1 Chronicles 13:2
And David said to all the congregation of Israel, If it seem good to you, and that it be of the LORD our God, let us send abroad to our brothers every where, that are left in all the land of Israel, and with them also to the priests and Levites which are in their cities and suburbs, that they may gather themselves to us:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) All the congregation of Israel.—As represented by the Council of Chiefs, who, according to the passage in Samuel, were 30,000 iıı number.

And that it be.—Rather, and if it be. The clause is not dependent. David says: “If before you (the thing be) good, and if (the motion come) from Jehovah.” The former phrase recurs in Nehemiah 2:5; Nehemiah 2:7, and is late Hebrew; the latter is illustrated by Genesis 24:50.

Let us send abroad.—Literally, break we forth, send we, i.e., let us send with all despatch.

Everywhere.—Not in the Hebrew.

Land.—Hebrew, lands or territories, i.e., of the various tribes. Comp. Genesis 26:3-4, where the same plural implies the partition of Canaan into many smaller national domains.

In their cities and Suburbs.In the cities of their pastures. The Levites appear to have occupied themselves with pastoral pursuits when not engaged in the services of religion (comp. 1Chronicles 6:57 seq.).

That they may gather themselves unto us.—The result would be a great addition to an already large gathering. However, it does not follow that every one to whom the summons came would be willing or able to obey it. The invitation was, in fact, a kind of formal proclamation to the entire people of a solemn act of national importance.

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.13:1-5 David said not, What magnificent thing shall I do now? or, What pleasant thing? but, What pious thing? that he might have the comfort and benefit of that sacred oracle. Let us bring the ark to us, that it may be a blessing to us. Those who honour God, profit themselves. It is the wisdom of those setting out in the world, to take God's ark with them. Those are likely to go on in the favour of God, who begin in the fear of God.The captains ... - Such an organisation had probably been established generally through the tribes prior to the time of David: but David seems to have been the first to recognize in these officers of the host representatives of the people, to consult them on public affairs, and to give them a certain political position. 2. If it seem good unto you, and … it be of the Lord—that is, I shall conclude that this favorite measure of mine is agreeable to the mind of God, if it receive your hearty concurrence.

let us send abroad to our brethren everywhere—He wished to make it known throughout the country, in order that there might be a general assembly of the nation, and that preparations might be made on a scale and of a kind suitable to the inauguration of the august ceremonial.

with them also to the priests and Levites … in their cities and suburbs—(See on [375]Nu 35:2). The original terms, "Let us send," imply immediate execution; and, doubtless, the publication of the royal edict would have been followed by the appointment of an early day for the contemplated solemnity, had it not been retarded by a sudden invasion of the Philistines, who were twice repulsed with great loss (2Sa 5:17), by the capture of Jerusalem, and the transference of the seat of government to that city. Finding, however, soon after, peace restored and his throne established, he resumed his preparations for removing the ark to the metropolis.

Unto all the congregation of Israel, i.e. unto all the people then assembled with him at Hebron. This story is mentioned in another place, in 2Sa 5 2Sa 6, even 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 here of the former. The matter may be thus conceived. 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 about religion and the ark, then the great instrument and ornament of it, and takes the opportunity of this assembly to desire their advice and concurrence with him in it, that the ark might be brought either to Hebron, which then was the royal city; or to Jerusalem, which, as probably he told them, he was resolved to besiege, and doubted not, 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, as is related, 1Sa 5. But before this resolution could be executed, the Philistines came and fought twice with David, 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 that which before he had resolved, and, in order to it, calls another general assembly of the people. And that it be of the Lord our God, i.e. if this translation of the ark be pleasing to God, which I purpose to inquire by the Urim, after the manner, and to act accordingly.

Let us send abroad, Heb. let us break out and send, i.e. let us send messengers speedily and universally to the several tribes. We are now in some sort pent up in a corner of the land in Hebron, but let us break up the assembly, and disperse ourselves, and send far and near about this work. It is a metaphor from the sea or rivers, which, when the banks are broken, do suddenly overflow the whole adjoining country.

That are left; by which word he minds them of the great desolations and destructions which God for their sins had hitherto made among them; and therefore adviseth that remnant whom God had so graciously saved in and from those dreadful ruins, that they would more seriously set themselves to seek God than they had formerly done. And David said unto all the congregation of Israel,.... To the above persons, as representatives of it:

if it seem good unto you, and that it be of the Lord our God; if it could be thought by them a good and useful thing, and agreeable to the will of God, and would make for his glory:

let us send abroad unto our brethren everywhere that are left in all the land of Israel; that were not then present with them, even all the common people; whom David, though king, owns as his brethren; nor is his antitype ashamed to own this relation between him and his people, Hebrews 2:11.

and with them also to the priests and Levites which are in their cities and suburbs: given to them in the several tribes to dwell in, see 1 Chronicles 6:54,

that they may gather themselves unto us; at a certain time and place appointed.

And David said unto all the congregation of Israel, If it seem good unto you, and that it be of the LORD our God, let us send abroad unto our brethren every where, that are left in all the land of Israel, and with them also to the priests and Levites which are in their cities and suburbs, that they may gather themselves unto us:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. let us send abroad] The Heb. phrase is peculiar; let us send abroad widely, let the invitation be no limited one!

all the land of Israel] R.V. mg. lands; cp. 2 Chronicles 11:23; 2 Chronicles 15:5; 2 Chronicles 34:33.

the priests and Levites] In Samuel no mention of the Levites is made in the account of the removal of the ark.

in their cities and suburbs] R.V. mg. in their cities that have pasture-lands. It is laid down in the Hexateuch that cities are to be assigned to the Levites with “suburbs for their cattle and for their substance, and for all their beasts.” (Numbers 35:2-7; cp. Joshua 14:4; Joshua 21:2).Verse 2. - Left in all the land. Some think that this phrase points to the destruction that had been widespread by the Philistines. מלחמה ערכי, preparing war with all manner of warlike weapons, i.e., practice in the use of all kinds of weapons for war; cf. 1 Chronicles 12:8. The infinitive לעדר is substantially a continuation of the preceding participles, but grammatically is dependent on בּאוּ understood (cf. 1 Chronicles 12:23, 1 Chronicles 12:38). Cf. as to this free use of the infinitive with ל, Ew. 351, c. The signification of the verb עדר, which occurs only here (1 Chronicles 12:33, 1 Chronicles 12:38), is doubtful. According to the lxx and the Vulg. (βοηθῆσαι, venerunt in auxilium), and nine MSS, which read לעזר, we would be inclined to take עדר for the Aramaic form of the Hebrew עזר (cf. Arabic ‛dr), to help; but that meaning does not suit מערכה עדר, 1 Chronicles 12:38. Its connection there demands that עדר should signify "to close up together," to set in order the battle array; and so here, closing up together with not double heart, i.e., with whole or stedfast heart (שׁלם בּלבב שׁלם, 1 Chronicles 12:38), animo integro et firmo atque concordi; cf. Psalm 12:3 (Mich.). - In 1 Chronicles 12:38 we have a comprehensive statement; כּל־אלּה, which refers to all the bodies of men enumerated in 1 Chronicles 12:24-37. שׁרית is שׁארית defectively written; and as it occurs only here, it may be perhaps a mere orthographical error. The whole of the remainder of Israel who did not go to Hebron were אחד לב אחד er, of one, i.e., of united heart (2 Chronicles 30:12): they had a unanimous wish to make David king.
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