All these which were chosen to be porters in the gates were two hundred and twelve. These were reckoned by their genealogy in their villages, whom David and Samuel the seer did ordain in their set office.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)All these which were chosen to be porters in the gates (Heb., thresholds) were two hundred and twelve.—This seems to assign the number of warders at the epoch of which the chronicler, or, rather, his source, is writing. Nehemiah 11:19 makes the total of the porters one hundred and seventy-two. According to Ezra 2:42, one hundred and thirty-nine returned with Zerubbabel. Under David, the number of warders was ninety-three (1Chronicles 26:8-11).
These were reckoned by their genealogy in their villages.—Rather, these—in their villages was their registration.
These.—That is, their ancestors. Guilds and corporations do not die.
Whom David and Samuel the seer did ordain in their set office.—These David and Samuel had ordained in their office of trust, or, in permanence. No mention is made elsewhere of Samuel’s part in arranging the Levitical service. He died before David’s accession (1Samuel 25:1). Tradition doubtless associated him with David in the work of religious reform, and from what is known of his relation to the sovereigns of his day, the statement of the text may be held true in spirit, if not in the letter.1 Chronicles 9:22. These were reckoned in their villages — Where their usual residence was, and whence they came to Jerusalem in their courses. Whom David and Samuel did ordain — In the times of the judges there was much disorder both in the Jewish state and church, and the Levites came to the tabernacle promiscuously, and as their inclinations or occasions brought them. But Samuel, observing they were greatly increased, began to think of establishing order in their ministration. And these intentions of his, probably, were communicated to David, who, after his own peaceable settlement in his throne, revived and perfected Samuel’s design, and took care to put it in execution.Nehemiah 12:29, dwelt for the most part in the villages round Jerusalem. They were the descendants of those originally selected for the work by David. David's arrangements are here regarded as having had the sanction of Samuel - which would imply that he planned them in the lifetime of Saul, while he was still a fugitive and an outlaw. In their villages; where their usual residence was, and whence they came to Jerusalem in their courses.
Did ordain: in the times of the judges there was much disorder and confusion, both in the Jewish state and church, and the Levites came to the tabernacle promiscuously, and as their inclinations or occasions brought them. But Samuel, the best of judges, having some prospect and good hopes of deliverance from their enemies, and of a happy settlement of the Israelitish church and nation, and observing that the Levites were greatly increased he began to think of establishing some order among the Levites in their ministration about the tabernacle. And these intentions of his probably were communicated by him to David, who after Samuel’s death, and his own peaceable settlement in his throne, revived and perfected Samuel’s design, and took care to put it in execution.
In their set office, Heb. in their faith, or faithfulness, i.e. either,
1. In their office, which is called faithfulness, because this is required in that office. Or,
2. In the faithful discharge of their duty, and in obedience to the will of God, signified to them by revelation, or by the Spirit, as it is said of David, 1 Chronicles 28:12, which they received by faith, and accordingly designed, and David executed it. And so this is added to show that this was no human invention, as some might conceive, but a Divine appointment, to which all ought to submit.
these were reckoned by their genealogies in their villages; where they dwelt:
whom David and Samuel the seer did ordain in their set office; the scheme was first drawn by Samuel the prophet, and communicated to David, who put it into execution, to be constantly and perpetually observed.All these which were chosen to be porters in the gates were two hundred and twelve. These were reckoned by their genealogy in their villages, whom David and Samuel the seer did ordain in their set office.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)22. All these] Cp. Ezra 2:41 (= Nehemiah 7:45); Nehemiah 11:19. The discrepancy in numbers between Chron. and Neh. and also between Nehemiah 7 and Nehemiah 11 may be explained by supposing some difference in the manner of reckoning or some difference in the period referred to
in their villages] Cp. note on 1 Chronicles 9:16.
David and Samuel the seer] The Chronicler attributes to David the organisation of the priests (1 Chronicles 24:3), of the Levites (1 Chronicles 23:27; 1 Chronicles 24:31), of the singers (1 Chronicles 25:1 ff.), and of the doorkeepers (in this passage). Samuel the seer is here associated with David in the work, perhaps as having himself exercised the doorkeeper’s office (1 Samuel 3:15). We have however no evidence outside Chron. of Samuel’s organising work for the sanctuary.
set office] R.V. mg. trust. The meaning is “office of trust”; cp. 1 Chronicles 9:26; 1 Chronicles 9:31; 2 Chronicles 31:15; 2 Chronicles 31:18.Verse 22. - The seer. It is to be noticed that the compiler of Chronicles uses elsewhere, as here, the "aforetime" name of the prophet, according to 1 Samuel 9:9. Note in this verse the linking together of the names of David and Samuel, to the ignoring of that of Saul. In their set office. Keil would translate, "Upon their fidelity, i.e. because they had been found faithful." But our margin translates happily, "in their trust," which will include, in part, the thought of Keil, and will suit our ver. 26. 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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