1 Chronicles 1:1
The first few pages of 1 Chronicles, consist of one giant list of who begat whom. Each tribe is listed, as well as the names of the sons of the founder of each tribe. Many also list how many fighting men were available in each tribe. Here and there, they even list daughters, if she did something super important. It is boring; do not, for any reason, read the first ten pages of 1 Chronicles. Unless you’re desperately trying to fall asleep, in which case have at it.
It doesn’t get much better after the begat section. It is pretty much just going back over what we’ve already read. Like SparkNotes for a bunch of the prior books. It goes back over Saul’s death and restates that he died and lost his kingship, because he did not keep the word of God. He also consulted a medium, which is naughty.
As we know, David then became king. He soon conquered and settled Jerusalem as his capitol city. This section goes into more detail about David’s “mighty men.” Remember the mighty men? Some of them risked their damn lives to get water for David, and then he refused to drink because they had risked their damn lives for it? Yeah, more of those guys. They pretty much killed a lot of people, were super famous and lived like bearded rockstars.
This section also explains where David got many of his followers and how he formed an army to fight against Saul. Basically, random guys from all of the tribes defected and came to David’s side. Random guys who numbered in the hundreds of thousands, by the way. And those were just the ones who actually left their homes to join David; pretty much everybody wanted David to be their king. Most of the people who couldn’t physically leave and go tot David to fight at his side at least sent food and other materials for him and his men.
One thing that David did that was way popular and earned him quite a few followers, was to bring out the Ark of the Covenant, or the Ark thing from the Indiana Jones movie. Before, it was explained that he brought the Ark thing to Jerusalem after he settled there, but apparently he had it before then as well. I don’t know how or why. Saul seems to have had little interest in it.
Once David has replaced Saul as the king, we get a more in depth look at David bringing the Ark thing to Jerusalem, after he’s built his palace of course. The Ark doesn’t get a palace though; it gets a tent. Then David hired a bunch of Levites to “sing joyful songs,” and threw one hell of a party to celebrate the Ark thing. There’s actually a breakdown of every dude who played joyfully and what they played. For instance: Ethan played the bronze cymbals, the lucky dude. As we already know, David lead the Ark thing into town by dancing like nothing anyone would ever see again until Flashdance. (See photo above. Yes, that’s supposed to be David in the middle. Try looking at it for 30 seconds without cracking a smile. Try. You can’t do it. You’re welcome.)
Then David gives his “Psalm of Thanks.” It’s a nice speech; it talks about how awesome God is, and how they needed to thank him for everything He had provided. The name of the speech says it all really. Once finished, the Israelites responded with “Amen” and “Praise the Lord.”
After everyone goes home from the Ark party (I skipped over the very large amounts of animals sacrificed), David decides he wants to build a temple for the Ark thing, but God doesn’t want one yet. Through a prophet, God tells David not to build the temple and that his son will be the one to do that. He also talks about how David and his descendants will rule forever. Which we know isn’t true, but honestly, what choice does God have after so many generations of assholes?
David does a long prayer to God about how great He is, and afterward, we get another run down of all of the armies that David defeated, the people he had killed, the cities he enslaved and the treasures he had collected. He also hamstrung a lot of horses (that awful practice where they cut the horse’s hamstring and left it there to die slowly). Remember that story about David having all of the fighting men in Israel counted, how it was really evil in the eyes of God and how David decided to let God punish his people with the plague because of his own mistake? We’re back at that story, and according to this telling of it “Satan rose up” and “incited” David to do it.
This is the first time that Satan has come up at all. And looking back, you might recall that the telling of this story from 2 Samuel said that, “the anger of the Lord burned against Israel and He incited David against them.” In one telling, God started the trouble, but in this telling Satan is the troublemaker. So what does that mean? Doing some research, I found many who interpret it to mean that God controls Satan and fulfills His will though him. I dunno. To me, it seems like two different authors trying to write about things that they really cannot understand and taking different guesses as to why David would do something so stupid.
As David neared the end of his life, he made a lot of preparations for the temple that his son, Solomon was to build. Most of the materials used, it seems, were actually gathered by David and not Solomon. It also clarifies why David did not get to build the temple himself; he had spilled too much blood. And remember, this is the guy to whom God holds the standard of future kings. This is the guy that is supposed to be super awesome and guilty of little to no sin. (You’ll notice that this version of David’s life left out the part where he had a guy killed to marry a woman he had already impregnated.)
David also set up the organization and staff for the temple that his son would build. He mapped out every position that could be held: musicians, gatekeepers, priests and other officials. He did the same for the army, organizing and staffing it. He set officers for each tribe as well. How were these positions decided upon? Surely David chose based on who suited what office/position best? Wrong. Most of them were chosen by “casting lots” or basically drawing sticks. No wonder this nation went awry.
After filling all of those important positions, David called all of his new appointments together. He told them that his son, Solomon, would be building the temple that David had wished to build. David even had all of the plans and sketches drawn out, which he gave to Solomon. David claims that God worked through him to create those plans, but I’m calling BS. David is just a little too obsessed with the temple and seems very put out that he couldn’t build it himself. I think he has some control issues on this one and wanted to decide every last detail himself. He also tells Solomon to be strong and do the work set in front of him, and that the people will ” obey your every command.” Yeah, right.
David then officially gifted all of his riches that he had collected throughout his life to the building of the temple. It was a lot. He also asked that his new appointments give healthy amounts as well, which they did. The people rejoiced that their leaders gave so much.
Afterward, Solomon was anointed as the new king of Israel and David dies. David ruled for forty years and lived to an old age. Next up, 2 Chronicles, or more repeat stuff that we’ve already been over once!