1 Chronicles 18 Commentary

David’s fame (18:1-22:1)

Before speaking further of the temple, the writer lists a number of David’s victories in war. These records show how God was strengthening David’s kingdom according to his promise, but they show also why God would not allow David to build the temple. One who had caused so much bloodshed was not a suitable person to build the nation’s sacred place of worship (see 22:7-10).

The writer records victories over miscellaneous enemies (18:1-17; see notes on 2 Sam 8:1-18); victory over a combined Ammonite-Syrian attack (19:1-19; see notes on 2 Sam 10:1-19); victory over Ammon at Rabbah (20:1-3; see notes on 2 Sam 11:1; 12:26-31); and various victories over the Philistines (4-8; see notes on 2 Sam 21:18-22).

In bringing these battle stories together, the writer has omitted a number of passages from the parallel section of 2 Samuel. He is concerned with God’s plan for establishing the kingdom of David, not with the fate of Saul’s survivors (2 Sam 9:1-13; 21:1-17), nor with David’s personal sins and family troubles (2 Sam 11:2-12:25; 13:1-20:26).

There is, however, one sin of David’s that the Chronicler does record, and that is his numbering of the people. Yet even this story is recorded not to point out a personal weakness, but to show how David bought the piece of ground on which the temple was to be built (21:1-22:1; see notes on 2 Sam 24:1-25). The writer now moves on to show how David, having bought the site, began preparations for the temple’s construction.

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