Chapter 23, after telling of the assembly at which these matters were decided (verse 2), first gives
the division of the Levites according to their work (verses 3,4). and then their divisions according to families or houses, as descended respectively from the three sons of Levi- from Gershom (verses 7-11), from Kohath (verses 12-20) and from Merari (verses 21-23). The remainder of the chapter defines their duties. Chapter 24 speaks of those who served within the temple, distinguishing between the sons of Aaron, who were priests (verses 1-19), and the rest, who were attendants of the priests (verses 20-31). Together these made up the 24,000 of 23:4a.
- Compare the special duties of the priests (23:13- see Note below) with those of the other Levites who were not sons of Aaron. What part of the Levites’ former duties were now no longer necessary, and why (23:25-32)?
- Why has all this elaborate organization passed away? Cf. Heb. 7:11-25. What has taken its place? Cf. Heb. 8:1, 2; 1 pet.2:4, 5, 9; Rev.1:6.Note. 23:13. ‘To consecrate…’: better, ‘to sanctify as most holy him and his sons for ever’, as in RV mg. The burning of incense implies also the sprinkling of the blood of the atonement. Cf. Exod. 30:10; Lev. 16:12-14.