1 Chronicles 21 Bible Commentary

John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible

(Read all of 1 Chronicles 21)
Verses 1-27. Excepting the three last verses, is contained in 2 Samuel 24:1 with some few variations, which are there observed; see the notes there.

Verse 28. At that time when David saw that the Lord had answered him in the threshing floor Of Ornan the Jebusite,.... The same with Araunah, 2 Samuel 24:16, with some small variation of the letters, and are of the same signification; both signifying the "ornus," as Hillerus {m} observes, the pine tree or ash; see Isaiah 44:14, in whose threshingfloor David now was, and where he had been praying and sacrificing; and God had accepted his prayer, as the Targum, and had answered him, by causing fire to come down on the sacrifice and consume it, and by ordering the angel to put up his sword in its sheath:

then he sacrificed there; again by the priests, and continued to do so, for he had sacrificed there before, 1 Chronicles 21:26 and finding his sacrifices in that place were acceptable, he repeated them, and did not go to Gibeon, as follows.

{m} Onomastic. Sacr. p. 529, 530.

Verse 29. For the tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses made,.... Or ordered to be made by the command of God, and according to his direction:

and the altar of burnt offerings, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon; which was four or five miles from Jerusalem, and too far for David to go in that time of extremity; though he must have gone thither to sacrifice, had not the Lord bid him build an altar on the threshingfloor; for there was the altar of burnt offering, on which only, according to the law of Moses, sacrifices were to be offered: this high place is, in the Targum, called the sanctuary, it including, as Kimchi observes, the whole house, the tabernacle, and the altar in it; which had been here, and at Nob, fifty seven years, as the Jewish writers say {n}.

{n} Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Zebachim, c. 14. sect. 7.

Verse 30. But David could not go before it to inquire of God,.... Which yet was the proper place to seek the Lord in: the reason follows,

for he was afraid, because of the sword of the angel of the Lord; which had so terrified him, that he was so weak that he could not go; and he feared that, should he attempt to go, while he was going thither, at such a distance, the angel would make a terrible slaughter in Jerusalem, and therefore he durst not go and leave it; and besides, as the Lord had commanded him to build an altar there, he might fear it would displease him, should he depart from it; and the rather, as hereby he pointed out to him the place where the temple should be built, and sacrifices offered, as appears from what he says in the beginning of the next chapter.ered, as appears from what he says in the beginning of the next chapter.