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The Descendants of Levi

Levi was the father of Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

Kohath was the father of Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. Amram was the father of Aaron, Moses, and Miriam.

Aaron had four sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.

4-14 Eleazar's descendants included Phinehas, Abishua, Bukki, Uzzi, Zerahiah, Meraioth, Amariah, Ahitub, Zadok, Ahimaaz, Azariah, Johanan, Azariah the priest who served in the temple built by King Solomon, Amariah, Ahitub, Zadok, Shallum, Hilkiah, Azariah, Seraiah, and Jehozadak. 15 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia took Jehozadak to Babylon as prisoner when the Lord let the people of Judah and Jerusalem be dragged from their land.[a]

16 (A) Levi's three sons had sons of their own. 17 Gershon was the father of Libni and Shimei. 18 Kohath was the father of Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. 19 Merari was the father of Mahli and Mushi. These descendants of Levi each became leaders of their own clans.

20-21 Gershon's descendants included Libni, Jahath, Zimmah, Joah, Iddo, Zerah, and Jeatherai.

22-24 Kohath's descendants included Amminadab, Korah, Assir, Elkanah, Ebiasaph, Assir, Tahath, Uriel, Uzziah, and Shaul.

25 Elkanah was the father of Amasai and Ahimoth. 26-27 Ahimoth's descendants included Elkanah, Zophai, Nahath, Eliab, Jeroham, and Elkanah.

28 Samuel was the father of Joel[b] and Abijah, born in that order.

29-30 Merari's descendants included Mahli, Libni, Shimei, Uzzah, Shimea, Haggiah, and Asaiah.

The Temple Musicians

31 After King David had the sacred chest moved to Jerusalem, he appointed musicians from the Levi tribe to be in charge of the music at the place of worship. 32 These musicians served at the sacred tent and later at the Lord's temple that King Solomon built.

33-38 Here is a list of these musicians and their family lines:

Heman from the Kohathite clan was the director. His ancestors went all the way back to Jacob and included Joel, Samuel, Elkanah, Jeroham, Eliel, Toah, Zuph, Elkanah, Mahath, Amasai, Elkanah, Joel, Azariah, Zephaniah, Tahath, Assir, Ebiasaph, Korah, Izhar, Kohath, Levi.

39-43 Asaph was Heman's relative and served as his assistant. Asaph's ancestors included Berechiah, Shimea, Michael, Baaseiah, Malchijah, Ethni, Zerah, Adaiah, Ethan, Zimmah, Shimei, Jahath, Gershon, and Levi.

44-47 Ethan was also Heman's relative and served as his assistant. Ethan belonged to the Merari clan, and his ancestors included Kishi, Abdi, Malluch, Hashabiah, Amaziah, Hilkiah, Amzi, Bani, Shemer, Mahli, Mushi, Merari, and Levi.

48 The rest of the Levites were appointed to work at the sacred tent.

The Descendants of Aaron

49 Only Aaron and his descendants were allowed to offer sacrifices and incense on the two altars at the sacred tent.[c] They were in charge of the most holy place and the ceremonies to forgive sins, just as God's servant Moses had commanded.

50-53 Aaron's descendants included his son Eleazar, Phinehas, Abishua, Bukki, Uzzi, Zerahiah, Meraioth, Amariah, Ahitub, Zadok, and Ahimaaz.

The Towns for the Levites

(Joshua 21.1-42)

54 Aaron's descendants belonged to the Levite clan of Kohath, and they were the first group chosen to receive towns to live in. 55 They received the town of Hebron in the territory of Judah and the pastureland around it. 56 But the farmland and villages around Hebron were given to Caleb son of Jephunneh. 57-59 So Aaron's descendants received the following Safe Towns[d] and the pastureland around them: Hebron, Libnah, Jattir, Eshtemoa, Hilen, Debir, Ashan, and Beth-Shemesh. 60 From the Benjamin tribe they were given the towns of Geba, Alemeth, and Anathoth and the pastureland around them. Thirteen towns were given to Aaron's descendants.

61 The rest of the Levite clan of Kohath received ten towns from West Manasseh.

62 The Levite clan of Gershon received thirteen towns from the tribes of Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and East Manasseh in Bashan.

63 The Levite clan of Merari received twelve towns from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun.

64 So the people of Israel gave the Levites towns to live in and the pastureland around them. 65 All the towns were chosen with the Lord's help,[e] including those towns from the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin.

66 Some of the families of the Kohath clan received their towns from the tribe of Ephraim. 67-69 These families received the following Safe Towns and the pastureland around them: Shechem in the hill country, Gezer, Jokmeam, Beth-Horon, Aijalon, and Gath-Rimmon. 70 And from West Manasseh they received Aner and Bileam, together with their pastureland.

71 The Gershonite clan received two towns from the tribe of East Manasseh: Golan in Bashan and Ashtaroth, including the pastureland around them. 72-73 The Gershonites also received four towns from the tribe of Issachar: Kedesh, Daberath, Ramoth, and Anem, including the pastureland around them. 74-75 The Gershonites received four towns from the tribe of Asher: Mashal, Abdon, Hukok, and Rehob, including the pastureland around them. 76 Finally, the Gershonites received three towns from the tribe of Naphtali: Kedesh in Galilee, Hammon, and Kiriathaim, including the pastureland around them.

77 The rest of the Merari clan received the towns of Rimmono and Tabor and their pastureland from the tribe of Zebulun. 78-79 They also received four towns east of the Jordan River from the tribe of Reuben: Bezer in the flatlands, Jahzah, Kedemoth, and Mephaath, including the pastures around them. 80-81 And from the tribe of Gad the Merarites received the towns of Ramoth in Gilead, Mahanaim, Heshbon, and Jazer, including the pastureland around them.


  1. 6.15 King Nebuchadnezzar … dragged from their land: See 2 Kings 24.8-17; 25.1-21.
  2. 6.28 Joel: Two ancient translations (see also verse 33 and 1 Samuel 8.1,2); this name is not in the Hebrew text.
  3. 6.49 the two altars at the sacred tent: The Hebrew text mentions two different altars: A large altar for offering sacrifices, and a smaller altar for offering incense.
  4. 6.57-59 Safe Towns: These were special towns set aside where a person who had accidentally killed someone could run for protection from the victim's relatives (see Numbers 35.9-15; Deuteronomy 19.1-13; Joshua 20.1-9).
  5. 6.65 with the Lord's help: The Hebrew text has “by lot.” Pieces of wood or stone (called “lots”) were used to find out what God wanted his people to do.

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