1 Chronicles 6:39 MEANING

1 Chronicles 6:39
(39-43) The pedigree of Asaph the Gershonite, traced back through thirteen names to Levi. That of Heman names twenty ancestors for the same period of time. This is one more illustration of the common usage of overleaping names in these genealogies.

(39) His brother Asaph.--Asaph was Heman's brother (1) as a Levite; (2) as a choir-master.

The striking agreement of the line of Heman with that of the Kohathites, detailed in 1 Chronicles 6:22-28 above, has led critics to look for a like coincidence between the line of Asaph as given here, and that of the Gershonites in 1 Chronicles 6:20-21. There, however, we have only seven names, here there are thirteen. Still we observe that in the former passage the three names, Jahath, Zimmah, and Zerah appear in the same order of lineal descent from Gershon as in the present list; while the Adaiah of 1 Chronicles 6:41 obviously answers to the Iddo of 1 Chronicles 6:21, and Ethni (1 Chronicles 6:41) is in Hebrew writing not unlike Jeaterai; and we are already familiar with the fact that genealogies sometimes recur in abbreviated forms. (Comp. Ezra 7:1-5, with the line of Aaron in the present chapter.) Upon the whole, therefore, if the suggested identifications be correct, it appears that Asaph's pedigree has really been partially anticipated in 1 Chronicles 6:20-21.

Verse 39. - Asaph is called brother of Heman, either as brother in office or generally as relative in the degree of cousin by many removes. He stands fourteenth in line of descent after Levi, while Ethan (ver. 44) stands thirteenth. If the line of Heman (as given in vers. 33-38) were correct. it would force on us the conviction that there are several omissions in these two lines; but if these are correct, we must conclude that there are unwarranted additions in the other. On the names of Asaph's ancestors, see notes on vers. 20, 21. From 2 Chronicles 29:30 it seems plain that Asaph was himself a composer of psalms, and not simply either the musician or rehearser of those of David.

6:1-81 Genealogies. - We have an account of Levi in this chapter. The priests and Levites were more concerned than any other Israelites, to preserve their descent clear, and to be able to prove it; because all the honours and privileges of their office depended upon their descent. Now, the Spirit of God calls ministers to their work, without any limit as to the families they came from; and then, as now, though believers and ministers may be very useful to the church, none but our great High Priest can make atonement for sin, nor can any be accepted but through his atonement.And his brother Asaph,.... That is, Heman's brother; so Asaph was, as he was a descendant from the same original ancestor Levi, yet in the line of Gershon; and as being of the same office, a precentor, or chief singer:

who stood on his right hand; he was next to Heman; Heman stood in the middle, which was the most honourable (h), and Asaph on his right hand, and Ethan, after mentioned, on his left; even Asaph, whose name is often met with in the book of Psalms; and his genealogy here stands thus, as traced up to Levi, viz. Berechiah, Shimea, Michael, Baaseiah, Malchiah, Ethni, Zerah, Adaiah, Ethan, Zimmah, Shimei, Jahath, Gershon, Levi.

(h) "Alecto stetit in mediis----", Claudian in Rufin. l. 1. ver. 41. Vid. Barthii Animadv. in ib.

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