1 Chronicles 9:17
And the porters were, Shallum, and Akkub, and Talmon, and Ahiman, and their brethren: Shallum was the chief;
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(17) And the porters were, Shallum, and Akkub, and Talmon, and Ahiman.—Comp. Nehemiah 11:18-19, which sums up thus: “All the Levites in the holy city were two hundred fourscore and four. Moreover the porters, Akkub, Talmon, and their brethren that kept the gates, were an hundred seventy and two.” Shallum does not appear.

Ahiman may have originated out of the following:

Their brethren.—Heb., aheihem. Comp. also Nehemiah 12:25-26, where we are told that (Mattaniah and Bakbukiah, Obadiah and) Meshullam (i.e., Shallum), Talmon, and Akkub were porters keeping ward at the storehouses of the Temple gates, in the times of Joiakim son of Jeshua son of Jozadak, and of Nehemiah and Ezra. It is clear that the names of the porters likewise represent families or guilds, which had hereditary charge of the Temple gates. In fact, all the Levitical functions appear to have descended in the same families from father to son, like the various civil offices in the Roman empire; and tradition ascribed the entire arrangement to David, the second founder of the national worship. At this point the correspondence with Nehemiah 11 ceases.

Shallum was the chief.—This really belongs to 1Chronicles 9:18, and introduces a description of the duties of the Levites, which extends over 1Chronicles 9:18-34. Translate, Shallum is the chief even unto this day in the king’s gate, on the east side. Shallum (“recompense”) is called “Shelemiah” (1Chronicles 26:14), which, again, is a curtailment of Meshelemiah (“Jah recompenseth”), 1Chronicles 26:1; 1Chronicles 9:21 infra. The fact that Shallum—Meshelemiah—is spoken of as warder in David’s day as well as in the post-exilic age, proves that a guild or clan, not an individual, is in question. The eastern gate was the post of honour (Ezekiel 46:1-2), and the royal entry. The old name of the King’s Gate would naturally be retained in the restored Temple.

9:1-44 Genealogies. - This chapter expresses that one end of recording all these genealogies was, to direct the Jews, when they returned out of captivity, with whom to unite, and where to reside. Here is an account of the good state into which the affairs of religion were put, on the return from Babylon. Every one knew his charge. Work is likely to be done well when every one knows the duty of his place, and makes a business of it. God is the God of order. Thus was the temple a figure of the heavenly one, where they rest not day nor night from praising God, Re 4:8. Blessed be His name, believers there shall, not in turn, but all together, without interruption, praise him night and day: may the Lord make each of us fit for the inheritance of the saints in light."Jedaiah," "Jehoiarib," and "Jachin," are not here names of individuals but of priestly families. From 1 Chronicles 24:7-17, it appears that Jehoiarib was the original head of the first "course," Jedaiah of the second shift, and Jachin of the twenty-first shift. 2. the first inhabitants that dwelt in their possessions—This chapter relates wholly to the first returned exiles. Almost all the names recur in Nehemiah (Ne 11:1-36), although there are differences which will be explained there. The same division of the people into four classes was continued after, as before the captivity; namely, the priests, Levites, natives, who now were called by the common name of Israelites, and the Nethinims (Jos 9:27; Ezr 2:43; 8:20). When the historian speaks of "the first inhabitants that dwelt in their possessions," he implies that there were others who afterwards returned and settled in possessions not occupied by the first. Accordingly, we read of a great number returning successively under Ezra, Nehemiah, and at a later period. And some of those who returned to the ancient inheritance of their fathers, had lived before the time of the captivity (Ezr 3:12; Hag 2:4, 10). Porters; whose office it was to keep all the gates of the temple, that no unclean person or thing might enter into it.

And the porters,.... Or keepers of the gates of the tabernacle:

were Shallum, and Akkub, and Talmon, and Ahiman, and their brethren; Shallum was the chief; of these four porters, and their brethren.

And the porters were, Shallum, and Akkub, and Talmon, and Ahiman, and their brethren: Shallum was the chief;
17–27 (cp. Nehemiah 11:19; 1 Chronicles 26:1-19). Organisation and Duties of the Porters (Doorkeepers)

17. porters] Render, doorkeepers as in 1 Chronicles 16:38 and 1 Chronicles 26:1 (R.V.). In Solomon’s Temple there were “keepers of the threshold,” three in number (2 Kings 25:18), priests in rank (ibid. 1 Chronicles 12:9).

Shallum … Ahiman] These two names are absent from Nehemiah 11:19 together with the clause Shallum was the chief. This omission of all reference to Shallum must be accidental.

Shallum, Akkub and Talmon] The three names represent families, not individuals; cp. Ezra 2:41 = Nehemiah 7:45, where the fuller form is given, the children of Shallum, … the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub.… These names persist in the five lists of porters which refer to post-exilic times; Ezra 2:42 = Nehemiah 7:45; Nehemiah 11:19 = 1 Chronicles 9:17 (Shallum is to be supplied in Neh. from Chron.); Nehemiah 12:5 (Meshullam = Shallum). When however the reference is to the days of David the prominent names are Meshelemiah = Shelemiah (= Shallum?), Obed-edom, and Hosah; 1 Chronicles 15:18; 1 Chronicles 15:24; 1 Chronicles 16:38; 1 Chronicles 26:1; 1 Chronicles 26:4; 1 Chronicles 26:10.

Ahiman] Elsewhere in the O.T. this name occurs only among the names of the sons of Anak, and it is probable that the Chronicler (or some scribe) made here an error of transcription, and that Ahiman has arisen from the word aheihem “their brethren” which follows.

Verse 17. - The porters here are those who had charge of the entrances to the sanctuary. The word employed (שֹׁעֵר) is used, however, generally of gate or door keepers (2 Samuel 17:26; John 10:3; Mark 13:3, 4; John 18:16). Their number, stated in ver. 22 as two hundred and twelve, is probably corrected in Nehemiah 11:19 to one hundred and seventy-two, made up of twenty-four for every week (1 Chronicles 26:17, 18), "entering on the sabbath" upon their work (2 Kings 11:5; 2 Chronicles 23:4), in rotation for seven weeks, and the four "chief warders." For the five porters here mentioned there are only two mentioned in Nehemiah 11:19, and neither of those Shallum, the chief. But see also Ezra 2:42; Nehemiah 7:45. 1 Chronicles 9:17"The doorkeepers, Shallum, Akkub, Talmon, Ahiman, and their brethren: Shallum the chief." The service was so divided among the four just named, that each along with his brethren performed the duty of watching by one of the four sides and chief entrances of the temple (cf. 1 Chronicles 9:24 and 1 Chronicles 9:26), and these four were consequently heads of those divisions of the Levites to whom was committed the duty of the watch. In Nehemiah 11:20, on the contrary, the doorkeepers mentioned are Akkub, Talmon, and their brethren, 172 (men); but the other two chiefs named in the Chronicle are there omitted, while in the Chronicle no number is given. Here the agreement between the two registers ceases. In the Chronicle there follows first of all, in 1 Chronicles 9:18-26, some remarks on the service of the doorkeepers; and then in 1 Chronicles 9:26-32 the duties of the Levites in general are spoken of; and finally, in 1 Chronicles 9:32 and 1 Chronicles 9:34 we have subscriptions. In Nehemiah, on the other hand, we find in 1 Chronicles 9:20 the statement that the remaining Israelites, priests, and Levites dwelt in their cities; and after some statements as to the service of the Levites, the enumeration of these cities is introduced.

In glancing back over the two catalogues, it is seen that the differences are at least as great as the coincidences. But what conclusions are we to deduce from that fact? Bertheau thinks "from this it is certain that both catalogues cannot have been drawn up independently of each other," and "that both have been derived from one and the same source, which must have been much more complete, and much richer in names, than our present catalogues; cf. Movers, S. 234." We, however, judge otherwise. The discrepancies are much too great to allow us to refer them to free handling by epitomizers of some hypothetical more detailed catalogue, or to the negligence of copyists. The coincidence, in so far as it actually exists, does not justify us in accepting such far-fetched suppositions, but may be satisfactorily explained in another way. It consists indeed only in this, that in both registers, (1) sons of Judah and Benjamin, priests and Levites, are enumerated; (2) that in each of these four classes of the inhabitants of Jerusalem some names are identical. The first of these coincidences clearly does not in the least prove that the two catalogues are derived from the same source, and treat of the same time; for the four classes enumerated constituted, both before and after the exile, the population of Jerusalem. But neither does the identity of some of the names prove in the slightest degree the identity of the two catalogues, because the names denote, partly classes of inhabitants, and partly heads of fathers'-houses, i.e., of groups of related households, which did not change with each generation, but sometimes continued to exist for centuries; and because, priori, we should expect that those who returned from exile would, as far as it was possible, seek out again the dwelling-places of their pre-exilic ancestors; and that consequently after the exile, on the whole, the same families who had dwelt at Jerusalem before it would again take up their abode there. In this way the identity of the names Jedaiah, Jehoiarib, and Jachin in the two catalogues may be accounted for, as these names do not denote persons, but classes of priests, which existed both before and after the exile. A similar explanation would also apply to the names of the doorkeepers Akkub and Talmon (1 Chronicles 9:17; Nehemiah 11:19), as not merely the priests, but also the other Levites, were divided for the service according to their fathers'-houses into classes which had permanent names (cf. 1 Chronicles 25 and 26). Of the other names in our register only the following are identical: of the Benjamites, Sallu the son of Meshullam (1 Chronicles 9:7; Nehemiah 11:7); of the priests, Adaiah (1 Chronicles 9:12; Nehemiah 11:12), with almost the same ancestors; and of the Levites, Shemaiah and Mattaniah (1 Chronicles 9:10.; Nehemiah 11:15, Nehemiah 11:17). All the other names are different; and even if among the priests Maasiai (1 Chronicles 9:12) should be identical with Amashai (Nehemiah 11:13), and among the Levites Bakbakkar and Obadiah (1 Chronicles 9:16 and 1 Chronicles 9:15) with Bakbukiah and Abda (Nehemiah 11:17), we cannot identify the sons of Judah, Uthai and Azaiah (1 Chronicles 9:4.), with Athaiah and Maaseiah (Nehemiah 11:4.), for their ancestors are quite different. The similarity or even the identity of names, were it in two or three generations, cannot of itself prove the identity of the persons, as we have already seen, in the genealogy of the line of Aaron 1 Chronicles 6:3.), that, e.g., the series Amariah, Ahitub, and Zadok recurs at various times; cf. 1 Chronicles 6:11. and 1 Chronicles 6:12. Everywhere in the genealogical lines the same names very often recur, as it was the custom to give the children the names of their ancestors; cf. Tob. 1:9, Luke 1:59. Win. bibl. R. W. ii. S. 133; Hvern. Einl. ii. 1, S. 179f. But if, on the one hand, the identity of these names in the two catalogues is not at all a valid proof of the identity of the catalogues, and by no means justifies us in identifying similarly-sounding names by supposing errors of transcription, on the other hand we must hold that the register refers to the pre-exilic population of Jerusalem, both because of the wide discrepancies in all points, and in accordance with the introductory statements in 1 Chronicles 9:2. This interpretation is also demanded by the succeeding remarks in reference to the service of the Levites, since they throughout refer to the pre-exilic time.

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