1Ch 15:1-24. David Brings
the Ark from Obededom.
1. David made him houses in the city of
David—Through the liberality of his Tyrian ally (1Ch 14:1), David was enabled to erect not only a
palace for himself, but to furnish suitable accommodation for his
numerous family. Where polygamy prevails, each wife has a separate
house or suite of apartments for herself and children.
prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched
for it a tent—that is, made an entirely new one upon the
model of the former. The old tabernacle, which Moses had constructed in
the wilderness and which had hitherto served the purpose of a sacred
covering, was to be left at Gibeon, either because of the unwillingness
of the inhabitants to part with such a venerable relic, or because
there was no use for it in Jerusalem, where a more solid and sumptuous
edifice was contemplated. If it appear surprising that David "made him
houses" before he prepared this new tabernacle, it should be remembered
that he had received no divine intimation respecting such a work.
2. Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of
God but the Levites—After the lapse of three months (1Ch 13:14) the purpose of transporting the
ark to Jerusalem was resumed. Time and reflection had led to a
discovery of the cause of the painful catastrophe that marred the first
attempt. In preparing for the solemn procession that was now to usher
the sacred symbol into its resting-place, David took special care that
the carriage should be regulated in strict conformity to the law (Nu
4:5, 15; 7:9; 10:17).
3. David gathered all Israel
together—Some are of opinion that this was done on one of the
three great festivals, but at whatever time the ceremonial took place,
it was of great importance to summon a general convocation of the
people, many of whom, from the long-continued disorders of the kingdom,
might have had little or no opportunity of knowing anything of the ark,
which had been allowed to remain so long in obscurity and neglect.
4. David assembled the children of Aaron, and the
Levites—The children of Aaron were the two priests (1Ch 15:11), Zadok and Abiathar, heads of the
two priestly houses of Eleazar and Ithamar, and colleagues in the high
priesthood (2Sa 20:25).
The Levites were the chiefs of their father's house (1Ch 15:12); four belonging to the Kohathite
branch, on whose shoulders the ark was to be borne; namely, Uriel,
Shemaiah—descended from Elizaphan or Elzaphan—(Ex 6:22), Hebron (Ex 6:18; 1Ch 6:2), and Amminadab from Uzziel (Ex 6:22).
12. sanctify yourselves—This special
sanctification, which was required on all grave and important
occasions, consisted in observing the strictest abstinence, as well as
cleanliness, both in person and dress (see on Ge
35:2; Ex 19:10, 15); and in the neglect of these rules no
step could have been taken (2Ch 30:3).
16-24. David spake to the chief of the Levites to
appoint … the singers with instruments—These eminent
Levites were instructed to train the musicians and singers who were
under them, for the solemn procession. The performers were ranged in
three choirs or bands, and the names of the principal leaders are given
15:17, 18, 21), with the
instruments respectively used by each. "Ben" (1Ch 15:18) is omitted (1Ch 15:20). Either it was used merely as a common
noun, to intimate that Zechariah was the son of Jaaziel or Aziel, or
Ben is the same as Azaziah [1Ch 15:21].
22. Chenaniah, chief of the Levites—He
was not of the six heads of the Levitical families, but a chief in
consequence of his office, which required learning, without regard to
birth or family.
instructed about the song—He directed
all these bands as to the proper time when each was to strike in or
change their notes; or, as some render the passage, "He led the
burdens, for he was skilled," that is, in the custom which it was
necessary to observe in the carriage of the holy things [Bertheau].
23. Berechiah and Elkanah were
doorkeepers—who marched immediately in front, while Obed-edom
and Jeiel went in the rear, of the ark.
25. So David, and the elders … and captains
… went—The pious design of David in ordering all his
principal ministers and officers to take part in this solemn work and
imparting so much pomp and imposing ceremony to the procession, was
evidently to inspire the popular mind with a profound veneration for
the ark and to give the young especially salutary impressions of
religion, which would be renewed by the remembrance that they had been
witnesses of the august solemnity in which the king and the highest
aristocracy of the land participated, vying with all other classes to
do honor to the God of Israel.
26. it came to pass, &c.—(See on 2Sa 6:13-23).
they offered seven bullocks and seven
rams—The Levites seem to have entered on this duty with fear
and trembling; and finding that they might advance without any such
indications of divine wrath as Uzza had experienced (1Ch 13:10), they offered an ox and a fatted sheep
immediately after starting (2Sa 6:13),
and seven bullocks and seven rams—a perfect sacrifice, at the
close of the procession (1Ch 16:1). It
is probable that preparations had been made for the offering of similar
sacrifices at regular intervals along the way.
27. a robe of fine linen—Hebrew,
Butz—is rather supposed in the later books to denote
an ephod—a shoulder-garment, a
cincture or cape over his dress. It was worn by the priests, but was
not so peculiar to them as to be forbidden others (1Sa 2:18;
29. Michal … saw … David dancing and
playing—His movements would be slow and solemn, suitable to
the grave and solemn character of the music. Though his royal robes
were laid aside, he was attired like the other officials, showing a
becoming humility in the immediate presence of God. The feelings
manifested by Michal were only an ebullition of spleen from a proud and