1 CHRONICLES CHAPTER 6
The Sons of Levi.
THE LINE OF PRIESTS TO THE CAPTIVITY. — V. 1. The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari, Gen. 46, 11; Ex. 6, 16. V. 2. And the sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel, Ex. 6, 18. V. 3. And the children of Amram: Aaron, and Moses, and Miriam. The sons also of Aaron: Nadab and Abihu, these two losing their lives when offering sacrifice against God’s will, Lev. 10, 1, Eleazar and Ithamar. V. 4. Eleazar begat Phinehas, Phinehas begat Abishua, v. 5. and Abishua begat Bukki, and Bukki begat Uzzi. It is true that members of the line of Ithamar occupied the office of high priest for a number of generations at this time, Eli being one of them, 1 Sam. 2, 30; but this does not alter the fact that the line of Eleazar alone was really legitimate, and was later restored to its rightful position. V. 6. And Uzzi begat Zerahiah, and Zerahiah begat Meraioth, v. 7. Meraioth begat Amariah, and Amariah begat Ahitub, v. 8. and Ahitub begat Zadok, 2 Sam. 8, 17, and Zadok begat Ahimaaz, 2 Sam. 15, 27, v. 9. and Ahimaaz begat Azariah, and Azariah begat Johanan, v. 10. and Johanan begat Azariah, (he it is that executed the priest’s office in the Temple that Solomon built in Jerusalem, namely, at the time of King Uzziah, 2 Chron. 26, 17. 18,) v. 11. and Azariah begat Amariah, and Amariah begat Ahitub, v. 12. and Ahitub begat Zadok, and Zadok begat Shallum, v. 13. and Shallum begat Hilkiah, and Hilkiah begat Azariah, v. 14. and Azariah begat Seraiah, the man who was put to death at Riblah by order of Nebuchadnezzar, 2 Kings 25, 18. 21, and Seraiah begat Jehozadak, v. 15. and Jehozadak went into captivity when the Lord carried away Judah and Jerusalem by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar. The absence of such names as Jehoiada and Uriah is readily explained by the custom of having two names, which was not confined to the kings. V. 16. The sons of Levi: Gershom (or Gershon), Kohath, and Merari. V. 17. There follows the genealogy of the Levitical families who were not priests. And these be the names of the sons of Gershom: Libni and Shimei. V. 18. And the sons of Kohath were Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel. V. 19. The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. And these are the families of the Levites according to their fathers. V. 20. Of Gershom: Libni, his son; Jahath, his son; Zimmah, his son; v. 21. Joah (or Ethan), his son; Iddo (or Adaiah), his son; Zerah, his son; Jeatarai (or Ethni),his son. V. 22. The sons of Kohath: Amminadab (or Izhar), his son; Korah, his son; Assir, his son; v. 23. Elkanah, his son; and Ebiasaph, his son; and Assir, his son; v. 24. Tahath, his son; Uriel, his son; Uzziah, his son; and Shaul, his son. V. 25. And the sons of Elkanah: Amassai and Ahimoth. V. 26. As for Elkanah, probably a different one from him who is mentioned above; the sons of Elkanah: Zophai (or Zuph), his son; and Nahath, his son; v. 27. Eliab, his son; Jeroham, his son; Elkanah, his son. V. 28. And the sons of Samuel, who himself was also a son of Elkanah: the firstborn, Vashni (or rather, Joel, 1 Sam. 8, 2), and Abiah. V. 29. The sons of Merari, continued from v. 19: Mahli; Libni, his son; Shimei, his son; Uzza, his son; v. 30. Shimea, his son; Haggiah, his son; Asaiah, his son. V. 31. And these are they whom David set over the service of song in the house of the Lord, in the tent which he had erected in Jerusalem, after that the ark had rest, its transfer to Jerusalem having been completed successfully, chap. 16, 1. David arranged for a proper liturgical service in connection with the Tabernacle worship, the Levites here enumerated being in charge of this part of divine worship. V. 32. And they ministered before the dwelling-place of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, after David had erected these temporary quarters, with singing, until Solomon had built the house of the Lord in Jerusalem; and then they waited on their office according to their order, not only their grouping, but also the position of the various groups having been arranged by the great poet-king. V. 33. And these are they that waited with their children, in charge of the liturgical part of worship. Of the sons of the Kohathites: Heman, a singer, the son of Joel, the son of Shemuel, that is, Samuel, v. 34. the son of Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Eliel, the son of Toah (or Nahath), v. 35. the son of Zuph, the son of Elkanah, the son of Mahath, the son of Amasai, v. 36. the son of Elkanah, the son of Joel, the son of Azariah, the son of Zephaniah, v. 37. the son of Tahath, the son of Assir, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah, v. 38. the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, the son of Israel, the descending line of Heman thus being traced back to the ancestor of the nation. V. 39. And his brother Asaph, who stood on his right hand, namely, during the chanting in the Tabernacle and Temple services, even Asaph, the son of Berachiah, the son of Shimea, v. 40. the son of Michael the son of Baaseiah, the son of Malchiah, v. 41. the son of Ethni, the son of Zerah, the son of Adaiah, v. 42. the son of Ethan, the son of Zimmah, the son of Shimei, v. 43. the son of Jahath, the son of Gershom, the son of Levi. So Asaph was the brother of Heman not only by virtue of a common office, but also of a close relationship. V. 44. And their brethren, the sons of Merari, stood on the left hand: Ethan (or Jeduthun), the son of Kishi (or Kushaiah), the son of Abdi, the son of Malluch, v. 45. the son of Hashabiah, the son of Amaziah, the son of Hilkiah, v. 46. the son of Amzi, the son of Bani, the son of Shamer, v. 47. the son of Mahli, this name occurring several times in the case of near relatives, the son of Mushi, the son of Merari, the son of Levi. V. 48. Their brethren also, the Levites, namely, the other Levites besides the singers just mentioned, were appointed unto all manner of service of the Tabernacle of the house of God, certain tasks being assigned to the various families or groups. V. 49. But Aaron and his sons offered upon the altar of the burnt offering, that was their first duty, to offer the sacrifices, and on the altar of incense, which was burned at the regular morning and evening hour of worship, and were appointed for all of the work of the place most holy, and to make an atonement for Israel, the offering on the great Day of Atonement being entirely in the hands of the high priest, according to all that Moses, the servant of God, had commanded. Cp. Num. 18, 1-7; 1 Chron. 28, 13; Lev. 16, 32. V. 50. And these are the sons of Aaron: Eleazar, his son; Phinehas, his son; Abishua, his son; v. 51. Bukki, his son; Uzzi, his son; Zerahiah, his son; v. 52. Meraioth, his son; Amariah, his son; Ahitub, his son; v. 53. Zadok, his son; Ahimaaz, his son, this repetition of the high priests, names bringing the list down to the time of Solomon. A well-regulated, beautiful order of services, if not attended by dead orthodoxy, is very well-pleasing to the Lord.
THE CITIES OF THE LEVITES. — V. 54. Now, these are their dwelling-places throughout their castles in their coasts, literally, “by their districts in their border,” of the sons of Aaron, of the families of the Kohathites; for theirs was the lot. Cp. Josh. 21. V. 55. And they gave them Hebron, in the land of Judah, and the suburbs thereof, that is, the pasture-land, round about it. V 56. But the fields of the city, the land under cultivation, and the villages thereof, they gave to Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, Josh: 14, 13; 15, 13. V. 57. And to the sons of Aaron they gave the cities of Judah, namely, Hebron, the city of refuge, for those guilty of involuntary manslaughter, and Libnah with her suburbs, and Jattir, and Eshtemoa with their suburbs, v. 58. and Hilen (or Holon) with her suburbs, Debir with her suburbs, v. 59. and Ashan (or Ain) with her suburbs, and Beth-shemesh with her suburbs; v. 60. 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, the names of the remaining two being given Josh. 21, 16. 17. V. 61. 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, Josh. 21, 26. V. 62. 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, east of the Jordan, thirteen cities. V. 63. 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, in the southern section of the country east of Jordan, and out of the tribe of Zebulun, twelve cities, Josh. 21, 7. V. 64. And the children of Israel gave to the Levites, both the priests and the three families into which they were divided, these cities with their suburbs. V. 65. And they gave by lot out of the tribe of the children of Judah, and out of the tribe of the children of Simeon, included within that of Judah, and out of the tribe of the children of Benjamin, these cities, which are called by their names. V. 66. And the residue of the families of the sons of Kohath, so far as the remaining Kohathites were concerned, they had cities of their coasts out of the tribe of Ephraim. V. 67. And they gave unto them, of the cities of refuge, whose total number was six, Shechem, in Mount Ephraim, with her suburbs; they gave also Gezer with her suburbs, v. 68. and Jokmeam with her suburbs, and Bethhoron with her suburbs, v. 69. and Aijalon with her suburbs, and Gath-rimmon with her suburbs; v. 70. and out of the half tribe of Manasseh, the part west of Jordan: Aner with her suburbs and Bileam with her suburbs, for the family of the remnant of the sons of Kohath. Cp. Josh. 21, 22-35. V. 71. Unto the sons of Gershom were given out of the family of the half tribe of Manasseh, east of Jordan, Golan, in Bashan, with her suburbs, and Ashtaroth with her suburbs; v. 72. and out of the tribe of Issachar: Kedesh with her suburbs, Daberath with her suburbs, v. 73. and Ramoth with her suburbs, and Anem with her suburbs; v. 74. and out of the tribe of Asher: Mashal with her suburbs, and Abdon with her suburbs, v. 75. and Hukok with her suburbs, and Rehob with her suburbs; v. 76. and out of the tribe of Naphtali: Kedesh, in Galilee, with her suburbs, and Hammon with her suburbs, and Kirjathaim with her suburbs. V. 77. Unto the rest of the children of Merari were given out of the tribe of Zebulun: Rimmon with her suburbs, Tabor with her suburbs; v. 78. 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, v. 79. Kedemoth also with her suburbs, and Mephaath with her suburbs; v. 80. and out of the tribe of Gad: Ramoth, in Gilead, with her suburbs, and Mahanaim with her suburbs, v. 81. and Heshbon with her suburbs, and Jazer with her suburbs. “As to these cities that were assigned to the Levites, they were widely remote and separated partly in fulfilment of Jacob’s prophecy, Gen. 49, 7, and partly that the various districts of the country might obtain a competent supply of teachers, who might instruct the people in the knowledge and animate them to the observance of a law which had so important a bearing on the promotion both of their private happiness and their national prosperity.”