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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 29

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Verses 1-5

Voluntary Gifts From David

David then addresses “the entire assembly” of Israel (1 Chronicles 29:1). He points out to them the youthfulness and inexperience of his son Solomon on the one hand and the greatness and importance of the work of building the temple on the other. The temple is a building “not for man, but for the LORD God”. We too must realize our weakness and incompetence well if we compare our strengths and possibilities with the greatness of the church of the living God. It is nothing less than the house of God.

We know that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19). Our body, like the temple in Jerusalem, is not for a man, not for ourselves, but for God. When we realize this, we also realize how weak we are to live in accordance with it. Is it our desire to take this into account in all respects?

The same applies to the church which is also the dwelling place of God in the Spirit in its entirety (Ephesians 2:22). This is also being built on. The building of the house of God as the church of the living God takes place today by “evangelists, and … pastors and teachers” (Ephesians 4:11). Evangelists deliver “living stones” (1 Peter 2:5), while shepherds and teachers teach these stones to take their place in the house. Also education is up(building).

It is important that every builder is aware of the grandeur of the house he is helping to build. Paul puts it this way: “Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as [coming] from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate [as] servants of a new covenant” (2 Corinthians 3:5-Joshua :). Every worker should have this mind in the house of God.

The materials that David has prepared with all his strength for the house of God (1 Chronicles 29:2) represent something of God. In gold we see God’s glory; in silver the price paid for the atonement; the bronze is a picture of the righteousness of God shown in judgment; the iron represents God’s power (which is perfected in our weakness). David did his contribution out of love.

David mentions what he himself contributed from his own possessions (1 Chronicles 29:3-Deuteronomy :). For us, we can contribute to the building of the church by working for it with the capacities and resources at our disposal. By the way, we got it exactly to use it for the building of God’s house. The question is whether we are prepared to use them for this purpose. This question is put to us: “Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the LORD?” (1 Chronicles 29:5).

David does everything and gives everything because he loves God’s habitation (Psalms 26:8). He calls the house of God three times “the house of my God” (1 Chronicles 29:2-Leviticus :). He loves that house, because it is the house of his God. We can compare his love for God’s house with the love Christ has for his church (Ephesians 5:25), which is also “the church of God” (Acts 20:28). We can also take David as an example for ourselves. If we love the church, we will give everything for our brothers and sisters, because they are loved by God (2 Thessalonians 2:13; cf. 1 John 3:16).

David has lost nothing of his enthusiasm for God’s house. As he used to dance before the ark (2 Samuel 6:14), so he is full of God’s dwelling place here. He is in this an example for the whole people. After giving the example of giving for God’s house David asks who is willing to give. We can only ask others to do something for the Lord if we do so ourselves.

The expression “to consecrate himself” is literally “to fill his hand”, an expression used in the ordination of Aaron and his sons (Exodus 28:41). The words “ordain them” used there literally are “fill their hand”. Here we see that giving for the building of God’s house is on the same level as being ordained a priest. That is how high God praises giving for His house.

Verses 6-9

Voluntary Gifts From the Rulers

David’s good example and moves the hearts and hands of the heads of the families and leaders of the people (1 Chronicles 29:6-Judges :). They also give voluntarily. Good example does follow well and love does give. At the building of the tabernacle we see the same willingness (Exodus 35:20-Joel :).

The precious stones are given for the treasury of the temple and thus entrusted to the care of the Gershonite Jehiel (1 Chronicles 29:8). It says of the descendants of Jehiel that they are in charge of the treasures of the temple (1 Chronicles 26:20-Song of Solomon :). Precious stones all have a different color. A precious stone speaks of the believer who in his own unique way reflects something of the manifold glory of Christ. The Lord Jesus gives His gifts to the church to ensure that the believers reflect that glory. Every reflection of Christ in His own is a contribution to the treasures of God’s house.

Giving by the leaders brings joy in its turn with the people (1 Chronicles 29:9). From David we read that he rejoices “greatly”. True leaders set a good example for the commitment to God’s house to promote its building and furnishing. This commitment is ‘highly appreciated’ by the Lord Jesus. It is a joy for His heart when He sees that we are committed to the house of God, when it has priority in our lives because it has priority for God. He would like us to work hard to ensure that everything in the church answers to Who He is and that only God’s honor has a place there.

The gifts are done “for the service for the house of God” (1 Chronicles 29:7), for “the treasury of the house of the LORD” (1 Chronicles 29:8) and “to the LORD” (1 Chronicles 29:9). This shows in an impressive way how in their giving both the house of the LORD and He Himself stands before the attention. It is about Him and His house.

This also applies to the church today. In all things, the Lord and His church should come first. It is to be hoped that it is also the case with us as Paul says of the church in Macedonia: “They first gave themselves to the Lord and [then] to us by the will of God” (2 Corinthians 8:5).

Verses 10-13

David Praises the LORD

When David sees all this voluntarism, it brings him to a hymn of praise to the LORD. He calls him “God of Israel our father”. With this he emphasizes God as the God of promises, the God Who does what He has promised, and Israel as the people He has blessed. The praise for what has been given can only be sung when we realize that everything we give is of God and comes from Him.

In his praise David does not tell God what he and the princes have given, but what God has given. He attributes to God unlimited greatness
1. in time: “forever and ever” (1 Chronicles 29:10),
2. in space: “in the heavens and the earth” (1 Chronicles 29:11); and
3. in authority: ‘raised as head above all things’ (1 Chronicles 29:11).
All belongs to the LORD, He has all power, and all things come from Him.

When people are big and strong, it is through Him. It enables them to create great works. In everything He enables, His glorious Name becomes visible. Whenever and wherever that Name is visible and perceived, there can be nothing but praise to Him.

Verses 14-16

Everything Is From and for the LORD

Opposite the majesty of the LORD David humbles himself. He pronounces it: “Who am I?” His life has been a chain of misery. Saul who wanted to get rid of him, his adultery with Bathsheba, his murder of Uriah, his sons’ revolt against him and their rivalry among themselves. He also knows the people over whom he has been king when he says: “Who are my people?” In the light of all this, he is overwhelmed by the work of God’s grace in his heart and in the heart of his people.

What we give, we may give back, overwhelmed by His blessings. The reason to the hymn of praise is the awareness of the smallness of oneself against the greatness and majesty of God, His goodness and blessings. In this case, it is not about smallness due to one’s own badness. The heart of David is humble. He is only a hatch. We have nothing that we have not received (1 Corinthians 4:7). Everything are borrowed goods. We give it to Him because it belongs to Him.

This applies not only to our possessions, but also to our willingness to serve and worship Him. What we give and the mind in which we give, both come from Him, they are worked by Him in our hearts. There is nothing we can boast of. All glory is from Him and through Him and to Him.

It is a beautiful sight: this old saint, so used and honored by God, sees himself at the end of his life as totally null and humble. There is no glory with David for everything he has done and accomplished. How many people boast of all their achievements precisely at the end of their lives.

David compares the brevity of life with “a shadow”. We have other comparisons in God’s Word regarding the brevity of life:
1. James speaks about life as “a vapor” (James 4:14).
2. Peter compares life to “the flower of grass” (1 Peter 1:24).
3. Job says of his days: “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle” (Job 7:6).
4. David also says that the LORD made his days “[as] handbreadths” and that “every man at his best is a mere breath” (Psalms 39:5).

It is important that we realize that there is no strength in us. All strength is with God and we are totally dependent on Him. Also what we give, we can only give because He gave us first. This means that everything that is useful to God’s house must be of Divine origin. We may have good ideas for the functioning of the church, but the question is where these ideas come from.

We must therefore always apply the test of the Word of God to know whether a particular contribution or change we desire comes from God and has His approval. This will save us from introducing things that put man and his experience central, rather than the Lord Jesus and His honor.

The truth that everything we have comes from God is the basis for the teaching of stewardship. We must always and in all things remember that everything belongs to Him (Psalms 24:1) and that this means that what we have is temporarily entrusted to us and that we have it to use for Him. We are His slaves (Luke 17:10).

The Lord gives us things to make us know the joy that comes from giving to Him. God Himself needs nothing (Psalms 50:10-2 Kings :). When we give, we do what He does, for He is the great Giver. He has given everything in that supreme gift, His Son, the Lord Jesus. God has given Him out of love for the world (John 3:16). Shall we not say from the bottom of our hearts: “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15)?

Verses 17-19

Prayer for the People and for Solomon

David knows that with God, whom he calls “my God”, it is about the heart (1 Chronicles 29:17). From his personal relationship with God, he knows that God sees “the integrity” of his heart. He expresses to God his joy because of the voluntariness of the people. This is an important indication for us to thank the Lord especially for what He does in others. At the same time we must pray, as David does, that such a mind will always remain in the other person's heart (1 Chronicles 29:18). It will also be necessary to pray for ourselves. It is important to pray that the heart is turned toward the Lord Jesus, as David does for the people.

It is always about the heart. David also prays for his son that the LORD will give him “a perfect heart” to do what He says (1 Chronicles 29:19). He does not pray for his son that God will make him rich, or learned, or great. His prayer is that his heart will forever be completely devoted to the LORD.

This will be expressed in
1. obedience to God’s commandments and then in
2. the performance of the task assigned to him.
Here we see an important order. First obedience is mentioned and then the works. Obedience is a mind. If the good mind is present, there can also be worked well. Let us pray this prayer of David for his son also for our children.

Verses 20-21

All the Assembly Praises the LORD

After David has praised the LORD, he calls upon the people to praise the LORD. That is what the people do. They kneel and bow down before Him and also before David the king. The king is the representative of the LORD. Their praise is followed by an abundance of sacrifices. The hearts of the people are so filled with God’s greatness and grace that they spontaneously bring Him an abundance of sacrifices and burnt offerings with drink offerings.

If we are full of all that God has done in our lives and what He still does in His church today, we will glorify Him and make Him great. We do this by telling Him much about the Lord Jesus, for He is the Sacrifice that is represented in all these sacrifices (Hebrews 10:5-2 Samuel :). All the sacrifices of the Old Testament are meaningful to God only because they represent and point forward to the one sacrifice of His Son.

Verses 22-25

Solomon Anointed

On an earlier occasion the people have eaten and drunk without the LORD and connected with idolatry (Exodus 32:2-Judges :). Here they eat and drink “before the LORD”, He is there. On this occasion Solomon is made king for the second time, now to take place on the throne. David has already made Solomon king earlier (1 Chronicles 23:1) and thereby fulfilled the purpose of God, but here he rules practically over all the people.

In the same way, the Lord Jesus has already been made by God “both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36), but only later will He actually accept His dominion and will every tongue confess that He is Lord (Philippians 2:11).

At the same time as Solomon’s anointing, Zadok is anointed as priest. Zadok is the faithful priest who God would raise up (1 Samuel 2:35). Solomon and Zadok together are a picture of the Lord Jesus as the King-Priest (Zechariah 6:13).

The throne on which Solomon sits is here called “the throne of the LORD”, which indicates the origin and authority of the throne. This distinguishes this throne from all the thrones of the peoples around Israel and also from the throne of Saul. The throne of Solomon is the throne of Him, who is “more than Solomon” (Matthew 12:42). The Lord Jesus will sit on the throne of God when God’s time has come. Everything with Solomon comes from God. That indicates what God will do with the Lord Jesus.

When Solomon sits on the throne of the LORD, all Israel listens to him. All who have served David and also all the sons of king David recognize him as king. What a joy and consolation it must have been for David, that after so many misery with his sons they unite here under the reign of Solomon.

Verses 26-30

David Dies

The chronicler concludes his description of David’s life with the words: “Now David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel” (1 Chronicles 29:26). This review of David’s life and also the description of his death are consistent with the purpose of the books of Chronicles, which describes history as God likes to remember it, that is to say, history as it proceeds according to His purposes. David’s failure at the end of his life is also ignored here. The greatest possible fullness of life lies behind him and we see a son succeeding him. This wonderful way of saying goodbye to life is rare in the Old Testament.

It is remarkable that the mention “David the son of Jesse” appears both here and at the beginning of the description of David’s reign (1 Chronicles 10:14). The description of David’s life seems to have been wrapped up by these two mentions.

He reigned a total of forty years (1 Chronicles 29:27), just like Saul. Solomon will also reign for forty years. The number forty is the number of trial. Saul, David, and Solomon were given the same period of trial, regardless of their character.

Everything in David’s life and death speaks of God’s “the faithful mercies shown to David” (Isaiah 55:3). They are not limited to his life and death. Paul quotes this verse to show that these proofs of grace are also seen from the dead in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus (Acts 13:34). In the true Son of David and His reign all that is shown to David finds his fulfillment. David is waiting for that fulfillment, as well as all who have died in faith in God’s promises.

David dies “in a ripe old age, full of days, riches and honor” (1 Chronicles 29:28). This means that by all that God has given to Solomon (1 Chronicles 29:25) and that which he himself has given to God’s house, he has not become less and poorer. If we look at the end of David, it is hard to say what shines brighter here: the setting or rising sun.

To conclude the description of David’s life, the author of the books of Chronicles indicates from which sources he drew, led by God’s Spirit (1 Chronicles 29:29). He refers to three prophets who wrote down David’s life: the seer Samuel, the prophet Nathan and the seer Gad. In their histories they have written about David’s kingdom and power, and about the events of him, of Israel, and of the other kingdoms (1 Chronicles 29:30).

The mentioned writings (1 Chronicles 29:29) have not been preserved. Samuel anointed David as king (1 Samuel 16:13). Nathan speaks to David on behalf of God about the building of the temple (1 Chronicles 17:1-Ezra :; 2 Samuel 7:1-Esther :) and rebukes David for his sin with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:1-2 Kings :). Gad rebukes David for the census (2 Samuel 24:10-2 Chronicles :; 1 Chronicles 21:9-:).

When we think of “the circumstances which came on him” and “on Israel” (1 Chronicles 29:30), we can think of persecution, of trial, of danger of death, of sorrow and of joy. In relation to all these circumstances David says: “My times are in Your hand” (Psalms 31:15; cf. Job 24:1). “All the kingdoms of the lands” (cf. 2 Chronicles 12:8; 2 Chronicles 17:102 Chronicles 20:29) are the kingdoms with which the Israelites came into contact at the time of David.

With the death of David 1 Chronicles ends. In this Bible book almost all attention is focused on king David. In contrast to the description in 2 Samuel, the sins of this king are hardly mentioned here. David is here rather the prince who is God-fearing and is therefore richly blessed. The blessing consists of numerous military victories, which makes him the ruler of an immense realm and gives him fabulous riches.

He does not use these blessings for his own benefit, but makes them available for what he considers the highest goal for Israel: the building of the temple. He is not allowed to do this work himself, but he does do everything he can to prepare it. He gives a large part of his wealth, motivates the people to voluntarily give up a part of their abundance, and introduces Solomon, the future temple-builder, to the people.

The first book of Chronicles presents David as the one who focuses on the building of the temple and thus on the honor of God. In this sense he is the ideal prince, who does not seek his own honor, but the honor of God. In the period after the exile – the time in which the books of Chronicles were written – this description of David must have been strongly appealing. In that period there is attention for the improvement of the temple service and for a stronger focus on the LORD.

Also, the example of the wealthy king David making his riches available for the glory of God will have stimulated the desire for a new David. A few centuries later the Lord Jesus comes as a Servant, but in the future He will come as a Prince. He is as no other focused on God.

Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op 1 Chronicles 29". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/1-chronicles-29.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.
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