1 Chronicles 24:1–31

Read the passage.

Having numbered the Levites, the Chronicler tells us of the organization of the priests. Only the descendants of Aaron were appointed to be priests, and only two of his four sons survived to have children: Eleazar and Ithamar. Nadab and Abihu were consumed by fire from the Lord because they were not careful to do as He commanded and to treat Him and his service as holy. By David’s time, there were apparently twice as many priests able to serve in the tabernacle from Eleazar’s line than Ithamar’s. Therefore, they were scheduled twice as much time to serve. It makes me wonder if this arrangement was ever rebalanced as the priestly demographics changed over the centuries.

The twenty-four divisions of the priests are listed. Probably, the only one that would be familiar is the eighth division, Abijah. This is the division that Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, belonged to. It is not recorded here how often the divisions rotated through there temple service, though we know from Luke 1 that the individual priest’s duties within each division were chosen by lot.

From verse 20 we are givien a list of the descendants of Levi again. This time the emphasis is that the Levites were sorted into divisions just as the priests were. The labor of caring for the tabernacle and temple and supporting the service offered to the Lord is organized along family lines. The details of this division follow in later chapters.

You care for us by establishing order and giving us both work and rest in their due time.

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