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1 Chronicles 12-13-14-15, Bible Highlights: week starting october 26

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Highlights From Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 12-15. Information for personal study.

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OCT. 26 BIBLE READING: 1 CHRONICLES 12-15


(1 CHRONICLES 12:8)

“Some of the Gadʹites went over to David’s side at the stronghold in the wilderness; they were mighty warriors, soldiers trained for war, standing ready with the large shield and the lance, whose faces were like those of lions and who were as swift as the gazelles on the mountains.”

*** w05 10/1 p. 10 par. 5 Highlights From the Book of First Chronicles ***
12:8—In what way were the faces of the Gadite warriors like “the faces of lions”? These valiant men were at David’s side in the wilderness. Their hair had grown long. Having a hairy mane gave them a fierce, lionlike appearance.

*** it-1 p. 171 Arms, Armor ***
The “large shield” (Heb., tsin•nahʹ) was carried by the heavily armed infantry (2Ch 14:8) and sometimes by a shield bearer. (1Sa 17:7, 41) It was either oval or else rectangular like a door. Apparently a similar “large shield” is designated at Ephesians 6:16 by the Greek word thy•re•osʹ (from thyʹra, meaning “door”). The tsin•nahʹ was large enough to cover the entire body. (Ps 5:12) It was on occasion used to set up solid-front battle lines with lances protruding. The large shield is sometimes mentioned with the lance or spear as a form of reference to weapons in general.—1Ch 12:8, 34; 2Ch 11:12.

(1 CHRONICLES 12:18)

“Then the spirit came upon A•maʹsai, the head of the thirty: “We are yours, O David, and we are with you, O son of Jesʹse. Peace, peace be yours, and peace to the one helping you, For your God is helping you.” So David received them and appointed them among the heads of the troops.”

*** it-1 p. 87 Amasa ***
Some contend that Amasa is to be identified with Amasai, one of those who joined David’s army at Ziklag, but such an identification is uncertain.—1Ch 12:18.

(1 CHRONICLES 12:21)

“They helped David against the marauder band, because all of them were mighty, courageous men, and they became chiefs in the army.”

*** it-1 p. 49 Adnah ***
1. A valiant military officer of Manasseh who deserted from Saul to David’s army at Ziklag. He fought at David’s side in the pursuit of the marauding band of Amalekites that ravaged David’s camp at Ziklag, and he came to be a chief in David’s army.—1Ch 12:20, 21; 1Sa 30:1, 2, 17-19.

(1 CHRONICLES 12:23)

“This is the number of the heads of those armed for battle who came to David at Hebʹron to turn the kingship of Saul over to him according to Jehovah’s order.”

*** it-1 p. 746 Time of David ***
Hebron 2Sa 2:1-4, 11; 3:2-5, 12, 20-27, 32; 4:8-12;
5:1-5; 15:7-10; 1Ch 12:23-40

(1 CHRONICLES 12:27)

“Je•hoiʹa•da was the leader of the sons of Aaron, and with him were 3,700,”

*** it-1 p. 11 Aaron ***
Aaron’s Priestly Descendants. The expression “Aaronites” appears in the King James Version and Moffatt at 1 Chronicles 12:27; 27:17. (The Masoretic text in Hebrew simply uses the name Aaron. LXX [Lagardian edition, at 1Ch 12:27] says “of the sons of Aaron.”) It is evident that the word “Aaron” is here used in a collective sense, much as is the name Israel, and stands for the house of Aaron or his male descendants in David’s time who were of the tribe of Levi and were serving as priests. (1Ch 6:48-53) The New World Translation reads: “And Jehoiada was the leader [of the sons] of Aaron, and with him were three thousand seven hundred” (1Ch 12:27), bracketing the words “of the sons” to denote that they are supplied.

(1 CHRONICLES 12:33)

“Of Zebʹu•lun, there were 50,000 who could serve in the army, drawing up in battle formation with all the weapons of war, all joining David with undivided loyalty.”

*** it-1 p. 1058 Heart ***
An individual can also be of “a double heart” (literally, with a heart and a heart), trying to serve two masters, or deceptively saying one thing while thinking something else. (1Ch 12:33; Ps 12:2, ftn) Jesus strongly denounced such doublehearted hypocrisy.—Mt 15:7, 8.

(1 CHRONICLES 12:34)

“Of Naphʹta•li, there were 1,000 chiefs, and with them were 37,000 with the large shield and the spear.”

*** it-1 p. 171 Arms, Armor ***
The “large shield” (Heb., tsin•nahʹ) was carried by the heavily armed infantry (2Ch 14:8) and sometimes by a shield bearer. (1Sa 17:7, 41) It was either oval or else rectangular like a door. Apparently a similar “large shield” is designated at Ephesians 6:16 by the Greek word thy•re•osʹ (from thyʹra, meaning “door”). The tsin•nahʹ was large enough to cover the entire body. (Ps 5:12) It was on occasion used to set up solid-front battle lines with lances protruding. The large shield is sometimes mentioned with the lance or spear as a form of reference to weapons in general.—1Ch 12:8, 34; 2Ch 11:12.

(1 CHRONICLES 13:5)

“So David congregated all Israel, from the river of Egypt as far as Leʹbo-haʹmath, to bring the Ark of the true God from Kirʹi•ath-jeʹa•rim.”

*** w05 10/1 p. 10 par. 6 Highlights From the Book of First Chronicles ***
13:5—What is “the river of Egypt”? Some have thought that this expression refers to a branch of the Nile River. However, it is generally understood that the reference is to “the torrent valley of Egypt”—a long ravine marking the southwest boundary of the Promised Land.—Numbers 34:2, 5; Genesis 15:18.

*** it-2 p. 815 River of Egypt ***
At 1 Chronicles 13:5 certain translations read “river [shi•chohrʹ] of Egypt” (NW, La, AT), and this reference also may be to Wadi el-ʽArish. However, another possibility is that both texts refer to a branch of the Nile.—See SHIHOR.

*** it-2 pp. 927-928 Shihor ***
Similarly, a correspondency is noted between the reference to David’s congregating the people of Israel from Shihor (“the river of Egypt,” NW) to Hamath (when endeavoring to bring the ark of the covenant up to Jerusalem) and the congregating of the people in Solomon’s day from “the entering in of Hamath down to the torrent valley of Egypt.” (1Ch 13:5; 1Ki 8:65) The explanation for this may be that in the latter case (Solomon’s time) the account gives the practical boundaries of Israelite residence. The region between the Wadi el-ʽArish and the eastern arm of the Nile is basically desert territory and scrubland, so this wadi, or torrent valley, fittingly marked the limit of territory suitable for Israelite inhabitation, whereas in the former case (David’s) the description may be that of the entire region of Israelite activity, the region effectively dominated by David, which indeed ran to the border of Egypt.
Even prior to David, King Saul had pursued the Amalekites as far as Shur, “which is in front of Egypt” (1Sa 15:7), and the dominion Solomon received through David is stated to have reached to “the boundary of Egypt.” (1Ki 4:21) So, even though the territory actually distributed to the Israelite tribes did not extend beyond “the torrent valley of Egypt,” this would not appear to argue against the identification of the Shihor with a “branch of the Nile” at Joshua 13:3 and “the river of Egypt” at 1 Chronicles 13:5.

*** it-2 p. 927 Shihor ***
SHIHOR
(Shiʹhor) [from Egyptian, meaning “Pond of Horus”].
Evidently the easternmost branch of the Nile River in the Delta region. Shihor, in its four occurrences in the Hebrew text, is always associated with Egypt. (Jos 13:3, “branch of the Nile”; 1Ch 13:5, “river”;

(1 CHRONICLES 13:9)

“But when they came to the threshing floor of Chiʹdon, Uzʹzah thrust his hand out and grabbed hold of the Ark, for the cattle nearly upset it.”

*** it-1 p. 433 Chidon ***
CHIDON
(Chiʹdon).
The name of the owner of the threshing floor or the threshing floor itself where Uzzah was struck down by Jehovah when an attempt was made to move the ark of the testimony in an improper manner from Kiriath-jearim to the City of David. The threshing floor was apparently located between these two points and near the house of Obed-edom. (1Ch 13:6-14) Its precise location is unknown. The parallel narrative at 2 Samuel 6:6 says “Nacon,” which possibly indicates that one account uses the name of the location of the threshing floor, while the other uses the name of its owner. After the above incident the place came to be called Perez-uzzah, meaning “Rupture Against Uzzah.”

*** it-2 p. 460 Nacon ***
NACON
(Naʹcon) [possibly, Firmly Established].
According to 2 Samuel 6:6, the name of the threshing floor where Uzzah died for grabbing hold of the ark of the covenant. The parallel account at 1 Chronicles 13:9 says “Chidon,” probably indicating that one writer mentioned the name of the place, the other that of its owner, or that one name is an altered form of the other.

(1 CHRONICLES 13:10)

“At that Jehovah’s anger blazed against Uzʹzah, and He struck him down because he had thrust his hand out to the Ark, and he died there before God.”

*** w05 2/1 pp. 26-27 Jehovah Always Does What Is Right ***
Why Did Jehovah Strike Uzzah Dead?
18 Another account that might seem puzzling to some involves David’s attempt to bring the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem. The Ark was placed on a wagon, which was led by Uzzah and his brother. The Bible states: “They came gradually as far as the threshing floor of Nacon, and Uzzah now thrust his hand out to the ark of the true God and grabbed hold of it, for the cattle nearly caused an upset. At that Jehovah’s anger blazed against Uzzah and the true God struck him down there for the irreverent act, so that he died there close by the ark of the true God.” Some months later, a second attempt succeeded when the Ark was transported in the God-appointed way, carried on the shoulders of Kohathite Levites. (2 Samuel 6:6, 7; Numbers 4:15; 7:9; 1 Chronicles 15:1-14) Some may ask: ‘Why did Jehovah react so strongly? Uzzah was only trying to save the Ark.’ Lest we draw the wrong conclusion, we do well to note some helpful details.
19 We need to remember that it is impossible for Jehovah to act unjustly. (Job 34:10) For him to do so would be unloving, and we know from our study of the Bible as a whole that “God is love.” (1 John 4:8) In addition, the Scriptures tell us that “righteousness and judgment are the established place of [God’s] throne.” (Psalm 89:14) How, then, could Jehovah ever act unjustly? If he were to do so, he would be undermining the very foundation of his sovereignty.
20 Keep in mind that Uzzah should have known better. The Ark was associated with Jehovah’s presence. The Law specified that it was not to be touched by unauthorized individuals, explicitly warning that violators would be punished by death. (Numbers 4:18-20; 7:89) Therefore, the transfer of that sacred chest was not a task to be treated lightly. Uzzah evidently was a Levite (though not a priest), so he should have been familiar with the Law. Besides, years earlier the Ark had been moved to the house of his father for safekeeping. (1 Samuel 6:20–7:1) It had stayed there for some 70 years, until David chose to move it. So from childhood on, Uzzah had likely been aware of the laws regarding the Ark.
21 As mentioned earlier, Jehovah can read hearts. Since his Word calls Uzzah’s deed an “irreverent act,” Jehovah may have seen some selfish motive that is not expressly revealed in the account. Was Uzzah perhaps a presumptuous man, prone to overstep due bounds? (Proverbs 11:2) Did leading in public the Ark that his family had guarded in private give him an inflated sense of self-importance? (Proverbs 8:13) Was Uzzah so faithless as to think that Jehovah’s hand was too short to steady the sacred chest that symbolized His presence? Whatever the case, we can be sure that Jehovah did what was right. He likely saw something in Uzzah’s heart that caused Him to render swift judgment.—Proverbs 21:2.

(1 CHRONICLES 13:11)

“But David became angry because Jehovah’s wrath had broken through against Uzʹzah; and that place has been called Peʹrez-uzʹzah down to this day.”

*** w05 10/1 p. 11 par. 2 Highlights From the Book of First Chronicles ***
13:11. Rather than becoming angry and blaming Jehovah when our efforts fail, we must analyze the situation and try to see what caused the failure. Undoubtedly, David did that. He learned from his mistake and later successfully brought the Ark to Jerusalem, using the proper method.

(1 CHRONICLES 14:11)

“So David went up to Baʹal-pe•raʹzim, and he struck them down there. At that David said: “The true God has broken through my enemies by my hand, like a breach made by waters.” That is why they named that place Baʹal-pe•raʹzim.”

*** w91 6/1 p. 21 par. 2 Keep Warning of Jehovah’s Unusual Work ***
1 Chronicles 14:8-17

*** w91 6/1 p. 21 par. 1 Keep Warning of Jehovah’s Unusual Work ***
Obeying Jehovah’s word, David soundly defeated the mighty Philistine army at Baal-perazim. But the Philistines did not admit defeat. Soon they returned to ravage and pillage some more in the low plain of Rephaim, and David again sought direction from Jehovah.

*** it-1 p. 588 David ***
When the Philistines heard that David was king of all Israel, they came up to overthrow him. As in the past (1Sa 23:2, 4, 10-12; 30:8), David inquired of Jehovah whether he should go against them. “Go up,” was the answer, and Jehovah burst upon the enemy with such overpowering destruction that David called the place Baal-perazim, meaning “Owner of Breakings Through.” In a return encounter Jehovah’s strategy shifted, and he ordered David to circle around and strike the Philistines from the rear.—2Sa 5:17-25; 1Ch 14:8-17.

*** it-1 p. 746 Time of David ***
Baal-perazim 1Ch 14:8-12

(1 CHRONICLES 14:12)

“The Phi•lisʹtines abandoned their gods there, and when David gave the order, these were burned in the fire.”

*** it-1 p. 233 Baal-perazim ***
The account at 2 Samuel 5:21 says that David and his men ‘took the Philistines’ abandoned idols away.’ The parallel account at 1 Chronicles 14:12 shows the final action taken, stating: “Then David said the word, and so they [the idols] were burned in the fire.”

(1 CHRONICLES 14:15)

“And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the baʹca bushes, launch your attack, for the true God will have gone out before you to strike down the army of the Phi•lisʹtines.””

*** w91 6/1 p. 21 par. 2 Keep Warning of Jehovah’s Unusual Work ***
2 This time he was told to go to the rear of the Philistines with his troops. Jehovah said: “When you hear the sound of a marching in the tops of the baca bushes, at that time you act with decision, because at that time Jehovah will have gone out ahead of you to strike down the camp of the Philistines.” And that is what happened. David waited until Jehovah produced the sound of marching in the top of the baca bushes—perhaps by means of a strong wind. Immediately, David and his troops leapt out from concealment and attacked the distracted Philistines, defeating them with a great slaughter. The religious idols that the Philistines left lying on the battlefield were gathered together and destroyed.—2 Samuel 5:17-25; 1 Chronicles 14:8-17.

*** it-1 p. 241 Baca ***
A balsam tree of the poplar family (Populus euphratica) is recommended by some botanists, primarily because of the ease with which its leaves are stirred by any breeze, producing a rustling sound. However, the Bible does not specify how “the sound of a marching” was produced (whether by means of the leaves, the branches, or some other part of the plant) and simply indicates that it occurred in “the tops” of the plants. It could have been a mere rustling sound that served as a signal, or as suggested by some, it may have been a noise of some volume produced by a rushing wind that served to cover up or even to simulate the sound of a marching army.—2Sa 5:24; 1Ch 14:15.

(1 CHRONICLES 15:20)

“and Zech•a•riʹah, Aʹzi•el, She•mirʹa•moth, Je•hiʹel, Unʹni, E•liʹab, Ma•a•seiʹah, and Be•naiʹah played stringed instruments tuned to Alʹa•moth;”

*** nwt p. 1692 Glossary ***
Alamoth. A musical term meaning “Maidens; Young Women,” probably alluding to the soprano voices of young women. It was likely used to indicate that a musical piece or accompaniment was to be executed at a high register.—1Ch 15:20; Ps 46:Sup.

*** nwt p. 1711 Glossary ***
Sheminith. A musical term literally meaning “the eighth” that may refer to a lower musical register, or mode. For instruments, the word probably pointed to those that produced the bass tones of the musical scale. For songs, it likely referred to musical accompaniment in a lower range and sung accordingly.—1Ch 15:21; Ps 6:Sup; 12:Sup.

*** it-1 p. 69 Alamoth ***
ALAMOTH
(Alʹa•moth) [Maidens; Young Women].
Evidently a term of musical execution. It probably refers to the soprano voices of young women or the falsetto of boys. In 1 Chronicles 15:20, stringed instruments are described as being “tuned to Alamoth,” the term being transliterated. However, in the superscription to Psalm 46 ʽala•mohthʹ is translated “Maidens.”
At 1 Chronicles 15:21, the verse following the above citation, another musical expression is transliterated, namely, shemi•nithʹ, referring to “harps tuned to Sheminith.” In the superscriptions of Psalms 6 and 12 this word is translated “lower octave.” While the two terms Alamoth and Sheminith are not necessarily opposites in meaning, some scholars believe they do stand in contrast to each other. The contents of the respective psalms seem to indicate this also: Both psalms (6 and 12) containing shemi•nithʹ in their superscriptions are somewhat plaintive and would accordingly be accompanied in a more somber, lower range; whereas Psalm 46, containing ʽala•mohthʹ in its superscription, is joyous and reasonably would have accompaniment or be sung in a higher register.—See HARP; MUSIC.

*** it-1 p. 1039 Harp ***
Because of the uncertainty surrounding the precise identity of the kin•nohrʹ, and especially the neʹvel (stringed instrument), any attempt to compare the two instruments is speculative. First Chronicles 15:20, 21 mentions “stringed instruments [neva•limʹ (plural)] tuned to Alamoth, . . . harps [kin•no•rohthʹ (plural)] tuned to Sheminith.” If “Alamoth” refers to a higher musical register and “Sheminith” to a lower tonal range, this could imply that the kin•nohrʹ was the larger, lower-pitched instrument. On the other hand, the reverse could be true (which is the general consensus) if, indeed, Alamoth and Sheminith are specifically here mentioned because of being exceptional tunings for these instruments. In any event, both instruments were portable.

(1 CHRONICLES 15:21)

“and Mat•ti•thiʹah, E•liphʹe•le•hu, Mik•neʹiah, Oʹbed-eʹdom, Je•iʹel, and Az•a•ziʹah played harps tuned to Shemʹi•nith, to act as directors.”

*** nwt p. 1711 Glossary ***
Sheminith. A musical term literally meaning “the eighth” that may refer to a lower musical register, or mode. For instruments, the word probably pointed to those that produced the bass tones of the musical scale. For songs, it likely referred to musical accompaniment in a lower range and sung accordingly.—1Ch 15:21; Ps 6:Sup; 12:Sup.

*** it-1 p. 69 Alamoth ***
At 1 Chronicles 15:21, the verse following the above citation, another musical expression is transliterated, namely, shemi•nithʹ, referring to “harps tuned to Sheminith.” In the superscriptions of Psalms 6 and 12 this word is translated “lower octave.” While the two terms Alamoth and Sheminith are not necessarily opposites in meaning, some scholars believe they do stand in contrast to each other. The contents of the respective psalms seem to indicate this also: Both psalms (6 and 12) containing shemi•nithʹ in their superscriptions are somewhat plaintive and would accordingly be accompanied in a more somber, lower range; whereas Psalm 46, containing ʽala•mohthʹ in its superscription, is joyous and reasonably would have accompaniment or be sung in a higher register.—See HARP; MUSIC.

*** it-1 p. 1039 Harp ***
Because of the uncertainty surrounding the precise identity of the kin•nohrʹ, and especially the neʹvel (stringed instrument), any attempt to compare the two instruments is speculative. First Chronicles 15:20, 21 mentions “stringed instruments [neva•limʹ (plural)] tuned to Alamoth, . . . harps [kin•no•rohthʹ (plural)] tuned to Sheminith.” If “Alamoth” refers to a higher musical register and “Sheminith” to a lower tonal range, this could imply that the kin•nohrʹ was the larger, lower-pitched instrument. On the other hand, the reverse could be true (which is the general consensus) if, indeed, Alamoth and Sheminith are specifically here mentioned because of being exceptional tunings for these instruments. In any event, both instruments were portable.

*** it-2 p. 922 Sheminith ***
SHEMINITH
(Shemʹi•nith).
Although the literal meaning of this musical term is “the eighth,” its exact significance is uncertain. It may refer to a particular musical register, or mode, a lower one, and if any musical instruments were associated with the term, they would probably be those used to play the bass tones of the musical scale.
At 1 Chronicles 15:21, harps are spoken of as being “tuned to Sheminith [“possibly referring to the eighth key or a lower octave,” NW ftn; “probably the bass octave,” Da ftn z].” Consistently, the superscriptions of Psalms 6 and 12 (both psalms being of somber character) read: “To the director (on stringed instruments) on the lower octave [shemi•nithʹ],” which may indicate that these songs would be accompanied by music in a lower range and sung accordingly.—See ALAMOTH.

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