View 1st Chronicles 9 in the note window.
The chief of Judah, Benjamin. Ephraim and Manasseh,
who returned from captivity and dwelt at Jerusalem, ver. 1 - 9.
The priests, ver. 10 - 13.
The Levites, ver. 14 - 16.
Their various offices in the temple, ver. 17 - 34.
The family of Saul, ver. 35 - 44.
1: The book - In the publick records, wherein there was an account
of that kingdom, and of the several families in it.
2: The first - After the return from Babylon. Dwelt - That
took possession of their own lands and cities, which had been formerly
allotted them; but of late years had been taken from them for their sins,
and possessed by other people. Israelites - The common people of
Judah and Israel, called here by the general name of Israelites,
which was given them before that unhappy division of the kingdoms, and
now is restored to them when the Israelites are united with the Jews
in one and the same commonwealth, that so all the names and signs of their
former division might be blotted out. And though the generality of the
ten tribes were yet in captivity, yet divers of them upon Cyrus's
general proclamation, associated themselves, and returned with those of
Judah and Benjamin. Levites - These took possession of the cities
belonging to them, as they had need and opportunity. Nethinims - A
certain order of men, either Gibeonites or others joined with them,
devoted to the service of God, and of his house, and of the priests
and Levites; who, that they might attend upon their work without
distraction, had certain places and possessions given to them; which
they are now said to repossess.
4: Ammihud - That there is so great a diversity of names between this
catalogue and that of (Ne 11:4-36), may be ascribed to two causes:
- to the custom of the Hebrews, who used frequently to give
several names to one person: and,
- to the change of times; for here they are named who came up at
the first return but many of those in Nehemiah might be such as
returned afterward, and came and dwelt either instead of the
persons here named, or with them.
9: And fifty - six - They are reckoned but nine hundred and
twenty - eight in (Ne 11:8), either because there he mentions only those
that were by lot determined to dwell at Jerusalem, to whom he here adds
those who freely offered themselves to it; or because some of the persons
first placed there were dead, or removed from Jerusalem upon some
11: The ruler - Or, a ruler in the house of God: not the
high - priest, who was Ezra, (Ezr 3:8), but a chief ruler under him.
13: Able men - Heb. mighty men of valour: which is here noted as
an excellent qualification for their place; because the priests might meet
with great opposition in the discharge of their office, in the execution
of the censures upon all impure persons without exception, and in preserving
sacred things from violation by the touch of forbidden hands.
17: Porters - Whose office it was to keep all the gates of the
temple, that no unclean person or thing might enter into it.
18: King's gate - In the east - gate of the temple, which was so
called, because the kings of Judah used to go to the temple through
that gate. Under this gate he comprehends all the rest, which also were
guarded by these porters. Companies - Or, according to the courses.
They kept the gates successively, according to that method into which the
Levites were distributed, for the more convenient management of their
several offices; among which this of the porters was one.
19: Tabernacle - Namely, in time past, when the tabernacle was
standing, before the temple was built. Fathers - The Kohathites.
Host - When the Israelites were in the wilderness, encamped in a
military manner round about the tabernacle, with whom these were then
placed. Entry - Of the veil by which they entered into the tabernacle;
which he calls the entry because then there were no gates. The meaning
is, that all things were now restored to their primitive order; and the
several persons took those offices upon them, which their ancestors had
21: Was - In the time of David, as the following verse sheweth.
Porter - Chief porter. The door - Of the door which led out of the
priests court into the tabernacle, in which the ark was placed. Before the
temple was built, they had a mean and moveable tent, which they made use of
in the mean time. They that cannot yet have a temple, let them be thankful
for a tabernacle, and make the best use of it. Never let God's work be left
undone, for want of a place to do it in.
22: Villages - Where their usual residence was, and whence they came
to Jerusalem in their courses. Ordain - In the times of the judges
there was much disorder both in the Jewish state and church, and the
Levites came to the tabernacle promiscuously, and as their inclinations
or occasions brought them. But Samuel observing they were greatly
increased, began to think of establishing order in their ministration.
And these intentions of his probably were communicated to David, who
after his own peaceable settlement in his throne, revived and perfected
Samuel's design, and took care to put it in execution.
23: The oversight - Namely, in David's time. Tabernacle - This
is added to explain what he means by the house of the Lord, not that
tabernacle which David had set up for the ark; but that more solemn
tabernacle, which Moses had made by God's express command; which in
David's time was at Gibeon; in which God was worshipped until the
temple was built. Wards - By turns or courses.
25: To come - From their several villages to the place of worship.
Seven days - Every seventh day the courses were changed, and the new
comers were to tarry 'till the next sabbath day. With them - To be with
them, with the chief porters, who alway's abode in the place of God's
26: Set office - These were constantly upon the place, in the
execution of their office, that they might oversee the inferior
porters in their work. Treasuries - In which the sacred utensils
and other treasures belonging to the temple, were kept.
30: The ointment - This is added to shew, that though the Levites
were intrusted with the keeping of this ointment, yet none but the
priests could make it.
31: The pans - Was to take care that fine flour might be provided,
that when occasion required they might make cakes in pans.
33: These - Others of the Levites; of whose several offices he
had spoken before. Are - Or rather, were; which is understood, all
along in the foregoing and following verses. Chambers - That they might
be ready to come whensoever they were called to the service of God in the
tabernacle. Free - From all trouble and employment, that they might
wholly attend upon the proper work. That work - Either composing or
ordering sacred songs; or actually singing; or teaching others to sing them.
Day and night - Continually, and particularly in the morning and evening,
the two times appointed for solemn service. Thus was God continually
praised, as it is fit he should be, who is continually doing us good.
34: Jerusalem - Upon their return from Babylon they were not
suffered to chuse their habitations in the country, as others were,
but were obliged to settle themselves at Jerusalem, that they might
constantly attend upon God's service there.
35: Maachah - In this and the following verses, he repeats Saul's
genealogy, that he might make way for the following history.