Piet B. Dirksen, «1 Chronicles 9,26-33: Its Position in Chapter 9», Vol. 79 (1998) 91-96
This study deals with the problem of the inclusion of an isolated passage of 1 Chron 9,28-33 in that books literary context of the list of those returning from exile. The author of the study considers that this can be explained on the grounds of redactional and the reasons for, and the conclusions to be drawn from this view are given.
1 Chr 9 lists the first returnees from the exile who resettled on their ancestral property 2, (lay-)Israelites, priests, Levites and gatekeepers. The distinction between Levites and gatekeepers has been taken over from the source text, which was the list preserved in Neh 11, 11-19. There can, however, be no doubt that the Chronicler, though maintaining the form of his source, considered the gatekeepers as Levites. In this very chapter he makes this clear in the passage he added to the list, vv. 17-26. In this passage he argues that the high position and the Levitical status of the gatekeepers go back to the desert period (vv. 18.19b.20) and the Davidic era (vv. 19a.21.23). In v. 19 the author explicitly states that the gatekeepers function hdfbo(jhf tke)lem; l(a, "in the cultic service" (cf. v. 13).
In the following passage, vv. 28-33, some other Levitical tasks are listed. These tasks, however, have no connection with the foregoing list of inhabitants of Jerusalem nor with the additional passage on the gatekeepers. It is an isolated passage, alien to its context, which raises the question as to its position in this chapter.
Scholars do not see a literary-critical issue here, and just note that there is an additional list of cultic duties. A few examples may suffice. Rudolph 3 sees in vv. 26b-32 a new passage which mentions additional Levitical duties: supervisors of the chambers and treasuries (v. 26c), gatekeepers (v. 27), and those responsible for the various types of vessels (vv. 28-29) respectively. Williamson observes that "the shift from the specific duties of the gatekeepers to those of a more general Levitical nature is slightly obscured", but finds a possibility of remedying this by translating v. 26b as "They were the Levites who...". There is no comment on the strangeness of the passage in this context. Japhet sees in vv. 26b-29 a sequel to vv. 23-26a, the latter passage dealing with the arrangements of the guards at the temple gates, the first with "specific items of responsibility" of the gatekeepers.