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2 Chronicles 8:1-16 – Completion of the Temple

Summary

Solomon's other building activities are briefly recounted and presented as blessings that accrued from the completion of the temple construction.

Analysis

Much more than the temple is completed in this miscellany of Solomon's other activity. Verses 1-11 recount his other achievements and building projects. Contrary to 1 Kings 9:10-14, Huram (Hiram in Kings) cedes twenty cities to Solomon as a testimony to Solomon's greatness (vv. 1-2). Verse 3 is the only military activity attributed to Solomon by the Chronicler. It both harkens back to David, who also defeated Zobah (1 Chronicles 18), and reflects the Chronicler's own time, since Hamath-Zobah is the name of the town in the Persian period. Despite the historical probability that Solomon lost territory during his reign, Israel reaches its greatest extent in verses 4-6. By adding references to the "sabbaths" and the "new moons" to 1 Kings 9:25, the complete round of Mosaic sacrifices is instituted (see also Leviticus 23; Numbers 28-29). The appointment of the priests and Levites in vv. 14-15 brings David's work to completion (1 Chronicles 23-27). Once again (see 2 Chronicles 5:1), the passage closes with the simple observation that "the house of the LORD was finished completely"; the last word (shalem) is a clever pun upon Solomon's name (shlomo, v. 16).

2 Chronicles 8:1-16

Various Activities of Solomon

8At the end of twenty years, during which Solomon had built the house of the Lord and his own house, 2Solomon rebuilt the cities that Huram had given to him, and settled the people of Israel in them.

3 Solomon went to Hamath-zobah, and captured it. 4He built Tadmor in the wilderness and all the storage towns that he built in Hamath. 5He also built Upper Beth-horon and Lower Beth-horon, fortified cities, with walls, gates, and bars, 6and Baalath, as well as all Solomon’s storage towns, and all the towns for his chariots, the towns for his cavalry, and whatever Solomon desired to build, in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion. 7All the people who were left of the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not of Israel, 8from their descendants who were still left in the land, whom the people of Israel had not destroyed—these Solomon conscripted for forced labour, as is still the case today. 9But of the people of Israel Solomon made no slaves for his work; they were soldiers, and his officers, the commanders of his chariotry and cavalry. 10These were the chief officers of King Solomon, two hundred and fifty of them, who exercised authority over the people.

11 Solomon brought Pharaoh’s daughter from the city of David to the house that he had built for her, for he said, ‘My wife shall not live in the house of King David of Israel, for the places to which the ark of the Lord has come are holy.’

12 Then Solomon offered up burnt-offerings to the Lord on the altar of the Lord that he had built in front of the vestibule, 13as the duty of each day required, offering according to the commandment of Moses for the sabbaths, the new moons, and the three annual festivals—the festival of unleavened bread, the festival of weeks, and the festival of booths. 14According to the ordinance of his father David, he appointed the divisions of the priests for their service, and the Levites for their offices of praise and ministry alongside the priests as the duty of each day required, and the gatekeepers in their divisions for the several gates; for so David the man of God had commanded. 15They did not turn away from what the king had commanded the priests and Levites regarding anything at all, or regarding the treasuries.

16 Thus all the work of Solomon was accomplished from* the day the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid until the house of the Lord was finished completely.

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10 February 2011

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