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A.M. 2989. B.C. 1015.
The priests are divided by lot into twenty-four orders, 1 Chronicles 24:1-19 . Ministers are allotted them from the Levites, out of the tribes of the Kohathites and the Merarites, 1 Chronicles 24:20-31 .
1 Chronicles 24:1-2. These are the divisions of the sons of Aaron The several branches into which that family was divided. Therefore Eleazar and Ithamar executed the priest’s office Their brethren being dead, and leaving no issue, they and their sons were the only persons to whom the execution of that office could be committed according to the law.
1 Chronicles 24:3. And David distributed them, &c. To avoid all confusion, now that they were much increased, he distributed the priests, as he had done the Levites, into several courses, allotting to each of them the times wherein they should by turns have the government of holy ministrations.
1 Chronicles 24:4. Among the sons of Eleazar were sixteen chief men, &c. He appointed, therefore, sixteen courses of the sons of Eleazar, under as many heads of their families, and half as many of the posterity of Ithamar.
1 Chronicles 24:5. Thus were they divided by lot That the business being committed, in this way, to the Divine disposal, there might be no occasion for complaint, and so all contentions might be prevented, as no man could be charged with partiality, nor could any say they had wrong done them. Solomon says, the lot causes contention to cease. It is evident from the Scriptures, that it was a very ancient custom to refer matters of a doubtful nature to the decision of the lot; and, in particular, persons were often chosen in this way to sacred offices. But, as it is an appeal to God, it ought to be managed with a proper reverence and sincerity. Thus Matthias was chosen to the apostleship by lot with solemn prayer. “And I know not,” says Henry, “but it might still be used, in faith, in parallel cases, as an instituted ordinance.” One sort with another Both the sons of Eleazar and those of Ithamar were thus chosen, who should wait together. Governors of the house of God Hebrew, governors of God; that is, the judges, says Houbigant. The ministers of religion are expressed in the foregoing words, the governors of the sanctuary. It is very justly observed by Grotius, that governors of God never signify, in the sacred writings, those that minister to God, but governors in the commonwealth, chiefs, or judges. Were of the sons of Eleazar and the sons of Ithamar These two families had obtained the chief functions, both in the temple and in the magistracy; which could not be distributed so well any way as by lot, without danger of envy among themselves.
1 Chronicles 24:6. Shemaiah, the scribe, wrote them before the king Their names were written and put into an urn, out of which the lots were to be drawn: which, that there might be no suspicion of fraud, were drawn before the king, the princes, the high-priest and his assistant, and before the several families of priests and Levites. One principal household being taken for Eleazar, &c. That is, one of the principal families of Eleazar was first taken, and then one of Ithamar’s, and thus alternately, till all the families of Ithamar had received their lot. And afterward all the lots came forth to the rest of Eleazar’s families, which were double in number to those of Ithamar.
1 Chronicles 24:19. These were the orderings of them In this order and method they were to come to perform the offices of the temple. To come into the house To come into the temple every sabbath day, and to continue there till the next sabbath, when they were relieved by others. Under Aaron Under the direction of the high-priest, whom he calls Aaron, because he represented Aaron’s person, and executed his office; and their father Because of the authority which, by God’s appointment, he had over them.
1 Chronicles 24:20. The rest of the sons of Levi Either such as were only Levites, and not priests, or such as were not named or numbered before, in this or the former chapter. The sons of Shubael, Jehdeiah Who being, as it seems, an eminent person, or having a very numerous family, was not reckoned with or under his father’s family, but was accounted as a distinct head of another family.
1 Chronicles 24:31. These likewise cast lots There was the like solemnity used in their distribution as there was in that of the priests, by casting lots; whereby they knew what Levites should wait in every course with the sons of Aaron. Even the principal fathers over against their younger brethren These words are somewhat obscure, but the meaning, says Bishop Patrick, is, that both elder and younger had their places by lot, not by seniority of houses: they who were of greater dignity drew lots against those who were of less: and they were to take their courses as they fell either to the elder or the younger family.
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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 24". Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
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