Bible Commentaries

Matthew Poole's English Annotations
on the Holy Bible

1 Chronicles 22

Verse 1

1 CHRONICLES CHAPTER 22

David prepareth for the building of the temple, 1 Chronicles 22:1-5: instructeth Solomon in God’s promises and his duty, 1 Chronicles 22:6-16. He chargeth the princes to assist his son, 1 Chronicles 22:17-19.

Then David said; partly by his observation of this gracious and glorious appearance of God, and his command to erect an altar, and his acceptance of a sacrifice offered in this place; and partly by the instinct and direction of God’s’ Spirit, by which, as he is said to have had the pattern of the house, porch, altar, &c., 1 Chronicles 28:11,12,19; so doubtless he was also instructed as to the place where the house should be built. This is the house of the Lord God; this is the place appointed by God for the building of his temple and altar.

Verse 2

The strangers that were in the land of Israel; the same persons whom Solomon afterwards employed in the same work; of which see 1 Kings 5:15, compared with 1 Kings 9:20,21.

He set masons to hew wrought stones; wherein he could not do much, being prevented by death; but Solomon carried on and perfected what David had begun.

Verse 3

For the joinings; to be used, together with melted lead, for the joining of those great and square stones together.

Verse 5

David said within himself, or in his own thoughts.

Solomon is young and tender; and therefore, through youthful vanity, and folly, and unsettledness, may not use that care, and consideration, and diligence in making such provisions as this great work requires. Of Solomon’s age, see 1 Kings 3:7.

Verse 8

Because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth; not that wars either now are or then were simply unlawful, or that David sinned in shedding the blood of war; for it is manifest that David’s wars were undertaken by God’s command, or with his leave, and were attended with his blessing; but partly because David’s military employments did for a good while fill his head and hands, and gave him no leisure for temple work; and principally for mystical signification, to teach us that the church (whereof the temple was a manifest and illustrious type) should be built by Christ, the Prince of peace, Isaiah 9:6; and that it should be gathered and built up, not by might or power, or by force of arms, but by God’s Spirit, Zechariah 4:6, and by the preaching the gospel of peace. In my sight; which I have taken particular notice of. And this expression may possibly be added in reference to Uriah and the rest of the Israelites, who were slain at the siege of Rabbah by David’s contrivance; which peradventure David had in his eye, Psalms 51:4, where David, confessing this sin, useth this very expression, I have done this evil in thy sight.

Verse 10

Of this See Poole "2 Samuel 7:13".

Verse 11

Prosper thou; go on prosperously in carrying on this work; or, the Lord give thee that rest and prosperity which is necessary for it.

Verse 12

Give thee charge concerning Israel, i.e. give thee instructions or direction rightly to manage and rule his people Israel. Or, and set thee over Israel, as the Syriac renders it, whom the Arabic follows. Or, when (as the Hebrew vau is oft used) he shall set thee over Israel, i.e. when thou shalt be king; for then Solomon would need this wisdom, for which therefore he prayeth, 1 Kings 3:9.

Verse 14

In my trouble: this he allegeth as a reason why he could do no more, because of the many troubles and wars, both foreign and civil, whereby much of his treasures was exhausted.

An hundred thousand talents of gold. A talent of gold in the first constitution was three thousand shekels, as may be gathered from Exodus 38:24-26; and so this amounts to a very vast sum, yet not impossible for David to get, considering how many and great conquests he made, and what vast spoils and presents he got; and that he endeavoured by all just and honourable ways to get as much as he could, not out of covetousness, or for his own ends, but merely out of zeal for God’s house. And whereas some object that this quantity of gold and silver was sufficient, though the whole fabric of the temple had consisted of massy gold and silver; it is to be considered that all this treasure was not spent upon the materials of the temple, but a very great part of it upon the workmen, which were nigh two hundred thousand, whereof a great number were officers, which being employed for so long time together, would exhaust a considerable part of it; and what was not employed in the building of the temple, was laid up in the sacred treasures for future occasions, there being mention of the great treasures left by David, even in other authors. But some learned men make these talents far less than those in Moses’s time; and they conceive, that as there were two sorts of shekels, both of gold and silver, the common and the sacred shekel, whereof the latter is commonly thought to be double to the former, so also there were talents of divers kinds and values. For the Hebrew word kikkar, which is rendered a talent, properly signifies only a mass, or a piece, as it is used Exodus 29:23 1 Samuel 2:36 Zechariah 5:7. So it may indifferently denote either a greater or a lesser piece. And this is certain, and observed by two ancient and most learned writers, Varro and Pollux, and by others, that a talent among the Greeks and Romans sometimes notes but a small quantity; and that a talent of gold contains only six drams. And Homer in his Iliads, among other things of no great value, which are propounded as rewards to the conqueror at a solemn and public exercise, a bond-woman, a horse, and a pot, mentions two talents of gold; which plainly shows that in his time (which was after the building of this temple) talents of gold were very far inferior in quantity and price to what they had been in former ages. And Josephus a Jew, and therefore the more competent judge of these things, speaking of this very thing, for a hundred thousand talents of gold here mentioned, he puts ten thousand; and for a thousand thousand talents of silver, he puts one hundred thousand; either because the talents in Moses’s time were of ten times more bulk and price than in David’s and Solomon’s time, and therefore these talents reduced to them amounted to no greater sum; or because he read so in his copy of the Hebrew Bible. And certainly it is infinitely more tolerable and reasonable to suppose that there is a mistake here in the generality of the present copies of the Hebrew Bible, through the error of the scribe, (which being only in a numeral and historical passage, might happen without impeachment to the care of God’s providence, which hath so miraculously preserved all the most important and substantial parts of Scripture, as hath been formerly said,) than upon such pretences to deny the truth and Divine original and authority of the Holy Scriptures. Add to this, that all the gold then used was not of equal worth and purity; as appears both by the special commendation given to some sorts of gold in divers parts of Scripture, and particularly by the difference observed in this very history between the gold and gold which David gave for this use; whereof one little part being distinctively called pure gold and refined gold, 1 Chronicles 28:17,18, it is sufficiently implied that all the rest of the gold was not refined nor pure, which might greatly diminish the worth of it; for in what degree it was impure or allayed with other things in those times and places we cannot know at this distance; and therefore we cannot make a true estimate what those talents of gold did amount to in our value.

A thousand thousand talents of silver; just as much in silver as in gold; for this is known and agreed, that the proportion of gold to silver is ten to one.

Verse 16

Be doing, to wit, when thou shalt come to the throne in my stead.

Verse 18

Either,

1. It is brought under the command of God and of you his people, all the enemies of God and of Israel, in it or near it, being now perfectly subdued. Or,

2. It is really subdued, whereof both God and your own eyes are witnesses.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 22". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://pro.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mpc/1-chronicles-22.html. 1685.