2 Chronicles Chapter 1

Second Chronicles is a continuation of a record of the children of Israel from the creation until the time when they would be allowed to return to their lands, after many were taken into Babylon. The beginning of the second book of Chronicles, starts with the reign of Solomon. Solomon was the son of David and Bathsheba. 2 Samuel 12 teaches that, “he called his name Solomon: and the Lord loved him.” (see 2 Samuel 12:24) Solomon was chosen by the Lord to be king, before his birth. In 1 Chronicles 22:9 we read the word of the Lord to David. “Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.” This chapter begins:

1 And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the Lord his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly.
2 Then Solomon spake unto all Israel, to the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and to the judges, and to every governor in all Israel, the chief of the fathers.
3 So Solomon, and all the congregation with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the tabernacle of the congregation of God, which Moses the servant of the Lord had made in the wilderness.
4 But the ark of God had David brought up from Kirjath-jearim to the place which David had prepared for it: for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem.
5 Moreover the brasen altar, that Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, he put before the tabernacle of the Lord: and Solomon and the congregation sought unto it.
6 And Solomon went up thither to the brasen altar before the Lord, which was at the tabernacle of the congregation, and offered a thousand burnt offerings upon it.

The kingdom of Solomon was blessed by the Lord. Solomon was magnified by the Lord as well.
Then, Solomon gathered the leaders of Israel to the tabernacle in Gibeon, where the brasen altar was and he offered 1,000 burnt offerings on the altar.

7 In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee.
8 And Solomon said unto God, Thou hast shewed great mercy unto David my father, and hast made me to reign in his stead.
9 Now, O Lord God, let thy promise unto David my father be established: for thou hast made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude.
10 Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?
11 And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king:
12 Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.

That night, The Lord appeared to Solomon and told him he would give him what he asked of the Lord. After recognizing the mercy shown to his father, Solomon asked that the promises made to his father David would be fulfilled. Solomon asked the Lord for wisdom and knowledge, to be able to rule over and judge the children of Israel who were so great in number. It would seem that, like so many others who are called to lead, he did not feel he was adequate for the calling he had received. God blessed Solomon for such a righteous desire, and because he did not ask for personal riches, wealth, honor, or a long life. He gave him wisdom and knowledge, as well as riches, wealth and honor. God blessed him to be greater than any king who had lived or who would ever live.

13 Then Solomon came from his journey to the high place that was at Gibeon to Jerusalem, from before the tabernacle of the congregation, and reigned over Israel.
14 And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, which he placed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.
15 And the king made silver and gold at Jerusalem as plenteous as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycomore trees that are in the vale for abundance.
16 And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king’s merchants received the linen yarn at a price.
17 And they fetched up, and brought forth out of Egypt a chariot for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so brought they out horses for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, by their means.

Solomon returned to Jerusalem and reigned in Israel. His kingdom was blessed with a great number of chariots and horsemen, silver and gold in large amounts, cedar trees in abundance, Egyptian horses, linen yarn, and a chariot and horse from Egypt, as well as horses for the kings of the Hittites and Syria. His kingdom was truly blessed with wealth and riches.

Wisdom and knowledge are Godly attributes that all men should aspire to have. Solomon was not without them in total, because he knew to worship the Lord and pray for the guidance he needed, which other men would not have done. God blessed him for his goodness and his desire to lead in a manner that was pleasing to Him. Our Father in Heaven is not a respecter of persons and He desires to bless us as well. If we approach Him in prayer, with an honest heart and a desire to do what is right, He will help us as he helped Solomon in his need.

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1 Chronicles Chapter 29

The book of 1 Chronicles records the history of the people of God from the creation through the rule of King David. As the last chapter in this book, the words of David to his successor and his people are wrapped up. David had been a great leader for the children of Israel, even with his personal flaws and transgressions. He had fought the enemies of the land valiantly. As a result, the land of Israel had finally been made ready for a permanent house of the Lord, which Solomon was to build during his reign. This final chapter begins with the following:

1 Furthermore David the king said unto all the congregation, Solomon my son, whom alone God hath chosen, is yet young and tender, and the work is great: for the palace is not for man, but for the Lord God.
2 Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for things to be made of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and the brass for things of brass, the iron for things of iron, and wood for things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colours, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance.
3 Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house,
4 Even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses withal:
5 The gold for things of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and for all manner of work to be made by the hands of artificers. And who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the Lord?

David, speaking to all the Israelites, said that the work given to Solomon was a huge task for a leader who was still young. The Lord has often called those who are young, to perform great tasks for Him. David himself, who had fought Goliath in his youth, had been chosen by God at a young age to become the king of Israel. In youth, people are more humble and teachable, and less hardened by life experiences. In humility, the Lord can bless the weak to become strong, because they rely on Him and have greater faith and trust in the Lord.

David, in his own sincere desire to have the house of the Lord built, had done all that he could to prepare for it. Since he could not build it himself, he had saved all the treasures and supplies, that he could. He had a good amount of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, and stones, which he had gathered. He had even given a great deal of his own treasures, and dedicated them to the house of the Lord. The Lord had given instruction regarding specific materials to use for specific purposes in the construction of the temple as well as the design of all the tools and vessels. David told the people that the the things he had gathered were for their specific items within the temple, to be crafted by skilled workers. He then called for all who were willing, to consecrate their service to this great work.

6 Then the chief of the fathers and princes of the tribes of Israel, and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers of the king’s work, offered willingly,
7 And gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand drams, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron.
8 And they with whom precious stones were found gave them to the treasure of the house of the Lord, by the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite.
9 Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the Lord: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.

The leaders of the tribes of Israel gave willingly to the construction of the temple. They gathered gold, silver, brass, iron, and precious stones. Jehiel, the Gershonite (possibly mentioned in 1 Chronicles 23:8 as leader of the sons of Laadan, who were Levites who served at the temple, though there were others by this name listed), worked to gather and give these treasures to house of the Lord.

The Israelites rejoiced because they willingly gave this offering to the Lord. David rejoiced also for their offerings to the Lord. God does not need men to give him their treasures in order to be able to have a House built to his name, because he could provide a way for these things to be handled without them. However, this is a sacrifice and a consecration of means and time, which God asks of men in order to show commitment to Him. This sacrifice of the Israelites, was much like the tithing that God asks of His people today. All things are His and when we contribute willingly to the building up of His kingdom on Earth, we show that we recognize that we are willing to do our part for Him. This commitment is worthy of rejoicing and having a grateful heart, as it was to the Israelites.

10 Wherefore David blessed the Lord before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.
11 Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.
12 Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.
13 Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.
14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.
15 For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.
16 O Lord our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.
17 I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.
18 O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee:
19 And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision.

David publicly praised the Lord as he dedicated all that had been offered to the Lord. He acknowledged that all things belonged to God, both in heaven and in the earth, and that all things were and are part of the Lord’s kingdom. He also recognized that God rules over all, just as the Savior did in what is known as the Lord’s prayer. Matthew 6:9-10 and 13 record he Savior’s words, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. …For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” These thoughts of both David and Jesus the Christ, are absolute truths related to God, the Father. They are eternal truths that should continue to be recognized today. People today can and should acknowledge God publicly and privately for His divine majesty.

Continuing, David acknowledged the power and might of God, and that God gives to men the ability to be great and strong. David thanked and praised God, adding that they were only able to give so freely of things because they belonged to the Lord and He made it possible. Again, this is an absolute truth and can and should be recognized by people today. All things, both in the earth and made by man, come of God. He has created all of it and it all belongs to Him. We are only here on earth, for a short time, with the permission granted to us to use all that He has created. When we give to the Lord in ways such as tithes and offerings, as the Israelites did, we are returning to the Lord what He has made possible for us to use. In this, we should be continually grateful, as David was.

David humbly recognized that the children of Israel were strangers and travelers as their ancestors had been. This idea again applies to all men. We are all strangers to this life. We were spiritually created first, and lived in Heaven with God. We spend our time in this earthly life, as strangers, needing the prevailing guidance of our Father. That time is ever-changing, short and never standing still, as a shadow changes each moment with the movement of the sun.

As he went on, David spoke of the ways of God to test the hearts of his people, and of His pleasure in finding uprightness in them. David had willingly given his offering out of his own uprightness of heart, or honesty and goodness, and he found joy in seeing the people give willingly as well. He prayed to the Lord, that the people would remember this and prepare their hearts for the Lord. Moreover, he prayed that the Lord would bless his son, Solomon, with a perfect heart. That Solomon would keep the commandments and statutes of God, and do all in his power to build the temple for which David had prepared greatly.

20 And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the Lord your God. And all the congregation blessed the Lord God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the Lord, and the king.
21 And they sacrificed sacrifices unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings unto the Lord, on the morrow after that day, even a thousand bullocks, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel:
22 And did eat and drink before the Lord on that day with great gladness. And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him unto the Lord to be the chief governor, and Zadok to be priest.
23 Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.
24 And all the princes, and the mighty men, and all the sons likewise of king David, submitted themselves unto Solomon the king.
25 And the Lord magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.

The gathered people were told to worship the Lord, which they did through prayer, sacrifices, and burnt offerings. Their worship continued as they feasted with great gladness. Solomon was anointed king by the people, with Zadok as the priest. Solomon took the throne and prospered. Israel became subject to him, including all the leaders who had served under David. Solomon was truly blessed by the Lord, in ways that had not been known to the Israelites before this time.

26 Thus David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel.
27 And the time that he reigned over Israel was forty years; seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem.
28 And he died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour: and Solomon his son reigned in his stead.
29 Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer,
30 With all his reign and his might, and the times that went over him, and over Israel, and over all the kingdoms of the countries.

David had been king in Hebron for 7 years and in Jerusalem for 33 years, making his total reign in Israel, 40 years. He died at a good age for his day, which was about 70 (his rule began when he was 30, according to 2 Samuel 5:4), having been blessed with wealth and honor. There are other accounts of David’s reign, which are not all had in the Bible and are lost writings, but his reign was great and established much for the nation of Israel.

David was a good example to the people of his time, as well as to all the world since that time, to praise God with gratitude. He had been a memorable leader for Israel, serving them and remembering God. He had his shortcomings and was not a perfect man, but he recognized this in himself and ended his days looking to God. As the successful king he was, he could have chosen to withhold his gratitude as many others do. However, David knew from his youth, that his successes and greatness came from the hand of the Lord. As we go through our lives today, it is important for us to remember this as well. We owe so much to God for all He does for us, and we will be blessed and become more, if we humbly look to God with a grateful heart and openly praise Him.

1 Chronicles Chapter 28

The book of 1 Chronicles continues in its record of the rule of King David. A fair amount of this information has been already recorded in the books of Kings (1 Samuel to 2 Kings). This chapter can be compared to 2 Samuel 7 and 1 Kings 2. It begins:

1 And David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the captains of the companies that ministered to the king by course, and the captains over the thousands, and captains over the hundreds, and the stewards over all the substance and possession of the king, and of his sons, with the officers, and with the mighty men, and with all the valiant men, unto Jerusalem.
2 Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building:
3 But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood.
4 Howbeit the Lord God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever: for he hath chosen Judah to be the ruler; and of the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father he liked me to make me king over all Israel:
5 And of all my sons, (for the Lord hath given me many sons,) he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel.
6 And he said unto me, Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father.
7 Moreover I will establish his kingdom for ever, if he be constant to do my commandments and my judgments, as at this day.
8 Now therefore in the sight of all Israel the congregation of the Lord, and in the audience of our God, keep and seek for all the commandments of the Lord your God: that ye may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you for ever.

David gathered the leaders of Israel, including the princes, captains of his men as well as the armies, stewards, his sons, and his mighty men (named in the previous chapters). They were called to Jerusalem where David told them that he had desired to build a house of the Lord, where they could place the ark of the covenant of the Lord. But when he asked the Lord, God told him he was not to build it because his duty had been as a man of war. David had been chosen and raised by the Lord to be a man of war. He battled Goliath as a boy and as he grew he was led to fight for Israel by the hand of God. The fact that he was a man of war was not a bad thing, but it had been his calling by God and raising the temple was not. Each person has an opportunity to accept the calling that God has for them and these callings are all different. For some, it is to lead, while for others it is to follow. For some, it is to become parents during this life, while for others it is to go without children for now and to be a light to children in other ways. We can learn what that calling is for us, by aligning ourselves with God and His will, through following the commandments he gives to us.

David continues to tell them that he had been chosen by the Lord, out of all of his brothers, to be king. Likewise, out of all of his many sons, the Lord had chosen Solomon to be the next king. The Lord told David that Solomon would be he one to build the temple of the Lord. He would bless Solomon, that his kingdom would be established forever, if he would remain faithful to God’s commandments. The Lord instructed Solomon and Israel, to keep and seek the commandments so that the land would remain their land from that time on, forever. This promise made to Solomon and the men gathered there, to have the inheritance of the land for keeping the commandments of God continually, is much like the promise to the family of Lehi found in 1 Nephi 2:20. It reads, “And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper, and shall be led to a land of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands.” The blessing of prosperity in the land of promise continues today for those who remain faithful.

9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.
10 Take heed now; for the Lord hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.

Solomon, who knew the things of God, was instructed to serve him with all his heart and with a willing mind. Because God knows the hearts of men, and understands all thoughts, He is there for those who seek him. If instead, He is forsaken, He casts men off forever. Solomon was counseled to be careful, because he had been chosen to build the temple and he needed to have the strength needed to do it. This task was one of a very sacred responsibility, which required God’s continued guidance at every step if it was to be accepted by Him for his holy purposes.

11 Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat,
12 And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the Lord, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things:
13 Also for the courses of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of the Lord, and for all the vessels of service in the house of the Lord.
14 He gave of gold by weight for things of gold, for all instruments of all manner of service; silver also for all instruments of silver by weight, for all instruments of every kind of service:
15 Even the weight for the candlesticks of gold, and for their lamps of gold, by weight for every candlestick, and for the lamps thereof: and for the candlesticks of silver by weight, both for the candlestick, and also for the lamps thereof, according to the use of every candlestick.
16 And by weight he gave gold for the tables of shewbread, for every table; and likewise silver for the tables of silver:
17 Also pure gold for the fleshhooks, and the bowls, and the cups: and for the golden basins he gave gold by weight for every basin; and likewise silver by weight for every basin of silver:
18 And for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the pattern of the chariot of the cherubims, that spread out their wings, and covered the ark of the covenant of the Lord.
19 All this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.
20 And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.
21 And, behold, the courses of the priests and the Levites, even they shall be with thee for all the service of the house of God: and there shall be with thee for all manner of workmanship every willing skilful man, for any manner of service: also the princes and all the people will be wholly at thy commandment.

Then, David instructed Solomon in the construction for the temple. He told him what the pattern of the temple was to be according to the spirit, or according to what he had been told by the spirit. He also instructed him in the work of the priests and Levites and their service in the temple. He told him of the use of all the vessels or instruments and how all these things were to be created by their weight in gold and silver. Additionally, he taught him how the tables and altars were to be made by weight in gold and silver. And instructions were given on the seat for the ark of the covenant, with its cherubim. These instructions were as those given by God to Moses when the tabernacle was first made. David told Solomon that he had come to know these things by the hand of the Lord. As the king, David had access to the records of Moses, which gave instruction as to the making of all things for the tabernacle. With the Lord’s spirit for understanding, all these things were made known to him and he could counsel Solomon in them as well.

David also gave Solomon counsel to be strong and courage. Solomon was instructed to fear not, because the Lord would be with him and God would not fail or forsake him. With the help of the Lord, Solomon could finish this sacred charge that he had been given with the temple. David left him with somewhat of a blessing, that all the help he would need from priests, Levites, skilled workmen, leaders of the tribes, and the host of Israel, would be given to him at his command.

The building of this temple, must have been somewhat of an overwhelming charge given to Solomon, let alone being called by God to be the next king of Israel. However, the Lord had all the plans laid out for him, as they had been laid for Moses and the children of Israel many years before this. Having direction from the Lord and the promise of his help to accomplish the task, must have been a great comfort for Solomon. David’s words of counsel to his son, remind me of the words of Nephi found in 1 Nephi 3:7, which reads, “And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” There is absolute truth in this verse, that can be a source of comfort and strength to the faithful. The Lord will not give any person a commandment, that He is not willing to help them accomplish. We simply need to have the faith to rely on Him. It is His work and He wants it to be done because that is how we will all be able to return to Him. David knew this because his life experiences had taught him this was true. Like David, we can learn to rely on the Lord, as we are faithful to the commandments he gives us, and we will be greatly blessed as we do.

1 Chronicles Chapter 27

In this chapter, the responsibilities given to certain Israelites continues to be recorded. There were many who served the king in the armies, over his household and as his personal entourage. It begins:

1 Now the children of Israel after their number, to wit, the chief fathers and captains of thousands and hundreds, and their officers that served the king in any matter of the courses, which came in and went out month by month throughout all the months of the year, of every course were twenty and four thousand.
2 Over the first course for the first month was Jashobeam the son of Zabdiel: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
3 Of the children of Perez was the chief of all the captains of the host for the first month.
4 And over the course of the second month was Dodai an Ahohite, and of his course was Mikloth also the ruler: in his course likewise were twenty and four thousand.
5 The third captain of the host for the third month was Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, a chief priest: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
6 This is that Benaiah, who was mighty among the thirty, and above the thirty: and in his course was Ammizabad his son.
7 The fourth captain for the fourth month was Asahel the brother of Joab, and Zebadiah his son after him: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
8 The fifth captain for the fifth month was Shamhuth the Izrahite: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
9 The sixth captain for the sixth month was Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
10 The seventh captain for the seventh month was Helez the Pelonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
11 The eighth captain for the eighth month was Sibbecai the Hushathite, of the Zarhites: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
12 The ninth captain for the ninth month was Abiezer the Anetothite, of the Benjamites: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
13 The tenth captain for the tenth month was Maharai the Netophathite, of the Zarhites: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
14 The eleventh captain for the eleventh month was Benaiah the Pirathonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
15 The twelfth captain for the twelfth month was Heldai the Netophathite, of Othniel: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.

There were 24,000 men who were set as officers, captains, and chief fathers in Israel at a time. These men collectively served the king all throughout the year, with anything he ordered. They were assigned by the months of the year. For the first month, was Jashobeam with 24,000 men. The leader of the captains of the host was of the children of Perez. In the second month, Dodai and 24,000 men, with Mikloth as the leader. Third was Benaiah, along with 24,000 men and his son, Ammizabad. Benaiah was a chief priest and mighty among men. He had the strength to defeat lion-like Moabites as well as an actual lion. He was over thirty. He was a valiant and honorable man who did not seek for honor for his might. He would later prove to be loyal to David when others were not. (see also 2 Sam. 23:20-23)

The fourth month was Asahel and his son Zebadiah, with 24,000 men. Asahel was the brother of Joab and the Bible Dictionary says that he was “celebrated for his swiftness of foot, an accomplishment much valued in ancient times”. He was one of David’s 30 heroes. Fifth, was Shamhuth with 24,000. Ira, was the sixth captain, over his 24,000 men. Then, Helez was seventh, over his 24,000. For the eighth month, it was Sibbecai over his 24,000. Ninth, was Abiezer as captain of 24,000. Tenth, was Maharai as captain of his 24,000. The eleventh captain was Benaiah, one of David’s mighty men, with his 24,000. And finally, the twelfth captain was Heldai over his 24,000.

16 Furthermore over the tribes of Israel: the ruler of the Reubenites was Eliezer the son of Zichri: of the Simeonites, Shephatiah the son of Maachah:
17 Of the Levites, Hashabiah the son of Kemuel: of the Aaronites, Zadok:
18 Of Judah, Elihu, one of the brethren of David: of Issachar, Omri the son of Michael:
19 Of Zebulun, Ishmaiah the son of Obadiah: of Naphtali, Jerimoth the son of Azriel:
20 Of the children of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Azaziah: of the half tribe of Manasseh, Joel the son of Pedaiah:
21 Of the half tribe of Manasseh in Gilead, Iddo the son of Zechariah: of Benjamin, Jaasiel the son of Abner:
22 Of Dan, Azareel the son of Jeroham. These were the princes of the tribes of Israel.

Each of the twelve tribes of Israel, had a leader or a prince. Eliezer was over the tribe of Reuben, Shephatiah was over Simeon, and Hashabiah was over Levi. Zadok was specifically over those Levites who were from the family of Aaron and therefore priests. He would be a faithful priest, loyal to David and the priest to anoint Solomon. Elihu, David’s brother, was over Judah. Omri was over Issachar, Ishamaiah was over Zebulun, Jerimoth was over Naphtali, Hoshea was over Ephraim, Joel was over the first half of Manasseh, Iddo was over the other half in Gilead, Jaasiel was over Benjamin, and Jeroham was over the tribe of Dan.

23 But David took not the number of them from twenty years old and under: because the Lord had said he would increase Israel like to the stars of the heavens.
24 Joab the son of Zeruiah began to number, but he finished not, because there fell wrath for it against Israel; neither was the number put in the account of the chronicles of king David.

There was no record made of the children in his kingdom, because the Lord had promised the Israelites they would increase so greatly, and they had. Joab, David’s nephew and captain of the army’s, began to take a record according to orders of David, but did not finish because he brought the wrath of God upon Israel. No number was recorded in the king’s chronicles either.

25 And over the king’s treasures was Azmaveth the son of Adiel: and over the storehouses in the fields, in the cities, and in the villages, and in the castles, was Jehonathan the son of Uzziah:
26 And over them that did the work of the field for tillage of the ground was Ezri the son of Chelub:
27 And over the vineyards was Shimei the Ramathite: over the increase of the vineyards for the wine cellars was Zabdi the Shiphmite:
28 And over the olive trees and the sycomore trees that were in the low plains was Baal-hanan the Gederite: and over the cellars of oil was Joash:
29 And over the herds that fed in Sharon was Shitrai the Sharonite: and over the herds that were in the valleys was Shaphat the son of Adlai:
30 Over the camels also was Obil the Ishmaelite: and over the asses was Jehdeiah the Meronothite:
31 And over the flocks was Jaziz the Hagerite. All these were the rulers of the substance which was king David’s.
32 Also Jonathan David’s uncle was a counsellor, a wise man, and a scribe: and Jehiel the son of Hachmoni was with the king’s sons:
33 And Ahithophel was the king’s counsellor: and Hushai the Archite was the king’s companion:
34 And after Ahithophel was Jehoiada the son of Benaiah, and Abiathar: and the general of the king’s army was Joab.

The king had many workers that took care of things such as his crops and animals, which were each given a leader. Azmaveth was put over the treasury of the king, Jehonathan was put in charge of the storehouses, Ezri was put in charge of the workers of the fields, Shimei was put in charge of the vineyards, and Zabdi was put in charge of the produce from the vineyards. Baal-hanan was put in charge of the trees in the low plains, including olive trees and sycomores. Joash was put in charge of the cellars, Shitrai was in charge of the herds in Sharon, and Shaphat was over the herds in the valleys. Obil was in charge of the camels, Jehdeiah was over the donkeys, and Jaziz was over the flocks, which I think means the sheep.

Finally, David had those who worked the closest with him. His nephew, Jonathan, was a counselor, a wise man and scribe. Jehiel served the king’s sons, Ahithophel was the king’s advisor and the grandfather of Bathsheba, Hushai was his companion (perhaps something like a body guard or a personal assistant), Johoiada and Abiathar were other counsellors to the king, and Joab, as mentioned above, was the general of the king’s army.

The scriptures do not always record the details of the kings and those who served him, because those things were reserved for other records, but there was significance to the establishment of the kingdom of David. This record shows that there were many who helped to lead Israel at this time in its history. This is a mere handful of the children of Israel at this time, but they helped to make the kingdom of David strong and successful.

1 Chronicles Chapter 26

The Levites were give specific duties within the tribes of Israel, most of which pertained to service in the temple. Some were set apart as musicians. Some were the sons of Aaron and were set apart as priests who served with the sacred priesthood responsibilities of the temple. This chapter begins with those who were set apart as porters and goes on to explain those in charge of the treasures and other business in Israel.

1 Concerning the divisions of the porters: Of the Korhites was Meshelemiah the son of Kore, of the sons of Asaph.
2 And the sons of Meshelemiah were, Zechariah the firstborn, Jediael the second, Zebadiah the third, Jathniel the fourth,
3 Elam the fifth, Jehohanan the sixth, Elioenai the seventh.
4 Moreover the sons of Obed-edom were, Shemaiah the firstborn, Jehozabad the second, Joah the third, and Sacar the fourth, and Nethaneel the fifth,
5 Ammiel the sixth, Issachar the seventh, Peulthai the eighth: for God blessed him.
6 Also unto Shemaiah his son were sons born, that ruled throughout the house of their father: for they were mighty men of valour.
7 The sons of Shemaiah; Othni, and Rephael, and Obed, Elzabad, whose brethren were strong men, Elihu, and Semachiah.
8 All these of the sons of Obed-edom: they and their sons and their brethren, able men for strength for the service, were threescore and two of Obed-edom.
9 And Meshelemiah had sons and brethren, strong men, eighteen.
10 Also Hosah, of the children of Merari, had sons; Simri the chief, (for though he was not the firstborn, yet his father made him the chief;)
11 Hilkiah the second, Tebaliah the third, Zechariah the fourth: all the sons and brethren of Hosah were thirteen.
12 Among these were the divisions of the porters, even among the chief men, having wards one against another, to minister in the house of the Lord.

Porters were doorkeepers in charge of the gates, or the entrances of the temple. There were divided in their duties of the temple. There were porters of the Korhites and children of Merari. In the family of Korhites, and the line of Asaph and Kore, there was Meshelemiah. He was the father of Zechariah, Jediael, Zebadiah, Jathniel, Elam, Jehohanan, and Elioenai. Of their family, there were 18 men for service. There was also Obed-edom, the father of Shemaiah, Jehozabad, Joah, Sacar, Nethaneel, Ammiel, Issachar, and Peulthai. (Obed-edom had been the man who housed the ark before it was returned to its proper place in Israel.) Shemaiah was the father of men of valour, including Othni, Rephael, Obed, and Elzabad, along with Elihu and Semachiah. The sons of Obed-edom were 62 in total and were capable men for the service they were given. Of the children of Merari, there was Hosah, the father of Simri, Hilkiah, Tebaliah, an Zechariah. The sons of Hosah were thirteen in number, with Simri as the leader. Simri was not the firstborn, but he was given the role as their leader.

13 And they cast lots, as well the small as the great, according to the house of their fathers, for every gate.
14 And the lot eastward fell to Shelemiah. Then for Zechariah his son, a wise counsellor, they cast lots; and his lot came out northward.
15 To Obed-edom southward; and to his sons the house of Asuppim.
16 To Shuppim and Hosah the lot came forth westward, with the gate Shallecheth, by the causeway of the going up, ward against ward.
17 Eastward were six Levites, northward four a day, southward four a day, and toward Asuppim two and two.
18 At Parbar westward, four at the causeway, and two at Parbar.
19 These are the divisions of the porters among the sons of Kore, and among the sons of Merari.

Lots were cast among the sons of Kore and Merari, to determine the gate responsibility each group would have. If this is understood correctly, the east gate was assigned to Shelemiah, and there was to be six men serving there at a time. The north gate was assigned to Zechariah, the wise cousellor and son of Shelemiah, and there was to be four men serving there each day. The south gate was assigned to Obed-edom and the house of Asuppim, and there were to be four men serving there each day as well. The west gate was assigned to Shuppim and Hosah, along with the gate Shallecheth, by the causeway (a separate raised path), and there were to be four serving there each day. Two served at Parbar, which may have been a suburb of the temple.

20 And of the Levites, Ahijah was over the treasures of the house of God, and over the treasures of the dedicated things.
21 As concerning the sons of Laadan; the sons of the Gershonite Laadan, chief fathers, even of Laadan the Gershonite, were Jehieli.
22 The sons of Jehieli; Zetham, and Joel his brother, which were over the treasures of the house of the Lord.
23 Of the Amramites, and the Izharites, the Hebronites, and the Uzzielites:
24 And Shebuel the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, was ruler of the treasures.
25 And his brethren by Eliezer; Rehabiah his son, and Jeshaiah his son, and Joram his son, and Zichri his son, and Shelomith his son.
26 Which Shelomith and his brethren were over all the treasures of the dedicated things, which David the king, and the chief fathers, the captains over thousands and hundreds, and the captains of the host, had dedicated.
27 Out of the spoils won in battles did they dedicate to maintain the house of the Lord.
28 And all that Samuel the seer, and Saul the son of Kish, and Abner the son of Ner, and Joab the son of Zeruiah, had dedicated; and whosoever had dedicated any thing, it was under the hand of Shelomith, and of his brethren.

Ahijah was assigned to be over the treasures of the temple, as well as those treasures that had been dedicated. Those serving with him included Zetham and Joel, who were sons of Jehieli of the sons of the Gershonite Laadan. Also over treasures was Shebuel, the son of Gershom, who was the son of Moses. The sons of Eliezer, including Rehabiah, Jeshaiah, Joram, Zichri, and Shelomith, were responsible for the dedicated treasures. These treasures were dedicated from the spoils of battles by King David, the chief fathers, and the captains of the host. They were also dedicated by Samuel the seer, King Saul, Abner the captain of Saul’s armies, and Joab, among others.

29 Of the Izharites, Chenaniah and his sons were for the outward business over Israel, for officers and judges.
30 And of the Hebronites, Hashabiah and his brethren, men of valour, a thousand and seven hundred, were officers among them of Israel on this side Jordan westward in all the business of the Lord, and in the service of the king.
31 Among the Hebronites was Jerijah the chief, even among the Hebronites, according to the generations of his fathers. In the fortieth year of the reign of David they were sought for, and there were found among them mighty men of valour at Jazer of Gilead.
32 And his brethren, men of valour, were two thousand and seven hundred chief fathers, whom king David made rulers over the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, for every matter pertaining to God, and affairs of the king.

The outward business of the Israelites, of officers and judges, was the responsibility of the Izharites, the family of Chenaniah. Hashabiah and his family of the Hebronites, 1,700 men of valour, became officers in the business of the Lord and in service of the king, on the west side of the Jordan. Jerijah was their chief leader. During the fortieth year of David’s reign, there was a search for mighty men of valor, and they were found at Jazer and Gilead. 2,700 of his brethren were assigned to take care of the business of the Lord and service of the king, on the east side of the Jordan, among the Reubenites, Gadites and half of the tribe of Manasseh.

The responsibility of porters was important, though it may seem a bit strange. It can sound like they were a type of ancient-day bouncer, guarding the doors of the temple, but its not quite that. The holy house of the Lord should have been kept holy by allowing only those who were worthy to enter there. In modern temples, there are priesthood holders who are called and set apart to welcome patrons to the temple, as well as to verify that they are indeed worthy to enter the house of the Lord. Worthiness to worship in the temple is important for both the maintaining of a sacred edifice for the Lord, and for the patrons, who are to be held to a standard of worthiness for the covenants made there. I am grateful for the expectations of worthiness on my part as well as others who enter the temple, because it means that I can depend on the blessings of the spirit of the Lord in that space, when the world is becoming increasingly confusing and dark around me.

1 Chronicles Chapter 25

In the days of David, the duties of the host of Israel were assigned and recorded. Specifically, the tribe of Levi was given sacred responsibilities in the priesthood. Among those duties and responsibilities, was that of musicians and singers. This chapter recounts the details of those extended this calling for the Lord.

1 Moreover David and the captains of the host separated to the service of the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals: and the number of the workmen according to their service was:
2 Of the sons of Asaph; Zaccur, and Joseph, and Nethaniah, and Asarelah, the sons of Asaph under the hands of Asaph, which prophesied according to the order of the king.
3 Of Jeduthun: the sons of Jeduthun; Gedaliah, and Zeri, and Jeshaiah, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, under the hands of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with a harp, to give thanks and to praise the Lord.
4 Of Heman: the sons of Heman; Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel, and Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, and Romamti-ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth:
5 All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer in the words of God, to lift up the horn. And God gave to Heman fourteen sons and three daughters.
6 All these were under the hands of their father for song in the house of the Lord, with cymbals, psalteries, and harps, for the service of the house of God, according to the king’s order to Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman.
7 So the number of them, with their brethren that were instructed in the songs of the Lord, even all that were cunning, was two hundred fourscore and eight.

The singers and musicians were from the sons of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun. They were set apart in the service to use harps, psalteries and cymbals; to prophesy or to play the hymns of their day. Those who would play for the king, were the family of Asaph, including Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, and Asarelah. Asaph was a cymbal player who, according to the Bible Dictionary, founded a family of singers. They are mentioned later in Psalms, because they served David as his personal musicians. Those who would sing and play the hymns of praise to the Lord on the harp, were the family of Jeduthun including Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Hashabiah and Mattithiah. Those who were to play the horn, were the family of Heman, including Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel, Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathan, Giddalti, Romamti-ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth. The musicians would play in the tabernacle or temple, when called upon by the king. There were 288 included in this group, and they were taught and skilled at playing the hymns.

8 And they cast lots, ward against ward, as well the small as the great, the teacher as the scholar.
9 Now the first lot came forth for Asaph to Joseph: the second to Gedaliah, who with his brethren and sons were twelve:
10 The third to Zaccur, he, his sons, and his brethren, were twelve:
11 The fourth to Izri, he, his sons, and his brethren, were twelve:
12 The fifth to Nethaniah, he, his sons, and his brethren, were twelve:
13 The sixth to Bukkiah, he, his sons, and his brethren, were twelve:
14 The seventh to Jesharelah, he, his sons, and his brethren, were twelve:
15 The eighth to Jeshaiah, he, his sons, and his brethren, were twelve:
16 The ninth to Mattaniah, he, his sons, and his brethren, were twelve:
17 The tenth to Shimei, he, his sons, and his brethren, were twelve:
18 The eleventh to Azareel, he, his sons, and his brethren, were twelve:
19 The twelfth to Hashabiah, he, his sons, and his brethren, were twelve:
20 The thirteenth to Shubael, he, his sons, and his brethren, were twelve:
21 The fourteenth to Mattithiah, he, his sons, and his brethren, were twelve:
22 The fifteenth to Jeremoth, he, his sons, and his brethren, were twelve:
23 The sixteenth to Hananiah, he, his sons, and his brethren, were twelve:
24 The seventeenth to Joshbekashah, he, his sons, and his brethren, were twelve:
25 The eighteenth to Hanani, he, his sons, and his brethren, were twelve:
26 The nineteenth to Mallothi, he, his sons, and his brethren, were twelve:
27 The twentieth to Eliathah, he, his sons, and his brethren, were twelve:
28 The one and twentieth to Hothir, he, his sons, and his brethren, were twelve:
29 The two and twentieth to Giddalti, he, his sons, and his brethren, were twelve:
30 The three and twentieth to Mahazioth, he, his sons, and his brethren, were twelve:
31 The four and twentieth to Romamti-ezer, he, his sons, and his brethren, were twelve.

The lots were cast and they were put into 24 groups, to fulfill their duties under the direction of the men mentioned before. Each group was a group of twelve, likely rotating in their service much like the men who served in the other duties of the house of the Lord.

Music plays an important role in inviting the spirit, so it is no wonder that the Lord would want music in his holy temple. It is a tool for preparing our minds for sacred things. Music is powerful and can help to teach us principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, in marvelous ways. It has the power to soothe a weary soul, to uplift and enrich, and to move us to engage in the work of the Lord. The responsibility to become skilled at playing and singing, was important, and knowing that these men and families of the levites were called and organized to have that duty can teach us of the value this should have in our own day as well.

1 Chronicles Chapter 24

The book of Chronicles continues to list the men of Israel. In this chapter, the record relating to the tribe of Levi, continues as follows:

1 Now these are the divisions of the sons of Aaron. The sons of Aaron; Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.
2 But Nadab and Abihu died before their father, and had no children: therefore Eleazar and Ithamar executed the priest’s office.
3 And David distributed them, both Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, according to their offices in their service.
4 And there were more chief men found of the sons of Eleazar than of the sons of Ithamar; and thus were they divided. Among the sons of Eleazar there were sixteen chief men of the house of their fathers, and eight among the sons of Ithamar according to the house of their fathers.
5 Thus were they divided by lot, one sort with another; for the governors of the sanctuary, and governors of the house of God, were of the sons of Eleazar, and of the sons of Ithamar.
6 And Shemaiah the son of Nethaneel the scribe, one of the Levites, wrote them before the king, and the princes, and Zadok the priest, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, and before the chief of the fathers of the priests and Levites: one principal household being taken for Eleazar, and one taken for Ithamar.

The sons of Aaron, and men of the priesthood, were Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. Nadab and Abihu died without having any children, leaving Eleazar and Ithamar to perform the priesthood duties. (We learn from Leviticus 10, that they had offered “strange fire”, or fire not taken from the altar, and were destroyed by the Lord for going against his commandments regarding their service in the temple.) Eleazar was the patriarch of almost all the high priests that followed him. David set apart the men of their families in their specific responsibilities. Zadok, who was of the line of Eleazar, and Ahimelech, who was of the line of Ithamar, were made the priests. They were already the high priests of the tabernacle, so this was just a continuation of their duties. Zadok had served at the tabernacle in Gibeon while Ahimelech had served in the camp of David. The sons of Eleazar were many, so they were divided into 16 groups, while the sons of Ithamar were divided into 8 groups, which served in the sanctuary and the house of God. Shemaiah, a Levite, who was the son of Nethaneel the scribe, recorded these things in the presence of the king and leaders, Zadok the priest, Ahimelech and so on. One of the families of Eleazar was established as the leaders of their groups, and one of the families of Ithamar as the leaders of their groups.

7 Now the first lot came forth to Jehoiarib, the second to Jedaiah,
8 The third to Harim, the fourth to Seorim,
9 The fifth to Malchijah, the sixth to Mijamin,
10 The seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah,
11 The ninth to Jeshua, the tenth to Shecaniah,
12 The eleventh to Eliashib, the twelfth to Jakim,
13 The thirteenth to Huppah, the fourteenth to Jeshebeab,
14 The fifteenth to Bilgah, the sixteenth to Immer,
15 The seventeenth to Hezir, the eighteenth to Aphses,
16 The nineteenth to Pethahiah, the twentieth to Jehezekel,
17 The one and twentieth to Jachin, the two and twentieth to Gamul,
18 The three and twentieth to Delaiah, the four and twentieth to Maaziah.
19 These were the orderings of them in their service to come into the house of the Lord, according to their manner, under Aaron their father, as the Lord God of Israel had commanded him.

The lots of these families fell to Jehoiarib first, followed by Jedaiah, Harim, Seorim, Malchijah, Mijamin, Hakkoz, Abijah (Abia), Jeshua, Shecaniah, Eliashib, Jakim, Huppah, Jeshebeab, Bilgah, Immer, Hezir, Aphses, Pethahiah, Jehezekel, Jachin, Gamul, Delaiah, and Maaziah. They were assigned their service in the temple by these lots. This was how they were grouped for their service, and these were their called leaders. These groups were needed to give order to the time when each priest was expected to give their service in the temple. They took turns serving according to the commandments given to Aaron when the tabernacle was established. The Lord had established order in the organization of his priesthood on the earth, which continued to be followed at this time. In our day, the organization of the priesthood, continues to be done in order.

20 And the rest of the sons of Levi were these: Of the sons of Amram; Shubael: of the sons of Shubael; Jehdeiah.
21 Concerning Rehabiah: of the sons of Rehabiah, the first was Isshiah.
22 Of the Izharites; Shelomoth: of the sons of Shelomoth; Jahath.
23 And the sons of Hebron; Jeriah the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, Jekameam the fourth.
24 Of the sons of Uzziel; Michah: of the sons of Michah; Shamir.
25 The brother of Michah was Isshiah: of the sons of Isshiah; Zechariah.
26 The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi: the sons of Jaaziah; Beno.

The remainder of the tribes of Levi were Jehediah, of the sons of Shubael of the sons of Amram, the patriarch of Moses and Aaron; Isshiah of the sons of Rehabiah; Jahath of the sons of Shelomoth of the Izharites; Jeriah (Jeriah), Amariah, Jahaziel, and Jekameam of the sons of Hebron; Shamir of the sons of Michah of the sons of Uzziel; Zechariah of the sons of Isshiah, the brother of Michah; Mahli and Mushi of the sons of Merari; and Beno of the sons of Jaaziah.

27 The sons of Merari by Jaaziah; Beno, and Shoham, and Zaccur, and Ibri.
28 Of Mahli came Eleazar, who had no sons.
29 Concerning Kish: the son of Kish was Jerahmeel.
30 The sons also of Mushi; Mahli, and Eder, and Jerimoth. These were the sons of the Levites after the house of their fathers.
31 These likewise cast lots over against their brethren the sons of Aaron in the presence of David the king, and Zadok, and Ahimelech, and the chief of the fathers of the priests and Levites, even the principal fathers over against their younger brethren.

Continuing, there was Beno, Shoham, Zaccur, and Ibri of the sons of Merari through Jaaziah. Mahli had a son named Eleazar, who had no sons. Jerahmeel was the son of Kish. Mushi was the father of Mahli, Eder and Jerimoth. All these sons of Levi, cast lots in the presence of King David, Zadok, Ahimelech, and the leaders of the priests and Levites. Casting lots was a way to choose who would do something without any preferential treatment. These things were witnessed and recorded, and therefore there would be no contentions or confusion about their responsibilities.

One reason these lists and records may be in the scriptures for us today, is to see that the things of the Lord are to be done in wisdom and order. Records should be kept, witnesses should be present when needed, and so on. The scriptures teach us that things recorded on earth, may be recorded in heaven. Therefore, these records may eternal in nature. It is no different for our own family history records. It is a blessing to be able to be involved in gathering information about families for the purposes of eternity.

1 Chronicles Chapter 23

Solomon was the son of king David and his wife, Bathsheba. He was raised knowing that he was chosen to follow David. He was prepared from a young age, to build the temple of the Lord. He was taught to walk in the ways of God. David made it his purpose to prepared Solomon as much as possible before he, David, was too old or died. This chapter begins with the following:

1 So when David was old and full of days, he made Solomon his son king over Israel.
2 And he gathered together all the princes of Israel, with the priests and the Levites.
3 Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and upward: and their number by their polls, man by man, was thirty and eight thousand.
4 Of which, twenty and four thousand were to set forward the work of the house of the Lord; and six thousand were officers and judges:
5 Moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the Lord with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith.
6 And David divided them into courses among the sons of Levi, namely, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

When David was very old in age and he knew he would not live much longer, he made Solomon king of Israel. (see also 1 Kings 1) He gathered the princes, priests and Levites. Those levites who were of the age to serve in the work of the Lord, totaled 38,000. 24,000 of those men were appointed to work with the house of the Lord. This left 6,000 as officers and judges, 4,000 as porters, and 4,000 as musicians to praise the Lord with instruments commissioned by David. David divided the sons of Levi into the groups based on the patriarchs of the Levites, which were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. The work of the Lord is best done, with order and purpose. Throughout the history of the gospel, those who served in the priesthood have been organized into groups to better serve the Lord, just as David divided the men at this time.

David had a history of making music an important part of his life and of worship. When he was young, he played for Saul. Several times in the description of his rule, music is mentioned as a part of praise to the Lord. Music is an amazing tool for expressing the feelings of the heart, and for inviting the spirit of the Lord. In Doctrine and Covenants 136:28 we read, “If thou art merry, praise the Lord with singing, with music, with dancing, and with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving.” It should not be a surprise that many musicians were given the duty or calling of playing in the tabernacle and temple of the Lord.

7 Of the Gershonites were, Laadan, and Shimei.
8 The sons of Laadan; the chief was Jehiel, and Zetham, and Joel, three.
9 The sons of Shimei; Shelomith, and Haziel, and Haran, three. These were the chief of the fathers of Laadan.
10 And the sons of Shimei were, Jahath, Zina, and Jeush, and Beriah. These four were the sons of Shimei.
11 And Jahath was the chief, and Zizah the second: but Jeush and Beriah had not many sons; therefore they were in one reckoning, according to their father’s house.

All those belonging to the Gershonites were the family of Ladan and Shimei. The sons of Ladan, were Jehiel, their leader, Zetham and Joel. The sons of Shimei, were Shelomith, Haziel, and Haran as leaders; and Jahath, who was chief, Zina (Zizah), Jeush, and Beriah.

12 The sons of Kohath; Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel, four.
13 The sons of Amram; Aaron and Moses: and Aaron was separated, that he should sanctify the most holy things, he and his sons for ever, to burn incense before the Lord, to minister unto him, and to bless in his name for ever.
14 Now concerning Moses the man of God, his sons were named of the tribe of Levi.
15 The sons of Moses were, Gershom, and Eliezer.
16 Of the sons of Gershom, Shebuel was the chief.
17 And the sons of Eliezer were, Rehabiah the chief. And Eliezer had none other sons; but the sons of Rehabiah were very many.
18 Of the sons of Izhar; Shelomith the chief.
19 Of the sons of Hebron; Jeriah the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, and Jekameam the fourth.
20 Of the sons of Uzziel; Michah the first, and Jesiah the second.

The sons of Kohath, the second son of Levi, included Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. Amram was the father of Aaron, the spokesman for his brother, Moses. Aaron was singled out, or rather set apart, to be over the most holy things in the house of the Lord, including burning incense and ministering to the Lord. The sons of Aaron, were those who served with the priesthood. The men of the family of the Levites, assisted the sons of Aaron. Moses was the father of Gershom and Eliezer. Gershom was the father of Shebuel, who was the leader. Eliezar was the father of Rehabiah only. Rehabiah had many sons. The second son of Kohath, Izhar, was the father of Shelomith. The third son, Hebron, was the father of Jeriah, Amariah, Jahaziel and Jekameon. Finally, the forth son, Uzziel, was the father of Michah and Jesiah.

21 The sons of Merari; Mahli, and Mushi. The sons of Mahli; Eleazar, and Kish.
22 And Eleazar died, and had no sons, but daughters: and their brethren the sons of Kish took them.
23 The sons of Mushi; Mahli, and Eder, and Jeremoth, three.

Finally, the sons of Merari, youngest son of Levi, were Mahli and Mushi. Mahli was he father of Eleazar and Kish. Eleazar died without having any sons, but did have daughters who married the sons of Kish. Mushi was the father of Mahli, Eder and Jeremoth.

24 These were the sons of Levi after the house of their fathers; even the chief of the fathers, as they were counted by number of names by their polls, that did the work for the service of the house of the Lord, from the age of twenty years and upward.
25 For David said, The Lord God of Israel hath given rest unto his people, that they may dwell in Jerusalem for ever:
26 And also unto the Levites; they shall no more carry the tabernacle, nor any vessels of it for the service thereof.
27 For by the last words of David the Levites were numbered from twenty years old and above:
28 Because their office was to wait on the sons of Aaron for the service of the house of the Lord, in the courts, and in the chambers, and in the purifying of all holy things, and the work of the service of the house of God;
29 Both for the shewbread, and for the fine flour for meat offering, and for the unleavened cakes, and for that which is baked in the pan, and for that which is fried, and for all manner of measure and size;
30 And to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord, and likewise at even;
31 And to offer all burnt sacrifices unto the Lord in the sabbaths, in the new moons, and on the set feasts, by number, according to the order commanded unto them, continually before the Lord:
32 And that they should keep the charge of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the charge of the holy place, and the charge of the sons of Aaron their brethren, in the service of the house of the Lord.

This listing was those who were called to serve with the temple as soon as they came of age. David told the people that God had given rest to those who lived in Jerusalem and with the building of the temple, the Levites would not have to carry the tabernacle any longer. Some of the responsibilities of the Levites included serving in the courts and chambers of the temple, purifying the holy things, taking care of the shewbread, flour for the offerings, and all the unleavened cakes. They were tasked with expressing thanks to the Lord both morning and night, offering burnt sacrifices at all the times required by the Lord. They were also in charge of the tabernacle of the congregation and the holy place. They were to help the sons of Aaron with their duties of the priesthood, as they served the Lord.

The work of the temple is such an important duty, that an entire tribe of Israel was set apart for it. That duty continued from the tabernacle established by the Lord, to the temple that Solomon was to build during his reign. Temples have been important from ancient times, as designated places of worship and making covenants with the Lord. This work continues to be an important duty today in the temples that dot the earth. I am sure that all those who have served in the temples, in any capacity they were called to serve, have been greatly blessed for their service.

1 Chronicles Chapter 22

The children of Israel had been instructed to create the tabernacle as the place of worship, which could be moved as they traveled in the wilderness. Now that they were established in the promised land, David had the desire to build a house of the Lord, or a temple, for a more permanent place to worship God. When he had prepared to do this, the Lord had instructed him, that he was not to be the one who would build it, but that one of his children would be given that responsibility. In the meantime, David had been working to protect Israel from their enemies and other nations around them. This chapter begins:

1 Then David said, This is the house of the Lord God, and this is the altar of the burnt offering for Israel.
2 And David commanded to gather together the strangers that were in the land of Israel; and he set masons to hew wrought stones to build the house of God.
3 And David prepared iron in abundance for the nails for the doors of the gates, and for the joinings; and brass in abundance without weight;
4 Also cedar trees in abundance: for the Zidonians and they of Tyre brought much cedar wood to David.
5 And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be builded for the Lord must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will therefore now make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death.

As David grew older, he felt the continued desire for a permanent house of the Lord. He may not have been given the specific charge to build it, but he wanted to do all that he could to make the preparations for it during his life, especially since Solomon was still so young. He gathered laborers from the bondsmen and found masons to begin preparing the stones for it. He had iron nails made, which would fasten the gate doors and such. Then, he had brass gathered and trees of cedar brought from the Zidonians and Tyre. The Zidonians were known for there work with timber (see 1 Kings 5:6). David wanted the temple to be grand and glorious, so that it would be known throughout all the nations.

6 Then he called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build an house for the Lord God of Israel.
7 And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build an house unto the name of the Lord my God:
8 But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight.
9 Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.
10 He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.
11 Now, my son, the Lord be with thee; and prosper thou, and build the house of the Lord thy God, as he hath said of thee.
12 Only the Lord give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the law of the Lord thy God.
13 Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes and judgments which the Lord charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed.
14 Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the Lord an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and thou mayest add thereto.
15 Moreover there are workmen with thee in abundance, hewers and workers of stone and timber, and all manner of cunning men for every manner of work.
16 Of the gold, the silver, and the brass, and the iron, there is no number. Arise therefore, and be doing, and the Lord be with thee.

David gave a charge to his son, Solomon, that he was to build the house of the Lord. He told Solomon of his desire to build the temple, and of the Lord’s instructions against it. It teaches in these verses that David was given the reason for the Lord refusing his desires to build it. David had been a force of a lot of destruction among men, and because he had killed many people, he was not worthy of or possibly prepared for the task of building it. David told Solomon that the Lord had told him he would have a son called Solomon, who would have peace from their enemies and be prepared for the task of building it. Solomon would be blessed by the Lord as the ruler of Israel. David tells Solomon to build the temple as the Lord commands him, that the Lord would be with him and prosper him. David desired for Solomon to be blessed with wisdom and understanding, and to continue faithful in keeping the laws of God. He teaches Solomon that he would prosper if he would follow all the statutes and judgments which were given to Moses. He also told him to be strong and have courage, and to be not dismayed. Solomon was told that David had prepared gold, silver, brass, iron, wood and stone for the building of the temple, along with laborers and artisans, who could help him in this work.

17 David also commanded all the princes of Israel to help Solomon his son, saying,
18 Is not the Lord your God with you? and hath he not given you rest on every side? for he hath given the inhabitants of the land into mine hand; and the land is subdued before the Lord, and before his people.
19 Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the Lord God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of the Lord.

Moreover, David commanded the princes of Israel to help Solomon in building the temple. He reminded them that the Lord had preserved them from all of their enemies, giving them peace and subduing the land for them. In response, they were given the duty to seek the Lord in their gratitude, by building the temple and relocating the ark and other vessels of God there, which were in the tabernacle at Gibeon during this time.

The house of the Lord that David desired to build was to be a holy place from the first stone to the last. David had lived a life that was not prepared for this. His son, Solomon, would be prepared from his youth. David recognized this as the will of the Lord, but he did not turn from the idea. Instead, he devoted time in the remainder of his days, to do all he could and prepare for his son to be able to build this holy house. This is an example of being a good parent. We should seek to prepare our own children for the service they will have the opportunity to give. The temples built in our day are every bit as holy and sacred as the temple that Solomon built. They are dedicated places for the spirit of the Lord to dwell. It is our responsibility to be worthy in our own building of these temples, and then to continue to be worthy when we serve in them. I am so grateful for temples and for the eternal significance of the teachings and sacred ordinances and covenants performed in them.

1 Chronicles Chapter 21

David had been chosen by the Lord and then prepared to become the king of Israel. The Lord had given rules and instruction to the kings, so that they could receive his blessing and continued guidance in leading the children of Israel. One of the instructions given, was that Israel was only to be numbered according to the commandment of the Lord. Numbering the people, was much like performing a census for today and it did things such as counting the number of men who would go to war for Israel. The kings of other nations would number the people whenever they desired. This chapter begins:

1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.
2 And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beer-sheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it.
3 And Joab answered, The Lord make his people an hundred times so many more as they be: but, my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? why then doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel?
4 Nevertheless the king’s word prevailed against Joab. Wherefore Joab departed, and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem.

Satan tempted David to number Israel, which he did in his weakness. Joab and the rulers over the people were instructed to do it and report back to him. Joab, who knew the Lord would make so much more of the people then the number they were, asked why David would go against the Lord in this thing. Nonetheless, David’s command won out and Joab went and numbered the people as he had been told to do. When he was done, he returned to Jerusalem. (see also 2 Samuel 24)

5 And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David. And all they of Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Judah was four hundred threescore and ten thousand men that drew sword.
6 But Levi and Benjamin counted he not among them: for the king’s word was abominable to Joab.
7 And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel.
8 And David said unto God, I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beseech thee, do away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.

Joab reported to David and the men who could bear arms totaled something like 1,100,000 men in Israel and 470,000 men in Judah. (This number is different then listed in 2 Samuel 24.) Joab found his duties were abominable, so he did not include the count for Levi or Benjamin. As a result of the numbering, God smote Israel. David recognized his sin against God and begged to be forgiven by the Lord.

9 And the Lord spake unto Gad, David’s seer, saying,
10 Go and tell David, saying, Thus saith the Lord, I offer thee three things: choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.
11 So Gad came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Choose thee
12 Either three years’ famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee; or else three days the sword of the Lord, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me.
13 And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the Lord; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man.

David had a seer named Gad, whom the Lord spoke to with a message for David. David was given a choice between three consequences for his sin. First, three years of famine (seven years according to 2 Samuel), second, three months of their enemies being allowed to over take them, or third, three days of fighting with the sword through all the land of Israel. Gad told David to think about it and tell him what he should tell the Lord. David knew he was in a difficult situation and he knew that the Lord could be merciful to him, so he asked to be dealt with by the Lord and not by the hands of men.

14 So the Lord sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men.
15 And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the Lord beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the Lord stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
16 And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the Lord stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.
17 And David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O Lord my God, be on me, and on my father’s house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued.

The Lord allowed pestilence to effect the land of Israel, and they lost 70,000 of their men. An angel was sent by the Lord, to destroy Jerusalem, and when he saw that their was sincere repentance in Jerusalem, the angel was stopped. (see also Joseph Smith Translation 1 Chronicles 21) David saw the angel near the land of Ornan the Jebusite, with his sword prepared to destroy Jerusalem. (Side note: Jebus was the ancient name of Jerusalem, so a Jebusite was likely one who natively lived in Jerusalem.) David and the elders of Israel, who were in mourning, fell down upon their faces. David recognized that the sin was upon him, for his commandment to number the people, and he prayed for the Lord to punish him and his family, not the people of Israel.

18 Then the angel of the Lord commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the Lord in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
19 And David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spake in the name of the Lord.
20 And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat.
21 And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshingfloor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground.
22 Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the Lord: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people.
23 And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all.
24 And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings without cost.
25 So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight.
26 And David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the Lord; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering.
27 And the Lord commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof.

The angel gave instruction to Gad, to tell David that he was set up an altar to the Lord in the land belonging to Ornan. David went as instructed. Ornan and his four sons were working on his threshingfloor. The sons saw the angel and hid, while Ornan had his back turned and was working with his wheat. Ornan saw David approaching and left his work to meet him. Ornan bowed to the ground. David requested the use of Ornan’s threshingfloor to build an altar to the Lord. He would buy it at full price and hopefully the Lord would then have mercy on the people of Isreal. Ornan offered the place to David as well as oxen for a burnt offering, tools to prepared the wood and wheat to go along with the meat offereing, without asking for a price. Daivd told him he would pay him full price for it, because it was to belong to the Lord and not to David himself. He paid Ornan and did as he had been instructed in building an altar. David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings as he prayed to the Lord. The Lord responded with fire upon the altar. In accepting the offering, the Lord commanded that the angel put away his sword against Israel. (As a side note: This location would be the future site of the temple built by Solomon – see 2 Chronicles 3:2.)

28 At that time when David saw that the Lord had answered him in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there.
29 For the tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon.
30 But David could not go before it to inquire of God: for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the Lord.

David made a sacrifice upon the altar when he saw that his prayer had been answered. He did it at the threshingfloor of Ornan because the tabernacle of the Lord was quite a distance away in Gibeon (about five miles north of Jerusalem). David was not willing to go there, in the presence of the Lord, for fear of the destruction of the angel of the Lord.

The events of this chapter occurred after David had committed great sins against the Lord. It is likely that David was not living in a way that would have allowed for the spirit to be as strong of an influence to him. In this state, David had allowed himself to be tempted by the adversary to do those things that he knew were against the statutes of the Lord. He may have justified his need to know the number of men who would go to battle for Israel, but the army of Israel was not to be handled this way according to the ways of the Lord. After the consequences came upon the people of Israel, David recognized the error of his ways. David saw this and desired to take the punishment upon himself. When we make bad choices, the consequences often times effect the lives of those around us. This can be hard to witness when we finally step away from our own selfish desires, especially with those we love. It is far better for us to think of what may result from our choices before we do something we would regret. David sought the Lord’s forgiveness through his own repentance and sacrifices to the Lord. He was forgiven and the plague of destruction was stopped from being upon others in Jerusalem. No matter how far we turn from the Lord, He will always be there to accept us when we repent and return to him.


About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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