Although unable to build the temple himself because of God’s command, 1 Chronicles 22:5 tells us that David made plans to do most of the preparation because Solomon himself was at this point still inexperienced. In verses six through thirteen David calls Solomon to himself and charges him to build the temple and encourages him by saying in verse 13 to be strong and courageous, which is reminiscent of Joshua 1.
After chapter 22 in which David has brought together a large collection of gold silver bronze and iron (23:14) in chapter 23 he installs the divisions of the Levites and in chapter 24 the divisions of the priests. These divisions of the priests in chapter 24 are interesting in that they have 24 listed which suggests an idea of all Israel. In chapter 25 he then gives a list of 24 different families of 12 each that will be the Levitical musicians. Chapter 26 follows by talking about those Levites who will be the gate keepers, then beginning in verse 20 those who will be treasures and other officials. In chapter 27 David begins to install those officers who will serve the king for military duty. There were 24,000 in each division one for each of the 12 months of the year. Chapter 27 concludes with a list of David’s counselors and the fact that Joab was the commander of the army.
Why does the Chronicler devote so much of his time to David preparing to build the temple? First, the temple is the dwelling place of God, thus it marks God’s presence (recall moving of the ark). Second, the temple relates to a larger purpose the Chronicler has in linking the messianic king with God’s presence in the temple. In 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 (cf. Ezra 1:1-4) notice that the Chronicler cuts his record of the edict of Cyrus short, thus leaving the final word as an eschatological expectation of the one who will go up and rebuild God’s temple. Why is this significant? Because it was the son of David, the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant who will build God’s house. David thought it was Solomon, but though David and Solomon are like the coming Messiah in some ways, they are not the one who will build the temple that marks the everlasting kingdom. In the New Testament, we learn that God’s presence is not in a place (the temple) but in a person, Jesus, who is the Son of David. So to keep it short and to the point, David’s concern in these chapters is to prepare the way for the coming Messiah. He is taking seriously the presence of God and desiring His presence among them.
Audio Sermon: “A Home for the LORD”–1 Chronicles 22-27 (Kyle Rapinchuk)