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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 26

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Introduction

First Chronicles Chapter 26

1 Chronicles 26:1 "Concerning the divisions of the porters: Of the Korhites [was] Meshelemiah the son of Kore, of the sons of Asaph."

The porters would be the keepers of the entrance to the temple. Again, David is preparing all of this ahead of time for his son, Solomon. We discussed in a previous lesson, that Solomon was, probably, quite young. David was helping him, so he would not make an error about the Levitical family caring for the worship in the temple. This would all be set ahead of time, and there would be no trouble about who would do the different things. All of the men above are Levites. They are in the service of the LORD, as keepers of the entrance to the temple.

1 Chronicles 26:2 "And the sons of Meshelemiah [were], Zechariah the firstborn, Jediael the second, Zebadiah the third, Jathniel the fourth,"

1 Chronicles 26:3 "Elam the fifth, Jehohanan the sixth, Elioenai the seventh."

Meshelemiah was a Levite of the family of Kore. He, with his seven sons and brethren, were keepers of the eastern gate. Zechariah was the only exception. It was his duty to watch the northern gate.

1 Chronicles 26:4 "Moreover the sons of Obed-edom [were], Shemaiah the firstborn, Jehozabad the second, Joah the third, and Sacar the fourth, and Nethaneel the fifth,"

1 Chronicles 26:5 "Ammiel the sixth, Issachar the seventh, Peulthai the eighth: for God blessed him."

1 Chronicles 26:6 "Also unto Shemaiah his son were sons born, that ruled throughout the house of their father: for they [were] mighty men of valour."

1 Chronicles 26:7 “The sons of Shemaiah; Othni, and Rephael, and Obed, Elzabad, whose brethren [were] strong men, Elihu, and Semachiah."

1 Chronicles 26:8 “All these of the sons of Obed-edom: they and their sons and their brethren, able men for strength for the service, [were] threescore and two of Obed-edom."

All of those of Obed-edom were 62. Each of his sons were spoken of as being mighty men of great strength.

1 Chronicles 26:9 "And Meshelemiah had sons and brethren, strong men, eighteen."

This eighteen, added to the 62 of Obed-edom, make the keepers of the gates, or doors, from the Korahites a total of 80.

1 Chronicles 26:10 "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;)"

Hosah was one of the porters mentioned at the time they moved the ark. The fact that Simri was made chief, probably, indicates that the firstborn had died. 146

1 Chronicles 26:11 "Hilkiah the second, Tebaliah the third, Zechariah the fourth: all the sons and brethren of Hosah [were] thirteen."

This thirteen added to the eighty Korathites, bring the count to ninety-three porters or, doorkeepers. .

1 Chronicles 26:12 "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."

These ninety-three were actually the leaders of the four thousand porters who would guard the entrances. The numbers varied from time to time.

1 Chronicles 26:13 "And they cast lots, as well the small as the great, according to the house of their fathers, for every gate."

The casting of lots was the same as in the other circumstances, to find out which watch they would take. It, also, would determine what gate they would watch. This would make it fair for everyone.

1 Chronicles 26:14 "And the lot eastward fell to Shelemiah. Then for Zechariah his son, a wise counsellor, they cast lots; and his lot came out northward."

1 Chronicles 26:15 "To Obed-edom southward; and to his sons the house of Asuppim."

1 Chronicles 26:16 "To Shuppim and Hosah [the lot came forth] westward, with the gate Shallecheth, by the causeway of the going up, ward against ward."

Each family was responsible for the gate they received by lot. Within the family, they took turns watching their gate.

1 Chronicles 26:17 "Eastward [were] six Levites, northward four a day, southward four a day, and toward Asuppim two [and] two."

1 Chronicles 26:18 "At Parbar westward, four at the causeway, [and] two at Parbar."

We see that at each gate, there were no fewer than 2 men at any given time. There were 6 men all the time on the eastern side. There were 4 on the north and 4 on the south. There seemed to be 2 on 2 gates toward Asuppim. The 4 at the causeway and 4 at Parbar bring the total guards on duty at any one time to 24.

1 Chronicles 26:19 "These [are] the divisions of the porters among the sons of Kore, and among the sons of Merari."

The porters were Levites, also. They were in the service of the LORD the same as the priests. They were just serving in a different area. These porters were descended from Merari and Kore.

1 Chronicles 26:20 "And of the Levites, Ahijah [was] over the treasures of the house of God, and over the treasures of the dedicated things."

This has jumped from porters to treasurers of the house of God. Again, they were Levites. Ahijah had the special ministry of caring for the treasury of the temple.

1 Chronicles 26:21 "[As concerning] the sons of Laadan; the sons of the Gershonite Laadan, chief fathers, [even] of Laadan the Gershonite, [were] Jehieli."

1 Chronicles 26:22 "The sons of Jehieli; Zetham, and Joel his brother, [which were] over the treasures of the house of the LORD."

Just as in the other ministerial activities, they worked their shift and turned the ministry over to the next person in charge, so did the treasurers. These mentioned above, who were in charge of the treasures, were Gershonites. They are descended through Laadan. Libni is the same as Laadan.

1 Chronicles 26:23 "Of the Amramites, [and] the Izharites, the Hebronites, [and] the Uzzielites:"

1 Chronicles 26:24 "And Shebuel the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, [was] ruler of the treasures."

This family goes back to Amram through Moses. It appears from this, that Moses’ descendents were to be the ruler over the treasures, and the others mentioned were to do the actual work of keeping track of it. The Izrahites were the family of Izhar, brother of Amram. The Hebronites were the family of Hebron, brother of Amram.

1 Chronicles 26:25 "And his brethren by Eliezer; Rehabiah his son, and Jeshaiah his son, and Joram his son, and Zichri his son, and Shelomith his son."

1 Chronicles 26:26 "Which Shelomith and his brethren [were] over all the treasures of the dedicated things, which David the king, and the chief fathers, the captains over thousands and hundreds, and the captains of the host, had dedicated."

This seems to be too many people to be over the treasures, until we remember back that David had dedicated billions of dollars worth of gold, and silver, and so much bronze it was too much to weigh. Thinking in that line, we can see the need for all of these men to work with those things dedicated to the house of the LORD. Eliezer, here, is speaking of the brother of Gershom. Their father is Moses. The workers in the treasures as captains are descended from Moses.

1 Chronicles 26:27 "Out of the spoils won in battles did they dedicate to maintain the house of the LORD."

This is explaining where this great wealth came from. Most of it came from spoils of war.

1 Chronicles 26:28 "And all that Samuel the seer, and Saul the son of Kish, and Abner the son of Ner, and Joab the son of Zeruiah, had dedicated; [and] whosoever had dedicated [any thing, it was] under the hand of Shelomith, and of his brethren."

It appears that Samuel, Saul, Abner, and Joab had all added to the dedicated things. God had been greatly with Israel in battle during the time of Saul, as well as in the time of David. Much wealth was accumulated and dedicated to the house of the LORD from the battles they were in. Abner was Saul’s uncle, but he was best known for being a mighty warrior. At one time, he was commander-in-chief of Saul’s army. Joab led David’s army.

1 Chronicles 26:29 "Of the Izharites, Chenaniah and his sons [were] for the outward business over Israel, for officers and judges."

The family of Izhar was in service to the LORD as judges and officers. They were scribes, as well.

1 Chronicles 26:30 "[And] of the Hebronites, Hashabiah and his brethren, men of valour, a thousand and seven hundred, [were] officers among them of Israel on this side Jordan westward in all the business of the LORD, and in the service of the king."

These were of the family of Hebron. These were like keepers of the law in civil matters.

1 Chronicles 26:31 "Among the Hebronites [was] Jerijah the chief, [even] among the Hebronites, according to the generations of his fathers. In the fortieth year of the reign of David they were sought for, and there were found among them mighty men of valour at Jazer of Gilead."

Jerijah was the same as Jeriah. This is the end of David’s reign which lasted 40 years. They were found at Jazer of Gilead at the end of David’s reign. It appears, that they were part of the men that were classified as David’s mighty men.

1 Chronicles 26:32 "And his brethren, men of valour, [were] two thousand and seven hundred chief fathers, whom king David made rulers over the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, for every matter pertaining to God, and affairs of the king."

The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh were on the eastern side of the Jordan. All of the matters of the land were pertaining to God. The civil law and the moral law were both part of the Levitical law. It appears, they watched over these tribes across the Jordan to make sure they were keeping God’s law. They were actually in service to the LORD, but served David, as well.

1 Chronicles 26 Questions

1. Who were the porters?

2. Why was David making great preparation for the temple?

3. Meshelemiah was a Levite of the family of ________.

4. They were keepers of the __________ gate.

5. Zechariah was keeper of the __________ gate.

6. How many were there of Obed-edom?

7. How many men of Meshelemiah were there?

8. Hosah was of the children of __________.

9. What special thing had Hosah done?

10. How many porters, or doorkeepers, who were leaders, were there?

11. The casting of lots was for what?

12. How many men were on duty at the eastern gate at any time?

13. How many total guards were there at one time?

14. 1 Chronicles 26:20 says, that ___________ was over the treasures of the house of God.

15. Who were some of the other men whose ministry was the treasures?

16. Who was ruler over the treasures?

17. Who was he descended from?

18. Why are all of these people over the dedicated things not too many men?

19. Where had the treasures come from?

20. Who had gathered these dedicated things?

21. Who was Abner?

22. _______ led David’s army.

23. Who were the judges and officers?

24. In 1 Chronicles 26:30, the men were keepers of the law in _________ matters.

25. How long did David’s reign last?

26. Who were made rulers of the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh?

27. What were they watching over them for?

Verses 1-11

1Ch 26:1-11

1 Chronicles 26:1-11

THE DOORKEEPERS; TREASURERS AND CIVIL OFFICERS;

DISTINGUISHED FAMILIES OF THE DOORKEEPERS

"For the courses of the doorkeepers: of the Korahites, Meshelemiah the son of Kore, of the sons of Asaph. And Meshelemiah had sons: Zechariah the first-born, Jediael the second, Zebadiah the third, Jathniel the fourth, Elam the fifth, Jehohanan the sixth, Eliehoenai the seventh. And Obed-edom had sons: Shemaiah the first-born, Jehozabad the second, Joah the third, and Sacar the fourth, and Nethanel the fifth, Ammiel the sixth, Issachar the seventh, Peullethai the eighth; for God blessed him. Also unto Shemalah his son, were sons born, that ruled over the house of their father; for they were mighty men of valor. The sons of Shemaiah: Othni, and Rephael, and Obed, Elzabad, whose brethren were valiant men, Elihu, and Semachiah. All these were of the sons of Obed-edom: they and their sons and their brethren, able men in strength for the service; threescore and two of Obededom. And Meshelemiah had sons and brethren, valiant men, eighteen. Also Hosah, of the children of Merari, had sons: Shimri the chief (for though he was not the first-born, yet his father made him chief), Hilkiah the second, Tebaliah the third, Zechariah the fourth: all the sons and brethren of Hosah were thirteen. Of these were the courses of the doorkeepers, even of the chief men, having offices like their brethren, to minister in the house of Jehovah. "

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 26:1-12. It was thought well to make a single paragraph of these verses because they all have to do with the subject of the porters. If any special attention is needed to some expression, it will be referred to its proper verse. There is so much space given to the porters of the temple service that some consideration will be given to the subject. A porter was a janitor or gatekeeper. The house of God that was built by Solomon was a complicated structure with many gates and doors, some of which were large and heavy. I shall quote the article in the Oxford Cyclopedic Concordance on this subject. "Porters were the doorkeepers and police of the temple (2 Chronicles 31:14). They were divided into companies, under the command of the ’Captain of the Temple,’ and one division was always on duty, keeping guard day and night. Josephus says that it took twenty men to shut the great brazen gates (Acts 21:30)." This information will explain the references to mighty men of valor (V. 6) and strength (V. 8) and strong men (V. 9) in the present paragraph. Wards one against another means they had their individual duties and were to take their turns after each other.

Verses 13-19

1Ch 26:13-19

1 Chronicles 26:13-19

THEIR ASSIGNMENT BY CASTING LOTS

"And they cast lots, as well the small as the great, according to their fathers’ houses, for every gate. And the lot eastward fell to Shelemiah. Then for Zechariah his son, a discreet counselor, they cast lots; and his lot came out northward. To Obed-edom southward; and to his sons the storehouse. To Shuppim and Hosah westward, by the gate of Shallecheth, at the causeway that goeth up, watch against watch. Eastward were six Levites, northward four a day, southward four a day, and for the store-house two and two. for Parbar westward, four at the causeway, and two at Parbor. These were the courses of the doorkeepers; of the sons of the Korahites, and of the sons of Merari."

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 26:13. Small . . . great. These are from words that apply to age, meaning that no age limit was considered in the allotment of this service. The only thing considered when distributing the tasks was the particular family a man belonged to.

1 Chronicles 26:14-16. The four directions are named in the verses, and some particular man was placed at each of the gates with some part of the duty given him. House of Asuppim means a store-room that was located near the gates. It is very easy to see why such places would need special guards.

1 Chronicles 26:17-19. These Levites were assigned these posts as guards in addition to those named in the preceding paragraph. Asuppim is the same as the one mentioned before, and had these additional guards for the place. Parbar was a suburban annex to the main wall, and causeway had reference to some walkway connected thereto. The first mention of Parbar means the unit as a whole. Then in particular, there were four guards for the walkway and two for the wall of the annex.

Verses 20-28

1Ch 26:20-28

1 Chronicles 26:20-28

REGARDING THE KEEPERS OF THE TREASURES

And of the Levites, Ahijah was over the treasures of the house of God, and over the treasures of the dedicated things. The sons of Ladan, the sons of the Gershonites belonging to Ladan, the heads of the fathers; houses belonging to Ladan the Gershonite: Jehieli. The sons of Jehieli: Zetham, and Joel his brother, over the treasures of the house of Jehovah. Of the Amramites, of the Izharites, of the Hebronites, of the Uzzielites: and Shebuel the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, was ruler over the treasures. And his brethren: of Eliezer came Rehabiah his son, and Jeshaiah his son, and Joram his son, and Zichri his son, and Shelomoth his son. This Shelemoth and his brethren were over all the treasures of the dedicated things, which David the king, and the heads of the fathers’ houses, the captains over thousands and hundreds, and the captains of the host had dedicated. Out of the spoil won in battles did they dedicate to repair the house of Jehovah. And all that Samuel the seer, and Saul the son of Kish, and Abner the son of Ner, and Joab the son of Zeruiah, had dedicated, whosoever had dedicated anything, it was under the hand of Shelomoth, and of his brethren.

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 26:20-27. The store-houses had not only guards for the places, but special charge was given for the things stored therein. Ahijah, a Levite, had some of this duty, and it included the gifts that had been made by the Israelites for the service of God. Also, the things that had been taken by David in his conflicts with the enemies were put in these store-houses, and the men named were to assist as guards.

1 Chronicles 26:28. Many of these spoils had been taken as far back as the days of Samuel and Saul. They had been kept in places of safety until the present time, and David valued them highly enough to make all these provisions for their continued safety. No one man can do everything, hence it was necessary to assign the responsibility to these men.

Verses 29-32

1Ch 26:29-32

1 Chronicles 26:29-32

AND OTHERS INVOLVED IN THE KING’S BUSINESS

"Of the Izharites, Chenaniah and his sons were for the outward business over Israel, for officers and judges. Of the Hebronites, Hashabiah and his brethren, men of valor, a thousand and seven hundred, had the oversight of Israel beyond the Jordan westward, for all the business of Jehovah, and for the business of the king. Of the Hebronites was Jerijah the chief, even of the Hebronites, according to their generations by fathers’ houses. In the fortieth year of the reign of David they were sought for, and there were found among them mighty men of valor at Jazer of Gilead. And his brethren, men of valor, were two thousand and seven hundred, heads of fathers’ houses, whom David made overseers over the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half-tribe of the Manassites, for every matter pertaining to God, and for the affairs of the king."

None of the commentaries we have consulted with regard to this chapter has provided us with anything we wish to quote. Many of them wrote only a few brief lines on this chapter; and the Interpreters’ Bible barely has a hundred words on it.

The pursuit of variations in this list as compared with others, speculations about things that are ambiguous, conflicting guesses about the "date when" this or that list might have been `added,’ and fanciful charges that some or all of these chapters in Chronicles are `artificial,’ etc., etc., - the pursuit of such problems constitutes an exercise in futility, in which we choose not to participate.

Accurate and dogmatic answers to many questions and problems that may be found in these chapters are simply impossible. For example, the word SON, which occurs hundreds of times in Chronicles, has no less than nine meanings as used in the Bible.

Nevertheless, the value of Chronicles to Christians is very great. Here is the irresistible proof that the O.T. deals, not with myth, legend, or folklore, but with fact, with history, with flesh and blood events in the long and turbulent story of God’s people Israel, through whom Almighty God brought redemption in Jesus Christ to Adam’s lost and ruined descendants.

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 26:29. Outward business refers to the policing and governing of the country in general. For the purpose of external affairs these officers were appointed, and the force was managed by Chenaniah.

1 Chronicles 26:30. Hebronites and such like terms refers to locality classes and not to any particular family. Since valour means strength, and since these were officers to keep the peace, we can see the propriety in the selection of these men.

1 Chronicles 26:31. Family history of this man, Jerijah was a chief man. He and his fellows were "rounded up" for the service in the last year of David’s life and reign.

1 Chronicles 26:32. The two and a half tribes were on the east of the Jordan. Being thus located at the distance from the nation’s headquarters, they needed ample protection. David assigned 2,700 strong men to the policing of that territory. It was their duty to look after both the religious and temporal interests of the kingdom of David.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 1 Chronicles 26". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/1-chronicles-26.html.
 
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