1 Chronicles 15:4
And David assembled the children of Aaron, and the Levites:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) And David assembled.—He confers separately with the priestly order respecting their part in the procession.

The children of Aaron.—The sons of Aaron, i.e., the high priests, Zadok and Abiathar (1Chronicles 15:11).

The Levitesi.e., the six chieftains—Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, heads of the clans of Kohath, Merari, and Gershom respectively; and Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab, additional Kohathite chiefs: all the six being at the head of their clansmen (“brethren,” 1Chronicles 15:5-10). There were four Kohathite houses to one of Merari and Gershom, because the sub-tribe of Kohath was the elder house, and had special charge of the Ark and other most holy vessels of the sanctuary (Numbers 4:4).

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 children of Aaron - i. e., the priests. 4. David assembled the children of Aaron, and the Levites—The children of Aaron were the two priests (1Ch 15:11), Zadok and Abiathar, heads of the two priestly houses of Eleazar and Ithamar, and colleagues in the high priesthood (2Sa 20:25). The Levites were the chiefs of their father's house (1Ch 15:12); four belonging to the Kohathite branch, on whose shoulders the ark was to be borne; namely, Uriel, Shemaiah—descended from Elizaphan or Elzaphan—(Ex 6:22), Hebron (Ex 6:18; 1Ch 6:2), and Amminadab from Uzziel (Ex 6:22). No text from Poole on this verse. And David assembled the children of Aaron, and the Levites. Whose business it was to bear the ark when there was any occasion for it: and from hence to the end of 1 Chronicles 15:10 an account is given of the Levites, and their number employed in this affair:

of the sons of Kohath; a son of Levi, that is, of his posterity; for his immediate sons, and so those of the rest after mentioned, had been dead ages ago; the principal of those, at this present time, was Uriel, and his kindred, or those of the same family with him, were one hundred and twenty: of those of Merari, another son of Levi, the chief was Asaiah, with two hundred and twenty of his relations: of those of Gershon, another son of Levi, was Joel, and his brethren were one hundred and thirty: of the posterity of Elizaphan, a grandson of Kohath, Exodus 5:18, the most noted was Shemaiah, who had two hundred of his family with him: and of those of Hebron, the son of Kohath, Exodus 6:18, Eliel was the most famous, and he had eighty of his kindred with him: and of those of Uzziel, another son of Kohath in a different line from Elizaphan, who also was a son of Uzziel, was Amminadab the chief, who had one hundred and twelve of his kindred with him: the number of Levites, in all, gathered together, were eight hundred and sixty two, besides their chiefs.

And David assembled the children of Aaron, and the Levites:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verses 4-11. - This classification of the children of Aaron, as the special priests, and of the Levites, is constantly observed (1 Chronicles 12:26, 27; 1 Chronicles 27:17). The mention of the six representative Levitical families follows. That of Kohath (ver. 5) takes the lead, because, though second in order of birth (Genesis 46:11; Exodus 6:16-19; 1 Chronicles 6:1-30), its priestly importance gave it always first rank. To the same head belonged also three of the remaining five families, viz. Hebron (ver. 9) and Uzziel (ver. 10), who were brothers, as being beth sons of Kohath (Exodus 6:18); and Elizaphan, who, though son of Uzziel (Exodus 6:22), had come to represent a distinct family (Numbers 3:30). The other two required to complete the six are Asaiah (ver. 6) of the house of Merari, and Joel (ver. 7) of the house of Gershom. The representatives, then, of these six families, with the company of the brethren belonging to each of them, and the two priests Zadok and Abiathar (ver. 11), are now summoned into the presence of David, to receive a short but special charge. Instead of נשּׂא כּי, that He (Jahve) had lifted up (נשּׂא, perf. Pi.), as in 2 Samuel 5:12, in the Chronicle we read למעלה נשּׂאת כּי, that his kingdom had been lifted up on high. The unusual form נשּׂאת may be, according to the context, the third pers. fem. perf. Niph., nisaa't having first been changed into נשּׂאת, and thus contracted into נשּׂאת; cf. Ew. 194, b. In 2 Samuel 19:43 the same form is the infin. abs. Niph. למעלה is here, as frequently in the Chronicles, used to intensify the expression: cf. 1 Chronicles 22:5; 1 Chronicles 23:17; 1 Chronicles 29:3, 1 Chronicles 29:25; 2 Chronicles 1:1; 2 Chronicles 17:12. With regard to the sons of David, see on 1 Chronicles 3:5-8.

In the account of the victories over the Philistines, the statement (2 Samuel 5:17) that David went down to the mountain-hold, which has no important connection with the main fact, and would have been for the readers of the Chronicle somewhat obscure, is exchanged in 1 Chronicles 14:8 for the more general expression לפניהם ויּצא, "he went forth against them." In 1 Chronicles 14:14, the divine answer to David's question, whether he should march against the Philistines, runs thus: מעליהם הסב אחריהם תּעלה לא, Thou shalt not go up after them; turn away from them, and come upon them over against the baca-bushes; - while in 2 Samuel 5:23, on the contrary, we read: אל־אחריהם הסב תעלה הסב אל־א לע, Thou shalt not go up (i.e., advance against the enemy to attack them in front); turn thee behind them (i.e., to their rear), and come upon them over against the baca-bushes. Bertheau endeavours to get rid of the discrepancy, by supposing that into both texts corruptions have crept through transcribers' errors. He conjectures that the text of Samuel was originally אחריהם תּעלה לא, while in the Chronicle a transposition of the words עליהם and אחריהם was occasioned by a copyist's error, which in turn resulted in the alteration of עליהם into מעליהם. This supposition, however, stands or falls with the presumption that by תּעלה לא (Sam.) an attack is forbidden; but for that presumption no tenable grounds exist: it would rather involve a contradiction between the first part of the divine answer and the second. The last clause, "Come upon them from over against the baca-bushes," shows that the attack was not forbidden; all that was forbidden was the making of the attack by advancing straight forward: instead of that, they were to try to fall upon them in the rear, by making a circuit. The chronicler consequently gives us an explanation of the ambiguous words of 2 Samuel, which might easily be misunderstood. As David's question was doubtless expressed as it is in 1 Chronicles 14:10, הפל על האעלה, the answer תּעלה לא might be understood to mean, "Go not up against them, attack them not, but go away behind them;" but with that the following וגו להם וּבאת, "Come upon them from the baca-bushes," did not seem to harmonize. The chronicler consequently explains the first clauses of the answer thus: "Go not up straight behind them," i.e., advance not against them so as to attack them openly, "but turn thyself away from them," i.e., strike off in such a direction as to turn their flank, and come upon them from the front of the baca-bushes. In this way the apparently contradictory texts are reconciled without the alteration of a word. In 1 Chronicles 14:17, which is wanting in Samuel, the author concludes the account of these victories by the remark that they tended greatly to exalt the name of David among the nations. For similar reflections, cf. 2 Chronicles 17:10; 2 Chronicles 20:29; 2 Chronicles 14:13; and for שׁם ויּצא, 2 Chronicles 26:15.

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