1 Chronicles 27

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Read 1 Chronicles 27

Army Divisions

27 This is the list of the Israelites—heads of families, commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and their officers, who served the king in all that concerned the army divisions that were on duty month by month throughout the year. Each division consisted of 24,000 men.

In charge of the first division, for the first month, was Jashobeam son of Zabdiel. There were 24,000 men in his division. He was a descendant of Perez and chief of all the army officers for the first month.

In charge of the division for the second month was Dodai the Ahohite; Mikloth was the leader of his division. There were 24,000 men in his division.

The third army commander, for the third month, was Benaiah son of Jehoiada the priest. He was chief and there were 24,000 men in his division. This was the Benaiah who was a mighty warrior among the Thirty and was over the Thirty. His son Ammizabad was in charge of his division.

The fourth, for the fourth month, was Asahel the brother of Joab; his son Zebadiah was his successor. There were 24,000 men in his division.

The fifth, for the fifth month, was the commander Shamhuth the Izrahite. There were 24,000 men in his division.

The sixth, for the sixth month, was Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite. There were 24,000 men in his division.

10 The seventh, for the seventh month, was Helez the Pelonite, an Ephraimite. There were 24,000 men in his division.

11 The eighth, for the eighth month, was Sibbekai the Hushathite, a Zerahite. There were 24,000 men in his division.

12 The ninth, for the ninth month, was Abiezer the Anathothite, a Benjamite. There were 24,000 men in his division.

13 The tenth, for the tenth month, was Maharai the Netophathite, a Zerahite. There were 24,000 men in his division.

14 The eleventh, for the eleventh month, was Benaiah the Pirathonite, an Ephraimite. There were 24,000 men in his division.

15 The twelfth, for the twelfth month, was Heldai the Netophathite, from the family of Othniel. There were 24,000 men in his division.

Leaders of the Tribes

16 The leaders of the tribes of Israel:

over the Reubenites: Eliezer son of Zikri;

over the Simeonites: Shephatiah son of Maakah;

17 over Levi: Hashabiah son of Kemuel;

over Aaron: Zadok;

18 over Judah: Elihu, a brother of David;

over Issachar: Omri son of Michael;

19 over Zebulun: Ishmaiah son of Obadiah;

over Naphtali: Jerimoth son of Azriel;

20 over the Ephraimites: Hoshea son of Azaziah;

over half the tribe of Manasseh: Joel son of Pedaiah;

21 over the half-tribe of Manasseh in Gilead: Iddo son of Zechariah;

over Benjamin: Jaasiel son of Abner;

22 over Dan: Azarel son of Jeroham.

These were the leaders of the tribes of Israel.

23 David did not take the number of the men twenty years old or less,because the Lord had promised to make Israel as numerous as the stars in the sky. 24 Joab son of Zeruiah began to count the men but did not finish. God’s wrath came on Israel on account of this numbering, and the number was not entered in the book of the annals of King David.

The King’s Overseers

25 Azmaveth son of Adiel was in charge of the royal storehouses.

Jonathan son of Uzziah was in charge of the storehouses in the outlying districts, in the towns, the villages and the watchtowers.

26 Ezri son of Kelub was in charge of the workers who farmed the land.

27 Shimei the Ramathite was in charge of the vineyards.

Zabdi the Shiphmite was in charge of the produce of the vineyards for the wine vats.

28 Baal-Hanan the Gederite was in charge of the olive and sycamore-figtrees in the western foothills.

Joash was in charge of the supplies of olive oil.

29 Shitrai the Sharonite was in charge of the herds grazing in Sharon.

Shaphat son of Adlai was in charge of the herds in the valleys.

30 Obil the Ishmaelite was in charge of the camels.

Jehdeiah the Meronothite was in charge of the donkeys.

31 Jaziz the Hagrite was in charge of the flocks.

All these were the officials in charge of King David’s property.

32 Jonathan, David’s uncle, was a counselor, a man of insight and a scribe. Jehiel son of Hakmoni took care of the king’s sons.

33 Ahithophel was the king’s counselor.

Hushai the Arkite was the king’s confidant. 34 Ahithophel was succeeded by Jehoiada son of Benaiah and by Abiathar.

Joab was the commander of the royal army.

Go Deeper

In Genesis 22:17, God spoke His promise to Abraham saying, “I will greatly bless you and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sands of the seashore…” In today’s reading, David is organizing the armies of the united kingdoms of Israel and Judah. The promise of God is evident as approximately 1.5 million people were living in the kingdom during his reign in 880 BC. 

David’s armies were approximately 300,000 strong with 12 divisions of 24,000 men each which served for one month out of the year. As the third king, Israel and Judah are now united and he organized and commanded these armies with 12,000 officers. His 12 divisions had 12 generals with eight of the twelve from the lineage of Judah. This lineage was known for strength in battle as well as the prophetic promise of the Messiah, our ultimate victor, Jesus Christ.

The civil organization is fascinating as we consider the growing populations required leadership and organized economic plans. David appointed heads of the Kings storehouses as well as those of the cities and countryside, important agricultural products including trees, oils, vineyards, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, etc. Perhaps the most important offices were those of the King’s counselors. Verse 23 is a key point in the chapter as David remembered God’s promise to Abraham. David’s focus and desire to honor God in all facets of his life is evident. Protection and provision for God’s people were his priorities. 

These are the same priorities and thoughts God has over us. As David did, we can honor God first in surrendering our lives and agendas to God’s desire, purpose, protection, and provision. This does not mean that everything in our lives will be perfect. It does mean that we can trust God to provide, strengthen, and protect us in and through all things. To trust in ourselves leaves us vulnerable, weak, and misled. David experienced many trials through his life and ascension to the throne including death threats and treasonous generals. His own son Absalom betrayed him. Leading is filled with tremendous pressure and peril, but God will lead us into His thoughts, His ways, and His victories. 

Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not lose heart in doing good for in due time, we shall reap a harvest if we do not grow weary.” Let’s allow God to be our place of trust, strength, and guidance for our families, communities, and churches. It is not just the only way, but the best way. 


  1. David’s responsibilities were many and varied. How important was God to David in handling his role as king?
  2. What challenges do you face now and how can you let God help you in them?
  3. If you feel weary, what can you do to tap into God’s strength?

Keep Digging

Joab, the leader of David’s army, is referenced at the very end of this chapter. Pastor and commentator David Guzik describes Joab this way:

“Joab is one of the more complex characters of the Old Testament. He was fiercely loyal to David, yet not strongly obedient. He disobeyed David when he thought it was in David’s best interest, and he was cunning and ruthless in furthering his own position.”

To learn more about Joab and his complicated legacy, read this article from GotQuestions.org.

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2 thoughts on “1 Chronicles 27”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    It’s fascinating to read of how God keeps his promises, how he established an order that would give his people both protection and provision, and ultimately ushered in his chosen One through this very people. Recently I read this quote from shereadstruth that connects with our Chronicles study so well:
    “More than a list of names, genealogies show God’s faithfulness to work through the broken, difficult and beautiful aspects of human life from generation to generation. His grand redemptive story happens through estranged families, heartbreak, betrayal, difficult moves, affairs, scandals and infertility. It continues through the branches of deep friendship, marriages, difficult children, reconciliation, and adoption. Through it all, God remains loyal to his promise, his purpose and his people through every beautiful and painful reality.”

  2. David was a man after God’s own heart. At this time even though he had messed up multiple times, David was still about making sure that God was exalted through it all. David made sure that the Temple was of great focus, the center, so that the people would be focused, centered on God. We are God’s temple now, but do we focus in on maintaining it? I will be the first to say I do not as I should. This list of people in these Chronicles and the great number, show the importance David, and I would assume God, thought should be on how it was be reverenced. You as the temple, how are you taking care of His living quarters? What food, drink, exercise, thoughts, actions, movies, books, computer images, technology information, ect… are we giving our God to live in?

    God thank You for me really really focusing in on that You dwell within me as Holy Spirit and that every single thing that I do, good or bad, You are impacted. Thank You for that realization. God thank You that I can be so itimatley more consciousnesses about the little things, I give not much thought to, that is so impactful to my temple. God I give You glory, honor and thanksgiving for this day. Thank You God for those families that have lost loved ones in our armed services, give them comfort and peace as we remember those sacrifices today in Jesus name amen

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