1 Chronicles 13-16

Good morning! Today’s passage (1 Chronicles 13-16) focuses on the ark of the covenant and its journey in stages from the frontier of Israel to the heart of sacred community and worship in Jerusalem. Much of this is very familiar from our recent reading of 2 Samuel (to the point of near-identical paragraphs), but the Chronicler leaves out any parts of the record that might reflect unfavorably on King David, here treated as the paragon of royal righteousness.

Whereas Saul neglected the ark, we’re told, David calls the people together to follow the ark of God in chapter 13. This characterization, and that throughout, underscores David’s faithfulness. In this chapter we also have repetition of earlier stories about fetching the ark from Kiriath-jearim, Uzzah’s punishment for touching the ark, and David’s leaving the ark with Obed-edom, who prospers by its presence.

1 Chronicles 14 briefly confirms that David is established in Jerusalem as king over Israel. Some of the children born to him are listed here. Notice that there’s no mention of the Bathsheba affair, but Solomon (child of Bathsheba) is listed among David’s children. We also “re-live” certain of David’s victories over the Philistines, aided by God’s help.

The narrative returns to the ark’s progress in chapter 15. Retrieving the ark once a tabernacle is fully prepared for it, David recruits priests and Levites to make sure all is done properly. The ark is accompanied in to Jerusalem with sacrifices, music, shouting and King David dancing (to Michal’s disdain). There appear to be some identical passages between this narrative and that in 2 Samuel.

Chapter 16 recounts the celebrations of divine grace once the ark is in place. I noticed in reading this time through that one of the Levitical ministers in charge of music in the tabernacle is Asaph. His name is familiar because there are opening dedications in the book of Psalms that mention Asaph. David’s song of praise carries strong resonances from the Psalms, and are essentially a preview of coming attractions. Happy reading!

Read 1 Chronicles 13-16.

Please join discussion of this passage at the Daily Bible Facebook group, or comment below. The passage for tomorrow is 1 Chronicles 17-20. Thanks for reading!

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