The Word Made Fresh
1David then declared, “The house of the LORD God and the altar for Israel’s offerings shall be here.” 2He gave orders for foreigners dwelling in Israel to be gathered together, and he appointed stonecutters to dress the stones to be used in building God’s house. 3He gathered large quantities of iron to make nails for the doors and gates and fittings, and enormous supplies of bronze, 4and cedar logs beyond counting brought by the Sidonians and Tyrians.
5David said, “I will make preparations for the construction of the LORD’s house because my son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the LORD’s house must be extraordinary so that it will be famous and renowned everywhere.” So, before he died, David gathered huge quantities of building materials.
6He summoned his son Solomon and charged him with the responsibility of building the temple for the LORD, the God of Israel. 7He said, “My son, I planned to build a house to honor the LORD my God. 8But the LORD’s word to me was, ‘You have shed much blood and engaged in widespread wars, and because of that you are not the one to build my house. 9You shall have a son, a peaceful man, and I will see that he has no troubles from his enemies all around. His name shall be Solomon (Shlomo), and I will grant peace (shalom) and rest to Israel during his lifetime. 10He is the one to build my temple. He shall be like a son to me, and I a father to him, and his royal throne will be permanently over Israel from now on.’ 11So, my son, may the LORD be with you and give you success in constructing the LORD’s house as the LORD has said. 12May the LORD grant you wisdom and understanding so that when you become king you will observe the laws of the LORD your God passed down from Moses. 13If you do that, you will be successful. So, be strong and have courage. Never be afraid. Never be dismayed. 14I have taken great pains to amass for the LORD’s house thirty-seven hundred tons of gold and thirty-seven thousand tons of silver; bronze and iron beyond measure; lumber and stones as well. You’ll have to gather even more. 15You have at your disposal plenty of laborers – stonecutters, masons, carpenters, and artisans of all kinds who are experts in working with 16gold and silver and bronze and iron. You are the one to begin that work, and may the LORD be with you.”
17David then issued instructions to all the leaders in Israel to assist his son Solomon. He told them, 18“Isn’t the LORD your God with you? Haven’t you been given peace on every border? The LORD has given the peoples of the land into my hands and the land is at peace for the LORD and for the people of the LORD. 19Now, make up your mind and turn you hearts to follow the LORD’s guidance. Go and erect the sanctuary of the LORD God and bring the LORD’s covenant chest and the sacred vessels into a building erected in the name of the LORD.”
1: David designates the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, which he has just purchased, as the future site of the temple.
2-5: David drafts all the resident aliens in the land to do the work of gathering materials for the building of the temple. The account in 2 Samuel says nothing of this, while 1 Kings gives Solomon credit for everything done in preparation for the temple. Here David is credited with gathering all the materials because “Solomon is young and inexperienced.” This is remarkable in that this is the first mention made in 1 Chronicles that Solomon will be the son to succeed David.
6-16: David summons Solomon and instructs him to build the temple. He says that he wanted to do it himself, but God wouldn’t allow it because he had shed so much blood. He says that God told him he would have a son named Solomon (in Hebrew Shlomo, the same root as “shalom,” which means “peace”) who would rule in peace. He advises Solomon to obey all the laws God gave to Moses. He gives him a list of all the provisions he has gathered and tells him to get to work. The narrative reads as if David expects him to get busy immediately, but Solomon won’t actually begin to build the temple until some years after David’s death. These instructions to Solomon are nothing like the instructions David gives him in 1 Kings 2:1-9!
17-19: Gone in 1 Chronicles are all the conflicts over who will succeed David. Solomon is the one, and David instructs his officials and the tribal leaders to support him in the work of building the temple.
It has been said that this chapter is a good example of a parent putting together everything a child will need to succeed. Lifting up the need to follow the LORD is paramount here. Of course, you have to ignore the conscription of foreigners, the excessive wealth being accumulated, and the idea that the child’s primary duty is to carry on with the parents’ plan for him or her. Hmmm. I doubt God wants us to plan our children’s future, aside from simple faithfulness.