Twenty-four mishmarot

Before the inauguration of the second bet hamikdash, Dovid HaMelech and Tzadok the kohen gadol drew lots dividing the kohanim into twenty four divisions.  These divisions are known as כ”ד משמרות כהונה -the twenty-four kohanic “gaurds”.

Talmud Yerushalmi mentions that this division was done with wisdom; it was carefully planned so that at the culmination of every yovel (jubilee) year, a new division would be in service on that Yom Kippur and thus merit to be the recipient of the kohanic gift of sdei achuzah that had not been redeemed during the prior jubilee period.


After the destruction of the second bet hamikdash, it was a minhag to study mishnayot masechet shabbat, this is evident of a mishnayot found in the Cairo gnizah where before each of the 24 prakim it is written the name of one of the 24 mishmarot..


The list of the 24 mishmarot as given in Divrei HaYamim:

  1. יהויריב
  2. ידעיה
  3. חרם
  4. שערים
  5. מלכיה
  6. מימן
  7. הקוץ
  8. אביה
  9. ישוע
  10. שכניהו
  11. אלישבי
  12. יקים
  13. חפה
  14. ישבאב
  15. בלגה
  16. אמר
  17. חזיר
  18. הפצץ
  19. פתחיה
  20. יחזקאל
  21. יכין
  22. גמול
  23. דליהו
  24. מעזיהו


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