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Clarke's Commentary on the Bible
David assembles the princes of Israel, and informs them that the temple was to be built by Solomon; to whom God had given the most gracious promises, 1 Chronicles 28:1-7. He exhorts them and him to be obedient to God, that they might continue to prosper, 1 Chronicles 28:8-10. He gives Solomon a pattern of the work, 1 Chronicles 28:11, 1 Chronicles 28:12; directs him concerning the courses of the priests and Levites, 1 Chronicles 28:13; gives also gold, by weight, for the different utensils of the temple, as God had directed him, 1 Chronicles 28:14-19; encourages Solomon to undertake the work, 1 Chronicles 28:20, 1 Chronicles 28:21.
1And 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.
David assembled - This refers to the persons whose names and offices we have seen in the preceding chapter.
2Then 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:
David - stood up upon his feet - He was now very old, and chiefly confined to his bed, (see 1 Kings 1:47); and while he was addressing his son Solomon, he continued on the bed; but when all the principal nobles of his kingdom came before him he received strength to arise and address them, standing on his feet.
3But 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.
Thou shalt not build a house - See 2 Samuel 7:6, 2 Samuel 7:13, and the observations at the end of that chapter.
4Howbeit 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:
Over Israel for ever - The government should have no end, provided they continued to walk according to the commandments of God; see 1 Chronicles 28:7. The government, as referring to Christ, is, and will be, without end.
5And 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.
6And 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.
7Moreover I will establish his kingdom for ever, if he be constant to do my commandments and my judgments, as at this day.
8Now 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.
In the audience of our God - "Before the Word of the Lord." - T.
9And 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.
10Take heed now; for the LORD hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.
The Lord hath chosen thee - "The Word of the Lord hath chosen thee." - T.
11Then 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 parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat,
David gave to Solomon - the pattern - He gave him an ichnograph of the building, with elevations, sections, and specifications of every part; and all this he received by inspiration from God himself, (see 1 Chronicles 28:12, 1 Chronicles 28:19), just as Moses had received the plan of the tabernacle.
The treasuries thereof - גנזכיו ganzaccaiv. The word גנזך ganzach is not Hebrew, but is supposed to be Persian, the same word being found in Ezra 3:1-13 :19. In this tongue we have the word ganj, a granary, a hidden treasure, and gunjoor, and gunjineh, a treasure, treasury, or barn. Parkhurst supposes that it is compounded of גנז ganaz, to treasure up, and זך zach, pure; a treasury for the most precious things.
12And 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:
All that he had by the Spirit - "By the Spirit of prophecy that was with him." - T.
13Also 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.
14He 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:
Of gold by weight - The quantity of gold which was to be put in each article.
15Even 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.
For the candlesticks - There was but one chandelier in the tabernacle; there were ten in the temple. See 1 Kings 7:49.
16And by weight he gave gold for the tables of shewbread, for every table; and likewise silver for the tables of silver:
17Also pure gold for the fleshhooks, and the bowls, and the cups: and for the golden basons he gave gold by weight for every bason; and likewise silver by weight for every bason of silver:
18And 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.
The chariot of the cherubims - "And the figure of the chariot, like to the figure of the propitiatory, where are the figures of the golden cherubim, extending their wings and covering the ark of the covenant of the Lord." - T.
19All this, said David, the LORD made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.
Understand in writing - In some vision of ecstasy he had seen a regularly sketched out plan, which had made so deep an impression on his mind that he could readily describe it to his son.
"That the architecture of the temple," says Dr. Delaney, "was of Divine origin, I, for my part, am fully satisfied from this passage, and am confirmed in this opinion by finding from Vilalpandas that the Roman, at least the Greek, architecture is derived from this, as from its fountain; and in my humble opinion even an infidel may easily believe these to be of Divine original, inasmuch as they are, at least the latter is, found perfect in the earliest models; nor hath the utmost reach of human wisdom, invention, and industry, been ever able to improve it, or alter it but to disadvantage, through the course of so many ages."
20And 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.
The Lord God - my God, will be with thee - "The Word of the Lord my God will be thy assistant." - T.
21And, 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.
Behold, the courses of the priests - The priests and the Levites, the cunning artificers, and the princes of the people, will be at thy command. Thus David, having assigned him his work, and described the manner in which it was to be done, shows him who were to be his assistants in it, and encourages him in the great undertaking.
Here we find piety, good sense, prudence, zeal for the public welfare and God's glory, the strongest attachments to the worship of Jehovah, and concern for the ordinances of religion, all united; and Solomon has his danger, his duty, and his interest placed before him in the truest and most impressive light by his pious and sensible father.