1 Chronicles 23:2
And he gathered together all the princes of Israel, with the priests and the Levites.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2-5) The numbering of the Levites and their appointments.

(2) And he gathered together all the princes of Israel.—The form of the verb (the imperfect with waw conversive) implies that this was done in connection with the transfer of the kingdom to Solomon. The following chapters, therefore, relate to arrangements made by David towards the close of his life. (Comp. 1Chronicles 26:30, “the fortieth year of the reign of David.”)

The princes of Israel.—Comp. 1Chronicles 13:1; 1Chronicles 15:25; 1Chronicles 22:17. “The princes and the priests and the Levites” together constituted, in the conception of the chronicler, the three estates of the realm: the representatives of all spiritual and temporal authority. David consults with the national assembly in a matter of national concern.

1 Chronicles 23:2. He gathered together all the princes, &c. — Partly to declare God’s will, and his own desire, that Solomon should be his successor; and so to cut off the claims and pretences which others of his sons might have made to the crown; and partly to acquaint them with those directions which he had received from God, by the Spirit, as appears from 1 Chronicles 28:11, &c., concerning the establishment of a new order and method in the ministration of the priests and Levites in the temple.

23:1-23 David, having given charge concerning the building of the temple, settles the method of the temple service, and orders the officers of it. When those of the same family were employed together, it would engage them to love and assist one another.See the marginal references and notes. 1 Chronicles 23:28-32 give the most complete account in Scripture of the nature of the Levitical office. 1Ch 23:2-6. Number and Distribution of the Levites.

2. he gathered together all the princes of Israel—All important measures relating to the public interest were submitted for consideration to a general assembly of the representatives of the tribes (1Ch 13:1; 15:25; 22:17; 26:1-32).

Partly to declare God’s mind and his own will, that Solomon should be his successor; and so to cut off the claims and pretences which others of his sons might make to the crown; and partly to acquaint them with those directions which he had received from God by the Spirit, as appears from 1 Chronicles 28:11, &c., concerning the establishment of a new order and method in the ministration of the priests and Levites in the temple.

And he gathered together all the princes of Israel,.... Ordered them to be assembled, partly to acquaint them with his will and pleasure, that Solomon should succeed him in the kingdom; and partly to settle the order of the work and service of the temple; and therefore these were convened

with the priests and Levites; to assign to them their respective places and offices.

And he gathered together all the princes of Israel, with the priests and the Levites.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2–23. Organisation of the Levites (first account)

Two accounts are given of David’s organisation of the Levites. According to the first the Levites were admitted to service at thirty years of age; 1 Chronicles 23:3; cp. Numbers 4:3; Numbers 4:23; Numbers 4:30, where the period from thirty to fifty is fixed as the period for service. According to the second account (Numbers 4:24; Numbers 4:47) the Levites were taken from twenty years old and upwards; this was apparently the later custom; cp. 2 Chronicles 31:17; Ezra 3:8. The discrepancy probably arises from an actual variation in practice. The original age of admission for Levites was probably thirty, but owing to the scarcity of their numbers it seems to have been necessary to reduce the limit of age to twenty. On the Levites see Ryle (Ezra and Nehemiah p. liii. ff.). See also on 1 Chronicles 23:27.

Verse 2. - He gathered together all the princes of Israel, with the priests and the Levites. As on an occasion of supreme importance, David, in view of his own death and of his son's succession at the present time, calls together the full council, and the highest possible representative council of the nation. So 1 Chronicles 22:17; 1 Chronicles 24:6; 1 Chronicles 25:1; in which last passage the word "captains" should have have been rendered "princes" (שׂרִי). The arrangement of the Levites, and the distribution of their functions in the presence of the princes, as here described, and as it is even more strongly put (1 Chronicles 25:1), "by" them, simply points to the fact that the ultimate outer authority, as between Church and state, lay with the state. The Church was made for it, not it for the Church. And it was the duty of the state to defend the Church. 1 Chronicles 23:2Numbering of the Levites, and partition of their duties. - 1 Chronicles 23:2. For this purpose David collected "all the princes of Israel, and the priests and Levites." The princes of Israel, because the numbering of the Levites and the determination of their duties was a matter of national importance. "The meaning is, that David, in a solemn assembly of the princes, i.e., of the representatives of the lay tribes, and of the priests and Levites, fixed the arrangements of which an account is to be given" (Berth.).
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