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.
|9:1||The book - In the publick records, wherein there was an account of that kingdom, and of the several families in it.|
|9:2||The first - After the return from Babylon. Dwelt - That took possession of their own lands and cities, which had been formerlyallotted them; but of late years had been taken from them for their sins,and possessed by other people. Israelites - The common people ofJudah and Israel, called here by the general name of Israelites,which was given them before that unhappy division of the kingdoms, andnow is restored to them when the Israelites are united with the Jewsin one and the same commonwealth, that so all the names and signs of theirformer division might be blotted out. And though the generality of theten tribes were yet in captivity, yet divers of them upon Cyrus'sgeneral proclamation, associated themselves, and returned with those ofJudah and Benjamin. Levites - These took possession of the citiesbelonging to them, as they had need and opportunity. Nethinims - Acertain order of men, either Gibeonites or others joined with them,devoted to the service of God, and of his house, and of the priestsand Levites; who, that they might attend upon their work withoutdistraction, had certain places and possessions given to them; whichthey are now said to repossess.|
|9:4||Ammihud - That there is so great a diversity of names between this catalogue and that of Nehemiah 11:4 - 36, may be ascribed to two causes:||9:9||And fifty - six - They are reckoned but nine hundred and twenty - eight in Nehemiah 11:8 , either because there he mentions only thosethat were by lot determined to dwell at Jerusalem, to whom he here addsthose who freely offered themselves to it; or because some of the personsfirst placed there were dead, or removed from Jerusalem upon someemergent occasion.||9:11||The ruler - Or, a ruler in the house of God: not the high - priest, who was Ezra, Ezra 3:8 , but a chief ruler under him.||9:13||Able men - Heb. mighty men of valour: which is here noted as an excellent qualification for their place; because the priests might meetwith great opposition in the discharge of their office, in the executionof the censures upon all impure persons without exception, and in preservingsacred things from violation by the touch of forbidden hands.||9:17||Porters - Whose office it was to keep all the gates of the temple, that no unclean person or thing might enter into it.||9:18||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 throughthat gate. Under this gate he comprehends all the rest, which also wereguarded by these porters. Companies - Or, according to the courses.They kept the gates successively, according to that method into which theLevites were distributed, for the more convenient management of theirseveral offices; among which this of the porters was one.||9:19||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 amilitary manner round about the tabernacle, with whom these were thenplaced. Entry - Of the veil by which they entered into the tabernacle;which he calls the entry because then there were no gates. The meaningis, that all things were now restored to their primitive order; and theseveral persons took those offices upon them, which their ancestors hadbefore them.||9:21||Was - In the time of David, as the following verse sheweth.Porter - Chief porter. The door - Of the door which led out of thepriests court into the tabernacle, in which the ark was placed. Before thetemple was built, they had a mean and moveable tent, which they made use ofin the mean time. They that cannot yet have a temple, let them be thankfulfor a tabernacle, and make the best use of it. Never let God's work be leftundone, for want of a place to do it in.||9:22||Villages - Where their usual residence was, and whence they came to Jerusalem in their courses. Ordain - In the times of the judgesthere was much disorder both in the Jewish state and church, and theLevites came to the tabernacle promiscuously, and as their inclinationsor occasions brought them. But Samuel observing they were greatlyincreased, began to think of establishing order in their ministration.And these intentions of his probably were communicated to David, whoafter his own peaceable settlement in his throne, revived and perfectedSamuel's design, and took care to put it in execution.||9:23||The oversight - Namely, in David's time. Tabernacle - This is added to explain what he means by the house of the Lord, not thattabernacle which David had set up for the ark; but that more solemntabernacle, which Moses had made by God's express command; which inDavid's time was at Gibeon; in which God was worshipped until thetemple was built. Wards - By turns or courses.||9:25||To come - From their several villages to the place of worship.Seven days - Every seventh day the courses were changed, and the newcomers were to tarry 'till the next sabbath day. With them - To be withthem, with the chief porters, who alway's abode in the place of God'sworship.||9:26||Set office - These were constantly upon the place, in the execution of their office, that they might oversee the inferiorporters in their work. Treasuries - In which the sacred utensilsand other treasures belonging to the temple, were kept.||9:30||The ointment - This is added to shew, that though the Levites were intrusted with the keeping of this ointment, yet none but thepriests could make it.||9:31||The pans - Was to take care that fine flour might be provided, that when occasion required they might make cakes in pans.||9:33||These - Others of the Levites; of whose several offices he had spoken before. Are - Or rather, were; which is understood, allalong in the foregoing and following verses. Chambers - That they mightbe ready to come whensoever they were called to the service of God in thetabernacle. Free - From all trouble and employment, that they mightwholly attend upon the proper work. That work - Either composing orordering 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 continuallypraised, as it is fit he should be, who is continually doing us good.||9:34||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 mightconstantly attend upon God's service there.||9:35||Maachah - In this and the following verses, he repeats Saul's genealogy, that he might make way for the following history.|