1 Chronicles 9:20
And Phinehas the son of Eleazar was the ruler over them in time past, and the LORD was with him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(20) And Phinehas the son of Eleazar was the ruler over them in time past.—Or, of yore. Phinehas may have held this office of president (nagîd, 1Chronicles 9:11) of the warders before he became high priest, just as Eleazar had held a similar position during the lifetime of Aaron (Numbers 3:32). Nothing is said of it elsewhere.

And the Lord was with him.—Rather, The Lord be with him! a pious ejaculation, such as the Jews of later times were wont to use in speaking of a departed worthy; and of interest to us as indicating a belief in continued existence after death. (Comp. 1Chronicles 22:11; 1Chronicles 22:16.)

1 Chronicles 9:20. Phinehas was ruler over them — That is, over all the porters, and other Levites and priests before mentioned. The Lord was with him to direct, and assist, and bless him in the discharge of his office, which seems to be here observed to encourage his successor, and consequently all the priests and Levites of this time, to go on courageously and resolutely in their work, not doubting but God would stand by them as he had stood by their fathers.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.Shallum the son of Kore - A different person from the Shallum of 1 Chronicles 9:17, and with a different office, namely, the guarding the inner doors of the temple. The original Shallum, Shelemaiah, or Meshelemaiah, was a Levite of the time of David 1 Chronicles 26:14. His descendants were still called by his name, but had now a more important charge assigned to them. 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. Over them, i.e. over all the porters, and other Levites and priests before mentioned.

The Lord was with him, to direct, and assist, and bless him in the discharge of his place; which seems here related to encourage his successor, and consequently all the priests and Levites of this time, to go on courageously and resolutely in their work, not doubting but God will stand by them as he had done by their fathers. And Phinehas the son of Eleazar was the ruler over them in time past,.... Over the host, over the Levites, and the chief of them; which is to be understood of Phinehas the son of Eleazar, in the time of Moses, who succeeded his father in that post, see Numbers 3:32 though some think, as Kimchi observes, that this was not Phinehas the priest, but a certain Levite of this name in this post; but since he is said to be in time past, it may very well be understood of him: and it also is observed:

and the Lord was with him; inspiring him with zeal for his honour and glory, assisting and strengthening him to do his will and work, as particularly in the affair of Zimri, Numbers 25:7, the Targum is,"the Word of the Lord was for his help;''

this may be said for the encouragement of him that was in the same office now.

And Phinehas the son of Eleazar was the ruler over them in time past, and the LORD was with him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
The Levites. - Of these there dwelt in Jerusalem, Shemaiah the son of Hasshub, the son of, etc., a Merarite; and (1 Chronicles 9:15) Bakbakkar, Heresh, and Galal; and Mattaniah the son of Micah, a descendant of Asaph, and consequently a Gershonite (1 Chronicles 9:16); and Obadiah the son of Shemaiah, as descendant of Jeduthun, consequently also a Merarite; and Berechiah the son of Asa, the son of Elkanah, who dwelt in the villages of the Netophathite, i.e., of the lord or possessor of Netopha, a locality in the neighbourhood of Bethlehem; cf. Nehemiah 7:26. This remark does not refer to Shemaiah, who cannot have dwelt at the same time in Jerusalem and in the village of the Netophathite, but to his grandfather or ancestor Elkanah, who is thereby to be distinguished from the other men who bore this name, which often occurs in the family of Kohath. All these men are, according to the analogy of the other names in our register, and according to the express statement of the superscription, 1 Chronicles 9:34, to be regarded as heads of Levitic fathers'-houses, and were probably leaders of the music, since those mentioned in 1 Chronicles 9:15, 1 Chronicles 9:16 were descendants of Asaph and Jeduthun, and may therefore with certainty be assumed to have belonged to the Levitic musicians. A confirmation of this supposition is found in the superscription, 1 Chronicles 9:33, inasmuch as the mention of the singers in the first line goes to show that the enumeration of the Levites began with the singers. If we compare Nehemiah 11:15-18 with our passage, we find that these two, Shemaiah and Mattaniah, are mentioned, and on the whole their forefathers have the same names, 1 Chronicles 9:15 and 1 Chronicles 9:17; but between the two we find Shabbethai and Jozabad of the chief of the Levites set over the external service of the house of God. After Mattaniah, who is chief of the Asaphites there also, mention is made of Bakbukiah as the second among his brethren, and Abda the son of Shammua, a descendant of Jeduthun (1 Chronicles 9:17); according to which, even if we identify Bakbakkar with Bakbukiah, and Abda with Obadiah, the Heresh, Galal, and Berechiah of the Chronicles are wanting in Nehemiah, and instead of these three, only Jozabad is mentioned.
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