Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
Ch. 1 Chronicles 9:1-17 (cp. Nehemiah 11:1-19). The Heads of the Families which dwelt in Jerusalem
1 Chronicles 9:2-17 contain the list of the heads of families of Judah (1 Chronicles 9:3-6), of Benjamin (1 Chronicles 9:7-9), of the priests (1 Chronicles 9:10-13), of the Levites (1 Chronicles 9:14-16), and of the porters (1 Chronicles 9:17), who dwelt in Jerusalem at some period after the Return (cp. note on 1 Chronicles 9:1). A similar list (with some variations which are recorded in their places in the following notes) occurs in Nehemiah 11:3-19. The theory which best explains the partial agreement coupled with the partial divergence of the two lists, is that both are extracts independently made from the same document, which the Chronicler has inserted, one in Chron., the other in Neh., lest the peculiarities of either list should be lost. We may conclude from Nehemiah 11:1-2 that the two lists represent the population of Jerusalem, after Nehemiah had taken measures for increasing it. Cp. Ryle on Nehemiah 11:3.
So all Israel were reckoned by genealogies; and, behold, they were written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah, who were carried away to Babylon for their transgression.1. they were written in the book] This book is apparently referred to in 1 Chronicles 5:17.
of Israel and Judah, who were carried away] R.V. of Israel: and Judah was carried away captive. The statement that Judah was led captive calls attention to the fact that the list which follows refers to post-exilic times.
Now the first inhabitants that dwelt in their possessions in their cities were, the Israelites, the priests, Levites, and the Nethinims.2. The text of this verse seems to be faulty, but the meaning is probably the same as in Ezra 2:70 (cp. ibid. Ezra 2:1). Now those who first returned from Babylon to dwell in Judaea, again, dwelt (not in Jerusalem, but) in their own cities; this did they all whether they were laymen, priests, Levites; or Nethinim.
the first inhabitants] The word “first” here corresponds with the phrase “the chiefs of the province” in Nehemiah 11:3 (R.V.), and may be interpreted by it, for “first” gives no satisfactory sense if understood in reference to time. The list which follows (1 Chronicles 9:4 ff.) is a list of chief men.
were] They belonged to the following four classes:
the Israelites] R.V. Israel, i.e. laymen as distinguished from men of Levitical descent. According to 1 Chronicles 9:3 Israel included at least Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh (cp. Psalm 80:2, where Judah—the speaker—associates Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh with herself in her appeal to the God of Israel). This is a totally different usage from that of earlier times, when Israel meant the Northern kingdom, and Judah the Southern.
Levites] R.V. the Levites.
Nethinims] R.V. Nethinim. These were a class of Temple servants reckoned as inferior to the Levites. Perhaps they were of foreign extraction and included the Gibeonites (cp. Joshua 9:23). They are mentioned nowhere else in the Old Testament except in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, See Ryle’s note on Ezra 2:43.
And in Jerusalem dwelt of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin, and of the children of Ephraim, and Manasseh;3–6 (cp. Nehemiah 11:4-6). The Sons of Judah
3. And in Jerusalem dwelt etc.] Jerusalem (cp. 1 Chronicles 9:2) had hitherto been neglected, but now under Nehemiah (we must supply some such note of time) and in consequence of Nehemiah’s measures the following families (1 Chronicles 9:4-17) took up their abode within the city.
and of the children of Ephraim, and Manasseh] This clause is not found in Nehemiah 11:4.
Uthai the son of Ammihud, the son of Omri, the son of Imri, the son of Bani, of the children of Pharez the son of Judah.4. Uthai] In Neh. Athaiah. The two words are more alike in Heb. than in English and are perhaps to be regarded as various readings of one name.
Pharez] R.V. Perez, as in 1 Chronicles 2:4-5 (R.V.); Genesis 38:29 (R.V.); and Nehemiah 11:4 (A.V. also). We have here (1 Chronicles 9:4-6) a threefold division of the tribe of Judah into the descendants of Perez, Shelah, and Zerah, just as in Numbers 26:20.
And of the Shilonites; Asaiah the firstborn, and his sons.5. Shilonites] Spelt more correctly Shelanites in Numbers 26:20; they were descendants of Shelah.
Asaiah] In Nehemiah 11:5 Maaseiah, a kindred name.
And of the sons of Zerah; Jeuel, and their brethren, six hundred and ninety.6. Jeuel] In Nehemiah 11:5 the “sons of Zerah” are missing.
six hundred and ninety] Cp. Nehemiah 11:6 (four hundred threescore and eight sons of Perez).
And of the sons of Benjamin; Sallu the son of Meshullam, the son of Hodaviah, the son of Hasenuah,7–9 (cp. Nehemiah 11:7-9). The Sons of Benjamin
7. Sallu] His genealogy m differently stated in Nehemiah 11:7, but see next note.
the son of Hodaviah, the son of Hasenuah] Some critics would read “and Hodaviah the son of Hasenuah” and would identify this person with the “Judah the son of Has-senuah” of Nehemiah 11:9.
And Ibneiah the son of Jeroham, and Elah the son of Uzzi, the son of Michri, and Meshullam the son of Shephathiah, the son of Reuel, the son of Ibnijah;8. Ibneiah, Elah, Meshullam] Not mentioned in Nehemiah 11.
And their brethren, according to their generations, nine hundred and fifty and six. All these men were chief of the fathers in the house of their fathers.9. nine hundred and fifty and six] This number nearly agrees with the nine hundred twenty and eight of Nehemiah 11:8.
chief of the fathers in the house of their fathers] R.V. heads of fathers’ houses by their fathers’ houses.
And of the priests; Jedaiah, and Jehoiarib, and Jachin,10–13 (cp. Nehemiah 11:10-14). The Priests
10. Jehoiarib] Spelt Joiarib in Nehemiah 11:10. Jehoiarib and Jedaiah occur as names of the first and second courses of the priests in 1 Chronicles 24:7; Nehemiah 12:6; Nehemiah 12:19. The Maccabees were of the course of Joarib (= Jehoiarib); 1Ma 2:1.
Jachin] The name of the twenty-first course; 1 Chronicles 24:17.
And Azariah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the ruler of the house of God;11. Azariah] In Nehemiah 11:11, Seraiah.
the ruler of the house of God] This title could perhaps be borne by the highpriest (2 Chronicles 31:10; 2 Chronicles 31:13), but in any case it was not confined to him (ib. 2 Chronicles 35:8, where several such “rulers” are mentioned).
And Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pashur, the son of Malchijah, and Maasiai the son of Adiel, the son of Jahzerah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Meshillemith, the son of Immer;12. Malchijah] The name of the fifth course; 1 Chronicles 24:9.
Maasiai] R.V. Maasai. The reading of Nehemiah 11:13 Amashai (R.V. Amashsai) is corrupt. The form given in Chron. is open to suspicion. Probably the true reading is lost.
Adiel] In Neh. Azareel.
Immer] The name of the sixteenth course; 1 Chronicles 24:14.
And their brethren, heads of the house of their fathers, a thousand and seven hundred and threescore; very able men for the work of the service of the house of God.13. heads of the house of their fathers] R.V. heads of their fathers’ houses.
a thousand and seven hundred and threescore] Only the five ‘courses’ of priests mentioned above (viz., Jedaiah, Jehoiarib, and Jachin, 1 Chronicles 9:10, and Malchijah and Immer, 1 Chronicles 9:12) seem to be included in this reckoning. Some commentators however regard Azariah (= Seraiah) in 1 Chronicles 9:11 as the name of a new course, which after the Exile took the place of one of the old courses reckoned in 1 Chronicles 24:7-18. If this be right we have here the sum of six courses.
In Nehemiah 11:12-14 the number of the priests is given on a different plan; eight hundred and twenty-two “did the work of the house”; two hundred and forty-two were “chiefs of fathers’ houses”; an hundred and twenty-eight were “mighty men of valour.” The total falls far short of the thousand and seven hundred and threescore of Chron. We have not sufficient data on which to base any attempt at reconciling the two totals.
very able men] Render, mighty men of valour. The Heb. is the same as in Nehemiah 11:14. Cp. 2 Chronicles 26:17.
And of the Levites; Shemaiah the son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, of the sons of Merari;14–16 (cp. Nehemiah 11:15-18). The Levites
14. of the sons of Merari] in Neh. the sons of Bunni, which is probably a corruption of the reading of Chron. Otherwise of the three great Levitical families, Merari, Asaph and Jeduthun mentioned here, only the last two appear in Neh.
And Bakbakkar, Heresh, and Galal, and Mattaniah the son of Micah, the son of Zichri, the son of Asaph;15. Bakbakkar, Heresh, and Galal] The reading appears to be corrupt, for the analogy of the latter half of the Terse as well as of 1 Chronicles 9:14; 1 Chronicles 9:16 leads us to expect something more than bare names. Neither the LXX. nor the Vulg. give any real help for emending the clause. The corresponding words in Neh. (1 Chronicles 11:17) are Bakbukiah the second among his brethren.
And Obadiah the son of Shemaiah, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun, and Berechiah the son of Asa, the son of Elkanah, that dwelt in the villages of the Netophathites.16. Obadiah the son of Shemaiah] In Neh. Abda the son of Shammua. Which was the reading of the original document cannot be determined.
Jeduthun] See note on 1 Chronicles 16:41.
Berechiah … the son of Elkanah] Not mentioned in Neh. He probably represented the Kohathite division of the singers; cp. 1 Chronicles 6:33-38 (18–23 Heb.), where the name Elkanah occurs several times in the genealogy of the Kohathites.
the villages of the Netophathites] Cp. Nehemiah 12:28-29 (R.V.), whence it appears that these villages were close to Jerusalem. The exact site is uncertain.
And the porters were, Shallum, and Akkub, and Talmon, and Ahiman, and their brethren: Shallum was the chief;17–27 (cp. Nehemiah 11:19; 1 Chronicles 26:1-19). Organisation and Duties of the Porters (Doorkeepers)
17. porters] Render, doorkeepers as in 1 Chronicles 16:38 and 1 Chronicles 26:1 (R.V.). In Solomon’s Temple there were “keepers of the threshold,” three in number (2 Kings 25:18), priests in rank (ibid. 1 Chronicles 12:9).
Shallum … Ahiman] These two names are absent from Nehemiah 11:19 together with the clause Shallum was the chief. This omission of all reference to Shallum must be accidental.
Shallum, Akkub and Talmon] The three names represent families, not individuals; cp. Ezra 2:41 = Nehemiah 7:45, where the fuller form is given, the children of Shallum, … the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub.… These names persist in the five lists of porters which refer to post-exilic times; Ezra 2:42 = Nehemiah 7:45; Nehemiah 11:19 = 1 Chronicles 9:17 (Shallum is to be supplied in Neh. from Chron.); Nehemiah 12:5 (Meshullam = Shallum). When however the reference is to the days of David the prominent names are Meshelemiah = Shelemiah (= Shallum?), Obed-edom, and Hosah; 1 Chronicles 15:18; 1 Chronicles 15:24; 1 Chronicles 16:38; 1 Chronicles 26:1; 1 Chronicles 26:4; 1 Chronicles 26:10.
Ahiman] Elsewhere in the O.T. this name occurs only among the names of the sons of Anak, and it is probable that the Chronicler (or some scribe) made here an error of transcription, and that Ahiman has arisen from the word aheihem “their brethren” which follows.
Who hitherto waited in the king's gate eastward: they were porters in the companies of the children of Levi.18. who] i.e. Shallum (1 Chronicles 9:17), called Shelemiah in 1 Chronicles 26:14 (= Meshelemiah, 1 Chronicles 26:1). A family rather than an individual is meant.
the king’s gate eastward] That the king had an entrance into the Temple named after him appears from 2 Kings 16:18, and that this gate was on the East from Ezekiel 46:1-2.
in the companies] R.V. for the camp. This expression is borrowed from Numbers 2:17, where it refers to the circumstances of the Wandering in the Wilderness.
And Shallum the son of Kore, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah, and his brethren, of the house of his father, the Korahites, were over the work of the service, keepers of the gates of the tabernacle: and their fathers, being over the host of the LORD, were keepers of the entry.19. Song of Solomon of Ebiasaph] By a misreading Shallum (= Meshelemiah; see above) is said to be “of the sons of Asaph” (read “Ebiasaph”) in 1 Chronicles 26:1.
of the house of his father] R.V. of his father’s house.
being over the host of the Lord, were keepers] R.V. had been over the camp of the LORD, keepers. Nothing is said in the Pentateuch of “keepers of the entry to the tabernacle,” and probably in the present passage the entry to the camp, not to the tabernacle, is meant. With this view agrees the mention of Phinehas (1 Chronicles 9:20), for it was the profanation of the camp, not of the tabernacle, which Phinehas avenged (Numbers 25:6-8), thus earning a blessing (Numbers 25:11-13).
And Phinehas the son of Eleazar was the ruler over them in time past, and the LORD was with him.
And Zechariah the son of Meshelemiah was porter of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.21. Zechariah the son of Meshelemiah] Cp. 1 Chronicles 26:2; 1 Chronicles 26:14, according to which Zechariah’s watch was on the North.
the tabernacle of the congregation] R.V. the tent of meeting. Cp. 1 Chronicles 6:32, note. The Temple is not mentioned because the reference is to the time of David; cp. 1 Chronicles 9:22.
All these which were chosen to be porters in the gates were two hundred and twelve. These were reckoned by their genealogy in their villages, whom David and Samuel the seer did ordain in their set office.22. All these] Cp. Ezra 2:41 (= Nehemiah 7:45); Nehemiah 11:19. The discrepancy in numbers between Chron. and Neh. and also between Nehemiah 7 and Nehemiah 11 may be explained by supposing some difference in the manner of reckoning or some difference in the period referred to
in their villages] Cp. note on 1 Chronicles 9:16.
David and Samuel the seer] The Chronicler attributes to David the organisation of the priests (1 Chronicles 24:3), of the Levites (1 Chronicles 23:27; 1 Chronicles 24:31), of the singers (1 Chronicles 25:1 ff.), and of the doorkeepers (in this passage). Samuel the seer is here associated with David in the work, perhaps as having himself exercised the doorkeeper’s office (1 Samuel 3:15). We have however no evidence outside Chron. of Samuel’s organising work for the sanctuary.
set office] R.V. mg. trust. The meaning is “office of trust”; cp. 1 Chronicles 9:26; 1 Chronicles 9:31; 2 Chronicles 31:15; 2 Chronicles 31:18.
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.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.
In four quarters were the porters, toward the east, west, north, and south.24. In four quarters] R.V. on the four sides. Fuller details are given in 1 Chronicles 26:14-18.
And their brethren, which were in their villages, were to come after seven days from time to time with them.25. which were in their villages] R.V. in their villages. No special villages inhabited by porters are mentioned, but perhaps porters as well as singers dwelt in the “villages of the Netophathites” (1 Chronicles 9:16; Nehemiah 12:28, R.V.).
after seven days] R.V. every seven days.
with them] R.V. to be with them.
For these Levites, the four chief porters, were in their set office, and were over the chambers and treasuries of the house of God.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.
And they lodged round about the house of God, because the charge was upon them, and the opening thereof every morning pertained to them.27. because … to them] R.V. because the charge thereof was upon them, and to them pertained the opening thereof morning by morning. The reference is to the four “chief porters” (1 Chronicles 9:26).
And certain of them had the charge of the ministering vessels, that they should bring them in and out by tale.28, 29. Duties of the Levites
28. And certain of them] The reference is to the Levites. The contents of 1 Chronicles 9:28-29 clearly refer to Levitical duties (cp. 1 Chronicles 23:29), and the transition from porters to Levites is made easier by the fact that the four porters last mentioned (1 Chronicles 9:26-27) are Levites.
the ministering vessels] R.V. the vessels of service.
that they should bring them in and out by tale] R.V. for by tale were they brought in and by tale were they taken out.
Some of them also were appointed to oversee the vessels, and all the instruments of the sanctuary, and the fine flour, and the wine, and the oil, and the frankincense, and the spices.29. to oversee the vessels] R.V. over the furniture.
all the instruments] R.V. over all the vessels.
the fine flour] R.V. over the fine flour. Cp. 1 Chronicles 23:29.
And some of the sons of the priests made the ointment of the spices.30. A Priestly Duty
30. the sons of the priests] This phrase means merely “members of the priesthood, priests.” Cp. 2 Chronicles 25:13, “the soldiers of the army” (lit. “the sons of the troop”) and the common expression “the sons of the prophets.”
the ointment] R.V. the confection. See Exodus 30:23-25. This “ointment” was peculiarly holy. The Levites might have charge of the oil and spices (1 Chronicles 9:29), but only the priests might make the confection. With the word “confection” cp. “confectionaries” (1 Samuel 8:13, A.V. and R.V.), “perfumers” R.V. mg.
And Mattithiah, one of the Levites, who was the firstborn of Shallum the Korahite, had the set office over the things that were made in the pans.31, 32. Other Levitical Duties
31. who was the firstborn of Shallum] In 1 Chronicles 26:2 the firstborn of Meshelemiah (= Shallum) is called Zechariah. Probably Mattithiah and Zechariah represent each a household belonging to an elder branch of the great family of Shallum.
made in the pans] R.V. baked in pans. Cp. 1 Chronicles 23:29.
And other of their brethren, of the sons of the Kohathites, were over the shewbread, to prepare it every sabbath.32. the shewbread] Lit. the bread of the Row (or of the Pile), for it had to be arranged in order before the Lord (Leviticus 24:6).
to prepare it every sabbath] “Every sabbath he shall set it in order before the Lord continually” (Leviticus 24:8). In 2 Chronicles 2:4 (= 1 Chronicles 2:3, Heb.) it is called the continual shewbread (lit. “the continual Row”).
And these are the singers, chief of the fathers of the Levites, who remaining in the chambers were free: for they were employed in that work day and night.33. And these are] This verse may be intended as a colophon to 1 Chronicles 9:15-16, for the names there given are those of singers; cp. Nehemiah 11:17. On the other hand it may have been intended as the heading of such a list as appears in 1 Chronicles 6:33-47 (= 18–32, Heb.), the list itself on second thoughts being omitted.
chief of the fathers of the Levites who remaining in the chambers were free] R.V. heads of fathers’ houses of the Levites, who dwelt in the chambers and were free from other service.
in that work] R.V. in their work.
day and night] Cp. Psalm 134:1; Revelation 4:8.
These chief fathers of the Levites were chief throughout their generations; these dwelt at Jerusalem.34. These chief … generations] R.V. These were heads of fathers’ houses of the Levites, throughout their generations, chief men.
And in Gibeon dwelt the father of Gibeon, Jehiel, whose wife's name was Maachah:35–38 (= 1 Chronicles 8:29-32). Benjamites living in Gibeon and in Jerusalem
See notes on 1 Chronicles 8:29 ff. The passage is probably repeated here in ler to serve as an introduction to the story of the death of Saul.
And his firstborn son Abdon, then Zur, and Kish, and Baal, and Ner, and Nadab,
And Gedor, and Ahio, and Zechariah, and Mikloth.
And Mikloth begat Shimeam. And they also dwelt with their brethren at Jerusalem, over against their brethren.
And Ner begat Kish; and Kish begat Saul; and Saul begat Jonathan, and Malchishua, and Abinadab, and Eshbaal.39–44 (= 1 Chronicles 8:33-38). The Genealogy of the House of Saul
For notes see on 1 Chronicles 8:33 ff.
And the son of Jonathan was Meribbaal: and Meribbaal begat Micah.
And the sons of Micah were, Pithon, and Melech, and Tahrea, and Ahaz.
And Ahaz begat Jarah; and Jarah begat Alemeth, and Azmaveth, and Zimri; and Zimri begat Moza;
And Moza begat Binea; and Rephaiah his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son.
And Azel had six sons, whose names are these, Azrikam, Bocheru, and Ishmael, and Sheariah, and Obadiah, and Hanan: these were the sons of Azel.