The sons of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun are 24 in number as described in 1 Chronicle 25. And lots are drawn for these sons to take their place in the order of temple maintenance and worship.

There is one common factor of all these twenty-four sons. Namely:

the third to Zakkur, his sons and relatives 12

The sons and relatives always add up to twelve! My first thought was miracle, but perhaps it is the case that no man had more than eleven sons and relatives were added so as to make twelve each time. But I don't see that mentioned anywhere in the text. I've looked at commentaries but they observed the twelve commonality, but did not explain it.

Why is the son, his sons, and his relatives always consist of twelve persons?

  • Everything about the organization of the Government and temple in Israel was done in units of 12. In this case, the answer is found in 1 Chron 23:3-6.
    – Dottard
    Commented Aug 10, 2022 at 21:56

1 Answer 1


It's interesting to ask why all these families have 12 members, or male members, or male members eligible to serve in various ways, but I think there's something more important going on behind the that question. David heads up a sort of liturgical revolution at the end of 1 Chronicles, establishing new categories of Levitical service and forms of worship. Before Solomon builds a temple from wood and stone and gold, David builds a temple out of song and praise. This "temple" is built from people; the Levites are specifically in view, but they're in view representatively. They stand in for the whole people of God. Hence, organization in 12s.

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