1 Chronicles 23
23 When David was old, full of years, and near death, he appointed his son Solomon to succeed him as king over Israel. 2 Then David gathered together all the leaders of Israel, including the priests and the Levites.
The Israelites can now be blessed by David’s organization in two ways. First, as they begin rebuilding the temple, his preparations are practical: they explain what tools and artisans and materials are needed to build God’s house. But his organization blesses the Israelites another way: he shows what consistent devotion to God looks like. Even though David knows he won’t see the temple with his own eyes, he is no less committed to doing God’s work.
The process of rebuilding Jerusalem is an arduous one, one that will take more than one lifetime to complete. So the Israelites cannot become complacent about God’s work just because they may not see it come to fruition themselves. They must work for the advancement of His kingdom because that is what He desires.
3 At that time, there were 38,000 Levites 30 years of age and older, an employable age. 4 Of these, 24,000 directed the work of the temple of the Eternal, 6,000 were officers and judges, 5 4,000 were gatekeepers, and 4,000 were musicians, praising Him with the instruments David made. 6 David divided the Levites into their families, the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
7 The Gershonites had two families: Ladan and Shimei. 8 Ladan had three sons: Jehiel (the first), Zetham, and Joel. 9 Shimei had three sons also: Shelomoth, Haziel, and Haran. These men were the chiefs of Ladan’s family. 10 Shimei’s other four sons were Jahath, Zina, Jeush, and Beriah. 11 Jahath was the first and Zizah the second, but Jeush and Beriah did not have strong lineages. Eventually their families combined to make one family.
12 The Kohathites had four families: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. 13 Amram had two sons: Aaron and Moses. Aaron’s lineage was chosen to ordain and cleanse themselves as the most holy among the Levites forever. They were charged with burning incense before the Eternal, ministering to Him, and blessing in His name forever. Because they were set apart, their lineage is not included in this genealogy. 14 Moses, the man of God, had two sons whose family lineages were included in this genealogy of the tribe of Levi. 15 Moses’ sons were Gershom and Eliezer. 16 Gershom’s son was Shebuel (the chief). 17 Eliezer had only one son: Rehabiah (the chief). Rehabiah had many sons. 18 Izhar (the son of Kohath) had one son: Shelomith (the chief). 19 Hebron (the son of Kohath) had four sons: Jeriah the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, and Jekameam the fourth. 20 Uzziel (the son of Kohath) had two sons: Micah the first and Isshiah the second.
21 The Merarites had two families: Mahli and Mushi. Mahli had two sons: Eleazar and Kish. 22 When Eleazar died he had no sons, only daughters. These women maintained their father’s line by marrying their relatives, the sons of Kish. 23 Mushi had three sons: Mahli, Eder, and Jeremoth.
24 This is the genealogy of Levi according to their families. The leaders of the families were counted along with all those working for the Eternal who were 20 years of age and older.
David: 25 Since the Eternal God now lives in His tent in Jerusalem forever and has given rest to His people Israel, 26 the Levites will no longer need to carry the congregation tent and all the vessels for its service. The tent will rest in Jerusalem along with God’s people.
27 These final words of King David changed who was included in the census. From this point forward, the sons of Levi who were 20 years of age and older were included in the genealogies.
This alteration of age from 30 years in 1 Chronicles 23:3 to 20 years of age here may indicate that more workers were needed from the Levite tribe for the temple since the change from a moveable tent for worship to the continual service in the permanent structure.
28 The Levites help Aaron’s family with their duties in the temple of the Eternal, purifying all the things dedicated to spiritual service in the courts and in the chambers of the temple, and preparing for services in the temple: 29 making the loaves of unleavened bread, selecting the fine flour for a grain offering, making the unleavened wafers, or preparing anything else that is baked in the pan or well-mixed, regardless of the amount and size. 30 They stand and testify about the Eternal regularly, every morning and evening. 31 They offer all the burnt offerings to Him on the Sabbath days, the new moons, and the holidays according to the law given to Moses. 32 In these ways, they are responsible for the congregation tent and the holy utensils within the sanctuary. They are helpers of Aaron’s family, and they help maintain the temple of the Eternal.