1 Chronicles 9:22
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)
(22) 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, thesein 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.

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.The porters, like the singers 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. 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 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.

All those that were chosen to be porters in the gates were two hundred and twelve,.... As fixed in the days of David, and might not be fewer:

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 9:22With 1 Chronicles 9:22 the narrative seems to return to the enumeration begun in 1 Chronicles 9:17-19, so that the reflections on the earlier times, 1 Chronicles 9:19-21, are to be regarded as a parenthesis. 1 Chronicles 9:22 runs: "They all who were chosen for doorkeepers for the thresholds, 212 (men): they, in their villages were they registered; they were ordained by David and Samuel the seer on their fidelity." The infinitive התיחשׂ is used substantively, "in reference to them, in their villages as their genealogical registration accomplished." If 1 Chronicles 9:22 be the continuation of 1 Chronicles 9:17-21, then the number given (212) will refer to the doorkeepers in active service at the time of the preparation of the register. With this hypothesis, however, the last clause of the verse, which states that David and Samuel had appointed them, does not seem to harmonize. But if we consider that the four men mentioned in 1 Chronicles 9:17 are heads of fathers'-houses, and that their fathers'-houses were not extinguished at the death of their temporary heads, and performed the same service from generation to generation, it might well be said of the generation performing the service at the time of the preparation of our register, that David had appointed them to their office. The case would of course be similar, if, as we have above supposed, the four names in 1 Chronicles 9:17 are designations of the classes of doorkeepers, for these classes also performed the same service continually. The statements of our 22nd verse cannot be referred to the time of David, for in 1 Chronicles 26:8-10 the number of the doorkeepers appointed by David amounted only to eighty, viz., sixty-two of the sons of Obed-Edom, and eighteen of the sons of Meshelemiah, which, with the addition of thirteen Merarites (1 Chronicles 26:10-11), gives a total of ninety-three, while in our verse the number is 212. According to Ezra 2:42, the number of doorkeepers who returned with Zerubbabel was 139 men; and in the register, Nehemiah 11:19, the number is stated to be 172. From the remark that they were registered in their villages (חצריהם, as in 1 Chronicles 6:41; Joshua 13:23, and elsewhere), we learn that the doorkeepers dwelt in villages near Jerusalem, whence they came to the city so often as their service required, as the singers also did in the post-exilic time, Nehemiah 12:29. יסּד, to found, set, ordain, and so appoint to an office. "David and Samuel the seer:" הראה, the ancient designation of the prophets, for which at a later time נביא was the more usual word; cf. 1 Samuel 9:9. Nowhere else do we find any record of Samuel's having taken any part in David's arrangement of the service of the Levites in the holy place. Samuel, moreover, was no longer living when David began to arrange the worship at the time when the ark was brought to Jerusalem, for he died before Saul, and consequently before the beginning of David's reign; cf. 1 Samuel 25:1 with 1 Samuel 28:3. Bertheau is consequently of opinion that this statement of our historian rests merely upon the general recollection, according to which the worship was organized afresh, and established in its newer form, in the time of David and Samuel. This is of course possible, but there is no cogent reason against accepting the much less remote supposition that the chronicler took this remark from his authority. The mention of Samuel after David has not a chronological signification, but David is named first on account of his connection with the matter in hand; for the thorough re-organization of the worship, and the classification of the persons engaged in carrying it on, originated with David. For these arrangements of David, however, Samuel had prepared the way in his struggle for the restoration of the theocracy, and of the worship which had fallen into desuetude under Eli and his profligate sons. To do this in any measure, he must have, without doubt, ordained trustworthy men to the individual offices, and thus have prepared the way for King David. בּאמוּנתם is found in 1 Chronicles 9:26, 1 Chronicles 9:31 without the suffix, with the meaning "in good faith" (cf. 2 Kings 12:16; 2 Kings 22:7; 2 Chronicles 31:12), and accordingly is here upon their fidelity, i.e., because they had been recognised to be faithful.
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