1 Chronicles 28 – David’s Public Charge to Solomon
A. David’s public words to the assembly of Israel and to Solomon.
1. (1) The assembly of Israel gathers to hear King David.
Now David assembled at Jerusalem all the leaders of Israel: the officers of the tribes and the captains of the divisions who served the king, the captains over thousands and captains over hundreds, and the stewards over all the substance and possessions of the king and of his sons, with the officials, the valiant men, and all the mighty men of valor.
a. Now David assembled at Jerusalem all the leaders of Israel: This was David’s public “passing of the torch” ceremony to Solomon, with an emphasis on the responsibility to build the temple. Despite this, another son of David (Adonijah, in 1 Kings 1-2) tried to take the throne when David died.
b. All the leaders of Israel: It may be that this was the group of people collectively mentioned in the previous chapters.
i. “The occasion for the final chapters of 1 Chronicles is a continuation of what was introduced in 1 Chronicles 23 – the assembling by the king of the leaders of Israel (1 Chronicles 28:1; 29:1).” (Payne)
2. (2-8) David speaks to the assembly of Israel.
Then King David rose to his feet and said, “Hear me, my brethren and my people: I had it in my 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 preparations to build it. But God said to me, ‘You shall not build a house for My name, because you have been a man of war and have shed blood.’ However the LORD God of Israel chose me above all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever, for He has 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 was pleased with me to make me king over all Israel. And of all my sons (for the LORD has given me many sons) He has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel. Now He said to me, ‘It is your son Solomon who shall build My house and My courts; for I have chosen him to be My son, and I will be his Father. Moreover I will establish his kingdom forever, if he is steadfast to observe My commandments and My judgments, as it is this day.’ Now therefore, in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of the LORD, and in the hearing of our God, be careful to seek out all the commandments of the LORD your God, that you may possess this good land, and leave it as an inheritance for your children after you forever.”
a. Then King David rose to his feet: Since this happened towards the end of David’s life, he was in declining health (1 Kings 1:1-4). The Chronicler noted David’s standing posture because considering his age and the setting, it was a dramatic scene.
b. You shall not build a house for My name: Though David wanted to build God a house, God politely refused David’s offer and proposed to build him a house instead, in the sense of a lasting royal dynasty (2 Samuel 7).
i. Significantly, David calls the temple a house of rest. “As in the case of God’s sabbath rest at creation (Genesis 2:1-3), God’s rest represents the completion of his work. The idea of rest was so significant for the temple that even though David’s role as a ‘man of war’ was a vital part of the temple preparations in creating the necessary conditions for the work, it disqualified him from building the temple himself. Only Solomon, the ‘man of rest’ (1 Chronicles 22:9), was sufficiently fitted for the task.” (Selman)
c. He has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne: This was a significant event because there had never been a hereditary monarchy in Israel before. Saul, the previous king of Israel, was not succeeded by any son of his.
d. Moreover I will establish his kingdom forever: God promised that if the royal descendants of David remained obedient, the LORD would protect their throne and the kingdom of Israel, and there would always be a descendant of David reigning over Israel.
e. Be careful to seek out all the commandments of the LORD: This was an important and well-chosen exhortation to the people of Israel.
· They were exhorted to be careful, in the sense that they had to regard this responsibility as important and worthy of attention.
· They were exhorted to seek out the commandments of God, searching the Scriptures diligently.
· They were exhorted to seek out all the commandments, and not compromise by focusing on a few favored commandments.
3. (9-10) David speaks to Solomon.
“As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. Consider now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong, and do it.”
a. Know the God of your father: David’s exhortation to Solomon begins with the most important aspect – emphasizing a genuine commitment to a real relationship with the living God. David essentially told Solomon, “The secret of my success has been my relationship with God. You need to pursue the same relationship.”
b. Serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind: David also exhorted Solomon to serve God with both his heart and mind. Some people are all heart and no mind in their service to God; others are all mind and no heart. Both of these are important to truly serve Him.
i. We notice that the command to know came before the command to serve. “To know God is to serve Him. All failure in service is the result of loss of vision of God, misapprehension of Him, due to some distance from Him.” (Morgan)
ii. David gave Solomon a reason to commit his heart and mind to God: for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. When we properly understand God and His omniscience we will much more naturally serve Him as we should.
c. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever: Both of these proved true in the life of Solomon. When Solomon sought the LORD at Gibeon, he definitely found Him (1 Kings 3:1-15). When Solomon forsook God, he was in some sense cast…off (1 Kings 11:1-13).
i. “Solomon’s response, typical of humanity, was inconsistent. Though he did seek God (2 Chronicles 1:5), it was not with a ‘whole heart’ and his divided devotion led ultimately to a divided kingdom.” (Selman)
d. The LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong, and do it: David concluded his exhortation to Solomon with the single most urgent command – to build the temple. All of David’s exhaustive preparations would be for nothing if Solomon did not complete the job that David started.
B. The plans for the temple.
1. (11-13) David gives Solomon the plans for the temple.
Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the vestibule, its houses, its treasuries, its upper chambers, its inner chambers, and the place of the mercy seat; and the plans for all that he had by the Spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, of all the chambers all around, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries for the dedicated things; also for the division of the priests and the Levites, for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the articles of service in the house of the LORD.
a. Then David gave his son Solomon the plans: Considered together, David did almost everything for the building of the temple except actually build it. He gave Solomon security, a location, the land, money, materials, supervisory staff, workers, and an organized team to run the temple. Here we also see that David also gave his son Solomon the plans.
b. The plans for all that he had by the Spirit: Even as with the organization of the temple servants (2 Chronicles 29:25), these practical details were inspired by the Holy Spirit, not by human ingenuity.
i. “Moreover, the temple was for God’s own dwelling. Should not the Most High have a house after his own mind? If he was to be the Tenant, should it not be built to suit him? And who knows what God requires in a habitation but God himself?” (Spurgeon)
2. (14-19) The ornate furnishings for the temple.
He gave gold by weight for things of gold, for all articles used in every kind of service; also silver for all articles of silver by weight, for all articles used in every kind of service; the weight for the lampstands of gold, and their lamps of gold, by weight for each lampstand and its lamps; for the lampstands of silver by weight, for the lampstand and its lamps, according to the use of each lampstand. And by weight he gave gold for the tables of the showbread, for each table, and silver for the tables of silver; also pure gold for the forks, the basins, the pitchers of pure gold, and the golden bowls; he gave gold by weight for every bowl; and for the silver bowls, silver by weight for every bowl; and refined gold by weight for the altar of incense, and for the construction of the chariot, that is, the gold cherubim that spread their wings and overshadowed the ark of the covenant of the LORD. “All this,” said David, “the LORD made me understand in writing, by His hand upon me, all the works of these plans.”
a. He gave gold: These six verses mention gold 11 times. David amassed an amazing amount of gold for the furnishings of the temple.
b. For the construction of the chariot, that is, the gold cherubim: “So called, because God sat between them (Psalm 99:1), rode upon them (Psalm 18:10); the angels – represented by those cherubims – are called the chariots of God (Psalm 68:17); and the Hebrews have a saying, that such as saw God of old saw only Merchavah velo harocheb, the chariot in which God rode, but not the rider in it.” (Trapp)
i. “It is a good note also that is given here by some expositors – viz., that by this chariot of the cherubims God gave his people to understand that his presence in the ark was not so fixed among them, but that would leave them, and ride clean away from them, if they should thereunto provoke him by their sins.” (Trapp)
c. The LORD made me understand in writing, by His hand upon me, all the works of these plans: As with the organization of the servants and builders of the temple and the plans for the temple, God also spoke to David about these furnishings of the temple.
3. (20-21) David’s final charge to Solomon.
And David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God; my God; will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD. “Here are the divisions of the priests and the Levites for all the service of the house of God; and every willing craftsman will be with you for all manner of workmanship, for every kind of service; also the leaders and all the people will be completely at your command.”
a. Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed: David here echoes God’s exhortation to Joshua before he led the people of God into the Promised Land (Joshua 1:5-7). This was appropriate because Moses was a great leader who could only lead the people of Israel to a certain point – the rest was up to Joshua. The same pattern applied to David and his successor Solomon.
i. “In describing David’s plans for building the temple, Chronicles has paid special attention to portray David as a second Moses and Solomon as a second Joshua. ” (Payne)
b. And do it: It is easy to see how important this was for David. He had spent enormous effort to prepare the temple, but all David’s work would have been useless unless Solomon did in fact do it.
i. “Do not talk about it; do not sit down, and dream over the plans, and think how admirable they are, and then roll them up; but, ‘Be strong and of good courage, and do it.’” (Spurgeon)
c. Here are the divisions of the priests and the Levites: We can picture David handing Solomon the scrolls with the plans for building the temple and organizing its service. The job was now in the hands of David’s son Solomon.