Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Concerning the divisions of the porters: Of the Korhites was Meshelemiah the son of Kore, of the sons of Asaph.
1Ch 26:1-12. Divisions of the Porters.
1, 2. Concerning the divisions of the porters—There were four thousand (1Ch 23:6), all taken from the families of the Kohathites and Merarites (1Ch 26:14), divided into twenty-four courses—as the priests and musicians.
Meshelemiah the son of Kore, of the sons of Asaph—Seven sons of Meshelemiah are mentioned (1Ch 26:2), whereas eighteen are given (1Ch 26:9), but in this latter number his relatives are included.
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.
5. God blessed him—that is, Obed-edom. The occasion of the blessing was his faithful custody of the ark (2Sa 6:11, 12). The nature of the blessing (Ps 127:5) consisted in the great increase of progeny by which his house was distinguished; seventy-two descendants are reckoned.
Also unto Shemaiah his son were sons born, that ruled throughout the house of their father: for they were mighty men of valour.
6. mighty men of valour—The circumstance of physical strength is prominently noticed in this chapter, as the office of the porters required them not only to act as sentinels of the sacred edifice and its precious furniture against attacks of plunderers or popular insurrection—to be, in fact, a military guard—but, after the temple was built, to open and shut the gates, which were extraordinarily large and ponderous.
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;)
10. Simri the chief … though … not the first-born—probably because the family entitled to the right of primogeniture had died out, or because there were none of the existing families which could claim that right.
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.
12. Among these were the divisions of the porters, even among the chief men—These were charged with the duty of superintending the watches, being heads of the twenty-four courses of porters.
And they cast lots, as well the small as the great, according to the house of their fathers, for every gate.
1Ch 26:13-19. The Gates Assigned by Lot.
13. they cast lots—Their departments of duty, such as the gates they should attend to, were allotted in the same manner as those of the other Levitical bodies, and the names of the chiefs or captains are given, with the respective gates assigned them.
And the lot eastward fell to Shelemiah. Then for Zechariah his son, a wise counseller, they cast lots; and his lot came out northward.
To Obededom southward; and to his sons the house of Asuppim.
15. the house of Asuppim—or, "collections," probably a storehouse, where were kept the grain, wine, and other offerings for the sustenance of the priests.
To Shuppim and Hosah the lot came forth westward, with the gate Shallecheth, by the causeway of the going up, ward against ward.
16. the gate Shallecheth—probably the rubbish gate, through which all the accumulated filth and sweepings of the temple and its courts were poured out.
by the causeway of the going up—probably the ascending road which was cast up or raised from the deep valley between Mount Zion and Moriah, for the royal egress to the place of worship (2Ch 9:4).
ward against ward—Some refer these words to Shuppim and Hosah, whose duty it was to watch both the western gate and the gate Shallecheth, which was opposite, while others take it as a general statement applicable to all the guards, and intended to intimate that they were posted at regular distances from each other, or that they all mounted and relieved guard at the same time in uniform order.
Eastward were six Levites, northward four a day, southward four a day, and toward Asuppim two and two.
17-19. Eastward were six Levites—because the gate there was the most frequented. There were four at the north gate; four at the south, at the storehouse which was adjoining the south, and which had two entrance gates, one leading in a southwesterly direction to the city, and the other direct west, two porters each. At the Parbar towards the west, there were six men posted—four at the causeway or ascent (1Ch 26:16), and two at Parbar, amounting to twenty-four in all, who were kept daily on guard.
At Parbar westward, four at the causeway, and two at Parbar.
18. Parbar—is, perhaps, the same as Parvar ("suburbs," 2Ki 23:11), and if so, this gate might be so called as leading to the suburbs [Calmet].
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.
1Ch 26:20-28. Levites That Had Charge of the Treasures.
20. of the Levites, Ahijah—The heading of this section is altogether strange as it stands, for it looks as if the sacred historian were going to commence a new subject different from the preceding. Besides, "Ahijah, whose name occurs after" the Levites, is not mentioned in the previous lists. It is totally unknown and is introduced abruptly without further information; and lastly, Ahijah must have united in his own person those very offices of which the occupants are named in the verses that follow. The reading is incorrect. The Septuagint has this very suitable heading, "And their Levitical brethren over the treasures," &c. [Bertheau]. The names of those who had charge of the treasure chambers at their respective wards are given, with a general description of the precious things committed to their trust. Those treasures were immense, consisting of the accumulated spoils of Israelitish victories, as well as of voluntary contributions made by David and the representatives of the people.
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:
And Shebuel the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, was ruler of the treasures.
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.
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.
Of the Izharites, Chenaniah and his sons were for the outward business over Israel, for officers and judges.
1Ch 26:29-32. Officers and Judges.
29. officers and judges—The word rendered "officers" is the term which signifies scribes or secretaries, so that the Levitical class here described were magistrates, who, attended by their clerks, exercised judicial functions; there were six thousand of them (1Ch 23:4), who probably acted like their brethren on the principle of rotation, and these were divided into three classes—one (1Ch 26:29) for the outward business over Israel; one (1Ch 26:30), consisting of seventeen hundred, for the west of Jordan "in all business of the Lord, and in the service of the king"; and the third (1Ch 26:31, 32), consisting of twenty-seven hundred, "rulers for every matter pertaining to God, and affairs of the king."
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.
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.
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.