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1 Chronicles 9


(LXX versing)
People of Jerusalem The Genealogies of Families in Jerusalem After the Exile The People Who Returned From Captivity Jerusalem, the Holy City of Israel
9:1 9:1-2 9:1-2 9:1a 9:1
9:2-9 Dwellers in Jerusalem 9:2-3
9:3-9 9:3-9
9:4-6 9:4-6
9:7-8 9:7-9
The Priests at Jerusalem The Priests Who Lived in Jerusalem
9:10-13 9:10-13 9:10-13 9:10-12
The Levites at Jerusalem The Levites Who Lived in Jerusalem
9:14-16 9:14-16 9:14-16 9:14-16
The Levite Gatekeepers The Temple Guards Who Lived in Jerusalem
9:17-27 9:17-27 9:17-27 9:17-18 9:17-18
9:19-20 9:19-26a
Other Levite Responsibilities 9:26b-30
9:28-32 9:28-34 9:28-34 9:28-30
9:31-32 9:31-32
9:33-34 9:33 9:33
9:34 9:34
Ancestry and Descendants of Saul The Family of King Saul The Ancestors and Descendants of King Saul The Ancestors of Saul
9:35-44 9:35-44 9:35-44 9:35-38 9:35-38
9:39-43 9:39-44

READING CYCLE THREE (see "Bible Interpretation Seminar")


This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects. Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

  1. First paragraph
  2. Second paragraph
  3. Etc.


  1. This chapter refers to people who returned from exile, mostly of the southern tribes (Judah, Simeon, Benjamin, Levites). It is partially parallel to Nehemiah 11.

  2. Note the eyewitness detail of 1 Chr. 9:17-18 in parenthesis.

  3. Genealogies were crucial to
    1. prove Levitical ancestry
    2. prove tribes for land allocation
    3. tie the post-exilic people back to the covenant promises of God to the Patriarchs


1So all Israel was enrolled by genealogies; and behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel. And Judah was carried away into exile to Babylon for their unfaithfulness.

9:1 "all Israel" This word has several uses.

  1. Jacob's name changed to Israel in Gen. 32:28
  2. becomes a corporate designation for the descendants of Jacob (i.e., the covenant people)
  3. after the United Kingdom split in 922 B.C., the northern tribes were known as "Israel" and the southern tribes as "Judah"
  4. after the decree of Cyrus II in 538 B.C., the covenant people renamed themselves by this collective name again (i.e., all Israel)


▣ "in the Book of the Kings of Israel" This is one of several written records quoted in Chronicles.

  1. the Chronicles of King David, 1 Chr. 27:24
  2. the Book of the Kings of Israel, 1 Chr. 9:2; 2 Chr. 20:34
  3. the Book of the Kings of Judah, 2 Chr. 16:11; 25:26; 28:26; 32:32
  4. the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah, 2 Chr. 27:7; 35:27; 36:8

See note at Introduction to Chronicles, IV, F, 2.

▣ "Judah was carried away into exile to Babylon" Nebuchadezzar II had several deportations.

  1. 605 B.C. (Daniel, Daniel 1)
  2. 597 B.C. (Ezekiel, Jehoiachin, 2 Kgs. 24:24-26)
  3. 586 B.C. (almost all taken, including Zedekiah, 2 Kgs. 25:7)
  4. 582 B.C. (after the murder of Gedaliah)

The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple was in 586 B.C.

▣ "for their unfaithfulness" It was not the power of Marduk (Babylon's chief deity) but the unfaithfulness of the covenant people to the Mosaic covenant (cf. 1 Chr. 5:25; 2 Chr. 36:14) that caused YHWH to send His own people out of Canaan, as He had done earlier to the Canaanite tribes.


2Now the first who lived in their possessions in their cities were Israel, the priests, the Levites and the temple servants. 3Some of the sons of Judah, of the sons of Benjamin and of the sons of Ephraim and Manasseh lived in Jerusalem: 4Uthai the son of Ammihud, the son of Omri, the son of Imri, the son of Bani, from the sons of Perez the son of Judah. 5From the Shilonites were Asaiah the firstborn and his sons. 6From the sons of Zerah were Jeuel and their relatives, 690 of them. 7From the sons of Benjamin were Sallu the son of Meshullam, the son of Hodaviah, the son of Hassenuah, 8and Ibneiah the son of Jeroham, and Elah the son of Uzzi, the son of Michri, and Meshullam the son of Shephatiah, the son of Reuel, the son of Ibnijah; 9and their relatives according to their generations, 956. All these were heads of fathers' households according to their fathers' houses.

9:2 There are several categories of temple workers mentioned.

  1. priests ‒ 1 Chr. 9:10-13
  2. Levites ‒ 1 Chr. 9:14-16
  3. other temple servants (possibly Nethilim, Jos. 9:23; Ezra 8:20)
    1. gatekeepers ‒ 1 Chr. 9:17-27
    2. Levites, over the furniture and utensils ‒ 1 Chr. 9:28-32
    3. singers/musicians ‒ 1 Chr. 9:33-34

▣ "the first" This could refer to the pre-exilic period or the post-exilic period. I think the latter fits better.

9:3 This lists only the major tribes of the period who inhabited Jerusalem and its villages.

  1. Judah
  2. Benjamin
  3. Ephraim
  4. Manasseh

Numbers 1 and 2 would represent the southern kingdom after 922 B.C., and numbers 3 and 4 the northern kingdom. The Chronicler was an inclusivist, unlike Ezra and Nehemiah.

9:5 "the Shilonites" In Numbers 26:20 they are called "Shelamites" from "Shelah." However, because the tent of meeting was located for a long period at Shiloh, this may reflect that usage.

9:9 "956" This is very specific. There is a similar number in Neh. 11:8.

10From the priests were Jedaiah, Jehoiarib, Jachin, 11and Azariah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the chief officer of the house of God; 12and Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pashhur, the son of Malchijah, and Maasai the son of Adiel, the son of Jahzerah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Meshillemith, the son of Immer; 13and their relatives, heads of their fathers' households, 1,760 very able men for the work of the service of the house of God.

9:10 These names could be individual or reflect the divisions of Levites in 1 Chr. 24:7-18, where these same names appear.

9:11 "Azariah" In the parallel (or source) in Neh. 11:10-14, this man is called "Seraiah" (Neh. 11:11).

▣ "the chief officer of the house of God" This is one of only three places where a High Priest is called "Nagid" (BDB 617, cf. 2 Chr. 31:13; Neh. 11:11).

In Dan. 9:25; 11:22, it is translated "prince" and may refer to

  1. the High Priest
  2. the royal Messianic prince

The offices of High Priest and royal prince are also merged in Psalm 110 and Zeckariah 3-4.

14Of the Levites were Shemaiah the son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, of the sons of Merari; 15and Bakbakkar, Heresh and Galal and Mattaniah the son of Mica, the son of Zichri, the son of Asaph, 16and Obadiah the son of Shemaiah, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun, and Berechiah the son of Asa, the son of Elkanah, who lived in the villages of the Netophathites.

9:15 "Zichri" In Neh. 11:17 he is called "Zabdi."

9:16 "Obadiah" In Neh. 11:17 he is called "Abda."

▣ "Shemaiah" In Neh. 11:17 he is called "Shammua."

▣ "the Netophathites" This is a village south of Jerusalem where Levites lived (cf. Neh. 12:28).

17Now the gatekeepers were Shallum and Akkub and Talmon and Ahiman and their relatives (Shallum the chief 18being stationed until now at the king's gate to the east). These were the gatekeepers for the camp of the sons of Levi. 19Shallum the son of Kore, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah, and his relatives of his father's house, the Korahites, were over the work of the service, keepers of the thresholds of the tent; and their fathers had been over the camp of the Lord, keepers of the entrance. 20Phinehas the son of Eleazar was ruler over them previously, and the Lord was with him. 21Zechariah the son of Meshelemiah was gatekeeper of the entrance of the tent of meeting. 22All these who were chosen to be gatekeepers at the thresholds were 212. These were enrolled by genealogy in their villages, whom David and Samuel the seer appointed in their office of trust. 23So they and their sons had charge of the gates of the house of the Lord, even the house of the tent, as guards. 24The gatekeepers were on the four sides, to the east, west, north and south. 25Their relatives in their villages were to come in every seven days from time to time to be with them; 26for the four chief gatekeepers who were Levites, were in an office of trust, and were over the chambers and over the treasuries in the house of God. 27They spent the night around the house of God, because the watch was committed to them; and they were in charge of opening it morning by morning.

9:17-18 The parenthesis is an eyewitness detail. This was the gatekeeper of the gate used by the king. This is referred to in Ezekiel's temple (cf. Ezek. 46:1-2).

9:22 "the seer" Samuel was a prophet, priest, and judge!

This shows the organization of the Levites may go back to Samuel at Shiloh, as well as David in Jerusalem.


9:19 "the camp of the Lord" This may refer to the people of the Lord (i.e., Joel 2:11) or the "tent of meeting" (1 Chr. 9:19).

9:24 "the four sides" This is a specialized use of the word ruah (i.e., wind, breath, spirit). It is used of the four points of the compass (i.e., from which the wind blows, cf. Ezek. 42:16-20).


NASB  "in an office of trust"
NKJV  "in this trusted office"
NRSV, NJB  "in charge of"
TEV  "had the final responsibility"
JPSOA  "entrusted to be over"
REB  "for their trustworthiness"
LXX  "in a position of trust"

As is obvious from the above options, the word denotes (1) an office and (2) a trustworthy person.


▣ "chambers" This (BDB 545) could refer to

  1. a room for eating ‒ 1 Sam. 9:23
  2. a room where Scripture was read and copied ‒ Jer. 36:10,12,20,21
  3. storerooms ‒ 1 Chr. 9:23; 23:28; 2 Chr. 31:8; Ezra 8:29; Neh. 11:38,39
  4. a room for a person to live in ‒ 1 Chr. 9:33; Ezra 10:6; Neh. 13:5

▣ "treasurers" This (BDB 69) could refer to

  1. storehouse ‒ 1 Chr. 27:25; 28:12; Neh. 13:12,13; Joel 1:17; Mal. 3:10
  2. place for food/drink ‒ 1 Chr. 27:27,28; Neh. 10:39
  3. place for wealth ‒ Jos. 6:19,24; 1 Kgs. 14:26; 2 Kgs. 24:13; 1 Chr. 9:26; 26:20,22,24,26; 2 Chr. 5:1; 16:2; 32:27; Pro. 8:21

28Now some of them had charge of the utensils of service, for they counted them when they brought them in and when they took them out. 29Some of them also were appointed over the furniture and over all the utensils of the sanctuary and over the fine flour and the wine and the oil and the frankincense and the spices. 30Some of the sons of the priests prepared the mixing of the spices. 31Mattithiah, one of the Levites, who was the firstborn of Shallum the Korahite, had the responsibility over the things which were baked in pans. 32Some of their relatives of the sons of the Kohathites were over the showbread to prepare it every sabbath.

9:29 "the sanctuary" The JPSOA and NRSV translate "holy" as referring to the items (vessels) in the outer room of the tent called "the holy place."

The special place of worship in Jerusalem is called

  1. the tent, 1 Chr. 9:19
  2. the tent of meeting, 1 Chr. 9:21
  3. the house of the Lord, 1 Chr. 9:23
  4. the house of the tent, 1 Chr. 9:23
  5. the house of God, 1 Chr. 9:26,27
  6. the chambers of the temple, 1 Chr. 9:33

The tent of meeting was in Shiloh until David brought it to Jerusalem. Only in Solomon's day was the Temple constructed and functioning.


9:30 This refers to the mixing of spices for the holy anointing oil (cf. Exod. 30:25,33,35; 37:29). It could also be used for burials (cf. 1 Chr. 16:14; Neh. 3:8).


33Now these are the singers, heads of fathers' households of the Levites, who lived in the chambers of the temple free from other service; for they were engaged in their work day and night. 34These were heads of fathers' households of the Levites according to their generations, chief men, who lived in Jerusalem.

35In Gibeon Jeiel the father of Gibeon lived, and his wife's name was Maacah, 36and his firstborn son was Abdon, then Zur, Kish, Baal, Ner, Nadab, 37Gedor, Ahio, Zechariah and Mikloth. 38Mikloth became the father of Shimeam. And they also lived with their relatives in Jerusalem opposite their other relatives. 39Ner became the father of Kish, and Kish became the father of Saul, and Saul became the father of Jonathan, Malchi-shua, Abinadab and Eshbaal. 40The son of Jonathan was Merib-baal; and Merib-baal became the father of Micah. 41The sons of Micah were Pithon, Melech, Tahrea and Ahaz. 42Ahaz became the father of Jarah, and Jarah became the father of Alemeth, Azmaveth and Zimi; and Zimri became the father of Moza, 43and Moza became the father of Binea and Rephaiah his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son. 44Azel had six sons whose names are these: Azrikam, Bocheru and Ishmael and Sheariah and Obadiah and Hanan. These were the sons of Azel.

9:35-44 This lineage of King Saul is parallel to 1 Chr. 8:29-38.

9:39 "Eshbaal" See note at 1 Chr. 8:33.

9:40 "Merib-baal" See note at 1 Chr. 8:34.

9:41 "Ahaz" Notice it is in italics (i.e., not in the MT), but it does appear in 1 Chr. 8:35.

9:44 "Bocheru" See note at 1 Chr. 8:38.

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