1 Chronicles 1-2 These are the sons of Israel

From 1 Chronicles 1-2

13 the Chronicle

The Hebrews embraced their family history warts and all. The quick sketch above reveals a lot of history and sordid events some might want to swipe under the carpet. Today we struggle to create a genealogy with more than 4 generations. Their recollection of their ancestors is a testament to the importance of family in Hebrew thought.

This post is part of my bible in a year series.

Passage and Comments

13 A Bible Genealogy

The book of Chronicles starts with lots of genealogies. The first eight chapters in fact are genealogies. Like Leviticus this first section of Chronicles is difficult getting through, but there are still some interesting points to glean out of it.

In today’s reading I noticed the line of Judah. You always want to pay a little attention to what the line of Judah is doing because ultimately it leads to Jesus.

2 These are the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, 2 Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. (1 Ch 2.1-2)

Judah wasn’t the firstborn. He was actually the fourth one down. What’s going on here? Why didn’t the line of kings pass down the firstborns line? This would be Reubens line? We will read more about this tomorrow. But for now, Reuben had some trouble.

The blessing of the firstborn would normally be passed down to the next in line – Simeon.

What about Simeon? Well, Simeon and his brother Levi avenged the rape of their sister Dinah (Gen 34.1-12) and tricked a whole city into circumcising themselves. They killed them all while they were still sore from the snip (Gen 34.13-31). Jacob disqualified them from receiving the rights of the firstborn because he had a problem with what they did (Gen 49.5-7).

Judah was next in line.

3 The sons of Judah: Er, Onan and Shelah; these three Bath-shua the Canaanite bore to him. Now Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in the sight of the LORD, and he put him to death. 4 His daughter-in-law Tamar also bore him Perez and Zerah. Judah had five sons in all. (1 Ch 2.3-4)

The story of Judah and Tamar is a break in the Genesis story about Joseph (Gen 38). The story itself has some interesting sexual ethics going on. Judah was tricked into fulfilling his responsibility to continue his sons line. Which is why he unknowingly slept with his daughter in law. The author obviously had an interest in Judah’s line as well and thats why it was added.

The LORD’s promises are fulfilled on one born of Judah’s line.

5 The sons of Perez: Hezron and Hamul. 6 The sons of Zerah: Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Calcol, and Dara, five in all.

7 The son of Carmi: Achan, the troubler of Israel, who broke faith in the matter of the devoted thing; 8 and Ethan’s son was Azariah. (1 Ch 2.5-8)

Achan lived during the time of Joshua and the invasion of Canaan. He was meant to destroy everything he came across, but he kept some plunder for himself. The Hebrews lost a battle in consequence because the LORD was angry with them. When Joshua inquired of the LORD, Achan was eventually revealed as the culprit. They stoned him (Josh 6-7).

9 The sons of Hezron that were born to him: Jerahmeel, Ram, and Chelubai [a.k.a. Caleb]. 10 Ram fathered Amminadab, and Amminadab fathered Nahshon, prince of the sons of Judah. 11 Nahshon fathered Salmon, Salmon fathered Boaz, 12 Boaz fathered Obed, Obed fathered Jesse. (1 Ch 2.9-12)

Ruth the mother of Odeb, interestingly is ignored. Compare with the genealogy with Matthew (Mt 1.1-17) and it will highlight that Matthew goes out of his way to describe potential issues with Jesus’ line. Ruth is a foreigner, a Gentile. Solomon mother in Matthew’s genealogy is named the ‘wife of Uriah’ (Mt 1.6).

13 Jesse fathered Eliab his firstborn, Abinadab the second, Shimea the third, 14 Nethanel the fourth, Raddai the fifth, 15 Ozem the sixth, David the seventh. (1 Ch 2.13-15)

13 Davids brothers

Samuel chose David the last of Jesse’s sons.

16 And their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail. The sons of Zeruiah: Abishai, Joab, and Asahel, three. 17 Abigail bore Amasa, and the father of Amasa was Jether the Ishmaelite. (1 Ch 2.16-17)

David was closely related to Abishai, Joab, and Asahel. Joab is eventually killed for trying to undermine Solomon rule (1 Ki 2.28-35). Family politics indeed.

18 Caleb the son of Hezron fathered children by his wife Azubah, and by Jerioth; and these were her sons: Jesher, Shobab, and Ardon. 19 When Azubah died, Caleb married Ephrath, who bore him Hur. 20 Hur fathered Uri, and Uri fathered Bezalel. (1 Ch 2.17-20)

Moving to an earlier branch. Caleb was of the line of Judah. See 1 Chr 2.9 above for a name change.

Story of Israel

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

The Hebrews embraced their family history warts and all. The quick sketch above reveals a lot of history and sordid events some might want to swipe under the carpet. Today we struggle to create a genealogy with more than 4 generations. Their recollection of their ancestors is a testament to the importance of family in Hebrew thought.

Story of Jesus

Judah’s line eventually culminated in the promised Christ. The importance of genealogies is also reflected in the family line leading to Jesus.

The gospel according to Matthew begins with a genealogy.

1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3 and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, 4 and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5 and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, 6 and Jesse the father of David the king.

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, 7 and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, 8 and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, 9 and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, 11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations. (Mt 1:1–17)

Some genealogies are difficult to sort through. But this does not diminish their importance. Jesus is part of this great family and through the ages, God the Father has been working towards the incarnation of his Son.

Salvation comes from the Jews.

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