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2 Chronicles 1

PARAGRAPH DIVISIONS OF MODERN TRANSLATIONS *

 NASB  NKJV  NRSV  TEV   NJB
(LXX versing)
Solomon Worships At Gibeon Solomon Requests Wisdom Solomon Receives Wisdom King Solomon Prays for Wisdom God Confers Wisdom on Solomon
1:1 1:1-12 1:1-6 1:1 1:1-6
1:2-6 1:2-6
1:2-6 1:7-13 1:2-6 1:7-10
Solomon's Prayer for Wisdom
1:8-13 1:8-10
Solomon's Military and Economic Power King Solomon's Power and Wealth
Solomon's Wealth 1:13-17 1:13-17 1:13
1:14-17 1:14-17 1:14-17

* Although they are not inspired, paragraph divisions are the key to understanding and following the original author's intent. Each modern translation has divided and summarized the paragraphs. Every paragraph has one central topic, truth, or thought. Each version encapsulates that topic in its own distinct way. As you read the text, ask yourself which translation fits your understanding of the subject and verse divisions.

In every chapter we must read the Bible first and try to identify its subjects (paragraphs), then compare our understanding with the modern versions. Only when we understand the original author's intent by following his logic and presentation can we truly understand the Bible. Only the original author is inspired - readers have no right to change or modify the message. Bible readers do have the responsibility of applying the inspired truth to their day and their lives.

Note that all technical terms and abbreviations are explained fully in the following documents: Hebrew Grammatical Tems, Textual Criticism, and Glossary.

READING CYCLE THREE (see "Bible Interpretation Seminar")

FOLLOWING THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR'S INTENT AT THE PARAGRAPH LEVEL

This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects. Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

  1. First paragraph
  2. Second paragraph
  3. Etc.

WORD AND PHRASE STUDY

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 1:1
1Now Solomon the son of David established himself securely over his kingdom, and the Lord his God was with him and exalted him greatly.

1:1 "Bold" This verse clearly shows the compatible relationship between Solomon's actions (i.e., "established himself securely," BDB 304, KB 301, Hithpael IMPERFECT with waw, cf. 2 Sam. 3:6; 1 Kgs. 20:22; 2 Chr. 12:13; 13:21; 21:4; 23:1; 25:11; 27:6) and YHWH's sovereign control of history (i.e., "God was with him and exalted him greatly"). See Special Topics:

  1. SPECIAL TOPIC: ELECTION/PREDESTINATION AND THE NEED FOR A THEOLOGICAL BALANCE
  2. SPECIAL TOPIC: PREDESTINATION (CALVINISM) VS. HUMAN FREE WILL (ARMINIANISM)

"the Lord his God" This combines the two most common names for Deity (cf. 2 Chr. 1:9).

  1. YHWH (Gen. 2:4)
  2. Elohim (Gen. 1:1)

See SPECIAL TOPIC: NAMES FOR DEITY, C and D.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 1:2-6
22Solomon spoke to all Israel, to the commanders of thousands and of hundreds and to the judges and to every leader in all Israel, the heads of the fathers' households. 3Then Solomon and all the assembly with him went to the high place which was at Gibeon, for God's tent of meeting was there, which Moses the servant of the Lord had made in the wilderness. 4However, David had brought up the ark of God from Kiriath-jearim to the place he had prepared for it, for he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem. 5Now the bronze altar, which Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, was there before the tabernacle of the Lord, and Solomon and the assembly sought it out. 6Solomon went up there before the Lord to the bronze altar which was at the tent of meeting, and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it.

1:2 "Solomon spoke to all Israel" This is either (1) hyperbole or (2) an idiom for Israel's leaders.

"thousands" See SPECIAL TOPIC: THOUSAND (eleph).

"the judges" These were probably the same judges appointed by David in 1 Chr. 23:4; 26:29. They would have been Levites. This office is continued in 2 Chr. 19:5-6 under Jehoshaphat.

This office goes back to Moses' appointing judge helpers during the wilderness wandering period (cf. Exod. 18:13-27).

1:3 "the high place which was at Gibeon" Later in Israel's history these "high places" (BDB 119; cf. 1 Sam. 9:12-14; 10:5,13; 1 Kgs. 3:3a; 15:14; 22:43; 2 Kgs. 12:3) are condemned because of their connection to fertility worship (cf. Num. 33:52; Deut. 12:2; 1 Kgs. 11:7). See Special Topic: Fertility Worship in the ANE.

But here this was a gesture of faith (cf. 1 Kgs. 3:4; 1 Chr. 16:39) of the new king seeking YHWH's help and blessing before the Tabernacle (cf. 1 Chr. 21:29; also called "the tent of meeting'). The ark of the covenant had been taken to Jerusalem by David and placed in a special tent (2 Chr. 1:4; 2 Sam. 6:17; 1 Chr. 16:1). Gibeon was about four miles NW of Jerusalem.

"Moses the servant of the Lord" See SPECIAL TOPIC: MY SERVANT.

Apparently the Tabernacle was first set up in Canaan

  1. at Gilgal, Josh. 4:15-5:12
  2. then Shiloh, Josh. 18:1; 19:51
  3. last at Gibeon, 1 Chr. 16:39-40; 2 Chr. 1:3-6
  4. finally at Jerusalem Solomon copied all the items of the Tabernacle (and enlarged them), 2 Chronicles 2-5

1:4 "the ark of God" See SPECIAL TOPIC: ARK OF THE COVENANT.

"Kiriath-jearim" This was the village where the ark of the covenant was kept after it was returned by the Philistines, who captured it from Eli's sons (cf. 1 Samuel 4-7). These events are the historical reason the Tabernacle and Ark had been separated.

1:5 "the bronze altar" See SPECIAL TOPIC: ALTAR OF SACRIFICE.

"which Bezalel. . .had made" See account in Exod. 31:9; 38:1-7.

"Solomon and the assembly sought it" This is a common verb in Chronicles, occurring 41 times (BDB 205, KB 233), denoting

  1. to inquire of YHWH
  2. to seek YHWH

Here, it shows Solomon's first act as king was seeking YHWH at Gibeon.

The MT has "him," but the LXX, Peshitta, and Vulgate have "it," referring to the bronze altar.

1:6 "offered a thousand burnt offerings" One wonders how long it would take for a literal thousand animal carcasses to be totally consumed by fire; how much wood; how many priests (cf. 1 Kgs. 8:15). The word "thousand" is always a question. See SPECIAL TOPIC: THOUSAND (eleph).

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 1:7
7In that night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, "Ask what I shall give you."

1:7 YHWH often spoke to people in dreams (i.e., Gen. 28:11-12; 31:11; 40:9; 41:1; Num. 12:6; 1 Sam. 3:3-4; 28:6; 1 Kgs. 3:5,15; 1 Chr. 17:3; 2 Chr. 7:12; Acts 10:10; 2 Corinthians 12).

"Ask" This is a Qal IMPERATIVE (BDB 981, KB 1371). Solomon's non-selfish request (cf. 2 Chr. 1:11) set the stage for YHWH's blessing (cf. vv. 14-17); see Josephus, Antiq. 8.2.1).

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 1:8-13
8Solomon said to God, "You have dealt with my father David with great lovingkindness, and have made me king in his place. 9Now, O LLordord God, Your promise to my father David is fulfilled, for You have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people, for who can rule this great people of Yours?" 11God said to Solomon, "Because you had this in mind, and did not ask for riches, wealth or honor, or the life of those who hate you, nor have you even asked for long life, but you have asked for yourself wisdom and knowledge that you may rule My people over whom I have made you king, 12wisdom and knowledge have been granted to you. And I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings who were before you has possessed nor those who will come after you." 13So Solomon went from the high place which was at Gibeon, from the tent of meeting, to Jerusalem, and he reigned over Israel.

1:8 "great lovingkindness" See SPECIAL TOPIC: LOVINGKINDNESS (hesed).

1:9 "O Lord God" This is the common linking of YHWH and Elohim (i.e., Gen. 2:4), Israel's Deity designated as Savior and Creator. See SPECIAL TOPIC: NAMES FOR DEITY, C and D.

"Your promise to my father David" See 2 Samuel 7; 1 Chronicles 17.

"is fulfilled" This VERB (BDB 52, KB 63, Niphal IMPERFECT, is used in a jussive sense.

"the dust of the earth" This is one of three metaphors used to describe Abraham's many descendants.

  1. dust ‒ Gen. 13:16; 28:14; here
  2. stars ‒ Gen. 15:5; 22:17; 26:4
  3. sand ‒ Gen. 22:17; 32:12; Exod. 32:13

It is this explosive growth of Israel's population that terrified

  1. Pharaoh (Exodus)
  2. Balak (Numbers)
  3. the native tribes of Canaan (Joshua)

See SPECIAL TOPIC: COVENANT PROMISES TO THE PATRIARCHS.

1:12 "wisdom and knowledge" These two words (BDB 315 and BDB 396) represent

  1. practical wisdom (i.e., "how to")
  2. cognitive, collective knowledge (i.e., "facts")

They are both crucial for an effective reign (i.e., what to do and how to do it).

1:13 The Tabernacle and altar were at Gibeon (cf. 1 Chr. 21:29).

NASB, NKJV, NRSV  "from the high place"
TEV  "left"
NJB  "came away from"
JPSOA  "from the shrine"
LXX  "came from Bama"
Peshitta  "from his journey"

The UBS Text Project, p. 440, offers two options.

  1. to the high place
  2. from the high place

It gives option #1 a "B" rating (i.e., some doubt). The MT has option #1 but the LXX and Vulgate have option #2.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 1:14-17
14Solomon amassed chariots and horsemen. He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen, and he stationed them in the chariot cities and with the king at Jerusalem. 15The king made silver and gold as plentiful in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars as plentiful as sycamores in the lowland. 16Solomon's horses were imported from Egypt and from Kue; the king's traders procured them from Kue for a price. 17They imported chariots from Egypt for 600 shekels of silver apiece and horses for 150 apiece, and by the same means they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Aram.

1:14-17 For the Josephus parallel, see Antiq. 8.2.4.

1:14 "chariots" See SPECIAL TOPIC: CHARIOTS.

"chariot cities" Archaeology has shown that Megiddo in the plain of Jezreel was one such city.

1:15 Chronicles is interested in Solomon's wealth and wisdom in connection with the building of the temple (cf. 1 Chr. 22:14).

1:16
NASB, NKJV, NRSV, REB  "Egypt and Kue"
TEV  "Musri and Cilicia"
JB  "Cilicia (Musur)"
NJB  "Muzur and Cilicia"
JPSOA  "Egypt and Que5"
LXX  "Egypt"
Peshitta  "Egypt and the city of Apelites"

The MT has "Egypt" and "Kue" (cf. 1 Kgs. 10:28-29). The TEV footnote says "Musri and Cilicia: two ancient countries in what is now southeast Turkey, which were centers of horse breeding in Solomon's time."

The word for chariots (and/or the chariots themselves) would have come from Egypt and many of the horses from Kue and Cilicia (i.e., southeast Turkey). The IVP Bible Background Commentary (OT), p. 422, mentions that large horses, called Nubian horses, came from Egypt but smaller horses came from southeast Anatolia (from both Assyrian and Hittite sources).

For "Kue" see note below.

"Kue" This (NKJV, "Keveh") was a region in southeast Asia Minor (Turkey) above the Orontes River on a line parallel to the city of Carchemish, which was farther east. See a good brief discussion in ABD, vol. 4, pp. 102-103.

Solomon not only purchased these military weapons but was an arms dealer to other nations of the ANE (cf. 1 Chr. 1:17). Israel was the only easy land route from Africa to Anatolia.

The IVP Bible Background Commentary (OT), p. 422, suggests the price of a chariot listed here is too high which may

  1. continue the hyperbolic use of numbers
  2. indicate that Solomon was selling royal, decorated chariots, not common war chariots

1:17 "shekels" See SPECIAL TOPIC: ANE WEIGHTS AND VOLUMES.

2:1 In the MT this is 1:18. The "name of the Lord" was a way of referring to YHWH's personhood. SPECIAL TOPIC: "THE NAME" OF YHWH (OT).

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