The Levites Work in the Temple
David became an old man, so he made his son Solomon the new king of Israel. David gathered all the leaders of Israel and also the priests and Levites. David counted the Levites who were 30 years old and older. All together there were 38,000 Levites. David said, “24,000 will supervise the work of building the LORD’S Temple. 6000 will be court officers and judges. 4000 will be gatekeepers, and 4000 will be musicians. I made special musical instruments for them. They will use them to praise the LORD.”
David separated the Levites into three groups. They were the tribes of Levi’s three sons, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
The Gershon Family Group
From the tribe of Gershon there were Ladan and Shimei. Ladan had three sons. His oldest son was Jehiel. His other sons were Zethan and Joel. Shimei’s sons were Shelomoth, Haziel, and Haran. These three sons were leaders in Ladan’s families.
10 Shimei had four sons. They were Jahath, Ziza, Jeush, and Beriah. 11 Jahath was the oldest son and Ziza was the second son. But Jeush and Beriah did not have many children. So Jeush and Beriah were counted like one family.
The Kohath Family Group
12 Kohath had four sons. They were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. 13 Amram’s sons were Aaron and Moses. Aaron was chosen for a special work. He and his descendants were chosen to always be the ones to do this special work—to prepare the holy things for the Temple service. They were the ones to burn the incense before the LORD, to serve him as priests and give blessings to the people in his name forever.
14 Moses was the man of God, and his sons were part of the tribe of Levi. 15 Moses’ sons were Gershom and Eliezer. 16 Gershom’s oldest son was Shubael. 17 Eliezer’s oldest son was Rehabiah. Eliezer had no other sons. But Rehabiah had very many sons.
18 Izhar’s oldest son was Shelomith.
19 Hebron’s oldest son was Jeriah. Hebron’s second son was Amariah. Jahaziel was the third son, and Jekameam was the fourth son.
20 Uzziel’s oldest son was Micah, and Isshiah was his second son.
The Merari Family Group
21 Merari’s sons were Mahli and Mushi. Mahli’s sons were Eleazar and Kish. 22 Eleazar died without having sons. He only had daughters. Eleazar’s daughters married their own relatives. Their relatives were Kish’s sons. 23 Mushi’s sons were Mahli, Eder, and Jeremoth. There were three sons in all.
The Levites’ Work
24 These were Levi’s descendants. They were listed by their families. They were the leaders of families. Each person’s name was listed. The people who were listed were 20 years old or older. They served in the LORD’S Temple.
25 David had said, “The LORD, the God of Israel, has given peace to his people. And he has come to live in Jerusalem forever. 26 So the Levites don’t need to carry the Holy Tent or any of the things used in its services anymore.”
27 David’s last instructions for the Israelites were to count the descendants from the tribe of Levi. They counted the Levite men who were 20 years old and older.
28 The Levites had the job of helping Aaron’s descendants in the service of the LORD’S Temple. They also cared for the Temple courtyard and the side rooms in the Temple. And they made sure all the holy things were kept pure. It was their job to serve in God’s Temple. 29 They were responsible for putting the special bread on the table in the Temple and for the flour, the grain offerings, and the bread made without yeast. They were also responsible for the baking pans and the mixed offerings. They did all the measuring. 30 The Levites stood every morning and gave thanks and praise to the LORD. They also did this every evening. 31 The Levites prepared all the burnt offerings to the LORD on the Sabbath days, during New Moon celebrations, and on the other special meeting days. They served before the LORD every day. There were special rules for how many Levites should serve each time. 32 So the Levites did everything that they were supposed to do. They took care of the Holy Tent and the Holy Place. And they helped their relatives, the priests, Aaron’s descendants, with the services at the LORD’S Temple.