The Davidic Heart in Chronicles

Dr. Troy Cudworth has taught Biblical Hebrew at The John Leland Center for three years. Recently his article "The Davidic Heart in Chronicles" was published in The Catholic Biblical Quarterly.
"Although the books of Samuel and Kings often praise David for having a good heart, they never actually explain what he did by that good heart. The Chronicler, on the other hand, uses the words לב/לבב frequently to show that the kings of Israel’s past prospered when they had a heart for the temple like David."

Abstract: This paper argues that the Chronicler uses the words for heart (לב/לבב) to illustrate the measure of a king’s faithfulness toward the temple. In the books of Samuel, Yahweh chose David as king because Yahweh “looks on the heart” (1 Sam 16:7) and David is “a man after his own (i.e. Yahweh’s) heart” (13:14). However, the narrative never states later how David acted with his heart in any pious way, even though his heart desired to build the temple (2 Sam 7:3; 1 Kgs 8:17, 18; see also 3:6; 9:4). The Chronicler, on the other hand, explains that David offered much of his own wealth to the temple project “in the uprightness of his own heart” (1 Chr 29:17). He then encouraged Solomon and the people to have hearts to finish what he started (vv 18–19). In the divided monarchy, the Chronicler inserts expressions with the heart frequently to show how later kings either did or did not follow David’s faithful behavior. Forty-four of sixty-three occurrences for the words לב/לבב in Chronicles have no parallel in Samuel–Kings, making it more prominent than any of the Chronicler’s other paradigmatic vocabulary.

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