1 Chronicles



by Ken Cayce



Ken Cayce All rights reserved.


Copyright



Table of Contents



Introduction

Chapters




Introduction


Back to Table of Contents




1 Chronicles Explained





Go To 1 Chronicles Index



Book of 1 Chronicles Explained

The books of Chronicles were originally one book in the Hebrew text. They became separated into two books by the translators of the Greek version of the Old Testament and were given a title meaning "Things Left Behind". That is, details not included in Samuel and Kings. The Hebrew title, "Daily Matters," like the English title "Chronicles," indicates that the material in these two books recounts the most important affairs in the lives of Israel's leaders, especially the kings.


The original title in the Hebrew bible read "The annals (i.e., events or happenings), of the days." First and Second Chronicles were comprised on one book until later divided into separate books in the Greek Old Testament translation, the Septuagint (LXX; ca. 200 B.C.). The title also changed at that time to the inaccurate title, "the things omitted," i.e., reflecting material not in 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings. The English title "Chronicles" originated with Jerome's Latin Vulgate translation (ca. 400 A.D.), which used the fuller title "The Chronicles of the Entire Sacred History."


"Historical setting": The books of Chronicles trace the history of Israel from the beginning of the human race until the fall of Jerusalem and the subsequent return of the Jews during the reign of the Persian king, Cyrus the Great (559 - 529 B.C.) The books appear to have been written at the end of the Old Testament era in the fifth century B.C. Since the major thrust of the books is to trace the record of how God's people stewarded their responsibilities as heirs of the Davidic covenant, the person of David is central to the material selected for inclusion by the author. The narrative of 1 Chronicles begins with a list of names that gives prominence to the Davidic line. The genealogies end with a consideration of the house of Saul, so after the account of his death, the rest of the book can deal with Israel's greatest king, David (chapters 11 - 29). The time stretches from the beginning until the early part of the tenth century B.C.


"Background": The immediate historical backdrop encompassed the Jews' three-phase return to the Promised Land from the Babylonian exile:


1. Zerubbabel (in Ezra 1 - 6; ca. 538 B.C.);


2. Ezra (in Ezra 7 - 10; ca. 458 B.C.); and


3. Nehemiah (in Neh. 1 - 13; ca. 445 B.C.).


Previous history looks back to the Babylonian deportation/Exile (ca. 605 - 538 B.C.), as predicted/reported by 2 Kings, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Habakkuk. The prophets of this restoration era were Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.


The Jews had returned from their 70 years of captivity (ca. 538 B.C.), to a land that was markedly different from the one once ruled by King David (ca. 1011 - 971 B.C.), and King Solomon (971 - 931 B.C.):


1. There was no Hebrew king, but rather a Persian governor (Ezra 5:3; 6:6);


2. There was no security for Jerusalem, so Nehemiah had to rebuild the wall (Neh. 1 - 7);


3. There was no temple, so Zerubbabel had to reconstruct a pitiful semblance of the Solomonic temple's former glory (Ezra 3);


4. The Jews no longer dominated the region, but rather were on the defensive (Ezra 4; Neh. 4);


5. They enjoyed few divine blessings beyond the fact of their return;


6. They possessed little of the kingdom's former wealth; and


7. God's divine presence no longer resided in Jerusalem, having departed (ca 597-591 B.C.; Ezra 8 - 11).


To put it mildly, their future looked bleak compared to their majestic past, especially the time of David and Solomon. The return could best be described as bittersweet. I.e., bitter because their present poverty brought hurtful memories about what was forfeited by God's judgment on their ancestors' sin, but sweet because at least they were back in the Land God had given Abraham 17 centuries earlier (Gen. l2:1-3).


The chronicler's selective genealogy and history of Israel, stretching from Adam (1 Chron. 1:1), to the return from Babylon (2 Chron. 26:23), was intended to remind the Jews of God's promises and intentions about:


1. The Land;


2. The nation;


3. The Davidic king;


4. The Levitical priests;


5. The temple; and


6. True worship, none of which had been abrogated because of the Babylonian captivity.


All of this was to remind them of their spiritual heritage during the difficult times they faced, and to encourage them to be faithful to God.


"Authorship": Jewish tradition; assigns the authorship of the two books of Chronicles to Ezra. The basic theological emphases of Chronicles in which:


1. The divine evaluation of how the people of God, and Judah in particular, responded to the revealed standards of a holy God is recorded; and


2. There is a concentration on the covenant with David, would suggest Ezra as the author.


Ezra's priestly descent and Levitical training would be in harmony with the viewpoint of Chronicles. His leadership in the establishment of the new state of Israel after the return from exile would furnish him with the proper perspective for seeing God's hand in the long history of His people. Moreover, Jewish tradition indicates that Ezra's compatriot, Nehemiah, owned a considerable library of books and documents from which Ezra, under divine guidance, could draw his source material for writing these two books.


"Date": Although liberal scholars suggest a date for the composition of these books as late as the third century B.C., neither the text nor the details of the book warrants a date of Chronicles beyond the traditional time assigned at the close of the Hebrew Canon in the late fifth century B.C. Like the author of Kings, the author of Chronicles had a number of official and non-official sources at his disposal (compare 2 Chron. 16:11; 20:34; 25:26; 28:26; 32:32; 33:18; 35:27; 36:8; see the note on 1 Chron. 29:29). As well, the biblical books of Samuel and Kings were doubtless available to him.


These records were most likely recorded (in ca. 450 - 430 B.C.). The genealogical record (in 1 Chronicles chapters 1 - 9), supports a date after (450 B.C.), for the writing. The New Testament does not directly quote either 1 or 2 Chronicles.


"Historical and Theological Themes": First and Second Chronicles, as named by Jerome, recreate an Old Testament history in miniature, with particular emphases on the Davidic Covenant and temple worship. In terms of literary parallel (1 Chronicles is the partner of 2 Samuel), in that both detail the reign of King David. 1 Chronicles opens with Adam (1:11), and closes with the death of David (29:26-30; in 971 B.C.). 2 Chronicles begins with Solomon (1:1), and covers the same historical period as 1 and 2 Kings, while focusing exclusively on the kings of the southern kingdom of Judah, thus excluding the history of the northern 10 tribes and their rulers, because of their complete wickedness and false worship. It ranges from the reign of Solomon (1:1; in 971 B.C.), to the return from Babylon (in 538 B. C.; 36:23). Over 55 percent of the material in Chronicles is unique, i.e., not found in 2 Samuel or 1 or 2 Kings. The "chronicler" tended to omit what was negative or in opposition to the Davidic kingship. On the other hand, he tended to make unique contributions in validating temple worship and the line of David. Whereas (2 Kings 25), ends dismally with the deportation of Judah to Babylon (2 Chron. 36:22-23), concludes hopefully with the Jews' release from Persia and return to Jerusalem.


These two books were written to the repatriated Jewish exiles as a chronicle of God's intention of future blessing, in spite of the nation's past moral and spiritual failure for which the people paid dearly under God's wrath. 1 and 2 Chronicles could be briefly summarized as follows:


1. A Selected Genealogical History of Israel (1 Chron. Chapters 1 to 9);


2. Israel's United Kingdom under Saul (1 Chron. Chapter 10); David (1 Chron. Chapters 11 to 29); and Solomon (2 Chron. Chapters 1 to 9);


3. Judah's Monarchy in the Divided Kingdom (2 Chron. Chapters 10 to 36:21);


4. Judah's Release from Their Seventy Year Captivity (2 Chron. 36:22-23).


The historical themes are inextricably linked with the theological in that God's divine purposes for Israel have been and will be played out on the stage of human history. These two books are designed to assure the retuning Jews that, in spite of their checkered past and present plight, God will be true to His covenant promises. They have been returned by God to the Land first given to Abraham as a race of people whose ethnic identity (Jewish), was not obliterated by the deportation and whose national identity (Israel), has been preserved (Gen. 12:1-3; 15:5), although they are still under God's judgment as prescribed by the Mosaic legislation (Deut. 28:15-68). The priestly line of Eleazar's son Phinehas and the Levitical line were still intact so that temple worship could continue in the hopes that God's presence would one day return (Num. 25:10-13; Mal. 3:1). The Davidic promise of a king was still valid, although future in its fulfillment (2 Sam. 7:8-17; 1 Chron. 17:7-15). Their individual hope of eternal life and restoration of God's blessings forever rested in the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-34).


Two basic principles enumerated in these two books prevail throughout the Old Testament, namely, obedience brings blessing, and disobedience brings judgment. In the Chronicles, when the king obeyed and trusted the Lord, God blessed and protected. But when the king disobeyed and/or put his trust in something or someone other than the Lord, God withdrew His blessing and protection. Three basis failures by the kings of Judah brought God's wrath:


1. Personal sin;


2. False worship/idolatry; and/or


3. Trust in man rather than God.


Several seeming discrepancies between Chronicles and the record in Samuel and Kings have caused liberal critics to doubt the historical trustworthiness of Chronicles. However, a careful examination of each of these cases results in a satisfactory resolution of the problem, either by the processes of textual criticism or by a sound critical explanation or interpretation of the context. The details included in Chronicles are not intended to be exhaustive, but are distinctively selected in accordance with the author's purpose of writing a spiritual history of God's people. Again and again God's faithfulness and sure hand upon the basic flow of history are seen. From start to the closing note, Israel's hope (and that of all men), is seen to lie in God's promise to sum up all things in the coming One, Israel's Messiah and the Savior of the world (1 Chron. 17:11-17 with Acts 17:26-31; Col. 1:20).





Chapters


Back to Table of Contents




Chapter Selection



Chapters



Back to Table of Contents



1 Chronicles 1 1 Chronicles 11 1 Chronicles 21
1 Chronicles 2 1 Chronicles 12 1 Chronicles 22
1 Chronicles 3 1 Chronicles 13
1 Chronicles 23
1 Chronicles 4 1 Chronicles 14 1 Chronicles 24
1 Chronicles 5 1 Chronicles 15 1 Chronicles 25
1 Chronicles 6 1 Chronicles 16 1 Chronicles 26
1 Chronicles 7 1 Chronicles 17 1 Chronicles 27
1 Chronicles 8 1 Chronicles 18 1 Chronicles 28
1 Chronicles 9 1 Chronicles 19 1 Chronicles 29
1 Chronicles 10 1 Chronicles 20

1 Chronicles 1



1 Chronicles Chapter 1

The penman of Chronicles is unknown, but some believe that Ezra compiled it. Actually, in the beginning 1 and 2 Chronicles was one continuous book. Chronicles was, also known as "The Words Of The Days". These books of Chronicles were the last book of the Hebrew Bible. Chronicles cover the time period that we have just gone through in the books of Samuel and Kings. It differs from Samuel and Kings, in that it primarily deals with David, and then with Judah, more than with the ten tribes of Israel. It also contains genealogies going back to Adam. The book carries us from Adam through the Babylonian captivity. It seems, it was compiled just after the Babylonian captivity. The Hebrews were very good record keepers, so there was a great deal of information available for this. Chronicles speaks of historical facts that have been recorded. It leaves no doubt of the sovereignty of God.


Verses 1:1 - 9:44: This abbreviated genealogy summarizes the divinely selected course of redemptive history:


(1) From Adam to Noah (1:1-4; Gen. Chapters 1-6);


(2) From Noah's son Shem to Abraham (1:4-27; Gen. Chapters 7-11);


(3) From Abraham to Jacob (1:28-34; Gen. Chapters 12-25);


(4) From Jacob to the 12 tribes (1:34-2:2; Gen. Chapters 25-50); and


(5) From the 12 tribes to those who had returned to Jerusalem after the 70 year captivity (2:3 - 9:44; Exodus 1:1 - 2 Chron. 36:23).


This genealogical listing is unique to the purposes of "the chronicler" and is not intended to necessarily be an exact duplication of any other list(s) in Scripture.


1 Chronicles 1:1 "Adam, Sheth, Enosh,"


The genealogical lists begin by demonstrating the place of the line of David, from whom the Messiah would come, among the families of mankind (1:1-3:24).


This genealogy is based on Gen. 5 and was recorded to show who Israel is and how she relates to other nations. Because the focus is on Israel, the names of Cain and Abel are omitted and only the third son of Adam, "Seth," is included (Gen. 4:25-26).


These first four verses exactly agree with the account of the time (before the flood), of patriarchs (in Genesis 5:1).


The book begins with a genealogy beginning with Adam. It is interesting that Cain and Abel are left out of this genealogy. Seth (Sheth), was born when Adam was 130 years old. There may be an explanation for this in the next verse. Cain killed Abel. Abel was in the spiritual line from Adam. Seth replaced Abel in the spiritual line.


Genesis 4:25 "And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, [said she], hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew."


1 Chronicles 1:2 "Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jered,"


Kenan mentioned in the Genealogy of Jesus (in Luke 3:36-37). Mahalaleel was a great-grandson of Seth, also a man of Judah. Jared was the sixth link in the ten pre-flood generations between Adam and Noah; he was the son of Mahalaleel and the father of Enoch, and lived 962 years (per Genesis 5:18).


Kenan is the same as Cainan. He lived 910 years. Mahalaleel lived 895 years. Jered lived 962 years and was, also, known as Jared.


1 Chronicles 1:3 "Henoch, Methuselah, Lamech,"


Henoch] "Enoch," the spelling given in Gen. (A.V. and R.V.) is less correct. (In 1 Chronicles 1:33), the R.V. gives the still better form "Hanoch," but it does not venture to alter the form of the name of the famous Enoch (Genesis 5:21).


Henoch is the same as Enoch. This is the same Enoch, who walked with God and was not, because God took him. He was the first one recorded to go to heaven without benefit of the grave. This Enoch is from the spiritual line of Adam. There was also, another Enoch who was descended from Cain. He was in the line of the flesh. There was a Methuselah in the spiritual line from Seth who lived longer on the earth than anyone else ever recorded. He lived 969 years. There was a Methuselah descended from Cain also. Lamech, descended from Seth lived 777 years. Cain had a descendent with the name of Lamech as well.


1 Chronicles 1:4 "Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth."


There is no doubt that Ham means black, or sunburnt, and Japheth (Heb., Yepheth) is probably the fair-skinned. Shem has been compared with an Assyrian word meaning brownish (sa'mu). Thus, the three names appear to allude to differences of racial complexion.


The three sons of this patriarch are enumerated, partly because they were the founders of the new world, and partly because the fulfilment of Noah's prophecy (Ge 9:25-27), could not otherwise appear to have been verified.


Noah is the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. During Noah's life, the earth was flooded, and he, and his three sons, and all their wives were the only ones saved. He built an ark on instructions from God, and saved his family from the flood. The earth was re-populated by their families.



Verses 5-23: This genealogy is based on "the sons" of those listed (in Gen. 10:2-29).


1 Chronicles 1:5 "The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras."


The genealogical record moves from the list of righteous individuals who lived before the flood, to the sons of Noah, from the widest circle of dispersion, Japheth, to Ham (verse 8), and then to the messianic line in Shem (verse 17). This line is then traced to Abraham (verse 27).


"Japheth" means wide spreading, and that is just what his family did. Gomer began the Celtic tribes and probably Germany. Magog was said to have inhabited modern Russia. Madai settled in the land later known as the Medes. Javan was believed to settle in Syria and Greece. Tubal settled in the south of the Black Sea in the area of Spain. Meshech was in the area of Moscow. Tiras probably settled the coasts of the Aegean Sea. The Gentile nations are from Japheth's descendants.


1 Chronicles 1:6 "And the sons of Gomer; Ashchenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah."


Here begins the genealogy of the sons of Noah after the flood; of the sons of Japheth the elder, in this and the two following verses. Next of the sons of Ham, the younger brother (1 Chron. 1:8), then of Shem, whose posterity are mentioned last, because from him, in the line of Heber, sprang Abraham. The ancestor of the Jewish nation, of whom the Messiah was to come, for whose sake this genealogy is given (1 Chron. 1:17).


Ashchenaz was the beginning of the Assyrians. At the time of Jeremiah, some of them lived near Ararat. They were spoken of as barbarians. Riphath is called Diphath in one Scripture. Very little is known of him. Togarmah was believed to have settled in Turkey. They were said to have traded with Tyre in horses and mules. In Ezekiel, they are spoken of as followers of Gog.


1 Chronicles 1:7 "And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim."


Elishah settled Cyprus. They were known for their scarlet and purple material they sold. Tarshish is a word we heard a lot in connection with merchants of Tarshish. It appears, they were merchants, who shipped goods by water. One meaning for the name Tarshish is melting plant, or refinery. They could have been involved in the melting of metals. Very little else is known of them. Kittim is the same as Chittim. It appears, they settled on the Mediterranean Sea. Dodanim is the same as Dardani. Troy and Illyricum were two cities which came from them.


1 Chronicles 1:8 "The sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, Put, and Canaan."


The Dark-skinned or swarthy (1 Chron. 1:8-16).


Cush was the father of Nimrod, who founded Babylon. "Cush" means black. Mizraim could have been the founder of Egypt. They were also, believed to be the founders of Philistia. Put seemed to settle in Africa. He is associated with Somaliland. Canaan was the founder of the Canaanites which included the Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, Arvadites, Zemarites, and the Hamathites.


1 Chronicles 1:9 "And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabta, and Raamah, and Sabtecha. And the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan."


"Sheba and Dedan": The same two names occur together (in 1 Chronicles 1:32), as descendants of Shem through Jokshan. Possibly the same two tribes are meant in both places, and Sheba and Dedan were of mixed origin, Hamitic and Semitic.


Seba lived in the land of Babylon. Havilah also, settled in the area of Babylon. Sabta was also, spelled Sabtah. He possibly settled in Babylon, nothing is known of his settlements for sure. Raamah were known as traders from southwest Arabia. There is nothing more known of Sabtecha. Sheba settled on the shores of the Persian Gulf. "Dedan" means depression, or low country. That is all we know of Dedan.


1 Chronicles 1:10 "And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be mighty upon the earth."


At times, special notices of importance regarding certain key people are tucked into the genealogies (verses 19, 43, 46). For "Nimrod" (see Genesis 10:8-12).


The mention of "Nimrod" includes a short explanation: "he began to be mighty on the earth." According to (Genesis 10:8-9), Nimrod become known as a great hunter. In Hebrew, his name most likely means "Rebel." He was likely the founder of Babylon, a city that became a symbol of human arrogance.


Nimrod founded Babylon. He is known as the father of Babylon. We must notice that his power is not spiritual power, but earthly power. He was a flesh man, not a spirit man. "Nimrod" means strength, or rebel. The descendants of Ham brought the first earthly kings into being. Babylon and Nimrod seem to be spoken of with evil. They were opposed to the LORD from the beginning. Nimrod was a mighty warrior.



Verses 11-12: For more on Israel's history with the "Philistines" (see Judges Chapter 13 and 1 Sam. Chapter 4).


1 Chronicles 1:11 "And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,"


Ludim seemed to have fathered the African nations near Egypt. Anamim formed an Egyptian tribe, of which nothing more is known. Lehabim seemed to father the fair-haired, blue-eyed Libyans. These particular people fought for Egypt. Naphtuhim settled in Egypt, or immediately west of it. Nothing more is known of them.


1 Chronicles 1:12 "And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (of whom came the Philistines,) and Caphthorim."


"Of whom came the Philistines": Of which See Poole ("Genesis 10:14").


Pathrusim founded Pathos. Casluhim's descendants became the Philistines. Caphthorim, possibly, founded Caphtor, and the Philistines came from there too.


1 Chronicles 1:13 "And Canaan begat Zidon his firstborn, and Heth,"


Canaan begat Zidon his firstborn. Or, in modern phrase, Zidon is the oldest city of Canaan. It is usually mentioned along with Tyre, the ruling city in later times. Sennacherib speaks of the flight of Lul, "king of Zidon," from Tyre. Esarhaddon mentions Baal of Tyre as a tributary. Of the eleven "sons of Canaan all but three or four have been identified in the cuneiform inscriptions of Assyria.


And Heth, that is, the Hittite race, called Heta by the Egyptians, and Hatti by the Assyrians. The Hittites were once the dominant race of Syria and Palestine. Carchemish, on the Euphrates, and Kadesh, as well as Hamath, appear to have been Hittite cities. Their kings had commercial relations with Solomon (1Kings 10:29). Inscriptions, in a kind of mixed hieroglyph, have been found at Hamath and Carchemish, but they still await deciphering.


1 Chronicles 1:14 "The Jebusite also, and the Amorite, and the Girgashite,"


The names which follow (until 1 Chronicles 1:17), are not the names of particular persons, but of people, or nations. And all these descended from Canaan, though some of them were afterward extinct. Or confounded with others of their brethren by cohabitation or mutual marriages, whereby they lost their names. Which is the reason why they are no more mentioned, at least under these names.


1 Chronicles 1:15 "And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,"


The Hivites are placed in the extreme north of the land, "the Hivite under Hermon" (Heb. not the LXX.). The Arkite and Sinite lived in Lebanon, the Arvadite (compare Ezekiel 27:8), on the sea-coast north of Gebal (Byblus), the Zemarite a little to the south of the Arvadite, and the Hamathite furthest to the north on the Orontes.


1 Chronicles 1:16 "And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite."


"The Zemarite" (Gen. 10:18). The inscriptions of the Assyrian monarch, Sargon (720 B.C.), mention Zimira, which is joined with Arpad (Arvad). And there can be little doubt that it is the city indicated by the term "Zemarite."


Heth was the father of the Hittites. "Zidon" means fishing. All of the Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, Arvadites, Zemarites, and Hamathites descended from Ham through Canaan. They settled the land of the Canaanites that would later become the holy land.


1 Chronicles 1:17 "The sons of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram, and Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Meshech."


Shem is the son of Noah. It is in his lineage that the Lord Jesus Christ comes. The ark was finished when he was 98 years old. Elam settled the land beyond the Tigris River and east of Babylon. Asshur founded the land of Assyria. Arphaxad would be the son of Shem the lineage of Jesus will come through, He settled north, northeast of Nineveh. This Lud settled probably in the Asian nations. Aram was the father of the Armenians, who were located in Syria and Mesopotamia. They extended into Lebanon. The maternal ancestry of Jacob's children was Aramaic. Uz was a grandson of Shem, through Aram. Hul, Gether, and Meshech (Mash), were grandsons also through Aram.


1 Chronicles 1:18 "And Arphaxad begat Shelah, and Shelah begat Eber."


Arphaxad begat Shelah; either immediately, or by his son Cainan, who is expressed (Luke 3:35), of which, God assisting, I shall speak in its proper place.


We must trace Arphaxad's family even closer, because he is in the lineage of Jesus. It appears, that he was born very soon after the flood. Shelah is also spoken of as Salah. He is the only son of Arphaxad that is mentioned. "Salah" means missile, or javelin. Eber, is sometimes called Ebet. "Eber" means the region beyond.


1 Chronicles 1:19 "And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of the one [was] Peleg; because in his days the earth was divided: and his brother's name [was] Joktan."


"Days ... divided": Peleg, which means "divided," apparently lived when the Lord divided, or scattered the human race. This division refers to the scattering of the people at the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:8-9).


"Peleg" means division. Could it be, that during the days of Peleg the earth actually separated? We must remember several things. Before the flood, it had never rained upon the earth. We know that the days of Peleg are not long after that great event. The continents did break apart at some time in history. Is it possible this is speaking of that? It is very interesting to me that "Eber" means region beyond. What is it beyond? I do not believe the statement "the earth divided" means a scattering of the people. It did not say the people of the earth divided. If the continents did separate, that is why there were people in the Americas. That could be why the American Indians tell of a great flood, as well as the people of the Mediterranean. That would even answer why there are pyramids in South America. "Joktan" means small. Very little else is known of him, except that he had numerous sons listed below.


1 Chronicles 1:20 "And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah,"


"Joktan begat Almodad": All the names of the sons of Joktan here given, so far as they have been identified, represent peoples situated in south Arabia or on the West coast of the Red Sea lying over against South Arabia.


1 Chronicles 1:21 "Hadoram also, and Uzal, and Diklah,"


Hadoram is the son of Joktan mentioned in the Book of Genesis. Uzal, in the Hebrew Bible, is a descendant of Joktan, whose settlements are clearly traced in the ancient name of Sana, the capital city of the Yemen (see Genesis 10:27).


1 Chronicles 1:22 "And Ebal, and Abimael, and Sheba,"


"Ebal", or Obal, as it is (in Genesis 10:28); such proper names being often differently written, according to the difference of times, and people, and writers.


1 Chronicles 1:23 "And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab. All these [were] the sons of Joktan."


Almodad was the father of an Arabian tribe. Sheleph's descendants were Arab's also. "Hazarmaveth" means village of death. "Jerah" means moon or month. Hadoram was another Arab tribe founder. Uzal probably founded Yemen. Nothing else is known of Diklah. "Ebal" means bare or stone. Sheba was one of the sons of Joktan, who founded tribes of Arabia. The country became known as Sheba. Nothing more is known of Ophir, except they were Arabs. Havilah founded an area north of Sheba. They were Arabs also. "Jobab" means desert howler, one who calls shrilly. It appears that all of the sons of Joktan were Arabs.


1 Chronicles Chapter 1 Questions


1. Who do most people believe compiled Chronicles?


2. What is another name for Chronicles?


3. What period of time does Chronicles cover?


4. When was it compiled?


5. What does the book begin with?


6. How old was Adam, when Seth was born?


7. Why does verse 1, of this lesson, skip Cain and Abel?


8. What is another name for Kenan?


9. Henoch is the same as ________.


10. What was he the first to do?


11. What is special about Methuselah from Seth's line?


12. Who are Shem, Ham, and Japheth?


13. What does "Japheth" mean?


14. Where did Gomer settle?


15. Cush was the father of _________.


16. Who founded Babylon?


17. What does "Cush" mean?


18. Canaan was the founder of what people?


19. What kind of a man was Nimrod?


20. Who is Shem?


21. How old was he, when the ark was finished?


22. Why is Arphaxad important?


23. What does "Eber" mean?


24. Who was Eber's son mentioned here?


25. What special thing happened in his lifetime?


26. What does the author ask about this time?


27. Who were Joktan's descendants?




1 Chronicles Chapter 1 Continued

1 Chronicles 1:24 "Shem, Arphaxad, Shelah,"


Having given a brief and general account of the origin of the world, and the people in it, he now returns to a more large and particular account of the genealogy of Shem, from whom the Jews were descended.


Between Arphaxad and Shelah (the LXX at Genesis 11:12, insert Καίναν = Heb. Knan; 1 Chron. 1:2). The name is not contained in our present Hebrew text of Genesis. Kenan may have been dropped originally, in order to make Abraham the tenth from Shem, as Noah is tenth from Adam. The artificial symmetry of these ancient lists is evidently designed. Compare the thrice fourteen generations in the genealogy of our Lord (Matt. Chapter 1).


In the last lesson, we stopped momentarily to speak of the sons of Joktan. Now the lineage goes back again, repeating Shem, son of Noah that the Lord Jesus would come through. Arphaxad and Shelah are repeated, also.


1 Chronicles 1:25 "Eber, Peleg, Reu,"


In the line of Heber, sprang Abraham, the ancestor of the Jewish nation, of whom the Messiah was to come, for whose sake this genealogy is given (1 Chron. 1:17).


According to Bertheau, the peoples descended from the sons of Noah amount to seventy, and fourteen of these are enumerated as descendants of Japheth, thirty of Ham, and twenty-six of Shem. These numbers he arrives at by omitting Nimrod. Or not enumerating him among the sons of Ham; while, on the contrary, he takes Arphaxad, Shelah, Eber, Peleg, and Joktan, all of which are the names of persons, for names of people, in contradiction to Genesis, according to which the five names indicate persons.


Eber and Peleg are repeated again. We will begin the lineage again with Reu. The name "Reu" means friend.


1 Chronicles 1:26 "Serug, Nahor, Terah,"


The tribal ancestors of the Terahites and Joktanites, peoples descended from Eber by Peleg and Joktan.


Serug is the great-grand-father of Abraham. He was 30 years old when Nahor was born. Serug is called Saruch in other Scriptures. "Nahor" means snorting or snoring. Nachor is the same as Nahor. Terah was born in Ur of the Chaldees. He lived there all of his life. We read from the Scriptures that Terah was an idolater.


Joshua 24:2 "And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, [even] Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods."


1 Chronicles 1:27 "Abram; the same [is] Abraham."


For the story about "Abraham" (see Gen. 11:26 - 25:10).


"Abram" means high father. "Abraham" means father of a great multitude. Abram married his half-sister, Sarai, and God changed their names to Sarah and Abraham and gives them a son (Isaac), who the blessings would continue through. All believers are spiritually associated with Abraham, because of their mutual belief.


Galatians 3:29 "And if ye [be] Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."


The believers in Christ are the multitudes.



Verses 28-31: These 12 sons of Ishmael developed 12 tribes and settled the great northern desert of Arabia and became Arab peoples.


1 Chronicles 1:28 "The sons of Abraham; Isaac, and Ishmael."


Adam (verse 1), Noah (verse 4), Abraham (verses 27-28), and Judah (2:3), are principal people in the record leading to David (2:15; 3:1-24).


All nations but the seed of Abraham are already shaken off from this genealogy. Not that we conclude, no particular persons of any other nation but this found favor with God; multitudes will be brought to heaven out of every nation. And we may hope there were many, very many people in the world, whose names were in the book of life, though they did not spring from the loins of Abraham.


The famous and well known ancestor of the Jews; of Ishmael his firstborn, and his posterity. Of his sons by Keturah; and of Isaac and his sons, an account is given from here to the end of (1 Chron. 1:34), entirely agreeing with that (in Gen. 25:1).


Ishmael was the first born of Abraham, but was not his heir. He was born of Hagar (servant girl of Sarah). Hagar was an Egyptian. Ishmael was the son of the flesh. He was not the son the blessings would flow through. Isaac was the son of promise. He was the son of the spirit that the promises from God would flow through. "Isaac" means laughter. He was a miracle from God that came when Abraham and Sarah were very old.


Genesis 21:12″And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called."


The spiritual blessings from God would come through Isaac.


1 Chronicles 1:29 "These [are] their generations: The firstborn of Ishmael, Nebaioth; then Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam,"


The less significant line is dealt with (verses 29-33), before turning to the main messianic line in Isaac (verse 34). In turn, "Ishmael's" line is traced first (verses 35-54), before turning to the more important line of the sons of Israel (2:1-2).


1 Chronicles 1:30 "Mishma, and Dumah, Massa, Hadad, and Tema,"


Isaiah 21:11, as a name of Edom. There is still a locality bearing this name, "Duma the Rocky," on the borders of the Syrian Desert and Arabia.


Hadad. The right reading here and in Genesis.


Tema: Taim'u, in the north of the Arabian Desert. The LXX confuses it with Teman (Assyrian Tml'a).


"Dumah" and "Tema", the great Arab tribes of Beni Teman. Thus, this writer (Historical Geography of Arabia), traces the names of all the heads of the twelve tribes of Ishmael as perpetuated in the clans or tribes of the Arabs in the present day.


1 Chronicles 1:31 "Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. These are the sons of Ishmael."


"Jetur": The Ituraeans beyond Jordan (Luke 3:1). The other names are obscure.


It is interesting that Ismael had 12 sons. They were Arabians. Ishmael's blessings were earthly blessings and not of a spiritual nature. His sons settled from Havilah unto Shur. This was near Egypt and Assyria. These twelve sons were princes and had castles. They were founders of the Arab nations of today. Ishmael lived 137 years. We will not dwell on these in this lesson, because we are tracing the lineage that leads to David.


1 Chronicles 1:32 "Now the sons of Keturah, Abraham's concubine: she bare Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. And the sons of Jokshan; Sheba, and Dedan."


Although "Keturah" was Abraham's wife after the death of Sarah (Gen. 25:1), she is classed with Hagar as "Abraham's concubine" (Gen. 35:9-12).


Most genealogies of the time recorded the names of the male descendants almost exclusively. "Keturah" is mentioned to distinguish Abraham's sons through Sarah and her handmaiden Hagar from Abraham's other sons (Gen 25:1-4).


1 Chronicles 1:33 "And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Henoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these [are] the sons of Keturah."


The famous and well known ancestor of the Jews; of Ishmael his firstborn, and his posterity. Of his sons by Keturah; and of Isaac and his sons. An account is given from here to the end of (1 Chron. 1:34), entirely agreeing with that (in Gen. 25:1).


The five clans or tribes of Midian. These, with the seven names of (1 Chron. 1:31), make a total of twelve tribes for Keturah.


Abraham married Keturah after Sarah died. This is speaking of his family with Keturah. She is spoken of as a concubine here, but as a wife in other Scriptures. It is very obvious from the Scriptures in Genesis that Keturah's children were also of the flesh, and not the spirit. Her descendants would not inherit the spiritual blessings that would come through the promised son, Isaac. These sons and grandsons seemed to be Arabians.


1 Chronicles 1:34 And Abraham begat Isaac. The sons of Isaac; Esau and Israel.


Jacob is called by his new name "Israel" in accordance with his status as the bearer of the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant (Gen. 35:9-12).


Esau was the firstborn, but the blessing would not come through him because he had no regard for his birthright. Esau will be the founder of Edom, or the Edomites. The blessing will come through Israel (Jacob). The rest of this chapter is devoted to the sons of the flesh through Esau. These are their children and grandchildren.


1 Chronicles 1:35 "The sons of Esau; Eliphaz, Reuel, and Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah."


The firstborn of Isaac; his posterity are named in this and the two following verses (as in Genesis 36:1). Only it should be observed, that Timna (1 Chron. 1:36), is not the name of a man, but was the concubine of Eliphaz, the eldest son of Esau, and the mother of Amalek (Gen. 36:12). And so, in the Arabic version it is read," and Timna, which was the concubine of Eliphaz, the son of Esau, bare him Amalek;" and so the Alexandrian copy of the Septuagint.


"Eliphaz" means God of gold, or God is fine gold. "Reuel" means friend of God, or God is a friend. Jeush was the first of the three sons of Esau by Aholibamah. Jaalam was the second son. Korah was the third son. It was in his tribe, where "duke" began to mean tribe head. All of these sons were Edomites.


1 Chronicles 1:36 "The sons of Eliphaz; Teman, and Omar, Zephi, and Gatam, Kenaz, and Timna, and Amalek."


The tribe Adites, in the center country of the Saracens, so called from his mother, Adah (Gen. 36:10).


"Teman"; gave rise to the land of Teman, near the head of the Red Sea.


"Omar"; the tribe Beni-Amma, settled at the northern point of Djebel Shera (Mount Seir).


"Zephi"; the tribe Dzaf.


"Gatam";--Katam" inhabited by the tribe Al Saruat, or "people of Sarah."


"Kenaz"; the tribe Aenezes, a tribe whose settlement lies in the neighborhood of Syria.


"Amalek"; the Beni Malak of Zohran, and the Beni Maledj of the Shat el Arab.


These names of these sons of Eliphaz are also names of Edomite villages. The tribes and the villages they controlled were named for them.


1 Chronicles 1:37 "The sons of Reuel; Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah."


"Reuel"; a powerful branch of the great Aeneze tribe, the Rowalla Arabs.


"Shammah"; the great tribe Beni Shammar. In the same way, the names of the other kings and dukes are traced in the modern tribes of Arabia. But it is unnecessary to mention any more of these obscure nomads, except to notice that Jobab (1 Chron. 1:44), one of the kings of Edom, is considered to be Job, and that his seat was in the royal city of Dinhabah (Gen. 36:32; 1 Chron. 1:43), identified with O'Daeb, a well-known town in the center of Al Dahna, a great northern desert in the direction of Chaldea and the Euphrates.


Each son of Ishmael had sons who headed up these tribes.


1 Chronicles 1:38 "And the sons of Seir; Lotan, and Shobal, and Zibeon, and Anah, and Dishon, and Ezer, and Dishan."


This man and his posterity were not of the race of Esau, but are mentioned because they were a family into which Esau, and a son of his, married, and whose possessions he and his obtained. The account from here, to the end of (1 Chron. 1:42), is the same with (Gen. 36:20), with some little variation of names.


1 Chronicles 1:39 "And the sons of Lotan; Hori, and Homam: and Timna [was] Lotan's sister."


"Timna": (In Gen. 36:11), Eliphaz has no son Timna; but he has a concubine of the name, who is the mother of Amalek, and conjectured to be Lotan's sister (1 Chron. 1:39). The best explanation is, that the writer has in his mind rather the tribes descended from Eliphaz than his actual children, and as there was a place, Timna, inhabited by his "dukes" (1 Chron. 1:51; compare Genesis 35:40), he puts the race which lived there among his "sons."


1 Chronicles 1:40 "The sons of Shobal; Alian, and Manahath, and Ebal, Shephi, and Onam. And the sons of Zibeon; Aiah, and Anah."


For "Aiah and Anah" (see Genesis 36:24).


These were all Edomites and they each had towns and tribes named for them. There is one girl in these names, Timna. The capital of Qataban was named for her. She is thought to be the mother of Amalek.


1 Chronicles 1:41 "The sons of Anah; Dishon. And the sons of Dishon; Amram, and Esh-ban, and Ithran, and Cheran."


(Genesis 36:25 adds), "and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah." (Compare 1 Chron. 1:52, "the chiliarch of Aholibamah"). Dishon, like Ammon or Israel, being the collective name of a number of tribes or clans, there is nothing strange in the expression, "The sons of Anah ... Dishon."


1 Chronicles 1:42 "The sons of Ezer; Bilhan, and Zavan, [and] Jakan. The sons of Dishan; Uz, and Aran."


"Dishan": The youngest son of Seir the Horite, head of one of the tribes of Idumea (Gen. 36:21, 28, 30).


These were all princes, sheiks, kings, or dukes of these various tribes of Edom. They are all Arabs descended from Ishmael.


1 Chronicles 1:43 "Now these [are] the kings that reigned in the land of Edom before [any] king reigned over the children of Israel; Bela the son of Beor: and the name of his city [was] Dinhabah."


"Kings ... Edom": Esau's children settled in Edom, ease and south of Israel, and are included among the Arab nations.


The listing of these "kings that reigned in the land of Edom before [any] king reigned over the children of Israel" anticipates at last two important events (in 1 and 2 Chronicles). When David ruled over Israel and defeated Edom, making them his servants (18:13); and when Jehoram, a Davidic king, turned away from the Lord, causing Edom to revolt and make a king for itself (2 Chron. 21:9). Sin always has side effects, even for those whom God chooses for a special purpose.


God was the king of the 12 tribes of Israel. They were not to have earthly kings. The Edomites blessings were of the earth, they were flesh descendants of Abraham. They were not instructed not to have kings. Their blessings were for the earth. Bela was a Chaldean and reigned in Edom by conquest.


1 Chronicles 1:44 "And when Bela was dead, Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead."


It is not impossible that this Jobab is one with Job. The allusions (in Genesis 36:11), to "Eliphaz the Temanite" have directed attention to this; and it has been favored by the Septuagint and the Fathers.


1 Chronicles 1:45 "And when Jobab was dead, Husham of the land of the Temanites reigned in his stead."


Husham was a king of Edom mentioned in the Bible (in Genesis 36:31-43). He succeeded Jobab ben Zerah in the apparently elective kingship of the Edomites. He is mentioned as being from "the land of Temani", which may refer to the Edomite clan Teman.


1 Chronicles 1:46 "And when Husham was dead, Hadad the son of Bedad, which smote Midian in the field of Moab, reigned in his stead: and the name of his city [was] Avith."


"Hadad": The name of a Syrian deity, a form of the sun-god. Compare the royal titles, Ben-hadad and Hadadezer (1 Chron. 18:3; 2 Kings 5:18). Hadad is the same as Dadi, a Syrian title of Rimmon. Perhaps the classical Attis is equivalent to Dadis. The cry of the vintagers seems to show that Hadad, like Bacchus, was regarded as the giver of the grapes (Isaiah 16:9-10).


"Which smote Midian": A glimpse of the restless feuds which prevailed from time immemorial between these tribes and peoples of kindred origin. Like the judges of Israel, the kings of Edom seem to have been raised to their position owing to special emergencies.


"The field of Moab": That is, the open country.


"Avith": Like Dinhabah, and Pai, and Masretah, are unknown beyond this passage.


All of these kings and dukes are listed to show us exactly where the opposition to Israel comes from. The flesh (represented by the numerous descendants of Ishmael), have been enemies with the spiritual line of Isaac from the time here, even unto current times. The flesh and the spirit will war until the end of time on this earth.


1 Chronicles 1:47 "And when Hadad was dead, Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead."


Samlah was a king of Edom mentioned in the Bible (Gen. 36:31-43). He succeeded Hadad ben Bedad in the apparently elective kingship of the early Edomites. He is described as being from Masrekah. He was succeeded by Saul of Rehoboth.


1 Chronicles 1:48 "And when Samlah was dead, Shaul of Rehoboth by the river reigned in his stead."


"Rehoboth by the river": Probably the same as Rehoboth Ir (in Genesis 10:11), i.e., the suburbs of Nineveh. The river is the Euphrates.


1 Chronicles 1:49 "And when Shaul was dead, Baal-hanan the son of Achbor reigned in his stead."


Also, a royal prefect of the same name (1 Chron. 27:28).


1 Chronicles 1:50 "And when Baal-hanan was dead, Hadad reigned in his stead: and the name of his city [was] Pai; and his wife's name [was] Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab."


"Baal-hanan": Some manuscripts have "ben Achbor" (as in Genesis 36:39; and in 1 Chron. 1:51). "Alvah," of Genesis, is more correct than our "Aliah." The Hebrew margin reads "Alvah" (Alwah).


"Pai": Many manuscripts have "Pau," the reading of Gen., which is right. Hadar (Gen. 36:39), on the other hand, is probably a mistake for Hadad.


"Mehetabel": El benefiteth. Perhaps Mehetabel was an Israelite, as no other queen of Edom is mentioned. But her name is Aramean.


All of this is shown to show how one generation dies off, and another comes in their place. The kings are kings because their fathers were kings, not because they are qualified to be kings.


"Hadad" is a name meaning king. It is a name very similar to Pharaoh. Pai has nothing else written about it, except what is here.


1 Chronicles 1:51 "Hadad died also. And the dukes of Edom were; duke Timnah, duke Aliah, duke Jetheth,"


Rather, "and Hadad died", and there were (or arose), chiefs of Edom, the chief of Timnah, the chiliarch of Aliah, etc. This appears to state that Hadad was the last king of Edom, and that after his death the country was governed by the heads of the various clans or tribes, without any central authority. (In Genesis 36:40), the sentence, "And Hadad died," is wanting, and the transition from the kings to the chiefs is thus effected: "And these are the names of the chiefs of Esau, after their clans, after their places, by their names. The chiliarch of Timnah," etc. The chiefs were the heads of the thousands or clans of Edom (Genesis 36:40; see note on 1 Chron. 14:1). The names in these verses are not personal, but tribal and local, as the conclusion of the account (in Gen. 36:43) indicates. "These are the chiefs of Edom, after their seats, in the land of their domain." Compare the names of the sons of Esau and Seir (1 Chron. 1:35-42). This makes it clear that Timnah and Aholibamah were towns.


1 Chronicles 1:52 "Duke Aholibamah, duke Elah, duke Pinon,"


"Duke Elah": One of the Edomite chiefs or "dukes" of Mount Seir (Genesis 36:41).


1 Chronicles 1:53 "Duke Kenaz, duke Teman, duke Mibzar,"


(Genesis 36:15): These were dukes of the sons of Esau: the sons of Eliphaz the firstborn son of Esau; duke Teman, duke Omar, duke Zepho, duke Kenaz.


1 Chronicles 1:54 "Duke Magdiel, duke Iram. These [are] the dukes of Edom."


"These are the dukes (chiefs), of Edom": Eleven names only are given, whereas there were twelve (or thirteen), chiefs of Edom (Genesis 36:15-19; see 1 Chron. 1:35-37). A name may have fallen out of the ancient text from which the chronicler derived the list.


These eleven dukes of Edom here, are speaking of them as being heads of tribes of Edom. These are probably names of people, but they are also the names of the tribes and possibly, names of the towns where they ruled their people from. In this first chapter, we have covered over 2,000 years from the birth of Adam. These dukes were reigning about 2,300 years (give or take a few years) after the birth of Adam.


1 Chronicles Chapter 1 Continued Questions


1. What lineage does this lesson deal with?


2. What is another name for Reu?


3. What does "Reu" mean?


4. Who is Serug?


5. What does "Nahor" mean?


6. Where was Terah born?


7. Abram; the same is _____________.


8. What does "Abram" mean?


9. What does "Abraham" mean?


10. Who did Abram marry?


11. Sarai was his ____________ _________.


12. What was their son's name, who the blessings would come through?


13. Who was Ishmael?


14. Who was his mother?


15. Ishmael was the son of the __________.


16. What does "Isaac" mean?


17. In ________ shall thy seed be called.


18. How many sons did Ishmael have?


19. All of them were _____________.


20. Who did Abraham marry, after Sarah died?


21. Which of Jacob's sons was the firstborn?


22. Esau is the father of the ____________.


23. What does "Eliphaz" mean?


24. Who was King of the twelve tribes of Israel?


25. Who ruled over the Edomites?


26. How many dukes of Edom are there in verses 51 through 54?


27. What other things are these named, besides people?


28. About how many years after the birth of Adam did the dukes' reign?





Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to 1 Chronicles Menu | Return to Bible Menu


1 Chronicles 2



1 Chronicles Chapter 2

From 2:1 - 7:40: These genealogies reflect the lineage of Jacob/Israel through his 12 sons. The tribe of Judah leads the list, indicating its importance, no doubt because of the Davidic heritage. After Judah, Levi receives the most attention, indicating the importance of their priestly role. Joseph (2:2), is later enumerated in terms of his sons Manasseh and Ephraim. Dan and Zebulun are not mentioned here, although they both are identified in the millennial distribution of land (Ezek. 48:1-2, 26-17). The exact reason for these omissions is unknown. Benjamin is given additional attention (in 8:1-40). The tribes are mentioned as follows:


  1. Judah (2:3 - 4:23);
  2. Simeon (4:24 - 43);
  3. Reuben (5:1 - 10);
  4. Gad 5:11 - 22);
  5. Manasseh - East (5:23 - 26);
  6. Levi (6:1 - 81);
  7. Issachar (7:1 - 5);
  8. Benjamin (7:6 - 12);
  9. Naphtali (7:13);
  10. Manasseh - West (7:14 - 19);
  11. Ephraim (7:20 - 29);
  12. Asher (7:30 - 40).

Verses 1-3: The story of "the sons of Israel" is found (in Genesis 29:32 - 50:26). The tribe of Judah (the kingly line of David), is discussed first, then Levi (the priestly line), and then Benjamin (the line from which Israel's first king would come). This order focuses on the kingly and priestly roles of Israel. Historically, these three tribes remained more faithful to God than the other tribes.


1 Chronicles 2:1 "These [are] the sons of Israel; Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun,"


Or Jacob, the other son of Isaac, who had the name of Israel given him, because of his power with God (Genesis 32:28), whose twelve sons are here mentioned by name. The first four according to their birth of Leah, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah. Then the two sons of Zilpah, Leah's handmaid, Issachar and Zebulun. And between Dan and Naphtali, the sons of Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid, are placed Joseph and Benjamin, the sons of Rachel.


1 Chronicles 2:2 "Dan, Joseph, and Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher."


Dan's undue prominence may, perhaps, be accounted for by his occupying the seventh place in the "blessing of Jacob" (Genesis 49:16).


When these twelve sons were born, their father was using the name Jacob, instead of Israel. Jacob is the name generally used when speaking of the family. Israel is the name used when he and his family became a nation. "Jacob" means trickster. "Israel" means having power with God, or God's fighter. Jacob tricked his brother out of his birthright and received the right hand blessing. Israel fathered the twelve tribes which Moses led out of Egypt to the Promised Land. Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun were all sons of Abraham by Leah. I do not know why Dan is mentioned by himself and before Rachel's children, Joseph and Benjamin. Rachel's maid, Bilhah, was the mother of Dan. Naphtali was the second son of Bilhah. Gad and Asher were sons of Leah's maid, Zilpah. These twelve sons of Jacob were the twelve tribes of Israel. God will have Moses lead them out of Egypt and give them their inheritance in the Promised Land. It was this group of people that God entrusted his law to. They were classified as God's people.


1 Chronicles 2:3″The sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah: [which] three were born unto him of the daughter of Shua the Canaanitess. And Er, the firstborn of Judah, was evil in the sight of the LORD; and he slew him."


Judah's line will eventually lead to David; hence, among the listings of Jacob's sons, Judah's descendants are specially treated. For "Er," Judah's firstborn son (see Gen. 38:7).


"Er" (Gen. 38:2-10), will forever be labeled with a one-word epitaph: "wicked." If the Lord were to write a one-word epitaph for each of us, what would He say?


Perhaps Judah is mentioned first because it will be through this tribe that God will bring the Messiah. He will be the Lion of the tribe of Judah. "Er" means watchful. The mistake that Judah made here, was marrying a Canaanitish woman. Er was killed by God for his sins, probably the worship of the false gods of his mother. Onan refused to marry Tamar, his brother's widow, and raise a child for him. God killed him also. Shelah was the young son which Judah refused to give Tamar to wife.


1 Chronicles 2:4 "And Tamar his daughter in law bare him Pharez and Zerah. All the sons of Judah [were] five."


See (Genesis 38:13-30), for the full story of how "Tamar" gave birth to the children of her father-in-law.


We must remember how this happened. Tamar's husband died, and his brothers should have married her and given her a son by their brother. It was really the father, Judah's place, to see that they did what they were supposed to. When they did not, she disguised herself as a harlot and slept with Judah. These two sons are from that union. The lineage to David goes through her son, Pharez. Pharez's twin was Zerah. Zerah's descendants were called Zarhites, Ezrahites, and Izrahites.


1 Chronicles 2:5 "The sons of Pharez; Hezron, and Hamul."


One of the above twins, born to Judah: Hezron and Hamul (see Genesis 46:12).


The lineage leads through Hezron, known also as Esrom. "Hamul" means pitied, or spared. Very little is known of him.


1 Chronicles 2:6 "And the sons of Zerah; Zimri, and Ethan, and Heman, and Calcol, and Dara: five of them in all."


Here for the first time, the writer of Chronicles draws from sources not otherwise known to us, recording facts not mentioned in the earlier Scriptures. Ethan, Heman, Calcol, and Dara, sons of Zerah, are only known to us from this passage, since there are no sufficient grounds for identifying them with the "sons of Mahol" (marginal reference).


There is little known in the Bible of these five sons of Zerah.


1 Chronicles 2:7 "And the sons of Carmi; Achar, the troubler of Israel, who transgressed in the thing accursed."


"Achar", like Er, was known for the evil he perpetuated. Achar (known as Achan elsewhere in the Old Testament), means "One Who Brings disaster". He disobeyed God at the battle of Jericho by taking spoil, a sin that resulted in Israel's defeat at Ai (Joshua Chapter 7).


It is assumed from the trouble that came on the sons and daughters of Achar that this line died out.


Joshua 7:24-25 "And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor." "And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones."


1 Chronicles 2:8 "And the sons of Ethan; Azariah."


Including his posterity (see Gen. 46:23), the posterity of the other three sons of Zerah are not mentioned, either because the writer could not find the genealogy of them, as Kimchi. Or rather, as he thinks, he cuts short the genealogy of Zerah, because the kingdom did not proceed from him, and returns to the genealogy of Hezron, from whence it did, or perhaps they had no children.


This line ends with Azariah, because there is no further mention of him.


1 Chronicles 2:9 "The sons also of Hezron, that were born unto him; Jerahmeel, and Ram, and Chelubai."


The Hezronites, who were sons of Pharez (1 Chron. 2:5), and their three lines of descent, Jerahmeel, Ram, and Chelubai.


"Jerahmeel": God pitieth.


"Ram": Called Aram in our Lord's genealogy (Matt. 1:3). The two names are synonyms, both meaning high, and are used interchangeably (in Job 32:2; Ram), and (Genesis 22:21; Aram).


"Chelubai": Strictly, the Chelubite or Calebite, a gentilic term formed from Caleb (1 Chron. 2:18). This seems to show that we are concerned here not so much with individual sons of Hezron as with families or clans of Hezronites.


Hezron was the father of the Hezronites. He was also called Esrom. The lineage that leads to David goes through his son, Ram. "Jerahmeel" means whom God loves, or God will be compassionate. His descendants are called Jerahmeelites. Chelubai is elsewhere called Caleb. "Ram" means high. In the New Testament, he is called Aram.


1 Chronicles 2:10 "And Ram begat Amminadab; and Amminadab begat Nahshon, prince of the children of Judah;"


Ram is the same with Aram (Matt. 1:3), the genealogy is carried down from him to Jesse in the same order as there, and in (Ruth 4:19). Only here Nahshon the son of Amminadab is called the prince of the children of Judah. Which Kimchi and Jarchi say is written for the honor of David, who descended from him; and Salmon his son is here called Salma.


Sometimes Amminadab is spelled with just one m. The lineage continues through Amminadab. "Amminadab" means people of liberality. His daughter Elisheba, was married to Aaron. Nahshon is sometimes spelled Naasson. He was called captain. He was a prince of Judah since God was King.



Verses 11-12: The inclusion of "Boaz" would have reminded ancient audiences of David (Ruth 4:21). It recalls his descendant, Jesus (Matt. 1:5-6), for contemporary readers.


1 Chronicles 2:11 "And Nahshon begat Salma, and Salma begat Boaz,"


Boaz is a major figure in the Book of Ruth in the Bible. The term is found 24 times in the Scriptures, being two in Greek. The root בעז, just used in the Bible in relation to "Boaz", perhaps expresses "quick".


Salma is the same as Salmon. He married Rahab and had a son named Boaz. "Boaz" means fleetness. He is, also, called Booz of Rachab. He marries Ruth the Moabitess. They are the great-grandparents of David.


1 Chronicles 2:12 "And Boaz begat Obed, and Obed begat Jesse."


In the canon of the Hebrew Bible, Obed was a son of Boaz and Ruth, the father of Jesse, and the grandfather of David. He is one of Jesus' ancestors in the genealogies found in the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke.


The name "Obed" means worshipper. The neighbors of Naomi gave Obed his name. Jesse is called a Bethlehemite, and an Ephrathite. Jesse had eight sons. His youngest was David.


1 Chronicles 2:13-15″And Jesse begat his firstborn Eliab, and Abinadab the second, and Shimma the third," "Nethaneel the fourth, Raddai the fifth," "Ozem the sixth, David the seventh:"


"And Jesse begat his firstborn Eliab, and Abinadab the second, and Shimma the third, Nathanael the fourth, Raddai the fifth, Ozem the sixth, David the seventh". But Jesse had eight sons (1 Sam. 16:10), one of them therefore is not reckoned, either because he was by another woman, and the writer only mentions those that were of the same mother with David. This is the opinion of Aben Ezra and Kimchi; some say he was dead before David came to the kingdom. Kimchi mentions a Midrash, or exposition of theirs, according to which his name was Elihu, and was younger than David, who is mentioned in (1 Chron. 27:18). And Jarchi observes, that the writer, having found the pearl (David), reckons not the eighth son Elihu. Though the Syriac and Arabic versions have inserted him in this order, "Elihu the seventh, David the eighth". Some take the eighth to be a grandson of Jesse, Jonathan the son of Shimea (2 Sam. 21:21), the third son of Jesse, here called Shimma, as he is Shammah (1 Sam. 16:9).


In (1 Samuel 16:10), Jesse had eight sons, so one of them is left out here. It is possibly because one of the sons had died early. Or he was left out, because he never married or had children. Eliab was the first son shown to Samuel to choose a king from among Jesse's sons. He was also one of the brothers at the front line when David killed Goliath. His daughter, Abihail, married Rehoboam and they had three children. Abinadab was also at the front line. He too, had been shown to Samuel, and turned down by the prophet. In fact, all of the sons of Jesse were turned down by Samuel until David. David was anointed king. Shimma was also at the battlefront. He was known as Shimeah, Shammah, and Shimea. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is directly descended from him. There is very little known of the others. David of course, is the eighth, and he is in the direct lineage of Jesus. "David" means beloved of God. David was the second king of the united twelve tribes of Israel.


David's sister "Zeruiah" is remembered as the mother of David's most capable supporters (compare 2 Sam. 2:18-32).


"Abigail" (the daughter of Nahash, the sister of Zeruiah), gave birth to Absalom's commander, "Amasa" (2 Sam. 17:25).


Verses 16-17: The sons of "Zeruiah" were not known by their father's name but by their mother's. The unusual inclusion of women like her and "Abigail" in this genealogy shows that God preserved His people in unexpected ways. For more about "Joab" (see 1 Kings 2:28-34).


1 Chronicles 2:16 "Whose sisters [were] Zeruiah, and Abigail. And the sons of Zeruiah; Abishai, and Joab, and Asahel, three."


Because David trusted the Lord to give him the throne, he would not let "Abishai" kill the sleeping King Saul (1 Sam. Chapter 26). Exercising patience and trust allows the Lord to fulfill His purposes on His timetable unhindered.


1 Chronicles 2:17 "And Abigail bare Amasa: and the father of Amasa [was] Jether the Ishmeelite."


Who was Absalom's general, afterwards reconciled to David, and designed to be made general of his army, but was slain by Joab (see 2 Sam. 17:25), and the father of Amasa was Jether the Ishmaelite. He is called an Israelite, and so in the Targum here, he being either a proselyte, or else he was an Israelite by birth, but called an Ishmaelite, because he had dwelt among the Ishmaelites some time, as Obed-edom is called the Gittite for the like reason; so Jarchi and Kimchi interpret it.


These were probably step-sisters of David. They probably had the same mother and different fathers. They were daughters of Nahash, and not Jesse. Zeruiah was the mother of three of David's generals, Abishai, Joab, and Asahel. Abigail is not the same Abigail who married David after David killed her husband, Nabal, who had insulted him. Amasa is David's nephew. Amasa joined Absalom in the rebellion against David. Joab killed Amasa.


Verses 18-24: Caleb's line is the second significant line listed (2:18-24). This is not the "Caleb" mentioned (in Numbers 13).


1 Chronicles 2:18″And Caleb the son of Hezron begat [children] of Azubah [his] wife, and of Jerioth: her sons [are] these; Jesher, and Shobab, and Ardon."


This is not "Caleb" the son of Jephunneh, who was Joshua's assistant (Josh. 14:6; 1 Chron. 45).


This is returning back earlier to Caleb, or Chelubai. It appears that Jerioth and Azubah are the same person. Nothing much is known of these sons.


1 Chronicles 2:19 "And when Azubah was dead, Caleb took unto him Ephrath, which bare him Hur." Ephrathites were people who lived in Bethlehem.


The Targum is, "Miriam, who was called Ephrath". But, according to Josephus, it was his son Hur that was the husband of Miriam the sister of Moses: which bare him Hur (see Exodus 17:10).


The notices concerning this person appear confused in our version. In (1 Chron. 2:19), he is said to be the father of Hur, whereas in (1 Chron. 2:50), he is called "the son of Hur." The words in this latter passage have been transposed in the copying, and should be read thus, "Hur the son of Caleb."


1 Chronicles 2:20 "And Hur begat Uri, and Uri begat Bezaleel."


See (Exodus 31:2), which states that: "Bezaleel, son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah," was divinely qualified for building the Tent of Meeting. Bezaleel is no doubt a person, but Hur is probably a Calebite clan, established at "Ephrath, which is Beth-lehem" (Gen. 35:19).


Hur was grand-father, and Uri was the father of Bezaleel. The Bible tells us that God empowered Bezaleel to do the work in the construction of the tabernacle and all of its beautiful work. Aholiab was his assistant. In (Exodus chapter 31 through chapter 37), we read more about all that he did. Here is just a little about that.


Exodus 31:2-5 "See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah:" "And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship," "To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass," "And in cutting of stones, to set [them], and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship."


1 Chronicles 2:21″And afterward Hezron went in to the daughter of Machir the father of Gilead, whom he married when he [was] threescore years old; and she bare him Segub."


Which Machir was the son of Manasseh, and Gilead was his grandson (Num. 26:29), the Targum is, "but he enticed a virgin, the daughter of Machir"; suggesting that he committed fornication with her, though he afterwards married her. Her name is not mentioned, but to me it seems to be Abiah, (1 Chron. 2:24), and whom the Targum there calls the daughter of Machir.


Whom he married when he was sixty years old; this seems to be his last wife.


"And she bare him Segub": The same name with the youngest son of Hiel, who rebuilt Jericho (1 Kings 16:34).


This reverts back again to Hezron. This is speaking of Abiah, the sister of Gilead. Machir, her father, was Manasseh's oldest son. At the age of 60 years, Hezron and Abiah had a son named Segub.


1 Chronicles 2:22 "And Segub begat Jair, who had three and twenty cities in the land of Gilead."


Which according to Kimchi, he inherited in right of his wife, which he says he took out of the land of Gilead. But they seem to be rather what he took by force of arms from the former inhabitants (see Num. 32:41).


Moses counts Jair as being from the tribe of Manasseh. He settled in Argob bordering on Gilead. It appears that he was involved in taking 60 of the towns, but he is allotted 23 for his family.


1 Chronicles 2:23 "And he took Geshur, and Aram, with the towns of Jair, from them, with Kenath, and the towns thereof, [even] threescore cities. All these [belonged to] the sons of Machir, the father of Gilead."


Cities or countries which the Geshurites and Aramaeans, or Syrians, before inhabited. And which he took from them, together with other towns, which, being taken by him, were called after his name. The Targum is, the Geshurites and Aramaeans took the villages of Jair from them; that is, from the sons of Jair in later times (see Joshua 12:5).


"With Kenath, and the towns thereof": Which Jair took by Nobah his general, and called it after his name (Num. 32:42), even sixty cities (see Deut. 3:4).


"All these belonged to the sons of Machir the father of Gilead": Being given him by Moses (Num. 32:40).


It appears, that Jair took these cities from Machir, who was his relative. Machir was his great-grandfather. The cities were actually Machir's sons'.


1 Chronicles 2:24 "And after that Hezron was dead in Caleb-ephratah, then Abiah Hezron's wife bare him Ashur the father of Tekoa."


Supposed to be the same with Bethlehem; and was so called, both from Caleb the son of Hezron, and Ephrath his wife (1 Chron. 2:19).


"Then Abiah, Hezron's wife, bare him Ashur the father of Tekoa": Being left with child by him at his death; the whole verse is paraphrased thus in the Targum, "and after Hezron died in the house of Caleb his son in Ephrath, the wife of Hezron the daughter of Machir was left with child, and she bare to him after his death Ashur the prince of the Tekoites". Whose son gave name very probably to the city of Tekoa (2 Sam. 14:2).


This is two different statements. Hezron died in Caleb-ephratah. His last son by Abiah was Ashur, the father of Tekoa. Ashur was born after the death of his father. Tekoa is probably not a person, but a town in Judah.



Verses 25-41: "Jerahmeel" is the final tribal line emphasized in this chapter. Hezron, Caleb, and Jerahmeel were chosen to show the line of Judah's descendants that culminated in the birth of David.


1 Chronicles 2:25″And the sons of Jerahmeel the firstborn of Hezron were, Ram the firstborn, and Bunah, and Oren, and Ozem, [and] Ahijah."


The descendants of "Jerahmeel" were associated with David during his flight from Saul (1 Sam. 27:10; 30:29).


Ram above is the nephew of Ram through whom the lineage to David flows. Very little is known of these sons.


1 Chronicles 2:26 "Jerahmeel had also another wife, whose name [was] Atarah; she [was] the mother of Onam."


Distinct from his wife before named; or "another woman", which is a phrase for a harlot or concubine (Judges 11:2), which she might be, as Kimchi observes; though the former seems best.


"She was the mother of Onam": And perhaps was the only son she bore to Jerahmeel, of whose sons (see 1 Chron. 2:28).


"Atarah" means crown. Very little else is known of her or Onan.


1 Chronicles Chapter 2 Questions


1. Who were the sons of Israel?


2. What was Israel's name, before it became Israel?


3. What does "Jacob" mean?


4. What does "Israel" mean?


5. Who will lead them to their Promised Land?


6. Who were Judah's three sons by the daughter of Shua?


7. What happened to Er?


8. Why did God kill Onan?


9. Tell how Tamar, Judah's daughter-in-law, happened to have two sons by him?


10. Which one of her sons does the lineage to David go through?


11. What is another name for Hezron?


12. What does "Hamul" mean?


13. Which of Hezron's sons does the lineage to David go through?


14. Chelubai is called _________ elsewhere.


15. "Ram" means _________.


16. What is Ram called in the New Testament?


17. What does "Amminadab" mean?


18. Salma is the same as ___________.


19. Who was his wife?


20. Who was their son?


21. Who did Boaz marry?


22. What was the name of their son?


23. Who named him?


24. What does "Obed" mean?


25. How many sons did Jesse have?


26. How many do verses 13 and 14 give?


27. Why is there a discrepancy?


28. Who was the most famous son of Jesse?


29. Who were his sisters?


30. Three of Zeruiah's sons were David's _____________.


31. Who sided with Absalom against David?


32. Who was Bezaleel?


33. Who did Hezron marry, when he was 60 years old?


34. Who had 23 cities in the land of Gilead?


35. Ashur was born _______ the death of his father.


36. What was Tekoa?




1 Chronicles Chapter 2 Continued

1 Chronicles 2:27 "And the sons of Ram the firstborn of Jerahmeel were, Maaz, and Jamin, and Eker."


"By his first wife": were Maaz, and Jamin, and Eker; of whom no other notice is taken; perhaps they left no children.


1 Chronicles 2:28 And the sons of Onam were, Shammai, and Jada. And the sons of Shammai; Nadab, and Abishur.


"The son of Jerahmeel by his other wife": were Shammai and Jada. And the sons of Shammai; Nadab, and Abishur; whose posterity are mentioned in the two following verses.


We are showing the genealogy from Adam to King David in these lessons. This Ram is the nephew of the one who the genealogy goes through. Some scholars group all of these sons under Ram.


1 Chronicles 2:29 "And the name of the wife of Abishur [was] Abihail, and she bare him Ahban, and Molid."


Of the same name was a wife of Rehoboam, a daughter of his grandfather David's eldest brother, Eliab (2 Chron. 11:18).


"And she bare him Ahban, and Molid": Which are no more mentioned, they perhaps leaving no posterity.


The name "Abihail" means father of might, or mighty. "Ahban" means brother of the wise. "Molid" means begetter.


1 Chronicles 2:30 "And the sons of Nadab; Seled, and Appaim: but Seled died without children."


The eldest son of Shammai (1 Chron. 2:28).


"Seled and Appaim": but Seled died without children": And therefore, we hear no more of him.


1 Chronicles 2:31 "And the sons of Appaim; Ishi. And the sons of Ishi; Sheshan. And the children of Sheshan; Ahlai."


Though they had each of them but one son, yet the plural number is used, their posterity being included, as (in 1 Chron. 2:8) and so in the next clause.


"And the children of Sheshan; Ahlai": Who, (from 1 Chron. 2:34), appears to be a daughter.


1 Chronicles 2:32 And the sons of Jada the brother of Shammai; Jether, and Jonathan: and Jether died without children.


"Jether and Jonathan: and Jether died without children": The posterity of Jonathan is given the next verse (1 Chronicles 2:28).


Ahlai was a daughter who married Jarha, an Egyptian slave.


1 Chronicles 2:33 "And the sons of Jonathan; Peleth, and Zaza. These were the sons of Jerahmeel."


Subscription of the list contained in (1 Chron. 2:25-33). It is noteworthy that the total of the names from Judah to Zaza again amounts to about seventy. (Compare 1 Chronicles 1; see also Genesis 46:27).


"Jonathan" means Jehovah has given. Jonathan will carry on the family of Jada, because his brother had no children. Very little is known of Peleth and Zaza.


1 Chronicles 2:34 "Now Sheshan had no sons, but daughters. And Sheshan had a servant, an Egyptian, whose name [was] Jarha."


And but one of that sort, whose name was Ahlai (1 Chron. 2:31), the plural being put here for the singular. Or, if that is the name of a son, as some think, he died in his father's lifetime, and left no issue; so that there only remained daughters, and it seems but one by the next verse.


"And Sheshan had a servant, an Egyptian, whose name was Jarha": One born in his house, and brought up by him, and a proselyte, such as Eliezer in Abraham's family.


1 Chronicles 2:35 "And Sheshan gave his daughter to Jarha his servant to wife; and she bare him Attai."


Having first given him his freedom, as the Targum premises. This daughter seems to be Ahlai (1 Chron. 2:31), which receives confirmation from Zabad, one of the descendants of this man (1 Chron. 2:36). Being said to be the son of Ahlai (1 Chron. 11:41), that is, great-grandson.


"And she bare him Attai": The genealogy of whose descendants is given to the end of (1 Chron. 2:41), of whom no mention is made elsewhere, but of Zabad, as before observed. And, according to the Jews, it is given for the sake of Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah the son of Elishama, the last person mentioned in this genealogy. Which Ishmael slew Gedaliah governor of Jerusalem, and is said to be of the seed royal (Jer. 41:1).


1 Chronicles 2:36 "And Attai begat Nathan, and Nathan begat Zabad,


There is no "and" in the original. Hence, some would read: "the sons" were born "of" or "from Ahijah," the first wife of Jerahmeel (see the next verse).


1 Chronicles 2:37-38 "And Zabad begat Ephlal, and Ephlal begat Obed," "And Obed begat Jehu, and Jehu begat Azariah,"


In the Tanakh (the canon of the Hebrew Bible), Obed was a son of Boaz and Ruth, the father of Jesse, and the grandfather of David. He is one of Jesus' ancestors in the genealogies found in the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke.


1 Chronicles 2:39 "And Azariah begat Helez, and Helez begat Eleasah,"


Bertheau reckons up to "the concluding subscription" (in 1 Chronicles 2:33), the following descendants of Judah: "Judah's sons equals 5; Hezron and Hamul equals 2; Zerah's sons equals 5; Karmi, Akar, and Azariah equals 3; Ram and his descendants (including the two daughters of Jesse, and Jeter the father of Amasa), equals 21; Kaleb and his descendants equals 10; Jerahmeel and his descendants equals 24: together totals 70." But this number also is obtained only by taking into account the father and mother of Amasa as two persons, contrary to the rule according to which only the father, without the mother, is to be counted. Or, in case the mother be more famous than the father, or be an heiress, only the mother.)


1 Chronicles 2:40 "And Eleasah begat Sisamai, and Sisamai begat Shallum,"


Shallum was the name of several people of the Old Testament. Shallum of Israel, king of Israel.


1 Chronicles 2:41 "And Shallum begat Jekamiah, and Jekamiah begat Elishama."


Jekamiah (whom Jehovah gathers), son of Shallum, in the line of Ahlai.


This is a list of Sheshan's family through his daughter and his Egyptian servant. This list of names brings this family down to about the time of David.


1 Chronicles 2:42 "Now the sons of Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel [were], Mesha his firstborn, which was the father of Ziph; and the sons of Mareshah the father of Hebron."


Called Chelubai (1 Chron. 2:9), and is the same Caleb spoken of (in 1 Chronicles 2:18), and his sons next reckoned were by a third wife, Azubah. Ephrath being dead (1 Chron. 2:19), and these sons were Mesha his firstborn, which was the father of Ziph; who gave name to the city of Ziph. There were two of this name in the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:24), or this is the title of Mesha, governor of the city of Ziph; so the Targum calls him, prince of the Ziphites.


"And the sons of Mareshah the father of Hebron": According to Kimchi and Ben Melech, the words are to be supplied thus, "and the sons of Ziph were Mareshah the father of Hebron". Which, though sometimes the name of a city in the tribe of Judah, is here the name of a man, from whom, perhaps, the city had its name, since Hebron is said to have sons in the next verse. Jarchi makes Mesha to be the prince of Ziph, and prince of the children of Mareshah, and prince of Hebron.


This reverts back to the family of Caleb. It is not connected with the verses we just read. You remember, that Caleb was brother to Jerahmeel and Ram. Caleb is the same as Chelubai. Caleb and his wife, Azubah, had two sons, Mesha, and Mareshah. Mesha had a son named Ziph, and Mareshah had Hebron.


1 Chronicles 2:43 "And the sons of Hebron; Korah, and Tappuah, and Rekem, and Shema."


One of these, Tappuah, is the name of a city in the tribe of Judah (Josh. 15:34), and there is also Beth-tappuah in the same tribe (1 Chron. 2:53), which one, or both, might have their name from this man; and Shema also (1 Chron. 2:26).


1 Chronicles 2:44 "And Shema begat Raham, the father of Jorkoam: and Rekem begat Shammai."


Which Hillerus takes to be the name of a city in the tribe of Judah; and Jarchi's note is, that wherever the word "father" is here used, it is to be understood of the prince of a city that follows.


"And Rekem begat Shammai": There is a descendant of Jerahmeel, the brother of Caleb, of this name (1 Chron. 2:28).


1 Chronicles 2:45 "And the son of Shammai [was] Maon: and Maon [was] the father of Beth-zur."


Who gave name to a city in the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:55; see 1 Sam. 23:24).


"And Maon was the father of Beth-zur": Prince of a very strong fortified city of this name in the same tribe (Josh. 15:58), unless this was a son of Maon's, from whom the city had its name.


We must continue to remember that these people are descendants of Caleb and his wife Azubah.



Verses 46-48: Surprisingly, "concubines" are mentioned within this genealogy. Although these women gave birth to children, they did not have the legal rights of a wife and were often treated essentially as slaves. Although this was a common cultural practice of the time, it was not what God desired for His people (Gen. 2:24; 1 Cor. Chapter 7).


1 Chronicles 2:46 "And Ephah, Caleb's concubine, bare Haran, and Moza, and Gazez: and Haran begat Gazez."


A half-wife or secondary wife; for though this man seems not to have had more wives than one at a time, yet he had concubines with them. We read of another after this, if not a third.


"And Haran begat Gazez": Whom he so named after his brother.


1 Chronicles 2:47 "And the sons of Jahdai; Regem, and Jotham, and Gesham, and Pelet, and Ephah, and Shaaph."


Who is not mentioned by this name before; perhaps the same with Moza, who might have two names. Though, according to Hillerus, he was the son of Moza. Some take it to be the name of another of Caleb's concubines, by whom he had the six following sons.


"Regem, and Jotham, and Gesham, and Pelet, and Ephah, and Shaaph": One of these, Pelet perhaps, gave name to Beth-palet in the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:27).


1 Chronicles 2:48 "Maachah, Caleb's concubine, bare Sheber, and Tirhanah."


Another concubine of his.


"Bare Sheber, and Tirhanah": Or of whom Caleb begot those two; for the verb is masculine; so Kimchi.


1 Chronicles 2:49 She bare also Shaaph the father of Madmannah, Sheva the father of Machbenah, and the father of Gibea: and the daughter of Caleb [was] Achsa."


Prince of a place so called, in the tribe of Judah (Josh. 15:31).


"Sheva the father of Machbenah, and the father of Gibeah": Prince of two cities of those names in the same tribe (of the latter see Joshua 15:57).


"And the daughter of Caleb was Achsa": Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, had a daughter of this name, but neither he nor she are here meant (Joshua 15:16). But by whom Caleb, the son of Hezron, had this daughter, is not said. Perhaps by Maachah his concubine last mentioned.


The only distinction we can make here, is that these are sons and grandsons of Caleb, by his concubines. These particular people are not in the lineage that leads to David and ultimately to Jesus, so there is very little known of them.


1 Chronicles 2:50 "These were the sons of Caleb the son of Hur, the firstborn of Ephratah; Shobal the father of Kirjath-jearim,"


A colon belongs after the word "Caleb. Hur" was Caleb's son by "Ephratah" (verse 19).


Ephratah was another wife of Caleb. Hur was her son. He was a companion of Moses and Aaron. His son was named Caleb, for his grandfather Caleb. Shobal was the founding father of Kirjath-jearim. This was a city of forests. It lay on the western border of Benjamin. This was once the place the Ark of the Covenant stayed.



Verses 51-52: Caleb's "sons" were associated with important places in the life of David.


1 Chronicles 2:51 "Salma the father of Beth-lehem, Hareph the father of Beth-gader."


Or prince of Beth-lehem, as the Targum. Not the same as in (1 Chron. 2:11), he was the son of Nahshon, this of the younger Caleb.


"Hareph, the father of Beth-gader": Prince of a place of that name called Gedor (1 Chron. 4:4), and where this man's name is Penuel. Gedor was in the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:58).


Salma was the founding father of Bethlehem approximately 1400 B.C. Hareph was the founding father of Beth-gader. "Beth-gader" means house of the wall, and is, probably, the same as Geder.


1 Chronicles 2:52 "And Shobal the father of Kirjath-jearim had sons; Haroeh, [and] half of the Manahethites."


Which shows that Kirjath-jearim is not the name of a man, or of any of Shobal's sons, who are next mentioned, but of a place of which he was prince. The first is Haroeh, who is called Reaiah (1 Chron. 4:2), a word of the same signification.


"And half of the Manahethites": Which Kimchi takes to be the proper name of a man called Chatzihamanaheth, another son of Shobal's; but Jarchi interprets it of the name of a place or province called Manahath (1 Chron. 8:6), over half of which Haroeh was governor.


Half the Manahethites possibly, means that these descendants were from Shobal.


1 Chronicles 2:53 "And the families of Kirjath-jearim; the Ithrites, and the Puhites, and the Shumathites, and the Mishraites; of them came the Zareathites, and the Eshtaulites."


That dwelt there, of which Shobal was prince, and who sprung from him, are as follow.


"The Ithrite, and the Puhites, and the Shumathites, and the Mishraites": Who had their names from Jether, Putha, Shumath, and Mishra, descendants of Shobal.


"Of them came the Zareathites, and the Eshtaulites": That is, from the Mishraites sprung the inhabitants of Zeroth and Eshtaol, places in the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:33).


Kirjath-jearim is a place. This just means that these various people lived in that place. Ithrites were the descendants living at Kirjath-jearim. The Puhites were descended from Shobal. The Shumathites, the Mishraites, Zareathites, and Eshtaulites were family tribes that lived in Kirjath-jearim. Very little else is known of any of them. They later were probably absorbed by other tribes.


1 Chronicles 2:54 "The sons of Salma; Beth-lehem, and the Netophathites, Ataroth, the house of Joab, and half of the Manahethites, the Zorites."


Another son of the younger Caleb (1 Chron. 2:50), whose sons were Beth-lehem. The inhabitants of the place, at least many of them, of which he was prince (1 Chron. 2:51).


And the Netophathite": The inhabitants of Netophah, a place in the tribe of Judah, mentioned along with Bethlehem (Neh. 7:26), these sprung from Salma.


"Ataroth, the house of Joab": Ataroth seems to be the name of a place in the tribe of Judah, where the family of Joab lived, the inhabitants of which were the descendants of Salma.


"And half of the Manahethites": The other half of the inhabitants of Manahath (see 1 Chron. 2:52).


"The Zorites": Part also of them, called Zareathites (1 Chron. 2:53).


Salma was the prince of Beth-lehem. "Beth-lehem" means house of bread. This would be the city where the LORD Jesus would be born. The Netophathites lived around Beth-lehem, three and a half miles south. Two of David's men are said to be of them. Ataroth was inhabited by the house of Joab. This Joab could be the same as the captain of the host for David. If he is the same, his mother was David's sister. The Zorites are connected in some way with Joab.


1 Chronicles 2:55 "And the families of the scribes which dwelt at Jabez; the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, [and] Suchathites. These [are] the Kenites that came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab."


A city in Judah, the founder of which perhaps, was Jabez (mentioned in 1 Chron. 4:9), in which learned men dwelt.


"The Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and Suchathites": Who sprung from men whose names were Tira, Shimea, and Sucha; and if they were not the posterity of Salma, yet dwelt among his, and so are reckoned with them. Perhaps the latter might have their name from dwelling in tents; the former clause may be rendered, "that dwelt with Jabez", who was their master, and they his scholars. In the Vulgate Latin version, the words are rendered as appellatives, "singing and resounding, and dwelling in tents". Conrad Pellican on the place, goes a middle way, and interprets these families as dwelling with Jabez their master, and they his scholars. And that they were called by their progenitors Tirathites, because learned and ingenious, and preceptors of the divine oracles. Shimeathites, because they diligently hearkened to the sacred songs, and the doctrines of the law of God; and Suchathites, because they dwelt not in cities, but in tents. Despisers of all worldly things, which they might freely attend to learn.


"These are the Kenites": That is, the Suchathites are the Kenites, who, it is well known, dwelt in tents, and not in cities. Though Jarchi takes these Kenites to be the inhabitants of Cain, a city in the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:57). But they seem rather to be the Kenites that sprung from Jethro, here made mention of, because some of them dwelt in the tribe of Judah, and among the posterity of Salma (see Judges 1:16).


"That came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab": The prince of that family, and who from Rechab were called Rechabites (Jer. 35:2).


For "Rechab" (see Jeremiah 35 and the note on 2 Kings 10:15).


The Tirathites, Shimeathites, and the Suchathites were families of scribes. Ezra who is thought to have compiled the Chronicles, was also a well-known scribe. We discussed before how well the records were kept. Perhaps these scribes were also interested in keeping God's Word pure. They were very careful to have each word exact when copying the Law of Moses. We all have a lot to thank the scribes for. There would be nothing to study of the Word had they not been dedicated to that task. The Kenites were a Nomadic tribe that lived near Bethlehem, mostly in the rocky country. The house of the Rechabites were part of the Kenites. David kept friendly relations with them. The Kenites were heavily intermarried with the Israelites. The Rechabites would not drink wine. These Nomadic people were people of high principles.


1 Chronicles Chapter 2 Continued Questions


1. Who were the sons of Ram?


2. Who is the Ram in verse 27?


3. What does "Abihail" mean?


4. Who did Ahlai marry?


5. What does "Jonathan" mean?


6. The list of names, which end in verse 40, bring this group of people down to what time?


7. Who were Caleb's brothers?


8. Verses 46 through 49 are a list of whom?


9. What, special, do we remember about Hur?


10. What was Kirjath-jearim?


11. Who were the families of Kirjath-jearim?


12. Salma was the _________ of Beth-lehem.


13. Who is the Joab, in verse 54?


14. Who was his mother?


15. What kind of families were the people in verse 55?


16. The Kenites were a __________ tribe.


17. What set the Kenites apart from the others?


18. We could say, they were people of ______ ____________.





Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to 1 Chronicles Menu | Return to Bible Menu


1 Chronicles 3



1 Chronicles Chapter 3

Verses 1-9: To read more about "the sons of David" (see 2 Sam. 3:2-5; 5:13-16). To read more about "Abigail the Carmelitess" (see 1 Samuel Chapter 25).


1 Chronicles 3:1 "Now these were the sons of David, which were born unto him in Hebron; the firstborn Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; the second Daniel, of Abigail the Carmelitess:"


The six following born in Hebron, who are reckoned in the same order (as in 2 Samuel 3:2), only here the second son is called Daniel, who there goes by the name of Chileab, he had two names. Here David's wife, Eglah, is said in the Targum to be Michal, Saul's daughter (see 2 Sam. 3:5). To which is added an account of his reign both in Hebron and Jerusalem, agreeably to (2 Samuel 5:5).


"David": The chief reason for such detailed genealogies is that they affirm the line of Christ from Adam (Luke 3:38), through Abraham and David (Matt. 1:1), thus emphasizing the kingdom intentions of God in Christ.


King David was the one all the other genealogies were leading to. Amnon was David's firstborn by Ahinoam. He was born while David was in Hebron. Amnon raped his half-sister Tamar. Absalom killed him for attacking Tamar. Daniel was the same as Chileab. Abigail was the wife of Nabal, whom David would have killed, if Abigail hadn't interveined. He had refused assistance to David's men. Abigail befriended David, and he later married her.


1 Chronicles 3:2 "The third, Absalom the son of Maachah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur: the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith:"


David's favorite and rebellious son (2 Sam. 15-19). The common Hebrew text has "to Absalom;" but a number of manuscripts and all the old versions read Absalom. Rabbi D. Kimchi gives the characteristic explanation that L-ABSHALOM alludes to LO-ABSHALOM, "not Absalom", that is, not a "father of peace," but a rebel.


Maachah ... Geshur: (See 1 Chron. 2:23).


"Adonijah the son of Haggith": Who would have succeeded his father, and was put to death by Solomon (1 Kings 1; 1 Kings 2:19-25).


Absalom was full brother to Tamar. Later Absalom wanted to be king, and was anointed as such. He came to an unusual death, when his long locks of hair got caught in a tree limb. Joab killed him, while he was hanging there. Maachah's father was a king in the land of Geshur. "Adonijah" means my Lord is Jehovah. He was the fourth son of David. When Amnon and Absalom were dead, he thought he was the next in line to be king. He was pardoned by his brother Solomon, for his attempt to be king. He was later killed, because he asked for his father's virgin widow, Abishag, to wife. Very little is known of Haggith.


1 Chronicles 3:3 "The fifth, Shephatiah of Abital: the sixth, Ithream by Eglah his wife."


"By Eglah his wife": Eglah is generally thought by the Jews to be Michal, Saul's daughter. Who, some think, is peculiarly called his wife, because she was his only legal wife, according to the divine institution. All the rest he took according to the custom then reigning (see 2 Sam. 3:5).


1 Chronicles 3:4 "[These] six were born unto him in Hebron; and there he reigned seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years."


These comments about the length of David's "reign" in two cities were likely inserted to refocus the narrative on David. His story is told more fully (in chapters 10-29).


For a list of David's sons (see also 2 Sam. 3:2-5).


"Shephatiah" means Jehovah judges. Very little is known of this son. Abital was the fifth wife of David. "Abital" means father of the dew. "Ithream" means residue of the people. All that is known of Eglah was that she was David's wife. She was not his main wife, which many think makes her the same as Michal. Michal had no children. This separation of the sons of David in this manner, are giving a list of those born while he reigned in Hebron. His reign would extend for 40 years. 7-1/2 of those years, he reigned in Hebron. The last 33 years that David reigned were from Jerusalem, where he was king of all 12 tribes of Israel.



Verses 5-9: These "sons" born to "David" at "Jerusalem" are mentioned again (in 14:3-7; see 2 Sam. 5:14-16; 1 Chron. 14:4-7).


1 Chronicles 3:5 "And these were born unto him in Jerusalem; Shimea, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon, four, of Bath-shua the daughter of Ammiel:"


"Bath-shua" is Bath-sheba (in 2 Sam. 11:3). The author only mentions Bath-sheba by name, minus any reference to the sin David committed with her (2 Sam. Chapters 11-12). He also does not elaborate on David's other sins and focuses instead on the fact that David was chosen by God.


Bath-sheba had been the wife of Uriah. David married her at the death of Uriah. Shimea is also called Shammua. The main thing we know of Shobab, is that his name means backsliding, or rebellious. Nathan's claim to fame is that he was in the genealogy that led to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Of course, Solomon is the son of David, who will follow him as king. He is in the lineage of David which leads to Joseph, the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Solomon builds the temple in Jerusalem.


1 Chronicles 3:6 "Ibhar also, and Elishama, and Eliphelet,"


"Ibhar" "He" (i.e., God) "chooseth."


"Elishama" Spelt Elishua in both of the parallel passages. (1 Chron. 3:5). The recurrence of Elishama ("God heareth"; in 1 Chron. 3:8), is no argument against the name here.


"Eliphelet": ("God is deliverance"), also occurs twice, and David may have chosen to give names so expressive of his own peculiar faith and trust to the sons of different wives (see Psalms 18:2; 18:6).


"Eliphelet" (called Elpalet). Hebrew, Elplet (1 Chron. 14:5). A by-form, as Abram is of Abiram, or Absalom of Abishalom, or Abshai of Abishai is omitted in Samuel.


1 Chronicles 3:7 "And Nogah, and Nepheg, and Japhia,"


"Nogah": Brightness, i.e., of the Divine Presence (Psalm 18:13). A hymn which is certainly David's. Compare Japhia, "the Shining One.".


"Nepheg" means "shoot".


1 Chronicles 3:8 "And Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphelet, nine."


"Elishama ... and Eliphelet": These two names are mentioned before (1 Chron. 3:6). It is supposed that the two children so called had died in their infancy; and therefore, David preserved their memory by giving their names unto two others, who were born afterward, and lived longer.


"Nine": Besides the four born of Bath-sheba (1 Chron. 3:5). There are only seven mentioned (2 Sam. 5:16), those two, who died early, being there omitted.


"Eliada": ("God knoweth"). The Beeliada ("Lord knoweth"; of 1 Chron. 14:7), is probably more ancient, though Samuel also has Eliada. God was of old called Baal as well as El; and the former title was only discarded because it tended to foster a confusion between the degrading cults of the Canaanite Baals, and the true religion of Israel. So it came to pass in later times that men were unwilling to write or speak the very name of Baal. And in names compounded therewith they substituted either El or Iah as here. Or the word bosheth (shame) as in Ish-bosheth instead of Eshbaal, Jerubbesheth instead of Jerubbaal.


1 Chronicles 3:9 [These were] all the sons of David, beside the sons of the concubines, and Tamar their sister."


By his wives.


"Beside the sons of the concubines; who are not reckoned, and how many they were is not known. He had ten concubines at least (2 Sam. 15:16; 2 Sam. 20:3).


"And Tamar their sister": Not the sister of the sons of the concubines, but of his other sons, and only of Absalom by the mother's side, of whom (see 2 Sam. 13:1).


These nine sons mentioned above, were sons, in addition to Bath-sheba's sons, born in Jerusalem. They also had the distinction of being sons of David by his wives. There were other sons born of concubines that are not listed here. It is unusual for two of the sons to have the name Eliphelet, but perhaps they had different mothers. Tamar is the only girl mentioned, it does not mean there were no other girls. The reason for her being mentioned was that she directly affected the happenings in the family. Usually girls are not mentioned, because the family name is carried on through her husband. In some cases when they have an impact on history, they are specifically mentioned.



Verses 10-24: Solomon, with whom the Davidic covenant is confirmed, becomes the son through whom the messianic line is continued. The names are listed in two groups: (verses 10-16), Solomon's pre-exilic descendants and (verses 17-24), Solomon's post-exilic descendants. The list ends with Anani, who was born at the end of the fifth century B.C. at the close of the Old Testament Canon.


Verses 10-16: "Rehoboam ... Zedekiah": The reigns of these descendants of David are delineated (in 2 Chron. 10:1 - 36:21).


This list of the descendants of "Solomon" could also be labeled "The kings of Judah". For more about their stories (see 2 Chronicles and 2 Kings).


1 Chronicles 3:10 "And Solomon's son [was] Rehoboam, Abia his son, Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son,"


From hence to the end of the fourteenth verse, David's successors are reckoned, according to the order of their reign, unto Josiah and his sons.


Solomon, Rehoboam, Abia, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joram, Ahaziah, Joash, Amaziah, Azariah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, in all sixteen.


Rehoboam is known as Reboam, and as Roboam, as well. Rehoboam will be the first to reign over Judah in the divided kingdom. Abia is the son of Rehoboam. Abia is known as Abijah and Abijam, as well. Abia will reign after Rehoboam. He will be a wicked king. He will be succeeded by his son Asa. Asa will do right in the sight of the LORD. His heart was right with God. Jehoshaphat was known also as Josaphat. He too, did what was right when he reigned in Asa's stead.


1 Chronicles 3:11 "Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son,"


"Joram": Jehoram, Yahweh is high.


"Ahaziah": Iah holdeth (Luke 1:54) "he hath holpen (meaning helped)".


"Joash": Yahweh is a hero.


Joram is the same as Jehoram. He married the wicked Athaliah, daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. Needless to say, he was wicked while he reigned as king. His son Ahaziah reigned in his stead. He also was an evil king. Joash reigned in the stead of Ahaziah. Joash was also known as Jehoash. He was a good king until the death of the high priest, and then he became as cruel and idolatrous as his father.


1 Chronicles 3:12 "Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son,"


"Amaziah": Yah is strong.


"Azariah": Yah helpeth.


"Jotham": Yahweh is perfect.


Amaziah became king of Judah, after his father Joash died. He began as a good king, and then died an arrogant self-centered king. Azariah, his son, began to reign at his death. Azariah is the same as Uzziah. He did what was right in the sight of the LORD. Jotham followed in the footsteps of his father. Another name he is called is Joatham. He rebuilt the temple gates during his reign.


1 Chronicles 3:13 "Ahaz his son, Hezekiah his son, Manasseh his son,"


"Ahaz": Abbreviation of Jehoahaz, which is Ahaziah.


"Hezekiah": Hebrew, Hizkiyāh, meaning "my strength is Iahu."


"Manasseh": Perhaps of Egyptian origin.


Ahaz reigned at the death of his father. Achaz, and Jehoahaz are two other names he was called. He was very wicked, like the kings of Israel. Since Ahaz was so terribly wicked, it is unusual for his son Hezekiah, or Ezekias, to be right in the sight of the LORD. The land prospered under his reign. Again, with a father like Hezekiah, it is hard to understand how Manasseh could be so evil. He was also called Manassas. He was believed to have murdered Isaiah, by having him sawn in two. He began to reign when he was 12, and he was very evil.


1 Chronicles 3:14 "Amon his son, Josiah his son."


"Amon": Probably the Egyptian sun-god Amen or Amun.


In this line of fifteen successive monarchs, the usurper Athaliah is omitted between Ahaziah and Joash (1 Chron. 3:11).


"Josiah": Iah comforteth.


Amon was very evil like his father and was killed by his own servants. Josiah was a very good king. It was said there had been no king like him. He loved the LORD and proved it during his reign. He began to reign when he was 8 years old. His mother's name was Jedidah. He was also known as Josias.


1 Chronicles 3:15 "And the sons of Josiah [were], the firstborn Johanan, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum."


"Jehoiakim," who ruled in Judah, was an evil king, even though his father "Josiah" had been faithful to God (Jeremiah Chapter 22; 2 Kings 22-23).


Johanan, was the same as Jehoahaz. He was very evil. He reigned for a short time, and then Jehoiakim took his place as king. Jehoiakim and Eliakim are the same person. He was evil as well. Zedekiah was also called Mattaniah. He was uncle to Nebuchadnezzar. Shallum is believed by some to be another name for one of his brothers. He adds very little to the genealogy either way.


1 Chronicles 3:16 "And the sons of Jehoiakim: Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son."


"Jeconiah": God's curse resulting in no royal descendants from the line of Jeconiah (a.k.a. Jehoiachin), as given by Jeremiah (Jer. 22:30), was enforced by God. Even though Jeconiah was in the line of Christ, the Messiah was not a physical child of that line, thus affirming the curse, yet sustaining the legality of His kinship through Joseph, who was in David's line His blood birthright came through Mary, who traced her line to David through his son Nathan, not Solomon (Luke 3:31).


Jehoiakim was known as Jechonias, Jechoniah, Jeconiah and Coniah. He was captured and led to Babylon where he spent the next 36 years and then released. Zedekiah who was blinded and taken captive to Babylon could be the one mentioned above.



Verses 17-24: This list traces the Davidic line from the exile to when it was written, right after the exile. Among the list of the postexilic descendants of David is Zerubbabel," one of Israel's heroes, who led the people of Judah back to their homeland (see the Book of Ezra). He is also mentioned in the genealogies of Jesus recorded in Matthew Chapter 1 and Luke Chapter 3.


1 Chronicles 3:17 "And the sons of Jeconiah; Assir, Salathiel his son,"


Apparently "Assir's" daughter must have been married to Neri from the Davidic line of Nathan, so "Salathiel" (or Shealtiel, compare Ezra 3:8), was "son" of "Assir" and Jeconiah" (or Jehoiachin, compare 2 Kings 24:6) only through Assir's daughter.


The name "Assir" means prisoner. He does not take over as king in his father's place. The rendering of the verse above, could be Jeconiah the prisoner. Salathiel does become a puppet king.


1 Chronicles 3:18 "Malchiram also, and Pedaiah, and Shenazar, Jecamiah, Hoshama, and Nedabiah."


That is, was a son of Jeconiah as well as Salathiel, and so the rest that follow.


"And Pedaiah, and Shenazar, Jecamiah, Hoshama, and Nedabiah": Kimchi says these were the sons of Salathiel; but I rather think they were the sons of Jeconiah, and brethren of Salathiel, because of what follows.


1 Chronicles 3:19 "And the sons of Pedaiah [were], Zerubbabel, and Shimei: and the sons of Zerubbabel; Meshullam, and Hananiah, and Shelomith their sister:"


Apparently Salathiel died without a son. Accordingly, "Pedaiah," his brother, married his widow and gave birth to "Zerubbabel." The purpose of such a levirate marriage (Deut. 25:5-10), and the notes (on Ruth 3:9 and 4:9-10), was to maintain the dead husband's line. Hence, Zerubbabel is legally the son of Salathiel. The genealogical lists of Jesus found (in Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38), find a common ground of meeting in Salathiel and Zerubbabel (Matt. 1:12; Luke 3:27). Zerubbabel was the leader of the exiles who later returned from Babylon to Jerusalem (compare Ezra 2:2; Neh. 12:1). He became the governor of Judah (Hag. 2:21), and was associated with the ministry of the prophet Haggai and Zechariah (Ezra 5:1-2), who held him in high esteem (Hag. 2:23; Zech. 4:6-10).


Zerubbabel is the one the lineage continues through. Zorobabel is another name he is known by. He lived in the time of Cyrus, and was thought of as prince of Judah. He led the first captives back to Jerusalem. He would attempt to rebuild the altar to Jehovah.


1 Chronicles 3:20 "And Hashubah, and Ohel, and Berechiah, and Hasadiah, Jushab-hesed, five."


These five sons form a second group of Zerubbabel's children, probably by another wife. The 5 of union seems to have fallen out before the last name, Jushab-hesed.


1 Chronicles 3:21 "And the sons of Hananiah; Pelatiah, and Jesaiah: the sons of Rephaiah, the sons of Arnan, the sons of Obadiah, the sons of Shechaniah."


"The sons of Shechaniah": All these, both parents and their sons blended together, are mentioned as the sons of Hananiah, and branches of the royal stock. Six including the father. But the Hebrew word, shisha, which is rendered six, may be the proper name of one of the sons of Shemaiah. As the family of David was the most considerable of any of the tribe of Judah, the genealogy of his descendants was preserved with great care and exactness. And is here recorded in part, to assist us in tracing the descent of our Lord Jesus Christ from him, that we might have that proof, among others, of his being the true Messiah.


The only reason it seems for giving these numerous names is to show the family ties. There is really nothing significant in the genealogy to Jesus through this.


1 Chronicles 3:22 "And the sons of Shechaniah; Shemaiah: and the sons of Shemaiah; Hattush, and Igeal, and Bariah, and Neariah, and Shaphat, six."


"Six": Only 5 sons are named, so the number includes their father Shemaiah.


1 Chronicles 3:23 "And the sons of Neariah; Elioenai, and Hezekiah, and Azrikam, three."


"Elioenai": Unto Iah (are), mine eyes (Psalm 123:1-2 is an expansion of the same idea; compare also Psalm 25:15). An Elioenai went up with Ezra (Ezra 8:4).


1 Chronicles 3:24 "And the sons of Elioenai [were], Hodaiah, and Eliashib, and Pelaiah, and Akkub, and Johanan, and Dalaiah, and Anani, seven."


"The sons of Elioenai ... Hodaiah": These sons of Elioenai are the sixth generation from Zerubbabel (536-515 B.C.). That is to say, they were living about 345 B.C. under Artaxerxes Ochus. If the reading of the (LXX in 1 Chron. 3:21 be correct), their date is four generations later, or about 225 B.C. The result is to bring down the date of the chronicle a century lower than the best critics approve.


1 Chronicles Chapter 3 Questions


1. Who was David's firstborn son?


2. Who was his mother?


3. Who was the second son?


4. What terrible thing did Amnon do, when he was grown?


5. What happened to him for this sin?


6. Whose wife had Abigail been, before she married David?


7. Who was Absalom's mother?


8. What relation was Absalom to Tamar?


9. How did Absalom die?


10. What does "Adonijah" mean?


11. Why was Adonijah killed?


12. Who was Abital?


13. How long did David reign in Hebron?


14. How long did he reign in Jerusalem?


15. Who was David king of?


16. Bath-shua is the same as _______________.


17. What was her first husband's name?


18. How many sons did she bare David?


19. What special claim to fame does Nathan have?


20. Which son followed David as king?


21. Who built the temple in Jerusalem?


22. Were the nine sons of David in verses 6, 7, 8, and 9 all of his sons?


23. Which of Solomon's sons is mentioned in verse 10?


24. What are some other names for him?


25. Who would he rule over?


26. What kind of a king will Abia be?


27. What kind of king is Asa?


28. Who reigned in Asa's stead?


29. What wicked woman did Joram marry?


30. Tell of the reign of Joash?


31. What special thing did Jotham do during his reign?


32. Describe Hezekiah's reign?


33. What terribly evil thing was Manasseh believed to have done?


34. Which king was blinded and led captive to Babylon?


35. What does "Assir" mean?





Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to 1 Chronicles Menu | Return to Bible Menu


1 Chronicles 4



1 Chronicles Chapter 4

4:1 "The sons of Judah; Pharez, Hezron, and Carmi, and Hur, and Shobal."


Having traced the basic messianic line, the author returns to the sons of Jacob (Israel), in their wider extent, bringing the list of names to a conclusion with a special consideration of the family of Saul (4:1 - 9:44), probably as a prelude to a rehearsal of Saul's death (Chapter 10). All of this forms a backdrop to the main theme of (1 Chronicles), the history of David (Chapters 11-29).


This goes back to the time of the twelve sons of Israel. In this lesson, we are tracing the lineage of the tribe of Judah. Much of this we dealt with in the last lesson. "Judah" means God be praised. Pharez is one of the twin sons of Judah by his daughter-in-law Tamar. Hezron is Judah's grandson. Carmi is his descendent through the other twin Zarah. Hur is his descendent through Caleb. Shobal is a descendent of Hur. Many times, the word "sons" is used loosely to mean descendants.


1 Chronicles 4:2 "And Reaiah the son of Shobal begat Jahath; and Jahath begat Ahumai, and Lahad. These [are] the families of the Zorathites."


Reaiah is the same with Haroeh (1 Chron. 2:52), the names are of the same signification.


"And Jahath begat Ahumai, and Lahad. These are the families of the Zorathites": Who inhabited Zoreah, as the Targum, at least part of it (see 1 Chron. 2:53).


This is an unusual place to begin, but perhaps, the penman believes enough had already been recorded about the earlier sons and grandsons of Judah. Reaiah is the same as Haroeh. Ahumai and Lahad, brothers that formed the Zorathites. They were people of the town of Zorah in the lowlands of Judah.


1 Chronicles 4:3 "And these [were of] the father of Etam; Jezreel, and Ishma, and Idbash: and the name of their sister [was] Hazelelponi:"


Or of the prince of Etam: or, as the Targum, these are princes that dwelt in Etam, a place not far from Zorah (Judges 15:8), And is mentioned with Beth-lehem and Tekoa in the tribe of Judah (2 Chron. 11:6), namely, which follow.


"Jezreel, and Ishma, and Idbash": These were the sons of the governor of Etam.


"And the name of their sister was Hazelelponi": Who, perhaps, was a person of great note in those days, though now unknown.


1 Chronicles 4:4 "And Penuel the father of Gedor, and Ezer the father of Hushah. These [are] the sons of Hur, the firstborn of Ephratah, the father of Beth-lehem."


The prince of that place, according to some, and the same with Hareph (1 Chron. 2:51).


"And Ezer the father of Hushah": Thought to be the same with Shuah (1 Chron. 4:11).


"These are the sons of Hur, the firstborn of Ephratah": Caleb's wife (1 Chron. 2:19), the Targum adds, the same with Miriam; and so other Jewish writers say, Miriam had two names, and one was Ephratah": Though Josephus makes Hur to be her husband, and not her son, as here.


"The father of Bethlehem": Of the inhabitants of that city, at least part of them, or prince of that place, as his grandson Salma also was (1 Chron. 2:51).


Etam was a rocky place just out of Bethlehem. Jezreel, Ishma, Idbash, and Hazelelponi settled there. In verse 4, Penuel founded Geder. Ezer founded Hushah. Hur, through Caleb and Salma, founded Beth-lehem. Ephratah and Bethlehem are the same.


1 Chronicles 4:5 "And Ashur the father of Tekoa had two wives, Helah and Naarah."


A son of Hezron by Abiah (1 Chron. 2:24).


"Had two wives, Helah and Naarah": As Lamech had, polygamy not being reckoned unlawful in those times.


1 Chronicles 4:6 "And Naarah bare him Ahuzam, and Hepher, and Temeni, and Haahashtari. These [were] the sons of Naarah."


Of whom we have no account elsewhere.


"These were the sons of Naarah": The second wife of Ashur.


1 Chronicles 4:7 "And the sons of Helah [were], Zereth, and Jezoar, and Ethnan."


The other wife.


"Were Zereth, and Zoar, and Ethnan": Nowhere else mentioned.


Tekoa is a place that was founded by Ashur. This is speaking of the two wives of Ashur. Ashur was a son of Hezron, who was born after the death of his father. Ashur had two wives named Helah and Naarah. Each of his wives had several sons, and they all seemed to settle in Tekoa.


1 Chronicles 4:8 "And Coz begat Anub, and Zobebah, and the families of Aharhel the son of Harum."


Another son of Helah, and brother of the before mentioned.


"Begat Anub, and Zobebah": Of whom we nowhere else read.


"And the families of Aharhel, the son of Harum": These were of the posterity of Coz; the Targum is.


"And the family of Aharhel": This is Hur, the firstborn of Miriam; which is not at all probable.



Verses 9-10: The retention of this historical information probably indicates that "God" had granted Jabez's request. His good accomplishments thus contradict his name, "Son of Sorrow."


"Jabez" asked God to turn any curse associated with his name, which means "He Will Cause Pain", into a blessing. The Lord's willingness to hear human prayers should not be taken for granted.


1 Chronicles 4:9 "And Jabez was more honorable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow."


The Targum adds, "and wiser in the law than his brethren;' or he might be a man of great wealth and riches, or of great strength and courage, all which make a man honorable. Or he may be so called, because a praying man, as follows, a man of devotion and religion, a man of God (see 1 Sam. 9:6). But who he was is not easy to say, probably a son or brother of Harum, or however that belonged to one of the families of Aharhel, mentioned in the preceding verse. For that he was Othniel, as say the Targumist and other Jewish writers, is not probable, and besides is after spoken of distinct from him (1 Chron. 4:13).


"And his mother called his name Jabez, saying, because I bare him with sorrow": Either with sorrow for her husband, being dead, or by reason of very sharp pains she endured at the birth of him. He was another Benoni.


1 Chronicles 4:10 "And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep [me] from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested."


When he was undertaking some great and dangerous service.


"Oh that thou wouldst bless me indeed": I trust not to my own or people's valor, but only to thy blessing and help.


"Enlarge my coast": Drive out these wicked and cursed Canaanites, whom thou hast commanded us to root out, and therefore I justly beg and expect thy blessing in the execution of thy command.


"That thine hand might be with me": To protect and strengthen me against my adversaries.


"That thou wouldst keep me from evil": Or work with (for so the Hebrew prefix mem is sometimes used, as SOS 1:2, 3:9; Isa. 5:7-8), i.e. so-restrain and govern it.


"That it may not grieve me": That it may not oppress and overcome me, which will be very grievous to me. The consequent put for the antecedent; and more is understood than is expressed. He used this expression in allusion to his name, which signifies grief: Lord, let me not have that grief which my name implies, and which my sin deserves.


The families of all the aforementioned people from Coz to Jabez are not mentioned directly. We may safely assume they are of the tribe of Judah, since we are studying that at the moment. We also know that Jabez is acquainted with the God of Israel, because he prayed and God answered his prayer. Little else is known.


1 Chronicles 4:11 "And Chelub the brother of Shuah begat Mehir, which [was] the father of Eshton."


If Shuah is the same with Hushah (1 Chron. 4:4), then Chelub was the son of Ezer.


"Which was the father of Eshton": Not the prince of a place called Eshton, as Vatablus; for it is the name of a man, the son of Mehir, and who in the next verse is said to beget sons.


1 Chronicles 4:12 "And Eshton begat Beth-rapha, and Paseah, and Tehinnah the father of Ir-nahash. These [are] the men of Rechah."


Or the family of Rapha.


"And Paseah, and Tehinnah the father of Ir-nahash": Or the city of Nahash. Tehinnah seems to have been the prince or governor of a city, so called.


"These are the men of Rechah": These sons of Eshton dwelt in a place called Rechah. The Targum, without any reason, says these are the men of the great Sanhedrim.


Chelub is unknown, except for the fact mentioned in the Scripture above. Rechah is an unidentified place in Judah, where this family lived.



Verses 13-15: For "Othniel" and "Caleb" (see the note on Joshua 15:17-19).


1 Chronicles 4:13 "And the sons of Kenaz; Othniel, and Seraiah: and the sons of Othniel; Hathath."


Even when their enemies conquered the Israelites as a result of sin, God did not forget. He sent judges to rescue them (Judges 3:9).


"Othniel" was the first judge in Israel (Judges Chapter 3).


1 Chronicles 4:14 "And Meonothai begat Ophrah: and Seraiah begat Joab, the father of the valley of Charashim; for they were craftsmen."


Another son of Othniel, "Begat Ophrah".


"And Seraiah": the brother of Othniel "Begat Joab". Not David's general, but another of the same name, who lived long before him (see 1 Chron. 2:54).


"The father of the valley of Charashim": Of the inhabitants of the valley, or the prince of them, called the valley of craftsmen (Neh. 11:35), the reason of which is here given.


"For they were craftsmen": That dwelt in it, carpenters and smiths, both which the word signifies, men that wrought in stone, wood, and iron.


Kenaz was Caleb's younger brother, according to (Judges Chapter 3 verse 9). He was connected to the Kenizzites. Othniel delivered the people from Kirjath-sepher, and they had peace 40 years. He was the first judge of Israel after the death of Joshua. Seraiah was brother to Othniel, and father to Joab. Hathath was son of Othniel of the tribe of Judah. Meonothai was the father of Ophrah. Possibly he is the brother of Hathath. Joab seemed to have settled the valley of Charashim. "Charashim" means craftsmen.


1 Chronicles 4:15 "And the sons of Caleb the son of Jephunneh; Iru, Elah, and Naam: and the sons of Elah, even Kenaz."


This is the "Caleb" who was sent into the land God promised Israel (Num. Chapter 14).


This Caleb is descended from the Caleb who was son of Hur. Kenaz as well as this Caleb, are the sons of Jephunneh, the Kenezite. The second Caleb had a grandson named Kenaz, who was the son of Elah. Iru and Naam were brothers of Elah.


1 Chronicles 4:16 "And the sons of Jehaleleel; Ziph, and Ziphah, Tiria, and Asareel."


"Ziph, and Ziphah, Tiria, and Asareel": There were two cities in the tribe of Judah of the name of Ziph (Joshua 15:24), which might be called from these men, or from Ziph (in 1 Chron. 2:42).


This descendent and his sons are from the tribe of Judah, but we do not know who Jehaleleel's father was.


1 Chronicles 4:17 "And the sons of Ezra [were], Jether, and Mered, and Epher, and Jalon: and she bare Miriam, and Shammai, and Ishbah the father of Eshtemoa."


Who was perhaps the son of Asareel, last mentioned.


"Jether, and Mered, and Epher, and Jalon": Only one of them, Mered, is after mentioned.


"And she bare Miriam": Which is not the name of a woman, but of a man, as Kimchi observes. And, according to him, his mother was the wife of Mered, which he gathers from the next verse; though she seems to be the wife of Ezra, who bare him other sons.


"And Shammai, and Ishbah the father of Eshtemoa; a prince of a city in the tribe of Judah, so called (Joshua 15:50).


This is not the same Ezra, who penned the book by that name. This is Ezra of Judah and no more is known of him. This connection with the other names earlier are difficult. Eshtemoa is an area where they settled.


1 Chronicles 4:18 "And his wife Jehudijah bare Jered the father of Gedor, and Heber the father of Socho, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah. And these [are] the sons of Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh, which Mered took."


The marriage of a "daughter of Pharaoh" to an otherwise unknown Hebrew is extremely extraordinary (see the note on 1 Kings 3:1).


The inclusion of "Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh" is a nod to the Egyptian influence in Israel's heritage.


It appears, that Jehudijah had children by Jered, the founder of Gedor. Jekuthiel was the founder of Zanoah. Heber settled in Socho. Mered took Bithiah, the daughter of the Pharaoh, and had children by her.


1 Chronicles 4:19 "And the sons of [his] wife Hodiah the sister of Naham, the father of Keilah the Garmite, and Eshtemoa the Maachathite."


Another wife of Mered. Hillerus takes her to be the same with Jehudijah (1 Chron. 4:18), though some take Hodiah to be the name of a man, and read the words, "and the sons of the wife of Hodiah"; which wife of Hodiah was:


"The sister of Naham": Or rather Achotnaham, we render the sister of Naham, is the name of the first son of Hodiah, as some think:


"The father of Keilah the Garmite": Prince of the city of Keilah, in the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:44), who sprung from the family of Garmi.


"And Eshtemoa the Maachathite": The father or prince of the inhabitants of Eshtemoa, another city in the same tribe (see 1 Chron. 4:17), who sprung from Maachah (see 1 Chron. 2:48).


Hodiah is one of the wives of Mered. Hodiah is the same as Jehudijah (in verse 18). She is Hebrew and Bithiah was Egyptian. Hodiah was the mother of Heber and Jered. Keilah is a city in the plains of Judah. Eshtemoa is a mountain town of Judah just out of Hebron. The Maachathites inhabit a small kingdom near Palestine. They had warriors among the mighty men of Israel.


1 Chronicles 4:20 "And the sons of Shimon [were], Amnon, and Rinnah, Ben-hanan, and Tilon. And the sons of Ishi [were], Zoheth, and Ben-zoheth."


Perhaps another son of Mered by his last wife, or the same with Shammai (1 Chron. 4:17).


"Amnon, and Rinnah, Ben-hanan, and Tilon": Nowhere else mentioned.


"And the sons of Ishi": Who it may be was the brother of Shimon or Tilon.


"Zoheth, and Ben-zoheth": Of whom we know no more than their names.


These names must remain as just some of the descendants of Judah. There are no Scriptures which shed more light upon them.



Verses 21-23: The genealogy of "Simeon" includes the names of towns and regions, presumably to show that its land was part of Judah's territory.


1 Chronicles 4:21 "The sons of Shelah the son of Judah [were], Er the father of Lecah, and Laadah the father of Mareshah, and the families of the house of them that wrought fine linen, of the house of Ashbea,"


The genealogy of the posterity of Judah, in the lines of Pharez and Zerah, being given. And very largely in that of the former, because of the honor of David, and his kingdom, which sprang from thence, as Jarchi observes. And also the King Messiah, the writer returns to give an account of his posterity by Shelah, a son he had by the daughter of Shuah (Gen. 38:2). And the only one that had children, which were as follows:


"Er the father of Lecah": Prince of a city of this name in the tribe of Judah. Shelah gave him the name of Er, in memory of his brother (Gen. 38:3).


"And Laadah the father of Mareshah": Prince of a city of this name in the same tribe (Joshua 15:44).


"And the families of the house of them that wrought fine linen, of the house of Ashbea": Which last clause explains what house these families were of, which sprang from Shelah, and were employed in making fine linen. The Targum adds, for the garments of kings and priests, or for the curtains of the tabernacle. As Jarchi; for not with the Egyptians and Greeks only fine linen was made, but among the Hebrews, as Pausanias testifies.


In this particular case, the son of Judah was a son of Judah, and not a descendent further down the line. Shelah was a son of Judah by his Canaanite wife, Shuah. This Er was a Shelanite. He was a nephew of the first Er. He was the brother of Laadah. Mareshah is also a Shelanite. He founded a place by the same name. It is interesting that families that had a trade, taught their children and grandchildren. In this particular case, they wrought fine linen.


1 Chronicles 4:22 "And Jokim, and the men of Chozeba, and Joash, and Saraph, who had the dominion in Moab, and Jashubi-lehem. And [these are] ancient things."


"Who had the dominion in Moab": Which they ruled in the name and for the use of the kings of Judah, to whom Moab was subject from David's time.


"Ancient things": The sense is, those blessed times are long since past. Our ancestors had the dominion over the heathen, but their degenerate posterity are slaves in Chaldea, where they are employed as potters or gardeners, or in other servile works


Jokim, Joash, and Saraph were descended from Shelah. Chozeba is a city in the lowlands of Judah. Moab is the heathen land that Ruth came from. "Jashubi-lehem" means returner of bread. This is speaking of a place.


1 Chronicles 4:23 "These [were] the potters, and those that dwelt among plants and hedges: there they dwelt with the king for his work."


Or are the potters; the posterity of those men, who were so famous in their day, are now of mean employments: some of them made earthen pots.


"Dwelt among plants and hedges": Or were employed in planting gardens and orchards, and making fences for them; or, as others think, "dwelt in Netaim and Gadara", cities in the tribe of Judah.


"There they dwelt with the king for his work": To make pots, plant gardens, and set hedges for him; either for the king of Judah, or it may be for the king of Babylon, where they were carried captive, and now chose to remain, doing those servile works for the king, without the city, in the fields.


This is the end of the genealogy of the tribe of Judah. These people, who worked as potters and were primarily workers for the various kings.


1 Chronicles 4:24 "The sons of Simeon [were], Nemuel, and Jamin, Jarib, Zerah, [and] Shaul:"


The account of whom, next to the tribe of Judah, is given before Reuben, because its inheritance lay in the tribe of Judah (Joshua 19:1). His sons were Nemuel, the same with Jemuel (Gen. 46:10).


"And Jamin, Jarib, Zerah, and Shaul": Who, in the place referred to, is said to be the son of a Canaanitish woman; and Jarib and Zerah are the same with Jachin and Zohar there. And Obed is here omitted, it may be because he died without issue (see Num. 26:12).


This jumps to the genealogy of the tribe of Simeon. "Simeon" means hearing. His descendants were called Simeonites. For some reason, Ohad is skipped in the sons of Simeon. (Num. 26:12-14), have the same names as listed here. Ohad is listed as one of the sons (in Gen. 46:10). Their mother was a Canaanitish woman. Nemuel is the same as Jemuel. His descendants were Nemulites. "Jamin" means right hand. His descendants were called Jaminites. "Jarib" means he will contend. His descendants became the Jachinites. Zerah is the same as Zohar. They became the Zerahites. "Shaul" means asked of God. They became the Shaulites.


1 Chronicles 4:25 "Shallum his son, Mibsam his son, Mishma his son."


The son of Shaul, and Mibsam was the son of Shallum, and Mishma the son of Mibsam.


1 Chronicles 4:26 "And the sons of Mishma; Hamuel his son, Zacchur his son, Shimei his son."


These were Hamuel, Zacchur, and Shimei.


1 Chronicles 4:27 "And Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters; but his brethren had not many children, neither did all their family multiply, like to the children of Judah."


These were Hamuel, Zacchur, and Shimei. None of which are mentioned by name.


"But his brethren had not many children": Hamuel and Zacchur.


"Neither did all their family multiply like to the children of Judah": To show the fruitfulness and great increase of which tribe, the genealogical account of it, in this and the two preceding chapters, is given.


All of these are speaking of the descendants of Shaul. It appears, he was the only son in the family who had large families. Shaul's descendent, Shimei, was the one who had sixteen sons and six daughters. The tribe of Simeon did not multiply as greatly as the tribe of Judah.


1 Chronicles 4:28 "And they dwelt at Beer-sheba, and Moladah, and Hazar-shual,"


Posterity of Simeon; and this and the other places of their habitation are mentioned in the same order, and with very little variation of names to the end of (1 Chron. 4:31), as in (Joshua 19:2), and here, at (1 Chron. 4:31), it is added "These were their cities unto the reign of David". When, according to Kimchi, and other Jewish writers, he expelled them from thence, and restored them to the tribe of Judah.


1 Chronicles 4:29 "And at Bilhah, and at Ezem, and at Tolad,"


Many of the places assigned to Simeon in this list are reckoned among the towns of the extreme south of Judah in (Joshua 15:26), et seq. Bilhah, or Balah, is, perhaps, Baalah (Joshua 15:29); Ezem (Authorized Version, Azem) and Eltolad are also mentioned there. Their sites are unknown.


1 Chronicles 4:30 "And at Bethuel, and at Hormah, and at Ziklag,"


Called Chesil in (Joshua 15:30; Joshua 19:4 has Bethl), a contraction like Hamul for Hamuel (1 Chron. 4:26; compare 1 Chron. 2:5).


"Hormah": The ancient Zephath (Judges 1:17), now Sepata.


"Ziklag": Now Kasluj, east of Sepata (Joshua 15:30-31; 1 Sam. 27:6).


1 Chronicles 4:31 "And at Beth-marcaboth, and Hazar-susim, and at Beth-birei, and at Shaaraim. These [were] their cities unto the reign of David."


"Beth-marcaboth": "house of chariots."


"Hazar-susim": "village of horses;" for which Hazar-susah is an equivalent (susah being used as a collective word).


"Beth-birei": Probably a corrupt writing of Beth-lebaoth, "house of lionesses" (Joshua 19:6), for which (Joshua 15:32), has the contraction Lebaoth. There were lions in the wilds of Judah (1 Sam. 17:34; compare Judges 14:5; 1 Kings 13:24).


"Shaaraim": (two gates), is Sharuhen (Joshua 19:6), and Shilhim (Joshua 15:32). Sharuhen is known from Egyptian inscriptions (Sharuhuna).


"These were their cities unto the reign of David": And their villages. (Joshua 19:6), shows that this is the right punctuation: "And Beth-lebaoth and Sharuhen: thirteen towns, and their villages" unto the reign of David. Does this mean that in the age of David the thirteen cities passed from the possession of the Simeonites? Ziklag, at all events, was at that time a Philistine borough (1 Sam. 27:6).


1 Chronicles 4:32 "And their villages [were], Etam, and Ain, Rimmon, and Tochen, and Ashan, five cities:


There are but four mentioned (in Joshua 19:7). One might be added since, or new built, namely, Tochen. These, according to Kimchi, were all that remained for them to dwell in, in the times of David. And therefore, they were obliged to seek out for new settlements for themselves and flocks (as in 1 Chron. 4:39).


1 Chronicles 4:33 "And all their villages that [were] round about the same cities, unto Baal. These [were] their habitations, and their genealogy."


The same with Baalath-beer (Joshua 19:8).


These were their habitations, and their genealogy": As before described, until the times of David.


All of the above are a list of towns and cities where the tribe of Simeon lived. It shows that even up until the time of David, they lived in these towns, and cities, and the surrounding areas. This area had originally been allotted to Judah, but it was taken out of that area to make the divisions fairer to all concerned. Baal, is a town named Baalath-beer. From generation to generation, they lived in these places.


1 Chronicles 4:34-37 "And Meshobab, and Jamlech, and Joshah, the son of Amaziah," "And Joel, and Jehu the son of Josibiah, the son of Seraiah, the son of Asiel," "And Elioenai, and Jaakobah, and Jeshohaiah, and Asaiah, and Adiel, and Jesimiel, and Benaiah," And Ziza the son of Shiphi, the son of Allon, the son of Jedaiah, the son of Shimri, the son of Shemaiah;"


These, with those that follow to the end of (1 Chronicles 4:37), were famous men in the tribe of Simeon, of rank and dignity, and eminent for courage and valor, as the latter part of the chapter testifies. Though they are nowhere else taken notice of. Jamlech, as Fabritius observes, is not very different from Jamblichus, the name of a famous Platonic philosopher.


1 Chronicles 4:38 "These mentioned by [their] names [were] princes in their families: and the house of their fathers increased greatly."


The principal men of them, heads of their fathers' houses.


"And the house of their fathers increased greatly": By them, so that they were obliged to seek out for new habitations, as follows.


There are 22 listed here, and very little is known of them, except what we read right here. They were the leaders of the families descended from Simeon.



Verses 39-43: Here certain historical notices of the activities of the tribe of "Simeon" in the days of "Hezekiah" are detailed. Those of "Ham" are Egyptians (Psalms 105:23, 27). "The rest of the Amalekites" are those who escaped after David defeated them (1 Sam. 30:18, 2 Sam. 8:12). For the hatred of the Amalekites toward Israel (see the note on Judges 3:12-13).


1 Chronicles 4:39 "And they went to the entrance of Gedor, [even] unto the east side of the valley, to seek pasture for their flocks."


There was a city of this name in the tribe of Judah (1 Chron. 4:18), but this seems to be further off, and perhaps is the same with Gedaris, mentioned by Strabo along with Azotus and Askelon, cities that belonged to the Philistines. Since it was inhabited by the posterity of Ham, of whom the Philistines were, as in the following verse.


"Even unto the east side of the valley": Which was near to Gedor, and a suitable place.


"To seek pasture for their flocks": Their sheep and goats.


1 Chronicles 4:40 "And they found fat pasture and good, and the land [was] wide, and quiet, and peaceable; for [they] of Ham had dwelt there of old."


In or near the valley of Gedor.


"And the land was wide, and quiet, and peaceable": There was room enough for them and their flocks, and they had no enemies on either side to disturb them.


"For they of Ham had dwelt there of old": Either the Canaanites who descended from Canaan the son of Ham, and had never been expelled from thence; or the Philistines, who were a colony of the Egyptians, the posterity of Ham. And these inhabitants being of this cursed race, the Simeonites scrupled not to dispossess them.


It appeared, they had primarily only towns and cities, and they sought land to graze their flocks. Gedor is unknown, except it was a land that Ham had settled many years before. This pasture land had been prepared for this purpose through the years. It was, now, a land of heathen people that the LORD had told them to drive out. They wanted the land, because it would be a good place for their sheep.


1 Chronicles 4:41 "And these written by name came in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and smote their tents, and the habitations that were found there, and destroyed them utterly unto this day, and dwelt in their rooms: because [there was] pasture there for their flocks."


"Hezekiah": He ruled Judah (ca. 715-686 B.C.).


This land was of the Philistines or Amalekites. This does not mean that they attacked Judah or Hezekiah. This is just dating the time at the reign of Hezekiah. The Amalekites and the Philistines were mutual enemies of Judah and Simeon. It appears that the princes of Simeon overcame them, and took the pastureland.


1 Chronicles 4:42 "And [some] of them, [even] of the sons of Simeon, five hundred men, went to mount Seir, having for their captains Pelatiah, and Neariah, and Rephaiah, and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi."


In the land of Edom.


"Having for their captains Pelatiah, and Neariah, and Rephaiah, and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi": These four captains are said, by the ancient Rabbins, to be of the tribe of Manasseh, as Kimchi observes (see 1 Chron. 5:24). But as the five hundred they were at the head of, as were of the sons of Simeon; the captains, no doubt, were of the same race.


1 Chronicles 4:43 "And they smote the rest of the Amalekites that were escaped, and dwelt there unto this day."


"Amalekites": Longstanding enemies of Israel whom God purposed to exterminate. Another branch of the Amalekite family tree had appeared in Persia, represented by Haman, who attempted to exterminate the Jews (Ester 3:1).


The princes of Simeon were small in number even with their followers. We see that God was with them and they overcame the Amalekites, and took their land. The captains were sons of Ishi. Nothing is known of Ishi, except that he was a Simeonite, and what we read here.


1 Chronicles Chapter 4 Questions


1. Name the sons of Judah?


2. What does "Judah" mean?


3. Who was the mother of Pharez?


4. Are those listed, in verse 1, really sons of Judah?


5. Hur is his descendent through whom?


6. What two brothers founded the Zorathites?


7. What was Etam?


8. Who founded Beth-lehem?


9. Who were the two wives of Ashur?


10. Who was Kenaz?


11. Who was the first judge of Israel, after the death of Joshua?


12. How many years was their peace with him as judge?


13. What does "Charashim" mean?


14. Is the Ezra, in verse 17, the same who penned Ezra?


15. Who took Bithiah?


16. Who is the same as Hodiah?


17. What country was Bithiah from?


18. Shelah was the son of Judah by whom?


19. Name three descendants of Shelah.


20. What does "Jashubi-lehem" mean?


21. Who were the sons of Simeon listed in verse 24?


22. What does "Simeon" mean?


23. What other son is listed in Genesis?


24. What does "Jamin" mean?


25. Zerah is the same as ________.


26. Who was the only son of Simeon, who had many descendants?


27. Who had 16 sons and 6 daughters?


28. Where did they all live?


29. Baal, in verse 33, is speaking of where?


30. Who were the princes listed from Simeon's families?


31. Why did they go to the east side of the valley?


32. Who were the captains, who led them?


33. How many men did they have to fight against the Amalekites?





Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to 1 Chronicles Menu | Return to Bible Menu


1 Chronicles 5



1 Chronicles Chapter 5

Verses 1-2: To take the concubine was to usurp the "father's" role as head of the family. "Reuben" had committed such a sin (Gen. 35:22), for which he was denounced in Jacob's prophetic blessings of his sons (Gen. 49:3-4). Although the privilege of "the first born" was transferred to "Joseph," his firstborn son through Rachel (Gen. chapter 48), nevertheless the messianic reckoning passed to the line of "Judah" in accordance with Jacob's prophecy (Gen. 49:8-10).


Verses 1-10: The first tribe listed is "Reuben," since he was the "first-born" of Jacob (Genesis 29:32).


(Genesis 48-15-22), tells more about how Reuben's "birthright" ended up with the "sons of Joseph.


1 Chronicles 5:1 "Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he [was] the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright."


Are as follow (in 1 Chronicles 5:3), where the account begins; for what comes between this and that is in a parenthesis.


"For he was the firstborn": Of Jacob by his wife Leah; that must be owned, and Jacob allows it (Gen. 49:3). And yet the genealogy in this book begins not with him, as might on that account be expected; the reason follows:


"But, forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed": By lying with Bilhah his concubine.


"His birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel": His beloved son by his beloved wife Rachel and so had a double portion given him. His two sons being equally ranked with the other sons of Jacob, and became distinct tribes, and each had their lot in the land of Canaan (see Gen. 48:5 compared with Deut. 21:17).


"And the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright": Or, "but the genealogy", etc. Neither after the birthright of Reuben, which he had by nature, being Jacob's firstborn; nor after the birthright of Joseph, which be had by his father's gift, as it might be thought it should. The reason of which follows in the next scripture.


This is an explanation why Reuben's family was not the first to have their genealogy, since he was actually the firstborn son of Jacob. There are two very good reasons that I can think of. One, he was punished for sleeping with his father's wife. Reuben was Leah's child. She indeed, was the first wife of Jacob, but not the chosen wife of Jacob. Rachel was his beloved. Joseph and Benjamin were her children. The tribe of Judah would be the tribe that the promised Messiah would come through. This is the reason for Judah being first. The birthright of Reuben went to Joseph's sons.


1 Chronicles 5:2 "For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him [came] the chief ruler; but the birthright [was] Joseph's:)"


"Judah prevailed": In accordance with Jacob's blessing (Gen. 49:10), the king of Israel is to come from Judah. This prophecy had historical reference to the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam Chapter 7; 1 Chron. Chapter 17), with full messianic implications.


The lineage from Adam to Jesus would come through the tribe of Judah. The birthright was Joseph's for his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh.


1 Chronicles 5:3 "The sons, [I say], of Reuben the firstborn of Israel [were], Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi."


(As in Genesis 46:9).


"Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi": So (Gen. 46:9; Exodus 6:14; Num. 26:5-7). Considering the prominence of Hezron and Carmi among the clans of Judah, it is remarkable to find their names recurring among the main branches of Reuben.


Each one of these sons started a people. Hanoch was the father of the Hanochites, Pallu was the father of the Palluites, Hezron became the father of the Hezronites, and Carmi became father of the Carmites. At the time of the numbering in the wilderness, Reuben's tribe had 46,500 men capable of fighting. Reuben's inheritance was east of Jordan. We remember, God let him have this land for his herds.


1 Chronicles 5:4 "The sons of Joel; Shemaiah his son, Gog his son, Shimei his son,"


Who was either the son of Carmi last mentioned, or rather of Hanoch, Reuben's firstborn, since the descendants of him were the princes of the tribe. His posterity in succession were, Shemaiah, Cog, Shimei, Micah, Reaia, Baal, Beerah; of whom we know no more than their names, and by these the descent is carried down to the captivity by Tiglath-pileser, as follows.


1 Chronicles 5:5 "Micah his son, Reaia his son, Baal his son,"


The line of succession here given must be broken by one great gap or several smaller ones, since nine generations before Tiglath-pileser would carry us back no further than the reign of Rehoboam.


1 Chronicles 5:6 "Beerah his son, whom Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria carried away [captive]: he [was] prince of the Reubenites."


"Tilgath-pilneser": The king of Assyria (745-727 B.C.), who threatened Judah and made Ahaz pay a tribute (2 Kings 16:7-20; 2 Chron. 28:16-21).


We are not told which of Reuben's sons these descendants come through. We do know they are Reuben's family. The name "Joel" means Jehovah is God. "Shemaiah" means Jehovah hath heard. There is really very little known of any of these people, except what we see in the verse above. Baal, in this instance, is a man's name. Beerah has to be many, many years down from Reuben, because the Assyrian captivity was hundreds of years after their stay in Egypt.


1 Chronicles 5:7 "And his brethren by their families, when the genealogy of their generations was reckoned, [were] the chief, Jeiel, and Zechariah,"


Either the brethren of Beerah, or the rest of the posterity of Reuben.


"When the genealogy of their generations was reckoned": Either in the times of Jotham and Jeroboam (1 Chron. 5:17), or at the time of their captivity, as in the preceding verse.


"Were the chief, Jeiel, and Zechariah": These were the principals or heads of their families.


1 Chronicles 5:8 "And Bela the son of Azaz, the son of Shema, the son of Joel, who dwelt in Aroer, even unto Nebo and Baal-meon:"


The pedigree of Bela, another principal man in the tribe of Reuben, is traced up to Joel the father of Shema; the same with Shemaiah, according to Kimchi and Ben Melech (1 Chron. 5:4).


"Who dwelt in Aroer": Which belonged to the tribe of Gad, and was rebuilt by them (Num. 32:34), wherefore Kimchi observes, it may be interpreted, either from Aroer, or on the border of it, Bela dwelt.


"Even unto Nebo, and Baal-meon; of which see (Num. 32:38).


Jeiel was spoken of as being from the house of Joel in the time of the captivity. This census was probably taken by Tilgath-pilneser. It seemed, that Jeiel, Zechariah, and Bela were the leaders at the time of the captivity. Aroer, Nebo, and Baal-meon were the boundaries of where they lived. "Aroer" means nudity. It was a town on the north bank of the Arnon. Nebo was a town east of the Jordan River in the land of Reuben. Baal-meon was located 9 miles east of the Dead Sea.


1 Chronicles 5:9 "And eastward he inhabited unto the entering in of the wilderness from the river Euphrates: because their cattle were multiplied in the land of Gilead."


Either Bela, or the tribe of Reuben.


"Unto the entering in of the wilderness": The wilderness of Kedemoth, which was near to Sihon king of Heshbon, whose land the Reubenites inhabited (Deut. 2:26).


"From the river Euphrates": A learned man thinks that this river Phrat was different from the Euphrates near Babylon, which was northward, since this was to the east or southeast.


"Because their cattle were multiplied in the land of Gilead": Therefore their habitation was extended further, even to the river Euphrates, as in the days of David and Solomon (2 Sam. 8:3).


All of Reuben's land was east of the Jordan River. It was a very fertile land for the grazing of his cattle. As his cattle grew in number, he needed more grazing land and he expanded his land further to the east. The Euphrates River flows through Syria, Mesopotamia, and the city of Babylon.


1 Chronicles 5:10 "And in the days of Saul they made war with the Hagarites, who fell by their hand: and they dwelt in their tents throughout all the east [land] of Gilead."


This is a historical notice dealing with the Ishmaelite descendants of Hagar (compare Gen. 25:12-18).


The Hagarites were believed to be descended from Hagar and Ishmael. The Reubenites seemed to be strong at the time of Saul, and expanded their land at will by these little wars. The small families around them were no match for Reuben's army. It seemed he took possession of whatever he desired.


1 Chronicles 5:11 "And the children of Gad dwelt over against them, in the land of Bashan unto Salcah:"


Or by them, the Reubenites; and one part of Gilead was given them between them, and the other to the half tribe of Manasseh.


"In the land of Bashan, unto Salcah": For though all Bashan is said to be given to the half tribe of Manasseh (Deut. 3:13), yet that is to be understood of the greater part of it. All of that which belonged to Og, but what did not. The Gadites, either from the first, or in later times, inhabited even as far as Salcah, which was one of the cities of Og (Deut. 3:10). And which Benjamin of Tudela makes mention of, being called by the same name in his days.


Gad was located on the east of Jordan and was neighbor to Reuben. Gad was the seventh son of Jacob, and was born to him by Zilpah, Leah's maid. At this time, Bashan, probably covered the upper half of Gilead. "Gad" means a troop. They were warlike people.


1 Chronicles 5:12 "Joel the chief, and Shapham the next, and Jaanai, and Shaphat in Bashan."


In this and the following verse are reckoned up the principal men in the tribe of Gad, and the chief of all was Joel, another from him in the tribe of Reuben (Chron. 5:4).


"And Shapham the next": The second chief man, from whom, Reland conjectures, Shophan, a city in the tribe of Gad, had its name (Numbers 32:35).


"And Jaanai": From whom Dan-jaan might be called, as Michaelis intimates (2 Sam. 24:6).


"And Shaphat in Bashan": Not Shaphat the father of Elisha, according to a tradition of the Jews, mentioned by Kimchi; which is not at all probable.


There is very little known of these men, except that they were of the tribe of Gad, and were their chief men in authority.


1 Chronicles 5:13 "And their brethren of the house of their fathers [were], Michael, and Meshullam, and Sheba, and Jorai, and Jachan, and Zia, and Heber, seven."


Who were also men of eminence and note in them.


"Were, Michael, and Meshullam, and Sheba, and Jorai, and Jachan, and Zia, and Heber, seven": So they are as here mentioned by name.


These people above, are not mentioned anywhere else. In the chapter of (Numbers 26), we read that Gad's family became the Zephonites, Haggites, Shunites, Oznites, Erites, Arodites, and the Arelites. The list of the sons of Gad (is in the 46th chapter of Genesis).


1 Chronicles 5:14 "These [are] the children of Abihail the son of Huri, the son of Jaroah, the son of Gilead, the son of Michael, the son of Jeshishai, the son of Jahdo, the son of Buz;"


That is, the seven before mentioned. They were the posterity of Abihail, whose pedigree is traced from his father Huri to Buz, the intermediate progenitors being Jaroah, Gilead, Michael, Jeshishai, Jahdo.


1 Chronicles 5:15 "Ahi the son of Abdiel, the son of Guni, chief of the house of their fathers."


Which Ahi was a principal man in the families the seven above men belonged to; besides them, or those three, were every one of them heads of families.


There is nothing more known of these, except the fact that they were Gad's descendants.


1 Chronicles 5:16 "And they dwelt in Gilead in Bashan, and in her towns, and in all the suburbs of Sharon, upon their borders."


In that part of it which belonged to the tribe of Gad.


"In Bashan, and in her towns": (see 1 Chron. 5:11).


"And in all the suburbs of Sharon, upon their borders": There were two Sharons, one to the west of the land of Israel near the Mediterranean Sea, which is mentioned (in Acts 9:35), as near Lydda and Joppa. And the other to the east or northeast, beyond Jordan, which is here meant.


We do know that Gad's inheritance was east of the Jordan River in the land of Gilead.


1 Chronicles 5:17 "All these were reckoned by genealogies in the days of Jotham king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam king of Israel."


All before mentioned.


"In the days of Jotham king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam king of Israel": Not that those two kings reigned at the same time, and one and the same reckoning is meant. But, as Dr. Lightfoot observes, there were two reckonings. His words are, "in the days of Jotham there was an account taken of the families of Reuben, Gad, and half Manasseh" (1 Chron. 5:17). And so had there been in the days of Jeroboam the second. Then at their restoring by Jeroboam out of the hands of Hamath and Syria, and now at their arming against the Assyrian, under whom they fell in the time of Pekah, and are never again restored to Israel.


There was a set of chronicles for Judah, and a set for the ten tribes of Israel. (Verse 17), is speaking of a time after the twelve tribes had split into ten and two. Jeroboam was the first king of the ten tribes of Israel. Jotham of Judah was a much later king. These times were many years apart. This is speaking of two entirely different genealogies.


These genealogies are likely based on a military census in the days of "Jotham king of Judah" (750-732 B.C.), and "Jeroboam king of Israel (793-753 B.C.).



Verses 18-22: These verses contain a further notice of the "Hagarites" of Trans-Jordan and their battles against the two and one-half tribes that settled east of the Jordan. This section is important for its recognition of "God's" divine government in operation, directing political affairs among men in accordance with His intended purposes.


1 Chronicles 5:18 "The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, of valiant men, men able to bear buckler and sword, and to shoot with bow, and skillful in war, [were] four and forty thousand seven hundred and threescore, that went out to the war."


By including "sons of Reuben, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh," the biblical writer clearly emphasizes "all Israel", including those tribes located east of the Jordan River (Num. 34:13-15).


This is speaking of the two and one half tribes that were on the eastern side of the Jordan River. It seems, they had a census separate from the other tribes.


1 Chronicles 5:19 "And they made war with the Hagarites, with Jetur, and Nephish, and Nodab."


Here mentioned.


"With Jetur, and Nephish": With the posterity of these men, who were sons of Ishmael (Gen. 25:15). And so was Nodab; perhaps the same with Kedemah, mentioned along with the other two there; so Hillerus thinks.


We learned earlier that the Hagarites were descended from Hagar. Jetur was one of the twelve sons of Ishmael, as well. His descendants were Ituraeans. Nephish is probably the same as Naphish, who was the eleventh son of Ishmael. Nodab is unknown.



Verses 20-25: A profound theme (of both 1 and 2 Chronicles), is that when the people "cried out to God in the battle, He listened "because they put their trust in Him (2 Chron. 14:11-13; Psalms 9:10; 22:4-5). Still, they were prone to forget when facing the next battle. Every child of God, even "men of valor," must remember to depend on Him rather than relying on themselves.


1 Chronicles 5:20 "And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that [were] with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was entreated of them; because they put their trust in him."


The Israelites were helped against the Ishmaelites, to fight with them, and overcome them; either by their brethren of the house of Israel, as the Targum. Those on this side Jordan; or rather by the Lord, to whom they cried, and who was entreated by them as follows.


"And the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them": They and their confederates and auxiliaries, the Ituraeans, etc.


"For they cried to God in the battle": Which at first seems to have gone against them. And they prayed to God, as the Targum, while they were fighting, that he would appear for them, and give them victory.


"And he was entreated of them": He received their prayer, as the same paraphrase; he heard them, and answered them.


"Because they put their trust in him": In his power and providence, and not in their own strength, courage, and military skill. The Targum is, "because they trusted in his word".


The army spoken of here, is the two and one half tribes that were on the east side of the Jordan. It appears, they prayed to the LORD and he helped them. The word "entreated" means surrounded.


1 Chronicles 5:21 "And they took away their cattle; of their camels fifty thousand, and of sheep two hundred and fifty thousand, and of asses two thousand, and of men a hundred thousand."


Which they brought with them, and they found in their camp when they fled, or in their fields.


"Of their camels fifty thousand": With which Arabia abounded, and were fit to travel with in those hot and desert countries, being strong to carry burdens, and able to bear much thirst. The Arabians, as Diodorus Siculus reports, brought up camels, for almost all the uses of life. As for the sake of their milk and flesh to feed upon, as well as for carrying burdens in common. And which in time of war they loaded with provisions for the army, and fought upon. One of them carrying two archers with their backs to each other, the one to meet the enemy in front, the other to annoy those that pursued them. And so the Parthians made use of camels both to fight on, and to carry provisions for their soldiers.


"And of sheep two hundred and fifty thousand": Which these Hagarites kept both for food and clothing, and some of them might be now taken with them to supply their army. The Spartans carried sheep with them in their expeditions, as sacrifices to their gods. But it need not be supposed that these creatures, and those that follow, were in such large numbers with the Hagarites in the battle, but were afterwards found, partly in their camp, and partly in the places inhabited by them.


"And of asses two thousand": Used to ride on, and carry loads, and also to plough with. And in all these lay the wealth of men in those times and countries (see Job 1:1).


"And of men one hundred thousand": So that they took captive above as many more as their army consisted of.


This shows what a vast amount of animals these people had accumulated through the years. These hundred thousand men were taken captive to work as slaves for the two and one half tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh.


1 Chronicles 5:22 "For there fell down many slain, because the war [was] of God. And they dwelt in their steads until the captivity."


"The exile": The Assyrian deportation of 722 B.C. is meant (compare 28:16-21).


The captivity spoken of here, is the Assyrian captivity where Israel was defeated and taken captive. They won the war because God was with them.


1 Chronicles 5:23 "And the children of the half tribe of Manasseh dwelt in the land: they increased from Bashan unto Baal-hermon and Senir, and unto mount Hermon."


Not in the land of the Hagarites, but in the land of Gilead and Bashan beyond Jordan, given them by Moses. The writer, having reckoned the genealogies of some of the principal men of Reuben and Gad, proceeds to give a short account of some principal men in this half tribe.


"They increased from Bashan": Where they first settled, and extended their possessions.


"Unto Baal-hermon and Senir, and unto Mount Hermon; mountains which lay to the north of the land of Canaan, and are what geographers call Antilibanus.


Manasseh was the son of Joseph. He and Ephraim both received a portion from God. This verse shows how their land allotment grew, when they won this war. The other soldiers took captives with them back to their homes. Manasseh just extended his border to include this land.


1 Chronicles 5:24 "And these [were] the heads of the house of their fathers, even Epher, and Ishi, and Eliel, and Azriel, and Jeremiah, and Hodaviah, and Jahdiel, mighty men of valor, famous men, [and] heads of the house of their fathers."


Some of the principal men of this half tribe.


"Even Epher, and Ishi, and Eliel, and Azriel, and Jeremiah, and Hodaviah, and Jahdiel": But of none of these we read elsewhere, excepting Hepher and Azriel (Num. 26:31).


"Mighty men of valor, famous men, and heads of the house of their fathers": Men that obtained a name for their strength, courage, and valor, and military exploits. And were the chiefs of the families in this half tribe, and by whom they were denominated. So from Hepher were the family of the Hepherites, and from Azriel the family of the Azrielites, as in the place before quoted.


These heads of the tribe of Manasseh are not mentioned in another place, so they possibly do not enter into further parts of the genealogy.


1 Chronicles 5:25 "And they transgressed against the God of their fathers, and went a whoring after the gods of the people of the land, whom God destroyed before them."


The folly of Trans-Jordan Manasseh is immediately apparent: they had stupidly turned from the "God" who had given them the victory (verses 18-22). Therefore, God must, in turn, send judgment against them. That judgment would likewise take the form of warfare (verse 26).


As long as there had been an Israel, they had been unfaithful to God. It seemed, every time God helped them, it was not long until they would turn from Him to other gods. The worst part about marrying those who were not of God, was the fact that they might pick up their worship of false gods.


1 Chronicles 5:26 "And the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, and brought them unto Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river Gozan, unto this day."


"Pul" and "Tilgath-pilneser" (Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria), were the same individual. (See the note on 2 Kings 15:19-20). Accordingly, the sentence should be translated, "The spirit of Pul king of Assyria, even the spirit of Tilgath-pilneser."


Notice it is God who brings this punishment on His people for their unfaithfulness. In this instance, God uses people who are not followers of God to carry out His mission. We are all God's creation, and we are all subject to His will. We are not all sons of God however. We become sons of God, when we accept the Lord as our Savior. Only believers in God are His children. The Reubenites, Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh were on the eastern side of the Jordan. They were some of the fiercest fighters Israel had. They were supposed to protect Israel from attack from the east. We see when God decided they were to be punished, they seemed to have no power at all. Assyria did not kill them, but took them captive as slaves. They would never be a united Israel again and come back into the land. They would be scattered forever. The town and the river mentioned were in the area of Padan-aram.


1 Chronicles Chapter 5 Questions


1. Who was the firstborn of Israel?


2. What terrible sin did he commit?


3. Who was his birthright given to?


4. Reuben's mother was _________.


5. Who did Jacob truly love?


6. What tribe would Messiah come through?


7. Who were the two sons of Joseph?


8. How many fighting men did Reuben's tribe have?


9. Where was Reuben's inheritance?


10. What does "Joel" mean?


11. What does "Shemaiah" mean?


12. Who took the census?


13. What does "Aroer" mean?


14. What kind of land did Reuben inherit?


15. Who were the Hagarites?


16. Who was Gad's mother and father?


17. "Gad" means what?


18. Jeroboam was the first king of the ______ ________.


19. Who was Jetur?


20. Who was Nephish?


21. How many camels did they take in battle (mentioned in verse 21)?


22. Who occupied the land won in this battle?


23. What did they do, that angered God?


24. Who stirred up Pul and Tilgath-pilneser against these Israelites?


25. What happened to the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh?


26. Who are the creation of God?


27. How do we become sons of God?





Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to 1 Chronicles Menu | Return to Bible Menu


1 Chronicles 6



1 Chronicles Chapter 6

Verses 1-30: The first section records the line of high priests among the "sons of Levi" (6:1-15), prior to the exile. The next section (6:16-30), records the clans of Levi, detailing seven sets of two generations and one set ("Kohath"), for 10 generations. (Numbers Chapter 3-4), fully describes how God set apart the Levites to serve Him in the tabernacle.


The section in the first 15 scriptures lists the High-Priestly lineage from Levi (6:1), through Aaron (6:3), through Eleazar (6:3-4), and through Phinehas (6:4), with whom God covenanted for a perpetual priesthood (Num. 25:11-13).


1 Chronicles 6:1 "The sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari."


After an account of the chief of the tribes of Judah and Simeon, of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh, follows that of Levi, and his posterity. The kingdom being given to Judah, the birthright to Joseph, and the priesthood to Levi. The immediate sons of Levi were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari; (as in Gen. 46:11), from these sprung the three families of the Levites.


The name "Levi", means joined. Levi was the third son of Jacob and Leah. He is the father of the Levitical tribe that would be separated out for service to the LORD. Gershon is sometimes called Gershom. He was the founder of the Gershonites. Levi had a daughter named Jochebed who was mother of Moses, Miriam, and Aaron. Kohath was the father of Amram who was the father of Moses. Amram was the nephew of Jochebed, whom he married. Kohath founded the Kohathites. Merari was the founder of the Merarites. We must take special note of the Levites, because they will be called to the service of the LORD.


1 Chronicles 6:2 "And the sons of Kohath; Amram, Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel."


Given in the same order (as in Exodus 6:18).


Kohath, it seemed, was born before the twelve sons of Jacob went into Egypt. He was about twenty years younger than Joseph. Later on, the Kohathites will be called to carry the Ark and the sacred vessels. His sons were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. Amram was the most prominent of the sons, because of his children, Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. Izhar was the father of the Izharites. Hebron was father of the Hebronites. Uzziel is best known as being Aaron's uncle. He founded the Uzzielites.


1 Chronicles 6:3 "And the children of Amram; Aaron, and Moses, and Miriam. The sons also of Aaron; Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar."


Readers in antiquity would have known of the godly reputations of "Aaron, Moses," and "Miriam" through the Book of Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy). They would also have known of the ungodly reputations of certain others on the list, including "Nadab" and "Abihu" (Lev. 10:1-2).


The line of the chief priests is given (in verses 3-15 and 49-53). After the judgment of "Nadab and Abihu" (Lev. Chapter 10), the high priestly line passed through "Eleazar, Aaron's" eldest son, until the time of Eli, when it came under the control of the house of "Ithamar." The high priesthood passed back to the line of Eleazar with Zadok (1 Kings 1:7-8, 44-45; 2:26-27), where it remained (Ezek. 44:15; 48:11).


Aaron, Moses, and Miriam were Levites on their mother's side and on their father's side. Aaron was the first high priest in the tabernacle. His sons were anointed as priests to work in the tabernacle. Nadab and Abihu carried strange fire into the tabernacle, and the fire of God killed them. The strange fire many believe, was the fact they were intoxicated while serving in the tabernacle. Eleazar became high priest after Aaron, because his two older brothers were killed by God. Ithamar was in charge of the curtains, the hangings, pillars, cords, and boards. He oversaw the moving of the tabernacle from place to place. The priesthood had to come through Eleazar and Ithamar, because Nadab and Abihu had no descendants.


1 Chronicles 6:4 "Eleazar begat Phinehas, Phinehas begat Abishua,"


"Phinehas": A memorable man (Num. 25:7-13; Josh. 22:10-33; Judges 20:28; Psalm 106:30-31).


"Abishua": Only mentioned (in this chapter and Ezra 7:1-5). Josephus asserts that he it was who was succeeded in the high priesthood, not by any one of his own descendants, but by Eli, till Zadok, in the time of David. All the intervening members of the Eleazar family being private individuals. But no reliance can be placed on this assertion.


Eleazar's wife's father's name was Putiel. Phinehas was high priest for 19 years. Phinehas' action pertaining to the revolting sins of the people stayed the plague, and God promised him the priesthood would remain in his family forever. He ran a javelin through Cozbi and Zimri to stay the plague. Abishua became the fourth high priest in his father's stead.


1 Chronicles 6:5 "And Abishua begat Bukki, and Bukki begat Uzzi,"


"Bukki begat Uzzi": In whose days it is supposed that the high-priesthood was translated from Eleazar's family to Ithamar's, for some cause now unknown, in whose line it continued for some successions.


1 Chronicles 6:6 "And Uzzi begat Zerahiah, and Zerahiah begat Meraioth,"


"Uzzi": It is supposed that, in his days, the high priesthood was, for unrecorded reasons, transferred from Eleazar's family to Ithamar's, in which it continued for several generations.


1 Chronicles 6:7 "Meraioth begat Amariah, and Amariah begat Ahitub,"


All of the people listed in the verses above, were descended from Aaron through Eleazar and Phinehas. After Uzzi, the position of high priest would go to Eli of the descendants of Ithamar. It is not explained how this came about.


1 Chronicles 6:8 "And Ahitub begat Zadok, and Zadok begat Ahimaaz,"


"Zadok": By the time of David's reign, the High-Priestly line had wrongly been shifted to the sons of Ithamar as represented by Abiathar. When Abiathar sided with Adonijah rather than Solomon, Zadok became the ruling High-Priest (1 Kings 2:26-27), and restored the high-priesthood to the Levitical line through Phinehas (Num. 25:10-13).


There are two Ahitubs mentioned. One is in the lineage of Ithamar, and one in the lineage of Eleazar. I am not sure that this is not in some way speaking of the same person. Zadok seemed to be connected in both lineages as well.


1 Chronicles 6:9 "And Ahimaaz begat Azariah, and Azariah begat Johanan,"


It must, apparently, be this Azariah, and not the son of Johanan (1 Chron. 6:10), who was high priest at the dedication of Solomon's Temple. For Zadok, who lived into the reign of Solomon (1 Kings 4:4), cannot have been succeeded by a great-great-grandson. The notice (in 1 Chronicles 6:10), which is attached to the second Azariah, must, beyond a doubt, belong properly to the first.


Ahimaaz seemed to also be connected with both lines. Azariah is in the lineage from Eleazar. Johanan, is in the lineage of Eleazar.


1 Chronicles 6:10 "And Johanan begat Azariah, (he [it is] that executed the priest's office in the temple that Solomon built in Jerusalem:)"


This historical notice looks on to the days of "Solomon's temple." Some have connected this "Azariah" with (1 Kings 4:2, others with 2 Chron. 26:17).


Johanan and Azariah were priests during the reigns of Abijah and Asa. "Johanan" means God is gracious.


1 Chronicles 6:11 "And Azariah begat Amariah, and Amariah begat Ahitub,"


"Amariah": Apparently the contemporary of Jehoshaphat mentioned in (1 Chron. 19:11).


Amariah was high priest in the reign of Jehoshaphat. We discussed that Ahitub seemed to be in two lineages. In this case, it seems to be speaking of the lineage through Eleazar.


1 Chronicles 6:12 "And Ahitub begat Zadok, and Zadok begat Shallum,"


For more about 'Zadok," one of David's priests (see 2 Sam. 15:24-29 and 1 Kings 1:8, 38-45). The story of "Hilkiah," who found the Book of the Law during the reign of Josiah (is in 2 Kings Chapter 22 and 2 Chronicles Chapter 34).


There seem to be several people mentioned between Zadok and Shallum. Zadok is his great-great-grandfather.


1 Chronicles 6:13 "And Shallum begat Hilkiah, and Hilkiah begat Azariah,"


"Hilkiah": The High-Priest who rediscovered the law in Josiah's reign (ca. 622 B.C.; 2 Kings 22:8-13; 2 Chron. 34:14-21).


For the importance of "Jehozadak" looks on to the "captivity" of "Jerusalem" (in 586 B.C.), and the resultant exile of the Jews. Jehozadak's son Jeshua returned from the exile under Zerubbabel (Ezra 3:2; Neh. 12:26).


Hilkiah and Azariah were popular names, and given several times in these lineages. The Hilkiah, mentioned here, was high priest in the time of Josiah.


1 Chronicles 6:14 "And Azariah begat Seraiah, and Seraiah begat Jehozadak,"


"Seraiah": The High-Priest who was executed by the Babylonians after their occupation of Jerusalem (ca. 586 B.C.; 2 Kings 25:18-21).


"Jehozadak": (a.k.a. Jozadak). The father of Jeshua, the first High-Priest of the return (Ezra 3:2; 5:2).


1 Chronicles 6:15 "And Jehozadak went [into captivity], when the LORD carried away Judah and Jerusalem by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar."


"Jehozadak": He did not share the violent end of his father, nor did he attain his father's high priest office, but lived to the end a captive. This name occurs in Haggai and Zechariah. It is the same in the Hebrew as here, though the English in the Authorized Version is Josedech. Where it occurs in Ezra and Nehemiah, the shorter form of Jozadak is found in the Hebrew as in the Authorized Version.


Seraiah here, was High Priest during the reign of Zedekiah. "Seraiah" means Jehovah has prevailed. He was sent as a prisoner to Nebuchadnezzar, who killed him. Jehozadak was carried to Babylon as a prisoner. It is not known whether he ever acted as High Priest or not. He probably died in Babylon. Joshua is mentioned in Haggai as the High Priest after the exile.



Verses 16-30: The sons of Levi (6:16-19), and their families (6:20-30), are given here.


1 Chronicles 6:16 "The sons of Levi; Gershom, Kohath, and Merari."


Which is repeated from (1 Chron. 6:1), for the sake of their posterity, whose names are given in the three following verses, in the same manner as in (Exodus 6:17).


This is repeating the first verse of this lesson. Gershom, Kohath, and Merari were the beginning of the three divisions of the Levitical tribe. All are to serve the LORD in some capacity.


1 Chronicles 6:17 "And these [be] the names of the sons of Gershom; Libni, and Shimei."


"Libni and Shimei" (Exodus 6:17). Libni is called Laadan (R.V. "Ladan") in 1 Chron. 23:7; 26:21.


1 Chronicles 6:18 "And the sons of Kohath [were], Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel."


"And the sons": Etc. This verse is a repetition of (1 Chronicles 6:2).


1 Chronicles 6:19 "The sons of Merari; Mahli, and Mushi. And these [are] the families of the Levites according to their fathers."


In the lesson, we have been primarily dealing with the descendants of Kohath, who were the priests and High Priests. Merari was probably born just before the migration of Jacob's family to Egypt. He was the head of the third division of the Levites.


1 Chronicles 6:20-21 "Of Gershom; Libni his son, Jahath his son, Zimmah his son," "Joah his son, Iddo his son, Zerah his son, Jeaterai his son."


Whose genealogy runs thus, Jahath, called Jehiel (1 Chron. 23:8). Zimmah, between whom was Shimei (1 Chron. 6:42). Joah, the same with Ethan (1 Chron. 6:42). Iddo, called Adaiah (1 Chron. 6:41). Zerah, Jeaterai, whose name was also Ethni (1 Chron. 6:41), the posterity of Shimei, the brother of Libni, are omitted.


This goes back to pick up the lineage of Gershom. Another name for Libni is Laadan. He was father of the Libnites. His brother was Shimi, the father of the Shimites. Zimmah is probably the same as Shimei. Joah probably, is the one who assisted Hezekiah in the restoration of the temple worship. He is called Ethan (in verse 42). Iddo is also called Adaiah. "Zerah" means dawning, rising, or shining. Jeaterai is the same as Ethni.


1 Chronicles 6:22-24 "The sons of Kohath; Amminadab his son, Korah his son, Assir his son," "Elkanah his son, and Ebiasaph his son, and Assir his son," "Tahath his son, Uriel his son, Uzziah his son, and Shaul his son."


Amminadab, the same with Izhar (1 Chron. 6:2), the posterity of his brethren, Amram, Hebron, and Uzziel, are omitted. And his genealogy is carried to a considerable length, for the sake of Samuel the prophet, who sprang from him. It stands thus, Korah, Assir, Elkanah, Ebiasaph, Assir, Tahath, Uriel, called Zephaniah (1 Chron. 6:36). Uzziah, the same with Azariah (1 Chron. 6:36). Shaul, whose name is Joel (1 Chron. 6:36). Then through the sons of Elkanah, before mentioned, Amasai, Ahimoth, called Mahath (1 Chron. 6:35), another Elkanah, Zophai, or Zuph, (1 Chron. 6:35). Nahath, the same with Toah (1 Chron. 6:34), and Tohu (1 Sam. 1:1), Eliab, called Eliel (1 Chron. 6:34), and Elihu (1 Sam. 1:1), Jeroham, another Elkanah, the father of Samuel the prophet, whose firstborn was Vashni, and whose name also was Joel (1 Chron. 6:33). And so here it is read in the Syriac and Arabic versions. And his second son Abiah.


Amminadab is not mentioned in the list of the four sons of Kohath earlier in this lesson. Many scholars believe that Amminadab is the same as Izhar. Korah is probably the same one that was with Dathan and Abiram against Moses, because he was not called to the priesthood. "Assir" means prisoner. Nothing else is known of him.



Verses 25-28 (see the note on 1 Sam. 1:1).


1 Chronicles 6:25 "And the sons of Elkanah; Amasai, and Ahimoth."


"And the sons of Elkanah": Amasai. It is natural to identify the Elkanah (of 1 Chron. 6:36), with this one. The posterity of both are so nearly the same; otherwise we might have taken the present Elkanah for the person mentioned in (1 Chron. 6:23).



"Verses 26-27": Samuel, a Levite, by exceptional, divine direction, offered priestly sacrifices (1 Sam. 7:9; 10:8, 11, 14-15). The fact that Elkanah was from Ephraim (1 Sam. 1:1) indicates where he lived, not his family history (Num. 35:6-8).


1 Chronicles 6:26 "[As for] Elkanah: the sons of Elkanah; Zophai his son, and Nahath his son,"


"As for Elkanah": This was another Elkanah, son or grandson of the former Elkanah, and either the son or brother of Ahimoth, last mentioned, or of Amasai.


"Nahath his son": Called also Toah (1 Chron. 6:34), and Tohu, (1 Sam. 1:1). The Elkanah mentioned in the next verse was the father of the Prophet Samuel, whose name therefore follows.


1 Chronicles 6:27 "Eliab his son, Jeroham his son, Elkanah his son."


Eliab, called Eliel (1 Chron. 6:34).


1 Chronicles 6:28 "And the sons of Samuel; the firstborn Vashni, and Abiah."


The sons of Samuel are here named Vashni and Abiah. The first-born is called Joel (1 Sam. 8:2); and this name is given to him in (1 Chron. 6:33). It is now generally thought by the best critics that, through an error of the copyists, an omission has been made of the oldest son's name. And that Vashni, which is not the name of a person, merely signifies "and the second." This critical correction of the text makes all clear, as well as consistent with other passages relating to the family of Samuel.


Tahath was a Koathite. His descendants would lead to Samuel. Uriel and Zephaniah seem to be the same person. Uzziah was born about 1300 B.C. Shaul was the founder of the Shaulites. There is very little known of the rest of these all the way to Samuel. This Samuel is the son of Hannah. She prayed for a son, and loaned him to the LORD all the days of his life. Eli raised him in the service of the LORD. We read (in 1 Samuel 8:1-2), that Samuel's first son was named Joel. It appears then, that Joel and Vashni are the same person. "Vashni" means strong. "Joel" means Jehovah is God. One of the names could have been a title. (1 Samuel 8:1), says that Samuel made his sons judges. They were evil judges and God gave the people king Saul to judge them, instead of judges.


1 Chronicles 6:29-30 "The sons of Merari; Mahli, Libni his son, Shimei his son, Uzza his son," "Shimea his son, Haggiah his son, Asaiah his son."


Merari's son, Mushi, is not mentioned here. Those listed above are of his son, Merari. (In verses 44 through 47), we will read of them.


The posterity of his brother Mushi are omitted; his genealogy is drawn thus, Libni, Shimei, Uzza, Shimea, Haggiah, Asaiah.



Verses 31-48: The importance of organized music in the temple worship of Israel is underscored in the roster of "Levites" who served there. Particularly prominent were "Heman" (verse 33; compare 16:41), the Kohathite. "Asaph" (verse 39; compare 16:37; Psalms Chapters 50, 73-83), the Gershomite. And "Ethan" (verse 44, probably the Jeduthun of 16:41-42; compare 2 Chron. 35:15; Neh. 11:17), the Merarite. Apparently, each headed a temple choir, that of Herman being placed in the center. Each headed a family of singers and musicians (15:16-24; 16:4-43; 25:1). In David's time, some four thousand Levites were so designated for the temple services (23:5).


Verses 31-48: The Levitical musicians are listed as they relate to:


(1) Kohath and Heman (6:33-38);


(2) Gershon and Asaph (6:39-43); and


(3) Merari and Ethan (6:44-47).


1 Chronicles 6:31 "And these [are they] whom David set over the service of song in the house of the LORD, after that the ark had rest."


Who follow; the account of whom begins (1 Chron. 6:33).


"Whom David set over the service of the song in the house of the Lord": Whom he appointed chief musicians, and masters of the chorus, to manage and conduct that part of divine service in the sanctuary, singing the praises of God, both with vocal and instrumental music.


"After the Ark had rest": Which was when it was brought from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David, and was placed in a tabernacle he provided for it (2 Sam. 6:12), where it remained until the temple was built. When and which was the only time it was removed, whereas before it had been removed from place to place, and so till now had no rest. Though some understand this of the ceasing or silence of the oracle over the Ark, which was neither consulted by Solomon and his successors, nor any of the high priests afterwards.


1 Chronicles 6:32 "And they ministered before the dwelling place of the tabernacle of the congregation with singing, until Solomon had built the house of the LORD in Jerusalem: and [then] they waited on their office according to their order."


Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; this service they performed before the Ark, which was in a tent or tabernacle David pitched for it. And which the Targum here calls the tabernacle of time, or a temporary tabernacle.


"Until Solomon had built the house of the Lord in Jerusalem": The temple there.


"And then they waited on their office according to their order": Performed it in the manner prescribed by David (see 1 Chron. 25:1).


This answers the question of whether we should have a choir in our churches or not. We see that in the Levitical tribe (ministers in the things of the LORD), there were set aside people who ministered in song. I have always believed that really beautiful hymns prepare the soul to receive the message of the preacher. This singing was praise unto the LORD for the presence of the LORD. God inhabits the praises of His people.


1 Chronicles 6:33 "And these [are] they that waited with their children. Of the sons of the Kohathites: Heman a singer, the son of Joel, the son of Shemuel,"


They and their posterity, who officiated in the service of singing psalms in the sanctuary: the three heads of them were of the three families of the Levites, as follow.


"Of the sons of the Kohathites, Heman a singer; the chief of the singers, and who composed psalms and hymns, which are in the book of Psalms.


"The son of Joel, the son of Shemuel": Or Samuel. This Heman was grandson of Samuel the prophet; for whose sake, his genealogy is traced up to Jacob or Israel in the following verses. And stands thus; after Samuel, Elkanah, Jeroham, Eliel, Toah, Zuph, Elkanah, Mahath, Amasai, Elkanah, Joel, Azariah, Zephaniah, Tahath, Assir, Ebiasaph, Korah, Izhar, Kohath, Levi, Israel.


1 Chronicles 6:34 "The son of Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Eliel, the son of Toah,"


The succeeding names, Jeroham and Elkanah (1 Chron. 6:27), agree with those (in 1 Chron. 6:34); but between the clauses "Elkanah his son" (1 Chron. 6:27), and "and the sons of Samuel" (1 Chron. 6:28), the connecting link (1 Chron. 6:33), is again wanting.


1 Chronicles 6:35 "The son of Zuph, the son of Elkanah, the son of Mahath, the son of Amasai,"


If however, we compare the genealogy of Heman, we find there (1 Chron. 6:35-36), a list of the descendants of Joel in an ascending line. Thus, Elkanah, Amasai, Mahath, Elkanah, Zuph; from which it would seem to follow that our Elkanah is the son of Joel mentioned in (1 Chron. 6:36). For Ahimoth may be without difficulty considered to be another form of the name Mahath. This conclusion would be assured if only the beginning of (1 Chron. 6:26), were in harmony with it. In this verse, indeed, as we read what is written, may be without difficulty taken to mean that Elkanah was the son of Ahimoth. Just as in (1 Chron. 6:20), Elkanah is introduced as son of Mahath.


1 Chronicles 6:36 "The son of Elkanah, the son of Joel, the son of Azariah, the son of Zephaniah,"


It is at once suggested that this Elkanah was the brother of the Abiasaph mentioned in (1 Chron. 6:15). If, however, we compare the genealogy of Heman, we find there (1 Chron. 6:35-36) a list of the descendants of Joel in an ascending line, thus, Elkanah, Amasai, Mahath, Elkanah, Zuph; from which it would seem to follow that our Elkanah is the son of Joel mentioned in (1 Chron. 6:36), for Ahimoth may be without difficulty considered to be another form of the name Mahath.


1 Chronicles 6:37 "The son of Tahath, the son of Assir, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah,"


The son of Korah, the son of Izhar (1 Chron. 6:22).


1 Chronicles 6:38 "The son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, the son of Israel."


Let me stop for a moment here in the giving of these names, and say that their ministry in the church was in song and music. Some played the instruments and some sang. We should enter God's house with thanksgiving in our hearts. Notice that the music was their call from God. The most welcome sound coming from our churches, as we enter the door, should be soft, spiritual music.


1 Chronicles 6:39 "And his brother Asaph, who stood on his right hand, [even] Asaph the son of Berachiah, the son of Shimea,"


This lengthy list of temple musicians shows the value placed on the role of music in worship. "Asaph" sounded the bronze cymbals when the Ark of the Covenant arrived in Jerusalem (15:19), and also wrote Psalms (chapters 50; 73-83).


1 Chronicles 6:40-44 "The son of Michael, the son of Baaseiah, the son of Malchiah," "The son of Ethni, the son of Zerah, the son of Adaiah," "The son of Ethan, the son of Zimmah, the son of Shimei," "The son of Jahath, the son of Gershom, the son of Levi." "And their brethren the sons of Merari [stood] on the left hand: Ethan the son of Kishi, the son of Abdi, the son of Malluch,"


Who were the brethren of the Kohathites and Gershonites, descending from the same ancestor Levi: stood on the left hand": That is, of Heman (see 1 Chron. 6:39), the chief of whom was Ethan, sometimes called Jeduthun (1 Chron. 16:41). And often in the book of Psalms; his genealogy is traced up to Levi thus; Kishi, called Kushaiah (1 Chron. 15:17), Abdi, Malluch, Hashabiah, Amaziah, Hilkiah, Amzi, Bani, Shamer, Mahli, Mushi, Merari, and Levi.


1 Chronicles 6:45-47 "The son of Hashabiah, the son of Amaziah, the son of Hilkiah," "The son of Amzi, the son of Bani, the son of Shamer," "The son of Mahli, the son of Mushi, the son of Merari, the son of Levi."


In all of these names of people involved in the music and the singing in the church, we find many of the names that are mentioned in the Psalms of David. David addressed many of his Psalms to these very singers. In the next lesson, we will deal with the family of the priests. God calls each person to minister in his own calling. We must bear in mind that all of the Levites served God in some capacity. Each had their own expertise. It seemed that in particular, the family of Merari was musically inclined.


1 Chronicles Chapter 6 Questions


1. Who were the sons of Levi?


2. What does "Levi" mean?


3. Who was the mother of Moses?


4. Who was the father of Moses?


5. Who were the sons of Kohath?


6. What will be the service of the Kohathites to the LORD?


7. Who were the children of Amram?


8. Who was the first high priest in the tabernacle?


9. What happened to Nadab and Abihu?


10. Who became high priest after Aaron?


11. Who was the son of Eleazar?


12. How long was he High Priest?


13. What is Phinehas remembered for, especially?


14. After Uzzi, who would become High Priest?


15. Who was he descended from?


16. Hilkiah was High Priest in the time of _________.


17. What happened to Seraiah?


18. What happened to Jehozadak?


19. What was the call of the LORD on the descendants of Kohath?


20. Another name for Libni is __________.


21. Who assisted Hezekiah in restoring worship in the temple?


22. What do many scholars believe about Amminadab?


23. Why did Korah join with Dathan and Abiram against Moses?


24. Tahath's descendants led to _________.


25. Who was Samuel?


26. Who seems to be the same person as Vashni?


27. What does "Vashni" mean?


28. What does "Joel" mean?


29. What kind of sons were Samuel's?


30. Which Scriptures answer the question of whether there should be a choir in the church, or not?


31. What has the author always believed about beautiful hymns?


32. We should enter God's house with _______________ in our heart.


33. Where else, in the Bible, are these singers' names mentioned?




1 Chronicles Chapter 6 Continued

1 Chronicles 6:48 "Their brethren also the Levites [were] appointed unto all manner of service of the tabernacle of the house of God."


Who were not skilled in singing, and employed in that service, even the rest of the Kohathites, Gershonites, and Merarites.


"Were appointed unto all manner of service of the tabernacle of the house of God;" Some were porters at the gates. Others had the care of the vessels; others slew the beasts for sacrifices, flayed them, and cut them up, and brought the pieces to the altar of burnt offerings, for the priests to offer.


We have just finished studying about the Levitical tribe, who had been called into the ministry of music and singing. Just as in a modern church, there are ministers called to do a specific thing, as there are those of the Levitical tribe called to do specific things. All are chosen of God for their specific ministry. The tabernacle was a very complicated operation. Every little thing had to be observed. There could be no changes made by the people ministering. They were to function in their roles exactly the way the LORD would have them to.



Verses 49-53: This is a repeat of the High-Priestly line enumerated (in 6:4-8 through Zadok). This repeated genealogy could possibly point to the Zadokian high-priesthood for the temple in the Millennium (Ezek. 40:46; 43:19; 44:15; 48:11).


1 Chronicles 6:49 "But Aaron and his sons offered upon the altar of the burnt offering, and on the altar of incense, [and were appointed] for all the work of the [place] most holy, and to make an atonement for Israel, according to all that Moses the servant of God had commanded."


Those that descended from him, though of the same tribe of Levi were all priests.


"And they offered upon the altar of burnt offerings": The daily sacrifice, and all the offerings of the people brought to them.


"And on the altar of incense": They burnt incense night and morning: and were appointed:


"For all the work of the place most holy": Such as were High Priests of the line of Eleazar, whose work it was to go into the most holy place once a year.


"To make atonement for all Israel, according to all that Moses the servant of God commanded": (In Leviticus 16:1), we see; and on mention of this, a list of the High Priests from Aaron. In the line of Eleazar, is given, to the times of Solomon, in the four following verses, just in the same order as in (1 Chron. 6:4).


Aaron, and his descendants were to be the priests and High Priest of the LORD. Their task was of a very serious nature. The High Priest was to represent the people to God, and represent God to the people. The great High Priest of all believers is the Lord Jesus Christ. He represents us to God, and He represents God to us. The office of High Priest was the most important calling. Jesus fulfills that for us. He is the head of the church. We read in Leviticus, the detailed instructions on how each of the functions of their ministry was to be carried out. The following Scripture is just one of many.


Leviticus 1:8 "And the priests, Aaron's sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat, in order upon the wood that [is] on the fire which [is] upon the altar:"


We see that the High Priest in this case, Aaron, was the only one to enter the Most Holy Place. The priests could minister in other areas in the tabernacle.


1 Chronicles 6:50 "And these [are] the sons of Aaron; Eleazar his son, Phinehas his son, Abishua his son,"


"These are the sons of Aaron": Having mentioned the work of the High Priests, he here briefly rehearsed the names of the persons who successively performed it.


The two first sons of Aaron were killed by the LORD, when they offered strange fire. They are omitted in the verse above. Eleazar was the next High Priest after Aaron. Phinehas was the third High Priest. We spoke more of him in the previous lesson. Abishua became the fourth High Priest in Israel. "Abishua" means father of salvation.


1 Chronicles 6:51-53 "Bukki his son, Uzzi his son, Zerahiah his son," "Meraioth his son, Amariah his son, Ahitub his son," "Zadok his son, Ahimaaz his son."


After Uzzi, Eli becomes High Priest. In Zadok, the high priesthood would come back to the lineage of Phinehas.


Verses 54-81; This section rehearses the 48 cities given to the Levites instead of a section of land (Num. 35:1-8; Joshua 21:1-42), which signals God's intention for the Jewish nation to have a priesthood and future in the land first given to Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3).


1 Chronicles 6:54 "Now these [are] their dwelling places throughout their castles in their coasts, of the sons of Aaron, of the families of the Kohathites: for theirs was the lot."


"Aaron" and his family, along with other Levites, did not possess a specific "territory" like the other tribes; rather, they lived on land throughout Israel to serve as priests for all the people (Joshua Chapter 21).


For the cities assigned to the Levites (see the note on Joshua 21:2-3).


The Levites' inheritance was the LORD. They received cities to dwell in. They were called Levitical cities. (In Num. Chapter 35:1-8), we see this in detail. Turn there and read of their dwelling places. "Castles" is taken from a word that means fortress, habitation, or palace. Castle, then is not speaking of a place of luxury. It is speaking of a nice place to live. The Levites were well cared for by their people they ministered to.


1 Chronicles 6:55 "And they gave them Hebron in the land of Judah, and the suburbs thereof round about it."


Closely answering to (Joshua 21:11-12).


"Hebron": Joshua, "the city of Arba, the father of the Anak, that is, Hebron."


"In the land of Judah": Joshua, "hill-country" (har for ha'are).


"Suburbs": The Hebrew migrashm, pastures or commons, as opposed to arable land (Authorized Version, "fields;" Heb., sadeh).


(Numbers 35:3-5), defines the extent of the Levitical domain round the cities where they dwelt.


Hebron is a town in the mountains of Judah. It was located between Beer-sheba and Jerusalem. The suburbs were for their gardens and their animals.


1 Chronicles 6:56 "But the fields of the city, and the villages thereof, they gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh."


"To Caleb the son of Jephunneh": Joshua adds "as his possession."


Caleb's father, Jephunneh, was a Kenezite. This is the same Caleb who brought back the good report, when he searched out the Promised Land. Moses gave him this land for his faith in God, when ten of the spies doubted. This was a choice area.


1 Chronicles 6:57 "And to the sons of Aaron they gave the cities of Judah, [namely], Hebron, [the city] of refuge, and Libnah with her suburbs, and Jattir, and Eshtemoa, with their suburbs,"


God told His people to establish "cities of refuge," where a person could go for safe haven after accidentally killing someone (Num. Chapter 35).


The tabernacle's final resting place would be Jerusalem. It would be appropriate for those who would work directly in service in the tabernacle to live in and near Jerusalem. Hebron is located 20 miles out of Jerusalem. The city of refuge was a place for those who had accidentally killed someone, to go. Libnah is also located near Jerusalem. It became a Levitical city when it was taken by Joshua. Jattir was visited often by King David. Eshtemoa is located south of Hebron. Ishbah was said to be the father of Eshtemoa.


1 Chronicles 6:58 "And Hilen with her suburbs, Debir with her suburbs,"


"Hilen": Holon, which twice occurs (in Joshua 15:51; 21:15), is a more natural form.


"Debir" Oracle, the inmost sanctuary; anciently, Kirjath-sepher (Book Town).


Hilen is probably the same as Holon. Debir was a highland city of Judah, 12 miles southwest of Hebron.


1 Chronicles 6:59 "And Ashan with her suburbs, and Beth-shemesh with her suburbs:"


"Ashan": (smoke); in Joshua, Ain (fountain). The place may have had both names, from a fountain rising like a column of smoke. "Juttah and her pastures" has fallen out here (Joshua 21:16). At the end of the verse Joshua adds, "Nine cities out of these two tribes," viz., Judah and Simeon.


Ashan is referred to by Ain as well. It probably lay north-west of Beer-sheba. Beth-shemesh was where the Ark was returned to Israel. It is also the place where thousands were killed for looking into the Ark. It was located in a valley on the north boundary of Judah.


1 Chronicles 6:60 "And out of the tribe of Benjamin; Geba with her suburbs, and Alemeth with her suburbs, and Anathoth with her suburbs. All their cities throughout their families [were] thirteen cities."


"Gibeon and her pastures" is omitted; probably an oversight, due to the similarity of sound and form between Gibeon and Geba. Alemeth and Almn are each valid formations, and perhaps represent an older and younger name of the place.


"Thirteen cities": The list in its present shape contains eleven. This proves that Juttah and Gibeon should be restored to the text.


The cities in the verses prior to this one, were from Judah. Now we are dealing with the cities in the area of Benjamin. Geba is north of Jerusalem. Alemeth is not mentioned further. Anathoth was a city of refuge, as well as being a Levitical city. It is the birthplace of Jeremiah. It was overlooking the Jordan and the north part of the Dead Sea. It was 3 miles northeast of Jerusalem. The thirteen cities of the Levites were surrounding Jerusalem, where the priests and high priest served the LORD.


1 Chronicles 6:61 "And unto the sons of Kohath, [which were] left of the family of that tribe, [were cities given] out of the half tribe, [namely, out of] the half [tribe] of Manasseh, by lot, ten cities."


See the note about "lots" (in 1 Chron. 24:5).


Not all of the family of Kohath were priests and High Priest. This is speaking of the rest of the family, who were not ministering on a daily basis as high priest or priests. It was not as necessary for them to be extremely close to Jerusalem. Ten cities out of the half tribe of Manasseh were given to the families of Kohath.


1 Chronicles 6:62 "And to the sons of Gershom throughout their families out of the tribe of Issachar, and out of the tribe of Asher, and out of the tribe of Naphtali, and out of the tribe of Manasseh in Bashan, thirteen cities."


Gershom (Joshua is Gershon).


"Throughout their families": I.e., with regard to, after their clans (so 1 Chron. 6:63).


In (1 Chron. 6:60), "throughout their families" represents Hebrew in their clans.


"Tribe of Manasseh in Bashan": Joshua, "half-tribe."


These were still Levites and they did not get land inheritance. They served the LORD, but not in the same capacity as Aaron's family. Gershom's inheritance of 13 cities was located in the land allotted to Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and the other half tribe of Manasseh.


1 Chronicles 6:63 "Unto the sons of Merari [were given] by lot, throughout their families, out of the tribe of Reuben, and out of the tribe of Gad, and out of the tribe of Zebulun, twelve cities."


This verse is word for word the same as (Joshua 21:7), omitting the one term "by lot."


There is a little addition in this verse. The city each family received to live in was chosen by lot. This is still speaking of Levites. We learned earlier, that many of these Levites were singers and musicians for the LORD. The cities in the land belonging to Reuben and Gad were east of the Jordan. Zebulun was west of the Jordan. The families of Merari received 12 cities.


1 Chronicles 6:64 "And the children of Israel gave to the Levites [these] cities with their suburbs."


"So the sons of Israel gave to the Levites the cities and their pastures. And they gave by the lot, out of the tribe of the sons of Judah, and out of the tribe of the sons of Simeon, and out of the tribe of the sons of Benjamin, those cities which are called by names." Named, that is, in the list of (1Chron. 6:55-60), above. This is clearly a summing up of the whole account so far. The eleven tribes have all been mentioned in (1 Chron. 6:61-65).


1 Chronicles 6:65 "And they gave by lot out of the tribe of the children of Judah, and out of the tribe of the children of Simeon, and out of the tribe of the children of Benjamin, these cities, which are called by [their] names."


They gave, to wit, to those Levites of the family of Kohath who were priests, as appears both by (1 Chron. 6:57), etc. Where the cities given to the Aaronites are said to be taken out of the tribes here named, even out of Judah, under which Simeon is comprehended, because his lot lay within that of Judah, and Benjamin; and by the next verse. Where the other Kohathites who were not priests are called the residue of the families of the sons of Kohath, by way of distinction from those of them to whom this (1 Chron. 6:65), relates.


"Which are called by their names": Which are expressed by their names above, (1 Chron. 6:57).


1 Chronicles 6:66 "And [the residue] of the families of the sons of Kohath had cities of their coasts out of the tribe of Ephraim."


"And the residue of the families": The Hebrew text can hardly mean this; and (Joshua 21:20), shows that it is incorrect. The original text must have been, "And to the families of the sons of Kohath: and the cities of their border were of the tribe of Ephraim." The construction breaks off, and a new start is made by the words "and the cities," etc. The verse is abridged as compared with Joshua.


Those who had not been allotted a city in the other tribes' land would have cities in Ephraim. This is speaking of the scattered remnant.


1 Chronicles 6:67 "And they gave unto them, [of] the cities of refuge, Shechem in mount Ephraim with her suburbs; [they gave] also Gezer with her suburbs,"


The correct version of the Hebrew text is, "And they gave unto them the cities of refuge, Shechem and her pastures, in the hill-country of Ephraim; and Gezer and her pastures." Perhaps (both here and in 1 Chronicles 6:57 above) "city" ('iyr), and not "cities" ('arey), is the original reading. We have already noticed many indications of textual corruption in this and the former section. Gezer was not a city of refuge (see 1 Chron. 6:57). Joshua 21:21 has the singular.


1 Chronicles 6:68 "And Jokmeam with her suburbs, and Beth-horon with her suburbs,"


"Jokmeam": Joshua has Kibzaim, a name omitted by the LXX. Jokmeam is probably right. The other might easily be a misreading of it, owing to confusion of similar letters. The site is unknown. The four cities of (1 Chron. 6:67-68), lay in Ephraim. Beth-horon, Gibeon, and Aijalon, the scenes of the great and providentially determined overthrow of the five kings of the Amorites, were appropriately assigned to the sacred tribe of Levi.


1 Chronicles 6:69 "And Aijalon with her suburbs, and Gath-rimmon with her suburbs:"


"Aijalon with her suburbs" (Joshua 21:23-24). "And out of the tribe of Dan, Eltekeh and her pastures, Gibbethon and her pastures, Aijalon and her pastures, Gath-rimmon and her pastures; four cities." Clearly there is a lacuna in our text between (1 Chron. 6:68-69). It has been supposed that the chronicler omits mention of the tribe of Dan, here and elsewhere, owing to a religious prejudice, because of the illicit form of worship of which the city Dan was the center. It is more likely that such omissions are not chargeable to the chronicler, but either to the imperfection of his sources, or to the carelessness, and perhaps malpractice, of his copyists and editors.


1 Chronicles 6:70 "And out of the half tribe of Manasseh; Aner with her suburbs, and Bileam with her suburbs, for the family of the remnant of the sons of Kohath."


"Aner ... Bileam" (Joshua 21:25 reads "Taa-nach; see Joshua 17:11), and Gath-rimmon." The latter is a mere repetition from the preceding verse. Bileam is a man's name, being the Hebrew spelling of Balaam. It should be Ibleam (Joshua 17:11). So the LXX. Aner (Gen. 14:13), is also a man, one of Abraham's allies. Taanach is probably right, the last three letters of the Hebrew word closely resembling those of Aner.


"For the family": Better, unto the family of the sons of Kohath who were left. This depends on the idea of giving (1 Chron. 6:67). The phrase is a sort of subscription to the whole list of (1 Chron. 6:67-70). For "family" the plural should be read, as in (Joshua 21:26).


The cities of refuge had to be scattered through the land of the 12 tribes, because they had to be in easy running distance for the manslayer. This was a place of safety for one who had accidentally killed someone to run, until they could have a trial. All of the cities listed above, were on the western side of the Jordan River.


1 Chronicles 6:71 "Unto the sons of Gershom [were given] out of the family of the half tribe of Manasseh, Golan in Bashan with her suburbs, and Ashtaroth with her suburbs:"


"To the sons of Gershom": Supply, "they gave" (from 1 Chron. 6:67).


"Golan in Bashan": (compare the classical Gaulanitis, a district east of the Sea of Galilee), was a city of refuge, like Hebron and Shechem.


"Ashtaroth": Images of Ashtoreth (Astarte, queen of heaven); a name like Anathoth (1 Chron. 6:60), which means "images of Anath," or Anatum, the consort of Anurn (the sky). The two cities must have been ancient seats of the worship of Ashtoreth and Anath. The names still survive in Tell-Ashtereh and Anta. Joshua reads Be'eshterah, perhaps a popular pronunciation of Beth-Ashterah (house of Ashtoreth).


Golan, and Ashtaroth were both of the half tribe of Manasseh east of the Jordan. Bezer of the tribe of Reuben and Ramoth, a city of Gad, were also places of refuge on the eastern side of the Jordan. There was said to be but three, so perhaps two of the cities given are actually one city. It appears that other Scriptures do not mention Ashtaroth.


Deuteronomy 4:43 "[Namely], Bezer in the wilderness, in the plain country, of the Reubenites; and Ramoth in Gilead, of the Gadites; and Golan in Bashan, of the Manassites."


1 Chronicles 6:72 "And out of the tribe of Issachar; Kedesh with her suburbs, Daberath with her suburbs,"


"Kedesh": Read Kishon (Joshua 21:28).


"Daberath": The modern Dabriyeh at the foot of Mount Tabor.


This Kedesh is, possibly, the same as Kishon (in Joshua 21:28). Daberath was west of mount Tabor.


1 Chronicles 6:73 "And Ramoth with her suburbs, and Anem with her suburbs:"


"Ramoth": Jarmuth (in Joshua 21:29).


"Anem": Read En-gannim (with Joshua 21:29). Probably the modern large village of Jenn on the edge of the plain of Esdrelon. Anem is probably the same as Engannim. They are all from the tribe of Issachar.


1 Chronicles 6:74 "And out of the tribe of Asher; Mashal with her suburbs, and Abdon with her suburbs,"


"Mashal": Mishal (Joshua 21:30).


Mashal is the same as Mishal. Abdon is the same in Joshua.


1 Chronicles 6:75 "And Hukok with her suburbs, and Rehob with her suburbs:"


"Hukok": Read Helkath with (Joshua 21:31; compare Joshua 19:25).


Rehob is the same as Joshua.


1 Chronicles 6:76 "And out of the tribe of Naphtali; Kedesh in Galilee with her suburbs, and Hammon with her suburbs, and Kirjathaim with her suburbs."


"Kedesh in Galilee": Called Kedesh-naphtali (in Judges 4:6). It is the modern Kedes, situated on a lofty plateau overlooking the waters of Ḥleh (Merom). It was a city of refuge (Joshua 21:32).


"Hammon ... Kirjathaim": In (Joshua 21:32), Hammoth-dor and Kartan.


1 Chronicles 6:77 "Unto the rest of the children of Merari [were given] out of the tribe of Zebulun, Rimmon with her suburbs, Tabor with her suburbs:"


Rather, "Unto the rest the children of Merari", that is to say, "unto the remainder of the Levites, who were descendants of Merari": The two other branches, the Kohathites and the Gershomites, having been treated of previously.


Joshua 21:34-35 "And unto the families of the children of Merari, the rest of the Levites, out of the tribe of Zebulun, Jokneam with her suburbs, and Kartah with her suburbs," "Dimnah with her suburbs, Nahalal with her suburbs; four cities."


1 Chronicles 6:78 "And on the other side Jordan by Jericho, on the east side of Jordan, [were given them] out of the tribe of Reuben, Bezer in the wilderness with her suburbs, and Jahzah with her suburbs,"


"By Jericho": The crossing-place of the Jordan nearest to Reuben was at Jericho. For the phrase, Jordan by Jericho (compare Joshua 16:1).


"In the wilderness": Further defined by the addition in the table-land (Deut. 4:43, R.V. manuscripts). Bezer was among the high pasture lands of Reuben. It was a city of refuge.


"Jahzah": Also called Jahaz (Compare Judges 11:20; Isa. 15:4).


Bezer, we mentioned earlier in this lesson. These other cities are in addition to the three cities mentioned in Deuteronomy. There was only one city of refuge from the tribe of Reuben mentioned in Deuteronomy.


1 Chronicles 6:79 "Kedemoth also with her suburbs, and Mephaath with her suburbs:"


The two names of this verse, with the two of the preceding, i.e. all the four names of the cities of Reuben, are absent from their proper place in the list (in Joshua 21). In the Hebrew Textus Receptus and the Vulgate, though found (in Joshua 13:18).


1 Chronicles 6:80 "And out of the tribe of Gad; Ramoth in Gilead with her suburbs, and Mahanaim with her suburbs,"


"Ramoth in Gilead": A city of refuge (Joshua 21:38; see 1 Kings 22:3; 2 Kings 9:1). Ramoth is the only one of these cities mentioned in Deuteronomy.


"Mahanaim" (see Genesis 32:2).


1 Chronicles 6:81 "And Heshbon with her suburbs, and Jazer with her suburbs."


"Heshbon" (Num. 21:25-26; Isa. 15:4).


"Jazer" (Num. 21:32 (Revised Version); Isa. 16:8).


1 Chronicles Chapter 6 Continued Questions


1. How does verse 1 relate to our modern churches?


2. What tribe were all who ministered in the tabernacle from?


3. What family was chosen out of the Levites to offer offerings upon the altar?


4. They were to be the ________ and _______ _________ in the tabernacle.


5. Who is the great High Priest?


6. Who were Aaron's sons?


7. What happened to the first two sons of Aaron?


8. What does "Abishua mean?


9. After Uzzi, who became high priest?


10. What was the inheritance of the Levites?


11. Where can we find out more about the dwelling places of the Levites?


12. Hebron is a town in the mountains of _________.


13. Who was Caleb?


14. What was Hebron, besides a Levitical city?


15. Where would be the final resting place of the tabernacle?


16. Where is Hebron located?


17. A city of refuge was used for what?


18. What were the cities of Benjamin, which became Levitical cities?


19. Who is verse 61 speaking of?


20. How were the cities, they were to live in, decided?


21. Why was it necessary for the cities of refuge to be scattered among the tribes?


22. How many cities of refuge were to be on the east side of Jordan?





Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to 1 Chronicles Menu | Return to Bible Menu


1 Chronicles 7



1 Chronicles Chapter 7

Verses 1-40: This chapter primarily covers the northern tribes of Israel, completing the national picture.


1 Chronicles 7:1 "Now the sons of Issachar [were], Tola, and Puah, Jashub, and Shimrom, four."


The same number is given (Gen. 46:13), with a small variation of two of their names. There called Phuvah and Job, from whence so many families sprang, mentioned in (Num. 26:23), where the names are the same as here.


These genealogies are dealing with one tribe at a time. Some of them have more to do with the direct genealogy that leads to Jesus than others. "Issachar" means hire, or he is hired. Issachar was Jacobs's fifth son by Leah. Puah is called Phuvah elsewhere, and Jashub is sometimes called Job. The number of fighting men of Tola in David's time were 22,600. This shows this was not an insignificant family. There is nothing more than what we read here known about Puah. The Jashubites were started by Jashub. The Shimronites were from Shimrom, here.


1 Chronicles 7:2 "And the sons of Tola; Uzzi, and Rephaiah, and Jeriel, and Jahmai, and Jibsam, and Shemuel, heads of their father's house, [to wit], of Tola: [they were] valiant men of might in their generations; whose number [was] in the days of David two and twenty thousand and six hundred."


The eldest son of Issachar, whose posterity are only reckoned by name.


"Uzzi, and Rephaiah, and Jeriel, and Jahmai, and Jibsam, and Shemuel, heads of their father's house, to wit, of Tola": The principal man of his family.


"They were valiant men of might in their generations": Famous for their courage and military exploits, though they sprang from Tola, whose name signifies "a worm"; and which name Bochart conjectures was given him by his parents, because he was so weakly that they had no hopes of raising him. And yet from him sprung such mighty men, and from them such a numerous race, as follows.


"Whose number was, in the days of David, two and twenty thousand and six hundred": Besides those of the posterity of Uzzi, afterwards mentioned. This was at the time Joab took the number of Israel, by the order of David (1 Chron. 21:5).


Tola seemed to be the most prominent of Issachar's children, as far as their involvement with the other tribes. (In 2 Samuel chapter 24 verses 1 through 17), there is a little more information on the sons of Tola.


1 Chronicles 7:3 "And the sons of Uzzi; Izrahiah: and the sons of Izrahiah; Michael, and Obadiah, and Joel, Ishiah, five: all of them chief men."


Including his posterity.


"And the sons of Izrahiah; Michael, and Obadiah, and Joel, Ishiah, five": Together with their father, all reckoned the sons of Uzzi":


"All of them chief men": In their father's house, heads of families.


Izrahiah and his four children are all included in the five. This just means that Izrahiah was a chief man, as well as his sons. "Izrahiah" means Jehovah will bring forth.



Verses 4-5: "Issachar's" warriors were known for their strength and military prowess (compare Gen. 49:14; Judges 5:15), and prudence (Deut. 33:19; 1 Chron. 12:32).


1 Chronicles 7:4 "And with them, by their generations, after the house of their fathers, [were] bands of soldiers for war, six and thirty thousand [men]: for they had many wives and sons."


Companies of men of military courage and skill, who could and did go out to war upon occasion.


"Six and thirty thousand men": Besides the 22,600 Tolaites (1 Chron. 7:2).


"For they had many wives and sons": Having many wives, they had many sons. Polygamy was the cause of their large numbers; and that they gave into for the sake of the multiplication of Abraham's seed, according to the divine promise.


These 36,000 men were in addition to the men of Tola. These are from the family of Uzzi. The explanation of why they had more soldiers, is in the verse above itself. They had more wives and children than Tola did.


1 Chronicles 7:5 "And their brethren among all the families of Issachar [were] valiant men of might, reckoned in all by their genealogies fourscore and seven thousand."


As those of Puah, Jashub, and Shimron (1 Chron. 7:1).


"Were men of might": Valiant and courageous.


"Reckoned in all, by their genealogies, fourscore and seven thousand": That is, including with these those of Tola and Uzzi before given.


All of the other sons, along with the sons of Tola and Uzzi, had 87,000 men. This is a little more than 1/10 of all the troops mentioned (in 2 Samuel 24:8-9). For our spiritual study here, it is not important just exactly how many they were. It is important to know that they grew and became a strong tribe.



Verses 6-12: Five "sons of Benjamin" are listed (in Num. 26:38-41; compare 8:1-2). Two of Benjamin's grandsons (Num. 26:40), are listed among the 10 sons (descendants), of Benjamin (in Gen. 46:21). The list here contains still other differences. Biblical genealogies are extremely selective and recorded for various reasons. They are not intended to be complete. Thus, chronologies of the Bible based strictly upon genealogical lists are hazardous at best.


1 Chronicles 7:6 "[The sons] of Benjamin; Bela, and Becher, and Jediael, three."


"Bela, and Becher, and Jediael, three": Benjamin had ten sons, but three only are mentioned first; the latter of these seems to be the same with Ashbel (Gen. 46:21).


Benjamin was the son of Jacob and Rachel. He was the younger brother of Joseph. Bela, the first son of Benjamin. Becher was one of the sons that came down to Egypt with his family. It is believed that he married an heiress of the Ephraimites, and began to be counted of Ephraim. "Jediael" means known of God.


The tribe of "Benjamin, while not a northern tribe, is introduced here. Chapter 8 gives a more detailed description of this important tribe of Benjamin. The biblical listings of his "sons" vary. This list contains three names (8:1 lists five names; 10 names are recorded in Num. 26:38-39). Rather than indicating textual inaccuracy, such variations suggest that each list served a different function and came from a different source. This list, for example, seems to be related to military purposes.


1 Chronicles 7:7 "And the sons of Bela; Ezbon, and Uzzi, and Uzziel, and Jerimoth, and Iri, five; heads of the house of [their] fathers, mighty men of valor; and were reckoned by their genealogies twenty and two thousand and thirty and four."


These are thought by some to be the grandsons of Bela, because of the different names in (1 Chron. 8:3).


"Heads of the house of their fathers, mighty men of valor": Principal men in their tribe and families, and of great courage.


"And were reckoned by their genealogies twenty and two thousand and thirty and four": Who sprung from these men.


We find that the valor of the men, spoken of in all of these verses, seems to pertain to their ability to fight. Benjamin's tribe is spoken of as siding in with Judah, instead of the other ten, when the ten tribes break away from the twelve. Some believe that these were not all actual sons, but leaders of the families. That is not an issue here. We will not belabor the point. We will just assume they are sons who are heads of the families, and go on.


1 Chronicles 7:8 "And the sons of Becher; Zemira, and Joash, and Eliezer, and Elioenai, and Omri, and Jerimoth, and Abiah, and Anathoth, and Alameth. All these [are] the sons of Becher."


Another son of Benjamin (1 Chron. 7:6).


"Zemira, and Joash, and Eliezer and Elioenai, and Omri, and Jerimoth, and Abiah, and Anathoth, and Alameth": The two last of these, according to Kimchi, gave names to two cities in Benjamin, built by them. Anathoth, the native place of Jeremiah the prophet, and Alameth, the same with Bahurim (2 Sam. 16:5).


"All these are the sons of Becher": before named.


1 Chronicles 7:9 "And the number of them, after their genealogy by their generations, heads of the house of their fathers, mighty men of valor, [was] twenty thousand and two hundred."


Of the posterity of the sons of Becher.


"After their genealogy by their generations, heads of the house of their fathers, mighty men of valor": As they increased in succeeding ages, and at the time of David.


It was not unusual for a man to have 9 sons in the day that this was speaking of. Sometimes they were by one wife, but in many cases, they were by many wives. Twenty thousand two hundred speaks of a large number of men of fighting age. This means the entire family would be three to four times that many.


1 Chronicles 7:10 "The sons also of Jediael; Bilhan: and the sons of Bilhan; Jeush, and Benjamin, and Ehud, and Chenaanah, and Zethan, and Tharshish, and Ahishahar."


The third son of Benjamin before mentioned (1 Chron. 7:6). "Bilhan, including his posterity, as follows:


"And the sons of Bilhan; Jeush, and Benjamin": Called so after his great grandfather.


"And Ehud": Who was the second judge in Israel (Judges 3:15).


"And Chenaanah, and Zethan, and Tharshish, and Ahishahar": Of whom we nowhere else read.


1 Chronicles 7:11 "All these the sons of Jediael, by the heads of their fathers, mighty men of valor, [were] seventeen thousand and two hundred [soldiers], fit to go out for war [and] battle."


Which, with the above sums put together, make of the tribe of Benjamin, besides what follow, 59,430; who, if numbered by Joab, the account was not given in by him (1 Chron. 21:6).


There is very little known of Bilhan, Jeush, or this Benjamin. He is probably, the same person as Ahiram, and was father of the Ahiramites, a clan of Geba. There is little known of Chenaanah, Zethan, Tharshish and Ahishahar. From time to time, they were almost wiped out for the sins they committed. Perhaps, some of this is why there is very little known of most of their descendants. There is really no way of knowing who lived and who died, unless the Scripture is specific about it.


1 Chronicles 7:12 "Shuppim also, and Huppim, the children of Ir, [and] Hushim, the sons of Aher."


If Ir is the same person as Iri, the son of Bela, then Shuppim is the great-grandson of Benjamin. Aher is believed by many to be the same person as Ahiram. Little is known of him.


"Hushim" is elsewhere listed as the son of Dan (Gen. 46:23). Since in the genealogical lists the name of Dan regularly follows that of Benjamin, it may have been intended to be included here. Is so, only Zebulun's genealogy is missing (in chapters 2 - 7), perhaps because Zebulun's fortunes were so often linked with those of Issachar (Gen. 49:13-14; Num. 2:5-8; 26:23-27; Deut. 33:18-19). Since the precise selectivity of the genealogical lists is conditioned by a given author's purpose, Zebulun's omission is not unusual.


1 Chronicles 7:13 "The sons of Naphtali; Jahziel, and Guni, and Jezer, and Shallum, the sons of Bilhah."


Jahziel, and Guni, and Jezer, and Shallum, called Shillem (Gen. 46:24).


"The sons of Bilhah": Jacob's concubine; her grandsons. For Naphtali, the father of them, was her son; from these sprung so many families, after their names (Num. 26:48).


Naphtali was the son of Jacob and Bilhah, Rachel's maid. At the Sinai census, there were 53,400 fighting men. They had dwindled down to 45,400 at the end of the wilderness wanderings. Jahziel was also spelled Jahzeel. They founded the Jahzeelites. Guni founded the Gunites. Jezer founded the Jezerites. Shallum was the same as Shillem, and he founded the Shillemites.


1 Chronicles 7:14 "The sons of Manasseh; Ashriel, whom she bare: ([but] his concubine the Aramitess bare Machir the father of Gilead:"


The wife of Manasseh, as distinguished from his concubine in the next clause; though the Targum reads, in connection with that, "whom his Aramitess (or Syrian), concubine bare". And then adds:


"Who also bare Machir the father of Gilead": So that Ashriel and Machir were brethren; from which Machir sprung the family of the Machirites, (Num. 26:29).


We have already dealt momentarily with the half tribe of Manasseh that dwelt on the eastern side of the Jordan. Now this is primarily speaking of those on the western side of Jordan. Somehow, the people are not well separated on which side they lived. They are basically spoken of as a whole tribe in their genealogy. Many times, when sons are spoken of, it means grandsons. Ashriel and Asriel are probably the same person. He would be a grandson of Manasseh instead of a son. It is believed that Manasseh only had one son by his concubine, and that son was Machir. His son, Gilead, was father of the Gileadites. Gilead was a man of war.


1 Chronicles 7:15 "And Machir took to wife [the sister] of Huppim and Shuppim, whose sister's name [was] Maachah;) and the name of the second [was] Zelophehad: and Zelophehad had daughters."


He married into the tribe of Benjamin, a sister of the persons mentioned (1 Chron. 7:12), whose name was Maachah.


"And the name of the second was Zelophehad": The second son of Manasseh, or of his posterity mentioned; for he was not his immediate son; for he was the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh (Num. 27:1).


"And Zelophehad had daughters": But no sons, the names of his daughters are given (Num. 26:33).


Huppim and Shuppim are descended from Benjamin. So this means that Maachah was of Benjamin as well. "Zelophehad" means protection against fear. He was descended from Manasseh through Gilead. He had no sons, just daughters. In Numbers chapter 27, we read of these daughters going to Moses and claiming their father's inheritance. The LORD told Moses to give it to them.


1 Chronicles 7:16 "And Maachah the wife of Machir bare a son, and she called his name Peresh; and the name of his brother [was] Sheresh; and his sons [were] Ulam and Rakem."


He had both these sons by her.


"And his sons were Ulam and Rakem": That is, either the sons of Peresh or Sheresh, the nearest, as Kimchi observes.


1 Chronicles 7:17 "And the sons of Ulam; Bedan. These [were] the sons of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh."


(See 1 Samuel 12:11).


"These were the sons of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh": That is, were of his posterity, or belonged to his family. For Ulam and Rakem were sons of a brother of Gilead (1 Chron. 7:16).


These sons and grandsons are very difficult to find anything about, except what the Scripture says here. There was a man named Bedan who acted as a judge on one occasion. I am not convinced this one is the same.


1 Chronicles 7:18 "And his sister Hammoleketh bare Ishod, and Abi-ezer, and Mahalah."


The sister of Gilead so named; though the Targum renders it "that reigned"; and so Kimchi, that reigned in some part of Gilead. And the Vulgate Latin version translates it, "a queen bare Ishod, and Abi-ezer, and Mahalah"; Abi-ezer is the same with Jeezer, from whom a family sprung up with that name (Num. 26:30), of which Gideon was (Judges 6:11).


"Hammoleketh" means queen. It appears that at one time she reigned over one portion of Gilead. Gideon descended from her as well. Abi-ezer was the son that Gideon was descended from. He was known as Jeezer, and was the father of the Jeezerites. Mahalah could be a daughter or a son, we are not told for sure. The oldest of the five daughters of Zelophehad had this name as well.


1 Chronicles 7:19 "And the sons of Shemida were, Ahian, and Shechem, and Likhi, and Aniam."


Another son of Gilead's sister, unless the same with Ishod; from him sprung the family of the Shemidaites (Num. 26:30).


"Were, Ahian, and Shechem, and Likhi, and Aniam": From Shechem came the family of the Shethemites, as from Likhi. If he is the same with Helek, as probably he may be, was the family of the Helekites (Num. 26:30).


Shemidah and Shemida are the same person. He was the father of the Shemidates. The only thing I know about Ahian, except what we read here, is that his name means brotherly. Shechem is mentioned (in Joshua chapter 17 verse 2). He was father of the Shechemites. This Shechem is nephew to that one. Nothing in addition to what we see here, is known of Likhi or Aniam.


1 Chronicles 7:20 "And the sons of Ephraim; Shuthelah, and Bered his son, and Tahath his son, and Eladah his son, and Tahath his son,"


A son of Joseph, and father of a tribe of this name, whose genealogy through five generations follows: Shuthelah, Bered, Tahath, Eladah, Tahath; the second.


1 Chronicles 7:21 "And Zabad his son, and Shuthelah his son, and Ezer, and Elead, whom the men of Gath [that were] born in [that] land slew, because they came down to take away their cattle."


Not the son of Tahath the second last mentioned, but the son of Ephraim, a second son of his:


"And Shuthelah; his son": The son of Zabad, called after his uncle's name (1 Chron. 7:20).


"And Ezer, and Elead": Two other sons of Zabad.


"Whom the men of Gath that were born in that land slew": That is, Zabad and his three sons. These the men of Gath slew, who were Philistines that dwelt there, and were originally of Egypt. And were born in that land, but had removed into Palestine, which had its name from them, of which Gath was one of its cities. And this bordering upon the land of Goshen, or being near it where the Israelites dwelt, they made inroads upon them, and plundered them.


"Because they came down to take away their cattle": And the sons, the grandsons of Ephraim, resisted them, and so were slain. And that the aggressors were not the Ephraimites, who went out of Egypt before their time, and fell upon the men of Gath, born in the land of the Philistines, in order to dispossess them of their land and substance. And were slain by them, which is the sense of the Targum and other writers, both Jewish and Christian. But the men of Gath, as is clear from this circumstance, that they came down. As men did when they went from Palestine to Egypt, not when they went from Egypt to Palestine, then they "went up"; which would have been the phrase used, if this had been an expedition of the Ephraimites into Palestine. Besides, it is not reasonable to think, that the Ephraimites, addicted to husbandry and cattle, and not used to war, should engage in such an enterprise. But rather the men of Gath, or the Philistines, who were a warlike people, and given to spoil and plunder. This, according to a learned chronologer, was seventy four years after Jacob went down to Egypt, and one hundred and forty years before the children of Israel came from thence.


Ephraim is the brother of Manasseh. His name means double fruit. He received the right hand blessing of the favored son. He was the father of the Ephraimites, sometimes called the Ephrathites. The statement given above is about all we know of Shuthelah, Bered, Tahath, Eladah, Tahath, Zabad, Shuthelah, Ezer and Elead. When they came down to Goshen to plunder the cattle, they were killed by the men of Goshen.


1 Chronicles 7:22 "And Ephraim their father mourned many days, and his brethren came to comfort him."


For the loss of his son and grandchildren for the above fact was done while the Israelites were in Egypt, and Ephraim the patriarch yet alive. Nor is there any need to suppose another Ephraim, different from him.


"And his brethren came to comfort him": Some of the heads of the other tribes of Israel, particularly Manasseh, with some of his family.


1 Chronicles 7:23 "And when he went in to his wife, she conceived, and bare a son, and he called his name Beriah, because it went evil with his house."


After his grief and sorrow in part at least had subsided.


"She conceived and bare a son": Which in some measure made up for the loss he had sustained.


"And he called his name Beriah": Which signifies being "in evil" or calamity, he being born in an evil time.


"Because it went evil with his house": Or evil was in his house, as Noldius, in his family; a great calamity had befallen it.


It is terrible grief that a father feels at the loss of a son. In this case, it was all of his sons. In the battle mentioned (in verse 21), the loss had been so great that the men of Ephraim appeared to be destroyed and there would be no heir. This is saying that God allowed Ephraim to have another son. "Beriah" can mean in evil or a gift. It is strange, but both things would fit this son.


1 Chronicles 7:24 "(And his daughter [was] Sherah, who built Beth-horon the nether, and the upper, and Uzzen-sherah.)"


A woman named "Sheerah" founded three cities, an unusual detail in the genealogy of Ephraim, and all the information provide about this woman. (See Num. 27:1-11), for the story of Zelophehad's daughters, who also inherited land when their father died and left no sons.


"Sherah" means kinswoman. This probably means that she was a descendent of Ephraim, not a daughter in the truest sense. Beth-horon lay on the boundary of Ephraim and Benjamin. Uzzen-sherah is in the same area. Since this was in an area of a pass, one city was on the rim and one was in the valley.


1 Chronicles 7:25-27 "And Rephah [was] his son, also Resheph, and Telah his son, and Tahan his son," "Laadan his son, Ammihud his son, Elishama his son," "Non his son, Jehoshuah his son."


The son of Beriah, whose genealogy from him is traced down to Joshua in this and the two following verses, and stands thus. After Rephah, Resheph, Telah, Tahan, Laadan, Ammihud, Elishama, who was prince of the tribe of Ephraim in the wilderness (Num. 1:10). Then Non or Nun, whose son was Jehoshua or Joshua.


1 Chronicles 7:28 "And their possessions and habitations [were], Beth-el and the towns thereof, and eastward Naaran, and westward Gezer, with the towns thereof; Shechem also and the towns thereof, unto Gaza and the towns thereof:"


That is, of the sons of Ephraim, when come into the land of Canaan.


"Were Bethel, and the towns thereof": The villages belonging to it, which was formerly called Luz, and was the border of Ephraim (Joshua 16:7).


"And eastward Naaran": The same with Naarath (Joshua 16:7).


"And westward Gezer, with the towns thereof": Of which (see Joshua 16:3).


"And Shechem also, and the towns thereof": Which was a city of refuge in Mount Ephraim (Joshua 20:7).


"Unto Gaza, and the towns thereof": Not Gaza, a city of the Philistines, for the tribe of Ephraim did not reach so far. The Targum calls it Aiah; it may be read Adaza, as in the margin of our Bibles.


These sons are the descendants of Ephraim. His lineage will continue on through them. The towns listed here are the cities of Israel. Beth-el will be one of the cities where the golden calf is erected in services. Naaran is a city between Beth-el and Jericho. Gezer is 18 miles northwest of Jerusalem. Shechem is mentioned 62 times in the Old Testament. It is possibly a city located on a mountain ridge. It was one of the first places Abraham came to in this land. The name "Shechem" means shoulder or ridge.


1 Chronicles 7:29 "And by the borders of the children of Manasseh, Beth-shean and her towns, Taanach and her towns, Megiddo and her towns, Dor and her towns. In these dwelt the children of Joseph the son of Israel."


Of the half tribe of Manasseh on this side Jordan: near to them the Ephraimites dwelt, even near to:


"Beth-shean and her towns, Taanach and her towns, Megiddo and her towns, Dor and her towns": Of all which places (see Joshua 17:11).


"In these dwelt the children of Joseph the son of Israel": The Ephraimites, in those mentioned in (1 Chron. 7:28), and the Manassites, in those that are here mentioned; who were either the children or posterity of Joseph, the beloved son of Israel.


Taanach was apportioned to the western half of Manasseh. This city, along with Megiddo, were in the area where the great battle of Armageddon is supposed to take place. It is near the Mediterranean Sea. It is on the western side of the Jordan where most of the Promised Land lay. "Dor" means dwelling. About all we know of it, is that it was an ancient city of the Canaanites. The children of Joseph, is speaking of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh.


1 Chronicles 7:30 "The sons of Asher; Imnah, and Isuah, and Ishuai, and Beriah, and Sarah their sister."


"The sons of Asher; Imnah ... Malchiel. This is a literal transcript of (Genesis 46:17; compare also Num. 26:44-46), where the clan (mishpahath), of each eponym is assigned; but the name of Isaah (Heb., Yishwāh) does not appear.


The tribe of Asher has very little genealogy. Imnah is the same as Jimnah (in Genesis 46:17). Isuah is the same as Ishuah from the same Scripture. Ishuai is the same as Isui. Beriah is the same in both Scriptures. Their sister, Sarah, is the same also.


1 Chronicles 7:31 "And the sons of Beriah; Heber, and Malchiel, who [is] the father of Birzavith."


Beriah: Also the name of an Ephraimitic stock (1 Chron. 7:23). Malchiel is called the "father (chief or founder) of Birzavith" only here. The Hebrew margin has Birzayith, perhaps "well of olive" (be-er zayith); the text, Berazth or Barzth. It is probably the name of a place.


Beriah's descendants were called Berites in Numbers. Heber's descendants were called Heberites in Numbers. Birzavith is possibly a place Malchiel fathered, not a person.


1 Chronicles 7:32 "And Heber begat Japhlet, and Shomer, and Hotham, and Shua their sister."


The other grandson of Asher; and son of Beriah.


"Begat Japhlet, and Shomer, and Hotham, and Shuah their sister": A place on the borders of Ephraim is called the coast of Japhleti; but whether from this Japhlet is uncertain.


Hotham is possibly the same as Helem, who was father of two of David's valiant men, Jehiel and Shama.


1 Chronicles 7:33 " And the sons of Japhlet; Pasach, and Bimhal, and Ashvath. These [are] the children of Japhlet."


Pasach, and Bimhal, and Ashvath; these are the children of Japhlet. Of whom we read not elsewhere.


There is very little known of these sons.


1 Chronicles 7:34 "And the sons of Shamer; Ahi, and Rohgah, Jehubbah, and Aram."


Or Shomer, the brother of Japhlet (1 Chron. 7:32).


"Ahi, and Rohgah, Jehubbah, and Aram": Of whom nothing is known but their names.


"Shamer" means preserved. The only thing that is known of these sons, is that they lived a little over 1,400 years before the birth of Christ.


1 Chronicles 7:35 "And the sons of his brother Helem; Zophah, and Imna, and Shelesh, and Amal."


Or Helem his brother, that is, the brother of Shomer, who, according to Hillerus, is Hotham (1 Chron. 7:32).


"Zophah, and Imna, and Shelesh, and Amal": Nowhere else mentioned.


1 Chronicles 7:36-37 "The sons of Zophah; Suah, and Harnepher, and Shual, and Beri, and Imrah," "Bezer, and Hod, and Shamma, and Shilshah, and Ithran, and Beera."


The eldest of the sons of Helem.


"Suah, and Harnepher, and Shual, and Beri, and Imrah, Bezer": And Hod, and Shamma, and Shilshah, and Ithran, and Beera; in all eleven.


1 Chronicles 7:38 "And the sons of Jether; Jephunneh, and Pispah, and Ara."


The same with Ithran, the last of Zophah's sons but one (1 Chron. 7:37).


"Jephunneh, and Pispah, and Ara": Not Jephunneh the father of Caleb; he was not of the tribe of Asher, but of Judah.


1 Chronicles 7:39 "And the sons of Ulla; Arah, and Haniel, and Rezia."


Who either was the son of Ara, last mentioned, or another son of Jether.


"Arah, and Haniel, and Rezia": Here ends the genealogy of Asher; the last of the tribes; Dan and Zebulun not being reckoned at all.


These sons and grandsons are a bit obscure. There is very little known of them from this point on.


1 Chronicles 7:40 "All these [were] the children of Asher, heads of [their] father's house, choice [and] mighty men of valor, chief of the princes. And the number throughout the genealogy of them that were apt to the war [and] to battle [was] twenty and six thousand men."


While Scripture is silent about the character of "Asher," the rabbinical literature of that day reports that he was an honest man who spent a great deal of time keeping peace between his quarrelsome brothers. And a godly man who fully exemplified the critical dimensions of manhood.


The tribe of Asher is not prominent throughout the Bible, but they are mentioned in the book of Revelation. The following is a prophecy that was spoken over Asher.


Deuteronomy 33:24 "And of Asher he said, [Let] Asher [be] blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil."


They are spoken of as the tribe of Asher in Revelation. At the time of the verse 40 above, we see 26,000 men of war in their tribe.


1 Chronicles Chapter 7 Questions


1. What does "Issachar" mean?


2. Who were the mother and father of Issachar?


3. What is another name for Puah?


4. What is another name for Jashub?


5. How many fighting men did Tola have in the time of David?


6. Name the sons of Tola.


7. Where can you read more on Tola's sons?


8. What does "Izrahiah" mean?


9. How many men of war did the tribe of Issachar have, together?


10. Who were the sons of Benjamin?


11. Who were the parents of Benjamin?


12. What was the valor, in verse 7, speaking of?


13. When the fighting men are numbered twenty two thousand, how do we know how many are in the entire tribe?


14. Aher is believed to be the same as ________.


15. Who were the parents of Naphtali?


16. How many were counted of Naphtali at the Sinai census?


17. Many times when they speak of someone as a son, he is actually a ____________.


18. Who was supposedly the only son of Manasseh?


19. Gilead was the father of the _____________.


20. The wife of Machir was sister to whom?


21. What is interesting about Zelophehad?


22. What do these daughters petition Moses for?


23. What does "Hammoleketh" mean?


24. Who was father of the Shechemites?


25. Who were the sons of Ephraim?


26. What happened to them?


27. After their death, what son did God give him?


28. What did Sherah build?


29. What does the name "Shechem" mean?


30. Who were the sons of Asher?


31. How many men of war were there of Asher, when this was written?


32. The tribe of Asher is called ________ in the book of Revelation.





Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to 1 Chronicles Menu | Return to Bible Menu


1 Chronicles 8



1 Chronicles Chapter 8

Verses 1-40: This section enlarges on the genealogy of Benjamin (in 7:6-12), most likely because of that tribe's important relationship with Judah in the southern kingdom. Thus, these two tribes taken in captivity together and the Levites make up the retuning remnant (in 538 B.C.).


This more extensive genealogy of "Benjamin" reminds readers that Saul, the first king of Israel, descended from the line of Benjamin.


1 Chronicles 8:1 "Now Benjamin begat Bela his firstborn, Ashbel the second, and Aharah the third,"


This list expands that of (7:6-12), listing Benjamites in various localities (verses 1-32), and closes with the mention of the family of Saul (verses 33-40). Benjamin is accorded a final place in the genealogies to prepare the readers of (1 Chronicles), for the narrative concerning Saul (in chapter 10). Note the similar positioning of the supplemental list of Benjamites in Gibeon from which came Saul, Israel's first king (in 9:35-44).


1 Chronicles 8:2 "Nohah the fourth, and Rapha the fifth."


Nohah is supposed by some to be the same with Becher (1 Chron. 7:6), and by others with Naaman (Gen. 46:21), as Rapha, the same with Rosh there.


These five sons listed here, vary a little from the families of Benjamin listed (in Numbers 26:38-39). There are five families in each case however. There is just a little difference in the fathers of the family's names. Bela, his firstborn, is the same in both. He became the father of the Belaites. Ashbel is the same in Numbers and here. He was the father of the Ashbelites. Aharah could be the same as Ahiram in Numbers, who started the Ahiramites. Nohah and Rapha given here as the fourth and fifth sons, are not mentioned in Numbers. In Numbers, Shupham, and Hupham are mentioned instead. I will give you the Scripture on this family from Genesis.


Genesis 46:21 "And the sons of Benjamin [were] Belah, and Becher, and Ashbel, Gera, and Naaman, Ehi, and Rosh, Muppim, and Huppim, and Ard."


In the Bible, sons and grandsons are both called sons. Sometimes, male descendants from many generations down are called sons. That is why these names are not always the same.


1 Chronicles 8:3-5 "And the sons of Bela were, Addar, and Gera, and Abihud," "And Abishua, and Naaman, and Ahoah," "And Gera, and Shephuphan, and Huram."


These were all the sons of Bela; one of the name of Naaman is reckoned among the sons of Benjamin (Genesis 46:21), and from this grandson the family of the Naamanites are named (Numbers 26:40). And Ahoah is by some thought to be the same with Ehi, mentioned (in Genesis 46:21), as one of Benjamin's sons. Some take the three last to be the sons of Ehud, spoken of in the next verse; but Shephuphan and Huram seem to be the same with Shupham and Hupham (Num. 26:39).


The first of these is thought to be the same with Ard, mentioned among the sons of Benjamin (Genesis 46:21), but was one of his grandsons (see Num. 26:40), as Gera also was.


There are nine sons listed here, and only three of them are listed in Numbers. We must remember, that this chronicle was put together many years after the fact. So many of these names are similar to others and it is easy for such seemingly errors. I believe that what really happened was that some of them died early, and were not included in some of the lists. As we said earlier, some may be grandsons, as well.


1 Chronicles 8:6 "And these [are] the sons of Ehud: these are the heads of the fathers of the inhabitants of Geba, and they removed them to Manahath:"


Not he that was a judge in Israel (Judges 3:15), but perhaps a son of Huram the last mentioned. For not the three last are his sons, as some think, but the three following in the next verse; what follows being to be read in a parenthesis.


"These are the heads of the fathers of the inhabitants of Geba": A city in the tribe of Benjamin (Joshua 18:24). Namely, those sons of Ehud, after mentioned, were principal men in that tribe, and chief of the inhabitants of the city of Geba.


"And they removed them to Manahath": The name of a country referred to (in 1 Chron. 2:52), according to Jarchi, which was in the tribe of Judah. Geba being too small, either the inhabitants of Geba removed them, or they removed themselves, or their fathers removed them (1 Chron. 8:7). Or it may be read impersonally, they were removed thither for the sake of a better habitation. The Targum adds, "to the land of the house of Esau," to Edom; which is not likely.


1 Chronicles 8:7 "And Naaman, and Ahiah, and Gera, he removed them, and begat Uzza, and Ahihud."


Or, to wit, Naaman, etc., so the words are to be connected with these are the sons or Ehud, in the preceding verse.


"He removed them": To the above place, that is, either Gera, or rather Ehud. He advised them, directed and enjoined them to go there, as being most convenient for them.


"And he begat Uzza and Ahihud": After he had removed his other sons.


There is no other mention of this in the Bible. Again, we must realize that this could be speaking of any of the thousands of descendants. Sons do not always mean sons, as we speak of, but as grandsons or even descendants. It almost seems they have added sons that are like adopted sons.


1 Chronicles 8:8 "And Shaharaim begat [children] in the country of Moab, after he had sent them away; Hushim and Baara [were] his wives."


Who was either a son of Ahihud, or rather a brother of his, another son of Ehud.


"Begat children in the country of Moab": Whither he might go on account of the famine, as Elimelech did (Ruth 1:1), after he had sent them away. Which some understand of those that were removed from Geba to Manahath (1 Chron. 8:6), but a different word is here used. And besides Shaharaim seems to be one of those that were removed. Kimchi takes Shilhootham, we render "had sent them away", to be the name of his first wife, of whom he begat children in Moab. But it seems best to render and interpret the words in connection with what follows: he begat children in Moab.


"After he had sent them away; Hushim and Baara were his wives": After he had divorced them, for some reasons he had. He begat children of another wife, later mentioned.


The only thing that is known of Shaharaim is that he was a Benjamite. It seemed that he had children in the land of Moab by Hushim and Baara.


1 Chronicles 8:9-10 "And he begat of Hodesh his wife, Jobab, and Zibia, and Mesha, and Malcham," "And Jeuz, and Shachia, and Mirma. These [were] his sons, heads of the fathers."


That "he" begat, namely Shaharaim. The Targum makes this Hodesh to be the same with Baara, called so because she was newly espoused; but wrongly. The sons begotten of her were the seven following. Jobab, Zibia, Mesha, Malcham, Jeuz, Shachia, and Mirma. These were his sons; the sons of Shaharaim by his wife Hodesh. Before he sent her away, or divorced her (1 Chron. 8:8).


"Heads of the fathers": Of the houses or families of their father.


1 Chronicles 8:11 "And of Hushim he begat Abitub, and Elpaal."


The offspring of Shaharaim by Hushim before her divorce. In other words, two offshoots of the clan Shaharaim settled in the vicinity of Lod or Lydda (1 Chron. 8:12), which took no part in the immigration to Moab.


All of the aforementioned people are not spoken of further in the Bible. There were very few records kept of Benjamin after God allowed them to be killed for their sins. They had taken the concubine of the Levite and assaulted her and killed her. All of the other tribes of Israel came against Benjamin, and killed all but 600 men. That is probably why there is much confusion of his descendants. These 600 men had to steal wives, because the other tribes would not give their daughters to them for marriage. Read it (in Judges Chapters 19, 20, and 21).


1 Chronicles 8:12 "The sons of Elpaal; Eber, and Misham, and Shamed, who built Ono, and Lod, with the towns thereof:"


Besides those in (1 Chron. 8:14).


"Who built Ono, and Lod, with the towns thereof": Not Shamed, but Elpaal his father, so the Targum; and the Talmudists say, these were walled cities from the days of Joshua the son of Nun. And were destroyed in the days of the concubine in Gibea, and Elpaal came and rebuilt them. They were inhabited by the Benjamites, upon their return from the Babylonish captivity (Neh. 11:35). They were near to each other; according to a Jewish person who studied historical records to establish the dates of past events. It was three miles from the one to the other. Lod is the same with Lydda (in Acts 9:32).


1 Chronicles 8:13 "Beriah also, and Shema, who [were] heads of the fathers of the inhabitants of Aijalon, who drove away the inhabitants of Gath:"


These were sons of Elpaal.


"Who were heads of the fathers of the inhabitants of Aijalon": Which, though in the tribe of Dan (Joshua 19:42), might afterwards come into the possession of Benjamin. Or this may be another place of the same name in Benjamin. Or, however, might be inhabited by Benjamites, upon the return from captivity, who descended from those men.


"Who drove away the inhabitants of Gath": Dispossessed them of their city, in revenge for what they had done to the Ephraimites (1 Chron. 7:21).


Aijalon was located on the boundary of both Judah and Benjamin. This Beriah was a Benjamite. Beriah and Shema drove away Gath together.


1 Chronicles 8:14 "And Ahio, Shashak, and Jeremoth,"


These were also sons of Elpaal.


1 Chronicles 8:15-16 "And Zebadiah, and Arad, and Ader," "And Michael, and Ispah, and Joha, the sons of Beriah;"


And all that follow in this and the next verse were the sons of Beriah the son of Elpaal; namely: Arad, Ader, Michael, Ispah, and Joha.


1 Chronicles 8:17-18 "And Zebadiah, and Meshullam, and Hezeki, and Heber," "Ishmerai also, and Jezliah, and Jobab, the sons of Elpaal;"


These, with those that follow.


"Hezeki, Heber, Ishmerai, Jezliah, and Jobab, were the sons of Elpaal.


1 Chronicles 8:19-21 "And Jakim, and Zichri, and Zabdi," 8:20 "And Elienai, and Zilthai, and Eliel," "And Adaiah, and Beraiah, and Shimrath, the sons of Shimhi;"


With all the rest in these verses, namely:


"Zichri, Zabdi, Elienai, Zilthai, Eliel, Adaiah, Beraiah, and Shimrath, were the sons of Shimhi, the same with Shema brother of Beriah, and son of Elpaal (1 Chron. 8:13).


1 Chronicles 8:22-25 "And Ishpan, and Heber, and Eliel," "And Abdon, and Zichri, and Hanan," "And Hananiah, and Elam, and Antothijah," "And Iphedeiah, and Penuel, the sons of Shashak;"


And all that follow to the end of these verses.


"Eliel, Abdon, Zichri, Hanan, Hananiah, Elam, Antothijah, Iphedeiah, and Penuel, were the sons of Shashak, another son of Elpaal (1 Chron. 8:14).


1 Chronicles 8:26-27 "And Shamsherai, and Shehariah, and Athaliah," "And Jaresiah, and Eliah, and Zichri, the sons of Jeroham."


Who, with those next mentioned:


Shehariah, Athaliah, Jaresiah, Eliah, and Zichri, were the sons of Jeroham, who perhaps is the same with Jerimoth, another son of Elpaal (1 Chron. 8:14), who makes a considerable figure in this genealogy. Kimchi observes that it is a tradition that this Eliah is Elijah the prophet, who was of the seed of Rachel.


1 Chronicles 8:28 "These [were] heads of the fathers, by their generations, chief [men]. These dwelt in Jerusalem."


All from (1 Chron. 8:14), the sons of Elpaal and their sons.


"These dwelt in Jerusalem": Part of which always belonged to the tribe of Benjamin (see Joshua15:63).


All of the names listed above, are Benjamites. Verse 28 tells us they were heads of the fathers, and they dwelt in Jerusalem. Not very much more is known of them. Some families are mentioned once and no more. This is what we see here.


1 Chronicles 8:29 "And at Gibeon dwelt the father of Gibeon; whose wife's name [was] Maachah:"


The builder of the city, and prince of the inhabitants of it, which was in the tribe of Benjamin, Joshua 18:25). Whose name was Jehiel (1 Chron. 9:35).


"(Whose wife's name was Maachah;) of which name were many (see 1 Chron. 2:48).


The father of Gibeon was Jehiel. This Maachah is possibly the same as the one mentioned as the wife of Machir, since her same brothers are mentioned in both places.


1 Chronicles 8:30-31 "And his firstborn son Abdon, and Zur, and Kish, and Baal, and Nadab," "And Gedor, and Ahio, and Zacher."


That is, Jehiels, the father or prince of Gibeon; other sons follow.


"Zur, Kish, Baal, Nadab, Gedor, Ahio, and Zacher; called Zechariah (1 Chron. 9:37), and between Baal and Nadab, Ner is placed (1 Chron. 9:36). And another son is added at the end of (1 Chron. 9:37) Mikloth next mentioned.


In these verses, we have discovered Kish, who is the third son of Jehiel of Gibeon.


1 Chronicles 8:32 "And Mikloth begat Shimeah. And these also dwelt with their brethren in Jerusalem, over against them."


Called Shimeam (1 Chron. 9:38).


"And these also dwelt with their brethren in Jerusalem, over against them": In another part of the city, right beside them.


These long lists of names in the last few verses, are lists of the leaders of the families who lived in Jerusalem.


1 Chronicles 8:33 "And Ner begat Kish, and Kish begat Saul, and Saul begat Jonathan, and Malchi-shua, and Abinadab, and Esh-baal."


Who also is called Abiel, as the Targum here adds. For Ner had two names, as other Jewish writers likewise say (see 1 Sam. 9:1).


"And Kish begat Saul": The first king of Israel, for whose sake chiefly the genealogy of Benjamin is revised and enlarged in this chapter:


"And Saul begat Jonathan, and Malchi-shua, and Abinadab, and Esh-baal": (See 1 Sam. 31:2). Abinadab is called Ishui (1 Sam. 14:49), and Esh-baal is the same with Ish-bosheth (2 Sam. 2:8). So Baal and Bosheth are used of the same idol of which they are named (Hosea 9:10).


Some Scriptures indicate that Ner was the brother of Kish, instead of his father. This is not a terribly important point. It is important to realize that Kish was the father of Saul. Saul was the first king of Israel. Jonathan was indeed, the son of Saul, but he is best known for being the best friend of David. Malchi-shua was slain with his father at the battle of Gilboa. Abinadab is the same person as Ishui in the book of Samuel. He was also killed in the battle of Gilboa. Esh-baal is probably the same as Ish-bosheth. He reigned for two years over Israel, and was killed in his own bed by two of his captains.


1 Chronicles 8:34 "And the son of Jonathan [was] Merib-baal; and Merib-baal begat Micah."


For "Merib-baal" (see the note at 2 Sam. 2:8-11).


Merib-baal is better known as Mephibosheth. He was crippled. David sought him out and helped him, because he loved his father so much. Micah, his son, was known by Michah, Mica and Micha.


1 Chronicles 8:35 "And the sons of Micah [were], Pithon, and Melech, and Tarea, and Ahaz."


The last but one is called Tarea (1 Chron. 9:41), where Ahaz is left out, though supplied in our version.


1 Chronicles 8:36 "And Ahaz begat Jehoadah; and Jehoadah begat Alemeth, and Azmaveth, and Zimri; and Zimri begat Moza,"


Called Jarah (1 Chron. 9:42).


"And Jehoadah begat Alemeth, and Azmaveth, and Zimri": And Zimri begat Moza; the same account is given in (1 Chron. 9:42).


1 Chronicles 8:37 "And Moza begat Binea: Rapha [was] his son, Eleasah his son, Ezel his son:"


Called Rephaiah (1 Chron. 9:43).


1 Chronicles 8:38 "And Azel had six sons, whose names [are] these, Azrikam, Bocheru, and Ishmael, and Sheariah, and Obadiah, and Hanan. All these [were] the sons of Azel."


Which make the said number.


"All these were the sons of Azel; his family was large.


1 Chronicles 8:39 "And the sons of Eshek his brother [were], Ulam his firstborn, Jehush the second, and Eliphelet the third."


The brother of Azel; who he was is not known, unless he is the same with Elasah, as is conjectured.


"Were Ulam his firstborn, Jehush the second, and Eliphelet the third:" that is, The brother of Azel, and son of Eleasah (1 Chron. 8:37). The elder line is first developed.


1 Chronicles 8:40 "And the sons of Ulam were mighty men of valor, archers, and had many sons, and sons' sons, an hundred and fifty. All these [are] of the sons of Benjamin."


Men of great fortitude and courage, though their names are not expressed.


"Archers": Skillful in the use of the bow and arrows, as the Benjamites formerly were famous for slinging stones.


"And had many sons, and sons' sons, a hundred and fifty; so that the posterity of Jonathan, whose genealogy is drawn down from (1 Chron. 8:34), there, were very great. And greater still, according to the Vulgate Latin version, in which the number is 150,000 in the edition of Sixtus the fifth, and so in most manuscripts of that version(s).


"All these are of the sons of Benjamin": And his posterity whose names are given in this chapter.


The things we must remember about all of these names is that they are Benjamites. They are descended from Saul through Jonathan. They were mighty warriors. They were valiant men.


1 Chronicles Chapter 8 Questions


1. What tribe's descendants are dealt with in this lesson?


2. Who was Benjamin's firstborn?


3. What group of people descended from him?


4. Who were the other sons of Benjamin?


5. How do their names differ in other books of the Bible?


6. Who are sometimes called sons in the Bible that are not actually sons?


7. The nine sons of Bela listed, here, are how many in Numbers?


8. How could this happen?


9. Shaharaim begat children in the country of __________.


10. Who were his wives?


11. What happened to the tribe of Benjamin that may account for some of the names not being mentioned more than once?


12. Who is the same as Lod?


13. Where was Aijalon located?


14. The Maachah, in verse 29, is, possibly, the same as whom?


15. What causes us to come to this conclusion?


16. Who does verse 33 say Ner is?


17. Who do many other Scriptures say this is?


18. Why is this not terribly important?


19. Who was the father of Saul?


20. What is something special about Jonathan?


21. What sons of Saul died at Gilboa?


22. Who is Esh-baal?


23. How did he die?


24. Who is the same as Meri-baal?


25. What physical ailment did he have?


26. What must we remember about the people mentioned in this lesson?





Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to 1 Chronicles Menu | Return to Bible Menu


1 Chronicles 9



1 Chronicles Chapter 9

1 Chronicles 9:1 "So all Israel were reckoned by genealogies; and, behold, they [were] written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah, [who] were carried away to Babylon for their transgression."


"All Israel": Even though the northern kingdom of Israel never returned from dispersion (in 722 B.C.), many from the 10 tribes which made up that kingdom migrated south after the division (in 931 B.C.). The result was that Judah, the southern kingdom, had people from all tribes, so that when returning from captivity "all Israel" was truly represented.


The genealogical lists are extended to include a roster of returnees from the Exile (compare Neh. Chapter 11). A list of laymen (verses 4-9), is followed by the names of the priests (verses 10-13) and Levites (verses 14-34).


This verse ends the genealogical records of "all Israel" (both the northern and southern kingdoms), before they were carried away into captivity in Babylon.


The Israelites were all very good record keepers. Some of the records were probably lost when the ten tribes broke away from Judah however. Some of the details of some of the records were probably lost during the Babylonian and Assyrian captivities. Basically, they are remarkably accurate. It is explained again, just why they went into captivity. All Israel speaks of the twelve tribes. There were records kept for the ten tribes, as well as the two of Judah. We might relate this record of God's people then, to the fact that our names are written in the Lamb's book of life, if we belong to Christ.


1 Chronicles 9:2 "Now the first inhabitants that [dwelt] in their possessions in their cities [were], the Israelites, the priests, Levites, and the Nethinim."


"First inhabitants": This chapter has genealogies of returning (1) Israelites (9:3-9); (2) priest (9:10-13); and (3) Levites (9:14-34).


"Nethinim": The temple servants (Ezra 8:20), were possibly descendants of the Gibeonites (Joshua 3-4, 23).


Four classes of returnees are delineated: laymen, "priests, Levites," and "Nethinim." The last is an ancient term used to designate temple servants. Some suggest that the word refers to non-"Israelites" who had become a part of the congregation of Israel. At any rate, they became closely associated with the Levites (Ezra 7:24; 8:16-20; Neh. 10:28), in the work carried on in the temple precincts (Ezra 8:20).


The focus shifts to the groups of people who returned to Israel after being deported to Babylon, "the first inhabitants who dwelt in their possessions." Chronologically, this chapter should appear at (the end of 2 Chronicles), but its placement here accentuates the importance of worship and the initial stages of the people's restoration to the land.


Nethinim were temple servants. This could be speaking of the people, the Levites, and the temple servants before the captivity in Babylon or after. In either case, this is speaking of the land of promise. It is basically speaking of the land of Judah. Specifically, it is speaking of the temple in Jerusalem. We do know that it was totally destroyed just before the captivity in Babylon. The temple servants were not spoken of as Nethinim (the given ones), until after the captivity in Babylon.


1 Chronicles 9:3 "And in Jerusalem dwelt of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin, and of the children of Ephraim, and Manasseh;"


Of which tribes were the largest number that went into, and returned out of, captivity.


"And of the children of Ephraim and Manasseh": Such of those tribes who had joined the others when Jeroboam introduced his idolatry, or had fled to them when Samaria was besieged and taken by Shalmaneser. And so went into captivity with Judah, and now returned; and as many of them as took the advantage of the proclamation of Cyrus, who were carried captive with the ten tribes.


We see from this, that the families of Judah and Benjamin came back to the land where they were before the captivity. They are spoken of collectively as Judah. The mention of Ephraim and Manasseh is very unusual, because they are supposedly part of the ten lost tribes. The ten tribes, known as Israel, or sometimes as Ephraim, never came back into their land to re-establish Israel. Their families were absorbed into many different tribes. Perhaps some of them came back and joined Judah.


1 Chronicles 9:4 "Uthai the son of Ammihud, the son of Omri, the son of Imri, the son of Bani, of the children of Pharez the son of Judah."


Called Athaiah (Neh. 11:4), though his ancestors there are differently reckoned here; his genealogy here is traced from his father Ammihud, through Omri, Imri, Bani, Pharez, to Judah.


These are some of the first settlers who came back into the land after the Babylonian captivity. (In Nehemiah 11:6), we see that the descendants of Pharez (Perez), were 468 valiant men.


1 Chronicles 9:5 And of the Shilonites; Asaiah the firstborn, and his sons.


Not called so from the city of Shiloh, which was in Ephraim. Whereas these here intended were of the tribe of Judah, and were either the descendants of a man whose name was Shiloni (Neh. 11:5), or rather these are the same with the Shelanites (Num. 26:20), so called from Shelah the son of Judah. And so the Targum here is, "and of the tribe of Shelah."


"Asaiah the firstborn, and his sons": The same with Maaseiah (Neh. 11:5).


These are the descendants of Shelah, the youngest son of Judah.


1 Chronicles 9:6 "And of the sons of Zerah; Jeuel, and their brethren, six hundred and ninety."


This verse deals with "Saul's three sons" and the attendants that were with him at the battle. Some of Saul's sons were not here (2 Sam. 2:8; 21:1-14).


Zerah is also called Zara and Zararh. Zerah was the twin brother of Pharez. Zerah was the father of the Zarhites. This 690 has to do with the number of his descendants who were chief men.


1 Chronicles 9:7 "And of the sons of Benjamin; Sallu the son of Meshullam, the son of Hodaviah, the son of Hasenuah,"


Who were of the tribe of Benjamin, and went with Judah into captivity, and returned with them. And such of them as dwelt in Jerusalem before that.


"Sallu the son of Meshullam": Whose pedigree is differently given (Neh. 11:7).


"The son of Hodaviah, the son of Hassenaah": Perhaps these men had two names, there called Joel and Pedaiah.


Nehemiah 11:7-8 says these descendants were 928. This Sallu lived about 445 years before the coming of Christ. It is very difficult to do much tracing on these men. It might be interesting to note that many years later, Paul (Saul), will be spoken of as from the tribe of Benjamin (Rom. 11:1).


1 Chronicles 9:8 And Ibneiah the son of Jeroham, and Elah the son of Uzzi, the son of Michri, and Meshullam the son of Shephatiah, the son of Reuel, the son of Ibnijah;


Who with two more, Elah and Meshullam, whose ancestors are given, of whom we have no mention elsewhere, were all of the tribe of Benjamin, said to settle at Jerusalem.


1 Chronicles 9:9 "And their brethren, according to their generations, nine hundred and fifty and six. All these men [were] chief of the fathers in the house of their fathers."


Which was the number of the Benjamites there resident put together, and which greatly exceeded that of Judah (1 Chron. 9:6).


"All these men were chief of the fathers, in the house of their fathers": Principal men in the families of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, even all the seven before mentioned.


These 956 are the same men who are numbered 928 in Nehemiah. This is not a great concern, because of the records in those days. Someone probably misread the number. The small difference does not matter. Even in our day, the census is never 100% correct. It is like the spelling of some of the names vary a little. The basic message never varies. Every Word in the Bible is true. Sometimes our understanding of the Word is in error.



Verses 10-32: This passage recounts the return of the "priests" and "Levites" along with describing the Levites' responsibilities, including the role of the "gatekeepers." These reliable men, appointed by David, guarded "the tabernacle" at each of four gates to preserve its holiness. They also helped prepare the house of God for worship, performing practical tasks such as cleaning and "preparing the showbread for every Sabbath."


1 Chronicles 9:10 "And of the priests; Jedaiah, and Jehoiarib, and Jachin,"


Who returned and dwelt at Jerusalem.


"Jedaiah, and Jehoiarib, and Jachin": Jedaiah was the son of Jehoiarib, and Jachin is called Jachin (Neh. 11:10).


1 Chronicles 9:11 "And Azariah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the ruler of the house of God;"


That is, the son of Azariah, whose name was Seraiah (see 1 Chron. 6:13), whose pedigree is traced up from Hilkiah through Meshullam, called Shallum, (1 Chron. 6:12). Zadok, Meraioth, to Ahitub.


"The ruler of the house of God": High Priest in it; which is to be understood of Ahitub, and not of Azariah or Seraiah in the time of Ezra; for Joshua was then high priest.


This line of Levitical priests lead to Zacharias and Elisabeth, the father and mother of John the Baptist. In some instances, a generation or two is skipped, bringing the names of the priests who have had direct influence in the temple and with God's people.


1 Chronicles 9:12 "And Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pashur, the son of Malchijah, and Maasiai the son of Adiel, the son of Jahzerah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Meshillemith, the son of Immer;"


In this genealogy, between Jeroham and Pashur, were three more here omitted, Pelaliah, Amzi, Zechariah (Neh. 11:12), and then Pashur the son of Malchijah, as here.


"And Maasiai the son of Adiel": Whose pedigree is traced up from hence, through Jahzerah, Meshullam, Meshillemith, to Immer; one of the five heads of the courses settled by David (1 Chron. 24:14). The names of this man, and of his ancestors are given with some variation (in Neh. 11:13).


Verses 13-14: The author of Chronicles adds a note to the historical narrative on the divine judgment of "Saul" (1 Sam. Chapter 31). Saul's continued disobedience (1 Sam. 13:8-9; 15:3; chapters 9-19), and the consulting of the witch of Endor (1 Sam. 28:7-25), had brought on his downfall.


1 Chronicles 9:13 "And their brethren, heads of the house of their fathers, a thousand and seven hundred and threescore; very able men for the work of the service of the house of God."


These, with other priests, made up this number, which was greater than those of Judah and Benjamin that dwelt in Jerusalem put together.


"Very able men for the work of the service of the house of God": Men that had not only strength of body, which some part of the work of the priests required. But also had courage and fortitude of mind to set about the service of God with cheerfulness, and to preserve it from corruption.


We know that the Levites were set aside for the work of the LORD. We see the large number here of 1,760. This same group is listed (in Nehemiah 11:11-14). It is not identical, but is speaking of the same people.


1 Chronicles 9:14 "And of the Levites; Shemaiah the son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, of the sons of Merari;"


Having given an account of the two first classes of the people, the Israelites and priests, the author of the book now proceeds to the Levites, the third class. And the first mentioned is Shemaiah, whose ancestors, Hasshub, Azrikam, and Hashabiah.


"Were of the sons of Merari": The third son of Levi.


1 Chronicles 9:15 "And Bakbakkar, Heresh, and Galal, and Mattaniah the son of Micah, the son of Zichri, the son of Asaph;"


Four more of the chief of the Levites, the pedigree of the last of which is traced up by Micah and Zichri to Asaph, the singer in the times of David, a descendant of Gershon, the first son of Levi. The first of these is thought by Hillerus to be the same with Bakbukiah (Neh. 11:17).


1 Chronicles 9:16 "And Obadiah the son of Shemaiah, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun, and Berechiah the son of Asa, the son of Elkanah, that dwelt in the villages of the Netophathites."


Called Abda the son of Shammua (Neh. 11:17).


"The son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun": Who was Ethan, another of the singers in the time of David.


"And Berechiah the son of Asa, the son of Elkanah, that dwelt in the villages of the Netophathites; the villages about Netophah, which was in the tribe of Judah (1 Chron. 2:54). (Nehemiah 7:26), which may be understood either of Elkanah, the ancestor of Berechiah, whose dwelling was there; or of Berechiah, and must be rendered: "Who had dwelt there; For now he dwelt at Jerusalem".


Nehemiah 11:15-18, there is more information on these people. All the Levites in the holy city were 284. Mattaniah was singled out to begin the thanksgiving in prayer. Bakbukiah, the same as Bakbakkar, was the second among his brethren. We must remember that all of these are Levites in the service of the LORD. These were the later Levites that came back into the land. Netophathites are people who live in Netophah, which is actually the outskirts of Bethlehem. Jerusalem and Bethlehem are just 5 miles apart. It would be safe to say this place was the outskirts of Jerusalem as well.



Verses 17-34: The names and duties of various "Levites" are detailed here. This and other lists indicated that such duties included the "oversight" of the various chambers and rooms of the temple, the security of the temple area, the custody of the utensils and implements of the temple, the baking and care of the "showbread," and participation in the various musical ministries (verses 35-40; See the note on 8:1).


1 Chronicles 9:17 "And the porters [were], Shallum, and Akkub, and Talmon, and Ahiman, and their brethren: Shallum [was] the chief;"


Or keepers of the gates of the tabernacle.


"Were Shallum, and Akkub, and Talmon, and Ahiman, and their brethren": Shallum was the chief; of these four porters, and their brethren.


1 Chronicles 9:18 "Who hitherto [waited] in the king's gate eastward: they [were] porters in the companies of the children of Levi."


At the gate through which the king went into the temple, and was at the east of it. And here these porters were placed in the same order after the captivity, and their return from it, as before.


"They were porters in the companies of the children of Levi": Or in the camp of Levi, which was placed around the tabernacle, as in the wilderness. The Septuagint version is, "these are the gates of the camp of the children of Levi"; at which these porters were placed.


The porters were stationed at the doors of the sanctuary. They were gatekeepers. Shallum is mentioned (in Ezra 10:24).


1 Chronicles 9:19 "And Shallum the son of Kore, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah, and his brethren, of the house of his father, the Korahites, [were] over the work of the service, keepers of the gates of the tabernacle: and their fathers, [being] over the host of the LORD, [were] keepers of the entry."


The same as in (1 Chron. 9:17), whose pedigree is traced up to Ebiasaph the son of Korah (see Exodus 6:24).


"And his brethren, of the house of his father, the Korahites": So called, because they descended from Korah.


"Were over the work of the service, keepers of the gates of the tabernacle": Until the temple was built.


"And their fathers being over the host of the Lord": The Levites, who were the Lord's army, and whose service is represented as a warfare (Num. 4:5).


"Were keepers of the entry": Into the tabernacle, that none might enter that were impure; or into the court of the priests, excepting priests. Or into the holiest of all, as Kimchi suggests.


We see from this, that Shallum was directly descended from Korah. All of the families of the Levite tribe had specific work to do in the service of the LORD. The family of Korah were keepers of the gates.


1 Chronicles 9:20 "And Phinehas the son of Eleazar was the ruler over them in time past, [and] the LORD [was] with him."


Over the host, over the Levites, and the chief of them; which is to be understood of Phinehas the son of Eleazar, in the time of Moses, who succeeded his father in that post (see Num. 3:32). Though some think, as Kimchi observes, that this was not Phinehas the priest, but a certain Levite of this name in this post. But since he is said to be in time past, it may very well be understood of him: and it also is observed:


"And the Lord was with him": Inspiring him with zeal for his honor and glory, assisting and strengthening him to do his will and work, as particularly in the affair of Zimri (Num. 25:7). The Targum is, "the Word of the Lord was for his help". This may be said for the encouragement of him that was in the same office now.


Phinehas was one of the more powerful priests. He was the grandson of Aaron. God stopped the plague, when Phinehas drove a lance through two of the people involved in the revolting sin. God was so pleased with Phinehas, that God promised the priesthood would remain in his family forever. Eleazar was the high priest after Aaron.


1 Chronicles 9:21 "[And] Zechariah the son of Meshelemiah [was] porter of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation."


Some think this refers to one that was in the times of David; but it seems rather to respect one that was after the Babylonish captivity (see 1 Chron. 26:1). Though he and his brethren were in an office established in the times of David, and the order of which was now, as then, observed.


"Was porter of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation": Who was the chief porter, and kept the door; either that led into the outer court, and kept out all unclean persons from entering. Or that which led into the court of the priests, that none but priests might enter there.


Meshelemiah and his sons were keepers of the gates. He and all of his sons, except Zechariah, guarded the eastern gate. Zechariah guarded the northern gate. They were Levites in service of the LORD.


1 Chronicles 9:22 "All these [which were] chosen to be porters in the gates [were] two hundred and twelve. These were reckoned by their genealogy in their villages, whom David and Samuel the seer did ordain in their set office."


As fixed in the days of David, and might not be fewer.


"These were reckoned by their genealogies in their villages": Where they dwelt.


"Whom David and Samuel the seer did ordain in their set office": The scheme was first drawn by Samuel the prophet, and communicated to David, who put it into execution, to be constantly and perpetually observed.


These 250 men, who kept the gates of the temple, were ordained by David and Samuel for their special tasks. Each family had their own special service to the LORD. This family were gate keepers from generation to generation. David brought the tabernacle to Jerusalem. That is why it speaks of him, coupled with Samuel, instead of Saul.


1 Chronicles 9:23 "So they and their children [had] the oversight of the gates of the house of the LORD, [namely], the house of the tabernacle, by wards."


They that were appointed in David's time to watch the gates of the temple, their posterity succeeded them in that office; for it was hereditary.


"Namely, the house of the tabernacle, by wards": That which was at Gibeon in David's time, and now one was erected until the temple was built.


1 Chronicles 9:24 "In four quarters were the porters, toward the east, west, north, and south."


For, according to the Targum on (1 Chron. 9:22), there were twenty four wards.


"Towards the east, west, north, and south": And, as the same paraphrase has it, six wards to the east, six to the west, six to the north, and six to the south.


1 Chronicles 9:25 "And their brethren, [which were] in their villages, [were] to come after seven days from time to time with them."


Assigned them to dwell in.


"Were to come after seven days from time to time with them": There was a new course of them every week. The old ones went off of duty, and another course succeeded, which came out of the villages where they dwelt, and the old course retired to theirs.


1 Chronicles 9:26 "For these Levites, the four chief porters, were in [their] set office, and were over the chambers and treasuries of the house of God."


The four chief porters who were over all the two hundred and twelve, and had one over them (1 Chron. 9:17). These were never changed, nor went into the country villages; but were always upon the spot, and in their office, superintending the rest.


"And were over the chambers and treasuries of the house of God" (See 1 Chron. 26:20).


This is an explanation of their duties and how they were carried out. Most of the time, these men lived in the villages the LORD had allotted to them. They took turns coming to the tabernacle at a specific time to be a guard at the gate that had been designated as their post. It seems, their duty lasted seven days, and then some of their brothers came to relieve them. There were four men that were in charge of the operation. Not only were they to keep the gates, but they guarded the treasuries as well.


1 Chronicles 9:27 "And they lodged round about the house of God, because the charge [was] upon them, and the opening thereof every morning [pertained] to them."


In chambers on the outward wall about it, that they might be near to do their office.


"Because the charge was upon them": To guard the house.


"And the opening thereof every morning pertained to them": That is, the opening of the doors of the mountain of the house, and the court of women. As for others, that appertained to the priests, as Dr. Lightfoot observes. Under the second temple, it is said, Ben Geber, was over the shutting of the gates in the evening, and so of opening in the morning.


This is probably speaking of the four that were in charge, living at the tabernacle. They did not live in the out-lying villages. They supervised the work that the other porters did on their duty. Their places of dwelling were around the tabernacle. The opening of the tabernacle for worship was on their shoulders.


1 Chronicles 9:28 "And [certain] of them had the charge of the ministering vessels, that they should bring them in and out by tale."


Which the priests used in sacrificing, and which the Levites brought to them, and returned again to their proper places.


1 Chronicles 9:29 "[Some] of them also [were] appointed to oversee the vessels and all the instruments of the sanctuary, and the fine flour, and the wine, and the oil, and the frankincense, and the spices."


They were committed to their care; they delivered them out on occasion, and their business was to see that they were returned when they had done their use and service.


"And the fine flour, and the wine, and the oil, and the frankincense, and the spices": Which were used in meat offerings, drink offerings, etc. (see 1 Chron. 26:20), under the second temple. Ahiah was over the libations or drink offerings.


They were responsible for the vessels. They must count them and make sure none are misplaced. They were in charge of the tale (snuffers or tongs), as well as the vessels. All of the things used in the sacrifices were cared for by these porters.


1 Chronicles 9:30 "And [some] of the sons of the priests made the ointment of the spices."


For though the Levites had the care of the spices, they might not make the ointment with them, only the priests (see Exodus 30:23).


The holy ointment had to be made by the priests. The porters cared for it after it was made. The formula was given to the priests for the ointment, and no one else. This particular ointment was to be used for nothing else, except service in the tabernacle.


1 Chronicles 9:31 "And Mattithiah, [one] of the Levites, who [was] the firstborn of Shallum the Korahite, had the set office over the things that were made in the pans."


Of whom (see 1 Chronicles 9:19).


"Had the set office over the things that were made in the pans": The meat offerings that were made in pans; and so had the care of the fine flour, oil, and frankincense used in them, which he delivered to the priests when necessary (see Lev. 2:5). The Septuagint version is, "over the works of the sacrifice of the pan of the high priest; as if it respected peculiarly his meat offering. (Leviticus 6:20), we read in the Misnah of the offerings of the high priest, as expressed by this word, which it signifies, and not pans, but what was fried in them. And Ben Melech on the place says, this man was a high priest who offered every day the tenth part of an ephah in a pan. Half of it in the morning, and half of it in the evening, according to (Lev. 6:20). But that cannot be, for certain it is he was a Levite, as the text expresses it.


1 Chronicles 9:32 "And [other] of their brethren, of the sons of the Kohathites, [were] over the showbread, to prepare [it] every sabbath."


Twelve loaves of which were set every week before the ark upon the showbread table, and the old ones taken away. Now the work of these Levites was to make this showbread, and get it ready every week to be set upon the table, and which was done not by them, but by priests. Under the second temple, the family of Garmu was set over this work.


This is showing how the services for the LORD were divided among the people the LORD had called to His service. The showbread was twelve loaves set on the table in the tabernacle. Each of the loaves represented one of the tribes. Each Sabbath, the bread was changed to keep it fresh. These loaves of bread represent the body of Christ. The gift of everlasting life, we have in Jesus (our Bread), is never stale.


1 Chronicles 9:33 "And these [are] the singers, chief of the fathers of the Levites, [who remaining] in the chambers [were] free: for they were employed in [that] work day and night."


Others of them were employed in singing, and were masters of the song, and presided in that service (see 1 Chron. 6:31). Who remaining:


"In the chambers were free": From all other work and service; and there they abode, even in the chambers of the temple, that they might be near to perform their work, and not be defiled, and made unfit for it.


"For they were employed in that work day and night": Some or other of them, either in composing or singing psalms and hymns, or teaching others how to sing them.


In (Ezra 7-24), we find that singers are so much a part of the ministering body of the church that they are not to be taxed. That is what is meant by the word (free). This is showing how important the singers are in the ministry. Singing in the church choir should be a call of God, just like preaching.


1 Chronicles 9:34 "These chief fathers of the Levites [were] chief throughout their generations; these dwelt at Jerusalem."


Even all before made mention of in this chapter.


"These dwelt at Jerusalem": Always resided there, and did not in turns go into the country villages, as the inferior Levites did. Their office requiring them to be constantly there, being chief of the porters, singers, etc. who had the superintendence and direction of the rest.


The service in the LORD's work was handed down from generation to generation. Each generation did the same service their parents before them had done. It was necessary for them to live in Jerusalem, because they served in Jerusalem.



Verses 35-44: This section records Saul's lineage as a transition to the main theme of the rest of the book, which is the kingship of David (ca. 1011 B.C.).


1 Chronicles 9:35 "And in Gibeon dwelt the father of Gibeon, Jehiel, whose wife's name [was] Maachah:"


Whose name is here mentioned, which is not in (1 Chron. 8:29) "Jehiel":


"Whose wife's name was Maachah": As there, but here called his sister, as a wife sometimes is (Gen. 20:2). From hence to the end of the chapter is a repetition of the ancestors and posterity of Saul king of Israel. Which is made to lead on to and connect the following history of the kings of Judah, begun in this book, and carried on in the next unto the Babylonish captivity (see 1 Chron. 8:29), and the notes there.


This is saying, that Gibeon was founded by Jehiel the husband of Maachah.



Verses 36-44: This second mention of the genealogy of "Saul" introduces the narrative about Saul that begins (in chapter 10; the genealogy also appears in 8:29-38).


1 Chronicles 9:36-37 "And his firstborn son Abdon, then Zur, and Kish, and Baal, and Ner, and Nadab," "And Gedor, and Ahio, and Zechariah, and Mikloth."


An almost exact repetition of (1 Chron. 8:29-38); and probably intentionally made by the author. In order to connect the genealogical section of his work with the historical, he re-introduces the genealogy of the person with whose death his historical section opens.


1 Chronicles 9:38 "And Mikloth begat Shimeam. And they also dwelt with their brethren at Jerusalem, over against their brethren."


An almost exact repetition of (1 Chron. 8:29-38); and probably intentionally made by the author. In order to connect the genealogical section of his work with the historical, he re-introduces the genealogy of the person with whose death his historical section opens.


This is just a list of the sons and one grandson of Jehiel, who lived in Jerusalem.


1 Chronicles 9:39 "And Ner begat Kish; and Kish begat Saul; and Saul begat Jonathan, and Malchi-shua, and Abinadab, and Esh-baal."


It appears from the verses above, that Kish and Ner were brothers. The real thing to note here, is that Kish was the father of Saul. This is the same Saul who was the first king of the Jews. Jonathan, Saul's son, was the friend of David. Abinadab, Malchi-shua, and Esh-baal were brothers of Jonathan. Malchi-shua is the same as Melchi-shua. Esh-baal is the same as Ish-bosheth. He was also called Ishui. He was king over 11 tribes for 2 years, and was killed by two of his own captains.


1 Chronicles 9:40 "And the son of Jonathan [was] Merib-baal: and Merib-baal begat Micah."


Merib-baal was the same as the crippled son of Jonathan, Mephibosheth. His son, Micah, was known by Michah, Mica, and Micha. David befriended Mephibosheth, because he was the son of Jonathan.


1 Chronicles 9:41-44 "And the sons of Micah [were], Pithon, and Melech, and Tahrea, [and Ahaz]." "And Ahaz begat Jarah; and Jarah begat Alemeth, and Azmaveth, and Zimri; and Zimri begat Moza;" "And Moza begat Binea; and Rephaiah his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son." "And Azel had six sons, whose names [are] these, Azrikam, Bocheru, and Ishmael, and Sheariah, and Obadiah, and Hanan: these [were] the sons of Azel."


This is a list of the descendants of Saul through Jonathan. Some of these people are mentioned just in this light, and it is difficult to know for certain any more about them.


1 Chronicles Chapter 9 Questions


1. When were some of the records they had kept lost, or confused somewhat?


2. The records are, however, remarkably _________.


3. Why had they gone into captivity?


4. How can we relate their record keeping to the record of the believers?


5. Who were the Nethinim?


6. What land is verse 2 speaking of?


7. When did the temple servants begin to be called Nethinim?


8. Who came back to their same land, after the captivity in Babylon?


9. Why is it unusual to speak of Ephraim and Manasseh as returning?


10. What is another name for Pharez?


11. Zerah was the twin brother of _________.


12. What tribe was Saul, or Paul, a descendent of?


13. The line of the Levitical priests lead to __________ and ___________, the father and mother of John the Baptist.


14. The Levites were set aside for the ________ of the _______.


15. What service was Mattaniah singled out for?


16. How far apart are Jerusalem and Bethlehem?


17. The family of Korah were ___________ of the ________.


18. What did they do, besides guard the gates?


19. Why did their leaders live in Jerusalem?


20. What does "tale" mean in verse 28?


21. Who made the ointments of the spices?


22. What was the showbread?


23. What did the showbread symbolize?


24. Who founded Gibeon?


25. Who was the father of Saul?


26. What distinction did this Saul have?


27. Which of Saul's sons was friend to David?


28. Who is the same as Merib-baal?


29. Who was his son?


30. Who are the people mentioned in verses 41 through 44?





Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to 1 Chronicles Menu | Return to Bible Menu


1 Chronicles 10



1 Chronicles Chapter 10

In verses 10:1-12: See notes on (1 Sam. 31:1-13; compare 2 Sam. 1:4-12).


In (verses 1-6), the focus abruptly shifts from the history of Israel to their exile in Babylon (586 B.C.), and then flashes back to the reign of Israel's first king "Saul", and his demise. Little background information on Saul is provided, likely because audiences already knew so much about him and because he is far less important to the chronicle than David is.


1 Chronicles 10:1 "Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa."


In the last lesson, we read of the genealogy of Saul through Jonathan, Mephibosheth, and Micah. This battle at Gilboa destroys much of Saul's family. Saul and three of his sons died in this battle. The Philistines had been constant enemies of Israel. God allowed this battle to end in this manner as punishment for Saul's sins, and to make the way clear for David to reign as king. This was a terrible battle with much loss of life by the Israelites. The battle took place in the valley of Jezreel, where 20 major battles have been fought. This same valley is sometimes called Esdraelon. It is also spoken of as Megiddo. The last great battle that will take place there will be the battle of Armageddon.


1 Chronicles 10:2 "And the Philistines followed hard after Saul, and after his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchi-shua, the sons of Saul."


Literally, clave to Saul, that is, hotly pursued him. (Compare 1 Kings Chapters 22 and 31). The destruction of the king and his sons would make their triumph complete.


"The sons of Saul": Esh-baal, Saul's fourth son, was not in the battle (2 Sam. 2:8; compare 1 Chron. 8:33). Like Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, Saul may have witnessed the death of his sons (2 Kings 25:7). Jonathan, at least, would not be far from him in the last struggle: "In their deaths they were not divided."


Three of Saul's sons were killed: "Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchi-shua. Esh-Baal (9:39), was not. Abner, the commander of Saul's army, later made Esh-Baal king (2 Sam. 2:8-10). Esh-Baal is not mentioned, likely to emphasize David's sovereign rule over all Israel.


This is an explanation of which sons died there with Saul. On hearing of their death, David mourned greatly.


1 Chronicles 10:3 "And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him, and he was wounded of the archers."


Literally, was heavy upon him, like a burden weighing him to the earth.


"And the archers hit him": Literally, and they that shoot with the bow came upon him; and he shuddered before the shooters. "He shuddered or trembled" (Deut. 2:25). The verb is properly to writhe, travail (Isa. 23:4). Saul's deadly terror was natural. He believed himself forsaken of God, and stood now, after a lost battle, beset by murderous foes, whom he could not reach. There was no chance of a fair hand to hand encounter. The Hebrew word for "archers" is the same in both places in Samuel. The Philistines were from Egypt, and the bow was a favorite Egyptian weapon. The hieroglyph for "soldier" (menfat), is a man with bow and quiver.


1 Chronicles 10:4 "Then said Saul to his armor-bearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and abuse me. But his armor-bearer would not; for he was sore afraid. So Saul took a sword, and fell upon it."


"Lest these uncircumcised come": Samuel adds, "and thrust me through." An inadvertent repetition there, or omission here, is possible. Or, we might say, Saul preferred death by a friendly stroke to the thrusts of insulting foe.


"And abuse me": The Hebrew means, strictly, "to make a toy of," "sport with." "How I have made a toy of Egypt" (Exodus 10:2); and is used (Jer. 38:19), of insulting a fallen foe, as here.


"Took a sword": Literally, the sword or his sword.


The Philistines were very cruel people. They particularly hated Saul for the battles he had successfully brought against them. Saul feared that they would torture him before he died. He tried to get his armor-bearer to kill him, but he would not raise his hand against God's anointed. It appears from this Scripture, that Saul killed himself.


1 Chronicles 10:5 "And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise on the sword, and died."


Samuel, "his sword," i.e., the sword of the armor-bearer.


"And died": Samuel adds "with him," which seems to be omitted here for brevity, which may be the reason of other similar omissions. Loyalty to his chief, and perhaps dread of the foe, were the armor-bearer's motives.


The armor-bearer, probably feared the same fate that Saul feared. He did not want to be tortured either and he killed himself. It would not be until the next day, that the grave robber would find their bodies and bring word to David of their death.


1 Chronicles 10:6 "So Saul died, and his three sons, and all his house died together."


This verse deals with "Saul's three sons" and the attendants that were with him at the battle. Some of Saul's sons were not here (2 Sam. 2:8; 21:1-14).


This massacre was so great that Saul's family did nearly perish. There were just a few left, primarily of Jonathan's family. Only three of Saul's sons were killed however.


1 Chronicles 10:7 "And when all the men of Israel that [were] in the valley saw that they fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, then they forsook their cities, and fled: and the Philistines came and dwelt in them."


"That were in the valley": Rather, the plain, in which the main battle was fought, that of Jezreel. Samuel has "that were on the other side of the plain, and on the other side of the Jordan." The curt phrase "who (dwelt) in the plain," may be compared with (1 Chron. 9:2). The people of the surrounding districts are meant; who, when they "saw that they" (viz., Saul's army, "the men of Israel," see Samuel), "fled," or had been routed, they deserted.


"Dwelt in them": The pronoun here is masculine, in Samuel, feminine, which is correct.


With Saul and his sons dead there was no one to lead the people, and they ran out of their cities and just left them for the Philistines to take. These particular cities seem to be inhabited from time to time by the winning side, whoever it is at the moment.


1 Chronicles 10:8 "And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his sons fallen in mount Gilboa."


"His sons": Samuel says, "his three sons." Otherwise the two verses are word for word the same.


We are not told just how they determined who Saul's sons were. Perhaps it was because of what they were wearing. Saul's body had been found originally by a grave robber. Then the Philistines found him.


1 Chronicles 10:9 "And when they had stripped him, they took his head, and his armor, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to carry tidings unto their idols, and to the people."


Better, and they stripped him, and carried off his head, etc. Samuel, "and they cut off his head, and stripped his armor off." With the phrase "carried off his head," (compare Gen. 40:19), "Pharaoh will lift thy head from off thee," where the same Hebrew verb is used. And sent (Saul's head and armor), to carry tidings unto their idols.


"To their idols": Samuel, "house of their idols." But the LXX reading there is the same as here. The expression of Samuel looks original, though it may have been copied by mistake from (1 Chron. 10:10). Note the strictly local conception of deities implied in this act of the Philistines; as if their idols could neither see nor hear beyond their own temples (compare 1 Kings 20:23; 20:28; Psalm 94:9).


1 Chronicles 10:10 "And they put his armor in the house of their gods, and fastened his head in the temple of Dagon."


The Philistines worshiped "Dagon", their god of grain. The temple of Dagon was the site of Samson's death (Judges 16-23-30).


(1 Samuel 5:1-7), recounts another incident that occurred in this temple, revealing that this false god was no match for the true, living God.


It was common among the heathen to vow to a national or favorite deity, that, in the event of a victory, the armor of the enemy's king, or of some eminent leader, should be dedicated to him as an offering of gratitude. Such trophies were usually suspended on the pillars of the temple.


"Fastened his head in the temple of Dagon": While the trunk or headless corpse was affixed to the wall of Beth-shan (1 Sam. 31:10).


Perhaps, they beheaded Saul in retaliation for David cutting off the head of Goliath. (1 Samuel 31:9-10), tells of them even nailing his body to the wall in the house of their false god, Ashteroth.


1 Chronicles 10:11-12 "And when all Jabesh-gilead heard all that the Philistines had done to Saul," "They arose, all the valiant men, and took away the body of Saul, and the bodies of his sons, and brought them to Jabesh, and buried their bones under the oak in Jabesh, and fasted seven days."


Literally, every man of valor. Samuel adds, "and marched all the night."


"Took away": Carried off. Samuel has "took".


"The body": A common Aramaic word, gfāh, only read here in the Old Testament, for which Samuel has the pure Hebrew synonym a'wyah. Samuel adds, "from the wall of Beth-shan."


"And brought them": Samuel, "and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there." To burn a corpse was a further degradation of executed criminals (Joshua 7:25; Lev. 20:14; 21:9). And as the Jews did not ordinarily practice cremation. It is supposed that the phrase "burnt them" (in 1 Sam. 31), means "made a burning for them" of costly spices, as was done at the funerals of kings (Jer. 34:5; 2 Chron. 16:14; 21:19). But perhaps the bodies were burnt in this exceptional case because they had been mutilated by the enemy.


"Buried their bones": Samuel, "took and buried." The phrase "their bones," contrasted with their "corpses," certainly seems to imply that the latter had been burnt.


"The oak": Hebrew terebinth, or turpentine tree. Samuel, "tamarisk." The difference points to another source used by Chronicles.


"And fasted seven days": In token of mourning (compare the friends of Job, Job 2:11-13); and Ezekiel among the exiles at Tel-abib (Ezek. 3:15). For the behavior of the men of Jabesh (compare 1 Sam. chapter 11).


Jabesh-gilead was a city in the land of Gilead. Gilead was on the east side of the Jordan River in the land of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh. It was a terrible fate worse than dying, for the body not to be buried. We see that these brave men of Gilead did retrieve the bodies and buried them in Jabesh. The fasting for seven days could have been a time of mourning for Saul, or it could have been a time of cleansing.



Verses 13-14: This summary is unique to 1 Chronicles and provides the proper transition from Saul's kingship to David's reign.


The author of Chronicles adds a note to the historical narrative on the divine judgment of "Saul" (1 Sam. Chapter 31). Saul's continued disobedience (1 Sam. 13:8-9, 15:3; 9-19), and the consulting of the witch of Endor (1 Sam. 28:7-25), had brought on his downfall.


1 Chronicles 10:13 "So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, [even] against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking [counsel] of [one that had] a familiar spirit, to inquire [of it];"


Saul consulted a "medium" even though he knew it was forbidden by God (Deut. 18:9-14; 1 Sam. Chapter 28). How sad that his life could be summed up in one single word: unfaithful.


Saul perhaps thought that he had special privileges and would not be held responsible for his sins. He acted as if he thought he was above the law of God. He was very humble in the beginning of his reign, but soon lost his humble spirit and decided to do things his way, instead of God's way. He let Agag live, and kept the finest of the sheep in a battle when God told him to kill everyone and all the animals. He sacrificed once, because he was tired of waiting for the high priest, Samuel. He also consulted with a woman with a familiar spirit, which was strictly forbidden. He pretended to be living for God, but he would not accept God's instructions.


1 Chronicles 10:14 "And inquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse."


The account of Saul's death (in 1 Sam. 31:3-4), does not include the words found here: "therefore He" (the Lord), "killed him." Apparently, God ultimately judged Saul because he did not obey what God had said, a judgment that resulted in death and loss of the kingdom (1 Sam. 15:15-26). Saul's story provides a vivid picture for anyone who does not take God's Word seriously. Only by the grace of God through the death of Jesus is anyone spared from death, the natural consequence of disobedience.


God took responsibility for Saul's death, which was fully deserved for consulting a medium, an activity punishable by death (Deut. 17:1-6). This demonstrates that human behavior is under the ultimate control of God, who achieves His purpose through the actions of people.


The will of Saul to have his own way was the very thing that destroyed him. He had tried to kill David, because he knew David had been anointed to be the next king. David would not try to kill Saul, because he was the anointed of God. God had to remove Saul for David to become king. David was not only the son of Jesse, but the youngest son of Jesse. This is the same David that killed Goliath. He would be the opposite of Saul. He was a man after God's own heart. Even though it was an arrow of the Philistine that wounded Saul, it was God who killed him.


1 Chronicles Chapter 10 Questions


1. In verse 1, who fought against Israel?


2. Where did the Israelites fall down slain?


3. Who died in this battle, besides the regular army?


4. Why did God allow this to happen?


5. What are some other names for the valley of Jezreel?


6. What great battle is yet to be fought there?


7. Which of Saul's sons died there?


8. How did David take this news?


9. How was Saul wounded?


10. What did Saul ask his armor-bearer to do?


11. When he would not do what Saul asked, what did Saul do?


12. Why did he not want to fall into the hands of the Philistines?


13. What did the armor-bearer do, when he realized Saul was dead?


14. Who carried word to David of their deaths?


15. What is meant by all his house died?


16. What does verse 7, say the rest of the men in the cities did?


17. What happened to the cities?


18. When did the Philistines find Saul?


19. What did they do to the body of Saul?


20. Where did they put Saul's head?


21. Why did they behead Saul?


22. In 1 Samuel 31:9-10, what does it say they did to Saul's body?


23. Who came and got Saul's body?


24. What did they do with it?


25. Where was Jabesh-gilead?


26. Saul died for his ________________.


27. What were some of his specific sins?


28. Who did God turn the kingdom over to?


29. Who was David's father?


30. David was his _____________ son.


31. Who killed Saul?





Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to 1 Chronicles Menu | Return to Bible Menu


1 Chronicles 11



1 Chronicles Chapter 11

Verses 11:1 - 29:30: This section selectively recounts the reign of David with a heavy emphasis on the placement of the Ark in Jerusalem and preparation to build the temple (see notes on 2 Sam. 5:1-3).


Verses 1-3: Whereas chapters 12 and 13 focus on the establishment of David's kingship over "all Israel", a more detailed account can be found (in 2 Sam. 1-5), the story is condensed here. That David was king of Judah (the southern kingdom), for seven years before he was recognized as the king overall is barely mentioned. The author assumes that his audience knows the story of Saul and David, so he chooses his details in order to emphasize the wealth of support for David as king.


1 Chronicles 11:1 "Then all Israel gathered themselves to David unto Hebron, saying, Behold, we [are] thy bone and thy flesh."


For a time after Saul's death, loyalties in "Israel" were divided between Ish-bosheth, Saul's son, and "David" (2 Sam. Chapters 2-4). With the desertion of Ish-bosheth's general, Abner, to "Hebron, David's capital, to recognize his kingship over all Israel (2 Sam. 5:1-5). For an expanded account concerning David's forces at Hebron (see 12:23-40).


When Saul first died, Abner anointed Ish-bosheth king in his father's place. Samuel had already anointed David king. All of the people accepted David as king. Ish-bosheth reigned for two years over 11 tribes, until two of his own captains killed him. David immediately became king of Judah. David was king first in Hebron. For seven and one half years, David reigned over just Judah. David had six sons born in Hebron. "All Israel" is speaking of all of the elders of all the tribes of Israel. David asked God where he would go to set up his kingdom, and the LORD told him Hebron. Hebron was located between Jerusalem and Beer-sheba. Many of the patriarchs are buried in Hebron. David was indeed, bone of their bone and flesh of their flesh. He was descended from Judah.


1 Chronicles 11:2 "And moreover in time past, even when Saul was king, thou [wast] he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD thy God said unto thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be ruler over my people Israel."


David had been anointed king (1 Sam. 16:13), after "Saul's" disobedience to "God's" command given through Samuel (1 Sam. 15:22-23). Part of the promise in the Davidic covenant was that as "ruler over Israel," the line of David would shepherd God's "people" (2 Sam. 7:8; 1 Chron. 17:7; Ezek. 34:23-31; 37:24).


It appears, that the people greatly admired David for the way he handled the problem with Saul. David did have a following of loyal men. The LORD had anointed David king of Israel, and these people accepted that anointing. They wanted to be ruled by David. This Scripture is almost prophetic in the fact that Jesus of the tribe of Judah, descended in the flesh from David, is indeed the Shepherd. David was a shepherd boy who knew the importance of feeding the sheep. He was a shepherd. Jesus is the great Shepherd.


1 Chronicles 11:3 "Therefore came all the elders of Israel to the king to Hebron; and David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the LORD; and they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the LORD by Samuel."


The assembly of elders, the Senate of Israel, make a contract with David concerning his prerogative and the rights of his people, thus formally determining "the manner of the kingdom." (Compare 1 Sam. 8:9; 10:25). Representative institutions appear to have been the rule in the best period of Israel's national existence. The elders or hereditary heads of the tribal subdivisions met in council to discuss and settle matters of national concern. (Compare 1 Chron. 12:23).


"Before the Lord": In the presence of the high priest, and perhaps before the Ark. (Compare Exodus 21:6; 1 Sam. 2:25), where the priestly judge is called God, as representing the authority of the Divine judge (Exodus 22:28).


"According to the word of the Lord by Samuel": A reflection added by the chronicler, and based upon the facts related in (1 Sam. 15:28; 16:1-13).


This says the covenant was made with them before the LORD. It is not certain the location of this covenant, except it was in the presence of the LORD. The anointing of David as king was done by the men of Judah confirming the anointing that Samuel had done previously. The place of the anointing could have been in some place of worship in Hebron, because two priests were there at the time, Abiathar and Zadok. They would not have been there if worship were not going on. Samuel had anointed David king on the Word of the LORD.



Verses 4-5: "Jebus," the home of the powerful "Jebusites," was also known as "Jerusalem" (Joshua 15:63; Judges 19:10). "David" had earlier brought Goliath's head here (1 Sam. 17:54). Because Jerusalem was a seemingly impregnable fortress, its citizens had thrown taunts at David and his men (2 Sam. 5:6-7). After Jerusalem's capture, it became known as the "city of David," or "Zion."


In (verses 4-7), David made a strategic choice when he invaded "Jerusalem" in 1000 B.C. and claimed it as "the City of David." Jerusalem was located on a tribal border and was therefore a neutral territory; thus, David would not be seen as favoring one tribe over another. It was also a relatively small city located on a hill, making it easier to defend from invaders.


See notes on (2 Sam. 5:6-10).


Verses 4-9 (see notes on 2 Sam. 5:6-10).


1 Chronicles 11:4″And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, which [is] Jebus; where the Jebusites [were], the inhabitants of the land."


"And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem": Of this and the following verses (see 1 Chron. 11:9, see notes on 2 Sam. 5:6).


Jebus was the ancient name of Jerusalem. It was also spelled Jebusi in some Scriptures. Jerusalem would become the city of God. This would be the city where David would rule all of Israel. It was 7-1/2 years after David went to Hebron, that he made Jerusalem his headquarters.


1 Chronicles 11:5 "And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come hither. Nevertheless David took the castle of Zion, which [is] the city of David."


"Thou shalt not come hither": The inhabitants of Jebus added something besides (2 Sam. 5:6). They had said, "Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, "David cannot come in hither."


"The castle of Zion": This fort became the site of the temple. It is the Acra of Josephus, and is different from the modern Zion. It was the eastern hill in the city, and was the second highest elevation in the city. And up to the time of the destruction of the city of Jerusalem was uniformly named Zion, though from the time of Constantine it has been used for the name of the western hill, the site of Jerusalem. There is but little doubt of the identity of the hill of Moriah with the hill of Zion, though no individual passage of Scripture asserts it. The passage before us, however, with its parallel, tells us plainly enough that the city of David, and that which became the sacred hill of Zion are one. And many passages in the Psalms and the prophets both confirm this and point out the difference between Zion and Jerusalem.


The castle of Zion became the location where the temple was built. Mount Moriah and Mount Zion are in the same area. The Jebusites tried to keep David from taking this area, but he took it anyway. Jerusalem is called the city of David. Zion is symbolic of the church.


1 Chronicles 11:6 "And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain. So Joab the son of Zeruiah went first up, and was chief."


For the capture of Jerusalem (see the note on 2 Sam. 5:8).


Joab had fallen out of favor with David for killing Abner. He had to prove himself again. He destroyed the Jebusites and was restored as chief and captain. He had been demoted when David disapproved of him. Now, he is back in good standing.


1 Chronicles 11:7 "And David dwelt in the castle; therefore they called it the city of David."


The prowess of Joab on this occasion, and the part which he took in the building of the city of David (1 Chron. 11:8), are known to us only from this passage of Chronicles.


The name was changed, because of the downfall of the Jebusites and the rise of David. Jerusalem is still called the city of David.


1 Chronicles 11:8 "And he built the city round about, even from Millo round about: and Joab repaired the rest of the city."


"Joab repaired the rest of the city": David built a new town to the north of the old one on Mount Zion; but Joab was charged with a commission to restore the part that had been occupied by the ancient Jebus. To repair the breaches made during the siege, to rebuild the houses which had been demolished or burned in the sacking of the town, and to preserve all that had escaped the violence of the soldiery. This work of reconstruction is not noticed elsewhere.


For the "Millo" (see the note on 2 Sam. 5:9).


Millo would probably have been a place of fortification. "Millo" means a mound. The city would probably be built out from the castle to give it protection from every side. Joab, restored to his place of authority, heads up the repairs.


1 Chronicles 11:9 "So David waxed greater and greater: for the LORD of hosts [was] with him."


"Lord of hosts was with him": The Lord of Hosts is doubtless a contracted form of the fuller expression, Lord God of Hosts, as it appears in Samuel. The Lord (or God), of Hosts is a title derived from God's supremacy over the host of heaven, i.e., the stars, worshipped as deities by the races environing Israel, insomuch that the very word for God in the old Babylonian is represented by a star (*). And in the later Assyrian character star was represented by the symbol for God thrice repeated. Assur, the supreme deity of the Assyrian Pantheon, is called in the inscriptions "king of the legions of heaven and earth," or "of the great gods." Similar titles were given to the Babylonian Nebo and Merodach. The Hebrew phrase is therefore, in one sense, equivalent to a concise assertion of the statement, "Jehovah your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords" (Deut. 10:17; compare also Psalms 95:3; 97:7). That the hosts in question are the stars appears from (Psalm 33:6; Isa. 40:26; Judges 5:20).


The blessings of God were upon David. He reigned as king of all Israel for 33 years. His entire reign was for 40 years. He was the most loved of God, besides Jesus.



Verses 10-14: The three "mighty men", Josheb-Basshebeth, Eleazar, and Shammah are mentioned in more detail (in 2 Sam. 23:8-11). These men pledged their loyalty to David while he was hiding from Saul and then fought beside David. No matter how competent David's fighting men were, however, the credit for their success in battle went to only One; "The Lord brought about a great victory."


11:10-41 (see notes on 2 Sam. 23:8-39).


1 Chronicles 11:10″These also [are] the chief of the mighty men whom David had, who strengthened themselves with him in his kingdom, [and] with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the LORD concerning Israel."


"Who strengthened themselves with him in his kingdom": Who helped him with all their might to settle him in his kingdom.


"With all Israel": in conjunction with all those loyal Israelites who joined with David; of whom see the next chapter.


(See the note on 2 Sam. 23:8).


These chief of the mighty men had been with David, and they actually helped David gain the rule over the entire tribes of Israel. He became king, partly because of their strong support. Of course, he was king because God made him king. He had to have strong men around him. He gave them jobs of position in his kingdom for their efforts in his behalf.


1 Chronicles 11:11 "And this [is] the number of the mighty men whom David had; Jashobeam, an Hachmonite, the chief of the captains: he lifted up his spear against three hundred slain [by him] at one time."


Jashobeam ... Hachmonite": (In 27:2), he is called the son of Zabdiel, so Hachmonite may be, strictly speaking, his grandfather (27:32). For a variation in name and number (300; see note on 2 Sam. 23:8). A copyist's error would best account for 800 being reported (in 2 Sam. 23:8).


The "number" of the enemy "slain" by "Jashobeam" is given (in 2 Sam. 23:8), as eight hundred, probably the correct figure. The number here may have been miscopied, perhaps influenced by the number slain by Abishai (in verse 20).


Jashobeam was the chief of his captains. He was over 24,000 fighting men. Hachmonite is probably the same as Tachmonite. Jashobeam is said to have killed 300 enemies in one battle. If Tachmonite is the same, he is said to have killed 800. It really does not matter if he killed just 300. That was a tremendous number for one man to kill.


1 Chronicles 11:12 "And after him [was] Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, who [was one] of the three mighties."


"Dodo": The LXX has Dodai (so does 1 Chron. 27:4), and the Hebrew text of Samuel. But Syriac and Vulgate has: "his uncle," a translation of dodo.


"The Ahohite": I.e., of the clan Ahoah; perhaps the Benjamite house of this name (1 Chron. 8:4).


"Who was one of the three mighties": "He was among the three heroes," i.e., one of the first or leading trio of warriors, whose names were Jashobeam (Eshbaal), Eleazar, and Shammah (2 Sam. 23:11).


This Eleazar is the same as Azareel. Dodo is spoken of as Dodi, and Dodai. Ahohite is the same as Ahoah. The third mighty man is not named here, but is called Shammah, the Hararite (in 2 Samuel 23:11).


1 Chronicles 11:13 "He was with David at Pas-dammim, and there the Philistines were gathered together to battle, where was a parcel of ground full of barley; and the people fled from before the Philistines."


Or Ephes-dammim, between Shochoh and Azekah in the Mountains of Judah, where David encountered Goliath. The name does not now appear in (2 Sam. 23:5), being probably concealed under the word rendered "when they defied."


"And there the Philistines were gathered together to battle": After these words several lines have been lost, as may be seen by comparison of (2 Sam. 23:9-10). The text may be restored thus: "He was with David at Pas-dammim, and there the Philistines had gathered to the battle; and the men of Israel went up (perhaps, up the mountain side, in retreat). And he stood his ground, and smote the Philistines until his hand was benumbed, and clave to the sword. And Yahweh wrought a great victory on that day. And the people began returning (from flight), behind him only to spoil (the slain). And after him (was) Shammah ben Ag, a Hararite. And the Philistines gathered together unto Lehi (Judges 15:9). And there was a parcel, etc.," (1 Chron. 11:13). The cause of this serious omission was perhaps the double occurrence of the phrase "the Philistines gathered together." The eye of some copyist wandered from one to the other. What was originally told of Eleazar the second hero, was that his prowess turned the flight at Pas-dammim into a victory.


"Where was a parcel of ground full of barley": The scene of the exploit of the third hero, Shammah, son of Ag. Perhaps the Philistines were intent on carrying off the crop (1 Sam. 23:1). Samuel reads lentils. The Hebrew words for barley and lentils are very similar. We cannot tell which text is right.


"Pas-dammim" means the boundary of blood. Barley was cheaper than wheat. It was used to feed animals as well as people. There appeared to have been many battles fought in this place. In fact, this was where David had come against Goliath and slew him. In the battle mentioned in the verse above, the people fled before the Philistines.


1 Chronicles 11:14 "And they set themselves in the midst of [that] parcel, and delivered it, and slew the Philistines; and the LORD saved [them] by a great deliverance."


"And they set themselves ... and delivered ... and slew": These verbs should be singular, as describing the exploit of Shammah (2 Sam. 23:12). After the omission just noticed had become perpetuated in the text, some editor must have altered the words into the plural, supposing that they referred to David and Eleazar (1 Chron. 11:13).


"Saved them": Samuel: "made a great deliverance": transpose one letter, and the Hebrew words are identical. LXX and Syriac agree with Samuel.


These men were mighty men, because the LORD was with them. The blessings of the LORD were upon everything that David did. The Philistines were the enemy of David, but they were also God's enemies, as well. They stopped running in the middle of the barley field, and fought against the Philistines and won.


1 Chronicles 11:15 "Now three of the thirty captains went down to the rock to David, into the cave of Adullam; and the host of the Philistines encamped in the valley of Rephaim."


Literally, three out of the thirty chiefs went down; a mode of description which appears to distinguish this trio from the former (1 Chron. 11:11-14). The form of the verb, however, connects this exploit with the same war (compare 2 Sam. 23:13-17).


"To the rock": 'Al ha-r (later use of 'al, "on"). Samuel has "at (or towards), harvest," 'el qair. In Hebrew writing the phrases are very similar. Our phrase looks like a correction of that in Samuel. At any rate, the Syriac, Targum, Arabic, and probably the LXX, read qair in the manuscripts of Samuel. Here the LXX has "to the rock;" Syriac omits the phrase.


"Cave of Adullam" (see 1 Sam. 22:1).


"Valley of Rephaim" (see Joshua 15:8). It lay south-west of Jerusalem, in the direction of Bethlehem. It may have got its name from the aboriginal Rephaim (Deut. 3:11). Authorized Version, giants (Joshua 17:15). It was a rich corn land (Isa. 13:5; compare 1 Chron. 11:13).


This is speaking of the same cave that David camped in over and over, when he was fleeing from Saul. "Rephaim" means giants. The three captains that we have just read about are the leaders of the other thirty captains. The thirty are over smaller groups and are probably subject to the three we have just discussed. There is very little known of the thirty. They are alluded to several times, however.


1 Chronicles 11:16 "And David [was] then in the hold, and the Philistines' garrison [was] then at Beth-lehem."


The stronghold or rock-fortress of Adullam (2 Sam. 5:17; 23:14).


"The Philistines' garrison": An outpost; for their army was camping near Jerusalem.


This is probably the same as in (2 Sam. 5: 17-18). This happened just after David was anointed king over Israel. The Philistines thought they would destroy him, before he got settled as king. The hold was probably the cave. David inquired of God what he should do and God gave the Philistines into the hands of David.



Verses 17-19: This story of "the three might men" demonstrates the deep loyalty David inspired and how much David valued that loyalty. By offering a drink offering (Gen. 35:14), David put God at the center of it all, in stark contrast to Saul.


1 Chronicles 11:17 "And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Beth-lehem, that [is] at the gate!"


"The well of Bethlehem": The traditional well is half a mile distant, to the north of the town, and consists of a group of three cisterns, while the present town is supplied with water by an aqueduct.


"At the gate": Nothing else is known of this well. No trace of it exists now, according to Dr. Robinson.


1 Chronicles 11:18 "And the three brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Beth-lehem, that [was] by the gate, and took [it], and brought [it] to David: but David would not drink [of] it, but poured it out to the LORD,"


Not the main army, but the outpost in front of Beth-lehem. There were heroes before Agamemnon, and there was chivalry before the Crusades.


"By the gate": Hebrew: "in".


"Poured it out": As a libation or drink-offering. The technical term is used (as in Gen. 35:14). An act of free sacrifice, done under a sudden impulse of thankfulness, and not according to any formal prescription of the Law.


Beth-lehem was surrounded by Philistines at the time. The three, spoken of here, are the three captains who are in charge of David's men. We can see their bravery and their loyalty to David in this. It is interesting that David was thirsty for the water, and yet would not drink it. He offered the water to the LORD by pouring it out.


1 Chronicles 11:19 "And said, My God forbid it me, that I should do this thing: shall I drink the blood of these men that have put their lives in jeopardy? for with [the jeopardy of] their lives they brought it. Therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mightiest."


Literally, the blood of these men should I drink in their lives (souls)? It put him into the utmost confusion, to think three brave men should hazard their lives to fetch water for him. In his account, it turns the water into blood. It is to the honor of great men, not to be prodigal of the blood of those they employ. Their lives appears to be spurious here, as it occurs again immediately, and is read only once in Samuel. David regards the water as blood: it had been obtained at the hazard of life, and "the life is the blood" (Gen. 9:4). The question in Samuel runs: "The blood of the men who went in (at the risk of), their lives?" The verb seems to have fallen out by accident.


"For with the jeopardy of their lives they brought it": Literally, in their lives. This remark is not found in Samuel, and looks like an explanation of the words, "shall I drink the blood of these men?"


"These things did these three mightiest": Rather, these things did the three mighty men (or, warriors). The Hebrew text of this narrative presents only a few verbal differences from (2 Sam. 23:13-17).


David was not speaking of literal blood, but he felt they had put their life at peril to get this water for him. He did not drink it to satisfy his physical thirst, because of the sacrifice they had made for him to get it.


1 Chronicles 11:20″And Abishai the brother of Joab, he was chief of the three: for lifting up his spear against three hundred, he slew [them], and had a name among the three."


Hebrew, Abshai, but in Samuel, Abishai. (Compare Abram and Abiram.) Samuel adds "son of Zeruiah" after Joab. (Compare 1 Chron. 2:16 and 18:12; 19:11 for other deeds of Abishai).


"He was chief of the three": Apparently the second triad, one of whose famous exploits has just been related (1 Chron. 11:15-19). The Hebrew text of Samuel seems to read "knights," but some manuscripts, the Hebrew margin, and all the versions, agree with Chronicles.


"For lifting up": Literally, and he had brandished his spear over three hundred slain. The exploit of Jashobeam (1 Chron. 11:11).


"And had a name among the three": That is, among the second triad, of which he was captain.


1 Chronicles 11:21 "Of the three, he was more honorable than the two; for he was their captain: howbeit he attained not to the [first] three."


"Of the three in the second rank he was the most honorable." The word, translated "in the second rank," is however certainly corrupt (compare 2 Sam. 23:19), and should be corrected. We then translate: He was more honorable than the three. The verse probably comes from a lost poem. What is meant by the three and by the first three cannot be determined owing to the loss of the context.


Abishai was the one who had volunteered to go into the camp of Saul at night with David. He was a very brave man. There are so many accounts of bravery of Abishai, it would be difficult to name them here. We might even come to the conclusion from his acts, that he was the bravest of the three mighty men. He was one of the three captains who were over David's army.


1 Chronicles 11:22 "Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts; he slew two lionlike men of Moab: also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day."


Captain of the royal guard (1 Chron. 18:17), and third "captain of the host" (1 Chron. 27:5-6).


"Son of a valiant man": "Son" is probably a spurious addition here, as elsewhere. The Syriac has "Benaiah son of Joiada, a strong warrior." The LXX, however, reads, "son of a mighty man."


"Kabzeel": A town of southern Judah, site unknown (Joshua 15:21; Neh. 11:25), Jekabzeel.


"Who had done many acts": The margin is correct. This poetic phrase only occurs in this and the parallel passage.


"He slew two lionlike men of Moab": See (1 Chron. 18:2). So the Syriac: "He slew two giants of Moab." The Hebrew has, "He smote the two Ariel of Moab." Ariel, "lion of God", a title of heroes with the Arabs and Persians. Appears to be used as an appellative (Isa. 33:7): "Lo, the heroes ('arlm), cry without!" (Hebrew). The (LXX of 2 Sam 23:20) reads, "The two sons of Ariel of Moab;" whence some think that Ariel denotes here the king of Moab; but the former sense is better.


"Also he went down and slew a lion": Literally, and he (it was who), went down and smote the lion in the middle of the cistern in the day of snow. The article pointedly refers to some well-known feat of Benaiah's.


1 Chronicles 11:23 "And he slew an Egyptian, a man of [great] stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian's hand [was] a spear like a weaver's beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear."


Literally, and he it was who smote the Egyptian, a man of measure, five cubits tall. Samuel has only "who (was), a sight;" or "a man to look at" (Hebrew margin). The chronicler says why.


"Like a weaver's beam": Not in Samuel. Perhaps due to a recollection of the combat of David and Goliath. (Compare also 2 Sam. 21:19.) Yet the LXX of (2 Sam. 23:21), has "like the beam of a ship's ladder"; and this may be original.


"Went down": To the combat. The staff (shēbet), of Benaiah differs from David's (maqqēl; 1 Sam. 17:40; 17:43); and the similarity of the two accounts, so far as it extends, is a similarity not of fiction, but of fact.


"With a staff": Rather, the staff, which he happened to carry.


1 Chronicles 11:24 "These [things] did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among the three mighties."


Literally, and to him (was), a name among the three heroes, viz., the second triad.


Benaiah was son of the high priest Jehoiada. David set Benaiah over his guard. The person five cubits high means that he was seven and one half feet tall. Benaiah was over 24,000 fighting men.


1 Chronicles 11:25 "Behold, he was honorable among the thirty, but attained not to the [first] three: and David set him over his guard."


Rather, above the thirty behold he was honored.


"But attained not to the first three": For he was a member of the second triad of heroes. The third member is omitted here, as in the case of the first triad.


"Over his guard": Literally, over his obedience; an abstract for concrete (as in Isaiah 11:14; meaning vassals). The Cherethites and Pelethites, a small corps probably of foreigners, who constituted David's body-guard, and were under his direct orders, appear to be meant here (see 2 Sam. 8:18; 20:23). The word has this precise sense only in this place and it's parallel.


We mentioned above, that he was over the personal guard of David.


1 Chronicles 11:26″Also the valiant men of the armies [were], Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan the son of Dodo of Beth-lehem,"


The Heb. phrase has this meaning (1 Chron. 12:8); but elsewhere it denotes "valiant heroes" (1 Chron. 7:5; 7:7), and so here. (2 Sam. 23:24), has "Asahel brother of Joab was among the thirty." It thus appears that the warriors of this list are none other than the famous band of thirty warriors already spoken of (1 Chron. 11:15; 11:25). From having been the original number, thirty may have become the conventional name of the corps even when its limits had been enlarged. It is noticeable that so far as to (1 Chron. 11:41), the heroes are arranged in pairs, and that the gentile or cantonal name is usually added to that of the hero. They mostly belong to Judah and Benjamin; whereas the sixteen additional names, so far as known, belong to the trans-jordanic tribes, and the northern tribes are not represented at all.


"Elhanan": Dodo is very much like David. Is this a third alias of the slayer of Goliath? (See note on 1 Chron. 20:5).


Asahel was the nephew of David. He was swift of foot and outran Abner after the battle at Gibeon. Abner threw a lance through him and killed him. We dealt with Dodo earlier in the lessons. The list that follows, including Asahel and Elhanan, would be 31, but is called thirty because of the early death of Asahel. He is still honored by being listed as one of the thirty. He was replaced at his death, and that makes the list 31. There are actually 48 listed in this chapter, but some of them are replacements for others who died or were added later.


1 Chronicles 11:27 "Shammoth the Harorite, Helez the Pelonite,"


Samuel has "Shammah (of which Shammoth is plural) the Harodite." A place called Harod occurs (in Judges 7:1; compare also 1 Chron. 27:8). Note (2 Sam. 23:26), adds another Harodite, Elika (? Elikam), omitted here by accident.


"Helez the Pelonite": Samuel, "the Paltite," perhaps more correctly. The Syriac and Arabic read "of Palton" and "Faltna." Beth-phelet was a town of Judah (Neh. 11:26), but (1 Chron. 27:10), calls Helez "the Pelonite of the sons of Ephraim." The Hebrew peloni (Authorized Version, Pelonite), means so-and-so, and may be a scribe's substitute for an illegible name.


1 Chronicles 11:28 "Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, Abi-ezer the Antothite,"


Of Tekoa, in Judah. Abi-ezer, of Anathoth, in Benjamin (compare 1 Chron. 27:9; 27:19).


Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary (11:10-47). An account is given of David's worthies, the great men who served him. Yet David reckoned his success, not as from the mighty men that were with him, but from the mighty God, whose presence is all in all. In strengthening him, they strengthened themselves and their own interest, for his advancement was theirs. We shall gain by what we do in our places for the support of the kingdom of the Son of David; and those that are faithful to Him, shall find their names registered much more to their honor, than these are in the records of fame.


1 Chronicles 11:29 "Sibbecai the Hushathite, Ilai the Ahohite,"


The correct name (see 1 Chron. 27:11). He slew the giant Saph (2 Sam. 21:18). Samuel calls him Mebunnai, by confusion of similar letters. Sibbecai was a Zarhite, i.e., of clan Zerah. Hushah, his township, was in Judah (1 Chron. 4:4).


"Ilai": Samuel has Zalmon, which may be correct, letters having faded.


"Ahohite" (see 1 Chron. 11:12).


1 Chronicles 11:30 "Maharai the Netophathite, Heled the son of Baanah the Netophathite,"


So in (1 Chron. 27:13), with "of the Zerahites" (R.V.) added. A Netophathite might come either from Netophah (a village in Judah not far from Beth-lehem), or from the "villages of the Netophathites" (1 Chron. 9:16).


"Heled": In (1 Chron. 27:15). "Heldai," a name found in (Zech. 6:10). "Heleb" in (2 Sam. 23:29), is probably a wrong reading.


1 Chronicles 11:31 "Ithai the son of Ribai of Gibeah, [that pertained] to the children of Benjamin, Benaiah the Pirathonite,"


Samuel, "Ittai," an older pronunciation. Not to be confused with "Ittai the Gittite" (2 Sam. 15:19).


"Gibeah ... of Benjamin": was near Ramah.


"Benaiah the Pirathonite" (1 Chron. 27:14). Of course different from Benaiah son of Jehoiada. "Pirathon in the land of Ephraim" (Judges 12:15), may be the modern Ferta, southwest of Shechem.


1 Chronicles 11:32 "Hurai of the brooks of Gaash, Abiel the Arbathite,"


In (2 Samuel 23:30), "Hiddai." The true form of the name is uncertain; neither form occurs elsewhere.


"Gaash": A mountain in Ephraim (Judges 2:9; also Joshua 24:30).


"Abiel": In (2 Sam. 23:31), "Abi-albon." "Arbathite" means "inhabitant of Beth Arabah"; (Joshua 15:6), a town on the border between Judah and Benjamin.


1 Chronicles 11:33 "Azmaveth the Baharumite, Eliahba the Shaalbonite,"


Of Bahurim, the town of Shimei (2 Sam. 16:5; 3:16), in Benjamin. Samuel has the transposed form, "Barhumite."


"Eliahba": God hideth.


"Shaalbonite": Of Shaalbim (Joshua 19:42), a Danite town near Ajalon.


1 Chronicles 11:34 "The sons of Hashem the Gizonite, Jonathan the son of Shage the Hararite,"


Samuel has "the sons of Jashen, Jonathan" (Hebrew). Here the Syriac and Arabic have "the sons of Shm of 'Azun, Jonathan son of Shaga of Mount Carmel." The word "sons" (bn), is an accidental repetition of the last three letters of the Hebrew word for Shaalbonite. "Jashen the Gizonite" is probably the right reading.


"Jonathan the son of Shage the Hararite": This appears more correct than the text of Samuel, "Shammah the Hararite." "Shammah son of Age the Hararite" was the third hero of the first triad (2 Sam. 23:11). Perhaps, therefore, the original reading here was "Jonathan son of Age (or Shammah) the Hararite." The Syriac and Arabic, however, supports Shage.


1 Chronicles 11:35 "Ahiam the son of Sacar the Hararite, Eliphal the son of Ur,"


(Wages) is probably right, not "Sharar" (Samuel). LXX Vat. has "Achar," "Sachar." Syriac, "Sacham."


Instead of "Hararite", Samuel has "Ararite," or "Adrite" (Syrian).


"Eliphal the son of Ur": Instead of this, Samuel reads, "Eliphelet son of Ahasbai son of the Maachathite." Eliphelet (the name of a son of David) seems right.


1 Chronicles 11:36 "Hepher the Mecherathite, Ahijah the Pelonite,"


Wanting in the present text of Samuel. Mecherah is unknown as a place, and a comparison with Samuel (1 Chron. 11:34), suggests "Hepher the Maachathite," i.e., of Abelbeth-Maachah, or perhaps the Syrian state of Maachah (2 Sam. 10:8).


"Ahijah the Pelonite": Instead of this Samuel has "Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite." For Ahithophel (see 2 Sam. 15:31). The Pelonite, i.e. so-and-so, may indicate either that Ahithophel's name had become obscure in the chronicler's manuscript, or that he was unwilling to mention the traitor. Ahijah (Jah is a brother) and Eliam (God is a kinsman), might be names of one person.


1 Chronicles 11:37 "Hezro the Carmelite, Naarai the son of Ezbai,"


Syriac, "Hezri" and so perhaps Samuel, margin; but Samuel, text, "Hezro."


"Carmelite": Of Carmel (Karmul), a town south of Hebron (Joshua 15:55).


"Naarai the son of Ezbai": Samuel, "Paarah the Arbite." Arab also was a town south of Hebron, in the hill country of Judah (Joshua 15:52).


1 Chronicles 11:38 "Joel the brother of Nathan, Mibhar the son of Haggeri,"


"Mibhar the son of Haggeri": "Mibhar" (choice), is unlikely as a proper name, and is probably a corruption of Micobah, "of Zobah," as in Samuel. After this word Samuel adds "Bani the Gadite." The name "Bani" has fallen out of our text. "Haggeri" is an easy corruption of Haggadi "the Gadite."


1 Chronicles 11:39 "Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Berothite, the armor-bearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah,"


Many of David's warriors were aliens. (Compare "Uriah the Hittite;" "Ittai the Gittite;" and "Ithmah the Moabite"; 1 Chron. 11:46).


"Berothite": Of Beeroth in Benjamin (Joshua 18:25).


1 Chronicles 11:40 "Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite,"


The Ithrite. One of the families of Kirjath-jearim (1 Chron. 2:53). Other similar colonists from Kirjath-jearim, and descended from Shobal, were the Puthite, the Shumathites, and the Izrahite. With this verse we count up, including the dropped-out Elika, the names of "thirty mighty men." And we may understand Samuel's thirty-seven to consist of these, increased by Uriah and the two parties of three each.



Verses 41-47: This adds new material to (2 Sam. Chapter 23).


1 Chronicles 11:41 "Uriah the Hittite, Zabad the son of Ahlai,"


His history, omitted by Chronicles, is told (in 2 Samuel chapter 11). The list of heroes in Samuel closes with this name, adding by way of summation, "all, thirty and seven."


The sixteen names which follow may indicate a later revision of the catalogue. They are not given elsewhere.


The Uriah, mentioned above, is the same as the husband of Bath-sheba. David had him killed to get his wife. Beginning with (verse 42), the list seems to be additions. They are not included (in 2 Samuel chapter 23).


1 Chronicles 11:42 "Adina the son of Shiza the Reubenite, a captain of the Reubenites, and thirty with him,"


A captain of the Reubenites (or chief; Hebrew meaning head), and thirty with him (besides him). Literally, upon him. So LXX Syriac reads "and he was commanding thirty men," which gives the apparent meaning of the verse. If, as seems likely, the "thirty" were the officers of David's guard of six hundred warriors (1 Sam. 23:13; 30:10; 2 Sam. 15:18), called "the mighty men," or heroes (2 Sam. 10:7; 20:7; 1 Kings 1:8). Each captain would lead about twenty men. Adina's corps is mentioned perhaps as being larger than usual.


1 Chronicles 11:43 "Hanan the son of Maachah, and Joshaphat the Mithnite,"


The LXX has "the Mathanite," or "the Bethanite." Syriac, "Azi of Anathoth"!


1 Chronicles 11:44 "Uzzia the Ashterathite, Shama and Jehiel the sons of Hothan the Aroerite,"


"The Ashterathite": I.e. inhabitant of Ashtaroth (1 Chron. 6:71), a city of Manasseh east of Jordan.


"And Jehiel the sons of Hothan": R.V. and Jeiel the sons of Hotham.


"The Aroerite": I.e. inhabitant of Aroer. There were two cities of this name, both east of Jordan (compare Joshua 13:16; 13:25).


1 Chronicles 11:45 "Jediael the son of Shimri, and Joha his brother, the Tizite,"


Perhaps the Manassite who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chron. 12:20).


1 Chronicles 11:46 "Eliel the Mahavite, and Jeribai, and Joshaviah, the sons of Elnaam, and Ithmah the Moabite,"


Perhaps the Gadite of (1 Chron. 12:11).


"The Mahavite": Probably a corruption of "the Mahanaimite." Mahanaim was in Gad.


1 Chronicles 11:47 "Eliel, and Obed, and Jasiel the Mesobaite."


"The Mesobaite": This name is entirely unknown, unless it may be the same as Mezobah.


1 Chronicles Chapter 11 Questions


1. What did all Israel say to David at Hebron?


2. Who did Abner anoint as king in Saul's place?


3. Who had previously anointed David king?


4. How long did Ish-bosheth reign?


5. What happened to him?


6. How long did David reign in Hebron, over Judah?


7. Who is "all Israel" speaking of in verse 1?


8. Why had David gone to Hebron?


9. Where was Hebron located?


10. How is verse 2 prophetic?


11. Who is the great Shepherd?


12. David was a ____________.


13. Who did David make a covenant with at Hebron?


14. Who anointed David king over Israel at Hebron?


15. Who were the acting priests at that time?


16. What was the ancient name for Jerusalem?


17. How many years, after David became king of Judah, did he go to Jerusalem?


18. What did the castle of Zion become?


19. Who went up first to smite the Jebusites?


20. Why had Joab been out of favor with David?


21. Why was Jerusalem called the city of David?


22. Why did David wax greater and greater?


23. How long did David reign in Hebron, and in Jerusalem?


24. Who killed 300 enemies of David by himself?


25. Eleazar, in verse 12, is the same as ___________.


26. What does "Pas-dammim" mean?


27. How many captains went down to the rock to David?


28. What does "Rephaim" mean?


29. Who went to Beth-lehem through the Philistines, and got water for David?


30. Why did David not drink the water?


31. Who might we assume to be the bravest of the three mighty men?


32. Who was Asahel?


33. Who are listed in verses 27 through 41?


34. Who was the Uriah listed here?


35. Which, of all of these men, are not listed in 2 Samuel chapter 23?





Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to 1 Chronicles Menu | Return to Bible Menu


1 Chronicles 12



1 Chronicles Chapter 12

Verses 1-40: These events predate those of (11:1-47). They are divided between David's time at Ziklag (12:1-22), and Hebron (12:23-40). They summarize the narrative covered (in 1 Sam. Chapter 27 to 2 Sam. Chapter 5).


In (verses 1-14), men from Benjamin (12:2-3, 16-18), Gad (12:8-15), Judah (12:16-18, and Manasseh (12:19-22), came to help David conquer enemies on both sides of the Jordan (verse 15).


For "David's" stay at "Ziklag" and his battles with the Amalekites (see 1 Sam. Chapters 27 and 30).


1 Chronicles 12:1 "Now these [are] they that came to David to Ziklag, while he yet kept himself close because of Saul the son of Kish: and they [were] among the mighty men, helpers of the war."


"Ziklag": Located in the south near the Edomite border. The territory was ruled by the Philistines, who made David a ruler over it during the latter period of Saul's reign when he was pursuing David (1 Sam. 27:6-7). This was prior to David's taking the rule over all Israel (compare verse 38).


Ziklag was where David stayed just before the death of Saul. David was in Ziklag for a year and a half. Saul wanted to kill David, and David just stayed away from Saul. David had loyal men with him all the time he was running from Saul. David could have killed Saul several times, but would not, because he was God's anointed. Achish had given Ziklag to David as a place to live.


1 Chronicles 12:2 "[They were] armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left in [hurling] stones and [shooting] arrows out of a bow, [even] of Saul's brethren of Benjamin."


Even when David was hiding from Saul, he had a following of capable fighting men who were familiar with the "bow", arrow, and sling and, ironically, were "Saul's brethren." Many among them recognized David as the legitimate king. The sling, although simple in appearance, a shallow pouch with two cords attached to it, could be a deadly weapon with which to hurl "stones" (1 Sam. 17:32-57).


These particular men had been with Saul, until they determined he was not fair in his dealings. They were some of the choice fighters who could use both hands in battle. They determined that David was right in the problem with Saul, and they came to serve David. Saul was a Benjamite, but they could not follow him because of his cruelty toward David.



Verses 3-8: These verses again underscore the widespread support for David: "all the rest of Israel were of one mind to make David king."


1 Chronicles 12:3 "The chief [was] Ahiezer, then Joash, the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite; and Jeziel, and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth; and Berachah, and Jehu the Antothite,"


Who was of Gibeah, in the tribe of Benjamin, sometimes called Gibeah of Benjamin, and of Saul, it being his birthplace (see 1 Sam. 11:4). And so, these might be some of his kindred.


"And Jeziel, and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth": There is one of this name in the posterity of Jonathan (1 Chron. 8:36), who might be so called after some of his relations.


"And Berachah, and Jehu the Antothite": Or Anethothite, as the Vulgate Latin version, who was of Anathoth, a city in the tribe of Benjamin. The native place of Jeremiah the prophet.


The list of men, who helped David at this time, would not be the same as the later list. Some will die in battle and be replaced. This is the beginning of the earliest list.


1 Chronicles 12:4 "And Ismaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty man among the thirty, and over the thirty; and Jeremiah, and Jahaziel, and Johanan, and Josabad the Gederathite,"


That came with him, and he had the command of; this man was of Gibeon, another city in the tribe of Benjamin (Joshua 18:25).


"And Jeremiah, and Jahaziel, and Johanan, and Josabad, the Gederathite": One of Gederah, a city in the tribe of Judah, perhaps on the borders of that and Benjamin. Joram speaks of it as belonging to the country of the city Aelia or Jerusalem.


David had about 600 men with him who had been with him from the time he had to flee from Saul. The men listed in the verses above and the next few verses, are the men who were over that 600.


1 Chronicles 12:5 "Eluzai, and Jerimoth, and Bealiah, and Shemariah, and Shephatiah the Haruphite,"


A native of Haruph or Hariph (see Neh. 7:24).


1 Chronicles 12:6 "Elkanah, and Jesiah, and Azareel, and Joezer, and Jashobeam, the Korhites,"


Not Korahites, descendants of Levi (1 Chron. 9:19), but the posterity of Korah a Benjamite.


1 Chronicles 12:7 "And Joelah, and Zebadiah, the sons of Jeroham of Gedor."


A city in the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:58), and might now belong to Benjamin. Or this was another city of the same name in that tribe.



Verses 8-15: The roster of "Gadites" who came to "David," possibly during his time in the wilderness of En-gedi (1 Sam. 24:1), is given here. David characteristically sought out various caves or strongholds in the "wilderness" areas where he fled from Saul (e.g. 1 Sam. 22:1; 23:14).


1 Chronicles 12:8 "And of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David into the hold to the wilderness men of might, [and] men of war [fit] for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces [were like] the faces of lions, and [were] as swift as the roes upon the mountains;"


Soldiers from all Israel gravitated toward David, God's chosen king. The "Gadites," who joined him while he was still a fugitive, were trained in mountain warfare and in using "shield and spear."


These men, that followed David, were not just from Judah. They were valiant men from several of the tribes. They followed David, because they believed in him and his God. They knew what Saul was doing was wrong. These were all brave men who were willing to fight for the right, even if they were greatly outnumbered. They were strong as lions. They were even better than what their physical power would let them be, because God strengthened them for battle. God was with David and his men.


1 Chronicles 12:9-13 "Ezer the first, Obadiah the second, Eliab the third," "Mishmannah the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth," "Attai the sixth, Eliel the seventh," "Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth," "Jeremiah the tenth, Machbanai the eleventh."


This and those that follow are the names of the Gadites given, according to their age or merit, or order in coming to David: Obadiah, Eliab, Mishmannah, Jeremiah, Attai, Eliel, Johanan, Elzabad, Jeremiah, and Machbanai; in all eleven.


"Jeremiah the fifth": Compare (1 Chron. 12:13), Jeremiah the tenth. A very slight difference of spelling distinguishes the two in the Hebrew.


This is a list of the men of Gad that came to serve with David. Verse 14 says that the least of these men were over 100 and the greatest was over 1,000. This could have been the number they were over, when they served with the tribe of Gad. It could also be saying that the least of these men were like 100 and the greatest like 1000. The third thing it could mean, is that David's army of 600 had grown mightily, and they were over the larger army.


1 Chronicles 12:14 "These [were] of the sons of Gad, captains of the host: one of the least [was] over a hundred, and the greatest over a thousand."


Of the militia in their own country, and of the men they brought with them. Or they were such afterwards in David's army.


"One of the least was over a hundred, and the greatest over a thousand": Not that they were so when they came, or brought over such a number of men with them under their command. But they were promoted by David, when he came to the throne, to be centurions and chiliarchs. According to Jarchi, the sense is, that the least of them would put to flight and pursue one hundred, and the greatest of them 1000, and so fulfilled the passage in (Lev. 26:8).


1 Chronicles 12:15 "These [are] they that went over Jordan in the first month, when it had overflown all his banks; and they put to flight all [them] of the valleys, [both] toward the east, and toward the west."


"First month": March/April when the Jordan River was at flood stage due to melting snow in the north. The Gadites would be crossing from east to west.


There is a mention of the Jordan overflowing (in Joshua 3:15). That is not the same instance as this however. That j