The sons of Merari; Mahli, and Mushi. The sons of Mahli; Eleazar, and Kish.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The sons of Merari; Mahli, and Mushi.—See Exodus 6:19, and Numbers 3:33, and 1Chronicles 6:19.1 Chronicles 23:28-32 give the most complete account in Scripture of the nature of the Levitical office.
21-23. The sons of Merari—They comprised six fathers' houses. Summing them together, Gershon founded nine fathers houses, Kohath nine, and Merari six: total, twenty-four.1 Chronicles 23:12,
Jeriah the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, and Jekameam the fourth: of the sons of Uzziel; another son of Kohath, 1 Chronicles 23:12,
Micah the first, Jesiah the second: the sons of Merari, Mahli and Mushi, Exodus 6:19,
the sons of Mahli, Eleazar and Kish: of whom see 1 Chronicles 24:28.The sons of Merari; Mahli, and Mushi. The sons of Mahli; Eleazar, and Kish.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)21. The sons of Merari] Cp. 1 Chronicles 24:26.
The sons of Mahli] Cp. 1 Chronicles 24:28-29.Verse 21. - This and the following two verses give the houses of Merari, contributing four houses, and, with the nine Gershonite and eleven Kohathite, adding up to twenty-four. Merari is the third son of Levi (Genesis 46:11). The Mahli and Mushi of this verse were possibly grandson and son of Merari, if we follow the guidance of 1 Chronicles 6:47. Yet it would seem far more natural to explain this last-quoted passage by our ver. 23, which would then parallel it. Otherwise we must account for the name of Mahli habitually standing first, as here, as in 1 Chronicles 6:19 also, and 1 Chronicles 24:26, as also in Exodus 6:19; Numbers 3:20, 33, etc.; in all of which places the statement is as distinct as in this verse, that Mahli and Mushi were sons. This and the following verse must be compared particularly with 1 Chronicles 24:26-29; the Jaaziah of which passage was evidently no son of Merari, on a par with Mahli and Mushi, but a later descendant. His descendants were three - Shoham, Zaccur, and Ibri (Beno being no proper name, but signifying "his son"). Exodus 2:22 and Exodus 18:3.) founded a father's-house; Gershon through his son Shebuel (שׁבוּאל, in 1 Chronicles 24:20 שׁוּבאל), Eliezer through Rehabiah. The plurals בני ג, בני א are used, although in both cases only one son, he who was head (הראשׁ) of the father's-house, is mentioned, either because they had other sons, or those named had in their turn sons, who together formed a father's-house. From the remark in 1 Chronicles 23:17, that Eliezer had no other sons than Rehabiah, while Rehabiah had very many, we may conclude that Gershon had other sons besides Shebuel, who are not mentioned because their descendants were numbered with Shebuel's father's-house.
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