1 Chronicles 15:13
For because you did it not at the first, the LORD our God made a breach on us, for that we sought him not after the due order.
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(13) For because ye did it not at the first.—The Hebrew seems to mean, for because on the first occasion it was not you (that is, the heads of the Levitical houses)—scil., who carried up the ark, but Uzza and Ahio, sons of Abinadab (2Samuel 6:3). The phrase so rendered only occurs here (lĕmabbārîshônāh = “because at the first”).

Our God made a breach.—Broke out upon us; referring to the sudden death of Uzza (1Chronicles 13:10). (Comp. Exodus 19:22; Exodus 19:24, same phrase.)

We sought him not (1Chronicles 13:3) after the due order.—The Ark was carried on a cart, instead of being borne by the sons of Kohath “on their shoulders, with the staves thereon” (1Chronicles 15:15; Numbers 4:15). Even the Kohathites themselves were forbidden to “touch any holy thing,” as Uzza had ventured to do. It has been said that the “sanctity of institutions,” as opposed to the “sanctity of a people under the government of a righteous God,” is the leading idea of the Chronicles. It would be difficult to show how the sanctity of a people is to be secured, and how the government of a righteous God is to be realised, except in and through Divine institutions. As there is a “due order” by which God rules the physical world, so is there a corresponding order whereby His will is fulfilled in the spiritual sphere. There are positive institutions in Christianity as well as in Mosaism; and if we abolish the Divine authority of the one, why not of the other also?

15:1-24 Wise and good men may be guilty of oversights, which they will correct, as soon as they are aware of them. David does not try to justify what had been done amiss, nor to lay the blame on others; but he owns himself guilty, with others, of not seeking God in due orderThe "due order" was that the ark should be borne on the shoulders of Kohathite Levites - not that it should be placed upon a cart, drawn by oxen, and rudely shaken. 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 [380]Ge 35:2; Ex 19:10, 15); and in the neglect of these rules no step could have been taken (2Ch 30:3). Because ye did it not at the first; because you did not sanctify and prepare yourselves by solemn prayer, and seeking counsel from God, and by a serious consideration of God’s will as to the manner of carrying it; which it was your duty more than others to observe and see it executed.

We sought him not: he takes a part of the guilt to himself, because it was his duty, as well as theirs, diligently to read the law and word of God, and to see it executed, and their oversight did not excuse his. After the due order; according to the rules which he appointed. For because ye did it not at the first,.... Did not sanctify themselves, as the supplement in our version directs; but rather the sense is, ye were not there at first, when the ark was brought from Kirjathjearim as far as the house of Obededom, as they should have been; they were not then employed, as was their business, and therefore

the Lord our God made a breach upon us; by smiting Uzzah with death, who was no Levite, and touched the ark, which is called his "error", and for which God smote him, 2 Samuel 6:7 on which place Lud. Capellus observes, the word "shal", we there render "error", signifies a "disease" in the Arabic language, and might formerly design a sudden one with the Hebrew; as an apoplexy; and so the sense be, that God smote Uzzah with an apoplexy, of which he suddenly died:

for that we sought him not after the due order; but, instead of employing the Levites to carry the ark on their shoulders, it was put upon a cart.

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 {f} order.

(f) According as he has appointed in the law.

13. ye did it not] R.V. ye bare it not.

made a breach] 1 Chronicles 13:11 (cp. R.V.); 1 Chronicles 14:11 (cp. R.V. mg.).

we sought him not] Render, we sought not unto it. Cp. note on 1 Chronicles 13:3.

after the due order] R.V. according to the ordinance. Cp. 1 Chronicles 15:15 for the observance of the ordinance.Verse 13. - This verse purports to say that the Levites had been deficient in their duty in the double sense of not having themselves exclusively undertaken the removal of the ark, and not having executed that removal after the due order. From among assembled Israel David then specially gathered together the heads of the priests and Levites, to determine upon the details of this solemn procession. "The sons of Aaron" are the high priests Zadok and Abiathar, 1 Chronicles 15:11; and the "Levites" are the six princes named in 1 Chronicles 15:5-10, with their brethren, viz., (1 Chronicles 15:5-7) the three heads of the families into which the tribe of Levi was divided, and which corresponded to the three sons of Levi, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari, respectively (Exodus 6:16): Uriel head of the Kohathites, Asaiah of the Merarites, and Joel head of the Gershonites, with their brethren. Kohath is first enumerated, because Aaron the chief of the priests was descended from Kohath, and because to the Kohathites there fell, on account of their nearer relationship to the priests, the duty of serving in that which is most holy, the bearing of the holiest vessels of the tabernacle. See Numbers 4:4, Numbers 4:15; Numbers 7:9; as to Uriel, see on Numbers 6:24; for Asaiah, see 6:30; and as to Joel, see 1 Chronicles 6:33. Then in 1 Chronicles 15:8, 1 Chronicles 15:9 we have the heads of three other Kohathite families: Shemaiah, chief of the sons of Elizaphan, i.e., Elizaphan son of the Kohathite Uzziel (Exodus 6:22); Eliel, chief of the sons of Hebron the Kohathite (Exodus 6:18); and Amminadab, chief of the sons of Uzziel. The sons of Uzziel, consequently, were divided into two fathers'-houses: the one founded by Uzziel's son Elizaphan, and named after him (1 Chronicles 15:8); the other founded by his other sons, and called by his name. Of the fathers'-houses here enumerated, four belong to Kohath, and one each to Merari and Gershon; and the Kohathites were called to take part in the solemn act in greater numbers than the Merarites and Gershonites, since the transport of the ark was the Kohathites' special duty.
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