INTRODUCTION TO 1 Chronicles 6
This chapter begins with the fathers and heads of the tribe of Levi, 1 Chronicles 6:1, and reckons up the high priests in the line of Eleazar, to the Babylonish captivity, 1 Chronicles 6:4 gives an account of the families of the sons of Levi, 1 Chronicles 6:16 and of those Levites that were employed as singers, and in other ministrations in the sanctuary in the times of David and Solomon, 1 Chronicles 6:31, then follows a repetition of the sons of Aaron in the line of Eleazar, to the said times, 1 Chronicles 6:50, and a recital of the dwelling places of the Levites in the several tribes, 1 Chronicles 6:54.
The sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.The sons of Levi,.... After an account of the chief of the tribes of Judah and Simeon, of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh, follows that of Levi, and his posterity; the kingdom being given to Judah, the birthright to Joseph, and the priesthood to Levi: the immediate sons of Levi were
Gershon, Kohath, and Merari; as in Genesis 46:11, from these sprung the three families of the Levites.
And the sons of Kohath; Amram, Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel.And the sons of Kohath; Amram, Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel,.... Given in the same order as in Exodus 6:18; see Gill on Exodus 6:18.
And the children of Amram; Aaron, and Moses, and Miriam. The sons also of Aaron; Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.And the children of Amram, Aaron, and Moses, and Miriam,.... Very memorable persons: Aaron was the high priest, Moses the prophet and lawgiver, and Miriam a prophetess, see Micah 6:4,
the sons also of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar; the two first were destroyed by fire from heaven for offering strange fire, Leviticus 10:1 and the third succeeded his father in the high priesthood; the line of which is drawn from Aaron through him unto the Babylonish captivity, from hence to the end of the fifteenth verse, where it ends: Jehozadak is the same with Josedech, Haggai 1:1 who went young into Babylon, and whose son Joshua, born in the captivity, came out of it on the proclamation of Cyrus, Ezra 2:2. According to Josephus (e), and other Jewish writers (f), in the times of Uzzi, 1 Chronicles 6:6 the priesthood was translated into the family of Ithamar, of which Eli was the first high priest; where it continued to the times of Solomon, when it was restored to Zadok, of the line of Eleazar. It is particularly observed of Azariah, 1 Chronicles 6:10 that he it was that executed the priest's office in the temple built by Solomon; not that he was the first that officiated in it, that was Zadok; but this seems to be Azariah, who was the high priest in the times of Uzziah, who opposed him when he would have offered incense in the temple, 2 Chronicles 26:17, which may be the reason why he is so particularly taken notice of here; though some think this is to be understood of Johanan, the father of Azariah, supposed to the same with Jehoiada, who, in the times of Athaliah, was the instrument of preserving both church and state, 2 Kings 11:4, the temple in which he ministered is described as built by Solomon, because at the time of the writing of this there was another temple built, or building, by Zerubbabel.
(e) Antiqu. l. 5. c. 11. sect. 5. (f) Juchasin, fol. 136. 1.
Eleazar begat Phinehas, Phinehas begat Abishua,
And Abishua begat Bukki, and Bukki begat Uzzi,
And Uzzi begat Zerahiah, and Zerahiah begat Meraioth,
Meraioth begat Amariah, and Amariah begat Ahitub,
And Ahitub begat Zadok, and Zadok begat Ahimaaz,
And Ahimaaz begat Azariah, and Azariah begat Johanan,
And Johanan begat Azariah, (he it is that executed the priest's office in the temple that Solomon built in Jerusalem:)
And Azariah begat Amariah, and Amariah begat Ahitub,
And Ahitub begat Zadok, and Zadok begat Shallum,
And Shallum begat Hilkiah, and Hilkiah begat Azariah,
And Azariah begat Seraiah, and Seraiah begat Jehozadak,
And Jehozadak went into captivity, when the LORD carried away Judah and Jerusalem by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar.
The sons of Levi; Gershom, Kohath, and Merari.The sons of Levi, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. Which is repeated from 1 Chronicles 6:1 for the sake of their posterity, whose names are given in the three following verses, in the same manner as in Exodus 6:17.
And these be the names of the sons of Gershom; Libni, and Shimei.
And the sons of Kohath were, Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel.
The sons of Merari; Mahli, and Mushi. And these are the families of the Levites according to their fathers.
Of Gershom; Libni his son, Jahath his son, Zimmah his son,Of Gershon, Libni his son,.... Whose genealogy runs thus, Jahath, called Jehiel, 1 Chronicles 23:8. Zimmah, between whom was Shimei, 1 Chronicles 6:42. Joah, the same with Ethan, 1 Chronicles 6:42. Iddo, called Adaiah, 1 Chronicles 6:41. Zerah, Jeaterai, whose name was also Ethni, 1 Chronicles 6:41, the posterity of Shimei, the brother of Libni, are omitted.
Joah his son, Iddo his son, Zerah his son, Jeaterai his son.The sons of Kohath, Amminadab,.... The same with Izhar, 1 Chronicles 6:2 the posterity of his brethren, Amram, Hebron, and Uzziel, are omitted; and his genealogy is carried to a considerable length, for the sake of Samuel the prophet, who sprang from him: it stands thus, Korah, Assir, Elkanah, Ebiasaph, Assir, Tahath, Uriel, called Zephaniah, 1 Chronicles 6:36 Uzziah, the same with Azariah, 1 Chronicles 6:36. Shaul, whose name is Joel, 1 Chronicles 6:36 then through the sons of Elkanah, before mentioned, Amasai, Ahimoth, called Mahath, 1 Chronicles 6:35 another Elkanah, Zophai, or Zuph, 1 Chronicles 6:35. Nahath, the same with Toah, 1 Chronicles 6:34 and Tohu, 1 Samuel 1:1, Eliab, called Eliel, 1 Chronicles 6:34, and Elihu, 1 Samuel 1:1, Jeroham, another Elkanah, the father of Samuel the prophet, whose firstborn was Vashni, and whose name also was Joel, 1 Chronicles 6:33 and so here it is read in the Syriac and Arabic versions:
and his second son Abiah.
The sons of Kohath; Amminadab his son, Korah his son, Assir his son,
Elkanah his son, and Ebiasaph his son, and Assir his son,
Tahath his son, Uriel his son, Uzziah his son, and Shaul his son.
And the sons of Elkanah; Amasai, and Ahimoth.
As for Elkanah: the sons of Elkanah; Zophai his son, and Nahath his son,
Eliab his son, Jeroham his son, Elkanah his son.
And the sons of Samuel; the firstborn Vashni, and Abiah.
The sons of Merari; Mahli, Libni his son, Shimei his son, Uzza his son,The sons of Merari; Mahli,.... The posterity of his brother Mushi are omitted; his genealogy is drawn thus, Libni, Shimei, Uzza, Shimea, Haggiah, Asaiah.
Shimea his son, Haggiah his son, Asaiah his son.
And these are they whom David set over the service of song in the house of the LORD, after that the ark had rest.And these are they,.... Who follow; the account of whom begins 1 Chronicles 6:33,
whom David set over the service of the song in the house of the Lord: whom he appointed chief musicians, and masters of the chorus, to manage and conduct that part of divine service in the sanctuary, singing the praises of God, both with vocal and instrumental music:
after the ark had rest; which was when it was brought from the house of Obededom to the city of David, and was placed in a tabernacle he provided for it, 2 Samuel 6:12, where it remained until the temple was built, when and which was the only time it was removed, whereas before it had been removed from place to place, and so till now had no rest; though some understand this of the ceasing or silence of the oracle over the ark, which was neither consulted by Solomon and his successors, nor any of the high priests afterwards (g).
(g) Vid. Marsham. Canon. Chron. Setul. 14. p. 365.
And they ministered before the dwelling place of the tabernacle of the congregation with singing, until Solomon had built the house of the LORD in Jerusalem: and then they waited on their office according to their order.And they ministered before the dwelling place of the tabernacles of the congregation with singing,.... Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; this service they performed before the ark, which was in a tent or tabernacle David pitched for it; and which the Targum here calls the tabernacle of time, or a temporary tabernacle:
until Solomon had built the house of the Lord in Jerusalem; the temple there:
and then they waited on their office according to their order; performed it in the manner prescribed by David, see 1 Chronicles 25:1.
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,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.
The son of Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Eliel, the son of Toah,
The son of Zuph, the son of Elkanah, the son of Mahath, the son of Amasai,
The son of Elkanah, the son of Joel, the son of Azariah, the son of Zephaniah,
The son of Tahath, the son of Assir, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah,
The son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, the son of Israel.
And his brother Asaph, who stood on his right hand, even Asaph the son of Berachiah, the son of Shimea,And his brother Asaph,.... That is, Heman's brother; so Asaph was, as he was a descendant from the same original ancestor Levi, yet in the line of Gershon; and as being of the same office, a precentor, or chief singer:
who stood on his right hand; he was next to Heman; Heman stood in the middle, which was the most honourable (h), and Asaph on his right hand, and Ethan, after mentioned, on his left; even Asaph, whose name is often met with in the book of Psalms; and his genealogy here stands thus, as traced up to Levi, viz. Berechiah, Shimea, Michael, Baaseiah, Malchiah, Ethni, Zerah, Adaiah, Ethan, Zimmah, Shimei, Jahath, Gershon, Levi.
(h) "Alecto stetit in mediis----", Claudian in Rufin. l. 1. ver. 41. Vid. Barthii Animadv. in ib.
The son of Michael, the son of Baaseiah, the son of Malchiah,
The son of Ethni, the son of Zerah, the son of Adaiah,
The son of Ethan, the son of Zimmah, the son of Shimei,
The son of Jahath, the son of Gershom, the son of Levi.
And their brethren the sons of Merari stood on the left hand: Ethan the son of Kishi, the son of Abdi, the son of Malluch,And their brethren, the sons of Merari,.... Who were the brethren of the Kohathites and Gershonites, descending from the same ancestor Levi: stood
on the left hand; that is, of Heman, see 1 Chronicles 6:39, the chief of whom was Ethan, sometimes called Jeduthun, 1 Chronicles 16:41 and often in the book of Psalms; his genealogy is traced up to Levi thus; Kishi, called Kushaiah, 1 Chronicles 15:17 Abdi, Malluch, Hashabiah, Amaziah, Hilkiah, Amzi, Bani, Shamer, Mahli, Mushi, Merari, Levi.
The son of Hashabiah, the son of Amaziah, the son of Hilkiah,
The son of Amzi, the son of Bani, the son of Shamer,
The son of Mahli, the son of Mushi, the son of Merari, the son of Levi.
Their brethren also the Levites were appointed unto all manner of service of the tabernacle of the house of God.Their brethren also the Levites,.... Who were not skilled in singing, and employed in that service, even the rest of the Kohathites, Gershonites, and Merarites:
were appointed unto all manner of service of the tabernacle of the house of God; some were porters at the gates; others had the care of the vessels; others slew the beasts for sacrifices, flayed them, and cut them up, and brought the pieces to the altar of burnt offerings, for the priests to offer.
But Aaron and his sons offered upon the altar of the burnt offering, and on the altar of incense, and were appointed for all the work of the place most holy, and to make an atonement for Israel, according to all that Moses the servant of God had commanded.But Aaron and his sons,.... Those that descended from him, though of the same tribe of Levi were all priests:
and they offered upon the altar of burnt offerings; the daily sacrifice, and all the offerings of the people brought to them:
and on the altar of incense; they burnt incense night and morning: and were appointed
for all the work of the place most holy; such as were high priests of the line of Eleazar, whose work it was to go into the most holy place once a year:
to make atonement for all Israel, according to all that Moses the servant of God commanded; in Leviticus 16:1 which see; and on mention of this, a list of the high priests from Aaron, in the line of Eleazar, is given, to the times of Solomon, in the four following verses, just in the same order as in 1 Chronicles 6:4.
And these are the sons of Aaron; Eleazar his son, Phinehas his son, Abishua his son,
Bukki his son, Uzzi his son, Zerahiah his son,
Meraioth his son, Amariah his son, Ahitub his son,
Zadok his son, Ahimaaz his son.
Now these are their dwelling places throughout their castles in their coasts, of the sons of Aaron, of the families of the Kohathites: for theirs was the lot.Now these are their dwelling places,.... The dwelling places of the priests and Levites, assigned and given to them in the several tribes of Israel; and the account of them agrees with that in Joshua 21:1 with some few variations of names of places, which have been there observed: see the notes there; only in 1 Chronicles 6:57 two cities are omitted, Juttah and Gibeon, through want of care in transcribing, since they are said to be "thirteen", as they should be, whereas eleven only are mentioned. The Jews say (h), the cities of the suburbs (those here mentioned) ceased from the time the first temple was destroyed; and yet Ezra, who lived after the captivity, and the building the second temple, here gives a very particular account of them; the suburbs belonging to every city, which he particularly mentions, were 2000 cubits, both to the cities of refuge, and the rest, Numbers 35:5 Hebron, the first city mentioned in the next verse, was a city of refuge, and had suburbs of such a space; and it is remarkable, that some of the temples with the Heathens, which were asylums, or places of refuge, had the space of 2000 paces assigned them for the same sanctity and privilege (i).
(h) T. Bab. Sotah, fol. 48. 2.((i) Tacit. Annal. l. 3. c. 62.
And they gave them Hebron in the land of Judah, and the suburbs thereof round about it.
But the fields of the city, and the villages thereof, they gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh.
And to the sons of Aaron they gave the cities of Judah, namely, Hebron, the city of refuge, and Libnah with her suburbs, and Jattir, and Eshtemoa, with their suburbs,
And Hilen with her suburbs, Debir with her suburbs,
And Ashan with her suburbs, and Bethshemesh with her suburbs:
And out of the tribe of Benjamin; Geba with her suburbs, and Alemeth with her suburbs, and Anathoth with her suburbs. All their cities throughout their families were thirteen cities.
And unto the sons of Kohath, which were left of the family of that tribe, were cities given out of the half tribe, namely, out of the half tribe of Manasseh, by lot, ten cities.
And to the sons of Gershom throughout their families out of the tribe of Issachar, and out of the tribe of Asher, and out of the tribe of Naphtali, and out of the tribe of Manasseh in Bashan, thirteen cities.
Unto the sons of Merari were given by lot, throughout their families, out of the tribe of Reuben, and out of the tribe of Gad, and out of the tribe of Zebulun, twelve cities.
And the children of Israel gave to the Levites these cities with their suburbs.
And they gave by lot out of the tribe of the children of Judah, and out of the tribe of the children of Simeon, and out of the tribe of the children of Benjamin, these cities, which are called by their names.
And the residue of the families of the sons of Kohath had cities of their coasts out of the tribe of Ephraim.
And they gave unto them, of the cities of refuge, Shechem in mount Ephraim with her suburbs; they gave also Gezer with her suburbs,
And Jokmeam with her suburbs, and Bethhoron with her suburbs,
And Aijalon with her suburbs, and Gathrimmon with her suburbs:
And out of the half tribe of Manasseh; Aner with her suburbs, and Bileam with her suburbs, for the family of the remnant of the sons of Kohath.
Unto the sons of Gershom were given out of the family of the half tribe of Manasseh, Golan in Bashan with her suburbs, and Ashtaroth with her suburbs:
And out of the tribe of Issachar; Kedesh with her suburbs, Daberath with her suburbs,
And Ramoth with her suburbs, and Anem with her suburbs:
And out of the tribe of Asher; Mashal with her suburbs, and Abdon with her suburbs,
And Hukok with her suburbs, and Rehob with her suburbs:
And out of the tribe of Naphtali; Kedesh in Galilee with her suburbs, and Hammon with her suburbs, and Kirjathaim with her suburbs.
Unto the rest of the children of Merari were given out of the tribe of Zebulun, Rimmon with her suburbs, Tabor with her suburbs:
And on the other side Jordan by Jericho, on the east side of Jordan, were given them out of the tribe of Reuben, Bezer in the wilderness with her suburbs, and Jahzah with her suburbs,
Kedemoth also with her suburbs, and Mephaath with her suburbs:
And out of the tribe of Gad; Ramoth in Gilead with her suburbs, and Mahanaim with her suburbs,
And Heshbon with her suburbs, and Jazer with her suburbs.