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1 Chronicles 28:1-29:30 – David Transfers the Kingdom and Charges Solomon

Summary

The account of David's final preparations for the temple resumes the theme of chapter 22 after the digression of chapters 23-27.

Analysis

The Chronicler has used his account of David's transfer of the kingdom and Solomon's enthronement as the occasion for bringing to a conclusion his primary concern in 1 Chronicles: the preparations for the construction of the temple. Both aspects bear further investigation:

  • This account of the transition from David to Solomon is totally at odds with the account in 1 Kings 1-2. Only the summary of David's reign remains the same (1 Chronicles 29:27; compare 1 Kings 2:11). Instead of a frail, spent king, a vigorous David is the center of attention in Chronicles. There is no controversy over who will be king, no mention of Nathan, Bathsheba, or Adonijah. Solomon has no one killed and does not engage in the palace intrigues that occupy the initial chapters of 1 Kings. In fact, David's appointment of Solomon as his successor is met with great joy by all Israel (1 Chronicles 29:9, 22b). Of greatest importance, however, is the repeated notice that God has chosen Solomon to sit on the throne of Israel and to build the temple (28:5, 6, 10; 29:1; compare 22:10).
  • But the Chronicler's real concern in these chapters is the temple. In his address to the leaders, David rehearses God's promise to David (1 Chronicles 17) in which Solomon was designated as the chosen temple builder and David's role was one of preparation (28:2-8; compare 22:7-16, where David shared this information with Solomon). The rest of chapter 28 finds David encouraging his son in the task of temple building and momentously handing him the actual plans for its construction. Like Moses and Ezekiel before him, David received these plans directly from God (vv. 11-19; compare Moses and the tabernacle in Exodus 25:9, 40; 26:30; and Ezekiel and the ideal temple of Ezekiel 40-48.) In chapter 29 the people generously (and willingly) contribute to the building fund, for which David offers a prayer of thanksgiving.


Thus, 1 Chronicles closes with a picture of unanimous, generous, enthusiastic support of the Jerusalem temple by all the people and their divinely designated leaders, David and Solomon. Yet, with all the energy that has been expended on the temple, we are left with the strong impression that Israel's' God is the true center of the picture, since it is worship of God that is of the very essence of the temple.

1 Chronicles 28:1-29:30

Solomon Instructed to Build the Temple

28David assembled at Jerusalem all the officials of Israel, the officials of the tribes, the officers of the divisions that served the king, the commanders of the thousands, the commanders of the hundreds, the stewards of all the property and cattle of the king and his sons, together with the palace officials, the mighty warriors, and all the warriors. 2Then King David rose to his feet and said: ‘Hear me, my brothers and my people. I had planned to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, for the footstool of our God; and I made preparations for building. 3But God said to me, “You shall not build a house for my name, for you are a warrior and have shed blood.” 4Yet the Lord God of Israel chose me from all my ancestral house to be king over Israel for ever; for he chose Judah as leader, and in the house of Judah my father’s house, and among my father’s sons he took delight in making me king over all Israel. 5And of all my sons, for the Lord has given me many, he has chosen my son Solomon to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. 6He said to me, “It is your son Solomon who shall build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be a son to me, and I will be a father to him. 7I will establish his kingdom for ever if he continues resolute in keeping my commandments and my ordinances, as he is today.” 8Now therefore in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of the Lord, and in the hearing of our God, observe and search out all the commandments of the Lord your God; that you may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children after you for ever.

9 ‘And you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve him with single mind and willing heart; for the Lord searches every mind, and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will abandon you for ever. 10Take heed now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary; be strong, and act.’

11 Then David gave his son Solomon the plan of the vestibule of the temple, and of its houses, its treasuries, its upper rooms, and its inner chambers, and of the room for the mercy-seat;* 12and the plan of all that he had in mind: for the courts of the house of the Lord, all the surrounding chambers, the treasuries of the house of God, and the treasuries for dedicated gifts; 13for the divisions of the priests and of the Levites, and all the work of the service in the house of the Lord; for all the vessels for the service in the house of the Lord, 14the weight of gold for all golden vessels for each service, the weight of silver vessels for each service, 15the weight of the golden lampstands and their lamps, the weight of gold for each lampstand and its lamps, the weight of silver for a lampstand and its lamps, according to the use of each in the service, 16the weight of gold for each table for the rows of bread, the silver for the silver tables, 17and pure gold for the forks, the basins, and the cups; for the golden bowls and the weight of each; for the silver bowls and the weight of each; 18for the altar of incense made of refined gold, and its weight; also his plan for the golden chariot of the cherubim that spread their wings and covered the ark of the covenant of the Lord.

19 ‘All this, in writing at the Lord’s direction, he made clear to me—the plan of all the works.’

20 David said further to his son Solomon, ‘Be strong and of good courage, and act. Do not be afraid or dismayed; for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished. 21Here are the divisions of the priests and the Levites for all the service of the house of God; and with you in all the work will be every volunteer who has skill for any kind of service; also the officers and all the people will be wholly at your command.’

Offerings for Building the Temple

29King David said to the whole assembly, ‘My son Solomon, whom alone God has chosen, is young and inexperienced, and the work is great; for the temple* will not be for mortals but for the Lord God. 2So I have provided for the house of my God, so far as I was able, the gold for the things of gold, the silver for the things of silver, and the bronze for the things of bronze, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood, besides great quantities of onyx and stones for setting, antimony, coloured stones, all sorts of precious stones, and marble in abundance. 3Moreover, in addition to all that I have provided for the holy house, I have a treasure of my own of gold and silver, and because of my devotion to the house of my God I give it to the house of my God: 4three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, for overlaying the walls of the house, 5and for all the work to be done by artisans, gold for the things of gold and silver for the things of silver. Who then will offer willingly, consecrating themselves today to the Lord?’

6 Then the leaders of ancestral houses made their freewill-offerings, as did also the leaders of the tribes, the commanders of the thousands and of the hundreds, and the officers over the king’s work. 7They gave for the service of the house of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze, and one hundred thousand talents of iron. 8Whoever had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the Lord, into the care of Jehiel the Gershonite. 9Then the people rejoiced because these had given willingly, for with single mind they had offered freely to the Lord; King David also rejoiced greatly.

David’s Praise to God

10 Then David blessed the Lord in the presence of all the assembly; David said: ‘Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our ancestor Israel, for ever and ever. 11Yours, O Lord, are the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heavens and on the earth is yours; yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. 12Riches and honour come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might; and it is in your hand to make great and to give strength to all. 13And now, our God, we give thanks to you and praise your glorious name.

14 ‘But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to make this freewill-offering? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. 15For we are aliens and transients before you, as were all our ancestors; our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no hope. 16Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own. 17I know, my God, that you search the heart, and take pleasure in uprightness; in the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you. 18Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our ancestors, keep for ever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts towards you. 19Grant to my son Solomon that with single mind he may keep your commandments, your decrees, and your statutes, performing all of them, and that he may build the temple* for which I have made provision.’

20 Then David said to the whole assembly, ‘Bless the Lord your God.’ And all the assembly blessed the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and bowed their heads and prostrated themselves before the Lord and the king. 21On the next day they offered sacrifices and burnt-offerings to the Lord, a thousand bulls, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, with their libations, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel; 22and they ate and drank before the Lord on that day with great joy.

Solomon Anointed King

They made David’s son Solomon king a second time; they anointed him as the Lord’s prince, and Zadok as priest. 23Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord, succeeding his father David as king; he prospered, and all Israel obeyed him. 24All the leaders and the mighty warriors, and also all the sons of King David, pledged their allegiance to King Solomon. 25The Lord highly exalted Solomon in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.

Summary of David’s Reign

26 Thus David son of Jesse reigned over all Israel. 27The period that he reigned over Israel was forty years; he reigned for seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 28He died at a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour; and his son Solomon succeeded him. 29Now the acts of King David, from first to last, are written in the records of the seer Samuel, and in the records of the prophet Nathan, and in the records of the seer Gad, 30with accounts of all his rule and his might and of the events that befell him and Israel and all the kingdoms of the earth.

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10 February 2011

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