This Chapter represents Solomon as beginning the work of the temple. He numbers the men for the service: sends to Huram for materials; Hiram's kind answer.
The account here given, is so very similar to what we read 1Ki 5 that once for all I refer the Reader to it.
The message here recorded, which Solomon sent to Hiram, is much more particularly related than the parallel one in the book of the Kings. I beg the Reader to mark this. There is very great beauty, as well as piety, in that part of his address, in which he endeavors to impress upon the mind of Hiram suitable ideas of the greatness of the Lord God of Israel. He was asking favors of the king of Tyre; and the king of Tyre, for ought we know to the contrary, had but slender knowledge, if any, concerning Israel's God. Yet Solomon refrains not from magnifying the Lord God of Israel. He plainly tells Hiram, that his God is above all gods; that none was worthy, none was able to build an habitation suitable for his honour; that the heavens and the heaven of heavens could not contain him. And though Solomon doth not say it in so many words, yet he as good as intimates, that, if so great a king as Solomon could not be worthy to build this house, what ought Hiram to think of himself, whose revenues and dominions were small and contemptible, compared to Solomon's? It is not said what effect this message had upon the mind of Hiram, as it concerned his own everlasting welfare. It wrought so far indeed with the king of Tyre, that he readily granted all he asked. This he might do from policy. But whether it went further, to the conversion of his soul to God, must be left undetermined by us. We may however thus far observe upon it, that when we have done all we can to hold up to others the glories, the loveliness, the beauties of Jesus, in order to win their affections to our beloved, if their hearts be not enamored, ours will be the more refreshed with every renewed opportunity of speaking of his love.
Some have thought that Hiram was one of that class of people, who were Proselytes to the Jewish religion. There were same who were permitted to worship in the gates, or outer courts of Israel. But I do not think from his letter, in ascribing blessedness to Solomon's God for having set him on the throne of his father, that this is sufficient to draw the conclusion. This might be complimentary. However, whether he was, or was not, thus far a believer in the God of Israel, yet he was well affected to Solomon, in granting him his request. How many are there whom the Lord will make use of as instruments in building churches and chapels to his glory; but who feel no predilection to the person of Jesus himself. It is an awful thought! And to carry it further: how many have been led to put forth an helping hand for the promotion of others salvation, whose lives have given no proofs that they have been anxious for their own! A class of them our Lord himself describes, who are represented by him at the last day as saying; Have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? but of whom Jesus will disclaim all knowledge, as to any vital communion between himself and them! Reader! of all melancholy thoughts this is the greatest. That a man should preach Jesus: should be commissioned by that preaching, (or prophesying, as it is called) to be an instrument to a sinner's conversion, in leading him from the power of the enemy! What work can be more wonderful! and yet he himself made no partaker of the grace; but simply, like a water pipe, to convey to others, and never refreshed, nor desiring refreshment himself! Matthew 7:22. The envious workman which Hiram sent to Solomon, of whose genealogy the Holy Ghost hath been pleased to give some account, deserves a little notice. He was by the mother's side of the tribe of Dan it seems, and his father a Tyrian. I do not say so; but yet I think there is somewhat in it worth remarking, that in the building of this temple, the master workman should have sprung both from Jew and Gentile. Was it thy pleasure, dearest Jesus, as this temple was thy type, that thou wouldest have it constructed by one that belonged to both thy families? Didst thou really, blessed Lord, mean thereby to give thy poor Gentile church a sweet thought, that as we know thine heart, and thy love towards us poor Gentiles was from everlasting, thou wouldest in this instance, however trifling it may seem to some, yet manifest to others that thou hast loved us with an everlasting love! Methinks I hear thee say, and from this mark showing it also, I know the thoughts that I think toward you saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Precious Jesus! oh! that my thoughts were always on thee, as thy thoughts have been towards thy people! Jeremiah 29:11.
We may in some measure, form some faint idea of the wonderful structure of Solomon's temple, which was finished in seven years, from the number of hands employed. But what is this to the grand thought of the temple of Jesus' body! - Here, again, we find the great multitude of laborers were strangers, that is Gentiles. John's view of the glories above was of the same kind. While he saw an hundred and forty and four thousand of Israel, he saw a multitude that no man could number, of the great varieties of the earth. Yes! blessed Jesus: the Father hath given thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and to be his salvation to the ends of the earth. Revelation 7:4; Rev_7:9; Isaiah 49:6.
IN the view here given of Solomon's temple, the workmen, and the materials taken and gathered from afar, I would contemplate how Solomon, my God and King, hath gathered the workmen and materials for his Temple, from all the varieties of the earth. When the Lord gave the word, great was the company of the preachers. Thou hast called patriarchs, prophets, and apostles: thou hast taken thy workmen from among the lowest, even the outcasts of the world. And now, Lord, when called, and gathered, and collected, and brought to thy Jerusalem to form thy church below; founded on thyself, thou Chief Corner Stone, how are they like polished stones of the temple, closely joined in Jesus, and formed for an habitation of God, through the Spirit. Are they not the household of faith? Are they not as a spiritual house to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ! And when, by and by, thou shalt remove the whole building to constitute thy temple above, how will they all appear before thee in glory! Blessed Lord! give my soul to see in those outer things, the shadow of those good things which are yet to come. Make me, however low and humble the lot assigned may be, a builder in thine house. Cause me to rest wholly my salvation, and all my hopes upon that elect, precious Corner Stone, which God hath laid in Zion; that all my strength, faith, and gospel conversation may be on Jesus, in Jesus, and of Jesus: perfectly and unalterably convinced, that other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Here, Lord, would I rest, and here would I be found knowing that he that thus buildeth, and thus liveth, and thus dieth, shall never be ashamed nor confounded, world without end.
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 2". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany