July 14 – Who is Tou of Hamath?

July 14
1 Chronicles 16:37-18:17
Romans 2:1-24
Psalm 10:16-18
Proverbs 19:8-9

1 Chronicles 16:41 – This is the equivalent of today’s Americans reading the Federalist papers – reading about how our nation was established. The Israelites, hundreds of years after David would read the Chronicler’s account as he told what happened back at the founding of Israel. This verse echoes Psalm 136:1 (which is echoed in every verse of the Psalm), that the mercy of the LORD wasn’t just way back with the founding fathers – it endureth for ever – therefore it endures today!

David telling his plans to build a house for the LORD

1 Chronicles 17:12 – 22 times in 1 Chronicles is the term “for ever” used. The Davidic Covenant was forever, and it humbled David (1 Chronicles 17:16).

1 Chronicles 18:4 – This verse repeats almost verbatim 2 Samuel 8:4, because this points back to the Torah (Deuteronomy 17:16), and is an echo of what Joshua did (Joshua 11:9) at the battle of the waters of Merom.

1 Chronicles 18:9 – Who is this Tou of Hamath? Amazingly Hamath is referenced 39 times in the Old Testament! Associates for Biblical Research report that the man Anatolian archaeologists know as King Taita may be the Tou ally of David:

And what of King Taita, now emerged from obscurity as a powerful monarch of the Early Iron Age, possibly even descended from the great Hittite kings of the Empire? If such a king ruled over a large territory, is there mention of him elsewhere in ancient documents? So far the answer appears to be in the negative, at least not yet, unless you include the Old Testament, which brings us back to the city of Hama. Taita may have well been a contemporary—a friend and ally—to King David himself. The author of 2 Samuel knew him as Toi, King of Hamath (2 Sam 8:9-10; Tou in 1 Chron 18-9-10). David’s military victories over Hadadezer, King of Zobah and his Aramaean allies prompted Toi to send his son Joram as an envoy bearing gifts to the Israelite conqueror. For Hadadezer was warring against Toi, so forging an alliance with David made strategic sense. But how does Taita become Toi6 (Hebrew תּﬠיּ)?

Romans 2:15 – Everyone has the law of God written in their hearts – their conscience tells them that some things are right and some things are wrong. Now consciences are not all agreed (1 Corinthians 8:7), and can be seared (1 Timothy 4:2), defiled (Titus 1:15), and evil (Hebrews 10:22), but we are all aware that there is a moral law.

Romans 2:21-23 – Paul reiterates that knowledge of the explicit revealed law (The Torah in general, and even just the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) in particular) is not enough. Hearers are not justified, only doers are justified (Romans 2:13). Those who know the law and warn against stealing, adultery, idolatry – still commit these sins. Why? Paul, having shown the universality of the knowledge of right and wrong, will show that no matter our best attempts, we are all sinners.

Psalm 10:16 – We read earlier today about the Davidic Covenant of a king of Israel forever. Yet the LORD is King for ever. A thousand years after David – we will see these two declarations merge – the LORD becomes the son of David – to be King forever.

Proverbs 19:9 – This verse fits in with Paul’s warning that even those who preach against lying still lie. And Paul will show us that lying leads to death (Romans 6:23).

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