1David had lived long and was old. Then he made his son Solomon the new king of Israel. 2David gathered all the leaders of Israel, along with the priests and Levites. 3David counted the Levites who were 30 years old and older. In all, there were 38,000 Levites. 4David said, “Of these, 24,000 Levites will direct the work of the Temple of the Lord. And 6,000 Levites will be officers and judges. 5And 4,000 Levites will be gatekeepers. And 4,000 Levites will praise the Lord with musical instruments. I made these instruments for them to use for praise.”
6David separated the Levites into three groups. These groups 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. 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. They were 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. They were 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. They were to offer sacrifices before the Lord. They were to serve him as priests. They were to give blessings in the Lord’s name forever.
14Moses was the man of God. Moses’ 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 son was Amariah. Jahaziel was the third son. And Jekameam was the fourth son.
20Uzziel’s first son was Micah. And Isshiah was his second son.
The People of Merari
21Merari’s sons were Mahli and Mushi. Mahli’s sons were Eleazar and Kish. 22Eleazar died without having 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 20 years old or older was listed. They served in the Lord’s Temple.
25David had said, “The Lord is the God of Israel. He 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. They don’t need to carry any of the things used in its services anymore.” 27David’s last instructions were to count the Levites. All who were 20 years old and older were counted.
28The Levites had the job of helping Aaron’s descendants. They helped in the service of the Temple of the Lord. They cared for the Temple courtyard and side rooms. They had the job of making 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. They also were responsible for the flour in the grain offerings. And they were responsible for the bread made without yeast. They were also responsible for the baking and mixing. And they did all 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. And they offered them 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. They also took care of the Holy Place. And they helped their relatives, Aaron’s descendants, with the services at the Temple of the Lord.