I Chronicles 2


The interest of this chapter owes something to the several unsatisfied

questions which it suggests, to difficult and knotty points which

nevertheless do not altogether counsel despair, and to occasional

significant indications of sources drawn upon by the compiler, certainly

quite additional to the contents of the existing books of the Old Testament.


We know something of what we have to expect when the name of Israel,

or Jacob, is announced in the first verse, with his twelve sons — those

“patriarchs,” some of whom (certainly not as many as eleven, for Reuben

was absent, and, with scarcely a doubt, Benjamin), “moved with envy, sold

into Egypt Joseph,” the twelfth (Acts 7:9). We here enter, in fact, upon

the genealogies and tables and enumeratious of collateral lines of “all

Israel,” to which the whole of the following seven chapters are devoted

(ch.9:1). This second chapter leads off with the most important line of descent of

the twelve — that of Judah. And the contents of this chapter do not exhaust the

one line, which, on the contrary, stretches as far as to ch.4:23. Within these limits

there are just that amount of repetition (ch. 2:3; 4:1, etc.) and appearance of

confusion which betoken the recourse of the compiler to various records and

sources of information — themselves sometimes but fragmentary, and probably

to mere memory and the tradition that depends upon it.


The contents of this chapter are best mastered by noticing that they consist of:


  • The table of Israel’s twelve sons (vs. 1-2).
  • The line of Judah to the stage where it branches into three great grandsons

(vs. 3-9).

  • The line of Judah pursued through those three branches to a point

manifestly significant in one, and presumably so in the others (vs. 10-55).





 1  “These are the sons of Israel; Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar,

and Zebulun, 2  Dan, Joseph, and Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.”

The twelve sons of Israel, not in the order of age (Genesis 29:31-30:24;  nor exactly in

the order of children of wives as against those of handmaids (Genesis 25:23-26),

nor in that of the aged father’s dying blessing (Genesis 49.), nor in that of Exodus

1:2-4. It is the place of Dan which disturbs the fittest order, and it is suggested

that his place in this text is accounted for by Rachel’s desire that her handmaid’s child

should be accounted her own; but surely this was not exceptional, but applied to all

or most of such cases, and should have been far rather taken into consideration in any

of the other lists than in this. However accounted for, the order is — lest, the six sons

of the first wife Leah; secondly, the elder son of Rachel’s handmaid Bilhah; thirdly,

the two sons of the loved wife Rachel; fourthly, the other son of Rachel’s handmaid

Billah; lastly, the two sons of Zilpah, handmaid of Leah. As this order corresponds

with nothing in our Old Testament, it may serve as one slight indication that the

compiler of Chronicles was not dependent on these records alone. The Hebrew text

and the Septuagint accord exactly with the Authorized Version here.




3  “The sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah: which three were born unto

him of the daughter of Shua the Canaanitess. And Er, the firstborn of Judah,

was evil in the sight of the LORD; and he slew him.  4  And Tamar his daughter

in law bore him Pharez and Zerah. All the sons of Judah were five.  5  The sons

of Pharez; Hezron, and Hamul.  6  And the sons of Zerah; Zimri, and Ethan, and

Heman, and Calcol, and Dara: five of them in all.”  The line of Judah is, with a

well-known object, the first to be taken up, although Judah stands fourth of Israel’s sons.

Judah has five sons: three, Er, Onan, Shelah, by a Canaanitess, the daughter of Shua;

and two, Pharez and Zerah, by Tamar, his own daughter-in-law, under the

circumstances described (Genesis 38:6-30). There all these names are found in

exact accord in the Authorized Version, in the Hebrew text, and in the Septuagint.

The Septuagint Version, however (Genesis 38:2), by an evident  inaccuracy of

translation, gives Shua as the name, not of the father, but of the daughter, h=| o]noma

Saua>.  Parallel passages are also found (Genesis 46:12; Numbers 26:19-22).  Er

and Onan died without issue, and the descendants of Shelah are not mentioned till 

we reach ch. 4:21-23. The line is now carried on by the twin sons of Tamar (vs. 5-6).

Pharez, with two sons, Hezron and Hamul (Genesis 46:12; Ruth 4:18), and Zerah,

with five sons, Zimri (or Zabdi, Joshua 7:1), Ethan, Heman, Calcol, Dara (or with

many manuscripts, followed by the Targum, Syriac, and Arabic versions, Darda).

If these last four names are not identical with those in I Kings 4:31, they are not to be

found in any available connection elsewhere, and the last two not at all. Upon this

supposition, it is held by some that this very passage proves that the compiler drew

on resources not possessed by us. The weight of evidence seems, however, largely

in favor of the persons being the same. It needs to be constantly remembered that

an enumeration like the above, of five so-called sons, does not necessarily involve

their being five brothers, although in this case it looks the more as though they were

so, as it is said five of them in all.  7  “And the sons of Carmi; Achar, the

troubler of Israel, who transgressed in the thing accursed.”  We have then so

far seven grandsons to Judah, when a new name, unmentioned before, is introduced

— Carmi. He is neither described as one of the seven grandsons nor as descended

from any one of them, but unenviably enough is marked as the father of Achar

later form of Achan — the troubler of Israel. Joshua 7:1-18 supplies the missing

link, and states that Carmi is son of Zimri (Zabdi), one of the aforesaid seven

grandsons. By the punishment of death, visited upon this Achar, with his sons and

daughters (Joshua 7:24-25), it may be presumed that the line of Judah through

him became extinct. (Of all the words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these,

what might have been – John Greenleaf Whittier – Think!  Judah was the ancestor

of Jesus Christ on the human side.  To think that Achan forfeited that relationship

for a goodly Babylonish garment, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of

gold of fifty shekels weight!  (Joshua 7:21) – What are you or I forfeiting our

lives and eternal destinies for today?  CY – 2011)


8  “And the sons of Ethan; Azariah.”  The line through Ethan, another of the

seven grandsons, seems to stop with Azariah, a name found nowhere else.

9 “The sons also of Hezron, that were born unto him; Jerahmeel, and Ram,

and Chelubai.”  Here the line of Judah is pursued through the three brances of

Hezron’s sons.  The track of genealogy then returns upon Pharez, and to the name

of Hezron, the most important by far of the seven grandsons. His three sons are

announced, and, as beginning with the firstborn, so presumably in order of seniority.

They are:


  • Jerahmeel;
  • Ram;
  • Chelubai.


10  “And Ram” - Ram (the Aram of the Septuagint and of (Matthew1:3;

Luke 3:33) is taken first in order, at once to push on the lineage of Judah to the

great landmark DAVID, who is reached at the seventh generation from Ram

(Ruth 4:19-22; Matthew 1:3-5; Luke 3:31-33), his name being ranked last of

seven brothers only, sons of Jesse - “begat Amminadab; and Amminadab begat

Nahshon, prince of the children of Judah; 11 And Nahshon begat Salma, and

Salma begat Boaz,” - Salma, Hebrew am;l]c"; but Ruth 4:20 – Salmon, hm;l]c"

and in following verse ˆwOml]c. The variation of the first two of these forms has many

parallels, as between Chronicles and the earlier Old Testament Scriptures.

12 “And Boaz begat Obed, and Obed begat Jesse,  13 And Jesse begat his

firstborn Eliab, and Abinadab the second, and Shimma the third,  14  Nethaneel

the fourth, Raddai the fifth, 15  Ozem the sixth, David the seventh:” – These

last three verses give us what we have not elsewhere, the names of the fourth,

fifth, and sixth sons of Jesse, viz. Nathaneel, Raddai (but see I Kings 1:8), and

Ozem. But, on the other hand, they make it appear that David was the seventh

of seven, instead of (I Samuel 1610-11; 17:12) the eighth of eight sons. The missing

son, any way, belongs to the seventh place. The Syriac and Arabic versions have

taken the Elihu of ch. 27:18, and put him in this place. Others, following the

Septuagint, suppose this Elihu, if strictly a brother of David, to be Eliab, the oldest.

The explanation of the absence of the name here may be that he died early and

without issue, and would accordingly be the less wanted in a genealogical register.



Lessons from the Story of Boaz (vs.11-12)


The Book of Ruth is preserved to us as a picture of family and social life in

the disorderly times of the judges. Both Ruth and Naomi have been made

the frequent subject of public teaching; but Boaz stands out with sufficient

prominence in the narrative to justify our fixing attention on him. Give the

story, and especially the gleaning customs of those olden times; the kindly

relations of masters and laborers; the customs of seeking protection from

the family goel, (See Goel – To Redeem – this web site)  or avenger;

of confirming covenants by the gift of a shoe; and of conducting matters

of business in the open space within the city gates. We may find illustrated in

the conduct of Boaz:



See his gentle and considerate treatment of the poor gleaner, and his

gentle dealing with her when she claimed his protection. The essence

of the Christian gentleman is considerateness for the feelings and wishes

of others, and a gentle way of doing all things, even hard and painful

things. Find beautiful illustrations in the tender considerateness of the

Lord Jesus Christ; and compare Paul’s address to the elders at Miletus,

and the tone of the Epistle to the Philippians.



The mark of the good man that he loves to be trusted, and readily

responds to trust. So Boaz did when Ruth put herself under his protection.

The Lord Jesus always looked for faith — trust; and opened His best

treasures for the opened, trusting heart.


  • THE LOYALTY TO THE SENSE OF DUTY. Shown in his taking

up Ruth’s case at once, and earnestly, and making himself liable for all that

was involved in the vindication of her rights. Then work out how Divine

benedictions ever follow right character and conduct. Ruth and Boaz both

get their reward. The “right” may not always disclose its issues at once.

They often seem painfully delayed, but, if we follow on, right is sure to

lead to practical blessing. Right never yet led wrong; and good never yet

finally issued in evil. (Throw in the idea “There is no right way to do

the wrong thing.”)



The Character of Jesse (v. 13)


Biographies usually make much of the parental connections and ancestral

relations of their hero. It is even discussed whether the special genius of a

person is to be traced to his father or to his mother. In the earlier

Scriptures the mother’s name and character are seldom given (exceptions

may be found in the cases of Sarah, Rebekah, and Hannah); but in the time

of the later kings the mother’s name is preserved with care. The

importance of hereditary connections may concern both the intellectual

forces of the mind and the moral qualities making up the character. There

is the heritage of goodness as well as of greatness; and, therefore, Paul

thanks God that Timothy stands in the third generation of marked faith and

piety (II Timothy 1:5). Almost nothing is known of the mother of

David, and the absence of information has led to strange conjecture; Dean

Stanley curiously suggesting that she may have been previously a wife or

concubine of one Nahash, possibly an Ammonite king, who under some

circumstances not detailed became a second wife of Jesse, and by him the

mother of David. All that the narrative suggests is that David was much

younger than his brothers, and the child of Jesse’s old age. He is

introduced to us as conversing with Samuel on the occasion of the

anointing of David (I Samuel 16.); as caring for the wants of his children

while they were away from home in the army of Saul (I Samuel 17.); and

as the object of David’s special care when the personal enmity of Saul put

his relatives, as well as David himself, in peril (I Samuel 22:3-4). The

incident in which the personal character of Jesse is most fully indicated is

that of sending David with a present to his sons in the army; and this

suggests that he was a thoughtful and affectionate father, and permits us to

trace something of David’s remarkable family affection to his paternity. He

may therefore serve to introduce the subject of paternal relationships and

duties, and the rewards which those may find in the career and virtue of

their children who have not been themselves remarkable for anything save

for being good fathers. The Divine recognition of faithfulness in this

precise office and relation is indicated in God’s commendation of Abraham

(Genesis 18:19), “For I know him, that he will command his children

and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord.”



AND RESTRAINTS. Jesse seems to have had such authority. His sons,

though of full age, promptly come and go at his bidding. He appears to

have had his household fully under control, appointing each member his

place and work. The well-being of families depends on the firmness of the

father’s rule. The first conceptions of right, and of the duties of submission

and obedience, happily come to us associated with our reverence for, and

affection for, our father. And worthy fulfillment, in this respect, of the

paternal duties carries to our children worthy ideas of the righteousness

and love of “our Father who is in heaven.”



Jesse’s sending his sons to the army in the time of national peril. How

much he felt their danger is seen in his anxiety to know of their welfare

while on the battle-field. Such sacrifices have often been required of

parents in times of national danger, and similar sacrifices in quieter

spheres, especially in devoting sons to missionary work. Show that

to the true parent such sacrifices are made with mingled feelings of joy

and sorrow.



CARE; as Jesse’s life was saved by David when Saul’s enmity put the

family in peril. Loving children have no greater joy than that of caring

 for and tending their aged parents who have toiled and suffered so

much and so long for them. See our Lord’s care of His mother from

His cross.  (John 19:25-27)


16 “Whose sisters were Zeruiah, and Abigail. And the sons of Zeruiah;

Abishai, and Joab, and Asahel, three.  17 And Abigail bare Amasa: and the

father of Amasa was Jether the Ishmeelite.”  These two verses do not say that

David “begat” Zeruiah and Abigail, but that these two were sisters of the foregoing

seven brethren. Light is thrown upon this by II Samuel 17:25, which says that Abigail

was the daughter of one Nahash, and that Zeruiah was her sister. But it is

to leave us in greater darkness as to who Nahath was: whether Nahath was

another name for Jesse, or the name of Jesse’s wife, or the name of a

former husband of Jesse’s wife, to whom she bore these two daughters

before she became wife to Jesse, and that former husband possibly none

other than the Ammonite king (II Samuel 10:2) — or whether none of

these conjectures be near the truth, some of which on the face of them

seem unlikely enough, is as yet unsettled. Meantime it is worth remembering

that Zeruiah named one of her celebrated sons, and probably the eldest of them,

Abishai, after Jesse, Ishai being the same as our Jesse; yet from the above

premises it is taken that she was strictly sister of Abigail, and therefore was not

really related to Jesse. The subject is treated interestingly under the various

names in Smith’s ‘Bible Dictionary.’ The husband of Zeruiah is given nowhere,

while the husband of Abigail, here called Jether the Ishmeelite, is, in the passage

already referred to (II Samuel 17:25), called Ithra (which is a slightly altered form

of the name), an Israelite, with little doubt an error for Ishmaelite. In the same

passage also her own name appears as lg"ybia}, instead of lyig"ybia}, though

many manuscripts have this latter.


18 “And Caleb the son of Hezron begat children of Azubah his wife,

and of Jerioth: her sons are these; Jesher, and Shobab, and Ardon.

19  And when Azubah was dead, Caleb took unto him Ephrath, which

bare him Hur.  20  And Hur begat Uri, and Uri begat Bezaleel.”

The descendants of Caleb (Chelubai), placed third of Hezron’s sons, are next

dealt with; but the subject is almost immediately interrupted by resumed reference

to Hezron (vs. 21-24), and by the table of Jerah-meel and his descendants

(vs. 25-41); after which the table of Caleb, apparently the same Caleb, is carried

on (vs. 42-49). Taking these broken portions, however, just as they come, we are

immediately met by a series of uncertainties and surprises. V. 18 is obscure in that

it says Caleb had children by Azubah (the Hebrew construction also unusual),

a wife, or indeed strictly a woman (not even using the ordinary formula “his wife”),

and by Jerioth, of whom nothing is said; and the verse adds obscurity by saying,

her sons are these, without plainly indicating to which woman reference is made.

It may be safely presumed, however, from what follows, that Azubah is intended,

though no other part of Scripture helps us by so much as a mention of the sons’

names to determine it certainly. Meantime one Hebrew manuscript and the

Chaldee Paraphrase are found to omit the words “and by Jerioth.” The

Vulgate, and the Syriac and Arabic versions, make Jerioth one of the

children — possibly a daughter — of Caleb and Azubah, and this view is

supported by Kennicott and Houbigant (Barrington’s ‘Genealogies,’

1:210). The tone of ver. 19 may certainly he held to offer some

countenance to the assumption that either Jerioth’s name ought to appear

as that of a child or not at all. The name Ephrath in this verse abounds

with interest. The ancient name of the town of Bethlehem, and also

apparently of a district round it, is the same word which is found here as

the name of a woman. In either case it is more generally written ht;r;p]a,,

as even in the two other appearances of it in this very chapter. Two

manuscripts, followed by two ancient editions, and apparently by the

Vulgate, substitute aleph for the above final he. In Micah 5:2, Bethlehem is

found united with Ephratah in one compound word. The mother Ephrath is

here interesting for her descendants given, her son Hur, grandson Uri, and

great-grandson Bezaleel. Further reference to these is made in v. 50.



Artistic Gifts Finding Religious Spheres (v. 20)


(For the earlier references to Bezaleel, see Exodus 31:2; 35:30; 36:1-2;

37:1.) Explain the precise endowment of this man and his companion, and

the assertion of his call by God, who specially “filled him with the Spirit of

God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner

of workmanship” (Exodus 31:3).  It has been said that their work was to be

only that of handicraftsmen. Everything that they had to do was prescribed in

strict and precise detail. There was to be no exercise for their original powers of

invention nor for their taste. But this appears to be a needless limitation of

their mission, especially as we are told that they were called to “devise

cunning works, to work in gold,” etc.; and, however minute patterns of

artistic work may be, even this worthy carrying out makes demand on

artistic faculty and taste. We are rather disposed to give Bezaleel credit for

designing much of the ornamentation, and elaborating the details of a

general sketch furnished by Moses. It is curious to note that, in a mistaken

apprehension of the commandment (Exodus 20:4), the Jews would not

cultivate either the arts of painting or sculpture. This may have been a

safeguard to them under the temptations of surrounding idolatry, but it

seriously limited their culture as a nation, and possibly made their

idolatrous love of images and aesthetic worship the more intense when

once the barriers were broken down. The Divine call and endowments of

Bezaleel are the Divine protest against the neglect of those artistic faculties

which are an essential part of man’s composite nature, as God has been

pleased to create it. These faculties have their own place, their right place;

and it is at the peril of an imperfect and one-sided culture that we, on the

one hand, neglect them, and, on the other hand, push them into an

exaggerated place.




Illustrations from the arts of painting, sculpture, music, and poetry,

and show how they bear on the refinement of human life. Each

holds out an ideal standard of purity and beauty, and seeking for

absolute grace of form materially aids in securing real goodness

and purity and truth. Illustrate by the influence of works of art in our

homes as aids to the culture of family life. They also bear directly upon

the pleasure of human life. For most of us the days must be spent in

dull, grinding toil, which wears out the brightness and romance

of our spirits. Our real world is hard and depressing. It is of the utmost

concern to us that we may pass into an ideal world created by the

imagination, and find pleasure in its winsome and joyous scenes. The arts

take us into another world, and bring to the earth-toilers the pleasures of

a paradise. Evidently true of music and poetry, really true of all.

(Unfortunately, the above, written over two hundred years ago,

is no longer true.  In America, there is an obsession with “freedom

of expression” which has reached the cesspool stature of vulgarity

as Thomas Jefferson had warned.  He once said that the press

may become vulgar, but that is a condition against which there is

no remedy, that is, if the press is to remain free.  Of course, this

was in the days before Robert Maplethorpe, Andy Warhol, Ted

Turner, Norman Lear, Larry Flynt, Hugh Hefner and numerous

other Mongols who have taken us down this disastrous road –

I say to this – CAVEAT EMPTOR - CY – 2011)



this sphere we still dread their influence. Yet the decorations of even the

tabernacle and temple reproach us, and much more David’s elaborate

efforts to secure the “beautiful” and the “pleasing” in the temple-worship.

Explain that the arts serve in religion the one great end of keeping the ideal

and the ideally perfect ever before us, and so they become a perpetual

uplifting inspiration, surrounding us ever with the symbols and the

suggestions of the Divine and eternal. They are for us the “figures of the

true.”  (Hebrews 9:24)



HIGHER AND RELIGIOUS SPHERES. The creations of art must

never be sought for themselves, or they become virtual idols. They may

only be symbols of realities, and handmaids to truths. As a practical

conclusion, it may be shown that a man is not responsible for other gifts

than those with which he is personally entrusted, but he is bound to be

fully loyal to God in the use of those he has. Sooner or later in life,

every man who wants to be faithful will discover his faculty and

find his sphere.


21 “And afterward Hezron went in to the daughter of Machir the father

of Gilead, whom he married when he was threescore years old; and

she bare him Segub.  22  And Segub begat Jair, who had three and twenty

cities in the land of Gilead.” The first interruption to the record of Caleb’s

posterity is now occasioned by a resumed reference to Hezron, who at the age

of threescore took to wife (as it seems from v. 24) Abiah, sister to Gilead, daughter

of the eminent man Machir, who was Manasseh’s oldest son by an Aramitess

concubine (I Chronicles 7:14).  Two sons of Hezron by Abiah are given (the latter

of them a posthumous child), but the elder having a son called Jair tracked, no

doubt as one who became  famous by the number of cities he took. He was thus

connected on the father’s side with a great family of Judah, and on the mother’s

with a great family of Manasseh. He is probably not the Jair of Judges 10:3, with

his “thirty sons, thirty ass colts, and thirty cities.” And ryaiy;  jIa>eirov

Jairus – Mark 5:22) is not dy[iy; of II Samuel 21:19; ch. 20:5 here. Evident

stress is laid on his maternal descent. Thus (Numbers 32:41) he is styled son

of Manasseh, and hence also the explanation of the last clause of v. 23, infra,

all these belonged to the sons of Machir the father of Gilead.  Some of the

cities alluded to are the Havoth-Jair (Numbers 32:41;  Deuteronomy 3:14;

Joshua 13:30),  in English, translated as the “groups of dwellings of Jair.” They

lay in the trans-Jordanic district Trachonitis, the modern El-leyah and Jebel-Hauran.

It is not possible to harmonize exactly the numbers of the cities given here with

those in passages quoted above; nor is the translation of v. 23, Authorized Version,

very certainly the correct one.  Translate “And Geshur and Aram took the

Havvoth-Jair from them with Kenath and her daughter-towns, sixty cities.”

“Took” is supposed to mean here “retook,” or “recovered.” Though this suits

the Hebrew syntax better, it does not suit so well our immediate context; nor

have we any other information of such recovering of them.


23  “And he took Geshur, and Aram, with the towns of Jair, from them,

with Kenath, and the towns thereof, even threescore cities.” Geshur was a

small district between Argob and Bashan; and Aram, commonly translated Syria,

i.e. the ancient Syria, viz. the territory of Damascus. Kenath, rechristened by its

subduer Nobah (Numbers 32:42), and retaining this name at the time of Gideon,

and Zeba and Sahnunnah subsequently vindicated the life of its old name, and

regained it, replaced in the present day by Kenawat. And the towns thereof;

Hebrew literally, her daughters; i.e. the small, subordinate groups of people

(Numbers 21:25, “All the villages thereof,” literally, daughters).   “All these

belonged to the sons of Machir the father of Gilead.” All these were the

possessions of Machir, the possessor of Gilead.



The Prowess of Jair (vs. 22-23)


The story of this man is given in Numbers 32:41; Deuteronomy 3:14; Joshua 13:30.

From the repeated mention of him we may assume that he was a remarkable man

for military genius, and was in so large a degree successful in his warlike enterprises

as to stand out before the ages as a prominent example of the warlike endowment,

and its place in the Divine purposes. The brief notice of this man suggests for our

consideration The consecration to God of the military talent. We cannot

accept fully the facts of human history without recognizing the Divine gift

of the genius of the warrior. Different views are held on the righteousness

of war. From the Christian standpoint all offensive war must be at once and

entirely condemned, but defensive war — and aid to those called to

defensive war — appears to be fully consistent with Christian principles.

Still, we shall unfeignedly rejoice when the principle of arbitration can be

universally adopted, and the “nations learn war no more” (Isaiah 2:4).

It is, even in its best forms, a terrible human scourge and evil. But, whatever

our view of it may be, history keeps her testimony, and declares that, in the

long story of our race, war has been one of the important agencies used by

God, and overruled by Him, to the accomplishment of His gracious ends; and

that He has, again and again, raised up men who had “war’ for their life-mission,

and the military endowment as their precise trust. There have been the

Joshuas, the Davids, the Maccabees, the Marlboroughs, and the

Wellingtons, etc. Times and circumstances have made war the only

possible agency for the punishing of wrong and the deliverance and

confirmation of the right. Still, we should distinctly observe that warfare is

the creation of man’s lust of power and dominion, his ambition to be

supreme; and that the “God of peace” does but — if we may so say — fit,

temporarily, into the circumstances thus created, until He can get fully

established His kingdom of righteousness in which WAR WILL BE



  • THE DISTINCTIVE MILITARY GIFT. It is the gift of command

Over other men finding one particular mode of expression. This is the

essence of it, but it is combined with the constructive faculty, the power of

organization, courage, bodily skill, quickness of invention, etc. — all, it

may be pointed out, endowments which may find other spheres than




GIFTS. It is characteristic of the soldier that he is loyal to his king, and this

loyalty finds expression in instant and unquestioning obedience. So the

soldier among us is a plea urging us to maintain similar relations to our

Lord, who is the “King of kings.” So far as we can see, it would be a loss

to the moral health of a nation if the example of soldierly loyalty and

obedience were removed. Paul was essentially a loyal soldier. When a

command came from his Lord, he tells us, “Immediately we conferred not

with flesh and blood.”  (Galatians 1:16)



MILITARY MEN. Lord Nelson’s words embody the witness all soldiers

make. We must work for, suffer for, and, if need be, die for, duty.

England expects that every man will do his duty.” And in this timeserving,

self-seeking, money-getting age we cannot afford to lose any agency which

renders public witness to the fact that there is something nobler than even life

it is duty. (I am of the opinion that one of the by-products of a “godless

secular society” is the LOSS OF PATRIOTISM - CY – 2011).  If it

could be so that, in the world of the future, the military genius was no

longer needed, still even a world at peace would need the story of the

heroic ages, and its witness to the dignity of endurance, obedience,

promptitude, sacrifice for a high idea, and above all to the paramount

claims of duty.


24 “And after that Hezron was dead in Calebephratah, then Abiah

Hezron’s wife bare him Ashur the father of Tekoa.” The remaining verse

of this section brings another point of difficulty unsolved yet. No place

Caleb-ephratah is known, and no sort of accounting for Hezron dying anywhere

but in Egypt, whither he went with Jacob (Genesis 46:12), is producible. We

have to suppose that Caleb did leave Egypt on his own account and travel

to Ephratah, and then there fails any strong connection (but see Septuagint,

in loc.) between that fact and what is said about Abiah. Still, the explanation

might receive some countenance from the fact that it is said that Abiah’s son

became the father — or founder — of Tekoa, a place near Bethlehem, in

South Judah (I Samuel 30:14).


In vs. 25-41, we reach the second interruption in the account of Caleb’s posterity.

Jerahmeel (v.9), though the eldest Hezronite son, has as yet been passed by in

favor of Ram and in favor of Caleb, so far as regards part of his descendants.

Jerahmeel himself is mentioned nowhere else, but his people collectively are

(I Samuel 27:10; 30:29). On the other hand, this place alone supplies the lists

of names, and we have not the aid of any collation.


25 “And the sons of Jerahmeel the firstborn of Hezron were, Ram the

firstborn, and Bunah, and Oren, and Ozem, and Ahijah.”   This verse gives

 five sons of Jerahmeel by his first wife, her name  not given. The absence of the

conjunction “and,” however, in the Hebrew text  before the last name, Ahijah,

suggests that this may be the name of the first wife the presence of which seems

greatly required by the contents of the next verse, some particle being required

for the sense.


26 “Jerahmeel had also another wife, whose name was Atarah; she was

the mother of Onam.  27  And the sons of Ram the firstborn of Jerahmeel

were, Maaz, and Jamin, and Eker.  28 And the sons of Onam were,

Shammai, and Jada. And the sons of Shammai; Nadab and Abishur.

29 And the name of the wife of Abishur was Abihail, and she bare

him Ahban, and Molid.  30  And the sons of Nadab; Seled, and Appaim:

but Seled died without children.



31  “And the sons of Appaim; Ishi. And the sons of Ishi; Sheshan. And

the children of Sheshan; Ahlai.  32  And the sons of Jada the brother of

Shammai; Jether, and Jonathan: and Jether died without children.

33 And the sons of Jonathan; Peleth, and Zaza. These were the sons of

Jerahmeel.  34 Now Sheshan had no sons, but daughters. And Sheshan

had a servant, an Egyptian, whose name was Jarha.  35 And Sheshan

gave his daughter to Jarha his servant to wife; and she bare him Attai.”

The Authorized Version is not justified in substituting children for the Hebrew

“sons;” the object evidently being to make this statement reconcilable with

v. 34, which says that Sheshan had only daughters. The difficulty can be removed,

possibly, by supposing that Ahlai died (yet see ch. 11:41), or that, at the time to

which v. 34 refers, only daughters were in question. A conjecture, that

Ahlai of v. 31 is the same with Attai of v. 35, would have more probability if

aleph were not the initial letter of the one, and ayin of the other. Still, as all the

other “sons” of this passage mean sons strictly, it would be unlikely that sons

of Sheshan only should mean “grandsons.” The genealogy now proceeds through

Sheshan’s daughter, name not given (unless possibly Ahlai), married to his

Egyptian servant Jarha, down to (v. 41) Elishama, at the twentieth generation

from Jerahmeel.  The Egyptian servant Jarha is not heard of elsewhere; that he

was enfranchised before his marriage with Sheshan’s daughter is likely enough

(Deuteronomy 23:8; I Samuel 30:11). The language of the end of v. 33, “These

were the sons of Jerahmeel,”  would seem to exclude the following thirteen

descendants of Jarha and Sheshan’s daughter from the genealogy. Yet this is

scarcely likely to be the intention, which perhaps was satisfied with simply

marking a distinction by the pause.


36  “And Attai begat Nathan, and Nathan begat Zabad,”  The name Zabad

throws considerable doubt on the opinion that no one of Jerahmeel’s descendants

given in this genealogy can be found elsewhere in the Old Testament; for compare

again ch.11:41.  37  “And Zabad begat Ephlal, and Ephlal begat Obed,


38 “And Obed begat Jehu, and Jehu begat Azariah,” - So also compare

Azariah with II Chronicles 23:1. These two names are abundantly interesting here.

Zabad, the tenth from Jerahmeel, or fourteenth from the patriarch Judah himself,

brings us to the time of David, by exactly the same interval as seven other perfect

genealogies, four of these having the very same number of steps, viz. fourteen, two

having fifteen, and that of David himself having eleven steps.  An analogous and

equally interesting correspondence can be traced with the name Azariah and

evidence of the genealogy in the fact of its twenty-fourth and last name tallying well

with the time of Hezekiah, the sixth king after Athaliah (I Chronicles 4:41).


39  “And Azariah begat Helez, and Helez begat Eleasah,

40  And Eleasah begat Sisamai, and Sisamai begat Shallum,

41  And Shallum begat Jekamiah, and Jekamiah begat Elishama.”

42 “Now the sons of Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel were, Mesha his

firstborn, which was the father of Ziph; and the sons of Mareshah the father of

Hebron.  43 And the sons of Hebron; Korah, and Tappuah, and Rekem, and

Shema.  44 And Shema begat Raham, the father of Jorkoam: and Rekem

Begat Shammai. 45  And the son of Shammai was Maon: and Maon was the

father of Bethzur.


Verses 42-49 are occupied with the resumption of the descendants of Caleb —

 the Caleb apparently of vs. 9 and 18, though, this being so, the last clause in

v. 49, the daughter of Caleb, Achsah, will require accounting for. This statement

would lead us to suppose that we were assuredly reading of Caleb the son of

Jephunneh; but it cannot be so.  The name of Caleb, with the questions gathering

round it, will be best considered here. Of the nine times in which it occurs in this

chapter, the mere duplicates (of vs. 20, 46, 48) may be at once counted off. The

compound “Caleb-ephratah” of v. 24 has been already dealt with. Nor need we

for the present suppose v. 50 to have any real meaning inconsistent with its apparent

meaning, viz. that Caleb is the name of a grandson (son of Hur) as well as of the

grandfather. There remain the occasions of the occurring of the word in vs. 9,18,42,49.


  • The first appearance, then, of the name in this chapter (v. 9) exhibits it

in a form different from that in which it appears the other times in this

chapter or elsewhere, viz. as yb"Wlk], instead of blek; (or once as a

patronymic, I Samuel 25:3, yBilioK). The Vulgate follows the Hebrew,

but the Septuagint has at once substituted Caleb. The Syriac Version has

Salchi, and the Arabic Sachli, both of them, no doubt, mere transcribers’

errors through the mistake of a letter. This form “Chelubai” is, then, an

a[pax lego>menonhapax legomenon – once named - and no different

account has yet been given of the name appearing thus on this one occasion.

The name might be translated the “Cheluban” or “Chelubite” and treated

as a synonym of Caleb in vs. 18 and 41)


  • The Caleb called here first “Chelubai,” again “Caleb the son of Hezron,”

and now “Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel,” some have endeavored to

identify with Caleb the son of Jephunneh. This latter is a well-known figure

in history. He, together with Joshua, was among those who, departing from

Egypt, were pursued of Pharaoh, and of all the host these two alone lived

to enter into the promised land. This is enough to give him distinction and

a prominent place before the eye. To this Caleb unmistakable reference is

made in twenty-eight passages, in sixteen of which he is called “son of

Jephunneh,” and in three of those sixteen “son of Jephunneh the Kenazite.”

Now, he tells us himself (Joshua 14:7) that he was forty years old in the second

year after the Exodus. But it seems (Genesis 46:12, 26) that Hezron, grandson

of Judah, and the father of the Caleb of this chapter, was, however young, one

of those who went down into Egypt with Jacob, at a date, according to any

chronology, which must render it impossible for any son of his to have been

alive and only forty years of age at the time of the Exodus. This being so, either

the statement already referred to, found at the close of v. 49, that “the

daughter of Caleb was Achsah,” must be an interpolation from some

ignorant transcriber’s marginal annotation, or, unlikely as it is, Caleb the

son of Hezron and Caleb the son of Jephunneh both named a daughter

Achsah. It is, moreover, likely enough that the frequent describing of Caleb

the son of Jephuuneli in this style was occasioned by the desire to

distinguish him from some other Caleb, not a contemporary, indeed, but

already well known m a generation preceding but not too remote. Other

considerations decidedly concur with this view: e.g. Ram is brother of

Caleb the son of Hezron; he has a grandson, Nahshon, of great

distinction, “a prince of the children of Judah (v. 10), whose sister

Aaron married; he was the elect of the Judah tribe to assist Moses and

Aaron in the first numbering of the people (Numbers 1:7). Great prominence

Is given to him (Numbers 7:12; 10:14). He was clearly (Matthew 1:4;

Luke 3:32) fifth in descent from Judah, in perfect agreement with the

table of this chapter. Now, it was this grandson of the elder brother of

Caleb who was contemporary with Caleb the son of Jephunneh. Similarly,

The Bezaleel of this chapter (v. 20), a great-grandson of Caleb the

Hezronite, is spoken of (Exodus 31:2; 35:30) at the same date exactly

at which Caleb the son of Jephunneh says he was still but forty years of age!


  • The identity of the Caleb of v. 50, son of Hur, with Caleb the son of

Jephuuneh is supposed by some, but is not clear. It appears to be asserted,

without explanation, in the articles “Caleb” and “Ephrath,” signed A. C. H.,

Smith’s ‘Bible Dictionary,’ though in the second part of the latter article it

is alluded to as only possible. On the other hand, it may rather be that

Caleb the son of Jephunneh, instead of being identical with this Caleb the

son of Hur, is so called in order to distinguish him from this latter as a

contemporary. Again, it has been happily conjectured (‘Speaker’s

Commentary,’ in loc.) that just as ver. 33 closes the table of Jerahmeel

with These were the sons of Jerahmeel,” so v. 49 should close the

table of Caleb (v. 42) with the words, These were the sons of Caleb.

With a slight alteration, ve. 50 would then begin The sons of Hur, etc.

This is, however, only conjecture. V. 42, then, must be considered to

give us another family of Caleb, i.e. a family by another wife, of name not

given, just possibly the Jerioth unaccounted for in v. 18. The first

statement lands us in perplexity. Mesha ([v"yme) is the firstborn (i.e. by

the wife or woman in question), and the father/founder of Zip? And amid

some omission or corruption of text, we are then confronted with the words,

and the sons of Marsehah (hv;yrem;) the father (or again, perhaps

founder) of Hebron. The reading of the Septuagint gives Mareshah in both

of these passages, and may come from a Hebrew text that we have not.

The substitution could, however, scarcely be accounted for as a mere

clerical error, considering both the omission of a resh and the replacing of

an he with an ayin. The sentence refuses at present any treatment except

the unsatisfactory one of pure conjecture. But employing this, it may be

noted that the omitting of the words, “the sons of,” before Mareshah

would most help to clear the verse of confusion. In this and following

verses, Ziph, Hebron, Tappuah, Jorkoam, and Beth-zur, are all names

of places certainly, whether or not they are all of persons.


Verses 46-49 give the names (the first of which appears as that of a man also, next

verse and ch.1:33) of two additional concubines of Caleb, and of their descendants.


46  “And Ephah, Caleb’s concubine, bare Haran, and Moza, and Gazez:

and Haran begat Gazez.   47  And the sons of Jahdai; Regem, and Jotham,

and Gesham, and Pelet, and Ephah, and Shaaph.”  This verse offers us another

name, Jahdai, not to be accounted for with any certainty. It is not linked to the

context, and nothing is known of the six sons assigned to the person owning it.

That Gazez occurs twice in the previous verse is remarkable, and suggestive,

possibly, of mistake. The Septuagint omits altogether the clause in which it is

found the second time.  It might be that Jahdai is the name of yet another

concubine of Caleb.  48  Maachah, Caleb’s concubine, bare Sheber, and

Tirhanah.  49  She bare also Shaaph the father of Madmannah, Sheva

the father of Machbenah, and the father of Gibea: and the daughter of

Caleb was Achsah.” Machbenah is an another  a[pax lego>menon – one time

name (for Madmannah and Gibea, see Joshua 15:31, 57). The last sentence of

this verse is treated above.


50  “These were the sons of Caleb the son of Hur, the firstborn of Ephratah;

Shobal the father of Kirjathjearim.”  This verse has also been already

discussed. It may be now added (see Keil, ‘Commentary,’ in loc.) that

some would understand the words as though they meant, These were the

sons of Caleb, in the descending line of Hur, Ephratah’s firstborn. This

rendering is got at by altering “the son of Hur” into “the sons of Hur,”

which seems to have been the reading of the Septuagint manuscripts, and

which, at all events, their rendering has. The remainder of v. 50, with the

following four, give three sons of Caleb:  51 “Salma the father of Bethlehem,

Hareph the father of Bethgader.  52  And Shobal the father of Kirjathjearim

had sons; Haroeh, and half of the Manahethites.  53  And the families of

Kirjathjearim; the Ithrites, and the Puhites, and the Shumathites, and the

Mishraites; of them came the Zareathites, and the Eshtaulites,  54  The sons

of Salma; Bethlehem, and the Netophathites, Ataroth, the house of Joab,

and half of the Manahethites, the Zorites.  55  And the families of the

scribes which dwelt at Jabez; the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and

Suchathites. These are the Kenites that came of Hemath, the father of

the house of Rechab.”


  1. “Shobal, father of (prince of) Kirjath-jearim”  (city of woods;

Joshua 9:17; 15:9, 60; 18:14-15), on the border-land of Judah

and Benjamin, and about ten miles from Jerusalem on the road to

Emmaus (Nicopolis). It is to be identified, almost with certainty, with

the modern Kuriet-el-Enab. Other references of exceeding interest are

I Samuel 6:21; 7:2;  II Samuel 6:5; ;  ch.13:6;  II Chronicles 1:4;

Ezra 2:25; Nehemiah 7:29; Jeremiah 26:20; Psalm 132:6. This Shobal

(v. 52) had two sons, “Haroeh,” i.e. Reaiah (ch. 4:2), and the progenitor,

whatever his name, of half of the people called “Manahethites”

(Authorized Version) — a form probably suggested by the Masoretic

printing of v. 54 — or Chatsi-hammenon-choth (Hebrew text), which

Gesenius treats as a proper name, and which means “the midst of quiet

places” (Psalm 23:2), from which comes the patronymic of the next

verse but one. From the Kirjath-jearim family were derived (v. 53), the

“Ithrites, Puhites, Shumathites, and Mishraites,” of none of whom,

except probably the Ithrites (II Samuel 23:38; ch.11:40), do we find

other mention; and from the Mishraites again were derived two

offshoots, the Zareathites and Eshtaulites, the towns of both of whom

are with great probability to be tracked (Joshua 15:33; 19:41; Judges

13:25; 18:2). They were situated in that part of Judah called the

“low” country, or the Shefelah, stretching from Joppa to Gaza on

the Mediterranean.


     2.  “Salma, father of” (prince of Bethlehem).  The so-called “sons” here

attributed to him, six in number, including Bethlehem, evidently

betoken families rather than the names of individuals. The town

Netophah (Ezra 2:21; Nehemiah 7:26) gave the gentile noun

Netophathites” (v. 54; II Samuel 23:28; Jeremiah 40:8).  Ataroth,

the house of Joab” (i.e. “crowns” of the house of Joab), is not

mentioned elsewhere; but the reason of its being distinguished thus

may be due to the fact that there was another Ataroth of Gad

(Numbers 32:3, 34), and yet another of Ephraim (Joshua 14:5; 18:13).

The Zorites” -  (y[ir]xi) Gesenius thinks to be another gentile form

from h[r]x; with yti[;r]xi, but of them we do not read elsewhere.

V. 55 should not have been separated from the last word of the previous

verse.  The families of the scribes” is linked on by the conjunction and

(which has coupled the former sons of Salma also two and two) with

“the Zorites.” This sixth set of descendants from Salma is exhibited to us

in the shape of a trio of scribe families, the heads of which will have been,

presumably, “Tira, Shimea, and Suchah”. They are said to have “dwelt

at Jabez,” -  a place not ascertained; and scarcely to be put into connection

with the Jabez of ch. 4:9. These families, it appears, were not purely of

Judah; but very interesting it is that, though of the people whose land and

possessions were to yield to the descendants of Abraham (Genesis 15:18-21),

yet friendship and intermarriage had found them apparently a lasting place

in Judah (Judges 1:16), while Saul was careful to urge them to save

themselves when he was about to smite the Amalekites (I Samuel 15:6).

Though nothing is known of the link of connection given here in the name,

yet the house of the “Rechabites” is well known (II Kings 10:15, 23;

Jeremiah 35:2, 5, 18; and cf. II Samuel 4:2-3).


        3. In v. 51 Hareph (prej;) only here; though pyirh;, found in Nehemiah

7:24; 10:20; Ezra 2:18, may possibly be connected with it. There is

nothing further said of any people derived from him except that he was

“father of Beth-gader”. The identification of this place is not certain.

Gesenius thinks it perhaps the same with Gederah (Joshua 15:36), but

it is more probably the Gedor of same chapter (v. 58), on the road

between Hebron and Jerusalem.





The Mission of the Kenites (v. 55)


This people is first mentioned in Genesis 15:19. They were a nomadic

tribe, and their principal seat seems to have been the rocky tracts in the

south and south-west of Palestine, near the Amalekites (see Numbers 24:21-22).

Jethro was a Kenite. Jael was wife of Heber the Kenite. Saul spared them in his

expedition against the Amalekites (I Samuel 15:6).  David maintained friendly

relations with them (I Samuel 30:29). The house of the Rechabites belonged to

this tribe. 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), 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. Their semi-monastic austerity is their chief feature. They preserved

their nomadic life and customs even when dwelling in the midst of the cities

of Israel. Dean Stanley thus pictures a colony of them, that of Heber, the

husband of Jael: “Between Hazor, the capital of Jabin, and Kedesh-

Naphtali, birthplace of Barak — each within a day’s journey of the other

— lies, raised high above the plain of Merom, amongst the hills of

Naphtali, a green plain. This plain is still and was then studded with

massive terebinths (a small tree of the cashew family). Underneath the

spreading branches of one of them there dwelt, unlike the inhabitants of

the surrounding villages, a settlement of Bedouins, living, as if in the desert,

with their tents pitched and their camels and asses around them, whence the

spot had acquired the name of ‘The Terebiuth,’ or ‘Oak,’ of the ‘Unloading

of Tents.’” It is from this peculiarity of the Kenites that we learn their mission.



MERCIES. For they had once been what the Kenites then were — a

mere tribe or aggregation of tribes. But God had, in a most glorious and

gracious way, made them a nation, and given them a land. Such a reminder

brought home to them the claims of Jehovah, and should have renewed

their devotion and allegiance to Him.



FOR THE NEGLECT OF THE COVENANT. They were loyal to the

customs and rules of their founder, whatever disabilities such loyalty might

seem to entail. Illustrate by the story of testing the Rechabites with the

offer of wine, given in Jeremiah 35. Impress that we need still the witness

of virtue and excellence in those who are not with us; who are among us,

but not of our party. And in this we may see some good in the association

together in one nation of differing religious sects. Each may teach the

others some valuable lessons, and find effective expression of some

essential virtue. Our Lord, in His teachings, even ventured to draw lessons

from the quick-witted example of the bad man. We may learn something of

God and duty from all those with whom we are brought into even casual




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