I Chronicles – Chapter 16

See Psalms

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

The Ark was brought to Jerusalem and placed in the tent that David had erected for it. (The building had permanent walls, but a fabric roof, so it was called a tent.) David offered sacrifices and blessed the people using the Name of G-d. David gave every man and woman in Israel a loaf of bread, a large portion of meat and a jug of wine. He also appointed Levites to serve in the tent he had established. (Their names and tasks are given.)

On the day that the Ark was returned to Jerusalem, David designated certain Psalms to serve as the Levites’ primary praise of G-d. Psalm 105 was recited by them in the morning and Psalm 96 in the evening. (Verses 8-36 of our chapter correspond to portions of these Psalms, with a little Psalm 106 thrown in for good measure.) When the people heard these Psalms recited, they responded, “Amen and praise to G-d!”

David left Asaf and the other Levites to sing praises to G-d and to administer to the sacrifices in the presence of G-d’s Ark. (We are again given a list of names and jobs.) When all this was accomplished, the people dispersed to their own homes, as did David.

One curious turn of a phrase is that Tzadok and other kohanim served at the “bamah” at the “Mishkan” in Givon. For starters, we know that the Mishkan (the Tabernacle) had already been destroyed. Aside from that, “bamah” was the term for private altars, outside of the Mishkan or the Temple; the official communal altar would have been called the “mizbeach.” The answer is that the site in Givon contained many of the original vessels of the Mishkan. This was noteworthy and it gave the site special significance, but it did not elevate its altar from the status of “bamah” to that of “mizbeach.” (You can read more about the Mishkan in Givon at the end of the Talmudic tractate of Zevachim.)

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