1 Chronicles 23: David Instructs the Levites
Notes: Carrying on the instructions of David in preparation
for the temple to be built by Solomon, we move on to see the establishing
of the Levites - all those descended from Levi, son of Jacob [Israel]
three divisions in accordance with the three sons of Levi. The
second group mentioned, from the sons of Kohath, included Aaron
had been chosen by God to be priest with those directly descended
from him to form the priesthood who offered sacrifices etc., originally
in the Tabernacle, but now in the Temple that would replace it.
[Moses, of course, brother of Aaron, had also been a Levite].
Aaron had been instructed by the Lord as seen in Num 18:1-7 and
the role of the Levites in moving the Tabernacle etc. in Num 1:50-53,
David instructs the Levites
David was old and full of years, he made his son Solomon king
also gathered together all the leaders of Israel,
as well as the priests and Levites.
Levites thirty years old or more were counted,
and the total number of men was thirty-eight thousand.
said, Of these, [i] twenty-four
thousand are to be in charge of the work of the temple of the
six thousand are to be officials
thousand are to be gatekeepers and [iv] four
thousand are to praise the Lord
the musical instruments I
have provided for that purpose.'
The Three Divisions of the Levites
separated the Levites into divisions corresponding to the sons
of Levi : Gershon, Kohath and Merari.
[i] The Gershonites
to the Gershonites:
sons of Ladan:
the first, Zetham and Joel three in all.
sons of Shimei:
Haziel and Haran three in all.
were the heads of the families of Ladan.
the sons of Shimei:
Ziza, Jeush and Beriah.
were the sons of Shimei four in all.
was the first and Ziza the second, but Jeush and Beriah did not
have many sons; so they were counted as one family with one assignment.
[ii] The Kohathites
sons of Kohath :
Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel four in all.
sons of Amram :
set apart, he and his descendants for ever, to consecrate the
most holy things, to offer sacrifices before the Lord,
to minister before him and to pronounce blessings in his name
sons of Moses the man of God were counted as part of the tribe
sons of Moses:
descendants of Gershom:
was the first.
descendants of Eliezer:
was the first.
had no other sons, but the sons of Rehabiah were very numerous.
sons of Izhar: Shelomith was the first.
sons of Hebron:
the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third and Jekameam
sons of Uzziel:
the first and Ishiah the second.
[iii] The Merarites
sons of Merari: Mahli
sons of Mahli: Eleazar and Kish.
died without having sons: he had only daughters. Their cousins,
the sons of Kish, married them.
sons of Mushi:
Eder and Jerimoth three in all.
The general role of the Levites
were the descendants of Levi by their families the heads
of families as they were registered under their names and counted
individually, that is, the workers twenty years old or more
who served in the temple of the Lord
David had said, Since the Lord
, the God of
Israel, has granted rest to his people and has come to dwell in
Jerusalem for ever,
Levites no longer need to carry the tabernacle
or any of the articles used in its service.'
to the last instructions of David, the Levites were counted from
those twenty years old or more.
duty of the Levites was to help Aaron's descendants in the service
of the temple of the Lord
be in charge of the courtyards, the side rooms, the purification
of all sacred things and the performance of other duties at the
house of God.
were in charge of the bread set out on the table, the special
flour for the grain offerings, the thin loaves made without yeast,
the baking and the mixing, and all measurements of quantity and
were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord
. They were
to do the same in the evening
whenever burnt offerings were presented to the Lord
on the Sabbaths,
at the New Moon feasts and at the appointed festivals. They were
to serve before the Lord
in the proper number and in the way prescribed for them.
so the Levites carried out their responsibilities for the tent
of meeting, for the Holy Place and, under their relatives the
descendants of Aaron, for the service of the temple of the