Commentary on the Bible, by Adam Clarke, , at sacred-texts.com
David enumerates the gifts which he designed for the building of the temple; and exhorts the princes and people to make their offerings, Ch1 29:1-5. They offer willingly, and to a great amount, Ch1 29:6-9. David's thanksgiving and prayer to God on the occasion, Ch1 29:10-19. The princes and people praise God, offer sacrifices and feasts before him, make Solomon King, and do him homage, Ch1 29:20-24. The Lord magnifies Solomon, Ch1 29:25. Concluding account of David's reign, character, and death, Ch1 29:26-30.
1 Chronicles 29:1
The palace is not for man - "The palace is not prepared for the name of a son of man, but for the name of the Word of the Lord God." - T.
1 Chronicles 29:2
And marble stones - אבני שיש abney shayish, which the Vulgate translates marmor Parium, Parian marble. Paros was one of the Cyclade islands, and produced the whitest and finest marble, that of which most of the finest works of antiquity have been made. That the word shaish means marble is probable from the Chaldee, which has אבני מרמורייה abney marmoraiyah, marble stones. Josephus says that the temple was built of large blocks of white marble, beautifully polished, so as to produce a most splendid appearance. - Jos., De Bell. Jud., lib. v., c. 5, s. 2.
1 Chronicles 29:5
To consecrate his service - למלאות ידו lemalloth yado, to fill his hand; to bring an offering to the Lord.
1 Chronicles 29:7
Of gold five thousand talents - These, at five thousand and seventy-five pounds, fifteen shillings, and seven pence halfpenny each, amount to twenty-five millions, three hundred and seventy-eight thousand nine hundred and six pounds, five shillings, sterling. If, with Dr. Prideaux, we estimate the golden talent at upwards of seven thousand pounds sterling, the value of these five thousand talents will be much more considerable. See the notes on Exo 25:39; Mat 18:24; and the calculations at the end of the notes on Ch2 9:29.
Ten thousand drams - Probably golden darics, worth each about twenty shillings, amounting to ten thousand pounds.
Of silver ten thousand talents - These, at three hundred and fifty-three pounds, eleven shillings, and ten-pence halfpenny, each, amount to three millions five hundred and thirty-five thousand, nine hundred and thirty-seven pounds, ten shillings, sterling.
Brass eighteen thousand talents - Each six hundred and fifty-seven thousand grains, amount to one thousand and twenty-six tons, eleven hundred weight, and one quarter.
One hundred thousand talents of iron - Each six hundred and fifty-seven thousand grains, amount to five thousand seven hundred and three tons, two hundred weight, and a half.
1 Chronicles 29:11
Thine, O Lord, is the greatness - This verse is thus paraphrased by the Targum: "Thine, O Lord, is the magnificence; for thou hast created the world by thy great power, and by thy might hast led our fathers out of Egypt, and with great signs hast caused them to pass through the Red Sea. Thou hast appeared gloriously on Mount Sinai, with troops of angels, in giving law to thy people. Thou hast gained the victory over Amalek; over Sihon and Og, kings of Canaan. By the splendor of thy majesty thou hast caused the sun to stand still on Gibeon, and the moon in the valley of Ajalon, until thy people, the house of Israel, were avenged of their enemies. All things that are in heaven and earth are the work of thy hands, and thou rulest over and sustainest whatsoever is in the heavens and in the earth. Thine, O Lord, is the kingdom in the firmament; and thou art exalted above the heavenly angels, and over all who are constituted rulers upon earth.
1 Chronicles 29:14
Of thine own have we given thee - "For from thy presence all good comes, and of the blessings of thy hands have we given thee." - Targum.
1 Chronicles 29:15
For we are strangers - We have here neither right nor property.
And sojourners - Lodging as it were for a night, in the mansion of another.
As were all our fathers - These were, as we are supported by thy bounty, and tenants at will to thee.
Our days on the earth are as a shadow - They are continually declining, fading, and passing away. This is the place of our sojourning, and here we have no substantial, permanent residence.
There is none abiding - However we may wish to settle and remain in this state of things, it is impossible, because every earthly form is passing swiftly away, all is in a state of revolution and decay, and there is no abiding, מקוה mikveh, no expectation, that we shall be exempt from those changes and chances to which our fathers were subjected. "As the shadow of a bird flying in the air [אויר avir] of heaven, such are our days upon the earth; nor is there any hope to any son of man that he shall live for ever." - Targum.
1 Chronicles 29:18
Keep this for ever - All the good dispositions which myself and my people have, came from thee; continue to support and strengthen them by the same grace by which they have been inspired!
1 Chronicles 29:19
Give unto Solomon - a perfect heart - This he did, but Solomon abused his mercies.
1 Chronicles 29:20
Worshipped the Lord, and the king - They did reverence to God as the supreme Ruler, and to the king as his deputy.
1 Chronicles 29:21
With their drink-offerings - The Targum says a thousand drink-offerings, making these libations equal in number to the other offerings.
And sacrifices - These were peace-offerings, offered for the people, and on the flesh of which they feasted.
1 Chronicles 29:22
They made Solomon - king the second time - The first time of his being anointed and proclaimed king was when his brother Adonijah affected the throne; and Zadok, Nathan, and Benaiah anointed and proclaimed him in a hurry, and without pomp. See Kg1 1:39. Now that all is quiet, and David his father dead, (for he was probably so at the time of the second anointing), they anointed and proclaimed him afresh, with due ceremonies, sacrifices, etc.
To be the chief governor - To be the vicegerent or deputy of Jehovah; for God never gave up his right of king in Israel; those called kings were only his lieutenants: hence it is said, Ch1 29:23, "that Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king instead of David his father."
1 Chronicles 29:24
Submitted themselves - נתנו יד תחת שלמה nathenu yad tachath Shelomoh. "They gave the hand under Solomon;" they swore fealty to him. We have already seen that putting the hand under the thigh (super sectionem circumcisionis) was the form of taking an oath. See the note on Gen 24:9.
1 Chronicles 29:28
And he died - David, at his death, had every thing that his heart could wish.
1. A good old age, having lived as long as living could be desirable, and having in the main enjoyed good health.
2. Full of days; having lived till he saw every thing that he lived for either accomplished or in a state of forwardness.
3. Full of riches; witness the immense sums left for the temple.
4. Full of honorer; having gained more renown than any crowned head ever did, either before his time or since - laurels that are fresh to the present hour.
1 Chronicles 29:29
The acts of David - first and last - Those which concerned him in private life, as well as those which grew out of his regal government. All these were written by three eminent men, personally acquainted with him through the principal part of his life; these were Samuel and Gad the seers, and Nathan the prophet. These writings are all lost, except the particulars interspersed in the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, none of which are the records mentioned here.
1 Chronicles 29:30
The times that went over him - The transactions of his reign, and the occurrences and vicissitudes in his own kingdom, as well as those which were over all the kingdoms of the countries, i.e., in the surrounding nations, in most of which David had a share during his forty years' reign. Relative to the character of David, see a few remarks in the note on Kg1 2:10 (note); and see more at the end of the Psalms.
Dr. Delaney gives a just view of his character in a few words: "To sum up all, David was a true believer, a zealous adorer of God, teacher of his law and worship, and inspirer of his praise. A glorious example, a perpetual and inexhaustible fountain of true piety. A consummate and unequalled hero; a skillful and fortunate captain; a steady patriot; a wise ruler; a faithful, generous, and magnanimous friend; and, what is yet rarer, a no less generous and magnanimous enemy. A true penitent, a divine musician, a sublime poet, and an inspired prophet. By birth, a peasant; by merit, a prince; in youth, a hero; in manhood, a monarch; and in age, a saint." The matter of Uriah and Bath-sheba is his great but only blot! There he sinned deeply; and no man ever suffered more in his body, soul, and domestic affairs, than he did in consequence. His penitence was as deep and as extraordinary as his crime; and nothing could surpass both but that eternal mercy that took away the guilt, assuaged the sorrow, and restored this most humbled transgressor to character, holiness, and happiness. Let the God of David be exalted for ever!