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The Levites

23 After David ·had lived long [L was full of years] and was old, he made his son Solomon the new king of Israel. David gathered all the leaders of Israel, along with the priests and Levites. He counted the Levites who were thirty years old and older, and they totaled thirty-eight thousand. David said, “Of these, twenty-four thousand Levites will ·direct [oversee; supervise] the work of the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord, six thousand Levites will be ·officers [officials] and judges, four thousand Levites will be gatekeepers, and four thousand Levites will praise the Lord with musical instruments I made for ·giving praise [worship].”

David separated the Levites into three groups that were led by Levi’s three sons: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

The People of Gershon

From the people of Gershon [6:1], there were Ladan and Shimei.

Ladan had three sons. His first son was Jehiel, and his other sons were Zetham and Joel.

Shimei’s sons were Shelomoth, Haziel, and Haran. These three sons were leaders of Ladan’s ·families [clans]. 10 Shimei had four sons: Jahath, Ziza,[a] Jeush, and Beriah. 11 Jahath was the ·first son [eldest; chief; family leader], and Ziza was the second son. But Jeush and Beriah did not have many children, so they were counted as if they were one family, with one ·assignment [responsibility].

The People of Kohath

12 Kohath had four sons: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel.

13 Amram’s sons were Aaron and Moses. Aaron and his descendants were ·chosen to be special [set apart] forever. They were chosen to ·prepare [dedicate; sanctify] the holy things, to ·offer sacrifices [burn incense] before the Lord, and to ·serve [minister to] him. They were to ·give [pronounce] blessings in his name forever.

14 Moses was the man of God, and his sons were counted as part of the tribe of Levi. 15 Moses’ sons were Gershom [Judg. 18:30] and Eliezer. 16 Gershom’s ·first [oldest; chief] son was Shubael. 17 Eliezer’s ·first [oldest; chief] son was Rehabiah. Eliezer had no other sons, but Rehabiah had many sons.

18 Izhar’s ·first [oldest; chief] son was Shelomith.

19 Hebron’s ·first [oldest; chief] son was Jeriah, his second was Amariah, his third was Jahaziel, and his fourth was Jekameam.

20 Uzziel’s ·first [oldest; chief] son was Micah and his second was Isshiah.

The People of Merari

21 Merari’s sons were Mahli and Mushi. Mahli’s sons were Eleazar and Kish. 22 Eleazar died without sons; he had only daughters. Eleazar’s daughters married their cousins, the sons of Kish. 23 Mushi’s three sons were Mahli, Eder, and Jerimoth.

The Levites’ Work

24 These were Levi’s descendants listed by ·their families [clans]. They were the leaders of families. Each person who was twenty years old or older was ·listed [counted]. They served in the Lord’s ·Temple [L house].

25 David had said, “The Lord, the God of Israel, has given ·rest [peace] to his people. He ·has come to live [dwells] in Jerusalem forever. 26 So the Levites don’t need to carry the ·Holy Tent [Tabernacle] or any of the ·things [articles; objects] used in its services anymore.” 27 David’s ·last [final] instructions were to count the Levites who were twenty years old and older.

28 The Levites had the ·job [duty; office] of ·helping [assisting] Aaron’s descendants in the service of the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord. They cared for the ·Temple [L house] ·courtyard [courts] and side rooms, and they ·made all the holy things pure [ceremonially purified all holy/sacred things]. Their job was to serve in the ·Temple [L house] of God. 29 They were ·responsible for [in charge of] putting the ·holy bread [T showbread] on the table, for the choice flour in the grain offerings, for the ·bread made without yeast [unleaven bread/wafers], for the ·baking and mixing [or the round cakes], and for the measuring of quantity or size. 30 The Levites also stood every morning and gave thanks and praise to the Lord. They also did this every evening. 31 The Levites offered all the burnt offerings [Lev. 1:1–17] to the Lord on the ·special days of rest [sabbaths], at the New Moon festivals [Num. 10:10; 29:6; 1 Sam. 20:5; 2 Kin. 4:23; Ezra 3:5; Ps. 81:3; Is. 1:13; Amos 8:5], and at all appointed feasts. They served before the Lord ·every day [continually]. They were to follow the rules for how many Levites should serve each time. 32 So the Levites ·took care [were in charge] of the ·Meeting Tent [Tabernacle] and the ·Holy Place [sanctuary]. And they helped their relatives, Aaron’s descendants, with the services at the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord.


  1. 1 Chronicles 23:10 Ziza Some Hebrew, Greek and Latin copies read “Ziza.” Other Hebrew copies read “Zina.”

The Levites

23 When David was old and full of years, he made his son Solomon(A) king over Israel.(B)

He also gathered together all the leaders of Israel, as well as the priests and Levites. The Levites thirty years old or more(C) were counted,(D) and the total number of men was thirty-eight thousand.(E) David said, “Of these, twenty-four thousand are to be in charge(F) of the work(G) of the temple of the Lord and six thousand are to be officials and judges.(H) Four thousand are to be gatekeepers and four thousand are to praise the Lord with the musical instruments(I) I have provided for that purpose.”(J)

David separated(K) the Levites into divisions corresponding to the sons of Levi:(L) Gershon, Kohath and Merari.


Belonging to the Gershonites:(M)

Ladan and Shimei.

The sons of Ladan:

Jehiel the first, Zetham and Joel—three in all.

The sons of Shimei:

Shelomoth, Haziel and Haran—three in all.

These were the heads of the families of Ladan.

10 And the sons of Shimei:

Jahath, Ziza,[a] Jeush and Beriah.

These were the sons of Shimei—four in all.

11 Jahath was the first and Ziza the second, but Jeush and Beriah did not have many sons; so they were counted as one family with one assignment.


12 The sons of Kohath:(N)

Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel—four in all.

13 The sons of Amram:(O)

Aaron and Moses.

Aaron was set apart,(P) he and his descendants forever, to consecrate the most holy things, to offer sacrifices before the Lord, to minister(Q) before him and to pronounce blessings(R) in his name forever. 14 The sons of Moses the man(S) of God were counted as part of the tribe of Levi.

15 The sons of Moses:

Gershom and Eliezer.(T)

16 The descendants of Gershom:(U)

Shubael was the first.

17 The descendants of Eliezer:

Rehabiah(V) was the first.

Eliezer had no other sons, but the sons of Rehabiah were very numerous.

18 The sons of Izhar:

Shelomith(W) was the first.

19 The sons of Hebron:(X)

Jeriah the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third and Jekameam the fourth.

20 The sons of Uzziel:

Micah the first and Ishiah the second.


21 The sons of Merari:(Y)

Mahli and Mushi.(Z)

The sons of Mahli:

Eleazar and Kish.

22 Eleazar died without having sons: he had only daughters. Their cousins, the sons of Kish, married them.(AA)

23 The sons of Mushi:

Mahli, Eder and Jerimoth—three in all.

24 These were the descendants of Levi by their families—the heads of families as they were registered under their names and counted individually, that is, the workers twenty years old or more(AB) who served in the temple of the Lord. 25 For David had said, “Since the Lord, the God of Israel, has granted rest(AC) to his people and has come to dwell in Jerusalem forever, 26 the Levites no longer need to carry the tabernacle or any of the articles used in its service.”(AD) 27 According to the last instructions of David, the Levites were counted from those twenty years old or more.

28 The duty of the Levites was to help Aaron’s descendants in the service of the temple of the Lord: to be in charge of the courtyards, the side rooms, the purification(AE) of all sacred things and the performance of other duties at the house of God. 29 They were in charge of the bread set out on the table,(AF) the special flour for the grain offerings,(AG) the thin loaves made without yeast, the baking and the mixing, and all measurements of quantity and size.(AH) 30 They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord. They were to do the same in the evening(AI) 31 and whenever burnt offerings were presented to the Lord on the Sabbaths, at the New Moon(AJ) feasts and at the appointed festivals.(AK) They were to serve before the Lord regularly in the proper number and in the way prescribed for them.

32 And so the Levites(AL) carried out their responsibilities for the tent of meeting,(AM) for the Holy Place and, under their relatives the descendants of Aaron, for the service of the temple of the Lord.(AN)


  1. 1 Chronicles 23:10 One Hebrew manuscript, Septuagint and Vulgate (see also verse 11); most Hebrew manuscripts Zina

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