Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
LINE OF THE
5. Uzzi--It is supposed that, in his days, the high priesthood was,
for unrecorded reasons, transferred from Eleazar's family to Ithamar's,
in which it continued for several generations.
10. he it is that executed the priest's office in the temple that
Solomon built in Jerusalem--It is doubtful whether the person in favor
of whom this testimony is borne be Johanan or Azariah. If the former,
he is the same as Jehoiada, who rendered important public services
if the latter, it refers to the worthy and independent part he acted in
resisting the unwarrantable encroachments of Uzziah
in the temple that Solomon built in Jerusalem--described in this
particular manner to distinguish it from the second temple, which was
in existence at the time when this history was written.
14. Azariah begat Seraiah--He filled the supreme pontifical office
at the destruction of Jerusalem, and, along with his deputy and others,
he was executed by Nebuchadnezzar's orders at Riblah
(2Ki 25:18, 21).
The line of high priests, under the first temple, which from Zadok
amounted to twelve, terminated with him.
16-48. The sons of Levi; Gershom, &c.--This repetition (see
is made, as the historian here begins to trace the genealogy of the
Levitical families who were not priests. The list is a long one,
comprising the chiefs or heads of their several families until David's
reign, who made a new and different classification of them by
20. Zimmah his son--his grandson
24. Uriel--or Zephaniah
27. Elkanah--the father of the prophet Samuel
28. the sons of Samuel--The sons of Samuel are here named Vashni and
Abiah. The first-born is called Joel
and this name is given to him in
It is now generally thought by the best critics that, through an error
of the copyists, an omission has been made of the oldest son's name,
and that Vashni, which is not the name of a person, merely signifies
"and the second." This critical emendation of the text makes all clear,
as well as consistent with other passages relating to the family of
32. before the dwelling-place, &c.--that is, in the tent which David
had erected for receiving the ark after it was removed from the house
This was a considerable time before the temple was built.
they waited on their office according to their order--which David,
doubtless by the direction of the Holy Spirit, had instituted for the
better regulation of divine worship.
33. Shemuel--that is, Samuel. This is the exact representation of the
39. his brother Asaph--They were brothers naturally, both being
descended from Levi, as well as officially, both being of the Levitical
42. Ethan--or Jeduthun
48. Their brethren also the Levites were appointed unto all manner of
service--Those of them who were endowed with musical tastes and
talents were employed in various other departments of the temple
49. But Aaron and his sons offered, &c.--The office and duties of the
high priests having been already described, the names of those who
successively filled that important office are recorded.
60. thirteen cities--No more than eleven are named here; but two
additional ones are mentioned
(Jos 21:16, 17),
which makes up the thirteen.
61. unto the sons of Kohath, which were left--that is, in addition to
the priests belonging to the same family and tribe of Levi.
by lot, ten cities--
The sacred historian gives an explanation
Eight of these are mentioned, but only two of them are taken out of the
half tribe of Manasseh
The names of the other two are given
where full and detailed notices of these arrangements may be found.
62. to the sons of Gershom--Supply "the children of Israel gave."
67-81. they gave unto them of the cities of refuge--The names of the
cities given here are considerably different from those applied to them
In the lapse of centuries, and from the revolutions of society, changes
might have been expected to take place in the form or dialectic
pronunciation of the names of those cities; and this will sufficiently
account for the variations that are found in the lists as enumerated
here and in an earlier book. As to these cities themselves that were
assigned to the Levites, they were widely remote and separated--partly
in fulfilment of Jacob's prophecy
and partly that the various districts of the country might obtain a
competent supply of teachers who might instruct the people in the
knowledge, and animate them to the observance, of a law which had so
important a bearing on the promotion both of their private happiness
and their national prosperity.