historical book describing the reign of King David (after 9 chapters
of family trees of Israel )
unknown. Hebrew tradition
suggests Ezra but may be a compilation of a number of writers.
written : unknown but
possibly about 450BC.
Gets its name from the
Hebrew title which can be translated ‘the events of the days or years'
As the outline below indicates, chapters
1 to 9 are the family trees of the tribes of Israel while the rest of
the book covers the reign of King David.
Genealogies: Creation to Restoration
Sons of Jacob/Israel & family of Judah & sons of Simeon
Reuben, Gad and the Half-Tribe of Manasseh
Levi and Families
Issachar, Benjamin, Naphtali, Manasseh, Ephraim and Asher
The Reign of David
Death of Saul
Capture of Jerusalem ; David's Power Base
Return of the Ark ; Establishment of David's Kingdom
Promise of Dynasty
Preparations for the Temple
Organization of the Temple Service
Administrative Structures of the Kingdom
David's Final Preparations for Succession and the Temple
29 Succession of Solomon; Death of David
sake of continuity in understanding we
continue with 2 Chronicles
The Reign of Solomon
The Schism, and the History of the Kings of Judah
Jehoram and Ahaziah
Josiah's Successors & Exile and Restoration
end of Saul
the Philistines fought against Israel ; the Israelites fled before them,
and many fell slain on Mount Gilboa …. Saul and his three sons died,
and all his house died together.
all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron , he made
a compact with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David
king over Israel, as the LORD had promised through Samuel.
and all the Israelites marched to Jerusalem …. David then took up residence
in the fortress, and so it was called the City of David . He built up
the city around it, from the supporting terraces to the surrounding
wall, while Joab restored the rest of the city. And David became more
and more powerful, because the LORD Almighty was with him.
and triumph characteristics of his rule
the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel
, they went up in full force to search for him…. so David inquired of
God: "Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you hand them
over to me?" The
LORD answered him, "Go, I will hand them over to you." So
David and his men went up to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them.
Ark established in Jerusalem
brought the ark of God and set it inside the tent that David had pitched
for it, and they presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings
before God. After David had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings
and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD.
desires to build a temple – God promises a dynasty
David was settled in his palace, he said to Nathan the prophet, "Here
I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of the covenant of
the LORD is under a tent." Nathan replied to David, "Whatever
you have in mind, do it, for God is with you." That night the word
of God came to Nathan, saying…… "I
declare to you that the LORD will build a house for you: When your days
are over and you go to be with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring
to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom.
He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his
throne forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will
never take my love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor.
I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will
be established forever.' "
mention of the Bathsheba failure
the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, Joab led out the armed
forces….. but David remained in Jerusalem
mention of the numbering falure
rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel
. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, "Go and
count the Israelites from Beersheba to Dan. Then report back to me so
that I may know how many there are."
for the Temple building by Solomon
said, "My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house
to be built for the LORD should be of great magnificence and fame and
splendor in the sight of all the nations. Therefore I will make preparations
for it." So David made extensive preparations before his death.
David was old and full of years, he made his son Solomon king over Israel
calls the nation to be faithful
summoned all the officials of Israel to assemble at Jerusalem: the officers
over the tribes, the commanders of the divisions in the service of the
king, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the
officials in charge of all the property and livestock belonging to the
king and his sons, together with the palace officials, the mighty men
and all the brave warriors. King David rose to his feet and said…..:
now I charge you in the sight of all Israel and of the assembly of the
LORD, and in the hearing of our God: Be careful to follow all the commands
of the LORD your God, that you may possess this good land and pass it
on as an inheritance to your descendants forever. "And you, my
son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with
wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches
every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you
seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject
son of Jesse was king over all Israel . He ruled over Israel forty years--seven
in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem . He died at a good old age,
having enjoyed long life, wealth and honour. His son Solomon succeeded
him as king.
The writer(s) of 1 Chronicles clearly
seeks to portray an encouraging picture of David's reign and of him
being a foundation to the Messianic promise. Some suggest, therefore,
that it was written by Ezra to encourage the restored people in the
restoration after the Exile.
It omits the earlier life and experiences
of David as seen in 1 Samuel and picks up the events from the death
of Saul as seen in 2 Samuel. In many ways it is a more detailed explanation
of David's reign but misses out much that is negative in 2 Samuel.
Compared with 2 Samuel there is NO mention
the seven-year reign in Hebron before
the uniting of the kingdom,
the wars between Saul's house and David,
the negotiations with Abner,
the difficulties over David's wife Michal,
or the murders of Abner and Ish-Bosheth
The writer presents David as being immediately
anointed king over all Israel after the death of Saul (ch. 11) and enjoying
the total support of the people (11:10-12:40).
Subsequent difficulties for David are
also not recounted.
No mention is made of
David's sin with Bathsheba,
the crime and death of Amnon,
the rebellion by Absalom against his
the flight of David from Jerusalem ,
the rebellions of Sheba and Shimei,
and other incidents that might diminish the glory of David's reign
David is presented without blemish, apart
from the incident of the census in which the writer shows David coming
out of it well and purchasing land which will eventually be used for
building the Temple .
In many ways, therefore, the historical
narrative of 1 Chronicles concerning David is much lighter reading than
that in 2 Samuel.
Chronicles includes many lists and names
and explains the structure of David's reign far more than seen in 2
It has also been commented that there
are more speeches in Chronicles (165) than in the parallel texts of
Samuel and Kings (95) and these go to explain the thrust of what was
We might conclude, therefore, that although
our tendency is to focus on people's failings, the writer in 1 Chronicles
does not do that in respect of David, in fact quite to the contrary.
David is God's man which many good qualities and the write concludes,
“ He died at a good old age, having enjoyed
long life, wealth and honour.”
Perhaps to maintain balance we might finish
with the record of the writer in 1 Kings: “For
David had done what was right in the eyes of the LORD and had not failed
to keep any of the LORD's commands all the days of his life--except
in the case of Uriah the Hittite.” (1 Kings 15:5) [NB. The census
was giving way to a temptation from Satan, not a failure of daily law-keeping
and is thus excluded in this assessment.]
The New Testament testimony from Paul
is also worth holding on to: “After removing
Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: `I have
found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do
everything I want him to do,'” (Acts 13:22) echoing Samuel's
words chastising Saul: “But now your kingdom
will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart
and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept
the LORD's command." (1 Sam 13:14) What an excellent testimony