I Chronicles 22


From the commencement of this chapter to the close of the First Book of

the Chronicles we again travel alone, and, with the exception of parallel

passages of a merely ordinary character, have no longer the assistance of

comparing different descriptions of the same stretches of history. The

present chapter relates;


o       David’s interested and zealous preparations for the

building of the temple (vs. 1-5);

o       his exhortations and solemn charge to his son and successor

(vs. 6-16); and afterwards

o       his injunctions to the “princes of Israel” (vs. 17-19) to help



1 “Then David said, This is the house of the LORD God, and this is the

altar of the burnt offering for Israel.”  This verse evidently belongs to the close

of the last’ chapter, and should have had its place there. It indicates a deep sense

of relief that now visited David’s mind. We can imagine how he had pondered

often and long the “place where” of the “exceeding magnificent” house which

it was in his heart to build for the Lord. The place was now found, and the

more unexpected and “dreadful” (Genesis 28:17) the method by which it was

arrived at, the more convincing and satisfactory, at all events in some

points of view. The extraordinary and impressive designating of this spot

was in itself a signal for an active commencement of the work, and made at

the same time such commencement practicable. Solomon and many others

would afterwards often think, often speak, of the “threshing-floor of Ornan

the Jebusite as the place “which was shown to David his father,” and

which “David had prepared” (II Chronicles 3:1). Here, then, he builds

the altar of burnt offering,” as, on the neighboring “hill of Zion,” he had

reared the “tabernacle for the ark.


2 “And David commanded to gather together the strangers” - These are

plainly called in the Septuagint “proselytes” (tou<v proshlu<touv tous

prosaelutous - ). They were, of course, foreign workmen, who came in pursuit

of their trade. The injunctions as to “strangers,” and with regard to showing

them kindness, are very numerous, beginning with Exodus 12:19,48-49; 22:21;

23:9; Leviticus 19:10,33-34; Deuteronomy 10:18-19; Joshua 8:33-35.

It was not David’s object merely to gain cheap or compulsory work (II Chronicles

2:17-18), but to obtain a skill, which immigrants from certain places would possess,

in excess of that of his own people (Ibid. ch.2:7-8,13-14), especially considering

the absorption of Israel in the pursuit of war, which had so largely impeded their

study and practice of these the arts of peace - “that were in the land of Israel;

and he set masons to hew wrought stones to build the house of God.”



3 “And David prepared iron in abundance for the nails for the doors of the

gates, and for the joinings; and brass in abundance without weight;”  The

very first Bible mention of metals (Genesis 4:22) places these  two together.

Whence Solomon got his “abundance” of the latter we have read in ch.18:8;

for the “abundance’ of the former he would not necessarily go further than

his own land. Although the expression, “the land whose stones are iron”

(Deuteronomy 8:9), is possibly enough a poetical figure where it stands, yet

some of the force of the figure may have sprung from its nearness to fact.

The abundant use of iron in a great variety of tools, implements, weapons,

and the knowledge of it in bar and sheet, might be illustrated from a large

number of quotations from Scripture (Deuteronomy 19:5; 27:5; II Samuel

12:31; II Kings 6:5; Isaiah 10:34; Amos 1:3; and many others). The joinings

were the clamps and plates of various size and shape, which held strongly

together, whether beams of wood or blocks of stone.


4 “Also cedar trees in abundance: for the Zidonians and they of Tyre” –

(see I Kings 5:6, 9, 13-18’; II Chronicles 2:16-18). The interesting passages

in Homer, Herodotus, and Strabo, which speak of Zidon, etc., are in entire

accord with what is here said, and are well worth perusal; e.g. ‘Iliad,’ 6:289-295,

“And she descended to the vaulted chamber, where were the garments all

embroidered, the works of women of Sidon, whom the godlike Alexander

himself brought from Sidon when he crossed the wide sea, by the way that

he brought Helen of noble lineage;” ‘Iliad,’ 23. 743, 744, “And this vessel

was of unsurpassed fame for beauty over all the land, for the men of Sidon,

cunning artificers, had skilfully wrought it, and Phoenicians had brought it

over the dark sea;” ‘Odyssey,’ 4:615-618, “And it was all silver, but the

borders were mingled with gold. It was the work of Hephaestus. The

illustrious Phademus, King of the Sidonians, gave it me when his palace

sheltered me on my return thither;” ‘Odyssey,’ 15:424, “I boast to come

from Sidon, famed for its skill in the working of brass.” Similar references

may be found in Herodotus (7:44, 96) and Strabo (16:2, § 23) – “brought

much cedar wood to David.”


5 “And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender,” -  It is impossible

to fix the exact age of Solomon as marked by these words. In a “fragment” of

Eupolemus (see Cory’s ‘Ancient Fragments of the Phoenician,’ etc., Writers,’ edit.

London, 1832) he is put down at twelve years of age. Josephus (‘Ant. Jud.,’ 8:7, § 8)

as vaguely supposes he was fourteen at the time that he took the throne. He was the

second son of Bathsheba, and can scarcely have exceeded the last-mentioned age

by mere than three or four years (yet compare I Kings 2:2; 3:1, 7). This same language,

young and tender,” is repeated in ch.29:1. The reign of Solomon lasted forty years

(I Kings 11:42; II Chronicles 9:30). He is called old (I Kings 11:4) when his strange

wives “turned away his heart after other gods.” We are not told his age at the

time of his death. There are, in fact, no sufficient data for fixing to the year, or indeed

within the liberal margin of several years, the age now designated as young and tender-

and the house that is to be builded for the LORD must be exceeding

magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will therefore now

make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death.” 

6  Then he called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build an house for

the LORD God of Israel.”


7 “And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind

to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God:” (Compare ch.17:1-2;

II Samuel 7:2-3.) For my son, the Chethiv shows “his son,” the Keri substituting “my.”


8 “But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Thou hast shed

blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build

an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon

the earth in my sight.”  Because thou hast shed much blood. This is repeated

very distinctly below (ch.28:3), and appears there again as acknowledged by the

lip of David himself. It seems remarkable that no previous statement of this

objection, nor even allusion to it, is found.  Further, there seems no very opportune

place for it in either our ch.17:1-15 or in II Samuel 7:1-17. Yet, if it seem impossible

to resist the impression that it must have found expression on the occasion

referred to in those two passages, we may fit it in best between vs. 10 and 11 of

the former reference, and between vs. 11 and 12 in Samuel.  So far, however, as

our Hebrew text goes, this is the first place in which the statement is made.



The Stain of Blood (v.8)


We distinctly read here, as also in the stricter parallel of this place (ch.28:3), that it

was because David had “shed blood abundantly,” had “shed much blood on

the earth” in the sight of God, had “made great wars,” that the word of the Lord

came to him, saying, “Thou shalt not build an house to my Name.” After the

death of David we find Solomon — so far as we may go by his language — seeming

to put a somewhat different shade of interpretation on the matter. He does not,

indeed, say anything different from the truth, or necessarily inconsistent with it; but

perhaps moved by a son’s filial dutifulness, he purposes to omit those

aspects which were the more painful aspects, and grievous to a son’s lip to

enlarge upon. He says (I Kings 5:3), “Thou knowest how that David

my father could not build an house unto the Name of the Lord his God for

the wars which were about him on every side, until the Lord put them under

the soles of his feet.” This version is also quite consistent with the indications of

our compiler (ch.17:1), and with those of II  Samuel 7:1. With one  fuller, however,

and more plain-spoken, from the honest lip of the father himself to his son, not of

the son to the outer world, we have here to do. And we are taught:





THE STRANGE WORK OF HIS PEOPLE. If there be times when these

be necessary, yet are they intrinsically “strange work,” and are emphatically

by the Divine will to be so regarded. The man who has been but the bare

instrument of this kind of thing among his fellow-men on earth, shall not

 be the man whose hands shall be honored to rear the temple of God, the

Church of love and peace, and the perfecter of the brotherhood of humanity.







FOR EVER. Sin may be forgiven, the tyranny of evil habit may be broken,

the usurper of the heart’s throne may be dethroned, circumstance may have

been almost revolutionized; but in hard fact, the things that have been

cannot be made as though they had not been, nor shall we be counted as

though they had not been. Some stains are very stubborn things. And they

are not superstitiously but legitimately regarded such. The stain of blood is

notoriously of this description. Two such contrasts as Cain and David

attest it. Contrasts violent as the savage sacrifices of heathendom through

unnumbered ages and those of revelation illustrate it. But the tremendous

demonstration itself may be held to come from the mark, the sprinkling, the

efficacy of that blood of which they once cried out, let it “be on us and on

our children” (Matthew 27:25).  On these both the dreadful stain of it,

and the infinite virtue of it, have been from time to time, and still are, and

shall be. Yet how many important and solemn illustrations of the same principle

there are which shall fall very far short of those that bloodshed offers, David’s

habit in this sort, nevertheless, our typical warning all the while! The element of

doubtfulness in your profession, your business, your tactics, your line of

well-known conduct awhile, may prove to lie just in this, the irresistible

suspicion which they shall inevitably engender in the better part of human

nature, in its higher instincts — in a word, in the more human portion of

humanity. That suspicion need be voted no freak of caprice, of superstition,

of mock purity. It is a suspicion of the kind safe to incur itself. And it may

be distinctly noted that it is incurred:


Ø      By the unwelcome, unsavoury nature of the actual deeds asked

Or involved. Though haply it be necessary that these be done, yet in

good men’s minds there shall be a veiled revulsion from the touch of

the hand that is the minister of them.


Ø      By the quality of character, which they are plainly calculated

 to beget or to foster. One that may betoken disparagement of thought,

of feeling, of human inalienable rights, which should be held ever sacred.


Ø      By their resolute owning to the endowment of an unavoidable

tenacity of life. They have a name to live, though not an enviable name.

They will make their name to be heard when their doer would heartily

wish they had never lived at all. They insist on reappearing, and brighten

out to vision at times the most inopportune.





AND VICTORY. The force of the lessons suggested to us by this passage

certainly suffer no loss when we note an inconsistency which justifies itself

in the very speaking of it. Vengeance, retribution, ultimate punishment,

human blood, human life, lie all specially within the one supreme

jurisdiction. And though doubtless God devolves the execution of these

into the hands of others, the right of them he does not devolve. For David,

for kings, for statesmen, for every man, the danger is that he encroach a

hair’s breadth upon such a right. Now the Lord of hosts, THE GOD of

armies, the mighty Man of war, the Captain, the Avenger, the glorious

Victor, is HE ALONE to whom could safely attach the vast trust of human

life and destiny, and the prerogative of the unquestioned disposition of them.

It is He who, those titles of His own notwithstanding, pronounces the word

that David shall not be the honored builder of the temple, that olden type

of the Church. Not because the object was not a good one, not because the

purpose of David’s heart was an impure or mingled one, but because it had

fallen so often to David to pour on the ground the life-blood of his fellows

WHICH THE CHURCH COMES TO SAVE, therefore was the prohibition

peremptory. Nor is any respite of allowance granted to the indisputable

fact, that many of David’s wars had been under Divine sanction and by

Divine command. Yet is there herein no mystery of Divine sovereignty to

be pondered, no inscrutableness of “the things hidden” to be adored. For

human feeling, human instinct, reason’s convictions and calmest utterances

justify and approve the verdict.


9 “Behold, a son shall be born” -  This is not the necessary translation of the verb.

The form dl;wOn does not express here future time. Solomon was already born when

the word of the Lord came to David - “to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and

I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be

Solomon,” -  On the other hand, we may suppose special  emphasis to belong to

the clause, His name shall be Solomon. The name designates the man of peace,

and the clause is an announcement, probably intended to throw further into the shade

the alternative name Jedidiah, which also had been divinely given (II Samuel 12:24-25).

 and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.”


10 “He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be

his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel  for ever.” 

The substance of this verse is found also in Nathan’s language  (ch.17:12-13; II Samuel

7:13-14).  11  “Now, my son, the LORD be with thee; and prosper thou, and

build the house of the LORD thy God, as He hath said of thee.”


12 “Only the LORD give thee wisdom and understanding, and give

thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the law of the

LORD thy God.”  The father’s prayer for the son, and in his hearing, will have

often recurred to the memory of Solomon, and may have been the germ of

the son’s own prayer, which “pleased the Lord” (I Kings 3:5-14;

II Chronicles 1:7-12).


13 “Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes

and judgments which the LORD charged Moses with concerning

Israel:” -  The references to olden time, and the pointed reference to Moses,

must be regarded as emphatic. In ch.28:20 we find the additional words,

and do it,” inserted after the animated and intensely earnest exhortation,

be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed.”

This inspiriting summons was no new one. It was probably already hallowed

in the name of religious language, and would be often quoted (Deuteronomy 4:1;

31:5-8; Joshua 1:5-9).



Conditions of Prosperity (vs.12-13)


Solomon was distinctly informed that continuance of prosperity depended

entirely on his continuing faithfulness to Jehovah. The “throne of his

kingdom was to be established for ever  (v.10), but only then should he

prosper, if he “took heed to fulfil the statutes and judgments which the Lord

charged Moses with concerning Israel (v.13).  God’s positions for His servants,

and promises to them, are always dependent on conditions; no Divine

promise is ever unqualified. None fail to take into due consideration the

character and the conduct of those to whom the promise is made. Illustrate

by the great covenant made with Israel; by the assurances given to Joshua

(Joshua 1:7); and by such prophetic declarations as Isaiah 1:18-19;

55:1-3, 6-7. There is always an if attached to the Lord’s promise, but

it is always virtually the same if — “if ye be willing and obedient.” We may

say that there are four conditions on which prosperity is dependent.


  • WE MUST WORK FOR GOD. Having this as our supreme aim; and

not being, even in any subtle ways, set upon mere self-seeking. Full loyalty

to this supreme motive is quite consistent with giving due place to inferior

motives. And the daily culture of spiritual life bears directly on this

working for God; keeping ourselves ever as in the “great Taskmaster’s eye.”



Of faith, as trust, making us lean on Divine strength; and devotion as

keeping our souls fully open to Divine influence. Carrying the spirit of

prayer into daily work.



that written in the Book, and that ever freshly written by the Spirit on the

fleshy tables of the heart.” (II Corinthians 3:3)



and skilfully combining the human powers that guarantee success, with


DEPEND!  The man who trusts most ALWAYS WORKS HARDEST!.

On these conditions the true prosperity must come; but it may be such as

men will not so name.


14 “Now, behold, in my trouble” -  The Septuagint, Vulgate, and

Luther’s translation adopt here our marginal reading, “poverty.” Keil,

Bertheau, and others translate, with much greater probability, “by severe

effort,” which translation may be fortified, not only by such references as

Genesis 31:43 and Psalm 132:1 (where the same root is found in Pual infinitive),

but by the expression evidently answering to the present one in ch.29:2 (jwOKAlk;B),

with all my strength.”  Moreover, David could not with correctness speak of

poverty as characterizing his condition during the time that he had been collecting for

the object of his heart’s desire. And scarcely with any greater correctness

could he speak of the necessary anxieties and responsibilities of his royal

office as at all specially marking this period -  “I have prepared for the house

of the LORD an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand

thousand talents of silver;” - Our sense of dissatisfaction in being able neither

heartily to accept nor conclusively to reject this statement of the quantities of gold

and silver prepared by David, may be lessened in some degree by the statement

found in v.16, that “of the gold, the silver, and the brass, and the iron, there

is no number.”  Milman, in his ‘History of the Jews’ (1. 266, 267, edit. 1830),

says upon the general subject of this verse, “But enormous as this wealth (i.e. that of

Solomon) appears, the statement of his expenditure on the temple, and of

his annual revenue, so passes all credibility, that any attempt at forming a

calculation, on the uncertain data we possess, may at once be abandoned as

a hopeless task. No better proof can be given of the uncertainty of our

authorities, of our imperfect knowledge of the Hebrew weights of money,

and, above all, of our total ignorance of the relative value which the

precious metals bore to the commodities of life, than the estimate made by

Dr. Prideaux of the treasures left by David, amounting to eight hundred

millions, nearly the capital of our national debt.” (meaning England a couple

of hundred years ago – CY – 2012).  It must be noted, however, that Milman

himself proceeds, when speaking of “the sources of the vast wealth which Solomon

undoubtedly possessed,” to bring very enormous sums (whether somewhat less or

even somewhat more than the above estimate of Dr. Prideaux) more within the range

of the possible, to our imagination. He justly remarks, for instance, that it is to be

remembered that “the treasures of David were accumulated rather by

conquest than traffic, that some of the nations he subdued, particularly the

Edomites, were very wealthy. All the tribes seem to have worn a great deal

of gold and silver, both in their ornaments and in their armor; their idols

were often of gold; and the treasuries of their temples, perhaps, contained

considerable wealth. But during the reign of Solomon, almost the whole

commerce of the world passed into his territories.” After substantiating by

details these and similar positions (pp. 267-271), he sums up, “It was from

these various sources of wealth that the precious metals and all other

valuable commodities were in such abundance that, in the figurative

language of the sacred historian, ‘silver was in Jerusalem as stones, and

cedar trees as sycamores.’” Since the date of Milman’s words just quoted,

however, investigation of ancient weights and measures, and of those of

Scripture, has made some advance, yet not sufficient to enable us to arrive

at any certainty as to those of our present passage. Assuming that the text

of our present verse is not corrupt, and that the figures which it gives are

correct, the weight and the value of the gold and silver mentioned are very

great, whatever the talent in question. This assumption, however, cannot

be relied upon, and it seems scarcely legitimate to interpret the talent as

any than the Hebrew talent, considering the silence observed as regards any

other. It need not be said here that the exchanges of money value were

estimated in these times by so much weight of gold or silver. Further, “the

shekel of the sanctuary” (Exodus 30:13; Leviticus 27:3), possibly

the same with “the shekel after the king’s weight” (II Samuel 14:26),

and which was kept in the tabernacle, and afterwards in the temple — was

presumably the standard. The gold talent was double the weight of the

silver talent. It weighed 1,320,000 grains, instead of 660,000. The silver

talent contained 50 manehs, of 60 shekels each; but the gold talent

contained 100 manehs, of 100 shekels each. The modern money

equivalents of these weights are very uncertain. Both the silver and the

gold talent have been very variously calculated in this relation. Some of the

best authorities put the silver talent at £342 3s. 9d., and the gold at £5475.

This would make the money value described by this verse nearly nine

hundred millions of our money (200 years ago – CY – 2012).  Other estimates

are considerably in excess of this sum, and but few fall below it. Vast as the sum is,

we may be helped in some degree to accept it by the statement of Pliny, who

(‘Nat. Hist.,’ 32:15) tells us that Cyrus, in his subjugation of Asia, took half as many

talents of silver as are here mentioned, and thirty-four thousand pounds of

gold (see articles in Smith’s ‘Bible Dictionary,’ on “Money,” and on”

Weights and Measures”). Among the most valuable works on these

subjects are De Saulcy’sNumismatique Judaique,’ and F. Madden’s

‘Jewish Coinage.’ - “and of brass and iron without weight; for

it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and thou

mayest add thereto.”


15 “Moreover there are workmen with thee in abundance, hewers and

workers of stone and timber, and all manner of cunning men for

every manner of work.”  So too ch.28:21; II Chronicles 2:7,17-18; as

well as vs. 2-4 of the present chapter.


16 “Of the gold, the silver, and the brass, and the iron, there is no

number. Arise therefore, and be doing,” -  The first and last words of Ezra

10:4 are found here, and note may be made of the similarity of the expression -

 and the LORD be with thee.”



Be Doing (v. 16)


When David had done all that lay in his power, he commended the rest to

his son Solomon. The son was not to rest in indolence because the father

had wrought with zeal and given with liberality. Nor, because assured of

the approval and the help of Heaven, was he to remit diligence and

devotion. This David clearly impressed upon him in addressing to Solomon

the brief but stirring admonition of the text: “Arise, and be doing, and the

Lord be with thee.” The summons may well be addressed to EVERY



  • MAN’S NATURE IS ACTIVE. We are made, not only to think and to

feel, but to do. The contemplative man, if his contemplations have no

influence upon his life, is justly despised. “In all labor there is profit”

(Proverbs 14:23).  “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with

thy might.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10)



The world in which we find ourselves corresponds to the nature with which

we are endowed. In every position of life there is a loud call for activity.

Without exertion and labor no good can be accomplished.



sloth of men may sometimes misinterpret religion; may endeavor to

persuade them that all they need is to believe the truth, and to feel deeply

when religious truth is addressed to them. But the Scriptures give no

countenance to such errors, but teach us to “show our faith by our works”

( James 2:18), and so prove the sincerity of our love.



He both did the will of His Father and taught men to do likewise. This was

His meat and drink (John 4:34); of this He never wearied. “He wrought

the works of Him that sent Him while it was day.” (Ibid. 9:4)




 inspires, directs, and prospers the labous of His people.


These next three verses contain David’s command, accompanied by

urgent argument, to the princes of Israel, to render their hearty assistance.


17 “David also commanded all the princes” -  i.e. those who held positions

of authority as commanders, leaders, elders, heads of tribes, and chiefs of the fathers

(ch. 23:2; 27:22; 28:1) -  “of Israel to help Solomon his son, saying,”


18 “Is 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

mine hand; and the land is subdued before the LORD, and before

His people.”  The whole of this verse should have been suggestive of

memories thrilling with interest. What David says here is equivalent to the

declaration of the perfect fulfillment of the promises of NINE HUNDRED

YEARS AGO!   By faith of those very promises how many generations had lived!

What journeyings, suspense, punishment, and struggle, the intervening

centuries had witnessed! And now at last it is given to the lip of the aged

David to pronounce the termination of a nation’s prolonged conflict, its

entrance into peace, and the fulfillment of the most impassioned wishes,

imaginings, end prayers of the patriarchs, of Moses, and of a long line of

the faithful. It was well for David that he could not foresee and did not



PROLONGED DECAY!   The analogy that obtains in this respect between

the history of an individual and of a nation is as remarkable as it should be

instructive and turned to the uses of warning.  (See Deuteronomy 6:1-12)



Rest on Every Side (v. 18)


David had a word of encouragement, not only for his son, but for the princes of

the kingdom. Solomon would need their aid in achieving his great undertaking.

The king pointed out to them that the PEACE  and PROSPERITY established

 by DIVINE PROVIDENCE were an indication of His will that, relieved from

foreign anxieties, they should devote themselves to the service of Jehovah at

home, in their own land, their own capital. “Hath be not given you rest on

 every side?”



not rest from labor; that, except for temporary relaxation, is, for the most

part, not desirable in this world, where so much has to be done for God

and for man.  (The idle mind is the devil’s workshop – H.G. Bohn – CY –

2012)  It was rest from their enemies, rest from war, rest from

hindrances, disturbances, harassments; from the aboriginal inhabitants of

the land, and from the heathen tribes and nations around. It is a blessing

 for any nation to be at peace.



SECURED. The reign of David had been, on the whole, one of strife and

warfare. Such a condition of things was not desirable on its own account,

for its own sake. The end of effort, counsel, even war itself, is the rest of

peace.  (I once felt all that kind of anger, which a man ought to feel, against

the mean principles that are held by the Tories: a noted one, who kept a

tavern at Amboy, was standing at his door, with as pretty a child in his hand,

about eight or nine years old, as I ever saw, and after speaking his mind as

freely as he thought was prudent, finished with this unfatherly expression,

“Well! give me peace in my day.” Not a man lives on the continent but

fully believes that a separation must some time or other finally take place,

and a generous parent should have said, “If there must be trouble,

let it be in my day, that my child may have peace;” and this single

reflection, well applied, is sufficient to awaken every man to duty –

excerpt from Thomas Paine’s THE CRISIS – CY – 2012)



INTENDED. Not for sloth, luxury, and self-indulgence; but in

order that the work of God may go forward unhindered, and with

growing and conspicuous prosperity. It was a noble use to which the

peaceful reign of Solomon was put — the erection of the temple unto

the Lord. And whenever God in His providence grants a nation rest on


 to see whether the precious opportunity will be used aright for the

development of national resources, for the advancement of education

and social well-being, and for the furtherance of genuine and practical

religion.  (Contrast America’s selfish obsession with “individual


HOLY WORD - CY – 2012)


19 “Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God;

arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the LORD God, to

bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and the holy vessels of

God,”   To settle these in a fixed home had now been of a long

time the consuming desire of David’s heart (so ch.15:1; II Chronicles 5:2-4).

Into the house that is to be built. The preposition l instead of la,, before

the house,” is to be noticed here (ch. 25:6; Nehemiah 10:35) - “into the

house that is to be built to the name of the LORD.”  Also the

Niphal participle, h"n,b]Gih", here translated “that is to be built,” is to be

noticed. The meaning of David would be better met probably thus: “Arise,

build the sanctuary… to bring the ark… into the house (then) builded to the

Name of the Lord.”



Work for God Must be Done with Heart and Soul (v.19)


“Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God.” Scripture

uses several terms for the composite being, man, but it may be questioned

whether, without undue forcing, we can form, on a Scripture basis, either a

dualistic or tripartite theory of man’s being. We find the term body, as

indicating the physical being, set in relations with an external world by its

five senses; the term heart, as inclusive of the mind and the affections, set

in relations with the world of thought, and the world of fellow human

beings; and the term soul, as the equivalent of that spiritual being which is

set in relation with God, and has its life only in Him. But, though these may

be the stricter meanings and uses of these terms, they are often used in

Scripture as figures of speech; and a man is said to work with his heart

when he likes to do what he is undertaking, and a man is said to do a thing

with his soul when he does it with a will, with energy and perseverance. It

will afford some effective contrasts to consider conceivable ways of

working for God, and the illustrations of each will be at once suggested, so

that they will need no more than statement.


  • WORK FOR GOD MAY BE BY ACCIDENT; either of place, or

circumstance, or association.



illustrated in the case of Cyrus, of whom God says, “I girded thee,

though thou hast not known me”  (Isaiah 45:5).   God makes even

the “wrath of man praise Him” (Psalm 76:10); and bad men have,

unwillingly, done His sovereign will.



SELF; one who seeks only’ his own ends may find that, without credit or

blessing to himself, he has really served God.



like the transplanted people of Samaria,  “fear the Lord, and serve other

gods.”  (II Kings 17:33)





DEVOTION. Of such work for God the LORD JESUS CHRIST

PRESENTS THE HIGHEST TYPE  but the example is — as a

human example, WITHIN HUMAN REACH!



 The Aged King’s Charge to His Son


the Princes of the Kingdom (vs. 6-19)


The language of David to his son here, and shortly afterwards to the princes of the

kingdom, indicate well his recognition and lively memory of the fact that stone and

wood, gold and iron, will need willing hands, earnest minds, devoted hearts, and that

even the best material of doctrine and truth will lie dead without the energy of the will

and the living Spirit. The present utterances of David’s lips, though somewhat various,

go together to make what may still be correctly called one charge.


  • ADVICE FOR SOLOMON.  David’s charge to his son Solomon will furnish

us with the conditions of all successful work done in the Name of Christ and for

the extension of His kingdom. We may remark, preliminarily, that our leisure time

cannot be better spent than in Christian work. Solomon was to have time for

internal administration. His father had defeated and subdued all the national

enemies. In the midst of protracted “peace and quietness” (v. 9) he

would have an ample interval in which to build a house for the Lord. The

time which the labor of others, or our own toil, has secured to us we

spend most admirably when we give it to the direct service of the Divine

Master. The conditions of successful work for Him are:


Ø      Securing Divine Direction.   “Only the Lord give thee wisdom

and understanding” (v.12). David clearly felt, as this “only” indicates,

that everything would utterly fail if God did not grant His Divine

 succor.  That failing, everything must prove to be a failure.


Ø      Ensuring Personal Fitness.   (vs. 7-9.) David was rendered

personally unfit for the work by his much fighting. It was not fitting

that a man of war should build the temple of the God of love. The

two things did not go well together. It was far more becoming that

Solomon, the “man of rest,” should execute this work. Our guilty

past may have been pardoned, our occupation may not be absolutely

wrong, our surroundings may not be censurable, our position may not

be blameworthy, and yet there may be something about one of

 these which makes it unsuitable for us and desirable for some

one else to do the work which is required to be done.


Ø      Maintaining Personal Integrity.  (vs.11-13.) “Prosper thou, and

build the house… that thou mayest keep the Law of the Lord thy

God. Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed,” etc. God

distinctly promised to be Solomon’s Father, and to establish his throne

(v. 10); but this prosperity must depend on loyalty and the

KEEPING OF THE LAW!    Without the maintenance of our

moral and spiritual integrity we cannot expect to be prospered in

any work we do for God.


Ø      Making All Due Preparation.  Solomon would have found

himself overtasked and unable to do as he did if David had not

in his trouble prepared for the house” (vs. 14-16). The aged

king may be said to have laid the foundation of the building by all

the pains he took to collect material and make everything ready for

his son to begin the work. We never strike a better stroke in the

service of God than when we are engaged in the work of preparation.

Moses in Horeb, Paul in Arabia, the Master Himself in the quiet home

in Galilee and the still more quiet resting-place of the mountain-fold and

the seaside of after days, we ourselves in the chamber of communion

and at the study desk, are “working for God,” for we are doing that

which is positively essential to true, abiding issues in the field of Christian



Ø      Acting in Accordance with the Revealed Will of Christ.   “Build

 the house of the Lord… as he hath said of thee (v.11).


Ø      Cherishing the Confidence which is Closely Allied to Strength.

 Be strong, and of good courage” (v. 13).  There is a confidence

which is presumption, and which will be dishonored; but there is a

confidence which is in the truth and in God, and which is a large

element of success. Where the diffident are defeated, the assured and

courageous win. Let the Christian workman fee! that behind him are

Divine promises which “cannot be broken,” and he will advance

boldly and strike successfully.


Ø      Making the Way Plain for Our Successors.   (Vs. 6-16.) Nothing is

more hateful than the spirit of “apres moi le deluge” (After me the

deluge).  No worthy Christian workman will be content unless, like David,

as he considers who and what are to come after him, he feels a devout

thankfulness that he has made a plain path for his successors, in which

they may walk in peace, honor, and usefulness. We may place by itself

as a condition of success which is involved in some of the foregoing, but

yet which deserves to be mentioned separately, cultivating and

exhibiting the spirit of devotion. Three times  in this paternal counsel

does David invoke the presence and blessing of Almighty God (vs.

11-12,16). It is in the spirit of conscious dependence on God and

earnest up-looking to Him for His Divine help (Psalm 30:10)

that the workman of the Lord will render successful service to his

Master and mankind.


  • ADVICE FOR THE PRINCES (vs. 17-19).  We may take the princes

       of Israel as types and representatives of the strong men, the leaders in the

kingdom, or Church, or society of which they are members, those who are

responsible for the measures which are adopted, for the course which is

chosen, (What a concept for the citizens of the United States and the


in this, the 21st century since Jesus Christ – see Isaiah 1:18-20 - CY – 2012)

for the principles which are professed. Thus regarding them, we may gather

from the text:


Ø      That It is the Wisdom of the Strong go gain the favor of God

for themselves and for the community. “Set your heart and your

soul to seek the Lord your God’ (v. 19); i.e. strenuously and

perseveringly endeavor to gain God’s approval, to do His will and

win His smile. That is the “beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10)

and the end of it, IN ALL CASES now, with ALL LEADERS

EVERYWHERE!   They are to do this by:


o       taking earnest heed to His revelation of Himself;

o       accepting Him who is the Manifestation of His mind


o       fashioning their own lives and directing those of others

according to His holy Word.


Ø      That the Wisdom of the Stong is in Making the Most of

Favorable Opportunity.  David urged the princes to activity on

the ground that the time had come for action. “Is not the Lord

your God with you? and hath He not given you rest on every

side?” (v. 18). Now that the energy of the people needed not to be

devoted to the art of war, it was most fitting that it should be given

to the building of a house for the Lord. The time of peace is the hour

of national industry and progress, when the useful arts and religious

 institutions should receive particular attention. (In America of the

last half century, these have been prostituted by our national leaders

in their unwise funding of the NATIONAL ENDOWMENT OF

THE ARTS! – CY – 2012)  It is the part of wise and  conscientious

leaders, in the Church as well as in the state, to watch for the time

of opportunity, to make the utmost of the “golden hour,” to strike when

the blows will tell.  Carefulness or negligence in this matter may make

all the difference between national  success and failure. These are

favorable times for:


o       reorganization,

o       reconciliation,

o       evangelization.


Ø      That It is in the Wisdom of the Strong to Build Up That Which

Holds the Most Sacred Things.   “Build ye 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” (v 19). The princes could

do nothing better for Israel than build the house in which the ark would

abide; for the Lord Himself would dwell above the mercy-seat, and so

long as Israel worshipped purely in the house they were building they

might count on His presence and His favor. Our leaders do well to incite

us to build


o       houses of the Lord in which He Himself will dwell, and receive

the homage of His people and teach them His truth;

o       institutions — Churches, societies, families — in which the holy

principles Christ has taught us shall be incorporated;

o       national character, (As long as America was Christian, she

had this character – shall there not be former citizens of the

United States rise up, like the Queen of Sheba – Matthew 12:42 –

 in the judgment and condemn this generation for their

unbelief? -  CY – 2012) which shall contain and embody those

pure and righteous habits which are found in the life of the great

Exemplar, Jesus Christ. These are of more value than all the

holy vessels” which David’s zeal could collect.



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