‘Chronicles is among the latest books of the Old Testament; it was written no earlier than the later decades of the fourth century b.c. When comparing the Chronicler’s account of David and Solomon with that in Samuel/Kings, perhaps the most striking difference is the material that the Chronicler has chosen to omit. With the exception of the account of David’s census (1 Chron. 21 // 2 Sam. 24), the Chronicler has not recorded incidents that would in any way tarnish the image of David or Solomon. The Chronicler does not report the rival kingdom in the hands of a descendant of Saul during David’s seven years at Hebron or David’s negotiations for rule over the northern tribes. He omits any account of the rebellion of Absalom and Adonijah and the actions of Amnon and Shimei; he makes no mention of David’s sins in connection with Bathsheba and Uriah. The Chronicler deletes the narrative of Solomon’s taking vengeance on David’s enemies (1 Kings 2) and does not report the sins of Solomon which, according to Kings, were ultimately the reason for the break-up of the kingdom (1 Kings 11). Even the blame for the schism is shifted from Solomon to Jeroboam (2 Chron 13:6-7).

In Chronicles David and Solomon are portrayed as glorious, obedient, all-conquering figures who enjoy not only divine blessing, but also the support of all the nation. Instead of an aged, bed-ridden David who only saves the kingdom for Solomon at the last minute due to the promptings of Bathsheba and Nathan (1 Kings 1), the Chronicler shows a smooth transition of power without a ripple of dissent (1 Chron. 21, 28-29). David himself publicly announces Solomon’s appointment as his successor, an announcement greeted with enthusiastic and total support on the part of the people (1 Chron 28:1-29:25), including the other sons of David, the officers of the army, and others who had supported Adnoijah’s attempted coup (1 Chron 29:24; 1 Kings 1:7-10). Whereas in Kings Solomon’s sins are a reason for the schism and Solomon is contrasted to his father David (1 Kings 11), in Chronicles Rehoboam is commended for “walking in the ways of David and Solomon” (2 Chron 11:17).

This idealization of the reigns of David and Solomon could be dismissed as a kind of glorification of the “good old days.” Yet when coupled with the Chronicler’s emphasis on God’s promise to David of an enduring dynasty (1 Chron 17:11-14; 2 Chron 13:5, 8; 21:7; 23:3), the Chronicler’s treatment of David and Solomon reflects a “messianic historiography.” David and Solomon in Chronicles are not just the David and Solomon who were, but the David and Solomon of the Chronicler’s eschatological hope. At a time when subject to the Persians the Chronicler still cherished hopes of a restoration of Davidic rule, and he describes the glorious rule of David and Solomon in the past in terms of his hopes for the future.’ (EDBT)

Michael Heiser (in his curiously-named I Dare You Not To Bore Me With The Bible) argues similarly: history is always written from one perspective or another, and with some purpose or another.  The books of Samuel and Kings were already written, and people would have been aware of what they said about the failings of David and Solomon.  ‘First and Second Chronicles were written during (or shortly) after the exile of the Jews in Babylon. Israel would once again have its own nation and leadership. The writer of Chronicles wanted the new generation returning to the land to remember and keep the covenant God made with David, and remember that his dynasty had been chosen to rule. Disloyalty to David’s dynasty had fractured the kingdom, producing a deviant religion and, ultimately, the destruction of Israel (Amos 7:9–11). The Chronicler wanted to revive loyalty to David’s line, and so David and Solomon are cast as ideal monarchs. The Chronicler didn’t want to deceive, but inspire.’

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