1 Chronicles Chapter 6

A Family Tree

Levi was the third son of Jacob after Reuben and Simeon. He was the son of Leah, Jacob’s first wife. He and his brother Simeon had killed the Shechemites for the actions of Shechem against their sister Dinah. Because of this they were cursed to be divided and scattered in Israel. The family of Levi are listed in this chapter, beginning with the following:

1 The sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
2 And the sons of Kohath; Amram, Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel.
3 And the children of Amram; Aaron, and Moses, and Miriam. The sons also of Aaron; Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.

Levi had three sons named Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. (See also Genesis 46:11, Exodus 6:16, and Numbers 3:17) Levi’s son Kohath, was the father of Amram (Amramites), Izhar (Izeharites), Hebron (Hebronites) and Uzziel (Uzzielites). (See also Numbers 3:27) Amram, married Jochebed and became the father of Aaron, Moses, and Miriam. (see also Exodus 6:20 and Numbers 26:59) Aaron was called to assist Moses and he became his spokesman. Moses was the prophet whom the Lord called to deliver the children of Israel from Egypt and lead them to the promised land. Miriam, their sister, was a prophetess who was humbled by the Lord when judged Moses for his choice in his wife. (see Exodus 3, 4, 15, and Numbers 12) Aaron was the father of Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. Nadab and Abihu died without sons, because they offered strange fire against the commandment of the Lord. (see Leviticus 10:1-2) The line of Aaron, was then continued on through Eleazar and Ithamar. Eleazar was given the duties of Aaron after he died. (See also Numbers 3:2, 26:60-61, Deuteronomy 10:6, and 1 Chronicles 24:2)

4 Eleazar begat Phinehas, Phinehas begat Abishua,
5 And Abishua begat Bukki, and Bukki begat Uzzi,
6 And Uzzi begat Zerahiah, and Zerahiah begat Meraioth,
7 Meraioth begat Amariah, and Amariah begat Ahitub,
8 And Ahitub begat Zadok, and Zadok begat Ahimaaz,
9 And Ahimaaz begat Azariah, and Azariah begat Johanan,
10 And Johanan begat Azariah, (he it is that executed the priest’s office in the temple that Solomon built in Jerusalem:)
11 And Azariah begat Amariah, and Amariah begat Ahitub,
12 And Ahitub begat Zadok, and Zadok begat Shallum,
13 And Shallum begat Hilkiah, and Hilkiah begat Azariah,
14 And Azariah begat Seraiah, and Seraiah begat Jehozadak,
15 And Jehozadak went into captivity, when the Lord carried away Judah and Jerusalem by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar.

Eleazar was the father of Phinehas. He saved Israel from the curse of a plague, and was blessed with a covenant of peace and the priesthood for his posterity. (see Numbers 25 and Psalm 106) He became the high priest. Phinehas was the father of Abishua, who was the father of Bukki. Bukki was the father of Uzzi, who was the father of Zerahiah. Zerahiah was the father of Meraioth, who was the father of Amariah, who was the father of Ahitub. Ahitub was the father of Zadok, who was one of the priests for King David and later Solomon. He remained faithful to David during rebellion in Jerusalem. Zadok was the father of Ahimaaz. Ahimaaz was assigned to deliver messages to David during the rebellion, and at one point was even hidden in a well. (see 2 Samuel 17 and 18) He was the father of Azariah. Azaraiah was a prince in Solomon’s court. Azariah was the father of Johanan, who was the father of Azariah. Azariah was the priest at the time when Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem. He was serving when king Uzziah trespassed against the Lord by burning incense in the temple, and was then cursed with leprosy.

Azariah (possibly the same as already mentioned) was the father of Amariah, who was the father of Ahitub, who was the father of Zadok. Zadok was the father of Shallum, who was the father of Hilkiah. He was the priest who found the book of the law, which was given to Josiah, who then restored the knowledge of the law to the people of Judah and made covenants with the Lord. Hikliah was the father of Azariah, who was the father of Seraiah. Seraiah was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar’s captain of the guard, and slain by the king. He had been the father of Jehozadak. When Judah and Jerusalem was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar, Jehozadak went into captivity. (see also 2 Samuel 8, 1 Kings 1, 2, 4:2, 2 Kings 22, 25, and 2 Chronicles 26)

16 The sons of Levi; Gershom, Kohath, and Merari.
17 And these be the names of the sons of Gershom; Libni, and Shimei.
18 And the sons of Kohath were, Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel.
19 The sons of Merari; Mahli, and Mushi. And these are the families of the Levites according to their fathers.

Again, Levi had three sons. Gershom became the father of Libni and Shimei. Kohath became the father of Amram, Izhar, Hebrom, and Uzziel (mentioned above). Merari became the father of Mahli and Mushi. These were the patriarchs of the tribe of Levi.

20 Of Gershom; Libni his son, Jahath his son, Zimmah his son,
21 Joah his son, Iddo his son, Zerah his son, Jeaterai his son.

Libni was the father of Jahath, Zimmah, Joah, Iddo, Zerah, and Jeaterai.

22 The sons of Kohath; Amminadab his son, Korah his son, Assir his son,
23 Elkanah his son, and Ebiasaph his son, and Assir his son,
24 Tahath his son, Uriel his son, Uzziah his son, and Shaul his son.
25 And the sons of Elkanah; Amasai, and Ahimoth.

Kohath was the patriarch of Amminadab, Korah, Assir, Elkanah, Ebiasaph, Assir, Tahath, Uriel, Uzziah and Shaul. Korah rebelled against Moses and Aaron, believing they were not the leaders for them called by God, and he and his family were destroyed when the Lord opened up the ground beneath them. (see Numbers 16) Elkanah was the father of Amasai and Ahimoth by his wife Peninnah. Elkanah was also the husband of Hannah, who was barren and prayed to God for a child, while she was in the temple. Her prayers were answered and she bore Samuel, who was given to the Lord by Hannah. (See also 1 Samuel 1)

26 As for Elkanah: the sons of Elkanah; Zophai his son, and Nahath his son,
27 Eliab his son, Jeroham his son, Elkanah his son.
28 And the sons of Samuel; the firstborn Vashni, and Abiah.

Elkanah was the patriarch of Zophai, Nahath, Eliab, Jeroham, and Elkanah. Samuel, the son of Elkanah mentioned above, was the father of Vashni (Joel) and Abiah. They became judges over Israel, but they were not righteous judges and so the people turned against the Lord, and asked for a king to be over them instead. (See also 1 Samuel 8)

29 The sons of Merari; Mahli, Libni his son, Shimei his son, Uzza his son,
30 Shimea his son, Haggiah his son, Asaiah his son.
31 And these are they whom David set over the service of song in the house of the Lord, after that the ark had rest.
32 And they ministered before the dwelling place of the tabernacle of the congregation with singing, until Solomon had built the house of the Lord in Jerusalem: and then they waited on their office according to their order.

Mahli, the grandson of Levi through Merari, became the patriarch of Libni, Shimei, Uzza, Shimea, Haggiah, and Asaiah. These were the men of the Levites, who were assigned to be over the service of song in the tabernacle, once the ark was placed there. They served in front of the tabernacle of the congregation by singing. They did this until Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem, where they served according to the order of their office.

33 And these are they that waited with their children. Of the sons of the Kohathites: Heman a singer, the son of Joel, the son of Shemuel,
34 The son of Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Eliel, the son of Toah,
35 The son of Zuph, the son of Elkanah, the son of Mahath, the son of Amasai,
36 The son of Elkanah, the son of Joel, the son of Azariah, the son of Zephaniah,
37 The son of Tahath, the son of Assir, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah,
38 The son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, the son of Israel.
39 And his brother Asaph, who stood on his right hand, even Asaph the son of Berachiah, the
son of Shimea,
40 The son of Michael, the son of Baaseiah, the son of Malchiah,
41 The son of Ethni, the son of Zerah, the son of Adaiah,
42 The son of Ethan, the son of Zimmah, the son of Shimei,
43 The son of Jahath, the son of Gershom, the son of Levi.
44 And their brethren the sons of Merari stood on the left hand: Ethan the son of Kishi, the son of Abdi, the son of Malluch,
45 The son of Hashabiah, the son of Amaziah, the son of Hilkiah,
46 The son of Amzi, the son of Bani, the son of Shamer,
47 The son of Mahli, the son of Mushi, the son of Merari, the son of Levi.
48 Their brethren also the Levites were appointed unto all manner of service of the tabernacle of the house of God.

Those that waited with their children, were Heman, a singer of the Kohathites, his brother Asaph, who stood on his right hand, and the son of Merari, Ethan who stood on the left hand. They played the cymbals in David’s choir. (see 1 Chronicles 15) These were each descendants of Levi, the son of Israel. Heman’s descendancy included by parentage, Joel, Shemuel, Elkanah, Jeroham, Eliel, Toah, Zuph, Elkanah, Mahath, Amasai, Elkanah,Joel, Azariah, Zephaniah, Tahth, Assir, Ebiasaph, Korah (mentioned above), Izhar, Kohath (mentioned above), and then through Levi to Israel. Asaph’s descendancy included by parentage, Berachaih, Shimea, Michael, Baaseiah, Malchiah, Ethni, Zerah, Adaiah, Ethan, Zimmah, Shimei, Jahath, Gershom, Levi. Ethan’s descendancy included by parentage, Kishi, Abdi, Malluch, Hashabiah, Amaziah, Hilkiah, Amzi, Bani, Shamer,Mahli, Mushi, Merari (mentioned above), and also through Levi. The Levites were given all kinds of duties in and with the tabernacle.

49 But Aaron and his sons offered upon the altar of the burnt offering, and on the altar of incense, and were appointed for all the work of the place most holy, and to make an atonement for Israel, according to all that Moses the servant of God had commanded.
50 And these are the sons of Aaron; Eleazar his son, Phinehas his son, Abishua his son,
51 Bukki his son, Uzzi his son, Zerahiah his son,
52 Meraioth his son, Amariah his son, Ahitub his son,
53 Zadok his son, Ahimaaz his son.

Aaron, who was ordained a priest by Moses, and his line, were annointed and specifically given the duty of performing offerings on the altar of burnt offerings and the altar of incense, and the responsibilities of the holy of holies, and the making of atonement for Israel, just as they were directed by Moses, under the direction of the Lord. As mentioned above, the line with these duites consisted of the Aaron, along with his sons and grandsons: Eleazar, who became chief over the chiefs of the Levites, Phinehas, Abishua, Bukki, Uzzi, Zerahiah, Meraioth, Amariah, Ahitub, Zadok, and Ahimaaz. (There is more family to the line mentioned in verses 9-15 above. See also Exodus 28, Leviticus 8 and Numbers 3)

54 Now these are their dwelling places throughout their castles in their coasts, of the sons of Aaron, of the families of the Kohathites: for theirs was the lot.

The sons of Aaron of the Kohathites lived in these designated areas of the different tribes of Israel, which were given to them by lot.

55 And they gave them Hebron in the land of Judah, and the suburbs thereof round about it.
56 But the fields of the city, and the villages thereof, they gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh.
57 And to the sons of Aaron they gave the cities of Judah, namely, Hebron, the city of refuge, and Libnah with her suburbs, and Jattir, and Eshtemoa, with their suburbs,
58 And Hilen with her suburbs, Debir with her suburbs,
59 And Ashan with her suburbs, and Beth-shemesh with her suburbs:
60 And out of the tribe of Benjamin; Geba with her suburbs, and Alemeth with her suburbs, and Anathoth with her suburbs. All their cities throughout their families were thirteen cities.

From Judah, they were given the cities of Hebron (which was well-known because of Abraham and later became the location for David’s original reign over Judah), the city of refuge, Libnah, Jattir, Eshtemoa, Hilen, Debir, Ashan and Beth-shemesh (once the location of the ark) with all the land and suburbs, except for the fields and villages of Hebron, which were given to Caleb, the son of Jephunneh. Then, from Benjamin, they were given Geba, Alemeth, and Anathoth, which included thirteen cities. (see also 2 Samuel 5 and 1 Samuel 6)

61 And unto the sons of Kohath, which were left of the family of that tribe, were cities given out of the half tribe, namely, out of the half tribe of Manasseh, by lot, ten cities.

The rest of the family of Kohath, were given ten cities by lot, from half of the tribe of Manasseh.

62 And to the sons of Gershom throughout their families out of the tribe of Issachar, and out of the tribe of Asher, and out of the tribe of Naphtali, and out of the tribe of Manasseh in Bashan, thirteen cities.

The family of Gershom, were given thirteen cities by lot, from Issachar, Asher, Naphtali and Manasseh.

63 Unto the sons of Merari were given by lot, throughout their families, out of the tribe of Reuben, and out of the tribe of Gad, and out of the tribe of Zebulun, twelve cities.

The family of Merari, were given twelve cities by lot, from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun.

64 And the children of Israel gave to the Levites these cities with their suburbs.
65 And they gave by lot out of the tribe of the children of Judah, and out of the tribe of the children of Simeon, and out of the tribe of the children of Benjamin, these cities, which are called by their names.
66 And the residue of the families of the sons of Kohath had cities of their coasts out of the tribe of Ephraim.
67 And they gave unto them, of the cities of refuge, Shechem in mount Ephraim with her suburbs; they gave also Gezer with her suburbs,
68 And Jokmeam with her suburbs, and Beth-horon with her suburbs,
69 And Aijalon with her suburbs, and Gath-rimmon with her suburbs:
70 And out of the half tribe of Manasseh; Aner with her suburbs, and Bileam with her suburbs, for the family of the remnant of the sons of Kohath.

All these cities and suburbs were given to the Levites. The tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin, gave cities by lot. The rest of the family of Kohath, was given cities in the border of Ephraim, including the cities of refuge and Shechem (a portion of mount Ephraim was given to Phinehas, the son of Eleazar). Shechem was an ancient town, mentioned when Abram (Abraham) first went to the promised land. (see Genesis 12) They also were given Gezer, Jokmean, Beth-horon (where the lord had brought a deadly hailstorm down upon the Amorites), Aijalon, and Gath-rimmon. Then from the half of Manasseh, they were given the city of Aner and Bileam. (see also Joshua 10)

71 Unto the sons of Gershom were given out of the family of the half tribe of Manasseh, Golan in Bashan with her suburbs, and Ashtaroth with her suburbs:
72 And out of the tribe of Issachar; Kedesh with her suburbs, Daberath with her suburbs,
73 And Ramoth with her suburbs, and Anem with her suburbs:
74 And out of the tribe of Asher; Mashal with her suburbs, and Abdon with her suburbs,
75 And Hukok with her suburbs, and Rehob with her suburbs:
76 And out of the tribe of Naphtali; Kedesh in Galilee with her suburbs, and Hammon with her suburbs, and Kirjathaim with her suburbs.

The sons of Gershom were also given cities from half of the tribe of Manasseh. They were Golan and Ashtaroth. From Issachar, they were given Kedesh, Daberath, Ramoth, and Anem. From Asher, they were given Mashal, Abdon, Hukok and Rehob. From Naphtali, they were given Kedesh in Galilee, Hammon, and Kirjathaim.

77 Unto the rest of the children of Merari were given out of the tribe of Zebulun, Rimmon with her suburbs, Tabor with her suburbs:
78 And on the other side Jordan by Jericho, on the east side of Jordan, were given them out of the tribe of Reuben, Bezer in the wilderness with her suburbs, and Jahzah with her suburbs,
79 Kedemoth also with her suburbs, and Mephaath with her suburbs:
80 And out of the tribe of Gad; Ramoth in Gilead with her suburbs, and Mahanaim with her suburbs,
81 And Heshbon with her suburbs, and Jazer with her suburbs.

The remainder of the family of Merari, were given the cities of Rimmon and Tabor from the tribe of Zebulon. From Rueben, on the Eastern side of the Jordan, they were given the cities of Bezer, Jahzah, Kedemoth, and Mephaath. From Gad, they were given Ramoth in Gilead (a very important Israelite city of refuge, where Ahab fought against Syria and died), Mahanaim, Heshbon and Jazer. (see also 1 Kings 22)

This chapter includes a record of the family who was responsible for the discharge of the duties relating to the tabernacle, and later to the temple of the Lord built by Solomon. Some did the work of the priesthood, while the remainder of the tribe of Levi, were called upon to serve the priests and care for the tabernacle. I think it would have been such a privilege to serve the Lord in this way. They were not perfect men, and they were not even all worthy to hold their office or do their duties, as seen in some of the stories of those who served the Israelites in the temple, but those who did their best to serve the Lord, would have had great opportunities in their work. I think that we can grow by leaps and bounds, when we are given ways or called to serve the Lord. (see more about the blessings of priesthood service in Doctrine and Covenants 84:18-34) Their lives were not the easiest of the tribes of Israel, especially seeing as they had no inheritance in the land, and were sustained by the tithes and some of the offerings given by the children of Israel. Additionally, because they were given cities out of all the other tribes, in which to live, they were spread out among all of Israel and never living gathered together the way each of the other tribes were gathered geographically. However, one of the significant blessings of the tribe of Levi, is that they had and continue to have an important role to play in the work of the Lord, all the way to the end the mortal world. In Doctrine and Covenants 13, the prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were ordained to the priesthood. The words of the ordination were, “Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.” It is an honor and privilege to be ordained to the priesthood of Aaron, and those of the children of Levi who honored their priesthood or even those related duties done by those who served the priests, were surely blessed.

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