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THEN David said: This is the house of God, and this is the altar for the holocaust of Israel.

Ver. 1.  The house.  Or the place where the temple shall be built.  M.

 

--- The miraculous fire convinced David that God had made choice of this spot.



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2 And he commanded to gather together all the proselytes of the land of Israel, and out of them he appointed stonecutters to hew stones and polish them, to build the house of God.

Ver. 2.  Proselytes.  This is the first time that the word occurs in the Vulg.  See Ex. xii. 45.  It means "strangers," (C.) who were not allowed to live in the country, unless they would observe the natural law, and renounce idolatry.  Rabbins.

 

--- These had embraced the Jewish religion.  M.

 

--- They were the remnants of the people of Chanaan, (3 K. ix. 20,) and were treated as public slaves, which could not have been done, with justice or policy, with regard to those who might barely wish to reside in the country.  These strangers prefigured the Gentiles, chosen to build the Christian Church.




3 And David prepared in abundance iron for the nails of the gates, and for the closures and joinings: and of brass an immense weight.

Ver. 3.  Prepared.  Syr. and Arab. "appointed blacksmiths from among the proselytes, to forge tools for cutting and dressing stone, &c."  But most follow the Vulg.  C.

 

--- Closures is explained by the following word, which alone occurs in Heb. &c.

 

--- Immense.  Heb. and Sept. "abundance, it was not weighed."  H.


4 And the cedar trees were without number, which the Sidonians, and Tyrians brought to David.

Ver. 4.  Number.  Still we find that Solomon ordered more, as the structure was more magnificent than even David had imagined.


5 And David said: Solomon my son is very young and tender, and the house which I would have to be built to the Lord, must be such as to be renowned in all countries: therefore I will prepare him necessaries. And therefore before his death he prepared all the charges. 6 And he called for Solomon his son: and commanded him to build a house to the Lord the God of Israel.

Ver. 6.  Tender, (delicatus) weak and unexperienced.  C.

 

--- Yet he might be 21 when he was crowned.  T.

 

--- David began his preparations long before.

 

--- Lord.  Heb. "must be (H.) for grandeur, excellence, fame, and beauty, through all countries" a sort of prodigy.

 

--- All.  Heb. "abundantly."


7 And David said to Solomon: My son, it was my desire to have built a house to the name of the Lord my God.

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8 But the word of the Lord came to me, saying: Thou hast shed much blood, and fought many battles, so thou canst not build a house to my name, after shedding so much blood before me:

Ver. 8.  Blood, of Urias, (S. Jer. and the Rab.) or rather, as David had already entertained the desire of building a temple before that event, (E.) the blood which David had shed in just wars, must be understood; as even that causes a person to be regarded as unclean.  The soldiers were obliged to be purified before they could enter the camp.  Num. xxxi. 19.  In the Christian Church, those are deemed irregular who have contributed to the death of the guilty, even as judges or witnesses.  The Pagans entertained the like sentiments.  C.  Æneas dares not touch the sacred vessels and household gods, when he was stained with blood, shed in his country's defence.

                        Tu, genitor, cape sacra manu, patriosque penates

                        Me bello è tanto digressum et cæde recenti

                        Attrectare nefas.  Æneid ii.

 

--- So.  Heb. "much blood in  my sight."  H.

 

--- This expression enhances (D.) the greatness of the bloodshed; as when a person is said to be wicked, &c. before the Lord, it  means in an extraordinary degree.  The wars of David are frequently assigned as the impediment to David's building the temple, C. xvii. 4. and xxviii. 3.  Joseph. &c.  C.

 

--- They would not suffer him to have sufficient leisure, v. 18. (H.) 3 K. v. 3.  Salien.  M.


9 The son, that shall be born to thee, shall be a most quiet man: for I will make him rest from all his enemies round about: and therefore he shall be called Peaceable: and I will give peace and quietness to Israel all his days.

Ver. 9.  Peaceable.  Heb. "Solomon," which has this meaning.  C.

 

--- Herein Solomon was a figure of Christ, who is styled the Prince of peace.  Isai. ix.  W.



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10 He shall build a house to my name, and he shall be a son to me, and I will be a father to him: and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.

Ver. 10.  Name.  See 2 K. vii. 13.  M.

 

--- A son.  The crimes into which Solomon fell, hinder us from explaining this literally of him.  S. Paul refers the expression to Jesus Christ.  Heb. i. 5.  C.

 

--- S. Aug. (de C. xvii. 8 and 9.) observes that the promises were not perfectly fulfilled in Solomon.



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11 Now then, my son, the Lord be with thee, and do thou prosper, and build the house to the Lord thy God, as he hath spoken of thee. 12 The Lord also give thee wisdom and understanding, that thou mayest be able to rule Israel, and to keep the law of the Lord thy God.

Ver. 12.  Understanding, (sensum.)  Skill to resolve difficult questions.  M.

 

--- That.  Heb. "and appoint thee to rule."  H.


13 For then thou shalt be able to prosper, if thou keep the commandments, and judgments, which the Lord commanded Moses to teach Israel: take courage and act manfully, fear not, nor be dismayed. 14 Behold I in my poverty have prepared the charges of the house of the Lord, of gold a hundred thousand talents, and of silver a million of talents: but of brass, and of iron there is no weight, for the abundance surpasseth all account: timber also and stones I have prepared for all the charges.

Ver. 14.  Poverty.  Prot. "trouble."  H.

 

--- David confesses that the immense sums which he had collected, were nothing in comparison with the greatness of God.  He left more than was sufficient for Solomon to perfect the work, with still greater magnificence than he had planned out, v. 5.  C. xxviii. 2. and xxix. 2. &c.  C.

 

--- Million.  Josephus (vii. 14.) reduces these sums to one tenth part, "of gold 10,000 talents, of silver 100,000;" so that it is "extremely probable that a cipher" was added to these numbers, in some very ancient Heb. copy.  Brerewood computes that the sum mentioned here and C. xxix. 4, would amount to 841,125,000l. and maintains that the whole temple pavement, and all the vessels, might have been made of solid gold, without consuming it all.  De pond, in Walton's Polyglot.

 

--- "If we take the preceding talents according to bishop Cumberland's computation, the sum total will be somewhat less: but, were we to reduce it to less than one-half, would not the sum of four hundred millions of money be immense and incredible?"  Kennicott.

 

--- A learned Jew has written this marginal note in his Bible, 1661: "It is supposed, these talents are not to be reckoned like the Mosaic, for they would amount to 720 millions.  But as the Scripture makes no difference, we have no other computation to go by."  See Ken. diss. ii.  If they were the same, the sum would exceed belief.  Some have thought that they were only half.  Mariana supposes the talents were only the weight of sicles, or four drachms; so that David left one million for the fabric.  D.

 

--- But the relation given by historians of the riches of Sardanapalus, Cyrus, Alexander, Atabalipa, and some kings, who were not more likely to amass such treasures than David, make the account less improbable.  Josephus (vii. 12.) asserts, that "no prince ever left so great riches."  He had extended his dominions on all sides, and imposed tribute on the conquered.  He was very frugal, and had possession of the mines of Phunon, (Num. xxi. 10. and xxxiii. 43.) and of Phœnicia.  Deut. xxxiii. 25.  Though the talent seems to have varied in other nations, it always consisted of 3000 sicles among the Hebrews, at least till the captivity.  Ex. xxxviii. 25. 26.  We find from 2 Par. xxv. 6.  4 K. xv. 19. &c. that it formed a very considerable sum.  Yet Villalpand calculates that all the gold and silver left by David, would be requisite for the ornaments and vessels of the temple.  If, however, we grant that it would have sufficed to build a massive temple of gold, how much must be deducted to pay the workmen? &c.  C. Diss. on the riches left by David, t. ii.

 

--- For all.  Heb. Chal. Sept. "And to these add."  T.

 

--- He encouraged the princes to contribute; (C. xxxix.) and here he exhorts his son to shew his liberality, if any thing should be found deficient.  H.


15 Thou hast also workmen in abundance, hewers of stones, and masons, and carpenters, and of all trades the most skilful in their work, 16 In gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in iron, whereof there is no number. Arise then, and be doing, and the Lord will be with thee. 17 David also charged all the princes of Israel, to help Solomon his son, 18 Saying: You see, that the Lord your God is with you, and hath given you rest round about, and hath delivered all your enemies into your hands, and the land is subdued before the Lord, and before his people.

Ver. 18.  Saying is not expressed in Heb.  "Is not the Lord," &c.

 

--- And hath.  Heb. "for he hath given the inhabitants of the land into my hand," or power.  H.

 

--- Almost all the neighbouring nations were subjected to David.  C.

 

--- The Lord, who assisted his people, and filled the enemy with terror.  M.


19 Give therefore your hearts and your souls, to seek the Lord your God: and arise, and build a sanctuary to the Lord God, that the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and the vessels consecrated to the Lord, may be brought into the house, which is built to the name of the Lord.

Ver. 19.  Is on the point of being built.  David was convinced that the work would not be much longer retarded, so that he speaks of it as present.  H.




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