1 Chronicles 11:1-12:40 – David Becomes King over All Israel


1 Chronicles 11:1-12:40


All Israel immediately recognizes David as king.


These two chapters, at first glance a hodge-podge of loosely connected lists, have been carefully compiled to portray the story of David’s rise to the throne with as few of the more lurid aspects of the story in Samuel as possible. For example:

  • The long account of Saul’s attempts to murder David (1 Samuel 18-27) are reduced to brief notices (1 Chronicles 12:1, 19).
  • The war between Saul’s northern forces and David’s southern supporters (2 Samuel 2-4) is missing.
  • No mention of David’s adultery with Bathsheba, his murder of Uriah, the questionable circumstances of Solomon’s birth, or the struggle for power between David’s sons (2 Samuel 11-20) appears.

In Chronicles, David’s rise to power begins and ends with “all Israel” (not just the south) gathered together at Hebron to celebrate David’s anointing as king (1 Chronicles 11:1-3; 12:38-40).

This attestation of David by all Israel encloses the brief account of the capture of Jerusalem (11:4-9) and two lists of the warriors who attended the anointing (11:10-47; 12:23-38); these lists, in turn, enclose two lists of David’s forces at Ziklag (12:1-7, 19-22), which frame those stationed at “the stronghold” (12:8-18) where members of both the north and the south pledge their allegiance to David. The nesting of these lists–coupled with the omission of the difficulties in Samuel’s account and the mention of the northern tribes of Issachar, Zebulun, and Naphtali (12:40)–strengthens the impression that the Chronicler seeks to demonstrate that “all Israel” was united in their support of David as king.

At the end of chapter 10, God’s activity in turning the kingdom over to David was noted. That theme appears here as well in the phrase “according to the word of the LORD” concerning Israel (11:10; 12:23). David is God’s chosen king for all of Israel.