1 Chronicles begins with the genealogy of Israel (and mankind) right from Adam. This may prompt readers to assume that both books of Chronicles consist of too many unnecessary records. Ironically the dictionary defines Chronicle as “a factual written account of important or historical events in the order of their occurrence.” What makes them even more significant though is that God included them as Scripture.
The first book especially has a lot of focus on lineages and the finer details we may not find in other Old Testament books. But why are these so important? Well, first of all they show you that the hope you have is founded on real-life events and that the people mentioned actually walked this earth. Secondly, it adds more detail to what we could have read in other parts of the Bible giving the accounts more clarity.
For now let us focus on 1 Chronicles which gives us a better understanding of Ziklag a place of refuge inhabited by David and his men while Saul was still king. Ziklag is mentioned in both books of Samuel. The first book in chapter 30 gives us an account of the city being raided while David and his men were away.
The chapter opens like this, “Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid against the Negeb and against Ziklag. They had overcome Ziklag and burned it with fire and taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great. They killed no one, but carried them off and went their way And when David and his men came to the city, they found it burned with fire, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep” (1 Samuel 30:1-4).
When we read the first book of Chronicles it adds significant information to the above account. To begin with we learn that Ziklag — which was in the hands of the Philistines and handed over to David by Achish (1 Samuel 27:6) — was originally inhabited by a descendant of Judah called Shimei who had sixteen sons and six daughters (1 Chronicles 4). David descended from Judah himself so this was one of ancestral relatives.
We also learn the names of the men who were with him in Ziklag. 1 Chronicles 12 states: “These are the men who came to David at Ziklag, while he could not move about freely because of Saul the son of Kish. And they were among the mighty men who helped him in war. They were bowmen and could shoot arrows and sling stones with either the right or the left hand; they were Benjaminites, Saul’s kinsmen.” A first set of names is listed the book then lists another group of Gadites that came to support David.
Then even more men joined him: “Men of Manasseh deserted to David when he came with the Philistines for the battle against Saul. (Yet he did not help them, for the rulers of the Philistines took counsel and sent him away, saying, “At peril to our heads he will desert to his master Saul.”). As he went to Ziklag, these men of Manasseh deserted [Saul] to him: Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu, and Zillethai, chiefs of thousands in Manasseh.They helped David against the band of raiders, for they were all mighty men of valor and were commanders in the army.
The Word then says, “From day to day men came to David to help him, until there was a great army, like an army of God” (1 Chronicles 12:22). That is a wonderful statement on how God sends his help to us day by day as we grow in Him.
So after reading this part of Chronicles we understand the account in the book of Samuel better and as it ends God puts a beautiful verse to show us that in the same way he helped David (adding help to him everyday), He will help us. Ziklag was a place of refuge that became a testament of God’s support and deliverance. The books of Chronicles should be read by all believers, otherwise we miss out on a lot of important details. The Lord inspired men to write them for a reason.