2 Chronicles 35:4
And prepare yourselves by the houses of your fathers, after your courses, according to the writing of David king of Israel, and according to the writing of Solomon his son.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) And prepare yourselves.—The pronoun should not be italicised, for the verb is niphal or reflexive, and not hiphil or causative, as the Hebrew vowel points wrongly suggest.

By the houses of your fathers.According to your father-houses.

After your courses.In your divisions, (See 1 Chronicles 13-26)

According to the writing of David . . . Solomon his son.—Comp. 1Chronicles 28:19, where David refers to such a writing. The words seem to imply the existence of written memorials of the regulations of public worship, which David and Solomon instituted.

(“Writing of David” is kĕthâb, a word only found in Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Daniel and Esther. “Writing of Solomon” is miktab; see Exodus 32:16).

35:1-19 The destruction Josiah made of idolatry, was more largely related in the book of Kings. His solemnizing the passover is related here. The Lord's supper resembles the passover more than any other of the Jewish festivals; and the due observance of that ordinance, is a proof of growing piety and devotion. God alone can truly make our hearts holy, and prepare them for his holy services; but there are duties belonging to us, in doing which we obtain this blessing from the Lord.Put the holy ark etc - The ark of the covenant may have been temporarily removed from the holy of holies while Josiah effected necessary repairs.

It shall not be a burden upon your shoulders - The removing and replacing the ark Josiah means "shall not henceforth be your duty. The ark shall remain undisturbed in the holy of holies. You shall return to your old employments, to the service of God and the instruction of the people."

4. prepare yourselves by the houses of your fathers, after your courses—Each course or division was to be composed of those who belonged to the same fathers' house.

according to the writing of David and … Solomon—Their injunctions are recorded (2Ch 8:14; 1Ch 23:1-26:32).

No text from Poole on this verse.

And prepare yourselves,.... To do their work in this service of the sanctuary, the passover; that they be ready to do it, and diligent in it, and perform it according to the law of God:

by the houses of your fathers, after your courses; such of them whose turn in course it was to officiate:

according to the writing of David king of Israel, and according to the writing of Solomon his son; who had given in writing directions in what manner their courses should be observed, see 1 Chronicles 23:1.

And prepare yourselves by the houses of your fathers, after your courses, according to the writing of David king of Israel, and according to the writing of Solomon his son.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. by the houses of your fathers, after your courses] R.V. after your fathers’ houses by your courses.

the writing of David] Cp. 1 Chronicles 23:27; 1 Chronicles 28:19-21.

Verse 4. - According to the writing of David... and... of Solomon (comp. our 2 Chronicles 8:14 and 1 Chronicles 9:10-34, and the other marginal references, 1 Chronicles 23. - 26.). It is more than possible that the fullest tabulation of arrangements of this kind has not come down to us. 2 Chronicles 35:4The Levites are designated "those teaching all Israel, those holy to the Lord," in reference to what is commanded them in the succeeding verses. The Keth. מבונים does not elsewhere occur, and must be regarded as a substantive: the teachers; but it is probably only an orthographical error for מבינים (Nehemiah 8:7), as the Keri demands here also. As to the fact, cf. 2 Chronicles 17:8. The Levites had to teach the people in the law. Josiah said to them, "Set the ark in the house which Solomon did build; not is to you to bear upon the shoulder;" i.e., ye have not any longer to bear it on your shoulders, as formerly on the journey through the wilderness, and indeed till the building of the temple, when the ark and the tabernacle had not yet any fixed resting-place (1 Chronicles 17:5). The summons וגו את־ערון וּ תּן is variously interpreted. Several Rabbins regard it as a command to remove the ark from its place in the most holy place into some subterranean chamber of the temple, so as to secure its safety in the event of the threatened destruction of the temple taking place. But this hypothesis needs no refutation, since it in no way corresponds to the words used. Most ancient and modern commentators, on the other hand, suppose that the holy ark had, during the reigns of the godless Manasseh and Amon, either been removed by them from its place, or taken away from the most holy place, from a desire to protect it from profanation, and hidden somewhere; and that Josiah calls upon the Levites to bring it back again to its place. Certainly this idea is favoured by the circumstance that, just as the book of the law, which should have been preserved in the ark of the covenant, had been lost, and was only recovered when the temple was being repaired, so the ark also may have been removed from its place. But even in that case the sacred ark would have been brought back to its place, according to the law, at the completion of the purification of the temple, before the king and people made the covenant with Jahve, after the law had been read to them in the temple, and could not have remained in its hiding-place until the passover. Still less probable is Bertheau's conjecture, "that the Levites bore the just reconsecrated ark upon their shoulders at the celebration of the passover, under the idea that they were bound by the law to do so; but Josiah taught them that the temple built by Solomon had caused an alteration in that respect. They were no longer bearers of the ark; they might set it in its place, and undertake other duties." For the idea that the Levites bore the ark at the celebration of the passover is utterly inconsistent with the context, since 2 Chronicles 35:3-6 do not treat of what was done at the passover, but merely of that which was to be done. But even if we were to alter "they bare" into "they wished to bear," yet there is no historic ground for the idea attributed by Bertheau to the Levites, that at the celebration of the passover the ark was to be brought forth from the most holy place, and carried in procession in the temple courts or elsewhere. Finally, the reasons stated for the call, וגו תּנוּ, cannot be made to harmonize with the two views above mentioned. If it was only the bringing back of the ark to its ancient place in the most holy place which is here spoken of, why are the words "which Solomon built" added after בּבּית; and why is the command based upon the statement, "Ye have not to carry it any more upon your shoulders, but are to serve the Lord your God and His people in another way"? Both the additional clause and these reasons for the command show clearly that Josiah, in the words וגו תּנוּ, did not command something which they were to do at the approaching passover, but merely introduces therewith the summons: "Serve now the Lord," etc. R. Sal. saw this, and has given the sense of the verse thus: quum non occupemini amplius ullo labore vasa sacra portandi, Deo servite et populo ejus mactando et excoriando agnos paschales v. 4ff. It therefore only remains to ascertain how this signification is consistent with the words בּבּית הק את־ארון תּנוּ. The exhortation, "Set the ark in the house," must certainly not be understood to mean, "Leave it in the place where it has hitherto stood," nor, "Bring the sacred ark back into the house;" for נתן with בּ does not mean to bring back, but only to place anywhere, set; and is here used not of material placing, but of mental. "Set the ark in the house" is equivalent to, "Overlook, leave it in the temple; you have not any longer, since Solomon built a house for it, to bear it upon your shoulders;" i.e., Think not on that which formerly, before the building of the temple, belonged to your service, but serve the Lord and His people now in the manner described in 2 Chronicles 35:4. The interpretation of the words as denoting a material setting or removing of the ark, is completely excluded by the facts, (1) that in the description of what the Levites did at the passover, "according to the command of the king," which follows (2 Chronicles 35:10-15), not a word is said of the ark; and (2) that the bearing of the ark into the most holy place was not the duty of the Levites, but of the priests. The duty of the Levites was merely to bear the ark when it had to be transported for great distances, after the priests had previously wrapped it up in the prescribed manner. In 2 Chronicles 35:4-6 the matters in which they are to serve the Lord in the preparation of the passover are more fully stated. The Keth. הכונו is imper. Niphal, הכּונוּ, Make yourselves ready according to your fathers'-houses, in your divisions, according to the writing of David. בּ in בּכתב, as in בּמצות, 2 Chronicles 29:25; but כּתב does not equals מצות, but is to be understood of writings, in which the arrangements made by David and Solomon in reference to the service of the Levites were recorded.
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