Lange Commentary - 1 Chronicles 9:1 - 9:44

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Lange Commentary - 1 Chronicles 9:1 - 9:44

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

f. The Inhabitants of Jerusalem till the Times of the Kings, with a Repetition of the Genealogy of Saul.—Ch. 9

1. The Inhabitants of Jerusalem: 1Ch_9:1-34

1Ch_9:1.And all Israel was registered; and, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel; and Judah was carried away to Babel for his transgression. 2And the former inhabitants, that were in their possession in their cities, were Israel, the priests, the Levites, and the Nethinim. 3And in Jerusalem dwelt, of the sons of Judah, and of the sons of Benjamin, and of the sons of Ephraim and Manasseh.

4Uthai the son of Ammihud, the son of Omri, the son of Imri, the son of Bani, of the sons of Perez the son of Judah. 5And of the Shilonites: Asaiah the first-born, and his sons. 6And of the sons of Zerah: Jeuel and their brethren, six hundred and ninety.

7And of the sons of Benjamin: Sallu the son of Meshullam, the son of Hodaviah, the son of Hassenuah. 8And Ibneiah the son of Jeroham, and Elah the son of Uzzi, the son of Michri, and Meshullam the son of Shephatiah, the son of Reuel, the son of Ibnijah. 9And their brethren in their generations, nine hundred and fifty and six; all these men were chiefs of their father-houses.

10,11And of the priests: Jedaiah, and Jehoiarib, and Jachin. And Azariah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, a prince of the house of God. 12And Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pashhur, the son of Malchijah, the son of Maasai, the son of Adiel, the son of Jahzerah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Meshillemith, the son of Immer. 13And their brethren, heads of the father-houses, a thousand and seven hundred and sixty, able men for the work of the service in the house of God.

14And of the Levites : Shemaiah the son of Hashub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, of the sons of Merari. 15And Bakbakkar, Heresh, and Galal, and Mattaniah the son of Micah, the son of Zicri, the son of Asaph. 16And Obadiah the son of Shemaiah, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun, and Berechiah the son of Asa, the son of Elkanah, who dwelt in the villages of the Netophathites.—17And the porters: Shallum, and Akkub, and Talmon, 18and Ahiman, and their brethren; Shallum the head. And hitherto he was in the king’s gate eastward; these are the porters for the camps of the sons of Levi.—19And Shallum the son of Kore, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah, and his brethren, for the house of his father, the Korhites, were over the work of the service of the keepers of the thresholds of the tents; and their fathers in the camp of the Lord were keepers of the entry. 20And Phinehas the son 21of Eleazar was formerly prince over them ; the Lord with him. Zechariah 22the son of Meshelemiah was porter at the door of the tent of meeting. All these that were chosen to be porters at the thresholds were two hundred and twelve; they were registered in their villages: David and Samuel the 23seer had ordained them in their trust. And they and their sons were over 24the gates of the house of the Lord, at the house of the tent, by wards. To the four winds were the porters, to the east, west, north, and south. 25And their brethren in their villages were to come in seven days from time to time26with them. For they were in trust, the four head keepers of the gates, these Levites, and were over the chambers and treasuries of the house of God.27And they lodged around the house of God; for on them was the charge, and 28they had to open every morning. And some of them were over the vessels of service, for they brought them in and out by tale. And 29some of them were appointed over the vessels, even over all the holy vessels, and over the 30flour, and the wine, and the oil, and the frankincense, and the spices. And of the sons of the priests some were compounders of the ointment of the spices.31And Mattithiah of the Levites, who was the first-born of Shallum the Korhite,32was in trust over the baking in pans. And of the Kohathites their brethren,33some were over the shew-bread, to prepare it every Sabbath. And these the singers, heads of the fathers for the Levites, were free in the chambers; for they were over them in the service day and night.

34These are the heads of the fathers for the Levites, heads in their generations; these dwelt in Jerusalem.

2. Register of Saul’s Family repeated: 1Ch_9:35-44

35And in Gibeon dwelt the father of Gibeon, Jeiel ; and his wife’s name was36Maachah. And his first-born son Abdon, and Zur, and Kish, and Baal, and 37Ner, and Nadab. And Gedor, and Ahio, and Zechariah, and Mikloth. 38And Mikloth begat Shimam; and they also, beside their brethren, dwelt in Jerusalem with their brethren.

39And Ner begat Kish, and Kish begat Saul, and Saul begat Jonathan, and Malchi-shua, and Abinadab, and Eshbaal. 40And the son of Jonathan was Merib-baal: and Merib-baal begat Micah. 41And the sons of Micah: Pithon, and Melech, and Tahrea. 42And Ahaz begat Jarah; and Jarah begat Alemeth, and Azmaveth, and Zimri; and Zimri begat Moza. 43And Moza begat Bina,and Rephaiah his son, Elasah his son, Azel his son. 44And Azel had six sons; and these are their names: Azrikam, Bocheru, and Ishmael, and Sheariah, and Obadiah, and Hanan; these were the sons of Azel.


Preliminary Remark.—Of the two unequal sections into which our chapter falls, the second, 1Ch_9:35-44, coincides almost literally with 1Ch_8:29-38, and so presents only a repetition of the register of Saul and his house there given, preliminary to the narrative of the fall of his dynasty following in 1 Chronicles 10. The first section, 1Ch_9:1-34, presents in its first half, containing a list of the heads of families dwelling in Jerusalem, 1Ch_9:4-17, several points of contrast with a similar list in Neh_11:3-19. The plan of both lists is at all events the same; and if, with Bertheau, of the three chiefs of Judah, 1Ch_9:4-6, we put Uthai beside Athaiah (Neh_11:4), and Asaiah beside Maaseiah (1Ch_9:5) (so that only the third name, Jeuel, has nothing corresponding to it in Nehemiah); if we consider the recurrence of the Benjamite chiefs Sallu and Hodaviah in Neh_11:7-9 (where, certainly, the remaining names are wanting); if we compare the six chiefs of the priestly divisions with those corresponding in number and mostly in name in the list of Nehemiah, and find here (1Ch_9:10-13) the series: Jedaiah, Jehoiarib, Jachin, Azariah, Adaiah, Masai, there the series : Jedaiah, Joiarib, Jachin, Seraiah, Adaiah, Amashai; if we observe among the chief of the Levites two, Shemaiah and Mattaniah, verbally identical, and a third, Obadiah (= Abda in Nehemiah), approximately so; if, lastly, we perceive at least two of the four chiefs of the porters, Shallum and Akkub, common to both lists,—a pretty general agreement even in names appears to prevail between the two registers. It seems natural, also, either with Zunz (Gottesdiensll. Vorträge der Juden, p. 31; also Herzfeld, Gesch. p. 298) to conceive our list modelled after that of Nehemiah, or both drawn from one source, and in like manner referring to the inhabitants of Jerusalem after the exile, as Movers (p. 234), Berth., Kamph., etc., do. But if both lists are based upon one common document, relating to the times of Ezra and Nehemiah, and arising from them, we should expect a more complete agreement with regard to all the names. The accordance of the names in only half of the whole number given, and the resemblance in place (giving first the sons of Judah, then the sons of Benjamin, then the priests, and then the Levites and porters), are sufficiently explained by supposing a general continuity of the inhabitants of Jerusalem before and after the exile, and laying the diversities of the two lists to the account of the altering, disturbing, and partly destroying effects of the exile, and the similarities to that of the endeavour of those returning with Zerubbabel and Ezra to restore as far as possible the former state of things. The following exegetical treatment of the passage will prove that, with this presupposition, the assumption of the origin of our present list before the exile, in contrast with the obvious reference of Nehemiah’s list to the times after the exile, has nothing of moment against it, and is even demanded by 1Ch_9:2 and other indications.

1. 1Ch_9:1-3. Transition from the Genealogical Registers of the Twelve Tribes to the Enumeration of the Inhabitants of Jerusalem.—And all Israel was registered; and, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel; and Judah was carried away. By the Masoretic accentuation, which plainly separates åִéäåּãָä from the foregoing words, and makes it the subject of a new sentence (comp. Crit. Note), the first sentence appears to treat of Israel in the narrow sense that is, of the northern kingdom, and its kings in particular (so Berth., Kamph., etc.). But the phrase “all Israel” makes it more natural here to think of the people of the south as well as of the north; and it is also in favour of this, that the expression: “the book of the kings of Israel,” is in 2Ch_20:34 manifestly of like import with “the book of the kings of Judah and Israel,” or “Israel and Judah,” as well as that the universal sense of the term “Israel” is found at the beginning of the second verse. Keil therefore justly remarks: “The antithesis of Israel and Judah is analogous to that of Judah and Jerusalem;” that is, Israel denotes the whole covenant people, Judah a part. To understand the name Israel of the whole people is also demanded by the position of our verse at the end of the genealogies of all the tribes of Israel, and not merely of the ten northern tribes. That 1Ch_9:1 effects the transition from the genealogies to the following enumeration of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and so forms properly the close of the genealogies in 1 Chronicles 2-8, is so obvious, that Bertheau has not been able to bring forward a single tenable ground for his counter assertion, that “the verse forms obviously a new beginning. “For the affirmation, that “we perceive in it a brief introduction to the historical accounts of the tribe of Judah, or of the Israelites after the exile,” can furnish no ground for this, because it not only contradicts the assertion that Israel is to be understood of the northern kingdom, but cannot be reconciled with the letter of the verse (that begins with the connective å ). The same exegete justly declares against the further assertion of Berth., that 1Ch_9:1 cannot be written by our historian himself, but must have been taken literally from his source,—an assertion which is devoid of all solid ground.—For their transgression: so 1Ch_5:25-26.

1Ch_9:2. And the former inhabitants, that were in their possession in their cities. Movers, Berth., and Kamph., who find in the following list the inhabitants of Jerusalem after the exile, in the time of Nehemiah, will understand by these “former inhabitants” those citizens of Jerusalem who dwelt there in the time of Zerubbabel and his immediate successors, before Jerusalem was newly peopled from the surrounding districts. It is much more natural, with almost all old expositors, and with Keil, to refer äָøִàùׁåֹðִéí here to the inhabitants of Jerusalem before the exile; for, in that case, “the inhabitants in their possession in their cities” are in no way opposed as former inhabitants of Jerusalem to the later, but both appear so placed side by side that this opposition is excluded. The parallel Neh_5:15, quoted by Bertheau, where the governors from Zerubbabel to Ezra are opposed as äַôַּçåֹú äָøִàùׁåֹðִéí to Nehemiah as the later ôֶּçָä , proves indeed the possibility of understanding the predicate äøàùׁåðéí in the sense of “before the exile,” but not the necessity. And from the dwelling “in their cities” (comp. Ezr_2:70; Neh_7:23; Neh_11:1 f.) nothing can be concluded in favour of this interpretation.—Were Israel, the priests, the Levites, and the Nethinim. “Israel” denotes here obviously the lay element of the citizens, that which is otherwise designated by òַí beside ëֹּäֵï (Isa_24:2; Hos_4:9). For the notion and name of the Nethinim, properly the “bestowed,” that is, the temple ministers, comp. Num_8:19; Jos_9:27; 1Sa_1:11; Ezr_2:43; Ezr_8:17; Ezr_8:20, and elsewhere.

1Ch_9:3. And in Jerusalem dwelt of the sons of Judah, etc. These words are not a superscription of the list of those dwelling in Jerusalem in contrast with those living in other cities (as Berth., etc.). The list rather begins with these words, so that thus the verse serves to introduce the contents of the greater part of our chapter (to 1Ch_9:34), and corresponds to 1Ch_9:35. This close connection of our verse with the following special enumeration of the families of Jerusalem (1Ch_9:4 ff.), and the mention of “the sons of Ephraim and Manasseh” as fellow-citizens with them in Jerusalem (comp. 2Ch_34:9), are against referring the present list to the time after the exile. The book of Nehemiah (1Ch_11:3) announces its list corresponding to ours in quite another way, so that there no doubt at all remains of its exclusive reference to conditions and relations after the exile. Moreover, the circumstance that the following list contains no names of Ephraimites and Manassites in Jerusalem, is simply explained by this, that of the former only a very few families dwelt in Jerusalem, while the Jews and Benjamites formed the bulk of its population. On the evangelical and theocratic import of the association of Ephraim and Manasseh with Judah, Benjamin, and Levi in the citizenship of Jerusalem, comp. below, evangelical and ethical principles, No. 1.

2. 1Ch_9:4-17. Special Enumeration of the Inhabitants of Jerusalem, and first, of the Heads of Families of Judah and Benjamin, of the Priests and Levites: 1Ch_9:4-6.—Three heads of families out of the three chief branches of Judah, those of Perez, Shelah, and Zerah (comp. 1Ch_2:3-4).—Uthai, the son of Ammihud. . . of the sons of Perez. The name Uthai might be etymologically equivalent to that of the Athaiah ( òֲúéָä ) mentioned Neh_11:4 as a head of a family of the sons of Perez; for òåּúְéָä=òåּúַé “whom Jehovah helps,” might, if we regard the somewhat obscure root òúä as a by-form of òåּú , have the same meaning as òֲúָéָä . But to the still diverse form is to be added the quite diiferent series of ancestors that connect Athaiah with Perez (Uzziah, Zechariah, Amariah, Shephatiah, Mahalalel, instead of the present Ammihud, Omri, Imri, Bani). It seems therefore very doubtful whether Uthai be the same with Athaiah. For the defective reading concealing the name Bani, see the Crit. Note.

1Ch_9:5. And of the Shilonites, Asaiah the first-born, etc. It seems pretty certain, that äַùֵּׁìָðִé should be read here instead of äַùִּׁéìֹðִé , as in Neh_11:5. We expect to find the descendants of Shelah (Num_26:20; comp. 1Ch_2:3; 1Ch_4:21) mentioned between the sons of Perez and those of Zerah. Moreover, it is doubtful whether the Shelanite Asaiah ( òֲùָׂéָä , “whom Jehovah has made”) is to be at once taken as identical with the Maaseiah ( îַֽòֲùֵׂéָä , “Jehovah’s Work”), as both names are of frequent occurrence (comp. for Asaiah, 1Ch_4:36, 1Ch_6:15, 1Ch_15:6; 1Ch_15:11, 2Ki_22:12; 2Ki_22:14, and for Maaseiah, 1Ch_15:18; 1Ch_15:20, 2Ch_23:1, Jer_21:1; Jer_29:21). The existence of an Asaiah as head of a house in the family of Shelah before the exile does not preclude the appearance of a Maaseiah, son of Baruch, son of Col-hozeh, son of Hasaiah, etc., as head of this family after the exile.

1Ch_9:6. And of the sons of Zerah: Jeuel and their brethren, six hundred and ninety. This number refers, as the plur. suff. in àֲçֵéäֶí shows, not to Jeuel alone, but to the three chiefs named in 1Ch_9:4-6, and to their brethren, the remaining heads of houses of subordinate import. So it is also with the number 956 in 1Ch_9:9. Moreover, the name Jeuel ( éְòåּàֵì ), or its variant ( éְòִéàֵì ), occurs elsewhere; for example, 1Ch_5:7, 2Ch_26:11. In Nehemiah 11. no descendants of Zerah are given.

1Ch_9:7-9. Four Benjamite chiefs: Sallu, Ibneiah, Elah, Meshullam, of whom the first (and, as here, the son of Meshullam) occurs also Nehemiah 11, but the other three not ; see the Preliminary Remark.

1Ch_9:9. And their brethren, etc.; comp. on 1Ch_9:6.—All these men were chiefs of their father-houses. This remark, which naturally refers, not to the brethren numbered, but to the chiefs named, applies to all that are named from 1Ch_9:4, both Jews, and Benjamites. It serves thus to close the list of family chiefs, and lead to the following one of the priests and Levites.

1Ch_9:10-13. The priests of Jerusalem.—Jedaiah, and Jehoiarib, and Jachin. The names of these three priestly classes dwelling in Jerusalem (comp. 1Ch_24:7; 1Ch_24:17) are found also in the parallel list in Neh_11:10 ff. (supposing that there, by a change of áֶּïÎéåֹéָøִéá into éְäåֹéָøִéá , the true reading is restored).

1Ch_9:11. And Azariah the son of Hilkiah ... a prince of the house of God. Instead of this prince or president of the temple, Azariah ben Hilkiah, certainly the same who, 1Chr 5:40, was named as grandfather of the Jehozadak who was carried to Babel (comp. also 2Ch_31:13), Neh_11:11 names rather a Seraiah son of Hilkiah. Yet the identity of this Seraiah with the Azariah of our passage is probable, as the other ancestors of both up to Ahitub (Meshullam, Zadok, Meraioth, Ahitub) are quite the same. Seraiah might indeed be a descendant of Azariah ben Hilkiah after the exile.

1Ch_9:12. And Adaiah the son of Jeroham, etc. This priestly chief Adaiah (belonging to the class of Malchijah; comp. 1Ch_24:9) is given in Neh_11:12 in the same form and with the same line, up to Malchijah, as here. The following Maasai ( îַòְùַׂé ), belonging to the class of Immer (1Ch_24:14), is called in Nehemiah Amashai ( òֲîַùְׁñַé ), and appears there connected by another line with Immer. Another priestly chief given by Nehemiah, Zabdiel, son of Hagge-dolim, who is designated the president or overseer of the last-named priestly family (that of Amashai), is wanting here.

1Ch_9:13. And their brethren, heads of the father-houses, 1760. This number cannot possibly refer to the heads; it rather denotes (like the number 1192 in Nehemiah) that of the brethren or the heads of houses standing under the heads of the great complex of families. The phrase appears thus inexact; perhaps, with Keil, a transposition of the words is to be assumed, in such a way that “heads of father-houses” is placed before and drawn to 1Ch_9:12 as closing formula, while “and their brethren” ( åַֽàֲçֵéäֶí ) is immediately connected with the number 1760. Moreover, that all the priests dwelling in Jerusalem, or the priestly families of the six classes named, amount in our passage to 1760, and in Nehemiah only to 1192, tends to confirm our view of the present list as belonging to the period before the exile; we expect for the priesthood of Jerusalem after the exile, about 150 years after the restoration of the city and temple, not so great a number as here.—Able men for the work of the service in the house of God. Before îְìֶàëֶú , which may not be a mere accusative of reference (“able men with respect to the work”), the word òùֵֹׁé (comp. 1Ch_23:24; Neh_11:12), or perhaps a mere ì (which might easily be overlooked after çַéִì ), appears to have fallen out; see Crit. Note.

1Ch_9:14-16. The Levites of Jerusalem.—Shemaiah the son of Hashub, etc. This Merarite Shemaiah, as the descendant of Asaph (therefore Gershonite) Mattaniah named in 1Ch_9:15, recurs in Neh_11:15, and with substantially the same line of ancestors. Bakbakkar, Heresh, and Galal (1Ch_9:15 a) are wanting there; for the first name would have to be identified with Bakbukiah, Neh_11:17, of which there are grave doubts, as áַּ÷ְáַּ÷ַּø ( = áַּ÷ְáַּ÷ äָäָø ) seems to mean “destruction of the hill;” but áַּ÷ְáֻּ÷ְéָä , “desolation from Jehovah.” And of the names of Levites in 1Ch_9:16, only Obadiah can be identified with Abda, Neh_11:17 (as Jeduthun appears as the ancestor of both). Berechiah is wanting in Nehemiah; and the latter has two names, Shabbethai and Jozabad, which are foreign to our text.—And Berechiah, the son of Asa, the son of Elkanah, and so a Kohathite, as the name Elkanah is native in this family; comp. 1Ch_6:18-23.—Who dwelt in the villages of the Netophathites, thus near Bethlehem; comp. Neh_7:26. This clause refers, not to Berechiah, whose dwelling is in Jerusalem, but to his ancestor Elkanah. It is impossible to determine what the Kohathite so called in 6. 18 ff. was to this Elkanah.

1Ch_9:17. And the porters: Shallum, and Akkub, and Talmon, and Ahiman, and their brethren; Shallum the head. The four here named (of whom, in Neh_11:19, only two, Akkub and Talmon, recur) are to be regarded, as appears from the particulars following (1Ch_9:24; 1Ch_9:26), not as common porters, but as captains of the four companies of porters, who were to keep guard on the four sides and gates of the temple : they are designated, 1Ch_9:26, as “head keepers of the gates,” a phrase reminding us of the óôñáôçãïὶ ôïῦ ἱåñïῦ in Luk_22:52. The number of all the doorkeepers, which is stated to be 172 in Neh_11:19, is wanting here, where it would, like that of the priests, have been considerably higher, because Jerusalem before the exile must have had a much more numerous staff of officers in every respect than that after the exile, to which the catalogue of Nehemiah refers. From all this, the correspondence of the two similar lists in the personal matters is only partial, and by no means such as to be inconsistent with the origin of the one before the exile and of the other after it. The resemblance and even sameness of the names in two or three generations does not of itself prove the identity of the persons, because we learn from the genealogy of Aaron (5. 29 ff.) that the series Amariah, Ahitub, Zadok repeats itself at different times (comp. 1Ch_9:33 f. and 37 f.). In general, the same names recur very often in genealogies, because it was the custom to give the children the names of their ancestors; comp. Luk_1:59; Winer, Realw. ii. 133; Hävernick, Einl. ii. 1, 179 ff. But if the likeness of names in the two lists furnishes no necessary ground for the identity of the lists, and in no way warrants us to identify the like sounding names by the assumption of errors of the pen, we must, on account of the great diversity in all points, understand our list of the inhabitants of Jerusalem before the exile, especially as the following remarks on the functions of the Levites demand this, because they relate throughout to the time before the exile.

3. 1Ch_9:18-34. The Ministerial Functions of the Levites, and first (1Ch_9:18-26 a), of the Levitical porters.—And hitherto (he was, namely Shallum, who is called in 1Ch_9:17 the head of the porters) in the king’s gate eastward; that is, till the present time the family of Shallum had to keep the guard at the east gate of the temple, that chief entrance to the inner court, by which the king alone entered (comp. 2Ki_16:18; Eze_46:1-2). The “hitherto” scarcely gives a hint of the time when the present list was composed. It may point as well to a time before the exile as after it, as Shallum is here obviously named as a hereditary name of a house or collective personality, which Keil contravenes unnecessarily. For the circumstance that a pedigree of Shallum is given, not yet in 1Ch_9:18, but at length in 1Ch_9:19, shows that in this latter passage the person of the patriarch of the leading house of doorkeepers is first distinguished from his descendants; see also after.—These are the porters for the camps of the sons of Levi. This expression, having an antique ring, and reminding us of the wanderings of the people under Moses (Num_3:21 ff.), proves no more than the many other designations of this kind (“tent,” 1Ch_9:20; “tent of meeting,” 1Ch_9:21; “house of the tent,” 1Ch_9:23 a) that our list was composed before Solomon or near the time of Moses; comp. “camp of Jehovah” of Solomon’s temple, 2Ch_31:2.

1Ch_9:19. And Shallum the son of Kore, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah. This reference of Shallum to Korah, the grandson of Kohath (1Ch_5:7), comes so close upon the ancestry of Shelemiah or Meshelemiah, the Korhite appointed by David over the east gate, 1Ch_26:1; 1Ch_26:14, that the Shallum of our passage can scarcely be different from him. It is also highly probable that the name of àֶáְéָñָó , the father or ancestor of Korah, should be restored there (see Crit. Note), so that the identity of the two persons and the merely formal diversity of their names ( ùַׁìּåּí , requital; îְùֶׁìֶîְéָäåּ , whom Jehovah requites) is almost certain; and the Meshelemiah, 1Ch_9:21, must be held to be identical with the Shallum belonging to the time of David; for there, as in 1Ch_26:2, a son Zechariah is ascribed to him. Thus the record goes back, as in 1Ch_9:20 to Phinehas the contemporary of Joshua, so in 1Ch_9:21 at least to a contemporary of David; and the guard at the east gate (the king’s gate), as it was hereditary in the family, is referred to a nomination by King David. The then mentioned brethren of Shallum, of the house of his father, the Korhites, are the heads of the other three families of porters, Akkub, Talmon, and Ahiman, living in the time of David, 1Ch_9:18.—Were over the work of the service of the keepers of the thresholds of the tent. This specifies the service performed by these Levites at the temple; they were threshold or gate keepers; comp. 2Ki_12:10; 2Ch_23:4. The genit. “of the tent” (here expressed by ìְ before àֹäֶì , because the preceding word having the article cannot be in the construct state) applies to the tent in Jerusalem erected by David, without, however, expressing any contrast to the temple of Solomon (which, in 1Ch_9:23, seems clearly to be included in the term “tent”); comp. on 1Ch_9:18.—And their fathers in the camp of the Lord were keepers of the entry, namely, in the time of Moses, to which there is reference here as in the following verse. “In the Pentateuch there is no mention of the Korhites keeping guard in the time of Moses; but as the Kohathites to whom they belonged were the first servants of the sanctuary, Num_4:4 ff., and especially had the charge of the tabernacle, it is in itself probable that they had to keep the entrance to the sanctuary (comp. Num_4:17-20); and therefore we cannot doubt that our statement follows an old tradition” (Berth.).

1Ch_9:20. And Phinehas the son of Eleazar was formerly prince over them, over the porters of the Korhite family. Phinehas cannot have been invested with this oversight of the Korhite porters when he was high priest, but only under the high-priesthood of his father Eleazar; as also Eleazar, as chief over the chiefs of Levi, Num_3:32, under the presidency of Aaron, had the oversight of the keepers of the sanctuary.—The Lord with him. This clause might be meant as a historical remark, and so completed by a äָéָä “was,” in which case the copula å was to be expected before éְäåָֹä , as in 1Ch_11:9. It is more natural to see in the two words a blessing, “God be with him,” and to compare the German phrases, “God bless him,” “Of blessed memory.” We may remember also God’s covenant of peace with Phinehas and his posterity, Num_25:11 ff. [This goes to prove that the historical is the correct meaning, and not one that is nearly akin to an error of doctrine.—J. G. M.]

1Ch_9:21. Zechariah the son of Meshelemiah, that is, Shallum; see on 1Ch_9:19. The designation of this Shallum (before whose name we miss the copula å ; see Crit. Note) as porter at the door of the tent of meeting has something indefinite needing explanation. But we can find nothing either from the present passage or from 1Ch_26:2 to clear up this difficulty, or account for the prominence given to this Zechariah.

1Ch_9:22 returns to the description of the service of the porters, which was interrupted by the historical digression, 1Ch_9:19-21. What is now stated belongs to the time of the author of the list, with the exception of the remark applying to the time of David, 1Ch_9:22 b.—All these, that were chosen to be porters at the thresholds. On áְּøåּøִéí , “chosen,” comp. 1Ch_7:40, 1Ch_16:41; for construction with ìְ , 1Ch_25:1. The number 212 as the total of the porters agrees neither with the time of David, in which (1Ch_26:8-11) 93 porters in all officiated at the tabernacle; nor with that of Zerubbabel, for which Ezr_2:42 gives the number 139; nor, lastly, with that of Nehemiah, for which, Neh_11:19, the number 172 is set down. But it suits the time before the exile, to which also the numbers of the families and priests in 1Ch_9:6; 1Ch_9:9; 1Ch_9:13 most probably point.—They were registered in their villages. They dwelt, therefore, in villages ( çֲöֵøִéí , as 1Ch_6:41 ff.) around Jerusalem, and came to it on the days of their service, as the singers in the time after the exile, Neh_12:29 f.—David and Samuel the seer (ancient designation for prophet, ðָáִéà ; comp. 1Sa_9:9) had ordained them in their trust. áֶּàֱîåּðָúָí , “in their trust,” official trust or duty; comp. the same term without suffix, 1Ch_9:26; 1Ch_9:31; 2Ki_12:16; 2Ki_22:7; 2Ch_31:12. The naming of Samuel with David (and after him, against the order of time; comp. Heb_11:32) the Chronist no doubt found in his source, and it is explained by the fact that the agency of Samuel in the religious institutions of Israel prepared the way for the reforms of David, and were therefore usually mentioned along with them. And perhaps some arrangement regarding the Levitical porters was made by Samuel which laid the foundation for that of David, though we have no information concerning this beyond the present passage.

1Ch_9:23. And they and their sons, the porters of the time of David and after it. The following phrase also, “at the house of the tent” (comp. on 1Ch_9:18-19), is chosen, because the present statement applies to both—the tent-sanctuary before Solomon, and the stone temple built by him.

1Ch_9:24. To the four winds (quarters of the heaven; comp. Job_1:19; Mat_24:31) were the porters, éִäְéåּ , that is, according to the arrangement of David (1Ch_26:14 ff.).—By wards, îִùְׁîָøåֹú of persons, as Neh_12:9; Neh_4:3; Neh_4:16.

1Ch_9:25. Were to come in seven days, the seventh day from time to time, that is, on the Sabbath of the week, on which every family was in their rank to perform the service ì in ìָáåֹà , to denote obligation, as 1Ch_5:1).—With them ( òִí àֵìֶּä ), along with the heads or chiefs of the divisions, 1Ch_9:17, who dwelt in Jerusalem itself, and to whom the notice in 1Ch_9:26 a refers.—For they were in trust, the four head keepers of the gates; comp. on 1Ch_9:17.

1Ch_9:26 b–32 report on the duties of the other Levites besides the porters.—These Levites, and were, etc. It has been remarked in the Crit. Note that for this we are most probably to read (according to 1Ch_9:14), “And of the Levites were.” At all events, the duties enumerated in the following passage (exclusive of 1Ch_9:27) belong to the Levites in common, and not to the porters. Accordingly, the words åְäֵí äַìְּåִéִּí must be regarded either as a subscription to the whole preceding paragraph from 1Ch_9:14 (so Berth.), or amended (with Keil) in the way indicated.—Over the chambers and treasuries of the house of God. These chambers ( ìְùָׁëåֹú ) and treasuries ( àֹöָøåֹú ) were in the side buildings of the temple, over which the Levites presided; comp. Eze_40:17; Eze_42:1 ff.; Neh_10:38; and Keil, Bibl. Arch. i. pp. 121, 124.

1Ch_9:27. And they lodged around the house of God. This notice, referring again to the porters, with the subjoined statement, that they had to open every morning (lit. “were set over the keys;” comp. îַôְúֶּçַ , Jdg_3:25; Isa_22:22), is strange in the present place: it had its place perhaps originally after 1Ch_9:26 a.

1Ch_9:28. And some of them were over the vessels of service, the more valuable vessels of gold and silver, with the sacrificial bowls (1Ch_28:13 f.; Dan_1:2; Dan_5:2 ff.), which required careful keeping, and as they were to be taken out of the treasuries for the public worship an exact “tale.”

1Ch_9:29. Over the vessels, even over all the holy vessels, and over the flour, and the wine, etc. As the term ëֵּìִéí is used here as in 1Ch_9:28, the difference between the vessels here and there mentioned seems to depend on the articles which are here named in connection with the latter, namely, flour ( ñֹìֶú , Lev_2:1 ff.), wine, oil, frankincense, and spices ( áְּùָׂîִéí , as Exo_30:23). They may be, therefore, the more ordinary, less costly vessels used in the daily incense, meat and drink offering (comp. on Exo_25:6). For îðä , “order, appoint,” in the Piel, comp. Dan_1:5; Dan_1:10-11; the partic. Pi. only here.

1Ch_9:30. And of the sons of the priests, etc. To them belonged, Exo_30:23 ff., the preparation of the holy anointing oil, by the compounding of several spices. This notice referring to the priests does not, strictly taken, belong to the functions of the Levites. The division of things has here for the moment overruled the division of persons. [The priests, however, were Levites.]

1Ch_9:31. And Matti-thiah of the Levites, who was the first-born of Shallum the Korhite: thus an elder brother of that porter Zechariah, 1Ch_9:21, if this is actually to pass for the son of the Shallum here. But certainly, in 1Ch_26:2, Zechariah is directly called first-born ( áְּëåֹø ) of Meshelemiah; and hence, to maintain the identity of this Meshelemiah with Shallum, we must assume “that in our passage Mattithiah bears the honourable title of first-born only in an improper sense, because he ranks high among the descendants of Shallum on account of his office” (Berth.). Nothing further is known to us concerning the person or time of Mattithiah.—Was in trust over the baking in pans. The term äַֽçֲáִúִּéí , a baking in pans (comp. îַֽçֲáַú , an iron pan, Lev_2:5; Lev_6:14; 1Ch_23:29; Eze_4:3), is used only here.

1Ch_9:32. And of the Kohathites their brethren, the brethren of the last-mentioned Levites, at whose head was the Korhite Mattithiah. For the way of laying on the shew-bread, see Lev_24:6 ff.—Every Sabbath. For the phrase ùַׁáַּú ùַׁáָּú (the first with Pattach in the last syllable, for euphony), comp. Bertheau.

1Ch_9:33. And these the singers, heads of the fathers for the Levites, were free in the chambers. This is usually regarded as a first subscription to the foregoing, from 1Ch_9:14, to which a second still more general subscription is added in 1Ch_9:34. Yet in the mention of the singers (the families of which had been reported in 1Ch_9:14-16), the enumeration of the ministerial functions of the several classes of the Levites, which had begun 1Ch_9:26 b, is rather continued; and therefore, instead of “these are the singers,” the rendering is rather “these singers, etc.,” and thus a force, extending to a rather remote point (1Ch_9:14), is to be assigned to the demonstrative (Kamph. justly). The “being free” in their chambers is set forth very naturally, because their exclusive occupation with their art was to be indicated. Comp. Rashi’s and Kimchi’s interpretation of ôְּèåּøִéí , immunes ab omni alio officio.—For they were over them in the service day and night. This literal rendering of the Masoretic text ( òֲìֵéäֶí áַּîְּìָàëָä ) seems to express the sense: “they were placed over them, the subordinate singers, had to superintend them” (Berth.). But the comparison of the somewhat different passage, 2Ch_34:12, is insufficient to justify this view. It is more natural to take òֲìֵéäֶí to mean: “it lay upon them;” but then áַּîְּìָàëָä would have to be changed into äַîְּìָàëָä (1Ch_9:27), and so the suitable sense restored: “for by day and night their service, their singing function, was incumbent on them.”

1Ch_9:34. These are the heads of the fathers for the Levites, etc. Comp. the similar subscription, 1Ch_8:28. Since this precedes the first genealogy of Saul, as here the repetition of this genealogy immediately follows, Movers (p. 82 f.) conjectured that it had its place here originally, but was taken by an old transcriber erroneously for the beginning of the following genealogy of Saul, and therefore transposed with this (as he endeavoured to point out a more suitable place, as he thought, for it at the close of the genealogy of Benjamin, 1Ch_8:1-27) to that previous place, and thereby somewhat altered. This assumption would only be plausible if the double position of the genealogy of Saul must be regarded as resting on a mistake, and contrary to the plan of the writer, for which there is no manner of ground. He rather repeated this genealogy intentionally here to form a proper transition from his genealogical section to his following (introducing the historical section) account of the fall of Saul’s house. This simple consideration removes all that was formerly adduced in the way of doubts, conjectures, and highly absurd and superfluous reflections on the supposed ground of this repetition, as, according to Mar Sutra in Tr. Pesachim 62b, 400 (or in another report, 1300) camel-loads of explanations are forthcoming on this repetition and on the present section; comp. Herzfeld, Gesch. p. 299.

4. Repeated Genealogy of Saul: 1Ch_9:34-44.—On the deviations of this list from 1Ch_8:29-39, see on that passage, where it has been already stated that our present passage seems to present the older and more correct text with respect to the forms of the names.


There is in many respects the impression of wandering in a wilderness, of walking among the stones in a graveyard, ranged in long rows, and more or less weathered, remaining on the mind after the exegetical examination of the genealogical contents of these chapters. But as in the wilds of Hauran, Idumæa, and Arabia Petræa, bristling with innumerable bare rocks, there is, notwithstanding all the drought and waste, a mysterious charm that acts with irresistible attraction on all Christian travellers animated by the spirit of biblical research; or as, to use another but kindred figure, the labyrinthine windings of the old Christian catacombs of Rome, with their thousands of sarcophagi, and the ever-varying inscriptions and manifold symbolic figures on them, prepare for the Christian antiquarian walking through them, not weariness, but an inexhaustible charm and ever new satisfaction; even so do the seemingly so dry and unrefreshing names of these nine chapters act upon the searchers of Scripture, not only the Jewish, but also the Christian. For it is from beginning to end holy ground through which we here pass. They are the grave-stones of the people of God, the monuments of a thousand years of the old covenant people, between the rows of which the Chronist leads us. They are the cities and places of the holy land, the origins of which are here presented to us in greater or briefer extent. And the same mysterious attraction that yearly impels thousands of Christian pilgrims, of all countries and confessions, to that land, in which not merely Israel after the flesh, but also the confessors of Christ, have to seek a right of home, insensibly influences every reader of this section who is led by a Christian and scientific interest. The same home-longing that comes upon us on beholding every chart of the country of the twelve tribes, on examining every plan and picture of Jerusalem, even on reading the plainest and simplest of the innumerable books of travels with which the present luxuriant literature of Palestine constantly floods us, seizes with irresistible power the biblical inquirer who turns his attention to these opening chapters of our work; it sweetens in many ways the hard labours that are occasioned by the deciphering of the often illegible text, the pondering on the import of so many isolated names, the reconciling of so many contradictory statements concerning places, persons, and genealogical lists. Considered in detail, there are four chief aspects in which the deeper significance of the history of salvation in our chapters is presented, and on which the attention of the historical inquirer, moved by higher motives than mere profane history and criticism can yield, will be concentrated.

1. The grouping and arrangement of the genealogical material, with all the complication, seeming inconnection and arbitrariness of the considerations involved, is highly attractive, as it affords a deep insight into the organic arrangement of the tribes of God’s people, and the parts they are destined to perform in the history of the theocracy. The fundamental principle of division is neither purely genealogical nor politico-theocratic, but has reference to all these relations. The enumeration of the tribes is not arranged genealogically, according to the ages of the twelve sons of Jacob; otherwise it would have begun with Reuben and ended with Benjamin. It proceeds not according to the political relations of the time of the divided kingdom; otherwise Judah and Benjamin would have stood first, and Ephraim would have followed at the head of the northern kingdom. It follows not exclusively the geographical principle; for if it starts with Judah, the chief tribe of the south, and passing over the seats of the Simeonites, extending far to the south, bends round to the three eastern tribes, and enumerates them from south to north, in order to pass on to the remaining tribes of middle and northern Canaan, in the enumeration of the latter it abandons all geographical order, as the southern Benjamin and probably Dan are annexed to the northern Issachar, and then follows, not Ephraim, the more southern of the tribes of Joseph, but the more northern Manasseh, next to Naphtali; and lastly, after Ephraim and Asher, Benjamin reappears. In the midst of this not very geographical enumeration falls the copious genealogical details of Levi, to whom a definite territory was wanting, on account of its distribution over all the tribes. And yet in this apparently ungeographical and unhistorical order there lies a deeper sense. The author, as a strict theocratic legitimist, subordinates all the others to the two chief tribes, Judah and Benjamin, forming the kingdom of Judah, and adhering to the legitimate national sanctuary, as well as the tribe of Levi remaining in natural mutual connection with them. As he otherwise ignores, as far as possible, the northern kingdom, that had revolted from the legitimate worship, and subordinates the tribes belonging to it, on every occasion, to the orthodox tribes of the south, and regards them as mere dependencies of the latter (comp. 1Ch_9:3, where, along with Jews, Benjamites, and Levites, those belonging to the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh are named as belonging to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; also the quite similar passage, 2Ch_34:9, and our remarks on it), here also is all that does not belong to the kingdom of Judah treated as accessory, and not only more briefly despatched (none of the tribes belonging to the north is given as fully as the tribe of Simeon belonging to Judah; some, as Dan and Naphtali, are almost wholly, and one, Zebulun, wholly omitted), but pushed in as subordinate, filling up between the tribes of Judah, Levi, and Benjamin, forming the beginning, the middle, and the end. What is especially conspicuous and beautiful is the central, all-pervading, embracing, and connecting position of the priestly tribe of Levi. “Over the whole distribution of the tribes is spread out as a connecting network the uniformly-distributed tribe of Levi, as the priestly mediator between God and His people, in its forty-eight cities, that belonged to all the tribes, but are not to be regarded as exclusively inhabited by Levites (comp. our remarks on 1Ch_6:65); whereby, according to Joshua 21 (and our 1 Chronicles 6), a peculiar crossing of the families of Levi took place, partly in the east and partly in the north of Palestine, so that those akin in family appear removed as far asunder as possible (Kohathites in Judah and Simeon, but also in Ephraim and West Manasseh; Merarites in Reuben and Gad, but also in Zebulun, etc.). It is as if this tribe, provided it remained at the height of its destiny, and the consciousness of God’s people clung to it, should represent the strong sinews and muscles running through the body of the people, which bind the members into a living and moving whole” (Hoffmann, Blicke in die früheste Geschichte des gelobten Landes, p. 99 f.).

2. Prominent in this arrangement, with regard to the history of grace, is the passing over of two tribes in silence. That Dan is only indicated, not named, in 1Ch_7:12, can only be conceived as a critical judgment on this tribe, that early and almost wholly fell into idolatry (see on the passage, and comp. 1Ch_27:16 ff., where there is not so much an overpassing of the name as a transposition of it to the end of the twelve tribes, by which the same theocratico-critical judgment is passed upon it). On the contrary, it may be accidental that no mention is made of the tribe of Zebulun in giving the genealogy of the twelve tribes, though it occurs in the enumeration of the Levitical cities (1Ch_6:48; 1Ch_6:62). Yet a certain significance for the history of salvation cannot be denied to this accidental omission, as it was certainly the relative smallness of the tribe, the low number of famous and populous families, that occasioned its disappearance from the genealogical traditions of the later time. Yet this so small and obscure tribe it was that included Nazareth, the dwelling - place of the earthly parents of Jesus. Zebulun, with its neighbour Naphtali, was, according to prophetic announcement (Isa_9:1; Psa_68:28), to prove to be “the people walking in darkness,” the land overshadowed with heathen gloom, that was to see the great light of salvation go forth from its midst. In this contemporaneous omission, then, of Dan, the tribe typically pointing to the Antichrist, and of Zebulun, the tribe serving as the earliest scene of the earthly living and working of the Saviour, there is in our registers a certain significance for the history of salvation, that even if it rests upon accident, points to a higher guidance and a providential arrangement.

3. The investigator of all that is significant for the history of salvation and the defence of the truth, will take no less interest in the many historical and archæological notices that are interwoven in the genealogical text. With their now scanty, now copious, contributions to the special history of the tribe, their details, often truly surprising by the epic grandeur and dramatic life of the narrative (to which belong, in particular, the records of the conquests of the Simeonites, the successful raids of the three trans-jordanic tribes against the north Arabian Beduin, and the slaying of the two sons of Ephraim, Ezer and Elad, by the primeval inhabitants of Gath), their highly ancient colouring both in style and deed, which prompts us almost to generalize the remark once added by the author: “these are ancient things,” and apply it to the whole of these accounts, these notices delight us as petrifactions from the grey foretime imbedded in the strata of genealogical series; they resemble scattered gems or medals of antique stamp shining through the rubbish of ages, that give us accounts of otherwise unknown events of theocratic history, and open to us perspective views into remote epochs of the development of God’s people, on which the darkness of absolute oblivion would otherwise have rested. From each of these, now shorter, now longer, documents concerning the older and oldest history of the tribe, goes forth the testimony of an unusually rich and many-sided individual impress of the Israelitish spirit, reminding us almost of the German nation in the multiplicity of its tribes, of a fresh but rude native power as a heritage more or less proper to each of the twelve tribes, and to each in peculiar modification, and thereby of a divine providence guiding and governing the life of the several tribes and of the whole nation with uninterrupted fatherly love as well as judicial integrity.

4. Of pre-eminent importance is finally the appearance, more or less clear in every tribe, of a preponderating repute and influence of one family over the rest. In the tribe of Judah, it is the family of Hezron the son of Perez, and grandson of Judah, that by its growth and power casts all the rest into the shade. In the tribe of Levi, the Kohathites predominate; in that of Benjamin, it is the house of Jeuel, or Abi-gibeon, the ancestor of Saul (1Ch_8:29, 1Ch_9:35 ff.), that, obscuring all the rest, rises to kingly worth and power, and even in its later offshoots, especially the sons of Azel and the bold archers of Ulam (1Ch_8:38-40), remains great and renowned. Among the Simeonites, Shimei, the descendant of Shaul, the last of the five sons of Simeon, becomes the ancestor of the most flourishing family (1Ch_4:26 f.). Among the Reubenites, the family of Joel is conspicuous (1Ch_5:4 f., 8 f.); among the Gadites, that of Buz (1Ch_5:14); among the Manassites, that of Machir the father of Gilead (1Ch_7:14 ff.); among the Ephraimites, that of Resheph the ancestor of Joshua (1Ch_7:25); among the sons of Issachar, that of Izrahiah the son of Uzzi, the son of Tolah (1Ch_7:3); among the sons of Asher, that of Heber the son of Beriah (1Ch_7:32 ff.). It is obvious enough to explain this remarkable phenomenon naturally, and regard it as preservation and completion of the strong families in “the struggle for existence,” or, if you will, as natural training. The statement of Palgrave, the English traveller, regarding the division of all the Arab tribes into two kinds of families, the townsmen or peasants, and the nomads or beduin, of which the former are the stronger and more developed, the latter the weaker, though patriarchally the more simply constituted, and therefore better fitted for handing down faithfully their genealogical recollections, should perhaps be regarded as pointing to a partial explanation of the present interesting phenomenon. Neither of these two purely natural attempts at explanation can be called satisfactory. The last and deepest ground of the rise of one family or tribe to a physically, ethically, or intellectually distinguished preeminence, and to an illustrious name, obscuring kindred tribes or families, is the secret of the divine election, that, without respect to character or conduct, raises and glorifies the one people or family, and leaves the other to lowness and oblivion, according to the words, “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated;” and, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (Rom_9:13; Rom_9:15; Mal_1:2 f.; Exo_33:19). As in the life of nations, so is this elective grace visible in the development of single tribes, clans, and families, and often in a way that directly contradicts the normal mode of growth and self-development, especially the law of the prevalence of the strong over the weak in “the struggle for existence,” and rather proceeds according to the Pauline saying: “ God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence” (1Co_1:27-29). Above all, in the development of the forefathers of Christ, before David as well as after, in the times of the rise as in those of the decline, this election by grace has repeatedly asserted itself, and operated as the proper principle and inmost motive of that blessed historical process, embracing many thousands of years, which, as the divine education of the human race, is the counterpart of all natural training, and the ideal archetype of all human education.


The Sept, the Vulg., and Luther attach åִéäåּãָä to the foregoing word ( ôῶí âáóéëÝùí Éóñêὴë êáὶ Éïῦäá ), with an arbitrary interpretation of the following äָâְìåּ åâå× ( ìåôὰ ôῶí ἀêïéêéóèÝíôù&