And the rest of the sons of Levi were these: Of the sons of Amram; Shubael: of the sons of Shubael; Jehdeiah.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And the rest of the sons of Levi were these.—Rather, And for the sons of Levi that were left over; i.e., after the priests had been separately dealt with. The list begins with the Kohathite heads, omitting the Gershonites (1Chronicles 23:7-11), perhaps owing to a lacuna in the chronicler’s MS. authority.
Of the sons of Amram; Shubael.—For the sons. Shubael is a variant of “Shebuel” (1Chronicles 23:16). The same variation recurs in 1Chronicles 25:4; 1Chronicles 25:20. Shebuel was grandson to Moses (1Chronicles 23:16). Here the name represents a Levitical house or class, of which, in David’s time Jehdeiah (Jah gladdens) was the head. The name “Jehdeiah” occurs again in 1Chronicles 26:30, and nowhere else in the Old Testament. (Comp. “Jahdiel,” God gladdens, 1Chronicles 5:24.)1 Chronicles 24:20. The rest of the sons of Levi — Either such as were only Levites, and not priests, or such as were not named or numbered before, in this or the former chapter. The sons of Shubael, Jehdeiah — Who being, as it seems, an eminent person, or having a very numerous family, was not reckoned with or under his father’s family, but was accounted as a distinct head of another family.1 Chronicles 23:7-23) seems to be the designation of the heads of the families in David's time. The omission of the Gershonites is curious, and can only be accounted for by supposing that the author did not find any account of their heads in his authorities. The addition to the Merarites 1 Chronicles 24:26-27 is also curious. It brings the number of families up to twenty-five, which is one more than we should have expected. The rest of the sons of Levi; either such as were only Levites, and not priests; or rather, such as were not named or numbered before in this or the former chapter.
Jehdeiah; who being, as it seems, an eminent person, or having a very numerous family, was not reckoned with or under his father’s family, but was accounted as a distinct head of another family. 1 Chronicles 24:30 their names are given; of the sons of Amram, Shubael, and his son Jehdeiah; Rehabiah the son of Eleazar, and Isshiah the son of Rehabiah; of the Izharites, so called from Izhar, the brother of Amram, Shelomoth, and his son Jahath; and of the sons of Hebron, another brother of Amram, Jeriah, Amariah, Jahaziel, and Jekameam; of the sons of Uzziel, another brother of Amram, Michah, and his son Shamir; Isshiah the brother of Michah, and his son Zechariah: the sons of Merari, Mahli and Mushi, his immediate sons; from whom sprung by Jaaziah, Beno, Shoham, Zaccur and Ibri; of Mahli sprung Eleazar, who had no sons; and Kish, whose son was Jerahmeel; the sons of Mushi, another son of Merari, Mahli, Eder, and Jerimoth; most of these names are the same with those in 1 Chronicles 23:16, And the rest of the sons of Levi were these: Of the sons of Amram; Shubael: of the sons of Shubael; Jehdeiah.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)20. And the rest of the sons of Levi were these: Of etc.] R.V. And of the rest of the sons of Levi: of etc.
Amram] The four Kohathite families are now noticed in order, viz. Amram, Izhar (1 Chronicles 24:22), Hebron (1 Chronicles 24:23), Uzziel (1 Chronicles 24:24).
Shubael] Called “Shebuel” in 1 Chronicles 23:16; 1 Chronicles 26:24.
20–31 (cp. 1 Chronicles 23:13-23). Families of the Levites
These verses repeat the list of Levitic families given in 1 Chronicles 23:6-23 with the important omission of the whole of the Gershonites (1 Chronicles 23:6-11), but with some additions to the Kohathite and Merarite families.Verses 20-31. - The distribution of the other Levites. Verse 20. - The rest of the sons of Levi designated here are explained sufficiently clearly by ver. 30. They were those who were not of the sons of Aaron, not priests, but whose "office was to wait on the sons of Aaron for the service of the house of the Lord" (1 Chronicles 23:28), for certain specified work, some of which was of the more menial character. These, of course, do not exhaust the whole of the non-priestly Levites; for we read distinctly in the following two chapters of other detachments of the non-priestly Levites, whose office was as singers, doorkeepers, and treasure-keepers. And this consideration may of itself possibly be a sufficient account of the absence of any of the family of Gershonites in the list of the present chapter, though they do appear to view for other work in 1 Chronicles 26:21, etc. Amram... Shubael. The latter of these two names marks the line of Moses, in his eider son, Gershon, whose son was Shebuel (1 Chronicles 23:15, 16), as the former is the name of the father of Moses, and eldest son of Kohath. 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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