The sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
And the sons of Kohath; Amram, Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel.
And the children of Amram; Aaron, and Moses, and Miriam. The sons also of Aaron; Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.
Eleazar begat Phinehas, Phinehas begat Abishua,
And Abishua begat Bukki, and Bukki begat Uzzi,1 Chronicles 6:5. Bukki begat Uzzi — In whose days it is supposed that the high- priesthood was translated from Eleazar’s family to Ithamar’s, for some cause now unknown, in whose line it continued for some successions.
And Uzzi begat Zerahiah, and Zerahiah begat Meraioth,
Meraioth begat Amariah, and Amariah begat Ahitub,
And Ahitub begat Zadok, and Zadok begat Ahimaaz,
And Ahimaaz begat Azariah, and Azariah begat Johanan,
And Johanan begat Azariah, (he it is that executed the priest's office in the temple that Solomon built in Jerusalem:)1 Chronicles 6:10. He it is that executed the priest’s office, &c. — So did all the rest: but it is implied that he did it worthily; he filled his place well, and valiantly discharged his office. For it is supposed this was that Azariah who boldly opposed the presumption of King Uzziah, when he invaded the priest’s office, 2 Chronicles 26:17. This remark may, however, relate to Johanan, otherwise called Jehoiada, who is so highly commended for the good service which he did to the house of God, and of the king; of whom see 2 Kings 11. In the temple that Solomon built — In Solomon’s temple; so denominated to distinguish it from the second temple, which was built, or in building, when these books were written.
And Azariah begat Amariah, and Amariah begat Ahitub,
And Ahitub begat Zadok, and Zadok begat Shallum,
And Shallum begat Hilkiah, and Hilkiah begat Azariah,
And Azariah begat Seraiah, and Seraiah begat Jehozadak,
And Jehozadak went into captivity, when the LORD carried away Judah and Jerusalem by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar.
The sons of Levi; Gershom, Kohath, and Merari.1 Chronicles 6:16. The sons of Levi, Gershom, &c. — This he repeats as the foundation of the following genealogy of those Levites who were not priests.
And these be the names of the sons of Gershom; Libni, and Shimei.
And the sons of Kohath were, Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel.
The sons of Merari; Mahli, and Mushi. And these are the families of the Levites according to their fathers.1 Chronicles 6:19-20. The families of the Levites according to their fathers —
That is, these were the heads of the families which sprang from them. And it is thought the following catalogue contains the successive heads or chiefs of their several families until the times of David, by whom they were distributed into several courses. Zimmah his son — His grandson by his son Shimei, as appears from 1 Chronicles 6:42-43; the names of father and Song of Solomon being often used in Scripture of more remote progenitors or successors.
Of Gershom; Libni his son, Jahath his son, Zimmah his son,
Joah his son, Iddo his son, Zerah his son, Jeaterai his son.
The sons of Kohath; Amminadab his son, Korah his son, Assir his son,
Elkanah his son, and Ebiasaph his son, and Assir his son,
Tahath his son, Uriel his son, Uzziah his son, and Shaul his son.
And the sons of Elkanah; Amasai, and Ahimoth.
As for Elkanah: the sons of Elkanah; Zophai his son, and Nahath his son,1 Chronicles 6:26. As for Elkanah, &c. — This was another Elkanah, son or grandson of the former Elkanah, and either the son or brother of Ahimoth, last mentioned, or of Amasai. Nahath his son — Called also Toah, 1 Chronicles 6:34, and Tohu, 1 Samuel 1:1. The Elkanah mentioned in the next verse was the father of the Prophet Samuel, whose name therefore follows.
Eliab his son, Jeroham his son, Elkanah his son.
And the sons of Samuel; the firstborn Vashni, and Abiah.
The sons of Merari; Mahli, Libni his son, Shimei his son, Uzza his son,
Shimea his son, Haggiah his son, Asaiah his son.
And these are they whom David set over the service of song in the house of the LORD, after that the ark had rest.1 Chronicles 6:31. And these — Whose names follow, are they whom David set over the service — Appointed to minister to God by singing songs of praise in his house; after that the ark had rest — After David had brought it from the house of Obed-edom, and settled it in Jerusalem, 2 Samuel 8:17.
And they ministered before the dwelling place of the tabernacle of the congregation with singing, until Solomon had built the house of the LORD in Jerusalem: and then they waited on their office according to their order.1 Chronicles 6:32. They ministered before the tabernacle, &c. — Which David had prepared for the ark when it came to Jerusalem. According to their order — The order which David himself had constituted a little before his death, as we read in the latter end of this book.
And these are they that waited with their children. Of the sons of the Kohathites: Heman a singer, the son of Joel, the son of Shemuel,
The son of Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Eliel, the son of Toah,
The son of Zuph, the son of Elkanah, the son of Mahath, the son of Amasai,
The son of Elkanah, the son of Joel, the son of Azariah, the son of Zephaniah,
The son of Tahath, the son of Assir, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah,
The son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, the son of Israel.
And his brother Asaph, who stood on his right hand, even Asaph the son of Berachiah, the son of Shimea,1 Chronicles 6:39. His brother Asaph — Asaph is here called Heman’s brother, according to the Hebrew phraseology, by which all near relations are brothers; and because he was of the same office and employment.
The son of Michael, the son of Baaseiah, the son of Malchiah,
The son of Ethni, the son of Zerah, the son of Adaiah,
The son of Ethan, the son of Zimmah, the son of Shimei,
The son of Jahath, the son of Gershom, the son of Levi.
And their brethren the sons of Merari stood on the left hand: Ethan the son of Kishi, the son of Abdi, the son of Malluch,1 Chronicles 6:44. The sons of Merari stood on the left hand — The children of the next son of Levi are here mentioned, who had the lowest place assigned them, because they were of the youngest family. So there were three principal singers, who were masters and governors of the whole choir: Heman, descended from Koath, was the prime, who, together with his sons, stood in the middle: Asaph, descended from Gershom, with his sons, stood on his right hand: and Ethan, (called also Jeduthun, 1 Chronicles 9:16; 2 Chronicles 35:15, and in the title of divers Psalms,) descended from Merari, on the left.
The son of Hashabiah, the son of Amaziah, the son of Hilkiah,
The son of Amzi, the son of Bani, the son of Shamer,
The son of Mahli, the son of Mushi, the son of Merari, the son of Levi.
Their brethren also the Levites were appointed unto all manner of service of the tabernacle of the house of God.1 Chronicles 6:48. Their brethren were appointed, &c. — Such of them as had no skill in singing were otherwise employed; being porters, keepers of the vessels of the sanctuary, occupied in preparing the sacrifices, and such like things. It is observable, that in all the genealogies of the Levites, there is not a word said of the sons of Moses and their posterity, he having no ambition to prefer them unto any great office.
But Aaron and his sons offered upon the altar of the burnt offering, and on the altar of incense, and were appointed for all the work of the place most holy, and to make an atonement for Israel, according to all that Moses the servant of God had commanded.1 Chronicles 6:49. But Aaron and his sons offered upon the altar — The noblest part of the ministry was reserved for them. Aaron alone, and his successors in the high-priesthood, made atonement and ministered in the most holy place. But his sons, the other priests, offered on the altars of burnt- offering, and of incense.
And these are the sons of Aaron; Eleazar his son, Phinehas his son, Abishua his son,1 Chronicles 6:50. These are the sons of Aaron — Having mentioned the work of the high-priests, he here briefly rehearseth the names of the persons who successively performed it.
Bukki his son, Uzzi his son, Zerahiah his son,
Meraioth his son, Amariah his son, Ahitub his son,
Zadok his son, Ahimaaz his son.
Now these are their dwelling places throughout their castles in their coasts, of the sons of Aaron, of the families of the Kohathites: for theirs was the lot.1 Chronicles 6:54. Throughout their castles — So called, not only because walled and well guarded by the country, but because they and their possessions were in a particular manner the care of Divine Providence. As God was their portion, so God was their protector. And a cottage will be a castle to those that abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Theirs was the lot — Or, the first lot.
And they gave them Hebron in the land of Judah, and the suburbs thereof round about it.
But the fields of the city, and the villages thereof, they gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh.
And to the sons of Aaron they gave the cities of Judah, namely, Hebron, the city of refuge, and Libnah with her suburbs, and Jattir, and Eshtemoa, with their suburbs,
And Hilen with her suburbs, Debir with her suburbs,
And Ashan with her suburbs, and Bethshemesh with her suburbs:
And out of the tribe of Benjamin; Geba with her suburbs, and Alemeth with her suburbs, and Anathoth with her suburbs. All their cities throughout their families were thirteen cities.1 Chronicles 6:60. All their cities were thirteen — Of which eleven are here numbered, and two more are mentioned Joshua 21:16-17, namely, Jattah and Gibeon; which, perhaps, were in ruins when this book was written.
And unto the sons of Kohath, which were left of the family of that tribe, were cities given out of the half tribe, namely, out of the half tribe of Manasseh, by lot, ten cities.
And to the sons of Gershom throughout their families out of the tribe of Issachar, and out of the tribe of Asher, and out of the tribe of Naphtali, and out of the tribe of Manasseh in Bashan, thirteen cities.
Unto the sons of Merari were given by lot, throughout their families, out of the tribe of Reuben, and out of the tribe of Gad, and out of the tribe of Zebulun, twelve cities.
And the children of Israel gave to the Levites these cities with their suburbs.
And they gave by lot out of the tribe of the children of Judah, and out of the tribe of the children of Simeon, and out of the tribe of the children of Benjamin, these cities, which are called by their names.
And the residue of the families of the sons of Kohath had cities of their coasts out of the tribe of Ephraim.1 Chronicles 6:66. Had cities of their coasts — Or, of their borders, that is, of their country contained within its borders: these cities were assigned the families of the sons of Kohath, though they were not priests, for their support in a lower ministry.
And they gave unto them, of the cities of refuge, Shechem in mount Ephraim with her suburbs; they gave also Gezer with her suburbs,1 Chronicles 6:67. They gave unto them of the cities of refuge — That is, the children of Israel, as it is expressed 1 Chronicles 6:64, gave to the residue of the Kohathites the following cities, part out of Ephraim, and part out of the half-tribe of Manasseh. As to the names of these cities, divers of them differ from those mentioned as given to them Joshua 21:15. Nor is it strange that the names of places should be changed in so many hundreds of years as had intervened between Joshua and this time. And as to the cities themselves, it is further to be observed, that they were dispersed among all the tribes, partly that Jacob’s prophecy might be fulfilled concerning the scattering of the tribe of Levi, Genesis 49:7; and partly that every tribe might have teachers among them by whom they might be directed in, and quickened to, the observation of God’s laws, upon which their safety and happiness wholly depended.
And Jokmeam with her suburbs, and Bethhoron with her suburbs,
And Aijalon with her suburbs, and Gathrimmon with her suburbs:
And out of the half tribe of Manasseh; Aner with her suburbs, and Bileam with her suburbs, for the family of the remnant of the sons of Kohath.
Unto the sons of Gershom were given out of the family of the half tribe of Manasseh, Golan in Bashan with her suburbs, and Ashtaroth with her suburbs:
And out of the tribe of Issachar; Kedesh with her suburbs, Daberath with her suburbs,
And Ramoth with her suburbs, and Anem with her suburbs:
And out of the tribe of Asher; Mashal with her suburbs, and Abdon with her suburbs,
And Hukok with her suburbs, and Rehob with her suburbs:
And out of the tribe of Naphtali; Kedesh in Galilee with her suburbs, and Hammon with her suburbs, and Kirjathaim with her suburbs.
Unto the rest of the children of Merari were given out of the tribe of Zebulun, Rimmon with her suburbs, Tabor with her suburbs:
And on the other side Jordan by Jericho, on the east side of Jordan, were given them out of the tribe of Reuben, Bezer in the wilderness with her suburbs, and Jahzah with her suburbs,
Kedemoth also with her suburbs, and Mephaath with her suburbs:
And out of the tribe of Gad; Ramoth in Gilead with her suburbs, and Mahanaim with her suburbs,
And Heshbon with her suburbs, and Jazer with her suburbs.