1 Chronicles 23

1 Chronicles 23 begins with “When David was old and full of days, he made Solomon his son king over Israel”.  I’ve been told that I’m full of things, but this is a nice way to talk about old age – full of days.  David makes the move to put Solomon on the throne before he dies.  That wasn’t the typical transition, which usually happened when the sitting king died.  But David had other sons who might also claim the throne of Israel after his death (especially Adonijah).  He wanted to be sure Solomon was the next king.

David doesn’t just throw the leadership over the fence though.  “David assembled all the leaders of Israel and the priests and the Levites”.  He calls together those whose life was devoted to serving the people and makes sure they all knew the plan and their role.  Service by the Levites began at age 30, so he brings together 38,000 men as part of these assignments.  There were four main buckets of responsibility he dished out:

  1. “Charge of work of the Lord – 24,000
  2. Officers and Judges – 6000
  3. Gatekeepers – 4000
  4. Praises to the Lord with instruments – 4000

He “organized them in divisions corresponding to the sons of Levi”.  He takes it one step further in the process and assigns them leaders among the Levites.  There is little left for chance here.  David obviously wants Solomon not only to take the throne but to come into an organized and well defined machine.  He is working to set up success.  These family groupings were defined hundreds of years earlier, and David was reinforcing the assignments and making sure things were going to continue after he turned over the keys.

  • Gershon: The Gershonites were to take care of the skins that covered the tabernacle itself.
  • Kohath: The Kohathites were to take care of the furniture of the tabernacle including the Ark of the Covenant, the table of showbread, and so forth, under the direction of Eleazar the priest, son of Aaron.
  • Merari: The family of Merari was to take care of the structural aspects of the tabernacle including the pillars, the boards, and so forth

David reminds the people “The Lord, the God of Israel, has given rest to his people, and he dwells in Jerusalem forever”.  It is time for a permanent house of God to be built, which Solomon will do.  And the Levites won’t have to carry all the things around any longer, but rather just serve in the house of the Lord.  “They were to stand every morning, thanking and praising the Lord, and likewise at evening…. keep charge of the tent of meeting and the sanctuary….for the service of the house of the Lord”.  David has things in order for Solomon.

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