The year is 937 B.C. (Question of the day: what year will it be when we finish the Old Testament)
Verses 1 and 2 provide an outline for what follows in chapters 23—27, but in reverse order.
1:When David was old and full of years, he made his son Solomon king over Israel.
2:He also gathered together all the leaders of Israel, as well as the priests and Levites
I am betting even if you have been marinating in church all your life you may not have read this part of the Bible (Chapters 23-25) So I will be honest, do I physically read EVERY name, I intend to…but my eyes take over and they skim a lot!!! Ohhhh I can’t stop them!! BUT be better than me…read your Bee Eye Bee Ell Eeee. Because I skimmed, I threw in a load of laundry and listened to it after.
Here is why: these chapters give a connected view or a visual of the condition of the Levites towards the end of David’s life. UNITY. (I am sure this view will not stay the same, especially by the time we get to the New Testament).
- To recap, the Levites (from the tribe of Levi, one of Jacob’s sons) were set apart to take care of the Tabernacle.
- A Tabernacle: (called a Mishkan in Hebrew) is a portable sanctuary that the presence of the Lord would dwell as they traveled (or wandered) on the Ark of the Covenant.
BUT now we are building the Temple! (Well, it is a 20-year project) So, “lots are cast” (remember the rocks called Urim and Thummin: they would use to make decisions because God would use the rocks to answer)
Anyway, I can chase some of these rabbits all day! There are three branches of Levi’s family:
- Kohathites, and,
IF you skimmed just make sure you read the summary statement: 23:24 says: 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.
Then the duties for the Levites are explained. When the Israelites left Egypt, the Levites numbered 8,580 (you ask how do I know that….there is a book called Numbers, it is where I find the numbers) 😂 (sorry feeling frisky, it’s my birthday). In David’s day, the Levites numbered 38,000 (which says a lot about the success of the nation under David’s reign)
- The high priest supervised the priests in their temple service
- High Priests were descendants of Aaron (Moses’ brother) and constituted only one branch of the Levitical family
- The priests continued to offer sacrifices and offerings
- David organized the priests into 24 groups, each of which served for one week at a time (sounds appealing but I would struggle greatly sacrificing an animal…husband maybe, animal….no). Ha!!
Every detail of the temple service was important to David. This shows his heart for God. David lowered the priest age from 30 to 20, I am assuming some muscle might have been needed…a lot of work ahead of them!
David also organized some of the Levitical families as temple musicians: One from each branch
- Asaph was a Gershonite (6:39-43), (he’s my favorite Psalmist…says it like it is, no filter)
- Heman a Kohathite (6:33),
- Jeduthun (Ethan) a Merarite (6:44-47).
One verse made me laugh: 8 Young and old alike, teacher as well as student, cast lots for their duties.
I just had this visual of them casting lots and saying “awww man, I hate the harp, can we do best out of 3 or rock, paper scissors for the cymbals??” OR some guy in the corner saying “what are you playing, craps….papa needs a new pair of sandals.” I am a hot mess today!!