1 Chronicles 18
David's piety and his prayer we had an account of in the foregoing
chapter; here follows immediately that which one might reasonably
expect, an account of his prosperity; for those that seek first the
kingdom of God and the righteousness thereof, as David did, shall have
other things added to them as far as God sees good for them. Here is,
I. His prosperity abroad. He conquered the Philistines
(1 Chronicles 18:1),
(1 Chronicles 18:2),
the king of Zobah
(1 Chronicles 18:3,4),
(1 Chronicles 18:5-8),
made the king of Hamath his tributary
(1 Chronicles 18:9-11),
and the Edomites,
1 Chronicles 18:12,13.
II. His prosperity at home. His court and kingdom flourished,
1 Chronicles 18:14-17.
All this we had an account of before,
2 Samuel 8:1-18
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1 Now after this it came to pass, that David smote the
Philistines, and subdued them, and took Gath and her towns out of
the hand of the Philistines.
2 And he smote Moab; and the Moabites became David's servants,
and brought gifts.
3 And David smote Hadarezer king of Zobah unto Hamath, as he
went to stablish his dominion by the river Euphrates.
4 And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven
thousand horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: David also
houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them a hundred
5 And when the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadarezer king
of Zobah, David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men.
6 Then David put garrisons in Syria-damascus; and the Syrians
became David's servants, and brought gifts. Thus the LORD
preserved David whithersoever he went.
7 And David took the shields of gold that were on the servants
of Hadarezer, and brought them to Jerusalem.
8 Likewise from Tibhath, and from Chun, cities of Hadarezer,
brought David very much brass, wherewith Solomon made the brasen
sea, and the pillars, and the vessels of brass.
After this, it is said
(1 Chronicles 18:1),
David did those great exploits. After the sweet communion he had had
with God by the word and prayer, as mentioned in the foregoing chapter,
he went on his work with extraordinary vigour and courage,
conquering and to conquer. Thus Jacob, after his vision, lifted
up his feet,
We have taken a view of these victories before, and shall now only
1. Those that have been long enemies to the Israel of God will be
brought down at last. The Philistines had, for several generations,
been vexatious to Israel, but now David subdued them,
1 Chronicles 18:1.
Thus shall all opposing rule, principality, and power, be, at
the end of time, put down by the Son of David, and the most inveterate
enemies shall fall before him.
2. Such is the uncertainty of this world that frequently men lose their
wealth and power when they think to confirm it. Hadarezer was smitten
as he went to establish his dominion,
1 Chronicles 18:3.
3. A horse is a vain thing for safety, so David said
and it seems he believed what he said, for he houghed the
1 Chronicles 18:4.
Being resolved not to trust to them
he would not use them.
4. The enemies of God's church are often made to ruin themselves by
helping one another,
1 Chronicles 18:5.
The Syrians of Damascus were smitten when they came to help Hadarezer.
When hand thus joins in hand they shall not only not go unpunished, but
thereby they shall be gathered as the sheaves into the floor,
5. The wealth of the sinner sometimes proves to have been
laid up for the just. The Syrians brought gifts,
1 Chronicles 18:6.
Their shields of gold and their brass were brought to Jerusalem,
1 Chronicles 18:7,8.
As the tabernacle was built of the spoils of the Egyptians, so the
temple of the spoils of other Gentile nations, a happy presage of the
interest the Gentiles should have in the gospel church.
9 Now when Tou king of Hamath heard how David had smitten all
the host of Hadarezer king of Zobah;
10 He sent Hadoram his son to king David, to enquire of his
welfare, and to congratulate him, because he had fought against
Hadarezer, and smitten him; (for Hadarezer had war with Tou;) and
with him all manner of vessels of gold and silver and brass.
11 Them also king David dedicated unto the LORD, with the
silver and the gold that he brought from all these nations;
from Edom, and from Moab, and from the children of Ammon, and
from the Philistines, and from Amalek.
12 Moreover Abishai the son of Zeruiah slew of the Edomites in
the valley of salt eighteen thousand.
13 And he put garrisons in Edom; and all the Edomites became
David's servants. Thus the LORD preserved David whithersoever he
14 So David reigned over all Israel, and executed judgment and
justice among all his people.
15 And Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the host; and
Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, recorder.
16 And Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Abimelech the son of
Abiathar, were the priests; and Shavsha was scribe;
17 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites
and the Pelethites; and the sons of David were chief about the
Here let us learn,
1. That it is our interest to make those our friends who have the
presence of God with them. The king of Hamath, hearing of David's great
success, sent to congratulate him and to court his favour with a noble
1 Chronicles 18:9,10.
It is in vain to contend with the Son of David. Kiss the Son,
therefore, lest he be angry; let the kings and judges of the
earth, and all inferior people too, be thus wise, thus instructed. The
presents we are to bring him are not vessels of gold and silver,
as here (those shall be welcomed to him who have no such presents to
bring), but our hearts and sincere affections, our whole selves, we
must present to him as living sacrifices.
2. That what God blesses us with we must honour him with. The presents
of his friends, as well as the spoils of his enemies, David
dedicated unto the Lord
(1 Chronicles 18:11),
that is, he laid them up towards the building and enriching of the
temple. That is most truly and most comfortably our own which we have
consecrated unto the Lord, and which we use for his glory. Let our
merchandise and our hire be holiness to the Lord,
3. That those who take God along with them whithersoever they go may
expect to prosper, and be preserved, whithersoever they go. It was said
(1 Chronicles 18:6)
and here it is repeated
(1 Chronicles 18:13)
that the Lord preserved David whithersoever he went. Those are
always under the eye of God that have God always in their eye.
4. God gives men power, not that they may look great with it, but that
they may do good with it. When David reigned over all Israel he
executed judgment and justice among all his people, and so
answered the end of his elevation. He was not so intent on his
conquests abroad as to neglect the administration of justice at home.
Herein he served the purposes of the kingdom of providence, and of that
God who sits in the throne judging right; and he was an eminent
type of the Messiah, the sceptre of whose kingdom is a right