Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Chapter XIV
Chapter XV
Chapter XVI
Chapter XVII
Chapter XVIII
Chapter XIX
Chapter XX
Chapter XXI
Chapter XXII
Chapter XXIII
Chapter XXIV
Chapter XXV
Chapter XXVI
Chapter XXVII
Chapter XXVIII
Chapter XXIX

The chief design of these books is, to compleat the history of the kings of Judah; to gather up fragments of sacred history, which were omitted in the books of Samuel and Kings; to explain some passages there mentioned, and to give an exact account of the genealogies. This was then a work of great necessity, to preserve the distinction of the tribes and families; that it might appear, Christ came of that nation, tribe and family, of which he was to be born. And this account, having been hitherto neglected, is most seasonably mentioned in these books, compiled by Ezra after the captivity, because this was to be, in a manner, the last part of the Sacred history of the Old Testament. If many things herein are now obscure to us, they were not so to the Hebrews. And all the persons here named were known to them, by those exact genealogies, which they kept in their several families, and in public registers. In this first book we have a collection of Sacred genealogies, from Adam to David, with several histories inserted, chap. 1 - 9. An account of the translation of the kingdom from Saul to David, and of David's reign, chap. 10 - 21. An account of the settlement of ecclesiastical affairs by David, and of his preparations for building the temple, chap. 22 - 29. These are words of days as the Hebrew title runs, of the best days of the Old Testament Church. But now He is come, for whose sake the registers were preserved, the Jews have lost all their genealogies, even that of the priests, so that there is not any man in the world, that can prove himself of the house of Aaron.

Chapter I

The descents from Adam to Noah and his sons, ver. 1 - 4. The posterity of Japheth and Ham, ver. 5 - 16. Of Shem to Abraham, ver. 17 - 27. Abraham's posterity by Ishmael, ver. 28 - 31. By Keturah, ver. 32, 33. The posterity of Isaac by Esau, ver. 34 - 54.

1 Sheth - Adam begat Sheth: and so in the following particulars. For brevity sake he only mentions their names; but the rest is easily understood out of the former books. This appears as the peculiar glory of the Jewish nation, that they alone were able to trace their pedigree from the first man that God created, which no other nation pretended to, but abused themselves and their posterity with fabulous accounts of their originals: the people of Thessaly fancying that they sprang from stones, the Athenians, that they grew out of the earth.
5 The sons of Japheh - The historian repeating the account of the replenishing the earth by the sons of Noah, begins with those that were strangers to the church, the sons of Japheth, who peopled Europe, of whom he says little, as the Jews had hitherto little or no dealings with them. He proceeds to those that had many of them been enemies to the church, and thence hastens to the line of Abraham, breaking off abruptly from all the other families of the sons of Noah, but that of Arphaxad, from whom Christ was to come. The great promise of the Messiah was transmitted from Adam to Seth, from him to Shem, from him to Eber, and so to the Jewish nation, who were intrusted above all nations with that sacred treasure, 'till the promise was performed, and the Messiah was come: and then that nation was made not a people.
14 The Jebusite - The names which follow until ver.17, are not the names of particular persons, but of people or nations. And all these descended from Canaan, though some of them were afterwards extinct or confounded with others of their brethren by cohabitation or mutual marriages, whereby they lost their names: which is the reason why they are no more mentioned, at least under these names.
17 The sons - Either the name of sons is so taken here as to include grandsons, or, these words, the children of Aram, are understood before Uz, out of Gen 10:23, where they are expressed.
18 Begat - Either immediately, or mediately by his son Cainan, who is expressed, Luke 3:35.
19 Divided - In their languages and habitations.
24 Arphaxad - Having given a brief and general account of the original of the world and the people in it, he now returns to a more large and particular account of the genealogy of Shem, from whom the Jews were descended.
28 The sons of Abraham - All nations but the seed of Abraham are already shaken off from this genealogy. Not that we conclude, no particular persons of any other nation but this found favour with God. Multitudes will be brought to heaven out of every nation, and we may hope there were many, very many people in the world, whose names were in the book of life, tho' they did not spring from the loins of Abraham.
36 Timna - There is another Timna, the concubine of Eliphaz, Gen 36:12, but this was one of his sons, though called by the same name; there being some names common both to men and women in the Hebrew and in other languages.
38 Seir - One of another nation, prince of the Horims; whose genealogy is here described, because of that affinity which was contracted between his and Esau's posterity; and those who were not united and incorporated with them, were destroyed by them. See Deut 2:12.
54 These are the dukes of Edom - Let us, in reading these genealogies, think of the multitudes that have gone thro' the world, have successively acted their parts in it, and retired into darkness. All these and all theirs had their day; many of them made a mighty noise in the world; until their day came to fall, and their place knew them no more. The paths of death are trodden paths. How soon are we to tread them?

Chapter II

The sons of Jacob, ver. 1 - 2. Of Judah, to Jesse, ver. 3 - 12. Of Jesse, ver. 13 - 17. Of Caleb, the son of Hezron, ver. 18 - 20. Of Hezron, ver. 21 - 24. Of Jerahmeel down to Elishama, ver. 25 - 41. Another branch of Caleb's posterity, ver. 42 - 49. The sons of Caleb, the son of Hur, ver. 50 - 55.

3 Judah - Whom he puts first, because the best part of the right of the firstborn, namely, the dominion, was conferred upon him, Gen 49:8, and because the Messiah was to come out of his loins.
6 Dara - If these be the same who are mentioned as the sons of Machol, 1Kings 4:31, either the same man had two names, Zerah and Machol, as was usual among the Hebrews: or, one of these was their immediate father, and the other their grand - father. These are named, because they were the glory of their father's house. When the Holy Ghost would magnify the wisdom of Solomon, he saith, he was wiser than these four men. That four brothers should be so eminent, was a rare thing.
7 Carmi - Who is here mentioned, because he was the son of Zimri, who is also called Zabdi, Jos 7:1. Achar - Called Achan, Jos 7:1, and here Achar, with a little variation for greater significancy: for Achar signifies a troubler.
13 Eliab - Called also Elihu, chap.27:18, unless that was another person, and the word brother be taken more largely for a kinsman, as it is frequently.
15 Seventh - He had eight sons, 1Sam 16:10, but probably one of them died presently after that time.
17 Ishmaelite - By birth or habitation, but by profession an Israelite, 2Sam 17:25.
18 Her sons - The sons of Azubah, who is by way of distinction called his wife, when Jerioth probably was only his concubine, and, it may seem, barren: therefore upon Azubah's death he married another wife. And those other sons of this Caleb mentioned, ver.42, are his sons by some other wife distinct from all these.
21 Gilead - Of a man so called: a man of noted valour, and the great champion in those parts.
23 Sons of Machir - Partly to his own sons, and partly to his son - in - law Jair, who by reason of that dear affection which was betwixt them, and his forsaking his own tribe and kindred to fight for them and to dwell with them, is here reckoned as his own son.
24 Tekoa - A known place whose father he is called, because he was either the progenitor of the people inhabiting there: or, their prince and ruler: or, the builder of the city.
31 The sons - An expression often used in prophane authors too, where there is but one son.
35 Jarha - Probably he was not only a proselyte, but an eminent man: else an Israelite would not have given him his only daughter.
45 Beth - zur - A place in Judah.
49 Madmannah - This, and divers other following names are the names of places in Judah.
51 Bethlehem - That is, the inhabitants of Bethlehem.
55 Scribes - Either civil, who were public notaries, that wrote and signed legal instruments: or ecclesiastical. And these were either Levites, or Simeonites, or rather Kenites, and are here mentioned not as if they were of the tribe of Judah, but because they dwelt among them, and probably were allied to them by marriages, and so in a manner incorporated with them.

Chapter III

The sons of David, ver. 1 - 9. His successors in the throne, ver. 10 - 16. The remains of his family in and after the captivity, ver. 17 - 24.

3 His wife - Possibly so called because she was his first, and therefore most proper wife, though her son was born after all the rest before mentioned, and therefore she and her son are put in the sixth place, the wive being here named only for the sons sake.
5 Four - All David's children by her, as the text positively affirms: and therefore Solomon is called her, only son, Prov 4:3, because she loved him as if he had been so. Ammiel - Called also Eliam, 2Sam 11:3.
6 Eliphelet - And he had two other sons called by the same names, ver.8, probably they were by different wives: and probably they were then distinguished by some additional clause or title, which is here omitted, because the two first were dead before the two second were born, and therefore the names of the deceased were given to these to preserve their memory.
8 Nine - There are but seven mentioned, 2Sam 5:14. Two of them are omitted there, because they died very early, and here we have all the sons of David, which clause is not added 2Sam 5:13 - 16.
15 Shallum - Which most conceive to be the same who is called Jehoahaz, 2Kings 23:30.
16 Zedekiak - This was another Zedekiah. How seldom has a crown gone in a direct line, from father to son, as it did here, for seventeen generations! This was the recompense of David's piety. About the captivity the lineal descent was interrupted, and the crown went from a nephew to an uncle, a presage of the glory's departing from that house.
17 Assir - Or, of Jechoniah the captive, which is added to shew that he begat his son when he was captive in Babylon.
18 Pedaiah - The sentence seems to be short and imperfect, as is frequent in the Hebrew language, and something is here understood, as, the sons also of Salathiel were Malchiram and Pedaiah, &c. as they gather from hence that the same Zerubbabel is called the son of Pedaiah, ver.19, and the son (that is, the grandson) of Salathiel, Matt 1:12.
19 Their sister - Sister to the two last named sons of Zerubbabel, namely, by both parents; and therefore named before the other five, ver.20, who were her brethren by the father, but not by the mother.
21 Shechaniah - All these both parents and their sons blended together, are mentioned as the sons of Hananiah, and branches of the royal stock.
22 Six - Including the father. But the Hebrew word, Shisha, which is rendered six, may be the proper name of one of the sons of Shemaiah.

Chapter IV

The prosperity of Shobal, ver. 1 - 4. Of Ashur, ver. 5 - 8. The character and prayer of Jabez, ver. 9, 10. The posterity of Chelah and others, ver. 11 - 20. Of Shelah, ver. 21 - 23. The posterity, cities and victories of Simeon, ver. 24 - 43.

1 The sons - The posterity: for only Pharez was his immediate son. But they are all mentioned here only to shew Shobal's descent from Judah.
9 Honourably - For courage, and for fervent piety. She records this, that it might be a memorandum to herself, to be thankful to God as long as she lived, for bringing her through that sorrow: and a memorandum to him, that she bore him into a vale of tears, in which he might expect few days and full of trouble. And the sorrow in his name might serve to put a seriousness upon his spirit.
10 Called - When he was undertaking some great and dangerous service. Enlarge - Drive out these Canaanites, whom thou hast commanded us to root out. Grieve - That it may not oppress and overcome me: more is understood than is expressed. He useth this expression in allusion to his name, which signifies grief. And God granted, &c. - Prospered him remarkably in his undertakings, in his studies, in his worldly business, and in his conflicts with the Canaanites.
12 Rechab - From these are sprung the present inhabitants of Rechab, a town not elsewhere mentioned.
14 Father - Of the inhabitants of the valley.
21 Shelah - Having treated of the posterity of Judah by Pharez, and by Zara, he now comes to his progeny by Shelah.
22 Had dominion - Which they ruled in the name and for the use of the kings of Judah, to whom Moab was subject from David's time. Ancient things - The sense is those blessed times are long since past. Our ancestors had the dominion over the Heathen, but their degenerate posterity are slaves in Chaldea, were they are employed as potters or gardeners, or in other servile works.
23 There are - He seems to oppose their present servitude to their former glory, and to shew their mean spirits that had rather tarry among the Heathen to do their drudgery, than return to Jerusalem to serve God and enjoy their freedom. The king - Of Babylon: esteeming it a greater honour to serve that earthly monarch in the meanest employments, than to serve the king of kings in his temple.
27 Of Judah - The tribe of Simeon did not increase proportionably to the tribe of Judah in which they dwelt; as appears by those two catalogues, Numb 1:22 26:14, which is to be ascribed to God's curse upon them, delivered by the mouth of holy Jacob, Gen 49:5 - 7, and signified by Moses's neglect of them when he blessed all the other tribes.
31 Their cities - Several of these cities though given to Simeon by Joshua, yet through the sloth or cowardice of that tribe, were not taken from the Philistines, until David's time, who took some of them; and, the Simeonites having justly forfeited their right to them by their neglect, gave them to his own tribe. For it is evident concerning Ziklag, one of them, that it was in the Philistines hands in David's time, and by them given to him, and by him annexed to the tribe of Judah, 1Sam 27:6.
40 Fat pasture, &c. - Those who thus dwelt (as we do) in a fruitful country, and whose land is wide and quiet and peaceable, have reason to own themselves indebted to that God, who appoints the bounds of our habitation. Of Ham - The Canaanites, who descended from Ham. And accordingly these words contain a reason, why they went and possessed this place, because it was not in the hands of their brethren of Judah, but in the possession of that people which they had authority to expel.

Chapter V

The genealogies of Reuben, ver. 1 - 10. Of Gad, ver. 11 - 17. Joined together they conquer the Hagarites, ver. 18 - 22. Of the half tribe of Manasseh, ver. 23, 24. They are led captive by the king of Assyria, ver. 26, 26.

1 Sons of Israel - This is added emphatically, because they were treated as if they had been the immediate sons of Jacob. Not reckoned - This is the second reason, which sheweth both why Reuben's genealogy was not first mentioned; and if another tribe was to be ranked before it, why that was Judah, and not Joseph, because the order of their genealogy was not to be ruled by the birthright, but by an higher privilege, which was given to Judah.
2 Judah - Not the person, but the tribe of Judah. Prevailed - Excelled the other tribes, especially in the following privilege.
9 Euphrates - From Jordan and the wilderness beyond it unto Euphrates. Or, of the wilderness, which lies towards or reacheth to the river Euphrates, namely, the great wilderness of Kedemoth, Deut 2:26, which was extended far and wide towards Euphrates: for that was the eastern border of Reuben's possession, and not Euphrates, to which their habitation never reached. Multiplied - Which forced them to enlarge their habitation as far as they could towards Euphrates.
10 They made war - Thus God did for his people, as he promised them. He cast out the enemy from before them by little and little, and gave them their land as they had occasion for it.
14 These - These seven last named.
20 Helped - By God, ver.22, who gave them extraordinary courage and success.
22 Was of God - Undertaken in his fear, and carried on in a dependence on him. Then we may expect to prosper in any enterprize, and then only, when we take God along with us.

Chapter VI

The first fathers of the tribe of Levi, ver. 1 - 3. The line of the priests from Aaron to the captivity, ver. 4 - 15. Of some other families, ver. 16 - 30. The work of the Levites, ver. 31 - 48 Of the priests, ver. 49 - 53. The cities of the priests and Levites, ver. 54 - 81.

10 The priest's office - So did all the rest, but it is implied that he did it worthily, he filled his place, and valiantly discharged his office in Uzziah's time. Solomon built - In Solomon's temple; so called to distinguish it from the second temple which was built or in building when these books were written.
44 Ethan - Called also Jeduthun, chap.9:16 2Chron 35:15, and in the titles of divers psalms.
54 Castles - So called, not only because, walled and well guarded by the country; but because they and their possessions were in a particular manner the care of divine providence. As God was their portion, so God was their protector. And a cottage will be a castle to those that abide under the shadow of the Almighty. The lot - Or, the first lot.
66 Coasts - Or, of their borders, of their country contained within its borders.

Chapter VII

The prosperity of Issachar, ver. 1 - 5. Of Benjamin, ver. 6 - 12. Of Naphtali, ver. 13. Of Manasseh, ver. 14 - 19. Of Ephraim, ver. 20 - 29. Of Asher, ver. 30 - 40.

6 Three - They were ten, Gen 46:25, and five of them are named, chap.1Ch 8:1, but here only three are mentioned, either because these were most eminent; or because the other families are now extinct.
7 Heads - Each of them head of that family to which he belonged. For it may seem by comparing this with chap.8:3, &c. that these were not the immediate sons of Belah, but his Grand - children descended each from a several father.
14 She - His wife; his concubine is here opposed to her.
15 Second - Of the second son or grandson of Machir; for so Zelophehad was. Had daughters - Only daughters, and no sons.
17 These - Ashriel and Zelophehad, named ver.14,15, the relative being here referred to the remoter antecedent; as is frequent in the Hebrew.
18 His - Gilead's sister. Mahalah - Understand, and Shemida, out of the next verse.
21 Slew - This history is not recorded else where in scripture, but it is in the ancient Hebrew writers. The Philistines (one of whose cities Gath was) and the Egyptians were next neighbours; and in those ancient times it was usual for such to make inroads one into another's country, and to carry thence what prey they could take. And as the Philistines had probably made such inroads formerly into Egypt, and particularly into the land of Goshen, which was the utmost part of Egypt bordering upon the Philistines land; so the Israelites might requite them in the like kind: and particularly the children of Ephraim, to their own loss. And this seems to have happened a little before the Egyptian persecution, and before the reign of that new king mentioned Exod 1:8. And this clause, that were born in that land, may be added emphatically, as the motive which made them more resolute in their fight with the Ephraimites, because they fought in, and for their own land, wherein all their wealth and concerns lay.
23 Bare a son - Thus the breach was in some measure repaired, by the addition of another son in his old age. When God thus restores comfort to his mourners, he makes glad according to the days wherein he afflicted, setting the mercies over against the crosses, we ought to observe the kindness of his providence. Yet the joy that a man was born into his family could not make him forget his grief. For he gives a melancholy name to his son, Beriah, that is, in trouble: for he was born when the family was in mourning. It is good to have in remembrance the affliction and the misery which are past, that our souls may be humbled within us.

Chapter VIII

Some of the heads of the tribe of Benjamin, ver. 1 - 32. The family of Saul, ver. 33 - 40.

6 These - These following, ver.7, because he here speaks of them who were removed. He describes the sons of Benjamin by the places of their habitation, without an exact account of their parents; because their genealogies were broken by that almost total extirpation of this tribe, Judg 20:29 - 48.
28 Heads of the fathers, &c. - Particular notice is taken of these, that others, at their return from captivity, might be induced to settle there too, which it seems few were willing to do, because it was the post of danger. Many great and mighty nations were then upon earth, and many illustrious men in them, whose names are buried in perpetual oblivion, while the names of multitudes of the Israel of God, are here carefully preserved in everlasting remembrance: a figure of God's writing the names of his spiritual Israel, in the Lamb's book of life.
40 Archers - Heb. that tread the bow; for the bows of steel, which these used, required great strength to bend them; which therefore they did by treading the bow with their feet, and pulling the string with both their hands.

Chapter IX

The chief of Judah, Benjamin. Ephraim and Manasseh, who returned from captivity and dwelt at Jerusalem, ver. 1 - 9. The priests, ver. 10 - 13. The Levites, ver. 14 - 16. Their various offices in the temple, ver. 17 - 34. The family of Saul, ver. 35 - 44.

1 The book - In the publick records, wherein there was an account of that kingdom, and of the several families in it.
2 The first - After the return from Babylon. Dwelt - That took possession of their own lands and cities, which had been formerly allotted them; but of late years had been taken from them for their sins, and possessed by other people. Israelites - The common people of Judah and Israel, called here by the general name of Israelites, which was given them before that unhappy division of the kingdoms, and now is restored to them when the Israelites are united with the Jews in one and the same commonwealth, that so all the names and signs of their former division might be blotted out. And though the generality of the ten tribes were yet in captivity, yet divers of them upon Cyrus's general proclamation, associated themselves, and returned with those of Judah and Benjamin. Levites - These took possession of the cities belonging to them, as they had need and opportunity. Nethinims - A certain order of men, either Gibeonites or others joined with them, devoted to the service of God, and of his house, and of the priests and Levites; who, that they might attend upon their work without distraction, had certain places and possessions given to them; which they are now said to repossess.
4 Ammihud - That there is so great a diversity of names between this catalogue and that of Nehem 11:4 - 36, may be ascribed to two causes:
  1. to the custom of the Hebrews, who used frequently to give several names to one person: and,
  2. to the change of times; for here they are named who came up at the first return but many of those in Nehemiah might be such as returned afterward, and came and dwelt either instead of the persons here named, or with them.
9 And fifty - six - They are reckoned but nine hundred and twenty - eight in Neh 11:8, either because there he mentions only those that were by lot determined to dwell at Jerusalem, to whom he here adds those who freely offered themselves to it; or because some of the persons first placed there were dead, or removed from Jerusalem upon some emergent occasion.
11 The ruler - Or, a ruler in the house of God: not the high - priest, who was Ezra, Ezr 3:8, but a chief ruler under him.
13 Able men - Heb. mighty men of valour: which is here noted as an excellent qualification for their place; because the priests might meet with great opposition in the discharge of their office, in the execution of the censures upon all impure persons without exception, and in preserving sacred things from violation by the touch of forbidden hands.
17 Porters - Whose office it was to keep all the gates of the temple, that no unclean person or thing might enter into it.
18 King's gate - In the east - gate of the temple, which was so called, because the kings of Judah used to go to the temple through that gate. Under this gate he comprehends all the rest, which also were guarded by these porters. Companies - Or, according to the courses. They kept the gates successively, according to that method into which the Levites were distributed, for the more convenient management of their several offices; among which this of the porters was one.
19 Tabernacle - Namely, in time past, when the tabernacle was standing, before the temple was built. Fathers - The Kohathites. Host - When the Israelites were in the wilderness, encamped in a military manner round about the tabernacle, with whom these were then placed. Entry - Of the veil by which they entered into the tabernacle; which he calls the entry because then there were no gates. The meaning is, that all things were now restored to their primitive order; and the several persons took those offices upon them, which their ancestors had before them.
21 Was - In the time of David, as the following verse sheweth. Porter - Chief porter. The door - Of the door which led out of the priests court into the tabernacle, in which the ark was placed. Before the temple was built, they had a mean and moveable tent, which they made use of in the mean time. They that cannot yet have a temple, let them be thankful for a tabernacle, and make the best use of it. Never let God's work be left undone, for want of a place to do it in.
22 Villages - Where their usual residence was, and whence they came to Jerusalem in their courses. Ordain - In the times of the judges there was much disorder both in the Jewish state and church, and the Levites came to the tabernacle promiscuously, and as their inclinations or occasions brought them. But Samuel observing they were greatly increased, began to think of establishing order in their ministration. And these intentions of his probably were communicated to David, who after his own peaceable settlement in his throne, revived and perfected Samuel's design, and took care to put it in execution.
23 The oversight - Namely, in David's time. Tabernacle - This is added to explain what he means by the house of the Lord, not that tabernacle which David had set up for the ark; but that more solemn tabernacle, which Moses had made by God's express command; which in David's time was at Gibeon; in which God was worshipped until the temple was built. Wards - By turns or courses.
25 To come - From their several villages to the place of worship. Seven days - Every seventh day the courses were changed, and the new comers were to tarry 'till the next sabbath day. With them - To be with them, with the chief porters, who alway's abode in the place of God's worship.
26 Set office - These were constantly upon the place, in the execution of their office, that they might oversee the inferior porters in their work. Treasuries - In which the sacred utensils and other treasures belonging to the temple, were kept.
30 The ointment - This is added to shew, that though the Levites were intrusted with the keeping of this ointment, yet none but the priests could make it.
31 The pans - Was to take care that fine flour might be provided, that when occasion required they might make cakes in pans.
33 These - Others of the Levites; of whose several offices he had spoken before. Are - Or rather, were; which is understood, all along in the foregoing and following verses. Chambers - That they might be ready to come whensoever they were called to the service of God in the tabernacle. Free - From all trouble and employment, that they might wholly attend upon the proper work. That work - Either composing or ordering sacred songs; or actually singing; or teaching others to sing them. Day and night - Continually, and particularly in the morning and evening, the two times appointed for solemn service. Thus was God continually praised, as it is fit he should be, who is continually doing us good.
34 Jerusalem - Upon their return from Babylon they were not suffered to chuse their habitations in the country, as others were, but were obliged to settle themselves at Jerusalem, that they might constantly attend upon God's service there.
35 Maachah - In this and the following verses, he repeats Saul's genealogy, that he might make way for the following history.

Chapter X

The overthrow and death of Saul, ver. 1 - 7. The triumph of the Philistines, ver. 8 - 10. The men of Jabesh - gilead take down and bury the bodies of Saul and his sons, ver. 11, 12. The reason of Saul's death, ver. 13, 14.

1 The men of Israel fled, &c. - Thus princes sin and the people suffer for it. No doubt there was enough in them to deserve it. But that which divine justice had chiefly an eye to, was the sin of Saul. Great men should in an especial manner, take heed of provoking God's wrath. For if they kindle that fire, they know not how many may be consumed by it for their sakes.
6 His house - All his children, then present with him, namely, his three sons, for Ishbosheth and Mephiboshieth were not slain.
10 Temple of Dagon - If we give not God the glory of our successes, even Philistines will rise up in judgment with us and condemn us. Shall Dagon have so great a place in their triumphs, and the true God be forgotten in ours?
12 Seven days - Every day 'till evening, after the manner of the Jewish fasts.
13 The word - Against God's express command: which is a great aggravation of any sin. Familiar spirit - Which also was contrary to a manifest command, Levit 19:31.
14 Enquired not - He did in some sort, but not in a right manner, not humbly and penitently, not diligently and importunately, not patiently and perseveringly. Nor 'till he was brought to the last extremity. And then it was too late.

Chapter XI

David is made king, ver. 1 - 3. He takes the castle of Zion, ver. 4 - 9. A catalogue of his mighty men, ver. 10 - 47.

6 Chief - Before this he was one of David's chief captains: but now he is made captain - general of all the forces of Israel and Judah.
10 Mighty men - Yet David ascribed his success, not to the hosts he had, but to the Lord of hosts: not to the mighty men that were with him, but to the mighty God, whole presence with us is all in all.
11 Slain - By his own hand, five hundred more being slain by others then joining with him, who pursued the victory, both which sums make up the eight hundred, numbered 2Sam 23:8. The slaughter of all is justly ascribed to him, because it was the effect of his valour.
18 Would not drink of it - That water which he thought too precious for his own drinking, he poured out to the Lord for a drink - offering. If we have any thing better than other, let God be honoured with it, who is the best and should have the best.
19 Shall I drink the blood, &c. - It put him into the utmost confusion, to think three brave men should hazard their lives, to fetch water for him. In his account, it turns the water into blood. It is to the honour of great men, not to be prodigal of the blood of those they employ.
21 Attained not - He did not equal them.
41 Uriah - The last of that catalogue in 2Sam 23:39. But here some others are added to the number, because though they were not of the thirty, yet they were men of great valour and renown amongst David's commanders.
42 Thirty - Thirty captains who were under him as their colonel.

Chapter XII

The companies that came to David at Ziklag, ver. 1 - 22. The armies that came to him at Hebron, ver. 23 - 40.

2 Even - Of Saul's own tribe: who were moved hereto by God's spirit, by the conscience of their duty to David; and by their observation of God's departure from Saul, and of his special presence with David.
4 Thirty - Who came attended with thirty valiant Benjamites, and was their commander.
17 The God of our fathers - He calls God, the God of our fathers, both his fathers and theirs; thus he minds them, not to deal ill with him; for they were both descendents from the same patriarchs, and servants of the same God. And thus he encourages himself to believe, that God would right him, if he was abused. For he was the God of his fathers; therefore a blessing was entailed upon him: and a God to all Israel in particular, as well as a Judge to all the earth.
18 The Spirit - Not only saving graces, but other heroical and generous motions are ascribed to God's spirit, which here stirred up in him a more that ordinary greatness of mind and resolution.
20 As - As he returned from the camp of the Philistines to Ziklag.
21 Against - Against the Amalekites who had taken and burnt Ziklag, whom David and his six hundred men were now pursuing.
22 That time - While he was at Ziklag, and in his march to Hebron, and principally at Hebron. Like - Innumerable, like the stars or angels, both which are called God's hosts.
24 Six thousand, &c. - Who came hither in the name of their brethren; for that whole tribe stuck to David.
27 Jehoida - Not the high - priest, for that was Abiathar, 1Sam 23:6, but one of eminent place under him.
29 Kept the ward - Endeavoured to keep the crown in Saul's family.
31 Manasseh - Which was within Jordan: for of the other half beyond Jordan he speaks, ver.37. By name - Who were not ashamed publickly to own David by putting their names to some paper presented to them for that purpose.
32 The times - They understood public affairs, the temper of the nation, and the tendencies of the present events. And they shewed their wisdom at this time; for as they had adhered to Saul while he lived, as knowing the time was not yet come for David to take possession of the kingdom: and as they could not join David, while Abner lived, and had the command of the other tribes wherewith they were encompassed, so as soon as he was dead, and they had opportunity to declare themselves, they owned David for their king.
33 Double heart - They were sincerely loyal, and did not dissemble with David, pretending to be for him, while in their hearts they favoured Saul's family. And none had any separate interests, but all were for the public good.

Chapter XIII

David brings up the ark from Kirjath - jearim, ver. 1 - 8. Uzza being smitten, it is left at the house of Obed - edom, ver. 9 - 14.

2 David said - After this was proposed by the king and accepted by the people, this great assembly was dismissed, only some of them David reserved to go with him against Jerusalem, which accordingly he did, and succeeded in his enterprize. But before this resolution could be executed, the Philistines came and fought twice with David, as is related 2Sam 5:17,22, &c. and here chap.1Ch 14:8, &c. And after they were repulsed with great loss and shame, David sets upon the execution of what he had resolved, and in order to it calls another general assembly of the people. Of the Lord - If this translation of the ark be pleasing to God. Are left - After the great desolations and destructions which God for their sins had made among them.
3 For, &c. - The ark was then neglected; and the generality of the people contented themselves with going to Gibeon and offering sacrifices there, not caring, though the ark, the soul of the tabernacle, was in another place. As soon as David had power in his hand, he would use it for the advancement of religion. It ought to be the first care of those that are enriched or preferred, to honour God with their honours, and to serve him and the interests of his kingdom among men, with their wealth and power.
6 That is - The same city was called by both names.
10 Put his hand, &c. - Let the case of Uzza warn us, to take heed of presumption or rashness with regard to holy things; and not to think, that a right intention will justify a wrong action.
11 Perez - uzza - That is, the breach of Uzza. Let David's displeasure on this occasion caution us, to watch over our spirit, lest when God reproves us, instead of submitting to God, we quarrel with him. If God be angry with us, shall we dare to be angry with him?
14 And the Lord blessed, &c - Let this encourage us to welcome God's ordinance into our houses, believing the ark is a guest no body shall lose by. Nor let it be the less precious to us, for its being to others a rock of offence.

Chapter XIV

David is confirmed in his kingdom, ver. 1, 2. His wives and children, ver. 3 - 7. His victories over the Philistines, ver. 8 - 17.

Chapter XV

David prepares to bring up the ark, ver. 1 - 24. It is brought up, ver. 25 - 28. Michal despises him, ver. 29.

1 Houses - A palace consisting of many houses or apartments for his several wives and children. A tent - He did not fetch the tabernacle of Moses from Gibeon, because he intended forthwith to build the temple.
5 The sons - Of Amram or Izhar, Kohath's sons, Numb 3:27, otherwise Elizaphan, ver.8, and Hebron, ver.9, and Uzziel, ver.10, were Kohath's children.
11 The Priests - Abiathar the high - priest, and Zadok the second priest.
18 Second degree - The first rank of sacred musicians being those three famous persons named ver.17, next to whom were these here named. Porters - who were to keep the doors of the tabernacle and courts, but with all were instructed in musick, that when these were free from attendance upon their proper office, they might not be idle nor unprofitable in God's house.
20 Alamoth - Or, with Alamoth which is thought to be the name of an instrument of musick; or of a certain tune, or note, or part in musick. The certain signification of it is not now known; and the like may be said of Sheminith, ver.21.
21 To excel - Which word may be added to note the excellency of that instrument, or part of musick; or that there was a greater extension or elevation of the voice than in the former. This way of praising God by musical instruments, had not hitherto been in use. But David instituted it by divine direction, and added it to the other ordinances of that dispensation.
22 For song - He was the moderator of the musick, instructing them when and how to lift up their voices, or change their notes, or make their stops.
23 Door - keepers - They were appointed to keep the door of the tent in which the ark was to be kept, that no unallowed person might press in and touch it; and in like manner they were to attend upon the ark in the way, and to guard it from the press and touch of prophane hands; for which end these two went before the ark, is their other two brethren mentioned in the close of ver.24, came after it.
26 Helped - Encouraging them in their work with some comfortable sign of his presence with them. In all our religious exercises, we must derive help from heaven. God's ministers that bare the vessels of the Lord, have special need of divine help in their ministrations, that God may be glorified thereby, and the people edified.
27 Linen - With a linen ephod. This circumstance is repeated, because it was an unusual thing for one, who was no Levite, to wear a Levitical garment.

Chapter XVI

David's sacrifices and alms, ver. 1 - 3. He appoints Levites to minister before the ark, ver 4 - 6. His psalm of thanksgiving, ver. 7 - 36. Ministers and others are appointed to attend the ark continually, ver. 37 - 43.

4 To thank, and praise - All our rejoicings should express themselves in thanksgivings to him, from whom all our comforts are received.
7 First - Hereby it is implied, that after this he delivered many other psalms into their hands, to be sung by them to the praise of God in his public service. We shall find it in the same words, in Psa 105:1 - 15 and Psa 96:1 - 11, all but the three last verses.
35 From the Heathen - This psalm or prayer was made by David for the use of the church, not only in that present time, but in future ages, in which David foresaw by the spirit of prophecy, the Israelites would forsake God, and for their apostacy be dispersed among the Heathens. In the midst of our praises, we must not forget to pray for those servants of God that are in distress. When we are rejoicing in God's favours, we should remember our afflicted brethren, and pray for their deliverance as our own. We are members one of another.
37 He left - He appointed them their work and station there. Indeed no incense was burnt there, nor sacrifices offered, because the altars were not there. But David's prayers were directed as incense, and the lifting up of his hands as an evening sacrifice. So early did spiritual worship take place of ceremonial.
39 Zadok - The chief - priest at Gibeon, where the tabernacle and altar made by Moses still were, where also the ordinary sacrifices were offered, and the stated worship of God was performed, as the extraordinary worship was before the ark upon great occasions, as when God was consulted, which was to be done before the ark and by the high - priest, who was Abiathar.
40 Which he commanded Israel - These must be kept up; because however in their own nature they were inferior to prayer and praise, yet as they were types of the mediation of Christ, the observance of them was of mighty importance.
42 Of God - Appropriated to the worship of God; not such as they used on other occasions. Between common mirth and holy joy, there is a vast difference: and the limits and distances between them must be carefully kept up.

Chapter XVII

God forbids David's building him an house, ver. 1 - 10. Gives him a gracious promise, ver. 11 - 15. David's prayer, ver. 16 - 27.

1 Now - This whole chapter is explained, 2Sam 7:1 - 29, where the same things are recorded with little variation.
10 Furthermore, &c. - Must he think, that his purpose was in vain, and that he should lose the reward of it? No: it being God's act that prevented the execution of it, he shall be as fully recompensed as if it had been done.
14 Settle him - In the temple, this expression agrees but imperfectly with Solomon, or his successors, but strictly and properly with Christ, to whom alone that promise also of an everlasting establishment in this kingdom belongs. Kingdom - In God's kingdom in a large and general sense. And this, as well as the former phrase, singularly belongs to the Messiah, who was not only to be the king of Israel, but also of all nations. This is an intimation of that great mystery which is more fully revealed in the new testament, namely, that Christ, is the head, or king of all God's church, consisting of Jews and Gentiles, and of all nations, and indeed of all creatures, all which is God's kingdom, and by him given to his son our blessed Lord.
16 Who am I, &c. - We have here David's solemn address to God, in answer to his gracious message. How humbly does he here abase himself, and acknowledge his own unworthiness! How highly does he advance the name of God, and admire his condescending favour? With what devout affections does he magnify the God of Israel: with what assurance build upon the promise! What an example is this of believing, fervent prayer! The Lord enable us all thus to seek him!
18 The honour of thy servant - The honour God puts upon his servants, by taking them into covenant and communion with himself, is so great, that they need not, they cannot desire to be more highly honoured.
19 Servant's sake - In 2Sam 7:21, it is, for thy words sake, for the sake of thy promise made to thy servant.
24 A God - He is really to his people that which he hath styled himself, their God, having taken such care of them, and shewed such mercy and truth to them, as fully answered that title.
27 Blessed for ever - David's prayer concludes, as God's promise did, ver.14, with that which is for ever. God's word looks at things eternal. And so should our desires and hopes.

Chapter XVIII

David conquers the Philistines, the Moabites, the king of Zobah and the Syrians, ver. 1 - 8. Makes the king of Hamath and the Edomites pay tribute, ver. 9 - 13. His court and kingdom flourish, ver. 14 - 17.

Chapter XIX

David's friendly message to king Hanun, ver. 1, 2. Hanun's base usage of his ambassadors, ver. 3 - 5. The Ammonites prepare for war, ver. 6, 7. David overthrows them and the Syrians, ver. 8 - 19.

7 Chariots - Thirty two thousand men, who fought partly from chariots, and partly on foot with chariots, or attending upon the chariots, as the ancient manner of fighting was.
19 His servants - Let those who have in vain stood it out against God, be thus wise for themselves. Let them become his servants; for they are undone, if they remain his enemies.

Chapter XX

Rabbah is taken, ver. 1 - 3. The Philistine giants are slain, ver. 4 - 8.

2 To weigh a talent - Or, to be worth a talent, that is, five thousand four hundred and seventy five pounds.
8 They fell, &c - We need not fear great men against us, while we have the great God for us.

Chapter XXI

David causes Joab to number the people, ver. 1 - 6. He repents, ver. 7, 8. God gives him his choice of three judgments, and he chuses the pestilence, ver. 9 - 13. The havock made thereby: Jerusalem spared, ver. 14, 15. David's prayer, ver. 16, 17. His sacrifice and staying of the plague, ver. 18 - 30.

1 Satan stood - Before the Lord and his tribunal to accuse David and Israel, and to beg God's permission to tempt David. Standing is the accusers posture before men's tribunals; and consequently the holy scripture (which useth to speak of the things of God, after the manner of men, to bring them down to our capacities) elsewhere represent Satan in this posture.
3 Why, &c. - Or, why should this be a cause of trespass, or an occasion of punishment to Israel? God commonly punishes the people for the sins of their rulers, because they are for the most part guilty of their sins in one kind or other; or at least God takes this occasion to punish people for all their sins.
6 Counted not - Partly for the following reason; and principally by God's gracious providence to Levi, because they were devoted to his service; and to Benjamin, because they were the least of all the tribes, having been almost extinct, Judg 21:6, and because God foresaw that they would be faithful to the house of David in the division of the tribes, and therefore he would not have them diminished. And Joab also presumed to leave these two tribes unnumbered, because he had specious pretences for it; for Levi, because they were no warriors, and the king's command reached only of those that drew sword. And for Benjamin, because they, being so small a tribe, and bordering upon Jerusalem, might easily be numbered afterward.
7 Displeased - Because this was done without any colour of necessity, and out of mere curiosity, and ostentation.
14 There fell, &c. - He was proud of the number of his people, but God took a course to make them fewer. Justly is that we are proud of so, taken from us, or embittered to us.
16 Sackcloth - In mourning garments, humbling themselves before God for their sins, and deprecating his wrath against the people.
18 Set up an altar, &c. - The commanding of David to build an altar, was a blessed token of reconciliation. For if God had been pleased to kill him, he would not have commanded, because he would not have accepted a sacrifice at his hands.
20 Hid themselves - Because of the glory and majesty in which the angel appeared, which mens weak natures are not able to bear; and from the fear of God's vengeance which now seemed to be coming to their family.
25 Six hundred - We read, 2Sam 24:24, he gave fifty shekels of gold: that is, he gave in gold the value of six hundred shekels of silver.
26 By fire - Heb. by fire sent from heaven: which was the sign of God's acceptance. The fire that might justly have fastened on the sinner, fastened upon the sacrifice and consumed it. Thus Christ was made sin and a curse for us, and it pleased the Lord to bruise him, that through him God might be to us, not a consuming fire, but a reconciled Father.
28 Sacrificed - When he perceived that his sacrifice was acceptable to God, he proceeded to offer more sacrifices in that place.
30 Afraid - When he saw the angel stand with his drawn sword over Jerusalem, he durst not go away to Gibeon, lest the angel in the mean time should destroy Jerusalem: for the prevention whereof he thought it proper to worship God in that place, which he had consecrated by his special presence and acceptance.

Chapter XXII

David prepares for building the temple, ver. 1 - 5. Instructs Solomon concerning the work, ver. 6 - 16. Commands the princes to assist him therein, ver. 17 - 19.

1 Said - Thro' the instinct and direction of God's spirit, by which as he is said to have had the pattern of the house, porch, altar, &c. 1Chron 28:11,12,19, so doubtless he was instructed as to the place where the house should be built. This - This is the place appointed by God for the building of his temple and altar.
5 Prepared, &c. - And good reason, because it was intended for the honour of the great God, and was to be a type of Christ, in whom all fulness dwells, and in whom are hid all treasures.
8 Shed blood - Not that wars are simply unlawful, but to teach us that the church (whereof the temple was an illustrious type) should be built by Christ, the prince of peace, Isa 9:6, and that it should be gathered and built up, not by might or power but by God's spirit, Zech 4:6, and by the preaching the Gospel of peace. David therefore was less fit for that service, than one who had not been called to such bloody work. Likewise by setting him aside for this reason, God shewed how precious human life is to him.
14 Trouble - This he alleges as a reason why he could do no more, because of the many wars, whereby much of his treasures were exhausted. Talents - A talent of Gold in the first constitution was three thousand shekels, as may be gathered from Exod 38:24,25,26, and so this amounts to a vast sum, yet not impossible for David to get, considering how many and great conquests he made, and what vast spoils and presents he got; and that he endeavoured by all honourable ways to get as much as he could, out of zeal for God's house. And whereas some object, that this quantity of gold and silver was sufficient, tho' the whole fabrick of the temple had consisted of massy gold and silver, it is to be considered, that all this treasure was not spent upon the materials of the temple, but a great part of it upon the workmen, who were nigh two hundred thousand, whereof a great number were officers, and what was not employed in the building of the temple, was laid up in the sacred treasures.
16 Be doing - When thou shalt come to the throne. The sense of God's presence must not slacken our endeavours; because he is with us, we must rise and be doing. Then he will be with us even to the end. Work out your salvation, and God will work in you.

Chapter XXIII

David declares Solomon his successor, ver. 1. Numbers the Levites and appoints them their several offices, ver. 2 - 5. Takes an account of the families of the Levites, ver. 6 - 23. Reckons them from twenty years old, and appoints them their work, ver. 24 - 32.

2 Gathered, &c. - To declare God's mind and his own will, that Solomon should be his successor: and to acquaint them with those directions which he had received from God by the spirit.
3 Upwards - Not only 'till fifty, as it was appointed, Numb 4:2,3, but even 'till their death: for that was but a temporary law grounded upon a special reason, because the Levites were employed in carrying the tabernacle and sacred vessels from place to place; and therefore God would have them freed from those burdens when they came to feel the infirmities of age: which reason wholly ceasing upon the building of the temple, their work being far easier than it had been, and their service being more a privilege than a burden, their time of service is justly prolonged.
4 Officers - To take care that all the work of the temple about sacrifices should be punctually performed, either by themselves or others: which they were not to do all at once, but by courses, a thousand at a time. Judges - Not in the affairs of the temple; there the priests presided; but in several parts of the kingdom, where they assisted the princes and elders of every tribe, in the administration of justice.
13 Sanctify - That he might keep them from pollution: for these most holy things were polluted when they were touched by any other person. He and his - Not only his eldest sons the high - priests successively, but all his posterity or all the priests; for the works here following were not peculiar to the high - priest, but common to all the priests.
14 Levi - They were accounted only as common Levites, and were not priests: which is mentioned for the honour of Moses, and the demonstration of his eminent piety and self - denial, who willingly left the government to Joshua, and the priesthood to Aaron, and was content to have his posterity reduced to a private and mean condition.
24 Twenty years - As the Levites were anciently numbered from two several times, from the twenty fifth year of their age, and from the thirtieth, Numb 4:3 8:24. In like manner they are here numbered both from their twentieth year, when they were solemnly prepared for, and instructed, and by degrees exercised in some parts of their work; and from their thirtieth year, when they were admitted to the full exercise of their office. And the reason why they were now sooner admitted to service than they had been formerly, is given in the next verses because now their work was more easy, being wholly discharged from that burdensome work of carrying the tabernacle. Besides the people of Israel were multiplied: therefore more hands were necessary, that every Israelite who brought an offering, might find a Levite ready to assist him.
28 Holy things - Holy places, and garments, and vessels, and sacrifices, which were to be washed and cleansed from any filthiness that might cleave to them.
29 All measure - All measures used either in sacred or civil things, the publick standards whereof were kept in the temple; and therefore the care of keeping them inviolable and producing them upon occasion, musts needs belong to the priests, and under them to the Levites, who were to examine other measures and all things by them, as occasion required; that so the priests might be at leisure for their higher and greater employments.
30 Morning and even - The two solemn times of offering sacrifices: which work was attended with publick prayer and thanksgiving.
32 Charge - What the priests should commit to their charge, or command them to do.

Chapter XXIV

The distribution of the priests, ver. 1 - 19. Of the Levites, ver. 20 - 31.

1 Divisions - The several branches into which that family was divided.
2 Therefore, &c. - Were the only persons to whom the execution of that office was committed.
3 Distributed - Allotting to each of them several times, wherein they should by turns have the government of holy ministrations.
5 By lot - That the disposal thereof might be of the Lord, and so all contention be prevented, as no man could be charged with partiality, nor could any say, they had wrong done them. In like manner Matthias was chosen to the apostleship by lot with prayer. And I know not, says Mr. Henry, but it might be still used in faith, in parallel cases, as an instituted ordinance. Of God - Or rather, of the things of God, that is, of all persons ministering in the sanctuary, and of all holy ministrations done in it, and of all other matters of the Lord, as they are called by way of distinction from, the king's matters, 2Chron 19:11.
6 One, &c. - Or, the chief of one house of the fathers was taken (by lot) for Eleazar (out of his family) and that which was taken after it was taken for Ithamar, out of his family. So the first lot fell to Eleazar, and the second to Ithamar, the third to Eleazar, and the fourth to Ithamar, so successively, 'till all the families of Ithamar had received their lots. And afterwards all the lots came forth to the rest of Eleazar's families, which were double in number to those of Ithamar.
7 Came - Out of the vessel in which all the lots were put together, and out of which they were severally taken.
19 These, &c. - In this order and method they were to come to perform the offices of the temple. To come - To come into the temple every sabbath - day, and to continue there 'till the next sabbath, when they were relieved by others. Aaron - Under the direction of the high - priests, whom he calls Aaron, because he represented his person and executed his office, and their father, because of the authority which by God's appointment he had over them.
31 Over against - Answerable for number and order to those of the priests, so that there should be a course of the Levites for each course of the priests.

Chapter XXV

The person's that were to be employed in singing, ver. 1 - 7. The order in which they were to attend determined by lot, ver. 8 - 31.

1 And captains - All the princes of Israel, with the priests and the Levites, whom David gathered together, chap.23:2, for this very end, that with their approbation and consent, all these things might be established; who are here fitly called the captains of the host; for the princes were, under David, the chief captains of the militia of the kingdom; and as the Levites are called an host, and the Lord's host, because of their number and order in holy ministrations; so these priests and Levites were the captains and governors of the rest. Separated - Distributed them into their several ranks: which, tho' chiefly done by David as a prophet, and by Divine direction, yet is imputed in part to the captains of the host, because it was done with their concurrence and approbation. The service - To the service of God under the conduct of these persons. Prophecy - Praise God by singing the psalms of David, and other sacred songs made by themselves, who were prophets, or by other prophets or holy men of God. Workmen - Of the persons employed in this sacred work. This good work it seems Samuel revived, but did not live to bring it to perfection. Let each in his day do what he can for God, tho' he cannot carry it so far as he would. When we are gone, God can raise up others to build on our foundation, and bring forth the top - stone.
2 Of Asaph - Under his direction. Of the king - In such manner and order as David appointed.
3 Six - Jeduthun their father being included in that number: or Shimei, mentioned ver.17.
5 The king's seer - He is called the king's seer, either because the king took special delight in him; or because he frequently attended the king in his palace, executing his sacred office there, while the rest were employed in the tabernacle. In the words - To sing Divine songs as were inspired by God to the prophets or holy men of God. The horn - To praise God with the sound of a trumpet or some other musical instrument made of horn, which being a martial kind of music, might be most grateful to David's martial spirit: tho' he was also skilled in other instruments of music which he used in the house of God.
7 Cunning - Who were so skilful that they were able to teach others; and together with their scholars, made up the four thousand mentioned chap.23:5.
8 Ward - A course of Levites answerable to one of the priests, upon whom the Levites were to wait in their holy ministrations, chap.23:28. The scholar - Without any respect to their different ages or abilities.
9 To Joseph - For the family of Asaph, of which Joseph was. Here that clause, he, his sons, and his brethren were twelve, is to be understood, as it is expressed in all the following verses, otherwise they do not make up that number of two hundred and eighty - eight mentioned ver.7.

Chapter XXVI

The Levites that were appointed to be porters, ver. 1 - 19. Those that were appointed to be treasurers and store - keepers, ver. 20 - 28. Those that were officers and judges in the country, ver. 29 - 32.

5 Blessed him - With a numerous posterity and other blessings, for his respect and affection to the ark. The increase and building up of families, is owing to the Divine blessing. And a great blessing it is to have many children, when they are like these, eminent in the service of God.
6 Of valour - This clause is divers times mentioned, because their office required both strength and courage: for they were to shut the doors of the temple, one whereof was so great and weighty, that in the second temple it required twenty men to open and shut it. They were also to keep the guard, to keep out all unclean or forbidden persons, to prevent or suppress any tumults or disorders which might happen in the temple or in its courts, to keep the treasures of the temple, ver.20,22,24,26, to be officers and judges over Israel, ver.29, and to manage every matter pertaining to God, and the affairs of the king, ver.32.
10 Made him the chief - Not in inheriting the estate; (this was forbidden by the law) but in this service, for which he was better qualified than his elder brother.
12 Wards - Heb. having wards answerably to their brethren the other Levites, who were divided into twenty - four courses, as the priests also and the porters were.
13 Cast lots - Determining the times and places of their service not by age or dignity, but merely by lot. Every gate - That it might be known to whom the care of each gate was more especially committed.
15 Asuppim - Or, of gatherings, probably so named from the assembly of the elders, who met there to consult about the affairs of the temple.
16 Shallecheth - A gate of the court so called, as some think, because the ashes and filth of the temple were cast out on that side, which was the most convenient for that purpose, because that was a private quarter, the great ways to the temple lying on the other sides. Going up - By which causeway they went up towards the temple. Ward against ward - As one gate was over against another, the west against the east, and the north against the south, so one ward was over against another.
17 Six - For that being the chief gate of the temple required a better guard.
20 Treasures - There seem to be two different kinds of treasures, the former containing the sacred vessels and other treasures, which by God's command were appropriated to the maintenance of the house; the latter only those things which had been freely given or dedicated to God.
23 The Amramites - The persons following were of these, or the most of these families. Only here is none of the family of the Uzzielites; either because that family was now extinct, whence it is that we read no more of them in the scripture, but only in this place, and Numb 3:27, or because there was none of them fit to be employed and trusted in these matters.
24 Ruler - The chief over all the treasures, mentioned before or afterward, as his title shews, which is peculiarly given to him and to none of the rest.
27 Maintain - Or repair it.
29 Judges - Judges over the people, in the several cities and towns, to determine questions and controversies which might arise among them. And the reason why the Levites were intrusted with these matters was, because the common law of Israel, by which they had and held all their rights was no other than the law of God, whereof the priests and Levites being the established interpreters, must needs be the most proper judges of things depending thereon.
30 Of the Lord - In all things which concerned the house or worship of God; to take care that such monies as were given towards building the temple, or towards the sacrifices and other holy ministrations should be gathered and received, and faithfully sent up to Jerusalem; and to see to the execution of all the laws of God among the people. Service of, &c. - They served the king in the execution of his decrees, by which the several rights of the king and people were established. And as the king was the principal person intrusted with the execution of God's laws, so these Levites chiefly were his eyes by which he saw his people's transgressions, and his hands by which he inflicted due censures upon them for their miscarriages.
31 Fortieth year - His last year, in which he made all the orders of families and officers recorded in these chapters. We should be so much the more diligent in doing good, as we see the day approaching. If we live not to enjoy the fruit of our labours, let us not grudge it to them that come after us.

Chapter XXVII

The captains for every month of the year, ver. 1 - 15. The princes of the several tribes, ver. 16 - 24. The officers of the court, ver. 25 - 34.

1 Officers - The standing militia of Israel as it was settled under their several officers. Of courses - In all the business wherein the king had occasion for these persons who were to attend him by turns. Came in, &c. - who being armed and mustered, and to wait upon the king, at Jerusalem or other places, as the king should see fit. By this order near three hundred thousand of his people were instructed and exercised in the use of their arms, and fitted for the defence of their king and kingdom when it should be needful, and in the mean time sufficient provision was made against any sudden tumults or irruptions of enemies. And this monthly course was contrived that the burden of it might be easy and equally distributed among the people.
16 The ruler - These were the princes of the tribes, the constant rulers of the tribes; who seem to have had a superior power to these twenty four captains, and therefore are named before them, being probably the king's chief counsellors and assistants in the great affairs of his kingdom.
22 Tribes - Of the most of the tribes, not of all: for Gad is omitted, probably because that tribe was joined with the Reubenites under one prince.
23 Because - And therefore to number them all both above and under twenty years old, had been both an infinite trouble and a tempting of God, or a questioning the truth of his promises.
27 Vineyards - Over the workmen and labourers in the vineyards; as the next officer is over the fruit of the vineyards. In like manner, one man was over the labourers in the fields, ver.26, and another over the fruits of the fields put into stores.
31 All these - It is observable, here are no officers for state, none for sport, no master of the ceremonies, or of the bounds, but all for substance, agreeable to the simplicity and plainness of those times. David was a great soldier, a great scholar, and a great prince; and yet a great husband of his estate. Those magistrates who would have their subjects industrious, must themselves be examples of application to business.
32 A scribe - Either one learned in the laws of God, which were also the laws of the land, or, the king's secretary. King's sons - As their tutor or governour.
33 Counsellor - The person whose counsel in matters of state the king most prized and followed. Companion - Or his friend, 2Sam 15:37, the person whom he trusted with his secrets, and whose conversation was most pleasant and acceptable to him. Observe, A cunning man was his counsellor: but an honest man was his friend.
34 After Ahithophel - After his death, these were his chief counsellors.

Chapter XXVIII

David declares to the general assembly, that God had appointed Solomon to succeed him and to build the temple, ver. 1 - 7. Exhorts the people and Solomon, to cleave to God, ver. 8 - 10. Delivers to him the model and materials for the temple, ver. 11 - 19. Encourages him to begin and finish the work, ver. 20, 21.

1 And David assembled, &c. - A great deal of business David had done in his day. And the nearer he comes to his end, the more busy he is, still endeavouring to do his work with all his might. He is now recovered from the weakness mentioned 1Kings 1:1. He therefore improves his recovery, as giving him an opportunity of doing God and his country a little more service.
2 Stood - Out of reverence to God and respect to this great and honourable assembly. Brethren - So he calls the princes and chief rulers, both because they had a share with him, though under him in the government; and in compliance with the Divine command, that the king should not be lifted up above his brethren; Deut 17:20. Of rest - A place where it might be fixed, and no more removed from place to place, as it had been. Foot - stool - An house for the ark is here styled an house for the foot - stool of our God. Heaven is his throne: the earth and the most magnificent temples thereon are but his foot - stool. So much difference is there between the manifestations of his glory, in the upper and in the lower world!
6 My house, &c. - So was he a figure of him that was to come, who is both the founder and the foundation of the gospel - temple.
7 At this day - As he hath begun. This promise is absolute with regard to the Messiah, but conditional, with regard to Solomon. If we are constant in our duty, then and not otherwise, we may expect the continuance of his favour.
8 Of our God - I exhort and charge you every one, calling God who is here present, and this congregation wherein all Israel are present by their representatives, or witness against you, if you do not follow my counsel. Keep and seek - Keep those commands which you know, and seek for, or search into what you are yet ignorant of, that you may distinctly understand the whole will of God, and seriously give yourselves to the practice of it. God's commandments cannot be kept without great care.
9 Know - So as to love and serve him. Words of knowledge in scripture - use commonly imply affection and practice. Or, acknowledge him, as thy God, by loving and obeying him. Searcheth - If thou dost only put on a profession of religion to please me, or if thy obedience to God be unsincere, thou mayest indeed deceive me, but thou canst not deceive him, for he searcheth the motions of thy heart. Cast thee off - Notwithstanding all his promises to me and to my seed, and that great honour and favour which he hath shewed thee.
10 The sanctuary - For the ark to dwell in. Be strong - Take courage to break through all difficulties. Without this, we can do no work of God as we ought.
11 The porch - Of the temple. The houses - The houses of the temple, namely, the holy place, and the holy of holies. Parlours - Those rooms which were made against the wall of the house round about, 1Kings 6:5. The place - In what particular part of the holy of holies it was to be placed.
12 By the spirit - All the particulars of the tabernacle built by Moses were suggested to him by God's spirit, and it is not credible that God would use less care and exactness in the building of this far more glorious and durable work. All this, it seems, was given him in writing, probably by the ministry of an angel. The temple was to be a sacred thing, a type of Christ, of his church, and of heaven. Therefore it was not to be contrived by man's invention, but to be framed by divine institution. So Christ, the true temple, the church, the gospel - temple, and heaven, the everlasting temple, are all framed according to the divine counsels, and the plan laid before the world began. It is supposed, the tabernacle of Moses, with all its utensils, being wanted no more, was laid up here.
15 According, &c. - Whether they were fixed in one place, whereof there were ten in the holy place, or to be carried from place to place.
16 The tables - There were divers tables to be used about the shew - bread; but one of them seems to have been of more eminency than the rest, and therefore it is commonly called the table of the shew - bread in the singular number.
18 Refined gold - Purer than any of the rest. For that was typical of the intercession of Christ, than which nothing can be more pure and perfect. The cherubim - Which Solomon was to make, (for those which were fastened to the mercy - seat were made by Moses long before) which he fitly compares to a chariot, because within them God is said to sit and to dwell. And because a chariot is made to carry a person from place to place, this expression may be used to intimate that God was not so fixed to them by the building of this temple, but that he would remove from them if they forsook him. Covered - Not above it, for that was done by Moses's cherubim, but before it, to keep it from the eyes of the high - priest, when he entered into the most holy place.
19 In writing - God revealed this to some man of God, who put it into writing, and by him to David. Or, God did, as it were, by his own hand, (where - with he wrote the Ten Commandments) write these things upon the table of his mind.
20 My God - Whom I have chosen and served, who has all along been with me and prospered me, I recommend thee to him; he will be with thee, to strengthen, direct and prosper thee. The God that owned our fathers, and carried them thro' the services of their day, will, in like manner, if we are faithful to him, go along with us in our day, and will never fail us. God never leaves any, unless they first leave him.

Chapter XXIX

David exhorts them to contribute toward building and furnishing the temple, ver. 1 - 5. They do contribute accordingly, ver. 6 - 9. He offers up solemn prayers, praises and sacrifices to God, ver. 10 - 21. Solomon is enthroned, ver. 22 - 25. David finishes his course, ver. 26 - 30.

2 My might - Work for God must be done with all our might, or we shall bring nothing to pass in it.
4 Of Ophir - The best and purest gold. The walls - The walls of the temple with God, and of the rooms adjoining to it, with silver beaten out into plates.
5 To consecrate - To offer an offering, as I have done. Heb. To fill his hand unto the Lord. They that engage themselves in the service of God, will have their hands full: there is work enough for the whole man in that service.
9 Rejoiced - Because this was both an effect of God's grace in them, an eminent token of God's favour to them, and a pledge that this long - desired work, would receive a certain and speedy accomplishment. Great joy - To see the work, which his heart was so much set upon, likely to go on. It is a great reviving to good men when they are leaving the world, to see those they leave behind zealous for the work of God.
10 Blessed, &c. - David was now full of days, and near his end, and it well becomes the aged children of God, to have their hearts much enlarged in praise and thanksgiving. The nearer we come to the land of everlasting praise, the more we should speak the language, and do the work of that world.
14 To offer - That thou shouldest give us both riches to make such an offering, and a willing heart to offer them, both which are the gifts and the fruits of thy good grace and mercy to us. Of thine - We return only what we have received, and therefore only pay a debt to thee. The more we do for God, the more we are indebted to him; for the honour of being employed in his service, and for grace enabling us in any measure to serve him.
15 Strangers - For the land which we possess is thine, not ours; we are not the proprietors but only thy tenants: and as our fathers once were mere strangers in it, even before men, so we at this day are no better before thee, having no absolute right in it, but only to travel through it, and sojourn in it for the short time that we live in the world. None abiding - We only give thee what we must shortly leave, and what we cannot keep to ourselves: and therefore it is a great favour that thou wilt accept such offerings. David's days had as much of substance in them as most men: for he was upon the whole a good man, an useful man, and now an old man. And yet he puts himself in the front of those who must acknowledge, that their days on the earth are as a shadow: which speaks of our life as a vain life, a dark life, a transient life, and a life that will have its period, either in perfect light or perfect darkness.
16 All thine own - In like manner we ought to acknowledge God in all spiritual things: referring every good thought, good desire, and good work to his grace.
18 Of Abraham, &c. - A God in covenant with them, and with us for their sakes. Keep forever - Since it is from thy grace that thy people have such willing minds, continue that grace to them, that they may persist in the same generous disposition towards thee and thy worship. Prepare - Or, rather, confirm, thou who hast begun a good work, confirm and carry it on by thy grace.
20 Worshipped - The Lord with religious, and the king with civil worship.
22 The second time - The first time, was when he was made king during Adonijah's conspiracy. And Zadok - It must be remembered that the high - priest had his viceregent who might officiate in his stead. So that this action of theirs, the anointing Zadok, did not, actually constitute him high - priest, but only settled the reversion of it upon him and his line after Abiathar's death; even as David's making Solomon king, and their anointing Solomon to be the chief governor here, did not put him into actual possession of the kingdom, but only gave him a right to it after the present king's death: hence, notwithstanding this anointing, Abiathar continued to exercise his office 'till Solomon thrust him out, 1Kings 2:27.
24 Of the Lord - On the throne of Israel, which is called the throne of the Lord, because the Lord himself was in a peculiar manner the king and governor of Israel. He had the founding, he had the filling of their throne, by immediate direction.
26 Thus, &c. - This sacred writer having mentioned the anointing of Solomon and upon that occasion proceeded to give a farther account of Solomon's actual settlement in his kingdom, returns to his main business, to give an account of the close of David's reign and life. He here brings him to the end of his day, leaves him asleep, and draws the curtains about him.
28 Riches and honour - That is, he had enough of this world, and of the riches of and honour of it; and he knew when he had enough. He was satisfied with it, and very willing to go to a better place.
29 The book - In the chronicles of the kingdom, which were written by Nathan and Gad, who were not only prophets, but historiographers out of which either they or some other prophets took by the direction of God's spirit such passages, as were most important and useful for the church in succeeding ages.
30 The times - The changes which befel him; both his troubles, and his successes, the word time or times being often put for things done or happening in them. The countries - Bordering upon the land of Canaan.

This document (last modified October 01, 1997) from