1After David had lived long and was old, he made his son Solomon the new king of Israel. 2David gathered all the leaders of Israel, along with the priests and Levites. 3He counted the Levites who were thirty years old and older. In all, there were thirty-eight thousand Levites. 4David said, “Of these, twenty-four thousand Levites will direct the work of the Temple of the Lord, six thousand Levites will be officers and judges, 5four thousand Levites will be gatekeepers, and four thousand Levites will praise the Lord with musical instruments I made for giving praise.”
6David separated the Levites into three groups that were led by Levi’s three sons: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
The People of Gershon
7From the people of Gershon, there were Ladan and Shimei.
8Ladan had three sons. His first son was Jehiel, and his other sons were Zetham and Joel.
9Shimei’s sons were Shelomoth, Haziel, and Haran. These three sons were leaders of Ladan’s families. 10Shimei had four sons: Jahath, Ziza, Jeush, and Beriah. 11Jahath was the first son, and Ziza was the second son. But Jeush and Beriah did not have many children, so they were counted as if they were one family.
The People of Kohath
12Kohath had four sons: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel.
13Amram’s sons were Aaron and Moses. Aaron and his descendants were chosen to be special forever. They were chosen to prepare the holy things for the Lord’s service, to offer sacrifices before the Lord, and to serve him as priests. They were to give blessings in his name forever.
14Moses was the man of God, and his sons were counted as part of the tribe of Levi. 15Moses’ sons were Gershom and Eliezer. 16Gershom’s first son was Shubael. 17Eliezer’s first son was Rehabiah. Eliezer had no other sons, but Rehabiah had many sons.
18Izhar’s first son was Shelomith.
19Hebron’s first son was Jeriah, his second was Amariah, his third was Jahaziel, and his fourth was Jekameam.
20Uzziel’s first son was Micah and his second was Isshiah.
The People of Merari
21Merari’s sons were Mahli and Mushi. Mahli’s sons were Eleazar and Kish. 22Eleazar died without sons; he had only daughters. Eleazar’s daughters married their cousins, the sons of Kish. 23Mushi’s three sons were Mahli, Eder, and Jerimoth.
The Levites’ Work
24These were Levi’s descendants listed by their families. They were the leaders of families. Each person who was twenty years old or older was listed. They served in the Lord’s Temple.
25David had said, “The Lord, the God of Israel, has given rest to his people. He has come to live in Jerusalem forever. 26So the Levites don’t need to carry the Holy Tent or any of the things used in its services anymore.” 27David’s last instructions were to count the Levites who were twenty years old and older.
28The Levites had the job of helping Aaron’s descendants in the service of the Temple of the Lord. They cared for the Temple courtyard and side rooms, and they made all the holy things pure. Their job was to serve in the Temple of God. 29They were responsible for putting the holy bread on the table, for the flour in the grain offerings, for the bread made without yeast, for the baking and mixing, and for the measuring. 30The Levites also stood every morning and gave thanks and praise to the Lord. They also did this every evening. 31The Levites offered all the burnt offerings to the Lord on the special days of rest, at the New Moon festivals, and at all appointed feasts. They served before the Lord every day. They were to follow the rules for how many Levites should serve each time. 32So the Levites took care of the Meeting Tent and the Holy Place. And they helped their relatives, Aaron’s descendants, with the services at the Temple of the Lord.