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Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical
1 Chronicles 22

 

 

Verses 1-19

c. David’s Arrangements for the Building of the Temple; other Spiritual and Temporal Regulations; last Will and Death.—Ch22–29

α. Provisions for the Building of the Temple: 1 Chronicles 22

1 Chronicles 22:1 And David said, This is the house of the Lord God, and this is the altar of burnt-offering for Israel.

2And David commanded to gather the strangers that were in the land of Israel; and he appointed masons to hew square stones to build the house of God 3 And David prepared iron in abundance for the nails for the doors of 4 the gates, and for braces; and brass in abundance without weight. And cedar-trees without number; for the Zidonians and Tyrians brought much cedar-wood to David 5 And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house to be builded for the Lord must be highly magnifical for name and glory in all countries: I will now prepare for it: and David prepared abundantly before his death.

6And he called for Solomon his Song of Solomon, and charged him to build a house forthe Lord God of Israel 7 And David said to Song of Solomon, My Song of Solomon, 1had it in mind to build a house unto the name of the Lord my God 8 But the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Thou hast shed much blood, and made great wars; thou shalt not build a house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood on the earth in my sight 9 Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies around; for Solomon shall be his name, and I will give peace and rest unto Israel in his days 10 He shall build a house to my name; and he shall be my Song of Solomon, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever 11 Now, my Song of Solomon, the Lord be with thee; and prosper 12 thou, and build the house of the Lord thy God, as He hath said of thee. Also the Lord will give thee wisdom and understanding, and ordain thee over Israel, that thou may est keep the law of the Lord thy God 13 Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes and judgments which the Lord commanded Moses concerning Israel: be firm and strong; fear not, nor 14 be dismayed. And, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the Lord a hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver, and of brass and of iron without weight; for it is in abundance: and I have prepared timber and stone, and thou shalt add thereto 15 And with thee are workers in abundance, hewers and carvers of stone and of timber, and all skilful men in all work 16 Of the gold, the silver, and the brass, and the iron there is no number: arise and do, and the Lord be with thee.

17And David commanded all the princes of Israel to help Solomon his son: 18Is not the Lord your God with you? and hath He not given you rest on every side? For He hath given the inhabitants of the land into my hand;[FN2] 19and the land is subdued before the Lord, and before His people. Now give your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God; and arise and build the sanctuary of the Lord God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of the Lord.

EXEGETICAL

1. Connection with the Foregoing Section: 1 Chronicles 22:1.—The present chapter, which opens the second half of David’s history referring to the inner side of his government, Isaiah, by its introductory verse, closely connected with the foregoing account of the pestilence, and the consequent elevation of the floor of Oman to be the place of sacrifice for the king. The further accounts, relating directly or indirectly to the security of David’s kingdom for his successor, to the end of the book, are thus in a suitable way connected with the last-mentioned important event in the external history of the government of David.—This is the house of the Lord God, or: “shall be a house of the Lord God.” David gives this determination to the former threshing-floor on the same ground that moved Jacob to consecrate his resting-place at Luz to be a Bethel ( Genesis 28:17), because Jehovah had there revealed to him His saving presence.

2. The Preparation of Materials for the future Temple: 1 Chronicles 22:2-5.—And David commanded to gather the strangers that were in the land of Israel, the descendants of the Canaanites subdued in the conquest of the land, who lived as bondmen under his government; comp. 2 Chronicles 8:7-10 and 1 Chronicles 2:16-17, where the number of these bondmen under Solomon is stated to be150,000, whom he employed as bearers and workmen in building the temple.—Masons to hew square stones. Comp 1 Kings5:17, 31; also the simple גָּזִית, square stones, 1 Kings 6:36; 1 Kings 7:9 ff.; Exodus 20:25; Isaiah 9:9.

1 Chronicles 22:3. For the nails for the doors of the gates, and for braces. לַֽמְחַבְּרוֹת, properly, “for joining things” (Sept. στροφεῖς; more correctly Vulg. commissurœ atque juncturœ); comp. 2 Chronicles 34:11, where, however, braces of wood are meant.

1 Chronicles 22:4. For the Zidonians and Tyrians (= Phenicians; comp. Ezra 3:7) brought much cedar-wood to David; this at first naturally, as an article of trade for the exports of Palestine, corn, wine, fruit, etc, not yet by a contract of supply for building the temple, such as Solomon afterwards made with Hiram, 1 Kings 5:15 if.

1 Chronicles 22:5. Solomon my son is young and tender. So (נַעַר וָרָךְ, parvulus et delicatus, Vulg.) David names Solomon also, 1 Chronicles 29:1, in one of his last speeches to the people, although, born shortly after the Syrian Ammonite wars ( 2 Samuel 12:24), he must have been at this time, shortly before David’s end, above twenty years of age. But even shortly after the beginning of his reign, Solomon calls himself נַעַר קָטוֹן, 1 Kings 3:7; comp, for example, also Benjamin, Genesis 43:44; Joshua, Exodus 33:11; Rehoboam, 2 Chronicles 13:7, etc.—And the house to be builded for the Lord must be highly magnifical (properly, “great to make”). לְמַעְלָה, properly, “upward,” “above measure great;” comp. on14:2.—For name and glory in all countries, that it tend to the glory of the Lord in all countries; comp14:17.—I will now prepare for it. The meaning of this cheerful offering is somewhat weakened, if, with the Vulg. (prœparabo ergo, etc.) and Luther (“therefore will I make preparation”), we take נָא as a particle of inference.

3. The Charge to Solomon to build the Temple: 1 Chronicles 22:6-16. This charge is obviously to be regarded as given to Solomon shortly before the death of David; see the לִפְנֵי מוֹתוֹ at the close of 1 Chronicles 22:5. The whole address on to 1 Chronicles 22:16, besides being a legacy of the predecessor to his successor, is therefore to be regarded in some measure as parallel to 1 Kings 2:2-9, and as essentially contemporary with the contents of 1 Chronicles28, 24of our book. On its perhaps not strictly historical but ideal character, which is common to it with those addresses of David in 1 Chronicles28, 29, see Introd. § 6, No6.

1 Chronicles 22:7. On the Keriבְּנִי to be preferred to the Kethibבְּנוֹ, see Crit. Note.—I had it in mind, literally, “I, it was in my heart;” quite so (with the same emphatic position of אֲנִי before עִם לְבָבִי) also 1 Chronicles 28:2. The phrase: “it is or was in my heart,” for: “I have (had) in mind,” appears also in 2 Chronicles 1:11; 2 Chronicles 6:7 f, 9:1, 24:4, 29:10, as in other historical books, Joshua 14:7; 1 Kings 8:17 f, 10:2.

1 Chronicles 22:8. But the word of the Lord came unto me, saying. What was a historical necessity in the course of David’s government is by this concrete description referred to a definite word of the Lord communicated somewhere and sometime to David, as in 1 Chronicles 28:3 (comp. 1 Kings 5:17). It is not necessary to seek a definite place, where such a divine command was at least intimated to him. What Nathan says, 17:4 ff, of David’s wars, concerns only the help which God gave him in these, but does not give prominence to the circumstance that he was by those frequent wars unfitted for building the temple. Comp. also Hengstenb. Gesch. des Reiches Gottes, 3:124.

1 Chronicles 22:9. Behold, a son shall be born to thee. The participle (נוֹלָד) is here in the sense of the future; comp. 1 Chronicles 22:19 and 1 Kings 13:2.—Who shall be a man of rest, not a man who makes rest ( Jeremiah 51:59; comp. Hitzig on this passage), but, as the sequel shows, a man who enjoys rest, who has the blessings of peace, and therefore rightly bears his name שְׁלֹמֹה. Comp. the description of the profound peace during the reign of Song of Solomon, 1 Kings 5:4 f.—On 1 Chronicles 22:10, comp. 1 Chronicles 17:12 f, which prediction of Nathan is briefly repeated in our passage.

1 Chronicles 22:11. The Lord be with thee (comp. 1 Chronicles 22:16; 1 Chronicles 22:18); and prosper thou; comp. 1 Chronicles 22:13; Joshua 1:8; and lastly, on דִּבֶּר עַל, to charge any one, 1 Chronicles 22:8 (עָלַי) and11:10.

1 Chronicles 22:12. Also the Lord will give thee wisdom and understanding; the same terms are so connected in 2 Chronicles 2:11. The fulfilment of this prophecy, as of the similar one of Nathan ( 2 Samuel 7:11), see in 1 Kings 3:5 ff.—That thou mayest keep the law of the Lord, properly, “and to keep the law,” etc. Comp, on this continuation of the verb fin. by the infin. with לְ, Ew. § 351, c.

1 Chronicles 22:13. If thou takest heed to fulfil (“to do”) the statutes and judgments. The language here frequently coincides with the prescriptions and promises of Deuteronomy; comp. Deuteronomy 4:1; Deuteronomy 5:1; Deuteronomy 7:4; Deuteronomy 7:11; Deuteronomy 11:32; and respecting the closing admonition: “be firm and strong,” Deuteronomy 31:6; Deuteronomy 31:8; Joshua 1:7, etc.

1 Chronicles 22:14. And behold, in my trouble, etc. So is בְּעָנְיִי to be taken here (comp. Genesis 31:42, and the parallel meaning, Genesis 39:2), not “in my labour,” as the Sept, Vulg, and Luther have misunderstood the phrase. The following Numbers, 100,000 talents of gold and1,000,000 talents of silver, are only free from the suspicion of wilful exaggeration by the Chronist or an error of transcription, if we are permitted to introduce a reckoning according to other, that Isaiah, smaller units than those customary in the O. T. (comp. Introd. § 6, No5). If we reckon the talent (כִּכַּר) of silver at3000 shekels of silver, according to the usual Mosaic or sacred value of about 2 s33/8d. each, it would amount to £342, and therefore1,000,000 such silver talents would make the large sum of £342,000,000; and100,000 talents of gold, if the gold shekel be sixteen times that of silver, would reach the still higher sum of £547,500,000. The gold and silver thus gathered by David would amount to £889,500,000, a sum incredibly high for the requirements of worship at that time. On the contrary, if we assume, with Keil, that the present shekel is not the sacred (Mosaic) but the civil Song of Solomon -called shekel, after the king’s weight, and that these royal shekels were only half as weighty as the others, and so equal in weight and value to the bekah or Mosaic half-shekel ( Exodus 38:26),—an assumption that seems to be corroborated by the comparison of 1 Kings 10:17 with 2 Chronicles 9:16; 2 Chronicles 9:3 the sum named is reduced by at least a half. That so large a sum gathered and saved by David is not inconceivable, but has its parallel in other high sums of oriental antiquity, Movers (Die Phönizier, ii3, p45 ff.) and Keil (p182 f. of his Comment.) have rendered probable by examples from the history of Persia and Syria, those exceedingly rich countries adjacent to the kingdom of David; comp. the £34,000 of gold and500,000 talents of silver which Cyrus seized in the conquest of Athens (Varro, in Plin. Hist. Nat. xxxii15), the40,000 talents of uncoined gold and silver and9000 talents of coined silver which Alexander seized in Susa alone, the120,000 talents which the same conqueror acquired in Persepolis; likewise the colossal treasures of Syria, with its numerous great idols of solid gold, its gold shields for the servants of Hadadezer, 2 Samuel 8:7 ff, its gold pins as ornaments of the boots of the common soldiers of an Antiochus the Great, etc. At all events, it is hasty in Bertheau, who, besides, commits a great error in asserting that5000 millions of thalers (about £750,000,000) would suffice to pay off the debt of all European states, to deny the credibility of the present high Numbers, and suppose that they could be “nothing but the first circumlocution of the notion, ‘great, exceedingly great,’—a circumlocution that may still be heard in the mouth of those who have not reflected on the value and import of the Numbers, and therefore deal quite freely with thousands and hundred thousands.” Neither the fact that Solomon’s annual revenue amounted only to666 talents of gold, nor that the queen of Sheba made him a present of120 talents of gold (comp. 1 Kings 10:10; 1 Kings 10:14; 2 Chronicles 9:9), is sufficient to confirm this suspicion of a boastful exaggeration as the ground of the present statements. For, besides the666 talents in gold expressly mentioned in those passages, Solomon must have had still other revenues considerably higher in their total amount (especially from tolls and tributes of the subject nations); but the value of a single gift in money and precious metals cannot in itself be compared with that of a great treasure amassed during several years. And should not David have actually contemplated the foundation of a temple treasure, of which the surplus remaining after defraying the cost of building should be kept in the sanctuary, and saved for covering the future expenses of it (as Solomon actually did after the building was finished with the money remaining over, 2 Chronicles 5:1; 1 Kings 7:51), and therefore have accumulated so vast a sum? Comp. that which is expressly reported to this effect, and see Keil’s full discussion of all questions and opinions on this matter (pp181–184).—And thou shalt add thereto. That Solomon followed this advice of his father, to add to the building materials, is clear from 2 Chronicles2, where also the activity of the here ( 1 Chronicles 22:15, and in 1 Chronicles 22:2) mentioned workers in stone and wood, as well as the “skilful men in all work” (חָכָם, to denote the ingenious mastery in the crafts of building and figuring, as in Bezaleel, Exodus 31:3), is again mentioned.

1 Chronicles 22:16. Of the gold, the silver, and the brass, and the iron, there is no number, properly, “for gold,” etc. The לְ before the several words serves to make more prominent that which is hitherto enumerated (Ew. § 310, a). On the following קוּם וַעֲשֵׂה, “arise and do,” comp. Ezra 10:4.

4. Invitation to the Princes of Israel to aid in the building of the Temple: 1 Chronicles 22:17-19.—Is not the Lord your God with you? The remembrance of God’s former grace toward the people is a ground for the invitation. That the words communicated here and in 1 Chronicles 22:19 are David’s words to the princes, is sufficiently clear even without לֵֹאמֹרfrom the foregoing וַֽיְצַו; comp. the same immediate introduction of the address in23:4. He hath given the inhabitants of the land into my hand, the Canaanites, Jebusites, Philistines; comp14:10f, Joshua 2:24, as on the following: “the land is subdued,” Joshua 18:1, Numbers 32:22; Numbers 32:29.

1 Chronicles 22:19. Now give your heart and soul to seek the Lord your God; comp. 2 Chronicles 17:4, Ezra 4:2, where the same construction of דרשׁ with לְ is found, whereas elsewhere it usually has the simple acc. of the object after it (16:12, 21:30, etc.).—To bring the ark of the covenant (15:1; 2 Chronicles 5:2). . . into the house, etc. לְ in לַבַּיִת stands (as in Joshua 4:5) for אֶל, and is not perhaps nota accusativi (Berth.), as הֵבִיא is never constructed with the acc. loci, but with אֶל, or with the acc. and ה local. For the future sense of הַנּבְנֶה, comp. on 1 Chronicles 22:9.

Footnotes:

FN#1 - 1 בְּנִי, according to the Keri; the Kethib has בְּנוֹ, “unto Solomon his son;” but it scarcely deserves the preference, as בְּנוֹ might easily arise from לִשְׁלֹמֹה בְנוֹ, 1 Chronicles 22:6.

FN#2 - 2So the Masoretic text and a part of the mss. of the Sept. (A2 F X: ἐν χειρί μου). But the Sept. cod. Vat, Vulg, Luther, etc.: “into your hands.”

FN#3 - 3See Mosis Maimon. Constitutiones de siclis,—quas illustravit, Jo. Esgers, Lugd. Bat1718, p19, and comp. the remarks on 2 Chronicles 3:3 concerning the relation of the older (sacred or Mosaic) cubit to the shorter civil cubit of later times. [In the text, English money has been substituted for foreign.]

 


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Bibliography Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 22:4". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/1-chronicles-22.html. 1857-84.

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Saturday, November 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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