And David made him houses in the city of David, and prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent.1 Chronicles 15:1. David made him houses in the city of David — A palace consisting of many houses or apartments for his several wives and children. And prepared a place for the ark of God — He did not fetch the tabernacle of Moses from Gibeon, because he intended forthwith to build the temple. See note on 2 Samuel 6:17.
Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the LORD chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever.1 Chronicles 15:2. David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites — The former miscarriage, when they brought up the ark from Kirjath- jearim, had taught him to treat it with greater reverence, according to the prescription of the law, which ordered the Levites to carry it on their shoulders, Numbers 4:15.
And David gathered all Israel together to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the LORD unto his place, which he had prepared for it.
And David assembled the children of Aaron, and the Levites:
Of the sons of Kohath; Uriel the chief, and his brethren an hundred and twenty:1 Chronicles 15:5. Of the sons of Kohath; Uriel the chief — The sons of Kohath are mentioned Exodus 6:17-18, and Uriel is not one of them: therefore he must have been his grandson, and a person so famous that his descendants are mentioned in the first place.
Of the sons of Merari; Asaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred and twenty:
Of the sons of Gershom; Joel the chief, and his brethren an hundred and thirty:
Of the sons of Elizaphan; Shemaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred:
Of the sons of Hebron; Eliel the chief, and his brethren fourscore:
Of the sons of Uzziel; Amminadab the chief, and his brethren an hundred and twelve.
And David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites, for Uriel, Asaiah, and Joel, Shemaiah, and Eliel, and Amminadab,1 Chronicles 15:11-12. David called for Zadok and Abiathar — The chief priests: Abiathar being the high-priest, and Zadok the second priest. And said, Sanctify yourselves — By solemn purification and preparation of yourselves, both in soul and body: see notes on Genesis 35:2, and Exodus 19:10.
And said unto them, Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it.
For because ye did it not at the first, the LORD our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.
So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel.
And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the LORD.
And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of musick, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.1 Chronicles 15:16. By lifting up the voice with joy — Singing so loud that all might hear, and having their hearts lifted up to God with joy. There was scarce any solemn service performed to their gods, either by Greeks or barbarians, without both vocal and instrumental music.
So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel; and of his brethren, Asaph the son of Berechiah; and of the sons of Merari their brethren, Ethan the son of Kushaiah;
And with them their brethren of the second degree, Zechariah, Ben, and Jaaziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, Eliab, and Benaiah, and Maaseiah, and Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obededom, and Jeiel, the porters.1 Chronicles 15:18. Their brethren of the second degree — The first rank or degree of sacred musicians was that of those three famous persons, named 1 Chronicles 15:17; the next consisted of these here mentioned. The porters — Who were to keep the doors of the tabernacle and courts, but withal were instructed in music, that when they were free from attendance upon their proper office, they might not be idle nor unprofitable in God’s house.
So the singers, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, were appointed to sound with cymbals of brass;
And Zechariah, and Aziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, and Eliab, and Maaseiah, and Benaiah, with psalteries on Alamoth;1 Chronicles 15:20. With psalteries on Alamoth — Or, with Alamoth, which is thought by many to be the name of an instrument of music; or of a certain tune, or note, or part in music. Houbigant renders the words with psalteries, of a deeper sound. The certain signification of the expression is not now known.
And Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obededom, and Jeiel, and Azaziah, with harps on the Sheminith to excel.1 Chronicles 15:21. With harps on Sheminith — Some think Sheminith signifies a harp with eight strings. But perhaps, as was said of Alamoth, it might be the name of a tune, or note, or part in music. Or it might be the beginning of some psalm much used. Its signification is very doubtful, nor is it necessary to know it. To excel — The original word לנצח, lenatzeach, being derived from נצח, natzach, to overcome, is thought by Strigelius to signify an extension or elevation of the voice above all the rest.
And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was for song: he instructed about the song, because he was skilful.1 Chronicles 15:22. Chenaniah was for song — Or, as it may be translated, was for the carriage, namely, of the voice. He was the moderator of the music, instructing them when and how to lift up their voice, change their notes, or make stops. Accordingly, the following words tell us, he instructed about song — Or taught them how to sing; because he was skilful — Was a great artist in singing.
And Berechiah and Elkanah were doorkeepers for the ark.1 Chronicles 15:23. Berechiah and Elkanah were doorkeepers — Were appointed to keep the door of the tent in which the ark was to be put and kept, that no unhallowed person might press in and touch it. And in like manner they were to attend upon the ark in the way, and to guard it from the press and touch of profane hands: for which end these two went before the ark, as their other two brethren, mentioned in the close of 1 Chronicles 15:24, came after it that it might be guarded on all sides.
And Shebaniah, and Jehoshaphat, and Nethaneel, and Amasai, and Zechariah, and Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, did blow with the trumpets before the ark of God: and Obededom and Jehiah were doorkeepers for the ark.
So David, and the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands, went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the house of Obededom with joy.
And it came to pass, when God helped the Levites that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, that they offered seven bullocks and seven rams.1 Chronicles 15:26. God helped the Levites — Not only preserved them from committing any error, so that no plague was inflicted upon them as had happened to Uzza, but gave them strength to bear their burden, and encouraged them in their work with some comfortable sign of his presence with them, and approbation of them.
And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers: David also had upon him an ephod of linen.1 Chronicles 15:27. David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, also an ephod of linen — “David was clothed with a double garment, with a robe of fine linen, and with a linen ephod. These two garments are expressly distinguished in the account of the vestments of the high-priest, Exodus 29:5; Exodus 28:4; Exodus 28:6; Exodus 39:23. The fabric of them was different; the ephod was made of gold, blue, purple, scarlet; whereas the robe was formed all of blue. The shape of them was different; the ephod reaching only to the knees, the robe flowing down even to the very covering of the feet. The robe had no division in it throughout, but was made whole and round, with an opening in the middle of it, at the top; so that it was impossible any part of the body could be seen through it, especially as the ephod, on this occasion of David’s dancing, was thrown over it, and tied, probably, with a girdle, as the priest’s ephod always was. David clothed himself with these linen garments on this solemnity, both out of reverence to God, and for convenience, because they were cooler. It may be further observed, that this robe was worn by kings, their children, princes, priests, Levites, and prophets, when they appeared on any solemn occasion, and it covered their other garments: see 1 Samuel 28:14; 2 Samuel 13:8. David, therefore, dressed himself on this occasion with this long, flowing linen robe, instead of the robe of state proper to him as king of Israel, and which was made of richer materials; and hence he was scornfully insulted by Saul’s daughter, as uncovering himself as a king, and appearing in a habit wholly unworthy, as she thought, of his royal character and dignity.” See on 2 Samuel 6:20; Chandler’s Review, and Dodd.
Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps.
And it came to pass, as the ark of the covenant of the LORD came to the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looking out at a window saw king David dancing and playing: and she despised him in her heart.