1 Chronicles 23:3 MEANING

1 Chronicles 23:3
(3) Now . . . and--i.e., after the council had agreed upon it.

The Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and upward.--A census like that which Moses instituted (Numbers 4:3; Numbers 4:23; Numbers 4:30, &c.), of all Levites "from thirty years old and upward unto fifty years," for the work of the Tabernacle.

By their polls, man by man.--Lit., As to their skulls, as to men. The second phrase defines the first, and excludes women and children.

Verse 3. - Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and upward. The thing which Joab had rightly resisted (1 Chronicles 21:3-6) and shrunk from doing was now rightly done. There was now a practical and a legitimate object for doing it. This consideration helps to determine what it was that "displeased the Lord" in the former general census of David. In connection with this clause, 1 Chronicles 27:23 should be noted, where we read, "But David took not the number of them from twenty years old and under: because the Lord had said he would increase Israel like to the stars of the heavens." The period from the age of thirty years up to fifty (Numbers 4:3, 23, 35, 39) was fixed under Moses, for those "that came to do the service of the ministry, and the service of the burden in the tabernacle of the congregation" (Numbers 4:47). It is not certain, however, that this census did not inquire, in point of fact, respecting some below this limit of age. For we may note ver. 24 in the first place, and this is partly explained by Numbers 8:23-25. The number "thirty and eight thousand" of our present verse may be compared with the "eight thousand and five hundred and four score" of Numbers 4:47, 48. It is to be observed how promptly the national council did on this occasion commence with the arrangement of the ministers of religion, "the Levites." As we read (Numbers 4:3) of "thirty years" of age as the appointed age for the commencement of their ministry, and (Numbers 7:3) of the present or "offering" of "six covered waggons and twelve oxen," which the twelve "princes of Israel, heads of the house of their fathers, princes of the tribes," offered "before the Lord," which greatly lessened the laborious work of the Levites; so we find the commencing age reduced from time to time, to "twenty-five" years (Numbers 8:24), and to "twenty years" of age, as in our present chapter (vers. 24-28).

23:1-23 David, having given charge concerning the building of the temple, settles the method of the temple service, and orders the officers of it. When those of the same family were employed together, it would engage them to love and assist one another.Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years, and upward,.... So they were numbered in the days of Moses, and by his order, and so they were now at first; though afterwards there was a new reckoning of them, 1 Chronicles 23:24.

and their number by their posts; or, according to their heads:

man by man, was thirty and eight thousand; which vastly exceeds the number in the times of Moses; see Numbers 4:47, but then those above fifty years of age were not numbered, as they now might; since their work in the temple would be much more easy, no burdens to carry, as the ark, the vessels, &c.

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