1 Chronicles 23

David gives rules for the Levites to the leaders

1 David was old and his life had nearly finished. Then he caused his son Solomon to rule over Israel.

23:1David was about 70 years of age.

2 He brought together all Israel's leaders with the priests and the Levites. 3 His men counted all the Levites who were 30 years old or older. Their number was 38,000 men. 4 David said, ‘Now 24,000 men from among these Levites must be over the work of the Lord's house. And 6,000 will be officers and judges. 5 And 4,000 men will keep the gates safe. And 4,000 men will praise the Lord with music. They will use the things that I have made to praise him with.’

6 David made the Levites into groups. Each group came from a son of Levi. Those sons were Gershon, Kohath and Merari.

The Gershon clans

7 From the Gershon clan there were Ladan and Shimei.

8 Ladan's three sons were Jehiel the most important, then Zetham and Joel.

9 The three sons of another Shimei were Shelomoth, Haziel and Haran. Those were the leaders of Ladan's clans.

10 And 4 sons of Shimei were Jahath, Zizah, Jeush and Beriah.

11 Jahath was the oldest and Zizah the second. But because Jeush and Beriah did not have many sons the officers counted them as one clan.

The Kohath clans

12 The 4 sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel.

13 Amram's sons were Aaron and Moses. The Lord chose Aaron and his descendants for special work for all time. He chose them to make things holy for him and to burn oils with sweet smells to him. He said that they would work for him. And they would bless the people on his behalf. That would be their work for all time. 14 The tribe of Levi included the sons of Moses, God's servant.

23:14Moses was a Levite but his wife was not an Israelite.

15 The sons of Moses were Gershom and Eliezer.

16 Gershom's oldest son was Shebuel.

17 From Eliezer's family, Rehabiah was the leader. Eliezer had no other sons but Rehabiah had very many sons.

18 From Izhar's sons, Shelomith was the leader.

19 From Hebron's sons, Jeriah was the leader and Amariah was second. Jahaziel was third and Jekameam was fourth.

20 From Uzziel's sons, Micah was the leader and Isshiah was second.

The Merari clans

21 Merari's sons were Mahli and Mushi. Mahli's sons were Eleazar and Kish.

22 Eleazar died without sons but he had daughters. Their cousins, Kish's sons, married them.

23 Mushi's three sons were Mahli, Eder and Jeremoth.

24 Those were the leaders of the Levites' clans with their descendants. The Israelites recorded the names of all the men who were 20 years old or older. Those men were servants in the Lord's house. 25 David had said, ‘Now the Lord, the God of Israel, has given rest to his people. And he lives in Jerusalem for all time. 26 So the Levites do not need to carry his tent and the other things to work for him in it.’ 27 David had told them that they should count the Levites. But they should only include the Levites who were 20 years old or older. Those were the last words that he said about the Levites.

The work of the Levites

28 The Levites' work was to help Aaron's descendants to be servants in the Lord's house. They kept the yards and the side rooms and the holy things clean. And they helped in God's house in other ways. 29 They kept the special bread that the priests put on the table in the holy place. They kept the good flour for the offering of grain and for the bread that they made without yeast. They mixed the bread for the sacrifices and they baked it. They also helped with the offering that the priests mixed with oil. And they weighed everything and they measured everything. 30 They had to stand every morning to thank and to praise the Lord. And they had to do the same in the evening. 31 They also had to sing when the priests gave sacrifices by fire to the Lord on special days. That included the Sabbaths and the New Moon sacrifices. The correct number of Levites must do everything in the proper way. They must always work in a regular way and at the correct times in front of the Lord. 32 So the Levites had special work. They had to keep the place where people met God and its holy place clean. And they had to help their cousins, Aaron's descendants with their work in the Lord's house.

23:32Aaron and Moses were both from Levi's tribe. But God chose only Aaron and his descendants to give sacrifices to him.