1 Chronicles 24:3
And David distributed them, both Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, according to their offices in their service.
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(3) And David distributed them.—The same phrase as at 1Chronicles 13:3. (See Note there.)

Both Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar.—This expression forms part of the subject of the Hebrew sentence. The construction is like that in 1Chronicles 24:2, “And Nadab died, and Abihu.” Thus, “And David divided them, and Zadok and Ahimelech,” i.e., “And David, with Zadok and Ahimelech, divided them.” The meaning is that Zadok and Ahimelech, the heads of the houses of Eleazar and Ithamar, assisted David in the classification of the priests.

According to their offices.—Rather, According to their official class (1Chronicles 23:11).

1 Chronicles 24:3. And David distributed them, &c. — To avoid all confusion, now that they were much increased, he distributed the priests, as he had done the Levites, into several courses, allotting to each of them the times wherein they should by turns have the government of holy ministrations.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.Zadok and Ahimelech (rather Abiathar, see 1 Chronicles 24:6) assisted David in drawing up the priestly courses, as the "captains of the host" assisted him in making the divisions of the singers 1 Chronicles 25:1. 3. Zadok … and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar—This statement, taken in connection with 1Ch 24:6, is not a little perplexing, since (2Sa 15:24, 35; 20:25) Abiathar is mentioned as the person conjoined in David's time with Zadok, in the collegiate exercise of the high priesthood. Some think that the words have been transposed, reading Abiathar, the son of Ahimelech. But there is no ground for regarding the text as faulty. The high priests of the line of Ithamar were the following: Ahiah or Ahimelech, his son Abiathar, his son Ahimelech. We frequently find the grandfather and grandson called by the same name (see list of high priests of the line of Eleazar, 1Ch 6:30-41). Hence the author of the Chronicles was acquainted with Ahimelech, son of Abiathar, who, for some reason, discharged the duties of high priest in David's reign, and during the lifetime of his father (for Abiathar was living in the time of Solomon, 1Ki 2:27) [Keil]. According to their offices, or courses, or prefectures, i.e. allotting to each of them several times wherein they or theirs should by turns have the government of holy ministrations in the temple service. And David distributed them,.... The posterities of Eleazar and Ithamar into certain classes or courses:

both Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar; these were the two principal men of the respective families, the one was high priest, and the other "sagan" or deputy; or they both officiated as high priests alternately, until the one was removed in Solomon's time, and the other established alone. And now their brethren the priests, who were under each of these, are the persons David divided into classes:

according to their offices in their service: to perform their office as priests in the service of the temple in their turns.

And David distributed them, both Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, according to their offices in their service.
3. David distributed them, both Zadok … and Ahimelech] R.V. David with Zadok … and Ahimelech … divided them.

Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar] The colleague of Zadok in the priesthood is variously named in different passages:—

1 Chronicles 24:3.

  Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar.

1 Chronicles 24:6.

  Ahimelech the son of Abiathar.

1 Chronicles 18:16.

  Abimelech the son of Abiathar.

Probably the same person is meant throughout, the confusion springing from a false reading in 1 Samuel 8:17, Ahimelech the son of Abiathar for Abiathar the son of Ahimelech; see Kirkpatrick, in loco.

according to their offices] R.V. according to their ordering, i.e. according to the arrangement which follows; cp. 1 Chronicles 24:19.Verse 3. - The Hebrew of this verse reads, And David divided them, and Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimalech of the sons of Ithamar, according to their offices (לַכְסֻדָּתָם), in their service (בַּעְבֹדָתָם). And the evident purport of it is that the three, David, Zadok, and Ahimelech, conjointly made the arrangements. This is virtually repeated in vers. 6, 31 (see also 1 Chronicles 25:1 for an analogous case). For the "Ahimelech" of this verse and vers. 6, 31, should be read "Abiathar," as shown in 1 Chronicles 18:16, by comparison of 1 Samuel 22:20; 2 Samuel 20:25; 1 Kings 1:7, 8; Mark 2:26. Their appointed place or post was at the hand of the sons of Aaron, i.e., they were ready to the priest's hand, to aid him in carrying on the service of the house of God. "Over the courts and the cells (of the courts; cf. 1 Chronicles 9:26), and the purifying of every holy thing," i.e., of the temple rooms and the temple vessels. On ל before כּל־קדשׁ, used for mediate connection after the stat. const., cf. Ew. 289, b. עבדת וּמעשׂה, and for the performance of the service of the house of God. Before מעשׂה, על is to be supplied from the preceding. The individual services connected with the worship are specialized in 1 Chronicles 23:29-31, and introduced by the preposition ל. For the bread of the pile, i.e., the shew-bread (see on Leviticus 24:8.), viz., to prepare it; for the laying of the bread upon the table was the priest's business. For fine meal (סלת, see on Leviticus 2:1) for the meat-offering and unleavened cakes (המּצּות רקיקי, see on Leviticus 2:4), and for the pans, i.e., that which was baked in pans (see on Leviticus 2:5), and for that which was roasted (מרבּכת, see on Leviticus 6:14), and for all measures of capacity and measures of length which were kept by the Levites, because meal, oil, and wine were offered along with the sacrifices in certain fixed quantities (cf. e.g., Exodus 29:40; Exodus 30:24), and the Levites had probably to watch over the weights and measures in general (Leviticus 19:35).
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