Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
Levi. The genealogy of the Levites is given with more exactitude than any of the preceding. Caath formed two branches, 1. the priests, descended from Aaron; 2. all his other children, who were simply Levites. (Calmet) --- Hence they are placed after the priests. (Menochius)
Isaar, or Aminadab, ver. 22.
Abiu. These died without children. The genealogy of Eleazar is given, as his family enjoyed the pontificate a long time, while that of Ithamar is neglected, (Calmet) as only Heli and a few others were raised to that dignity. (Haydock)
Eleazar. The nine following generations to Sadoc may be immediate. (Du Hamel)
Abisue. He is mentioned no where else. Josephus ([Antiquities?] v. ultra) calls him Abiezer. (Calmet) --- Many of these high priests were very obscure. (Menochius) --- Ozi, after whom Heli is supposed to have reigned, so that Zaraias and the three following were excluded, (Calmet) while Heli, and four of the same family of Ithamar, were acknowledged as high priests. (Tirinus) --- Abiathar was then forced to give place to Sadoc, (3 Kings ii. 26.; Haydock) whose family was in power at the captivity, ver. 15. (Tirinus) --- Nicephorus (ii. 4.) and Josephus ([Antiquities?] x. 11.) mention other high priests besides these. (Worthington)
Azarias. Perhaps the same who is called Amarias, (2 Paralipomenon xix. 11.) as Johanan is probably the illustrious Joiada, 4 Kings xi. 4.
This may refer to either. (Calmet) --- The Holy Ghost gives an encomium to Joiada, for re-establishing the divine worship, (Junius) or to Azarias, for withstanding the impious attempt of king Osias. (Estius; Tirinus, &c.) (2 Paralipomenon xxvi. 17. (Menochius)
Sellum, or Mosollam, chap ix. 11. (Calmet)
Went out, into captivity, while his father was slain, 4 Kings xxv. 18. More than 22 priests would be requisite to fill up near 900 years. See Salien.
Gerson. Hebrew here reads Gersom, though it had Gerson before, ver. 1.
The, &c. This verse is repeated from ver. 2., as the author is now going to continue the genealogy of the Levites, in their natural order, (Haydock) to Samuel. (Du Hamel)
Jahath. See ver. 42, 43. --- Zamma springs from Semei, Jeth, Gerson, and has a son named Ethan, who has Adaia; as Zara begot Athanai, ver. 41. Almost all the names are rather different
Asir. While Core perished, his children were preserved, Numbers xvi. 30., and xxvi. 11. (Haydock)
Asir. This name seems superfluous (ver. 36., and Exodus vi. 24.; Calmet) perhaps taken from the preceding verse. (Haydock) --- The two former were sons of Core, ver. 25, 37. (Calmet)
Sophai, Nahath, and Eliab, are called Suph, Thohu, (ver. 34.; Calmet) and Eliel. (Haydock) --- Sophai may be a surname of Elcana. (Poole) (Du Hamel)
Elcana, his son. It seems necessary to supply, "Samuel, his son," (Haydock) as he descended from the 3d Elcana. (Du Hamel)
Vasseni. Some Latin copies subjoin "Joel," who was the first-born, (ver. 33.) (La Haye) --- Vasseni means, "and the second;" which can hardly be considered as the name of the eldest son, tough some have take it as such, in like manner as they have explained six, chap. iii. 22. But then the v ought at least to be omitted, (Calmet) as it is in the Vatican and Alexandrian Septuagint, "Sani and Abia." (Haydock) --- Other editions insert "Joel," with the Syriac and Arabic. (Calmet) --- This person had therefore either two names, or Joel has been omitted, and we should translate "Joel and the second, Abia." (Menochius) --- These brothers acted so ill as judges, that the people took occasion to demand a king, 1 Kings viii. 3.
The singing. Hebrew, "the hands or places of the canticle," the two tribunes on each side of the altar. Heman presided over the band in the middle, while Asaph directed those on the right, and Ethan those on the left, ver. 33, 39, and 44. (Calmet) --- Placed. Hebrew, "rested," as before David's time it had been carried about. He erected a tabernacle for it on Sion, and directed the Levites to attend in order, (chap. xxv.) so that some should be present every day (Menochius) to honour God, both by instruments and vocal music, while the priests performed their sacred functions with the utmost decency.
Heman. Some families among the Levites were more distinguished than the rest, having authority to regulate the singers, and to give the tune. Hence many psalms are addressed to these three masters of music. Yet from those titles we cannot surely infer that those psalms were composed by Asaph, &c. (Calmet)
Eliel. Many of the genealogies do not seem to agree in these first 10 chapters, as some more obscure names have been passed over, (Menochius) or the people had different names, or, through the fault of transcribers, some alteration has taken place, which could hardly be avoided, without a constant miracle. (Haydock)
Brother, or relation, though of the family of Gerson. He also followed the same profession as Ethan did, ver. 44.
Ethan is also called Idithun (chap. xxv. 1, 8.[6.?]) in the Psalms. (Calmet)
Brethren. All the other Levites, who were not Cantors. (Menochius)
Offerings, which is here the meaning of incensum; as "incense" was not burnt on this altar, but only victims, Exodus xxix. 13.
Sadoc. By God's ordinance Heli had been appointed. But the dignity still subsisted in Aaron's family. (Worthington) --- Achimaas, who was pontiff in the days of Solomon. This genealogy had been brought down to the Captivity, ver, 3, &c.) which shews that the author give extracts from different records.
Suburbs, or 2000 cubits round the city. See Josue xx., and xxi. (Calmet)
Of, is not authorized by the Vulgate civitates, but is added, to signify that all these 13 cities were not thus privileged. (Haydock) --- There were only six cites of refuge, of which Hebron was one. See Josue xx. 7. (Calmet) (Menochius) --- Protestants, "And to the sons of Aaron they gave the cities of Juda, namely, Hebron, the city of refuge." But "such a licence to insert words at pleasure, cannot be allowed." Hebrew literally, "they gave cities of Hebrew refuge, Hebron," &c. The "sense absolutely disallows the word Judah," which is omitted , (Josue xxi. 13.) as well as in some Hebrew manuscripts in the Bamberg, and Complutensian editions, and in those of Jablonski and Michaelis. --- Hari, "cities," ought to be hir, "a city," as only one is meant. We should also add with the Arabic and Syriac, and the parallel passage in Josue, "and her suburbs," after Hebron. (Kennicott) --- "Juda" is not found in the Septuagint, &c.: and Buxtorf acted with little wisdom, when he thought he had sufficiently answered Capellus, by observing that the Masora declared the word to be authentic. (Anticrit.) It is a great misfortune that most of the printed Hebrew editions have been given under such influence; and that the Masorets have defaced so many manuscripts by their corrections. (Haydock) --- Hence they probably burnt all the first edition of Naples, 1487, except part of a single copy, comprising the Cethubim given to Eton college by Dr. Pellet, which omits the word Juda. (Kennicott, Dis. i. p. 520-2)
Asan, perhaps Jethnan, or Ain, Josue xv. 23., and xxi. 15. Syriac adds Ethra. (Calmet) --- Bethsames. Alexandrian Septuagint subjoins, "Baither and its suburbs." (Haydock) --- All these cities were in the tribes of Juda and of Simeon. (Menochius)
Almath. Josue, Almon. --- Thirteen; but Geta and Gabaon are not here expressed, Josue xxi. 16, 17. (Calmet) --- Alexandrian Septuagint inserts, "Lebee," before, and "Anchos, with its suburbs," after Anathoth, thus making 14; but these additional cities are not sacerdotal. (Haydock)
Out of. We may supply, "the tribe of Dan, Ephraim, &c.," as only two cities belonged to Manasses, Josue xxi. 25. (Calmet) --- Double that number was taken from the two other tribes. (Menochius)
Them. The priests, ver. 54. (Du Hamel) --- Names. Some being styled of the priests, (Calmet) other of the Levites, (Menochius) whose dominion as thus asserted. (Calmet)
The cities, or rather "some cities," as all were not in the tribe of Ephraim. (Haydock)
Of the. Literally, "cities to flee to, (or of refuge) Sichem," (Haydock) which might induce some to suppose that all these cities were of this description; but, in reality, only Sichem had that privilege. (Calmet) --- Septuagint is liable to the same ambiguity. See ver. 57., (Haydock) Josue xx. 7., and xxi. 21.
Jecmaan, or Cibsaim, (Josue) as Helon is put for Aialon below. And of the tribe of Dan, Eltheco and Gabathon is omitted. See Josue xxi. 23.
Aner and Baalam, perhaps the same as Thanach and Gethremmon, which were given to the children of Caath of the inferior degree, (Josue xxi. 26.; Calmet) or, who were left out of the rank of priests, (Menochius) or before unprovided for, as the partition was made at different times. --- Baalam. Hebrew, "Balaam." Septuagint, "Iblaam" is the Jeblaam, Josue xvii. 11.
Astharoth, or Bosra. (Calmet) --- Hebrew Hashtaroth, Josue xxi. 27. (Haydock)
Cedes....Ramoth, and Anem, are Cesion, Jaramoth, and Engannim, Josue xxi. 28, 29.
Hucac....Hamon, and Cariathaim, are Helcath, Hammoth-Dor, and Carthan.
Remmono and Thabor, or, Jecham and Cartha. (Haydock) --- Damna and Naalol are here omitted, Josue xxi. 35. There was formerly a town on Thabor, perhaps called Ceselet Thabor, Josue xix. 12., and Judges iv. 6. (Calmet)