1 Chronicles 4


Descendants of Judah

        • ESV Study Bible writes, “Information about other clans rounds off the genealogy of Judah and completes the literary inclusio…into which all this fragmentary and diverse material has been arranged: vv. 1-20 of ch. 4 supply additional details of the descendants of Perez (2:4-8), while 4:21-23 fill out the lineage of Judah’s third son, Shelah (2:3), the first to have children after the ‘false starts’ with Er and Onan.”

      • The descendants of Judah: Perez, Hezron, Karmi, Hur, and Shobal.

        • ESV Study Bible says, “’Caleb would be expected here, rather than Carmi, which may reflect early scribal confusion (see Gen 46:9) or textual corruption of ‘Chelubai’ (1 Chron 2:9).”

      • Shobal’s son Reaiah was Jahath’s father. Jahath was the father of Ahumai and Lahad. These were the families of the Zorathites.

        • HCSB says, “’Zorathites’: Rehoboam built the town of Zorah (2 Ch 11:10), and it was occupied by Jews in the postexilic period (Neh 11:29).”

      • These were the sons of Etam: Jezreel, Ishma, and Idbash. Their sister was Hazzelelponi.

      • Penuel was Gedor’s father, and Ezer was Hushah’s father. These were the descendants of Hur, who was Ephrathah’s firstborn and the father of Bethlehem.

      • Tekoa’s father Ashhur had two wives- Helah and Naarah. Naarah bore to him: Ahuzzam, Hepher, Temeni, and Haahashtari. These were Naarah’s sons. Helah’s sons: Zereth, Zohar, Ethnan, and Koz. Koz was the father of Anub, Hazzobebah, and of the families of Aharhel, who was Harum’s son.

        • HCSB notes, “Most of the names here also correspond to towns. ‘Haahashtari’ is literally ‘[the clan of] the Ashashtarites.’ The word is not Hebrew, possibly Persian.”

      • Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez because she said, “I gave birth to him in pain.” Jabez called out to the God of Israel saying, “If only You would bless me and enlarge my territory. May Your hand be with me. Keep me from harm so that I might not endure pain.” And God granted his request.

        • NET Bible has a few notes on the text of these two verses (vv. 9-10):

          • In Hebrew the name…(yaʿbets, ‘Jabez’) sounds like the noun …(ʿotsev) which means ‘pain.’”

          • Here the word…(ʾim, ‘if only’) begins an oath formula (see HALOT 60 s.v. and GKC 151e, 159dd, 167a). A full reporting of the oath would include both the request made of God and the promise made to God (cf. Gen 28:20; Num 21:2; Judg 11:30; 1 Sam 1:11; 2 Sam 15:8; Ps 81:9-14). Jabez’ promise is not recorded here, only that God granted his request. Perhaps Jabez’ vow in return had not been preserved by tradition and so the author could not include it, or perhaps those details were simply less important to the purpose of the book. Likely the author wants to emphasize to the post-exilic community (the original audience of the book) that God answers prayer, including concerns for their borders. That God granted his request implies that Jabez was faithful to his vow, so that his destiny was different than the expectation arising from his namesake. This should challenge the audience to consider their own faithfulness to God.”

          • It is not certain whether the person Jabez should be connected with the town Jabez mentioned in 1 Chr 2:55. If Jabez were the head of the town (“more respected than his brothers” v. 9), then the request for an enlarged territory would not be a simple request for his own benefit, but an example of a leader of character whose faithfulness to God benefits those under his leadership.”

          • The Hebrew text is difficult. As it stands in the MT, it says ‘and do some harm so that I might not be hurt.’ When directly modifying …(ʿasah; ‘to do’), the preposition…(min; ‘from,’) can indicate the source or type of action, hence ‘do some harm’ (cf. Lev 4:22; 18:30). But this makes little sense in context unless we suppose with no other basis that it refers to harming enemies. There is no other example of the privative use of…(min) with the verb…(ʿasah), which would have meant ‘act so as to prevent’ harm. And one expects it would be confusing to use…(min) for both the type of action done and the type of action excluded or prevented. On the basis of a parallel to Isa 26:18, BHS suggests inserting…(yeshuati; ‘my salvation’) on the possibility that it was omitted by haplography (as ‘do’ and ‘my salvation,’ … This would mean ‘perform my salvation from harm.’ Instead of …(meraʿah; ‘from harm’), the LXX has… (gnosin; ‘knowledge’) which normally stands for Hebrew…(daʿat) or…(deʿah) ‘knowledge; wisdom,’ implying a simple confusion of dalet…and resh… The Greek text says ‘do/produce wisdom so that I will not be humiliated,’ though the Hebrew behind this would be ‘act wisely so that I will not be grieved.’ Rather than ask God to act wisely, we might suppose that the verb was first singular ‘may your hand be with me so that I may act wisely in order to not be grieved.’ This would involve the loss of a yod at the end of the verb, which matches the verbal forms preceding it. Finally one might suppose that instead of…(raʿah; ‘harm’), some form of the root of …(reʿah; ‘friend’) was original, meaning something like, ‘act from friendship…’ but there is no direct parallel for this.”

      • Shuhah’s brother, Kelub, was Mehir’s father. Mehir was Eshton’s father. Eshton was the father of: Beth Rapha, Paseah, and Tehinna. Tehinna was the father of Ir Nahash. These were the men of Rekah.

        • HCSB writes, “The name Irnahash means ‘city of Nahash, city of the craftsman.’”

      • The sons of Kenaz: Othniel and Seraiah.

        • ESV Study Bible points out, “The Kenizzites appear to have been a southern tribe that was absorbed into Judah. Othniel was the first major judge of Israel (Judg 3:7-11) and a nephew of Caleb (Josh 15:17).”

      • The sons of Othniel: Hathath and Meonothai. Meonothai was Ophrah’s father.

      • Seraiah was Joab’s father. Joab was the father of those who live in Ge Harashim. It was called this because its people were craftsmen.

        • HCSB writes, “Joab established a family or clan guild of craftsmen in that location. The location of the valley is not known.”

      • The sons of Jephunneh’s son Caleb: Iru, Elah, Naam.

        • HCSB notes, “…This ‘Caleb’ (to be distinguished from the son of Hezron of the same name) was one of Moses’ twelve spies and was prominent in the initial conquest of Canaan.”

      • The son of Elah: Kenaz.

        • The sons of Jehallelel: Ziph, Zipha, Tiria, Asarel.

        • The sons of Ezrah: Jether, Mered, Epher, and Jalon.

        • Mered was married to Pharaoh’s daughter, Bithiah. Bithiah gave birth to: Miriam, Shammai, and Ishbah. Ishbah was Eshtemoa’s father. Mered’s wife from the tribe of Judah gave birth to Jered, who was Gedor’s father, Heber, who was Soko’s father, and Jekuthiel, who was Zanoah’s father.

        • NLT Illustrated Study Bible remarks, “Through Mered’s wife Bithia, a daughter of Pharaoh, the descendants of Judah included children of Egyptian heritage.’

          • Guzik cites Payne, “The wife of Mered here intended is Bithiah (v. 18). Her identification as a daughter of Pharaoh would locate this event during the early part of Israel’s sojourn in Egypt (before 1800 b.c.), the union probably being made possible because of Joseph’s prominence.”

      • The sons of Hodiah’s wife, who was Naham’s sister: the father of Keilah the Garmite, and Eshtemoa the Maakathite.

      • The sons of Shimon: Amnon, Rinnah, Ben Hanan, and Tilon.

        • The descendants of Ishi: Zoheth and Ben Zoheth.

Descendants of Judah’s son Shelah

        • The sons of Judah’s son Shelah: Lekah’s father Er, Laadah, who was the father of Mareshah and the families of the guild of linen workers at Beth Ashbea, Jokim, the men of Kozeba, and Joash and Saraph, both of whom ruled in Moab and Jashubi Lehem. These records are from ancient times. They were the potters who lived at Netaim and Gederah. They lived there and worked in service to the king.

        • ESV Study Bible notes, “These records from preexilic times (vv. 22-23) indicate that certain Israelite clans, at least, acted as guilds, specializing in particular trades or crafts such as linen work or pottery; see 2:55 on scribes. Lehem may be Bethlehem. Royal seal impressions from jar handles dating to the Iron II period (1000-586 BC) have been found throughout Israel. The impressions contain two-line inscriptions: the upper line reads ‘belonging to the king’; the lower line contains names of the cities. The towns mentioned in 4:23 may have supplied such goods.”

        • HCSB adds, “…The phrase ‘ancient records’ was an explicit reference to the Chronicler’s sources, possibly surviving temple records.”

Other Tribes of Israel (4:24-5:26)

Descendants of Simeon

        • ESV Study Bible writes, “The tribe of Simeon is considered next because its allotted territory lay within Judah’s borders and was taken from that tribe (vv. 28-33; see Josh 19:1-9), though by David’s time (1 Chron 4:31) Simeon had been largely absorbed back into Judah. Nevertheless, some Simeonite clans maintained their tribal identity through genealogical records (vv. 34-38), which would have included the historical notes of two military expansions undertaken to relieve the pressures of overpopulation (v. 38); one westward into Philistine territory in the days of Hezekiah in the eighth century BC (vv. 39-41), and another into the southern part of the Negeb (vv. 42-43). The westward campaign to Gedor (probably ‘Gerar’) is depicted in the language of the conquest under Joshua: marked…for destruction (v. 41) signifies the religious kherem (Hb) or ‘ban,’ in which a pagan people and their goods were ‘devoted’ or wholly destroyed…”

      • The descendants of Simeon: Nemuel, Jamin, Jarib, Zerah, and Shaul.

        • Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges notes, “The [sons of Simeon] in Genesis 46:10 and Exodus 6:15 we have six sons of Simeon named as against five here;—Jemuel (here Nemuel), Jamin (as here), Ohad (not mentioned here), Jachin (here Jarib), Zohar (here Zerah), and Shaul (as here). In Numbers 26:12-13 the same list is given as here (except that Jachin stands for Jarib), and descendants are ascribed to the five. Ohad is omitted from Num. and Chron., perhaps as having no children.”

      • Shaul’s son was Shallum. Shallum’s son was Mibsam, and Mibsam’s son was Mishma.

      • The descendants of Mishma: Hammuel, Zaccur, and Shimei.

        • Shimei had 16 sons and 6 daughters, but his brothers didn’t have many children, so their whole family didn’t become as numerous as the people of Judah. They lived in Beersheba, Moladah, Hazar Shual, Bilhah, Ezem, Tolad, Bethuel, Hormah, Ziklag, Beth Markaboth, Hazar Susim, Beth Biri, and Shaaraim. These were their cities until David’s reign. Their surrounding towns were Etam, Ain, Rimmon, Token, and Ashan- five towns- and all the villages around these towns as far as Baalath. These were the places where the lived and they kept genealogical records.

          • On the statement that the people of Simeon didn’t become as numerous as the people of Judah, HCSB says, “Simeon (v. 24) was early absorbed into Judah (see Jos 19:1, 9). It is interesting to note that Simeon was not mentioned in Moses’ blessing of the tribes (Dt 33).”

        • Guzik adds, “The census data both at the beginning and the end of the Book of Numbers indicates that the population of the tribe of Simeon decreased radically during the wilderness years of the exodus. They were among the largest tribes at the beginning and among the smallest tribes at the end.”

        • On the town name “Baal” NET Bible’s text critical notes say, “Some LXX mss read ‘Baalath’ (cf. Josh 19:8). This is followed by some English versions (e.g., NIV, NCV, TEV, NLT).”

        • Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges adds, “Baal (‘lord’) standing by itself is an unlikely name for a town; the parallel passage. Joshua 19:8, reads Baalath-beer, Ramah of the South (‘the mistress of the well, the high place of the South’), a better reading.”

      • These men mentioned by name were leaders of their families: Meshobab, Jamlech, Amaziah’s son Joshah, Joel, Joshibiah’s son Jehu (Joshibiah was Seraiah’s son and Seraiah was Asiel’s son), Elioenai, Jaakobah, Jeshohaiah, Asaiah, Adiel, Jesimiel, Benaiah, and Shiphi’s son Ziza (Shiphi was Allon’s son, Allon was Jedaiah’s son, Jedaiah was Shimri’s son, and Shimri was Shemaiah’s son).

      • Their families increased greatly in number. They traveled to the entrance of Gedor, on the east side of the valley, looking for pasture for their flocks. They found fertile, rich pasture, and the land was spacious, undisturbed, and peaceful. Some Hamites had been living there before that. The men whose names are listed above came sometime during the time of Judah’s King Hezekiah. They attacked the Hamites in their dwellings and also the Meunites who were found there and completely destroyed them, as can be seen to this day. Then they settled there in their place because there was pasture for their flocks. 500 men of Simeon, led by Ishi’s sons Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah, and Uzziel, went to the hill country of Seir and defeated the remnant of the Amalekites who had escaped. They still live there to this day.

        • NLT Illustrated Study Bible writes, “The list of men described as leaders of Simeon’s wealthy clans (4:34-38) introduces the description of Simeon’s geographic expansion (4:38-43). The tribe’s expansion involved thirteen family leaders during the days of Hezekiah (late 700s BC) in the area of Gerar. This might have been part of Hezekiah’s military action against Philistine territories (2 Kgs 18:8).”

        • NLT renders “Gedor” as “Gerar” along with the Greek. They explain, “The actual territory is not known, since Gedor (as in Hebrew) is a common name; the Greek variant Gerar would refer to a city in Philistia, to the west of Judah (Gen 10:19).”

        • On the identity of the Meunites, NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible says, “A number of opinions have been expressed on their identity. From the general description given here, it seems likely that they are to be found to the south of Palestine. It is possible, therefore, that they are the Mu’unaya mentioned in the inscriptions of Tiglath-Pileser III, and who seem to be located in northern Sinai…”

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