And 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.1 Chronicles 28:1. David assembled all the princes, &c. — A great deal of business David had done in his day, and had served his generation according to the will of God. But now the time draws nigh that he must die, and the nearer he comes to his end, the more busy he is, and does his work with all his might. He is now recovered from the weakness, mentioned 1 Kings 1:1. He therefore improves his recovery, as giving him an opportunity of doing God and his country a little more service.
Then 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:1 Chronicles 28:2. Then the king stood up upon his feet — Out of reverence to God, and respect to this great and honourable assembly. And said, Hear me, my brethren — So he calls the princes and chief rulers, both because they had a share with him, though under him, in the government; and in compliance with the divine command, that the king should not be lifted up above his brethren, Deuteronomy 17:20. A house of rest — A place where it might be fixed, and no more removed from place to place, as it had been. For the footstool — A house for the ark is here styled, a house for the footstool of our God. Heaven is his throne: the earth and the most magnificent temples thereon are but his footstool. So much difference is there between the manifestations of his glory, in the upper and in the lower world!
But 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.
Howbeit 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:
And 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.
And 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.1 Chronicles 28:6-7. He shall build my house, &c. — So was he a figure of him that was to come, who is both the founder and the foundation of the gospel temple. I will establish his kingdom for ever — This was to have its accomplishment in the kingdom of the Messiah which shall continue in his hands through all the ages of time, (Isaiah 9:7; Luke 1:33,) and shall then be delivered up to God, even the Father, with whom, however, he shall continue to reign to all eternity. If he be constant to do my commandments — The promise is absolute with regard to the Messiah, but conditional with regard to Solomon. As at this day — As he hath begun, and hitherto continued to do, in some good measure. If we are constant in our duty, then, and not otherwise, we may expect the continuance of his favour.
Moreover I will establish his kingdom for ever, if he be constant to do my commandments and my judgments, as at this day.
Now 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.1 Chronicles 28:8. In the audience of our God — I exhort and charge you every one, calling God, who is here present, and this congregation, wherein all Israel are present by their representatives, for witnesses against you, if you do not follow my counsel. Keep and seek for all the commandments of the Lord — Keep those commands which you know, and seek for or search into what you are yet ignorant of, that you may distinctly understand the whole will of God, and seriously give yourselves to the practice of it. God’s commandments cannot be kept without great care. And it concerns those who profess religion, as they regard the favour of God, or even their reputation with men, to be faithful to their profession.
And 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.1 Chronicles 28:9. Know thou the God of thy father — Thou knowest that there is a God, a living and true God, and that the God of thy father is that God: thou knowest not only that he is, but what he is: that he is a Spirit, an infinite and eternal Spirit, self-existent, and therefore independent of, and supreme over, all other beings, who are only the workmanship of his hands. Thou knowest that he is possessed of all possible perfections, of unsearchable wisdom, of almighty power, of unfathomable goodness, of inviolable truth, of impartial justice, of unspeakable mercy and love: that he is thy Creator, Preserver, and Benefactor, to whom thou art indebted for all thy powers and faculties of body and mind; for thy life, and breath, and all things: that he is thy Redeemer and Saviour, thy Governor and Judge. But know him as he makes himself known to his people when he gives them a heart to know him, (Jeremiah 24:7,) and manifests himself to them as he does not to the world. Know him as a sin-pardoning God, merciful to thy unrighteousness, and remembering thy sins and iniquities no more, Jeremiah 31:34. Know him so as to be acquainted, intimately acquainted, and at peace with him, Job 22:21; so as to love and live to him: for God is love, and God is holy, and he that loveth him not, knoweth him not, 1 John 4:7-8; and, he that saith he knoweth him and loveth him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 1 John 2:4. And serve him — That is, worship and obey him, and endeavour to serve and promote his honour and interest in the world, which is the interest of piety and virtue, of truth and grace. With a perfect heart — Not only with a sincere and upright heart, but with an entire and undivided heart, or with thy whole heart, being fervent in his love, and zealous in his service, and therefore with a heart entirely changed and made new, Ezekiel 36:26. And with a willing mind — Not with reluctance, as if his service were a bondage and drudgery; but with alacrity, delight, and joy, and from a principle of love to him and his service, knowing by experience that it is perfect freedom. For the Lord searcheth all hearts — And as he has made it the indispensable duty of all ranks and conditions of mankind, of kings as well as their subjects, to know, love, and serve him, in sincerity and truth; so he takes notice, and perfectly knows, whether they do so or not; nor can any one impose on him by false pretences. If thou, Solomon my son, only take up a form or profession of religion to please me and others; or if thy obedience to God be insincere, thou mayest indeed deceive man, but thou canst not deceive him, for he searcheth the desires and designs, the counsels and intentions, nay, the thoughts and imaginations, and all the motions of the heart. If thou seek him — In the way he hath appointed, by prayer, meditation upon, faith in, and obedience to, his word; if thou seek him sincerely, perseveringly, and with all thy heart; he will be found of thee — Will manifest himself to thee by his holy and enlightening Spirit, will make himself known to thee as thy friend, and father, and God in covenant: yea, he that commanded light to shine out of darkness, will shine into thy heart, and give thee the light of the knowledge of his glory; so that, beholding his glory with open face, thou shalt be changed into his image, and shalt resemble the God thou lovest and servest, 2 Corinthians 3:18. But if, after having known, and loved, and begun to serve him aright, thou forsake him — Desert his love and service, and turn from following him; he will cast thee off for ever — Notwithstanding his promises to me and my seed, and that great honour and favour which he hath showed thee. Reader, observe, this advice and charge, given by David to his son Solomon, is given by the Holy Ghost to thee, and every human creature into whose hands these divine oracles come. O! see that thou attend to it, and make it thy chief care, and the constant business of thy life, to comply with and reduce it to practice.
Take heed now; for the LORD hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.1 Chronicles 28:10. A house for a sanctuary — That is, a sanctuary, or holy place, for the ark to dwell in. Be strong, and do it — Take courage and resolution to break through all difficulties, troubles, discouragements, and oppositions, which thou mayest possibly meet with.
Then 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,1 Chronicles 28:11. David gave Solomon the pattern of the porch — To wit, of the temple, which is necessarily to be understood. And of the houses thereof — The houses of the temple, namely, of the holy place, and the holy of holies. And of the inner parlours thereof — Those rooms which were made against the walls of the house round about, 1 Kings 6:5. And of the place of the mercy-seat — In what particular part of the holy of holies it was to be placed.
And 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:1 Chronicles 28:12. The pattern of all he had by the Spirit — By the Spirit of God, as is evident from 1 Chronicles 28:19. All the particulars of the tabernacle built by Moses were suggested to him by God’s Spirit, and it is not credible that God would use less care and exactness in the building of this far more glorious and durable work. All this, it seems, was given him in writing, probably by the ministry of an angel. The temple was to be a sacred thing, a type of Christ, of his church, and of heaven. Therefore it was not to be contrived by man’s invention, but to be framed by divine institution. So Christ the true temple, the church, the gospel temple, and heaven, the everlasting temple, are all framed according to the divine counsels, and the plan laid before the world began. It is supposed, the tabernacle of Moses, with all its utensils, being wanted no more, was laid up here.
Also 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.
He 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:
Even 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.1 Chronicles 28:15-16. According to the use of every candlestick — Whether they were to be fixed in one place, whereof there were ten in the holy place, or to be carried from place to place. Gold for the tables — There were divers tables to be used about the show-bread; but one of them seems to have been of more eminence than the rest, and therefore it is commonly called the table of the show-bread, in the singular number.
And by weight he gave gold for the tables of shewbread, for every table; and likewise silver for the tables of silver:
Also 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:
And 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.1 Chronicles 28:18. For the altar of incense reigned gold — Purer than any of the rest. For that was typical of the intercession of Christ, than which nothing can be more pure and perfect. The chariot of the cherubim — Which Solomon was to make, (for those which were fastened to the mercy-seat were made by Moses long before,) which he fitly compares to a chariot, because within them God is said to sit and to dwell. And because a chariot is made to carry a person from place to place, this expression may be used to intimate, that God was not so fixed to them by the building of this temple, but that he would remove from them if they forsook him. Covered the ark — Not above it, for that was done by Moses’s cherubim, but before it, to keep it from the eyes of the high-priest, when he entered into the most holy place.
All this, said David, the LORD made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.1 Chronicles 28:19. The Lord made me understated in writing — The meaning is, either, 1st, That God revealed this to Samuel, or Gad, or Nathan or some other man of God, to be by them put in writing, and communicated to David: or, 2d, That God did, as it were, by his own hand and finger, (wherewith he wrote the ten commandments,) write these things upon the table of his mind.
And 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.1 Chronicles 28:20. The Lord, even my God, will be with thee — He whom I have chosen and served, who has all along been with me, and prospered me. I recommend thee to him; he will be with thee, to strengthen, direct, and prosper thee. The God that owned our fathers, and carried them through the services of their day, will, in like manner, if we are faithful to him, go along with us in our day, and will never fail us. God never leaves any, unless they first leave him.
And, 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.