1 Chronicles 26:31
Among the Hebronites was Jerijah the chief, even among the Hebronites, according to the generations of his fathers. In the fortieth year of the reign of David they were sought for, and there were found among them mighty men of valour at Jazer of Gilead.
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(31, 32) Among the Hebronites was Jerijah the chief.—Rather, To the Hebronites there was the head Jeriah (as to the Hebronites, according to their registers, according to families, in the fortieth year of the reign of David, they were sought out; and there were found among them valiant warriors in Jazer-Gilead); and his brethren, sons of might, two thousand seven hundred heads of families: and David the king made them overseers over the Reubenites, &c. The long parenthesis obscures the meaning or these two verses. The general statement is that other Hebronites were charged with the supervision of the land east of Jordan: the parenthesis accounts for the fact.

(31) Jerijah.1Chronicles 23:19, “Jeriah.” The Hebrew is the same (Yĕrîyâh).

In the fortieth year of the reign of David.—This datum is important as fixing the time of these last regulations of David. (Comp. 1Chronicles 23:1.) It evidently points to an ancient source.

Jazer of Gilead.—A Merarite city (Joshua 21:39); whereas the Hebronites were Kohathites. Perhaps we should read, “In the cities of Gilead.”

(32) Two thousand and seven hundred chief fathers.—Rather, heads of the families, i.e., of single households. Sometimes the Hebrew phrase means heads of father-houses or clans; but it obviously cannot be so here, as the whole number of Levites appointed to be “officers and judges” was only 6,000 (1Chronicles 23:4). The 2,700 fathers mentioned here, with the 1,700 of 1Chronicles 26:30, make a total of 4,400. The remaining 1,600 (6,000 minus 4,400) may probably be assigned to Chenaniah (1Chronicles 26:29). It is strange that the house of Hebron should be twice mentioned (1Chronicles 26:30-31) and the house of Uzziel not at all (see 1Chronicles 26:23). Further, of the three great branches of Levi, none but Kohathite houses are named in connexion with “the outward business.” The account appears to be incomplete.

1 Chronicles 26:31. In the fortieth year of the reign of David — His last year, in which he made all the orders of families and officers recorded in these chapters. We should be so much the more diligent in doing good, as we see the day approaching. If we live not to enjoy the fruit of our labours, let us not grudge it to them that come after us.

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.The "business of the Lord" in the provinces would consist especially in the collection of the tithes, the redemption-money, and the free-will offerings of the people. It may perhaps have included some religious teaching. Compare 2 Chronicles 17:7-9. 1Ch 26:29-32. Officers and Judges.

29. officers and judges—The word rendered "officers" is the term which signifies scribes or secretaries, so that the Levitical class here described were magistrates, who, attended by their clerks, exercised judicial functions; there were six thousand of them (1Ch 23:4), who probably acted like their brethren on the principle of rotation, and these were divided into three classes—one (1Ch 26:29) for the outward business over Israel; one (1Ch 26:30), consisting of seventeen hundred, for the west of Jordan "in all business of the Lord, and in the service of the king"; and the third (1Ch 26:31, 32), consisting of twenty-seven hundred, "rulers for every matter pertaining to God, and affairs of the king."

In the fortieth year; which was his last year, in which he made all the orders and distributions of families and offices recorded in these chapters.

Jazer of Gilead is here named, either because they were seated in or near that place, but for what cause it is now unknown; or because they were numbered there by some person sent by David to that purpose.

Among the Hebronites was Jerijah the chief, even among the Hebronites,.... The posterity of Hebron, the son of Kohath:

according to the generations of his fathers; a principal man in the families that descended from his ancestors:

in the fortieth year of the reign of David; which was the last year of his reign, in which year all the above things were done; the distribution of the priests into their classes and courses, and so of the Levites, singers, and porters; as well as the appointment of those several judges and officers employed in divers parts of the land: and particularly in this year those

Hebronites were sought for, and there were found among them mighty men of valour, at Jazer of Gilead; a city on the other side Jordan, which belonged to the tribe of Gad, see Numbers 21:32.

Among the Hebronites was Jerijah the chief, even among the Hebronites, according to the generations of his fathers. In the fortieth year of the reign of David they were sought for, and there were found among them mighty men of valor at Jazer of Gilead.
31. Among the Hebronites was … fathers] R.V. Of the Hebronites was Jerijah the chief, even of the Hebronites, according to their generations by fathers’ houses. Jerijah is called Jeriah (Heb. Jerijahu) in 1 Chronicles 23:19.

in the fortieth year] Cp. 1 Chronicles 23:27, By the last words (R.V. mg., In the last acts) of David the sons of Levi were numbered.

at Jazer] Cp. 1 Chronicles 6:81 (1 Chronicles 6:66 Heb.); Numbers 21:32, R.V. The Eastern Hebronites were given office east of Jordan; cp. 1 Chronicles 26:32.

Verse 31. - This verse is at first sight obscure; but its purport is to say that the Hebronite family was, in the lust year of David's reign, found at Jazer of Gilead, which seems a Merarite city (Joshua 13:25; Joshua 21:39; Numbers 21:32), and that Jerijah (1 Chronicles 23:19; 1 Chronicles 24:23) was then chief of them. He and his brethren were now appointed to the superintendence of the two tribes and a half eastward of Jordan, while "Hashabiah and his brethren" fulfilled the like duties westward of Jordan The number of those east of Jordan constituted overseers seems large in proportion to those mentioned on the west; but we must bear in mind that the numbers of Chenaniah and their range of sphere are not stated. These will presumably complete the six thousand of 1 Chronicles 23:4. Otherwise we have but to fall back on the conviction that the present account is imperfect as well as brief. 1 Chronicles 26:31David set another branch of the Hebronites, under the head Jeriah (cf. 1 Chronicles 23:9), over the East-Jordan tribes. Between the words "Jeriah the head," 1 Chronicles 26:31, and ואחיו, 1 Chronicles 26:32, a parenthesis is inserted, which gives the reason why David made these Hebronites scribes and judges among the East-Jordan tribes. The parenthesis runs thus: "As to the Hebronites, according to their generations, according to fathers, they were sought out in the fortieth year of David's rule, and valiant heroes were found among them in Jazer of Gilead." Jazer was a Levite city in the tribal domain of Gad, assigned, according to Joshua 21:39, to the Merarites (see on 1 Chronicles 6:81). The number of these Hebronites was 2700 valiant men (1 Chronicles 26:32). The additional האבות ראשׁי is obscure, for if we take אבות to be, as it often is in the genealogies, a contraction for בּית־עבות rof no, the number given does not suit; for a branch of the Hebronites cannot possibly have numbered 2700 fathers'-houses (πατριαὶ, groups of related households): they must be only 2700 men (גּברים), or heads of families, i.e., households. Not only the large number demands this signification, but also the comparison of this statement with that in 1 Chronicles 26:30. The 1700 חיל בּני of which the Hebronite branch, Hashabiah with his brethren, consisted, were not so many πατριαὶ, but only so many men of this πατριά. In the same way, the Hebronite branch of which Jeriah was head, with his brethren, 2700 חיל בּני, were also not 2700 πατριαὶ, but only so many men, that is, fathers of families. It is thus placed beyond doubt that אבות ראשׁי cannot here denote the heads of fathers'-houses, but only heads of households. And accordingly we must not understand לאבות (1 Chronicles 26:31) of fathers'-houses, as the lxx and all commentators do, but only of heads of households. The use of the verb נדרשׁוּ also favours this view, for this verb is not elsewhere used of the legal census of the people, i.e., the numbering and entering of them in the public lists, according to the great families and fathers'-houses. There may therefore be in נדרשׁוּ a hint that it was not a genealogical census which was undertaken, but only a numbering of the heads of households, in order to ascertain the number of scribes and judges to be appointed. There yet remain in this section three things which are somewhat strange: 1. Only 1700 scribes and judges were set over the cis-Jordanic land, inhabited as it was by ten and a half tribes, while 2700 were set over the trans-Jordanic land with its two and a half tribes. 2. Both numbers taken together amount to only 4400 men, while David appointed 6000 Levites to be scribes and Judges 3. The scribes and judges were taken only from two fathers'-houses of the Kohathites, while most of the other Levitical offices were filled by men of all the families of the tribe of Levi. On all these grounds, it is probable that our catalogue of the Levites appointed to be scribes and judges, i.e., for the external business, is imperfect.
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