So they and their children had the oversight of the gates of the house of the LORD, namely, the house of the tabernacle, by wards.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Namely, the house of the tabernacle.—For the Temple was not built in David’s day
By wards.— For Watches.1 Chronicles 9:23. They and their children had the oversight — Namely, in David’s time. Of the tabernacle — This is added to explain what he means by the house of the Lord: not that tabernacle which David had set up for the ark, but that more solemn tabernacle, which Moses had made by God’s express command; which in David’s time was at Gibeon; in which God was worshipped until the temple was built. By wards — By turns or courses.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.
The house of the tabernacle: this is added to explain what he means by the house of the Lord; not that tabernacle which David had set up for the ark, but that more solemn tabernacle, which Moses had made by God’s express command and most particular direction; which in David’s time was at Gibeon; in which God was and would be worshipped until the temple was built. See 1 Kings 3:2 2 Chronicles 1:3,5, &c.
By wards, i.e. by turns or courses, each of them at his gate, and in his appointed time. So they and their children had the oversight of the gates of the house of the LORD, namely, the house of the tabernacle, by wards.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)23. namely, the house of the tabernacle] R.V. even the house of the tabernacle (mg. Tent). A reminder that in David’s days (1 Chronicles 9:22) the Temple was not yet built.Verses 23-26. - (See above and 1 Chronicles 26:12-19.) For the chief porters, Bertheau suggests, as an analogous expression, στρατηγοῖ (Luke 22:52). The chambers. We have the account of Solomon's building of these in 1 Kings 6:5-10, 16, 19; it is scarcely likely that the "chamber of mattresses" of 2 Kings 11:2 was one of these, though the language of the following verse looks that way (comp. also Ezekiel 46:5-11). And treasuries. These were store-houses (הָאועְרות) for gold, silver, as pertaining to the temple, though of corn, etc., in other connections (1 Kings 7:51; 2 Kings 12:18; 2 Chronicles 5:1; 1 Chronicles 27:25). 1 Chronicles 9:24 and 1 Chronicles 9:26), and these four were consequently heads of those divisions of the Levites to whom was committed the duty of the watch. In Nehemiah 11:20, on the contrary, the doorkeepers mentioned are Akkub, Talmon, and their brethren, 172 (men); but the other two chiefs named in the Chronicle are there omitted, while in the Chronicle no number is given. Here the agreement between the two registers ceases. In the Chronicle there follows first of all, in 1 Chronicles 9:18-26, some remarks on the service of the doorkeepers; and then in 1 Chronicles 9:26-32 the duties of the Levites in general are spoken of; and finally, in 1 Chronicles 9:32 and 1 Chronicles 9:34 we have subscriptions. In Nehemiah, on the other hand, we find in 1 Chronicles 9:20 the statement that the remaining Israelites, priests, and Levites dwelt in their cities; and after some statements as to the service of the Levites, the enumeration of these cities is introduced.
In glancing back over the two catalogues, it is seen that the differences are at least as great as the coincidences. But what conclusions are we to deduce from that fact? Bertheau thinks "from this it is certain that both catalogues cannot have been drawn up independently of each other," and "that both have been derived from one and the same source, which must have been much more complete, and much richer in names, than our present catalogues; cf. Movers, S. 234." We, however, judge otherwise. The discrepancies are much too great to allow us to refer them to free handling by epitomizers of some hypothetical more detailed catalogue, or to the negligence of copyists. The coincidence, in so far as it actually exists, does not justify us in accepting such far-fetched suppositions, but may be satisfactorily explained in another way. It consists indeed only in this, that in both registers, (1) sons of Judah and Benjamin, priests and Levites, are enumerated; (2) that in each of these four classes of the inhabitants of Jerusalem some names are identical. The first of these coincidences clearly does not in the least prove that the two catalogues are derived from the same source, and treat of the same time; for the four classes enumerated constituted, both before and after the exile, the population of Jerusalem. But neither does the identity of some of the names prove in the slightest degree the identity of the two catalogues, because the names denote, partly classes of inhabitants, and partly heads of fathers'-houses, i.e., of groups of related households, which did not change with each generation, but sometimes continued to exist for centuries; and because, priori, we should expect that those who returned from exile would, as far as it was possible, seek out again the dwelling-places of their pre-exilic ancestors; and that consequently after the exile, on the whole, the same families who had dwelt at Jerusalem before it would again take up their abode there. In this way the identity of the names Jedaiah, Jehoiarib, and Jachin in the two catalogues may be accounted for, as these names do not denote persons, but classes of priests, which existed both before and after the exile. A similar explanation would also apply to the names of the doorkeepers Akkub and Talmon (1 Chronicles 9:17; Nehemiah 11:19), as not merely the priests, but also the other Levites, were divided for the service according to their fathers'-houses into classes which had permanent names (cf. 1 Chronicles 25 and 26). Of the other names in our register only the following are identical: of the Benjamites, Sallu the son of Meshullam (1 Chronicles 9:7; Nehemiah 11:7); of the priests, Adaiah (1 Chronicles 9:12; Nehemiah 11:12), with almost the same ancestors; and of the Levites, Shemaiah and Mattaniah (1 Chronicles 9:10.; Nehemiah 11:15, Nehemiah 11:17). All the other names are different; and even if among the priests Maasiai (1 Chronicles 9:12) should be identical with Amashai (Nehemiah 11:13), and among the Levites Bakbakkar and Obadiah (1 Chronicles 9:16 and 1 Chronicles 9:15) with Bakbukiah and Abda (Nehemiah 11:17), we cannot identify the sons of Judah, Uthai and Azaiah (1 Chronicles 9:4.), with Athaiah and Maaseiah (Nehemiah 11:4.), for their ancestors are quite different. The similarity or even the identity of names, were it in two or three generations, cannot of itself prove the identity of the persons, as we have already seen, in the genealogy of the line of Aaron 1 Chronicles 6:3.), that, e.g., the series Amariah, Ahitub, and Zadok recurs at various times; cf. 1 Chronicles 6:11. and 1 Chronicles 6:12. Everywhere in the genealogical lines the same names very often recur, as it was the custom to give the children the names of their ancestors; cf. Tob. 1:9, Luke 1:59. Win. bibl. R. W. ii. S. 133; Hvern. Einl. ii. 1, S. 179f. But if, on the one hand, the identity of these names in the two catalogues is not at all a valid proof of the identity of the catalogues, and by no means justifies us in identifying similarly-sounding names by supposing errors of transcription, on the other hand we must hold that the register refers to the pre-exilic population of Jerusalem, both because of the wide discrepancies in all points, and in accordance with the introductory statements in 1 Chronicles 9:2. This interpretation is also demanded by the succeeding remarks in reference to the service of the Levites, since they throughout refer to the pre-exilic time.
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