1 Chronicles 23:8
The sons of Laadan; the chief was Jehiel, and Zetham, and Joel, three.
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(8) The sons of Laadan.—These are named in two groups: viz., first, the three mentioned in this verse; secondly, the three named in 1Chronicles 23:9, and called “sons of Shimei.” This Shimei is not the same as the Shimei of 1Chronicles 23:7, whose sub-divisions are not given till 1Chronicles 23:10.

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. 1Ch 23:7-11. Sons of Gershon.

7-11. the Gershonites—They had nine fathers' houses, six descended from Laadan, and three from Shimei.

The sons of Laadan, i.e. his posterity; and so in the following verses; for these could not be their immediate sons.

The sons of Laadan; the chief was Jehiah, and Zetham, and Joel. Not his immediate sons, but some that descended from him. The sons of Laadan; the chief was Jehiel, and Zetham, and Joel, three.
Verse 8. - This verse contains the names of the three so-called sons of Laadan, but (1 Chronicles 26:22) the last two appear to have been grandsons. 1 Chronicles 23:8The 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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