Posted: 29 Nov 2010 11:00 PM PST
WE HAVE ALREADY OBSERVED that 1 and 2 Chronicles differ from the books of Samuel and Kings (though the Chronicles cover roughly the same period of history as Samuel and Kings) in placing much more emphasis on the southern kingdom of Judah, after the monarchy divides. Even at this juncture, however, during the period of the united monarchy, 1 and 2 Chronicles greatly expand on anything to do with the temple.
In this framework, 1 Chronicles 28 discloses a little more detail not only of the transfer of power from David to Solomon, but of the origin of the temple's plans. On the former point, David charges the people with serving Solomon well; he charges Solomon with serving the Lord God with his whole heart: "For the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever" (1 Chron. 28:9). In particular, David charges Solomon with the building of the temple for which he, David, has made such large provision (1 Chron. 29:10, 20–21). Nothing is reported of the attempt by David's son Adonijah to usurp the throne before Solomon could be crowned, or of Bathsheba's strategic protection of her son Solomon (1 Kings 1); nothing is mentioned of the substantial array of other charges David gave to Solomon (1 Kings 2). All the focus here is on the transfer of power as it affects the construction of the temple.
There is a new element of stellar importance. We are told that David gave Solomon "the plans of all that the Spirit had put in his mind for the courts of the temple of the LORD and all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the temple of God and for the treasuries for the dedicated things" (1 Chron. 28:12)—as well as for the divisions of the priests and Levites, the amount of gold or silver to be used in the various instruments, and so forth (1 Chron. 28:13–17). Above all, "he also gave him the plan for the chariot, that is, the cherubim of gold that spread their wings and shelter the ark of the covenant of the LORD" (1 Chron. 28:18) in the Most Holy Place. "'All this,' David said, 'I have in writing from the hand of the LORD upon me, and he gave me understanding in all the details of the plan'" (1 Chron. 28:19).
Here is the counterpart to the constant emphasis in Exodus on the fact that Moses and his peers built the tabernacle in exact accordance with the plan shown Moses on the mountain. That is then picked up in Hebrews 8:5: this proved the tabernacle was only a copy of a greater original (see the meditation for March 14). Implicitly, the same care is taken with the construction of the temple, with David, not Moses, now serving as the mediator.
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