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Bible Commentaries

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

1 Chronicles 24

Verse 1

COURSES OF THE SONS OF AARON AND OTHER LEVITES;

HOW THEIR RELATIVE POSITIONS WERE CHOSEN

"And the courses of the sons of Aaron were these. The sons of Aaron: Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. But Nadab and Abihu died before their father, and had no children: therefore Eleazar and Ithamar executed the priest's office. And David with Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, divided them according to their ordering in the service. And there were more chief men found of the sons of Eleazar than of the sons of Ithamar; and thus were they divided: of the sons of Eleazar there were sixteen, heads of fathers' houses, and of the sons of Ithamar, according to their fathers' houses, eight. Thus were they divided by lot, one sort with another; for there were princes of the sanctuary, and princes of God, both of the sons of Eleazar, and of the sons of Ithamar. And Shemlah the son of Nethanel the scribe, who was of the Levites, wrote them in the presence of the king, and the princes, and Zadok the priest, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, and the heads of the fathers' houses of the priests and of the Levites; one fathers' house being taken for Eleazar, and one taken for Ithamar."

Due to the fact that many thousands of the Levites were eligible to participate in the temple services, it was necessary that some systematic manner of determining the order in which they would serve was required. One must be impressed with the manner of David's making such a determination by lot, duly witnessed by all parties concerned.

"Princes of the sanctuary, and princes of God" (1 Chronicles 24:5). "The distinction between these is not clear."[1] Curtis (Madsen) wrote that, "The two terms are probably synonymous."[2]

Verse 7

THE ASSIGNMENT OF THE SONS OF AARON

"Now the first lot came forth to Jehoiarib, the second to Jedaiah, the third to Harim, the fourth to Seorim, the fifth to Malchijah, the sixth to Mijamin, the seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah, the ninth to Jeshua, the tenth to Shecaniah, the eleventh to Eiashib, the twelfth to Jakim, the thirteenth to Huppah, the fourteenth to Jeshebeab, the fifteenth to Bilgah, the sixteenth to Immer, the seventeenth to Hezir, the eighteenth to Hapizzer, the nineteenth to Pethahiah, the twentieth to Jehezkel, the one and twentieth to Jachin, the two and twentieth to Gamul, the three and twentieth to Delaiah, the four and twentieth to Maaziah. This was the ordering of them in their service, to come into the house of Jehovah according to the ordinance given unto them by Aaron their father, as Jehovah, the God of Israel, had commanded him."

Verse 20

ORDERING OF THE OTHER LEVITES

"And of the rest of the sons of Levi: of the sons of Amram, Shubael; of the sons of Shubael, Jehdeiah. Of Rehabiah: of the sons of Rehabiah, Isshiah the chief. Of the Izharites, Shelomoth; of the sons of Shelomoth, Jahath. And of the sons of Hebron: Jeriah the chief, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, Jekemeam the fourth. The sons of Uzziel, Micah; of the sons of Micah, Shamir. The brother of Micah, Isshiah; of the sons of Isshiah, Zechariah. The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi; the sons of Jaaziah, Beno. The sons of Merari: of Jaaziah, Beno and Shoham, and Zaccri, and Ibri. Of Mahli: Eleazar, who had no sons. Of Kish; the sons of Kish: Jerahmeel. And the sons of Mushi: Mahli, and Eder, and Jerimoth. These were the sons of the Levites after their fathers' houses. These likewise cast lots even as their brethren the sons of Aaron in the presence of David the king, and Zadok, and Ahimelech, and the heads of the fathers' houses of the priests and of the Levites; the fathers' houses of the chief even as those of his younger brother."

"It should be remembered that these lists of names represent families rather than individuals, and that a number of these families continued into N.T. times (for example, Zacharias was of the line of Abijah, Luke 1:5)."[3]

Interesting as the omission is, we can give no reason for the omission of the family of Gershon.

The variations in these lists is of no importance. "Some of these courses died out, or had to be consolidated with others; and new ones were formed to take their place. At the time of the return from exile, 538 B.C., only four of these courses were operative."[4]

Any intelligent criticism of any of these lists would therefore have to begin with the exact date of it.

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 24". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bcc/1-chronicles-24.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.