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Oct 07: 1Chr 23 | Eze 33 | Eph 5-6

Reading 1 - 1Ch 23:24

"These were the descendants of Levi by their families -- the heads of families as they were registered under their names and counted individually, that is, the workers twenty years old or more who served in the temple of the LORD" (1Ch 23:24).

This seems to be the age of Levites at the beginning of their service in the Temple. It seems as though the age of Levites when beginning service must have declined from 30 to 25 to 20 (cp 1Ch 23:3; Num 8:24,25; 1Ch 23:24-27). A possible reason: when the Levitical duties became fixed and expanded in the Temple era, less strength but more numbers were required (1Ch 23:26).

Reading 2 - Eze 33:2-4

"Son of man, speak to your countrymen and say to them: 'When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not take warning and the sword comes and takes his life, his blood will be on his own head' " (Eze 33:2-4).

In ancient Israel, each town and city had a person positioned upon the wall in order to call out a warning about the approach of unexpected and possibly hostile people. This watchman had to "sound the trumpet" if an enemy was approaching, so that the townspeople could get ready for an attack. Prophets in Israel took on the function of spiritual "watchmen" (eg Eze 3:17; Jer 6:17), warning the people of impending punishment by God unless the nation changed its ways.

The word itself is from a Hebrew root signifying "to lean forward, to peek" (cp Isa 21:6-10; Hos 9:8; Hab 2:1). Thus the spiritual watchman was a "shepherd", his manner of life characterized by constant vigilance, with his eyes on the future for potential threats, as well as potential blessings, and an overriding concern for the spiritual wellbeing of others. "Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you" (Heb 13:17).