1 Chronicles 24-26
1 Chronicles Chapter 24
The Temple servants (see Minister) were highly organized to provide a living prophecy of the process of salvation (e.g. see God's Holy Days). The irony of what later happened is that many in the priesthood did not recognize the Messiah when He came; even the High Priest, who was personally symbolic of the Christ (see What Is Jesus Christ Doing Right Now?), was not able to see that he was rejecting the one who his office was created to represent.
"The divisions of the sons of Aaron were these. The sons of Aaron: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.
But Nadab and Abihu died before their father, and had no children, so Eleazar and Ithamar became the priests [see The Lines Of Eleazar and Ithamar]. With the help of Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, David organized them according to the appointed duties in their service. Since more chief men were found among the sons of Eleazar than among the sons of Ithamar, they organized them under sixteen heads of fathers' houses of the sons of Eleazar, and eight of the sons of Ithamar. They organized them by lot, all alike, for there were officers of the sanctuary and officers of God among both the sons of Eleazar and the sons of Ithamar.
And the scribe [see Lawyers] Shemaiah the son of Nethanel, a Levite, recorded them in the presence of the king, and the princes, and Zadok the priest, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, and the heads of the fathers' houses of the priests and of the Levites; one father's house being chosen for Eleazar and one chosen for Ithamar." (1 Chronicles 24:1-6 RSV)
The Temple Levites were organized into twenty four divisions; their time of service was fulfilled on a revolving cycle. This schedule was restored and continued at the time of the birth of Jesus Christ - the father of John the Baptist, Zechariah, was of the eighth division of Abijah (see list below and the Fact Finder question): "In the days of Herod, king of Judea [see The Herods], there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth." (Luke 1:5 RSV)
"The first lot fell to Jehoiarib, the second to Jedaiah, the third to Harim, the fourth to Seorim, the fifth to Malchijah, the sixth to Mijamin, the seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah, the ninth to Jeshua, the tenth to Shecaniah, the eleventh to Eliashib, the twelfth to Jakim, the thirteenth to Huppah, the fourteenth to Jeshebeab, the fifteenth to Bilgah, the sixteenth to Immer, the seventeenth to Hezir, the eighteenth to Happizzez, the nineteenth to Pethahiah, the twentieth to Jehezkel, the twenty-first to Jachin, the twenty-second to Gamul, the twenty-third to Delaiah, the twenty-fourth to Maaziah." (1 Chronicles 24:7-18 RSV)
1 Chronicles Chapter 25
King David's military experience enabled him to efficiently organize the Temple service. David's love of and experience with music also enabled him to properly organize the Temple musicians.
"David and the chiefs of the service also set apart for the service certain of the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with Lyres, with harps [see also The Harp String Verses], and with cymbals. The list of those who did the work and of their duties was:
Of the sons of Asaph: Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, and Asharelah, sons of Asaph, under the direction of Asaph, who prophesied under the direction of the king.
Of Jeduthun, the sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Shimei, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, under the direction of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with the lyre in thanksgiving and praise to The Lord.
Of Heman, the sons of Heman: Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel, and Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, and Romamtiezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, Mahazioth." (1 Chronicles 25:1-4 RSV)
The Temple was a very musical place; 288 of the Levites were musicians.
"They were all under the direction of their father in the music in the house of The Lord [see YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD] with cymbals, harps, and lyres for the service of the house of God. Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman were under the order of the king. The number of them along with their brethren, who were trained in singing to The Lord, all who were skilful, was two hundred and eighty-eight. And they cast lots for their duties, small and great, teacher and pupil alike." (1 Chronicles 25:6-8 RSV)
1 Chronicles Chapter 26
Administration and security of the Temple was also intricately prescribed for the different levels of Levites.
"These divisions of the gatekeepers, corresponding to their chief men, had duties, just as their brethren did, ministering in the house of The Lord; and they cast lots by fathers' houses, small and great alike, for their gates.
The lot for the east fell to Shelemiah. They cast lots also for his son Zechariah, a shrewd counselor, and his lot came out for the north. Obed-edom's came out for the south, and to his sons was allotted the storehouse. For Shuppim and Hosah it came out for the west, at the gate of Shallecheth on the road that goes up.
Watch corresponded to watch [see also Hours Of The Day]. On the east [see also Why Did They Face East?] there were six each day, on the north four each day, on the south four each day, as well as two and two at the storehouse; and for the parbar on the west there were four at the road and two at the parbar.
These were the divisions of the gatekeepers among the Korahites and the sons of Merari." (1 Chronicles 26:12-19 RSV)
The administration of the Temple also involved safe storage for certain historical articles of great value or significance. Along with being the headquarters for the nation's religion, it also served as an eminent central bank and national library.
"And of the Levites, Ahijah had charge of the treasuries of the house of God and the treasuries of the dedicated gifts.
The sons of Ladan, the sons of the Gershonites belonging to Ladan, the heads of the fathers' houses belonging to Ladan the Gershonite: Jehieli. The sons of Jehieli, Zetham and Joel his brother, were in charge of the treasuries of the house of The Lord.
Of the Amramites, the Izharites, the Hebronites, and the Uzzielites - and Shebuel the son of Gershom, son of Moses, was chief officer in charge of the treasuries. His brethren: from Eliezer were his son Rehabiah, and his son Jeshaiah, and his son Joram, and his son Zichri, and his son Shelomoth. This Shelomoth and his brethren were in charge of all the treasuries of the dedicated gifts which David the king, and the heads of the fathers' houses, and the officers of the thousands and the hundreds, and the commanders of the army, had dedicated. From spoil won in battles they dedicated gifts for the maintenance of the house of The Lord. Also all that Samuel the seer, and Saul the son of Kish, and Abner the son of Ner, and Joab the son of Zeruiah had dedicated--all dedicated gifts were in the care of Shelomoth and his brethren.
Of the Izharites, Chenaniah and his sons were appointed to outside duties for Israel, as officers and judges.
Of the Hebronites, Hashabiah and his brethren, one thousand seven hundred men of ability, had the oversight of Israel westward of the Jordan for all the work of The Lord and for the service of the king. Of the Hebronites, Jerijah was chief of the Hebronites of whatever genealogy or fathers' houses. In the fortieth year of David's reign search was made and men of great ability among them were found at Jazer in Gilead. King David appointed him and his brethren, two thousand seven hundred men of ability, heads of fathers' houses, to have the oversight of the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of the Manassites for everything pertaining to God and for the affairs of the king." (1 Chronicles 26:20-32 RSV)
Fact Finder: How was the birth of John the baptist the result of a miracle?
See The Other Miraculous Birth