1 Now the days of David drew near that he should die; and he commanded Solomon his son, saying,
*Minor differences ignored. Grouped by changes, with first version listed as example.
The events related in 1 Chr. 28-29 had occurred in the interval which separates the last and this present chapter.
Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die,.... The number of his days fixed and determined by the Lord, Job 14:5; and which might be perceived as drawing nigh, both by himself and others, through the growing infirmities of old age, decline of nature, and various symptoms of an approaching dissolution which were upon him; see Genesis 47:29. Abarbinel observes, that he is called only David, not King David; because Solomon his son was now anointed king, and reigned in his stead; so in 1-Kings 1:10; but there is another reason given by some Jews (n), that no man, even a king, has power in the day of death; he is no king then, he has no rule over that, but that rules over him:
and he charged Solomon his son; gave him his last and dying charge:
saying; as follows.
(n) Bereshit Rabba, sect. 96. fol. 83. 3.
David's charge to Solomon is, to keep the charge of the Lord. The authority of a dying father is much, but nothing to that of a living God. God promised David that the Messiah should come from his descendants, and that promise was absolute; but the promise, that there should not fail of them a man on the throne of Israel, was conditional; if he walks before God in sincerity, with zeal and resolution: in order hereunto, he must take heed to his way.
DAVID DIES. (1-Kings 2:1-11)
David . . . charged Solomon his son--The charge recorded here was given to Solomon just before his death and is different from the farewell address delivered in public some time before (1-Chronicles 28:2-9). It is introduced with great solemnity.
The anointing of Solomon as king, which was effected by David's command (1 Kings 1), is only briefly mentioned in 1-Chronicles 23:1 in the words, "When David was old and full of days, he made his son Solomon king over Israel;" which serve as an introduction to the account of the arrangements made by David during the closing days of his life. After these arrangements have been described, there follow in 1 Chron 28 and 29 his last instructions and his death. The aged king gathered together the tribe-princes and the rest of the dignitaries and superior officers to a diet at Jerusalem, and having introduced Solomon to them as the successor chosen by God, exhorted them to keep the commandments of God, and urged upon Solomon and the whole assembly the building of the temple, gave his son the model of the temple and all the materials which he had collected towards its erection, called upon the great men of the kingdom to contribute to this work, which they willingly agreed to, and closed this last act of his reign with praise and thanksgiving to God and a great sacrificial festival, at which the assembled states of the realm made Solomon king a second time, and anointed him prince in the presence of Jehovah (1-Chronicles 29:22). - A repetition of the anointing of the new king at the instigation of the states of the realm, accompanied by their solemn homage, had also taken place in the case of both Saul (2 Sam 11) and David (2-Samuel 2:4 and 2-Samuel 5:3), and appears to have been an essential requirement to secure the general recognition of the king on the part of the nation, at any rate in those cases in which the succession to the throne was not undisputed. In order, therefore, to preclude any rebellion after his death, David summoned this national assembly again after Solomon's first anointing and ascent of the throne, that the representatives of the whole nation might pay the requisite homage to king Solomon, who had been installed as his successor according to the will of God. - To this national assembly, which is only reported in the Chronicles, there are appended the last instructions which David gave, according to 1-Chronicles 29:1-9 of our chapter, to his successor Solomon immediately before his death. Just as in the Chronicles, according to the peculiar plan of that work, there is no detailed description of the installation of David on the throne; so here the author of our books has omitted the account of this national diet, and the homage paid by the estates of the realm to the new king, as not being required by the purpose of his work, and has communicated the last personal admonitions and instructions of the dying king David instead.
(Note: To refute the assertion of De Wette, Gramberg, and Thenius, that this account of the Chronicles arises from a free mode of dealing with the history, and an intention to suppress everything that did not contribute to the honour of David and his house, - an assertion which can only be attributed to their completely overlooking, not to say studiously ignoring, the different plans of the two works (the books of Kings on the one hand, and those of Chronicles on the other), - it will be sufficient to quote the unprejudiced and thoughtful decision of Bertheau, who says, in his Comm. on 1-Chronicles 23:1 : "These few words (1-Chronicles 23:1) give in a condensed form the substance of the account in 1 Kings 1, which is intimately bound up with the account of the family affairs of David in the books of Samuel and Kings, and therefore, according to the whole plan of our historical work, would have been out of place in the Chronicles.")
*More commentary available at chapter level.