God rules History
An EasyEnglish Bible Version and Commentary (2800 word vocabulary) on the Book of 1 Chronicles
This commentary has been through Advanced Checking.
Words in boxes are from the Bible.
A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.
The Books of 1 Chronicles and 2 Chronicles record the history of the *Israelites. These books are about the same period of time as the Books of 2 Samuel, 1 Kings and 2 Kings.
1 Chronicles begins with a list of the families of the *Israelites. Then it continues with an account of David’s rule over the united *kingdom called Israel. 2 Chronicles begins with an account of Solomon’s rule. After Solomon’s death, the *kingdom was divided. The author does not include much of the history of the kings in the northern part of Israel. All the northern kings were evil men who were not loyal to God. Instead, the author concentrates on the southern kings, who ruled the region called Judah. Some of them were loyal to God, but there were also many evil kings in Judah. Their evil behaviour brought about the end of that *kingdom.
However, the Books of 1 Chronicles and 2 Chronicles are not just a political history. They are also a history of the people’s religion. They record how the people *worshipped God. And especially, the books concentrate on the *worship that happened at the *temple in Jerusalem.
In our Bibles, we have 1 Chronicles and 2 Chronicles. They were one book for a long time until there was a translation into the language called Greek. (The name of that translation is the Septuagint.) That was early in the second century *BC. They split the book into two because the length of it would more easily fit on two *scrolls. The old *Hebrew name for the one book was ‘the books of events’ or ‘diaries’. The name of the two books in the Greek language was ‘things that the other books left out.’ Several events here are not in the other history books. That may be the reason for the *Hebrew and Greek names. The other history books are the Books of Samuel and Kings.
A man whose name was Jerome suggested the name Chronicles for the two books. ‘Chronicles’ means a ‘list of events’. Jerome translated the Bible into the language called Latin in the 4th century AD. (‘AD’ means ‘after Christ was born’.) In time, the name of the books became Chronicles.
The last event in the second book is when King Cyrus let the *Jews return to their land (2 Chronicles 36:22-23). The *Jews had been in *exile in Babylon for 70 years. Cyrus made that decision in 538 *BC. The list of the people in the first book includes Zerubbabel (1 Chronicles 3:17-21). He led the *Jews back to *Israel soon after the decision of Cyrus. The book names two of his grandsons, Pelatiah and Jeshaiah. This fact brings the earliest date of the books to about 500 *BC.
The writer mentions the gifts that the leaders gave for the work of the *temple (1 Chronicles 29:7). He talks about gold *darics. The *daric was a coin that did not exist before 515 *BC. So, the date of this book is some time after that date.
The *Jews completed the *Old Testament when Artaxerxes was King of Persia. He died in 424 *BC. As Chronicles was in that *Old Testament, its date is clearly before 424 *BC. The Book of Chronicles usually appears as the last book in the *Hebrew *Old Testament. (The books have a different order in *Hebrew Bibles.)
The Chronicles are like the works of Ezra in style and in words. It is most likely that they are from the same period. Ezra wrote in the 5th century *BC.
We do not know who wrote the Chronicles. The style and the arrangement of the books show that there was a single author.
*Jewish tradition says that Ezra wrote Chronicles. He wrote the Book of Ezra as well. Many Christian experts also believe that Ezra wrote the Chronicles. Some of these experts say that Ezra received help from the *prophets Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.
However, other experts think that Ezra was not the author of the Chronicles. They think that the author was someone unknown, but a lot like Ezra. He shared some interests with Ezra but he had his own distinct (different) interests as well. And he lived during the same period of history as Ezra did.
The Books of Chronicles are history books. But the books are not just about history. The writer seems to be a *Levite. He writes about such things as the *temple, prayer and the *worship of God. He tries to explain what *Israel’s history means. He shows how God was in control of that history.
The writer gives lists of names. He starts with Adam, the first man. Then he makes a list of those people who came from Noah’s family. From them came the nations that the *Jews knew about. He then tells about Jacob, who was called *Israel. He was the *ancestor of all the *Jews. From then on, he gives only lists of all the *tribes of *Israel. But to him the most important are those who came from Judah. The kings came from the *tribe of Judah. Later the author gives lists of people who helped in the *worship of God, and soldiers in David’s army. This is to show how important these jobs were.
The *Israelites had come back to their country after 70 years in *exile. So, the writer wants them to know that all *Israelites are God’s people. He considers *Israel to be the *LORD’s *kingdom. David and Solomon were kings over the *LORD’s *kingdom. Such ideas would give hope to the people who had just returned from *exile. *Israel’s *kingdom would be safe because God was looking after it. In time, God would establish it again.
*Israelites are people who belong to the family of *Israel. The people needed to know that they did belong to *Israel. So, the writer gives the history of the families of *Israel. He starts with Adam and he shows the families of the 12 *tribes up to the *exile. To do this, he used several books that are now in the Bible. And he also used many other ancient records. None of these other records exists now.
One of the most important subjects in these books is the *temple in Jerusalem. The writer shows how David organised the staff to maintain the *temple. He set up the teams of the priests and *Levites who would lead the *worship in the *temple. God did not let David build the *temple. But David prepared the materials for his son to build it. In 2 Chronicles, we read how Solomon built the *temple.
Adam to Esau
1 Chronicles 1:1-54
Adam to Noah
1 Chronicles 1:1-3
1 Chronicles 1:4-23
Shem to Abraham
1 Chronicles 1:24-27
1 Chronicles 1:28-34
Esau and Edom
1 Chronicles 1:35-54
The *tribes of *Israel
1 Chronicles 2:1-8:40
The sons of *Israel
1 Chronicles 2:1-2
The *tribe of Judah
1 Chronicles 2:3-4:23
The *tribe of Simeon
1 Chronicles 4:24-43
The *tribe of Reuben
1 Chronicles 5:1-10
The *tribe of Gad
1 Chronicles 5:11-22
The half *tribe of Manasseh east of the river
1 Chronicles 5:23-26
The *tribe of Levi
1 Chronicles 6:1-81
The *tribe of Issachar
1 Chronicles 7:1-5
The *tribe of Benjamin
1 Chronicles 7:6-12
The *tribe of Naphtali
1 Chronicles 7:13
The western half *tribe of Manasseh
1 Chronicles 7:14-19
The *tribe of Ephraim
1 Chronicles 7:20-29
The *tribe of Asher
1 Chronicles 7:30-40
Benjamin to Saul
1 Chronicles 8:1-40
People in Jerusalem
1 Chronicles 9:1-34
The people who lived in Jerusalem
1 Chronicles 9:1-9
The families of the priests
1 Chronicles 9:10-13
The families of the *Levites
1 Chronicles 9:14-34
1 Chronicles 9:35-44
David becomes king
1 Chronicles 10:1-12:40
The end of Saul’s family
1 Chronicles 10:1-14
All *Israel accepts David as king
1 Chronicles 11:1-12:40
David brings the *ark to Jerusalem
1 Chronicles 13:1-16:43
The first part of the journey
1 Chronicles 13:1-14
The fame of David
1 Chronicles 14:1-17
The *ark comes to Jerusalem
1 Chronicles 15:1-29
The people *worship and praise the *LORD
1 Chronicles 16:1-43
God’s special promise to David
1 Chronicles 17:1-27
The *LORD speaks to David
1 Chronicles 17:1-15
1 Chronicles 17:16-27
1 Chronicles 18:1-20:8
The *kingdom becomes larger
1 Chronicles 18:1-13
1 Chronicles 18:14-17
Defeat of the nation called Ammon
1 Chronicles 19:1-20:3
Battles against the *Philistines
1 Chronicles 20:4-8
David prepares for the construction of the *temple
1 Chronicles 21:1-29:30
David’s *sin and God’s goodness
1 Chronicles 21:1-30
David prepares for the *temple
1 Chronicles 22:1-19
Organisation of the *Levites
1 Chronicles 23:1-26:32
Organisation of other leaders
1 Chronicles 27:1-34
Final preparations for the *temple
1 Chronicles 28:1-29:20
Solomon becomes king and the death of David
1 Chronicles 29:21-30
Verses 1-3 The writer sets out to show that the *exiles are God’s people, *Israel. The people who had come back from *exile needed to find their origins. They needed to connect again with their past as the nation called *Israel. To assist them in this the writer records the history of their families. He starts at the beginning with Adam, the first man. He makes a list of the 10 names from Adam to Noah. It is the same as the list in Genesis chapter 5.
The list is of the *ancestors of *Israel. The list does not mention the other sons and their families. They all died in the flood. So, Noah was the *ancestor of all people.
Verse 4 The verses from 4 to 23 show the same names as are in Genesis chapter 10.
Here are the sons of Noah in the order of their ages. Shem was the first, then Ham; and Japheth was the youngest. The three sons of Noah are here because they were the start of the new world.
Noah, his sons and their wives were the only people who were alive after the flood.
Verses 5-7 We have the family of the youngest son first. The writer wants to follow the family of Shem. Abraham and *Israel came from the family of Shem. So, he puts Shem as the last of the three.
From the 7 sons of Japheth came the people in Europe and northern Asia.
Verse 8 The people in Africa and the south-west of Asia come from the 4 sons of Ham.
Verses 9-10 Cush had 5 sons. They each were the start of separate *clans. These *clans moved to the east of the Red Sea. They spread across southern Arabia and in the valley of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates. It is not clear whether Nimrod was a 6th son of Cush. But he was from the family of Cush. He became the first powerful man since the flood. He was the ruler of Babylon and Assyria.
Verses 11-16 Mizraim was a son of Ham. From the family of Mizraim there came the *Philistines. Later the *Philistines came to live in the country called Canaan. There they were a frequent enemy of the *Israelites.
Another son of Ham was Canaan. From him there came several nations. These nations were the neighbours of *Israel and they often fought against *Israel.
The Amorites were a *clan that spread through the country called Canaan. Later they became a nation to the north of Israel. The Girgashites were a *clan in the country called Canaan. The Hivites were another *clan in the country called Canaan. The Arkites lived in the city called Arka that was in the country called Syria. We do not know anything about the Sinites. The Arvadites were a *clan that went to live on the island called Arvad. This island was near the coast of the country called Syria. The Zemarites were another *clan in the country called Canaan. The Hamathites were a *clan that lived near the northern boundary of Israel. Hamath was their main city.
Verses 17-23 From the 5 sons of Shem came various nations that are in the same region as Israel. Elam went to the north of the bay called the Persian Gulf. The family of Aram became Syria. Lud was in the centre of the country that we call Turkey.
Eber was the *ancestor of Abraham. And he was the *ancestor of a number of other people. These people were called the Habiru or Apiru. The word *Hebrew may have come from the name Eber or from the word Habiru.
One of the sons of Eber was Peleg. Peleg means ‘separated’. He had this name because, during his life, God separated the people. This refers to what happened at Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). Until this time, all of the world’s people spoke one language. But they became too proud. They tried to build up to the sky. But God would not allow them to do it. God confused their language so that they could not understand each other. He scattered them all over the earth.
Verses 24-27 The list of names from Shem to Abram comes from Genesis 11:10-26. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham (Genesis 17:5). Until that time, Abram and his wife Sarai had no children. Sarai was too old to have children and Abram was 99 years old. But God promised them a son. God changed their names. ‘Abraham’ means ‘father of a crowd.’ His wife’s name became Sarah.
Verses 28-34 Abraham had sons from three women. He had the first son Ishmael by Hagar. Hagar was not his wife. She was the servant of Sarah. Then he had Isaac by his wife Sarah. She was his principal wife. Abraham married a slave girl Keturah as a secondary wife. It was the custom to have a principal wife. People did not consider that a secondary wife had an equal rank with other wives. Keturah gave him 6 sons.
The writer tells us about the children of Hagar and Keturah first. Then he gives the family of Isaac because he was the *ancestor of *Israel. Isaac had two sons, Esau and Jacob. Later the *LORD gave to Jacob the new name of *Israel (Genesis 32:28). The Chronicles always call him *Israel (except in 1 Chronicles chapter 16).
The *Jews came from Isaac. The Arab nations came from Ishmael and Keturah.
Verses 35-42 Esau had 5 sons. These sons in turn had their own sons. Esau took his family and he went to live in the hill country called Seir. Seir was to the east of the valley called Arabah, east of the Dead Sea. Seir was the *ancestor of the people who lived there. Esau had the name Edom (Genesis 25:30). So, the families of Esau and Seir became the nation called Edom.
Verses 43-54 The first king in *Israel was Saul. He did not rule until *BC 971. But the nation called Edom had kings from about 13th century *BC. This is a list of some of those kings.
Verses 1-2 Here is a list of the 12 sons of *Israel. From them came the 12 *tribes of *Israel. Leah was the mother of the first 6 sons in this list (Reuben to Zebulun). They are in the order of their births. The mother of Joseph and Benjamin was Rachel. Bilhah was the mother of Dan and Naphtali. And Zilpah was the mother of Gad and Asher.
Verses 3-4 Judah married a woman who was from Canaan. She was the daughter of Shua. Judah and his wife had three sons. Judah arranged the marriage of his son Er to Tamar. But Er was so wicked that the *LORD killed him. The custom was that a brother of the dead husband should try to have children by the widow. Onan would not have children for his brother. The *LORD also killed Onan because he was a wicked man. Judah promised to give Shelah to Tamar when he was older. But he did not do it. So, Tamar pretended to be a *prostitute and Judah had sex with her. The result of this was that Judah and Tamar had two boys (see Genesis chapter 38). These boys were Perez and Zerah.
Canaan was the nation that was in the country before Israel.
Verses 5-6 Perez had two sons. Zerah had 5 sons. Carmi came from the family of Zerah. He was a son of Zimri.
Verse 7 The *Israelites expected to take Ai town in battle. But when they attacked the town, the people from Ai defeated them. They asked the *LORD why they had lost the battle. They lost because of Achar. He had taken things for himself after a previous battle. His *sin brought about this *disaster for *Israel. This story is in Joshua chapter 7 (where Achar is called Achan). The word ‘Achar’ means ‘trouble’.
Verse 9 The rest of this chapter is about the families of these three sons (Jerahmeel, Ram, and Caleb).
Verse 10 It seems that this is not a complete list of the family from Ram to David. There was about 300 years between Ram and Nahshon. In these family lists, ‘father’ can mean ‘*ancestor’. And ‘son’ can mean ‘*descendant’. Nahshon was the leader in the *tribe of Judah at the time of Moses (Numbers 1:7).
Verse 11 Salmon (the son of Nahshon) married Rahab after the battle at Jericho. She had been a *prostitute in Jericho. But she helped the *Israelites and she believed in God (Joshua chapter 2). She was the mother of Boaz. Because of God’s great kindness, a former *prostitute became an *ancestor of the *Lord Jesus (Matthew 1:5 and Luke 4:32).
Verse 12 Boaz married Ruth. She was a foreign woman who had formerly been married to an *Israelite. Her first husband had died and she came to *Israel with her husband’s mother. You can read more about her in the Book of Ruth. Boaz and Ruth had a son called Jesse.
Verses 13-15 Jesse had 8 sons. Here we have a record of 7 sons. And the 7th son of Jesse was David. But David was the youngest of 8 sons (1 Samuel 16:10; 1 Samuel 17:12). We do not know why the writer left out one son. Perhaps this son died before he became an adult. Or perhaps the missing son did not have the same mother as the other 7.
Verses 16-17 Zeruiah and Abigail were sisters of David. But they were the daughters of Nahash (2 Samuel 17:25). There are three possible answers to this problem. There is a *Jewish tradition that Nahash and Jesse were the same person. That seems to be the best solution. It could be that this Nahash was the wife of Jesse. Then Jesse would be the father of these girls. Another idea is that Jesse married the wife of Nahash. So, his sons and the girls had the same mother.
The three sons of Zeruiah all became famous soldiers in David’s army. Amasa was the leader of Absalom’s army (2 Samuel 17:25). Later David would have made him a leader in his army. But Joab killed Amasa (2 Samuel 20:10).
Verses 18-20 Hezron’s son Caleb is not the same as the Caleb who was with Moses. (That Caleb was the son of Jephunneh – Numbers 13:6.) This list is not a complete one of the family from Caleb to Bezalel. There is an interval of about 300 years between Hur and Uri. This is not the same Hur that held up the hands of Moses (Exodus 17:10).
Bezalel lived at the same time as Caleb the son of Jephunneh. They came out of Egypt with Moses. Bezalel did much of the work to make the *LORD’s tent in the desert (Exodus 31:2-5; 35:30-33; and 36:1).
Verses 21-22 Makir was Gilead’s father. The family of Gilead lived in the region called Gilead. Hezron was from the *tribe of Judah. But Jair was from the family of Makir by the daughter of Makir. Jair ruled 23 towns in Gilead in the time of Moses (Numbers 32:41).
Verse 23 The 60 towns were Jair’s 23 plus 37 more at Kenath. The families of Geshur and Aram were called the Arameans. Probably, they fought for and took these 60 towns in the 9th century *BC. (Moses and Jair lived in the 15th century *BC.)
Verse 24 Abijah gave birth to Asshur after the death of her husband Hezron.
Verses 25-40 Jerahmeel was the first son of Hezron. His *descendants lived in the Negev to the south of Judah.
Verse 41 Elishama lived about 1100 *BC. That is in the time of Jesse, who was the father of David.
The Manahathites were the people who lived in the city called Manahath. Half of them were *descendants of Shobal and the rest were *descendants of Salma. The Ithrites, the Puthites, the Shumathites and the Mishraites were families who lived in the town called Kiriath Jearim. The Zorathites were a family who lived in the town called Zorah. Zorah was in the area that belonged to the *tribe of Dan. The Eshtaolites lived in Eshtaol town that was in Judah. The Netophathites lived in Netophath town. Netophath was near Bethlehem in Judah. The Zorites is another name for the Zorathites. The Tirathites, the Shimeathites and the Sucathites were people that lived in the town called Jabez in Judah. The Kenites were a group of people who travelled round. But later they lived in Judah.
Verses 42-55 Here are lists of Caleb’s family. Many of these men gave their names to towns and cities in Judah. The Kenites were not *Israelites but here they have come into the *tribe of Judah (verse 55).
Verses 1-4 The writer returns to the point at which he left the family of Ram (2:15). He shows the family of David. From that time, the family of David became the royal family of Judah. David had children in Hebron by 6 wives. These wives were Ahinoam, Abigail, Maacah, Haggith, Abital and Eglah.
The second son Daniel also had the name Chileab (2 Samuel 3:3). Abigail had been the wife of Nabal. As soon as Nabal died, David took her as his wife (1 Samuel chapter 25). Perhaps people were not sure whose child Chileab was. He could have been a son of Nabal but more likely, he was a son of David. The name ‘Daniel’ means ‘God is my judge’. Also, David gave him the name Chileab. The name ‘Chileab’ means ‘he who is like the father’. The boy was very much like David, so clearly he was David’s son.
David was king of Judah for 7 and a half years in Hebron. When he became king of all *Israel, he decided to live in Jerusalem. He ruled there for 33 years.
Verses 5-9 In Jerusalem, David had 13 more sons by his principal wives. He had other children by his secondary wives.
The author of Chronicles does not tell us about Bathsheba. She was the wife of Uriah. David had sex with Bathsheba and she was expecting his baby. So, he arranged for Uriah to die in battle. Then he married Bathsheba. But the baby died (2 Samuel chapter 11).
Solomon is the last of Bathsheba’s sons in this list. But he was the oldest of them.
In some copies of the Bible, Elishua is Elishama. If this is correct then there are two sons in this list called Elishama. And there were two sons called Eliphelet. It could be that the older one of each name had died. And the parents gave these names to later sons.
David had many daughters but only Tamar is in this list. Her mother was Maacah and her brother was Absalom. Her half-brother Amnon forced her to have sex with him. (A ‘half-brother’ means a brother if there is only one parent in common.) Because Amnon forced Tamar to have sex, Absalom killed Amnon (2 Samuel chapter 13).
Verse 10 Solomon ruled all *Israel. He became king in about 970 *BC and he ruled for 40 years. In the days of Rehoboam, 10 of the *tribes refused to have him as their king. Those 10 *tribes became the northern *kingdom. They took the name of *Israel. The *tribes of Judah and Benjamin were loyal to Rehoboam. This was called the *kingdom of Judah. Rehoboam ruled for 17 years. He was not a good king. Then his son Abijah ruled for about 3 years. The next king was Asa. He ruled for 41 years. For most of this time, Asa was a better king than his father was. But in the end, he refused to do what was right. When he died, his son Jehoshaphat ruled as king of Judah. He was a good king but even he was not completely loyal to the *LORD.
Verse 11 Jehoram was one of the worst of the kings of Judah. He married Athaliah, the daughter of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel who ruled *Israel. Jehoram turned away from God. He caused the people in Judah to *worship false gods. And he murdered all his brothers. He ruled for 4 years and then his son Ahaziah ruled for one year. Ahaziah did the same wicked things that his father had done. Athaliah the wife of Jehoram seized control and ruled for 6 years. She was a wicked woman as was her mother Jezebel. Athaliah tried to kill all the royal family but she did not find Ahaziah’s son Joash. His aunt took him to the priests and they hid him in the *temple. At first Joash did what was right. At that time, he served the *LORD. But after some years, Joash turned away from the *LORD and he served false gods. He ruled for 40 years.
Verse 12 Amaziah ruled for 29 years. His son Azariah ruled for 52 years. This man had two names. The other one is Uzziah. He was a strong king. But because of his *sin, he ended his days with a serious skin disease. His son Jotham took over the rule from Azariah. Jotham ruled for 16 years.
Verse 13 The next king was Ahaz and he ruled for 16 years. He was probably the worst king of Judah. He did not *worship the *LORD. He *worshipped the god Baal and other false gods. But his son Hezekiah was so different. He worked hard to bring the people back to the real God. He ruled for 28 years and then his son Manasseh ruled for 55 years. Manasseh was as bad as his grandfather was for most of his life. In the end, he did *repent of his wicked behaviour and he turned to the *LORD.
Verses 14-16 The next king Amon ruled only for a couple of years. His son Josiah was only 8 years old when he began to rule. He was loyal to the *LORD for all the 31 years that he ruled. He led the people to turn from false gods and to turn to the real God.
Josiah had 4 sons. The first son probably died before his father and so he did not rule. The 4th son, Shallum became king. His other name was Jehoahaz. He ruled a few months but the king of Egypt took him in *exile to Egypt. He died there. Then Jehoiakim ruled for about 11 years. But he was the servant of the king of Egypt for the first 4 years. Then he was a servant of the king of Babylon for three years. For the last 4 years, he was free but he was weak. His son Jehoiachin ruled for 100 days before the king of Babylon took him into *exile in Babylon.
The king of Babylon made Zedekiah (the third son of Josiah) king in Jerusalem. He ruled as a servant of the king of Babylon for 11 years.
Zedekiah the son of Jehoiakim was a nephew of King Zedekiah.
Verse 17-24 Jehoiachin, whose other name was Jeconiah, went into *exile in 597 *BC. He was a prisoner of the king of Babylon. He had these 7 sons while he was in *exile. A receipt from Babylon for food with a date of 592 *BC shows 5 of these sons. The birth of the other two was probably after that date.
Zerubbabel was the son of Pedaiah. But in other parts of the Bible, he was the son of Shealtiel (Ezra 3:2 and 3:8; Haggai 1:1 and 1:12; Matthew 1:12; Luke 3:27). It may be that Shealtiel had no children. When he died his brother Pedaiah took Shealtiel’s widow. It was the custom for them to marry and to have a son for Shealtiel (see Deuteronomy 25:5-6). By this means, the family of Shealtiel could continue through this son Zerubbabel.
Meshullam’s other name was Abiud (Matthew 1:13). The rest of this passage shows the family during the *exile and afterwards.
Shemaiah had 6 sons but we have names for 5. The other one probably died as a young child.
In verse 19, we do not know the meaning of Garmite or of Maacathite. They were probably families that were *descendants of Keilah and Eshtemoa.
Verses 1-8 Hezron was a son of Perez (2:5). Carmi came from the family of Zerah. He was a son of Zimri and he was the father of Achar (2:7). Hur was a son of Caleb and Ephrathah (2:19). And Shobal was a son of Hur (2:50-51).
The list that follows is of the family from Shobal. They were called the Zorath *clan.
Verse 9-10 We do not know whose son Jabez was. His name is similar to the word for ‘pain’. His mother gave him that name because of the pain that she had at his birth. He was a good man and people respected him. *Jewish tradition says that he was a famous expert in the law. He was a sincere man who trusted in *Israel’s God.
We know nothing more about him but we do have this prayer. It shows us how he believed in God. He asked for God’s help. He needed God to act powerfully on his behalf. He asked God to protect him from all danger.
God gave to him what he had asked. God answers the prayers of those people who trust him.
Verses 11-12 Caleb (see verse 15) gave his daughter Achsah to be the wife of Othniel (Joshua 15:17). Later the *LORD used Othniel to save *Israel. He then became the leader of *Israel. He was the first judge of *Israel (Judges 3:9-10). (Although we call them ‘judges’, these men (and one woman) did not just have legal authority. The judges led *Israel before the nation had a king.)
Verse 14 There was a custom for people who had the same occupation to live in the same street or area. So, people with the same skills came together in the valley called Ge Harashim. They were probably workers in wood, iron and stone. The valley called Ge Harashim was near Jerusalem.
Verse 15 Caleb was Kenaz’s brother but Caleb was much older. Caleb was one of the men that Moses sent into the country called Canaan. They went to see what that country was like. All except Caleb and Joshua were afraid and gave a bad report of the country (Numbers chapters 13 to 14).
Verses 16-23 Mered’s wife Bithiah was a daughter of the king of Egypt. Her name means ‘daughter of Yahweh.’ ‘Yahweh’ is the same word as ‘the *LORD’; it is the name of *Israel’s God. This seems to show that she left the gods of Egypt in order to serve the real God.
This passage shows the custom for a family to continue the same occupation. The family of Mareshah made clothes from *linen. And the family of Saraph made pots.
The Meunites (in verse 41) were a *clan who lived in the town called Gedor. Gedor was in the territory of Judah. The Meunites were not *Israelites. They were *descendants of Edom.
Verses 24-27 This passage (4:24-43) shows the early family of Simeon (verses 24-27). Then it records the towns where his *tribe lived (verses 28-31). And then it shows some of their later movements (verses 34-43).
The names here differ from the lists in earlier parts of the Bible (Genesis 46:10; Numbers 26:12). This is because some people had more than one name.
There was a count of the *tribes in the time of Moses (Numbers chapter 1). This count showed that there were 59 300 people in the *tribe of Simeon. At the same time there were 74 600 people in the *tribe of Judah. Some years later, there was another count of the *tribes (Numbers chapter 26). At this count the number of people in the *tribe of Simeon had reduced to 22 200. The *tribe of Judah had increased to 76 500 people. Simeon was the smallest *tribe in *Israel.
From then on, the rate of increase was less for Simeon than for Judah.
Verses 28-33 Over a long period of time, the *tribe of Judah took control of these cities. When David became king, all of these cities and villages were in Judah.
Verses 34-43 The *tribe of Simeon did not support the kings of Judah. The *kingdom divided during the rule of Rehoboam. Simeon was one of the 10 *tribes that formed the new country called *Israel. The *tribe of Simeon had to leave Judah. During the rule of Hezekiah, many of them went east to Gedor. There is some doubt about where Gedor was. But it seems likely that it was near the Jordan valley. The Meunites were a *clan of Edom.
About 500 people from the *tribe of Simeon went to *Mount Seir. *Mount Seir was across the Jordan river, in the country called Edom. Here they killed the last of the *descendants of Amalek.
Verses 1-2 When the *Israelites came back from *exile most of them were from the *tribe of Judah. But there were some people from other *tribes among them. So, the writer shows the *ancestors of all the *Israelites who had come back.
The *tribes of Reuben, Gad and half the *tribe of Manasseh lived to the east of the Jordan river. This chapter gives to us the lists of their families.
Reuben was the first son to be born to *Israel (that is, Jacob) by his wife Leah. There were special benefits for the oldest son. The oldest son would get twice as much as the other sons on the death of their father. And he would become the leader of the family. But Reuben lost those benefits because of his actions. He had sex with Bilhah who was a wife of his father (Genesis 35:22).
The benefits that should have been Reuben’s went to Joseph’s sons instead. Joseph was the first son of Rachel. She was *Israel’s favourite wife. Joseph had two sons: Ephraim and Manasseh. Each of these sons received the benefits of a *tribe. Joseph became the leader instead of Reuben. And later Joshua came from the *tribe of Ephraim. But *Israel *prophesied that the leader would come from Judah (Genesis 49:10).
The *tribe of Judah became the strongest of the *tribes. The leader of *Israel would come from the *tribe of Judah. David came from that *tribe. The family into which Jesus was born were from the *tribe of Judah. Both Mary and Joseph were *descendants of David. The *angel called the *Lord Jesus ‘the lion of the *tribe of Judah’ – Revelation 5:5.
Verse 3-10 The *LORD gave the name ‘*Israel’ to Jacob. In the Books of Chronicles, the writer always calls him *Israel (except in 1 Chronicles chapter 16). He had 12 sons, the first of which was Reuben. Reuben had 4 sons. There is an interval of some time here as Joel was not the son of one of those 4 sons.
In 733 *BC, King Tiglath-Pileser attacked the *tribe of Reuben. Beerah was the leader of the *tribe. Tiglath-Pileser took Beerah as an *exile to the country called Assyria. The army of Assyria took the whole area of the *tribes to the east of the river Jordan.
Aroer was a town on the river Arnon. Nebo was the name of both a city and a mountain in the same country. These places were on the east side of the river Jordan. The *tribes of Reuben and Gad lived there. But by 850 *BC, these areas were part of Moab and not *Israel (see Jeremiah 48:21-25).
The *Hagrites were *descendants of Hagar. Hagar was a maid of Sarah. Sarah gave her to Abraham and they had a son called Ishmael. The *Hagrites came from his family. The *Hagrites were a rich and large *clan. They lived in the area called the Syrian Desert with the river Euphrates as their western border. In the time of King Saul (1043-1011 *BC), the *tribe of Reuben defeated the *Hagrites.
Verses 11-17 The *tribe of Gad lived in the area called Bashan. They lived in Gilead, Bashan and the small towns near there. Their area included the plain called Sharon. The land in Bashan had good soil in which to plant crops. The plain called Sharon was a large flat area to the east of the river Jordan.
There were three areas called Sharon. One was near Caesarea and Joppa, which were on the west coast. The second one was between *Mount Tabor and the sea called Galilee. This third one had boundaries next to Gilead and Bashan.
These records of the family of Gad are from the time of Jotham and Jeroboam. Jotham was king in Judah from 750 to 731 *BC. Jeroboam II (the second) was king in *Israel from 793 to 753 *BC. There were two counts of the people. The first count was during the rule of Jeroboam. And the second count was during the rule of Jotham.
Verses 18-22 The two and a half *tribes that lived on the east side of the river Jordan had a large army. This probably refers to the time of Joshua. These two and a half *tribes fought against the local people and took their land. They trusted God to help them in battle. They prayed to God for success. The *LORD helped them because this was his plan for them.
Verses 23-26 Moses gave the places called Gilead and Bashan beyond the river Jordan to the half *tribe of Manasseh. They lived there and their land reached *Mount Hermon. Baal Hermon, Senir and *Mount Hermon are the names of three parts of the *Mount Hermon range of mountains.
The *tribes of *Israel beyond the river Jordan were not loyal to God. He had helped them to defeat the people who had lived there before them. But they turned from the *LORD their God to serve the false gods of those people. Because of this, God sent Pul to fight against them. So, the army of Assyria took these *tribes into *exile. There they remained and they were still there at the time of the writer of the Chronicles.
Pul was the private name of King Tiglath-Pileser the third. He ruled in Assyria from 745 to 727 *BC.
Verses 1-15 Levi had three sons Gershon, Kohath and Merari. Kohath had 4 sons including Amram. Amram was the father of Aaron, Moses and Miriam. All the priests came from the family of Aaron. Aaron was the first chief priest. His son Eleazar became the next chief priest. Then the role (job) of chief priest passed from father to son until the time of the *exile. But some of the chief priests came from the family of Ithamar who was a son of Aaron. So, this is not a complete list of the chief priests.
This is not a full list of the family of Levi. Levi went to Egypt with his father and brothers. His three sons were with him then. It was 400 years later that Moses led the *Israelites out of Egypt. Often in the Bible, the word ‘son’ means ‘from the family’. So, the ‘father’ could be an *ancestor rather than the actual father. Amram the father of Moses could not have been the son of Kohath.
The first two sons of Aaron were Nadab and Abihu. They died as a punishment. They did what was wrong. So the *LORD killed them (Leviticus 10:1-2). Because of this Eleazar, the third son, became the chief priest.
Zadok was the chief priest in the time of David (about 1000 *BC). The other chief priest at this time was Abiathar who belonged to the family of Ithamar.
Azariah son of Ahimaaz became the chief priest at the time of Solomon (about 970 *BC). Some time later Azariah the son of Johanan served in Solomon’s *temple.
Hilkiah discovered the book of the law that God had given to Moses (2 Kings 22:8). Because of this, King Josiah tried to turn the people back to their God.
Nebuchadnezzar ordered the death of Seraiah in Riblah town (2 Kings 25:18-21). But his son went into *exile. While in Babylon, Jehozadak had a son Jeshua. Jeshua came back to Jerusalem in about 538 *BC (Ezra 2:2). He was then the chief priest.
Verses 16-30 The previous section showed the list of the priests. This section shows the rest of the family of Levi. Levi had three sons. Their sons were the *ancestors of the *clans of the *Levites. This list shows the families of Gershon, Kohath and Merari.
This list of names is not complete. Some names are not in this list and some are different in other lists.
The list of Kohath’s family is longer but it shows only one of his sons. Amminadab was another name for Izhar (Exodus 6:18). His son was Korah. Korah led a group of 250 men who opposed Moses. God punished Korah and the two men who were leaders with him (Numbers 16:1-33). The ground opened and it swallowed them. They went into their graves while they were still alive. And that was how they died. But God did not kill the sons of Korah.
The second Elkanah was the father of Samuel. Samuel was the *prophet who made Saul the first king of *Israel. Also, Samuel put oil on David’s head in order to appoint David king instead of Saul.
Joel and Abijah were the two sons of Samuel. Unlike their father, they were evil men. Because of this, the people wanted a king instead of them. God gave them their desire and Samuel made Saul their king.
Verses 31-48 King David brought God’s *ark from the house of Obed-Edom (2 Samuel 6:12). He brought it up to Jerusalem. He put it in a special tent. That tent was the *LORD’s house until Solomon built the *temple. It was the place where people would come to *worship. They brought their *sacrifices there and the priests burned them on the *altar outside. But only the priests would go inside the holy tent or the *temple building.
God’s *ark was a wooden box. Gold covered the wood on both the inside and the outside of the box (Exodus 25:10). In it, there was the book of the law that God gave to Moses. Also in the box were Aaron’s stick and a gold jar with the bread that God gave to *Israel in the desert (Hebrews 9:4). The *ark was in the most holy place in the tent and later in the most holy place in the *temple. Only the chief priest would enter that room. And he would only enter it on one special day each year.
Then David chose the men who would lead the music at the tent. They were responsible for the music in the *worship of God. He chose some men to play instruments of music. He chose other men to praise the *LORD in song.
The three chief singers were Heman, Asaph and Ethan. Heman was a grandson of Samuel. Asaph was not a brother of Heman because he was not from the same family. But they both came from the same *ancestor Levi. The term ‘brother’ here means a partner as a singer (verse 39). Later in this book, Ethan has the name of Jeduthun. Their names appear in the titles of some Psalms (see Psalms 73 to 89).
The rest of the *Levites also served in and round the *LORD’s house. Some of them guarded the gates. Some of them took care of the equipment of the tent. Other *Levites helped the priests. They killed the animals and prepared them for the priests.
Verses 49-53 Aaron and his *descendants were the chief priests. The people brought to them the daily *sacrifices and their gifts. Then the priests took these *sacrifices and gifts and they burned them on the *altar. Also, they burned *incense each night and each morning on the *altar for *incense. These *sacrifices were for the *sins of the people.
The chief priest went into the most holy place once each year. He went in to meet with God. God can forgive *sin only when something has died. So the chief priest took the blood of an animal, which he had killed as a special *sacrifice. Nobody else could go into the most holy place.
The rules for this one day in the year are in Leviticus chapter 16. When Aaron died, the role (job) of chief priest went to his son Eleazar.
This list continues until the time of David and Solomon. During their rule, Zadok and then Ahimaaz were chief priests. Only the chief priest from the family of Zadok could go into the most holy place.
Verses 54-81 The *Levite families of Kohath, Gershon and Merari received 48 towns. As Jacob had said (Genesis 49:7), the *Levites did not have their own region. They lived among the other *tribes.
There were 6 cities of safety. These were Hebron, Shechem, Bezer, Ramoth, Golan and Kedesh. When a person killed someone, the nearest relative of the dead person had a duty to kill him. But if the person did not intend to kill (Joshua chapter 20), he could go to the city of safety. He would live there until a judge declared him guilty or innocent.
Verses 1-5 King David sent Joab to count the *Israelites (2 Samuel chapter 24). It may be that the numbers in this chapter came from that count. At that time there were 22 600 soldiers from the family of Tola.
Izrahiah and his 4 sons had many wives and children. The *clans of these 5 men had 36 000 men ready to serve as soldiers. These men were in addition to the 22 600 who seem to be from the other sons of Tola.
The whole *tribe of Issachar had 87 000 soldiers.
Verses 6-12 Benjamin had more sons than these 3 sons. There are 10 sons in the list in Genesis chapter 46. It seems that by the time of David there were *clans from just these 3 sons.
The *clans of the 5 sons of Bela had 22 034 soldiers. The *clans of the sons of Beker had 22 200 soldiers. The *clans of the family of Jediael had 17 200 soldiers.
Ir could be a short form for the name of Bela’s son Iri. Aher could be a short form of the name of Bela’s younger brother Aharah.
Verse 13 Bilhah was Naphtali’s mother. So his sons were grandsons to Bilhah.
Verses 14-19 The text is not clear. Makir was the first son of Manasseh. Makir was the father of Gilead. The slave woman was the mother of Asriel. But Asriel was a son of Gilead (Numbers 26:30). So it seems that there were two men with the name of Asriel. One of them was a son of Manasseh. The other one was a son of Gilead.
Zelophehad was the son of Hepher. Hepher was a son of Gilead. Zelophehad had 5 daughters and no sons. Their father died. So, the daughters asked that they could have his property. Because of this, Moses asked the *LORD about it. The *LORD told Moses to change the law. Where there are no sons the property can pass to the daughters (Numbers 27:1-11).
Verses 20-29 Ezer and Elead went to Gath. They were sons of Ephraim. They went to steal cows and sheep. But the local men caught them and they killed Ezer and Elead.
Ephraim was very sad because of the loss of these two sons. He and his wife had another son. They called him Beriah. That name means ‘in evil’. They gave him this name because of the evil things that had happened in the family.
At the time of Joshua, Sheerah built the cities in verse 24. If she built the cities, then ‘daughter’ here means a *descendant. If she was the actual daughter of Beriah, her *descendants built the cities.
There was about 400 years between the time of Joseph and the time of Joshua. Joshua was born about 1500 *BC. Joshua was the son of Nun. Joshua became the leader of the *Israelites after Moses’ death. (See Deuteronomy 31:1-8 and the Book of Joshua.)
Verses 30-40 The sons and grandsons of Asher were born before the *Israelites went to Egypt. This list of the family of Asher ends with Ulla’s sons. The list only shows the *clans that came from Beriah (verse 31).
In the time of David, this *tribe had 26 000 soldiers ready to serve in the army.
The writer ends the family lists of the *tribes with Asher. He does not tell us about the families of Dan and Zebulun.
Verses 1-28 This chapter has more detail than the previous list of Benjamin’s family (7:6-12). It leads to the history section of the book. That history begins with the family of Saul. He was the first king of *Israel and he was a *descendant of Benjamin (verse 33).
Between verses 5 and 6, there was about 500 years. Ehud was the son of Gera. This Gera is not the same as in verse 5. Ehud was a judge (leader) in *Israel who rescued *Israel from the rule of Moab (Judges 3:12-30).
The family of Ehud was in Geba town. Then they all moved from Geba to Manahath as Gera directed them. Manahath was in the territory of Judah. This Gera was a son of Ehud.
Shaharaim (verses 8-11) was either a brother or a son of Ahihud. He went to the country called Moab. He probably went there because there was little food in *Israel at that time. He had sons by two wives.
The towns called Ono and Lod (verses 12-13) existed well before the time of Joshua. It seems that they were in a poor state at this time. So, Shemed built them again. The writer mentions them here because people went to live there after the *exile (Ezra 2:33).
In verse 27, one of Jeroham’s sons is Elijah. A *Jewish tradition says that this is Elijah the *prophet. But we cannot be sure. The Bible simply says that the *prophet Elijah was from Tishbe in Gilead. It does not record his *tribe.
The heads of these families lived in Jerusalem. This may refer to those leaders of Benjamin’s *tribe who came back after the *exile.
Verses 29-40 From the family of Jeiel there came Ner. (The word ‘son’ often means ‘*descendant’ rather than ‘the son of the father’). Ner was the father of Kish. And Kish was the father of Saul. Saul, the son of Kish, became the first king of *Israel (1 Samuel chapters 9 and 10). Saul was king from 1043 *BC to 1011 *BC. Ner was also the father of Abner. So, Abner was an uncle of Saul. He became the leader of Saul’s army (1 Samuel 14:50).
One of Saul’s sons was Esh-Baal. Before the *worship of the false god called Baal began in *Israel, the word was an ordinary word for God. And people often used that word in the names of their children. But afterwards, people began to *worship the false god called Baal. So people who were loyal to God did not want to use those old names. They did not even want to mention the word ‘baal’. So, they changed ‘baal’ to ‘bosheth’. The word ‘bosheth’ means ‘shame’. Then Esh-Baal became Ish-Bosheth. A son of Jonathan, Merib-baal became Mephibosheth.
Mephibosheth was 5 years old when Saul and Jonathan died. That was in 1011 *BC. King David was kind to Mephibosheth because he had made a promise to Jonathan (1 Samuel 20:15-17). This list of Mephibosheth’s family continues until about the time of the *exile in 586 *BC.
Verse 1 Since the start of the nation called *Israel, the *Israelites kept public records. In these records, there were registers of all the people. The names of all *Israelites were there with the *tribe and family to which they belonged. These records were in the books of the kings of *Israel and Judah.
The writer was able to see to some of these records. The *exiles had managed to save them through the entire period of their *exile. The family lists in this book came from these and other records. The *exiles from Judah kept such records as they could during their time in Babylon. The writer used these records to bring some of the family lists up to his own time.
The people were coming back to their country. These lists would cause them to remember the *worship in the *temple. The lists would remind them of the tasks that certain people had in the *temple. So these lists would help the *temple and its *worship to begin again after the *exile.
Judah (that is, the *tribes of Judah and Benjamin) went into *exile in Babylon. They had to go there because they had not been loyal to the *LORD their God.
Verse 2 After the *exile, some of the *Israelites came back to their own country. The first to come back and to live in the country were *Israelites. Most of these *Israelites were from the *tribes of Judah and Benjamin but there were also some people from the other *tribes. Among these *Israelites, there were priests, *Levites, and *temple servants.
The *temple servants were people who worked for the *Levites in the *temple. Many of these would have been from Gibeon town. They were not *Israelites. They had pretended to be from a distant country. Joshua believed them, so he did not kill them. When Joshua discovered the truth, he made them slaves to do the heavy work for the house of God (Joshua chapter 9). David appointed more people to be *temple servants (Ezra 8:20).
These people, who returned first, were able to live in their own property. They went to live in the towns from which their families had gone into *exile.
Verses 3-9 The armies of the countries called Media and Persia defeated Babylon in 539 *BC. In 538 *BC, King Cyrus of Persia decided that the *exiles from Judah could return to Judah. He told them to build again the *temple of the *LORD in Jerusalem (Ezra 1:1-4). So, people from Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh went to live in Jerusalem.
The list here shows only the major *clan leaders. These leaders are from the *tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Uthai, Asaiah and Jeuel were all from the *tribe of Judah. From this *tribe, there were 690 people in Jerusalem. Sallu, Ibneiah, Elah and Meshullam were all from the *tribe of Benjamin. There were 956 people from the *tribe of Benjamin in the city.
Verses 10-13 Azariah was the ruler of the *LORD’s house. Nehemiah calls him Seraiah (Nehemiah 11:11). He was next in authority to Jeshua the chief priest.
Verses 14-16 Levi had three sons. These sons were Gershon, Kohath and Merari. Shemaiah was a *descendant of Merari who was the third son of Levi. Mattaniah was a *descendant of Gershon who was the first son of Levi. Mattaniah came from the family of Asaph. Asaph was one of David’s chief musicians. Obadiah was a *descendant of Merari. He came from the family of Jeduthun. Jeduthun was also one of David’s chief musicians. Berekiah was a *descendant of Kohath who was Levi’s second son. Netophath town and its villages were the places where the *Levite singers lived.
Verses 17-27 The *temple guards were from the family of Korah. Korah was from the family of Kohath. And Kohath was Levi’s second son. Shallum was the leader of the *temple guards who came back to Jerusalem from Babylon. Shallum, Akkub, Talmon and Ahiman stood next to the King’s Gate. This was the most important gate into the *temple. The king would leave his palace and he would enter the *temple through this gate. At the time of the return from *exile, there was no king. So, they kept that gate closed. They hoped for the time when there would be a king in *Israel again.
Phinehas was the grandson of Aaron. He controlled the men who guarded the tent in the desert. These guards were the sons of Korah.
Zechariah and his son, Meshelemiah, were the guards at the entrance of the *LORD’s tent in the time of David (26:8-11). Samuel and David chose responsible men from the family of Korah to be guards. Samuel was himself from the family of Korah. In all, there were 212 guards.
The job of the guard passed from father to son. They worked in teams at each of the gates. The gates were on the 4 sides of the tent. When Solomon built the *temple, it replaced the tent. The guards were then responsible for the *temple.
There were 24 guards on duty at all times (26:17-18). Each team would work 24 hours a day for one week. Groups of 24 guards would be on duty for, perhaps, 8 or 12 hours at a time. So there would be 72 or 48 guards in the team for the week. Then a different team would take their place for the next week.
The 4 chief guards controlled the teams. Also, they were responsible for the valuable things in the *temple. These men would make sure that the guards shut the gates for the night. They would stay near to God’s house and they would open the gates in the morning.
Verses 28-32 The guards had other duties as well. But they could not mix the *spices. That was a job for the priests to do.
Each week the priests put 12 loaves of special bread on a table in the holy place. They took away the old bread. The *Levites prepared the special bread for the priests. Mattithiah was the baker who made that bread.
Verse 33-34 Other *Levites were musicians. They had no other duties but to lead the music in the *temple. When they were on duty, the leaders of the *Levites lived in rooms in the *temple area. When they were not on duty, these leaders lived in Jerusalem.
Verses 35-44 The rest of the chapter is about the family of Saul, who was *Israel’s first king. He was the son of Kish. Jonathan’s son was Merib-Baal. Merib-Baal was another name for Mephibosheth. This list shows the family of Saul until about the time of the *exile in Babylon.
The purpose of this list is to mention the story of Saul briefly, in order to introduce David. David’s rule as king is the main subject for the rest of 1 Chronicles.
Verses 1 The *Philistines were a group of people that lived to the south-west of *Israel. Their country was by the coast. They had been enemies of *Israel since the time of Joshua. They fought against King Saul (the first king of *Israel) and the army of the *Israelites. The *Philistines had come as far as *Mount Gilboa. *Mount Gilboa is at the head of the valley called Jezreel. Jezreel is a very large valley that goes from the west to the east of *Israel. Beyond this valley, the *Philistines would reach the river Jordan.
This was the last time that the *Philistines advanced so far into *Israel. About 7 years later David defeated them. This was in about 1017 *BC.
Verses 2-3 The battle went against Saul and his army. In other words, the *Philistines were defeating the *Israelites. The *Philistines killed Saul’s three sons. The *Philistine soldiers shot Saul with their arrows but they did not kill him.
Verses 4-5 Saul was afraid that the *Philistines would catch him. If they did then they would be cruel to him. They would make fun of him. They would insult him. And in the end, they would kill him in a very cruel manner. He thought it better that he should die immediately. But the soldier who was with him would not kill him. This man was too afraid to kill Saul. He could not kill his king whom he respected. Perhaps he was also afraid of the effect that Saul’s death would have on the *Israelites.
So, Saul killed himself with his own sword. When the soldier saw Saul’s death, he too killed himself.
Verses 6-7 The people saw that the *Philistines had defeated their army. They heard that Saul and his 3 sons were dead. So, they ran away from the *Philistines. And the *Philistines took control of the towns across that region.
All Saul’s sons died in this battle except Ish-Bosheth. We can read about him in 2 Samuel chapters 2 to 4. He became the king of *Israel after Saul’s death, but the *tribe of Judah made David their king.
Verses 8-10 The *Philistines found the body of Saul. They cut off his head and they took off his *armour. They put the *armour in the *temple of Astarte. Astarte was their god of sex and war. Then they hung Saul’s body on the walls of Bethshan (1 Samuel chapter 31). Bethshan was a city between Gilboa and the river Jordan. They put Saul’s head in the *temple of the god Dagon.
Verses 11-12 The people in Jabesh Gilead were loyal to Saul. 30 years earlier Saul had saved them from the army of Ammon. It was very dangerous, but the men of Jabesh went to Bethshan. They took the bodies of Saul and his sons and they brought them back to Jabesh. There they buried the bodies (1 Samuel chapter 11).
Verses 13-14 Saul killed himself but actually, the *LORD caused his death. Saul suffered this punishment because he had not obeyed the *LORD. Saul began to act in this manner long before, when Samuel was God’s *prophet. Saul did not do as Samuel had told him. Samuel told him to wait for him to come. But Saul did not wait and he made a *sacrifice to God. From that time, the *LORD said that Saul would lose the *kingdom. After Samuel had died, Saul tried to contact him. He went to a woman who inquired of the spirits of dead people. To do this is against the word of the *LORD (see Deuteronomy 18:9-14). These are just two times when Saul did not obey the *LORD. But there were many other occasions. Saul had not been loyal to God for most of his rule (1 Samuel chapter 15).
Saul made three very serious errors:
· He was not loyal to God.
· He did not obey God.
· He did not come to God for advice.
The *LORD gave the *kingdom to David. On the death of Saul, the people in Judah made David their king. *Israel’s northern *tribes accepted Saul’s son Ish-Bosheth as king for 7 years. After the murder of Ish-Bosheth, the people made David king of all *Israel.
We do not know the meaning of Gizonite. The Ithrite family lived in the city called Kiriath Jearim. The Hittites were an ancient nation. Some of them were in the country called Canaan at the time of Joshua. The *Israelites defeated them. Although Uriah was a foreigner, he accepted the beliefs of Israel. Zelek and Ithmah were also foreigners. We do not know the meaning of Mithnite, of Tizite or of Mahavite. We do not know the meaning of Mezobaite.
Verses 1-3 The next ten chapters (chapters 11 to 20) describe the period between 1003 and about 995 *BC. This was the period of David’s rule when he became most powerful.
David had been the king of the *tribe of Judah for 7 years. He was ruling from the town called Hebron. When Ish-Bosheth died, all the *tribes came to David.
The *LORD had appointed David as the future king of *Israel about 20 years earlier. Samuel put oil on his head in private at the home of David’s parents (1 Samuel 16:1-13). That was the ceremony to appoint a king. But David did not become king at once. However, he became a great leader in *Israel even while Saul was the king. Saul knew that one day David would be king. When Saul died, the people in Judah made David their king (2 Samuel 2:4).
The *LORD said that David would be the ‘*shepherd’ of his people. A *shepherd looks after sheep. So, David would look after the *LORD’s people.
After Ish-Bosheth died, all the leaders of *Israel came to David in Hebron. They poured oil on his head and so they made him king of all *Israel. They made an agreement with David and with the *LORD. The *LORD had said that David would be king. And the people knew that the *LORD had chosen David.
Verses 4-7 After the death of Joshua, the *tribe of Judah had taken the city called Jerusalem. But the *Jebusites soon came back and they lived in the city. They called the city Jebus. Then for almost 400 years, Judah could not defeat the *Jebusites. They could not take the city.
The castle of Jebus was on a steep cliff. There seemed to be no way that an army could climb up to the castle. There was a water supply passage. But the people in Jebus did not think that this was a way for soldiers to attack. It was too difficult an entrance for an army to attack them. So, the *Jebusites were sure that David would not be able to get into Jebus. They said that even blind and weak persons could defend the city. But Joab led the way up the water supply passage. He got into the city and he defeated the *Jebusites (2 Samuel 5:6-8). So, the city became Jerusalem and it became David’s city. Joab, who was David’s nephew, became the chief officer of the army.
The change of the capital city to Jerusalem was a wise one. It was a good political thing to do. Jerusalem was on the border between Judah and the northern *tribes. And the city was easy to defend.
David built a new town to the north of the old one on *Mount Zion. Joab repaired the old town. He repaired the damage that he had caused during the battle.
Verses 10-11 The rest of this chapter is a list of David’s most powerful men. These men had fought with David and they helped to make him the king of all *Israel.
David had a group of 30 special soldiers. Jashobeam was the leader over the 30. Later he was the leader of the first group of soldiers who were on duty in the first month (27:2). He killed 300 men at one time with his *spear. The number that he killed in one day in 2 Samuel 23:8 was 800. It is possible that 300 is an error in a copy of the text.
Verses 12-14 The three most powerful soldiers were Jashobeam, Eleazar and Shammah. These three soldiers were not in the 30 special soldiers. They were of a superior rank. Jashobeam was the chief of the three of them. Shammah is not in this list but he is in 2 Samuel 23:11-12.
Eleazar was with David’s army at the place called Pas-Dammim. The *Philistine army attacked them. David’s army ran away but Eleazar did not run. He fought against the *Philistines until his arm grew tired. But with the help of the *LORD, he beat them (2 Samuel 23:10). There was a battle in a barley field. (Barley is a type of grain.) Again, the *Israelites ran away. But David, Eleazar and Shammah fought and they beat the *Philistines. The account of this event in 2 Samuel 23:11-12 mentions only Shammah. It is possible that these passages are describing a series of different battles.
Verses 15-19 Three of the most powerful soldiers came to David at his camp by Adullam’s cave. These three men are called ‘the three’ famous soldiers (verse 18). This seems to mean that these three were Jashobeam, Eleazar and Shammah.
The Rephaim Valley, where the *Philistines camped, was to the west of Jerusalem. They also controlled the city called Bethlehem. When David desired water from the well at Bethlehem, these three soldiers went there. They were so loyal to David that they risked their lives to get the water. They fought with the *Philistines and they escaped with some water.
David poured out the water that he so desired as a gift to God. This showed how much he appreciated these men. And it showed how important God was to David. David wanted to give the most precious thing that he had to God.
This event was an act of extreme courage by the three men. David was such a great leader that people were loyal to him. He poured out the water as an act of *worship to God.
Verses 20-21 Abishai was as famous as the three famous soldiers were. But he was not one of the three. The translation of the numbers in these verses is not certain. Some Bibles have three rather than 30. If they are correct, then there was a second group of three soldiers. And Abishai was the leader of the second three. But 2 Samuel 23:18 says that Abishai was chief of the 30.
Verses 22-25 Benaiah came from Kabzeel, a town in the south of Judah. He was a very brave soldier but here there are just three of his deeds. He killed two of the strongest soldiers from the army of Moab. Then he killed a lion. And he killed the giant *Egyptian. This man was 5 cubits tall (about 7 foot 6 inches or 233 centimetres) and he had a very large *spear. But Benaiah overcame him.
Benaiah did not become one of the three special soldiers. But David chose him to lead his own guards. When Solomon became king, he made Benaiah the leader of his army (1 Kings 4:4).
Verses 26-47 The rest of the chapter is a list of David’s chief soldiers. There are more than the 30 names in this list. Not all of these men were alive when David became king of all *Israel. For example, Abner killed Asahel in the battle between David and Ish-Bosheth (2 Samuel 2:18-23).
Joab is not in this list. This may be because he had become the leader of them all (verse 6).
Verses 1-2 This chapter has 4 lists of men who joined David. The first group were almost entirely from the *tribe of Benjamin (verses 1-7). These men came to David in Ziklag. The next group came to him in his camp near the desert. These men were from the *tribe of Gad (verses 8-15). The third group came to him when the *Philistines sent him away from the battle. These men were from the *tribe of Manasseh (verses 19-22). The 4th group were from other *tribes. They came to David at Hebron to help make David king of all *Israel (verses 23-40).
David ran away from King Saul, who was trying to kill him. King Achish of Gath gave Ziklag town to David as a safe place. Ziklag was on the south and west border of Judah. At that time, the *Philistine King Achish ruled there.
Many men came to join the men who already followed David. These men were soldiers from the *tribe of Benjamin. Saul had come from that *tribe. They had the same family history as Saul. Probably they realised that God had chosen David to replace Saul as king. And that is why they left Saul in order to help David.
They were experts in battle and they came with their *weapons. They could use either hand to shoot arrows or to *sling stones.
The *sling was a bit of leather with two strings. The soldier would put a smooth stone in the leather bit. Then he would swing it round above his head by the strings a couple of times. Then he would let the stone fly out of the *sling.
Verses 3-7 This is a list of the leaders of the men from the *tribe of Benjamin. The sons of Shemaah came from Gibeah town. This was the home town of Saul. He was born there.
The 5 men who came from the *clan of Korah were *Levites. Probably they had lived with the *tribe of Benjamin.
Verses 8-15 Before David went to Ziklag, he was in a camp in the desert. 11 officers from the army of the *tribe of Gad came with their men to him. They were all skilled and ready for battle.
The passage compares these men to two kinds of animals: lions and gazelles. A lion is the strongest and fiercest animal. A gazelle is an animal that lives in the hills. Gazelles can run very fast. So these men were strong and they could run quickly. Such skills were very useful in the army.
The *tribe of Gad lived on the east side of the river Jordan. These men crossed the river during the first month (that is, March or April in a modern calendar). That is the time when the river floods. Then they had to fight their way through their enemies on both sides of the river. Their success in this battle showed how brave and strong these men were.
Verses 16-18 People from the *tribes of Benjamin and Judah came to David. It seems that he suspected them. In other words, he thought that they might be enemies. Maybe they had come to take him to Saul. So, David went to meet them. He had to find out whether they were enemies. If they were enemies, God would know it. And he believed that God would punish them. But God spoke by means of Amasai. And Amasai convinced David that they were friends. They would fight to support David.
Verses 19-22 While David was living in Ziklag, David went with Achish to join the *Philistine army. The other *Philistine leaders saw David with Achish. And they refused to let him go with them to fight against Saul (1 Samuel chapter 29). As David returned to Ziklag, some men joined him from the *tribe of Manasseh. This was before the battle on *Mount Gilboa in which Saul died (1 Chronicles chapter 10).
The 7 leaders who came each had 1000 soldiers in his command. They joined David’s army. Each day more men came to David so that his army became very large.
Verses 23-40 After the death of Saul’s son Ish-Bosheth, all these people came to David at Hebron. They came on behalf of each of their *tribes. They came to make David the king of all *Israel. For the last 7 years, he had been the king of Judah, which is in the south of *Israel.
All the *Israelites wanted David to be their king. They sent their soldiers to show that they completely supported David. The soldiers carried their *weapons and they were ready for war. But they did not have to fight on this occasion. Everyone in *Israel now agreed that David should be king. So this was a very happy event.
All the people who came to Hebron had a great party for three days. Many people had brought food for the soldiers. The people from as far away as the *tribes of Issachar, Zebulun and Naphtali supplied food. These *tribes along with Dan and Asher are the furthest north in *Israel. They brought the food on their animals, that is, *donkeys, camels, *mules and *oxen. Among the food, the passage mentions *figs and raisins. These are sweet dried fruit. Also the people had plenty of meat and other good foods.
After this party, David took control of Jerusalem (11:4-5). He made it his capital city. In chapter 13, we shall read about the events when David first tried to bring the *ark into Jerusalem.
Verses 1-4 David knew that God had made him king of *Israel. His first act was to try to bring God back into the centre (heart) of the nation. So, David wanted to bring the *ark of God to the capital city.
God’s *ark was a wooden box. Gold covered the wood on both the inside and the outside of the box (Exodus 25:10). In it, there was the book of the law that God gave to Moses. Also Aaron’s stick was in the box. So was a gold jar with the bread that God gave to *Israel in the desert (Hebrews 9:4). The *ark was the most holy object in the *worship of God. It was a sign that God was there in the holy tent among his people.
The *Philistines had taken the *ark of God in the battle at Ebenezer. That battle was in about 1085 *BC (1 Samuel chapter 4). They put the *ark in the *temple of their god Dagon in Ashdod town. But the *LORD caused the image of Dagon to fall and to break in pieces. The *LORD then caused the people in Ashdod to be sick. They sent the *ark of God to the town called Gath. The people in Gath became sick. So, they sent the *ark back to *Israel. The *ark of God then stayed in the house of Abinadab on a hill near Kiriath Jearim town. It was there and *Israel forgot about it for 20 years (1 Samuel 6:19 to 7:2). Then Samuel led the people back to God and to the *worship of God. But the *ark of God remained in the house of Abinadab for a further 50 to 60 years.
Kiriath Jearim was about 8 miles west of Jerusalem. It was on the border between the *tribes of Benjamin and Judah.
Saul had not come to the *ark to ask for God’s help. And Saul was not loyal to God. That was why Saul’s rule had ended. But David wanted to rule with the help of God.
David spoke about the *ark with the leaders of the army and with all the people. He called for the people to come and to meet with him. He wanted them all to agree that it was right to bring the *ark of God to Jerusalem. He asked the priests and *Levites to come. They should be the leaders of the people in the *worship of God. Part of their job was to take care of the *ark of God. All the people agreed with David’s proposal to bring the *ark to Jerusalem.
Verses 5-6 David gathered a large crowd of *Israelites. There were 30 000 men who were there on behalf of all *Israel (2 Samuel 6:1). They came from as far as the Shihor river in the south on the border with Egypt. They came from as far as Lebo Hamath, which was on the north border of *Israel. They came from all over *Israel to bring the *ark of God from Kiriath Jearim town.
In the desert, God told Moses to build a special tent where he would be present (see Exodus chapter 40). In that tent there was an inner room called the most holy place. The *ark was in this room. Over the *ark was a cover. The cover was of gold and there were two images of gold. The images joined as one piece with the cover. These two images were the *cherubim. *Cherubim are a type of *angel. They stood at each end of the cover. There, above the cover between the two *cherubim, God said that he would meet with his people.
Verses 7-8 The journey started with music and dance. It was a joyful procession. The *ark was so special that they put it on a new cart. But this was not the proper way to transport the *ark. The *ark had rings through which poles would go. The *Levites ought to have carried it on their shoulders by the poles (Exodus 37:5).
Among the musical instruments were tambourines. A tambourine is an instrument that you hit or shake to make a noise. There were also *lyres and *harps. These are instruments with strings. There were *cymbals. They make a loud crash when you hit them. And there were *trumpets. You blow into a *trumpet to make a loud musical sound.
Uzzah and Ahio were from the family of Abinadab. They controlled the *oxen that pulled the cart.
Verses 9-11 We do not know where Kidon had his yard. Such yards ought to be completely flat. But it was at that place that the *oxen tripped. Uzzah touched the *ark of God so that it would not fall. Because he touched the *ark, the *LORD killed him.
The action of Uzzah may seem reasonable. He just wanted to make the *ark safe on the cart. But there are reasons for the death of Uzzah. The *ark should not have been on a cart. The *Levites ought to have carried it. Nobody should have touched the *ark. Those who touch holy things will die (Numbers 4:15). The *ark had poles by it. Because of these poles, the *Levites would not touch the *ark when they moved it. And that is how God ordered them to move the *ark. There was a lesson for the people. They must give proper honour to God’s holy things. They must obey the rules that God had given about them. The *ark was a sign that God was with his people.
David was angry with God. But later that anger became fear.
They gave that place the name Perez Uzzah. The meaning of that name is not certain. But it could be ‘(God) burst out against Uzzah’.
Verses 12-14 David was afraid of God. He was afraid to take the *ark to Jerusalem. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom. Obed-Edom lived in a town called Gath. (This is not the same town as I have mentioned in my notes on verses 1-4. It is another town with the same name.) Obed-Edom was a *Levite from the *clan of Kohath. He was a musician and a guard of the holy things (15:18 and 15:24). So, he was able to look after the *ark of God.
The *ark was in Obed-Edom’s house for three months. And God was kind to him and his family.
Verses 1-2 Many Bible teachers think that Hiram only became king of Tyre late in the rule of David in *Israel. For most of the rule of David, Hiram’s father Abibaal was king of Tyre. This event was at the time that David became king of all *Israel (2 Samuel 5:11-12). So, this was before Hiram became king of Tyre. But Hiram of Tyre helped David to build a palace at that time. As king of Tyre, he later helped Solomon with the *temple (2 Chronicles chapter 2).
David knew that the *LORD had made him king in order to help his people *Israel. The *LORD had given to David royal honour and authority. But David was king for the benefit of the people.
Verses 3-7 David already had wives and children before he came to Jerusalem. Now he took more wives and he had more children. Among the children born in Jerusalem was Solomon. If the names are in birth order then Solomon was the 10th son. But from that position, Solomon became the next king of *Israel.
Verses 8-12 The *Philistines heard that David was king of all *Israel. They knew that soon David would have control of the *Israelite armies. Then he would fight against the *Philistines. So, they came to attack David. They wanted to defeat him before he could make *Israel strong.
The *Philistines came into the valley called Rephaim. This valley was to the south and west of Jerusalem. It was the boundary between the *tribes of Benjamin and Judah.
David trusted God and he asked God for help. He asked for God’s advice whether to fight the *Philistines or not. He wanted to know from God whether he would win. David obeyed God and he attacked the *Philistines. With God’s help, he defeated them at Baal Perazim town. The name of that town means ‘the *Lord who bursts out’.
People believed that the images of their gods would help them in battle. So the *Philistine army took their gods with them. They thought that with their gods they would defeat David. But David, with the *LORD’s help, was stronger than the gods of the *Philistines. The *Philistines ran away and they left their gods at Baal Perazim. David’s men collected these images of the gods and burned them. This is what God’s law ordered them to do (Deuteronomy 7:25).
Verses 13-16 The *Philistines came again and they attacked the people in the valley. David again asked God what he should do. This time God told him not to attack them. God told David to go round behind the *Philistines. David had to wait there for God’s signal. In the trees, there would be a sound like soldiers who are marching. That sound would show that God’s army of *angels was marching with David’s army. Then David would defeat the *Philistines.
The balsam tree is a tree with a sweet smell. Those were the trees in the forest where David’s army waited for God’s signal.
David obeyed God and he defeated the *Philistine army again.
The battle went from Gibeon in Judah to Gezer on the border of the *Philistine territory. So, David forced the *Philistines out of the *Israelite territory.
Verse 17 News of these battles reached all the countries round *Israel. The *LORD caused the people in all these countries to be afraid of David.
Verse 1 David built a palace for himself and he built houses for his large family. Also, he prepared a place for the *ark of God. He erected a tent in which to put the *ark. He probably did this before he tried to bring the *ark to Jerusalem the first time (chapter 13). The *ark remained in the house of Obed-Edom for three months. David left the *ark there because he was afraid after the death of Uzzah. But God was kind to Obed-Edom and his family while the *ark was in his house. When David heard about God’s kindness to Obed-Edom, David again wanted to bring the *ark to Jerusalem.
Jerusalem was not in any one *tribe but was now the centre (capital city) of political *Israel. David wanted Jerusalem to be the centre of (the most important place for) religion in *Israel. For that purpose, the tent or the house of God had to be there. The *ark was the most important object in the tent of God. So, although David failed once, it was still necessary for him to bring the *ark to Jerusalem.
The original tent was still in the town called Gibeon. But David decided to erect a new tent for the *ark of God. *Worship of the *LORD continued at Gibeon as well as in Jerusalem (16:37-39).
Verse 2 David had learned the lesson of his failure to bring the *ark to Jerusalem. The *Levites should have carried the *ark as the law says (Deuteronomy 10:8). They should carry it on their shoulders and not on a cart. And nobody should ever touch the *ark (Numbers 4:5-15).
Verse 3-10 David called the leaders of the *Israelites to come to him in Jerusalem. They would be part of the procession that would bring the *ark from the house of Obed-Edom.
Then David called the *Levites to come to him. The sons of Levi were Gershon, Kohath and Merari. Their *descendants became separate *clans. The *clan or family of Kohath was the most important of these three families. God appointed the *descendants of Kohath to carry the *ark.
6 families of *Levites came to David. 4 of these were from Kohath (the *clans of Uriel, Elizaphan, Hebron and Uzziel). So, 862 *Levites plus their leaders came to bring the *ark to Jerusalem.
Verses 11-15 Zadok and Abiathar were the two chief priests. Zadok was a *descendant of Eleazar, who was a son of Aaron. Abiathar was a *descendant of Ithamar, who was also a son of Aaron. David called for these two priests and the 6 leaders of the *Levites.
David told the *Levites to make themselves ready to *worship God. They had to prepare themselves for this sacred task. They probably had to make special *sacrifices. And they made preparations like the preparations in Exodus chapter 19. On that occasion, the people had to wash their bodies and their clothes. And they could not have sex for three days (Exodus 19:14-15 and 19:22). After these preparations, the *Levites would be ready to carry the *ark of God. And they would bring it to the place that David had prepared for it.
The first time, the *Levites did not carry the *ark of God. They had not asked God how to do it. They should not have put it on an *ox cart. And Uzzah actually touched the *ark. God’s law forbade anyone to do that.
This time the priests and *Levites prepared themselves for the task. Then they carried the *ark by its poles on their shoulders. This was the proper way to carry the *ark of God (Numbers 4:5-15).
Verses 16-24 As David asked them, the *Levites appointed their musicians. They would lead the people in songs of joy. They must bring the *ark of God to Jerusalem with a glad procession.
Heman was the son of Joel and grandson of Samuel the *prophet. With him were Asaph and Ethan. These three were the chief musicians in the time of David.
‘*Alamoth’ was a kind of song or harmony in music. It was music for the female voices. So, these *harps would sound like the voices of girls. The word *alamoth is in the title of Psalm 46.
‘*Sheminith’ means an 8th, a range of 8 sounds in music. It is the lowest sounds that men can sing. So, the *lyres played the lower sounds while the *harps played the higher sounds. *Sheminith is in the titles of Psalms 6 and 12.
One of those who played the *lyres was Obed-Edom. He had kept the *ark of God in his house for the past three months. Also, he was a guard for the *ark (verse 18).
7 priests would play silver *trumpets in front of the *ark. It seems that the sound of the *trumpets was the signal to move. When the *Israelite camp moved in the desert, the priests sounded the *trumpets. When the people had to come together, the priests sounded the *trumpets. When the army had to go to war, the signal was the sound of the *trumpets. This was a rule that Moses gave to the *Israelites (see Numbers 10:1-10).
Verses 25-28 David and the principal men of the nation went to get the *ark from the home of Obed-Edom. They remembered how God had acted against Uzzah. Maybe they were afraid that God would act against them. But this time God helped the *Levites. God allowed them to carry the *ark. The *Levite musicians led them all with songs of joy. They *worshipped God and they made *sacrifices to him. When the *ark had gone 6 steps, David *sacrificed a *bull and a sheep (2 Samuel 6:13).
Among the musical instruments were horns. These came from the heads of male sheep. When a person blows into them, they make sounds.
David and the *Levites wore clothes of fine white *linen. When the priests and *Levites served the *LORD, they had to wear special clothes. These clothes were of fine white *linen. The white *linen was to show that they were clean and holy. (‘Clean’ usually means ‘not dirty’ but often in the Bible it means ‘ready to *worship God’.)
Verse 29 Saul’s daughter Michal was the first of David’s wives. She saw David as he danced. She saw him as he jumped for joy. Such behaviour was not what one would expect a king to do. Michal told David that he had disgusted her. David told her that he had danced to the *LORD. And because of her attitude, she could not have children (2 Samuel 6:20-23).
Verses 1-6 David had prepared a place for the *ark. He set up a special tent for it. The *Levites put the *ark in its place. David provided *sacrifices by fire and *sacrifices for peace. The priests would have made the *sacrifices on behalf of David. Only the priests (the *descendants of Aaron) could offer the *sacrifices to God. The priests had to belong to the family of Aaron. When the priests had made the *sacrifices, David blessed the people.
Also, the people brought *sacrifices to the priests. The priests made *sacrifices by fire and *sacrifices for peace on behalf of the people (2 Samuel 6:17).
In the *sacrifice for peace, the priests would burn certain parts of the animal. The people ate the rest of the meat (Leviticus 7:11-15). They sat as if they were guests at the *LORD’s table. In this meal, they showed that they had peace (a right relationship) with God. In addition to the food from the *sacrifices for peace, David gave more food to the people. He gave to them bread, dates and raisins. (Dates and raisins are dried fruit.)
David had appointed *Levites as musicians and leaders of songs to bring the *ark to Jerusalem. Now he gave to the *Levites new tasks. They would pray and they would give thanks to God in front of the *ark. The other *Levites in the previous list (15:16-22) probably served in the old tent at Gibeon. David made Asaph the chief musician in place of Heman (15:17). Asaph was a leader in the *clan of Gershon. Asaph and his family wrote many of the Psalms. The Book of Psalms shows 12 that they wrote (Psalm 50; Psalms 73 to 83).
The *worship of the *LORD was now in two places. The old tent was still in Gibeon. There the *Levites served in front of the *altar of the *LORD. The new tent was in Jerusalem. There the *Levites served the *LORD in front of the *ark of God. These two separate places of *worship came together when Solomon built the *temple.
Verse 7 When the *ark was in its new place, David gave Asaph the duty to sing to the *LORD. He gave to Asaph this song, which follows in verses 8-36. The text does not say that David wrote this song. But probably he did write it.
Parts of this song are, with some changes, in other Psalms. Verses 8-22 are in Psalm 105:1-15. Verses 23-33 are in Psalm 96. And verses 34-36 are in Psalm 106:1 and 106:47-48. None of these Psalms has a title that shows the author.
This song has three main sections. The first section is in verses 8-22. In this part, God has done what he promised to do. The second section is in verses 23-33. In this section, God is king over all the earth. And the last section is in verses 34-36. This is a short prayer for help.
Verses 8-22 The start of the song invites the *Israelites to give thanks to the *LORD. It tells them to praise and to *worship the name of the *LORD. They must follow him. They must depend on him. And they must remember what he has done. The *LORD chose them to be his people.
All of the song refers to God’s actions among the nations on behalf of *Israel.
The *LORD is the God of *Israel. He made a special promise to Abraham. He will do what the special promise said. He repeated his promises to Jacob. He gave the country called Canaan to *Israel. That country will belong to them for all time.
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob wandered without a home of their own. They were strangers in the country called Canaan. God promised to give that country to them. They had not received it. But their *descendants did possess the country.
While they were few in number, God protected them from nations and kings. These were God’s people whom he had chosen and his *prophets.
Verses 23-33 The *LORD is not just the God of *Israel. He is the *LORD of all the earth. He is greater than all the gods of the nations. He is the only real God. All other gods are false gods. Therefore, all people should praise him.
The *LORD made the skies and the earth. He is the king of all that he has made. So, all people should give to him the honour that he deserves. They should *worship him and they should bring gifts to him.
All that God has made should shout for joy. The skies, the earth, the sea, the fields and the forests will all sing for joy.
The *LORD will come and he will be the judge of the world. He will be the judge of all people. They will all have to give an account of their lives to God. So, he will reward or punish them.
Verses 34-36 God is good and he loves his people. He will always love them. Therefore, they thank him and they praise him.
God’s people were slaves in Egypt. In Canaan, the nations round them fought against them. The *Philistines defeated them and ruled over them. In David’s time, God’s people trusted God; and they cried out to him for help. Each time God’s people turned to him for help he rescued them. David defeated the *Philistines. But he knew that without God he could not win.
The song ends with the call to praise the *LORD. Then all the people said ‘*Amen’ and they praised the *LORD.
The word ‘*amen’ shows that the people agreed with the song. It comes from a *Hebrew word. That word means ‘it is true.’
Verses 37-43 David appointed the *Levites and priests to serve the *LORD. Some of these would serve at the *ark of God in Jerusalem. Zadok and other priests and *Levites would continue to serve the *LORD at the tent in Gibeon.
Both Zadok and Abiathar were chief priests at this time. Zadok served in Gibeon while Abiathar was in Jerusalem.
At the tent in Gibeon, there was the *altar for *burnt *sacrifices. On the *altar, the priests made the daily *sacrifices to the *LORD.
Verses 1-2 The events in this chapter happened after the wars that are in the next chapter. The *LORD had given peace to David. At last, David had defeated all his enemies (2 Samuel 7:1). The date was about 995 *BC or later.
We know a few facts about Nathan the *prophet. It was Nathan who helped David to organise the *Levites (2 Chronicles 29:25). When David *sinned with Bathsheba, Nathan came to show David his *sin (2 Samuel chapter 12). When David was old, one of his sons tried to become king. But Nathan made sure that Solomon became king (1 Kings chapter 1). Also, Nathan recorded the history of David and Solomon (1 Chronicles 29:29 and 2 Chronicles 9:29). The writer of Chronicles probably used some of these records when he wrote these books.
In this chapter, David spoke to Nathan about the desire of his heart. David lived in the palace that Hiram had helped him to build (14:1). The *ark of God was in a tent (16:1). So, David wanted to build a *temple for the *LORD. At first Nathan told David to do what he wanted.
Verses 3-6 Nathan had replied to David in a natural manner. It must have seemed right to build a *temple for the *LORD. But that night in a *vision, the *LORD spoke to Nathan. He told Nathan to go back to David with a message from the *LORD. David must not build the *temple.
The reason for the *LORD’s decision was that David was a man of war (22:8). He had killed so many men and he was not a man of peace (28:3). The idea of a *temple was good but it was not for David to build it. Solomon would be a man of peace and he would build it.
Since the time when the *Israelites left Egypt, there was no permanent building as the house of God. While the *Israelites travelled in the desert, the *ark was in a special tent. The *ark and its tent travelled with the *Israelites from each place to the next place. When the *Israelites took control of Canaan, the *ark was still in that tent. They put the tent in Shiloh. That was where Samuel served God (1 Samuel 3:3). The *Philistines destroyed Shiloh and they took away the *ark for a few months (Jeremiah 7:12; 1 Samuel 5:1). But then the *Philistines sent the *ark back to *Israel. So at the time of David, the *ark was in a house in Kiriath Jearim (1 Samuel 7:1). And the special tent was at Gibeon (1 Chronicles 16:39). As we have seen, David moved the *ark into a new tent in Jerusalem (chapter 15). But he left the old tent as a place of *worship in Gibeon.
So the *ark of God had travelled with the people from place to place. And the *LORD never asked any of the leaders of *Israel to build a permanent house for the *ark. The *LORD was not against the idea of a *temple. But there was no hurry for one. It could wait until the right time.
Verses 7-10a (‘10a’ means the first part of verse 10.) David looked after the sheep of his father Jesse. God sent Samuel to appoint David king of *Israel (1 Samuel chapter 16). Through all David’s adventures, the *LORD was with him. And the *LORD had made David the king of all *Israel.
The *LORD promised to make David a great king. Also, he promised that the *Israelites would live in their own country. From the time of Joshua to the time of Saul, there had been trouble with the *Philistines and other nations. Now the *LORD would bring peace to *Israel.
‘Ever again’ in verse 9 could mean during the rule of David. But it could mean a future time when the final king from David’s family rules.
Verses 10b-15 (‘10b’ means the last part of verse 10.) David wanted to build a house for the *LORD. Then the *LORD replied that he (the *LORD) would build a house for David. The house for the *LORD means the *temple. The house for David does not mean a building. It is a picture in words of the future of David’s family. The *LORD will make David’s *descendants kings of *Israel. And the final king of *Israel will be from the family of David.
God promised David that one of his sons would build the *temple. That son would be Solomon. God promised that there would be future kings from the family of Solomon. The rule of that family would last for all time. This is a *prophecy about the *Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Son of God. But he was born into the family of David. Both Mary and Joseph were *descendants of David.
When Jesus came, he set up his *kingdom in the hearts of people (Luke 17:21). That *kingdom will never end. When Jesus comes again, he will rule the world in the final *kingdom on earth (Daniel 2:44; Romans 15:12).
Solomon would be a son of God, as in fact David was. This would be so because Solomon would be the king of God’s people. God would not turn away from Solomon as he had done to Saul. Solomon did turn from the *LORD, yet the *LORD did not turn away from Solomon. Because of this promise to David, the *LORD did not take the *kingdom from Solomon (1 Kings 11:9-12).
But this is not only about Solomon. Solomon was a son of God because of his function as the king of God’s people. The meaning also refers to the future king. That king will be the Son of God. Jesus is the Son of God because he has a special relationship with God the Father. Jesus has the same nature as God. He is God the Son, who with God the Father and the Holy Spirit is God.
Jesus the Son of God will rule over the *kingdom of God. There shall be no end to his *kingdom.
Verses 16-19 David went to the place where the *ark of God was. Here he prayed to the *LORD. He was not from a royal family. He had no natural right to be the king of *Israel. But he was king because God made him the king.
It surprised David that God should make such promises to him. David considered himself an ordinary man. But God dealt with him as if he were a very important person. The *LORD promised to preserve the future of his family. To David, this was such an honour. He did not deserve any of this. The *LORD did it because he is God.
Verses 20-22 The *LORD is the only real God. All other gods are false gods. The *LORD chose only one nation to be his special people. That nation is *Israel. God rescued the people from Egypt and he made them into a great nation. And he became their God. He is the God of the whole world but to *Israel, he is special.
Verses 23-27 David agrees with everything that God has said. So David asks God to do all that he has promised to do. Then people will recognise that he is God. They will know that he is *Israel’s God. And the *kingdom will be strong under the rule of David’s *descendants.
At the end of David’s prayer, he accepts the promises that God has made. David believes that God will do these things. David wants his family always to live with God. God has *blessed that family and he will continue to *bless it. What God has *blessed, he will always *bless.
Verse 1 It seems that the events in chapter 18 happened before the events in chapter 17. Also, the events in chapter 19 happened before the events in chapter 18.
The *Philistines had 5 main cities. These were Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gaza, Gath and Ekron. Ashdod, Ashkelon and Gaza were on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Ekron and Gath were not on the coast.
David defeated the *Philistines at Gath. And he took control of the small towns in that area.
Verse 2 Then David defeated the army of Moab. Their country was to the east of the Dead Sea.
Verses 3-7 Hadadezer was the king of Zobah. Zobah was a country to the north and east of Damascus and south of Hamath. Hadadezer tried to extend his area of control to the east as far as the Euphrates river. But David came and defeated him.
David won all these battles because he trusted the *LORD. And the *LORD helped him.
We do not know where the towns called Tibhath and Cun were. Solomon would later use the *bronze from these towns to make important objects for the *temple. See 2 Chronicles 4:2-5 and 2 Chronicles 3:15-17. There was so much *bronze in these objects that people were unable to weigh them (2 Kings 25:16).
Verses 9-11 Tou (or Toi) was the king of Hamath. His *kingdom was to the north of the *kingdom of Hadadezer. He chose not to fight David. David was much stronger than he was. So, he chose rather to have a peace agreement with *Israel.
David gave to the *LORD the wealth that he had taken from the nations.
Verse 12-13 The Book of 2 Samuel says that David killed these 18 000 soldiers from Edom (2 Samuel 8:13). It seems that David sent Abishai against them. Abishai led the army that won the battle. The people praised David for the success because, as king, he was in command of the army. But as David trusted the *LORD, so the *LORD helped David in his battles. In other words, it was the *LORD who brought about David’s success in all these battles.
Verses 14-17 Jehoshaphat would have kept the royal diary. In his job, he would remind David of meetings. He probably wrote the records of those meetings.
Zadok and Ahimelech were priests. They were both chief priests. During David’s rule, there were two important places where the priests *worshipped God. So one chief priest was at Gibeon where the tent of the *LORD was. And the other one was in Jerusalem where the *ark of God was.
Shavsha was the royal secretary. This was a top job in the government.
David had an army of special soldiers. The Kerethites (or Cherethites) were a *clan of the *Philistines. So originally, the men in this special army came from among the *Philistines. Probably, these men were with David from the start. They were loyal to David but they were not *Israelites.
The Pelethites were probably among the soldiers who joined David at Ziklag. They may have taken their name from one of their leaders, Pelet (12:3). If so, then they were from the *tribe of Benjamin. But perhaps, like the Kerethites, the Pelethites were *Philistines who had decided to support David.
Verses 1-5 Ammon was a country to the east of *Israel. It was on the other side of the Jordan river. Saul had defeated Ammon’s army (1 Samuel chapter 11). But later King Nahash was loyal to David. Their friendship may have started when David had to hide from Saul.
King Nahash died and David sent men to comfort his son Hanun. But the leaders of Ammon did not trust David. They thought that David wanted to find out about the defences of the city called Rabbah. They thought that then David would attack them.
So, Hanun shaved off half of each man’s beard (2 Samuel 10:4). Men who lived at that time would consider that an extreme insult. Also, Hanun cut off their clothes so that their private parts were naked. This was the most terrible shame for these *Israelite men. Then Hanun sent the men away.
When David heard about this, he told the men to wait in Jericho. When their beards had grown again, then they could come home.
Verses 6-9 Hanun knew that David would not accept that insult. And he knew that the army of Ammon could not defeat David. So, he hired armies from other countries to help him. It cost him 1000 *talents of silver.
‘Mesopotamia’ means ‘between the rivers’. Soldiers came from the countries that were between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers. Aram Maacah was to the north of the *Israelite *tribes on the east of the Jordan river. Zobah was to the north east of Damascus.
They hired 32 000 *chariots which included riders and horses. These came from Mesopotamia, Aram Maacah and from Zobah. There were a further 1000 soldiers who came with the king of Maacah. These soldiers were from the nation called Aram.
This very large army prepared for war near the town called Medeba. Medeba was a town to the south of Rabbah. It was in the area that had belonged to the *tribe of Reuben. It was to the east of the Dead Sea.
David did not go to fight against Hanun. He sent Joab with the whole army of *Israel.
Verses 10-15 There were two armies that were fighting against the *Israelites. The army of Ammon was in front of the city and the army of Aram was in the country. Joab came towards the army of Ammon. Then he saw that the army of Aram was behind him. So, enemies had surrounded the army of Joab.
Joab selected his best soldiers to go with him. He led them to fight the larger army from Aram. He put the rest of the *Israelites under the command of his brother Abishai. Abishai led these men to fight the army of Ammon.
Before they went into battle, Joab spoke with his brother. He gave his plan to Abishai. If the army of Aram was too strong for Joab then Abishai must come to help him. But if the army of Ammon was too strong for Abishai then Joab would come to help him. But Joab trusted the *LORD for the result of the battle.
The *Israelites must be brave. They must be strong. They must fight for God and their country. But they must trust the *LORD for the result.
The army of Aram ran away and the army of Ammon went back into the city. The *Israelites went back to Jerusalem.
Verses 16-19 It seems that this battle was before the battles in chapters 18:3-8 and 20:1-3.
Joab’s success did not end the war. The nation called Aram sent more soldiers from the other side of the Euphrates river to help them. This time David led the army of *Israel to meet them.
Again, the soldiers from Aram ran away from the *Israelite army. David defeated them and he killed their leader Shophach.
These soldiers from Aram belonged to various countries that had served Hadadezer. Now those countries made peace with David. They had to agree with his demands. So, they became his servants. They would not help the nation called Ammon again. Actually, they were afraid to help the nation called Ammon (2 Samuel 10:19).
Verses 20:1-3 Spring was at the end of the rainy season. In the rainy season, it was not practical to fight with *chariots. When the spring came, the kings could go to war again. So, in the spring Joab led the army to fight in the country called Ammon.
The army had success all through the country. Then they came to Rabbah, the capital city of Ammon. They camped round the city.
While Joab was leading Israel’s army against Rabbah, David stayed in Jerusalem. At this time, he saw Bathsheba. Although she was a married woman, David had sex with her. Afterwards, she was expecting a baby by David. He arranged for her husband Uriah to come home to her. The idea was that Uriah would have sex with her. Then he would think that the baby was his own child. But Uriah refused to have sex with his wife while the army was at war. So, David arranged for his death at Rabbah. This was a very serious *sin (2 Samuel chapter 11).
The battle for Rabbah took a long time. In the end, Joab broke into the city. He took one part of it, the lower town. Then he was able to cut off their supply of water from the Jabbok river. He knew that the castle and the city could not last much longer. Then he asked David to come so that David could lead the final battle to defeat the city.
David took the crown from the king and he put it on his own head. It was a gold crown. Its weight was a *talent, which was very heavy. A king would not usually wear such a heavy crown. The heavy crown of a king would hang with chains above his *throne.
David took away all the valuable things from the city. He forced the people from Rabbah and other towns to do hard work. Then David and his army returned to Jerusalem.
Verses 4-8 Here are three incidents that happened during battles with the *Philistines. The first two of these incidents were at Gezer. Gezer was a town but it may here mean that general area. The record elsewhere says that these incidents happened at Gob (2 Samuel 21:18). The third incident was in the battle at Gath. So all these incidents happened before David took the city called Gath from *Philistine control (18:1).
These huge people were called the *descendants of Rephaim. Rephaim was the *ancestor of an ancient group of people who were very tall. There were very few of them still alive at the time of Moses (Deuteronomy 2:21). Formerly, they lived in Bashan, which was on the east side of the Jordan river (Deuteronomy 3:11).
Sibbecai came from Hushah town in Judah. He was one of David’s 30 special soldiers (1 Chronicles 11:29). Later David divided his army into 12 groups. Each group was on duty for a month. Sibbecai was the leader of 8th group of soldiers (1 Chronicles 27:11).
Sippai is the first of the huge men that the passage mentions. Sibbecai, the *Israelite soldier, was very brave when he fought this man. Because the man was so huge, it was very dangerous to fight him. But Sibbecai managed to defeat the man and to kill him.
Lahmi was the brother of Goliath whom David killed (1 Samuel chapter 17). Elhanan, son of Jair, killed Lahmi.
This other huge man with extra fingers and toes was also a *descendant of Rephaim. Jonathan, a nephew of David, killed him.
All these huge men lived in the city called Gath. The passage shows that, like Goliath, these huge men were champions in the *Philistines’ army.
Verses 1-3 This account of David’s life misses a period of years. During that time, there had been the problems with his son Absalom and other crises. These events are in 2 Samuel chapters 13 to 23. They took about 20 years. The writer of Chronicles does not record them. The reason for this is that they did not match his purpose. He wanted to encourage the *exiles as they returned from Babylon. So, he shows how God was in control of their history. The count in this chapter probably happened about 975 *BC.
*Satan hates God and all who trust in God. He was an enemy of *Israel because the *Israelites are God’s special people. He persuaded David to order this count. So, David ordered Joab to count the people from Beersheba to Dan. The phrase ‘Beersheba to Dan’ means the whole country of *Israel from the south to the north.
We do not know why David wanted to count the people. It may have been because he was proud of himself. He wanted to know the extent of his power. It could have been for practical reasons. Perhaps he wanted to know how large an army he could have in a war. Or perhaps he had a scheme to tax the people in order to get money for the government.
It was not always wrong to count the people (for example, see Numbers chapters 1 and 26). But God had given Moses clear instructions about such counts (Numbers 3:47-48). Foreign kings might count their people for any reason. But the *Israelites were different, because they were the *LORD’s people. So when a leader counted the *Israelites, he had to pay a price for their lives. He would do this by means of a tax that he collected from them at the same time. The leader could not keep that tax. He paid the money to the priests. They used it for the *worship of God at the *LORD’s tent (or afterwards, at the *temple). God also told Moses that the *Israelites must not count the *tribe of Levi with the soldiers. That was because they belonged to God in a special way.
However, David did not obey God’s instructions about the count. Joab knew that it was wrong to count the people at this time. He was the commander of Israel’s army. Joab was a wicked man (1 Kings 2:5-6). But even he realised that David was not trusting God. Joab protested that the *LORD could make *Israel’s army strong enough for any battle. He urged David not to begin the count. Joab knew that the result would be punishment on *Israel. The *LORD was already angry against *sin in *Israel (2 Samuel 24:1). But David did what was wrong. He counted the people and he did not pay the price for their lives. So, the *LORD punished him. And also, the people in *Israel suffered as well.
Verses 4-6 David insisted that Joab must obey his order. He told Joab to go and Joab obeyed him. He and his officers went through all *Israel. The task took them almost 10 months. Then they came and they gave to David the results of their count.
The total for all *Israel was 1 100 000 men. This number included 300 000 men who were already in the army. (The number of the soldiers in 27:1-9 is 288 000 but with other officers this would be about 300 000. In the account in 2 Samuel 24:9, the total is 800 000 men. That total does not seem to include the men who were already in the army.)
David’s orders so disgusted Joab that he did not count all the *tribes. He left out the *tribes of Levi and Benjamin. Later David ordered a count of the *tribe of Levi (23:3). Joab may have left them out because of their tasks in *Israel’s religion (Numbers 1:47). If the count were for the purpose of taxes, this would not include the *Levites. Also, they could not be soldiers. But there can be no such reason for him not to count Benjamin.
Verses 7-8 God was angry about the count and David now realised it. His conscience told him how wrong he had been. He confessed that he had *sinned. Now he knew that he had been foolish. He asked God to forgive him. But in order to *repent, it is not enough just to be sorry. A person must also turn away from *sin. David had not paid the tax for the *LORD’s tent or the *temple. He had not paid the price for the lives of his men. And he had not given *sacrifices so that God’s punishment would be against the animals instead of the people.
So although David had asked God to forgive him, David’s wrong action would still have an effect. The result was that God punished *Israel.
Verses 9-13 God spoke to a man whose name was Gad. Gad was a *prophet by means of whom God had spoken to David before. When David was hiding from Saul, Gad had advised him to go to Judah (1 Samuel 22:5). Later he helped David and Nathan to organise the *Levites for the *temple (2 Chronicles 29:25). Also he made a record of all the events that happened during the rule of David (1 Chronicles 29:29).
God chose this *prophet, Gad, to speak to David on his behalf. By this means, God gave David three choices of punishment for his *sin. David’s choices were three years, three months or three days.
The first choice was three years of hunger in *Israel. During those three years, many of the people would starve to death.
The second choice was three months of defeat for *Israel. During those three months, enemy armies would kill many *Israelites. Much of the land that David had gained in battles he would lose. The nation would suffer shame and it would lose its power in the region.
The third choice was three days of death by disease in *Israel. In these three days, the *angel of the *LORD would move through the nation. He would kill many people.
Each of these punishments would reduce the number of people in *Israel. So David’s count would not still be accurate. But David could see that it was right for God to punish *Israel.
David was still unwilling to do what God wanted him to do. God did not want to punish the *Israelites, but David had still not paid the price for their lives. The *prophet had told David about God’s judgement. But we do not yet read that David was praying for the people. And David was not offering *sacrifices for them. God forgives when there is a *sacrifice. That is because God’s judgement acts against the *sacrifice instead of the person or people.
David chose the direct punishment of the *LORD. David was wise not to trust people. They could be cruel and they would know no limits. But the *LORD is a God of sympathy. He is a God who pities his people. The *LORD would not punish more than was necessary.
*Israel could not avoid the punishment. 70 000 people died from a sudden, terrible disease.
Verse 15 The *angel began to destroy Jerusalem. People were starting to die in the city. The *angel got as far as the yard where Araunah was preparing his grain. But when the *LORD saw this, he stopped the *angel.
David was right. The *LORD is a God who has sympathy for his people. The *LORD pities his people. So, he reduced the punishment for their *sin.
Verses 16-17 David and the leaders were *repenting of their *sin. They were genuinely humble. They came to the place in rough clothes. They were sorry for what they had done. When they saw the *angel in the air, they fell down with their faces to the ground.
David spoke to God. Again, he confessed his *sin. This time, he accepted the total blame for everything that had happened. The people did only what he told them to do. Therefore, he said that he alone was to blame. He prayed that God would the stop the punishment of the people. He and his family should take all the punishment. He was responsible for everything that had happened to the people.
Verses 18-21 The *angel of the *LORD spoke to the *prophet Gad. He told Gad to tell David to build an *altar. Gad came to David. And he told him to build the *altar at the place where Araunah prepared grain. That is, the place where the punishment stopped. David obeyed and he built the *altar. But before he did, he had to buy the place.
Araunah was preparing his wheat. The count started in the autumn and it took almost 10 months. So, this was at the end of the wheat harvest.
The normal way to prepare grain was to spread it out on the special floor of a flat yard. Then a driver sent two *oxen forward and back over the grain. The *oxen pulled wooden boards on which the driver sat. The boards had three large wooden tubes with sharp points all over them. These tubes turned as the boards moved. Another person drew back the straw to separate it from the grain. They took the straw away. Then they threw what remained up in the air. The bits that were not grain blew away. This left only the grain on the floor. So the grain was now clean. And it was ready for people to store it.
Araunah saw the *angel. His 4 sons hid from the *angel. But Araunah did not hide. Then David arrived and Araunah stopped his work.
Verses 22-26 David asked to buy the property so that he could build the *altar there. Araunah would have given it to his king. But David insisted that he must pay the proper price. He would not give to the *LORD what was not his own. A *sacrifice must cost the person who makes it. If there is no cost, it is not a *sacrifice.
The *sacrifices would be of two animals and grain. Araunah provided the *oxen that he used to prepare the grain. A grain *sacrifice always went with animal *sacrifices. So, he gave his wheat for the grain *sacrifice. And he told David to use his wooden boards to make the fire for the *sacrifice by fire.
David bought the whole property. The price was 600 *shekels weight of gold (about 15 pounds or 6.6 *kilograms in weight). He bought the *oxen and the special floor. For these he paid 50 *shekels of silver (about 1 and a quarter pounds or 0.5 *kilograms in weight) (2 Samuel 24:24).
The property that Araunah owned was on *Mount Moriah. *Mount Moriah is the place where Abraham went to *sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22:2). Solomon would later build the *temple there.
Then David built the *altar and he prepared the *sacrifices. Then he prayed to the *LORD. The *LORD sent fire from heaven to burn the *sacrifice on the *altar. This answer showed that God accepted the prayers and *sacrifices of David.
Verses 27- 30 In answer to David’s prayer, the *LORD told the *angel to put his sword away. The *LORD had stopped the disease. Now the *angel would not destroy Jerusalem. And David continued to make *sacrifices there to the *LORD.
The holy tent at which the priests should make *sacrifices was about 4 or 5 miles from Jerusalem. It was in Gibeon. But David had built an *altar as the *LORD had told him. He did not go to Gibeon then. But he continued to *worship God in this place. He knew that by the *sacrifices on this *altar he had caused the *angel to stop his work.
Verse 1 God had dealt with David at the place where Araunah used to prepare his grain. David had built an *altar at this place. He had burned *sacrifices to the *LORD here. He knew that the *LORD wanted his *temple to be here. This was where the *temple should be. The *altar would be here and here the priests would *sacrifice to God. David was already using this place on *Mount Moriah as if it was the *LORD’s *temple. The actual *temple was not yet here. But Solomon his son would build it (2 Chronicles 3:1).
Verses 2-4 David used the foreigners who lived in *Israel to carry out the initial work for the *temple. Some of them had to cut stones and to shape them ready for the builders. They stored these stones until Solomon started to build the *temple. Some of them worked with metals. They made nails and other things for the doors. And there were workers in wood who would prepare the wood for the *temple.
David provided all the materials such as iron, *bronze and wood. The wood came from Lebanon where the *cedar trees were very tall and straight.
Verse 5 We are not sure about the age of Solomon at this time. The date of his birth was probably about 990 *BC. He became king in 970 or 971 *BC. So he was 20 years old when he became king. He had a son, Rehoboam, who was then one year old. This chapter is about David’s actions near the end of his rule. So, it seems that Solomon was a youth under 20 years of age.
The *temple had to be great, and it was. It had to be famous among the nations, and it was. But Solomon was young. So, David prepared all that he could. The *LORD would not allow him to build the *temple. But he got as much ready as he could.
Verses 6-10 King David was preparing his son to be the next king. David had desired to build the *temple for the *LORD. But the *LORD would not let him do it. This was the most important task for his son to do. So David explained to Solomon what God had said to him.
This *temple must be for the name of the *LORD. This means more than for the *LORD’s honour. It means for the person of the *LORD. It must be a place where the people could go to meet with God. It will be the most important place of *worship for *Israel.
The *LORD refused to let David build the *temple. The reason was that David was a man of wars. The problem was not just that he fought wars. But David had killed people other than in war such as Uriah (2 Samuel 11:15). He was guilty of cruelty as he was with the soldiers from Moab (2 Samuel 8:2).
Before he was born, God chose Solomon to be king after David. The *LORD loved Solomon from birth. God promised that Solomon would rule in peace. As far as we know, Solomon fought only one battle. That battle was after he had built the *temple (2 Chronicles 8:3).
In this passage, David repeats the words that Nathan spoke to him from the *LORD (17:12-14). The *LORD promised to be as a father to Solomon but Solomon had to be loyal to the *LORD. Later in life, Solomon was not loyal to the *LORD.
The ‘*throne’ of Solomon’s *kingdom means the kings from the family of David. God would establish their ‘*throne’ for all time. This means that one of David’s *descendants will be king for all time. That *descendant is the *Lord Jesus. (Both Mary and Joseph were *descendants of David.) The *Lord Jesus is sometimes called King David’s greater son, because he is David’s most important *descendant. And, although he is David’s *descendant, he is more important (greater) than David. There will be no end to the rule of the *Lord Jesus. His *throne will always remain. His *kingdom will never end (Luke 1:32-33).
Verses 11-13 In these verses, David repeats to Solomon much of what God had said. God had said that Solomon would build the *temple. God had said that he would make Solomon the king of *Israel. So, David encourages his son to do as God had said. David is telling Solomon: ‘Build the *temple and obey God.’
David prays that Solomon will be wise. And David prays that Solomon will obey the law of the *LORD. Solomon will be successful only if he does obey the rules and laws of the *LORD. He will need wisdom from the *LORD to be able to govern the people. And he will need to be brave and to have courage so that he can rule *Israel.
Verses 14-16 We do not know the value of these metals at that time. But it must have been a very large sum.
David had provided a vast quantity of all that the builders would need for the work. But Solomon must add some more. Perhaps David thought that more was necessary. But perhaps David was encouraging Solomon to make the task his own. Solomon would involve himself more in the task if he gave toward it.
David had organised the labour with men skilled in all the trades. This large number of workers was ready to start the work. Therefore, he told Solomon, ‘Get on with it. Build the *temple of the *LORD. It is what the *LORD wants. And he will be with you.’ Solomon could not begin yet. But as soon as he became king, this was his first and most important task.
Verses 17-19 Finally, David praises God for all that he has achieved. The *LORD has given peace to his people in *Israel. The *LORD has defeated all their enemies. The *LORD is with his people. The *LORD has given to them the country called *Israel.
Now the people must give themselves to the *LORD. They must work with Solomon to build the *LORD’s *temple. That *temple will be the place where the *Israelites will *worship the *LORD their God.
The *ark of God was in the tent that David had prepared for it, in Jerusalem. But the *Israelites must bring the *ark into the *temple. David had already built his *altar in the place where the *Israelites would build the *temple. Many of the holy things were in the tent at Gibeon. They must bring these things into the *temple.
Verse 1 David was about 70 years of age, which in those days was old. This was now near the end of his life. It was probably during the 40th and last year of his rule (26:31; 29:27). He appointed Solomon to be the next king of *Israel.
Verses 2-5 To manage (run) the *temple, there would need to be 2000 *Levites on duty each month. They would not all work at the same time. Each of them would work for a part of the day or night. There were a total of 38 000 *Levite men who were 30 years of age and over. 24 000 of them would do this work. The women would not work in the *temple.
6000 *Levites would be judges and officials. They would work in every part of the country. They would be experts in the law of the *LORD and in the laws of the country.
Verses 6-11 The sons of Levi were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. All the *Levites were *descendants of these three sons. David divided the *Levites into the *clans and families that came from these three men.
These lists do not give us the complete history of the *clans. In verse 8, these were not the actual sons of Ladan. They were among his *descendants. Shimei in verse 9 is a man who belonged to the *clans of Ladan. He is not the same as Shimei in verses 7 and 10.
The 4 sons of Shimei were not his actual sons. They were his *descendants and they may have lived in the time of David.
Because they had few children, David combined the families of Jeush and Beriah. So there were 9 groups out of the *clan of Gershon. 6 of these groups were from Ladan (three of which were from Shimei in verse 9). The other three groups were from the other man called Shimei in verse 10.
Verses 12-20 The ranks of the *Levites did not include the *descendants of Aaron. They were a special family. They were the priests. And the chief priests always came from this family. They had to make the *sacrifices to the *LORD. They were the agents of the people in relation to the *LORD. And they were the agents of the *LORD to the people. But the count of the *Levites did include the *descendants of Moses.
From the *clans of Kohath there were another 9 groups of *Levites.
Verses 21-23 The *clans of Merari made a further 6 groups. This is not clear from these verses. But the chiefs of the groups of Mahli came from Jaaziah (24:26-27), and Kish. The daughters of Eleazar married their cousins. By this means their families continued. The third group came either from another son of Jaaziah or from the daughters of Eleazar. The chiefs of the groups of Mushi came from his three sons.
There were 9 groups from Gershon, 9 groups from Kohath and 6 groups from Merari. This made a total of 24 groups.
Verses 24-27 The count was actually of those men who were 20 years old and older. Men were old enough to work in the *temple when they were 30 years old (verse 3). The *LORD said this to Moses when he counted the *Levites (Numbers 4:3).
Moses lowered the age for the work of the *LORD’s tent to 25. But the *Levites did not work after the age of 50 (Numbers 8:24-25). Originally, David decided that the *Levites would start to work in the *temple at 30 years old. The work in the *temple would not be as heavy as the work for the tent. The *Levites had to carry the tent and all that was in it, including the *altar and the *ark. Both of these would now remain in the *temple at Jerusalem. But for some reason, David now lowered the age for the count to 20.
Verses 28-32 The task of the *Levites was to help the priests. They had to take care of the *temple and of all that was in it. They had to make sure that all things were clean and ready for use.
The *Levites had to bake 12 loaves of bread for each *Sabbath day. The priests placed these loaves in two rows of 6 on the special table in the holy place. The loaves remained there until the next *Sabbath day. Then the priests would eat these loaves in the holy place (Leviticus 24:5-9).
Each morning and each evening, the *Levites praised the *LORD with music and prayers. They did this at the time of the regular *sacrifices (Exodus 29:38-39). Also, they did this at the time of *sacrifices on the special days.
The priests made extra *sacrifices at other times. These were on the *Sabbath days, at the start of the month and other special days (Numbers 28:9 to Numbers 29:39). At each of these events, the *Levites praised the *LORD when the priests made the *sacrifices.
The special days were annual events. Some of them lasted for just one day. But other ones lasted for several days. The main special days each year were:
(1) The day called Passover, and the week afterwards when people ate flat bread. Each year the *Jews remember how God brought them out of Egypt. Passover is the special time when they remember this. (Passover is usually at the same time as Easter.)
(2) The day called Pentecost, which is a special day 50 days after Passover.
(3) The day to sound the *trumpets.
(4) The day when the people remember that God forgives *sin.
(5) The week when the people lived in tents.
Verses 1-3 The *descendants of Aaron were the priests. Aaron had 4 sons. They were called Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. Nadab and Abihu died before Aaron. They took unholy fire into the *LORD’s tent. This was against the *LORD’s rules. At once, the *LORD punished them, and so they died there (Numbers 3:4). Because they had no children, the future priests had to come from the families of Eleazar and Ithamar.
Eleazar became the chief priest when his father died. Afterwards, the chief priest came from his *descendants until Eli who was a *descendant of Ithamar.
In the time of David, Zadok was from the *clans of Eleazar; and Ahimelech was from Ithamar. These two men helped David to divide their *clans into groups for service as priests in the *temple.
Verses 4-5 David divided the priests into 24 groups. 16 of these groups were of men from the *descendants of Eleazar. And 8 of these groups were from the *descendants of Ithamar. The groups would work in turn so that there would always be priests on duty in the *temple.
Eleazar had been the chief priest; Ithamar had not. And there were more of Eleazar’s *descendants than there were of Ithamar’s *descendants. But to David all the groups were equal. The groups received their order of duties in a way that was fair to them all.
Some men from each family were officers of the holy place. And some men were officers of God. These were leaders of some sort. However, we do not know what the titles mean.
Verses 6 To choose the groups, they took in turn a family from Eleazar and a family from Ithamar. Shemaiah wrote down the results. The king and his officials made sure that it was fair. Zadok and Ahimelech, the two chief priests, were among those who were present.
Verses 7-18 This is the list of the 24 groups in the order of the choice. These names are those of the leaders of the families.
These groups continued to serve in the *temple until the *exile. Some of these groups did continue to serve after the return from *exile. In the Book of Luke, Zechariah was in the group of Abijah (the 8th group). Zechariah was the father of John, who prepared for Jesus’ work. John is well-known as ‘John the Baptist’ (Luke 1:5).
Verse 19 They followed the order and plans that Aaron had given to them.
Verses 20-31 The rest of the *descendants of Levi were all those who were not from Aaron. This list shows the leaders of the families in the time of David. They are from the *clans that came from Kohath and Merari. But this list does not include the *clans that came from Gershon.
The *Levites formed 24 groups to do special tasks. The way that they chose the order of the groups was the same as for the priests. All the families were equal for this purpose.
Verse 1 David organised the 288 musicians into 24 groups. These would work with the groups of priests and other *Levites. The leaders of these groups came from the families of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun. About 30 years before, David had appointed these three men to be leaders of the music. That was when they brought the *LORD’s *ark to Jerusalem (16:4-7; 16:37; 16:41-42).
These three men would *prophesy with *harps, *lyres, and *cymbals. There are two possible meanings of the word ‘*prophesy’ in this passage. They could have spoken words that God gave to them at that time. Or they could praise him with Psalms (songs of *worship) that they (or somebody else) had written.
Verses 2-5 The leaders of the groups were the sons of Asaph, Jeduthun and Heman. Asaph had 4 sons and Jeduthun had 6 sons. Heman had 14 sons. These sons made the 24 leaders for the groups.
Verses 6-8 The ‘father’ means Heman, who led his sons in music. But of course, Asaph and Jeduthun led their sons as well.
4000 *Levites praised the *LORD with instruments (23:5). It seems that these 288 skilled musicians led them. 12 skilled musicians were in each group and they led their sons and relatives.
The groups chose their order of duties. They used the same fair method that the priests and *Levites had used.
Verses 9-31 This is a list of the groups in the order of their duties.
Verses 1-9 The *Israelites had not built the *temple yet. But the king made these arrangements so that the *Levites would be ready. There were 4000 *temple guards (23:6). They were all from the *clans of Kohath and Merari. (Korah was from the *clan of Kohath.)
There were 24 groups of these *temple guards. They chose the order of their duties by the same fair method that the priests and *Levites had used.
The job of the *temple guards was to be responsible for the gates and doors of the *temple. They would open the gates and doors at the right times. And they would close them at the proper times. They would control the entrances to keep out anyone who should not come in. They would control everyone who went into or out of the *temple. And if necessary, they would control the crowds.
The work of the *temple guards was an important part of the *LORD’s work. It was not less important than the work of the other *Levites. They were all part of the *worship of the *temple. They were all doing the work of the *LORD. They were all doing what God wanted them to do. So in his opinion, their rank was equal.
Asaph in verse 1 is not the same as the musician. The musician belonged to the *clan of Gershon. This Asaph belonged to the *clan of Korah. This Asaph is usually called Abiasaph; he was a son of Korah (1 Chronicles 9:19; Exodus 6:24). Kore and Meshelemiah were among his *descendants.
Obed-Edom was another *descendant of Korah. He kept the *LORD’s *ark in his home after the death of Uzzah (13:13-14). He was a musician and he played in front of the *LORD’s *ark in Jerusalem (15:21). Also, he was a guard for the *LORD’s *ark (15:24). Here he is the head of his family as a *temple guard.
The family of Obed-Edom were strong men, as they may need to be as *temple guards. They had to guard the *temple day and night. And the gates of the *temple were large and heavy. It took several strong men to open and to close these gates.
Verses 10-11 Hosah had been a guard at the *LORD’s *ark with Obed-Edom (16:38). He had 13 sons among whom Shimri was the chief son. But Shimri was not the oldest son. Perhaps the first son by birth was not a capable person for some reason. However, the father chose Shimri to be the first son.
Verses 12-19 Each group had its leaders. But a few chief men were over them all. These men made sure that the groups did their tasks well.
In each group, they chose the tasks. They did this by the same fair method that they had used for the order of their groups. So, the larger families did not have an advantage over the smaller ones.
Here we have some of those chief men. These men were responsible for the main gates and the stores building.
Shelemiah is the same as Meshelemiah (verse 1). He had control of the east gate. His son Zechariah had control of the north gate. Obed-Edom had control of the south gate. Shuppim and Hosah had control of the west gate.
Also, Shuppim and Hosah had control of the Shalleketh Gate. This was another gate to the west. It was probably the gate through which they took the rubbish from the *temple.
The east gate was the main gate. So, there were 6 guards at this gate but only 4 at the other gates. There were 2 guards at the stores building.
We are not sure what Parbar means. There are two possible meanings. The first is suburb. So, Parbar would be a gate to the west that leads to the suburbs of Jerusalem. There would be two guards at the gate and 4 guards on the road. The other meaning is that it is the name of a place outside the *temple building. There would be two guards at that place and 4 guards on the road to that place.
Verses 20-28 Some of the *temple guards took care of the gifts, money and valuable things that belonged to the *temple (verses 20-22). Other *temple guards took care of the stores of wealth that belonged to the *temple (verses 23-28). Ahijah was the official who was over all of these guards.
The sons of Jehieli, Zetham and Joel had control of the gifts and valuable things. These things were the gifts to the *LORD; and the precious objects that the priests used. These stores were for use in the daily service of the *temple.
Shubael was over the team who took care of all the wealth in the *temple stores. His team included Shelomith. Shelomith was responsible for all the gifts from David and the army officers. Many of these gifts were objects that the king and family leaders had given. Some of this wealth came from the goods that the army had taken from their enemies. Samuel, King Saul and former army officers had given wealth that was now in these stores. This wealth was for major repairs and for future use.
Verses 29-32 There were 6000 *Levites who worked as officials and judges (23:4). They did not work in the *temple. They went out to all parts of the nation called *Israel. Their job was to teach God’s law to the people. And they would be the judges in the law courts. Also, they would collect the taxes and other money that was due to the king and to the *temple.
Most of these *Levites came from the *clans of Kohath and Hebron. Kenaniah and his sons came from the *clan of Izhar, which was one of the *clans from Kohath. Hashabiah and the men at Jazer were from the Hebron *clan.
Hashabiah and his relatives worked to the west of the river Jordan. At Jazer in Gilead, there were men from Hebron’s *clan. Gilead was to the east of the river Jordan. So, Jeriah and his men worked to the east of the river Jordan. That was where the *tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half the *tribe of Manasseh lived.
Hashabiah had 1700 men and Jeriah had 2700 men. Therefore, as there were 6000 men, 1600 men worked with Kenaniah.
David organised all of this during the 40th year of his rule. That was his last year before he died.
Verse 1 A different group of soldiers served the king each month. There were 24 000 men in each group. To lead the group, there were officers over 1000 men. Then there were officers over 100 men. Also, family leaders and the king’s officials had some control over the army.
The king always had 24 000 men ready for war. There was always a group ready to guard the king. If an enemy attacked, the king could call all 12 groups of soldiers to fight. This would be an army of 288 000 men.
The men served in the army for one month in the year. During the rest of the year, they lived and worked as normal citizens.
Verses 2-15 Jashobeam had been the leader over David’s 30 special soldiers (11:11). Also, he was one of the three most famous soldiers. He killed 300 men at one time with his *spear. He was the top leader during the first month, that is, the month called Nisan. He was from the *tribe of Judah. Perez was a son of Judah.
Jashobeam was the chief leader for the first month, the month called Nisan. The month called Nisan is during March or April in a modern calendar.
Here is a list of the names of the *Jewish months. The first month was called Nisan and the second month was called Iyar. The third month was called Sivan and the 4th was called Tammuz. The 5th month was called Ab and the 6th was called Elul. The 7th month was called Tishri and the 8th was called Marcheshvan. The 9th month was called Chisleu and the 10th was called Tebeth. The 11th month was called Shebat and the 12th was called Adar. Many of these months do have different names as well. For example, Nisan is often Abib and Iyar is Zif.
Dodai (verse 4) was the father of Eleazar. Eleazar was the second of the famous three soldiers (11:12). Dodai had Mikloth as his chief officer. Dodai was the leader during the second month.
Benaiah (verse 5) was the leader of King David’s personal guards. He was as well-known as the famous three soldiers. But he was not one of them. He did many great deeds (11:22-30). He had his son Ammizabad as his chief officer. Benaiah was the leader during the third month.
It seems that such groups already existed well before the end of David’s rule. In the original group, Asahel (verse 7) may have been a leader. He was one of the 30 special soldiers. But Abner killed Asahel in the battle between David and Ish-Bosheth (2 Samuel 2:18-23). So, Asahel died before David formed these groups. However, the 4th group still had Asahel’s name as the leader. Maybe this was to give honour to his name. His son Zebadiah was in fact the leader of this group.
The leaders for each of the other months were among the 30 special soldiers (11:26-47).
Verses 16-22 This is a list of the leaders of the *tribes at the time when David counted the people.
We do not know why the list did not include the *tribes of Gad and Asher. There is a leader over the *tribe of Levi. But the *Levite *clan of Aaron had Zadok the chief priest as their leader. Because half of the *tribe of Manasseh lived east of the river Jordan, they had two leaders. Joel was the leader for the half *tribe on the west of the river. And Iddo was the leader for the half *tribe on the east of the river.
Verses 23-24 The *LORD promised that he would make the *Israelites as many as the stars. ‘As many as the stars’ was a phrase that meant too many to count. The *LORD gave this promise to Abraham about 1000 years before the time of David (Genesis 15:5). Because of that promise, David did not count those who were 20 years of age or less.
However, David did order a count of the men who were old enough to fight in the army.
Joab did not finish the count. He was against the idea. He knew that it was wrong to do it (21:6). So, he did not count the *tribes of Levi and Benjamin.
Because of the count and the *sins of the nation, God was angry. And he punished the people (21:7).
Samuel, Nathan and Gad made records of the events during David’s life (29:29-30). But they did not record the number of the people.
Verses 25-31 These verses are a list of the king’s officials. They looked after his wealth and they controlled his *vineyards and farms. A *vineyard is a kind of farm where people produce *grapes.
The sycamore trees in verse 28 were also called sycamore-*fig trees. They produce a light wood, which is useful for many purposes. They also yield fruit. That fruit is like the *fig, but its quality is not so good. Poor people in particular would gather the fruit. The people would cut into the fruit about 4 days before they picked them. Then the fruit was ready and people could eat them. There were people whose job was to look after the sycamore-*fig trees (Amos 7:14).
Verses 32-34 Ahithophel joined David’s son, Absalom, when Absalom tried to organise a revolution against David. But when Absalom did not follow Ahithophel’s advice, Ahithophel killed himself (2 Samuel 17:23). Afterwards, Jehoiada and Abiathar took Ahithophel’s place, and they advised King David.
Verse 1 All this happened in the last year of David’s rule. It was in 970 *BC. All the leaders of the people and of the army came to David. All his officials were there.
Verses 2-3 David was now quite old and weak (1 Kings 1:47). But he made the effort to stand up when he spoke to the people there.
The desire of David’s heart was to build a *temple for the *LORD. The *temple would be a more permanent place for the *ark of God’s special promise. The *ark was at that time in the tent that David had made for it in Jerusalem (16:1). The *temple would be the place where God would rest his feet. This refers to the gold cover over the *ark. God’s seat was between the *cherubim, which were at the two ends of the *ark. This was where the cloud of God’s *glory came. It was here that God met with Moses.
David had made the plans for the *temple. He had provided all the materials for the work to begin. But the *LORD would not let him do it. David was a man of war and this task was for a man of peace. In other words, God wanted a peaceful king (and not a soldier) to build the *temple.
Verses 4-7 God chose the *tribe of Judah. From that *tribe, God chose the family of Jesse. From the family of Jesse, God chose David (1 Samuel 16:10-12). God made David king over *Israel. From the many sons of David, God chose Solomon to be the next king of *Israel. None of this was the result of David’s skill or choice. It was all God’s plan.
God chose David to be king for all time. Of course, David would not live for all time, but one of his *descendants would always be king. Both Mary and Joseph had David as their *ancestor (Luke 3:23-31 and Matthew 1:6-16). Jesus the Son of God is sometimes called King David’s greater son. That is because he is both a *descendant of David, and David’s *Lord (Psalm 110:1; Mark 12:35-37). And Jesus’ *kingdom shall never end (Isaiah 9:7). This *kingdom includes all who accept Jesus as king.
Solomon was the *LORD’s choice and he would rule over *Israel. Therefore, the *Israelites had to accept him as their king. They had to serve him and they had to obey him. But Solomon had to serve God and he had to obey God.
Solomon started well but later he did not obey the *LORD. God made Solomon’s *kingdom strong while he lived. But later it became weak because of his *sin and the people’s *sin.
God chose Solomon to build the *temple. And God promised to help him as a father helps his son.
Verse 8 David gave a serious appeal to the people who were present. The witnesses to what he said were the *LORD and his people. He told them that they must obey the law of the *LORD. This was essential to the future of the nation. The *LORD gave to them the country called *Israel as long as they obeyed him. If they did not obey the *LORD then he would force them out of that country. But if they did obey the *LORD, the country would pass to their *descendants.
Verses 9-10 David gave good advice to his son. Solomon needed to know God with all his inner person. David told Solomon to serve the *LORD with all his heart and mind. This is good advice for us and for all people. Jesus said, ‘Love God with your whole person – all of your heart, all of your inner person and all of your mind’ (Matthew 22:37).
The *LORD knows each person. He knows their thoughts and desires. Nobody can hide anything from the *LORD. All people are like open books to him. But the *LORD will let them find him if they look for him. So, David told his son to look for the *LORD. If Solomon looks for the *LORD, he will find him.
David warned his son not to turn away from the *LORD. If a person turns away from the *LORD, the *LORD will turn away from that person.
The *LORD chose Solomon to build the *temple. Therefore, Solomon must be strong and he must do the work.
Verses 11-18 David gave to Solomon the plans for the *temple and its rooms. He had received these plans from the Holy Spirit and now he gave them to his son. Then he described to Solomon the work of the priests and *Levites. Also, David gave to him the details of all the things that Solomon had to make for the *temple. He said how much gold to use to make the gold things. And he told him how much silver to use to make the silver things.
In the *LORD’s tent, there had been only one table for the holy bread. In the *temple, there would be 10 such tables. These would be 10 gold tables. There would be other silver tables but these would not be for the holy bread.
The gold *chariot of the *cherubim was probably not the *cherubim at the ends of the *ark. Those two smaller *cherubim were already on the *ark. In Psalm 18:10 the *LORD rode on the *cherubim. Ezekiel saw 4 *cherubim and the *throne of God was above them. The 4 *cherubim and the 4 wheels moved as the *chariot of God (Ezekiel chapter 1).
In the inner *temple, there would be a pair of large *cherubim. The workers would make them out of wood and then they would cover them with gold. The *cherubim would be about 15 feet high. Their wings would reach about 30 feet across the room. They would touch each other in the middle. And each of them would touch the wall at the side. So, with their wings, they would make a shelter over the most holy place. They would cover that room, which contained the *ark of the *LORD’s special promise (2 Chronicles 3:10-13). Their purpose was to show that the *LORD was there. The *LORD sits on his *throne between the *cherubim (Psalm 99:1).
Verse 19 The *LORD showed to David the plan of the *temple. David did not design any part of it. God gave him all the details and David wrote them down.
Verses 20-21 David’s final advice to his son was that he should be strong. He should have courage because the *LORD will not fail. Solomon should have no fear because the *LORD is with him. The *LORD has given to Solomon the task to build the *temple. The *LORD will be with Solomon until he has completed the *temple. And with the help of the *LORD, he will succeed.
David had organised the groups of the priests and *Levites. They were ready to do their work in the *temple. He had arranged already for the workers who would build the *temple. The people and the officials would all do what Solomon told them to do. They were ready to build the *temple for their *LORD.
So, David encouraged his son to do the work. He gave Solomon confidence to trust in the *LORD. He had done all that he could do in order to prepare Solomon for the task. He had provided all the materials that Solomon would need.
Verses 1-5 David was worried because Solomon was young. Solomon did not have the experience that David considered necessary. But David had done all that he could to prepare for the work. Now he was appealing to the people to support Solomon. He said that God had chosen Solomon. God had given to Solomon this great task.
The *temple would not be for the honour of any person. It was for the *LORD God alone. And for that reason it was a most important task to build it. The ‘splendid building’ in verse 1 means a palace. A palace is the place where the king lives. This *temple was to be the palace where the *LORD would live. The *LORD was the ruler over the king and the *Israelites.
David makes a list of the sort of things that he had provided for the *temple. He had given gold, silver, *bronze and iron. He had given wood and all kinds of precious stones. These stone were of many colours. And the marble was of the purest white.
Onyx and antimony are precious stones. Marble is a hard white rock. Builders use it because of its white colour.
David had become a very wealthy man. He was eager that the *LORD should have a splendid *temple. So now, he gave his personal wealth to help in the task. He gave 3000 *talents of gold. Gold from Ophir was then the best and most pure gold in the world. We do not know where Ophir was. Also, he gave 7000 *talents of pure silver.
Then David appealed to all those people to do as he had done. He asked them to give themselves to the service of the *LORD. This means that they would give much of their wealth to the *LORD.
Verses 6-9 All the leaders who were there answered the appeal. They all gave their gifts for the work of God’s *temple. Together, they gave a vast quantity of metals. Also, they gave their precious stones.
There were 5000 *talents and 10 000 *darics of gold and 10 000 *talents of silver. There were 18 000 *talents (about 600 tons) of *bronze and 100 000 *talents (about 3400 tons) of iron.
Jehiel received all these gifts. He and his sons had control of the stores of valuable things for the *temple (26:20-22).
The leaders gave these gifts because they wanted to give. It gave them much pleasure to give to the *LORD. That is how the *LORD wants his people to give (2 Corinthians 9:7). The people in Israel were very pleased that their leaders were so willing to give. And David too was glad because the leaders had given with such a good attitude.
Verses 10-13 This prayer of David is one of the most beautiful of all the prayers in the Bible. It turns attention away from David, Solomon and the *temple. It is a prayer of thanks. And David praises God alone.
The *LORD was the God of Jacob, who was also called *Israel. He was the *ancestor of the people in the country called *Israel.
The *LORD deserves all honour for all time. We should always praise him.
The *LORD is greater than all persons and things. He is perfect in every way. Nobody can stand against him. He is the king of kings because he owns everything in heaven and on the earth. David was a great king but the *kingdom belonged to the *LORD. At the end of the prayer that we call the *Lord’s Prayer, we say: ‘For the *kingdom, the power, and the *glory are yours for all time.’
All that we have came from God. He rules over all the affairs of our world. He is wonderful. He deserves our thanks. We praise God for who he is.
Verses 14-19 David and the people had given all these valuable things to the *LORD. But they gave only what they had received from the *LORD. All that we have has come to us from God. All that we own is really his property.
All things belong to God. We are as strangers who enjoy his benefits on earth for a short time. We cannot have a permanent place here. Our lives here are like shadows. They appear for a short time and then they go away.
God knows us. He knows what is in our hearts and minds. He knows our thoughts and actions. He knows why we do things. The reason David gave so much was to give honour to his God. He and the people did not give because it was their duty to give. They wanted to do it. They were happy to give to the *LORD. This attitude of heart pleases the *LORD.
David prays that the people will always have this same attitude toward the *LORD. He prays that they will be loyal to the *LORD.
David ends his prayer as he prays for Solomon. He asks that Solomon will love the *LORD with all his heart. He asks that Solomon will obey all the laws of God. And he asks that Solomon will build the *temple.
Verse 20 David told the people to praise the *LORD. And they did praise the God of their *ancestors. They fell with their faces to the ground in *worship to God. They did this in front of David, the king whom God had chosen.
Verses 21-22a (‘22a’ means the first part of verse 22.) On the next day, the people made many *sacrifices on the *altar. David had built the *altar at the place that he bought from Araunah (21:18). They would later build the *temple at that place.
These *sacrifices were for peace and to give thanks to the *LORD. The priests burned certain parts of the animals on the *altar. Then the priests would have some of the meat. Their part was the breast and the upper right leg of the animal (Leviticus 7:28-36). The people could eat the rest of the meat as the guests of the *LORD.
There were many thousands of *sacrifices on that day. So the people had plenty of meat and drink to enjoy.
Verses 22b-25 (‘22b’ means the last part of verse 22.) One of David’s sons, Adonijah, had tried to make himself king of *Israel. As soon as David found out, he called for Zadok the priest and Nathan the *prophet. He sent them to Gihon with his son Solomon. There they poured oil on Solomon’s head and they made him the king. And they declared to all the people that Solomon was the king of *Israel. Then the people shouted, ‘We pray that King Solomon will have a long life!’ That was the first time that they made Solomon king (1 Kings chapter 1).
This second time they again made Solomon the king of *Israel. They knew that he was the *LORD’s choice. So, they poured oil on him as their king. Also, they poured oil on Zadok to make him the chief priest. Zadok and Abiathar had been the chief priests. But now Zadok alone was the chief priest.
The *LORD was the real ruler of *Israel. Therefore, Solomon sat on the *LORD’s *throne. He was the king of *Israel but he was under the authority of the *LORD.
The *LORD made Solomon a successful and powerful king. The country had peace during the time that he ruled. God made him wise and he became wealthy. He was famous among the nations. And he received much honour from them. He received more honour than the kings of *Israel who ruled before him.
When Solomon became king, all the leaders promised to obey him. This included the army and all the sons of David.
Verses 26-30 David had a long life, wealth and honour. Also, he had a son who ruled after him. In all David had ruled for 40 years. He ruled over Judah (southern *Israel) in Hebron for 7 years. Then he ruled over all *Israel in Jerusalem for 33 years.
The chief *prophets during the life of David were Samuel, Gad and Nathan. Each of these recorded what they knew of David’s life. Between them, they recorded all that he had done. We do not now have the books of Gad and Nathan. But we do have a record of David’s life in the Books of 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles.
alamoth ~ a high range of sounds in music.
altar ~ the special table where the priests burned animals or other gifts to God (or to false gods).
amen ~ a word from the *Hebrew language that means ‘we agree’, or ‘it is true’, or ‘let it happen’.
ancestors ~ people in history from whom your family has come.
angel ~ one of God’s special servants from heaven. God made angels to serve him and to take his messages.
ark ~ the ark of the *LORD or the ark of God; the Bible also calls it ‘the ark of God’s special promise’. It was a wooden box with gold all over the outside and inside. It had two models of gold *cherubim on the top (see Exodus 25:10-22). The *Israelites kept the ark in the most holy place; first in the *LORD’s tent and then in the *temple.
armour ~ special clothes that protected soldiers.
BC ~ years before Christ was born.
bless ~ to show kindness to a person; to declare words of kindness.
bronze ~ a kind of metal. Its colour is brown, but it polishes well. It is very strong.
bulls ~ the male farm animals of which the females are cows.
burnt (sacrifice) ~ a *sacrifice that the priests burned completely on the *altar.
cedar ~ a kind of tree. Its wood is very beautiful.
chariot ~ a kind of cart that soldiers use to fight. Horses pull it.
cherubim ~ special *angels who were in the most holy place of the *temple.
clan ~ part of a *tribe, a group of families.
cymbals ~ a kind of musical instrument. A person hits two cymbals together to make a loud crash.
daric ~ a coin whose weight was about a quarter of an ounce (about 7 grams).
descendant ~ a future member of a family or nation.
disaster ~ when something very bad happens.
donkey ~ an animal that is like a small horse. It can carry people or goods.
Egyptian ~ a person from the country called Egypt, or a description of anything that has a relationship with Egypt.
exile ~ When people have to live in a foreign country, they are in exile. Such a person is called an exile.
fig ~ a kind of sweet fruit that grows on a tree.
glory ~ great honour and beauty.
grape ~ a fruit which people use to make wine.
Hagrites ~ people from various *tribes in the desert. They were *descendants of Hagar, the mother of Ishmael.
harp ~ a musical instrument that has many strings.
Hebrew ~ the language of *Israel. ‘Hebrews’ is another name for the *Israelites.
incense ~ a substance that gives a sweet smell when it burns. The priests burned it when they praised God in the *temple.
Israel ~ Israel is the special name that God gave to Jacob. His *descendants were called Israel after him. So, Israel is the nation whose *ancestors were Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The country in which they live is called Israel.
Israelites ~ the people whose *ancestors are Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Jebusites ~ people who lived in the city called Jebus. David defeated them and he changed the name of the city to Jerusalem.
Jews ~ another name for the *Israelites.
Jewish ~ a word that describes a *Jew or anything that belongs to a *Jew.
kilogram ~ measurement of weight; also called a kilo. It is slightly over 2 pounds.
kingdom ~ the place or territory where a king rules and the people over whom a king rules.
Levite ~ a person who belongs to the *tribe of Levi.
linen ~ a type of material that is like cotton. Linen is a very good quality material.
lord ~ someone with authority such as the king.
Lord ~ a title for God, to show that he is over all people and things.
LORD ~ ‘LORD’ is the special name that God gave to himself. The name probably means: ‘He is always God.’ This name has a relationship with God’s special promises to his people.
lots ~ a way to make a decision. People seemed to decide the matter by chance when they used this method. But they believed that, in fact, God guided them to make the right decision.
lyre ~ a kind of musical instrument with strings.
Mount ~ mountain.
mules ~ animals like horses. A mule is born after a *donkey mates with a horse.
Old Testament ~ the first part of the Bible. The Old Testament contains sacred books of law, history, wisdom, poetry and *prophecy that the writers wrote before Jesus’ birth.
olive ~ a fruit from which we get olive oil. It grows on an olive tree.
ox ~ a large and strong animal that farmers used to pull the plough. See also *bull.
oxen ~ plural of *ox.
Philistines ~ a group of people who lived to the south-west of Judah. They were a nation that frequently fought against the *Israelites.
prophecy ~ a message from God; a gift of the Holy Spirit.
prophesy ~ to speak a *prophecy.
prophet ~ a person who speaks for God. He can sometimes say what will happen in the future.
prostitute ~ a woman who offers her body for sex in order to earn money. There are also male prostitutes.
repent ~ to change the mind; to turn away from *sin and turn to God.
Sabbath ~ The Sabbath was the 7th day of the week (Saturday) which God told the *Israelites to keep as a special day. They did not work on that day. They used it for rest and for *worship.
sacrifice ~ The priests killed a special animal when people offered it as a gift to God. They burned all or part of it on an *altar. That animal was called a sacrifice. They offered a sacrifice when they asked God to forgive *sins. When Jesus died, he was the perfect sacrifice for our *sins. ‘To sacrifice’ means ‘to give a sacrifice’.
Satan ~ a spirit that God made. Satan was an *angel but he decided to fight against God. Satan tries to persuade God’s people to do wrong things. But Satan can only do this when God permits him to do it. In the New Testament (the second part of the Bible), the writers call him ‘the devil’.
scrolls ~ books in the form of long pieces of material which the reader rolls up.
set to alamoth ~ with a high range of sounds in music.
set to sheminith ~ with a low range of sounds in music.
shekel ~ equal to 0.4 ounces (11 grams) in weight.
sheminith ~ a low range of sounds in music.
shepherd ~ a person who takes care of sheep.
shield ~ Soldiers carried shields in their hands for protection in battle. They were like covers or boards. They protected the body from swords or other *weapons.
sin ~ Sin is the wrong things that we do. To sin is to do wrong, bad or evil deeds and not to obey God. People are called sinners because they are guilty of sin.
sling ~ The sling was a *weapon. It was a bit of leather with two strings. The soldier would put a smooth stone in the leather bit. Then he would swing it round above his head by the strings. Finally, he would let the stone fly out of the sling.
spears ~ long sticks with sharp ends that soldiers used as *weapons during battles.
spice ~ a vegetable substance with a powerful flavour or a strong smell. People use spices in food or *incense.
talent ~ measurement of weight equal to 75 pounds or 34 *kilograms. But some students say that a talent was sometimes twice as heavy as that.
temple ~ a special building for the *worship of God. Or, a building for the *worship of false gods. The *Jews had a temple in Jerusalem for the *worship of the real God.
throne ~ the special chair for the king.
tribe ~ The *Israelites originally consisted of the 12 large families of the sons of Jacob. These families became the 12 tribes of *Israel.
trumpet ~ a kind of musical instrument; it makes a loud sound when a person blows into it.
vineyard ~ a farm where *grapes grow.
vision ~ something that God shows to people but not with normal sight. Visions are often like dreams.
weapon ~ a tool of war that soldiers use in attack or defence during a battle, for example: swords, *spears and *slings.
worship ~ acts to show honour to God (or to a false god). When people praise and thank God.
Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible
Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible
Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary
Martin J Selman, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries
H G M Williamson, The New Century Bible Commentary
J Barton Payne, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary
William Wilson, Old Testament Word Studies
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Dr William Smith, Concise Dictionary of the Bible
Bibles: NIV, RSV, NRSV, NASB, NCV, ASV, CEV, GNB, GW, KJV, LITV, MKJV.
© 2009, Wycliffe Associates (UK)
This publication is in EasyEnglish Level B (2800 words).
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