1 Chronicles Chapter 27

In this chapter, the responsibilities given to certain Israelites continues to be recorded. There were many who served the king in the armies, over his household and as his personal entourage. It begins:

1 Now the children of Israel after their number, to wit, the chief fathers and captains of thousands and hundreds, and their officers that served the king in any matter of the courses, which came in and went out month by month throughout all the months of the year, of every course were twenty and four thousand.
2 Over the first course for the first month was Jashobeam the son of Zabdiel: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
3 Of the children of Perez was the chief of all the captains of the host for the first month.
4 And over the course of the second month was Dodai an Ahohite, and of his course was Mikloth also the ruler: in his course likewise were twenty and four thousand.
5 The third captain of the host for the third month was Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, a chief priest: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
6 This is that Benaiah, who was mighty among the thirty, and above the thirty: and in his course was Ammizabad his son.
7 The fourth captain for the fourth month was Asahel the brother of Joab, and Zebadiah his son after him: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
8 The fifth captain for the fifth month was Shamhuth the Izrahite: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
9 The sixth captain for the sixth month was Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
10 The seventh captain for the seventh month was Helez the Pelonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
11 The eighth captain for the eighth month was Sibbecai the Hushathite, of the Zarhites: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
12 The ninth captain for the ninth month was Abiezer the Anetothite, of the Benjamites: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
13 The tenth captain for the tenth month was Maharai the Netophathite, of the Zarhites: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
14 The eleventh captain for the eleventh month was Benaiah the Pirathonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
15 The twelfth captain for the twelfth month was Heldai the Netophathite, of Othniel: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.

There were 24,000 men who were set as officers, captains, and chief fathers in Israel at a time. These men collectively served the king all throughout the year, with anything he ordered. They were assigned by the months of the year. For the first month, was Jashobeam with 24,000 men. The leader of the captains of the host was of the children of Perez. In the second month, Dodai and 24,000 men, with Mikloth as the leader. Third was Benaiah, along with 24,000 men and his son, Ammizabad. Benaiah was a chief priest and mighty among men. He had the strength to defeat lion-like Moabites as well as an actual lion. He was over thirty. He was a valiant and honorable man who did not seek for honor for his might. He would later prove to be loyal to David when others were not. (see also 2 Sam. 23:20-23)

The fourth month was Asahel and his son Zebadiah, with 24,000 men. Asahel was the brother of Joab and the Bible Dictionary says that he was “celebrated for his swiftness of foot, an accomplishment much valued in ancient times”. He was one of David’s 30 heroes. Fifth, was Shamhuth with 24,000. Ira, was the sixth captain, over his 24,000 men. Then, Helez was seventh, over his 24,000. For the eighth month, it was Sibbecai over his 24,000. Ninth, was Abiezer as captain of 24,000. Tenth, was Maharai as captain of his 24,000. The eleventh captain was Benaiah, one of David’s mighty men, with his 24,000. And finally, the twelfth captain was Heldai over his 24,000.

16 Furthermore over the tribes of Israel: the ruler of the Reubenites was Eliezer the son of Zichri: of the Simeonites, Shephatiah the son of Maachah:
17 Of the Levites, Hashabiah the son of Kemuel: of the Aaronites, Zadok:
18 Of Judah, Elihu, one of the brethren of David: of Issachar, Omri the son of Michael:
19 Of Zebulun, Ishmaiah the son of Obadiah: of Naphtali, Jerimoth the son of Azriel:
20 Of the children of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Azaziah: of the half tribe of Manasseh, Joel the son of Pedaiah:
21 Of the half tribe of Manasseh in Gilead, Iddo the son of Zechariah: of Benjamin, Jaasiel the son of Abner:
22 Of Dan, Azareel the son of Jeroham. These were the princes of the tribes of Israel.

Each of the twelve tribes of Israel, had a leader or a prince. Eliezer was over the tribe of Reuben, Shephatiah was over Simeon, and Hashabiah was over Levi. Zadok was specifically over those Levites who were from the family of Aaron and therefore priests. He would be a faithful priest, loyal to David and the priest to anoint Solomon. Elihu, David’s brother, was over Judah. Omri was over Issachar, Ishamaiah was over Zebulun, Jerimoth was over Naphtali, Hoshea was over Ephraim, Joel was over the first half of Manasseh, Iddo was over the other half in Gilead, Jaasiel was over Benjamin, and Jeroham was over the tribe of Dan.

23 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.
24 Joab the son of Zeruiah began to number, but he finished not, because there fell wrath for it against Israel; neither was the number put in the account of the chronicles of king David.

There was no record made of the children in his kingdom, because the Lord had promised the Israelites they would increase so greatly, and they had. Joab, David’s nephew and captain of the army’s, began to take a record according to orders of David, but did not finish because he brought the wrath of God upon Israel. No number was recorded in the king’s chronicles either.

25 And over the king’s treasures was Azmaveth the son of Adiel: and over the storehouses in the fields, in the cities, and in the villages, and in the castles, was Jehonathan the son of Uzziah:
26 And over them that did the work of the field for tillage of the ground was Ezri the son of Chelub:
27 And over the vineyards was Shimei the Ramathite: over the increase of the vineyards for the wine cellars was Zabdi the Shiphmite:
28 And over the olive trees and the sycomore trees that were in the low plains was Baal-hanan the Gederite: and over the cellars of oil was Joash:
29 And over the herds that fed in Sharon was Shitrai the Sharonite: and over the herds that were in the valleys was Shaphat the son of Adlai:
30 Over the camels also was Obil the Ishmaelite: and over the asses was Jehdeiah the Meronothite:
31 And over the flocks was Jaziz the Hagerite. All these were the rulers of the substance which was king David’s.
32 Also Jonathan David’s uncle was a counsellor, a wise man, and a scribe: and Jehiel the son of Hachmoni was with the king’s sons:
33 And Ahithophel was the king’s counsellor: and Hushai the Archite was the king’s companion:
34 And after Ahithophel was Jehoiada the son of Benaiah, and Abiathar: and the general of the king’s army was Joab.

The king had many workers that took care of things such as his crops and animals, which were each given a leader. Azmaveth was put over the treasury of the king, Jehonathan was put in charge of the storehouses, Ezri was put in charge of the workers of the fields, Shimei was put in charge of the vineyards, and Zabdi was put in charge of the produce from the vineyards. Baal-hanan was put in charge of the trees in the low plains, including olive trees and sycomores. Joash was put in charge of the cellars, Shitrai was in charge of the herds in Sharon, and Shaphat was over the herds in the valleys. Obil was in charge of the camels, Jehdeiah was over the donkeys, and Jaziz was over the flocks, which I think means the sheep.

Finally, David had those who worked the closest with him. His nephew, Jonathan, was a counselor, a wise man and scribe. Jehiel served the king’s sons, Ahithophel was the king’s advisor and the grandfather of Bathsheba, Hushai was his companion (perhaps something like a body guard or a personal assistant), Johoiada and Abiathar were other counsellors to the king, and Joab, as mentioned above, was the general of the king’s army.

The scriptures do not always record the details of the kings and those who served him, because those things were reserved for other records, but there was significance to the establishment of the kingdom of David. This record shows that there were many who helped to lead Israel at this time in its history. This is a mere handful of the children of Israel at this time, but they helped to make the kingdom of David strong and successful.

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