1 CHRONICLES CHAPTER 4
The Descendants of Judah and Simeon.
THE POSTERITY OF JUDAH. — V. 1. The sons, the principal descendants, of Judah, in a direct descending line: Pharez, Hezron, and Carmi (or Ohelubai, or Caleb), and Hur, and Shobal. Cp. chap. 2, 3-5. 18. 20. 50. V. 2. And Beaiah (or Haroeh), the son of Shobal, to whom the genealogical table had progressed in chap. 2, 52, begat Jahath; and Jahath begat Ahumai and Lahad. These are the families of the Zorathites, those inhabiting the town of Zorah, chap. 2, 50-53. V. 3. And these were of the father of Etam: Jezreel, probably the founder of that mountain city in Judah, and Ishma, and Idbash; and the name of their sister was Hazelel-poni; v. 4. and Penuel, the father of Gedor, who also founded a town of his name in the tribe of Judah, Josh. 15, 58, and Ezer, the father of Hushah, founded by him some time after the conquest. These are the sons of Hur, the first-born of Ephratah, the father of Bethlehem. V. 5. And Ashur, the father, that is, the founder, of Tekoa, chap. 2, 24, had two wives, Helah and Naarah. V. 6. And Naarah bare him Ahuzam, and Hepher, from whom the district Hepher in the southern part of Judah probably received its name, 1 Kings 4, 10, and Temeni, and Haahashtari. These were the sons. of Naarah. V. 7. And the sons of Helah, named here in the second place, although first above, were Zereth, and Jezoar, and Ethnan. V. 8. And Coz begat Anub, and Zobebah, and the families of Aharhel, the son of Harum, the reason for this reference to the Levitical family at this point being unknown, chap. 24, 10. V. 9. And Jabez, whose city is mentioned chap. 2, 55, was more honorable than His brethren, distinguished for his sincere and fervent piety as well as for his learning; and his mother called his name Jabez (“son of sorrow”), saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. V. 10. And Jabez, uttering his prayer in the form of a vow as he was entering upon some important service, called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh, that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, extending his boundaries, and that Thine hand might be with me, and that Thou wouldest keep me from evil, literally, “put me from evil,” that it may not grieve me, literally, “that I may have no more sorrow! The rhetorical form of the sentence is a vow promising allegiance to the true God. And God granted him that which he requested, answering his prayer and prospering his endeavor, as He does in the case of all prayers made according to His will. V. 11. And Chelub, the brother of Shuah, thereby distinguished from the more illustrious Caleb, begat Mehir, which was the father of Eshton. V. 12. And Eshton begat Beth-rapha, and Paseah, and Tehinnah, the father of Irnahash, or the city of Nahash, from which Abigail, the stepsister of David, hailed, 2 Sam. 17, 25. These are the men of Rechah. V. 13. And the sons of Kenaz, the grandfather of Caleb, whose name was preserved in the family name Kenezite: Othniel, Josh. 15, 17, and Seraiah; and the sons of Othniel: Hathath. V. 14. And Meonothai begat Ophrah; and Seraiah begat Joab, the father of the valley of Charashim; for they were craftsmen, carpenters living in a well-known community, as men of the same occupation occupy certain quarters of the Oriental cities to this day. V. 15. And the sons of Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, such as were not mentioned in the other lists: Iru, Elah, and Naam; and the sons of Elah, even Kenaz, who was given the name of his illustrious ancestor. V. 16. And the sons of Jehaleleel, a man otherwise not mentioned: Ziph, and Ziphah, Tiria, and Asareel. V. 17. And the sons of Ezra, who probably lived in Egypt or at the time of the exodus, were Jether, and Mered, and Epher, and Jalon; and she bare Miriam, and Shammai, and Ishbah, the father of Eshtemoa, a town of some note south of Hebron. V. 18. And his wife Jehudijah, she being the Jewish wife of Mered, bare Jered, the father of Gedor, and Heber, the father of Socho, a city in the lowlands southwest of Jerusalem, and Jekuthiel, the father of Zanoah, another town in Judah, probably near Zorah. And these are the sons of Bithiah, the daughter of Pharaoh, which Mered took, namely, the Miriam, or Merom, Sharomai, and Ishbah mentioned above. So this was a case in which a descendant of Caleb married an Egyptian princess who had become a convert to the Jewish religion. V. 19. And the sons of his wife Hodiah, or of the wife of Hodiah, the sister of Naham, the father of Keilah the Garmite, and Eshtemoa the Maachathite. V. 20. And the sons of Shimon were Amnon, and Rinnah, Benhanan, and Tilon. And the sons of Ishi were Zoheth and Ben-zoheth. These men are otherwise unknown. V. 21. The sons of Shelah, the son of Judah, were Er, the father of Lecah, and Laadah, the father of Mareshah, these two towns being located in the extreme southern part of Judah, and the families of the house of them that wrought fine linen, the manufacture of fine linen goods being a hereditary art in this family, from the time of the Egyptian sojourn, of the house of Ashbea, v. 22. and Jokim, and the men of Chozeba, and Joash, and Saraph, who had the dominion in Moab, having conquered the country, at least in part, at a very early date, and Jashubi-lehem. And these are ancient things, very ancient accounts brought to the notice of the readers in this connection. V. 23. These were the potters, the reference being to all the children and descendants of Shelah, and those that dwell among plants and hedges, probably the gardeners of the royal gardens near Jerusalem and Bethlehem; there they dwelt with the king for his work, another indication that certain trades remained in the same family from one generation to the next. It seems that the old adage of being a master of one trade and not a jack of many has good Scriptural foundation.
THE FAMILY OF SIMEON. — V. 24. The sons of Simeon, who were classed together with those of Judah, because they had their possessions within the boundaries of Judah, were Nemuel (or Jerouel), and Jamin, Jareb, Zerah, and Shaul; v. 25. Shallum, his son; Mibsam, his son; Mishma, his son. V. 26. And the sons of Mishma: Hamuel, his son; Zacchur, his son; Shimei, his son. V. 27. And Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters, his large family being brought out very prominently; but his brethren had not many children, neither did all their family multiply like to the children of Judah. This fact, which in those days was looked upon as a special visitation of the Lord, hindered the Simeonites from becoming a large and powerful tribe, Num. 1, 22; 26, 14. Cp. Jacob’s curse, Gen. 49, 7. V. 28. And they dwelt at Beersheba, and Moladah, and Hazar-shual, v. 29. and at Bilhah (or Balah), and at Ezem, and at Tolad, v. 30. and at Bethuel, and at Hormah, and at Ziklag, v. 31. and at Beth-maraboth, and Hazarsusim, and at Beth-birei, and at Shaaraim, these being the towns allotted to their tribe in the distribution of the land. These were their cities unto the reign of David, who, because the Simeonites had been too cowardly to drive the heathen from some of the towns allotted to them, took these cities from the hands of their enemies and gave them to his own tribe of Judah. V. 32. And their villages were Etam (or Ether) and Ain, Rimmon, and Tochen, and Ashan, five cities; v. 33. and all their villages that were round about the same cities, unto Baal. These were their habitations and their genealogy; according to these cities they were entered into their genealogical lists. V. 34. And Meshobab, and Jamlech, and Joshah, the son of Amaziah, v. 35. and Joel, and Jehu, the son of Josibiah, the son of Seraiah, the son of Asiel, v. 36. and Elioenai, and Jaakobah, and Jeshohaiah, and Asaiah, and Adiel, and Jesimiel, and Benaiah, v. 37. and Ziza, the son of Shiphi, of the son of Allon, the son of Jedaiah, the son of Shimri, the son of Shemaiah. V. 38. These mentioned by their names, thirteen leaders and heads of families, were princes in their families; and the house of their fathers increased greatly, in numbers and strength, V. 39. And they, in a first expedition or migration, went to the entrance of Gedor, or Gederah, a district noted for its fertility, even unto the east side of the valley, to seek pasture for their flocks. V. 40. And they found fat pasture and good, and the land was wide and quiet and peaceable; for they of Ham, probably a tribe of the Canaanitish branch of the children of Ham, had dwelt there of old. V. 41. And these written by name, the above. mentioned princes, came in the days of Hezekiah, king of Judah, and smote their tents, namely, those of the heathen inhabitants, 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, both the Hamites and the Meunites dwelling with them being exterminated, whereupon the Simeonites occupied their land until the exile, V. 42, And some of them, even of the sons of Simeon, in a second expedition, five hundred men, went to Mount Seir, in the country of Edom, having for their captains Pelatiah, and Neariah, and Rephaiah, and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi. V. 43. And they smote the rest of the Amalekites that were escaped, namely, after the victories of Saul and David over their hereditary enemies, which had forced them into the mountains of Edom, where they mingled with the Edomites, and dwelt there unto this day. So the wrath of God finally did exterminate the Amalekites, as He had threatened on account of their trespasses, 1 Sam. 15, 3.