Lectionary Calendar
Friday, June 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 9

Barnes' Notes on the Whole BibleBarnes' Notes

Verse 1

Rather, “So all Israel were reckoned ... the kings of Israel. And Judah was carried away captive to Babylon for their transgressions.”

Verse 2

The first inhabitants - i. e. the first inhabitants of the holy land after the return from the captivity. They are enumerated under four heads:

(1) Israelites, i. e. the mass of the laity, whether belonging to the ten tribes or the two;

(2) priests;

(3) Levites; and

(4) the lowest order of the ministry, the Nethinims.

These last, whose name is derived from a root “to give,” were a sort of sacred slaves - persons “given” to the Levites to perform the more laborious duties of the sanctuary. Some had been “given” as early as the time of Moses Numbers 31:47; and the number afterward increased Joshua 9:23; Ezra 8:20. At the time of the return from the captivity, owing to the small number of Levites who came back Ezra 2:40-42, the services of the Nethinims became very important. They are mentioned under the name of Nethinims only in Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah.

Verse 3

The correspondence and the diversity between the account here and in Nehemiah Nehemiah 11:4-19 are explained by the probability that both writers drew from a common and fuller document. They selected, in some instances, different names, or names which are now different through corruption; and they frequently expressed the genealogies of the same persons differently, both going on the principle of compression by means of omissions, but omitting from their lists different links of the chain.

Verse 9

The discrepancy between the numbers here and in Nehemiah Nehemiah 11:8 may arise from corruption. So in 1 Chronicles 9:13, 1 Chronicles 9:22.

Verse 10

“Jedaiah,” “Jehoiarib,” and “Jachin,” are not here names of individuals but of priestly families. From 1 Chronicles 24:7-17, it appears that Jehoiarib was the original head of the first “course,” Jedaiah of the second shift, and Jachin of the twenty-first shift.

Verse 18

Who hitherto waited - Translate, “Who to this day waits. These were the porters in the stations of the sons of Levi.” The words of the first clause refer to Shallum, and imply that, whereas Shallum (or his house) had originally the general superintendence of the temple gates, a change had been made when the author wrote, and Shallum’s charge had become the east gate only. The second clause means; “these were the porters in those fixed stations at the outer gates of the Temple, which corresponded to the camp stations of the Levites who guarded the tabernacle in the early times.”

Verse 19

Shallum the son of Kore - A different person from the Shallum of 1 Chronicles 9:17, and with a different office, namely, the guarding the inner doors of the temple. The original Shallum, Shelemaiah, or Meshelemaiah, was a Levite of the time of David 1 Chronicles 26:14. His descendants were still called by his name, but had now a more important charge assigned to them.

Verse 22

The porters, like the singers Nehemiah 12:29, dwelt for the most part in the villages round Jerusalem. They were the descendants of those originally selected for the work by David. David’s arrangements are here regarded as having had the sanction of Samuel - which would imply that he planned them in the lifetime of Saul, while he was still a fugitive and an outlaw.

Verse 25

See the marginal references. If the number of warders was, as stated in Nehemiah (Nehemiah 11:19) 172 (i. e. 168 besides the four chief warders), and the number employed at any one time was, as under David 1 Chronicles 26:17-18, twenty-four, then the turn of the courses to keep ward came every seven weeks.

Verse 26

Rather, “For the four chief porters, who were themselves Levites, were in trust, who also had the charge of the chambers, etc.” A contrast seems intended between the four chief porters, whose charge was constant, and the remainder, who kept watch by turns.

Verse 28

By tale - literally, “by number.” The vessels for service taken out of the treasury were counted, that the same number should be returned to the treasury after the service was over,

Verse 31

Mattithiah ... the first-born of Shallum the Korahite - This Shallum would seem to be the person mentioned in 1 Chronicles 9:19, whose actual first-born was Zechariah 1 Chronicles 26:2. Mattithiah may have been his eldest lineal descendant at the time here spoken of.

Verse 33

The singers - No names follow, and it is thought that they have fallen out.

Were free - “Free,” i. e. from any special duties besides those of supervision, which was so arranged among the overseers that someone exercised it during every part of both day and night.

Verse 34

Chief throughout their generations - The superintendents, that is, were the genealogical head of the different Levitical divisions, and bore special rule, each over those of his own blood and race. The hereditary principle prevailed, not only in the high priesthood, but also in the priestly offices of the second rank.

Verses 35-44

An almost exact repetition of 1 Chronicles 8:29-38; and probably intentionally made by the author. In order to connect the genealogical section of his work with the historical, he re-introduces the genealogy of the person with whose death his historical section opens.

Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 9". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnb/1-chronicles-9.html. 1870.
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