1 Chronicles 12:23-40

Here are the statistics on the battle-seasoned warriors who came down from the north to David at Hebron to hand over Saul’s kingdom, in accord with God’s word: from Judah, carrying shield and spear, 6,800 battle-ready; from Simeon, 7,100 stalwart fighters; from Levi, 4,600, which included Jehoiada leader of the family of Aaron, bringing 3,700 men and the young and stalwart Zadok with twenty-two leaders from his family; from Benjamin, Saul’s family, 3,000, most of whom had stuck it out with Saul until now; from Ephraim, 20,800, fierce fighters and famous in their hometowns; from the half-tribe of Manasseh, 18,000 elected to come and make David king; from Issachar, men who understood both the times and Israel’s duties, 200 leaders with their families; from Zebulun, 50,000 well-equipped veteran warriors, unswervingly loyal; from Naphtali, 1,000 chiefs leading 37,000 men heavily armed; from Dan, 28,600 battle-ready men; from Asher, 40,000 veterans, battle-ready; and from East of Jordan, men from Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, heavily armed, 120,000.

All these soldiers came to David at Hebron, ready to fight if necessary; they were both united and determined to make David king over all Israel. And everyone else in Israel was of the same mind—“Make David king!” They were with David for three days of feasting celebration, with food and drink supplied by their families. Neighbors ranging from as far north as Issachar, Zebulun, and Naphtali arrived with donkeys, camels, mules, and oxen loaded down with food for the party: flour, fig cakes, raisin cakes, wine, oil, cattle, and sheep—joy in Israel!

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1 Chronicles 13

David Goes to Get the Chest of God

David consulted with all of his leaders, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds. Then David addressed the entire assembly of Israel, “If it seems right to you, and it is God’s will, let’s invite all our relatives wherever they are throughout Israel, along with their relatives, including their priests and Levites from their cities and surrounding pastures, to join us. And let’s bring the Chest of our God back—the Chest that was out of sight, out of mind during the days of Saul.” The entire assembly of Israel agreed—everybody agreed that it was the right thing to do. So David gathered all Israel together, from Egypt’s Pond of Horus in the southwest to the Pass of Hamath in the northeast, to go and get the Chest of God from Kiriath Jearim. Then David and all Israel went to Baalah (Kiriath Jearim) in Judah to bring back the Chest of God, the “Cherubim-Throne-of-God,” where God’s Name is invoked. They moved the Chest of God on a brand-new cart from the house of Abinadab with Uzzah and Ahio in charge. In procession with the Chest of God, David and all Israel worshiped exuberantly in song and dance, with a marching band of all kinds of instruments. When they were at the threshing floor of Kidon, the oxen stumbled and Uzzah grabbed the Chest to keep it from falling off. God erupted in anger against Uzzah and killed him because he grabbed the Chest. He died on the spot—in the presence of God. David lost his temper, angry because God exploded against Uzzah; the place is still called Perez Uzzah (Exploded Uzzah). David was terrified of God that day; he said, “How can I possibly continue this parade with the Chest of God?” So David called off the parade of the Chest to the City of David; instead he stored it in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. The Chest of God was in storage in the house of Obed-Edom for three months. God blessed the family of Obed-Edom and everything around him.

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1 Chronicles 14

David Builds

King Hiram of Tyre sent an envoy to David, along with cedar lumber, masons, and carpenters to build him a royal palace. Then David knew for sure that God had confirmed him as king over Israel, because of the rising reputation that God was giving his kingdom for the benefit of his people Israel. David married more wives and had more children in Jerusalem. His children born in Jerusalem were Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Elpelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Beeliada, and Eliphelet.

The minute the Philistines heard that David had been made king over a united Israel, they went out in force to capture David. When David got the report, he marched out to confront them. On their way, the Philistines stopped off to plunder the Valley of Rephaim.

David prayed to God: “Is this the right time to attack the Philistines? Will you give me the victory?”

God answered, “Attack; I’ll give you the victory.”

David attacked at Baal Perazim and slaughtered them. David said, “God exploded my enemies, as water explodes from a burst pipe.” That’s how the place got its name, Baal Perazim (Baal-Explosion). The Philistines left their gods behind and David ordered that they be burned up.

And then the Philistines were back at it again, plundering in the valley. David again prayed to God. God answered, “This time don’t attack head-on; circle around and come at them out of the balsam grove. When you hear a sound like shuffling feet in the tops of the balsams, attack; God will be two steps ahead of you, slaughtering the Philistines.”

David did exactly as God commanded, slaughtering Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.

David was soon famous all over the place, far and near; and God put the fear of God into the godless nations.

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