Today: [1 Chronicles Twenty-Seven] Are You the King’s Companion? In this chapter we see the military, civil and political administrators of David’s kingdom by their tribes and families. Many of these men were with David when he fled from Saul. Among the important military and civil positions of rank and title was Hushai who was simply titled “the king’s companion” or friend. We know that God called Himself the friend of Abraham. Jesus also had friends as well as followers. If you had your choice would you be a friend of David (a type of Christ) or would you want some other important title?
[1Ch 27:1-34 KJV] 1 Now the children of Israel after their number, [to wit], the chief fathers and captains of thousands and hundreds, and their officers that served the king in any matter of the courses, which came in and went out month by month throughout all the months of the year, of every course [were] twenty and four thousand. 2 Over the first course for the first month [was] Jashobeam the son of Zabdiel: and in his course [were] twenty and four thousand. 3 Of the children of Perez [was] the chief of all the captains of the host for the first month. 4 And over the course of the second month [was] Dodai an Ahohite, and of his course [was] Mikloth also the ruler: in his course likewise [were] twenty and four thousand. 5 The third captain of the host for the third month [was] Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, a chief priest: and in his course [were] twenty and four thousand. 6 This [is that] Benaiah, [who was] mighty [among] the thirty, and above the thirty: and in his course [was] Ammizabad his son. 7 The fourth [captain] for the fourth month [was] Asahel the brother of Joab, and Zebadiah his son after him: and in his course [were] twenty and four thousand. 8 The fifth captain for the fifth month [was] Shamhuth the Izrahite: and in his course [were] twenty and four thousand. 9 The sixth [captain] for the sixth month [was] Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite: and in his course [were] twenty and four thousand. 10 The seventh [captain] for the seventh month [was] Helez the Pelonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his course [were] twenty and four thousand.
In previous chapters we have given the registries of the singers and musicians and the porters and gatekeepers. In this chapter is a military registry of the children of Israel by their tribes and princes. It is noteworthy that David and successive kings of Judah are not known to have used mercenaries of other countries to fight their battles or serve in their wars. David’s army was divided into 12 groups serving at the beginning of each month providing for a fresh and ready reactionary force against any encroachment from enemies abroad. Thus we would describe the force more properly as a militia rather than an army as each month the men would rotate home to their domestic pursuits.
In these chapters from a spiritual perspective we make note of the significance of the numbers 24 and 12. 24 is the number of collaborative leadership such as the 24 elders before the throne in revelation. 12 is the number of government being the number of disciples Jesus chose and the number of the stars in the crown of the sun-clothed woman in Rev. 12. It is interesting that 13 would be considered in our day as an unlucky number when in fact that was the number of that the 12 comprised with Jesus at their head during His time on earth. 24 is actually important as 12 x 2 which speaks of double portion and government. When we pray on earth as it is in heaven we are praying for double portion government represented here by the number 24.
11 The eighth [captain] for the eighth month [was] Sibbecai the Hushathite, of the Zarhites: and in his course [were] twenty and four thousand. 12 The ninth [captain] for the ninth month [was] Abiezer the Anetothite, of the Benjamites: and in his course [were] twenty and four thousand. 13 The tenth [captain] for the tenth month [was] Maharai the Netophathite, of the Zarhites: and in his course [were] twenty and four thousand. 14 The eleventh [captain] for the eleventh month [was] Benaiah the Pirathonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his course [were] twenty and four thousand. 15 The twelfth [captain] for the twelfth month [was] Heldai the Netophathite, of Othniel: and in his course [were] twenty and four thousand. 16 Furthermore over the tribes of Israel: the ruler of the Reubenites [was] Eliezer the son of Zichri: of the Simeonites, Shephatiah the son of Maachah: 17 Of the Levites, Hashabiah the son of Kemuel: of the Aaronites, Zadok: 18 Of Judah, Elihu, [one] of the brethren of David: of Issachar, Omri the son of Michael: 19 Of Zebulun, Ishmaiah the son of Obadiah: of Naphtali, Jerimoth the son of Azriel: 20 Of the children of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Azaziah: of the half tribe of Manasseh, Joel the son of Pedaiah: 21 Of the half [tribe] of Manasseh in Gilead, Iddo the son of Zechariah: of Benjamin, Jaasiel the son of Abner: 22 Of Dan, Azareel the son of Jeroham. These [were] the princes of the tribes of Israel.
In the 12 divisions of the military the captains are mentioned, many of them which were David’s mighty men. Benaiah was mentioned in 2 Sam. 23:20-21 as killing 2 lion-like men and a lion in a pit on a snowy day. Asahel was the brother of Joab who was killed by Abner in 2 Sam. 2:18-23. Thus we see that the mighty men who were with David when he fled from king Saul are remembered and honored in the administration of the king which followed after Saul was defeated and David established in Jerusalem.
The tribal leaders in Israel are also mentioned. These are not singers or porters. Neither are they military men. These are those who served in David’s civil administration. Ezra the author of 1 Chronicles is giving a thorough registry of the government rolls of king David. The tribal leaders mentioned are the civil and political arm of the kingdom of David. The tribe of Gad and Asher are omited without explanation perhaps because their records were lost to Ezra who wrote this chronicle centuries later from captivity.
23 But David took not the number of them from twenty years old and under: because the LORD had said he would increase Israel like to the stars of the heavens. 24 Joab the son of Zeruiah began to number, but he finished not, because there fell wrath for it against Israel; neither was the number put in the account of the chronicles of king David. 25 And over the king’s treasures [was] Azmaveth the son of Adiel: and over the storehouses in the fields, in the cities, and in the villages, and in the castles, [was] Jehonathan the son of Uzziah: 26 And over them that did the work of the field for tillage of the ground [was] Ezri the son of Chelub: 27 And over the vineyards [was] Shimei the Ramathite: over the increase of the vineyards for the wine cellars [was] Zabdi the Shiphmite: 28 And over the olive trees and the sycomore trees that [were] in the low plains [was] Baalhanan the Gederite: and over the cellars of oil [was] Joash: 29 And over the herds that fed in Sharon [was] Shitrai the Sharonite: and over the herds [that were] in the valleys [was] Shaphat the son of Adlai: 30 Over the camels also [was] Obil the Ishmaelite: and over the asses [was] Jehdeiah the Meronothite: 31 And over the flocks [was] Jaziz the Hagerite. All these [were] the rulers of the substance which [was] king David’s. 32 Also Jonathan David’s uncle was a counsellor, a wise man, and a scribe: and Jehiel the son of Hachmoni [was] with the king’s sons: 33 And Ahithophel [was] the king’s counsellor: and Hushai the Archite [was] the king’s companion: 34 And after Ahithophel [was] Jehoiada the son of Benaiah, and Abiathar: and the general of the king’s army [was] Joab.
Part of the census Ezra observes was not completed by David because of the probition by God regarding the number of young men under 20 years of age. It was a yielding to the dictates of the law and a faith statement of confidence that God would increase the nation beyond the need for such a census to be maintained. We see also that David had trusted men for tilling the ground, securing the treasuries and maintaining the storehouses. Those who took care of these resources were just as important (and therefore included in the census) as those who took care weightier responsibilities.
We do see that Obil an Arab was put over the camels. This indicates to us that those chosen and appointed were designated because of their qualification not because they were influential or had bribed their way into the king’s service. Hushai was appointed as the “king’s companion” or friend which no doubt started out as an informal position and later became an an advisory position in the administration of David. Joab of course is mentioned as the leader of Joab’s army. He was a strong leader and fiercely loyal to David yet he was frequently disobedient and self willed. In Solomon’s administration he was promptly executed by David’s command to his son.
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