King David’s officers (1 Chr 18:14-18:17)

“King David reigned over all Israel. He administered justice and equity to all his people. Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army. Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the recorder. Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were priests. Seraiah was the secretary. Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites. King David’s sons were the chief officials in the service of the king.”

Once again, this biblical chronicler is following 2 Samuel, chapter 8. King David was the king who was just and fair to all the people of Israel. Joab, King David’s nephew and son of his sister Zeruiah, was in charge of the army. This is the same guy who killed Abner that King David was so upset about. King David’s sons were not the priests as in 2 Samuel, but the chief officials in the service of the king, which makes more sense. This Jehoshaphat, the recorder or annalist of court events, is not the same as the later king (870-848 BCE), but they share the same name. There are a few biblical people with the same name of Zadok, but this one was the high priest during the time of King David.   Abiathar was the friendly Levite that accompanied King David in his travels after the disaster at Nob from 1 Samuel, chapter 22. He too was a high priest. However, this text says that Ahimelech his son was the high priest. Either this is a mistake by this biblical author or he may have been the son of Abiathar and the grandson of Ahimelech. There were at least 11 biblical figures with the name Seraiah. This Seraiah was the recording secretary for King David. Benaiah, whose father had been a high priest, was in charge of the Cherethites and the Pelethites, who were like body guards, executioners or messengers. These Cherethites and Pelethites may have been captured Philistines.

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