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1 Chronicles 27

PARAGRAPH DIVISIONS OF MODERN TRANSLATIONS

 NASB  NKJV  NRSV  TEV   NJB
(LXX versing)
Commanders of the Army The Military Divisions David Organizes Military and Civil Affairs Military and Civil Organization Military and Civil Organization
27:1 27:1 27:1 27:1 27:1
27:2-15 27:2-15 27:2-15 27:2-15
 (2-15)
27:2-3
27:4
27:5-6
27:7
27:8
27:9
27:10
27:11
27:12
27:13
27:14
Chief Officers of the Tribes Leaders of the Tribes Administration of the Tribes of Israel 27:15
27:16-24 27:16-22 27:16-24 27:16-22
 (16-22)
27:16-22
The Completed Census
27:23-24 27:23-24 27:23-24
Various Overseers Other State Officials Administrators of the Royal Property
27:25-31 27:25-34 27:25-31 27:25-31
 (25-31)
27:25-31a
27:31b
Counselors David's Personal Advisors The King's Personal Advisors
27:32-34 27:32-34 27:32-34 27:32-34

READING CYCLE THREE (see "Bible Interpretation Seminar")

FOLLOWING THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR'S INTENT AT THE PARAGRAPH LEVEL

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.

CONTEXTUAL INSIGHTS

  1. The organization of the newly restored United Kingdom in the post-exilic period is traced (in a symbolic way, i.e., 24,000 for 12 months) back to David.

  2. King David is the idealized leader of God's people.
    1. in song, music
    2. in organization
    3. in victory in battle

  3. David used his military leaders as counselors and administrators.

  4. The list of names is common with 2 Samuel 23 and 1 Chronicles 11, but they do not always agree.

WORD AND PHRASE STUDY

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 27:1
1Now this is the enumeration of the sons of Israel, the heads of fathers' households, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and their officers who served the king in all the affairs of the divisions which came in and went out month by month throughout all the months of the year, each division numbering 24,000:

27:1 Notice the different levels of leadership used by David.

  1. tribal elders (i.e., "the heads of father's households")
  2. commanders of thousands,
  3. commanders of hundreds
  4. lower ranked military officers

See NIDOTTE, vol. 1, p. 407, for "commanders."

They were divided into 24,000 for each month. This is an idealistic number matching the division of

  1. the priests
  2. the musicians
  3. the gatekeepers

SPECIAL TOPIC: THOUSAND (eleph)

▣ "month by month" The Hebrew calendar of David's day had 12 months.

SPECIAL TOPIC: ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN CALENDARS

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 27:2-15
2Jashobeam the son of Zabdiel had charge of the first division for the first month; and in his division were 24,000. 3He was from the sons of Perez, and was chief of all the commanders of the army for the first month. 4Dodai the Ahohite and his division had charge of the division for the second month, Mikloth being the chief officer; and in his division were 24,000. 5The third commander of the army for the third month was Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada the priest, as chief; and in his division were 24,000. 6This Benaiah was the mighty man of the thirty, and had charge of thirty; and over his division was Ammizabad his son. 7The fourth for the fourth month was Asahel the brother of Joab, and Zebadiah his son after him; and in his division were 24,000. 8The fifth for the fifth month was the commander Shamhuth the Izrahite; and in his division were 24,000. 9The sixth for the sixth month was Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite; and in his division were 24,000. 10The seventh for the seventh month was Helez the Pelonite of the sons of Ephraim; and in his division were 24,000. 11The eighth for the eighth month was Sibbecai the Hushathite of the Zerahites; and in his division were 24,000. 12The ninth for the ninth month was Abiezer the Anathothite of the Benjamites; and in his division were 24,000. 13The tenth for the tenth month was Maharai the Netophathite of the Zerahites; and in his division were 24,000. 14The eleventh for the eleventh month was Benaiah the Pirathonite of the sons of Ephraim; and in his division were 24,000. 15The twelfth for the twelfth month was Heldai the Netophathite of Othniel; and in his division were 24,000.

27:2 "Jashobeam" He was a Benjamite from Hakmon. He was famous for killing 300 men with a spear (cf. 1 Chr. 11:10-14). He was one of David's "mighty men" and one of three great warriors (cf. 2 Sam. 23:9,13,16,17,18,19,22,23).

▣ "24,000" This number appears twelve times. It probably refers to 24 main leaders.

SPECIAL TOPIC: THOUSAND (eleph)

27:3 "Perez" Nothing more is known about him.

27:4 "Dodai the Ahohite" He was one of David's military leaders. One of his sons, Eleazar, is mentioned in 2 Sam. 23:9; 1 Chr. 11:12, where he is called "Dodo."

"Ahohite" means a descendant of Ahoah, a grandson of Benjamin (1 Chr. 8:4).

▣ "Mikloth" This man is named after a Benjamite from Jerusalem (cf. 1 Chr. 8:32; 9:37,38). These names are used repeatedly within families and tribes. Often the exact person or period is uncertain.

▣ "the chief officer" This word (BDB 617) had a wide usage (NIDOTTE, vol. 3, p. 20).

  1. tribal leader ‒ 1 Chr. 12:27; 2 Chr. 19:11
  2. military leader ‒ 1 Chr. 13:1
  3. palace official ‒ 2 Chr. 28:7
  4. temple official ‒ 1 Chr. 9:20; 26:24; 2 Chr. 31:12,13
  5. foreign kings ‒ Ps. 76:12; Ezek. 28:2
  6. crown prince ‒ 1 Kgs. 1:35; 2 Chr. 11:22 (i.e., Solomon)
  7. in Chronicles it often refers to David as YHWH's special choice

In this context #2 fits best.

27:5-6 "Benaiah" He was the leader of the Cherethites and Palethites (probably non-Israelite warriors, cf. 2 Sam. 8:18; 20:23; 1 Chr. 18:17). He was famous for his military exploits in David's army (cf. 2 Sam. 23:20-23; 1 Kgs. 1:38; 1 Chr. 11:21-24).

He was active on David's behalf supporting the succession of Solomon.

  1. part of Solomon's inauguration (i.e., riding on King David's mule), cf. 1 Kgs. 1:32-37,38-40,44
  2. killed
    1. Adonijah ‒ 1 Kgs. 2:24-25
    2. Joab ‒ 1 Kgs. 2:28-35
    3. Shimei ‒ 1 Kgs. 2:40-46

27:5 "the priest, as chief" The term "chief" (BDB 910) here denotes the military warrior (cf. 1 Chr. 11:22,24; 18:17), not the High Priest.

27:6 "Ammizabad" He is mentioned only here.

2:7 "Asahel" This was the brother of David's relative and military commander, Joab. Asahel was killed by Abner, Saul's military commander (cf. 2 Sam. 2:18-23). This started a blood feud between Joab and Abner.

Because Asahel died so young, his son, Zebadiah, took his place as "division" leader.

Asahel was one of the special elite groups of warriors called "the thirty" (cf. 2 Sam. 23:24).

27:8 "Shamhuth the Izrahite" This man is mentioned only here (not in 1 Chronicles 11). The word "Izrahite" can mean

  1. from the family of Izrah
  2. from a town/village name
  3. with emendation from "Zerahite," which was from a Judean named Zerah (cf. 1 Chr. 2:4,6; 9:6)

27:9 "Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite" He is also mentioned in 2 Sam. 23:26 and 1 Chr. 11:28.

Another one of David's military leaders is "Ira the Ithrite" in 2 Sam. 23:38; 1 Chr. 11:40. These two names are easily confused (i.e., Young's Analytical Concordance, p. 520).

27:10 "Helez the Pelonite" This Ephraimite military leader is mentioned in 2 Sam. 23:26, along with "Ira." In 1 Chr. 11:27 he is said to be a "Pelonite," but in 2 Sam. 23:26, a "Paltite." Again the second designation could be

  1. a place name
  2. a family name

Whether 2 Samuel 23 or 1 Chronicles 11 is correct is uncertain. Young's concordance prefers "Pelonite," while TEV makes it an unknown city, Pelon.

27:11 "Sibbecai the Hushathite of the Zerahites" This man killed one of the "giants" (Raphah) in 2 Sam. 21:18-22; 1 Chr. 20:4-8. He is linked with Ilai the Ahohite in 1 Chr. 11:29.

Another Zerahite is mentioned in 1 Chr. 27:13. From 1 Chr. 1:16 they seem to be a tribe of non- Israelites living in Palestine, in the line of Canaan, the son of Ham.

It is possible the name Zerahite goes all the way back to Numbers 26:20, which would make them a clan/tribe from Judah by Zerah.

SPECIAL TOPIC: TERMS USED FOR TALL/POWERFUL WARRIORS OR PEOPLE GROUPS

27:12 "Abiezer" He was from Anathoth, where Solomon exiled Abiathar. It was Jeremiah's hometown. He was a Benjamite.

27:13 "Maharai the Netophathite of the Zerahites" This military leader is mentioned in 2 Sam. 23:28 and 1 Chr. 11:30.

The term "Netophathite" seems to refer to a place name (cf. 1 Chr. 9:16; Ezra 2:22). There are two people in this list from this area, Maharai in 2 Sam. 23:28 and Heldai in 1 Chr. 27:15 (he was a descendant of Othniel).

27:14 "Benaiah the Pirathonite" There is a different person by the same name but with a different father and tribe.

  1. Benaiah, 1 Chr. 27:5, was from a priestly family
  2. Beniah, 1 Chr. 27:14, was from Ephraim, cf. 2 Sam. 23:30; 1 Chr. 11:31

The term "Pirathonite" also appears in Jdgs. 12:12,15. TEV makes it the city of Pirathon.

27:15 "Heldai" He was a descendant of Israel's first judge, "Othniel" (cf. Jos. 15:17; Jdgs. 1:13; 3:9,11; 1 Chr. 4:13).

▣ "Netophathite" See note at 1 Chr. 27:13.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 27:16-24
16Now in charge of the tribes of Israel: chief officer for the Reubenites was Eliezer the son of Zichri; for the Simeonites, Shephatiah the son of Maacah; 17for Levi, Hashabiah the son of Kemuel; for Aaron, Zadok; 18for Judah, Elihu, one of David's brothers; for Issachar, Omri the son of Michael; 19for Zebulun, Ishmaiah the son of Obadiah; for Naphtali, Jeremoth the son of Azriel; 20for the sons of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Azaziah; for the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joel the son of Pedaiah; 21for the half-tribe of Manasseh in Gilead, Iddo the son of Zechariah; for Benjamin, Jaasiel the son of Abner; 22for Dan, Azarel the son of Jeroham. These were the princes of the tribes of Israel. 23But David did not count those twenty years of age and under, because the Lord had said He would multiply Israel as the stars of heaven. 24Joab the son of Zeruiah had begun to count them, but did not finish; and because of this, wrath came upon Israel, and the number was not included in the account of the chronicles of King David.

27:16-22 This is an unusual list of tribes. These verses list the chief officer of each of the twelve tribes (cf. Genesis 49; Exod. 1:2-4; Deuteronomy 33), with the exception of Gad and Asher.

The tribes of Simeon and Reuben no longer had tribal identification in the post-exilic period. See Hard Sayings of the Bible, pp. 229-40.

The children of Joseph are listed three times (i.e., Ephraim and Manasseh twice).

27:18 "Elihu, one of David's brothers" He is not listed in 1 Sam. 16:6-11; 17:12; 1 Chr. 2:13-15 but one person is unnamed. It is possible

  1. "son" has the connotation of relative; see F. F. Bruce, Answers to Questions, p. 16
  2. the list in 1 Sam. 17:12 has eight sons
  3. the early list included only the older male children

▣ "Omri" This Omri is from the tribe of Issachar. It also appears in 1 Chronicles as

  1. a son of Becher, a Benjamite, 1 Chr. 7:8
  2. a son of (Perez), a Judean, 1 Chr. 9:4

The name was made famous by Omri of 1 Kings 16, a military leader and King of Israel. His father, Abner, was possibly Saul's military commander (cf. 1 Sam. 14:50; 20:25).

27:21 "Jaasiel the son of Abner" This could be the man with the same name among David's mighty men in 1 Chr. 11:47. There his father is not named but he is called a "Mezobaite."

27:23-24 This is recorded in 2 Samuel 24 and 1 Chronicles 21.

27:23 "as the stars of Heaven" There are several metaphors used to describe YHWH's blessings on Israel.

  1. numerous as the stars ‒ Gen. 15:5; 22:17; 26:4; Deut. 1:10; 10:22; 28:62
  2. numerous as sand on the seashore ‒ Gen. 22:17; 32:12
  3. numerous as dust ‒ Gen. 13:16; 28:14; Num. 23:10
  4. too numerous to count ‒ Gen. 16:10

This phrase links the post-exilic community to YHWH's promise to Abraham.

SPECIAL TOPIC: COVENANT PROMISES TO THE PATRIARCHS

27:24 "the chronicles of King David" There are several books/scrolls mentioned in the historical books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, which were used as sources.

  1. chronicles of Samuel, 1 Sam. 10:25; 1 Chr. 29:29
  2. book of Jashar, 2 Sam. 1:18 (cf. Jos. 10:13)
  3. chronicles of King David, 1 Chr. 27:24
  4. chronicles of Nathan, 1 Chr. 29:29
  5. chronicles of Gad, 1 Chr. 29:29
  6. acts of Solomon, 1 Kgs. 11:41; 2 Chr. 9:29
  7. chronicles of the Kings of Judah, 1 Kgs. 14:29; 15:7,23; 2 Chr. 12:15; 13:22; 26:22
  8. chronicles of the Kings of Israel, 1 Kgs. 14:19; 15:31

The genealogies may or may not have been included in these named, written sources.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 27:25-31
25Now Azmaveth the son of Adiel had charge of the king's storehouses. And Jonathan the son of Uzziah had charge of the storehouses in the country, in the cities, in the villages and in the towers. 26Ezri the son of Chelub had charge of the agricultural workers who tilled the soil. 27Shimei the Ramathite had charge of the vineyards; and Zabdi the Shiphmite had charge of the produce of the vineyards stored in the wine cellars. 28Baal-hanan the Gederite had charge of the olive and sycamore trees in the Shephelah; and Joash had charge of the stores of oil. 29Shitrai the Sharonite had charge of the cattle which were grazing in Sharon; and Shaphat the son of Adlai had charge of the cattle in the valleys. 30Obil the Ishmaelite had charge of the camels; and Jehdeiah the Meronothite had charge of the donkeys. 31Jaziz the Hagrite had charge of the flocks. All these were overseers of the property which belonged to King David.

27:25 "Azmaveth the son of Adiel" This elite military leader (i.e., one of the thirty) is mentioned in 2 Sam. 23:31 and 1 Chr. 11:33, where he is called "the Baharumite," which may mean he was from the city of Bahurim, close to Jerusalem. This geographical reference is the meaning here.

Here he is said to be the son of Adiel. There is an Adiel mentioned in 1 Chr. 9:12, who was a priest. It is uncertain if they should be linked.

▣ "Jonathan the son of Uzziah" There is a Jonathan mentioned in 2 Sam. 23:32 and 1 Chr. 11:34. This would be a similar parallel to other names in the list but the father is not the same.

27:26 "Ezri the son of Chelub" He is mentioned only here.

NASB, NRSV, LXX  "soil"
NKJV  "ground"
NJB, REB  "land"

The Hebrew root (BDB 9, Adamah) has a wide semantic field.

  1. man or mankind (Gen. 1:26; 2:5,7,8)
  2. name for Adam (1 Chr. 1:1)
  3. ground, land (Gen. 2:5,9; 3:17,23)
  4. dirt, earth (Gen. 2:7)
  5. surface of the planet (Gen. 1:25; 6:20)
  6. country (Gen. 47:19; Lev. 20:24)
  7. whole inhabited earth (Gen. 12:3; 28:14; Deut. 14:2)

27:27 "Shimei the Ramathite" This man is mentioned only here. He is possibly from a village of Ramah.

▣ "Zabdi the Shiphmite" He is possibly a descendant of Benjamin from 1 Chr. 8:19, but the name "Shiphmite" may refer to the Judean city of Shepham.

27:28 "Baal-hanan the Gederite" This man is mentioned only here. It is surprising that a servant of David had a name connected to the male fertility god of Canaan.

He was possibly from the southern city of Geder (cf. Jos. 12:13).

SPECIAL TOPIC: FERTILITY WORSHIP OF THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST

▣ "the shephelah" This refers to the low hills between the coastal plain of the Mediterranean and the Judean highlands.

▣ "Shitrai the Sharonite" This man is mentioned only here but he is from the area (i.e., Sharon), over which he managed the cattle (cf. 1 Chr. 5:16).

▣ "Shaphat the son of Adlai" There is a man of the tribe of Gad by the same name in 1 Chr. 5:12 but there is no implied connection.

27:30 "Obil the Ishmaelite" This person is mentioned only here. His name (BDB 6) means "driver" or "leader." The Ishmaelites were traders and had experience with camels.

▣ "Jehdeiah the Meronothite" This man is mentioned only here. The second word (BDB 599) could mean

  1. from the city of Meroneth
  2. a region in Zebulon
  3. a family name

There is another person with this same descriptive title in Neh. 3:7.

27:31 "Jaziz the Hagrite" This is the only place this person appears. Hagrite seems to refer to the family name related to "Ishmaelites." They are mentioned in 1 Chr. 5:10,19,20. If they are the source of this designation this is another non-Israelite manager.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 27:32-34
32Also Jonathan, David's uncle, was a counselor, a man of understanding, and a scribe; and Jehiel the son of Hachmoni tutored the king's sons. 33Ahithophel was counselor to the king; and Hushai the Archite was the king's friend. 34Jehoiada the son of Benaiah, and Abiathar succeeded Ahithophel; and Joab was the commander of the king's army.

27:32 "a scribe" See SPECIAL TOPIC: SCRIBES.

▣ "Jehiel the son of Hachmoni" The first name is a common OT name, used eleven times. However, this is the only reference to this person. It is not found in 2 Samuel 23 or 1 Chronicles 11.

He was a tutor to the royal princes, an important and powerful position (i.e., 2 Kgs. 10:1,6-7).

27:33 "Ahithophel" This close counselor betrayed David and joined the rebellion of Absalom (cf. 2 Sam. 15:12,31,34; 16:15,20,21,23; 17:1,6,7,14,15,21,23; 23:34). After the rebellion failed he committed suicide.

SPECIAL TOPIC: SUICIDE

▣ "Hushai the Archite" This counselor was loyal to David but was instructed to return to the palace and give Absalom bad counsel (cf. 2 Sam. 15:30-37; 16:17; 17:5,15).

Archite refers to

  1. a place name (i.e., Archie)
  2. a family that owned the city of Ataroth, near Bethel (cf. Jos. 16:2-3)

▣ "the king's friend" This was an Egyptian title for a close counselor to the king (cf. 2 Sam. 22:20; 26:6).

27:34 "Jehoiada the son of Benaiah" In 1 Chr. 27:5 these names are reversed. It may be

  1. MSS corruption
  2. a later ancestor with the same family name
  3. or just another person

▣ "Abiathar" This was one of two High Priests during David's reign. Abiathar was the only survivor of Saul's slaughter of the priests at Nob (cf. 2 Samuel 21-22).

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