1 Chronicles 16:4
And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, and to record, and to thank and praise the LORD God of Israel:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4-42) THE INSTITUTION OF A MINISTRY FOR THE ARK. THE ODE SUNG ON THE DAY OF INSTITUTION.

This entire section is peculiar to the Chronicle. 1Chronicles 16:43 is almost identical with 2Samuel 6:19-20. Compared, then, with the older text, this relation of the chronicler’s looks like a parenthesis interpolated from another source into the history, as narrated in 2Samuel 6:12-20.

(4) And he appointed certain of the Levites.—Literally, put, placed (Genesis 3:12).

To minister.—Literally, ministeringi.e., as ministers. The object of the appointment is defined by the words which follow: “both to remind, and to thank, and to praise Jehovah, the God of Israel.” Each verb expresses a distinct kind of duty in the service of song.

To record is the technical term for chanting the psalms which accompanied the sacrificial burning of the Azkārāh, that is, the part of the meat offering that was presented on the altar (Leviticus 2:2). (Comp. the use of the cognate verb in the titles of Psalms 38, 70)

To thank was to perform psalms of invocation, and confession of benefits received.

To praise was to sing and play hymns of hallelujah such as Psalms 146-150.

These Levites were to minister thus before the Ark in the sacred tent of Mount Zion.

1 Chronicles 16:4. To record, and to thank and praise the Lord, &c. — To rehearse and declare unto the people the wonderful works God had done for Israel, and to give him thanks for them, and to extol his almighty goodness and his glorious perfections. All our rejoicings should express themselves in thanksgivings to him from whom all our comforts are received.16:1-6 Though God's word and ordinances may be clouded and eclipsed for a time, they shall shine out of obscurity. This was but a tent, a humble dwelling, yet this was the tabernacle which David, in his psalms, often speaks of with so much affection. David showed himself generous to his subjects, as he had found God gracious to him. Those whose hearts are enlarged with holy joy, should show it by being open-handed.This passage is interposed by the writer of Chronicles between two sentences of the parallel passage in Samuel. It contains a detailed account of the service which David instituted at this time, a service out of which grew the more elaborate service of the temple. The language of much of the passage is remarkably archaic, and there can be no reasonable doubt that it is in the main an extract from a record of the time of David.4-6. he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord—No sooner was the ark deposited in its tent than the Levites, who were to officiate in the choirs before it, entered upon their duties. A select number of the musicians were chosen for the service from the list (1Ch 15:19-21) of those who had taken a prominent part in the recent procession. The same arrangement was to be observed in their duties, now that the ark again was stationary; Asaph, with his associates, composing the first or principal company, played with cymbals; Zechariah and his colleagues, with whom were conjoined Jeiel and Obed-edom, forming the second company, used harps and similar instruments. No text from Poole on this verse. And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord,.... By singing the praises of God:

and to record; or bring to remembrance; to commemorate in a song the great and good things God had done for Israel as a people:

and to thank and praise the Lord God of Israel; for all his benefits, and the blessings of his goodness bestowed on them.

And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, and to {b} record, and to thank and praise the LORD God of Israel:

(b) That is, God's benefits to his people.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4–6 (cp. 1 Chronicles 16:37-38). David’s Arrangements for Ministration before the Ark

4. to record] R.V. to celebrate. The literal meaning is to call to mind; cp. 1 Chronicles 16:12 (remember). Cp. Psalms 38, 70 (titles).Verses 4-7. - These verses contain a statement of the arrangement David made of a more permanent nature, but to date from this commencement, for the service of thanksgiving by the Levites. Verse 4. - To minister; i.e. to officiate, as we should say, in the service before the ark. The verse seems to describe what should be the essence of that service. It was threefold - to record, to thank, and to praise the Lord God of Israel. The word here used for "record" is the Hiph. of זָכַר (to remember), and is remarked upon by Gesenius as a title strictly appropriate to the character of the two psalms Psalms 38 and Psalms 70, on the head of which it stands, as meaning, "to make others remember" (see also such passages as Exodus 20:24; 2 Samuel 8:16; 2 Samuel 18:18; 2 Samuel 20:24; Isaiah 43:26; Isaiah 63:7). The minds of the people were to be refreshed in this service and in their very psalm of praise (so note in this sense vers. 8, 9, 12, 21, etc.), by being reminded or told, so far as the youngest of them might be concerned, of God's marvellous and merciful deeds for their forefathers of many, many a generation. Then they were to give intelligent and hearty thanks. And, lastly, they were to offer to approach that purest form of worship which consists in adoring praise. One might imagine with what zest they would have accepted, with what fervour they would have added lip and instrument of music to it - that one verse which needed the revolution yet of nearly another three thousand years, that it might flow from the devotion or' Addison.

"When all thy mercies, O my God,
My rising soul surveys,
Transported with the view I'm lost
In wonder, love, and praise."
The 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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