I Chronicles 18

The Word Made Fresh

1As time passed David defeated the Philistines and took Gath and its surrounding villages from them. 2He also defeated the Moabites and they became his subjects and paid him taxes. 3He attacked King Hadadezer of Zobah and pushed him back to Hamath, and he erected a monument at the Euphrates River. 4He captured from Hadadezer a thousand chariots, seven thousand cavalry, and twenty thousand foot soldiers. He hamstrung the chariot horses except for a hundred of them. 5When the Arameans of Damascus arrived to join Hadadezer, David killed twenty-two thousand of them. 6He left garrisons in Aram near Damascus, and the Arameans became his subjects and paid him taxes. The LORD made David victorious everywhere. 7He confiscated the gold shields carried by Hadadezer’s subjects and brought them to Jerusalem. 8He took a huge quantity of bronze from Hadadezer’s cities, Tibhath and Cun (Solomon used it to make the bronze sea and temple pillars and vessels).

3King Tou of Hamath heard about David’s victory over king Hadadezer of Zobah 10and sent his son Hadoram to congratulate him because he had often been at war with Hadadezer. He sent David all sorts of gold, silver, and bronze items. 11King David dedicated these to the LORD, too, along with all the silver and gold he had confiscated from all the nations he had defeated, from Edom, Moab, Ammon, Philistia, and Amalek.

12Abishai son of Zeruiah killed eighteen thousand Edomites in the Salt Valley 13and left garrisons in Edom. The Edomites became David’s subjects as well. The LORD gave victory to David everywhere he turned.

14David ruled Israel with justice and fairness to all the people. 15Joab son of Zeruiah was general of the army. Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the royal recorder. 16Zadok son of Ahilub and Abimelech son of Abiathar were royal priests. Shavsha was the royal secretary. 17Benaiah son of Jehoiada was head of the Cherethite and Pelethite special forces. David’s sons were prominent officials in the king’s service.


1-2: David goes about securing the kingdom and expanding his territory. First, he defeats the Philistines (see 2 Samuel 8:1). He then moves on to Moab and annexes that territory into his kingdom. The chronicler does not report the atrocities committed by David that we read about in 2 Samuel 8:2.

3-8: He then turns north and east to claim territory all the way to the Euphrates. He soundly defeats the Arameans under Hadadezer and annexes Damascus and other cities (see 2 Samuel 8: 3-8). That the bronze taken from Hadadezer was used by Solomon to make the great sea for the temple is not recorded in 2 Samuel. David will do war with Hadadezer again in the next chapter.

9-11: An alliance is formed further north at Hamath with King Tou (called Toi in 2 Samuel 8:9-13), who gives David gifts of silver, gold, and bronze, which David adds to the store of valuables that he is saving for the temple.

12-13: Abishai, chief of The Thirty (see 11:20), conquers Edom and annexes it for David. In 2 Samuel 8:13-14 the victory is ascribed to David, not to Abishai.

14-17: A list of officials is given which is in most respects the same as the list given in 2 Samuel 8:15-18. However, in 2 Samuel David’s sons are said to be priests. The chronicler will not abide such an idea (priests are supposed to be only from the tribe of Levi) and simply says that his sons are “prominent officials in the king’s service.”


In 1 Chronicles David’s sons are obedient and faithful. Absalom, whose rebellion against his father takes up several chapters in 2 Samuel, is mentioned once in 1 Chronicles, and that only to record his birth as one of David’s sons. Adonijah, another of David’s sons, tried to usurp his father as well, but that is not mentioned in 1 Chronicles, either. In 1 Chronicles David can do no wrong.