“Behold, we are your bone and your flesh. In times past, even when Saul was king, you were the one who led out and brought in Israel; and the LORD your God said to you, ‘You shall shepherd My people Israel, and you shall be prince over My people Israel.’” So all the elders of Israel came to the king at 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 through Samuel.”
1 Chronicles 11:1–3
Tuesday’s Bible reading is 1 Chronicles 10–14. Chapter 9 ended with a genealogy of Saul. Chapter 10 has a very brief record of Saul as king of Israel, and beginning with chapter 11, the rest of 1 Chronicles is about the reign of David.
You’ll notice that only Saul’s death is recorded. Other details of Saul’s life and his persecution of David are omitted. Remember that 1 and 2 Chronicles are post-exilic books and as such have a different purpose in writing about the history of Israel. H. L. Ellison gives this perspective on Chronicles:
“The ‘Chronicler’ is obviously writing history, for there is a very clear principle both in his additions to Samuel and Kings and in his omissions. His additions concern mainly the Temple and its services and such incidents as exalted the religious side of the state in contrast to the civil. Obviously he is concerned mainly with Israel as a religious community. His omissions show that he is concerned with the development of two divine institutions, the Temple and the Davidic line of kings. Hence only the death of Saul is mentioned: his reign, David’s sin, Absalom’s rebellion, Adonijah’s attempted usurpation are all omitted. The history of the northern kingdom, which was in rebellion against both of God’s institutions, is mentioned only where it touches the fortunes of Judah.
“That is why Chronicles is said to represent the priestly standpoint; it is concerned with the working out of what God has ordained and not, as Samuel and Kings, with the prophetic standpoint of how God dealt with His people and so revealed Himself.
“The reasons for the writing of Chronicles are not far to seek. The post-exilic community had to understand how it had come into existence, that it was a true continuation of the pre-exhilic kingdom (hence the genealogies), and what was the role of God’s gift, the Temple and its services, that had been entrusted to them. The omission of so many familiar scenes from Samuel and Kings underlined that, though those that had returned from exile were few in number, God had always been eliminating from the history of His people that which was in rebellion against Him.
“In an age when there is an ever-growing tendency to abandon the old revelation of God in the Scriptures, Chronicles has its lesson of encouragement and warning for us.”1
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1H. L. Ellison, “1 and 2 Chronicles,” The New Bible Commentary: Revised, D. Guthrie, J. A. Motyer, eds., A. M. Stibbs, D. J. Wiseman, contributing eds., p. 369.
Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter