|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
78:56-72 After the Israelites were settled in Canaan, the children were like their fathers. God gave them his testimonies, but they turned back. Presumptuous sins render even Israelites hateful to God's holiness, and exposed to his justice. Those whom the Lord forsakes become an easy prey to the destroyer. And sooner or later, God will disgrace his enemies. He set a good government over his people; a monarch after his own heart. With good reason does the psalmist make this finishing, crowning instance of God's favour to Israel; for David was a type of Christ, the great and good Shepherd, who was humbled first, and then exalted; and of whom it was foretold, that he should be filled with the Spirit of wisdom and understanding. On the uprightness of his heart, and the skilfulness of his hands, all his subjects may rely; and of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end. Every trial of human nature hitherto, confirms the testimony of Scripture, that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, and nothing but being created anew by the Holy Ghost can cure the ungodliness of any.
Verse 67. - Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph. The "tabernacle of Joseph" is the sanctuary at Shiloh, which was north of Bethel, and thus within the limits of the tribe of Ephraim. When a permanent site was to be assigned to the tabernacle and the ark, God did not choose for them the position of Shiloh, but that of Jerusalem. And chose not the tribe of Ephraim. Ephraim had enjoyed the pre-eminency from the time of the death of Moses (see the comment on ver. 9). By the course of events between Samuel's death and the establishment of the kingdom of David, the pre-eminency had been transferred to Judah, according to the design of the Almighty from the first (see Genesis 49:8-10).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Moreover, he refused the tabernacle of Joseph,.... That is, the tabernacle of Moses, which had been for a long time at Shiloh, a city in the tribe of Ephraim, the son of Joseph; when the ark was brought back by the Philistines, it was not returned to Shiloh, but carried to Kirjathjearim, where it remained twenty years, and after that was had to Zion, the city of David, 1 Samuel 7:1, so the Targum,
"and he rejected the tabernacle which he had stretched out in the border of Joseph;''
he did not refuse the tabernacle, or remove his presence from it; but he refused the place it had been in, or refused that it should be any more there:
and chose not the tribe of Ephraim: the same thing is designed as before; the meaning is, not that he rejected the tribe of Ephraim from being one of the tribes of Israel; nor does it refer to the revolt of Ephraim, or the ten tribes, from the pure worship of God to idolatry, and their separation from the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin; or to their being carried captive into Assyria; since this historical narration reaches no further than the reign of David, or the time of Solomon at furthest; whereas the facts mentioned were a long time afterwards; nor does it regard the removal of government from the tribe of Ephraim, which was the seat of it in the times of Joshua, of which tribe he was, Numbers 13:8, though this tribe was overlooked in the choice of a king, one of the tribe of Benjamin being first chosen; and when he was rejected, then one of the tribe of Judah; but this purely, at least principally, intends that it was the will of God that the seat of worship should not be in this tribe any longer; that the ark and tabernacle should be no more there: perhaps the Ephraimites were more culpable, and more provoked the Lord with their idolatry, than the other tribes, since they are first and last taken notice of as the objects of the divine resentment in this account; see Psalm 78:9.
The Treasury of David
67 Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim
68 But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved.
69 And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established for ever.
70 He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds:
71 From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance.
72 So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.
"Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph." God had honoured Ephraim, for to that tribe belonged Joshua the great conqueror, and Gideon the great judge, and within its borders was Shiloh the place of the ark and the sanctuary; but now the Lord would change all this and set up other rulers. He would no longer leave matters to the leadership of Ephraim, since that tribe had been tried and found wanting. "And chose not the tribe of Ephraim." Sin had been found in them, folly and instability, and therefore they were set aside as unfit to lead.
"But chose the tribe of Judah." To give the nation another trial this tribe was elected to supremacy. This was according to Jacob's dying prophecy. Our Lord sprang out of Judah and he it is whom his brethren shall praise. "The Mount Zion which he loved." The tabernacle and ark were removed to Zion during the reign of David; no honour was left to the wayward Ephraimites. Hard by this mountain the Father of the Faithful had offered up his only son, and there in future days the great gatherings of his chosen seed would be, and therefore Zion is said to be lovely unto God.
"And he built his sanctuary like high palaces." The tabernacle was placed on high, literally and spiritually it was as a mountain of beauty. True religion was exalted in the land. For sanctity it was a temple, for majesty it was a palace. "Like the earth which he hath established for ever." Stability as well as stateliness were seen in the temple, and so also in the church of God. The prophet saw both in vision.
"He chose David also his servant." It was an election of a sovereignly gracious kind, and it operated practically by making the chosen man a willing servant of the Lord. He was not chosen because he was a servant, but in order that he might be so. David always esteemed it to be a high honour that he was both elect of God, and a servant of God. "And took him from the sheepfolds." A shepherd of sheep he had been, and this was a fit school for a shepherd of men. Lowliness of occupation will debar no man from such honours as the Lord's election confers, the Lord seeth not as man seeth. He delights to bless those who are of low estate.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
67, 68. tabernacle of Joseph—or, "home," or, "tribe," to which—
tribe of Ephraim—is parallel (compare Re 7:8). Its pre-eminence was, like Saul's, only permitted. Judah had been the choice (Ge 49:10).
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