1 Chronicles 26:13
And they cast lots, as well the small as the great, according to the house of their fathers, for every gate.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) And they cast lots.—Compare 1Chronicles 25:8.

As well the small as the great . . .—Rather, Small and great (senior and junior) alike, according to their houses, for each gate. The posts of the porters were assigned by lot, without distinction of rank between the various families. The Sanctuary was built square with the four points of the compass, and had four gates, one on each side. The orientation of temples was the rule with the ancient Semites; and the importance attached to the cardinal points is illustrated by the ancient designation of the Babylonian and Assyrian sovereigns as “King of the four quarters,” i.e., of heaven (sar arba’i kiprat).

1 Chronicles 26:13. They cast lots, as well the small as the great — Determining the times and places of their service, not by age or dignity, but merely by lot. According to the house of their fathers — A several lot being allowed for each several house. For every gate — That it might be known to whom the care of each gate was more especially committed.

26:1-32 The offices of the Levites. - The porters and treasurers of the temple, had occasion for strength and valour to oppose those who wrongly attempted to enter the sanctuary, and to guard the sacred treasures. Much was expended daily upon the altar; flour, wine, oil, salt, fuel, beside the lamps; quantities of these were kept beforehand, besides the sacred vestments and utensils. These were the treasures of the house of God. These treasures typified the plenty there is in our heavenly Father's house, enough and to spare. From those sacred treasuries, the unsearchable riches of Christ, all our wants are supplied; and receiving from his fulness, we must give him the glory, and endeavour to dispose of our abilities and substance according to his will. We have an account of those employed as officers and judges. The magistracy is an ordinance of God for the good of the church, as truly as the ministry, and must not be neglected. None of the Levites who were employed in the service of the sanctuary, none of the singers or porters, were concerned in this outward business; one duty was enough to engage the whole man. Wisdom, courage, strength of faith, holy affections, and constancy of mind in doing our duty, are requisite or useful for every station.This verse is obscure, but its probable meaning is the following: "To these divisions of the porters, principal men, (were assigned) the watches, together with their brethren, for service in the house of the Lord;" i. e., the "chief men" 1 Chronicles 26:1-11, amounting to no more than 93, kept the watch and ward of the house, together with a further number of their brethren (4,000, 1 Chronicles 23:5), who assisted them from time to time. 1Ch 26:13-19. The Gates Assigned by Lot.

13. they cast lots—Their departments of duty, such as the gates they should attend to, were allotted in the same manner as those of the other Levitical bodies, and the names of the chiefs or captains are given, with the respective gates assigned them.

They cast lots, as well the small as the great; determining the times and places of their service not by age or dignity, but merely by lot.

According to the house of their fathers; a several lot being allowed for each several house.

For every gate, that it might be known to whom the care of each gate was more especially committed.

And they cast lots,.... To determine at which gate each should stand, who at this gate, and who at the other, &c.

as well the small as the great, according to the house of their fathers, for every gate; meaning, not little ones and grown persons in a family, but the smaller and poorer families, and the larger and richer ones, had their places assigned them at the several gates, as the lot directed; they did not go according to the dignity and precedence of their families, but according to lot.

And they cast lots, as well the small as the great, according to the house of their fathers, for every gate.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13–19 (cp. 1 Chronicles 9:23-26). The Stations of the Doorkeepers

13. the house of their fathers] R.V. their fathers’ houses.

1 Chronicles 26:13The distribution of the stations by lot followed (cf. 1 Chronicles 25:8), the small as the great; i.e., the younger as the older cast lots, according to their fathers'-houses, "for door and door," i.e., for each door of the four sides of the temple, which was built so that its sides corresponded to the points of the compass.
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