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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

1 Chronicles 26

Verse 1

Concerning the divisions of the porters: Of the Korhites was Meshelemiah the son of Kore, of the sons of Asaph.

Concerning the divisions of the porters. There were 4,000 (1 Chronicles 23:5), all taken from the families of the Kohathites and Merarites, divided into twenty-four courses-as the priests and musicians.

Meshelemiah the son of Kore, of the sons of Asaph. Seven sons of Meshelemiah are mentioned, 1 Chronicles 26:2, whereas eighteen are given, 1 Chronicles 26:9; but in this latter number his relatives are included.

Verses 2-4

And the sons of Meshelemiah were, Zechariah the firstborn, Jediael the second, Zebadiah the third, Jathniel the fourth,

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 5

Ammiel the sixth, Issachar the seventh, Peulthai the eighth: for God blessed him.

God blessed him - i:e., Obed-edom. The occasion of the blessing was his faithful custody of the ark (2 Samuel 6:11-12), and the nature of the blessing (Psalms 127:5) consisted in the great increase of progeny by which his house was distinguished: seventy-two descendants are reckoned.

Verse 6

Also unto Shemaiah his son were sons born, that ruled throughout the house of their father: for they were mighty men of valour.

Mighty men of valour. The circumstance of physical strength is prominently noticed in this chapter, as the office of the porters required them not only to act as sentinels of the sacred edifice and its precious furniture, against attacks of plunderers, or popular insurrection-to be, in fact, a military guard-but, after the temple was built, to open and shut the gates, which were extraordinarily large and ponderous.

Verses 7-9

The sons of Shemaiah; Othni, and Rephael, and Obed, Elzabad, whose brethren were strong men, Elihu, and Semachiah.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 10

Also Hosah, of the children of Merari, had sons; Simri the chief, (for though he was not the firstborn, yet his father made him the chief;)

Simri the chief ... though ... not the firstborn. Probably because the family entitled to the right of primogeniture had died out, or because there were none of the existing families which could claim that right.

Verse 11

Hilkiah the second, Tebaliah the third, Zechariah the fourth: all the sons and brethren of Hosah were thirteen.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 12

Among these were the divisions of the porters, even among the chief men, having wards one against another, to minister in the house of the LORD.

Among these were the divisions of the porters, even among the chief men. These were charged with the duty of superintending the watches, being heads of the twenty-four courses of porters.

Verse 13

And they cast lots, as well the small as the great, according to the house of their fathers, for every gate.

They cast lots. Their departments of duty, such as the gates they should attend to, were allotted in the same manner as those of the other Levitical bodies, and the names of the chiefs or captains are given, with the respective gates assigned them.

Verse 14

And the lot eastward fell to Shelemiah. Then for Zechariah his son, a wise counseller, they cast lots; and his lot came out northward.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 15

To Obededom southward; and to his sons the house of Asuppim.

The house of Asuppim - or collections; probably a storehouse, where were kept the grain, wine, and other offerings for the sustenance of the priests.

Verse 16

To Shuppim and Hosah the lot came forth westward, with the gate Shallecheth, by the causeway of the going up, ward against ward.

The gate Shallecheth - probably the rubbish gate, through which all the accumulated filth and sweepings of the temple and its courts were poured out.

By the causeway of the going up - probably the ascending road which was cast up or raised from the deep valley between mount Zion and Moriah, for the royal egress to the place of worship (2 Chronicles 9:4).

Ward against ward. Some refer these words to Shuppim and Hosah, whose duty it was to watch both the western gate and the gate Shallecheth, which was opposite, while others take it as a general statement applicable to all the guards, and intended to intimate that they were posted at regular distances from each other, or that they all mounted and relieved guard at the same time in uniform order.

Verse 17

Eastward were six Levites, northward four a day, southward four a day, and toward Asuppim two and two.

Eastward were six Levites - because the gate there was the most frequented. Four at the north gate; four at the south, at the storehouse which was adjoining the south, and which had two entrance gates, one leading in a westerly direction to the city, and the other direct west, two porters each; at the Parbar, toward the west, there were six men posted, four at the causeway or ascent (1 Chronicles 26:16), and two at Parbar, amounting twenty-four in all, who were kept daily on guard.

Verse 18

At Parbar westward, four at the causeway, and two at Parbar.

Parbar - is, perhaps, the same Parvar (suburbs, 2 Kings 23:11.), and if so, this gate might be so called, as leading to the suburbs.

Verse 19

These are the divisions of the porters among the sons of Kore, and among the sons of Merari.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 20

And of the Levites, Ahijah was over the treasures of the house of God, and over the treasures of the dedicated things.

Of the Levites, Ahijah. The heading of this section is altogether strange as it stands, because it looks as if the sacred historian were going to commence a new subject different from the preceding. Besides, "Ahijah," whose name occurs after the Levites, is not mentioned in the previous lists; it is totally unknown, and it is introduced abruptly, without further information; and lastly, Ahijah must have united, in his own person, those very offices of which the occupants are named in the verses that follow. The reading is incorrect. The Septuagint has this very suitable heading-`And their Levitical brethren over the treasures, etc.' (Bertheau). The names of those who had charge of the treasure chambers at their respective wards are given, with a general description of the precious things committed to their trust.

Verses 21-23

As concerning the sons of Laadan; the sons of the Gershonite Laadan, chief fathers, even of Laadan the Gershonite, were Jehieli. No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 24

And Shebuel the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, was ruler of the treasures.

Shebuel the son of Gershom, the son of Moses. It is impossible that the grandson of Moses could be a contemporary of David; "the son of Gershom" must mean his descendant. Those treasures were immense, consisting of the accumulated spoils of Israelite victories, as well as of voluntary contributions made by David, the representatives of the people, and others who are specially mentioned-Saul, in his better days; and, without passing over the names of Abner and of Joab, who dedicated some of their war-won spoils, honourable notice is taken of Samuel, "the seer," who, besides the ordinary offerings and legal dues, made voluntary donations of his property to the service of God. Knowing the ardent and habitual piety of the man, we can estimate his liberality as the offering of his whole heart and distinguish it from that of the others with whom he is here associated.

Verses 25-28

And his brethren by Eliezer; Rehabiah his son, and Jeshaiah his son, and Joram his son, and Zichri his son, and Shelomith his son.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 29

Of the Izharites, Chenaniah and his sons were for the outward business over Israel, for officers and judges.

Officers and judges. The word rendered "officers" is the term which signifies scribes or secretaries, so that the Levitical class here described were magistrates, who, attended by their clerks, exercised judicial functions. There were 6,000 of them (1 Chronicles 23:4), who probably acted, like their brethren, on the principle of rotation, and these were divided into three classes-one (1 Chronicles 26:29) for the outward business over Israel; one (1 Chronicles 26:30), consisting of 1,700, for the west of Jordan, "in all the business of the Lord, and in the service of the king;" and the third (1 Chronicles 26:31-32), consisting of 2,700, were rulers "for every matter pertaining to God, and affairs of the king."

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 26". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/1-chronicles-26.html. 1871-8.