1 Chronicles 27

1 Chronicles 27 has David getting detailed about leadership of his army and kingdom.  David has collected “the number of the people of Israel, the heads of fathers’ houses, the commanders of thousands and hundreds, and their officers who served the king in all matters concerning the divisions that came and went, month after month throughout the year, each division numbering 24,000”.  He divided his army into divisions of 24K men, each with a leader.  All these men were prepared, disciplined, and ready at a call.  He did not use mercenaries in his army as was common practice in many kingdoms of the day.  These were all his own people.

There were 12 divisions of 24K each, and “Zabdiel….was chief of all the commanders”.  In addition to the army, “these were the leaders of the tribes of Israel”.  Each tribe had a leader who was appointed by David to oversee things.  This list describes tribal leaders who were not priests or military leaders, but administrators in the civil service of the Kingdom of Israel.  They were to take care of the administration within each tribe.  Political appointees if you will, to oversee things.

David had ordered a count of all the people, but wisely stopped that midstream to obey God’s earlier instruction.  “David did not count those below twenty years of age, for the Lord had promised to make Israel as many as the stars of heaven. Joab the son of Zeruiah began to count, but did not finish. Yet wrath came upon Israel for this, and the number was not entered in the chronicles of King David”.  He didn’t stop in time, as we read earlier about God’s punishment by killing 70,000 people for this act of disobedience.

The rest of the chapter lists out key administrators over a number of areas in the kingdom.  “Treasuries . . . storehouses . . . work of the field for tilling the ground . . . vineyards . . . olive trees . . . herds . . . camels . . . donkeys . . . flocks”:  David had trusted men to oversee these areas, and they were just as important to the kingdom as the more obviously spiritual leaders.  The last leaders mentioned were special roles, very close to the king:

  • Jonathan, David’s uncle, was a counselor
  • He and Jehiel the son of Hachmoni attended the king’s sons
  • Ahithophel was the king’s counselor
  • Hushai the Archite was the king’s friend
  • Joab was commander of the king’s army

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