1 Chronicles 13:3
And let us bring again the ark of our God to us: for we inquired not at it in the days of Saul.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) Let us bring again.Bring we round: transfer it from Kirjath-jearim to Jerusalem, as the throne was transferred (same verb) from Saul to David (1Chronicles 10:14; 1Chronicles 12:23).

The Ark of our God to us.—The Ark was at Kirjath-jearim, a city of Judah, David’s own tribe. But the ting wished to establish it as the centre of the national worship in his new capital and royal residence, Jerusalem.

For we enquired not at it.—Rather, we sought it not, that is, neglected it, cared nothing about it. The Ark had been left in the house of Abinadab at Kirjath-jearim, for twenty years, after the Philistines sent it back (1Samuel 7:2). There may be a reference to Saul’s despairing neglect of consulting the Lord (1Chronicles 10:13); and, perhaps, we should translate, “we sought Him not,” referring the suffix to God (comp. 1Chronicles 15:13; Isaiah 9:12). There is no clear evidence that the Ark itself was ever used as an oracle (comp. Exodus 25:10-22; 1Kings 8:9).

1 Chronicles 13:3. We inquired not at it in the days of Saul — The ark was then neglected, and the generality of the people contented themselves with going to Gibeon and offering sacrifices there, not caring, though the ark, the soul of the tabernacle, was in another place. As soon as David had power in his hand, he would use it for the advancement of religion. It ought to be the first care of those that are enriched or preferred, to honour God with their honours, and to serve him, and the interests of his kingdom among men, with their wealth and power.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.

The ark was then neglected; and the generality of the people either lived in the gross neglect of the solemn worship of God, or contented themselves with going to Gibeon, and offering sacrifices there, not caring, though the ark, the soul of the tabernacle, was in another place.

In the days of Saul: so it was in the days of Samuel; but it is rather charged upon Saul than him; partly, because Samuel was exercised with continual wars, or expectation of wars, with the Philistines all the time of his regency, and therefore wanted the opportunity to bring back the ark, which Saul had and neglected; partly, because Samuel took care to stir up and maintain religion among them by other means, and in an extraordinary manner; whereas this was but one branch of Saul’s impiety, and was joined with a contempt of all religion, as the history of his life shews; and partly, because it was more proper to accuse himself and the present generation, who were guilty of this neglect, than to rake into the ashes of their deceased progenitors, and lay his charge against those who were dead and gone some good while since. And let us bring again the ark of our God to us,.... The symbol of the divine Presence, than which nothing was more desirable to David, and he chose to begin his reign overall Israel with it:

for we inquired not at it in the days of Saul; he being indifferent to religion, and careless about it, and the enjoyment of the presence of God, and having direction from him; and the people also content with worship at the tabernacle at Gibeah, though the token of the divine Presence was absent.

And let us bring again the {a} ark of our God to us: for we enquired not at it in the days of Saul.

(a) His first concern was to restore religion, which had in Saul's day been corrupted and neglected.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. we inquired not at it] R.V. we sought not unto it. The meaning of the Heb. verb is to seek with care, to care for.Verse 3. - Let us bring again the ark. It had been removed from Shiloh (Joshua 18:1) at the instance of "the elders of Israel" to their camp, when they were hard pressed and smitten by the Philistines (1 Samuel 4:1-4); there it was taken by the Philistines (1 Samuel 4:11, 22), and hurried from Ashdod to Ekron and on to Bethshemesh (1 Samuel 5:1, 5, 8, 10; 1 Samuel 6:9-13). For we inquired not at it in the days of Saul. The allusion may be considered delicately worded, but an inexpressible pathos and unmeasured condemnation must be imagined as clinging to this sentence, illustrated further by 1 Samuel 7:2; 1 Samuel 28:6, 15, 16; 1 Chronicles 10:14. 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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