1 Chronicles 9:26
For these Levites, the four chief porters, were in their set office, and were over the chambers and treasuries of the house of God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) For these Levites, the four chief porters, were in their set office.—The Heb. says, or seems to say, “For in fixed position (or trust) were they, viz., the four heroes of the warders.” (See 1Chronicles 9:17 which apparently names four chief “porters.”) The temporary chiefs of the warder guilds abode in the Temple; the mass of their members was settled in the neighbouring villages, and occupied with pastoral pursuits.

And were over the chambers and treasuries of the house of God.—This statement belongs to the following verse. The preceding account of the porters or warders seems to terminate with the words. “For in fixed position are they, the four stalwart warders; they are the Levites;” that is, the Levites par excellence. And they were over the cells and over the treasuries of the house of God (viz., the warders); and they used to pass the night (1Chronicles 9:27) in the places round the house of God, for upon them was the ward, and they were over the opening (key) every morning—a brief recapitulation of the main duty of the Levitical warders. Some have proposed to alter the text of 1Chronicles 9:26 b, and to read, “And some of the Levites were over the cells,” &c, thus constituting a new paragraph, although 1Chronicles 9:27 obviously recurs to the warders. Probably the paragraph mark should be transferred to 1Chronicles 9:28. From this point to 1Chronicles 9:34 we have a review of the other special charges of the Levites.

1 Chronicles 9:26-27. These Levites were in their set office — These were constantly upon the place, in the execution of their office, that they might oversee the inferior porters in their work. Were over the treasuries — In which the sacred utensils, and other treasures belonging to the temple, were kept. They lodged round about the house of God — They were not permitted to dwell in the villages as their brethren were, but were obliged to constant residence in the place, because their office required it.

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.Rather, "For the four chief porters, who were themselves Levites, were in trust, who also had the charge of the chambers, etc." A contrast seems intended between the four chief porters, whose charge was constant, and the remainder, who kept watch by turns. 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. Were in their set office, i. e. these were constantly upon the place, and in the execution of their office, that so they might oversee and direct the inferior porters in their work. Or, as others render the words, agreeably to the Hebrew text, For these (i.e. their brethren, 1 Chronicles 9:25) were under the charge, or committed to the trust of the

four chief porters, who also were Levites, as their brethren were; whereas the chief of all of them was a priest. Either way these words contain a reason of what was said, 1 Chronicles 9:25, why the rest were to come to these, and to be with them.

Treasuries; in which the sacred utensils, and other treasures belonging to the temple, were kept.

For these Levites, the four chief porters, were in their set office,.... The four chief porters who were over all the two hundred and twelve, and had one over them, 1 Chronicles 9:17, these were never changed, nor went into the country villages; but were always upon the spot, and in their office, superintending the rest:

and were over the chambers and treasuries of the house of God; see 1 Chronicles 26:20.

For these Levites, the four chief porters, were in their set office, and were over the chambers and treasuries of the house of God.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
26. For these Levites, the four chief porters, were in their set office] R.V. For the four chief porters, who were Levites, were in a set office. It seems from this passage (and also from the structure of this chapter; cp. 1 Chronicles 9:10; 1 Chronicles 14:17) that the doorkeepers were not, as a body, Levites. Their leaders however, being Levites, were placed in positions of greater trust; cp. 1 Chronicles 26:20-28. In 2 Chronicles 34:9 Levites appear exercising the duties of doorkeepers, but this does not prove that all doorkeepers were Levites.

chambers] i.e. store-chambers in which tithes and sacred vessels were kept; cp. 2 Chronicles 31:5; 2 Chronicles 31:11-12; Nehemiah 13:4-9. The chambers were probably built as outbuildings round the Court of the Temple; cp. 1 Chronicles 23:28; 1 Chronicles 28:12.

1 Chronicles 9:26"And their brethren in their villages (cf. 1 Chronicles 9:22) were bound to come the seventh day, from time to time, with these." The infinitive בּוא with ל expresses duty, as in 1 Chronicles 5:1. The seventh day is the Sabbath of the week, on which each class in order had to take charge of the services. אלּה עם are the chiefs mentioned in 1 Chronicles 9:17 who dwelt in Jerusalem, and of whom it is said in 1 Chronicles 9:26, "for they are on their fidelity, the four mighty of the doorkeepers." In explanation of the גּבּרי, Bertheau very fittingly compares σταρτηγοῖ τοῦ Ἱεροῦ, Luke 22:52. The words הלויּם הם, which may be translated, "they are the Levites," or "they (viz., the Levites)," are somewhat surprising. The Masoretic punctuation demands the latter translation, when the words would be an emphatic elucidation of the preceding המּה. Were they a subscription, we should expect אלּה instead of הם; while, on the other hand, the circumstance noticed by Bertheau, that in the following verses the duties not merely of the doorkeepers, but of the Levites in general, are enumerated, would seem to favour that sense. Even in the second half of the 1 Chronicles 9:22 it is not the doorkeepers who are spoken of, but the Levites in general. May we not suppose that the text originally stood היוּ הלויּם וּמן (cf. 1 Chronicles 9:14) instead of והיוּ הויּם והם, and that the reading of our present text, having originated in a transcriber's error, found acceptance from the circumstance that 1 Chronicles 9:27 apparently still treats of, or returns to, the service of the doorkeepers? So much is certain, that from 1 Chronicles 9:26 onward the duties of the Levites in general, no longer those of the doorkeepers, are spoken of, and that consequently we must regard the Levites (הלויּם), and not the before-mentioned four doorkeepers, as the subject of והיוּ: "and the Levites were over the cells of the storehouses of the house of God." The cells in the outbuildings of the temple served as treasure-chambers and storehouses for the temple furniture. האוצרות with the article in the stat. constr. (Ew. 290, d.), because of the looser connection, since the genitive בּית־הא also belongs to הלּשׁכוה.
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