Seeking worshipers

The genealogy of Levi is at the chiastic center of the genealogies of 1 Chronicles 1-9, and at the center of the genealogy of Levi is the description of the Levitical singers (1 Chronicles 6:31-32).

Prior to this point, the genealogies move forward in time, from Levi to his sons all the way down to Elkanah, Samuel, and his son Joel (6:272-28). After verses 31-32, the genealogies run backwards.

The genealogies on either side of these verses don’t match in every detail, but there are enough matches to make the point. The following names match:

1. Levi (6:1, 38)

2. Kohath (6:1, 2, 18-30, 38)

3. Izhar (6:2, 38)

4. Korah (6:22, 37)

5. Ebiasaph (6:23, 37)

6. Assir (6:22-23, 37)

7. Tahath (6:24, 37)

8. Elkanah (6:23, 36)

9. Amasai (6:25, 36)

10. Another Elkanah (6:26, 35)

11. Zuph/Zophai (6:26, 35)

12. Eliab/Eliel? (6:27, 34)

13. Jeroham (6:27, 34)

14. Another Elkanah (6:27, 34)

15. Samuel (6:28, 33)

16. Joel (6:28, 33)

“Heman the singer” (6:33) is the hinge of the structure, the center to which the rest of the genealogy points.

In a genealogy that runs from Adam to the exile and beyond, the climax is the appointment of Levitical servants who minister at the ark “with song.” 1 Chronicles 1-9 is a genealogical riff on Jesus’ announcement that the “Father seeks worshipers.” The aim of all human history is to create a human choir to join the angels at the throne of God.

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