Today: [1 Chronicles Twenty-Four] 24 Divisions of the Priestly Order. In this chapter we see very likely where the origin of the 24 elders before the throne originated. David is retasking the Levites from serving the Tabernacle of Moses to serving the Temple of Solmon. There are so many eligible Levites that he establishes a schedule of service to be maintained by 24 orders of Levites. All the family lines of Moses, Aaron and Amram were honored even those that were lesser known and not high born. In Christ we also serve in a priesthood that gives us equal opportunity to find our legacy in Christ regardless of the circumstances of our birth or standing in earthly society.
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[1Ch 24:1-31 KJV] 1 Now [these are] the divisions of the sons of Aaron. The sons of Aaron; Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 2 But Nadab and Abihu died before their father, and had no children: therefore Eleazar and Ithamar executed the priest’s office. 3 And David distributed them, both Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, according to their offices in their service. 4 And there were more chief men found of the sons of Eleazar than of the sons of Ithamar; and [thus] were they divided. Among the sons of Eleazar [there were] sixteen chief men of the house of [their] fathers, and eight among the sons of Ithamar according to the house of their fathers. 5 Thus were they divided by lot, one sort with another; for the governors of the sanctuary, and governors [of the house] of God, were of the sons of Eleazar, and of the sons of Ithamar. 6 And Shemaiah the son of Nethaneel the scribe, [one] of the Levites, wrote them before the king, and the princes, and Zadok the priest, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, and [before] the chief of the fathers of the priests and Levites: one principal household being taken for Eleazar, and [one] taken for Ithamar. 7 Now the first lot came forth to Jehoiarib, the second to Jedaiah, 8 The third to Harim, the fourth to Seorim, 9 The fifth to Malchijah, the sixth to Mijamin, 10 The seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah,
In this chapter we focus on the priesthood exclusively which is limited to the lineage of Aaron. There were twenty-four divisions in the preisthood which answers to the twenty-four elders before the throne in the book of Revelation. 24 being 12 divided by 2 speaks of the double portion of the government of God. Jesus in choosing 12 instead of 24 disciples hints at what the early church fathers believed about 12 finishing apostles that would be raised up at the last days to conclude what the 12 founding apostles began under the direct supervision of Jesus Himself.
Among Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu died before their time according to Num. 10:1-2 because they offered strange (or common) fire before the Lord. The fire originally used in the tabernacle in the wilderness was the holy fire answered from heaven itself upon the sacrifice when the altar was consecrated. Nadab and Abihu ignored the sprecial nature of the holy fire and just kindled a spark of their own making and were striken before the holy place for doing so.
David you remember in these chapters is retasking the Levitical line from servicing the tabernacle of Moses to preparing to serve the temple of Solomon. The reason he makes these divisions is because there were to many in the line of Aaron to serve before the Lord all at once so a schedule is established to give all of the eligible priests opportunity to serve. In later times the Davidic schedule evolved and changed with depedence on a 48 week lunar calendar to establish the courses under which the preistly duties were distributed and executed by the descendants of Aaron.
11 The ninth to Jeshua, the tenth to Shecaniah, 12 The eleventh to Eliashib, the twelfth to Jakim, 13 The thirteenth to Huppah, the fourteenth to Jeshebeab, 14 The fifteenth to Bilgah, the sixteenth to Immer, 15 The seventeenth to Hezir, the eighteenth to Aphses, 16 The nineteenth to Pethahiah, the twentieth to Jehezekel, 17 The one and twentieth to Jachin, the two and twentieth to Gamul, 18 The three and twentieth to Delaiah, the four and twentieth to Maaziah. 19 These [were] the orderings of them in their service to come into the house of the LORD, according to their manner, under Aaron their father, as the LORD God of Israel had commanded him. 20 And the rest of the sons of Levi [were these]: Of the sons of Amram; Shubael: of the sons of Shubael; Jehdeiah. 21 Concerning Rehabiah: of the sons of Rehabiah, the first [was] Isshiah. 22 Of the Izharites; Shelomoth: of the sons of Shelomoth; Jahath. 23 And the sons [of Hebron]; Jeriah [the first], Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, Jekameam the fourth. 24 [Of] the sons of Uzziel; Michah: of the sons of Michah; Shamir. 25 The brother of Michah [was] Isshiah: of the sons of Isshiah; Zechariah. 26 The sons of Merari [were] Mahli and Mushi: the sons of Jaaziah; Beno. 27 The sons of Merari by Jaaziah; Beno, and Shoham, and Zaccur, and Ibri. 28 Of Mahli [came] Eleazar, who had no sons. 29 Concerning Kish: the son of Kish [was] Jerahmeel. 30 The sons also of Mushi; Mahli, and Eder, and Jerimoth. These [were] the sons of the Levites after the house of their fathers. 31 These likewise cast lots over against their brethren the sons of Aaron in the presence of David the king, and Zadok, and Ahimelech, and the chief of the fathers of the priests and Levites, even the principal fathers over against their younger brethren.
Verses 20 – 30 list the remaining sons of Levi descendants of Kohath’s son Amram who were not directly descended from Moses or Aaron. This is interesting since Moses and Aaron’s descendants doubtless too precedence over the lesser known Amram however today the family name is Kohath or Cohen is about the only Hebrew line that has any inkling as to what tribe or family they actually belong to.
We also see from verse 31 that lots were cast to determine the service and schedule of the sons of Amram in their courses. These lots were unlikely to have relied on Urim and Thummim but simply common dice-like artifacts. Why did they depend on such a crude artifice? Solomon in Proverbs spoke of the casting of lots:
[Pro 16:33 KJV] 33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof [is] of the LORD.
There are many aspects of happenstance that determine outcomes in our lives but the scriptures affirm to us that nothing is left wholly to random chance. The idea of random chance excludes the involvement of a soveriegn God. This has application in many areas of life not the least of which are elections, outcomes, flipping a coin, letting your bible fall open to “random” page. These things are all scorned by those who maintain a posture of higher scholarship in spiritual things but the fact of the matter is that the scriptures do not exclude them from viable and valid methods of determining divine will.
The observation is made that these lots were cast including both the common sons or descendants of Aaron along with the chief of the Levitical fathers and most honorable among them. This was to show the equity of status that every Levite held regardless of his position in life. If he was a Levite of the line of Aaron he was considered worthy of serving before the Lord without preference to status or station in life. In this we see in the New Birth the leveling of societal norms. Whether high born or issuing forth from the unwashed masses we are all equal in Christ – all reciepients of the royal priesthood of the kingdom and worthy to serve at the altar of God in the Heavenlies.
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