2 Chronicles 2:1. And a house for his kingdom — A royal palace for himself and his successors. The substance of this whole chapter is contained in 1 Kings 5., and is explained in the notes there, and the seeming differences between the contents of this and it reconciled.
2 Chronicles 2:3. And Solomon sent to Huram — Or Hiram, as he is called in the first book of Kings where we learn that he first sent to Solomon to congratulate him on his accession to the throne, and then Solomon sent to him.
2 Chronicles 2:4. To dedicate it to him — To his honour and worship. For the continual show-bread — So called here and Numbers 4:7, because it stood before the Lord continually, by a constant succession of new bread, when the old was removed. See Exodus 25:30; Leviticus 24:8.
2 Chronicles 2:5. The house which I build is great — Though the temple, strictly so called, was small, yet the buildings belonging to it were large and numerous. For great is our God above all gods — Above all idols, above all princes. Idols are nothing, princes are little, and both are under the control of the God of Israel. Therefore the house must be great; not indeed in proportion to the greatness of that God to whom it is to be dedicated, for between finite and infinite there can be no proportion; but in some proportion to the exalted conceptions we have of him, and the great esteem we have for him.
2 Chronicles 2:6. But who is able to build him a house — No house, be it ever so great, can be a habitation for him. Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain him — Nor does he, like the gods of the nations, dwell in temples made with hands. When, therefore, I speak of building a great house for the great God, let none be so foolish as to imagine that I mean to include or comprehend God within it, for he is infinite. Who am I, then, that I should build him a house — He looked upon himself, though a mighty prince, as utterly unworthy of the honour of being employed in this great work. Save only to burn sacrifice before him — As if he had said, We have not such low notions of our God as to suppose we can build a house that will contain him: we only intend it for the convenience of his priests and worshippers, that they may have a suitable place wherein to assemble and offer sacrifices and prayers, and perform other religious duties to him. Thus Solomon guards Hiram against any misapprehension concerning God, which his speaking of building him a house might otherwise have occasioned. And it is one part of the wisdom wherein we ought to walk toward them that are without, in a similar manner carefully to guard against all misapprehension which anything we may say or do may occasion concerning any truth or duty of religion.
2 Chronicles 2:7. Send me therefore a man cunning to work in gold, &c. — There were admirable artists, in all the works here referred to, at Tyre; some of whom Solomon desired to be sent to him, that they might assist those whom David had provided, but who were not so skilful as those of Tyre.
2 Chronicles 2:10. Behold, I will give thy servants twenty thousand measures of beaten wheat, &c. — Solomon would not feed his workmen with bread and water, but with plenty of provisions, and of the best kind. They that employ labourers ought to take care that they be not only well paid, but well provided for, with sufficient of that which is wholesome and proper for them. Let rich masters do for their poor servants and workmen as they would be done by it the tables were turned.
2 Chronicles 2:11. Huram answered, Because the Lord loved his people, &c. — Thus he congratulates the happiness of Israel in having such a king as Solomon was. And certainly a wise and good government is a great blessing to a people, and may well be accounted a singular token of God’s favour. He does not say, Because he loved thee he made thee king, (though that also was true,) but because he loved his people. Princes must look upon themselves as preferred for the public good, not for their own personal satisfaction, and should rule so as to evidence they were given to their people in love, not in anger.
2 Chronicles 2:12. Blessed be the Lord that made heaven and earth — It seems Huram was not only a friend to the Jewish nation, but a proselyte to their religion, and that he worshipped Jehovah, the God of Israel, (who was now known by that name to the neighbour nations,) as the God that made heaven and earth, and the fountain of power as well as of being.
2 Chronicles 2:14. The son of a woman — of Dan, and his father a man of Tyre — A good omen of uniting Jew and Gentile in the gospel temple. With the cunning men of my lord David — So he calls David here, and Solomon in the next verse, either out of singular respect to their greatness and worth, or because he was indeed tributary to them: or, at least, his country was nourished by their country, as it was afterward, Acts 12:20.
2 Chronicles 2:17. Solomon numbered all the strangers — For David had not only numbered his own people, but afterward the strangers, that Solomon might have a true account of them, and employ them about his buildings. Yet Solomon numbered them again, because death might have made a considerable alteration among them since David’s numbering.
2 Chronicles 2:18. To be hewers in the mountain — He would not employ the free- born Israelites in this drudgery, but the strangers that were proselytes, who, having no lands, applied themselves to trades, and got their living by their industry or ingenuity.
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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 2". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany