Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, July 14th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 15

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-28

Levitical Account of the Ark’s Removal, 1 Chronicles 15:1-28

This passage from the Chronicles account emphasizes the part of the Levites in the removal of the ark to Jerusalem. This is in keeping with the theory that the books of Chronicles were written after the Babylonian exile by the scribes, who were, of course, Levites, and their purpose of writing to show that the priesthood and the line of David, with its Messianic promise, survived the exile.

In beginning, the building of houses in Jerusalem by David is mentioned to show that David prepared a special place there for housing the ark. Verse 2 then commences the account of the removal with the second attempt, at which time David had done his homework, by studying the Scriptures, and had learned that the ark was to be conveyed on the shoulders of the priests, not on a cart. The king assembled the great families of the priests and Levites, many of whom are named in this passage. Of the families cited there was a total of eight hundred sixty-two. These all came from the chief families of the Kohathites, Gershomites, and Mararites, the three sons of Levi, the son of Jacob.

David appointed as chief priests Zadok, who represented Aaron’s son, Eleazar, and Abiathar, who represented the family of Ithamar, Aaron’s younger son. (See 1 Chronicles 24:3; with 2 Samuel 8:17.) These two exercised a joint high priesthood, probably because David wished to reward Abiathar, the sole survivor of the house of Eli, who had remained faithfully with him through his flight from Saul.

David now commanded them to sanctify themselves according to the commandment of the law that they might bring up the ark lawfully, for their failure the first time to do this had been the cause of the disaster relative to Uzza. This they proceeded to do. David also had the Levites to organize the singers and musicians for making music and singing in joint worship while the ark was being transported. The chief of singers and musicians were Heman, Asaph, and Ethan. Of these it is interesting to note that Heman was the grandson of the prophet Samuel (1 Chronicles 6:33), while the names of Asaph and Ethan are associated with the authorship of several of the Psalms (50, 73-83 of Asaph; 89 of Ethan). The Alamoth (v. 20) and Sheminith (v. 21) refer to musical instructions of indeterminate meaning today.

Great care was taken to guard the ark, after the disaster to Uzza. Several Levite leaders were charged with the special care to guard it against profanation. Chief of these included Obed-edom in whose house the ark had been left for the three month interval after Perez-uzza. The sons of Obed-edom, among others, continued to be temple guards throughout Israel’s history (see 1 Chronicles 26:1; 1 Chronicles 26:4-8).

The ark is said to have been brought up with great joy, and verse 26 says that the Lord helped the Levites who carried it. Sacrifices of seven bullocks and seven rams were made. David celebrated right along with the Levites bearing the ark, the singers and musicians, wearing a robe of fine linen just as they wore. So the ark came. into Jerusalem amid great joy of the people.

Verse 29

see note on: 2 Samuel 6:12

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 15". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/1-chronicles-15.html. 1985.
 
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