I Chronicles 26
This chapter is occupied in its first nineteen verses with an enumeration of
the porters and then of their arrangement. The porters were those who
were to have charge of the entrances of the sanctuary. For at present, all
was in plan only, thus set out by David beforehand.
1 “Concerning the divisions of the porters: Of the Korhites was
Meshelemiah the son of Kore, of the sons of Asaph.” The subject of the
porters has been before us in chps. 9:17-27; 15:23-24; 16:38; 23:5, in which
the last passage we are told that there were four thousand of the Levites who
were porters. The divisions of the porters spoken of in the present chapter were
from the sons of Korah or Kore, and Merari (vs.10,19). The Korahite porters
are given us in the first nine verses. The first mentioned is Meshelemiah, who,
though called the same in vs.2,9, appears as Shelemiah in v.14, and in ch. 9:19 as
Shallum. Asaph, given here as one of the ancestors, must be replaced by Ebi-asaph
(ch. 6:23,37; 9:19; also Exodus 6:24), who was a Korahite, whereas Asaph was a
Gershonite (ch. 6:39, 43).
2 “And the sons of Meshelemiah were, Zechariah the firstborn, Jediael the
second, Zebadiah the
third, Jathniel the fourth, 3
the sixth, Elioenai the seventh.” These verses contain the enumeration of seven
sons of Shelemiah, of the firstborn of whom, viz. Zechariah, express mention was
made in ch.9:21.
4 “Moreover the sons of Obededom were, Shemaiah the firstborn, Jehozabad
the second, Joah the third, and Sacar the fourth, and Nethaneel the fifth.
5 Ammiel the sixth, Issachar the seventh, Peulthai the eighth: for God blessed
him.” Here we have the enumeration of eight sons of Obed-edom (ch.15:21,24; 16:38).
That in this last reference Obed-edom seems to be called “son of Jeduthun” is owing
probably to the omission of a name. For former occurrences of the sentence,
God blessed him, with its present evident allusion, see ch.13:14; II Samuel 6:11. To
this passage, the expression of ch.25:5, “to lift up the horn,” is probably analogous,
where see comment.
Culture by Trusts (vs. 4-5)
The reference made to Obed-edom recalls the fact that he and his family
were blessed in the trust of work to do for God, the work of caring for His
sacred ark. We may dwell on God’s design in relation to the moral and spiritual
characters of men by His putting them in trust, pressing them under the sense of
its close. The Divine idea for all men is exhibited in the two great heads of
the race. The first Adam was put in
and not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The second
Adam was set in our human spheres, and trusted with the great work of
revealing God to men, and redeeming men from their sins. We may
trace the same dealing with men at every stage of life. Man is not his own;
he is under authority, trusted with his Lord’s goods, and his Lord’s
Ø We deal with our children on this principle. We train character by trusts
of increasing value. It is only the bad child that may not be trusted.
Ø In youth there are foretastes of the grave life-responsibilities which
help to prepare us to undertake them. In youth we begin to feel the
gravity of life, and there is a deepening thoughtfulness, the
overshadowing of the seriousness of full manhood.
Ø The beginning of manhood brings larger and heavier trusts and
responsibilities, which call out our best powers. These trusts concern
business, the family, society, and religion.
Ø And advancing life provides constant addition of trusts, until our
middle manhood sometimes seems to be over-weighted, and flesh
and heart almost fail. (I recommend the paintings of Thomas Cole –
The Voyage of Life – type in your browser and quietly contemplate –
CY – 2012)
o A man waking up to the consciousness of power, in knowledge,
skill, influence, position, or wealth: if he be a true-hearted man to
feel — I can — brings a solemn sense of responsibility, and a
great longing to be found faithful.
o A girl changed into a woman by the responsibility of becoming
a wife and a mother.
o The case of accepting a religious life. The religious man goes
every day under the pressure of this trust — “a God to glorify.”
And if there is any peculiar nobility and power about the life of
the religious man, it comes out of his “trust,” and is cultured by
his “trust.” Then we are no true men or women until we have
found out our holy burden, and are taking it up, and
bearing it cheerfully, as our Lord’s yoke laid upon us. When a
man views life on earth aright, he finds it to be no play-scene,
in which mere appearances meet the eye and the ear. He finds
it full of awful realities and possibilities — a life, not a pastime.
design of blessing is in them, and a tremendous possibility of curse. Lest
they should become a curse, they are only given up to the measure of a
man’s ability. If more were entrusted to us than we could undertake, our
natures could only be crushed. In this view some may be thankful that they
have only one talent; and some warnings come from the careers of those
whom we call “men of genius.” Men are blessed by their trusts when their
whole natures open to accept them, — as flowers, responsive to sun and
shower, open to receive, and are blessed. In lifting ourselves up to meet
trusts is found the repression of all evil, and the culture of all good —
the very blossoming of our nature. The true conception of the angel is not
with folded wings, standing, but with poised, or outspread wings, ready to
obey, rising to meet his trust. Men are cursed by their trusts, when they
despise or neglect them; when they are unwilling to belong to another;
when their natures are shut up to pleasure, not to duty; to self, not
to God. Do you say — But my trusts seem such little things? So they are.
So must all human trusts be. It is a little thing just to take care of God’s ark.
Nevertheless they are arranged in the heavenly Father’s wisdom, and they
may — if we will let them — culture the earth-children for their heavenly
home. Let us be “faithful over the few things.”
6 “Also unto Shemaiah his son were sons born, that ruled throughout the
house of their father: for they were mighty men of valour. 7 The sons of
Shemaiah; Othni, and Rephael, and Obed, Elzabad, whose brethren were
strong men, Elihu, and Semachiah.” In the former of these verses, eulogy is
pronounced by anticipation on the six grandsons of Obed-edom through his son
Shemaiah, about to be mentioned in the latter verse. The singular number
of the verb (dl"wOn), with a plural nominative, as found here, often occurs
elsewhere, and repeatedly, even in this book, in cases where the relative
pronoun rv,a" intervenes between the subject and its verb. That ruled
throughout the house of their father. The plural masculine abstract noun
(μyliv;m]Mih") here employed, in place of a verbal or participial form, is
intended to gain force. A similar use of the feminine form of the same noun
in the singular, and with suffix, may be cited from II Chronicles 32:9.
Whose brethren. An erroneous translation for his brethren; a correction,
however, rendering more patent the inconvenience of the unexplained
absence of the conjunction, which seems to be called for before both
“Elzabad,” and “his brethren.” Bertheau suggests that other names are
wanting which should fill up the meaning of “his brethren.” The brethren
intended were probably Elihu and Semachiah.
8 “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.” Able men for strength for the service. The Hebrew
gives this in the singular, lyij"yvyai, etc. The apparent intention is to distribute
equally to each and every one of all of the sons of Obed-edom, the high
character for strength given to them as grouped here together.
9 “And Meshelemiah had sons and brethren, strong men, eighteen.”
This somewhat sudden return to the name of Meshelemiah is evidently in
order to put his numbers in a convenient position, to be added to those of
Obed-edom just stated, thus making in all eighty porters from the Korahites.
10 “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;) 11 Hilkiah the second, Tebaliah the third, Zechariah the fourth:
all the sons and brethren of Hosah were thirteen.” The porters from the
descendants of Merari are given in these two verses, in all thirteen. Hosah,
it will be remembered, is found together with Obed-edom in ch.16:38, as one
of the porters of the the ark. These thirteen bring up the number of porters to
ninety-three. We have read in (ch. 9:22) that later the number became
two hundred and twelve. Though… yet. The likelier translation of the
Hebrew would be, For there was not a firstborn (i.e. the issue of the
firstborn had failed, and his line was therefore extinct), and his father
made him the chief. Moreover, it is but probable that, if it had been a case
of superseding the firstborn, the fact would not have been stated without
an explanation of what had led to it or justified it.
12 “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.” Translate, To these divisions of the porters, as
regards the chief men, belonged the charge together with their brethren to
officiate in the house of the Lord. According to the present chapter,
then, the divisions add up to ninety-three. And if at any time of the history
it were the case that these ninety-three were the leaders of groups among
the total of “four thousand porters,” it would put exactly forty-two under
each of these ninety-three, leaving but one over. This number ninety-three,
meantime, does not agree with the two hundred and twelve of ch. 9:22.
And the three score and two of Obed-edom in v.8 of does not agree with
the three score and eight of Obededom in ch.16:38. At the same time, no
little light may be thrown on this subject by noticing that the porters numbered in
Zerubbabel’s time one hundred and thirty-nine (Ezra 2:42); and that
the number one hundred and seventy-two is given for them by Nehemiah
(Nehemiah 11:19). The conclusion may well be that the numbers varied
in David’s time and the other times severally; and that the date in question
(ch. 9:22) was not the same with the date of David in our present chapter,
but was a subsequent date nearer the time of the Captivity. There is, therefore,
no special ground for doubting the accuracy of the numbers given in this chapter.
13 “And they cast lots, as well the small as the great, according to the
house of their fathers, for every gate. 14 And the lot eastward fell to
Shelemiah. Then for Zechariah his son, a wise counsellor, they cast lots;
and his lot came out northward. 15 To Obededom southward; and to his
sons the house of Asuppim.” The casting of lots for the four chief names and the
four chief aspects of gates, now proceeds. A special note is made of the care
taken for the house of Asuppim; i.e. of “gatherings” or “stores.” For all
that we know of this “house,” we seem to be left to the vs. 15 and 17 of
this passage, and to the expression (Nehemiah 12:25), “the storehouses, or
stores of the gates” (though the Authorized Version, the “thresholds” of the
gates), which would have been more intelligible had it been reversed, “the
gates of the stores.” Presumably it was a building for keeping safe certain of
the sacred property, and was situated south of the temple, and, judging from
v.17, had two doorways.
A Wise Counsellor (v.14)
Nothing more is told us of this person than is contained in these words; but
how much does even so brief a record imply!
EXERCISE OF WISDOM IN COUNSEL. It is so in the Church,
in order that provision may be made for spiritual wants, that employment
may be found for spiritual gifts, that differences may be composed and
strength consolidated, It is so in the world; for human society presents
so many difficult problems, and folly and ignorance are so general, that
only a leaven of wisdom can preserve mankind from corruption and
ARE SOMETIMES MOST FITTED TO ADVISE, A wise man is not
only wise for himself; his wisdom is intended by
the service of others. And the impartiality of an onlooker often enables him to
take a wider view and to form a fairer judgment than can be possible to
others more interested and excited.
CONTRIBUTIVE TO WISDOM. These may be enumerated — natural
sagacity, prolonged experience, knowledge, impartiality of mind, sympathy
with human feelings, insight into character, etc. Such gifts and
acquirements make a man “a wise counsellor.”
COUNSELORS FOR THE SERVICE OF MANKIND. It has often
been observed that, in the conduct of great movements,
men of impulse and energy, and conjoins with them in service men of
deliberate, calm, sagacious judgment. And it is not only in what are called
great affairs that this arrangement is observable. Wise men may be found in
all conditions of life.
WISE. They are the means of directing the young, of succoring the
tempted, of guiding the affairs of state, of promoting the peace of
Churches, of advancing the gospel of Christ.
16 To Shuppim and Hosah the lot came forth westward, with the gate
Shallecheth, by the causeway of the going up, ward against ward.”
To Shuppim. Nothing can be made of this word in this connection, as a proper
name, though we have it (ch. 7:12, 15) as such. It is now generally rejected, as
probably due to the error of some transcriber, whose eye may have been caught
again by the last two syllables of the closely preceding “Asuppim.” But some
would place it as the last word of the previous verse, and make it amplify the
meaning of Asuppim, e.g. “gatherings for stores.” Shallecheth. By
derivation, this word means “sending or throwing down.” Hence some call
it, “the refuse gate.” The situation of it is, however, defined here, as by the
causeway of the going up, and would seem to render such an
interpretation less likely. According to Grove (in Smith’s ‘Bible
Dictionary’), this causeway is still traceable: it runs up from the central
valley of the town to the sacred site west of the temple (I Kings 10:5;
II Chronicles 9:4); and Grove would identify the “gate of Shallecheth”
with the present Bab Silsileh. The Septuagint translates hJ pulh<
pastofori>ou – hae pulae pastophoriou - i.e. the gate of the
temple-cell, which word they could get from the inverting of the order of the
first two letters of the Hebrew Shallecheth. The Septuagint then omits the
following word, hL;sim], Ward against ward; i.e. watch with watch.
The expression appears to refer to the fact that Hosah’s lot threw to him the
charge of a double position.
17 “Eastward were six Levites, northward four a day, southward four a
day, and toward Asuppim two and two. 18 At Parbar westward, four at
the causeway, and two at Parbar.” These verses give the number of individuals
who composed the watch at a time, beginning again from Shelemiah’s eastward
position. The two and two toward Asuppim suggest most naturally the
suppositon of two attendants at each of two gates, or else of two
succeeding two. Parbar (rB;r]p"). This word appears as rw;r]P; in II Kings 23:11.
These words, with forms akin to them, are often found in the Targums, but not
elsewhere in the Scriptures. The nearest approach to the meaning of the word,
as yet discovered, is a “suburb.” The connection mayjust do as much as indicate
that, whereas four porters kept the causeway gate, the Parbar gate was in closer
proximity to the temple that was to be, but what this Parbar really was is not yet
ascertained. If we add the numbers of Levites given in these two verses, it will
be noticed that they mount up to twenty-four.
19 “These are the divisions of the porters among the sons of Kore, and
among the sons of Merari.”
Verses 20-28 describe those Levites to whom belonged the care of the treasures
of the house of God and of the treasures of things dedicated, i.e. “dedicated to
maintain the house of the Lord” (vs. 27-28).
20 “And of the Levites, Ahijah was over the treasures of the house of
God, and over the treasures of the dedicated things.” First, the Hebrew
text contains no “of” in the first word of this verse; and, secondly, no meaning
can be obtained out of the name Ahijah as it is placed here. The Septuagint
reading, “their brethren,” is exactly what we should expect, and is paralleled
by other passages (II Chronicles 29:34). This correction of the present text may
be safely accepted, viz. μh,yjea} for hY;hia} The two classes of treasures are
here marked, preparatory to the statements of vs. 22 and 26-28.
Only very thoughtless persons can suppose that religion and money can be
dissociated. In this world things material and spiritual are so blended that
we have not to ask — Must the cause of God have anything to do with
wealth and property? but — What are the proper and scriptural relations
between them? In explaining these, we remark:
prize. It is his own property. If we give to Him, we can only give “of His
own” (ch. 29:14).
TRUST. The irreligious cannot be expected so to regard it; but it is
marvelous that enlightened Christians can ever look upon the matter in any
other light. God lends men their possessions that they may use them for His
glory, and prepare to give in an account to Himself, approving their fidelity
was regarded as being, that
And money may lawfully and wisely be expended in the erection of
churches, chapels, schools, mission-rooms, etc., and in the maintenance of
pastors, teachers, and evangelists (“the laborer is worthy of his hire.” –
Luke 10:7). Christian wisdom may define the limits and extent of generous
gifts. But, although in the ages of superstition there may have been danger
of excess in donations and endowments, there is very little danger in our
days, when large sums are spent on personal luxuries and ostentation, and
when there is an impression that the one special department for economy
BE IN SAFE KEEPING. It is an honorable office to have charge of
religions and benevolent funds. It should be regarded as a stewardship from
Heaven. Many who cannot preach or teach may render service in Christ’s
Churches by acting as treasurers and almoners, and by their faithful
custody and wise disbursement of funds may serve the body of Christ and
please the Divine Head.
On Dedicating Things (v.20)
The general idea seems to be that Christians must dedicate themselves to
God; and though this is most true, it may be presented so as to hide away
the fact that God requires the Christian to dedicate to Him all he has, as
well as all he is. Still, as in the older times, God is to be served by things as
well as by persons. In the text it is noticed that “Ahijah was over the
treasures of the house of God, and over the treasures of the dedicated
things.” It may be well to point out the important relations which things
bear to persons. We are dependent on the living God, who giveth to us “all
things richly to enjoy” (I Timothy 6:17). But most of all, we are to consecrate
self! “I beseech ye therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present
your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your
reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1)
21 “As concerning the sons of Laadan; the sons of the Gershonite
Laadan, chief fathers, even of Laadan the Gershonite, were Jehieli.
22 The sons of Jehieli; Zetham, and Joel his brother, which were over
the treasures of the house of the LORD.” These verses name those who
had the care of the treasures of the house of the Lord. They are Gershonites
through Laaden, previously called Libni (ch. 6:17; also Exodus 6:17;
Numbers 3:18). The sons named as heads of houses are three, viz.
Jehieli (ch. 23:8) and his sons, Zetham and Joel. Those who think that that
verse carries with it the meaning that Jehieli, Zetham, and Joel were all three
brothers, can, in point of fact, plausibly reduce this verse to their shape. For
the yod, not welcome at the end of the name Jehieli here, might be read the
conjunction vau in both instances in which it occurs. The reading would then
run thus: “Jehiel and the sons of Jehiel, both Zetham and Joel his brother.”
23 “Of the Amramites, and the Izharites, the Hebronites, and the
Uzzielites:” The chiefs of the preceding two verses were introduced as
descendants of Gershon through his son Laadan. The four names of this
verse would seem to stand collectively for that of their father Kohath. One
might, under these circumstances, have looked for the name of some
member of each of these sub-families to appear in the number of the
treasure-keepers just about to be mentioned. This is not so. Yet among
other officials, and before the end of the general subject, the Izharites (v.29)
and the Hebronites (vs. 30-31) do appear. This may possibly explain the
mapping out thus of the Kohath family.
24 “And Shebuel the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, was ruler of
the treasures. 25 And his brethren by Eliezer; Rehabiah his son, and
Jeshaiah his son, and Joram his son, and Zichri his son, and Shelomith
his son.” Shebuel (ch.23:16; 24:20), then, was the Amramite representative
(and apparently a very special one in the office of rygin;, here attributed to him)
through Gershom, the elder son of Moses. Next, through Eliezer, the second
son of Moses, and through Rehabiah, son of Eliezer (ch.23:17), we are brought
to the four — Jeshaiah (ch.24:21, called Isshiah), and Joram, and Zichri, and
Shelomith, who seem at first to mark four successions of generations upon
Rehabiah, but who more probably (though it cannot be said positively)
were four brothers, each a son of Rehabiah (ch.23:17). And it may be that it is
to these four that reference is made in the first clause of v.26, “Which Shelomith
and his brethren,” etc. The Shelomith here intended as an Amramite must be
distinguished from the Gershonite of ch.23:9, and from the Izharite of v.18 of
the same chapter.
26 “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.” The treasures. The very first use of this word to signify a
place where treasures were kept is in Joshua 6:19, 24. The same word
is used for either the place or the treasures kept in it. Not found in the
Books of Samuel, the word often occurs in the two Books of Kings and of
Chronicles, once in Ezra, several times in Nehemiah, etc. In our next
chapter (vs. 25, 27-28) it appears in the Authorized Version as “storehouses”
and “cellars.” Captains over thousands and hundreds (so see Exodus 18:21, 25;
Numbers 31:14; Deuteronomy 1:15; I Samuel 8:12). Captains of the host (so
Deuteronomy 20:9; Joshua 5:14-15; Judges 4:2; I Samuel 17:55).
27 “Out of the spoils won in battles did they dedicate to maintain the
house of the LORD.” For such proceeds of war, see II Samuel 8:10-12.
all that Samuel the seer, and Saul the son of
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.” It is, perhaps, somewhat remarkable that,
though the sacred history suggests to us numerous fit occasions for the
“dedications” spoken of in this verse, yet they are not described in detail,
nor even alluded to at the times when they occurred. Samuel, Saul, Abner,
and Joab had then been unwittingly finding some of the treasures now disposed
to highest use by David.
The Blessing of God (vs. 1-28)
There lies much meaning in the simple words, “God blessed him” (v. 5).
They refer to Obed-edom, and may remind us:
HEART TOWARD GOD. Obed-edom had taken the ark into his house
when God “made a breach upon Uzza” (ch.13:11 – I recommend -
I Chronicles 13,15 – Spurgeon Sermon – The Lesson of Uzza – this web
Site – CY – 2012). Obed-edom then and thus gained the favor of Jehovah,
not indeed by the mere fact that the ark of the covenant was under his roof,
but because his readiness to receive and preserve it was the expression of
a true and genuine piety. If our “heart is right in the sight of God,” so that we
are eager to render to Him or to His cause any service we can bring, we are
then in that spiritual condition in which we may look for the Divine blessing.
It is not any one single action, but a right relation of soul to God, that draws
down His abiding favor.
Ø The temporal forms it assumed then. These were:
o Family mercies — God blessed Obed-edom by
enlarging his household (vs. 4-5), and giving him
descendants of whom he could be proud (vs.6-8).
o Military reputation-some were “mighty men of valor” (v.6.)
o Bodily vigor — others were “able men for strength for
the service’ (v. 8).
o Posts of special honor — others were “over the treasures
o of the dedicated things” (vers. 20-28).
God may grant us His blessing in much the same way now; but while we
gratefully accept it and conscientiously use it, if He does so bestow it,
we must not reckon on these lower manifestations of His Divine regard.
We are on sure ground when we speak of:
Ø The spiritual forms it assumes now. They are such as these:
o reputation for devoted service of Christ;
o capacity for holy usefulness;
o trustfulness. These are blessings which correspond with those
of the older dispensation, but which take a more spiritual form.
They are blessings which fill the heart rather than the hand,
benedictions of “the kingdom of heaven” rather than bestowments
of the monarchy of earth. If it can be said of any of us, in any large
and full sense, that “God blessed him,” such a one will be the
recipient of other bestowments beside these of:
o rest of heart in Christ;
o joy of faithful and loving service;
o hope of eternal glory.
The chapter closes (vs. 29-32) with some enumeration of those who
were appointed to the outward business (hk;al;M]l" hn;wO[yjih") over
29 “Of the Izharites, Chenaniah and his sons were for the outward
Version of ch.15:22 would make it appear very unlikely that the Chenaniah,
a “chief of the Levites,” here spoken of was identical with the present
Chenaniah, yet the other translation of that passage, and the view that some
take of it as describing one who had the special ordering of the carrying of
the ark, would leave it more likely. For the officers and judges, see ch.23:4;
II Chronicles 19:5-11 (by reading this last reference, one cannot help but see
how far short the American Judiciary System has lived up to God’s
revealed will! ! – CY – 2012). The too generic term “officers” (Exodus 5:6-19;
Numbers 11:16) may be advantageously superseded by the word “scribes.”
These scribes and judges, it appears, were taken from the families of Izhar
and without any Gershonite or Merarite of the other Levites.
Officers and Judges (v.29)
state. Hence the king seems half a priest; and the Levites were appointed to
the discharge of civil and magisterial offices.
13:1-4) Jehovah is the Supreme Governor, the Lord and King of all.
Subordination and obedience are principles in the Divine government.
Earthly governments are all imperfect, yet they contain in them elements
of Divine significance. “The powers that be are ordained of God” -
(Ibid. v. 1) - not that all rulers act righteously, or that there are no cases
where resistance is justifiable; but that so far as governments embody the
principles of peace and order they have the sanction of the KING OF
KINGS who is the PRINCE OF PEACE! (Revelation 19:16;
STATE. Just as labor, trade, navigation, etc., are all lawful, and are
sanctified by the Word of God and by prayer (I Timothy 4:5), so is it
with the office of the magistrate, the servant of the state.
RELIGIOUS MEN SHOULD TAKE CIVIL OFFICE. For the
officers and judges themselves, as the position will enlarge the area of
their influence, and promote the soundness of their judgment and the
widening of their sympathies. For the subjects generally, who will benefit
when Christianity is brought to bear upon the discharge of duties which
involve the general interests. (See again II Chronicles 19:5-11)
COOPERATION, AND PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE. We cannot be
too thankful when men of Christian character are appointed to public positions.
It becomes us, remembering the special dangers and temptations to which such
persons are exposed, to plead on their behalf at the throne of grace, that they
may be taught by the Holy Spirit:
Ø to speak the truth fearlessly,
Ø to rebuke iniquity,
Ø to act righteously, and
Ø so to secure the public tranquillity and
well-being, and the glory of God.
30 “And of the Hebronites, Hashabiah and his brethren, men of valor,
a thousand and seven hundred, were officers
among them of
on this side Jordan westward in all the business of the LORD, and
in the service of the king.” Were officers among
translation would be, were
for the superintending of
v.32). On this side
point of view being from the Persian side. So Ezra 4:16; 6:6; 8:36; Nehemiah 2:7;
but also Joshua 5:1; 22:7, when the point of view was that of those who had still
is probably no mere reminiscence of the temple or semi-sacred business (such as
the gathering of the tithes, etc.), but rather the recognition of the fact that all that
pertained to the right discharge of the civil duties of an Israelite’s life lay
within that description.
31 “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 valor at Jazer of
This verse is at first sight obscure; but its purport is to say that
the Hebronite family was, in the last year of David’s reign, found at Jazer
Numbers 21:32), and that Jerijah (ch. 23:19; 24:23) was
then chief of them. He and his brethren were now appointed to the
superintendence of the two tribes and a half eastward of
“Hashabiah and his brethren”
fulfilled the like duties westward of
The number of those east of
proportion to those mentioned on the west; but we must bear in mind that
the numbers of Chenaniah and their range of sphere are not stated. These
will presumably complete the six thousand of ch.23:4. Otherwise we have
but to fall back on the conviction that the present account is imperfect as well
32 “And his brethren, men of valor, 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.” Chief fathers.
The number of chief fathers mentioned in this verse leads Keil to point out
very justly that here at least the designation cannot mean anything beyond the
fathers of individual families — cannot mean the heads of those groups which
are composed of all the branches or relations of one house. They must have
been heads of households (pate>rev), not heads of fathers’ houses (patriai>).
The ambiguity is owing to the use of the words twOba;h; yver; in v.32, the latter
of which words has so often supposed the word tyBe to precede it, coupled to
it by a hyphen. Adding the numbers of vs. 30 and 32, we find a total of
Hebronite “officers and judges” amounting to four thousand four hundred.
The remaining sixteen hundred to complete the” six thousand” were drawn
from the Gershon, Amram, and Izhar families. Some of the Uzzielites
probably helped the Hebronites.
The Business of the Lord and the Service of the King (vs. 29-32)
The duties which an Israelite might render to his Divine and to his earthly
sovereign are thus expressed (v. 30). They are also spoken of as “matters
pertaining to God and affairs of the king” (v. 32). The distinction thus
drawn is suggestive of the relation which the two services sustain to one
another. We conclude
THE OTHER. It is one thing to “serve God” and another thing to “honor
the king.” We may remember those who have been most devoted courtiers,
but indifferent servants of God. “Had I but served my God,” etc. (Wolsey).
There have been very consecrated men who have lived a life of protest or
even of hostility to the “reigning house.” Indeed, it may be the bounden
duty of a good man to disobey the mandates of his earthly sovereign. The
honors we pay to the “noble army of martyrs” are the best witness that we
do make this distinction in our minds. It is a possible thing that we may
find ourselves citizens of a country where the laws of the land are directly
at variance with the will of God. But it is also true:
ONE WITH THE OTHER. Happily it is not often the case now that a
man has to choose whether he will “love the one and hate the other,”
(Luke 16:13). Usually both may be honorably and faithfully served at
the same time. Indeed, it will be found:
Ø That we never serve the king better than when we are actively
serving God. To be engaging in Divine worship, and thus
encouraging piety and the good morals which are its invariable
attendant; to be evangelizing, and thus to be elevating and
enriching those who have fallen into sin and vice; to be
occupied in any of the thousand forms of philanthropy which
distinguish this age of ours; to be thus occupied in the “business
of the Lord” is to be taking a very true and useful part in “the
service of the king.” Indeed, the monarch of a land has no more
loyal and serviceable subjects than those whose piety prompts
them to “every good word and work” (II Thessalonians 2:17)
among their fellow-subjects. (When I taught school, I used to
offer 100 bonus points in class for anyone that could produce
a good Christian that was not a good citizen. In my 34 years
I never had a taker – CY -2012). It may be equally true:
Ø That we never serve God more truly than when we are serving
the king. With the Jew, patriotism and piety were inseparably
united. He who wished to please and honor Jehovah strove to
was an enemy of the Most High. And so with us. The statesman
who is faithfully and conscientiously serving his country may be
pleasing and serving God quite as much as the minister in the pulpit
(Historically, America has been blessed of God with good leaders!
However, like Israel of old who succumbed to sin, in the last few
decades, it seems that the truth of Isaiah 3:12 – “As for my
people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over
them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err,
and destroy thy paths.” – is coming down upon our heads – CY –
2012), or the writer of sacred books at his desk. And not only the
statesman who is charged with great and high things: all of us in our
humbler ranks, when we join with our fellow-citizens in promoting the
welfare of our common country, may be “serving God acceptably.”
(Hebrews 12:28). Only, if we wish to enjoy His smile and win His
Divine blessing in the act, we must do our work:
Doorkeepers, Treasure-Keepers, and External Services (vs. 1-32)
We are presented in this chapter with three separate lists. First, the classes
of the doorkeepers (vs. 1-19); secondly, the stewards of the sanctuary
treasures (vs. 20-28); thirdly, those appointed for the external business
(vs. 29-32). According to v. 19 the doorkeepers were Korahites and
Merarites. To the latter belonged Obed-edom and his family, numbering
eight sons and sixty-two grandchildren, all valiant heroes. All these
doorkeepers were so distributed that twenty-four guard stations were
occupied daily. The next enumeration is the treasures of the house of God
and the treasures of the dedicated things. The former were under the
charge of a branch of the Gershonites; the latter under a branch of the
Kohathites. The last list in the chapter refers to the “outward business over
Israel.” This business comprised the service of “scribes and judges,” and it
was committed to the Izharites along with Chenaniah. For this work David
had set apart six thousand Levites (see ch.23:4). One spiritual lesson may be
learned from the twenty-seventh verse of this chapter: “Out of the spoils won
in battles did they dedicate to maintain the house of the Lord.” The spiritual
points may be suggested by the following heads:
man’s own soul or whether it be a Church or nation, must not only be set
up by the Spirit of God, but it must be kept up or “maintained.”
— the corruptions of our nature, the self-will, pride, and evil of our
hearts, the world, the flesh, and the devil within us and around us.
triumph over passion, evil inclination, and temptation — these are all
trophies or “spoils” which we must “dedicate” to God, from whom they
have all come. His the power, the strength, the victory. All are to be laid at
the Saviour’s feet and used for His glory.
continually on, the fight continually maintained. “Wherefore take unto you
the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13).
"Excerpted text Copyright AGES Library, LLC. All rights reserved.
Materials are reproduced by permission."
This material can be found at:
If this exposition is helpful, please share with others.