1 Chronicles 16 – “The Ark Arrives”

04_04_2008_18_51_54_raisinHebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The ark is joyously brought to its resting place in Jerusalem. The Levites lead the congregation in hymnic praise to God. David then appoints the Levites to their posts, and the people return to their homes.

II. Photo
David publicly celebrates the ark’s arrival: “When David finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and the offerings of well-being, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD. And he distributed to every person in Israel — man and woman alike — to each a loaf of bread, a cake made in a pan, and a raisin cake.” (vv. 2-3)

III. Important Verses
vv. 1-3: They brought in the Ark of God and set it up inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and they sacrificed burnt offerings and offerings of well-being before God. When David finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and the offerings of well-being, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD. And he distributed to every person in Israel — man and woman alike — to each a loaf of bread, a cake made in a pan, and a raisin cake.
vv. 7-10: Then, on that day, David first commissioned Asaph and his kinsmen to give praise to the LORD:  “Praise the LORD; call on His name; proclaim His deeds among the peoples. Sing praises unto Him; speak of all His wondrous acts. Exult in His holy name; let all who seek the LORD rejoice.”
vv. 16-22: Be ever mindful of His covenant, the promise He gave for a thousand generations, that He made with Abraham, swore to Isaac, and confirmed in a decree for Jacob, for Israel, as an eternal covenant, saying, ‘To you I will give the land of Canaan as your allotted heritage.’ You were then few in number, a handful, merely sojourning there, wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another. He allowed no one to oppress them; He reproved kings on their account, ‘Do not touch My anointed ones; do not harm My prophets.’
vv. 34-36: Praise the LORD for He is good; His steadfast love is eternal. Declare: Deliver us, O God, our deliverer, and gather us and save us from the nations, to acclaim Your holy name, to glory in Your praise. Blessed is the LORD, God of Israel, from eternity to eternity.” And all the people said, “Amen” and “Praise the LORD.”

IV. Outline

1-3. Celebrating the ark with sacrifice and food
4-6. The Levitical musicians and liturgists
7-36. Medley of Praise
    7. Introduction
    8-13. Call to worship
    14-22. Covenant remembrance
    23-24. Call to worship
    25-27. Hymnic praise
    28-33. Jubilant call to praise
    34-35. Final praise, petition
    36. Communal response
37-42. Stationing the officials
43. Dismissal

V. Comment
This commentary, which began with the book of Psalms, ventured to show that the Psalter is an adaptable collection of prayers consisting of “interchangeable parts.” This means that the introductions, middle sections, and conclusions of the psalms were once freely mixed and matched with each other. While this commentary focused on the psalms themselves, 1 Chronicles 16 is a paradigmatic example of this concept. Verses 7-36 contain the prayers that were sung during the ark processional, and the “prayer” comes from three different psalms. The introduction is taken from Ps. 105, the mid-section is taken from Ps. 96, and the conclusion comes from Ps. 106. The parallels will now be displayed:

Vv. 8-22 are nearly identical to Ps. 105:1-15:
Praise the LORD; call on His name; proclaim His deeds among the peoples. Sing praises to Him; speak of all His wondrous acts. Exult in His holy name; let all who seek the LORD rejoice. Turn to the LORD, to His might; seek His presence constantly. Remember the wonders He has done, His portents and the judgments He has pronounced, O offspring of Abraham, His servant, O descendants of Jacob, His chosen ones.
He is the LORD our God; His judgments are throughout the earth. He is ever mindful of His covenant, the promise He gave for a thousand generations, that He made with Abraham, swore to Isaac, and confirmed in a decree for Jacob, for Israel, as an eternal covenant, saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan as your allotted heritage.”
They were then few in number, a mere handful, sojourning there, wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another. He allowed no one to oppress them; He reproved kings on their account, “Do not touch My anointed ones; do not harm My prophets.”

Vv. 23-33 are nearly identical to Ps. 96: 1-13:
Sing to the LORD a new song, sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless His name, proclaim His victory day after day. Tell of His glory among the nations, His wondrous deeds, among all peoples. For the LORD is great and much acclaimed, He is held in awe by all divine beings. All the gods of the peoples are mere idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Glory and majesty are before Him; strength and splendor are in His temple.
Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory of His name, bring tribute and enter His courts. Bow down to the LORD majestic in holiness; tremble in His presence, all the earth! Declare among the nations, “The LORD is king!” the world stands firm; it cannot be shaken; He judges the peoples with equity. Let the heavens rejoice and the earth exult; let the sea and all within it thunder, the fields and everything in them exult; then shall all the trees of the forest shout for joy at the presence of the LORD, for He is coming, for He is coming to rule the earth; He will rule the world justly, and its peoples in faithfulness.

Vv. 34-36 are nearly identical to Ps. 106:1, 47-48:
Hallelujah. Praise the LORD for He is good; His steadfast love is eternal. Deliver us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the nations, to acclaim Your holy name, to glory in Your praise. Blessed is the LORD, God of Israel, From eternity to eternity. Let all the people say, “Amen.” Hallelujah.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
De Vries, Simon J. “1 and 2 Chronicles,” The Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 11 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1989).
Photo taken from http://www.bizster.com.ph/working/finished/04_04_2008_18_51_54_raisin.JPG

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