And their brothers the sons of Merari stood on the left hand: Ethan the son of Kishi, the son of Abdi, the son of Malluch,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)1Chronicles 25:1; 2Chronicles 35:15.
(44) And their brethren the sons of Merari.—We should say their comrades or kinsmen (see Note on 1Chronicles 6:39). “Brethren,” or “brothers,” is the natural style for the members of a guild, whether religious like the monastic bodies, or commercial like the city companies of London, or benevolent like the Freemasons. The plural pronoun refers to the two preceding guilds of Heman and Asaph. The Ethanites stood on the left of the Hemanites in the sanctuary, as the Asaphites stood on their right, and this arrangement was hereditary.
Kishi is a contraction of Kushaiah, like Zabdi of Zebadiah.
(47) Son of Manli, the son of Mushi.—In 1Chronicles 6:19 Mahli and Mushi appear as two sons of Merari; so also at Lev. 3:20. Mahli son of Mushi here must be nephew of the Mahli of those two passages, if the genealogical form is in each case to be understood literally. It is difficult on a first inspection to perceive any connection between the present list and that of the Merarites in 1Chronicles 6:29-30. The series there is:
Mahli, Libni, Shimei, Uzza, Shimea, Haggiah, and Asaiah.
Here we have:
Mushi, Mahli, Shamer, Bani, Amzi, Hilkiah, Amaziah, Hashabiah, Malluch, Abdi, Kishi, and Ethan.
Now it is quite possible that both lines spring from Mushi son of Merari. We have only to suppose that the name of Mushi has either dropped out or been omitted by design in 1Chronicles 6:29. In that case, of course, Mahli in each line becomes identical. Next we remark that Libni in Hebrew adds but one letter (1) to Bani; and these two may be variants of the same name. The second line is again more complete than the first, as it supplies Shamer (Shemer) between Mahli and Bani-Libni. Further. Uzzi and Amzi express the same idea—that of strength—and may therefore indicate identity of person. The names Shimei and Shimeah are perhaps inadvertent duplicates of each other; which may also be the case with Amzi and Amaziah in the second series. Haggiah perhaps answers to Hilkiah.
Thus it may be right to regard this pedigree of Ethan as related to the Merarite line of 1Chronicles 6:29-30, in the same way as those of Heman and Asaph are related to the first drafts of the Kohathite and Gershonite lines of descent, although the connection is not so evident in the present instance, owing perhaps to corruption of the text.
1Chronicles 6:48-49 constitute the transition from the pedigrees of the three Levitical choir-masters to the line of the sons of Aaron—Eleazar, which is here repeated from Aaron to Ahimaaz. The form of the list is, however, different. Instead of “Eleazar begat Phinehas,” it runs “Phinehas his son” &c. It is more likely that the chronicler found this list already connected with what follows in the source which he used for this section, than that he merely chose to repeat part of what he had already given under a slightly altered form.1 Chronicles 6:44. The sons of Merari stood on the left hand — The children of the next son of Levi are here mentioned, who had the lowest place assigned them, because they were of the youngest family. So there were three principal singers, who were masters and governors of the whole choir: Heman, descended from Koath, was the prime, who, together with his sons, stood in the middle: Asaph, descended from Gershom, with his sons, stood on his right hand: and Ethan, (called also Jeduthun, 1 Chronicles 9:16; 2 Chronicles 35:15, and in the title of divers Psalms,) descended from Merari, on the left.1 Chronicles 15:19, after which we have uniformly "Jeduthun." The case seems to be rather one in which a new name was taken after a while, which thenceforth superseded the old. Compare Abraham, Sarah, Joshua, Jehoiakim, Zedekiah, etc. Ethan, called also Jeduthun, 1 Chronicles 9:16,2 Chronicles 35:15, and in the titles of divers psalms.
on the left hand; that is, of Heman, see 1 Chronicles 6:39, the chief of whom was Ethan, sometimes called Jeduthun, 1 Chronicles 16:41 and often in the book of Psalms; his genealogy is traced up to Levi thus; Kishi, called Kushaiah, 1 Chronicles 15:17 Abdi, Malluch, Hashabiah, Amaziah, Hilkiah, Amzi, Bani, Shamer, Mahli, Mushi, Merari, Levi.And their brethren the sons of Merari stood on the left hand: Ethan the son of Kishi, the son of Abdi, the son of Malluch,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 44. - Ethan. This passage and 1 Chronicles 15:19 are the leading passages for this name Ethan. But in succeeding references (and they are not a few) to the three chief leaders of song, the name appears as Jeduthun; unless, as seems scarcely credible, two different persons are designated. The occasion and significance of the alteration of the name are not stated, however, and elude detection so far. In 2 Chronicles 35:15 the title of "king's seer" (חֶזֹה) is added to the name Jeduthun, which is variously spelt (יְדֻתוּן יתדוּתוּן ירְיִתוּן). This arrangement of chief singers, one from each of the three branches of Levi's family, lasted unbroken to Josiah's reign (2 Chronicles 35:13); and the representatives of Jeduthun, at all events, are mentioned in the time of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 11:17, 18). Kishi. The most frequent form of this name is Kish (קִישׁ, equivalent to the Vulgate Cis), if, indeed, the form of this verse and that of 1 Chronicles 15:17, Kushaiah (קוּשָׁיָהוּ), are not merely the fruit of a corrupt text. 1 Chronicles 6:18-23). "These (following three men, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan) are they who stood (in service) with their sons." The three were the heads of the three Levitic families, to whom the execution of the liturgic singing was entrusted. The names of their sons, vide 1 Chronicles 25:1-6. The object of the following genealogies is to show their descent from Levi. "Of the sons of the Kohathite family (is) Heman the singer." המשׁורר, ὁ ψαλτῳδός lxx. Heman is named first as being the head of the choir of singers who stood in the centre, while Asaph and his choir stood on his right hand, and on the left Ethan and his choir, so that when they sang in concert the conducting of the whole fell to Heman. His family is traced back in 1 Chronicles 6:33-38 through twenty members to "Kohath the son of Levi, then son of Israel" (Jacob).
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