The Word Made Fresh
1They placed the covenant chest of God inside the tent David had prepared and sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings to God. 2After making the sacrifices, David blessed the people in the name of the LORD. 3Then he handed out a loaf of bread, a cake of dates, and a raisin cake to each and every Israelite man and woman.
4He appointed Levites to serve as ministers before the LORD’s covenant chest. They were to proclaim and give thanks and praise to the God of Israel. 5Asaph was the chief priest, and under him were Zechariah, Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-Edom, and Jeiel who played harps and lyres. Asaph sounded the cymbals. 6Benaiah and Jahaziel were to blow the trumpets at the designated times before the LORD’s covenant chest.
7On that very day David gave to Asaph the first psalm of praises to be sung:
8“Call on the name of the LORD and give thanks! Proclaim to all the people the works of the LORD!
9“Sing praises for all the wonderful things the LORD has done.
10“You who seek the LORD, rejoice! Sing hallelujah!
11“Constantly search for the LORD’s strength and presence.
12“Never forget the LORD’s wonderful works, miracles, and pronouncements, 13children of Israel. You are children of Jacob, chosen by the LORD.
14“The LORD who judges the whole world is our God.
15“Always remember the LORD’s promises that were given to us for a thousand generations, 16the promises given to Abraham and sworn to Isaac, 17passed on to Jacob as a general rule and given to Israel as a permanent assurance.
18“For the LORD said to Israel, ‘I will give you the land of Canaan. It will be your inheritance.’
19“Even when their number was very few and no notice was taken of them because they were strangers in the land 20wandering from place to place, from one kingdom to another, 21the LORD would not allow any of their kings to abuse them, saying to them, 22‘Don’t touch my chosen people! Don’t lay a hand on my prophets!’
23“Let everyone in the world sing to the LORD and tell the story every day of the way the LORD saved Israel. 24Tell all the nations about the glory of the LORD, and all the fantastic things God has done for every people.
25“Because the LORD is mighty, and should be praised mightily and held in reverence above all gods. 26The gods the nations worship are nothing but idols, but the LORD created the universe! 27The LORD is majestic and honorable and strong and filled with joy.
28“You people of the earth, attribute to the LORD glory and strength! 29Yes, attribute to the LORD the glory that is due! Bring an offering and come before the LORD and worship the LORD in sacred splendor! 30Tremble before the LORD, everyone, for the world is set securely in place! 31Let the skies be happy! Let the ground shout with joy! Let them tell all the nations, ‘The LORD is our king!’ 32Let the oceans roll and everything in them! Let the fields celebrate and everything in them!
33“For even the trees in the forests will sing for joy before the LORD when the LORD comes to judge the earth. 34So, give thanks to the LORD, who is good, and whose love for us is like a rock, and will go on forever.”
35David also told the priests to sing:
“Rescue us, O God who saves. Gather us together from among all the nations so that we may give thanks to your sacred name and praise you gloriously! 36The LORD, the God of Israel is honored now and will be forever and ever.”
Then all the people shouted, “Amen!” and praised the LORD.
37David stationed Asaph and his relatives in the tent of the LORD’s covenant chest, to carry out their duties each day as needed. 38Obed-edom and his family, all sixty-eight of them, were among them, and Obed-edom son of Jeduthun and Hosah were the gatekeepers. 39He left the priest Zadok and other priests in his family at the tent of the LORD on the hilltop at Gibeon 40to regularly offer sacrifices to the LORD on the altar there morning and evening in accordance with everything in the LORD’s instructions given to Israel. 41With Zadok and his family were also Heman and Jeduthun. Others were chosen to regularly give thanks to the LORD, whose faithful love never ends. 42Heman and Jeduthun took trumpets and cymbals with them to provide music, and other instruments to accompany hymns. Jeduthun’s sons were stationed at the gates.
45All the people then departed and returned to their homes, and David returned to his house to bless his family.
1-3: The ark is placed in the tent and food is distributed to all the people.
4-6: Priests are assigned as worship leaders before the ark.
7-36: An example of the worship to be performed is given in the form of a psalm. Verses 8-22 are virtually identical to Psalm 105:1-15. Verses 23-33 are essentially the same as Psalm 96:2-13a. Verses 34-36 can be found in Psalm 106:1, 47-48.
37-43: David establishes a permanent priesthood at the place of the covenant chest in Jerusalem, and also at Gibeon. Gibeon is about 8 miles NW of Jerusalem, and was an early place of worship for Israel, although no explanation is given. Solomon had his dreams of God speaking to him at Gibeon (see 1 Kings 3:5). Gibeon has a rather long history in Israel, beginning with the initial settling of Canaan by the Israelites fresh from the wilderness (see Joshua 9). Still, why that site was ever chosen as a holy place is not known. Solomon is judged to be in the wrong for sacrificing there, but not David (1 Kings 3:3-4). In the eyes of the chroniclers of Israel, David can do no wrong.
King David was big on ceremonies, wasn’t he? What better way is there to secure the allegiance of the people than to give them food and throw a huge party for everybody? He is also careful to elevate whole families in the keeping of sacred sites and ceremonies. His equal cannot be found in the Old Tesatment stories of the kings of Israel and Judah.