1 Chronicles 9

1 Chronicles 9 follows the first eight chapters of the book which was a list of genealogical records.  It was more or less the public record of the day with account for the tribes and the families within each.  But as we begin this chapter we are reminded in one sentence the reality of God’s expectations for His people.  “Judah was taken into exile in Babylon because of their breach of faith”.  The simple truth is that if they had remained faithful, God would have protected them amid the rise and fall of a hundred powerful kings and kingdoms, but they made a different choice and paid the consequence.

The people are back in the land, and the author now changes focus from the past to the present and future.  “Now the first to dwell again in their possessions in their cities were Israel, the priests, the Levites, and the temple servants”.  The people of the tribes of Israel came back to their ancestral lands, promised to them by God and first possessed in the days of Moses and Joshua.  As the author describes their return, he begins with the three categories of workers in the temple:

  • Priests were the descendants of Aaron who had the right to offer sacrifice and take care of the Holy Place in the temple.
  • Levites were the religious workers who served in many ways: practical, artistic, and spiritual.
  • The temple servants were special servants given to the temple.

One important role that is called out here is that of the gatekeepers.  The “Korahites were in charge of the work of the service, keepers of the thresholds of the tent, as their fathers had been in charge of the camp of the Lord, keepers of the entrance”.  It shows us a definite organization and division of labor among the Levites.  Things were being organized once again with their return to Jerusalem and they did it in a way similar to what King David had done originally.

There was order in the temple area.  “David and Samuel the seer established them in their office of trust”.  The delegation of power was intentional and done with care.  They had a big responsibility of opening the House of God and at the end of the day, closing it up.  Each was appointed to do their particular task along with caring for their particular side of the temple.  “The four chief gatekeepers, who were Levites, were entrusted to be over the chambers and the treasures of the house of God”.  While it may seem to be a menial task, it was in fact, a very important one for the people!

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