1 Chronicles 23:14
Now concerning Moses the man of God, his sons were named of the tribe of Levi.
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(14) Now concerning Moses the man of God.—Rather, Now Moses, the man of God.

His sons were named (or should be named) of the tribe of Levi.—See Genesis 48:6 for the phrase “to be called after” (niqrâ’ ‘al). Aaron’s sons were priests; but the sons of Moses, his brother, were reckoned as simple Levites, and therefore their houses are here enumerated (1Chronicles 23:15-17).

The man of God.—See Deuteronomy 33:1; Psalms 90; Joshua 14:6. David is so called (2Chronicles 8:14; Nehemiah 12:24). The meaning of the title is one charged with a Divine mission. Hence the prophets were so called in the times of the kings; and St. Paul applies the title to Timothy (1Timothy 6:11).

1 Chronicles 23:14. His sons were named of the tribe of Levi — They were accounted only as common Levites, and were not priests: which is mentioned for the honour of Moses, and the demonstration of his eminent piety and self-denial, who willingly left the government to Joshua, and the priesthood to Aaron, and was content to have his posterity reduced to a private and mean condition.23:1-23 David, having given charge concerning the building of the temple, settles the method of the temple service, and orders the officers of it. When those of the same family were employed together, it would engage them to love and assist one another.See the marginal references and notes. 1 Chronicles 23:28-32 give the most complete account in Scripture of the nature of the Levitical office. 14. concerning Moses—His sons were ranked with the Levites generally, but not introduced into the distinctive portion of the descendants of Levi, who were appointed to the special functions of the priesthood. i.e. They were accounted only as common Levites, and were not priests; which is mentioned partly to secure the priesthood within the bounds to which God had confined it, lest they should presume to invade it upon a confidence in the nobleness of their extraction; and partly for the honour of Moses, and the demonstration of his eminent piety and self-denial, who willingly left the government to Joshua, and the priesthood to Aaron, and was content to have his posterity reduced to a very private and mean condition. Now concerning Moses the man of God,.... Raised up by him as a prophet, admitted to great familiarity with him, a lawgiver from him, and the ruler and guide of Israel under him through the wilderness:

his sons were named of the tribe of Levi; were only common Levites; Moses had no ambition to gratify; he sought no honour for his posterity; the civil government was left to Joshua, and the priesthood to Aaron.

Now concerning Moses the man of God, his sons were named of the {b} tribe of Levi.

(b) They were but of the order of the Levites and not of the priests as Aaron's sons.

14. Now concerning Moses] R.V. But as for Moses.

of the tribe of Levi] R.V. among the tribe of Levi. The descendants of Moses as distinguished from those of Aaron had the standing, not of priests but of Levites.Verse 14. - Moses the man of God. This title is distinguished by the presence of the article. The 'Speaker's Commentary' mentions it as occurring only nine times, of which five instances belong to Moses (Deuteronomy 33:1; Joshua 14:6; 2 Chronicles 30:16; Ezra 3:2; with the present place); three instances show the title applied to David (2 Chronicles 8:14; Nehemiah 12:24, 36); and once it is applied to Shemaiah (1 Kings 12:22). Although the sons of Moses belonged, as is here said, to the tribe of Levi, they did not belong to that portion which discharged priestly duties. The fathers'-houses of the Gershonites. - According to the natural development of the people of Israel, the twelve sons of Jacob founded the twelve tribes of Israel; his grandsons, or the sons of the twelve patriarchs, founded the families (משׁפּחות); and their sons, i.e., the great-grandsons of Jacob, founded the fathers'-houses (בּית־אבות). But this natural division or ramification of the people into tribes, families, and fathers'-houses (groups of related households), was not consistently carried out. Even the formation of the tribes suffered a modification, when the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born before Jacob's arrival in Egypt, were adopted by him as his sons, and so made founders of tribes (Genesis 48:5). The formation of the families and fathers'-houses was also interfered with, partly by the descendants of many grandsons or great-grandsons of Jacob not being numerous enough to form independent families and fathers'-houses, and partly by individual fathers'-houses (or groups of related households) having so much decreased that they could no longer form independent groups, and so were attached to other fathers'-houses, or by families which had originally formed a בּית־אב becoming so numerous as to be divided into several fathers'-houses. In the tribe of Levi there came into operation this special cause, that Aaron and his sons were chosen to be priests, and so his family was raised above the other Levites. From these causes, in the use of the words משׁפּחה and בּית־אב many fluctuations occur; cf. my bibl. Archol. ii. 140. Among the Levites, the fathers'-houses were founded not by the grandsons, but by the great-grandsons of the patriarch.

1 Chronicles 23:7-8

"Of the Gershonites, Laadan and Shimei," i.e., these were heads of groups of related families, since, according to 1 Chronicles 23:9, their sons and descendants formed six fathers'-houses. The sons of Gershon, from whom all branches of the family of Gershon come, are called in 1 Chronicles 6:2, as in Exodus 6:17 and Numbers 13:18, Libni and Shimei; while in our verse, on the contrary, we find only the second name Shimei, whose sons are enumerated in 1 Chronicles 23:10, 1 Chronicles 23:11; and instead of Libni we have the name Laadan, which recurs in 1 Chronicles 26:21. Laadan seemingly cannot be regarded as a surname of Libni; for not only are the sons of Shimei named along with the sons of Laadan in 1 Chronicles 23:8 and 1 Chronicles 23:9 as heads of the fathers'-houses of Laadan, without any hint being given of the genealogical connection of this Shimei with Laadan, but mainly because of לגּרשׁנּי in 1 Chronicles 23:7. In the case of Kohath and Merari, the enumeration of the fathers'-houses descended from them is introduced by the mention of their sons, קהת בני and מררי בני (1 Chronicles 23:12, 1 Chronicles 23:21), while in the case of Gershon it is not so; - in his case, instead of גרשׁון בני, we find the Gentilic designation גּרשׁנּי, to point out that Laadan and Shimei are not named as being sons of Gershon, but as founders of the two chief lines of Gershonites, of which only the second was named after Gershon's son Shimei, while the second derived their name from Laadan, whose family was divided in David's time into two branches, the sons of Laadan and the sons of Shimei, the latter a descendant of Libni, not elsewhere mentioned. That the Shimei of 1 Chronicles 23:9 is not the same person as Shimei the son of Gershon mentioned in 1 Chronicles 23:7, is manifest from the fact that the sons of the latter are enumerated only in 1 Chronicles 23:10. Each of these two lines numbered at that time three fathers'-houses, the heads of which are named in 1 Chronicles 23:8 and 1 Chronicles 23:9. הראשׁ in 1 Chronicles 23:8 belongs to יחיאל: "the sons of Laadan were: the head (also the first; cf. 1 Chronicles 23:11, 1 Chronicles 23:16) Jehiel, Zetham, and Joel, three."

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