1 Chronicles 24

1 Chronicles 24 gets into the details of how Aaron’s sons would serve.  He had four sons, but “Nadab and Abihu died before their father and had no children, so Eleazar and Ithamar became the priests”.  Remember that back in Numbers 10, God judged Nadab and Abihu because they dared to bring strange fire before the LORD, blaspheming God’s commandments for sacrifice.  So that left two sons – Eleazar and Ahimelech – as the families that would be charged with being the sacred officers and officers of God.

David organized them according to the appointed duties in their service”.  David took the descendants of Aaron – the priestly family of Israel – and together with Zadok he divided them into 24 sections, to serve according to the schedule of their service.  The priesthood is divided by lot into 24 sections.  “The scribe Shemaiah, the son of Nethanel, a Levite, recorded them in the presence of the king and the princes”.  David went to great lengths to make sure the plan was in place.

David knew that because there were so many descendants of Aaron by this time, the priests should be divided so they could fairly be assigned the privileged service of the temple.  He didn’t want there to be any confusion.  Clarity is a key leadership skill and David makes sure the assignments and responsibilities are clear.  The number 24 is not random.  The number of twenty-four courses was based on a lunar calendar of forty-eight weeks, with each course serving for a week at a time and thus twice in a year.

The end of the chapter lists the rest of the sons of Levi.  They too, were to provide service but it was not part of the 24 sections.  “The head of each father’s house and his younger brother alike, cast lots, just as their brothers the sons of Aaron”.  There was mingling in the arrangement of the older and the younger men, so that the experience of age and the enthusiasm of youth were mixed together.  David shows much leadership skill and wisdom as he continues to get the kingdom ready to hand over to Solomon.

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