|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
26:1-32 The offices of the Levites. - The porters and treasurers of the temple, had occasion for strength and valour to oppose those who wrongly attempted to enter the sanctuary, and to guard the sacred treasures. Much was expended daily upon the altar; flour, wine, oil, salt, fuel, beside the lamps; quantities of these were kept beforehand, besides the sacred vestments and utensils. These were the treasures of the house of God. These treasures typified the plenty there is in our heavenly Father's house, enough and to spare. From those sacred treasuries, the unsearchable riches of Christ, all our wants are supplied; and receiving from his fulness, we must give him the glory, and endeavour to dispose of our abilities and substance according to his will. We have an account of those employed as officers and judges. The magistracy is an ordinance of God for the good of the church, as truly as the ministry, and must not be neglected. None of the Levites who were employed in the service of the sanctuary, none of the singers or porters, were concerned in this outward business; one duty was enough to engage the whole man. Wisdom, courage, strength of faith, holy affections, and constancy of mind in doing our duty, are requisite or useful for every station.
Verses 14-16. - The casting of lots for the four chief names and the four chief aspects of gates, now proceeds. A special note is made of the care taken for the house of Asuppim; i.e. of "gatherings" or "stores." For all that we know of this "house," we seem to be left to the verses (15, 17) of this passage, and to the expression (Nehemiah 12:25), "the storehouses, or stores of the gates" (though the Authorized Version, the "thresholds" of the gates), which would have been more intelligible had it been reversed, "the gates of the stores." Presumably it was a building for keeping safe certain of the sacred property, and was situated south of the temple, and, judging from ver. 17, had two doorways. The Vulgate translates seniorum concilium. To Shuppim. Nothing can be made of this word in this connection, as a proper name, though we have it (1 Chronicles 7:12, 15) as such. It is now generally rejected, as probably due to the error of some transcriber, whose eye may have been caught again by the last two syllables of the closely preceding "Asuppim." But some would place it as the last word of the previous verse, and make it amplify the meaning of Asuppim, e.g. "gatherings for stores." Shallecheth. By derivation, this word means "sending or throwing down." Hence some call it, "the refuse gate." The situation of it is, however, defined here, as by the causeway of the going up, and would seem to render such an interpretation less likely. According to Grove (in Smith's 'Bible Dictionary'), this causeway is still traceable: it runs up from the central valley of the town to the sacred site west of the temple (1 Kings 10:5; 2 Chronicles 9:4); and Grove would identify the "gate of Shallecheth" with the present Bab Silsileh. The Septuagint translates ἡ πυλὴ παστοφορίου, i.e. the gate of the temple-cell, which word they could get from the inverting of the order of the first two letters of the Hebrew Shallecheth. The Septuagint then mutts the following word, מְסִלָּה, Ward against ward; i.e. watch with watch. The expression up- pears to refer to the fact that Hosah's lot threw to him the charge of a double position.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the lot eastward fell to Shelemiah,.... The same with Meshelemiah, 1 Chronicles 26:1 he by lot was placed at the eastern gate, called afterwards the gate Shushan, the city Shushan being portrayed upon it (u):
then for Zechariah his son (a wise counsellor); and who was his firstborn, 1 Chronicles 26:2 a man of great parts and learning: for they were not mean persons that were employed in this office, nor was the office a mean one, like that of our porters; but men of considerable rank and figure, and of knowledge and learning, were in it; some of them were judges, 1 Chronicles 26:29 and their places were places of great trust, they had much treasure committed to them, as appears by 1 Chronicles 26:20,
they cast lots, and his lot came out northward; where was a gate in later times, called Teri or Tedi, which differed from other gates in this, that it had no threshold, only one stone was laid upon another, and was not commonly used (w).
(u) Ib. (Misn. Middot, c. 1.), sect. 3.((w) Misn. Middot, ib. (c. 1. sect. 3.) & c. 2. sect. 3.
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