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Bible Commentaries

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

 

 

Verses 1-17

2. SOLOMON— 2 Chronicles 1-9

a. His Solemn Sacrifice at Gibeon, and his Riches.—Ch1

α. The Sacrifice at Gibeon, and the Dream of Solomon: 2 Chronicles 1:1-13

2 Chronicles 1:1 And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and 2 the Lord his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly. And Solomon said unto all Israel, to the captains of thousands, and of hundreds, and to the Judges, and to every ruler in all Israel, the chiefs of houses 3 And Song of Solomon, and all the congregation with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the tent of meeting of God, which Moses the servant of God had made in the wilderness 4 But the ark of God had David brought up from Kiriath-jearim to the place which David had prepared for 5 it: for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem. And the brazen altar, that Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, was there[FN1] before the tabernacle of the Lord; and Solomon and the congregation sought him 6 And Solomon offered there before the Lord, on the brazen altar which belonged to the tent of meeting; and he offered upon it a thousand burnt-offerings.

7In that night did God appear unto Song of Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee 8 And Solomon said unto God, Thou hast showed great mercy unto David my father, and hast made me king in his stead 9 Now, O Lord God, Thy word unto David my father must be true; for Thou hast made me king over a people numerous as the dust of the earth 10 Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and in before this people; for who can judge this Thy great people 11 And God said unto Song of Solomon, Because this was in thy heart, and thou hast not asked riches, treasures, and glory, nor the life of thine enemies, neither hast thou asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king 12 Wisdom and knowledge are given unto thee, and riches and treasures and glory will I give thee, such as none of the kings that were before thee have had, and none after thee shall 13 have the like. And Solomon came from[FN2] the high place that was at Gibeon to Jerusalem, from before the tent of meeting and he reigned over Israel.[FN3]

β. Solomon’s Power and Wealth: 2 Chronicles 1:14-17

14And Solomon gathered chariots and riders: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand riders; and he placed them in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem 15 And the king made silver and gold in Jerusalem as stones; and cedars he made as the sycamores that 16 are in the Shephelah for abundance. And the export of horses for Solomon was out of Egypt; and the company of the king’s merchants fetched a troop 17 for a certain price. And they brought up, and took out of Egypt a chariot for six hundred silver shekels, and a horse for a hundred and fifty: and they brought them out for all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Syria.

EXEGETICAL

1. Preliminary Remark, and elucidation of 2 Chronicles 1:1.—The accounts contained in the foregoing two small sections, to which 1 Kings 3:4-15; 1 Kings 10:26-29 are parallel, serve to introduce the report of the building and dedication of the temple, which occupy far the greatest space in the representation given by our author of the history of Solomon. As general superscription is prefixed 2 Chronicles 1:1 : “And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom,” properly, “on,” or “with, his kingdom,” עַל־מַלְכוּתוֹ; comp. וַיִּתְחַזֵּק עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵל, 2 Chronicles 17:1, and 2 Chronicles 12:13, 2 Chronicles 13:21, 2 Chronicles 21:4, which parallels likewise show that הִתְחַזֵּק, “be strengthened,” does not refer to pretenders to the crown, by setting aside of whom confirmation follows; and hence there is here no concealed allusion to Adonijah ( 1 Kings 2 :).—And the Lord his God was with him (comp. 1 Chronicles 9:9), and magnified him exceedingly; comp. 1 Chronicles 29:25; 1 Chronicles 22:5.

2. The Sacrifice at Gibeon: 2 Chronicles 1:2-6; comp. 1 Kings 3:4.—And Solomon said unto all Israel, to the captains, etc. This addition of the chiefs of the people and representatives of the kingdom at the sacrifice is not mentioned in the book of Kings; but the matter is understood of itself (comp. the similar cases in the history of David, 1 Chronicles 13:1 f, 1 Chronicles 23:2; 1 Chronicles 28:1).—The chiefs of houses. Before לְ,רָאשֵׁי is to be supplied, as the whole phrase is an explanatory apposition to לְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל.

2 Chronicles 1:4. For there was the tent of meeting of God. Comp. on 1 Chron5:30 ff, 1 Chronicles 16:39 f.

2 Chronicles 1:4. But the ark of God had David, etc.; comp 1 Chronicles13, 15. For the elliptical construction בַּהֵכִין, to (the place) which he prepared for it, where the article in בַּ supplies the place of the relative אֲשֶׁר, comp. 1 Chronicles 15:12; 1 Chronicles 24:28; also Judges 5:27; Ruth 1:5.

2 Chronicles 1:5. And the brazen altar . . . was there before the tabernacle of the Lord, that Isaiah, the Gibeonite sanctuary was still the legal, as it were the official and historically rightful place for burnt-offerings: comp. 1 Chronicles 21:29 f, where, on the occasion of the choice of the floor of Oman on Moriah for a place of burnt-offering, it is shown why David could not go to Gibeon to offer there. On Bezaleel’s construction of the brazen (copper) altar of burnt-offering, see Exodus 31:2; Exodus 37:1. On the reading שָׁם, as undoubtedly to be preferred to the Masoretic שָׂם (which arose from an unwarranted reference to Exodus 40:29), see Crit. Note.—And Solomon and the congregation sought him, the Lord, not the altar; comp. דָּרַשׁ אֱלֹהִים, 1 Chronicles 21:30; 2 Chronicles 15:2. Yet, for the reference of the verb to the altar, may be quoted (Luther: “was wont to seek it”), at all events, Amos 5:5; comp. also 1 Chronicles 21:28.

2 Chronicles 1:6. There before the Lord, on the brazen altar which was at the tent of meeting. In the Hebrews, לִפְנֵי יְהוָֹה stands before the relative sentence אֲשֶׁר לְאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד. Because the altar of burnt-offering had its place before the tabernacle ( Exodus 40:6), it is designated as belonging to it; comp. 1 Kings 6:22.

3. God’s Revelation to Solomon: 2 Chronicles 1:7-13; comp. 1 Kings 3:5-15.—In that night, that followed the offering. That the manifestation of God to Solomon was effected by a nocturnal vision, seems at least to be indicated here, but is expressly stated in 1 Kings 3:5; 1 Kings 3:15.

2 Chronicles 1:8. Thou hast showed great mercy unto David my father. The fuller speech of Solomon in 1 Kings 3:6-10 appears here ( 2 Chronicles 1:8-10) much abbreviated.

2 Chronicles 1:9. Thy word . . . must be true, properly, “must be established”; comp. 1 Chronicles 17:23; 2 Chronicles 6:17; 1 Kings 8:26.

2 Chronicles 1:10. Give me now wisdom and knowledge. מַדַּע (here with Pattach in the second syllable; elsewhere מַדָּע; also 2 Chronicles 1:11-12) denotes knowledge, insight, and is found, besides the present passage, only in Daniel 1:4; Daniel 1:17 and Ecclesiastes 10:20.—That I may go out and in before this people, “may know all that belongs thereto, may worthily govern and defend them” (Starke); the phrase, reminding us of Deuteronomy 31:2, 1 Samuel 18:13; 1 Samuel 18:16, 1 Kings 3:7, denotes the unchecked public activity of the king toward his people.

2 Chronicles 1:11. Because this was in thy heart; comp. 1 Chronicles 22:7.—Riches, treasures, and glory. The same combination appears in Ecclesiastes 6:2; נְכָסִים, treasures, also in Ecclesiastes 5:18 (with עשֶׁר) and Joshua 22:8.

2 Chronicles 1:12. Wisdom . . . given to thee. The construction נָתוּן לָךְ, as in Esther 3:11 ( 1 Kings 3:12, הִנֵּה, with the perf. נָתַתִּי). In the following words, the Lord promises to Solomon riches, treasures, and glory indeed, but not long life, as in 1 Kings 3:14. Whether this omission is intentional (because Song of Solomon, on account of his subsequent fall, did not attain to old age) appears doubtful in the condensing manner of our author, which shows itself even in this promise of the Lord. On the ethical-eudæmonistic sentence contained in 2 Chronicles 1:11-12 may be compared the word of Christ in the Sermon on the Mount: “Seek ye first,” etc, Matthew 5:32.

2 Chronicles 1:13. And Solomon came from the high place. On the correctness of this reading (מֵהַבָּמָה), see Crit. Note. The following addition: “from the tent of meeting,” which appears superfluous after “from the high place,” points again to the Gibeonite place of offering, and to the legal validity of the offerings presented there. Of the burnt and peace offerings, with the sacrificial feast, 1 Kings 3:15, on the return of Solomon to Jerusalem before the ark, our author makes no mention, not because in his view the offering presented at the brazen altar in Gibeon only had legal validity (as Thenius thinks, in defiance of the express statements of our author, 1 Chronicles 21:18; 1 Chronicles 21:26 ff.), but simply because these offerings, as well as the history there following ( 1 Kings 3:26-28) of the strife between the two women, and its settlement by the wise judgment of Song of Solomon, appeared to be of no special importance for his plan (chiefly regarding the brilliant, glorious, and magnificent features of Solomon’s administration).—And he reigned over Israel. These closing words of our verse are introductory to what follows, and would stand more suitably at the head of the following section, 2 Chronicles 1:14-17, as they are found, 1 Kings 4:1, in this more suitable position, and are there enlarged by the addition of כָּל־ before יִשְׂרָאֵל, which the Syr. exhibits here (see Crit. Note).

4. Solomon’s Power and Wealth: 2 Chronicles 1:14-17.—This short account of that which Solomon had in chariots, riders, and treasures, the Chronist presents as proof of the instant fulfilment of the promise of God to him in this passage, while in 1 Kings 10:26-29 it is found near the close of the reign of Solomon (parallel to the fuller account of a similar nature in 2 Chronicles 9:13 ff.). That accordingly that which is here recorded by our author is adduced a second time, the first time partly abbreviated, partly completed by additions see 2 Chronicles 9:25-28), Thenius (on 1 Kings 10:26 ff.) explains by the assumption of a second occurrence of the section in his sources, and an inadvertent admission of both accounts, the identity of which was discovered too late. More correctly, Berth, Keil, etc, explain that the Chronist used his sources in a free and independent way, and accordingly of purpose admitted the partial repetition of the present account in 2 Chronicles 9:25 ff.—And he placed them in the chariot cities. Instead of וַיַּנִּיחֵם, “laid them” (so also 2 Chronicles 9:25 stands in 1 Kings 10:26 less definitely: וַיַּנְחֵם, “and he brought them”; with regard to the number of the chariots (1400) and riders (12,000), the two texts agree. The “chariot cities” are cities in which the chariots and riders were stationed. They probably lay, partly near rich pasture grounds, partly in the neighbourhood of Egypt, principally in the south of the country; and the conjecture that the Simeonite towns Beth-marchaboth and Hazar-susim ( 1 Chronicles 4:31) belonged to them (Then, Berth, Kamph.) is on this account the more probable.

2 Chronicles 1:15. And the king made silver and gold in Jerusalem as stones. That the words “and gold” (וְאֶת־הַזָּהָב), which are wanting in the parallels 2 Chronicles 9:27 and 1 Kings 10:27, are to be erased, with the Pesch, in our passage also is very improbable; and the Sept. and Vulg. testify for their genuineness in this place. For b, comp. on 1 Chronicles 27:28.

2 Chronicles 1:16. And the export of horses for Solomon, properly, “which belonged to Solomon.”—The company of the king’s merchants fetched a troop for a certain price. Even so 1 Kings 10:28, only that for the מִקְוֵה there מִקְוֵא is here twice written. For the correct understanding of the passage, see Bähr, Bibelw. vol7. p103.

2 Chronicles 1:17. And they brought up, and took out of Egypt; 1 Kings 10:29 : “and there was fetched and brought out” (וַתַּֽעֲלֶה וַתֵּצֵא instead of our וַיַּֽעֲלוּ וַיּוֹצִיאוּ), otherwise literally as our passage, except that, perhaps by a corruption of the text, the לְ here wanting before מַלְבֵי אֲרָם is rightly supplied. For the exposition, see also Bähr as above.

Footnotes:

FN#1 - So according to the reading שָׁם, which is attested by the Sept, Vulg, some mss, and most prints, while for the almost unmeaning שָׂם (posuit, he had set) the majority of mss. and the Chald. and the Syr. testify.

FN#2 - The Sept, Vulg, Luther, etc, correctly: מֵהַבָּמָה; the לַבָּמָה of the Masoretes, yielding no tolerable sense, appears to have crept into the text by looking back at 2 Chronicles 1:3.

FN#3 - The Peschito has “over all Israel;” comp. 1 Kings 4:1.

 


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Bibliography Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 1:4". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/2-chronicles-1.html. 1857-84.

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