And there were more chief men found of the sons of Eleazar than of the sons of Ithamar, and thus were they divided. Among the sons of Eleazar there were sixteen chief men of the house of their fathers, and eight among the sons of Ithamar according to the house of their fathers.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And there were more chief men found.—Literally, And the sons of Eleazar were found more numerous as regards the heads of the men than the sons of Ithamar. The basis of division was not the individual members of the different families, but the heads of them. There were more head men, or heads of households, deriving from Eleazar than from Ithamar.
Chief men.—Heb., heads of the men, i.e., heads of single families or households; just as “heads of the fathers “denotes heads of groups of fathers or clans. (Comp. Joshua 7:14; Joshua 7:16-18.) Of course, as the heads of households were more numerous, the total number of priests claiming descent from Eleazar must likewise have been more numerous than their kinsmen the Ithamarites.
And thus were they divided . . . fathers.—Rather, And they divided them: to the sons of Eleazar, heads of father-houses, sixteen, and to the sons of Ithamar, to their father-houses, eight (heads). They (i.e., David and the two high priests) divided them (1Chronicles 24:3.)1 Chronicles 24:4. Among the sons of Eleazar were sixteen chief men, &c. — He appointed, therefore, sixteen courses of the sons of Eleazar, under as many heads of their families, and half as many of the posterity of Ithamar.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.
and thus were they divided; among the sons of Eleazar there were sixteen chief men of the house of their fathers, and eight among the sons of Ithamar, according to the house of their fathers; in all twenty four, and into so many classes or courses did David divide them; Jarchi says at first when the tabernacle was at Shiloh, there were but sixteen courses, eight from Eleazar, and eight from Ithamar, as is explained in the treatise of fasting (n); but when David saw that there were more heads of men, or chief men of Eleazar's, he divided the courses of Eleazar into two parts, and fixed sixteen courses; and the courses of Ithamar he established as at first, eight courses; left them as they were, which he thinks appears from 1 Chronicles 24:6 but of the former number of courses, and when and by whom fixed, the Jews are divided (o); See Gill on Luke 1:5. Perhaps there were none before David's time.And there were more chief men found of the sons of Eleazar than of the sons of Ithamar, and thus were they divided. Among the sons of Eleazar there were sixteen chief men of the house of their fathers, and eight among the sons of Ithamar according to the house of their fathers.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)4. moe] Cp. 1 Chronicles 14:3, note.
Among the sons of Eleazar there were sixteen chief men of the house of their fathers] R.V. of the sons of Eleazar there were sixteen, heads of fathers’ houses.
and eight among the sons of Ithamar according to the house of their fathers] R.V. and of the sons of Ithamar, according to their fathers’ houses, eight.Verse 4. - The simpler translation of this verse might run thus: And there were found (of) sons of Eleazar, more for chief men, than (of) sons of Ithamar, and they divided them - to sons of Eleazar, sixteen chiefs of fathers' houses; and to sons of Ithamar, eight. 1 Chronicles 25. The referring of them to the Levites who assisted the priests in the sacrificial worship (Berth.) needs no serious refutation, for וּלהלּל הודות is the standing phrase for the sacred temple music; and we can hardly believe that the Levites sang psalms or played on harps or lutes while the beasts for sacrifices were slaughtered and skinned, or the meat-offerings baked, or such duties performed.
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