Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
1. David assembled all the princes of Israel--that is, the
representatives of the people, the leading men of the kingdom, who are
enumerated in this verse according to their respective rank or degree
princes of the tribes--
Those patriarchal chiefs are mentioned first as being the highest in
rank--a sort of hereditary noblesse.
the captains of the companies--the twelve generals mentioned
the stewards, &c.--
the officers--Hebrew, "eunuchs," or attendants on the court
and besides Joab, the commander-in-chief of the army, the heroes who
had no particular office
This assembly, a very mixed and general one, as appears from the
parties invited, was more numerous and entirely different from that
2. Hear me, my brethren, and my people--This was the style of address
becoming a constitutional king of Israel
I had in mine heart--I proposed, or designed.
to build an house of rest--a solid and permanent temple.
for the footstool of our God--God seated between the cherubim, at
the two extremities of the ark, might be said to be enthroned in His
glory, and the coverlet of the ark to be His footstool.
and had made ready for the building--The immense treasures which David
had amassed and the elaborate preparations he had made, would have been
amply sufficient for the erection of the temple of which he presented
the model to Solomon.
3. thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood--The church or
spiritual state of the world, of which the temple at Jerusalem was to be
a type, would be presided over by One who was to be pre-eminently the
Prince of Peace, and therefore would be represented not so fitly by
David, whose mission had been a preparatory one of battle and conquest,
as by his son, who should reign in unbroken peace.
4, 5. he hath chosen Solomon--The spirit of David's statement is
this:--It was not my ambition, my valor, or my merit that led to the
enthronement of myself and family; it was the grace of God which chose
the tribe, the family, the person--myself in the first instance, and
now Solomon, to whom, as the Lord's anointed, you are all bound to
submit. Like that of Christ, of whom he was a type, the appointment of
Solomon to the kingdom above all his brethren was frequently
(1Ch 17:12; 22:9;
2Sa 7:12-14; 12:24, 25;
7. I will establish his kingdom for ever, if he be constant to do my
commandments--The same condition is set before Solomon by God
(1Ki 3:14; 9:4).
8. Now . . . in the sight of all Israel, . . . keep and seek for all
the commandments of the Lord, &c.--This solemn and earnest exhortation
to those present, and to all Israel through their representatives, to
continue faithful in observing the divine law as essential to their
national prosperity and permanence, is similar to that of Moses
9, 10. And thou, Solomon my son--The royal speaker now turns to
Solomon, and in a most impressive manner presses upon him the
importance of sincere and practical piety.
know thou--He did not mean head knowledge, for Solomon possessed that
already, but that experimental acquaintance with God which is only to
be obtained by loving and serving Him.
11. Then David gave to Solomon . . . the pattern--He now put into the
hands of his son and successor the plan or model of the temple, with
the elevations, measurements, apartments, and chief articles of
furniture, all of which were designed according to the pattern given
him by divine revelation
12. the pattern of all that he had by the spirit--rather, "with him in
spirit"; that is, was floating in his mind.
15, 16. the candlesticks of silver--Solomon made them all of gold--in
this and a few minor particulars departing from the letter of his
father's instructions, where he had the means of executing them in a
more splendid style. There was only one candlestick and one table in
the tabernacle, but ten in the temple.
18, 19. the chariot of the cherubim--The expanded wings of the
cherubim formed what was figuratively styled the throne of God, and as
they were emblematical of rapid motion, the throne or seat was spoken
of as a chariot
(Ps 18:10; 99:1).
It is quite clear that in all these directions David was not guided by
his own taste, or by a desire for taking any existing model of
architecture, but solely by a regard to the express revelation of the
divine will. In a vision, or trance, the whole edifice, with its
appurtenances, had been placed before his eyes so vividly and
permanently, that he had been able to take a sketch of them in the
models delivered to Solomon.
20. Be strong and of good courage--The address begun in
is resumed and concluded in the same strain.
21. behold, the courses of the priests and Levites--They were, most
probably, represented in this assembly though they are not named.
also the princes and all the people--that is, as well the skilful,
expert, and zealous artisan, as the workman who needs to be directed in
all his labors.