Tuesday, 15 February 2011

1 Chronicles

A Second Temple work, written later than the Deuteronomic histories.
How does it deal with the tension between God’s Davidic covenant and the absence of any king in Second Temple Jerusalem, let alone a Davidic one?
Answer: by suggesting that the real Davidic legacy is in the cultus (ie religious rituals and practices). Accordingly, much more emphasis is given to the arrangement of temple personnel and cultic organisation.
The Davidic covenant is also made more conditional than it was in 2 Samuel (as it is in Kings).

Some differences between Kings and Chronicles:

·         David is an idealised figure – Bathsheba is not so much as mentioned.
·         Adonijah’s assumption of the crown is not mentioned: David’s crown passes seamlessly to Solomon.
·         No rebellions against David are mentioned.
·         Far more emphasis on cultic organisation and maintenance.
·         David is very anxious to observe the proper cultic protocol when transporting the ark to Jerusalem after the incident with Uzza.
·         Reduced role for prophets as intermediaries – they appear only when God forbids David to build a temple (Nathan) and when David is castigated for his census (Gad). God gives David direct assurances.
·         Different names for the Jebusite who own the threshing floor that the plague stops on – Araunah in Kings, Ornan in Chronicles.
·         Chronicles emphasises that David cannot build a temple because, as a man of war, he is ceremonially unclean. The temple is a joint venture between David and Solomon, however – David makes all the initial plans, and makes a large contribution of materials.


Ancestors from Adam to Abraham: Noah’s sons, Abraham’s, Ishmael’s, Esau’s families listed; Edom’s chiefs and kings listed.


Descendants of Jacob, Judah and Jesse to King David, and descendants of Hezron, Jerahmeel and Caleb listed.


King David’s sons and concubines, King Solomon’s decendants to Jehoiakim, and Jehoiakim’s decendants are listed.


Descendants, towns and occupations of Judah, Caleb, Shelah, Simeon and others listed.


Leaders, places lived, events, activities and battles of descendants of Reuben (denied his birthright as the eldest because he defiled his father’s bed), Gad and Manasseh.


Family relations of Levi, Aaron, Moses, Samuel, Heman and Asaph listed. Temple musicians appointed by David listed. The cities and common-lands of the Levites listed.


Children, leaders, lands and numbers of descendants of Issachar, Benjamin, Naphtali, Manasseh, Ephraim, Joseph and Asher listed.


Descendants of Benjamin listed.


People who lived in Jerusalem after the exile listed: children of Judah, priests, Levites, gatekeepers, servants, singers and others. The ancestors and descendants of King Saul are listed.


Philistines fight against Israel at Mount Gilboa. Israel fleesm and Saul’s sons die. Saul falls on his sword, after unsuccessfully asking his armourbearer to kill him. The Philistines invade Israel. Saul’s armour and head are placed in the temple of Dagon. Saul’s body is rescued by the men of Jabesh Gilead, and buried. Saul dies because he does not keep the word of the Lord, and consults a medium.


The elders enthusiastically declare David king at Hebron. The anointing was divinely sanctioned by the Lord via Samuel. David conquers the Jebusites, and rules from Jerusalem. Davd also has victory over the Philistines. At the cave of Adullam, David nostalgically wishes for some water from the well of Bethlehem. Three of his men break into the Philistine camp and get him some; David offers it to the Lord. The mighty men of David’s army are listed and described.


David lives in Ziklag to escape Saul, and is even helped by the Banjamites, Saul’s tribal relatives. David’s leaders named, numbered, described – his army seems to be organised into groups of 30. There is three days of feasting after David is anointed king.


David gathers Israel together, and brings the ark from the house of Abinadab at Kirjath Jearim, where it had remained since the days of Saul. Uzza touches ark, and is killed by God. The ark stays at the house of Obed-Edom for three months on its way to Jerusalem.


The king of Tyre sends David cedar wood and other resources to build a royal house. God blesses David’s kingdom. David takes more wives, and has more children. The Philistines battle against David; David asks for God’s advice, and God personally assures him that victory is his. (Nathan does not appear as an intermediary in this section of Chronicles.) David wins at Baal Perazim, saying God has broken through his enemies like a breakthrough of water. God also gives David strategic military advice.


David builds a house for himself, and a tent for the ark. He stipulates that only the Levites (who are listed) can carry the ark. David wants no failures of cultic protocol, as before. The musicians are listed. God helps the Levites carry the ark. Israel celebrates, and David dances. Michal despises David for his dancing.


David offers sacrifices before God, and gives everyone in Israel food to celebrate. Levites are appointed to lead the congregation in celebration and music. David writes a psalm of thanksgiving – the covenant remembered in the psalm is the Abrahamic one about land, not the Davidic one about monarchy! Israel and nature praises God in the psalm. The appointed Levites maintain the temple with offerings every morning and evening. The people return home.


David wants to build temple. God speaks through Nathan that He has never required one, and that David’s son will build temple. David gives humble thanks to God for blessing his house.


David defeats and plunders Philistines, Moabites, Zobah, Syrians and Edomites. David receives gifts from a nervous king of Hamath. Key figures in David’s government are listed.


Nahash king of Ammon dies. David sends peaceful messengers who are shamed by the new king Hanun by having shaving them and cutting their garments. Under Joab and with the help of the Lord, Israel wins battle against Ammon and their Syrian allies.


Joab of Israel besieges Rabbah, and conquers Ammon. The Ammonites are enslaved. David and his men kill three Philistine giants: Sippai, Lahmi and a twelve-fingered and twelve-toed man.


David conducts a census of Israel. Joab is nervous, but compelled to obey. Joab contrives to spare the Levites and the Banjamites from the census. God is displeased, and via the prophet Gad offers David three options: three years of famine, three months of defeat in war, or three days of the angel of the Lord destroying with plague. David chooses plague, and 70,000 Israelites die. The plague stops of the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, where David sets up an altar. For pious reasons, David insists on buying the threshing floor rather than being granted it for free.


David begins preparing material to build the temple, and commands Solomon to build the temple in Jerusalem. David explains to him that God told him that he could not build the temple because he was a man of war, and therefore ceremonially unclean. Solomon, however, would be a man of ‘rest’.


David makes three divisions of Levites, to look after the temple, to judge, and to play music. The Kohathites are the Aaronic priests who deal with the most holy things. The duties of the Levites are listed: purifying, seeing to the showbread, singing praises in the morning and evening, making offerings etc.


A schedule of service is devised, with the Levites divided by lot into twenty-four sections. The Aaronic Levites are listed, then the remaining Levites.


Sons of Asaph, Jeduthun and Heman lead twenty-four groups of musicians for praising God. Lots are drawn, and the groups ordered and listed.


Names of Levite guards, officers, judges and workers of the temple and its service are listed.


Monthly officers, tribal leaders, treasure keepers, king's famers, counsellors, companions and army generals are listed.


David speaks to Israel's leaders about Solomon building the temple; he instructs Solomon to build temple and serve God. David has made plans for the temple, and for the divisions of the priests. God Himself spoke these plans to David.


David gives precious gifts to build the temple, as do prominent Israelites. David exalts the Lord: all things come from the Lord, and His people are undeserving. David prays for the hearts of his people, and for Solomon, to remain loyal to the Lord. There are rejoicings and sacrifices, and Solomon ascends seamlessly to the throne.

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