1 Chronicles 23

The Book of 1 Chronicles
Chapter 23

Chapter Overview:

David declares Solomon his successor, ver. 1.
Numbers the Levites and appoints them their several offices, ver. 2 - 5.
Takes an account of the families of the Levites, ver. 6 - 23.
Reckons them from twenty years old, and appoints them their work, ver. 24 - 32.


23:2Gathered, &c. - To declare God's mind and his own will, that Solomon should be his successor: and to acquaint them with thosedirections which he had received from God by the spirit.
23:3Upwards - Not only 'till fifty, as it was appointed, Numbers 4:2 ,3, but even 'till their death: for that was but a temporarylaw grounded upon a special reason, because the Levites were employedin carrying the tabernacle and sacred vessels from place to place; andtherefore God would have them freed from those burdens when they came tofeel the infirmities of age: which reason wholly ceasing upon the buildingof the temple, their work being far easier than it had been, and theirservice being more a privilege than a burden, their time of service isjustly prolonged.
23:4Officers - To take care that all the work of the temple about sacrifices should be punctually performed, either by themselves or others:which they were not to do all at once, but by courses, a thousand at a time.Judges - Not in the affairs of the temple; there the priests presided;but in several parts of the kingdom, where they assisted the princes andelders of every tribe, in the administration of justice.
23:13Sanctify - That he might keep them from pollution: for these most holy things were polluted when they were touched by any other person.He and his - Not only his eldest sons the high - priests successively, butall his posterity or all the priests; for the works here following werenot peculiar to the high - priest, but common to all the priests.
23:14Levi - They were accounted only as common Levites, and were not priests: which is mentioned for the honour of Moses, and thedemonstration of his eminent piety and self - denial, who willinglyleft the government to Joshua, and the priesthood to Aaron, and wascontent to have his posterity reduced to a private and mean condition.
23:24Twenty years - As the Levites were anciently numbered from two several times, from the twenty fifth year of their age, and from thethirtieth, Numbers 4:3 1ch 23: , 8:24 , . In like manner they are here numbered bothfrom their twentieth year, when they were solemnly prepared for, andinstructed, and by degrees exercised in some parts of their work; andfrom their thirtieth year, when they were admitted to the full exerciseof their office. And the reason why they were now sooner admitted toservice than they had been formerly, is given in the next verses becausenow their work was more easy, being wholly discharged from that burdensomework of carrying the tabernacle. Besides the people of Israel weremultiplied: therefore more hands were necessary, that every Israelitewho brought an offering, might find a Levite ready to assist him.
23:28Holy things - Holy places, and garments, and vessels, and sacrifices, which were to be washed and cleansed from any filthinessthat might cleave to them.
23:29All measure - All measures used either in sacred or civil things, the publick standards whereof were kept in the temple; and therefore thecare of keeping them inviolable and producing them upon occasion, mustsneeds belong to the priests, and under them to the Levites, who were toexamine other measures and all things by them, as occasion required; thatso the priests might be at leisure for their higher and greater employments.
23:30Morning and even - The two solemn times of offering sacrifices: which work was attended with publick prayer and thanksgiving.
23:32Charge - What the priests should commit to their charge, or command them to do.