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Exposition of the Old and New Testament, by John Gill, [1746-63], at

1 Chronicles Chapter 17

1 Chronicles

ch1 17:0


This chapter contains an account of David's intention to build an house for God, which, he signified to Nathan the prophet, who first encouraged him to it; but afterwards was sent by the Lord to him with an order to desist from it, assuring him, at the same time, that his son should build it, and that his own house and kingdom should be established for ever; for which David expressed great thankfulness, the whole of which is related in Sa2 7:1 with some little variation, see the notes there; only one thing has since occurred, which I would just take notice of, that here, Ch1 17:5 as there also, it is said by the Lord, that he had "not dwelt in an house since the day he brought up Israel out of Egypt"; which seems to suggest that he had dwelt in one before, as has been hinted on Sa2 7:6 even while the people of Israel were in Egypt, though it is nowhere mentioned by Moses, or any other writer; yet it is not unreasonable to suppose it; for as the ancestors of the Israelites, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, when only travellers from place to place, built altars for God wherever they came; so their posterity, it is highly probable, not only did the same, but when they found themselves settled in Egypt, in the land of Goshen, might build places of worship; and when we consider the wealth of Joseph, and his family, and indeed of all Israel, who enjoyed for many years great plenty, prosperity, and liberty, before their servitude, the vast numbers they increased to and the long continuance of them in Egypt, more than two hundred years; it will not seem strange that they should build houses for religious worship, and even one grand and splendid for public service, to which also they might be led by the example of the Egyptians; who, as Herodotus says (i), were the first that erected altars, images, and temples to the gods, and who in the times of Joseph had one at On, where his father-in-law officiated as priest, Gen 41:45 or rather to this they might be directed by some hints and instructions of their father Jacob before his death, who it is certain had a notion of a Bethel, an house for the public worship of God, Gen 28:17 and I find a learned man (k) of our own nation of this opinion, and which he founds upon this passage; and he supposes the house God dwelt in, in Egypt, was not a tent of goats' hair, as in the wilderness, but a structure of stones or bricks, a firm and stable house, such an one as Abraham built at Damascus when settled there; which continued to the times of Augustus Caesar, as related by Nicholas of Damascus (l). See Sa2 7:1.(i) Euterpe, sive, l. 2. c. 4.

(k) Dickinson. Physic. vet. & vera, c. 19. sect. 24. (l) Apud. Joseph. Antiqu. l. 1. c. 7. sect. 2.

1 Chronicles 17:1

ch1 17:1

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