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SCRIPTURE KEY TO 2 CHRONICLES. : 875 besieged Jerusalem, and took it, and carried away the king and ten thousand captives to Babylon. Again, eleven years after, in the reign of Zedekiah, Nebuzaradan, the BabyIonian general, came, and sacked and burnt Jerusalem and the temple, and carried away the remainder of the sacred vessels, together with all the Jews that remained in the country, (except some poor people, whom he left to till the land,) captives into Babylon. Four years after that, which was the twenty-third of the seventy, or from the beginning of the Babylonish captivity, Nebuchadnezzar again in yaded the land of Israel, and seized upon all the Jews he could meet with, and sent them captive to Babylon. Thus there may be said to have been four distinct periods of tbis captivity, as just observed. The prophet Daniel was carried captive into Babylon in the second period, and the prophet Ezekiel in the third : Dan. i. 6. Ezek. i. 2.
After the return of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin from the captivity of Babylon, these records in the books of the Chronicles were of great use to the church of God, for the captivity, like an overflowing deluge, had put all things into confusion; and these two tribes being dispersed through tbe kingdom of Babylon in their state of captivity, were in great danger of losing the distinction of their tribes and families. But these records being preserved, these distinctions were set in a clear light, and were very valuable on that account: and it may be supposed that many were inclined to study these sacred records, and were much pleased to know from what tribe they descended, and to find the names of their ancestors upon record.
But the great design of all these exact genealogies was to shew clearly the fulfilment of the promises and prophecies of the Messiah, and his coming according to the flesh : that he was the seed of the woman, the son of Adam, the seed of Abraham, the son of David, and of the tribe of Judab: and for this end divine providence so ordered it, that these records should be preserved in captivity, and revived when the people returned into the land of Jadea.
We observed in the key in the first book of Chronicles, that these two books were collected by Ezra after the Baby. loyish captivity.
In the close of the foregoing book we read how God magpified Solomon, and
Israel, God and Israel, concurred to honour him. Now here we have an account, (1.) How he honoured God by sacrifice, ver. 1-6. and by prayer, ver. 7–12. (2.) How he honoured Israel, by increasing their strength, wealth, and trade, ver. 13-17.
VER. 7. “In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask wbat I shall give thee."]First, by the Lord's appearing to Solomon we are to understand the Lord Jesus, the divine SHEKINAH; wbich Sheki. nah signifies God's habitation : because in a visible, though unspeakable form of glory did God appear to the patri. archs, the propbets, and our forefathers; which appearances were always so glorious, that the Jews called them the Shekinah, that is, God's habitation, because Jebo. vah dwelt therein, and spake therefrom. It may also pre. figure the glory of God's dwelling in the human nature of Christ, and bis sojourning amongst us. Secondly, by the Lord's saying to Solomon, “ Ask what I shall give thee," we see the amazing condescension of the Lord, and what ways of mercy he takes to bless his people, to open his covenant, bis promise, and his love to them. Thirdly, no poor distressed soul ought to despair of mercy while God says, “ Ask wbat I shall give thee.” Fourtbly, the christian should learn that it is no presumption to ask great things of God, when bis promises are so great and precious, and bis invitations so free; therefore saith our Lord, “ Ask, that ye may receive, and your joy shall be full.”
Solomon's trading, which we read of in the close of the foregoing chapter,
and the encouragement he gave both to merchandize and manufacture, was very commendable: but building was the work he was designed for, and to that business he is here applying himself. Here is, (1.) Solomon's determination to build the temple and a royal palace, and his appointing of labourers to be employed herein, ver. 1, 2, 17, 18. (2.) His request to Huram king of Tyre, to furnish him both with artists and materials, ver. 3-10. (3.) Huram's obliging answer to, and compliance with his requests, ver. 11-16.
VER. 5. “ For great is our God above all gods."] This denotes the infinite glories and perfections of Jehovah, as the self-existent, independent, and all-sufficient Being, who is infinitely and superlatively above all other beings, in his names, nature, perfections and glories, existing of and from himself, only known to himself, and to be enjoyed in himself; who is transcendently above all thought, and infinitely happy in the great fulness of his own perfections ; which is what makes the Lord such an unspeakable portion to them that are blessed with a spiritual knowledge of him and communion with him.
Ver. 6. “ Seeing the heaven, and heaven of heavens cannot contain him.”]-W bich shews Jehovah's immen. sity, infinity, and incomprehensibility ; that he is not in his nature, power, authority, or glory, limited, bounded, or confined to any part or place; but that his omniscience and omnipresence search through beaven and earth. This shews how boundless, immense, and great is the blessed. ness of the saints, that wherever they exist God's presence will be their fulness of glory and joy.
Ver. 9. “ For the house that I am about to build shall be wonderfully great."]-The temple was a type of Christ, and it was necessary that it should be wonderfully great; for he is wonderful great in his person, in his nature, in his offices, in his incarnation, in bis death, in his propitiation, in his resurrection, in his promises, and in the whole of sal. vation : or if we understand the temple to be a type of the church, it was necessary to be wonderful great, as the church is stiled “ the perfection of beauty," the “ king's palace,” tbe garden of God, his crown of glory, and his royal diadem; whicb sets forth the great love and delight which the Lord takes in his chosen ; for they are his temple, his rest, and bis babitation,
It was a much larger and more particular account of the building of the
temple which we had in the book of Kings, than is here. In this chapter we have, (1.) The place and time of building the temple, ver. 1,2. (2.) 'The dimensions and rieb ornaments of it, ver. 3-9. (3.) The cherubims in the most holy place, ver. 10–13. (4.) The veil, ver. 14. (5.) The two pillars, ver. 15–17. Of all which we have already had an account, i Kings vi,
VER. 1. “ Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem in mount Moriab.”]-Moriah, signi. fies the fear of the Lord, or see a vision; in wbich this mount was an emblem of the fear of the Lord, which is wrought in the hearts of the people of God, and of the vision and revelation of grace and salvation to the church. As this chapter and the next contain the building of the temple, and the various branches of it in the service of God, oliserve,
The temple was built at Jerusalem, on mount Moriah, in the threshing floor of Ornan, the Jebusite, whereabout Abraham offered up Isaac. This mount Moriah, therefore, was a type of the Son of God, the mountain of the Lord's house, the rock “ against which the gates of hell cannot prevail.”
As therefore mount Moriah was a type of Christ as the foundation, so Solomon was a type of bim as the builder of his church. The mount was remarkable, for that thereon the Lord God, before Abraham and David, did display his mercy. And as Solomon built this teniple, so doth Christ build his house ; " Yea, he shall build the everlasting temple, and he shall bear the glory," Heb. iii. 9, 4. Zech. vi. 12, 13.
The materials with which the temple was built were such as were in their own nature common to that which was left behind : things that naturally were not fit to be laid without art, to be laid on so holy a house. And this shews, that those of whom Christ Jesus designs to build his church, are by nature no better than others. But as the trees and stones of which the temple was built, were first hewed and squared before they were fit to be laid in that house; so sinners, of which the church is to be built, must first be fitted by the Spirit, word, and doctrine, and then fitly laid in their place in the church.
The foundation of the temple is that upon which it stood, and it was twofold: first, the bill of Moriah, and then those great stones upon wbich it was erected. This hill Moriali, as was said before, did more properly typify Christ, as Moriah signifies a vision, which is one of Christ's names : hence Moriah is called the " mountain of the house," it being the rock on which it was built : those great stones, called foundation stones, were types of the prophets and apostles. Matt. xvi. 18. Eph. ii. 20, 21. Heb. xi. 10.
Now as the temple bad this double foundation, so we must consider it respectively and distinctly ; for Chrisi is
the foundation one way, the prophets and apostles å foundation another: Christ is the foundation personally and meri. toriously, but the prophets and apostles by doctrine ministerially. As the church then, wbich is God's new testament temple, is said to be built on Christ the foundation, so none other is the fonndation but he, 1 Cor. iii. I, 12. But as it is said to be built upon the apostles, so it is said to have twelve foundations, aud must have none but they, Rev. xxi. 14.
Observe these foundation stones: as they were great, so they were costly stones: they were inlaid with other stones more precious than themselves, with stones of divers colours, according as it is written, “I will lay the foundation with sapphires," Isaiah liv. 11. Not that the foundations were sapphires, but they were laid, inlaid with them ; or, as he says in another place, " They were adorned with goodly stones and gifts,” Luke xxi. 5. .
This is still more amplified where it is written of the New Jerusalem, (which is still the testament church on earth, and so the same in substance with what is now)" the foundations of the wall of the city, (saith be) were garnished with all manner of precious stones," Rev. xxi. 10.
Observe, the pillars stood, one on the right hand, and the other on the left, at the door of the porch of the temple, and they had names given them. The name of that on the right hand was called Jachin, God sball establish ; and the name of that on the left hand was Boaz, In it is strength, 1 Kings vii. 21. 2 Chron. iii. 17. These two pillars were types of Christ's establishing his kingdom, and strengthening bis people.
Note. There were to be two rows of pomegranates; grace and glory, grace and glory! These are the pomegranates with which the word of the gospel is proclaimed, that sinners may be taken and saved thereby. The argument of old was milk and honey : that was the alluring bait with which Moses drew six hundred thousand out of Egypt, into the wilderness of old, Exod. iii. 8. But behold, we have pomegranates, two rows of pomegranates: grace and a kingdom are the sound of the holy gospel.
Remark. The temple was widest upward ; let us there. sore imilate it, and have our conversation in heaven : let our eyes, our cars, our hands and bearts, our prayers and groans, be most for things above. Let us open our mouths, as the ground that is chapped doth for the latter rain, for the things that are eternal; Job xxix. 23. Psalm lxxxi. 10.