Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.
I Chronicles 24
What should I learn from this chapter?
- The order of Abijah when John the Baptist was born.
The Divisions of the Priests
I Chronicles 24:1 Now these are the divisions of the sons of Aaron. The sons of Aaron were Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.
I Chronicles 24:2 And Nadab and Abihu died before their father, and had no children; therefore Eleazar and Ithamar ministered as priests.
I Chronicles 24:3 Then David with Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, divided them according to the schedule of their service.
I Chronicles 24:4 There were more leaders found of the sons of Eleazar than of the sons of Ithamar, and thus they were divided. Among the sons of Eleazar were sixteen heads of their fathers’ houses, and eight heads of their fathers’ houses among the sons of Ithamar.
I Chronicles 24:5 Thus they were divided by lot, one group as another, for there were officials of the sanctuary and officials of the house of God, from the sons of Eleazar and from the sons of Ithamar.
I Chronicles 24:6 And the scribe, Shemaiah the son of Nethanel, one of the Levites, wrote them down before the king, the leaders, Zadok the priest, Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, and the heads of the fathers’ houses of the priests and Levites, one father’s house taken for Eleazar and one for Ithamar.
I Chronicles 24:7 Now the first lot fell to Jehoiarib, the second to Jedaiah,
I Chronicles 24:8 the third to Harim, the fourth to Seorim,
I Chronicles 24:9 the fifth to Malchijah, the sixth to Mijamin,
I Chronicles 24:10 the seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah,
- The order of Abijah is used to help determine the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus.
See Bible: Luke
For explanations and a larger version of chart below See Topic: Birth of John the Baptizer and Jesus
I Chronicles 24:11 the ninth to Jeshua, the tenth to Shecaniah,
I Chronicles 24:12 the eleventh to Eliashib, the twelfth to Jakim,
I Chronicles 24:13 the thirteenth to Huppah, the fourteenth to Jeshebeab,
I Chronicles 24:14 the fifteenth to Bilgah, the sixteenth to Immer,
I Chronicles 24:15 the seventeenth to Hezir, the eighteenth to Happizzez (Aphses),
I Chronicles 24:16 the nineteenth to Pethahiah, the twentieth to Jehezekel ( Jehezkel),
I Chronicles 24:17 the twenty-first to Jachin, the twenty-second to Gamul,
I Chronicles 24:18 the twenty-third to Delaiah, the twenty-fourth to Maaziah.
I Chronicles 24:19 This was the schedule of their service for coming into the house of the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ) according to their ordinance by the hand of Aaron their father, as the Lord God (Yᵊhōvâ ‘ĕlōhîm) of Israel had commanded him.
I Chronicles 24:20 And the rest of the sons of Levi: of the sons of Amram, Shubael (Shebuel, 1 Chr. 23:16); of the sons of Shubael, Jehdeiah.
I Chronicles 24:21 Concerning Rehabiah, of the sons of Rehabiah, the first was Isshiah.
I Chronicles 24:22 Of the Izharites, Shelomoth (Shelomith, 1 Chr. 23:18); of the sons of Shelomoth, Jahath.
I Chronicles 24:23 Of the sons of Hebron (Supplied from 23:19), Jeriah was the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, and Jekameam the fourth.
I Chronicles 24:24 Of the sons of Uzziel, Michah; of the sons of Michah, Shamir.
I Chronicles 24:25 The brother of Michah, Isshiah; of the sons of Isshiah, Zechariah.
I Chronicles 24:26 The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi; the son of Jaaziah, Beno.
I Chronicles 24:27 The sons of Merari by Jaaziah were Beno, Shoham, Zaccur, and Ibri.
I Chronicles 24:28 Of Mahli: Eleazar, who had no sons. 29 Of Kish: the son of Kish, Jerahmeel.
I Chronicles 24:30 Also the sons of Mushi were Mahli, Eder, and Jerimoth. These were the sons of the Levites according to their fathers’ houses.
I Chronicles 24:31 These also cast lots just as their brothers the sons of Aaron did, in the presence of King David, Zadok, Ahimelech, and the heads of the fathers’ houses of the priests and Levites. The chief fathers did just as their younger brethren.
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- Each order was responsible for ministering during a different week and shabbat, and were stationed as a watch at the Tabernacle. All of the orders were present during biblical festivals. See also Kohen. Their duties involved offering the daily and Jewish holy day sacrifices (korbanot in Hebrew), and blessing the people in a ceremony known as nesiat kapayim (“raising of the hands”), the ceremony of the Priestly Blessing.
- At the end of the Second Temple period, it is clear that the divisions worked in the order specified. See Luke 1.5-11; 23, and the end of the Sukkah (Talmud).
Below: Divisions during King David’s time.
In 1970 a stone inscription was found on a partially buried column in a mosque, in the Yemeni village of Bayt al-Ḥaḍir, showing ten names of the priestly wards and their respective towns and villages. The Yemeni inscription is the longest roster of names of this sort ever discovered, unto this day, although the seventh-century poet, Eleazar ben Killir, also wrote a liturgical poem detailing the 24-priestly wards and their places of residence. Historian and geographer, Samuel Klein (1886–1940), thinks that Killir’s poem proves the prevalence of this custom of commemorating the courses in the synagogues of the Land of Israel. The purpose of composing these lists was to keep in living memory the identities and traditions of each priestly family, in hopes that the Temple would be quickly rebuilt.
11) Poem entitled, Lamentation for the 9th of Ab, composed in twenty-four stanzas, and the last line of each stanza contains the name of the village where each priestly family lived.
12) Samuel Klein, Barajta der vierundzwanzig Priester Abteilungen (Baraitta of the Twenty-Four Priestly Divisions), in: Beiträge zur Geographie und Geschichte Galiläas, Leipzig 1909; Enrico Tuccinardi, Nazareth, the Caesarea Inscription, and the hand of God, (translated from the French by René Salm), Academia, pp. 6–7
13) Enrico Tuccinardi, Nazareth, the Caesarea Inscription, and the hand of God, (translated from the French by René Salm), Academia, p. 7