The Agora
Bible Commentary
1 Chronicles

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1 Chronicles 18

1Ch 18:1

// 2Sa 8: In 2Sa 8 and 10, David's victories over the seven surrounding kingdoms (Zobah, Philistia, Moab, Syria, Edom, Ammon, Amalek) secure his own kingdom. In this they may be compared to the seven thunders of the Apocalypse -- in which Christ's kingdom subjugates the whole earth (Rev 10:3): (1) David first cleared Zion of enemies; (2) then brought "ark" to Zion (in Last Days terms, this may signify the glorified saints being established in Jerusalem); and (3) finally, the seven campaigns extend and secure the kingdom.

When David was seen to be firmly established as king over the twelve tribes, all the surrounding Gentile nations took fright, and as one man they determined to crush him before the combined resources of twelve united tribes made him invincible.

The first trials of strength (vv 1,2) came from the west and the east -- from Philistia and Moab. The Philistines especially had reason to panic at the prospect of David reigning securely in Jerusalem. The campaign against Moab (v 2) was only a preliminary trial of strength.

And so David fought well against "Aram-zobah" (a small independent kingdom in the general locality of Damascus: 1Sa 14:47; 2Sa 8:3) and "Aram-naharaim" (Syria of the "two rivers" -- ie Abana and Pharpar, or Euphrates and Tigris) (2Sa 8:3-6; Psa 60, title).

But while David was rounding off this highly successful campaign a long way from home in the north, he was shocked to learn that Judah, left almost defenseless in his rear, had been invaded by the Ammonites, the Moabites again, and the Edomites.

David's acute despair in a related psalm (Psa 60:1-3) suggests how severe the inroads of these southern invaders were; and the mention of Shechem in 2Sa 8:6 shows that not only were the eastern tribes in peril but that now their threat was felt west of Jordan as well as in the extreme south, from Edom. The "stab-in-the-back" tactics from Edom readily explains the strong resentment which the psa expresses. This antagonism is demonstrated in the unusual savagery of the campaign. God had promised David another great victory over the invading forces (Psa 60:6-12), and thus it came to pass (2Sa 8:13,14).

1Ch 18:4

HE HAMSTRUNG ALL BUT A HUNDRED OF THE CHARIOT HORSES: That is, he rendered them useless as war machines. So whilst he retained chariots he was careful to avoid violating the injunction of the Law of Moses in Deu 17:16.

1Ch 18:11

KING DAVID DEDICATED THESE ARTICLES TO THE LORD: When we receive blessings of this temporal sort from God, do we dedicate them to the Lord? David did. Every aspect of our lives should be performed to the glory of God. It really should be our first thought to dedicate all to the Lord. Cp Mat10:8 with Rom 8:32.
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