1 Chronicles 26Blessed him - With a numerous posterity and other blessings, for his respect and affection to the ark. The increase and building up of families, is owing to the Divine blessing. And a great blessing it is to have many children, when they are like these, eminent in the service of God. Of valour - This clause is divers times mentioned, because their office required both strength and courage: for they were to shut the doors of the temple, one whereof was so great and weighty, that in the second temple it required twenty men to open and shut it. They were also to keep the guard, to keep out all unclean or forbidden persons, to prevent or suppress any tumults or disorders which might happen in the temple or in its courts, to keep the treasures of the temple, ver.20,22,24,26, to be officers and judges over Israel, ver.29, and to manage every matter pertaining to God, and the affairs of the king, ver.32. Made him the chief - Not in inheriting the estate; (this was forbidden by the law) but in this service, for which he was better qualified than his elder brother. Wards - Heb. having wards answerably to their brethren the other Levites, who were divided into twenty - four courses, as the priests also and the porters were. Cast lots - Determining the times and places of their service not by age or dignity, but merely by lot. Every gate - That it might be known to whom the care of each gate was more especially committed. Asuppim - Or, of gatherings, probably so named from the assembly of the elders, who met there to consult about the affairs of the temple. Shallecheth - A gate of the court so called, as some think, because the ashes and filth of the temple were cast out on that side, which was the most convenient for that purpose, because that was a private quarter, the great ways to the temple lying on the other sides. Going up - By which causeway they went up towards the temple. Ward against ward - As one gate was over against another, the west against the east, and the north against the south, so one ward was over against another. Six - For that being the chief gate of the temple required a better guard. Treasures - There seem to be two different kinds of treasures, the former containing the sacred vessels and other treasures, which by God's command were appropriated to the maintenance of the house; the latter only those things which had been freely given or dedicated to God. The Amramites - The persons following were of these, or the most of these families. Only here is none of the family of the Uzzielites; either because that family was now extinct, whence it is that we read no more of them in the scripture, but only in this place, and Numb 3:27, or because there was none of them fit to be employed and trusted in these matters. Ruler - The chief over all the treasures, mentioned before or afterward, as his title shews, which is peculiarly given to him and to none of the rest. Maintain - Or repair it. Judges - Judges over the people, in the several cities and towns, to determine questions and controversies which might arise among them. And the reason why the Levites were intrusted with these matters was, because the common law of Israel, by which they had and held all their rights was no other than the law of God, whereof the priests and Levites being the established interpreters, must needs be the most proper judges of things depending thereon. Of the Lord - In all things which concerned the house or worship of God; to take care that such monies as were given towards building the temple, or towards the sacrifices and other holy ministrations should be gathered and received, and faithfully sent up to Jerusalem; and to see to the execution of all the laws of God among the people. Service of, &c. - They served the king in the execution of his decrees, by which the several rights of the king and people were established. And as the king was the principal person intrusted with the execution of God's laws, so these Levites chiefly were his eyes by which he saw his people's transgressions, and his hands by which he inflicted due censures upon them for their miscarriages. Fortieth year - His last year, in which he made all the orders of families and officers recorded in these chapters. We should be so much the more diligent in doing good, as we see the day approaching. If we live not to enjoy the fruit of our labours, let us not grudge it to them that come after us.
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