1 Chronicles 15:16
And David spoke to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brothers to be the singers with instruments of music, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.
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(16) David spake to the chief.Ordered the chiefs (sārîm).

To appoint their brethren to be the singers.To station or assign places to their clansmen, the minstrels.

Psalteries and harps.Harps and lutes, or guitars (nĕbālîm and kinnôrôth).

Sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.—So far as grammar goes, the participle sounding (Heb., causing to heari.e., making a loud noise) might refer to the musicians, or to all the instruments mentioned, or to the last kind (the cymbals) only. The third reference is the best, because of the special sense of the verb. (Comp. 1Chronicles 15:19 and Psalm 150:5 : “loud cymbals,” i.e., cymbals of sound or hearing.) Translate: “harps and lutes and clashing cymbals, in order to swell the sound for gladness:” that is, to express and enhance the rejoicing. (Comp. 2Chronicles 5:13.)

1 Chronicles 15:16. By lifting up the voice with joy — Singing so loud that all might hear, and having their hearts lifted up to God with joy. There was scarce any solemn service performed to their gods, either by Greeks or barbarians, without both vocal and instrumental music.15:1-24 Wise and good men may be guilty of oversights, which they will correct, as soon as they are aware of them. David does not try to justify what had been done amiss, nor to lay the blame on others; but he owns himself guilty, with others, of not seeking God in due orderThe singers - Singing had long been recognized as appropriate to religious ceremonies Exodus 15:21; Judges 5:1; 1 Chronicles 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. 16-24. David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint … the singers with instruments—These eminent Levites were instructed to train the musicians and singers who were under them, for the solemn procession. The performers were ranged in three choirs or bands, and the names of the principal leaders are given (1Ch 15:17, 18, 21), with the instruments respectively used by each. "Ben" (1Ch 15:18) is omitted (1Ch 15:20). Either it was used merely as a common noun, to intimate that Zechariah was the son of Jaaziel or Aziel, or Ben is the same as Azaziah [1Ch 15:21]. No text from Poole on this verse. And David spake to the chief of the Levites,.... The six before mentioned, 1 Chronicles 15:11.

to appoint their brethren to be the singers; before the ark, as they brought it up:

with instruments of music, psalteries, and harps, and cymbals; which were used in those times, see 2 Samuel 6:5.

sounding by lifting up the voice with joy; the instrumental music was to be attended with vocal music, and that very sonorous and loud, and performed with all tokens of inward joy and gladness, as the occasion required.

And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with {g} instruments of musick, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.

(g) These instruments and other ceremonies which they observed, were instructions of their infancy, which continued to the coming of Christ.

16. psalteries] See note on 1 Chronicles 13:8.

sounding, by lifting up] R.V. sounding aloud and lifting up. So. 1 Chronicles 15:19; 1 Chronicles 16:42.Verses 16, 17. - To appoint their brethren to be the singers. This was the first step towards what we have already read in 1 Chronicles 6:31-39, 44; 1 Chronicles 9:33, 34 (where see notes). From among assembled Israel David then specially gathered together the heads of the priests and Levites, to determine upon the details of this solemn procession. "The sons of Aaron" are the high priests Zadok and Abiathar, 1 Chronicles 15:11; and the "Levites" are the six princes named in 1 Chronicles 15:5-10, with their brethren, viz., (1 Chronicles 15:5-7) the three heads of the families into which the tribe of Levi was divided, and which corresponded to the three sons of Levi, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari, respectively (Exodus 6:16): Uriel head of the Kohathites, Asaiah of the Merarites, and Joel head of the Gershonites, with their brethren. Kohath is first enumerated, because Aaron the chief of the priests was descended from Kohath, and because to the Kohathites there fell, on account of their nearer relationship to the priests, the duty of serving in that which is most holy, the bearing of the holiest vessels of the tabernacle. See Numbers 4:4, Numbers 4:15; Numbers 7:9; as to Uriel, see on Numbers 6:24; for Asaiah, see 6:30; and as to Joel, see 1 Chronicles 6:33. Then in 1 Chronicles 15:8, 1 Chronicles 15:9 we have the heads of three other Kohathite families: Shemaiah, chief of the sons of Elizaphan, i.e., Elizaphan son of the Kohathite Uzziel (Exodus 6:22); Eliel, chief of the sons of Hebron the Kohathite (Exodus 6:18); and Amminadab, chief of the sons of Uzziel. The sons of Uzziel, consequently, were divided into two fathers'-houses: the one founded by Uzziel's son Elizaphan, and named after him (1 Chronicles 15:8); the other founded by his other sons, and called by his name. Of the fathers'-houses here enumerated, four belong to Kohath, and one each to Merari and Gershon; and the Kohathites were called to take part in the solemn act in greater numbers than the Merarites and Gershonites, since the transport of the ark was the Kohathites' special duty.
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