King David is worried about his young son Solomon (1 Chr 22:5-22:5)

“King David said. ‘My son Solomon is young and inexperienced. The house that is to be built for Yahweh must be exceedingly magnificent, famous, and glorified throughout all lands. I will therefore make preparation for it.’ Thus King David provided materials in great quantity before his death.”

Based on 1 Kings, chapters 1-3, King David made a last minute decision about who was to succeed him. Of course, it was Solomon, but that was not clear until Solomon actually became the king. In fairness, Solomon was king while David was still old and alive. He wanted to provide the materials for King Solomon.

King David prepares for the construction of the temple (1 Chr 22:2-22:4)

“King David gave orders to gather together the aliens who were in the land of Israel. He set stonecutters to prepare dressed stones for building the house of God. King David also provided great stores of iron for nails for the doors of the gates and for the clamps. He provided bronze in quantities beyond weighing. He had cedar logs without number. The Sidonians and Tyrians brought great quantities of cedar to King David.”

Instead of King Solomon as the builder of the temple as in 1 Kings, chapters 6-8, here King David takes an active role. King David gave the orders. He wanted the aliens gathered together so that they could be the workers. He wanted stonecutters. He provided iron and bronze. He also got great quantities of cedar from Sidon and Tyre.

The altar will become the temple (1 Chr 21:28-22:1)

“At that time, when King David saw that Yahweh had answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he made his sacrifices there. The tabernacle of Yahweh, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were at that time in the high place at Gibeon. King David could not go before it to inquire of God, because he was afraid of the sword of the angel of Yahweh. Then King David said. ‘Here shall be the house of Yahweh God. Here shall be the altar of burnt offering for Israel.’”

This biblical chronicler will leave 2 Samuel after these remarks. While King David made his sacrifices at the threshing floor, here King David wanted the tabernacle at Gibeon brought to this place. This is where the temple will be built. Instead of King Solomon being the builder of the temple, this biblical author will have King David do all the planning.

The erection of the altar (1 Chr 21:26-21:27)

“King David built there an altar to Yahweh. He presented burnt offerings and offerings of well-being. He called upon Yahweh. Yahweh answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering. Then Yahweh commanded the angel. The angel put his sword back into its sheath.”

This biblical chronicler continues to follow 2 Samuel, chapter 24, but with a little nuance. King David built an altar where he offered his sacrifices of burnt offering and well-being. Yahweh responded to King David as he lit the sacrifice with fire from heaven, just like Elijah. The plague was averted from Israel. Yahweh told the angel to put his sword away, which he did.

 

The purchase of the threshing floor (1 Chr 21:18-21:25)

“Then the angel of Yahweh commanded Gad to tell King David that he should go up and erect an altar to Yahweh on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. So King David went up following Gad’s instructions, which he had spoken in the name of Yahweh. Ornan turned and saw the angel. While his four sons, who were with him, hid themselves, Ornan continued to thresh the wheat. As King David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw King David. He went out from the threshing floor. He did obeisance to King David with his face to the ground. King David said to Ornan. ‘Give me the site of the threshing floor that I may build on it an altar to Yahweh. Give it to me at its full price, so that the plague may be averted from the people.’ Then Ornan said to King David. ‘Take it. Let my lord the king do what seems good to him. See, I present the oxen for burnt offerings, the threshing sledges for the wood, and the wheat for a cereal offering. I give it all.’ But King David said to Ornan. ‘No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for Yahweh what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings which cost me nothing.’ Thus King David paid Ornan six hundred shekels of gold by weight for the site.”

This biblical chronicler continues to follow 2 Samuel, chapter 24, always with a little nuance. The prophet Gad went to King David to tell him to build an altar to Yahweh at the threshing floor of Ornan. Thus King David did what Yahweh had commanded through Gad. He went to see Ornan who was a Jebusite, and not a Hebrew, the same as in 2 Samuel, but with a different name, Araunah. However, this was the place that the angel of Yahweh stopped sending the plague that saved Jerusalem. Ornan showed deference to King David since he had seen an angel before King David had arrived. In this episode, Ornan was with his 4 sons in the threshing area. He did not ask why the king had come to him, as in 2 Samuel. King David wanted to buy the threshing floor and erect an altar there per the instructions of the prophet Gad. Ornan said that he had some animals for a sacrifice plus wood to start a fire. King David would not accept his gifts. He wanted to buy the floor and everything for 600 shekels of gold. Instead of the mere 50 silver shekels in 2 Samuel, here it is the massive amount of 600 shekels of gold or about $45,000 dollars.

The pestilence and plea of King David (1 Chr 21:14-21:17)

“Yahweh sent a pestilence on Israel. Seventy thousand persons fell in Israel. God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it. But when he was about to destroy it, Yahweh took note and relented concerning the calamity. He said to the destroying angel. ‘Enough! Stay your hand.’ The angel of Yahweh was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. King David looked up and saw the angel of Yahweh standing between earth and heaven. In his hand a drawn sword stretched out over Jerusalem. Then King David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell on their faces. King David said to God.

‘Was it not I who gave the command to count the people?

It is I who have sinned and done very wickedly.

But these sheep, what have they done?

Let your hand, I pray you, O Yahweh, my God,

Be against me and against my father’s house.

But do not let your people be plagued.’”

Once again this biblical chronicler follows 2 Samuel, chapter 24. Yahweh sent a pestilence that killed 70,000 in Israel. However there is no mention of the geographical scope from Dan to Beer-sheba as in 2 Samuel. This was a quick violent disease. However, when the angel of Yahweh reached Jerusalem, Yahweh changed his mind and said that enough was enough. He had made his point. Somehow the angel of Yahweh was at the threshing floor of Ornan who was a Jebusite, the first inhabitants of Jerusalem. Here, he is called Ornan while in 2 Samuel he was called Araunah, close enough I guess. King David said that he was personally responsible, so let everything be on him and not the rest of the people. He pleaded before Yahweh to save the people and let him alone be punished.

The three choices of King David (1 Chr 21:7-21:13)

“But God was displeased with this thing. He struck Israel. King David said to God. ‘I have sinned greatly in that I have done this thing. But now, I pray you to take away the guilt of your servant. I have done very foolishly.’ Yahweh spoke to Gad, King David’s seer. ‘Go and say to King David. Thus says Yahweh. Three things I offer you. Choose one of them, so that I may do it to you.’ So Gad came to David and said to him. ‘Thus says Yahweh. Take your choice. Either three years of famine, or three months of devastation by your foes, while the sword of your enemies overtakes you, or three days of the sword of Yahweh, pestilence on the land. The angel of Yahweh would destroy throughout all the territory of Israel. Now decide what answer I shall return to him who sent me.’ Then King David said to Gad. ‘I am in great distress. Let me fall into the hand of Yahweh, for his mercy is very great. But let me not fall into human hands.’”

Once again this biblical chronicler follows 2 Samuel, chapter 24. King David was having second thoughts about the census he took. He thought that he sinned in doing it. Although there was no indication of why he thought like this in 2 Samuel, here it is obviously because it was Satan inspired. The prophet of King David, Gad, got a visit from Yahweh. This is not the Gad, the son of Jacob or Israel, whom a tribe and territory were named after. Rather this is a prophet or seer who guides David. Nathan had been the other prophet of King David. Yahweh told Gad to give King David 3 choices. His 3 choices were: 1) a 3 year famine; 2) 3 months fleeing his enemies; 3) 3 day pestilence. David had to choose. Gad had to let Yahweh know. Somehow this was not a direct conversation between Yahweh and King David. King David said fine, since he believed that Yahweh was merciful. He did not want to fall into human hands. In 2 Samuel, David chose the 3 day pestilence, but it is not mentioned here but assumed since the next section continues under that assumption.