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The Levites Are Organized to Serve in the Temple

23 When David had grown old and had lived out his years, he made his son Solomon king of Israel. He gathered all the officials of Israel and the priests and Levites. Every male Levite who was at least 30 years old was counted. There were 38,000. Of these, 24,000 were appointed to supervise the work on Yahweh’s temple, 6,000 were appointed to be officers and judges, 4,000 were appointed to be gatekeepers, and 4,000 were appointed to praise Yahweh with the instruments David had made for praising God. David organized the Levites into divisions based on which of Levi’s sons (Gershon, Kohath, or Merari) they were descended from.

Ladan and Shimei were Gershon’s descendants. Ladan had three sons: Jehiel was the first, then Zetham, and Joel. Shimei had three sons: Shelomith, Haziel, and Haran. They were the heads of Ladan’s families. 10 Shimei’s sons were Jahath, Zina,[a] Jeush, and Beriah. They were Shimei’s four sons. 11 Jahath was the first, and Ziza was the second. Jeush and Beriah didn’t have many sons, so they were given an assignment as one family.

12 Kohath had four sons: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. 13 Amram’s sons were Aaron and Moses. Aaron and his sons were forever designated to dedicate the most holy things to God, to offer sacrifices to Yahweh, to serve him, and always give the blessing in his name. 14 The sons of Moses, the man of Elohim, were counted with the tribe of Levi. 15 Moses’ sons were Gershom and Eliezer. 16 Gershom’s only son was Shebuel. 17 Eliezer’s only son was Rehabiah. Eliezer had no other sons, but Rehabiah had many sons. 18 Izhar’s only son was Shelomith. 19 Hebron’s first son was Jeriah; his second was Amariah; his third was Jahaziel; his fourth was Jekameam. 20 Uzziel’s first son was Micah; his second was Isshiah.

21 Merari’s sons were Mahli and Mushi. Mahli’s sons were Eleazar and Kish. 22 Eleazar died without having any sons. He only had daughters. Their cousins, the sons of Kish, married them. 23 Mushi had three sons: Mahli, Eder, and Jeremoth.

24 These were Levi’s descendants, who were grouped according to their families. The heads of their families were registered by name as they were counted. Everyone who served in Yahweh’s temple was at least 20 years old. 25 David had said, “Yahweh Elohim of Israel has given his people rest. He will now live in Jerusalem forever. 26 The Levites will no longer have to carry the tent and all the utensils used in worship.”

27 David’s last instructions were to count the Levites who were at least 20 years old. 28 They were appointed to stand beside Aaron’s descendants to serve in Yahweh’s temple. They were appointed to be in charge of the courtyards and the temple rooms, to ensure that all the holy things were clean,[b] and to serve in Elohim’s temple. 29 They were also responsible for the rows of bread, the flour for the grain offerings, the unleavened bread wafers, and the bread made in frying pans. In addition, they were responsible for mixing the ingredients and keeping track of all weights and measures. 30 They were appointed to stand to give thanks and praise to Yahweh every morning. They were appointed to do the same thing in the evening. 31 They were appointed to stand in front of Yahweh in the required numbers whenever burnt offerings were made—on weekly worship days, at New Moon Festivals, and on appointed annual festivals. 32 They were appointed to follow the regulations for the tent of meeting and the holy place and to help their relatives, Aaron’s descendants, as they served in Yahweh’s temple.


  1. 1 Chronicles 23:10 Most Hebrew manuscripts; one Hebrew manuscript, Greek, Latin “Ziza” (see verse 11).
  2. 1 Chronicles 23:28 “Clean” refers to anything that Moses’ Teachings say is presentable to God.