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CHAPTER 29

1Ch 29:1-9. David Causes the Princes and People to Offer for the House of God.

1, 2. Solomon … is yet young and tender—Though Solomon was very young when he was raised to the sovereign power, his kingdom escaped the woe pronounced (Ec 10:16). Mere childhood in a prince is not always a misfortune to a nation, as there are instances of the government being wisely administered during a minority. Solomon himself is a most illustrious proof that a young prince may prove a great blessing; for when he was but a mere child, with respect to his age, no nation was happier. His father, however, made this address before Solomon was endowed with the divine gift of wisdom, and David's reference to his son's extreme youth, in connection with the great national undertaking he had been divinely appointed to execute, was to apologize to this assembly of the estates—or, rather, to assign the reason of his elaborate preparations for the work.

3, 4. Moreover … I have of mine own proper good, &c.—In addition to the immense amount of gold and silver treasure which David had already bequeathed for various uses in the service of the temple, he now made an additional contribution destined to a specific purpose—that of overlaying the walls of the house. This voluntary gift was from the private fortune of the royal donor, and had been selected with the greatest care. The gold was "the gold of Ophir," then esteemed the purest and finest in the world (Job 22:24; 28:16; Isa 13:12). The amount was three thousand talents of gold and seven thousand talents of refined silver.

5. who then is willing to consecrate his serviceHebrew, "fill his hand"; that is, make an offering (Ex 32:29; Le 8:33; 1Ki 13:33). The meaning is, that whoever would contribute voluntarily, as he had done, would be offering a freewill offering to the Lord. It was a sacrifice which every one of them could make, and in presenting which the offerer himself would be the priest. David, in asking freewill offerings for the temple, imitated the conduct of Moses in reference to the tabernacle (Ex 25:1-8).

6-8. Then the chief of the fathers—or heads of the fathers (1Ch 24:31; 27:1).

princes of the tribes—(1Ch 27:16-22).

rulers of the king's work—those who had charge of the royal demesnes and other possessions (1Ch 27:25-31).

offered willingly—Influenced by the persuasive address and example of the king, they acted according to their several abilities, and their united contributions amounted to the gross sum—of gold 5,000 talents and 10,000 drams; and of silver, 10,000 talents, besides brass and iron.

7. drams—rather, darics, a Persian coin, with which the Jews from the time of the captivity became familiar, and which was afterwards extensively circulated in the countries of Western Asia. It is estimated as equal in value to 25s. of British currency.

of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron—In Scripture, iron is always referred to as an article of comparatively low value, and of greater abundance and cheaper than bronze [Napier].

8. and they with whom precious stones were found—rather, "whatever was found along with it of precious stones they gave" [Bertheau]. These gifts were deposited in the hands of Jehiel, whose family was charged with the treasures of the house of the Lord (1Ch 26:21).

1Ch 29:10-25. His Thanksgiving.

10-19. Wherefore David blessed the Lord—This beautiful thanksgiving prayer was the effusion overflowing with gratitude and delight at seeing the warm and widespread interest that was now taken in forwarding the favorite project of his life. Its piety is displayed in the fervor of devotional feeling—in the ascription of all worldly wealth and greatness to God as the giver, in tracing the general readiness in contributing to the influence of His grace, in praying for the continuance of this happy disposition among the people, and in solemnly and earnestly commending the young king and his kingdom to the care and blessing of God.

16. all this store that we have prepared—It may be useful to exhibit a tabular view of the treasure laid up and contributions stated by the historian as already made towards the erection of the proposed temple. Omitting the brass and iron, and precious stones, which, though specified partly (1Ch 29:7), are represented in other portions as "without weight" (1Ch 22:3, 14), we shall give in this table only the amount of gold and silver; and taking the talent of gold as worth £5475 (the talent being 125 pounds in weight), the value of the gold will be about 73s. per ounce. The talent of silver is given at £342 3s. 9d., or 4s.d. per ounce. The total amount of the contributions will be:

Sum accumulated, and in public treasury (1Ch 22:14):
      Gold £547,500,000
      Silver 342,187,500
Contributed by David from his private resources [1Ch 29:4]:
      Gold 16,425,000
      Silver 2,395,312
Contributed by the assembled rulers [1Ch 29:7]:
      Gold 28,000,000
      Silver 3,421,875
A grand total of approximately £939,929,687

Though it has been the common practice of Eastern monarchs to hoard vast sums for the accomplishment of any contemplated project, this amount so far exceeds not only every Oriental collection on record, but even the bounds of probability, that it is very generally allowed that either there is a corruption of the text in 1Ch 22:14, or that the reckoning of the historian was by the Babylonian, which was only a half, or the Syrian, which was only a fifth part, of the Hebrew talent. This would bring the Scripture account more into accordance with the statements of Josephus, as well as within the range of credibility.

20. all the congregation … worshipped the Lord, and the king—Though the external attitude might be the same, the sentiments of which it was expressive were very different in the two cases—of divine worship in the one, of civil homage in the other.

21, 22. they sacrificed … And did eat and drink—After the business of the assembly was over, the people, under the exciting influence of the occasion, still remained, and next day engaged in the performance of solemn rites, and afterwards feasted on the remainder of the sacrifices.

22. before the Lord—either in the immediate vicinity of the ark, or, perhaps, rather in a religious and devout spirit, as partaking of a sacrificial meal.

made Solomon … king the second time—in reference to the first time, which was done precipitately on Adonijah's conspiracy (1Ki 1:35).

they … anointed … Zadok—The statement implies that his appointment met the popular approval. His elevation as sole high priest was on the disgrace of Abiathar, one of Adonijah's accomplices.

23. Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord—As king of Israel, he was the Lord's vicegerent.

24. submitted themselvesHebrew, "put their hands under Solomon," according to the custom still practised in the East of putting a hand under the king's extended hand and kissing the back of it (2Ki 10:15).

1Ch 29:26-30. His Reign and Death.

26. Thus David … reigned—(See 1Ki 2:11).

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