1 Chronicles 23

1David in his old age maketh Solomon king. 2The number and distribution of the Levites. 7The families of the Gershonites. 12The sons of Kohath. 21The sons of Merari. 24The office of the Levites.

1SO when David was old and full of days, he made Solomon his son king over Israel.

2¶And 1he gathered together all the princes of Israel, with the priests and the Levites.

1 Namely, before he declared Solomon king, as may appear from chapters 28 and 29.

3Now the Levites were numbered 2from the age of thirty years and upward: and their number 3by their 4polls,a man by man, was thirty and eight thousand.

2 Hebr. from the son of thirty years; that is, from those who were thirty years old. See hereof a law, Num. 3:15; 4:23; 8:24.

3 That is, according to the number of their heads.

4 Hebr. skulls. Also verse 24.

a heads

4Of which, twenty and four thousand were to set forwardb the work of the house of the LORD; and six thousand were 5officers and judges:

b oversee*

5 See 1 Chron. 26:29; Deut. 16:18.

5Moreover four thousand were porters; and 6four thousand 7praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, said David, 8to praise therewith.

6 Among these are included those who tune the psalm or song, or the chief musicians, who were in number 288, 1 Chron. 25:1, 7, etc.

7 Hebr. praising the Lord.

8 Or, to sing praise. Hebr. to praise.

6And 9David divided them into 10courses among the sons of Levi, namely, 11Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

9 As a prophet, 2 Chron. 8:14, and by God’s command through Gad and Nathan, 2 Chron. 29:25.

10 Or, companies, classes.

11 See Gen. 46:11; Exod. 6:16; Num. 26:57; 1 Chron. 6:1.

7¶Of the Gershonites were, 12Laadan, and 13Shimei.

12 Otherwise called, Libni, Num. 3:18; 1 Chron. 6:17.

13 See of this man on verse 10.

814The sons of Laadan; the 15chief was Jehiel, and Zetham, and Joel, three.

14 That is, the posterity of Laadan, who lived in David’s time, and were heads of their families. Also is the word sons taken verse 9.

15 That is, the most important one; and so forward.

9The sons of 16Shimei; Shelomith, and Haziel, and Haran, three. These were the chief 17of the fathers of Laadan.

16 This Shimei was not the son of Gershon, but the son of Laadan. Of the posterity of Shimei, the son of Gershon, is spoken in verse 10.

17 That is, of the paternal families.

10And the sons of 18Shimei were, Jahath, 19Zina, and Jeush, and Beriah. These four were the sons of Shimei.

18 The brother of Laadan, verse 7.

19 Other, Zizah, verse 11.

11And Jahath was the chief, and Zizah the second: but Jeush and Beriah 20had not many sons; therefore 21they were in one reckoning, according to their father's house.

20 Hebr. did not multiply children.

21 That is, they were reckoned to be for the house of one father, namely, in the house of their father Shimei.

12¶The sons of Kohath; Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel, four.

13Thec sons of Amram; Aaron and Moses: and Aarond was separated, 22that he should sanctify 23the most holy things, he and his sons for ever, to burn incense before the LORD, to minister unto him, and 24to bless in his name for ever.

c Exod. 6:19.

d Exod. 28:1, etc.; Heb. 5:4.

22 Namely, that he might handle and administer holy things in a holy manner, whereunto they were hallowed and ordained by God. By the holy things may be understood the two altars, the table, the golden candlestick, the ark of the covenant, etc. When anyone other than the priests touched these things, those things were then said to have been polluted and profaned.

23 Hebr. the holiness of holinesses.

24 See the form of blessing Num. 6:24, etc.

14Now concerning Moses the man of God, 25his sons were named of the tribe of Levi.

25 Intimating that the sons of Moses, in the administration of spiritual things, remained equal with the other Levites or Kohathites, who were not of Aaron’s priestly house; although their father was a civil magistrate. See further 1 Chron. 26 on verse 29.

15Thee sons of Moses were, Gershom, and Eliezer.

e Exod. 2:22; 18:3.

16Of the sons of Gershom, Shebuel was the chief.

1726And the sons of Eliezer were, Rehabiah the chief. And Eliezer had none other sons; but the sons of Rehabiah were very many.

26 Here mention is made of sons for son. See the annotation on Gen. 46:23 and on 1 Chron. 2:8, 31. And he is called the chief, that is, the first, though there be no second expressed, because he was his father’s firstborn. So it is said Mat. 1:25 that Jesus was the firstborn son of Mary, from which cannot by any means be proven, that the blessed virgin Mary had afterward any more sons or children.

18Of the sons of Izhar; Shelomith the chief.

19Of the sons of Hebron; Jeriah the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, and Jekameam the fourth.

20Of the sons of Uzziel; Michah the first, and Jesiah the second.

21¶The sons of Merari; Mahli, and Mushi. The sons of Mahli; Eleazar, and Kish.

22And Eleazar died, and had no sons, but daughters: and their 27brethren the sons of Kish 28took them.

27 That is, cousins; namely, their father’s brother’s sons.

28 Namely, in marriage.

23The sons of Mushi; Mahli, and Eder, and Jeremoth, three.

24¶These were the sons of Levi after the house of their fathers; even the chief of the fathers, as they were counted by number of names by their polls, that did the work for the service of the house of the LORD, 29from the age of twenty years and upward.

29 Hebr. from the son of twenty years.

25For David 30said, The LORD God of Israel hath given rest unto his people, that they may dwell in Jerusalem for ever:

30 Or, had said; namely, after he had taken the ark of the covenant home to himself, and caused it to be brought into the stronghold of Zion.

26And also 31unto the Levites; 32they shall no more carry the tabernacle, nor any vessels of it for the service thereof.

31 Namely, David had said.

32 This charge or task was laid upon them, Numbers 4, but no longer than the tabernacle was to be removed and carried from one place to another. Here David gives the reason why he laid another task upon the Levites in or about the temple than they about the tabernacle, which sometimes was removed from one place to another; which was not done after that God had chosen a certain place, where He thenceforward would be continually worshipped. And because the Levites were now to have a heavier task and service about the temple, then when the tabernacle yet stood; therefore more persons were to be used and employed in that function or administration, and therefore there were admitted unto this service such as were of the age of twenty years and upward, verse 24.

27For by the last 33words of David the Levites 34were numbered from twenty years old and above:

33 That is, injunction, ordinance, which he made by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, or according to what was notified unto him by the prophets.

34 Hebr. were these the number of the Levites, etc.

28Because their office was 35to wait 36on the sons of Aaron for the service of the house of the LORD, in the courts, and in the chambers, and in the purifying 37of all holy things, and the work of the service of the house of God;

35 See Num. 3:6, 9; 18:2, 3.

36 That is, on the priests. Also likewise verse 32.

37 Hebr. of all holiness.

29Both 38for the shewbread, and for 39the fine flour for meat offering, and for the unleavened cakes, and 40for that which is baked in the pan, and for 41that which is fried, and 42for all manner of measure and 43size;

38 Which was orderly laid in two rows upon the table before the vail of the most holy place.

39 See Lev. 2:1.

40 That is, for the pan, or, flat plate.

41 Other, roasted, grilled, fried.

42 Understand this as such, that the Levites were to take heed that the meat offering had its just and due measure of fine flour, oil and wine.

43 That is, they were to take the right measure of the places that were in the temple, wherein this or that part of God’s worship was to be performed, or where anything might be done or not done.

30And to stand 44every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at even;

44 Hebr. in morning, in morning.

31And to offer all burnt sacrifices unto the LORD in the sabbaths, in the new moons, and on the set 45feasts, by number, according to the order commanded unto them, continually before the LORD:

45 Yea, they were also to heed daily evening and morning sacrifices, also those, which were offered by the priests for private persons.

32And that they should keep the charge of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the charge of the holy place, and the charge of the sons of Aaron 46their brethren, in the service of the house of the LORD.

46 That is, their kinsmen.