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1 Chronicles 10-12

Supplemental notes for the Daily Bible Study Bible Reading Plan

by Wayne Blank

1 Chronicles Chapter 10

King Saul was the first human king of Israel (see Israelite Monarchy - The Origin). Unfortunately, for Saul, and for Israel, Saul proved himself to be an unstable and unwise leader. While fighting David (see Israelite Monarchy - The Civil War), Saul also fought Israel's actual enemies, the Philistines - a conflict that cost Saul his life.

Saul and David

"Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines, and fell slain on Mount Gilboa. And the Philistines overtook Saul and his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchishua, the sons of Saul. The battle pressed hard upon Saul, and the archers found him; and he was wounded by the Archers.

Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, "Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and make sport of me."

But his armor-bearer would not; for he feared greatly. Therefore Saul took his own sword, and fell upon it. And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword, and died. Thus Saul died; he and his three sons and all his house died together." (1 Chronicles 10:1-6 RSV)

Saul's dead body was abused; his head was taken as a Trophy, while the body was later recovered by Israel.

"On the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, they found Saul and his sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. And they stripped him and took his head and his armor, and sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines, to carry the good news to their idols and to the people. And they put his armor in the temple of their gods, and fastened his head in the temple of Dagon [see also The Pillars Of Dagon's Temple].

But when all Jabesh-gilead heard all that the Philistines had done to Saul, all the valiant men arose, and took away the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons, and brought them to Jabesh. And they buried their bones under the oak in Jabesh, and fasted seven days." (1 Chronicles 10:8-12 RSV)

Although Saul was an unwise leader, it was his unfaithfulness to The Lord that caused The Lord to replace Saul with David.

"So Saul died for his unfaithfulness; he was unfaithful to The Lord in that he did not keep the command of The Lord, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance, and did not seek guidance from The Lord. Therefore The Lord slew him, and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse." (1 Chronicles 10:13-14 RSV)

1 Chronicles Chapter 11

The death of Saul ended the civil war (that one, anyway) and produced The United Kingdom of Israel under David.

Hebron Map

"Then all Israel gathered together to David at Hebron [see David's Capital During The Civil War], and said, "Behold, we are your bone and flesh. In times past, even when Saul was king, it was you that led out and brought in Israel; and The Lord your God said to you, 'You shall be shepherd of 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 at Hebron before The Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of The Lord by Samuel." (1 Chronicles 11:1-3 RSV)

David then transferred his capital to Jerusalem, which he captured from the Jebusites.

"And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, that is Jebus, where the Jebusites were, the inhabitants of the land. The inhabitants of Jebus said to David, "You will not come in here." Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David.

David said, "Whoever shall smite the Jebusites first shall be chief and commander." And Joab the son of Zeruiah went up first, so he became chief.

And David dwelt in the stronghold; therefore it was called the city of David. And he built the city round about from The Millo in complete circuit; and Joab repaired the rest of the city. And David became greater and greater, for The Lord of hosts was with him." (1 Chronicles 11:4-9 RSV)

1 Chronicles Chapter 12

David's rise to the throne was neither easy or swift, but it was an inevitable result of the people recognizing the right man to lead them (see Royal Democracy).


"Now these are the men who came to David at Ziklag, while he could not move about freely because of Saul the son of Kish; and they were among the mighty men who helped him in war. They were bowmen, and could shoot arrows and sling stones with either the right or the left hand; they were Benjaminites, Saul's kinsmen." (1 Chronicles 12:1-2 RSV)

"From the Gadites there went over to David at the stronghold in the wilderness mighty and experienced warriors, expert with shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and who were swift as gazelles upon the mountains" (1 Chronicles 12:8 RSV)

"And some of the men of Benjamin and Judah came to the stronghold to David. David went out to meet them and said to them, "If you have come to me in friendship to help me, my heart will be knit to you; but if to betray me to my adversaries, although there is no wrong in my hands, then may the God of our fathers see and rebuke you." (1 Chronicles 12:16-17 RSV)

"Some of the men of Manasseh deserted to David when he came with the Philistines for the battle against Saul. Yet he did not help them, for the rulers of the Philistines took counsel and sent him away, saying, "At peril to our heads he will desert to his master Saul." (1 Chronicles 12:19 RSV)

The end result was that The Lord's choice for king became king. It was cause for celebration.

"All these, men of war, arrayed in battle order, came to Hebron with full intent to make David king over all Israel; likewise all the rest of Israel were of a single mind to make David king. And they were there with David for three days, eating and drinking, for their brethren had made preparation for them. And also their neighbors, from as far as Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, came bringing food on asses and on camels and on mules and on oxen, abundant provisions of meal, cakes of figs, clusters of raisins, and wine and oil, oxen and sheep, for there was joy in Israel." (1 Chronicles 12:38-40 RSV)

Fact Finder: (a) Where or what was "the city of David"? (b) Where or what was "Zion"?
(a) See The City of David
(b) See Who, What or Where Is Zion?

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