1 Chronicles 9:18
Who till now waited in the king's gate eastward: they were porters in the companies of the children of Levi.
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(18) They were porters in the companies of the children of Levi.—Rather, They are warders for the camps of the sons of Levi. (Comp. Numbers 3:23 et seq. where it is prescribed that the Levites encamp on the four sides of the tabernacle.) The primitive terminology is used in order to convey the idea that the Levitical wardership of the Temple went back historically to that of the Mosaic sanctuary.

1 Chronicles 9:18. King’s gate — In the east gate of the temple; which was so called, because the kings of Judah used to go to the temple through that gate. Under this gate he comprehends all the rest, which also were guarded by these porters. In the companies — Or, according to the courses. They kept the gates successively, according to that method into which the Levites were distributed, for the more convenient management of their several offices, among which this of the porters was one. 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.Who hitherto waited - Translate, "Who to this day waits. These were the porters in the stations of the sons of Levi." The words of the first clause refer to Shallum, and imply that, whereas Shallum (or his house) had originally the general superintendence of the temple gates, a change had been made when the author wrote, and Shallum's charge had become the east gate only. The second clause means; "these were the porters in those fixed stations at the outer gates of the Temple, which corresponded to the camp stations of the Levites who guarded the tabernacle in the early times." 18. the king's gate—The king had a gate from his palace into the temple (2Ki 16:18), which doubtless was kept constantly closed except for the monarch's use; and although there was no king in Israel on the return from the captivity, yet the old ceremonial was kept up, probably in the hope that the scepter would, ere long, be restored to the house of David. It is an honor by which Eastern kings are distinguished, to have a gate exclusively devoted to their own special use, and which is kept constantly closed, except when he goes out or returns (Eze 44:2). There being no king then in Israel, this gate would be always shut. In the king’s gate eastward; in the east gate of the temple, which was so called, either because it was the chief and most magnificent of all the gates, or because the kings of Judah used to go to the temple through that gate, 2 Kings 16:18 compare Ezekiel 44:1,2. Under this gate he comprehends all the rest, which also were guarded by these porters.

In the companies, or, according to the companies, or orders, or courses, i.e. they kept the gates successively, according to that method into which themselves and the rest of their brethren the Levites were distributed, for the more convenient management of their several offices; among which this of the porters was one. Who hitherto waited in the king's gate eastward,.... At the gate through which the king went into the temple, and was at the east of it; and here these porters were placed in the same order after the captivity, and their return from it, as before:

they were porters in the companies of the children of Levi; or in the camp of Levi, which was placed around the tabernacle, as in the wilderness: the Septuagint version is, "these are the gates of the camp of the children of Levi"; at which these porters were placed.

Who hitherto waited in the {e} king's gate eastward: they were porters in the companies of the children of Levi.

(e) So called because the king came into the temple by it, and not the common people.

18. who] i.e. Shallum (1 Chronicles 9:17), called Shelemiah in 1 Chronicles 26:14 (= Meshelemiah, 1 Chronicles 26:1). A family rather than an individual is meant.

the king’s gate eastward] That the king had an entrance into the Temple named after him appears from 2 Kings 16:18, and that this gate was on the East from Ezekiel 46:1-2.

in the companies] R.V. for the camp. This expression is borrowed from Numbers 2:17, where it refers to the circumstances of the Wandering in the Wilderness.Verse 18. - Hitherto (so John 5:17). The reference must be to Shallum, for see vers. 24-26 and Ezekiel 46:1-3. The meaning of the remaining sentence of this verse is, "These were the gate-keepers for the Levite encampments side," or what, in later temple times, answered to it. 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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