1 Chronicles 11&12, 14: David Becomes King

1 Chronicles' treatment of David after his anointing through his crowning as king of Israel.


Chapters 11, 12, and 14 give a more in depth look at David's leadership.

David is Anointed

The beginning of chapter 11 tells us about the anointing of David. This information is also given in 1 Samuel 16. David was anointed king well before he actually took the throne.

Valiant Men

Several verses in 1 Chronicles 11 discuss David's "30 valiant men," but if you count the number of men listed, you will note that there are more than 30. Some of the names mentioned, such as Uriah who is killed by David to hide his sin with Bathsheba, definitely died before David. Likely, when these men died, another man was appointed to take each man's place. David probably kept the group at 30, which is why they're always referred to as the 30 valiant men.

David Hides from Saul

TribeMen Sent
Chapter 12 covers David's time in hiding from Saul. If you remember from 1 Samuel 30, David hid in Ziklag. We are given a list of the men who followed him, which includes details on which tribes had men come to join him (Gad and Manasseh). 217,100 men join David! With such an army, the Philistines feared that having David among them was dangerous because he might turn back to Saul and come against them. This is the end of the loose treaty that bound David and the Philistines.

David's Many Wives

David takes many wives, something that was likely not encouraged by God. While the Bible doesn't condemn multiple wives, it definitely forbade kings from taking "too many" wives (see Deuteronomy 17:15-17). From a modern view point we would likely think anything more than 1 is too many, and if we compare David to his son Solomon, David doesn't seem like he has many wives anymore. However, compared to other Godly men such as Moses, Abraham, and Jacob, he still has too many wives. Moses only had 1 wife—2 if you are part of the camp that believe Zipporah and the Ethiopian woman were two different women. Abraham had a total of 3, but his third wife was likely taken after Sarah, his first wife, died. Jacob topped these men with 4 wives, but we see he only intended to have 1 wife. So how did David get away with so many?

My History of the Old Testament professor once asked us why God was OK with some people breaking the rules and I think David is perfect example to talk about this question. God doesn't explicitly condemn David for marrying lots of women, neither do we see Him explicitly condemn Solomon for the same. However, it is the love of women that gets both men into trouble with God. David lusts after Bathsheba causing him to commit adultery, then murder to cover up his adultery. Solomon gets sucked into the paganism of his wives and disappoints God as well. I think God doesn't explicitly condemn their behavior because we see the ramifications of it and should be able to conclude that it isn't good. In every example of a multi-wife family, we see problems: jealousy, paganism, and warring of nations. With the exception of Jesus, no human in the Bible perfect.

Back in Battle

The Philistines were smart not to trust David. Once he becomes king, it is inevitable that he Israel goes to battle with them. David follows through with God's original command about war and commands his army to burn the images of the Philistine gods on the battlefield. This is part of why David was said to be a man after God's heart; he didn't hesitate to follow God's instructions.



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