The priests prepare to transport the ark (1 Chr 15:11-15:15)

“Then King David summoned the priests Zadok and Abiathar, and the Levites Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab. King David said to them. ‘You are the heads of families of the Levites. Sanctify yourselves, you and your kindred, so that you may bring up the ark of Yahweh, the God of Israel, to the place that I have prepared for it. Because you did not carry it the first time, Yahweh our God burst out against us, because we did not give it proper care.’ So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of Yahweh, the God of Israel. The Levites carried the ark of God on their shoulders with the poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of Yahweh.”

The high priests Zadok and Abiathar were also involved. King David summoned the heads of the Levite families just mentioned, except for Uriel. He wanted them to sanctify themselves and their clan. King David said that the problem last time was that the right people were not carrying the Ark of the Covenant. He wanted the Kohathite Levites to carry the Ark of the Covenant with poles on their shoulders as it was laid out in Numbers, chapter 7.

The Levites prepare to transport the ark (1 Chr 15:3-15:10)

“King David assembled all Israel in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of Yahweh to the place that he had prepared for it. King David gathered together the descendents of Aaron and the Levites. There were the sons of Kohath, Uriel the chief, with one hundred twenty of his kindred. There were the sons of Merari, Asaiah the chief, with two hundred twenty of his kindred. There were the sons of Gershom, Joel the chief, with one hundred thirty of his kindred. There were the sons of Elizaphan, Shemaiah the chief, with two hundred of his kindred. There were the sons of Hebron, Eliel the chief, with eighty of his kindred. There were the sons of Uzziel, Amminadab the chief, with one hundred and twelve of his kindred.”

This biblical writer said that King David called everyone to Jerusalem, which would have been difficult. More particularly, he gathered the descendents of Aaron, the 3 groups of Levites, the Kohathites, Merarites, and Gershonites with their chiefs and family. However, 3 other groups of Levites, the descendents of Elizaphan, Hebron, and Uzziel were also named, but they were actually the sons of Kohath. Thus 4 of these groups were Kohathites. Each group had a leader and a number of their clan. Thus we have the following assigned to carry and care for the Ark of the Covenant. This has become a big deal with over 800 people directly involved.

The descendents of Kohath (1 Chr 6:22-6:28)

“The sons of Kohath were Amminadab his son, Korah his son, Assir his son, Elkanah his son, Ebiasaph his son, Assir his son, Tahath his son, Uriel his son, Uzziah his son, and Shaul his son. The sons of Elkanah were Amasai and Ahimoth, Elkanah his son, Zophai his son, Nahath his son, Eliab his son, Jeroham his son, Elkanah his son. The sons of Samuel were Joel his first-born and the second son Abijah.”

This genealogy goes to 22 generations. Right from the beginning there is a problem. (2) Amminadab is not listed as a son of (1) Kohath earlier in this chapter or elsewhere. Most believe that this is an error and it should refer to Izhar. Amminadab in Exodus, chapter 6, refers to the man of Judah, the father of Nahshon and Elisheba who married Aaron. (3) Korah is called the son of Izhar in the same passage. This Korah played a major role in the revolt against Moses in Numbers, chapter 16, where he was clearly called the son of Izhar, son of Kohath. He died with his whole family when the earth split and devoured him. There is another (4) Assir who is a son of (6) Ebiasaph, who was the son of (5) Elkanah who was the son of this Assir (7).   This Elkanah was the grandson of Korah who had rebelled against Moses. Notice that were 3 other people in this lineage who were also named (12) (15) Elkanah. (8) Tahath was both the name of a person and a place. There were a couple of people with the name of (9) Uriel. There were 5 people with the name of (10) Uzziah, including the famous King Uzziah or Azariah of Judah from 781-740. (11) Shaul is sometimes referred to as Saul, but this is not King Saul. There are 3 other people named (13) Amasai. This is the only mention of (14) Ahimoth and (16) Zophai. There were 3 people with the name of (17) Nahath but 7 people with the name of (18) Eliab. There were 7 people with the name of (19) Jeroham. However, this one is the father of (20) Elkanah who was the father of (21) Samuel as in 1 Samuel, chapters 1-2. There seems to be about 5 or 6 people with this name, mostly Levites. Samuel’s sons were (22) Joel and (22) Abijah as indicated in 1 Samuel, chapter 8, who did not follow in the footsteps of their father. Their official functional roles were laid out in Numbers, chapter 4.