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1 Chronicles 18 – 21

1 Chronicles 18

David’s great wealth

The Moabites are put to tribute to David as they will be again in the millennium.

1 Chronicles 18:1 Now after this it came to pass, that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them, and took Gath and her towns out of the hand of the Philistines. 18:2 And he smote Moab; and the Moabites became David’s servants, and brought gifts.

18:3 And David smote Hadarezer king of Zobah unto Hamath, [On the Euphrates]  as he went to stablish his dominion by the river Euphrates. 18:4 And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven thousand horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: David also houghed [hamstrung the war horses so they were no longer useful for war.] all the chariot horses, but reserved of them [saved] an hundred chariots [and their horses].

David defeats Syria and puts them to tribute

18:5 And when the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadarezer king of Zobah, David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men. 18:6 Then David put garrisons in Syriadamascus [Damascus]; and the Syrians became David’s servants, and brought gifts.   Thus the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went.

David takes much gold and brass in spoils of war, which he set in reserve for the building of the Temple and its instruments.

18:7 And David took the shields of gold that were on the servants of Hadarezer, and brought them to Jerusalem. 18:8 Likewise from Tibhath, and from Chun, cities of Hadarezer, brought David very much brass, wherewith Solomon made the brasen sea, and the pillars, and the vessels of brass.

The king of Hamath, grateful for his liberation from Hadarezar by David, gave much gold, silver and brass for the Temple. 

18:9 Now when Tou king of Hamath heard how David had smitten all the host of Hadarezer king of Zobah; 18:10 He sent Hadoram his son to king David, to enquire of his welfare, and to congratulate him, because he had fought against Hadarezer, and smitten him; (for Hadarezer had war with Tou;) and with him all manner of vessels of gold and silver and brass.

David defeated Edom, Ammon and the Philistines also. 

18:11 Them also king David dedicated unto the LORD, with the silver and the gold that he brought from all these nations; from Edom, and from Moab, and from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines, and from Amalek.

Edom came under tribute to David as they will again in the millennium.

18:12 Moreover Abishai the son of Zeruiah slew of the Edomites in the valley of salt eighteen thousand. 18:13 And he put garrisons in Edom; and all the Edomites became David’s servants. Thus the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went.

18:14 So David reigned over all Israel, and executed judgment and justice among all his people.

18:15 And Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the host; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, recorder [Recorder of affairs of state, Royal Historian]. 18:16 And Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Abimelech the son of Abiathar, were the [high] priests; and Shavsha was scribe; 18:17 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites [The elite corps of the royal bodyguard.] ; and the sons of David were chief about the king.

 

1 Chronicles 19

The bitterness between David and Ammon brings Syria and Ammon under tribute to David, as they will be again in the millennium.

(Parallel account in 2 Samuel 10) 1 Chronicles 19:1 Now it came to pass after this, that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon died, and his son reigned in his stead. 19:2 And David said, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, because his father shewed kindness to me. And David sent messengers to comfort him concerning his father. So the servants of David came into the land of the children of Ammon to Hanun, to comfort him.

19:3 But the princes of the children of Ammon said to Hanun, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? are not his servants come unto thee for to search, and to overthrow, and to spy out the land? 19:4 Wherefore Hanun took David’s servants, and shaved them, and cut off their garments in the midst hard by their buttocks, and sent them away.

19:5 Then there went certain, and told David how the men were served. And he sent to meet them: for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return.

Then Ammon fearing retribution hired help and chose war, instead of seeking peace by sending that money to David and the men they had slighted as a peace offering; sent it to Syria to buy help for the war

19:6 And when the children of Ammon saw that they had made themselves odious to David, Hanun and the children of Ammon sent a thousand talents of silver to hire them chariots and horsemen out of Mesopotamia, and out of Syriamaachah, and out of Zobah. 19:7 So they hired thirty and two thousand chariots, and the king of Maachah and his people; who came and pitched before Medeba. And the children of Ammon gathered themselves together from their cities, and came to battle.

19:8 And when David heard of it, he sent Joab, and all the host of the mighty men.

The battle

19:9 And the children of Ammon came out, and put the battle in array before the gate of the city: and the kings that were come were by themselves in the field.

Joab placed his best men to fight Syria, and the others with his brother to fight the Ammonites.

19:10 Now when Joab saw that the battle was set against him before and behind, he chose out of all the choice of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians. 19:11 And the rest of the people he delivered unto the hand of Abishai his brother, and they set themselves in array against the children of Ammon.

19:12 And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will help thee.

Let us all be of a good courage and acquit ourselves like champions of God in all our spiritual battles.

19:13 Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the LORD do that which is good in his sight.

19:14 So Joab and the people that were with him drew nigh before the Syrians unto the battle; and they fled before him. 19:15 And when the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians were fled, they likewise fled before Abishai his brother, and entered into the city. Then Joab came to Jerusalem.

Syria then sent to their brethren for help.

19:16 And when the Syrians saw that they were put to the worse before Israel, they sent messengers, and drew forth the Syrians that were beyond the river: and Shophach the captain of the host of Hadarezer went before them.

Then all Israel was gathered by David to the battle.

19:17 And it was told David; and he gathered all Israel, and passed over Jordan, and came upon them, and set the battle in array against them. So when David had put the battle in array against the Syrians, they fought with him. 19:18 But the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew of the Syrians seven thousand men which fought in chariots, and forty thousand footmen, and killed Shophach the captain of the host.

Thus the Syrians also came under tribute to Israel.

19:19 And when the servants of Hadarezer saw that they were put to the worse before Israel, they made peace with David, and became his servants: neither would the Syrians help the children of Ammon any more.

 

1 Chronicles 20

Joab destroys Ammon and waits to give David the honor of taking possession of the city.

1 Chronicles 20:1 And it came to pass, that after the year was expired [in the spring of the new year], at the time that kings go out to battle, Joab led forth the power of the army, and wasted the country of the children of Ammon, and came and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried at Jerusalem. And Joab smote Rabbah [Ammon], and destroyed it.

20:2 And David took the crown of their king from off his head, and found it to weigh a talent of gold [between fifty and sixty pounds], and there were precious stones in it; and it was set upon David’s head: and he brought also exceeding much spoil out of the city.

The people were destroyed

20:3 And he brought out the people that were in it, and cut them with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with axes. Even so dealt David with all the cities of the children of Ammon. And David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

The last huge statured men are killed in Philistia

20:4 And it came to pass after this, that there arose war at Gezer with the Philistines; at which time Sibbechai the Hushathite slew Sippai, that was of the children of the giant: and they were subdued.

20:5 And there was war again with the Philistines; and Elhanan the son of Jair slew Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, whose spear staff was like a weaver’s beam.

20:6 And yet again there was war at Gath, where was a man of great stature, whose fingers and toes were four and twenty, six on each hand, and six on each foot and he also was the son of the giant. 20:7 But when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea David’s brother slew him.

It appears that the giants of Gath were only of one family and were an aberration.

20:8 These were born unto the giant in Gath; and they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.

 

1 Chronicles 21

At various times God commanded the numbering of Israel, which seems to suggest that there is more to this than the actual numbering.  Quite probably the reason for David’s numbering, which seems to be a loss of faith in God, a growth in personal pride over his victories and a desire to depend on his own military strength, like certain other empires arose in Mesopotamia,

1 Chronicles 21:1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David [tempted David to pride in numbers, as some church’s concern themselves with numbers today] to number Israel. 21:2 And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it.

21:3 And Joab answered, The LORD make his people an hundred times so many more as they be: but, my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? why then doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel? 21:4 Nevertheless the king’s word prevailed against Joab. Wherefore Joab departed, and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem.

Here we see that the numbering was actually of the army and military capable men.  Israel had 1,100,000 military men and Judah had 410,000 military men. 

Even Joab could see that David was wrong in numbering the army and having more faith in numbers than in God.

21:5 And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David. And all they of Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Judah was four hundred threescore and ten thousand men that drew sword. 21:6 But Levi and Benjamin counted he not among them: for the king’s word was abominable to Joab.

21:7 And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel.

David realizes his sin of pride in his military prowess and falling away from faith in God; just as the church of God today needs to repent of their pride and following their false traditions away from trusting and living by every Word of God. 

21:8 And David said unto God, I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beseech thee, do away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.

God offers David three choices for his correction through the prophet Gad.

21:9 And the LORD spake unto Gad, David’s seer, saying, 21:10 Go and tell David, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things: choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.

21:11 So Gad came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Choose thee 21:12 Either three years’ famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee; or else three days the sword of the LORD, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me.

David then repented and sought out the mercy of Christ.

21:13 And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man. 21:14 So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men.

The plague ended in Jerusalem at the site that would become the site of the Temple of God.

21:15 And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.

David sees the destroyer and repenting takes full responsibility for his sin.

21:16 And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.

21:17 And David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O LORD my God, be on me, and on my father’s house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued.

David goes up to the threshing floor to build an altar

21:18 Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. 21:19 And David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spake in the name of the LORD.

Ornan and his sons come out of hiding as David approached.

21:20 And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat. 21:21 And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshingfloor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground.

Ornan although a Jebusite and not Israeli, was delighted to give his threshing floor to David that the plague would be stopped, but David insisted on paying the full price.

21:22 Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the LORD: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people.

21:23 And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat [grain] offering; I give it all.

21:24 And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost. 21:25 So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight.

God then sent fire from heaven to burn the sacrifice on the altar.  This a symbol of the Holy Spirit given to the sincerely repentant.

21:26 And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering. 21:27 And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof.

The Tabernacle remained in Gibeah but God was informing David and Israel that they might sacrifice in Jerusalem, for God had chosen Jerusalem and placed his name there.

21:28 At that time when David saw that the LORD had answered him in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there. 21:29 For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon.

21:30 But David could not go before it to enquire of God: for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the LORD.

Tim McCaulley writes:

James mentions:
“At various times God commanded the numbering of Israel, which seems to suggest that there is more to this that the numbering. It is quite probably the reason for David’s numbering, which seems to be a loss of faith in God and a desire to depend on his military strength as certain other empires arose in Mesopotamia,…”
*******************
Actually the Bible gives important details behind David’s motivation to number the men of war in Israel:

II Sam 24:1 And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.
So we see that even though David did that which he knew he should not have done (and even Joab knew better and counseled against it to no avail) it was the sins of the people that moved God to allow Satan to provoke David to do that which he knew better than to do.

As with Job, this was not God and Satan using David as some play- thing to argue over, it was illustrating a very important principle from scripture:
Jer 17:9-10 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”

We then see an almost immediate acknowledgement of his sin once the deed was done:

II Sam 24:10 “And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.”

Next we see Gad the prophet coming with God’s word for the king and David’s very instructive response:

II Sam 24:13-14 “So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me.
And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.”
***************
David had no illusions over his sin and God’s power to punish for that sin. Yet, as the plague progressed it showed another side of David’s character (and why he became fit to be granted the high office he will have in the Kingdom of God):
***************
II Sam 24:17 And David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father’s house.
******************
David was willing to take the punishment for the people whose sin had provoked God to allow Satan to move David to commit his sin in the first place. Little wonder that God chose the line of David into which to be born as a human being. Christ, our passover, was willingly slain from before the foundation of the world and took the punishment that David sought for himself that the lives of those deserving of death might be spared.

In this matter David learned an important lesson about himself and the deceitfulness of his human mind. He could pray and mean it with every fiber of his being:
**************
Ps. 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
**************
This is a prayer that, to be blunt about it, takes a lot of courage and trust to pray. That’s because if you pray that prayer and really mean it, God will answer your request and you might not like what occurs as a result. Yet if we confess our sins, throw ourselves on the mercy of our Creator, and resolve to never, never do, say, or think that again, the sacrifice of Jesus

Christ will cover those sins and we can go onward to even greater accomplishment in our relationship with God the Eternal.
************
Proverbs 4:18 “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”
***********
Tim McCaulley
Jacksonville FL

1 Comment

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  1. James mentions:
    “At various times God commanded the numbering of Israel, which seems to suggest that there is more to this that the numbering. It is quite probably the reason for David’s numbering, which seems to be a loss of faith in God and a desire to depend on his military strength as certain other empires arose in Mesopotamia,…”
    *******************
    Actually the Bible gives important details behind David’s motivation to number the men of war in Israel:
    II Sam 24:1 And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.
    So we see that even though David did that which he knew he should not have done (and even Joab knew better and counseled against it to no avail) it was the sins of the people that moved God to allow Satan to provoke David to do that which he knew better than to do.
    As with Job, this was not God and Satan using David as some play- thing to argue over, it was illustrating a very important principle from scripture:
    Jer 17:9-10 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”
    We then see an almost immediate acknowledgement of his sin once the deed was done:
    II Sam 24:10 “And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.”
    Next we see Gad the prophet coming with God’s word for the king and David’s very instructive response:
    II Sam 24:13-14 “So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me.
    And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.”
    ***************
    David had no illusions over his sin and God’s power to punish for that sin. Yet, as the plague progressed it showed another side of David’s character (and why he became fit to be granted the high office he will have in the Kingdom of God):
    ***************
    II Sam 24:17 And David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father’s house.
    ******************
    David was willing to take the punishment for the people whose sin had provoked God to allow Satan to move David to commit his sin in the first place. Little wonder that God chose the line of David into which to be born as a human being. Christ, our passover, was willingly slain from before the foundation of the world and took the punishment that David sought for himself that the lives of those deserving of death might be spared.
    In this matter David learned an important lesson about himself and the deceitfulness of his human mind. He could pray and mean it with every fiber of his being:
    **************
    Ps. 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
    **************
    This is a prayer that, to be blunt about it, takes a lot of courage and trust to pray. That’s because if you pray that prayer and really mean it, God will answer your request and you might not like what occurs as a result. Yet if we confess our sins, throw ourselves on the mercy of our Creator, and resolve to never, never do, say, or think that again, the sacrifice of Jesus
    Christ will cover those sins and we can go onward to even greater accomplishment in our relationship with God the Eternal.
    ************
    Proverbs 4:18 “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”
    ***********
    Tim McCaulley
    Jacksonville FL

    Tim, thank you for adding so much for this input. James

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