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1 Chronicles 12-13

By Kyle Rapinchuk

In a surprising change, the Chronicler flashes back to a time when David was still fleeing from Saul. The chapter discusses how Benjamites specifically (the tribe of Saul) defect to David. The flashback serves to reinforce how God’s hand is with David, even prior to his coronation as king. The poetic refrain in verse 18 serves as the interpretive key to this passage. Speaking under the control of the Spirit, Amasai says that they follow David “for your God helps you.” It is once again God’s presence rather than David’s power that is the significant factor in David’s success. This is all the more reason why chapter 13 is such an important corrective, for they take lightly the presence of the LORD and improperly transport the ark of the covenant, to Uzzah’s death. Though David is at first angry, he learns to fear the LORD and properly wonders if he can ever bring the ark to Jerusalem (13:12). Finally, the ark rests at the home of Obed-Edom, and he is blessed by the LORD’s presence, thus reinforcing the point of chapter 12.