2 Chronicles 1
In the close of the foregoing book we read how God magnified Solomon
and Israel obeyed him; God and Israel concurred to honour him. Now here
we have an account,
I. How he honoured God by sacrifice
(2 Chronicles 1:1-6)
and by prayer,
2 Chronicles 1:7-12.
II. How he honoured Israel by increasing their strength, wealth, and
2 Chronicles 1:13-17.
|God's Goodness to Solomon.
||B. C. 1015.|
1 And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom,
and the LORD his God was with him, and magnified him
2 Then Solomon spake unto all Israel, to the captains of
thousands and of hundreds, and to the judges, and to every
governor in all Israel, the chief of the fathers.
3 So Solomon, and all the congregation with him, went to the
high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the tabernacle of
the congregation of God, which Moses the servant of the LORD had
made in the wilderness.
4 But the ark of God had David brought up from Kirjath-jearim to
the place which David had prepared for it: for he had pitched a
tent for it at Jerusalem.
5 Moreover the brasen altar, that Bezaleel the son of Uri, the
son of Hur, had made, he put before the tabernacle of the LORD:
and Solomon and the congregation sought unto it.
6 And Solomon went up thither to the brasen altar before the
LORD, which was at the tabernacle of the congregation, and
offered a thousand burnt offerings upon it.
7 In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him,
Ask what I shall give thee.
8 And Solomon said unto God, Thou hast shewed great mercy unto
David my father, and hast made me to reign in his stead.
9 Now, O LORD God, let thy promise unto David my father be
established: for thou hast made me king over a people like the
dust of the earth in multitude.
10 Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come
in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that
is so great?
11 And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart,
and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life
of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast
asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my
people, over whom I have made thee king:
12 Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give
thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings
have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any
after thee have the like.
I. Solomon's great prosperity,
2 Chronicles 1:1.
Though he had a contested title, yet, God being with him, he was
strengthened in his kingdom; his heart and hands were
strengthened, and his interest in the people. God's presence will be
II. His great piety and devotion. His father was a prophet, a psalmist,
and kept mostly to the ark; but Solomon, having read much in his Bible
concerning the tabernacle which Moses built and the altars there, paid
more respect to them than, it should seem, David had done. Both did
well, and let neither be censured. If the zeal of one be carried out
most to one instance of religion, and of another to some other
instance, let them not judge nor despise each other.
1. All his great men must thus far be good men that they must join with
him in worshipping God. He spoke to the captains and judges, the
governors and chief of the fathers, to go with him to Gibeon,
2 Chronicles 1:2,3.
Authority and interest are well bestowed on those that will thus use
them for the glory of God, and the promoting of religion. It is our
duty to engage all with whom we have influence in the solemnities of
religion, and it is very desirable to have many join with us in those
solemnities--the more the better; it is the more like heaven. Solomon
began his reign with this public pious visit to God's altar, and it was
a very good omen. Magistrates are then likely to do well for themselves
and their people when they thus take God along with them at their
2. He offered abundance of sacrifices to God there
(2 Chronicles 1:6):
1000 burnt-offerings, and perhaps a greater number of
peace-offerings, on which he and his company feasted before the
Lord. Where God sows plentifully he expects to reap accordingly.
His father David had left him flocks and herds in abundance
(1 Chronicles 27:29,31),
and thus he gave God his dues out of them. The ark was at Jerusalem
(2 Chronicles 1:4),
but the altar was at Gibeon
(2 Chronicles 1:5),
and thither he brought his sacrifices; for it is the altar that
sanctifieth every gift.
3. He prayed a good prayer to God: this, with the answer to it, we had
1 Kings 3:5-15,
(1.) God bade him ask what he would; not only that he might put him in
the right way of obtaining the favours that were intended him (Ask,
and you shall receive, that your joy may be full), but that he
might try him, how he stood affected, and might discover what was in
his heart. Men's characters appear in their choices and desires. What
wouldst thou have? tries a man as much as, What wouldst thou
do? Thus God tried whether Solomon was one of the children of
this world, that say, Who will show us any good, or of the
children of light, that say, Lord, lift up the light of thy
countenance upon us. As we choose we shall have, and that is likely
to be our portion to which we give the preference, whether the wealth
and pleasure of this world or spiritual riches or delights.
(2.) Like a genuine son of David, he chose spiritual blessings rather
than temporal. His petition here is, Give me wisdom and
knowledge. He owns those to be desirable gifts, and God to be the
giver of them,
God gave the faculty of understanding, and to him we must apply for the
furniture of it. Two things are here pleaded which we had not in
[1.] Thou hast made me reign in my father's stead,
2 Chronicles 1:8.
"Lord, thou hast put me into this place, and therefore I can in faith
ask of thee grace to enable me to do the duty of it." What service we
have reason to believe God calls us to we have reason to hope he will
qualify us for. But that is not all. "Lord, thou hast put me into this
place in the stead of David, the great and good man that filled it up
so well; therefore give me wisdom, that Israel may not suffer damage by
the change. Must I reign in my father's stead? Lord, give me my
father's spirit." Note, The eminency of those that went before us, and
the obligation that lies upon us to keep up and carry on the good work
they were engaged in, should provoke us to a gracious emulation, and
quicken our prayers to God for wisdom and grace, that we may do the
work of God in our day as faithfully and well as they did in theirs.
[2.] Let thy promise to David my father be established,
2 Chronicles 1:9.
He means the promise of concerning his successor. "In performance of
that promise, Lord, give me wisdom." We do not find that wisdom
was any of the things promised, but it was necessary in order to the
accomplishment of what was promised,
2 Samuel 7:13-15.
The promise was, He shall build a house for my name, I will
establish his throne, he shall be my son, and my mercy shall not
depart from him. "Now, Lord, unless thou give me wisdom, thy house
will not be built, nor my throne established; I shall behave in a
manner unbecoming my relation to thee as a Father, shall forfeit thy
mercy, and fool it away; therefore, Lord, give me wisdom." Note,
First, God's promises are our best pleas in prayer. Remember
thy word unto thy servant. Secondly, Children may take the comfort
of the promises of that covenant which their parents, in their baptism,
laid claim to, and took hold of, for them. Thirdly, The best
way to obtain the benefit of the promises and privileges of the
covenant is to be earnest in prayer with God for wisdom and grace to do
the duties of it.
4. He received a gracious answer to this prayer,
2 Chronicles 1:11,12.
(1.) God gave him the wisdom that he asked for because he asked for it.
Wisdom is a gift that God gives as freely and liberally as any gift to
those that value it, and wrestle for it; and will resolve to make use
of it; and he upbraids not the poor petitioners with their folly,
God's grace shall never be wanting to those who sincerely desire to
know and do their duty.
(2.) God gave him the wealth and honour which he did not ask for
because he asked not for them. Those that pursue present things most
earnestly are most likely to miss of them; while those that refer
themselves to the providence of God, if they have not the most of those
things, have the most comfort in them. Those that make this world their
end come short of the other and are disappointed in this too; but those
that make the other world their end shall not only obtain that, and
full satisfaction in it, but shall enjoy as much as is convenient of
this world in their way.
13 Then Solomon came from his journey to the high place that
was at Gibeon to Jerusalem, from before the tabernacle of the
congregation, and reigned over Israel.
14 And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen: and he had a
thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen,
which he placed in the chariot cities, and with the king at
15 And the king made silver and gold at Jerusalem as
plenteous as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycamore
trees that are in the vale for abundance.
16 And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn:
the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price.
17 And they fetched up, and brought forth out of Egypt a
chariot for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for an
hundred and fifty: and so brought they out horses for all the
kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, by their
1. Solomon's entrance upon the government
(2 Chronicles 1:13):
He came from before the tabernacle, and reigned over Israel. He
would not do any acts of government till he had done his acts of
devotion, would not take honour to himself till he had given honour to
God--first the tabernacle, and then the throne. But, when he had
obtained wisdom from God, he did not bury his talent, but as he
received the gift ministered the same, did not give up himself to ease
and pleasure, but minded business: he reigned over Israel.
2. The magnificence of his court
(2 Chronicles 1:14):
He gathered chariots and horsemen. Shall we praise him for this?
We praise him not; for the king was forbidden to multiply horses,
I do not remember that ever we find his good father in a chariot or on
horseback; a mule was the highest he mounted. We should endeavor to
excel those that went before us in goodness rather than in grandeur.
3. The wealth and trade of his kingdom. He made silver and gold very
cheap and common,
2 Chronicles 1:15.
The increase of gold lowers the value of it; but the increase of grace
advances its price; the more men have of that the more they value it.
How much better therefore is it to get wisdom than gold!
He opened also a trade with Egypt, whence he imported horses and
linen-yarn, which he exported again to the kings of Syria, with great
advantage no doubt,
2 Chronicles 1:16,17.
This we had before,
1 Kings 10:28,29.
It is the wisdom of princes to promote industry and encourage trade in
their dominions. Perhaps Solomon took the hint of setting up the
linen-manufacture, bringing linen-yarn out of Egypt, working it into
cloth, and then sending that to other nations, from what his mother
taught when she specified this as one of the characteristics of the
virtuous woman, She maketh fine linen, and selleth it, and
delivereth girdles of it to the merchant,
In all labour there is profit.