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One Chronicles Four

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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

sons of Judah. The descendants of Judah (note especially 1 Chronicles 2-4) and Levi (1 Chronicles 6, 9) are given in more detail than those from the other ten tribes. This correlates with the fact that one was the kingly tribe (Genesis 49:10), the other the priestly tribe (Deuteronomy 33:8-10). All of these genealogies, however, seem superficially incomplete, sometimes even contradictory and unorganized. No doubt most of the problems could be solved if they had been preserved in complete form, recognizing that many different men had identical names in ancient Israel, just as in modern America. These lists were apparently compiled by Ezra the scribe (or at least someone of his time) after the return from the Babylonian captivity, using all the available records he could find still preserved. It was important for him to establish the inheritance of the various families as accurately as possible, since they had originally been given by God in perpetuity (Leviticus 25:23-55). Incomplete though these may have been on the human level, they do give us assurance that God does not forget His promises and that He has kept these genealogies in complete form on the divine level. Furthermore, their inclusion in the divinely inspired Scriptures of the Old Testament (note Paul's testimony in 2 Timothy 3:16, 17), assures us that these lists of names are “profitable” to the “man of God.” If nothing else, they show us that God does care about all individuals—not just nations or leaders of nations—and also that these Old Testament records are not just myths or allegories but are real historical records of real people and events.

Pharez, Hezron, and Carmi, and Hur. Only Pharez was an actual son of Judah. The others were “sons” in the sense of 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.

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:

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 Bethlehem.

Ephratah, the father of Beth-lehem. Contrast 1 Chronicles 2:54. According to 1 Chronicles 2:19, Ephrath was the second wife of Caleb (not the Caleb associated with Joshua, however—see note on 1 Chronicles 2:18), but the town Ephratah could hardly have been named after her, since it was known by that name in Moses time and probably even before Jacob's time (see Genesis 35:16). It was also known as Bethlehem by the time of Moses (Genesis 35:19). Micah, (the prophet in the days of Jothan, Ahaz and Hezekiah) also was familiar with both names (Micah 5:2). It may be that the Ephraths, Ephratah, and Bethlehem, mentioned here in the Chronicles genealogical lists were people named after this town (or region), because of its importance in the history of Israel. Rachel died and was buried there, and she was the mother of the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

1 Chronicles 4:12 And Eshton begat Bethrapha, and Paseah, and Tehinnah the father of Irnahash. These are the men of Rechah.

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

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

Caleb the son of Jephunneh. This Caleb was the Caleb associated with Joshua in the conquest of the promised land (see Joshua 14:6). Two other Calebs are mentioned in these lists (1 Chronicles 2:19, 42).

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

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.

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.

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.

1 Chronicles 4:20 And the sons of Shimon were, Amnon, and Rinnah, Benhanan, and Tilon. And the sons of Ishi were, Zoheth, and Benzoheth.

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,

sons of Shelah. Shelah, Judah's third and youngest son, apparently named his son Er in memory of his older brother, whom the Lord had slain because of wickedness (Genesis 38:2-7).

1 Chronicles 4:22 And Jokim, and the men of Chozeba, and Joash, and Saraph, who had the dominion in Moab, and Jashubilehem. And these are ancient things.

ancient things. This intriguing insertion in what seems a mundane recital of genealogical records tells us that these records have actually been handed down from times that were ancient even when the Chronicles were written.

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.

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

Simeon. The genealogy of Simeon is more or less incorporated with that of Judah, since Simeon's inheritance, being south of that of Judah, eventually caused them to become essentially identified with Judah. Some Simeonites seem to have migrated north, merging with the tribe of Dan.

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

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

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.

1 Chronicles 4:28 And they dwelt at Beersheba, and Moladah, and Hazarshual,

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

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

1 Chronicles 4:31 And at Bethmarcaboth, and Hazarsusim, and at Bethbirei, and at Shaaraim. These were their cities unto the reign of David.

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

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

1 Chronicles 4:34 And Meshobab, and Jamlech, and Joshah the son of Amaziah,

1 Chronicles 4:35 And Joel, and Jehu the son of Josibiah, the son of Seraiah, the son of Asiel,

1 Chronicles 4:36 And Elioenai, and Jaakobah, and Jeshohaiah, and Asaiah, and Adiel, and Jesimiel, and Benaiah,

1 Chronicles 4:37 And Ziza the son of Shiphi, the son of Allon, the son of Jedaiah, the son of Shimri, the son of Shemaiah;

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

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.

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.

they of Ham. The reference is probably to the Egyptians. Egypt is called “the land of Ham” (Psalm 105:23), and the customary name for Egypt in the Bible is Mizraim, the second son of Ham. In the original dispersion from Babel, Mizraim and his descendants probably spent some time in the southern areas of Canaan's land on their eventual migration into Egypt. This was the area later taken over by the Simeonites in the lands officially assigned by Joshua to the tribe of Judah.

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.

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.

mount Seir. Mount Seir was in the land of the Edomites, although a contingent of Amalekites had evidently taken over a section of it. However, in the days of King Hezekiah, the Simeonites were able to extend their territory into this area, expelling the Amalekites and the remaining Edomites.

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