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Solomon Instructed to Build the Temple
David assembled at Jerusalem all the officials of Israel, the officials of the tribes, the officers of the divisions that served the king, the commanders of the thousands, the commanders of the hundreds, the stewards of all the property and cattle of the king and his sons, together with the palace officials, the mighty warriors, and all the warriors. 2Then King David rose to his feet and said: “Hear me, my brothers and my people. I had planned to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, for the footstool of our God; and I made preparations for building. 3But God said to me, ‘You shall not build a house for my name, for you are a warrior and have shed blood.’ 4Yet the Lord God of Israel chose me from all my ancestral house to be king over Israel forever; for he chose Judah as leader, and in the house of Judah my father’s house, and among my father’s sons he took delight in making me king over all Israel. 5And of all my sons, for the Lord has given me many, he has chosen my son Solomon to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. 6He said to me, ‘It is your son Solomon who shall build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be a son to me, and I will be a father to him. 7I will establish his kingdom forever if he continues resolute in keeping my commandments and my ordinances, as he is today.’ 8Now therefore in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of the Lord, and in the hearing of our God, observe and search out all the commandments of the Lord your God; that you may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children after you forever.
9 “And you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve him with single mind and willing heart; for the Lord searches every mind, and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will abandon you forever. 10Take heed now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary; be strong, and act.”
11 Then David gave his son Solomon the plan of the vestibule of the temple, and of its houses, its treasuries, its upper rooms, and its inner chambers, and of the room for the mercy seat; 12and the plan of all that he had in mind: for the courts of the house of the Lord, all the surrounding chambers, the treasuries of the house of God, and the treasuries for dedicated gifts; 13for the divisions of the priests and of the Levites, and all the work of the service in the house of the Lord; for all the vessels for the service in the house of the Lord, 14the weight of gold for all golden vessels for each service, the weight of silver vessels for each service, 15the weight of the golden lampstands and their lamps, the weight of gold for each lampstand and its lamps, the weight of silver for a lampstand and its lamps, according to the use of each in the service, 16the weight of gold for each table for the rows of bread, the silver for the silver tables, 17and pure gold for the forks, the basins, and the cups; for the golden bowls and the weight of each; for the silver bowls and the weight of each; 18for the altar of incense made of refined gold, and its weight; also his plan for the golden chariot of the cherubim that spread their wings and covered the ark of the covenant of the Lord.
19 “All this, in writing at the Lord’s direction, he made clear to me—the plan of all the works.”
20 David said further to his son Solomon, “Be strong and of good courage, and act. Do not be afraid or dismayed; for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished. 21Here are the divisions of the priests and the Levites for all the service of the house of God; and with you in all the work will be every volunteer who has skill for any kind of service; also the officers and all the people will be wholly at your command.”
1Ch 28:1-8. David Exhorts the People to Fear God.
1. David assembled all the princes of Israel—that is, the representatives of the people, the leading men of the kingdom, who are enumerated in this verse according to their respective rank or degree of authority.
princes of the tribes—(1Ch 27:16-22). Those patriarchal chiefs are mentioned first as being the highest in rank—a sort of hereditary noblesse.
the captains of the companies—the twelve generals mentioned (1Ch 27:1-15).
the stewards, &c.—(1Ch 27:25-31).
the officers—Hebrew, "eunuchs," or attendants on the court (1Sa 8:15; 1Ki 22:9; 2Ki 22:18); and besides Joab, the commander-in-chief of the army, the heroes who had no particular office (1Ch 11:10-12:40; 2Sa 23:8-39). This assembly, a very mixed and general one, as appears from the parties invited, was more numerous and entirely different from that mentioned (1Ch 23:2).
I had in mine heart—I proposed, or designed.
to build an house of rest—a solid and permanent temple.
for the footstool of our God—God seated between the cherubim, at the two extremities of the ark, might be said to be enthroned in His glory, and the coverlet of the ark to be His footstool.
and had made ready for the building—The immense treasures which David had amassed and the elaborate preparations he had made, would have been amply sufficient for the erection of the temple of which he presented the model to Solomon.
3. thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood—The church or spiritual state of the world, of which the temple at Jerusalem was to be a type, would be presided over by One who was to be pre-eminently the Prince of Peace, and therefore would be represented not so fitly by David, whose mission had been a preparatory one of battle and conquest, as by his son, who should reign in unbroken peace.
4, 5. he hath chosen Solomon—The spirit of David's statement is this:—It was not my ambition, my valor, or my merit that led to the enthronement of myself and family; it was the grace of God which chose the tribe, the family, the person—myself in the first instance, and now Solomon, to whom, as the Lord's anointed, you are all bound to submit. Like that of Christ, of whom he was a type, the appointment of Solomon to the kingdom above all his brethren was frequently pre-intimated (1Ch 17:12; 22:9; 2Sa 7:12-14; 12:24, 25; 1Ki 1:13).
8. Now … in the sight of all Israel, … keep and seek for all the commandments of the Lord, &c.—This solemn and earnest exhortation to those present, and to all Israel through their representatives, to continue faithful in observing the divine law as essential to their national prosperity and permanence, is similar to that of Moses (De 30:15-20).
1Ch 28:9-20. He Encourages Solomon to Build the Temple.
9, 10. And thou, Solomon my son—The royal speaker now turns to Solomon, and in a most impressive manner presses upon him the importance of sincere and practical piety.
know thou—He did not mean head knowledge, for Solomon possessed that already, but that experimental acquaintance with God which is only to be obtained by loving and serving Him.
11. Then David gave to Solomon … the pattern—He now put into the hands of his son and successor the plan or model of the temple, with the elevations, measurements, apartments, and chief articles of furniture, all of which were designed according to the pattern given him by divine revelation (1Ch 28:19).
12. the pattern of all that he had by the spirit—rather, "with him in spirit"; that is, was floating in his mind.
15, 16. the candlesticks of silver—Solomon made them all of gold—in this and a few minor particulars departing from the letter of his father's instructions, where he had the means of executing them in a more splendid style. There was only one candlestick and one table in the tabernacle, but ten in the temple.
18, 19. the chariot of the cherubim—The expanded wings of the cherubim formed what was figuratively styled the throne of God, and as they were emblematical of rapid motion, the throne or seat was spoken of as a chariot (Ps 18:10; 99:1). It is quite clear that in all these directions David was not guided by his own taste, or by a desire for taking any existing model of architecture, but solely by a regard to the express revelation of the divine will. In a vision, or trance, the whole edifice, with its appurtenances, had been placed before his eyes so vividly and permanently, that he had been able to take a sketch of them in the models delivered to Solomon.
20. Be strong and of good courage—The address begun in 1Ch 28:9 is resumed and concluded in the same strain.
21. behold, the courses of the priests and Levites—They were, most probably, represented in this assembly though they are not named.
also the princes and all the people—that is, as well the skilful, expert, and zealous artisan, as the workman who needs to be directed in all his labors.