David prepares to bring home the ark, and musters the Levites, 1-11. They sanctify themselves, and bear the ark upon their shoulders, 12-15. The solemnities observed on the occasion, 16-26. David dances before the ark, and is despised by his wife Michal, 27-29.
Notes on Chapter 15
Made him houses
One for himself, and one for the ark; in the latter was a tent, under which the ark was placed.
None ought to carry the ark-but the Levites
It was their business; and he should have thought of this sooner, and then the unfortunate breach on Uzza would have been prevented; see 1 Chronicles 15:13.
Upon their shoulders
That is the staves which went through the rings rested on their shoulders, but the ark itself rested on the staves like a sedan on its poles.
As Moses commanded
See Numbers 4:5,15.
These were the three chief musicians in the time of David; see 1 Chronicles 6:31.
With psalteries on Alamoth
Some suppose that the word signifies virgins, or women singers, the persons mentioned here being appointed to accompany them with psalteries, and preside over them.
The Vulgate says arcana cantabant, they sang secret things or mysteries; probably prophetic hymns.
On the Sheminith
According to the Targum, this signifies an instrument that sounded an octave, or, according to others, an instrument with eight strings. The Syriac and Arabic have it, instruments to sing with daily, at the third, sixth, and ninth hour; the Vulgate, an octave, for a song of victory: some think the eighth band of the musicians is intended, who had the strongest and most sonorous voices; and that it is in this sense that shelomith and lenatstseach should be understood.
Chenaniah-he instructed about the song
This appears to have been the master singer; he gave the key and the time, for he presided bemassa, in the elevation, probably meaning what is called pitching the tune, for he was skilful in music, and powerful in his voice, and well qualified to lead the band: be might have been precentor,
God helped the Levites
When they saw that God had made no breach among them, as he had in the case of Uzza, in gratitude for their preservation, and his acceptance of their labour, they sacrificed seven bullocks and seven rams.
A robe of flue linen
A robe made of buts, probably the tuft or beard of the Pinna Magna, a species of muscle found every where on the shores of the Mediterranean, growing sometimes, as I have seen, to a foot and a half in length. I have seen a pair of gloves made of this very rich stuff; the colour is a deep dark yellow, something inclining to what is called the lilac. The buts or byssus was not heard of in Israel before the time of David: after that it is frequently mentioned.
Michal-saw-David dancing-and she despised him
See this whole business explained 2 Samuel 6:20, conduct is vindicated, and the nature of Michal's disgrace and punishment hinted at, but all left to the reader's determination.