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Bible Commentaries

Kingcomments on the Whole Bible

1 Chronicles 27

Verses 1-15

5. The Commanders of the Army

The commanders of the army are not Levites. These are only those who perform the four services that we have seen before. Despite the rest that is there when David is king and has defeated his enemies, David keeps 24,000 soldiers on standby every month to ensure and maintain peace and security.

The commanders of the army mentioned here are also mentioned in 1 Chronicles 11 among the mighty men of David. They have shared with David his rejection and trial. Here they share in his glorification and reign; they are given the high function of commander of the army.

We are also rejected with the true David and as reward we will share in His glorification (2 Timothy 2:12). Whoever is faithful in the spiritual battle in the small, is also faithful in the big and gets a greater responsibility. Mighty men are formed in heavy trials and can later openly go out before the Lord of the Lords. Every believer who already has a certain service in the public domain has taken his aptitude test in secret. No one gets a public service if he is not exercised in secret.

Those who are at the forefront of the battle, the commanders of the army, can say how the battle should be fought because they have been taught by the great commander, the “captain of the host of the LORD” (Joshua 5:14). Young believers should pay attention to the elderly and wait for them to give the signal for battle.

Verses 16-24

6. The Princes of the Tribes of Israel

The princes of the twelve tribes can be applied to leaders the Lord gives in a local church. These are persons other than gatekeepers and commanders of the army. These leaders are in charge every day, when there is no talk of special situations. We might think of “gifts of … administrations” (1 Corinthians 12:28).

At the end there is a special mention of the census (1 Chronicles 27:23-Jeremiah :). From these verses we can learn that the people of God are always larger than we can count. David did not want to know the exact number of inhabitants, for then he would doubt God’s promise of countless offspring (Genesis 15:5; Genesis 22:17). His sin was that he wanted to know the strength of his people and therefore had counted all “who drew the sword” (1 Chronicles 21:2; 1 Chronicles 21:5).

Verses 25-34

7. Other Overseers and Counselors

This section lists the blessings of the land and who were in charge of them. All these blessings are under the care of David. Of this he can feed others through his overseers. Also now there are ‘overseers’ who can distribute food to the church (Matthew 24:45). Every fruit mentioned here has its own spiritual meaning, as does every animal.

Fighting is important, but it’s also a hard job. The same applies to the judge and gatekeeper. It also applies to the giving of food to God’s people. It is not always easy to be able to feed hungry hearts with the supplies our Lord holds. Yet that is more of a thankful work. It is more often received in gratitude.

The enumeration of the activities of the overseers shows a wide variety of activities. In the same way there is a great variety of gifts in the church. Those who have to do the work in the field cannot take care of the herds at the same time. He neither has understanding of this. Yet there is unanimity in all this work, for everything happens for the sake of king David. No one should interfere in the work of another. Everyone must be faithful in his own service.

We can apply a lot to the church. What each one has been entrusted with remains the property of the great King, the Lord Jesus. What confusion arises when someone starts to consider the field he has to maintain as his own. This is what happens a lot in Christianity, for example when a minister speaks of ‘my church’ and treats it as such. Only the Lord Jesus can speak about “My church” (Matthew 16:18).

“The king’s storehouses” (1 Chronicles 27:25) represent for us the treasures in heaven that we may collect (Matthew 6:20). We can think of everything we possess in Christ, because in Him “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3).

There are also the “the storehouses in the country, in the cities, in the villages and in the towers” (1 Chronicles 27:25). Joseph and Hezekiah have storehouses (Genesis 41:49; Genesis 41:56; 2 Chronicles 31:5; 2 Chronicles 31:72 Chronicles 31:10). These storehouses are used to distribute what has been collected. They are everywhere, in all kinds of areas and in all kinds of places. It points to the abundance of the land, in which all share, wherever they live.

“The storehouses in the country”, show the task that is done in the world. We can think of the preaching of the gospel, through which people come to conversion. “The cities” and “the villages” can be compared to large and small local churches, where people who have come to conversion are brought. “The towers” are lookouts to warn of the arrival of the enemy and provide protection from the enemy.

In “the agricultural workers” (1 Chronicles 27:26) we can see a picture of the work of the evangelists. Just as David appoints someone over his workers, Paul indicates how to work in God’s field (1 Corinthians 3:6-Ruth :). We also have to work with good seed, that is to say that the gospel must be preached pure, which means pure biblical.

The “charge of the vineyards” (1 Chronicles 27:27) is reminiscent of the care of God by His servants. The Father wants His own to bear fruit for Him (John 15:1-Exodus :). It gives Him joy when there is fruit for Him, of which “the wine cellars” speak (Judges 9:13).

By “the olive … trees” (1 Chronicles 27:28) we can think of growth in the house of God (Psalms 52:8; Psalms 92:13). This growth happens through the working of God’s Spirit, of Whom the oil is an image.

The “sycamore trees”, or fig-mulberry trees (Luke 19:6), are a picture of righteousness before God. When Adam and Eve have sinned, they make aprons of fig leaves (Genesis 3:7). It is a homemade apron that cannot cover their nakedness before God. Thus, a righteousness of its own cannot exist before God. If there is no fruit, the fig tree is cursed (Mark 11:12-2 Chronicles :). The only righteousness that God accepts is righteousness based on faith. He Himself gives that righteousness on the basis of the work of His Son.

The “stores of oil” speak of “the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Titus 3:5-Joshua :; 1 John 2:20; 1 John 2:27; Galatians 5:22-Isaiah :). The light of the Spirit is preserved for His people. Wherever it is needed unlimited use can be made of it. This oil never runs out.

The “cattle” (1 Chronicles 27:29) serve to sacrifice to God. For us, that means spiritual sacrifice. When the prophet Hosea gives the people the words to pronounce as a confession, he says: “That we may present the fruit of our lips [literally: our lips as bulls]” (Hosea 14:3). Their pronounced confession is compared to the sacrificing of bulls. This indicates the awareness that God will accept their confession as a sacrifice, with in their hearts the respect that goes with it.

That sacrifice is made in reality by the Lord Jesus. His sacrifice is great enough to forgive the greatest sin. The writer of the letter to the Hebrews quotes this verse from Hosea to encourage the believers to honor God: “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name [Literally: confess His name]” (Hebrews 13:15). Did we store this fruit?

“The camels (1 Chronicles 27:30) are burden bearers. The application to us comes in the spur: “Bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2). “The donkeys” (1 Chronicles 27:30) are also burden bearers, but in the application to us we see in it more the work in a local church and more of cooperation with others. “The flocks” (1 Chronicles 27:31) is reminiscent of the “little flock” (Luke 12:32) that depends on the Lord’s care.

“All these were overseers of the property which belonged to King David” (1 Chronicles 27:31). It should be remembered that the Lord Jesus, in His care, gave overseers and shepherds to pasture His flock. They are given the instruction: “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood”. (Acts 20:28; cf. 1 Peter 5:2).

Then seven men are mentioned who belong to the direct followers of David (1 Chronicles 27:32-Nahum :). They are more fiduciaries than officials. The first one mentioned is “Jonathan, David’s uncle” (1 Chronicles 27:32). He is a counselor, a man of understanding with a task as scribe i.e. court writer. The second person is “Jehiel, the son of Hachmoni” (1 Chronicles 27:32) who tutors the king’s sons. He takes care of the king’s sons, a task that has to do with raising and guiding.

The third is “Ahithophel counselor to the king” (1 Chronicles 27:33). Of him we know that, because David does not follow his advice at the revolt of Absalom, he commits suicide (2 Samuel 17:23). The fourth is “Husai, the Archite”, which is described as “the king’s friend” (1 Chronicles 27:33; 2 Samuel 15:37). He is a special fiduciary of the king (cf. 1 Kings 4:5).

After Ahithophel’s death, his position is taken over by “Jehoiada the son of Benaiah” (1 Chronicles 27:34), the fifth on the list. The sixth is “Abiathar” (1 Chronicles 27:34), the priest who manages to escape the slaughter in Nob and joins David (1 Samuel 22:20). Finally, the text mentions the well-known “commander of the king’s army” Joab (1 Chronicles 27:34).

“The counselor” (1 Chronicles 27:32-Micah :) is a person who can give advice. This should be done from a spiritual and Scriptural point of view and not from human wisdom point of view. Sometimes these advices are also recorded in writing. The letter to the Philippians, the first and second letter to Timothy and the letter to Philemon can be considered as such ‘advisory letters’.

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Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op 1 Chronicles 27". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/1-chronicles-27.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniƫl', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.