Bible Book List
Matthew Henry's Commentary – Verses 12–18
Verses 12–18

Here is, I. Solomon’s devotion. The building of the temple was in order to the service of the temple. Whatever cost he was at in rearing the structure, if he had neglected the worship that was to be performed there, it would all have been to no purpose. Assisting the devotion of others will not atone for our own neglects. When Solomon had built the temple, 1. He kept up the holy sacrifices there, according to the law of Moses, 2 Chron. 8:12, 13. In vain had the altar been built, and in vain had fire come down from heaven, if sacrifices had not been constantly brought as the food of the altar and the fuel of that fire. There were daily sacrifices, a certain rate every day, as duly as the day came, weekly sacrifices on the sabbath, double to what was offered on other days, monthly sacrifices on the new moons, and yearly sacrifices at the three solemn feasts. Those are spiritual sacrifices that are now required of us, which we are to bring daily and weekly; and it is good to be in a settled method of devotion. 2. He kept up the holy songs there, according to the law of David, who is here called the man of God, as Moses was, because he was both instructed and authorised of God to make these establishments; and Solomon took care to see them observed as the duty of every day required, 2 Chron. 8:14. Solomon, though a wise and great man and the builder of the temple, did not attempt to amend, alter, or add to what the man of God had, in God’s name, commanded, but closely adhered to that, and used his authority to have that duly observed; and then none departed from the commandment of the king concerning any matter, 2 Chron. 8:15. He observed God’s laws, and then all obeyed his orders. When the service of the temple was put into this good order, then it is said, The house of the Lord was perfected, 2 Chron. 8:16. The work was the main matter, not the place; the temple was unfinished till all this was done.

II. Solomon’s merchandise. He did himself in person visit the sea-port towns of Eloth and Ezion-geber; for those that deal much in the world will find it their interest, as far as they can, to inspect their affairs themselves and to see with their own eyes, 2 Chron. 8:17. Canaan was a rich country, and yet must send to Ophir for gold; the Israelites were a wise and understanding people, and yet must be beholden to the king of Tyre for men that had knowledge of the seas, 2 Chron. 8:18. Yet Canaan was God’s peculiar land, and Israel God’s peculiar people. This teaches us that grace, and not gold, is the best riches, and acquaintance with God and his law, not with arts and sciences, the best knowledge.