1 Chronicles 16


Gill, in his commentary, gives us a useful summary of this chapter.

‘This chapter relates that David offered sacrifices when the ark was brought into his city, 1 Chronicles 16:1 who were the singers he appointed to sing before it continually, 1 Chronicles 16:4 and the song he that day composed and delivered to them to sing, 1 Chronicles 16:7 and that he appointed not only proper persons to minister before the ark but also before the tabernacle at Gibeon, 1 Chronicles 16:37.’

Ministering Before The Ark

‘They brought the ark of God and set it inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and they presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before God. After David had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD. Then he gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins to each Israelite man and woman. He appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, to extol, thank, and praise the LORD, the God of Israel: Asaph was the chief, and next to him in rank were Zechariah, then Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-Edom and Jeiel. They were to play the lyres and harps, Asaph was to sound the cymbals, and Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests were to blow the trumpets regularly before the ark of the covenant of God.’ 1 Chronicles 16:1-6

The Israelites brought the ark of God to Jerusalem and placed it in a makeshift tent, it appears that David now acting as king, knew exactly where to place the tent the ark had been in several tents up until this point in time, 1 Chronicles 17:4-6.

Notice they presented burnt offerings and peace offerings, which represent consecration and fellowship with God. When all the celebrations were over, David established a lasting institution of worship and remembrance at the ark of the covenant.

Gill, in his commentary, says the following.

‘This chapter relates that David offered sacrifices when the ark was brought into his city, 1 Chronicles 16:1, who were the singers he appointed to sing before it continually, 1 Chronicles 16:4, and the song he that day composed and delivered to them to sing, 1 Chronicles 16:7, and that he appointed not only proper persons to minister before the ark but also before the tabernacle at Gibeon, 1 Chronicles 16:37.’

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘It is not altogether clear just exactly what some of these appointments included but, of course, the persons receiving these appointments and instructions understood them and carried out their duties as instructed. Significantly, David was diligent to set up all of these provisions for establishing on a permanent basis the worship of God in Jerusalem.’

In the previous chapter, we read that the Levites had appointed Heman as the leader of worship, 1 Chronicles 15:17, but here it appears that Asaph has now been given this position, 1 Chronicles 6:39-43.

‘That day David first appointed Asaph and his associates to give praise to the LORD in this manner: Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced, you his servants, the descendants of Israel, his chosen ones, the children of Jacob. He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth. He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations, the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac. He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant: “To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit.” When they were but few in number, few indeed, and strangers in it, they wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another. He allowed no one to oppress them; for their sake he rebuked kings: “Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.” Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvellous deeds among all peoples. For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendour and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place. Ascribe to the LORD, all you families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the LORD in the splendour of his holiness. Tremble before him, all the earth! The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!” Let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them! Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Cry out, “Save us, God our Saviour; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise.” Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Then all the people said “Amen” and “Praise the LORD.” 1 Chronicles 16:7-36

1 Chronicles 16:7-16 are an encouragement to the people to honour God for what He does for them and 1 Chronicles 16:17-22 recollects all that God had done for the nation in the past. 1 Chronicles 17:23-36 are words of worship and praise for God.

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘1 Chronicles 16:8-22 corresponds almost exactly with Psalm 105:1-15. 1 Chronicles 16:23-33 corresponds almost exactly with Psalm 96 in its entirety. The concluding verses of the Model Psalm are found in Psalms 106:1 / Psalm 106:47-48.’

Barnes, in his commentary, says the following concerning, ‘that day’.

‘On that day did David first commit to the hand of Asaph and his brethren to render praises to Jehovah, i.e., after the following manner and words. The word first marks the solemn establishment of set public worship in the metropolis.’

After everything which God has done for David up until this point, it’s not surprising that he wants to thank God. In his song of praise, 2 Samuel 23:1, he simply gives God all the glory for all that He has done in and through Israel, Psalm 96:1-13 / Psalm 105:1-15 / Psalm 106:1 / Psalm 106:47-48.

1 Chronicles 16:14-19 is an encouragement to remember God’s covenant with His people, Genesis 12:1-3 / Genesis 13:14-17 / Exodus 19:5-8 / 2 Samuel 7.

1 Chronicles 16:20-22 is a reminder of how God protects His people.

1 Chronicles 16:23-30 is an encouragement to praise God.

1 Chronicles 16:31-33 is an encouragement for all of creation to praise God, Romans 1:19-23.

1 Chronicles 16:34-36, is a reminder of God’s faithfulness towards His people.

Morgan, in his commentary, says the following, concerning David’s song.

‘The Psalm is found in the Book of Psalms, its first movement, 1 Chronicles 16:8-22 in Psalm 105:1-15, its second movement, 1 Chronicles 16:23-33 in Psalm 96:1b-13a, its third movement, 1 Chronicles 16:34-36 consisting of a quotation of the opening and closing sentences of Psalm 106:1-48.’

‘David left Asaph and his associates before the ark of the covenant of the LORD to minister there regularly, according to each day’s requirements. He also left Obed-Edom and his sixty-eight associates to minister with them. Obed-Edom son of Jeduthun, and also Hosah, were gatekeepers. David left Zadok the priest and his fellow priests before the tabernacle of the LORD at the high place in Gibeon to present burnt offerings to the LORD on the altar of burnt offering regularly, morning and evening, in accordance with everything written in the Law of the LORD, which he had given Israel. With them were Heman and Jeduthun and the rest of those chosen and designated by name to give thanks to the LORD, “for his love endures forever.” Heman and Jeduthun were responsible for the sounding of the trumpets and cymbals and for the playing of the other instruments for sacred song. The sons of Jeduthun were stationed at the gate. Then all the people left, each for their own home, and David returned home to bless his family.’ 1 Chronicles 16:37-43

After Saul ordered the killing of the priests at Nob, 1 Samuel 22:19, the tabernacle had been moved to Gibeon. At that time, Zadok was the high priest, here, when David built a tabernacle in Jerusalem, and moved the ark to Jerusalem, Asaph was appointed to oversee the tabernacle ministries.

Barnes, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The original altar of burnt-offering, Exodus 27:1-8, continued at Gibeon with the tabernacle, 2 Chronicles 1:3 / 2 Chronicles 1:5. David must have erected a new altar for sacrifice at Jerusalem, 1 Chronicles 16:1. The sacrifices commanded by the Law were, it appears, offered at the former place; at the latter were offered voluntary additional sacrifices.’

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘It is here brought into prominence that the ark and the tabernacle were in two separate places. The great ordinary sacrifices, including the morning and evening sacrifices as commanded in Exodus 38:2, were now resumed in the tabernacle, ‘according to all that is written in the law of the Lord’.

The significance of what David accomplished here is great indeed, and the Chronicler has provided in 1 Chronicles 15:39, an explanation of where the tabernacle had been after it was removed from Nob.

During the times of the Judges, the tabernacle had been at Shiloh, Joshua 18:1, during the reign of Saul, it was at Nob, 1 Samuel 21, and it was later at Gibeon, 1 Chronicles 16:39, and later Solomon laid it up in the temple, 1 Kings 8:4.’

David left Asaph and his brothers before the ark of the covenant which implies that David never intended this event to be a one-off event, 1 Chronicles 16:4-6.

After putting the ark in its place, praising God for it, and enjoying some food, 2 Samuel 6:19, David returned to bless his family, 2 Samuel 6:20.

Go To 1 Chronicles 17


"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."