1 Chr 9 concludes the genealogies, with a record of those who dwelt in Jerusalem following their return from Babylonian captivity. Besides the priests and the Levites, there were the children of Judah, and some of Benjamin, and some of Ephraim and Manasseh. Benjamin stays with Judah, as we will see as more of Israel’s history unfolds. This is because Judah made himself surety for Benjamin to Israel their father (Gen 43:8-10).
These returned exiles became known as Jews (of Judah). They were of Judah and Benjamin, along with priests and Levites, and some of Ephraim and Manasseh, or of Joseph. Here the Scripture is highlighting Judah and Joseph again. We will just keep this detail filed away with all the other instances we have noted so far.
One class of Levite is mentioned over and over again in this chapter: gatekeepers. I looked up gatekeeper in Webster’s, and it means, a person who controls access. The gatekeeper kept what was within the gate, from those unclean who were without the gate. What was within the gate, was the presence of YHVH, Creator of heaven and earth. What was without the gate, was sinful man, even though he was of Israel and was in covenant with YHVH.
It had been burned into Israel’s consciousness, the separateness of YHVH, the necessity of the set apart Levites to minister to Him in all the service of the tabernacle and Temple, even employed in praise and worship in song as work. It had been burned into Israel’s consciousness, the necessity of gatekeepers, that access to YHVH must be controlled, because of His separateness and holiness.
But when the Son of David, Messiah Yeshua, came, when He shed His blood once and for all in sinful man’s place, the veil in the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom, supernaturally (Mat 27:51). YHVH had spent 1500 years burning His separateness and His holiness, and the necessity for gatekeepers and controlled access, into His people’s hearts, minds, and consciousness, just so that, by destroying the gate, i.e., the veil, He could visually destroy the separation between God and man in one instant, at the death of Messiah Yeshua.
You see, I don’t believe God ever wanted to be separate from His people. But He had to visually recreate the very real separation that sin caused between Himself and man, so that in the instant that Messiah Yeshua died once for all for sin, He could visually destroy that separation, to teach us the significance of Messiah Yeshua’s death.
So here in Chronicles, before the advent of Messiah Yeshua, we find emphasis in repentant Israel on gatekeepers. Glory, praise, and honor to Messiah Yeshua forever and ever, that the gates between God and man have been destroyed in Him!