And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The Levites.—Kings has the priests; and so Syr. and Arab, here; but LXX. and Vulg., Levites. The latter term, as the tribal name, may of course be used to include the priests or Aaronites, as well as their inferior brethren. 2Chronicles 5:7 shows that the priests are intended here.2 Chronicles 5:7; 1 Kings 8:3).
2, 3. Then Solomon assembled … in the feast which was in the seventh month—The feast of the dedication of the temple was on the eighth day of that month. This is related, word for word, the same as in 1Ki 8:1-10.And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)4. the Levites took up the ark] According to 1 Kings the, priests performed this duty. Cp. 1 Chronicles 15:2; 1 Chronicles 15:12-13. It is clear from these passages that the Chronicler believed that in the days of David and Solomon, as in his own, the Levites were regarded as a class subordinate to the priests, having special duties distinct from those of the true “priests.” It is however more probable that in these early days all Levites were possible priests, Levi being the name of the priestly clan, and not of a lower order of priests.Verse 4. - The Levites. So see Numbers 4:15, 19, 20, which, with our vers. 5, 7, throw this statement into sufficient harmony with that of the parallel (1 Kings 8:3), which purports to say that the priests only, unaided by the Kohathite Levites, performed the service. 1 Kings 7:40-50. The enumeration of the things wrought in brass coincides to a word, with the exception of trifling linguistic differences and some defects in the text, with 1 Kings 7:40-47. In 2 Chronicles 4:12 והכּתרות הגּלּות is the true reading, and we should so read in 1 Kings 7:41 also, since the גּלּות, circumvolutions, are to be distinguished from the כּתרות, crowns; see on 2 Chronicles 3:16. In 2 Chronicles 4:14 the first עשׂה is a mistake for עשׂר, the second for עשׂרה, 1 Kings 7:43; for the verb עשׂה is not required nor expected, as the accusative depends upon לעשׂות, 2 Chronicles 4:11, while the number cannot be omitted, since it is always given with the other things. In 2 Chronicles 4:16 מזלנות is an orthographic error for מזרקות; cf. 2 Chronicles 4:11 and 1 Kings 7:44. ואת־כּל־כּליחם is surprising, for there is no meaning in speaking of the utensils of the utensils enumerated in 2 Chronicles 4:12-16. According to 1 Kings 7:45, we should read האלּה כּל־הכּלים את. As to אביו, see on 2 Chronicles 2:12. מרוּק נחשׁת is accusative of the material, of polished brass; and so also ממרט נח, 1 Kings 7:45, with a similar signification. In reference to the rest, see the commentary on 1 Kings 7:40.
In the enumeration of the golden furniture of the holy place, our text diverges somewhat more from 1 Kings 7:48-50. On the difference in respect to the tables of the shew-bread, see on 1 Kings 7:48. In 2 Chronicles 4:20 the number and position of the candlesticks in the holy place are not stated as they are in 1 Kings 7:49, both having been already given in 2 Chronicles 4:7. Instead of that, their use is emphasized: to light them, according to the right, before the most holy place (כּמּשׁפּט as in 2 Chronicles 4:7). As to the decorations and subordinate utensils of the candlesticks, see on 1 Kings 7:49. To זהב, 2 Chronicles 4:21 (accus. of the material), is added זהב מכלות הוּא, "that is perfect gold." מכלה, which occurs only here, is synonymous with מכלל, perfection. This addition seems superfluous, because before and afterwards it is remarked of these vessels that they were of precious gold (סגוּר זהב), and it is consequently omitted by the lxx, perhaps also because מכלות was not intelligible to them. The words, probably, are meant to indicate that even the decorations and the subordinate utensils of the candlesticks (lamps, snuffers, etc.) were of solid gold, and not merely gilded.
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