1 CHRONICLES CHAPTER 29
The People’s Willingness and David’s Thankfulness.
THE OFFERING OF THE PRINCES AND OF THE PEOPLE. — V. 1. Furthermore, David the king said unto all the congregation, assembled before him in its representatives, Solomon, my son, whom alone God hath chosen, and not one of the other sons who had attempted to gain the crown for themselves, is yet young and tender, still a young and inexperienced man, for this was before the Lord had endowed him with extraordinary wisdom, and the work is great; for the palace is not for man, but for the Lord God, and therefore it must be decidedly out of the ordinary in every respect. V. 2. Now, I have prepared with all my might, with all the effort he could summon, 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, either sardonyx or beryl, and stones to be set, glistering stones, of a very dark glancing color, such as carbuncles or rubies, and of divers colors, mottled like agates, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance. V. 3. Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, because his whole heart and mind was set on the fulfillment of this desire of his life, I have of mine own proper good, of his own private fortune, 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, in addition to the precious metals set aside from the spoils of the various wars, v. 4. even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, celebrated for its purity, and seven thousand talents of refined silver to over lay the walls of the houses withal, this amount being estimated at $40,000,000: v. 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, the craftsmen and silversmiths. And who, then, is willing to consecrate his service, literally, “to fill his hand,” this day unto the Lord? The meaning is that everyone following the king in his voluntary offering would be making a free-will sacrifice to Jehovah. Each believer, a priest to the Lord, would thus worship by presenting his sacrifice in person. V. 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, inspired by the appeal of the king, offered willingly, they executed their priestly privilege in offering liberally, v. 7. and gave for the service of the house of God, as their contribution for its erection and equipment, of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand drams, rather, darics, the author here using the name of a Persian coin with which he had become familiar during the exile to designate a smaller amount in weight, and of silver ten thousand talents, the total amount in precious metals being over $60,000,000, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron. V. 8. And they with whom precious stones were found gave them, literally, “whatever was found along with it of precious stones they gave,” to the treasure of the house of the Lord, by the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite, who had charge of the treasuries of the Temple, chap. 26, 21. V. 9. Then the people rejoiced for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart, a heart which did not secretly begrudge the gift, they offered willingly to the Lord; and David the king also rejoiced with great joy. That is invariably the experience of believers: The more they give and the more willingly they give for the kingdom of the Lord, for its spread at home and abroad, the more pleasure they themselves have of their action. A congregation in which this spirit prevails is happy above others and usually will show much more spiritual life than one in which the work of the Lord is carried on with an unwilling heart, even if the quota is reached.
DAVID’S THANKSGIVING. — V. 10. Wherefore David blessed the Lord before all the congregation, in a spontaneous overflow of delight and gratitude at seeing the willing response of the people with regard to the favorite project of his life. And David said, Blessed be Thou, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. It was a sincere cry: All glory be to God on high! V. 11. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty, the shining beauty of the Lord’s wonderful essence stood out at this time; for all that is in heaven and in the earth is Thine; Thine is the kingdom, O Lord, that is, the sovereignty, and Thou art exalted as Head above all. V. 12. Both riches and honor come of Thee, and Thou reignest over all, all worldly wealth being really a gift of His gracious hand; and in Thine hand is power and might; and in Thine hand it is to make great and to give strength unto all. V. 13. Now, therefore, our God, we thank Thee, as the Giver of all good gifts, and praise Thy glorious name, literally, “the name of Thy glory”; it is wonderful and glorious in itself, and the purpose of our praise is to keep it most glorious above all. V. 14. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? The very willingness to serve the Lord with the gifts of our hands is a blessing of His grace. For all things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee. We are merely God’s stewards, in charge of goods which He entrusts to us for the few brief years of our earthly existence. In reality all the goods of which we proclaim ourselves the proud owners are God’s alone, and He will hold us responsible for their administration. V. 15. For we are strangers before Thee and sojourners, as were all our fathers, the uncertainty and vanity of this earthly life being its most conspicuous feature. Our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding. Note how strongly the otherworldliness of the true religion is emphasized. V. 16. O Lord, our God, all this store that we have prepared to build Thee an house for Thine holy name cometh of Thine hand and is all Thine own; they were merely carrying out the duties of their stewardship in placing their money at God’s disposal for this purpose. V. 17. I know also, my God, that Thou triest the heart and hast pleasure in uprightness, a mere outward show of piety without true willingness of the heart being an abomination to Him. 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, the same spirit of cheerful willingness prompted both the king and the people. V. 18. O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this forever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of Thy people, this same spirit of cheerful willingness, and prepare their heart unto Thee, establishing them in faith in Jehovah alone; v. 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 made provision, the great Temple, the total sum gathered for which has been estimated from a little less than five billion dollars to five times that sum. V. 20. And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the Lord, your God, in thanking Him for His goodness shown that day. And all the congregation blessed the Lord God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshiped the Lord and the king, not praying to the latter, but honoring him as the Lord’s representative. V. 21. And they sacrificed sacrifices unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings unto the Lord, both in atoning for the transgressions of the past and in establishing the right relationship between themselves and God, 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; v. 22. and did eat and drink before the Lord, in the sacrificial meal connected with their offerings, on that day with great gladness. And they made Solomon, the son of David, king the second time, the first crowning having taken place rather suddenly upon Adonijah’s conspiracy, 1 Kings 1, 35, and anointed him unto the Lord to be the chief governor, and Zadok to be priest, the degradation of the other high priest, Abiathar, of the line of Ithamar, dating from this time. V. 23. Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord, Jehovah Himself always being considered as the real Ruler of the nation, as king instead of David, his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him, he reigned over a united kingdom. V. 24. And all the princes, the hereditary chieftains, and the mighty men, and all the sons likewise of King David, submitted themselves unto Solomon the king, by the ceremony of putting their hand under the king’s extended hand, and kissing the back of it. V. 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; the two rulers before him had had little of the majestic and magnificent splendor which characterized Solomon. The book now closes with a summary of the reign of David. V. 26. Thus David, the son of Jesse, reigned over all Israel. V. 27. And the time that he reigned over Israel was forty years, in round numbers; seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem. V. 28. And he died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honor, glory among the people of his own nation and abroad; and Solomon, his son, reigned in his stead. V. 29. Now, the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the Book of Samuel, the seer, the historical account written by that prophet, and in the book of Nathan, the prophet, and in the book of Gad, the seer, v. 30. with all his reign and his might, his military exploits. his brave deeds, and the times that went over him and over Israel and over all the kingdoms of the countries, all those with whom he came into hostile contact or with whom he had a friendly intercourse. Like David, the believers are gathered to the number of perfected saints, to the great number of those whose souls await the resurrection of the last Great Day.