Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, July 23rd, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 16

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament CommentaryKeil & Delitzsch

Verses 1-3

The religious festival, and the arrangement of the sacred service before the ark of the covenant in the city of David. - This section is not found in 2nd Samuel, where the Conclusion of this whole description (1 Chronicles 16:43, Chron.) follows immediately upon the feasting of the people by the king, 1 Chronicles 16:19 and 1 Chronicles 16:20.

Verses 4-6

When the solemnity of the transfer of the ark, the sacrificial meal, and the dismissal of the people with a blessing, and a distribution of food, were ended, David set in order the service of the Levites in the holy tent on Zion. He appointed before the ark, from among the Levites, servants to praise and celebrate God, i.e., singers and players to sing psalms as a part of the regular worship. להזכּיר , literally, “in order to bring into remembrance,” is not to praise in general, but is to be interpreted according to the להזכּיר in the superscription of Ps 38 and Psalms 70:1-5, by which these psalms are designated as the appointed prayers at the presentation of the Azcarah of the meat-offering (Leviticus 2:2). הזכּיר accordingly is a denom. from אזכּרה , to present the Azcarah (cf. Del. on Psalms 38:1), and is in our verse to be understood of the recital of these prayer-songs with musical accompaniment. הודות , to confess, refers to the psalms in which invocation and acknowledgment of the name of the Lord predominates, and הלּל to those in which praise (Hallelujah) is the prominent feature. In 1 Chronicles 16:5 and 1 Chronicles 16:6 there follow the names of the Levites appointed for this purpose, who have all been already mentioned in 1 Chronicles 15:19-21 as accompanying the ark in its transmission; but all who are there spoken of are not included in our list here. Of the chief singers only Asaph is mentioned, Heman and Ethan being omitted; of the singers and players of the second rank, only nine; six of the eight nebel-players (1 Chronicles 15:20. יעיאל is a transcriber's error for יעזיאל , 1 Chronicles 15:18), and only three of the six kinnor-players; while instead of seven trumpet-blowing priests only two are named, viz., Benaiah, one of those seven, and Jehaziel, whose name does not occur in 1 Chronicles 15:24.

Verse 7

On that day David first committed it to Asaph and his sons to give thanks to Jahve. נתן is to be connected with בּיד , which is separated from it by several words, and denotes to hand over to, here to commit to, to enjoin upon, since that which David committed to Asaph was the carrying out of a business which he enjoined, not an object which may be given into the hand. ההוּא בּיּום is accented by אז . בּראשׁ , “at the beginning,” “at first,” to bring out the fact that liturgical singing was then first introduced. אחיו , the brethren of Asaph, are the Levites appointed to the same duty, whose names are given in 1 Chronicles 16:5, 1 Chronicles 16:6. But in order to give a more exact description of the ליהוה הודות committed to Asaph in vv. 8-36, a song of thanks and praise is given, which the Levites were to sing as part of the service with instrumental accompaniment. It is not expressly said that this song was composed by David for this purpose; but if Asaph with his singers was to perform the service committed to him, he must have been provided with the songs of praise (psalms) which were necessary for this purpose; and if David were in any way the founder of the liturgical psalmody, he, as a richly endowed psalm-singer, would doubtless compose the necessary liturgical psalms. These considerations render it very probable that the following psalm was a hymn composed by David for the liturgical song in the public worship. The psalm is as follows: -

8 Give thanks unto Jahve; preach His name;

Make known His deeds among the peoples:

9 Sing to Him, play to Him;

Meditate upon all His wondrous works.

10 Glory ye in His holy name:

Let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.

11 Seek ye the Lord, and His strength;

Seek His face continually.

12 Remember His wonders which He has done;

His wondrous works, and the judgments of His mouth;

13 O seed of Israel, His servants,

Sons of Jacob, His chosen.

14 He, Jahve, is our God;

His judgments go forth over all the earth.

15 Remember eternally His covenant,

The word which He commanded to a thousand generations:

16 Which He made with Abraham,

And His oath to Isaac;

17 And caused it to stand to Jacob for a law,

To Israel as an everlasting covenant;

18 Saying, “To thee I give the land Canaan,

As the heritage meted out to you.”

19 When ye were still a people to be numbered,

Very few, and strangers therein,

20 And they wandered from nation to nation,

From one kingdom to another people,

21 He suffered no man to oppress them,

And reproved kings for their sake:

22 “Touch not mine anointed ones,

And do my prophets no harm.”

23 Sing unto Jahve, all the lands;

Show forth from day to day His salvation.

24 Declare His glory among the heathen,

Among all people His wondrous works.

25 For great is Jahve, and greatly to be praised;

And to be feared is He above all the gods.

26 For all the gods of the people are idols;

And Jahve has made the heavens.

27 Majesty and splendour is before Him;

Strength and joy are in His place.

28 Give unto Jahve, ye kindreds of the people,

Give unto Jahve glory and strength.

29 Give unto Jahve the honour of His name:

Bring an offering, and come before His presence;

Worship the Lord in the holy ornaments.

30 Tremble before Him, all the lands;

Then will the earth stand fast unshaking.

31 Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice;

And they will say among the heathen, Jahve is King.

32 Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof;

Let the field exult, and all that is thereon.

33 Then shall the trees of the wood rejoice

Before the Lord; for He comes to judge the earth.

34 Give thanks unto Jahve, for He is good;

For His mercy endureth for ever.

35 And say, “Save us, God of our salvation:”

And gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen,

To give thanks to Thy holy name,

To glory in Thy praise.

36 Blessed be Jahve, the God of Israel,

From everlasting to everlasting.

And all the people said Amen, and praised Jahve.

Verses 8-36

This hymn forms a connected and uniform whole. Beginning with a summons to praise the Lord, and to seek His face (1 Chronicles 16:8-11), the singer exhorts his people to remember the wondrous works of the Lord (1 Chronicles 16:12-14), and the covenant which He made with the patriarchs to give them the land of Canaan (1 Chronicles 16:15-18), and confirms his exhortation by pointing out how the Lord, in fulfilment of His promise, had mightily and gloriously defended the patriarchs (1 Chronicles 16:19-22). But all the world also are to praise Him as the only true and almighty God (1 Chronicles 16:23-27), and all peoples do homage to Him with sacrificial gifts (1 Chronicles 16:28-30); and that His kingdom may be acknowledged among the heathen, even inanimate nature will rejoice at His coming to judgment (1 Chronicles 16:31-33). In conclusion, we have again the summons to thankfulness,combined with a prayer that God would further vouchsafe salvation; and a doxology rounds off the whole (1 Chronicles 16:34-36). When we consider the contents of the whole hymn, it is manifest that it contains nothing which would be at all inconsistent with the belief that it was composed by David for the above-mentioned religious service. There is nowhere any reference to the condition of the people in exile, nor yet to the circumstances after the exile. The subject of the praise to which Israel is summoned is the covenant which God made with Abraham, and the wonderful way in which the patriarchs were led. The summons to the heathen to acknowledge Jahve as alone God and King of the world, and to come before His presence with sacrificial offerings, together with the thought that Jahve will come to judge the earth, belong to the Messianic hopes. These had formed themselves upon the foundation of the promises given to the patriarchs, and the view they had of Jahve as Judge of the heathen, when He led His people out of Egypt,so early, that even in the song of Moses at the Red Sea (Ex. 15), and the song of the pious Hannah (1 Samuel 2:1-10), we meet with the first germs of them; and what we find in David and the prophets after him are only further development of these.

Yet all the later commentators, with the exception of Hitzig, die Psalmen, ii. S. ix.f., judge otherwise as to the origin of this festal hymn. Because the first half of it (1 Chronicles 16:8-22) recurs in Psalms 105:1-15, the second (1 Chronicles 16:23-33) in Psalms 96:1-13, and the conclusion (1 Chronicles 16:34-36) in Ps. Psalms 106:1, Psalms 106:47-48, it is concluded that the author of the Chronicle compounded the hymn from these three psalms, in order to reproduce the festive songs which were heard after the ark had been brought in, in the same free way in which the speeches in Thucydides and Livy reproduce what was spoken at various times. Besides the later commentators, Aug. Koehler (in the Luth. Ztschr. 1867, S. 289ff.) and C. Ehrt ( Abfassungszeit und Abschluss des Psalters, Leipz. 1869, S. 41ff.) are of the same opinion. The possibility that our hymn may have arisen in this way cannot be denied; for such a supposition would be in so far consistent with the character of the Chronicle, as we find in it speeches which have not been reported verbatim by the hearers, but are given in substance or in freer outline by the author of our Chronicle, or, as is more probable, by the author of the original documents made use of by the chronicler. But this view can only be shown to be correct if it corresponds to the relation in which our hymn may be ascertained to stand to the three psalms just mentioned. Besides the face that its different sections are again met with scattered about in different psalms, the grounds for supposing that our hymn is not an original poem are mainly the want of connection in the transition from 1 Chronicles 16:22 to v.23, and from 1 Chronicles 16:33 to v.34; the fact that in v.35 we have a verse referring to the Babylonian exile borrowed from Ps 106; and that 1 Chronicles 16:36 is even the doxology of the fourth book of Psalms, taken to be a component part of the psalm. These two latter grounds would be decisive, if the facts on which they rest were well authenticated. If. 1 Chronicles 16:36 really contained only the doxology of the fourth book of Psalms-which, like the doxologies of the first, second, and third books (Ps. 41:14; Psalms 72:18-19, and 89:53), was merely formally connected with the psalm, without being a component part of it-there could be no doubt that the author of the Chronicle had taken the conclusion of his hymn from our collection of psalms, as these doxologies only date from the originators of our collection. But this is not the state of the case. Psalms 106:48 does, it is true, occupy in our Psalter the place of the doxology to the fourth book, but belonged, as Bertheau also acknowledges, originally to the psalm itself. For not only is it different in form from the doxologies of the first three books, not having the double ואמן אמן with which these books close, but it concludes with the simple הללוּ־יהּ אמן . If the ואמן אמן connected by ו is, in the Old Testament language, exclusively confined to these doxologies, which thus approach the language of the liturgical Beracha of the second temple, as Del. Ps. p. 15 rightly remarks, while in Numbers 5:22 and Nehemiah 8:6 only אמן אמן without copulative w occurs, it is just this peculiarity of the liturgical Beracha which is wanting, both in the concluding verse of the 106th Psalm and in 1 Chronicles 16:36 of our festal hymn. Moreover, the remainder of the verse in question - the last clause of it, “And let all the people say Amen, Halleluiah,” - does not suit the hypothesis that the verse is the doxology appended to the conclusion of the fourth book by the collector of the Psalms, since, as Hengstenberg in his commentary on the psalm rightly remarks, “it is inconceivable that the people should join in that which, as mere closing doxology of a book, would have no religious character;” and “the praise in the conclusion of the psalm beautifully coincides with its commencement, and the Halleluiah of the end is shown to be an original part of the psalm by its correspondence with the beginning.”

(Note: Bertheau also rightly says: “ If in Ps 72 (as also in Ps 89 and 91) the author of the doxology himself says Amen, while in Psalms 106:48 the saying of the Amen is committed to the people, this difference can only arise from the face that Ps 106 originally concluded with the exhortation to say Amen. ” Hitzig speaks with still more decision, die Pss. (1865), ii. S. x.: “ If (in Ps 106) Psalms 106:47 is the conclusion, a proper ending is wanting; while Psalms 106:48, on the contrary, places the psalm on a level with Ps 103-105; 107. Who can believe that the author himself, for the purpose of ending the fourth book with Psalms 106:48, caused the psalm to extend to the Psalms 106:48? In the Chronicle, the people whom the verse mentions are present from 1 Chron 15:3-16:2, while in the psalm no one can see how they should come in there. Whether the verse belong to the psalm or not, the turning to all the people, and the causing the people to say Amen, Amen, instead of the writer, has no parallel in the Psalms, and is explicable only on the supposition that it comes from the Chronicle. Afterwards a Diaskeuast might be satisfied to take the verse as the boundary-stone of a book. ” )

The last verse of our hymn does not therefore presuppose the existence of the collection of psalms, nor in 1 Chronicles 16:35 is there any indubitable reference to the exilic time. The words, “Say, 'Save us, Thou God of our salvation; gather us together, and deliver us from among the heathen,' “ do not presuppose that the people had been previously led away into the Chaldean exile, but only the dispersion of prisoners of war, led away captive into an enemy's land after a defeat. This usually occurred after each defeat of Israel by their enemies, and it was just such cases Solomon had in view in his prayer, 1 Kings 8:46-50.

The decision as to the origin of this festal hymn, therefore, depends upon its internal characteristics, and the result of a comparison of the respective texts. The song in itself forms, as Hitz. l.c. S. 19 rightly judges, “a thoroughly coherent and organic whole. The worshippers of Jahve are to sing His praise in memory of His covenant which He made with their fathers, and because of which He protected them (1 Chronicles 16:18-22). But all the world also are to praise Him, the only true God (1 Chronicles 16:23-27); the peoples are to come before Him with gifts; yea, even inanimate nature is to pay the King and Judge its homage (1 Chronicles 16:28-33). Israel - and with this the end returns to the beginning-is to thank Jahve, and invoke His help against the heathen (1 Chronicles 16:34 and 1 Chronicles 16:35).” This exposition of the symmetrical disposition of the psalm is not rendered questionable by the objections raised by Koehler, l.c.; nor can the recurrence of the individual parts of it in three different psalms of itself at all prove that in the Chronicle we have not the original form of the hymn. “There is nothing to hinder us from supposing that the author of Psalms 96:1-13 may be the same as the author of Ps 105 and 106; but even another might be induced by example to appropriate the first half of 1 Chronicles 16:8., as his predecessor had appropriated the second, and it would naturally occur to him to supply from his own resources the continuation which had been already taken away and made use of” (Hitz. l.c.). A similar phenomenon is the recurrence of the second half of Psalms 40:17. as an independent psalm, Psalms 70:1-5. “But it is also readily seen,”continues Hitzig, “how easily the psalmist might separate the last three verses from each other (1 Chronicles 16:34-36 of the Chronicle), and set them as a frame round Ps 106. 1 Chronicles 16:34 is not less suitable in the Chronicle for the commencement of a paragraph than in Ps 107, which Psalms 107:6 would admit of no continuation, but was the proper end. On the other hand, we can scarcely believe that the chronicler compiled his song first from Ps 105, then from Psalms 96:1-13, and lastly from Ps 106, striking off from this latter only the beginning and the end.”

Finally, if we compare the text of our hymn with the text of these psalms, the divergences are of such a sort that we cannot decide with certainty which of the two texts is the original. To pass over such critically indifferent variations as פּיהוּ , 1 Chronicles 16:12, for פּיו , Psalms 105:5; the omission of the nota acc. את , 1 Chronicles 16:18, compared with Psalms 105:10, and vice versa in Psalms 96:3 and 1 Chronicles 16:24; היּער עצי , 1 Chronicles 16:33, instead of היּער כּל־עצי , Psalms 96:12, - the chronicler has in יצחק , 1 Chronicles 16:16, instead of ישׂחק , Psalms 105:9, and יעלץ , 1 Chronicles 16:32, instead of יעלז , Psalms 96:12, the earlier and more primitive form; in תּרעוּ אל בּנביאי , 1 Chronicles 16:22, instead of תּרעוּ אל לנביאי , Psalms 105:15, a quite unusual construction; and in יום אל מיּום , 1 Chronicles 16:23, the older form (cf. Numbers 30:15), instead of ליום מיּום , Psalms 96:2, as in Esther 3:7; while, on the other hand, instead of the unexampled phrase לעשׁקם אדם הנּיח , Psalms 105:14, there stands in the Chronicle the usual phrase לאישׁ הנּיח , and שׂדי dna , in Psalms 96:12 is the poetical form for the השּׂדה of 1 Chronicles 16:32. More important are the wider divergences: not so much ישׂראל זרע , 1 Chronicles 16:13, for אברהם זרע , Psalms 105:6, in which latter case it is doubtful whether the עבדּו refers to the patriarchs or to the people, and consequently, as the parallelismus membrorum demands the latter references, ישׂראל is clearly the more correct and intelligible; but rather than the others, viz., זכרוּ , 1 Chronicles 16:15, for זכר , Psalms 105:8; since זכרוּ not only corresponds to the זכרוּ of 1 Chronicles 16:11, but alto to the use made of the song for the purposes stated in the Chronicle; while, on the contrary, זכר of the psalm corresponds to the object of the psalm, viz., to exalt the covenant grace shown to the patriarchs. Connected with this also is the reading בּהיותכם , “when ye (sons of Jacob) were” (1 Chronicles 16:19), instead of בּהיותם , Psalms 105:12, “when they (the patriarchs) were,” since the narrative of what the Lord had done demanded בהיותם . Now the more likely the reference of the words to the patriarchs was to suggest itself, the more unlikely is the hypothesis of an alteration into בהיותכם ; and the text of the Chronicle being the more difficult, is consequently to be regarded as the earlier. Moreover, the divergences of 1 Chronicles 16:23 to 33 of our hymn from Psalms 96:1-13 are such as would result from its having been prepared for the above-mentioned solemn festival. The omission of the two strophes, “Sing unto Jahve a new song, sing unto Jahve, bless His name” ( Psalms 96:1 and Psalms 96:2), in 1 Chronicles 16:23 of the Chronicle might be accounted for by regarding that part of our hymn as an abridgment by the chronicler of the original song, when connecting it with the preceding praise of God, were it certain on other grounds that Psalms 96:1-13 was the original; but if the chronicler's hymn be the original, we may just as well believe that this section was amplified when it was made into an independent psalm. A comparison of 1 Chronicles 16:33 (Chron.) with the end of the 96th Psalm favours this last hypothesis, for in the Chronicle the repetition of בּא כּי is wanting, as well as the second hemistich of Psalms 96:13. The whole of the 13th verse recurs, with a single בּא כּי , at the end of the 98th Psalm (Psalms 98:9), and the thought is borrowed from the Davidic Psalms 9:9. The strophes in the beginning of Psalms 96:1-13, which are omitted from 1 Chronicles 16:16, often recur. The phrase, “Sing unto Jahve a new song,” is met within Psalms 33:3; Psalms 98:1, and Psalms 149:1, and חדשׁ שׁיר in Psalms 40:4, a Davidic psalm. את־שׁמו בּרכוּ is also met with in Psalms 100:4; and still more frequently את־יהוה בּרכוּ , in Psalms 103:2, Psalms 103:22; Psalms 134:1, and elsewhere, even as early as Deborah's song, Judges 5:2, Judges 5:9; while ליהוה שׁירוּ occurs in the song of Moses, Exodus 15:1. Since, then, the strophes of the 96th Psalm are only reminiscences of, and phrases which we find in, the oldest religious songs of the Israelites, it is clear that Psalms 96:1-13 is not an original poem. It is rather the re-grouping of the well-known and current thoughts; and the fact that it is so, favours the belief that all which this psalm contains at the beginning and end, which the Chronicle does not contain, is merely an addition made by the poet who transformed this part of the chronicler's hymn into an independent psalm for liturgical purposes. This purpose clearly appears in such variations as בּמקדּשׁו ותפארת , Psalms 96:6, instead of בּמקמו וחדוה , 1 Chronicles 16:27, and לחצרותיו וּבאוּ , Psalms 96:8, instead of לפניו וּבאוּ , 1 Chronicles 16:29. Neither the word מקדּשׁ nor the mention of “courts” is suitable in a hymn sung at the consecration of the holy tent in Zion, for at that time the old national sanctuary with the altar in the court (the tabernacle) still stood in Gibeon.

Here, therefore, the text of the Chronicle corresponds to the circumstances of David's time, while the mention of מקדּשׁ and of courts in the psalm presupposes the existence of the temple with its courts as the sanctuary of the people of Israel. Now a post-exilic poet would scarcely have paid so much attention to this delicate distinction between times and circumstances as to alter, in the already existing psalms, out of which he compounded this festal hymn, the expressions which were not suitable to the Davidic time. Against this, the use of the unusual word חדוה drow lau , joy, which occurs elsewhere only in Nehemiah 10:8, Nehemiah 10:10, and in Chaldee in Ezra 6:18, is no valid objection, for the use of the verb חדה as early as Exodus 18:9 and Job 3:6 shows that the word does not belong to the later Hebrew. The discrepancy also between 1 Chronicles 16:30 and 1 Chronicles 16:31 and Psalms 96:9-11, namely, the omission in the Chronicle of the strophe בּמישׁרים עמּים ידין (Psalms 96:10), and the placing of the clause מלך יהוה בגּוים _ ויאמרוּ after הארץ ותגל (1 Chronicles 16:31, cf. Psalms 96:10), does not really prove anything as to the priority of Psalms 96:1-13. Hitzig, indeed, thinks that since by the omission of the one member the parallelism of the verses is disturbed, and a triple verse appears where all the others are double merely, and because by this alteration the clause,”Say among the people, Jahve is King,” has come into an apparently unsuitable position, between an exhortation to the heaven and earth to rejoice, and the roaring of the sea and its fulness, this clause must have been unsuitably placed by a copyist's error. But the transposition cannot be so explained; for not only is that one member of the verse misplaced, but also the אמרוּ of the psalm is altered into ויאמרוּ , and moreover, we get no explanation of the omission of the strophe וגו ידין . If we consider ויאמרוּ (with ו consecutive), “then will they say,” we see clearly that it corresponds to וגו ירנּנוּ אז in 1 Chronicles 16:33; and in 1 Chronicles 16:30 the recognition of Jahve's kingship over the peoples is represented as the issue and effect of the joyful exultation of the heaven and earth, just as in 1 Chronicles 16:32 and 1 Chronicles 16:33 the joyful shouting of the trees of the field before Jahve as He comes to judge the earth, is regarded as the result of the roaring of the sea and the gladness of the fields. The אמרוּ of the psalm, on the other hand, the summons to the Israelites to proclaim that Jahve is King among the peoples, is, after the call, “Let the whole earth tremble before Him,” a somewhat tame expression; and after it, again, we should not expect the much stronger וגו תּכּון אף . When we further consider that the clause which follows in the Chronicle, “He will judge the people in uprightness,” is a reminiscence of Psalms 9:9, we must hold the text of the Chronicle to be here also the original, and the divergences in Psalms 96:1-13 for alterations, which were occasioned by the changing of a part of our hymn into an independent psalm. Finally, there can be no doubt as to the priority of the chronicler's hymn in 1 Chronicles 16:34-36. The author of the Chronicle did not require to borrow the liturgical formula וגו טוב כּי ליהוה הודוּ from Psalms 106:1, for it occurs in as complete a form in Psalms 97:1; Psalms 118:1, Psalms 118:29; Psalms 136:1, and, not to mention 2 Chronicles 5:13; 2 Chronicles 7:3; 2 Chronicles 20:21, is a current phrase with Jeremiah (Jeremiah 33:11), and is without doubt an ancient liturgical form. 1 Chronicles 16:35 and 1 Chronicles 16:36, too, contain such divergences from Psalms 106:47 and Psalms 106:48, that it is in the highest degree improbable that they were borrowed from that psalm. Not only is the prayer וגו הושׁיענוּ introduced by אמרוּ , but also, instead of אלהינוּ יהוה of the psalm, we have ישׁענוּ אלהי ; and to וקבּצנוּ , והצּילנוּ is added, - a change which causes the words to lose the reference to the Chaldean exile contained in the text of the Psalms. The post-exilic author of the Chronicle would scarcely have obliterated this reference, and certainly would not have done so in such a delicate fashion, had he taken the verse from Ps 106. A much more probable supposition is, that the post-exilic author of the 106th Psalm appropriated the concluding verse of David's to him well-known hymn, and modified it to make it fit into his poem. Indubitable instances of such alterations are to be found in the conclusion, where the statement of the chronicler, that all the people said Amen and praised Jahve, is made to conform to the psalm, beginning as it does with Halleluiah, by altering ויּאמרוּ into ואמר , “and let them say,” and of ליהוה והלּל into הללוּ־יהּ .

On the whole, therefore, we must regard the opinion that David composed our psalm for the above-mentioned festival as by far the most probable. The psalm itself needs no further commentary; but compare Delitzsch on the parallel psalms and parts of psalms.

Verses 37-43

Division of the Levites for the management of the public worship. - At the same time as he set up the ark in the tent erected for it on Mount Zion, David had prepared a new locality for the public worship. The Mosaic tabernacle had continued, with its altar of burnt-offering, to be the general place of worship for the congregation of Israel even during the long period when the ark was separated from it, and it was even yet to be so; and it became necessary, in order to carry on the religious service in both of these sanctuaries, to divide the staff of religious officials: and this David now undertook.

1 Chronicles 16:37-38

Before the ark he left Asaph with his brethren ( ל( nerht before the accus. obj., according to the later usage), to serve, to minister there continually. בּיומו לדבר־יום , “according to the matter of the day on its day,” i.e., according to the service necessary for each day; cf. for this expression, Exodus 5:13, Exodus 5:19; Exodus 16:4, etc. “And Obed-edom and their brethren.” In these words there is a textual error: the plural suffix in אחיהם shows that after אדום עבד at least one name has been dropped out. But besides that, the relation in which the words, “and Obed-edom the son of Jeduthun, and Hosah, to be porters,” stand to the preceding clause, “and Obed-edom and their brethren,” is obscure. Against the somewhat general idea, that the words are to be taken in an explicative sense, “and Obed-edom indeed,” etc., the objection suggests itself, that Obed-edom is here defined to be the son of Jeduthun, and would seem to be thereby distinguished from the preceding Obed-edom. In addition to that, in 1 Chronicles 15:21 and Obed-edom is mentioned among the singers, and in 1 Chronicles 16:24 one of the doorkeepers bears that name, and they are clearly distinguished as being different persons. On the other hand, however, the identity of the two Obed-edoms in our verse is supported by the fact that in 1 Chronicles 26:4-8 the doorkeepers Obed-edom with his sons and brethren number sixty-two, which comes pretty nearly up to the number mentioned in our verse, viz., sixty-eight. Yet we cannot regard this circumstance as sufficient to identify the two, and must leave the question undecided, because the text of our verse is defective. Jeduthun the father of Obed-edom is different from the chief musician Jeduthun (= Ethan); for the chief musician is a descendant of Merari, while the doorkeeper Jeduthun belongs to the Korahites (i.e., Kohathites): see on 1 Chronicles 26:4.

1 Chronicles 16:39-40

צדוק ואת is still dependent on the ויּעזב in 1 Chronicles 16:37. The priest Zadok with his brethren he left before the tent of Jahve, i.e., the tabernacle at the Bamah in Gibeon. For בּמה see on 2 Chronicles 1:13, and for Zadok on 2 Chronicles 6:12. It is surprising here that no priest is named as superintendent or overseer of the sacrificial worship in the tent of the ark of the covenant. But the omission is accounted for by the fact that our chapter treats properly only of the arrangement of the sacred music connected with the worship, and Zadok is mentioned as overseer of the sanctuary of the tabernacle at Gibeon only in order to introduce the statement as to the Levitic singers and players assigned to that sanctuary. Without doubt Abiathar as high priest had the oversight of the sacrificial worship in the sanctuary of the tabernacle: see on 1 Chronicles 18:16; with 1 Chronicles 16:40 cf. Exodus 29:38; Numbers 28:3, Numbers 28:6. לכל־הכּתוּב corresponds to להעלות : and in reference to all, i.e., to look after all, which was written. This refers not only to the bringing of the sacrifices prescribed, in addition to the daily burnt-offering, but in general to everything that it was the priests' duty to do in the sanctuary.

1 Chronicles 16:41-42

ועמּהם , and with them (with Zadok and his brethren) were Heman and Jeduthun, i.e., (the two other chief musicians, 1 Chronicles 15:19), with the other chosen famous, sc. singers ( בשׁמות נקּבוּ , see on 1 Chronicles 12:31). To these belonged those of the number named in 1 Chronicles 15:18-21, 1 Chronicles 15:24, who are not mentioned among those assigned to Asaph in 1 Chronicles 16:5 and 1 Chronicles 16:6, and probably also a number of others whose names have not been handed down. In 1 Chronicles 16:42, if the text be correct, וידוּתוּן הימן can only be in apposition to עמּהם : “and with them, viz., with Heman and Jeduthun, were trumpets,” etc. But, not to mention the difficulty that passages analogous and parallel to this statement are not to be found, the mention of these two chief musicians in the connection is surprising; for the musical instruments mentioned are not merely the מצלתּים (s. 1 Chronicles 15:19) played by them, but also the חצצרות which the priests blew, and other instruments. Moreover, the names Heman and Jeduthun are not found here in the lxx, and have probably been inserted in our verse by some copyist from 1 Chronicles 16:41, which likewise begins with ועמּהם . If we omit these names, then, the verse contains no other difficulty worthy of consideration, or any which would occasion or necessitate such violent alterations of the text as Berth. has proposed. The suffix in עמּהם refers to the persons mentioned in 1 Chronicles 16:41, Heman, Jeduthun, and the other chosen ones. “With them were,” i.e., they had by them, trumpets, cymbals, etc. The ל before משׁמיעים is strange, since משׁמיעים is in 1 Chronicles 15:16 connected with מצלתּים as an adjective, and in 1 Chronicles 15:19 we have להשׁמיע . But if we compare 1 Chronicles 16:5 of our chapter, where משׁמיע is predicate to Asaph, “Asaph gave forth clear notes with cymbals,” then here also למשׁמיעים in connection with מצלתּים is thoroughly justified in the signification, “and cymbals for those who gave forth the notes or the melody,” i.e., for Heman and Jeduthun. הא שׁיר כּלי are the other instruments used in the service of the song, viz., the nablia and kinnoroth . “The sons of Jeduthun for the gate,” i.e., as doorkeepers. As Obed-edom, who was doorkeeper by the ark, according to 1 Chronicles 16:38, was likewise a son of Jeduthun, here other sons of the same Jeduthun, brothers of Obed-edom, must be meant, the number of whom, if we may judge from 1 Chronicles 26:8, was very considerable; so that the members of this family were able to attend to the doorkeeping both by the ark and in the tabernacle at Gibeon.

1 Chronicles 16:43

1 Chronicles 16:43 brings the account of the transfer of the ark to a conclusion, and coincides in substance with 2 Samuel 6:19 and 2 Samuel 6:20, where, however, there follows in addition a narrative of the scene which David had with his wife Michal. This, as res domestica , the author of the Chronicle has omitted, since the reference to it in 1 Chronicles 15:29 seemed sufficient for the design of his work. לברך is not to greet, but to bless his house, just as in 1 Chronicles 16:2 he had already pronounced a blessing on his people in the name of God.

Bibliographical Information
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 16". Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kdo/1-chronicles-16.html. 1854-1889.
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