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Adam Clarke Commentary

1 Chronicles 15

Introduction

David prepares to bring home the ark, and musters the Levites, 1 Chronicles 15:1 -11. They sanctify themselves, and bear the ark upon their shoulders, 1 Chronicles 15:12 -15. The solemnities observed on the occasion, 1 Chronicles 15:16 -26. David dances before the ark, and is despised by his wife Michal, 1 Chronicles 15:27 -29.

Verse 1

Made him houses - One for himself, and one for the ark; in the latter was a tent, under which the ark was placed.

Verse 2

None ought to carry the ark - but the Levites - It was their business; and he should have thought of this sooner, and then the unfortunate breach on Uzza would have been prevented; see 1 Chronicles 15:13 .

Verse 15

Upon their shoulders - That is the staves which went through the rings rested on their shoulders, but the ark itself rested on the staves like a sedan on its poles.As Moses commanded - See Numbers 4:5 , Numbers 4:15 .

Verse 20

With psalteries on Alamoth - Some suppose that the word signifies virgins, or women singers, the persons mentioned here being appointed to accompany them with psalteries, and preside over them.The Vulgate says arcana cantabant, they sang secret things or mysteries; probably prophetic hymns.

Verse 21

On the Sheminith - According to the Targum, this signifies an instrument that sounded an octave, or, according to others, an instrument with eight strings. The Syriac and Arabic have it, instruments to sing with daily, at the third, sixth, and ninth hour; the Vulgate, an octave, for a song of victory: some think the eighth band of the musicians is intended, who had the strongest and most sonorous voices; and that it is in this sense that shelomith and lenatstseach should be understood.

Verse 22

Chenaniah - he instructed about the song - This appears to have been the master singer; he gave the key and the time, for he presided במשא bemassa, in the elevation, probably meaning what is called pitching the tune, for he was skillful in music, and powerful in his voice, and well qualified to lead the band: be might have been precentor.

Verse 26

God helped the Levites - When they saw that God had made no breach among them, as he had in the case of Uzza, in gratitude for their preservation, and his acceptance of their labor, they sacrificed seven bullocks and seven rams.

Verse 27

A robe of fine linen - A robe made of בוץ buts, probably the tuft or beard of the Pinna Magna, a species of muscle found every where on the shores of the Mediterranean, growing sometimes, as I have seen, to a foot and a half in length. I have seen a pair of gloves made of this very rich stuff; the color is a deep dark yellow, something inclining to what is called the lilac. The buts or byssus was not heard of in Israel before the time of David: after that it is frequently mentioned.

Verse 29

Michal - saw - David dancing - and she despised him - See this whole business explained 2 Samuel 6:20 (note), etc., where David's conduct is vindicated, and the nature of Michal's disgrace and punishment hinted at, but all left to the reader's determination.

1 Chronicles 15


  1 And David made him houses in the city of David, and prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent.
  2 Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the LORD chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever.
  3 And David gathered all Israel together to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the LORD unto his place, which he had prepared for it.
  4 And David assembled the children of Aaron, and the Levites:
  5 Of the sons of Kohath; Uriel the chief, and his brethren an hundred and twenty:
  6 Of the sons of Merari; Asaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred and twenty:
  7 Of the sons of Gershom; Joel the chief, and his brethren an hundred and thirty:
  8 Of the sons of Elizaphan; Shemaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred:
  9 Of the sons of Hebron; Eliel the chief, and his brethren fourscore:
  10 Of the sons of Uzziel; Amminadab the chief, and his brethren an hundred and twelve.
  11 And David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites, for Uriel, Asaiah, and Joel, Shemaiah, and Eliel, and Amminadab,
  12 And said unto them, Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it.
  13 For because ye did it not at the first, the LORD our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.
  14 So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel.
  15 And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the LORD.
  16 And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of music, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.
  17 So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel; and of his brethren, Asaph the son of Berechiah; and of the sons of Merari their brethren, Ethan the son of Kushaiah;
  18 And with them their brethren of the second degree, Zechariah, Ben, and Jaaziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, Eliab, and Benaiah, and Maaseiah, and Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obededom, and Jeiel, the porters.
  19 So the singers, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, were appointed to sound with cymbals of brass;
  20 And Zechariah, and Aziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, and Eliab, and Maaseiah, and Benaiah, with psalteries on Alamoth;
  21 And Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obededom, and Jeiel, and Azaziah, with harps on the Sheminith to excel.
  22 And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was for song: he instructed about the song, because he was skilful.
  23 And Berechiah and Elkanah were doorkeepers for the ark.
  24 And Shebaniah, and Jehoshaphat, and Nethaneel, and Amasai, and Zechariah, and Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, did blow with the trumpets before the ark of God: and Obededom and Jehiah were doorkeepers for the ark.
  25 So David, and the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands, went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the house of Obededom with joy.
  26 And it came to pass, when God helped the Levites that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, that they offered seven bullocks and seven rams.
  27 And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers: David also had upon him an ephod of linen.
  28 Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps.
  29 And it came to pass, as the ark of the covenant of the LORD came to the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looking out at a window saw king David dancing and playing: and she despised him in her heart.

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