Preparations for Worship 23 1When David got to be an old man, he made his son Solomon king over Israel. 2At the same time he brought together all the leaders of Israel, the priests, and the Levites. 3The Levites thirty years and older were counted; the total was thirty–eight thousand. 4David sorted them into work groups: “twenty–four thousand are in charge of administering worship in the sanctuary; six thousand are officials and judges; 5four thousand are security guards; and four thousand are to serve in the orchestra, praising God with instruments that I have provided for praise.” 6David then divided the Levites into groupings named after the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 7The Gershonites: Ladan and Shimei. 8The three sons of Ladan: Jehiel, Zetham, and Joel. 9The three sons of Shimei: Shelomoth, Haziel, and Haran, all heads of the families of Ladan. 10The four sons of Shimei: Jahath, Ziza, Jeush, and Beriah. 11Jahath came first, followed by Ziza. Jeush and Beriah did not have many sons so they were counted as one family with one task. 12The four sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. 13The sons of Amram: Aaron and Moses. Aaron was especially ordained to work in the Holy of Holies, to burn incense before God, to serve God and bless his Name always. This was a permanent appointment for Aaron and his sons. 14Moses and his sons were counted in the tribe of Levi. 15The sons of Moses: Gershom and Eliezer. 16Shubael was the first son of Gershom. 17Rehabiah was the first and only son of Eliezer; but though Eliezer had no other sons, Rehabiah had many sons. 18Shelomith was the first son of Izhar. 19Hebron had four sons: Jeriah, Amariah, Jahaziel, and Jekameam. 20Uzziel had two sons: Micah and Isshiah. 21The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. The sons of Mahli: Eleazar and Kish. 22Eleazar died without any sons, only daughters. Their cousins, the sons of Kish, married the daughters. 23Mushi had three sons: Mahli, Eder, and Jerimoth. 24These are the sons of Levi twenty years and older, divided up according to families and heads of families and listed in the work groups that took care of the worship in the sanctuary of God. 25David said, “Now that the God of Israel has given rest to his people and made Jerusalem his permanent home, 26the Levites no longer have to carry the Tabernacle and all the furniture required for the work of worship.” 27These last words of David referred only to Levites twenty years old and above. 28From now on the assigned work of the Levites was to assist Aaron’s sons in the work of worship in God’s house: maintain courtyards and closets, keep the furniture and utensils of worship clean, take care of any extra work needed in the work of worship, 29and provide bread for the table and flour for the Meal Offerings and the unraised wafers—all baking and mixing, all measuring and weighing. 30Also they were to be present for morning prayers, thanking and praising God, for evening prayers, 31and at the service of Whole–Burnt–Offerings to God on Sabbath, at New Moons, and at all festivals. They were on regular duty to serve God according to their assignment and the required number. 32In short, the Levites, with the sons of Aaron as their companions in the ministry of holy worship, were responsible for everything that had to do with worship: the place and times and ordering of worship.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About