1 Chronicles Chapter 28
In verses 28:1 – 29:20: A record is given of David’s last assembly in which the king charged Solomon and the people to build the temple for God’s glory. These final chapters present the transition from David to Solomon. The chronicler does not mention Adonijah’s conspiracy (1 Kings 1:5-9), or David’s weakness (1 Kings 1:1-4), but looks at the positive contribution of the Davidic kingdom.
Verses 1-2: David is portrayed as a healthy man who “stood up upon his feet”, a quite different description than that of the elderly, dying David (in 1 Kings 1:1). Neither Adonijah’s rebellion (1 Kings 1:5-10), nor the dramatic way Solomon became king (1 Kings 1:11-31), is mentioned. The details were chosen to present David as a unifier of Israel.
1 Chronicles 28:1 “And David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the captains of the companies that ministered to the king by course, and the captains over the thousands, and captains over the hundreds, and the stewards over all the substance and possession of the king, and of his sons, with the officers, and with the mighty men, and with all the valiant men, unto Jerusalem.”
This is the third telling of the Lord’s promise to “David.” The Davidic covenant was announced to David (17:1-27; compare 2 Sam. 7:2-29), and was related by David to Solomon (22:6-13), and is now rehearsed by David in the hearing of “all Israel” (verses 2-8).
David assembled all the people together in Jerusalem whom he had assigned positions of leadership. He brought the leaders of the spiritual life, the leaders of the civil government, and the leaders of the military, that he might tell them his wishes for Israel.
Verses 2-8: For the assembly’s sake, David testified to the Davidic Covenant originally given by God to him (in 2 Sam. chapter 7; compare 17:7-27; 22:6-16). David makes it clear that Solomon was God’s choice (verse 5), as had been frequently intimated (2 Sam. 12:24-25; 1 Kings 1:13), just as the coming Christ will be God’s chosen Son to ultimately fulfill the kingdom promise.
1 Chronicles 28:2 “Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: [As for me], I [had] in mine heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building:”
Rose from the bed or couch on which he lay, as Kimchi thinks, being somewhat recovered of his paralytic disorder, and being willing to exert himself on this occasion. Or he rose up from the seat or throne, on which he before sat, in honor to this august assembly before him, and that he might be the more easily heard. For which reason we are told it was a custom with the ancients even for kings to stand up when they had a number of people about them they spoke to. And if anyone sat it was reckoned a new and strange thing; so Agamemnon, when wounded, did not speak sitting, until he had made an excuse for it.
“And said, hear me, my brethren, and my people”: Having something of moment and importance to say unto them, and which required their diligent attention. And though they were his subjects, he calls them his brethren, being of the same nation and religion, and to show his modesty and humility. In which he was a type of Christ, the King of kings (see Heb. 2:11).
“As for me, I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the Ark of the covenant of the Lord”: Where it might abide, and not be removed from place to place; the same he had told Solomon (1 Chron. 22:7).
“And for the footstool of our God”: Or “even for it”, for the Ark is meant, which is so called (Psalm 99:5). For as the Lord sat between the cherubim over the mercy seat, the lid of the Ark, it was, speaking after the manner of men, a footstool to him.
“And had made ready for the building”: Prepared materials for it (see 1 Chron. 22:4).
We must remember, that David is rather elderly when this takes place, and it would be a great effort for him to stand for any length of time. He had great respect for the men he had put in charge of the various aspects of life in Israel. He stood to honor these men. He even called them his brethren, rather than his subjects. He truly was one of them. He was a Hebrew, the same as they were. He wanted to build a permanent place to house the Ark of the Covenant. He had set up a tent for it, but he wanted a greater house than any that had ever been built, to house the presence of God. He had gathered all the materials together to build the temple, but he would not be able to build it himself. It was not the will of God for him to build it.
1 Chronicles 28:3 “But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build a house for my name, because thou [hast been] a man of war, and hast shed blood.”
This he said by Nathan the prophet (2 Sam. 7:5).
“Because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood (see 1 Chron. 22:8).
David was called a bloody king, because of the wars he had fought and won. He would however, honor David by letting Solomon build the temple with the materials David had gathered for the task.
1 Chronicles 28:4 “Howbeit the LORD God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever: for he hath chosen Judah [to be] the ruler; and of the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father he liked me to make [me] king over all Israel:”
Passing by all his brethren who were elder than he, he pitched upon him, and ordered him to be anointed king of Israel (see 1 Sam. 16:10). And that for ever, for a long time, as long as he lived. Or rather in his posterity for many years to come, and best of all in his antitype Christ, the son of David (see Luke 1:32).
“For he hath chosen Judah to be the ruler”: The tribe of Judah to be the seat of government, and one out of that tribe to be the chief ruler (see 1 Chron. 5:2).
“And of the house of Judah, the house of my father”: Out of that tribe he chose his father’s family, to take from thence one to be king of Israel.
“And among the sons of my father he liked me to make me king over all Israel”: Though the youngest of them (1 Sam. 16:11), this was his will and pleasure.
David had not chosen to be king. God chose David to be king of all Israel when he was just a boy. In fact, he was the youngest of his brothers. Samuel anointed David to be king of all Israel. God promised David that there would always be a king of Judah, who would be descended from David. We know this was fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ. In the flesh, He was of the tribe of Judah. He is King of kings and Lord of lords.
1 Chronicles 28:5 “And of all my sons, (for the LORD hath given me many sons,) he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel.”
Solomon was not David’s eldest son. His first son, Amnon, had been killed by Absalom (2 Sam. 14:20-33). His second son, Daniel, is mentioned only (in 3:1), and was likely dead by this time. His third son, Absalom, died in a rebellion (2 Sam. 18:1-18). So Adonijah, the fourth son of David seemed to be the logical choice to succeed his father to the throne of Israel. God, however, chose “Solomon,” not Adonijah (1 Kings Chapter 1). God also did not follow a predicted succession plan when he put David on the throne either (1 Sam. 16:1).
In a very real measure, the “kingdom” belongs to the “Lord. “Israel’s king was God’s designated early representative (Isa. 52:7).
This was a very important statement for David to make, since Solomon was not the oldest son of David. This would leave no room for dispute about who should reign as king of Israel.
1 Chronicles 28:6 “And he said unto me, Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him [to be] my son, and I will be his father.”
(See 2 Samuel 7:13).
“And my courts”: in the house or temple.
“For I have chosen him to be my son”: Predestinated him to the adoption of children (Eph. 1:5).
“And I will be his father” (see 2 Sam. 7:14).
Solomon, not David, was the one of whom God said: “I have chosen him”. God raises up and appoints leaders and helps them understand what needs to be done.
We do not know exactly when the Lord told David to make Solomon king, but we know He did tell him. Solomon would reign during a time of peace in Israel. Solomon was known as a king with a peaceful nature. The name “Solomon” means peaceable. God would give Solomon the gift of wisdom to lead his people, and to build the temple. One of the reasons Solomon married so many women, was so there would be no war with the fathers of his wives. Some of them were marriages of state.
1 Chronicles 28:7 “Moreover I will establish his kingdom for ever, if he be constant to do my commandments and my judgments, as at this day.”
God gave David a remarkable promise concerning Solomon: I will establish his kingdom for ever”. All Solomon needed to do was to be “constant” in his love and obedience to God. Sadly, we know from (the record of 1 Kings), that Solomon did not keep his end of the promise. He allowed riches and his many wives to distance him from God.
All blessings from God are conditional on the person, who receives the blessings, keeping God’s commandments. It was the same with Solomon.
Verses 8-9: Although David’s charge to “Solomon” that he “serve … the Lord” with “a perfect heart” (Matt. 5:48), and a “willing mind” (Exodus 35:21, 29), was directed primarily at his “son”. His point was doubtless not lost on the assembled congregation (compare 29:9).
1 Chronicles 28:8 “Now therefore in the sight of all Israel the congregation of the LORD, and in the audience of our God, keep and seek for all the commandments of the LORD your God: that ye may possess this good land, and leave [it] for an inheritance for your children after you for ever.”
(Compare Deut. 5:29, 33; 6:1-3).
This is a warning from David that all of the people must keep God’s commandments, if they are to continue to be blessed of God. David is not to blame for their not keeping God’s commandments. He stressed here, that God was his witness that he warned them.
Verses 9-21: David turns his words to Solomon with 4 perspectives:
(1) Spiritual devotion (28:9-10);
(2) Architectural execution (28:11-19);
(3) Divine intervention (28:20); and
(4) Human participation (28:21).
(Also see notes on 22:11-13, 18-19).
1 Chronicles 28:9″And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.”
David called “Solomon” to be a man who tends to his “heart” and inner “thoughts”. The Lord had similar words of wisdom for Samuel when he was sent to anoint David as king (1 Sam. 16:7). A well-tended inner life is a person’s strength.
We have discussed so often, the way to know God is to know Him in His Word, the Bible. Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. We must learn the will of God for our lives as Solomon was to learn the will of God for his life. God is more interested in the heart of man than anything else about man. The heart is what you are. Solomon must keep his heart stayed upon God. The thoughts of mankind lead astray, unless they are controlled by the spirit of mankind.
Matthew 22:37 “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”
One of the wisest things a person can do, is to seek the Lord with all of his heart. God will not hide if we seek Him. We will find Him, if we really want to find Him. Blessings are abundant for those who obey God’s commandments, but those who do not will face abundant curses.
1 Chronicles 28:10 “Take heed now; for the LORD hath chosen thee to build a house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do [it].”
Of offending God by forsaking him. Or see, consider, and observe now what he was further about to say to him, concerning the building of the temple, as follows.
“For the Lord hath chosen thee to build a house for the sanctuary”: A temple for the Ark, called the sanctuary (Num. 7:9). The Targum is, the Word of the Lord hath chosen thee, etc.
“Be strong, and do it”: Be of a good heart and courage, and set about it with vigor and resolution.
God chooses people for a task, and then, He gives them the ability to get it done. He just wants a willing heart to work with.
1 Chronicles 28:11″Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlors thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat,”
The breadth, and length, and height of it, which was to be placed at the east end of the temple, and was the entrance into it.
“And, of the houses thereof”: The holy place, and the most holy, which latter is called the greater house (2 Chron. 3:5).
“And of the treasures”: Where things belonging to the temple were laid up, the priests’ vestments, and other things.
“And of the upper chambers”: Where the priests lay or met for conversation (Jer. 35:2).
“And of the inner parlors thereof”: Where the priests ate of the holy things; all these seem to be buildings against the wall of the temple roundabout (1 Kings 6:5).
“And of the place of the mercy seat”: The Holy of Holies, where that with the cherubim over it, and the Ark under it, were placed.
It seems that God had given the plan to David for all of this, and he gave it to his son, Solomon. It appears that every little detail had been given to David by the Spirit of God. The porch was 30 feet in length and 180 feet high.
1 Chronicles 28:12 “And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things:”
By the Spirit of God, who gave him the whole form of the temple, and all things relative to it. Just as God showed to Moses the pattern of the tabernacle in the mount. The Targum is, by the spirit of prophecy that was with him. The Jews suppose that Samuel the prophet was first made acquainted with it, and he made it known to David.
“Of the courts of the house of the Lord”: The outward court, the court of the priests, etc.
“And of all the chambers round about”: (see 1 Kings 6:5).
“Of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things”: Of the difference of which (see 1 Chron. 26:20).
Just as God had given detailed information on the building of the tabernacle to Moses in the wilderness, it appears, He had given detailed information to David here. It appears, he had drawn out detailed instructions and given them to Solomon.
1 Chronicles 28:13 “Also for the courses of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the vessels of service in the house of the LORD.”
Where they should serve, of which, as fixed and ordered by David (see 1 Chron. 24:1).
“And for all the work of the service of the house of the Lord”: They should be employed in.
“And for all the vessels of service in the house of the Lord”: Which they should use therein.
It appears from this, that the proper functions of the priests and High Priest had been overlooked in the last few years. It appears that God gave the entire plan to David, to establish before his death. The vessels for use in the temple had to be made a certain way and of certain metal. All of the plans for housing for the priests, as well as the plans for the actual temple were given to David by the Spirit of God. Everything had to be done exactly as the plans, if it were to please God.
1 Chronicles 28:14 “[He gave] of gold by weight for [things] of gold, for all instruments of all manner of service; [silver also] for all instruments of silver by weight, for all instruments of every kind of service:”
Whatever was to be made of gold, David was directed by the Spirit of God what weight or quantity of gold should be made use of in making it. As appears from some following instances: silver also.
“For all instruments of silver by weight, for all instruments of every kind of service”: So likewise whatever instruments or vessels, for the service of the temple, were to be made of silver, he had a direction from the Spirit of God what weight each was to be, or what quantity of silver was to be used in it, and this he gave; according to Jacob.
David not only gathered up the gold for use in the temple, but had plans showing exactly how much gold was to be used in each item, along with the exact plans for making the item. Nothing but gold was used in the near vicinity of the Ark, which symbolized the presence of God. In this temple, there was an unusually large amount of gold used.
1 Chronicles 28:15 “Even the weight for the candlesticks of gold, and for their lamps of gold, by weight for every candlestick, and for the lamps thereof: and for the candlesticks of silver by weight, [both] for the candlestick, and [also] for the lamps thereof, according to the use of every candlestick.”
These candlesticks were ten, and each had seven lamps, and were placed five on one side the Mosaic candlestick, and five on the other, as say the Jews (see 1 Kings 7:49). And the weight of gold for each candlestick, according to the above writer, was one hundred pounds. And for both candlesticks and lamps, David, by the Spirit of God, was directed to give.
“And for the candlesticks of silver, by weight, both for the candlestick, and also for the lamps thereof, according to the use of every candlestick”: The weight of silver for them was fixed; of these nowhere else read. Kimchi thinks these were for the chambers of the priests, to give them light when they ate and lay there.
“Silver” means redemption. It is possible for candlesticks to have been made of silver for the palace, or the quarters of the priests, or high priest, but the candlestick in the temple was made of pure gold.
The light is symbolic of the Light of the world, Jesus Christ. The candlesticks of gold showed they were in the near presence of God.
1 Chronicles 28:16 “And by weight [he gave] gold for the tables of showbread, for every table; and [likewise] silver for the tables of silver:”
For though there were but one table for the showbread in the tabernacle of Moses, there were ten in the temple of Solomon (2 Chron. 4:8). And each of them contained one hundred pounds in weight.
“And likewise silver for the tables of silver”: These were placed in the court, as Jarchi thinks, on which they flayed the sacrifices. Or, as Kimchi, on which they slew them, and laid the flesh of the burnt offerings on them, which he gathers from (Ezek. 40:39).
The table of showbread was to be made of gold. The showbread symbolized Jesus who is the Bread of life.
1 Kings 7:48-49 “And Solomon made all the vessels that [pertained] unto the house of the LORD: the altar of gold, and the table of gold, whereupon the showbread [was],” “And the candlesticks of pure gold, five on the right [side], and five on the left, before the oracle, with the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs [of] gold,”
Silver means redemption, so the tables of silver could have been in another place other than the temple.
1 Chronicles 28:17 “Also pure gold for the fleshhooks, and the bowls, and the cups: and for the golden basins [he gave gold] by weight for every basin; and [likewise silver] by weight for every basin of silver:”
To take the pieces of flesh out of the pots, in which they were boiled.
“And the bowls and the cups; and for the golden basins he gave gold by weight for every basin. Which were vessels made use of for the receiving and sprinkling the blood of the sacrifices: likewise silver.
“By weight for every basin of silver”: For it seems some of them were of silver, as others were of gold.
The main thing that this is saying, is that David prepared enough gold, silver, and bronze to build all that they needed for the temple.
1 Chronicles 28:18 “And for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the pattern of the chariot of the cherubims, that spread out [their wings], and covered the ark of the covenant of the LORD.”
“The chariot”: Using the imagery of Psalm 18:10, the cherubim are depicted as the vehicle in which God moves.
Everything in the presence of the Ark, which symbolized the presence of God, had to be 24 karat gold, or 24 karat gold overlay. These wings were so long, they entirely covered the width of the Holy of Holies.
1 Chronicles 28:19 “All [this, said David], the LORD made me understand in writing by [his] hand upon me, [even] all the works of this pattern.”
As in the case of the tabernacle (Exodus 25:9; 26:30), so the temple was built in accordance with divine plans and instructions.
“In writing”: David wrote down the plans under the Holy Spirit’s divine inspiration (non-canonical, written revelation). This divine privilege was much like that of Moses for the tabernacle (Exodus 25:9, 40; 27:8, Heb. 8:5).
Just as the Scriptures were written by the Spirit of God moving upon men of God, this pattern of everything in the temple was miraculously given to David by God. God wrote it in David’s heart.
Verses 20-21: Solomon’s associates in the building project were God, the owner and general contractor (28:20), plus the human work force (28:21).
1 Chronicles 28:20 “And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do [it]: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, [even] my God, [will be] with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.”
(See the note on Joshua 1:6-9).
Solomon was very young, and needed this encouragement from David. We know that God gave Solomon the gift of wisdom as well. David reminded Solomon that God was faithful to give him the understanding to build the temple. God would not have called him, had He not intended to equip Solomon to do the task. God wanted the temple built, and He would be with Solomon.
1 Chronicles 28:21 “And, behold, the courses of the priests and the Levites, [even they shall be with thee] for all the service of the house of God: and [there shall be] with thee for all manner of workmanship every willing skillful man, for any manner of service: also the princes and all the people [will be] wholly at thy commandment.”
Which David had lately fixed to take their turns in the temple, when built: “even they shall be with thee”.
“For all the service of the house of God”: To advise and assist him in everything relating to the service of the sanctuary, which they might be supposed best to understand.
“And there shall be with thee, for all manner of workmanship, every willing skillful man for any manner of service”: Men that were not only well skilled in all manner of curious work that was necessary for the service of the house, but were willing to employ their skill to the uttermost for it, and such David had provided (1 Chron. 22:15).
“Also the princes and all the people will be wholly at thy commandment”: To do whatever he should order, whether to overlook the workmen, or to contribute to the expenses of the work.
The priests and the Levites would be there to help with any information Solomon needed from the law. There would be thousands of skilled people for every task. Solomon would actually just supervise his leaders, to see that the work went on. David had already assigned each person the task they were to do. God would guide Solomon every step of the way. God had provided skillful people for every task. It would be done. Solomon just must believe it could be done, then do it.
1 Chronicles Chapter 28 Questions
1. Who did David call to Jerusalem?
2. There were leaders of the _________ life, leaders of the ________ government, and the leaders of the __________.
3. Why did he call them?
4. Why was it important that he stood upon his feet?
5. What did David have in his heart to do?
6. Why did God not allow David to do it?
7. David was called a _________ king.
8. What had God allowed David to do about the temple?
9. What special honor had God shown David?
10. Why was it so important for David to proclaim Solomon king?
11. What does “Solomon” mean?
12. How are blessings of God conditional?
13. Who did David warn about keeping the commandments?
14. How can we know God?
15. What does a person have to have for God to use him?
16. Where did David get the plans he gave to Solomon?
17. How had David received the plans?
18. Why did God give David information for the priests?
19. What does “silver” mean?
20. Everything in the presence of the Ark had to made with _______.
21. How long were the wings of the cherubim?
22. What encouraging statement did David make to Solomon?
23. Where did Solomon get his wisdom?
24. Who had God given Solomon to help with the building of the temple?
25. What must Solomon do?