1 Chronicles 9:17
And the porters were, Shallum, and Akkub, and Talmon, and Ahiman, and their brothers: Shallum was the chief;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(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;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
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. The priests. - The three names Jedaiah, Jehoiarib, and Jachin (1 Chronicles 9:10) denote three classes of priests (cf. 1 Chronicles 24:7, 1 Chronicles 24:17), who accordingly dwelt in Jerusalem. There also dwelt there (1 Chronicles 9:11) Azariah the son of Hilkiah, etc., the prince of the house of God; cf. 2 Chronicles 31:13. This is the Azariah mentioned in 1 Chronicles 6:13, the son of Hilkiah, etc., the grandfather of the Jehozadak who was led captive into Babylon. then in 1 Chronicles 9:12 we have two other heads of the priestly fathers'-houses, with an enumeration of their ancestors, through whom they are traced back to the classes of priests to which they belonged respectively, viz., Adaiah to the class Malchijah (1 Chronicles 24:9), and Maasiai to the class Immer (1 Chronicles 24:14). According to this, therefore, there dwelt at Jerusalem, of the priesthood, the three classes Jedaiah, Jehoiarib, and Jachin, Azariah the prince of the temple, and of the classes Malchijah and Immer, the fathers'-houses Adaiah and Maasiai. In 1 Chronicles 9:13 the whole number is estimated at 1760. A difficulty is raised by the first words of this verse, "And their brethren, heads of their fathers'-houses, 1760," which can hardly be taken in any other sense than as denoting that the number of the heads of the fathers'-houses amounted to 1760. This, however, is not conceivable, as "fathers'-houses" are not single households, but larger groups of related families. Moreover, אחיהם, which is co-ordinate with the heads of the fathers'-houses, can only denote, as in 1 Chronicles 9:6, 1 Chronicles 9:9, the heads of the families which belonged to or constituted the fathers'-houses. To arrive at this meaning, however, we must transpose the words ואחיהם and לבית־אבותם ראשׁים, connecting לבית־אבותם ר with 1 Chronicles 9:12, and אחיהם with the number, thus: heads of fathers'-houses, etc., were those mentioned in 1 Chronicles 9:12, and their brethren 1760 (men), valiant heroes in the work of the service of the house of God. Before מלאכת one would expect the word עשׁי, as in 1 Chronicles 23:24 and Nehemiah 11:12, but its presence is not so absolutely necessary as to warrant us in supposing that it has been dropped out, and in inserting it. מלאכת may be also taken as an accusative of relation, "valiant heroes in reference to the work;" or at most a ל a tso may be supplied before מלאכת, as it might easily have been omitted by a clerical error after the immediately preceding חיל. On comparing our passage with Nehemiah 11:10-14, we find there, if בּן־יויריב in 1 Chronicles 9:10 be altered into יהויריב, the same three classes of priests; but instead of Azariah, Seraiah is prince of the house of God, 1 Chronicles 9:11 : thereafter we have 822 brethren, performing the work of the house (of God). Then follows Adaiah of the class Malchijah (as in the Chronicles), but with the addition, "his brethren 242;" and then Amashai of the class Immer, but with other ancestors than those of the Maasiai of the Chronicles, and with the addition, "and their brethren, valiant heroes, 128;" and finally, Zabdiel Ben Hagdolim as overseer (president over them).

The sum of the three numbers is 1192, as contrasted with the 1760 of the Chronicle.

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