1 Chronicles 24:5
Thus were they divided by lot, one sort with another; for the governors of the sanctuary, and governors of the house of God, were of the sons of Eleazar, and of the sons of Ithamar.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) Thus were they divided by lot, one sort with another.—Literally, And they divided them by lots, these with those: i.e., the sons of Eleazar with those of Ithamar, the clans of each standing together, apart from those of the other, and the lots being drawn for each alternately. The object was to decide the question of precedence in the order of ministration (comp. Luke 1:5; Luke 1:8-9), the liturgical functions being, of course, the same for all.

For the governors of the sanctuary . . .—Better, for there had arisen holy princes (“lords spiritual) and princes of God (both) from among the sons of Eleazar, and from among the sons of Ithamar. The decision was referred to the equal arbitrament of the lot, because there had been, and were, distinguished heads of priestly houses belonging to both lines of descent. “Princes of the sanctuary” (Isaiah 43:28)—the phrase is equivalent to “princes of the priests” (2Chronicles 36:14). “Princes of God”—an expression (sārê ’ĕlôhîm) not found elsewhere; it is either synonymous with the last, or perhaps denotes the high priests. (Comp. Notes on 1Chronicles 6:4-6.) The term “Prince of God” (nĕsî ’ĕlôhîm) is applied to Abraham (Genesis 23:6), apparently in the sense of mighty prince, which may be the meaning here.

1 Chronicles 24:5. Thus were they divided by lot — That the business being committed, in this way, to the Divine disposal, there might be no occasion for complaint, and so all contentions might be prevented, as no man could be charged with partiality, nor could any say they had wrong done them. Solomon says, the lot causes contention to cease. It is evident from the Scriptures, that it was a very ancient custom to refer matters of a doubtful nature to the decision of the lot; and, in particular, persons were often chosen in this way to sacred offices. But, as it is an appeal to God, it ought to be managed with a proper reverence and sincerity. Thus Matthias was chosen to the apostleship by lot with solemn prayer. “And I know not,” says Henry, “but it might still be used, in faith, in parallel cases, as an instituted ordinance.” One sort with another — Both the sons of Eleazar and those of Ithamar were thus chosen, who should wait together. Governors of the house of God — Hebrew, governors of God; that is, the judges, says Houbigant. The ministers of religion are expressed in the foregoing words, the governors of the sanctuary. It is very justly observed by Grotius, that governors of God never signify, in the sacred writings, those that minister to God, but governors in the commonwealth, chiefs, or judges. Were of the sons of Eleazar and the sons of Ithamar — These two families had obtained the chief functions, both in the temple and in the magistracy; which could not be distributed so well any way as by lot, without danger of envy among themselves.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.One sort with another - i. e., "the assignment of their order in the courses was made by lot to the families belonging to Eleazar, and to the families belonging to Ithamar, equally." Both houses had furnished functionaries of the highest class, and therefore no preference was now given to either over the other. 5. Thus were they divided by lot—This method of allocation was adopted manifestly to remove all cause of jealousy as to precedence and the right of performing particular duties. Thus were they divided by lot; partly to prevent that envy or emulation which otherwise might arise among them; and partly that all men’s minds and consciences might be fully satisfied in the order now established by this Divine way of decision.

Governors of the house of God; but that is no other than the sanctuary; and so it may seem to make this division improper and irregular, the several members of it being altogether the same. Or rather, of the things of God, i.e. of all persons ministering in the sanctuary, and of all holy ministrations done in it, and of all other matters of the Lord, as they are called by way of distinction from the king’s matters, 2 Chronicles 19:11. Thus were they divided by lot, one sort with another,.... Which course should serve first, and which next, and so on; and who should be the chief to each course; which course was to serve a week, and then go out; and this method was taken to prevent envy, strife, and contention about precedence:

for the governors of the sanctuary; or of the holy things, or who presided in things ecclesiastical:

and governors of the house of God: or rather "governors of God", appointed by him judges in civil things:

were of the sons of Eleazar, and of the sons of Ithamar: there were, of both families, some employed both in sacred and civil things, and who presided in each.

Thus were they divided by lot, one sort with another; for the governors of the sanctuary, and governors of the house of God, were of the sons of Eleazar, and of the sons of Ithamar.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. one sort with another] i.e. sons of Eleazar with sons of Ithamar.

the governors of the sanctuary, and governors of the house of God were of the sons, etc.] R.V. there were princes of the sanctuary, and prices of God, both of the sons etc. The princes of the sanctuary (Isaiah 43:28) are probably the same as the princes of God and as the chiefs of the priests (2 Chronicles 36:14). The Heb. expression in 2 Chronicles 35:8 is different (rulers of the house of God).Verse 5. - Translate, And they divided them by lots, these with those; i.e. as there was no ground of choice between the two families, which differed only in number, and as the highest ecclesiastical places had been filled already by both of them, the impartiality of the "lot" was resorted to, for the settling of the order in which they would take the services now in question (1 Chronicles 25:8). The governors; read rather, the princes. The distinction intended between "the holy princes," or "princes of the sanctuary," on the one hand, and "the princes of God" on the other, is not very clear. One instance of the former expression is found in Isaiah 43:28. Keil supposes there may be no distinction between them, but adds that if there is, he would take the "princes of God" to stand for the regular high priests exclusively, viz. those who could enter into the most holy place before God. The "princes of God" is a title evidently illustrated by the word "Israel" (Genesis 32:28). "And for all the bringing of offerings to Jahve on sabbaths, the new moons, and the feasts, in the number according to the law concerning them (i.e., according to the regulations that existed for this matter), continually before Jahve." It was the duty of the Levites to procure the necessary number of beasts for sacrifice, to see to their suitableness, to slaughter and skin them, etc. תּמיד refers to עלות, the burnt-offerings for Jahve, which are תּמיד, because they must always be offered anew on the appointed days.
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