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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 23

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-32

Chapter 23

And so David when he was old, made Solomon his son king over Israel ( 1 Chronicles 23:1 ).

Now David then began to set forth the order of the priesthood, the Levitical priesthood. Now David here demonstrates that not only is he a powerful king, a leader, but he's also an excellent administrator. And of course, David had great personal wealth, and he had hundreds of servants that they all had to be fed. And so he had to administrate the, in very many areas, and David was just a very adept, adequate administrator also. And as we get into chapter twenty-three, we find out David set up the priesthood and the first thing that he established.

He gathered together all the princes of Israel, the priests and the Levites. Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and up: and their number by their polls, man by man, was thirty-eight thousand. Of which, twenty-four thousand were set forward the work of the house of the LORD; and six thousand were officers and judges: And four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which David said, I made to praise therewith ( 1 Chronicles 23:2-5 ).

Now David was an inventor. He invented instruments. He was a musician. Our first look at David practically was when he was brought to play the harp before Saul. He was a skilled musician. He wrote a lot of songs. He had an artistic side to his character and nature, and yet, he was an administrator. He was a king. He was a tremendous warrior. He was just a man with really well-rounded talents. And so we see his first of all setting out.

Now twenty-four thousand priests. That's more priests than what you need for a service. And so David set up orders for the priesthood so that you would serve for maybe two weeks out of the year. That was pretty good job. You work for two weeks, and then the rest of the time you're on your own. And so they would come, the Levites lived throughout the land. And there was certain cities for the Levites, but in their appointed... And they set up the order, and then they drew lots as who would be the first, the second, and third, and so forth. And so at your appointed order you would come and you would fulfill the duties of the priest in the temple for a period of a couple of weeks. And then you'd go back to your family and to your home and to your fields and so forth. And you'd take care of your own affairs.

And so in the New Testament, this order that David established continued on up until the time of Christ for Zechariah the priest, because he was of the order of Abia, had come according to his course to minister there in the temple. And it was his duty to offer the incense at the time of the sacrifice. And while he was offering this incense before the Lord is when the angel Gabriel appeared and told him that his wife Elizabeth was going to have a son named John and he's going to be the forerunner of the Messiah.

So that's still following the order that David had established with the priesthood where they had their turns. They would come in and fulfill their obligations. So the priesthood fell in different orders. Those that actually ministered in the temple. Actually those who were charged with the building of the temple. Now you see, in the old times of the tent in the wilderness, they had the porters, the guys who, whenever they would move, would have to break down the thing. Certain guys would break down the tent, fold it up, put it in packages and so forth, and then guys who were priests to carry the thing. And guys to set it up. Now that they're going to be building a temple, this particular ministry of the priest is no longer going to be necessary. You're not going to need the guys to carry things anymore because it's all going to be established. And so the different duties now were created. And the duty that to me is very beautiful are the four thousand who were just paid to be there and to spend their days praising God, singing and worshipping the Lord with the various instruments and just a constant worship of God that was going forth from the temple. To me that is beautiful.

And I think that it's neat. Any time you want to come down here and just bring your guitar, whatever, and just sing and praise the Lord and worship the Lord here in this place, you're welcome. I think it's beautiful that praises be going up unto the Lord. From the place where we gather to worship Him. To learn of Him. And so it was in the times of David. They had four thousand men; this was their job just to play unto the Lord through the instruments that David had invented and created and all for them to worship God.

And so the various families, and of course, we get now unto the names and so forth which we pass over. And so in verse thirty of chapter twenty-three though, their job was...

To stand every morning to thank and to praise the LORD, and likewise at evening ( 1 Chronicles 23:30 );

So every morning, every evening there were those who were just standing there praising the Lord and giving thanks to God. Beautiful, beautiful. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 23". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/1-chronicles-23.html. 2014.
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