The solemnity with which the ark was fixed. (1-6) David's psalm of praise. (7-36) Setting in order the worship of God. (37-43)
Verses 1-6 Though God's word and ordinances may be clouded and eclipsed for a time, they shall shine out of obscurity. This was but a tent, a humble dwelling, yet this was the tabernacle which David, in his psalms, often speaks of with so much affection. David showed himself generous to his subjects, as he had found God gracious to him. Those whose hearts are enlarged with holy joy, should show it by being open-handed.
Verses 7-36 Let God be glorified in our praises. Let others be edified and taught, that strangers to him may be led to adore him. Let us ourselves triumph and trust in God. Those that give glory to God's name are allowed to glory in it. Let the everlasting covenant be the great matter of our joy his people of old, be remembered by us with thankfulness to him. Show forth from day to day his salvation, his promised salvation by Christ. We have reason to celebrate that from day to day; for we daily receive the benefit, and it is a subject that can never be exhausted. In the midst of praises, we must not forget to pray for the servants of God in distress.
Verses 37-43 The worship of God ought to be the work of every day. David put it into order. At Jerusalem, where the ark was, Asaph and his brethren were to minister before the ark continually, with songs of praise. No sacrifices were offered there, nor incense burnt, because the altars were not there; but David's prayers were directed as incense, and the lifting up of his hands as the evening sacrifice. So early did spiritual worship take place of ceremonial. Yet the ceremonial worship, being of Divine institution, must by no means be omitted; therefore at Gibeon, at the altars, the priests attended; for their work was to sacrifice and burn incense; and that they did continually, morning and evening, according to the law of Moses. As the ceremonies were types of the mediation of Christ, the observance of them was of great consequence. The attendance of his appointed ministers is right in itself, and encourages the people.
1 Chronicles 16:1-6 . DAVID'S FESTIVAL SACRIFICE AND LIBERALITY TO THE PEOPLE.
2. he blessed the people in the name of the Lord--The king commended their zeal, supplicated the divine blessing upon them, and ordered the remains of the thank offerings which had been profusely sacrificed during the procession, to be distributed in certain proportions to every individual, that the ceremonial might terminate with appropriate festivities ( Deuteronomy 12:7 ).
3. flagon of wine--The two latter words are a supplement by our translators, and the former is, in other versions, rendered not a "flagon," but a "cake," a confection, as the Septuagint renders it, made of flour and honey.
4-6. he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord--No sooner was the ark deposited in its tent than the Levites, who were to officiate in the choirs before it, entered upon their duties. A select number of the musicians were chosen for the service from the list ( 1 Chronicles 15:19-21 ) of those who had taken a prominent part in the recent procession. The same arrangement was to be observed in their duties, now that the ark again was stationary; Asaph, with his associates, composing the first or principal company, played with cymbals; Zechariah and his colleagues, with whom were conjoined Jeiel and Obed-edom, forming the second company, used harps and similar instruments.
5. Jeiel--the same as Aziel ( 1 Chronicles 15:20 ).
6. Benaiah also and Jahaziel--The name of the former is mentioned among the priests ( 1 Chronicles 15:24 ), but not the latter. The office assigned to them was that of blowing trumpets at regular intervals before the ark and in the tabernacle.
1 Chronicles 16:7-43 . HIS PSALM OF THANKSGIVING.
7. Then on that day David delivered first this psalm--Among the other preparations for this solemn inauguration, the royal bard had composed a special hymn for the occasion. Doubtless it had been previously in the hands of Asaph and his assistants, but it was now publicly committed to them as they entered for the first time on the performance of their sacred duties. It occupies the greater part of this chapter ( 1 Chronicles 16:8-36 ), and seems to have been compiled from other psalms of David, previously known to the Israelites, as the whole of it will be found, with very slight variations, in Psalms 96:1-13 , 105:1-15 , Psalms 106:47 Psalms 106:48 . In the form, however, in which it is given by the sacred historian, it seems to have been the first psalm given for use in the tabernacle service. Abounding, as it does, with the liveliest ascriptions of praise to God for the revelation of His glorious character and the display of His marvellous works and containing, as it does, so many pointed allusions to the origin, privileges, and peculiar destiny of the chosen people, it was admirably calculated to animate the devotions and call forth the gratitude of the assembled multitude.
36. all the people said, Amen--(Compare Psalms 72:19 Psalms 72:20 , 106:48 ). In the former, the author of the doxology utters the "amen" himself, while in the latter the people are exhorted to say "amen." This may arise from the fact that the latter psalm originally concluded with the injunction to say "amen." But in this historical account of the festival, it was necessary to relate that the people obeyed this injunction on the occasion referred to, and therefore the words "let them praise," were altered into "and they praised" [BERTHEAU].
37-42. So he left there before the ark of the covenant of the Lord Asaph and his brethren, &c.--The sequel of the chapter describes the appointment of the sacred musicians and their respective duties.
38. Obed-edom with their brethren--Hosah, mentioned at the close of the verse, and a great number besides
to be porters--doorkeepers.
39, 40. And Zadok . . . before the tabernacle . . . at Gibeon--While the above-mentioned officers under the superintendence of Abiathar, were appointed to officiate in Jerusalem, whither the ark had been brought, Zadok and the priests subordinate to him were stationed at Gibeon to perform the sacred service before the ancient tabernacle which still remained there.
40. continually morning and evening--as the law enjoined ( Exodus 29:38 , Numbers 28:3 Numbers 28:6 ).
and do according to all that is written in the law--(See Numbers 28:1-31 ). Thus, in the time of David, the worship was performed at two places, where the sacred things that had been transmitted from the age of Moses were preserved. Before the Ark in Jerusalem, Asaph and his brethren officiated as singers, Obed-edom and Hosah served as doorkeepers, and Benaiah and Jahaziel blew the trumpets. While at the tabernacle and burnt offering in Gibeon, Heman and Jeduthun presided over the sacred music, the sons of Jeduthun were door keepers, and Zadok, with his suite of attendant priests, offered the sacrifices.