So David, and the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands, went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the house of Obededom with joy.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)SO David, and the elders of Israel.—Literally, And it was David and the elders of Israel and princes of the thousands who were walking to bring up the Ark, &c. The preparations for the ceremony are now complete, and the procession starts. A slight change in the Hebrew (omission of the article; so Syriac and one MS. of LXX.) will improve the sense: “And it came to pass, David and the elders . . . were walking to bring up the Ark.”
To bring up the ark.—“Into the city of David” (Samuel).
The ark of the covenant of the Lord.—A special title of the Ark, which has not occurred before in this history. It is not read in the parallel passage of Samuel, where we find only “ark of God,” and “ark of Jehovah.” The phrase may therefore indicate that the chronicler had another source besides that book. (Comp. Joshua 3:3; Joshua 3:17.) The parallel (2Samuel 6:12) makes no mention of “the elders and captains,” but merely states in brief and somewhat abrupt fashion that David went and brought up the Ark, because he had heard of its bringing a blessing upon the house of Obed-edom.
With joy.—With set rejoicings and festal mirth.So David, and the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands, went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the house of Obededom with joy.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2 Samuel 6:12-20). The Bringing Home of the Ark. Michal despises David
25, 26. So David, and the elders … went … And it came to pass … that they etc.] Render, And it came to pass that David and the elders … who went to bring up the ark …, It came even to pass when the Lord helped the Levites … that they (i.e. David and the elders) offered seven bullocks and seven rams. The phrase, it came to pass (1 Chronicles 15:25) is repeated in 1 Chronicles 15:26 because of the length of the parenthesis which separates it from the words, that they offered, which complete the construction. The awkwardness of the whole sentence arises from the fact that the Chronicler has filled out the briefer statement of 2 Samuel 6:13.1 Chronicles 15:19); Benaiah and the seven who follow played nablia (psalteria) עלמות על (1 Chronicles 15:20); while the last six played lutes (harps) לנצּח השּׁמינית על (1 Chronicles 15:21). These three Hebrew words plainly denote different keys in singing, but are, owing to our small acquaintance with the music of the Hebrews, obscure, and cannot be interpreted with certainty. נצּח, going over from the fundamental signification glitter, shine, into the idea of outshining and superior capacity, overwhelming ability, might also, as a musical term, denote the conducting of the playing and singing as well as the leading of them. The signification to direct is here, however, excluded by the context, for the conductors were without doubt the three chief musicians or bandmasters (Capellenmeister), Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, with the cymbals, not the psaltery and lute players belonging to the second rank. The conducting must therefore be expressed by להשׁמיע, and this word must mean "in order to give a clear tone," i.e., to regulate the tune and the tone of the singing, while לנצּח signifies "to take the lead in playing;" cf. Del. on Psalm 4:1. This word, moreover, is probably not to be restricted to the singers with the lutes, the third choir, but must be held to refer also to the second choir. The meaning then will be, that Heman, Asaph, and Ethan had cymbals to direct the song, while the other singers had partly psalteries, partly lutes, in order to play the accompaniment to the singing. The song of these two choirs is moreover distinguished and defined by עלמות על and השּׁמינית על. These words specify the kind of voices; עלמות על after the manner of virgins, i.e., in the soprano; השּׁמינית על, after the octave, i.e., in bass - al ottava bassa. See Del. on Psalm 6:1; Psalm 46:1. In 1 Chronicles 15:22-24 the still remaining priests who were engaged in the solemn procession are enumerated.
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