2 Chronicles 1:1-6
And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly.…
I. THE KING'S PERSON MAGNIFIED.
1. The owner of an auspicious name - Solomon, "Peace," equivalent to Friederich or Frederick Perhaps
(1) alluding to the fact that when he was born his father was at peace with God (2 Samuel 12:24). God's mercies, especially to the soul, are worthy of commemoration (Psalm 103:2).
(2) Reflecting the peace which at that time prevailed in the land, his birth most likely not having taken place till after the capture of Rabbah, and the termination of the Ammonitish war (Keil). When David's greater son, the Prince of Peace, was born, "the (Roman) empire was peace."
(3) Prognosticating the peaceful character of his rule (Psalm 72:7), and the undisturbed rest of his reign (1 Kings 4:24; 1 Chronicles 22:9).
2. The son of a distinguished father - David. Originally a Bethlehem shepherd-lad (1 Samuel 16:1), Jesse's youngest son climbed the giddy heights of fame with marvellous celerity and success, becoming in swift succession a brilliant warrior, a skilful harper, an agreeable courtier, a popular leader, a trusted sovereign, a sweet singer, a devout psalmist, a far-seeing prophet. Possessed of almost every qualification requisite to render him the idol of his fellows, he found the pathway of greatness easier to tread than do men of smaller stature and less-gifted soul. To have been the son of such a sire was no mean honour to Solomon, though it entailed upon him correspondingly large responsibility; while, if it multiplied his chances of achieving in the future a similar distinction for himself, it no less certainly created for him difficulties from which otherwise he might have been exempt.
3. The heir of a prosperous empire - Israel. The kingdom inherited by Solomon had been carved by the sword of David. The Philistines had been driven back to their plains, retaining, however, the strongholds of Gath and Gezer at the edge of the hill country. The capital of the Ammonites, Rabbah, had been taken, and the census embraced all the Holy Land from Beersheba to Sidon, ruled by the king at Jerusalem" (Courier, 'Handbook to the Bible,' p. 281).
4. The representative of a Divine Superior - Jehovah. Solomon ascended David's throne by Divine right, because by Divine grace and for Divine ends (Psalm 2:6). Solomon was Jehovah's vassal, and held his regal power only on condition of ruling in Jehovah's name and for Jehovah's glory (2 Samuel 22:3). If Solomon was Israel's king, Jehovah was Solomon's.
II. THE KING'S THRONE ESTABLISHED.
1. By removal of his enemies. In particular by the execution of three dangerous characters.
(1) Joab, his cousin (1 Chronicles 2:16), a general of commanding abilities and restless ambition, who with the army at his back might soon have embroiled the land in war and prevented the hope of a peaceful reign from being realized.
(2) Shimei, a Benjamite, a personal enemy of David (2 Samuel 16:5-13), who, besides having broken his parole (1 Kings 2:36-46), could not be trusted not to contrive mischief against David's son.
(3) Adonijah, a half-brother of Solomon (2 Samuel 3:4; 1 Chronicles 3:1), a formidable rival, who, in virtue of his right of primogeniture, pretended to the crown, and might have been the means of stirring up civil faction in the land, Difficult to justify on grounds of Christian morality, these assassinations nevertheless contributed to the establishment of Solomon's throne.
2. By the union of his subjects. As yet the empire was undivided. The ten tribes still adhered to the house of David. "All Israel obeyed him, and all the princes and the mighty men, and all the sons likewise of King David, submitted themselves unto Solomon the king" (1 Chronicles 29:23, 24).
3. By the help of his God. "The Lord his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly." As Divine grace set, so Divine power kept him on the throne. Without Heaven's favour and assistance kings just as little as common men can prosper. As Jehovah giveth the kingdom to whomsoever he will (Daniel 4:25), so through him alone can kings reign (Proverbs 8:15). He also removeth and setteth up kings (Daniel 2:21); yea, the hearts of kings are in his hand (Proverbs 21:1). Jehovah was with Solomon in virtue of the promise made to David (2 Samuel 7:12), and because of the piety which still distinguished himself (ver. 6; cf. 2 Chronicles 15:2). This was the true secret of Solomon's prosperity upon the throne no less than of Joseph's in the prison (Genesis 39:2).
III. THE KING'S ALLEGIANCE TENDERED.
1. Before the tabernacle of the Lord. This then at Gibeon, five miles north-west of Jerusalem. Originally a Canaanitish royal city (Joshua 9:17; Joshua 10:2), and afterwards the scene of a clever fraud perpetrated upon Joshua by its inhabitants, as well as of a bloody battle in their defence (Joshua 10:1-14), it latterly became in David's time, because of the presence of the tabernacle, a Levitical city with a high place presided over by Zadok and his brethren (1 Chronicles 16:39). Thither accordingly Solomon repaired to inaugurate his reign by professing fealty and submission to the King of kings.
2. With the offering of sacrifice. Within the tabernacle court stood the brazen altar of Bezaleel (Exodus 38:1), upon which were offered a thousand burnt offerings - a magnificent service, even for a king, and symbolic of
(1) the homage he presented to Jehovah,
(2) the consecration he then made of himself to the work to which Jehovah had called him, and
(3) the desire he cherished that his reign might be begun and ended in Jehovah's favour and under Jehovah's protection.
3. "In the presence of his people. "All the congregation," in its representatives, "went with him to the high place at Gibeon." Not ashamed of his religion, Solomon acknowledged his dependence on and submission to Jehovah in the most public manner. So are kings, princes, subjects, all men, expected to confess God and Christ before men (Matthew 10:32). Learn:
1. The value of a good beginning, in business as in religion.
2. The need of Divine assistance in all undertakings.
3. The propriety of consecrating all to God in youth.
4. The possibility of declining from early faith.
5. The duty of never being ashamed of religion.
6. The melancholy fact that good men may do doubtful actions.
7. The beauty and propriety of social worship. - W.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly.
WEB: Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and Yahweh his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly.