Saturday, September 6, 2014

I Chronicles 26

Here are some thoughts about I Chronicles 26:

1.  I Chronicles 26 talks a lot about gatekeepers to the Temple, or sanctuary.  Obed-Edom’s sons are said to be mighty men of valor (v 6), strong (v 7), and able (v 8), and one of them is called a wise counsellor (v 14).  Why would one need these qualities to be a guard?  Well, for one, it took strength to open and close the Temple doors.  John Gill refers to Josephus’ statement that it took twenty men to close the doors of the Temple (Jewish Wars 6.293).  Second, my guess is that it would take wisdom and strength to be a guard: one would need to assess situations to make sure no one snuck into the Temple, and also use force to keep people out.  Why would anyone want to sneak into the Temple?  Temples had a lot of wealth within them, so perhaps a person would want to loot them.

2.  Vv 27-28 state (in the KJV): “Out of the spoils won in battles did they dedicate to maintain the house of the LORD.  And all that Samuel the seer, and Saul the son of Kish, and Abner the son of Ner, and Joab the son of Zeruiah, had dedicated; and whosoever had dedicated any thing, it was under the hand of Shelomith, and of his brethren.”

Is this saying that Samuel and Saul dedicated spoils to the Temple?  How could they, when there was not a Temple in their time?  Well, there was a sanctuary, a tabernacle.  Perhaps they dedicated the spoils to that.

John Gill says that Samuel and Saul were aware that God would eventually have a place for his name.  Is Gill suggesting that Samuel and Saul knew that God would eventually have a Temple, and thus they were dedicating spoils to it in advance?  Could Deuteronomy 12:8-11 be relevant here: Israel first gets rest from her enemies, then a sanctuary where God will cause his name to dwell?  Samuel, Saul, and David did not live in a time when Israel had rest from her enemies, for they fought wars.  Solomon, however, did preside over that time of rest, and he was the one who built the Temple.  According to the Chronicler, did Samuel and Saul conclude from Deuteronomy 12:8-11 that God would eventually have a Temple?

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