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1 Chronicles 17

By Kyle Rapinchuk

First Chronicles 17 records the Davidic Covenant, also found in 2 Samuel 7. The vast majority of this section is identical to the 2 Samuel 7 passage, yet with one glaring omission—the discipline for sin. It seems the Chronicler, writing later than the author of Samuel, is clarifying what he knows to be the case, namely that the people after the Exile are still waiting for this king. The son of David through whom YHWH would establish his everlasting kingdom was still to come. The Chronicler’s concern throughout is to show the good kings of Judah in the best light possible that they might serve as a temporary, visible, yet imperfect picture of what the perfect king will be like.

Of interest in this passage also is once again the focus on name. After extolling God’s name in 1 Chronicles 16, David will continue to praise God’s name in verses 21 and 24. Yet in between we see that God Himself will make a great name for David (v. 8). Not only does this demonstrate how God often blesses people in ways directly related to His own character, but it is also another significant parallel with the Abrahamic Covenant. Just as Abraham was promised a great name, so too is David. In this way we continue to see the continuity between the Abrahamic and Davidic Covenants. This continuity is further confirmed by the blessing of the land in which He will plant His people Israel.

Finally, David makes an interesting statement in his prayer that the author of Hebrews picks up on. David speaks of the house of God’s servant in verse 17. David repeats twice more in verse 18 that he is God’s servant. In Hebrews 3:1-6, the author of Hebrews says that Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, but Jesus was faithful in God’s house as a son. This passage in 1 Chronicles 17 is a helpful bridge between Moses and Jesus to help us understand that passage. (You can view my paper, Moses as Servant in Hebrews 3, at this link).