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BibliaTodo Commentaries


Benson Joseph
1 Chronicles 23

1. So when David was old and full of days, he made Solomon his son king over Israel.

2. And he gathered together all the princes of Israel, with the priests and the Levites.

3. Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and upward: and their number by their listings, man by man, was thirty eight thousand.

4. Of which, twenty four thousand were to carry forward the work of the house of the LORD; and six thousand were officers and judges:

5. Moreover four thousand were gatekeepers; and four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise with.

6. And David divided them into courses among the sons of Levi, namely, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

7. Of the Gershonites were, Laadan, and Shimei.

8. The sons of Laadan; the chief was Jehiel, and Zetham, and Joel, three.

9. The sons of Shimei; Shelomith, and Haziel, and Haran, three. These were the chief of the fathers of Laadan.

10. And the sons of Shimei were, Jahath, Zina, and Jeush, and Beriah. These four were the sons of Shimei.

11. And Jahath was the chief, and Zizah the second: but Jeush and Beriah had not many sons; therefore they were in one reckoning, according to their father’s house.

12. The sons of Kohath; Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel, four.

13. The sons of Amram; Aaron and Moses: and Aaron was separated, that he should sanctify the most holy things, he and his sons for ever, to burn incense before the LORD, to minister unto him, and to bless in his name for ever.

14. Now concerning Moses the man of God, his sons were named among the tribe of Levi.

15. The sons of Moses were, Gershom, and Eliezer.

16. Of the sons of Gershom, Shebuel was the chief.

17. And the sons of Eliezer were, Rehabiah the chief. And Eliezer had no other sons; but the sons of Rehabiah were very many.

18. Of the sons of Izhar; Shelomith the chief.

19. Of the sons of Hebron; Jeriah the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, and Jekameam the fourth.

20. Of the sons of Uzziel; Michah the first, and Jesiah the second.

21. The sons of Merari; Mahli, and Mushi. The sons of Mahli; Eleazar, and Kish.

22. And Eleazar died, and had no sons, but daughters: and their kindred the sons of Kish took them.

23. The sons of Mushi; Mahli, and Eder, and Jeremoth, three.

24. These were the sons of Levi by the house of their fathers; even the chief of the fathers, as they were counted by number of names by their listings, that did the work for the service of the house of the LORD, from the age of twenty years and upward.

25. For David said, The LORD God of Israel has given rest to his people, that they may dwell in Jerusalem for ever:

26. And also to the Levites; they shall no more carry the tabernacle, nor any vessels of it for the service thereof.

27. For by the last words of David the Levites were numbered from twenty years old and above:

28. Because their office was to wait on the sons of Aaron for the service of the house of the LORD, in the courts, and in the chambers, and in the purifying of all holy things, and the work of the service of the house of God;

29. Both for the showbread, and for the fine flour for food offering, and for the unleavened cakes, and for that which is baked in the pan, and for that which is fried, and for all manner of measure and size;

30. And to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at evening;

31. And to offer all burnt sacrifices unto the LORD in the sabbaths, in the new moons, and on the set feasts, by number, according to the order commanded to them, continually before the LORD:

32. And that they should have the oversight of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the oversight of the holy place, and the oversight of the sons of Aaron their brethren, in the service of the house of the LORD.

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1 Chronicles 23

1Ch 23:1. He made Solomon king over Israel — Not that he resigned the kingdom to him, but only declared his mind concerning Solomon’s succeeding him in the throne after his death. Thus David himself is called king, 1Sa 16:1, because he was appointed and anointed to be king after Saul’s death, though till then he was only a subject.


1Ch 23:2. He gathered together all the princes, &c. — Partly to declare God’s will, and his own desire, that Solomon should be his successor; and so to cut off the claims and pretences which others of his sons might have made to the crown; and partly to acquaint them with those directions which he had received from God, by the Spirit, as appears from 1Ch 28:11, &c., concerning the establishment of a new order and method in the ministration of the priests and Levites in the temple.


1Ch 23:3. From the age of thirty years and upward — Not only till fifty, as it was appointed Num 4:2-3, but even till their death: for that was but a temporary law grounded upon a special reason, because the Levites were employed in carrying the tabernacle and sacred vessels from place to place; and therefore God would have them freed from those burdens when they came to feel the infirmities of age: which reason wholly ceasing upon the building of the temple, their work being far easier than it had been, and their service being more a privilege than a burden, their time of service is justly prolonged.


1Ch 23:4. To set forward the work of the house of the Lord — To take care that all the work of the temple, about sacrifices, should be punctually performed, either by themselves or others; which they were not to do all at once, but by courses, a thousand at a time. Six thousand were officers and judges — Not in the affairs of the temple, there the priests presided, but in several parts of the kingdom, where they assisted the princes and elders of every tribe, in the administration of justice.


1Ch 23:5. Four thousand were porters — Whose office it was to take the charge of all the gates of the temple, and its courts, that no forbidden or unclean person might enter there, and of the courts themselves, and of the several chambers and buildings belonging to the temple and the service thereof. These also were to do their work by turns. Praised the Lord with instruments — Whereof two hundred and eighty-eight persons were of greater skill than their brethren, and instructed them, and had some authority over them.


1Ch 23:6. David divided them into courses — Which he did not by his own invention, but, as a man of God, by his command, and with the advice and concurrence of Gad and Nathan the prophets, as is manifest from 2Ch 8:14; 2Ch 29:25.


1Ch 23:13. That he should sanctify the most holy things — That he might keep them from pollution: for these most holy things were polluted when they were touched by any other person. He and his sons for ever — Not only his eldest sons the high-priests successively, but all his posterity, or all the priests: for the works here following were not peculiar to the high- priest, but common to all the priests.


1Ch 23:14. His sons were named of the tribe of Levi — They were accounted only as common Levites, and were not priests: which is mentioned for the honour of Moses, and the demonstration of his eminent piety and self-denial, who willingly left the government to Joshua, and the priesthood to Aaron, and was content to have his posterity reduced to a private and mean condition.


1Ch 23:24. From the age of twenty years and upward — As the Levites were anciently numbered from two several times, from the twenty-fifth year of their age, and from the thirtieth, (Num 4:3; Num 8:24,) in like manner they are here numbered, both from their twentieth year, when they were solemnly prepared for, and instructed, and by degrees exercised, in some parts of their work; and from their thirtieth year, when they were admitted to the full exercise of their office. And the reason why they were now sooner admitted to service than they had been formerly, is given in the next verses, because now their work was more easy, being wholly discharged from that burdensome work of carrying the tabernacle. Besides, the people of Israel were multiplied, therefore more hands were necessary; that every Israelite who brought an offering, might find a Levite ready to assist him.


1Ch 23:27. By the last words of David — By his last order and constitution, made by God’s direction, and by the Holy Spirit. This is here added to signify, that this great affair was thus settled by David, not in his younger years, when it might have been thought to have been the effect of youthful heat, presumption, and rashness, but when he was come to the greatest maturity, when he was old and near his death, and going to give up his account to his Lord and Maker of all his actions, and particularly of the alterations which he made in the service of God, which he declared was done by the Spirit of God. These were, in a manner, his dying words, which usually make the deepest impression.


1Ch 23:28. In the purifying of holy things — Holy places, and garments, and vessels, and sacrifices, which were to be washed and cleansed from any filthiness that might cleave to them.


1Ch 23:29. For all manner of measure — All measures used either in sacred or civil things, the public standards whereof were kept in the temple; and therefore the care of keeping them inviolable, and producing them upon occasion, must needs belong to the priests, and under them to the Levites, who were to examine other measures, and all things by them, as occasion required, that so the priests might be at leisure for their higher and greater employments.


1Ch 23:30-32. To stand every morning, &c., and at evening — The two solemn times of offering sacrifices: which work was attended with public prayer and thanksgiving. According to the order commanded unto them continually — That is, unto those persons, the Levites, of whom he speaks. The charge of the sons of Aaron — That is, what the priests should commit to their charge, or command them to do.



The Lighthouse Bible

David A. Plaisted (Standard Copyright License)