Preparations for Worship

23 When David got to be an old man, he made his son Solomon king over Israel.

2-5 At the same time he brought together all the leaders of Israel, the priests, and the Levites. The Levites thirty years and older were counted; the total was thirty-eight thousand. David sorted them into work groups: “Twenty-four thousand are in charge of administering worship in the sanctuary; six thousand are officials and judges; four thousand are security guards; and four thousand are to serve in the orchestra, praising God with instruments that I have provided for praise.”

David then divided the Levites into groupings named after the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

7-11 The Gershonites: Ladan and Shimei. The three sons of Ladan: Jehiel, Zetham, and Joel. The three sons of Shimei: Shelomoth, Haziel, and Haran, all heads of the families of Ladan. The four sons of Shimei: Jahath, Ziza, Jeush, and Beriah. Jahath came first, followed by Ziza. Jeush and Beriah did not have many sons so they were counted as one family with one task.

12-14 The four sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. The sons of Amram: Aaron and Moses. Aaron was especially ordained to work in the Holy of Holies, to burn incense before God, to serve God and bless his Name always. This was a permanent appointment for Aaron and his sons. Moses and his sons were counted in the tribe of Levi.

15-17 The sons of Moses: Gershom and Eliezer. Shubael was the first son of Gershom. Rehabiah was the first and only son of Eliezer; but though Eliezer had no other sons, Rehabiah had many sons.

18-23 Shelomith was the first son of Izhar. Hebron had four sons: Jeriah, Amariah, Jahaziel, and Jekameam. Uzziel had two sons: Micah and Isshiah. The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. The sons of Mahli: Eleazar and Kish. Eleazar died without any sons, only daughters. Their cousins, the sons of Kish, married the daughters. Mushi had three sons: Mahli, Eder, and Jerimoth.

24 These are the sons of Levi twenty years and older, divided up according to families and heads of families and listed in the work groups that took care of the worship in the sanctuary of God.

25-27 David said, “Now that the God of Israel has given rest to his people and made Jerusalem his permanent home, the Levites no longer have to carry the Tabernacle and all the furniture required for the work of worship.” These last words of David referred only to Levites twenty years old and above.

28-31 From now on the assigned work of the Levites was to assist Aaron’s sons in the work of worship in God’s house: maintain courtyards and closets, keep the furniture and utensils of worship clean, take care of any extra work needed in the work of worship, and provide bread for the table and flour for the Meal Offerings and the unraised wafers—all baking and mixing, all measuring and weighing. Also they were to be present for morning prayers, thanking and praising God, for evening prayers, and at the service of Whole-Burnt-Offerings to God on Sabbath, at New Moons, and at all festivals. They were on regular duty to serve God according to their assignment and the required number.

32 In short, the Levites, with the sons of Aaron as their companions in the ministry of holy worship, were responsible for everything that had to do with worship: the place and times and ordering of worship.

24 1-5 The family of Aaron was grouped as follows: Aaron’s sons were Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. Nadab and Abihu died before their father and left no sons. So Eleazar and Ithamar filled the office of priest. David assigned Zadok from the family of Eleazar and Ahimelech from the family of Ithamar and assigned them to separate divisions for carrying out their appointed ministries. It turned out that there were more leaders in Eleazar’s family than in Ithamar’s and so they divided them proportionately: sixteen clan leaders from Eleazar’s family and eight clan leaders from Ithamar’s family. They assigned the leaders by lot, treating both families alike, for there were officials of the sanctuary and officials of God among both the Eleazar and Ithamar families.

The secretary Shemaiah son of Nethanel, a Levite, wrote down their names in the presence of the king, the officials, Zadok the priest, Ahimelech son of Abiathar, and the leaders of the priestly and Levitical families. They took turns: One family was selected from Eleazar and then one from Ithamar.

7-18 The first lot fell to Jehoiarib,

the second to Jedaiah,

the third to Harim,

the fourth to Seorim,

the fifth to Malkijah,

the sixth to Mijamin,

the seventh to Hakkoz,

the eighth to Abijah,

the ninth to Jeshua,

the tenth to Shecaniah,

the eleventh to Eliashib,

the twelfth to Jakim,

the thirteenth to Huppah,

the fourteenth to Jeshebeab,

the fifteenth to Bilgah,

the sixteenth to Immer,

the seventeenth to Hezir,

the eighteenth to Happizzez,

the nineteenth to Pethahiah,

the twentieth to Jehezkel,

the twenty-first to Jakin,

the twenty-second to Gamul,

the twenty-third to Delaiah,

and the twenty-fourth to Maaziah.

19 They served in this appointed order when they entered The Temple of God, following the procedures laid down by their ancestor Aaron as God, the God of Israel, had commanded him.

20 The rest of the Levites are as follows:

From the sons of Amram: Shubael; from the sons of Shubael: Jehdeiah.

21 Concerning Rehabiah: from his sons, Isshiah was the first.

22 From the Izharites: Shelomoth; from the sons of Shelomoth: Jahath.

23 The sons of Hebron: Jeriah the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, and Jekameam the fourth.

24-25 The son of Uzziel: Micah, and from the sons of Micah: Shamir. The brother of Micah was Isshiah, and from the sons of Isshiah: Zechariah.

26-27 The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. The son of Jaaziah: Beno. The sons of Merari from Jaaziah: Beno, Shoham, Zaccur, and Ibri.

28 From Mahli: Eleazar, who had no sons.

29 From Kish: Jerahmeel, the son of Kish.

30-31 And from the sons of Mushi: Mahli, Eder, and Jerimoth.

These were the Levites by their families. They also cast lots, the same as their kindred the sons of Aaron had done, in the presence of David the king, Zadok, Ahimelech, and the leaders of the priestly and Levitical families. The families of the oldest and youngest brothers were treated the same.

The Musicians for Worship

25 1-7 Next David and the worship leaders selected some from the family of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun for special service in preaching and music. Here is the roster of names and assignments: From the family of Asaph: Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, and Asarelah; they were supervised by Asaph, who spoke for God backed up by the king’s authority. From the family of Jeduthun there were six sons: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Shimei, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah; they were supervised by their father Jeduthun, who preached and accompanied himself with the zither—he was responsible for leading the thanks and praise to God. From the family of Heman: Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shubael, Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, Romamti-Ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth. These were the sons of Heman the king’s seer; they supported and assisted him in his divinely appointed work. God gave Heman fourteen sons and three daughters. Under their father’s supervision they were in charge of leading the singing and providing musical accompaniment in the work of worship in the sanctuary of God (Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman took their orders directly from the king). They were well-trained in the sacred music, all of them masters. There were 288 of them.

They drew names at random to see who would do what. Nobody, whether young or old, teacher or student, was given preference or advantage over another.

9-31 The first name from Asaph’s family was Joseph and his twelve sons and brothers; second, Gedaliah and his twelve sons and brothers; third, Zaccur and his twelve sons and brothers; fourth, Izri and his twelve sons and brothers; fifth, Nethaniah and his twelve sons and brothers; sixth, Bukkiah and his twelve sons and brothers; seventh, Jesarelah and his twelve sons and brothers; eighth, Jeshaiah and his twelve sons and brothers; ninth, Mattaniah and his twelve sons and brothers; tenth, Shimei and his twelve sons and brothers; eleventh, Azarel and his twelve sons and brothers; twelfth, Hashabiah and his twelve sons and brothers; thirteenth, Shubael and his twelve sons and brothers; fourteenth, Mattithiah and his twelve sons and brothers; fifteenth, Jerimoth and his twelve sons and brothers; sixteenth, Hananiah and his twelve sons and brothers; seventeenth, Joshbekashah and his twelve sons and brothers; eighteenth, Hanani and his twelve sons and brothers; nineteenth, Mallothi and his twelve sons and brothers; twentieth, Eliathah and his twelve sons and brothers; twenty-first, Hothir and his twelve sons and brothers; twenty-second, Giddalti and his twelve sons and brothers; twenty-third, Mahazioth and his twelve sons and brothers; twenty-fourth, Romamti-Ezer and his twelve sons and brothers.

The Security Guards

26 1-11 The teams of security guards were from the family of Korah: Meshelemiah son of Kore (one of the sons of Asaph). Meshelemiah’s sons were Zechariah, the firstborn, followed by Jediael, Zebadiah, Jathniel, Elam, Jehohanan, and Eliehoenai—seven sons. Obed-Edom’s sons were Shemaiah, the firstborn, followed by Jehozabad, Joah, Sacar, Nethanel, Ammiel, Issachar, and Peullethai—God blessed him with eight sons. His son Shemaiah had sons who provided outstanding leadership in the family: Othni, Rephael, Obed, and Elzabad; his relatives Elihu and Semakiah were also exceptional. These all came from the line of Obed-Edom—all of them outstanding and strong. There were sixty-two of them. Meshelemiah had eighteen sons and relatives who were outstanding. The sons of Hosah the Merarite were Shimri (he was not the firstborn but his father made him first), then Hilkiah, followed by Tabaliah and Zechariah. Hosah accounted for thirteen.

12-16 These teams of security guards, supervised by their leaders, kept order in The Temple of God, keeping up the traditions of their ancestors. They were all assigned to their posts by the same method regardless of the prominence of their families—each picked his gate assignment from a hat. Shelemiah was assigned to the East Gate; his son Zechariah, a shrewd counselor, got the North Gate. Obed-Edom got the South Gate; and his sons pulled duty at the storehouse. Shuppim and Hosah were posted to the West Gate and the Shalleketh Gate on the high road.

16-18 The guards stood shoulder to shoulder: six Levites per day on the east, four per day on the north and on the south, and two at a time at the storehouse. At the open court to the west, four guards were posted on the road and two at the court.

19 These are the teams of security guards from the sons of Korah and Merari.

Financial Affairs: Accountants and Bookkeepers

20-22 Other Levites were put in charge of the financial affairs of The Temple of God. From the family of Ladan (all Gershonites) came Jehieli, and the sons of Jehieli, Zetham and his brother Joel. They supervised the finances of the sanctuary of God.

23-28 From the Amramites, the Izharites, the Hebronites, and the Uzzielites: Shubael, descended from Gershom the son of Moses, was the chief financial officer. His relatives through Eliezer: his son Rehabiah, his son Jeshaiah, his son Joram, his son Zicri, and his son Shelomith. Shelomith and his relatives were in charge of valuables consecrated by David the king, family heads, and various generals and commanders from the army. They dedicated the plunder that they had gotten in war to the work of the worship of God. In addition, everything that had been dedicated by Samuel the seer, Saul son of Kish, Abner son of Ner, and Joab son of Zeruiah—anything that had been dedicated, ever, was the responsibility of Shelomith and his family.

29-30 From the family of the Izharites, Kenaniah and sons were appointed as officials and judges responsible for affairs outside the work of worship and sanctuary. From the family of the Hebronites, Hashabiah and his relatives—1,700 well-qualified men—were responsible for administration of matters related to the worship of God and the king’s work in the territory west of the Jordan.

31-32 According to the family tree of the Hebronites, Jeriah held pride of place. In the fortieth year of David’s reign (his last), the Hebron family tree was researched and outstanding men were found at Jazer in Gilead, namely, Jeriah and 2,700 men of his extended family: David the king made them responsible for administration of matters related to the worship of God and the work of the king in the territory east of the Jordan—the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.

Bible Gateway Recommends