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The bulk of this chapter consists of new matter, which the writer of Chronicles found in his authorities.
And pitched for it a tent - The old “tent” or “tabernacle” was still in existence at Gibeon 1 Chronicles 16:39; 2 Chronicles 1:3; but the ark had long been separated from it, and David probably thought that something newer and more magnificent was requisite. He therefore allowed the former tabernacle to keep its place, and had another made and erected.
None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites - Compare marginal references. We can easily understand that David, after the “breach upon Uzza” 1 Chronicles 13:11, had carefully considered all the legal requirements with respect to moving the ark, and was anxious that they should be strictly observed (compare 1 Chronicles 15:13).
All Israel - Chosen men probably, like the 30,000 of 2 Samuel 6:1. See 1 Chronicles 15:25.
The children of Aaron - i. e., the priests.
The sons of Kohath - The order of the sons of Levi according to primogeniture is, Gershom, Kohath, Merari Genesis 46:11; Exodus 6:16. But the Kohathites, of whom came the priestly family of the Aaronites, had precedence in all respects. To them especially was committed the attendance upon the ark and the bearing of it. Of the six Levitical families mentioned 1 Chronicles 15:5-10 one only was descended from Gershom, one from Merari, and four (Uriel, Elizaphan, Hebron, and Uzziel) from Kohath.
The “due order” was that the ark should be borne on the shoulders of Kohathite Levites - not that it should be placed upon a cart, drawn by oxen, and rudely shaken.
The singers - Singing had long been recognized as appropriate to religious ceremonies Exodus 15:21; Jdg 5:1; 1 Chronicles 13:8; but this is the first occasion on which we find the duty of conducting musical services expressly laid on the Levites. Henceforth, the services of the tabernacle and the temple were regularly choral, and a considerable section of the Levites was trained in musical knowledge, and set apart to conduct this portion of the national worship.
Psalteries on Alamoth - Probably, psalteries whose tone resembled the voices of girls (עלמות ‛ălâmôth). Compare the “female flutes” of the Lydians.
Harps on the Sheminith - “Sheminith” properly means “the eighth,” and has been compared with the modern musical term “octave.” Further, “Sheminith” and “Alamoth” are regarded as contrasted, and the harps of Mattithiah and his companions are supposed to have been pitched an octave below the psalteries of Zechariah and his brethren.
The word translated “to excel,” is taken as meaning “to lead,” and Mattithiah, etc., as leaders of the singers.
For song - See the margin. Hebraists are still at variance as to the meaning of this passage, some supposing elevation or, delivery of the voice, others elevation of the ark, to be intended.
When God helped the Levites - The death of Uzza had deeply impressed both David and the Levites, and it was doubted whether God would allow the ark to be moved anymore. Sacrificial animals were held ready; and when it appeared - by the movement of the ark six paces 2 Samuel 6:13, without any manifestation of the divine displeasure - that God was not opposing but rather helping the Levites in their task, the victims were at once offered.
“Fine linen” (byssus) is here first spoken of as used for dress. It seems to have been reserved for nobles of the highest rank Esther 8:15, for kings, and for priests 2 Chronicles 5:12. David’s robe was probably worn, like that of the high priest, immediately under the ephod, and may, like that, have reached the feet.
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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 15". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany