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 http://graceofourlord.com.  

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King David’s Favor With God (1 Chronicles 17-18)

English: Nathan advises King David

English: Nathan advises King David (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was important for the chronicler to communicate well the events of I Chronicles 17 to the post-exilic Jews because it contains the covenant of God with David. Covered first in 2 Samuel 7, it begins with David wanting to build God a house. But God tells Nathan the prophet to let David know that it would not be him that builds such a house. Instead, God promises that He would build David’s “house” – that David’s offspring (Jesus) would reign forever.

In answer to God’s covenant, David makes a prayer to God (verses 16-27). It is one of the longest prayers in the bible, and incredibly humble and heartfelt. It begins with “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?” They are words that each of us should ask God in prayer as well. The blessings that He has given us and the promises He has made to us are no less magnificent and undeserved that those made to David.

Hama

Hama (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chapter 18 contains some stunning military victories, some of which were reported in 2 Samuel 8. Here, David defeats the Philistines, and also takes Gath. The Moabites are defeated and become servants to David. He also “defeated Hadadezer king of Zobah-Hamath, as he went to set up his monument at the river Euphrates.” The plunder he took from the cities of Hadadezer included 1,000 chariots, 7,000 horsemen, and 20,000 foot soldiers, and shields made of gold.

In addition, verse 9 tells us that Tou king of Hamath was so pleased when he heard of the defeat of Hadadezer that he sent his son with gifts of gold, silver and bronze that Solomon would later use in building the pillars and the sea, and the bronze vessels for the temple.  Hamath is associated with modern Hama, which is located on the Orontes River in western Syria. There is an article with a picture there of a noria (a machine for lifting water into an aqueduct) at this link to Ferrell’s Travel Blog. We also recommend this article at BiblePlaces.com and this one at BiblicalArcheology.org for information on discoveries related to Tou (also called Toi and possibly Taita).

The victories continue against the Syrians and 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. And the text says that God gave victory to him wherever he went. Verses 14-17 detail how just and fair David was as a ruler, and how stable and well-organized his administration was. Joab was established as military commander, and “Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder; and Zadok the son of Ahitub and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar were priests; and Shavsha was secretary; and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David’s sons were the chief officials in the service of the king.”

(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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A Truly United Kingdom – (1 Chronicles 16)

The Sacrifice of the Old Covenant

The Sacrifice of the Old Covenant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now that the Levites had successfully transported the Ark to Jerusalem, David begins celebrating in the most proper manner – with tribute to God. God’s people were in the middle of the greatest times that the united kingdom would know. And for the most part, it would last through Solomon’s reign. Second only to the dedication of the Temple by Solomon, this would be the greatest celebration of that time.

David had the ark of the covenant brought in to the tent that he had erected for it. They then had burnt offerings and peace offerings. The peace offering is sometimes called a fellowship, or more properly, a thanksgiving offering, and is introduced in Leviticus 3:1-17 and Leviticus 7:11-34. Afterwards, the celebration continued with every man and woman of the vast number of Israelites present being given “loaf of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins.”

English: Statue of King David by Nicolas Cordi...

English: Statue of King David by Nicolas Cordier in the Borghese Chapel of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. Français : Statue du roi David par Nicolas Cordier, dans la chapelle Borghèse de la basilique Sainte-Marie Majeure. Italiano: Statua del re Davide di Nicolas Cordier, nella Capella Borghese della Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Roma. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

David then appointed certain Levites to “minister before the ark” invoking thanks, praising the Lord, and playing harps, lyres, cymbals, and blowing trumpets. Chief among this group of Levites was Asaph who authored Psalms 50 and 73-83. Also among them was Benaiah, one of the most powerful of David’s “mighty men,” whose exploits (some of which are described in 2 Samuel 23:20-22) included the single-handed defeat of Moab’s two mightiest warriors. Verse 7 tells us that it was the first time that David appointed Asaph and his brothers to sing thanksgiving to the Lord.

Verses 8-36 contain David’s song of thanksgiving. It is a long and wonderful song of praise to the Lord; and parts of it are contained in Psalm 105:1–15, Psalm 96:1–13, and Psalm 106:1, 47–48. Verses 37-42 describe how David made ministering to the ark a long-term responsibility for Asaph and his brothers. He also left Obed-edom (and his 68 brothers!), along with Zadok the priest and his brothers to offer burnt offerings and perform other duties.

Finally, the ark was to get the care that it had once had when Moses was around; and the Levites would do what they were intended to do before the Lord in such a grand scale as Israel had not seen since long before Israel had its first king.

(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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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 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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Psalm 63 – With Joyful Lips

Ziph area, where David hid from Saul and the Ziphites betrayed David.

Ziph area, where David hid from Saul and the Ziphites betrayed David.

Matthew Henry said of Psalm 63: “This psalm has in it as much of warmth and lively devotion as any of David’s psalms in so little a compass. As the sweetest of Paul’s epistles were those that bore date out of a prison, so some of the sweetest of David’s psalms were those that were penned, as this was, in a wilderness.” We have to agree. Among others, Psalm 3, Psalm 7, and Psalm 59 ring out with pure beauty and elegant praise for the Lord.

The superscription tells us that this is a psalm of David “when he was in the wilderness of Judah.” Most likely, it was during the time he was fleeing from Absalom rather than Saul because he appears to refer to himself as the king in verse 11. In verse one, when he speaks metaphorically of thirst and a dry land, the words would have their own meaning in relation to the desert in which he wandered. The psalm starts out as a lament, but quickly turns to a psalm of praise and quiet confidence, as seen in verses 5-7:

My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/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.  

Psalm 142 – You Are My Refuge

Caves such as this are common throughout Israel.

Caves such as this are common throughout Israel.

This psalm’s superscription is one of several that refer to a psalm as a maskil of David. The word maskil comes from a term meaning “enlighten” or “enlightened one.” They are poems written as songs for the purpose of instruction – in the case of the psalms, that means instruction about the Lord and of serving Him.  It also says that it was written at or about the time that David was “in the cave.” Presumably, this would refer to an instance when he was being pursued by Saul.

This lament psalm is certainly instructive for us today for prayer, especially in times of great distress, grief and/or anxiety and fear. When the world has become too much for us, these seven verses are a powerful source for putting into words the supplications and feelings of distress that we so desperately need to bring to the Almighty in prayer. It is a personal favorite for me; and part of the Psalm is included below.

With my voice I cry out to the Lord;
with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord.
I pour out my complaint before him;
I tell my trouble before him.
When my spirit faints within me,
you know my way!

I cry to you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.”
Attend to my cry,
for I am brought very low!

Deliver me from my persecutors,
for they are too strong for me!
Bring me out of prison,
that I may give thanks to your name!
The righteous will surround me,
for you will deal bountifully with me

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/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.  

Psalm 18:25-50 – His Way Is Perfect

David, King Over All Israel, as in 2 Samuel 5:...

David, King Over All Israel, as in 2 Samuel 5:1-12, illustration from a Bible card published 1896 by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this second half of Psalm 18, David continues singing God’s praises for being a just and merciful God, and specifically for care and help He has given David. In verse 29, the phrase “and by my God I can leap over a wall” may refer to David’s victory over the stronghold of the Jebusites at Jerusalem in 2 Samuel 5:6-10.  Verses 31-45 continue in that line of thought, as David recounts his military victories, his leadership, and his prowess as a warrior.

But he does not do so in a boastful manner. Instead, he rightly gives all the credit and glory to God, where it belongs. In verse 34, he says that “He trains my hands for war.” In verses 39-40:

For you equipped me with strength for the battle;
you made those who rise against me sink under me.
You made my enemies turn their backs to me,
and those who hated me I destroyed

Verse 46 continues the words that now are the lyrics for the popular hymn “I Will Call Upon the Lord” (which began in verse 3): “the Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation.” In verse 49, David writes: “for this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations, and sing to your name.” This verse is also written in 2 Samuel 22:50, and Paul sites them in Romans 15:9-12, as he explains that it was always God’s plan to include the Gentiles as the children of God through the Davidic line in Jesus Christ. To this point, verse 50 ties up the entire chapter into a succinct summary:

Great salvation he brings to his king,
and shows steadfast love to his anointed,
to David and his offspring forever

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/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.