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1 Chronicles 23 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Divisions of the Levites

23 So when David was old and full of days, he made his son Solomon king over Israel.

And he gathered together all the leaders of Israel, with the priests and the Levites. Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and above; and the number of individual males was thirty-eight thousand. Of these, twenty-four thousand were to look after the work of the house of the Lord, six thousand were officers and judges, four thousand were gatekeepers, and four thousand praised the Lord with musical instruments, “which I made,” said David, “for giving praise.”

Also David separated them into [a]divisions among the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

Of the Gershonites: [b]Laadan and Shimei. The sons of Laadan: the first Jehiel, then Zetham and Joel—three in all. The sons of Shimei: Shelomith, Haziel, and Haran—three in all. These were the heads of the fathers’ houses of Laadan. 10 And the sons of Shimei: Jahath, [c]Zina, Jeush, and Beriah. These were the four sons of Shimei. 11 Jahath was the first and Zizah the second. But Jeush and Beriah did not have many sons; therefore they were assigned as one father’s house.

12 The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel—four in all. 13 The sons of Amram: Aaron and Moses; and Aaron was set apart, he and his sons forever, that he should [d]sanctify the most holy things, to burn incense before the Lord, to minister to Him, and to give the blessing in His name forever. 14 Now the sons of Moses the man of God were reckoned to the tribe of Levi. 15 The sons of Moses were [e]Gershon and Eliezer. 16 Of the sons of Gershon, Shebuel[f] was the first. 17 Of the descendants of Eliezer, Rehabiah was the first. And Eliezer had no other sons, but the sons of Rehabiah were very many. 18 Of the sons of Izhar, Shelomith was the first. 19 Of the sons of Hebron, Jeriah was the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, and Jekameam the fourth. 20 Of the sons of Uzziel, Michah was the first and Jesshiah the second.

21 The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi. The sons of Mahli were Eleazar and Kish. 22 And Eleazar died, and had no sons, but only daughters; and their [g]brethren, the sons of Kish, took them as wives. 23 The sons of Mushi were Mahli, Eder, and Jeremoth—three in all.

24 These were the sons of Levi by their fathers’ houses—the heads of the fathers’ houses as they were counted individually by the number of their names, who did the work for the service of the house of the Lord, from the age of twenty years and above.

25 For David said, “The Lord God of Israel has given rest to His people, that they may dwell in Jerusalem forever”; 26 and also to the Levites, “They shall no longer carry the tabernacle, or any of the articles for its service.” 27 For by the last words of David the Levites were numbered from twenty years old and above; 28 because their duty was to help the sons of Aaron in the service of the house of the Lord, in the courts and in the chambers, in the purifying of all holy things and the work of the service of the house of God, 29 both with the showbread and the fine flour for the grain offering, with the unleavened cakes and what is baked in the pan, with what is mixed and with all kinds of measures and sizes; 30 to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord, and likewise at evening; 31 and at every presentation of a burnt offering to the Lord on the Sabbaths and on the New Moons and on the set[h] feasts, by number according to the ordinance governing them, regularly before the Lord; 32 and that they should attend to the needs of the tabernacle of meeting, the needs of the holy place, and the needs of the sons of Aaron their brethren in the work of the house of the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Chronicles 23:6 groups
  2. 1 Chronicles 23:7 Libni, Ex. 6:17
  3. 1 Chronicles 23:10 LXX, Vg. Zizah and v. 11
  4. 1 Chronicles 23:13 consecrate
  5. 1 Chronicles 23:15 Heb. Gershom, 1 Chr. 6:16
  6. 1 Chronicles 23:16 Shubael, 1 Chr. 24:20
  7. 1 Chronicles 23:22 kinsmen
  8. 1 Chronicles 23:31 appointed feasts
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1 Chronicles 23 New International Version (NIV)

The Levites

23 When David was old and full of years, he made his son Solomon king over Israel.

He also gathered together all the leaders of Israel, as well as the priests and Levites. The Levites thirty years old or more were counted, and the total number of men was thirty-eight thousand. David said, “Of these, twenty-four thousand are to be in charge of the work of the temple of the Lord and six thousand are to be officials and judges. Four thousand are to be gatekeepers and four thousand are to praise the Lord with the musical instruments I have provided for that purpose.”

David separated the Levites into divisions corresponding to the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath and Merari.

Gershonites

Belonging to the Gershonites:

Ladan and Shimei.

The sons of Ladan:

Jehiel the first, Zetham and Joel—three in all.

The sons of Shimei:

Shelomoth, Haziel and Haran—three in all.

These were the heads of the families of Ladan.

10 And the sons of Shimei:

Jahath, Ziza,[a] Jeush and Beriah.

These were the sons of Shimei—four in all.

11 Jahath was the first and Ziza the second, but Jeush and Beriah did not have many sons; so they were counted as one family with one assignment.

Kohathites

12 The sons of Kohath:

Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel—four in all.

13 The sons of Amram:

Aaron and Moses.

Aaron was set apart, he and his descendants forever, to consecrate the most holy things, to offer sacrifices before the Lord, to minister before him and to pronounce blessings in his name forever. 14 The sons of Moses the man of God were counted as part of the tribe of Levi.

15 The sons of Moses:

Gershom and Eliezer.

16 The descendants of Gershom:

Shubael was the first.

17 The descendants of Eliezer:

Rehabiah was the first.

Eliezer had no other sons, but the sons of Rehabiah were very numerous.

18 The sons of Izhar:

Shelomith was the first.

19 The sons of Hebron:

Jeriah the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third and Jekameam the fourth.

20 The sons of Uzziel:

Micah the first and Ishiah the second.

Merarites

21 The sons of Merari:

Mahli and Mushi.

The sons of Mahli:

Eleazar and Kish.

22 Eleazar died without having sons: he had only daughters. Their cousins, the sons of Kish, married them.

23 The sons of Mushi:

Mahli, Eder and Jerimoth—three in all.

24 These were the descendants of Levi by their families—the heads of families as they were registered under their names and counted individually, that is, the workers twenty years old or more who served in the temple of the Lord. 25 For David had said, “Since the Lord, the God of Israel, has granted rest to his people and has come to dwell in Jerusalem forever, 26 the Levites no longer need to carry the tabernacle or any of the articles used in its service.” 27 According to the last instructions of David, the Levites were counted from those twenty years old or more.

28 The duty of the Levites was to help Aaron’s descendants in the service of the temple of the Lord: to be in charge of the courtyards, the side rooms, the purification of all sacred things and the performance of other duties at the house of God. 29 They were in charge of the bread set out on the table, the special flour for the grain offerings, the thin loaves made without yeast, the baking and the mixing, and all measurements of quantity and size. 30 They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord. They were to do the same in the evening 31 and whenever burnt offerings were presented to the Lord on the Sabbaths, at the New Moon feasts and at the appointed festivals. They were to serve before the Lord regularly in the proper number and in the way prescribed for them.

32 And so the Levites carried out their responsibilities for the tent of meeting, for the Holy Place and, under their relatives the descendants of Aaron, for the service of the temple of the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Chronicles 23:10 One Hebrew manuscript, Septuagint and Vulgate (see also verse 11); most Hebrew manuscripts Zina
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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