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1 Chronicles 28-9: The Kingdom of David and Solomon

Nathan before King DavidDuring the Persian period, the Book of Chronicles was edited from a variety of earlier sources. A major theme of Chronicles is King David and his dynasty. The Davidic Dynasty represented the ideal era of peace and security in the Land of Israel. Its promise of perfection has led the restoration of the Davidic House to be equated with the messianic era. David’s blessing included here is a sample of the psalmodic literature attributed to him. Many of the psalms are still recited in the Jewish liturgy, prefaced by “A psalm of David.”

28-1 David assembled all the officers of Israel—the tribal officers, the divisional officers who served the king, the captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds, and the stewards of all the property and cattle of the king and his sons, with the eunuchs and the warriors, all the men of substance—to Jerusalem. 2 King David rose to his feet and said, “Hear me, my brothers, my people! I wanted to build a resting-place for the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, for the footstool of our God, and I laid aside material for building. 3 But God said to me, ‘You will not build a house for My name, for you are a man of battles and have shed blood.’ 4 The Lord God of Israel chose me of all my father’s house to be king over Israel forever. For He chose Judah to be ruler, and of the family of Judah, my father’s house; and of my father’s sons, He preferred to make me king over all Israel; 5 and of all my sons—for many are the sons the Lord gave me—He chose my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. 6 He said to me, ‘It will be your son Solomon who will build My House and My courts, for I have chosen him to be a son to Me, and I will be a father to him. 7 I will establish his kingdom forever, if he keeps firmly to the observance of My commandments and rules as he does now.’ 8 And now, in the sight of all Israel, the congregation of the Lord, and in the hearing of our God, [I say-] Observe and apply yourselves to all the commandments of the Lord your God in order that you may possess this good land and bequeath it to your children after you forever.

9 ‘‘And you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with single mind and fervent heart, for the Lord searches all minds and discerns the design of every thought; if you seek Him He will be available to you, but if you forsake Him He will abandon you forever. 10 See then, the Lord chose you to build a house as the sanctuary;
be strong and do it.”

11 David gave his son Solomon the plan of the porch and its houses, its storerooms and its upper chambers and inner chambers; and of the place of the Ark-cover; 12 and the plan of all that he had by the spirit- of the courts of the House of the Lord and all its surrounding chambers, and of the treasuries of the House of God and of the treasuries of the holy things; 13 the divisions of priests and Levites for all the work of the service of the House of the Lord and all the vessels of the service of the House of the Lord; 14 and gold, the weight of gold for vessels of every sort of use; silver for all the vessels of silver by weight, for all the vessels of every kind of service, 15 the weight of the gold lampstands and their gold lamps, and the weight of the silver lampstands, each lampstand and its silver lamps, according to the use of every lampstand; 16 and the weight of gold for the tables of the rows of bread, for each table, and of silver for the silver tables; 17 and of the pure gold for the forks and the basins and the jars; and the weight of the gold bowls, very bowl; and the weight of the silver bowls, each and every bowl; 18 the weight of refined gold for the incense altar and the gold for the figure of the chariot, the cherubs, those with outspread wings screening the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord. 19 “All this that the Lord made me understand by His hand on me, I give you in writing—the plan of all the works.” 88

20 David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and of good courage and do it; do not be afraid or dismayed, for the Lord God my God is with you; He will not fail you or forsake you till all the work on the House of the Lord is done. 21 Here are the divisions of the priests and Levites for all kinds of service of the House of God, and with you in all the work are willing men, skilled in all sorts of tasks; also the officers and all the people are at your command.”

29-1 King David said to the entire assemblage, “God has chosen my son Solomon alone, an untried lad, although the work to be done is vast—for the temple is not for a man but for the Lord God. 2 I have spared no effort to lay up for the House of my God gold for golden objects, silver for silver, copper for copper, iron for iron, wood for wooden, onyx-stone and inlay-stone, stone of antimony and variegated colors—every kind of precious stone and much marble. 3 Besides, out of my solicitude for the House of my God, I gave over my private hoard of gold and silver to the House of my God in addition to all that I laid aside for the holy House- 4 3,000 gold talents of Ophir 89 gold, and 7,000 talents of refined silver for covering the walls of the houses 5 (gold for golden objects, silver for silver for all the work)—into the hands of craftsmen. Now who is going to make a freewill offering and devote himself today to the Lord?”

6 The officers of the clans and the officers of the tribes of Israel and the captains of thousands and hundreds and the supervisors of the king’s work made freewill offerings, 7 giving for the work of the House of God- 5,000 talents of gold, 10,000 darics, 90 10,000 talents of silver, 18,000 talents of copper, 100,000 talents of iron. 8 Whoever had stones in his possession gave them to the treasury of the House of the Lord in the charge of Jehiel the Gershonite. 9 The people rejoiced over the freewill offerings they made, forwith a whole heart they made freewill offerings to the Lord; King David also rejoiced very much.

10 David blessed the Lord in front of all the assemblage; David said, “Blessed are You, Lord, God of Israel our father, from eternity to eternity. 11 Yours, Lord, are greatness, might, splendor, triumph, and majesty—yes, all that is in heaven and on earth; to You, Lord, belong kingship and preeminence above all. 12 Riches and honor are Yours to dispense; You have dominion over all; with You are strength and might, and it is in Your power to make anyone great and strong. 13 Now, God, we praise You and extol Your glorious name. 14 Who am I and who are my people, that we should have the means to make such a freewill offering; but all is from You, and it is Your gift that we have given to You. 15 For we are sojourners with You, mere transients like our fathers; our days on earth are like a shadow, with nothing in prospect. 16 O Lord our God, all this great mass that we have laid aside to build You a House for Your holy name is from You, and it is all Yours. 17 I know, God, that You search the heart and desire uprightness; I, with upright heart, freely offered all these things; now Your people, who are present here—I saw them joyously making freewill offerings. 18 O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, remember this to the eternal credit of the thoughts of Your people’s hearts, and make their hearts constant toward You. 19 As to my son Solomon, give him a whole heart to observe Your commandments, Your admonitions, and Your laws, and to fulfill them all, and to build this temple for which I have made provision.”

20 David said to the whole assemblage, “Now bless the Lord your God.” All the assemblage blessed the Lord God of their fathers, and bowed their heads low to the Lord and the king. 21 They offered sacrifices to the Lord and made burnt offerings to the Lord on the morrow of that day- 1,000 bulls, 1,000 rams, 1,000 lambs, with their libations; [they made] sacrifices in great number for all Israel, 22 and they ate and drank in the presence of the Lord on that day with great joy. They again proclaimed Solomon son of David king, and they anointed him as ruler before the Lord, and Zadok as high priest. 23 Solomon successfully took over the throne of the Lord as king instead of his father David, and all went well with him. All Israel accepted him; 24 all the officials and the warriors, and the sons of King David as well, gave their hand in support of King Solomon. 25 The Lord made Solomon exceedingly great in the eyes of all Israel, and endowed him with a regal majesty that no king of Israel before him ever had.

26 Thus David son of Jesse reigned over all Israel; 27 the length of his reign over Israel was forty years- he reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 28 He died at a ripe old age, having enjoyed long life, riches and honor, and his son Solomon reigned in his stead. 29 The acts of King David, early and late, are recorded in the history of Samuel the seer, the history of Nathan the prophet, and the history of Gad the seer, 91 30 together with all the mighty deeds of his kingship and the events that befell him and Israel and all the kingdoms of the earth.

88. This passage asserts that the plan of the Solomonic Temple was given by God to David, who passed it on to his son Solomon.

89. Ophir, a place whose location is disputed, was the source of gold for Solomon’s kingdom.

90. A Persian monetary unit.

91. These three sources, used by the Chronicler, were not preserved

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