1 Chronicles Chapter 22
Verses 1-19: David gives 3 charges to:
(1) The workmen (verses 2-5);
(2) Solomon (verses 6-16); and
(3) The leaders (verses 17-19).
1 Chronicles 22:1 “Then David said, This [is] the house of the LORD God, and this [is] the altar of the burnt offering for Israel.”
“House”: The land David had just purchased (21:22-30), he dedicated for the Jerusalem temple to be built by Solomon (verse 6; 28:9-10).
David felt that God had chosen this place for the temple to be built. David knew in his heart that this place was acceptable unto the LORD.
1 Chronicles 22:2 “And David commanded to gather together the strangers that [were] in the land of Israel; and he set masons to hew wrought stones to build the house of God.”
“Strangers”: These were non-Israelite artisans made up of descendants of the Canaanites (2 Chron. 8:7-10), and war captives (2 Chron. 2:7), for whom the Mosaic legislation provided compassion and protection (compare Exodus 22:21; 23:9; Lev. 19:33; Deut. 24:14-15), and from whom service was exacted. Only here were the laborers called “foreigners” (compare 1 Kings 5:13-18).
Even though God would not allow David to build the temple, he felt in his heart, that he wanted to prepare as much of the material as he could to have it ready when it was needed. These masons were people who were foreigners who had come into the country to work. There was to be no sound of a hammer in the temple, so everything must be prepared ahead and brought there.
1 Chronicles 22:3 “And David prepared iron in abundance for the nails for the doors of the gates, and for the joinings; and brass in abundance without weight;”
“Iron … brass”: David would have acquired the iron technology from the Philistines (1 Sam. 13:19-21), and the bronze would have come from spoils of war (compare 18:8).
The brass had been taken in battle, as we read in a previous lesson.
1 Chronicles 18:8: “Likewise from Tibhath, and from Chun, cities of Hadarezer, brought David very much brass, wherewith Solomon made the brasen sea, and the pillars, and the vessels of brass.”
Even the gates would be assembled and brought in.
1 Chronicles 22:4 “Also cedar trees in abundance: for the Zidonians and they of Tyre brought much cedar wood to David.”
“Cedar”: This came from Lebanon, the heavily wooded and mountainous country north of Israel, and was provided by the residents of Sidon and Tyre, most likely under the leadership of David’s friend, King Hiram (compare 14:1; 1 Kings 5:1).
We know that the king had given David cedar to build him a house. He had even sent workmen to build David’s house. They had much cedar for building, and David had grain they needed. This cedar wood was brought into Israel by water.
1 Chronicles 22:5 “And David said, Solomon my son [is] young and tender, and the house [that is] to be builded for the LORD [must be] exceeding magnificent, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will [therefore] now make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death.”
The magnificent and complex challenge of building such a monumental edifice with all its elements required an experience leader for preparation.
“Magnificent”: David understood that the temple needed to reflect on earth something of God’s heavenly majesty, so he devoted himself to the collection of the plans and materials, tapping the vast amount of spoils from people he had conquered and cities he had sacked (verses 14-16).
“David had a great desire to build a “house for the Lord” (2 Sam. 7:2; 1 Chron. 17:1-2), but his task had been securing the kingdom through many wars and much bloodshed. Therefore, the privilege of erecting the temple would be given to “Solomon” (“Peaceable”), his “son”. Who would rule in a time of rest and peace (verses 7-9). David was not allowed to build the temple; however, he made careful “preparation for it” (28:11-19; 29:1-9). And he admonished Solomon (verse 11; 28:9-10; 20-21), and the elders of Israel (verses 17-19; 28:1-8), to see to its construction.
Rather than being jealous of his son for being chosen to build a Temple for God, something David had longed with all his heart to do (17:1), David helped “Solomon” plan and gather supplies, determined to leave a legacy that would honor the Lord. David did not chastise Solomon for being “young and inexperienced”, but supported his son in the work.
Much of the material used for the temple would be gathered by David, before his death. This temple must be the most beautiful of anything on the earth, because it will be God’s house in the midst of His people. Solomon was thought to be about 12 years old, when he took the throne. This may account for David speaking of him being young and tender. His reign would last for 40 years. David felt that his age would help him in making better choices about the material for the temple. David had wanted to build the temple himself, but God would not allow him to. He did not tell him not to gather material to be used in the temple however.
Verses 6-13: David prepared his successor to carry on God’s work. This is a wonderful picture of discipleship in every respect. David focused his attention on two important points: the construction of the building and the character of the builder. Like any good disciple, David spent most of his time on the builder.
From (verses 6-16), David’s careful instruction to Solomon for the building which David could not do because he had killed so many in his battles (verse 8; compare 1 Kings 5:3).
1 Chronicles 22:6 “Then he called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build a house for the LORD God of Israel.”
“To be brought before him.
“And charged him to build a house for the Lord God of Israel”: Which charge was given a little before his death, after he had made great preparations for this work, as appears from (1 Chron. 22:5).
David knew that it was Solomon that He had called to build the house of the LORD. David is just like so many fathers here, who try to pass the knowledge they have accumulated over to their sons. David wanted to help with the temple any way he could, and he called Solomon to him, to remind him that he was to build the temple.
1 Chronicles 22:7 “And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God:”
When brought into his presence.
“My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build a house unto the name of the Lord my God”: He was disposed and inclined to it, and was once determined upon it (see 2 Sam. 7:2).
Verses 8-10: David reflects on the covenant God had made with him (2 Sam. chapter 7; 1 Chron. Chapter 17), which included:
(1) The divine mandate that Solomon build the temple and
(2) Overtones of the messianic reign.
1 Chronicles 22:8 “But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build a house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight.”
The word of prophecy, as the Targum, by the mouth of Nathan the prophet.
“Saying”: As follows, which though not expressed in the book of Samuel before referred to, is here recorded by divine inspiration.
“Thou hast shed blood abundantly”: Kimchi thinks this refers to the blood of Uriah, and those gallant men that were slain with him, and to the priests slain by the order of Saul. Which David was the occasion of, or accidental cause of (1 Sam. 22:22), and to many good men among the Gentiles. Though it was the intention of the Lord to consume the wicked among them that they might not prevail over Israel.
“And hast made great wars”: With the Philistines, Moabites, etc.
Solomon was to build the temple, because he was a man of peace. David had been a bloody king. He had been involved in many wars. God had blessed him greatly in the winning of the wars. God however, would have David’s son, Solomon, to build the temple. This particular reason for David not building the temple is given just in Chronicles.
1 Chronicles 22:9 “Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.”
For this was said to David before the birth of Solomon (see 2 Samuel 7:12).
“Who shall be a man of rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about”: And so should be at leisure for such a work, and his people enjoy great prosperity and riches, and so be capable of contributing largely and liberally to it.
“For his name shall be Solomon”: Which signifies peace, and is one of the six persons that had their names given them before they were born, as the Jews observe.
“And I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days”: And so a proper time to begin and carry on such a work; of the fulfilment of this prophecy (see 1 Kings 4:24).
This son would be David’s by Bath-sheba. Solomon was also, given the name of Jedidiah by Nathan, the prophet. “Solomon” means peaceable. His reign would be of world renown. He would be the wisest and the wealthiest of all earthly kings. The temple he built for God, would be the talk of the known world. He would be able to do this, because he would have peace in the land.
1 Chronicles 22:10 “He 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 for ever.”
For the worship of God, and for his honor and glory
“And he shall be my son, and I will be his father” (see 2 Sam. 7:13), and which is applied to Christ (Heb. 1:5).
“And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever”: That is, for a long time in his posterity. And which will have its fulfilment in Christ, his antitype, in the utmost sense of the expression, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his throne for ever and ever (Luke 1:32).
For Solomon and the unconditional Davidic covenant (see the note on 2 Samuel 7:12-16).
The temple he built would be to the glory of God, and would not be glorifying man. This temple would be a magnificent house for the Ark of the Covenant. When Solomon built this temple, he was in right standing with God. God accepted the temple and His presence was in the Most Holy Place. To be called a son of God is a very high honor. Jesus made it possible for all believers to be sons of God.
Verses 11-13: David’s “charge” to Solomon is followed by invoking God’s blessing upon him. His concern that Solomon should have godly “wisdom” soon came to fruition. For when “God” asked Solomon what he might want God to grant him, Solomon asked “the Lord” simply to bless him with wisdom (1 Kings 3:5-12).
David’s spiritual charge to Solomon resembles the lord’s exhortation to Joshua (Joshua 1:6-9). Solomon asked God for and received the very “discretion and understanding” his father, David, desired for him (1 Kings 3:3-14; 2 Chron. 1:7-12). He learned the value of such spiritual counsel and passed it on (in Eccl. 12:1, 13).
1 Chronicles 22:11 “Now, my son, the LORD be with thee; and prosper thou, and build the house of the LORD thy God, as he hath said of thee.”
Or “shall be with thee”, as some; and if it be as a prayer, it was no doubt a prayer of faith. The Targum is, “may the Word of the Lord be thine help:”
“And prosper thee”: May success attend thee.
“And build the house of the Lord thy God, as he hath said of thee”: Foretold he should, and therefore would assist him to do it, which was an encouragement to go about it.
This verse is the beginning of the charge that David gave Solomon concerning the temple. This was not David’s oldest son. It was the son that God chose for this honor. It is as if David was speaking a blessing on Solomon, as well as a charge. All of the things that David was having prepared for the building of the temple would need someone to see that it was carried out. Solomon would be the one to see to it for David.
1 Chronicles 22:12 “Only the LORD give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the law of the LORD thy God.”
To manage and conduct an affair of such importance, as well as to govern the people, as follows.
“And give thee charge concerning Israel”: Or, when he gives, commits the charge of them to thee, sets thee king over them.
“That thou mayest keep the law of the Lord thy God”: Have wisdom and understanding to do that, and make that the rule of all thine actions, private and public, in thine own house, in the house of God, and in all things relative to that, and in the government of the nation.
Solomon would need the wisdom that only God could give him for the tremendous undertaking. We know that Solomon received the greatest wisdom that any person on the earth ever had, until his time. It was a gift from God. God never calls anyone to complete a task for Him, unless He equips him to complete the task. David was fully aware of the importance of keeping the law of the LORD. He could not impress upon Solomon enough to keep the law of the LORD God.
1 Chronicles 22:13 “Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes and judgments which the LORD charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed.”
(See 1 Kings 2:2), where the same things are said as here: which shows that this was spoken by David a little before his death.
For a similar call to “courage” (see the note on (Joshua 1:6-9).
God had promised Abraham and all of his descendants the blessings of God, as long as they kept the laws and commandments of God. If they did not keep the commandments, they would be cursed as greatly, as they could have been blessed. The law was given to Moses for the people on their way to the Promised Land. God loved Israel and wanted to bless them. He is a just God and could not bless them, if they did not keep His commandments.
Verses 14-16: Although David’s ultimate goal would not be accomplished in his lifetime, (“I have prepared for the house of the LORD” (22:7), he dedicated his final years to ensuring that the temple would be built to the glory of God (2 Sam. 7:1-2; 1 Kings 8:17). David teaches every Christian to dream beyond the span of his or her life, leaving a legacy that will live on after death.
1 Chronicles 22:14 “Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the LORD a hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and thou mayest add thereto.”
“Prepared … hundred thousand talents of gold”: Assuming a talent weighed about 75 pounds, this would be approximately 3,750 tons, a staggering amount of gold.
“And a thousand thousand talents of silver”: This would be approximately 37,500 tons of silver.
(See the note on 29:3-4).
This value does not even estimate the bronze, or any of the other precious things. David was an extremely wealthy man, but Solomon was even wealthier. In fact, Solomon would be the richest man who ever lived.
1 Chronicles 22:15 “Moreover [there are] workmen with thee in abundance, hewers and workers of stone and timber, and all manner of cunning men for every manner of work.”
All the strangers in the land being gathered by the order of David (1 Chron. 22:2), who were skilled in all manner of work, as follows.
“Hewers and workers of stone and timber”: Masons and carpenters.
“And all manner of cunning men for every manner of work”: Joiners, carvers, etc.
These workmen were there for the purpose of building with the stones and with the cedar. These had been sent by Hiram to help.
2 Samuel 5:11 “And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons: and they built David a house.”
1 Chronicles 22:16 “Of the gold, the silver, and the brass, and the iron, [there is] no number. Arise [therefore], and be doing, and the LORD be with thee.”
That is, the cunning artificers were skillful to work in each of these, some in gold and silver, others in brass and iron.
“There is no number”: Either of the workmen, or of these materials; which yet must be restrained to the brass and iron, for the gold and silver are numbered, but not the brass and iron (1 Chron. 22:14).
“Arise therefore, and be doing”: Not that he should set about and begin the building the temple directly; but as soon as he could after he came to the throne, and not neglect and delay it.
“And the Lord be with thee”: As in (1 Chron. 22:11), and here, as there. The Targum is, “may the Word of the Lord be thy help.”
This is the end of the commission that David gave Solomon, his son. He says, “You have what you need for the job, now get started”.
Verses 17-19: David revealed his heart as he brought together “all the princes of Israel” and exhorted them to support Solomon in seeking the Lord and accomplishing the goal. After 40 years on the throne, David knew that Solomon would not be sufficient to accomplish this task in his own strength.
Knowing that Solomon was young and inexperienced (22:5), and that he could not undertake this colossal project alone, David wisely enlisted the loyalty and help of his leaders to transfer their allegiance to Solomon who would carry out the divine will and the last wishes of his father. The Lord undertook to make Solomon the wisest man on earth (compare 1 Kings 3:3-14).
1 Chronicles 22:17 “David also commanded all the princes of Israel to help Solomon his son, [saying],”
His courtiers and nobles that were about him.
“To help Solomon his son”: By their advice, and with their purses, should he need them, and by overlooking the workmen, directing and encouraging them.
“Saying”: As follows.
David’s sons were jealous of Solomon, and probably would not have helped with this work, had their father not told them to. This was not just speaking to David’s sons, but to all the leaders in Israel.
Verses 18-19: David left his son Solomon with a land at “rest.” Now it would be up to Solomon to live well in this time of rest. The faithful of God do well to follow David’s advice to Solomon: “Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God”. Regrettably, even when God grants His people peace, they often take their eyes off of Him and begin to drift away.
1 Chronicles 22:18 “[Is] not the LORD your God with you? and hath he [not] given you rest on every side? for he hath given the inhabitants of the land into mine hand; and the land is subdued before the LORD, and before his people.”
Blessing them with wealth and riches.
“And hath he not given you rest on every side?” from all enemies within and without; so that they had peace and quietness, and leisure to attend the service he recommended to them.
“For he hath given the inhabitants of the land into my hand”: Meaning the rest of the Canaanites, who before were unsubdued, as even the Jebusites in Jerusalem.
“And the land is subdued before the Lord, and before his people”: And the extent of it carried to its utmost bounds, as God had promised.
It had been about 900 years since the promise of peace and prosperity had been given these Israelites. David (the beloved of God), had the privilege to tell them that peace was here. They had conquered their enemies, and now they could live in peace.
1 Chronicles 22:19 “Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the LORD God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of the LORD.”
His honor and glory, most sincerely and cordially, and to the utmost of their power.
“Arise ye, and build ye the sanctuary of the Lord God”: Assist therein, and encourage the work as much as they were able, without delay.
“To bring the Ark of the covenant of the Lord”: Which was now in a tent of David’s erecting and pitching.
“And the holy vessels of God”: Which were in the tabernacle at Gibeon.
“Into the house that is to be built to the name of the Lord”: That so they might be together, and made use of; which in times past had been separated, and much neglected.
David’s greatest desire was that these people would build the temple, and worship God in the temple. He reminded them that their blessings were conditional on them keeping God’s commandments. The Ark symbolized the presence of God with His people Israel. David’s desire that this permanent house they would build for the LORD would be a permanent connection for them with the LORD. He knew that was what the LORD wanted if the people would just do it.
1 Chronicles Chapter 22 Questions
1. In verse 1, what did David say about this spot where the threshing floor had been?
2. Who were the strangers in verse 2?
3. Why was David having the stones hewed?
4. What were the nails made of?
5. Where did the cedar come from?
6. What did David say about Solomon that makes us think he was very young?
7. What did David say the house of the LORD must be?
8. How long did Solomon reign?
9. What did David charge Solomon to do?
10. Why had God not allowed David to build the temple?
11. Solomon shall be a man of _________.
12. What does “Solomon” mean?
13. Solomon would be the __________ and the __________ of all earthly kings.
14. The temple Solomon builds will be to the glory of _____.
15. ________ made it possible for all Christians to be sons of God.
16. What was David speaking on Solomon, besides giving him a charge?
17. Where did Solomon’s wisdom come from?
18. What did David warn Solomon to do?
19. How could Israel be blessed?
20. How much gold had David prepared for the temple?
21. How much silver did he give for the temple?
22. How much does a talent weigh?
23. What king had sent workers skilled in these things to help?
24. Who did David command to help Solomon?
25. How long had it been, since the original promise had been given of peace in their promised land?
26. What was the temple to be built to house?
27. What were their blessings dependent upon?
28. What did the Ark symbolize?