David Makes Solomon King.
1. when David was old … he made Solomon
… king—This brief statement, which comprises the
substance of 1Ki 1:32-48, is made here solely to introduce an
account of the preparations carried on by David during the latter years
of his life for providing a national place of worship.
Number and Distribution of the
2. he gathered together all the princes of
Israel—All important measures relating to the public interest
were submitted for consideration to a general assembly of the
representatives of the tribes (1Ch 13:1; 15:25;
3. the Levites were numbered … thirty and
eight thousand—Four times their number at the early census
taken by Moses (see on Nu 4:1-49; 26:1-51). It was, in all likelihood, this vast increase
that suggested and rendered expedient that classification, made in the
last year of David's reign, which the present and three subsequent
by their polls, man by man—Women and
children were not included.
4. twenty and four thousand were to set forward
the work of the house of the Lord—They were not to preside
over all the services of the temple. The Levites were subject to the
priests, and they were superior to the Nethinim and other servants, who
were not of the race of Levi. But they had certain departments of duty
assigned, some of which are here specified.
5. praised the Lord with the instruments which I
made—David seems to have been an inventor of many of the
musical instruments used in the temple (Am 6:5).
6. David divided them into courses among the sons
of Levi—These are enumerated according to their fathers'
houses, but no more of these are mentioned here than the twenty-four
thousand who were engaged in the work connected with the Lord's house.
The fathers' houses of those Levites corresponded with the classes into
which they [Josephus,
Antiquities] as well as the priests were divided (see on 1Ch 24:20-31; 1Ch
1Ch 23:7-11. Sons of
7-11. the Gershonites—They had nine
fathers' houses, six descended from Laadan, and three from Shimei.
1Ch 23:12-20. Of
12. The sons of Kohath—He was the
founder of nine Levitical fathers' houses.
13. Aaron was separated—as high priest
(see on 1Ch 25:1-19).
14. concerning Moses—His sons were
ranked with the Levites generally, but not introduced into the
distinctive portion of the descendants of Levi, who were appointed to
the special functions of the priesthood.
1Ch 23:21-23. Of
21-23. The sons of Merari—They comprised
six fathers' houses. Summing them together, Gershon founded nine
fathers houses, Kohath nine, and Merari six: total, twenty-four.
1Ch 23:24-32. Office of the
24-27. These were the sons of Levi … that
did the work … from the age of twenty years and
upward—The enumeration of the Levites was made by David
23:3) on the same rule as
that followed by Moses (Nu 4:3),
namely, from thirty years. But he saw afterwards that this rule might
be beneficially relaxed, and that the enrolment of Levites for their
proper duties might be made from twenty years of age. The ark and
tabernacle being now stationary at Jerusalem, the labor of the Levites
was greatly diminished, as they were no longer obliged to transport its
heavy furniture from place to place. The number of thirty-eight
thousand Levites, exclusive of priests, was doubtless more than
sufficient for the ordinary service of the tabernacle. But this pious
king thought that it would contribute to the glory of the Lord to
employ as many officers in his divine service as possible. These first
rules, however, which David instituted, were temporary, as very
different arrangements were made after the ark had been deposited in
the tabernacle of Zion.