The Levitical Gatekeepers
26 The following were the divisions of the gatekeepers:
From the Korahites: Meshelemiah son of Kore, one of the sons of Asaph.
2 Meshelemiah had sons:
Zechariah the firstborn, Jediael the second,
Zebadiah the third, Jathniel the fourth,
3 Elam the fifth, Jehohanan the sixth,
and Eliehoenai the seventh.
4 Obed-edom also had sons:
Shemaiah the firstborn, Jehozabad the second,
Joah the third, Sachar the fourth,
Nethanel the fifth, 5 Ammiel the sixth,
Issachar the seventh, and Peullethai the eighth,
for God blessed him.
6 Also, to his son Shemaiah were born sons who ruled their ancestral families[a] because they were strong, capable men.
7 Shemaiah’s sons: Othni, Rephael, Obed, and Elzabad; his relatives Elihu and Semachiah were also capable men. 8 All of these were among the sons of Obed-edom with their sons and relatives; they were capable men with strength for the work—sixty-two from Obed-edom.
9 Meshelemiah also had sons and relatives who were capable men—eighteen.
10 Hosah, from the Merarites, also had sons: Shimri the first (although he was not the firstborn, his father had appointed him as the first), 11 Hilkiah the second, Tebaliah the third, and Zechariah the fourth. The sons and relatives of Hosah were thirteen in all.
12 These divisions of the gatekeepers, under their leading men, had duties for ministering in the Lord’s temple, just as their relatives did. 13 They cast lots for each temple gate according to their ancestral families, young and old alike.
14 The lot for the east gate fell to Shelemiah.[b] They also cast lots for his son Zechariah, an insightful counselor, and his lot came out for the north gate. 15 Obed-edom’s was the south gate, and his sons’ lot was for the storehouses; 16 it was the west gate and the gate of Shallecheth on the ascending highway for Shuppim and Hosah.
There were guards stationed at every watch. 17 There were six Levites each day[c] on the east, four each day on the north, four each day on the south, and two pair at the storehouses. 18 As for the court on the west, there were four at the highway and two at the court. 19 Those were the divisions of the gatekeepers from the descendants of the Korahites and Merarites.
The Levitical Treasurers and Other Officials
20 From the Levites, Ahijah was in charge of the treasuries of God’s temple and the treasuries of what had been dedicated. 21 From the sons of Ladan, who were the descendants of the Gershonites through Ladan and were the family heads belonging to Ladan the Gershonite: Jehieli. 22 The sons of Jehieli, Zetham and his brother Joel, were in charge of the treasuries of the Lord’s temple.
23 From the Amramites, the Izharites, the Hebronites, and the Uzzielites: 24 Shebuel, a descendant of Moses’s son Gershom, was the officer in charge of the treasuries. 25 His relatives through Eliezer: his son Rehabiah, his son Jeshaiah, his son Joram, his son Zichri, and his son Shelomith.[d] 26 This Shelomith and his relatives were in charge of all the treasuries of what had been dedicated by King David, by the family heads who were the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and by the army commanders. 27 They dedicated part of the plunder from their battles for the repair of the Lord’s temple. 28 All that the seer Samuel, Saul son of Kish, Abner son of Ner, and Joab son of Zeruiah had dedicated, along with everything else that had been dedicated, were in the care of Shelomith and his relatives.
29 From the Izrahites: Chenaniah and his sons had duties outside the temple[e] as officers and judges over Israel. 30 From the Hebronites: Hashabiah and his relatives, 1,700 capable men, had assigned duties in Israel west of the Jordan for all the work of the Lord and for the service of the king. 31 From the Hebronites: Jerijah was the head of the Hebronites, according to the family records of his ancestors. A search was made in the fortieth year of David’s reign and strong, capable men were found among them at Jazer in Gilead. 32 There were among Jerijah’s relatives 2,700 capable men who were family heads. King David appointed them over the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh as overseers in every matter relating to God and the king.
David’s Secular Officials
27 This is the list of the Israelites, the family heads, the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, and their officers who served the king in every matter to do with the divisions that were on rotated military duty each month throughout[f] the year. There were 24,000 in each division:
2 Jashobeam son of Zabdiel was in charge of the first division, for the first month; 24,000 were in his division. 3 He was a descendant of Perez and chief of all the army commanders for the first month.
4 Dodai the Ahohite was in charge of the division for the second month, and Mikloth was the leader; 24,000 were in his division.
5 The third army commander, as chief for the third month, was Benaiah son of the priest Jehoiada; 24,000 were in his division. 6 This Benaiah was a mighty man among the Thirty and over the Thirty, and his son Ammizabad was in charge[g] of his division.
7 The fourth commander, for the fourth month, was Joab’s brother Asahel, and his son Zebadiah was commander after him; 24,000 were in his division.
8 The fifth, for the fifth month, was the commander Shamhuth the Izrahite; 24,000 were in his division.
9 The sixth, for the sixth month, was Ira son of Ikkesh the Tekoite; 24,000 were in his division.
10 The seventh, for the seventh month, was Helez the Pelonite from the descendants of Ephraim; 24,000 were in his division.
11 The eighth, for the eighth month, was Sibbecai the Hushathite, a Zerahite; 24,000 were in his division.
12 The ninth, for the ninth month, was Abiezer the Anathothite, a Benjaminite; 24,000 were in his division.
13 The tenth, for the tenth month, was Maharai the Netophathite, a Zerahite; 24,000 were in his division.
14 The eleventh, for the eleventh month, was Benaiah the Pirathonite from the descendants of Ephraim; 24,000 were in his division.
15 The twelfth, for the twelfth month, was Heldai the Netophathite, of Othniel’s family;[h] 24,000 were in his division.
16 The following were in charge of the tribes of Israel:
For the Reubenites, Eliezer son of Zichri was the chief official;
for the Simeonites, Shephatiah son of Maacah;
17 for the Levites, Hashabiah son of Kemuel; for Aaron, Zadok;
18 for Judah, Elihu, one of David’s brothers; for Issachar, Omri son of Michael;
19 for Zebulun, Ishmaiah son of Obadiah;
for Naphtali, Jerimoth son of Azriel;
20 for the Ephraimites, Hoshea son of Azaziah;
for half the tribe of Manasseh, Joel son of Pedaiah;
21 for half the tribe of Manasseh in Gilead, Iddo son of Zechariah;
for Benjamin, Jaasiel son of Abner;
22 for Dan, Azarel son of Jeroham.
Those were the leaders of the tribes of Israel.
23 David didn’t count the men aged twenty or under, for the Lord had said he would make Israel as numerous as the stars of the sky. 24 Joab son of Zeruiah began to count them, but he didn’t complete it. There was wrath against Israel because of this census, and the number was not entered in the Historical Record[i] of King David.
25 Azmaveth son of Adiel was in charge of the king’s storehouses.
Jonathan son of Uzziah was in charge of the storehouses in the country, in the cities, in the villages, and in the fortresses.
26 Ezri son of Chelub was in charge of those who worked in the fields tilling the soil.
27 Shimei the Ramathite was in charge of the vineyards.
Zabdi the Shiphmite was in charge of the produce of the vineyards for the wine cellars.
28 Baal-hanan the Gederite was in charge of the olive and sycamore trees in the Judean foothills.[j]
Joash was in charge of the stores of olive oil.
29 Shitrai the Sharonite was in charge of the herds that grazed in Sharon, while Shaphat son of Adlai was in charge of the herds in the valleys.
30 Obil the Ishmaelite was in charge of the camels.
Jehdeiah the Meronothite was in charge of the donkeys.
31 Jaziz the Hagrite was in charge of the flocks.
All these were officials in charge of King David’s property.
32 David’s uncle Jonathan was a counselor; he was a man of understanding and a scribe. Jehiel son of Hachmoni attended[k] the king’s sons. 33 Ahithophel was the king’s counselor. Hushai the Archite was the king’s friend. 34 After Ahithophel came Jehoiada son of Benaiah, then Abiathar. Joab was the commander of the king’s army.
David Commissions Solomon to Build the Temple
28 David assembled all the leaders of Israel in Jerusalem: the leaders of the tribes, the leaders of the divisions in the king’s service, the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of all the property and cattle of the king and his sons, along with the court officials, the fighting men, and all the best soldiers. 2 Then King David rose to his feet and said, “Listen to me, my brothers and my people. It was in my heart to build a house as a resting place for the ark of the Lord’s covenant and as a footstool for our God. I had made preparations to build, 3 but God said to me, ‘You are not to build a house for my name because you are a man of war and have shed blood.’
4 “Yet the Lord God of Israel chose me out of all my father’s family to be king over Israel forever. For he chose Judah as leader, and from the house of Judah, my father’s family, and from my father’s sons, he was pleased to make me king over all Israel. 5 And out of all my sons—for the Lord has given me many sons—he has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the Lord’s kingdom over Israel. 6 He said to me, ‘Your son Solomon is the one who is to build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father. 7 I will establish his kingdom forever if he perseveres in keeping my commands and my ordinances as he is doing today.’
8 “So now in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of the Lord, and in the hearing of our God, observe and follow all the commands of the Lord your God so that you may possess this good land and leave it as an inheritance to your descendants forever.
9 “As for you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father, and serve him wholeheartedly and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands the intention of every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you abandon him, he will reject you forever. 10 Realize now that the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary. Be strong, and do it.”
11 Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the portico of the temple and its buildings, treasuries, upstairs rooms, inner rooms, and a room for the mercy seat. 12 The plans contained everything he had in mind[l] for the courts of the Lord’s house, all the surrounding chambers, the treasuries of God’s house, and the treasuries for what is dedicated. 13 Also included were plans for the divisions of the priests and the Levites; all the work of service in the Lord’s house; all the articles of service of the Lord’s house; 14 the weight of gold for all the articles for every kind of service; the weight of all the silver articles for every kind of service; 15 the weight of the gold lampstands and their gold lamps, including the weight of each lampstand and its lamps; the weight of each silver lampstand and its lamps, according to the service of each lampstand; 16 the weight of gold for each table for the rows of the Bread of the Presence and the silver for the silver tables; 17 the pure gold for the forks, sprinkling basins, and pitchers; the weight of each gold dish; the weight of each silver bowl; 18 the weight of refined gold for the altar of incense; and the plans for the chariot of[m] the gold cherubim that spread out their wings and cover the ark of the Lord’s covenant.
19 David concluded, “By the Lord’s hand on me, he enabled me to understand everything in writing, all the details of the plan.”[n]
20 Then David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He won’t leave you or abandon you until all the work for the service of the Lord’s house is finished. 21 Here are the divisions of the priests and the Levites for all the service of God’s house. Every willing person of any skill will be at your disposal for the work, and the leaders and all the people are at your every command.”
Contributions for Building the Temple
29 Then King David said to all the assembly, “My son Solomon—God has chosen him alone—is young and inexperienced. The task is great because the building will not be built for a human but for the Lord God. 2 So to the best of my ability I’ve made provision for the house of my God: gold for the gold articles, silver for the silver, bronze for the bronze, iron for the iron, and wood for the wood, as well as onyx, stones for mounting,[o] antimony,[p] stones of various colors, all kinds of precious stones, and a great quantity of marble. 3 Moreover, because of my delight in the house of my God, I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the house of my God over and above all that I’ve provided for the holy house: 4 100 tons[q] of gold (gold of Ophir) and 250 tons[r] of refined silver for overlaying the walls of the buildings, 5 the gold for the gold work and the silver for the silver, for all the work to be done by the craftsmen. Now who will volunteer to consecrate himself to the Lord today?”
6 Then the leaders of the households, the leaders of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and the officials in charge of the king’s work gave willingly. 7 For the service of God’s house they gave 185 tons[s] of gold and 10,000 gold coins,[t] 375 tons[u] of silver, 675 tons[v] of bronze, and 4,000 tons[w] of iron. 8 Whoever had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the Lord’s house under the care of Jehiel the Gershonite. 9 Then the people rejoiced because of their leaders’ willingness to give, for they had given to the Lord wholeheartedly. King David also rejoiced greatly.
10 Then David blessed the Lord in the sight of all the assembly. David said,
May you be blessed, Lord God of our father Israel, from eternity to eternity. 11 Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the splendor and the majesty, for everything in the heavens and on earth belongs to you. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom, and you are exalted as head over all. 12 Riches and honor come from you, and you are the ruler of everything. Power and might are in your hand, and it is in your hand to make great and to give strength to all. 13 Now therefore, our God, we give you thanks and praise your glorious name.
14 But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? For everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your own hand.[x] 15 For we are aliens and temporary residents in your presence as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. 16 Lord our God, all this wealth that we’ve provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand; everything belongs to you. 17 I know, my God, that you test the heart and that you are pleased with what is right. I have willingly given all these things with an upright heart, and now I have seen your people who are present[y] here giving joyfully and[z] willingly to you. 18 Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our ancestors, keep this desire forever in the thoughts of the hearts of your people, and confirm their hearts toward you. 19 Give my son Solomon an undivided heart to keep and to carry out all your commands, your decrees, and your statutes, and to build the building for which I have made provision.
20 Then David said to the whole assembly, “Blessed be the Lord your God.” So the whole assembly praised the Lord God of their ancestors. They knelt low and paid homage to the Lord and the king.
21 The following day they offered sacrifices to the Lord and burnt offerings to the Lord: a thousand bulls, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, along with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel. 22 They ate and drank with great joy in the Lord’s presence that day.
The Enthronement of Solomon
Then, for a second time, they made David’s son Solomon king; they anointed him[aa] as the Lord’s ruler, and Zadok as the priest. 23 Solomon sat on the Lord’s throne as king in place of his father David. He prospered, and all Israel obeyed him. 24 All the leaders and the mighty men, and all of King David’s sons as well, pledged their allegiance to King Solomon. 25 The Lord highly exalted Solomon in the sight of all Israel and bestowed on him such royal majesty as had not been bestowed on any king over Israel before him.
A Summary of David’s Life
26 David son of Jesse was king over all Israel. 27 The length of his reign over Israel was forty years; he reigned in Hebron for seven years and in Jerusalem for thirty-three. 28 He died at a good old age, full of days, riches, and honor, and his son Solomon became king in his place. 29 As for the events of King David’s reign, from beginning to end, note that they are written in the Events of the Seer Samuel, the Events of the Prophet Nathan, and the Events of the Seer Gad, 30 along with all his reign, his might, and the incidents that affected him and Israel and all the kingdoms of the surrounding lands.
The Blessing of the Lord
A song of ascents. Of Solomon.
1 Unless the Lord builds a house,
its builders labor over it in vain;
unless the Lord watches over a city,
the watchman stays alert in vain.
2 In vain you get up early and stay up late,
working hard to have enough food—
yes, he gives sleep to the one he loves.[a]
3 Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord,
offspring, a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the sons born in one’s youth.
5 Happy is the man who has filled his quiver with them.
They will never be put to shame
when they speak with their enemies at the city gate.
We find in this passage that Solomon will be the one to build the temple. David had wanted to build the temple but Nathan, the prophet, had sent word from God that David was not to build the temple because he was a warrior. Solomon, as we will find out, will complete the temple that his father wanted to build.
I love Psalm 127. The whole psalm is about God’s provision and his gifts. “Unless the Lord builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain…” What a reminder to us that as we place our plans to the side and allow God to rule and reign in our lives we will find ourselves building in vain. Today, allow God to show you His path. Allow Him to control your steps today.