An International Incident – 1 Chronicles 19-20

Landscape with David and Bathsheba

Landscape with David and Bathsheba (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most of the events of these two chapters are contained in chapters 10-11 of 2 Samuel, but there are some differences. Most conspicuously absent here is any reference to David’s sin with Bathsheba. This affair and betrayal of Uriah the Hittite took place at the time that “Joab led out the army and ravaged the country of the Ammonites and came and besieged Rabbah” (1 Chronicles 20:1).

Most scholars agree that the account is not left out simply to avoid showing David in a bad light. There are several things that demonstrate David’s goodness which the chronicler did not write about either. But the purpose of the chronicles was to preserve the knowledge (for the returning exiles and their descendants) of God’s covenant with David and reassure them that it was still a promise from God.

As chapter 19 opens, David sends messengers to give his condolences to  Hanun the son of Nahash the Ammonite because Nashash had “dealt kindly” with him. It is unknown what kindness that was. But Hanun, suspecting David’s motives and thinking his servants were spies, he shaved them and cut there clothes off at the hip, sending them on their way. After realizing the seriousness of the international incident he had created, Hanun hired chariots and horsemen from Mesopotamia and surrounding areas and kingdoms in a futile attempt to defeat David’s army.

English: The young Hebrew David hoists the hea...

English: The young Hebrew David hoists the head of the Philistine Goliath (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After Joab “struck down Rabbah,” David accumulated much gold and other precious plunder – including a crown of gold that was taken from the king’s head. Verse 3 of chapter 20 says that they did the same to all of cities of the Ammonites. Then in verses 4-8, came the defeat of many Philistines, some of which were giants on the order of the Goliath that David killed when Saul was king. The Goliath here is not the same one, obviously.

The one mentioned in verse 6 with the extra digits had a condition called polydactyly, a condition that a small percentage of people are born with to this day – including yours truly (mine was an extra thumb). The man that holds the world record for the most digits is Akshat Saxena in India. He was born in 2010 with 7 digits on each hand and 10 digits on each foot, for a total of 34 digits!

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at  

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