1 Chronicles 22 – “David Prepares His Son Solomon”

Latvian LogsHebrew-English Text
I. Summary
David procures a superabundance of materials for the temple’s construction. He exhorts both Solomon and the nation’s leaders to follow Moses’ law and to build the temple with aplomb.

II. Photo
David sets aside a superabundance of materials for his son Solomon: “Much iron for nails for the doors of the gates and for clasps did David lay aside, and so much copper it could not be weighed, and cedar logs without number — for the Sidonians and the Tyrians brought many cedar logs to David.” (vv. 3-4)

III. Important Verses
vv. 1-2, 5: David said, “Here will be the House of the LORD and here the altar of burnt offerings for Israel.” David gave orders to assemble the aliens living in the land of Israel, and assigned them to be hewers, to quarry and dress stones for building the House of God… For David thought, “My son Solomon is an untried youth, and the House to be built for the LORD is to be made exceedingly great to win fame and glory throughout all the lands; let me then lay aside material for him.” So David laid aside much material before he died.
vv. 7-8: David said to Solomon, “My son, I wanted to build a House for the name of the LORD my God. But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and fought great battles; you shall not build a House for My name for you have shed much blood on the earth in My sight.
vv. 11-13: Now, my son, may the LORD be with you, and may you succeed in building the House of the LORD your God as He promised you would. Only let God give you sense and understanding and put you in charge of Israel and the observance of the Teaching of the LORD your God. Then you shall succeed, if you observantly carry out the laws and the rules that the LORD charged Moses to lay upon Israel. Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid or dismayed.

IV. Outline
1-5. David procures materials for the Temple
6-16. Parental exhortation
17-19. Exhortation to the leaders

V. Comment
Chapter 22 describes how David prepares Solomon to build the Temple. He gathers materials, and exhorts his son and the leaders to build the temple diligently. Yet, the description of David’s final days has a very different temperament in the book of Kings. Collins writes: “The last days of David in Chronicles have quite a different character from the account in 1 Kings 1-2. There is no intrigue surrounding the succession. Solomon is the only heir apparent. In 1 Kings 2, David’s parting instructions had a Machiavellian character, advising his son to eliminate potential enemies such as Joab. In Chronicles his thoughts are entirely on the task of building the temple. David facilitates this task by providing materials for it in great quantity.” (449)

The “Machiavellian” passage that Collins alludes to is 1 Kings 2:1-10:

“When David’s life was drawing to a close, he instructed his son Solomon as follows: “I am going the way of all the earth; be strong and show yourself a man. Keep the charge of the LORD your God, walking in His ways and following His laws, His commandments, His rules, and His admonitions as recorded in the Teaching of Moses, in order that you may succeed in whatever you undertake and wherever you turn. Then the LORD will fulfill the promise that He made concerning me: ‘If your descendants are scrupulous in their conduct, and walk before Me faithfully, with all their heart and soul, your line on the throne of Israel shall never end!’
“Further, you know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me, what he did to the two commanders of Israel’s forces, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether: he killed them, shedding blood of war in peacetime, staining the girdle of his loins and the sandals on his feet with blood of war. So act in accordance with your wisdom, and see that his white hair does not go down to Sheol in peace.
“But deal graciously with the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, for they befriended me when I fled from your brother Absalom; let them be among those that eat at your table.
“You must also deal with Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim. He insulted me outrageously when I was on my way to Mahanaim; but he came down to meet me at the Jordan, and I swore to him by the LORD: ‘I will not put you to the sword.’ So do not let him go unpunished; for you are a wise man and you will know how to deal with him and send his gray hair down to Sheol in blood.”
So David slept with his fathers, and he was buried in the City of David.”

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
De Vries, Simon J. “1 and 2 Chronicles,” The Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 11 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1989).
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