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the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 16

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary


First Chronicles Chapter 16

1 Chronicles 16:1 "So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it: and they offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings before God."

A person, whether a king or just a commoner, is never at rest in his or her heart, until they have established a place to worship their God. David had a beautiful house of cedar, but he could never be at home there, until he had a place for the ark, so he could go and worship God there. All the riches and power in the world will not bring happiness. We must have peace in our souls that only God can bring. The place for the tent had been prepared, and David had erected this tent similar to the tabernacle in the wilderness. We are not told what preparations were made inside the tent. The burnt sacrifices symbolized the atonement. The peace offerings were to reconcile God and man.

1 Chronicles 16:2 "And when David had made an end of offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD."

This blessing from the LORD, spoken by David, was like a prophetic statement. He was so overwhelmed by the presence of God symbolized by the ark, that he spoke from God through his heart to the people.

1 Chronicles 16:3 "And he dealt to every one of Israel, both man and woman, to every one a loaf of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon [of wine]."

The piece of meat came from the offerings. The loaf of bread was made circular for some reason. It is even believed to have been perforated. The flagon of wine was for the merriment of the occasion. The bread and wine symbolize the body and blood of the Lamb {The Lord Jesus Christ}. This is very similar to a passover meal.

1 Chronicles 16:4 "And he appointed [certain] of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, and to record, and to thank and praise the LORD God of Israel:"

The "he" in this case is David. Notice, he chose Levites. He had undoubtedly learned what the law had to say about this. These had three jobs; to record, to thank, and to praise God. These Levites were very similar to ministers in church today, who minister God’s will and conduct praise and worship services.

1 Chronicles 16:5 "Asaph the chief, and next to him Zechariah, Jeiel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Mattithiah, and Eliab, and Benaiah, and Obed-edom: and Jeiel with psalteries and with harps; but Asaph made a sound with cymbals;"

This is speaking of those in charge of the music ministry. Asaph was the leader of it all. All of the others, here, played musical instruments. The only distinction of the instruments were the cymbals, that Asaph started the music with.

1 Chronicles 16:6 "Benaiah also and Jahaziel the priests with trumpets continually before the ark of the covenant of God."

These silver {symbolizes redemption} trumpets were blown to gather the people. We mentioned, from Numbers chapter 10 verse 2, the silver trumpet and its purpose. It is interesting to note that our great High Priest will blow a trumpet to redeem us from the earth, when He calls us to Him in the sky. Notice, the priests blow this trumpet. Jahaziel is the same as Eliezer.

1 Chronicles 16:7 "Then on that day David delivered first [this psalm] to thank the LORD into the hand of Asaph and his brethren."

A psalm is a song. David had written one for this special occasion. He gave it to Asaph who is the director of music.

1 Chronicles 16:8 "Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people."

Notice, how this begins. In the beginning of prayer or praise, the first thing to do is give thanks to the LORD. We must call upon His name. We have not, because we ask not. There is great power in His name. We must tell others of His greatness, so they might see and believe.

1 Chronicles 16:9 "Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works."

I personally believe that singing praises to the LORD lifts the soul of man above the earth. Witnessing to others what God has done for us, helps the person we are witnessing to, but helps us as well. We sing a little chorus that says "I’m going to lift up the name of Jesus". This is what the verse above is speaking of.

1 Chronicles 16:10 "Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD."

We find strength and comfort in the name of Jesus. Christians have been given power and authority to use that name. David is saying the same thing about the LORD here. Those that seek the LORD shall find Him.

1 Chronicles 16:11 "Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually."

David was fully aware that it was not his strength that caused him to win in battle, but was the strength of the LORD. We, Christians, are aware of that, also, as we read in the following verse. Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." To seek the face of God, is to look beyond ourselves for help.

1 Chronicles 16:12 "Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;"

The LORD has been in the miraculous works business from the beginning of Genesis. His works have always spoken volumes. He opened the Red Sea, He brought ten plagues upon Egypt to free His people. He fed close to three million people with manna that fell from heaven for almost forty years. I could go on and on. His marvellous works separate Him from everyone as Truly God. His judgments are just.

1 Chronicles 16:13 "O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones."

In this, I see David saying, "Do you not realize who you are?" You are the chosen family of God. Even Christians are seed of Abraham, because of their faith.

1 Chronicles 16:14 "He [is] the LORD our God; his judgments [are] in all the earth."

"LORD" is speaking of Jehovah, which I believe to be the Word of God in heaven. He is Creator of all the world. He set the laws of nature in motion. He not only is the Judge of all the people, but of all nature, as well.

1 Chronicles 16:15 "Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word [which] he commanded to a thousand generations;"

God promised to bless them, if they kept His commandments. The covenant would last for generations to come, as long as they kept His commandments. God’s promises are for all generations to come.

1 Chronicles 16:16 "[Even of the covenant] which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac;"

The covenant that God had with Israel was all bound up in the law that he gave to His people at Mount Sinai. The actual covenant was with Abraham, and handed down through his son of the spirit, Isaac. The covenant was based on faith in God.

1 Chronicles 16:17 "And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, [and] to Israel [for] an everlasting covenant,"

God gave the law to Israel for many reasons. It separated them unto God from the rest of the world. They were the only ones with the law. The law was given to them to cause them to be the moral example for the rest of the world. It was not only to serve their spiritual man, however. It was a perfect civil law and dietary law, as well as being a moral law. If they kept the words of the law, they would not need an earthly king. The LORD would be their only King.

1 Chronicles 16:18 "Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance;"

The land of Canaan was their land of Inheritance, for all of time.

1 Chronicles 16:19 "When ye were but few, even a few, and strangers in it."

Jacob’s very small family went into Egypt. God had a plan to take care of them there. He had sent Joseph ahead to prepare a place for them. They were strangers in Egypt, and grew to close to three million people there.

1 Chronicles 16:20 "And [when] they went from nation to nation, and from [one] kingdom to another people;"

1 Chronicles 16:21 "He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes,"

1 Chronicles 16:22 "[Saying], Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm."

These three verses above are reminding them of the supernatural care that God took of His people. They were not like the rest of the world. God fought for them. His presence was with them in the cloud by day and the fire by night. He protected them from their enemies. The nations around them feared their God.

1 Chronicles 16:23 "Sing unto the LORD, all the earth; shew forth from day to day his salvation."

This is another way of saying, that man must walk every day in the salvation he has received. In our songs, we must reveal the value of our salvation to make us happy.

1 Chronicles 16:24 "Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations."

This, again, is very much like "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature".

1 Chronicles 16:25 "For great [is] the LORD, and greatly to be praised: he also [is] to be feared above all gods."

1 Chronicles 16:26 "For all the gods of the people [are] idols: but the LORD made the heavens."

Over and over, God had destroyed the idols and false gods, proving that He alone is God. The ten plagues brought against Egypt by God, not only freed the family of Jacob from bondage, but defamed the false gods of Egypt. Even the magicians in Egypt recognized that it was the finger of God that brought the plagues on Egypt. The idols were created by the people who worshipped them. The LORD created all things.

1 Chronicles 16:27 "Glory and honour [are] in his presence; strength and gladness [are] in his place."

1 Chronicles 16:28 "Give unto the LORD, ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength."

Give God the glory for everything. All things exist because He allows them to exist. The world, and everything and everyone are His. We are His creation. There is no honor, praise, glory, or strength, except in Him.

1 Chronicles 16:29 "Give unto the LORD the glory [due] unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness."

The greatest sacrifice we can make for Him, is to praise Him. His name is above all others. It is important to bring our offerings, but it is more important to worship Him with our entire being. We must always remember that He is holy. He commands us to be holy, because He is holy.

1 Chronicles 16:30 "Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved."

The only fear that believers in God are allowed to have, is fear of God. That type of fear is more like reverence. Other fear is the lack of faith. He made the world. It obeys His voice. If He tells it to be stable, it must be stable. He has framed it in perfect order.

1 Chronicles 16:31 "Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let [men] say among the nations, The LORD reigneth."

1 Chronicles 16:32 "Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that [is] therein."

1 Chronicles 16:33 "Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the LORD, because he cometh to judge the earth."

All of God’s creation is waiting for that glorious day, when He will return. Even nature, itself, will cry out praises to Him.

1 Chronicles 16:34 "O give thanks unto the LORD; for [he is] good; for his mercy [endureth] for ever."

1 Chronicles 16:35 "And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, [and] glory in thy praise."

1 Chronicles 16:36 "Blessed [be] the LORD God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the LORD."

These verses are some of the most beautiful in the Bible. They need no explanation. These very same statements are found in the book of Psalms. There is no way that anyone could say anything, but amen {so be it}. This leaves nothing else to do, but to praise the LORD.

1 Chronicles 16:37 "So he left there before the ark of the covenant of the LORD Asaph and his brethren, to minister before the ark continually, as every day’s work required:"

The instructions from the law about how to conduct worship in this tent of the ark, would be carried out by those chosen of the Levitical tribe for their specific tasks. While David lived, the ark would be honored as representing the presence of God. Asaph, we know headed up the music department. We, Christians, can learn a lot from this lesson. It is very important to have music, and praise, and worship in our buildings we have set aside to worship God in.

1 Chronicles 16:38 "And Obed-edom with their brethren, threescore and eight; Obed-edom also the son of Jeduthun and Hosah [to be] porters:"

This Obed-edom, the son of Jeduthun, was a Kohathite. Three score and eight means there were sixty eight.

1 Chronicles 16:39 "And Zadok the priest, and his brethren the priests, before the tabernacle of the LORD in the high place that [was] at Gibeon,"

There had been a strange phenomenan in the day of David. There were two high priests. Saul had Zadok as high priest. David did not stop him from being high priest, but made Abiathar high priest, as well. It appears, the worship in the high place in Gibeon would beheaded up by Zadok.

1 Chronicles 16:40 "To offer burnt offerings unto the LORD upon the altar of the burnt offering continually morning and evening, and [to do] according to all that is written in the law of the LORD, which he commanded Israel;"

1 Chronicles 16:41 "And with them Heman and Jeduthun, and the rest that were chosen, who were expressed by name, to give thanks to the LORD, because his mercy [endureth] for ever;"

1 Chronicles 16:42 "And with them Heman and Jeduthun with trumpets and cymbals for those that should make a sound, and with musical instruments of God. And the sons of Jeduthun [were] porters."

It appears, that worship would be conducted in Gibeon much the same as here. These, mentioned in the three verses above, would help Zadok at Gibeon. There had been a slackness upon the part of the Israelites to worship God in the way He had taught them, ever since they had come into the land of Canaan. They called themselves worshipping God, but were not keeping the letter of the law.

1 Chronicles 16:43 "And all the people departed every man to his house: and David returned to bless his house."

David will, now, be blessed in his own home, because he has established his place of worship. Each person went home to their own families, except for those chosen for specific duties in the service of the LORD.

1 Chronicles 16 Questions

1. What did they do, when they got the ark placed in the tent?

2. When is the only time a person is at peace in his own heart?

3. Where does peace in your soul come from?

4. What did the burnt sacrifices symbolize?

5. What was the peace offering for?

6. What caused David to speak the blessing upon the people?

7. What did he give to every person?

8. Who did he appoint to minister before the ark of the Lord?

9. Who was the chief, mentioned in 1 Chronicles 16:5?

10. Who were the priests with the trumpets?

11. What Scripture makes us know they are silver trumpets?

12. What does "silver" symbolize?

13. Who will blow a trumpet to redeem us from the earth?

14. A psalm is a ________.

15. What does the author believe singing praises to the Lord does for us?

16. We find strength and comfort in the name of _________.

17. When should we seek the face of the LORD?

18. When we seek the face of the LORD, what are we doing?

19. What were some of the early works God did for the Israelites?

20. What is David saying to them in 1 Chronicles 16:13?

21. "LORD", in verse 14, is speaking of whom?

22. God promised to bless them, if they kept His ______________.

23. Who had God made the original covenant with?

24. The covenant was based on _________ in God.

25. Who did God give His law to?

26. How was the presence of God with them manifested?

27. Verse 24 is very much like what?

28. What did the ten plagues in Egypt do, besides free the Israelites?

29. Quote 1 Chronicles 16:27.

30. What is the greatest sacrifice we can make?

31. Fear of God is more like ___________.

32. What is all of God’s creation waiting for?

33. Quote 1 Chronicles 16:34-36.

34. How often did worship in the tent take place?

35. Where did Zadok go to worship?

Verses 1-3

1Ch 16:1-3

1 Chronicles 16:1-3





"And they brought in the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tent that David had prepared for it: and they offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings before God. And when David had made an end of offering the burnt-offerings and the peace-offerings, he blessed the people in the name of Jehovah. And he dealt to every one of Israel, both man and woman, to every one a loaf of bread, a portion of flesh, and a cake of raisins."

These verses actually belong to the record of bringing the ark into Jerusalem in the previous chapter. "They make it clear that the sacrifices were presented by the whole community of Israel with the Levitical priests performing their proper functions. David appears here, not as a priest, but as the king who supervised the proper activities of worship."

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 16:1. All of the articles of furniture for the regular services were at Gibeon except the ark. That would constitute an emergency which justified David in making the sacrifices in another manner in Jerusalem. Many items of the law were somewhat neglected under the various difficulties forced upon the nation. Wanton disregard for the ordinances was not passed over, but circumstances for which a leader was not responsible often tempered the justice of God.

1 Chronicles 16:2-3. A blessing pronounced by a man of authority, such as David, was more than a mere expression of good will. It carried with it the favor of God. These people had just completed a march of some distance, hence the dealing out of food was in order and would be considered one of the blessings.

Verses 4-6

1Ch 16:4-6

1 Chronicles 16:4-6


"And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of Jehovah, the God of Israel: Asaph the chief, and second to him Zechariah, Jeiel, and Shemiramoth. and Jehlel, and Mattithai, and Eliab, and Benaiah, and Obed-edom, and Jeiel, with psalteries, and with harps; and Asaph with cymbals, sounding aloud; and Benaiah and Jahazlel the priests with trumpets continually, before the ark of the covenant of God."

It is not altogether clear just exactly what some of these appointments included; but, of course, the persons receiving these appointments and instructions understood them and carried out their duties as instructed. It is very significant that David was diligent to set up all of these provisions for establishing on a permanent basis the worship of God in Jerusalem.

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 16:4. David again showed his interest in a systematic method by making specific appointments among his men. Record does not mean to put something in writing. It is from ZAKAR and Strong’s definition is, "to mark (so as to be recognized), i. e. to remember; by implication to mention." The thought of the verse is concerning gratitude due God for his many favors. These men were to serve continually near the ark, to be praising the Lord, to keep before the minds of the people the wonderful works of God. The principle is similar to that of Peter who would "stir up" the minds by way of "remembrance." (2 Peter 3:1.)

1 Chronicles 16:5. These men are mentioned in the preceding chapter, among those who went to bring the ark to Jerusalem. The cymbals were not musical instruments in the strict sense of the word. They were used for about the same purpose as the drums of modern times, and intended to give emphasis to the other instruments, and to indicate the beats.

1 Chronicles 16:6. The trumpets differed from other musical instruments in that they were wind instruments. However, they were not made with valves as are cornets today. They were made of the horns of rams, or of metal in the shape of horns, and the tone was the result of the lip movement in blowing into the cavity of the instrument.

Verse 7

1Ch 16:7

1 Chronicles 16:7


"Then on that Day delivered first this psalm to thank the Lord into the hand of Asaph and his brethren." (KJV)

We have, in this one verse, returned to the rendition in the Authorized Version, as that version seems better to convey the real meaning.

Barker gave the meaning of this verse as follows:

"On that day did David first commit to the hand of Asaph and his brethren to render praises to Jehovah; after the following manner and words. The word first marks the solemn establishment of set public worship in the metropolis."

Payne agreed with this meaning, rendering the first clause here, "David delivered first this Psalm." He added that, "The following model song (psalm) that David provided them consists, with slight modifications, of Psalms 105:1-15; Psalms 96, and Psalms 106:1; Psalms 106:47-48. All three Psalms are listed anonymously in the Psalter, but upon the basis of David’s use of them here, it would appear that David was indeed the author of all three."

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 16:7. Smith’s Bible Dictionary says this of Asaph: "A Levite, son of Berechiah, one of the leaders of David’s choir." According to 2 Chronicles 29:30 Asaph was a composer also. David gave him and his brethren the assignment to express the words of 1 Chronicles 16:8-36. Psalm is not in the original because the passage to follow is too general to be covered by the definition of the Hebrew word for Psalm. That word is MIZMOUR, and Strong’s definition is, "from ZAMAR; properly, instrumental music; by implication a poem set to notes." While on the subject I shall give the reader Strong’s definition of ZAMAR, referred to in the preceding definition. "A primitive root; properly to touch the strings or parts of a musical instrument, i. e. play upon it; to make music, accompanied by the voice; hence to celebrate in song and music." We can see why the writer of 1 Chronicles did not call the passage a psalm. It contains so much "doctrine" and historical information that he made an indefinite introduction and allowed the subject matter to speak for itself.

Verses 8-36

1Ch 16:8-36

1 Chronicles 16:8-36

The Model Psalm Delivered by David to Asaph:

"O give thanks unto Jehovah, call upon his name;

Make known his doings among the peoples.

Sing unto him, sing praises unto him;

Talk ye of all his marvelous works.

Glory be in his holy name;

Let the heart of them rejoice that seeketh Jehovah.

Seek ye Jehovah and his strength;

Seek his face evermore.

Remember his marvelous works that he hath done,

His wonders, and the judgments of his mouth,

O ye seed of Israel his servant,

Ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones.

He is Jehovah our God;

His judgments are in all the earth.

Remember his covenant forever,

The word which he commanded to a thousand generations,

The covenant which he made with Abraham,

And his oaths unto Isaac,

And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a statute,

To Israel for an everlasting covenant,

Saying, Unto thee I give the land of Canaan,

The lot of your inheritance;

When ye were but a few men in number,

Yea, very few, and sojourners in it:

And they went about from nation to nation,

And from one kingdom to another people.

He suffered no man to do them wrong;

Yea, he reproved kings for their sakes,

Saying, Touch not mine anointed ones,

And do my prophets no harm.

Sing unto Jehovah, all the earth;

Show forth his salvation from day to day.

Declare his glory among the nations,

His marvelous works among all the peoples.

For great is Jehovah, and greatly to be praised:

He also is to be feared above all gods,

For all the gods of the peoples are idols:

But Jehovah made the heavens.

Honor and majesty are before him:

Strength and gladness are in his place.

Ascribe unto Jehovah, ye kindred of the peoples,

Ascribe unto Jehovah glory and strength;

Ascribe unto Jehovah the glory due unto his name:

Bring an offering, and come before him;

Worship Jehovah in holy array.

Tremble before him, all the earth:

The world also is established that it cannot be moved.

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

And let them say among the nations, Jehovah reigneth.

Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof;

Let the fields exult, and all that is therein;

Then let the trees of the wood sing for joy before Jehovah;

For he cometh to judge the earth.

O give thanks unto Jehovah; for he is good;

For his lovingkindness endureth forever.

And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation,

And gather us together and deliver us from the nations,

To give thanks unto thy holy name,

And to triumph in thy praise.

Blessed be Jehovah, the God of Israel, from everlasting even to everlasting.

And all the people said, Amen, and praised Jehovah."

1 Chronicles 16:8-22 corresponds almost exactly with Psalms 105:1-15.

1 Chronicles 16:23-33 correspond almost exactly with Psalms 96 in its entirety.

The concluding verses of the Model Psalm are found in Psalms 106:1; Psalms 106:47-48.

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 16:8. They should not only have a thankful heart, but should let the people know of the deeds that prompted it.

1 Chronicles 16:9. See comments at 1 Chronicles 16:7 for meaning of "psalm."

1 Chronicles 16:10. The glory of the Lord means very little to those who do not seek him; rejoicing is in store for the ones who do.

1 Chronicles 16:11. The important thought is in the word continually. Some people seek the Lord when convenient or when in special trouble. True servants are those who are constant in their devotion.

1 Chronicles 16:12. The things God does are great and many persons will extol them. But the same people often reject the teaching of God, while the truth is that the divine judgments are as wonderful as are the works of his hands.

1 Chronicles 16:13. Israel is one of the names for Jacob, and his people were the chosen of God. Such a favor should bring forth the best of service.

1 Chronicles 16:14. Even where the written Word of God is not known, there is great evidence of his wisdom in the arrangement of the universe, of which the earth is a small part.

1 Chronicles 16:15. God is always true to his covenants, although the generations for whom they were made often forget.

1 Chronicles 16:16-17. This passage specifies the covenant David had in mind in the preceding verse. We should not forget that he was inspired and the teaching in this outstanding passage is that of God. The three fathers, Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, are named as a group, yet an important distinction is made between the first two as against the third. The covenant is said to have been made with Abraham and considered as an oath. with Isaac. But it was not confirmed until the day of Jacob. This should always be considered when studying the length of Israel’s sojourn in Egypt, in connection with Galatians 3:17. That passage says the law was 430 years after the covenant was confirmed. The verse of the present paragraph shows that the covenant was confirmed in the time of Jacob. We know that it was in the days of Jacob that the children of Israel entered Egypt, corresponding with the time the covenant was confirmed. Then, since the law came 430 years after the covenant was confirmed, and also since the law came just after their coming out of Egypt, the conclusion is that the sojourn in Egypt was 430 years. See also my comments at length at Genesis 15:13-15.

1 Chronicles 16:18. The three fathers named in the preceding paragraph never lived to see the promised land possessed. The exhortation here is addressed to the seed of Israel, (1 Chronicles 16:13), because they were the ones who lived to see the promise carried out. Lot of your inheritance means that the Israel of David’s day were the heirs of the country promised to the fathers.

1 Chronicles 16:19. As late as the time the covenant was confirmed in Jacob, the number of the group was only 70. (Genesis 46:27.)

1 Chronicles 16:20-21. As far back as the days of Abraham this declaration of God’s care was true. See Genesis 12:17 for an instance of it.

1 Chronicles 16:22. In Genesis 20:7 Abraham is called a prophet, and the king of Gerar was reproved for his treatment of the patriarch. That proves the statement of this verse.

1 Chronicles 16:23. All the earth means all the people of the earth, not the material planet as in Psalms 19:1. This earth is to spew forth salvation, which indicates the intelligent creatures on the earth are meant.

1 Chronicles 16:24. Heathen and nations may often be used interchangeably. In this verse the first refers specifically to individuals of foreign blood, the second to groups of persons formed into units of government. Both kinds of humanity were to be informed of the glory of the Lord.

1 Chronicles 16:25. The word fear has two meanings; one is to respect, the other to dread. The connection must determine in each case which is meant. This verse directs us to praise and fear the same Being, so we know the fear required is "respect." Idolatry was almost universally practiced, hence the contrast between the Lord and all false gods.

1 Chronicles 16:26. The heavens means the material world, and everything in it was worshiped as idols. The point of the writer is that the very things that were adored by the heathen as gods, were themselves the work of the true God.

1 Chronicles 16:27. The greatest glory and honor one can have is to be in the presence of his Lord. It is true also that the strength that comes from gladness, and the gladness that comes from strength, can be had only in the place or locality occupied by the Lord. We may be in that place, spiritually now, and personally in the future, if we serve him faithfully while here.

1 Chronicles 16:28. It is impossible for people actually to give strength to the Lord. It means to give him the glory for all true strength or greatness possessed by anyone.

1 Chronicles 16:29. The name Lord is from the Hebrew YEHOVAH, sometimes spelled YAHWEH. It is defined by Strong, "The self-Existent or Eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God." Young defines it, "He (who) is." The word occurs several hundred times in the Hebrew Old Testament. In view of the meaning and extensive use of the term, we should not be surprised at the statement of the writer of glory due to the Holy Name.

1 Chronicles 16:30. The security of the earth is dependent on the Lord, therefore the fear called for means "respect."

1 Chronicles 16:31. The heaven and earth are material things and cannot rejoice; but the creatures in them can, and are called upon to do so. They also are bidden to acknowledge the Lord as the one who is reigning.

1 Chronicles 16:32. Fields . . . all that is therein. Dumb creatures do not know how to express joy in its true sense. However, the pleasure that is enjoyed by them is due to the might and goodness of God, and that is the meaning of the writer.

1 Chronicles 16:33. To the eye of the true worshiper of the Lord, even the trees furnish subjects for song. (1Ki 5.) To sing at thought of God’s judgments implies that they are just.

1 Chronicles 16:34. Endureth has no word in the original. The strength of the sentence is in the word ever, and means there is no time when God’s mercy does not exist. Man is merciful at times, but God always has mercy for those entitled to it.

1 Chronicles 16:35. Contrary to a common notion, the word heathen does not necessarily mean uncivilized people. It refers to the peoples of the world in general who are not of the chosen race belonging to God.

1 Chronicles 16:36. For ever and ever. The simple word ever means "always," and is unlimited. The repetition, therefore, is for emphasis.

Verses 37-38

1Ch 16:37-38

1 Chronicles 16:37-38


"So he left there, before the ark of the covenant of Jehovah, Asaph and his brethren to minister before the ark continually, as every day’s work required; and Obed-edom, with their brethren, threescore and eight; Obed-edom also the son of Jeduthun and Hosah to be doorkeepers."

"These verses reveal that a permanent ministry and choir were established in Jerusalem for the purpose of carrying forward the worship of God continually on a regular schedule, an achievement hitherto unattainable."

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 16:37. This repeats the announcement made in 1 Chronicles 16:4-5, which see. The task was daily but might be varied according to the performances of the worshipers.

1 Chronicles 16:38. The special charge of Obed-edom was to guard the tent containing the ark, that David had pitched in Zion for it.

Verses 39-43

1Ch 16:39-43

1 Chronicles 16:39-43


"And Zadok the priest, and his brethren the priests, before the tabernacle of Jehovah in the high place that was at Gibeon, to offer burnt-offerings unto Jehovah upon the altar of burnt-offerings continually morning and evening, even according to all that is written in the law of Jehovah, which he commanded unto Israel; and with them Haman and Jeduthun, and the rest that were chosen, who were mentioned by name, to give thanks to Jehovah, because his lovingkindness endureth forever; and with the Haman and Jeduthun with trumpets and cymbals for those that should sound aloud, and with instruments for the songs of God; and the sons of Jeduthun to be at the gate. And all the people departed every man to his house: and David returned to bless his house."

"It is here brought into prominence that the ark and the tabernacle were in two separate places. The great ordinary sacrifices, including the morning and evening sacrifices as commanded in Exodus 38:2, were now resumed in the tabernacle, `according to all that is written in the law of the Lord.’"

The significance of what David accomplished here is great indeed; and the Chronicler has provided in 1 Chronicles 15, "An explanation of where the tabernacle had been after it was removed from Nob."

"During the times of the Judges, the tabernacle had been at Shiloh (Joshua 18:1); during the reign of Saul, it was at Nob (1 Samuel 21); and it was later at Gibeon (1 Chronicles 16:39); and later Solomon laid it up in the temple (1 Kings 8:4)."

Of course, the ark belonged in the tabernacle, in the Holy of Holies; and, although David was here unable to bring about the restoration of their true relation to each other, he did set in motion the events that would eventually lead to their being together when the temple was erected by Solomon to replace the tabernacle. The purpose of the Chronicler in what is written in these chapters is clear enough. He is telling us how the true worship of God eventually came to be reestablished according to God’s original instructions in the Pentateuch. This, of course, is precisely why radical critics pretend to find so much fault with Chronicles.

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 16:39-40. After the ark was captured by the Philistines, the tabernacle became reduced in its importance. It was not entirely abandoned, for Solomon went there to make his great sacrificial offerings. But it was located at Gibeon by some circumstance not revealed to us. The brazen altar was there, hence David made the appointment stated, for the priests to preside over the animal sacrifices offered at that place. The priests were normally the ones to have charge of that work.

1 Chronicles 16:41-42. The performance of animal sacrifices combined the activities of the priests and the ones making the offering. At the same time, David arranged for the other exercises to accompany the offerings. See the comments on this subject at 1 Chronicles 15:19-22. Musical instruments of God is an inspired expression. David was never condemned, nor even criticized for making and using them. But it was a part of the procedure under the Old Testament regulations and has no bearing on the religious activities of the New Testament. The porters were gatekeepers or janitors.

1 Chronicles 16:43. The great service on occasion of installing the ark in its tent was ended. The assembly departed for their private homes, and David also returned to his home in Mount Zion. With the authority of a king and the effectiveness of an inspired man, he bestowed on his household his blessing.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 1 Chronicles 16". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/1-chronicles-16.html.
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