The priests (the descendants of Aaron) were placed into two divisions named after Aaron’s sons, Eleazar and Ithamar. Nadab and Abihu were also sons of Aaron, but they died before their father did and had no children; so only Eleazar and Ithamar were left to carry on.
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.
Because Aaron’s family was set apart by God for the service of the temple, his family’s genealogy is separated from the other Levites. The Aaronites were divided into families based on the sons of Aaron: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.
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