1 Chronicles 26


The Gatekeepers

        • ESV Study Bible writes, “The primary duty of the Levitical gatekeepers was to safeguard the sanctuary from trespass by unauthorized persons and from defilement by idolatrous practices (see 2 Chron 29:3-7). They were also responsible for the temple treasuries and the maintenance of the building and its equipment (see 1 Chron 9:22-32). The gatekeepers played a vital role in aiding the high priest Jehoiada in opposing Athaliah (2 Chron 23:4-8, 19), and in the reforms by Hezekiah (2 Chron 31:14) and Josiah (2 Chron 34:9).”

      • The following were the divisions of the gatekeepers:

        • ESV Study Bible notes, “The gatekeepers included the families of Meshelemiah (vv. 1-3, 9), Obed-Edom (vv. 4-8), and Hosah (vv. 10-11; see 16:38). Obed-edom is probably to be identified with the Philistine caretaker of the ark in 13:14.”

        • Notice that ESV Study Bible has taken the position here that Obed-Edom was a Philistine. However, as we pointed out back in 1 Chron 13, his identity is debated. The interested reader may refer back to the notes for 1 Chron 13 for a discussion of the evidence for each view.

        • From the Korahites: Kore’s son Meshelemiah. Kore was one of Abiasaph’s sons.

        • The Hebrew text here says that Kore was one of Asaph’s sons. I have sided with the LXX rendering of “Abiasaph” here instead. The following commentaries explain why:

          • Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers: “Not the chief musician Asaph, who was a Gershonite (1Chronicles 6:39-48); whereas the Korhites were a Kohathite stock (Exodus 6:21). The name here is evidently an abbreviation of Ebiasaph (1Chronicles 9:19), as Ahaz of Jehoahaz.”

          • ESV Study Bible agrees with Ellicott’s Commentary indicating that Asaph is “A shortened form of Ebiasaph (1 Chron 9:19).”

        • Additionally, NLT Illustrated Study Bible points out, “The first ancestor of the gatekeepers was Meshelemiah (called ‘Shallum’ in Ezra 2:42; ‘Meshullam’ in Neh 12:25).”

        • Meshelemiah’s sons: Zechariah was the firstborn, Jediael was the second, Zebadiah was the third, Jathniel was the fourth, Elam was the fifth, Jehohanan was the sixth, and Eliehoenai was the seventh.

        • Obed-Edom’s sons: Shemaiah was the firstborn, Jehozabad was the second, Joah was the third, Sakar was the fourth, Nethanel was the fifth, Ammiel was the sixth, Issachar was the seventh, and Peullethai was the eighth. Indeed, God blessed Obed-Edom.

        • Obed-Edom’s son Shemaiah also had sons who were leaders over their ancestral houses because they were very capable men.

        • Shemaiah’s sons: Othni, Rephael, Obed, and Elzabad. His relatives Elihu and Semakiah were also able men.

        • All these were Obed-Edom’s descendants. They and their sons and relatives were capable men, well-qualified for their work. There were 62 of them related to Obed-Edom.

        • Meshelemiah had sons and relatives who were able men- 18 in all.

          • Hosah, one of Merari’s descendants, had sons: Shimri was the first (he was not actually the firstborn, but his father appointed him to that status), Hilkiah was the second, Tabaliah was the third, and Zechariah was the fourth. Hosah’s sons and relatives numbered 13 in all.

      • These divisions of the gatekeepers, corresponding to their leaders, had assigned duties for serving in Yahweh’s house just like their relatives did. They cast lots for each gate, according to their ancestral houses, young and old alike.

      • The lot for the east gate fell to Shelemiah.

        • NET Bible notes, “’Shelemiah’ is a variant of the name ‘Meshelemiah’ (cf. 26:2).”

        • ESV Study Bible says, “The east gate (v. 14) was the position of greatest responsibility, requiring six gatekeepers, because it would lead directly to the temple entrance. It was known as ‘the king’s gate’ in postexilic times (9:18).”

      • They also cast lots for his son Zechariah, who was a wise counselor, and the lot for the north gate fell to him.

      • The lot for the south gate fell to Obed-Edom, and his sons were allotted the storehouses.

        • On the storehouses, NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible says, “This Hebrew term is only found elsewhere in Ne 12:25, where the term is translated ‘storerooms at the gates.’ The Akkadian cognate also refers to outbuildings in a compound and is associated with the gates. This fits well with the general duties of Obed-Edom and his sons.”

      • The lot for the west gate, along with the Shalleketh Gate on the upper road, fell to Shuppim and Hosah.

        • With regard to the “Shalleketh Gate,” HCSB points out that, “This gate is not spoken of elsewhere in the OT.”

        • Regarding the name “Shuppim,” Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers remarks, “No such name as Shuppim (1Chronicles 7:12) occurs among those of the Levitical warders as given above in 1Chronicles 26:1-11. It is almost certainly a mistaken repetition of the last two syllables of Asuppim, which immediately precedes it. (The mistake is as old as the Vulgate; the LXX…perhaps reading lishnàyîm instead of le Shuppîm.) Read: And to Hosah (the lot fell) to the west, with the gate Shallèketh on the highway that goeth up.”

      • One guard was adjacent to another. Each day there were 6 Levites posted on the east, 4 on the north, and 4 on the south. There were 2 pairs posted at the storehouses. At the court on the west there were 4 posted at the road and 2 at the court.

        • With reference to the court mentioned here, the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible remarks, “This Hebrew term (parbar) is thought to be a Persian loanword. It is an obscure architectural term that may refer to an open colonnade with pillars. Its location is west of the sanctuary to the rear.”

      • These were the divisions of the gatekeepers who were descendants of Korah and Merari.

The Treasurers and Other Officials

        • ESV Study Bible writes, “Certain Kohathite families, the Ladanites and the Amramites, had duties as treasurers. The two treasuries were located near the gates (see 9:26): one for the house of God (presumably to store the regular tithes and offerings), and another for the dedicated gifts, i.e., the spoils of war (see 18:11) and other special gifts.”

        • With regard to the following verses, vv. 20-32, NLT Illustrated Study Bible explains, “In preparation for Solomon’s succession to the throne, David appointed these officials as part of his comprehensive organization of the Levitical orders at the end of his reign. The officers included treasurers, administrators, and judges who were part of the political bureaucracy.”

      • Their fellow Levites were in charge of the treasuries of the house of God and the treasuries for what had been dedicated. The descendants of Ladan, who were descended from Gershon through Ladan and were heads of the families belonging to Ladan the Gershonite, included Jehieli and Jehieli’s sons, Zetham and his brother Joel. They were in charge of the treasuries of Yahweh’s house.

          • I have sided with NET Bible’s rendering for v. 20, which aligns with the LXX rather than the Masoretic, “Following the LXX; the Hebrew reads, ‘And the Levites: Ahijah was.’”

        • NET Bible also points out, “’Ladan’ is a variant of the name ‘Libni’ (cf. 6:17).” and “’Jehieli’ is a variant of the name ‘Jehiel’ (cf. 23:8).”

      • From the Amramites, the Izharites, the Hebronites, and the Uzzielites:

        • Shubael, who was a descendant of Moses’ son Gershom, was the official in charge of the treasuries. His relatives through Eliezer included: his son Rehabiah, his son Jeshaiah, his son Joram, his son Zikri, and his son Shelomith. Shelomith and his relatives were in charge of all the treasuries for what had been dedicated by King David, by the family leaders who led units of a thousand and a hundred, and by the army commanders. They dedicated part of the plunder from their battles to be used for repairs on Yahweh’s house. They were also in charge of everything dedicated by Samuel the seer, Kish’s son Saul, Ner’s son Abner, and Zeruiah’s son Joab. Shelomith and his relatives were in charge of everything that had been dedicated.

          • NLT Illustrated Study Bible says, “The Levites were in charge of the Lord’s treasuries and property (see 2 Chr 24:11; 31:12). Some spoils of war were always dedicated to God (1 Chr 26:26-28).”

      • From the Izharites: Kenaniah and his sons were appointed to duties outside the house of God- as officials and judges over Israel.

      • From the Hebronites: Hashabiah and his relatives, 1,700 capable men, were appointed duties for the work of Yahweh and in service of the king in the area of Israel west of the Jordan River.

      • From the Hebronites: Jeriah was the leader of the Hebronites according to his family’s genealogical records. In the 40th year of David’s reign, they examined the records and found that there were capable men among the Hebronites in Jazer in Gilead. Jeriah had 2,700 relatives who were capable men and leaders of their families. King David placed them in charge of the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. They took care of all matters pertaining to God and the king.

        • Jazer was a Levitical city (Josh 21:39) that became an administrative center during the monarchy. David and his descendants could depend on the loyalty of the Levites from Hebron (1 Sam 30:27-31; 2 Sam 2:1-11).”

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