The First Book of the Chronicles

Chapter 23

David in his old age makes Solomon king, 1. The number and distribution of the Levites, 2-6. The families of the Gershonites, 7-11. The sons of Kohath, 12-20. The sons of Merari, 21-23. The office of the Levites, 24-32.

1 So when David was old and full of days, he made Solomon his son king over Israel. 2 And he assembled 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 polls, man by man, was thirty-eight thousand. 4 "Of these, twenty-four thousand were to oversee 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 them." 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, Zetham, and Joel, three. 9 The sons of Shimei: Shelomith, Haziel, and Haran, three. These were the chief of the fathers of Laadan. 10 And the sons of Shimei were Jahath, Zina, Jeush and Beriah. These four were the sons of Shimei. 11 And Jahath was the chief and Zizah the second, but Jeush and Beriah did not have 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 so that he should sanctify the most holy things—he and his sons forever—to burn incense before the LORD, to minister to him, and to bless in his name forever. 14 Now concerning Moses the man of God, his sons were named of 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 son of Eliezer was Rehabiah the chief. And Eliezer had no other sons, but the sons of Rehabiah were very many. 18 The son of Izhar: Shelomith the chief. 19 Of the sons of Hebron: Jeriah the first, Amariah the second, Jehaziel the third, and Jekameam the fourth. 20 Of the sons of Uzziel: Micah 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 brothers the sons of Kish took them. 23 The sons of Mushi: Mahli, Eder, and Jeremoth, three.

24 These were the sons of Levi after the house of their fathers, even the chief of the fathers, as they were counted by number of names by their polls, who 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 so that they may dwell in Jerusalem forever. 26 And also the Levites shall no longer carry the tabernacle, nor any vessels of it for its service." 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, in the chambers, in the purifying of all holy things, and the work of the service of the house of God; 29 For the show-bread, for the fine flour for food-offering, for the unleavened cakes, for that which is baked in the pan, 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 to the LORD on 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 keep the charge of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, the charge of the holy place, and the charge of the sons of Aaron their brothers in the service of the house of the LORD.


Matthew Henry Commentary - 1st Chronicles, Chapter 23[➚]