1 Chronicles 24


David divides the families of Eleazar and Ithamar, by lot,

into twenty-four courses, 1-19.

How the rest of the sons of Levi were disposed of, 20-31.


Verse 2. Nadab and Abihu died before their father] That is,

during his lifetime.

Eleazar and Ithamar executed the priest's office.] These two

served the office during the life of their father Aaron; after his

death Eleazar succeeded in the high priesthood. And under Eli the

high priest, the family of Ithamar re-entered into that office.

Verse 3. And Ahimelech] Ahimelech is put here for Abiathar, who

was high priest in the days of David. Abiathar had also the name

of Ahimelech, as well as his father. See Calmet.

Verse 5. They divided by lot] This prevented jealousies: for, as

all the families were equally noble, they had equal right to all

ecclesiastical and civil distinctions.

Verse 6. And Shemaiah] "Moses the great scribe, who is called

Shemaiah, the son of Nethaneel, of the tribe of Levi, wrote them


One principal household-for Eleazar] The family of Eleazar was

the most illustrious of the sacerdotal families, because Eleazar

was the first-born of Aaron, Ithamar's family was the second in

order and dignity; therefore one of the principal families of

Eleazar was first taken, and then one of Ithamar's, and thus

alternately till the whole was finished.

Verse 19. Under Aaron their father] That is, they followed the

order and plans laid down by Aaron during his lifetime.

Verse 26. The sons of Merari] It is remarkable that not a word

is here spoken of the family of Gershom.

Verse 31. These likewise cast lots] The Levites were divided

into twenty-four orders; and these were appointed by lot to serve

under the twenty-four orders of the priests: the first order of

Levities under the first order of priests, and so on. The meaning

is not very clear: "both elder and younger," says Bishop Patrick,

"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 were to take their courses according to the lot they drew."

This may have been the case; but we are very little interested in

the subject.

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