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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 24

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Introduction

First Chronicles Chapter 24

1 Chronicles 24:1 "Now [these are] the divisions of the sons of Aaron. The sons of Aaron; Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar."

The first two sons of Aaron were Nadab and Abihu. They were killed by the LORD, when they carried strange fire into the tabernacle. This left Eleazar and Ithamar to carry on the work of the priests. Since Nadab and Abihu had no children when they died, it would be up to the families of Eleazar and Ithmar to keep the priesthood going.

1 Chronicles 24:2 "But Nadab and Abihu died before their father, and had no children: therefore Eleazar and Ithamar executed the priest’s office."

Their father, Aaron, was not even allowed to grieve for them. He had the anointing oil upon him, when they died, and some other relatives had to come and take them out of the tabernacle. Eleazar and Ithamar would be the priests under their father, Aaron, who was high priest.

1 Chronicles 24:3 "And David distributed them, both Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, according to their offices in their service."

This appears, that David, Zadok, and Ahimelech made the arrangements for the services in the work of the LORD. Ahimelech and Zadok were both acting high priests at the time of David. Ahimelech was the father of Abiathar. David made Abiathar high priest, after Saul killed all of his brothers.

1 Chronicles 24:4 "And there were more chief men found of the sons of Eleazar than of the sons of Ithamar; and [thus] were they divided. Among the sons of Eleazar [there were] sixteen chief men of the house of [their] fathers, and eight among the sons of Ithamar according to the house of their fathers."

There were 16 men of the sons of Eleazar, who were capable of leading. There were just eight of the sons of Ithamar, who were leaders.

1 Chronicles 24:5 "Thus were they divided by lot, one sort with another; for the governors of the sanctuary, and governors [of the house] of God, were of the sons of Eleazar, and of the sons of Ithamar."

Of the children of Ithamar and of Eleazar, there was no order of importance, so the various tasks were decided by lot. The sons of Eleazar are allotted the governorship of the sanctuary. They would work under their father, Eleazar. The house of God is, possibly, speaking of the holy of holies.

1 Chronicles 24:6 "And Shemaiah the son of Nethaneel the scribe, [one] of the Levites, wrote them before the king, and the princes, and Zadok the priest, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, and [before] the chief of the fathers of the priests and Levites: one principal household being taken for Eleazar, and [one] taken for Ithamar."

The lots that were drawn were recorded by Shemaiah. This is just saying, that the two high priests were eyewitnesses to the procedure. There seemed to be two sets of names. One was drawn for Eleazar, and one was drawn for Ithamar.

1 Chronicles 24:7 "Now the first lot came forth to Jehoiarib, the second to Jedaiah,"

1 Chronicles 24:8 "The third to Harim, the fourth to Seorim,"

1 Chronicles 24:9 "The fifth to Malchijah, the sixth to Mijamin,"

1 Chronicles 24:10 "The seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah,"

1 Chronicles 24:11 "The ninth to Jeshuah, the tenth to Shecaniah,"

1 Chronicles 24:12 "The eleventh to Eliashib, the twelfth to Jakim,"

1 Chronicles 24:13 "The thirteenth to Huppah, the fourteenth to Jeshebeab,"

1 Chronicles 24:14 "The fifteenth to Bilgah, the sixteenth to Immer,"

1 Chronicles 24:15 "The seventeenth to Hezir, the eighteenth to Aphses,"

1 Chronicles 24:16 "The nineteenth to Pethahiah, the twentieth to Jehezekel,"

1 Chronicles 24:17 "The one and twentieth to Jachin, the two and twentieth to Gamul,"

1 Chronicles 24:18 "The three and twentieth to Delaiah, the four and twentieth to Maaziah."

In verse 10 above, the Abijah was the family that Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, descended from. These are a listing of the twenty-four descendents of Aaron in the order of the lot that was cast.

1 Chronicles 24:19 "These [were] the orderings of them in their service to come into the house of the LORD, according to their manner, under Aaron their father, as the LORD God of Israel had commanded him."

Each priest served a week from the seventh day to the seventh. The first lot taken served first, until it had gone through all 24, then the first one started, again.

1 Chronicles 24:20 "And the rest of the sons of Levi [were these]: Of the sons of Amram; Shubael: of the sons of Shubael; Jehdeiah."

The rest of the sons of Amram and their descendents were not priests or high priests, but were to wait on the sons of Aaron. Shubael was Moses grandson.

1 Chronicles 24:21 "Concerning Rehabiah: of the sons of Rehabiah, the first [was] Isshiah."

Rehabiah was the grandson of Moses through his younger son Eliezer. This verse and the one prior to it show Moses’s line.

1 Chronicles 24:22 "Of the Izharites; Shelomoth: of the sons of Shelomoth; Jahath."

This jumps back up to Kohath’s son, Izhar, Amram’s brother.

1 Chronicles 24:23 "And the sons [of Hebron]; Jeriah [the first], Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, Jekameam the fourth."

Hebron is yet another son of Kohath, and was, also, brother to Amram.

1 Chronicles 24:24 "[Of] the sons of Uzziel; Michah: of the sons of Michah; Shamir."

1 Chronicles 24:25 "The brother of Michah [was] Isshiah: of the sons of Isshiah; Zechariah."

Uzziel was another son of Kohath and brother of Amram. This line leads to Zechariah, and Shamir.

1 Chronicles 24:26 "The sons of Merari [were] Mahli and Mushi: the sons of Jaaziah; Beno."

1 Chronicles 24:27 "The sons of Merari by Jaaziah; Beno, and Shoham, and Zaccur, and Ibri."

1 Chronicles 24:28 "Of Mahli [came] Eleazar, who had no sons."

1 Chronicles 24:29 "Concerning Kish: the son of Kish [was] Jerahmeel."

Merari was brother to Kohath. Eleazar’s daughters married Kish’s sons. These two houses were absorbed into one house in this, as the daughters of Eleazar took on the names of the sons of Kish. Jerahmeel carried on their families.

1 Chronicles 24:30 "The sons also of Mushi; Mahli, and Eder, and Jerimoth. These [were] the sons of the Levites after the house of their fathers."

Mushi was the grandson of Merari. The others, mentioned here, were descended from Mushi.

1 Chronicles 24:31 "These likewise cast lots over against their brethren the sons of Aaron in the presence of David the king, and Zadok, and Ahimelech, and the chief of the fathers of the priests and Levites, even the principal fathers over against their younger brethren."

They cast lots in front of David, and the two high priests to determine their position, as well.

1 Chronicles 24 Questions

1. Who were the first two sons of Aaron?

2. What happened to them?

3. Did they have any descendents?

4. Who were the two sons of Aaron left to carry on the work of the priests?

5. Why could Aaron not grieve for his two sons, that the LORD killed?

6. Who were Zadok and Ahimelech?

7. Who was Ahimilech’s son?

8. When did David make him high priest?

9. How many chief men of Eleazar were there?

10. How many chief men of Ithamar were there?

11. How were they divided?

12. The lots were recorded by whom?

13. Who were eyewitnesses of the procedure?

14. Who is descended from Abijah?

15. Each priest served a _________ from the seventh day?

16. What was different about the other sons of Amram, who descended through Moses?

17. Rehabiah was the ___________ of Moses.

18. Who was Izhar’s brother?

19. Uzziel’ s line leads to __________ and ___________.

20. Merari was brother of ___________.

21. Who did Eleazar’s daughters marry?

22. Mushi was the grandson of __________.

Verses 1-6

1Ch 24:1-6

1 Chronicles 24:1-6

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." Curtis (Madsen) wrote that, "The two terms are probably synonymous."

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 24:1-3. This is an introduction to the subject matter of the chapter as a whole. Divisions means the groups of persons that descended from Aaron down to the time of this writing. Aaron had four sons, but two of them died leaving no children. The line of the priesthood therefore proceeded from the remaining two. By the time of David the eligible men descending from the two sons of Aaron came to number so many that he concluded to make some arrangement for some systematic method of administration.

1 Chronicles 24:4. The chief men were the ones among the descendants of Aaron’s sons who were to head the lists that were to have charge of the priestly services thereafter. There were 16 such men in the group from Eleazar, and 8 in that from Ithamar.

1 Chronicles 24:5. The families of these 24 men were to furnish the lots for the service from then on. But in order to have proper procedure, and give some fair distribution of the work, the arrangement was decided by lot.

1 Chronicles 24:6. After the lot had been taken and the various households had been assigned to their position in the numerical order, the proper men made a record of the same, which became a part of the royal histories. That would avoid any dispute as to whose turn it was to serve at any given time. Smith’s Bible Dictionary has the following to say about this course or turn method of administering the priesthood. "Courses. --The priesthood was divided into four and twenty ’courses’ or orders. 1 Chronicles 24:1-19; 2 Chronicles 23:8; Luke 1:5, each of which was to serve in rotation for one week, while the further assignment of special services during the week was determined by lot. Luke 1:9. Each course appears to have commenced its work on the Sabbath, the outgoing priests taking the morning sacrifice, and leaving that of the evening to their successors. 2 Chronicles 23:8." This information is found also in Josephus; Antiquities, Book 7, Chapter 14, Section 7.

Verses 7-19

1Ch 24:7-19

1 Chronicles 24:7-19

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."

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 24:7-19. This passage gives the order of turns for the service of the priesthood as described in the preceding paragraph. The reader will be interested in the mention of Abijah in 1 Chronicles 24:10. In Luke 1:5 is the account of the priest who belonged to that course, and who became the father of John the Baptist. The spelling is a little different in the N. T. but is the same man. According to their manner means according to the plan that David had established for them.

Verses 20-31

1Ch 24:20-31

1 Chronicles 24:20-31

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)."

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."

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

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 24:20-31. These verses are all grouped into one paragraph because no distinct interest is had in any one. It is a list of persons belonging to the blood of Levi, yet not of the "chief men" who formed the courses of the priesthood. There was much work required in the service of the Lord besides the actual service of the priesthood, and the men enumerated in this paragraph were used for that.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 1 Chronicles 24". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/1-chronicles-24.html.
 
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