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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

1 Chronicles 9

Verses 1-44

1 Chronicles 9:1 . All Israel were reckoned by genealogies, from books carried to Babylon.

1 Chronicles 9:2 . Nethinims. They were of the seven nations, Gibeonites and others, whom providence had graciously spared, and blessed with the humblest place in the Lord’s house. Persons who had made the vows of Nazarites might be included in this class of men, who did the meaner services for the priests. See Ezra 2:58; Ezra 8:20. Joshua 9:23.

1 Chronicles 9:3 . Ephraim and Manasseh, the scattered families of those tribes returned with Judah. To seek for the ten tribes is therefore a hopeless dream. They occupied Jerusalem and the best of the land by virtue of the king’s edict.

1 Chronicles 9:15 . Heresh, the artist or carpenter, as the Vulgate and Montanus read. But rabbi Abulensis says, that the levites did not follow trades; and that this word, though the name of a trade, is also the name of a man.

1 Chronicles 9:20 . Phinehas was the ruler. The Vulgate reads, was their “duke” before the Lord. Each highpriest had the dignity of a prince.

REFLECTIONS.

How gracious was the Lord in turning the captivity of his people as the rivers of the south; and how happy to see once more the hill of God smoke with burnt-offerings. How gracious was the care of providence in preserving the ministers of the true religion, while the false prophets and the idolatrous priests of Bethel and Dan, for ought that appears, were all consumed away.

It is a striking proof that Judah and Benjamin had profited by their long captivity, that they began their commonwealth by a proper attention to religion. In arranging the service of the sanctuary they followed the excellent order established by Samuel, when he reformed the abuses of Eli’s house; an order which David had followed and enlarged. The state which does not found the compacts of national society on the belief of a God, a providence, and a futurity, is likely to be unhappy in itself, or not long to exist. If good principles are not daily inculcated, infidelity and vice will inundate the land; good men will fly with their persons and property, and ruin will be the consequence. And who will respect the laws, or revere the majesty of his sovereign, who does not fear the Lord?

On the return from Babylon, the higher parts of worship being first restored, the singers were also reäppointed to their sacred work. These were not merely boys and girls, but venerable fathers of the levites superintended this branch of sacred service: and what part of worship is more elevating to the soul? When discreet and pious men lead a congregation to glorify God in simple and harmonious sounds, or even accompanied with music which does not drown the voice, it exalts the worship of a faithful people. But when a number of young men demonstrate their want of piety and prudence by introducing light tunes, and pieces in which the congregation cannot possibly join, they offer a very great insult to God and his people. He sits in the heavens, he listens to the fervent devotion of all religious assemblies; but he abhors the mere service of the lips, and unavailing sounds.

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Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 9". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/1-chronicles-9.html. 1835.