Matthew Poole's Commentary
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.David, having prepared a place for the ark, ordereth the priests and Levites to bring it from Obed-edom, 1 Chronicles 15:1-24. He performeth the solemnity thereof with great joy, 1 Chronicles 15:25-28. Michal despiseth him, 1 Chronicles 15:29.
Houses; a palace consisting of many houses or apartments for his several wives and children. Pitched for it a tent.
Quest. Why did he not first fetch the tabernacle of Moses from Gibeon, where it now was that so he might put the ark into its proper place?
Answ. Partly because he had no motion or direction from God concerning the tabernacle, as he had concerning the ark; and partly because he thought the tabernacle was not so necessary for that end as formerly, seeing he intended forthwith to set upon the building of the temple, as appears from 1Ch 12.
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.But the Levites, and that upon their shoulders; of which see Numbers 4:15 7:9; and not in a cart, as it was before, to our great grief and loss.
For ever, i.e. so long as the ark is to be removed, and as that worship continues.
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.No text from Poole on this verse.
And David assembled the children of Aaron, and the Levites:No text from Poole on this verse.
Of the sons of Kohath; Uriel the chief, and his brethren an hundred and twenty:Of the sons of Kohath, to wit, of Amram or Izhar, Kohath’s sons, Numbers 3:27. Otherwise Elizaphan, 1 Chronicles 15:8, and Hebron, 1 Chronicles 15:9, and Uzziel, 1 Chronicles 15:10, were Kohath’s children; of which see Exodus 6:17,18,22.
Of the sons of Merari; Asaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred and twenty:No text from Poole on this verse.
Of the sons of Gershom; Joel the chief, and his brethren an hundred and thirty:No text from Poole on this verse.
Of the sons of Elizaphan; Shemaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred:No text from Poole on this verse.
Of the sons of Hebron; Eliel the chief, and his brethren fourscore:No text from Poole on this verse.
Of the sons of Uzziel; Amminadab the chief, and his brethren an hundred and twelve.No text from Poole on this verse.
And David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites, for Uriel, Asaiah, and Joel, Shemaiah, and Eliel, and Amminadab,Zadok and Abiathar the priests, i.e. the chief priests, Abiathar the high priest, and Zadok the second priest: see Numbers 3:32.
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.Sanctify yourselves, by solemn purification and preparation of yourselves, both in soul and body. See Poole "Exodus 19:10,15".
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.Because ye did it not at the first; because you did not sanctify and prepare yourselves by solemn prayer, and seeking counsel from God, and by a serious consideration of God’s will as to the manner of carrying it; which it was your duty more than others to observe and see it executed.
We sought him not: he takes a part of the guilt to himself, because it was his duty, as well as theirs, diligently to read the law and word of God, and to see it executed, and their oversight did not excuse his. After the due order; according to the rules which he appointed.
So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel.No text from Poole on this verse.
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.The children of the Levites, to wit, the Kohathites, Numbers 4:4.
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.No text from Poole on this verse.
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;No text from Poole on this verse.
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.Their brethren of the second degree; the first rank or degree of sacred musicians being those three famous persons named 1 Chronicles 15:17, next unto whom were these here named.
The porters; who were to keep the doors of the tabernacle and courts but withal were instructed in music and singing, that when they were free from attendance upon their proper office, they might not be idle nor unprofitable persons in God’s house.
So the singers, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, were appointed to sound with cymbals of brass;No text from Poole on this verse.
And Zechariah, and Aziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, and Eliab, and Maaseiah, and Benaiah, with psalteries on Alamoth;In this catalogue Ben is omitted, who was mentioned 1 Chronicles 15:18. Yet others think him to be the same who is called Azaziah, 1 Chronicles 15:21. But Ben might be some other person, who was indeed appointed for this work, as is related, 1 Chronicles 15:17,18; and yet he might be taken off by death or sickness, or some sudden and extraordinary accident which hindered his execution of the place and work allotted for him, which might force the chief of the Levites to appoint some other in his stead, when they came to put their institution in practice, as here they did.
On Alamoth, or, with (as that particle is elsewhere used) Alamoth, which is thought to be the name of an instrument of music; or of a certain tune, or note, or part in music. The certain signification of it is not now known, nor is it necessary for us to know it. And the like may be said of Sheminith, 1 Chronicles 15:21.
And Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obededom, and Jeiel, and Azaziah, with harps on the Sheminith to excel.See Poole "1 Chronicles 15:20".
To excel: the word may be here added to note the excellency of that instrument, or note, or part of music; or that there was a greater extension or elevation of the voice than in the former.
And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was for song: he instructed about the song, because he was skilful.Was for song, Heb. was for lifting up; either,
1. Of the ark; he was for carriage of the ark, being appointed to instruct or direct the time and manner of carrying the ark, and when they should make a stand or a change in the bearers. Or rather,
2. Of the voice; he was the moderator of the music, instructing them when and how to lift up their voices, or change their notes, or make their stops, which best agrees with the following reason, because he was skillful; for this required far more skill than the carriage of the ark, which any man of common discretion could easily govern; and with 1 Chronicles 15:27, where this same Chenaniah is joined with the singers.
And Berechiah and Elkanah were doorkeepers for the ark.They were appointed to keep the door of the tent, in which the ark was to be put and kept, that no unallowed 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 so it might be guarded on all sides; which, how necessary it was to be done, sufficiently appears from the danger of coming too near the ark, or to look into it, which was exemplified in the Bethshemites, 1 Samuel 6:19.
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.No text from Poole on this verse.
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.No text from Poole on this verse.
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.When God helped the Levites; either,
1. By giving them strength to carry their burden; or rather,
2. By encouraging them in their work with some comfortable sign of his presence with them, and approbation of their work and manner of carrying the ark: when they saw that he did not cut off any of the persons employed, as he had done before, but spared and favoured them; which they perceived when they had gone six paces, as appears by 2 Samuel 6:13.
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.With a robe of fine linen, i.e. with a linen ephod, as it is explained in the close of this verse, where this circumstance is repeated, because it was a notable and unusual thing for David, who was no Levite, to wear a Levitical garment. Of this and the following verses, See Poole "2 Samuel 6:14", See Poole "2 Samuel 6:15", See Poole "2 Samuel 6:16".
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.No text from Poole on this verse.
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.No text from Poole on this verse.