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.
A literary-critical approach is presented by G. Steins 4, but the passage he denies to the Chronicler is not vv .26b-33, but vv. 17-33, which he attributes to the "gatekeepers-singers redaction", to which a number of other passages are attributed as well, among them ch. 26 5. Steins rightly notes that in ch. 9 a tension is caused by the fact that in the second part no inhabitants of Jerusalem are listed. However, on the one hand there is no reason to deny that the Chronicler is the author of an apologia of the gatekeepers as an addition to a list in which they are featured; on the other hand it is improbable that this passage comes from the same hand as ch. 26. In ch. 26 the Levitical position of the gatekeepers is no longer at issue, but rather seems to be well-established. The situation is different in ch. 9. There the apologia of the Levitical status of the gatekeepers suggests a period of transition. It is the unsettled position of the gatekeepers which induced the Chronicler to add to the list his defense of their status. Chapters 9 and 26 reflect two different situations. Ch. 9 must precede that of ch. 26, and there is no reason to see in that earlier hand another writer than the Chronicler. To this it may be added that the continuity between tabernacle and temple as expressed in this passage is a theme characteristic of the Chronicler 6.
Vv. 26b.28-33 (for v. 27 see below), however, are no part of the apologia, nor can they be considered a further specification of the gatekeepers' task, because the functions involved just do not belong to those of the gatekeepers.
This by itself should be sufficient reason to suspect that this passage is a later addition to the list of returnees. There are some further arguments which strongly point in the same direction: (1) the unevenness of vv. 26-27, which can be best explained as a literary seam, (2) parallel redactional additions elsewhere in Chronicles, and (3) some other exegetical details. In this order these three points will now be clarified.
1) V. 26 reads "For the four principal gatekeepers were on permanent duty [for be)e0mu=na= see below] ; they were the Levites, and they had the supervision over the chambers and the treasuries of the house of God". The short middle sentence (26b) is rather awkward. The statement that the four principal gatekeepers [see v. 17] were (the) Levites is, certainly after the preceding passage, unexpected. The use of the article seems out of place if the sentence is meant to say that the four are Levites. The subject of the following we5ha4yu= is not expressed. Is it "the Levites", or the four gatekeepers? In the latter case there is the difficulty that the supervision over the chambers and the treasuries (treasures?) is not the task of the