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Deeper Commentary

1Ch 22:1 Then David said, This is the house of Yahweh God, and this is the altar of burnt offering for Israel-
The certainty of God’s foreknowledge is reflected in the sureness of His word. Biblical Hebrew has a ‘prophetic perfect’ tense, which uses the past tense to describe future things which God has promised. Thus David said, “This is the house of the Lord God”, when as yet the temple [as David understood it] was only promised by God. Such was his faith in that word of promise that David used the present tense to describe future things. Scripture abounds with examples of God’s foreknowledge. God was so certain that He would fulfil the promises to Abraham, that He told him: “Unto your seed have I given this land...” (Gen. 15:18) at a time when Abraham did not even have a seed. During this same period before the seed (Isaac/Christ) was born, God further promised: “A father of many nations have I made you” (Gen. 17:5). Truly, God “calls those things which be not as though they were”.

1Ch 22:2 David gave orders to gather together the foreigners who were in the land of Israel; and he set masons to cut worked stones to build God’s house-
It certainly looks appropriate in the type for us to see Gentiles working towards building up the house of God. But the reality was that this was a form of racism, using foreigners to do dogs body work; the more shameful if indeed they were as LXX "proselytes". It was repeated by Solomon. We also marvel at David's pointed disobedience to God's statement that "You shall not build Me a house to dwell in" (1 Chron. 17:4).   

1Ch 22:3 David prepared iron in abundance for the nails for the doors of the gates, and for the couplings; and brass in abundance without weight-
David prepared for the temple right down to the nails and hinges. He was obviously reasoning that he could 'get around' the prohibition against building a temple by getting Solomon to do it after his death. Or it could even be that David was planning to get Solomon to build it once Solomon was old enough to do so, even within David's lifetime. The reasons given as to why God didn't want a temple built were relevant for all time, and not just to David.

1Ch 22:4 and cedar trees without number; for the Sidonians and Tyrians brought cedar trees in abundance to David-
David's own house was built of cedar (1 Chron. 17:1), and there was a very good spiritual reason God's dwelling place was not in cedar but beneath tents (1 Chron. 17:3-6). But David was driven by guilt because of his cedar house; and instead of trusting God to remove that guilt, he wanted to build God a cedar house. And the same kind of quasi spiritual psychologies go on in Christian minds today.

1Ch 22:5 David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be built for Yahweh must be exceedingly magnificent, of fame and of glory throughout all nations. I will therefore make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death-
David said" may mean that he said this in his heart (as in 1 Sam. 27:1). He speaks of how "the house is to be built for Yahweh", but totally misses the point- that God rejected that and instead offered to build a house for him. But the grace of it all seemed too much, and he wanted to instead do works. God had promised that He would build up Israel, the faithful community, the house of David, to have "fame and glory" in the Gentile world (Dt. 26:19 s.w.). But David wanted to make a building of bricks and mortar which would have "fame and glory". He is totally missing the point. "Fame" is the word for "name"; and it was Yahweh's Name which was to be made glorious through His people's manifestation of that Name in their characters (s.w. Is. 63:12,14; Jer. 13:11). This was to be the witness to "all nations", and not a magnificent building in Jerusalem.   

1Ch 22:6 Then he called for Solomon his son, and commanded him to build a house for Yahweh, the God of Israel-
This sounds as if David asked Solomon to do this during David's lifetime. He was clearly seeking to 'get around' God's forbidding of himself to do it, by getting it done in Solomon's name. But that was to miss the point of all the reasons given as to why God didn't want a temple built.

1Ch 22:7 David said to Solomon his son, As for me, it was in my heart to build a house to the name of Yahweh my God-
God's response to this had been to tell David that He would build David a house for His Name to dwell in; the idea being of a community of people who would manifest the characteristics of that Name (2 Sam. 7:13). God's Name was already dwelling in the sanctuary (Dt. 12:5), and David had been wrong to suggest that this Name would dwell in a physical building. But he ignores God's perspective on this, and claims that God was "for" his project, but just had some hang ups about David doing it. This is a misrepresentation of the reasons God gave for forbidding David to build the temple (1 Chron. 17:4-7).

1Ch 22:8 But the word of Yahweh came to me saying, ‘You have shed blood abundantly, and have made great wars. You shall not build a house to My name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in My sight-
Given the fact that David has willfully misrepresented God's response to him and the prohibition of 1 Chron. 17:4-7, I suspect this was not what God said. It was David's attempt to justify God's refusal of his plan.

But taking what he said as being actually some unrecorded revelation of God to him, there does seem some appropriacy in the reasons given. Although in this case, it seems therefore inappropriate for David to tell Solomon from his deathbed to shed the blood of all his potential competitors. It seems that David's revelling in the blood of the condemned, as so often seen in his Psalms (e.g. Ps. 58:10) is out of step with the God who takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ez. 33:11). It was perhaps because of David's attitude to "blood" rather than simply his shedding of blood which disqualified him from building the temple; God was not pleased with this attitude. See on :9.Many have struggled to reconcile the statement that David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam. 13:14) with the fact that his life contains many examples not only of failure, but of anger and a devaluing of human life. He was barred from building the temple because of the amount of blood he had shed (1 Chron. 22:8). The figure of ‘shedding blood’ takes us back to the incident with Nabal, where David three times is mentioned as intending to “shed blood” (1 Sam. 25:26-33), only to be turned away from his sinful course by the wisdom, spirituality and charm of Abigail. David started out as the spiritually minded, humble shepherd, full of faith and zeal for his God. Hence Jehoshaphat is commended for walking “in the first ways of his father David” (2 Chron. 17:3). It seems to me that the comment that David was “a man after God’s own heart” refers to how he initially was, at the time God chose him and rejected Saul. But the trauma of his life, the betrayals, jealousies and hatred of others, led him to the kind of bitterness which so often surfaces in the Psalms and is reflected in several historical incidents where he lacks the value of others’ lives which we would otherwise expect from a man who walked so close with his God.

Consider the collective force of some of those incidents:
- When told to slay 100 Philistines, he slays 200 for good measure (1 Sam. 18:25,27)
- David’s eager taking of the sword of Goliath (1 Sam. 21:9- “There is none like that; give it me”) contrasts sadly with his earlier rejection of such weapons in order to slay Goliath. And David later reflects how he knew that his faithless taking of that sword and the shewbread would lead to the death of Abiathar’s family ((1 Sam. 22:22). But still he did it.
- His anger with Nabal and desire to slay all “that piss against the wall” who lived with “this fellow” ((1 Sam. 25:21,22 AV) is expressed in crude terms; and he later thanks Abigail for persuading him not to “shed blood” and “avenging myself with mine own hand” ((1 Sam. 25:33)- the very things he elsewhere condemns in his Psalms (e.g. Ps. 44:3). Time and again in the Psalms, David uses that Hebrew word translated “avenging myself” about how God and not man will revenge / save him against his enemies, for God saves / avenges the humble in spirit not by their strength and troops but by His. But in the anger of hot blood, David let go of all those fine ideas. He had some sort of an anger problem.
- David says that the servants of Saul are “worthy to die” because they fell asleep as a result of “a deep sleep from the Lord” which fell on them, and therefore didn’t protect Saul (1 Sam. 26:12,16). Were they really that guilty of death for this? There doesn’t appear to be any Biblical command David was quoting.
- “I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul” is surely a collapse of faith (1 Sam. 27:1). And it led to the way in which David deceived Achish by pretending he was attacking Jewish towns, when in fact he was going out and attacking the Amalekite settlements, killing all men, women and children in them so that nobody was left alive to tell that it was David who had attacked them (1 Sam. 27:8-10). Innocent people were slain by David’s sword for the ‘political’ reason that he had to keep Achish ‘in the dark’ about what he was really up to. And so in case a 5 year old say something incriminating later, David simply killed the little boy. We get the impression this was another example of his wrong attitude to the shedding of blood (1 Chron. 22:8). Indeed, when Achish later says that David would be best not to go with him to fight Saul, David hypocritically says: “But what have I done? And what have you found in your servant so long as I have been with you unto this day, that I may not go fight against the enemies [i.e. Saul] of my lord the king?” (1 Sam. 29:8). This was hardly an example of the “integrity” and “uprightness” which David glorifies in his Psalms, and which he insisted he was full of (Ps. 25:21). Indeed he claims that his integrity is the basis of his acceptance by God (Ps. 26:1).
- It’s recorded that in the ethnic cleansing which David performed, he took the spoil of those settlements for himself (1 Sam. 27:9). Indeed when he destroyed Ziklag, he took away their herds “and said, This is David’s spoil” (1 Sam. 30:20). We get the impression this was another example of his wrong attitude to the shedding of blood (1 Chron. 22:8).
- When Saul is killed, a young Amalekite hopeful comes to David with the story that he had killed Saul, trying to curry favour with David and secure his own release as a prisoner of war. David executed him (2 Sam. 1:15). It seems to me that this was an over the top reaction, and yet again betrays a lack of value and meaning attached to the human person. There was no attempt to convert the frightened young man to grace, to the God of Israel. The summary slaying of Rechab and Baanah has some similarities (2 Sam. 4:12).
- David made the captives lay down in three lines. He arbitrarily chose one line to keep alive, and killed the other two lines (2 Sam. 8:2). This can’t be justified as some careful obedience to some Mosaic law. It reads like something out of the Holocaust, an arbitrary slaying of some in order to exercise the whim of one’s own power. No wonder David was barred from building the temple because of his attitude to bloodshed. Likewise when Rabbah is captured, David proudly puts the crown of the king on his head, grabs their spoil for himself (not following Abraham's example), “and he brought forth the people that were therein, and put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brick kiln: and thus did he unto all the cities of the children of Ammon” (2 Sam. 12:31). Now all that is torture. It’s one thing to obey Divine commands about slaying enemies; it’s another to willfully torture them, Auschwitz-style. These incidents reveal David at his worst. And again- did he really have to ensure that every male in Edom was murdered (1 Kings 11:15,16)- was that really necessary? What about the mums, wives, sisters left weeping, and the fatherless daughters, left to grow up in the dysfunction of a leaderless Middle Eastern home? Those men were all somebody’s sons, brothers, fathers, grandfathers. Was David really obeying some Divine command here, or was this the dictate of his own anger and dysfunctional bloodlust?
- David’s murder of Uriah and his sin with Bathsheba again reflects this same lack of value of the human person, even of his faithful friends.
- When David is asked to give seven men of the family of Saul as a blood sacrifice to appease the rain god who was not sending rain, David agrees. He doesn’t make the Biblical argument that rain being withheld indicates the need for repentance before Yahweh, and that sacrificing humans is wrong and won’t change anything in this context. He gives in to the false understanding of the Gibeonites, breaking his undertakings to Saul and Jonathan by doing so, and selects seven men to be slain and hung up. We read of the mother of two of them, Rizpah, lovingly watching over the bodies of her sons day and night, with all the distraction of true love (2 Sam. 21:10). David didn’t have to do this. But he did. We get the impression this was another example of his wrong attitude to the shedding of blood (1 Chron. 22:8). He doesn’t seem to have cared for the mother’s feelings, nor for the lives of her sons. And note that David makes up the total of seven men by having the five foster sons of his own estranged wife Michal slain. Was this not David somehow hitting back at Michal, who had mocked him for his style of worship in 2 Sam. 6? And how did Adriel, the father of those five sons, feel? He wasn’t of the house of Saul, but because of David’s desire to placate someone else, he lost all his sons, just because his wife had died and Saul’s daughter had raised them. And yet this same David is recorded as saying soon afterwards: “I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his ordinances were before me; And as for his statutes, I did not depart from them. I was also perfect toward him; And I kept myself from mine iniquity. Therefore hath the Lord recompensed me according to my righteousness, According to my cleanness in his eyesight” (2 Sam. 22:22-25).
- David seems to glory in how he destroyed his enemies- “I might destroy them that hate me… then did I beat them as small as the dust of the earth, I did stamp them as the more of the street, and did spread them [i.e. their body parts] abroad” (2 Sam. 22:41-43). Can this really be justified as obedience to Divine commands? Is this not the expression of blood lust and anger? And isn’t it therefore self-righteous to style himself “the anointed of the God of Jacob, the sweet psalmist of Israel” (2 Sam. 23:1)? Was he really “sweet”?
- David earlier forgave Shimei for cursing him. But he tells Solomon to bring down that old man’s white hairs to the grave with blood on them- again, a crude image for the murder of an old man. And he uses the same awful turn of phrase to ask Solomon to do this also to his lifelong friend Joab (1 Kings 2:6,9). Surely grace would’ve found another way?

1 Chron. 22:8; 28:3 are reported speech by David. We wonder if he wasn’t imagining this. Why should it be morally objectionable for David to build the temple because he was a man of war? Yahweh is a man of war, yet He was to build David's house. We only learn about God's objection to David building the temple from the passages where David reports what God apparently told him, and from Solomon repeating this. If God did actually say this, then there is a logical contradiction between this and His statements about not wanting a house at all. If He was saying 'I want a physical house, but not built by David', then this appears irreconcilable with the reasons He is actually recorded as giving David for not wanting a house (see on 2 Sam. 7:7-11). Either God wanted a house or He didn't. See on 1 Chron. 28:5,6.

Solomon's take on this is in 1 Kings 5:3: "You know how that David my father could not build a house for the name of Yahweh his God for the wars which were about him on every side, until Yahweh put his enemies under the soles of his feet". Solomon had a way of spinning things, even God’s word, in his own selfish way. David had insisted that God had told him that he couldn’t build the temple because he had shed so much blood in war (1 Chron. 22:8). But Solomon just slightly spins this when he asks Hiram to come and help him build the temple, because, he says, his father David hadn’t had the time to get around to the job because of being busy fighting wars (1 Kings 5:3). He says nothing about David shedding blood; the moral aspect of it all is nicely ignored by Solomon.  

1Ch 22:9 Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of peace. I will give him peace from all his enemies all around; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days-
I wonder whether God did in fact say :8,9, or whether they are David's assumptions of what he thought God had said. We are told in Is.66:1 that it is not possible to build God a house; and we have seen above that the house God wants is a household of believers, built by Himself through Christ. So we have to conclude that David was deeply puzzled as to why he couldn't build God a house, and he concluded that it must be because he had shed so much blood; and therefore he eventually came to the conclusion that God had actually said this to him. It is quite likely that David was paranoid about being guilty of the blood of Saul's house (2 Sam. 3:28,29; 4:11,12; 1:16 cp. 16:8); see how aware of this he felt in 1 Sam. 22:22; 24:5; 26:9.  This would not be the first time Yahweh's servants have done this kind of thing- speculating upon what they wish God had said, until they come to the conclusion that this is actually what He wants. Nathan initially told David to build the temple, sure that this was what God would say- but not so. The sad thing is that Solomon took this as Scripture. David's immediate response to the promises to him says nothing about Solomon building the temple; rather does David praise God for His plan of salvation in Christ. One wonders how accurate was David's account of the promises in 1 Chron. 22:9: "A son shall be born to thee... I will give him rest from all his enemies [without mentioning any conditions]... his name shall be Solomon". Due to his apostacy, Solomon did not have rest from his enemies (1 Kings 5:4). Note that the fact the record is undoubtedly inspired does not mean that all inspired words are factually accurate- the speeches of Job’s friends are recorded under inspiration, as are the claims of Sennacherib, but what they say is criticized within Scripture as being inaccurate.

1Ch 22:10 He shall build a house for My name; and he shall be My son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever’-
This again is a misrepresentation of what God said. He said that David need not build any physical temple, but He would build for David a house, and this would be achieved through a special Messianic descendant of David. But the record in 2 Sam. 7 was clear that the achievement of this was to be conditional upon the obedience of that special Davidic seed. The essential contradiction with the letter and spirit of the actual promises is such that I conclude that here we have David stating his assumptions as God's word. This is a basic human failure we see going on all the time.

1Ch 22:11 Now, my son, may Yahweh be with you and prosper you, and build the house of Yahweh your God, as He has spoken concerning you-
David liked to imagine that Solomon would "prosper" because he built the temple (1 Chron. 22:11); but such prosperity was conditional. The exiles wanted the "prosperity" of the Kingdom immediately (s.w. Ps. 118:25); but this prosperity was conditional upon their obedience to the covenant (s.w. Josh. 1:8); they would never "prosper" whilst disobeying it (s.w. Dt. 28:29), nor could they "prosper" to enter the land as intended whilst faithless (Num. 14:41 s.w.). The faithful minority amongst the exiles believed God would prosper them in rebuilding Solomon's temple (Neh. 2:20), and He was indeed eager to do so (Is. 55:11); but this was not to be, because the majority were faithless. This prosperity was to finally only be through the work of the Lord Jesus (Is. 53:10), seeing Solomon and the later potential 'servant' figures of the restoration all failed (Is. 48:15).

1Ch 22:12 May Yahweh give you discretion and understanding, and put you in charge of Israel; that so you may keep the law of Yahweh your God-
The conditionality of the promises is rather skirted around here. David thinks that his prayer can result in God giving Solomon the wisdom required to be obedient to His law. Solomon's personal volition in that obedience doesn't seem to figure. And therefore God had to specifically appear to Solomon and warn him about this. He went wrong exactly because he assumed that as David's chosen son, he could not go morally wrong.

1Ch 22:13 Then you will prosper, if you observe to do the statutes and the ordinances which Yahweh gave Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and courageous. Don’t be afraid, neither be dismayed-

Solomon's prophetic sonship of David was conditional upon him preserving or observing Yahweh's ways (1 Kings 2:4; 1 Chron. 22:13; 2 Chron. 7:17); but he didn't preserve of observe them (1 Kings 11:10,11); despite David praying that Solomon would be given a heart to observe them (1 Chron. 29:19). We can pray for God to work upon the hearts of others, but He will not force people against their own deepest will and heart position. Solomon stresses overmuch how God would keep or preserve the righteous (Prov. 2:8; 3:26), without recognizing the conditional aspect of this. Why did Solomon go wrong? His Proverbs are true enough, but he stresses that obedience to his wisdom and teaching would preserve his hearers (Prov. 4:4; 6:22; 7:1; 8:32; 15:5), preservation was through following the example of the wise (Prov. 2:20); rather than stressing obedience to God's ways, and replacing David his father's simple love of God with a love of academic wisdom: "Yahweh preserves all those who love Him" (Ps. 145:20). Being "afraid and dismayed" is the term used of how Israel generally were terrified of Goliath, whereas David by faith wasn't (1 Sam. 17:11). David in turn uses it to his son Solomon (1 Chron. 22:13; 28:20). He was thereby urging Solomon not to worry if he was out of step with all Israel; if they were dismayed and terrified, he was still to walk in faith as David had done at the time of the Goliath crisis. It is also used to urge the people toward the spirit of David rather than that of Israel in 2 Chron. 20:15,17. The same phrase is also used in urging the people of Judah in Hezekiah's time to consider the Assyrians to be as a Goliath which they like David could vanquish (2 Chron. 32:7). The exiles likewise were urged not to be dismayed and terrified at the reproach of men (Is. 51:7; Jer. 30:10), very clearly making the history with Goliath relevant to their times.

1Ch 22:14 Now, behold, I have made a great effort in preparing for the house of Yahweh one hundred thousand talents of gold, one million talents of silver, and brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance. I have also prepared timber and stone; and you may add to them-
"Made a great effort" is RVmg. "in my low estate". David makes a juxtaposition between his own lowness, and the super abundance of wealth he has given for the temple. He makes an appropriate distinction between his wealth and himself personally. However the figures seem so exaggerated and not literal. The more wealthy Solomon only received 666 talents of gold / year (1 Kings 10:14), so 100,000 talents of gold is an unrealistic figure. Although if Chronicles was rewritten in exile, the talents may refer to Persian talents, which were far less than hebrew talents. 

1Ch 22:15 There are also workmen with you in abundance, cutters and workers of stone and timber, and all kinds of men who are skilful in every kind of work-
Solomon however didn't begin the work until after David's death. David had prepared the workmen at this stage but it seems they were not used, and so when Solomon began the work, he had to seek such workmen again (2 Chron. 2:7).

1Ch 22:16 of the gold, silver, brass and iron, there is no number. Arise and be doing, and may Yahweh be with you-
David makes no reference to how these things were to happen when he slept with his fathers (2 Sam. 7:12). Rather does he tell Solomon to get on and begin the building work immediately, now he had the commission. "Arise and be doing" is quoted in Ezra 10:4 about the work of the restoration of the temple.

1Ch 22:17 David also commanded all the princes of Israel to help Solomon his son, saying-
This again sounds like David was asking them to give Solomon their immediate and instant support. David makes no reference to how these things were to happen when he slept with his fathers (2 Sam. 7:12).

1Ch 22:18 Isn’t Yahweh your God with you? Hasn’t He given you rest on every side? For He has delivered the inhabitants of the land into my hand; and the land is subdued before Yahweh and before His people-
David "subdued" the nations, using the word often used of the command to subdue the nations of Canaan (Num. 32:22,29; Josh. 18:1). He is presented as a second Joshua, subduing the land as it ought to have been subdued, and therefore becoming what Adam ought to have been in Eden (Gen. 1:28 s.w.). This is another indication that the garden of Eden was effectively the eretz or land promised to Abraham.

However, David's presentation of himself and his kingdom being at peace is hardly accurate. He suffered rebellions, revolution, putsch and betrayal right to his death bed, where with his last breath he has to try to put down Adonijah's power grab, and he just about lived to see lifelong supporters like Joab turn against him politically in his closing days. He has in his mind the idea that peace is required for the temple to be built, and so he assumes that situation has now come. Such was his obsession and desire to see things coming true.

1Ch 22:19 Now set your heart and your soul to seek after Yahweh your God. Arise therefore, and build the sanctuary of Yahweh God, to bring the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of Yahweh
Indeed it is the state of the human heart which is critical. But David wrongly sees the natural outcome of a heart focused upon Yahweh as wanting to build the temple. Although God had forbidden it. God had clearly stated that the ark was where He wanted it- in a tent, behind curtains. And He did not want a brick house around it. And yet David urges people to enable the very opposite- to build a sanctuary in terms of a physical building, and to place the ark within it. The whole land was seen by God as a sanctuary / holy place s.w. Ex. 15:17). "Let them make Me a sanctuary" (Ex. 25:8) uses a very general word for making / doing, whereas  David is trying to localize and define the sanctuary / holy place and is implying God had no such holy place- until it had been built according to his plans. The Kohathites are described as carrying "the sanctuary" (s.w., Num. 10:21); it was the ark which was the essential sanctuary or holy place. But David speaks about the building he proposed around that ark as being the sanctuary. And so form had replaced content, the external the internal, as so often happens when the pole of religion overtakes that of spirituality.