1 Chronicles 29
David has said what he had to say to Solomon. But he had something more
to say to the congregation before he parted with them.
I. He pressed them to contribute, according to their ability, towards
the building and furnishing of the temple,
1 Chronicles 29:1-5.
II. They made their presents accordingly with great generosity,
1 Chronicles 29:6-9.
III. David offered up solemn prayers and praises to God upon that
(1 Chronicles 29:10-20),
1 Chronicles 29:21,22.
IV. Solomon was hereupon enthroned, with great joy and magnificence,
1 Chronicles 29:23-25.
V. David, soon after this finished his course,
1 Chronicles 29:26-30.
And it is hard to say which shines brighter here, the setting sun or
the rising sun.
|Presents for the Temple.
||B. C. 1015.|
1 Furthermore David the king said unto all the congregation,
Solomon my son, whom alone God hath chosen, is yet young and
tender, and the work is great: for the palace is not for man,
but for the LORD God.
2 Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God
the gold for things to be made of gold, and the silver for
things of silver, and the brass for things of brass, the iron
for things of iron, and wood for things of wood; onyx stones,
and stones to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colours,
and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in
3 Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my
God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which
I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I
have prepared for the holy house,
4 Even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir,
and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the
walls of the houses withal:
5 The gold for things of gold, and the silver for things of
silver, and for all manner of work to be made by the hands of
artificers. And who then is willing to consecrate his service
this day unto the LORD?
6 Then the chief of the fathers and princes of the tribes of
Israel, and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the
rulers of the king's work, offered willingly,
7 And gave for the service of the house of God of gold five
thousand talents and ten thousand drams, and of silver ten
thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one
hundred thousand talents of iron.
8 And they with whom precious stones were found gave them
to the treasure of the house of the LORD, by the hand of Jehiel
9 Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly,
because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD:
and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.
We may here observe,
I. How handsomely David spoke to the great men of Israel, to engage
them to contribute towards the building of the temple. It is our duty
to provoke one another to love and to good works, not only to do
good ourselves, but to draw in others to do good too as much as we can.
There were many very rich men in Israel; they were all to share in the
benefit of the temple, and of those peaceable days which were to
befriend the building of it; and therefore, though David would not
impose on them, as a tax, what they should give towards it, he would
recommend the present as a fair occasion for a free-will offering,
because what is done in works of piety and charity should be done
willingly and not by constraint; for God loves a cheerful giver.
1. He would have them consider that Solomon was young and tender, and
needed help; but that he was the person whom God had chosen to do this
work, and therefore was well worthy their assistance. It is good
service to encourage those in the work of God that are as yet young and
2. That the world was great, and all hands should contribute to the
carrying of it on. The palace to be built was not for man, but for the
Lord God; and the more was contributed towards the building the more
magnificent it would be, and therefore the better would it answer the
3. He tells them what great preparations had been made for this work.
He did not intend to throw all the burden upon them, nor that it should
be built wholly by contributions, but that they should show their good
will, by adding to what was done
(1 Chronicles 29:2):
I have prepared with all my might, that is, "I have made it my
business." Work for God must be done with all our might, or we shall
bring nothing to pass in it.
4. He sets them a good example. Besides what was dedicated to this
service out of the spoils and presents of the neighbouring nations,
which was for the building of the house (of which before,
1 Chronicles 22:14),
he had, out of his own share, offered largely for the beautifying and
enriching of it, 3000 talents of gold and 7000 talents of silver
(1 Chronicles 29:4,5),
and this because he had set his affection on the house of his God. He
gave all this, not as Papists build churches, in commutation of
penance, or to make atonement for sin, nor as Pharisees give alms, to
be seen of men; but purely because he loved the habitation of God's
house; so he professed
and here he proved it. Those who set their affection upon the service
of God will think no pains nor cost too much to bestow upon it; and
then our offerings are pleasing to God when they come from love. Those
that set their affection on things above will set their affection on
the house of God, through which our way to heaven lies. Now this he
gives them an account of, to stir them up to do likewise. Note, Those
who would draw others to do that which is good must themselves lead.
Those especially who are advanced above others in place and dignity
should particularly contrive how to make their light shine before men,
because the influence of their example is more powerful and extensive
than that of other people.
5. He stirs them up to do as he had done
(1 Chronicles 29:5):
And who then is willing to concentrate his service this day unto the
(1.) We must each of us, in our several places, serve the Lord, and
consecrate our service to him, separate it from other things that are
foreign and interfere with it, and direct and design it for the honour
and glory of God.
(2.) We must make the service of God our business, must fill our
hands to the Lord, so the Hebrew phrase is. Those who engage
themselves in the service of God will have their hands full; there is
work enough for the whole man in that service. The filling of our hands
with the service of God intimates that we must serve him only, serve
him liberally, and serve him in the strength of grace derived from him.
(3.) We must be free herein, do it willingly and speedily, do it this
day, when we are in a good mind. Who is willing? Now let him
II. How handsomely they all contributed towards the building of the
temple when they were thus stirred up to it. Though they were persuaded
to it, yet it is said, They offered willingly,
1 Chronicles 29:6.
So he said who knew their hearts. Nay, they offered with a perfect
heart, from a good principle and with a sincere respect to the
glory of God,
1 Chronicles 29:9.
How generous they were appears by the sum total of the contributions,
1 Chronicles 29:7.
They gave like themselves, like princes, like princes of Israel. And a
pleasant day's work it was; for,
1. The people rejoiced, which may be meant of the people
themselves that offered: they were glad of the opportunity of honouring
God thus with their substance, and glad of the prospect of bringing
this good work to perfection. Or the common people rejoiced in the
generosity of their princes, that they had such rulers over them as
were forward to this good work. Every Israelite is glad to see temple
work carried on with vigour.
2. David rejoiced with great joy to see the good effects of his
psalms and the other helps of devotion he had furnished them with,
rejoiced that his son and successor would have those about him that
were so well affected to the house of God, and that this work, upon
which his heart was so much set, was likely to go on. Note, It is a
great reviving to good men, when they are leaving the world, to see
those they leave behind zealous for religion and likely to keep it up.
Lord, now let thou thy servant depart in peace.
|David's Prayer to God; Sacrifices Offered.
||B. C. 1015.|
10 Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the
congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD God of
Israel our father, for ever and ever.
11 Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the
glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the
heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O
LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.
12 Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest
over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine
hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.
13 Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy
14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be
able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come
of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.
15 For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as
were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow,
and there is none abiding.
16 O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to
build thee a house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand,
and is all thine own.
17 I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast
pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine
heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I
seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer
willingly unto thee.
18 O LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers,
keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the
heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee:
19 And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy
commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all
these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have
20 And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the LORD
your God. And all the congregation blessed the LORD God of their
fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the LORD, and
21 And they sacrificed sacrifices unto the LORD, and offered
burnt offerings unto the LORD, on the morrow after that day,
even a thousand bullocks, a thousand rams, and a thousand
lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance
for all Israel:
22 And did eat and drink before the LORD on that day with great
gladness. And they made Solomon the son of David king the second
time, and anointed him unto the LORD to be the chief
governor, and Zadok to be priest.
We have here,
I. The solemn address which David made to God upon occasion of the
noble subscriptions of the princes towards the building of the temple
(1 Chronicles 29:10):
Wherefore David blessed the Lord, not only alone in his closet,
but before all the congregation. This I expected when we read
(1 Chronicles 29:9)
that David rejoiced with great joy; for such a devout man as he
would no doubt make that the matter of his thanksgiving which was so
much the matter of his rejoicing. He that looked round with comfort
would certainly look up with praise. David was now old and looked upon
himself as near his end; and it well becomes aged saints, and dying
saints, to have their hearts much enlarged in praise and thanksgiving.
This will silence their complaints of their bodily infirmities, and
help to make the prospect of death itself less gloomy. David's psalms,
toward the latter end of the book, are most of them psalms of praise.
The nearer we come to the world of everlasting praise the more we
should speak the language and do the work of that world. In this
1. He adores God, and ascribes glory to him as the God of Israel,
blessed for ever and ever. Our Lord's prayer ends with a
doxology much like this which David here begins with--for thine is
the kingdom, the power, and the glory. This is properly praising
God--with holy awe and reverence, and agreeable affection,
(1.) His infinite perfections; not only that he is great, powerful,
glorious, &c., but that his is the greatness, power, and glory, that
is, he has them in and of himself,
1 Chronicles 29:11.
He is the fountain and centre of every thing that is bright and
blessed. All that we can, in our most exalted praises, attribute to him
he has an unquestionable title to. His is the greatness; his
greatness is immense and incomprehensible; and all others are little,
are nothing, in comparison of him. His is the power, and it is
almighty and irresistible; power belongs to him, and all the power of
all the creatures is derived from him and depends upon him. His is the
glory; for his glory is his own end and the end of the whole
creation. All the glory we can give him with our hearts, lips, and
lives, comes infinitely short of what is his due. His is the
victory; he transcends and surpasses all, and is able to conquer
and subdue all things to himself; and his victories are incontestable
and uncontrollable. And his is the majesty, real and personal;
with him is terrible majesty, inexpressible and inconceivable.
(2.) His sovereign dominion, as rightful owner and possessor of all:
"All that is in the heaven, and in the earth, is thine, and at
thy disposal, by the indisputable right of creation, and as supreme
ruler and commander of all: thine is the kingdom, and all kings
are thy subjects; for thou art head, and art to be exalted and
worshipped as head above all."
(3.) His universal influence and agency. All that are rich and
honourable among the children of men have their riches and honours from
God. This acknowledgment he would have the princes take notice of and
join in, that they might not think they had merited any thing of God by
their generosity; for from God they had their riches and honour, and
what they had returned to him was but a small part of what they had
received from him. Whoever are great among men, it is God's hand that
makes them so; and, whatever strength we have, it is God that gives it
to us, as the God of Israel our father,
1 Chronicles 29:10,Ps+68:35.
2. He acknowledges with thankfulness the grace of God enabling them to
contribute so cheerfully towards the building of the temple
(1 Chronicles 29:13,14):
Now therefore, our God, we thank thee. Note, The more we do for
God the more we are indebted to him for the honour of being employed in
his service, and for grace enabling us, in any measure, to serve him.
Does he therefore thank that servant?
No: but that servant has a great deal of reason to thank him. He thanks
God that they were able to offer so willingly. Note,
(1.) It is a great instance of the power of God's grace in us to be
able to do the work of God willingly. He works both to will and to
do; and it is in the day of his power that his people are made
(2.) We must give God all the glory of all the good that is at any time
done by ourselves or others. Our own good works must not be the matter
of our pride, nor the good works of others the matter of our flattery,
but both the matter of our praise; for certainly it is the greatest
honour and pleasure in the world faithfully to serve God.
3. He speaks very humbly of himself, and his people, and the offerings
they had now presented to God.
(1.) For himself, and those that joined with him, though they were
princes, he wondered that God should take such notice of them and do so
much for them
(1 Chronicles 29:14):
Who am I, and what is my people? David was the most honourable
person, and Israel the most honourable person, then in the world; yet
thus does he speak of himself and them, as unworthy the divine
cognizance and favour. David now looks very great, presiding in an
august assembly, appointing his successor, and making a noble present
to the honour of God; and yet he is little and low in his own eyes:
Who am I, O Lord? for
(1 Chronicles 29:15)
we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, poor despicable
creatures. Angels in heaven are at home there; saints on earth are but
strangers here: Our days on the earth are as a shadow. David's
days had as much of substance in them as most men's; for he was a great
man, a good man, a useful man, and now an old man, one that lived long
and lived to good purpose: and yet he puts himself not only into the
number, but in the front, of those who must acknowledge that their
days on the earth are as a shadow, which intimates that our life
is a vain life, a dark life, a transient life, and a life that will
have its periods either in perfect light or perfect darkness. The next
words explain it: There is no abiding, Heb. no
expectation. We cannot expect any great matters from it, nor can we
expect any long continuance of it. This is mentioned here as that which
forbids us to boast of the service we do to God. Alas! it is confined
to a scantling of time, it is the service of a frail and short life,
and therefore what can we pretend to merit by it?
(2.) As to their offerings, Lord, says he, of thy own have we
(1 Chronicles 29:14),
(1 Chronicles 29:16),
It cometh of thy hand, and is all thy own. "We have it from thee
as a free gift, and therefore are bound to use it for thee; and what we
present to thee is but rent or interest from thy own." "In like manner"
(says bishop Patrick) "we ought to acknowledge God in all spiritual
things, referring every good thought, good purpose, good work, to his
grace, from whom we receive it." Let him that glories therefore
glory in the Lord.
4. He appeals to God concerning his own sincerity in what he did,
1 Chronicles 29:17.
It is a great satisfaction to a good man to think that God tries the
heart and has pleasure in uprightness, that, whoever may
misinterpret or contemn it, he is acquainted with and approves of the
way of the righteous. It was David's comfort that God knew with
what pleasure he both offered his own and saw the people's offering. He
was neither proud of his own good work nor envious of the good works of
5. He prays to God both for the people and for Solomon, that both might
hold on as they began. In this prayer he addresses God as the God of
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, a God in covenant with them and with us
for their sakes. Lord, give us grace to make good our part of the
covenant, that we may not forfeit the benefit of it. Or thus: they were
kept in their integrity by the grace of God establishing their way; let
the same grace that was sufficient for them be so for us.
(1.) For the people he prays
(1 Chronicles 29:18)
that what good God had put into their minds he would always keep there,
that they might never be worse than they were now, might never lose the
convictions they were now under, nor cool in their affections to the
house of God, but always have the same thoughts of things as they now
seemed to have. Great consequences depend upon what is innermost, and
what uppermost, in the imagination of the thoughts of our heart, what
we aim at and what we love to think of. If any good have got possession
of our hearts, or the hearts of our friends, it is good by prayer to
commit the custody of it to the grace of God: "Lord, keep it there,
keep it for ever there. David has prepared materials for the temple;
but, Lord, do thou prepare their hearts for such a privilege;"
establish their hearts, so the margin. "Confirm their
resolutions. They are in a good mind; keep them so when I am gone, them
and theirs for ever."
(2.) For Solomon he prays
(1 Chronicles 29:19),
Give him a perfect heart. He had charged him
(1 Chronicles 28:9)
to serve God with a perfect heart; now here he prays to God to
give him such a heart. He does not pray, "Lord, make him a rich man, a
great man, a learned man;" but, "Lord, make him an honest man;" for
that is better than all. "Lord, give him a perfect heart, not
only in general to keep thy commandments, but in particular
to build the palace, that he may do that service with a single
eye." Yet his building the house would not prove him to have a perfect
heart unless he made conscience of keeping God's commandments. It is
not helping to build churches that will save us if we live in
disobedience to God's law.
II. The cheerful concurrence of this great assembly in this great
1. They joined with David in the adoration of God. When he had done his
prayer he called to them to testify their concurrence (Now bless the
Lord your God,
1 Chronicles 29:20),
which accordingly they did, by bowing down their heads, a
gesture of adoration. Whoever is the mouth of the congregation, those
only have the benefit who join with him, not by bowing down the
head so much as by lifting up the soul.
2. They paid their respects to the king, looking upon him as an
instrument in God's hand of much good to them; and, in honouring him,
they honoured God.
3. The next day they offered abundance of sacrifices to God
(1 Chronicles 29:21),
both burnt-offerings, which were wholly consumed, and peace-offerings,
which the offerer had the greatest part of to himself. Hereby they
testified a generous gratitude to God for the good posture their public
affairs were in, though David was going the way of all the earth.
4. They feasted and rejoiced before God,
1 Chronicles 29:22.
In token of their joy in God, and communion with him, they feasted upon
their peace-offerings in a religious manner before the Lord. What had
been offered to God they feasted upon, by which was intimated to them
that they should be never the poorer for their late liberal
contributions to the service of the temple; they themselves should
feast upon the comfort of it.
5. They made Solomon king the second time. He having been before
anointed in haste, upon occasion of Adonijah's rebellion, it was
thought fit to repeat the ceremony, for the greater satisfaction of the
people. They anointed him to the Lord. Magistrates must look
upon themselves as set apart for God, to be his ministers, and must
rule accordingly in the fear of God. Zadok also was anointed to be
priest in the room of Abiathar, who had lately forfeited his honour.
Happy art thou, O Israel! under such a prince and such a pontiff.
||B. C. 1015.|
23 Then Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king instead
of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.
24 And all the princes, and the mighty men, and all the sons
likewise of king David, submitted themselves unto Solomon the
25 And the LORD magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of
all Israel, and bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not
been on any king before him in Israel.
26 Thus David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel.
27 And the time that he reigned over Israel was forty years;
seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years
reigned he in Jerusalem.
28 And he died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and
honour: and Solomon his son reigned in his stead.
29 Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they
are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of
Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer,
30 With all his reign and his might, and the times that went
over him, and over Israel, and over all the kingdoms of the
These verses bring king Solomon to his throne and king David to his
grave. Thus the rising generation thrusts out that which went before,
and says, "Make room for us." Every one has his day.
I. Here is Solomon rising
(1 Chronicles 29:23):
Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord. Not his throne which he
prepared in the heavens, but the throne of Israel is called the
throne of the Lord because not only is he King of all nations, and
all kings rule under him, but he was in a peculiar manner King of
1 Samuel 12:12.
He had the founding, he had the filling, of their throne, by immediate
direction. The municipal laws of their kingdom were divine. Urim and
prophets were the privy counsellors of their princes; therefore is
their throne called the throne of the Lord. Solomon's kingdom
typified the kingdom of the Messiah, and his is indeed the throne of
the Lord; for the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all
judgment to him; hence he calls him his King,
Being set on the throne of the Lord, the throne to which God
called him, he prospered. Those that follow the divine guidance may
expect success by the divine blessing. Solomon prospered; for,
1. His people paid honour to him, as one to whom honour is due: All
Israel obeyed him, that is, were ready to swear allegiance to him
(1 Chronicles 29:23),
the princes and mighty men, and even the sons of David,
though by seniority their title to the crown was prior to his, and they
might think themselves wronged by his advancement. God thought fit to
make him king, and made him fit to be so, and therefore they all
submitted themselves to him. God inclined their hearts to do so,
that his reign might, from the first, be peaceable. His father was a
better man than he, and yet came to the crown with much difficulty,
after long delay, and by many and slow steps. David had more faith, and
therefore had it more tried. They submitted themselves (Heb.
They gave the hand under Solomon), that is, bound themselves by
oath to be true to him (putting the hand under the thigh was a ceremony
anciently used in swearing); or they were so entirely devoted that they
would put their hand under his feet to serve him.
2. God put honour upon him; for those that honour him he will honour:
The Lord magnified Solomon exceedingly,
1 Chronicles 29:25.
His very countenance and presence, I am apt to think, had something in
them very great and awful. All he said and all he did commanded
respect. None of all the judges or kings of Israel, his predecessors,
made such a figure as he did nor lived in such splendour.
II. Here is David's setting, that great man going off the stage. The
historian here brings him to the end of his day, leaves him asleep, and
draws the curtains about him.
1. He gives a summary account of the years of his reign,
1 Chronicles 29:26,27.
He reigned forty years, as did Moses, Othniel, Deborah, Gideon, Eli,
Samuel, and Saul, who were before him, and Solomon after him.
2. He gives a short account of his death
(1 Chronicles 29:28),
that he died full of days, riches, and honour; that is,
(1.) Loaded with them. He was very old, and very rich, and very much
honoured both of God and man. He had been a man of war from his youth,
and, as such, had his soul continually in his hand; yet he was not cut
off in the midst of his days, but was preserved through all dangers of
a military life, lived to a good old age, and died in peace, died in
his bed, and yet in the bed of honour.
(2.) Satiated with them. He was full of days, riches, and
honour; that is, he had enough of this world and of the riches and
honours of it, and knew when he had enough, for he was very willing to
die and leave it, having said
God shall receive me, and
Thou art with me. A good man will soon be full of days, riches,
and honour, but will never be satisfied with them; no satisfaction but
in God's loving kindness.
3. For a fuller account of David's life and reign he refers to the
histories or records of those times, which were written by Samuel while
he lived, and continued, after his death, by Nathan and Gad,
1 Chronicles 29:29.
There was related what was observable in his government at home
and his wars abroad, the times, that is, the events of the
times, that went over him,
1 Chronicles 29:29,30.
These registers were then in being, but are now lost. Note, Good use
may be made of those histories of the church which are authentic though
not sacred or of divine inspiration.