Christ in All the Scriptures
by A.M. Hodgkin
- III. Christ in the Historical Books
9. 1Chronicles --
- These books cover the same period as 1 & 2 Kings, but they deal exclusively with the Kingdom of Judah [the southern kingdom] and with the House of David. They impress the importance of the worship of God upon the people. [Their interest is centered] around the Temple.
- Genealogies. [1Chronicles ch. 1 - 9]
- The first nine chapters of the book are taken up with genealogies. Unpromising as these chapters appear, much may be learned from them. Perhaps the chief lesson is that of God's selection.
Chapter 10 gives an account of Saul's miserable end, and chapter 11 opens with the anointing of David [as] king over Judah in Hebron.
- Bringing the Ark to Zion.
- One of the first acts of David was to fetch the Ark of the Lord from the house of Abinadab, at Jebesh Gilead, to bring it to Zion [ch. 13]. For twenty years the Ark with its mercy-seat, God's appointed meeting-place with His people, was neglected and almost forgotten-- a true picture of a heart out of communion with God. God ordained that the Ark should always be carried on the shoulders of the Levites, but they seem to have thought they could improve on God's plan, and the result of disobedience was death. God blessed the house of Obed-edom during the three months the Ark remained there, and David was encouraged to bring it to Mount Zion, to the tent he had prepared for it [ch. 15].
David had now learned the lesson of obedience, for he says: ''None ought to carry the Ark of God but the Levites, for them hath the Lord chosen to carry the Ark of God and to minister unto Him for ever. And David gathered all Israel together to Jerusalem, to bring up the Ark of the Lord unto his place.'' For he desired to impress the whole nation with the importance of the event. The priests and Levites and singers, with their instruments of music, were each appointed to their several places. And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen and ''danced before the Lord with all his might'' (2Sam 6:14). It is a common sight today, in ''the changeless East,'' in any procession, to see a man dancing with strange attitudes to do honor to the bridegroom, or other hero of the day, and the more grotesque his attitudes the more honor is done. The man dances backwards, and with his dress girded to give free play to his limbs, as the common peasants gird themselves for active work. Thus, no doubt, David danced to do honor to God's Ark. Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked out at a window and saw him dancing and playing, and she despised him in her heart. The enthusiasm of God's people is still a matter of ridicule with the world, but would there were a little more of it in these days when people are more readily enthusiastic about anything else than His service! The Son of David showed such enthusiasm in the cleansing of the Temple that His disciples applied to Him the words, ''The zeal of Thine House hath eaten Me up'' [John 2:13-17].
Sacrifices were offered as the Ark left the house of Obed-edom; and, again, when it was set in the tent on Mount Zion, they offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings [ch. 16]. The bringing of the Ark to Zion was typical of restored communion. In the presence of the Ark, with its blood-stained mercy-seat, the peace offerings could be offered. The peace offering included a meal of which the offerer partook before God. Reconciled and accepted, he was now God's guest and was privileged to eat bread in His presence. The joy which accompanied the bringing back of the Ark, and the feeding of the people with bread and meat and wine, are symbolic of the joy of restored communion and feeding upon Christ.
- God's Promise to David. [Chapter 17]
- The great desire of David's heart was to build a temple for the Lord. God set this on one side because David had ''shed much blood upon the earth,'' but He promised that a son should be born unto him, who should be ''a man of rest,'' and should build Him a house, and God would establish his throne for ever.
David accepted God's decision without a murmur, and poured forth a song of praise for the condescension of His promise. In the promised Son we see ''a Greater than Solomon.'' ''Thou shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end'' (Luke 1:31-33).
The preservation of Israel as a nation is guaranteed till the end of time, ''as long as the sun and the moon endure'' (Jer 31:35-37). David's throne is secured as permanently, with the added sign, ''and as the faithful witness in the sky'' the rainbow (Psa 89:3,4,27-37). David's Son shall sit upon David's throne in Jerusalem. Christ Jesus ''is the only Person alive now as known to be of David's seed, and as possessing a right to David's throne.'' [Israel, My Glory, p.82, Rev. John Wilkinson]
- Mount Moriah. [Chapter 21]
- The next event in the history of the Temple was brought about through David's sin in numbering the people. His sin in this was no doubt twofold.
- - First, pride at the greatness of his kingdom;
- - second, no mention is made of the tribute money having been paid, as commanded by the Law of Moses, at the time of the census. ''When thou takest the sum of the Children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the Lord, when thou numberest them'' (Ex 30:12). The half shekel of silver, given by every man when he was numbered, was the token that the people belonged to the Lord: it was an acknowledgment of His right to their lives. This was evidently omitted in David's reign, and the plague came upon the people.
The plague was stayed at the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite, on Mount Moriah, and David bought the threshing-floor from Ornan for fifty shekels of silver ''and built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the Lord; and He answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering'' (1Chr 21:26). Thus, the Temple, as well as the Tabernacle, rested upon the foundation of the silver redemption money. Mount Moriah was also the place of Abraham's sacrifice. All these circumstances are more than coincidences; they fall into their place in God's great plan of redemption.
David also bought the makoam (translated ''place'' [in vs. 22 and 25] ) of the threshing-floor from Ornan for six hundred shekels of gold. These makoams were sacred places, the ''places'' of the Canaanites (Deu 12:2,3), similar to the bamoth or ''high places'' so frequently mentioned in Scripture. They abound in Palestine today, and are called by the same word in the Arabic, mukam, ''place,'' and are very valuable, often bringing in great gain to their owners through those who come to worship there. This might account for David having to pay such a high price for the makaom as recorded in Chronicles, though he only paid fifty shekels of silver for the threshing-floor [Heb. goren] as recorded in [2Samuel 24:24]. They appear to have been two separate transactions. Ornan the Jebusite was one of the Canaanitish inhabitants of the land. The place was evidently a makoam as long back as the time when Abraham was told to offer Isaac on what was probably the same spot, for the word occurs four times in the brief narrative, applied to the summit of Moriah [Gen 22:3,4,9,14], afterwards to be Jehoavah's great makoam, where He would ''record His Name'' and place His temple. For Jehovah also would have His makoam. ''Offer not thy burnt offering in every makoam thou seest: but in the makoam that Jehovah shall choose in one of thy tribes, there thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings'' (Deu 12:13,14).
''In 2Sam 24:24, we read that David bought the oxen and threshing-floor of Araunah [another spelling of 'Ornan'] for fifty shekels of silver. From 1Chron 21:25, we learn that David gave six hundred shekels of gold for the place. It is extraordinary that any honest and intelligent mind could find a difficulty here. Fifty shekels of silver were presumably a fair price, though to us it seems very little, for the oxen and for the temporary use of the threshing-floor, for the purpose of the sacrifice. And this was all that the king had in view at the moment. The English reader must not base anything on the force of the English words 'buy' and 'bought' in 2Sam 24:24. The narrative in Chronicles suggests that it was the Lord's 'answering by fire' that led the king to go on to the purchase of the 'place'. But does any one imagine that the fee simple of 'the place'-- the entire site of the Temple-- was worth only fifty shekels? David went on to purchase the entire homestead out and out; and the price he paid for it was six hundred shekels of gold. And this is what the 'Chronicler' records.'' [The Bible and Modern Criticism, p. 161, Sir. Robt. Anderson]
- David's Preparation. [Chapters 22 and 28,29]
- ''Solomon my son is young and tender,'' said David, ''and the house that is to be builded for the Lord must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all countries.''
''So David prepared abundantly before his death,'' and the princes and the people brought their offerings. ''Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the Lord: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.'' It is a marvellous thought that it brings joy to the heart of our King when we offer willingly to His service, whether it be ourselves or our dear ones, or our substance that we give. David's thanksgiving shows the right attitude of heart, the recognition that all indeed belongs to God. ''Who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee'' (1Chr 29:14)
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