2 Chronicles
Introduction 1-6 Solomon’s Building 7-10 The Workmen of Solomon 11 The House of Pharaoh’s Daughter 12-16 The Temple According to the Ordinance of David 17-18 The Gold of Solomon
Introduction

In 2 Chronicles 8-9 we see the relations between Solomon and the Gentiles. In 2 Chronicles 8 we see
1. which cities Solomon builds and fortifies (verses 1-61Now it came about at the end of the twenty years in which Solomon had built the house of the LORD and his own house2that he built the cities which Huram had given to him, and settled the sons of Israel there.3Then Solomon went to Hamath-zobah and captured it.4He built Tadmor in the wilderness and all the storage cities which he had built in Hamath.5He also built upper Beth-horon and lower Beth-horon, fortified cities [with] walls, gates and bars;6and Baalath and all the storage cities that Solomon had, and all the cities for his chariots and cities for his horsemen, and all that it pleased Solomon to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land under his rule.),
2. which workmen he uses (verses 7-107All of the people who were left of the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, who were not of Israel,8[namely], from their descendants who were left after them in the land whom the sons of Israel had not destroyed, them Solomon raised as forced laborers to this day.9But Solomon did not make slaves for his work from the sons of Israel; they were men of war, his chief captains and commanders of his chariots and his horsemen.10These were the chief officers of King Solomon, two hundred and fifty who ruled over the people.),
3. what provisions does he make for his Egyptian wife (verse 1111Then Solomon brought Pharaoh’s daughter up from the city of David to the house which he had built for her, for he said, “My wife shall not dwell in the house of David king of Israel, because the places are holy where the ark of the LORD has entered.”),
4. how he keeps the temple service as it is arranged by Moses and his father David (verses 12-1612Then Solomon offered burnt offerings to the LORD on the altar of the LORD which he had built before the porch;13and [did so] according to the daily rule, offering [them] up according to the commandment of Moses, for the sabbaths, the new moons and the three annual feasts—the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Booths.14Now according to the ordinance of his father David, he appointed the divisions of the priests for their service, and the Levites for their duties of praise and ministering before the priests according to the daily rule, and the gatekeepers by their divisions at every gate; for David the man of God had so commanded.15And they did not depart from the commandment of the king to the priests and Levites in any manner or concerning the storehouses.16Thus all the work of Solomon was carried out from the day of the foundation of the house of the LORD, and until it was finished. So the house of the LORD was completed.) and
5. his trade with the nations (verses 17-1817Then Solomon went to Ezion-geber and to Eloth on the seashore in the land of Edom.18And Huram by his servants sent him ships and servants who knew the sea; and they went with Solomon’s servants to Ophir, and took from there four hundred and fifty talents of gold and brought them to King Solomon.).

In Psalm 72 we read a prayer for the king and his son. In that psalm the rule of Solomon is described. With Psalm 72, the second book of Psalms (Psalms 42-72) closes. In Isaiah 60 we read a description of the glory of the coming kingdom of peace, where the power of the nations is brought to Him. Both sections can be connected to 2 Chronicles 8.


Solomon’s Building

1Now it came about at the end of the twenty years in which Solomon had built the house of the LORD and his own house 2that he built the cities which Huram had given to him, and settled the sons of Israel there. 3Then Solomon went to Hamath-zobah and captured it. 4He built Tadmor in the wilderness and all the storage cities which he had built in Hamath. 5He also built upper Beth-horon and lower Beth-horon, fortified cities [with] walls, gates and bars; 6and Baalath and all the storage cities that Solomon had, and all the cities for his chariots and cities for his horsemen, and all that it pleased Solomon to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land under his rule.

Solomon reigned for forty years. About the building of the house of the LORD he did seven years (1Kgs 6:3838In the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished throughout all its parts and according to all its plans. So he was seven years in building it.) and about his own house thirteen years (1Kgs 7:11Now Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he finished all his house.), that is twenty years together (verse 11Now it came about at the end of the twenty years in which Solomon had built the house of the LORD and his own house). Solomon is a builder. He builds the house of the LORD and his own house (verse 11Now it came about at the end of the twenty years in which Solomon had built the house of the LORD and his own house); he builds the cities which Huram gave him (verse 22that he built the cities which Huram had given to him, and settled the sons of Israel there.); he builds Tadmor and builds in Hamath (verse 44He built Tadmor in the wilderness and all the storage cities which he had built in Hamath.); he builds upper Beth-horon and lower Beth-horon and he fortifies cities (verse 55He also built upper Beth-horon and lower Beth-horon, fortified cities [with] walls, gates and bars;); he builds all he desires (verse 66and Baalath and all the storage cities that Solomon had, and all the cities for his chariots and cities for his horsemen, and all that it pleased Solomon to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land under his rule.).

We are also builders. The only question is whether we are good builders or bad builders. We must build upon the foundation, “that is Jesus Christ” (1Cor 3:1111For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.). It is also important that we build with good material, that is to say that we bring the biblical doctrine that is really for building up the church and that we live as the Bible tells us. If we learn wrong things or if we allow sins in our lives, we do not build up the church, but we break it down.

Solomon started building these houses in the fourth year of his reign (2Chr 3:22He began to build on the second [day] in the second month of the fourth year of his reign.). That means that more than the first half of his reign is over and the second part of his reign has arrived. We are then in the year 946 BC. In this second part of his government the decline begins. This can be read in 1 Kings, because there the kingship is described from the point of view of the responsibility of the king. In 2 Chronicles it is about God’s counsel. Here the reign of Solomon ends with a painting of the glory, as the Lord Jesus will possess it in the kingdom of peace.

Solomon is a man of great learning, but he does not spend his time only studying. He is also active. His scholarship leads him to act wisely. Here he is working on fortifying his land. Building and fortifying in a time of peace is necessary because the enemy is always lurking.

We must protect ourselves against savage wolves who will come in among us, not sparing the flock (Acts 20:2929I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;), against people who cause who cause dissensions and occasions of stumbling (Rom 16:1717Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.), against sectarian people (Tit 3:10-1110Reject a factious man after a first and second warning,11knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.), against false brethren (Gal 2:4-54But [it was] because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage.5But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.), against false teachers (2Pet 2:11But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.), against people who like Diotrephes want to be the first (3Jn 1:99I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say.).


The Workmen of Solomon

7All of the people who were left of the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, who were not of Israel, 8[namely], from their descendants who were left after them in the land whom the sons of Israel had not destroyed, them Solomon raised as forced laborers to this day. 9But Solomon did not make slaves for his work from the sons of Israel; they were men of war, his chief captains and commanders of his chariots and his horsemen. 10These were the chief officers of King Solomon, two hundred and fifty who ruled over the people.

The power of Solomon is described both in the building of cities in the previous verses and in these verses in the enemies that become slaves. The Israelites are not slaves; they are the rulers and are given important posts. For all his buildings, Solomon needs a lot of people. They are taken from the remaining Canaanite peoples, who are explicitly said not to belong to Israel. That they are still alive is the result of Israel’s unfaithfulness to the LORD’s commandment to destroy them (Deu 7:1-61“When the LORD your God brings you into the land where you are entering to possess it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and stronger than you,2and when the LORD your God delivers them before you and you defeat them, then you shall utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them and show no favor to them.3Furthermore, you shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor shall you take their daughters for your sons.4For they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods; then the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you and He will quickly destroy you.5But thus you shall do to them: you shall tear down their altars, and smash their [sacred] pillars, and hew down their Asherim, and burn their graven images with fire.6For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.; 20:16-1816Only in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not leave alive anything that breathes.17But you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittite and the Amorite, the Canaanite and the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, as the LORD your God has commanded you,18so that they may not teach you to do according to all their detestable things which they have done for their gods, so that you would sin against the LORD your God.).


The House of Pharaoh’s Daughter

11Then Solomon brought Pharaoh’s daughter up from the city of David to the house which he had built for her, for he said, “My wife shall not dwell in the house of David king of Israel, because the places are holy where the ark of the LORD has entered.”

The connection between Solomon and Pharaoh’s daughter is also found in 1 Kings, especially at the beginning of Solomon’s history (1Kgs 3:11Then Solomon formed a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh’s daughter and brought her to the city of David until he had finished building his own house and the house of the LORD and the wall around Jerusalem.). There his marriage with Pharaoh’s daughter is mentioned so early in his history as a precursor of the many wrong marriages he will later enter into. Here in 2 Chronicles the emphasis is more on the spiritual mind of Solomon. He realizes that his pagan wife cannot be connected to the service to the LORD in which “the house of David king of Israel” is leading.

We can learn a practical lesson here. It is a bad thing when husband and wife have no common interest in what is most important: the things of God. How else can two men walk together (Amos 3:33Do two men walk together unless they have made an appointment?
)? The love for Christ in husband and wife gives the strongest bond in marriage. How bad it is when either the husband or the wife has to enter the sanctuary alone, because the other does not care. The same goes for friendships. It is also not correct that there is a separation between our own house and the house of God, as Solomon puts it here. The atmosphere of God’s house must also be that of our own houses.


The Temple According to the Ordinance of David

12Then Solomon offered burnt offerings to the LORD on the altar of the LORD which he had built before the porch; 13and [did so] according to the daily rule, offering [them] up according to the commandment of Moses, for the sabbaths, the new moons and the three annual feasts—the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Booths. 14Now according to the ordinance of his father David, he appointed the divisions of the priests for their service, and the Levites for their duties of praise and ministering before the priests according to the daily rule, and the gatekeepers by their divisions at every gate; for David the man of God had so commanded. 15And they did not depart from the commandment of the king to the priests and Levites in any manner or concerning the storehouses. 16Thus all the work of Solomon was carried out from the day of the foundation of the house of the LORD, and until it was finished. So the house of the LORD was completed.

This section begins with “then” (verse 1212Then Solomon offered burnt offerings to the LORD on the altar of the LORD which he had built before the porch;). It seems to say that after Solomon had let Pharaoh’s daughter leave Jerusalem, he was again able to sacrifice. Solomon is here again the king-priest, like Melchizedek. He is herein a picture of the Messiah (Zec 6:1313Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the LORD, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices.”‘). He acts according to “the commandment of Moses” (verse 1313and [did so] according to the daily rule, offering [them] up according to the commandment of Moses, for the sabbaths, the new moons and the three annual feasts—the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Booths.) and offers the various daily, weekly, monthly, and annual prescribed sacrifices.

Solomon is the offeror and also takes care of the priests and the Levites. He ensures that they act “according to the ordinance of his father David” (verse 1414Now according to the ordinance of his father David, he appointed the divisions of the priests for their service, and the Levites for their duties of praise and ministering before the priests according to the daily rule, and the gatekeepers by their divisions at every gate; for David the man of God had so commanded.). This also applies to the gatekeepers who sit at the gates to ensure that no unauthorized persons enter. There is no departing from “the commandment of the king” (verse 1515And they did not depart from the commandment of the king to the priests and Levites in any manner or concerning the storehouses.), because this commandment is completely in accordance with what was said earlier by Moses and David.

Solomon does not use his wisdom to invent new forms of worship, not even by changing or adding anything, but rather by remaining in what he has been taught (2Tim 3:1414You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned [them],). He uses his authority to maintain the statutes of Moses and his father David. Everything is shown as it is described in Ezekiel 40-48, where everything is connected to the glory of the kingdom of peace.

If everything is in order and goes well, it can be said that “the house of the LORD was completed” (verse 1616Thus all the work of Solomon was carried out from the day of the foundation of the house of the LORD, and until it was finished. So the house of the LORD was completed.). Before the service in the temple takes place as prescribed, the temple is not completed. The goal is only then achieved when the house also functions according to the intention that the builder of it had in mind.


The Gold of Solomon

17Then Solomon went to Ezion-geber and to Eloth on the seashore in the land of Edom. 18And Huram by his servants sent him ships and servants who knew the sea; and they went with Solomon’s servants to Ophir, and took from there four hundred and fifty talents of gold and brought them to King Solomon.

Solomon trades with the nations. The merchandise here is only gold, the gold of Ofir. When we think of Ofir, we have to think of areas or tribes that probably have been or lived in Arabia. Ofir is associated with Havilah, the land of good gold (Gen 10:2929and Ophir and Havilah and Jobab; all these were the sons of Joktan.; 2:11-1211The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.12The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there.).

Gold is a picture of glory; the radiance shows Divine glory. It has to do with paradise, a glory that has been lost by sin, but which here, as it were, is brought back by Solomon. He brings out the glory that is lost.

The glory that has shone in paradise, shines here in the hands of Solomon and will shine in the kingdom of peace the brightest and constantly. The line runs from the gold of paradise, via the gold here of Solomon, to the gold of the kingdom of peace (Isa 60:1-91“Arise, shine; for your light has come,
And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
2“For behold, darkness will cover the earth
And deep darkness the peoples;
But the LORD will rise upon you
And His glory will appear upon you.
3“Nations will come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.
4“Lift up your eyes round about and see;
They all gather together, they come to you.
Your sons will come from afar,
And your daughters will be carried in the arms.
5“Then you will see and be radiant,
And your heart will thrill and rejoice;
Because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you,
The wealth of the nations will come to you.
6“A multitude of camels will cover you,
The young camels of Midian and Ephah;
All those from Sheba will come;
They will bring gold and frankincense,
And will bear good news of the praises of the LORD.
7“All the flocks of Kedar will be gathered together to you,
The rams of Nebaioth will minister to you;
They will go up with acceptance on My altar,
And I shall glorify My glorious house.
8“Who are these who fly like a cloud
And like the doves to their lattices?
9“Surely the coastlands will wait for Me;
And the ships of Tarshish [will come] first,
To bring your sons from afar,
Their silver and their gold with them,
For the name of the LORD your God,
And for the Holy One of Israel because He has glorified you.
).

Both the gold of paradise and that in the hands of Solomon is darkened by sin. With Solomon it is not a complete restoration of what has been lost in paradise by sin; it is only a temporary restoration. There has never been a restoration as in the days of Solomon, but that will also fade away with the glory that will come here with the coming of the great King.


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