Gershon

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This article is about the Old Testament son of Levi. For the firstborn son of Moses, see Gershom. For other uses of Gershon, see Gershon (disambiguation).

According to the Torah, Gershon (Hebrew: גרשון‎) was the eldest of the sons of Levi,[1] and the patriarchal founder of the Gershonites, one of the four main divisions among the Levites in biblical times. The Gershonites were charged with the care of the outer tabernacle including components such as the tent and its covering, screens, doors, and hangings. Biblical scholars regard the name as being essentially the same as "Gershom" (Hebrew: גֵּרְשֹׁם, Modern Gerəššom Tiberian Gēršōm),[2] which appears to mean "a sojourner there" (גר שם), and it is Gershom rather than Gershon who is sometimes listed in the Book of Chronicles as a founder of one of the principal Levite factions.[3] The Torah names Gershon's sons as Libni and Shimei.[4]

Textual scholars attribute the genealogy to the Book of Generations, a document originating from a religiopolitical group similar to that behind the Priestly source, and at a similar date.[5] According to biblical scholars, the Torah's genealogy for Levi's descendants is actually an aetiological myth reflecting the fact that there were four different groups among the Levites—the Gershonites, the Kohathites, the Merarites, and the Aaronids.[6][7] In these scholars' view, Levite was originally just a job title, deriving from the Minaean word lawi'u, meaning "priest", rather than the name of a tribe.[8]

Family tree[edit]

Jochebed's position in the family tree of Gershon is uncertain. Some manuscripts of the Septuagint version of the Torah state that Jochebed was Kohath's cousin,[9] but the Masoretic Text states that she was Kohath's sister[10]—Amram's aunt—although Jochebed's relationship to Levi is not explicitly stated.

Thus, according to the Septuagint, Gershon's family tree would be as follows:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Levi
 
 
 
(unnamed)
 
 
(unnamed)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gershon
 
Kohath
 
Merari
 
Jochebed
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Amram
 
Izhar
 
Hebron
 
Uzziel
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Miriam
 
Aaron
 
Moses
 
 
 

while according to the masoretic text, Gershon's family tree would be as follows:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Levi
 
 
 
(unnamed)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gershon
 
 
 
 
 
Kohath
 
Merari
 
Jochebed
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Libni
 
Shimei
 
Amram
 
Izhar
 
Hebron
 
Uzziel
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Miriam
 
Aaron
 
Moses
 
 
 

References[edit]

  1. ^ Numbers 3:21
  2. ^ Cheyne and Black, Encyclopedia Biblica
  3. ^ 1 Chronicles 15:7
  4. ^ Exodus 6:17
  5. ^ Richard Elliott Friedman, Who Wrote the Bible?
  6. ^ Peake's commentary on the Bible
  7. ^ Jewish Encyclopedia
  8. ^  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainJewish Encyclopedia. 1901–1906. 
  9. ^ Exodus 6:16-20, LXX
  10. ^ New American Bible, footnote to Exodus 6:20