May 8 Reading: I Chronicles 26-29 Commentary
“David also said to Solomon his son, ‘Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.'” (I Chronicles 28:20)
I Chronicles 26 – Of Gatekeepers and Finances
I Chronicles 26 outlines the men responsible for being gatekeepers at the temple. The gatekeepers came from only two of the Levitical clans: Kohath and Merari (v. 1).
As we’ve seen before, they cast lots to determine the assignment of the gates (v. 13). They wanted to leave all decision making up to the Lord. This would remove any accusations of favoritism in the division of labor at the temple.
Four gates needed attention, one in each direction (north, south, east and west). If you had to assign importance to any one gate over another, it would have been the East Gate. That is because this one led directly into the main entrance of the temple (II Chron. 9:17-18). So the lot for this assignment fell to Shelemiah (or Meshelemiah), the son of Kore, of the sons of Asaph (v. 1, 13).
The Temple Treasury
The house of the Lord has always been associated with money. That is because God commanded the Israelites to give to its construction (in the case of the tabernacle) and through offerings to maintain its upkeep and support those who served there. So it makes sense that David would want keep track of all the money pouring in to the temple.
Within the treasury, two functions required attention. First, there was the oversight of the regular storehouse. The Levites who took care of this are listed in verses 21-23 under the leadership of Shebuel. The descendants of Eliezer were responsible for the second storehouse. Here were stored all the dedicated things which were mostly the spoils gained in war (vv. 26-27). Shelomith (v. 26) was assigned to oversee this.
I Chronicles 27 – Divisions of the Military
I Chronicles 27 lists the divisions of David’s army. He divided the responsibility so that each division had duty for one month during the year. Each division consisted of 24,000 men.
Verses 2-25 list the 12 divisions, the leader of each, who that person was a descendant of (either family or tribe) and the number (24,000) in each division.
Verses 16-21 lists the leaders of each tribe, 12 in all.
The chronicler made note that David did not number the men 20 years or less “because the Lord had promised to make Israel as numerous as the stars in the sky” (v. 23). Additionally, David’s inappropriate census of the people that led to God’s wrath on Israel is mentioned again (v. 24).
David had men who were overseers for seemingly everything in his kingdom. Verses 25-34 identifies these men and their responsibilities:
1. Azmaveth – in charge of the royal storehouse
2. Jonathan – in charge of the storehouses in outlying districts, towns and villages
3. Ezri – charge of the workers who farmed the land
4. Shimei – in charge of the vineyards.
5. Zabdi – in charge of the produce of the vineyards
6. Baal-Hanan in charge of the olive and sycamore-fig trees
7. Joash – in charge of the supplies of olive oil
8. Shitrai – in charge of the herds grazing in Sharon
9. Shaphat – in charge of the herds in the valleys
10. Obil – in charge of the camels.
11. Jehdeiah – in charge of the donkeys
12. Jaziz – in charge of the flocks
13. Jonathan (David’s uncle) – a counselor, a man of insight and a scribe
14. Jehiel – took care of the king’s sons
15. Ahithophel – the king’s counselor
16. Hushai – the king’s confidant
17. Joab – commander of the royal army
I Chronicles 28 – David Charges Solomon Concerning the Temple
All the royal officials, overseers, commanders, palace officials and mighty warriors were summoned by David to assemble at Jerusalem. The reason? So that they could be witness to his instructions to Solomon about the temple.
He explained to everyone how he’d wanted to build the temple but God said “No” (v. 2). David was not to do this because he had shed too much blood in battle (v. 3). His son Solomon who was innocent of such bloodshed would be the next king and the one to build the temple (v. 6).
But again the vital part of God’s charge to David was that his throe would be established forever (v. 7).
David charged his son Solomon by saying:
“Be careful to follow all the commands of the Lord your God, that you may possess this good land and pass it on as an inheritance to your descendants forever.
And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.” (vv. 8-10)
With that challenge, David gave his son all the plans for the temple along with all the furnishings he’d prepared for it (vv. 11-18).
I Chronicles 29 – Final Notes on David
David’s relationship with God is truly inspiring. Even with the great authority and power David had, he recognized his place. He knew that everything he had, including his kingship, came from the Lord.
We will see more of the true nature of David’s heart when we read through Psalms. However, in I Chronicles 29, we get a glimpse of it as David gives a blessing to the Lord as the offerings are concluded for the building of the temple.
“Blessed are you, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all.
In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. Now, therefore, our God, we thank You and praise your glorious name.” (vv. 10-13)
David’s words would have been special if just for him. However, they caused all the people who heard them to worship the Lord (v. 20). That’s a sign of true spiritual leadership, when one person leads others into worship.
Questions and Thoughts to Consider from I Chronicles 26-29:
“If you seek Him, He will be found by you…” I Chronicles 28:9
God is not hiding. He is in plain sight for all to see and for all to find. David charged his son Solomon to look for God with all his heart and serve him. If he chased after God, God would reveal himself. But Solomon had to be looking. How passionate is your pursuit of God?
David’s words and praise led others to worship the Lord. How are you doing that at home, at work, with your children or in your circle of friends?
What other points would you want to know about in our I Chronicles 26-29 commentary? Email us here with questions or comments.