Ger'shon (Heb. Gershon', גֵּרשׁוֹן, expulsion, from גָּרִשׁ,, to drive out; Sept. in Genesis Γηρσών, elsewhere [and usually there also in the Cod. Alex.] Γεδσών; Joseph. Γηρσόμης, Ant. 2:7, 4), the eldest of the three sons of Levi, apparently born before the migration of Jacob's family into Egypt (Ge 46:11; Ex 6:16). B.C. cir. 1895. But though the eldest born, the families of Gershon were outstripped in fame by their younger brethren of Kohath, from whom sprang Moses and the priestly line of Aaron (see 1Ch 6:2-15). Gershon's sons were Libni and Shimi (Ex 6:17; Nu 3:18,21; 1Ch 6:17), and their families were duly recognized in the reign of David, when the permanent arrangements for the service of Jehovah were made (1Ch 23:7-11). At this time Gershon was represented by the famous Asaph "the seer," whose genealogy is given in 1Ch 6:39-43, and also, in part, 20, 21. The family is mentioned once again as taking part in the reforms of king Hezekiah (2Ch 29:12, where it should be observed that the sons of Asaph are reckoned as distinct from the Gershonites). At the census in the wilderness of Sinai the whole number of the males of the Bene-Gershon was 7500 (Nu 3:22), midway between the Kohathites and the Merarites. At the same date the efficient men were 2630 (4:40). On the occasion of the second census the numbers of the Levites are given only in gross (Nu 26:62). The sons of Gershon had charge of the fabrics of the tabernacle-the coverings, curtains, hangings, and cords (Nu 3:25-26; Nu 4:25-26); for the transport of these they had two covered wagons and four oxen (Nu 7:3,7). In the encampent their station was behind (אִחֲרֵי) the tabernacle, on the west side (Nu 3:23). When on the march they went with the Merarites in the rear of the first body of three tribes — Judah, Issachar, Zebulun — with Reuben behind them. In the apportionment of the Levitical citian, thirteen fell to the lot of the Gershonites. These were in the northern tribes — two in Manasseh beyond Jordan, four in Issacbar, four in Asher, and three in Naphtali. All of these are said to have possessed "suburbs," and two were cities of refuge (Jos 21:27-33; 1Ch 6:62; 1Ch 6). It was not easy to see what special duties fell to the lot of the Gershonites in the service of the tabernacle after its erection at Jerusalem, or in the Temple. The sons of Teduthun "prophesied with a harp," and the soils of Heman "lifted up the horn," but for the sons of Assaph no instrument is mentioned (1Ch 25:15). They were appointed to "prophesy" (that is, probably, to utter, or sing, inspired words, נִכָּא), perleaps after the special promnpting of David himself (1Ch 25:2). Others of the Gershonites, sons of Laadan, had charge of the "treasures of the house of God, and over the treasures of the holy things" (1Ch 26:20-22), among which precious stones are specially named (1Ch 29:8).
In Chronicles the name is, with two exceptions (1Ch 6:1; 1Ch 23:6), given in the slightly different form of "Gershom." SEE GERSHONITE.