We now begin the portion of 1 Chronicles that is unique to the book (as in, not recorded in the books of Samuel). Remember, the Chronicler is writing from a priestly, pro-David point of view. So as we saw, he points out how the whole census, punishment, and buying of Ornan’s property was used of God to lead David to the site of the the Temple. Even David’s sin resulted in good for Israel and her worship! So the writer starts with David’s declaration that the property he bought will be the site of the Temple and the threshing floor the spot the altar will be placed (22:1).
We now get details of David’s preparation for the Temple building even though he will not be the one to oversee it’s construction. We see the reason why in verse 5. We also see his charge to Solomon to build the Temple (vv. 6-11). Note that David named Solomon (derived from the Hebrew word for “peace”) at God’s instruction since He would grant Israel peace during his reign (v. 9). Verse 10 is a reference to the Davidic Covenant. We will see that this promise is not about Solomon’s immediate descendants (as his son loses half the kingdom!). Rather, this is about Christ. Solomon will build God his Temple. But God would send the true Temple (Christ), and He would build His Temple (the church).
In verse 12 we see that David prays for discretion and understanding for Solomon, which we will see is what Solomon asks for when God asks him what he desires (1 Kings 3:9, 2 Chr 1:10). In verse 13, David emphasizes the importance of obedience. In verses 14-16, David tells Solomon all he has done to make the building of the Temple possible for him. In verses 17-19 David commands Israel to help Solomon in the building of the Temple. In essence, the Chronicler is giving the credit to David for the Temple. Also important to note is that David has now told Israel that Solomon is heir to the throne. So that means there should be no question about who is king after David, right?
Chapter 23 begins with the simple statement that David made Solomon king (23:1). We will see in 1 Kings that there is a bit more to the story than that. We then read of the assignments of the Levites. David counts the Levites over thirty years old, which would be in obedience to Numbers 4:3 and 4:47 (v. 3). He then divides them according to their assigned duties (v. 4). In verses 24 and 27, we read that those twenty years and older were counted. Most commentators conclude that David reduced the age during the count to assign the younger Levites to the duties listed in verses 28-32. Others believe the “thirty” in verse 3 was a scribal error, projecting the prescription of Numbers 4 onto this text.
In chapter 24, David assigns the priests to their duties by casting lots. We see that the Chronicler is very concerned about and very careful with recording the details of the service of the Temple. As we will see, the first order of business for the returning remnant was rebuilding the Temple (see 2 Chr 36:23, Ezra 1:2).
The comment by David in 1 Chronicles 23:25-26 is at the heart of this section of the book. God dwelt in Jerusalem, in the Temple, and His people were established in the land because of David. The hope of the returning remnant was this would come to be again. And it would. It would start 500 years later with the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant in Christ. It will be complete when He comes again and reigns in the New Heaven and New Earth.