Bible Commentary Bible History General Theology

1 Chronicles: A retelling

“Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the LORD do that which is good in his sight.” -1 Chronicles 19:13

The warriors that came to David in Ziklag

The chief was Ahiezer. Then, Joash, the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite, Jeziel, Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth, Berachah, Jehu the Antothite, Ismaiah the Gibeonite, Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, Josabad the Gederathite, Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, Shephatiah the Haruphite, Elkanah, Jesiah, Azareel, Joezer, Jashobeam, Korhites, Joelah, Zebadiah, the sons of Jeroham of Gedor, Ezer, Obadiah, Eliab, Mishmannah, Jeremiah, Attai, Eliel, Johanan, Elzabad, Jeremiah, and Machbanai.

These men appeared and acted as David’s friends/warriors, which was upon the death of Saul, in order to bring about the revolution. All of the forces were around 600 men. They claim to be ones helping God. Gradually, David was preparing to take the throne. These are the men who helped David become King of Judah. This gathering was about him getting ready to take the throne.

The first priests to return from Babylon were Jedaiah, Jehoiarib, and Jachin. It goes on… Azariah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pashur, the son of Malchijah, Maasiai the son of Adiel, the son of Jahzerah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Meshillemith, and the son of Immer. More were noted in large numbers but not listed here.

The first Levites to return from Babylon were Shemaiah the son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, of the sons of Merari, Bakbakkar, Heresh, Galal, Mattaniah the son of Micah, the son of Zichri, the son of Asaph, Obadiah the son of Shemaiah, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun, Berechia the son of Asa, and the son of Elkanah.

Saul asked the armor-bearer plainly to kill him by drawing his sword and thrusting it into him, but the armor-bearer refused, therefore, Saul took the sword and fell upon it instead. His armor-bearer was likely so dedicated to him that he didn’t want to kill Saul, but when Saul killed himself, the armor-bearer did it the same way unto himself. It says after that, that Saul and his three sons died (all his house overall) together. The Philistines had already slew Jonathan and the sons of Saul, so Saul probably became hopeless because all those that were close to him had died, therefore, Saul didn’t want to live on, it seems.

Three of David’s mighty men broke through the battle line of the Philistines in order to bring David a drink of water from the well at Bethlehem. However, David doesn’t drink the water, because of the danger that the men had gone through just to give it to him, so David poured the water out to the Lord.

Benaiah was the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts, such as slaying two lionlike men of Moab and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day, as well as many other acts of slaying. He was among the three mighties as well.

David is made king, by which the government was happy about. Care is taken about religion in chapter 13, where David consults with the representatives of the people about bring the ark out of obscurity and into a public place. When the ark finally arrives after the trouble that was caused, guardians were appointed over the ark to watch it. David appointed various officials to lead worship.

David proposed to build a house for God, however, God disapproved it, for David was not the right man to build it. This is all in preparation of the Davidic Covenant, to which, the house of David shall be established for ever, and he was blessed. The Davidic line shall be eternal, and I believe Jesus is at the forefront.

David seemed to end his good kingship with glory, so to speak, because he had a praise and prayer speech, people offered gifts and sacrifices to God, and then his own son, Solomon is sworn in as new King. That would be a fitting ceremony, and an excellent way to end a kingly reign.

Synopsis

The Book of First Chronicles, most guess that Ezra (or an unknown chronicler) wrote it around 450-420 BC. It talks richly about Israel’s redemptive history, especially along the lines of the genealogies of Adam to the post-exilic restoration, and then about David’s reign as king. The idea behind the Chronicles being written was for the Jews, so they would have a record of their ancestry and redemptive history. A “chronicle” is defined simply as “a record of events.” The Books of the Chronicles were written many years after Israel and Judah had been taken into captivity.

The book begins with the genealogies of the tribes of Israel, which includes a long list of names – which is basically a detailed ancestry overall. So, the ones listed for example were from Adam to Abraham, from Abraham to Jacob, from Jacob to David, from David to the Babylonian Exile, then of the Twelve Tribes, of the Remnant (tribes, priests, and Levites that returned), and Saul. Saul is mentioned, but nothing much is said about him, as it appears the writer is more concerned with the reign of David – especially since judgment came upon Saul for his unfaithfulness and disobedience.

The reign of David was strongly detailed in First Chronicles, as David was able to endure significantly in his reign, and that God had made a covenant with David that his family line would endure for generations, even unto eternity (as Jesus was a descendant of the line of David). This showed the importance of David, and his huge role that was played in the history of redemption, particularly for Israel. The writer must first, though, count the death of Saul – because that was how the ushering in of David became, was resulting from the fallout and death of Saul.

It seems like many of the events are not recorded, so it appears the writer is telling of the major events in David’s reign. The writer targets talking about the beginning of the reign of David over Jerusalem, and that the mighty men group that David created played a big role in establishing the kingdom. Many people who fought alongside David are also mentioned, including the Benjaminites who joined him at Ziklag while he fled from Saul, the fearless soldiers from Gad, and Benjamin and Judah who joined him in Adullum. The writer also notes how all of the tribes in Israel had sent a representative force of troops to Hebron to present themselves to David.

The next part that’s detailed is that the Ark of the Covenant was brought to Jerusalem, a setback occurred because of a lack of reverence for it, but then it was brought with success – in which the people celebrated over it. Feasting and sacrifices were done at the arrival of the Ark, as people were glad it was finally in a proper place.

After that, the writer details the psalm of thanksgiving that was sung in the celebration of the Ark in Jerusalem. In this, we read about the Abrahamic Covenant being remembered, and that God’s faithfulness has lasted for so long in that covenant. God miraculously preserved the descendants – which he could’ve easily removed. Therefore, in all of this, it brought praise and glory unto the Lord. His unfailing mercy brought the Israelites an assurance that they could always depend on this mighty and just God.

When the Ark was brought, David had it placed in a temporary tent, while he could make plans and execute them for a temple to be built. However, God wanted David to build up his house first, because God wanted to build an eternal dynasty of David, and that one of his descendants would build the temple. After that, the listing of a number of David’s victories was done, and how he had great success/fame in war. Then, he speaks to Solomon about the temple plans, and that it should be built soon. He then encouraged Solomon to seek wisdom from God and obey his commands, so he could govern the nation according to God’s Law.

David was also interested in preparing the Levites for temple ministry among other administrative organizing – for he wanted the temple to be successful in being built. But more than that, he wanted his successor to be successful also in ruling Israel. So, in preparing to promote Solomon to the throne (since Solomon was the next heir, after all), his other son, Adonijah, was attempting to seize the throne for himself – therefore, David hurriedly promoted Solomon.

The anointing was quick and rather unceremonious – as the writer details – and that a second anointing had followed with a big ceremony (appropriate for new kings). David presented Solomon as king and the one who would build the temple of God. So then, God gave Solomon the plans that he had prepared for the temple and its service. In addition to the provisions that David gave for the temple project, David also gave a big offering from his savings – which prompted people to give their own generous offerings. This brought great joy to David and made him glad for his successor.

%d bloggers like this: