1 Chronicles 20:1–8

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Chapter 20 starts with the same words as 2 Samuel 11, but does not give any more information about what David did in Jerusalem while his men were at war. No mention is given of his affair with Bathsheba, the murder of her husband Uriah, or the death of David and Bathsheba’s first child. No mention is given either of David’s contrition nor of the forgiveness he received from the Lord. While these things are good for us to know and remember 3,000 years after the fact, they did not fit the purposes of the Chronicles, to encourage the returning exiles in the legitimacy of their status as a nation and as God’s people.

Though David was in Jerusalem for the majority of the fighting at Rabbah, it seems he went there for the final battle to preside over his army’s victory over the Ammonites. The crown of Rabbah’s king is placed on David’s head to show that he is the new ruler of the city and therefore the Ammonites are now subject to the Israelites. This was a very impressive crown, since a talent is equivalent to about 75 pounds (34kg). In contrast, St. Edward’s Crown of the United Kingdom is only 4.9 pounds (2.23kg). In a time when kings were expected to lead warriors in battle, it is conceivable that a man could hold his head up under such a weight, but probably not for very long. Another option is that the crown normally rested on an idol of Molech, whose name sounds similar to the Hebrew word for king, melech. This would make placing the crown on David’s head, even for the briefest of instants, an even more significant event to the conquered Ammonites.

Some time later Israel again goes to war with the Philistines. Few details are recorded here except the names of the Philistines who were descended from the giants, and the names of the men who killed them in battle.

Throughout history we see Your promsises are kept, and Your mercy toward Your people springs forth continually.

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