2 Kings 11-12: Jehoiada, bearing the reproach of Christ

II Kings 11:

1 Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal family.

2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being put to death, and she put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Thus they hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not put to death.

3 And he remained with her six years, hidden in the house of the LORD, while Athaliah reigned over the land.

The whore of Babylon, however, has not yet been destroyed – for the end of days has not yet come. Until then, the bloodline of Satan shall continue to wreck havoc on the promised nation, this time through Athaliah, the type of the enemy.  This is the woman “whom God afflicts”, for she causes the death of the royal family for her own gain.  Even Joash, her grandson “whom Jehovah bestowed”, would not have escaped such brutal murder.  This scene is reminiscent of the hiding of Moses, and the hiding of Jesus – to ensure that the line of Israel is not destroyed (c.f. Exodus 2; Matthew 2).  Six years he spent in the house of the LORD, until the tutelage of priest Jehoiada (“Jehovah known”), growing in the faith as Athaliah sought to destroy all the royal seed (the literal Hebrew of the ESV’s adoption of “family”), destroying the possible fulfillment of Genesis 3:15.

4 But in the seventh year Jehoiada sent and brought the captains of the Carites and of the guards, and had them come to him in the house of the LORD. And he made a covenant with them and put them under oath in the house of the LORD, and he showed them the king’s son.

5 And he commanded them, “This is the thing that you shall do: one third of you, those who come off duty on the Sabbath and guard the king’s house

6 (another third being at the gate Sur and a third at the gate behind the guards) shall guard the palace.

7 And the two divisions of you, which come on duty in force on the Sabbath and guard the house of the LORD on behalf of the king,

8 shall surround the king, each with his weapons in his hand. And whoever approaches the ranks is to be put to death. Be with the king when he goes out and when he comes in.”

9 The captains did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded, and they each brought his men who were to go off duty on the Sabbath, with those who were to come on duty on the Sabbath, and came to Jehoiada the priest.

10 And the priest gave to the captains the spears and shields that had been King David’s, which were in the house of the LORD.

11 And the guards stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, from the south side of the house to the north side of the house, around the altar and the house on behalf of the king.

12 Then he brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him and gave him the testimony. And they proclaimed him king and anointed him, and they clapped their hands and said, “Long live the king!”

Are v.4-12 not a picture of the Old Testament?  (c.f. 1 Peter 1) The picture of Israelites, under oath in the house of the LORD to protect and safeguard the king’s son until the day of his crowning?  Some may not see his crowning, yet they long for the day when Athaliah is destroyed and the true King is crowned (Hebrews 11:13).  The object of faith has not changed – it has always been the true king Joash, as directed by Jehoiada who faithfully keeps this one royal seed of Adam and Eve and of Israel from perishing.

13 When Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she went into the house of the LORD to the people.

14 And when she looked, there was the king standing by the pillar, according to the custom, and the captains and the trumpeters beside the king, and all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets. And Athaliah tore her clothes and cried, “Treason! Treason!”

15 Then Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains who were set over the army, “Bring her out between the ranks, and put to death with the sword anyone who follows her.” For the priest said, “Let her not be put to death in the house of the LORD.”

16 So they laid hands on her; and she went through the horses’ entrance to the king’s house, and there she was put to death.

17 And Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD and the king and people, that they should be the LORD’s people, and also between the king and the people.

18 Then all the people of the land went to the house of Baal and tore it down; his altars and his images they broke in pieces, and they killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. And the priest posted watchmen over the house of the LORD.

19 And he took the captains, the Carites, the guards, and all the people of the land, and they brought the king down from the house of the LORD, marching through the gate of the guards to the king’s house. And he took his seat on the throne of the kings.

20 So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet after Athaliah had been put to death with the sword at the king’s house.

21  Jehoash was seven years old when he began to reign.

Such a fundamental picture of Satan destroyed according to his folly and arrogance.  Though he too may shout “Treason! Treason!”, he has no justification to do so.  He wants to be God (Ezekiel 28:9), such that Athaliah’s charisma and beauty was struck down by the innocence and incomparable authority of the young king Joash.  She shall be destroyed outside of the house of the LORD (v.15) and thrown into the pit, outside of the fellowship of believers.  It is on this Sabbath day of rest that the coronation of the king is achieved; and that the house of Baal is simultaneously destroyed with the priest of Baal permanently removed.  So the ascension of Joash as king is completed in a matter of one appointed day (Hebrews 5), the fullness of time when Christ too shall return to destroy the house of Babylon and be revealed as the King of kings despite other falsities such as Athalia as the interim king / ruler.  And this judgment shall begin at the house of God (1 Peter 4:17).

II Kings 12:

1 In the seventh year of Jehu, Jehoash began to reign, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba.

2 And Jehoash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all his days, because Jehoiada the priest instructed him.

3 Nevertheless, the high places were not taken away; the people continued to sacrifice and make offerings on the high places.

4 Jehoash said to the priests, “All the money of the holy things that is brought into the house of the LORD, the money for which each man is assessed—the money from the assessment of persons—and the money that a man’s heart prompts him to bring into the house of the LORD,

5 let the priests take, each from his donor, and let them repair the house wherever any need of repairs is discovered.”

6 But by the twenty-third year of King Jehoash, the priests had made no repairs on the house.

7 Therefore King Jehoash summoned Jehoiada the priest and the other priests and said to them, “Why are you not repairing the house? Now therefore take no more money from your donors, but hand it over for the repair of the house.”

8 So the priests agreed that they should take no more money from the people, and that they should not repair the house.

9 Then Jehoiada the priest took a chest and bored a hole in the lid of it and set it beside the altar on the right side as one entered the house of the LORD. And the priests who guarded the threshold put in it all the money that was brought into the house of the LORD.

10 And whenever they saw that there was much money in the chest, the king’s secretary and the high priest came up and they bagged and counted the money that was found in the house of the LORD.

11 Then they would give the money that was weighed out into the hands of the workmen who had the oversight of the house of the LORD. And they paid it out to the carpenters and the builders who worked on the house of the LORD,

12 and to the masons and the stonecutters, as well as to buy timber and quarried stone for making repairs on the house of the LORD, and for any outlay for the repairs of the house.

13 But there were not made for the house of the LORD basins of silver, snuffers, bowls, trumpets, or any vessels of gold, or of silver, from the money that was brought into the house of the LORD,

14 for that was given to the workmen who were repairing the house of the LORD with it.

15 And they did not ask an accounting from the men into whose hand they delivered the money to pay out to the workmen, for they dealt honestly.

16 The money from the guilt offerings and the money from the sin offerings was not brought into the house of the LORD; it belonged to the priests.

The activities of v.1-16 is but a picture of Nehemiah’s building up of the temple after the Babylonian captivity.  However, the hearts of men were still faulty.  Joash reveals the state of man’s heart in v. 4-5, that “All the money of the holy things that is brought into the house of the LORD, the money for which each man is assessed—the money from the assessment of persons—and the money that a man’s heart prompts him to bring into the house of the LORD,

let the priests take, each from his donor, and let them repair the house wherever any need of repairs is discovered”.  The money was a free-will offering to repair the house of the LORD, and Joash’s focus was on ensuring that this house of worship would be the focal point of Israel rather than the high places.  Such is the marked difference between the leadership of one who walks with Jesus under the guidance of a priest of God, compared to the leadership of one who walks by the flesh, heeding poor counsel.  However, the decay of the house of the LORD is an apparent departure from Solomon’s day.  V.13 – there were not made for the house of the LORD basins of silver, snuffers, bowls, trumpets, or any vessels of gold, or of silver.  All went simply to repair.  This is not the golden city of Jerusalem of Revelation 21-22.  Joash is but repairing a shadow, the importance of which has been increasingly neglected by the people of Israel – even Joash himself.  Note the invasion by the Syrians:

17 At that time Hazael king of Syria went up and fought against Gath and took it. But when Hazael set his face to go up against Jerusalem,

18 Jehoash king of Judah took all the sacred gifts that Jehoshaphat and Jehoram and Ahaziah his fathers, the kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own sacred gifts, and all the gold that was found in the treasuries of the house of the LORD and of the king’s house, and sent these to Hazael king of Syria. Then Hazael went away from Jerusalem.

Instead of lifting up the invasion to God, we see instead Joash gifting items in the house of the LORD to the Syrians.  This act may seem strange independent of his other account in 2 Chronicles 24, which reveals that Jehoiada was the one ensuring Joash was following Jesus:

““15 But Jehoiada grew old and full of days, and died. He was 130 years old at his death.

16 And they buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, and toward God and his house.

17 Now after the death of Jehoiada the princes of Judah came and paid homage to the king. Then the king listened to them.

18 And they abandoned the house of the LORD, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and the idols. And wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this guilt of theirs.

19 Yet he sent prophets among them to bring them back to the LORD. These testified against them, but they would not pay attention.

20 Then the Spirit of God clothed Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, and he stood above the people, and said to them, “Thus says God, ‘Why do you break the commandments of the LORD, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, he has forsaken you.’”

21 But they conspired against him, and by command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the LORD.

22 Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness that Jehoiada, Zechariah’s father, had shown him, but killed his son. And when he was dying, he said, “May the LORD see and avenge!””

 

Instead, the king began to listen to the princes of Judah, and they “abandoned the house of the LORD” and served the Asherim and the idols.  Joash, too, abandoned the house – and thus wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem, explaining the invasion of the Syrians.  Instead, these are the rest of the acts of Joash described in the following v.19, and so the plan against Joash in the opening of 2 Kings 11 was materialized in the end of his life.  Joash, unfortunately, was not the promised Seed who would rebuild the house of God and Israel, although his life was modeled as such by Jehoiada and Zechariah, the true worshippers of Jesus Christ.  Instead, Joash dies a gruesome death, fitting to that of a king without God.

19 Now the rest of the acts of Joash and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?

20 His servants arose and made a conspiracy and struck down Joash in the house of Millo, on the way that goes down to Silla.

21 It was Jozacar the son of Shimeath and Jehozabad the son of Shomer, his servants, who struck him down, so that he died. And they buried him with his fathers in the city of David, and Amaziah his son reigned in his place.

2 Kings 11-12: Jehoiada, bearing the reproach of Christ

1 Kings 4: The Age of Solomon

1King Solomon was king over all Israel, 2and these were his high officials: Azariah the son of Zadok was(A) the priest; 3Elihoreph and Ahijah the sons of Shisha were secretaries;(B) Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder; 4(C) Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was in command of the army;(D) Zadok and Abiathar were priests; 5Azariah the son of Nathan was over(E) the officers; Zabud the son of Nathan was priest and(F) king’s friend; 6Ahishar was in charge of the palace; and(G) Adoniram the son of Abda was in charge of(H) the forced labor.

The chapter begins with a bold declaration – “King Solomon was king over all Israel” (v.1).  There has been no king who began his reign over all Israel; even David was king over Judah for seven and half years (2 Samuel 2:11) before he was made king over Israel as well.  Yet, the chapter does not stop there to awe us – it continues with a recounting of Solomon’s closest aides which are very different from David’s mighty three or the thirty (2 Samuel 23).  We have the one who hears the LORD, son of he who is just (Azariah, son of Zadok); we have the friend of Jehovah (Ahijah); the LORD is judge (Jehoshaphat); made by the LORD (Benaiah); brother of song (Ahishar), along with the LORD most high (Adoniram).  These are but a few of the names of the eleven high officials.

Their roles are not that of war or conflict – their roles are purely administrative and useful in building up a kingdom rather than destroying another’s.  Note also the number of priests / prophets or relation to priesthood and prophethood mentioned also in these opening six verses: Azariah, Zadok, Abiathar, Azariah son of Nathan the prophet, and Zabud the priest, son of Nathan as well.  Such a peaceful Christocracy this is, befitting of the name Solomon, in contrast with Rehoboam who does not heed the counsel of the old and wise (1 Kings 12):

“The great officers of his court, in the choice of whom, no doubt, his wisdom much appeared. It is observable, 1. That several of them are the same that were in his father’s time. Zadok and Abiathar were then priests (2 Sam. xx. 25), so they were now; only then Abiathar had the precedency, now Zadok. Jehoshaphat was then recorder, or keeper of the great seal, so he was now. Benaiah, in his father’s time, was a principal man in military affairs, and so he was now. Shisha was his father’s scribe, and his sons were his, v. 3. Solomon, though a wise man, would not affect to be wiser than his father in this matter. When sons come to inherit their father’s wealth, honour, and power, it is a piece of respect to their memory, cæteris paribus—where it can properly be done, to employ those whom they employed, and trust those whom they trusted. Many pride themselves in being the reverse of their good parents. 2. The rest were priests’ sons. His prime-minister of state was Azariah the son of Zadok the priest. Two others of the first rank were the sons of Nathan the prophet, v. 5. In preferring them he testified the grateful respect he had for their good father, whom he loved in the name of a prophet.” – Matthew Henry

7Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, who provided food for the king and his household. Each man had to make provision for one month in the year. 8These were their names: Ben-hur, in(I) the hill country of Ephraim; 9Ben-deker, in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth-shemesh, and Elonbeth-hanan; 10Ben-hesed, in Arubboth (to him belonged Socoh and all the land of Hepher); 11Ben-abinadab, in all(J) Naphath-dor (he had Taphath the daughter of Solomon as his wife); 12Baana the son of Ahilud, in(K) Taanach, Megiddo, and all Beth-shean that is beside Zarethan below Jezreel, and from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah, as far as the other side of Jokmeam; 13Ben-geber,(L) in Ramoth-gilead (he had(M) the villages of Jair the son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead, and he had(N) the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, sixty great cities with walls and bronze bars); 14Ahinadab the son of Iddo, in Mahanaim; 15Ahimaaz, in Naphtali (he had taken Basemath the daughter of Solomon as his wife); 16Baana the son of Hushai, in Asher and Bealoth; 17Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in Issachar; 18(O) Shimei the son of Ela, in Benjamin; 19Geber the son of Uri, in the land of Gilead,(P) the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and of Og king of Bashan. And there was one governor who was over the land.

The government was not only led by the finest people from the line of priests and prophets, symbolizing the rest from Saul and David’s days of war (1 Samuel 14:52; 1 Chronicles 22:8) but it is also led by twelve officers who each provided for one month in the year (v.7) to Solomon’s household.  Note however the difference between these twelve officers compared to the eleven high officials.  We have the son of a viper (Ben-hur); a lancer (Ben-deker); a son of kindness (Ben-hesed); a son of nobleness (Ben-abinadab); a son of affliction (Baana); a brother of anger (Ahimaaz); not to mention the strong man Geber.  This is but a palette swap of such twelve officers in comparison with the eleven officials.  Note how they are of such stark contrast; the highest officials are not these mighty men (which could have been Solomon’s closest aides).  Instead, these mighty men, these twelve officers, are allocated the privilege to give life and food for the king and his household, each man responsible for one month in the year.  Note that each come from a variety of locations in Israel: from the house of the sun (Beth-shemesh) to the place of crowns (Megiddo); from the house of rest (Beth-shean) to the meadow of dance (Abel-meholah); from the fruitful land (Bashan) to Mahanaim, God’s camp (Genesis 32:2) – these are but a taste of the redeemed corners of Israel contributing to the greater differentiated but united imagery of Israel under one king.  Note how each of these locations had previously had their respective Canaanite ruler (c.f. v.19 – in the land of Gilead, the country of Sihon king of Amorites and Og king of Bashan) – and yet there was one governor who was over the land, instead of a variety of kings and rulers fighting against each other, in lieu of Moses defeating the king of Bashan at Edrei in Deuteronomy 1:4, who is one of the last representatives of the giant race of Rephaim, his rule extending over 60 cities (Joshua 13:12).  Yet, now, we have Geber as governor over the land which Bashan had once ruled in, no longer terrorizing the Israelites but his resources being subsumed into one of the twelve months of provisions for the family of the chosen king.  I note with interest that such life-giving responsibilities allocated to the twelve warrior-officers are themselves several “ben”’s:  the Hebrew word for “son”, indicative of heritage, the most sensitive word in the Hebrew culture denoting offspring and their forward looking faith to the firstborn son of the Father coming in the name of the Lamb (Genesis 22:2; John 1:29, 36).  Through the combined focus of the high priesthood in fulfillment of Exodus 19:6; and the sonship spoken of in Genesis 22, we have a combined picture of the Ben-adonai; of Ben-Yahweh; of Yahweh Himself, the Son of the Father, coming in the lineage of the high priesthood of Melchizedek – the combination of the picture of holiness (of the eleven high officials), and sustenance (of the twelve warrior-officers).

20Judah and Israel were as many(Q) as the sand by the sea. They ate and drank and were happy. 21[a](R) Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the(S) Euphrates to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt.(T) They brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life.

So finally, we see not only a fulfillment of the promise to Solomon’s request in v.22-34, but also a fulfillment of the centuries long promise made to Abraham in Genesis chapters 12, 15, 17 and 22 – v.20-21 is both historical and prophetic.  For we find that in Genesis chapter 22:18, the progressive revelation of Christ brings us to realize that it is through and in Abraham’s offspring that the prophecy is fulfilled – this offspring and the lamb that is to be slain on Moriah to be one and the same.  What magnificence and timing that Judah and Israel were as many as the sand by the sea under the reign of the peaceful one?  What has the grain offering and the Hebrew festivals (Leviticus 2 for grain offering; Feast of booths – Leviticus 23, a reminder of Israel being directed to dwell in booths when brought out of Egypt by Yahweh) served except for us to finally see that Israel no longer has to dwell in booths; no longer has to feed on manna; no longer has to live in foreign land or in the wilderness – but can now each have their own vine and fig tree.  They can now dwell in the land, which resembles that New Creation which He is preparing for us.  Is this not finally a fulfillment of this festival of the feast of booths in Deuteronomy 31:7-13, that they finally live in the land that the Israelites have gone over the Jordan to possess?   Such a grand Jubilee (Leviticus 25) points us towards this everlasting grain fellowship and meal with the true king (v.20; Exodus 24; Matthew 22; John 21) – and such is the genuine glory experienced by the church of Christ, provided by the true Melchizedek, king of Salem (peace) typified by Solomon (peaceful).

Not only did Solomon rule over all of Israel – but also over “all the kingdoms from the Euphrates to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt” – his reign overflowing from Israel outwards to non-Israelite land.  Is this not a physical image of the fulfillment also of the promise to Noah’s children (Genesis 9:27)?  A precursor to the greater fulfillment of the breaking down of the Israel-Gentile divide by enlarging the tent of David (Isaiah 54:2)?  What a beautiful picture of the centrality of renewed Israel, of the renewed kingdom, the service of Solomon pointing us to the service of Christ.  Though Solomon may have a limit to the days of his life (v.21) until corruption ensues under the headship of his son Rehoboam (1 Kings 12; reversal of peace with harshness of labour), the Christ’s kingdom shall be everlasting.

22Solomon’s provision for one day was thirty cors[b] of fine flour and sixty cors of meal, 23ten fat oxen, and twenty pasture-fed cattle, a hundred sheep, besides deer, gazelles, roebucks, and fattened fowl. 24For he had dominion over all the region west of the Euphrates from Tiphsah to(U) Gaza, over all the kings west of the Euphrates.(V) And he had peace on all sides around him. 25And Judah and Israel(W) lived in safety,(X) from Dan even to Beersheba,(Y) every man under his vine and under his fig tree, all the days of Solomon. 26(Z) Solomon also had 40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12,000 horsemen. 27And those officers supplied provisions for King Solomon, and for all who came to King Solomon’s table, each one in his month. They let nothing be lacking. 28Barley also and straw for the horses and(AA) swift steeds they brought to the place where it was required, each according to his duty.

Look further at how magnificent this fulfillment is – thirty cors of fine flour and sixty cors of meal, ten fat oxen, and twenty pasture fed cattle, a hundred sheep, besides deer, gazelles, roebucks, and fattened fowl (v.22-23).  What an incredible comparison between Israel now and the Israel even in its pre-Egypt days let alone Israel in the wilderness (Exodus 16) – and only one day is spoken of here! If this is but a shadow of the church in the wilderness today, is not the Day of Resurrection, the Day of Judgment, yet also the Day of the LORD for those who stand under the true king (1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Peter 3:12; 1 John 4:17)?

Yet, once again, peace and safety (v.24-25) are the constant refrain here.  Solomon’s dominion stretching from the west of the Euphrates, dominating even the fortified (Gaza) over all the kings west of the Euphrates (the northeast boundary of the promised land – Deuteronomy 11:24; Joshua 1:4), such safety defined by every man under his vine and fig tree; such displacement akin to the displacement of new creation (Psalm 37; 82:8; Galatians 4:30).  This is symbolic of the prophesy made in (Deuteronomy 8:8), an imagery often used throughout Scripture to denote blessing (2 Kings 18:31; Isaiah 36:16; Jeremiah 8:13; Zechariah 3:10).  However, such peace and safety only existed – “all the days of Solomon” (v.25), just like the LORD’s day (2 Peter 3:18; the eternal nature of the LORD’s day being repeated at least 12 times by the description “forever” in the book of Revelation).  Though “nothing be lacking”, and the Israelites did everything “according to his duty” (v.28), such a beautiful government of peace, safety, Solomon-centric dominion is constantly surrounding the fact that this is but a shadow and not everlasting.  For these things will only last in “all the days of Solomon”, which are sweet but short compared to the days of Adam to Abraham (Genesis 6:3; 11).

29(AB) And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind(AC) like the sand on the seashore, 30so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all(AD) the people of the east(AE) and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31For he was(AF) wiser than all other men, wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol, and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. 32(AG) He also spoke 3,000 proverbs,(AH) and his songs were 1,005. 33He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of fish. 34And people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from(AI) all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.

It is thus important to remember that this is God’s provision of wisdom to Solomon; it is God who revealed such things to Solomon – and it is simply because Solomon asked (1 Kings 3:9), not for his own glory but for the glory of the church.  Not for his own selfish personal and private spiritual growth, but for ruling God’s people, understanding that Solomon is but a steward of creation and the men of Israel, and not the people’s true King of kings.  The peculiar and odd notion that God withholds revelation from us is shattered in this very chapter.  It is by and through His Word, by His Logos, that this world was made (Colossians 1), that we can by His Wisdom and His Spirit speak of trees, beasts, birds, reptiles, fish (v.32-34).  To resign ourselves to simply proclaiming God’s wonder without specifying His wonder in the discernment that Solomon has is to be incapable of seeing the light from the darkness masquerading as light.  To resign ourselves to simply acknowledge God’s sovereignty without being able to see how the gospel is proclaimed in His handiwork through Christ (Psalm 8; 19) is to preach a religious theism, one of many theories of the world.  But Solomon’s wisdom brought people to his feet; this Wisdom brought kingship over the peoples of Canaan and even outside of Canaan; His Spirit brought spiritual and physical blessing, peace and safety, and knowledge (2 Peter 1).  This is far from the cling and clatter of tongues, healing, prophecy, teaching, preaching, evangelism; apostleship, prophethood, pasturing and teaching; (1 Corinthians 13; Ephesians 4:11) for through this shadow of Christ, only Jesus is the one who is filled with the Spirit without measure (Isaiah 11:2; John 3:34):

So, because Jesus of Nazareth was none other than the Son of God, the divine Son, who had assumed an unfallen human nature, he was able to, and had a right to, receive the Holy Spirit without measure.  The Baptism of the Holy Spirit was the official ceremony of anointing that made Jesus of Nazareth the Christ, as well as being the public recognition of who He was” – The Works of Thomas Goodwin, Volume 6 The Work of the Holy Ghost in our Salvation quoted in Paul Blackham’s thesis on “The Pneumatology of Thomas Goodwin”.

Do we therefore, as Christians who are given the same Third Person of the Trinity who dwells in our hearts and who fills us with wisdom if we so ask, preach such Godly truths so that people of all four corners of the earth may come to hear (v.34), whatever adamic tradition or culture or education or wisdom they may provide in their own regions?  Do we dwell under the banner of Solomon, “a type of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and hidden for use; for he is made of God to us wisdom” (Matthew Henry)?

1 Kings 4: The Age of Solomon

1 Kings 2: Peace established

1(A) When David’s time to die drew near, he commanded Solomon his son, saying, 2(B) “I am about to go the way of all the earth.(C) Be strong, and show yourself a man, 3and keep the charge of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses,(D) that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn, 4that the LORD may(E) establish his word that he spoke concerning me, saying,(F) ‘If your sons pay close attention to their way,(G) to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul,(H) you shall not lack[a] a man on the throne of Israel.’

We must not underplay the significance of the handover from David to Solomon, for it is in these very chapters that we see the handover of the typological government of David to the Christocracy of New Creation.  Note the language which opens this chapter in v.2-4, and its parallel to Joshua’s language to Israel upon the conquering of the lands of Canaan (Joshua 22).  These shadows time and time again remind us that the time of the law, as is often associated to Moses (v.3, Luke 2:22, 24:44; John 1:45; Acts 13:39, 15:5), is underlined by the gospel truth of salvation by Christ in the name of Joshua / Yeshua (from Hoshea, salvation, to Joshua / Yeshua, Jehovah is salvation – Numbers 13:16) – and finally passed on from the shadow to the nation Israel.  This is just as we are brought to see that the transition from Moses to Joshua is that of the church under the Israelite law to the church with the gospel boldly proclaimed, and from Joshua to the Israelites as that of David passing the baton to Solomon who represents the new kingdom under an age of rest (Joshua 21:43-45).

The reality of the situation is that v.4 seems conditional – but note the promise made to David in 2 Samuel 7 (the promise-centric nature of chapter 7, under the refrain “I will”, is repeated 9 times in v.9-27), not to mention the eventual demise of Israel as a nation scattered in Assyria and Babylon, and how Christ remained on the throne of Israel despite the royal lineage being effectively marred by four hundred years of silence (Amos 8:11). For this verse, though concerning the king, applies not solely in relation to the king but to the nation; and thus the line of David is not defined by the “visible kings” in the royal lineage, but in the remnant (Romans 9:27, 11:5) and engrafted branches to the vine, to the Christ.

5“Moreover, you also know what Joab the son of Zeruiah(I) did to me, how he dealt with the two commanders of the armies of Israel,(J) Abner the son of Ner,(K) and Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed, avenging[b] in time of peace for blood that had been shed in war, and putting the blood of war[c] on the belt around his[d] waist and on the sandals on his feet. 6Act therefore(L) according to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace. 7But deal loyally with the sons of(M) Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be(N) among those who eat at your table,(O) for with such loyalty[e] they met me when I fled from Absalom your brother. 8And there is also with you(P) Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a grievous curse on the day(Q) when I went to Mahanaim.(R) But when he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the LORD, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ 9Now therefore do not hold him guiltless,(S) for you are a wise man. You will know what you ought to do to him, and you shall(T) bring his gray head down with blood to Sheol.”

It is therefore important, in reading David’s final words to Solomon, to understand what is meant in the context of David’s messianic interpretation of the throne.  David knew that the house of the LORD could not be built by David’s bloody hands (1 Chronicles 22:8); he also knew that Solomon is not necessarily the Anointed One promised in 2 Samuel 7 (1 Chronicles 22 shows that Solomon will be able to establish the shadow of what is spoken of in 2 Samuel 7); but in handing over the kingdom to Solomon (from David the beloved to Solomon the peaceful) we can now see that the old age of corruption within the church is weeded out in the new age of the golden new creation under the new headship of David’s son (Revelation 21 – streets of gold; Matthew 3:12, Luke 3:17 – gathering of the wheat, and burning of the chaff).  That is why Joab and Shimei were not dealt with in David’s lifetime – since David was (eventually) made aware of their treachery as noted in these verses.  This weeding out specifies this son of Zeruiah who murdered the commander of both Israel and Judah, and Shimei this son of Benjamin from Bahurim who cursed David for his worthlessness (2 Samuel 16:5-8).  Note how Matthew Henry views the curse on the sinner spanning ages if undealt with: “His crime is remembered: He cursed me with a grievous curse; the more grievous because he insulted him when he was in misery and poured vinegar into his wounds. The Jews say that one thing which made this a grievous curse was that, besides all that is mentioned (2 Sam. xvi.), Shimei upbraided him with his descent from Ruth the Moabitess… His pardon is not forgotten. David owned he had sworn to him that he would not himself put him to death, because he seasonably submitted, and cried Peccavi—I have sinned, and he was not willing, especially at that juncture, to use the sword of public justice for the avenging of wrongs done to himself. But… His case, as it now stands, is left with Solomon, as one that knew what was fit to be done and would do as he found occasion. David intimates to him that his pardon was not designed to be perpetual, but only a reprieve for David’s life: “Hold him not guiltless; do not think him any true friend to thee or thy government, nor fit to be trusted. He has no less malice than he had then, though he has more sense to conceal it. He is still a debtor to the public justice for what he did then; and, though I promised him that I would not put him to death, I never promised that my successor should not. His turbulent spirit will soon give thee an occasion, which thou shouldst not fail to take, for the bringing of his hoary head to the grave with blood.” This proceeded not from personal revenge, but a prudent zeal for the honour of the government and the covenant God had made with his family, the contempt of which ought not to go unpunished. Even a hoary head, if a guilty and forfeited head, ought not to be any man’s protection from justice. The sinner, being a hundred years old, shall be accursed, Isa. lxv. 20.”

However, there is difference between the death of Shimei and the death of Joab; the former’s outright cursing at David’s house compared to Saul’s house is of no fake religiosity like that of Joab:

“I have two lessons I am anxious to teach at this time. The first is derived from the fact that Joab found no benefit of sanctuary even though he laid hold of the horns of the altar of God’s house, from which I gather this lesson—that outward ordinances will avail nothing. Before the living God, who is greater and wiser than Solomn, it will be of no avail to any man to lay hold upon the horns of the altar. But, secondly, there is an altar—a spiritual altar—whereof if a man do but lay hold upon the horns, and say, “Nay; but I will die here,” he shall never die; but he shall be safe against the sword of justice for ever; for the Lord has appointed an altar in the person of his own dear Son, Jesus Christ, where there shall be shelter for the very vilest of sinners if they do but come and lay hold thereon.” – Charles Spurgeon on 1 Kings 2

It is therefore a symbolic cleansing done by Solomon, that he should start his reign by first ensuring that there is no corrupted remnant left from the previous kingdom.  David did not actively cleanse, but Solomon the new king as the typological second coming of Christ represents the new creation kingdom, ridding Joab the murderer of Israel and Judah; the removal of Benjamin (Genesis 49:27; 1 Samuel 9), the old leaven under Saul’s kingdom typological of the visible but unbelieving church, both removals sandwiching the blessing to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite (2 Samuel 19 – Barzillai who had possibly died of old age).  What irony that men of righteousness are asleep in Christ and men of Satan have yet to have their gray heads brought down with blood to Sheol (v.9; Jeremiah 12:1).

10(U) Then David slept with his fathers and was buried in(V) the city of David. 11And the time that David reigned over Israel was(W) forty years. He reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 12(X) So Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established.

And so, David “was buried in the city of David, not in the burying place of his father, as Saul was, but in his own city, which he was the founder of. There were set the thrones, and there the tombs, of the house of David. Now David, after he had served his own generation, by the will of God, fell asleep, and was laid to his fathers, and saw corruption, Acts xiii. 36, and see Acts ii. 29. His epitaph may be taken from 2 Sam. xxiii. 1. Here lies David the son of Jesse, the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, adding his own words (Ps. xvi. 9), My flesh also shall rest in hope.” – Matthew Henry

Indeed, David’s flesh now lies corrupted – but his flesh shall rest in hope that the one whose flesh is not corrupted shall stand between the race of Adam as the second Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45).

13Then Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. And she said,(Y) “Do you come peacefully?” He said, “Peacefully.” 14Then he said, “I have something to say to you.” She said, “Speak.” 15He said, “You know that(Z) the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel fully expected me to reign. However, the kingdom has turned about and become my brother’s,(AA) for it was his from the LORD. 16And now I have one request to make of you; do not refuse me.” She said to him, “Speak.” 17And he said, “Please ask King Solomon—he will not refuse you—to give me(AB) Abishag the Shunammite as my wife.” 18Bathsheba said, “Very well; I will speak for you to the king.”

From David’s command in the previous verse, now note how Adonijah rises up to unite Joab and Abiathar in their implied rebellion against Solomon (v.22).  It is interesting how David has foreseen Joab and Shimei’s resistance, but the matters of Abiathar and Adonijah relate specifically to the usurping of Solomon and not David’s throne.  It is now clear that Adonijah’s actions by the end of chapter 1 are empty – and his word in v.13 to Bathsheba is also empty.  What a deceitful tongue, that he should claim that “the kingdom was mine”; that “all Israel fully expected [him] to reign” (v.15), only to concede that Solomon is the rightful king because of the LORD’s appointment.  Two points here – the kingdom was never Adonijah’s, for David was still called the king when Adonijah made public his self-enthronement (1 Kings 1:9-10); secondly, only Abiathar, Joab, and some of his men (1 Kings 1:24-27) expected Adonijah to reign.  The trumpet blast and rejoicing of the appointment of Solomon as king seems to be a thing neglected in Adonijah’s twisting of the historical facts.  Like the serpent, what right therefore does he have to make requests which cannot be refused (v.16)?  What right therefore does he demand from Solomon (v.17) anything at all when he is under the very grace and mercy of the LORD by his apparently penitent actions by holding the horns of the altar (1 Kings 1:49-53)?  He has no such right!  Therefore, how preposterous that he should ask for the most beautiful woman who had been obedient to David, serving David, acting as David’s female companion though David did not know her (1 Kings 1:4), but that Abishag should symbolically overtake Solomon by uniting with the woman specifically appointed to serve David?

19So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him on behalf of Adonijah. And the king rose to meet her and bowed down to her. Then he sat on his throne and had a seat brought for the king’s mother,(AC) and she sat on his right. 20Then she said, “I have one small request to make of you; do not refuse me.” And the king said to her, “Make your request, my mother, for I will not refuse you.” 21She said, “Let(AD) Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as his wife.” 22King Solomon answered his mother, “And why do you ask(AE) Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom also,(AF) for he is my older brother, and on his side(AG) are Abiathar[f] the priest and Joab the son of Zeruiah.” 23Then King Solomon swore by the LORD, saying,(AH) “God do so to me and more also if this word does not cost Adonijah his life! 24Now therefore(AI) as the LORD lives, who has established me and placed me on the throne of David my father, and who has made me a house,(AJ) as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death today.” 25So King Solomon sent(AK) Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he struck him down, and he died.

It is significant to see that this request came from Bathsheba, who seems unaware of Adonijah’s pretenses, just as Eve was unaware of the serpent’s twisting of God’s word and history.  Yet, unlike Adam who had stood by and let the serpent speak, Solomon immediately responds in his role as the appointed king and as “a wise man” (v.9) and discerns clearly the motivations of Adonijah.  Unlike Adam who had caused the kingdom of the garden of Eden and the rest of creation to fall (Genesis 1:28-30), Solomon stood firm and followed the principle of David’s final words in leading a truly new creation kingdom, ruling by wisdom (c.f. 1 Kings 3).  It is thus fitting that the new commander Benaiah, one of the thirty of David in 2 Samuel 23, shall take the reins in establishing (v.24 – Hebrew for “setting up, preparing”) the kingdom of Solomon.

It is on this catalyst that Solomon immediately acts – and the remaining verses of this chapter are a testament of the work which David did not do but which Solomon has now been appointed to execute:

“Tamar’s father.  Israel’s king.  What would he do to protect his beautiful princess?  Verse 20:

When King David heard all this, he was furious.

Good.  He ought to have been.  But verse 20 should not stop there.  We should read about David’s righteous anger leading to action.  Here is the king.  Here is her dad.  He ought to have gone to his daughter and spoken words of comfort.  He ought to have done all he could to restore her dignity and her reputation.  He ought to have brought Amnon to account.  Tamar was right, such things should not happen in Israel.  So what is the king going to do about this?  David does nothing.  And the kingdom spirals down into greater and greater chaos.  Because David does nothing, Absalom takes matters into his own hands.  He kills the heir to the throne and then, as Absalom goes on the run he becomes a contender for the crown.  If David had only acted here in chapter 13, then the turbulence and blood-shed of the next 5 chapters would not have happened.  But David, the Almighty King, simply wrings his hands.  His daughter and his kingdom needed him to act but he does nothing.” – Glen Scrivener on 2 Samuel 13

Though David had neglected Tamar despite his fury, what of the death of Asahel by Abner; death of Abner by Joab and Abishai, and the death of Amasa (2 Samuel 2:23; 3:30; 20:10-12) – under David’s very nose are these corruptions occurring but under Solomon’s kingdom does true peace and safety reign.

First, the removal of the house of Eli as prophesied in 1 Samuel 3:10-14:

26And to Abiathar the priest the king said, “Go to(AL) Anathoth, to your estate, for you deserve death. But I will not at this time put you to death,(AM) because you carried the ark of the Lord GOD before David my father,(AN) and because you shared in all my father’s affliction.” 27(AO) So Solomon expelled Abiathar from being priest to the LORD, thus fulfilling(AP) the word of the LORD that he had spoken concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.

Though Abiathar’s life is spared, the house of Eli is now replaced by Zadok (v.35) though the true priesthood still remains with the house of Melchizedek as Zadok is but a shadow of that priestly lineage.

Then comes the removal of Joab in v.28-35, the murderer of the commanders of Israel and Judah , Abner and Amasa, respectively.  Note in particular v.30-33:

30So Benaiah came to the tent of the LORD and said to him, “The king commands, ‘Come out.'” But he said, “No, I will die here.” Then Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, “Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me.” 31The king replied to him,(AT) “Do as he has said, strike him down and bury him,(AU) and thus take away from me and from my father’s house the guilt for the blood that Joab shed without cause. 32The LORD will(AV) bring back his bloody deeds on his own head, because, without the knowledge of my father David, he attacked and killed with the sword two men(AW) more righteous and better than himself,(AX) Abner the son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and(AY) Amasa the son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah. 33(AZ) So shall their blood come back on the head of Joab and on the head of his descendants forever. But for David and for his descendants and for his house and for his throne there shall be peace from the LORD forevermore.””

It appears that David would otherwise have been held accountable for Joab’s sin, being the king of the nation he is vicariously liable for Joab’s treachery.  Is this not the Hebraic understanding of the king’s propitiation of God’s wrath on his people by standing as the responsible head and mediator of his people (corporate sin in Leviticus 4:13-21; Judges 9)?  Yet, Solomon establishes that David and himself did not approve of such heresy within the Israelite church, and that the LORD himself will be the true Person separating the wheat from the chaff, symbolically resolved in the very tent of God (Exodus 29:37 – whatever touches the altar shall become holy; yet the irony falls on Joab’s guilty status) as Joab, like Adonijah, hid in their overt religiosity and cultural identity as God’s people – but failed to be known and to know God Himself.  Where Joab’s blood shall go down with him to Sheol, so also our Christ stands on our behalf as the true offering at the altar when He was subject to the Father’s wrath because of his vicarious embodiment of our sins as the true King of Israel.  Joab shall not benefit from this propitiation of the Father’s wrath found in the Christ, the same demise of those who stand in the church and hold on to the altar and sacraments but do not stand under the true object of faith which these shadows point towards.

And so, the removal of Abiathar and Joab (father of abundance and Jehovah is his father), two Israelites who are so aptly named and poised to be great Christian saints reminds us of the hollow meaning of such names when they are instead replaced by the righteous Zadok and Benaiah (righteous and built up by Jehovah) respectively:

35(BA) The king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada over the army in place of Joab, and the king put(BB) Zadok the priest(BC) in the place of Abiathar.

Finally, to fulfil David’s final words, Shimei is dealt with in the remaining verses 36-46 under the renewed government established by Solomon by the priesthood of Zadok and the army of Benaiah:

36Then the king sent and summoned(BD) Shimei and said to him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and dwell there, and do not go out from there to any place whatever. 37For on the day you go out and cross(BE) the brook Kidron, know for certain that you shall die.(BF) Your blood shall be on your own head.” 38And Shimei said to the king, “What you say is good; as my lord the king has said, so will your servant do.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem many days.

Note the refrain: “Your blood shall be on your own head” (v.37), the subject earlier touched upon with regards to Joab’s blood being on his own head as well (1 Kings 2:9).  Like Adonijah, Abiathar and Joab, Shimei is subject to their own actions and their own sins causing their own demise.  Either the blood is on the head of David or Solomon, the chapter being rich of imagery of such propitiation of the Father’s wrath should a king stand as the mediator; or the blood is on the head of those who stand not under David nor Solomon.  Yet, in Shimei’s loose oath (v.42-43), we see a man who does not take the LORD’s commandment with seriousness; made an oath to keep Solomon at bay rather than realize the implications of such covenant made (2 Samuel 21:7).  Solomon’s reason therefore of removing Shimei is the same reason which David explained to Solomon – that this cursing towards David in 2 Samuel is but one of the several symptoms of Shimei’s hard heart, similarly portrayed here in his failure to keep this oath and indirectly cursing God’s commandment.  Like the LORD who commanded Adam not to eat from the tree of good and evil lest mankind dies, so also Shimei in his old adamic flesh and spirit ignores this command, though it is acknowledged that Solomon’s command is good (v.38).  It is thus fitting that should Shimei re-enact David’s expulsion from Israel that he himself is pronouncing his self-expulsion (2 Samuel 15:23), not to mention that the brook Kidron represents death, decay and rejection (1 Kings 15:13, 23:12; 1 Chronicles 15:16, 29:16, 30:14; Jeremiah 31:40)

So, the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon finally (v.46), this word “established” repeated throughout this chapter, reminding us of these bloody acts as preparation, as part of the erecting and fitting of Solomon’s kingdom of Salem (peace – Genesis 14:18; Psalms 76:2; Hebrews 7:1-2).

1 Kings 2: Peace established

1 Kings 1: Jesus, King above Solomon

It is easy to presume that 1 and 2 Samuel are but a precursor to the great reign of the kings of Israel.  In some sense, there is truth to that presumption – we have first seen the kings of the world in (Genesis 14); these enraged madmen fighting each other, only to be easily defeated by the Spirit-filled Abraham.  Where the kings fought for land (Genesis 14:18-22) and lordship, Abraham fought to save his nephew Lot.  Such is the love of the Christ who would fight for the one sheep (Luke 15:4-6).  Such is the love of the anointed one who would reclaim the dead bones from the enemy’s bondage (1 Samuel 31:13) to give it a new lease.  A new life (2 Samuel 21:12-14).

Yet, 2 Samuel did not end with a victorious bang of man’s triumph over sin.  It is quite the opposite – much like the first time the Satan appeared in the story of creation, Satan re-appears for the first time in the narration of the story (though referenced by 1 Chronicles 21:1) to tempt the anointed king to number the physical church.  This mandate is so disgusting that even Joab, the murderous army general, thought it to be repulsive.  Yet, the LORD had used this opportunity to display the greater gospel, the flesh and body of Whom David was a mere shadow of.  The Angel of the LORD, who stood by the burnt offering, in the very place of Moriah (2 Chronicles 3:1), where the same Angel, Sent One of the Father, would Himself be sacrificed for the sins of mankind.

With 2 Samuel ending with the failure of king David, the inevitable enthronement of Solomon (the oath between Bathsheba and Solomon never mentioned throughout 2 Samuel) is shrouded with mystery.  Is this boy the one who will secure the Kingdom of David eternally (2 Samuel 7)?  Though the Israelites would like to believe so, it is the end of 2 Samuel which has already dictated that this Adam is not to be the true inheritor of the kingdom of heaven, just as the first Adam in the garden was made of dust outside of the heavenly garden.  Solomon, like the rest of the kings in 1 and 2 Kings, are but continuing the baton of the Light, until the Light of the World enters darkness upon the Father’s speech (Genesis 1:3 – “Let there be light” – light was not created) and order is brought to a chaotic world ruled by corrupt kings, hypocritical Pharisees, fallen government, sexual orgies, what have you.

And the weakness of Adam is not only displayed at the end of 2 Samuel, but immediately in 1 Kings 1 – David is old and advanced in age.  He is not the same young shepherd boy who defeated Goliath with a smooth stone.  He is not the same man who had led the mighty thirty.  Instead, we see a faint picture of a return to the garden – the weakness of man in covering oneself up with man-made garment, failing entirely to keep the body warm.  Only Jesus, the Second Person who walked with Adam (Genesis 3:8) in the garden, could provide the animal skin.  And thus, the first death in creation was not Abel, as sometimes improperly chronicled by commentators.  Rather, the first death is the innocent animal, the robe of righteousness over Adam (Isaiah 61).  The mysterious Abishag (“given to error / ignorance of the father”), never again mentioned in Scripture, who is a Shunammite, from the tribe of Issachar (Joshua 13:18) – she is the beautiful woman who can give David warmth.  Yet, simultaneous to David’s weakness in being cloaked by the beautiful flesh; simultaneous to the Fatherly love towards Adam in cloaking him with the beautiful animal garment compared to the filthy man-made rags, is the very fact that both Adam and David have fallen.  Where Adam fell by submitting to the serpent, David here is simply marred by the consequence of Adam’s sin as he nears the very death that Adam had caused.  So the enemy moves like a ravenous wolf (Matthew 7:15), like a prowling lion (1 Peter 5:8), waiting to usurp the Father’s throne.

Is this not the very behaviour of Adonijah (“my Lord is Jehovah”), the son of Haggith (“festive” – 2 Samuel 3:4, a wife of David), bearing such charm like Absalom (2 Samuel 15:13) and appealing to both Joab and Abiathar (who had once aided David in his escape in 1 Samuel 22, bearing the ark of God back to Jerusalem alongside Zadok in 2 Samuel 15:29-36)?  Like Amnon (2 Samuel 13), “…his father had never at any time displeased him…”.  Just like Adam, David had inherited the first man’s sin of silence when his wife listened to the serpent.

5Now(B) Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I will be king.”(C) And he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. 6His father had never at any time displeased him by asking, “Why have you done thus and so?” He was also a very handsome man,(D) and he was born next after Absalom. 7He conferred with(E) Joab the son of Zeruiah and with(F) Abiathar the priest. And they followed Adonijah and helped him. 8But(G) Zadok the priest and(H) Benaiah the son of Jehoiada and(I) Nathan the prophet and(J) Shimei and Rei and(K) David’s mighty men were not with Adonijah.

9Adonijah sacrificed sheep, oxen, and fattened cattle by the Serpent’s Stone, which is beside(L) En-rogel, and he invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the royal officials of Judah, 10but he did not invite Nathan the prophet or Benaiah or the mighty men or(M) Solomon his brother.

Is this therefore not the classic case of pretence in religion?  That Adonijah should choose the one mighty man not in the ranks of the thirty; one of the two renowned priests who had stood alongside David (2 Samuel 15-19); and chose to invite all the other brothers of David’s lineage and all the royal officials of Judah?  These are all choice men, men of honour, men of influence, great men who can aid Adonijah rise to high places (Luke 6:35, 14:12); but it is the prophet Nathan who rebuked David (2 Samuel 12); it is Zadok the priest and Benaiah who carried the ark and was one of the mighty three respectively (2 Samuel 15, 23); and it is Shimei  (likely to be one of the twelve officers of Solomon in 1 Kings 4:18) and Rei (v.8 – one who was never mentioned again in Scripture but was named explicitly in this chapter simply for his allegiance to David just as we are named for we stand under the banner of Christ) and David’s mighty men who belonged to the caliber of men who would lay their lives before the LORD to retrieve water for David (2 Samuel 23).

Following this, we see the underlying Trinitarian mediation at play – from Bathsheba standing as the witness between David and Solomon, to Nathan, standing between Bathsheba and David in confirming her words that Solomon is the chosen oath.  He is part of Christ’s election, promised by David to Bathsheba and confirmed by Nathan – the importance lying in the fact that Solomon is not David’s explicit choice after 2 Samuel 7, enabling the reader and hearer of this chapter to understand that David saw beyond Solomon.

Notice how in verse 14 that Nathan encourages Bathsheba to first speak, then Nathan enters (v.22) to confirm Bathsheba’s words.  Notice how v.16-21 (Bathsheba’s words) are almost exactly mirrored by Nathan’s words in v.22-27; the latter adding extra details, such as the inclusion of the “commanders” of the army (where Bathsheba spoke only of Joab, the one commander who was invited); and secondly v.25b-27: “And behold, they are eating and drinking before him, and saying,(V) ‘Long live King Adonijah!’ 26(W) But me, your servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon he has not invited.”  Such is the manner of witness and of revelation, that truth is brought as light into darkness just as the Son’s witness is the Spirit before the heavenly Father, as we see Bathsheba’s witness as the prophet Nathan before the great king.  Notice how, throughout this chapter (at least five times the phrase “King David”, not to mention the numerous times David is simply referred to as king despite Adonijah’s “kingship”) David is still referred to as “King” – as is to denote strongly that Adonijah’s self-exaltation, enthronement and celebration is ridiculed by the narration.  David is still King.  Not Adonjiah.  Therefore this appeal is made even more powerful, as Adonijah appeals to his religious exterior and pretence, but Bathsheba and Nathan appeal to the true king and shadow of Christ whose reason to honour his oath is because of the LORD (v.29-30):

28Then King David answered, “Call Bathsheba to me.” So she came into the king’s presence and stood before the king. 29And the king swore, saying,(X) “As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my soul out of every adversity, 30(Y) as I swore to you by the LORD, the God of Israel, saying, ‘Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place,’ even so will I do this day.” 31Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the ground and paid homage to the king and said,(Z) “May my lord King David live forever!”

32King David said, “Call to me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada.” So they came before the king. 33And the king said to them, “Take with you(AA) the servants of your lord and have Solomon my son ride on my own mule, and bring him down to(AB) Gihon. 34And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet there(AC) anoint him king over Israel.(AD) Then blow the trumpet and say,(AE) ‘Long live King Solomon!’ 35You shall then come up after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne, for he shall be king in my place. And I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah.” 36And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, “Amen! May the LORD, the God of my lord the king, say so. 37(AF) As the LORD has been with my lord the king, even so may he be with Solomon,(AG) and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David.”

Note David’s command to the servants who have not defected to Adonijah’s camp – “Take with you the servants of your lord” (v.33).  His first command is immediately mingled with an implication of faithfulness.  Who is their “lord” but David?  Who is the LORD of lords but Yahweh (v.37; Deuteronomy 10:17; Psalm 136:3; 1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14, 19:16).  Who are the servants but Cherethites and Pelethites (“executioners” and “couriers” from foreign land – 1 Samuel 30:14; 2 Samuel 15:18; Ezekiel 25:16; Zephaniah 2:5)?  The second command is then in relation to Solomon’s enthronement and anointing by way of the mule (Matthew 21), and bringing him down to Gihon, the valley of grace and one of the rivers flowing out of the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:13) – a powerful image of not only Solomon’s anointing, but also of victorious works (in relation to Hezekiah and the Fish Gate – 2 Chronicles 32:30, 33:14), as well as it being the only natural spring of water in the vicinity of Jerusalem as it feeds the Pool of Siloam (John 9:7).  In this pool of healing, we now begin to see the healing of the nation by the leadership of Solomon one of whose first acts as king is the marriage alliance with Egypt.  This is reminiscent of Gishon as a river in the Ethiopian regions of Cush, reminding us of the Israel-Gentile relationship.

Such is the foundational difference between Solomon being made the heir of David’s throne, as opposed to Adonijah’s enthronement which is not surrounded by the humility of the passage by mule; nor by the Spirit-anointing (Hebrews 1:9; Psalm 89:20; 1 John 2:27); nor by the trumpet blowing reminiscent of the trumpet blowing of the opening of the year (Leviticus 23:24, the seventh month, the month of Tishri, being the first month of the year being the day of trumpets) and LORD’s return (Revelation 11:15).  This is the grand picture of the true enthronement of our LORD Jesus, who by the trumpet blast enters into our world victoriously when creation is riddled with faux-kings (Genesis 14) and a faux Baal (Matthew 4:9), shattering the delusion created by the false angel (2 Corinthians 11:14).  Just as Solomon is anointed as king by both priest and prophet as confirmatory witnesses to Solomon’s new lordship, so also it is by the Levitical priesthood and prophethood established in pre-Israel days (Genesis 14:18; Exodus 2:16; Genesis 20:7; Exodus 7:1) which precedes and underlines the qualification of true lordship, for Christ is not only LORD but also prophet and priest (John 7:40; Hebrews 5:6) before He is proclaimed as LORD of all creation (Hebrews 1:13, 10:13).

38So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada,(AH) and the Cherethites and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon ride on King David’s mule and brought him to Gihon. 39There Zadok the priest took the horn of(AI) oil from the tent and(AJ) anointed Solomon.(AK) Then they blew the trumpet, and all the people said,(AL) “Long live King Solomon!” 40And all the people went up after him, playing on pipes, and rejoicing with great joy, so that the earth was split by their noise.

Contrast v.40 with v.41 – where there was true joy in the anointing of Solomon, the one appointed by God, we also see a rejoicing at the feasting table of Adonjiah.  However, such feasting has no foundation, just as the feasting of those mighty men of Nimrod in the days of Noah (Genesis 10) were not scenes of Christocentric joy.  This juxtaposition of v.40 and 41 is therefore very poignant in pointing out the eternal gladness of Solomon’s kingship in comparison to the temporary man-made gladness stemming not from God’s election, but from man’s religious self-election.  Joab’s ignorance is akin to the ignorance of the men who scoffed at Noah (Genesis 7; 2 Peter 2:13) – “What does this uproar in the city mean”? (v.41), suggesting that these men of Adonijah neither knew nor served the true king.  “This is the noise that you have heard” (or “voice” which is a better description, the same “voice” of God in Genesis 3:8) – what a clanging stumbling block of a noise in Joab’s ears, that he should receive the true king like a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5)!

It comes therefore as no surprise that the chapter ends triumphantly, a picture of rejoicing shattering the false image of v.41 with the delusion revealed in v.49.  “…all the guests… trembled and rose, and each went his own way”.  What a prototypical picture of the day of Christ’s return! (Revelation 6:16-17)  That even Adonijah, in the midst of his fear, would go to the horns of the altar (Exodus 30:10 – where the High Priest shall make atonement on its horns once a year as most holy sin offering throughout the generations), and appeal to King Solomon by first going to the altar of sacrifice where Christ’s blood would lay.  And just is the response of Solomon, upon hearing that Adonijah has laid hold of the altar’s horns (v.51) – that he shall prove he does not hold onto Christ emptily, but that he will prove it by his good works (1 John 3; James 2:14).

1 Kings 1: Jesus, King above Solomon

2 Samuel 22: The LORD of David’s song

Let us now turn to David’s song of praise in chapter 22.  This song is uncanny in the sense of its difference from his final words in chapter 23 – the key distinguishing factor is that this song is very much a historical account of God’s redemptive tale, not merely of David’s life, but an account of what has happened from Genesis up to 2 Samuel 21.  Though David speaks in first person, many of the details cannot be directly applied to David’s life, especially if we were to look at his debacles in 2 Samuel compared to 1 Samuel.

However, it is more appropriate to look at David’s words in chapter 23 in light of his whole life, compared to his song here.  The chronology of this song seems to be firmly placed between the two books: v.1 indicates that David spoke these words “on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul” (1 Samuel 20:16; 25:21-23).  The placement of Saul at the end of v.1 implies that Saul was the last persecutor before David’s song of praise.

2Sa 22:1-51  And David spoke to the LORD the words of this song on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.  (2)  He said, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,  (3)  my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence.  (4)  I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

What a mighty man David is – and we are first introduced to him as a humble shepherd boy (1 Samuel 16:11), who elected Himself to be Israel’s mediator (1 Samuel 17), and thereafter become the rejected champion of the worthless men (1 Samuel 30:22), though loved by Jonathan the heir to Israel’s throne (1 Samuel 20:16), and his life uniting both the Israelites and the Gentiles under the banner of David.  This is the David who looked not to his own glory, but understood the redemptive plan which worked through him by Him – the LORD who is his Rock and his Deliverer.  Is this “rock” the man David?  Is this “rock” Peter (Matthew 16:18), the first man of the Catholic apostolic succession?  No – this Rock is Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4).  David’s object of worship is the Son of God, the Rock on whom we build our foundation and drink the Spiritual waters, (Exodus 17:6).

Yet, when we come to v.5, we begin to see that David is musing on events which he did not himself witness, but God’s redemptive acts prior to David’s life so popularly preached through the ages:

(5)  “For the waves of death encompassed me, the torrents of destruction assailed me;  (6)  the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me.  (7)  “In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I called. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry came to his ears.  (8)  “Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations of the heavens trembled and quaked, because he was angry.  (9)  Smoke went up from his nostrils, and devouring fire from his mouth; glowing coals flamed forth from him.  (10)  He bowed the heavens and came down; thick darkness was under his feet.  (11)  He rode on a cherub and flew; he was seen on the wings of the wind.  (12)  He made darkness around him his canopy, thick clouds, a gathering of water.  (13)  Out of the brightness before him coals of fire flamed forth.  (14)  The LORD thundered from heaven, and the Most High uttered his voice.  (15)  And he sent out arrows and scattered them; lightning, and routed them.  (16)  Then the channels of the sea were seen; the foundations of the world were laid bare, at the rebuke of the LORD, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.  (17)  “He sent from on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters.  (18)  He rescued me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.  (19)  They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the LORD was my support.  (20)  He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.

V.5-20 clearly are prophetic words in relation to Christ on the cross – these are words which Christ speaks and which no other man can speak (Psalms 18:5-11; 30:3; Acts 2:25-28).  Can David literally say that the cords of Sheol entangled him?  No – though poetically yes.  Yet, it is the habit of the New Testament Christians to look back on David’s psalms (Peter’s sermon in Acts 2) and interpret them knowing that David wrote concerning Christ.  Can David say that the Father heard David’s voice from the temple and caused earthquakes and the routing lightning?  But Christ can indeed say so (Matthew 17:24, 27:54; Luke 24:27).

David then mixes in the imagery of the LORD’s salvation of Israel through Moses in Moses’ definitive life as the “one drawn from the waters” (v.17), the one who is saved (Mosheh, מֹשֶׁה, meaning drawn out of or saved from (the water)).  V.16 is more appropriate in describing the travel through the Red Sea, for it is there that the Holy Spirit (Exodus 14:21) which revealed the bottom of the sea, and “the foundations of the world were laid bare, at the rebuke of the LORD” (Matthew 8:26).  Such a rebuke that the Israelites walked through it, following the Rock, and were baptized (1 Corinthians 10); but the Egyptians instead became the subject of the rebuke as they had no Rock to be their refuge and shelter.  And why did the LORD rescue David?  “Because he delighted in me” (v.20).  Such words make so much more sense in light of the Christ, whom the Father loved at the foundation of the world (John 17:24).  All the Father’s love poured out on the Son, that we must stand in Him to receive the Father’s delight.  That we must stand upon the Rock to be delighted by – and not to seek his delight through our works, our sacrifice, our pain, and our gain.  David had much to boast – but he chose to boast in Christ Jesus; he chose to revel in the LORD who parted the waters, the LORD who brought His anointed one out of the tangles of Sheol, the LORD who brought Israel through baptism into new life.

(21)  “The LORD dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.  (22)  For I have kept the ways of the LORD and have not wickedly departed from my God.  (23)  For all his rules were before me, and from his statutes I did not turn aside.  (24)  I was blameless before him, and I kept myself from guilt.  (25)  And the LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in his sight.  (26)  “With the merciful you show yourself merciful; with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;  (27)  with the purified you deal purely, and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.  (28)  You save a humble people, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them down.  (29)  For you are my lamp, O LORD, and my God lightens my darkness.  (30)  For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.  (31)  This God–his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.  (32)  “For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?

And v.21-22 is very apparent in displaying David’s focus in the praise song.  Is David inadvertedly praising himself?  Has he truly kept the ways of the LORD and has not wickedly departed from His God?  What of (1 Samuel 22:11-19)?  Yet, indeed, until David’s fall in 2 Samuel, he had loved the LORD and followed His mandates closely – until v.28 we cannot have a clear-cut definition of what this ‘cleanness’ and ‘righteousness’ might mean.  This cleanness and righteousness is identified with the humble who are saved; furthermore, this cleanness and righteousness is brought about by the One who is our lamp, by Whom we can run against a troop, by Whom we can leap over a wall (v.30).  So v.21-22 turns into a praise song, because it is this God, whose “way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him”.  Indeed – the LORD is the truly righteous, truly perfect, truly blameless one – and he looks on David with favour, the David who walks in Christ’s path.  V.32 immediately negates any misinterpretations of self-righteousness – rather, David looks vicariously through his righteousness to truly give thanks to the LORD who is the foundation of David’s refuge and strength throughout 1 Samuel.  He has made David’s way blameless (v.33).  He has declared David righteous:

(33)  This God is my strong refuge and has made my way blameless.  (34)  He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights.  (35)  He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.  (36)  You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your gentleness made me great.  (37)  You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip;  (38)  I pursued my enemies and destroyed them, and did not turn back until they were consumed.  (39)  I consumed them; I thrust them through, so that they did not rise; they fell under my feet.  (40)  For you equipped me with strength for the battle; you made those who rise against me sink under me.  (41)  You made my enemies turn their backs to me, those who hated me, and I destroyed them.  (42)  They looked, but there was none to save; they cried to the LORD, but he did not answer them.  (43)  I beat them fine as the dust of the earth; I crushed them and stamped them down like the mire of the streets.  (44)  “You delivered me from strife with my people; you kept me as the head of the nations; people whom I had not known served me.  (45)  Foreigners came cringing to me; as soon as they heard of me, they obeyed me.  (46)  Foreigners lost heart and came trembling out of their fortresses.  (47)  “The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation,  (48)  the God who gave me vengeance and brought down peoples under me,  (49)  who brought me out from my enemies; you exalted me above those who rose against me; you delivered me from men of violence.  (50)  “For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations, and sing praises to your name.  (51)  Great salvation he brings to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his offspring forever.”

After reading these words of praise, can we divorce them from the true Christ, the true anointed, the object and cause of the everlasting existence of the house of Israel through David’s bloodline?  Even David acknowledges this in the final verse of his song: “Great salvation he brings to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his offspring forever”.  Though this applies to David, who is the king of Israel; who is the first anointed one; yet the blessing is to extend to his offspring forever.  These words may apply to David – but he is but formed, like us, in the image of God.  Yet, it is Christ who is the true image (Colossians 1:15; Romans 8) of the Father.  He is the true alpha and the omega (Revelation 1:8; 22:13) of the Father’s Anointing; He is the alpha and omega of the Father’s election (Isaiah 42; Genesis 3:16; Revelation 13:8; John 17); and He is the alpha and omega of the One who was thrown into Sheol; who was resurrected from the waters of judgment; who stood tall as the true king of the Jews (Matthew 27:37) and that all nations are but his footstool (Psalm 110:1; Hebrews 1:13).  For though David spoke of his life, it is more accurately the lives of the saints – but most predominantly, and prophetically, he speaks of the life of the one who is anointed and chosen to inherit the everlasting kingdom of Israel (2 Samuel 7).

2 Samuel 22: The LORD of David’s song

2 Samuel 8: Firstfruit of Victory

After the important prophecy about the Messiah in chapter 7, what follows after is understandably prophetic in its own sense as well.  The Israelites reading 2 Samuel after their expulsion to Assyria and Babylon will undoubtedly refer to the promises made to David concerning the everlasting kingdom of his offspring, and with bittersweet flavour will they turn to chapter 8, seeing the victories achieved by King David as firstfruit of what their Messiah Son of God would do on Israel’s behalf.  What judge, and what man has single-handedly, under his headship, led the defeat of several of the enemies of God’s people within one chapter besides a taster by Abraham (Genesis 14)?  The systematic dispatching of the Philistines (v.1) from whom David received Metheg-ammah, a ‘bit of the metropolis’, a bit of the city dedicated to new creation; the Moabites (v.2) by whom he follows the tradition of the measuring line, this line being a type of Christ deciding who is to dwell in the city of Jerusalem and who is beyond the “one full line” (v.2) and put to death (c.f. 2 Kings 21:10-15; Jeremiah 31:38-40; Lamentations 2:8; Ezekiel 47:1-6; Amos 7:17; Zechariah 1-2) with the remaining Moabites being received into the nation Israel; the defeat of the Hadad-worshipper Hadadezer (c.f. Genesis 36:35) so that David may prevent his restoration at the river Euphrates so commonly associated to destruction, this river of Babylon (by its other name, Perat in Genesis 2:14; c.f. 2 Kings 23:29; Jeremiah 2:18, 51:63; Revelations 9:14, 16:12) being the associated source of evil as opposed to the rivers of life; and with what great judgment David enacted (v.4) that even the supporting pagan nations are similarly destroyed – the people and its resources (v.5-6).

And so this is the effect of the new king, that he shall inherit the gold, silver and bronze (taken even from the secure hands of Betah and the mighty ‘god’ Hadad in the cities of Hadadezer v.8) on our behalf from surrounding nations (Matthew 5:5) – the amazing defeat of Edom (Genesis 36), Moab (Genesis 19:37), Ammonites (Genesis 19:38), Philistines (Genesis 10:14), Amalek (Genesis 36:12-16), Hadadezer – all symbolic enemies of God throughout the previous books of the Old Testament, all from the root of the sinful line of Adam, either removed from power or restored under the headship of the Israelite King (c.f. Moab and Edom restored as servants of Israel v.2 and v.14) not because of David’s innate strength, but because of what the LORD had promised to effect through David (v.14) as a foreshadow of his Offspring.  The witnessing of this priesthood of all nations (Exodus 19:6) is not merely in the form of war, but also in the form of diplomacy, that Toi king of Hamath shall acknowledge his subservience to King David (v.10-11) by paying tribute indirectly provided to the LORD.  It is in Toi that we see ourselves typified: in the wandering Toi once king of our own fortresses (Hamath) we have been attacked by the pagan nation of Hadadezer and true victory is achieved on our behalf through King David, our tribute, sacrificial response and offering provided through David (v.11) by the hands of Joram (“Jehovah is exalted“), so that the household of Toi and his aptly named son would both be grateful worshippers of Yahweh through David their mediator.

As the Israelites read this, their anticipation should be ever more expectant of an even greater king who will not only provide gold, silver and bronze before the LORD and subdue surrounding nations under the one true God – the king on the throne of the everlasting kingdom is to do even greater things than what is listed out in this chapter!

Yet, the key thing about David’s victories is not the gold, silver or bronze; it is not even about the mere subduing of nations, taking away of their idols, or making them Israel’s servants.  It is primarily about worship; about purifying the land; about new creation in replacement of old creation – new wine and new wineskin (Matthew 9:17).  What better way than to begin with the list of David’s list of officials, all men whose honour comes from the Lord God?  Joab (Jehovah is father); Jehoshaphat (Jehovah judged); Zadok (righteous); Ahimelech (brother of the king); Seraiah (Jehovah is ruler); Benaiah (Jehovah has built); and finally David’s sons, the centre of all attention in lieu of chapter 7, were priests, a foreshadowing of the kingly-priest Messiah.

2 Samuel 8: Firstfruit of Victory

2 Samuel 6: Naked before the Father

In a short number of chapters (since 1 Samuel 22:2), David has accumulated thirty thousand chosen men of Israel from the curiously named lords of Judah, Baale-judah, to finally retrieve the ark of covenant on which the LORD of hosts, the Father and First Person of the Trinity sits enthroned (v.2).  Here we must remember that the ark has been neglected during the reign of Saul, since 1 Samuel 7.

Yet, in the midst of merry worship (v.5-8) is a horrifying scene of Uzzah’s death.  In spite of the new cart (v.3) which carried the ark, the stumbling of the oxen meant that the foundation of the cart was unstable.  Yet, Uzzah’s sin did not merely manifest upon the touching of the ark as traditionally interpreted as God’s holy wrath burning against the sinful unprotected flesh, not robed by the garments of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10).  Rather, as Matthew Henry meticulously noted,

“Uzzah thereupon laid hold of it, to save it from falling, we have reason to think with a very good intention, to preserve the reputation of the ark and to prevent a bad omen. Yet this was his crime. Uzzah was a Levite, but priests only might touch the ark. The law was express concerning the Kohathites, that, though they were to carry the ark by the staves [my emphasis added], yet they must not touch any holy thing, lest they die, Num_4:15. Uzzah’s long familiarity with the ark, and the constant attendance he had given to it, might occasion his presumption, but would not excuse it.”

The key thing here is that the staves where not used; the staves/poles (Exodus 25:14) which were appointed by God to be the method which by which the Levites were to carry the ark.  What presumption it is therefore to carry God on a new cart, as if there could be a man-made foundation which could only stumble?  Instead, the key focus here is that the household of Uzzah is the cause of this new cart, which relied on the movement of a mere animal.  Is this not the key reversal at the dreadful fall of man in Genesis 3, that the God and man relationship is inverted where we have worshipped the brute, the animal-serpent over God?  This is why God is so angry, that we should presume to be able to touch the Father in heaven and that this was brought about because we have placed an oxen as the foundation before the ark itself.  And this is the same lesson learnt by the men who bore the ark of the LORD (v.13) instead of carrying it on a cart which relies on the stability of an animal rather than the stability of priestly men as types of Christ carrying the ark as an analogy to preaching in the Name of His Father.  No oxen dares to bear that role, and no man who by man’s strength (as Uzzah is so aptly named) could arrange for the Father to arrive by the way of an animal when the First Person has ordained the arrival to come by way of the true Levite, the true King David, the true Priest-King.

And so this provocation of anger (v.8) in David’s heart is not that of David being furious against God; the Hebrew charah (חרה) suggests the possibility that it is a vexation against oneself, and a general fear that God cannot be with us.  What a ridiculous notion, that the King of Israel should fear the ark, and yet a little servant such as Obed-Edom, the servant of Edom (Esau) should receive the ark so pleasurably and be blessed by God (v.11-12)!

Yet, these things shall be no meaning until we take these verses into the wider context of chapter 6, and further into the wider context of God’s grand plan of salvation. Where in chapter 5 we witness Baal-perazim, where the LORD burst through the Philistines, here we see Perez-Uzzah, a bursting forth upon Uzzah.  This parallel is brought to recognition when we see the fall of Israel in the second book of Kings despite God protecting Israel in her early days.  And similarly, just as God had burst forth upon the Philistines, so He bursted forth onto Uzzah who represented the foolish Levite who disobeyed the mandate of tabernacle management and denied Christ His due glory.  Is not Uzzah, the strong man, a representative of those in physical Israel who perceive themselves as strong?  Perceive themselves are arrogant enough to carry the weight of the ark?  Perceive themselves as clever enough to provide a new cart which balanced on the idolatrous oxen (Exodus 32)?

Instead, the presence of the Father goes to Obed-Edom, the “servant of Edom”, the rejected brother of Jacob.  This Gittite, he who belongs to Gath, is the definitive mark of the Gentile; and so we see here the New Testament period shadowed in the ark going to Obed-Edom.  Salvation is first to the Jews, then to the Gentiles – and so we see the Jews rejecting the ark, even the king rejecting the ark, and instead the Father blesses the Gentiles.  This jealousy (Romans 10-11) would then lead to the ark being brought back to Israel whereupon the second iteration of bringing the ark to the city of David is successful, upon the blood of ox and a fattened animal. Although it is not indicative of whether it is the same ox which caused the stumbling (v.6), this is symbolic of the death of the animal and the birth of new life after six steps before the throne of the Father (1 Kings 10:9, the calf head being at the head of the throne) – and so the ark’s re-entry into Israel by way of the Gentiles is the mark of the new covenant, by the death of the enemy in Christ Jesus:

So in summary, from the Old Testament, we learn that the Law is in essence the Old Covenant, although it is under-girded and talks extensively about the New. Its primary purpose is to show the Person and Works of the Anointed One, the Prophet, Priest and King, and how He is the Righteous One, He is just, He is holy, He is God’s beloved, He will inherent the land. From this Israel and the world become aware that they are not God’s chosen Messiah, they made aware that only Him, Joshua will enter the promised land. They are not made sinful by the law, but they become aware through the law that they are sinful already, because of Adam, because of the flesh. They are told that refuge, and blessings await within the Messiah, who is God, and are pleaded with time and time again to love Him, to trust Him, to obey Him, to put their faith in Him. The world is also told that those who do trust Him, they will dwell in peace with God forever, under the eternal covenant, in the eternal land. Moses in Deuteronomy pleads with stiff-necked people to obey the commandment (singular), which is to love the Lord their God, to trust in Him – that is the whole commandment, just like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did.” – Dev Menon in his “Law and Gospel” essay

And so David danced before the LORD as the King-Priest in his linen ephod (c.f. Exodus 28 – the ephod to be worn by the priest), the joy of the typological Son dancing before the Father as the Kingdom of Israel is truly restored in Triunity.

Yet, in the face of this joy is the immediate contrast of Michal’s despising of David (v.16).  What she despised was not merely David’s etiquette; what she despised was His God – what she despised was the whole picture of salvation, of familial blessings brought through the partaking of the Trinitarian love (v.14-20), such awesome distribution that no human secular government communist, capital or other could ever provide.  Her words of spite, “How the king of Israel honoured himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ female servants, as one of the vulgar fellows shamelessly uncovers himself” (v.20) is therefore not merely a strong opinion against David’s ‘inappropriateness’, for David immediately appeals to the one explanation.  “It was before the LORD” (v.21).  Should there be any other explanation?  When one is naked before the LORD as in the days before the fall (c.f. Genesis 2), but that this recapitulation is of greater glory than that experienced in the Garden of Eden, should Michal despise such a fundamental truth rooted in the very history of the race of adam?  “And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death (v.23)”.  The Promised One shall not be born through her, not through a woman who wholeheartedly despised the reunion caused by the ark of the covenant; Saul’s line thus continues to diminish one by one.

2 Samuel 6: Naked before the Father