Moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Moreover four thousand were porters.—Literally, and four thousand (are to be) warders. (Comp. 1Chronicles 9:21-27.) Reuss thinks 4,000 warders too many; but the different clans went on duty in turn.
And four thousand praised the Lord . . .—Rather, and four thousand (are to be) praising the Lord with the instruments that I have made for praising. (On “praising,” see 1Chronicles 16:4.) We have here an interesting reference to the fact that David was not only a minstrel and inspired psalmist, but also an inventor of stringed instruments. So the prophet Amos (1Chronicles 6:5) speaks of the effeminate nobles of Israel, “who prattle on the mouth of the nebel, that invent themselves instruments of music, like David.” The reference is repeated in Nehemiah 12:36.
Which I have made.—This expression proves that 1Chronicles 23:4-5 should be within inverted commas, as representing a spoken decree of David. Ewald thinks that the narrative is interrupted in 1Chronicles 23:5 by a fragmentary quotation from an ancient poet who speaks in the name of Jehovah, characterising the musicians as “those whom I have formed to sing my praise.” (But see 2Chronicles 7:6.)1 Chronicles 23:5. Four thousand were porters — Whose office it was to take the charge of all the gates of the temple, and its courts, that no forbidden or unclean person might enter there, and of the courts themselves, and of the several chambers and buildings belonging to the temple and the service thereof. These also were to do their work by turns. Praised the Lord with instruments — Whereof two hundred and eighty-eight persons were of greater skill than their brethren, and instructed them, and had some authority over them.1 Chronicles 23:28-32 give the most complete account in Scripture of the nature of the Levitical office. Porters; whose office was to take the charge of all the gates of the temple and its courts, that no forbidden or unclean person might enter there, and of the courts them selves, and of several chambers or buildings belonging to the temple and the service thereof: these also were to do their work by turns.
Four thousand praised the Lord with instruments; whereof two hundred and eighty-eight were persons of greater skill than their brethren, and did instruct them, and had some authority over them.
and four thousand praised the Lord with the instruments; were singers in the temple, which in all made up 38,000:
which I made, said David, to praise therewith; which instruments he devised and ordered to be made to praise the Lord with; see 2 Chronicles 29:26.Moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)5. porters] R.V. doorkeepers. The courses and duties of these are given in 1 Chronicles 26:1-19.
four thousand praised the Lord] Cp. 1 Chronicles 25:1-31, from which it appears that there was also a picked choir consisting of 288 persons, divided into twenty-four courses, whose special duty was psalmody.
the instruments which I made] Cp. 2 Chronicles 29:26.Verse 5. - Porters (Hebrew שֹׁעְרִים); doorkeepers. The word is so translated in 1 Chronicles 15:23, 24. It was the duty of these to keep the entrances of the sanctuary, by day and night, in their courses (see also 2 Kings 7:10, 11). The Chaldaic equivalent of this word is תָּרָע (Ezra 7:24; Daniel 2:49). There is no connection between either the word or idea we have here, and those of Psalm 84:11, where the Hithp. conjugation of סָפפ is used, and the sense of residence probably intended to be conveyed. The instruments which I made... to praise. Possibly the quotation of a short sentence often on David's lips. Men given to music may have been very conscious of it, in ancient days, as well as in modern. The language, however, does not necessarily assert that David claimed the inventing or in any similar sense the making of these musical instruments, but that he appointed them for the service of praise. What some of them were may be seen in 2 Chronicles 5:12 - "cymbals, psalteries, harps, trumpets" (see also 2 Chronicles 29:25-27; Nehemiah 12:35, 36; Amos 6:5). 1 Chronicles 22:18 is introduced without לאמר, because it is clear from the preceding דויד ויצו that the words are spoken by David: "The Lord has given you peace round about; for He has given the inhabitants of the land into my hands, and the land is subdued before Jahve and before His people." The subdued land is Canaan: the inhabitants of the land are, however, not the Israelites over whom the Lord had set David as king, for the words בּידי נתן cannot apply to them, cf. 1 Chronicles 14:10., Joshua 2:24; it is the Canaanites still left in the land in the time of David, and other enemies, who, like the Philistines, possessed parts of the land, and had been subdued by David. On הארץ נככּשׁה, cf. Joshua 18:1; Numbers 32:22, Numbers 32:29. This safety which the Lord had granted them binds them in duty to seek Him with all their heart, and to build the sanctuary, that the ark and the sacred vessels may be brought into it. The ל in לבּית is not a sign of the accusative (Berth.), for הביא is not construed with accus. loci, but generally with אל, for which, however, so early as Joshua 4:5, ל is used, or it is construed with the acc. and ה locale - הבּיתה, Genesis 19:10; Genesis 43:17.
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