1 Chronicles 24:4

4 Eleazar’s descendants were divided into sixteen groups and Ithamar’s into eight, for there were more family leaders among the descendants of Eleazar.

1 Chronicles 24:4 Meaning and Commentary

1 Chronicles 24:4

And there were more chief men found of the sons of Eleazar than
of the sons of Ithamar
Or heads of men, heads of their fathers' houses and families:

and thus were they divided; among the sons of Eleazar there were
sixteen chief men of the house of their fathers, and eight among the
sons of Ithamar, according to the house of their fathers;
in all twenty four, and into so many classes or courses did David divide them; Jarchi says at first when the tabernacle was at Shiloh, there were but sixteen courses, eight from Eleazar, and eight from Ithamar, as is explained in the treatise of fasting F14; but when David saw that there were more heads of men, or chief men of Eleazar's, he divided the courses of Eleazar into two parts, and fixed sixteen courses; and the courses of Ithamar he established as at first, eight courses; left them as they were, which he thinks appears from ( 1 Chronicles 24:6 ) but of the former number of courses, and when and by whom fixed, the Jews are divided F15; (See Gill on Luke 1:5). Perhaps there were none before David's time.


FOOTNOTES:

F14 T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 27. 1.
F15 T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 27. 1.

1 Chronicles 24:4 In-Context

2 But Nadab and Abihu died before their father, and they had no sons. So only Eleazar and Ithamar were left to carry on as priests.
3 With the help of Zadok, who was a descendant of Eleazar, and of Ahimelech, who was a descendant of Ithamar, David divided Aaron’s descendants into groups according to their various duties.
4 Eleazar’s descendants were divided into sixteen groups and Ithamar’s into eight, for there were more family leaders among the descendants of Eleazar.
5 All tasks were assigned to the various groups by means of sacred lots so that no preference would be shown, for there were many qualified officials serving God in the sanctuary from among the descendants of both Eleazar and Ithamar.
6 Shemaiah son of Nethanel, a Levite, acted as secretary and wrote down the names and assignments in the presence of the king, the officials, Zadok the priest, Ahimelech son of Abiathar, and the family leaders of the priests and Levites. The descendants of Eleazar and Ithamar took turns casting lots.