Scripture reading – 1 Chronicles 23; 1 Chronicles 24


The opening verses of 1 Chronicles 23 remind us that “David was old and full of days” (1 Chronicles 23:1). Accepting his death was imminent, the king left no doubt who should be his successor: “He made Solomon his son king over Israel” (1 Chronicles 23:1).  

I admire David’s heart for the LORD. Resigning his role as king, he turned the nation’s affairs over to his son and devoted his last days to organizing the priests and Levites who would serve in the Temple (1 Chronicles 23:2-32; 1 Chronicles 24:1-31).

A Census of the Tribe of Levi (1 Chronicles 23)

A census of Levi found 38,000 heads of house were thirty years and older (1 Chronicles 23:3). Their tasks described the organization of the Levites: 24,000 men were to assist the priests, and 6,000 would serve as “officers and judges” (1 Chronicles 23:4). Four thousand men served as porters or keepers of the doors of the Temple (1 Chronicles 23:5), and another 4,000 were musicians (1 Chronicles 23:5). It was their calling and duty to praise the LORD with “the instruments” David provided (1 Chronicles 23:5).

Various Levite families were named, including those whose lineage were notable: “Gershon, Kohath, and Merari (1 Chronicles 23:6), and “sons of Amram,” of whom was born “Aaron and Moses” (1 Chronicles 23:13). Particular mention of Aaron is made, for he and his sons were high priests, and were sanctified (i.e., set apart) “to burn incense before the Lord, to minister unto him, and to bless in his name for ever” (1 Chronicles 23:13). 

David charged the Levites to serve the LORD on behalf of Israel (1 Chronicles 23:24-31), assist the sons of Aaron with daily sacrifices, and “in the service of the house of the LORD” (1 Chronicles 23:32).


The Aaronic Priesthood (1 Chronicles 24)

1 Chronicles 24 recorded the “divisions of the sons of Aaron” (1 Chronicles 24:1) and their order. We find twenty-four classes of priests identified in this chapter, and David was attentive to the names (1 Chronicles 24:2-3) and offices of those who would serve in the Temple (1 Chronicles 24:4-31).

The names in today’s Scripture reading might seem unimportant, especially three thousand years after they were recorded; however, their offices and tasks as spiritual leaders are instructive for us. Their ministries in the Temple were prominent enough that even the king dedicated himself to their assignments.

Closing thoughts –


David was old, but his enthusiasm for the LORD had not abated. He was denied the opportunity to build a great house for the LORD; however, he poured himself into preparing his son for the task. In other words, the frailty of old age had not robbed him of his desire to serve the LORD.

We would be wise to take a page out of David’s biography: Not only count our days but make our days count! After all, wise men “number” [prepare; count] the days of their lives and, like David, “apply [their]hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). 

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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