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David makes great preparations for building a temple to the Lord, 1 Chronicles 22:1-5; gives the necessary directions to Solomon concerning it, 1 Chronicles 22:6-16; and exhorts the princes of Israel to assist in the undertaking, 1 Chronicles 22:17-19.
David said, This is the house of the Lord - Till a temple is built for his name, this place shall be considered the temple of God; and on this altar, and not on that at Gibeon, shall the burnt-offerings of Israel be made. David probably thought that this was the place on which God designed that his house should be built; and perhaps it was this that induced him to buy, not only the threshing-floor, but probably some adjacent ground also, as Calmet supposes, that there might be sufficient room for such a building.
The strangers that were in the land - Those who had become proselytes to the Jewish religion, at least so far as to renounce idolatry, and keep what were called the seven Noahic precepts. These were to be employed in the more servile and difficult parts of the work: see on 1 Kings 9:21 (note). For the account of building the temple, see 1 Kings 5-9 (note), and the notes there.
Irons - for the nails, etc. - Iron for bolts, bars, hinges, etc., etc.
Solomon - is young and tender - He is as yet without complete knowledge and due experience; and it is necessary that I should make as much preparation for the work as I possibly can; especially as the house is to be exceedingly magnificent.
Thou hast shed blood abundantly - Heathens, Jews, and Christians, have all agreed that soldiers of any kind should have nothing to do with Divine offices. Shedding of human blood but ill comports with the benevolence of God or the spirit of the Gospel.
Aeneas, overpowered by his enemies, while fighting for his parents, his family, and his country, finding farther resistance hopeless, endeavors to carry off his aged father, his wife, young son, and his household gods; but as he was just come from slaughter, he would not even handle these objects of superstition, but confided them to his father, whom he took on his shoulders, and carried out of the burning of Troy.
Tu, genitor, cape sacra manu, patriosque penates:
Me bello tanto digressum, et caede recenti,
Attrectare nefas; donec me flumine vivo Abluero.
Aen. ii., ver. 717.
“Our country gods, our relics, and the bands,
Hold you, my father, in your guiltless hands:
In me ‹tis impious holy things to bear,
Red as I am with slaughter, new from war;
Till, in some living stream, I cleanse the guilt
Of dire debate, and blood in battle spilt.”
See the note at the end of 2 Samuel 7:25 (note).
His name shall be Solomon - שלמה (Shelomoh), from שלם (shalam), he was peaceable; and therefore, says the Lord, alluding to the name, I will give Peace, שלום (Shalom), in his days.
In my trouble I have prepared - Notwithstanding ail the wars in which I have been engaged, all the treacheries with which I have been surrounded, all the domestic troubles with which I have been overwhelmed, I never lost sight of this great object, the building of a house for God, that his worship might be established in the land. I have curtailed my expenses, and have lived in comparative poverty that I might save all I possibly could for this building.
A hundred thousand talents of gold - A talent of gold weighed three thousand shekels, and was worth five thousand and seventy-five pounds, fifteen shillings, and seven pence half-penny. One hundred thousand such talents would therefore amount to five hundred and seven millions, five hundred and seventy-eight thousand, one hundred and twenty-five pounds sterling. These sums are variously computed by several writers.
A thousand thousand talents of silver - A talent of silver weighed three thousand shekels, and was worth three hundred and fifty-three pounds, eleven shillings, and ten pence. A thousand thousand, or a million, of such talents would amount to the immense sum of three hundred and fifty-three millions, five hundred and ninety-one thousand, six hundred and sixty-six pounds, thirteen shillings, and four pence, sterling; both sums amounting to eight hundred and sixty-one millions, one hundred and sixty-nine thousand, seven hundred and ninety-one pounds, thirteen shillings, and four pence.
Thou mayest add thereto - Save as I have saved, out of the revenues of the state, and thou mayest also add something for the erection and splendor of this house. This was a gentle though pointed hint, which was not lost on Solomon.
Is not the Lord your God with you? - “Is not the Word of the Lord your God your assistant?” - T.
Hath he not given you rest on every side? - David at this time was not only king of Judea, but had also subdued most of the surrounding nations.
Thus Solomon came to the Jewish throne with every possible advantage. Had he made a proper use of his state and of his talents, he would have been the greatest as well as the wisest of sovereigns. But alas! how soon did this pure gold become dim! He began with an unlawful matrimonial connection; this led him to a commerce that was positively forbidden by the law of God: he then multiplied his matrimonial connections with heathen women; they turned his heart away from God, and the once wise and holy Solomon died a fool and an idolater.