1Chronicles 15

 

1Chronicles 15:1–29

The Ark Procession to Jerusalem


Outline of Chapter 15:

 

         vv.     1–10         David Summons the Levites to Move the Ark

         vv.    11–15         David Explains What Went Wrong Before

         vv.    16–24         The Chief Levites in Attendance

         vv.    25–28         Highlights from the Procession

         v.       29           Michal, David’s Wife, Despises David

Addendum


Charts, Short Doctrines and Maps:

 

         Introduction         Matthew Henry Outlines 1Chronicles 15

         v.       1              Why Hiram Built a Palace for David prior to David’s Construction Project

         v.       1              Why There are Two Separate Building Projects

         v.       1              What We Know about the Tabernacle of God

         v.       1              Questions about the Tabernacle and David

         v.       1              Why Doesn’t David Bring the Tabernacle to Jerusalem?

         v.       1              Why Did God Allow Tabernacle Worship and the Ark to Remain in the Background?

         v.       3              Reasons for Our Confidence in God’s Word

         v.       5              The Uriel’s of Scripture

         v.       6              The Asaiah’s of Scripture

         v.       7              Which Joel is Joel? Are These the Same Man?

         v.       8              The Shemaiah’s of Scripture

         v.      10              The Uzziel’s of Scripture

         v.      10              The Levite Branches

         v.      11              The Two High Priests

         v.      13              1Chronicles 15:13 Text from the Greek Septuagint

         v.      16              Dramatic Differences in Translations

         v.      17              The Berechiah’s of Scripture

         v.      18              The Zechariah’s of Scripture

         v.      18              The Ben’s of Scripture

         v.      18              A Comparison of Names

         v.      18              The Jehiel’s of Scripture

         v.      18              The Eliab’s of Scripture

         v.      18              The Benaiah’s of Scripture

         v.      18              The Maaseiah’s of Scripture

         v.      18              The Mattithiah’s of Scripture

         v.      18              The Jeiel’s of Scripture

         v.      18              What Do All of These Names in 1Chronicles 15:18 Mean?

         v.      21              The Azaziah’s of Scripture

         V.      23              The Elkanah’s of Scripture

         v.      24              The Shebaniah’s of Scripture

         v.      24              The Joshaphat’s (Jehoshaphat’s) of Scripture

         v/      24              The Nethanel’s of Scripture

         v.      24              The Amasai’s of Scripture

         v.      24              The Eliezer’s of Scripture

         v.      25              The Obed-edom/Jeiel Confusion

         v.      26              When Bulls and Rams are Offered Together

         v.      28              2Samuel 6:15 Compared to 1Chronicles 15:28

         Addendum          Commentators Associate Specific Psalms with the Moving of the Ark

         Addendum          The Psalms of 1Chron. 16

         Addendum          Psalms to be Covered with 1Chron. 15

         Addendum          Psalms NOT to be Covered with 1Chron. 15

         Addendum          A Complete Translation of 1Chronicles 15


Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To

 

 

Destruction of Shiloh

The Lines of Korah and the Ancestors of Heman

 

 

The English Translations of the Bible


Psalms Alluded To

Psalm 8

Psalm 12

Psalm 16

Psalm 46

Psalms Appropriately Exegeted in this Chapter

Psalm 24

Psalm 47

 

Psalm 68

These links will take you to where these psalms are discussed within 1Chron. 15; and at the end of the chapter, there will be direct links to exegetical studies of these Psalms. Although Psalm 8 was probably written while David was under the stars (I have placed it after he defeats the Amalekites when living in a territory given him by Achish King of Gath), Footnote it is not inconceivable that this psalm was sung as a part of the procession.

There is no science in placing these particular psalms as a part of the musical celebration while the Ark is being transported. Two of them are placed here simply because there is a word in the psalms and in this chapter which are the same (likely, these are technical musical terms, which do not necessarily indicate that these psalms belong here rather than elsewhere). However, I am certain that psalms were sung during the moving of the Ark; and it is possible that any of these 4 (or 5) are appropriate to this chapter of Scripture.

Here is what I would suggest: the Ark represents Jesus Christ, the God-man, Who is known to David and to Israel as Jehovah Elohim. Therefore, it would make sense that a Messianic psalm be sung at this time. Psalm 8 is the only psalm which is Messianic which I have included. At some time, I may add one of the Messianic psalms here (Psalms  2, 8, 16, 22, 40, 41, 45, 54, 68, 69, 89, 109, 110, 118).


Related Psalms and Chapters of Scripture Previously Exegeted

2Samuel 6

 

 

Psalm 110


I ntroduction: In 2Sam. 6, David makes his first attempt to move the Ark, fails, and then successfully brings the Ark to Jerusalem on the second try. As we have already studied, all of 1Chron. 13 is devoted to the first attempt to move the Ark; 1Chron. 14 deals with David in Jerusalem (and parallels 2Sam. 5:11–25), and this chapter, 1Chron. 15, and the next, correspond to the second half of 2Sam. 6. Since the 2nd half of 2Sam. 6 is comprised of 12 verses and 1Chron. 15–16 make up 72 verses, we are going to find a lot more detail of this event in Chronicles. The reason that two chapters are given over to this event in Chronicles is that there are two separate but related events: the transporting of the Ark from the home of Obed-edom to Jerusalem; and the celebration of the Ark being placed in its tent in Jerusalem. Part I: Transport of the Ark (1Chron. 15); Part II: Celebration of the Successful Transport of the Ark (1Chron. 16).


What is striking in the Chronicles record is the great organization and celebration which takes place the second time the Ark is moved under David’s direction. The book of Samuel only devotes 3 verses to the celebration and 2nd move of the Ark, wherein, it is clear that there was a celebration; but the extent of this celebration is revealed in Chronicles. In Samuel, you read the text and you think, “Hmm, sounds like maybe this was a big deal?” However, the text of Chronicles makes it unmistakably clear, this is a big deal!


As will be clear in this chapter of Chronicles, there will be a great deal of music and singing which takes place while the Ark is being moved and once it comes to its place in Jerusalem. Interestingly enough, 3 psalms are alluded to in 1Chron. 16, but no psalm is actually named in 1Chron. 15 (although there will be numerous references to musicians, singers and a musical celebration performed while the Ark was being moved). So, we may reasonably assume that there were psalms sung during this event which David and the music leaders picked out, but we do not know which psalms these were (assuming, of course, that they chose particular psalms which are extent today). Therefore, we will make reasonable guesses as to which psalms were sung at this time, and study those particular psalms with the procession of the Ark in mind (we will do this in between the chapters). When we study 1Chron. 16, portions of the psalms sung will be included in that chapter, and we will study those psalms as they are alluded to by the editor of Chronicles.


There are several themes to be found in this chapter of Chronicles: most obvious is, the moving of the Ark from a temporary holding place with Obed-edom (which is never described in any way). However, what is also clearly pointed out is the important place of the Levites in this celebration. They are both verified as to which branch of Levites they belong to, and the part which they play while the Ark is being moved. Interestingly enough, even though we can make some reasonable guesses as to who exactly moved the Ark (the 4 gatekeepers?), this is not clearly presented. Finally, it is important to recognize that the driving force behind all of this is King David. Levites did not come to David and petition that he bring the Ark to Jerusalem; this was in David’s mind, and it will be apparent throughout Chronicles that he has put a lot of thought into the Ark (David wanted to move the Ark in the first place; he knew what went wrong originally and he knew how to fix that; he prepared a place for the Ark to go; and he wanted to design and build a permanent place for the Ark of God). What has less emphasis, but is important, is, this is a celebration for all Israel. With all that goes on when the Ark is moved and when it comes to its tent in Jerusalem, indicates a great celebration.


If you read critically, you should have a number of questions occur to you in v. 1 (look in your Bible and read that verse right now, and determine if one or two questions come to you). Most people who read the Bible rarely think critically during their reading of it, unless they are simply looking to find something wrong or contradictory.


Chronicles is said to be man's history from God's viewpoint, and God emphasizes here that which He deems is important. The successful move of the Ark and the ensuing celebration no doubt have important spiritual implications.


I always like inserting an alternate outline.

Matthew Henry Outlines 1Chronicles 15

Section

Subdivided

I. How the Ark was moved more properly than before

1.           A place was prepared for it (1Chron. 15:1).

2.           The priests were ordered to carry it (1Chron. 15:2–15).

3.           The Levites had their offices assigned them in attending on it (1Chron. 15:16–24).

 II. How the Ark was moved more successfully than before

1.           The Levites made no mistake in their work (1Chron. 15:26).

2.           David and the people met with no damp upon their joy (1Chron. 15:27–28).

3.           As for Michal's despising David, it was nothing (1Chron. 15:29).

Quite frankly, this outline seems rather lame to me.

Taken from Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible; from e-Sword, 1Chron. 15 Introduction; slightly edited.


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David builds some houses for himself and sets up a tent for the Ark (v. 1). He comments that the Levites should have been the ones to move the Ark (v. 2). David gathers many from Israel for this second attempt to move the Ark, including many leaders from the prominent branches of Levites (vv. 3–10). David appears to assign 2 priests and 6 Levites to the actual moving of the Ark, although probably not all 8 were needed to actually lift and carry the Ark (vv. 11–12). David reiterates the importance of moving the Ark the correct way in v. 13, and the Levites prepared themselves and began to move the Ark (vv. 14–15). There are apparently a large number of musicians and choir types who are involved, who are partially enumerated in vv. 16–24. The overall celebration as the Ark was transported by the Levites is described in vv. 25–28. Then, at the very end of the chapter, we get another viewpoint, which is that of Michal, Saul’s daughter and one of David’s wives—who sees David and hates him (v. 29).


In our chapter, we will focus on the successful move of the Ark, the Levites who played a part in this move, and the gathering of Israel. The celebration will be examined in the next chapter.


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David Summons the Levites to Move the Ark

2Sam. 6:12–15


Slavishly literal:

 

Moderately literal:

And so he makes for himself houses in a city of David and so he erect a place to an Ark of the Elohim and so he stretches out for him a tent.

1Chronicles

15:1

David [lit., he] constructed houses for himself in the City of David. He also prepared a place for the Ark of Elohim and spread out a tent for it.

David constructed royal residences for himself (and his wives) in the City of David, and he prepared a place for the Ark of God, setting up a tent for it.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so he makes for himself houses in a city of David and so he erect a place to an Ark of the Elohim and so he stretches out for him a tent.

 

Septuagint                              And he made for himself houses in the city of David, and he prepared a place for the ark of God, and made a tent for it.

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       David had several buildings built in Jerusalem, and he had a tent set up where the sacred chest would be kept..

The Message                         After David built houses for himself in the City of David, he cleared a place for the Chest and pitched a tent for it.

GNB (TEV)                            For his own use, David built houses in David's City. He also prepared a place for God's Covenant Box and put up a tent for it.

NLT                                        David now built several buildings for himself in the City of David. He also prepared a place for the Ark of God and set up a special tent there to shelter it.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         After David constructed buildings for himself in the City of David, he prepared a place for God's ark and set up a tent for it.

HCSB                                     David built houses for himself in the city of David, and he prepared a place for the ark of God and pitched a tent for it.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       David built houses for himself in the city of David. And he prepared a place for the ark of God and pitched a tent for it.

Young’s Updated LT             And he makes for himself houses in the city of David, and prepares a place for the ark of God, and stretches out for it a tent.


What is the gist of this verse? David begins some construction projects in Jerusalem: he builds some houses for himself and he prepared a place for the Ark of God and a tent wherein it would be placed.


1Chronicles 15:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

׳âsâh (הָָע) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare

3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition; with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bayith (ת̣י ַ) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine plural noun

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

׳îyr (רי ̣ע) [pronounced ģeer]

encampment, city, town

feminine singular construct

Strong's #5892 BDB #746

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187


Translation: David [lit., he] constructed houses for himself in the City of David. David is royalty and he has at least three wives at this time, and possibly more. No doubt he began with everyone living in the same tent. Here we find him building houses, which suggests to me that, not only did David build one or two federal buildings, but he probably built some houses for his wives, to separate them. This is pure speculation, but bear in mind that several women under the same roof can be a difficult thing to maintain. For that reason, I am guessing that David's multiplicity of wives dictated, to some degree, his residential building projects.


At one time, in a different lifetime, I was a real estate agent, and I found out early on that, when it came to buying a house, 90% of the time, the only person who needed to be pleased was the wife. Now, she might send the husband out into the garage or he may crawl into the attic and look around, but that was simply a diplomatic gesture on the part of the wife, to make him think that he had some involvement in buying the house, apart from writing the monthly checks for it. I mean, it's not like the husband is going to walk back into the house from the garage and say, "Sorry, honey, there is no workbench in the garage; we are going to have to find another house." Or, "I don't know about the SEER number on this AC unit; maybe we should keep looking." Even a husband foolish enough to make a comment which suggested that he had a say in the matter, was gently reminded that he didn't, usually by the wife either ignoring his observation or saying, "This way you can build a workbench exactly the way you would like it to be." So, even here, where David is king over the Re-United Israel, his wives may be less blatant about this house situation, but don't think that they had no say in the matter. "David, honey, you're king of all Israel; if you think we need 3 houses, then you can have 3 houses built. This is what kings do."


We do not know how this parallels with Hiram King of Tyre, who build a home for David in 1Chron. 14. Recall that these chapters of Chronicles are roughly in chronological order, but not precisely. However, my thinking is, Hiram first build a palace for David and then David, learning from the construction, had those under him build more houses as well as federal buildings. This makes sense for several reasons:

Why Hiram Built a Palace for David prior to David’s Construction Project

1.      The Israelites, up until this point in time, were not known for their building projects. They took the Land of Promise from people who had already built homes and had set up vineyards and wells. Everything that Israel needed was here; they just had to move in. For that reason, building skills would not have been foremost in the skills of Israelis (this may help to explain why there were no blacksmiths in Israel as well, as they would have inherited the tools of the land’s former occupants).

2.      Therefore, it is highly unlikely that David had a large number of men that he could go to for this building project.

3.      However, after Hiram built a palace for David, David learned these skills, as did those around him. No doubt he told a variety of men, “Shadow Hiram’s men; stay out of their way, but learn from them.” Personally, I have dealt with houses that were already built for a long time; and I couldn’t have told you the first thing about building one from scratch. However, after having an addition added to my home, and after observing the men working for several weeks, I would at least have a clue as to how to start, and which things need to be done in which order. In fact, I am doing a reasonable amount of the finishing work myself, which is only possible because I watch and learn. Prior to this project, I could not have done a third of what I can do now.

4.      This may help to explain the placement of 1Chron. 14 prior to 1Chron. 15. It is not that all of chapter 14 occurs before chapter 15; but 1Chron. 14:1 definitely precedes 1Chron. 15:1, and that may account for how these chapters were placed (recall that 1Chron. 14 is almost identical to 2Sam. 5).

This would be another reason to add to the list of reasons why 1Chron. 14 is placed where we find it (which list of reasons is found in the exegesis of 1Chron. 14).

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Gill, by the way, suggests a slightly different scenario: that David had his men work right along side of Hiram’s servants so that 1Chron. 14:1 and 1Chron. 15:1 are essentially equivalent verses, which simply provide a different emphasis. Footnote

Why There are Two Separate Building Projects

1.      Hiram builds a house (palace) for David; David builds houses.

2.      Hiram provides the men and materials for his project for David; David is said to do the building in our passage (properly, he might be called the builder, much the same way a builder is so named today. Today, a builder might not draw up the plans, he might not ever lift up a hammer, but he coordinates the entire building process; that is probably David’s function, although I suspect he got hands on now and again.

3.      Different verbs are used as well.

         a.      1Chron. 14:1: And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, also masons and carpenters to build a house for him. The verb found here is bânâh (ה ָנ ָ) [pronounced baw-NAWH], which means to build, to rebuild, to restore. Strong’s #1129 BDB #124. The first occurrence of this verb is Gen. 2:22: And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he built into a woman and brought her to the man. God built the woman based upon Adam’s rib.

         b.      1Chron. 15:1a: David made [constructed] houses for himself in the city of David. The verb found here is ׳âsâh (הָָע) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH], which means to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare, to manufacture. Strong's #6213 BDB #793. We first find this verb in Gen. 1:7: And God made [constructed] the atmosphere and separated the waters that were under the atmosphere from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so.

         c.      Although I would be hard-pressed to distinguish these verbs, the first is more narrowly focused on somehow taking existing material and making something somewhat different out of it, while retraining some of the original properties. The latter verb has a much wider application, and can include the activities of the first verb, it has a variety of other applications as well. We don’t necessarily have a different set of activities being described here, merely a different verb, which implies that we are dealing with different building projects

         d.      Keil and Delitzsch suggest that the second verb indicates that David is preparing the houses for habitation, rather than building them.1 The problem with this theory is, Hiram builds a house and here David is constructing houses. So, even if we are primarily focusing on the finishing work, we still have the difference in number.

         e.      Wesley suggests2 that Hiram build a huge palace, and that this is finished off as separate offices and dwelling places. I’m not sure whether this is what Keil and Delitzsch meant, but this is a reasonable possibility in my mind.

4.      The description for Hiram’s project includes the materials which he sends to David; David’s project does not mention material or workforce, but it includes the tent which David sets up for the Ark of God.

5.      It is very likely that the houses which David built were in accordance with his wives’ wishes, and these buildings were probably attached to the larger structure which Hiram built for David.

6.      Even though David was not known for his building projects, he apparently had a crew of men who could build and he apparently supervised these projects, as we read in 2Sam. 5:9: And David lived in the stronghold and called it the city of David. And David built the city all around from the Millo inward. V. 10, by the way, is Hiram coming to David to build a palace for David.

7.      Although these two events occurred probably during the same year or two, Hiram built David a house to celebrate his becoming king over all Israel and David built his houses and constructed the tent in anticipation of moving the Ark of God.

8.      Let me suggest that the wives of David also had some sort of imput to this operate ration, as Michal will be looking out a window and observing David and the procession of the Ark. “Honey,” she said before she got pissed off at David, “I would like you to build me a house with a big picture window which looks out over the main street” is probably close to her instructions to David (if David build several houses for his several wives, each no doubt had a list of things that she required).3 There were no doubt servants’ quarters for those who served David’s wives and David directly, as well as guard outposts and quarters.

9.      Israel is not known for its building projects up until this point in time. They took the land and the houses already available on the land. I suspect that David and some of his men learned Building 101 from Hiram and his crew of carpenters and stonemasons. After seeing a palace build from the ground up, David was inspired to do essentially the same thing.

10.    The fact that Solomon becomes known for great building projects which he initiates and completes during his kingship, suggests that building became a trade that Israelis had become familiar with (as had Solomon); and this suggests that they had training and/or experience—hence, building projects during the time of David such as this one.

Given these facts—particularly #1–3 above, this surely refers to two separate building projects.

Now, quite frankly, I don’t know how big of a deal this is to treat these as separate projects; but it is important to me to either get the details right, or, if there are several reasonable scenarios, to present them all, along with their implications, if any.

1 Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament; from e-Sword; 1Chron. 15:1.

2 John Wesley; Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible; courtesy of e-sword, 1Chron. 15:1.

3 Jamieson, Fausset and Brown indicated that having several wives suggests that several separate dwellings would be necessary. Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown; Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible; from e-sword, 1Chron. 15:1.

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1Chronicles 15:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

kûwn (ן) [pronounced koon]

to erect (to stand up perpendicular), to set up, to establish, to prepare, to strengthen, to be stabilized

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong’s #3559 BDB #465

mâqôwm (םקָמ) [pronounced maw-KOHM]

place, situated; for a soldier, it may mean where he is stationed; for people in general, it would be their place of abode (which could be their house or their town)

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #4725 BDB #879

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ărôwn (ןר ֲא) [pronounced uh-ROHN]

ark, chest; Ark

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #727 BDB #75

Ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods, foreign gods, god; God; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #430 BDB #43


Translation: He also prepared a place for the Ark of Elohim... As king, it should be obvious that David did not build whatever homes are referenced in the previous portion of this verse; however, it is possible that David did set up a tent for the Ark himself. It is obvious that he read in the Bible how the Ark should be moved (as we will see in vv. 12–13); therefore, he may have made an attempt, based upon Scripture, to set up a tent for the Ark. However, this is a very surprising statement. I'll reserve additional comment until the next part of this verse.


1Chronicles 15:1c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâţâh (ה ָט ָנ) [pronounced naw-TAWH]

to stretch out, to spread out, to bow, to extend, to incline, to turn

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #5186 BDB #639

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition; with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ohel (ל הֹא) [pronounced OH-hel]

tent, tabernacle, house, temporary dwelling

masculine singular noun

Strong's #168 BDB #13


Translation: ...and spread out a tent for it. David has been doing some reading. We will find this out in the next verse and in v. 13. He knows how the Ark is to be moved. Now, even though historians may hotly debate whether or not David owned a Strong's Concordance or Topical index for his Bible, I would suppose that he did not. Whether he read the Law carefully, or skimmed over it, we do not know; but when he came to the section on the Ark of God, he read that section carefully, which will be clear in vv. 2 and 13. If David knows how to move the Ark, then surely he knows where the Ark belongs. The Ark of God is to be placed in the Holy of Holies within the Tabernacle of God (tabernacle means a semi-permanent tent). In ancient Israel, there were tents, tabernacles and houses. These roughly correspond to our motor homes, our mobile homes, and our single family dwellings. I suspect that a tabernacle is larger and more permanent than a tent, just as a mobile home is generally larger and more stationary than a motor home. Let me get to the point: why doesn't David either move the Ark of God to the Tabernacle of God; or why doesn't David bring the Tabernacle of God to Jerusalem?


Let's take this in points:

What We Know about the Tabernacle of God

1.      At one time, the Tabernacle of God was located in Shiloh. We examined the movement of the Ark in 1Sam. 7:2 (which I placed with 1Sam. 6) and we studied the destruction of Shiloh there as well.

         a.      In a war with the Philistines, during the time of Eli and Samuel, the Ark was taken from Shiloh into battle by the army of Israel and they were beat down badly, and the Ark was taken into Philistia. 1Sam. 1–5

         b.      Although the Ark is returned to Israel, we do not hear about Shiloh again, and the Ark is taken to Kiriath-jearim, where it stays until David attempts to move it for the first time.

         c.      Eli dies, his sons are killed, Samuel takes over as Israel’s spiritual leader, and the Ark stays in Kiriath-jearim and we never hear about it or the Tabernacle until the time of David.

         d.      Jeremiah tells us that Shiloh was destroyed in Jer. 7:1, 12–15 26:4, 6. Jeremiah spoke of Shiloh long after it had been destroyed.

         e.      What seems to be the most logical is, Shiloh was destroyed around the same time that the Ark was taken. We covered this in great detail in the Doctrine of he Destruction of Shiloh, which was a part of our 1Samuel study.

2.      Apparently, although Shiloh was destroyed, it appears as though the Tabernacle was not.

         a.      We find the priests with the Table of Showbread in 1Sam. 21 at Nob (no previous passage references a move to Nob; we must reasonably assume the priests moved there as a group).

         b.      However, Saul goes to Nob and kills all of the priests; only Abiathar, a very young man, escapes to David with the Ephod of God. If the Tabernacle was set up there, which seems reasonable, what happened to it after that?

         c.      When the Temple is constructed by Solomon, he places the original Tabernacle in the Temple. 1Kings 8:4 2Chron. 1:3

         d.      It is unclear how often the Tabernacle was set up, whether it functioned as it was suppose to function.

3.      In any case, it does appear that the Tabernacle is in Gibeon at this time (1Chron. 16:39 2Chron. 1:3).

4.      In this and the next chapter about successfully moving the Ark, the Tabernacle is not mentioned.

Let me warn you, I pose questions as I go along; if I am able to offer a reasonable explanation for them, that is great; if not, then that is your homework.

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David has been to the Tabernacle, insofar as we know. Recall, he got bread from the shewbread at Nob, at the City of the Priests. This leaves us with a number of questions:

Questions about the Tabernacle and David

1.      Where is the Tabernacle at this time?

2.      Why doesn’t David fetch it as well?

3.      Why doesn’t David take the Ark to the Tabernacle?

4.      Where are the priests?

5.      There are two lines of priests, as we have examined in 1Chron. 6; is this other line with the Tabernacle?

The last two questions are easy: David will summon the two priests and they will attend and take part in this celebration (1Chron. 15:11, 14). So, Levites, which apparently have some sort of present function (they are apparently organized musically) and priests who represent the two lines of the priesthood willingly come when David summons them.

The first question is also easy: apparently the Tabernacle is in Gibeon at this time (1Chron. 16:39 2Chron. 1:3).

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This leaves the second and third questions, and I have a few possible theories.

Why Doesn’t David Bring the Tabernacle to Jerusalem?

1.      David, after having a house built for him and after building a few houses, has his mind set on building a house for God, as opposed to fetching the Tabernacle. He will later express this exact sentiment, which suggests that possibly David has been thinking about this all along. This would explain both why David did not bring the Tabernacle to Jerusalem and why he did not take the Ark to wherever the Tabernacle was set up.

2.      Because of David, all of the priests were killed at the Tabernacle. Maybe he just feels unworthy of dealing with the Tabernacle. Although David may have felt guilty about this, it is a sin from his past; he has confessed his sins on a number of occasions and has moved on.

3.      David is possibly unfamiliar with Tabernacle worship. We don’t know this for a fact, but it appears as though Tabernacle worship disappeared before and during the reign of Saul, which would have been pretty much all of David’s life. So, it is possible that he read about the Ark, and then researched the Bible to find out how to move the Ark; but that he did not really examine Tabernacle worship. Like the previous point, I doubt that this is the reason.

4.      Barnes presents the theory: David probably thought that something newer and more magnificent was requisite. He therefore allowed the former tabernacle to keep its place, and had another made and erected.1

5.      To back up the idea that David has in mind a project to build a permanent dwelling for the Ark is found in 1Chron. 17:1 (1Chron. 15–16 are about the moving of the Ark to Jerusalem and the celebration which took place after it arrived). In 1Chron. 17:1, David speaks to the prophet Nathan about building a permanent structure for the Ark, which indicates that this was probably on David’s mind all along.

I think that #1 is the most likely explanation, although #4 is a possibility. #’s 2 and 3, I just threw out there.

1 Albert Barnes, Barnes’ Notes on the Old Testament; from e-Sword, 1Chron. 15:1.

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We’ve looked at this from the human viewpoint so far. What was in David’s mind? Why didn’t David do this or that? However, David would have been willing to do whatever God wanted him to do with respect to the Tabernacle and the Ark of God. Why didn’t God require that these two things be united? Why didn’t God tell David, “Either bring the Ark to the Tabernacle or bring the Tabernacle to Jerusalem”?

Why Did God Allow Tabernacle Worship and the Ark to Remain in the Background?

1.      We are looking at this from the divine perspective now. We know possibly why David did not bring the Ark and Tabernacle together, but only from his perspective. From God’s vantage point, I believe that God chose to have one Christ figure at a time in the forefront.

2.      You may recall that Samuel was an outstanding parallel to our Lord, and that prior to his leading the nation Israel, the existing priesthood suddenly ended, the Ark was out of commission, and Shiloh, where the Tabernacle was kept, was apparently destroyed. The idea was, Samuel stood as a shadow for Jesus Christ.

3.      With David, we have a similar situation. David is an outstanding shadow figure of Christ to come. Furthermore, his reign and his son’s reign also parallel the 2nd Advent and the Tribulation followed by our Lord’s rule over the earth during a Millennium of peace. Samuel would have been the 1st Advent of our Lord, including being resurrected.

4.      The purpose of the Ark, of the Tabernacle and of the sacrifices was to foreshadow Jesus Christ and to provide the gospel to those of that time. Samuel and David are such good representations of Christ Jesus that the Ark and the Tabernacle were no longer in the forefront.

5.      So, it is possible that Tabernacle worship was still going on at this time, but it is not mentioned because God wants us to look at Samuel and David and see the 1st and 2nd Advents. With Solomon, David’s son, on the throne, there is a time of peace and the Temple is built, representing a permanence, as we have in the Millennium rule of Jesus Christ.

6.      Bear in mind that, Samuel, David and Solomon are all real people, who lived and died, who sinned and who did great things. You cannot examine each and every detail of these men’s lives and find a parallel to Jesus Christ. However, if you paint with broad strokes, the most essential similarities can be easily seen.

7.      Samuel: Samuel was a prophet, a priest, and a judge. He was not in the direct line of the priests, yet he was chosen from even before he was born to serve God. Even in the end, God brought Samuel back from the dead, to complete the parallel between himself and Jesus Christ.

8.      David: David is the king-prophet and throughout his kingship, he will be a bloody king, involved in innumerable wars, just as our Lord will kill a tremendous number of people during the Tribulation.

9.      Solomon: Solomon will rule over Israel during a time of peace. All that David did secured this great time of peace for Israel. At this point in Israel’s history, Israel will occupy the most land and be the most prosperous. There will no longer be worship at the semi-permanent Tabernacle, but worship will be at a permanent dwelling, the Temple of Solomon (there will also be a Temple during the Millennium). This will represent the permanence and the prosperity of the Millennium. However, just as Solomon’s rule will not be perfect, there will be sin during the Millennium and, at the end, rebellion (at the end of Somon’s rule, Israel will be split into two kingdoms).

10.    Therefore, since these three men represent our spiritual future, they will be in the forefront, and the Tabernacle and the Ark will not be as important during this time period.

When we deal with events that we do not completely understand, bear in mind, there should be reasons for them from a human perspective as well as from the divine perspective.


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One final question—why didn’t David just build an large, permanent edifice to keep the Ark in? He had already tried to move the Ark with disastrous results; so David knew that doing things differently than what was found in Scripture could be very problematic. Therefore, I am sure that he followed the example what was done at Obed-edom’s home or in Kiriath-jearim, where the Ark had been kept successfully throughout David’s lifetime. This is given no emphasis, as there was not really an official place to keep the Ark other than in the Tabernacle of God. God allowed the Ark to be kept where it is kept all these years for the reasons cited above. Before David tries to change up things too much, he will first speak to Nathan the prophet about it (1Chron. 17:1).


Then said David, “Not to carry an Ark of the Elohim for if the Levites for in them chose Yehowah to carry an Ark of the Yehowah and to His ministry as far as forever.”

1Chronicles

15:2

David then said, “None should carry the Ark of Elohim except the Levites for Yehowah chose to carry the Ark of Yehowah by means of them so that they [might] minister [to] Him forever.”

David then said, “It is not lawful for anyone except the Levites to carry the Ark of God, for Jehovah chose them to bear the Ark of the Lord and to minister before Him forever.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       Then said David, “Not to carry an Ark of the Elohim for if the Levites for in them chose Yehowah to carry an Ark of the Yehowah and to His ministry as far as forever.”

Septuagint                              Then said David, It is not lawful for any to bear the ark of God, but the Levites; for the Lord has chosen them to bear the ark of the Lord, and to minister to Him for ever.

 

Significant differences:           The LXX smoothed out the text slightly in regards to God choosing them to bear the Ark. In my mostly literal translation, I essentially did the same thing.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       He said, "Only Levites will be allowed to carry the chest, because the LORD has chosen them to do that work and to serve him forever."

The Message                         Then David gave orders: "No one carries the Chest of God except the Levites; GOD designated them and them only to carry the Chest of GOD and be available full time for service in the work of worship."

NLT                                        Then he issued these instructions: “When we transport the Ark of God this time, no one except the Levites may carry it. The Lord has chosen them to carry the Ark of the Lord and to minister before him forever.”

REB                                       He decreed that only Levites should carry the Ark of God, since they had been chosen by the Lord to carry it and to serve him for ever.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Then David insisted that only the Levites carry God's ark because the LORD had chosen them to carry his ark and to serve him forever.

HCSB                                     Then David said, "No one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, because the LORD has chosen them to carry the ark of the LORD and to minister before Him forever."


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       Then David said that no one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, for the LORD had chosen them to carry the ark of the LORD and to minister to him forever.

Young’s Updated LT             Then said David, “None are to carry the ark of God, except the Levites, for on them has Jehovah fixed to carry the ark of God, and to serve Him—unto the age.”


What is the gist of this verse? David indicates that the problem before was, the Levites were to bear the Ark of God, and that God gave them a specific ministry—to bear the Ark and to serve Him forever.


1Chronicles 15:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

âz (ז ָא) [pronounced awz]

then, at that time, in that case (when following an if or though), now, as things are; that being so

adverb

Strong’s #227 BDB #23

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

nâsâ (אָָנ) [pronounced naw-SAW]

to lift up, to bear, to carry

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ărôwn (ןר ֲא) [pronounced uh-ROHN]

ark, chest; Ark

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #727 BDB #75

Ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods, foreign gods, god; God; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #430 BDB #43

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

when, that, for, because

explanatory conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

îm (ם ̣א) [pronounced eem]

if, though; lo, behold; oh that, if only; when, since, though

primarily an hypothetical particle

Strong's #518 BDB #49

Together, kîy îm (ם ̣א י ̣) [pronounced kee-eem] act as a limitation on the preceding thought, and therefore should be rendered but, except, except that, unless and possibly only. However, these particles are not used in a limiting way if they follow an oath, a question or a negative. Then they can be rendered that if, for if, for though, that since, for if, but if, indeed if, even if.

Levîyyim (ם ̣ ̣ול) [pronounced le-vee-YIM]

joined to, attached; garland, crown; and is transliterated Levites

proper plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3881 BDB #532


Translation: David then said, “None should carry the Ark of Elohim except the Levites... This translation is a little weak; the negation used here generally negates the verb; there is another substantive is not used here which is rendered none. Brenton suggests, in his rendering of the LXX, that this should be it is not lawful for anyone to carry the Ark of God except for the Levites. What we have here are a couple of missing words from the MT, or David is speaking in ellipsis, where a few words are left out in order to place great emphasis upon what he is saying. Literally, this reads: “Not to carry the Ark of God except the Levites...”


All this aside, this tells us that David has been reading his Bible. We know that part of a king’s duties are to make a copy of the Law for himself, so David does have a personal Bible. As we have studied earlier, the Law of Moses makes it quite clear that the Levites are the ones who are to transport the Ark (Num. 1:50 4:5, 15 7:9 10:8, 17 Deut. 10:8 31:9). I suspect that David read about the Ark, originally, in the first few chapters of Samuel, which told him where the Ark of God was, and, without doing any further research, attempted to bring the Ark to Jerusalem, following the example of the Philistines. When this did not work, then David went back to the Scriptures, read the passages I just named, and now will made a second attempt to move the Ark.


Application: As I pointed out when we studied 2Sam. 6, you do not read a narrative in the Bible and then copy what you find in the narrative. This is not how spirituality or the spiritual life works. David read about how the Philistines moved the Ark and copied their method, to some degree, because they were successful in transporting the Ark from Philistia back to Israel. However, this was not God’s way of doing things; in other passages, God makes it clear how the Ark is supposed to be moved. Now, maybe you don’t get the point. Here’s the point: many cults have begun by reading narrative and copying what is there. Joseph Smith read the Bible and then put together a similar set of Scriptures himself, also written in King James’ English (which is not how people spoke then Smith wrote the Book of Mormon). The Mormons read about polygamy in the Bible and many of them took it up as a lifestyle (this is not a part of official Mormon today). Charismatics, over the past century, saw the giving of the Holy Spirit occurring in several instances in the Book of Acts, which experience was followed by, in several cases, speaking in tongues. Because they did not necessarily have an emotional high after being saved (assuming that many of them are saved), they imitated what they found in the book of Acts, and justified this with a few Scriptures from 1Corinthians. Let me make this clear: you do not read some narrative in Scripture and then try to copy it. The Bible is filled with mandates; there are hundreds of mandates. The New Testament has many verses in the imperative mood. Before you try to just copy what you read in narrative, read these mandates and obey these mandates. I can guarantee you that, if you obey Paul’s mandates (and those in the other epistles), you spiritual life is going to be fine. You aren’t going to feel as though you are somehow lacking this or that dimension in your spiritual life.


1Chronicles 15:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

when, that, for, because

explanatory conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity; with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #88

bâchar (ר ַח ָ) [pronounced baw-KHAHR]

to choose; Gesenius also lists to prove, to try, to examine, to approve, to choose, to select; to love, to delight in [something], to desire

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #977 BDB #103

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

nâsâ (אָָנ) [pronounced naw-SAW]

to lift up, to bear, to carry

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ărôwn (ןר ֲא) [pronounced uh-ROHN]

ark, chest; Ark

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #727 BDB #75

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

In the Hallel codex and 1 early printing, this reads Elohim instead of YHWH. Footnote


Translation: ...for Yehowah chose to carry the Ark of Yehowah by means of them... God chose the Levites to minister to him, which meant that they had charge of maintaining the Tabernacle and the furniture; and, when necessary, moving these holy things from place to place.


Each article of furniture of the Tabernacle and every ritual helped to explain God’s character, essence and plan. God even used specific events (the failure of Moses; the offering of Isaac) in order to teach great spiritual truths. We have God’s holiness taught here; all that is connected with God—and specifically, the Ark—cannot be simply handled and moved. No person could have direct contact with the Ark, no matter how good they are. And only the Levites, after having been consecrated, could be closely associated with the Ark (although they could not touch the Ark).


Application: The aspect of God’s essence which is most often ignored is His perfection and his holiness; God cannot have direct contact with man. We can pick out men that we think are really wonderful, and kind, and who sin very little, and who have few if any overt sins, and these men cannot have any direct contact with God, any more than having direct contact with the sun. God is perfect holiness and we are not; perfect righteousness cannot have fellowship with unrighteousness, no matter how nice that unrighteous person seems to us. Uzza was probably a hell of a nice guy and he was one of the caretakers of the Ark, yet when he touched the Ark inadvertently, he died immediately. There was no second chance. Unrighteousness cannot have fellowship with perfect righteousness. There can be no contact between man and God, because man is profane and God is holy; even someone like Uzza, who touched the Ark accidentally and who was, by all accounts, a pretty moral and upright guy, could not have contact with God. We need an intermediary; we need a mediator; we need Jesus Christ.

 

J. Vernon McGee gives us some application: As we look around us, we see a restlessness. The church, having departed from the Word of God, is in as much disarray as any other institution. The theology of both Roman Catholicism and Protestantism is a shambles, my friend. Why? Because both got away from the Word of God, and as a result, they are not doing it God’s way. My firm conviction is that the most important matter is to get the ark of God on the move, by which I mean, get the gospel going out, get the Word of God moving out to the human family. Let’s put the emphasis where God puts it. Footnote


Application: There are two ways to learn something: the hard way and God’s way. David could have moved the Ark successfully the first time, had he gone to the Word of God first. Let me be more specific: I am sure that David had gone to the Word of God, read about the Ark and where it was, noticed how the Philistines moved the Ark, and then copied the Philistines. You can’t do it that way. God specified how the Ark was to be moved, and all David had to do was dig a little deeper into the Word to determine what he should have done. Bob Thieme Jr. used to use the phrase, you’ve learned enough doctrine to be dangerous. This is what David did; he had learned enough doctrine to be dangerous, and his first attempt to move the Ark ended in tragedy. David has clearly gone back into the Scriptures and he has researched this issue more carefully, and now, everything is going to go as planned.


Application: In this dispensation, we are to be taught by a pastor-teacher. Did you realize that, after you have been saved, and you walk into church for your first dose of doctrine, that, for some reason, the pastor rarely covers everything that you need to know for the rest of your life in that first lesson. Sometimes it may take two or three. Footnote Paul tells us in 1Corinthians not to make any major decisions—don’t get married, don’t get divorced. What is that all about? Once we become Christians, we no longer make big decisions? Of course not! But, when you are saved, what you need is doctrine in order to figure out what you ought to do. Until then, you cool your jets, you slow your roll, and you don’t jump into any major decisions. When I first became a believer in Jesus Christ, I made a major decision right out of the gate, and it was the biggest mistake that I have ever made. You don’t think that Satan is right there just waiting to pounce, waiting to knock you off guard from day one? Now, since then, after I got some doctrine, after I got oriented to this life and my place in it, decisions of what I should do have been extremely easy. Rarely has been the time since then that I agonized, should I do A or should I do B? Decisions for me have been very easy, after I got some doctrine in my soul. 6 years after I was saved, I made one of the biggest decisions of my life (moving from California to Texas); this was exactly what I needed to do, even though, in many ways, it was a difficult decision to make. It became apparent to me that I needed to move—I was spinning my wheels in California—and I had 3 possible places to move to, and Texas was far, far down on that list of 3 (if I recall, it was about 10th on a list of 3 places to move to). Having been here now for nearly 3 decades, it is quite clear to me that this is where God wanted me, and this is where God wants me. I could not have asked for a better destination. But, notice, this decision came 6 years after becoming a believer in Jesus Christ (and I studied doctrine almost daily for 5 years prior to making the decision). My point: do not make any major decisions after being saved; grow up spiritually first. Once you begin to grow spiritually, you are going to find that divine guidance is one of the easiest aspects of the Christian life.


1Chronicles 15:2c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

shârath (ת ַר ָש) [pronounced shaw-RAHTH]

to serve, to minister

Piel infinitive construct with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #8334 BDB #1058

Although Owen has that this is a Qal stem, this verb only occurs in the Piel, as per BDB.

׳ad (דַע) [pronounced ģahd]

as far as, even to, up to, until

preposition

Strong’s #5704 BDB #723

׳ôwlâm (םָלע) [pronounced ģo-LAWM]

long duration, forever, perpetuity, antiquity, futurity

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #5769 BDB #761

Together, they mean and from everlasting to everlasting, from eternity past to eternity future or from antiquity to everlasting, forever; for a lifetime (?); from a point in time to far into the future; to the end of this age.


Translation: ...so that they [might] minister [to] Him forever.” Literally, this reads: ...and to His ministry as far as forever.” I have added a few words in order for this to hold together well. The forever spoken of here would be as long as there was an Ark and as long as there was a Tabernacle (or Temple). Quite obviously, without those things, there is no need for the Levites to minister to them. There are several times when we find the phrase forever which does not mean forever (Ex. 21:6 Lev. 25:46 Deut. 15:17 1Sam. 1:22). Footnote


There is no indication that these duties would later pass on to anyone else. The Levites represent the believer in Christ Jesus. They could not own land here on earth, although they were able to live side by side to other Israelites, the land never belonged to them. We are in this world, but we are not of this world. We might own a house which sits on a small tract of land, but it is temporary at best. I personally love my house and the plot of ground that it sits on, but at some point in time, it will no longer belong to me, because my life in this world is temporary. The Levites represented the temporary nature of our life on this earth; and they represented the spiritual aspect of our life. They represent our spiritual life and our spiritual duties.


And so assembles David all Israel unto Jerusalem to bring up an Ark of Yehowah unto his place which he set up for him.

1Chronicles

15:3

David assembled all of Israel at Jerusalem to bring up the Ark of Yehowah to its place that David had prepared for it.

David assembled all of Israel at Jerusalem in order to bring up the Ark of the Lord to the place that David had prepared for it.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so assembles David all Israel unto Jerusalem to bring up an Ark of Yehowah unto his place which he set up for him.

Septuagint                              And David assembled all Israel at Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the Lord to the place which he had prepared for it.

 

Significant differences:           The MT has a masculine singular suffix affixed to place, which is not found in the LXX. That is the only difference in the text (recall that there is no neuter gender in the Hebrew, so now and again a masculine gender will be rendered as a neuter in the Greek).


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Next, David invited everyone to come to Jerusalem and watch the sacred chest being carried to the place he had set up for it.

The Message                         David then called everyone in Israel to assemble in Jerusalem to bring up the Chest of GOD to its specially prepared place.

GNB (TEV)                            So David summoned all the people of Israel to Jerusalem in order to bring the Covenant Box to the place he had prepared for it.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         David called together all Israel at Jerusalem to bring the LORD'S ark to the place he had prepared for it.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

LTHB                                     And David gathered all Israel to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of Jehovah to its place that he had prepared for it.

Young’s Updated LT             And David assembles all Israel unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of Jehovah unto its place that he had prepared for it.


What is the gist of this verse? David gathered all Israel to Jerusalem in order to celebrate the moving of the Ark into Jerusalem.


1Chronicles 15:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

qâhal (ל-הָק) [pronounced kaw-HAHL]

to assemble, to call together, to summon an assembly [for war, judgement or a religious purpose]

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong’s #6950 BDB #874

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all; any of, any

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

Yiserâêl (לֵאָר ׃̣י) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 BDB #975

el (לא) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Yerûwshâlayim (ם̣יַלָשר׃י) [pronounced yroo-shaw-LAH-yim]

possibly means founded upon peace or city of the Jebusites (or both); it is transliterated Jerusalem

Proper singular noun, location

Strong’s #3389 BDB #436


Translation: David assembled all of Israel at Jerusalem... David is going to bring the Ark up to Jerusalem, and he’s not going to do it in secret; he is not going to take a few expendables out with him and try this or that. He is going to move the Ark, he knows how to move the Ark; and he is going to do it in front of all Israel. Although there are differening opinions here, I believe that David originally assembled 30,000 of his choice men when he made the first attempt to move the Ark; but this time, there was an open invitation to all Israel, a few of whom will be named in this chapter. Given what is occurring and given the planning that went into this, there was essentially a parade route, so to speak, where people could stand, beginning at the home of Obed-edom—where the Ark is—and extending into Jerusalem where the tent is which David prepared, which David had prepared for the Ark. This is a significant moment in Israel’s history, so it would make sense for David to call to all Israel to attend (in 1Chron. 15:25, we read that David and certain higher ups went to bring the Ark up from the house of Obed-edom; this would be the mobile part of the parade, and all Israel would be the spectators). Footnote


1Chronicles 15:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

׳âlâh (ה ָל ָע) [pronounced ģaw-LAWH]

to cause to go up, to lead up, to take up, to bring up

Hiphil infinitive construct

Strong's #5927 BDB #748

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ărôwn (ןר ֲא) [pronounced uh-ROHN]

ark, chest; Ark

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #727 BDB #75

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: ...to bring up the Ark of Yehowah... This will be David’s second attempt at transporting the Ark, but he appears to be quite confident about the procedure. Why is he confident? Because he believes in the Word of God. That is the key.


Application: Confidence comes from knowing and obeying the Word of God.


Application: I’ve been a believer in Jesus Christ for 35 years now, but it is not the number of years on this earth as a believer which contributes to my confidence; it is my knowledge of God’s Word. With a superficial understanding of God’s Word, surely I could say things like, “The Bible is filled with contradictions; the Bible is simply a book written by men; the Bible has been changed many times throughout human history in order to promote this or that religious view.” However, the more that I know about the Bible, the sillier those claims seem to me. What I know about the Bible and what I know of what is in the Bible gives me terrific confidence.

Reasons for Our Confidence in God’s Word

1.      The promise of Jesus Christ runs from the beginning of Scripture to the very end.

         a.      From Gen. 3, we know that the Seed of the Woman is going to solve the great sin problem of Adam and the woman.

         b.      From Gen. 3, God replaces the clothing which Adam and/or Eve made out of fig leaves with leather, which means, God killed an animal in order to cover their nakedness. Prior to this, there is no indication that animals were killed for any reason (man was a vegetarian until God gave him permission to eat animal flesh).

         c.      The difference between Cain and Abel’s sacrifices were, Cain’s came from his hard work; Abel presented an animal to God, an animal’s whose throat he slashed open (which is how Cain figured out how to kill Abel). Gen. 4

2.      Our Lord’s close association with the woman is found throughout Scripture:

         a.      Jesus Christ is known as the Seed of the Woman back in Gen. 3 where the quality of the sins of Adam and Eve are distinguished from the very beginning.

         b.      The Savior would be born of a virgin in Isa. 9:6, which is fulfilled in Matt. 1. The discussion about whether the Hebrew word found in Isaiah means virgin or young woman is smoke a mirrors; simply read the context: The Lord will give you a sign... Quite frankly, it is not really a sign when a young woman becomes pregnant.

3.      Man is portrayed as fallen from the very beginning:

         a.      In Gen. 3, the fall of man is described.

         b.      Throughout the Law of Moses, there are purifying rituals which are provided in order for man to be, at least temporarily, right with God (most of them involve animal sacrifices).

         c.      Job cries out, “How can a man be righteous before God?” (Job 9:2b).

         d.      The psalmist confirms our unrighteousness: The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good. The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one (Psalm 14:1–3).

         e.      Isaiah tells us that even our deeds of righteousness are like menstruous rags in God’s eyes. Isa. 64:6a: But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.

         f.       Rom. 1:18: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

         g.      Rom. 3:10: As it stands written: "None is righteous, no, not one.”

4.      Our Lord’s substitutionary death on our behalf is found throughout God’s Word:

         a.      In Gen. 22, Abraham is told to offer up his son (who should have been Abraham’s only son); and immediately before Abraham slits the throat of the son he loves, God provides a substitution for Isaac.

         b.      We find the continued theme of animal sacrifices throughout the Bible, until, of course, our Lord comes.

         c.      The firstborn of Egypt had to die in order for the Israelites to be set free.

         d.      Psalm 22 describes the crucifixion in much greater detail than any of the gospels, including the book of John where John was an eyewitness to the crucifixion.

         e.      Isa. 53 describes our Lord’s 1st advent and His death on our behalf with great theological clarity.

         f.       God speaks to us in Zech. 12:10 about the end times: “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on Me, on Him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over Him, as one weeps over a firstborn.”

5.      God is our righteousness.

         a.      Jer. 23:6: In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: 'The LORD is our righteousness.'

         b.      Jer. 33:16: In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: 'The LORD is our righteousness.'

         c.      Rom. 3:22: The righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction [between Jews and Gentiles in this regard].

         d.      Rom. 5:17–19): For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous.

         e.      1Cor. 1:30: And because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, Who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption.

         f.       Gal. 2:21: I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

6.      Salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ, the God-man, known in the Old Testament as Jehovah Elohim.

         a.      For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness." Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness (Rom. 4:3–5 Gen. 15:6).

         b.      And Rom. 4:6–8 (and Psalm 32:1–2): Just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin."

         c.      Philip. 3:7–9: But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.

         d.      Titus 3:5: he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.

7.      The Trinity is found throughout Scripture.

         a.      As early as Gen. 1:26, God says, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness...”

         b.      In Deut. 6:4, often cited as proof that the Bible does not teach there is a Trinity, reads: "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” The word used for one is a word of unity rather than specifically and exclusively for singularity. This same word is used of the man and the woman becoming one flesh.

         c.      In Isa. 48:12–13, 16, Jesus Christ speaks: “Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I have called: I am He, I am the first and I am the last; surely My hand founded the earth and My right hand spread out the heavens. When I called to them, they stand together...Draw near to me, hear this: from the beginning I have not spoken in secret, from the time it came to be I have been there. And now the Lord GOD has sent me, and his Spirit.”

8.      The need for a Mediator between man and God is found throughout Scripture:

         a.      When God spoke to the people of Israel and gave them the 10 Commandments, their response was: Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off and said to Moses, "You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die." (Ex. 20:18–19). They asked that Moses mediate between them and God (which he did on several occasions after that when God said He would wipe them out).

         b.      Job 33:22–28: His soul draws near the pit, and his life to those who bring death. If there be for him an angel, a mediator, one of the thousand, to declare to man what is right for him, and he is merciful to him, and says, 'Deliver him from going down into the pit; I have found a ransom; let his flesh become fresh with youth; let him return to the days of his youthful vigor'; then man prays to God, and he accepts him; he sees his face with a shout of joy, and he restores to man his righteousness. He sings before men and says: 'I sinned and perverted what was right, and it was not repaid to me. He has redeemed my soul from going down into the pit, and my life shall look upon the light.'

         c.      1Tim. 2:5–6: For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

         d.      Heb. 9:15: And for this cause He is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

9.      Jesus Christ is presented from the beginning as Creator of the heavens and the earth. We have already seen passages like Gen. 1:26 Isa. 48:16.

         a.      We find this confirmed in the New Testament. John 1:1–3, 14: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

         b.      This is taught throughout the New Testament, but Paul, John and the writer of Hebrews: Rev. 4:11 Heb. 1:2 Col. 1:16.

10.    These few consistencies found from beginning to end in the Bible barely scratch the surface of our reason to have confidence in Him and in His Word. None of these doctrines are popular; men have objected to some of all of them throughout human history. I recall vividly the words of a song by Who, “I don’t need to be forgiven, yeah yeah yeah yeah.” If you ask almost any person who has not been saved (and even some of those who have been saved), and they will tell you that they are going to heaven because they are good or because they do good things. The idea that God gives us eternal life for simply believing in Jesus Christ runs counter to our natural way of thinking. Every cult and every religion has a set of rules or commandments that we must follow in order to earn God’s respect and love (although these religions are often less clear about just exactly how well we must obey in insure our eternal salvation). All of these essential doctrines herein named run counter to man’s way of thinking, yet they remain in Scripture from beginning to end, unchanged, even though a myriad of different and often opposing groups preserved Scripture over the many centuries of man’s history.

The more that you know from the Old and New Testaments, the greater your confidence level in the Word of God and in your own salvation. The more that you know about what God did on our behalf, from beginning to end, the more all of this holds together. The fact that these books were written by a number of different men from all walks of life, over a period of as much as 3000 years, and yet there is this great consistency, is awesome.

What I have listed here is just a small portion of things which would give us confidence in Scripture. And even though I focused on Jesus Christ, each point could easily have another dozen subpoints.


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1Chronicles 15:3c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

el (לא) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

mâqôwm (םקָמ) [pronounced maw-KOHM]

place, situated; for a soldier, it may mean where he is stationed; for people in general, it would be their place of abode (which could be their house or their town)

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #4725 BDB #879

ăsher (רשֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

kûwn (ן) [pronounced koon]

to erect (to stand up perpendicular), to set up, to establish, to prepare, to strengthen, to be stabilized

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil perfect

Strong’s #3559 BDB #465

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: ...to its place that David had prepared for it. V. 1 tells us that David pitched a tent for the Ark of God, which tent is not the Tabernacle of God. It is interesting, as mentioned before, that David does not locate and bring up the Tabernacle of God as well. However, as also discussed, what we may reasonably assume is, David had other plans for housing the Ark of God (and he will find out that God has other plans Himself in this regard).


Although this chapter of Chronicles parallels and second half of 2Sam. 6, there are only 3 or so verses which are actually similar, this being one of them. I’ll try to compare these verses at the end with 2Sam. 6.


And so gathers David sons of Aaron and the Levites:...

1Chronicles

15:4

He [lit., and David] gathered the sons of Aaron and the Levites:...

So David assembled the sons of Aaron and the following Levites:...


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so gathers David sons of Aaron and the Levites:...

Septuagint                              And David gathered together the sons of Aaron and the Levites. [Brenton left out the conjunction in his English translation; it is found in the Greek, however].

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       He also sent for Aaron's descendants and for the Levites. The Levites that came were:...

The Message                         David also called in the family of Aaron and the Levites.

GNB (TEV)                            Next he sent for the descendants of Aaron and for the Levites.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         David also called together Aaron's descendants and the Levites.

HCSB                                     Then he gathered together the descendants of Aaron and the Levites:...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

WEB                                      David gathered together the sons of Aaron, and the Levites...

Young's Updated LT              And David gathers the sons of Aaron, and the Levites.


What is the gist of this verse? One subset of those gathered are the priests, who are the descendants of Aaron, brother of Moses. All priests are Levites but not all Levites are priests.


1Chronicles 15:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âçaph (ף ַס ָא) [pronounced aw-SAHF]

relocate, transfer, transport, gather, to gather and remove, to remove

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #622 BDB #62

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Ahărôn (ןֹרֲה-א) [pronounced ah-huh-ROHN]

transliterated Aaron

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #175 BDB #14


Translation: He [lit., and David] gathered the sons of Aaron... There is some confusion with who is who. We hear the phrase Levitical priests all the time, but that is not really accurate. The sons of Aaron were priests, and Aaron is a branch of the Levite tribe. The Levites in general served God working under the priests. So all priests are Levites, but not all Levites are priests. Footnote


1Chronicles 15:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Levîyyim (ם ̣ ̣ול) [pronounced le-vee-YIM]

joined to, attached; garland, crown; and is transliterated Levites

proper plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3881 BDB #532


Translation: ...and the Levites:... This is one of the 12 tribes of Israel. They did not specifically own any land, but they shared space with the other 11 tribes throughout Israel. David would not have simply gone to one territory and gather up the Levites; they would have come from all over Israel. Even though there was probably a city of priests (Gibeon now instead of Nob1Chron. 16:29), the Levites would be all over Israel in specific designated cities (Joshua 21).


...to sons of Kohath: Uriel the head and his brothers a hundred and twenty;...

1Chronicles

15:5

...from [lit., to, for, with regard to; and so throughout] the descendants of Kohath: Uriel, the head [of this branch] and 120 of his brothers;...

...from the sons of Kohath,—120 came (their leader is Uriel);...


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       ...to sons of Kohath: Uriel the head and his brothers a hundred and twenty;...

Septuagint                              Of the sons of Caath; there was Uriel the chief, and his brethren, a hundred and twenty.

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       ...Uriel, the leader of the Kohath clan, and one hundred twenty of his relatives;...

The Message                         From the family of Kohath, Uriel the head with 120 relatives;...

GNB (TEV)                            From the Levite clan of Kohath came Uriel, in charge of 120 members of his clan;...

NLT                                        There were 120 from the clan of Kohath, with Uriel as their leader.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Leading Kohath's descendants was Uriel, who came with 120 of his relatives.

HCSB                                     ...From the Kohathites, Uriel the leader and 120 of his relatives;...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       ...of the sons of Kohath, Uriel the chief, with 120 of his brothers;...

Young's Updated LT              Of sons of Kohath: Uriel the chief, and his brethren, a hundred and twenty.


What is the gist of this verse? In attendance is Uriel, the head of the Kohath branch of Levites, along with 120 others.


1Chronicles 15:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

The meanings of the lâmed preposition broken down into groups: ➊ to, towards, unto; it is used both to turn one’s heart toward someone as well as to sin against someone; ➋ to, even to;  in this sense, it can be used with a number to indicate the upper limit which a multitude might approach (nearly). ➌ Lâmed can be equivalent to the Greek preposition eis (εἰς), meaning into, as in transforming into something else, changing into something else (Gen. 2:7). This use of lâmed after the verb hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW] (Strong’s #1961 BDB #224) is one thing becoming another (Gen. 2:7). ➍  Its fourth use is the mark of a dative, after verbs of giving, granting, delivering, pardoning, consulting, sending, etc. This type of dative is broken down into several categories, but one includes the translation by, which would be apropos here. ➎ With regards to, as to. Similar to the Greek preposition eis (εἰς) plus the dative. [Numbering from Gesenius]. ➏ On account of, because, propter, used of cause and reason (propter means because; Gesenius used it). ➐ Concerning, about, used of a person or thing made the object of discourse, after verbs of saying. ➑ On behalf of anyone, for anyone. ➒ As applied to a rule or standard, according to, according as, as though, as if. ➓ When associated with time, it refers to the point of time at which or in which anything is done; or it can refer to the space of time during which something is done (or occurs); at the time of.

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Kehâth (תָהק) [pronounced keh-HATH]

assembly; transliterated Kohath

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #6955 BDB #875


Translation: ...from [lit., to, for, with regard to; and so throughout] the descendants of Kohath:... We are now dealing with the various branches of the Levite line. 6 branches will be named in this and the next 5 verses. The Levite line goes back about 1000 years, and one branch of Levites are descendants of Kohath, Levi’s second son (Gen. 46:11). Kohath was one of the sons who originally moved to Egypt during the famine, where his Uncle Joseph was prime minister. There are three primary lines of Levi: Kohath, Gershon and Merar.


Samuel was half or a quarter Levite through the line of Kohath, something which we discussed in 1Chron. 6:24, and was shown on the chart The Lines of Korah and the Ancestors of Heman, in that same passage. I also discussed this in the first chapter of 1Samuel, in The Line of Samuel the Prophet. This helps to explain why Hannah, his mother, would be so willing to give up Samuel, her first son, to God. Footnote The pertinent passages on this topic are: 1Sam. 8:2 1Chron. 6:33 15:17. In reading the text of 1Chron. 6:33–34, I don’t see how it can be interpreted in any other way.


Although Kohath is not the eldest of Levi’s sons, his branch is considered to be the predominant branch, as from him came Moses and Aaron.


1Chronicles 15:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

Ûwrîyêl (ל̤אי .רא) [pronounced oo-ree-ALE]

flame of El; my light is El, God is my light, flame of God; transliterated Uriel

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #222 BDB #22

sar (ר ַ) [pronounced sar]

chieftain, chief, ruler, official, captain, prince, leader, commander

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #8269 BDB #978


Translation: ...Uriel, the head [of this branch]... Uriel would have been a prominent Levite at this time, and the most prominent of the Kohath line. This is possible the same Uriel mentioned in the line of Kohath back in 1Chron. 6:24. The Kohathites are responsible for moving certain pieces of furniture, including the Ark of God, so Uriel would oversee the moving of the Ark to Jerusalem.


ISBE lists 3 different Uriel’s, one from the Apocrypha:

The Uriel’s of Scripture

(1)     A Kohathite, said in 1Chron. 15:5 to be the chief of the sons of Kohath (1Chron. 6:24 (Hebrew verse 9); 1Chron. 15:5, 11). He corresponds to Zephaniah in the pedigree of Heman in 1Chron. 6:33–38 (Hebrew 18–23). Easton lists the man of 1Chron. 6:24 as different.

(2)     A man of Gibeah, and father of Micaiah the mother of King Abijah of Judah (2Chron. 13:2).

(3)     Called only in 2Esdras an “angel,” except 2Esdras 4:36 where the Revised Version (British and American) and the King James Version rightly give “Jeremiel the archangel” for the King James Version “Uriel the archangel,” but elsewhere known as one of the four chief archangels. He was the angel who instructed Ezra (2Esdras 4:1 5:20 10:28). In Enoch 20:2 Uriel is the angel who is “over the world and Tartarus”

Taken from The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia; James Orr, Editor; ©1956 Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; Ⓟ by Hendrickson Publishers; from E-Sword; Topic:  Uriel. Slightly edited. M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary; 1897; from e-Sword, topic: Uriel.


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1Chronicles 15:5c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

âch (ח ָא) [pronounced awhk]

brother, kinsman or close relative

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #251 BDB #26

mêâh (ה ָא ֵמ) [pronounced may-AW]

one hundred, a hundred, hundred

feminine singular numeral

Strong’s #3967 BDB #547

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

׳eserîym (םי.ר∵ע) [pronounced ģese-REEM]

twenty

plural numeral adjective

Strong’s #6242 BDB #797


Translation: ...and 120 of his brothers;... Given that we have thousands of Kohathites in previous centuries, this would have been the prominent ones who attend. There is also the possibility that some priests merged with the general populace of Israel, something which I believe the ancestors of Hannah, Samuel’s mother, did. Such a merging with the general population would be a foreshadowing of the Jews in the Tribulation, who originally assimilate into the general population, and then come to the forefront of spiritual information dissemination (primarily the gospel) during the Tribulation.


When we get to v. 10, we will compare these Levite family branches.


...to sons of Merari: Asaiah the head and his brothers two hundred and twenty;...

1Chronicles

15:6

...from the descendants of Merari: Asaiah, the head [of this branch] and 220 of his brothers;...

...from the sons of Merari,220 came (their leader is Asaiah);...


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       ...to sons of Merari: Asaiah the head and his brothers two hundred and twenty;...

Septuagint                              Of the sons of Merari; Asaia the chief, and his brethren, two hundred and twenty.

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       ...Asaiah, the leader of the Merari clan, and two hundred twenty of his relatives;...

The Message                         ...from the family of Merari, Asaiah the head with 220 relatives;...

GNB (TEV)                            ...from the clan of Merari came Asaiah, in charge of 220;...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Leading Merari's descendants was Asaiah, who came with 220 of his relatives.

HCSB                                     ...from the Merarites, Asaiah the leader and 220 of his relatives;...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

MKJV                                     From the sons of Merari: Asaiah the chief, and two hundred and twenty of his brothers.

Young's Updated LT              Of sons of Merari: Asaiah the chief, and his brothers, two hundred and twenty.


What is the gist of this verse? In attendance is Asaiah, the head of the Merari branch of Levites, along with 220 of his brothers.


1Chronicles 15:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Merârîy (י .רָרמ) [pronounced mehr-aw-REE]

sorrowful, sad; bitter; transliterated Marari

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #4847 BDB #601


Translation: ...from the descendants of Merari:... What an odd name for a son: sorrowful, sad; bitter. For whatever reason, this is the meaning of Merari, the youngest son of Levi. It is suggested that, Merari was born when Levi and his brothers left their homeland due to the famine (this is the Land of Promise, by the way) and moved to Egypt, where their brother Joseph had made provision for them. This may explain why he has this name. I personally left California and family and friends for Texas, and it was very difficult to make a move of this magnitude; the family of Jacob would have faced the same difficulties, except that they moved to a foreign country, which is even more of a culture shock.


1Chronicles 15:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

׳Ăsâyâh (הָיָֲע) [pronounced ģuh-saw-YAW]

Jah has made, made by Jehovah; transliterated Asaiah

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #6222 BDB #795

sar (ר ַ) [pronounced sar]

chieftain, chief, ruler, official, captain, prince, leader, commander

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #8269 BDB #978


Translation: ...Asaiah, the head [of this branch]... Asaiah means the Lord has made, and he was the current head of the Merari branch of Levites. He is one of 4 different Asaiah’s found in Scripture.


ISBE lists 4 different Asaiah’s:

The Asaiah’s of Scripture

(1)     A Levite of the family of Merari, and one of those who helped bring the ark from the house of Obed–edom to Jerusalem (1Chron. 6:30 15:6, 11).

(2)     A leading man of the tribe of Simeon. He was in the incursion which attacked and dispossessed the Meunim (which see), or the shepherd people, in the valley of Gedor (1Chron. 4:36).

(3)     An officer of Josiah sent to Huldah the prophetess for advice regarding the law book found by Hilkiah (2Kings 22:12, 14 2Chron. 34:20; also spelled Asahiah).

(4)     A Shilonite resident of Jerusalem (1Chron. 9:5). He is called Maaseiah in Neh. 11:5.

Taken from The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia; James Orr, Editor; ©1956 Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; Ⓟ by Hendrickson Publishers; from E-Sword; Topic:  Asaiah. Slightly edited. Fausset lists these as 5 Asaiah’s, but without any detail. Andrew Robert Fausset, Fausset’s Bible Dictionary; from e-Sword, topic: Asaiah.


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1Chronicles 15:6c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

âch (ח ָא) [pronounced awhk]

brother, kinsman or close relative

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #251 BDB #26

mâthayim (ם̣י -תאָמ) [pronounced maw-thah-YIM]

two hundred

feminine dual numeral

Strong’s #3967 BDB #547

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

׳eserîym (םי.ר∵ע) [pronounced ģese-REEM]

twenty

plural numeral adjective

Strong’s #6242 BDB #797


Translation: ...and 220 of his brothers;... Even at the Exodus, this branch of the tribe of Levi numbered in the thousands; therefore, this is certainly a group of the heads of Merari.


...to sons of Gershom: Joel the head and his brothers a hundred and thirty;...

1Chronicles

15:7

...from the descendants of Gershom: Joel, the head [of this branch] and 130 of his brothers;...

...from the sons of Gershom,130 came (their leader is Joel);...


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       ...to sons of Gershom: Joel the head and his brothers a hundred and thirty;...

Septuagint                              Of the sons of Gedson; Joel the chief, and his brethren, a hundred and thirty.

 

Significant differences:           None. If you notice the difference in the proper name Gershom; in the Greek, it reads Gedson; this is because a d and r in the Hebrew can be easily confounded; and, for whatever reason, this name (along with most others) can end in an m or an n in the Hebrew.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       ...Joel, the leader of the Gershon clan, and one hundred thirty of his relatives;...

The Message                         ...from the family of Gershon, Joel the head with 130 relatives;...

GNB (TEV)                            ...from the clan of Gershon, Joel, in charge of 130;...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Leading Gershom's descendants was Joel, who came with 130 of his relatives.

HCSB                                     ...from the Gershomites, Joel the leader and 130 of his relatives;...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

MKJV                                     From the sons of Gershom: Joel the chief, and a hundred and thirty of his brothers.

Young’s Updated LT             Of sons of Gershom: Joel the chief, and his brothers, a hundred and thirty.


What is the gist of this verse? In attendance is Joel, the head of the Gershom branch of Levites, along with 130 of his brothers.


1Chronicles 15:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Gêreshôwm (םש ר̤) [pronounced gay-rehsh-OHM]

exile, refugee; to cast out; transliterated Gershon, Gershom

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #1648 BDB #177

Also spelled Gêreshôwn (ןש ר̤) [pronounced gay-rehsh-OWN].


Translation: ...from the descendants of Gershom:... It is interesting that Gershom is mentioned last, of the 3 sons of Levi, as he was the eldest of the brothers. One problem with retrieving information on him is, he is known in Chronicles as Gershom, but in the rest of Scripture as Gershom (which occurs with several names in Scripture).


1Chronicles 15:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

Yôwêl (ל̤אי) [pronounced yoh-ĀL]

to whom Jehovah is God or worshiper of Jehovah; and is transliterated Joel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3100 BDB #222

sar (ר ַ) [pronounced sar]

chieftain, chief, ruler, official, captain, prince, leader, commander

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #8269 BDB #978


Translation: ...Joel, the head [of this branch]... There are about 14 different men with the name Joel in Scripture. There are 3 of them who may or may not be the same person.


Because there are as many as 3 different Joel’s who are all named in Scripture during David’s reign, we will summarize them here:

Which Joel is Joel? Are These the Same Man?

Person

Scripture

Discussion

Joel, a head of the Gershom branch of the Levites

1Chron. 15:7: ...of the sons of Gershom, Joel the chief, with 130 of his brothers...


1Chron. 15:11: Then David summoned the priests Zadok and Abiathar, and the Levites Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab...

This is the Joel of our passage.

Joel, the eldest son of Samuel.

1Sam. 8:2: The name of Samuel’s firstborn son was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba.


1Chron. 6:31–34a: These are the men whom David put in charge of the service of song in the house of the LORD after the ark rested there. They ministered with song before the tabernacle of the tent of meeting until Solomon built the house of the LORD in Jerusalem, and they performed their service according to their order. These are the men who served and their sons. Of the sons of the Kohathites: Heman the singer the son of Joel, son of Samuel, son of Elkanah,...


1Chron. 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.

Although the ages are roughly the same, the Joel here is a Kohathite (1Chron. 6:33) and the Joel of our passage is a Gershonite. Therefore, these are different men.

Joel, A Gershonite Levite, in the reign of David, son of Jehiel, a descendant of Laadan.

1Chron. 23:7–8: The sons of Gershon were Ladan and Shimei. The sons of Ladan: Jehiel the chief, and Zetham, and Joel, three.


1Chron. 26:21–22: The sons of Ladan, the sons of the Gershonites belonging to Ladan, the heads of the fathers' houses belonging to Ladan the Gershonite: Jehieli. The sons of Jehieli, Zetham, and Joel his brother, were in charge of the treasuries of the house of the LORD.

This man is probably equivalent to the Joel of our passage.

If these men are different, they are all contemporaries. And given the fact that, you can walk into any classroom in this year 2007 and not be surprised that there are 3 Taylor’s or 3 Michael’s in the same class; the idea that there are 3 men of spiritual prominence with the same name is not a difficult thing to believe or to grasp.


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1Chronicles 15:7c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

âch (ח ָא) [pronounced awhk]

brother, kinsman or close relative

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #251 BDB #26

mêâh (ה ָא ֵמ) [pronounced may-AW]

one hundred, a hundred, hundred

feminine singular numeral

Strong’s #3967 BDB #547

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shelôshîym (םי.שֹלש) [pronounced shelow-SHEEM]

thirty

plural numeral

Strong’s #7970 BDB #1026


Translation: ...and 130 of his brothers;... Again, these are simply men of renown of this particular branch of the Levites.


...to sons of Elizaphan: Shemaiah the head and his brothers two hundred;...

1Chronicles

15:8

...from the descendants of Elizaphan: Shemaiah, the head [of this branch] and 200 of his brothers;...

...from the sons of Elizaphan, 200 came (their leader is Shemaiah);...


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       ...to sons of Elizaphan: Shemaiah the head and his brothers two hundred;...

Septuagint                              Of the sons of Elisaphat; Semei the chief, and his brethren, two hundred.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       ...Shemaiah, the leader of the Elizaphan clan, and two hundred of his relatives;...

The Message                         ...from the family of Elizaphan, Shemaiah the head with 200 relatives;...

GNB (TEV)                            ...from the clan of Elizaphan, Shemaiah, in charge of 200;...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Leading Elizaphan's descendants was Shemaiah, who came with 200 of his relatives.

HCSB                                     ...from the Elizaphanites, Shemaiah the leader and 200 of his relatives;...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

MKJV                                     From the sons of Elizaphan: Shemaiah the chief and two hundred of his brothers.

Young’s Updated LT             Of sons of Elizaphan: Shemaiah the chief, and his brothers, two hundred.


What is the gist of this verse? In attendance is Shemaiah, the head of the Elizaphan branch of Levites, along with 200 of his brothers.


1Chronicles 15:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Ělîytsâphân (ןָפָצי.לֱא) [pronounced ehl-ee-tsaw-FAW]

God has protected; God of treasure; transliterated Elizaphan

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #469 BDB #45

Also spelled Ěletsâphân (ןָפָצלֱא) [pronounced ehle-tsaw-FAW].


Translation: ...from the descendants of Elizaphan:... Elizaphan was a descendant of Kohath, a son of Levi, who came to the forefront as the Jews pushed toward the Land of Promise (Num. 3:30). He is known as Elzaphan in Ex. 6:22 Lev. 10:4. We really known nothing about this man other than his listing in a few genealogies and in this chapter.


1Chronicles 15:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

Shema׳eyâh (הָיע-מש) [pronounced she-mahģe-YAW]

Yah has heard; heard by Jehovah; and is transliterated Shemaiah

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #8098 BDB #1035

This is also spelled: Shema׳eyâhûw (הָיע-מש) [pronounced she-mahģe-YAW-hoo].

sar (ר ַ) [pronounced sar]

chieftain, chief, ruler, official, captain, prince, leader, commander

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #8269 BDB #978


Translation: ...Shemaiah, the head [of this branch]... There are 18 different men with this name, and many of them are Levites, or probably Levites (1Chron. 9:14, 16 15:8 28:4–8 2Chron. 17:8 29:14 31:15 35:9 Neh. 3:29 11:15). As far as I can tell, this is the only mention of this particular Shemaiah.


There are 25 or so Shemaiah’s found in Scripture:

The Shemaiah’s of Scripture

(1)     A prophet who, together with Ahijah, protested against Rehoboam's contemplated war against the ten revolted tribes (1Kings 12:22–24 = 2Chron. 11:2–4). He declared that the rebellion had divine sanction. The second Greek account knows nothing of Ahijah in this connection and introduces Shemaiah at the gathering at Shechem where both Jeroboam and Rehoboam were present; it narrates that on this occasion Shemaiah (not Ahijah) rent his garment and gave ten parts to Jeroboam to signify the ten tribes over which he was to become king. (This version, however, is not taken very seriously, because of its numerous inconsistencies.) Shemaiah also prophesied at the invasion of Judah by Shishak (2Chron. 12:5–7). His message was to the effect that as the princes of Israel had humbled themselves, God's wrath against their idolatrous practices would not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak (2Chron. 13:7). He is mentioned as the author of a history of Rehoboam (2Chron. 12:5, 7, 15).

(2)     Son of Shecaniah (1Chron. 3:22), a descendant of Zerubbabel. This is also the name of one of the men who helped to repair the wall (Neh. 3:29 1Chron. 3:17–24)).

(3)     A Simeonite (1Chron. 4:37), identical, perhaps, with the Shimei of 1Chron. 4:26–27.

(4)     A Reubenite (1Chron. 5:4), called Shema in 1Chron. 5:8.

(5)     A Merarite Levite (1Chron. 9:14 Neh. 11:15), one of those who dwelt in Jerusalem.

(6)     A Levite of the family of Jeduthun, father of Obadiah or Abda (1Chron. 9:16, called “Shammua” in Neh. 11:17).

(7)     Head of the Levitical Kohathite clan of Elizaphan in the time of David (1Chron. 15:8, 15:11). He may be the same person as (8).

(8)     The scribe (1Chron. 24:6), the son of Nethanel, who registered the names of the priestly courses.

(9)     A Korahite Levite, eldest son of Obed–edom (1Chron. 26:4, 6, 7).

(10)   A Levite (2Chron. 17:8). One of the commission appointed by Jehoshaphat to teach the book of the Law in Judah. The names of the commissioners as a whole belong to a period later than the 9th century. (Gray, HPN, 231).

(11)   One of the men “over the free–will offerings of God” (2Chron. 31:15́).

(12)   A Levite of the family of Jeduthun in the reign of Hezekiah (2Chron. 29:14), one of those who assisted in the purification of the Temple.

(13)   A chief of the Levites (2Chron. 35:9), called “Samaias” in Septuagint and 1 Esdras 1:9.

(14)   A “chief man” under Ezra (Ezra 8:16), called “Maasmas” and “Samaias” in 1 Esdras 8:43, 44.

(15)   A member of the family of Adonikam (Ezra 8:13́; “Samaias” in 1 Esdras 8:39).

(16)   A priest of the family of Harim who married a foreign wife (Ezra 10:21), called “Sameus” in 1 Esdras 9:21.

(17)   A layman of the family of Harim who married a foreign wife (Ezra 10:31), called “Sabbeus” in 1 Esdras 9:32.

(18)   A prophet (Neh. 6:10–14), employed by Sanballat and Tobiah to frighten Nehemiah and hinder the rebuilding of the wall.

(19)   One of the 24 courses of priests, 16th under Zerubbabel (Neh. 12:6), 15th under Joiakim (Neh. 12:18), and 21st under Nehemiah (Neh. 10:8́), mentioned in connection with the dedication of the wall.

(20)   A priest, descendant of Asaph (Neh. 12:35).

(21)   A singer (or clan) participating in the dedication of the wall (Neh. 12:36).

(22)   Father of the prophet Urijah (Jer. 26:20).

(23)   A false prophet who was upbraided by Jeremiah (Jer. 29:24–32) for attempting to hinder his work. He is styled “the Nehelamite” and was among those carried into captivity with Jehoiachin. In opposition to Jeremiah, he predicted a speedy ending to the captivity. Jeremiah foretold the complete destruction of Shemaiah's family.

(24)   Father of Delaiah, who was a prince in the reign of Zedekiah (Jer. 36:12).

(25)   “The great,” kinsman of Tobias (Tobit 5:13).

Taken from The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia; James Orr, Editor; ©1956 Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; Ⓟ by Hendrickson Publishers; from E-Sword; Topic: Shemaiah. Slightly edited. ISBE includes the Greek spellings and from which manuscript these spellings are found


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1Chronicles 15:8c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

âch (ח ָא) [pronounced awhk]

brother, kinsman or close relative

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #251 BDB #26

mâthayim (ם̣י -תאָמ) [pronounced maw-thah-YIM]

two hundred

feminine dual numeral

Strong’s #3967 BDB #547


Translation: ...and 200 of his brothers;... Although Elizaphan is not a son of Levi, but a grandson or great grandson, he still became a significant branch of the Levites.


...to sons of Hebron: Eliel the head and his brothers eighty;...

1Chronicles

15:9

...from the descendants of Hebron: Eliel, the head [of this branch] and 80 of his brothers;...

...from the sons of Hebron, 80 came (their leader is Eliel);...


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       ...to sons of Hebron: Eliel the head and his brothers eighty;...

Septuagint                              Of the sons of Chebrom; Eliel the chief, and his brethren eighty.

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       ...Eliel, the leader of the Hebron clan, and eighty of his relatives; and...

The Message                         ...from the family of Hebron, Eliel the head with 80 relatives;...

GNB (TEV)                            ...from the clan of Hebron, Eliel, in charge of 80;...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Leading Hebron's descendants was Eliel, who came with 80 of his relatives.

HCSB                                     ...from the Hebronites, Eliel the leader and 80 of his relatives;...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

MKJV                                     From the sons of Hebron: Eliel the chief and eighty of his brothers.

Young's Updated LT              Of sons of Hebron: Eliel the chief, and his brethren, eighty.


What is the gist of this verse? In attendance is Eliel, the head of the Hebron branch of Levites, along with 80 of his brothers.


1Chronicles 15:9a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Cheberôwn (ןר׃ב∵ח) [pronounced khebv-ROHN]

association, league, joined; transliterated Hebron

proper noun; location

Strong’s #2275 BDB #289


Translation: ...from the descendants of Hebron:... Hebron is also one of Kohath’s sons—his 3rd son (Ex. 6:18 Num. 3:19 1Chron. 6:2, 6:18 23:12). His family are called Hebronites, as one would expect (Num. 3:27 26:58 1Chron. 15:9 23:19 26:23 30–31). As those who have been mentioned previously, we know essentially nothing about Hebron except for his genealogy.


1Chronicles 15:9b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

Ělîyêl (ל̤אי.לֱא) [pronounced uh-lee-ALE]

God is (my) God, El is my El; transliterated Eliel

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #447 BDB #45

sar (ר ַ) [pronounced sar]

chieftain, chief, ruler, official, captain, prince, leader, commander

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #8269 BDB #978


Translation: ...Eliel, the head [of this branch]... There are 9 men in Scripture with this name. This Elie is the only one who is definitely a Levite, apart from the one found in 2Chron. 31:13. They were all named in 1Chron. 12:11.


1Chronicles 15:9c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

âch (ח ָא) [pronounced awhk]

brother, kinsman or close relative

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #251 BDB #26

shemônîym (םי.נֹמש) [pronounced she-moh-NEEM]

eighty

indeclinable plural numeral; adjective

Strong’s #8084 BDB #1033


Translation: ...and 80 of his brothers;... There were 80 prominent men in this branch who came to move the Ark.


...to sons of Uzziel: Amminadab the head and his brothers a hundred and two-ten.

1Chronicles

15:10

...from the descendants of Uzziel: Amminadab, the head [of this branch] and 112 of his brothers.

...from the sons of Uzziel, 112 came (their leader is Amminadab).


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       ...to sons of Uzziel: Amminadab the head and his brothers a hundred and twenty.

Septuagint                              Of the sons of Oziel; Aminadab the chief, and his brethren a hundred and twelve.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       ...Amminadab, the leader of the Uzziel clan, with one hundred twelve of his relatives.

The Message                         ...from the family of Uzziel, Amminadab the head with 112 relatives.

GNB (TEV)                            ...and from the clan of Uzziel, Amminadab, in charge of 112.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Leading Uzziel's descendants was Amminadab, who came with 112 of his relatives.

HCSB                                     ...from the Uzzielites, Amminadab the leader and 112 of his relatives.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

MKJV                                     From the sons of Uzziel: Amminadab the chief and a hundred and twelve of his brothers.

Young's Updated LT              Of sons of Uzziel: Amminadab the chief, and his brethren, a hundred and twelve.


What is the gist of this verse? In attendance is Amminadab, the head of the Uzziel branch of Levites, along with 112 of his brothers.


1Chronicles 15:10a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

׳Ŭzzîyêl (ל̤אי.ֻע) [pronounced ģooz-zee-ALE]

my strength is El, strength of God; transliterated Uzziel

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #5816 BDB #739


Translation: ...from the descendants of Uzziel:... Uzziel is Kohath’s fourth son, and his descendants made up a large branch of Levites (Ex. 6:18, 22 Lev. 10:4 1Chron. 6:2, 18). His descendants are also referenced in Scripture (Num. 3:27 1Chron. 26:23). 6 men bear the name of Uzziel.


There are 7 men in Scripture with the name Uzziel in Scripture:

The Uzziel’s of Scripture

(1)     A “son” of Kohath (Ex. 6:18, 22 Lev. 10:4 Num. 3:19, 30 1Chron. 6:2, 18 (see Hebrew 5:28; 6:3) 1Chron. 15:10 23:12, 20 24:24), called in Lev. 10:4 “uncle of Aaron.” The family is called Uzzielites in Num. 3:27 1Chron. 26:23.

(2)     A Simeonite captain (1Chron. 4:42).

(3)     Head of a Benjamite (or according to Curtis a Zebulunite)    family (1Chron. 7:7).

(4)     A Hemanite musician (1Chron. 25:4); “Azarel” is the name given in 1Chron. 25:18. See Azarel.

(5)     A Levite “son” of Jeduthun (2Chron. 29:14).

(6)     A goldsmith who joined in repairing the wall of Jerusalem (Neh. 3:8).

(7)     The reading of Septuagint for Jahaziel in 1Chron. 23:19. See Jahaziel (3rd of 5).

Taken from The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia; James Orr, Editor; ©1956 Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; Ⓟ by Hendrickson Publishers; from E-Sword; Topic: Uzziel. Slightly edited.


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1Chronicles 15:10b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

׳Ammîynâdâb (בָדָני .-ע) [pronounced ģahm-mee-naw-DAWBV]

my kinsman is noble; people of liberality; people of the prince; my people are willing; transliterated Amminadab

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #5992 BDB #770

sar (ר ַ) [pronounced sar]

chieftain, chief, ruler, official, captain, prince, leader, commander

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #8269 BDB #978


Translation: ...Amminadab, the head [of this branch]... 3 men have this same name; two Levites and a Judahite. This Amminadab is mentioned only here and in the next verse.


There are 3 Amminadab’s found in Scripture:

The Amminadab’s of Scripture

(1)     In Ruth 4:19, 4:20 and 1Chron. 2:10 Amminadab is referred to as one of David's ancestors. He was the great–grandson of Perez, a son of Judah (Gen. 38:29 46:12) and the great–grandfather of Boaz, who again was the great–grandfather of David. Aaron's wife, Elisheba, was a daughter of Amminadab (Ex. 6:23), while one of the sons, namely, Nahshon, occupied an important position in the Judah–clan (Num. 1:7 2:3 7:12 10:14).

(2)     In the first Book of Chronicles (1Chron. 6:22) Amminadab is mentioned as a son of Kohath (and therefore a grandson of Levi) and the father of Korah. But in other genealogical passages (Ex. 6:18 Num. 3:19 1Chron. 6:2) the sons of Kohath are Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel, and in two places (Ex. 6:21 1Chron. 6:38) Izhar is mentioned as the father of Korah.

(3)     According to 1Chron. 15:10–11, Amminadab was the name of a priest who took part in the removal of the ark to Jerusalem. He was the son of Uzziel, and therefore a nephew of Amminadab, son of Kohath (= Izhar).

Taken from The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia; James Orr, Editor; ©1956 Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; Ⓟ by Hendrickson Publishers; from E-Sword; Topic:  Eliezer. Slightly edited.


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1Chronicles 15:10c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

âch (ח ָא) [pronounced awhk]

brother, kinsman or close relative

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #251 BDB #26

mêâh (ה ָא ֵמ) [pronounced may-AW]

one hundred, a hundred, hundred

feminine singular numeral

Strong’s #3967 BDB #547

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shenêym (ם̤נ ש) [pronounced sheNAH-yim]

two of, a pair of, both of, a duo of

masculine plural numeral; construct form

Strong’s #8147 BDB #1040

׳âsâr (רָָע) [pronounced ģaw-SAWR]

ten; –teen [resulting in numbers 11–19]

masculine/feminine singular noun

Strong’s #6240 BDB #797

These two numerals together mean 12.


Translation: ...and 112 of his brothers. 112 leaders from the family of Uzziel gathered behind Amminadab.


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Let’s quickly sum up the branches of the Levites:

The Levite Branches

Branch:

Kohath

Merari

Gershom

Elizaphan

Hebron

Uzziel

Present Leader

Uriel

Asaiah

Joel

Shemaiah

Eliel

Amminadab

Number of Levites

120

220

130

200

80

112

Head of family relation to Levi

2nd son of Levi, but predominant branch

3rd son of Levi

1st son of Levi

son of Uzziel, a grandson of Levi

3rd son of Kohath, a son of Levi

4th son of Kohath, a son of Levi

Errata

Aaron was descended from Kohath; therefore, the line of priests are descendants of Koath

although traditionally split into two lines, Mahli and Mushi, they are not presented in this way here

Their function was more exalted than that of the Merarites, who carried the boards, and less so than that of the Kohathites, who carried the most holy utensils and symbols

 

 

 

Specific duties as per Mosaic Law

Their special charge was “the ark, and the table, and the candlestick, and the altars, and the vessels of the sanctuary wherewith they minister, and the screen, and all the service thereof”

To the Merarites was entrusted the care of the boards, bars, pillars, sockets, vessels, pins and cords of the tabernacle

they were charged with the carrying of the curtains, coverings, screens, hangings, cords and instruments of the tabernacle and the tent of meeting on the journeys in the wilderness

these are Kohathites with Kohathite duties

these are Kohathites with Kohathite duties

these are Kohathites with Kohathite duties

Census of males 1 month and older

8600

6200

7500

 

 

 

Census (males between 30 and 50)

2750

3200

2630

 

 

 

Cities

23 cities from Judah, Simeon, Benjamin, Ephraim, Dan, Manasseh

12 cities out of Gad, Reuben and Zebulun

13 cities in northern Palestine

 

 

 

Source verses: Gen. 46:11 Ex. 6:16–22 Num. 3–4 1Chron. 6

This is one of the few times these other 3 branches of Kohathites are broken down.

Much of this was taken from The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia; James Orr, Editor; ©1956 Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; Ⓟ by Hendrickson Publishers; from E-Sword; Topics: Kohath, Merari, Gershon, Elizaphan, Hebron, Uzziel.


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David Explains What Went Wrong Before

And so calls David to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests and to the Levites; to Uriel, Asaiah and Joel, Shemaiah and Eliel and Amminadab.

1Chronicles

15:11

David then summoned Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, along with [lit., and] the Levite [leaders]: Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel and Amminadab.

David then summoned the two priests, Zadok and Abiathar, along with the 6 Levite leaders: Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel and Amminadab.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so calls David to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests and to the Levites; to Uriel, Asaiah and Joel, Shemaiah and Eliel and Amminadab.

Septuagint                              And David called Sadoc and Abiathar the priests, and the Levites, Uriel, Asaia, and Joel, and Semaia, and Eliel, and Aminadab,...

 

Significant differences:           The LXX has an additional and in its text.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       David called together these six Levites and the two priests, Zadok and Abiathar.

GNB (TEV)                            David called in the priests Zadok and Abiathar and the six Levites, Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab.

NLT                                        Then David summoned the priests, Zadok and Abiathar, and these Levite leaders: Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

HCSB                                     David summoned the priests Zadok and Abiathar and the Levites Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       Then David summoned the priests Zadok and Abiathar, and the Levites Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab,...

WEB                                      David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites, for Uriel, Asaiah, and Joel, Shemaiah, and Eliel, and Amminadab,...

Young’s Updated LT             And David calls to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, and to the Levites, to Uriel, Asaiah, and Joel, Shemaiah, and Eliel, and Amminadab,...


What is the gist of this verse? David summons the two priests, as well as the 6 Levite heads, to speak to.


1Chronicles 15:11a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

qârâ (א ָר ָק) [pronounced kaw-RAW]

to call, to proclaim, to read, to call to, to call out to, to assemble, to summon; to call, to name [when followed by a lâmed]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7121 BDB #894

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Tsâdôwq (קד ָצ or קֹדָצ) [pronounced tzaw-DOHK]

just, righteous; transliterated Zadok

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #6659 BDB #843

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Ebeyâthâr (רָתָיב∵א) [pronounced ebe-yaw-THAWR]

the Great One is father; my father is great; transliterated Abiathar

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #54 BDB #5

kôhên (ן ֵהֹ) [pronounced koh-HANE]

priest

 masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #3548 BDB #463


Translation: David then summoned Zadok and Abiathar, the priests,... This is a change, and one which appears to come out of nowhere. Zadok has not been mentioned before, apart from being in the genealogies of 1Chron. 6 (or, if you have studied the Bible from cover to cover, then he can also be found in 2Samuel and 1Kings). However, chronologically, this is actually his first appearance in Scripture. For all intents and purposes, we have two High Priests.


Here is what happened:

The Two High Priests

1.      What we need is a little review: Eli was a judge and the High Priest, but his sons got so out of control that God cut off his line, and Samuel became a priest-judge-prophet. He was not in the proper line to be a priest, although he carried out priestly activities (the offering of animals). Previous to his taking over, the Ark of God was taken out into battle, lost in battle, returned, and then returned to Israel, but kept at a private residence. 1Sam. 1–7

2.      Samuel became Israel’s clear spiritual leader, and he, for all intents and purposes, eclipsed whatever remained of the line of priests, as well as the Tabernacle activity. We, in fact, know nothing of Tabernacle worship during this time period. Spiritually, the reason is, Samuel is such a good shadow of Christ to come, that all of the other shadows faded into the background.

3.      Historically, we can only guess at the events which took place to cause these things, as the Bible is silent on these things. We know that the Ark was not kept with the Tabernacle during all of Samuel’s life (from his youth on up to his death), but we do not know what became of Tabernacle worship. We do not know the relationship between Samuel and the priestly lines. We know that Shiloh, the city where the Tabernacle was kept, was destroyed around this time period, but we do not know any specifics about it.

4.      You will also recall that, many years ago, David, when on the run from Saul, went into Nob, the city of priests, and took some bread for himself and his men. Saul later found out about this, went berserk, and he killed 85 of the priests there, along with men, women, children, infants and even their livestock. Abiathar, as a very young lad at that time (I estimate somewhere between 8 and 12), ran to David to escape the carnage. He also brought with him the Ephod of God. 1Sam. 22

5.      From that point on, Abiathar was associated with David and he remained with David for several years while David was on the run from Saul and even when David left the country Israel.

6.      So, what we may reasonably deduce, you have a priestly line which is wiped out (this is the line of Ithamar), almost completely, the only remaining person in that line essentially disappears (it is unclear whether anyone in the Levite tribe even knew that Abiathar was still alive).

7.      We may reasonable deduce that, a different line of priests arose (the line of Eleazar), and the current priest from that line is Zadok.

8.      Eleazar and Ithamar are the 3rd and 4th sons of Aaron; his first two sons dying the sin unto death. The priest line is always taken from Aaron’s descendants.

9.      For awhile, these two high priests will appear to function together, even though they come from two different lines, and even though having two high priests is not a proper shadow of things to come.

10.    The proper shadow, however, is Samuel, then David, and finally Solomon. Samuel represents our Lord in His first advent, all the way to His resurrections. The number of parallels between Samuel and our Lord is astonishing. David represents our Lord, both in His first and second advents, and Solomon represents our Lord in the Millennium.

11.    Because these three men are the focus of Scripture, the priesthood, although it exists, fades into the background somewhat, as it is no longer the primary means to convey truth.

12.    So, Israel primarily recognizes Zadok as their High Priest, yet David, given his background with Abiathar and given how Abiathar came to him, cannot bump Abiathar from his position. So, we have a duel priesthood during David’s time.

13.    However, this is presented in Scripture as a side issue and is not emphasized. It takes a reasonable amount of digging to determine just exactly what is going on.

That we have two high priests (or, perhaps I should just say head priests) is clear from this passage and 2Sam. 8:117 15:24, 35 20:25 1Chron. 18:16 24:6.

Why isn’t the Bible more explicit about the destruction of Shiloh, the function of the Tabernacle during this time frame, or the dual priesthood? The key is, this is not the focus of Scripture. Although we get a reasonable amount of history throughout, it is by no means complete, as that is not the purpose of Old Testament narrative; the purpose is to present Jesus Christ as God the Holy Spirit had intended Him to be presented to the people of that time and to us at later times.


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So we now have two priestly lines, which will function during the time of David, but they will not be the focus of Scripture.


1Chronicles 15:11b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Levîyyim (ם ̣ ̣ול) [pronounced le-vee-YIM]

joined to, attached; garland, crown; and is transliterated Levites

plural gentilic adjective with the definite article

Strong’s #3881 BDB #532


Translation: ...along with [lit., and] the Levite [leaders]:... The Levites were the ones involved with spiritual responsibilities; and from one line of Levites, that through Aaron, come the priests. David will explain what went wrong the last time they attempted to move the Ark.


1Chronicles 15:11c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Ûwrîyêl (ל̤אי .רא) [pronounced oo-ree-ALE]

flame of El; my light is El, God is my light, flame of God; transliterated Uriel

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #222 BDB #22

׳Ăsâyâh (הָיָֲע) [pronounced ģuh-saw-YAW]

Jah has made, made by Jehovah; transliterated Asaiah

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #6222 BDB #795


Translation: ...Uriel, Asaiah,... Uriel is the head of the Kohathites, and Asaiah is the head of the Merari clan (vv. 5–6).


For most of us, these are just names on a page, but each name represents a man who demonstrated faithfulness to God and a great leadership position. So, even though we may sigh at going through name after name after name, or men about whom we know very little; imagine if it is your name that you come across here; even if you are only mentioned once, it would be quite a kick. Somehow, in someway, many of us will see our names in lights, or on the printed page, with regards to eternal things; immortalizing forever portions of our lives. Even though we will not have the indwelling old sin nature, and therefore, our thoughts and feelings about such things will be different, I suspect that there will be some sort of a positive emotion corresponding to pride, when we see our names in God’s eternal record. So, even though we barely touch on these names, recognize that this is a person who lived his life for 70 or 80 years; he had a wife he loved, and children he loved; and a very full life, with eternal spiritual import. Although we may know less about them than about, say, David, or even Saul, I suspect that, at some point in time, we will find out more about these saints, their lives, their struggles and their victories.


Application: God places their names here before us, if to only remind us that each one of us has a life worth living, a life which can be abundant and fulfilling. God has a life for each one of us, and this does not mean that we will end up in some state of religiosity that we see in others and hate; this does not mean that God is going to cast us upon the mission field in great privation when this is the last thing in the world that we want to do. God has a plan for us and this plan is suitable to our temperaments and our skills. We can trust that He knows what He is doing; we can trust that our spiritual growth and our life in fellowship is not going to result in some horrible life that we will come to despise, and yet maintain some hypocritical exterior. God is able to take us from where we are and create in our lives a great life. Now, some of our values will change, and things which were important to us at one time made become less so. But, always bear in mind, God knows what He is doing.


1Chronicles 15:11d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Yôwêl (ל̤אי) [pronounced yoh-ĀL]

to whom Jehovah is God or worshiper of Jehovah; and is transliterated Joel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3100 BDB #222

Shema׳eyâh (הָיע-מש) [pronounced she-mahģe-YAW]

Yah has heard; heard by Jehovah; and is transliterated Shemaiah

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #8098 BDB #1035


Translation: ...Joel, Shemaiah,... These are men of great spiritual value whom God recognizes herein. Joel is the head of the Gershomites (v. 7) and Shemaiah is the head of the Elizaphan branch (v. 8).


1Chronicles 15:11e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Ělîyêl (ל̤אי.לֱא) [pronounced uh-lee-ALE]

God is (my) God, El is my El; transliterated Eliel

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #447 BDB #45

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

׳Ammîynâdâb (בָדָני .-ע) [pronounced ģahm-mee-naw-DAWBV]

my kinsman is noble; people of liberality; people of the prince; my people are willing; transliterated Amminadab

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #5992 BDB #770


Translation: ...Eliel and Amminadab. Eliel is the head of the Hebron clan and Amminadab was over the Uzziel branch of Levites (vv. 9–10).


One of the things which we get from this is the structure of the Hebrew. Typically, we find names strung together with a series of wâw conjunction, but that is not the case here. Literally, this verse reads: And so calls David to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests and to the Levites; to Uriel, Asaiah and Joel, Shemaiah and Eliel and Amminadab. The preposition to functions as a part of the verb, and is applied to all 6 spiritual leaders named at the end of this verse. However, one ought to notice that, in this list of names, some of them are simply listed one after another without the wâw conjunction. Although this is not generally how things are done in the Hebrew, this does tell us that, on occasion, this is legitimate Hebrew syntax. It seems unlikely that the wâw conjunction’s fell out of the text at some point in time, as this would be sorely missed, if a series of wâw conjunction’s is the only way to present a list of names.

And so he says to them, “You [are] heads of the fathers to the Levites; cleanse yourselves and your brothers and you have brought up an Ark of Yehowah Elohim of Israel unto my setting up to him.

1Chronicles

15:12

He said to them, “You [are] the heads of the fathers, [leaders] of the Levites; consecrate yourself and your brothers so that you may bring up the Ark of Yehowah, Elohim of Israel, to my preparation [of a place] for it.

He said to them, “You are the heads of your fathers’ houses; you are leaders of the Levites; consecrate yourselves and your brothers so that you may bring up the Ark of Jehovah, the God of Israel, to the place that I have prepared for it.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And he said to them: You that are the heads of the Levitical families, be sanctified with your brethren, and bring the ark of the Lord the God of Israel to the place, which is prepared for it.

Masoretic Text                       And so he says to them, “You [are] heads of the fathers to the Levites; cleanse yourselves and your brothers and you have brought up an Ark of Yehowah Elohim of Israel unto my setting up to him.

Peshitta                                  And he said to them, “You are the chiefs of the fathers of the Levites; sanctify yourselves, both you and your brothers, so that you may bring up the Ark of the Lord God of Israel to the place which has been built for it before.

Septuagint                              ...and said to them, “You are the heads of the families of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, you and your brothers, and you will carry up the ark of the God of Israel, [to the place which] I have not prepared for it.

 

Significant differences:           The Greek has families where the Hebrew has fathers; the Greek has a negative in the final phrase, which Brenton does not translate. Footnote My English rendering of the Syriac and the Latin include to the place which; however, I don’t know whether that negative is a part of the original text. Footnote The Peshitta alone adds the word before at the end of this verse.

 

The big difference is this: in the Peshitta, it is unclear whether this is the place which David prepared for the Ark at the first move; or whether this is a place which already existed (e.g., the Tabernacle]. In the Greek, although Brenton did not see it this way, there is a negative in the final phrase, indicating that the place for the Ark was not put up by David (although, this would contradict 2Sam. 6:17). This is one of the rare places in the Old Testament where, not only is there a real difference in the text, but, the actual narrative is altered. That is, we are not saying the same thing using slightly different words. The last time this occurred was in 1Sam. 14:18 (I am translating Chronicles concurrently with 1 and 2Samuel), when Saul calls for the Ark in the MT, but calls for the Ephod in the Greek. My general tendency is to go with the Masoretic text here (as I usually do) for at least two reasons: Brenton, who translated the Greek into the English ignores the negative (perhaps it reads differently in other LXX manuscripts?) and this would be in keeping with 2Sam. 6:17.

 

On the one hand, for some, my position and explanation might not seem like enough, to the point where, you might even be somewhat troubled by this. What should be your reaction, if any, is a profound trust of the Scriptures: in all of Samuel and Chronicles (so far) there are two substantive differences in the text; differences which actually have an effect upon the narrative, and even have very slight doctrinal connotations. I.e., if David did not prepare this place for the Ark, perhaps it went into the Tabernacle where it belongs? So we have a significant difference here (the Latin, by the way, is in complete agreement with the Hebrew text).

 

People who do not have a clue think that the Roman church somehow got a hold of the Scriptures and imposed all kinds of church doctrine upon them, and gave us the Bible that we have today. This is pure poppycock. What I have observed, is, Jerome, who translated from the Hebrew into the Latin, gives a very careful and accurate rendering of the Hebrew. And bear in mind that the MT and the Latin Vulgate (and the Greek Septuagint) were all preserved and copied from century to century by completely different groups of people; sometimes by people who were diametrically opposed to one another in some theological areas. We know that the Muslims bastardized the Hebrew text in order to make Arabs the chosen people (this did not occur until the time of Mohammed, insofar as I know). Footnote I would assume that they made some other changes as well. However, we have Roman Catholics preserving Jerome’s text, the Christian church preserving the Greek text, and the Masoretic Jews preserving the Hebrew text. These are groups of people who were, at times, very much at odds with one another; yet, the Bible is respected and accurately preserved despite their differences. These very difference groups respected the Word of God; they recognized that this is the Word of God. The later Arabic groups did not; they altered the text in order to support their own warped doctrines (the result of which, we observe today).

 

One more aside: if the Roman Catholics did not corrupt the text to support their peculiar doctrines, then how did they come to differ so much from Orthodoxy? The Catholics did three things: (1) They added the apocrypha as inspired text, getting from this, the notion of purgatory. (2) They promoted the doctrine of ex cathedra, which meant that the pope could speak, and that what he says would carry the same weight as Scripture. (3) They kept the Scriptures out of the hands of the people; the Protestant revolution against the corrupt Catholic church came about when the Scriptures got out to the people, and they recognized the great falsehoods being taught by Romanism.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       He said to them, "You are the leaders of the clans in the Levi tribe. You and your relatives must first go through the ceremony to make yourselves clean and acceptable to the LORD. Then you may carry the sacred chest that belongs to the LORD God of Israel and bring it to the place I have prepared for it.

The Message                         He said, "You are responsible for the Levitical families; now consecrate yourselves, both you and your relatives, and bring up the Chest of the GOD of Israel to the place I have set aside for it.

NLT                                        He said to them, “You are the leaders of the Levite families. You must purify yourselves and all your fellow Levites, so you can bring the Ark of the Lord, the God of Israel, to the place I have prepared for it.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         He said to them, "You are the heads of the Levite families. You and your relatives must perform the ceremonies to make yourselves holy. Then bring the ark of the LORD God of Israel to the place I prepared for it.

HCSB                                     He said to them, "You are the heads of the Levite families. You and your relatives must consecrate yourselves so that you may bring the ark of the LORD God of Israel to the place I have prepared for it.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

MKJV                                     And he said to them, You are the heads of the fathers of the Levites. Sanctify yourselves, you and your brothers, so that you may bring up the ark of Jehovah, the God of Israel to the place which I have prepared for it.

Young’s Updated LT             ...and says to them, “You are heads of the fathers of the Levites; sanctify yourselves, you and your brothers, and you have brought up the ark of Jehovah, God of Israel, unto the place I have prepared for it;...


What is the gist of this verse? David tells these leaders that they are the leaders of their respective families and that they need to sanctify themselves in order to bring up the Ark of God to the place that he prepared for it.


1Chronicles 15:12a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

attem (ם∵-א) [pronounced aht-TEM]

you all, you guys, you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine plural, personal pronoun

Strong’s #859 BDB #61

rôsh (שאֹר) [pronounced rohsh]

heads, princes, officers, captains, chiefs; company, band, division

masculine plural construct

Strong's #7218 BDB #910

âb (ב ָא) [pronounced awbv]

father, both as the head of a household, clan or tribe

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #1 BDB #3

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Levîyyim (ם ̣ ̣ול) [pronounced le-vee-YIM]

joined to, attached; garland, crown; and is transliterated Levites

plural gentilic adjective with the definite article

Strong’s #3881 BDB #532


Translation: He said to them, “You [are] the heads of the fathers, [leaders] of the Levites;... David reminds these men of their positions of responsibility. They each represent a specific branch of the Levites, including the two priestly branches.


1Chronicles 15:12b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

qâdash (שַד ָק) [pronounced kaw-DAHSH]

cleanse [purify, consecrate, sanctify] yourselves; cause yourselves to be [become] cleansed [purified, consecrated, sanctified]

2nd person masculine plural, Hithpael imperative

Strong's #6942 BDB #872

attem (ם∵-א) [pronounced aht-TEM]

you all, you guys, you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine plural, personal pronoun

Strong’s #859 BDB #61

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

âch (ח ָא) [pronounced awhk]

brother, kinsman or close relative

masculine plural noun with the 2nd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #251 BDB #26


Translation: ...consecrate yourself and your brothers... When having anything to do with the holy objects, the Levites had to prepare themselves to handle these things. They could not just handle the things of God with unclean hands. The cleansing process apparently included washing their clothes and sexual abstinence (Ex. 19:10, 15).


1Chronicles 15:12c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

׳âlâh (ה ָל ָע) [pronounced ģaw-LAWH]

to cause to go up, to lead up, to take up, to bring up

2nd person masculine plural, Hiphil perfect

Strong's #5927 BDB #748

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ărôwn (ןר ֲא) [pronounced uh-ROHN]

ark, chest; Ark

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #727 BDB #75

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

Ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods, foreign gods, god; God; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural construct

Strong's #430 BDB #43

Yiserâêl (לֵאָר ׃̣י) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 BDB #975


Translation: ...so that you may bring up the Ark of Yehowah, Elohim of Israel,... The Levites were to cleanse themselves in preparation for transporting the Ark of Jehovah into Jerusalem. David gives great emphasis to God’s name here, as well as God’s relationship to Israel.


It will never be completely clear exactly who carried the Ark into Jerusalem. Whether these 8 men carried the Ark as 2 sets of 4, or whether all of them carried the Ark, or whether this was an assignment which they oversaw, is unclear. These men and the Levites were all supposed to cleanse themselves. Since David is calling them in personally, and since these are the top representatives of the Levites present, it makes most sense to me that these are the ones who actually carry the Ark. Clearly, these are the men in charge of moving the Ark, under David’s direction. David runs the show because he is king and because he knows Scripture. He knows what needs to be done and how it should be done. Although he failed in the first attempt to move the Ark, the Levites in attendance failed as well, as they did not know how the Ark was to be moved (or, worse yet, they knew and did not speak to David about it).


1Chronicles 15:12d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

el (לא) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

The Greek text has a negative here.

kûwn (ן) [pronounced koon]

to erect (to stand up perpendicular), to set up, to establish, to prepare, to strengthen, to be stabilized

Hiphil infinitive construct with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #3559 BDB #465

Owen mistakenly calls this a 3rd person masculine singular suffix.

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: ...to my preparation [of a place] for it. As I discussed in great detail near the ancient texts, there is some disagreement with this text. Although I will go along with the Hebrew text, for reasons already stated, I mention this as an aside. We know that David did prepare a place for the Ark, according to 2Sam. 6:17 and 1Chron. 15:3. Although I cannot explain the negative of the Greek text, I stand by the Hebrew text here.


In the book of Samuel, we had to reasonably deduce why moving the Ark previously failed, and why David will succeed on this occasion. In the book of Chronicles, this is laid out for us, both back in v. 2 and in the following 3 verses.

 

McGee has an opinion about where this place is that David prepared for the Ark: David had prepared a place for the ark, but we are not told exactly where it was. Later on he bought that place for the site on which the temple was to be built. This is on the ridge called Mount Moriah, the place where Abraham offered Isaac. The ridge goes right through Jerusalem; and Golgotha, the place on which Christ was crucified, is located on this same ridge. I am of the opinion that the place David prepared for the ark was on Mount Moriah. Footnote


For to why in the first you [did] not, broke out Yehowah our Elohim in us for we did not seek Him in the judgement.”

1Chronicles

15:13

For why previously [did] you not [or, Because you did not previously] [carry the Ark], Yehowah our Elohim burst forth against us, because we did not seek Him within the Law.

Because you did not previously carry the Ark, Jehovah our God burst out against us, as we did not seek His directives as per the Law of Moses.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          Lest as the Lord at first struck us, because you were not present, the same should now also come to pass, by our doing some thing against the law..”

Masoretic Text                       For to why in the first you [did] not, broke out Yehowah our Elohim in us for we did not seek Him in the judgement.”

Peshitta                                  So that the Lord our God may not strike us because we did not seek Him after the due order,...

Septuagint                              For because ye were not [ready] at the first, our God break through upon us, because we sought him not by ordinance.

 

Significant differences:           Although the Greek is similarly elliptical, it leaves out the Lord. Because this text is difficult, I will also exegete the Greek of this verse, and go into more detail there.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       The first time we tried to bring the chest to Jerusalem, we didn't ask the LORD what he wanted us to do. He was angry at us, because you Levites weren't there to carry the chest."

Good News Bible (TEV)         Because you were not there to carry it the first time, the LORD our God punished us for not worshiping him as we should have done."

The Message                         The first time we did this, you Levites did not carry it properly, and GOD exploded in anger at us because we didn't make proper preparation and follow instructions."

Revised English Bible            It was because you were no present the first time that the Lord our God broke out upon us. For we had no sought his guidance as we should have done.’


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             For because you did not take it at the first, the Lord our God sent punishment on us, because we did not get directions from him in the right way.

God’s Word                         Because you weren't there the first time, the LORD our God struck us. We hadn't dedicated our lives to serving him in the way he designated."

HCSB                                     For the LORD our God burst out in anger against us because you Levites were not with us the first time, for we didn't inquire of Him about the proper procedures."

JPS (Tanakh)                         Because you were not there the first time, the Lord our God burst out against us, for we did not show due regard for Him.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Updated Emphasized Bible    Because, at first, you did not bring it; Yahweh our God broke forth against us, because we sought Him not in the appointed way [more literally, according to the regulation].

English Standard Version      Because you did not carry it the first time, the LORD our God broke out against us, because we did not seek him according to the rule."

New King James Version       “For because you did not do it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not consult Him about the proper order [regarding the ordinances].”

Young’s Updated LT             ...because at the first it was not you, Jehovah our God made a breach upon us, because we sought Him not according to the ordinance.”


What is the gist of this verse? David explains that God struck them because they did not obey the ordinances set forth with regards to moving the Ark of God.


The text here is quite difficult to unravel; the words are simple, and the combinations of prepositions and particles are common, but the end result is very difficult to deal with. I suspect that some of the letters are wrong, or that some words have dropped out of the text. However, the only proof that I have of this is, the original Hebrew text which I have here is so unbelievably clunky. Because this is such a mess, I will appeal to the original Greek as well, and examine that text word by word.


1Chronicles 15:13a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

when, that, for, because

explanatory conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

mâh (ה ָמ) [pronounced maw]

what, how, why

interrogative; exclamatory particle

Strong’s #4100 BDB #552

Lâmed + mâh can be rendered why, for what reason, to what purpose, for what purpose, indicating an interrogatory sentence. BDB also offers the rendering lest. Gesenius, perhaps for this passage alone, offers the rendering on account of [that] which, because that.

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

rîshôwnâh (הָןש̣ר) [pronounced ree-show-NAW]

first [in time, in degree, chief, former [in time], ancestors, former things; foremost; beginning

feminine singular adjective with the definite article

Strong’s #7223 BDB #911

With the bêyth preposition, rîshôwnâh means first, in front, in the first rank; before, formerly, previously, aforetime.

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

attem (ם∵-א) [pronounced aht-TEM]

you all, you guys, you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine plural, personal pronoun

Strong’s #859 BDB #61


Translation: For why previously [did] you not [or, Because you did not previously] [carry the Ark],... As you have noticed, I have added a huge number of words here, in hopes of making this make sense, while maintaining the Hebrew text. Still, even with this additional text, we have the problem that, David knows why moving the Ark failed before; but he seems to be pointing the finger at the Levites here for their shortcomings. This is properly a shared blame of David and the Levites. The Levites were a part of David’s original attempt to move the Ark of God, and they should have known what to do. They should have read up on the proper way to move the Ark and they should have come to David and said, “Hey, David, no way do you move the Ark in a cart; we should be carrying the Ark.” Being Levites, and seeing that is their primary responsibility, David is correct in assessing some blame here.


However, David is also to blame, as he got all jazzed about moving the Ark, but he did not do any sort of research on transporting the Ark. He has a copy of the Law which he hand copied himself, so David has ready access to the Law. He has two priests that he could consult with and a prophet (and David will do some consulting when it comes to his next move in the spiritual realm).


I don’t think that David is placing all of the blame on the Levites here, although, since the text is fairly elliptical, it is difficult to say that with any certainty.


One explanation for this portion of v. 13, and I offer this with a grain of salt, is David began to point out the shortcomings of the Levites with regards to this matter, but he stops before finishing, realizing that he is to blame as well, and simply moves straight into the results.


Gesenius lets us off the hook here, and offers up that lamed + the interrogative can be rendered on account of [that] which, because that. This smooths our the translation tremendously, but I would feel better if I found the combination of these particles used the same way elsewhere as well. This would give us: Because you did not [carry the Ark as the Law required] at the first, Jehovah our God made an outburst against us, for we did not seek Him [i.e, His will] according to the ordinance. This understanding of the lamed + the interrogative does make a great deal more sense.


The problems with translating this verse notwithstanding, we do know that David and the Levites are both at fault here. They both should have known what to do, and they did not; then end result was, Uzzah died (and, for the record, he should have known better as well). Obviously, being the cause of the death of Uzzah weighed on David’s mind.


Application: It was incumbent upon David to know the Word of God and to know what he should have done the first time that he moved the Ark. We need to recognize that knowing the Word of God is half the battle; you cannot just jump into your spiritual life without a clue.


Illustration: In the political realm, liberals are a great example of this. They are concerned about the poor, they are concerned about racism, they are concerned about fairness, and they are concerned about war. For many of them, they have reasonable, if not, admirable motivation. However, unless they are beat over the head with something again and again, they do not realize that their decisions and their actions do not necessarily lead them to achieve the goals that they have. I know a huge number of liberals coming from California, and, for instance, many of them are so very proud of whatever influence they exerted which ended the Vietnam War. This was a great achievement in liberal history, and I have even had one who told me, “If it were up to you, we’d still be in Vietnam!” It does not register in their minds that we turned our backs on our friends; we deserted our allies, we broke our word and our promises to those who depended upon us. They do not realize how horrible this was to let down the people who depended upon us. The end result was the death a million people in Cambodia and perhaps a million in Vietnam (along with millions of families which were destroyed and millions who were reeducated and then enslaved). The liberal has no concept of the untold intense suffering which came upon the people of this region because we left, because we deserted them. The glib answer is, “Well, we shouldn’t have been there in the first place; so it’s not our fault; it’s yours.” Even in retrospect, it is difficult to revisit this history and determine what we should have done. But, we will never see on camera, night after night, the suffering of millions of American supporters who were slaughtered like dogs; we will never see profile after profile of this or that Vietnamese family that was destroyed because we abandoned them. Murderous dictatorships do not allow free press, so what happened after we left is not recorded daily and broadcast to us. Furthermore, it does not fit the broadcast slant of the news. Footnote For many of us, these are just big numbers and statistics. My point in this tangent is, yes, the Vietnam War did need to be resolved; however, but not in the way that we resolved it. Liberals who pushed for us to be suddenly taken out of Vietnam may have had wonderful motives, but the results were bloody beyond all that had gone before. In the few months which followed our withdrawal from Vietnam, what transpired made our war in Vietnam pale by comparison, when it came to death and suffering.


I know a few people in Vietnam now; and, what is interesting is, they have become, at least in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) more capitalistic than we are in the states. They may be a poor people, but they have a great deal of freedom and experiencing some economic prosperity, some of which, no doubt, was a result of our being there for so many decades. Had the Communists simply marched in and took over, without any action by the Americans or by the French, it is quite possible that Vietnam could be another North Korea today. As it is, we probably have a better relationship with the Vietnamese than we do with any other Communist country (even though we have a great deal of trade with China, we also have no reason to trust them).


On the other hand, Vietnam is not a land of freedom; my understanding is, Vietnam is one of the most oppressive counties in the world when it comes to Christianity.


Application: Now, although our presence in Iraq is not Vietnam, there are certain some parallel decisions which must be made. What is sad is, there are many liberals who view our withdrawal from Vietnam as a great liberal victory, and they would like to repeat this victory. They are not mindful of the great suffering which will result if we leave Iraq. They think that this is a grand step toward peace; and since the free press will withdraw from Iraq with our troops, we will never be exposed to the millions of people who might potentially be killed because we withdraw. However, there is an even more important consideration, and that is our own national security. Right now, soldiers from Iran and terrorists from all over the Middle East are flocking to Iraq to cause civil unrest and so that they can war against the infidel (that’s us, in case you didn’t know) . If we pull out of Iraq, in such a way that it is seen as a retreat, these terrorists will be left in somewhat of a void. Of course Iraq will suffer great consequences, and millions will be killed, but, terrorists, believing that America is on the run, will pursue us. Right now, they have no reason to pursue us, as we have brought the fight to them. Iraq is just as much responsible for the lack of terrorist attacks against the United States as any legislative or executive act which has been passed in the US. These people have an unnatural hatred for the US; however, it is much easier for them to go into Iraq and satiate their hatred there, as opposed to making provisions to come here to the US. Furthermore, they do not even have to kill American soldiers in order to fulfill their dreams; they can simply commit acts of terrorism within Iraq, knowing that this causes some Americans great consternation.


I realize that I have gone off on such a great tangent, but let me pull this all together: the key is knowledge; the key is knowing cause and effects; the key is being able to know what we ought to do. They key is not just having great emotion, as David had at the first, but having the knowledge to go with this great emotional fervor. Emotion has no value in and of itself, no matter how noble it may seem. Let me give you an example: I have a friend of mine who witnessed severe poverty in southeast Asia, and this concerned him greatly and, because I did not demonstrate equal emotion to his, he views me as heartless. However, when it comes to actual actions: having any sort of an impact on the lives of anyone in southeast Asia, I can almost guarantee you that I have had a greater impact on people there than my emotional friend has had. I’ve given money to individuals whom I know in southeast Asia, and I have given money to my church, which supports missionaries to that part of the world. So, even though my emotion does not reach the intensity of this person’s emotion, the end result is, I think that I have had a greater positive impact on that part of the world. Footnote


1Chronicles 15:13b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

pârats (ץַרָ) [pronounced paw-RATS]

to break, to break down, to destroy; to break asunder, to scatter, to disperse, to spread abroad; to break forth upon, to produce by breaking through; to act violently; to break through [negative volition, a bad attitude, a mindset, or whatever]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #6555 BDB #829

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

Ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods, foreign gods, god; God; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #430 BDB #43

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity with the 1st person singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #88


Translation: ...Yehowah our Elohim burst forth against us,... Although the first portion of this verse was difficult, this is quite simple: because David and the Levites moved the Ark, but not in the way which God required, God burst out against them—God broke through from His world into ours and killed Uzzah instantly. 2Sam. 6:7 reads: Then the LORD's anger burned against Uzzah, and God struck him dead on the spot for his irreverence, and he died there next to the ark of God. And recall, Uzzah did nothing except instinctively reach out his hand to steady the Ark, as it appeared as though it might fall.


We discussed this at great length in this passage and in the parallel passage in Chronicles (1Chron. 13:10). There are two points which I made: (1) The manner of Uzzah’s death: no one could ask for a better death; Uzzah went instantly from life to death, insofar as we know (there is no reason to assume otherwise, given the language of these passages). It was a beautiful day, he was outside walking, and one instant Uzzah is alive, and the next, he is in Abraham’s bosom. There was no pain, necessarily, no anticipate, no fear; just instantaneous death. In other words, his experience of death was probably better than the classic, dying in one’s sleep. (2) Secondly, Uzzah’s death illustrates like nothing else the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man. Uzzah’s intentions and his emotions do not play a part in mitigating his end—he was probably sincere, honest and faithful—but man cannot have direct contact with God any more than he can touch the sun. Most people are smart enough that, when they see a burning building, they don’t go inside and hang out to see what is going on—they realize that they cannot have direct and continuous contact with fire. Similarly, God cannot have direct contact with us nor can we have direct contact with Him—the imputed sin of Adam, our old sin nature, and the sins that we do make direct contact with a holy God impossible.


1Chronicles 15:13c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

when, that, for, because

explanatory conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

dârash (שַרָ) [pronounced daw-RASH]

to seek, to make inquiries concerning, to consult, to investigate, to study, to follow, to inquire

1st person plural, Qal perfect; with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1875 BDB #205

It is somewhat of a surprise to find this verb here; we had the exact same verb, with the exact same morphology, with the exact same negative and preceded by the exact same preposition as back in 1Chron. 13:3: Then let us bring again the ark of our God to us, for we did not seek it in the days of Saul." It, in that context, also refers to the Ark of God.

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

mîshepâţ (ט ָ  ׃ש  ̣מ) [pronounced mishe-PAWT]

judgement, justice, a verdict rendered by a judge, a judicial decision, a judicial sentence, a verdict, a judgement of the court

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #4941 BDB #1048

Gesenius organizes the meanings as follows:

(1) a judgement; including:

(a) the act of judging; (b) the place of judgment; (c) a forensic cause, the setting forth of a cause, to appeal a judgment; (d) the sentence of a judge; (e) the fault or crime one is judged for;

(2) a right, that which is just, lawful according to law; which set of meanings would include:

(a) a law, a statute; a body of laws; (b) that which is lawfully due a person, a privilege, a legal privilege, the right of redemption, the right of primogeniture; (c) a manner, a custom; (d) a fashion, a kind, a plan.

We could possibly add the meanings for the plural: laws, responsibilities, privileges. From the standpoint of the one under judgment, mîshepâţ could mean appeal.

It is possible here, that David means this to read in the Law, referring to the Law of Moses.


Translation: ...because we did not seek Him within the Law. The final word here is rather difficult, as it normally means judgement or a judicial verdict or decision. However, this can also refer to a law, a statue, or a body of laws. I believe that David is saying, “We did not seek the Lord in His Law” or “We did not seek the Lord in the Law of Moses.” It is fascinating that this corresponds almost word for word with 1Chron. 13:3, where David says, during the reign of Saul, “We did not seek the Lord.” For this reason, the Ark stayed at Kiriath-jearim, and the Tabernacle worship apparently went into decline.


The will of God is known through His Word; the character of God is known through His Word. David’s problem previously with moving the Ark is, he did not seek God’s will within God’s Word.


Application: We seek the Lord and we seek the will of God in His Word. Without God’s Word, all the sincerity, all the emotion, all the actions that we do, mean nothing; we need to know mechanics and we need to be guided; this all comes through God’s Word, and through no other way.


This was a moderately difficult verse to deal with, simply because the first couple words threw us for a loop, and the verse was elliptical—there were words which were left out, but, to our minds, should have been included. Therefore, we are going to see what the Greek translators did, when they dealt with the Hebrew:


Application: I want you to understand what David is doing here and how this applies to you. David is correcting the Levites, and telling them how the Ark should have been moved originally and what they should have known. He is not putting the blame off on them, although there is some blame which could be placed on the Levites for not knowing how to move the Ark of God. Here’‘s the deal, David is at fault; the Levites are at fault. David should have known what to do, and the Levites should have known what to do. David herein is not placing blame, but conveying some points of doctrine. Why would he do this? The Levites minister to God with respect to the holy things. They need to know the Scriptures in order to get things right. David here tells them what they should have known, and, by implication, they need to go to the Scriptures when determining how to do anything with respect to the holy things. How does this apply to you? You are responsible for your own spiritual life. You cannot put the blame of your shortcomings on anyone else. The key to your spiritual life is knowledge of doctrine, along with the spiritual skills (primarily rebound, to get you started). David should not have depended upon the Levites and the Levites should not have depended upon David to get this right. They should have gone to the Word of God in order to be guided as to the right things to do.


There were some significant differences between the Greek and the Hebrew text; therefore, we need to examine the Greek text here as well.

1Chronicles 15:13 Text from the Greek Septuagint

Greek/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

Strong’s Number

hóti (ὅτι) [pronounced HOH-tee]

that, because, since; as concerning that; as though

demonstrative or causal conjunction

Strong’s #3754

Hóti can also mean because (that), for (that), how (that), (in) that, though, why.

ouk (οὐκ) [pronounced ook]

no, not, nothing, none, no one

negation; this form is used before a vowel

Strong’s #3756

en (ἐν) [pronounced en]

in, by means of, with; among

preposition with the locative, dative and instrumental cases

Strong’s #1722

tô (τ) [pronounced toh]

in the; by the; by means of the

masculine singular definite article; locative, dative, or instrumental case

Strong’s #3588

proteron (πρότερον) [pronounced PROT-ehr-awn]

before, prior; of time, former

Adverb/adjective

Strong’s #4386

humas (ὑμάς) [pronounced hoo-MOSS],

you

2nd person plural pronoun; accusative case

Strong’s #5209, from Strong’s #5210; a form of Strong’s #4771

einai (εἲναι) [pronounced Ī-nī or Ī-nah-ee]

to be, is, was, will be; am; to exist; to stay; to occur, to take place; to be present [available]

present infinitive of Strong’s #1510

Strong’s #1511 (a form of Strong’s #1510)

The vocabulary form is eimi (εἰμί) [pronounced eye-ME].

διεκοψεν from διακοπτω (διακόπτω) [pronounced dee-ah-KOP-toh]

possibly to break through and to strike down

3rd person singular, aorist active indicative

Strong’s #none

This is not a verb from the New Testament; there is the related verb koptô (κόπτω) [pronounced KOP-toh], which means to cut off, to cut from; to strike down; to mourn. The unbound Bible on the internet Footnote is quite helpful here, but it does not give the meaning for this word.

the

definite article for a masculine singular noun

Strong’s #3588

theos (θεός) [pronounced theh-OSS]

God, [the true] God; divine being; god, goddess, divinity

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #2316

hêmn (ἡμν) [pronounced hay-MOHN]

us, of us, from us, our, ours

1st person plural, personal pronoun; genitive/ablative case

Strong’s #2257 (from Strong’s #1473)

en (ἐν) [pronounced en]

in, by means of, with; among

preposition with the locative, dative and instrumental cases

Strong’s #1722

hêmin (ἡμν) [pronounced hay-MEEN]

to us, of us, by us

1st person plural pronoun; locative, dative or instrumental case

Strong’s #2254 (from Strong’s #1473)

hóti (ὅτι) [pronounced HOH-tee]

that, because, since; as concerning that; as though

demonstrative or causal conjunction

Strong’s #3754

ouk (οὐκ) [pronounced ook]

no, not, nothing, none, no one

negation; this form is used before a vowel

Strong’s #3756

zêteô (ζητέω) [pronounced zay-TEH-oh]

to seek after [to find]; to seek by thinking [reasoning, inquiring]; to seek for, to aim at, to strive after; to require [demand]; to crave, to desire from someone

1st person plural, aorist active indicative

Strong’s #2212

en (ἐν) [pronounced en]

in, by means of, with; among

preposition with the locative, dative and instrumental cases

Strong’s #1722

krima (κρίμα) [pronounced KREE-mah]

a decree, judgment; condemnation of wrong; judgement of fault in another; sentence of a judge; legal punishment; condemnatory sentence; a matter to be judicially decided, a lawsuit, a court case

neuter singular noun; in the locative, dative or instrumental case

Strong’s #2917

It is important to note two things: (1) the Septuagint text is not precisely the Word of God; therefore, we ought to be careful about completely relying upon it; that being said, (2) the Apostles used this text frequently, as they spoke and read Greek, but not Hebrew (they would have known Aramaic, which is a form of Hebrew).


Translation: For not in the previous [time] you are; the God of ours broke through among us for we did not seek by means of the decree. Or, less literally, Because you [Levites] were not [carrying the Ark] previously, our God broke through among us, because we did not seek [to transport the Ark] by means of [His] decree. You will notice that, even in the Greek, there is a lot missing, again suggesting that David was intentionally elliptical or that he stopped himself at the beginning, before he finished his thought, and went directly to the results (there is a third possibility, that some of the text dropped out early on, even before the LXX was translated).


My paraphrase of this verse is as follows: Because you did not previously carry the Ark, Jehovah our God burst out against us, as we did not seek His directives as per the Law of Moses. Obviously, I took a lot of liberties with this verse, but I think I am true to what David is saying and what the Levites understood him to say.


And so cleanse themselves the priests and the Levites to bring up an Ark of Yehowah Elohim of Israel.

1Chronicles

15:14

The priests and Levites then consecrated themselves [in order] to bring up the Ark of Yehowah, Elohim of Israel.

The priests and Levites then consecrated themselves in order to bring up the Ark of Jehovah, God of Israel.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so cleanse themselves the priests and the Levites to bring up an Ark of Yehowah Elohim of Israel.

Septuagint                              So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves, to bring up the ark of the God of Israel.

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       The priests and the Levites made themselves clean. They were now ready to carry the sacred chest.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Then the priests and the Levites purified themselves in order to move the Covenant Box of the LORD God of Israel.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         So the priests and the Levites made themselves holy in order to move the ark of the LORD God of Israel.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

English Standard Version      So the priests and the Levites consecrated themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD, the God of Israel.

MKJV                                     And the priests and the Levites made themselves pure in order to bring up the ark of Jehovah, the God of Israel.

Young's Literal Translation     And the priests and the Levites sanctify themselves, to bring up the ark of Jehovah, God of Israel.


What is the gist of this verse? The priests and Levites readied themselves to move the Ark to Jerusalem by cleansing themselves.


1Chronicles 15:14a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

qâdash (שַד ָק) [pronounced kaw-DAHSH]

to regard as holy, to declare holy or sacred; to consecrate, to sanctify, to inaugurate with holy rites

3rd person masculine plural, Piel imperfect

Strong's #6942 BDB #872

kôhên (ן ֵהֹ) [pronounced koh-HANE]

priest

 masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #3548 BDB #463

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Levîyyim (ם ̣ ̣ול) [pronounced le-vee-YIM]

joined to, attached; garland, crown; and is transliterated Levites

plural gentilic adjective with the definite article

Strong’s #3881 BDB #532


Translation: The priests and Levites then consecrated themselves... There were ceremonial things which were done, according to the Law of Moses, which the priests and Levites did in order to consecrate or purify themselves. This would have included washing themselves and washing their clothes, as well as abstaining from sex with their wives. The idea is, we have no contact with God in an impure state. We might as well stand on the sun as face God in an unholy state. When we die, our sin nature will be removed from us, and we will be able to be in the presence of God for that reason. On earth, temporal purity is achieved through naming our sins to God.


You will note here, as I have pointed out on many occasions, the priests and the Levites are not the same group of people. The priests come from the line of Aaron, who was a Levite (so was Moses, by the way).


1Chronicles 15:14b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

׳âlâh (ה ָל ָע) [pronounced ģaw-LAWH]

to cause to go up, to lead up, to take up, to bring up

Hiphil infinitive construct

Strong's #5927 BDB #748

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ărôwn (ןר ֲא) [pronounced uh-ROHN]

ark, chest; Ark

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #727 BDB #75

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

Ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods, foreign gods, god; God; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural construct

Strong's #430 BDB #43

Yiserâêl (לֵאָר ׃̣י) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 BDB #975


Translation:...[in order] to bring up the Ark of Yehowah, Elohim of Israel. The entire purpose for them to purify themselves was, the Ark of God was going to be taken into Jerusalem. This is quite interesting, as only 4 men will actually carry the Ark; Footnote however all of the priests and all of the Levites must be cleansed.


And so carry sons of the Levites an Ark of the Elohim as which commanded Moses as a Word fo Yehowah in their shoulders in the poles upon them.

1Chronicles

15:15

So the sons of the Levites carried the Ark of Elohim—as Moses had commanded according to the Word of Yehowah—by means of poles which rested on their shoulders [lit., on their shoulders by means of poles upon them].

Therefore, the Levites carried the Ark of God using poles which rested upon their shoulders, just as Moses, in the Word of Jehovah, had commanded them to do.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:


 

Masoretic Text                       And so carry sons of the Levites an Ark of the Elohim as which commanded Moses as a Word fo Yehowah in their shoulders in the poles upon them.

Septuagint                              And the sons of the Levites took the ark of God, (as Moses commanded by the word of God according to the scripture) upon their shoulders with staves upon them.

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       ...on poles that rested on their shoulders, just as the LORD had told Moses to do.

Good News Bible (TEV)         The Levites carried it on poles on their shoulders, as the LORD had commanded through Moses.

The Message                         The Levites carried the Chest of God exactly as Moses, instructed by GOD, commanded--carried it with poles on their shoulders, careful not to touch it with their hands.

New Living Testament           Then the Levites carried the Ark of God on their shoulders with its carrying poles, just as the Lord had instructed Moses.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         The Levites carried God's ark on their shoulders. They used poles as Moses had commanded according to the LORD'S instructions.

HCSB                                     Then the Levites carried the ark of God the way Moses had commanded according to the word of the LORD: on their shoulders with the poles.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

English Standard Version      And the Levites carried the ark of God on their shoulders with the poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the LORD.

MKJV                                     And the sons of the Levites carried the ark of God on their shoulders, with the staves on it, as Moses commanded according to the Word of Jehovah.

Young's Updated LT              And sons of the Levites bear the ark of God, as Moses commanded, according to the word of Jehovah, on their shoulder, with staves, above them.


What is the gist of this verse? The sons of Levites bear the poles on their shoulders, which poles hold the Ark of God aloft.


1Chronicles 15:15a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâsâ (אָָנ) [pronounced naw-SAW]

to lift up, to bear, to carry

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Levîyyim (ם ̣ ̣ול) [pronounced le-vee-YIM]

joined to, attached; garland, crown; and is transliterated Levites

plural gentilic adjective with the definite article

Strong’s #3881 BDB #532

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ărôwn (ןר ֲא) [pronounced uh-ROHN]

ark, chest; Ark

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #727 BDB #75

Ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods, foreign gods, god; God; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #430 BDB #43


Translation: So the sons of the Levites carried the Ark of Elohim... This does not mean that little children carried the Ark; sons of Levites simply refers to those in the tribe of Levi. In this case, it would be specific Kohathites. Since there are 4 leaders from the Kohathite family which David speaks to, they would be the ones who probably carried the Ark.


1Chronicles 15:15b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kaph or ke ( ׃) [pronounced ke]

like, as, according to; about, approximately

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #453

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

Together, kaăsher (ר ש ֲא ַ) [pronounced kah-uh-SHER] means as which, as one who, as, like as, just as; because; according to what manner. Back in 1Sam. 12:8, I rendered this for example.

tsâvâh (ה ָו ָצ) [pronounced tsaw-VAW]

to commission, to mandate, to lay charge upon, to give charge to, charge, command, order

3rd person masculine singular, Piel perfect

Strong's #6680 BDB #845

Mosheh (ה∵שֹמ) [pronounced moh-SHEH]

to draw out [of the water] and is transliterated Moses

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #4872 BDB #602

kaph or ke ( ׃) [pronounced ke]

like, as, according to; about, approximately

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #453

dâbâr (רָבָ) [pronounced dawb-VAWR]

word, saying, doctrine, thing, matter, command

masculine singular construct

Strong's #1697 BDB #182

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation:...—as Moses had commanded according to the Word of Yehowah... Notice how this section of Samuel is making it abundantly clear that David knows what went wrong previously and now is doing things the right way? Note that he knows the correct mechanics from reading the Word of God. We have already listed the passages where the mechanics were given (Num. 4:5, 15 7:9 are among the relevant passages).


Application: One of the biggest fundamental problems in fundamental churches today is the lack of teaching of mechanics. How do you get out of fellowship and how do you get back into fellowship? What is spiritual growth and how does one achieve spiritual growth? These are the most fundamental concepts of Christian living, and so few churches address these concepts directly.


1Chronicles 15:15c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

kâthêph (ף ֵת ָ) [pronounced kaw-THAFE]

side, shoulder, shoulder-blade

feminine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #3802 BDB #509

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

môwţ (טמ) [pronounced moht]

pole, bar [upon which something is carried]; used figuratively for wavering, shaking, tottering; oppression

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #4132 BDB #557

׳al (לַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752


Translation: ...—by means of poles which rested on their shoulders [lit., on their shoulders by means of poles upon them]. The Hebrew is a little clunky at this point, but it is not unclear by any means. There are rings which are connected to the Ark itself. A pole goes through these rings, so that those who carry the pole do not have any direct contact with the Ark. They lift up the Ark, which, between 4 men, it would not be very heavy; the poles are put on their shoulders and then they walk, and the Ark is between the 4 men. Again, there is nothing in Scripture which tells us how many men carry the Ark, but given the set up—two poles, one on each side of the Ark—and given the size of the Ark and what it is made out of, 4 seems like a reasonable number of men for this job (see Ex. 25:12–15 37:3-5 40:20).


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The Chief Levites in Attendance


And so says David to chiefs of the Levites to set their brothers the singers in manufactured goods of music: harps and lyres and [a pair of] cymbals, a causing to hear, to lift up in a sound to joy.

1Chronicles

15:16

Then David told the chiefs of the Levites to station their brothers—the musicians with musical instruments (harps, lyres and cymbals)—those who cause [all] to hear [and] elevate sounds of joy [in specific places].

David then had the chiefs of the Levites assemble their musically-inclined brothers, those with harps, lyres, and cymbals, those who made themselves heard and elevated this event with sounds of joy.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so says David to chiefs of the Levites to set their brothers the singers in manufactured goods of music: harps and lyres and [a pair of] cymbals, a causing to hear, to lift up in a sound to joy.

Septuagint                              And David said to the chiefs of the Levites, Set your brothers the singers with musical instruments, lutes, harps, and cymbals, to sound aloud with a voice of joy.

 

Significant differences:           The Greek lacks the word to prior to set (which appears to be in the imperative mood in the Greek). Apart from that, there do no appear to be any major differences in the text.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       David then told the leaders to choose some Levites to sing and play music on small harps, other stringed instruments, and cymbals.

The Message                         David ordered the heads of the Levites to assign their relatives to sing in the choir, accompanied by a well-equipped marching band, and fill the air with joyful sound.

New Living Testament           David also ordered the Levite leaders to appoint a choir of Levites who were singers and musicians to sing joyful songs to the accompaniment of lyres, harps, and cymbals.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         David told the Levite leaders to appoint some of their relatives to serve as musicians. They were expected to play music on harps, lyres, and cymbals to produce joyful music for singing.

HCSB                                     Then David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their relatives as singers and to have them raise their voices with joy accompanied by musical instruments--harps, lyres, and cymbals.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

LTHB                                     And David commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their brothers the singers with instruments of song, psalteries, and harps, and sounding cymbals, to lift up the voice for joy.

Young’s Updated LT             And David says to the heads of the Levites to appoint their brothers the singers, with instruments of song, psalteries, and harps, and cymbals, sounding, to lift up with the voice for joy.


What is the gist of this verse? David had the Levites assemble their musically-inclined brothers appropriately with their musical instruments in order to celebrate this event with music.


1Chronicles 15:16a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

sar (ר ַ) [pronounced sar]

chieftain, chief, ruler, official, captain, prince, leader, commander

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #8269 BDB #978

Levîyyim (ם ̣ ̣ול) [pronounced le-vee-YIM]

joined to, attached; garland, crown; and is transliterated Levites

plural gentilic adjective with the definite article

Strong’s #3881 BDB #532

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

׳âmad (ד ַמ ָע) [pronounced ģaw-MAHD]

to cause to stand, to station, to set, to place, to decree, to destine

Hiphil infinitive construct

Strong's #5975 BDB #763

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

âch (ח ָא) [pronounced awhk]

brother, kinsman or close relative

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #251 BDB #26


Translation: Then David told the chiefs of the Levites to station their relatives—the musicians... To be quite frank, I don’t know why we have the term brothers used here, as we are simply speaking of other Levites. Perhaps this term simply differentiates them from the chiefs of the Levites, or perhaps it is a term which implies that the musically-inclined Levites are those who will be appropriately stationed along the parade route.


The Ark is going to be carried from point A to point B (the home of Obed-edom into the city of Jerusalem); and there would be sacrifices offered and great celebrations as they progressed. There are obviously some very talented musicians, and they were a part of this event. It is unclear whether they were placed in a specific area (or areas) or whether they marched along the route of the Ark, either in front or behind. The verbiage seems to indicate that they were placed in a specific area (or areas) as opposed to marching along with the Ark in a procession. However, this does not mean that this orchestra did not move; it is possible that they marched along the sidelines or that they were placed in several areas along the route.


As I have pointed out before, David has a lot of organizing taking place here, and there are thousands of witnesses to this event. When he tried the same thing, 3 months previous, a prominent Levite died (I am assuming that Uzzah was a Levite). This procession could be extremely embarrassing to David if something similar occurs (recall that the Ark was closely associated with death and disease both with the Philistines and the Israelites); however, David knows what went wrong before and he knows how to correctly move the Ark now. Therefore, he functions with great confidence, and everything is kept out in the open.


1Chronicles 15:16b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

shîyr (רי ̣ש) [pronounced sheer]

singers, choir; professional singers; musicians

masculine plural, Pilel/Polel participle; with the definite article

Strong’s #7891 BDB #1010

Given that we have a list of musical instruments to follow, I think the rendering of this participle as musicians is apt.

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

kelîy (י.ל) [pronounced melee]

manufactured good, artifact, article, utensil, vessel, weapon, armor, furniture, receptacle; baggage, valuables

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #3627 BDB #479

shîyr (רי.ש) [pronounced sheer]

song, singing; music

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7892 BDB #1010


Translation: ...the musicians with musical instruments... There is some denomination—the Church of Christ, I believe—and part of their doctrine is, they do not believe in the use of musical instruments. I have never really studied them in depth, so I have no idea why they take this position—to me, it seems a pretty trivial position to take (and they may feel the same way); however, given how many times musical instruments are referenced in Scripture, it seems silly to think that God has something against them. In any case, I think we may reasonably suppose that David is in fellowship here, and he is following God’s Word in the way that he moves the Ark, and it will become obvious that he is quite excited over the whole affair. There is no reason to think that there is anything wrong with his calling for the use of musical instruments.


Now, quite frankly, I am certain that the Church of Christ has reasons for their position on musical instruments, and that they even have an answer for passages like this. To me, it is such a weird doctrine to hold to, that it causes me to discount pretty much everything else that they say. I realize that this is not what they would even necessarily consider an important doctrine (the intentional non-use of musical instruments when God is worshiped in music), but it strikes me as so weird and inconsequential, as to color whatever else they believe in. This does not mean, of course, that a church may function without musical instruments or without even a choir or any sort of music; it is possible that a church can be organized and that there are no musically inclined people in the congregation. However, to have a church-wide doctrine that musical instruments should not be used in church services is just goofy. Footnote


1Chronicles 15:16c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

nêbel (ל∵ב̤נ) [pronounced NAYB-vel]

a portable harp, lute, guitar

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #5035 BDB #614

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

kînnôwr (ר ̣) [pronounced kin-NOHR]

hand-harp, lyre

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #3658 BDB #490

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

metsêleth (ת∵ל̤צמ) [pronounced mets-Ā-leth]

[a pair of] cymbals

feminine dual noun

Strong’s #4700 BDB #853


Translation:...(harps, lyres and cymbals)—... Here is a list, or a partial list, of the instruments which were to be used by the Levites. Although there are more mentions of musical instruments and music in the Old Testament, there is nothing in the New Testament to indicate that religious music is no longer to be a part of our worship. Eph. 5:18–20: And don't get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions, but be filled with the Spirit: speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music to the Lord in your heart, giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Col. 3:16 Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. Footnote

 

Barnes points out something which I did not catch: Singing had long been recognized as appropriate to religious ceremonies (Ex. 15:21 Judges 5:1 1Chron. 13:8); but this is the first occasion on which we find the duty of conducting musical services expressly laid on the Levites. Henceforth, the services of the tabernacle and the temple were regularly choral, and a considerable section of the Levites was trained in musical knowledge, and set apart to conduct this portion of the national worship. Footnote


It is interesting, although probably not significant, that there were musical instruments brought to accompany the first moving of the Ark (2Sam. 6:5), but there are no specific references to the Levites playing these instruments. However, the focus of this first attempt to move the Ark is not upon the details of the act, but the failure of the act, and how it was temporarily resolved.


What has surprised me is the large number of verses which specifically deal with music as a part of worship: 1Chron. 15:27–28 6:31–38 13:8 16:42 23:5 25:1–6 2Chron. 5:13 29:28–30 Ezra 3:10–11 Neh. 12:36, 46 Psalm 87:7 92:1–3 95:1 100:1 149:3 150:3–4 Jer. 33:11. This is only a partial listing of such verses.


1Chronicles 15:16d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

shâma׳ (ע ַמ ָש) [pronounced shaw-MAHĢ]

to cause to hear, to let hear; to announce, to tell; to call, to summon; to sing; to play [instruments]

masculine plural, Hiphil participle

Strong's #8085 BDB #1033

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

rûwm (םר) [pronounced room]

to raise, to lift up [something], to make high; to elevate, to exalt; to erect, to build a house; to take away; to offer sacrifices

Hiphil infinitive construct

Strong's #7311 BDB #926

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

qôwl (לק) [pronounced kohl]

sound, voice, noise; loud noise, thundering

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #6963 BDB #876

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

simechâh (הָח מ ̣) [pronounced sime-KHAW],

joy, gladness, mirth, great joy

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #8057 BDB #970


Translation: ...those who cause [all] to hear [and] elevate sounds of joy—[in specific places]. I have added a short phrase at the end to go with the verb at the beginning. Then entire verse reads: Then David told the chiefs of the Levites to station their brothers—the musicians with musical instruments (harps, lyres and cymbals)—those who cause [all] to hear [and] elevate sounds of joy [in specific places].


This gist of this verse is fairly simple: David wants Levites stationed all over to make music in celebration of bringing the Ark of God to Jerusalem. However, how this actually reads is much more difficult. We have a masculine plural, Hiphil participle of to cause to hear, to let hear, to announce, to tell. A participle is often used as a verbal noun; but it can be used as an adjective. So, this gives us 3 possible approaches: (1) as a noun, it can refer to the Levite musicians and singers; (2) it can serve as an adjective which describes cymbals; and (3) it can function as a verb here, indicating that this is what the Levite singers and musicians will do. I’m not the only person who got hung up on this verb.


So that you simply don’t take my word for the different uses of this Hiphil participles, let me show you the approach of the more accurate translations.

Dramatic Differences in Translations

Translation

1Chronicles 15:16 (verb is in bold)

How the Verb is Used

ESV

David also commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their brothers as the singers who should play loudly on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals, to raise sounds of joy.

The Hiphil participle is used as a verb and is applied to the musicians (singers).

HNV

David spoke to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brothers the singers, with instruments of music, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding aloud and lifting up the voice with joy.

As above, the Hiphil participles is used as a verb and applied to the musicians, but placed in the verse where it is found in the Hebrew.

Kukis

Then David told the chiefs of the Levites to station their brothers—the musicians with musical instruments (harps, lyres and cymbals)—those who cause [all] to hear [and] elevate sounds of joy—[in specific places].

Apparently, of these fairly literal translations, I am the only one to render this Hiphil participle as a verbal noun.

LTHB

And David commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their brothers the singers with instruments of song, psalteries, and harps, and sounding cymbals, to lift up the voice for joy.

The Hiphil participle is used as an adjective to modify cymbals.

MKJV

And David spoke to the chief of the Levites to choose their brothers to be the singers with instruments of music, lyres, and harps, and cymbals, sounding by lifting the voice with joy.

Notice how similar this seems to be with the Literal Translation of the Holy Bible, but the verbal adjective is actually applied to the musicians.

NKJV

Then David spoke to the leaders of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers accompanied by instruments of music, stringed instruments, harps, and cymbals, by raising the voice with resounding joy.

Used again as a verbal adjective, here it is applied to the noun joy.

The Tanakh

David ordered the officers of the Levites to install their kinsmen, the singers, with musical instruments, harps, lyres, and cymbals, joyfully making their voices heard.

Again, the Hiphil pariticple is used as a verb and applied to the musicians, but notice how differently it interacts with the final words in this verse.

As a personal note, when I come across a word with a particular morphology, and I am completely confused as to how to render it into the English, it sets my mind at ease to find that this caused problems for many translators.


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What is being caused to hear are the sounds of music which these Levites will play.

 

McGee comments: David wanted the brass band, the orchestra, and all the choirs. It was to be a great day when the ark of God was brought to Jerusalem. This was the high point of David’s coming to Jerusalem. God does not even record David’s coming to Jerusalem to capture it from the Jebusites, nor does He record the great building project that David launched. God puts the emphasis upon the spiritual, and I hope we get the message. Footnote


And so set up the Levites Heman ben Joel and from his brothers Asaph ben Berechiah and in sons of Merari their brothers, Ethan ben Kushaiah.

1Chronicles

15:17

The Levites therefore appointed Heman, the son of Joel, and from his relatives, Asaph, the son of Berechiah; and from [lit., in] the sons of Merari, their relatives, Ethan, son of Kushaiah.

The Levites therefore appointed Heman, the son of Joel, along with one of his relatives, Asaph, the son of Berechiah, and Ethan, son of Kushaiah, who is from the Merari branch of Levites.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so set up the Levites Heman ben Joel and from his brothers Asaph ben Berechiah and in sons of Merari their brothers, Ethan ben Kushaiah.

Septuagint                              So the Levites appointed Æman the son of Joel; Asaph the son of Barachias was one of his brethren; and Æthan the son of Kisaeus was of the sons of Merari their brethren;...

 

Significant differences:           My English rendering of the LXX moves some phrases around; however, the material seems to be the same.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       The men chosen to play the cymbals were Heman the son of Joel, his relative Asaph the son of Berechiah, and Ethan the son of Kushaiah from the Merari clan.

Good News Bible (TEV)         From the clans of singers they chose the following men to play the brass cymbals: Heman son of Joel, his relative Asaph son of Berechiah, and Ethan son of Kushaiah, of the clan of Merar. Both the CEV and the TEV combine vv. 17–21.

The Message                         The Levites assigned Heman son of Joel, and from his family, Asaph son of Berekiah, then Ethan son of Kushaiah from the family of Merari,...

New Living Testament           So the Levites appointed Heman son of Joel, Asaph son of Berekiah, and Ethan son of Kushaiah from the clan of Merari to direct the musicians.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         So the Levites appointed Heman, son of Joel, and from his relatives they appointed Asaph, Berechiah's son. From their own relatives, Merari's descendants, they appointed Ethan, son of Kushaiah.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

MKJV                                     And the Levites chose Heman the son of Joel, and of his brothers, Asaph the son of Berechiah. And from the sons of Merari their brothers, was Ethan the son of Kushaiah.

Young’s Updated LT             And the Levites appoint Heman son of Joel, and of his brothers, Asaph son of Berechiah, and of the sons of Merari their brothers, Ethan son of Kushaiah.


What is the gist of this verse? The three primary musicians of David’s time are introduced in this verse: Heman, Asaph and Ethan (the 1st rank, class or position musicians).


1Chronicles 15:17a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

׳âmad (ד ַמ ָע) [pronounced ģaw-MAHD]

to cause to stand, to station, to set, to place, to decree, to destine

3rd person masculine plural, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #5975 BDB #763

Levîyyim (ם ̣ ̣ול) [pronounced le-vee-YIM]

joined to, attached; garland, crown; and is transliterated Levites

plural gentilic adjective with the definite article

Strong’s #3881 BDB #532

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Hêymân (ןָמי̤ה) [pronounced hay-MAWN]

faithful; transliterated Heman

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #1968 BDB #54

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Yôwêl (ל̤אי) [pronounced yoh-ĀL]

to whom Jehovah is God or worshiper of Jehovah; and is transliterated Joel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3100 BDB #222


Translation: The Levites therefore appointed Heman, the son of Joel,... There is going to be a long history with Heman and his sons as singers of Israel. I have mentioned in the past that we have questions concerning Samuel’s tribal background. It is likely that the prophet Samuel is the grandfather of Heman here (1Sam. 8:2 1Chron. 6:28, 33 15:17), which would make Samuel a Levite in the line of Kohath (something which is not clear in 1Sam. 1–2). Heman is renown as a singer (1Chron. 6:33). He and his descendants will be long associated with worship in Israel (actually, Judah) and with music (1Chron. 25:1 29:14, 20 2Chron. 5:12 35:15). By the way, he had many descendants, beginning with 14 sons and 3 daughters (1Chron. 25:5). He is possibly the author of Psalm 88 (see the inscription for this psalm).


Application: This should be encouraging to those who have an artistic bend; Heman will be known forever for his musical ability and service to God in that realm.


His father Joel, on the other hand, is known as one of Samuel’s sons who tried to take Samuel’s place, as Samuel became too old, but he (and his brother Abiah) perverted justice. It is not clear whether this is the Joel of 1Chron. 15:7, 11, although the age would have been right. This would mean that Joel really turned his life around, going from being a crook in judge’s robes, to be the head of a branch of Levites. Because the two Joel’s are so different, exegetes are hesitant to unequivocally state that these men are one and the same. Footnote However, as some of you know from personal experience, people who believe in Jesus Christ can sometimes make a 180° turn in their lives.


Application: Whether they are or not, it does not matter how much you have screwed up your life up to this point; if you are still alive, then God has a purpose for your life and a place for you to function that is meaningful. There are a number of people out there—you might even be one of them—whose life took a complete 180° after believing in Jesus Christ.


1Chronicles 15:17b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

âch (ח ָא) [pronounced awhk]

brother, kinsman or close relative

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #251 BDB #26

Âçâph (ףָסָא) [pronounced aw-SAWF]

gatherer, collector and is transliterated Asaph

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #623 BDB #63