The Inhabitants of Jerusalem after the Exile.

THE REGISTRATION LISTS OF ISRAEL. V. 1. So all Israel were reckoned by genealogies, their names were entered in the genealogical records; and, behold, they were written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah, who were carried away to Babylon for their transgression. The books referred to are the official lists as kept in the royal archives. These public records contained also much historical material, and from this the sacred writers, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, drew much of the contents of their books. Thus the entire account is distinguished for truth and correctness. V. 2. Now, the first inhabitants that dwelt in their possessions in their cities, after the return from the Babylonian exile, were the Israelites, the members of the nation in general, the priests, Levites, and the Nethinims, chiefly members of the conquered heathen nations who were made servants in the Tabernacle and the Temple, performing the meaner tasks connected with the worship, Josh. 9, 27; 1 Sam. l, 11. V. 3. And in Jerusalem dwelt of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin, and of the children of Ephraim, and Manasseh, such Israelites as had fled to Judah at the time of the Assyrian invasion and were considered members of the southern kingdom; v. 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. V. 5. And of the Shilonites, probably the descendants of Shelah, Num. 26, 20: Asaiah, the first-born, and his sons. V. 6. And of the sons of Zerah: Jeuel and their brethren, namely, including the three chiefs mentioned in verse 4, six hundred and ninety. V. 7. And of the sons of Benjamin: Sallu, the son of Meshullam, the son of Hodaviah, the son of Hasenuah, Neh. 11, 7, v. 8. 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; v. 9. 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, leaders in those divisions of the tribes known as father-houses. V. 10. And of the priests: Jedaiah, and Jehoiarib, and Jachin, these being the names of the three priestly classes dwelling in Jerusalem, Neh. 11, 10 ff. V. 11. And Azariah (or Seraiah), 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, the prince, or president, of the Temple; v. 12. 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, cp. Neh. 11, 12; 1 Chron. 24, 14; v. 13. and their brethren, heads of the house of their fathers, a thousand and seven hundred and threescore; very able men, literally, "mighty men of valor," for the work of the service of the house of God, willing, energetic, effective in all the tasks falling to their lot in the priestly office. V. 14. And of the Levites: Shemaiah, the son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, of the sons of Merari, one of the three great Levitical families; v. 15. and Bakbakkar, Heresh, and Galal, and Mattaniah, the son of Micah, the son of Zichri, the son of Asaph; v. 16. and Obadiah, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun (or Ethan), and Berechiah, the son of Asa, the son of Elkanah, that dwelt in the villages of the Netophathites, not far from Bethlehem, Neh. 7, 26. V. 17. And the porters, the captains of the four companies that guarded the four sides and the gates of the Temple, cp. Neh. 11, 19, were Shallum, and Akkub, and Talmon, and Ahiman, and their brethren. Shallum was the chief, v. 18. who hitherto waited in the King's Gate eastward, leading to the royal palace, which was reserved for the use of the king; they were porters in the companies of the children of Levi. There being no king in Judah after the return of the people, the King's Gate was always locked, and no porter was needed there. V. 19. 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, as briefly stated above; and their fathers, being over the host of the Lord, were keepers of the entry; the descendants of Korah, as a branch of the Kohathites, had been in charge of the entrance of the Tabernacle in the wilderness at the time of Moses, as their descendants, in turn, were in charge of the Temple gates. V. 20. And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, was the ruler over them in time past, Num. 31, 6; and the Lord was with him. V. 21. And Zechariah, the son of Meshelemiah, was porter of the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, he held this office at the time of David. V. 22. All these which were chosen to be porters in the gates were two hundred and twelve, under the four captains named in verse 17. These were reckoned by their genealogy in their villages, they were registered. in their homes near Jerusalem, whom David and Samuel, the seer, did ordain in their set office, charging them with their official duty and making the office hereditary. V. 23. 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. V. 24. In four quarters were the porters, toward the east, west, north, and south; there they were stationed. V. 25. And their brethren, which were in their villages, were to come after seven days from time to time with them, that is, the personnel of the groups, of the sections in charge of the gates, was changed every week, and on the Sabbath apparently all were on duty. V. 26. For these Levites, the four chief porters, were in their set office, entrusted with the discharge of these duties, and were over the chambers and treasuries of the house of God, they were in the side-buildings of the Temple, over which the Levites presided. It is well-pleasing to the Lord if all things pertaining to the external parts of the Worship are done decently and in order, under the direction of men especially appointed for that work.

THE CHARGE OF THE LEVITES. V. 27. And they, the Levites in general, lodged round about the house of God, because the charge was upon them, and the opening thereof every morning pertained to them, the large gates had to be opened every morning at a specified time. V. 28. And certain of them had the charge of the ministering vessels, they were responsible for the precious vessels used for the sacrifices, that they should bring them in and out by tale, for of everything in the Temple treasuries a careful count was kept. V. 29. Some of them also were appointed to oversee the vessels, and all the instruments of the Sanctuary, all those used in the ordinary daily offerings, and the fine flour, and the wine, and the oil, and the frankincense, and the spices, all the materials used for incense, for meat and drink-offerings. V. 30. And some of the sons of the priests made the ointment of the spices, a precious and singular oil, used exclusively for sacred purposes. V. 31. And Mattithiah, one of the Levites, who was the first-born of Shallum the Korahite, had the set office over the things that were made in the pans, literally, "was in trust over the baking in pans," Lev. 2, 5; 6, 14. V. 32. And other of their brethren, of the sons of the Kohathites, were over the showbread, to prepare it every Sabbath, Lev. 24, 6-8. So the entire worship was once more organized in line with the institution of the Lord. V. 33. And these are the singers, chief of the fathers of the Levites, who, remaining in the chambers, were free, they were exclusively engaged in the liturgical part of the services and were therefore excused from other work; for they were employed in that work day and night; when not actually engaged in public worship, they were busy practising the difficult liturgical melodies. V. 34. These chief fathers of the Levites, heads of the father-houses among the Levites, were chief throughout their generations; these dwelt at Jerusalem. The genealogy of Saul is here repeated, as an introduction to the historical section of the book, which opens with an account of the fall of Saul's house. V. 35. And in Gibeon dwelt the father of Gibeon, Jehiel, whose wife's name was Maachah; v. 36. and his firstborn son Abdon, then Zur, and Kish, and Baal, and Ner, and Nadab, v. 37. and Gedor, and Ahio, and Zechariah, and Mikloth. V. 38. And Mikloth begat Shimeam. And they also dwelt with their brethren at Jerusalem, over against their brethren. V. 39. And Ner begat Kish; and Kish begat Saul; and Saul begat Jonathan, and Malchi-shua, and Abinadab, and Esh-baal. V. 40. And the son of Jonathan was Meribbaal; and Merib-baal begat Micah. V. 41. And the sons of Micah were Pithon, and Melech, and Tahrea, and Ahaz. V. 42. And Ahaz begat Jarah; and Jarah begat Alemeth, and Azmaveth, and Zimri; and Zimri begat Moza; v. 43. and Moza begat Binea; and Rephaiah, his son, Eleasah, his son, Azel, his son. V. 44. 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. Cp. chap. 8, 28-38.