1 Chronicles 15:22
And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was for song: he instructed about the song, because he was skillful.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(22) Rather, And Chenaniah, captain (i.e., conductor) of the Levites in bearing (that is, the sacred vessels), was conducting the bearing, because he was skilledscil., in the traditional regulations connected with bearing the Ark duly and rightly.

Chenaniah.1Chronicles 15:27, and 1Chronicles 26:29.

Chief of the Levites.—Not one of the six princes (1Chronicles 15:5-10), or heads of houses, but president of the carriage of the Ark.

Was for song.—So the LXX., which reads “leader of the songs;” but the Syriac has “bore the burden daily” and although the word massâ—i.e., “lifting up,” or “bearing”—might mean “lifting up the voice,” (1) the context is against that meaning here, for Heman, Asaph, and Ethan were conductors of the singing and music; (2) Chenaniah is nowhere else associated with music (see Note on 1Chronicles 26:29); (3) the word massâ, “bearing,” has the sense we have given it when used in relation to Levites (Numbers 4:19; 2Chronicles 35:3).

He instructed.—The Hebrew has an ambiguous form, which may be an infinitive—instructing, correcting (yāsar); or an imperfect of a different verb—was prince over, superintendent of (sārar).

He was skilful.—Comp. 1Chronicles 25:7; 2Chronicles 34:12.

1 Chronicles 15:22. Chenaniah was for song — Or, as it may be translated, was for the carriage, namely, of the voice. He was the moderator of the music, instructing them when and how to lift up their voice, change their notes, or make stops. Accordingly, the following words tell us, he instructed about song — Or taught them how to sing; because he was skilful — Was a great artist in singing.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 orderFor song - See the margin. Hebraists are still at variance as to the meaning of this passage, some supposing elevation or, delivery of the voice, others elevation of the ark, to be intended. 22. Chenaniah, chief of the Levites—He was not of the six heads of the Levitical families, but a chief in consequence of his office, which required learning, without regard to birth or family.

instructed about the song—He directed all these bands as to the proper time when each was to strike in or change their notes; or, as some render the passage, "He led the burdens, for he was skilled," that is, in the custom which it was necessary to observe in the carriage of the holy things [Bertheau].

Was for song, Heb. was for lifting up; either,

1. Of the ark; he was for carriage of the ark, being appointed to instruct or direct the time and manner of carrying the ark, and when they should make a stand or a change in the bearers. Or rather,

2. Of the voice; he was the moderator of the music, instructing them when and how to lift up their voices, or change their notes, or make their stops, which best agrees with the following reason, because he was skillful; for this required far more skill than the carriage of the ark, which any man of common discretion could easily govern; and with 1 Chronicles 15:27, where this same Chenaniah is joined with the singers. And Chenaniah chief of the Levites was for song,.... But the chief for the song were Heman, Asaph, and Ethan; rather

for the burden, as the Targum; for the lifting up and bearing the ark:

he instructed about the song; or about the taking up and bearing the burden, the ark; directing when to take it up, and how far to go with it, and then rest:

because he was skilful; a wise and prudent man in all things, and so proper to direct in this business.

And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, {l} was for song: he instructed about the song, because he was skilful.

(l) That is, to appoint Psalms and songs to them that sang.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
22. was for song] The Heb. word (massa) used here twice for “song” (lit. “burden”) means sometimes “burden” in a physical sense; hence R.V. mg. was over the carrying of the ark.Verse 22. - For song. There is considerable diversity of opinion as to the meaning of this word. Some think its meaning to be "in the carrying (בַּמַּשָּׂא)" i.e. of the ark. Its exact position here seems not unfavourable to such interpretation. On the other hand, its position in ver. 27 seems conclusively to point to the translation of the Septuagint and of our Authorized Version in this place as the correct one. Dr. Murphy, however, to escape this, thinks "with the singers" in ver. 27 to be a "copyist's inadvertent repetition." David gave the princes of the Levites a further charge to appoint singers with musical instruments for the solemn procession, which they accordingly did. שׁיר כּלי, instruments to accompany the song. In 1 Chronicles 15:16 three kinds of these are named: נבלים, nablia, ψαλτήρια, which Luther has translated by psalter, corresponds to the Arabic santir, which is an oblong box with a broad bottom and a somewhat convex sounding-board, over which strings of wire are stretched; an instrument something like the cithara. כּנּרות, harps, more properly lutes, as this instrument more resembled our lute than the harp, and corresponded to the Arabic catgut instrument el ‛ûd (l-cûd); cf. Wetzstein in Delitzsch, Isaiah, S. 702, der 2 Aufl., where, however, the statement that the santir is essentially the same as the old German cymbal, vulgo Hackebrett, is incorrect, and calculated to bring confusion into the matter, for the cymbal was an instrument provided with a small bell. מצלתּים, the later word for צלצלים, cymbals, castanets; see on 2 Samuel 6:5. משׁמיעים does not belong to the three before-mentioned instruments (Berth.), but, as is clear from 1 Chronicles 15:19, 1 Chronicles 15:28, 1 Chronicles 16:5, 1 Chronicles 16:42, undoubtedly only to מצלתּים (Bttcher, Neue krit. Aehrenlese, iii. S. 223); but the meaning is not "modulating," but "sounding clear or loud," - according to the proper meaning of the word, to make to hear. The infinitive clause וגו להרים belongs to the preceding sentence: "in order to heighten the sound (both of the song and of the instrumental music) to joy," i.e., to the expression of joy. לשׂימחה is frequently used to express festive joy: cf. 1 Chronicles 15:25, 2 Chronicles 23:18; 2 Chronicles 29:30; but also as early as in 2 Samuel 6:12; 1 Samuel 18:6; Judges 16:23, etc. - In 1 Chronicles 15:17, 1 Chronicles 15:18 the names of the singers and players are introduced; then in 1 Chronicles 15:19-21 they are named in connection with the instruments they played; and finally, in 1 Chronicles 15:22-24, the other Levites and priests who took part in the celebration are mentioned. The three chief singers, the Kohathite Heman, the Gershonite Asaph, and the Merarite Ethan, form the first class. See on 1 Chronicles 6:33, 1 Chronicles 6:39, and 1 Chronicles 6:44. To the second class (המּשׁנים, cf. המּשׁנה, 2 Kings 23:4) belonged thirteen or fourteen persons, for in 1 Chronicles 15:21 an Azaziah is named in the last series who is omitted in 1 Chronicles 15:18; and it is more probable that his name has been dropped out of 1 Chronicles 15:18 than that it came into our text, 1 Chronicles 15:21, by an error. In 1 Chronicles 15:18 בּן comes in after זכריהוּ by an error or transcription, as we learn from the w before the following name, and from a comparison of 1 Chronicles 15:20 and 1 Chronicles 15:25. The name יעזיאל is in 1 Chronicles 15:20 written עזיאל, Yodh being rejected; and in 1 Chronicles 16:5 it is יעיאל, which is probably only a transcriber's error, since יעיאל occurs along with it both in 1 Chronicles 15:18 and in 1 Chronicles 16:5. The names Benaiah and Maaseiah, which are repeated in 1 Chronicles 15:20, have been there transposed. All the other names in vv.18 and 20 coincide.
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