1 Chronicles 9 (NLT)
About these genealogies:
The point at which the genealogies end is as important for our interpretation of them as the point at which they begin. While 1 Chr. chapters 2-8 cover generations from the twelve patriarchs into the later monarchy period, ch. 9 rounds off the genealogical introduction to Chr. with lists drawn from the post-exilic period. The exile itself is mentioned briefly in v. 1. It is not recorded for its own sake, however, No stress is laid upon its magnitude as a disaster for Judah. Rather it serves merely as a prelude to the record of those who returned from exile, following the decree of Cyrus (cf. 2 Chr. 36:22f), to “dwell again in their possessions.”
The restoration community, being the successor of the southern kingdom, consisted, broadly speaking, of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. There were also a number of priests and Levites, since they had always been scattered throughout the historic territory of Israel (cf. Josh. 21). Some of these will always have been resident in Judah and Benjamin. Others migrated there at the fall of the northern kingdom (2 Chr. 11:13). It is for this reason that so much attention is devoted to these three tribes in the genealogies. For practical purposes they now constitute “Israel.”
–J. G. McConville
1 So all Israel was listed in the genealogical records in The Book of the Kings of Israel.
The Returning Exiles
The people of Judah were exiled to Babylon because they were unfaithful to the Lord.
The cause of the fall of Judah was not Babylonian strength, or incompetent Israelite leadership, or unfriendly economic forces. Instead, the writer says, it was that the people were disobedient to the Lord. It was all in God’s hands, and God chose this way to get through to the people he had called to be his own.
2 The first of the exiles to return to their property in their former towns were priests, Levites, Temple servants, and other Israelites.
The Chronicler completely skips over the 70 years of captivity between verses 1 and 2. His interest is not only in the past (demonstrated by 8 previous chapters of genealogies), but also in the present and in the future. The Israelites were back in the land. No longer was there a kingdom of Judah and another kingdom of Israel; now they were all Israelites. “Called here by the general name of Israelites, which was given to them before that unhappy division of the two kingdoms, and now is restored to them when the Israelites are united with the Jews in one and the same commonwealth, so that all the names and signs of their former division might be blotted out.” (Poole)
3Some of the people from the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh came and settled in Jerusalem.
4 One family that returned was that of Uthai son of Ammihud, son of Omri, son of Imri, son of Bani, a descendant of Perez son of Judah.
5 Others returned from the Shilonite clan, including Asaiah (the oldest) and his sons.
6 From the Zerahite clan, Jeuel returned with his relatives.
In all, 690 families from the tribe of Judah returned.
7 From the tribe of Benjamin came Sallu son of Meshullam, son of Hodaviah, son of Hassenuah; 8 Ibneiah son of Jeroham; Elah son of Uzzi, son of Micri; and Meshullam son of Shephatiah, son of Reuel, son of Ibnijah.
9 These men were all leaders of clans, and they were listed in their genealogical records. In all, 956 families from the tribe of Benjamin returned.
The Returning Priests
10 Among the priests who returned were Jedaiah, Jehoiarib, Jakin, 11 Azariah son of Hilkiah, son of Meshullam, son of Zadok, son of Meraioth, son of Ahitub. Azariah was the chief officer of the house of God.
12 Other returning priests were Adaiah son of Jeroham, son of Pashhur, son of Malkijah, and Maasai son of Adiel, son of Jahzerah, son of Meshullam, son of Meshillemith, son of Immer.
13In all, 1,760 priests returned. They were heads of clans and very able men. They were responsible for ministering at the house of God.
They were very able men: This same phrase is translated mighty men of valor in many other Old Testament passages (Joshua 1:14; Judges 6:12; 1 Samuel 16:18, and many others). It shows that when it came to doing the work of the service of the house of God, it takes a man of strength and courage, the same qualities that are needed in a warrior.
The Returning Levites
“When the morning broke, it called to duty first the porters who opened the House of God; and then, after due ablution, each band of white-robed Levites began its special service. There was no running to and fro in disorder, no intrusion on one another’s office, no clashing in duty, no jealousy of each other’s ministry. It was enough to know that each had been appointed to his task, and was asked to be faithful to it. The right ordering of the whole depended on the punctuality, fidelity, and conscientiousness of each.”
–F. B. Meyer
14 The Levites who returned were Shemaiah son of Hasshub, son of Azrikam, son of Hashabiah, a descendant of Merari; 15 Bakbakkar; Heresh; Galal; Mattaniah son of Mica, son of Zicri, son of Asaph; 16 Obadiah son of Shemaiah, son of Galal, son of Jeduthun; and Berekiah son of Asa, son of Elkanah, who lived in the area of Netophah.
17 The gatekeepers who returned were Shallum, Akkub, Talmon, Ahiman, and their relatives. Shallum was the chief gatekeeper. 18 Prior to this time, they were responsible for the King’s Gate on the east side. These men served as gatekeepers for the camps of the Levites. 19 Shallum was the son of Kore, a descendant of Abiasaph, from the clan of Korah. He and his relatives, the Korahites, were responsible for guarding the entrance to the sanctuary, just as their ancestors had guarded the Tabernacle in the camp of the Lord.
20 Phinehas son of Eleazar had been in charge of the gatekeepers in earlier times, and the Lord had been with him. 21And later Zechariah son of Meshelemiah was responsible for guarding the entrance to the Tabernacle.
22 In all, there were 212 gatekeepers in those days, and they were listed according to the genealogies in their villages. David and Samuel the seer had appointed their ancestors because they were reliable men. 23 These gatekeepers and their descendants, by their divisions, were responsible for guarding the entrance to the house of the Lord when that house was a tent. 24 The gatekeepers were stationed on all four sides—east, west, north, and south. 25 Their relatives in the villages came regularly to share their duties for seven-day periods.
26 The four chief gatekeepers, all Levites, were trusted officials, for they were responsible for the rooms and treasuries at the house of God. 27 They would spend the night around the house of God, since it was their duty to guard it and to open the gates every morning.
28 Some of the gatekeepers were assigned to care for the various articles used in worship. They checked them in and out to avoid any loss. 29 Others were responsible for the furnishings, the items in the sanctuary, and the supplies, such as choice flour, wine, olive oil, frankincense, and spices. 30 But it was the priests who blended the spices. 31 Mattithiah, a Levite and the oldest son of Shallum the Korahite, was entrusted with baking the bread used in the offerings. 32 And some members of the clan of Kohath were in charge of preparing the bread to be set on the table each Sabbath day.
33 The musicians, all prominent Levites, lived at the Temple. They were exempt from other responsibilities since they were on duty at all hours.
With the return of the priests and the Levites, worship can be resumed!
“Here I Am to Worship” sung HERE by Michael W. Smith.
34 All these men lived in Jerusalem. They were the heads of Levite families and were listed as prominent leaders in their genealogical records.
King Saul’s Family Tree
35 Jeiel (the father of Gibeon) lived in the town of Gibeon. His wife’s name was Maacah, 36 and his oldest son was named Abdon. Jeiel’s other sons were Zur, Kish, Baal, Ner, Nadab, 37 Gedor, Ahio, Zechariah, and Mikloth. 38 Mikloth was the father of Shimeam. All these families lived near each other in Jerusalem.
39 Ner was the father of Kish.
Kish was the father of Saul.
Saul was the father of Jonathan, Malkishua, Abinadab, and Esh-baal.
40 Jonathan was the father of Merib-baal.
Merib-baal was the father of Micah.
41 The sons of Micah were Pithon, Melech, Tahrea, and Ahaz.
42 Ahaz was the father of Jadah.
Jadah was the father of Alemeth, Azmaveth, and Zimri.
Zimri was the father of Moza.
43 Moza was the father of Binea.
Binea’s son was Rephaiah.
Rephaiah’s son was Eleasah.
Eleasah’s son was Azel.
44 Azel had six sons, whose names were Azrikam, Bokeru, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah, and Hanan. These were the sons of Azel.
Do the genealogies of Chronicles speak, therefore, to Christians today?
Wherever the Church in modern times feels itself to be of little account in the world, to have a precarious existence, despised and without real hope, its situation is in all essential respects like that of the Chronicler’s Judah. And in all essential respects God’s word to her is as it was then. There is yet a glorious future for the people of God. An abundance of blessing, strength and influence (properly and spiritually understood) is available to them, to the extent that they truly seek their God. And at the end stands the heavenly kingdom of Jesus Christ, an end which the Chronicler in his day could only dimly intuit through the special grandeur which he saw in David, and the Davidic shape which he gave to the hope he offered to his contemporaries. We in our day, with an advantage even over the angels (1 Pet. 1:12), have seen that end more clearly, and it will obtain a greater clarity yet (1 Cor. 13:12).
–J. G. McConville
Congratulations on surviving 1 Chronicles 1-9!
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.