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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 23

Whedon's Commentary on the BibleWhedon's Commentary


Verse 1

1. When David was old… he made Solomon his son king This statement serves as an introduction to the account of the arrangement of the Levites which follows. David, in his old age, made arrangements to hand over to his son a well-organized theocracy. Chapters xxiii-xxvii show how thorough and extensive were the arrangements and organization of the kingdom when Solomon was made king over Israel.

During the period of the Judges and the reign of Saul the Levitical order had become greatly disorganized. In the earlier part of David’s reign efforts were made to restore them to their ancient work and standing, and at the time of the removal of the ark to Zion much was accomplished in reorganizing the Levites, and establishing a new and beautiful sanctuary service. But the more full and perfect arrangement of both priests and Levites was the work of David’s last years. The statements of this chapter may be conveniently tabulated as follows:

Whole number of Levites from thirty years old and upward 38,000 These embraced four classes

1 . General Service 24,000

2. Officers and Judges 6,000

3. Porters 4,000

4. Musicians 4,000

GERSHON Laadan Jehiel.

Zetham. Joel.



Haran. Shemei Jath.


Amram Zina, (or Zirah.)




Ishar Rehablah.

Shelomith. Hebron Jeriah. Amariah.

Uzziel Jahaziel.


Micah. Jesiah. MERARI Mahli Eleazar.

Mushi Kish.

Mahil. Eder.


Verse 4

4. To set forward the work of the house Rather, to preside over the work; to attend to the various kinds of service specified in 1 Chronicles 23:28-32.

Officers and judges Hebrew, Shoterim and Shophetim. They served as local magistrates and judges throughout the various cities of the land. See notes on Joshua 1:10, and comp. 1 Chronicles 26:29, and 2 Chronicles 19:8-10.

Verse 13

13. Aaron was separated The divisions and courses of his sons, the priests, are given in the next chapter, and so not numbered with the ordinary Levites.

Verse 14

14. Moses… his sons were named of the tribe of Levi Unlike his priestly brother Aaron, his sons were numbered with the ordinary Levites.

Verse 24

24. Twenty years and upward this is not to be explained by supposing an error in the text of 1 Chronicles 23:3, (Kiel,) nor by assuming that David first took a census of those thirty years of age and upward, and afterwards another census of those twenty years old and upwards. The writer introduces additional information, and explains in the verses following, that since Jehovah had given rest to his people, and the tabernacle was to be carried about no more, the Levites might begin to serve at an earlier age, and accordingly David ordained among his last instructions, (1 Chronicles 23:27,) that the Levites might be numbered for service at the age of twenty a practice which afterwards prevailed. 2 Chronicles 31:17; Ezra 3:8.

Verse 31

31. To offer all burnt sacrifices That is, to assist the priests in offering, for the ordinary Levite did not offer up the offering with his own bands, but he prepared the altar and the wood, and selected and brought the victims, and helped to slay and skin them. Comp. Numbers 3:5-10; Numbers 18:1-7.

Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 23". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/whe/1-chronicles-23.html. 1874-1909.
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