The Levites 23 1When David was old and full of years, he made his son Solomon king over Israel. 2He also gathered together all the leaders of Israel, as well as the priests and Levites. 3The Levites thirty years old or more were counted, and the total number of men was thirty-eight thousand. 4David said, ‘Of these, twenty-four thousand are to be in charge of the work of the temple of the Lord and six thousand are to be officials and judges. 5Four thousand are to be gatekeepers and four thousand are to praise the Lord with the musical instruments I have provided for that purpose.’ 6David separated the Levites into divisions corresponding to the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath and Merari. Gershonites 7Belonging to the Gershonites: Ladan and Shimei. 8The sons of Ladan: Jehiel the first, Zetham and Joel – three in all. 9The sons of Shimei: Shelomoth, Haziel and Haran – three in all. These were the heads of the families of Ladan. 10And the sons of Shimei: Jahath, Ziza,[F] Jeush and Beriah. These were the sons of Shimei – four in all. 11Jahath was the first and Ziza the second, but Jeush and Beriah did not have many sons; so they were counted as one family with one assignment. Kohathites 12The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel – four in all. 13The sons of Amram: Aaron and Moses. Aaron was set apart, he and his descendants for ever, to consecrate the most holy things, to offer sacrifices before the Lord, to minister before him and to pronounce blessings in his name for ever. 14The sons of Moses the man of God were counted as part of the tribe of Levi. 15The sons of Moses: Gershom and Eliezer. 16The descendants of Gershom: Shubael was the first. 17The descendants of Eliezer: Rehabiah was the first. Eliezer had no other sons, but the sons of Rehabiah were very numerous. 18The sons of Izhar: Shelomith was the first. 19The sons of Hebron: Jeriah the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third and Jekameam the fourth. 20The sons of Uzziel: Micah the first and Ishiah the second. Merarites 21The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. The sons of Mahli: Eleazar and Kish. 22Eleazar died without having sons: he had only daughters. Their cousins, the sons of Kish, married them. 23The sons of Mushi: Mahli, Eder and Jerimoth – three in all.   24These were the descendants of Levi by their families – the heads of families as they were registered under their names and counted individually, that is, the workers twenty years old or more who served in the temple of the Lord. 25For David had said, ‘Since the Lord, the God of Israel, has granted rest to his people and has come to dwell in Jerusalem for ever, 26the Levites no longer need to carry the tabernacle or any of the articles used in its service.’ 27According to the last instructions of David, the Levites were counted from those twenty years old or more. 28The duty of the Levites was to help Aaron’s descendants in the service of the temple of the Lord: to be in charge of the courtyards, the side rooms, the purification of all sacred things and the performance of other duties at the house of God. 29They were in charge of the bread set out on the table, the special flour for the grain offerings, the thin loaves made without yeast, the baking and the mixing, and all measurements of quantity and size. 30They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord. They were to do the same in the evening 31and whenever burnt offerings were presented to the Lord on the Sabbaths, at the New Moon feasts and at the appointed festivals. They were to serve before the Lord regularly in the proper number and in the way prescribed for them. 32And so the Levites carried out their responsibilities for the tent of meeting, for the Holy Place and, under their relatives the descendants of Aaron, for the service of the temple of the Lord.
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