And two parts of all you that go forth on the sabbath
The course that went out of service at the end of the sabbath; these were not suffered, not any of them, to go into the country, but were detained for the present purpose, and divided into two parts:
even they shall keep the watch of the house of the Lord about the king,
these were placed in the temple where the king was, or where he should be brought forth, and be a guard on his right and left; this interpretation seems to be agreeably to the order of the text here, and is the sense of Jarchi; but there is this objection to it, that, by such a distribution of both courses, no provision is made for the services of the temple; wherefore Dr. Lightfoot F3 divides them into six parts, each into three, one third of the course that came in for service, the other to keep the watch at the king's house, and the other third at the gate Sur; and the course that went out, one third of them was placed at the gate behind the guard, and the other two to keep the watch of the house for the king's safety; but according to the account in ( 2 Chronicles 23:4 2 Chronicles 23:5 ) , there were but three ranks or orders of them in all; wherefore the sense of Kimchi, Ben Gersom, and Abarbinel, seems most agreeable, that the first consisted of those that went in on the sabbath, not of all, but half of them, the other half being employed in the service of the sanctuary; and the other two of the course that went out, even all of them, they being entirely at leisure, who were divided into two parts, and disposed of as above.
F3 Prospect of the Temple, c. 20.