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1Ch 15:1 David made himself houses in the city of David; and he prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched a tent for it-
This uncomfortable parallel between building his own house, and simply pitching a tent for the dwelling of God... remained with David. And surely the thought began even at this stage to build a "house" for the ark, i.e. a temple. But that thought was not motivated so much by any sense of God's glory, but rather guilt at his own extravagance in building a house for himself which became effectively an entire citadel, "the city of David". And this wrong motivation led to God's disagreement with his suggestion.

1Ch 15:2 Then David said, No one ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites; for Yahweh has chosen them to carry the ark of God-
David had been "displeased" with God's judgment of Uzzah for steadying the ark, and according to 2 Samuel, it took him quite some time to come to want to deal again with the ark. He finally accepts that he had been wrong to allow the ark to be carried as he thought best, rather than as instructed in God's law.

And to minister to Him forever-
Perhaps David correctly reasoned that the Levitical priesthood had to end, and he liked to think that that time had already come, and therefore he could dispense with the commandments about the Levites carrying the ark. But now he accepts he had gone too far away from God's stated word, in seeking to justify doing things as he wished and effectively creation a religion on his own terms rather than God's.

1Ch 15:3 David assembled all Israel at Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of Yahweh to its place, which he had prepared for it-
David had done this before, and it had ended up as a showdown because Uzzah had been slain and God was clearly displeased rather than pleased. It had taken David a long time to live this down.

1Ch 15:4 David gathered together the sons of Aaron and the Levites-
The assembly of "all Israel" (:3) may have been in that the sons of Aaron represented "all Israel".

1Ch 15:5 of the sons of Kohath, Uriel the chief, and his brothers one hundred and twenty-
The differing numbers for each branch of the tribe may have been reflective of how responsive the families were to David's invitation.

1Ch 15:6 of the sons of Merari, Asaiah the chief, and his brothers two hundred and twenty-
We note how most of these numbers are to the nearest ten. There are times when the Spirit uses very approximate numbers rather than exact ("about the space of four hundred and fifty years", Acts 13:20 cp. 1 Kings 6:1). The reference to "seventy" in Judges 9:56 also doesn't seem exact. Seven and a half years (2 Sam. 2:11) becomes "seven years" (1 Kings 2:11); three months and ten days (2 Chron. 36:9) becomes "three months" (2 Kings 24:8). And here 1 Kings 7:23 gives the circumference of the laver as “thirty cubits”, although it was ten cubits broad. Taking ‘pi’ to be 3.14, it is apparent that the circumference would have been 31.4 cubits; but the Spirit says, summing up, “thirty”. Surely this is to show that God is God, not man, and as such He’s not on the back foot, writing under the fear of criticism. His word is not contradictory, but on the other hand, God has more spiritual culture than to sink down to the level of a man who wanted to foresee all criticism in writing something which could stand all petty criticism. He has a spiritual culture much higher than this. And this is the answer to many of the petty objections about ‘Bible contradictions’ which are raised by critics. .

1Ch 15:7 of the sons of Gershom, Joel the chief, and his brothers one hundred and thirty-
"Gershon" means 'expelled', maybe meaning that like Reuben he was expelled from the role of firstborn. He is mentioned first in some lists as if he was the firstborn, but in terms of the priestly work Kohath is usually mentioned before him. This replacement of the firstborn is a big theme in scripture.

1Ch 15:8 of the sons of Elizaphan, Shemaiah the chief, and his brothers two hundred-
Elizaphan was son of Uzziel (:10; Ex. 6:22) and yet is mentioned before him. It seems that this list is somehow graded in terms of importance, with Kohath mentioned first as the priestly division of the sons of Levi.

1Ch 15:9 of the sons of Hebron, Eliel the chief, and his brothers eighty-
Hebron and Uzziel (:10) were sons of Kohath, but are mentioned independently because of the importance attached to the priesthood. Therefore Kohath, although not the firstborn, is mentioned first in this list.

1Ch 15:10 of the sons of Uzziel, Amminadab the chief, and his brothers one hundred and twelve-
See on :9.

1Ch 15:11 David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites, for Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel and Amminadab-
Zadok and Abiathar appear to have both been high priests at the same time, though Zadok and is always mentioned first and Abiathar was deposed by Solomon (2 Sam. 8:17; 15:29,35, 19:11; 20:25). To have more than one high priest was not in keeping with the spirit of the law of Moses but was not explicitly forbidden, and the dual priesthood shows how the law was open to a wide range of interpretation in practice.

1Ch 15:12 and said to them, You are the heads of the fathers’ households of the Levites. Sanctify yourselves, both you and your brothers, that you may bring up the ark of Yahweh, the God of Israel, to the place that I have prepared for it-
David’s bringing the ark to the place which he had prepared  is the basis of the Lord’s words in Jn. 14:1-3. Clearly the Lord saw David as Himself, and us as the ark. The ‘bringing up’ or ‘lifting up’ of the ark (1 Chron. 15:12,22 RVmg.) to a perpetual dwelling place has evident reference to the resurrection. And when the ark was finally brought or lifted up to Zion, David / Jesus dealt bread and wine to the people (1 Chron. 16:3). One practical encouragement from this typology is that the memorial feast is a celebration that in fact we, the ark, have in prospect already been brought or lifted up into the eternal place prepared for us in the Kingdom.

1Ch 15:13 For because you didn’t carry it at first, Yahweh our God broke out against us, because we didn’t seek Him according to the ordinance-
Because David omitted to enforce the Law's requirements concerning the transport of the tabernacle, a man died. His commission of good didn't outweigh his omission here (1 Chron. 15:13). To omit to hate evil is the same as to commit it (Ps. 36:4). The Jews were condemned by the Lord for building the sepulchres of the prophets without erecting a placard stating that their fathers had killed them.

The Old Testament body of Christ was based around Israel, and thus when the Lord made a breach upon Uzzah, David could say that the Lord “made a breach upon us” (1 Chron. 13:11; 15:13). Just as Saul's persecution of the body of Christ was persecuting the Lord Jesus personally.

1Ch 15:14 So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of Yahweh, the God of Israel-
The sanctification would have been in terms of sacrifices and abstaining from contact with things which could have made them unclean.

1Ch 15:15 The children of the Levites bore the ark of God with its poles on their shoulders, as Moses commanded according to the word of Yahweh-
There were very specific laws about the transportation of the ark. It was to be carried on poles on the shoulders of not just Levites but specifically the sons of Kohath (Num. 4:15); and Abinadab's family were not the right people to carry it. David claims in Ps. 119 to have studied God's law all the day whilst on the run from Saul, reciting it to himself. Perhaps he forgot these details. But I suggest because he came to see that God wanted the spirit and not letter of the law to be followed, he came to totally place himself above Divine law. We face the same temptation. And it was this which led David into his sin with Bathsheba. Shaving off bits and pieces of God's laws and principles, on the basis that we are above His law, leads to the final catastrophe of David's sin with Bathsheba. Instead of following God's laws about the transportation of the ark, it seems David instead followed the pattern of the Philistines, who also transported the captured ark on a cart (s.w. 1 Sam. 6:10,11). And considered that having built a new cart, never used before, he was in his own way showing respect to it.

1Ch 15:16 David spoke to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brothers the singers, with instruments of music, stringed instruments and harps and cymbals, sounding aloud and lifting up the voice with joy-
Several of the Psalms (Ps. 96,105,106) and the text we have in 1 Chron. 16 would have been sung at this time. Those texts recount the failures of Israel and triumph in God's abiding presence and forgiveness. The "joy" was therefore the joy at forgiveness. 

1Ch 15:17 So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel; and of his brothers, Asaph the son of Berechiah; and of the sons of Merari their brothers, Ethan the son of Kushaiah-
These played some undefined role in the musical presentation of :16. The next verses define roles in more detail, so we assume that these names were those who led the service and procession, as the next in the list are "of the second degree" (:18).

1Ch 15:18 and with them their brothers of the second degree-
This could imply that the names of :17 were of a 'first degree' status, but "second" can also mean that they were a mirror image of those of :17, they may have been a 'double' of them. 

Zechariah, Ben, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-Edom and Jeiel, the doorkeepers-
Literally, the openers or dividers of the gates. The word is also translated "porters". The idea is that the ark was considered to represent an enthroned person. And that invisible person was Israel's God Yahweh. This was in stark contrast to the processions of other nations, who carried the idols representing their gods, enthroned on great decorated thrones. But Yahweh had just a throne, the humble small box known as the ark, which was carried. He Himself was to be imagined, by faith. This was the scene of Ps. 24:7 "Lift up your heads, O gates [gatekeepers]... you everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in". But that King of glory was invisible and His glory only perceived in the minds of thoughtful believers, just as today.

1Ch 15:19 So the singers, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, were given cymbals of brass to sound aloud-
Ethan and Heman are mentioned together in 1 Kings 4:31 as men whom Solomon's wisdom exceeded; and in 1 Chron. 15:19 they are both singers whom David appointed. We can assume that they were famed for their wisdom; but Solomon's wisdom exceeded theirs. And their wisdom was here expressed in their music.   

1Ch 15:20 and Zechariah, Aziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah and Benaiah, with stringed instruments set to Alamoth-
Alamoth is the music title of Ps. 46. It means literally "the girls", and may refer to soprano parts. 

1Ch 15:21 and Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-Edom, Jeiel and Azaziah, with harps tuned to the eight-stringed lyre, to lead-
Or "on the sheminith" (as AV), which may have been a musical term as "alamoth" in :20.

1Ch 15:22 Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was over the song: he instructed about the song, because he was skilful-
"Instructed" implies to teach by repeated repetition. All this would have been rehearsed many times, and he led the rehearsals.

1Ch 15:23 Berechiah and Elkanah were doorkeepers for the ark-
"Doorkeepers" can also mean "porters", so perhaps these were those who carried the ark, and those of :18 opened the gates for the ark. See on :18. 

1Ch 15:24 Shebaniah, and Joshaphat, and Nethanel, and Amasai, and Zechariah, and Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, blew the trumpets before the ark of God. Obed-Edom and Jehiah were doorkeepers for the ark-
See on :18,23. They may have been either the porters of the ark, or those who opened the gates.

1Ch 15:25 So David, and the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands, went to bring up the ark of the covenant of Yahweh out of the house of Obed-Edom with joy-
True joy can only come from repentance and humbling ourselves before God. A prouder man would have just given up with this apparently over sensitive, hard to please God of Israel. But Yahweh is not really like that; but He rightly requires our humility to Him and His principles. It was the Edomite servant, Obed Edom, who taught David this. Several of the Psalms (Ps. 96,105,106) and the text we have in 1 Chron. 16 would have been sung at this time. Those texts recount the failures of Israel and triumph in God's abiding presence and forgiveness. The "joy" was therefore the joy at forgiveness.  .

1Ch 15:26 It happened, when God helped the Levites who bore the ark of the covenant of Yahweh-
GNB "They sacrificed seven bulls and seven sheep, to make sure that God would help the Levites who were carrying the Covenant Box".

That they sacrificed seven bulls and seven rams-
If sacrifices were offered every six paces from the house of Obed Edom to Zion (2 Sam. 6:13), the road to Zion would have been a stream of sacrificial blood, looking ahead to the way to Golgotha. I suggest on 2 Sam. 6:17 that these were sin offerings. It demonstrated the deep sense of sin and need for atonement which David felt. It was this true repentance which was the basis for his ecstatic joy. 2 Sam. 6:13 LXX "And seven choruses accompanied him, bearing the ark, and a calf and lambs as a sacrifice".

1Ch 15:27 David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites who bore the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers; and David wore an ephod of linen-
I suggested on 1 Sam. 2:18,19 that the child Samuel, a non Levite from Ephraim, was doing the priestly work because Eli's family refused to do it, or perhaps just told him to do it. The Hebrew words for "robe" and "ephod" in there only occur together in the descriptions of the "robe of the ephod" worn by none other than the High Priest (Ex. 28:4,31; 29:5; 39:22). The young Samuel apparently did the work of the High Priest. His example and spiritual ambition inspired David, who he was to anoint, to likewise wear such a robe and ephod (s.w.).

As we go through the life of David, it is evident he went along roads few others have travelled. For example, who else would offer his sacrifice upon the altar and then start strumming his harp in praise as he watched the animal burn (Ps. 43:4 Heb.)? This was a new paradigm in Israelite worship. Like Job, David had no precedents in past spiritual history from which he could take comfort (Job 5:1). David knew God well enough to act like the High Priest even when he was not a Levite (2 Sam. 6:13-20; and 2 Sam. 19:21 = Ex.22:28), he came to understand that God did not require sacrifices, he came to see that the Law was only a means to an end. David’s sons, although not Levites, were “priests” (2 Sam. 8:18 RV). He could say that the Lord was his inheritance [a reference to how he as the youngest son had lost his?], and how he refuses to offer the sacrifices of wicked men for them (Ps. 16:4,5; 119:57)- speaking as if he was a Levite, a priest, when he was not. He knew that the ideal standard for married life was one man: one woman, and yet he was somehow able to flout this and still be a man after God's own heart. He broke explicit Mosaic commandment by marrying Saul's wives and also his daughter, he airily waived the Mosaic law concerning bloodguiltiness (consider the implications of 2 Sam. 14:4-11), and the need to stone rapists (2 Sam. 13:21). When others tried to do these kind of things, they were severely punished by a God who insisted upon serious obedience to His Law. Consider how Saul was condemned for offering sacrifice instead of a priest (1 Sam. 13:10-13); and Uzziah likewise (2 Chron. 26:16-19). When the woman of Tekoah basically suggested that the Mosaic laws about the rights of the revenger of blood be repealed, David seems to have agreed. When Amnon seeks to rape his sister Tamar, she suggests that he ask David to allow them to marry- and surely, she says, he will agree. Yet this too would have been counter to the spirit of the Law about marriages to close relatives. Yet David went beyond the Law so often; and it is this which perhaps led him to commit the sin of presumption in his behaviour with Bathsheba. Right afterwards he comments about the man who stole his neighbour’s sheep, that it must be restored fourfold; whereas the Law only stipulated double, David felt he so knew the spirit of the Law that he could break the letter of it- in any context. And this was his [temporary] downfall.  

1Ch 15:28 Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of Yahweh with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, sounding aloud with stringed instruments and harps-
David is portrayed as in religious ecstasy before the God whom three months before he had been furiously angry with (see on 2 Sam. 6:8). This indeed reflects the almost bi-polar nature of David. But it also shows the power of true repentance and seeking to put things right with God (see on 2 Sam. 6:13), and the joy of good conscience resulting from that.

1Ch 15:29 As the ark of the covenant of Yahweh came to the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out at the window, and saw king David dancing and playing; and she despised him in her heart
As Goliath despised David (1 Sam. 17:42), so did Michal. The same word is used here. God reads the heart and what He finds there is so significant to Him. That woman's silent thoughts have been recorded for millennia in the record, and they are still in God's memory. We have a parade example here of the huge significance God attaches to our thoughts. Despising others for their spirituality is especially abhorrent to Him. We recall that Michal had an idol in her home soon after her marriage to David, and we wonder if it was Yahweh whom she also despised. And all this made her no better than Goliath.