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The Exodus and the Monarchy

Though the passage should be used cautiously in view of the possibility of textual corruption, 1 Chronicles 23:7-10 seems to list ten prominent Gershonite clans who shared in regular Temple worship in David’s religious bureaucracy: The sons of Ladan (i.e. Libni) include the clans of Jehiel, Zetham, and Joel; the sons of Shemei (v. 9; perhaps the same as the Shemei descended from Libni through Jahath; cf. 1 Chron 6:39-43) include Shelemoth, Haziel, and Haran; and another group called “sons of Shemei” (v. 10) includes Jahath, Zina (Zizah of v. 11), Jeush, and Beriah.

Gershonites maintained their importance in the later monarchy. Several Gershonites participated in Hezekiah’s cleansing of the Temple (2 Chron 29:12-15). Joah, son of Zimmah, and Eden, son of Joah (“son of Zimmah” and “son of Joah” may be clan designations), are mentioned along with two Asaphites, Zechariah and Mattaniah.

Futher participation by Gershonites in public religious life is seen in the preaching of Jahaziah, an Asaphite, in the reign of Jehoshaphat (20:14ff.) and in Josiah’s Passover celebration (35:15).