1 Chronicles 15:18
And with them their brethren of the second degree, Zechariah, Ben, and Jaaziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, Eliab, and Benaiah, and Maaseiah, and Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obededom, and Jeiel, the porters.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) And with them their brethren of the second degree.—So 1Chronicles 16:5 : “Asaph the leader, and his second Zechariah.” Fourteen minstrels of the second rank—that is, subordinate to the first three—are named here.

Ben (son) is not a proper name. That of Zechariah’s father may have fallen out after it (comp. the Syriac and Arabic: “Zechariah son of Ne’ael”), or it may be due to a scribe’s inadvertence. The LXX. omits it.

Shemiramoth.—This peculiar name resembles the Assyrian Sammurramat, the classical Semiramis. Delitzsch suggests that it is a compound of sammîm (spices”), and râ’imat (“loving”): a suitable name for a woman, and actually borne by a lady of the court of Rammân-nirâri (B.C. 812), king of Assyria.

Jaaziel.—Called Jeiel by mistake in 1Chronicles 16:5.

And Jeiel.—The LXX. adds, “and Azaziah” (Ozias). (Comp. 1Chronicles 15:21.) Perhaps this should be read, and “the porters” omitted. (See 1Chronicles 15:24.)

1 Chronicles 15:18. Their brethren of the second degree — The first rank or degree of sacred musicians was that of those three famous persons, named 1 Chronicles 15:17; the next consisted of these here mentioned. The porters — Who were to keep the doors of the tabernacle and courts, but withal were instructed in music, that when they were free from attendance upon their proper office, they might not be idle nor unprofitable in God’s house.

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 order#REF!#REF!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 (1Ch 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]. Their brethren of the second degree; the first rank or degree of sacred musicians being those three famous persons named 1 Chronicles 15:17, next unto whom were these here named.

The porters; who were to keep the doors of the tabernacle and courts but withal were instructed in music and singing, that when they were free from attendance upon their proper office, they might not be idle nor unprofitable persons in God’s house.

And with them their brethren of the second degree,.... Who were next unto them, both in office and skill in singing:

the fourteen following, Zechariah, Ben, and Jaaziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, Eliab, and Benaiah, and Maaseiah, and Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obededom, and Jeiel, the porters; who, when they were not employed in singing, were doorkeepers of the sanctuary; either they had been porters at the tabernacle in Gibeon, or were so after the ark was placed in the tabernacle David prepared for it.

And with them their brethren of the {h} second degree, Zechariah, Ben, and Jaaziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, Eliab, and Benaiah, and Maaseiah, and Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obededom, and Jeiel, the porters.

(h) Which were inferior in dignity.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. their brethren] The names of these are repeated in 1 Chronicles 15:20-21, where they are distributed according to musical instruments.

Ben] This word, which means “son,” seems to have slipped in by mistake.

the porters] R.V. the doorkeepers, the Heb. word being the same as in 1 Chronicles 15:23-24. See the notes on 1 Chronicles 9:17.

Verse 18. - Ben. This word is either altogether an accidental interpolation, or a remnant of some statement of the patronymic character regarding Zechariah. Another indication of the state of the text in this verse is to be found in the probable omission of the name Azazgah of ver. 21, after Jeiel. It will be observed that no trace of this word Ben is found in the repeated list of ver. 20. 1 Chronicles 15:18David gave the princes of the Levites a further charge to appoint singers with musical instruments for the solemn procession, which they accordingly did. שׁיר כּלי, instruments to accompany the song. In 1 Chronicles 15:16 three kinds of these are named: נבלים, nablia, ψαλτήρια, which Luther has translated by psalter, corresponds to the Arabic santir, which is an oblong box with a broad bottom and a somewhat convex sounding-board, over which strings of wire are stretched; an instrument something like the cithara. כּנּרות, harps, more properly lutes, as this instrument more resembled our lute than the harp, and corresponded to the Arabic catgut instrument el ‛ûd (l-cûd); cf. Wetzstein in Delitzsch, Isaiah, S. 702, der 2 Aufl., where, however, the statement that the santir is essentially the same as the old German cymbal, vulgo Hackebrett, is incorrect, and calculated to bring confusion into the matter, for the cymbal was an instrument provided with a small bell. מצלתּים, the later word for צלצלים, cymbals, castanets; see on 2 Samuel 6:5. משׁמיעים does not belong to the three before-mentioned instruments (Berth.), but, as is clear from 1 Chronicles 15:19, 1 Chronicles 15:28, 1 Chronicles 16:5, 1 Chronicles 16:42, undoubtedly only to מצלתּים (Bttcher, Neue krit. Aehrenlese, iii. S. 223); but the meaning is not "modulating," but "sounding clear or loud," - according to the proper meaning of the word, to make to hear. The infinitive clause וגו להרים belongs to the preceding sentence: "in order to heighten the sound (both of the song and of the instrumental music) to joy," i.e., to the expression of joy. לשׂימחה is frequently used to express festive joy: cf. 1 Chronicles 15:25, 2 Chronicles 23:18; 2 Chronicles 29:30; but also as early as in 2 Samuel 6:12; 1 Samuel 18:6; Judges 16:23, etc. - In 1 Chronicles 15:17, 1 Chronicles 15:18 the names of the singers and players are introduced; then in 1 Chronicles 15:19-21 they are named in connection with the instruments they played; and finally, in 1 Chronicles 15:22-24, the other Levites and priests who took part in the celebration are mentioned. The three chief singers, the Kohathite Heman, the Gershonite Asaph, and the Merarite Ethan, form the first class. See on 1 Chronicles 6:33, 1 Chronicles 6:39, and 1 Chronicles 6:44. To the second class (המּשׁנים, cf. המּשׁנה, 2 Kings 23:4) belonged thirteen or fourteen persons, for in 1 Chronicles 15:21 an Azaziah is named in the last series who is omitted in 1 Chronicles 15:18; and it is more probable that his name has been dropped out of 1 Chronicles 15:18 than that it came into our text, 1 Chronicles 15:21, by an error. In 1 Chronicles 15:18 בּן comes in after זכריהוּ by an error or transcription, as we learn from the w before the following name, and from a comparison of 1 Chronicles 15:20 and 1 Chronicles 15:25. The name יעזיאל is in 1 Chronicles 15:20 written עזיאל, Yodh being rejected; and in 1 Chronicles 16:5 it is יעיאל, which is probably only a transcriber's error, since יעיאל occurs along with it both in 1 Chronicles 15:18 and in 1 Chronicles 16:5. The names Benaiah and Maaseiah, which are repeated in 1 Chronicles 15:20, have been there transposed. All the other names in vv.18 and 20 coincide.
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