1 Chronicles
Introduction 1-7 Family Members of Saul 8-15 Gadites 16-18 Benjamites and Judeans 19-22 Manassites 23-37 Who Come to David at Hebron 38-40 The Kingship Celebrated
Introduction

In the previous chapter, David’s heroes have been listed who have been with him from the beginning of his wanderings. That was the time when Saul chased him like a partridge on the mountains. In this chapter we are told
1. who joined him when he was in Ziklag (verses 1-7,19-221Now these are the ones who came to David at Ziklag, while he was still restricted because of Saul the son of Kish; and they were among the mighty men who helped [him] in war.2They were equipped with bows, using both the right hand and the left [to sling] stones and [to shoot] arrows from the bow; [they were] Saul’s kinsmen from Benjamin.3The chief was Ahiezer, then Joash, the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite; and Jeziel and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth, and Beracah and Jehu the Anathothite,4and Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty man among the thirty, and over the thirty. Then Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, Jozabad the Gederathite,5Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, Shephatiah the Haruphite,6Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, Jashobeam, the Korahites,7and Joelah and Zebadiah, the sons of Jeroham of Gedor.19From Manasseh also some defected to David when he was about to go to battle with the Philistines against Saul. But they did not help them, for the lords of the Philistines after consultation sent him away, saying, “At [the cost of] our heads he may defect to his master Saul.”20As he went to Ziklag there defected to him from Manasseh: Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu and Zillethai, captains of thousands who belonged to Manasseh.21They helped David against the band of raiders, for they were all mighty men of valor, and were captains in the army.22For day by day [men] came to David to help him, until there was a great army like the army of God.),
2. who came to him when he was in the mountain fortresses (verses 8-188From the Gadites there came over to David in the stronghold in the wilderness, mighty men of valor, men trained for war, who could handle shield and spear, and whose faces were like the faces of lions, and [they were] as swift as the gazelles on the mountains.9Ezer [was] the first, Obadiah the second, Eliab the third,10Mishmannah the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth,11Attai the sixth, Eliel the seventh,12Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth,13Jeremiah the tenth, Machbannai the eleventh.14These of the sons of Gad were captains of the army; he who was least was equal to a hundred and the greatest to a thousand.15These are the ones who crossed the Jordan in the first month when it was overflowing all its banks and they put to flight all those in the valleys, both to the east and to the west.16Then some of the sons of Benjamin and Judah came to the stronghold to David.17David went out to meet them, and said to them, “If you come peacefully to me to help me, my heart shall be united with you; but if to betray me to my adversaries, since there is no wrong in my hands, may the God of our fathers look on [it] and decide.”18Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, who was the chief of the thirty, [and he said],
“[We] are yours, O David,
And with you, O son of Jesse!
Peace, peace to you,
And peace to him who helps you;
Indeed, your God helps you!”
Then David received them and made them captains of the band.
) and
3. who came to him in Hebron (verses 23-3723Now these are the numbers of the divisions equipped for war, who came to David at Hebron, to turn the kingdom of Saul to him, according to the word of the LORD.24The sons of Judah who bore shield and spear [were] 6,800, equipped for war.25Of the sons of Simeon, mighty men of valor for war, 7,100.26Of the sons of Levi 4,600.27Now Jehoiada was the leader of [the house of] Aaron, and with him were 3,700,28also Zadok, a young man mighty of valor, and of his father’s house twenty-two captains.29Of the sons of Benjamin, Saul’s kinsmen, 3,000; for until now the greatest part of them had kept their allegiance to the house of Saul.30Of the sons of Ephraim 20,800, mighty men of valor, famous men in their fathers’ households.31Of the half-tribe of Manasseh 18,000, who were designated by name to come and make David king.32Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs [were] two hundred; and all their kinsmen [were] at their command.33Of Zebulun, there were 50,000 who went out in the army, who could draw up in battle formation with all kinds of weapons of war and helped [David] with an undivided heart.34Of Naphtali [there were] 1,000 captains, and with them 37,000 with shield and spear.35Of the Danites who could draw up in battle formation, [there were] 28,600.36Of Asher [there were] 40,000 who went out in the army to draw up in battle formation.37From the other side of the Jordan, of the Reubenites and the Gadites and of the half-tribe of Manasseh, [there were] 120,000 with all [kinds] of weapons of war for the battle.).


Family Members of Saul

1Now these are the ones who came to David at Ziklag, while he was still restricted because of Saul the son of Kish; and they were among the mighty men who helped [him] in war. 2They were equipped with bows, using both the right hand and the left [to sling] stones and [to shoot] arrows from the bow; [they were] Saul’s kinsmen from Benjamin. 3The chief was Ahiezer, then Joash, the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite; and Jeziel and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth, and Beracah and Jehu the Anathothite, 4and Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty man among the thirty, and over the thirty. Then Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, Jozabad the Gederathite, 5Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, Shephatiah the Haruphite, 6Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, Jashobeam, the Korahites, 7and Joelah and Zebadiah, the sons of Jeroham of Gedor.

It is still about the time when David was the rejected and persecuted king, “while he was still restricted because of Saul”. Yet there are many who come to him at that time. They are also “among the mighty men who helped [him] in war”. It is striking how often in this chapter there is talk of ‘help’ (verses 1,17,18,19,21,221Now these are the ones who came to David at Ziklag, while he was still restricted because of Saul the son of Kish; and they were among the mighty men who helped [him] in war.17David went out to meet them, and said to them, “If you come peacefully to me to help me, my heart shall be united with you; but if to betray me to my adversaries, since there is no wrong in my hands, may the God of our fathers look on [it] and decide.”18Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, who was the chief of the thirty, [and he said],
“[We] are yours, O David,
And with you, O son of Jesse!
Peace, peace to you,
And peace to him who helps you;
Indeed, your God helps you!”
Then David received them and made them captains of the band.19From Manasseh also some defected to David when he was about to go to battle with the Philistines against Saul. But they did not help them, for the lords of the Philistines after consultation sent him away, saying, “At [the cost of] our heads he may defect to his master Saul.”21They helped David against the band of raiders, for they were all mighty men of valor, and were captains in the army.22For day by day [men] came to David to help him, until there was a great army like the army of God.
), a total of seven times.

These heroes come to David when he is at Ziklag. He is there because he thinks he someday still falls into the hands of Saul who is persecuting him restlessly to kill him (1Sam 27:11Then David said to himself, “Now I will perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than to escape into the land of the Philistines. Saul then will despair of searching for me anymore in all the territory of Israel, and I will escape from his hand.”). It is not an act of faith of David, but that is not the emphasis here. It is presented here in such a way that he is in a position where he is restricted in his freedom of movement. The word ‘restricted’ also has something in it of ‘being banished’. David is not in the land he loves and in the inheritance that belongs to him because Saul persecutes him. We do not see here the side of David’s unbelief, but the emphasis here is on the side of God’s grace.

It is therefore a sign of this grace that it is precisely at this time that men come to him to help him in his struggle. They are men that David can use well, because they have their weapons with them and are also very adept at using them. They can use their weapons with either the right or left hand. That makes them surprising for the enemy, who does not know from which side the attack will come.

The first mentioned among those who come to David are those of Saul’s family. This shows the work of God in the hearts of the relatives of that great adversary. In their eyes, God and the choice of His king and the knowledge of His will have more value than blood relationship and the advantage that is usually associated with it. They give their strength and ability to David instead of to Saul. Many have been with Saul, but with him they have not become heroes.

For whom do we use our gifts, our talents? As long as we were unrepentant, we used all our gifts and talents for ourselves, which is essentially for the devil. After our conversion, that changed. We can now do everything we can to fight the good fight of faith. In doing so, we must continue to ensure that we do not yet use our skills to our own credit. That danger remains in everything we do.


Gadites

8From the Gadites there came over to David in the stronghold in the wilderness, mighty men of valor, men trained for war, who could handle shield and spear, and whose faces were like the faces of lions, and [they were] as swift as the gazelles on the mountains. 9Ezer [was] the first, Obadiah the second, Eliab the third, 10Mishmannah the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth, 11Attai the sixth, Eliel the seventh, 12Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth, 13Jeremiah the tenth, Machbannai the eleventh. 14These of the sons of Gad were captains of the army; he who was least was equal to a hundred and the greatest to a thousand. 15These are the ones who crossed the Jordan in the first month when it was overflowing all its banks and they put to flight all those in the valleys, both to the east and to the west.

The next group of men who are said to come over to David are eleven Gadites. They have separated from their home area and their family in the east side of Jordan to be with David. David is then “in the stronghold in the wilderness”, where we can think of the cave of Adullam (1Sam 22:1,4,51So David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam; and when his brothers and all his father’s household heard [of it], they went down there to him.4Then he left them with the king of Moab; and they stayed with him all the time that David was in the stronghold.5The prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold; depart, and go into the land of Judah.” So David departed and went into the forest of Hereth.; 24:22b22David swore to Saul. And Saul went to his home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.), where David and his people have hidden from Saul.

David will also have been very pleased with the arrival of these men. The description shows that they have an impressive record of military service. However, it is not just a description of past activities, but they are still fully available for battle. They come in full armor at David.

Their appearance at David is like the appearance of eleven lions. The fact that they look like lions does not only say something about their courage, but also about the fear they instill. Their speed is also described visually. They are “as swift as the gazelles on the mountains”. They are not only fast in the wilderness, but also on the mountains. They know how to overcome ‘mountains’ of difficulties or great resistance with great speed.

We are dealing here with men who have an impressive power (verse 1414These of the sons of Gad were captains of the army; he who was least was equal to a hundred and the greatest to a thousand.). Each of these eleven men is worth at least as much in strength as a hundred other men, while there are also men worth a thousand other men. With eleven of these men you have a large army at your disposal.

These men have not only great strength but also impressive courage. The proof is that they crossed the Jordan during spring tide (verse 1515These are the ones who crossed the Jordan in the first month when it was overflowing all its banks and they put to flight all those in the valleys, both to the east and to the west.). The roaring water has not stopped them from going through it. They have overcome insurmountable difficulties to be with him who is irresistible to them. Not only have they defied natural elements, they have also driven out enemies who found themselves in both the west and the east. It didn’t matter where those enemies were. Their courage and their strength have proven themselves in several areas.

The character of the Gadites should characterize us, believers, more. This character appears among those who are irresistibly attracted to the Lord Jesus. He who sees and loves Him is able to do great acts of faith, and can fight for Him and His kingdom. This happens in this time, the time of the church, not with carnal weapons and carnal courage, but with spiritual weapons and with spiritual courage. It is about God’s power that is accomplished in weakness and about the mind of the Lord Jesus who overcomes the greatest opposition and opponent.


Benjamites and Judeans

16Then some of the sons of Benjamin and Judah came to the stronghold to David. 17David went out to meet them, and said to them, “If you come peacefully to me to help me, my heart shall be united with you; but if to betray me to my adversaries, since there is no wrong in my hands, may the God of our fathers look on [it] and decide.” 18Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, who was the chief of the thirty, [and he said],
“[We] are yours, O David,
And with you, O son of Jesse!
Peace, peace to you,
And peace to him who helps you;
Indeed, your God helps you!”
Then David received them and made them captains of the band.

Still others come to David when he is still in the stronghold. Again it is about “sons of Benjamin” (verse 1616Then some of the sons of Benjamin and Judah came to the stronghold to David.; verses 1-21Now these are the ones who came to David at Ziklag, while he was still restricted because of Saul the son of Kish; and they were among the mighty men who helped [him] in war.2They were equipped with bows, using both the right hand and the left [to sling] stones and [to shoot] arrows from the bow; [they were] Saul’s kinsmen from Benjamin.), together with descendants of “Judah”. When they come to David, he goes to meet them. He is careful in their case and wants certainty about their motives. He wants to know if they come to him “peacefully”, to help him, or if they want to betray him to his opponents (verse 1717David went out to meet them, and said to them, “If you come peacefully to me to help me, my heart shall be united with you; but if to betray me to my adversaries, since there is no wrong in my hands, may the God of our fathers look on [it] and decide.”). In the first case, they can count on him to be one of heart with them. They then fight for the same good cause. If the latter is the case, they must know that there is no wrong in his hands and that God will then give him justice by punishing this evil.

David is not naive. Nor should we be naive when people we do not know tell us that they want to serve and worship the Lord together with us. It is our responsibility to test what motivates them. David acknowledges them as belonging to the people of God by speaking to them about “the God of our fathers”, that is, their common God. These are people who belong to God’s people, but of whom we must be certain that they really stand right before God.

After the testing words of David, the Spirit of God comes over Amasai. Literally it says that the Spirit clothes Himself with Amasai (cf. Jdg 6:3434So the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; and he blew a trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called together to follow him.). Then he pronounces things that testify of great willingness to help David, to serve in the great army. David recognizes that it is really the Spirit in Amasai Who speaks and he accepts him and his men and makes them captains over the band. Through the Spirit Amasai expresses that David is acknowledged as the rightful king. That is also what the Holy Spirit wants us to do, that we confess the dominion of the Lord Jesus in our lives.

The words Amasai speaks on behalf of all testify to their great attachment to David. Through Amasai they declare that they belong to David and that they want to be with him. They wish him peace. By connecting to him as helpers they know that they share in that peace. They also confess that God is the source of that peace, for because God helps David, that peace is present.

The testimony of Amasai is beautiful: “[We] are yours, O David, And with you, O son of Jesse!” In this we find two aspects that we can apply to our relationship to the Lord Jesus and our confession thereof. We may say to Him that we are connected to Him. This means that we are His, we belong to Him. The second is that we are with Him. This means that we follow Him on the path of humiliation.

The first aspect is linked to the name “David”. David means ‘beloved’. The Lord Jesus is the Beloved of the Father. The second aspect is connected with the way of humiliation, which is expressed in “son of Jesse”. ‘Son of Jesse’ points to the humble origins of David. Is it also our confession that we are with the Lord Jesus as the One Who suffered, was rejected, and was crucified?

In a striking way both aspects are expressed by Paul. He indicates our position when he says: “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God” (Rom 8:1616The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,). This relates to our connection to the Lord Jesus. But this testimony of our connectedness in position is also connected with the place of rejection we take. This is immediately followed by Paul when he says: “If indeed we suffer with [Him] so that we may also be glorified with [Him]” (Rom 8:1717and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with [Him] so that we may also be glorified with [Him].).

Here we find two rules that are fundamental to our faith:
1. our confession, that is what we say and
2. the practice of our life as Christians, that is what we show.
When the Spirit brings us to this, we long for peace on earth, as Amasai then proclaims: “Peace, peace to you, And peace to him who helps you; Indeed, your God helps you!” (verse 1818Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, who was the chief of the thirty, [and he said],
“[We] are yours, O David,
And with you, O son of Jesse!
Peace, peace to you,
And peace to him who helps you;
Indeed, your God helps you!”
Then David received them and made them captains of the band.
).

Peace and the desire for it occupy a large place in this history. This too is connected with the Holy Spirit, Who is a Spirit of peace. That is what every believer desires deeply. This is the peace which the Spirit, Who is on Amasai, bears witness to. If we accept to follow a rejected Lord and share in His rejection, that peace is there for us too. Then we will experience what the Lord Jesus says to His disciples: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you” (Jn 14:2727Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.).

At Calvary, the place of the deepest humiliation, that peace has been established. One of the great features of the Lord Jesus is His peace in all His doings. He had that peace because He trusted His God and Father completely. How we can stand in that peace, we can only learn from Him. In all circumstances we need to remain in that peace in our doings. Each one of us can work this out because the Spirit dwells in us.

After the confession of Amasai David takes him and his men up and gives them all a task. When we give ourselves completely and entrust ourselves to God, He notices it too, and He entrusts us with a task. Only in this attitude are we fit to fulfill a task for Him and He would like to use us if the Spirit can work in us in this way. We also see that David himself, and no one else, takes them up. If we translate that to the Lord Jesus, it is the same. The men who are subjected to David, become captains. It’s about serving David actually.

In what Amasai says to David by the Spirit, we recognize what the believer says to and about the Lord Jesus when he is led by the Spirit. Words spoken out of love for the Lord Jesus come from and through the Spirit and that in the time of rejection. Those who believe and are guided by the Spirit choose His side. They first say that they are of Him and then that they want to be with Him.

Many Christians unfortunately only say that they are of the Lord Jesus and do not show that they are with Him. Always being in His company can sometimes cost too much. Whoever wishes peace to the Lord Jesus, wishes it also to himself and will receive it, for God is on the side of the Lord Jesus.


Manassites

19From Manasseh also some defected to David when he was about to go to battle with the Philistines against Saul. But they did not help them, for the lords of the Philistines after consultation sent him away, saying, “At [the cost of] our heads he may defect to his master Saul.” 20As he went to Ziklag there defected to him from Manasseh: Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu and Zillethai, captains of thousands who belonged to Manasseh. 21They helped David against the band of raiders, for they were all mighty men of valor, and were captains in the army. 22For day by day [men] came to David to help him, until there was a great army like the army of God.

Also from Manasseh there are those who choose David’s side in the time of his rejection. Seven army officers from Manasseh come to David when he lives in Ziklag. That is shortly before Saul is killed by the Philistines with whom David should go to war. In His grace God keeps David and also these men of Manasseh to fight with the Philistines. He makes sure that the city princes do not want David to go with them in their fight against Saul (1Sam 29:44But the commanders of the Philistines were angry with him, and the commanders of the Philistines said to him, “Make the man go back, that he may return to his place where you have assigned him, and do not let him go down to battle with us, or in the battle he may become an adversary to us. For with what could this [man] make himself acceptable to his lord? [Would it] not [be] with the heads of these men?). The Manassites have helped David in his battle against the Amalekites, among others, who destroyed Ziklag during his absence (1Sam 30:1-81Then it happened when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had made a raid on the Negev and on Ziklag, and had overthrown Ziklag and burned it with fire;2and they took captive the women [and all] who were in it, both small and great, without killing anyone, and carried [them] off and went their way.3When David and his men came to the city, behold, it was burned with fire, and their wives and their sons and their daughters had been taken captive.4Then David and the people who were with him lifted their voices and wept until there was no strength in them to weep.5Now David’s two wives had been taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite.6Moreover David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.7Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Please bring me the ephod.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David.8David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I pursue this band? Shall I overtake them?” And He said to him, “Pursue, for you will surely overtake them, and you will surely rescue [all].”).

Through all who come to David, his army becomes “a great army like the army of God” (verse 2222For day by day [men] came to David to help him, until there was a great army like the army of God.). David is helped by God, Who allows warriors to come to him to give substance to this help. At the same time, David’s army is an “army of God”.

What we see in this whole section, we can also apply to our time. We see God’s kingdom expanding. This is not done through political efforts. Gospel and politics cannot be combined in order to extend the kingdom of God. God’s kingdom expands every time someone comes to repentance. At that moment someone accepts the Lord Jesus as Savior and Lord and comes into His sphere of authority and under His authority. To enter the kingdom of God, the power of faith is needed, for only faith overcomes the world (Mt 11:1212From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.; 1Jn 5:44For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.).


Who Come to David at Hebron

23Now these are the numbers of the divisions equipped for war, who came to David at Hebron, to turn the kingdom of Saul to him, according to the word of the LORD. 24The sons of Judah who bore shield and spear [were] 6,800, equipped for war. 25Of the sons of Simeon, mighty men of valor for war, 7,100. 26Of the sons of Levi 4,600. 27Now Jehoiada was the leader of [the house of] Aaron, and with him were 3,700, 28also Zadok, a young man mighty of valor, and of his father’s house twenty-two captains. 29Of the sons of Benjamin, Saul’s kinsmen, 3,000; for until now the greatest part of them had kept their allegiance to the house of Saul. 30Of the sons of Ephraim 20,800, mighty men of valor, famous men in their fathers’ households. 31Of the half-tribe of Manasseh 18,000, who were designated by name to come and make David king. 32Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs [were] two hundred; and all their kinsmen [were] at their command. 33Of Zebulun, there were 50,000 who went out in the army, who could draw up in battle formation with all kinds of weapons of war and helped [David] with an undivided heart. 34Of Naphtali [there were] 1,000 captains, and with them 37,000 with shield and spear. 35Of the Danites who could draw up in battle formation, [there were] 28,600. 36Of Asher [there were] 40,000 who went out in the army to draw up in battle formation. 37From the other side of the Jordan, of the Reubenites and the Gadites and of the half-tribe of Manasseh, [there were] 120,000 with all [kinds] of weapons of war for the battle.

In this section, people are no longer mentioned so much, but mainly the tribes and numbers. They come to David at Hebron when he is already king, to acknowledge that the kingship of Saul passed to him (verse 2323Now these are the numbers of the divisions equipped for war, who came to David at Hebron, to turn the kingdom of Saul to him, according to the word of the LORD.), which is a confirmation of what is written in 1 Chronicles 10 (1Chr 10:1414and did not inquire of the LORD. Therefore He killed him and turned the kingdom to David the son of Jesse.).

They are, so to speak, a second batch. Others have already left Saul at an earlier stage to join David. They come after Saul is dead and they have had to conclude that they are facing a lost cause (verse 2929Of the sons of Benjamin, Saul’s kinsmen, 3,000; for until now the greatest part of them had kept their allegiance to the house of Saul.). We also see that there are people who accept and follow the Lord Jesus at an early age, while others do not do so until later in life, when they discover that they lead a lost life.

Details are mentioned for each tribe. There are tribes who are said to be “mighty men of valor” or “mighty men of valor for war” (verses 25,28,3025Of the sons of Simeon, mighty men of valor for war, 7,100.28also Zadok, a young man mighty of valor, and of his father’s house twenty-two captains.30Of the sons of Ephraim 20,800, mighty men of valor, famous men in their fathers’ households.). Others have “all kinds of weapons of war” (verses 33,3733Of Zebulun, there were 50,000 who went out in the army, who could draw up in battle formation with all kinds of weapons of war and helped [David] with an undivided heart.37From the other side of the Jordan, of the Reubenites and the Gadites and of the half-tribe of Manasseh, [there were] 120,000 with all [kinds] of weapons of war for the battle.). Others are mentioned “who understood the times” (verse 3232Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs [were] two hundred; and all their kinsmen [were] at their command.). All these particularities can be applied to the different characteristics that are perceptible in children of God. Everyone has something specific, something that characterizes him or her. This also shows that they complement each other and need each other to be one.

It is striking how few fighters come from the tribes of Judah and Simeon close to Jerusalem, compared to other tribes further away (verses 24-2524The sons of Judah who bore shield and spear [were] 6,800, equipped for war.25Of the sons of Simeon, mighty men of valor for war, 7,100.).

The tribe of Levi also provides warriors, as does the priestly family, the family of Aaron (verses 26-2826Of the sons of Levi 4,600.27Now Jehoiada was the leader of [the house of] Aaron, and with him were 3,700,28also Zadok, a young man mighty of valor, and of his father’s house twenty-two captains.). As an exception in the enumeration of the tribes, two names of persons are mentioned here. One name is that of “Jehoiada … the leader of [the house of] Aaron”. The other name is that of “Zadok”, of whom it is also said that he is “, a young man mighty of valor”. A priest has the privilege of serving God in the sanctuary. However, that does not mean that he does not have to fight. A believer who worships God as a good priest in the sanctuary will certainly be a good warrior outside the sanctuary for the interests of the One he worships.

Zadok was chosen by God to stand before the king. Under Solomon he will be the high priesthood (1Chr 29:2222So they ate and drank that day before the LORD with great gladness. And they made Solomon the son of David king a second time, and they anointed [him] as ruler for the LORD and Zadok as priest.; 1Kgs 2:3535The king appointed Benaiah the son of Jehoiada over the army in his place, and the king appointed Zadok the priest in the place of Abiathar.; 4:44and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada [was] over the army; and Zadok and Abiathar [were] priests;). God has told Eli that He will have a priest walking before His anointed king (1Sam 2:3535But I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul; and I will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed always.). Here king and priest are connected. It is the union we see in the true Melchizedek, the Lord Jesus Who will be Priest on His throne (Zec 6:1313Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the LORD, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices.”‘).

For the third time in this chapter we hear of Benjamites (verse 2929Of the sons of Benjamin, Saul’s kinsmen, 3,000; for until now the greatest part of them had kept their allegiance to the house of Saul.; verses 2-72They were equipped with bows, using both the right hand and the left [to sling] stones and [to shoot] arrows from the bow; [they were] Saul’s kinsmen from Benjamin.3The chief was Ahiezer, then Joash, the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite; and Jeziel and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth, and Beracah and Jehu the Anathothite,4and Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty man among the thirty, and over the thirty. Then Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, Jozabad the Gederathite,5Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, Shephatiah the Haruphite,6Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, Jashobeam, the Korahites,7and Joelah and Zebadiah, the sons of Jeroham of Gedor.; verse 1616Then some of the sons of Benjamin and Judah came to the stronghold to David.). Here it appears that the majority of this tribe remains loyal to Saul. This means that the Benjamites who go to David are against the majority. They defy the hatred of their family members who may have accused them of cowardice or betrayal.

From the Issacharites we read that they “understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do” (verse 3232Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs [were] two hundred; and all their kinsmen [were] at their command.). We need people like them who know what time it is on God’s clock (cf. Est 1:1313Then the king said to the wise men who understood the times—for it was the custom of the king so [to speak] before all who knew law and justice). They have learned, through perception in the world around them and from experience in dealing with the people around them, what their own duties and interests are and what those of others are. They know that they have to make David king now, now is the time for that.

In spiritual terms, Paul belongs to this tribe. As a real Issacharite he says to the believers, that he knows the time when they must awaken from sleep, because “knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. To this end he then says: “Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Rom 13:11-1211[Do] this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.12The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.).

Do we know the time and the spirit of the time? Do we know what we have to do to not be overwhelmed and eliminated by the enemy, but to remain subservient to the Lord? Can we serve our fellow believers with our understanding of God’s thoughts about time and the spirit of the time?

Who wants to be a real Issacharite, also has to be a real Zebulunite. From the men of this tribe we read that they are prepared to “draw up in battle formation … with an undivided heart” (verse 3333Of Zebulun, there were 50,000 who went out in the army, who could draw up in battle formation with all kinds of weapons of war and helped [David] with an undivided heart.). Their hearts are seized by nothing but David and the battle for him. Their hearts are “united” (Psa 86:1111Teach me Your way, O LORD;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.
). They are not double-hearted. There is no other motive in their hearts but to be only for David and to confirm him in his kingship. This characteristic must be found with us in relation to the Lord Jesus.

They are draw up “in battle formation”. This indicates that they are disciplined in their army unit. They each take their own place, but in the knowledge that they are part of a whole. There is individual dedication with all, each in his or her own place, so that the whole is a ‘team’ focused entirely on David.

Paul can rejoice at the sight of the “order” of the believers in the church in Colossae (Col 2:55For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ.). If there is personal commitment and an orderly whole, the enemy does not get a chance to break in a local church. However, if there are divisions, or schisms, he can easily sow disunity (1Cor 1:1010Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.).


The Kingship Celebrated

38All these, being men of war who could draw up in battle formation, came to Hebron with a perfect heart to make David king over all Israel; and all the rest also of Israel were of one mind to make David king. 39They were there with David three days, eating and drinking, for their kinsmen had prepared for them. 40Moreover those who were near to them, [even] as far as Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, brought food on donkeys, camels, mules and on oxen, great quantities of flour cakes, fig cakes and bunches of raisins, wine, oil, oxen and sheep. There was joy indeed in Israel.

All “men of war” come “Hebron with a perfect heart” (verse 38a38All these, being men of war who could draw up in battle formation, came to Hebron with a perfect heart to make David king over all Israel; and all the rest also of Israel were of one mind to make David king.) and “all the rest also of Israel” – which probably means the civilian population – come “of one mind” to David to make him king “over all Israel”. This is first and foremost a look ahead to the kingdom of peace, when all will acknowledge the Lord Jesus as King of the kings and Lord of the lords. That will be a time of feast and joy (Pro 11:10a10When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices,
And when the wicked perish, there is joyful shouting.
), of eating and drinking in abundance.

The great source of joy is being “with David”. In his presence, fellowship is also enjoyed with one another, of which the meal speaks, prepared for them by “their kinsmen.”. There is more than enough for everyone.

There is “joy indeed in Israel”, both among those who have shared in the rejection of David and among those who only now acknowledge him. Where Christ reigns in the hearts, there is great joy in the heart. Where all authority is given to Him, there is unity. Then there is also power. Where believers in unity acknowledge the Lord Jesus as Lord, there is an abundance of spiritual food.


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