1 Chronicles 28
The account we have of David's exit, in the beginning of the first book
of Kings, does not make his sun nearly so bright as that given in this
and the following chapter, where we have his solemn farewell both to
his son and his subjects, and must own that he finished well. In this
chapter we have,
I. A general convention of the states summoned to meet,
1 Chronicles 28:1.
II. A solemn declaration of the divine entail both of the crown and of
the honour of building the temple upon Solomon,
1 Chronicles 28:2-7.
III. An exhortation both to the people and to Solomon to make religion
1 Chronicles 28:8-10.
IV. The model and materials delivered to Solomon for the building of
1 Chronicles 28:11-19.
V. Encouragement given him to undertake it and proceed in it,
1 Chronicles 28:20,21.
|David's Charge to the People.
||B. C. 1015.|
1 And David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of
the tribes, and the captains of the companies that ministered to
the king by course, and the captains over the thousands, and
captains over the hundreds, and the stewards over all the
substance and possession of the king, and of his sons, with the
officers, and with the mighty men, and with all the valiant men,
2 Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear
me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine
heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of
the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready
for the building:
3 But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build a house for my
name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood.
4 Howbeit the LORD God of Israel chose me before all the house
of my father to be king over Israel for ever: for he hath chosen
Judah to be the ruler; and of 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:
5 And 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.
6 And 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.
7 Moreover I will establish his kingdom for ever, if he be
constant to do my commandments and my judgments, as at this day.
8 Now therefore in the sight of all Israel the congregation of
the LORD, and in the audience of our God, keep and seek for all
the commandments of the LORD your God: that ye may possess this
good land, and leave it for an inheritance for your children
after you for ever.
9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father,
and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for
the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the
imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found
of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.
10 Take heed now; for the LORD hath chosen thee to build an
house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.
A great deal of service David had done in his day, had served his
generation according to the will of God,
But now the time draws night that he must die, and, as a type of the
Son of David, the nearer he comes to his end the more busy he is, and
does his work with all his might. He is now a little recovered from the
1 Kings 1:1,
when they covered him with clothes, and he got no heat: but was cure is
there for old age? He therefore improves his recovery, as giving him an
opportunity of doing God and his country a little more service.
I. He summoned all the great men to attend him, that he might take
leave of them all together,
1 Chronicles 28:1.
Thus Moses did
1 Chronicles 23:2,24:1.
David would not declare the settlement of the crown but in the
presence, and to the satisfaction, of those that were the
representatives of the people.
II. He addressed them with a great deal of respect and tenderness. He
not only exerted himself to rise from his bed, to give them the meeting
(the occasion putting new spirits into him), but he rose out of his
chair, and stood up upon his feet
(1 Chronicles 28:2),
in reverence to God whose will he was to declare, and in reverence to
this solemn assembly of the Israel of God, as if he looked upon
himself, though major singulis--greater than any individual
among them, yet minor universis--less than the whole of
them together. His age and infirmities, as well as his dignity,
might well have allowed him to keep his seat; but he would show that he
was indeed humbled for the pride of his heart both in the numbers of
his people and his dominion over them. It had been too much his
pleasure that they were all his servants
(1 Chronicles 21:3),
but now he calls them his brethren, whom he loved, his people,
whom he took care of, not his servants, whom he had command of: Hear
me, my brethren, and my people. It becomes superiors thus to speak
with affection and condescension even to their inferiors; they will not
be the less honoured for it, but the more beloved. Thus he engages
their attention to what he was about to say.
III. He declared the purpose he had formed to build a temple for God,
and God's disallowing that purpose,
1 Chronicles 28:2,3.
This he had signified to Solomon before,
1 Chronicles 22:7,8.
A house of rest for the ark is here said to be a house of
rest for the footstool of our God; for heaven is his throne of
glory; the earth, and the most magnificent temples that can be built
upon it, are but his footstool: so much difference is there between the
manifestations of the divine glory in the upper and lower world. Angels
surround his throne,
We poor worms do but worship at his footstool
As an evidence of the sincerity of his purpose to build the temple, he
tells them that he had made ready for it, but that God would not suffer
him to proceed because he had appointed other work for him to do, which
was enough for one man, namely, the managing of the wars of Israel. He
must serve the public with the sword; another must do it with the line
and plummet. Times of rest are building times,
IV. He produced his own title first, and then Solomon's, to the crown;
both were undoubtedly jure divino--divine. They could make
out such a title as no monarch on earth can; the Lord God of Israel
chose them both immediately, by prophecy, not providence,
1 Chronicles 28:4,5.
No right of primogeniture is pretended. Detur digniori, non
seniori--It went by worth, not by age.
1. Judah was not the eldest son of Jacob, yet God chose that tribe to
be the ruling tribe; Jacob entailed the sceptre upon it,
2. It does not appear that the family of Jesse was the senior house of
that tribe; from Judah it is certain that it was not, for Shelah was
before Pharez; whether from Nahshon and Salmon is not certain. Ram, the
father of Nahshon, had a elder brother,
1 Chronicles 2:9.
Perhaps so had Boaz, Obed, and Jesse. Yet "God chose the house of my
3. David was the youngest son of Jesse, yet God liked him to make him
king; so it seemed good unto him. God takes whom he likes, and likes
whom he makes like himself, as he did David, a man after his own heart.
4. Solomon was one of the youngest sons of David, and yet God chose him
to sit upon the throne, because he was the likeliest of them all to
build the temple, the wisest and best inclined.
V. He opened to them God's gracious purposes concerning Solomon
(1 Chronicles 28:6,7):
I have chosen him to be my son. Thus he declares the decree,
that the Lord had said to Solomon, as a type of Christ, Thou art my
the son of my love; for he was called Jedidiah, because the Lord
loved him, and Christ is his beloved Son. Of him God said, as a figure
of him that was to come,
1. He shall build my house. Christ is both the founder and the
foundation of the gospel temple.
2. I will establish his kingdom for ever. This must have its
accomplishment in the kingdom of the Messiah, which shall continue in
his hands through all the ages of time
and shall then be delivered up to God, even the Father, yet perhaps to
be delivered back to the Redeemer for ever. As to Solomon, this promise
of the establishment of his kingdom is here made conditional: If he
be constant to do my commandments, as at this day. Solomon was now
very towardly and good: "If he continue so, his kingdom shall continue,
otherwise not." Note, If we be constant to our duty, then, and not
otherwise, we may expect the continuance of God's favour. Let those
that are well taught, and begin well, take notice of this--if they be
constant, they are happy; perseverance wears the crown, though it wins
VI. He charged them to adhere stedfastly to God and their duty,
1 Chronicles 28:8.
1. The matter for this charge: Keep, and seek for all the
commandments of the Lord your God. The Lord was their God; his
commandments must be their rule; they must have respect to them all,
must make conscience of keeping them, and, in order thereunto, must
seek for them, that is, must be inquisitive concerning their duty,
search the scriptures, take advice, seek the law at the mouth of those
whose lips were to keep this knowledge, and pray to God to teach and
direct them. God's commandments will not be kept without great care.
2. The solemnity of it. He charged them in the sight of all Israel,
who would all have notice of this public charge, and in the audience of
their God. "God is witness, and this congregation is witness, that they
have good counsel given them, and fair warning; if they do not take it,
it is their fault, and God and man will be witnesses against them." See
1 Timothy 5:21,2Ti+4:1.
Those that profess religion, as they tender the favour of God and their
reputation with men, must be faithful to their profession.
3. The motive to observe this charge. It was the way to be happy, to
have the peaceable possession of this good land themselves and to
preserve the entail of it upon their children.
VII. He concluded with a charge to Solomon himself,
1 Chronicles 28:9,10.
He was much concerned that Solomon should be religious. He was to be a
great man, but he must not think religion below him--a wise man, and
this would be his wisdom. Observe,
1. The charge he gives him. He must look upon God and the God of his
father, his good father, who had devoted him to God and educated him
for God. He was born in God's house and therefore bound in duty to be
his, brought up in his house and therefore bound in gratitude. Thy
own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not. He must know God
and serve him. We cannot serve God aright if we do not know him; and in
vain do we know him if we do not serve him, serve him with heart and
mind. We make nothing of religion if we do not mind it, and make
heart-work of it. Serve him with a perfect, that is, an upright heart
(for sincerity is our gospel perfection), and with a willing mind, from
a principle of love, and as a willing people, cheerfully and with
2. The arguments to enforce this charge.
(1.) Two arguments of general inducement:--
[1.] That the secrets of our souls are open before God; he searches all
hearts, even the hearts of kings, which to men are unsearchable,
We must therefore be sincere, because, if we deal deceitfully,
God sees it, and cannot be imposed upon; we must therefore
employ our thoughts, and engage them in God's service, because he fully
understands all the imaginations of them, both good and bad.
[2.] That we are happy or miserable here, and for ever, according as we
do, or do not, serve God. If we seek him diligently, he will be
found of us, and that is enough to make us happy,
If we forsake him, desert his service and turn from following him, he
will cast us off for ever, and that is enough to make us miserable.
Note, God never casts any off till they have first cast him off. Here
(2.) One argument peculiar to Solomon
(1 Chronicles 28:10):
"Thou art to build a house for the sanctuary; therefore seek and
serve God, that that work may be done from a good principle, in a right
manner, and may be accepted."
3. The means prescribed in order hereunto, and they are prescribed to
(1.) Caution: Take heed; beware of every thing that looks like,
or leads to, that which is evil.
(2.) Courage: Be strong, and do it. We cannot do our work as we
should unless we put on resolution, and fetch in strength from divine
|David's Charge to Solomon.
||B. C. 1015.|
11 Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch,
and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of
the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof,
and of the place of the mercy seat,
12 And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the
courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round
about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the
treasuries of the dedicated things:
13 Also 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 service in the house of the LORD.
14 He gave of gold by weight for things of gold, for all
instruments of all manner of service; silver also for all
instruments of silver by weight, for all instruments of every
kind of service:
15 Even the weight for the candlesticks of gold, and for their
lamps of gold, by weight for every candlestick, and for the lamps
thereof: and for the candlesticks of silver by weight, both for
the candlestick, and also for the lamps thereof, according to
the use of every candlestick.
16 And by weight he gave gold for the tables of showbread,
for every table; and likewise silver for the tables of silver:
17 Also pure gold for the fleshhooks, and the bowls, and the
cups: and for the golden basons he gave gold by weight for
every bason; and likewise silver by weight for every bason of
18 And for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and
gold for the pattern of the chariot of the cherubims, that spread
out their wings, and covered the ark of the covenant of the
19 All this, said David, the LORD made me understand in
writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this
20 And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good
courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD
God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee,
nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the
service of the house of the LORD.
21 And, behold, the courses of the priests and the Levites,
even they shall be with thee for all the service of the house
of God: and there shall be with thee for all manner of
workmanship every willing skilful man, for any manner of service:
also the princes and all the people will be wholly at thy
As for the general charge that David gave his son to seek God and serve
him, the book of the law was, in that, his only rule, and there needed
no other; but, in building the temple, David was now to give him three
1. A model of the building, because it was to be such a building as
neither he nor his architects ever saw. Moses had a pattern of the
tabernacle shown him in the mount
so had David of the temple, by the immediate hand of God upon him,
1 Chronicles 28:19.
It was given him in writing, probably by the ministry of an angel, or
as clearly and exactly represented to his mind as if it had been in
writing. But it is said
(1 Chronicles 28:12),
He had this pattern by the Spirit. The contrivance either of
David's devotion or of Solomon's wisdom must not be trusted to in an
affair of this nature. The temple must be a sacred thing and a type of
Christ; there must be in it not only convenience and decency, but
significancy: it was a kind of sacrament, and therefore it must not be
left to man's art or invention to contrive it, but must be framed by
divine institution. Christ the true temple, the church the gospel
temple, and heaven the everlasting temple, are all framed according to
the divine councils, and the plan laid in the divine wisdom, ordained
before the world for God's glory and ours. This pattern David gave to
Solomon, that he might know what to provide and might go by a certain
rule. When Christ left with his disciples a charge to build his gospel
church he gave them an exact model of it, ordering them to observe
that, and that only, which he commanded. The particular models are here
mentioned, of the porch, which was higher than the rest, like a
steeple,--then the houses, both the holy place and the most holy, with
the rooms adjoining, which were for treasuries, chambers, and
parlours,--especially the place of the mercy-seat
(1 Chronicles 28:11),--
of the courts likewise, and the chambers about them, in which the
dedicated things were laid up. Bishop Patrick supposes that, among
other things, the tabernacle which Moses reared and all the utensils of
it, which there was now no further occasion for, were laid up here,
signifying that in the fulness of time all the Mosaic economy, all the
rites and ceremonies of that dispensation, should be respectfully laid
aside, and something better come in their room. He gave him a table of
the courses of the priests, patterns of the vessels of service
(1 Chronicles 28:13),
and a pattern of the chariot of the cherubim,
1 Chronicles 28:18.
Besides the two cherubim over the mercy-seat, there were two much
larger, whose wings reached from wall to wall
(1 Kings 6:23-28,
&c.), and of these David here gave
Solomon the pattern, called a chariot; for the angels are the
chariots of God,
2. Materials for the most costly of the utensils of the temple. That
they might not be made any less than the patterns, he weighed out the
exact quantity for each vessel both of gold and silver,
1 Chronicles 28:14.
In the tabernacle there was but one golden candlestick; in the temple
there were ten
(1 Kings 7:49),
besides silver ones, which, it is supposed, were hand-candlesticks,
1 Chronicles 28:15.
In the tabernacle there was but one table; but in the temple, besides
that on which the show-bread was set, there were ten others for other
(2 Chronicles 4:8),
besides silver tables; for, this house being much larger than that, it
would look bare if it had not furniture proportionable. The gold for
the altar of incense is particularly said to be refined gold
(1 Chronicles 28:18),
purer than any of the rest; for that was typical of the intercession of
Christ, than which nothing is more pure and perfect.
3. Directions which way to look for help in this great undertaking.
"Fear not opposition; fear not the charge, care, and trouble; fear not
miscarrying in it, as in the case of Uzza; fear not the reproach of the
foolish builder, that began to build and was not able to finish. Be not
(1.) God will help thee, and thou must look up to him in the first
(1 Chronicles 28:20):
The Lord God, even my God, whom I have chosen and served, who
has all along been present with me and prospered me, and to whom, from
my own experience of his power and goodness, I recommend thee, he will
be with thee, to direct, strengthen, and prosper thee; he will not fail
thee nor forsake thee." Note, We may be sure that God, who owned our
fathers and carried them through the services of their day, will, in
like manner, if we be faithful to him, go along with us in our day, and
will never leave us, while he has any work to do in us or by us. The
same that was Joshua's encouragement
and Solomon's, is given to all believers,
He will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. God never leaves any
unless they first leave him.
(2.) "Good men will help thee,
1 Chronicles 28:21.
The priests and Levites will advise thee, and thou mayest consult them.
Thou hast good workmen, who are both willing and skilful;" and these
are two very good properties in a workman, especially in those that
work at the temple. And, lastly, "The princes and the people
will be so far from opposing or retarding the work that they will be
wholly at thy command, every one in his place ready to further it."
Then good work is likely to go on when all parties concerned are hearty
in it, and none secretly clog it, but all drive on heartily in it.