1 Chronicles 29 – “The Kingship is Passed to Solomon; David’s Death”

booksHebrew-English Text
I. Summary
David describes his concern for the temple, and the people respond by offering sacrifices and donating their valuables to the treasury. After a humble prayer, David hands the kingship over to his son Solomon. The book ends with David’s death.

II. Photo
David’s life was well documented: “The acts of King David, early and late, are recorded in the history of Samuel the seer, the history of Nathan the prophet, and the history of Gad the seer.” (v. 29)

III. Important Verses
v. 1: King David said to the entire assemblage, “God has chosen my son Solomon alone, an untried lad, although the work to be done is vast — for the temple is not for a man but for the LORD God.
v. 2: I have spared no effort to lay up for the House of my God gold for golden objects, silver for silver, copper for copper, iron for iron, wood for wooden, onyx-stone and inlay-stone, stone of antimony and variegated colors — every kind of precious stone and much marble.
vv. 10-12: David blessed the LORD in front of all the assemblage; David said, “Blessed are You, LORD, God of Israel our father, from eternity to eternity. Yours, LORD, are greatness, might, splendor, triumph, and majesty — yes, all that is in heaven and on earth; to You, LORD, belong kingship and preeminence above all. Riches and honor are Yours to dispense; You have dominion over all; with You are strength and might, and it is in Your power to make anyone great and strong.
vv. 23-24: Solomon successfully took over the throne of the LORD as king instead of his father David, and all went well with him. All Israel accepted him; all the officials and the warriors, and the sons of King David as well, gave their hand in support of King Solomon.
v. 28: He died at a ripe old age, having enjoyed long life, riches and honor, and his son Solomon reigned in his stead.
vv. 29-30: The acts of King David, early and late, are recorded in the history of Samuel the seer, the history of Nathan the prophet, and the history of Gad the seer, together with all the mighty deeds of his kingship and the events that befell him and Israel and all the kingdoms of the earth.

IV. Outline

1-5. David’s preparations for the temple
6-9. The people respond with sacrifices and donations
10-19. David’s prayer
    10-12. Hymnic praise
    13-17. Humility (confession)
    18-19. Petition
20-25. Solomon is accepted as the new king
26-28. David’s death
29-30. The recorded history
Achaemenid_coin_daric_420BC_front
Persian Daric, circa 490 BCE

V. Comment
Chapter 29 is the final chapter in 1 Chronicles, and it describes how David passes the kingship to his son Solomon. David begins by recounting his solicitude for the temple, and this inspires others to give offerings and money. Verse 7 relates how the officers give “5,000 talents of gold, 10,000 darics, 10,000 talents of silver, 18,000 talents of copper, 100,000 talents of iron.” While this verse shows the leaders’ commitment, it is also important for dating the Book of Chronicles (which does not say when it was written). This is because the Daric – the first coin mentioned in the Hebrew Bible – was not minted before 515 BCE. Also, the word ’adarkhonim “daric” is a Greek loan word. Mussies writes: “Two further Greek loanwords in the OT are names of coins, ‘adarkonim or ‘darics’ and darkemonim or “drachmae.” Both words have in common that they were taken over in the genitive plural, dareikon and darchmon, as the genitive of price happens to be the case in which names of coins most often appear in bills and contracts. To these genitives was then added the Hebrew plural ending -ˆîm. As the ‘daric’ was a coin that was originally called after Darius I, its appearance in the history of King David half a millennium earlier is grossly anachronistic in 1 Chr 29:7, whereas its occurrence in Ezra 8:27 is unsurprising; the mention of “drachmae,” however, in Neh 7:69–71 is also against the historical context. As the final redaction of all three books—Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles—is dated to the first part of the Hellenistic period (350–300 B.C.), the use of these Greek words in Hebrew texts is easily explained by the fact that Greek was then the official language of Palestine as a province of the Macedonian Empire, the language of all legal and professional texts.” (“Languages, Greek” in the Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. IV, pp. 195-203)

Another interesting topic related to money concerns David’s donation in vv. 3-4: “Besides, out of my solicitude for the House of my God, I gave over my private hoard of gold and silver to the House of my God — in addition to all that I laid aside for the holy House: 3,000 gold talents of Ophir gold…” What is the meaning of “Ophir gold”? Baker writes that Ophir was “a maritime nation which was a source of gold from at least the reign of Solomon (1 Kgs 9:28; 22:49; 2 Chr 8:18). It also provided fine wood and precious stones (1 Kgs 10:11; 2 Chr 9:10; Job 28:16). All of these were delivered to Israel by ship through the port of Ezion-geber on the Red Sea. The gold seems to have been of a particularly high quality since in some of the passages it is used in conjunction with more specific Hebrew terms for fine, choice gold (Job 22:24; Ps 45:10[—Eng 45:9]; Isa 13:12). Ophir became so associated with this rare metal that the name Ophir itself, without any further qualifier, is to be understood as “gold” in Job 22:24. Gold from this source is also known from an extrabiblical inscription from Israel.” (“Ophir (Place)” in Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. V, pp. 26-27) Baker also points out that the whereabouts of biblical Ophir remain unknown. While some (including Josephus) associate it with India, it was most likely a site in eastern Africa or western Arabia.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Baker, David W. “Ophir (Place)” in Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. V, pp. 26-27.
Mussies, Gerard. “Languages, Greek” in the Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. IV, pp. 195-203
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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Photo #2 taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Achaemenid_coin_daric_420BC_front.jpg

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