1 Chronicles Chapter 17

David had moved the ark of the covenant and had called men of the priesthood to serve in the tabernacle and with the ark. The manner of worshipping the Lord had not been strictly according to what the Lord had commanded the Israelites when they entered the promised land. David was seeking to set things right, or to put things in order. David was devoted to the Lord and it seems that he knew that they would be a better nation if they worshipped the Lord properly. This chapter begins with the following:

1 Now it came to pass, as David sat in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, Lo, I dwell in an house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord remaineth under curtains.
2 Then Nathan said unto David, Do all that is in thine heart; for God is with thee.

David felt that he was living well in the home built for the king, but that the ark of the covenant needed a permanent home as well. He consulted with the prophet Nathan, who told him that the Lord would be with David as he went forward with his plans.

3 And it came to pass the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying,
4 Go and tell David my servant, Thus saith the Lord, Thou shalt not build me an house to dwell in:
5 For I have not dwelt in an house since the day that I brought up Israel unto this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another.
6 Wheresoever I have walked with all Israel, spake I a word to any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people, saying, Why have ye not built me an house of cedars?
7 Now therefore thus shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel:
8 And I have been with thee whithersoever thou hast walked, and have cut off all thine enemies from before thee, and have made thee a name like the name of the great men that are in the earth.
9 Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the beginning,
10 And since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel. Moreover I will subdue all thine enemies. Furthermore I tell thee that the Lord will build thee an house.

However, the word of the Lord came to Nathan that night and told him to tell David that he was not to build the temple. The Lord made it clear that the tabernacle was designed for its purposes and that it would suffice. The Lord had never asked the Israelites to build a house to him. The Lord told Nathan to remind David that he had been raised by the Lord to be the king, and that the Lord had been with him, protecting him and causing him to become a mighty man. The people of Israel had been given their place to dwell and the promise of their safety continued.

The prophets were and continue to be blessed with the Lord’s trust. When Nathan told David to go ahead, it was not the wrong thing to do. The Lord trusts those who lead his people, to make wise decisions, but if or when those things are not what the Lord would have his people do, He will make his will known to His prophet, as he did with Nathan. (see also 2 Samuel 7)

11 And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom.
12 He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever.
13 I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee:
14 But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore.
15 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.

Once David was ready to pass away, his son would have the kingdom of Israel, and would then build a house for the Lord. The son would be blessed with the throne and with the blessings and mercy of God.

16 And David the king came and sat before the Lord, and said, Who am I, O Lord God, and what is mine house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?
17 And yet this was a small thing in thine eyes, O God; for thou hast also spoken of thy servant’s house for a great while to come, and hast regarded me according to the estate of a man of high degree, O Lord God.
18 What can David speak more to thee for the honour of thy servant? for thou knowest thy servant.
19 O Lord, for thy servant’s sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all this greatness, in making known all these great things.
20 O Lord, there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.
21 And what one nation in the earth is like thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem to be his own people, to make thee a name of greatness and terribleness, by driving out nations from before thy people, whom thou hast redeemed out of Egypt?
22 For thy people Israel didst thou make thine own people for ever; and thou, Lord, becamest their God.
23 Therefore now, Lord, let the thing that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant and concerning his house be established for ever, and do as thou hast said.
24 Let it even be established, that thy name may be magnified for ever, saying, The Lord of hosts is the God of Israel, even a God to Israel: and let the house of David thy servant be established before thee.
25 For thou, O my God, hast told thy servant that thou wilt build him an house: therefore thy servant hath found in his heart to pray before thee.
26 And now, Lord, thou art God, and hast promised this goodness unto thy servant:
27 Now therefore let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may be before thee for ever: for thou blessest, O Lord, and it shall be blessed for ever.

David praises the Lord for blessing him and his house in raising him up to be the king and allowing his posterity to rule. Additionally, David was blessed to have these things revealed to him by the mouth of the prophet. David recognized that the Lord is the only true and living God, and that the nation of Israel was greatly blessed to be His people. The Lord had removed other nations for them, after delivering them from the land of Egypt. David was willing to do according to the will of the Lord for the blessings of the Lord to be with his family.

It would be such a blessing and honor to have the Lord tell me that my children and their families would be blessed after my time. What a sweet comfort that would be. David’s desire to build a temple, was sincere and a show of his devotion and love for the Lord. However, the Lord will do His work in His own time, and this work was not to be in the days of David. David would still be blessed for his desire to do good, even though he was not given the honor of building the temple. In meekness, David accepted that his son would be the one to do that work. He was a good king, who recognized that the honors belonged to God and those to whom God wanted to bless. Good and faithful people, should seek to have meekness as David did at this time. Even though we know we are capable of doing good, even great things, it is better to recognize when we should allow someone else the opportunity to learn, grow and be blessed by doing them. With meekness, all involved are uplifted and blessed.

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1 Chronicles Chapter 16

King David prepared the people to move the ark back to its resting place in Jerusalem. The Levites had carried the ark and they did so with praises to the Lord. David, himself, was among those who traveled with them. This chapter continues with the following:

1 So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it: and they offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings before God.
2 And when David had made an end of offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord.
3 And he dealt to every one of Israel, both man and woman, to every one a loaf of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine.

The ark was placed in the tent which David had prepared for it. The people offered sacrifices to God. David made an offering and then blessed the people. He gave everyone a loaf of bread, meat and wine.

4 And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord, and to record, and to thank and praise the Lord God of Israel:
5 Asaph the chief, and next to him Zechariah, Jeiel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Mattithiah, and Eliab, and Benaiah, and Obed-edom: and Jeiel with psalteries and with harps; but Asaph made a sound with cymbals;
6 Benaiah also and Jahaziel the priests with trumpets continually before the ark of the covenant of God.

Certain men were given the call to serve as ministers before the ark, to keep records, and to give praises to God. Among those called, were Asaph (the choir leader), Zechariah, Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-edom (also a door keeper), and Jeiel as musicians with harps and cymbals. Additionally, Benaiah and Jahaziel, the priests, were assigned to play trumpets continually before the ark.

7 Then on that day David delivered first this psalm to thank the Lord into the hand of Asaph and his brethren.
8 Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.
9 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works.
10 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.
11 Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.
12 Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;
13 O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
14 He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth.
15 Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations;
16 Even of the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac;
17 And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant,
18 Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance;
19 When ye were but few, even a few, and strangers in it.
20 And when they went from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another people;
21 He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes,
22 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
23 Sing unto the Lord, all the earth; shew forth from day to day his salvation.
24 Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations.
25 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods.
26 For all the gods of the people are idols: but the Lord made the heavens.
27 Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.
28 Give unto the Lord, ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength.
29 Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
30 Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.
31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The Lord reigneth.
32 Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein.
33 Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the Lord, because he cometh to judge the earth.
34 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
35 And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise.
36 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord.

Then, David delivered a psalm of thanksgiving to the those he assigned to play. It praised the Lord. It was a message to the children of Israel, to continue in thanksgiving to the Lord, to pray to him and to let all know of the wondrous works of God. It spoke of singing to the Lord and to glory and rejoice in seeking after him and his strength continually. It called for the people to remember the covenants and commandments of the Lord to their ancestors, which were an everlasting covenant to Israel. The Lord had given them their lands of inheritance and had kept them safe from other kings and nations. It spoke of the greatness of the Lord, and that He should be known as the true god who created the heavens, while all other gods were idols. All people should glory the Lord and worship him. The Lord was to come to judge the earth, and the things of nature were to rejoice. And the faithful should always call upon God for their deliverance from the temptations of the world, and that they would not turn away from God. Those who heard the psalm praised the Lord.

37 So he left there before the ark of the covenant of the Lord Asaph and his brethren, to minister before the ark continually, as every day’s work required:
38 And Obed-edom with their brethren, threescore and eight; Obed-edom also the son of Jeduthun and Hosah to be porters:
39 And Zadok the priest, and his brethren the priests, before the tabernacle of the Lord in the high place that was at Gibeon,
40 To offer burnt offerings unto the Lord upon the altar of the burnt offering continually morning and evening, and to do according to all that is written in the law of the Lord, which he commanded Israel;
41 And with them Heman and Jeduthun, and the rest that were chosen, who were expressed by name, to give thanks to the Lord, because his mercy endureth for ever;
42 And with them Heman and Jeduthun with trumpets and cymbals for those that should make a sound, and with musical instruments of God. And the sons of Jeduthun were porters.
43 And all the people departed every man to his house: and David returned to bless his house.

David left Asaph and his brethren to minister continually at the ark each day. Obed-edom and his 68 brethren were to be porters. Zadok and his brethren were to be the priests of the tabernacle in Gibeon, where they were to make burnt offerings to the Lord continually as the Lord had commanded. Heman, Jeduthun and the remaining who had been called by name, were to continue in praise to the Lord, along with those musicians who had been called. The sons of Jeduthun were called to be porters. Then David and all the people returned to their own homes.

I am sure that relocating the ark and calling men of the priesthood to attend to it continually, brought peace to the heart of David and those covenant people of Israel. Proper worship of the Lord, had been a message of the law of Moses and the teachings of Israel. Now, the people could return to a proper worship with the promised presence of the spirit of the Lord among them. There was great reason to give thanks to the Lord, to sacrifice and give offerings, and to praise with song and words. Likewise, when something is out of place in our own lives, and we have the wisdom and follow the promptings of the spirit to put it right, we also have great reason to do these same things–give thanks, sacrifice, give offerings, and praise. Our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, have blessed us far beyond measure. We owe our every devotion and praise to God, for all that we have and all that we are.

1 Chronicles Chapter 15

In chapter 13 of Chronicles, David attempted to move the ark to Jerusalem, but after the incident with Uzza, who was destroyed for touching the ark, and out of concern for what may happen if they continued, he placed it in the house of Obed-edom. David’s intent to relocate the ark was not removed, and in this chapter the story relating to this continues. This chapter begins as follows:

1 And David made him houses in the city of David, and prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent.
2 Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the Lord chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever.
3 And David gathered all Israel together to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the Lord unto his place, which he had prepared for it.
4 And David assembled the children of Aaron, and the Levites:
5 Of the sons of Kohath; Uriel the chief, and his brethren an hundred and twenty:
6 Of the sons of Merari; Asaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred and twenty:
7 Of the sons of Gershom; Joel the chief, and his brethren an hundred and thirty:
8 Of the sons of Elizaphan; Shemaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred:
9 Of the sons of Hebron; Eliel the chief, and his brethren fourscore:
10 Of the sons of Uzziel; Amminadab the chief, and his brethren an hundred and twelve.
11 And David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites, for Uriel, Asaiah, and Joel, Shemaiah, and Eliel, and Amminadab,
12 And said unto them, Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it.
13 For because ye did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.
14 So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel.

David took some time to prepare the city of David with his home and a resting place for the ark. He recognized that the Lord had called the Levites (in particular the sons of Kohath) to bear the ark of God, and so he called for them to be the only ones who should carry it. It is not stated directly, but it seems that Uzzah (who was destroyed for steadying the ark), may not have been a Levite given authority to touch sacred things, which would be part of the reason for the consequence he received. David may not have known the specific responsibilities defined by the Lord, but he had done what was needed to learn how God wanted this done, so that no one else would be harmed.

David gathered the Israelites together again, in order to finally move the ark to Jerusalem, where he had prepared a place for it. Specifically, David called upon the Levites and sons of Aaron. Among them were Uriel and 120 men of Kohath (the second son of Levi, in whose line were Moses and Aaron), Asaiah and 220 men of Merari, Joel and 130 men of Gershom, Shemaiah and 200 men of Elizaphan, Eliel and 80 men of Hebron (the Levitical city where Abraham was buried, which became the inheritance of Caleb, where David had reigned initially), and Amminadab and 112 men of Uzziel. He called for these six leaders along with Zadok (who officiated in the priesthood at Gibeon with the tabernacle) and Abiathar (who officiated at David’s camp), the priests, and commanded them to sanctify themselves and their men to bring the ark to Jerusalem. He told them that they had not been prepared properly the first time, and this is why the breach with Uzza had occurred. They needed to seek the Lord first and be prepared for this undertaking. The priests and Levites did as he commanded and sanctified or prepared themselves for the task of moving the ark of God.

It is so important for us to take the commandments of the Lord seriously and observe them with strictness. According to the words of David, the men who attempted to carry the ark the first time, had not done so. It is possible that the strict instructions of how to handle the ark had not been reviewed by Uzza, and so he had not realized what his choice would result in for himself or those who were with him. When we do things of a sacred nature, such as participating in sacred covenant making and renewing, we need to have our hearts turned to the Lord through our own sanctification, otherwise the consequences will be serious from our own offense to God. Before participating, we should prepare to administer or partake of the sacrament, and prepare to serve or make our own covenants in the temple of the Lord.

15 And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the Lord.
16 And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of musick, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.
17 So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel; and of his brethren, Asaph the son of Berechiah; and of the sons of Merari their brethren, Ethan the son of Kushaiah;
18 And with them their brethren of the second degree, Zechariah, Ben, and Jaaziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, Eliab, and Benaiah, and Maaseiah, and Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obed-edom, and Jeiel, the porters.
19 So the singers, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, were appointed to sound with cymbals of brass;
20 And Zechariah, and Aziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, and Eliab, and Maaseiah, and Benaiah, with psalteries on Alamoth;
21 And Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obed-edom, and Jeiel, and Azaziah, with harps on the Sheminith to excel.
22 And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was for song: he instructed about the song, because he was skilful.
23 And Berechiah and Elkanah were doorkeepers for the ark.
24 And Shebaniah, and Jehoshaphat, and Nethaneel, and Amasai, and Zechariah, and Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, did blow with the trumpets before the ark of God: and Obed-edom and Jehiah were doorkeepers for the ark.

The Levites carried the ark as the Lord had instructed Moses to have them do. David asked that some of the Levites be called to sing and play music of joy. Heman, Asaph (cymbal player mentioned in Psalms), Ethan, Zechariah, Ben, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Matithiah, Elipheleh, Mikneiah, Obed-edom, and Jeiel, were called. Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, carried brass cymbals. Zechariah, Aziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah, Benaiah carried psalteries (large harps). Mattithiah, Elipheleh, Mikneiah, Obed-edom, Jeiel, and Azaziah carried the harps on the Sheminith. Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was called to lead the music because of his skill. Berechiah and Elkanah were called to be doorkeepers. Shebaniah, Jehoshaphat, Nethaneel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah, and Eliezer, were priests called to play trumpets before the ark. Finally, Obed-edom and Jehiah were called as doorkeepers for the ark.

Of all the people called to serve with the movement of the ark, the musicians are named specifically. This is a testimony to the importance of music in worshiping the Lord. Moreover, David was a skilled musician himself, and he knew the value of worshipping God through beautiful music.

25 So David, and the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands, went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the house of Obed-edom with joy.
26 And it came to pass, when God helped the Levites that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, that they offered seven bullocks and seven rams.
27 And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers: David also had upon him an ephod of linen.
28 Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps.

David, along with the elders of Israel and an army of thousands, went to the Obed-edom and took the ark of the covenant of the Lord. They did this with joy. The Levites that carried the ark, had offered a sacrifice of seven bulls and seven rams to the Lord. David dressed in fine clothes, along with all those involved in carrying the ark and providing the music. David wore the ephod of the priests. So, the ark was carried to the city of David with great joy and rejoicing.

29 And it came to pass, as the ark of the covenant of the Lord came to the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looking out at a window saw king David dancing and playing: and she despised him in her heart.

When the ark reached the city of David, Michal, who was the daughter of Saul and David’s first wife, saw David out of her window, and she despised him deeply.

So, David accomplished the thing he felt inspired to do, and did it according to the pattern the Lord had established. This is an example of good, righteous leadership. He knew this thing was something to honor and celebrate, and so he called for the musicians and made this time, one of joy and rejoicing. It was a huge blessing for the ark to be with the Israelites in the place designated for worshipping the Lord.

1 Chronicles Chapter 14

The reign of King David in Israel began with things such as attempting to relocate the ark of the covenant. It continued with those things found in this chapter. David had already made a well-known name for himself, by leading armies with great strength and having many victories over their enemies. Moreover, he had reigned in Judah for 7 1/2 years. Once he was anointed king of Israel, he and his family, including his two wives Ahinoam and Abigail, had relocated from Hebron to Jerusalem. This chapter begins with the following:

1 Now Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and timber of cedars, with masons and carpenters, to build him an house.
2 And David perceived that the Lord had confirmed him king over Israel, for his kingdom was lifted up on high, because of his people Israel.

Workers from Tyre were sent along with messengers of the king, Hiram, who was a friend of King David. They brought cedar to build David a house in Jerusalem. David could tell that he was being blessed by the Lord and therefore knew his anointing as their king was confirmed by God.

3 And David took more wives at Jerusalem: and David begat more sons and daughters.
4 Now these are the names of his children which he had in Jerusalem; Shammua, and Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon,
5 And Ibhar, and Elishua, and Elpalet,
6 And Nogah, and Nepheg, and Japhia,
7 And Elishama, and Beeliada, and Eliphalet.

David married more wives while in Jerusalem, in addition to his two wives from before becoming king of Israel. These wives bore him children, including Shammua (Shimea, of Bathsheba), Shobab (of Bathsheba), Nathan (of Bathsheba), Solomon (of Bathsheba and successor of David), Ibhar, Elishua, Elpalet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Beeliada (Eliada), and Eliphalet (Eliphelet). (see also 2 Samuel 5 and 1 Chronicles 3)

Modern revelation teaches that the wives were given to David in a manner acceptable by God, by a prophet of God called Nathan, except for the case of Bathsheba, who was the wife of Uriah (see Doctrine and Covenants 132:38-39). In our current times, this act of having multiple wives has, in His wisdom, not been considered acceptable to the Lord.

8 And when the Philistines heard that David was anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek David. And David heard of it, and went out against them.
9 And the Philistines came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.
10 And David inquired of God, saying, Shall I go up against the Philistines? and wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the Lord said unto him, Go up; for I will deliver them into thine hand.
11 So they came up to Baal-perazim; and David smote them there. Then David said, God hath broken in upon mine enemies by mine hand like the breaking forth of waters: therefore they called the name of that place Baal-perazim.
12 And when they had left their gods there, David gave a commandment, and they were burned with fire.
13 And the Philistines yet again spread themselves abroad in the valley.
14 Therefore David inquired again of God; and God said unto him, Go not up after them; turn away from them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees.
15 And it shall be, when thou shalt hear a sound of going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt go out to battle: for God is gone forth before thee to smite the host of the Philistines.
16 David therefore did as God commanded him: and they smote the host of the Philistines from Gibeon even to Gazer.
17 And the fame of David went out into all lands; and the Lord brought the fear of him upon all nations.

The Philistines heard of David’s anointing and decided to go after him. David went against them and found them spread about in the valley of Rephaim (the giants). David asked the Lord if he should fight the Philistines, and if he did, if the Lord would deliver them into his hands. This was something that had happened a number of times before, because David turned to the Lord for his strength. The Lord answered David and told him to go against them, because the Lord would deliver them into his hand. David led his men and they were victorious in Baal-perazim, recognizing that God had done this for him and his people (see also 2 Samuel 5:19-20). The idols that the Philistines had brought with them, were burned at David’s command. Once again, the Philistines were in the valley and David went to God again. However, this time, God told him not to go after them in that valley. Instead, he was to go to a place that had mulberry trees. Once he heard the sound of their going, or marching, from the tops of the trees, he was to take his army against them. This would be a sign that God had gone before them to destroy the Philistines. David followed the commandments of God, and they were able to defeat the Philistines (see also 2 Samuel 5:22-25). Then the fame of David spread to all the nations and others feared him.

The message of faith and trust in God rather than in the arm of the flesh, that is found in this story of David, is such a good example to us today. David had already shown that he was a skilled fighter and leader of armies. He had grown in these talents over the years and had been continually successful in it. However, he was meek in his own power and in humility, turned to the Lord for guidance, knowing that God would help him if it was the right thing to do. God blesses the meek and humble with the power to overcome their challenges. It may not happen in the timing or way that we would expect. I imagine that David’s wisdom would not have led him to listen from the trees before attacking the Philistines. I don’t imagine that this was how he had initially expected to have victory over his enemies. However, it was God’s wisdom and it proved successful. We will be greatly blessed if we can demonstrate a level of faith and trust in God compared with our own challenges in life.

1 Chronicles Chapter 13

At this point in the books of Chronicles, David was anointed as the King of Israel and the people of Israel recognized that he was the next leader of Israel chosen by God. David led in righteousness and felt the need for the ark to be moved to the tabernacle where it belonged. In the beginning of his reign, the ark was located in a place called Kirjath-jearim. It had come to be there, because the Philistines had stolen it when they defeated the Israelites in the time that Eli judged Israel (see 1 Samuel 4). Word of loosing the ark was so awful, that it had brought the death of Eli. The Philistines removed the ark to one of their temples, where it brought trouble on them. They decided to move it to Gath, where again, it brought destruction to the Philistines. They moved it then to Ekron, where the people begged for it to be sent back to the Israelites (see 1 Samuel 5). After about seven months of it being in the hands of the Philistines, they took it by cart to the border of Beth-shemesh in the land of the Israelites (see 1 Samuel 6). The Israelite men in Beth-shemesh were tempted to look into the ark, and had been cursed by the Lord, so they asked the men of Kirjath-jearim to retrieve the ark from them. The ark was finally moved to Kirjath-jearim until this time in David’s reign (see 1 Samuel 7). It had remained there for about 20 years.

1 And David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader.
2 And David said unto all the congregation of Israel, If it seem good unto you, and that it be of the Lord our God, let us send abroad unto our brethren every where, that are left in all the land of Israel, and with them also to the priests and Levites which are in their cities and suburbs, that they may gather themselves unto us:
3 And let us bring again the ark of our God to us: for we inquired not at it in the days of Saul.
4 And all the congregation said that they would do so: for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.
5 So David gathered all Israel together, from Shihor of Egypt even unto the entering of Hemath, to bring the ark of God from Kirjath-jearim.
6 And David went up, and all Israel, to Baalah, that is, to Kirjath-jearim, which belonged to Judah, to bring up thence the ark of God the Lord, that dwelleth between the cherubims, whose name is called on it.
7 And they carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio drave the cart.
8 And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.

David called for the men of Israel to be gathered together and for the ark of the covenant to be brought from Kirjath-jearim (a city not too far from Jerusalem by today’s standards, about 7 1/2 miles). The congregation of Israel agreed that they should do this, so they gathered together and prepared to move the ark. David went to Kirjath-jearim and had it brought out by a cart driven by Uzza (Uzzah) and Ahio. The musicians played and sang for the Lord as they went.

Reading that David gathered the Israelites together to ask for their consent to move the ark to the tabernacle, is an example of his efforts to lead as the Lord wanted instead of by his own design. It is the way of the Lord, for there to be common consent among his people. If the voice of the people were to choose wickedness, the Lord would not force them otherwise. The voice of the people had chosen to be led by a king rather then judges as was prescribed by the Lord, and then the Lord allowed for a king to be their leader. When the voice of the people choose to sustain the Lord’s chosen leader and then follow that leaders inspired course, they will be blessed. This is true in these modern days as well as it was in ancient times.

9 And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled.
10 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.
11 And David was displeased, because the Lord had made a breach upon Uzza: wherefore that place is called Perez-uzza to this day.
12 And David was afraid of God that day, saying, How shall I bring the ark of God home to me?
13 So David brought not the ark home to himself to the city of David, but carried it aside into the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.
14 And the ark of God remained with the family of Obed-edom in his house three months. And the Lord blessed the house of Obed-edom, and all that he had.

In the area of Chidon, the oxen stumbled and Uzza tried to steady the ark. Uzza was smitten by the Lord and died (see also 2 Samuel 6:6-7). This was against strict commandment to the men of the priesthood, that no one (unauthorized by God) was to touch anything holy from the tabernacle, or they would die (see Numbers 4:15). David was concerned for how they could move the ark if this could happen to his men, so he decided to leave the ark there, at the house of Obed-edom, who was a Gittite or a levite of Gath-rimmon. The ark was left there for three months, and brought the blessings of the Lord to the house and family of Obed-edom. (see also 2 Samuel 6)

This story seems like such a strong act of God against one who thought he was doing something good, but it is more important to see that the Lord keeps His word with strictness. They had been given the commandment long before, and as men of the priesthood they knew these things. The promise had been death and the Lord had to keep that word or men would doubt the power and actions of God. The Lord would have protected the ark as needed and it was to be kept completely holy, but sometimes men use their own wisdom and act upon it instead of trusting completely in the Lord. I am sure we all do this at times, and there are always consequences of some type. The ways of men are not the ways of God, but if we can learn to place complete trust in Him, our ways can become more like His and we will see amazing blessings in our lives.

1 Chronicles Chapter 12

David had spent several years as a leader of the armies of Israel while Saul was the king in Israel. When Saul was filled with envy and jealousy, he wanted to destroy David, so David had been made to hide from Saul to preserve his life. At one point, David was in a place called Gath, which was a city of the Philistines at the time. David had gained favor with the king, so he asked the king for land there and was given a place called Ziklag. (see 1 Samuel 27) While in this land, he had a host of men of war that were with him. This chapter begins with a listing of these men.

1 Now these are they that came to David to Ziklag, while he yet kept himself close because of Saul the son of Kish: and they were among the mighty men, helpers of the war.
2 They were armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows out of a bow, even of Saul’s brethren of Benjamin.
3 The chief was Ahiezer, then Joash, the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite; and Jeziel, and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth; and Berachah, and Jehu the Antothite,
4 And Ismaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty man among the thirty, and over the thirty; and Jeremiah, and Jahaziel, and Johanan, and Josabad the Gederathite,
5 Eluzai, and Jerimoth, and Bealiah, and Shemariah, and Shephatiah the Haruphite,
6 Elkanah, and Jesiah, and Azareel, and Joezer, and Jashobeam, the Korhites,
7 And Joelah, and Zebadiah, the sons of Jeroham of Gedor.

The mighty men of David were skilled men. Those of Benjamin, were able to shoot with the bow and arrow, and throw stones. The leader of these men, was Ahiezer. Others among them were Joash, the sons of Shemaah, Jeziel, Pelet, Berachah, Jehu, Ismaiah, Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, Josabad, Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shermariah, Shephatiah, Elkanah, Jesiah, Azareel, Joezer, Jashobeam, Joelah, and Zebadiah.

8 And of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David into the hold to the wilderness men of might, and men of war fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains;
9 Ezer the first, Obadiah the second, Eliab the third,
10 Mishmannah the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth,
11 Attai the sixth, Eliel the seventh,
12 Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth,
13 Jeremiah the tenth, Machbanai the eleventh.
14 These were of the sons of Gad, captains of the host: one of the least was over an hundred, and the greatest over a thousand.
15 These are they that went over Jordan in the first month, when it had overflown all his banks; and they put to flight all them of the valleys, both toward the east, and toward the west.

There were some of Gad, who were skilled with the shield and buckler. They included Ezer, Obadiah, Eliab, Mismannah, Jeremiah, Attai, Eliel, Johanan, Elzabad, Jeremiah, and Machbanai. They were captains over many men and had led the armies over the Jordan and scattered those in the land.

16 And there came of the children of Benjamin and Judah to the hold unto David.
17 And David went out to meet them, and answered and said unto them, If ye be come peaceably unto me to help me, mine heart shall be knit unto you: but if ye be come to betray me to mine enemies, seeing there is no wrong in mine hands, the God of our fathers look thereon, and rebuke it.
18 Then the spirit came upon Amasai, who was chief of the captains, and he said, Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band.
19 And there fell some of Manasseh to David, when he came with the Philistines against Saul to battle: but they helped them not: for the lords of the Philistines upon advisement sent him away, saying, He will fall to his master Saul to the jeopardy of our heads.
20 As he went to Ziklag, there fell to him of Manasseh, Adnah, and Jozabad, and Jediael, and Michael, and Jozabad, and Elihu, and Zilthai, captains of the thousands that were of Manasseh.
21 And they helped David against the band of the rovers: for they were all mighty men of valour, and were captains in the host.
22 For at that time day by day there came to David to help him, until it was a great host, like the host of God.

Men came from Benjamin and Judah to join David while he was in the hold. David met them and told them he would join with them in heart, if they came to him in peace, but if not, God would be against them because he had done no wrong. The chief of the captains, Amasai, spoke by the spirit with an agreement of peace with David. David allowed them to join his men and made them captains. Likewise, there were some men of Manasseh who joined him after he went with the Philistines against Saul. They had not helped the Philistines because the leaders of the Philistines had sent David away fearing that he would join with Saul against them. David had gone to Ziklag, and that is where those of Manasseh joined him. They included Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu, and Zilthai. David’s army became great in number as more mighty men came to help him.

23 And these are the numbers of the bands that were ready armed to the war, and came to David to Hebron, to turn the kingdom of Saul to him, according to the word of the Lord.
24 The children of Judah that bare shield and spear were six thousand and eight hundred, ready armed to the war.
25 Of the children of Simeon, mighty men of valour for the war, seven thousand and one hundred.
26 Of the children of Levi four thousand and six hundred.
27 And Jehoiada was the leader of the Aaronites, and with him were three thousand and seven hundred;
28 And Zadok, a young man mighty of valour, and of his father’s house twenty and two captains.
29 And of the children of Benjamin, the kindred of Saul, three thousand: for hitherto the greatest part of them had kept the ward of the house of Saul.
30 And of the children of Ephraim twenty thousand and eight hundred, mighty men of valour, famous throughout the house of their fathers.
31 And of the half tribe of Manasseh eighteen thousand, which were expressed by name, to come and make David king.
32 And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.
33 Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: they were not of double heart.
34 And of Naphtali a thousand captains, and with them with shield and spear thirty and seven thousand.
35 And of the Danites expert in war twenty and eight thousand and six hundred.
36 And of Asher, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, forty thousand.
37 And on the other side of Jordan, of the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and of the half tribe of Manasseh, with all manner of instruments of war for the battle, an hundred and twenty thousand.

These men wanted to fight along side David, because they knew the Lord had chosen him to be their next king. There were 6,800 men from Judah; 7,100 from Simeon; 4,600 from Levi; 3,700 men of Aaron, led by Jehoiada; 22 captains of the family of Zadok, along with Zadok; 3,000 from Benjamin, where most men kept their allegiance with Saul who was of their tribe; 20,800 from Ephraim; 18,000 of half of Manasseh, who were specifically called to make David the king; 200 leaders and their men from Issachar; 50,000 from Zebulun; 1,000 captains over 37,000 from Naphtali; 28,600 from Dan; 40,000 from Asher; and 120,000 from Reuben, Gad and the other half of Manasseh.

38 All these men of war, that could keep rank, came with a perfect heart to Hebron, to make David king over all Israel: and all the rest also of Israel were of one heart to make David king.
39 And there they were with David three days, eating and drinking: for their brethren had prepared for them.
40 Moreover they that were nigh them, even unto Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, brought bread on asses, and on camels, and on mules, and on oxen, and meat, meal, cakes of figs, and bunches of raisins, and wine, and oil, and oxen, and sheep abundantly: for there was joy in Israel.

These warriors were in full allegiance with David and were prepared to make him the king of Israel, along with much of the whole of Israel. They gathered for three days and ate and drank the things which were prepared for them by their brothers. Those who had been nearer to Hebron had also brought preparations for food and drink in abundance, because this was a time of celebration for Israel.

Many of the Israelites gathered to support David, because they recognized him for his calling by God. Those who lead for the Lord, are often called to other responsibilities or even called Home to the Lord, and others who have been prepared by the Lord, are called to fill that responsibility. It is great that so many were able to recognize the calling given to David and to discern for themselves where their allegiance should be at that time. Those who are followers of Christ today, have this same responsibility. If we live faithfully and rely on the Lord to help us recognize truth, we will have eyes to see whom we should heed. The Lord calls men today, to lead his people. They, along with the words of the prophets before them, will guide us back to live with God again. We have our choice to recognize these or not, but we will be blessed if we follow the example of these mighty men and follow after the leaders chosen by God.

1 Chronicles Chapter 11

After the death of Saul and his sons, the path for David to become the king of the children of Israel was opened to him. Up to that point, David had honored the role of Saul as the king, even though Saul had sought to kill him for several years. David had waited upon the Lord and was not the cause of Saul’s demise, even though there had been moments when he could have taken Saul’s life himself. This chapter of Chronicles begins with the following:

1 Then all Israel gathered themselves to David unto Hebron, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh.
2 And moreover in time past, even when Saul was king, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the Lord thy God said unto thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be ruler over my people Israel.
3 Therefore came all the elders of Israel to the king to Hebron; and David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the Lord; and they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the Lord by Samuel.

The elders of Israel recognized that David had been chosen by God to rule them. They knew it was David who had been a leader in Israel even during the reign of Saul. They gathered together where David ruled in Hebron, and David made a covenant with them and was anointed to be their king. (see also 2 Samuel 5) This was fulfillment of the prophecy of Samuel the prophet. (see 1 Samuel 16:1, 11-13)

4 And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, which is Jebus; where the Jebusites were, the inhabitants of the land.
5 And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come hither. Nevertheless David took the castle of Zion, which is the city of David.
6 And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain. So Joab the son of Zeruiah went first up, and was chief.
7 And David dwelt in the castle; therefore they called it the city of David.
8 And he built the city round about, even from Millo round about: and Joab repaired the rest of the city.
9 So David waxed greater and greater: for the Lord of hosts was with him.

David took the host of Israel to Jerusalem, which was know as Jebus at the time. The Jebusites, who had lived there since before the time of the Israelites entering the land, refused to let David into the land, but David took Zion, known afterwards as the city of David. He called upon his army to destroy the Jebusites and offered the role of chief and captain to whomever was willing to be the first to do it. Joab, David’s nephew through Zeruiah, led the people in the call and became the chief of the army of Israel. David lived in Jerusalem and built up the city around the castle or fort he lived in, with Joab’s assistance. David grew in greatness with the support of the Lord.

10 These also are the chief of the mighty men whom David had, who strengthened themselves with him in his kingdom, and with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the Lord concerning Israel.
11 And this is the number of the mighty men whom David had; Jashobeam, an Hachmonite, the chief of the captains: he lifted up his spear against three hundred slain by him at one time.
12 And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, who was one of the three mighties.
13 He was with David at Pas-dammim, and there the Philistines were gathered together to battle, where was a parcel of ground full of barley; and the people fled from before the Philistines.
14 And they set themselves in the midst of that parcel, and delivered it, and slew the Philistines; and the Lord saved them by a great deliverance.

David had men of might, who were leaders in Israel under King David and were strengthened because of the Lord. Among those that were with him, was Jashobeam (Adino), who killed 300 enemies at one time with his spear. Also, Eleazar, who served with David at Pas-dammim. They had put themselves in the middle of a field of barley, claiming it and killing the Philistines there with deliverance from the Lord. (see also 2 Samuel 23)

15 Now three of the thirty captains went down to the rock to David, into the cave of Adullam; and the host of the Philistines encamped in the valley of Rephaim.
16 And David was then in the hold, and the Philistines’ garrison was then at Beth-lehem.
17 And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Beth-lehem, that is at the gate!
18 And the three brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Beth-lehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: but David would not drink of it, but poured it out to the Lord,
19 And said, My God forbid it me, that I should do this thing: shall I drink the blood of these men that have put their lives in jeopardy? for with the jeopardy of their lives they brought it. Therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mightiest.

Three of David’s captains went to a cave where David was, while the Philistines camped in the valley of Rephaim (giants). The army of the Philistines were in Bethlehem. David was in a fortress and wished for a drink from the well in Bethlehem. The three went through the army of the Philistines and drew water from the well. When they brought it back to David, he refused it and poured it out with the words that he could not drink of the water that the men risked their lives to get for him. These were three of the mightiest men of David. (see also 2 Samuel 23:13-17)

20 And Abishai the brother of Joab, he was chief of the three: for lifting up his spear against three hundred, he slew them, and had a name among the three.
21 Of the three, he was more honourable than the two; for he was their captain: howbeit he attained not to the first three.
22 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts; he slew two lionlike men of Moab: also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day.
23 And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian’s hand was a spear like a weaver’s beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and slew him with his own spear.
24 These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among the three mighties.
25 Behold, he was honourable among the thirty, but attained not to the first three: and David set him over his guard.

Of the three men, the leader was Abishai, the brother of Joab, who had killed three hundred with his spear and was the most honorable of them and therefore their captain. Next, was Benaiah, a descendant of Jehoiada and Kabzeel. Among the many things he had done, he had killed two fierce Moabites, as well as a lion. He killed a large Egyptian by using his staff to take the Egyptian’s spear from him and then slayed him with the spear. Benaiah was honorable among his men, so David made him the leader of his guard. (see also 2 Samuel 23:18-23)

26 Also the valiant men of the armies were, Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan the son of Dodo of Beth-lehem,
27 Shammoth the Harorite, Helez the Pelonite,
28 Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, Abi-ezer the Antothite,
29 Sibbecai the Hushathite, Ilai the Ahohite,
30 Maharai the Netophathite, Heled the son of Baanah the Netophathite,
31 Ithai the son of Ribai of Gibeah, that pertained to the children of Benjamin, Benaiah the Pirathonite,
32 Hurai of the brooks of Gaash, Abiel the Arbathite,
33 Azmaveth the Baharumite, Eliahba the Shaalbonite,
34 The sons of Hashem the Gizonite, Jonathan the son of Shage the Hararite,
35 Ahiam the son of Sacar the Hararite, Eliphal the son of Ur,
36 Hepher the Mecherathite, Ahijah the Pelonite,
37 Hezro the Carmelite, Naarai the son of Ezbai,
38 Joel the brother of Nathan, Mibhar the son of Haggeri,
39 Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Berothite, the armourbearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah,
40 Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite,
41 Uriah the Hittite, Zabad the son of Ahlai,
42 Adina the son of Shiza the Reubenite, a captain of the Reubenites, and thirty with him,
43 Hanan the son of Maachah, and Joshaphat the Mithnite,
44 Uzzia the Ashterathite, Shama and Jehiel the sons of Hothan the Aroerite,
45 Jediael the son of Shimri, and Joha his brother, the Tizite,
46 Eliel the Mahavite, and Jeribai, and Joshaviah, the sons of Elnaam, and Ithmah the Moabite,
47 Eliel, and Obed, and Jasiel the Mesobaite.

Those among the guard and armies of David, who were valiant men, are listed here. Asahel (the other brother of Joab, who pursued after Abner, an enemy of David, and was killed by him and later avenged by Joab), Elhanan, Shammoth (Shammah), Helez, Ira, Abi-ezer, Sibbecai (Mebunnai), Ilai (Zalmon), Maharai, Heled (Heleb), Ithai (Ittai), Benaiah, Hurai (Hiddai), Abiel (Abi-albon), Azmaveth, Eliahba, the sons of Hashem, Jonathan, Ahiam, Eliphal, Hepher, Ahijah, Hezro (Hezrai), Naarai, Joel (the brother of Nathan, possibly the prophet Nathan who did things like rebuke David), Mibhar, Zelek, Naharai,the man who bore the armor of Joab, Ira, Gareb, Uriah (the husband of Bath-sheba, whom David planned to kill to hide his own transgressions and in doing so, sinned against God), Zabad, Adina, a Reubenite captain and 30 of his men, Hanan, Joshaphat, Uzzia, Shama and Jehiel, Jediael and Joha, Eliel, Jeribai, Joshaviah, the sons of Elnaam, Ithmah, Eliel, Obed, and Jasiel. (see also 2 Samuel 23:24-39 – other names listed there include Elika, Shammah, Eliphelet, Eliam, Paarai, Igal, and Bani)

This chapter is a second witness to the happenings found in the second book of Samuel. It is another witness that prophecy from the Lord to his prophets, will be fulfilled. It includes a list of mighty men who were there to protect and support David as he began his rule as king in Israel. Moreover, it is a second witness of the blessing of waiting upon the Lord, even when you know something is meant to happen. The Lord has His own timing and it is perfectly wise and will provide the greatest opportunities for growth for those effected. It can be one of the most difficult things in this life, to have patience for changes in our lives to come to us. The Lord will keep his promises to us in His time and when he does, it will be a far greater blessing than if we try to force these kind of things to happen by our own design. I have seen the Lord’s hand in my life and in hindsight I am always blessed to see how perfectly things work out. I am grateful for David’s example of this principle found in chapters such as this.

1 Chronicles Chapter 10

The children of Israel had been led by judges, chosen by God and under His direction. This went on for many years, until the Israelites allowed the influence of surrounding nations to persuade them to have a king instead of following after the Lord’s pattern. This was around 1095 B.C. As their first king, the Lord chose a Benjamite named Saul. He was a very good, humble, young man when chosen by God. However, he gave in to personal weaknesses over time, and lost the favor of God (see 1 Samuel 15:23).

The Philistines had risen in power during the reign of Saul and he became afraid. He tried to pray for answers, but because of his disobedience, they were not answered. He went to the witch of Endor, and the spirit of Samuel told Saul he and his sons would die (see 1 Samuel 28). This chapter of Chronicles occurs somewhere around 1047 B.C. (according to the chronology of the Bible), after Saul had been told he would die. It begins as follows:

1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.
2 And the Philistines followed hard after Saul, and after his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchi-shua, the sons of Saul.
3 And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him, and he was wounded of the archers.
4 Then said Saul to his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. So Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.
5 And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise on the sword, and died.
6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and all his house died together.
7 And when all the men of Israel that were in the valley saw that they fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, then they forsook their cities, and fled: and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.

The Philistines went against Israel and fought them hard. The Israelite army retreated to mount Gilboa, but the Philistines pursued them and killed many, including the sons of Saul. The Philistines chased after Saul and he was shot by an arrow. Saul asked his servant to kill him, so that he would not be tortured by their enemies, but the servant refused to do it because he was afraid. Saul chose to do it himself (see also 1 Samuel 31). Once the servant saw it, he also killed himself. The men of the land where this happened, saw that Saul and his sons were dead, and they ran away, leaving their cities for the Philistines to take and live in them. (see also 2 Samuel 1:10 for another witness of Saul’s death)

8 And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his sons fallen in mount Gilboa.
9 And when they had stripped him, they took his head, and his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to carry tidings unto their idols, and to the people.
10 And they put his armour in the house of their gods, and fastened his head in the temple of Dagon.

The Philistines went to the dead to take what they could from them, and they found the bodies of Saul and his sons. They stripped Saul, took his head and armor, and sent word to their people. They displayed his armor in their temple (the house of Ashtaroth) and his head in the temple of Dagon. (see also 1 Samuel 31:8-10 – his body was displayed on the wall of Beth-shan).

11 And when all Jabesh-gilead heard all that the Philistines had done to Saul,
12 They arose, all the valiant men, and took away the body of Saul, and the bodies of his sons, and brought them to Jabesh, and buried their bones under the oak in Jabesh, and fasted seven days.

The men of Jabesh-gilead heard of the things that the Philistines had done to body of Saul. The valiant men went to the place where the bodies of Saul and his sons had been disrespected, and took their bodies to Jabesh where they buried them. Then they fasted for seven days, which was tradition according to the law of Moses. In the law, the Lord declared that any who touched the dead, were unclean for seven days. (see Numbers 19:11)

13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the Lord, even against the word of the Lord, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it;
14 And inquired not of the Lord: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.

The reason that the Lord allowed Saul to die in battle, was because he had transgressed and gone against the word of the Lord. He had knowingly turned to the forbidden choice of seeking after speaking with the dead, instead of turning to the Lord. In the law found in Leviticus 20:6, we read, “And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.” As a result, Saul was not protected in battle and the kingdom was then given to David, the son of Jesse, whom the Lord had chosen to be his successor. This was fulfillment of the prophecy of Samuel to Saul which said, “But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.” (see 1 Samuel 13:14)

I have been thinking about the description of the men in verse 12, which says they were valiant men. Which means men showing courage and determination. At first glance, it may seem to mean that these men had the courage necessary to enter the land of the Philistines, at the risk of their own lives, to gather the bodies of their royal family. This would indeed make them men worthy of the description of being valiant. However, I think it is possible that the recorder of this event felt something more about these men. As I said above, it was law that a person who touched the dead were considered unclean. It would seem that more often than not, those who could avoid even looking upon a dead body, would avoid it, so as to avoid all possibility of uncleanliness. Yet these men had such a respect for Saul and his sons (this does not mean they supported him or followed him, but that they respected that he was their leader who had been chosen for them by the Lord), that they were willing to make a personal sacrifice of cleanliness, in order to give them the honor they deserved and no longer be mistreated by their enemies. They were valiant men, because they honored the law of Moses in a time when many of their brethren were not faithful to the law. They made their choice knowing it would have personal consequences both physical and spiritual, but also knowing that their leaders deserved more in death then they had received. They were definitely valiant men of Israel.

1 Chronicles Chapter 9

When the children of Israel entered the promised land under the direction of Joshua, Jerusalem was inhabited by the Jebusites. (One of the ancient names of the land was Jebus and those who lived there were Jebusites.) Because it was a stronghold in the land, they did not completely conquer it until David took it for his capital. Up to that that time, it remained an unclaimed area between Judah and Benjamin, though not without attempts from the Israelites to capture it. It became more than a stronghold and capital, when Solomon was instructed to build the temple there. The kings of Israel lived in Jerusalem until the kingdom divided, at which point it remained the capital of Judah. It was the last part of Israel that held strong in the days when the children of Israel were carried away captive into Babylon. This chapter includes some of those who lived in Jerusalem.

1 So all Israel were reckoned by genealogies; and, behold, they were written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah, who were carried away to Babylon for their transgression.
2 Now the first inhabitants that dwelt in their possessions in their cities were, the Israelites, the priests, Levites, and the Nethinims.
3 And in Jerusalem dwelt of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin, and of the children of Ephraim, and Manasseh;
4 Uthai the son of Ammihud, the son of Omri, the son of Imri, the son of Bani, of the children of Pharez the son of Judah.
5 And of the Shilonites; Asaiah the firstborn, and his sons.
6 And of the sons of Zerah; Jeuel, and their brethren, six hundred and ninety.
7 And of the sons of Benjamin; Sallu the son of Meshullam, the son of Hodaviah, the son of Hasenuah,
8 And Ibneiah the son of Jeroham, and Elah the son of Uzzi, the son of Michri, and Meshullam the son of Shephathiah, the son of Reuel, the son of Ibnijah;
9 And their brethren, according to their generations, nine hundred and fifty and six. All these men were chief of the fathers in the house of their fathers.

Genealogy records of the Israelites were kept in the books of the kings of Israel and Judah. Those who lived in the lands of Israel were the Israelites, the priests and Levites, and the Nethinims. The Nethinims were servants of the temple. In Jerusalem, there were those from different tribes. There were men from Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim and Manasseh. The list begins with a line of Judah, through his son Pharez, who was the father of Bani, who was the father of Imri, who was the father of Omri, who was the father of Ammihud. The son of Ammihud was Uthai, who lived in Jerusalem. Also in Jerusalem, was Asaiah if the Shilonites, and his family. Jeuel and 690 of his family, the sons of Zerah, lived there. From the tribe of Benjamin, Sallu, who was the son of Meshullam, the son of Hodaviah, theson of Hasenuah; Ibneiah, who was the son of Jeroham; Elah, who was the son of Uzzi, who was the son of Michri; and Meshullam, who was the son of Shephathiah, who was the son of Reuel, who was the son of Ibnijah. The men were 956 in number and were the leaders in their tribes.

10 And of the priests; Jedaiah, and Jehoiarib, and Jachin,
11 And Azariah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the ruler of the house of God;
12 And Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pashur, the son of Malchijah, and Maasiai the son of Adiel, the son of Jahzerah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Meshillemith, the son of Immer;
13 And their brethren, heads of the house of their fathers, a thousand and seven hundred and threescore; very able men for the work of the service of the house of God.

The priests were Jedaiah, Jehoiarib (Joiarib), Jachin, and Azariah, who was the son of Hilkiah, who was the son of Meshullam, who was the son of Zadok, who was the son of Meraioth, who was the son of Ahitub, the leader in the temple. Also, Adaiah who was of the line of Jeroham, Pashur, Malchijah (Malchiah), Maasiai, Adiel, Jahzerah, Meshullam, Meshillemith (Meshillemoth), and Immer. Along with these priests were their families and leaders of their tribe, including 1,760 men, who were capable of serving in the temple.

14 And of the Levites; Shemaiah the son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, of the sons of Merari;
15 And Bakbakkar, Heresh, and Galal, and Mattaniah the son of Micah, the son of Zichri, the son of Asaph;
16 And Obadiah the son of Shemaiah, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun, and Berechiah the son of Asa, the son of Elkanah, that dwelt in the villages of the Netophathites.

Among the Levites, were Shemaiah, who was the son of Hasshub (Hashub), who was the son of Azrikam, who was the son of Hashabiah, the son of Merari; Bakbakkar; Heresh; Galal; Mattaniah, who was the son of Micah, who was the son of Zichri (Zabdi), who was the son of Asaph; and Obadiah, who was the son of Shemaiah (Shammua), the son of Galal, who was the son of Jeduthun, who was the son of Berechiah, who was the son of Asa, who was the son of Elkanah. These were those who lived in the villages of the Netophathites (possibly those who lived in Neophah, a town in Judah).

17 And the porters were, Shallum, and Akkub, and Talmon, and Ahiman, and their brethren: Shallum was the chief;
18 Who hitherto waited in the king’s gate eastward: they were porters in the companies of the children of Levi.
19 And Shallum the son of Kore, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah, and his brethren, of the house of his father, the Korahites, were over the work of the service, keepers of the gates of the tabernacle: and their fathers, being over the host of the Lord, were keepers of the entry.
20 And Phinehas the son of Eleazar was the ruler over them in time past, and the Lord was with him.

One of the responsibilites of the Levites, was to be porters (a keeper of the port, or a gate keeper). This job was held by Shallum, Akkub, Talmon, Ahiman, and their families. Shallum was the leader. These men served in the king’s gate to the east, which was the entraced used by the king. A man named Shallum (Meshelemiah, Shelemiah), who was the son of Kore, who was of the line of Ebiasaph and Korah; and his family of the Korahites (Korhites), were the leaders of those who served and keepers of the tabernacle gates. Their fathers were keepers of the entry, as they were responsible for the host of the Lord when they were encamped near the tabernacle. Phinehas, the son of Eleazar (son of Aaron, and high priest in his day), had been their leader and was guided by the Lord (Phinehas was the high priest, and the grandson of Aaron).

21 And Zechariah the son of Meshelemiah was porter of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
22 All these which were chosen to be porters in the gates were two hundred and twelve. These were reckoned by their genealogy in their villages, whom David and Samuel the seer did ordain in their set office.
23 So they and their children had the oversight of the gates of the house of the Lord, namely, the house of the tabernacle, by wards.
24 In four quarters were the porters, toward the east, west, north, and south.
25 And their brethren, which were in their villages, were to come after seven days from time to time with them.
26 For these Levites, the four chief porters, were in their set office, and were over the chambers and treasuries of the house of God.

Zechariah, who was the son of Meshelemiah, was the porter of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. He, along with the other porters who had been chosen to watch the gates, were 212 in number. David and Samuel, the seer, ordained them in their priesthood offices, and each were also counted in the genealogies of their villages. Their families held the offices which watched over the gates of the temple in four sections. These sections were the directional quarters of the house of the tabernacle, including east, west, north, and south. Each of their brethren from their villages, went to serve there for seven days on rotation. There were four chief porters, called to their office over the chambers and treasuries of the temple.

27 And they lodged round about the house of God, because the charge was upon them, and the opening thereof every morning pertained to them.
28 And certain of them had the charge of the ministering vessels, that they should bring them in and out by tale.
29 Some of them also were appointed to oversee the vessels, and all the instruments of the sanctuary, and the fine flour, and the wine, and the oil, and the frankincense, and the spices.
30 And some of the sons of the priests made the ointment of the spices.
31 And Mattithiah, one of the Levites, who was the firstborn of Shallum the Korahite, had the set office over the things that were made in the pans.
32 And other of their brethren, of the sons of the Kohathites, were over the shewbread, to prepare it every sabbath.
33 And these are the singers, chief of the fathers of the Levites, who remaining in the chambers were free: for they were employed in that work day and night.
34 These chief fathers of the Levites were chief throughout their generations; these dwelt at Jerusalem.

When serving, the Levites lived in the area around the temple, so that they could open the temple each morning. Some of them were in charge of the ministering vessels that were taken in and out in total. Some were placed in charge of the vessels, instruments of the sanctuary, flour, wine, oil, frankincense and spices. Some were given the responsibility to make the ointment of spices. Mattithiah, who was the firstborn son of Shallum (Meshelemiah or Shelemiah) the Korahite, was placed in charge of those things made in the pans. Men of the Kohathites were responsible for the preparation of the shewbread for the sabbath. There were also singers (those responsible for the service of song or the music of the Lord’s house), chief of the patriarchs, who stayed in the chambers and worked day and night. The long-time leaders of the Levites, lived in Jerusalem.

The duties of those responsible for the house of the Lord, were of great value to the children of Israel. Without those who served each day, the people would not have been able to continue with offerings and sacrifices that were acceptable to the Lord. They may not have done anything else of note for the children of Israel, but this was a service that is worthy of remembering.

35 And in Gibeon dwelt the father of Gibeon, Jehiel, whose wife’s name was Maachah:
36 And his firstborn son Abdon, then Zur, and Kish, and Baal, and Ner, and Nadab,
37 And Gedor, and Ahio, and Zechariah, and Mikloth.
38 And Mikloth begat Shimeam. And they also dwelt with their brethren at Jerusalem, over against their brethren.
39 And Ner begat Kish; and Kish begat Saul; and Saul begat Jonathan, and Malchi-shua, and Abinadab, and Esh-baal.
40 And the son of Jonathan was Merib-baal: and Merib-baal begat Micah.
41 And the sons of Micah were, Pithon, and Melech, and Tahrea, and Ahaz.
42 And Ahaz begat Jarah; and Jarah begat Alemeth, and Azmaveth, and Zimri; and Zimri begat Moza;
43 And Moza begat Binea; and Rephaiah his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son.
44 And Azel had six sons, whose names are these, Azrikam, Bocheru, and Ishmael, and Sheariah, and Obadiah, and Hanan: these were the sons of Azel.

Just north of Jerusalem, was a city named Gibeon. The father of Gibeon was Jehiel. His wife was Maachah, and their sons were Abdon, Zur, Kish, Baal, Ner, Nadab, Gedor, Ahio, Zechariah, and Mikloth. Mikloth was the father of Shimeam. They lived in Jerusalem next to their brethren. Ner was the father of Kish, who was the father of Saul, the first king of Israel. Saul was the father of Jonathan (the dear friend of David), Malchi-shua, Abinadab, and Esh-baal. Jonathan was the father of Merib-baal, who was the father of Micah. Micah was the father of Pithon, Melech, Tahrea, and Ahaz. Ahaz was the father of Jarah, who was the father of Alemeth, Azmaveth and Zimri. Zimri was the father of Moza, who was the father of Binea, Rephaiah, Eleasah, and Azel. Azel was the father of six sons named Azrikam, Bocheru, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah and Hanan. This is the family of Saul.

It amazes me that we can have records of families from ancient times. The idea that some of these records were included as part of the book of kings, and that most of our scriptures include some portion of a genealogy, shows that a remembrance of those who have come before us has been important throughout the ages. I can only barely imagine what the full record of names would look like for the complete history of the earth, but I believe that record will exist and every person will be remembered for the role they played in this life. I know that keeping a record of our genealogies or doing our family history for this purpose is important, and on of the reasons is for remembering and having a love and gratitude for those who lived before us and gave us the life we have.

1 Chronicles Chapter 8

Benjamin was the son of Jacob and his beloved wife Rachel. His mother died just after his birth. He was the brother of Joseph, and made a bargaining chip for Joseph before he revealed himself in Egypt. This chapter of Chronicles (which I have done my best to understand, but it may not be a perfect understanding) lists the sons of Benjamin and it begins with the following:

1 Now Benjamin begat Bela his firstborn, Ashbel the second, and Aharah the third,
2 Nohah the fourth, and Rapha the fifth.
3 And the sons of Bela were, Addar, and Gera, and Abihud,
4 And Abishua, and Naaman, and Ahoah,
5 And Gera, and Shephuphan, and Huram.
6 And these are the sons of Ehud: these are the heads of the fathers of the inhabitants of Geba, and they removed them to Manahath:
7 And Naaman, and Ahiah, and Gera, he removed them, and begat Uzza, and Ahihud.
8 And Shaharaim begat children in the country of Moab, after he had sent them away; Hushim and Baara were his wives.
9 And he begat of Hodesh his wife, Jobab, and Zibia, and Mesha, and Malcham,
10 And Jeuz, and Shachia, and Mirma. These were his sons, heads of the fathers.
11 And of Hushim he begat Abitub, and Elpaal.

Benjamin had five sons named Bela, Ashbel, Aharah, Nohah, and Rapha. His firstborn, Bela, was the father of Addar, Gera, Abihud, Abishua, Naaman, Ahoah, Gera, Shephuphan, and Huram. Bela’s sons were the sons of Ehud, who lived in Geba. In the Bible Dictionary, it says that Ehud was the son of Gera. Ehud was raised up by the Lord, to deliver Israel. They had been oppressed by Eglon, king of Moab, for 18 years. Ehud took a present to Eglon, but when left alone after he delivered it, he killed the king and then escaped. He went on to lead Israel to subdue Moab and have peace for 80 years. (see Judges 3-4) The sons of Ehud were relocated to Manahath. Naaman, Ahiah, and Gera were removed, and he became the father of Uzza and Ahihud. After they were sent away, Shaharaim had children in Moab. He was married to Hushim and Baara. Shaharaim was the father of Jobab, Zibia, Mesha, Malcham, Jeuz, Shachia, and Mirma, by his wife Hodesh. By his wife Hushim, he was the father of Abitub and Elpaal.

12 The sons of Elpaal; Eber, and Misham, and Shamed, who built Ono, and Lod, with the towns thereof:
13 Beriah also, and Shema, who were heads of the fathers of the inhabitants of Aijalon, who drove away the inhabitants of Gath:
14 And Ahio, Shashak, and Jeremoth,
15 And Zebadiah, and Arad, and Ader,
16 And Michael, and Ispah, and Joha, the sons of Beriah;
17 And Zebadiah, and Meshullam, and Hezeki, and Heber,
18 Ishmerai also, and Jezliah, and Jobab, the sons of Elpaal;
19 And Jakim, and Zichri, and Zabdi,
20 And Elienai, and Zilthai, and Eliel,
21 And Adaiah, and Beraiah, and Shimrath, the sons of Shimhi;
22 And Ishpan, and Heber, and Eliel,
23 And Abdon, and Zichri, and Hanan,
24 And Hananiah, and Elam, and Antothijah,
25 And Iphedeiah, and Penuel, the sons of Shashak;
26 And Shamsherai, and Shehariah, and Athaliah,
27 And Jaresiah, and Eliah, and Zichri, the sons of Jeroham.
28 These were heads of the fathers, by their generations, chief men. These dwelt in Jerusalem.

Elpaal was the patriarch of Eber, Misham, Shamed (builder of Ono and Lod), Beriah and Shema (fathers of the people who lived in Aijalon, who drove away the people of Gath); Ahio, Shashak, Jeremoth, Zebadiah, Arad, Ader, Michael, Ispah, and Jona (sons of Beriah); Zebadiah, Meshullam, Hezeki, Heber, Ishmerai, Jezliah, and Jobab (sons of Elpaal); Jakim, Zichri, Zabdi, Elienai, Zilthai, Eliel, Adaiah, Beraiah, and Shimrath (sons of Shimhi); Ishpan, Heber, Eliel, Abdon, Zichri, Hanan, Hananiah, Elam, Antothijah, Iphedeiah, and Penuel (sons of Shashak); and Shamsherai, Shehariah, Athaliah, Jaresiah, Eliah, and Zichri (sons of Jeroham). These men were the chiefs of the tribe of Benjamin, and they lived in Jerusalem.

29 And at Gibeon dwelt the father of Gibeon; whose wife’s name was Maachah:
30 And his firstborn son Abdon, and Zur, and Kish, and Baal, and Nadab,
31 And Gedor, and Ahio, and Zacher.
32 And Mikloth begat Shimeah. And these also dwelt with their brethren in Jerusalem, over against them.

The father of Gibeon, who lived there, was married to Maachah. He was the father of Abdon, Zur, Kish, Baal, Nadab, Gedor, Ahio, and Zacher. Mikloth was the father of Shimeah, and they lived in Jerusalem with their family.

33 And Ner begat Kish, and Kish begat Saul, and Saul begat Jonathan, and Malchi-shua, and Abinadab, and Esh-baal.
34 And the son of Jonathan was Merib-baal; and Merib-baal begat Micah.
35 And the sons of Micah were, Pithon, and Melech, and Tarea, and Ahaz.
36 And Ahaz begat Jehoadah; and Jehoadah begat Alemeth, and Azmaveth, and Zimri; and Zimri begat Moza,
37 And Moza begat Binea: Rapha was his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son:
38 And Azel had six sons, whose names are these, Azrikam, Bocheru, and Ishmael, and Sheariah, and Obadiah, and Hanan. All these were the sons of Azel.
39 And the sons of Eshek his brother were, Ulam his firstborn, Jehush the second, and Eliphelet the third.
40 And the sons of Ulam were mighty men of valour, archers, and had many sons, and sons’ sons, an hundred and fifty. All these are of the sons of Benjamin.

Ner was the father of Kish, who was the father of Saul. (In 1 Samuel 9:1, we learn that Kish was the son of Abiel, who was the son of Zeror, who was the son of Bechorath, who was the son of Aphiah. Then in chapter 14, it says that Ner was the uncle of Saul, not the grandfather. This would make Ner the son of Abiel as well.) Saul was the first king of Israel, who was eventually rejected by the Lord for disobedience to counsel and was succeeded by David. Saul was the father of Jonathan, Malchishua, Abinadab, and Esh-baal. (In 1 Samuel 14:49, it says that Saul was the father of Jonathan, Ishui, and Melchi-shua.) Jonathan was the beloved friend of David. (see 1 Samuel 18:1) Jonathan was the father of Merib-baal (Mephibosheth), who was the father of Micah. Merib-baal was the surviving son after the death of Jonathan and his father Saul. (see 2 Samuel 4) Micah was the father of Pithon, Melech, Tarea, and Ahaz. Ahaz was the father of Jehoadah, who was the father of Alemeth, Azmaveth, and Zimri. Zimri was the father of Moza, who was the father of Binea. Binea was the patriarch of Rapha, Eleasah, and Azel. Azel was the father of Azrikam, Bocheru, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah, and Hanan. Eshek, the brother of Azel, was the father of Ulam, Jehush, and Eliphelet. Ulam was the father of mighty men of valor. His sons and their sons totaled 150, and they were archers.

There were not a lot of men from Benjamin who were mentioned in the scriptures other than being named on this list, but the few of note were significant in the history of the children of Israel. Ehud, Saul and Jonathan were all men of valor, who led the people in battles and served to deliver Israel from their enemies. While, Saul’s personal ambitions and weaknesses led him down a path of self-destruction, he did lead for years as the Lord had intended him to do. It shows again, that leadership, strength, and courage came from more than just one tribe in Israel. The Lord continues to raise people from different families, groups, and nations to lead his people today. He is no respecter of persons, but looks within for those who have faith and courage to follow 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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