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Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament

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1 CHRONICLES 16

THE ARK PLACED IN THE TENT PREPARED FOR IT;

DAVID APPOINTS MINISTERS TO SERVE BEFORE THE ARK, AND DELIVERS AN APPROPRIATE PSALM TO ASAPH;

THE ARK BROUGHT INTO JERUSALEM


 
Verses 1-3
And they brought in the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it: and they offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings before God. And when David had made an end of offering the burnt-offering and the peace-offerings, he blessed the people in the name of Jehovah. And he dealt to every one of Israel, both man and woman, to every one a loaf of bread, and a portion [of flesh], and a cake of raisins.

These verses actually belong to the record of bringing the ark into Jerusalem in the previous chapter. "They make it clear that the sacrifices were presented by the whole community of Israel with the Levitical priests performing their proper functions. David appears here, not as a priest, but as the king who supervised the proper activities of worship."F1

LEVITES APPOINTED TO MINISTER BEFORE THE ARK


 
Verses 4-6
And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of Jehovah, and to celebrate and to thank and praise Jehovah, the God of Israel: Asaph the chief, and second to him Zechariah, Jeiel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Mattithiah, and Eliab, and Benaiah, and Obed-edom, and Jeiel, with psalteries and with harps; and Asaph with cymbals, sounding aloud; and Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests with trumpets continually, before the ark of the covenant of God.

It is not altogether clear just exactly what some of these appointments included; but, of course, the persons receiving these appointments and instructions understood them and carried out their duties as instructed. It is very significant that David was diligent to set up all of these provisions for establishing on a permanent basis the worship of God in Jerusalem.

DAVID ESTABLISHES REGULAR WORSHIP IN JERUSALEM


 
Verse 7
Then on that day did David first ordain to give thanks unto Jehovah, by the hand of Asaph and his brethren.
(KJV)

We have, in this one verse, returned to the rendition in the Authorized Version, as that version seems better to convey the real meaning.

Barker gave the meaning of this verse as follows:

"On that day did David first commit to the hand of Asaph and his brethren to render praises to Jehovah; i.e., after the following manner and words. The word first marks the solemn establishment of set public worship in the metropolis."F2

Payne agreed with this meaning, rendering the first clause here, "David delivered first this Psalm."F3 He added that, "The following model song (psalm) that David provided them consists, with slight modifications, of Ps. 105:1-15; Ps, 96, and Ps. 106:1,47,48. All three Psalms are listed anonymously in the Psalter, but upon the basis of David's use of them here, it would appear that David was indeed the author of all three."F4

The Model Psalm Delivered by David to Asaph:

"O give thanks unto Jehovah, call upon his name;

Make known his doings among the peoples.

Sing unto him, sing praises unto him;

Talk ye of all his marvelous works.

Glory be in his holy name;

Let the heart of them rejoice that seeketh Jehovah.

Seek ye Jehovah and his strength;

Seek his face evermore.

Remember his marvelous works that he hath done,

His wonders, and the judgments of his mouth,

O ye seed of Israel his servant,

Ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones.

He is Jehovah our God;

His judgments are in all the earth.

Remember his covenant forever,

The word which he commanded to a thousand generations,

The covenant which he made with Abraham,

And his oaths unto Isaac,

And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a statute,

To Israel for an everlasting covenant,

Saying, Unto thee I give the land of Canaan,

The lot of your inheritance;

When ye were but a few men in number,

Yea, very few, and sojourners in it:

And they went about from nation to nation,

And from one kingdom to another people.

He suffered no man to do them wrong;

Yea, he reproved kings for their sakes,

Saying, Touch not mine anointed ones,

And do my prophets no harm.

Sing unto Jehovah, all the earth;

Show forth his salvation from day to day.

Declare his glory among the nations,

His marvelous works among all the peoples.

For great is Jehovah, and greatly to be praised:

He also is to be feared above all gods,

For all the gods of the peoples are idols:

But Jehovah made the heavens.

Honor and majesty are before him:

Strength and gladness are in his place.

Ascribe unto Jehovah, ye kindred of the peoples,

Ascribe unto Jehovah glory and strength;

Ascribe unto Jehovah the glory due unto his name:

Bring an offering, and come before him;

Worship Jehovah in holy array.

Tremble before him, all the earth:

The world also is established that it cannot be moved.

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;

And let them say among the nations, Jehovah reigneth.

Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof;

Let the fields exult, and all that is therein;

Then let the trees of the wood sing for joy before Jehovah;

For he cometh to judge the earth.

O give thanks unto Jehovah; for he is good;

For his lovingkindness endureth forever.

And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation,

And gather us together and deliver us from the nations,

To give thanks unto thy holy name,

And to triumph in thy praise.

Blessed be Jehovah, the God of Israel, from everlasting even to everlasting.

And all the people said, Amen, and praised Jehovah."

1 Chr. 16:8-22 corresponds almost exactly with Ps. 105:1-15; and our comments are found on pages 255-259 of my commentary on Ps. 2.

1 Chr. 16:23-33 correspond almost exactly with Ps. 96 in its entirety. Our full comments on that Psalm are in Ps. 2. See pp. 193-200.

The concluding verses of the Model Psalm are found in Ps. 106:1,47 and 48. Our comments on Psalm 106 are found in my commentary on Psalms, Vol. 2, pp. 267-279.

A PERMANENT WORSHIP SET UP IN JERUSALEM


 
Verses 37, 38
So he left there, before the ark of the covenant of Jehovah, Asaph and his brethren, to minister before the ark continually, as every day's work required; and Obed-edom with their brethren, threescore and eight; Obed-edom also the son of Jeduthun and Hosah to be doorkeepers;

"These verses reveal that a permanent ministry and choir were established in Jerusalem for the purpose of carrying forward the worship of God continually on a regular schedule, an achievement hitherto unattainable."F5

TABERNACLE AND ARK, AT THIS TIME, SEPARATED


 
Verses 39-43
and Zadok the priest, and his brethren the priests, before the tabernacle of Jehovah in the high place that was at Gibeon, to offer burnt-offerings unto Jehovah upon the altar of burnt-offering continually morning and evening, even according to all that is written in the law of Jehovah, which he commanded unto Israel; and with them Heman and Jeduthun, and the rest that were chosen, who were mentioned by name, to give thanks to Jehovah, because his lovingkindness [endureth] for ever; and with them Heman and Jeduthun [with] trumpets and cymbals for those that should sound aloud, and [with] instruments for the songs of God; and the sons of Jeduthun to be at the gate. And all the people departed every man to his house: and David returned to bless his house.

"It is here brought into prominence that the ark and the tabernacle were in two separate places. The great ordinary sacrifices, including the morning and evening sacrifices as commanded in Exo. 38:2, were now resumed in the tabernacle, `according to all that is written in the law of the Lord.'"F6

The significance of what David accomplished here is great indeed; and the Chronicler has provided in 1 Chr. 15:39, "An explanation of where the tabernacle had been after it was removed from Nob."F7

"During the times of the Judges, the tabernacle had been at Shiloh (Joshua 18:1); during the reign of Saul, it was at Nob (1 Sam. 21); and it was later at Gibeon (1 Chronicles 16:39); and later Solomon laid it up in the temple (1 Kings 8:4)."F8

Of course, the ark belonged in the tabernacle, in the Holy of Holies; and, although David was here unable to bring about the restoration of their true relation to each other, he did set in motion the events that would eventually lead to their being together when the temple was erected by Solomon to replace the tabernacle. The purpose of the Chronicler in what is written in these chapters is clear enough. He is telling us how the true worship of God eventually came to be reestablished according to God's original instructions in the Pentateuch. This, of course, is precisely why radical critics pretend to find so much fault with Chronicles.


Footnotes for 1 Chronicles 16
1: Broadman Bible Commentary, Vol. 3, p. 335.
2: The Pulpit Commentary, Vol. 6a, p. 247.
3: Wycliffe Old Testament Commentary, p. 380.
4: Ibid.
5: The Pulpit Commentary, op. cit., p. 248.
6: Ibid.
7: Ibid.
8: D. W. Goodman in The New Bible Dictionary, p. 1231.

Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 16". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/bcc/view.cgi?book=1ch&chapter=016>. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.  

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