1When David reached old age, he made his son Solomon king over Israel. 2And he assembled together all the leaders of Israel with the priests and Levites.
Offices of the Levites
3The Levites thirty years old and upward were counted, and their number man by man was 38,000. 4Of these #This number might seem high if the situation is not clarified. There are several important factors to consider: 1. The Levites were divided into 24 rotating divisions (1 Chr 24:6-19). 2. It is plausible that 1,000 Levites were on duty at any one time for Solomon’s temple, considering the many purposes and required maintenance of the building, its ornate ritual, and the scale of the work. 3. In the wilderness, the worshiper would kill the animal he brought for an offering, skin it, cut it in pieces, and wash the entrails and legs. But now all these tasks were the duty of the Levites or Nethinim (servants of the temple); in addition, the number of worshipers had greatly increased, requiring a large number of Levites.24,000 were to oversee and inspect the work of the house of the Lord and 6,000 were to be administrators and judges, 5and 4,000 were gatekeepers, and 4,000 [musicians] were to praise the Lord with the instruments which David made for giving praise. 6And David organized them into divisions according to the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
7Of the Gershonites: Ladan (Libni) and Shimei. 8The sons of Ladan: Jehiel the first and Zetham and Joel—three in all. 9The sons of Shimei: Shelomoth, Haziel, and Haran—three in all. These were the heads of the fathers’ households of Ladan. 10The sons of Shimei: Jahath, Zina (Zizah), Jeush, and Beriah. These were the four sons of Shimei. 11Jahath was the first and Zizah the second; but Jeush and Beriah did not have many sons [not enough for a father’s house or clan], so they were [counted together] as one father’s household, one working group.
12The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel—four in all. 13The sons of Amram: Aaron and Moses. Aaron was set apart to consecrate him as most holy, he and his sons forever, to burn incense before the Lord, attend to His service, and to bless [worshipers] in His name forever. 14But as for Moses the man of God, his sons were counted among the tribe of Levi. 15The sons of Moses: Gershom and Eliezer. 16The son of Gershom: Shebuel the chief. 17The son of Eliezer was Rehabiah the chief. Eliezer had no other sons, but Rehabiah’s sons were very many [in number]. 18The son of Izhar: Shelomith the chief. 19The sons of Hebron: Jeriah the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, and Jekameam the fourth. 20The sons of Uzziel: Micah the first and Isshiah the second.
21The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. The sons of Mahli: Eleazar and Kish. 22Eleazar died and had no sons, but daughters only, and their relatives, the sons of Kish, took them as wives. 23The sons of Mushi: Mahli, Eder, and Jeremoth—three in all.
24These were the Levites by their fathers’ households, the heads of the fathers’ households of those registered, according to the number of names of the individuals who were the servants of the house of the Lord, from twenty years old and upward. 25For David said, “The Lord God of Israel, has given peace and rest to His people, and He dwells in Jerusalem forever. 26Also, the Levites will no longer need to carry the tabernacle and all its utensils for its service.” 27For by the last words of David, the Levites from twenty years old and above were counted. 28For their duty is to assist [the priests] the sons of Aaron in the service of the house of the Lord, in [caring for] the courtyards, the chambers, the purifying of all holy things, and any work of the service of the house of God, 29and with the showbread, and the fine flour for a grain offering, and unleavened wafers, or what is baked in the pan or what is well-mixed, and all measures of volume and size [as the Law of Moses required]. 30They are to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord, and likewise at evening, 31and to offer all burnt sacrifices to the Lord on the Sabbaths, the new moons, and the festivals by number according to the ordinance concerning them, continually before the Lord. 32So they shall be responsible for the Tent of Meeting, the Holy Place, and the sons of Aaron their relatives, for the service of the house of the Lord.