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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 18

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Introduction

First Chronicles Chapter 18

1 Chronicles 18:1 "Now after this it came to pass, that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them, and took Gath and her towns out of the hand of the Philistines."

The Philistines were the continuing enemy of Israel. David had no difficulty in his youth destroying the giant, Goliath, and he had no difficulty in destroying the Philistines here. In both instances, God strengthened David for the task. Gath is mentioned here, because it was an unusually strong city. For God that meant nothing. Gath was like the mother city. She and the cities around her fell.

1 Chronicles 18:2 "And he smote Moab; and the Moabites became David’s servants, [and] brought gifts."

This is the battle where David measured them with a line. He killed some of them, and kept the others alive. The gifts were, probably, tribute they paid David. We are seeing, in the verses of this lesson, a list of David’s conquests.

1 Chronicles 18:3 "And David smote Hadarezer king of Zobah unto Hamath, as he went to stablish his dominion by the river Euphrates."

1 Chronicles 18:4 "And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven thousand horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: David also houghed all the chariot [horses], but reserved of them an hundred chariots."

We discussed in another lesson, that houghed means that he cut their legs just behind the back of their hoofs so they could not walk. Israel had not been a nation that depended upon chariots and horses. In this battle, however, David does take 100 chariots. It appears in this battle, as many others David was in, he took a large number of captives, instead of killing them. Hadarezer, king of Zobah, was from Syria. Zobah was north of Damascus. David established his kingdom with the help of God.

1 Chronicles 18:5 "And when the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadarezer king of Zobah, David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men."

This is a statement that the 22,000 men, they sent from Damascus to help, were killed.

1 Chronicles 18:6 "Then David put [garrisons] in Syria-damascus; and the Syrians became David’s servants, [and] brought gifts. Thus the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went."

As we said earlier, David did not kill all of the enemies. He took many as slaves. He left some, and collected tribute from them. These garrisons were put in these areas to keep the people under submission to David. The LORD was with David. He actually fought for David.

1 Chronicles 18:7 "And David took the shields of gold that were on the servants of Hadarezer, and brought them to Jerusalem."

We can see, from this, the vast wealth of Zoba. It would be extravagant to make shields of gold. Later we will find that Solomon had shields of gold, as well.

1 Chronicles 18:8 "Likewise from Tibhath, and from Chun, cities of Hadarezer, brought David very much brass, wherewith Solomon made the brasen sea, and the pillars, and the vessels of brass."

It appears, this land had much gold and brass. Brass symbolizes judgment and was used in the brasen sea, just inside the temple. When a person looked into the sea of glass, he was symbolically judged.

1 Chronicles 18:9 "Now when Tou king of Hamath heard how David had smitten all the host of Hadarezer king of Zobah;"

1 Chronicles 18:10 "He sent Hadoram his son to king David, to inquire of his welfare, and to congratulate him, because he had fought against Hadarezer, and smitten him; (for Hadarezer had war with Tou;) and [with him] all manner of vessels of gold and silver and brass."

Hadoram is called Joram in another Scripture about this same event. It seems, that Tou had, indeed, fought with Hadarezer. Tou had, probably, lost and had been paying tribute to him. His gifts to David were in appreciation for stopping the tyrant. These gifts were generous. This was a very wealthy land in the three metals: gold, silver, and brass.

1 Chronicles 18:11 "Them also king David dedicated unto the LORD, with the silver and the gold that he brought from all [these] nations; from Edom, and from Moab, and from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines, and from Amalek."

When the temple was built by Solomon, it would take large amounts of gold, silver, and brass. David would use much of the wealth, he received from these countries, to build the things of the temple. Of course, David would not build it, but his son. He would furnish much of the wealth for it, however. There is a list of the lands that David spoiled in the verse above.

1 Chronicles 18:12 "Moreover Abishai the son of Zeruiah slew of the Edomites in the valley of salt eighteen thousand."

We mentioned that the valley of salt is by the Salt Sea, or the Dead Sea. Abishai was in the service of David, when he did this act. The 18,000 would have come close to total destruction for them.

1 Chronicles 18:13 "And he put garrisons in Edom; and all the Edomites became David’s servants. Thus the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went."

Edom was no different, in that they paid tribute to David, as well. He put the garrisons and soldiers to watch over their activity, and to make sure they paid their taxes.

1 Chronicles 18:14 "So David reigned over all Israel, and executed judgment and justice among all his people."

This had been the work of the judges in old. Now, the king was also the one who meted out justice. Serious matters were brought before the king for judgment. David was a good king. He was fair in his judgments.

1 Chronicles 18:15 "And Joab the son of Zeruiah [was] over the host; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, recorder."

Joab was over David’s troops. The recorder was important, because the Hebrews were very careful to keep records. The Hebrews kept accurate historical records.

1 Chronicles 18:16 "And Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Abimelech the son of Abiathar, [were] the priests; and Shavsha was scribe;"

Zadok was priest at the same time as Abiathar. From this verse above, it seems that his son was the high priest. The scribe was similar to a secretary of state. They had the important job of copying Scriptures, as well. Shavsha was more of a civil scribe in government.

1 Chronicles 18:17 "And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada [was] over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and the sons of David [were] chief about the king."

The Cherethites and the Pelethites had been Philistines. David had conquered them, and made them part of his guard. David had many sons by many wives and many sons by concubines, possibly, that are not even mentioned. David’s sons were princes.

1 Chronicles 18 Questions

1. In verse 1, David smote the _______________.

2. What town did he take?

3. Who were the continuing enemy of Israel?

4. Who had David defeated in his youth?

5. In 1 Chronicles 18:2, he smote _________.

6. What did David do with those he did not kill?

7. What were the gifts they gave David?

8. Who was king of Zoba, when David smote them?

9. How many horsemen did David take from him?

10. What did David do to the horses, except those for 100 chariots?

11. Where was Zoba?

12. Who came to help Zoba?

13. What happened to them?

14. Where did David put garrisons?

15. What did David take, that were on the servants?

16. Solomon made the brasen sea with what?

17. Why was Tou happy about David winning over Zoba?

18. Why did he send his son to David?

19. What gifts did he take to David?

20. David used much of this wealth for what?

21. How many did Abishai kill of the Edomites at the valley of salt?

22. Where is the valley of salt located?

23. What happened to the Edomites?

24. David executed ________ and __________ among all his people.

25. Who was over the host?

26. Why was the recorder important?

27. Who were the priests?

28. The scribe was similar to the _______ of ________.

29. Who were the Cherethites, and the Pelethites?

30. What were David’s sons?

Verses 1-2

1Ch 18:1-2

1 Chronicles 18:1-2

DAVID’S GOD-GIVEN VICTORIES OF HIS ENEMIES;

VICTORY OVER THE PHILISTINES AND THE MOABITES

"And after this it came to pass, that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them, and took Goth and its towns out of the hands of the Philistines. And he smote Moab; and the Moabites became servants to David, and brought tribute."

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 18:1. This book is a general collection of the outstanding facts concerning the nation of God. It does not claim to give all the details, neither does it profess to be always connected chronologically. We have just read a psalm and prayer of David for the promise made to him concerning the house to be built by his son. Now the sacred writer or historian goes into some of the military operations of the great man of God. We shall finally learn that David was not permitted to build the house of God because of his warlike activities. It was consistent, therefore, for the writer to break away from the happy subject of the temple to be built in the future, and to take up the narrative of David’s military movements.

1 Chronicles 18:2. Brought gifts. See my comments at Genesis 32:13 on the meaning of this.

Verses 3-4

1Ch 18:3-4

1 Chronicles 18:3-4

DEFEAT OF THE KING OF ZOBAB

"And David smote Hadarezer king of Zobah unto Hamath, as he went to establish his dominion by the river Euphrates. And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven thousand horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen; and David hocked all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for a hundred chariots."

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 18:3-4.-- Genesis 15:18 shows that Abraham’s descendants were to possess the territory reaching as far as the River Euphrates. It was never fully realized until the days of Solomon, (1 Kings 4:21), but was partially taken by David. It was necessary, though, for him to be on the alert to hold the points taken. At this time he went on one of such missions, and on the way encountered this man Hadarezer and took over his holdings as far as Hamath. Houghed the horses means he cut the tendons of the horses that is a part of the leg near the hoof. That would disable the animal for use yet leave him in possession of his strength otherwise, thus making him a care or burden.

Verses 5-8

1Ch 18:5-8

1 Chronicles 18:5-8

DEFEAT OF THE SYRIAN ALLIES OF HADAREZER

"And when the Syrians came to succor Hadarezer king of Zobah, David smote of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men. Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus; and the Syrians became servants of David, and brought tribute. And Jehovah gave victory to David whithersoever he went. And David took the shields of gold that were on the servants of Hadarezer, and brought them to Jerusalem. And from Tibhath and from Cun, cities of Hadarezer, David took very much brass, wherewith Solomon made the brazen sea, and the pillars, and the vessels of brass."

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 18:5. The Syrians were north of Canaan and often showed their sympathy for the foes of Israel. They thought of helping Hadarezer against David, but were met with great defeat and loss of their own forces.

1 Chronicles 18:6. A garrison is a fortified post in the territory of an enemy, or at least a territory in doubt. Syriadamascus means that part of Syria in which was located Damascus, the capital. The garrisons placed there would be for preventing another attempt like the one just made on behalf of Hadarezer. It brought the Syrians into subjection to David to the extent that they gave him "gifts." See comments at Genesis 32:13 on the meaning of such gifts.

1 Chronicles 18:7. These shields of gold were valuable as precious metal, not as implements of war, as far as David was concerned.

1 Chronicles 18:8. Among the cities which David took from Hadarezer there was much brass or bronze. This proved to be useful in the future, when Solomon son of David, came to the work of the temple and its vessels of service.

Verses 9-11

1Ch 18:9-11

1 Chronicles 18:9-11

TOLU ACCEPTS THE DOMINION OF DAVID

"And when Tolu king of Hamath heard that David had smitten all the host of Hadarezer king of Zobah, he sent Hadoram his son to king David, to salute him, and to bless him, because he had fought against Hadarezer and smitten him (for Hadarezer had wars with Tolu); and he had with him all manner of vessels of gold and silver and brass. These also did king David dedicate unto Jehovah, with the silver and the gold that he carried away from all the nations; from Edom, and from Moab, and from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines, and from Amalek."

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 18:9-10. Tou, also spelled Toi, had previously been oppressed by Hadarezer. He was therefore thankful for the relief resulting from David’s work, and expressed his appreciation in a practical way. He not only sent his son to congratulate him on his success, but sent useful materials to him in the nature of these "gifts."

1 Chronicles 18:11. Whenever David subdued the enemy he took from them their valuables, which he reserved to be used in the service of the Lord.

Verses 12-13

1Ch 18:12-13

1 Chronicles 18:12-13

OTHER VICTORIES OF DAVID BY ABISHAI

"Moreover Abishai the son of Zeruiah smote of the Edomites in the Valley of Salt eighteen thousand. And he put garrisons in Edom; and all the Edomites became servants to David. And Jehovah gave victory to David whithersoever he went."

These verses are parallel with 2 Samuel 8:1-14. The Chronicler made no mention of David’s extreme cruelty to the Moabites; but otherwise there are few variations.

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 18:12. Abishai was one of David’s mighty men. This verse is put in at this place because it is another item in the long list of the exploits against the numerous foes of the Israelites. The 1 Chronicles 18 : was a broad open plain just south of the Dead Sea. This Sea was otherwise called Salt Sea, which accounts for the name of this valley. The territory of the Edomites was not far from the Dead Sea.

1 Chronicles 18:13. See 1 Chronicles 18:6 for explanation of the garrisons and their use. The ability to plant them was evidence of success against an enemy, hence the words thus the Lord preserved David.

Verses 14-17

1Ch 18:14-17

1 Chronicles 18:14-17

A LIST OF DAVID’S ADMINISTRATORS

"And David reigned over all Israel; and he executed justice and righteousness unto all his people. And Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the host; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder; and Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Abimelech the son of Abiathar were priests; and Shavsha was scribe; and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and the sons of David were chief about the king."

These verses are parallel with 2 Samuel 8:15-18. Special attention is devoted there to the apparent conflict of 1 Chronicles 18:17 here with 2 Samuel 8:18. It is resolved in the fact that there was an early meaning of the word incorrectly translated "priest," in 2Samuel, which was sometimes used for administrator, which is the office meant in both references.

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 18:14. All Israel is significant because at first he reigned only over one tribe. Judgment and justice means his decisions were wise and fair to all.

1 Chronicles 18:15-17. See the remarks at 2 Samuel 8:16-18 on the cabinet of David.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 1 Chronicles 18". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/1-chronicles-18.html.
 
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