Having seen the David of the Chronicler’s ”messianic expectation” (as Ray Dillard puts it), the book continues in 2 Chron 1-9 with the Solomon of the Chronicler’s ”messianic expectation.” The Chronicler in telling the story of Solomon will refuse to tarnish Solomon’s reputation the way that the prophetic histories did. Instead, we will see an obedient Solomon reigning in glory and blessed by God and supported by ”all Israel.” It is not difficult to see the contrast of this presentation with that of Kings.
Among the differences, Dillard notes the following – Kings shows David passing the kingdom to Solomon at the last moment because of Bathsheba and Nathan’s urging but Chronicles shows the transition as a smooth one without any resistance (listing the very groups that Kings tells us participated in Adonijah’s coup attempt); Chronicles does not tell us about Solomon taking vengeance on David’s enemies after his death as requested by David (cf. 1 Kings 2), the sins of 1 Kings 11 are omitted from Chronicles and the blame for the kingdom being torn into two is passed to Jeroboam in 2 Chron 13:6-7. Additionally, Dillard notes that Chronicles does not tell us positive stories about Solomon if they don’t fit into the story of the Temple. This too should not be much of a surprise – but we might be somewhat surprised that there is no mention of Solomon having wisdom except for wisdom to build the Temple.
Dillard describes three models that the Chronicler is using to describe Solomon. The first is Solomon as a second David. We have already noted the similarities between how the Chronicler presented David and Solomon – both are supported immediately by ”all Israel,” both are intimately involved in Temple related issues, both are idealized figures (perhaps Solomon even more than David given the census story, cf. 1 Kings 11:6 compared to 2 Chron 11:17). Another example from Braun I skipped mentioning last time is how both are king by divine choice (cf. Solomon: 1 Chron 28:5-6, 10, 29:1).
The second model is the Moses/Joshua and David/Solomon transition. We’ve discussed this one too, although there is more that could be said. For example, both Moses and David could not reach their objective – the Promised Land for Moses and the Temple for David – because they were disqualified from doing so but their successors did reach that objective; both Moses and David have double announcements appointing their successors – one in private and one in public (cf. Deut 1:23, 31:2; 1 Chron 22:6, 28:8); both Joshua and Solomon enjoy the immediate and wholehearted support of all Israel (Deut 34:9, Josh 1:16-20; 1 Chron 29:23-24); twice reported that Joshua and Solomon were ”magnified” by God (Josh 3:7, 4:14; 1 Chron 29:25, 2 Chron 1:1); and both Joshua and Solomon lead Israel into ”rest.” Dillard also notes that there are even more parallels that are not unique to Chronicles (i.e. also found in Kings).
The third model is Solomon and Huram-abi as the new Bezalel and Oholiab. Bezalel and Oholiab come from the story of the tabernacle, which I have noted before that the tabernacle story is a paradigm for the Chronicler’s Temple story in several ways. Solomon is the new Bezalel as can be seen by the way both were singled out as chosen by God by name, both were of the tribe of Judah, and both get wisdom from God for this work (tabernacle/Temple construction). Bezalel is only mentioned outside of Exodus in Chronicles – 1 Chron 2:20 and 2 Chron 1:5. Indeed, Solomon goes seeking God at the altar built by Bezalel when he was given wisdom for building. Of course, Kings told us about Solomon’s legendary wisdom in general, but Chronicles is very specific that it was wisdom for this task. Thus Hiram does not praise God for giving David ”a wise son over this great people” (1 Kings 5) but ”a wise son who will build” (2 Chron 2).
Huram-abi is also styled as the new Oholiab. Chronicles does this by making three changes – as Dillard says, ”arrival time, skill inventory, and ancestry.” Kings only tells us about Huram-abi after the temple and palace were finished and Huram-abi only appears to cast bronze. Chronicles tells us that Huram-abi was involved from the beginning (like Oholiab) and that he did more than just cast bronze – in fact, he is given the skill inventory of Bezalel and Oholiab in Chronicles. Moreover, Kings tells us that his mother was a widow from Naphtali but Chronicles says she was a widow from Dan (like Oholiab).
Dillard also shows the literary structure of 2 Chron 1-9 is a complex chiasm. He then proceeds to defend this understanding at length. He clearly has a grasp of the organization of this material. I’m putting this chiasm on a separate handout available here. Of course, since the story of Solomon is really about the temple it is part of a larger unit from 1 Chron 21-2 Chron 9.
Note the following nine similarities between the tabernacle and temple stories listed in Dillard’s commentary: (1) A temple to be built (Exo 25:1-8, 1 Chron 28:11-21); (2) The king visits a temple overnight (Exo 24:12-18, 2 Chron 1:2-7); (3) God reveals what to do and gives plans (Exo 25:8-30:38, 1 Chron 28:2-3, 11-19, 2 Chron 1:7-12); (4) The king announces intentions to build (Exo 35:4-10, 36:2-35, 2 Chron 2:1-10); (5) Master builder and materials (cedar, gold, silver) secured (Exo 31:1-6, 35:4-29, 36:3-7; 1 Chron 22:14-15, 29:1-9, 2 Chron 2:7-15), (6) Temple finished according to plan (Exo 39:42-43, 2 Chron 5:1, 6:10); (7) Offerings and dedication (Exo 40:9-11; 2 Chron 6:12-42, 7:4-7); (8) Assembly of people (Exo 39:32-33, 42-43, 2 Chron 5:2-13); (9) God enters the temple (Exo 40:34-35, 2 Chron 5:13-14, 7:1-3); (10) King is blessed and promised dominion (2 Chron 7:12-18). I said there are nine similarities and then listed a tenth thing with no parallel to Exodus. This is because this is a list of ten things commonly included in ANE literature about a temple to be built by a king. Chronicles has all ten things, Exodus the first nine, but Kings does not follow the list nearly as closely.
Actually I think this fits well. The reason number 10 is omitted from Exodus is that God was the king. But here in Chronicles we have learned that ”Solomon sat on the throne of YHWH as king in place of David his father. And he prospered, and all Israel obeyed him” (1 Chron 29:23). Solomon is presented by the Chronicler as the Solomon of his ”messianic expectations.”
Remember in all this that the text is preparing us for Jesus, who is a new David and Solomon and who is building a temple made of His people.