Bible Commentary: 1 Chronicles 6

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1 Chronicles 6

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The Family of Levi

As The Expositor's Bible Commentary explains in its introductory notes on the chapter: "Chapter 6 commences with Pentateuchal citations and concludes with territorial lists taken from Joshua, but it consists primarily of materials not found outside Chronicles. It takes up four major subjects: the line of the high priests (vv. 3-15, 49-53), the three clans of Levi (vv. 16-30), the Levitical musicians (vv. 31-48), and the cities that were assigned for the tribe's use (vv. 54-81). The Levitical organization of David's day receives further treatment in chapters 23-26"— as has been previously discussed in the Beyond Today Bible Commentary.

Note the distribution of the Levites in the land. The priests were mainly given towns south of Jerusalem, with the remainder of the tribe of Kohath receiving towns just north of Jerusalem. Merari had cities in the Trans-Jordan area east of Jerusalem and in Zebulun in the northwest part of the country. Gershon had cities in the northern part of the country.

Chapter 6 also gives us an interesting detail bearing on biblical chronology: "David's musician Heman, 1000 B.C., is eighteen generations removed from Moses' adversary Korah, in 1445. This poses a problem for those advocating a late date for the Exodus, in the 1200's…let alone those who would place Levi's grandson Izhar within the same period" (note on verses 33-37).