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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
1 Chronicles 15

 

 

Verses 1-29

1 Chronicles 15:1 to 1 Chronicles 16:43. The Bringing up of the Ark to Jerusalem (cf. 2 Samuel 6:12-20 a).—The account given by the Chronicler is much more elaborate, stress being laid on the part played by the priests and Levites; they are not mentioned in 2 S.

1 Chronicles 15:2. Cf. Numbers 1:50; Numbers 4:15; Numbers 7:9; Numbers 10:17. On the previous occasion of the removal of the Ark, the Law had not been observed (1 Chronicles 13:7; cf. 1 Chronicles 15:13).

1 Chronicles 15:12. sanctify yourselves: this was done by washing of garments (Exodus 19:10-14), by sexual abstinence (Exodus 19:15), and by bodily cleansing (Genesis 35:2).

1 Chronicles 15:13. made a breach upon us: cf. 1 Chronicles 13:11; for the underlying idea, see 1 Chronicles 14:11.

1 Chronicles 15:17. Heman . . . Asaph . . . Ethan: cf. 1 Chronicles 6:31-48; these three names became the designations of guilds of Temple-singers and musicians. Asaph is usually mentioned first, and his office was probably the most important. The office which, as far as we know, he was the first to fill continued as long as the Temple stood, for the Temple official of later days, whose special duty it was to superintend the psalmody, may be regarded as essentially the successor of Asaph; under him was a large number of musicians, including singers and instrumentalists who accompanied with singing of psalms and playing of stringed instruments the daily burnt offering (Mishna, Yoma, iii. 11; Tamid, vii. 3). For Ethan the more usual name is Jeduthun.

1 Chronicles 15:18. their brethren of the second degree: it is impossible to say with certainty what were the specific duties of these, but as those of the first degree—Asaph, Heman, and Ethan—were primarily singers (though they also played on the cymbals), possibly those of the second degree were those who restricted themselves to the accompaniment of the singing on stringed instruments, etc.

1 Chronicles 15:20. psalteries set to Alamoth: by "psalteries" are meant harps (nebel); the expression "set to Alamoth," or "upon Alamoth," is difficult; it means lit. "after the manner of maidens," and may thus refer to high pitch; in the case before us the meaning would thus be that the harps which accompanied the singing were to be played on a high pitch (cf. Psalms 46:6 Title, Psalms 48:14*). On the question of singing-women in the Temple, see the note on Ezra 2:65; here reference may be made to Amos 8:3*, where, according to the probably correct emendation of the Hebrew text, it is said, "then will the women-singers in the Temple howl."

1 Chronicles 15:21. with harps set to Sheminith: the harp here mentioned (kinnor) was probably of smaller size than those spoken of in the preceding verse. Jerome says (Comm. in Psalms 30:2) that the kinnor had six strings while the nebel had ten. "Set to Sheminith" (lit. "upon, the eighth") refers, according to the Midrash Tehillim on Psalms 6, 12, to an eight-stringed instrument played an octave lower than the voices.—to lead: i.e. the kinnor-players led off, and were presently joined by the voices with the fuller accompaniment of the nebel-players.

1 Chronicles 15:22. was over the song: cf. 1 Chronicles 15:27; read "in the carrying," i.e. of the Ark. Reference to song is not found in the Hebrew, and would be out of place here since the singing has been dealt with in the preceding verses, and was under the direction of Asaph, etc., not Chenaniah. Further, that it is the Ark which is here referred to is shown by the context, 1 Chronicles 15:23 f.

1 Chronicles 15:24. trumpets: the chazzerah was a long, straight metal tube opening out at the end; quite different from the ancient shfar, "ram's horn," also called keren.

1 Chronicles 15:25 to 1 Chronicles 16:3. See notes on 2 Samuel 6:12-19.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 15:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/1-chronicles-15.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 15th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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