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First Reading: 1 Chronicles Chapter 23 and 24
1 Chronicles 23
23:1 When David was old and full of years, he made his son Solomon king over
2 He also gathered together all the leaders of Israel, as well as the priests and Levites. 3 The Levites thirty years old or more were counted, and the total number of men was thirty-eight thousand. 4 David said, "Of these, twenty-four thousand are to supervise the work of the temple of the LORD and six thousand are to be officials and judges. 5 Four thousand are to be gatekeepers and four thousand are to praise the LORD with the musical instruments I have provided for that purpose."
6 David divided the Levites into groups corresponding to the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath and Merari.
7 Belonging to the Gershonites:
Ladan and Shimei. 8 The sons of Ladan:
Jehiel the first, Zetham and Joel-three in all. 9 The sons of Shimei:
Shelomoth, Haziel and Haran-three in all.
These were the heads of the families of Ladan. 10 And the sons of Shimei:
Jahath, Ziza, Jeush and Beriah.
These were the sons of Shimei-four in all.
11 Jahath was the first and Ziza the second, but Jeush and Beriah did not have many sons; so they were counted as one family with one assignment.
12 The sons of Kohath:
Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel-four in all. 13 The sons of Amram:
Aaron and Moses.
Aaron was set apart, he and his descendants forever, to consecrate the most holy things, to offer sacrifices before the LORD, to minister before him and to pronounce blessings in his name forever. 14 The sons of Moses the man of God were counted as part of the tribe of Levi. 15 The sons of Moses:
Gershom and Eliezer. 16 The descendants of Gershom:
Shubael was the first. 17 The descendants of Eliezer:
Rehabiah was the first.
Eliezer had no other sons, but the sons of Rehabiah were very numerous. 18 The sons of Izhar:
Shelomith was the first. 19 The sons of Hebron:
Jeriah the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third and Jekameam the fourth. 20 The sons of Uzziel:
Micah the first and Isshiah the second.
21 The sons of Merari:
Mahli and Mushi. The sons of Mahli:
Eleazar and Kish.
22 Eleazar died without having sons: he had only daughters. Their cousins, the sons of Kish, married them. 23 The sons of Mushi:
Mahli, Eder and Jerimoth-three in all.
24 These were the descendants of Levi by their families-the heads of families as they were registered under their names and counted individually, that is, the workers twenty years old or more who served in the temple of the LORD. 25 For David had said, "Since the LORD, the God of Israel, has granted rest to his people and has come to dwell in Jerusalem forever, 26 the Levites no longer need to carry the tabernacle or any of the articles used in its service." 27 According to the last instructions of David, the Levites were counted from those twenty years old or more.
28 The duty of the Levites was to help Aaron's descendants in the service of the temple of the LORD: to be in charge of the courtyards, the side rooms, the purification of all sacred things and the performance of other duties at the house of God. 29 They were in charge of the bread set out on the table, the flour for the grain offerings, the unleavened wafers, the baking and the mixing, and all measurements of quantity and size. 30 They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD. They were to do the same in the evening 31 and whenever burnt offerings were presented to the LORD on Sabbaths and at New Moon festivals and at appointed feasts. They were to serve before the LORD regularly in the proper number and in the way prescribed for them.
32 And so the Levites carried out their responsibilities for the Tent of Meeting, for the Holy Place and, under their brothers the descendants of Aaron, for the service of the temple of the LORD.
1 Chronicles 24
24:1 These were the divisions of the sons of Aaron:
The sons of Aaron were Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 2 But Nadab and Abihu died before their father did, and they had no sons; so Eleazar and Ithamar served as the priests. 3 With the help of Zadok a descendant of Eleazar and Ahimelech a descendant of Ithamar, David separated them into divisions for their appointed order of ministering. 4 A larger number of leaders were found among Eleazar's descendants than among Ithamar's, and they were divided accordingly: sixteen heads of families from Eleazar's descendants and eight heads of families from Ithamar's descendants. 5 They divided them impartially by drawing lots, for there were officials of the sanctuary and officials of God among the descendants of both Eleazar and Ithamar.
6 The scribe Shemaiah son of Nethanel, a Levite, recorded their names in the presence of the king and of the officials: Zadok the priest, Ahimelech son of Abiathar and the heads of families of the priests and of the Levites-one family being taken from Eleazar and then one from Ithamar.
7 The first lot fell to Jehoiarib,
the second to Jedaiah,
8 the third to Harim,
the fourth to Seorim,
9 the fifth to Malkijah,
the sixth to Mijamin,
10 the seventh to Hakkoz,
the eighth to Abijah,
11 the ninth to Jeshua,
the tenth to Shecaniah,
12 the eleventh to Eliashib,
the twelfth to Jakim,
13 the thirteenth to Huppah,
the fourteenth to Jeshebeab,
14 the fifteenth to Bilgah,
the sixteenth to Immer,
15 the seventeenth to Hezir,
the eighteenth to Happizzez,
16 the nineteenth to Pethahiah,
the twentieth to Jehezkel,
17 the twenty-first to Jakin,
the twenty-second to Gamul,
18 the twenty-third to Delaiah
and the twenty-fourth to Maaziah.
19 This was their appointed order of ministering when they entered the temple of the LORD, according to the regulations prescribed for them by their forefather Aaron, as the LORD, the God of Israel, had commanded him.
20 As for the rest of the descendants of Levi: from the sons of Amram: Shubael;
from the sons of Shubael: Jehdeiah.
21 As for Rehabiah, from his sons:
Isshiah was the first. 22 From the Izharites: Shelomoth;
from the sons of Shelomoth: Jahath. 23 The sons of Hebron: Jeriah the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third and Jekameam the fourth. 24 The son of Uzziel: Micah;
from the sons of Micah: Shamir.
25 The brother of Micah: Isshiah;
from the sons of Isshiah: Zechariah. 26 The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi.
The son of Jaaziah: Beno. 27 The sons of Merari:
from Jaaziah: Beno, Shoham, Zaccur and Ibri. 28 From Mahli: Eleazar, who had no sons. 29 From Kish: the son of Kish:
Jerahmeel. 30 And the sons of Mushi: Mahli, Eder and Jerimoth.
These were the Levites, according to their families. 31 They also cast lots, just as their brothers the descendants of Aaron did, in the presence of King David and of Zadok, Ahimelech, and the heads of families of the priests and of the Levites. The families of the oldest brother were treated the same as those of the youngest.
Praise the LORD.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;his love endures forever. 2 Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the LORD or fully declare his praise? 3 Blessed are they who maintain justice,who constantly do what is right. 4 Remember me, O LORD, when you show favor to your people,come to my aid when you save them, 5 that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones,that I may share in the joy of your nation and join your inheritance in giving praise. 6 We have sinned, even as our fathers did;we have done wrong and acted wickedly. 7 When our fathers were in Egypt,they gave no thought to your miracles;they did not remember your many kindnesses,and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea. 8 Yet he saved them for his name's sake,to make his mighty power known. 9 He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up;he led them through the depths as through a desert. 10 He saved them from the hand of the foe;from the hand of the enemy he redeemed them. 11 The waters covered their adversaries;not one of them survived. 12 Then they believed his promises and sang his praise.
13 But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his counsel. 14 In the desert they gave in to their craving;in the wasteland they put God to the test. 15 So he gave them what they asked for,but sent a wasting disease upon them.
16 In the camp they grew envious of Moses and of Aaron, who was consecrated to the LORD. 17 The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan;it buried the company of Abiram. 18 Fire blazed among their followers;a flame consumed the wicked.
19 At Horeb they made a calf and worshiped an idol cast from metal. 20 They exchanged their Glory for an image of a bull, which eats grass. 21 They forgot the God who saved them,who had done great things in Egypt, 22 miracles in the land of Ham and awesome deeds by the Red Sea. 23 So he said he would destroy them had not Moses, his chosen one,stood in the breach before him to keep his wrath from destroying them.
24 Then they despised the pleasant land;they did not believe his promise. 25 They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the LORD. 26 So he swore to them with uplifted hand that he would make them fall in the desert, 27 make their descendants fall among the nations and scatter them throughout the lands.
28 They yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor and ate sacrifices offered to lifeless gods; 29 they provoked the LORD to anger by their wicked deeds,and a plague broke out among them. 30 But Phinehas stood up and intervened,and the plague was checked. 31 This was credited to him as righteousness for endless generations to come.
32 By the waters of Meribah they angered the LORD,and trouble came to Moses because of them; 33 for they rebelled against the Spirit of God,and rash words came from Moses' lips.
34 They did not destroy the peoples as the LORD had commanded them, 35 but they mingled with the nations and adopted their customs. 36 They worshiped their idols,which became a snare to them. 37 They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons. 38 They shed innocent blood,the blood of their sons and daughters,whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan,and the land was desecrated by their blood. 39 They defiled themselves by what they did;by their deeds they prostituted themselves.
40 Therefore the LORD was angry with his people and abhorred his inheritance. 41 He handed them over to the nations,and their foes ruled over them. 42 Their enemies oppressed them and subjected them to their power. 43 Many times he delivered them,but they were bent on rebellion and they wasted away in their sin.
44 But he took note of their distress when he heard their cry; 45 for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented. 46 He caused them to be pitied by all who held them captive.
47 Save us, O LORD our God,and gather us from the nations,that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.
48 Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel,from everlasting to everlasting.Let all the people say, "Amen!"
Praise the LORD.
WHO IS JESUS?
The charge that the religious leaders made against Jesus when they brought him to Pontius Pilate was that he claimed to be king. Jesus did not deny this. In fact he said that for this reason he was born but that his kingdom was not of this world.
When Jesus' birth was announced to Mary, she was told:
"Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end." Luke 1:31-32
The promise is that Jesus will reign on David's throne forever. Paul tells the Philippians that every knee will bow to him:
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11
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