1 Chronicles: God rules History

David, King of Israel

An EasyEnglish Bible Version and Commentary (2800 word vocabulary) on 1 Chronicles chapters 10 to 20


Ian Mackervoy

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.


David becomes king – 1 Chronicles 10:1-12:40

The end of King Saul’s family – 1 Chronicles 10:1-14

v1 The *Philistines fought against *Israel, and the *Israelites ran away from them. They killed many *Israelites on *Mount Gilboa. v2 The *Philistines fought hard against Saul and his sons. They killed Saul’s sons Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malki-Shua. v3 The battle was fierce round Saul. The soldiers with bows shot him with their arrows. They struck him and they hurt him. v4 Then Saul spoke to the soldier who carried his *armour. ‘Take your sword and kill me. If you do not kill me, the *Philistines will make fun of me. Then they will kill me.’ But the soldier would not do it because he was afraid. So, Saul took his own sword and he fell on it. v5 The soldier saw that Saul was dead. So, that soldier too fell on his own sword and he died. v6 Saul and his three sons died. So, Saul and all his sons died together.

v7 The *Israelites in the valley saw that their army had run away. They heard that Saul and his sons were dead. So, they left their towns and they ran away. Then the *Philistines came to live in these towns.

v8 The next day, the *Philistines came to strip the dead soldiers. They found Saul and his sons dead on *Mount Gilboa. v9 The *Philistines stripped Saul’s body and they took his head and his *armour. Then they sent men through all their country. They went to tell the news of Saul’s death to their false gods and to all the people. v10 The *Philistines put Saul’s *armour in the *temple of their false gods. And they hung Saul’s head in the *temple of Dagon.

v11 All the people in Jabesh Gilead heard what the *Philistines had done to Saul. v12 So, all the brave men from Jabesh went and they got the bodies of Saul and his sons. They brought the bodies to Jabesh. They buried the bones under the large tree in Jabesh. Then the people in Jabesh did not eat for 7 days.

v13 Saul died because he was not loyal to the *LORD. He did not obey the *LORD. He even asked advice from a woman who inquired of the spirits of dead people. v14 He went to her and he did not ask the *LORD for advice. So, the *LORD caused his death. And the *LORD gave the *kingdom to David, who was Jesse’s son.

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.

All *Israel accepts David as king – 1 Chronicles 11:1-12:40

v1 Then all the *Israelites came to David at Hebron town. They said to him, ‘We are like your own family. v2 In the past, even when Saul was still our king, you led *Israel in battle. The *LORD your God said to you, “You will be the leader of my people, that is, *Israel. You will lead them as a *shepherd leads sheep. You will be their ruler.” ’

v3 So, all the leaders of *Israel came to King David at Hebron. He made an agreement with them in Hebron and the *LORD was witness to it. Then they poured oil on David to make him king over all *Israel. The *LORD had promised by means of Samuel that this would happen.

v4 David and all the *Israelites went to the city called Jerusalem. At that time, the name of Jerusalem was Jebus. And the people who lived there were the *Jebusites. v5 They said to David, ‘You cannot come into our city.’ But David fought and he took the castle called Zion. And Jerusalem became David’s city.

v6 David had said this to his soldiers. ‘The man who attacks the *Jebusites first shall become the chief officer of my army.’ Joab the son of Zeruiah went up first. So, he became the chief officer of the army.

v7 Then David made his home in the castle. That is why the city was called David’s city. v8 David built the city round the castle. He built from the Millo to the walls round it. Joab repaired the rest of the city. v9 The *LORD, who is most powerful, was with David. So David became stronger and stronger.

v10 These were the leaders of David’s soldiers. They helped to make David’s *kingdom strong. And with all the *Israelites, they made him king over the whole country as the *LORD had promised. v11 This is a list of the leaders of David’s soldiers. Jashobeam was from the *clan of Hacmon. He was the head over all of David’s most powerful men. With his *spear, he fought 300 men at one time, and he killed them all. v12 Then there was Eleazar. He was one of the three most powerful soldiers. Eleazar was Dodai’s son from the *clan of Ahoh. v13 Eleazar was with David at Pas-Dammim when the *Philistines came there to fight. There was a field of barley (a kind of grain) at that place. The *Israelites ran away from the *Philistines. v14 But David and Eleazar stopped in the middle of that field. They fought to keep that field. They killed the *Philistines. The *LORD brought about their great success in that battle.

v15 Three of the 30 of David’s most powerful leaders came down to him at the rock by Adullam’s cave. An army of the *Philistines had a camp in the Rephaim Valley. v16 David was in his camp that his army defended. A group of *Philistines was in control of Bethlehem. v17 David had a strong desire for some water. He spoke about this desire. ‘Oh, I wish that someone would get me water from Bethlehem! There is a well near the city gate there.’ v18 The three famous soldiers broke through the *Philistine camp. And they took water from the well that is near the city gate in Bethlehem. Then they brought it to David, but he refused to drink it. He poured it out as a gift to the *LORD. v19 This is what he said. ‘God knows that I cannot drink this water. It would be as if I drank the blood of these men. They risked their lives to bring it to me.’ So, David refused to drink the water because the men risked their lives to bring it. Such were the brave deeds of the three famous soldiers.

v20 Abishai brother of Joab was the captain of the 30 famous soldiers. Abishai fought 300 soldiers with his *spear and he killed them. He became as famous as those three soldiers were. v21 He had more honour than the 30. He became their leader but he was not one of the three famous soldiers.

v22 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was a brave soldier from Kabzeel. He did great deeds. He killed two of the best soldiers from Moab. Also, he went down into a hole where he killed a lion on a snowy day. v23 Benaiah killed an *Egyptian who was 5 cubits (7½ feet or 2.3 metres) tall. The *Egyptian had an enormous *spear. It was as large as the beam that people use to make cloth. Benaiah only had a heavy stick, but he took the *spear from the *Egyptian’s hand. And he killed the *Egyptian with his own *spear. v24 Such were the deeds that Benaiah son of Jehoiada did. He was as famous as the three famous soldiers. v25 He received more honour than the 30 brave soldiers. But he did not become one of the three famous soldiers. David made him the leader of his personal guards.

v26-47 These men were also brave soldiers:

·  Asahel brother of Joab;

·  Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem;

·  Shammoth from the town called Harod;

·  Helez from the place called Pelon;

·  Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa;

·  Abiezer from the town called Anathoth;

·  Sibbecai from the area called Hushah;

·  Ilai a *descendant of Ahoh;

·  Maharai from the town called Netophah;

·  Heled son of Baanah also from the town called Netophah;

·  Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin;

·  Benaiah from the town called Pirathon;

·  Hurai from the valleys of Gaash;

·  Abiel from the district called the Arabah;

·  Azmaveth from the town called Bahurim;

·  Eliahba from the town called Shaalbon;

·  the sons of Hashem the Gizonite;

·  Jonathan son of Shagee, who was from Harar (in the hill country of Judah);

·  Ahiam son of Sacar also from Harar (in the hill country of Judah);

·  Eliphal son of Ur;

·  Hepher from the town called Mekarah;

·  Ahijah from the town called Pelon;

·  Hezro from the town called Carmel (in Judah);

·  Naarai son of Ezbai;

·  Joel brother of Nathan;

·  Mibhar son of Hagri;

·  Zelek who was from Ammon;

·  Naharai from the city called Beeroth, the officer who carried the *armour for Joab son of Zeruiah;

·  Ira, who was from the Ithrite family;

·  Gareb, who was also from the Ithrite family;

·  Uriah, who came from the people called Hittites;

·  Zabad son of Ahlai;

·  Adina son of Shiza from the *tribe of Reuben. He was the leader of the men from the *tribe of Reuben. And he was the leader of 30 brave soldiers;

·  Hanan son of Maacah;

·  Joshaphat, who was called the Mithnite;

·  Uzzia from the town called Ashtaroth;

·  Shama and Jeiel sons of Hotham from the town called Aroer;

·  Jediael son of Shimri;

·  Joha, Jediael’s brother, who was called the Tizite;

·  Eliel, who was called the Mahavite;

·  Jeribai and Joshaviah, Elnaam’s sons;

·  Ithmah from the country called Moab;

·  Eliel, Obed, and Jaasiel, who were called the Mezobaites.

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).

The men who came to David at Ziklag – 1 Chronicles 12:1-7

v1 David went to Ziklag town to escape from Saul son of Kish. Many men came to him there. They were among the soldiers who helped David in battle. v2 They came with their bows and arrows. They could shoot arrows or *sling stones with either their right hands or their left hands. They were from Benjamin, the same *tribe as Saul.

v3 Ahiezer was their leader, and there was Joash. Ahiezer and Joash were sons of Shemaah, who was from Gibeah town. There were Jeziel and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth. There was Beracah and there was Jehu from Anathoth town. v4 And there was Ishmaiah from Gibeon town. He was one of the special group of 30 soldiers. He was a leader of that group. There were Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, and Jozabad from Gederah. v5 There were Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, and Shemariah. There was Shephatiah from the *clan of Haruph. v6 There were Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam from the *clan of Korah. v7 And there were Joelah and Zebadiah, the sons of Jeroham, from Gedor town.

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.

The men who came to David at his desert camp – 1 Chronicles 12:8-18

v8 Many soldiers from the *tribe of Gad came to David at his army camp in the desert. They were brave soldiers who had trained for war. They were skilful with *shields and *spears. They were as fierce as lions. And they seemed as fast as the animals called gazelles on the hills. v9 There were 11 leaders of these soldiers. In order of rank, the first was Ezer. The second was Obadiah and the third was Eliab. v10 Mishmannah was 4th and Jeremiah was 5th. v11 Attai was 6th and Eliel was 7th. v12 Johanan was 8th and Elzabad was 9th. v13 Jeremiah was 10th and Macbannai was 11th.

v14 They were the officers of the army from Gad. The least important of these officers led 100 men. And the best one had 1000 soldiers. v15 In the first month of the year, these men crossed the Jordan river when it flooded its sides. They chased away all the people in the valleys to the east and west.

v16 More people from the *tribes of Benjamin and Judah came to David at his camp. v17 David went out to meet them and he spoke to them. ‘If you come as friends to help me, you may join us here. But if you intend to give me to my enemies, the God of our *ancestors will know it. Because I have done nothing wrong, he will punish you.’

v18 Amasai was the leader of the 30 special soldiers. The Spirit took control of him and he spoke. ‘We are yours, David. We are with you, son of Jesse. We want you to have peace and success. We want everyone who helps you to have success. Your God will give you success, because he helps you.’ So, David accepted them into his camp. And he made them officers in his army.

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.

More men join David at Ziklag – 1 Chronicles 12:19-22

v19 Some men from Manasseh left Saul and joined David. They came when David went with the *Philistines to fight Saul. But David and his men did not help the *Philistines. The *Philistine leaders decided to send David away from the battle. They said, ‘David may go back to Saul his master. If he did go back we would die.’ v20 As David returned to Ziklag, these men from Manasseh joined him. The names of the men were Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu, and Zillethai. Each of them led 1000 soldiers from Manasseh. v21 All these men from Manasseh were brave soldiers. They helped David as he fought against other armies. These men became officers in David’s army. v22 Day after day, more men came to help David. And his army became large, like the army of God.

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.

The soldiers who came to David at Hebron – 1 Chronicles 12:23-40

v23 These are the numbers of the soldiers that joined David at Hebron. These men were ready for battle. They came to give the *kingdom of Saul to David, as the *LORD had said.

·  v24 There were 6800 men with their *weapons from Judah. They carried *shields and *spears.

·  v25 There were 7100 men from Simeon. They were soldiers ready for war.

·  v26 There were 4600 men from Levi. v27 Jehoiada, a leader from Aaron’s family, was in that group. There were 3700 men with him. v28 Zadok was also in that group. He was a strong young soldier. 22 leaders from his family came with him.

·  v29 3000 men from Benjamin came. They were Saul’s relatives. Most of them had remained loyal to Saul’s family until then.

·  v30 20 800 men came from Ephraim. They were brave soldiers and they were famous men in their own *clans.

·  v31 From the half *tribe of Manasseh 18 000 men came. Their *clans chose each of them by name to come and to make David king.

·  v32 There were 200 leaders who came from Issachar. They knew what *Israel should do. And they knew the right time to do it. Their relatives were with them and under their command.

·  v33 50 000 men came from the *tribe of Zebulun. They were skilled soldiers and they were ready for battle. They knew how to use every kind of *weapon of war. They would be completely loyal to David.

·  v34 1000 officers came from Naphtali. They had 37 000 soldiers with them who carried *shields and *spears.

·  v35 28 600 men who were ready for battle came from Dan.

·  v36 40 000 skilled soldiers who were ready for battle came from Asher.

·  v37 120 000 soldiers came from the east of the river Jordan. They came from Reuben, Gad and the half *tribe of Manasseh. They had every kind of *weapon.

v38 All these soldiers were ready to go to war. They came to Hebron because they really wanted to make David king of all *Israel. All the rest of the *Israelites also wanted to make David king. v39 The men were there with David for three days. They ate and drank with him. Their families had supplied food for them. v40 People came with them from as far away as Issachar, Zebulun and Naphtali. They brought food to them on *donkeys, camels, *mules, and *oxen. They brought much flour, *fig cakes, raisins (dried fruit), wine, oil, cows, and sheep, because there was joy in *Israel.

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.

David brings the *ark to Jerusalem – 1 Chronicles 13:1-16:43

The first part of the journey – 1 Chronicles 13:1-14

v1 David talked with all the officers of his army. He talked to the officers who led the groups of 1000 men. And he talked to the officers who led the groups of 100 men. v2 David then spoke to all the *Israelites who were present. ‘If it seems good to you, let us send a message to the rest of *Israel. If it is in the purpose of the *LORD our God, let us do it. Let us call the rest of the *Israelites to come and to join us. This will include the priests and the *Levites who live in their towns and on their land. v3 Let us bring back the *ark of our God. We did not use it to ask God for help while Saul was king.’ v4 All the people agreed with David. They all thought that it was the right thing to do.

v5 So, David gathered all the *Israelites. They came from as far as the Shihor river in Egypt and Lebo Hamath. They came to bring the *ark of God from the town called Kiriath Jearim. v6 David and all the *Israelites with him went to Baalah of Judah. Baalah of Judah is another name for Kiriath Jearim. They went to get the *ark of God, the *LORD. The *LORD has his *throne between the *cherubim on the *ark, which has his name.

v7 The people carried the *ark of God from Abinadab’s house on a new cart. Uzzah and Ahio guided the cart. v8 David and all *Israel played music to God with all their strength. They sang songs and they played these musical instruments: *lyres, *harps, tambourines, *cymbals, and *trumpets.

v9 They came as far as the yard that Kidon used to prepare his grain. The *oxen that pulled the cart tripped. And Uzzah reached out his hand so that the *ark would not fall. v10 The *LORD was angry with Uzzah because he had touched the *ark. The *LORD struck him down and Uzzah died there in front of God.

v11 David was angry because the *LORD had acted against Uzzah in order to punish him. And even today, that place is called Perez Uzzah.

v12 David was afraid of God that day. He said, ‘I cannot bring the *ark of God home to me.’ v13 So, David did not take the *ark of God with him to the city of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom who lived in a town called Gath. v14 The *ark of God stayed with Obed-Edom’s family in his house for three months. And the *LORD was kind to Obed-Edom’s family and all that he owned.

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.

The fame of David – 1 Chronicles 14:1-17

v1 Hiram, the king of Tyre, sent officials to David. He sent *cedar wood. And he sent workers who were skilled in the use of stone and wood. They came to build a palace for David. v2 David knew that the *LORD had established him as king of *Israel. The *LORD had made David’s *kingdom great for the benefit of his (the *LORD’s) people *Israel.

v3 In Jerusalem, David married more wives. And he became the father of more sons and daughters. v4-7 These are the names of David’s children who were born there: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Elpelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Beeliada, and Eliphelet.

v8 The *Philistines heard that David had become the king of all *Israel. They all came to search for him in order to attack him. But David heard about it and he went out to fight them. v9 The *Philistines had come and they had attacked the valley called Rephaim. v10 David asked God, ‘Should I attack the *Philistines? Would you hand them over to me?’ The *LORD answered him, ‘Yes, attack. I will hand them over to you.’

v11 So David and his men went to Baal Perazim town. There they defeated the *Philistines. David said, ‘God has used me to defeat my enemies. He burst out upon them like a flood of water.’ So, that place was called Baal Perazim. v12 The *Philistines left the images of their false gods there. David ordered his men to burn them.

v13 Once again, the *Philistines attacked the people in the valley. v14 David prayed to God again. This time God said, ‘Do not go to attack them. But go round and come to them near the balsam trees. v15 Wait there until you hear a sound in the tops of the trees. It will be like the sound when soldiers march. Then attack because I will march ahead of you. I will defeat the *Philistine army.’ v16 David did what God told him to do. He and his men attacked and defeated the *Philistine army. They continued to attack the *Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.

v17 So, David became famous in all the countries. And the *LORD made all the nations afraid of him.

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.

The *ark comes to Jerusalem – 1 Chronicles 15:1-29

v1 David built houses for himself in the city of David. And he prepared a place for God’s *ark. He set up a tent for it. v2 Then he said, ‘Only *Levites can carry God’s *ark. The *LORD chose them to carry it and to serve him for all time.’ v3 David called all the *Israelites to come to Jerusalem. They were to bring the *LORD’s *ark to the place that David had made for it. v4 Then David called together the *descendants of Aaron and the *Levites. v5 There were 120 people from Kohath’s *clan, with Uriel as their leader. v6 There were 220 people from Merari’s *clan, with Asaiah as their leader. v7 There were 130 people from Gershon’s *clan, with Joel as their leader. v8 There were 200 people from Elizaphan’s *clan, with Shemaiah as their leader. v9 There were 80 people from Hebron’s *clan, with Eliel as their leader. v10 And there were 112 people from Uzziel’s *clan, with Amminadab as their leader.

v11 Then David asked the priests Zadok and Abiathar to come to him. Also he called for Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab, who were *Levites. v12 David said to them, ‘You are the leaders of the families of Levi. You and the other *Levites must prepare yourselves for this holy task. Then bring the *ark of the *LORD, the God of *Israel, to the place that I have made for it. v13 Because you did not carry it the first time, the *LORD our God punished us. We did not ask him how we should do it in a proper manner.’ v14 Then the priests and *Levites prepared themselves to carry the *ark of the *LORD, the God of *Israel. v15 The *Levites carried the *ark on their shoulders with poles, as Moses had ordered them. The *LORD had said that this was how to carry it.

v16 David told the leaders of the *Levites to appoint their musicians. They would sing with their musical instruments. With *lyres, *harps, and *cymbals, they would sing songs of joy.

v17 The *Levites appointed Joel’s son Heman. They also chose his relatives Asaph and Ethan. Asaph was Berechiah’s son. Ethan was from the Merari *clan and he was Kushaiah’s son. v18 With them, there was a group of their relatives who belonged to the next rank. These were Zechariah, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-Edom, and Jeiel. They were the *temple guards.

v19 The singers Heman, Asaph, and Ethan played *bronze *cymbals. v20 Zechariah, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah, and Benaiah played the *harps *set to *alamoth.

v21 Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-Edom, Jeiel, and Azaziah played the *lyres *set to *sheminith. They led the music. v22 Kenaniah, the music leader of the *Levites, led the people who sang. He did this because he was very good at it.

v23 Berekiah and Elkanah were guards for God’s *ark. v24 The priests Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah, and Eliezer would play *trumpets in front of God’s *ark. Obed-Edom and Jehiah were also guards for God’s *ark.

v25 David, *Israel’s leaders, and the leaders of 1000 soldiers went to get the *ark of the *LORD’s special promise. They all went to bring the *ark from Obed-Edom’s house with great joy. v26 God helped the *Levites who carried the *ark of the *LORD’s special promise. So, they *sacrificed 7 *bulls and 7 male sheep. v27 David wore clothes of fine *linen. All the *Levites who carried the *ark wore fine *linen clothes. The singers and Kenaniah, their leader, also wore fine *linen clothes. David also wore a special *linen shirt. v28 So, all the *Israelites brought up the *ark of the *LORD’s promise. They shouted. They played the instruments called horns and *trumpets. And they played *cymbals, *lyres, and *harps.

v29 The *ark of the *LORD’s special promise entered the city of David. As it came into the city, Saul’s daughter Michal watched from a window. She saw King David. He danced and he jumped for joy. And in her heart, she felt disgust for him.

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).

The people *worship and praise the *LORD – 1 Chronicles 16:1-43

v1 David set up a tent for the *ark of God. They brought the *ark and they put it in the tent. Then they gave to God *sacrifices by fire and *sacrifices for peace. v2 When David had given all these *sacrifices, he blessed the people in the name of the *LORD. v3 He gave to every man and woman in *Israel a loaf of bread, and some dried fruits called dates and raisins.

v4 Then David appointed some of the *Levites to serve in front of the *ark of the *LORD. They would pray and they would give thanks to the *LORD. And they would praise the *LORD, the God of *Israel. v5 Asaph was the leader and Zechariah was second to him. Then there were Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-Edom, and Jeiel. These men played *harps and *lyres. Asaph played the *cymbals. v6 Regularly, the priests Benaiah and Jahaziel would sound the *trumpets in front of the *ark of God’s special promise.

v7 That day David first gave to Asaph and to his relatives the task to praise the *LORD with songs.   


          v8 Give thanks to the *LORD and pray to him.

          Tell the nations what he has done.

          v9 Sing to him, praise him with songs.

          Tell about all his wonderful works.

          v10 Praise and *worship his holy name.

          Let the hearts of the people who desire the *LORD be full of joy.

          v11 Follow the *LORD and depend on his strength.

          Always desire to please him.

          v12 Remember the wonderful works that he has done.

          He has done great deeds and he has spoken his judgements.

          v13 You are the *descendants of his servant, *Israel.

          You are the children (*descendants) of Jacob. The *LORD chose you to be his people.


          v14 He is the *LORD our God.

          His judgements are in all the earth.

          v15 Always remember his special promise.

          He gave that promise to people for 1000 ages.

          v16 He made that special promise to Abraham. And the *LORD will do all that he said.

          He will do all that he promised to Isaac.

          v17 He made that special promise to be a law for Jacob’s people.

          It is a special promise for *Israel that will last always.

          v18 He said, ‘I will give the country called Canaan to you.

          It will belong to you.’


          v19 When God’s people were few in number,

                      not many, they were strangers there.

          v20 They went from one nation to another.

          They went from one *kingdom to another.

          v21 But he did not let anyone hurt them.

          To protect them, he warned kings.

          v22 He said, ‘Do not even touch my people. I chose them.

          And do not hurt my *prophets.’


          v23 Sing to the *LORD, all the earth.

          Declare each day that the *LORD rescues us.

          v24 Declare his *glory among the nations.

          Tell the people from all the nations about his wonderful deeds.

          v25 The *LORD is great. And he deserves that everyone should praise him.

          All people should respect him because he is much greater than all other gods.

          v26 All the gods of the nations are false gods

                      but the *LORD made the skies.

          v27 Honour and royal greatness belong to him.

          Strength and joy are in his home.


          v28 All you families in the nations give to the *LORD!

          Give to him honour and strength.

          v29 Give to the *LORD the honour that his name deserves.

          Bring a gift and come to him.

          *Worship the *LORD because he is wonderfully holy.

          v30 Let the whole world tremble in front of the *LORD.

          He established and he put the earth in its place. And nobody can ever move it.

          v31 Let the skies be glad and let joy fill the earth.

          And let the people in other nations say, ‘The *LORD rules.’

          v32 Let the sea and everything in it shout.

          Let the fields and everything in them be glad.

          v33 Then the trees of the forest will sing for joy to the *LORD.

          They will sing because he comes as the judge of the earth.


          v34 Thank the *LORD because he is good.

          And his love will never end.

          v35 Cry out to him, ‘Rescue us! You are the God who saves us.

          Bring us back and rescue us from other nations.

          Then we will give thanks to your holy name.

          We will be glad and we will praise you.’

          v36 Praise the *LORD, the God of *Israel.

          He always was and he always will be.


Then all the people said ‘*Amen’ and they praised the *LORD.

v37 David left Asaph and the other *Levites there in front of the *ark of the *LORD’s special promise. There they would serve the *LORD as they carried out the proper duties for each day. v38 David also left Obed-Edom and 68 other *Levites to serve with them. Obed-Edom (the son of Jeduthun) and Hosah would guard the *ark.

v39 David left Zadok the priest and the other priests with him in front of the *LORD’s tent. This tent was at the place of *worship in Gibeon. v40 In the morning and in the evening these priests made *sacrifices by fire to the *LORD. They put these *sacrifices on the *altar for *burnt *sacrifices. They did this as it says in the law of the *LORD. This is the law that the *LORD gave to *Israel to obey. v41 With the priests were Heman, Jeduthun, and other *Levites. David chose each of these by name. Their task was to praise the *LORD with songs because his love never ends. v42 Heman and Jeduthun sounded the *trumpets and *cymbals. They also played other musical instruments for the songs of *worship. The sons of Jeduthun were guards at the gate.

v43 Then all the people went home. And David went home to bless his family.

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.

God’s special promise to David – 1 Chronicles 17:1-27

The *LORD speaks to David – 1 Chronicles 17:1-15

v1 When David was living in his palace, he spoke to Nathan the *prophet. David said, ‘I live in a house of *cedar wood. But the *ark of the *LORD’s special promise is in a tent.’ v2 Nathan replied to David. ‘Do whatever you desire to do. Do it because God is with you.’

v3 But that night God spoke to Nathan. v4 The *LORD said, ‘Go to my servant David. Tell him, “The *LORD says this to you. You are not the right person to build a house for me to live in. v5 From the time that I brought *Israel out of Egypt until now, I have not lived in a house. I have always lived in a tent that the *Israelites have moved from one place to another place. v6 I have moved with all the *Israelites to different places. I ordered judges to lead and to take care of my people. But I did not tell any of those judges to build a house of *cedar wood for me.”

v7 Now, say this to my servant David. “The most powerful *LORD says this to you. I took you from the fields where you took care of sheep. And I made you to be the ruler of my people *Israel. v8 I have been with you everywhere that you have gone. I have defeated all your enemies in front of you. I will make you as famous as any of the great people in the world. v9 I will provide a place for my people *Israel. And I will put them there so that they can live in their own homes. Nobody will cause trouble for them ever again. Wicked people will not hurt them as they have done in the past. v10 They have constantly caused trouble for my people since the time when I appointed judges for them. But I will defeat all your enemies.

I declare to you that the *LORD will build you a house. v11 When you die, you will go to be with your *ancestors. Then I will make one of your own sons to be king. I will make his *kingdom strong. v12 He will build a house for me, and I will establish his *throne for all time. v13 I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him. I did take it away from the man who ruled before you. v14 I will appoint your son to rule over my house and my *kingdom for all time. His *throne will last for all time.” ’ v15 Nathan told David everything that God had said in this *vision.

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.

David prays – 1 Chronicles 17:16-27

v16 Then King David went in and he sat in front of the *LORD. He said, ‘*LORD God, I do not deserve this. And my family is not important. We do not even deserve the things that you have already done for us. v17 But God, even that was not enough for you. You have made promises about my *descendants in future years. *LORD God, you have dealt with me as you deal with a very important person.

v18 I can say no more. You have given such honour to me, your servant. You know me, your servant, so well. v19 *LORD, you have done this wonderful thing to me, your servant. You did it because you wanted to. You have shown to me all these great things.

v20 Nobody is like you, *LORD. There is no God except you. We have heard all this with our own ears. v21 There is no nation on earth like your people *Israel. They are the only people whom God rescued in order to make them his own. You made your name famous. You did great and wonderful things. You forced out nations in front of your people. You did all these things for your people whom you had rescued from Egypt. v22 You made the *Israelites your very own people for all time. And *LORD, you became their God.

v23 And now *LORD, do what you have promised to me, your servant, and to my family. For all time, do as you have said. v24 So your name will always be great and famous. People will say, “The all powerful *LORD, the God of *Israel, is *Israel’s God.” And the *descendants of your servant David shall be strong because of you.

v25 My God, I am your servant. You have told me that you will make my *descendants strong. That is why I have the courage to pray this prayer to you. v26 *LORD, you are God. You have promised these good things to me, your servant. v27 You have been pleased to *bless my family so that it will always continue to live with you. You *LORD have *blessed it and you will always *bless it.’

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.

David’s battles – 1 Chronicles 18:1-20:8

The *kingdom becomes larger  – 1 Chronicles 18:1-13

v1 Later David attacked the *Philistines. He defeated them. He took the city called Gath and the small towns round it from their control.

v2 David defeated the army of Moab. The people in Moab became his servants and they paid taxes to him.

v3 David fought King Hadadezer of Zobah all the way to Hamath town. Hadadezer had gone to increase his control along the Euphrates river. v4 And David took from him 1000 *chariots, 7000 riders, and 20 000 other soldiers. He made all except 100 horses unable to pull *chariots.

v5 People from the country called Aram came from Damascus. They came to support King Hadadezer of Zobah. But David killed 22 000 of them. v6 Then David put army camps in Damascus. The people in Aram became David’s servants and they paid taxes to him. The *LORD helped David to win battles everywhere that he went.

v7 David took the gold *shields that Hadadezer’s officers carried. And he brought them to Jerusalem. v8 He also took a great quantity of *bronze from Tibhath and Cun. These had been among the cities that Hadadezer ruled. Later Solomon used this *bronze. With it, he made the *bronze basin, the columns and tools (for the *temple).

v9 King Tou of Hamath heard that David had defeated all the army of King Hadadezer of Zobah. v10 So, Tou sent his son Hadoram to greet King David. He praised David for the defeat of Hadadezer. There had been a war between Tou and Hadadezer. Hadoram brought to David many things of gold, silver, and *bronze.

v11 King David gave these precious things to the *LORD. Also, he gave to the *LORD the silver and gold that he had taken from the nations. These nations were Edom, Moab, Ammon, the *Philistines, and Amalek.

v12 Abishai son of Zeruiah killed 18 000 soldiers from Edom in the Valley of Salt. v13 David put army camps in Edom, and all the people in Edom became David’s servants. The *LORD helped David to win battles everywhere that he went.

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.

David’s organisation – 1 Chronicles 18:14-17

v14 So, David was king over all *Israel. And he did what was fair and right for all his people. v15 Joab son of Zeruiah was the chief officer over the army. Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud kept the government records. v16 Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were priests. Shavsha was the royal secretary. v17 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the people called Kerethites and Pelethites. And David’s sons were chief officials who served the king.

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.

Defeat of the nation called Ammon – 1 Chronicles 19:1-20:3

Chapter 19 v1 Later King Nahash of Ammon died, and his son (Hanun) became king. v2 And David said, ‘I will be kind to Hanun, the son of Nahash. His father was kind to me.’ So, David sent some men to comfort him because of his father’s death.

And the servants of David came to the country called Ammon. They went to Hanun in order to comfort him. v3 But the leaders of Ammon spoke to Hanun. ‘David has sent men to comfort you. But do not imagine that David is giving honour to your father. David has sent his men to search our land. Then he can come and defeat our nation.’ v4 So, Hanun seized David’s men and shaved them. He cut off their clothes from the middle down. Then he sent them away.

v5 Someone went and told David about the men. He sent other men to meet them because they were so ashamed. And the king said, ‘Remain in Jericho. When your beards have grown again then return home.’

v6 The people in Ammon knew that they had insulted David. They had made him their enemy. So, Hanun and the nation called Ammon paid 1000 *talents of silver to hire *chariots and soldiers on horses. These came from Mesopotamia, Aram Maacah, and Zobah. v7 They hired 32 000 *chariots and the king of Maacah with his army. They came and they camped near the town called Medeba. Also, the men who lived in Ammon came out of their towns. And they prepared for battle.

v8 When David heard about this, he sent Joab with the whole army. v9 The army of Ammon came out and prepared for battle at the city gate. The kings who had come to help them were out in the open country by themselves.

v10 Joab saw that there were enemies both in front of him and behind him. So, he chose some of the best soldiers from *Israel. And he sent them out to fight the army of Aram. v11 Joab put the rest of the army under the command of Abishai, his brother. Then they went out to fight the army of Ammon. v12 Joab spoke to Abishai. ‘If the army of Aram is too strong for me, you must help me. But if the army of Ammon is too strong for you, I will help you. v13 Be strong. We must be brave. We must fight for our people and for the cities of our God. And the *LORD will do what is right.’

v14 Then Joab and the army with him went to attack the army from Aram. And the army of Aram ran away. v15 The army of Ammon saw that the men from Aram were running away. So, they too ran away from Joab’s brother Abishai and they went back into their city. Then Joab went back to Jerusalem.

v16 The army of Aram saw that *Israel had defeated them. So they requested that more soldiers from Aram would come from beyond the Euphrates river. Shophach, the leader of Hadadezer’s army, led them.

v17 When David heard about this, he gathered all the *Israelites. They crossed over the Jordan river. David brought his men towards the army from Aram. And he arranged his army ready to fight them. And the army of Aram fought against him. v18 But they ran away from the *Israelites. David’s army killed 7000 men on the *chariots and 40 000 other soldiers. Also, he killed Shophach, the commander of their army.

v19 People in several countries served Hadadezer. They saw that the *Israelites had defeated them. Then they made peace with David and they served him. So, the nation called Aram refused to help the nation called Ammon again.

Chapter 20 v1 Kings usually went to war in the spring. In the spring, Joab led out the army of *Israel. They destroyed the country called Ammon. They came to the city called Rabbah and they camped round it. But David stayed in Jerusalem. Then Joab attacked Rabbah and he destroyed it. v2 David took the crown from the head of their king. The weight of the crown was a *talent of gold. There were precious stones in the crown. Then David placed that crown on his head. And David took many valuable things from the city. v3 He brought out the people that were there. And he forced them to work with saws, iron tools, and axes. David did this to all the towns in Ammon. Then David and all his army returned to Jerusalem.

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 (about 33 tons).

‘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.

Battles against the *Philistines – 1 Chronicles 20:4-8

v4 Later there was a war against the *Philistines, at Gezer. Sibbecai, who came from the town called Hushah, killed Sippai. Sippai was a *descendant of the family of huge people. So, *Israel defeated the *Philistines.

v5 And there was another battle against the *Philistines. Elhanan son of Jair killed Lahmi, the brother of Goliath, who was from the town called Gath. Lahmi’s *spear was as large as the beam that people use to make cloth.

v6 There was another battle at the town called Gath. There was a huge man with 6 fingers on each hand and 6 toes on each foot. (He had in total 24 fingers and toes.) He also was a *descendant of the family of huge people. v7 When he insulted *Israel, Jonathan son of Shimea, David’s brother, killed him.

v8 David and his men killed these *descendants of the huge people from Gath.

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.

Word List

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.

descendant ~ a future member of a family or nation.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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’.

set to alamoth ~ with a high range of sounds in music.

set to sheminith ~ with a low range of sounds in music.

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.

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.

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.

Book List

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




© 2009, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is in EasyEnglish Level B (2800 words).

April 2009

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