2 Chronicles 1 Commentary

To go directly to that verse

The Kingdom of Israel
From Splendor to Disaster
Splendor Disaster
King Solomon
of Judah
2 Chronicles 1-9
Successive Kings
of Judah
2Chr 10-36
2Chr 10:1-19
Rulers of the Southern
Kingdom of Judah
After the Split
The Exile
of Judah
2Chr 36:17-23

2Chr 1:1-17

2Chr 2:1-7:22
2Chr 8:1-9:31
of the Temple
Decline & Destruction
of the Temple
~40 Years ~393 Years

Click chart to enlarge
Chart from Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
Click Chart from Charles Swindoll









1Samuel 2 Samuel 1Kings 1Kings 2 Kings


1-4 5-10 11-20 21-24 1-11 12-22 1-17 18-25

1 Chronicles 10



2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles

Legend: B.C. dates at top of timeline are approximate. Note that 931BC marks the division of the Kingdom into Southern Tribes (Judah and Benjamin) and Ten Northern Tribes. To avoid confusion be aware that after the division of the Kingdom in 931BC, the Southern Kingdom is most often designated in Scripture as "Judah" and the Northern Kingdom as "Israel." Finally, note that 1 Chronicles 1-9 is not identified on the timeline because these chapters are records of genealogy.



2 Chronicles 1:1 Now Solomon the son of David established himself securely over his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him and exalted him greatly.  

Related Passage:

1 Kings 2:46  So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he went out and fell upon him (ADONIJAH) so that he died. Thus the kingdom was established in the hands of Solomon.


Frederick Mabie: The idea of divine presence (as reflected in the Chronicler’s note that the Lord God was “with” Solomon, 2Ch 1:1) is an important theological motif that threads it way through the pages of Scripture. In the beginning of the creation of humankind, the presence of God was up front and center, before being marred and lost through sin. From the opening chapters of Genesis to the closing chapters of Revelation, the redemptive plan of God is working to reestablish the fullness of divine presence to his people.

August Konkel: Wealth and wisdom seem to be a rare combination, as much as they are universally regarded as desirable. Not many in contemporary time would be generally acclaimed as having both qualities. Solomon is legendary in both respects. The Chronicler shows how the legend is true. . . Solomon is introduced as wise and wealthy, a result of God’s gifts to him. Wisdom in Chronicles is precisely for building the temple. Solomon is modeled after Bezalel (Dillard 1980: 296); it is only after seeking God at the altar built by Bezalel that Solomon is endowed with wisdom. In 2 Chronicles 1:12, God promises to grant Solomon riches, wealth, and honor; these are declared in 2Ch 1:14–17 and again after the account of temple building in 2Ch 9:25, 27–28. The wealth of Solomon frames the narrative to highlight Solomon’s wisdom as temple builder. The word ḥokmah (wisdom) is used for technical skill and life skills. The wisdom of technical skill is given to Bezalel to build the tabernacle (Exod 31:1–3; 35:30–35). This is the wisdom the Chronicler attributes to Solomon at Gibeon. . . Solomon is renowned for wealth and wisdom. The Chronicler is correct in affirming these virtues. Sadly, Solomon’s end was not as the beginning. Solomon’s life ended in disaster, and his kingdom divided at his death. Nevertheless, the kingdom promised to David endured.

Martin Selman: The covenant theme in fact underlies Chronicles’ entire presentation of Solomon, which is much more concerned with Solomon’s significance in the purposes of God than listing the major events of Solomon’s life. It is for this reason that Chronicles has left out many important features found in the Kings account, such as Solomon’s personal details.

Andrew Hill: Solomon’s request for wisdom serves as a foil for the opening chapter and provides the framework for the entire literary unit (chs. 1–9). Instead of “wealth, riches or honor,” Solomon entreats Yahweh for wisdom and knowledge to govern God’s people effectively (2Ch 1:11). Although he does not ask for these material blessings, God chooses to grant them to Solomon as a reward for his righteous prayer (2Ch 1:12). The report of Solomon’s wealth found in 1 Kings 10:26–29 are placed as bookends encasing the story of David’s successor and the building of the Jerusalem temple (cf. 2 Chron. 1:14–17; 9:25–28). The emphasis of the opening chapter on wisdom and wealth as divine gifts mean they do not die with King Solomon. This is a cue to the postexilic Hebrew community that they too might acquire similar gifts from God through prayer.

J.A. Thompson: Above all else, this chapter reminds us that Solomon began his reign by seeking God (2Ch 1:5). Here, as elsewhere, it is not the specific facts of Solomon's reign but the principles behind it that the Chronicler stresses. The postexilic Jews, like Israel after the death of David, faced an uncertain future. The right place to begin was with God. His favor and direction alone could give health and peace to the nation. Once again, therefore, the king is portrayed in a favorable light not in order to obscure his sins but in order to make the point that the good things he did are what we should imitate.

John Olley -  The opening chapter of Solomon’s reign describes three different aspects of preparation that set the scene.

- First comes affirmation of continuity of the worship established by Moses in the wilderness: Solomon and the nation’s leaders go to Gibeon to offer on the “bronze altar” of the “tent of meeting of God” (2 Chron. 1:2–6).

- Second, there the Lord appears and promises to Solomon “wisdom and knowledge” together with “riches, possessions, and honor” that will be used mainly for the temple (vv. 7–13).

- The final aspect of preparation is the riches acquired through trading that provide for the building and its ongoing worship (vv. 14–17).

Now Solomon the son of David established himself securely over his kingdom, and the LORD (Yahweh) his God (Elohim) was with him and exalted him greatly - This first chapter could be titled Solomon's good beginning. Notice the juxtaposition of Man's responsibility and God's sovereign provision.

THOUGHT - Good beginnings even combined with wisdom are no guarantee of a good finish! Sadly we see this in the case of Solomon but in a number of the other kings in Judah. What's the lesson? Hebrews 12:1-2+ "let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith." How are you running? 

Frederick Mabie: The Chronicler begins his account of Solomon’s reign by emphasizing God’s favor on Solomon during the transition from Davidic to Solomonic rule in Israel. The theological notions of divine election, presence, and enablement are all succinctly noted within this opening statement of 2 Chronicles. In addition, this opening remark connects Solomon with the divine favor of the Davidic dynasty via similar statements of divine favor made concerning David (cf. 1Ch 11:9; 17:8).

Andrew Hill: The Chronicler opens and closes his “photo album” of Solomon’s reign with a similar “snapshot”: the king firmly in control of the empire he has inherited from his father, David (2Ch 1:1; cf. 9:26). The expression “established himself firmly” (Hithpael of ḥzq) may be an oblique reference to the steps taken by Solomon to secure the throne after his accession (including “showing kindness” to political assets and “striking down” political liabilities, cf. 1 Kings 2:5–46). The introductory verse also affirms Solomon as God’s choice for governing his people. Much like his father, God is “with” Solomon (2 Chron. 1:1b; cf. 1 Chron. 11:9; 17:8).

Raymond Dillard: “Exalted him.” The Chronicler twice uses the piel in reference to Solomon (2Ch 1:1; 1 Chr 29:25). The same verb is also used twice in reference to Joshua (Josh 3:7; 4:14), suggesting that the Chronicler has used the succession of Moses and Joshua as a paradigm for his account of the succession of David and Solomon.

As you recall, King David has died, leaving Solomon as king, with a charge to him and the people that they build the temple of God. There had been a problem with Solomon receiving the crown. We saw in the book of 1Kings that when David was dying of old age, another one of his sons tried to ascend to the throne. Ad-o-nee-YAH, the son of Khag-GHEETH, got some of David's key men to support him. Fortunately, Solomon was crowned king before David's death, and the new king had the key players in the rebellion put to death (1Kings 2). Now, Solomon has established himself securely in the kingdom.

Exalted By God -- Not only was Solomon secure politically, but the Lord was exalting him greatly. The word "exalt" means, "to promote, to grow, to magnify and make great." In the Scripture, we see that exalting ourselves is always a negative thing (Exo. 9:17; 1Kings 1:5; etc.). But when the Lord exalts us, it is a wonderful thing (Josh. 3:7; Psa. 75:7; etc.) When the disciples were continually arguing amongst themselves as to which of them was the greatest, Jesus said, Mark 9:35 ..."If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all."

When you strive to exalt yourself, you will end up diminished. But, as James said, James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. Solomon's brother Ad-o-nee-YAH had tried to exalt himself, and was cast down. It was the Lord who exalted Solomon, and so he was magnified and made great.

Matthew Henry Notes: Book: II Chronicles
This book begins with the reign of Solomon and the building of the temple, and continues the history of the kings of Judah thenceforward to the captivity and so concludes with the fall of that illustrious monarchy and the destruction of the temple. That monarchy of the house of David, as it was prior in time, so it was superior in worth and dignity to all those four celebrated ones of which Nebuchadnezzar dreamed. The Babylonian monarchy I reckon to begin in Nebuchadnezzar himself-Thou art that head of gold, and that lasted but about seventy years; The Persian monarchy, in several families, about 130; the Grecian, in their several branches, about 300; and 300 more went far with the Roman. But as I reckon David a greater hero than any of the founders of those monarchies, and Solomon a more magnificent prince than any of those that were the glories of them, so the succession was kept up in a lineal descent throughout the whole monarchy, which continued considerable between 400 and 500 years, and, after a long eclipse, shone forth again in the kingdom of the Messiah, of the increase of whose government and peace there shall be no end. This history of the Jewish monarchy, as it is more authentic, so it is more entertaining and more instructive, than the histories of any of those monarchies. We had the story of the house of David before, in the first and second books of Kings, intermixed with that of the kings of Israel, which there took more room than that of Judah; but here we have it entire. Much is repeated here which we had before, yet many of the passages of the story are enlarged upon, and divers added, which we had not before, especially relating to the affairs of religion; for it is a church-history, and it is written for our learning, to let nations and families know that then, and then only, they can expect to prosper, when they keep in the way of their duty to God: for all along the good kings prospered and the wicked kings suffered.

The peaceable reign of Solomon we have (2Ch 1-9), the blemished reign of Rehoboam (ch. 10-12), the short but busy reign of Abijah (ch. 13), the long and happy reign of Asa (ch. 14-16), the pious and prosperous reign of Jehoshaphat (ch. 17-20), the impious and infamous reigns of Jehoram and Ahaziah (ch. 21-22), the unsteady reigns of Joash and Amaziah (ch. 24, 25), the long and prosperous reign of Uzziah (ch. 26), the regular reign of Jotham (ch. 27), the profane and wicked reign of Ahaz (ch. 28), the gracious glorious reign of Hezekiah (ch. 29-32), the wicked reigns of Manasseh and Amon (ch. 33), the reforming reign of Josiah (ch. 34, 35), the ruining reigns of his sons (ch. 36). Put all these together, and the truth of that word of God will appear, Those that honour me I will honour, but those that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. The learned Mr. Whiston, in his chronology, suggests that the historical books which were written after the captivity (namely, the two books of Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah) have more mistakes in names and numbers than all the books of the Old Testament besides, through the carelessness of transcribers: but, though that should be allowed, the things are so very minute that we may be confident the foundation of God stands sure notwithstanding.

Chapter: 1
In the close of the foregoing book we read how God magnified Solomon and Israel obeyed him; God and Israel concurred to honour him. Now here we have an account,

  • I. How he honoured God by sacrifice (2Ch 1:1-6) and by prayer (2Ch 1:7-12).
  • II. How he honoured Israel by increasing their strength, wealth, and trade (2Ch 1:13-17).

Verses: 2Ch 1:1-12
Here is,

I. Solomon's great prosperity, 2Chr 1:1. Though he had a contested title, yet, God being with him, he was strengthened in his kingdom; his heart and hands were strengthened, and his interest in the people. God's presence will be our strength.

II. His great piety and devotion. His father was a prophet, a psalmist, and kept mostly to the ark; but Solomon, having read much in his Bible concerning the tabernacle which Moses built and the altars there, paid more respect to them than, it should seem, David had done. Both did well, and let neither be censured. If the zeal of one be carried out most to one instance of religion, and of another to some other instance, let them not judge nor despise each other.

1. All his great men must thus far be good men that they must join with him in worshipping God. He spoke to the captains and judges, the governors and chief of the fathers, to go with him to Gibeon, 2Chr 1:2, 3. Authority and interest are well bestowed on those that will thus use them for the glory of God, and the promoting of religion. It is our duty to engage all with whom we have influence in the solemnities of religion, and it is very desirable to have many join with us in those solemnities-the more the better; it is the more like heaven. Solomon began his reign with this public pious visit to God's altar, and it was a very good omen. Magistrates are then likely to do well for themselves and their people when they thus take God along with them at their setting out.

2. He offered abundance of sacrifices to God there (2Chr 1:6): 1000 burnt-offerings, and perhaps a greater number of peace-offerings, on which he and his company feasted before the Lord. Where God sows plentifully he expects to reap accordingly. His father David had left him flocks and herds in abundance (1 Chr. 27:29, 31), and thus he gave God his dues out of them. The ark was at Jerusalem (2Chr 1:4), but the altar was at Gibeon (2Chr 1:5), and thither he brought his sacrifices; for it is the altar that sanctifieth every gift.

3. He prayed a good prayer to God: this, with the answer to it, we had before, 1 Ki. 3:5, etc.

(1.) God bade him ask what he would; not only that he might put him in the right way of obtaining the favours that were intended him (Ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full), but that he might try him, how he stood affected, and might discover what was in his heart. Men's characters appear in their choices and desires. What wouldst thou have? tries a man as much as, What wouldst thou do? Thus God tried whether Solomon was one of the children of this world, that say, Who will show us any good, or of the children of light, that say, Lord, lift up the light of thy countenance upon us. As we choose we shall have, and that is likely to be our portion to which we give the preference, whether the wealth and pleasure of this world or spiritual riches or delights.

(2.) Like a genuine son of David, he chose spiritual blessings rather than temporal. His petition here is, Give me wisdom and knowledge. He owns those to be desirable gifts, and God to be the giver of them, Prov. 2:6. God gave the faculty of understanding, and to him we must apply for the furniture of it. Two things are here pleaded which we had not in Kings:-

{1.} Thou hast made me reign in my father's stead, 2Chr 1:8. "Lord, thou hast put me into this place, and therefore I can in faith ask of thee grace to enable me to do the duty of it.'' What service we have reason to believe God calls us to we have reason to hope he will qualify us for. But that is not all. "Lord, thou hast put me into this place in the stead of David, the great and good man that filled it up so well; therefore give me wisdom, that Israel may not suffer damage by the change. Must I reign in my father's stead? Lord, give me my father's spirit.'' Note, The eminency of those that went before us, and the obligation that lies upon us to keep up and carry on the good work they were engaged in, should provoke us to a gracious emulation, and quicken our prayers to God for wisdom and grace, that we may do the work of God in our day as faithfully and well as they did in theirs.

{2.} Let thy promise to David my father be established, 2Chr 1:9. He means the promise of concerning his successor. "In performance of that promise, Lord, give me wisdom.'' We do not find that wisdom was any of the things promised, but it was necessary in order to the accomplishment of what was promised, 2 Sa. 7:13-15. The promise was, He shall build a house for my name, I will establish his throne, he shall be my son, and my mercy shall not depart from him. "Now, Lord, unless thou give me wisdom, thy house will not be built, nor my throne established; I shall behave in a manner unbecoming my relation to thee as a Father, shall forfeit thy mercy, and fool it away; therefore, Lord, give me wisdom.'' Note, First, God's promises are our best pleas in prayer. Remember thy word unto thy servant. Secondly, Children may take the comfort of the promises of that covenant which their parents, in their baptism, laid claim to, and took hold of, for them. Thirdly, The best way to obtain the benefit of the promises and privileges of the covenant is to be earnest in prayer with God for wisdom and grace to do the duties of it.

4. He received a gracious answer to this prayer, 2Chr 1:11, 12. 

(1.) God gave him the wisdom that he asked for because he asked for it. Wisdom is a gift that God gives as freely and liberally as any gift to those that value it, and wrestle for it; and will resolve to make use of it; and he upbraids not the poor petitioners with their folly, James 1:5. God's grace shall never be wanting to those who sincerely desire to know and do their duty.

(2.) God gave him the wealth and honour which he did not ask for because he asked not for them. Those that pursue present things most earnestly are most likely to miss of them; while those that refer themselves to the providence of God, if they have not the most of those things, have the most comfort in them. Those that make this world their end come short of the other and are disappointed in this too; but those that make the other world their end shall not only obtain that, and full satisfaction in it, but shall enjoy as much as is convenient of this world in their way.

QUESTION - Who was Solomon in the Bible?

ANSWER - Solomon was the third and last king of the united kingdom of Israel, following King Saul and King David. He was the son of David and Bathsheba, the former wife of Uriah the Hittite whom David had killed to hide his adultery with Bathsheba while her husband was on the battle front. Solomon wrote the Song of Solomon, the book of Ecclesiastes, and much of the book of Proverbs. His authorship of Ecclesiastes is contested by some, but Solomon is the only “son of David” to be “king over Israel” (not just Judah) “in Jerusalem” (Ecclesiastes 1:1, 12), and many of the descriptions of the author fit Solomon perfectly. Solomon reigned for 40 years (1 Kings 11:42).

What are the highlights of Solomon’s life? When he ascended to the throne, he sought after God, and God gave him opportunity to ask for whatever he wanted. Solomon humbly acknowledged his inability to rule well and unselfishly asked God for the wisdom he would need to rule God’s people justly. God gave him wisdom and wealth besides (1 Kings 3:4–15; 10:27). In fact, "King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth" (1 Kings 10:23). God also gave Solomon peace on all sides during most of his reign (1 Kings 4:20–25).

One common illustration of Solomon’s wisdom is his judging a dispute over the identity of the true mother of an infant child (1 Kings 3:16-28). Solomon proposed splitting the living child in half, knowing that the true mother would prefer to lose her son to another woman than to have him killed. Solomon was not only wise in his rule but had great general wisdom as well. His wisdom was renowned in his day. The Queen of Sheba traveled 1,200 miles to verify the rumors of his wisdom and grandeur (1 Kings 10). "Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of the LORD, she was overwhelmed" (1 Kings 10:3–5). Solomon proved not only to be knowledgeable but to have put his wisdom into action in the way his kingdom functioned.

Solomon wrote many proverbs and songs (1 Kings 4:32) and completed many building projects (1 Kings 7:1–12; 9:15–23). Solomon also built a fleet of ships and acquired tons of gold from Ophir with Hiram, king of Tyre, as a partner (1 Kings 9:26–28; 10:11, 22). Perhaps Solomon’s most important building project was completing the Jewish temple per the instructions and provisions of his father, David (1 Kings 6; 1 Chronicles 22).

Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, many of them foreigners who led him into public idolatry in his old age, greatly angering God (1 Kings 11:1–13). First Kings 11:9–10 records, "The LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the LORD’s command." God told Solomon that he would remove the kingdom from him, but, for the sake of David, would not do so during Solomon’s lifetime. He also promised not to tear the whole kingdom away. In the meantime, God raised up adversaries against Solomon who caused trouble the remainder of Solomon’s life (1 Kings 11:14–25). Jeroboam, who would become the first king of Israel, also began to rebel against Solomon, but fled (1 Kings 11:26–40). The kingdom was divided under Rehoboam, Solomon’s son (1 Kings 12).

There are many lessons we can learn from the life of Solomon. First, when we seek God with all of our heart, He will be found (1 Kings 3:3–7). Second, those who honor God will be honored by Him (1 Kings 3:11–13; 1 Samuel 2:30). Third, God will equip us to accomplish the tasks He calls us to if we will rely on Him (1 Kings 3; Romans 12:3–8; 2 Peter 1:3). Fourth, the spiritual life is a marathon, not a sprint. A good start is not always enough to finish well (1 Kings 3; 11). Fifth, we can sincerely ask God to incline our hearts toward Him (1 Kings 8:57–58), but we will wander off the path of righteousness if we choose to violate His revealed Word. Sixth, those closest to us will affect our spiritual lives (Exodus 34:16; 1 Kings 11:1–8; Daniel 1; 3; 1 Corinthians 15:33), and we must therefore be very careful of the company we keep. Seventh, life lived apart from God will be meaningless, regardless of education, fulfilled goals, the greatest of pleasures, and the greatest abundance of wealth (Ecclesiastes 1:2). GotQuestions.org

Related Resources:

2 Chronicles 1:2 Solomon 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.

  • Then Solomon (KJV): This seems to have taken place a short time after David's decease, and, according to some, in the second year of Solomon's reign; when being established in his kingdom, he convened his chief men, and spake to them concerning the solemn sacrifice which he purposed to offer to God.
  • to the captains (KJV): 2Ch 29:20 30:2 34:29,30 1Ch 13:1 15:3 27:1 28:1 29:1 
  • the chief (KJV): 1Ch 15:12 24:4,31

Solomon 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. 

Andrew Hill: The reference to “all Israel” (2Ch 1:2) hearkens back to the unity of God’s people under King David as Israel’s divinely appointed leader (cf. 1 Chron. 28:4; 29:21, 23, 25).

Bob Utley on 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).

Frederick Mabie: Solomon’s speech to all levels of the Israelite leadership emphasizes the breadth of unity and oneness that shapes this pilgrimage to Gibeon by the Israelite community. A gathering of a similar group of individuals was organized by David to announce that Solomon would build the temple for the Lord (1Ch 28:1–8) as well as the procession that accompanied David in moving the ark of the covenant from Kiriath Jearim to Jerusalem (1Ch 13 and 15).

Raymond Dillard: In Kings Solomon’s visit to the high place at Gibeon is presented essentially as an act of private devotion; the Chronicler has recorded instead a national cultic assembly in which representatives of “all Israel” assemble in Jerusalem and journey to the high place. The Chronicler had earlier shown the same concern to introduce “all Israel” into the record of David’s reign (1 Chr 11:4 // 2 Sam 5:6; 1 Chr 11–12); the unity and fullness of the people continue through the reign of Solomon.

FROM RON DANIEL 2Chr 1:2-4 Where Should We Sacrifice?

Solomon took a huge group of people with him to offer sacrifices to the Lord. Question: Where should he do this? There were three options.

1) At Gibeon, six miles away, was the tent of meeting - the same one that Moses had made in the book of Exodus. Remember that God judged Shiloh (Jer. 7:12) for the sin of the priests and the people. In one day, the priests died and the ark was stolen by the Philistines (1Sam. 4). The glory had departed (1Sam. 4:21) from the tabernacle. After a brief time at Nob (1Sam. 21), the tabernacle was finally put in Gibeon (1Chron. 16:39), where it remained through the reign of David, and into the early days of Solomon's reign. This was where the sacrifices had been offered since those days. But it was up on a high place, which was not pleasing to God, because it followed the model of the Canaanite offerings.

2) The second option for Solomon was right there at the tent in Jerusalem which housed the ark. The day that David had the ark brought back from Keer-YATH Yeh-aw-REEM, sacrifices had been offered there. 1Chr. 16:1 And they brought in the ark of God and placed it inside the tent which David had pitched for it, and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God.

But then David... 1Chr. 16:37 ...left Asaph and his relatives there before the ark of the covenant of the LORD to minister before the ark continually, as every day's work required;

They did not offer sacrifices at this location afterwards, for we read, 1Chr. 6:49 But Aaron and his sons offered on the altar of burnt offering and on the altar of incense, for all the work of the most holy place, and to make atonement for Israel, according to all that Moses the servant of God had commanded.

3) The third option was just up the hill on the east side of Jerusalem. Most recently, David had been sacrificing up there on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. This was because the judgment of God was stopped at this location.

1Chr. 21:28-22:1 At that time, when David saw that the LORD had answered him on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he offered sacrifice there. For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were in the high place at Gibeon at that time. But David could not go before it to inquire of God, for he was terrified by the sword of the angel of the LORD. Then David said, "This is the house of the LORD God, and this is the altar of burnt offering for Israel."

David was then afraid to go to the high place at Gibeon. So which location would Solomon choose? The altar of sacrifice in front of the tent of meeting at Gibeon, which was on a high place; the tent in Jerusalem before the ark of the covenant; or the place where David said was the location of the altar for Israel? 1Kings 3:2-4 The people were still sacrificing on the high places, because there was no house built for the name of the LORD until those days. Now Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David, except he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place...This makes me think of people's choice of churches today.

- There is the high place at Gibeon, the church "that we've always gone to, even though there are aspects that are clearly not pleasing to God."

- There is the tent in Jerusalem, which is the church that is missing a lot of stuff, but it's a happy place with all the praise and music going on."

- Then there is the threshing floor. A place that has no "bells or whistles," but it's clearly the place that God has met me most recently, and so this is where I will worship.

Which one is the right place to go? Let me tell you: There is no one perfect church that is perfectly pleasing to God. You can't find the perfect church, it's impossible. But God's people still need to choose where they will worship, because you can't forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Heb. 10:25) either. And so my counsel is, make the best choice you can, pick a place, and worship the Lord. I believe that God will meet you there.

2 Chronicles 1:3 Then 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.

  • Gibeon (KJV): 1Ki 3:4-15 1Ch 16:39 21:29 
  • the tabernacle (KJV): Ex 26:1-37 40:2,34 Lev 1:1 
  • the servant (KJV): De 34:5 

 Hill of Gibeon as seen from  nearby mosque Nebi Samwil
(Parsons Bible Pictures)

Then Solomon and all the assembly with him went to the high place (bamah) which was at Gibeon, for God’s tent of meeting was there, which Moses the servant of the LORD had made in the wilderness - In this context "high place" does not have the evil implications of high places mentioned later in Israel's history, for those places became sites of flagrant idolatry and gross immorality. 

Bob Utley - the high place which was at Gibeon" Later in Israel's history these "high places" (1Sa. 9:12-14; 10:5,13; 1Ki 3:3a; 15:14; 22:43; 2 Kgs. 12:3) are condemned because of their connection to fertility worship (cf. Nu. 33:52; Dt. 12:2; 1Ki 11:7). See Special Topic: Fertility Worship in the ANE. and Fertility Cults But here this was a gesture of faith (cf. 1Ki 3:4; 1 Chr. 16:39) of the new king seeking YHWH's help and blessing before the Tabernacle (cf. 1Ch 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 (2Ch 1:4; 2Sa 6:17; 1 Chr. 16:1). Gibeon was about four miles NW of Jerusalem. SPECIAL TOPIC: MY SERVANT.

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

Frederick Mabie: The mention of a mass pilgrimage to a high place is at first startling in the light of the negative association of high places within biblical literature. However, prior to the construction of the temple, high places were often generic worship sites not necessarily connected with pagan worship, and they reflect a non-centralized worship setting (cf. 1Ki 3:2). Because of the possibility that the Chronicler’s audience would view Solomon’s trip to a high place negatively, much is done to emphasize that the high place at Gibeon was a legitimate place of worship. Of particular importance, we learn here that the Tent of Meeting made by Moses “the LORD’s servant” as well as the bronze altar for burnt offerings crafted by Bezalel (2Ch 1:5; cf. Ex 38:1–2) were at Gibeon (see also 1Ch 21:29). The Tent of Meeting underscores continuity with Moses, while the bronze altar connects the site with the Israelite sacrificial system and the Aaronic priesthood (see 1Ch 16:39–40). These details combine to make it clear that the high place at Gibeon was not only a legitimate sacred place, but also an important site prior to the construction of the temple (note its description as the “great” or “most important” high place in the parallel text at 1Ki 3:4).

Andrew Hill: Worship is also a topic of paramount importance for the Chronicler. His narrative of Solomon’s reign underscores the purpose of the Jerusalem temple as both a place of prayer and ritual sacrifice (2Ch 6:29, 40; 7:12). The king’s own worship life illustrates the complementary nature of prayer and sacrifice, as Solomon began his rule by inquiring of the Lord and presenting burnt offerings to him (2Ch 1:5–6). Beyond this, Solomon prays and God immediately and explicitly answers his requests (e.g., 2Ch 1:8–10 [see 2Ch 1:11–12]; 6:14–42 [see 2Ch 7:12–22]). As David’s son and successor, Solomon understands that only “wholehearted” worship is acceptable to God (6:14). For the Chronicler prayer is the heart of worship, which ensures that ritual sacrifice is more than just the empty form of religion (2Ch 6:21). Maintaining a proper relationship with God and restoring wholehearted worship is at times dependent on the forgiveness of God as a response to humble repentance (cf. 2Ch 7:14). Yahweh is a merciful God (Deut. 4:31), and his compassions never fail (Lam. 3:22). No doubt, the Chronicler’s “shorter catechism” for postexilic Judah includes these essential theological truths: Prayer still works, and there is always hope for the sinner!

Waltonhigh place at Gibeon. Located about four miles northwest of Jerusalem, Gibeon (el-Jib) lies in the Benjaminite hill country with several nearby springs and an elaborate tunneled water system making it an important local settlement. The cultic site or high place where Solomon made his huge offering of one thousand sacrifices (1 Kings 3:4) may have actually been on a promontory called Nebi Samwil, about a mile south of Gibeon. The city’s prominence is also found in its inclusion in Shishak’s list of cities during his Palestine campaign. The use of a high place is not condemned by the biblical writer prior to the construction of the Jerusalem temple and the implementation of “Jeroboam’s sin” (see comments on 1 Sam 10:8; 1 Kings 12:28–31). Tent of Meeting. See the comments on Exodus 27:21 and Ex 33:7–10 on the construction and use of this sacred installation during the wilderness period. The fact that it has been separated from the ark is only found in this narrative.

G Campbell Morgan - . 2 Chr 1.3.
We now come to the chronicler's account of how Solomon entered into full possession of his kingdom, and took up the great work entrusted to him. He commenced by gathering his people to a sacred act of worship. Although the ark was in a temporary tent in Jerusalem which David had prepared for it, the Tent or Tabernacle, and the brazen altar, were still at Gibeon. Thither, therefore, the king and his people resorted. The description of the Tabernacle in these words is arresting, and helps us to see the value of the change the revisers made when they tendered "Tent of Meeting," instead of "Tabernacle of Congregation." "There was the Tabernacle of the Congregation of God," as the Authorized Version has it, conveys an inadequate impression, as it suggests that it was a place where the people assembled. It was that, but it was much more. It was "the Tent of Meeting of God"; that is, it was the place where the people met with God. That is always the idea; not the meeting of the people with each other, but their meeting with God. This gathering of the people around that Tent was according to Divine order, and it is interesting to note that notwithstanding the fact that the ark was not there, God met with Solomon and communed with him. Thus we have a revelation of the value of observing a true Divine order, and at the same time an illustration of the fact that where obedience is sincere, God is not bound by any strict letter, even of His own law.

QUESTION - Why did Solomon worship at a high place?

ANSWER - In 2 Chronicles 1 we are told that Solomon, early in his reign, worshiped at a high place. Verse 3 reads, “Solomon and the whole assembly went to the high place at Gibeon, for God’s tent of meeting was there, which Moses the LORD’s servant had made in the wilderness.”

The text is clear that the reason Solomon worshiped at this high place was that the tabernacle (also called the tent of meeting) was located there. This was the same tabernacle that the children of Israel, under Moses’ leadership, had constructed in the wilderness many years previously. Prior to the construction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, the tabernacle was the place God had chosen for worship.

In fact, King David had previously worshiped the Lord at this high place in Gibeon. First Chronicles 16:39 notes, “David left Zadok the priest and his fellow priests before the tabernacle of the LORD at the high place in Gibeon.” With the tabernacle was the altar of burnt offering (see 1 Chronicles 21:29).

While in Gibeon, “Solomon went up to the bronze altar before the LORD in the tent of meeting and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it” (2 Chronicles 1:6). That night, the Lord appeared to Solomon and offered to give him anything he requested. When Solomon requested wisdom, God promised to give it to him, along with vast wealth, possessions, and honor (verse 12).

In 2 Chronicles 2, Solomon prepared to build the Jewish temple as a place for his people to worship the Lord. First Kings 6:38 notes that construction of the temple took seven years to complete. Once the temple was finished, Solomon had the tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant placed inside the temple, and from then on the temple was the place for Jewish worship.

Though Solomon later was led astray into idol-worship by his many wives, his experience in 2 Chronicles 1 of worshiping at a high place was a noble one that God honored. It was only after the temple was completed that Gibeon was no longer considered a place to worship the Lord.

After Solomon’s time, many wicked kings of Israel used “high places” for worshiping false gods. For example, King Jehoram of Judah “built high places on the hills of Judah and . . . caused the people of Jerusalem to prostitute themselves and . . . led Judah astray” (2 Chronicles 21:11). In most contexts, high places are associated with false worship. However, in Solomon’s worship at the high place in Gibeon, he worshiped at the tabernacle and presented offerings to the Lord God. GotQuestions.org

High places (01116bamah Six activities seem to be related to high places -- burning of incense, sacrificing, eating of sacrificial meals, praying, prostitution, child sacrifice (cf. bama in the valley, Je7:31). The first use in Lev 26:30 is God's declaration to Israel "I will destroy your high places." In Dt 32:13 speaking of Jacob (Israel) He declared "He made him ride on the high places of the earth," so clearly some uses of bamah are not negative. In a similar use God says Israel "you will tread upon their (Israel's enemies') high places." Another positive use is Psalm 18:33 where David declared Jehovah "makes my feet like hinds' feet, And sets me upon my high places." (cp Hab 3:19 - NET Note = David "compares his agility in battle to the ability of a deer to negotiate rugged, high terrain without falling or being injured.", cp Isa 58:14) We see he effect of Israel's high places on Jehovah in Ps 78:58 = "For they provoked Him with their high places and aroused His jealousy with their graven images."

A sad phrase that is repeated again and again (speaking of Israel) is "the high places were not taken away" (1Ki 15:14, 2Chr 15:17 = King Asa but notice he did remove some of them - 2Chr 14:3, 5, 1Ki 22:43, 2Chr 20:33 = King Jehoshaphat, 2Ki 12:3 = King Jehoash, 2Ki 14:4 = King Amaziah, 2Ki 15:4 = King Azariah, 2Ki 15:35 = King Jotham son of Uzziah and look what his son did in 2Ki 16:1-4!, 2Chr 20:33). In many of these passages the context was of a king doing "spiritual house cleaning" so to speak and yet still failing to remove the high places. Isn't sin that way? We confess one or two sins but we have a little pet sin (better a "venomous viper") that we just don't have the heart to kill! God grant us spiritual eyes and hearts to learn from Israel's mistakes. Amen! Some kings like Hezekiah (1Ki 18:4, 2Chr 31:1, Isa 36:7) and Josiah (2Ki 23:4,8, 13, 15, 19-20, 2Chr 34:3 cp prophecy about Josiah 300 years earlier = 1Ki 13:2) did destroy the high places, but in Hezekiah's case his own son Manasseh rebuilt them (2Ki 21:1-2, 3, 2Chr 33:3) and in Josiah's case the people rebuilt them!

We see the spiritual effect of high places on the people when King Jehoram (2Chr 21:5-10) "made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the harlot and led Judah astray." (2Chr 21:11)

One of the most incredible (and saddest) verses in the OT (in my opinion) is "Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab, on the mountain which is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon." (1Ki 11:7, cp 1Ki 3:3 = Solomon had "half a heart" for God!) This was too much for Jehovah and He declared that the 12 tribes would be split as a result of Solomon's sin! Sin is costly. You may think you are getting away with it, but you are not! You may think you are the wisest man in the world (like Solomon) but you are really the most foolish (as Solomon was)! There was one high place that was not idolatrous (at least not at the outset) - "Then 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." (2Chr 1:3, cp 1Chr 16:39-40, 21:29).

Related Resource:

2 Chronicles 1:4 However, 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.

  • the ark (KJV): The tabernacle and the brazen altar still remained at Gibeon; but David had brought away the ark out of the tabernacle, and placed it in a tent at Jerusalem. 2Sa 6:2,17 1Ch 13:5,6 15:1,25-28 
  • for he had pitched (KJV): 1Ch 16:1 Ps 132:5,6 

However, 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 - See ARK OF THE COVENANT.

Walton - Kiriath Jearim. This village had served as the storage place for the ark of the covenant after its return from the Philistines (1 Sam 7:1–2). The town has been identified with Tell el-Achar, nine miles west-northwest of Jerusalem, but this is unsubstantiated by archaeological finds or extrabiblical references. Its association with Mahaneh Dan in Judges 18:12 puts it in that general area (see the comment on Judg 13:25). This location places it only six miles from Gibeon.

QUESTION - What is the Ark of the Covenant?

ANSWER - God made a covenant (a conditional covenant) with the children of Israel through His servant Moses. He promised good to them and their children for generations if they obeyed Him and His laws; but He always warned of despair, punishment, and dispersion if they were to disobey. As a sign of His covenant He had the Israelites make a box according to His own design, in which to place the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments. This box, or chest, was called an “ark” and was made of acacia wood overlaid with gold. The Ark was to be housed in the inner sanctum of the tabernacle in the desert and eventually in the Temple when it was built in Jerusalem. This chest is known as the Ark of the Covenant.

The real significance of the Ark of the Covenant was what took place involving the lid of the box, known as the "Mercy Seat." The term ‘mercy seat’ comes from a Hebrew word meaning “to cover, placate, appease, cleanse, cancel or make atonement for.” It was here that the high priest, only once a year (Leviticus 16), entered the Holy of Holies where the Ark was kept and atoned for his sins and the sins of the Israelites. The priest sprinkled blood of a sacrificed animal onto the Mercy Seat to appease the wrath and anger of God for past sins committed. This was the only place in the world where this atonement could take place.

The Mercy Seat on the Ark was a symbolic foreshadowing of the ultimate sacrifice for all sin—the blood of Christ shed on the cross for the remission of sins. The Apostle Paul, a former Pharisee and one familiar with the Old Testament, knew this concept quite well when he wrote about Christ being our covering for sin in Romans 3:24-25: "…and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith." Just as there was only one place for atonement of sins in the Old Testament—the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant—so there is also only one place for atonement in the New Testament and current times—the cross of Jesus Christ. As Christians, we no longer look to the Ark but to the Lord Jesus Himself as the propitiation and atonement for our sins. GotQuestions.org

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2 Chronicles 1:5 Now 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.

  • the brazen (KJV): Ex 27:1-8 38:1-7 
  • Bezaleel (KJV): Ex 31:2 1Ch 2:19,20 
  • he put (KJV): or, was there
  • sought unto it (KJV): went to seek the Lord there

Now the bronze altar (note), 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

Walton - bronze altar. See Exodus 38:30 and 39:39 for the construction of this altar, which was supposed to stand in front of the tent of meeting (see also 2 Kings 16:14). The presence of the tent of meeting and the bronze altar at Gibeon while the ark was moved to Jerusalem suggests two different, major religious centers prior to the construction of the Jerusalem temple.

Frederick Mabie: Solomon’s extensive sacrifice at Gibeon (“a thousand burnt offerings”) is a tangible way of showing his reverence of God at the outset of his reign. Similarly abundant sacrifice is connected with the dedication of the temple (cf. 2Ch 7:5). As reflected in the dedication of the temple, there is a close connection between sacrifice and prayer in this setting. August Konkel: The Chronicler is fully supportive of the high place at Gibeon. This high place is part of the process by which a single location for centralized worship can be established. David had already moved the ark with its cherubim to Jerusalem, at the location he had designated. The bronze altar and worship at the tent of meeting were still accommodated at Gibeon. Solomon went there to worship, offer sacrifices, and seek divine guidance. The action and the location are both laudatory.

Andrew Hill: The prayer and ritual sacrifice offered at Gibeon is symbolic of the new king’s primary task, as the acts of piety show Solomon to be a fitting candidate for building Yahweh’s temple. The worshipers convene at Gibeon (or Gibeah of God), a town with an adjacent worship center some five miles northwest of Jerusalem (2Ch 1:3a). The Chronicler reminds his audience (and us as later readers of his history) of the importance of Gibeon, a flashback to the account of David’s transfer of the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem (2Ch 1:3–5; cf. 1 Chron. 13–17). After a temporary shrine for the ark was established in Jerusalem, David appointed a group of priests and Levites to minister there before the Lord (1 Chron. 16:4–6). But the other priests and Levites remained stationed at Gibeon because “the tabernacle of the LORD [was located] at the high place” there (16:39). The draw of Gibeon for the new king is more than simply its reputation as the site of the Mosaic portable shrine or “God’s Tent of Meeting” and the original altar associated with Israelite sacrificial ritual. The pilgrimage to Gibeon is a return to first things for Solomon, a reconnection with the ancient Hebrew religious traditions. This report is in keeping with the Chronicler’s interest in the theological principles informing Solomon’s reign. . . The verb “to inquire of [drš; lit., to seek] the LORD” is an important theme in Chronicles. It denotes an act of faith, and the goal or aim of this spiritual quest is generally to seek God’s direction and help at a crucial moment in one’s life (or even confirmation of an earlier divine word of instruction). The propensity “to inquire” of God is one measure of the faithfulness of the leaders of Israel (e.g., 1 Chron. 10:14; 2 Chron. 22:9). Curiously (and sadly) Selman observes that the term is not used of Solomon again, despite his exhortation in the prayer of dedication for the temple (2 Chron. 7:14). Isaiah’s admonition is still pertinent for the Chronicler’s audience (and the church today)—

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near”
-- Isa. 55:6

FROM RON DANIEL 2Chr 1:5-6 The Bronze Altar - When they got to Gibeon, they saw the bronze altar. This is the very altar which had been designed by God, described to Moses, and built by Bets-al-ALE. God had chosen this craftsman specifically:

Ex. 31:1-5 Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "See, I have called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship, to make artistic designs for work in gold, in silver, and in bronze, and in the cutting of stones for settings, and in the carving of wood, that he may work in all kinds of craftsmanship."

Bets-al-ALE would make not only the altar of sacrifice (Exod. 38:1), but the ark of the covenant (Exod. 37:1), the table of showbread (Exod. 37:10), the golden lampstand (Exod. 37:17), the altar of incense (Exod. 37:25), and the bronze laver (Exod. 38:8). The altar and the tent (2Chron. 1:3) have survived these past 475 years! Solomon and the people offered a thousand burnt offerings on this ancient altar.

QUESTION - What was the brazen altar?

ANSWER - During Israel’s forty years of wandering in the wilderness, God commanded the people to build a moveable structure—the wilderness tabernacle—as a place of worship where He would come and dwell among them. The brazen altar, or “brass” altar, was a bronze structure upon which the burnt offerings of animal sacrifices were presented to the Lord.

The brazen altar was a portable construct and the largest of the tabernacle’s seven pieces of furniture. Placed in the outer court of the wilderness tabernacle (Exodus 40:6), the brazen altar was the most prominent and imposing object in the court, and no worshiper could avoid seeing it upon entering.

The brazen altar was also called “the altar of burnt offerings” (Exodus 30:28), “the altar of God” (Psalm 43:4), and “the altar of the Lord” (Malachi 2:13). Built from acacia wood and overlaid with bronze, it measured 7.5 feet square by 4.5 feet high. At each of the altar’s four corners was a horn-like projection, made of one piece with the altar. All of the utensils of the altar were made of bronze as well. The instructions God gave for the brazen altar also included a grating or network of bronze probably placed within the hollow center of the altar to hold the wood and sacrifice as it was being burnt. Two poles used for carrying the altar were overlaid with bronze and inserted into bronze rings at the altar’s corners (Exodus 27:1–8).

Once the brazen altar was consecrated, whatever touched it became holy (Exodus 29:37). The Israelites made daily sacrifices to God on the brazen altar (Exodus 29:38). As the first priests began their service at the tabernacle, fire from the presence of the Lord consumed the sacrifice (Leviticus 9:24). According to Leviticus 6:13, the fire of the altar was to be kept burning at all times. The horns of the altar were to be covered with blood at the consecration of the priests (Exodus 29:1, 10–12; Leviticus 8:14–15; 9:9) and on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:18).

All of the elements of the wilderness tabernacle pointed to God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ, the coming Messiah. By instituting each ritual of worship, God was teaching His people the fundamental principles of salvation. The brazen altar—where Israel’s priests offered substitutionary animal sacrifices for the sins of the people—vividly illustrated the basics of atonement for sin.

Only by blood sacrifice was sin atoned. The brazen altar, ever ablaze and covered in blood, always stood open to accept the guilt of any Hebrew person who wished to come near to God. There the guilty sinner would offer another life, an innocent one, in his stead.

The brazen altar was situated prominently in the courtyard of the tabernacle. It was, in fact, the first thing one encountered upon entering the courtyard. The picture is clear: we cannot approach the holy presence of the Lord unless we first come to the place of sacrifice where atonement is made for our sin. The altar’s placement revealed that coming to God or receiving the benefits of His presence requires dealing with the problem of our sin first. Later, Jesus would say, “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6; cf. Jn 10:9). This ancient altar spoke unmistakably of Calvary, underscoring the meaning of Christ’s death on the cross, which was the ultimate substitutionary sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 10:1–18). Access to God is ours only when we come to Him through the perfect, atoning sacrifice of the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

Bronze is often associated with judgment in the Bible (see Numbers 21:9; Isaiah 60:17; Revelation 1:15). Bronze is harder than gold and silver and better able to resist heat and fire. In Deuteronomy 33:25 and Jeremiah 1:18, bronze is a symbol of the ability to endure. The bronze altar was a shadow of the reality found in Jesus Christ, who took our judgment and who alone possessed the power to endure the fire of God’s holiness. Only Christ could withstand the cross and not be consumed by the flames of God’s wrath and divine judgment.

The altar, as the place of atonement, reminded worshipers of their sin and need of cleansing from sin’s guilt. It signaled forward to the coming of Christ, in whom the entire ritual of sacrifice would reach its consummation.

The holiness and righteousness of God were displayed on the brazen altar. It was the place where sin was judged and its penalty paid. The brazen altar opened the way to approach God and find His mercy. Everything that touched the brazen altar was made holy. Jesus Christ is our brazen altar: “He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right” (1 Peter 2:24, NLT). GotQuestions.org

2 Chronicles 1:6 Solomon 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.  

  • a thousand (KJV): 1Ki 3:4 8:63 1Ch 29:21 Isa 40:16 

Solomon 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 - This could simply be a hyperbole for many, many offerings. 

Walton - one thousand burnt offerings. In its magnitude, this can be compared to the mass sacrifices in Exodus 24:5–8 and 1 Kings 8:5. Such extravagance generally marks major covenantal events or the initiation of a new relationship with Yahweh. The huge piles of offerings on tables depicted in Egyptian tomb paintings may parallel, at least in terms of quantity, the devotion and power exemplified in Solomon’s offerings at Gibeon.

2 Chronicles 1:7 In that night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask what I shall give you.” 

  • In that night (KJV): This was the night following the sacrifice which Solomon had offered. 1Ki 3:5-15 Pr 3:5,6 
  • Ask (KJV): Mt 7:7,8 Mk 10:36,37,51  Joh 16:23 1Jn 5:14-15 

In that night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask what I shall give you.” - Solomon asks a request which is not selfish and sets the stage for God answering exceeding, abundantly beyond all he could ever ask or think! (cf Eph 3:20+). 

THOUGHT God is not a Genie in a bottle but He is a God Who gives when we ask with clean hands, pure heart and in His will. John writes "This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him." (1Jn 5:14-15+)

Frederick Mabie: Solomon’s dream (noted as such in the parallel passage at 1Ki 3) at Gibeon includes a theophany (appearance by God) and provides the setting for Solomon’s reception of wisdom from above. Note that Solomon’s temple building project is “framed” by revelatory dreams (here and at 2Ch 7:12–22, following the completion of the temple).

Walton -  incubation dreams. Though the passage in Chronicles does not mention a dream, 1 Kings 3 provides that detail. It was common practice for individuals or groups to travel to shrines, make offerings and then sleep before the altar in the hope of obtaining a dream message from the god of that place (see the comments on Gen 28:13–15 and 1 Sam 3:3). The setting therefore was extremely important to incubate a dream theophany (as in the dream of the Ugaritic hero-king Keret). In the vision the person is aroused by the god’s appearance and a call to be alert to their pronouncement. Among the many examples from ancient Near Eastern literature, the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal describes a dream in which Ishtar appeared to him, and the Neo-Babylonian king Nabonidus records several dreams in which Marduk or Sin stood before him in all of their glory. God’s offer. In auditory message dreams such as this (see comment on 1 Sam 3:4–10), it is not unusual at all for conversation to take place between the deity and the king. The dream functions to validate either the kingship or a proposed undertaking of the king.

RON DANIEL 2Chr 1:7-10 Solomon Asks For Wisdom - The night that Solomon offered this incredible number of sacrifices, God appeared to him in a dream (1Kings 3:7) and asked Solomon, "Ask Me to give you something." Now, maybe you would have answered like Solomon did, but I know I wouldn't have. I'm almost certain that my first request would be, "Lord, please pay off my loans and get me out of debt. And while You're at it, I'm really tired of being able to do a lot of things, but not really mastering any of them. I want to excel and music and art and foreign languages and sports and... Oh, also, I'm really tired of these people that hate my guts. Can you arrange a little accident...?" Solomon could have asked for wealth, long life, or vengeance upon people that had hurt him. But instead, he said, "My biggest desire is to be equipped with the ability to do this job that You've called me to do." This really is an amazing response.

QUESTION - How did God respond when Solomon asked for wisdom?

ANSWER - In 1 Kings 3:3, Solomon is described in the following positive terms: “Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father.” One night, the Lord appeared to Solomon and said, “Ask what I shall give you” (verse 5). In response, Solomon answered, “Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” (verse 9).

The passage notes, “It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this” (1 Kings 3:10). God delights to give wisdom to those who truly seek it (Proverbs 2:6–8; James 1:5). God responds to Solomon’s request for wisdom by promising three different gifts. The first is the wisdom Solomon had asked for: “I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you” (verse 12).

1 Kings 4:29-34 records the details of Solomon’s wisdom: “And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all other men, wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol, and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of fish. And people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.”

The second gift God gave Solomon was wealth and fame: “I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days” (1 Kings 3:13). Solomon would become known as the wealthiest king of his era.

The third gift God gave him was conditional—a long life based on Solomon’s obedience: “And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days” (1 Kings 3:14). After God made these promises, “Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream” (verse 15).

The first two gifts were unconditional. Solomon was known as a man of great wisdom (1 Kings 3:28) and as a king of great wealth and influence. But was Solomon known as an obedient king who experienced a long life? By the grace of God, Solomon reigned for 40 years (1 Kings 11:42), a long period for one king to reign. However, Solomon’s obedience was mixed. He had many wives, including foreigners who influenced him to sacrifice to their gods. His great wealth also contributed to unwise excesses. Solomon began well, as his humble request for wisdom shows, but he later disobeyed God. Solomon was spared more severe punishment for the sake of his father, David (1 Kings 11:11–12).GotQuestions.org

QUESTION - How did God use dreams and visions in the Bible?

ANSWER - God used dreams and visions (visions are “waking dreams”; see Numbers 24:4) several times in the Bible to communicate with people. Visions seem to have been common enough that their lack was sorely noted. An absence of visions was due at times to a dearth of prophets (1 Samuel 3:1) and other times due to the disobedience of God’s people (1 Samuel 28:6).

Old Testament Dreams and Visions
God used visions in the Old Testament to reveal His plan, to further His plan, and to put His people in places of influence.

Abraham (Genesis 15:1): God used a vision to restate the Abrahamic Covenant, reminding Abram that he would have a son and be the father of many nations.

Abimelech (Genesis 20:1-7): Abraham’s wife, Sarah, was beautiful—so beautiful that when Abraham came into a new area he occasionally feared that the local ruler would kill him and take Sarah for himself. Abraham told Abimelech king of Gerar that Sarah was his sister (she was his half-sister). Abimelech took Sarah into his harem, but God sent him a dream telling him not to touch Sarah because she was Abraham’s wife. The king returned Sarah to her husband the next morning; the dream had protected Sarah and safeguarded God’s plan for Sarah to be the mother of His chosen people.

Jacob (Genesis 28:10-17): Jacob, with his mother’s help, stole Esau’s firstborn inheritance. Jacob then fled Esau’s anger, and on his journey he had his famous dream of a ladder reaching to heaven on which angels ascended and descended. In this dream Jacob received God’s promise that Abraham’s blessing would be carried on through him.

Joseph (Genesis 37:1-11): Joseph is one of the most famous dreamers, and one of the most famous dream-interpreters, in the Bible. His first recorded dreams are found in Genesis 37. They showed through easily deciphered symbols that Joseph’s family would one day bow to him in respect. His brothers didn’t appreciate the dream and in their hatred sold Joseph into slavery. Eventually, Joseph ended up in prison in Egypt.

Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker (Genesis 40): While in prison Joseph interpreted some dreams of Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker. With God’s guidance, he explained that the cupbearer would return to Pharaoh’s service, but the baker would be killed.

Pharaoh (Genesis 41): Two years later, Pharaoh himself had a dream which Joseph interpreted. God’s purpose was to raise Joseph to second-in-command over Egypt and to save the Egyptians and the Israelites from a horrible famine.

Samuel (1 Samuel 3): Samuel had his first vision as a young boy. God told him that judgment was coming upon the sons of Samuel’s mentor, Eli. The young Samuel was faithful to relay the information, and God continued to speak to Samuel through the rest of his life.

The Midianite and Amalekite armies (Judges 7:12-15): The pagan enemies of Israel had a divinely inspired dream. God told Gideon to sneak into the enemy camp at night, and there in the outposts of the camp, Gideon overheard an enemy soldier relate a dream he had just had. The interpretation, from another enemy soldier, mentioned Gideon by name and predicted that Israel would win the battle. Gideon was greatly encouraged by this revelation.

Solomon (1 Kings 3:5): It was in a dream that God gave Solomon the famous offer: "Ask what you wish Me to give you." Solomon chose wisdom.

Daniel (Daniel 2; 4): As He had done for Joseph, God placed Daniel in a position of power and influence by allowing him to interpret a foreign ruler’s dream. This is consistent with God’s propensity to use miracles to identify His messengers. Daniel himself had many dreams and visions, mostly related to future kingdoms of the world and the nation of Israel.

New Testament Dreams and Visions
Visions in the New Testament also served to provide information that was unavailable elsewhere. Specifically, God used visions and dreams to identify Jesus and to establish His church.

Zacharias (Luke 1:5-23): God used a vision to tell Zacharias, an old priest, that he would soon have an important son. Not long after, Zacharias and his wife, Elizabeth, had John the Baptist.

Joseph (Matthew 1:20; 2:13): Joseph would have divorced Mary when he found out she was pregnant, but God sent an angel to him in a dream, convincing him that the pregnancy was of God. Joseph went ahead with the marriage. After Jesus was born, God sent two more dreams, one to tell Joseph to take his family to Egypt so Herod could not kill Jesus and another to tell him Herod was dead and that he could return home.

Pilate’s wife (Matthew 27:19): During Jesus’ trial, Pilate’s wife sent an urgent message to the governor encouraging him to free Jesus. Her message was prompted by a dream she had—a nightmare, really—that convinced her that Jesus was innocent and that Pilate should have nothing to do with His case.

Ananias (Acts 9:10): It would have taken nothing less than a vision from God to convince Ananias, a Christian in Damascus, to visit Paul, the persecutor of Christians. But because Ananias was obedient to God’s leading, Paul regained his sight and found the truth about those he was trying to kill.

Cornelius (Acts 10:1-6): God spoke to an Italian centurion named Cornelius who feared the God of the Jews. In his vision, Cornelius saw an angel who told him where to find Simon Peter and to send for him and listen to his message. Cornelius obeyed the vision, Peter came and preached, and Cornelius and his household full of Gentiles were saved by the grace of God.

Peter (Acts 10:9-15): While Peter was praying on the rooftop of a house in Joppa, God gave him a vision of animals lowered in something like a sheet. A voice from heaven told Peter to kill the animals (some of which were unclean) and eat them. The vision served to show that Christians are not bound by kosher law and that God had pronounced Gentiles “clean”; that is, heaven is open to all who follow Jesus.

Paul: Paul had several visions in his missionary career. One sent him to preach in Macedonia (Acts 16:9-10). Another encouraged him to keep preaching in Corinth (Acts 18:9-11). God also gave him a vision of heaven (2 Corinthians 12:1-6).

John (Revelation): Nearly the entire book of Revelation is a vision John had while exiled on the island of Patmos. John’s vision explains in more detail some of the events that God had shown Daniel.

Today’s Dreams and Visions
With the completion of the Bible, God does not have to use dreams and visions as much as He did before. That is not to say that He cannot or does not; God can communicate with us however He chooses. But when we have a decision to make, our first stop should always be the Bible, not a dream.GotQuestions.org

2 Chronicles 1:8 Solomon said to God, “You have dealt with my father David with great lovingkindness, and have made me king in his place.

  • Thou has showed (KJV): 2Sa 7:8,9 12:7,8 22:51 23:1 Ps 86:13 89:20-28,49 Isa 55:3 
  • to reign (KJV): 1Ch 28:5 29:23 

Solomon said to God, “You have dealt with my father David with great lovingkindness (hesed/chesed/heced), and have made me king in his place.

Frederick Mabie: Solomon’s attitude of thanksgiving and declaration of God’s covenantal faithfulness within a context of prayer and worship form a significant reminder and exhortation to the Chronicler’s postexilic audience (cf. Solomon’s prayer in conjunction with the dedication of the temple; 2Ch 6:14–42). Following Solomon’s expression of thanksgiving, Solomon asks for two things: (1) that God will continue to bring the fullness of the Davidic covenant to pass (2Ch 1:9), and (2) that God will grant him wisdom and knowledge (2Ch 1:10). As with the theme of divine favor (cf. 2Ch 1:1), Solomon’s words stress continuity with Yahweh’s covenantal promises to David. In addition, the phraseology describing the people as being “as numerous as the dust of the earth” implies continuity with the Abrahamic covenant (cf. Ge 13:16; 28:14). It is interesting to note that Solomon’s words here together with the previous verse imply that while some aspects of the Davidic covenant have been fulfilled, other elements have not yet come to pass (compare David’s prayer in 1Ch 17:16–27, esp. 2Ch 17:17:23). In addition, both verses imply that Solomon understands himself as being part of God’s promise to David. . . With respect to decision making, Solomon’s request for wisdom is connected to his ability to govern (judge) God’s people and facilitate an ordered, God-honoring society. It is significant to note that the term translated “govern” (GK 9149) is the verbal form of the noun “judge.” The relationship between judgeship and kingship is stressed repeatedly at the outset of the Israelite monarchy (see 1Sa 8:1–22, esp. 1Sa 8:5–6, 20). The overlap between the role of judge and king may imply that the office of king in Israel could be likened to a national (supratribal) judgeship. Along these lines, Solomon’s first “wise” act is an act of judgeship (see 1Ki 3:16–28). In order to judge wisely, Solomon must be able to discern and apply God’s will. This element of wisdom is paramount in leading a God-pleasing life for all believers. Andrew Hill: The Chronicler seems to emphas

Andrew Hill: The Chronicler seems to emphasize Solomon’s recognition of the theocratic ideal, that he as the Davidic king is God’s vice-regent because the people of Israel are “God’s people” (2 Chron. 1:10). This is the gist of the Chronicler’s message for his own audience. Israel is still God’s people after the return from the Exile, and God is still the de facto sovereign of Israel. The Chronicler reminds his generation that God is enthroned in Israel through the worship of his people and that the Davidic kingdom (as the precursor of the kingdom of God) will be established through the prayers of the righteous. . . Here Solomon is a model of how the righteous should pray because

- he first inquires or seeks God (implying he approaches God in good faith, 2Ch 1:5).

- He then couches his prayer in the history of God’s “great kindness” to David (2Ch 1:8), acknowledging that the Lord has indeed proven himself as a good God (cf. Ps. 25:7–8; 31:19; 34:8).

- Next, Solomon voices his humility and dependence on God in his rhetorical question, “Who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (2Ch 1:10).

- Beyond this, Solomon seeks spiritual blessing over material blessing in asking God for wisdom and knowledge to rule instead of personal wealth and riches (2Ch 1:10–11).

2 Chronicles 1:9 “Now, O LORD 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.

  • let thy promise (KJV): 2Sa 7:12-16,25-29 1Ch 17:11-14,23-27 28:6,7 Ps 89:35-37 Ps 132:11,12 
  • for thou hast (KJV): 1Ki 3:7,8 
  • like the dust (KJV): Heb. much as the dust, Ge 13:16 22:17 Nu 23:10 

Now, O LORD 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 - Solomon is referring to the Davidic Covenant (2Sa 7:12-16,25-29 1Ch 17:11-14,23-27)

Utley - 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 Pharaoh (Exodus), Balak (Numbers) and the native tribes of Canaan (Joshua)

QUESTION - What is the Davidic covenant?

ANSWER - The Davidic Covenant refers to God’s promises to David through Nathan the prophet and is found in 2 Samuel 7 and later summarized in 1 Chronicles 17:11–14 and 2 Chronicles 6:16. This is an unconditional covenant made between God and David through which God promises David and Israel that the Messiah (Jesus Christ) would come from the lineage of David and the tribe of Judah and would establish a kingdom that would endure forever. The Davidic Covenant is unconditional because God does not place any conditions of obedience upon its fulfillment. The surety of the promises made rests solely on God’s faithfulness and does not depend at all on David or Israel’s obedience.

The Davidic Covenant centers on several key promises that are made to David. First, God reaffirms the promise of the land that He made in the first two covenants with Israel (the Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenants). This promise is seen in 2 Samuel 7:10, “I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore.” God then promises that David’s son will succeed him as king of Israel and that this son (Solomon) would build the temple. This promise is seen in 2 Samuel 7:12–13, " I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name.”

But then the promise continues and expands: “I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (verse 13), and “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever” (verse 16). What began as a promise that David’s son Solomon would be blessed and build the temple turns into something different—the promise of an everlasting kingdom. Another Son of David would rule forever and build a lasting House. This is a reference to the Messiah, Jesus Christ, called the Son of David in Matthew 21:9.

The promise that David’s “house,” “kingdom,” and “throne” will be established forever is significant because it shows that the Messiah will come from the lineage of David and that He will establish a kingdom from which He will reign. The covenant is summarized by the words “house,” promising a dynasty in the lineage of David; “kingdom,” referring to a people who are governed by a king; “throne,” emphasizing the authority of the king’s rule; and “forever,” emphasizing the eternal and unconditional nature of this promise to David and Israel.

Other references to the Davidic Covenant are found in Jeremiah 23:5; 30:9; Isaiah 9:7; 11:1; Luke 1:32, 69; Acts 13:34; and Revelation 3:7.GotQuestions.org

2 Chronicles 1:10 “Give 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?”

  • Give me (KJV): 1Ki 3:9 Ps 119:34,73 Pr 2:2-6 3:13-18 4:7 Jas 1:5 
  • go out (KJV): Nu 27:17 De 31:2 2Sa 5:2 
  • for who can (KJV): 2Co 2:16 3:5 

Give 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?” - Is this not a great prayer for all of us to frequently prayer. Wisdom is the ability to apply knowledge correctly. 

Utleywisdom and knowledge" represent practical wisdom (i.e., "how to") cognitive, collective knowledge (i.e., "facts") They are both crucial for an effective reign (i.e., what to do and how to do it).

J.A. Thompson: Solomon's request for “wisdom and knowledge” to lead and govern “this great people of yours” is an acknowledgment of his own weakness in the tasks of government and of the fact that Israel was God's people, not Solomon's.

2 Chronicles 1:11 God 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,

  • Because (KJV): This does not occur in Kings:  and it implies that the request of Solomon, as arising from a spiritual judgment and heart, was peculiarly acceptable to that God who searches, regards, and demands the heart.  God promised Solomon all the things which he had not asked, except the life of his enemies; for he was to be a peaceable king, a type of the Prince of peace.
  • this was (KJV): 1Sa 16:7 1Ki 3:11-13 8:18 1Ch 28:2 29:17,18 Pr 23:7 Ac 5:4 Heb 4:12 
  • that thou mayest (KJV): 1Ki 3:28 Pr 14:8 Jas 3:13,17 

God 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,

RON DANIEL 2Chr 1:11-12 God's Response - Because Solomon asked for wisdom, God granted it to him. And yet, because he didn't ask for these other things, they would also be given to him. Too many people ask God for stuff with the wrong motives. What are wrong motives? James said, James 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. The wrong motive is the selfish motive. Instead, we should be busy about God's business, and letting Him bless us with whatever He wants to. Paul reminded us that God is... Eph. 3:20 ...able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think...I believe that we ask too much and serve too little. That we most often make requests for ourselves to be increased rather than for the kingdom of God to be increased. Solomon was hugely blessed because he only asked to be equipped to do God's work. 1Kings 3:13 "I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days.

F B Meyer - matter. 2 Chronicles 1:11–12   I will give thee riches.

Solomon had chosen wisdom and knowledge that he might honor God in the sight of his people. And in return God honored him, and supplemented his choice with abundant wealth.

This reminds one of the constant teaching of Jesus. He who seeks his life loses it; but to lose it is to save it in the best and deepest sense. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added.

The conception of life given in the Bible differs by a whole heaven from the maxims and practices of some good and earnest people. Their notion is that they must work for their living, “keep the wolf from the door,” educate their children for successfully meeting the demands of life. These objects are legitimate; but they were never meant by God to be the supreme aim of His servants.

His object in our creation, redemption, and regeneration, was that we might serve His redemptive purposes in the world, manifest His character, do His will, win souls for His kingdom, administer the gifts with which He had entrusted us. He asks us to rise to this high calling, and give our whole life to its realization. He will be responsible for all else. It is surely His will that we should give ourselves to useful trades, and fill our days with honest toil; but the main purpose should ever be His glory, and the exemplification in word and act of His holy character. If we ask for wisdom to do this well, we shall get all else into the bargain. God is a Being of perfect honor and integrity. And if we dare to make His service the main end of life, we shall find that no good thing will fail. He paves the streets of heaven with gold, and will not withhold it from His children, if they really need

2 Chronicles 1:12 wisdom 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.”

  • I will give (KJV): Mt 6:33 Eph 3:20 
  • such as none (KJV): 2Ch 9:22 1Ch 29:25 Ec 2:9 Jas 1:5 

wisdom and knowledge have been granted to you - Solomon's prayer was answered and yours will also be answered for James 1:5 says " if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." (But ask in faith!)

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.”

August Konkel: The items Solomon did not ask for are in a group of three and a group of two. God grants the first set of three things that Solomon does not ask for (2Ch 1:12 b-c), in a measure that is unequaled for any other king. Nothing is said about the second set of two items for which Solomon did not ask. In Chronicles no mention is made of the enemies named in Kings (1 Kings 11:14, 23), neither those whom Solomon dispatched nor those who later threatened his kingdom. Here the emphasis is limited to - the mission of the temple, - the wealth that supported it, and - the honor that it brought.

Walton -  granting of wisdom. Kings of the ancient Near East were supposed to be wise, and it was not unusual for them to credit deity for bestowing wisdom on them. The Assyrian king Sargon was proclaimed to be the wisest ruler in the world thanks to the gods Ea and Beletili. The god Asshur assures Sennacherib in a dream that his wisdom had surpassed the wisdom of the experts. Ashurbanipal boasts not only of his great learning and wisdom, but of his technical knowledge and his ability to debate the learned. He credits Shamash and Adad for granting him his wealth of wisdom.

2 Chronicles 1:13 So Solomon went from the high place which was at Gibeon, from the tent of meeting, to Jerusalem, and he reigned over Israel.

  • at Gibeon (KJV): 2Ch 1:3 
  • reigned (KJV): 1Ki 4:24,25 

So Solomon went from the high place which was at Gibeon, from the tent of meeting, to Jerusalem, and he reigned over Israel - Ultimately and ironically Solomon's high places would bring him low!

THOUGHT - There is only One Who is high and lifted up and He Alone deserves the High Place, not on a hill but in our heart! 

Andrew Hill: Clearly the Chronicler wants his audience to understand a cause-and-effect relationship between Solomon’s worship of God and his “firm rule” of Israel.

RON DANIEL 2Ch 1:13-17 Solomon's Wealth - Solomon was indeed very wealthy, as these verses show us. But with great blessing also comes great accountability. When we are faithful in the little things, God entrusts to us greater things. Solomon had been faithful, and God granted more to him. But what is he doing with it? Amassing chariots, horsemen, and horses from Egypt. But God's command regarding Israel's king had been clear: Deut. 17:16 "...he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, since the LORD has said to you, 'You shall never again return that way.'" Solomon had been entrusted with this wealth, but he is using it improperly. Jesus taught that, Luke 12:48 ...From everyone who has been given much, much will be required... What have you been entrusted with? What gifts or blessings has God given to you? Are you using them for the kingdom of God? Or are you fulfilling selfish ambitions instead?

Matthew Henry Notes: Verses: 13-17
Here is,

1. Solomon's entrance upon the government (2Chr 1:13): He came from before the tabernacle, and reigned over Israel. He would not do any acts of government till he had done his acts of devotion, would not take honour to himself till he had given honour to God-first the tabernacle, and then the throne. But, when he had obtained wisdom from God, he did not bury his talent, but as he received the gift ministered the same, did not give up himself to ease and pleasure, but minded business: he reigned over Israel.

2. The magnificence of his court (2Chr 1:14): He gathered chariots and horsemen. Shall we praise him for this? We praise him not; for the king was forbidden to multiply horses, Deu. 17:16. I do not remember that ever we find his good father in a chariot or on horseback; a mule was the highest he mounted. We should endeavor to excel those that went before us in goodness rather than in grandeur.

3. The wealth and trade of his kingdom. He made silver and gold very cheap and common, 2Chr 1:15. The increase of gold lowers the value of it; but the increase of grace advances its price; the more men have of that the more they value it. How much better therefore is it to get wisdom than gold! He opened also a trade with Egypt, whence he imported horses and linen-yarn, which he exported again to the kings of Syria, with great advantage no doubt, 2Chr 1:16, 17. This we had before, 1 Ki. 10:28, 29. It is the wisdom of princes to promote industry and encourage trade in their dominions. Perhaps Solomon took the hint of setting up the linen-manufacture, bringing linen-yarn out of Egypt, working it into cloth, and then sending that to other nations, from what his mother taught when she specified this as one of the characteristics of the virtuous woman, She maketh fine linen, and selleth it, and delivereth girdles of it to the merchant, Prov. 31:24. In all labour there is profit.


2 Chronicles 1:14 Solomon 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.

  • Solomon (KJV): 2Ch 9:25 De 17:16 1Ki 4:26 10:16,26-29 
  • the chariot cities (KJV): Cities where the chariots, and horses belonging to them, were kept.

(Parsons Bible Pictures)

The picture above is of painted clay figurines of horsemen, found in Phoenician tombs at Achzib, Israel, and dating to the 5th-6th century B.C

Solomon 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.

What did Solomon forget or simply choose to ignore (the seduction of wealth can take down the wisest of men!!!)?

Deuteronomy 17:16+ “Moreover, he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, since the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall never again return that way.’" If , that means he performed the "forbidden math" of multiplying horses for himself! Look out when your eye is not set on the treasures above (Mt 6:20, 21), but the treasures below, for that is an indication that your heart is beginning to drift (Mt 6:21+, Mk 12:30+ - see Backsliding) What should have been the preventative/antidote for Solomon (and for us beloved)? The heart of most of our problems is the problem of our heart. Heed the command that Solomon wrote but sadly failed to heed (you can know the truth but it will not set you free - John 8:31-32+ - UNLESS you obey the truth you know! Do not be deceived - Heb 3:13+!) "Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. " (Proverbs 4:23+)

Deuteronomy 17:18-20+  “Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. 19 “It shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, (WHY?) that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes, 20 (SECOND PURPOSE/REASON?) that his heart may not be lifted up above his countrymen and (THIRD PURPOSE/REASON THAT FLOWS FROM FIRST TWO?) that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left, (FOURTH PURPOSE/REASON - IN THIS CASE A MOTIVATION?) so that he and his sons may continue long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel.

Frederick Mabie: Solomon’s development of a chariot force required a considerable amount of infrastructure, as reflected in the construction of chariot cities, the organization of workers (cf. 1Sa 8:11), and the organization of Solomon’s taxation structure (which included provisions for chariot horses; cf. 1Ki 4:28). Solomon even arranged to have tribute paid in the form of horses (see 2Ch 9:24; 1Ki 10:25). The text also notes that Solomon stationed chariots and horsemen in “chariot cities” as well as with him in Jerusalem. Solomon’s chariot cities have long been identified as Hazor (in the far north), Megiddo (in the Jezreel Valley), and Gezer (in the Shephelah). Each of these cities has similar fortification plans that suggest a certain amount of state planning, including casemate walls (a double wall connected with crosswalls that can be used for storage or filled in during a siege) and gateways with three chambers on each side having nearly the same dimension.

August Konkel: Archaeological excavations at Megiddo indicate that Solomon was deeply involved in chariotry, approximating the numbers indicated by the Chronicler. Excavations of the tenth century have uncovered five units of stabling built in a row in the southern complex of buildings (Ussishkin 1992: 677). Each unit contained about 30 horses, and the entire complex about 150 horses. The stables opened into a large courtyard, leveled on a large artificial fill. This indicates that a unit of chariot horses was maintained and trained there. There is also evidence of stables for riding horses in several units that would have housed over 300 horses. Megiddo is on the route that Solomon would have used in trade between Cilicia and Egypt, as well as for his own military units at Jerusalem.

Walton - Solomon’s chariots and horses. The accumulation of such a large force of chariots indicates his intention to emulate the grand military displays of his neighbors and rivals. For conflicts in open country and on broad plains, the chariot, accompanied by detachments of infantry and cavalry, was both a shock weapon and a mobile platform for archers. The huge numbers of chariots recorded in the Assyrian annals at the Battle of Qarqar (853 B.C., see comment on 22:1) indicate just how important commanders considered them in their military planning. Solomon’s contingent of chariots is not as large as the two thousand that Ahab contributed to the western alliance at that battle. In the thirteenth century the Hittites and their allies had amassed twenty-five hundred chariots to confront Rameses II at the Battle of Qadesh. Solomon’s stables. The wide distribution of stable facilities uncovered by archaeologists throughout Israel (Megiddo, Tell el-Hesi, Lachish, Beersheba, Hazor) suggests extensive use of chariot corps in the armies of Israel and Judah. The common architectural style found in most of these stables (long hall, divided lengthwise into three aisles by pillars, and a single door) indicates both attention to function and a common building program. They featured low stone pillars with holes for tethering, and large, shallow stone mangers (similar to those depicted on Assyrian monuments). Large installations would have been necessary to house and exercise these trained stallions. The Megiddo stables (those found generally dated to Ahab’s time) could have housed up to 480 horses. When other stable facilities found by archaeologists are included, nearly 800 stalls can be identified.

Related Resources:

2 Chronicles 1:15 The king made silver and gold as plentiful in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars as plentiful as sycamores in the lowland.

  • the king (KJV): He destroyed its value by making it so exceedingly plentiful. 2Ch 1:12 9:27 1Ki 10:27-29 Job 22:24,25 Isa 60:17 
  • made (KJV): Heb. gave
  • sycamore trees (KJV): 2Ch 9:27 Isa 9:10 Am 7:14 

Sycamore tree growing in Israel
(Parsons Bible Pictures)


The king made silver and gold as plentiful in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars as plentiful as sycamores in the lowland - Solomon's wealth would supplement the wealth David had set aside for the building of the Temple (see below). 

Frederick Mabie: Israel’s terrain is rocky throughout much of the country, especially in the Judean hill country where Jerusalem is located, and this provides a vivid image of the abundance of silver and gold enjoyed during Solomon’s reign. Beyond gold and silver, Israel’s prosperity during the reign of Solomon included the purchase of an abundance of the highly-valued cedar trees. The durability and pleasant scent of the cedar tree made it an especially popular wood for important building projects in the biblical world. However, cedar was rare in Israel and needed to be imported (usually from the Phoenician coast—cf. the OT expression “the cedars of Lebanon”), whereas the less-valued (see Isa 9:10) sycamore tree was widely distributed throughout Israel— enough to justify the appointment of an individual during David’s reign who was in charge of olive and sycamore trees (1Ch 27:28). These raw materials (gold, silver, cedar) will occupy a central role in the construction of the temple.

The Construction Budget for the Temple Project - The building of the Temple was assigned to David's son Solomon, whose name means "His peace," indicating the Temple was to be constructed in a time of peace by a man of peace. However, David was permitted to make preparations for his son Solomon's building. As with the preparations for the Tabernacle, this was done through raising the necessary financial contributions from the people (1 Chronicles 29:6-9), but also from David's royal treasury (1 Chronicles 29:1-5). The budget for the Temple consisted of 100 tons of and 250 tons of refined silver from the royal treasury (1 Chronicles 29:4) and 185 tons of gold plus 10,000 gold coins, 375 tons of silver, 675 tons of bronze and 4,000 tons of iron, as well as an unnumbered amount of precious stones (1 Chronicles 29:6-8).

2 Chronicles 1:16 Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from Kue (Cilicia, in SE Asia Minor); the king’s traders procured them from Kue for a price.

  • Solomon (KJV): Heb. the going forth of the horses which was Solomon's, 2Ch 9:28 1Ki 10:28,29 


Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from Kue (Cilicia, in SE Asia Minor); the king’s traders procured them from Kue for a price. Deuteronomy 17:16+ clearly stated “Moreover, he (THE KING) shall not multiply horses for himself." (SEE COMMENTS ON V14)

Andrew Hill: The threefold measure of Solomon’s wealth includes “military hardware” (2Ch 1:1:14), precious metals (2Ch 1:1:15), and profits from international trade (1:16, of which horses and chariots are but one example). Solomon’s merchants broker a lucrative import-export trade in chariots and chariot horses between the Egyptians, Hittites, and Arameans (2Ch 1:1:16–17). It seems likely that Kue (2Ch 1:1:16) denotes a region of Asia Minor, suggesting Solomon as the “middle man” for the trading of horses from Asia Minor for chariots from Egypt. Iain Duguid: Solomon’s gathering of chariots and horsemen marked a new development. These were the advanced military equipment of the day, although not useful in hilly terrain. David had hamstrung captured horses (1 Chron. 18:4; cf. Deut. 17:16; Ps. 20:7), but it appears that the expansion of territory led to changes. With David’s reign bringing peace and wide hegemony, Israel’s location on the land bridge between Africa, Asia, and Europe was ideal for prosperity through trade involving Egypt to the south and Kue (in Cilicia, southern Turkey) and Syria to the north. The image of Solomon becoming prosperous through trade in military equipment is noted without comment!

J.A. Thompson: Solomon's kingdom lay across the only land bridge between Asia and Africa so that he was able to control the trade routes over a wide area, particularly between Syria and Egypt.

2 Chronicles 1:17 They 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.

  • the kings (KJV): 2Ki 10:29 
  • means (KJV): Heb. hand

They imported chariots from Egypt for 600 shekels (15 lbs) 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.

Walton - cost of chariots and horses. The cost of chariots found in inscriptional material ranges from sixty to one hundred shekels per chariot. The fact that Solomon is paying many times that price suggests that these are not ordinary chariots but ornamental chariots used in display and procession contexts. These are widely attested in both Egypt and Mesopotamia. The luxury transportation of the day, these were typically gilded with all variety of gold, lapis lazuli and precious stones. The Amarna letters refer to a chariot of the Mitannian king that was gilded with over three hundred shekels of gold. The price for the horses is also high but not outrageous for a good quality animal. In second-millennium Hittite sources a chariot horse could be bought for twenty shekels. But there are examples in Syria and Babylon from early in the second millennium to the middle of the first millennium where two to three hundred shekels were paid.


1) What is the connection in the NT church tying together worship, wisdom and wealth?

2) How has God’s favor manifested itself in your life and exalted you and your ministry?

3) What lessons about prayer can we learn from this passage?

4) How did God’s covenant promises both look backwards as well as look forward?


Frederick Mabie: The role of wisdom within one’s spiritual life does not always receive the attention it ought—particularly with respect to the role of wisdom vis-à-vis the popular lingo of “spiritual formation.” Biblical wisdom is not a matter of smarts, education, or the like, but rather the application of life-shaping divine truth that begins with the fear of the Lord (cf. Job 28:28; Ps 111:10; Pr 9:10). Biblical wisdom is much more functional than it is abstract and theoretical. Put another way, wisdom involves cultivating a way of thinking—God’s way—and helping others to do the same. Such thinking is part of the process of renewing our minds that facilitates Spirit-driven transformation, which (as Paul writes) enables us to discern God’s good and perfect will (see Ro 12:2). Biblical wisdom involves skillfully applying God’s Word to everyday life and thus connects intimately with one’s spiritual walk, sanctification, spiritual fruit, and more.

Mark Boda: This introduction to the account of Solomon showcases the new king as one dedicated to the same values of his father (consulting the Lord) and receiving the same privilege of God’s theophanic presence. The king was granted the wisdom he asked for and much more. The key distinction between the Chronicler’s account and that of his source is actually in what follows. Rather than how this gift of wisdom and wealth was used to enhance Solomon’s ability to rule and judge (as suggested in the exchange between Solomon and God in 2Ch 1:8-12), the Chronicler will show how these gifts were used for the purpose of constructing the Temple.

J.A. Thompson: Several theological issues are raised in this chapter. In contrast with the account in Kings, where Solomon's visit to the high place at Gibeon was an act of private devotion, the Chronicler sees it as a national cultic assembly that involved “all Israel.” This emphasis is maintained throughout the Chronicler's account of Solomon's reign. The writer does not display any concern about Solomon's visit to Gibeon but legitimizes it by reference to the tabernacle and Bezalel's altar at that site. As part of his idealization of David and Solomon, he emphasizes the patriarchal promises (Gen 15:5; 22:17; 26:4 used in 1 Chr 27:23; and Gen 13:16; 28:14 used in 2 Chr 1:9).

Raymond Dillard: The dream narrative is a subunit within the larger temple building narrative. Kapelrud (Or 32 [1963] 56-62) noted ten items commonly present in ancient Near Eastern literature depicting a temple built by a king; these items and the corresponding passages in Chronicles and the tabernacle account are as follows:

(1) A temple to be built—Exod 25:1–8; 1 Chr 28:11–21

(2) The king visits a temple overnight—Exod 24:12–18; 2 Chr 1:2–7

(3) A god reveals what to do and gives plans—Exod 25:8—30:38; 1 Chr 28:2–3, 11– 19; 2 Chr 1:7–12

(4) The king announces intentions to build—Exod 35:4–10; 36:2–35; 2 Chr 2:1–10

(5) Master builder and materials (cedar, gold, silver) secured—Exod 31:1–6; 35:4–29; 36:3–7; 1 Chr 22:14–15; 29:1–9; 2 Chr 2:7–14 (6) Temple finished according to plan—Exod 39:42–43; 2 Chr 5:1; 6:10

(7) Offerings and dedication—Exod 40:9–11; 2 Chr 6:12–42; 7:4–7

(8) Assembly of people—Exod 39:32–33, 42–43; 2 Chr 5:2–13

(9) God enters the temple—Exod 40:34–35; 2 Chr 5:13–14; 7:1–3

(10) King is blessed and promised dominion—2 Chr 7:12–18



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