1 Chronicles 24:16
The nineteenth to Pethahiah, the twentieth to Jehezekel,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) Pethahiah.Ezra 10:23, (Iah openeth, i.e., setteth free). (Comp. Jephthah: He, i.e., Iah, openeth.)

Jehezekel.—Heb., Yĕhezqêl: Ezekiel.

24:1-31 The divisions of the priests and Levites. - When every one has, knows, and keeps his place and work, the more there are the better. In the mystical body of Christ, every member has its use, for the good of the whole. Christ is High Priest over the house of God, to whom all believers, being made priests, are to be in subjection. In Christ, no difference is made between bond and free, elder and younger. The younger brethren, if faithful and sincere, shall be no less acceptable to Christ than the fathers. May we all be children of the Lord, fitted to sing his praises for ever in his temple above.Wrote them before the king - i. e., "wrote down their names as the lots were drawn forth."

Ahimelech the son of Abiathar - A wrong reading. It should be "Abiathar, the son of Ahimelech." See the 2 Samuel 8:17 note.

6. one principal household—The marginal reading is preferable, "one house of the father." The lot was cast in a deliberate and solemn manner in presence of the king, the princes, the two high priests, and the chiefs of the priestly and Levitical families. The heads of families belonging to Eleazar and Ithamar were alternately brought forward to draw, and the name of each individual, as called, registered by an attendant secretary. To accommodate the casting of the lots to the inequality of the number, there being sixteen fathers' houses of Eleazar, and only eight of Ithamar, it was arranged that every house of Ithamar should be followed by two of Eleazar, or, what is the same thing, that every two houses of Eleazar should be followed by one of Ithamar. If, then, we suppose a commencement to have been made by Eleazar, the order would be as follows: one and two, Eleazar; three, Ithamar; four and five, Eleazar; six, Ithamar; seven and eight, Eleazar; nine, Ithamar; and so forth [Bertheau]. The lot determined also the order of the priests' service. That of the Levites was afterwards distributed by the same arrangement (1Ch 24:31). No text from Poole on this verse. Now the first lot came forth to Jehoiarib,.... And the other twenty three to the following persons in order:

Jedaiah, Harim, Seorim, Malchijah, Mijamin, Hakkoz, Abijah, Jeshua, Shecaniah, Eliashib, Jakim, Huppah, Jeshebeab, Bilgah, Immer, Hezir, Aphses, Pethahiah, Jehezekel, Jachin, Gamul, Delaiah, and Maaziah; of all which courses we know little more than their names, though they continued in some form or other both under the first and second temple, to the destruction of it; the Jews say only four of these courses returned from the Babylonish captivity, which were those of Jedaiah, Harim, Pashur, and Immer; though Pashur is not among these here; yet they say each of these four had six lots, and that the names and the order of the other courses were retained and continued under them, and supplied by them: hence we read of Mattithiah, from whom sprung the Maccabees, as of the course of Jehoiarib,"In those days arose Mattathias the son of John, the son of Simeon, a priest of the sons of Joarib, from Jerusalem, and dwelt in Modin.'' (1 Maccabees 2:1)which was the first course, and the most honourable; wherefore Josephus (p), who was of it, valued himself upon it, that he was not only of the priestly order, but of the first class or course of the twenty four; and we also read of the course of Abijah, the eighth course, of which was Zechariah the father of John the Baptist, Luke 1:5 of these courses; see Gill on Luke 1:5.

(p) Vita ejus, sect. 1.

The nineteenth to Pethahiah, the twentieth to Jehezekel,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. Jehezekel] R.V. Jehezkel, which is the correct form of “Ezekiel” the name of the priest-prophet of the Captivity. It is possible that the prophet belonged to this twentieth coarse and that the name here given to it is derived from him.Verse 16. - Pethahiah... Jehezekel. The former name reappears as one of those who separated themselves from the alliances they had contracted in the land of their captivity (Ezra 10:23; Nehemiah 9:5). The latter is in its characters (יָחָזְקֵאל) the same with those of Ezekiel, though here Englished Jehezekel! "He set them down," viz., the classes, as the lot had determined them. מן־הלּוי, of the tribe of Levi. ול לכּהנים belongs to האבות ראשׁי, heads of the fathers'-houses of the priests and of the Levites. The second hemistich of 1 Chronicles 24:6 gives a more detailed account of the drawing of the lots: "One father's-house was drawn for Eleazar, and drawn for Ithamar." The last words are obscure. אחוּז, to lay hold of, to draw forth (Numbers 31:30, Numbers 31:47), here used of drawing lots, signifies plucked forth or drawn from the urn. The father's-house was plucked forth from the urn, the lot bearing its name being drawn. זאז ואהז, which is the only well-attested reading, only some few MSS containing the reading אהז ואחד, is very difficult. Although this various reading is a mere conjecture, yet Gesen. (Thes. p. 68), with Cappell and Grotius, prefers it. The repetition of the same word expresses sometimes totality, multitude, sometimes a distributive division; and here can only be taken in this last signification: one father's-house drawn for Eleazar, and then always drawn (or always one drawn) for Ithamar. So much at least is clear, that the lots of the two priestly families were not placed in one urn, but were kept apart in different urns, so that the lots might be drawn alternately for Eleazar and Ithamar. Had the lot for Eleazar been first drawn, and thereafter that for Ithamar, since Eleazar's family was the more numerous, they would have had an advantage over the Ithamarites. But it was not to be allowed that one family should have an advantage over the other, and the lots were consequently drawn alternately, one for the one, and another for the other. But as the Eleazarites were divided into sixteen fathers'-houses, and the Ithamarites into eight, Bertheau thinks that it was settled, in order to bring about an equality in the numbers sixteen and eight, in so far as the drawing of the lots was concerned, that each house of Ithamar should represent two lots, or, which is the same thing, that after every two houses of Eleazarites one house of Ithamarites should follow, and that the order of succession of the single houses was fixed according to this arrangement. To this or some similar conception of the manner of settling the order of succession we are brought, he says, by the relation of the number eight to sixteen, and by the words אהז and אהז ואהז. But even though this conception be readily suggested by the relation of the number sixteen to eight, yet we cannot see how the words אהז and אהז ואהז indicate it. These words would much rather suggest that a lot for Eleazar alternated with the drawing of one for Ithamar, until the eight heads of Ithamar's family had been drawn, when, of course, the remaining eight lots of Eleazar must be drawn one after the other. We cannot, however, come to any certain judgment on the matter, for the words are so obscure as to be unintelligible even to the old translators. In 1 Chronicles 24:7-18 we have the names of the fathers'-houses in the order of succession which had been determined by the lot. יצא, of the lot coming forth from the urn, as in Joshua 16:1; Joshua 19:1. The names Jehoiarib and Jedaiah occur together also in 1 Chronicles 9:10; and Jedaiah is met with, besides, in Ezra 2:36 and Nehemiah 7:39. The priest Mattathias, 1 Macc. 2:1, came of the class of Jehoiarib. Of the succeeding names, שׂערים (1 Chronicles 24:8), ישׁבאב (1 Chronicles 24:13), and הפּצּץ (1 Chronicles 24:15) do not elsewhere occur; others, such as חפּה (1 Chronicles 24:13), גּמוּל (1 Chronicles 24:17), do not recur among the names of priests. The sixteenth class, Immer, on the contrary, and the twenty-first, Jachin, are often mentioned; cf. 1 Chronicles 9:10, 1 Chronicles 9:12. Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, belonged to the eighth, Abiah (Luke 1:5).
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