1Chronicles 9:1 ¶ So all Israel were reckoned by genealogies; and, behold, they were written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah, who were carried away to Babylon for their transgression.
1Chronicles 9:2 Now the first inhabitants that dwelt in their possessions in their cities were, the Israelites, the priests, Levites, and the Nethinims.
The historian notes that all the genealogies of Israel were recorded in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah (not scripture). The implication is that this references those done before Judah was taken captive to Babylon because of their willful sins before the LORD.
The first people to take possession of their cities after the captivity were Israelites, priests, Levites and Nethinims. The Nethinims are defined in the Hebrew as the temple servants.
Guzik provides this quote from Poole: “No longer was there a kingdom of Judah and another kingdom of Israel; now they were all Israelites. Called here by the general name of Israelites, which was given to them before that unhappy division of the two kingdoms, and now is restored to them when the Israelites are united with the Jews in one and the same commonwealth, so that all the names and signs of their former division might be blotted out.”
Trapp pointed out that the LORD had kept the land available for His people to repossess after the captivity. I hadn’t really thought about that aspect before; I think it was truly miraculous that none of the surrounding nations tried to make claim to the land.
1Chronicles 9:3 And in Jerusalem dwelt of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin, and of the children of Ephraim, and Manasseh;
1Chronicles 9:4 Uthai the son of Ammihud, the son of Omri, the son of Imri, the son of Bani, of the children of Pharez the son of Judah.
1Chronicles 9:5 And of the Shilonites; Asaiah the firstborn, and his sons.
1Chronicles 9:6 And of the sons of Zerah; Jeuel, and their brethren, six hundred and ninety.
The returning captives that settled in Jerusalem were of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim and Manasseh.
The IVP Commentary adds this insight: “The reason Jerusalem had so few to live in it is that many of the families of Jerusalem had been decimated in the Babylonian destruction of that city. For people of other tribes to live in Jerusalem, they would have to neglect (if not give up) their ancestral lands in their tribal territories. Willingness to make that sacrifice in order to repopulate Jerusalem merited special notice.”
1Chronicles 9:7 And of the sons of Benjamin; Sallu the son of Meshullam, the son of Hodaviah, the son of Hasenuah,
1Chronicles 9:8 And Ibneiah the son of Jeroham, and Elah the son of Uzzi, the son of Michri, and Meshullam the son of Shephathiah, the son of Reuel, the son of Ibnijah;
1Chronicles 9:9 And their brethren, according to their generations, nine hundred and fifty and six. All these men were chief of the fathers in the house of their fathers.
This section details some of the returning leaders of the tribe of Benjamin; a total of 956 from this tribe returned home from Babylon.
1Chronicles 9:10 And of the priests; Jedaiah, and Jehoiarib, and Jachin,
1Chronicles 9:11 And Azariah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the ruler of the house of God;
1Chronicles 9:12 And Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pashur, the son of Malchijah, and Maasiai the son of Adiel, the son of Jahzerah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Meshillemith, the son of Immer;
1Chronicles 9:13 And their brethren, heads of the house of their fathers, a thousand and seven hundred and threescore; very able men for the work of the service of the house of God.
This section lists some of the returning the priests, the descendants of Aaron; a total of 1760 men returned that were worthy and qualified to serve in this capacity in the house of God.
1Chronicles 9:14 ¶ And of the Levites; Shemaiah the son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, of the sons of Merari;
1Chronicles 9:15 And Bakbakkar, Heresh, and Galal, and Mattaniah the son of Micah, the son of Zichri, the son of Asaph;
1Chronicles 9:16 And Obadiah the son of Shemaiah, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun, and Berechiah the son of Asa, the son of Elkanah, that dwelt in the villages of the Netophathites.
1Chronicles 9:17 And the porters were, Shallum, and Akkub, and Talmon, and Ahiman, and their brethren: Shallum was the chief;
1Chronicles 9:18 Who hitherto waited in the king’s gate eastward: they were porters in the companies of the children of Levi.
1Chronicles 9:19 And Shallum the son of Kore, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah, and his brethren, of the house of his father, the Korahites, were over the work of the service, keepers of the gates of the tabernacle: and their fathers, being over the host of the LORD, were keepers of the entry.
1Chronicles 9:20 And Phinehas the son of Eleazar was the ruler over them in time past, and the LORD was with him.
1Chronicles 9:21 And Zechariah the son of Meshelemiah was porter of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
1Chronicles 9:22 All these which were chosen to be porters in the gates were two hundred and twelve. These were reckoned by their genealogy in their villages, whom David and Samuel the seer did ordain in their set office.
1Chronicles 9:23 So they and their children had the oversight of the gates of the house of the LORD, namely, the house of the tabernacle, by wards.
1Chronicles 9:24 In four quarters were the porters, toward the east, west, north, and south.
1Chronicles 9:25 And their brethren, which were in their villages, were to come after seven days from time to time with them.
1Chronicles 9:26 For these Levites, the four chief porters, were in their set office, and were over the chambers and treasuries of the house of God.
1Chronicles 9:27 And they lodged round about the house of God, because the charge was upon them, and the opening thereof every morning pertained to them.
This section lists some of the prominent Levites that returned from captivity. This first section seems to deal with those that were porters, those that supervised the entrances to the temple. The four chief porters lived in Jerusalem with permanent responsibilities; the other porters served in groups that rotated and served for one week at a time.
The NIV Commentary makes this note on verse 18: “Since the temple faced east, the “King’s Gate” was the main gate (cf. Ac 3:2, in NT times), i.e., the king’s entrance (Eze 46:1-2) and most honored station.”
The IVP Commentary adds this insight: “One of the most important tasks assigned to priestly personnel was controlling access to the temple precinct, the inner circle of the “sacred compass” (on this concept see comments on Lev 16:2 and Num 18:1–7). Defiling the sanctuary with impurity required a purification offering (“sin” offering, see comment on Lev 4:1–3) and could bring punishment on the individual as well as the people. The gatekeepers had to prevent unqualified intrusion. There were also many valuable items in the temple precinct. Gold and silver were plentiful and a temptation to the unscrupulous individual who may not have feared divine retribution for trespass or theft of temple property. These valuables also had to be guarded.”
The following section references those responsible for the vessels used in the temple sanctuary, as well as the other supplies used in service there. Some were in charge of making the ointment of the spices, some made the showbread that was replaced each Sabbath and some were singers.
1Chronicles 9:28 And certain of them had the charge of the ministering vessels, that they should bring them in and out by tale.
1Chronicles 9:29 Some of them also were appointed to oversee the vessels, and all the instruments of the sanctuary, and the fine flour, and the wine, and the oil, and the frankincense, and the spices.
1Chronicles 9:30 And some of the sons of the priests made the ointment of the spices.
1Chronicles 9:31 And Mattithiah, one of the Levites, who was the firstborn of Shallum the Korahite, had the set office over the things that were made in the pans.
1Chronicles 9:32 And other of their brethren, of the sons of the Kohathites, were over the shewbread, to prepare it every sabbath.
1Chronicles 9:33 And these are the singers, chief of the fathers of the Levites, who remaining in the chambers were free: for they were employed in that work day and night.
1Chronicles 9:34 These chief fathers of the Levites were chief throughout their generations; these dwelt at Jerusalem.
1Chronicles 9:35 ¶ And in Gibeon dwelt the father of Gibeon, Jehiel, whose wife’s name was Maachah:
1Chronicles 9:36 And his firstborn son Abdon, then Zur, and Kish, and Baal, and Ner, and Nadab,
1Chronicles 9:37 And Gedor, and Ahio, and Zechariah, and Mikloth.
1Chronicles 9:38 And Mikloth begat Shimeam. And they also dwelt with their brethren at Jerusalem, over against their brethren.
For some reason, in the following section, the historian again records the genealogy pertinent to Saul, the first king of Israel.
1Chronicles 9:39 And Ner begat Kish; and Kish begat Saul; and Saul begat Jonathan, and Malchishua, and Abinadab, and Eshbaal.
1Chronicles 9:40 And the son of Jonathan was Meribbaal: and Meribbaal begat Micah.
1Chronicles 9:41 And the sons of Micah were, Pithon, and Melech, and Tahrea, and Ahaz.
1Chronicles 9:42 And Ahaz begat Jarah; and Jarah begat Alemeth, and Azmaveth, and Zimri; and Zimri begat Moza;
1Chronicles 9:43 And Moza begat Binea; and Rephaiah his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son.
1Chronicles 9:44 And Azel had six sons, whose names are these, Azrikam, Bocheru, and Ishmael, and Sheariah, and Obadiah, and Hanan: these were the sons of Azel.
The historian will now move on to write his record of the kings of the united kingdom and the kingdom of Judah after the division of the kingdom.