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2 Chronicles 8

PARAGRAPH DIVISIONS OF MODERN TRANSLATIONS

 NASB  NKJV  NRSV  TEV   NJB
(LXX versing)
Solomon's Activities and Accomplishments Solomon's Additional Achievements Various Activities of Solomon Solomon's Achievements Conclusion: The Completion of the Building Programs
8:1-2 8:1-10 8:1-2 8:1-10 8:1-10
8:3-10 8:3-10
8:11 8:11 8:11 8:11 8:11
8:12-13 8:12-15 8:12-15 8:12-15 8:12-15
8:14-15
8:16 8:16 8:16 8:16 8:16
Solomon In His Glory
8:17-18 8:17-18 8:17-18 8:17-18 8:17-18

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: 8:1-2
1Now it came about at the end of the twenty years in which Solomon had built the house of the Lord and his own house 2that he built the cities which Huram had given to him, and settled the sons of Israel there.

8:1 The parallel is in 1 Kgs. 9:10-28. Josephus, Antiq. 8.5.1., explains "the twenty years" as seven for the temple and thirteen for the palace. He describes the palace in 1 Chr. 8.5.2.

8:2 "Huram" In 2 Sam. 5:1; 1 Chr. 14:1 he is named "Hiram, King of Tyre."

"the cities which Huram had given to him" In the parallel of 1 Kgs. 9:10-14, it is Solomon who gave Huram the cities. We learn from 1 Kgs. 9:11 that Hiram did not like the cities Solomon gave him and may have returned them. The gold mentioned in 2 Chr. 8:17-18 may have gone to Hiram as a payment.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 8:3-10
3Then Solomon went to Hamath-zobah and captured it. 4He built Tadmor in the wilderness and all the storage cities which he had built in Hamath. 5He also built upper Beth-horon and lower Beth-horon, fortified cities with walls, gates and bars; 6and Baalath and all the storage cities that Solomon had, and all the cities for his chariots and cities for his horsemen, and all that it pleased Solomon to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land under his rule. 7All of the people who were left of the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, who were not of Israel, 8namely, from their descendants who were left after them in the land whom the sons of Israel had not destroyed, them Solomon raised as forced laborers to this day. 9But Solomon did not make slaves for his work from the sons of Israel; they were men of war, his chief captains and commanders of his chariots and his horsemen. 10These were the chief officers of King Solomon, two hundred and fifty who ruled over the people.

8:3 This military campaign is not recorded in Kings.

8:4 "Tadmor" The 1 Kgs. 9:18 verse has "Tamar." In a context extolling Solomon's building projects and military conquests, the small village of Tamar seems inappropriate. Tadmor was a major city 125 miles NE of Damascus on a major trade route (later called Palmyra). Modern commentators surmised Solomon fortified this city as a message to Mesopotamian empires!

Solomon took full advantage of the weakness of the empires of Egypt and Mesopotamia to expand and fortify his empire.

8:5 The two cities mentioned in 2 Chr. 8:5 controlled a pass between Jerusalem and Joppa. It was part of the larger fortification of Jerusalem.

8:7 See SPECIAL TOPIC: PRE-ISRAELITE INHABITANTS OF PALESTINE.

8:8 "Solomon raised as forced laborers" The commander of this group is mentioned in 1 Kgs. 4:6. This practice was common in the ANE.

"to this day" See note at 2 Chr. 5:9.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 8:11
11Then Solomon brought Pharaoh's daughter up from the city of David to the house which he had built for her, for he said, "My wife shall not dwell in the house of David king of Israel, because the places are holy where the ark of the Lord has entered."

8:11 The parallel in 1 Kgs. 9:23 has 550 supervisors, while this text has 250. No one knows why the numbers in Samuel ‒ Kings do not agree with Chronicles. Here are the theories.

  1. a scribal error
  2. the numbers are used symbolically to show Solomon's greatness
  3. there were different Hebrew texts behind each one
  4. they represent different oral traditions (see John H. Walton and D. Brent Sandy, The Lost World of Scripture)

The best study so far on this subject is Edwin Thiele, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings. If the numbers relate to years of a king's reign, then possibly

  1. use of two calendars
  2. use of two ways to count the ascension year
  3. the problem of co-reigns

This verse shows Solomon's respect for the city of David. He moves his foreign wife to a special palace he built for her.

The Chronicler omits all the terrible things Solomon did with his foreign wives in his old age (cf. 1 Kings 11).

In this chapter Solomon is depicted as

  1. following the commands of David faithfully
  2. being victorious in battle
  3. building many projects throughout his domain
  4. starting a fleet of ships to bring gold

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 8:12-13
12Then Solomon offered burnt offerings to the Lord on the altar of the Lord which he had built before the porch; 13and did so according to the daily rule, offering them up according to the commandment of Moses, for the sabbaths, the new moons and the three annual feasts—the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Booths.

8:12 This is surprising, since Uzziah was condemned for offering a sacrifice; that was a priest's duty.

Earlier at the dedication of the temple, Solomon "blessed" the people (cf. 2 Chr. 6:3), which was also an act reserved for priests.

8:13 "sabbaths" See SPECIAL TOPIC: SABBATH (OT).

"the new moons" Many commentators assume that this festival gained popularity after the exile because it is mentioned often in 1 and 2 Chronicles.

SPECIAL TOPIC: MOON WORSHIP

"the annual feasts" See SPECIAL TOPIC: THE FEASTS OF ISRAEL.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 8:14-15
14Now according to the ordinance of his father David, he appointed the divisions of the priests for their service, and the Levites for their duties of praise and ministering before the priests according to the daily rule, and the gatekeepers by their divisions at every gate; for David the man of God had so commanded. 15And they did not depart from the commandment of the king to the priests and Levites in any manner or concerning the storehouses.

8:14 Solomon was faithful to the commands of David his father.

  1. The division of priests is found in 1 Chronicles 24.
  2. The divisions of Levites in 1 Chronicles 15.
  3. The divisions of "gatekeepers" is found in 1 Chronicles 26.

"David the man of God" David is called by this title in Neh. 12:24,36. Moses was the first to be called by this title (cf. Deut. 33:1; Josh. 14:6). Later, other prophets bore this honorific designation. See NIDOTTE, vol. 1, p. 390, #9.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 8:16
16Thus all the work of Solomon was carried out from the day of the foundation of the house of the Lord, and until it was finished. So the house of the Lord was completed.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 8:17-18
17Then Solomon went to Ezion-geber and to Eloth on the seashore in the land of Edom. 18And Huram by his servants sent him ships and servants who knew the sea; and they went with Solomon's servants to Ophir, and took from there four hundred and fifty talents of gold and brought them to King Solomon.

8:17 "Ezion-geber" This was the major city at the north end of the Gulf of Aqaba. It was the major southern seaport for Solomon's trading endeavors.

8:18 Solomon's fleet was made up of Phoenician ships and sailors (cf. 1 Kgs. 9:26-28).

"Ophir" See note at 1 Chr. 29:4. It was the source or marketplace for (cf. 1 Kgs. 9:28; 10:11):

  1. expensive woods
  2. jewels
  3. gold

See Edwin Yamauchi, The Stones and the Scriptures, pp. 69071; NIDOTTE, vol. 1, pp. 321-322.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

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.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought-provoking, not definitive.

  1. Why are the events different between Samuel/Kings and Chronicles?
  2. Did Solomon give Huram 20 cities or vice versa?
  3. Why are the numbers different between Samuel/Kings and Chronicles?
  4. Who did Solomon use to build his projects?
  5. Why did Solomon move Pharaoh's daughter out of the "city of David"?
  6. Does Solomon perform priestly duties in 2 Chr. 8:12? (cf. 2 Chr. 6:4)
  7. Why are "the commandments" of both Moses (2 Chr. 8:13) and David (2 Chr. 8:14) mentioned?
  8. Why is the large amount of gold mentioned in 2 Chr. 8;18?

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