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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 13

Bridgeway Bible CommentaryBridgeway Bible Commentary

Verses 1-14

The ark comes to Jerusalem (13:1-16:7)

David knew that part of the reason for Israel’s previous weakness was Saul’s lack of interest in its religious life. Even the ark of the covenant, symbol of God’s presence, lay forgotten in a country house. David set out to restore the ark to its rightful place at the centre of the nation’s religious life. In bringing the ark to Jerusalem, his aim was to make Jerusalem the religious, as well as the political, centre of Israel. But his plans suffered an early setback because of a lack of reverence for the ark (13:1-14; see notes on 2 Samuel 6:1-11).

An account of two victories over the Philistines is inserted (out of chronological order), probably to impress upon the reader how David’s fame was spreading (14:1-17; see notes on 2 Samuel 5:11-25).

The writer then goes back to the story of the ark and shows how, after the earlier setback, it was finally brought to Jerusalem. Nothing disastrous happened this time, because the ark was transported in the proper manner and handled with fitting reverence. It was carried on the shoulders of the Levites, who themselves were ceremonially cleansed (15:1-15; see notes on 2 Samuel 6:12-15).

Music and singing, organized and directed by the Levites, accompanied the procession. The three leading singers previously named, Heman, Asaph and Ethan (see 6:31,33,39,44), were in charge of the singers, who were under the overall control of Chenaniah. Obed-edom, who had looked after the ark during its recent stay in his house (see 13:14), was appointed to be one of the guardians of the ark in Jerusalem. He was also among the official singers when not required for guard duty (16-24).

After the arrival of the ark in Jerusalem, David and the people celebrated the event with sacrifices and feasting (25-16:3; see notes on 2 Samuel 6:16-23). David also appointed various officials to lead the worship. The arrangements for singing and music made on this occasion became the basis of Israel’s future organized public worship (4-7).

Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 13". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/1-chronicles-13.html. 2005.
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