1 Chronicles
Introduction 1-5 David Prepares the Temple Building 6-14 Solomon Prepared for Building the Temple 15-19 Others Helping Solomon
Introduction

This chapter must have been another great encouragement for those who returned from Babylon to Israel to rebuild the altar, the temple, and the city of Jerusalem. They are the ones for whom the writer of Chronicles (Ezra?) tells his story. The chronicler tells about David’s efforts to build God’s house and how he encouraged Solomon to do this great work. By this the returnees be will motivated to do the work in their days with the same commitment and dedication for the LORD.

This chapter, in its spiritual sense, also means an encouragement for all who are comparable to the returnees from Babylon. Babylon means ‘confusion’ and is a picture of Christianity where confusion reigns. It is also possible today to leave the ‘confusion’ and stand on the basis of the church. For all who want to build what is God’s temple today, the chronicler’s account contains many spiritual lessons.


David Prepares the Temple Building

1Then David said, “This is the house of the LORD God, and this is the altar of burnt offering for Israel.” 2So David gave orders to gather the foreigners who were in the land of Israel, and he set stonecutters to hew out stones to build the house of God. 3David prepared large quantities of iron to make the nails for the doors of the gates and for the clamps, and more bronze than could be weighed; 4and timbers of cedar logs beyond number, for the Sidonians and Tyrians brought large quantities of cedar timber to David. 5David said, “My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the LORD shall be exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorious throughout all lands. [Therefore] now I will make preparation for it.” So David made ample preparations before his death.

The LORD has appointed David the place of the temple and the altar (1Chr 21:15,18,2615And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it; but as he was about to destroy [it], the LORD saw and was sorry over the calamity, and said to the destroying angel, “It is enough; now relax your hand.” And the angel of the LORD was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.18Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up and build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.26Then David built an altar to the LORD there and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. And he called to the LORD and He answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering.). David joins the choice of the LORD. Although no stone has yet been laid for the house, David says: “This is the house of the LORD God” (verse 11Then David said, “This is the house of the LORD God, and this is the altar of burnt offering for Israel.”). He sees in the spirit the house before him.

The word “this” refers to the threshing floor David just bought. The foundation for the house of God is a threshing floor. The church is also built on a ‘threshing floor’. The wheat is beaten on the threshing floor to separate the chaff from the grain. It is a picture of the judgment with which the Lord Jesus was beaten, resulting in the origin of His church. The altar built in that place speaks of the Person of Christ and of the work He has accomplished as a sacrifice.

After the location of the temple has been determined, David will make preparations for the building of the temple and the service therein. Its description covers the rest of 1 Chronicles. After the turning away of the judgment on Jerusalem on the basis of the sacrifice, which the judgment has carried in place, the place where the sacrifice is brought is the basis of the temple and the temple service.

David establishes a temple service based on the sacrifice – the sacrifice is also a type of the Lord Jesus. Also today we have a temple service. For the church is “a temple” (1Cor 3:1616Do you not know that you are a temple of God and [that] the Spirit of God dwells in you?; 2Cor 6:1616Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.). It is a spiritual temple. That spiritual temple includes a spiritual priestly service (1Pet 2:55you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.; Rev 1:66and He has made us [to be] a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him [be] the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.) with spiritual sacrifices (Heb 13:1515Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.; 1Pet 2:55you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.).

This spiritual priestly service with its spiritual sacrifices takes place especially when the church comes together to worship, that is to praise God for the gift of His Son. Based on the sacrifice, the sacrificial place becomes the center of a beautiful worship service that is established around the altar. These chapters indicate the great principles for the present service in what is now God’s temple.

The foreigners are called “to build the house of God” (verse 22So David gave orders to gather the foreigners who were in the land of Israel, and he set stonecutters to hew out stones to build the house of God.). They have to hew out stones. Today every believer is originally a foreigner, but is now allowed to contribute to the building of God’s house. We read about aliens who bring “large quantities of cedar timber” to David (verse 44and timbers of cedar logs beyond number, for the Sidonians and Tyrians brought large quantities of cedar timber to David.). Stone and wood are the basic elements for the house. Stones are a picture of believers, called “living stones” (1Pet 2:55you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.). Wood is a picture of man as one who belongs to the earth. Later all this will be covered with gold. Thus the believing man becomes one who shows God’s glory.

It is then told that David prepares “large quantities of iron to make the nails for the doors of the gates and for the clamps” (verse 33David prepared large quantities of iron to make the nails for the doors of the gates and for the clamps, and more bronze than could be weighed;). These materials are bought from the stock of David’s spoils of war. They are also mentioned in 1 Chronicles 28-29. Here we see that the first thing mentioned of the house has to do with the doors of the gates. It is therefore in the foreground that it is important to ensure that what is and what is not allowed to enter. This is vital for the service in the house.

Together with the doors of the gates, “the clamps” are called. Apart from the supervision of who may and may not enter the temple, the mutual correlation of the believers is also important. If the believers are well connected by living together for the Lord Jesus and listening to God’s Word, the enemy will not have a chance to do his pernicious work among them. For example, false teachings about the Lord Jesus or God’s Word, which always sow divisions, will not have a chance to penetrate.

David contrasts the youthfulness and inexperience of Solomon with the house to be built for the LORD (verse 55David said, “My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the LORD shall be exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorious throughout all lands. [Therefore] now I will make preparation for it.” So David made ample preparations before his death.). David wants the house to be made “exceedingly magnificent”. The reason for this is that it will be “famous and glorious throughout all lands”. In what David says, the contrast is expressed between man’s incompetence and inexperience and the enormous work of building the glorious house of God. From ourselves we can do nothing. “Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it” (Psa 127:11A Song of Ascents, of Solomon.
Unless the LORD builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain.
). But if the Lord cooperates, it succeeds (cf. Mk 16:2020And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.>; Phil 4:1313I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.).

Despite so much that has disappeared from the splendor of the house through our unfaithfulness, it is still possible to “adorn” God’s house, or to make it “glorious”. The remnant that has returned from Babylon to Israel does the same (Ezra 7:2727Blessed be the LORD, the God of our fathers, who has put [such a thing] as this in the king’s heart, to adorn the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem,). We can “adorn” the house by a dedicated walk, by having meetings in which the Lord Jesus is glorified, by our testimony in this world, very generally by our complete submission to the Lord (cf. Tit 2:9-109[Urge] bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative,10not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.). Then they build with good materials, with “gold, silver, precious stones” (1Cor 3:12a12Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,) and there is no room for the flesh. All services that do not envisage the building of the church (Eph 4:11-1611And He gave some [as] apostles, and some [as] prophets, and some [as] evangelists, and some [as] pastors and teachers,12for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;13until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.14As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;15but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all [aspects] into Him who is the head, [even] Christ,16from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.) are not adornments for God’s house, but combustible material (1Cor 3:12b-1712Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,13each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is [to be] revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.14If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward.15If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.16Do you not know that you are a temple of God and [that] the Spirit of God dwells in you?17If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.).

David decides to prepare a supply with which Solomon can start building the house of God. He does this with an eye on the one hand to the youthfulness and inexperience of his son Solomon and on the other hand to the grandeur and splendor of that house. He does not do it sparingly, but he makes “ample preparations”. Everything is arranged by David for a house that has not yet been built. Thus everything is arranged through Christ before the church as His house in glory is revealed.

The last part of David’s life is filled with stockpiling for his son Solomon to build the temple. What a wonderful goal for an old man. What a wonderful example for all old believers. Old believers may seek the interests of God’s house to the very end with all efforts and serve by young believers to support in the building of God’s house.


Solomon Prepared for Building the Temple

6Then he called for his son Solomon, and charged him to build a house for the LORD God of Israel. 7David said to Solomon, “My son, I had intended to build a house to the name of the LORD my God. 8But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have waged great wars; you shall not build a house to My name, because you have shed [so] much blood on the earth before Me. 9Behold, a son will be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. 10He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’ 11Now, my son, the LORD be with you that you may be successful, and build the house of the LORD your God just as He has spoken concerning you. 12Only the LORD give you discretion and understanding, and give you charge over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the LORD your God. 13Then you will prosper, if you are careful to observe the statutes and the ordinances which the LORD commanded Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and courageous, do not fear nor be dismayed. 14Now behold, with great pains I have prepared for the house of the LORD 100,000 talents of gold and 1,000,000 talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond weight, for they are in great quantity; also timber and stone I have prepared, and you may add to them.

David calls for Solomon and charges him to build a house “for the LORD God of Israel” (verse 66Then he called for his son Solomon, and charged him to build a house for the LORD God of Israel.). Solomon is the right person for this. He also has the capacities for it. To do a work for the Lord requires a gift and a calling. Without gift and calling, what is done will not hold out because it is not from God (cf. Ezra 4:1-31Now when the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the people of the exile were building a temple to the LORD God of Israel,2they approached Zerubbabel and the heads of fathers’ [households], and said to them, “Let us build with you, for we, like you, seek your God; and we have been sacrificing to Him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us up here.”3But Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the rest of the heads of fathers’ [households] of Israel said to them, “You have nothing in common with us in building a house to our God; but we ourselves will together build to the LORD God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia has commanded us.”).

David testifies toward his son of the interest he has always taken in a dwelling place for God. This is also an example for old believers. If it is well, they can tell that they have always given priority to God’s house in their lives. David tells Solomon that it has always been in his heart to build a house for the LORD (verse 66Then he called for his son Solomon, and charged him to build a house for the LORD God of Israel.). He adds that the LORD told him that he could not build that house and the reason for it (verses 7-87David said to Solomon, “My son, I had intended to build a house to the name of the LORD my God.8But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have waged great wars; you shall not build a house to My name, because you have shed [so] much blood on the earth before Me.).

At the same time he was promised that a son, who was still to be born at the time, would build the house (verse 99Behold, a son will be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days.). The LORD also said that this man will be “a man of rest”, to whom He will give rest from all His enemies around Him. Therefore, says the LORD, the name of that son shall be “Solomon”. The name ‘Solomon’ is directly linked to peace. In that name is the word sjalom, which means ‘peace’. In his days the LORD will “give peace and quiet to Israel”. These are the appropriate conditions for the building of the temple, the dwelling place of God, where He can live in peace among His people and they can bring sacrifices to Him.

It is a privilege for Solomon to build a house as a man of rest for the name of the LORD. But that is not the only privilege. The LORD says further to David that his son will be for Him a son, and He will be for that son a Father (verse 1010He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’). This can only refer to the great Son of David, the Lord Jesus. That thought is confirmed by what the LORD says of the throne of Solomon. This will be a throne which He will “establish … over Israel forever”. That throne is the throne of the Lord Jesus and of no one else.

Here David is also a picture of Christ. From what he says here, we see that the glory of God in peace among His people is always the object of the heart of Christ. The suffering Servant of the LORD had this in mind when He went His way of suffering on earth. David and Solomon are together a picture of the Lord Jesus: David in His suffering and in the establishment of the kingdom and Solomon in His glorious and eternal reign.

It is also nice to see that David is not disappointed that he is not allowed to build the temple. There is also no jealousy with him that Solomon can do it. He does not cranky renounce all cooperation, but accepts what God determines. With all the means God has given him, he is committed to building the temple.

As a practical application, we see that older believers can help younger believers in fulfilling their task by making available to these young believers what they themselves have gathered over the years. This makes the task more attractive and easier for young people. Young people can make grateful use of this.

David gives some conditions for doing the commissioned work and bringing it to a successful end (verses 11-1311Now, my son, the LORD be with you that you may be successful, and build the house of the LORD your God just as He has spoken concerning you.12Only the LORD give you discretion and understanding, and give you charge over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the LORD your God.13Then you will prosper, if you are careful to observe the statutes and the ordinances which the LORD commanded Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and courageous, do not fear nor be dismayed.). These conditions apply to any work that is also entrusted to us:
1. The condition that the Lord is with us (verse 1111Now, my son, the LORD be with you that you may be successful, and build the house of the LORD your God just as He has spoken concerning you.). That He will be, as long as each one of us abides by what “He has spoken concerning you”.
2. The condition that the work to be done does not take place on the basis of our own insights (verse 1212Only the LORD give you discretion and understanding, and give you charge over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the LORD your God.). The Lord must give us “discretion and understanding”. He must help us to put into practice what we know.
3. The condition of obedience to the word given by God to Moses (verse 1313Then you will prosper, if you are careful to observe the statutes and the ordinances which the LORD commanded Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and courageous, do not fear nor be dismayed.). This is a requirement for all faithfulness and any revival after deviation. The later king Josiah also goes back to Moses (2Kgs 23:2525Before him there was no king like him who turned to the LORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him.; 2Chr 35:66Now slaughter the Passover [animals], sanctify yourselves and prepare for your brethren to do according to the word of the LORD by Moses.”) and also to David (2Chr 35:44Prepare [yourselves] by your fathers’ households in your divisions, according to the writing of David king of Israel and according to the writing of his son Solomon.).

The words “be strong and courageous” with which David encourages Solomon are also the words with which Moses encourages Joshua (Deu 31:66Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”; Jos 1:6,7,96Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.7Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”).

What material David has available for the building of God’s house has been collected by him “with great pain” (verse 1414Now behold, with great pains I have prepared for the house of the LORD 100,000 talents of gold and 1,000,000 talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond weight, for they are in great quantity; also timber and stone I have prepared, and you may add to them.). This determines that the Lord Jesus can build His church through the ‘great pain’ of the cross. Solomon may add to this. This is reminiscent of Paul’s words when he says that in his flesh he completes “what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions” (Col 1:2424Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.).

Paul’s suffering is of the same character as Christ’s suffering. This does not mean, of course, that he suffers to the same extent and certainly not for reconciliation. There is nothing lacking as to the atonement, which is complete within itself. God acquired the church through the suffering of the Lord Jesus on the cross, through the blood of His own Son (Acts 20:28b28Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.).

The Lord Jesus revealed God in His life on earth, but not all God’s eternal plans. Only when the Holy Spirit comes to earth do believers gain insight into God’s plans through the apostle Paul (Acts 20:2727For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.). For Paul, witnessing this truth brings with it abundant suffering. This is not substitute suffering, it is additional suffering.


Others Helping Solomon

15Moreover, there are many workmen with you, stonecutters and masons of stone and carpenters, and all men who are skillful in every kind of work. 16Of the gold, the silver and the bronze and the iron there is no limit. Arise and work, and may the LORD be with you.” 17David also commanded all the leaders of Israel to help his son Solomon, [saying], 18“Is not the LORD your God with you? And has He not given you rest on every side? For He has given the inhabitants of the land into my hand, and the land is subdued before the LORD and before His people. 19Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; arise, therefore, and build the sanctuary of the LORD God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the holy vessels of God into the house that is to be built for the name of the LORD.”

David points out to Solomon that there is a crowd of workmen ready to help him (verse 1515Moreover, there are many workmen with you, stonecutters and masons of stone and carpenters, and all men who are skillful in every kind of work.). As with the building of the tabernacle, there is great willingness to do something for the LORD. Also at the beginning of the church, the New Testament house of God, we see a great dedication to the things of the Lord in all who belong to the church (Acts 4-5). Today, a lot of work has to be done by very few, because everyone “runs to his own house” (Hag 1:99“[You] look for much, but behold, [it comes] to little; when you bring [it] home, I blow it [away]. Why?” declares the LORD of hosts, “Because of My house which [lies] desolate, while each of you runs to his own house.), while the house of God is desolate.

The workmen are now the evangelists who bring in material and the teachers who “work” this material further so that the stones get and take their right place in the house (cf. Col 1:28-2928We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.29For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.). For us, the fact that others have to help Solomon means that no one can build independently of others. Paul realizes that too (Col 4:11b11and [also] Jesus who is called Justus; these are the only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are from the circumcision, and they have proved to be an encouragement to me.).

When David has pointed to the large number of people and the countless amount of materials, he instructs his son to arise and get to work. He may have prepared everything, but Solomon has to work with it. Added to the great task he thereby places on Solomon’s shoulders, he supports him above all with pointing out to him that the LORD will be with him (verse 16b16Of the gold, the silver and the bronze and the iron there is no limit. Arise and work, and may the LORD be with you.”).

The leaders of the people can also help Solomon (verse 1717David also commanded all the leaders of Israel to help his son Solomon, [saying],). David commands them to do so. Just as he did with Solomon, he also points out to the leaders that the LORD is with them (verse 1818“Is not the LORD your God with you? And has He not given you rest on every side? For He has given the inhabitants of the land into my hand, and the land is subdued before the LORD and before His people.). They only have to look around to see the proof. Isn’t it rest on every side all around them? Now that they no longer have to wage war, they can commit themselves to building God’s house.

All the inhabitants of the land are given by the LORD into the hand of David. The whole land is for the LORD and for His people. When in a local church everything is subject to the authority of the Lord Jesus, there is real peace among the believers. He who sees this, will direct himself with “heart and soul” to the service of the house of God.

When heart and soul are filled with the things that fill the heart of God, the call comes to “arise … and build the sanctuary of the LORD God” (verse 1919Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; arise, therefore, and build the sanctuary of the LORD God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the holy vessels of God into the house that is to be built for the name of the LORD.”). The purpose of this is that in that house “the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the holy vessels of God” can be brought. Everything is aimed at ensuring that in that house the name of the LORD will be glorified. This happens when He dwells there between the cherubs on the ark and all the objects in the house are “holy”, that is, are dedicated to Him.


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