Orders of the Priesthood (Daily Portion 10124)

Content Author: 
Reagan, David
Scripture Passage: 
1 Chronicles 24:1-31

David organized the priests into twenty-four orders or courses so that they could take turns doing the office of the priest.  He also divided the Levites who were not of the priestly line of Aaron into orders.

What Does It Say?

  1. Aaron had four sons named Nadab and __________, Eleazar and _____________.
  2. Because Nadab and Abihu died without leaving any children, Eleazar and Ithamar ____________ the priest’s office.
  3. Among the sons of ___________ there were sixteen chief men and among the sons of Ithamar there were _______ chief men.
  4. After the lots were cast for the priestly orders, they were written down by __________, the son of Nethaneel the __________.
  5. The youngest son of Levi and the head of one of the families of Levi was Merari.  His two sons were __________ and ___________.

What Does It Mean?

  1. The priest Ahimelech (v.3) is the son of Abiathar and is a descendant of Eli, the priest who took care of Samuel when he was a boy (1 Samuel 1:1-3:21).  Prove scripturally that Ahimelech was a direct descendant of Eli.  Hints: This will take more than one verse.  There is more than one priest named Ahimelech.  You can look up names in a concordance like Strong’s to see who is the son of whom.
  2. What famous priest in the New Testament was of the eighth order of Abijah (v.10)?  Remember that names are often spelled differently in the New Testament.  In the Bible, eight is the number of new beginnings.  Can you see any connection with this idea (new beginnings), the priest who is of the eighth order and his action in connection with this order?
  3. Verse 31 describes the choosing of the orders of the Levites.  Read the verse carefully and explain what is happening.  What are lots (a dictionary should tell you)?  Why did they use them here?

What Does It Mean to Me?

  1. The orders of the priesthood were “divided by lots” (v.5).  What is the advantage of casting lots in order to make decisions of this sort?  Consider Proverbs 16:33 and Proverbs 18:18 as you give your answer.  Would there be any proper uses of the casting of lots today?  If you say yes, give an example.
  2. The priests were divided into orders so that they could more effectively do the service of the temple.  “These were the orderings of them in their service to come into the house of the LORD” (v.19).  With 24 orders, each order could serve for about two weeks in the temple service (their actual practice in New Testament times) and yet only serve about once a year. (Note: This service applies to the offering of sacrifices in the temple. They did many other things the rest of the year.)  What can we learn from this practice? How can we apply this organizing principle to our churches today?  Consider 1 Corinthians 14:33 and 1 Corinthians 14:40 in your answer.
David Reagan
Daily Proverb

Proverbs 4:17

For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.