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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 16

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-3

see note on: 2 Samuel 6:12

Verses 4-6

Ministering Levites, 1 Chronicles 16:4-6

Not only did David re-institute regular worship by his removal of the ark to Jerusalem, but he also introduced some innovations. Previously the Levites seem to have not performed their duties well. They had doubtless become so numerous that there were not enough of the old Levitical tasks to go around. David now gave them new responsibilities. While some continued to minister before the ark, others were appointed to record, or tcncommemorate, thank and praise the God of Israel.

Eight of the chief Levites are named here. Of them Asaph and Obed-edom were the most prominent. Asaph was chief musician, and many of the psalms are ascribed to him. His sons succeeded him in that capacity for many generations (see Ezra 2:41; Nehemiah 7:44 etc.).Obed-edom’s house sheltered the ark for three months (1 Chronicles 13:14). His sons became doorkeepers to guard the sanctity of the temple in later generations.

Jeiel had charge of the psalteries and harps in the orchestra, Asaph sounded the cymbals, and Benaiah and Jahaziel blew the trumpets. The psaltery was similar to the harp. Illustrations show it to have been a triangular stringed instrument, while the harp was curved.

Verses 7-22

Praise the God of Israel, vs. 7-22

David wrote the psalm which is recorded here in celebration of the ark’s successful removal and to give thanks to the Lord. Probably it was the first song produced by the musicians of the new order. It begins with a commendation of the Lord and counsel to men to worship Him. Several verbs are used: 1) He is to be thanked by calling on His name and making Him known to others; 2) He is to be praised by voice of singing and talking of His songs and works; 3)Men are to glory in His name and rejoice in Him; 4) He is to be continually sought for strength and consolation; 5) His marvelous works in behalf of His people are to be always remembered and His judgments respected.

Israel is to do these things, but remembering that He is Judge of all the earth. This recalls the covenant the Lord had made with Israel’s fathers, which they are never to forget. It is His law to them and it is everlasting. By it they possessed Canaan. The Lord had promised it to them through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, even when they were very few in the land, and strangers. He had protected them when they were going about in their pilgrimage from nation to nation and kingdom to kingdom. He protected them from those who would harm them, even rebuking kings (Genesis 12:17; Genesis 20:3). This passage is almost identical to Psalms 105:1-15.

Verses 23-36

Praise Continues, vs. 23-36

This last section of David’s psalm begins with an evangelistic challenge: Sing to the Lord and bear daily testimony of His salvation; declare His glory and show His marvelous works to the heathen world. Their gods are but idols, whereas the God of David is to be feared above all for He is the Creator of all. From here the psalm continues to laud the Lord God for glory and honor, strength and gladness. All kindreds of the earth should give Him the glory due His name, bring Him offering, worship Him in the beauty of holiness. He is due reverent fear, for His it is who keeps the world and establishes it.

The whole universe is called on to rejoice and men to preach His universal pre-eminence. Nature is spoken to as animate members of the creation; the roar of the sea, the growing fields, the soughing of the trees are portrayed as sounds of joy in the Lord. All should give thanks to the Lord for His everlasting goodness and mercy. Verse 33 shows the supreme reason, He comes to judge the world and to make things right again in the universe. David ends the psalm with a prayer that the Lord keep His people from subjection to the heathen, that He will gather them to give thanks to His holy name. "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for ever and ever." The people responded to their king with a hearty, "Amen!" and praised the Lord with him.

Verses 37-43

Singers, Porters, Musicians, vs. 37-43

David left the specially appointed Levites to perform their tasks at the sanctuary of the ark as he had set them. Asaph and his family were to be regularly and constantly employed in their tasks. Obed-edom and his sixty-eight relatives were employed as the doorkeepers. Specially mentioned among these is another Obed-edom and Hosah.

Zadok the priest and his brother priests ministered at thetabernacle which had been re-established at Gibeon. Zadok and Abiathar had previously been given places as joint high priests by David (2 Samuel 8:17). Zadok represented the family of Eleazar and Abiathar the family of Ithamar Abiathar was of the family of Eli, which had been cut off from the priesthood (1 Samuel 2:31 and context).Zadok, descended from Phinehas, was the rightful high priest (Numbers 25:10-13).

The priests had been established at Nob when Saul slaughtered them (1 Samuel 22:11 ff). When the tabernacle (without the ark) was erected at Gibeon is unknown. The reason this place was chosen is also unknown, though it might have been because the Gibeonites had been made servants of the sanctuary by Joshua (Joshua 9:22 ff). There they continued to burn the offerings on the altar of burnt sacrifice, or brazen altar.

Heman and Jeduthun were employed in the singing and music-making. It is unclear whether they are said to serve at Gibeon in this capacity, or in the place of the ark at Jerusalem. The context makes it appear they were at Gibeon, though the implication may be that they served in this capacity, with their families, in both places. The people who had assembled for this great ceremony and celebration were now dismissed and went to their homes. David also went home to bless his house. The sequel of this event was discussed in commentary on 2 Samuel 6:20-23.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 16". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/1-chronicles-16.html. 1985.
 
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