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 Elam the fifth, Jehohanan

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



  • MEN PUT IN TRUST. Life is full of these trusts from its beginning to

its close. The Divine idea for all men is exhibited in the two great heads of

the race. The first Adam was put in Eden, and trusted to dress and keep it,

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

feelI 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





only wise for himself; his wisdom is intended by Providence to be placed at

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.”




been observed that, in the conduct of great movements, Providence employs

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.



Temple Treasures  (v.20)


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:


  • ALL TREASURE IS THE LORD’S. He created all that men use and

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

and piety.



TEMPLE. What in the olden time among the Jews the temple at Jerusalem

was regarded as being, that the Church of Christ is in this dispensation.

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

is religion.



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.


28 “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.”  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       Concord and piety in the home;

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

Israel i.e. the secular or civic rather than temple business.


29 “Of the Izharites, Chenaniah and his sons were for the outward

business over Israel, for officers and judges.”  Though the Authorized

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 Hebron alone, without any Amramite or Uzzielite of the other Kohathites,

and without any Gershonite or Merarite of the other Levites.



Officers and Judges (v.29)


Israel was a theocracy; the state was the Church, and the Church was the

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;

Isaiah 9:6)



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.




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)




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 Israel

on this side Jordan westward in all the business of the LORD, and

in the service of the king.”  Were officers among them of Israel. The simpler

translation would be, were for the superintending of Israel (compare the verb

in v.32).  On this side Jordan westward; literally, across Jordan westward, the

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

to cross the Jordan to the west. The expression, in all the business of the Lord,

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 Gilead.”

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

of Gilead, which seems a Merarite city (Joshua 13:25; 21:39;

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 Jordan, while

Hashabiah and his brethren” fulfilled the like duties westward of Jordan

The number of those east of Jordan constituted overseers seems large in

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

as brief.


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 fathershouses (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

serve Israel. He who injured the people of God (ACLU Beware)

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:


o       unselfishly,

o       devoutly.



      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:


  • The house of the Lord — God’s spiritual kingdom — whether it be in a

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.”


  • It is maintained by fighting — fighting our worse than Canaanitish foes

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.


  • The “spoils” of this spiritual warfare — every victory over sin, every

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.


  • This, not one battle, but “battles” — many of every kind. The armor

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).


  • Thus, and only thus, can the “house” or kingdom of God in a man’s soul

be “maintained.”



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