1 Chronicles 9-11

What does it say?
The text lists the genealogies of the people who lived in the city of Jerusalem. The significant persons listed are the priests, the Levites and the Temple servants (v. 9:2) Also, some of the tribes of Judah, of Benjamin and of Ephraim and of Manasseh lived in Jerusalem. (vs. 9:3-9) After listing these, the chronicler returns to the genealogies of the priests, Levites and Temple servants. After this, he turns to the ancestry of Saul and his descendants. (vs, 9:35-44) A very brief history of Saul and his son’s defeat at the hands of the Philistines is given. Then he honors the people of Jabesh-gilead for their Tribute to Saul for taking away his body and his son’s body and baring their bones. The chronicler states the reason for Saul’s death as his trespasses against the Word of the Lord and for asking the counsel of a medium rather than the Lord. (vs. 10:1-14) After this, David is made king by all of Israel at Hebron. (vs. 11:1-3) David with the people of Israel capture Jerusalem which was then called Jebus from the Jebusites. David moves to Jerusalem because it was a strong hold and it was, therefore, called the city of David. (vs. 11:4-9) The remainder of chapter 11 lists the mighty men of David and some of their accomplishments; the thirty and the three. (vs. 11:10-47)

What does it mean?
For the postexilic people, Jerusalem and the Temple took center stage; therefore, the chronicler focuses on the people of Jerusalem but more than that, the worship personnel. The chronicler had already listed Saul’s genealogy in vs. 8:29-38 but he returns to this genealogy so that he may write about Saul’s reign and the reason that his reign end with defeat and death. The chronicler then focuses on the unity of Israel under the kingship of David but passes over the conflict with Saul and his son Ishbosheth. If one were to read this without having read 2 Samuel, you would get the idea that all of Saul’s sons died at the hands of the Philistines when Saul died and David was immediately made king by Israel. I do not think that the chronicler is hiding these things but they are not in line with his purpose. Mentioning these would be a rabbit trail of sorts, for his focus is the unity and victory of Israel under a Davidic king. The mention of David’s mighty men is recorded by the chronicler so that the reader may hear the incredible support that David had around him which came by God. He mentions the three who went to the well at Bethlehem to bring water back for David to drink and his poring it out to the Lord but does not speak of the battle. The purpose is to show support for the Davidic king.

What shall I do?
When you consider that this is Scripture, their is a theological purpose to what is written and the purposeful mentioning of certain things, and the purposeful not mentioning of other things in the history reveals the theological purpose. Israel rallied around a Davidic king and kept in right relationship with the Lord through the sacrifices offered up by the priests. Focusing on Jerusalem is intentional to that theological purpose. I am not an exile returning from Babylon. My physical nation is the United States of America and the year is 2020. The president of our country lives in Washington D.C. Much of my country is divided about politics at a fever pitch. As a Christian I understand that this is not my home. The heavenly Jerusalem, Zion is my home. The chronicler focuses on unity in Jerusalem and the Temple. We are to be united in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is our High Priest and our King. He paid the penalty for our sins at the cross. He forever defeated sin and death in the body when he rose from the dead. God has given him all authority in heaven and on earth, he is King of heaven and earth. I shall focus on the Temple of God, Zion, where our High Priest and King Jesus Christ is seated on the thrown.

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