Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
Now the children of Israel after their number, to wit, the chief fathers and captains of thousands and hundreds, and their officers that served the king in any matter of the courses, which came in and went out month by month throughout all the months of the year, of every course were twenty and four thousand.Ch. 1 Chronicles 27:1-15. The Service of the Courses
These “courses” are not mentioned elsewhere in the O.T.; but in 1 Kings 5:14 (5:28 Heb.), where however the Heb. word is different, courses of Israelites engaged on Solomon’s building works are mentioned.
1. the chief fathers and captains] R.V. the heads of fathers’ houses and the captains.
came in and went out] Came on duty and went off duty; cp. 2 Chronicles 23:8.
Over the first course for the first month was Jashobeam the son of Zabdiel: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.2. Jashobeam] Cp. 1 Chronicles 11:11, note.
Of the children of Perez was the chief of all the captains of the host for the first month.3. Of the children of Perez was the chief] R.V. He was of the children of Perez, the chief. Perez is the Pharez (R.V. “Perez”) of 1 Chronicles 2:4-5.
And over the course of the second month was Dodai an Ahohite, and of his course was Mikloth also the ruler: in his course likewise were twenty and four thousand.4. Dodai an Ahohite] Perhaps we should read (cp. 1 Chronicles 11:12), “Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite.”
of his course was Mikloth also the ruler] The words are corrupt and are omitted in the LXX. Perhaps the original text said that Mikloth (a Benjamite, 1 Chronicles 8:32) was deputy-ruler over this course. Cp. 1 Chronicles 27:6.
in his course likewise] R.V. and in his course.
The third captain of the host for the third month was Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, a chief priest: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.5. Benaiah] Cp. 1 Chronicles 11:22 ff.
Jehoiada, a chief priest] R.V. Jehoiada the priest, chief, (“chief” referring to Benaiah).
This is that Benaiah, who was mighty among the thirty, and above the thirty: and in his course was Ammizabad his son.6. mighty among the thirty and above the thirty] R.V. the mighty man of the thirty, and over the thirty. Cp. 1 Chronicles 11:25.
in his course] R.V. of his course (as in 1 Chronicles 27:4).
The fourth captain for the fourth month was Asahel the brother of Joab, and Zebadiah his son after him: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.7. Asahel] Cp. 1 Chronicles 11:26, note.
The fifth captain for the fifth month was Shamhuth the Izrahite: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.8. Shamhuth the Izrahite] Perhaps to be identified with “Shammoth the Harorite” of 1 Chronicles 11:27; see note there.
The sixth captain for the sixth month was Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.9. Ira] Cp. 1 Chronicles 11:28.
The seventh captain for the seventh month was Helez the Pelonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.10. Helez the Pelonite] Cp. 1 Chronicles 11:27, note.
The eighth captain for the eighth month was Sibbecai the Hushathite, of the Zarhites: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.11. Sibbecai the Hushathite] Cp. 1 Chronicles 11:29, notes.
Zarhties] R.V. Zerahites (also 1 Chronicles 27:13). Descendants of Zerah, son of Judah; 1 Chronicles 2:4.
The ninth captain for the ninth month was Abiezer the Anetothite, of the Benjamites: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.12. Abiezer the Anathothite] Cp. 1 Chronicles 11:28.
The tenth captain for the tenth month was Maharai the Netophathite, of the Zarhites: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.13. Maharai the Netophathite] Cp. 1 Chronicles 11:30.
The eleventh captain for the eleventh month was Benaiah the Pirathonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.14. Benaiah the Pirathonite] Cp. 1 Chronicles 11:31.
The twelfth captain for the twelfth month was Heldai the Netophathite, of Othniel: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.15. Heldai] Called Heled in 1 Chronicles 11:30.
of Othniel] Cp. Jdg 1:13; Jdg 3:9. Thus Heldai was not of pure Israelite descent, but belonged to the Kenizzites (Kenaz), a younger branch of the Calebites, who, it seems, were a tribe incorporated into Judah either shortly before or during the conquest of Canaan. See Hastings’ Bible Dict. Art. Caleb.
Furthermore over the tribes of Israel: the ruler of the Reubenites was Eliezer the son of Zichri: of the Simeonites, Shephatiah the son of Maachah:16–24. The Princes of the Tribes of Israel
Cp. Numbers 1:2-15 where Moses is enjoined to have with him a representative of each tribe at the numbering of the people; cp. 1 Chronicles 27:23-24 below. In the present list the tribes of Gad and Asher are omitted, probably accidentally.
17. Of the Levites] R.V. of Levi.
Hashabiah] Perhaps the person mentioned in 1 Chronicles 26:30. The name is common among Levites.
of the Aaronites, Zadok] R.V. of Aaron, Zadok. Cp. 1 Chronicles 12:27-28, whence we may conclude that Zadok succeeded Jehoiada as ruler.
Of the Levites, Hashabiah the son of Kemuel: of the Aaronites, Zadok:
Of Judah, Elihu, one of the brethren of David: of Issachar, Omri the son of Michael:18. Elihu] Perhaps the “Eliab” of 1 Samuel 16:6; cp. R.V. mg.
Of Zebulun, Ishmaiah the son of Obadiah: of Naphtali, Jerimoth the son of Azriel:
Of the children of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Azaziah: of the half tribe of Manasseh, Joel the son of Pedaiah:
Of the half tribe of Manasseh in Gilead, Iddo the son of Zechariah: of Benjamin, Jaasiel the son of Abner:21. Gilead] “Gilead” is strictly speaking the name of the district between the Jabbok and Moab, in which the tribes of Gad and Reuben dwelt. Here it is used less precisely to include Bashan, the district N.E. of Jordan in which the half tribe of Manasseh lived.
Iddo] Spelt quite differently in Heb. from the name of the father of the prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 1:1).
Abner] 1 Samuel 14:50-51.
Of Dan, Azareel the son of Jeroham. These were the princes of the tribes of Israel.
But David took not the number of them from twenty years old and under: because the LORD had said he would increase Israel like to the stars of the heavens.23. took not the number] (Cp. the note at the head of this paragraph). The Chronicler notices that David conformed to the regulation given in Numbers 1:3, viz., that only those above twenty years old, and not those below twenty, were to be numbered.
Joab the son of Zeruiah began to number, but he finished not, because there fell wrath for it against Israel; neither was the number put in the account of the chronicles of king David.24. he finished not] Cp. 1 Chronicles 21:6.
because there fell wrath for it against Israel] R.V. and there came wrath for this upon Israel.
in the account of] R.V. into the account in. A summary of the numbers of David’s census is given in 1 Chronicles 21:5 and also (with divergences) in 2 Samuel 24:9. The Chronicler probably means in the present passage that the details of the census were not entered in the official records.
the chronicles] Lit. the acts of the days; cp. Introduction, § 1.
And over the king's treasures was Azmaveth the son of Adiel: and over the storehouses in the fields, in the cities, and in the villages, and in the castles, was Jehonathan the son of Uzziah:25–31. Various Officers of the King
Twelve different officers are named here who acted as stewards of king David’s property.
25. treasures … storehouses] R.V. treasuries … treasuries (the same Heb. word is repeated).
castles] Lit. towers; cp. 2 Chronicles 26:10; 2 Chronicles 27:4.
Jehonathan] R.V. Jonathan.
And over them that did the work of the field for tillage of the ground was Ezri the son of Chelub:
And over the vineyards was Shimei the Ramathite: over the increase of the vineyards for the wine cellars was Zabdi the Shiphmite:27. the Ramathite] The well-known Ramah was in Benjamin, but there was also a Ramah (or Ramoth) of the South (Joshua 19:8; 1 Samuel 30:27) from which the epithet “Ramathite” might be derived.
the Shiphmite] The adjective is probably derived from “Siphmoth” (1 Samuel 30:28), the name of a place in the south of Judah. We should read either “Siphmite” here, or “Shiphmoth” in 1 Sam.
And over the olive trees and the sycomore trees that were in the low plains was Baalhanan the Gederite: and over the cellars of oil was Joash:28. sycomore] The fig-mulberry, a tree having leaves like mulberry-leaves, and bearing a fruit resembling figs. Cp. 2 Chronicles 1:15; Amos 7:14.
in the low plains] R.V. in the lowland. Heb. Shephelah. See note on 2 Chronicles 1:15 (“vale”).
Gederite] i.e. inhabitant of “Geder” (Joshua 12:13), perhaps another form of “Gederah” (ib. Joshua 15:36). A place in the south of Judah is intended in any case.
And over the herds that fed in Sharon was Shitrai the Sharonite: and over the herds that were in the valleys was Shaphat the son of Adlai:29. Sharon] The great maritime plain bounded on the East by the “lowland” (Shephelah). “The valleys” would probably be the depressions among the hills of the Shephelah which open out into Sharon; cp. Song of Solomon 2:1.
Over the camels also was Obil the Ishmaelite: and over the asses was Jehdeiah the Meronothite:30. Obil] The name is a form of the Arabic word âbil, “one who feeds camels.”
the Meronothite] Meronoth was perhaps near Gibeon and Mizpah; cp. Nehemiah 3:7.
And over the flocks was Jaziz the Hagerite. All these were the rulers of the substance which was king David's.31. Hagerite] R.V. Hagrite; cp. 1 Chronicles 5:10.
Also Jonathan David's uncle was a counseller, a wise man, and a scribe: and Jehiel the son of Hachmoni was with the king's sons:32–34 (cp. 1 Chronicles 18:15-17 = 2 Samuel 8:16-18; cp. ib. 2 Samuel 20:23-26). David’s Officers at Court
32. Jonathan David’s uncle] Render (with R.V. mg.) Jonathan David’s brother’s son. This is most probably the “Jonathan son of Shimea David’s brother” of 1 Chronicles 20:7 (= 2 Samuel 21:21). No uncle of David named Jonathan is known.
a wise man] R.V. a man of understanding.
a scribe] Not the chief scribe; cp. 1 Chronicles 18:16, note.
with the king’s sons] As tutor; cp. 2 Kings 10:6.
And Ahithophel was the king's counseller: and Hushai the Archite was the king's companion:33. Ahithophel] See 2 Samuel 15:31; 2 Samuel 16:20 to 2 Samuel 17:23.
Hushai] See 2 Samuel 15:32-37; 2 Samuel 16:16-19; 2 Samuel 17:5-16.
Archite] The meaning of this word is unknown; it has no connexion with the “Arkite” of 1 Chronicles 1:15.
king’s companion] R.V. king’s friend; cp. 2 Samuel 16:16. Cp. Erman. Ancient Egypt, Eng. Tr. p. 72. “Special titles served to signify the degree of rank the great men held with respect to the king [of Egypt]. In old times the most important were the friend and the well-beloved friend of the king.” The Greek kings of Syria granted similar titles to their chief dependants; cp. 1Ma 2:18 (R.V. with marg.).
And after Ahithophel was Jehoiada the son of Benaiah, and Abiathar: and the general of the king's army was Joab.34. after Ahithophel] Cp. 1 Chronicles 27:7, note.
Jehoiada the son of Benaiah] Either we must read, “Benaiah the son of Jehoiada” (cp. 1 Chronicles 18:17), or we must assume that a person known only from this passage is meant.
and Abiathar] Probably such a phrase as “And Zadok and Abiathar were priests” (cp. 2 Samuel 20:25) originally stood here.
the general of the king’s army] R.V. the captain of the king’s host.