1 Chronicles 26

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Read 1 Chronicles 26

The Gatekeepers

26 The divisions of the gatekeepers:

From the Korahites: Meshelemiah son of Kore, one of the sons of Asaph.

Meshelemiah had sons:

Zechariah the firstborn,

Jediael the second,

Zebadiah the third,

Jathniel the fourth,

Elam the fifth,

Jehohanan the sixth

and Eliehoenai the seventh.

Obed-Edom also had sons:

Shemaiah the firstborn,

Jehozabad the second,

Joah the third,

Sakar the fourth,

Nethanel the fifth,

Ammiel the sixth,

Issachar the seventh

and Peullethai the eighth.

(For God had blessed Obed-Edom.)

Obed-Edom’s son Shemaiah also had sons, who were leaders in their father’s family because they were very capable men. The sons of Shemaiah: Othni, Rephael, Obed and Elzabad; his relatives Elihu and Semakiah were also able men. All these were descendants of Obed-Edom; they and their sons and their relatives were capable men with the strength to do the work—descendants of Obed-Edom, 62 in all.

Meshelemiah had sons and relatives, who were able men—18 in all.

10 Hosah the Merarite had sons: Shimri the first (although he was not the firstborn, his father had appointed him the first), 11 Hilkiah the second, Tabaliah the third and Zechariah the fourth. The sons and relatives of Hosah were 13 in all.

12 These divisions of the gatekeepers, through their leaders, had duties for ministering in the temple of the Lord, just as their relatives had. 13 Lots were cast for each gate, according to their families, young and old alike.

14 The lot for the East Gate fell to Shelemiah. Then lots were cast for his son Zechariah, a wise counselor, and the lot for the North Gate fell to him. 15 The lot for the South Gate fell to Obed-Edom, and the lot for the storehouse fell to his sons. 16 The lots for the West Gate and the Shalleketh Gate on the upper road fell to Shuppim and Hosah.

Guard was alongside of guard: 17 There were six Levites a day on the east, four a day on the north, four a day on the south and two at a time at the storehouse. 18 As for the court to the west, there were four at the road and two at the court itself.

19 These were the divisions of the gatekeepers who were descendants of Korah and Merari.

The Treasurers and Other Officials

20 Their fellow Levites were in charge of the treasuries of the house of God and the treasuries for the dedicated things.

21 The descendants of Ladan, who were Gershonites through Ladan and who were heads of families belonging to Ladan the Gershonite, were Jehieli,22 the sons of Jehieli, Zetham and his brother Joel. They were in charge of the treasuries of the temple of the Lord.

23 From the Amramites, the Izharites, the Hebronites and the Uzzielites:

24 Shubael, a descendant of Gershom son of Moses, was the official in charge of the treasuries. 25 His relatives through Eliezer: Rehabiah his son, Jeshaiah his son, Joram his son, Zikri his son and Shelomith his son. 26 Shelomith and his relatives were in charge of all the treasuries for the things dedicated by King David, by the heads of families who were the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and by the other army commanders. 27 Some of the plunder taken in battle they dedicated for the repair of the temple of the Lord. 28 And everything dedicated by Samuel the seer and by Saul son of Kish, Abner son of Ner and Joab son of Zeruiah, and all the other dedicated things were in the care of Shelomith and his relatives.

29 From the Izharites: Kenaniah and his sons were assigned duties away from the temple, as officials and judges over Israel.

30 From the Hebronites: Hashabiah and his relatives—seventeen hundred able men—were responsible in Israel west of the Jordan for all the work of the Lord and for the king’s service. 31 As for the Hebronites, Jeriah was their chief according to the genealogical records of their families. In the fortieth year of David’s reign a search was made in the records, and capable men among the Hebronites were found at Jazer in Gilead.32 Jeriah had twenty-seven hundred relatives, who were able men and heads of families, and King David put them in charge of the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh for every matter pertaining to God and for the affairs of the king.

Go Deeper

First Chronicles 26 lists the Levites who were appointed as gatekeepers and overseers of treasuries and dedicated things for the house of God. What is the significance of a gate? It provides both passage into and protects against anything unwanted. While the gate itself can be insignificant in appearance, how it functions has high importance.

Let’s focus on the role of the gatekeepers (also referred to in 1 Chronicles 9:17-34). These were positions of importance because they guarded the gates leading into the house of the Lord. Their role was not only one of security, but ministerial in nature. The gatekeepers made sure that those who entered were ready to serve and worship God and turn away those who were only there to harm it. This would be a job that required wisdom and discernment. We are now considered His temple (1 Corinthians 3:16) and should apply similar wisdom to all that enters.

Gates aren’t only something to defend, however, but are also entry points to something on the other side. For instance, imagine a gate that leads to a garden filled with food to eat or beautiful flowers to enjoy. A path that leads to life. The East gate (or King’s gate) in verse 14 is significant. It was a gate reserved for royalty. Only kings could enter through it. There’s significance of it being East facing, a direction signifying holiness in scripture. The entrance into the Garden of Eden faced east (Genesis 3:24). Jesus is believed to have entered through the East gate of Jerusalem during his Triumphal Entry in the gospels and is prophesied to again at His second coming.

Jesus is not only a king entering through a gate but refers to himself as the ultimate gate. In Matthew 7:14, Jesus says that small is the gate that leads to life. However, in John 10:9 He makes clear, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out and find pasture.” His gate leads to life.The gatekeepers in 1 Chronicles guarded and preserved gates that lead to a relationship with God in the temple. Jesus now offers entry to abundant life in Him, in whom are hidden all the treasures (Colossians 2:3). 


  1. What did you learn about God from this passage?
  2. What is the significance of gatekeepers in this chapter? How should we apply this principle in our own lives?
  3. How does this passage point to Jesus?

Did You Know?

The role of gatekeeper was considered a privilege. The psalmist writes in Psalm 84:10, “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” 

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2 thoughts on “1 Chronicles 26”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    A couple of observations from this chapter:
    •We get some important details on the lineage of
    Obed-edom. God had richly blessed him with 62 descendants who were leaders, capable, able and strong.
    Children in this culture were viewed as a blessing not a burden.
    •As believers our bodies are the “temple” where God dwells necessitating gatekeepers as well. This sacred assignment is carried out through the Holy Spirit, scripture, and accountability through other followers (LifeGroup).

  2. In this passage God shows that having a gatekeeper is just as vital as the priest. So we are the temple now, Jesus is our high priest and we are the gatekeepers to our temple.
    I hope everyone is reading “The Awe of Ged”. Being a gatekeeper with and through the Holy Spirit to enter in to be in worship is so important. God is so much more vastly important to be revered and feared with intensity. We as a society are so flippant and take it all for granted.

    God I do not want to take my relationship with You from this moment on for granted. Please help me to remember, desire, express, and stand up for the fear of You, God! Thank You for being a wise gatekeeper for my temple. Guide me in this so that all points to You in Jesus name amen

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