Sunday Vigil

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

1 Chronicles 14, 1-17

Hiram king of Tyre sent envoys to David, with cedar wood, stone-cutters and carpenters, to build him a palace.

David then knew that Yahweh had confirmed him as king of Israel and, for the sake of his people, had extended his sovereignty.

David took more wives in Jerusalem and fathered more sons and daughters.

These are the names of the children born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon,

Ibhar, Elishua, Elpelet,

Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia,

Elishama, Beeliada, Eliphelet.

When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed as king of all Israel, they all invaded to seek him out. On hearing this, David marched out towards them.

When the Philistines arrived, they deployed in the Valley of the Rephaim.

David consulted God and asked, 'Shall I attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my power?' Yahweh replied to him, 'Attack! I shall deliver them into your power.'

Accordingly, they went up to Baal-Perazim and there David defeated them. David said, 'Through me God has made a breach in my enemies, as though they had been breached by a flood.' This is why the place was given the name Baal-Perazim.

They had left their gods behind there, and David ordered them to be burnt.

Again the Philistines deployed in the valley.

David again consulted God, and God replied, 'Do not attack them from the front; go round and engage them opposite the balsam trees.

When you hear the sound of footsteps in the tops of the balsam trees, launch your attack, for that will be God going out ahead of you to defeat the Philistine army.'

David did as God had ordered, and they beat the Philistine army from Gibeon to Gezer.

David's fame then spread to every country, and Yahweh made him feared by every nation.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If you believe, you will see the glory of God,
thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The author interrupts the account of the relocation of the ark, which will be kept for three months in the house of Kiriat-Iearim, to convey three events of David’s life. The first and the third events, that is, the building of the king’s palace and the victory over the Philistines, occurred before the relocation of the ark while the second event, the birth of David’s children in Jerusalem, occurs after the conquest of the city. The author returns to an event which was already narrated in the second book of Samuel (5:11-25), but he adds new literary, historical and theological details. His goal is to show that the Lord is on David’s side in all his enterprises whether concerning construction, family or the military. The construction of the king’s palace is a gift that David receives from the king of Tyre who sent cedar wood, masons and carpenters. It is a homage that made David aware of the fact that the Lord was exalting him before the other kings. In the war against the Philistines God’s protection was manifested in the help given to David in order to defeat them. "When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up in search of David" (v. 8). Remembering David’s royal anointment means acknowledging him on the messianic path called to reign over the people of Israel. David thought of attacking the Philistines; however he showed his total trust in the Lord by first "inquiring of" God. And he did it the two times the Philistines tried to defeat him invading the valley of Refaìm. When the king witnessed the invasion he "inquired of God, ‘Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?’ The Lord said to him, ‘Go up, and I will give them into your hand.’" (v. 10). After their defeat the Philistines attempted a new attack. For the second time "David inquired of God" and the answer was promptly received. This time the Lord suggested to David the way that he should attack the enemy. It cannot be clearer that God is leading his servant’s victory as the text says: "David did as God had commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army from Gibeon to Gezer" (v. 16). Obedience to the Lord makes David win over the Philistines and creates fear in the other peoples, as the text suggests: "The Lord brought the fear of him on all nations" (v. 17). The note on the thirteen children of David in Jerusalem is also a sign of God’s predilection for his king. However, in order to safeguard David’s glory, which is the pillar of the entire book of Chronicles, David’s concubines are not mentioned as they are instead in Second Samuel (5:13). One of the main intents of Chronicles is to show the centrality of David and of the Temple in order to strengthen the identity of Israel as the only people of the Lord.