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Temple Preparations, 1 Chronicles 22:1-13
(Author’s note: First Chronicles, chapters 22-29, contain information concerning the closing years. of David’s reign not found in the Book of Second Samuel. They are treated here [in 2 Samuel hardbound commentary] in this commentary because this is their chronological position in the Scriptures. For an introduction to the Books of Chronicles see comments following Second Kings, chapter 25.)
This account follows immediately upon the account of David’s offering at the threshingfloor of Oman the Jebusite. This came at the cessation of the plague on Israel because of David’s insistence on taking the census of able-bodied fighting men contrary to God’s will. The opening words of David in this chapter indicate his selection of the site of the threshing floor for his proposed house of God, or temple. The angel had appeared to him here poised with sword over Jerusalem to destroy it, but the Lord had relented and spared the city. Since the Lord had accepted the offering of David here the king had concluded that the Lord was pleased for the building of the temple in this place, and the erection of His burnt sacrifice altar in this very spot.
David proceeded to gather the material and make the plans needful for the erection of a great temple. He began by training an adequate work force. For this purpose he conscripted the strangers, or non-Israelites, who lived in Israel. These would have included the descendants of the Canaanites left in the land, as well as any other who may have come to dwell in the land. This may have been a great boon for these people, inasmuch as they must make their living other than on the land which was allotted to the families of Israel. These were trained as masons and stone cutters.
David also collected iron for nails and doors in the gates, and for hinges and clasps, etc. He acquired brass in such abundance its weight ceased to be accounted. Cedar timbers were brought down from the land of Lebanon, via the cities of Zidon and Tyre.
David reasoned that this great preparation should be made because of the youth of Solomon. Though the Scriptures do not indicate the exact age of Solomon when he became king it seems likely he was no more than twenty years of age. David says he was young and tender, or inexperienced and immature. Yet the temple was to be a glorious and magnificent structure, so David felt he should do all that he could to see that this was accomplished, and to assist his young son before his death.
David brought Solomon before him to charge him with the momentous task of constructing the temple. He first reviewed his own plans, which had been frustrated by the Lord’s refusal to allow him to build a house of God. David had purposed to build the house in honor of the Lord, but God had refused to allow it, chiefly because of the much blood he had shed in his wars. He speaks of this bloodshed being in the Lord’s sight, showing the serious regard God has for the shedding of men’s blood (see Genesis 9:4-6; Leviticus 17:11). The Lord had proceeded to tell David that his son after him would build such a house for Him as he was proposing (cf. 2 Samuel 7:12-13; 1 Chronicles 17:11-12). That son would have rest from war around him and would rule in a period of peace and quietness. David informed Solomon of the Lord’s promise to be with his son to establish His kingdom over Israel for ever. This last promise was, of course, prophetic of the divine Son of David, Jesus Christ.
Solomon was commended to the Lord by David, that he might prosper in the building of the house of God as the Lord had promised. He prayed for his son that he might be a roan of wisdom and understanding, that he might have proper charge over Israel as their king, and that he might be obedient to the law of the Lord, as it had been given Israel by Moses. By this David assured his son he would be able to prosper. He closed his admonition with the repetition of the blessing given by Moses, from the Lord, to Joshua, when Moses was about to die and pass on the leadership of Israel to Joshua (De 31:7-8; cf. Joshua 1:9).
Solomon Presented, verses 14-19
David stated to Solomon that he made elaborate preparations for the building of a temple for the house of God in the midst of all his trouble. He must have had reference to his domestic sorrows, relative to Bathsheba, Amnon, Absalom, etc., as well as his many wars. Yet he had amassed a great amount of material.
He mentions specifically a hundred thousand talents of gold and a million talents of silver; brass (or bronze) and iron in unaccounted weight; also much timber and stone, to which Solomon would need to add. David mentioned the adequate work force which he had trained for the building, along with skilled workmen for the intricate work.
Recent evaluation of the gold and silver mentioned in verse 14, according to recent values, is said to be $100,090,000,000 for the gold and $21,840,000,000 for the silver, or almost $122 billion. Verse 16, in the King James Version of the Bible, says the gold, silver, brass, and iron was without number.
This translation gives a misleading inference that seems to contradict verse 14 with reference to the gold and silver. The meaning in verse 16 is understood when the word "limit" is read for "number". David meant that these metals were to be accumulated without limit. He ended his words to Solomon by admonishing him to rise up and be preparing the work.
The princes whom David assembled from the various tribes were next addressed. The condition of peace within the kingdom was to be noted by them, and they were to give credit to the Lord for it. Therefore, he admonished them to aid Solomon in the great task at hand.
Not only was there peace with the neighboring kingdoms, whom David had subdued during his reign, but at last the Canaanite people and the Philistines, living among the Israelites, were totally subjected to David’s rule. This was the nearest Israel had ever come to the condition the Lord desired for them when they came into the land from Egypt.
David admonished the princes and leaders of Israel to 1) set their hearts on the will of God; 2) to act on His will by rising up and building the temple; 3) to bring the sacred ark and holy vessels into this permanent house which should be prepared for them. This should be done to honor the name of the Lord.
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Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 22". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/
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