Of the Izharites; Shelomoth: of the sons of Shelomoth; Jahath.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Of the Izharites.—For the Izharites. The Gentilic form of this designation indicates that Shubael, Rehabiah, and others of these proper names, are likewise names of houses or clans.
Shelomoth is mentioned in 1Chronicles 23:18, but not the chief, “Jahath.”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. Shelomoth, called also Shelomith, 1 Chronicles 23:181 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, Of the Izharites; Shelomoth: of the sons of Shelomoth; Jahath.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)22. Shelomoth] Called “Shelomith” in 1 Chronicles 23:18.Verse 22. - Jahath. Here follows in order after the Amramites, Jahath, a descendant from Izhar, Kohath's second son (1 Chronicles 23:12, 18), through Shelomoth (otherwise Shelemith). This Jahath furnishes for us the third name of this series of "other sons of Levi." And Keil plausibly argues, from the absence of these three names from the list of 1 Chronicles 23:6, 23, that, while that list is occupied with fathers' houses, this list is occupied with the official classes of the Levites who were to be engaged in the way already stated. 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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