Good News Translation (GNB)

231When David was very old, he made his son Solomon king of Israel.

The Work of the Levites

2King David brought together all the Israelite leaders and all the priests and Levites. 3He took a census of all the male Levites aged thirty or older. The total was 38,000. 4The king assigned 24,000 to administer the work of the Temple, 6,000 to keep records and decide disputes, 54,000 to do guard duty, and 4,000 to praise the LORD, using the musical instruments provided by the king for this purpose.

6David divided the Levites into three groups, according to their clans: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

7Gershon had two sons: Ladan and Shimei. 8Ladan had three sons: Jehiel, Zetham, and Joel, 9who were the heads of the clans descended from Ladan. (Shimei had three sons: Shelomoth, Haziel, and Haran.) 10-11Shimei had four sons: Jahath, Zina, Jeush, and Beriah, in order of age. Jeush and Beriah did not have many descendants, so they were counted as one clan.

12Kohath had four sons: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. 13His eldest son, Amram, was the father of Aaron and Moses. (Aaron and his descendants were set apart to be in charge of the sacred objects for ever, to burn incense in the worship of the LORD, to serve him, and to bless the people in his name. 14But the sons of Moses, the man of God, were included among the Levites.) 15Moses had two sons, Gershom and Eliezer. 16The leader among Gershom's sons was Shebuel. 17Eliezer had only one son, Rehabiah, but Rehabiah had many descendants.

18Kohath's second son, Izhar, had a son, Shelomith, the head of the clan. 19Kohath's third son, Hebron, had four sons: Jeriah, Amariah, Jahaziel, and Jekameam. 20Kohath's fourth son, Uzziel, had two sons, Micah and Isshiah.

21Merari had two sons, Mahli and Mushi. Mahli also had two sons, Eleazar and Kish, 22but Eleazar died without having any sons, only daughters. His daughters married their cousins, the sons of Kish. 23Merari's second son, Mushi, had three sons: Mahli, Eder, and Jeremoth.

24These were the descendants of Levi, by clans and families, every one of them registered by name. Each of his descendants, twenty years of age or older, had a share in the work of the LORD's Temple.

25David said, “The LORD God of Israel has given peace to his people, and he himself will live in Jerusalem for ever. 26So there is no longer any need for the Levites to carry the Tent of the LORD's presence and all the equipment used in worship.” 27On the basis of David's final instructions all Levites were registered for service when they reached the age of twenty, 28and were assigned the following duties: to help the priests descended from Aaron with the temple worship, to take care of its courtyards and its rooms, and to keep undefiled everything that is sacred; 29to be responsible for the bread offered to God, the flour used in offerings, the wafers made without yeast, the baked offerings, and the flour mixed with olive oil; to weigh and measure the temple offerings; 30and to praise and glorify the LORD every morning and every evening 31and whenever offerings to the LORD are burnt on the Sabbath, the New Moon Festival, and other festivals. Rules were made specifying the number of Levites assigned to do this work each time. The Levites were assigned the duty of worshipping the LORD for all time. 32They were given the responsibility of taking care of the Tent of the LORD's presence and the Temple, and of assisting their relatives, the priests descended from Aaron, in the temple worship.


The Work Assigned to the Priests

241These are the groups to which the descendants of Aaron belong. Aaron had four sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 2Nadab and Abihu died before their father did, and left no descendants, so their brothers Eleazar and Ithamar became priests. 3King David organized the descendants of Aaron into groups according to their duties. He was assisted in this by Zadok, a descendant of Eleazar, and by Ahimelech, a descendant of Ithamar. 4The descendants of Eleazar were organized into sixteen groups, while the descendants of Ithamar were organized into eight; this was done because there were more male heads of families among the descendants of Eleazar. 5Since there were temple officials and spiritual leaders among the descendants of both Eleazar and Ithamar, assignments were made by drawing lots. 6The descendants of Eleazar and of Ithamar took turns in drawing lots. Then they were registered by Shemaiah son of Nethanel, a Levite secretary. The king, his officials, the priest Zadok, Ahimelech son of Abiathar, and the heads of the priestly families and of the Levite families, were all witnesses.

7-18This is the order in which the 24 family groups were given their assignments:

1. Jehoiarib
2. Jedaiah
3. Harim
4. Seorim
5. Malchijah
6. Mijamin
7. Hakkoz
8. Abijah
9. Jeshua
10. Shecaniah
11. Eliashib
12. Jakim
13. Huppah
14. Jeshebeab
15. Bilgah
16. Immer
17. Hezir
18. Happizzez
19. Pethahiah
20. Jehezkel
21. Jachin
22. Gamul
23. Delaiah
24. Maaziah

19These men were registered according to their assignments for going to the Temple and performing the duties established by their ancestor Aaron in obedience to the commands of the LORD God of Israel.

The List of the Levites

20These are other heads of families descended from Levi:

Jehdeiah, a descendant of Amram through Shebuel;

21Isshiah, a descendant of Rehabiah;

22Jahath, a descendant of Izhar through Shelomith;

23Jeriah, Amariah, Jehaziel, and Jekameam, sons of Hebron, in order of age;

24Shamir, a descendant of Uzziel through Micah;

25Zechariah, a descendant of Uzziel through Isshiah, Micah's brother;

26Mahli, Mushi, and Jaaziah, descendants of Merari. 27Jaaziah had three sons: Shoham, Zaccur, and Ibri. 28-29Mahli had two sons, Eleazar and Kish. Eleazar had no sons, but Kish had one son, Jerahmeel. 30Mushi had three sons: Mahli, Eder, and Jeremoth.

These are the families of the Levites.

31The head of each family and one of his younger brothers drew lots for their assignments, just as their relatives, the priests descended from Aaron, had done. King David, Zadok, Ahimelech, and the heads of families of the priests and of the Levites were witnesses.


The Temple Musicians

251King David and the leaders of the Levites chose the following Levite clans to lead the services of worship: Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun. They were to proclaim God's messages, accompanied by the music of harps and cymbals. This is the list of persons chosen to lead the worship, with the type of service that each group performed:

2The four sons of Asaph: Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, and Asharelah. They were under the direction of Asaph, who proclaimed God's messages whenever the king commanded.

3The six sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Shimei, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah. Under the direction of their father they proclaimed God's message, accompanied by the music of harps, and sang praise and thanks to the LORD.

4The fourteen sons of Heman: Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel, Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, Romamti Ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth. 5God gave to Heman, the king's prophet, these fourteen sons and also three daughters, as he had promised, in order to give power to Heman. 6All his sons played cymbals and harps under their father's direction, to accompany the temple worship. And Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman were under orders from the king.

7All these 24 men were experts; and their fellow-Levites were trained musicians. There were 288 men in all.

8To determine the assignment of duties they all drew lots, whether they were young or old, experts or beginners.

9-31These 288 men were divided according to families into 24 groups of twelve, with a leader in charge of each group. This is the order in which they were on duty:

1. Joseph of the family of Asaph
2. Gedaliah
3. Zaccur
4. Zeri
5. Nethaniah
6. Bukkiah
7. Asharelah
8. Jeshaiah
9. Mattaniah
10. Shimei
11. Uzziel
12. Hashabiah
13. Shebuel
14. Mattithiah
15. Jerimoth
16. Hananiah
17. Joshbekashah
18. Hanani
19. Mallothi
20. Eliathah
21. Hothir
22. Giddalti
23. Mahazioth
24. Romamti Ezer