I Chronicles 28



The contents of this chapter may be said to form one scene with those of the next up

to v.25. They represent David in the presence of a magnificent company of witnesses,

the flower of the Church, the military and the civil elements of his kingdom, devolving

upon his son both the building of the temple and the throne itself.


1 “And David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the

tribes, and the captains of the companies that ministered to the

king by course, and the captains over the thousands, and captains

over the hundreds, and the stewards over all the substance and

possession of the king, and of his sons, with the officers, and with

the mighty men, and with all the valiant men, unto Jerusalem.”


  • One Hebrew word (yrec) stands for the princes (twice), captains (three

times), and stewards (once) of this verse. The classification of the verse

speaks for itself.  There are the princes of Israel; i.q. the princes of the tribes

(ch.27:16, 22). Otherwise  The former of these expressions may be of an

entirely generic kind, and apply to all that succeeds.


  • There are, secondly, the princes of the twelve military companies… by course

of the months (Ibid. vs.1-15).


  • Thirdly, there are the  princes of thousands and hundreds (Deuteronomy 1:15;

I Samuel 8:12; 17:18; 18:13; ch.12:14; v.1 here).


  • There follow, fourthly, the princes of all the substance and cattle of the king,

 and (as seems to be added here) of his sons. There can be no doubt that the

Hebrew text does say this, and does not merely register the fact of the

attendance and presence of the sons of the king, as also it does not specialize

the attendance of Solomon himself, though it is certain that he was present.

Otherwise it may be doubtful, considering the facts of the occasion, and

comparing ch.29:24, whether the  original document is not misrepresented here.


  • Next, fifthly, mention is made of the officers (μysiyris;), the Hebrew for

Which word generally means “eunuch,” and such use of it must have become

much more familiar during and after the Captivity, and, therefore, of

course, at the time of the compilation of this work; but it does not

necessarily mean it. Eunuchs are never mentioned elsewhere in David’s

reign. There is no reason to suppose the word means “eunuch,” for

instance, in Genesis 37:36; 39:1; I Samuel 8:15; I Kings 22:9;

II Kings 24:12; 25:19; Jeremiah 34:19. Under any circumstances, it

would seem unnecessary that such officers of a royal establishment as

eunuchs should be under summoned that description to an assembly of this



  • Sixthly, the mighty men (ch.11:10-25) were called to the assembly.


  • And perhaps a seventh division may be made of all the valiant men

(ch.11:26-40), who belonged to other places, or who were at this time

more especially in Jerusalem, as residents.


2 “Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my

brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an

house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the

footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building:”  The expression,

David the king stood up upon his feet, probably means to emphasize the fact

that hitherto, having been in a sitting or recumbent position, owing to his age and

infirmity, he now with effort forced himself to stand in the presence of the unusual

congregation and in consideration of what he felt was due to the occasion. He had

not lost the man and the brother in his official and exalted rank, and, he

addresses the congregation as my brethren, and my people. David says

he had it in his heart to build a house of rest, i.e. an abiding house

(Psalm 132:8,14) for the ark of the covenant, instead of the moving

one, and for the footstool of our God. By this he means the mercy-seat, to

which especial allusion is made v.11 (tr,poK"h" tBe). God is often spoken

of as “dwelling between the cherubim,’’ and sometimes (Psalm 99:1) as

sitting between the cherubim,” which were over the lid of the ark, called

the mercy-seat.



Old Men’s Testimony (v.2)


The emphatic sentence, “Then David the king stood up upon his feet,”

brings before us a vivid picture of the aged and infirm king making a great

effort, gathering up all his strength, and once again standing up that he

might render a last testimony for Jehovah.  Towards the end of David’s

life, he was obliged to keep to his chamber, and almost to his bed. In those

later and quiet days he seems to have reviewed his long and checkered

career, and his last song embodies the thoughts with which he regarded it.

That last song (II Samuel 23:1-7) is full of mingled regret and hope;

over the scenes of his shame he lingers for a moment sadly, but from them

he turns to look up to THE FAITHFUL GOD whom he had ever desired

to serve, and assured his heart of the permanence of that everlasting covenant,

ordered in all things and sure. In those closing words the old prophet power

came back to him, and we wish that such sentiments of humility,

trust, and joy in God were the only dying utterances of his that had been

preserved for us.” The occasion of the effort recorded in our text was a

public one: the solemn commendation of Solomon to the people, and

closing public instructions for Solomon himself. The subject suggested is

the moral influence exerted by the aged godly man, who has behind him

the varied experiences of a long and checkered life. The importance of the

witness of such a man’s life, and of such a man’s own expression of the

results of his life, and of his moods of mind on coming to its close, need to

be pointed out, as these may bear on the men of his own age, and as they

may bear on the young generation that is growing up to take the place of

those who are “passing away.” As the treatment of these divisions must

directly depend on the feeling and experience of the preacher, we prefer to

give only the barest outline, at most suggesting lines along which the

development and illustration of each point may run. As far as possible the

treatment should be made cheerful and hopeful, the experience of those

who see more good than evil in life being preferred.



that he has found it other — but, on the whole, better — than he expected.

Contrast the sunny anticipations of the youth with the serious reviews of

the aged. A thousand anticipations have never been realized, but more than

a thousand good things, of which youth could not have dreamed, have

crowned the passing days with beauty and joy. Many an old man speaks

brightly of the “good way wherein the Lord his God has led him.”



back, he can to some extent know himself and judge his fellows. This at

least the old man has learned. Man imagines and even purposes more than

he can ever accomplish, and he lives, works, and dies with scaffoldings all

about which were but beginnings of buildings that were never built. He has

to shelter in the great hope that God will accept his purposes. And so God

will, if the unwrought schemes were no mere sentimental dreams, but

resolves as serious as David’s, to build a temple for the Lord his God.



is the Wonder-worker who always gets His will over man’s. And He is the

faithful One, who keeps covenant and fulfils promise, and may be wholly

trusted. He says, I have been young, and now am old, yet have I never

seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread”  (Psalm 37:25).

The light of the old men’s experience may well brighten and cheer the young

men’s toil, and make easier the yoke of those who bear the burden and heat

of the day.  (What greater testimony could be given at the end of life, than

Joshua?  “And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth:

and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one

good thing hath failed of all good things which the Lord your

God spake concerning you; and not one thing hath failed thereof.” –

Joshua 23:13 – CY – 2012)


3 “But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name,

because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood.”  The contents

of this verse are stated, as already seen, even more forcibly in ch.22:8; while far

less forcibly in II Samuel 7:5-13; I Kings 5:5.


4 “Howbeit the LORD God of Israel chose me before all the house of

my father to be king over Israel for ever: for he hath chosen Judah

to be the ruler; and of the house of Judah, the house of my father;

and among the sons of my father he liked me to make me king over

all Israel:  5 And of all my sons, (for the LORD hath given me many sons,)

He hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom

of the LORD over Israel.  6 And he said unto me, Solomon thy son, he

shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my son,

and I will be his father.  7 Moreover I will establish his kingdom for ever,

if he be constant to do my commandments and my judgments, as at this

day.” David mentions himself as the elect of God among all the members of his

father’s family, and from thence is led to trace the call from the first, by the following



  • The tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:8; ch.5:2);
  • The house of Jesse (I Samuel 16:1);
  • Thirdly, of himself (Ibid. v.13); and
  • Lastly of Solomon (ch.22:9-10; 17:11-14; II Samuel 7:12-16).


The exact time and method of David’s receiving the identification of Solomon as

the son to succeed him, is nowhere given. The throne of the kingdom of the

Lord over Israel.  This expression, not found in its entirety elsewhere, is an

emphatic statement here of the true theocracy, which should have ever prevailed

among the people of Israel, and which is now paralleled by the kingship of

the Lord in His own Church (ch.17:14; 29:23). The solemn and most distinct

proviso, If he be constant to do my commandments and my judgments,

as at this day, reminds us of Psalm 132:12. This proviso is emphatically

presented again to the attention of Solomon, when the time comes for the

direct appeal of God to him (I Kings 3:14; 8:61; 9:4).


8 “Now therefore in the sight of all Israel the congregation of the

LORD, and in the audience of our God, keep and seek for all the

commandments of the LORD your God: that ye may possess this

good land, and leave it for an inheritance for your children after

you for ever.  9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy

father, and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the

LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations

of the thoughts: if thou seek Him, He will be found of thee; but if

thou forsake Him, He will cast thee off for ever.  10 Take heed now;

for the LORD hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary:

be strong, and do it.”  The double charge of these verses, first to the people and

then to Solomon, is full of force and majesty. Translate, Now therefore in

the sight of all Israel — the congregation of the Lord, and in the

hearing of our God (“Hear me,” v. 2), keep ye and study to do all the

commandments of the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 4:21, 26; 30:19;

Leviticus 25:46; Jeremiah 3:18). The expression, Know thou the God of

 thy father, for a practical knowledge and fear of God, is analogous with

the expression, “Hear thou,” for the matter of practical obedience; e.g.

“If they hear not Moses and the prophets” (Luke 16:31). Although there

are not very many instances of this use of the word “know,” its antiquity and

classical character may be considered guaranteed by such passages as Job 18:21;

I Samuel 2:12; Proverbs 3:6; Psalm 36:10; Jeremiah 9:2; Hosea 5:4; 6:3. The

expression, “the God of thy father,” evidently intended to be touching, is more

fully given in v. 20, “God, even my God, will be with thee,” which in its turn

reminds us of Paul’s language, “But my God shall supply all your need

according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”  (Philippians 4:19).

The urgent entreaty on the part of David breathes in every sentence of it,

thought, and a mode of presentation of it, feeling, and depth of conviction,

with which we are familiar in his psalms. He speaks from his own varied,

remarkable, and rich experience of the Divine care and jealous love,

and from much personal experience of the deceitfulness of the heart,

to Solomon, into whom, were it possible, he would pour the advantage of all

he had learned, and from whom he would hide nothing of his intense and anxious

solicitude. To the same strain he returns in v.20, but there with more exclusive

reference to the undertaking of the building of “the house of the Lord,” or the

house for the sanctuary. One thing only fails, perhaps, to be made quite apparent

from the language of David, viz. why he deemed it necessary to urge so strenuously

on Solomon the enterprise of building the temple and of carrying it to completion.

With abundance of means and preparations so large already made, one might

have supposed a young king and a young man would have needed little

pressure and little exhortation. Nevertheless, in the manifest presence of

David’s words, it is very far from impossible to suppose the dangers and

temptations of Solomon’s position as constituting A SERIOUS RISK!



David’s Address to the Princes of His Kingdom (vs. 1-8)


In the last two chapters we have David’s final words to the princes of the

people and to his son Solomon. In order to pass the kingdom over to his

son and to secure the succession, he summoned the princes, and solemnly,

in the presence of them all, appointed Solomon his successor. These

princes included the princes of the tribes enumerated in ch.27:16-22; the princes

of the divisions which served the king (Ibid. vs.1-15); the princes of thousands and

hundreds; the chiefs and captains of the twelve army corps (Ibid. v.1); the princes

of the domains and possessions of the king (Ibid. vs. 25-31). The king “stood up

upon his feet” to address this assembly. Previously, on account of age and feebleness,

he had sat in bed. The first part of David’s address we have had previously (ch. 22:7-13).

In the fourth verse he states how his election to be king was of God who had chosen

Judah to be ruler, and that in the same way God had chosen Solomon from

among his sons to be heir to the kingdom, and had committed to him the

building of the temple, and concludes it by exhorting the whole assembly to

continue faithful to God. Observe, the blessings of the throne and kingdom

are linked to an inseparable condition (v. 7) — that Solomon be

constant to do my commandments and my judgments.” Thus temporal

prosperity is INSEPERATELY  connected with FAITHFULNESS

TO GOD’S TRUTH.  Without this neither king nor kingdom, man

 nor his work, can prosper in the true sense of the word. In this consists

real “establishment.” What the foundation is to a house God’s truth is to a

king’s  throne (Parliament or Congress – CY – 2012), and to a man’s

soul and all his ways. David goes into particulars as to how this is to be

done. “Keep and seek for all the commandments of the Lord your God.”

The soul must hold fast to the truth, must treasure it up within the inmost

recesses of its being. This is to keep the truth. And it must seek for” it

looking out for it in everything as for special treasure, setting the heart on

it and gathering it up for use. The degree and earnestness with which we

seek for it will depend upon the way in which we keepwhat we have

gathered. “To him that hath shall more be given,” is God’s universal law in

nature and in grace. Keeping is digestion, by which the appetite is

stimulated to “seek.” Mark, also, it is not seeking some truths or some

favorite truths; it isALL THE COMMANDMENTS!” It is whole-heartedness

to the whole truth. Pet doctrines and pet passages make us half-Christians —

narrow, one-sided, harsh, and sectarian. It is the heart’s preparedness for

EVERY MESSAGE FROM GOD  that makes a whole Christian — such

a one as God would have us all to be. Mark the two results:


·        “That ye may possess this good land.” It was one thing for an

Israelite to be in the land; it was quite another to possess it. It is one

thing to be in Christ; it is quite another to possess so as to make our

very own all the treasures of grace and truth that are IN CHRIST!

 Some Christians, like some Israelites, are all their lives in the land without

possessing a foot. Have you life in Christ? Lay hold on eternal life”

(I Timothy 6:12).  Are you one of God’s elect?  “Make your calling

 and election sure. Have you that Divine faith that will carry you into

the kingdom?  “Add to your faith,” so that you may have an “abundant

entrance into the kingdom”  (II Peter 1:5-11).  This is to possess the

land.” It was Joshua’s continued exhortation to Israel; it has need to be

ours too. Look at the second result:


·        “And leave it for an inheritance for your children after you for ever.”

Note, it is only those who possess the good land who shall “leave it for an

inheritance.It is your half-Christians, your narrow-souled, crooked,

unwise Christians, who leave no spiritual influences behind. Their

children get soured by the caricature of religion they see in their parents.

When parental restraint is over, there are no deep spiritual principles laid

in the soul in early life, and they cast off what they feel has been a yoke.

As a rule, most parents have to blame themselves for what they mourn over in

their children.



Early Piety (v. 9)


A father’s solicitude for his son is too often confined to his temporal

prosperity. It was not so with David. The aged monarch was indeed

anxious for Solomon’s stability on the throne, for his fitness to discharge

all regal duties, for the magnificence of his public works, and for the

splendor of his reign. But he was well enough acquainted with human

nature to know that character is the key to life. His supreme desire was

that his son should be right at heart, that his principles should be sound,

that he should honor, trust, and serve his God. Hence the beautiful

language of the text.


  • THE NATURE OF EARLY PIETY. It does not consist merely in

outward associations or in outward observances.


Ø      The basis of such piety is knowledge. “Know thou the God of thy

father.” Hence the importance of early instruction in religious truth.


Ø      The substance of such piety is a cheerful service of God. The practical

energies of youth need to be employed in doing the Lord’s will.

(“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while

the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou

shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.”  - Ecclesiastes 12:1)

Willingness and cheerfulness should characterize all work done for

God. It is well that the young should be trained to find their delight

in the practical service of their GOD and SAVIOUR.




Ø      The obligation of duty. It is right to “remember thy Creator in

the days of thy youth.”          


Ø      The assurance of the Lord’s perfect knowledge: “For the Lord

Searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of

 the thoughts.” 


Ø      The encouragement of promise: “If thou seek him, he will be

found of thee.” There are many similar assurances in Scripture

fitted to encourage the young to seek the God of salvation.


Ø      The fearful alternative: “If thou forsake him, he will cast

thee off for ever.


Verses 11-19 give hints respecting the parts of the building that was to

be, and respecting the furniture of it,  and will come in for fuller consideration in

the fuller treatment of them, found in the narration of the actual construction of the

building in II Chronicles compared with I Kings 6., etc. It is evident that David

desired to make a solemn and set business of handing over even the patterns and

plans. Nor is this under any circumstances wonderful, but least of all considering

their Divine origin.  The Divine original of the tabernacle and all its belongings

(Exodus 25.-30.; Hebrews 8:5) was not to be a neglected precedent as regards the

greater temple. It is said that “David gave” these “patterns to Solomon his

son (v. 11), and the form in which he gave them is explained in v. 19.  There we read,

“The whole in writing from the hand of Jehovah upon me, He made me to

 understand — all the works of this pattern.” Whatever we generally accept

respecting the writing of the tables of the Law by the finger of God (Exodus 24:12;

31:18; 32:15-16; Deuteronomy 4:13; 5:5, 22; 9:10), is at all events open for

acceptance here. At the same time, the phraseology of v.19 is certainly not so

uncompromising as that of the references just instanced from the Books of

Exodus and Deuteronomy. The words of v. 19 may be satisfied by the

meaning that David was in such manner and degree “in the Spirit”

(Revelation 1:10), that in the writing and the drawing of patterns his

hand was entirely under the guidance of that Spirit. In either alternative, to

hand over such documents and such “patterns” must have been felt by

David and all present an act of which much should be made.


11 “Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and

of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper

chambers thereof, and of the inner parlors thereof, and of the place of

the mercy seat,”  The patterns of six parts of the future building are here

delivered over to Solomon.


  • The porch; μl;Wah; (I Kings 6:3; 7:6; Ezekiel 40:7; 8:16; Joel 2:17;

II Chronicles 3:4, where we read that the length was twenty cubits, and

the height one hundred and twenty cubits; 8:12; 15:8; 29:7, 17); Septuagint, -

to< aijla<m tou~ naou~ - to ailam tou naouthe porch of the temple –

 generally, but in this verse tou~ naou~ is all that appears. This porch was

built on the east of the temple.


  • The houses thereof; i.e. not of the porch, but of the whole building;

wyT;B;; Septuagint, tw~n oi]kwn aujtou~ - ton oikon autou.  The word

houses in this place designates the “greater house,” or “temple,”

or holy place of II Chronicles 3:5; I Kings 6:5, 17; and the “inner house,”

or “oracle,” or “most holy house,” or “holy of holies,’” of II Chronicles

3:8; I Kings 6:19-27.


  • The treasuries thereof; wyK;z"n]n", a word found only here in this form,

with a Chaldee termination in ËA"; Septuagint, tw~n zakcw~n aujtou~ -

ton zakchon auton.  The treasuries were chambers for receiving gifts,

and storing the treasures new or old of the temple. Which of the rooms

that were built against the sides of the temple were set apart as these

treasure-chambers is not known.  Perhaps they were the three-storied

wings of the temple (I Kings 6:5).


  • The upper chambers thereof; wyt;oYli[}; Septuagint, tw~n uJperw>wn|

- ton huperoon - (for fuller treatment of these, see II Chronicles 3:9).

We may only with confidence say of these chambers that they were upper

chambers, but whether over the “oracle” as Keil and Bertheau think, or

over the “porch,” or the higher of those, that leaned against the sides of

the main building, it is impossible to determine from such data as we at

present have.


  • The inner parlors thereof; μymiygip]h" wyr;d;j}, Septuagint tw~n

ajpoqhkw~n tw~n ejswte>rwn – ton apothaekon ton esoteron.

 There can be little doubt that these designate the lower rooms of the

side buildings of the holy place, and perhaps also of the porch.


  • The place of the mercy-seat; tr,poK"h" tyBe; Septuagint,

tou~ oi]kou tou~ ejxilasmou~ - tou oikon tou exilasmou.



David’s Charge to Solomon (vs. 9-10, 20-21)


From the princes of the congregation David turns to Solomon his son.

Every line is full of instruction. “Know thou the God of thy father.” We

may conclude Solomon already knew something, and perhaps much, of

God. But this refers to a further and deeper knowledge of Him, as his

father David had experienced. It is this deeper knowledge of God that is

spoken of in the New Testament. Paul, though he knew Christ well, still

says, “That I may know Him” (Philippians 3:10).  However much we

know there is always more to be known. It is this knowledge of Him that our

Lord refers to when He says (John 7:17), “If any man will do His will,

he shall know of the doctrine.” There is a knowledge of Christ as the

Saviour from sin; there is a still further knowledge which springs from

Obedience in all things to His will. But David continues, “And serve

 Him with a perfect heart and a willing mind.” Mark here, service

and the character of it DEPEND ON THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD  

and this knowledge a deepening one. This is ever the Divine order. All the

graces of the Christian character act and react on each other. True knowledge

ever begets service, and faithful service deepens real knowledge. But there are

always two conditions attached to real knowledge and true service, viz. “A perfect

heart and a willing mind.” A perfect, or as the word means, an “undivided”

heart, is one that is wholehearted.  Not “a heart within a heart” which God hates.

Not a heart that will follow and serve the Lord when it is convenient but not

when it is inconvenient. Not “in season” only, but also “out of season”

II Timothy 4:2).  Next to this is a “willing mind,” or a mind that desires only

that which will please God. A mind that will say always and in everything,

“Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6)  A heart devoted and

a will given up — this is what David means, and this is what God asks for.

David enforces this by the statement of God’s omniscience. Solomon might

deceive men by having the outer life fair, while inwardly the other might be lacking,

but he could not deceive God; and to Him Solomon and every man will have

eventually to render account (II Corinthians 5:10).  David further enforces these

words by a solemn warning: “If thou seek Him, He will be found of thee;

but if thou forsake Him, He will cast thee off for ever. TAKE HEED

NOW.”   It reminds us of Paul’s solemn words to Timothy: “Take heed to thyself,

and to the doctrine; continue in them: for in so doing thou shalt both save

 thyself, and them that hear thee” (I Timothy 4:16).  The soul must be watched

and kept, and then the doctrine will be sound. If we seek the Lord He will ever be

found; but if we turn our backs on Him, then we shall experience that SPIRITUAL

DARKNESS AND MISERY WITHIN that will be practically, though to one

saved in the Lord may never be judicially, a casting off from God. Though a true

believer may never fall from God, he may fall from the grace of God; and this,

though not judicial, is yet practical and experimental exclusion from God.

David enjoins Solomon to “take heed” because he is “chosen.” It is the dignity

conferred that demands the responsibility and gives the power to rule. Is it not

so with men put into high places over our land? Before men get into office, what

do they not say? and how do they not act? But when they are in office the

dignity controls and directs, and gives wisdom and judgment. So is it in the

Divine life. God’s grace chooses a man, makes him one of His children,

puts upon him the highest dignity, and thus he possesses a motive power

for holiness which nothing else can give him. David’s final words to

Solomon at the close of this chapter are equally solemn and suggestive.

“Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed”

(vs. 20-21).  What a string of holy exhortations! On what are they built? On God’s

presence with His people; “for the Lord God, even my God, will be with

thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the

work for the service of the house of the Lord.” God’s presence is the

believer’s joy; it is also His strength and power for work. The expression

“my God” reminds us again of Paul: “My God shall supply all your need”

(Philippians 4:19).  It was the personal and experimental acquaintance with

Gods unchanging love and faithfulness, and that alone, which gave to

David and Paul such confidence, and made them speak thus. But Solomon

might have said, as many others often say, “These are precious promises and

encouragements, and I am but ‘young and tender’ (ch. 22:5, v.1), and the work

is so great; how shall I get the means, and who will help me, and how shall I know

they will be ready and willing?” These and a thousand other questions rise up in the

soul when God sets a clear path before us, or a plain duty. How often we stand,

we hesitate! We are already taking one step back. God comes in again to

strengthen our faltering faith. “The priests and Levites shall be with thee,…

and there shall be with thee every willing and skilful man,… the princes

and all the people will be wholly at thy commandment.” (v.21).  What a

promise!  All things are yours”!  (I Corinthians 3:22)  So it is always. Having

the Lord with us, we shall have EVERYTHING ELSE! -  “life and death,

things present and things to come,” yea, “all things are ours!” How




12 And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the

house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about, of the

treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the

dedicated things:”  Bertheau, Keil, and some others regard the spirit here spoken

of as referring to the spirit and mind of David, and Bertheau goes so far as

to translate, or paraphrase, “the pattern of all that floated before his mind.”

Such manifest stress has been laid upon the two facts — that the patterns

were of God’s giving, and that they were now in such form that they could

be given over into the hands of Solomon — that such an interpretation

seems inadmissible. Rather translate, And the pattern of all which was

by the spirit with him. For the courts of the house of the Lord, see

I Kings 6:36 ; II Chronicles 4:9. The chambers round about; bybis;

twOkv;L]h" (ch. 23:28). There seems no necessity to suppose that these

chambers were separate from the building. For the treasuries, the correct

translation is the treasures (ch.26:20).


The Pattern of the Spirit (v. 12)


We make a great mistake in neglecting to remark the presence and operation of

God in the ordinary and secular affairs of life. The Hebrews were in this respect

in advance of us; they justly attributed all wise and good works to THAT SPIRIT  

from whom all wisdom and goodness proceed. Thus the workers in the

construction of the tabernacle are expressly said to have received from the

Spirit of God the knowledge and skill they needed to fulfill their undertaking,

and in the passage before us David is represented as having received by inspiration

from Heaven the plans upon which his son was to erect the temple of Jehovah.



GOD. That is, so far as it is good and great. There is human ignorance and

human folly discernible in many noble enterprises; but the impulse of piety

or benevolence to which they owe their being is from above. This is so

either, as probably in the case before us, from a direct inspiration, or, as is

usually the case, in a more ordinary manner. The inspiration of the

Almighty giveth man understanding; and every high and holy purpose,

every inspiriting truth and influence, should be traced up to the Giver

of every good gift and every perfect gift.  (James 1:17)




AND WITH PRAYER. If we would have the Spirit’s guidance, we must

ourselves be “filled with the Spirit;” we must seek His teaching in humility

and docility of heart.




AID OF GOD. In these respects the kings of Israel, who were concerned

in the erection of the temple, stand before us as a bright example. It is only

as all our works are BEGUN, CONTINUED AND ENDED  IN GOD

that we can justly hope for blessing and prosperity.


13 “Also for the courses of the priests and the Levites, and for all the

work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the

vessels of service in the house of the LORD.” This verse either continues

the subject of the giving of the patterns, which will read rather harshly, as preceding

the courses of the priests and the Levites, and could only mean directions or

instructions for their interchange, etc.; or it may continue the subject of the

chambers round about” “for the treasures of the house of God,” etc.,

also for the convenience “of the courses of the priests,” etc., and “for all

the work,” etc., and for keeping “all the vessels of service,” etc. Bertheau

and Keil somewhat scout the former supposition, and adhere to the latter.


14 “He gave of gold by weight for things of gold, for all instruments of

all manner of service; silver also for all instruments of silver by

weight, for all instruments of every kind of service:  15  Even the weight

for the candlesticks of gold, and for their lamps of gold, by weight for

every candlestick, and for the lamps thereof: and for the candlesticks

of silver by weight, both for the candlestick, and also for the lamps

thereof, according to the use of every candlestick.”  The general meaning

of these verses is that, if the question were one of gold, or one of silver, David

assigned for each vessel and each part of the candlesticks, the proportionate

weight of gold that was to be employed.


16 “And by weight he gave gold for the tables of shewbread, for every

table; and likewise silver for the tables of silver:”  So too , as regards

the tables of shewbread, whether in sort of gold or of silver, he assigned the

due weight of metal for either sort. We should have been at a loss to understand

the plural here employed, showing more than one table (Exodus 25:23; I Kings 7:48;

II Chronicles 29:18), but for II Chronicles 4:8,19; in the former of which verses we

read of “ten tables” being made and placed on “the right side and on the left, in the

temple,” and in the latter verse, yet more distinctly, of “tables, whereon the

shewbread was set.”


17 “Also pure gold for the fleshhooks, and the bowls, and the cups: and

for the golden basins he gave gold by weight for every basin; and

likewise silver by weight for every basin of silver:” It is to be observed

that the term basins (μyriwOp]), which appear to have been covered goblets, is

only found here and in Ezra 1:10; 8:27.


18 “And for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for

the pattern of the chariot of the cherubims, that spread out their

wings, and covered the ark of the covenant of the LORD.”  By the

chariot of the cherubims, is of course not meant that the cherubim had a

chariot, but that they constituted the chariot of Jehovah (Psalm 18:11).


19 “All this, said David, the LORD made me understand in writing by

His hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.”  This abrupt bringing

in of David as the speaker himself has already had one illustration in ch. 23:5.

(See on the matter of this verse, note on v.11; and compare II Kings 3:15 for the

parallel of an expression which evidently intends to assert an HAND OF THE



These last two verses, as above seen, continue and close David’s urgent and last

exhortation to Solomon. He has now done with admonition and urgent appeal,

but he offers prayer for him (ch.29:19).



David’s Transfer of the Patterns to Solomon (vs. 11-19)


After the solemn charge to the congregation and to Solomon, David

handed over to Solomon the patterns of the temple, the enumeration

beginning from outside to inside, and from thence to the courts and

buildings and the vessels, and they include the minutest details of all

pertaining to it. Let us mark the spiritual truths connected with this portion

of God’s Word, and they are many. We refer only to a few:


  • First, as to thepatterns themselves. How did David get them? They

came from “the Lord” (see v. 19).

  • Secondly, they came by a writing.”
  • Thirdly, they came “through the Spirit,” or by Divine inspiration.
  • Fourthly, they came through God’s “hand upon him.”


These are all important points in the narrative. This great temple of old was a type

of the great spiritual temple now — the kingdom of God in this world. In a secondary

sense it may be taken as the believer himself: “Ye are the temple of the living God”

(I Corinthians 6:19; II Corinthians 6:16).  Mark, then, first, everything of a Divine

character comes from the Lord Himself. The Lord Himself is the Architect of His

own house, whether it be in a man’s soul or the Church of Christ. Secondly, the

Divine pattern of everything spiritual comes through the “writing,” the Word of God

written. Thirdly, the Holy Spirit is the Divine Communicator of this Word. He speaks

through that Word, which is the breath of God. And, lastly, it is through the “hand

of the Lord laid upon us that the Word becomes effectual and operative. As

David handed the patterns to Solomon, so should these be the patterns

handed down now, through the Word and the Spirit, and applied with

power by the “hand” of the Lord. Solomon could not lay a single stone,

nor make a single beam, nor deviate one hair’s breadth from this pattern

thus handed to him. No more may we. There is one truth more in this

narrative. It is a very precious one. It is brought before us in the fourteenth

verse, and again in ch.29:2-5. “Gold for things of gold, and

silver for things to be made of silver, brass for things of brass, iron for

things of iron, and wood for things of wood.” In other words, whatever

golden things were needed, David had the gold provided for them; or

whatever things of silver, brass, iron, or wood, David had the silver, brass,

iron, and wood ready for them. It is so still in the Church of Christ as well

as in the individual Christian’s own history. What is our need? Do we

occupy a golden position, or one of iron or wood? In Christ, the true

David, there is the fullness to meet it. There is all we need for every

position, every duty, every want, every hour of need. These needs may be

great or small, lofty or lowly, corresponding to the “gold” or the “wood;”

but he has exactly what is suited to meet the emergency or the need,

whatever it may be: “My God shall supply all your need out of his riches in

glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).  How truly the teaching of the New

Testament is contained in the Old!


20 “And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good

courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God,

even my God, will be with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake

thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the

house of the LORD.”  David in this verse enlarges upon THE


 with Solomon and support of his work to the end.


At the very crisis of invoking, in the great and terrible and reverend Name

of “the Lord God,” the very highest possible sanction, David does not forbear

to link his own name with it: “The Lord God, my God, will be with thee?”

This is the same David who in many a psalm could sing in the very lowliest strain

And confession of the demerit of man and his poverty and his sinful nature and

sinful practice. Yet the two things are not inconsistent, and David does not

do wrong. The God of all, of all worlds, the universal God, loves to be

sought, to be clung to, to be appropriated by the individual. The poorer,

the lowlier, the more solitary, so that his child’s trust corresponds in

thoroughness and tenacity with his condition of want, so much the more

welcome is that child,  and not a word shall be said to him that he

presumes. Note, then, that in the happy expression of David to his son,

“My God,” we have:



  • The creatures rightful and blessed appropriation of the Creator; the

only all-sufficient, the inexhaustible and ever-communicating, the one

strong support of everything within the compass of His dominions.


  • The consecrated diminutive of affection. The thing or the person I

believe I chiefly love, that thing or that person I restlessly, ceaselessly long

to call mine, my own. Nor is there a simpler, grander, more just use of this

little word, the consecrate word of affection the world all over, than when a

creature, sinner, penitent, poor, and dependent, breathes out from all that is

within him “My God.”


  • The grateful outcome of tried experience. Age gives the opportunity of

valuable experience in many a direction, but in none so much as in those

relations which subsist direct between man and his GOD!   There is

nowhere such room for experience to have its way, to grow and to attain results

of surpassing value. After the experience that David had accumulated of God,

and of what a God, God had been to him, he rightly desires to make a point

of this to his Son. It was not simply the sentiment of the father’s God, one

to be held to by the son; it was no mere dictate of family pride, or of

hereditary attachment to some lares et penates. No; the hard but telling

facts of experience enable David to pledge and guarantee “his God, as the

good God and the wonderful God, and the safe God for his son. So Paul

said to the Philippians, “My God shall supply all your need(Philippians

4:18), in that he, above any living Christian of that time, had suffered peril, need,

persecution (II Corinthians 11:23-31), and had found God, the “very

present Help and Refuge in time of trouble” (Psalm 46:1), whom the psalmist

a thousand years before had tested. All distances of time, differences of

dispensation, contrasts of character and of career, sometimes seem to meet in one

place, one confession, and one adoration. Each utters, “My God,” and all are

found to have contributed the proof of A GOD UNCHANGEABLE — “the

same yesterday, to-day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8).  Meantime the

experience and testimony of each helps to influence and instruct and strengthen

the faith and love of some nearest by nature or by friendship. And to many a son

Solomon has come, with equal truth and effect, the aged father’s confession of

what, through a long, a hard, a tried life, he has found his God to be. “The Lord

God, my God, will be with thee.” Happy the fathers who have such

experience, and happy the children who hear their counsel in time. And

happy for the long-favored people of Israel, “blest beyond compare”

already, if their new young king hear, and for ever heed, the advice of his

aged and richly experienced father, and adopt his God for his own “even

unto death.”  (Psalm 48:14)


21 “And, behold, the courses of the priests and the Levites, even they

shall be with thee for all the service of the house of God: and there

shall be with thee for all manner of workmanship every willing

skilful man, for any manner of service: also the princes and all the

people will be wholly at thy commandment.”  In this verse David reminds

Solomon what servants and helpers he has ready to hand on earth,

as well as his GOD ABOVE priests and… Levites,… all manner

of workmen….willing and skillful,….princes and ……people.



Divine Inspiration the Guide of Human Work (vs. 12 and 19)


These verses amount to a very real and very interesting assertion of Divine

inspiration. But beside and in addition to the mind’s ordinary command of

its own gifts, in addition to the exercise of reason, to the aids of the

accumulations of experience, and of even some touch of foresight, which

belong by nature to all, and which attach to some in a very high degree by

training and by purity of mind, THE DIVINE SPIRIT gives as He lists

special impulses and sure guidance, an unusual discernment and

unerring correctness of deliverance, and truth absolute BETIMES!

The leading instance and type of such inspiration is to be found, no doubt,

in those impulses and that Divine superintending and Divine informing of

certain men’s minds in the essential matter of spiritual truth, which by many

an installment and through a very long stretch of ages secured for us at

last the grand total we now call our BIBLE!   This may be called the inspiration

of word or of truth; while that exercise of inspiration which the present passage

leads us to notice might rather be designated the inspiration of work. There is, of

course, nothing manifest to distinguish these in their nature, for THE SAME

GRACIOUS SPIRIT, the same mighty and heavenly Force, is in either

case at work. But there are important and grateful thoughts suggested to us in the

fact that the quickening, informing, revealing Spirit comes to our aid not

only in the deepest and highest things that can touch soul, but in the literal

works of our hands. Let us notice:






and just inference in our own minds herein is of the condescension of the

Spirit, yet we need not pass over the consideration, that this is in keeping

with an analogy that we might expect would be observed. As Paul

teaches us forcibly, in the first chapter of his Epistle to the Romans, that

they are to be adjudged worthy of the severest condemnation who refuse

to learn the invisible things of God Himself from His works visible in

creation (Romans 1:19-20), so the Spirit would nourish in our outer

works right methods of approaching the Being who must all the while

be “worshipped in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)




IN THE OUTER REQUISITES OF THEM. That which has cost nothing

of money, of skill, of thought, of care, is not what is to be offered to God

(II Samuel 24:24).  It would not be offered to those we loved or respected

among our fellow creatures, and yet less should it be offered to Him.




The sacrifice must be the young and the pure and without blemish. And a

similar principle must be observed throughout our service of God. But how

often, how grossly, how notoriously, how self-deceivingly, is this plain principle

disregarded by multitudes of professing Christians! To God is given last; to

God the least; to God that which is too poor to keep or to give elsewhere.

(Deuteronomy 15:21; Malachi 1:8,13-14)



PATTERNS. The Lord’s Prayer was one kind of pattern; the sermon on

the mount was another kind of pattern; the sacred cross was another

illustrious pattern; the directions given to the twelve disciples and again to

the seventy, on their first missionary journeys, were a pattern; the Israelites

were a pattern; John, Peter, and Paul were each respectively a pattern. And

for the first solid temple that informed and intelligent worship of God ever

reared, the Spirit gave the pattern, and pattern after pattern for details.

(God means for you and me to be a pattern!  “In all things shewing

thyself a pattern of good works” – Titus 2:7 – CY – 2012)



supersede our active exertions, our best exertions, nor permits us to reckon

on even His proxy. But He does wait to lead, offer to show and to teach,

and above all in this particular way — the way of imparting principles of

right action, of holy action, of beautiful action.





TYPE OF GOD’S CHURCH ON EARTH. No exclusive sanctity belonged

to it. It and its lineal successors were to lie level with the ground. But its

seed was to be as the stars of heaven, or as the sand upon the shore.

“Neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem(John 4:20), meant no doom,

no curse, no disparagement of the temple. Those words of Jesus spoke the

charter of God’s Church, as a growing, an ever-growing, and a prevailing

REALITY IN THE WORLD.  Literally innumerable have been already the

copies after that type. And they have yet to be manifold more. The building itself

was emphatically not an ordinary building, nor a mere building. The thought of

it in David’s heart was not indigenous to that heart, nor was the execution

of it to be liable to be dangerously ascribed either to his architecture, or his

sons, or to that of the combined professional talent of the nation, or of all

nations. No, it is unique. It has virtue in it. It, in the person of its successor,

justifies Jesus’ admiration, and a share of his tears. It breathes and moves

ubiquitously, and has life in it. And it was because it was necessary that it

should have these endowments, that though David thought and gave and

prepared, and a nation now banded as one man consented and gave and

wrought enthusiastically, yet the Architect was GOD THE SPIRIT!



Personal Relations with God (v.20)


“The Lord God, even my God.” It is possible for us to have thoughts of

God that keep Him wholly external to us, and altogether unrelated to us.

And it may be feared that such are the thoughts of God usually cherished

by men, Though they may have a certain influence on us, the full and

saving power of God cannot be known until we have appropriated Him,

and come into direct and personal relations with Him. A man finds God a

living force upon thought, heart, life, and conduct when he calls Him MY GOD!

The work of Christ is, in great part, the bringing about of this relation, and the

persuasion of the man to recognize it fully. Man lost says, “I heard thy voice in

the garden, and I was afraid, and hid myself. Man redeemed, and standing

right with God, says, “I flee unto thee to hide me.“For thou art my God.




Ø      By accepting the revelation of His fatherhood which He makes in Christ

the Son, and entering into the privilege and duty which it involves.

Ø      By winning the trustful, thankful love of those who know they are

forgiven and redeemed.

Ø      By maintaining those close and intimate communions with God which

bring freshly to us the joy of His care.




Ø      On Gods part. Just what God loves, and what He is sure to meet

with  the fullest bestowments of His grace, is man’s love and trust

expressed in the words my God.

Ø      On mans part. The relation becomes the most hallowing force

Exerted on the whole life. The man wants to be worthy of, wants

to be like, his God.



BEEN APPREHENDED? This may be treated in detail, or in the general

principle. To say, “my God,” involves maintaining the trustfulness of full

and obedient submission; and, therefore, the peril lies in some returning

form of willfullness. This separates us at once, in feeling, from God, so that

the words “my God” will not rise to our lips


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