Concerning the divisions of the porters: Of the Korhites was Meshelemiah the son of Kore, of the sons of Asaph.
And the sons of Meshelemiah were, Zechariah the firstborn, Jediael the second, Zebadiah the third, Jathniel the fourth,
Elam the fifth, Jehohanan the sixth, Elioenai the seventh.
Moreover the sons of Obededom were, Shemaiah the firstborn, Jehozabad the second, Joah the third, and Sacar the fourth, and Nethaneel the fifth,
Ammiel the sixth, Issachar the seventh, Peulthai the eighth: for God blessed him.1 Chronicles 26:5. For God blessed him — With a numerous posterity, and other blessings, for his respect and affection to the ark. The increase and building up of families are owing to the divine blessing. And a great blessing it is to have many children when they are like these, eminent in the service of God.
Also unto Shemaiah his son were sons born, that ruled throughout the house of their father: for they were mighty men of valour.1 Chronicles 26:6. They were mighty men of valour — This clause is divers times mentioned, because their office required both strength and courage: for they were to shut the doors of the temple, one whereof was so great and weighty that in the second temple it required twenty men to open and shut it. They were also to keep the guard, to keep out all unclean or forbidden persons, to prevent or suppress any tumults or disorders which might happen in the temple or in its courts, to keep the treasures of the temple, (1 Chronicles 26:20; 1 Chronicles 26:22; 1 Chronicles 26:24; 1 Chronicles 26:26,) to be officers and judges over Israel, (1 Chronicles 26:29,) and to manage every matter pertaining to God and the affairs of the king, 1 Chronicles 26:32.
The sons of Shemaiah; Othni, and Rephael, and Obed, Elzabad, whose brethren were strong men, Elihu, and Semachiah.
All these of the sons of Obededom: they and their sons and their brethren, able men for strength for the service, were threescore and two of Obededom.
And Meshelemiah had sons and brethren, strong men, eighteen.
Also Hosah, of the children of Merari, had sons; Simri the chief, (for though he was not the firstborn, yet his father made him the chief;)1 Chronicles 26:10. His father made him the chief — Not in inheriting the estate, (this was forbidden by the law,) but in this service, for which he was better qualified than his elder brother.
Hilkiah the second, Tebaliah the third, Zechariah the fourth: all the sons and brethren of Hosah were thirteen.
Among these were the divisions of the porters, even among the chief men, having wards one against another, to minister in the house of the LORD.1 Chronicles 26:12. Wards — Hebrew, having wards answerably to their brethren the other Levites, who were divided into twenty-four courses, as the priests also, and the porters were.
And they cast lots, as well the small as the great, according to the house of their fathers, for every gate.1 Chronicles 26:13. They cast lots, as well the small as the great — Determining the times and places of their service, not by age or dignity, but merely by lot. According to the house of their fathers — A several lot being allowed for each several house. For every gate — That it might be known to whom the care of each gate was more especially committed.
And the lot eastward fell to Shelemiah. Then for Zechariah his son, a wise counseller, they cast lots; and his lot came out northward.1 Chronicles 26:14-15. Zechariah his son, a wise counsellor — Which is noted as an excellent and useful accomplishment for his office, in which there was need of wisdom as well as courage, as may appear by the description of their work, 1 Chronicles 26:20, &c. See the note on 1 Chronicles 26:6. The house of Asuppim — Or, of gatherings; probably so named from the assembly of the elders, who met there to consult about the affairs of the temple.
To Obededom southward; and to his sons the house of Asuppim.
To Shuppim and Hosah the lot came forth westward, with the gate Shallecheth, by the causeway of the going up, ward against ward.1 Chronicles 26:16. With the gate Shallecheth — A gate of the court, so called, as some think, because the ashes and filth of the temple were cast out on that side, which was the most convenient for that purpose, because that was a private quarter, the great ways to the temple lying on the other sides. By the causeway of going up — By which causey they went up toward the temple. Ward against ward — As one gate was over against another, the west against the east, and the north against the south, so one ward was over against another.
Eastward were six Levites, northward four a day, southward four a day, and toward Asuppim two and two.1 Chronicles 26:17. Eastward were six Levites — For that, being the chief gate of the temple, required a better guard. Toward Asuppim — That is, the house of Asuppim, as it is called 1 Chronicles 26:15, where also it is said to be on the south side; on which there seems to have been a double guard, both belonging to Obed-edom, (1 Chronicles 26:15,) one at the south gate, and the other at Asuppim, where possibly the sacred treasures, mentioned 1 Chronicles 26:20, &c., were laid up, and therefore a particular guard was necessary. See on 1 Chronicles 26:15.
At Parbar westward, four at the causeway, and two at Parbar.1 Chronicles 26:18. At Parbar westward — Or, As concerning Parbar, which was another gate, or some building on the western quarter of the temple. Four at the causeway — Which led to Parbar. And two at Parbar — At the gate or house itself; by which it may seem that this was a place of some importance, either the vessels of the temple, or some part of the treasures of God’s house, being kept there.
These are the divisions of the porters among the sons of Kore, and among the sons of Merari.
And of the Levites, Ahijah was over the treasures of the house of God, and over the treasures of the dedicated things.1 Chronicles 26:20. The treasures of the house of God, and the treasures of the dedicated things — These seem to be two different kinds of treasures, the former containing the sacred vessels and other treasures, which by God’s command were appropriated to the maintenance of the house; the latter only those things which had been freely given or dedicated to God.
As concerning the sons of Laadan; the sons of the Gershonite Laadan, chief fathers, even of Laadan the Gershonite, were Jehieli.
The sons of Jehieli; Zetham, and Joel his brother, which were over the treasures of the house of the LORD.
Of the Amramites, and the Izharites, the Hebronites, and the Uzzielites:1 Chronicles 26:23. Of the Amramites — Or, Concerning the Amramites, &c. The meaning is, the persons following were of these, or the most of these families. Only here is none of the family of the Uzzielites; either because that family was now extinct, whence it is that we read no more of them in the Scripture, but only in this place, and Numbers 3:27, or because there was none of them fit to be employed and trusted in these matters.
And Shebuel the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, was ruler of the treasures.1 Chronicles 26:24. Shebuel, the son of Moses — That is, descended from Moses; was ruler of the treasures — The chief over all the treasures mentioned before or afterward, as his very title shows, which is peculiarly given to him, and to none of the rest. This is the sole honour that we read of hitherto conferred upon any of the posterity of Moses.
And his brethren by Eliezer; Rehabiah his son, and Jeshaiah his son, and Joram his son, and Zichri his son, and Shelomith his son.
Which Shelomith and his brethren were over all the treasures of the dedicated things, which David the king, and the chief fathers, the captains over thousands and hundreds, and the captains of the host, had dedicated.
Out of the spoils won in battles did they dedicate to maintain the house of the LORD.1 Chronicles 26:27. To maintain the house of the Lord — Hebrew, To strengthen it: either to make that building strong and substantial by these and other charges; or, rather, to repair it when it should be built; for which they might the rather take peculiar care, because it was likely that every one would contribute to the building of the temple, and there could be no want for that use: but few would provide for the repairs of it, when by the injury of men or time it should receive any damage.
And all that Samuel the seer, and Saul the son of Kish, and Abner the son of Ner, and Joab the son of Zeruiah, had dedicated; and whosoever had dedicated any thing, it was under the hand of Shelomith, and of his brethren.1 Chronicles 26:28. Whosoever had dedicated any thing, it was under the hand of Shelomith, &c. — Who is particularly named here, and 1 Chronicles 26:26, because they were chiefly committed to his trust, he being, it seems, a person of eminent wisdom and faithfulness.
Of the Izharites, Chenaniah and his sons were for the outward business over Israel, for officers and judges.1 Chronicles 26:29. Chenaniah, &c., were for the outward business — That is, the business without the city of Jerusalem; which neither belonged to the singers nor the porters, whose business was within the city. For officers and judges — To be assessors with the ordinary judges in the several cities and towns, to determine questions and controversies which might arise among them. And the reason why the Levites were intrusted with these matters was, because the common law of Israel, by which they had and held all their rights, was no other than the law of God, whereof the priests and Levites, being the established interpreters, must needs be the most proper judges of things depending thereon.
And of the Hebronites, Hashabiah and his brethren, men of valour, a thousand and seven hundred, were officers among them of Israel on this side Jordan westward in all the business of the LORD, and in the service of the king.1 Chronicles 26:30. In all business of the Lord — In all things which concerned the house or worship of God; to take care that such moneys as were given toward building the temple, or toward the sacrifices and other holy ministrations, should be gathered and received, and faithfully sent up to Jerusalem; and to see the execution of all the laws of God among the people. In the service of the king, &c. — They served the king in the execution of his decrees, by which the several rights of the king and people were established. And as the king was the principal person intrusted with the execution of God’s laws, so these Levites chiefly were his eyes, by which he saw his people’s transgressions, and his hands, by which he inflicted due censures upon them for their miscarriages.
Among the Hebronites was Jerijah the chief, even among the Hebronites, according to the generations of his fathers. In the fortieth year of the reign of David they were sought for, and there were found among them mighty men of valour at Jazer of Gilead.1 Chronicles 26:31. In the fortieth year of the reign of David — His last year, in which he made all the orders of families and officers recorded in these chapters. We should be so much the more diligent in doing good, as we see the day approaching. If we live not to enjoy the fruit of our labours, let us not grudge it to them that come after us.
And his brethren, men of valour, were two thousand and seven hundred chief fathers, whom king David made rulers over the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, for every matter pertaining to God, and affairs of the king.1 Chronicles 26:32. Two thousand and seven hundred chief fathers — Which is a very great number to be employed about two tribes and a half, when all the rest of the tribes had only one thousand seven hundred, (1 Chronicles 26:30,) besides those under Chenaniah, of whom see on 1 Chronicles 26:29. But the reason hereof is plain, because the tribes without Jordan, being more remote from the king’s court, and from the place of public and solemn worship, needed more than ordinary help to instruct and keep them in the practice of true religion, and the worship of God, and obedience to their king.