Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures
γ. Division of the Military Officers; Order of the Service and of the Royal Househould: 1 Chronicles 27
1. The Twelve Divisions of the Army: 1 Chronicles 27:1–15
1 Chronicles 27:1And the sons of Israel after their number, the heads of the houses and the captains of thousands and hundreds, and their officers that served the king in any matter of the courses, that which came in and that which went out month by month for all the months of the year, the one course was twenty and four thousand. 2Over the first course, for the first month, was Jashobam son of Zabdiel; and in his course were twenty and four thousand. 3Of the sons of Perez, the chief of all the captains of the host for the first month. 4And over the course of the second month was Dodai1 the Ahohite, and his course, and Mikloth the commander; and in his course were twenty and four thousand. 5The third captain of the host, for the third month, was Benaiah son of Jehoiada the priest as chief; and in his course were twenty 6and four thousand. This is Benaiah the hero of the thirty, and above the 7thirty; and his course was for Ammizabad his son. The fourth, for the fourth month, was Asahel Joab’s brother, and Zebadiah his son after him; and in 8his course were twenty and four thousand. The fifth, for the fifth month, was the captain Shamhuth the Izharite; and in his course were twenty and four 9thousand. The sixth, for the sixth month, was Ira son of Ikkesh the Tekoite; 10and in his course were twenty and four thousand. The seventh, for the seventh month, was Helez the Pelonite, of the sons of Ephraim; and in his 11course were twenty and four thousand. And the eighth, for the eighth month, was Sibbechai the Hushathite, of the Zarhites; and in his course were twenty 12and four thousand. And the ninth, for the ninth month, was Abiezer the Anthothite, of the Benjamites; and in his course were twenty and four13thousand. The tenth, for the tenth month, was Maharai the Netophathite, of 14the Zarhites; and in his course were twenty and four thousand. The eleventh, for the eleventh month, was Benaiah the Pirathonite, of the sons of Ephraim; 15and in his course were twenty and four thousand. The twelfth, for the twelfth month, Heldai the Netophathite, of Othniel; and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
2. The Princes of the Twelve Tribes: 1 Chronicles 27:16–24
16And over the tribes of Israel: of the Reubenites, Eliezer son of Zichri was 17ruler: of the Simeonites, Shephatiah son of Maachah. Of Levi, Hashabiah son of Kemuel: of Aaron, Zadok. 18Of Judah, Elihu.2 of the brethren of David: of Issachar, Omri son of Michael. 19Of Zebulun, Ishmaiah son of 20Obadiah: of Naphtali, Jerimoth son of Azriel. Of the sons of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Azariah: of the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joel son of Pedaiah. 21Of the half-tribe of Manasseh in Gilead, Iddo son of Zechariah: of Benjamin, 22Jaasiel son of Abner. Of Dan, Azarel son of Jeroham: these are the princes of the tribes of Israel. 23But David took not their number from twenty years old and under, because the LORD had promised to increase Israel as the stars of heaven. 24Joab the son of Zeruiah began to number, but did not finish, because for this there was wrath against Israel; and the number was not put in the account of the chronicles of King David.
3. The Lords of the Treasures and Possessions of David: 1 Chronicles 27:25–31
25And over the king’s treasures was Azmaveth son of Adiel: and over the stores in the country, in the cities, and the villages, and the towers, was26Jonathan son of Uzziah. And over the field-labourers for tillage of the ground was Ezri son of Chelub. 27And over the vineyards was Shimi the Ramathite; and over that which was in the vineyards of stores in wine was Zabdi the Shiphmite. 28And over the olive-trees and the sycamores which were in the Shephelah was Baal-hanan the Gederite: and over the cellars of oil was Joash. 29And over the herds that fed in Sharon was Shitrai the Sharonite: and over the herds in the valleys was Shaphat son of Adlai. And 30over the camels was Obil the Ishmaelite: and over the asses was Jehdeiah the Meronothite.4 31And over the flocks Jaziz the Hagrite: all these were rulers of the substance which belonged to King David.
4. The State Counsellors of David: 1 Chronicles 27:32–34
32And Jonathan, David’s kinsman, was a counsellor, a wise man, and a cribe; and Jehiel son of Hachmoni was with the king’s sons. 33And Ahithophel was the king’s counsellor; and Hushai the Archite was the king’s friend. 34And after Ahithophel was Jehoiada son of Benaiah, and Abiathar; and the general of the king’s army was Joab.
PRELIMINARY REMARK.—In this list of the military and civil officers of David, the collocation of ministers and associates of the army, domains, and Kingdom of this king is connected with the survey contained in 1 Chronicles 23–26 of the Levites and priests in his reign, and also with the account of the census of the people in 1 Chronicles 21 to the latter 1 Chronicles 27:23, 24 distinctly refer, which show the fore-mentioned captains of the military divisions and princes of the tribes as included in that census, and thereby indicate the political and military import of that measure (comp. on 21:1, 6). With the registers of Levites and priests in 1 Chronicles 23–26, however, our section is connected partly by its position and the similarity of its contents, partly by the circumstance that both, the spiritual (Levitical) and the temporal hierarchy of officers had obtained their more permanent regulation and organization in the last year of his government, and, indeed, in connection with the census of the people, as appears again from 1 Chronicles 27:23.
1. The Twelve Divisions of the Army: vers.1–15.—And the sons of Israel after their number. 1 Chronicles 27:1 forms the full superscription to the following list. As this contains only the twelve divisions of the army of 24,000 men each, with the names of their commanders, this circumstantial superscription seems to promise too much; the detailed description of the army divisions announced in it, and of their officers, appears in 1 Chronicles 27:2–15 to be no longer complete, but only preserved in the form of an abstract (Berth.). But the chief stress rests on “after their number” (לְמִסְפָּרָם), as the determination of the monthly changing military courses at the strength of 24,000 each, immediately after the close of this superscription, clearly shows. Hence all else that is here indicated, the mention of the captains of the thousands and hundreds, the officers, etc., is to be regarded as of mere secondary account.—That which came in and that which went out month by month, properly, “the coming in and outgoing,” namely, the course going in and out of service at the beinning of every month; comp. 2 Kings 11:5, 7, 9, and 2 Chron. 23:4, 8. Here naturally only the monthly attendance of each of the twelve divisions or corps is spoken of, not that they had changed places every month, and were stationed one after another in Jerusalem, which would have been quite impossible for so large a corps.—The one course;הָאַחַת taken distributively, as Num. 17:18;Judg. 8:18.
1 Chronicles 27:2. Over the first course… Jashobam. Concerning this Jashobam (perhaps “Ishbosheth”) son of Zabdiel, see on 11:11.—And in his course were twenty and four thousand, literally, “on (עַל) his course went 24,000 men.”
1 Chronicles 27:3. Of the sons of perez: he was descended from that distiguished Jewish family from which David sprang; comp. 2:4 ff.—The chief of all the captains of the host for the first month, stood as first in the series of twelve commanders relieving each other monthly, but was still subordinate to the commander of the whole army (generalissimo), namely, to Joab (1 Chronicles 27:34).
1 Chronicles 27:4. Dodai the Ahohite. On the omission of “Eleazar son of” before Dodai, see the Crit. Note.—And his course, and Mikloth the commander.ו before מִקְלוֹת appears to introduce the consequent, and seems to be superfluous, as it is wanting before עַמִּיזָבָד, 1 Chronicles 27:6, in a similar connection. At all events, Mikloth is a proper name, as 8:32, 9:37 f. prove; whether the there named Benjamite be identical with the present Mikloth must remain doubtful.
1 Chronicles 27:5. The third captain … was Benaiah ... as chief.רֹאשׁ, predicate to Benaiah, not attribute to הַכֹּהֵן. Concerning this Benaiah and his distinguished position as “hero of the thirty, and above the thirty” (more honoured than all of them), see 11:22, 25; 2 Sam. 23:23. For the constuction in 1 Chronicles 27:6b,comp. on 1 Chronicles 27:4b
1 Chronicles 27:7. Asahel … and Zebadiah his son after him. This from of expression contains a plain reference to the early death of Asahel (11:26), his tragic end, which Abner prepared for him, 2 Sam. 2:18–23. The Fourth course would thus, at least for the late time now in question, have to be designated properly after Asahel’s son Zebadiah, its than living leader. But it is called (honoris causa) de patris defuncti nomine, as Clericus well remarks, just as the family of the Maccabees is distinguished by the name Asmonæans.
1 Chronicles 27:8 ff. The following names shamhuth (earlier, 11:27, Shammoth; 2 Sam. 23:11, Shammah), Ira, Helez, Sibbechai, Abiezer, Maharai, Benaiah, and Heldai occurred together already, though in a somewhat different order, in the list of heroes in 11:27–31.—Shamhuth the Izrahite, the descendant of Zerah son of Judah, 1 Chronicles 2:4,6; הַיִּזְרָח stands for הַיִּזְרָחִי, and this is equivalent to הַזַּרְחִי, 1 Chronicles 27:11 and 13.
1 Chronicles 27:15.Heldai theNetophathite, of Othniel, belonging to the family of Othniel, incorporated by his connection with Caleb into the tribe of Judah, Josh. 15:17; Judg. 1:12–15. The name Heldai is besides in 11:30 Heleh, and in 2 Sam. 23:29, by an error of the pen, Heleb.
2. The Princes of the Twelve Tribes: 1 Chronicles 27:16–24.—In this list the twelve tribes are enumerated in quite a different order from that in Genesis, and even that in 4:7. of our book. A fundamental ground for the order here exhibited—Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Naphtali, Ephraim, Manasseh, Benjamin, Dan—can the less be ascertained, because the names of two tribes (Gad and Asher) have fallen out probably by an old corruption of the text; and there is no means even of conjecturing what was their original place in the list. There remains, therefore, only an uncertain surmise that Dan has been assigned the last place on account of his fall into idolatry; comp. evangelical and ethical reflections on 1 Chronicles 1–9, No. 3.
1 Chronicles 27:17. Of Aaron, Zadok. Whether this naming of a prince of the Aaronites, namely, the high, priest Zadok, of the line of Eleazar, along with that of the Levite was to make amends for the omitted princes of Gad and Asher is uncertain.
1 Chronicles 27:18. Of Judah, Elihu. That “Eliab” (2:13) is to be read, with the Sept., for “Elihu” is most probable, even for this reason, that Eliab was the first-born of Jesse, to whom the dignity of prince must have naturally fallen.
1 Chronicles 27:21. Of the half … in Gilead, literally, “toward Gilead” (גִּלְעָדָה), a suitable designation of the east half of Manasseh.
1 Chronicles 27:23, 24. Closing Remark on the Two Lists referring to the Army of Israel, 1 Chronicles 27:2–15 and 1 Chronicles 27:16–22.—But David took not their number from twenty years old and under; he had only those above twenty years numbered. On נָשָׂא מִסְפָּר, to take, determine, a number, comp. Num. 3:40, and EX. 30:12; Num. 1:49.—Because the Lord had promised to increase Israel as the stars of heaven. This ground for the remark that David included only those above twenty years in his census of the people obviously means that to number the whole mass of the people, which God’s promise to the patriarchs (Gen. 22:17, etc.) had designated as innumerable, was not intended by David; he had only wished to ascertain the number of those able to bear arms for the organization of his army. On 1 Chronicles 27:24a, comp. 21:6.—And the number was not put in the account of the chronicles of King David,- literally, “and the number went not up,” etc.; comp. העלה על ספר, 2 Chron. 20:34, on account of which parallel, moreover, בְּסֵפֶר is not to be read for בְּמִסְפָּר, especially as the phrase ספר דברי הימים does not occur in Chronicles. The second מִסְפָּר is rather to be understood in the sense of “reckoning, register of numbers,” and therefore we are to think of the statistical section of the annals of David’s reign (Berth., Kamph., etc.). In these the result of that great census of the people had no place according to our passage; and if, 21:5, a communication regarding this result is made, it must have been derived from some other source.
3. The Lords of the Treasures and Possessions of David: 1 Chronicles 27:25–31.—And over the king’s treasures was Azmaveth. These first-mentioned treasures in general (אֹצָרוֹת; comp. 26:20; Job 38:22) were perhaps, as the contrast with the “treasures in the country” teaches, the stores or spoils of war preserved in Jerusalem, so far as they were crown and not temple property (26:22); thus rightly Luther: “over the treasure of the king.”—And over the stores in the country, in the cities, and the villages, and the towers, that is, in the forts or keeps; comp. the notice of such towers in 2 Chron. 26:10; Mic. 4:8; Song 4:4.
1 Chronicles 27:26. And over the field-labourers for tillage of the ground was Ezri. Here begins the specification of the stores in the field, with the royal domains or fields (שׂדה here in the strict or proper sense, not as in 1 Chronicles 27:25).
1 Chronicles 27:27. And over the vineyards was Shimi the Ramathite, of Ramah in the tribe of Benjamin, Josh. 18:25. The next following officer, Zabdi, the manager of the wine-stores in the vineyards, is called הַשִּׁפְמִי, “the Shiphmite,” coming perhaps from שְׁפָם, a place mentioned in Num. 34:10 f., on the north border of Canaan. But perhaps it is more natural to refer to שִׁפְמוֹת, in the south of Judah (1 Sam. 30:28), as the south produced the most wine, and of course the most vineyards and vine cultivators.
1 Chronicles 27:28. And over the olive-trees and the sycamores in the Shephelah, in the lowlands of the fruitful plain, between the hills of Judah and the Mediterranean, Josh. 15:53. זֵיתִים, olive plantations and gardens; comp. Deut. 6:11,1 Kings 5:25; and so the following שִׁקְמִים How important the produce of the sycamores must have been in the times of David and Solomon appears from the proverbial expression, 1 Kings 10:27, 2 Chron. 1:15: “Cedar-wood as plentiful as the sycamores that grew in the Shephelah.” Comp. C. Hoffmann, Blicke in die frühere Geschichte des gelobten Landes, p. 171; “None of the plants adorning the country in that time is so fallen as those oft-mentioned sycamores, of which only a few still stand in the gardens of Jaffa as tokens of bygone beauty. On the coast, on the hot soil, moistened by under water, stood in broad plantations these mighty, shady, leafy crowns, the native land of which is Egypt. They are mentioned at Jericho in the time of Christ (Luke 19:4). Did they, as the herdsman Amos, who plucked their figs, intimates Amos 7:14, extend to the now so cool and dry valleys of Tekoa, about the Frank Mountains, that now bear among the Arabs the name of paradise, as a monument of vanished glories? At all events, they were proverbially common in Solomon’s time; and this leads to one of those numerous indications of a former abundance of water,” etc.—Baal-hanan the Gederite, of Geder or Gederah, situated in the lowlands south-east of Jabneh (comp. Josh. 12:13, 15:36, and our remark on Beth-geder, ii. 51); הַגְּדֵרִי is thus not really different from הַגְּדֵרָתִי, 12:4. Keil would derive הַגְּדֵרִי rather from Gedor (גְּדוֹר), on the hills of Judah, Josh. 15:58; but the form of the Gentilicium is against this.—And over the herds in the valleys, namely, those in the hill country of Judah towards the Dead Sea and the Jordan; comp. 12:15.
1 Chronicles 27:30. And over the camels was Obil the Ishmaelite. As the riches of the king consisted in camels (comp. Job 1:3; Judg. 7:12) in the south country, where the Ishmaelites formerly wandered, a descendant of this race was appointed overseer of them. So it might be with the Hagarite Jaziz, who was placed over the flocks (comp. 5:10, 19; Ps. 83:7). For Jehdeiah the Meronothite, see Crit. Note.
1 Chronicles 27:31. All these were rulers of the property which belonged to King David.רְכוּשׁ, “property,” a wider notion than that of the “treasures of the king,” 1 Chronicles 27:25, including these (the treasures in Jerusalem) and “the treasures in the country.” The total number of the officers appointed to take charge of all this property, as they are named above, is twelve, namely, the two head officers, 1 Chronicles 27:25 (for the city, Azmaveth; for the country, Jonathan), and the ten overseers of the tillage and pasturage, the latter of whom were to give a yearly account of the produce of the stock under their charge to the former. The number twelve can scarcely be accidental here, though it is not expressly noticed.
4. The State Counsellors of David: 1 Chronicles 27:32–34; comp. the similar lists of the chief officers of state in 18:15–17 (2 Sam. 8:15–18) and in 2 Sam. 20:23–26, with which, however, the present has only Joab the commander-in-chief in common, whereas, otherwise, here partly other persons, partly other functions, appear; and, indeed, its chief aim is to name the counsellors (יֹעֲצִים) of the king: it is a list of the chief counsellors of David (as it were his private council of state or cabinet).—And Jonathan David’s kinsman was a counsellor;דּוֹד (properly favourite, friend, Song 1:13, etc.) may signify the father’s brother, Jer. 32:7, in which sense it appears to be taken by the Sept. (παράδελφος) and Vulg. (patruus). Yet it signifies also (Jer. 32:12) “kinsman, cousin” in general, and appears here also to convey this wider sense, where scarcely any other Jonathan than the son of Shima is meant, and therefore a nephew of David. On יוֹעֵץ, counsellor, comp. 26:14; on the following attribute, “wise,” 25:22; on a “scribe” (סוֹפֵר, here not a name of office, as in 18:16), 2:55; Ezra. 7:6.—And Jehiel .… was with the king’s sons, as their instructor or tutor, an office mentioned only here. Whether Hachmoni the father of this Jehiel be the same with the Hachmoni father of Jashobam mentioned 11:11 must remain uncertain.
1 Chronicles 27:33. And Ahithophel was counsellor of the king, without doubt the same who became notorious from the history of the revolt of Absalom—comp. 2 Sam. 15:31, 16:23, 17:1 ff; Ps. 41:10—as Hushai the Archite is the well-known opponent of this Ahithophel, 2 Sam. 15:32, 37, 16:16.
1 Chronicles 27:34. And after Ahithophel was Jehoiada son of Benaiah and Abiathar. That by the latter the well-known high priest of the family of Ithamar (5:27) is meant cannot well be doubted; whether with regard to the previous name we are to think of the Benaiah named 1 Chronicles 27:5, captain of the third division, son of Jehoiada the priest, so that here a transposition of the names has taken place (Berth.), appears doubtful. It is perhaps simpler to take the Jehoiada named as successor to Ahithophel in the privy council of the king for a son of that Benaiah who, after the well-known Hebrew custom, bore the name of his grandfather. We may observe, moreover, how clearly the Chronist here again (as in 1 Chronicles 27:7) betrays his acquaintance with certain episodes in the history of David, the special course of which it does not lie within the scope of his plan to narrate.—And the general of the king’s army was Joab; as such generalissimo, at the same time in some sense minister of war, and therefore eo ipso belonging to the rank of king’s counsellors. Accordingly he appears, 21:2 ff., in the exercise of his office of counsellor in regard to the census of the people.
In an apologetic respect, it is worthy of remark, in regard to this list of the counsellors of David, that, with the exception of Jehiel, names of persons about David occurring also in the books of Samuel and elsewhere in our books are contained in it, but that it cannot be compiled by the Chronist from the other accounts of the history of this king, because it exhibits something peculiar, not elsewhere occurring, in its statements of the functions of these men. “We must therefore assume that this list comes from the same source from which our historian has drawn the previous lists (23–26 and 27:1–31)” (Berth.).
For דּוֹדַי, according to 11:12, is to be read אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן־דּוֹדַי.
For אֱלִיהוּ the Sept., in accordance with 2:13 and 1 Sam. 16:6, 17:13, exhibits ’Ελιάβ.
So the Kethib: the Keri has Shirtai (שִׁרְטַי).
Sept. ὁ ἐχ Μεραθών but מְרֹנוֹת occurs also, Neh. 3:17, as the name of a place near Mizpah; a מֵרָתוֹן nowhere.
δ. The Last Directions of David concerning the building of the Temple and the Succession of Solomon, and his own Death: 1 Chronicles 28, 29
1. Directions to Solomon concerning the building of the Temple: 1 Chronicles 28
1 Chronicles 28:1And David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the captains of the divisions, that served the king, and the captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds, and the stewards of all the property and cattle of the king and his sons, with the courtiers and the heroes, 2and all the valiant men in Jerusalem. And David the king stood up on his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren and my people. I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and for the footstool of our God; and I made ready for the building. 3But God said to me, Thou shalt not build a house for my name, because thou hast been a 4man of war, and hast shed blood. And the LORD God of Israel chose me out of all my father’s house to be king over Israel for ever: for He hath chosen Judah to be the ruler, and in 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. 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. 7And I will establish his kingdom for ever, if he be strong to do my 8commandments and my judgments as at this day. And now in the eyes of all Israel, the congregation of the LORD, and in the ears of our God, keep and seek all the commandments of the LORD your God, that ye may possess the good land, and bequeath it to your sons after you for e1 Chronicles 28:9And thou, Solomon my son, know the God of thy father, and serve Him with a whole heart, and with a willing mind; for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imagination of the thoughts: if thou seek Him, He will be found of thee; and if thou forsake Him, He will cast thee off for e1 Chronicles 28:10Take heed now; for the LORD hath chosen thee to build a house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.
11And David gave Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of its buildings and its treasuries, and its upper rooms, and its inner parlours, and the house of the mercy-seat. 12And the pattern of all that his spirit had in thought for the courts of the house of the LORD, and for all the chambers around for the treasures of the house of God, and for the treasures of the 13holy things. And 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 14the service of the house of the Lord. For gold by weight, for gold for all instruments of every service; and for all instruments of silver by weight, for 15all instruments of every service. And the weight for the golden candlesticks, and their lamps of gold; by the weight of every candlestick and its lamps; and for the silver candlesticks, by weight for the candlestick and its lamps, 16according1 to the use of each candlestick. And the gold by weight for the 17tables of shew-bread for every table; and silver for the tables of silver. And the forks, and the sprinkling bowls, and the cans of pure gold; and for the golden tankards by weight for every tankard, and for the silver tankards by weight for every tankard. 18And for the altar of incense, refined gold by weight; and for the pattern of the chariot; the cherubim of gold that spread out (their wings) and cover2 the ark of the covenant of the LORD. 19“All this has He taught me in writing from the hand of the LORD upon me, even all the works of the pattern.”
20And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and active, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed, for the LORD God, my God, is with thee, He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, till all the work of the service of the house of the Lord is completed. 21And, behold, the courses of the priests and the Levites for all the service of the house of God; and with thee is in every work every willing man of wisdom for all service; and the princes and all the people for all thy matters.
2. Contributions of the assembled Princes for building the Temple: 1 Chronicles 29:1–9
1 Chronicles 29:1And David the king said unto all the congregation, Solomon my son, whom alone God hath chosen, is young and tender, and the work is great; 2for the palace is not for man, but for the LORD God. And with all my might I have prepared for the house of my God, gold for golden things, and silver for silver, and brass for brazen, and iron for iron, and wood for wooden; onyx-stones and set stones, rubies and mottled stones, and all kinds of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance. And, 3moreover, because I delight in the house of God, I have a treasure of gold and silver which I have given to the house of my God over and above all that I have prepared for 4the holy house. Three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses. 5The gold for golden, and the silver for silver, and for all work by the hand of artificers; and who is willing to fill his hand this day unto the LORD?
6And the princes of the houses, and the princes of the tribes of Israel, and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers of the king’s work, 7showed themselves willing. And gave, for the service of the house of God, of gold, five thousand talents and ten thousand darics; and of silver, ten thousand talents; and of brass, eighteen thousand talents; and of iron, a hundred thousand talents. 8And they with whom stones were found gave them for the treasure of the house of the LORD, by the hand of Jehiel the 9Gershonite. And the people were glad, because they were willing, because with a perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD; and David the king also was exceedingly glad.
3. David’s Thanksgiving: 1 Chronicles 29:10–19
10And David blessed the LORD in the eyes of all the congregation; and David said, Blessed be Thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and 11ever. Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the beauty, and the lustre, and the majesty; for all in the heaven and in the earth is Thine: 12Thine, O LORD, is the kingdom, and Thou art exalted as head over all. And the riches and the glory come of Thee, and Thou rulest over all; and in Thy hand is might and power; and in Thy hand it is to make all great and strong. 13, 14And now, our God, we thank Thee, and praise Thy glorious name. For who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly in this way? for all comes of Thee, and of Thy hand have we given Thee. 15For we are strangers before Thee, and sojourners, as all our fathers: our days on 16the earth are as a shadow‚ and there is no hope. O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build Thee a house for Thy holy name, it3 17cometh of Thy hand, and is all Thine own. And I know‚ O my God, that Thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness: I, in the integrity of my heart, have willingly offered all these things: and now Thy people who 18are present I have seen with gladness to offer willingly unto Thee. O LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of Thy people, and stablish their 19heart unto Thee. And give to Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep Thy commandments, Thy testimonies, and Thy statutes, and to do all, and to build the palace which I have prepared.
4. Close of the Public Assembly; Solomon’s Elevation to the Throne: 1 Chronicles 29:20–25
20And David said to all the congregation, Bless now the LORD your God: and all the congregation blessed the LORD God of their fathers; and they 21bent and bowed down to the LORD, and to the king. And they killed sacrifices unto the LORD, and offered burnt-offerings unto the LORD, on the morrow of that day, a thousand bullocks, a thousand rams, a thousand lambs, with 22their drink-offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel. And they ate and drank before the LORD on that day with great gladness, and the second time made Solomon the son of David king, and anointed him unto 23the LORD to be ruler, and Zadok to be priest. And Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king, instead of David his father; and he prospered, and all Israel obeyed him. 24And all the princes, and the heroes, and also all 25the sons of King David, submitted to Solomon the king. And the LORD magnified Solomon exceedingly in the eyes of all Israel, and bestowed on him the majesty of the kingdom, which had not been on any king over Israel before him.
5. Close of the History of David: 1 Chronicles 29:26–30
26And David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel. 27And the time that he reigned over all Israel was forty years; in Hebron he reigned seven years, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three. 28And he died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and glory; and Solomon his son reigned in his stead. 29“And the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the words of Samuel the seer, and in the words of Nathan the prophet, and in the words of Gad the seer. 30With all his reign and his might, and the times that went over him, and over Israel, and over all the kingdoms of the countries.
1. Directions to Solomon concerning the building of the Temple: 1 Chronicles 28:1–21.—These directions for building the temple David announces in a solemn assembly of the states or representatives of the people, or as they are designated in general: “all the princes of Israel” (שָׂרִים) The several classes of these representatives of the kingdom are there specified:—1. “the princes of the tribes” (see their enumeration in 27:16–22); 2. “the captains of the divisions that served the king;” see 27:1–15; 3. “the captains of thousands and captains of hundreds,” the officers of the army, and those captains of divisions, the commanders and chiefs of the twelve corps of the army (27:1); 4. “the stewards of all the property and cattle of the king and his sons,” the officers of the royal domains (27:25–31), who are here extended by the addition (misunderstood by the Vulg.) וּלְבָנָיו to the royal princes and their possessions; 5. “the courtiers,” סָרִיסִים, properly, eunuchs (so the Sept. and Vulg. in our passage), but here obviously in a wider sense, of officers of the royal court, or chamberlains in general; comp. 1 Sam. 8:15; 1 Kings 22:19; 6. the “heroes,” that is, the distinguished champions enumerated in 11:10 ff., so far as they not merely (as captains of the divisions or over the thousands, etc.) belonged to the active service, but perhaps as occasional counsellors of the king, or otherwise influential persons, were entitled to a prominent position in the kingdom (hence the Sept. not unsuitably: τοὺς δυνάστας); 7. all “the valiant men” (וּלְכָל־גִּבּוֹר חַיִל with לְ as nota acc), every other person of note or importance,—a wide phrase reverting to the general notion of the “princes of Israel.”
1 Chronicles 28:2. And David the king stood up on his feet, in order to speak; for before he was sitting from the weakness of age (not reclining, as the Rabbinical expositors would infer from 1 Kings 1). For the kindly humble address, “my brethren,” in the king’s mouth, comp. 1 Sam. 30:23; 2 Sam. 19:13.—I had it in my heart to build, literally, “I, in my heart it was to build;” comp. 22:7.—A house of rest, a house where the ark might abide at rest. Along with the ark, on account of its special holiness, is mentioned the mercy-seat (1 Chronicles 28:11), and, indeed, described in a figurative way as “the footstool of our God,” as Jehovah is regarded as sitting on the cherubim of the capporeth.—And I made ready for the building, I prepared workmen and materials for it; comp. 22:2 ff., 14 ff.; as for the following verse 22:8, and for 1 Chronicles 28:4, 1 Chronicles 11:2, 5:2.
1 Chronicles 28:5.To sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel, the theocratic kingdom; comp. the equivalent briefer phrase: “to sit on Jehovah’s throne,” 29:23 and Ps. 45:7, where the correctly interpreted כִּסְאֲךָ אֱלֹהִים “thy God’s throne,” yields practically the same notion (see Moll, Der Psalter, p. 237). God is the proper king of Israel; but David, Solomon, etc., are only the earthly representatives of His royalty.
1 Chronicles 28:7. And I will establish His kingdom. Comp. in general 22:10 and 17:11 f., and for the condition: “if he be strong,” etc., the quite similar conditions which God, 1 Kings 3:14, 9:4, imposes on Solomon; also 1 Kings 8:61 (where also the כַּיּוֹם הַזֶּה).
1 Chronicles 28:8. Keep and seek all the commandments, keep them earnestly, seek to keep them with zeal.—That ye may possess the good land. Comp. Deut. 4:21; Lev. 25:46; Jer. 3:18.
1 Chronicles 28:9. And thou, Solomon my son, know the God of thy father, the God who so truly helped me, thy father, in all troubles; comp. the emphatic “my God,” 1 Chronicles 28:20 and Ps. 18:3, and similar passages.—And serve Him with a whole heart, with an undivided mind, without διψυχία; comp. 29:9; also 29:19 and 1 Kings 8:61.—Understandeth all the imagination of the thoughts. The phrase: “imagination of the thoughts,” as in Gen. 6:5; the reference to the omniscience of God, as in 1 Sam. 16, 7; Ps. 7:10, 139:1 ff.—If thou seek Him, He will be found of thee; comp. Deut. 4:29; Isa. 4:6; Jer. 29:13 f. On the following strong expression: “He will cast thee off” (יזניחךָ), comp. 2 Chron. 6:14, 29:19, and Lam. 3:17.
1 Chronicles 28:10. Be strong, and do it. In essentially the same words, 1 Chronicles 28:20, David again addresses Solomon, after the interruption, 1 Chronicles 28:11–19, occasioned by delivering the draft and plan of the holy buildings.
1 Chronicles 28:11–19. The Details of the Outline and Plan for the Temple, as David laid it before his Son in the public Assembly. We may imagine the architects and other craftsmen, by whose help he had this outline and plan drawn out, present in the assembly, and explaining it at the king’s order.—And David gave . . . the pattern of the court. תַּבְנִית, pattern, model, as Ex. 25:40; הָאוּלָם, the porch before the sanctuary, 2 Chron. 3:4; 1 Kings 6:3.—And of its buildings, those of the temple. The suffix must refer, not to the אוּלָם, but only to הבית, “the temple, the house,” to be supplied from the context. The buildings of the house are the holy place and the most holy.—And its treasuries (גַּנְזַכִּין, cognate with גְּנָזִין, Ezra 7:20, Esth. 3:9, 4:7, occurs only here), and its upper rooms (above the most holy place, 2 Chron. 3:9), and its inner parlours, namely, the porch and the holy place; for only to these can the phrase refer, as immediately after follows the special mention of the most holy place, designated as the “house of the mercy-seat” or “abode of the capporeth.”
1 Chronicles 28:12. And the pattern of all that his spirit had in thought (or what was before his mind) for the courts . . . and all the chambers around, the cells or rooms on the four sides of the court, that served to keep “the treasures of the house of God,” that is, the treasure of the temple and the “treasures of holy things,” the stores of dedicated things collected from the spoils of war (the same distinction as in 26:20).
1 Chronicles 28:13 continues the statement of that for which the chambers or cells of the court were designed.—And for the courses of the priests and the Levites, for their sojourn during their service, likewise for the works belonging to this service (cooking of flesh, preparing of shew-bread, etc.), and for the keeping of the requisite utensils, which last are enumerated in detail from 1 Chronicles 28:14 on.
1 Chronicles 28:14. For gold. The לְ in לַזָּהָב corresponds to that in לְכָל־הַלְּשָׁכוֹת, 1 Chronicles 28:12; the sentence begun in 1 Chronicles 28:11 thus extends to the close of this verse. A new construction begins first in 1 Chronicles 28:15, which may be regarded as a continuation of that begun in 1 Chronicles 28:11. As to the object וּמִשְׁקָל, a וַיִּתֵּן must be supplied from 1 Chronicles 28:11, but not certainly in the same sense of giving, but in that of stating or defining. Thus: “And (he stated) the weight for the golden candlesticks and their lamps of gold;” זהב is freely subordinated to וְנֵרוֹתֵיהֶם (comp. 2 Chron. 4:15). For the golden candlesticks of the sanctuary, comp. Ex. 25:31 f.; 2 Chron. 4:7.—According to the use of each candlestick, according to its set service, its import for the holy service. for the var.: “for the service of every one” (כַּֽעֲבוֹדַת) see Crit. Note.
1 Chronicles 28:16. And the gold by weight;מִשְׁקָל, accus. of free subordination.—For the tables of shew-bread for every table; and silver for the tables of silver. Whereas elsewhere (Ex. 25:23 ff.; 1 Kings 7:48; and 2 Chron. 29:18) only one table of shew-bread is spoken of, here several tables of this kind are mentioned. As also, 2 Chron. 4:8, a greater number of golden tables, namely, ten, destined as it appears for the ten golden candlesticks, is spoken of, so in our passage (as in 2 Chron. 4:19) a synecdoche appears to be used, and the one golden table of shew-bread to be included with the tables for the golden candlesticks. Silver tables (as silver candlesticks, 1 Chronicles 28:15) are only here expressly mentioned: such may be understood as included among the silver articles mentioned on the occasion of the repair of the temple by Joash (2 Chron. 24:14; comp. also 2 Kings 25:15). The statements of the Rabbis, that the silver tables stood in the court, and the silver candlesticks in the chambers of the priests, may rest on an old tradition.
1 Chronicles 28:17. And (gave him in pattern: the same supplement as in 1 Chronicles 28:15) the forks, namely, the flesh-forks used in cooking the pieces of the sacrifices; comp. Ex. 27:3; 1 Kings 7:50. for the sprinkling-bowls (מִזְרָקוֹת) comp. also 2 Chron.4:11, 22; for the “cans” or “cups” (קְשָׂוֹת, σπονδεῖα) that were used in libations, Ex. 25:29, 37:16; Num. 4:7—Of pure gold; accus. of free subordination, as in 1 Chronicles 28:15, 16.—And for the golden tankards.כְּפוֹרִים, from כָּפַר cover, are covered vessels, and so tankards (not cups); comp. Ezra 1:10, 8:27, the only other passages in which it occurs.
1 Chronicles 28:18. The pattern of the chariot, the cherubim of gold, The term pattern, תַּבְנִית, recurs here, near the close of the whole enumeration, from 1 Chronicles 28:11 and 12, but with לְas nota accusat. The mercy-seat with its cherubim appears here symbolized as the chariot on which Jehovah sits or moves (comp. Ex. 25:22; Ps. 18:11, 99:1),—a very important passage for the, right understanding of Ezek. 1:15 ff. The cherubim themselves, though only two in number, according to the present description, which represents the older and simpler, idea, exhibit as it were a chariot (observe that הַכְּרוּבִים is not subordinate to מֶרְכָּבָה as a genitive, but co-ordinate with it, as in apposition); of a wheel-work connected with it, an external exhibition of the chariot idea, as Ezekiel depicts it, nothing is indicated in the passage; the Sept. and Vulg. only, by taking הַכְּרוּבִים as a genitive (ἅρμα τῶν Χερουβίμ: quadriga cherubim), have introduced this foreign element.—That spread out (their wings) and cover the ark of the covenant of the Lord, literally, “for spreading and covering,” that is, they are represented spreading and covering with their wings. Comp. for this use of לְ in the sense of becoming something, or appearing as somewhat, 1 Chronicles 29:33 לְמֶלֶךְ, “as king”), also Gen. 9:5, Job 39:16, and other passages, in Ew. § 217, d (p. 553). The change of לְפֹרְשִׂים וְסֹכְכִים, into הַפֹּרְשִׂים וְהַסֹּכְכִים (Sept., Vulg., and recent expositors, as Berth., Kamph., etc.) is therefore unnecessary. J. H. Mich, correctly: ut essent expandentes, etc To לְפֹרְשִׂים it is easy to supply הַכְּנָפַיִם, “the wings,” as object; comp. Ex. 25:20, and 1 Kings 8:7; 2 Chron. 5:8.
1 Chronicles 28:19 contains again words of David, as the עָלַי “upon me,” and the whole sense and contents teach.—All this has He taught me in writing from the hand of the Lord upon me. So it seems the difficult and perhaps corrupt words הַכֹּל בִּכְתָב מִיַּד יְהוָֹה עָלַי הִשְׂכִּיל must be taken. To הִשְׂכִּיל we are to understand יהוה as subject, and “me”(or perhaps “us”) as object. Possibly also עָלַי might be connected with הִשְׂכִּיל (comp. Prov. 22:11); but it is easier, on account of the collocation, to connect it either with מיד יהוה or with בּכתב. Now, as the grammatically (Ps. 40:8: כָּתוּב עָלַי) admissible connection of the words בִּכְתָב—עָלַי into one notion, “by a writing from the hand of Jehovah given me as a rule” (Berth.), yields a very harsh and obscure sense, and as, moreover, the position of מיד יהוה between בכתב and עלי renders this connection extremely difficult, nothing remains but the connection of מִיַּד יְהוָֹה עָלַי “a writing from the hand of Jehovah being or coming upon me,” by which is designated a writing springing from divine revelation, an immediate effect of divine inspiration (comp. the known phrase: “the hand of Jehovah came upon me,” 2 Kings 3:15; Ezek. 1:3, 3:14, etc.). This naturally refers, not to the law of Moses, as the Rabbinical expositors think, but to the proposed building plan, draft, etc., which David refers to divine teaching, in so far as he did not conceive it arbitrarily, but designed it under the influence of the Divine Spirit (which, however, must have been effected in this case not directly by vision, as with Moses on Sinai). Comp. moreover, on the transition into the address without an introductory formula, 1 Chronicles 22:18 f., 23:4 f.
1 Chronicles 28:20, 21. Closing Admonition and Promise to Solomon.—Be strong and active; comp. 1 Chronicles 28:10 and 1 Chronicles 22:13.—For the Lord God, my God, is with thee; comp. on 1 Chronicles 28:9. For the following promise: “He will not fail thee (properly, ’ withdraw from thee,’ namely, His hand) nor forsake thee,” comp. Deut. 31:6, 8; Ps. 138:8; Josh. 1:5; Heb. 13:5.—And behold the courses of the priests. Personal attendance of the priests and Levites, or only of a majority of representatives of their order in the public assembly, can scarcely be inferred from this וְהִנֵּה וגו׳, just as the וְעִמְּךָ “and with thee,” does not necessitate the assumption that the willing craftsmen stood by Solomon, or were assembled around him.—Every willing man of wisdom for all service, properly, “with regard to every willing man.” The לְ here is not nota accus. (as 1 Chronicles 28:1, 26:26, 24:6), but yet serves to give emphasis to כָּל־נָדִיב (Ew. § 310, a), which, though it cannot be translated, is yet not to be erased (against Berth.). For the notion of free-will (נְדִיב לֵב = נָדִיב, 2Chron. 29:31), to designate the higher wisdom and skill of a craftsman, comp. Ex. 35:5, 22, and Latin phrases, as artes ingenuœ, liberates. “We are to think, moreover, of the same craftsmen as those named, 22:15; 2 Chron. 2:6.—For all thy matters: לְכָל־דְּבָרֶיךָ to be explained according to 26:32 (concerns, matters), scarcely: “for all thy words or commands” (as J. H. Mich., Starke, Keil, etc., think).
2. Contributions of the assembled Princes for building the Temple: 1 Chronicles 29:1–9.—Unto all the congregation, which consisted, 1 Chronicles 28:1, merely of the “princes” or more eminent representatives (notables) of the people.—Solomon, my son, whom alone God hath chosen, properly a parenthesis: “as the one (אֶחָד) hath God chosen him.” For “young and tender,” comp. 22:5.—For the palace is not for man. Only here and 1 Chronicles 29:19 stands the later word הַבִּירָה, to denote the temple (with regard to its fort-like size and strength); elsewhere either of the Persian royal castle (Esth. 1:2, 5, 2:3; Neh. 1:1) or of the castle in the temple at Jerusalem.
1 Chronicles 29:2. On a, comp. 23:15.—Onyx-stones and set stones. For שֹׁהָם onyx (sardonyx, etc.), or perhaps beryl, comp. Gen. 2:12; Ex. 28:9, 20; Job 28:16; on אַבְנֵי מִלּוּאִים, “stones of settings,” Ex. 25:7, 35:9, where also onyx-stones, designed for the high priest’s ephod and hoshen, are mentioned.—Rubies and mottled stones, and all kinds of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance.אַבְנֵי־פוּךְ, properly stones of paint or lead-glance (comp. 2 Kings 9:35; Isa. 54:11), perhaps precious stones of very dark glancing colour, of dark purple, as carbuncle or ruby (נֹפֶךְ, perhaps radically connected with פּוּךְ). The אַבְנֵי רִקְמָה, stones of various colours, striped with veins (agate?), as אֶבֶן יְקָדָה “precious costly stones,” in general, א׳ שַׁיִשׁ, white marble (the Sept. and Vulg. explain it by an anachronism of Parian marble); comp. the contracted form שֵׁשׁ, Song 5:15; Esth. 1:6.
1 Chronicles 29:3. Over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, literally, “upwards of all, out above all.” On הֲכִינוֹתִי, without a relative particle connecting it with the foregoing כָּל, comp. 15:12.
1 Chronicles 29:4. Three thousand talents of gold of the gold of Ophir, of the finest and. best gold; comp. the excursus after 2 Chron. 9. Three thousand talents of gold, reckoned after the holy or Mosaic shekel, would amount to ninety million thalers (about £13,500,000), reckoned after the royal shekel to half as much; and the 7000 talents of silver would amount in the first case to fifteen million thalers (about £2,250,000), in the second case to half that sum. The greatness of this sum shows, at all events, that this includes the whole of David’s private property; comp. on 22:14 f.—To overlay the walls of the houses, the proper temple buildings (בָּתִּים as in 28:11), the holy place and the most holy, with the court and the upper chambers, the inner walls of which, 2 Chron. 3:4–9, were all hung with gold.
1 Chronicles 29:5. The gold for golden, or literally, “for the gold, for the gold,” etc.; comp. 1 Chronicles 29:2.—And for all work by the hand of artificers, for all works to be made by the hand of craftsmen.—And who is willing (הִתְנַדֵּב show oneself willing, as 1 Chronicles 29:6; Ezra 2:68) to fill his hand this day unto the Lord, to provide himself with free-will offerings for Him ; comp. Ex. 28:41, 32:29, and 2 Chron. 13:9.The infinitive מַלְּאוֹת (along with מַלֵּא, 2 Chron. 13:9), also Dan. 9:2; Ex. 31:5.
1 Chronicles 29:6. The princes of the houses, properly, “of the fathers;” הָאָבוֹת for בֵּית הָאָבוֹת; comp. 24:31, 27:1, etc.—With the rulers of the king’s work, literally, “and with regard to the rulers;” before שָׂרֵי מְלֶאכֶת המ׳ the same superfluous untranslatable לְ as in 28:21. These are “the stewards of all the property and cattle of the king,” 28:1, the officers of the royal domains.
1 Chronicles 29:7. And gave, for the service of the house of God, of gold five thousand talents. We must suppose a partial “signing” or guaranteeing of the sums named, not an immediate bare paying down, especially as the bulky contributions in the baser metals, the 18,000 talents of brass and the 100,000 talents of iron, could not possibly be present in natura. Even David’s gifts of 3000 talents of gold of Ophir and 7000 talents of silver may be regarded as not a proper direct delivery of these large quantities of metals. Moreover, what the princes, according to our passage, contributed was about a half more than that given by David from his private means, namely—1.5000 talents of gold = 150 million thalers (about £22,500,000), or by the other mode of reckoning, half that sum; 2.10,000 darics=75,000 thalers (about £11,250); 3.10,000 talents of silver = twenty -four million thalers (about £3,600,000); 4:18,000 talents of brass (copper), and 100,000 talents of iron; 5. Precious stones amounting to an indefinite sum. אַדַרְכּוֹן, with א prosthetic here and Ezra 8:27, along with דַּרְכְּמוֹןEzra 2:69, Neh. 7:70 ff., is not a Hebrew designation of the drachma (as Ew. Gesch. i. 254 still thinks), but of the daric, a Persian coin, containing 1½ ducats, or 7½ thalers (about 22s. 6d.); comp. Eckhell, Doctr. numm. i. Vol. 3. p. 551; J. Brandis, Das Münz-, Maass-, and Gewichtssystem in Vorderasien (1866), p. 244; see also Introd. § 3, a. In darics, the gold coin most current in his time (it is not meant by our author that it existed in David’s time), the Chronist states a smaller part of the sum contributed by the princes, and indeed that part which they gave in coined pieces, while he expresses the amount of uncoined gold that was offered in talents.
1 Chronicles 29:8. With whom stones were found, the present possessors of precious stones. Against Bertheau’s rendering: “and what was found therewith in precious stones,” is the fact that the sing. אִתּוֹ, that is certainly to be taken distributively (comp. Ew. § 319, a), cannot possibly refer to the sums or quantities in 1 Chronicles 29:6, 7. For the Gershonite Jehiel, comp. 26:21 f., where the name is Jehieli.
1 Chronicles 29:9. Was exceedingly glad, literally, “was glad with a great gladness;” comp. Zech. 1:14.
3. David’s Thanksgiving; 1 Chronicles 29:10–19.—Blessed be Thou, Lord God of Israel our father. Among the partriarchs, as whose well-tried tutelary God and heavenly fountain of blessing Jehovah had now again proved Himself to David (by the operation of so highly joyful an act of faith as the free-will offering of the princes of the people), Israel is here specially set forth, because his life most resembled that of David, especially in this, that the cry, “Lord, I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies,” etc. (Gen. 32:10), might and must for him also (see 1 Chronicles 29:14) be the fundamental note of his prayer at the close of his fight of faith. At the end of his confession, where the expression is still more solemn, the address is more full: “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers.”—For ever and ever; comp. Ps. 103:17.
1 Chronicles 29:11. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness; comp. Ps. 144:8; and on “power” (here and 1 Chronicles 29:12), Ps. 21:14; on “beauty” (here and 1 Chronicles 29:13), Ps. 94:6; on “lustre” (נֵצַח, less suitably rendered “victory” by Luther), 1 Sam. 15:29; on “majesty” (הוֹד by Luther, against the text: “thanks”), 16:27, Ps. 21:6. The whole doxology belongs to the apocalyptic in its main figures, as Rev. 4:11, 5:12, 7:12, etc.—Thine, O Lord, is the kingdom, and Thou art exalted as head over all.מַמְלָכָה, “kingdom, sovereignty,” as Ps. 47:8 f.; comp. Matt. 6:13. מִתְנַשֵּׂה is not the participle, before which אַתָּה, “Thou art,” should be supplied (Berth.), but an infinitive noun, “the being exalted;” comp. 2 Kings 2:21; Ew. § 160, e. On “head over all,” comp. κεφαλὴν ὑπὲρ πάντα, Eph. 1:22.
1 Chronicles 29:12. And the riches and the glory; the same connection, Prov. 3:16; comp. also 1 Chronicles 29:28; 2 Chron. 17:5; 1 Kings 3:13.
1 Chronicles 29:13. And now, our God, we thank Thee, properly, “now are we thanking and praising Thy name:” the participles express the constancy of the work; comp. 23:5.—Thy glorious name, literally, “the name of Thy glory,” as Luther here renders, while he has, 1 Chronicles 29:3, put “holy house” for “house of holiness.”
1 Chronicles 29:14. For (literally, “and for;” וְכִי, as Judg. 10:10) who am, I, and what is my people, that we should be able?עָצַר כֹּחַ, properly, “to hold or retain strength,” then valere, be able; comp, 2 Chron. 13:20; Dan. 10:8, 16, 11:6.—In this way, as our just completed collection of free will offerings for the temple (1 Chronicles 29:3–8) has proved. On כַּזּאֹת, comp. 2 Chron. 32:15.
1 Chronicles 29:15. For we are strangers before Thee, and sojourners; comp. Ps.39:13; Heb. 11:13, 13:14. Even in this strong assertion of the vanity and uncertainty of earthly life (on b, comp. Job 8:9; Ps. 90:9 f., 102:12; and Jer. 14:8) appears, as in the foregoing verse, which recalls Gen. 32:10, an allusion to that which Jacob confessed at the end of his earthly career; comp. Gen. 47:9.
1 Chronicles 29:16. All this store,הָמוֹן heap of money, wealth, as Eccl. 5:9. For the var. “it” (referring to “the heap”) for “her,” see Crit. Note.
1 Chronicles 29:17. In the integrity of my heart.ישֶׁר לֵבָב as Deut. 9:5; comp. the foregoing מֵישָׁרִים, “uprightness,” Ps. 17:2.—Thy people who are present, “have found themselves here.” On הַ for אֲשֶׁר, comp. 26:28 and 1 Chronicles 29:8; on finding oneself=being present, comp. 28:1; 2 Chron. 5:11.
1 Chronicles 29:18. Keep this, the spirit of willingness, which expresses itself in these gifts.—Imagination of the thoughts, as 28:9.—Stablish their heart (or “prepare”), as 1 Sam. 7:3.
1 Chronicles 29:19. On a, comp. 1 Chronicles 29:9; on b (הַבִּירָה), 1 Chronicles 29:1.
4. Close of the public Assembly. Solomon’s Elevation to the Throne: 1 Chronicles 29:20–25.—And all the congregation blessed; ברךְ with לְ, as 1 Chronicles 29:13: הדה, and הלל with לְ. And they …bowed down to the Lord, they did obeisance before God and the king as His earthly type and representative. For the combination of קדד and השׁתחוה, denoting now divine, now human, respect, comp. Gen. 24:26, Ex. 12:27, 34:8; 1 Kings 1:16, 31; and Ps. 95:6, etc.
1 Chronicles 29:21. And they killed sacrifices unto the Lord, and offered burnt-offerings. The same phrases are united, only in inverse order, 1 Sam. 6:15. זְבָחִים denotes here animal sacrifices in general, but in b it signifies, in contrast with the before-mentioned burnt-offerings, peace-offerings (שְׁלָמִים, Ex. 25:5) in connection with the proper joyful feasts.—On the morrow of that day; comp. Lev. 23:11; Jonah 4:7.
1 Chronicles 29:22. And they ate and drank. This describes the joyful feast, as 12:39; 1 Kings 4:20; Deut. 12:7, 26:10.—And the second time made . . . king. שֵׁנִית, distinct from 23:1, where a first solemn elevation (proclamation) of Solomon to be the successor of his father was reported, with which, however, the ceremony of anointing was not connected. To the present second elevation corresponds that reported 1 Kings 1:32 ff., as the mention there of Zadok as taking part in this solemn act of anointing shows.—Anointed him unto the Lord (according to the will of the Lord) to be ruler, לְנָגִיד; this is here for the sharper contrast with the following לְכֹהֵן; comp. moreover, 28:4; 1 Kings 1:35.—And Zadok to be priest. “With this notice, peculiar to the Chronist, began the degradation of the other high priest, Abiathar, of the line of Ithamar, as Solomon formally completed it after his father’s death (1 Kings 2:26 ff.), already in the lifetime of David: it was prepared by Zadok alone being anointed in the presence of the states along with the young king.
1 Chronicles 29:23. And Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king. For the anticipatory nature of this notice, comp. on 23:1; for “the throne of the Lord,” on 28:5.—And he prospered; and all Israel obeyed him, according to the hope of David expressed before, 22:13, regarding him. For שָׁמַע אֶל = obeyed, comp. Deut. 34:9.
1 Chronicles 29:24. Also all the sons of King David submitted to Solomon the king, literally, “gave hand under” (comp. 2 Chron. 30:8; Lam. 5:6). We may observe the slight allusion to the soon suppressed attempt of Adonijah (1 Kings 1:5 ff.) which is contained in this statement, quite after the manner of the Chronist (see Principles of History and Ethics, No. 1).
1 Chronicles 29:25. Magnified . . . exceedingly; comp. 22:5.—And bestowed upon him the majesty of the kingdom. נָתַן עַל, as Ps. 8:2; הוֹר, as 1 Chronicles 29:11.—Which had not been on any king over Israel before him. The construction is as partly in Eccl. 1:16, partly in 1 Kings 3:12. The phrase is somewhat hyperbolical, as there were only two kings of Israel before him (Ishbosheth our author is wont to ignore, as 1 Chronicles 29:27 shows).
5. Close of the History of David: 1 Chronicles 29:26–30.—And the time that he reigned over all Israel, inclusive of the seven years of his residence in Hebron (which is more exactly fixed, 2 Sam. 5:5, at seven and a half years).
1 Chronicles 29:28. In a good old age; comp. Gen. 15:15, 25:8.—Full (“satisfied”; comp. Job 42:17) of days, riches, and glory. For the combination עשֶׁר וְכָבוֹד, see on 1 Chronicles 29:12.
1 Chronicles 29:29. And the acts . . . first and last. The author here indicates the simple order which he laid down for his now finished representation of the life of David; see Evangelical and Ethical Reflections, No. 2.—Behold, they are written in, properly “on”; comp. 9:1. For the sources now named, see Introd. § 5, II.
1 Chronicles 29:30. With all his reign and his might;גְּבוּרָתוֹ, here his “display of might,” the power shown by him, his brave deeds; comp. 1 Kings 16:5.—And the times that went over him, the events that befell him. הָעִתִּים, as Job 24:1; Ps. 31:16.—And over all the kingdoms of the countries, with which David came into friendly or hostile contact, as Phœnicia, Philistia, Edom, Moab, etc. For the phrase, comp. 2 Chron. 12:8, 17:10, 20:29.
EVANGELICAL AND ETHICAL REFLECTIONS, APOLOGETIC AND HOMILETIC NOTES ON. 1 CHRONICLES 10–29
1. On the historical and practical point of view under which the Chronist regards the brief account of the downfall of Saul and his house, with which he opens his full description of the history of David, he explains himself very clearly in the two closing verses of 1 Chronicles 10: Saul’s kingdom must, after a brief existence, make way for that of David, on the simple ground that it was not erected on the foundation of right faith in Jehovah the God of the covenant, and willing submission to Him; that its possessor had not once only, but constantly, cast to the winds that earnest warning voice of the prophet, “Obedience is better than sacrifice,” 1 Sam. 25:22, and neglected even in the last hour to return to such a course, which was alone pleasing to God. Comp. Bengel’s appropriate note on those two verses (p. 16 of the “Beiträge zu J. A. Bengel’s Schrifterklärung, aus handschriftl. Aufzeichnun gen mitgetheilt von Dr. Osk. Wächter,” Leipz. 1865): “It is worthy of remark that Saul is not expressly charged, when he died in his sin, with his long hate of David, but rather with the unbelief in which he kept not the word of God, and sought counsel at Endor. David indeed is out of the country a considerable time before Saul’s death.… Even at the last Saul might have obtained pardon, if he had earnestly returned to God, and entreated Him. But he lost all.”—Comp. also Schlier, “König Saul” (Bibelstunden, Nördlingen 1867), towards the end, and the homiletic notes of Erdmann on 1 Sam. 31 (Bibelwerk, vi. 337).
2. That our author aimed at no exhaustive treatment of the history of David in its external and internal course—that he rather laboured as partly an excerptor, partly a supplementer, of earlier writers, and so wished to furnish something regarding the history of David contained in the present books of Samuel and Kings, similar in many respects to that which John the Evangelist did for the evangelical history presented by the synoptics,—this he himself indicates in the closing words just considered, when, 29:29, 30, he points for that which he may have omitted to the historical works of the prophets Samuel, Nathan, and Gad as his chief sources. But even before he repeatedly indicates his acquaintance with essential elements of the history of David, which, according to his plan, he does not report. Thus, in the notice prefixed as preface or introduction, concerning the downfall of Saul and his house, where he certainly alludes to the incident of the necromancer of Endor, but does not report it (10:13 f.), and 20:5, where he names Goliath, but presumes the history of the slaughter by the youthful shepherd David as known; likewise 12:1, where he mentions the times of the exile and proscription of David under Saul, without entering into the particulars at least of its well-known catastrophes and vicissitudes; 11:1 and 12:23, where he likewise points to the rival kingdom of Saul and Abner during the residence of David at Hebron; 20:1, where the proceedings at Jerusalem during the siege of Rabbath Ammon by Joab are slightly indicated; 27:23, 24, where, by the mention of Ahithophel and Hushai, a similar reference is made to the rebellion of Absalom; and 29:24, where the attempt of Adonijah is in like manner touched upon. The omitted parts are, as must have been often manifest, almost always of such a nature as would have served, if brought into the field, to disturb and in some points obscure the lustre of the picture, and throw many a shadow on the otherwise almost uniform light. It is the first growing and youthful but arduously soaring aloft, further, the suffering and persecuted David, not less the despised and derided by all bystanders far and near (but comp. 15:29); lastly, the deeply guilty and penitent one, whose picture the Chronist avoids to draw, while all the more earnestly he collects all that appears fitted to represent the hero king in his greatness, and the activity of his reign as an uninterrupted chain of splendid theocratic events. To finish a picture that presents David in the meridian height of his glory and mighty achievements is the obvious aim of all that our author adds in the way of supplement on the ground of his sources to the life-picture of the great king as given in the books of Samuel. Such are the whole contents of 1 Chronicles 17: (the brave men who stood by David even during the reign of Saul, and the number of the warriors out of all the tribes who made him king in Hebron); those of 1 Chronicles 15 and 16 (the full delineation of the preparatory, accompanying, and concluding solemnities in the introduction of the ark into its new abode on Zion); finally, those of the closing 1 Chronicles 22–29, on the internal history of the kingdom and the preparations for the building of the temple, which coincide only in subordinate points with the much more summary parallel sections of Samuel and 1 Kings, but on the whole exhibit the peculiarity and special tendency of our author in full force, and in so far, notwithstanding their dry statistical character and tedious lists of names and numbers, are of special interest (comp. No. 2). The preference of our author for the exhibition of all the brilliant traits of the history of David, or, if you will, his panegyristic idealizing tendency and method, is shown also in the short remarks of a reflective kind at the close of the several sections, which almost always issue in the exhibition of some brilliant aspect of the reign of David, or of the state of the people and the theocracy under him; for example, passages such as these: “And David became greater and greater, and Jehovah Zebaoth was with him,” 9:9; “Day by day they came to David to help him, until the camp was great, like a camp of God,” 12:22; “His kingdom was lift up on high, because of His people Israel,” 14:2; “And David’s fame went out into all lands; and the Lord brought his fear upon all nations,” 14:17; “And David reigned over all Israel,: and executed judgment and justice for all his people,” 18:14; “Is not the Lord your God with you, and hath He not given you rest on “every side? For He hath given the inhabitants of the land into my hand, and the land is subdued before the Lord and His people,” 22:18; But David took not . . . because the Lord had promised to increase as the stars of heaven,” 27:23; “And he died in a good old age,; full of days, riches, and glory,” 29:28; And the Lord magnified Solomon exceedingly in the eyes of all Israel, and bestowed on him the majesty of the kingdom, which had not been on any king over Israel before him,” 29:25. And the enumerations and arrangements of the names of David’s heroes, servants, spiritual and temporal officers (princes), counsellors, etc., subserve the same optimistic and idealizing tendency as presented by the author; and the ever-recurring preference in these enumerations for symbolic numbers, especially for three and thirty (see 1 Chronicles 12:), seven (the supreme officers of the kingdom and the crown, 19:14 ff., and the counsellors of the king, 27:32 ff.), and twelve or twenty-four, which latter numbers appear as the principle regulating the whole spiritual (Levitical-priestly) and temporal hierarchy of officers in the kingdom of David (see especially 1 Chronicles 23–27).
3. Next to the selection of material, the arrangement of it, the order followed in the history of David, is characteristic for the author’s conception of this brilliant period of the history of salvation before the exile. This order, however, is, as the same closing remark, 29:29, to which we owe the above explanation of the choice of material by the author indicates, an extremely simple and elementary one. The author distinguishes “the first and last acts of David;” he divides his material between the two great heads of the earlier and later events of the reign of David (or of the entrance and exit of David). But among the first acts he does not understand David’s youth, with his persecutions by Saul, etc. (so that the last acts would embrace the period of his reign, as in the present division of the books of Samuel, the second of which treats of his reign), but the course of events till shortly before the end of his life, that is, until he took measures for the building of the temple, and the regular transference of the kingdom to his successor, which latter the author regards as the last acts. The point of division separating the last acts from the first is to be sought neither in 1 Chronicles 10:13 f., for the narrative of the downfall of Saul closing with these verses is merely the preface or introduction to the acts of David; nor in 12:40 or 13:1, for here, where the accounts of the elevation of David to the throne of all Israel, and the close of the seven years’ reign at Hebron, come to an end, the author clearly intends no deeper section (against Kamph.). In truth, the transition from the first to the last acts takes place in 22:1, where, after representing the glorious external (military and political) course of the forty years’ reign of the king, his provisions for transferring as well the sovereignty as the still unsolved problem of the building of the temple to his son Solomon begins to be described—where, accordingly, as it is said in the further course of the narrative, 23:1: “David was old and full of days; and he made his son Solomon king over Israel” (comp. the remarks made, p. 142, on the generalizing import of those words). It is a peculiar trait of the Chronist, distinguishing in a characteristic way his view and method of history from that of the author of the books of Samuel, that he draws a sharp line between the evening of David’s life as his ἔσχατα, and the mid-day as his πρῶτα (or between the completion and continuance of his reign), and weaves into the representation of the evening of his life a full retrospect of the whole internal aspect of the royal household under David. The picture thus drawn of the Levitical and priestly, and of the military and civil, government and official hierarchy of the king (23:27), forms, together with its frame of reports concerning the collections and preparations of David, and the chiefs of the people for the temple to be built by Solomon (22 and 28, 29), as it were, the legacy of David to his son, the testament of one glorious king to his no less glorious (according to the peculiar Levitical and hierarchical conception of our author indeed, 29:25, still more glorious) heir and successor. It is on account of Solomon, the temple-builder, that the author dwells so long on this legacy of his father preparing and stipulating for the building, and that this part of his work rises to the importance of a second half of the history of his father, to an episode in the life of David, comparable with the so-called report of travels by Luke in the third Gospel, or the farewell addresses of our Lord in John 13–14, bearing in a still higher degree the character of a retrospect and legacy. Beside this very minute representation of the close of David’s life, that under the hands of our author, notwithstanding its comparatively brief duration, has assumed the form of an autumn almost equal in length with the preceding summer of life, the spring with its vicissitude of clear sunshine and rough storm is quite cast into the shade; it appears, indeed, by the merely occasional allusions to its incidents which are contained in 1 Chronicles 10–12, intentionally reduced to a vanishing point in the development of the whole. Yet, in the section relating to the catastrophe of Saul, 1 Chronicles 10, the author has furnished an independent preface or introduction to the chief object of his representation, and so has given to the whole a threefold arrangement, in which, however, by far the greatest importance belongs extensively and intensively to the second and third parts.
4. The statement of the Chronist has suffered nothing in credibility by this peculiar arrangement and distribution, especially by his dwelling so long on the preparations for building the temple, and the measures taken for transferring the kingdom to Solomon, which are so briefly handled in the introduction to the books of Kings. The solid walls of the old sources appear through the cover corresponding to his individual view and bent, which he has imparted to the building he has erected. This holds as well of the sections on the external government, peculiar to his statement, as of the closing accounts of the king setting his house in order and handing it over to his successor.1 It appears particularly fitted to awaken confidence in his statement, that no special preference for the wonderful is to be remarked in the sections peculiar to him; that, in fact, some of these sections—for example, 12, 23 ff., and 27 ff.—report only that which corresponds to the occurrences of every-day life, which might arise in the profane history of any kingdom or people. And even there, where his statement runs parallel with that of the older historical books, scarcely anywhere does any stronger preference appear for the wonderful or extraordinary than in those documents, except, perhaps, his account of the census and the plague, which has certainly a trace of the miraculous more than the older parallel text (21:26). At the most, the suspicion of unhistorical exaggeration might rest on some of the surprisingly high numbers, as they appear in the present text, 12:23–40, 22, and 29:4 ff., unless partly the obvious possibility of occasional corruption, partly the almost inevitable necessity of the assumption that smaller values than those usually assumed are to be admitted, served very much to diminish the ground which these passages present for critical assaults. Comp. that which is remarked on them in detail (12:23 ff., p. 106 f, and 22:14, p. 137 f.), and see, moreover, the Apologetic Remarks on 1 Chronicles 15:16, p. 119 ff.
5. Homiletic hints for the history of David in rich selection are to be found in Erdmann’s elaboration of the books of Samuel (vol. 6 of the Bibelw.), “With respect to the sections peculiar to the Chronist, a small gleaning may here be presented of some noteworthy practical hints from older expositors:—
On 1 Chronicles 12:38–40, Starke, after Burmann, remarks: “What is here said of David is a fine figure (type) of the Messiah. . . . He also at first had only a small following; but after He came to His glory, the kingdom of God burst forth mightily, and subjects to Him were collected in all the world. ... To David come even those of the tribe of Benjamin, the brethren of Saul, the bitter enemy of David; so had Christ disciples from the Jews, even from the Pharisees, His deadly foes; and as we by nature are all His foes, He yet converts us to His love and to faith in Him.... At David’s anointing was great joy; on all sides was provided store of eating and drinking; even so believers rejoiced at and after Christ’s ascension, and because they had all things common. ” On 1 Chronicles 16:27, comp. the remark (suitable also to the contents of 23–26) of Bengel, p. 17: “This is so fine in David; he has gone as nigh to the Levites as it was possible for him to do, as if he were one of them; and yet he has invaded no right. How finely devotion and valour are combined! Something quite peculiar has taken place in David’s heart.” On 29:30 he remarks: “How earnest is the dear David become in his old age! How he has come as nigh as possible to the building of the temple!”
1Comp., with regard to the credibility of the statement concerning David’s last directions to Solomon especially the giving of the instructions for the building of the temple, the remark of Bertheau on 28:11–19: “The whole section thus shows that David not only made preparations for building the temple by providing materials, but also gave definite orders for the execution of the work and the making of the vessels to Solomon, and that he proceeded not according to his own invention and design, but was directed by divine revelation.… In the books of Kings, nothing of this occurs; but if we must gather from the accounts of Chronicles, that David not only thought of the temple, but made preparations for it, which could not have consisted in an uncertain collection of materials, we shall not be able to avoid assuming that a communication was made according to which, even in David’s time, the plan of the temple was fixed. To execute the buildings itself was not permitted to David; but he had completed the preparations so far, that Solomon in the fourth year of his reign was able to proceed with the building, and to finish it in the eleventh (1 Kings 6). The report of David’s preparation, which extended to the fixing of the plan for the building, is the historical foundation for the statement in our verses, in which the free handling of the historical material, according to modern views, is as obvious as in the remaining sections of the last two chapters of the first book of Chronicles.”
For כַּֽעֲבוֹדַת a number of MSS. and old editions read בַּעֲבוֹדַת (“for the service”).
For לְפֹרְשִׁים וְסֹכְכִים the Sept. and Vulg. read הַפֹּרְשִׁים וְהַסֹּכְכִים; comp. Exeg. Expl
So the Kethib (הִיא); the Keri has הוּא, referring to הֶהָמוֹן.
Now the children of Israel after their number, to wit, the chief fathers and captains of thousands and hundreds, and their officers that served the king in any matter of the courses, which came in and went out month by month throughout all the months of the year, of every course were twenty and four thousand.