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Friday, June 14th, 2024
the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 14

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary


First Chronicles Chapter 14

1 Chronicles 14:1 "Now Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and timber of cedars, with masons and carpenters, to build him an house."

Hiram or Huram is, probably, short for Ahiram. In first Kings, he was spoken of as Hirom. Ahiram was his Phoenecian name. Tyre was short of food, and Israel needed the cedar. Hiram gave the cedar to David with no strings attached, but David gave Tyre grain, that they badly needed. The men of Tyre were skilled in working with wood, and sent carpenters and masons to build David a house.

1 Chronicles 14:2 "And David perceived that the LORD had confirmed him king over Israel, for his kingdom was lifted up on high, because of his people Israel."

When Hiram built this beautiful house, or more probably, a mansion for David, David recognized it as another blessing from God. This had never happened in the 7 years he was in Hebron. He, now, realized that he was where the LORD wanted him to be. When God pours out a blessing, it is so abundant that no one can doubt where it is coming from. David knew God was blessing him mightily.

1 Chronicles 14:3 "And David took more wives at Jerusalem: and David begat more sons and daughters."

In another Scripture, the wives are called concubines. It really does not matter here, which they were. Children were believed to be blessings from God, and David had many. One of the signs of a powerful king was the number of wives he had.

1 Chronicles 14:4 "Now these [are] the names of [his] children which he had in Jerusalem; Shammua, and Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon,"

These 4 sons were born to David by his wife Bathsheba. Shammua is the same as Shimea in 1 Chronicles 3:5. The genealogy that leads to Mary, the mother of Jesus, comes from Nathan, mentioned here. It is very interesting, that Bathsheba would name a child by the prophet, Nathan’s, name.

1 Chronicles 14:5 "And Ibhar, and Elishua, and Elpalet,"

1 Chronicles 14:6 "And Nogah, and Nepheg, and Japhia,"

1 Chronicles 14:7 "And Elishama, and Beeliada, and Eliphalet."

These 9 were, also, born to David by his wives in Jerusalem. The children born of the concubines are not mentioned.

1 Chronicles 14:8 "And when the Philistines heard that David was anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek David. And David heard [of it], and went out against them."

The Philistines were a constant enemy of Israel. Whoever was king of Israel was their enemy. They were not seeking him to be friends. They intended to overthrow him, if they could. They had destroyed Saul, and they thought David would be no different. They had forgotten David’s God.

1 Chronicles 14:9 "And the Philistines came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim."

The valley of Rephaim is the valley of giants. They have spread themselves for battle. At the time this is speaking of the Philistines still held some territory around Jerusalem from their previous battle with Saul.

1 Chronicles 14:10 "And David inquired of God, saying, Shall I go up against the Philistines? and wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto him, Go up; for I will deliver them into thine hand."

David is doing the correct thing in asking God before he goes in to battle, whether it is the thing to do, or not. He, probably, went to the high priest and had him to ask of God. We are not told exactly how he did it, just that he did. David knows when God tells him to go, He will be with him, and David and his men will win the battle. When the LORD fights for you, there is no way to lose.

1 Chronicles 14:11 "So they came up to Baal-perazim; and David smote them there. Then David said, God hath broken in upon mine enemies by mine hand like the breaking forth of waters: therefore they called the name of that place Baal-perazim."

"Baal-perazim" means master of breaches. This would be appropriate to name the place, since God broke in upon the enemies for David. God empowered David and his men for the battle. The "breaking forth of waters" is speaking of a flood. This battle was unexpected by the Philistines, and Israel came in on them like a flood.

1 Chronicles 14:12 "And when they had left their gods there, David gave a commandment, and they were burned with fire."

These false gods {images} were, probably, made of wood. They were gathered up and burned. Not only does David defeat the Philistines, but the false gods of the Philistines are proven to be nothings, as well.

1 Chronicles 14:13 "And the Philistines yet again spread themselves abroad in the valley."

It appears, from this, that the Philistines who were not killed in the first battle, regrouped and spread out to war against David again, in this same valley.

1 Chronicles 14:14 "Therefore David inquired again of God; and God said unto him, Go not up after them; turn away from them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees."

Again, David very wisely got advice from God what he should do. He was not to attack them at this time. In fact, it would appear that he was withdrawing. The mulberry trees were located behind them, and would leave them no way of escape. When the army of Israel appeared to be leaving the battleground, they would go to the rear of the Philistine troops and wait for a signal from God to attack.

1 Chronicles 14:15 "And it shall be, when thou shalt hear a sound of going in the tops of the mulberry trees, [that] then thou shalt go out to battle: for God is gone forth before thee to smite the host of the Philistines."

Sometimes, the Spirit of God is likened to a mighty rushing wind. That was what David and his men would hear, before they went to attack. God would lead the attack. He would fight for Israel. David and his men would come behind and finish up.

1 Chronicles 14:16 "David therefore did as God commanded him: and they smote the host of the Philistines from Gibeon even to Gazer." This is just showing how large their army was. This mattered not to God. The Philistines were destroyed from Gibeon {Geba} to Gazer. God honors those who obey His commands. David was given credit for winning this battle.

1 Chronicles 14:17 "And the fame of David went out into all lands; and the LORD brought the fear of him upon all nations."

God fought this battle, but the eyes of the nations looking on gave credit for the victory to David. They feared David, but they, also, feared the God of David. Their fear was based on the fact that they knew God was with David. Notice, who brought the fear, it was the LORD.

1 Chronicles 14 Questions

1. Who was king of Tyre?

2. What did he send to David as material for his house?

3. Who built the house?

4. What were some other names Hiram was called?

5. What did David give Hiram that helped him?

6. What did David perceive that the LORD had done?

7. David recognized this beautiful house as what?

8. Many wives were a sign of what?

9. The four children of David, in 1 Chronicles 14:4, are the children of David’s wife ____________.

10. How many other children born in Jerusalem are mentioned?

11. Whose children are they?

12. Which of David’s children are not listed?

13. Who heard of the anointing of David as king of all Isreal and came against him?

14. What did David do first, before he reacted to the threat?

15. Where did the Philistines settle themselves?

16. What will happen, since the LORD told David to fight this battle?

17. What does "Baal-perazim" mean?

18. What is the "breaking forth of waters" speaking of?

19. What did David command to do with their false gods?

20. Who does this defeat, besides the Philistines?

21. What did the Philistines, that were not killed in the first battle, do?

22. When David inquired of God, what did God tell him to do?

23. When was David and his men to attack?

24. What caused the rustling in the mulberry trees?

25. Where were the mulberry trees located?

26. Who went first in the battle?

27. What happened to the Philistines?

28. The fame of __________ went into all the lands.

29. Who did the nations fear?

30. Who brought the fear?

Verses 1-17

1Ch 14:1-17

1 Chronicles 14:1-17




"And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and masons, and carpenters, to build him a house. And David perceived that Jehovah had established him king over Israel; for his kingdom was exalted on high, for his people Israel’s sake.

"And David took more wives at Jerusalem; and David begat more sons and daughters. And these are the names of the children whom he had in Jerusalem: Shammua, and Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon, and Ibhar, and Elishua, and Elpelet, and Nogah, and Nepheg, and Japhia, and Elishama, and Beeliada, and Eliphelet.

"And when the Philistines heard that David was anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek David: and David heard of it, and went out against them. Now the Philistines had come and made a raid in the valley of Rephaim. And David inquired of God, Shall I go up against the Philistines? and wilt thou deliver them into my hand? And Jehovah said unto him, Go up; for I will deliver them into thy hand. So they came up to Baal-perazim, and David smote them there; and David said, God hath broken mine enemies by my hand, like a breach of waters. Therefore they called the name of that place Baal-perazim. And they left their gods there; and David gave commandment, and they were burned with fire.

"And the Philistines yet again made a raid in the valley. And David inquired again of God; and God said unto him, Thou shalt not go up after them: turn away from them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees. And it shall be, that when thou hearest the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt go out to battle; for God is gone out before thee to smite the host of the Philistines. And David did as God commanded him: and they smote the host of the Philistines from Gibeon even to Gezer. And the fame of David went out into all lands; and Jehovah brought the fear of him upon all nations."

Here also we have a chapter exactly parallel with 2 Samuel 5:11-25, where my commentary on these events is found on pp. 59-65, and where the slight and unimportant variations are also noted.

"For his people Israel’s sake" (1 Chronicles 14:2). David’s life, like that of all mortals, was marred by many sins and mistakes; and this significant phrase indicates that David fully realized that God’s blessings upon him were not for David’s sake, but for the sake of God’s people and the purpose of salvation for all men that was destined in the purpose of God to come through Israel.

"Like a breach of waters" (1 Chronicles 14:11). The RSV renders this ambiguous phrase, "like a bursting flood."

In spite of the fact that David’s notorious sins against Bathsheba and Uriah are not mentioned here, there is no effort whatever to conceal his multiplying unto himself wives and concubines specifically contrary to the Law of God.

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 14:1-2. From a strictly religious standpoint, there should have been no fellowship between Hiram and David. The former was of the heathen nations while the latter was of the nation of God. But the Mosaic system was a combination of civil and religious government. From the civil standpoint it was in order for the two to be on friendly terms. The fact that Hiram contributed valuable materials toward the building of a house for his kingdom, indicated to David that Providence was in his favor and that his acquiring the entire kingdom of Israel was to be permanent. These verses, however, are introductory only, and nothing will be done for some time about the building.

1 Chronicles 14:3-7. In a book of this kind we may expect to find a repetition of some details and see them scattered. The list of David’s sons is given in 1 Chronicles 3:3-9. In that place it is shown that Nathan and Solomon were his sons by the same woman, who was Bath-sheba. This is interesting from the fact that the full brothers were ancestors of Christ. Nathan headed the line ending with Mary the mother of Jesus, and Solomon headed the line ending with Joseph, the foster father.

1 Chronicles 14:8. News of David’s rise to power over the whole nation of Israel was displeasing to the Philistines, the old enemies of God’s people. They came up to oppose him, but he went out against them.

1 Chronicles 14:9. The valley of Rephaim was a field south of Jerusalem. It was the scene of some of David’s greatest conquests. The Philistines spread in this locality in a position threatening to David.

1 Chronicles 14:10. David was a man with great faith in God. He depended on his counsel and help in the duel with Goliath, now he asked for divine guidance in the matter of meeting the Philistines. Upon inquiry the Lord told him to attack the enemy with the promise that he would win.

1 Chronicles 14:11. Baal-perazim was a place within the valley of Rephaim. At that spot David won a great victory over the enemy and gave the credit to God.

1 Chronicles 14:12. In their flight the Philistines left their gods behind; David commanded that they should be burned.

1 Chronicles 14:13. The enemy was persistent in the conflict and returned to the valley.

1 Chronicles 14:14. The Lord directed David to make a different mode of attack. The reason for it is not stated.

1 Chronicles 14:15. According to Smith’s Bible Dictionary the mulberry trees referred to are not the same as our trees of that name, but something like the aspen tree. The original word is defined by Strong, "The weeping tree (some gum-distilling tree, perhaps the balsam)." As the leaves of the aspen tree are very sensitive to the slightest disturbance it is significant that God used the sound of the going in the tops of the mulberry trees as the signal for attack. See my comments at 2 Kings 2:8 as to unusual and arbitrary means used in connection with a miracle.

1 Chronicles 14:16. From Gibeon even unto Gazer means David defeated the Philistines who were pitched against him in the territory between those two cities.

1 Chronicles 14:17. The nations feared David in the sense of respecting him. They regarded him as a man of such dignity and power that it would be unwise to ignore him.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 1 Chronicles 14". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/1-chronicles-14.html.
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