1 Chronicles 14 – “David Prospers in Jerusalem”

happychildrenHebrew-English Text
I. Summary
David enjoys a period of peace and prosperity in Jerusalem. After asking God for His approval, David defeats the Philistines twice in battle. His fame quickly spreads, and the nations of the world fear him.

II. Photo
David enjoys an era of comfort and prosperity: “David took more wives in Jerusalem, and David begot more sons and daughters.” (v. 3)

III. Important Verses
vv. 1-2: King Hiram of Tyre sent envoys to David with cedar logs, stonemasons, and carpenters to build a palace for him. Thus David knew that the LORD had established him as king over Israel, and that his kingship was highly exalted for the sake of His people Israel.
v. 3: David took more wives in Jerusalem, and David begot more sons and daughters.
vv. 10-12: David inquired of God, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hands?” And the LORD answered him, “Go up, and I will deliver them into your hands.” Thereupon David ascended Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there. David said, “God burst out against my enemies by my hands as waters burst out.” That is why that place was named Baal-perazim. They abandoned their gods there, and David ordered these to be burned.
v. 17: David became famous throughout the lands, and the LORD put the fear of him in all the nations.

IV. Outline
1-2. David receives a gift from his neighbor King Hiram
3-7. David’s family
8-16. Two victories against the Philistines
17. David’s renown

V. Comment
Chapter 14 is a brief interruption in the flow of the book. Instead of continuing the ark narrative, the chapter focuses on David’s prosperity. Why was this chapter inserted at this particular point? Braun writes: “The question of why the author has chosen to incorporate this material at this particular point has been discussed in great detail by Mosis (55–61), who feels it is meant to illustrate a theological point. David, unlike Saul, has shown his care for the ark (13:3). By incorporating at this point indications of David’s prosperity, especially as seen in his victory over the Philistines (unlike Saul; see chap. 10), he has shown God’s blessing upon that faithfulness, just as Saul’s defeat was a result of his unfaithfulness (chap. 10).” (178)

Braun continues: “This may well be so; there are many examples of such a theology throughout Chronicles, especially in the post-Solomonic kings. Many of these thoughts (like the “all Israel” pattern to which we have referred repeatedly) are found, at least in germ, in the Deuteronomic history; thus, what Chronicles has done is to deduce a principle from such data and to apply it “religiously.” As will be seen in many of the comments below, the reigns of faithful kings are frequently associated with building operations, family, and victory in war (cf. 2 Chr 26:1–15). At the same time it is quite possible in this case that the writer, having bypassed this material earlier to demonstrate David’s immediate concern for the ark, has now simply inserted it at the first appropriate time, i.e., in the “gap” indicated by the three-month period in which the ark was at the house of Obed-edom. Since his work is not chronological, to say this would not need to suggest that the events happened within that three-month period.” (178)

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Braun, Roddy. “1 Chronicles,” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 14 (Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1986).
De Vries, Simon J. “1 and 2 Chronicles,” The Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 11 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1989).
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