1 Chronicles 15:27
And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bore the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers: David also had on him an ephod of linen.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(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.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
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. These singers formed three choirs, according to the instruments they played. Heman, Asaph, and Ethan played brazen cymbals להשׁמיע (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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