1 CHRONICLES 24
Chronicles sets out the records of the order, establishment and arrangements of the temple service when it would be established. It provides the royal line of David. In chapter 24, the historian sets out the courses of the priests, set out as David ordered it by divine appointment. He was helped by Samuel before his death. Each course served a week in turn (2Chr. 23:8). Perhaps, like the Levites, they commenced initiation at the age of 25 (Num. 8:24), and at 30 commenced full duties (Num. 4:3). But compare 1Chr. 23:24!
The Levites retired at 50, but nothing is said about the commencement or retirement of the priests. Apart from the initiation of Aaron's immediate sons, no rite of introduction is prescribed. Sufficient if they could establish their genealogical right (Ezr. 2:61-63; Neh. 7:5) and were free from bodily blemish or legal pollution (Lev. 21:16, 23).
Officiating dress - linen bonnet, coat, breeches, a white linen girdle embroidered with blue, purple and scarlet (Exo. 28:40, 42; 39:27-29). Garments were supplied to the priests (Ezr. 2:69; Neh. 7:70-72), probably kept in the chambers as in the Temple of the future age (Eze. 42:14; 44:19). Solomon and Hezekiah confirmed the courses as appointed by David.
The two houses of Aaron are recorded in vv. 1-4, which were divided into 24 orders (vv. 5-19). According to the Jews each course was divided into three ranks: Chief of the Course; Chief of every family; and Common priests. Thus there was a constant system of subordination and supervision that all things might be done decently and in order. Then there is listed the distribution of the other Levites (vv. 20-31). GEM - Logos
Establishing the orders for the temple
The building of the temple would mark the end of tabernacle worship, which had always been intended as but a temporary institution. But such was the scale and size of the temple that it would require a system of worship so greatly exceeding the tabernacle arrangements as to supersede them.
The whole process was centred around the number twenty-four, which related to the spiritual organisation of the kingdom. There would be twenty-four courses of priests to execute the priestly office, 4 and twenty-four courses of Levites to minister unto them in the work. 5 There would be twenty-four courses of singers to give thanks and offer praise, 6 and twenty-four courses of doorkeepers to guard the gates on every side (1 Chronicles 26:1-19).
Functioning in parallel with this spiritual organisation was the civil administration of the kingdom, which revolved around the number twelve. There would be twelve captains of the months to ensure a standing force for the king's army, 7 and twelve princes of the tribes to officiate as protectors of the king's interests. 8 There would be twelve overseers of the substance to safeguard the king's wealth," and twelve officers of the realm to provide all supplies for the king's table. 10
The orders of the twenty-four and the twelve were not the initiative of David, for the pattern of the courses was given to him by divine inspiration, 11 an ordering which remained unchanged for generations to come. 12 When, therefore, the courses of the singers were confirmed, it was a reminder that acceptable praise must be preceded by due order, and that proper organisation was needed for fervent worship before God. Nothing was to be taken lightly. Nothing was to be left to chance.
4 1 Chronicles 24:1-19.
5 1 Chronicles 24:20-31.
6 1 Chronicles 25:1-31.
7 1 Chronicles 27:1-15.
8 1 Chronicles 27:16-22.
9 1 Chronicles 27:25-31.
10 1 Kings 4:7-19.
11 1 Chronicles 28:12,13.
12 1 Chronicles 24:10; Luke 1:5.
Bro Roger Lewis - The House of Asaph Ch 3
4 And there were more chief men [Rashei HaGevarim] found of the sons of [Bnei] Eleazar than of the sons of Ithamar [Bnei Itamar]; and thus were they divided. Among the sons of Eleazar there were 16 chief men of the house of their fathers [Rashim l'Bais Avot], and 8 among the sons of Ithamar [Bnei Itamar] according to the house of their fathers [Bais of their Avot].
24 elders (Rev 4:10)
Each elder is the symbol of an order, all the immortals being apportioned into twenty-four orders of royal priests after the type of David's divisions of the Sons of Aaron into four and twenty orders (1 Chron. xxiv). Aaron was a type of Christ in his family and official relations, though not his order.
He had two sons, Eleazar and Ithamar; the former name signifying "God is his helper;" and the latter, "the place of Palm Trees." In David's time, Zadok was the chief of Aaron's sons in the line of Eleazar; and Ahimelech of those of Ithamar. Zadok signifies "the just one," and Ahimelech "the brother of the king." The interpretation of these names collectively is "God is (Israel's) helper" in "the place of palm trees," by "the Just One," the "fellow of the King.
"There were more chief men of the sons of Eleazar than of the sons of Ithamar. There were sixteen of the former, and eight of the latter; which together made twenty-four elders at the head of as many orders of priests, descendants of Aaron in the kingdom of David, that they might be princes of the sanctuary, and princes of the Elohim.
Such being the priestly arrangement in David's kingdom, the symbols representative of it in the restoration of the constitution, "as in the days of old," are derived from its ancient polity. When the Lord Jesus shall sit upon David's throne, "he will sit and rule as a priest upon the throne, and bear the glory;" and as High Priest be the head of the houses of Eleazar and Ithamar, which are represented by the numbers sixteen and eight, or twenty-four.
According to this, Eleazar and Ithamar constitute his priestly household. Sixteen of the Elders in John's vision are figuratively of the house of Eleazar, and eight of the house of Ithamar; or, if named by their representatives in the time of David, sixteen are of the house of Zadok, and eight of the house of Ahimelech. Not, however, fleshly descendants of these men; for in the reconstruction of the government of Israel's commonwealth, "the flesh profits nothing." All in Christ are "made priests for the Deity," by the fact of being in him; and as he takes the place of Aaron, all in him take the place of Aaron's sons, and become, by adoption, thus the sons of Zadok.
This change of persons does not alter the ordering of things. The twenty-four orders of priests will still obtain in the restored kingdom of David; and are therefore foreshadowed in John's vision as encircling the throne. Collectively, they are Zadok, the just, and Ithamar, "the place of palm trees;" for they are washed from their sins in the blood of the Just One; and are represented in apoc ch. vii. 9, as "before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;" the emblems of salvation and victory.
They are also Ahimelech in the presence of David's Son. They are many in one; all of them the children of a King; children given to Jesus for his brethren; and therefore collectively "the brother of the King," or Christadelphians.
These twenty-four elders, then, are the twenty-four orders of the sons of Zadok, who shall enter into the sanctuary of Yahweh Elohim, and come near to His table to minister unto Him, and shall keep His charge (Ezek. xliv. 15,16).