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Bible Commentaries

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

1 Chronicles 29

 

 

Verse 1

XXIX.

CONTINUATION OF PROCEEDINGS IN THE ASSEMBLY.

(1) Furthermore.—And. David reviews his own preparations, and asks the offerings of the assembly, which are cheerfully accorded (1 Chronicles 29:1-9).

Alone.—Of all his brothers.

Young and tender.—1 Chronicles 22:5.

The palace (bîrâh).—A word peculiar to the Chronicles, Nehemiah, Esther, and Daniel. It usually means the palace at Susa (comp. the Persian word bâru, “citadel”), and this is the only passage of Scripture in which it denotes the Temple. From its august associations, the word was well calculated to convey to the minds of the chronicler’s contemporaries some idea of the magnificence of the Temple of Solomon as he imagined it.


Verse 2

(2) Now I have prepared.—And with all might have I prepared (1 Chronicles 22:14; comp. also Deuteronomy 6:5; Deuteronomy 28:9).

The gold for things to be made of gold.—Literally, the gold for the gold, and the silver for the silver, &c. (Comp. 1 Chronicles 28:14.)

Onyx (shôham).—So Vulg. The LXX. keeps the Hebrew word σοάμ. (See Gen. ii 12; Exodus 25:7; Exodus 28:9; Exodus 28:20; Job 28:16.) The uncertainty of meaning is illustrated by the fact that the LXX. in various passages translates shôham by onyx, beryl, sardius, emerald, and sapphire.

Stones to be set (’abnê millû’îm).—Stones of settings; strictly, fillings; LXX., πληρώσεως (Exodus 25:7; Exodus 35:9).

Glistering stones, and of divers colours.—Literally, stones of pûk and riqmâh. Pûk is the pigment used by Eastern ladies for darkening the eyebrows and lashes (kohl: 2 Kings 9:30). It here seems to denote the colour of the stones in question. Perhaps some kind of decorative marble is intended (comp. Isaiah 54:11). Riqmâh stones are veined or variegated marbles, or, perhaps, tesselated work (comp. Ezekiel 17:3; Judges 5:30). The LXX. renders the phrase “costly and variegated stones.”

All manner of precious stones.—2 Chronicles 3:6.

Marble stones.—Stones of shàyish, a word only read here. It means white marble. The LXX. and Vulg. have Parian marble, but the Targum simply marmora, “marbles.” (Comp. Esther 1:6; Song of Solomon 5:15, where shêsh is equivalent to the present form.)


Verse 3

(3) I have set my affection to the house.—1 Chronicles 28:4 (he liked, râçâh: Psalms 26:8).

I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver.—I have a personal property in gold and silver. For the word sĕgullâh, peculium, see Exodus 19:5.

I have given—i.e., I give (1 Chronicles 21:23).

Over and above (lĕma‘lâh).—1 Chronicles 22:5.

All that I have prepared.—The Hebrew again omits the relative. (Comp. 1 Chronicles 15:12.)


Verse 4

(4) Three thousand talents of gold.—Comp. 1 Chronicles 22:14. The sum would be about £18,000,000 sterling.

Gold of Ophir.—Indian gold, from Abhîra, at the mouth of the Indus.

Seven thousand talents of refined silver.—About £2,800,000 sterling.

To overlay.—Strictly, to besmear (Isaiah 44:18).

The houses.—The chambers (1 Chronicles 28:11; see 2 Chronicles 3:4-9). The Syriac and Arabic have “a thousand thousand talents of gold,” and “twice a thousand thousand talents of silver.”


Verse 5

(5) The gold for things of gold.—Literally. as for the gold, for the gold, and as for the silver for the silver—Scil., “I give it” (1 Chronicles 29:3)—and for every work by hand of craftsmen.

And who then is willing to consecrate his service?—Literally, And who volunteers (Judges 5:1) to fill his hand to-day for Jehovah? To fill his hand: that is, with a liberal offering (Exodus 32:29).


Verse 6

(6) Then the chief of the fathers.—And the princes of the clans, &c., volunteered, showed themselves liberal (nâdîb: 1 Chronicles 28:21; comp. Proverbs 19:6).

Chief . . . princes . . . captains . . . rulers.—All these words represent a single Hebrew term (sârîm). Princes of the clans or houses = heads of the houses elsewhere.

With the rulers of the king’s work.—The stewards or bailiffs of the royal domains (1 Chronicles 27:25-31). The construction here is like that in 1 Chronicles 28:21. The particle rendered “with” (le) appears to mean much the same as ‘ăd, “even unto,” assigning an inclusive limit.


Verse 7

(7) And gave . . . of gold.—And they gave . . . gold, five thousand talents; between thirty and forty millions sterling (!).

Ten thousand drams.—Rather, Darics. The Daric (Greek, δαρεικὸς) was a Persian gold coin, value about £1 2s., first struck by the great Darius, son of Hystaspes (B.C. 521-485). It remained current in Western Asia long after the fall of the Persian Empire. The Hebrew word (’ădarkônîm) occurs again only once, viz., at Ezra 8:27, where it clearly means Darics, and is so rendered by the Syriac (dărîkûnê). The darkôn (or darbôn) is mentioned in the Talmud as a Persian coin. The chronicler, or his authority, has evidently substituted a familiar modern term for some ancient expression of value. No real coins are mentioned in Scripture before the age of the exile.

Silver ten thousand talents.—About £4,000,000 in modern value (see 1 Kings 10:21; 1 Kings 10:27); or, according to Schrader, who argues from Assyrian data, £3,750,000. The value of the bronze and the iron must have been much greater then than now. (See Note on 1 Chronicles 22:14.)


Verse 8

(8) And they with whom precious stones were found gave them.—Literally, And with whom there was found stones, they gave unto the treasure. (Comp., for this use of the article as a relative, 1 Chronicles 29:17, 1 Chronicles 26:28; Ezra 8:25.)

The treasure of the house of the Lord.—1 Chronicles 26:22. (Comp. Exodus 35:27 for a similar contribution of the princes.)

By the hand of Jehiel.—Under the charge of Jehiel (‘al yad, 1 Chronicles 25:2). Jehiel, or Jehieli, was the Gershonite clan in charge of the “treasures of the house of God” (1 Chronicles 26:21-22).


Verse 9

(9) Then (and) the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly.—Comp. Judges 5:1.

With perfect heart.—1 Chronicles 28:9.


Verse 10

(10) Wherefore.—And. David’s Prayer (1 Chronicles 29:10-19). David thanks God because his people are at one with him on the subject nearest his heart. Touching this fine utterance of a true inspiration, which the chronicler—or rather, perhaps, his authority—puts into the mouth of the aged king, we may remark that the spirit which found expression in the stirring odes of psalmists and the trumpet-tones of prophets in olden times, in the latter days, when psalmody was weak and prophecy dead, flowed forth in the new outlet of impassioned prayer.

Before all.—To the eyes of all (Genesis 23:11), and frequently.

Lord God of Israel our rather.—The connection is “Israel our father,” not “Jehovah our father.” (Comp. 1 Chronicles 29:18; 1 Chronicles 29:20; Exodus 3:6. Yet comp. also Isaiah 63:16; Isaiah 64:8; Deuteronomy 32:6; Malachi 1:6; Malachi 2:10; Jeremiah 31:9.) The fatherhood of God, though thus occasionally affirmed in prophetic writings, hardly became a ruling idea within the limits of Old Testament times. (Comp. Matthew 23:9; Matthew 6:9.)

For ever and ever.—From eternity even unto eternity. (Comp. the doxologies of the first and third books of the Psalter—Psalms 41:13; Psalms 106:48—and Psalms 103:17.)


Verse 11

(11) Thine, O Lord, is the greatness.—The point of 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 seems to be that David arrogates nothing to himself; but, with the humility of genuine greatness, ascribes everything to God. As if he said, “The greatness of my kingdom, the prowess of my warriors, the splendour and majesty of my throne, are thine, for thine are all things.”

Greatness.—Gĕdullâh, a late word. (Comp. Psalms 71:21; Psalms 145:3.)

Power.—Strictly, manly strength; then valour, prowess (Psalms 21:13). (Comp. Exodus 15:3.)

The glory.—Ornament, beauty, splendour (Isaiah 3:18; Isaiah 13:19; Isaiah 46:13; Psalms 96:6).

Majesty.—See Psalms 21:6; Psalms 96:6.

Victory.—Glory, splendour (1 Samuel 15:29). “Victory” is the meaning of the word in Syriac, and so the LXX. and Vulg. render here. But the Syriac version has “beauty.” or “glory.” With the whole ascription, comp. Revelation 4:11; Revelation 5:12; Revelation 7:12.

All that is in the heavens . . . is thine.—The pronoun (lâk) seems to have fallen out before the following: “Thine (lĕkâ) is the kingdom.” (Comp. for the idea Psalms 89:11; Psalms 24:1.)

The kingdom.—The universal sovereignty (Psalms 96:10; Psalms 97:1; Psalms 22:28).

Thou art exalted as head above all.—Lit., And the self-exalted over all as head (art thou). (Comp. Numbers 16:3.) Here also the pronoun (’âttâh) may have been lost at the end. Ewald, however, explains the apparent participle as an Aramaized infinitive: “And the being exalted over all as head is thine.” (Comp. Isaiah 24:21 for the supremacy of God over all powers of heaven and earth.)

As head.—Comp. Deuteronomy 28:13; Psalms 18:43; Colossians 2:10.


Verse 12

(12) Both riches and honour come of thee.—Literally, And the riches and the honour are from before thee. (Comp. Proverbs 3:16; 1 Kings 3:13.)

Power and might.—Power, rendered “might” in 1 Chronicles 29:2.

Might.—Rendered “power” in 1 Chronicles 29:11. And in thine hand it is to make great (1 Samuel 2:7-8; Luke 1:52).


Verse 13

(13) Now therefore, our God, we thank thee.—And now, our God, we are thanking thee, and praising (participles in the Hebrew). Môdîm, “thanking,” occurs nowhere else, though the verb is common in other forms.

Thy glorious name.—The name of thy glory: here only. (Comp. Isaiah 63:14, and Psalms 72:19.)


Verse 14

(14) But who am I?—And, indeed, who am I? (answering to the Greek καὶ γάρ).

That we should be able.—That we should hold in: i.e., keep strength (‘âçar kôah), a phrase confined to six passages in the Chronicles and three in Daniel (Daniel 11:6; Daniel 10:8; Daniel 10:16).

All things come of thee.—For from thee is the whole (scil.) of our wealth and power. (Comp. 1 Chronicles 29:16.)

And of thine own.—And out of thine own hand.


Verse 15

(15) For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners.—Psalms 39:12.

Our days on the earth are as a (the) shadow.—Job 8:9; Psalms 144:4.

And there is none abiding.—Rather, and there is no hope; no outlook, no assured future, no hope of permanence. What is the ground for this plaintive turn in the thought? Merely, it would seem, to emphasise what has just been said. We, as creatures of a day, can have no abiding and absolute possession. Our good things are lent to us for a season only. As our fathers passed away, so shall we.


Verse 16

(16) All this store.—Strictly, multitude; and so multitude of goods, riches (Psalms 37:16).

Cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.—From thine own hand it is, and thine is the whole. The whole verse is a clearer expression of the second half of 1 Chronicles 29:14. (Comp. Psalms 104:28.)


Verse 17

(17) Thou triest the heart.—Psalms 11:4; Psalms 7:9; Psalms 26:2.

Hast pleasure in.—1 Chronicles 28:4, 1 Chronicles 29:3. (Comp. also 1 Chronicles 28:9.)

Uprightness.—Or, sincerity (mêshârîm, Song of Solomon 1:4).

In the uprightness (yôsher), integrity (Deuteronomy 9:5),, a synonym of mêshârîm. Both literally mean straightness: e.g., of a road (Proverbs 2:13; Proverbs 23:31). The connexion of ideas is this: Thou that lookest upon the heart knowest that my offering has been made without grudging and without hypocrisy; my motive was not my own interest, but Thy glory. Hence my joyful thanksgiving, because of the free generosity of Thy people.

Which are present here.—Literally, Who have found themselves here (reflexive verb). (So 2 Chronicles 5:11, and other places.)


Verse 18

(18) Israel.—1 Chronicles 29:10. (See Genesis 32:28, and Exodus 3:6.)

Keep this for ever in the imagination.—Rather, preserve this for ever: to wit, “the cast (1 Chronicles 28:9) of the thoughts of the heart of thy people.” Give permanence to the frame of mind which has evinced itself in the freewill offerings of to-day.

Prepare their heart.—Or, direct (1 Samuel 7:3). (Comp. Ezekiel 4:3; Ezekiel 4:7, “direct the face towards . . .” Proverbs 16:9, “direct his going.” Comp. also 2 Chronicles 12:14; 2 Chronicles 20:33.)


Verse 19

(19) To keep thy commandments . . . thy statutes.—Deuteronomy 6:17.

The palace.—1 Chronicles 29:1.

And to do all these things.—And to do the whole; (scil.) of thy commandments, testimonies, and statutes (comp. 1 Chronicles 22:13; 1 Chronicles 28:7), or, to carry out all my designs.

For the which I have made provision.—Which I have prepared (scil.) to build (1 Chronicles 28:2).


Verse 20

(20) Now bless.—Bless ye, I pray. The “now” is not a note of time, but of entreaty.

Blessed the Lord God of their fathers.—Probably using a liturgical formula, like the doxologies which close the books of the Psalter (Psalms 41:13; Psalms 72:18-19; Psalms 89:52, &c).

And bowed down their heads.—Or, and bowed. Vulg., inclinaverunt se; LXX. here, κάμψαντες τὰ γόνατα, bending the knees; but usually κνψαντες, stooping, bowing.

Worshipped.—Prostrated themselves. LXX., προσεκύνησαν. The two expressions “bowed and worshipped” are always united, as here (save in 2 Chronicles 20:18. Comp. Genesis 24:26; Exodus 12:27). The Syriac renders, “fell down and worshipped.”

And the king.—As God’s earthly representative, David receives the same tokens of reverence and homage. (Comp. 1 Kings 1:31.)


Verses 20-25

(20-25) The sacrificial feast and anointing of Solomon.


Verse 21

(21) On the morrow after that day (lĕmohŏrath hayyôm hahû); here only. (Comp. Jonah 4:7.) That is, on the day after the assembly.

A thousand bullocks . . .—Heb., Bullocks a thousand, rams a thousand, &c., according to the later mode of speech; and their libations (Psalms 16:4; Exodus 29:40; Leviticus 23:13).

And sacrifices in abundance for all Israel.—The word “sacrifices” (zĕbâhîm) occurred in a general sense at the beginning of the verse. Here, in connexion with burnt-offerings, it has the special meaning of “thank-offerings” (shĕlâmîm; Authorised Version, “peace-offerings,” Deuteronomy 12:6). See for both kinds of sacrifice, Leviticus 1:1 sqq.; Exodus 20:24; Exodus 24:5.

For all Israel.—So that every one present might partake of the sacrificial meal. (Comp. Notes on 1 Chronicles 16:2-3; Deuteronomy 12:7; 1 Samuel 1:3-8; 1 Samuel 1:13.)


Verse 22

(22) And did eat and drink.—And they ate and drank. (Comp. the account of the feasting at David’s coronation, 1 Chronicles 12:39-40.)

And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time.—The first time is briefly noticed in 1 Chronicles 23:1. (Comp. the full account, 1 Kings 1:32-40.)

And anointed him unto the Lord to be the chief governor.—And anointed (him; perhaps the suffix has fallen out) for Jehovah as prince (nâgîd, 1 Chronicles 27:16; 1 Kings 1:35).

Anointed.—Judges 9:15; 2 Samuel 2:4. The expression “for Jehovah” seems to mean, according to His will. (Comp. 1 Chronicles 28:5.) Or perhaps we should render, anointed him as prince, and Zadoh as priest, to Jehovah. The king was Jehovah’s vicegerent, as Zadok was His priest. The theocratic nature of the Israelite monarchy is again insisted upon. (Comp. 1 Chronicles 17:14; 1 Chronicles 28:5.)

And Zadok to be priest.—A remarkable notice, peculiar to the Chronicles. Among other things, it vividly illustrates the almost sovereign dignity of the high priest’s office; it also explains the deposition of Abiathar (comp. 1 Kings 1:32; 1 Kings 2:26) as having been already contemplated by David.


Verse 23

(23) Then.—And.

Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord.—Comp. 1 Chronicles 28:5.

As king instead of David his father.—It is not meant that David abdicated. 1 Chronicles 29:23-25 are anticipative of the history of Solomon’s reign. At the same time, their introduction here is natural, not only as relating the immediate sequel of Solomon’s coronation, but also as showing how David’s last wishes in regard to his son were realised.


Verse 24

(24) And all the princes (sârîm).—The grandees of 1 Chronicles 27:1-34; 1 Chronicles 28:1; 1 Chronicles 29:6; not members of the royal house, who are designated as “the king’s sons.”

Submitted themselves.—See marginal rendering. The Vulg. has the exegetical expansion, “dederunt manum et subjeeti fuerunt Salomoni regi.” The Hebrew phrase “put (nâthan) hand under . . .” is not met with elsewhere. (Comp. Genesis 24:2; Genesis 24:9.) It appears to be different from “give hand to . . .” in token of good faith or submission. (Comp. 2 Chronicles 30:8; Lamentations 5:6; Ezekiel 17:18.) An ancient mode of doing homage may be intended. The whole sentence may contain an allusive reference to the attempt of Adonijah (1 Kings 1:5-53).


Verse 25

(25) And bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.—Literally, and put upon him a glory of kingship that had not become on any king over Israel before him. The phrase “put glory upon . . .” (nâthan hôd ‘al . . .) occurs in Psalms 8:2. Only two or, counting Ish-bosheth, three kings had preceded Solomon. (Comp. 1 Kings 3:12; 2 Chronicles 1:12.)


Verse 26

(26) Thus David . . . reigned.—Rather, Now David . . . had reigned.

1 Chronicles 29:26-30.—Concluding remarks upon David’s history.

Over all Israel.—This alludes to the antecedent reign over Judah only. (See 2 Samuel 5:1-5; 1 Chronicles 11:1; 1 Chronicles 12:38.)


Verse 27

(27) And the time (Heb., the days).

That he reigned.—This verse is a duplicate of 1 Kings 2:11, omitting the words “David” at the beginning and “years” at the end.

Seven years.—More exactly, seven and a-half. (See 2 Samuel 5:5.)


Verse 28

(28) In a good old age.—Genesis 15:15.

Full of days.—From LXX. and Vulg. ( πλήρης ἡμερῶν —plenus dierum). Literally, satisfied with days. Syriac, “And he was satisfied with the days of his life.” (Comp. 1 Chronicles 23:1; Genesis 35:29.)

Riches and honour.—1 Chronicles 29:12. Syriac, “And he was great in the riches of the world, and in the honour thereof.”

And Solomon his son reigned in his stead.—The regular formula, from 1 Kings 11:43 to the end of the history of the kings.


Verse 29

(29) Now the acts of David the king, first and last.—Literally, And the words (dibrê) of David the king, the former and the latter, behold they are written in “the words of Samuel the seer “(rô-eh), and in “the words of Nathan the prophet,” and in “the words of Gad the seer” (hôzeh). For “written in” the Hebrews said “written on.” (See Exodus 34:1; Isaiah 8:1.)

The acts of David.—Or, the matters, history of David. The Heb. dâbâr is (1) a word, (2) something spoken about, a matter, transaction, or event. (Comp. 1 Chronicles 16:37; 2 Kings 17:11; Genesis 15:1; 2 Samuel 11:18-19.) Gesenius renders here: Et res gestae regis David . . . ecce eae scriptae in libro cui titulus, Res Samuĕlis (Thesaur., p. 722). As to the sources apparently cited by the chronicler in this passage, see the remarks in the Introduction.


Verse 30

(30) And his might.—Or, valour, prowess. (See 1 Chronicles 29:11.) His warlike achievements are intended. (Comp. 1 Kings 15:23; Judges 8:21.)

And the times that went over him.—Heb., passed over him. The seasons of good and evil fortune, the vicissitudes of his own and his people’s history. (Comp. 1 Chronicles 12:32; Psalms 31:16; Job 24:1 [=seasons of judgment]; Daniel 9:25.)

And over all the kingdoms of the countries.—Viz., those with which David had relations of friendship or war, such as the Philistines, Aramæans, Hamathites, and other surrounding peoples. (Comp. chap .)

Kingdoms of the countries.—2 Chronicles 12:8; 2 Chronicles 17:10; 2 Chronicles 20:29; not elsewhere.

The Syriac adds: “Because that David did that which was good before the Lord, and departed not from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life.”

 


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Bibliography Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 29:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-chronicles-29.html. 1905.

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