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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 13

Benson's Commentary of the Old and New TestamentsBenson's Commentary


A.M. 2959. B.C. 1045.

David brings up the ark from Kirjath-jearim, 1 Chronicles 13:1-8 . Uzza being smitten, it is left at the house of Obed-edom, 1 Chronicles 13:9-14 .

Verse 1

1 Chronicles 13:1. David consulted with the captains of thousands, &c. With all the principal persons in authority, who had any command over others. For it is a dangerous thing for a prince, especially in the beginning of his reign, to rely wholly on his own wisdom, and not advise with others.

Verse 2

1 Chronicles 13:2. David said unto all the congregation Unto all the people then assembled with him at Hebron. In the second book of Samuel (chap. 5. and 6.) this story of removing the ark is mentioned after the taking of Jerusalem, and the two first fights with the Philistines, whereas here it is placed before the latter, and there is no mention of the former. The case seems to have been as follows: There being now a great and general concourse of all Israel, and David being now established in his throne with universal consent and applause, he begins with God, and his first thoughts and cares are concerning religion, and what was then the great instrument and ornament of it, the ark. And, having this assembly with him, he takes the opportunity of desiring their advice and concurrence with him about bringing the ark, either to Hebron, which was then the royal city, or to Jerusalem, which, as probably he told them, he was resolved to besiege, and hoped, by God’s help, to take. After this was proposed by the king, and accepted by the people, this great assembly was dismissed, only some of them David reserved to go with him against Jerusalem, which accordingly he did, and succeeded in his enterprise. But before his resolution to fetch the ark could be executed, the Philistines came and fought twice with him, as is related 2 Samuel 5:17, &c., and here 1 Chronicles 14:8, &c. And after they were repulsed with great loss and shame, David sets upon the execution of what he had resolved, and, in order to it, calls another general assembly of the people. And it be of the Lord our God If this translation of the ark be pleasing to God; let us send abroad Hebrew, נפרצה , niphretsa, Let us break out and send. We are now in some sort pent up in one place, but let us break up the assembly, and disperse ourselves, and send messengers speedily and universally to the several tribes about this work. It is a metaphor taken from the sea, or rivers, which, when the banks are broken, suddenly overflow the adjacent country. That are left in all the land of Israel By which expression he reminds them of the great desolations and destructions brought upon them for their sins; and therefore advises that remnant, whom God had so graciously saved in and from those dreadful ruins, more seriously to set themselves to seek God than they had formerly done.

Verse 3

1 Chronicles 13:3. We inquired not at it in the days of Saul The ark was then neglected, and the generality of the people contented themselves with going to Gibeon and offering sacrifices there, not caring, though the ark, the soul of the tabernacle, was in another place. As soon as David had power in his hand, he would use it for the advancement of religion. It ought to be the first care of those that are enriched or preferred, to honour God with their honours, and to serve him, and the interests of his kingdom among men, with their wealth and power.

Verses 4-5

1 Chronicles 13:4-5. The thing was right in the eyes of all the people Their consciences smiting them for their former negligence, and being fully convinced of the piety and reasonableness of this proposal. So David gathered all Israel together All the chosen men of Israel, as it is expressed 2 Samuel 6:1, their elders and representatives. From Shihor of Egypt By which the Targum, and most of the Jews, understood the river Nile. It here stands for the southern bounds of the land of Canaan. Unto the entering of Hemath The northern boundary of the land.

Verse 6

1 Chronicles 13:6. David went up, and all Israel, to Baalah, that is, Kirjath-jearim Which explication is justified by Joshua 15:9; Joshua 15:60, where the same city is called by both names: see note on 2 Samuel 6:2. The ark of God the Lord, that dwelleth between the cherubim Showing himself in a singular manner present or visible between the cherubim, before which his name was called upon, 2 Samuel 6:1.

Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 13". Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rbc/1-chronicles-13.html. 1857.
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