1 Chronicles
Introduction 1-2 Jerusalem After the Exile 3-9 Heads of Fathers’ Households 10-13 Priests 14-34 Levites, Gatekeepers and Singers 35-44 Genealogy of the Gibeonites
Introduction

In this chapter we have some genealogies, but the emphasis is more on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the city God has chosen as His city, as it is after the exile. The highlights are the royal tribe of Judah, the priest tribe of Levi and the royal city of Jerusalem.

Nehemiah 11, where we find many names from this chapter, proves how difficult it has been to get Jerusalem inhabited again. After the return there had to come order again in Israel and especially in Jerusalem. This order has to some extent been restored. The genealogies played an important role in this. For those who went to live there, it meant that they lived in the direct presence of the King and of the temple.


Jerusalem After the Exile

1So all Israel was enrolled by genealogies; and behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel. And Judah was carried away into exile to Babylon for their unfaithfulness. 2Now the first who lived in their possessions in their cities [were] Israel, the priests, the Levites and the temple servants.

We can interpret verse 11So all Israel was enrolled by genealogies; and behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel. And Judah was carried away into exile to Babylon for their unfaithfulness. as a kind of conclusion of the previous chapters. In the first part of the verse we read about the enrollment of the whole people in genealogies. Its importance is indicated in the second part of the verse, because there this enrollment is linked to the carrying away into exile to Babylon.

Verse 11So all Israel was enrolled by genealogies; and behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel. And Judah was carried away into exile to Babylon for their unfaithfulness. speaks of “all Israel”, although only a remnant, most of which belongs to the two tribes, has returned to Jerusalem. It shows that God always has the whole people in mind.

“the first who lived in their possessions in their cities” are divided into four groups: Israel, i.e. the normal citizens, the priests, the Levites and the temple servants (verse 22Now the first who lived in their possessions in their cities [were] Israel, the priests, the Levites and the temple servants.).


Heads of Fathers’ Households

3Some of the sons of Judah, of the sons of Benjamin and of the sons of Ephraim and Manasseh lived in Jerusalem: 4Uthai the son of Ammihud, the son of Omri, the son of Imri, the son of Bani, from the sons of Perez the son of Judah. 5From the Shilonites [were] Asaiah the firstborn and his sons. 6From the sons of Zerah [were] Jeuel and their relatives, 690 [of them]. 7From the sons of Benjamin [were] Sallu the son of Meshullam, the son of Hodaviah, the son of Hassenuah, 8and Ibneiah the son of Jeroham, and Elah the son of Uzzi, the son of Michri, and Meshullam the son of Shephatiah, the son of Reuel, the son of Ibnijah; 9and their relatives according to their generations, 956. All these [were] heads of fathers’ [households] according to their fathers’ houses.

In verse 33Some of the sons of Judah, of the sons of Benjamin and of the sons of Ephraim and Manasseh lived in Jerusalem:, the two and ten tribes are mentioned. There is talk of Judah and Benjamin, the two tribes, and of Ephraim and Manasseh, which represent the ten tribes. We see the whole people of God. We too are bound to live according to the order that applies to all the people of God, which is God’s kingdom as it is now on earth. This must be done according to the instructions of the Lord of that realm which He gives in His Word.


Priests

10From the priests [were] Jedaiah, Jehoiarib, Jachin, 11and Azariah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the chief officer of the house of God; 12and Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pashhur, the son of Malchijah, and Maasai the son of Adiel, the son of Jahzerah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Meshillemith, the son of Immer; 13and their relatives, heads of their fathers’ households, 1,760 very able men for the work of the service of the house of God.

There is talk of “the chief officer of the house of God” (verse 1111and Azariah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the chief officer of the house of God;). The priests are called “very able men for the work of the service of the house of God” (verse 1313and their relatives, heads of their fathers’ households, 1,760 very able men for the work of the service of the house of God.). This shows that they did the service in the house of God with the needed ability. To be a priest is one thing; to do priestly service in God’s house needs a God given ability. Here is talk of priest who have grown in their service: they are very able men.


Levites, Gatekeepers and Singers

14Of the Levites [were] Shemaiah the son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, of the sons of Merari; 15and Bakbakkar, Heresh and Galal and Mattaniah the son of Mica, the son of Zichri, the son of Asaph, 16and Obadiah the son of Shemaiah, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun, and Berechiah the son of Asa, the son of Elkanah, who lived in the villages of the Netophathites. 17Now the gatekeepers [were] Shallum and Akkub and Talmon and Ahiman and their relatives (Shallum the chief 18[being stationed] until now at the king’s gate to the east). These [were] the gatekeepers for the camp of the sons of Levi. 19Shallum the son of Kore, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah, and his relatives of his father’s house, the Korahites, [were] over the work of the service, keepers of the thresholds of the tent; and their fathers had been over the camp of the LORD, keepers of the entrance. 20Phinehas the son of Eleazar was ruler over them previously, [and] the LORD was with him. 21Zechariah the son of Meshelemiah was gatekeeper of the entrance of the tent of meeting. 22All these who were chosen to be gatekeepers at the thresholds were 212. These were enrolled by genealogy in their villages, whom David and Samuel the seer appointed in their office of trust. 23So they and their sons had charge of the gates of the house of the LORD, [even] the house of the tent, as guards. 24The gatekeepers were on the four sides, to the east, west, north and south. 25Their relatives in their villages [were] to come in every seven days from time to time [to be] with them; 26for the four chief gatekeepers who [were] Levites, were in an office of trust, and were over the chambers and over the treasuries in the house of God. 27They spent the night around the house of God, because the watch was committed to them; and they [were] in charge of opening [it] morning by morning. 28Now some of them had charge of the utensils of service, for they counted them when they brought them in and when they took them out. 29Some of them also were appointed over the furniture and over all the utensils of the sanctuary and over the fine flour and the wine and the oil and the frankincense and the spices. 30Some of the sons of the priests prepared the mixing of the spices. 31Mattithiah, one of the Levites, who was the firstborn of Shallum the Korahite, had the responsibility over the things which were baked in pans. 32Some of their relatives of the sons of the Kohathites [were] over the showbread to prepare it every sabbath. 33Now these are the singers, heads of fathers’ [households] of the Levites, [who lived] in the chambers [of the temple] free [from other service]; for they were engaged in their work day and night. 34These were heads of fathers’ [households] of the Levites according to their generations, chief men, who lived in Jerusalem.

The gatekeepers (verse 1717Now the gatekeepers [were] Shallum and Akkub and Talmon and Ahiman and their relatives (Shallum the chief) must ensure that nothing enters God’s house that does not belong there. It is the task of every believer with regard to the present temple, the church of God, to watch over it (cf. Mk 13:3434[It is] like a man away on a journey, [who] upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, [assigning] to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert.). For example, it means paying attention to what is taught, what gospel is brought, how is worshiped. The standard of assessment is that “all things” are “done for edification” (1Cor 14:26b26What is [the outcome] then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.).

Although all believers have the task of ensuring that what happens in the church is in accordance with God’s will, this task rests especially on the shoulders of elders or overseers. Besides the fact that the function of gatekeeper is important for the church, the vigilance of the gatekeeper is also important for our body, which is also a temple of the Holy Spirit (1Cor 6:1919Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?). We have to watch what enters our hearts through our eyes and ears.

“The king’s gate” (verse 1818[being stationed] until now at the king’s gate to the east). These [were] the gatekeepers for the camp of the sons of Levi.; 2Kgs 16:1818The covered way for the sabbath which they had built in the house, and the outer entry of the king, he removed from the house of the LORD because of the king of Assyria.) is the gate through which the king goes from his palace to the temple. This gate will always have been closed and only opened when the king goes through it to the temple and from the temple back to his palace (Eze 44:2-32The LORD said to me, “This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it, for the LORD God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut.3As for the prince, he shall sit in it as prince to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by way of the porch of the gate and shall go out by the same way.”). Although there is no king in Israel when the remnant has returned to Israel, this gate is still honored, probably in the hope that sooner or later the scepter will return to David’s house.

Can what is said of Pinehas also be said of us? “The LORD was with him” (verse 2020Phinehas the son of Eleazar was ruler over them previously, [and] the LORD was with him.). This can be said of him because he watched over the honor of the LORD and stood up for it at the moment His honor was at stake (Num 25:6-156Then behold, one of the sons of Israel came and brought to his relatives a Midianite woman, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of all the congregation of the sons of Israel, while they were weeping at the doorway of the tent of meeting.7When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he arose from the midst of the congregation and took a spear in his hand,8and he went after the man of Israel into the tent and pierced both of them through, the man of Israel and the woman, through the body. So the plague on the sons of Israel was checked.9Those who died by the plague were 24,000.10Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,11“Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned away My wrath from the sons of Israel in that he was jealous with My jealousy among them, so that I did not destroy the sons of Israel in My jealousy.12Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give him My covenant of peace;13and it shall be for him and his descendants after him, a covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the sons of Israel.’”14Now the name of the slain man of Israel who was slain with the Midianite woman, was Zimri the son of Salu, a leader of a father’s household among the Simeonites.15The name of the Midianite woman who was slain was Cozbi the daughter of Zur, who was head of the people of a father’s household in Midian.).

Something is said here about Samuel that we don’t read of him anywhere else (verse 2222All these who were chosen to be gatekeepers at the thresholds were 212. These were enrolled by genealogy in their villages, whom David and Samuel the seer appointed in their office of trust.). Here it appears that he not only as a prophet spoke the Word of God to the conscience of the people, but also contributed to the service in the house of God. After all, he also grew up in the immediate vicinity of the tabernacle and became completely familiar with the service in it. It is not a forgotten aspect of his service, but the Holy Spirit has thought it good to mention it only here. It reminds us that the service in the house of God must be fully in accordance with the Word of God.

Those who serve in the house of God also spend the night close to this house (verse 2727They spent the night around the house of God, because the watch was committed to them; and they [were] in charge of opening [it] morning by morning.). This allows them to start their service as soon as they wake up. It is good for ministers to be close to their work, to the house of God, and to devote themselves fully to it. For us it means that we are constantly aware that we are in God’s house and that our whole daily life takes place there, while it is night in the world around us.

There is diversity and unity in the service of the Levites (verses 28-3228Now some of them had charge of the utensils of service, for they counted them when they brought them in and when they took them out.29Some of them also were appointed over the furniture and over all the utensils of the sanctuary and over the fine flour and the wine and the oil and the frankincense and the spices.30Some of the sons of the priests prepared the mixing of the spices.31Mattithiah, one of the Levites, who was the firstborn of Shallum the Korahite, had the responsibility over the things which were baked in pans.32Some of their relatives of the sons of the Kohathites [were] over the showbread to prepare it every sabbath.). We can learn from this that also in the church each has his or her own task to perform and that this task happens at the same time in unity with others.

The singers are never free (verse 3333Now these are the singers, heads of fathers’ [households] of the Levites, [who lived] in the chambers [of the temple] free [from other service]; for they were engaged in their work day and night.). They are not with, but in the chambers and constantly praise God (“day and night”), as He, Who always does good, is due. Here the temple is a picture of heaven, of what is happening there (Rev 4:88And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy [is] the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.”). “How blessed are those who dwell in Your house! They are ever praising You” (Psa 84:44How blessed are those who dwell in Your house!
They are ever praising You. Selah.
; Heb 13:1515Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.).


Genealogy of the Gibeonites

35In Gibeon Jeiel the father of Gibeon lived, and his wife’s name was Maacah, 36and his firstborn son [was] Abdon, then Zur, Kish, Baal, Ner, Nadab, 37Gedor, Ahio, Zechariah and Mikloth. 38Mikloth became the father of Shimeam. And they also lived with their relatives in Jerusalem opposite their [other] relatives. 39Ner became the father of Kish, and Kish became the father of Saul, and Saul became the father of Jonathan, Malchi-shua, Abinadab and Eshbaal. 40The son of Jonathan [was] Merib-baal; and Merib-baal became the father of Micah. 41The sons of Micah [were] Pithon, Melech, Tahrea [and Ahaz]. 42Ahaz became the father of Jarah, and Jarah became the father of Alemeth, Azmaveth and Zimri; and Zimri became the father of Moza, 43and Moza became the father of Binea and Rephaiah his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son. 44Azel had six sons whose names are these: Azrikam, Bocheru and Ishmael and Sheariah and Obadiah and Hanan. These were the sons of Azel.

In verse 3535In Gibeon Jeiel the father of Gibeon lived, and his wife’s name was Maacah,, the historical part of the book begins, and it begins with again mentioning Saul’s genealogy (cf. 1Chr 8:29-4029Now in Gibeon, [Jeiel], the father of Gibeon lived, and his wife’s name was Maacah;30and his firstborn son [was] Abdon, then Zur, Kish, Baal, Nadab,31Gedor, Ahio and Zecher.32Mikloth became the father of Shimeah. And they also lived with their relatives in Jerusalem opposite their [other] relatives.33Ner became the father of Kish, and Kish became the father of Saul, and Saul became the father of Jonathan, Malchi-shua, Abinadab and Eshbaal.34The son of Jonathan [was] Merib-baal, and Merib-baal became the father of Micah.35The sons of Micah [were] Pithon, Melech, Tarea and Ahaz.36Ahaz became the father of Jehoaddah, and Jehoaddah became the father of Alemeth, Azmaveth and Zimri; and Zimri became the father of Moza.37Moza became the father of Binea; Raphah [was] his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son.38Azel had six sons, and these [were] their names: Azrikam, Bocheru, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah and Hanan. All these [were] the sons of Azel.39The sons of Eshek his brother [were] Ulam his firstborn, Jeush the second and Eliphelet the third.40The sons of Ulam were mighty men of valor, archers, and had many sons and grandsons, 150 [of them]. All these [were] of the sons of Benjamin.). This is done to show the contrast with David. This is another illustration of the principle that the natural comes first and then the spiritual (1Cor 15:4646However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.). We find this throughout the Bible. Thus we also read that God “takes away the first in order to establish the second” (Heb 10:9b9then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second.).

Saul is the king to the taste of the people, David is the king to the heart of God. We can already see a great difference in the activities of both persons at the time of their calling. Saul is searching for donkeys when he is promised the kingship (1Sam 9:3,19-203Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, were lost. So Kish said to his son Saul, “Take now with you one of the servants, and arise, go search for the donkeys.”19Samuel answered Saul and said, “I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, for you shall eat with me today; and in the morning I will let you go, and will tell you all that is on your mind.20As for your donkeys which were lost three days ago, do not set your mind on them, for they have been found. And for whom is all that is desirable in Israel? Is it not for you and for all your father’s household?”; 1Sam 10:11Then Samuel took the flask of oil, poured it on his head, kissed him and said, “Has not the LORD anointed you a ruler over His inheritance?); David is taken from behind the sheep to be anointed king (1Sam 16:10-1310Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen these.”11And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are these all the children?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and behold, he is tending the sheep.” Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.”12So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is he.”13Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel arose and went to Ramah.). God is angry with His people when He gives Saul and even angrier when He takes him away (Hos 13:1111I gave you a king in My anger
And took him away in My wrath.
).

The kingship itself is according to God’s thoughts (Deu 17:14-2014“When you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, and you possess it and live in it, and you say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations who are around me,’15you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses, [one] from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your countryman.16Moreover, he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, since the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall never again return that way.’17He shall not multiply wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself.18“Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests.19It shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes,20that his heart may not be lifted up above his countrymen and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left, so that he and his sons may continue long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel.), but that is a kingship according to the wishes of His own heart. God is the King of His people. He wants to give form to it in a human being. This man is the Man of His pleasure, His only begotten Son, who became Man. It is the kingdom of God, but the government over it is laid in the hands of a Man.


Read more