Bible Reading / Book By Book: 1 Kings to Psalms

Day 31 / 1 Chronicles 15

1 & 2 Chronicles are generally attributed to Ezra, whom we will get to know better in the book of the same name. Ezra is a priest who leads the people of Judah after they return from captivity in Babylon. He probably writes 1 & 2 Chronicles to re-introduce the people to their history after a couple of generations of being separated from their land. He covers the time from Creation to his own time through genealogies, which demonstrate God’s continuing faithfulness to the people of Judah. He then goes back to provide details about the reign of King David. The chapters we will be reading in 1 Chronicles are from the portion of the book talking about David. At the time of Ezra’s writing, Judah is weak and disorganized. Ezra is probably trying to encourage them by telling them of a time when their nation was strong. 

If you have been following this reading plan, you may recognize that you have heard this story before. The Bible was written by many different authors, and sometimes a story is told by more than one of them. This story was also told back in 2 Samuel 6. Sometimes it can be helpful to compare the different versions of the story. This version emphasizes the various priestly families who were allowed to be involved in moving the ark of God and the fact that they needed to go through purification rituals before they could carry it. This author is emphasizing the need for purity in approaching God. 

God loves everyone and wants to be in a relationship with all of us, but our approach to him needs to be on his terms. For us that is through faith in Jesus.

1 Chronicles 15 (NASB)

Plans to Move the Ark to Jerusalem

Now David built houses for himself in the city of David; and he prepared a place for the ark of God and pitched a tent for it. 2 Then David said, “No one is to carry the ark of God but the Levites; for the Lord chose them to carry the ark of God and to minister to Him forever.” 3 And David assembled all Israel at Jerusalem to bring up the ark of the Lord to its place which he had prepared for it. 4 David gathered together the sons of Aaron and the Levites: 5 of the sons of Kohath, Uriel the chief, and 120 of his relatives; 6 of the sons of Merari, Asaiah the chief, and 220 of his relatives; 7 of the sons of Gershom, Joel the chief, and 130 of his relatives; 8 of the sons of Elizaphan, Shemaiah the chief, and 200 of his relatives;9 of the sons of Hebron, Eliel the chief, and 80 of his relatives; 10 of the sons of Uzziel, Amminadab the chief, and 112 of his relatives.

11 Then David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites, for Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel and Amminadab, 12 and said to them, “You are the heads of the fathers’ households of the Levites; consecrate yourselves both you and your relatives, that you may bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel to the place that I have prepared for it. 13 Because you did not carry it at the first, the Lord our God made an outburst on us, for we did not seek Him according to the ordinance.” 14 So the priests and the Levites consecrated themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel. 15 The sons of the Levites carried the ark of God on their shoulders with the poles thereon, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the Lord.

16 Then David spoke to the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their relatives the singers, with instruments of music, harps, lyres, loud-sounding cymbals, to raise sounds of joy. 17 So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel, and from his relatives, Asaph the son of Berechiah; and from the sons of Merari their relatives, Ethan the son of Kushaiah, 18 and with them their relatives of the second rank, Zechariah, Ben, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-edom and Jeiel, the gatekeepers. 19 So the singers, Heman, Asaph and Ethan were appointed to sound aloud cymbals of bronze; 20 and Zechariah, Aziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah and Benaiah, with harps tuned to alamoth; 21 and Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-edom, Jeiel and Azaziah, to lead with lyres tuned to the sheminith.22 Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was in charge of the singing; he gave instruction in singing because he was skillful. 23 Berechiah and Elkanah were gatekeepers for the ark. 24 Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah and Eliezer, the priests, blew the trumpets before the ark of God. Obed-edom and Jehiah also were gatekeepers for the ark.

25 So it was David, with the elders of Israel and the captains over thousands, who went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the house of Obed-edom with joy. 26 Because God was helping the Levites who were carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord, they sacrificed seven bulls and seven rams. 27 Now David was clothed with a robe of fine linen with all the Levites who were carrying the ark, and the singers and Chenaniah the leader of the singing with the singers. David also wore an ephod of linen. 28 Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouting, and with sound of the horn, with trumpets, with loud-sounding cymbals, with harps and lyres.

29 It happened when the ark of the covenant of the Lord came to the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and celebrating; and she despised him in her heart.