King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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1 Chronicles 23

David declares Solomon his successor. (1-23) The office of the Levites. (24-32)

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David declares Solomon his successor

1 So when David was old and full of days, he made Solomon his son king over Israel.

2 And he gathered together all the princes of Israel, with the priests and the Levites.

3 Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and upward: and their number by their polls, man by man, was thirty and eight thousand.

4 Of which, twenty and four thousand were to set forward the work of the house of the LORD; and six thousand were officers and judges:

5 Moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith.

6 And David divided them into courses among the sons of Levi, namely, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

7 Of the Gershonites were, Laadan, and Shimei.

8 The sons of Laadan; the chief was Jehiel, and Zetham, and Joel, three.

9 The sons of Shimei; Shelomith, and Haziel, and Haran, three. These were the chief of the fathers of Laadan.

10 And the sons of Shimei were, Jahath, Zina, and Jeush, and Beriah. These four were the sons of Shimei.

11 And Jahath was the chief, and Zizah the second: but Jeush and Beriah had not many sons; therefore they were in one reckoning, according to their father’s house.

12 The sons of Kohath; Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel, four.

13 The sons of Amram; Aaron and Moses: and Aaron was separated, that he should sanctify the most holy things, he and his sons for ever, to burn incense before the LORD, to minister unto him, and to bless in his name for ever.

14 Now concerning Moses the man of God, his sons were named of the tribe of Levi.

15 The sons of Moses were, Gershom, and Eliezer.

16 Of the sons of Gershom, Shebuel was the chief.

17 And the sons of Eliezer were, Rehabiah the chief. And Eliezer had none other sons; but the sons of Rehabiah were very many.

18 Of the sons of Izhar; Shelomith the chief.

19 Of the sons of Hebron; Jeriah the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, and Jekameam the fourth.

20 Of the sons of Uzziel; Micah the first and Jesiah the second.

21 The sons of Merari; Mahli, and Mushi. The sons of Mahli; Eleazar, and Kish.

22 And Eleazar died, and had no sons, but daughters: and their brethren the sons of Kish took them.

23 The sons of Mushi; Mahli, and Eder, and Jeremoth, three.

The office of the Levites

24 These were the sons of Levi after the house of their fathers; even the chief of the fathers, as they were counted by number of names by their polls, that did the work for the service of the house of the LORD, from the age of twenty years and upward.

25 For David said, The LORD God of Israel hath given rest unto his people, that they may dwell in Jerusalem for ever:

26 And also unto the Levites; they shall no more carry the tabernacle, nor any vessels of it for the service thereof.

27 For by the last words of David the Levites were numbered from twenty years old and above:

28 Because their office was to wait on the sons of Aaron for the service of the house of the LORD, in the courts, and in the chambers, and in the purifying of all holy things, and the work of the service of the house of God;

29 Both for the shewbread, and for the fine flour for meat offering, and for the unleavened cakes, and for that which is baked in the pan, and for that which is fried, and for all manner of measure and size;

30 And to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at even:

31 And to offer all burnt sacrifices unto the LORD in the sabbaths, in the new moons, and on the set feasts, by number, according to the order commanded unto them, continually before the LORD:

32 And that they should keep the charge of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the charge of the holy place, and the charge of the sons of Aaron their brethren, in the service of the house of the LORD.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Full, satisfied, in the last year of his reign, and the 70th of his age. D. — Cur non ut plenus vitæ conviva recedit? Lucret. iii. — Israel. This example was much followed by succeeding kings. C. — Yet this is controverted. Houbigant. H.

Ver. 2. Princes, heads of families, or officers of the army. C. xxv. 1. M.

Ver. 3. Numbered at the same time, when David caused his son to be crowned, and made these fresh regulations, v. 27, and C. xxvi. 31. — Upwards, according to the plan given by Moses. David afterwards ordered people of twenty years of age, to begin to serve in the tabernacle, as it was now fixed, and consequently the labours were diminished. This tended to augment the splendour of the religious worship, and to edify the people, who could not attend so constantly, in person.

Ver. 4. Overseers. Heb. shoterim. Sept. “scribes.” Others suppose “lictors and executioners,” who attended the judges. Grotius. — These were functions from which the priests were exempted; (C.) so that the Levites alone are meant. M. — Judges. They had to decide the causes of the people. 2 Par. xxix. D.

Ver. 5. David. Lit. “he.” Sept. “they.” Prot. “which I made (said David) to praise therewith.“ H.

Ver. 6. Into 24 courses, like the priests, that each class might serve twice a year for a whole week. C. xxiv. 31. T. — God had already made choice of the posterity of Levi; and David, with the princes, Sadoc, &c. disposed of them by lots, (C. xxiv. 6.) to serve in the tabernacle, and in the future temple. W.

Ver. 7. Leedan, or Lebni. Num. iii. 18. M.

Ver. 8. Chief, head of the rest; (H.) or all these three were chiefs, (Jun.) no less than the sons of Semei, v. 9.

Ver. 9. Semei; perhaps (C.) sons of Joel. D. — The brother of Leedan had four sons, v. 10. M.

Ver. 10. Ziza. Heb. has “Zina,” but reads “Ziza,” v. 11. C.

Ver. 11. Children. All together were not more than the children of each of the preceding, so that they only formed one class. T. — It would have been too burdensome for them to have performed the same service with those who were far more numerous: (H.) therefore the sons of Semei were joined with the family of Leedan: (C.) or rather Jaus and Baria went together, as one family. — Counted. Heb. “in one class, according to their father’s house.” H.

Ver. 13. Minister. Heb. “to sanctify the holy of holies.” — His. Heb. “in his name,” with solemnity. Num. vi. 23. The Levites might bless the name of the Lord.

Ver. 14. Levi, but not among the priests, (C.) though their father was an extraordinary priest, appointed by God to anoint Aaron. Ps. xcviii. D.

Ver. 15. Eliezer. His being uncircumcised, had almost proved fatal to his father. Ex. iv. 24. M. — First. He might have other brothers, (C.) though the title may be given to an only son, v. 17. Mat. 1. 25. Subuel was perhaps (H.) chief of a family, (C.) and was appointed over the treasury. C. xxvi. 24. M.

Ver. 24. Old. See v. 3, and Num. iv. 3. — And upwards; as long as they were able to serve. They were excused from carrying the tabernacle, &c. at fifty years of age. Num. viii. 25. Abulens. M. — To those who were turned of thirty, the higher offices were entrusted; while the Levites began at twenty, to exercise themselves in things of less consequence, under the direction of their elder brethren. T. — The kings might declare, by the advice of the Sanhedrim, what laws were of a temporary nature. Grot. D.

Ver. 25. Ever. They will not have to carry, the sacred vessels about, as formerly. H. — In order that they may not be idle, we must therefore provide them some other employment, v. 28, &c. T.

Ver. 28. Place. Heb. “purifying all that is holy;” (H.) keeping clean all that is used about the sacred ministry. C.

Ver. 29. And the priests, &c. This is not found in Heb. or Sept. The Levites might prepare these things; though the priests alone were to offer them in sacrifice. T. C. ix. 32. Lev. xxiv. 8. — Others think that (C.) the priests received flour from the people, and baked it. M. — But S. Jerom follows the tradition of the Jews, intimating that the priests sowed the corn, and did every thing about the loaves of proposition. In Mal. i. 6. — Flour. Lev. ii. 1. — Cakes. Ex. xxix. 2. — Roasting the first-fruits. Lev. ii. 14. M. — Measure. A standard was kept in the temple, (Ex. xxx. 13. C.) to prevent any fraud. The Ediles at Rome performed the same office. T. — There were not two measures in the country, as that would have caused confusion. D.

Ver. 30. And the Levites. This also is omitted in Heb. “and to stand,” &c. as all the preceding offices pertained to the Levites, (H.) and priests were bound equally with them to praise the Lord.

Ver. 31. Lord. Music accompanied this service twice a day, as it did the sacrifices which were offered for the prince, or for the nation. Num. x. 10. C. — Rest. Heb. “the set festivals, by number, according to the order prescribed unto them continually,” &c. H.

Ver. 32. Brethren. Let them follow the directions of the high priests, who are of the same tribe. M.