1 Chronicles
Introduction 1-5 Descendants of Issaschar 6-12 Descendants of Benjamin 13 Descendants of Naphtali 14-19 Descendants of Manasseh 20-29 Descendants of Ephraim 30-40 Descendants of Asher
Introduction

In this chapter we have an almost complete overview of the other tribes. Only Dan and Zebulun are missing. These tribes probably did not make any work of the sex registers. This also applies to Naftali, although he can mention a few names in any case.


Descendants of Issaschar

1Now the sons of Issachar [were] four: Tola, Puah, Jashub and Shimron. 2The sons of Tola [were] Uzzi, Rephaiah, Jeriel, Jahmai, Ibsam and Samuel, heads of their fathers’ households. [The sons] of Tola [were] mighty men of valor in their generations; their number in the days of David was 22,600. 3The son of Uzzi [was] Izrahiah. And the sons of Izrahiah [were] Michael, Obadiah, Joel, Isshiah; all five of them [were] chief men. 4With them by their generations according to their fathers’ households were 36,000 troops of the army for war, for they had many wives and sons. 5Their relatives among all the families of Issachar [were] mighty men of valor, enrolled by genealogy, in all 87,000.

With three tribes it is mentioned that there are “mighty men of valor”. That is here with Issachar (verse 22The sons of Tola [were] Uzzi, Rephaiah, Jeriel, Jahmai, Ibsam and Samuel, heads of their fathers’ households. [The sons] of Tola [were] mighty men of valor in their generations; their number in the days of David was 22,600.), and then with Benjamin, three times (verses 7,9,117The sons of Bela were five: Ezbon, Uzzi, Uzziel, Jerimoth and Iri. They [were] heads of fathers’ households, mighty men of valor, and were 22,034 enrolled by genealogy.9They were enrolled by genealogy, according to their generations, heads of their fathers’ households, 20,200 mighty men of valor.11All these [were] sons of Jediael, according to the heads of their fathers’ households, 17,200 mighty men of valor, who were ready to go out with the army to war.) and with Asher (verse 4040All these [were] the sons of Asher, heads of the fathers’ houses, choice and mighty men of valor, heads of the princes. And the number of them enrolled by genealogy for service in war was 26,000 men.). Among these mighty men, the name “Tola” stands out because in Judges we read of a certain “Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar” (Jdg 10:11Now after Abimelech died, Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar, arose to save Israel; and he lived in Shamir in the hill country of Ephraim.), who has “judged Israel twenty-three years” (Jdg 10:22He judged Israel twenty-three years. Then he died and was buried in Shamir.). It may be that this is the same as the Tola mentioned by the chronicler.

There is also talk of “troops of the army for war” (verse 44With them by their generations according to their fathers’ households were 36,000 troops of the army for war, for they had many wives and sons.). That there are so many of them is because there are many women and sons. The women contribute by giving birth of children.


Descendants of Benjamin

6[The sons of] Benjamin [were] three: Bela and Becher and Jediael. 7The sons of Bela were five: Ezbon, Uzzi, Uzziel, Jerimoth and Iri. They [were] heads of fathers’ households, mighty men of valor, and were 22,034 enrolled by genealogy. 8The sons of Becher [were] Zemirah, Joash, Eliezer, Elioenai, Omri, Jeremoth, Abijah, Anathoth and Alemeth. All these [were] the sons of Becher. 9They were enrolled by genealogy, according to their generations, heads of their fathers’ households, 20,200 mighty men of valor. 10The son of Jediael [was] Bilhan. And the sons of Bilhan [were] Jeush, Benjamin, Ehud, Chenaanah, Zethan, Tarshish and Ahishahar. 11All these [were] sons of Jediael, according to the heads of their fathers’ households, 17,200 mighty men of valor, who were ready to go out with the army to war. 12Shuppim and Huppim [were] the sons of Ir; Hushim [was] the son of Aher.

In the next chapter, a more detailed register of Benjamin’s descendants is given (1Chr 8:1-281And Benjamin became the father of Bela his firstborn, Ashbel the second, Aharah the third,2Nohah the fourth and Rapha the fifth.3Bela had sons: Addar, Gera, Abihud,4Abishua, Naaman, Ahoah,5Gera, Shephuphan and Huram.6These are the sons of Ehud: these are the heads of fathers’ [households] of the inhabitants of Geba, and they carried them into exile to Manahath,7namely, Naaman, Ahijah and Gera—he carried them into exile; and he became the father of Uzza and Ahihud.8Shaharaim became the father of children in the country of Moab after he had sent away Hushim and Baara his wives.9By Hodesh his wife he became the father of Jobab, Zibia, Mesha, Malcam,10Jeuz, Sachia, Mirmah. These were his sons, heads of fathers’ [households].11By Hushim he became the father of Abitub and Elpaal.12The sons of Elpaal [were] Eber, Misham, and Shemed, who built Ono and Lod, with its towns;13and Beriah and Shema, who were heads of fathers’ [households] of the inhabitants of Aijalon, who put to flight the inhabitants of Gath;14and Ahio, Shashak and Jeremoth.15Zebadiah, Arad, Eder,16Michael, Ishpah and Joha [were] the sons of Beriah.17Zebadiah, Meshullam, Hizki, Heber,18Ishmerai, Izliah and Jobab [were] the sons of Elpaal.19Jakim, Zichri, Zabdi,20Elienai, Zillethai, Eliel,21Adaiah, Beraiah and Shimrath [were] the sons of Shimei.22Ishpan, Eber, Eliel,23Abdon, Zichri, Hanan,24Hananiah, Elam, Anthothijah,25Iphdeiah and Penuel [were] the sons of Shashak.26Shamsherai, Shehariah, Athaliah,27Jaareshiah, Elijah and Zichri [were] the sons of Jeroham.28These were heads of the fathers’ [households] according to their generations, chief men who lived in Jerusalem.). It is the introduction to the genealogy of the first king of Israel, Saul.

Benjamin’s armed forces are formed by the heads of their fathers’ households from different families (verses 7,9,117The sons of Bela were five: Ezbon, Uzzi, Uzziel, Jerimoth and Iri. They [were] heads of fathers’ households, mighty men of valor, and were 22,034 enrolled by genealogy.9They were enrolled by genealogy, according to their generations, heads of their fathers’ households, 20,200 mighty men of valor.11All these [were] sons of Jediael, according to the heads of their fathers’ households, 17,200 mighty men of valor, who were ready to go out with the army to war.). They are “mighty men of valor” (verses 7,9,117The sons of Bela were five: Ezbon, Uzzi, Uzziel, Jerimoth and Iri. They [were] heads of fathers’ households, mighty men of valor, and were 22,034 enrolled by genealogy.9They were enrolled by genealogy, according to their generations, heads of their fathers’ households, 20,200 mighty men of valor.11All these [were] sons of Jediael, according to the heads of their fathers’ households, 17,200 mighty men of valor, who were ready to go out with the army to war.).


Descendants of Naphtali

13The sons of Naphtali [were] Jahziel, Guni, Jezer, and Shallum, the sons of Bilhah.

Of the tribe Naphtali only the first fathers are mentioned. They are also mentioned among those who were drawn with Jacob to Joseph in Egypt (cf. Gen 46:2424The sons of Naphtali: Jahzeel and Guni and Jezer and Shillem.).


Descendants of Manasseh

14The sons of Manasseh [were] Asriel, whom his Aramean concubine bore; she bore Machir the father of Gilead. 15Machir took a wife for Huppim and Shuppim, whose sister’s name was Maacah. And the name of the second was Zelophehad, and Zelophehad had daughters. 16Maacah the wife of Machir bore a son, and she named him Peresh; and the name of his brother [was] Sheresh, and his sons [were] Ulam and Rakem. 17The son of Ulam [was] Bedan. These [were] the sons of Gilead the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh. 18His sister Hammolecheth bore Ishhod and Abiezer and Mahlah. 19The sons of Shemida were Ahian and Shechem and Likhi and Aniam.

Zelophehad is still more highlighted by mentioning that he has daughters (verse 1515Machir took a wife for Huppim and Shuppim, whose sister’s name was Maacah. And the name of the second was Zelophehad, and Zelophehad had daughters.). His daughters are mentioned five times in the Scriptures (Num 26:3333Now Zelophehad the son of Hepher had no sons, but only daughters; and the names of the daughters of Zelophehad were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah.; 27:1-111Then the daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph, came near; and these are the names of his daughters: Mahlah, Noah and Hoglah and Milcah and Tirzah.2They stood before Moses and before Eleazar the priest and before the leaders and all the congregation, at the doorway of the tent of meeting, saying,3“Our father died in the wilderness, yet he was not among the company of those who gathered themselves together against the LORD in the company of Korah; but he died in his own sin, and he had no sons.4Why should the name of our father be withdrawn from among his family because he had no son? Give us a possession among our father’s brothers.”5So Moses brought their case before the LORD.6Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,7“The daughters of Zelophehad are right in [their] statements. You shall surely give them a hereditary possession among their father’s brothers, and you shall transfer the inheritance of their father to them.8Further, you shall speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘If a man dies and has no son, then you shall transfer his inheritance to his daughter.9If he has no daughter, then you shall give his inheritance to his brothers.10If he has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his father’s brothers.11If his father has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his nearest relative in his own family, and he shall possess it; and it shall be a statutory ordinance to the sons of Israel, just as the LORD commanded Moses.’”; 36:3-123But if they marry one of the sons of the [other] tribes of the sons of Israel, their inheritance will be withdrawn from the inheritance of our fathers and will be added to the inheritance of the tribe to which they belong; thus it will be withdrawn from our allotted inheritance.4When the jubilee of the sons of Israel comes, then their inheritance will be added to the inheritance of the tribe to which they belong; so their inheritance will be withdrawn from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers.”5Then Moses commanded the sons of Israel according to the word of the LORD, saying, “The tribe of the sons of Joseph are right in [their] statements.6This is what the LORD has commanded concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, ‘Let them marry whom they wish; only they must marry within the family of the tribe of their father.’7Thus no inheritance of the sons of Israel shall be transferred from tribe to tribe, for the sons of Israel shall each hold to the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers.8Every daughter who comes into possession of an inheritance of any tribe of the sons of Israel shall be wife to one of the family of the tribe of her father, so that the sons of Israel each may possess the inheritance of his fathers.9Thus no inheritance shall be transferred from one tribe to another tribe, for the tribes of the sons of Israel shall each hold to his own inheritance.”10Just as the LORD had commanded Moses, so the daughters of Zelophehad did:11Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad married their uncles’ sons.12They married [those] from the families of the sons of Manasseh the son of Joseph, and their inheritance remained with the tribe of the family of their father.; Jos 17:3-63However, Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, had no sons, only daughters; and these are the names of his daughters: Mahlah and Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah.4They came near before Eleazar the priest and before Joshua the son of Nun and before the leaders, saying, “The LORD commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our brothers.” So according to the command of the LORD he gave them an inheritance among their father’s brothers.5Thus there fell ten portions to Manasseh, besides the land of Gilead and Bashan, which is beyond the Jordan,6because the daughters of Manasseh received an inheritance among his sons. And the land of Gilead belonged to the rest of the sons of Manasseh.; 1Chr 7:1515Machir took a wife for Huppim and Shuppim, whose sister’s name was Maacah. And the name of the second was Zelophehad, and Zelophehad had daughters.). In these mentions it is said that Zelophehad has no sons (Num 26:33a33Now Zelophehad the son of Hepher had no sons, but only daughters; and the names of the daughters of Zelophehad were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah.). That is precisely why the daughters ask for a property in the land. They do not want their father’s name to disappear from the generations. The LORD says of them: “The daughters of Zelophehad are right” (Num 27:77“The daughters of Zelophehad are right in [their] statements. You shall surely give them a hereditary possession among their father’s brothers, and you shall transfer the inheritance of their father to them.). Zelophehad and his daughters teach us that God’s power is perfected in weakness.


Descendants of Ephraim

20The sons of Ephraim [were] Shuthelah and Bered his son, Tahath his son, Eleadah his son, Tahath his son, 21Zabad his son, Shuthelah his son, and Ezer and Elead whom the men of Gath who were born in the land killed, because they came down to take their livestock. 22Their father Ephraim mourned many days, and his relatives came to comfort him. 23Then he went in to his wife, and she conceived and bore a son, and he named him Beriah, because misfortune had come upon his house. 24His daughter was Sheerah, who built lower and upper Beth-horon, also Uzzen-sheerah. 25Rephah was his son [along] with Resheph, Telah his son, Tahan his son, 26Ladan his son, Ammihud his son, Elishama his son, 27Non his son and Joshua his son. 28Their possessions and settlements [were] Bethel with its towns, and to the east Naaran, and to the west Gezer with its towns, and Shechem with its towns as far as Ayyah with its towns, 29and along the borders of the sons of Manasseh, Beth-shean with its towns, Taanach with its towns, Megiddo with its towns, Dor with its towns. In these lived the sons of Joseph the son of Israel.

Men of the Philistine Gath kill sons of Ephraim (verse 2121Zabad his son, Shuthelah his son, and Ezer and Elead whom the men of Gath who were born in the land killed, because they came down to take their livestock.). These men feel themselves the boss of the land, because they are the native people. They see the Israelites as intruders and do not care about what God has determined. They take over the cattle in ‘their’ land and kill its owners. In the next chapter, the inhabitants of the Philistine Gath are driven out by the Benjamites (1Chr 8:1313and Beriah and Shema, who were heads of fathers’ [households] of the inhabitants of Aijalon, who put to flight the inhabitants of Gath;).

In the men of Gath and their actions we see a picture of our sinful flesh. This is how we were born and is therefore also called ‘original sin’. At the birth of their children, parents give this power of the lusts of the flesh to their children.

If the lusts of the flesh are not kept in death, they will kill us and bring great grief upon us (verse 2222Their father Ephraim mourned many days, and his relatives came to comfort him.). Then Beriah is born (verse 2323Then he went in to his wife, and she conceived and bore a son, and he named him Beriah, because misfortune had come upon his house.). Beriah means ‘unfortunate’ and is associated with misfortune that had come upon his house, that is the house of Ephraim. We can ignore the “unfortunate” lusts of the flesh if we walk through the Spirit: “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” (Gal 5:1616But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.).

In verse 2424His daughter was Sheerah, who built lower and upper Beth-horon, also Uzzen-sheerah. a woman, Sheerah, is mentioned as builder of cities. Women have a large share in the building of the kingdom of God, which consists of families. They govern families, raise the children and determine the atmosphere in the family. That the inspired chronicler mentions her may certainly be an encouragement to any woman who wants to help build the kingdom of God. Her efforts are noted by God.

Joshua, the son of Nun, here called Non (verse 2727Non his son and Joshua his son.), is the man who was given by the LORD as successor of Moses to His people to bring them into the promised land.


Descendants of Asher

30The sons of Asher [were] Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi and Beriah, and Serah their sister. 31The sons of Beriah [were] Heber and Malchiel, who was the father of Birzaith. 32Heber became the father of Japhlet, Shomer and Hotham, and Shua their sister. 33The sons of Japhlet [were] Pasach, Bimhal and Ashvath. These were the sons of Japhlet. 34The sons of Shemer [were] Ahi and Rohgah, Jehubbah and Aram. 35The sons of his brother Helem [were] Zophah, Imna, Shelesh and Amal. 36The sons of Zophah [were] Suah, Harnepher, Shual, Beri and Imrah, 37Bezer, Hod, Shamma, Shilshah, Ithran and Beera. 38The sons of Jether [were] Jephunneh, Pispa and Ara. 39The sons of Ulla [were] Arah, Hanniel and Rizia. 40All these [were] the sons of Asher, heads of the fathers’ houses, choice and mighty men of valor, heads of the princes. And the number of them enrolled by genealogy for service in war was 26,000 men.

The descendants of Asher are “all” referred to as “heads of the fathers’ houses, choice and mighty men of valor, heads of the princes” (verse 4040All these [were] the sons of Asher, heads of the fathers’ houses, choice and mighty men of valor, heads of the princes. And the number of them enrolled by genealogy for service in war was 26,000 men.). So they are not just “mighty men of valor”, as it is written of the descendants of Issachar (verse 22The sons of Tola [were] Uzzi, Rephaiah, Jeriel, Jahmai, Ibsam and Samuel, heads of their fathers’ households. [The sons] of Tola [were] mighty men of valor in their generations; their number in the days of David was 22,600.) and of the descendants of Benjamin (verses 7,9,117The sons of Bela were five: Ezbon, Uzzi, Uzziel, Jerimoth and Iri. They [were] heads of fathers’ households, mighty men of valor, and were 22,034 enrolled by genealogy.9They were enrolled by genealogy, according to their generations, heads of their fathers’ households, 20,200 mighty men of valor.11All these [were] sons of Jediael, according to the heads of their fathers’ households, 17,200 mighty men of valor, who were ready to go out with the army to war.). They rise above them. They are “choice and mighty men”, they are very brave and skillful men to whom others also look up.


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