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Chapter 23

The Levitical Divisions. When David had grown old and was near the end of his days, he made his son Solomon king over Israel.(A) He then gathered together all the officials of Israel, along with the priests and the Levites.

The Levites thirty years old and above were counted, and their total number was found to be thirty-eight thousand.(B) Of these, twenty-four thousand were to direct the service of the house of the Lord, six thousand were to be officials and judges, four thousand were to be gatekeepers,(C) and four thousand were to praise the Lord with the instruments which [David] had devised for praise. David apportioned them into divisions according to the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.(D)

To the Gershonites belonged Ladan and Shimei. The sons of Ladan: Jehiel the chief, then Zetham and Joel; three in all.(E) The sons of Shimei were Shelomoth, Haziel, and Haran; three. These were the heads of the families of Ladan. 10 The sons of Shimei were Jahath, Zizah, Jeush, and Beriah; these were the sons of Shimei, four in all. 11 Jahath was the chief and Zizah was second to him; but Jeush and Beriah had few sons, and therefore they were classed as a single family, exercising a single office.

12 The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel; four in all.(F) 13 The sons of Amram were Aaron and Moses. Aaron was set apart to be consecrated as most holy, he and his sons forever, to offer sacrifice before the Lord, to minister to him, and to bless in his name forever.(G) 14 As for Moses, however, the man of God, his sons were counted as part of the tribe of Levi. 15 The sons of Moses were Gershom and Eliezer.(H) 16 The sons of Gershom: Shubael the chief.(I) 17 The sons of Eliezer were Rehabiah the chief—Eliezer had no other sons, but the sons of Rehabiah were very numerous. 18 The sons of Izhar: Shelomith the chief. 19 The sons of Hebron: Jeriah, the chief, Amariah, the second, Jahaziel, the third, and Jekameam, the fourth.(J) 20 The sons of Uzziel: Micah, the chief, and Isshiah, the second.(K)

21 The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. The sons of Mahli: Eleazar and Kish.(L) 22 Eleazar died leaving no sons, only daughters; the sons of Kish, their kinsmen, married them.(M) 23 The sons of Mushi: Mahli, Eder, and Jeremoth; three in all.(N)

24 These were the sons of Levi according to their ancestral houses, the family heads as they were enrolled one by one according to their names. They performed the work of the service of the house of the Lord beginning at twenty years of age.(O)

25 David said: “The Lord, the God of Israel, has given rest to his people, and has taken up his dwelling in Jerusalem forever.(P) 26 Henceforth the Levites need not carry the tabernacle or any of the equipment for its service.”(Q) 27 For by David’s last words the Levites were enlisted from the time they were twenty years old. 28 Their duty is to assist the sons of Aaron in the service of the house of the Lord, having charge of the courts, the chambers, and the preservation of everything holy: they take part in the service of the house of God. 29 They also have charge of the showbread, of the fine flour for the grain offering, of the wafers of unleavened bread, and of the baking and mixing, and of all measures of quantity and size.(R) 30 They are to be present every morning to offer thanks and to praise the Lord, and likewise in the evening;(S) 31 and at every sacrifice of burnt offerings to the Lord on sabbaths, new moons, and feast days, in such numbers as are prescribed, they must always be present before the Lord(T) 32 and observe what is prescribed for them concerning the tent of meeting, the sanctuary, and the sons of Aaron, their kinsmen, in the service of the house of the Lord.(U)

Chapter 24

The Priestly Divisions. There were also divisions for the sons of Aaron. The sons of Aaron were Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.(V) Nadab and Abihu died before their father, leaving no sons; therefore only Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests.(W) David, with Zadok, a descendant of Eleazar, and Ahimelech, a descendant of Ithamar, apportioned them their offices in the priestly service.(X) But since the sons of Eleazar were found to be more numerous by male heads than those of Ithamar, the former were divided into sixteen groups, and the latter into eight groups, each under its family heads. Their functions were assigned impartially by lot, for there were officers of the holy place, and officers of God, descended both from Eleazar and from Ithamar. The scribe Shemaiah, son of Nethanel, a Levite, recorded them in the presence of the king, and of the officials, of Zadok the priest, and of Ahimelech, son of Abiathar,[a] and of the heads of the ancestral houses of the priests and of the Levites, listing two successive family groups from Eleazar before each one from Ithamar.(Y)

(Z)The first lot fell to Jehoiarib, the second to Jedaiah, the third to Harim, the fourth to Seorim, the fifth to Malchijah, the sixth to Mijamin, 10 the seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah,(AA) 11 the ninth to Jeshua, the tenth to Shecaniah, 12 the eleventh to Eliashib, the twelfth to Jakim, 13 the thirteenth to Huppah, the fourteenth to Ishbaal, 14 the fifteenth to Bilgah, the sixteenth to Immer, 15 the seventeenth to Hezir, the eighteenth to Happizzez, 16 the nineteenth to Pethahiah, the twentieth to Jehezkel, 17 the twenty-first to Jachin, the twenty-second to Gamul, 18 the twenty-third to Delaiah, the twenty-fourth to Maaziah. 19 This was the appointed order of their service when they functioned in the house of the Lord according to the precepts given them by Aaron, their father, as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded him.(AB)

Other Levites. 20 (AC)Of the remaining Levites, there were Shubael, of the sons of Amram, and Jehdeiah, of the sons of Shubael; 21 Isshiah, the chief, of the sons of Rehabiah; 22 Shelomith of the Izharites, and Jahath of the sons of Shelomith. 23 The sons of Hebron were Jeriah, the chief, Amariah, the second, Jahaziel, the third, Jekameam, the fourth. 24 The sons of Uzziel were Micah; Shamir, of the sons of Micah; 25 Isshiah, the brother of Micah; and Zechariah, a descendant of Isshiah. 26 The sons of Merari were Mahli, Mushi, and the sons of his son Uzziah. 27 The sons of Merari through his son Uzziah: Shoham, Zaccur, and Ibri. 28 The sons of Mahli were Eleazar, who had no sons, 29 and Jerahmeel, of the sons of Kish. 30 The sons of Mushi were Mahli, Eder, and Jerimoth.

These were the sons of the Levites according to their ancestral houses. 31 They too, in the same manner as their kinsmen, the sons of Aaron, cast lots in the presence of King David, Zadok, Ahimelech, and the heads of the priestly and levitical families; the more important family did so in the same way as the less important one.(AD)

Chapter 25

The Singers. David and the leaders of the liturgy set apart for the service the sons of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, who prophesied[b] to the accompaniment of lyres and harps and cymbals.(AE)

This is the list of those who performed this service: Of the sons of Asaph: Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, and Asharelah, sons of Asaph, under the direction of Asaph, who prophesied under the guidance of the king. Of Jeduthun, these sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Shimei, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah; six, under the direction of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied to the accompaniment of a lyre, to give thanks and praise to the Lord. Of Heman, these sons of Heman: Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shubael, and Jerimoth; Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, Romamti-ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth. All these were the sons of Heman, the king’s seer for divine matters; to exalt him God gave Heman fourteen sons and three daughters.(AF) All these, whether of Asaph, Jeduthun, or Heman, were under their fathers’ direction in the singing in the house of the Lord to the accompaniment of cymbals, harps and lyres, serving in the house of God, under the guidance of the king.(AG) Their number, together with that of their kinsmen who were trained in singing to the Lord, all of them skilled men, was two hundred and eighty-eight. They cast lots for their functions equally, young and old, master and pupil alike.(AH)

The first lot fell to Asaph, to the family of Joseph; he and his sons and his kinsmen were twelve. Gedaliah was the second; he and his kinsmen and his sons were twelve. 10 The third was Zaccur, his sons, and his kinsmen: twelve. 11 The fourth fell to Izri, his sons, and his kinsmen: twelve. 12 The fifth was Nethaniah, his sons, and his kinsmen: twelve. 13 The sixth was Bukkiah, his sons, and his kinsmen: twelve. 14 The seventh was Jesarelah, his sons, and his kinsmen: twelve. 15 The eighth was Jeshaiah, his sons, and his kinsmen: twelve. 16 The ninth was Mattaniah, his sons, and his kinsmen: twelve. 17 The tenth was Shimei, his sons, and his kinsmen: twelve. 18 The eleventh was Uzziel, his sons, and his kinsmen: twelve. 19 The twelfth fell to Hashabiah, his sons, and his kinsmen: twelve. 20 The thirteenth was Shubael, his sons, and his kinsmen: twelve. 21 The fourteenth was Mattithiah, his sons, and his kinsmen: twelve. 22 The fifteenth fell to Jeremoth, his sons, and his kinsmen: twelve. 23 The sixteenth fell to Hananiah, his sons, and his kinsmen: twelve. 24 The seventeenth fell to Joshbekashah, his sons, and his kinsmen: twelve. 25 The eighteenth fell to Hanani, his sons, and his kinsmen: twelve. 26 The nineteenth fell to Mallothi, his sons, and his kinsmen: twelve. 27 The twentieth fell to Eliathah, his sons, and his kinsmen: twelve. 28 The twenty-first fell to Hothir, his sons, and his kinsmen: twelve. 29 The twenty-second fell to Giddalti, his sons, and his kinsmen: twelve. 30 The twenty-third fell to Mahazioth, his sons, and his kinsmen: twelve. 31 The twenty-fourth fell to Romamti-ezer, his sons, and his kinsmen: twelve.

Chapter 26

Divisions of Gatekeepers. (AI)As for the divisions of gatekeepers: Of the Korahites was Meshelemiah, the son of Kore, one of the sons of Abiasaph. Meshelemiah’s sons: Zechariah, the firstborn, Jediael, the second son, Zebadiah, the third, Jathniel, the fourth, Elam, the fifth, Jehohanan, the sixth, Eliehoenai, the seventh. Obed-edom’s sons: Shemaiah, the firstborn, Jehozabad, a second son, Joah, the third, Sachar, the fourth, Nethanel, the fifth, Ammiel, the sixth, Issachar, the seventh, Peullethai, the eighth, for God blessed him. To his son Shemaiah were born sons who ruled over their family, for they were warriors. The sons of Shemaiah were Othni, Rephael, Obed, and Elzabad; also his kinsmen who were men of substance, Elihu and Semachiah. All these were the sons of Obed-edom, who, together with their sons and their kinsmen, were men of substance, fit for the service. Of Obed-edom, sixty-two. Of Meshelemiah, eighteen sons and kinsmen, men of substance.

10 Hosah, a descendant of Merari, had these sons: Shimri, the chief (for though he was not the firstborn, his father made him chief),(AJ) 11 Hilkiah, the second son, Tebaliah, the third, Zechariah, the fourth. All the sons and kinsmen of Hosah were thirteen.

12 To these divisions of the gatekeepers, by their chief men, were assigned watches for them to minister in the house of the Lord, for each group in the same way. 13 They cast lots for each gate, small and large families alike. 14 When the lot was cast for the east side, it fell to Meshelemiah. Then they cast lots for his son Zechariah, a prudent counselor, and the north side fell to his lot.(AK) 15 To Obed-edom fell the south side, and to his sons the storehouse. 16 To Hosah fell the west side with the Shallecheth gate at the ascending highway. For each family, watches were established. 17 On the east, six watched each day, on the north, four each day, on the south, four each day, and at the storehouse they were two and two; 18 as for the large building[c] on the west, there were four at the highway and two at the large building. 19 These were the classes of the gatekeepers, sons of Korah and Merari.

Treasurers. 20 Their brother Levites had oversight of the treasuries of the house of God and the treasuries of votive offerings.(AL) 21 Among the sons of Ladan the Gershonite, the family heads were sons of Jehiel:(AM) 22 (AN)the sons of Jehiel, Zetham and his brother Joel, who oversaw the treasures of the house of the Lord. 23 Of the Amramites, Izharites, Hebronites, and Uzzielites, 24 Shubael, son of Gershom, son of Moses, was principal overseer of the treasures. 25 (AO)His associate was of the line of Eliezer, whose son was Rehabiah, whose son was Jeshaiah, whose son was Joram, whose son was Zichri, whose son was Shelomith. 26 This Shelomith and his kinsmen oversaw all the treasures of the votive offerings dedicated by King David, the heads of the families, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and the commanders of the army;(AP) 27 what came from wars and from spoils, they dedicated for the support of the house of the Lord. 28 Also, whatever Samuel the seer, Saul, son of Kish, Abner, son of Ner, Joab, son of Zeruiah, and all others had consecrated, was under the charge of Shelomith and his kinsmen.

Magistrates. 29 Among the Izharites, Chenaniah and his sons were in charge of Israel’s civil affairs[d] as officials and judges.(AQ) 30 Among the Hebronites, Hashabiah(AR) and his kinsmen, one thousand seven hundred men of substance, had the administration of Israel on the western side of the Jordan for all the work of the Lord and the service of the king. 31 Among the Hebronites, Jerijah was their chief according to their family records. In the fortieth year of David’s reign search was made, and there were found among them warriors at Jazer of Gilead.(AS) 32 His kinsmen were also men of substance, two thousand seven hundred heads of families. King David appointed them to the administration of the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh for everything pertaining to God and to the king.


  1. 24:6 Ahimelech, son of Abiathar: see note on 18:16.
  2. 25:1 This list of twenty-four classes of Temple singers balances the list of the twenty-four classes of priests (24:4–19). The last nine names in v. 4, which seem to form a special group, were perhaps originally fragments or incipits (the opening words) of hymns. With some slight changes in the vocalization, these names would mean: “Have mercy on me, O Lord,” “Have mercy on me,” “You are my God,” “I magnify,” “I extol the help of…,” “Sitting in adversity,” “I have fulfilled,” “He made abundant,” and “Visions.”
  3. 26:18 The large building: parbar, mentioned also in 2 Kgs 23:11; the meaning of the word is unclear.
  4. 26:29 Civil affairs: lit., “external work,” i.e., conduct of affairs external to the Temple.

46 (A)For in the days of David and Asaph, long ago, there were leaders of singers for songs of praise and thanksgiving to God.

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