Ark Movement 101 – 1 Chronicles 15

After the fiasco in chapter 13 of 1 Chronicles when the transportation of the ark was so badly mishandled that Uzzah was killed, it remained at the home of Obed-edom while David figured out what to do. And figure it out, he did. The material of chapter 15 focuses much less on David himself than was the case when this event was described in 2 Samuel 6:12-23. It is clear that David sought guidance from the Levites, and the instructions contained in Mosaic Law concerning proper handling of the ark were followed in exacting detail.

English: Jerusalem Model, The city of David, t...

English: Jerusalem Model, The city of David, the Pool of Siloam and the southern wall of Mount Moriah Deutsch: Jerusalem Modell, Davidstadt, im Vordergrund der Teich von Siloah und die Südmauer des Tempelberges Français : Maquette de Jérusalem, la Ville de David. Au premier plan, la piscine de Siloé et la muraille sud du Mont du Temple (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

David summoned “all of Israel” to participate in this event, which we can suppose to mean that he brought many from each tribe. And the Levites were at center stage because this could only be executed by them. Descendants of each of Levi’s sons (Kohath, Gershon, and Merari – verses 4-10) brought many with them, led by their chiefs; and the priests, Zadok and Abiathar were charged with consecrating themselves and their brethren for the task. This time, the Levites carried the ark with the poles, as set forth in Mosaic Law (Numbers 4:6-9; Numbers 4:15).

Singers and those who would play musical instruments (including Asaph, author of several Psalms – verse 19) were appointed and given detailed tasks. David wore an ephod over fine linen for the occasion, and he, his commanders and the Levites set out with the ark in grand procession and jubilant song, as they brought the ark to Jerusalem and the temporary tent that would hold it there.

But David’s wife, Michal (referred to in verse 29 simply as the daughter of Saul) watched through the window as David danced and celebrated the event and “despised him in her heart.” Her contempt for him here would define their estrangement from that point forward.

(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 http://graceofourlord.com.  

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David Becomes King

In 1 Chronicles 11, all of the elders of Israel come to Hebron to meet with David following the death of Saul, and David is anointed king “according to the word of the Lord by Samuel” (1 Samuel 16:6-13). Then in verse 4, it immediately picks up with David and his troops going to “Jebus,” which is Jeusalem – which is occupied by the Jebusites. We are first told that the land of the Jebusites is Jerusalem back in Joshua 15:8, where the boundaries for the tribe of Judah are laid out in detail, as the Promised Land gets divided among the tribes. It is during this successful campaign upon what will become “the City of David,” that “Joab the son of Zeruiah” becomes commander of David’s army. This is because he took David up on his offer to make chief of the one who strikes first at the Jebusites.

Valley_of_Rephaim_0114Beginning in verse 10, the chronicler introduces David’s “mighty men,” which we will read more about in chapter 12. There is some debate about the number (some count 37 as being named here). But generally, it seems that the main group of his mighty men were referred to as “the thirty,” and at same point, this number becomes a name for them despite the actual number (just as the apostles were referred to as “the twelve”). However, although there were those in the thirty that were regarded as “chiefs,” and greater than the others, there were three that were very special. Of the three, the foremost was Jashobeam, who is listed again in 1 Chronicles 27 as leader of a military division. It is supposed that as members of “the thirty” died, they were replaced with others, which made this an evolving list.

In verses 15-19, as the Philistines were camped in the Valley of Rephaim, their garrison was at Bethlehem. David remarked that he would love to have water from the well at Bethlehem. When three of the mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines and brought back the water to David, he poured it out as an offering to the Lord – refusing to drink something obtained by such bravery by his men.

(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 http://graceofourlord.com.  

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The End of Saul’s Royal Line – 1 Chronicles 10

The 10th chapter of 1 Chronicles covers the reign of Saul as king of Israel. Well, at least it “chronicles” the end of his reign. The chapter is only 13 verses long, and begins with Saul’s final battle with the Philistines at Mount Gilboa. It was there that Saul and his sons Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchi-shua died. The story is first told in 1 Samuel 31, but we are given a few additional details here as well.

Mount Gilboa, site of Saul's last battle

Mount Gilboa, site of Saul’s last battle

After Saul fell on his sword, the Philistines took his head and “fastened” it in the temple of Dagon.  No explanation of that is given, and perhaps none is needed. Dagon was the Philistines’ fish-god, the idol of which God made some rather humorous sport in 1 Samuel 5, when the Philistines had captured the Ark of the Covenant and placed it in the house of Dagon. The men of Jabesh-gilead (which Saul had rescued at the beginning of his reign in 1 Samuel 11) learned of Saul’s fate, and rescued and buried the bodies of Saul and his sons.

In verses 13-14, the chronicler says that Saul died for “his breach of faith,” and tells of his disobedience and of consulting a medium for guidance instead of seeking guidance from the Lord. So, the last words written of Saul were “therefore the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.”

And so, the rest of the Books of Chronicles begins in chapter 11 with the reign of David and his descendants.

(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 http://graceofourlord.com.  

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Luke’s Controversial Genealogy

Verses 23-38 of Luke chapter 3 contain the genealogy of Jesus Christ. This genealogy differs from that contained in Matthew (Matthew 1:1-17) in a number of ways. In fact, the differences are so striking that the fact has generated considerable criticism from skeptics, as well as disagreement among scholars.

 

To begin with, the genealogy in Matt

 

Luke’s genealogy of Jesus, from the Book of Ke...

Luke’s genealogy of Jesus, from the Book of Kells, transcribed by Celtic monks circa 800 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

hew goes forward, beginning from Abraham to David, then (through Solomon) on down to Joseph. The genealogy here in Luke goes backward – not to Solomon, but to Nathan, one of David’s other sons, and then all the way back to Adam. Clearly, the genealogy presented by Luke is that of Jesus’ mother, Mary.

 

Surprisingly though, there has been much scholarly resistance to this view, largely because it is Joseph that is named as the “son of Heli (Eli)” in verse 23. But the word “son” is often used quite loosely in the Bible. For example, a grandson, a great-grandson, or any descendant may be referred to as a “son” of a particular person (Jesus was called the Son of David by many – i.e. in Matthew 22:42). Use was made of the word “son” for a son-in-law as well (1 Samuel 24:16), especially where no male heir existed, as is believed to be the case with Mary and Heli. Some scholars explain this also with the significance of the absence of the article “the” (in the Greek) before Joseph’s name in Luke’s genealogy (Godet, Louis. A Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke Edinburg: T&T Clark, 1893).

 

The second objection to the genealogy being through Mary’s blood line is that it would be a huge departure from Jewish tradition, where giving genealogies is concerned. This writer sees no problem with that for two important reasons. First, this is a very different genealogy, and the Holy Spirit had good reason for giving a second, very detailed genealogy of the Christ. One might think that breaking from tradition in giving that blood line might be expected, eh? Secondly, the Gospel of Luke (which, incidentally, was written in Greek – not Hebrew) was addressed to Gentiles, not really to Jews (specifically, of course, to Theophilus). Matthew was the Gospel that was written mainly for the benefit of Jews. In light of this, a departure from Jewish tradition in genealogies should not surprise us in the least.

 

Josiah - Jechoniah - Shealtiel

Josiah – Jechoniah – Shealtiel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Some also see the fact that Luke’s genealogy is through Mary’s line as an answer to the “Jeconiah objection.” As the last king of Judea before Babylonian captivity, Jeconiah was totally rejected by God, and Jeremiah 22:24-30 makes that rejection clear, saying that “none of his offspring shall succeed in sitting on the throne of David and ruling again in Judah.” In Matthew 1:12, we see that Jeconiah is in Joseph’s genealogy, so the argument goes that this fact disqualifies Jesus from being the Messiah. This, of course, is ridiculous because God obviously did not mean that no descendant would ever rule. That would have broken His covenant with David. And just a few verses later, in chapter 23 (Jeremiah 23:5) we get the rest of the story concerning Messianic prophecy:

 

“…the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.”

 

Of course, Mary’s line includes a Zerubbabel and a Shealtiel in the genealogy given by Luke. But the Zerubbabel that 1 Chronicles 3:17-19 lists in Jeconiah’s line is the son of Pedaiah – not Shealtiel; and he doesn’t have a son named Rhesa. These certainly appear to be different people. Any internet search engine will tell you that Shealtiel is a family surname for many to this day, and Zerubbabel (meaning seed of Babylon) was likely not the name of just one man either, in light of the exile. So Mary’s line was not affected by the Jeconiah problem in the first place, and it is a moot point in the second place, proven by Jeremiah’s own prophecy.

 

But getting back to the beginning, Luke clearly lists a different heritage going through David’s son Nathan, rather than through Solomon, as Joseph’s line went. Luke’s words have stood the test of time in many areas that are beyond the scope of this subject. We should have no problem standing by his words here.

 

(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

 

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 can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.

 

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The Province of Yehud

As we come to the end of the genealogies of the first few chapters of 1 Chronicles, it should be apparent that beyond the main purpose that we discussed for preserving genealogies, there are other considerations. Although the exiles were free now, Judah (Yehud) was now just a small province of the Persian Empire. The meticulous detail that the chronicler documented also served to preserve a sense of heritage for the people that they desperately needed as a collective.

English: English translation of hebrew version...

English: English translation of hebrew version. Map of the twelve tribes of Israel, before the move of Dan to the North (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chapter 7 takes up just 40 verses to present some detail on the remaining tribes, and then chapter 8 begins with the genealogy of Saul from the tribe of Benjamin. Although Benjamin was already covered to some degree in chapter 7, this extra attention is warranted, not just because Saul came from that tribe. Together with the Levites, the tribes of Judah and Benjamin (along with some from Ephraim and Manasseh) make up the “lion’s share” of the post-exile core of Jerusalem (see Ezra 1:5, Nehemiah 11:4-9, 1 Chronicles 9:3).

Chapter 9 closes these genealogies with a reprisal of some of Saul’s roots, which account is preceded by some details of those who had various duties – particularly priests and Levites, with attention to gatekeepers, Levitical singers and musicians, and those with other temple duties.

With this section of the chronicles completed, we will begin next in chapter 10 with a very short chapter consisting of nothing more of Saul’s reign than its end. Then, the anointing of David as king will kick off the “meat and potatoes,” which is the rest of the Chronicles.

(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

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 can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.

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1 Chronicles, Judah to Levi

1 Chronicles chapter 2 begins with the 12 children of Jacob (Israel). It quickly begins to focus in on Judah, as this is the tribe of David, and it continues doing so in chapter 3 and chapter four all the way through to verse 23. Chapter 2 is a genealogy of David, and chapter 3 is a record of the descendants of David all the way up through the post-exilic period in which the Chronicles are written.

English: English translation of hebrew version...

English: English translation of hebrew version. Map of the twelve tribes of Israel, before the move of Dan to the North (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chapter four then continues the genealogy of the other clans of the tribe of Judah until we reach verse 23. The rest of the fourth chapter is a record of the tribe of Simeon. Simeon is probably chosen next because its territory resided within the borders of Judah. In fact, it had largely been swallowed up by Judah, but there was still a genealogical and tribal identification that most Simeonites would hold on to.

Chapter five records the genealogy of the Trans-jordanian tribes – Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. Although the tribes had been virtually wiped out by the Assyrian invasion in the eighth century B.C., there were still those who identified with these tribes. Verses 18-22 record an important victory in battle that occurred before the exile that we do not have recorded anywhere else in the Bible. It accentuates that they were still God’s people and the text says that “many fell, because the war was of God.”

Chapter six a is a very long chapter. It was especially important to get this genealogy just right, as this was about the tribe of Levi. Since the Levites were not allotted their own territory, it was also important to document various tribal territories where different Levite clans were settled, and what they were given in those areas. Verse 28 identifies the prophet Samuel as a Kohathite.

(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

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 can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.

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