1 Chronicles 23


David makes Solomon king, 1.

Numbers the Levites, and appoints them their work, 2-5.

The sons of Levi, Gershom, Kohath, Merari, and their

descendants, 6-12.

The sons of Amram, and their descendants, 13.

The sons of Moses, and their descendants, 14-24.

David appoints the Levites to wait on the priests for the

service of the sanctuary, 25-32.


Verse 1. David was old and full of days] On the phrase full of

days, See Clarke on Ge 25:8.

Verse 3. Thirty years and upward] The enumeration of the Levites

made in the desert, Nu 4:3, was from

thirty years upwards to fifty years. In this place, the latter

limit is not mentioned, probably because the service was not so

laborious now; for the ark being fixed they had no longer any

heavy burdens to carry, and therefore even an old man might

continue to serve the tabernacle. David made another ordinance

afterwards; see on 1Ch 23:24, 27.

Verse 5. Four thousand praised the Lord] David made this

distribution according to his own judgment, and from the dictates

of his piety; but it does not appear that he had any positive

Divine authority for such arrangements. As to the instruments of

music which he made they are condemned elsewhere; see Am 6:5, to

which this verse is allowed to be the parallel.

Verse 11. Therefore they were in one reckoning] The family of

Shimei, being small, was united with that of Laadan, that the

two families might do that work which otherwise belonged to one,

but which would have been too much for either of these separately.

Verse 13. To bless in his name] To bless the people by invoking

the name of the Lord.

Verse 14. Moses the man of God] "Moses the prophet of God,"-T.

Verse 16. To this verse the Targum adds, "The same Jonathan, who

became a false prophet, repented in his old age; and David made

him his chief treasurer."

Verse 17. But the sons of Rehabiah were very many.] The Targum

says, "On account of the merits of Moses, the posterity of

Rehabiah were multiplied to more than sixty myriads."

Verse 22. Their brethren the sons of Kish took them.] This was

according to the law made Nu 27:1, &c., and Nu 36:5-9, in favour

of the daughters of Zelophehad, that women who were heiresses

should marry in the family of the tribe of their father, and that

their estates should not be alienated from them.

Verse 24. Twenty years and upward.] It appears that this was a

different ordinance from that mentioned 1Ch 23:3. At first he

appointed the Levites to serve from thirty years and upward; now

from twenty years. These were David's last orders; see 1Ch 23:27.

They should begin at an earlier age, and continue later.

This was not a very painful task; the ark being now fixed, and

the Levites very numerous, there could be no drudgery.

Verse 28. Purifying of all holy things] Keeping all the vessels

and utensils belonging to the sacred service clean and neat.

Verse 29. Both for the shew-bread] It was the priests' office to

place this bread before the Lord, and it was their privilege to

feed on the old loaves when they were replaced by the new. Some of

the rabbins think that the priests sowed, reaped, ground, kneaded,

and baked the grain of which the shew-bread was made. This appears

to be a conceit. Jerome, in his comment on Mal 1:6, mentions it

in these words: "Panes propositionis quos, juxta traditiones

Hebraicas, ipsi serere, ipsi demetere, ipsi molere, ipsi coquere


For all manner of measure and size] The standards of all weights

and measures were kept at the sanctuary, and by those there

deposited all the weights and measures of the land were to be

tried. See Clarke on Ex 30:13.

Verse 30. To stand every morning] At the offering of the morning

and evening sacrifice, they sounded their musical instruments, and

sang praises to God.

Verse 32. The charge of the sons of Aaron] It was the priests'

business to kill, flay, and dress, as well as to offer, the

victims, but being few, they were obliged to employ the Levites to

flay those animals. The Levites were, properly speaking, servants

to the priests, and were employed about the more servile part of

Divine worship.

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