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Passage: 1 Chronicles 22:2-19

1 Chronicles 22:2-19 – The Designated Temple Builder: Solomon

Summary

David commissions Solomon as the divinely chosen temple builder.

Analysis

The temple site has been designated (chapter 21), the land has been consolidated and financing has been arranged (chapters 18-20), God's permission has been obtained (chapter 17), and the ark stands in readiness in the Holy City (chapters 13-16). Ever since God slew Saul and turned the kingdom over to David (10:14), David's energies have been leading to this moment. All that remains is the commissioning of the divinely chosen temple builder (Solomon), because David cannot be the builder--much like Moses, who was denied entrance into the promised land. In fact, the transition from David to Solomon in Chronicles has been closely modeled on that from Moses to Joshua, as the following additional parallels show:

  • God's presence (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8, 23; 1 Chronicles 22:11, 16)
  • description of the task (Deuteronomy 31:7; 1 Chronicles 22:11)
  • the commissioning that takes place both in private (Deuteronomy 31:23; 1 Chronicles 22:6) as well as before all the people (Deuteronomy 31:7; 1 Chronicles 28:8)
  • the similar words of encouragement, especially when the parallel in Joshua 1:2-9 is taken into consideration.

The reason for denying David the role of temple builder finally appears in 1 Chronicles 22:8: David has "shed much blood." The earlier history blamed David's preoccupation with war as the reason; he just did not have the time (1 Kings 5:3-4)! In Chronicles the bloodshed associated with those wars is the problem, but in a ritual not a moral sense, since David fought them at God's command. David is designated "warrior" (22:8; see also 28:3). In contrast, it is Solomon ("peaceful" in Hebrew) who will fulfill God's promise of a son who would build the temple (17:11-14). David thus commissions his son, encouraging him to be faithful in the task.