And next him were Eden, and Miniamin, and Jeshua, and Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah, in the cities of the priests, in their set office, to give to their brothers by courses, as well to the great as to the small:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Next him.—By his hand (‘al yādô). (Comp. 1Chronicles 25:2-3.) The meaning is, “subordinate to him.”
The six Levites here named as under the direction of Korê had the duty of distributing a proper share of the firstfruits, tithes, and dedicated things to their brethren residing in the sacerdotal cities, where they themselves were stationed.
In their set office.—It seems better to connect the phrase so rendered with the following verb: “honestly to give” (comp. 2Chronicles 31:12). So Vulg.: “ut fideliter distribuèrent fratribus suis partes,” &c. Others render be’emûnah, “in trust.”
Their brethren by courses.—Rather, their brethren in the courses—i.e., those members of the Levitical classes who, not being on duty at the Temple, were dwelling in their towns; and those who were past service, and young children.
Great . . . small.—Older . . . younger.2 Chronicles 21:10; 2 Chronicles 28:18, had been lost, so that the original number, thirteen, was now, apparently, reduced to six.
11-18. Hezekiah commanded to prepare chambers in the house of the Lord—storehouses, granaries, or cellars; either the old ones, which had been allowed through neglect to fall into decay, were to be repaired, or additional ones built. Private individuals brought their own first-fruits to the temple; but the tithes were levied by the Levites, who kept a faithful account of them in their several places of abode and transmitted the allotted proportion to the priests. Officers were appointed to distribute equal rations to all in the cities of the priests who, from age or other reasons, could not repair to the temple. With the exception of children under three years of age—an exception made probably from their being considered too young to receive solid food—lists were kept of the number and age of every male; of priests according to their fathers' house, and Levites from twenty years (see Nu 4:3; 28:24; 1Ch 23:24). But, besides, provision was also made for their wives, daughters, and servants.
in the cities of the priests; in the several parts of the country:
in their set office; or faithfully:
to give to their brethren by courses, as well to the great as to the small; to communicate of the stores under their hands, according to their several courses, both priests and Levites, and to all in their families, small and great.And next him were Eden, and Miniamin, and Jeshua, and Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah, in the cities of the priests, in their set office, to give to their brethren by courses, as well to the great as to the small:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)15. next him] R.V. under him.
in the cities] The persons mentioned in 2 Chronicles 31:12-14 were in Jerusalem itself. The priestly cities are given 1 Chronicles 6:54-60.
in their set office] R.V. mg. in their trust.Verse 15. - Eden... Shemaiah (see 2 Chronicles 29:12, 14). In the cities (see Joshua 21:19). In their set office; i.e. in their appointed duty. The word (בֶּךאמוּנָה) here used bespeaks the important and trustworthy nature of the duty committed to those spoken of, and probably betrays the fact that the duty had not always in the past been honestly discharged (see same word in ver. 12).
The employment and storing of these gifts, 2 Chronicles 31:9-19. - 2 Chronicles 31:9. Hezekiah questioned (ידרשׁ) the priests and Levites concerning the heaps, i.e., not as to whether they were sufficient for the support of the priests and Levites, but as to how it happened that such masses had been heaped up. Thereupon Azariah the high priest (hardly the Azariah mentioned 2 Chronicles 26:17, who forty years before tried to prevent Uzziah from pressing into the holy place), of the house of Zadok, answered him: Since they began to bring (לביא for להביא) the heave-offerings into the house of the Lord, we have eaten and satisfied ourselves, and have left in plenty. The infin. absol. והותר ושׂבוע אכול stand in animated speech instead of the first pers. plur. perf. From the same animation arises the construction of את־ההמון with הנּותר; for "that which is left" signifies, and we have left this quantity here.
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