And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be built for the LORD must be exceeding magnificent, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will therefore now make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Solomon my son is young and tender—i.e., an inexperienced young man. David repeats the expression (1Chronicles 29:1); and it is applied to Rehoboam (2Chronicles 13:7) at the age of forty-one. The word here rendered “young,” literally, “youth” (na’ar), is even more vague than the Latin adolescens. It may mean a new-born babe (Exodus 2:6), a young child (Isaiah 7:16; Isaiah 8:4), a youth (Isaiah 3:5; 1Samuel 17:55), or a man in the prime of life (1Samuel 30:17; Exodus 33:11). Solomon calls himself “a young child” (na‘ar qātôn) even after his accession to the throne (1Kings 3:7), though he was born soon after the time of the Syro-Ammonite war (2Samuel 12:24).
Tender.—Timid (Deuteronomy 20:8).
The house that is to be builded . . . exceeding magnifical.—Literally, the house to build . . . (one is) to make great exceedingly. For the infinitival construction, comp. 1Chronicles 5:1; 1Chronicles 13:4; 1Chronicles 9:25; 1Chronicles 15:2.
Exceeding.—Literally, unto height, upwards; an adverbial expression, which frequently occurs in the Chronicles. (See 1Chronicles 14:2 : “On high.”)
Of fame and of glory throughout all countries.—Literally, for a name and for a glory (tiph’ereth) for all the lands. (Comp. Isaiah 2:3; Isaiah 60:3, et seq., Isaiah 62:2-3.) In similar terms the famous Assyrian Sennacherib (Sin-ahi-irba) speaks of his palace as built “for the lodging (taprati) of multitudes of men.” And of his temple of Nergal he says: “The house of Nergal, within the city of Tarbiçu, I caused to be made, and like day I caused it to shine” (usnammir).
I will therefore now make preparation for it.—Literally, Let me now prepare for him—the expression of an earnest desire, and self-encouragement to an arduous task, rather than of mere resolve.
We need not suppose that the verse relates to any actual utterance of David’s. It is not said when nor to whom he spoke. The historian is merely representing the king’s motive for these preparations. “To say” in Hebrew often means to think, by an elliptic construction. (Comp. Exodus 2:14 with Genesis 17:17.)
So David prepared.—It is strange, but instructive, to remember that there have been critics so destitute of the historical faculty as to allege that “the whole episode about David’s preparations is a fiction of the chronist’s” (Gramberg), because the Books of Samuel and Kings are silent on the subject.1 Chronicles 22:5. So David prepared abundantly — And with good reason, because it was intended for the honour of the great God, and was to be a type of Christ, in whom all fulness dwells, and in whom are hid all treasures.1 Kings 2:2 note. David said within himself, or in his own thoughts.
Solomon is young and tender; and therefore, through youthful vanity, and folly, and unsettledness, may not use that care, and consideration, and diligence in making such provisions as this great work requires. Of Solomon’s age, see 1 Kings 3:7.
and the house that is to be builded for the Lord must be exceeding magnificent, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: and such was the temple built by Solomon; it was renowned throughout the whole earth; never was there a temple equal to it, no, not the famous temple of Diana at Ephesus, built by the assistance of many kings, and at the expense of all Asia, and was two hundred years in building:
I will therefore now, make preparation for it; seeing his son was so young, and this building to be so magnificent, though he himself was not admitted to build it:
so David prepared abundantly before his death; of which we have an after account in this chapter, and more largely in 1 Chronicles 28:1.And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be builded for the LORD must be exceeding magnificent, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will therefore now make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)5. exceeding magnifical] The Temple took seven years in building, and it was richly overlaid with gold, but its proportions were small, viz., about 90 ft. × 45 ft. × 30 ft. Some have regarded it as merely the king’s private chapel, but its small proportions do not of themselves prove this view to be correct. In any case the “House” was not intended to contain the congregation; the courts must be large to accommodate those who came up for the three great feasts, but the Temple itself need only be large enough to hold its furniture.Verse 5. - Solomon... is young and tender. It is impossible to fix the exact age of Solomon as marked by these words. In a "fragment" of Eupolemus (see Cory's 'Ancient Fragments of the Phoenician,' etc., Writers,' edit. London, 1832) he is put down at twelve years of age. Josephus ('Ant. Jud.,' 8:7, § 8) as vaguely supposes he was fourteen at the time that he took the throne. He was the second son of Bathsheba, and can scarcely have exceeded the last-mentioned age by more than three or four years (yet comp. 1 Kings 2:2; 1 Kings 3:1, 7). This same language, "young and tender," is repeated in 1 Chronicles 29:1. The reign of Solomon lasted forty years (1 Kings 11:42; 2 Chronicles 9:30). He is called old (1 Kings 11:4) when his strange wives "turned away his heart after other gods." We are not told his age at the time of his death. There are, in fact, no sufficient data for fixing to the year, or indeed within the liberal margin of several years, the age now designated as young and tender. 2 Samuel 24:25 the conclusion of this event is shortly narrated thus: David offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings, and Jahve was entreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel. In the Chronicle we have a fuller statement of the יהוה יעתר in 1 Chronicles 21:26. David called upon Jahve, and He answered with fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt-offering (1 Chronicles 21:27); and Jahve spake to the angel, and he returned the sword into its sheath. The returning of the sword into its sheath is a figurative expression for the stopping of the pestilence; and the fire which came down from heaven upon the altar of burnt-offering was the visible sign by which the Lord assured the king that his prayer had been heard, and his offering graciously accepted. The reality of this sign of the gracious acceptance of an offering is placed beyond doubt by the analogous cases, Leviticus 9:24; 1 Kings 18:24, 1 Kings 18:38, and 2 Chronicles 7:1. It was only by this sign of the divine complacence that David learnt that the altar built upon the threshing-floor of Araunah had been chosen by the Lord as the place where Israel should always thereafter offer their burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as is further recorded in 1 Chronicles 21:28-30. and in 1 Chronicles 22:1. From the cessation of the pestilence in consequence of his prayer and sacrifice, David could only draw the conclusion that God had forgiven him his transgression, but could not have known that God had chosen the place where he had built the altar for the offering demanded by God as a permanent place of sacrifice. This certainly he obtained only by the divine answer, and this answer was the fire which came down upon the altar of burnt-offering and devoured the sacrifice. This 1 Chronicles 21:28 states: "At the time when he saw that Jahve had answered him at the threshing-floor of Ornan, he offered sacrifice there," i.e., from that time forward; so that we may with Berth. translate שׁם ויּזבּח, "then he was wont to offer sacrifice there." In 1 Chronicles 21:29 and 1 Chronicles 21:30 we have still further reasons given for David's continuing to offer sacrifices at the threshing-floor of Ornan. The legally sanctioned place of sacrifice for Israel was still at that time the tabernacle, the Mosaic sanctuary with its altar of burnt-offering, which then stood on the high place at Gibeon (cf. 1 Chronicles 16:39). Now David had indeed brought the ark of the covenant, which had been separated from the tabernacle from the time of Samuel, to Zion, and had there not only erected a tent for it, but had also built an altar and established a settled worship there (1 Chronicles 17), yet without having received any express command of God regarding it; so that this place of worship was merely provisional, intended to continue only until the Lord Himself should make known His will in the matter in some definite way. When therefore David, after the conquest of his enemies, had obtained rest round about, he had formed the resolution to make an end of this provisional separation of the ark from the tabernacle, and the existence of two sacrificial altars, by building a temple; but the Lord had declared to him by the prophet Nathan, that not he, but his son and successor on the throne, should build Him a temple. The altar by the ark in Zion, therefore, continued to co-exist along with the altar of burnt-offering at the tabernacle in Gibeon, without being sanctioned by God as the place of sacrifice for the congregation of Israel. Then when David, by ordering the numbering of the people, had brought guilt upon the nation, which the Lord so heavily avenged upon them by the pestilence, he should properly, as king, have offered a sin-offering and a burnt-offering in the national sanctuary at Gibeon, and there have sought the divine favour for himself and for the whole people. But the Lord said unto him by the prophet Gad, that he should bring his offering neither in Gibeon, nor before the ark on Zion, but in the threshing-floor of Ornan (Araunah), on the altar which he was there to erect. This command, however, did not settle the place where he was afterwards to sacrifice. But David - so it runs, 1 Chronicles 21:29. - sacrificed thenceforward in the threshing-floor of Ornan, not at Gibeon in the still existent national sanctuary, because he (according to 1 Chronicles 21:30) "could not go before it (לפניו) to seek God, for he was terrified before the sword of the angel of Jahve." This statement does not, however, mean, ex terrore visionis angelicae infirmitatem corporis contraxerat (J. H. Mich.), nor yet, "because he, being struck and overwhelmed by the appearance of the angel, did not venture to offer sacrifices elsewhere" (Berth.), nor, "because the journey to Gibeon was too long for him" (O. v. Gerl.). None of these interpretations suit either the words or the context. חרב מפּני נבעת, terrified before the sword, does indeed signify that the sword of the angel, or the angel with the sword, hindered him from going to Gibeon, but not during the pestilence, when the angel stood between heaven and earth by the threshing-floor of Araunah with the drawn sword, but - according to the context - afterwards, when the angelophany had ceased, as it doubtless did simultaneously with the pestilence. The words וגו נבעת כּי can therefore have no other meaning, than that David's terror before the sword of the angel caused him to determine to sacrifice thereafter, not at Gibeon, but at the threshing-floor of Araunah; or that, since during the pestilence the angel's sword had prevented him from going to Gibeon, he did not venture ever afterwards to go. But the fear before the sword of the angel is in substance the terror of the pestilence; and the pestilence had hindered him from sacrificing at Gibeon, because Gibeon, notwithstanding the presence of the sanctuary there, with the Mosaic altar, had not been spared by the pestilence. David considered this circumstance as normative ever for the future, and he always afterwards offered his sacrifices in the place pointed out to him, and said, as we further read in 1 Chronicles 22:1, "Here (הוּא זה, properly this, mas. or neut.) is the house of Jahve God, and here is the altar for the burnt-offering of Israel." He calls the site of the altar in the threshing-floor of Araunah יהוה בּית, because there Jahve had manifested to him His gracious presence; cf. Genesis 28:17.
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