Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures
For the Chapter 26 passage and footnotes, see 1 Chronicles 23:1 ff.
7. The Classes of Porters: 1 Chronicles 26:1–19.—To the Korhites was Meshelemiah. Comp. 1 Chronicles 26:14, where the name is Shelemiah. On the patronymic הַקֹּרָחִים, “the Korhites,” comp. 9:19, where also the names Kore and Abiasaph occurred. That “Asaph” is a slip of the pen appears from this, that, 6:24 ff., Asaph belongs to the descendants of Gershon, not, as the Korhites, to that of Kohath.
1 Chronicles 26:2. Zechariah the firstborn. This son of Meshelemiah occurs also 9:21 and in 1 Chronicles 26:14.
1 Chronicles 26:4–8. Obed-edom and his Descendants.—And Obed-edom had sons. This Obed-edom, already occurring 15:18, 24, and 16:38, is called in the latter place a son of Jeduthun, not of the well-known song-master of the house of Merari, for the account of the Merarite porters begins in 1 Chronicles 26:10, but of some other unknown Korhite of the same name, as appears from 1 Chronicles 26:1 comp. with 1 Chronicles 26:19.
1 Chronicles 26:6. And to Shemaiah … were born sons that ruled in the house of their father, properly, “the lordships (הַמִּמְשָׁלִים, abstr. pro concr. for הַמִּשְׁלִים; comp. EW. § 160, b) of the house of their father.”
1 Chronicles 26:7. And Obed, Elzabad, his brethren. The missing copula וְ is to be supplied before אֶלְזָבָד as before אֶחָיו. Then the strong men, Elihu and Semachiah, are named as Elzabad’s brethren. That the names of the brethren are not stated (Berth.) is less probable.
1 Chronicles 26:8. Strong men of ability for service. The sing. אִישׁ־חַיִל is in apposition with the כָּל standing at the beginning of the verse (or such a כָּל is to be supplied before it).
1 Chronicles 26:9. And Meshelemiah … eighteen. By this appended statement of the number of Meshelemiah’s family, the sum of the Korhite porters is fixed at eighty.
1 Chronicles 26:10, 11. And Hosah, of the sons of Merari. This Hosah occurred before, 16:38, along with Obededom as porter.—Shimri the chief; for he was not the first-born, that is, because none of the families springing from Hosah possessed the birthright (perhaps because the eldest son had died without male heirs), the father named Shimri, the strongest and cleverest of his sons, chief of the family.
1 Chronicles 26:11. All the sons and brethren of Hosah were thirteen. Hence the whole number of all the porters here named is ninety-three (62 + 18 + 13). On the relation of this number to the statement in 9:22, that the porters were in all 212, see on the passage; comp. also 16:38.
1 Chronicles 26:12–19. The Division of Porters according to the several Stations at which they were to serve.—To these divisions of the porters, to the chiefs of the men. For this explicative לְרָאשֵׁי הַגְּבָרִים, comp. on 24:4; for the following statement respecting the division of the stations by lot, 25:8.—For every gate, literally, “for gate and gate.” These are the gates of the four-sided temple, facing the four quarters of heaven.
1 Chronicles 26:14. And for Zechariah his son, a wise counsellor, literally, “one counselling with prudence;” on what this strange predicate rests is unknown. Before זְכַרְיָהוּ we are to repeat לְ.
1 Chronicles 26:15. To Obed-edom … and to his sons the house of Asuppim, namely, to guard. This בֵּית־ הָאֲסֻפִּים, “house of collections” (comp. Neh. 12:25), must have been a place for keeping the sacred stores for the temple service, a temple magazine, situated in the court near the south gate, and, as appears from 1 Chronicles 26:17, had two entrances to guard. No particulars of it are known. “The translation of the Vulg.: in qua parte erat seniorum concilium, appears to rest upon the explanation of the word אספים by ‘assembly of men’ ”(Berth.).
1 Chronicles 26:16. To Shuppim and to Hosah. On the probable spuriousness of “Shuppim,” see Crit. Note. The “gate Shallecheth by the causeway of ascent,” the keeping of which was committed to Hosah, is to be regarded as turned, because toward the west, also to the lower city (east of which lay the temple mount). Thus, “the causeway of ascent,” by this gate is the way that led from the lower city up to the higher temple mount. The name “gate Shallecheth” is perhaps to be explained, with Böttcher and Thenius, by “refuse gate.”—One ward like another, literally, “ward beside ward” (לְעֻמַּת as in 1 Chronicles 26:12 and 25:8), not “ward over against ward,” as Berth. thinks, who, on the ground of this precarious interpretation, assumes a diversity of the west gate and the Shallecheth gate as two entrances placed over against each other. Even 1 Chronicles 26:18 does not confirm this interpretation, as here the guard stationed on the west side is represented certainly as double, consisting of four guards standing at “Parbar,” and two on the causeway, but not as a guard divided between two gates. Far-fetched and contrary to the Masoretic division is the attempt of Clericus to refer the words מִשְׁמָר לְעֻמַּת מִשְׁמָר to all the stations, and so to the contraposition of the four temple gates.
1 Chronicles 26:17. Eastward were six Levites, northward four a day. These (6 + 4) ten daily guards the house of Meshelemiah (with his eighteen sons and brothers), 1 Chronicles 26:14, had to set, as the (4 + 2 + 2) eight guards stationed southward, 1 Chronicles 26:15, belonged to the house of Obed-edom (with his sixty-two sons and brothers), and on Hosah (with his thirteen sons and brothers) was imposed the setting of the (4 + 2) six guards for the west side; comp. 1 Chronicles 26:16 with 1 Chronicles 26:18. A uniform and systematic division we cannot discover; probably it was arranged by lot. Moreover, not (6 + 4 + 8 + 6) twenty-four single men are meant, but so many leaders or guarding officers; for the strength of the several stations was certainly greater, as the sum total of all the porters is said in 1 Chronicles 23:6 to be 4000 men. There is nothing in the text to show that the number twenty-four points to a division of the whole body of porters into twenty-four classes, analogous to the twenty-four classes of priests and singers.
1 Chronicles 26:18. At Parbar westward, four on the causeway, and two at Parbar. This פַּרְבָּר (= פַּרְוָרִים, 2 Kings 23:11) is, as the statement of its situation to the west shows, to be regarded as a part of the temple buildings, near the Shallecheth gate, an addition with cells for depositing the stores and utensils of the temple, similar to the house of Asuppim, 1 Chronicles 26:15, on the south side. The “causeway” is naturally the “causeway of ascent,” 1 Chronicles 26:16.
8. The Administrators of the Treasures of the Sanctuary, with the Officers for the External Business: 1 Chronicles 26:20–32. a. The Lord Treasurers (Stewards): 1 Chronicles 26:20–28.—And the Levites their brethren. That instead of the unmeaning וְהַלְּוִיִּם אֲחִיָּה of the Masoretes we are to read thus (after the Sept. and the analogy of such passages as 1 Chron. 6:29, 2 Chron. 29:34), is maintained by most modern expositors since J. D. Mich.—Were over the treasures of the house of God, and over the treasures of the holy things.—This general statement is specialized by the following passage in this way, that the sons of the Gershonite Ladan were placed over the treasures of the house of God, that is, in a strict sense the temple treasures (1 Chronicles 26:22 ff.), but the sons of Shelomoth over the treasures of the holy things, that is, the spoils consecrated by David (1 Chronicles 26:26 ff.).
1 Chronicles 26:22. Jehieli, the sons of Jehieli: Zetham, and Joel his brother. The sense is, as appears from 23:7 f., that Zetham and Joel, the heads of the house of Jehieli (or Jehiel), belonging to the Gershonite line of Ladan, had to administer the treasures of the house of God (the proper treasures of the temple, 1 Chronicles 26:20).
1 Chronicles 26:23 f. Of the Amramites, the Izharites, the Hebronites, and the Uzzielites, the four branches of the family of the Kohathites, 23:15 ff.—Shebuel … ruler over the treasures (וְ before שְׁבוּאֵל continuing the sentence). As “son of Gershom son of Moses,” this Shebuel (or Shubael, as in 24:20) belongs to the Amramites. And indeed this Amramite Shebuel appears, as the general phrase: “ruler (נָגִיד) of the treasures,” shows, to be chief superintendent or administrator of all the sacred treasures, the president or administrator of the two departments of these treasures mentioned in 1 Chronicles 26:20 (not merely as superintendent of such sums as flowed regularly into the sanctuary, as Berth., limiting the word אוֹצָרוֹת,thinks).
1 Chronicles 26:25. And his brethren by Eliezer were Rehabiah his son (Eliezer’s), and Jeshaiah his son, etc. These are called brethren of Shebuel, because they sprang from Moses by Eliezer, as this by his brother Gershom (23:16).
1 Chronicles 26:26. This Shelomoth and his brethren. As a descendant of Eliezer, and therefore an Amramite, this Shelomoth (or Shelomith; see Crit. Note) is different from the two Shelomiths of 1 Chronicles 23, the Gershonite (1 Chronicles 26:9) and the Izharite (1 Chronicles 26:18; comp. 24:22). As he with his brethren has charge over the treasures of the holy things of David (that is, over the consecrated gifts from the spoils of the wars of this king), he appears co-ordinate with the Jehielites Zetham and Joel, but subordinate to the ruler Shebuel.—And the captains. These last-named שָׂרֵי הַצָּבָא are the field-officers or generals of David’s army, as Joab, Amasa, as distinct from the before-mentioned captains of thousands and hundreds, or officers in general.
1 Chronicles 26:27. Out of the wars and of the spoil they dedicated to maintain the home of the Lord, not to keep it in good condition or to repair it (according to the meaning which הַזֵּק has in 2 Kings 12:7; Neh. 3:7 ff.), but “to make it great” (comp. 29:12, where חַזֵּק, stands by גַּדֵּל and is synonymous with it). Only this view agrees with the circumstance that the temple, at the time now in question, was not built, but only about to be built. For לְ in לְבֵית as nota accus. comp. 29:12.
1 Chronicles 26:28a belongs still to the parenthetical explication of the dedicated gifts which began with 1 Chronicles 26:27.—And all that Samuel … had dedicated. The article in הַהִקְדִּישׁ stands for the relative אֲשֶׁר, as in 29:17; 2 Chron. 29:36; Ezra 8:25, 10:14, 17.—Everything, dedicated, literally, every one who had dedicated (בָּל־הַמַּקְדִּישׁ), who placed that which was dedicated by him under Shelomoth and his brethren. The enumeration of the several gifts derived from war, which began with 1 Chronicles 26:27, or properly with 1 Chronicles 26:26b, is here concluded, and referred to 1 Chronicles 26:26a.עַל־יַד, properly, “on the hand,” entrusted for keeping, committed to the charge of any one.—b. Officers for the External Business: 1 Chronicles 26:29–32. Only one Izharite and two Hebronite families are mentioned in this category, consequently only those belonging to two lines of the family of Kohath, and no Gershonites or Merarites (as also, 1 Chronicles 26:20–28, to the treasurers belong no Merarites, and the Gershonites play only a subordinate part).—Of the Izharites was chenaniah … for the outer business. In what this outer business consisted the more definite addition shows: “for officers (scribes) and judges.” Although, 23:4, the whole number of the Levites assigned to these functions is stated to be 6000, a number so high that all the situations of this kind in Israel might apparently be filled by them, yet we should include, according to Neh. 11:16, the administration of the external business specially for the temple and its servants, the exaction of the taxes for the temple, the collection of tithes, etc.
1 Chronicles 26:30. Of the Hebronites … for the oversight of Israel on this side the Jordan westward, of the west-land of Israel; comp. Josh. 5:1, 22:7. עַל פְּקֻדַּת the Sept. correctly renders: ἐπὶ τῆς ἐπισκέψεως τοῦ ’Ισραήλ (ad inspectionem Israel). The view of Berth.: “were over the gifts,” that is, the taxes, is unsupported by the usage, and scarcely reconcilable with the explanation of the contents of the foregoing verses on such taxes. Comp. also הִפְקִיד עַל in ver 32, which signifies nothing but “appoint as overseers,” give the oversight.
1 Chronicles 26:31. Of the Hebronites was Jeriah the chief. This Jeriah occurred in 23:19, but not in his present character as chief of the Hebronite family appointed over the land east of the Jordan.—For the Hebronites. This parenthesis, extending to the end of the verse, explains the surprising circumstance that the oversight of both sides of the Jordan was committed to the Hebronites. Why Jazer of Gilead, according to Josh. 21:39, a Merarite city, served as a chief residence to these Hebronites, remains obscure in the brevity of the present notice.
1 Chronicles 26:32. And his brethren, valiant men, two thousand and seven hundred fathers of families. So in the sense of house or family fathers is רָאשֵׁי הָאָבוֹת here without doubt to be understood, as the very great number 2700 teaches (not “heads of father-houses ”). The phrase is essentially equivalent to the shorter אָבוֹת, “fathers,” in 1 Chronicles 26:31. Moreover, the conjecture is natural, that as the Hebronite family of Hashabiah numbered 1700, and the Hebronite family of Jeriah 2700, housefathers, so to the Izharite family of Chenaniah (1 Chronicles 26:29) belonged the 1600 still wanting to the sum total of 6000 (23:4), and that this number has fallen out by some oversight. The present list of officers for the outer business appears not to have been preserved entire (comp. Keil, p. 209).
Concerning the divisions of the porters: Of the Korhites was Meshelemiah the son of Kore, of the sons of Asaph.