1 Chronicles 29 – “The Kingship is Passed to Solomon; David’s Death”

booksHebrew-English Text
I. Summary
David describes his concern for the temple, and the people respond by offering sacrifices and donating their valuables to the treasury. After a humble prayer, David hands the kingship over to his son Solomon. The book ends with David’s death.

II. Photo
David’s life was well documented: “The acts of King David, early and late, are recorded in the history of Samuel the seer, the history of Nathan the prophet, and the history of Gad the seer.” (v. 29)

III. Important Verses
v. 1: King David said to the entire assemblage, “God has chosen my son Solomon alone, an untried lad, although the work to be done is vast — for the temple is not for a man but for the LORD God.
v. 2: I have spared no effort to lay up for the House of my God gold for golden objects, silver for silver, copper for copper, iron for iron, wood for wooden, onyx-stone and inlay-stone, stone of antimony and variegated colors — every kind of precious stone and much marble.
vv. 10-12: David blessed the LORD in front of all the assemblage; David said, “Blessed are You, LORD, God of Israel our father, from eternity to eternity. Yours, LORD, are greatness, might, splendor, triumph, and majesty — yes, all that is in heaven and on earth; to You, LORD, belong kingship and preeminence above all. Riches and honor are Yours to dispense; You have dominion over all; with You are strength and might, and it is in Your power to make anyone great and strong.
vv. 23-24: Solomon successfully took over the throne of the LORD as king instead of his father David, and all went well with him. All Israel accepted him; all the officials and the warriors, and the sons of King David as well, gave their hand in support of King Solomon.
v. 28: He died at a ripe old age, having enjoyed long life, riches and honor, and his son Solomon reigned in his stead.
vv. 29-30: The acts of King David, early and late, are recorded in the history of Samuel the seer, the history of Nathan the prophet, and the history of Gad the seer, together with all the mighty deeds of his kingship and the events that befell him and Israel and all the kingdoms of the earth.

IV. Outline

1-5. David’s preparations for the temple
6-9. The people respond with sacrifices and donations
10-19. David’s prayer
    10-12. Hymnic praise
    13-17. Humility (confession)
    18-19. Petition
20-25. Solomon is accepted as the new king
26-28. David’s death
29-30. The recorded history
Achaemenid_coin_daric_420BC_front
Persian Daric, circa 490 BCE

V. Comment
Chapter 29 is the final chapter in 1 Chronicles, and it describes how David passes the kingship to his son Solomon. David begins by recounting his solicitude for the temple, and this inspires others to give offerings and money. Verse 7 relates how the officers give “5,000 talents of gold, 10,000 darics, 10,000 talents of silver, 18,000 talents of copper, 100,000 talents of iron.” While this verse shows the leaders’ commitment, it is also important for dating the Book of Chronicles (which does not say when it was written). This is because the Daric – the first coin mentioned in the Hebrew Bible – was not minted before 515 BCE. Also, the word ’adarkhonim “daric” is a Greek loan word. Mussies writes: “Two further Greek loanwords in the OT are names of coins, ‘adarkonim or ‘darics’ and darkemonim or “drachmae.” Both words have in common that they were taken over in the genitive plural, dareikon and darchmon, as the genitive of price happens to be the case in which names of coins most often appear in bills and contracts. To these genitives was then added the Hebrew plural ending -ˆîm. As the ‘daric’ was a coin that was originally called after Darius I, its appearance in the history of King David half a millennium earlier is grossly anachronistic in 1 Chr 29:7, whereas its occurrence in Ezra 8:27 is unsurprising; the mention of “drachmae,” however, in Neh 7:69–71 is also against the historical context. As the final redaction of all three books—Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles—is dated to the first part of the Hellenistic period (350–300 B.C.), the use of these Greek words in Hebrew texts is easily explained by the fact that Greek was then the official language of Palestine as a province of the Macedonian Empire, the language of all legal and professional texts.” (“Languages, Greek” in the Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. IV, pp. 195-203)

Another interesting topic related to money concerns David’s donation in vv. 3-4: “Besides, out of my solicitude for the House of my God, I gave over my private hoard of gold and silver to the House of my God — in addition to all that I laid aside for the holy House: 3,000 gold talents of Ophir gold…” What is the meaning of “Ophir gold”? Baker writes that Ophir was “a maritime nation which was a source of gold from at least the reign of Solomon (1 Kgs 9:28; 22:49; 2 Chr 8:18). It also provided fine wood and precious stones (1 Kgs 10:11; 2 Chr 9:10; Job 28:16). All of these were delivered to Israel by ship through the port of Ezion-geber on the Red Sea. The gold seems to have been of a particularly high quality since in some of the passages it is used in conjunction with more specific Hebrew terms for fine, choice gold (Job 22:24; Ps 45:10[—Eng 45:9]; Isa 13:12). Ophir became so associated with this rare metal that the name Ophir itself, without any further qualifier, is to be understood as “gold” in Job 22:24. Gold from this source is also known from an extrabiblical inscription from Israel.” (“Ophir (Place)” in Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. V, pp. 26-27) Baker also points out that the whereabouts of biblical Ophir remain unknown. While some (including Josephus) associate it with India, it was most likely a site in eastern Africa or western Arabia.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Baker, David W. “Ophir (Place)” in Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. V, pp. 26-27.
Mussies, Gerard. “Languages, Greek” in the Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. IV, pp. 195-203
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).
Photo #1 taken from http://elearningstuff.files.wordpress.com/2007/09/books.jpg

Photo #2 taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Achaemenid_coin_daric_420BC_front.jpg

1 Chronicles 28 – “Solomon’s Investiture – Part I”

bluprint scrollHebrew-English Text
I. Summary
David assembles the nation’s leaders and appoints his son Solomon to build the temple. He hands his son the building plans, and encourages him to proceed with diligence.

II. Photo
David gives Solomon the building plans for the Temple: “All this that the LORD made me understand by His hand on me, I give you in writing — the plan of all the works.” (v. 19)

III. Important Verses
vv. 2-3: King David rose to his feet and said, “Hear me, my brothers, my people! I wanted to build a resting-place for the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD, for the footstool of our God, and I laid aside material for building. But God said to me, ‘You will not build a house for My name, for you are a man of battles and have shed blood.’
vv. 6-7: [God] said to me, ‘It will be your son Solomon who will build My House and My courts, for I have chosen him to be a son to Me, and I will be a father to him. I will establish his kingdom forever, if he keeps firmly to the observance of My commandments and rules as he does now.’
vv. 11-12: David gave his son Solomon the plan of the porch and its houses, its storerooms and its upper chambers and inner chambers; and of the place of the Ark-cover; and the plan of all that he had by the spirit: of the courts of the House of the LORD and all its surrounding chambers, and of the treasuries of the House of God and of the treasuries of the holy things.
v. 19: “All this that the LORD made me understand by His hand on me, I give you in writing — the plan of all the works.”
vv. 20-21: David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and of good courage and do it; do not be afraid or dismayed, for the LORD God my God is with you; He will not fail you or forsake you till all the work on the House of the LORD is done. Here are the divisions of the priests and Levites for all kinds of service of the House of God, and with you in all the work are willing men, skilled in all sorts of tasks; also the officers and all the people are at your command.”

IV. Outline
1. David Assembles the people
2-8. Solomon’s task
9-10. David’s charge to Solomon
11-19. David gives Solomon the plans for the temple
20-21. Encouragement

V. Comment
Chapter 28 contains David’s speech to the people and the investiture of his son Solomon. David’s major focus is the building of the temple, and he enthusiastically hands over the building’s plans to Solomon. He encourages his son to proceed with diligence, and guarantees that God will assist him.

An interesting theme that appears in this chapter is “rest.” David explains why he was unable to build the temple in vv. 2-3: “King David rose to his feet and said, “Hear me, my brothers, my people! I wanted to build a resting-place (beit menuchah) for the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD, for the footstool of our God, and I laid aside material for building. But God said to me, ‘You will not build a house for My name, for you are a man of battles and have shed blood.’” David refers to the house as a beit menuchah “resting place.” The state of “rest” seems to have been a prerequisite for the temple’s construction in v. 22:9: “But you will have a son who will be a man at rest (’ish menuchah), for I will give him rest (wehanichoti) from all his enemies on all sides; Solomon will be his name and I shall confer peace and quiet on Israel in his time.” Braun notes how the types of “rest” differ between chapters 22 and 28: “The description of the temple here as a ‘house of rest for the ark of the covenant of [the Lord] and for the footstool of our God’ (v 2) noticeably shifts the connotations of that ‘rest.’ While before it had been [the Lord] who had promised and given rest to his people, here it is the ark, and [the Lord] who may be assumed to be present with it in some sense, which finds its own resting place in the temple, and accordingly in the midst of Jerusalem and the people.” (270) For similar verses regarding the ark’s “rest,” see Ps 132:8, “Advance, O LORD, to Your resting-place (menuchatekha), You and Your mighty Ark!” and Ps 132:14 where God says, “This is my resting-place (menuchati) for all time; here I will dwell, for I desire it.” Also see 2 Chr 6:31: “Advance, O LORD God, to your resting-place (lenuchekha), You and Your mighty Ark. Your priests, O LORD God, are clothed in triumph; Your loyal ones will rejoice in [Your] goodness.”
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).
Photo taken from http://www.westchestergov.com/taxcommission/images/bluprint%20scroll.jpg

1 Chronicles 27 – “David’s Governmental Administration”

6a00d83545496553ef00e55298e4c08834-500piHebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The chapter lists the leaders of the twelve groups of troops that were at David’s disposal. It also lists the tribal leaders, the stewards of David’s property, and the people who served in his court.

II. Photo
Stewards were appointed to care for David’s possessions: “Over the camels: Obil the Ishmaelite. And over the she-asses: Jehdeiah the Meronothite…” (v. 30)

III. Important Verses
v. 1: The number of Israelites — chiefs of clans, officers of thousands and hundreds and their clerks, who served the king in all matters of the divisions, who worked in monthly shifts during all the months of the year — each division, 24,000.
vv. 23-24: David did not take a census of those under twenty years of age, for the LORD had promised to make Israel as numerous as the stars of heaven. Joab son of Zeruiah did begin to count them, but he did not finish; wrath struck Israel on account of this, and the census was not entered into the account of the chronicles of King David.

IV. Outline
1-15. The 12 groups of 24,000 troops available for the king
16-22. The leaders of the individual tribes
23-24. The census
25-31. Stewards of David’s property
32-34. David’s scribes, advisors, and generals

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
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).
Photo taken from http://mymelange.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83545496553ef00e55298e4c08834-500pi

1 Chronicles 26 – “The Levitical Gatekeepers and Temple Guards”

spa_fitness_mastheadHebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The chapter lists the gatekeepers, temple guards, and other functionaries from the tribe of Levi.

II. Photo
The gatekeepers were exceptionally strong: “All these, sons of Obed-edom; they and their sons and brothers, strong and able men for the service…” (v. 8 )

III. Important Verses
vv. 12-13: These are the divisions of the gatekeepers, by their chief men, [who worked in] shifts corresponding to their kinsmen, ministering in the House of the LORD. They cast lots, small and great alike, by clans, for each gate.
v. 24: Shebuel son of Gershom son of Moses was the chief officer over the treasuries.
vv. 26-28: that Shelomith and his brothers were over all the treasuries of dedicated things that were dedicated by King David and the chiefs of the clans, and the officers of thousands and hundreds and the other army officers; they dedicated some of the booty of the wars to maintain the House of the LORD. All that Samuel the seer had dedicated, and Saul son of Kish, and Abner son of Ner, and Joab son of Zeruiah — or [what] any other man had dedicated, was under the charge of Shelomith and his brothers.

IV. Outline
1a. Introduction
1b-9. Korahite gatekeepers
10-11. Merarite gatekeepers
12-19. Organizing the gatekeepers
20-28. Levitical guards
29-32. Levitical functionaries outside the temple

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
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).
Photo taken from http://hillcountry.hyatt.com/hyatt/images/hotels/sanhc/spa_fitness_masthead.jpg

1 Chronicles 25 – “The Musicians are Arranged for Service”

HarpHebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The musicians are divided into twenty-four divisions. They are then assigned, by means of a lottery, specific times to serve.

II. Photo
David appoints musicians to serve: “David and the officers of the army set apart for service the sons of Asaph, of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who prophesied to the accompaniment of lyres, harps, and cymbals…” (v. 1)

III. Important Verses
v. 1: David and the officers of the army set apart for service the sons of Asaph, of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who prophesied to the accompaniment of lyres, harps, and cymbals. The list of men who performed this work, according to their service, was…
vv. 6-7: all these were under the charge of their father for the singing in the House of the LORD, to the accompaniment of cymbals, harps, and lyres, for the service of the House of God by order of the king. Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman — their total number with their kinsmen, trained singers of the LORD — all the masters, 288.
v. 8: They cast lots for shifts on the principle of “small and great alike, like master like apprentice.”

IV. Outline
1. Introduction
2. The Asaphites
3. The Jeduthunites
4. The Hemanites
5-7. Summary
8. Casting lots
9-31. The twenty-four divisions of singers

V. Comment
Chapter 25 continues with David’s final preparations before his death. It lists the musicians he appoints and describes how they are designated by lottery to serve in twenty-four groups. Scholars point to three phenomena that give this chapter a “high degree of artificiality.” First, v. 7 describes how the total number of singers was 288. Instead of being random or unsystematic, vv. 9-31 describe how each of the 24 families had exactly 12 members (12 x 24 = 288). While it is possible that this refers to the number of people who served from each family, and not necessarily the total family members, the next two phenomena are even more striking.

In regards to the children of Heman, v. 4 says: “Heman — the sons of Heman: Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel, Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, Romamti-ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth.” De Vries writes: “The casual reader will notice the unusual length of the Heman name list, v. 4; but the truly striking thing is that it has been arranged as a kind of rebus, though designed for worship and not for entertainment… As most contemporary scholar would agree, after the first five names, the names begin to hang together syntactically, producing, with justifiable emendations, the following:

  • haneni yah haneni – “Be gracious to me, [Lord], be gracious to me”
  • ’eli ’atta – “My God art thou”
  • giddalti weromamti ‘ozri – “ I have magnified and will exalt my helper”
  • yosheb qasha malloti – “Dwelling in adversity I have spoken”
  • hotir machaziot – “Be generous with revelations”

It may also be, as Myers… has suggested, that these five lines are actually the incipits, or first-line titles, of five psalm.” (205) (While I haven’t seen Myers’ study, as of now I can only think of psalms to correspond to the first three lines, not the last two.)

In addition to the names of the last nine sons of Heman being a “rebus,” they are distinguishable in their lottery position too. While the sons of Asaph, Jeduthun, and the first five sons of Heman take up the first 15 slots, Heman’s last 9 sons occupy the last 9 slots. Yet, their order has been changed slightly.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
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).
Photo taken from http://www.jacksonspointvillage.com/imgbody/Harp.jpg

1 Chronicles 24 – “The Priests and Levites are Arranged for Service”

tombstonesHebrew-English Text
I. Summary
David divides the Aaronite priests and Levites into twenty-four divisions and assigns each division a specific time of service by means of a lottery.

II. Photo
The House of Aaron experienced tragedy: “The sons of Aaron: Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. Nadab and Abihu died in the lifetime of their father, and they had no children, so Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests.” (vv. 1-2)

III. Important Verses
vv. 1-2: The divisions of the Aaronites were: The sons of Aaron: Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. Nadab and Abihu died in the lifetime of their father, and they had no children, so Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests.
vv. 4-5: The sons of Eleazar turned out to be more numerous by male heads than the sons of Ithamar, so they divided the sons of Eleazar into sixteen chiefs of clans and the sons of Ithamar into eight clans. They divided them by lot, both on an equal footing, since they were all sanctuary officers and officers of God — the sons of Eleazar and the sons of Ithamar.
vv. 30b-31: These were the sons of the Levites by their clans. These too cast lots corresponding to their kinsmen, the sons of Aaron, under the eye of King David and Zadok and Ahimelech and the chiefs of the clans of the priests and Levites, on the principle of “chief and youngest brother alike.”

IV. Outline
1-2. Aaron’s children
3-6. Dividing the Aaronites into 24 groups
7-19. The 24 groups are assigned to serve by lottery
20-30. Extended list of Levites
31. The Levites are assigned to serve by lottery

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
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).
Photo taken from http://museum.bmi.net/Cemeteries/tombstones.jpg

1 Chronicles 23 – “David Prepares the Levites”

israel22Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
David appoints Solomon as king over Israel. He then counts the Levites and differentiates them according to their families. The chapter ends with a description of the following Levitical responsibilities: assisting the priests, guarding the temple, praising God, and taking care of the sacrificial ingredients.

II. Photo
Waking up early was one of the Levitical responsibilities: “[The Levites were charged] to be present every morning to praise and extol the LORD, and at evening too.” (v. 30)

III. Important Verses
v. 1: When David reached a ripe old age, he made his son Solomon king over Israel.
v. 13: The sons of Amram: Aaron and Moses. Aaron was set apart, he and his sons, forever, to be consecrated as most holy, to make burnt offerings to the LORD and serve Him and pronounce blessings in His name forever.
vv. 14-17: As for Moses, the man of God, his sons were named after the tribe of Levi. The sons of Moses: Gershom and Eliezer. The sons of Gershom: Shebuel the chief. And the sons of Eliezer were: Rehabiah the chief. Eliezer had no other sons, but the sons of Rehabiah were very numerous.
vv. 27-32: Among the last acts of David was the counting of the Levites from the age of twenty and upward. For their appointment was alongside the Aaronites for the service of the House of the LORD, to look after the courts and the chambers, and the purity of all the holy things, and the performance of the service of the House of God, and the rows of bread, and the fine flour for the meal offering, and the unleavened wafers, and the cakes made on the griddle and soaked, and every measure of capacity and length; and to be present every morning to praise and extol the LORD, and at evening too, and whenever offerings were made to the LORD, according to the quantities prescribed for them, on sabbaths, new moons and holidays, regularly, before the LORD; and so to keep watch over the Tent of Meeting, over the holy things, and over the Aaronites their kinsmen, for the service of the House of the LORD.

IV. Outline

1. David appoints Solomon king
2-5. Counting the Levites
6-27. The three divisions
    6. Introduction
    7-11. The Gershonites
    12-20. The Kohathites
    21-23. The Merarites
    24-27. Summary statement
28-32. Levitical duty

V. Comment
Chapter 23 describes both David’s appointment of Solomon as king and his counting of the Levites. It also contains a list of the Levitical duties. The chapter and the six that follow it have no parallel in the books of Samuel or Kings. Collins writes that they “reflect the concerns of the Chronicler and his time. David ensures that the kingdom is fully organized before he passes it on to Solomon. The priorities of the Chronicler are shown by the relative space given to cultic and secular matters. The organization of the Levites and of the temple cult occupies chapters 23-26. We are told that 24,000 Levites are given charge of the work in the house of the Lord. There are 6,000 officers and judges, 4,000 gatekeepers, and 4,000 musicians.” (449) Collins also notes two unique characteristics about the Levitical responsibilities: “First, the role of the Levites is to attend the Aaronide priests. The subordination of Levites to priests was a consequence of the centralization of the cult in Jerusalem. We have already seen that it was a contentious issue at the time of the restoration after the exile (see specifically Ezekiel 44). Second, the priests are divided into twenty-four courses, to take turns at the temple service. This was a new development after the Babylonian exile. It was made necessary by the number of priests in Jerusalem in the Second Temple period.” (ibid.)

Collins referenced the contention between the Levites and the priests in Ezek 44, and that passage reads as follows:
Thus said the Lord GOD: Let no alien, uncircumcised in spirit and flesh, enter My Sanctuary — no alien whatsoever among the people of Israel. But the Levites who forsook Me when Israel went astray — straying from Me to follow their fetishes — shall suffer their punishment: They shall be servitors in My Sanctuary, appointed over the Temple gates, and performing the chores of My Temple; they shall slaughter the burnt offerings and the sacrifices for the people. They shall attend on them and serve them. Because they served the House of Israel in the presence of their fetishes and made them stumble into guilt, therefore — declares the Lord GOD — I have sworn concerning them that they shall suffer their punishment: They shall not approach Me to serve Me as priests, to come near any of My sacred offerings, the most holy things. They shall bear their shame for the abominations that they committed. I will make them watchmen of the Temple, to perform all its chores, everything that needs to be done in it. But the levitical priests descended from Zadok, who maintained the service of My Sanctuary when the people of Israel went astray from Me — they shall approach Me to minister to Me; they shall stand before Me to offer Me fat and blood — declares the Lord GOD. They alone may enter My Sanctuary and they alone shall approach My table to minister to Me; and they shall keep My charge. (vv. 9-16)

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
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).
Photo taken from