1 Chronicles 26


Gill, in his commentary, gives us a useful summary of this chapter.

‘In this chapter, we have a further account of the disposition and distribution of the Levites, to serve in other offices, as of porters at the several gates of the temple, for which they cast lots, 1 Chronicles 26:1 of others, as over the treasures of the house of the Lord, 1 Chronicles 26:20, and of others that were appointed judges in the land, to administer justice to the people, 1 Chronicles 26:29.’

The Gatekeepers

‘The divisions of the gatekeepers: From the Korahites: Meshelemiah son of Kore, one of the sons of Asaph. Meshelemiah had sons: Zechariah the firstborn, Jediael the second, Zebadiah the third, Jathniel the fourth, Elam the fifth, Jehohanan the sixth and Eliehoenai the seventh. Obed-Edom also had sons: Shemaiah the firstborn, Jehozabad the second, Joah the third, Sakar the fourth, Nethanel the fifth, Ammiel the sixth, Issachar the seventh and Peullethai the eighth. (For God had blessed Obed-Edom.) Obed-Edom’s son Shemaiah also had sons, who were leaders in their father’s family because they were very capable men. The sons of Shemaiah: Othni, Rephael, Obed and Elzabad; his relatives Elihu and Semakiah were also able men. All these were descendants of Obed-Edom; they and their sons and their relatives were capable men with the strength to do the work—descendants of Obed-Edom, 62 in all.  Meshelemiah had sons and relatives, who were able men—18 in all. Hosah the Merarite had sons: Shimri the first (although he was not the firstborn, his father had appointed him the first), Hilkiah the second, Tabaliah the third and Zechariah the fourth. The sons and relatives of Hosah were 13 in all. These divisions of the gatekeepers, through their leaders, had duties for ministering in the temple of the LORD, just as their relatives had. Lots were cast for each gate, according to their families, young and old alike. The lot for the East Gate fell to Shelemiah. Then lots were cast for his son Zechariah, a wise counsellor, and the lot for the North Gate fell to him. The lot for the South Gate fell to Obed-Edom, and the lot for the storehouse fell to his sons. The lots for the West Gate and the Shalleketh Gate on the upper road fell to Shuppim and Hosah. Guard was alongside of guard: There were six Levites a day on the east, four a day on the north, four a day on the south and two at a time at the storehouse. As for the court to the west, there were four at the road and two at the court itself. These were the divisions of the gatekeepers who were descendants of Korah and Merari.’ 1 Chronicles 26:1-19

Gatekeepers were those who were in charge of the entrances of the temple. Obed-Edom and Hosah, 1 Chronicles 26:10, have been doorkeepers, from the time of the bringing up of the ark into Jerusalem, 1 Chronicles 15:24 / 1 Chronicles 16:38.

Selman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Though less prominent than some of their Levitical colleagues, from time to time the gatekeepers made a vital contribution to national life, notably under the high priest Jehoiada, 2 Chronicles 23:4-6 / 2 Chronicles 23:19, and in the reigns of Hezekiah, 2 Chronicles 31:14-19, and Josiah, 2 Chronicles 34:9-13.’

The storehouse is where all the gold and silver were stored which had been taken as taxes and tribute. The gatekeepers had the responsibility of guarding the treasure. The treasury went from each individual maintaining their own treasury on the farms to a national treasury that was kept in Jerusalem.

Gill, in his commentary, says the following.

‘They casted lots to determine at which gate each should stand, who at this gate, and who at the other, as well the small as the great, according to the house of their fathers, for every gate meaning, not little ones and grown persons in a family, but the smaller and poorer families, and the larger and richer ones, had their places assigned them at the several gates, as the lot directed; they did not go according to the dignity and precedence of their families, but according to lot.’

Barnes, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The account of the porters, that is guards, here given makes them only twenty-four in number at any one time, 1 Chronicles 23:5 states that the duty was discharged by 4,000 persons. Perhaps of the 93 chief porters, guards, here spoken of, 1 Chronicles 26:8-9 / 1 Chronicles 26:11 / 1 Chronicles 26:24, were always on guard as officers, while of the remaining 3,907, a certain proportion was each day on duty as their subordinates.’

The Treasurers And Other Officials

‘Their fellow Levites were in charge of the treasuries of the house of God and the treasuries for the dedicated things. The descendants of Ladan, who were Gershonites through Ladan and who were heads of families belonging to Ladan the Gershonite, were Jehieli, the sons of Jehieli, Zetham and his brother Joel. They were in charge of the treasuries of the temple of the LORD. From the Amramites, the Izharites, the Hebronites and the Uzzielites: Shubael, a descendant of Gershom son of Moses, was the official in charge of the treasuries. His relatives through Eliezer: Rehabiah his son, Jeshaiah his son, Joram his son, Zikri his son and Shelomith his son. Shelomith and his relatives were in charge of all the treasuries for the things dedicated by King David, by the heads of families who were the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and by the other army commanders. Some of the plunder taken in battle they dedicated for the repair of the temple of the LORD. And everything dedicated by Samuel the seer and by Saul son of Kish, Abner son of Ner and Joab son of Zeruiah, and all the other dedicated things were in the care of Shelomith and his relatives.’ 1 Chronicles 26:20-28

Ahijah was in charge of the handling or accounting of the gold and silver which was in the treasury. It must have become common knowledge about the wealth which was stored in the storehouses because other nations would come and raid the temple and the royal houses and take all the treasure, 2 Kings 24:13.

Barnes, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The foundations of a sacred treasury had therefore been laid as far back as the time of Samuel when the Israelites began to recover from their last servitude. Such a treasury had been once before established, namely, under Joshua, Joshua 6:24, but it appears to have been soon exhausted, and we hear nothing of it under any of the later judges until Samuel.’

Samuel the seer, won in battle with the Philistines and Saul the son of Kish won his battle with the Moabites, Edomites, Amalekites, and Philistines. Abner the son of Ner was the general of his army, who as such had his share in the spoils and Joab the son of Zeruiah was the general of David’s army, who fought with the Ammonites, Syrians, and others.

All of these men had dedicated themselves to the building of the temple and supported the building of it. It was known by them all that God would have a place to put his name in.

Shelomith must have had a great trust among his people, as he was put in charge of everything.

‘From the Izharites: Kenaniah and his sons were assigned duties away from the temple, as officials and judges over Israel. From the Hebronites: Hashabiah and his relatives—seventeen hundred able men—were responsible in Israel west of the Jordan for all the work of the LORD and for the king’s service. As for the Hebronites, Jeriah was their chief according to the genealogical records of their families. In the fortieth year of David’s reign a search was made in the records, and capable men among the Hebronites were found at Jazer in Gilead. Jeriah had twenty-seven hundred relatives, who were able men and heads of families, and King David put them in charge of the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh for every matter pertaining to God and for the affairs of the king.’ 1 Chronicles 26:29-32

In these verses, we are given a description of those who were chosen for the administration of affairs other than those who were connected with the administration of the temple.

These would include administrators as civil officers, military leaders, soldiers and judges.

Barnes, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The business of the Lord in the provinces would consist especially in the collection of the tithes, the redemption money, and the freewill offerings of the people. It may perhaps have included some religious teaching, 2 Chronicles 17:7-9.’

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Here is the irresistible proof that the Old Testament deals, not with myth, legend, or folklore, but with fact, with history, with flesh and blood events in the long and turbulent story of God’s people Israel, through whom Almighty God brought redemption in Jesus Christ to Adam’s lost and ruined descendants.’

Go To 1 Chronicles 27


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