The NASB1995 puts it this way:

“The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi. The sons of Mahli were Eleazar and Kish. Eleazar died and had no sons, but daughters only, so their brothers, the sons of Kish, took them as wives. The sons of Mushi were three: Mahli, Eder and Jeremoth.” ‭‭1 Chronicles‬ ‭23:21-23‬ ‭NASB1995

I’ve read the context, I came across this today. I don’t quite understand the passage. I’ve tried going back and forth reading this passage.

Q: Does 1st Chronicles 23:21-23 constitute a violation of Leviticus 18’s sexual prohibition laws?

Maybe I am getting who is related or not mixed up? Are the brothers distinctly different in terms of fellow Israelites?

1 Answer 1


This is a marriage between first cousins, and it does not violate the prohibitions of Leviticus 18

Merari is the great-grandfather of the people who are getting married. Mahli is the grandfather. Eleazar is the father of the women who are getting married. Eleazar's brother, Kish, is the father of the men who are getting married.

The Hebrew root for "brothers" here is אָח ("ach"); Brown-Driver-Briggs indicates it can be used to refer to:

  • A biological male sibling
  • A kinsman
  • A resemblance

A useful passage to reference is Genesis 24:27, in which the same root is used to refer to Abraham's nephew (he is Abraham's kin, he is not Abraham's biological sibling).

The genealogical context provided in 1 Chron. 23 indicates that "kinsman" is the definition employed in this passage.

  • 1
    Ah, yes. Wonderful info, +1. I got to get the OT language right then.
    – Cork88
    Commented Jul 4, 2022 at 4:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.