more room than that of Judah; but here we have it entire. Much is repeated here which we had before, yet many of the passages of the story are enlarged upon, and divers added which we had not before, especially relating to the affairs of religion; for it is a church history, and it is written for our learning, to let nations and families know that then, and then only, they can expect to prosper, when they keep in the way of their duty to God; for all along the good kings prospered and the wicked kings suffered. The truth of the word of God appears, ‘Those that honour me I will honour, but those that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.’ ”
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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 29". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week of Advent