Think about David. What do you think of? Goliath? “Saul killed his thousands, David his ten thousands”? Saul chasing David? David and Jonathan? David’s adultery with Bathsheba and subsequent murder of Uriah? Tamar’s rape? Absolom’s rebellion? David the old man who can’t keep himself warm? David’s psalms? Adonijah’s attempt to usurp Solomon? If that’s what you think when you think “David”, then you’re not thinking Chronicles.
Think about Solomon. What do you think of? 700 wives? 300 concubines? Solomon the idolater whose heart is drawn away? Solomon the worshipper of Astarte, Milcom and Chemosh? Solomon the king beset by enemies from Edom and Syria? Solomon the one whose sin caused God to tear ten tribes away from David’s line? If that’s what you think when you think “Solomon”, then you’re not thinking Chronicles.
Chronicles spends very little effort portraying either David as the great warrior or Solomon as the great breaker of Deuteronomy’s description of Israel’s ideal king (Dt. 17). Alternately, the identities of both kings are almost completely related to the Temple.
- David becomes king and captures the Holy City (I Ch 11-12)
- David moves the Ark to Jerusalem (I Ch 13-15)
- David leads in worship (I Ch 16)
- David wants to build God a house (I Ch 17)
- David consolidates the kingdom, amasses wealth. Result: collecting necessary gold, silver, bronze, etc. for building the Temple (I Ch 18-20)
- Sin in the census leads David to purchase the Temple site (I Ch 21-22:1)
- David commissions Solomon to build the temple and prepares everything (I Ch 22-27)
- Solomon made king, people contribute, David celebrates and dies (I Ch 28-29)
Temple, temple, temple. The idea spends basically his whole self consumed with leading the people in worship and preparing for the building of God’s house (Remember the questions supplied by Chronicles genealogy).
Similarly, Solomon is not the horrible guy we’ve come to know from I Kings. Take a look:
- God gives Solomon wisdom (II Ch 1)
- Solomon builds the temple (II Ch 2-4)
- Solomon leads the people in worship, dedicates the Temple, God responds by fire (II Ch 5-7:10)
- God’s responds to Solomon (II Ch 7:11-22)
- Solomon spends the rest of his reign amassing wealth and gaining worldwide acclaim (II Ch 8-9)
Yes, Chronicles mentions some of Solomon’s sin (horses and gold; leaving out the wives and idolatry), but for the most part, Solomon is a positive example.
Again, the Chronicler is not bent on showing us how sinful the kings are (thus justifying exile), but answering the question of what God’s coming king will be like.