1 Chronicles 6:33
And these are they that waited with their children. Of the sons of the Kohathites: Heman a singer, the son of Joel, the son of Shemuel,
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(33) And these are they that waited (stood) with their children.—The main sentence which began at 1Chronicles 6:31, and was suspended by the parenthetic 1Chronicles 6:32, is now resumed. The persons meant are the three chiefs of the Levitical guilds of musicians, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan; their “children” are the members of those guilds. (Comp. the phrase, “sons of the prophets,” i.e., members of prophetic guilds, 2Kings 9:1; Amos 7:14.) 1Chronicles 25:1-7 supplies the names of the principal “sons” of the three masters. Their Levitical descent is shown in the genealogies here traced up from themselves to Levi. First we have the pedigree of Heman (1Chronicles 6:33-38) the Kohathite.

Heman a singer.—Rather, the singer or minstrel. Heman, as representing the chief branch of the Levites, is primus inter pares as regards the other master singers. His choir occupied the centre, having on its right that of the Gershonite Asaph, on its left that of the Merarite Ethan (1Chronicles 6:39; 1Chronicles 6:44), so that Heman would conduct the whole body of musicians, when the three choirs chanted in concert. The word “minstrel” is more appropriate than “singer” because the original term (ham’shôrēr) implies singing which the singer himself accompanies with an instrument of music. (See 1Chronicles 25:6; LXX., ὁ ψαλτῳδὸς.)

Son of Joel, the son of Shemuel.—It is interesting to learn that Heman, the great minstrel, was a grandson of Samuel the great prophet. (For the connection between music and prophecy, see 2Kings 3:15; 1Samuel 10:5-6; and below, 1Chronicles 25:1, Note.) Considering that some have denied that Samuel was a Levite, the point of contact here noted looks like an undesigned coincidence.

6:1-81 Genealogies. - We have an account of Levi in this chapter. The priests and Levites were more concerned than any other Israelites, to preserve their descent clear, and to be able to prove it; because all the honours and privileges of their office depended upon their descent. Now, the Spirit of God calls ministers to their work, without any limit as to the families they came from; and then, as now, though believers and ministers may be very useful to the church, none but our great High Priest can make atonement for sin, nor can any be accepted but through his atonement.Heman - In general Asaph takes precedence of Heman and Jeduthun, but here Heman is placed first, because his family, that of the Kohathites, had the highest priestly rank, being the family which furnished the high priests (see 1 Chronicles 6:2-15).

Shemuel - i. e. "Samuel." Our translators have here given the Hebrew, while elsewhere they give uniformlv the Greek, form of the name. We learn by this genealogy that Heman was Samuel's grandson.

33. Shemuel—that is, Samuel. This is the exact representation of the Hebrew name. These, to wit,

Heman here mentioned; and Asaph, 1 Chronicles 6:39; and Ethan, 1 Chronicles 6:44.

Shemuel, or, Samuel the prophet. And these are they that waited with their children,.... They and their posterity, who officiated in the service of singing psalms in the sanctuary: the three heads of them were of the three families of the Levites, as follow:

of the sons of the Kohathites, Heman a singer; the chief of the singers, and who composed psalms and hymns, which are in the book of Psalms:

the son of Joel, the son of Shemuel; or Samuel. This Heman was grandson of Samuel the prophet; for whose sake his genealogy is traced up to Jacob or Israel in the following verses, and stands thus; after Samuel, Elkanah, Jeroham, Eliel, Toah, Zuph, Elkanah, Mahath, Amasai, Elkanah, Joel, Azariah, Zephaniah, Tahath, Assir, Ebiasaph, Korah, Izhar, Kohath, Levi, Israel.

And these are they that waited with their children. Of the sons of the Kohathites: Heman a singer, the son of Joel, the son of Shemuel,
33–38 (= 18–23 according to the Heb. division). The descent of Heman, David’s singer, through Kohath from Levi

33. a singer] R.V. the singer.

Shemuel] R.V. Samuel, the well-known prophet being the person meant. Samuel is a form derived from the LXX. through the Latin Vulgate; but Shemuel is a more correct transliteration of the Hebrew name. Cp. 1 Chronicles 6:26-28, notes.Verse 33. - We have now the name and pedigree of each of the three chief singers or musicians (their duty was both vocal and instrumental) of David's appointment, beginning, according to the analogy of ver. 2, supra, with Heman, the descendant of Kohath, instead of Asaph from Gershom. So the place of Heman was still the place of honor, in the centre, with Asaph on the right and Ethan on the left (vers. 39, 44). Heman is the twenty-first according to this list (vers. 33-38) after Levi, but the genealogy is indistinct (see above, vers. 22-28) between Shemuel and Assir, and according to Hervey ('Genealogies of our Lord,' p. 214), Heman comes fourteenth after Levi. This Heman is to be distinguished from Heman the "son of Zerah" (1 Chronicles 2:6), and with but little doubt, therefore, from Heman the Ezrahite (Zerahite) of Psalm 88. On the other hand, a theory has been suggested by Lord Arthur C. Hervey which might reconcile the two. He supposes that if Heman the Kohathite (or his father) had married an heiress of the house of Zerah, he might have become reckoned in the line of Zerah as well as in that of Kohath. (1 Chronicles 6:10-15). "And the sons of Elkanah, Amasai and Ahimoth." As it is clear that with אלק וּבני אל a new list begins, and that the preceding enumeration is that of the descendants of Abiasaph, it is at once suggested that this Elkanah was the brother of the Abiasaph mentioned in 1 Chronicles 6:15. If, however, we compare the genealogy of Heman, we find there (1 Chronicles 6:36 and 1 Chronicles 6:35) a list of the descendants of Joel in an ascending line, thus, - Elkanah, Amasai, Mahath, Elkanah, Zuph; from which it would seem to follow that our Elkanah is the son of Moel mentioned in 1 Chronicles 6:36, for Ahimoth may be without difficulty considered to be another form of the name Mahath. This conclusion would be assured if only the beginning of 1 Chronicles 6:26 were in harmony with it. In this verse, indeed, בּנו אלקנה, as we read in the Kethibh, may be without difficulty taken to mean that Elkanah was the son of Ahimoth, just as in 1 Chronicles 6:20 Elkanah is introduced as son of Mahath. But in this way no meaning can be assigned to the אלקנה which follows בני, and Bertheau accordingly is of opinion that this אלקנה has come into the text by an error. The Masoretes also felt the difficulty, and have substituted for the Kethibh בנו the Keri בּני, but then nothing can be made of the first אלקנה in 1 Chronicles 6:26. Beyond doubt the traditional text is here corrupt, and from a comparison of 1 Chronicles 6:35 and 1 Chronicles 6:34 the only conclusion we can draw with any certainty is that the list from צופי onwards contains the names of descendants of Elkanah the son of Mahath, which is so far favourable to the Keri אלקנה בּני. The name Elkanah, on the contrary, which immediately precedes בנו, seems to point to a hiatus in the text, and gives room for the conjecture that in 1 Chronicles 6:10 the sons of Elkanah, the brother of Abiasaph and Assir, were named, and that there followed thereupon an enumeration of the sons or descendants of the Elkanah whom we meet with in 1 Chronicles 6:36 as son of Joel, after which came the names Elkanah בּנו, Zophai בּנו, etc. נחת and אליאב we consider to be other forms of תּוח and אליאל, 1 Chronicles 6:34, and צופי is only another form of צוּף. The succeeding names, Jeroham and Elkanah (1 Chronicles 6:27), agree with those in 1 Chronicles 6:34; but between the clauses "Elkanah his son" (1 Chronicles 6:27), and "and the sons of Samuel" (1 Chronicles 6:28), the connecting link בּנו שׁמוּאל, cf. 1 Chronicles 6:33, is again wanting, as is also, before or after הבּכר (1 Chronicles 6:28), the name of the first-born, viz., Joel; cf. 1 Chronicles 6:33 with 1 Samuel 8:2. Now, although the two last-mentioned omissions can be supplied, they yet show that the enumeration in 1 Chronicles 6:22 is not a continuous list of one Kohathite family, but contains only fragments of several Kohathite genealogies. - In 1 Chronicles 6:29 and 1 Chronicles 6:30, descendants of Merari follow; sons of Mahli in six generations, who are not mentioned elsewhere. Bertheau compares this list of names, Mahli, Libni, Shimei, Uzza, Shimea, Haggiah, and Asaiah, with the list contained in 1 Chronicles 6:44, Mushi, Mahli, Shamer, Bani, Amzi, Hilkiah, and Amaziah, and attempts to maintain, notwithstanding the great difference in the names, that the two lists were originally identical, in order to find support for the hypothesis "that the three lists in 1 Chronicles 6:20 have not found a place in the Chronicle from their own intrinsic value, or, in other words, have not been introduced there in order to give a register of the ancestors of Jeaterai, the sons of Samuel and Asaiah, but have been received only because they bring us to Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, 1 Chronicles 6:34, 1 Chronicles 6:39, 1 Chronicles 6:44, in another fashion than the lists of names in 1 Chronicles 6:33." But this hypothesis is shown to be false, apart altogether from the other objections which might be raised against it, by the single fact of the total discrepancy between the names of the Merarites in 1 Chronicles 6:29 and 1 Chronicles 6:30 and those found in 1 Chronicles 6:44-47. Of all the six names only Mahli is found in both cases, and he is carefully distinguished in both - in the genealogy of Ethan as the son of Mushi and grandson of Merari; in our list as the son of Merari. When we remember that Merari had two sons, Mahli and Mushi, after whom the father's-houses into which his descendants divided themselves were named (Numbers 3:20; Numbers 26:58), and that the same names very frequently occur in different families, it would never suggest itself to any reader of our register to identify the line of Mushi with the line of Mahli, seeing that, except the name of Mahli the son of Mushi, which is the same as that of his uncle, all the other names are different. 1 Chronicles 6:29 and 1 Chronicles 6:30 contain a register of the family of Mahli, while the ancestors of Ethan, 1 Chronicles 6:44-47, belonged to the family of Mushi. Our list then absolutely cannot be intended to form a transition to Ethan or Ethan's ancestors. The same may be said of the two other lists 1 Chronicles 6:20-22 and 1 Chronicles 6:23-28, and this transition hypothesis is consequently a mere airspun fancy. The three lists are certainly not embodied in the Chronicle on account of the persons with whose names they end-Jeaterai, the sons of Samuel, and Asaiah; but the author of the Chronicle has thought them worthy of being received into his work as registers of ancient families of the three sons of Levi which had been transmitted from ancient times.
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