And the sons of Meshelemiah were, Zechariah the firstborn, Jediael the second, Zebadiah the third, Jathniel the fourth,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And the sons of Meshelemiah were.—Rather, And Meshelemiah had sons, viz., Zechariah the firstborn. (See 1Chronicles 9:21, and 1Chronicles 26:14 below.) The seven “sons” of Meshelemiah-Shallum represent seven guilds of porters.1 Chronicles 9:17-27; 1 Chronicles 23:5.
1Ch 26:1-12. Divisions of the Porters.
1, 2. Concerning the divisions of the porters—There were four thousand (1Ch 23:6), all taken from the families of the Kohathites and Merarites (1Ch 26:14), divided into twenty-four courses—as the priests and musicians.
Meshelemiah the son of Kore, of the sons of Asaph—Seven sons of Meshelemiah are mentioned (1Ch 26:2), whereas eighteen are given (1Ch 26:9), but in this latter number his relatives are included.And the sons of Meshelemiah were, Zechariah the firstborn, Jediael the second, Zebadiah the third, Jathniel the fourth,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2. And the sons of Meshelemiah were] R.V. And Meshelemiah had sons.
Zechariah] Cp. 1 Chronicles 9:21.Verses 2, 3. - These verses contain the enumeration of seven sons of Shelemiah, of the firstborn of whom, viz. Zechariah, express mention was made in 1 Chronicles 9:21. 1 Chronicles 25:3) received the first, third, fifth, and seventh places; the six sons of Jeduthun, the second, fourth, eighth, twelfth, and fourteenth; and finally, the four sons of Heman (first mentioned in 1 Chronicles 25:4), the sixth, ninth, eleventh, and thirteenth places; while the remaining places, 1 Chronicles 25:15-24, fell to the other sons of Heman. From this we learn that the lots of the sons of the three chief musicians were not placed in separate urns, and one lot drawn from each alternately; but that, on the contrary, all the lots were placed in one urn, and in drawing the lots of Asaph and Jeduthun came out so, that after the fourteenth drawing only sons of Heman remained.
(Note: Bertheau, S. 218, draws quite another conclusion from the above-mentioned order in which the lots were drawn. He supposes "that two series, each of seven, were first included in the lot: to the one series belonged the four sons of Asaph and the three sons of Heman, Mattaniah, Uzziel or Azarel, and Shebuel or Shubael; to the other, the six sons of Jeduthun and Bukkiah the son of Heman. A lot was drawn from each series alternately, commencing with the first, so that the four sons of Asaph and the three sons of Heman obtained the places 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13; while to the six sons of Jeduthun, and the son of Heman added to them, fell the places 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14. The still remaining ten sons of Heman were then finally drawn for, and received the placed from the 15th to the 24th." This very artificial hypothesis explains, indeed, the order of the lots, but we cannot think it probable, because (1) for the supposed dividing of the lots to be drawn into divisions of 10 and 14 no reason can be assigned; (2) by any such division the sons of Heman would have been placed at a disadvantage from the beginning as compared with the sons of Asaph and Jeduthun, since not only Asaph's four sons, but also all Jeduthun's six sons, would have been placed in the first rank, while only four sons of Heman accompany them, Heman's ten remaining sons having had the last place assigned them.)
As to the details in 1 Chronicles 25:9, after Joseph we miss the statement, "he and his sons and his brothers, twelve;" which, with the exception of the הוּא, used only of the second lot, and omitted for the sake of brevity in all the other cases, is repeated with all the 23 numbers, and so can have been dropped here only by an error. The words ליוסף לאסף are to be understood thus: The first lot drawn was for Asaph, viz., for his son Joseph. In the succeeding verses the names are enumerated, sometimes with and sometimes without ל. Some of the names diverge somewhat in form. Izri, 1 Chronicles 25:11, stands for Zeri, 1 Chronicles 25:3; Jesharelah, 1 Chronicles 25:14, for Asarelah, 1 Chronicles 25:2; Azarel, 1 Chronicles 25:18, for Uzziel, 1 Chronicles 25:4 (like the king's names Uzziah and Azariah, 1 Chronicles 3:12, and 2 Chronicles 26:1); Shubael, 1 Chronicles 25:20, for Shebuel, 1 Chronicles 25:4 (cf. 1 Chronicles 23:16 with 1 Chronicles 24:20); Jeremoth, 1 Chronicles 25:22, for Jerimoth, 1 Chronicles 25:4; Eliyathah, 1 Chronicles 25:27, for Eliathah, 1 Chronicles 25:4. Besides these, the fuller forms Nethanyahu (1 Chronicles 25:12), Hashabyahu (1 Chronicles 25:3), Hananyahu (1 Chronicles 25:23), are used instead of the shorter Nethaniah, etc. (1 Chronicles 25:2, 1 Chronicles 25:19, 1 Chronicles 25:4). Of the 24 names which are here enumerated, besides those of Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman, only Mattithiah recurs (1 Chronicles 15:18, 1 Chronicles 15:21) in the description of the solemnities connected with the bringing in of the ark; "but we are not justified in seeking there the names of our twenty-four classes" (Berth.).
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