How Much Did David Give to God’s temple?
The Bible records David giving to the building of God’s temple: “Now for the house of my God I have prepared with all my might: gold for things to be made of gold, silver for things of silver, bronze for things of bronze, iron for things of iron, wood for things of wood, onyx stones, stones to be set, glistening stones of various colors, all kinds of precious stones, and marble slabs in abundance”
“Moreover, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver: three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses; the gold for things of gold and the silver for things of silver, and for all kinds of work to be done by the hands of craftsmen. Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the Lord?” (1 Chronicles 29:2-5).
Let’s examine the figures:
1-Three thousand talents. If this was a regular talent, measured at 75.39 lb. the amount of gold gathered by David would thus be about 113 tons (102 metric tons). However, we cannot be certain of the precise value of ancient standards of weight.
2-Seven thousand talents. On the basis of a talent weighing 75.39 lb., the amount of silver given would be about 263 tons, or 239 metric tons.
David collected huge quantities of material, thus putting all of his soul into this (1 Chronicles 22:14). And because of his love and devotion to God, he was willing to give liberally of his own resources as well to building of the temple. His wholehearted dedication produced wholehearted service.
By his giving, David set an example of generosity before his nation. After that, he called for the liberality of his people. And he appealed to the men of wealth and position in Israel for offerings (1 Chronicles 29: 1–9). This was similar to what Moses did, who, made an appeal to the people for offerings that the sanctuary might be built (Exodus 25:1–8; 35:4–9), and received a liberal response (Exodus 35:20–29).
Responding to David’s appeal, “the leaders of the fathers’ houses, leaders of the tribes of Israel, the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the officers over the king’s work, offered willingly. They gave for the work of the house of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze, and one hundred thousand talents of iron. And whoever had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the Lord” (1 Chronicles 29:6-8).
On the basis of a talent weighing 75.39 lb., the amount of iron contributed by the leaders of the tribes of Israel would total about 3,770 tons, or 3,420 metric tons. It should be noted that iron was of much greater value in those days than it is today.
David found joy in giving, and he rejoiced in the joy that came to his people from offering to God’s work. His generosity is a model for the believers today. Paul wrote, “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7). A good farmer does not sow reluctantly, but bountifully, knowing the relationship between sowing and harvest.
In His service,
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