I Chronicles 29



Verses 1-9 continue the account of what David said to the whole congregation,

respecting his son Solomon and his tender age in view of the great enterprise of

building the temple; respecting the public preparations which had been already made,

and the gifts of his own individual property — these latter being alluded to, no doubt,

for the sake of example. On the faith of them he grounds with tenfold effect his appeal

to people and princes to join heartily in the work.  Verses 6-9 also contain the statement

of the hearty practical response which was made by the “chiefs of the fathers and

princes of the tribes,” and other varieties of givers, and of the consequent general joy.


1 “Furthermore David the king said unto all the congregation,

Solomon my son, whom alone God hath chosen, is yet young and

tender, and the work is great: for the palace is not for man, but for

the LORD God.”  The anxiety which David felt on account of the youth of

Solomon (repeated from ch.22:5) evidently pressed heavily on him. The

additional expression here is to be noticed, whom alone God

hath chosen. By this plea, full of truth as it was, we may suppose that

David would shelter himself from any possible blame or reflection on the

part of the people, from the charge of partiality on the part of his elder

children, and any unjust slight to them, and also from any self-reproach, in

that he was devolving such a responsible task on so young and tender a

man. Palace. This word (hr;yBih"), by which the temple is designated here

and in v. 19, seems to be very probably a word of Persian derivation. It is

found in Nehemiah 1:1; in Daniel 8:2; but very frequently in Esther, where it is

used not only of Shushan the palace” (Esther 1:2; 2:3; 3:15), as the royal abode,

but also of the special part of the city adjoining the palace proper (Ibid. ch. 1:5; 2:5;

8:14; 9:6). The word is found also in Nehemiah 2:8; but there it carries the

signification of the fortress of the temple. There may be some special appropriateness

in its use here, in consideration of the circumstance of the fortifications and wall,

which flanked the temple.


“The palace is… for the Lord God.” This is to put things in their right places —

God, heaven, immortality, the unperishing first of all.  A most neglected aspect

of religious practice is here brought into prominence. Truths and principles of

religion, acknowledged by the lip, are too often ignored in practice. The prayers

we say, the praise we sing, the adoration we exhibit, are not unfrequently

dishonored to the degree of being rendered worthless through the next deed we

do or fail to do. It is not the tender, the immature, the inexperienced, the

incompetent who, not trusted in statesmanship, not trusted in the professions

of human life, are to be indifferently or recklessly trusted with the affairs of

the kingdom.”  And even when God calls such, man, both prince and people,

the skilled and the experienced, are only to hear more practically the call to rally

round the Lord’s choice.


2 “Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold

for things to be made of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and the brass

for things of brass, the iron for things of iron, and wood for things of wood;

onyx stones, and stones to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colors,

and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance.” 

The six designations of stones in this verse are as follows: —


  • Onyx stones; μh"vo (Genesis 2:12; Exodus 25:7; 28:9; 35:9; 39:6;

Job 28:16; Ezekiel 28:13).

  • Stones to be set μyaiWLmi or μyaiLumi (Exodus 25:7; 35:9, 27; the

feminine form of the same word is found in Ibid. ch.28:17, 20; 39:13).

The other meanings of this word are inauguration to the priest’s office

(Leviticus 8:33), and the sacrifice of inauguration (Ibid. ch.7:37).

  • Glistering stones; ËWPi Gesenius says this is the same root with

fu~kov phukos - seaweed. From this seaweed an alkaline pigment was

prepared, which came to be called by the same word. This Hebrew word

also meant a “dye” made from stribium, the Latin name of antimony

(Septuagint, stimmi> - stimmi - Vulgate, stibium), with which Hebrew

women stained their eyelashes (see also II Kings 9:30; Isaiah 54:11;

Jeremiah 4:30). Gesenius would translate here “stones of pigment,” and

understands them to mean possibly marble for covering, as though with

a solid paint, the walls.

  • Stones of divers colors; hm;q]ri. This word, which means “variegated,”

is only in this passage applied to stones. It is applied once to the feathers of

the eagle (Ezekiel 17:3); but almost always to needlework or garments,

often being translated in the Authorized Version as “broidered” (Judges

5:30; Psalm 45:14; Ezekiel 16:10,13,18; 26:16; 27:7,16,24).

  • All manner of precious stones. The feminine form, hr;q;yi. The simplest

idea of the word is “heavy,” thence precious, dear, rare (II Samuel 12:30;

I Kings 7:9; 10:2; I Chronicles 20:2; II Chronicles 3:6; 9:1; Job 28:16;

Proverbs 1:13; 3:15; Isaiah 28:16; Ezekiel 28:13; Daniel 11:38).

  • Marble stones; vyiv", the elementary idea of which is whiteness. This

word is found only here; Septuagint and Vulgate, “Parian marble.” A word

akin (vve), meaning also “white marble” is found in Esther 1:6.  The further

treatment of these stones will be found on II Chronicles 3:6.


3 “Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God,

I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the

house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house,”

Translate, And, moreover, because of my delight in the house of my God, what

I have as mine own treasure of gold and of silver I have given to the house

 of my God, over and above all I have prepared for the holy house. The word

hL;Gus], on the seven other occasions of its use (Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 7:6; 14:2;

26:18; Psalm 135:4; Ecclesiastes 2:8; Malachi 3:17), is found in the Authorized Version

as “peculiar treasure” or “special treasure” and once “jewels,” but in every

instance it is evident that the specialness denoted is at one with the idea of the affection

that is borne by a person to his own possession and property.


4 “Even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven

thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses withal:”

Respecting the uncertainty of the amounts here denoted, even if the numbers of the

present text be accepted as correct, see note on ch.22:14. Bertheau and Keil make

three thousand talents of gold the equivalent of thirteen millions and a half of our

money (200 years ago – CY – 2013), and seven thousand talents of silver the

equivalent of two and a half millions of our money — or, if the royal shekel instead

of the sacred be supposed to be the standard, they make them the half of those two

amounts respectively. Others calculate the value of the gold to reach thirty millions,

and of the silver three millions of our money. The situation of Ophir is still considered

undetermined. The other occasions on which it is mentioned are as follows:

ch. 1:23, Genesis 10:29; I Kings 9:28; 10:11; 22:49; II Chronicles 8:18; 9:10;

Job 22:24; 28:16; Psalm 45:9; Isaiah 13:12. It must be understood also that it is

to it that allusion is made in I Kings 10:22, where we read that silver, ivory, apes, and

peacocks, beside the gold, were imported into Judaea from it. The almug

tree is also said to have been brought in the same ships which brought the

gold of Ophir. The Septuagint always translates by some form of the word

Soufi>v Souphis - (except in Genesis 10:29), which word comes very near the

Coptic name for India. There is also a place in India, mentioned by Ptolemy,

Ammianus, and Abulfeda, the site of the present emporium of Goa, called

Soupa>ra Soupara - and which would explain Both the Hebrew and the

Septuagint words. An Indian site for Ophir would also well suit the

mention of the ivory and the particular wood which the ships brought. On

the other hand, the first occasion of this name Ophir finds it placed among

the tribes of Joktans descendants, who occupied South Arabia. It is there

(ch.1:23; Genesis 10:29) placed between Sheba and Havilah, both abounding

in gold. There are other considerations that favor Arabia. Many other places have

been suggested, and some of them supported by respectable authorities, such as

Eastern Africa, South America and Peru, Phrygia, etc. If there be a real question

about it, to the prejudice of Arabia, it would be to India we must look. That some

of the commodities brought belonged more especially to India, though even in

that case the majority belonged undoubtedly to Arabia, is very true. This

circumstance throws great probability into the suggestion that whether

Ophir were in Arabia or India, it was a great emporium, and not simply an

exporter of its own particular produce. The last sentence of this verse certainly says

that the destined use of the refined silver, as well as of the gold of Ophir,

was to overlay the walls of the houses. We know that gold was used for

this purpose (II Chronicles 3:5-10). But we do not read of the silver

being used for overlaying purposes. We also read that none of the

drinking-vessels of Solomon were of silver, as “it was nothing accounted

of in the days of Solomon” (I Kings 10:21; II Chronicles 9:20). It is

possible, the order of the sentences notwithstanding, that the mention of

the refined silver is only to prepare the way for the contents of v. 5, and

that it must not be applied to the last sentence of our present verse.


5 “The gold for things of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and

for all manner of work to be made by the hands of artificers. And

who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the

LORD?” The Authorized Version, to consecrate his service, might in

this instance seem to be not merely an inaccurate but an incorrect

translation. For David’s evident meaning was, after rehearsing his own

example, to base on it the appeal, Who is… willing to bring all

ungrudging handful this day to the Lord? And II Chronicles 13:9

might perhaps be cited as a confirmatory instance. But on the other hand,

the idiom was evidently, by the witness of many passages, a general one,

and the meaning of it is not incorrectly conveyed in the Authorized

Version, where service means in every case active and practical help

(Exodus 28:41; 29:9; 32:29; Numbers 3:3). The question now

is not one of consecrating heart and affection, but rather of giving the

practical proof of them.



Consecrated Service (v.5)


“And who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the LORD?”

These words are an appeal of David to the nobles, and to the people

generally, to contribute towards the building of the temple of Jehovah at

Jerusalem. He himself set the example of liberality; and his subjects

generally followed the example he gave. “Who then,” asked he, “is willing

to fill his hand this day unto the Lord?” As these gifts were really an

expression of the devotion that animated the hearts of the Israelites, the

English Version may be said to offer rather an enlargement than a

perversion of the language. And the question is one which may be

addressed to all hearers of the gospel. For all are called upon to GIVE

THEMSELVES and all they have and are unto the GOD WHO MADE

THEM, and the REDEEMER WHO BOUGHT THEM!   We have here:


  • A CLAIM AFFIRMED. Religion not only offers a blessing, it requires

a service. Salvation is the substance of what God gives; consecration is

what God demands. Salvation is from past sin; consecration is for future

life and service. God has a right to:


Ø      the surrender of our will,

Ø      the devotion of our powers,

Ø      the offering of our possessions,

Ø      the service of our hands.


The heart is His first demand;  my son, give me thine heart”

(Proverbs 23:26),  our labors, our influence, our liberality, will all follow.

This is a just claim. It is founded on Divine right and authority; for

He is our Creator and King, He has a powerful claim upon our

gratitude; for He has treated us with bounty, and He has given us

His Son to redeem us from iniquity and from destruction. We are

for ever dependent upon Him, who is our Lord and Judge; and, in

giving unto Him, we do but give Him His own. (vs. 14,16)




Ø      A willing response. In fact, there can be no unwilling response. God

does not use constraint, and a grudged offering would not be

acceptable to Him; for it is our affection and devotion that He desires.


Ø      An immediate response. “Who is willing this day?” To-day is not too

early; to-morrow may be too late. The old have no time to lose. The

middle-aged and busy should not leave decision until old age comes,

if come it should. But it is chiefly from the young that AN


GOSPEL IS DESIRED that so they may spend a whole life in His

delightful service. “To-day if ye will hear His voice, HARDEN NOT

YOUR HEART.”  (Psalm 95:7-8; Hebrews 4:7)


  • AN APPEAL URGED. “Who is willing?” All who are capable of

understanding the entreaty and the ground upon which it is based; all

who enjoy religious privileges, who hear God’s Word, Christ’s gospel,

are under a sacred obligation to yield themselves a living sacrifice

 unto God  (Romans 12:1-2).  Motives, inducements, persuasions, —

all are brought to bear upon the soul. A most honorable and happy

service, the most desirable recompense, the profoundest satisfaction, —

all are proffered to you upon the terms of unconditional surrender,

complete consecration. “Who then is willing to consecrate his service

this day unto the Lord?”



David’s Further Address to the Congregation (vs. 1-5)


David gives an explanation at the commencement of this chapter why he

himself had prepared so much for the house of God, viz. that Solomon

himself was as yet young and tender, and the work was great. But David

assigns the true reason why the work was great, viz. that the house was

not for man, but FOR THE LORD GOD.” It is true that the house was

a great one, and that the work was great in a natural point of view. But all such

thoughts are lost or sink behind HIM, WHO ALONE, makes anything great —

THE LORD GOD!   There are two ways of estimating greatness — one that

strikes the mere outward sense, and one that looks at God. It may be that

the building is only a hut, but if it is to the Lord it is infinitely greater than

the grandest building ever erected by the art of man. And because it was

for the Lord, David had prepared for it “with all his might.” It is this

motive which gives power and strength and delight and earnestness to all

work. But it was not only as a king David had thus prepared. In this world

men may separate the office from the person; but not so in the kingdom of

God. God’s claims on men are not only official but PERSONAL, not only as

kings, but as Christian men. David had prepared so much (see v. 2) as

Israel’s king, but he bad also prepared so much of “his own proper good”

(see v. 3). A minister of Christ has not only to walk worthy of his

vocation as a minister, but also as a man; not only in the pulpit and parish,

but as a man in all the private relations of life. Having fulfilled both of these

relations to the house of God, he can now make his appeal to others. He

has set the example: who will follow it? “Who then is willing to consecrate

his service this day unto the Lord?” (v.5) - “Those things which ye have

both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do” (Philippians 4:9).

And consecration is simply to “fill the hand” (see margin). “He has his

hands full” is a familiar saying. Yes; it is every faculty of the man — body,

soul, and spirit taken up with the Lord and His work. No room for anything

else. Not even a grain more can the hand hold. “To me to live is Christ”

(Ibid. 1:21).  All our secular work done to Him. Thus life becomes transfigured.

And this is not for to-morrow. It is “THIS DAY.”  God asks for it NOW!

Two of God’s requirements there are which admit of no to-morrow:


  • One is the salvation of the soul: “NOW is the accepted time; NOW is

the day of salvation.” 


  • Another is consecration-dedication to God:  “Who then is willing to

consecrate his service this day unto the Lord?” It is not so much a

command as an appeal.  It must come from the heart or it cannot be

accepted. Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6.)

is made to the heart of the prophet. That heart had “seen the King,” and

out of the fullness of a love that had penetrated its inmost recesses it

exclaimed, Here am I, Lord; send me.” So it was here. All the princes

and rulers and congregation of Israel responded to this appeal from one

whom they loved, and offered largely and “willingly.” No wonder all was

joy. The king, the princes, the congregation, were overflowing with joy.

 It was the response of a “perfect heart, a true, whole-hearted, joyous

surrender of themselves and all they had to the Lord. This is THE


ELSEan unconditional surrender of ourselves and all we have

TO HIM  who loved us and gave Himself for us.” (Ephesians 5:2)


6 “Then the chief of the fathers and princes of the tribes of Israel and

the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers of the

king’s work, offered willingly,” The response was hearty; it comprised

voluntary gifts from the most of those mentioned in ch.28:1; and described in

ch.27:16-31. For the rulers of the king’s work, see ch.27:26; 28:1. As the

more general term “work” is employed, we are not bound to confine the

expression to include only those who managed “the substance and cattle”

of ch.28:1.


7 “And gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand

talents and ten thousand drams, and of silver ten thousand talents,

and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand

talents of iron.”  The Authorized Version translation drams occurs also twice

in Ezra and twice in Nehemiah. There is no doubt that the coin referred to is

the Persian daric, with which the Jews became familiar during the time of

their exile. The Hebrew word appears in three different forms.


  • As ˆwOmK]r]d"a}; here and Ezra 8:27.
  • As ˆwOmK]r]D"; Ezra 2:69; Nehemiah 7:70-72.
  • As ˆwork]D"; in rabbinical writings, but not in Scripture.


The obverse of the coin shows the image of a king, with bow and spear. The

value of the coin is variously computed at thirteen shillings and sixpence or

twenty-two shillings and sixpence. Keil suggests that the mention of darics

as well as talents in this verse may point to some of the gold being contributed

in the shape of coin instead of talents-weight. This does not seem likely, however,

because, of course, the daric itself was not in use in Jerusalem in David’s time,

and any gold coin that was then in use might have received mention on its own

account, even if translated also into the daric. The Septuagint translates in this

verse merely by the word crusou~v chrusous made of gold; gold coin - the

Vulgate by solidos. Under any circumstances, the coin is to be distinguished

from the dracnh> - drachma – silver coin; piece of silver.  Specimens of the

daric, both in gold and silver, exist in the Paris and Vienna Museums. The Hebrew

word for the ten thousand  preceding the so-called drams of this verse is the

word for “myriad” (wOBri, a shortened form of twOBr), found also in Ezra 2:64;

Nehemiah 7:66;  Daniel 11:12; Jonah 4:11.


8 “And they with whom precious stones were found gave them to the

treasure of the house of the LORD, by the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite.

9  Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because

with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David

the king also rejoiced with great joy.”  For Jehiel, see ch.23:7-8: 26:20-22;

and for the stones contributed among the other gifts, see Exodus 35:9, 27.

Of the same chapter in Exodus, especially in its vs. 4-9 and 20-29, the whole

of our present passage so vividly reminds us that the difficulty might be to

doubt that it was present as a model to the mind of David himself.



Next, the majesty and comprehensiveness of this passage, vs. 10-20, we

have a national liturgy of itself, that are in direct proportion to the brevity of it.

It includes adoration, acknowledgment of the inherent nature of human

dependence, self-humiliation, and confession, dedication of all the

offerings, and prayer both for the whole people in general, and for

Solomon in particular, in view of his future position and responsibilities. Its

utter repudiation of all idea of meritoriousness is very striking. The traces

are visible of what may be called snatches of memory on the part of David

from various religious odes of his own authorship, as well as from those of

others still on record, as, for instance, especially in vs. 14-17, compared

with passages in Psalm 24.; 50.; 89,; 39; 90.; 102.; 144.; 7.; 17.; and 139.

But the unity of this service is abundantly conspicuous, and every sentence

seems weighed and measured for the occasion. The scene, reaching its

climax in what is recorded in v. 20, must have been one of the utmost

religious grandeur and impressiveness. It is true that the very last clause,

which couples the reverence done on the part of the assembled multitude

to the king, with that done to Jehovah Himself, strikes us as an unfortunate

conjunction. It does not, indeed, need upon its merits any vindication,

considering the tenor of all which has preceded; but it may be felt an

extenuation of the form in which the expression occurs, if we suppose (as

we justly may) that the people viewed their act in the light of part of their

religious service at that particular time. In I Kings 1:31 the same words

express the reverence paid to David, though in numerous other passages

they mark that offered to God (Exodus 4:31; II Chronicles 29:30;

Nehemiah 8:6).


10 “Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation:

and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father,

for ever and ever.  11 Thine, O LORD is the greatness, and the power,

and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the

heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and

thou art exalted as head above all.  12 Both riches and honor come of

thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might;

and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.

13 Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious

name.  14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able

to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of

thine own have we given thee.”


15 “For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our

fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none

abiding.”    Of the seven other clear occasions of occurrence of the word

here translated abiding (hw,q]mi), it bears three times the meaning of “a

gathering together” as of waters (Genesis 1:10; Exodus 7:19; Leviticus 11:36).

The other four times it is translated in the Authorized Version “hope,” either in

the abstract (Ezra 10:2), or in the personal object of it (Jeremiah 14:8; 17:13;

50:7). Probably the word “abiding,” as drawn from this latter aspect of the word,

expresses with sufficient accuracy the intended meaning here.


Man But a Sojourner  (v.15)


Before “life and immortality” had been “brought to light” (II Timothy 1:10),

the brevity of man’s life on the earth seems to have caused much distress, even to

godly people. There is a wailing tone about many of the Old Testament

references to short life and remorseless death that seem but little in advance

of the despairings of the pagan, who cried after his passing friend, “Vale,

vale, aeternum vale!” (Farewell for ever) - A few specimens may be given.

“For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time,

 and then vanisheth away.” (I remember, as a teenager in the late 1950’s, in Pulaski

County Kentucky watching the Strategic Air Command’s B-52’s, tankers, and fighter

jets, as they flew over terrain that, topographically was similar to that of the inhabited

Soviet Union.  They were practicing mock bombing runs.  In so doing they would leave

a trail like this vapor of which James is speaking – I was aware of this verse then and

understood its application.  But now, over a half century  later I understand it much

better – that is the brevity of life! – CY – 2009 on James 4:14 and 2013)

 “All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of

the field; the grass withereth, the flower fadeth, because the Spirit of the

Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.” (Isaiah 40:6-7) -“As for man,

his days are as grass:” - (following is an excerpt from Charles Haddon Spurgeon

on Psalm 103:15-16 -  He lives on the grass, and lives like the grass. Corn is but

educated grass, and man, who feeds on it, partakes of its nature. The grass lives,

grows, flowers, falls beneath the scythe, dries up, and is removed from the field:

read this sentence over again, and you will find it the history of man.)

 (Dear Reader, it is my history.  I remember in the late 1950’s sitting on the ground

between the house and the barn and reading this and the next verse and what an

impression it made on me!  Now  a half century later, I can testify of this truth. 

That afternoon, I looked out over the hay field and projected my thoughts.  THE

TIME IS SHORT – the theme of this web site – CY – 2011 and 2013) -   “My

days are swifter than a post: they flee away, they see no good. They are

passed away as the swift ships: as the eagle that hasteth to the prey.”

(Job 9:25-26), “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent

without hope.” (Ibid. ch. 7:6), “Let me alone; for my days are vanity.”

(Ibid. v. 16).  There is, happily, another side to the Old Testament

representations, and the pious men of the olden times looked away from

swift passing life, and from the sorrow of death and separation, to the


 and the high and eternal hopes that rest upon his gracious provisions

and promises. Transitoriness is the condition of present being, not for us men

only, but also for all the created things with which we have to do.  (God made

the creation subject to vanity and change – Romans 8:20).   All nature tells of

change and passing away; things are here for a little while, and then they vanish

away. The winter snow falls lightly, and lies in its white purity — mystic, wonderful

over all the land; but soon it soils and browns and sinks away. The

spring flowers that come, responsive to the low sunshine and the gentle

breath, are so fragile, and they stay with us but such a little time, and then

pass away. The summer blossoms multiply and stand thick over the

ground, and they seem strong with their deep rich coloring; and yet they

too wither and droop and pass away. The autumn fruits cluster on the tree

branches, and grow big, and win their soft rich bloom of ripeness; but they

too are plucked in due season, and pass away. The gay dress of varied

leafage is soon stripped off by the wild winds; one or two trembling leaves

cling long to the outmost boughs, but by-and-by even they fall and pass

away. Down every channel of the hillside are borne the crumblings washed

from the “everlasting hills,” as we call them, that are, nevertheless, fast

passing away. All around us is speaking of change and decay. The writing

is on wasting rock and crumbling peak, on the old tower and the ivied wall,

the flowing stream and the autumn tints, — ‘Here is no rest.’ Man and his

world are but sojourners. Recall Coifi, the ancient Briton’s, figure of man’s

brief life as a bird, coming out of the dark and flying through the lighted

hall away out into the dark again; and illustrate and enforce the following

points: — (I learned in a recent study of the book of Judges that it is good

that a life so sinful as ours, it is good that it is so short” – CY – 2013)

 The brevity of man’s life on the earth is designed to:


  • MAKE SERIOUS THE PRESENT. Its voice is, “Whatsoever thy hand

findeth to do, do it with thy might.”  (Ecclesiastes 9:10).  It says:


Ø      What has to be done should be done quickly.

Ø      What has to be done must be done earnestly.

Ø      And seeing the time is so short, and so much has to be accomplished,

we need much grace for the doing.


  • GLORIFY THE FUTURE. By giving us the assurance that it is the

home where we are to stay.



RELATIONS. Convincing us that we are here for some important

Purpose and mission; and that we are here on our way home,

getting ready for the life at home by the experiences of our sojourning-time.

Should we then, as Christians, grieve that life is short, and we are only here

on earth awhile as the stranger who turns aside to tarry for a night? Surely

not, if we keep close home to our hearts the conviction that we are

homeward bound.


16  O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee

an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.   

17  I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in

uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have

willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy

people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.”  It may very

possibly be that the stress with which David here says, I know, had its special

cause. The thought of God as one who “tried” the heart is one often brought

out in David’s psalms, but a strong conviction of it may have been wrought in

David’s mind by Samuel’s rehearsal of the language God used to him at the

very time of the election of David from amid all the other of Jesse’s sons

(I Samuel 16:7).


18 “O LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep

this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy

people, and prepare their heart unto thee:”  In the imagination of the

thoughts of the heart. We have here again a reminiscence of the early

 language of Genesis (Genesis 6:5; 8:21. See also our book, ch.28:9;

Deuteronomy 31:21). This same word for “imagination” (rx,ye) is found

in the Authorized Version in Isaiah 26:3, “Whose mind is stayed on thee;” 

and in Psalm 103:14; Isaiah 29:16; Habakkuk 2:18; in the last three

passages translated as “frame,” “framed,” and “work.”


19  And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy

commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all

these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made

provision.”  For the palace, see v. 1.


20  And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the LORD your

God. And all the congregation blessed the LORD God of their

fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the LORD,

and the king.”


Verses 21-25,  record “the sacrifices and drink offerings” by

which all the service of this day was ratified as it were on the following

day; also the solemn “anointing of Solomon to the Lord as chief governor,

and of Zadok as priest,” with the visible enthronement of Solomon, and the

submission to him “of all Israel, of all the princes and mighty men, and also

of all the sons of David” (I Kings 1:49-53).


21 “And they sacrificed sacrifices unto the LORD, and offered burnt

offerings unto the LORD, on the morrow after that day, even a

thousand bullocks, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, with

their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel:”

In this verse the distinction is to be noticed between the sacrifices of thank

offerings (μyjib;z]); those of burnt offerings (μwOl[O); and their drink

offerings, i.e the drink offerings that went with them (μj,yKes]ni). For the

first of these the more specific Hebrew word is μymil;v] (Leviticus 7:20; 9:4)

or μymil;v] j;b"z, (Leviticus 3:1; 7:11, 13, 15; Numbers 7:17). The breast and

right shoulder were the priest’s share. All the rest belonged to the person who

sacrificed, and his friends, and must be eaten the same or the next day

(Leviticus 7:11-18, 29-34).  (These offerings are dealt with in a thorough

manner in the referred to chapters of Leviticus – a study which I recommend –

CY  - 2013).  The last clause of our verse tells us how ample was the feast

provided by these sacrifices on this occasion, being in abundance for all

Israel The burnt offering is first mentioned in Genesis 8:20; it is the

only sacrifice that the Book of Genesis (see 15:9, etc.; 22:2, etc.) knows.

The offering (hj;n]mi) of Genesis 4:4 is somewhat obscure, but does not

appear to have been a sacrifice of blood. This sacrifice was one which was

wholly consumed on the altar of fire, and supposed to ascend to heaven.

The chief kinds of burnt offerings were:


  • the daily (Exodus 29:38-42; Numbers 28:3-8);
  • the sabbath (Numbers 28:8-10);
  • that at the new moon, the Day of Atonement, the three great

festivals and the Feast of Trumpets (Numbers 28:11-29:39).


Beside these, there were the several kinds of freewill and private burnt

offerings. The first, seventh, and eighth chapters of Leviticus contain full

accounts of the ceremonial. The drink offering is spoken of as early as

Genesis 35:14; but those to which reference is here made as appertaining

to the before-mentioned sacrifices are more explicitly spoken of in such

passages as Exodus 29:40; Leviticus 23:13; Numbers 6:17; 15:5-24; 28:10-14.


22 “And did eat and drink before the LORD on that day with great

gladness. And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time,

and anointed him unto the LORD to be the chief governor, and Zadok to

be priest.”  Evident stress is laid upon the eating and drinking of that day

as before the Lord, and upon the anointing of Solomon to the Lord. This

latter expression is more forcible than the former. The second time of

making Solomon king is explained by ch.23:1 and I Kings 1:32-40. The

statement that Zadok was anointed to be priest must probably be understood

to describe, either the re-anointing of him (just as “they made Solomon king

the second time”) on an occasion which particularly invited it; or an anointing

which had not been before fully performed. This latter is, perhaps, an unlikely

supposition; but at the same time, the fact of any previous ceremony of the

kind does not happen to be narrated. Zadok had been joint priest with Abiatbar

of the line of Ithamar (ch.15:11; II Samuel 19:11); but now he was anointed

under circumstances of special publicity, and at a crisis of special interest,

to supersede Abiathar. who had sided with Adonijah, and who was early to

be removed altogether from the sacred office (1 Kings 1:7-8, 32, 38, 44-45;



23 “Then Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king instead of

David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.”  For the happy

expression, the throne of the Lord, see ch.28:5. And for evidence that Solomon

did really exercise royal authority before David’s death, see I Kings 1:32, 45-48;



24 “And all the princes, and the mighty men, and all the sons likewise

of king David, submitted themselves unto Solomon the king.”



David’s Prayer and Blessing (vs. 10-24)


In this blessing we observe how everything is ASCRIBED TO GOD

greatness, power, glory, victory, majesty, riches, honor, the kingdom;

ALL ARE HIS AND COME FROM HIM!  What an exalted view of God is here!

And there follows that which always follows on man’s side, “humility” (vs. 14-16).

God’s greatness bows down the soul in conscious littleness. We are

strangers,” “sojourners;” our days a “shadow” and “none abiding.” In

order, then, to be humble, we should ever have God’s greatness and God’s

grace filling the soul in conscious littleness.   The eye on God, and there is no

room for the creature but in the dust. Davids prayers close with one for the

people (v. 18) and one for Solomon (v. 19). He prays for the congregation, that

God would keep them ever in this frame of heart, viz. of willing, joyful, whole-

hearted surrender of themselves and all they had to Him; and also that their hearts

might be ever set towards God Himself. For Solomon he prays that God

would give him an undivided heart. And this whole-heartedness would

show itself first in relation to God and His truth — “To keep thy

commandments, thy testimonies, thy statutes, and to do all these things;”

and secondly, “to build the palace for the which I have made provision.”

This is ever the Divine order in David’s mind — God and His truth first,

and the work of God next. And finally, he calls upon the whole assembly to

praise the Lord, which they did, bowing before the Lord and the king, and

worshiping. In order to seal their confession thus made in word and deed,

they proposed a great feast on the following day, consisting of a thousand

bullocks, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, with drink offerings and

thank offerings to correspond. Thus ended the consecration, the prayer and

praise, viz. in joy and “GREAT GLADNESS.”   These are ever the results,

and there never wilt be joy and gladness in the Lord WITHOUT THEM!


25 “And the LORD magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all

Israel, and bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not been

on any king before him in Israel.”  There were, of course, only

two kings “before” Solomon in Israel. The promise of God to Solomon,

however, when He was “pleased” with the speech of the prayer which he

offered a very short time subsequently, was much larger, and suggests itself

to us as what may really have been present to the mind of the historian

when he used the less comprehensive words above (II Chronicles 1:12;

I Kings 3:12-13).



Solomon’s Accession (vs. 23-25)


The book which has been so largely occupied with the acts and the reign of

David, closes with the accession of his son. It is an exemplification of the

saying, “One generation passeth away and another generation cometh.”

(Ecclesiastes 1:4).  Each generation has its own work to do, and has then to make

way for its successor. David’s part was to conquer by valor and power; Solomon’s

part was to reign in magnificence. David prepared for the temple; Solomon

built it. Everything that a father could do to facilitate a son’s work David

certainly did for his successor, who entered upon a heritage of peace and power.



RELIGION. They “anointed him unto the Lord;” he “sat on the throne

of the Lord.” These expressions, taken in connection with the narrative of the

events following Solomon’s accession, indicate that he began his reign in a

truly religious spirit, with a desire to consecrate his position and

 influence to the glory of God.





conspicuous loyalty the ancient captains and chiefs of David transferred their

allegiance to his youthful successor, and the people who had been dazzled into

obedience by the exploits of the father, at once and cheerfully submitted to

the sway of the son.




Is by the chronicler justly attributed to the favor of the Lord. The “royal

majesty” of the youthful occupant of the throne exceeded anything before

known in Israel. The following Book of Chronicles is an abundant proof of

this. During the first part, at all events, of this splendid reign, Solomon

was faithful to his trust and to his God. He was a type of THE PRINCE




Verses 26-30 contain last words respecting David’s reign, its extent and its length;

respecting his death and age, and the succession of Solomon; and respecting the

sources of the history of himself, his reign, his people, and other countries.


26 “Thus David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel.”  The words of this verse,

not indeed hard to follow here, but marking the close instead of the commencement

or career of David’s reign over all Israel, are paralleled by the earlier passage,

ch. 18:14; II Samuel 8:15.


27 “And the time that he reigned over Israel was forty years; seven

years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in

Jerusalem.”  In the same way the contents of this verse are paralleled by

ch.3:4; II Samuel 5:5; I Kings 2:11; this last passage giving only seven years

instead of the seven years and six months for the reign in Hebron.


28 “And he died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honor: and

Solomon his son reigned in his stead.”  We learn from II Samuel 5:4-5, that

David was thirty years old when he began to reign in Hebron. He must,

therefore, have died in his seventy-first year. That this is called here a

good old age (Eye opening, since through the mercy of God, I am 69 –

CY -2013) shows that the length of human life had now greatly subsided.

In comparison of all his successors on the thrones of Judah and of Israel,

his age was clearly a “good old age?’



David’s Death (vs. 26-30)


Our book ends with David’s death. He had reigned forty years, viz. seven

years and a half in Hebron (I Kings 2:11), and thirty-three in

Jerusalem. And the Spirit of God writes his obituary: “He died in a good

old age.” Many an age is “old,” but not good. But David had set God

before him through life, and God sets the crown upon it in these words.

The Bible obituaries of good men are short. There is no parade, no

lengthened record on marble monument or polished stone. They need none.

Their record is in heaven. In this they form a striking contrast to the

fullsome epitaphs of this world. The greatest of men in Bible history have

short records. “So Moses died, and the Lord buried him.” Is that all, and of

such a man! Yes; for it is the life that should speak and not the death; and

that life is the character of the man, whatever the world may say of his

death. “Full of days, riches, and honor,” all worthy of a record because

consecrated to God. Our days are only “full” when thus used. What empty

days fill up the lives of most around us — days of which an unseen hand

has written “vanity,” but for which the soul must give an account to God!

(II Corinthians 5:10).  It is said here that a record is given of “the times that went

over him.” There were “times” of sorrow and “times” of joy, times of trouble and

times of rest, times of weakness and times of strength; but when God is in

them THERE ARE NO EMPTY DAYS!   They were full because God was

in them. In the midst of all the changes and chances of this mortal life may such be

our days!



Honored in Death by God and Man (v. 28)


This was the case with King David. “He died in a good old age, full of

days, riches, and honor.” With the reverent love of a whole nation round

him, they bore him to his royal tomb. “David died, according to Josephus,

at the age of seventy. The general sentiment which forbade interment

within the habitations of men, gave way in his case, as in that of Samuel.  He

was “buried in the city of David,” in the city which he had made his own,

and which could only be honored, not polluted, by containing his grave. It

was, no doubt, hewn in the rocky side of the hill, and became the center of

the catacomb in which his descendants, the kings of Judah, were interred

after him.” “The only site which is actually consecrated by traditional

sentiment as the tomb of David, is the vault underneath the Mussulman

Mosque of David, on the southern side of modern Jerusalem. The vault

professes to be built above the cavern, and contains only the cenotaph

usual in the tombs of Mussulman saints, with the inscription in Arabic, ‘O

David, whom God has made vicar, rule mankind in truth.’” Observing how

honored in death King David was, and how honored in memory King

David is, though his life was so checkered and so seriously marred with

wilfullness, indulgence, and sin, we are reminded of the lines often quoted

from our greatest national poet:


“The evil that men do lives after them;

The good is oft interred with their bones;”



and we ask — Are these lines, in any large and important sense, true; and

must we so invert our fixed notions as to admit that the good in our lives is

temporary and fading, while the evil is permanent, and must go on, with its

mischievous influences, when we have passed away? We cannot think this.

What is true about men — especially such public men as David — may be

stated under three headings.



CRITICISM. We must all accept of this condition. We must not wonder

if the criticism finds out and unduly magnifies the evil that may be in us.

Though often a source of much bitterness and trouble, and often painfully

depressing to the earnest man, it is, on the whole, healthy that public men

should be thus exposed, and must take count of the fact that their fellows

will never let their wrong-doings or wrong teachings hide away or work in

secret. It is more true that the “evil of a man” lives while he lives.



Such a time has a strange calming and solemnizing influence even on

political and theological opponents. The “other party” will write sketches

of the dead man’s life without a trace of bitterness or reference to a

disputed topic. Perhaps this was never more strikingly illustrated than at

the death of the good Dean Stanley. Touchingly tender and beautiful were

the references made to him, and all vied in saying good or saying nothing.

The good, not the evil, lived after him. And so in David’s death-time, all

the evil and the enmity were put aside, that the nation might do homage to

its great and good king.


  • AFTER DEATH CRITICISM IS KINDLY. By common consent men

try to forget the evil, and fix their thoughts only on the good. Biographies

scarcely even hint the natural weaknesses, the stumblings, or the stains.

Nay, a kind of glory-halo gathers round the heroic dead, in which we even

lose sight of their infirmities; and so it is the good in a man that lives after

him. Then comes the question — Does our homage in death to a man

necessarily imply approval of his career? Yes; it does of his career as a

whole — of the great features of it. Though this must be admitted, that the

homage is far oftener rendered to genius rather than character.


29 “Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are

written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan

the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer,”  The Hebrew word here

translated acts is identical with the words translated three times afterwards

in this verse book. A uniform rendering for all might be found in the general

word “history” or “acts.”  The question as to the probable nature of these

works, and whether identical with our Books of Samuel, has been treated of

in the Introduction. The Hebrew word for “seer,” applied in this verse to

Samuel, is ha,roh;. And that applied to Gad, though the Authorized Version

has the same translation, “seer,” is hz,jh;. There can be no doubt that the word

applied to Samuel would, under any circumstances, stand as the higher of

the two names, were there any comparison intended between them. This is

confirmed by the fact that it is found used only of him (I Samuel 9:9, 11,18-19;

II Samuel 15:27; ch. 9:22; 26:28; and in this verse) and of Hanani (II Chronicles

16:7,10), whereas the word applied to Gad in this verse is the generic name for seers,

and is used several times in the Books of Chronicles of other persons than Gad. At

the same time, the parenthesis in (I Samuel 9:9, to the effect that the word here

used of Samuel as seer (ha,roh;) was superseded in later times (as, for instance,

at the time of the writing of the Books of Samuel) by the word prophet

(aybin,), compared with Isaiah 30:10, points in a somewhat different

direction. In the first place, it would indicate that our Authorized Version

in Isaiah 30:10 should rather stand, “Which say to the prophets,

Prophesy not, and to the seers,” etc. While for our present passage it

would indicate that no insidious comparison is possible between Samuel

and Gad as seers, but rather that Samuel retains the old honored name by

which he had been wont to be called, and that to Nathan is with equal

naturalness attached the more modern name — the functions represented

being essentially the same, or at least analogous.


30 “With all his reign and his might, and the times that went over him,

and over Israel, and over all the kingdoms of the countries.” The phrase in

this verse, The times that went over him, is noticeable as an hapax legomenon.

There are, however, not a few phrases more or less nearly approaching it in sense,

and all hinging on the word times (ch.12:32; Esther 1:13; Job 24:1.; Psalm 31:15;

Daniel 7:25). The last sentence of this chapter is illustrated, and most

suggestively, by II Chronicles 12:8; 17:10-11.



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