Hey, look, our apologist author friend is back. He noticed that way back in 2 Samuel 24, the writer said that God was looking for an occasion to wallop Israel, so God stirred up David to take a census that I don’t recall ever being described as sinful, but it evidently was because God sent a plague to kill 40 billjion people who weren’t named David. This struck our Chronicles author/apologist as being a wee bit messed up, so here in this chapter, it’s Satan that convinces David to number the army.
I think this is the first time Satan is actually mentioned in the bible. Which makes sense, I suppose. This is written from a post-exilic perspective, and it’s possible that the author was exposed to some Zoroastrian ideas over in Babylon, where the benevolent deity of order is opposed by a chaotic deity of evil.
But anyway, Satan somehow whispers into David’s ear to go and count the people. That hacks off God who once again decides to kill 70,000 innocent people not named David to punish David. David notices how f’ed up this is too and tells God to stop killing other people when David is the one who sinned.
So David buys a field and kills an animal before God and that makes God happy enough to tell the angel to put away his sword and everyone lived happily ever after except for the 70,000 innocents who died and their families.
David does the planning for the Temple and tells Solomon he’s going to build it.
David makes Solomon regent. Here’s a list of how many priests there were. Here’s some genealogies from people who you don’t know and thus don’t care about…David tells the Levites, “Hey, you don’t have to worry about taking care of God’s tent anymore, now you get to help the priests take care of God’s house instead.”
Here’s a list of Levitical families. It is ever as much excruciatingly boring as you would imagine it to be.
Here’s a manifest of the music ministry. Also excruciatingly dull.
Here is a list of Temple guards… oh, and the Temple treasurers and trustees… oh, and the groundskeepers.
Was this REALLY necessary? I’m thinking God needs a new editor because they really should have cut this part out.
Here’s a list of the generals and officers of the army. A list of public servants…
A list of people in charge of various crap in David’s household…
A list of David’s cabinet.
You know, seriously, at least JRR Tolkien had the decency to relegate all of this background crap to the Appendices…
David gathers everyone together and gives a speech:
“I wanted to build God’s house, but He said I’ve killed too many people to do it, so Solomon here is going to be king after me and he will build it. Help him out. Sol, obey God or else… seriously, ‘or…else…’ I know whence I speak…Here’s all the building plans and stuff to build the Temple. God totally showed me what He wanted. So be a man, trust in the Lord, and build that house for God.”
David continues his speech, “Hey, see how much stuff and money I’ve given to the Temple, because it’s GOD’S House? Eh? Look at all this stuff. How much have you people given?”
So everyone looked at each other awkwardly, and the offering bags were passed around and everyone dropped in a $20 and there was a lot more money in the church building project fund.
They David prayed, “Oh, Lord, you’re so great. Who are we to offer anything to you, because you gave us everything and it already belongs to you. I mean, technically, if you really wanted a house, you could just create it ex cathedra, but since we have all this stuff, I guess we’ll build it for you… what was I saying? Oh, right, help Solomon out so he doesn’t, I don’t know, marry like a thousand women and start worshipping foreign gods… Amen.”
They then killed 3,000 animals to make God really happy and had a party.
Solomon is crowned king and everyone is on board with this, unlike the account in 1 Kings, and then David dies. Again.
I have to say, overall, there were a couple of interesting points in this reboot of the story of David. The way they tried to patch up some of the original’s plot holes was nice. The introduction of Satan as a character was a cool idea. But they cut the whole David and Bathsheba thing and the Absalom story line and got rid of the political intrigues involved in Solomon’s succession, so it ultimately didn’t work for me, I’d have to rate it 2 stars.