1 Chronicles 15:27
And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers: David also had upon him an ephod of linen.
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(27) And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen.—Samuel reads, “And David was dancing before Jehovah with all might” (Heb.). The Hebrew of our text may be a corruption or intentional alteration of this. The word for “clothed” is the Aramaic (Daniel 3:21, mĕkurbāl), which might easily be, by inadvertence or design, substituted for the rare word mĕkarkēr (Sam.), “dancing.”

A robe of fine linen.—Heb., a me’il of byssus. The me’il was an upper garment worn by persons of rank (2Samuel 12:18; 1Samuel 15:27; Job 29:14).

And all the Levites . . . and the singers, and Chenaniah.Scil., were clothed with a me‘îl of byssus.

The master of the song.—Rather, the chief (overseer) of the bearing. (Comp. 1Chronicles 15:22.)

With the singers.—Omit, as an accidental repetition. The word “with” is wanting in the Hebrew, which is ungrammatical as it stands. The entire clause, “and all the Levites . . . with the singers,” is not read in the parallel account.

David also had upon him an ephod of linen.—Literally, and upon David (was) an ephod of linen. (See 2Samuel 6:14.) The ephod, a sort of cope, was distinctive of the priests (1Samuel 22:18).

1 Chronicles 15:27. David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, also an ephod of linen — “David was clothed with a double garment, with a robe of fine linen, and with a linen ephod. These two garments are expressly distinguished in the account of the vestments of the high-priest, Exodus 29:5; Exodus 28:4; Exodus 28:6; Exodus 39:23. The fabric of them was different; the ephod was made of gold, blue, purple, scarlet; whereas the robe was formed all of blue. The shape of them was different; the ephod reaching only to the knees, the robe flowing down even to the very covering of the feet. The robe had no division in it throughout, but was made whole and round, with an opening in the middle of it, at the top; so that it was impossible any part of the body could be seen through it, especially as the ephod, on this occasion of David’s dancing, was thrown over it, and tied, probably, with a girdle, as the priest’s ephod always was. David clothed himself with these linen garments on this solemnity, both out of reverence to God, and for convenience, because they were cooler. It may be further observed, that this robe was worn by kings, their children, princes, priests, Levites, and prophets, when they appeared on any solemn occasion, and it covered their other garments: see 1 Samuel 28:14; 2 Samuel 13:8. David, therefore, dressed himself on this occasion with this long, flowing linen robe, instead of the robe of state proper to him as king of Israel, and which was made of richer materials; and hence he was scornfully insulted by Saul’s daughter, as uncovering himself as a king, and appearing in a habit wholly unworthy, as she thought, of his royal character and dignity.” See on 2 Samuel 6:20; Chandler’s Review, and Dodd.

15:25-29 It is good to notice the assistance of Divine Providence, even in things which fall within the compass of our natural powers; if God did not help us, we could not stir a step. If we do our religious duties in any degree aright, we must own it was God that helped us; had we been left to ourselves, we should have been guilty of some fatal errors. And every thing in which we engage, must be done in dependence on the mercy of God through the sacrifice of the Redeemer."Fine linen" (byssus) is here first spoken of as used for dress. It seems to have been reserved for nobles of the highest rank Esther 8:15, for kings, and for priests 2 Chronicles 5:12. David's robe was probably worn, like that of the high priest, immediately under the ephod, and may, like that, have reached the feet. 27. a robe of fine linen—Hebrew, Butz—is rather supposed in the later books to denote cotton.

an ephod—a shoulder-garment, a cincture or cape over his dress. It was worn by the priests, but was not so peculiar to them as to be forbidden others (1Sa 2:18; 22:18).

With a robe of fine linen, i.e. with a linen ephod, as it is explained in the close of this verse, where this circumstance is repeated, because it was a notable and unusual thing for David, who was no Levite, to wear a Levitical garment. Of this and the following verses, See Poole "2 Samuel 6:14", See Poole "2 Samuel 6:15", See Poole "2 Samuel 6:16".

And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen,.... For though a king, he, being among the singers, was clothed as they; for so it follows:

and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song; or of those that bore the burden, the ark, as the Targum:

with the singers; all were clothed in robes of fine linen:

David also had upon him an ephod of linen; which he had besides his linen robe, and was over it; and being a shorter and tighter garment, it bound the other closer to him; though some think this is explanative of the former, and designs the same, and is what others, besides priests, were, on occasion, allowed to wear, see 1 Samuel 2:18.

And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers: David also had upon him an {p} ephod of linen.

(p) Read 2Sa 6:14.

27. the master of the song] R.V. mg., the master of the carrying of the ark. Cp. 1 Chronicles 15:22, note.

an ephod of linen] A linen ephod was the ordinary vestment for all priests (1 Samuel 22:18). The highpriest’s ephod was a more elaborate garment (Exodus 28:6-12), fitted with the means of divination (1 Samuel 23:6; 1 Samuel 23:9-12).

Verse 27. - Several things in this verse indicate a somewhat uncertain and unsteady selection of particulars by the compiler from his original sources. The natural reading of the verse would seem to say that David and all those Levites who bore the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah, all wore the robe of byssus, while David had, in addition, the ephod of linen. Yet it is unlikely that all did wear the robe. Again, the Hebrew text exhibits no preposition before the singers, on the second occasion of the occurrence of the expression in this verse. Yet little sense can be found without a preposition. The robe was not distinctively a priest's garment (1 Samuel 18:4; 1 Samuel 24:5, 12; 2 Samuel 13:18; Job 1:20; Job 2:12), though priests did wear it. The robe of byssus is spoken of only here; 2 Chronicles 5:12; and Esther 8:15. Byssus, however, is spoken of as material for other purposes in 1 Chronicles 4:21; 2 Chronicles 2:14; 2 Chronicles 3:14; Esther 1:6; Ezekiel 27:16. The ephod, on the other hand, was no doubt distinctively a high priest's garment (Exodus 28:4-12), though we read of Samuel wearing one (1 Samuel 2:18, 28), and of David doing the same, as on this occasion. The fine linen (בּוצ), in the first clause of this verse, is not the same with that (בָּך) in the last clause. The first clause of this verse (which makes the last clause somewhat redundant) bears some resemblance in letters to the 2 Samuel 6:14 fourteenth verse of 2 Samuel 6. first clause, which means, "and David danced with all his might," and the two clauses exactly answer to one another in position - another suggestion of an uncertain text here. 1 Chronicles 15:27The discrepancy between 1 Chronicles 15:27 and 2 Samuel 6:14 is more difficult of explanation. Instead of the words יהוה לפני בּכל־אז מכרכּר דּוד, David danced with all his might before Jahve, we read in the Chronicle בּוּץ בּמעיל מכרבּל דויד, David was clothed with a robe of byssus. But since מכרכר differs from מכרבל only in the last two letters, and כר might be easily exchanged for בל, we may suppose that מכרבל has arisen out of מכרכר. Bertheau accordingly says: "Any one who remembered that in this verse David's clothing was spoken of might write מכרכר as מכרבל, while the words עז בכל, which were probably illegible,were conjecture to be בוץ במעיל." This opinion would be worthy of consideration, if only the other discrepancies between the Chronicle and Samuel were thereby made more comprehensible. That, besides David, the bearers of the ark, the singers, and Chenaniah are mentioned, Bertheau thinks can be easily explained by what precedes; but how can that explain the absence of the יהוה לפני of Samuel from our text? Bertheau passes this over in silence; and yet it is just the absence of these words in our text which shows that בוץ במעיל מכרבל cannot have arisen from an orthographical error and the illegibility of עז בכל, since יהוה לפני must have been purposely omitted. Bttcher's opinion (N. kr. Aehrenl. iii. S. 224), that the Chaldaizing מכרבל can scarcely have been written by the chronicler, because it is not at all like his pure Hebrew style, and that consequently a later reader, who considered it objectionable that a Levite should dance, and perhaps impossible that the bearers should (forgetting that they were released in turn from performing their office), while holding as closely to the letter of the text as possible, corrected עז בכל מכרכר into בוץ במעיל מכרבל, and that the same person, or perhaps a later, added besides וּכנניה והמשׁררים, is still less probable. In that way, indeed, we get no explanation of the main difficulty, viz., how the words from הלויּם to המּשׁררים came into the text of the Chronicle, instead of the יהוה לפני of Samuel. The supposition that originally the words from וכל־הלויּם בּכל־עז מכרכּר ודויד to והמשׁררים stood in the text, when of course the statement would be, not only that David danced with all his might, but also that all the Levites who bore the ark danced, is in the highest degree unsatisfactory; for this reason, if for no other, that we cannot conceive how the singers could play the nebel and the kinnor and dance at the same time, since it is not alternations between singing and playing, and dancing and leaping that are spoken of.

The discrepancy can only be got rid of by supposing that both narratives are abridged extracts from a more detailed statement, which contained, besides David's dancing, a completer account of the clothing of the king, and of the Levites who took part in the procession. Of these the author of the books of Samuel has communicated only the two characteristic facts, that David danced with all his might before the Lord, and wore an ephod of white; while the author of the Chronicle gives us an account of David's clothing and that of the Levites, while he omits David's dancing. This he does, not because he was scandalized thereby, for he not only gives a hint of it in 1 Chronicles 15:29, but mentions it in 1 Chronicles 13:8, which is parallel to 2 Samuel 6:5; but because the account of the king's clothing, and of that of the Levites, in so far as the religious meaning of the solemn progress was thereby brought out, appeared to him more important for his design of depicting at length the religious side of the procession. For the clothing of the king had a priestly character; and not only the ephod of white (see on 2 Samuel 6:14), but also the me‛il of בּוּץ, white byssus, distinguished the king as head of a priestly people. The me‛il as such was,it is true, an outer garment which every Israelite might wear, but it was worn usually only by persons of rank and distinction (cf. 1 Samuel 2:19; 1 Samuel 15:27; 1 Samuel 18:4; 1 Samuel 24:5; Ezra 9:3; Job 29:14), and white byssus was the material for the priests' garments. Among the articles of clothing which the law prescribed for the official dress of the simple priest (Exodus 28:40) the מעיל was not included, but only the כּתונת, a tight close-fitting coat; but the priests were not thereby prevented from wearing a me‛il of byssus on special festive occasions, and we are informed in 2 Chronicles 5:12 that even the Levites and singers were on such occasions clad in byssus. In this way the statement of our verse, that David and all the Levites and bearers of the ark, the singers, and the captain Chenaniah, had put on me‛ilim of byssus, is justified and shown to be in accordance with the circumstances. The words therefore are to be so understood. The words from וכל־הלויּם to המּשּׂא השּׂר are co-ordinate with ודויד, and may translate the verse thus: "David was clothed in a me‛il of byssus, as also were all the Levites," etc. No objection can be taken to the המּשּׂא השּׂר when we have the article with a nomen regens, for cases of this kind frequently occur where the article, as here, has a strong retrospective force; cf. Ew. 290, d. On the contrary, המּשׁררים after המּשּׂא is meaningless, and can only have come into the text, like בּן in 1 Chronicles 15:18, by an error of the transcriber, although it was so read as early as the time of the lxx. For the last clause, cf. 2 Samuel 6:14.

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