Old Testament

1 Chronicles 15
The Successful Move of the Ark to Jerusalem
151David constructed buildings for himself in the City of David. He established a place for the Ark of God and pitched a tent for it.
2Then David said, “Nobody is to carry God's ark except the Levites, because the Lord chose them to carry the Ark of the Lord and to serve him forever.” 3David gathered all Israel in Jerusalem to bring up the Ark of the Lord to the place that he had prepared for it.
4David gathered the descendants of Aaron and the Levites:
5representing the sons of Kohath were Uriel the leader and 120 of his relatives,[]
6representing the sons of Merari were Asaiah the leader and 220 of his relatives,
7representing the sons of Gershom were Joel the leader and 130 of his relatives,
8representing the sons of Elizaphan were Shemaiah the leader and 200 of his relatives,
9representing the sons of Hebron were Eliel the leader and 80 of his relatives,
10representing the sons of Uzziel were Amminadab the leader and 112 of his relatives.
11So David summoned the priests Zadok and Abiathar and the Levites Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab. 12He said to them, “You are the leading fathers of the descendants of Levi. Consecrate yourselves, you and your brothers. Bring up the Ark of the Lord, the God of Israel, to the place prepared for it, 13because the first time, when you were not there, the Lord our God burst out against us, because we did not inquire about and follow the proper procedures.”
14The priests and the Levites consecrated themselves to bring up the Ark of the Lord, the God of Israel. 15The descendants of Levi carried the Ark of God with poles on their shoulders, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the Lord. 16David told the leading officials of the Levites to appoint their brother Levites as singers with musical instruments, harps, lyres, and cymbals to raise their voices for the people to hear with joy.
17The Levites appointed Heman son of Joel, and from the Levites closely related to him they appointed Asaph son of Berekiah, and from their relatives who were the descendants of Merari they appointed Ethan son of Kushaiah.
18Their brother Levites assigned to serve with them on the second level were Zechariah,[] Ja'aziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Ma'aseiah, Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, and Mikneiah, and Obed Edom and Jeiel, the gatekeepers.[]
19Also appointed were the singers Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, to sound the bronze cymbals,
20Zechariah, Aziel,[] Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Ma'aseiah, and Benaiah, to play the harps according to alamoth,
21and Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed Edom, Jeiel, and Azaziah with lyres, to lead according to sheminith.[]
22Kenaniah was musical leader of the Levites, directing the music because he had the skill.
23Berekiah and Elkanah were gatekeepers for the Ark.
24The priests Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah, and Eliezer were directed to blow trumpets before the Ark of God.
Obed Edom and Jehiah were also gatekeepers for the Ark.
25David, the elders of Israel, and the leaders of the units of a thousand were going to bring up the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord from the house of Obed Edom. They were celebrating as they went, 26because God was helping the Levites who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord. They sacrificed seven bulls and seven rams. 27David was clothed with a fine linen robe, as were all of the Levites who were carrying the ark, the singers, and Kenaniah, the choir director for the singers. David was wearing a special linen vest.[]
28All Israel brought up the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord with shouts, with the sound of the ram's horns, trumpets, and cymbals, and with music on harps and lyres. 29When the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord came to the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked out through the window. She saw King David dancing and celebrating, and she despised him in her heart.


  • 15:5 Literally brothers
  • 15:18 Many Hebrew manuscripts have the word ben (son of) between Zechariah and Ja'aziel. If this reading is followed, the text originally read Zechariah, son of Ja'aziel, or the text includes the name of another Levite and reads Zechariah, Ben, Ja'aziel. The reading followed in the translation, which treats ben as an accidental addition, is supported by some Hebrew manuscripts and the Greek text.
  • 15:18 Because of the overlap of the groups and the irregular use of and in the Hebrew, it is uncertain how the groups in verses 18-21 are arranged and how they relate to each other.
  • 15:20 Very likely a variant of Ja'aziel in verse 18
  • 15:21 Alamoth in verse 20 and sheminith in verse 21 are musical terms of uncertain meaning. They seem to refer to a method of tuning the instruments.
  • 15:27 Hebrew ephod. The ephod was usually a vest-like garment for priests.