Lectionary Calendar
Monday, June 24th, 2024
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
Attention!
StudyLight.org has pledged to help build churches in Uganda. Help us with that pledge and support pastors in the heart of Africa.
Click here to join the effort!

Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 27

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Introduction

First Chronicles Chapter 27

1 Chronicles 27:1 "Now the children of Israel after their number, [to wit], the chief fathers and captains of thousands and hundreds, and their officers that served the king in any matter of the courses, which came in and went out month by month throughout all the months of the year, of every course [were] twenty and four thousand."

This has to do with the standing army of Israel. There were 24,000 on duty each month. It appears, there were twelve groups. Each group contained 24,000. Each group served a month, and then were off eleven months, unless there was an uprising.

1 Chronicles 27:2 "Over the first course for the first month [was] Jashobeam the son of Zabdiel: and in his course [were] twenty and four thousand."

1 Chronicles 27:3 "Of the children of Perez [was] the chief of all the captains of the host for the first month."

Jashobeam is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 12:11 as one of the three mighties of David. His was the first group on duty in the service of the king. Verse 3, above, says that he was of Perez, or Pharez who is of Judah.

1 Chronicles 27:4 "And over the course of the second month [was] Dodai an Ahohite, and of his course [was] Mikloth also the ruler: in his course likewise [were] twenty and four thousand."

Dodai is the same as Dodo. He was father of Eleazar, one of David’s three mighty men. He was of the tribe of Benjamin.

1 Chronicles 27:5 "The third captain of the host for the third month [was] Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, a chief priest: and in his course [were] twenty and four thousand."

1 Chronicles 27:6 "This [is that] Benaiah, [who was] mighty [among] the thirty, and above the thirty: and in his course [was] Ammizabad his son."

Benaiah was of the Levitical tribe. He was a descendent of Aaron. Jehoiada, his father, was chief priest. He was one of the three mighty men of David. We must continue to notice that each family leader is over his own 24,000 men. Ammizabad will later become David’s captain of host commanding the third month.

1 Chronicles 27:7 "The fourth [captain] for the fourth month [was] Asahel the brother of Joab, and Zebadiah his son after him: and in his course [were] twenty and four thousand."

Zebadiah was of Judah. Asahel was killed by Abner, before this office was given. Zebadiah was in place of his father. The father is mentioned, probably, because the honor was his. What is, probably, meant by Asahel is the family of Asahel.

1 Chronicles 27:8 "The fifth captain for the fifth month [was] Shamhuth the Izrahite: and in his course [were] twenty and four thousand."

Shamhuth is the same as Shammoth the Harorite. This was, also, a tribe of Judah.

1 Chronicles 27:9 "The sixth [captain] for the sixth month [was] Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite: and in his course [were] twenty and four thousand."

Ira was of Tekoi which was of Judah. He was one of the 30 chosen warriors of David. All of these appointments are happening about 1,000 B.C.

1 Chronicles 27:10 "The seventh [captain] for the seventh month [was] Helez the Pelonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his course [were] twenty and four thousand."

There is nothing more known of him. I might bring to your attention, again, he is of the tribe of Ephraim.

1 Chronicles 27:11 "The eighth [captain] for the eighth month [was] Sibbecai the Hushathite, of the Zarhites: and in his course [were] twenty and four thousand."

Sibbecai was of Judah. He is called Mebunnai in another Scripture. He was from the prominent family, the Zarhites. He fought with the Philistine giant Saph, or Sippia, and won.

1 Chronicles 27:12 "The ninth [captain] for the ninth month [was] Abiezer the Anetothite, of the Benjamites: and in his course [were] twenty and four thousand."

Abiezer was a Benjamite. Anetothites were one family of the Benjamites. It is very interesting to me that many of these leaders come from Judah and Benjamin, which will later break off from the twelve. It would be speculation to say that David already knew this break would eventually come, and was preparing early. This had to be providence of God.

1 Chronicles 27:13 "The tenth [captain] for the tenth month [was] Maharai the Netophathite, of the Zarhites: and in his course [were] twenty and four thousand."

Maharai was one of David’s mighty men. Netophah was a town very near Bethlehem. In fact the two towns connected. The Zarhites, whom he was one of, were well thought of.

1 Chronicles 27:14 "The eleventh [captain] for the eleventh month [was] Benaiah the Pirathonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his course [were] twenty and four thousand."

Benaiah was one of David’s thirty mighty men. He was of the tribe of Ephraim.

1 Chronicles 27:15 "The twelfth [captain] for the twelfth month [was] Heldai the Netophathite, of Othniel: and in his course [were] twenty and four thousand."

Heldai was of Judah. Heldai is sometimes spelled Heled. Othniel was the son in law of Caleb. Othniel was the first judge of Israel after Joshua. The majority of the captains {seven} came from Judah. There were two from Benjamin, two from Ephraim and one from Levi. Each one of them was over twenty-four thousand men.

1 Chronicles 27:16 "Furthermore over the tribes of Israel: the ruler of the Reubenites [was] Eliezer the son of Zichri: of the Simeonites, Shephatiah the son of Maachah:"

1 Chronicles 27:17 "Of the Levites, Hashabiah the son of Kemuel: of the Aaronites, Zadok:"

1 Chronicles 27:18 "Of Judah, Elihu, [one] of the brethren of David: of Issachar, Omri the son of Michael:"

1 Chronicles 27:19 "Of Zebulun, Ishmaiah the son of Obadiah: of Naphtali, Jerimoth the son of Azriel:"

1 Chronicles 27:20 "Of the children of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Azaziah: of the half tribe of Manasseh, Joel the son of Pedaiah:"

1 Chronicles 27:21 "Of the half [tribe] of Manasseh in Gilead, Iddo the son of Zechariah: of Benjamin, Jaasiel the son of Abner:"

1 Chronicles 27:22 "Of Dan, Azareel the son of Jeroham. These [were] the princes of the tribes of Israel."

We have already gone into detail about each of the people mentioned in the verses above. The thrust, here, is the fact that they were leaders in their respective tribes. Gad and Asher were the only two tribes who were not mentioned in the list above. It appears, that David is putting everything in perfect order for it to run smoothly, even after his death, when his son, Solomon, would reign. Each tribe had their own leader. We might take note that the Levites were mentioned first. Zadok was a prominent priest.

1 Chronicles 27:23 "But David took not the number of them from twenty years old and under: because the LORD had said he would increase Israel like to the stars of the heavens."

This is interesting why David did not count the men under twenty years old. In most places, it speaks of numbering the men who were of the age to go to war. This tells us that David’s census was not for the purpose of war. David believed God would keep the promise to make the Israelites beyond numbering.

1 Chronicles 27:24 "Joab the son of Zeruiah began to number, but he finished not, because there fell wrath for it against Israel; neither was the number put in the account of the chronicles of king David."

Joab did not want to number the people. He actually quit before the counting was over. God was very angry about this numbering. David would not have these numbers recorded, because it was displeasing to God.

1 Chronicles 27:25 "And over the king’s treasures [was] Azmaveth the son of Adiel: and over the storehouses in the fields, in the cities, and in the villages, and in the castles, [was] Jehonathan the son of Uzziah:"

Azmaveth was over the treasuries of Jerusalem. This consisted of silver and gold, but it, also, spoke of their wealth in grain. Jonathan was helper to Azmaveth.

1 Chronicles 27:26 "And over them that did the work of the field for tillage of the ground [was] Ezri the son of Chelub:"

Ezri was the supervisor of the work in the field.

1 Chronicles 27:27 "And over the vineyards [was] Shimei the Ramathite: over the increase of the vineyards for the wine cellars [was] Zabdi the Shiphmite:"

The vineyards were a great source of wealth in their land. This is speaking of the officer in charge of the vineyards and the wine cellars.

1 Chronicles 27:28 "And over the olive trees and the sycamore trees that [were] in the low plains [was] Baal-hanan the Gederite: and over the cellars of oil [was] Joash:"

Olive trees live for thousands of years, and were a great source of revenue for the Israelites. You can easily see the importance of the olive trees and sycamore trees, when we see that Joash {someone David put great confidence in} was in charge.

1 Chronicles 27:29 "And over the herds that fed in Sharon [was] Shitrai the Sharonite: and over the herds [that were] in the valleys [was] Shaphat the son of Adlai:"

We can easily see the importance that David placed on each service. He was making sure that everything in his kingdom, of importance, had someone to be over it that he could trust. The valleys, spoken of here, were west of the Jordan. They had tremendous herds of sheep.

1 Chronicles 27:30 "Over the camels also [was] Obil the Ishmaelite: and over the asses [was] Jehdeiah the Meronothite:"

Obil was a descendent of Ishmael. The word "Obil" means tender of camels. The king and his sons rode on asses.

1 Chronicles 27:31 "And over the flocks [was] Jaziz the Hagerite. All these [were] the rulers of the substance which [was] king David’s."

The Hagarites were descended from Hagar, the mother of Ishmael. The substance, spoken of here, had to do with the things that made David great. God blessed Israel greatly at that time. There were no shortages of substance.

1 Chronicles 27:32 "Also Jonathan David’s uncle was a counsellor, a wise man, and a scribe: and Jehiel the son of Hachmoni [was] with the king’s sons:"

Jonathan was held in high esteem by David. He was David’s personal counsellor. He worked in the presence of David. He was a scribe, as well as counsellor. He attended all the special events with David. This, Jehiel, was tutor to David’s sons. One of them would be king someday. It was his job to see that they were trained and ready.

1 Chronicles 27:33 "And Ahithophel [was] the king’s counsellor: and Hushai the Archite [was] the king’s companion:"

A wise king would have more than one counsellor. David was no exception to this. Ahithophel was a counsellor along with Jonathan, David’s relative. Hushai was friend and confidant of David. Even though he was good friend to David, he helped Absalom try to overthrow David.

1 Chronicles 27:34 "And after Ahithophel [was] Jehoiada the son of Benaiah, and Abiathar: and the general of the king’s army [was] Joab."

This just shows the succession from Ahithophel. Jehoiada took the place of Ahithophel. Abiathar is speaking of the high priest, most probably. Joab was David’s commander in chief. 1 Chronicles 27:32-34 contains the names of the men in closest contact with David. They were his key people in his cabinet.

1 Chronicles 27 Questions

1. What group is verse 1 speaking of?

2. How long did each group serve at one time?

3. Jashobeam is one of David’s ____________,

4. Perez is the same as __________.

5. Dodai is the same as ______.

6. He was the father of ____________.

7. Benaiah was of the ____________ tribe.

8. He was a descendent of _________.

9. His father, ___________, was high priest.

10. Asahel was killed by _________.

11. Ira was one of _________ chosen warriors of David.

12. Helez was from what tribe?

13. Sibbecai was of the tribe of _________.

14. What was he remembered for?

15. What does the author find to be interesting about where these leaders came from?

16. How many men did each of these leaders have?

17. Othniel was the son-in-law of whom?

18. Othniel was the first _________ of Israel after Joshua?

19. How many of the leaders of the troops are from Judah?

20. Why had David not numbered those under 20?

21. Who led the numbering for David?

22. Why did he not finish numbering?

23. What was Azmaveth over?

24. Why were the vineyards important to watch over?

25. How long do olive trees live?

26. What does "Obil" mean?

27. Who were the Hagarites descended from?

28. Who was David’s counsellor?

29. Who was tutor to David’s sons?

30. Who was another of David’s counsellors?

31. Abiathar is speaking of the _______ _______.

Verses 1-15

1Ch 27:1-15

1 Chronicles 27:1-15

THE MEN WHO HEADED THE MILITARY STRUCTURE;

HEADS OF EACH OF THE TWELVE TRIBES; AND

OTHER HIGH OFFICERS; HEADS OF THE COURSES; MONTH BY MONTH

"Now the children after their number, to wit, the heads of fathers’ houses and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and their officers that served the king, in any matter of the courses that went in and went out month by month throughout all the months of the year - of every course were twenty and four thousand. Over the first course for the first month was Jashobeam the son of Zabdiel: and in his course were twenty and four thousand. He was of the children of Perez, the chief of all the captains of the host for the first month. And over the course of the second month was Dodai the Ahohite, and his course; and Mikloth the ruler: and in his course were twenty and four thousand. The third captain of the host for the third month was Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada the priest, chief: and his course were twenty and four thousand. This is that Benaiah, who was the mighty man of the thirty, and over the thirty: and of his course was Ammizabad his son. The fourth captain for the fourth month was Asahel the brother of Joab, and Zebadiah his son after him: and in his course were twenty and four thousand. The fifth captain for the fifth month was Shamuth the Izrahite: and in his course were twenty and four thousand. The sixth captain for the sixth month was Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite: and in his course were twenty and four thousand. The seventh captain for the seventh month was Helez the Pelonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his course were twenty and four thousand. The eighth captain for the eighth month was Sibbecai the Hushathite, of the Zerahites: and in his course were twenty and four thousand. The ninth captain for the ninth month was Abiezer the Anathothite, of the Benjamites: and in his course were twenty and four thousand. The tenth captain for the tenth month was Meharai the Netophathite, of the Serahites: and in his course were twenty and four thousand. The eleventh captain for the eleventh month was Benaiah the Pirathonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his course were twenty and four thousand. The twelfth captain for the twelfth month was Heldai the Netophathite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his course were twenty and four thousand."

These verses present the structure of David’s military establishment, which consisted of a standing army of 288,000 men, rotated 24,000 at a time, month by month, under the commanders here mentioned.

The commanders were "men of extraordinary personal activity, strength and valor, reminding us of the heroes of King Arthur or Charlemagne, except that the armor of the feudal chieftains gave them their superiority, while in the forces of David, it was main strength of body and dauntless fortitude of mind."

Apparently, this arrangement continually surrounded David with 24,000 armed men, month by month, and made available for any emergency the entire 288,000. It also left the soldiery practically free eleven months in the year to pursue their own interests. The monotonous repetition is characteristic of ancient records and denies the notion that "The Chronicler" invented these records.

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 27:1. This is a sort of summing up of the men in the service of David. The orderly manner of their service is indicated in this verse. They served a month at a time and took their proper turns. The number of the forces that served in any particular month is suggested in the following verses.

1 Chronicles 27:2-15. There were 24,000 men serving each of the 12 months of the year.

Verses 16-24

1Ch 27:16-24

1 Chronicles 27:16-24

THE TRIBAL HEADS IN DAVID’S REIGN

"Furthermore over the tribes of Israel: of the Reubenites was Eliezer the son of Zichri the ruler: of the Simeronites, Shephatiah the son of Maacah: of Levi, Hashabiah the son of Kemuel: of Judah, Elihu, one of the brethren of David: of Issachar, Omri the son of Michael: of Zebulun, Ishmaiah the son of Obadiah: of Naphtali, Jeremoth the son of Azriel: of the children of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Azaziah: of the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joel the son of Pedaiah: of the half-tribe of Manasseh in Gilead, Iddo the son of Zechariah: of Benjamin, Jaasiel the son of Abner: of Dan, Azarel the son of Jeroham. These were the captains of the tribes of Israel. But David took not the number of them from twenty years old and under, because Jehovah had said he would increase Israel like to the stars of the heaven. Joab the son of Zeruiah began to number, but finished not; and there came wrath for this upon Israel; neither was the number put into the account in the chronicles of king David."

It is strange that neither Gad nor Asher of the Twelve Tribes is mentioned. Curtis supposed that this was because, "The list of twelve was complete without them"!

"David took not the number of them from twenty years old and under" (1 Chronicles 27:22). There is a hint here as to the reason why God was displeased with David’s numbering Israel. Curtis (Madsen) believed that, "David refrained from counting them, because such an act would have implied a doubt on David’s part of God’s promise in Genesis 22:17." Evidently, his efforts to find out exactly how many able-bodied soldiers Israel had likewise exhibited a sinful doubt on David’s part. He was apparently tempted to trust in the number of his troops, instead of relying upon the promise of God.

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 27:16-22. In this paragraph the service is divided according to tribes. Out of each tribe the king selected princes, which means men of influence or prestige.

1 Chronicles 27:23. David’s not taking the enumeration of those from twenty and under, and the reason stated, shows his motive for the numbering; it was his concern for the strength that lay in great numbers. Were they somewhat limited or uncertain, he would have enlisted every male who was physically able to do any kind of manual labor. The motive he had was what led him into the oversight concerning the ransom money. See Exodus 30:12; 1 Chronicles 21:1-3.

1 Chronicles 27:24. At first thought this verse might seem to contradict Ch. 21:5. But the sum there mentioned means only that when Joab saw the wrath of God coming, he ceased the numbering. He then gave over to David the report of the work done thus far.

Verses 25-31

1Ch 27:25-31

1 Chronicles 27:25-31

DAVID’S DEPARTMENTAL OVERSEERS

"And over the king’s treasures was Azmaveth the son of Adiel: and over the treasures in the fields, in the cities, and in the villages, and in the castles, was Jonathan the son of Uzziah: and over them that did the work of the field for tillage of the ground was Ezri the son of Chelub: and over the vineyards was Shimei the Ramathite: and over the increase of the vineyards for the wine-cellars was Zabdi the Shiphmite: and over the olive-trees and the sycamore-trees that were in the lowland was Baal-hanan the Gederite: and over the cellars of oil was Joash: and over the herds that fed in Sharon was Shitrai the Sharonite: and over the herds that were in the valleys was Shaphat the son of Adlai: and over the camels was Obil the Ishmaelite: and over the asses was Jehdeiah the Meronothite: and over the flocks was Jaziz the Hagrite. All these were the rulers of the substance which was king David’s."

These officials were, in a sense, stewards of the king’s vast properties.

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 27:25. No one man had exclusive charge of the interests connected with David’s kingdom. Azmaveth was one among others who had some part of caring for the treasures. Jehona then must have been a rather important man, for his work attached him to the things stored in fields, cities, villages and castles.

1 Chronicles 27:26. Some preceding verses have told of men who had charge of the products of the fields and other sources. Ezri had oversight of the production itself, seeing that the ground was properly tilled.

1 Chronicles 27:27. This means Shimei was to care for the plants of the vineyards. Zabdi was to have charge of the product, to see that the wine was produced and stored in the cellars. These details may seem trivial to the reader, but we should get the lesson of the importance of having a system; doing things in an orderly method. Paul commended the church at Colosse for that. (Colossians 2:5.)

1 Chronicles 27:28. This sycamore was a fruit tree somewhat like the fig tree. Baalhanan was to care for these and the olive trees that grew in the low plains. The olive tree was cultivated for the oil of the fruit, and Joash was to look after its storage.

1 Chronicles 27:29. The herds of this passage means the larger animals, such as beeves. David was careful to see that full provision was made for the care of these animals by not assigning too much to any one man. The cattle feeding in Sharon and the villages had each a different man.

1 Chronicles 27:30. Camels were used for food and for transportation. They were among the most important beasts of service in old times; one man was charged with the care of these. The asses were used for plowing and transportation; Jehdeiah took care of these.

1 Chronicles 27:31. The many uses for sheep and goats are so familiar that it is unnecessary to comment. Jazib had the care of the flocks. He was a Hagerite, which was of one of the Arabian clans. All these applies to the men in the service of David who are mentioned in the several preceding verses.

Verses 32-34

1Ch 27:32-34

1 Chronicles 27:32-34

OTHER VERY IMPORTANT OFFICERS OF THE KING

"Also Jonathan, David’s uncle, was a counselor, a man of understanding, and a scribe: and Jehiel the son of Hachmoni was with the king’s sons: And Ahithophel was the king’s counselor: and Hushai the Archite was the king’s friend: and after Ahithophel was Jehoiada the son of Benaiah, and Abiathar: the captain of the king’s host was Joab."

It is of interest that the Chronicler passed over the treachery of Ahithophel during the rebellion of Absalom. He did, however, give the names of David’s counselors following the suicide of Ahithophel.

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 27:32. A counsellor was one who gave advice and made suggestions. When some decision was made it was to be recorded, and Jonathan served in the capacity of advising and recording. His work was not as specific as was that of the king’s official counsellor who will be presented in the next verse. Jehiel was engaged by David to act as tutor for his sons.

1 Chronicles 27:33. Ahithophel should be regarded as the king’s special or official counsellor. He was the one whose advice was rejected in the case of Absalom, and who killed himself over it. (2 Samuel 17:23.) Hushai is classed as a companion only, but finally became the more important as a counsellor. (2 Samuel 15:32-37.)

1 Chronicles 27:34. Joab was the general of the army and the most important man of all.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 1 Chronicles 27". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/1-chronicles-27.html.
 
adsfree-icon
Ads FreeProfile