1 Chronicles 2


Gill, in his commentary, gives us a useful summary of this chapter.

‘This chapter begins with the twelve sons of Israel or Jacob, 1 Chronicles 2:1, then reckons the sons of Judah, the fourth son of Jacob, 1 Chronicles 2:3, then the posterity of Pharez and Zerah, sons of Judah, 1 Chronicles 2:5, next the sons of Hezron, a son of Pharez, 1 Chronicles 2:9, particularly the posterity of Ram, a son of Hezron, from whom sprung Jesse and his family, 1 Chronicles 2:10, then of Caleb, another son of Hezron, 1 Chronicles 2:18, and next of Jerahmeel, the firstborn of Hezron, 1 Chronicles 1:25 and particularly the posterity of Sheshan, a descendant of his, 1 Chronicles 1:34 and then other sons of Caleb, with their posterity, are reckoned, 1 Chronicles 1:42 and the chapter is closed with the families of the Scribes in Jabesh, the same with the Kenites, 1 Chronicles 2:55.’

Israel’s Sons

‘These were the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad and Asher.’ 1 Chronicles 2:1-2

This chapter begins with the sons of Israel, Genesis 35:23-26, but the order of the sons is different in the other accounts, Genesis 49:3-27 / Exodus 1:2-4.

Gill, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The order of the names here approximates to an order determined by legitimacy of birth. A single change, the removal of Dan to the place after Benjamin, which would give the following result.

1. The six sons of the first wife, Leah.

2. The two sons of the second wife, Rachel.

3. The two sons of the first concubine, Bilhah.

4. The two sons of the second concubine, Zilpah.

Dan’s undue importance may, perhaps, be accounted for by his occupying the seventh place in the ‘blessing of Jacob’, Genesis 49:16.

Judah To Hezron’s Sons

‘The sons of Judah: Er, Onan and Shelah. These three were born to him by a Canaanite woman, the daughter of Shua. Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the LORD’s sight; so the LORD put him to death. Judah’s daughter-in-law Tamar bore Perez and Zerah to Judah. He had five sons in all. The sons of Perez: Hezron and Hamul. The sons of Zerah: Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Kalkol and Darda—five in all. The son of Karmi: Achar, who brought trouble on Israel by violating the ban on taking devoted things. The son of Ethan: Azariah. The sons born to Hezron were: Jerahmeel, Ram and Caleb. From Ram Son of Hezron. Ram was the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, the leader of the people of Judah. Nahshon was the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, Boaz the father of Obed and Obed the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of Eliab his firstborn; the second son was Abinadab, the third Shimea, the fourth Nethanel, the fifth Raddai, the sixth Ozem and the seventh David. Their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail. Zeruiah’s three sons were Abishai, Joab and Asahel. Abigail was the mother of Amasa, whose father was Jether the Ishmaelite.’ 1 Chronicles 2:3-17

This begins with the sons of Judah, Ruth 4:18-22 / Matthew 1:3-6, and although the fourth son of Jacob, Judah is listed first in order to give prominence to Judah’s part in the lineage of the Messiah, for from Judah the Messiah would come, Genesis 38:6-30 / Genesis 46:12 / Numbers 26:19-22.

We don’t know much about Zerah, Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Kalkol, and Darda expect that they were Zerah’s sons. The Jewish Targum calls them governors, and also says, on whom the spirit of prophecy dwelt, and in the Jewish chronology they are said to prophesy in Egypt and the four last are supposed to be the same with those in 1 Kings 4:31.

Achan, Joshua 7:1, seems to have become Achar, in order to assimilate the word more closely to the Hebrew term for ‘troubler’, which was from the time of Achan’s sin regarded as the true meaning of his name, Joshua 7:25-26.

Caleb, not the spy or Chelubai as the K.J.V renders it is also mentioned in 1 Chronicles 2:18 / 1 Chronicles 2:42 / 1 Chronicles 2:50 / 1 Chronicles 4:15. Pharez and Zerah were twins from Tamar through incest, Genesis 38:27. Hezron and Hamul were also sons of Judah, Genesis 46:12. There were five sons of Judah in total.

A few commentators agree that Ram is the same with Aram, Matthew 1:3, the genealogy is carried down from him to Jesse in the same order as there, and in Ruth 4:19. It’s only here that Nahshon the son of Amminadab is called the leader of the children of Judah, and Salmon his son is here called Salma.

Jesse had eight sons, of whom David was the youngest, 1 Samuel 16:10-11 / 1 Samuel 17:12. In 1 Samuel 17:12-14, David is listed as the eighth. However, Elihu, is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 27:18, which many people is the missing seventh son, some believe that it’s also possible that in the Samuel account, a son died in early age and so, didn’t credit mention by the writer of 1 Samuel.

Gill in his commentary, says the following.

‘From the present passage, and from the fact that Abishai joined David as a comrade in arms before Joab, 1 Samuel 26:6, it would seem that, although Joab was pre-eminent among the three, 2 Samuel 2:13 / 2 Samuel 2:16, Abishai was the eldest.’

In 2 Samuel 17:25, Abigail is used in reference to a half-sister of David in but here the name us used in reference to one of David’s fifteen wives. Abigail and Zeruiah were daughters not of Jesse, but of a certain Nahash, whose widow Jesse took to wife, 2 Samuel 17:25.

Caleb Son Of Hezron

‘Caleb son of Hezron had children by his wife Azubah (and by Jerioth). These were her sons: Jesher, Shobab and Ardon. When Azubah died, Caleb married Ephrath, who bore him Hur. Hur was the father of Uri, and Uri the father of Bezalel.’ 1 Chronicles 2:18-20

Opinions vary when it comes to identifying the Caleb mentioned here. Some suggest this is the Caleb who was one of the spies and other suggest, this Caleb wasn’t an Israelite, but an Edomite who was incorporated into Israel.

Some believe that in verses 1 Chronicles 2:9 / 1 Chronicles 2:18 /  1 Chronicles 2:42 / 1 Chronicles 2:50 reference is to the Caleb who was a descendant through Judah, but in 1 Chronicles 4:11 / 1 Chronicles 4:5 reference was to a Caleb of Edomite origin.

‘Later, Hezron, when he was sixty years old, married the daughter of Makir the father of Gilead. He made love to her, and she bore him Segub. Segub was the father of Jair, who controlled twenty-three towns in Gilead. (But Geshur and Aram captured Havvoth Jair, as well as Kenath with its surrounding settlements—sixty towns.) All these were descendants of Makir the father of Gilead. After Hezron died in Caleb Ephrathah, Abijah the wife of Hezron bore him Ashhur the father of Tekoa.’ 1 Chronicles 2:21-24

The listing of 1 Chronicles 2:21-24 and 1 Chronicles 2:25-41 are probably an interlude within the listing of Caleb that is found in 1 Chronicles 2:18-20 and 1 Chronicles 2:42-49.

Jair is probably the same person we read about in Judges, Judges 10:3. Jair took by Nobah his general, and called it after his name, Numbers 32:42, even sixty cities, Deuteronomy 3:4. Geshur is possibly an area near the area of Syria, 2 Samuel 3:3 / 2 Samuel 13:37 / 2 Samuel 15:8.

Jerahmeel Son Of Hezron

‘The sons of Jerahmeel the firstborn of Hezron: Ram his firstborn, Bunah, Oren, Ozem and Ahijah. Jerahmeel had another wife, whose name was Atarah; she was the mother of Onam. The sons of Ram the firstborn of Jerahmeel: Maaz, Jamin and Eker. The sons of Onam: Shammai and Jada. The sons of Shammai: Nadab and Abishur. Abishur’s wife was named Abihail, who bore him Ahban and Molid. The sons of Nadab: Seled and Appaim. Seled died without children. The son of Appaim: Ishi, who was the father of Sheshan. Sheshan was the father of Ahlai. The sons of Jada, Shammai’s brother: Jether and Jonathan. Jether died without children. The sons of Jonathan: Peleth and Zaza. These were the descendants of Jerahmeel. Sheshan had no sons—only daughters. He had an Egyptian servant named Jarha. Sheshan gave his daughter in marriage to his servant Jarha, and she bore him Attai. Attai was the father of Nathan, Nathan the father of Zabad, Zabad the father of Ephlal, Ephlal the father of Obed, Obed the father of Jehu, Jehu the father of Azariah, Azariah the father of Helez, Helez the father of Eleasah, Eleasah the father of Sismai, Sismai the father of Shallum, Shallum the father of Jekamiah, and Jekamiah the father of Elishama.’ 1 Chronicles 2:25-41

Jerahmeel is mentioned in 1 Samuel 27:10 / 1 Samuel 30:29.

Jarha, the Egyptian servant, isn’t mentioned anywhere else in Scripture. One commentator suggests this proves the population of Israel wasn’t pure in the sense of being descendants exclusively from the twelve sons of Jacob.

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Although there is a great deal of new material in this chapter, 1 Chronicles 2:25-41, other scriptures parallel much of it. 1 Chronicles 2:1-2 are parallel with Genesis 35:22-26 and Exodus 1:1-6. 1 Chronicles 2:3-4 are in Genesis 38:2-7/ Genesis 38:29ff / Genesis 46:12, and Numbers. 26:18ff. 1 Chronicles 2:5 appears in Genesis 46:12 / Numbers 26:21 / Ruth 4:18. 1 Chronicles 2:6-8 are related to Joshua 7:1 / 1 Kings 5:11. 1 Chronicles 2:9-17 is parallel with Ruth 4:19-22 / 1 Samuel 16:8-9 / 2 Samuel 2:18 / 2 Samuel 17:35.’

The Clans Of Caleb

‘The sons of Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel: Mesha his firstborn, who was the father of Ziph, and his son Mareshah, who was the father of Hebron. The sons of Hebron: Korah, Tappuah, Rekem and Shema. Shema was the father of Raham, and Raham the father of Jorkeam. Rekem was the father of Shammai. The son of Shammai was Maon, and Maon was the father of Beth Zur. Caleb’s concubine Ephah was the mother of Haran, Moza and Gazez. Haran was the father of Gazez. The sons of Jahdai: Regem, Jotham, Geshan, Pelet, Ephah and Shaaph. Caleb’s concubine Maakah was the mother of Sheber and Tirhanah. She also gave birth to Shaaph the father of Madmannah and to Sheva the father of Makbenah and Gibea. Caleb’s daughter was Aksah. These were the descendants of Caleb. The sons of Hur the firstborn of Ephrathah: Shobal the father of Kiriath Jearim, Salma the father of Bethlehem, and Hareph the father of Beth Gader. The descendants of Shobal the father of Kiriath Jearim were: Haroeh, half the Manahathites, and the clans of Kiriath Jearim: the Ithrites, Puthites, Shumathites and Mishraites. From these descended the Zorathites and Eshtaolites. The descendants of Salma: Bethlehem, the Netophathites, Atroth Beth Joab, half the Manahathites, the Zorites, and the clans of scribes who lived at Jabez: the Tirathites, Shimeathites and Sucathites. These are the Kenites who came from Hammath, the father of the Rekabites.’ 1 Chronicles 2:42-55

Here we read of the of the descendants of Caleb. 1 Chronicles 2:46-49 list the descendants from Caleb’s concubines and 1 Chronicles 2:50-55 are possibly the sons of Caleb who were the descendants of Caleb through his son Hur.

Gill, in his commentary, says the following.

‘A third line of descent from Caleb, the son of Hezron, the issue probably of a different mother, perhaps Jerioth, 1 Chronicles 2:18. The supposed omissions in this verse have been supplied as follows.’

1. ‘Mesha, the father of Ziph and the sons of Ziph, Mareshah, the father of Hebron’, or

2. ‘Mareshah, the father of Ziph and the sons of Mareshah, the father of Ziph, Hebron.’

Ziph, like Jorkeam, 1 Chronicles 2:44 and Beth Zur, 1 Chronicles 2:45, is the name of a place where the respective chiefs that is, ‘fathers’ settled.

Similarly Madmannah, Makbenah, and Gibea, 1 Chronicles 2:49, Kirjath Jearim, Joshua 9:17, Bethlehem and Beth Gader, 1 Chronicles 2:51, are unmistakeable names of places in the list, names which it isn’t probable were ever borne by persons.

Notice the writer mentioned the clans of scribes, we don’t know anything about these clans, we don’t know where they trained or where they were educated. However because of Israel’s close association with the Kenites, it may well be that they were trained by the Kenite scribes.

Barnes, in his commentary, says the following.

‘It is remarkable that Kenites, people of a race quite distinct from the Israelites, Genesis 15:19, should be attached to, and, as it were, included in the descendants of Judah. It seems, however, that the friendly feeling between the two tribes, based on the conduct of the Kenites at the time of the Exodus, Exodus 18:10-19 / Numbers 10:29-32 / 1 Samuel 15:6, led to their intermixture and almost amalgamation with the Israelites, Kenite families not only dwelling among them but being actually regarded as of one blood with them.’

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