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Deeper Commentary

1Ch 14:1 Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and masons, and carpenters, to build him a house-
The way Solomon also used him, or probably another Hiram, for the same trees reflects again how Solomon sought to live out his father. But he had no real spirituality, and over time he revealed that he had no personal faith, turning away to idols in his old age and coming to the nihilism of Ecclesiastes.

Psalm 30 was written at the dedication of a house by David, and we assume it was this house. But that Psalm reveals David had been very ill. He seems not to have had robust health although he was physically strong and lived a long life. There is ample evidence for a breakdown of his health after the sin with Bathsheba.

1Ch 14:2 David perceived that Yahweh had established him king over Israel; for his kingdom was exalted on high, for His people Israel’s sake-
He realized that the promises of Samuel so long ago had finally come true, despite all the times when it had seemed they could not come true (see on 1 Sam. 27:1). But this sense of fulfilment led him to take yet more wives (:3), which is surely to be read negatively in spiritual terms. Yet he realized that his establishment was located in a wider context than just for himself; it was for the sake of His people Israel.

1Ch 14:3 David took more wives at Jerusalem; and David became the father of more sons and daughters-
See on :2. This is hard to read in a positive light spiritually; for Israel's king was not to multiply wives (Dt. 17:17). He seemed to feel the need to prove himself established by having more wives and children, but this was itself a failure to appreciate that Yahweh had established him (:2). He did perceive this, but only on one level. 

1Ch 14:4 These are the names of the children whom he had in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon-
These were the sons of Bathsheba. We note that they had a son called Nathan, perhaps in respect of the prophet of that name who had rebuked David for his sin with Bathsheba. And it was through him that the Lord Jesus was descended back to David (Lk. 3:31).

The lists in 1 Chron. 3:5-8; 14:4-7 mention two more sons than we find in 2 Sam. 5:15, Eliphalet or Elpalet and Nogah. Perhaps  they are omitted here because they died in infancy, and that the second Eliphalet was named after his dead brother.

1Ch 14:5 Ibhar, Elishua, Elpelet-
The lists in 1 Chron. 3:5-8; 14:4-7 also mention two more sons, Eliphalet or Elpelet and Nogah. Perhaps  they are omitted here because they died in infancy, and that the second Eliphalet was named after his dead brother.

1Ch 14:6 Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia-
We know nothing of these sons, nor indeed or most of David's children. This would indicate perhaps that David was not a very good spiritual father to his children.

1Ch 14:7 Elishama, Beeliada and Eliphelet-
Tragically, we so often read of Yahweh's people carrying the names of Baal or other gods within their own names- e.g. Merib-baal (1 Chron. 8:34; 9:40); Ishbaal (1 Chron. 8:33; 9:39); Baal-yada (1 Chron. 14:7); and perhaps worst of all, Baal-Yah (1 Chron. 12:5). Is our 'name' or personality before God the same tragic mixture of flesh and spirit? We wonder whether the naming of Baal-yada ("Beeliada") was done by one of David's wives who worshipped Baal; we know that Michal his wife also had pagan images in their home.

1Ch 14:8 When the Philistines heard that David was anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek David. David heard of it, and went out against them-
They must have felt bitterly betrayed by David. He had lived with them in Ziklag and Gath for some time and claimed he was on their side against Judah. His lack of integrity would have deeply riled them, and was a poor advertisement for the God of Israel.

2 Sam. 5:17 says that David "went down to the stronghold". The stronghold in view may have been the cave of Adullam (2 Sam. 23:13,14), where God had previously delivered David from Saul. Perhaps he went there to pray. It was at this time that he wished to drink of the water from the well in Bethlehem, and his men broke risked their lives to get it for him. We see the extent of their dominance, in that they had overrun Bethlehem, David's home village, and placed a garrison in it (2 Sam. 23:14). 

1Ch 14:9 Now the Philistines had come and made a raid in the valley of Rephaim-
The record of David's battle with the Philistines here has certain similarities with the exploits of 1 Sam. 14:8-11; as if, years later, David replicated Jonathan's early adventure of faith. This would be understandable if he had been Jonathan's armourbearer in that incident. Situations repeat in our lives; what we learn in youth becomes tested later on in life.

They perhaps chose the valley of the giants as the battleground because they still recalled his victory over Goliath, and wanted to reverse it.

1Ch 14:10 David inquired of God saying, Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand? Yahweh said to him, Go up; for I will deliver them into your hand-
This recalls how he asked Yahweh when Saul died whether he should go into Judah, and to which city there. A man of lesser humility and closeness to God would have just gone ahead with assumptions he was right. His questions also recall the questions he asked [and answers received] about the situation in Keilah (1 Sam. 23:11,12). He retained this desire for guidance, and showed he had learned from his previous experiences.

1Ch 14:11 So they came up to Baal Perazim, and David struck them there; and David said, God has broken my enemies by my hand, like the breach of waters. Therefore they called the name of that place Baal Perazim-
This means the place of breaches. What happened has been explained as follows: "It was the rocky height on the north of the valley of Rephaim. David must, therefore, have stolen round the army of the Philistines, creeping, probably by night, up to this ridge of Ben-Hinnom, and thence at the dawn of day have rushed down upon the camp. And his onset was sudden and irresistible, like the rush of the waters of some mountain lake when, swollen with rains, it bursts through the opposing dam, and carries hasty destruction to everything that lies in its way". This means that just like the second attack, David circled around and came at the Philistines from behind (:14). But this is exactly how a dog attacks. David in his low moments had felt himself as a desert dog (1 Sam. 17:44 LXX; 24:14). When we are weak, then we are strong. Perhaps God played along with David's low feelings by saying that if he indeed felt as a dog, then He would use him to achieve victory as a dog does. This is not to justify David's view of himself, but to show rather how God interacts with man in a mutual way.

1Ch 14:12 They left their gods there; and David gave commandment, and they were burned with fire-
2 Sam. 5:21 adds: "They left their images there; and David and his men took them away". Chronicles seem to present a far more positive take on the history, omitting all reference to the Bathsheba incident. They should have destroyed them immediately, according to the law of Moses which David professed such love for in Ps. 119. Perhaps they justified it by saying they were doing to the Philistines as they had done to the ark; for the Philistines took the ark as a sign they had triumphed over Israel's God. But Yahweh clearly punished them for that, and David's men might have boasted that the Philistine gods didn't do that to them. Such is the quasi spiritual reasoning of our flesh. 1 Chron. 14:12 however explains that finally, they were burnt.

1Ch 14:13 The Philistines yet again made a raid in the valley-
This was soon afterwards, implying David's men hadn't slain that many of the Philistines.

1Ch 14:14 David inquired again of God; and God said to him, You shall not go up after them. Turn away from them, and come on them opposite the mulberry trees-
The Father and Son are constantly seeking to lead us in “newness of life”. David didn’t get victory by the mulberry trees the same way each time. God changed the method. But as noted on :11, David was still to circle around and attack from behind, like a dog. "Mulberry" is Hebrew baca, and could refer to the valley of Baca, or weeping, of Ps. 84:6. Hence RV "valley of weeping". Perhaps David was in depression at this time, and was being comforted that his weeping was to be his strength. For God loves to use the weak to achieve His victories.

1Ch 14:15 It shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then you shall go out to battle-
This sound was the marching of the Angels. They are called Yahweh's hosts or armies, and the idea was that David's army was a reflection on earth of the heavenly armies above him. This was necessary to teach that Israel were not winning these victories in their own strength, but by following the Angelic hosts above them.

"When thou (David) shalt hear a sound of going (like the noise of the Angel cherubim in Ezekiel 1?) in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then shalt thou go out to battle; for God (the Angels) is gone forth before thee to smite the host of the Philistines" (AV). So once the Angels had physically moved forward and David had heard them doing this, he too could move ahead in doing the human part in bringing God's purpose about. David alludes to this as a regular experience when he speaks of God ‘going out’ with the hosts / armies of Israel (Ps. 60:10 RV). His hosts were as the hosts of God (1 Chron. 11:22)- he walked in step with the Angel Cherubim above him, as Ezekiel was to do later. It seems that great stress is placed in Scripture on the Angels physically moving through space, both on the earth and between Heaven and earth, in order to fulfil their tasks, rather than being static in Heaven or earth and bringing things about by just willing them to happen. See on Gen. 18:10;  Rev. 21:12.

For God has gone out before you to strike the army of the Philistines-
The people wanted a king to "go out before us and fight our battles" (1 Sam. 8:20), but they were disappointed in Saul ultimately. For it was effectively David who went out before the people to fight their battles (s.w. 1 Sam. 18:13,16). And David was only successful because he recognized that it was Yahweh who 'went out before' to fight his battles (s.w. "gone out"), rather than any human king or leader. 

1Ch 14:16 David did as God commanded him; and they struck the army of the Philistines from Gibeon even to Gezer-
Gibeon is directly on the road from the valley of Rephaim to Gaza. The continual consistency of the geographical references in the record is yet another reflection of the utter credibility of it as Divinely inspired. Any group of human writers would have made mistakes in this area, given the lack of detailed maps and geographical knowledge.

1Ch 14:17 The fame of David went out into all lands; and Yahweh brought the fear of him on all nations
"Fame" is the word for "name". Names were reflective of achievement, life experience and developed character, with the Name of Yahweh being the parade example. They were developed, as God's Name is, both over human history and within the experience of individuals.