Adam Clarke Commentary
1 Chronicles 16
David brings the ark into its tent; and offers sacrifices, peace-offerings, and burnt-offerings, 1 Chronicles 16:1, 1 Chronicles 16:2; and gives portions to the people of Israel, 1 Chronicles 16:3. He appoints proper ministers and officers for the ark, 1 Chronicles 16:4-6. He delivers a solemn thanksgiving on the occasion, vv. 7-36. How the different officers served at the ark, 1 Chronicles 16:37-42. The people return home, 1 Chronicles 16:43.
He blessed the people - "He blessed the people in the name of the Word of the Lord." - T.
To every one a loaf of bread - A whole cake. A good piece of flesh; "the sixth part of an ox, and the sixth part of a hin of wine." - T. See 2 Samuel 6:18-20; see Jarchi also.
Asaph - See the preceding chapter, 1 Chronicles 15:17; (note), etc.
David delivered first this psalm - I believe the meaning of this place to be this: David made the psalm on the occasion above specified; and delivered it to Asaph, who was the musician, and to his brethren, to be sung by them in honor of what God had done in behalf of his people.
That seek the Lord - "That seek the Word of the Lord." - T.
Remember his marvellous works - The whole of the psalm refers to God's wondrous actions among the nations in behalf of Israel.
Touch not mine anointed - By this title the patriarchs are generally understood: they had a regal and sacerdotal power in the order of God. In the behalf of the patriarchs God had often especially interfered: in behalf of Abraham, Genesis 12:17; Genesis 20:3; and of Jacob, Genesis 31:24; Genesis 34:26; Genesis 35:5. But the title may be applied to all the Jewish people, who were the anointed, as they were the elect and peculiar people of God. See on Hebrews 11:26; (note).
Let the heavens be glad - "Let the supreme angels be glad, and the inhabitants of the earth rejoice." - T. In this place the Targumist uses the Greek word αγγελοι, angels, in Hebrew letters thus, אנגלי angeley .
Save us, O God of our salvation - As he is the saving God, so we may pray to him to save us. To pray to God under the attribute the influence of which we need, serves to inspire much confidence. I am weak; Almighty God, help me! I am ignorant; O thou Father of lights, teach me! I am lost; O merciful God, save me; etc. See the notes on Psalm 96:1-13; (note) and Psalm 105 (note).
Zadok the priest - Both Zadok and Abiathar were high priests at this time: the former David established at Gibeah, or Gibeon, where the ark had been all the days of Saul; and the latter he established at Jerusalem, where the ark now was: so there were two high priests, and two distinct services; but there was only one ark. How long the service at Gibeon was continued we cannot tell; the principal functions were no doubt performed at Jerusalem.
Musical instruments of God - Ad canendum Deo, "to sing to God." - Vulgate. Των ωδων του Θεου, "of the sons of God." - Septuagint. The Syriac is remarkable: "These were upright men who did not sing unto God with instruments of music, nor with drums, nor with listra, nor with straight nor crooked pipes, nor with cymbals; but they sang before the Lord Almighty with a joyous mouth, and with a pure and holy prayer, and with innocence and integrity." The Arabic is nearly the same. None of the versions understand the words האלהים שיר כלי keley shir haelohim as implying instruments of music of God, but instruments employed in the song of God, or to praise God; as also the Targum. Query, Did God ever ordain instruments of music to be used in his worship? Can they be used in Christian assemblies according to the spirit of Christianity? Has Jesus Christ, or his apostles, ever commanded or sanctioned the use of them? Were they ever used any where in the apostolic Church? Does the use of them at present, in Christian congregations, ever increase the spirit of devotion? Does it ever appear that bands of musicians, either in their collective or individual capacity, are more spiritual, or as spiritual, as the other parts of the Church of Christ? Is there less pride, self-will, stubbornness, insubordination, lightness, and frivolity, among such persons, than among the other professors of Christianity found in the same religious society? Is it ever remarked or known that musicians in the house of God have attained to any depth of piety, or superior soundness of understanding, in the things of God? Is it ever found that those Churches and Christian societies which have and use instruments of music in Divine worship are more holy, or as holy, as those societies which do not use them? And is it always found that the ministers which affect and recommend them to be used in the worship of Almighty God, are the most spiritual men, and the most spiritual and useful preachers? Can mere sounds, no matter how melodious, where no word nor sentiment is or can be uttered, be considered as giving praise to God? Is it possible that pipes or strings of any kind can give God praise? Can God be pleased with sounds which are emitted by no sentient being, and have in themselves no meaning? If these questions cannot be answered in the affirmative: then, query, Is not the introduction of such instruments into the worship of God antichristian, and calculated to debase and ultimately ruin the spirit and influence of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? And should not all who wish well to the spread and establishment of pure and undefiled religion, lift up their hand, their influence, and their voice against them? The argument from their use in the Jewish service is futile in the extreme when applied to Christianity.
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