1 Chronicles 26:32
And his brothers, men of valor, were two thousand and seven hundred chief fathers, whom king David made rulers over the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, for every matter pertaining to God, and affairs of the king.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1 Chronicles 26:32. Two thousand and seven hundred chief fathers — Which is a very great number to be employed about two tribes and a half, when all the rest of the tribes had only one thousand seven hundred, (1 Chronicles 26:30,) besides those under Chenaniah, of whom see on 1 Chronicles 26:29. But the reason hereof is plain, because the tribes without Jordan, being more remote from the king’s court, and from the place of public and solemn worship, needed more than ordinary help to instruct and keep them in the practice of true religion, and the worship of God, and obedience to their king. 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.Rulers - This term is somewhat too strong. The same kind of office was assigned to Jerijah and his brethren in the trans-Jordanic region as to Hashabiah and his brethren in western Palestine 1 Chronicles 26:30, namely, a superintendence over religious matters and over the interests of the king. 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."

Two thousand and seven hundred chief fathers; which is a very great number to be employed about two tribes and a half, when all the rest of the tribes had only one thousand and seven hundred, 1 Chronicles 26:30, besides those under Chenaniah; of whom See Poole "1 Chronicles 26:29". But the reason hereof is plain, because the tribes without Jordan being more remote from the king’s court, and from the place of public and solemn worship, needed more than ordinary help to instruct and keep them in the practice of the true religion, and the worship of God, and in obedience to their king. And his brethren, men of valour, were two thousand and seven hundred chief fathers,.... That is, the brethren or kinsmen of Jerijah the Hebronite were so many principal men in their families, and men of fortitude and courage:

whom King David made rulers over the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh; all which lay on the other side Jordan; and being so remote from the seat of civil government, and of the worship of God, they were in greater danger of revolting, both from their obedience to their king, and duty to their God; land therefore so large a number was appointed over them, to instruct them and keep them in their duty to both, as follows:

for every matter pertaining to God, and affairs of the king; to see that they kept close to the pure worship and service of God; and were faithful and loyal subjects of the king.

And his brethren, men of valour, were two thousand and seven hundred chief fathers, whom king David made rulers over the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, for every matter pertaining to {q} God, and affairs of the king.

(q) Both in spiritual and temporal things.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
32. his brethren] i.e. the brethren of Jerijah.

chief fathers] R.V. heads of fathers’ houses.

rulers] R.V. overseers; cp. 1 Chronicles 26:30 (R.V. “had the oversight”).

Manasseh] R.V. the Manassites.

and affairs] R.V. and for the affairs.Verse 32. - Chief fathers. The number of chief fathers mentioned in this verse leads Keil to point out very justly that here at least the designation cannot mean anything beyond the fathers of individual families - cannot mean the heads of those groups which are composed of all the branches or relations of one house. They must have been heads of households (πατέρες), not heads of fathers houses (πατριαί). The ambiguity is owing to the use of the words רָשֵׁי הָאָבות in ver. 32, the latter of which words has so often supposed the word בֵּית to precede it, coupled to it by a hyphen. Adding the numbers of vers. 30 and 32, we find a total of Hebronite "officers and judges" amounting to four thousand four hundred. The remaining sixteen hundred to complete the" six thousand" were drawn from the Gershon, Amram, and Izhar families. Some of the Uzzielites probably helped the Hebronites.



This Shelomoth (a descendant of Eliezer, and so to be distinguished both from the Jisharite Shelomith 1 Chronicles 23:18 and 1 Chronicles 24:22, and the Gershonite of the same name 1 Chronicles 23:9), and his brethren were over the treasures of the consecrated things which David the king had consecrated, and the heads of the fathers'-houses, etc. Instead of לשׂרי we must read ושׁרי, according to 1 Chronicles 29:6. The princes over the thousands and hundreds are the war captains, and the הצּבא שׂרי are the commanders-in-chief, e.g., Abner, Joab, 1 Chronicles 27:34, 2 Samuel 8:16; 1 Chronicles 18:15. - The 27th verse is an explanatory parenthesis: "from the wars and from the booty," i.e., from the booty taken in war had they consecrated. לחזּק, to make strong, i.e., to preserve in strength and good condition the house of Jahve. חזּק elsewhere of the renovation of old buildings, 2 Kings 12:8., Nehemiah 3:2., here in a somewhat general signification. - In 1 Chronicles 26:28 the enumeration of those who had consecrated, thus interrupted, is resumed, but in the form of a new sentence, which concludes with a predicate of its own. In ההקדּישׁ the article represents אשׁר, as in 1 Chronicles 29:17; 2 Chronicles 29:36, and elsewhere; cf. Ew. 331, b. With המּקדּישׁ כּל, all who had consecrated, the enumeration is concluded, and the predicate, "was at the hand of Shelomith and his brethren," is then brought in. על־יד, laid upon the hand, i.e., entrusted to them for preservation; Germ. unter der Hand (under the hand).

If we glance back at the statements as to the stewards of the treasures (1 Chronicles 26:20-28), we find that the treasures of the house of Jahve were under the oversight of the Jehielites Zetham and Joel, with their brethren, a branch of the Gershonites (v. 22); and the treasures of the consecrated things under the oversight of the Kohathite Shelomith, who was of the family of Moses' second son Eliezer, with his brethren (v. 28). But in what relation does the statement in v. 24, that Shebuel, the descendant of Moses through Gershon, was על־האצרות נגיד, stand to this? Bertheau thinks "that three kinds of treasures are distinguished, the guarding of which was committed to different officials: (1) The sons of Jehieli, Zetham and Joel, had the oversight of the treasures of the house of God, which, as we may conclude from 1 Chronicles 29:8, had been collected by voluntary gifts: (2) Shebuel was prince over the treasures, perhaps over the sums which resulted from regular assessment for the temple (Exodus 30:11-16), from redemption-money, e.g., for the first-born (Numbers 18:16.), or for vows (Lev); consequently over a part of the sums which are designated in 2 Kings 12:5 by the name הקדשים כסף: (3) Shelomith and his brothers had the oversight of all the הקדשים אוצרות, i.e., of the consecrated gifts which are called in 2 Kings 12:19 קדשים, and distinguished from the קדשים כסף in 2 Kings 12:5." But this view has no support in the text. Both in the superscription (1 Chronicles 26:20) and in the enumeration (1 Chronicles 26:22, 1 Chronicles 26:26) only two kinds of treasures-treasures of the house of God (of Jahve), and treasures of the קדשׁים - are mentioned. Neither by the facts nor by the language used are we justified in supposing that there was a third kind of treasures, viz., the sums resulting from the regular assessment for the holy place. For it is thoroughly arbitrary to confine the treasures of the house of God to the voluntary contributions and the consecrated gifts given from the war-booty; and it is still more arbitrary to limit the treasures over which Shebuel was prince to the sums flowing into the temple treasures from the regular assessment; for the reference to 2 Kings 12:19 and 2 Kings 12:5 is no proof of this, because, though two kinds of קדשׁים are there distinguished, yet both are further defined. The quite general expression האצרות, the treasures, can naturally be referred only to the two different kinds of treasures distinguished in 1 Chronicles 26:22. This reference is also demanded by the words נגיד...שׁבוּאל (1 Chronicles 26:24). Heads of fathers'-houses, with their brethren (אהיהם), are mentioned as guardians of the two kinds of treasures spoken of in 1 Chronicles 26:20; while here, on the contrary, we have Shebuel alone, without assistants. Further, the other guardians are not called נגיד, as Shebuel is. The word נגיד denotes not an overseer or steward, but only princes of kingdoms (kings), princes of tribes (1 Chronicles 12:27; 1 Chronicles 13:1; 1 Chronicles 27:16; 2 Chronicles 32:21), ministers of the palace and the temple, and commanders-in-chief (2 Chronicles 11:11; 2 Chronicles 28:7), and is consequently used in our section neither of Zetham and Joel, nor of Shelomoth. The calling of Shebuel נגיד consequently shows that he was the chief guardian of the sacred treasures, under whose oversight the guardians of the two different kinds of treasures were placed. This is stated in 1 Chronicles 26:23, 1 Chronicles 26:24; and the statement would not have been misunderstood if it had been placed at the beginning or the end of the enumeration; and its position in the middle between the Gershonites and the Kohathites is explained by the fact that this prince was, according to 1 Chronicles 23:16, the head of the four Levite families descended from Kohath.

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