1 Chronicles 24:4 MEANING

1 Chronicles 24:4
(4) And there were more chief men found.--Literally, And the sons of Eleazar were found more numerous as regards the heads of the men than the sons of Ithamar. The basis of division was not the individual members of the different families, but the heads of them. There were more head men, or heads of households, deriving from Eleazar than from Ithamar.

Chief men.--Heb., heads of the men, i.e., heads of single families or households; just as "heads of the fathers "denotes heads of groups of fathers or clans. (Comp. Joshua 7:14; Joshua 7:16-18.) Of course, as the heads of households were more numerous, the total number of priests claiming descent from Eleazar must likewise have been more numerous than their kinsmen the Ithamarites.

And thus were they divided . . . fathers.--Rather, And they divided them: to the sons of Eleazar, heads of father-houses, sixteen, and to the sons of Ithamar, to their father-houses, eight (heads). They (i.e., David and the two high priests) divided them (1 Chronicles 24:3.)

Verse 4. - The simpler translation of this verse might run thus: And there were found (of) sons of Eleazar, more for chief men, than (of) sons of Ithamar, and they divided them - to sons of Eleazar, sixteen chiefs of fathers' houses; and to sons of Ithamar, eight.

24:1-31 The divisions of the priests and Levites. - When every one has, knows, and keeps his place and work, the more there are the better. In the mystical body of Christ, every member has its use, for the good of the whole. Christ is High Priest over the house of God, to whom all believers, being made priests, are to be in subjection. In Christ, no difference is made between bond and free, elder and younger. The younger brethren, if faithful and sincere, shall be no less acceptable to Christ than the fathers. May we all be children of the Lord, fitted to sing his praises for ever in his temple above.And there were more chief men found of the sons of Eleazar than of the sons of Ithamar,.... Or heads of men, heads of their fathers' houses and families:

and thus were they divided; among the sons of Eleazar there were sixteen chief men of the house of their fathers, and eight among the sons of Ithamar, according to the house of their fathers; in all twenty four, and into so many classes or courses did David divide them; Jarchi says at first when the tabernacle was at Shiloh, there were but sixteen courses, eight from Eleazar, and eight from Ithamar, as is explained in the treatise of fasting (n); but when David saw that there were more heads of men, or chief men of Eleazar's, he divided the courses of Eleazar into two parts, and fixed sixteen courses; and the courses of Ithamar he established as at first, eight courses; left them as they were, which he thinks appears from 1 Chronicles 24:6 but of the former number of courses, and when and by whom fixed, the Jews are divided (o); See Gill on Luke 1:5. Perhaps there were none before David's time.

(n) T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 27. 1.((o) T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 27. 1.

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