The Chronicles account does not include the David and Bathsheba narrative that happened chronologically between the events mentioned in I Chronicles chapter 19 and this one. Notice though that in I Chronicles chapter 19 David was leading the battles at the end but at the beginning of chapter 20 it is mentioned that David tarried at Jerusalem while Joab continued the battle against the Ammonites at Rabbah.
Verse 3 as written makes David seem as though he was a gruesome conqueror. Other literal translations render the Hebrew word as "put them" or other ways to denote that they were sentenced to menial labor with saws, iron harrows, and axes. The parallel passage in II Samuel 12 could also be translated this way. There it also adds passing through the brick kilns which was a job that Egyptians had assigned to the Israelites when they were enslaved. The Henry Morris Study Bible suggests that the phrase was colloquial or a figure of speech that we no longer understand. This makes sense. How many people unfamiliar with American figures of speech would understand if I said, "He cut me to the quick" that I am not meaning that he literally took a knife and pierced my flesh? Being cut to the quick hurts either way, just not in the same way.Whatever happened, it was the conqueror that always passed judgment upon the conquered.
Does God issue any commands?
- God does not speak.
Does God make any promises?
- God does not speak.
Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
- The crown of the king of Rabbah was taken from his head and placed upon the head of David. Although Jesus refused to take the throne of Israel at the time of His first advent, at the final battle between the army of Christ and the army of men and Satan, Jesus will be wearing many crowns symbolizing His right of Creator and Conqueror of sin, death, hell and the grave to rule all nations. (see Revelation 1:5, 4:10, 11:15, 17:14, and 19:11-16; also Psalm 2:7-9; Daniel 7:13-14; Philippians 2:9-10)
Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?
- All of the prophetic mentions of the Messiah tell of the time when He will reign over Israel and will conquer all other kingdoms, physical and spiritual. They will be placed under His rule. The 24 elders in Revelation 4 humbly lay down their crowns at His feet in submission. If the elders do this it is logical to conclude that all who possess any laurel or diadem will also place them at His feet.