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Saturday, July 13th, 2024
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 15

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 1

And David made him houses in the city of David, and prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent.

David made him houses in the city of David. Through the liberality of his Tyrian ally (1 Chronicles 14:1), David was enabled to erect not only a palace for himself, but to furnish suitable accommodation for his numerous family. Where polygamy prevails, each wife has a separate house, or suite of apartments, for herself and children.

Prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent - i:e., made an entirely new one upon the model of the former, the old tabernacle, which Moses had constructed in the wilderness, and which had hitherto served the purpose of a sacred covering, being to be left at Gibeon, in consequence either of the unwillingness of the inhabitants to part with such a venerable relic, or of there being no use for it in Jerusalem, where a more solid and sumptuous edifice was contemplated. If it appear surprising that David "made him houses" before he prepared this new tabernacle, it should be remembered that he had received no divine intimation rendering such a work.

Verse 2

Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the LORD chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever.

Then David said. After the lapse of three months (1 Chronicles 13:14) the purpose of transporting the ark to Jerusalem was resumed. Time and reflection had led to a discovery of the cause of the painful catastrophe that marred the first attempt, and preparing for the solemn procession that was now to usher the sacred symbol into its resting-place, David took special care that the carriage should be regulated in strict conformity to the law (Numbers 4:5; Numbers 4:15; Numbers 7:9; Numbers 10:17). The rule was explicit and absolute that the Kohathite Levites were to bear it upon their shoulders; and yet David had strangely overlooked this when he ordered the ark to be put upon a cart (1 Chronicles 13:7).

Verse 3

And David gathered all Israel together to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the LORD unto his place, which he had prepared for it.

David gathered all Israel together. Some are of opinion that this was done on one of the three great festivals; but at whatever time the ceremonial took place, it was of great importance to summon a general convocation of the people, many of whom, from the long-continued disorders of the kingdom, might have had little or no opportunity of knowing anything of the ark which had been allowed to remain so long in obscurity and neglect.

Verse 4

And David assembled the children of Aaron, and the Levites:

David assembled the children of Aaron, and the Levites. The children of Aaron were the two priests (1 Chronicles 15:11), Zadok and Abiathar, heads of the two priestly houses of Eleazar and Ithamar, and colleagues in the high priesthood (2 Samuel 20:25). The Levites were the chiefs of their father's house (1 Chronicles 15:12), four belonging to the Kohathite branch, on whose shoulders the ark was to be borne-namely, Uriel, Shemaiah, descended from Elizaphan or Elizaphan (Exodus 6:22), Hebron (Exodus 6:18; 1 Chronicles 6:2), and Amminadab, from Uzziel (Exodus 6:22).

Verses 5-11

Of the sons of Kohath; Uriel the chief, and his brethren an hundred and twenty:

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 12

And said unto them, Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it.

Sanctify yourselves. This special sanctification, which was required on all grave and important occasions, consisted in observing the strictest abstinence, as well as cleanliness, both in person and dress (see the notes at Genesis 35:2; Exodus 19:10; Exodus 19:15), and in the neglect of these rules no step could have been taken (2 Chronicles 30:3).

Verses 13-15

For because ye did it not at the first, the LORD our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 16

And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of musick, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.

. David spake ... appoint ... singers with instruments. These eminent Levites were instructed to train the musicians and singers who were under them for the solemn procession. The performers were ranged in three choirs or bands, and the names of the principal leaders are given, 1 Chronicles 15:17-18; 1 Chronicles 15:21, with the instruments respectively used by each [ nªbaaliym (H5035) wªkinorowt (H3658) uwmtsiltaayim (H4700), psalteries, and harps, and cymbals. Josephus says that these instruments were made of electrum, a precious alloy of gold, of a pale yellow colour]. Ben, 1 Chronicles 15:18, is omitted in 1 Chronicles 15:20. Either it was used merely as a common noun, to intimate that Zechariah was the son of Jaaziel or Aziel, or Ben is the same as Azaziah.

Verses 17-19

So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel; and of his brethren, Asaph the son of Berechiah; and of the sons of Merari their brethren, Ethan the son of Kushaiah;

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 20

And Zechariah, and Aziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, and Eliab, and Maaseiah, and Benaiah, with psalteries on Alamoth;

On Alamoth, [ `al (H5921) `ªlaamowt (H5961 ] - after the manner of virgins or girls; i:e., with the female voice (see Gesenius, sub voce [ `almaah (H5959)]). Alamoth and Sheminith denote different parts of music; the former answering probably to our treble, or soprano, and the latter to the bass, or perhaps an octave below the treble. In short, Alamoth is supposed to mean with treble voices; Sheminith probably means with bass voices.

Verse 21

And Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obededom, and Jeiel, and Azaziah, with harps on the Sheminith to excel.

Mattithiah ... with harps on the Sheminith to excel. Gesenius rendered it, 'Miattithiah ... played on harps in the octave' (i:e., deep tone, the bass) [ lªnatseeach (H5329)], so as to lead the Song of Solomon 1:1-17:e., to regulate the singing-to act the part of a precentor.

Verse 22

And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was for song: he instructed about the song, because he was skilful.

Chenaniah, chief of the Levites. He was not of the six heads of the Levitical families, but a chief in consequence of his office, which required learning, without regard to birth or family.

Instructed about the song. He directed all these bands as to the proper time when each was to strike in or change their notes; or, as some render the passage, 'He led the burdens, because he was skilled' - i:e., in the custom which it was necessary to observe in the carriage of the holy thinks (Bertheau).

Verse 23

And Berechiah and Elkanah were doorkeepers for the ark And Berechiah and Elkanah were doorkeepers for the ark.

Berechiah and Elkanah were door-keepers - who marched immediately in front, while Obed-edom and Jeiel went in the rear, of the ark.

Verse 24

And Shebaniah, and Jehoshaphat, and Nethaneel, and Amasai, and Zechariah, and Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, did blow with the trumpets before the ark of God: and Obededom and Jehiah were doorkeepers for the ark.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 25

So David, and the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands, went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the house of Obededom with joy.

So David, and the elders ... and the captains ... went. The pious design of David in ordering all his principal ministers and officers to take part in this solemn work, and imparting so much pomp and imposing ceremony to the procession, was evidently to inspire the popular mind with a profound veneration for the ark, and to give the young, especially, salutary impressions of religion, which would be renewed by the remembrance that they had been witnesses of the august solemnity in which the king and the highest aristocracy of the land participated, vying with all other classes to do honour to the God of Israel.

Verse 26

And it came to pass, when God helped the Levites that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, that they offered seven bullocks and seven rams.

It came to pass ... - (see the notes at 2 Samuel 6:13-23.)

They offered seven buttocks and seven rams. The Levites seem to have entered on this duty with fear and trembling; and finding that they might advance without any such indications of divine wrath as Uzzah had experienced (1 Chronicles 13:10), they offered an ox and a fatted sheep immediately after starting (2 Samuel 6:13), and seven bullocks and seven rams-a perfect sacrifice-at the close of the procession (1 Chronicles 16:1). It is probable that preparations had been made for the offering of similar sacrifices at regular intervals along the way.

Verse 27

And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers: David also had upon him an ephod of linen.

A robe of fine linen. [ buwts (H948) is rather supposed in the later books to denote cotton. The Septuagint has: Dauid periezoosmenos en stolee bussinee.]

An ephod - a shoulder garment, a cincture or cape over his dress. It was worn by the priests, but was not so special to them as to be forbidden to others (1 Samuel 2:18; 1 Samuel 22:18).

Verse 28

Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps.

Thus all Israel brought up the ark ... with shouting, and with sound of the cornet ... The Egyptians inducted their religious processions in the same style (Wilkinson's 'Ancient Egyptians,' 2:, p. 279).

Verse 29

And it came to pass, as the ark of the covenant of the LORD came to the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looking out at a window saw king David dancing and playing: and she despised him in her heart.

Michal ... saw ... David dancing and playing. His movements would be slow and measured, suitable to the grave and solemn character of the music. Though his royal robes were laid aside, he was attired like the other officials, showing a becoming humility in the immediate presence of God. The feelings manifested by Michal were only an ebullition of spleen from a proud and passionate woman.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 15". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/1-chronicles-15.html. 1871-8.
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