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John Gill’s Commentary of the Whole Bible: 1 Chronicles 28

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1 Chronicles 28:1

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INTRODUCTION TO 1 CHRONICLES 28

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David, having convened the principal men of the nation, declared Solomon his successor, whom God had chosen both to be king, and to build the temple, 1Ch 28:1, and exhorted both them and him to serve the Lord, and build an house for him, 1Ch 28:8, then gave Solomon the pattern of it, and an account of the materials he had prepared for it, 1Ch 28:11, and encouraged him to go about the work with alacrity and intrepidity, 1Ch 28:20.

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Ver. 1. And David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes,… Whose names are given in 1Ch 27:16

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and the captains of the companies that ministered to the king by course; monthly, each having 24,000 men under him, whose names are expressed, 1Ch 27:2

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and the captains over the thousands; of which there were twenty four in a course, at the head of each 1000, under the chief captain:

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and captains over the hundreds: centurions under the second captains:

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and the stewards over all the substance and possession of the king, and of his sons; whose names may be read in 1Ch 27:25

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with the officers: the courtiers:

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and with the mighty men, and with all the valiant men; both men of valour, and of wealth and riches: these David

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assembled unto Jerusalem; the metropolis of the kingdoms and where his court and palace were.

1 Chronicles 28:2

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Ver. 2. Then David the king stood up upon his feet,… 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 honour to this august assembly before him, and that he might be the more easily heard; for which reason we are told {r} 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:

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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

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as for me, I had it in my heart to build an 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, 1Ch 22:7

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and for the footstool of our God; or “even for it”, for the ark is meant, which is so called, Ps 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:

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and had made ready for the building; prepared materials for it; see 1Ch 22:4.

{r} Eustathius in Homer. Iliald. 1. p. 46. Vid, Iliad. 19. ver. 77, 79.

1 Chronicles 28:3

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Ver. 3. But God said unto me, thou shalt not build an house for my name,… This he said by Nathan the prophet, 2Sa 7:5

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because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood: see

1 Chronicles 28:4

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Ver. 4. Howbeit, the Lord God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever,… Passing by all his brethren who were elder than he, he pitched upon him, and ordered him to be anointed king of Israel, see 1Sa 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 Lu 1:32

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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 1Ch 5:2

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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:

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and among the sons of my father he liked me to make me king over all Israel; though the youngest of them, 1Sa 16:11, this was his will and pleasure.

1 Chronicles 28:5

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Ver. 5. And of all my sons, for the Lord hath given me many sons,… Whose names, and the order of their birth, may be read in 1Ch 3:1

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he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel; to be his successor in it: this he says to observe to them, that this was not merely his own will and choice, nor the fruit and effect of a fond affection to Solomon; nor was it barely in pursuance of a promise made to Bathsheba, she had obtained of him; but it was according to the will and appointment of God, and therefore to be the more regarded.

1 Chronicles 28:6

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Ver. 6. And he said unto me, Solomon that son, he shall build my house,… See 2Sa 7:13

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and my courts; in the house or temple:

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for I have chosen him to be my son; predestinated him to the adoption of children, Eph 1:5

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and I will be his father; see 2Sa 7:14.

1 Chronicles 28:7

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Ver. 7. Moreover, I will establish his kingdom for ever,… The same is said in 2Sa 7:13

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if he be constant to do my commandments, and my judgments, as at this day; if he continued in the observance of them, as he had begun, and went on in until that day; this is added here, and was not spoken by Nathan, when what goes before was; for Solomon was not then born, but must be suggested to David since, and as it should seem at this time.

1 Chronicles 28:8

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Ver. 8. Now therefore, in the sight of all Israel, the congregation of the Lord,… Whom this assembly represented:

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and in the audience of our God; before him, as Jarchi, in whose presence they were, and who heard and saw all that passed, and to whom David appeals as a witness; the Targum is,

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“before the Word of the Lord.”

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before whom all things are naked and open, Heb 4:12

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keep and seek for all the commandments of the Lord your God; seek to know them, search for them in the word of God, and endeavour to keep them:

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that ye may possess this good land; continue in the possession of it, for by their obedience they held it, Isa 1:19

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and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you for ever; that so they might not be removed from it, and carried captive into other lands, as they were for their disobedience.

1 Chronicles 28:9

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Ver. 9. And thou, Solomon my son,… Who was present in this assembly, and presented to them by David as his successor, and their future king: and having addressed them, he turns himself to him, and exhorts him, saying,

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know thou the God of thy father; who was his Father and covenant God, and whom he served and worshipped, and who had bestowed upon him many favours, both temporal and spiritual; and having had such an experience of his goodness, he exhorts his son to seek to know more and more of him, and to own and acknowledge him as his God, and to love and fear him:

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serve him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind; cordially and sincerely, cheerfully and freely, neither in an hypocritical manner, nor through force and constraint, nor with loathing and weariness:

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for the Lord searcheth all hearts; the hearts of all men, even of kings, and knows from what principles and with what views and in what manor they serve him:

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and understandeth all the imaginations of the thought; not only the thoughts of the heart, when regularly formed and ranged in order, hut even the very beginning of them, the first motions of the mind, and before they are well formed, see Ge 6:5

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if thou seek him; by prayer and supplication in his house and ordinances:

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he will be found of thee; grant his presence and bestow his favours, see Isa 4:6

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but if thou forsake him: his word, his ways, his worship:

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he will cast thee off for ever; from being king, or enjoying that peace, prosperity, and happiness, which otherwise would be enjoyed.

1 Chronicles 28:10

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Ver. 10. Take heed now,… 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:

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for the Lord hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary; a temple for the ark, called the sanctuary, Nu 7:9 the Targum is, the Word of the Lord hath chosen thee, &c.

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be strong, and do it, be of a good heart and courage, and set about it with vigour and resolution.

1 Chronicles 28:11

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Ver. 11. Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch,… 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:

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and, of the houses thereof; the holy place, and the most holy, which latter is called the greater house, 2Ch 3:5,

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and of the treasures; where things belonging to the temple were laid up, the priests’ vestments, and other things:

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and of the upper chambers; where the priests lay or met for conversation, Jer 35:2.

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and of the inner parlours thereof; where the priests ate of the holy things; all these seem to he buildings against the wall of the temple round about, 1Ki 6:5

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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.

1 Chronicles 28:12

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Ver. 12 And the pattern of all that he had by the Spirit,… 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:

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of the courts of the house of the Lord: the outward court, the court of the priests, &c.

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and of all the chambers round about: see 1Ki 6:5

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of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things; of the difference of which, see 1Ch 26:20.

1 Chronicles 28:13

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Ver. 13. And also for the courses of the priests and Levites,… Where they should serve, of which, as fixed and ordered by David, see

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and for all the work of the service of the house of the Lord; they should be employed in:

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and for all the vessels of service in the house of the Lord; which they should use therein.

1 Chronicles 28:14

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Ver. 14. He gave of gold by weight for things of gold, for all instruments of all manner 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

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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 of, or what quantity of silver was to be used in it, and this he gave; according to Jacob Jehudah Leon {s}, the vessels of gold were 340,000, the vessels of silver 470,000, in all 810,000.

{s} Relation of Memorable Things in the Tabernacle and Temple, ch. 4. p. 19.

1 Chronicles 28:15

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Ver. 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,… 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 1Ki 7:49, and the weight of gold for each candlestick, according to the above writer {t}, was one hundred pounds; and for both candlesticks and lamps, David, by the Spirit of God, was directed to give:

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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.

{t} Ibid. (Relation of Memorial Things in the Tabernacle and the Temple, ch. 4.) p. 20.

1 Chronicles 28:16

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Ver. 16. And by weight he gave gold for the tables of shewbread, for every table,… For though there were but one table for the shewbread in the tabernacle of Moses, there were ten in the temple of Solomon, 2Ch 4:8 and each of them contained one hundred pounds in weight {u}:

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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 Eze 40:39.

{u} Jacob Leon, ibid. (Relation of Memorable Things in the Tabernacle and Temple, ch. 4. p. 20.)

1 Chronicles 28:17

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Ver. 17. Also pure gold for the flesh hooks,… To take the pieces of flesh out of the pots, in which they were boiled:

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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

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by weight for every basin of silver; for it seems some of them were of silver, as others were of gold.

1 Chronicles 28:18

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Ver. 18. And for the altar of incense refined gold by weight,… This was also one hundred pounds weight in gold, with which it was to be overlaid {w}:

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and gold for the pattern of the chariot of the cherubim; which were two large ones, besides those which Moses made; and these were not made of gold, as they were, but overlaid with it, see 1Ki 6:23 which with them made four; and to which the four living creatures in Ezekiel’s vision allude, and make the “mercavah”, or chariot, the Jews so much speak of, perhaps from this and other like phrases; and the Lord sitting here as in a chariot, not only denotes the glory and splendour of the Shechinah, or divine Majesty; but, as some observe, his readiness to ride off and depart, when displeased and provoked, see

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that spread out their wings, and covered the ark of the covenant of the Lord; not that spread their wings over the ark, and covered it, that the Mosaic cherubim did; but these spread their wings before it from wall to wall, so that it could not be seen by any that turned aside the vail, and even by the high priest when he entered into the holy of holies: the ark, with the cherubim, which were on that, weighed two hundred pounds of pure gold, according to the Jacob Leon {x}.

{w} Ibid. (Relation of Memorable Things in the Tabernacle and Temple, ch. 4. p. 20.) {x} Ibid.

1 Chronicles 28:19

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Ver. 19. All this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing by his hand upon me,… Either by an impulse of his Spirit on him, whereby it was as it were written on his mind, and as clearly represented to him, as if he had it in writing before him; though the Jews think that all was first made known to Samuel, or some other prophet, who delivered it to David in writing, as from the Lord: but I see not why it may not be understood that David had the pattern of the temple, and all things relative to it, by an handwriting from the Lord himself, through the ministry of angels, as Moses received the two tables, the handwriting of the Lord, from himself; for the words, as they lie in order in the Hebrew text, are, the whole of this “in writing from the hand of the Lord, unto me, he made me to understand: even all the works of this pattern”; the particulars of which are given before.

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1 Chronicles 28:20

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Ver. 20. And David said to Solomon his son, be strong, and of good courage, and do it,… See Gill on “1Ch 28:10”

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fear not, nor be dismayed; that thou shalt meet with any opposition in the work, or not be able to finish it for want of materials and workmen, or money to pay them:

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for the Lord God, [even] my God, will be with thee; to guide and direct, prosper and succeed; the Targum is,

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“the Word of the Lord God, my God, will be thy help:”

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he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee; a promise made to Joshua, and is applicable to every good man in whatsoever good work he is concerned, Jos 1:5,

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until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord; built the temple, and all the apartments of it, and courts belonging to it, and made and provided all the utensils and vessels necessary for the service and worship of God.

1 Chronicles 28:21

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Ver. 21. And, behold, all the courses of the priests and the Levites,… Which David had lately fixed to take their turns in the temple, when built: even they shall be with thee

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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:

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and there shall be with thee, for all manner of workmanship, every willing skilful 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, 1Ch 22:15,

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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.